The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug


20140719-215532.jpg
(Contains some spoilers.)

The unexpected journey continues.

20140418-224730.jpg
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.

20140418-192438.jpg

20140418-192445.jpg

20140418-192451.jpg

Advertisements

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


We unexpectedly got to see The Hobbit on Thursday! It was the first time we’d seen a Lord of the Rings film on the big screen, and it was fantastic! The sweeping scenery is so beautiful, and the score just rousing. Costumes are amazing…the elegance of the Elves, the ruggedness of the Dwarves, the coziness of the Hobbits. The movie’s plot is quite different from the book’s, but all in all, considering how this prequel trilogy draws on the Appendices and other writings of Tolkien and is meant to explain the backstory to The Lord of the Rings, I appreciate the changes. The major incidents in the book are present in the movie and there are many word-for-word lines as well, which is nice. 🙂

Though I do love the epic feel and battles of The Two Towers and The Return of the King, The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy because of the closeness of the group. And An Unexpected Journey has the same feel. It’s just like going on the journey with the Fellowship; even more so because of the way the group has to learn to bond and work together.

At the start of the movie, we are introduced to a bumbling group of Dwarves with a mission to reclaim an old kingdom and treasure that belongs specifically to them and to a Hobbit named Bilbo who isn’t sure why he’s there or even if he wants to be. By the end of the movie, the group has come a long way from that. Bilbo finds sympathy for the Dwarves and the courage to fight. Proud Dwarf leader Thorin comes to respect other races. And a new evil shows itself in the forest as the White Council discusses how to deal with it.

“I cannot guarantee his safety,” says Thorin of Bilbo. “Nor will I be responsible for his fate.” On this journey, the Ring comes to Bilbo, and later passes to Frodo, setting off a chain of events that puts the future of Middle Earth in the balance. Bilbo’s fate changes the fate of Middle Earth. But it is clear that it is more than “fate.” In one of my favorite quotes from The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf tells Frodo,

“There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

Through it all, the Creator of Middle Earth watches and orchestrates things to save His Faithful.

Pictures (from thehobbitblog.com and The Hobbit Photo Gallery) and videos:

So, what was your favorite part of The Hobbit? 😀

Related articles

Flowered Peasant Dress For Sale!


The Flowered Peasant outfit—$25

This one-of-a-kind, handmade doll dress is currently for sale (and comes with the doll)! Outfit includes a drawstring skirt, white chemise, and blue felt vest. Please let me know via the form below if you are interested in purchasing it. Thank you 😀

Also see the Red Velvet Elven Dress for sale here!

Peasant Dress


Peasant Dress

This dress I made as a Christmas gift for my second-youngest sister (also the one I made the 40’s style dress for).  The dress is similar to the Hobbit dress I made. As my sister’s favorite color is yellow, that’s what I made the theme 🙂  There’s a shirt/chemise of a pastel yellow, gathered at the neck and elbows with embroidery thread.  The skirt is a patterned, straight skirt, gathered at the waist with a drawstring.  The vest is the from Hobbit vest pattern, only in yellow felt.

The doll came from a different dollar store than where I usually get dolls, hence those funny pink shoes that don’t match at all 🙂

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.

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 🙂

%d bloggers like this: