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Old 04-01-2011, 03:39 AM   #1
Herald_of_Mandos
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1420! A new view of Smaug?

Interesting development reported here: movieweb.com/news/hSireBbiGlat0t

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Fans of "The Hobbit" who expect the Smaug the dragon to be an evil, fire-breathing cliché may be in for a few surprises.

In J.R.R. Tolkien's classic two-volume prequel to "The Lord of the Rings", the dragon is presented as a vicious monster who serves the Necromancer Saruman. The movie Smaug, Sir Peter Jackson revealed today, has a lot more depth– and not just because of the dazzling, state-of-the art 3D CGI technology used to portray him.

"We've moved on from the traditional negative view of dragons," says Jackson. "It's such a stereotype. Our Smaug is a much more complex character."

In this re-imagining, dragons are peaceful, gentle beings who live in harmony with nature, and Smaug turns to violence only after his family is brutally slaughtered by marauding dwarves and humans. "There's an important message there," Sir Peter explains, "about tolerance and caring for the environment, but it's very subtle."

As in the book, the dragon will still be beheaded by the sword of the "heroic" Brad the Bowman– but there's a twist.

"We want this to be a tragic moment," Jackson says. "Smaug is just misunderstood. It's the people who are the real monsters."
What do you think? Is this version of Smaug really an improvement?
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:28 AM   #2
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I presume it is the Carolingian Minuschool Academy Press edition that has Bard decapitating Smaug?
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:53 AM   #3
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I presume it is the Carolingian Minuschool Academy Press edition that has Bard decapitating Smaug?
Then you must be familiar with artist Arial Black's exquisite illustration of the scene! I hear they're using it for the concept art.
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:14 AM   #4
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In J.R.R. Tolkien's classic two-volume prequel to "The Lord of the Rings", the dragon is presented as a vicious monster who serves the Necromancer Saruman.
Which novel is that?I don't recall any classic, two volume prequel where Saruman is a dragon-tamer.

This movie shouldn't be called "The Hobbit", more like "PJ's Misunderstood Dragon". It's a crime calling something like that by a name JRRT gave his book, when the only thing left from the book is names.
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:48 AM   #5
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Which novel is that?I don't recall any classic, two volume prequel where Saruman is a dragon-tamer.
Well, I've only read the Caslon translation. You mean it's not like that in English? Really?
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:09 AM   #6
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Then you must be familiar with artist Arial Black's exquisite illustration of the scene! I hear they're using it for the concept art.
Indeed. Black is one of the finest Tolkien illustrators and sadly underrated. Of course the Black dynasty is highly influential in Seriffean culture. Aeonis and Absara have also made their marks in their own way. Only perhaps Raleigh Roman is in the same league....

You should try the Goudy version, Herald, I think the opening conversation between Bilbo and Gandalf is particularly effective. However the illustrations by Arnold Boecklin are somewhat crude in comparison to the elegance of the others.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:23 AM   #7
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and how about Brad the Bowman...assume Brad II's mother was Queen Angelina, then...

EDIT: I thought, "hang on, must be a joke", then clicked link...
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
Indeed. Black is one of the finest Tolkien illustrators and sadly underrated. Of course the Black dynasty is highly influential in Seriffean culture. Aeonis and Absara have also made their marks in their own way. Only perhaps Raleigh Roman is in the same league....

You should try the Goudy version, Herald, I think the opening conversation between Bilbo and Gandalf is particularly effective. However the illustrations by Arnold Boecklin are somewhat crude in comparison to the elegance of the others.
I know, that's what's always put me off. Too heavy, dark, and well, symbolic. I really am curious now to read "The Hobbit" in the original, though. I did know some things were different– for example, "Blackoak" is "Mirkwood", "Elrod"* is "Elrond", "Lithos" is really "Legolas" and Italica the Elf-maiden is "Itaril" in English. Of course I'll always think of them by their Serriffean names...

You know, I heard Jackson and Walsh were so impressed with Arial Black's work they had the Carolingian Minuschool edition translated back into English and used that as the basis for their screenplay! You can imagine how proud that makes me, as a San Serriffean!


*A poor choice of name. I know many readers here were just confused by the similarity to Port Elrod in the Upper Caisse!

Last edited by Herald_of_Mandos; 04-01-2011 at 09:05 AM. Reason: spelling; extra comment.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:31 AM   #9
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Well, it is April 1st. And if it isn't a joke, it's a sad commentary on PJ's need to warp the story.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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*A poor choice of name. I know many readers here were just confused by the similarity to Port Elrod in the Upper Caisse!
I believe the same translator did Lord of the Rings and rendering Boromir as Bordoni of course caused the same sort of problems due to confusion with the capital city. You would have thought he would have learned his lesson.

I should warn you that the original has eagles not the giant Kwotes... and substituting swarfega for waybread or lembas was not fortuitous either.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Well, it is April 1st. And if it isn't a joke, it's a sad commentary on PJ's need to warp the story.
The saddest thing is that we're now so used to expecting the worst from PJ's adaptation that an April joke like this is all too believable. Reality defeats satire.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:18 PM   #12
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The saddest thing is that we're now so used to expecting the worst from PJ's adaptation that an April joke like this is all too believable. Reality defeats satire.
Too true.

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Well, I've only read the Caslon translation. You mean it's not like that in English? Really?
Well, TH is one book, where Saruman doesn't appear at all. And Sauron is the Necromancer, not Saruman. Me is confused very very.

Please tell me this is all in April Fools spirit!
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:36 PM   #13
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I am appalled by this April 1st prank played on PJ. Let me set
the record straight. PJ has never suggested making a
travesty of The Hobbit by having Bard behead Smaug with a
sword, that's just silly. He's going to stick with canon and show
Thranduil's son lopping his head off (that's Smaug, not Legolas, although...)
with a light saber (thereby
avenging the tragic slaying of his Laketown girlfriend by Smaug).
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tuor in Gondolin View Post
I am appalled by this April 1st prank played on PJ. Let me set
the record straight. PJ has never suggested making a
travesty of The Hobbit by having Bard behead Smaug with a
sword, that's just silly. He's going to stick with canon and show
Thranduil's son lopping his head off (that's Smaug, not Legolas, although...)
with a light saber (thereby
avenging the tragic slaying of his Laketown girlfriend by Smaug).
I must protest your snide insinuation that PJ will have Legolas slay Smaug over his girlfriend. That is simply preposterous. Everyone knows he will have an army of Rohirrim show up at Laketown to repay the Elves for showing up at Helm's Deep, even though there were no Elves at Laketown, nor had the events at Helm's Deep yet occurred. But this is The Sequel to Lord of the Rings, after all, and we must tie the films together. Therefore, for continuity's sake, the events of The Hobbit will be recast after the events of The Lord of the Rings to ensure that imbeclic filmgoers will not get confused by going backwards in time.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:17 AM   #15
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Because they will need to cut out certain characters from the Hobbit-book due to time restrictions, such as Tom Bombadil and Farmer Giles, I think it would be sweet if they incorporated their traits into the character of Smaug. This would really add to the projected post-modern rendition of the dragon and give the story a much needed injection of relevance.

Maybe he could wear big yellow boots and have a pet dog - why not?
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:27 AM   #16
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Boots Hey dol, merry dol, old Smaugadillo...

I trust that if Smaug and Tom Bombadil are to be combined the Smaugadil hybrid will still get to keep Goldberry...with a few tweaks, obviously...she will now be a "misunderstood" necromantic-pyromancer called Deathberry, probably played by Megan Fox.

(Lends a whole new meaning to the concept of a smokin' hot wife...)
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Eomer of the Rohirrim View Post
Because they will need to cut out certain characters from the Hobbit-book due to time restrictions, such as Tom Bombadil and Farmer Giles, I think it would be sweet if they incorporated their traits into the character of Smaug. This would really add to the projected post-modern rendition of the dragon and give the story a much needed injection of relevance.

Maybe he could wear big yellow boots and have a pet dog - why not?
That's hilarious.

If Smaug is going to be like Tom Bombadill, then maybe Bilbo will accidentally kill Goldberry, and that's what causes Smaug to snap and attack those murderous Lake Men of Laketown.


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Originally Posted by Kuruharan View Post
I trust that if Smaug and Tom Bombadil are to be combined the Smaugadil hybrid will still get to keep Goldberry...with a few tweaks, obviously...she will now be a "misunderstood" necromantic-pyromancer called Deathberry, probably played by Megan Fox.

(Lends a whole new meaning to the concept of a smokin' hot wife...)
Well if Goldberry is going to be evil, then she can fake her own death to get Smaug to leave the cave. When Smaug leaves in a frenzy, she can then try to force Bilbo to give her the ring so that she can conquer Middle Earth.


And to really make this movie contemporary, Peter Jackson will add a few musical sequences. Singing and dancing ad nauseam is so in vogue now for some reason.
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