SPOILERS: For any of you who have not read the book, there are spoilers in here for you. If you have read the book, continue reading!
“Can One Actually “Review” A Trailer?”
Well, I’m going to try because I definitely have some opinions on what may (or may not) be coming December 17. First of all, let us take a moment and reflect on these last fourteen years, since 2001, of the Middle-earth saga with which Peter Jackson has graced us. I must admit, despite my ongoing project which highly praises these films, I have had my doubts, regrets, and complaints about these last two Hobbit films. I should start this post by stating that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will ever make me despise Jackson or these films. I feel that way too much CGI was used and filming in 3D was a major mistake, but I will love these films until the day I die, no matter how many flaws they contain.
Let’s just marvel at this image.
First things first, these two men are wonderful. I seriously have no idea how Luke Evans can take an obscure and random character like Bard the Bowman and turn him into one of my favorite characters in these films, but he did it and what an amazing job he has done to this point. I cannot wait to see what he does in this final film. The same must be said about Lee Pace for his role as Thranduil because that is a character with some serious ego issues. He has lived thousands of years, rules one of the most ethereal realms in Middle-earth, is an astoundingly strong warrior, and is the father of an equally respectable character. Interestingly enough, all of these points can be said about Elrond as well, but somehow he is much more likable than Thranduil. This is a powerful image since Bard and Thranduil are in this for two very different reasons. Thranduil’s is quite selfish (he is apparently seeking a necklace he commissioned the dwarves to create for his wife years before the dragon destroyed Erebor), but Bard’s is here for peace and protection of his people, which is a very noble quest. Anyway, I think the bottom line from this image is that the Battle is going to be EPIC, in every sense of the word.
P.S. Anyone else curious as to how Bard kills Smaug? They made it painfully clear that the windlance is the only weapon that can kill Smaug, but Bard the BOWMAN should be slaying the dragon with a BOW and ARROW! Just a thought.
“Leave Sauron to me.”
Battle of Dol Guldur? Anyone? There is something moving about Galadriel clinging to her son-in-law in this image that just strikes me. I wanted to see her in armor, but se la vie. I am very interested in how Saruman’s relationship with Sauron will play out in this film. According to the Appendices, Saruman has delayed the White Council from taking action against the Necromancer several times and has already placed spies along the Anduin in search of the One Ring. I am hoping Saruman wishes to “deal” with Sauron himself in order to create some kind of alliance with him. The whole Dol Guldur sequence should be quite a spectacle, especially when one considers the image of the Nine standing around Galadriel and Gandalf.
“Everything I did, I did for them.”
Anybody have a tissue? Yes my pathetic self cried when I saw this (or at least teared up), which means I will be a wreck in the theatre. I am a little disappointed that this image is with Kili (who Thorin opted to leave behind in Lake-town) and not Fili (who is the rightful heir to the throne), but any image with Thorin and his nephews will get me going. This is definitely a tactic to make the audience love these characters, and therefore make their death even that much harder to witness. It also makes the next two images difficult to swallow as well:
“I will not hide, while others fight our battles for us!”
After the release of this trailer, I spent a lot of time scrolling the forums, mostly TORn, and I found a majority of people had a difficult time understanding why Fili was not making this argument, again going back to the whole “he’s the heir” thing, but honestly, I think it is appropriate that Kili is lashing out like this. Fili, as heir, would have been brought up to respect his elders, especially Thorin and would never dare oppose him openly like this. Kili, on the other hand, is more impulsive. The book says that of the group, the only three who felt differently than Thorin were Bombur, Fili, and Kili, and let’s be honest, Kili is more likely to not hold his tongue than the dignified heir and the over-sized cook (who, let’s remember, hasn’t had a single line in both movies so far).
“You cannot see what you have become.”
This line did not bring me to tears, but it might in context, because Dwalin is the LAST person in the entire company who would openly condemn any of Thorin’s words or actions. If he is telling Thorin he’s gone off his rocker, than things must really have taken a turn for the worse. Another complaint among the fans was that this scene seemed forced, because it goes against the entire character arc of Dwalin that has been established in these films. I disagree. A statement like this coming from Balin or even Bilbo does not evoke much emotion, because you expect it. But Dwalin. The tough, tattooed, badass biker-looking dude in the company?? Now those words carry some weight.
“You started this. You will forgive me if I finish it.”
It’s about time somebody pointed out who is actually responsible for all this. Granted, Gandalf’s meddling pretty much saves the entire northern region from Smaug and the Necromancer (temporarily), then single-handedly puts into motion the events that save all of Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, but he is reason everybody dies in this story. He ends the line of Durin!! Dain Ironfoot might save the day and reestablish the kingdom under the mountain, but he is not a direct descendant. All three of those characters die in this movie. Anyway, I’m happy someone is finally recognizing who actually starts the Battle of the Five Armies.
Finally, my favorite people, THE ELVES! As much as I hate Tauriel (for personal reasons, and few cinematic ones as well), this still image is so powerful. Thranduil is fighting the Captain of his Guard. Why? A few have pointed out this scene might be in the middle of a battle and she sneaks up on him while he’s fighting orcs, but I don’t think Tauriel is that careless. She has already defied him once, put his son in as much danger, and has created a fuss all because she is superficially in love with a dwarf she just met (why does this sound like a Disney movie? “You can’t marry a man you just met.” Sorry, I digress). I think Thranduil has just lost it. He is under a very similar sickness as Thorin when it comes to treasure. There are way more similarities between Thorin and Thranduil than either would care to admit, but this image proves it. He is willing to cross blades with one of his own most loyal and trusted officers. (I say cross blades, but I’ve been corrected that he bats her bow out of her hand, “cross blades” is just used adjectivally here.) Either way, I am highly anticipating this scene.
I want to know what is going on here. I feel like this is all taking place at the same spot. Geographically it looks the same and Tauriel and Legolas are both fighting the same foe, Bolg. The last image looks like Tauriel is holding someone. A friend suggested she is wounded and holding herself but her hand is out too far and she is crying. A warrior would not cry for her own wounds but she would if someone she loved was suffering. Perhaps she is holding Kili who has just been killed by Bolg, Tauriel tries to avenge him, gets thrown against the mountain (image not posted here), and Legolas comes to avenge her? I still very much want Beorn to be the one to kill Bolg, as he did in the book, so I’m not sure how the fight would end if that happens, but this series of stills definitely has me intrigued. Whatever happens, I will be very happy if/when Tauriel meets her end, so here’s rooting for that scenario!
Overall conclusion: There is still way too much CGI for my liking but I can get over that. There are a lot of good one-liners to remember in this trailer so I know there will be unforgettable moments littered throughout the film. One thing I know for sure, I will need more than one box of tissues. Not only because this movie will be filled with devastating death scenes, but because this is the end of an era, folks. Short of Star Wars (and even then I have my reservations about the last three films), there is no comparison in cinematic history with what Peter Jackson has done with Tolkien’s beautiful masterpiece and it can never be repeated. Enjoy this hype while it lasts and join me in thanking Peter Jackson for fourteen wonderful years.