The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) – Thorin Oakenshield

The World Premiere for the second in the Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, was held 2nd December, in Hollywood. The second in the Hobbit trilogy, it was preceded by An Unexpected Journey released the year before.

The film begins with another flashback, and another departure from the novel’s story. This time we are taken to the Prancing Pony where Thorin, who has been following rumours of his missing father, meets Gandalf (Ian McKellen), himself searching for Thorin who he believes will be able to defeat Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), thereby removing a potential threat should he be recruited by Sauron. Back to the present and the dwarves are being tracked by Azog/The Pale Orc (Manu Bennett) and his band, in part a personal vendetta and, in part, as part of Sauron’s plan to take over Middle Earth by preventing the dwarves from reaching their home and possibly defeating the dragon, removing an ally and devastating weapon. Looking for shelter they encounter Beorn, the shapeshifting bear (Mikael Persbrandt). They are captured by a band of wood elves (commanded by Legolas (Orlando Bloom), ruled by his father, king of the Woodland Elves, Thranduil (Lee Pace), rescued by Bilbo, find their way to Lake Town where they are assisted by Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) and meet the Master (Stephen Fry) and, from thence, make their way to the Lonely Mountain where Bilbo, solves the riddle that unlocks the door to the mountain, and inadvertently, awakens the dragon. The film ends on a cliff-hanger with Smaug poised to take his revenge for the dwarves’ incursion into ‘his’ realm.

Together with the other two films, An Unexpected Journey and The Battle of the Five Armies, this was produced by a collaboration between Wingnut Films, New Line Cinema and MGM. This film did not make quite as much as An Unexpected Journey (US$960m worldwide) it still out-grossed both The Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers and was the fourth-highest grossing film of 2013 and the 27th highest of all time (Wiki). In a familiar pattern, it was greeted enthusiastically by fans and unhappily by critics who, again, found the film unnecessarily padded (although, they enjoyed some of the action scenes) and resentful of the story Peter Jackson was telling, particularly the introduction of a three-way romance between Legolas and a new female character, the elf Tauriel (Evangaline Lilly) and Thorin’s nephew, Kili (Aiden Turner) a departure from the story which also divided fans.

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Production Details

Cast

Hobbits

Bilbo Baggins – Martin Freeman (The Office, Love Actually, Sherlock Holmes (BBC))

 

 

 

Dwarves

Thorin Oakenshield – Richard Armitage

Balin – Ken Stott (Rebus)
Kili – Aidan Turner (Being Human, Desperate Romantics)
Fili – Dean O’Gorman (The Almight Johnsons, Nights in the Gardens of Spain)
Dwalin – Graham McTavish (Secretariat)
Oin – John Callen (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Bombur – Stephen Hunter (All Saints)
Dori – Mark Hadlow (King Kong)
Gloin – Peter Hambleton (The Strip)
Nori – Jed Brophy (Lord of the Rings)
Bifur – William Kircher (Out of the Blue)
Bofur – James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, Jekyll, Murphy’s Law)

Other Characters

Gandalf – Sir Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, The X-Men, Richard III)
Azog the Defiler/The Pale Orc – Conan Stevens (Mystic Blade)
Thranduil, King of the Woodland Elves – Lee Pace (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Lincoln, Halt and Catch Fire)
Legolas, son of Thranduil – Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Pirates of the Carribean, The Three Muskateers, Extras)
Tauriel, a Woodland Elf – Evangaline Lilly (Lost, Real Steel, Ant Man)
Bard the Bowman – Luke Evans (High Rise, Dracula Untold, Fast and Furious)
Bain, Bard’s son – John Bell (Midsomer Murders, Hatfields & McCoys)
Sigrid, Bard’s daughter – Peggy Nesbitt
Tilda, Bard’s daughter – Mary Nesbitt

Director – Peter Jackson
Writers – Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh

 

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I think, um … it’s very hard to say. I mean, today I think my favorite scene is when Thorin meets Thandrial and they kind of face each other and Thorin really tells him the pain and misery that his lack of intervention caused when they … were xiled from the mountain the first time, and I think he’s carried that anger with him, you know, for a long time, and he gets a chance to give it voice and he says to him, (speaks Elfin) which means die a death of flames, which from a dwarf to an elf is a really serious curse. He’s saying, I hope a dragon wreaks havoc on your people also; and I think from that moment Thorin has released some of his burden that he’s been carrying, which is why you start to see more moments of joy come through him when they open the door, but it’s gonna spiral into a little bit more of a darkness in Movie 3. (Arwen Kester of Middle-earth News interviews Richard Armitage, The Hobbit-Desolation of Smaug, December 8, 2013)

DoS_Thorin3But what’s interesting to me, especially having seen the film, is the way that Bilbo enables Thorin to really see who he, to see himself and to make changes in himself and to accept him to … you know, he was very anti-Hobbit in Movie 1. He really starts to realize that Bilbo is his greatest asset and that relationship becomes much more intense in Movie 3 where he becomes a single confidante. So seeing that evolve through Movie 2 is really interesting. (ScreenSlam interviews Richard, The Hobbit-Desolation of Smaug, December 6, 2013)

 

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I think, I think the moment when they enter the mountain is … I really enjoyed playing it because for the rest of the journey it’s thrills and spills and fighting and action and adventure, and this is one moment which was very still and sacred and spiritual, and I really enjoyed the location that they built for us, the set, and just that feeling of opening the door. It’s everything they’ve wished for and it was a, it’s a great moment for Thorin and the dwarves. (ScreenSlam interviews Richard Armitage, The Hobbit-Desolation of Smaug, December 6, 2013)