The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug


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(Contains some spoilers.)

The unexpected journey continues.

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The background: In the opening scene, it is noted that, in order for the dwarvish armies to join together to reclaim their homeland of Erebor, Thorin, the rightful king, must posses the Arkenstone to demonstrate his legitimacy. Thus, the quest of the 13 dwarves and Bilbo to the Lonely Mountain to find the priceless stone.

The plot: Things definitely heat up in this second installment of the Hobbit trilogy. Azog the white Orc is called away by superiors and Bolg takes over as the company’s new foe. And he is relentless in the pursuit. The friction between Elves and Dwarves comes to the forefront. Thranduil the proud, greedy King of Mirkwood clashes with Thorin who is still furious over the Elven king’s desertion of Erebor when it was under attack from the dragon. And a confrontation between the Dwarves and Smaug the dragon heats up to an inferno.

The hobbit: Bilbo, armed with not just “his courage,” as he remarks to Gandalf, but also with the magic Ring that grants its wearer invisibility, saves the Dwarves several times. Though it is tragic to watch how the Ring is slowly starting to take hold of him, influencing vicious actions.

The bad: The worst thing about the movie was the love triangle between Tauriel, and Legolas and Kili the dwarf. It made things rather ridiculous. Like, Tauriel, supposedly captain of the Elven guard, was totally irresponsible, immature and impetuous to leave her position and take off to follow a dwarf—and if she was like that she sure wouldn’t have become captain of the guard in the first place! And the scene in which she sang over Kili, with the slow-mo and glowing light, was totally, totally a copy of the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring where Arwen first comes when Frodo is hurt. So I’m disappointed in Peter Jackson for reneging on his promise to not make Legolas a part of any romance. The Tauriel character is cool, but the romance is unneeded in the story.

The book: I really liked how some things from the book were portrayed in the movie. Beorn the skin-changer is there, as a raging bear and a gruff man. Bilbo’s defeat of the spiders of Mirkwood with the use of his (newly named) sword Sting and the Ring is very neat. The barrel scene is there, though it is livened up with an Orc attack and swinging and jumping Elves everywhere. Lake town is really well done—so real and gritty looking. Bard the bowman gets fleshed out so much and even has a family; he’s a really nice character. The failure of his ancestor to kill Smaug in that attack so long ago weighs heavily on him, but he is a good, moral man who wants to do what’s right and refuses to be drawn in to or intimidated by the corruption in his town.

The action: There was a lot of fighting and action. I’m a big fan of the little band type of fighting (though I like the big army type too) and there’s a lot of that, with Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs all attacking each other. There are also major confrontations. Legolas faces down the huge Bolg and wields a mighty sword in the hand-to-hand combat. Gandalf confronts the dark powers at Dol Guldor in a battle of light against dark. The climactic scenes of Bilbo and the Dwarves in the dragon’s lair inside the Lonely Mountain are quite breathtaking. “Smaug the stupendous” is just that, plus being totally conceited. The vast underground chambers and piles upon piles of loose gold strewn all over, covering the floor, make for a dramatic setting for the showdown. The forges are lit and soon molten gold is streaming.

The lessons: A major development is the rapid growth of evil unexpectedly taking place. In the first movie, seeing Orcs was puzzling enough, but now their increasing numbers are plain alarming. Gandalf leaves to investigate further at Dol Guldor, the place where Radagast fought the Ringwraith and found the Morgul blade in the first movie. While the Dwarves and Bilbo are encountering Orcs, giant spiders and Smaug the dragon, Gandalf discovers that hundreds of orcs are massing at Dol Guldor and it has turned into a veritable fortress of the dark lord Sauron. This is bigger than any of them suspected.

“We’ve been blind…and in our blindness the enemy has returned.” -Gandalf

Things are clearly coming to a head. Evil has returned. It is growing. What to do?

Tauriel says it well.

Legolas: “It is not our fight.”

Tauriel: “It is our fight. It will not end here. With every victory, this evil will grow! If your father has his way, we will do nothing. We will hide within our walls, live our lives away from the light, and let darkness descend. Are we not part of this world? Tell me, Mellon [friend], when did we allow evil to become stronger than us?”

This is what every hero in Middle Earth thinks, and acts on. This is why there is a story to be told here at all. There is evil in the world. When it presses in, do we hide? Do we retreat? If we did, the darkness would overpower all. No, we must fight.

But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
-Proverbs 4:18-19

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
-Romans 13:1

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
-2 Corinthians 6:14

You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
-1 Thessalonians 5:5

 

And some pictures, courtesy of TheHobbit.com. (Click on pictures to bring up larger versions.)

And some wallpapers, courtesy of http://www.MoviesOfHollywood.com.

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Cranberry Gown


Cranberry Dress

This dress had a very brief appearance in “The Two Towers”; also, there are very few pictures of it.  Nonetheless, it is a gorgeous dress that I just had to make once I got the burgundy crushed panne velvet. 🙂

The velvet is stretchy, so the dress pulls over the doll’s head.  The sleeves, though they look like they are 2-part, are really 1 piece for a smoother fit.  At the bottom, the sleeve seam is left unsewn to allow the doll’s hands to come through.  Gold glitter paint decorates the neckline and sleeves.

Chase Dress


Chase Dress

This is also known as the Riding outfit.  Arwen wears this pretty and practical “Lord of the Rings” dress when she saves Frodo from the Ringwraiths and brings him to Rivendell.

In lieu of swede, I used a grey T-shirt fabric, and finished the edges with Fray-Check: I think it gives a pretty good look.  I had a good pattern, but it was still a rather complicated project.  It’s the first dress I’ve made that has princess seams.  The skirt was pretty easy and looks really cool.  The bodice and sleeves were…harder.  Lots of little pieces to keep track of, fitting, modifications….   But I think it came out well 🙂

The princess seams are modified so the seam is at the shoulder.  A seam runs down the front of the bodice and the dress pulls over the doll’s head.  Embroidery floss was used for the laced ties in front, and there’s a ribbon sash in the back.  The coat sleeves are 2-piece, the lower part being petal wrapped.  The skirts (my favorite part) are actually 2 petal shapes, slightly overlapping in front and back.  Attached to the main dress/coat are flared, white lower sleeves, and a white underskirt, that’s also split in front and back, (made from a pair of tights with a crinkle texture).  Brown leggings are worn underneath.

Mirror Dress


Galadriel’s Mirror Dress

This is Galadriel’s most famous dress, worn when she meets the Fellowship in Lorien.

Here’s the underdress.

 

The overdress is made from a nice, slightly shiny, flowered lace.

The sleeves, though similar to Arwen’s 2-part sleeves, are 1 piece. They are tight to the elbow, then flare out to an almost half-circle shape.

The cloak is still forthcoming 🙂

Yellow elf dress


Yellow elf dress

My first sale!  My little sister commissioned and bought this dress.  An elf lady in Rivendell (I think) wore it in the “Lord of the Rings” movie.  The coat is from the Rose dress pattern. The sleeves are interesting but pretty.  There’s a striped underdress.  My sister made the belt out of beads.

Coronation dress


Coronation dress

This is a really pretty Arwen dress from the movie “Return of the King.”  I couldn’t get the right material for so long, then all of a sudden I found this Indian petticoat with a real nice drape, which I then used for the overdress.

The overdress is really long, giving that nice “pooling” at the bottom.  Both parts of the 2-part Elven sleeves (on the underdress) have 2 layers.  The top part has lace over light green cloth, and the 1/2 circle lower part has a sheer under layer.

Hobbit dress


Hobbit dress

Okay…I know, these fashion dolls are definitely built more like Elves than Hobbits, but I wanted the variety, so I made this one.  It’s shorter than it looks–a little below the knee.  It’s loosely based on Rosie’s party dress (at Bilbo’s 111th birthday).  But it could be any generic Hobbit-girl.

The chemise, a basic T-shape (no set in armholes), has a gathered neck and sleeves and is the wrong side of a floral material, so you can see the print, which I liked. The skirt is a gathered straight skirt. I used a decorative applique-like stitch to fix the piece of cloth with the embroidered flower to the bright blue felt vest.

Grey with stars


Grey dress

In the “Lord of the Rings” books, J.R.R. Tolkien only describes 1 dress that Arwen wears–in Rivendell, she wears “soft grey raiment.”  When I read that, I was kinda surprised the movies hadn’t featured 1 similar to that description–I would’ve loved to see it.  Or does the Chase dress count?  Hmmmm….  But I had fun making up this one on my own 🙂

It’s made of the same fabric as the cloak on the Ranger doll is.  It’s edged with this neat decorative stitch on our sewing machine…it’s like flower petals–pretty Elvish looking. I really like the way it makes the hem ripple.  The belt is made of various crystal-looking beads and stars.

Rose dress


Rose dress

This dress was cut from the theatrical version of “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, but I found a pattern for it and also had the material, so I made it.  The pretty underdress has roses on a light pink background.

This is second time I made this dress–I’ve sold the original.  I added the gold paint, then decided I liked it better plain 😀

Sold

Ranger Outfit


The Ranger doll

This was the first doll costume I made.  It started as a skirt and top and I just kept adding to it 🙂  Its style is largely based on that of the members of the Fellowship in the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy.

It’s a dress, of course, because she’s a girl 🙂  The sleeves I patterned after the Elf-princess Arwen’s sleeves on her battle outfit.  (That outfit isn’t in the movie because the storyline in which she fights at Helm’s Deep fortunately got dropped–but there are pictures of the dress.)  The vambraces are like the ones Arwen uses in the fight. The doll also has leggings like Arwen does sometimes.

The jerkin is based on the Ranger Aragorn’s leather jerkin (mine is felt).  The doll has a dagger like he did.  Mine is handmade out of a wood skewer, foil and a paper clip.

You can’t see it too well, but she has on under the jerkin a sleeveless coat of “chainmail” made of an unrolled copper pot scrubber.  That came out really well and is reminiscent of Frodo’s hidden coat of mithril.

The bow and arrows I made a while ago.  The bow can actually fire the arrows.  I wrote up a how-to on how to make those–here it is.  I modified the quiver to fit like Legolas the Elf’s.  Her hairstyle is also based on Legolas’–1 braid down the middle, 2 small ones to the sides.

The cloak is a full circle and made of an old T-shirt, so it drapes really well.  It’s patterned after the cloaks the Fellowship gets in Lothlorien.

Accessories I didn’t make are the buckler ( a shield pendant I got for my birthday) and the cloak clasp (an angel pin).

This was made out of 2 small beads to resemble the phial of Galadriel given to Frodo the Hobbit.

Plastic boots complete the outfit.

I made this before we got our new nifty sewing machine, so it’s done entirely by hand. Accessorizing was the most fun. I think this is my favorite outfit that I’ve made so far 🙂

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