The Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was shown in-flight on Air New Zealand. Fortysixthhour on Tumblr was kind enough to report on 12 of the new scenes. Avoid if you do not want spoilers. There will be more fun with dwarves being mischievous, elves being offended, goblins singing horribly, young Bilbo, and most importantly IMO, impending dragon sickness in the line of Durin.
I am wondering where the scenes of Thrain and Girion have gone, since these were originally stated to have been included in the EE. I am hoping these have instead made it into The Desolation of Smaug theatrical release.
Recordings of the Q&A with Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner taken, by fans attending Boston Comic Con, August 4, 2013. The videos vary in quality but none have the entire panel covered in one, so I’ve included them all.
–TheWonderingLinquist recorded the first part which was not included in the following videos.
-from Amanda Capley.
The August issue of the German language magazine Cinema has a feature on The Desolation of Smaug including some spoilers. Chief editor Artur Jung writes that the author of the article, Philipp Schulze has been on the set.
[Translated from German by ArchedCory]
The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug
By Philipp Schulze
A well-known Necromancer, a high-spirited elf and a menacing skinchanger: But what else can we expect in part 2 of Peter Jackson’s new Middle-earth trilogy? In our special we will reveal secrets of the fantasy event of the year. And we will reveal what fans can expect from the extended version of part 1.
A greedy dragon, a rather testy skinchanger, a river ride full of action and the battle of the White Council against the Necromancer of Dol Guldur: Middle-earth fans should be prepared for something big; because with “The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug” (starting December 12th) Peter Jackson will (once again) show all he’s got.
While he took about an hour in “The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey” to bring the audience back to the world of orcs and wizards the threefold Oscar winner will immediately jump back into the story in the second part of his fantasy trilogy. After all in the predecessor the characters were already introduced and the conflicts drafted. So just like back then in Jackson’s favourite “Rings” adventure “The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers” the story can steer with full force towards the finale. And already the beginning has it all.
Not only will the valiant company with 13 dwarves and hobbit Bilbo Baggins meet giant talking spiders in psychedelically colourful Mirkwood, the resident elves Legolas and his father Thranduil watch the travel group just as warily. Let alone the inhabitants of Laketown Esgaroth of which Bard the Bowman slowly rises to be the leader. And the clumsy attempts of dwarf Kili towards elf Tauriel provide material for discussions. So there is a lot going on in Middle-earth. At least more than in the original from 1937.
While a lot of nerds have been sceptical in the beginning as to how Peter Jackson wants to turn the only 300 pages strong children’s book of J.R.R. Tolkien into a nine hour epic, the director later surprised with coherently interwoven elements of the appendices of “Return of the King”. A lot of the appendices will also be used in part 2.
Hardcore fans will find the revelation of the Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch as CGI shadow) as witch master Sauron just in a couple of sentences in the book. And according to Tolkien the pale orc Azog doesn’t survive the Battle of Azanulbizar (in the beginning of “The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey”), while Jackson definitively turns him into Thorin Oakenshield’s arch enemy now. Orcs invading Esgaroth on the other hand was completely invented by Peter Jackson. Just like Tauriel – this young, only 300 years old elf which will add a bit of femininity to the male dominated story.
“This story needs estrogens”, Evangeline Lilly jokes. And Peter Jackson adds: “Thanks to characters like Tauriel we will discover more about the life in Mirkwood, which is completely different from Rivendell.” But the Silvan pointy-eared beauty is not supposed to be a mere copy of Arwen from the old trilogy. After all the people of the wood elves is a lot more dangerous and suspicious than Elrond and his companions. “We are like ninjas from the undergrowth.” (Lilly)
Another new character is in fact an old acquaintance: Legolas. “It doesn’t feel as if I was gone for 12 years”, says Orlando Bloom cheerfully about his return to Middle-earth. “I am just happy that my costume still fits me.” Luckily, because there are also supposed to be virtuoso maneuvers with bow and arrow in the style of his unerring “Rings”-stunts.
Peter Jackson not only uses additions like this to narrate a coherent chronicle of Middle-earth, he also uses them to sprinkle a little treat for spare time hobbits here and there. For example fanboys will anticipate the first encounter of Legolas and Gloin, father of grumpy dwarf Gimli from the “Rings” films. Other than “An unexpected Journey” the sequel is going to be distinctly darker though, stresses Jackson.
One climax of the new trilogy, which over 2000 actors and extras worked on, is the death of the dragon. Whether Smaug’s fall will end part 2 however is yet unknown. Certain is that the Battle of the Five Armies will play the center role in “The Hobbit – There and Back Again”. In Jackson’s planned battle turmoil there is hardly room for other story elements. But who knows, during the pick-up shots which the 51 year old has just recently finished in the Stone Street Studios in Wellington the chief hobbit might have gotten new ideas again. According to Richard Armitage (Thorin) the genius doesn’t need more than four hours of sleep. He rather quickly writes a new scene for the next day of shooting at 1 am.
Text boxes on the side:
“The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey” extended cut:
Probably in November there will be released a longer version of the 166 minutes theatre film . Within there are more scenes from Hobbiton, e.g. a sequence in which we’ll see Bilbo’s mother Belladonna Took, a song from the Goblin King and a lengthy prologue, which will show new aspects of Smaug’s destruction of Dale. Further there will be more reasons for the antipathy between Thranduil and the dwarves (Arkenstone!) and the hostility of the little warriors towards the elves of Rivendell will reach a new dimension.
What will happen in “The Hobbit – There and Back Again”?
The dragon is dead, but the evil over Middle-earth is still not warded off: After Smaug pays his attack on Laketown with his life, the dwarves hide with their treasure in Erebor. Gradually leader Thorin Oakenshield is lured into his greed and paranoia which eventually leads to the Battle of the Five Armies. Men from Esgaroth, wood elves from Mirkwood and in the end also the dwarves of Erebor and the Iron Hills will face together with Gandalf, Bilbo, the giant eagles and the skinchanger Beorn the superior strength of orcs and wargs. Starts in German theatres on December 17th 2014.
Text accompanying pictures:
New face “Lost” star Evangeline Lilly as determined elf warrior Tauriel
Orc chief Azog is inspired by the revenge on Thorin and his dwarfs
On his journey to Erebor the little Hobbit will experience the magic of Middle-earth
Wild water action in the style of Middle-earth: The wet flight from the Thranduil’s dungeons was shot on the Pelorus River in the province Marlborough on the South Island of New Zealand.
Clad in coat and the mithril shirt which will save Frodo’s life in “The Fellowship of the Ring”, Bilbo alias Martin Freeman discusses with Peter Jackson
In Mirkwood Legolas (Orlando Bloom) encounters the dwarves – and takes them captive
Hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) finds the greatest of all treasures in Erebor: the Arkenstone
Elven king Thranduil (played by Lee Pace from the TV series “Pushing Daisies” and the cinema epic “The Fall”) is Oropher’s son and Legolas’ father. He was born in the Second Age and is over 2000 year old by the time “The Hobbit” takes place. Although he originates from the grey elves (Sindar) the jewel loving Thranduil is the king of the wood elves which in comparison to other elf races are less snooty and rather enjoy feasts, songs and hunting.
17 year old Tolkien fan Samm has been fighting cancer since her diagnosis in 2011. The Make-A-Wish foundation was able to arrange for her to visit the set of The Hobbit while they were filming in June. Her experiences meeting Peter Jackson, Orlando Bloom, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, the folks at Weta, and many others in the crew are guaranteed to make you smile.
With all the recent discussions on Dwarves following up The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey there is one question that keeps popping up:
“How can Dwarves keep up their population with their low number of women?”
This essay will take a closer look at this question and other demographic issues concerning Tolkien’s Dwarves.
Let’s start with a quote from the Appendices in The Lord of the Rings:
“Dís was the daughter of Thráin II. She is the only dwarf-woman named in these histories. It was said by Gimli that there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole people. They seldom walk abroad except at great need. They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart. This has given rise to the foolish opinion among Men that there are no dwarf-women, and that the Dwarves ‘grow out of stone’.
It is because of the fewness of women among them that the kind of the Dwarves increases slowly, and is in peril when they have no secure dwellings. For Dwarves take only one wife or husband each in their lives, and are jealous, as in all matters of their rights. The number of dwarf-men that marry is actually less than one-third. For not all women take husbands: some desire none; some desire one that they cannot get, and so will have no other. As for the men, very many also do not desire marriage, being engrossed in their crafts.”
So the much quoted “one third of the Dwarves are female” is not an exact number, but it is only estimated by ONE individual (Gimli) of the Dwarf race. For easier calculations though we will work with this exact number, assuming that one third, or 33.3% of all Dwarves are female.
What about sex ratio in the real world? Humans roughly conceive 50% male and 50% female babies (with a slight favour to males which we’ll neglect for easier assumptions). There are animals with much different sex ratios than this rather simple model. Just think of bees or ants where most individuals are female. Some animals need certain ecologic parameters to give birth to a certain sex. And the extreme example of course are parthenogenetic animals, such as certain crustaceans or stick insects of which males are completely unknown to science. Without getting too much into detail those species reproduce by “cloning” the mothering animal, making males completely unnecessary.
Whichever example one wants to take from the real world though, if the sex ratio leaves the classic 50/50 mark it always goes in the direction to favour female offspring. The reason is simple: females are more “valuable” to reproduction since they produce egg cells (which are a lot richer in resources than sperm cells) and also because they usually invest a lot more time and effort in raising their offspring (pregnancy, nursing, etc…) than males. Seahorse fathers are the laudable exception to this of course.
In real world species in theory it only takes one male individual to inseminate several females, which makes males a lot less valuable as well.
So the fact that Dwarven sex ratio distinctly favours males is odd. It does definitely help during warfare, but there is no biologic reason whatsoever to get to this awkward proportion. The only plausible explanations here could be that Y sperm cells are more common than X sperm cells (assuming Dwarves have the same XY-system as humans) that female Dwarves might be more sickly, female embryos die a lot more often during pregnancy and so on.
Of course all these assumptions would be a horrible initial situation for any species, and in the real world evolution would have definitely gone into a different direction.
So with this unfavourable point of departure, what would it take to keep a population at the same level? For humans (1:1 ratio) every woman statistically has to give birth to two children. There are women that can’t conceive, die early or simply choose not to have children, so in reality for women that DO give birth this number has to be slightly higher since the statistic also includes women that never have a child. Luckily there seems to be a lot of women getting three, four, five…. children because our number is constantly increasing.
For Dwarves however (1:2 ratio) every female statistically needs to give birth to three children to keep up the population. But in the case of Dwarves what are the conditions we have to consider in this statistic?
Maybe we should first check how many Dwarves Tolkien actually ever gave a name throughout all of his works. Luckily there is a neat list of all his Dwarves on Wikipedia:
The list gives 53 names, and we know both from the above quote and this list that Dís is the only female Dwarf ever mentioned. This gives us a horrible 1:52 ratio, which is a lot worse than the 1:2 we started with! However we do know that Tolkien didn’t mention names of a whole lot of female characters for all his peoples, so we can safely go back to keep our 1:2 ratio.
As for this list, a totally useless number to know: one fourth of all male Dwarves EVER mentioned in Tolkien’s works are going on the Quest of Erebor!
But not only is just one third of the whole population capable of giving birth, no, not even everybody of this third chooses to do so! And what is even worse: if they marry (= choose a mate for reproduction, as they don’t bring forth children otherwise) and their husband dies early, they won’t choose another Dwarf man to wed and therefore let precious reproduction resources slip by.
However you may remember what I said earlier: to keep the population stable (I am not even talking about increasing yet!) every dwarf woman needs to give birth to three children. Now we know not all of them marry and some of them may lose the possibility to reproduce after the early death of their husband. We even have an almost exact number of the marriages in the above quote: Two thirds of all Dwarves are male, less than one third of those marry. Now some simple math: 2/3 * 1/3 = 2/9 = 22.2%. Each of those has a wife, so only (less than!!!) 2/9 = 22.2% of all Dwarves ever get the chance to even give birth!
This means our number of children per woman goes up enormously! To actually increase the Dwarven population in Middle-earth we have to assume every married Dwarf woman statistically has to give birth to at least five children (22.2% being slightly more than a fifth). Do they?
Unfortunately we don’t know too much about Dwarf families. We know of a couple of brother pairs (Oin – Gloin, Balin – Dwalin, etc.), but the only families we can safely say we know “as a whole” are Dís’ sons Fili and Kili, and Dís’ two siblings Frerin and Thorin. Of course, we do know Bofur and Bombur are brothers for example, but we don’t know whether there are more siblings. So the two families we know (almost) for sure as a whole bore two and three children. That is definitely not enough for our estimation!
The sad thing is that we really don’t know too much about family size. Brothers are never mentioned more than as a pair but then we never know about the rest of their families.
In fact the above quote even mentions that Dwarves’ numbers increase only slowly and even more so if they lost their homeland. Unfortunately though in Middle-earth history Dwarves have lost almost all their realms which would also explain why their numbers dwindle and why they so desperately try to get Erebor, Moria and even Gundabad back!
So is there anything left we could cling to? What about the longevity of Dwarves? Shouldn’t that help them with their reproduction somehow? Well, it would, if they decided to marry another partner should the first one die. It also would if they decided to marry a little bit earlier than they do.
Let’s look at this. Dwarves are considered battle-ready at the age of 30, but they rarely ever marry before they are 80! Just imagine how much could happen in those 50 years in between. I am going to use an unusual comparison here to make this clear: Galápagos tortoises are possibly the longest-lived animals in our recent world with ages above 150 years being not uncommon. Of course when having so much time at hand one’s whole development is really slow, so Galápagos tortoises don’t reach sexual maturity until roughly 30 years. Now while a 100 year old Galápagos tortoise is almost as indestructible as a 150 year old battle hardened Dwarf, both are very vulnerable when young! The tortoise might be eaten before it even had a chance to grow big enough and reach adulthood and the Dwarf, well… we all know how much they love battle. And a young yet untrained Dwarf is more likely to fall in battle, which is also before he had a chance to reproduce. Examples? Frerin died at the age of 48, Fili was aged 82, and Kili 77, all of them before they had a chance to marry. Dain was only 32 when he slew Azog (well, in the book at least…) and was lucky he survived the battle of Azanulbizar to be able to marry afterwards. But it shows that he also risked his life at an exceptionally young age.
To get back to those Galápagos tortoises: They actually live under the same dangerous conditions as Dwarves in Middle-earth when we think about their possibility of reproduction. And we all know that those tortoises are on the brink of extinction themselves.
So, the longevity WOULD help the Dwarves to bring forth more offspring but they simply don’t take that advantage.
And now we get back to our initial question:
How can Dwarves keep up their population with their low number of women?
Well, with the given numbers they simply can’t! In fact considering all we know for sure, they are less likely to survive than the Giant Panda is in our world!
So is there no hope for Dwarves?
Yet there might be. Interesting enough Tolkien only gives us a sex ratio for Dwarf populations. Never at any point does he say what proportion of Dwarven population is of royal lineage. However all the numbers concerning family sizes we only know of the royal line of Durin’s Folk! So there really is only one way for Dwarves to survive their own extinction: The other six houses of Dwarves and/or the commoners must have much higher reproduction rates as those royal Longbeards. And this is actually a rather elegant solution, since Tolkien never really provides us with information about any other Dwarves, and this might well be true.
Royal Dwarves seem to be rare, but this was true of any royal families in our world as well. And just as it was in our case in historic monarchies it would be up to the common people among Dwarves to keep them from going extinct!
Kili the Dwarf is the latest statue in the 1/6 scale Hobbit lineup by Weta Workshop.
Youngest nephew of Thorin Oakenshield™ and brother to Fili, Kili the Dwarf joins the quest for Erebor out of a belief in his uncle and the righteousness of their cause. A principled, honest young Dwarf of warm humour and upright bearing, Kili is unencumbered by the worries and prejudices born by his elders in the Company of Thorin. He is quick to befriend Bilbo BagginsTM and trusts GandalfTM the Grey’s choice to bring the Hobbit along.
Sharp-eyed and swift-limbed, Kili’s skill with a bow is unmatched in the Company, and his swordsmanship is no less impressive. When tested against Goblins, Wargs or even Trolls, Kili’s mettle shines and his blade rings and flashes as he cuts down his foes. Though young and untempered at the quest’s outset, the Dwarf has been well trained and is as brave and loyal as any in the proud line of Durin.
Kili the Dwarf, with his bow in hand and ready for whatever comes his way, was sculpted by Weta Workshop sculptor Lindsey Crummett.
The statue measures 9.3″ x 9.1″ x 5.9″ (H x W x D) and is available for Pre-order now from Wetanz.com
balin, bilbo, desolation of smaug, dragon, dwalin, dwarves, evangeline lilly, gandalf, high res, hobbit trailer, kili, lee pace, martin freeman, news, richard armitage, screencaps, spoilers, tauriel, thorin, thrain, thranduil
Screencaps (1920 X 1080) from the Desolation of Smaug teaser trailer are now in this gallery.
United Cutlery’s first round of movie replicas from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey consisted of Bilbo Baggins’ sword “Sting,” along with its scabbard, Thorin Oakenshield’s sword “Orcrist,” Gandalf’s staff, and his sword “Glamdring.”
These were followed by the Sword of Fili which will be available to dealers in July. They have recently announced the release of the Sword of Kili, which is due to dealers in mid-August. This will allow Hobbit fans to use potential promo codes to receive a discount on their purchase.
United Cutlery describes Kili’s Sword as:
This authentically detailed replica Sword of Kili is a reproduction of the actual filming prop built by Weta Workshop of New Zealand and used in the motion picture, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. United Cutlery, industry leader in fine movie reproductions, has meticulously recreated the prop using only the finest grade materials and craftsmanship. The Sword of Kili is 28 3/8” overall, featuring a solid stainless AUS-6 steel blade, solid metal and hard acrylic handle with leather wrapped hilt parts, all authentically “aged” and “battle worn” with a distressed, acid-etched finish to duplicate the original movie prop as closely as possible. It is presented with a wood wall display (mounting hardware and instructions included) featuring a graphic motif of Kili, and includes a certificate of authenticity.
You can pre-order the Sword of Kili for $149 by visiting BUDK.com.
What follows is a guest post written by Anjy Roemelt.
What’s So Special About These Dwarves?
by Anjy Roemelt
The Hobbit – Dwarves. Who would ever have expected them to rock the fansites like they did after “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was released last December. Why, I pray thee, should we be so enamored of these small, stocky figures with hoods and lanterns, crawling through mines and all looking alike with their beards? We saw them in “The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the ring” at the Council of Elrond. We knew who Gimli was – barely. The other dwarves looked slightly modified by photoshop. White beards, eyebrows curving the other way, or no discernible difference at all. I must admit I didn’t think much about the dwarves before I saw the film. I was looking forward to Bilbo and Gandalf, curious if they would feature Legolas in Mirkwood, and expecting to be mildly entertained, but mostly for nostalgic reasons in reminiscence of The Lord of the Rings. I have never been so wrong in my whole life.
I did not pay much attention to trailers, being busy with reality, and only had a look at a guide-book to the movie a couple of days prior to the premiere. I liked Fili and Kili in that book and thought “There’ll be some eye-candy in it, then, so no need for the maxi-popcorn.” I have never been … see above. Of course, I fell in love with Thorin at first glance. Who didn’t? I’m ready to fight anyone who did, though. They have no business hankering after him, he’s mine!!!! But that is just – or unjust – the icing on the cake. The dwarves as a whole bear a fascination I see in so many contributions to websites and notice in talks in still-existing-real-life. I have a theory why that is so. Let me know if you agree (and also if you disagree, I feel obliged to add).
First they are family. They belong together, and as the audience I can make myself believe I do, too. I pin their pictures to my kitchen-door, I wear their items, I sing their song, I am one of the family. Better, sometimes, than my real one. Family as it ought to be. Loving and teasing and fighting for one another. It’s vital we know these things are still important. Yes, I KNOW real life is different and I’m over-demanding or projecting childhood-illusions onto movie-characters (can somebody please lock Uncle Sigmund in the basement!) – but, NO!, they’re not illusions. They are what family life ought to be for everyone and everywhere. We may have lost it, but that does not mean it never existed. If it exists as a longing, then it exists.
Secondly, they fight. For one another. For something. They have something more important to them than their comfortable homes and regular income. Even more important than food – and that IS important to a dwarf. Balin makes this clear to Thorin: there is no real need to go back to Erebor. They have a home in the Blue Mountains, they have peace and a safe prospect for the future. They can raise their kids far away from dragons and destruction, and they grow up like Fili and Kili, just playing war and dressing up like warriors but never in any real danger (which mother wouldn’t want such a life for her sons?) Yet, they will go with Thorin into an insecure future if ever there was one. Bombur is willing to go on a journey which will mean a snack in the morning and a frugal pot-luck in the evening. Dori is willing to go where branches will tangle in his braids and there is no mirror. Ori is willing to go away from his mother’s knitting. Nori, of course, is willing to go anywhere. All of them has a choice, all but Thorin, and they disregard their personal choices to follow him.
This is – of course – utterly politically incorrect, psychologically wrong and, in fact, pathological. If you do something like this in real life, you need a good shrink. Then why do so many of us long to do just that? To find something in our lives that is more important than food and insurances and i-phones? Something that is not only bigger but greater than the virtues we have been taught since kindergarden. Living in the civilized west we feel going on a quest for religious reasons is out of the question. Really, most of us, me included, are not sure enough that our personal beliefs ARE the only ones true and possible, to want to wager our lives on them. Our nations might be a reason if we are, say, Croatian or Turkish or from Kazakhstan (these being the most passionate people about their nations I have met, so far), but for most of us the daily hassle with governments and bureaucrats diminish our love for our actual nation a tiny bit. So, what is there to fight for? Our football team! I’d go anywhere for my football team (soccer, for US-readers), but still there is something about Thorin & Co that exceeds hoisting the colours of my club.
There is something in most human souls that longs to be part of something great, something worthy to give everything for. It’s mostly not reasonable to take such a decision in real life, and it is absolutely impossible if you have a family, children you are responsible for, but as with the family, the longing is still there. That it is there proves there is a reason for this. It is okay to long for something greater than me. It is okay to find things in my life which are worth a risk and worth an eschewal. It is okay to value this longing and keep an eye on it. It might be something in my life that does not diminish with age, something that does not grow stale in the using. It might be something that makes me go on when other things fail. It might even be God …
And then there is the humour of it all. Starting with Bilbo. All these great feelings and longings I have described so far, and I should go for them without a hanky? No way! Bebother and confusticate reality! The greatness and the kingship, and the nobility, and glory would be unbearable without the humour.
Tolkien wrote the book like that. There is always a humorous twist in the events, usually provided by Bilbo, that reminds us of our own insignificance in the great events taking place around us – and still we are part of the pattern. Tolkien depicted the Hobbits as the real “humans” in his universe. He said about himself “I am in fact a hobbit in all but size”. They are the kind and simple and down-to-(middle)earth people everyone can identify with when the kings and queens and warriors and immortal elves have proven to be a bit exaggerated for the rest of us. So, let’s have some supper at Bag End.
So, why the dwarves? Maybe because we long for something and they give us courage. They are not as high-brow and aloof as the elves, nor as rigid as the men of Gondor, yet they provide a tad more … well, greatness …. than the hobbits. They are great AND small, noble and funny, what we want to be, and what we are, all rolled into one. They are adorable. Aaaaand – as an afterthought – to identify with a dwarf rather than with an elf is so much less pressure on my BMI ;-).