The Gaffer’s Elite: Realms and Settlements

Gaffer Gamgee

Ranking all things Middle-earth

Hullo friends!

It’s Friday today and that means another post from the Gaffer’s Elite! Now I had announced a “favourite characters” ranking last week, but in the meantime I thought there’s just one more post I need to do before getting to that.

Undoubtedly, one of the most appealing things about Middle-earth, and the reason why we keeping going back to these films and reading the books, is due to the vast variety of locations the stories take place in.

In 6 films, Peter Jackson and his creative team have visualised much of Tolkien’s fertile creativity and sublime imagination. Suffice to say, the combination of visual effects, set design and New Zealand’s natural breathtaking countryside, have given us a wealth of fantasy locales unlike any other.

So without further ado, here are some of my most cherished environments from the films… Continue reading

The Desolation of Smaug: Extended Edition Review

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug logo (header)

The expanded vision of the second installment bolsters Middle-earth’s richness and reinstates Peter Jackson’s masterful filmmaking that spans a 6-film saga.

As a theatrical release, The Desolation of Smaug was a significant improvement from the occasionally slow-moving sequences (which I personally find no objection to) in An Unexpected Journey.The Desolation of Smaug EE DVD

But whilst the first Extended Edition release (with a total of 13 minutes of extra footage) felt more like a financial (as well as traditional) move for fans (though I find the Hobbiton sequences the most appropriate), The Desolation of Smaug’s 25 minutes of new scenes marks a massive improvement in the scope of the two Extended Editions.

I can here formally extend my gratitude to Peter Jackson for re-recognizing the meaning of an Extended Edition – following the success of the format with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Continue reading

Rumours of Thráin …

**Warning: possible minor spoilers from The Hobbit**

> Who is this Thráin?

You know, that crazy dwarf – king-to-be character – which was supposed to make an appearance in The Desolation of Smaug – but clearly didn’t.

Upon seeing the first two films in The Hobbit trilogy, Thráin II (son of Thrór, father of Thorin Oakenshield) appears to be a rather key ingredient in the whole narrative – despite his lack of Thráin IIparticipation in the story.
Continue reading