Notes From Hobbiton: Breaking Down Peter Jackson’s Extended Hobbit Trilogy

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (EXTENDED EDITION)

Beorn To Be Wild

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Beorn is a shapeshifter who can morph from a giant man to a deadly bear. Sadly, he’s wasted here as a dude who spouts exposition while other characters sit at a table. His entire character could have, and should have, been cut in order to move the story along.

Spooky Spider

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Peter Jackson lets his horror roots shine in a sequence in Mirkwood featuring deadly spiders. Advances in CG over the years make these little beasties even more terrifying than the gargantuan Shelob the great from Return of the King. This is one of the better sequences in the film.

Inter-species Romance

the hobbit, an unexpected journey, desolation of smaug, battle of the five armies, peter jackson, lord of the rings, j.r.r. tolkein, the silmarillion, review, trilogy, extended edition

The original novel lacked any female character of note. Naturally, Peter Jackson invented Tauriel the Elf to round out the large cast of his Hobbit trilogy. While I believe he had good intentions, the soppy love triangle between Legolas, Kili, and Tauriel manages to grind an already protracted story to a halt. Evangeline Lily’s acting is not the problem here; the character just isn’t integrated very well, turning into a melodramatic weepy mess by the third film.

Tons of Thrain

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The most important addition to the extended edition of the second film is the inclusion of Thorin’s father Thrain as part of Gandalf’s subplot. As Gandalf explores the ruins of Dol Goldur, Thrain appears to battle the wizard. There are some nice character moments between the two, foreshadowing events in the third flick.

Smaug Combat

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The end of the flick is a ridiculous series of action set pieces featuring Smaug the dragon. Smaug looks terrific, and shows off fun voice acting thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch. Sadly, a battle of wits degenerates into a dwarf-versus-dragon gangbang of mythic proportions. Louder does not always mean better.

The Battle of the Five Armies is on page three!

3 thoughts on “Notes From Hobbiton: Breaking Down Peter Jackson’s Extended Hobbit Trilogy

  1. Good article, I had the opposite reaction to the Hobbit Trilogy than I did Lord of the Rings. I felt Lord of the Rings got better as the story progressed where as I feel the Hobbit got worse. I’m sure I’ll watch the extended editions eventually but the last movie left a rather bad taste in my mouth.

  2. You should check out the fan edit that cut this bloated mess to a single 4-hour movie. No lame love story, the goofiness of the orcs are cut to make them a little more menacing and an all around tighter experience.

  3. Thanks for liking the article.

    If I was to rank the Hobbit films (best to worst), it would be Battle of the Five Armies, Unexpected Journey, and Desolation of Smaug. If I was to rank the LOTR trilogy, it would be Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, and Return of the King.

    Wouldn’t mind giving the fan edit a watch. Loved watching that really short Hobbit cartoon from Rankin Bass as a kid!

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