Friday, December 19, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - AKA The End of an Era

We came all this way, but now comes the day to bid you farewell.

I'm just having a whole lot of feelings about this movie. I almost started crying just doing the Google search for the poster image; no big deal.

See, when I was little my Dad didn't read me Cinderella or Dr. Seuss; he read me The Hobbit. This book played a huge role in my childhood, so when I heard they were making a film adaptation I was over the moon. But it is more than that. Because it is so much more than just The Hobbit, to me. It is Middle Earth. It is the entire world brought to life within these books. I have watched Lord of the Rings more time than I care to count. I have spent entire days doing nothing but watching the extended editions of that trilogy- which is over 12 hours of screen time, if you were curious. The point is, a large portion of my life has been dedicating to Middle Earth and its people. And with the release of this movie, it is officially over. There will be no more Middle Earth movies. No more return trips to the Shire or Rivendell. I can re-read the books and re-watch the movies as many times as I like, but I will never again wait eagerly for a new trailer or premier. And I am so, so sad about that.

*Update: I just turned on the credit song because I enjoy pain to get the lyrics for the beginning of the post and started bawling*

If anyone is new to this blog, you should know I take stories very seriously. I get attached and they become a very intimate part of my life and identity. So something like this coming to an end is a big deal for me. I feel like I have gone on the entire journey with the characters in these stories and I am just so not ready to say goodbye. The credit song is fitting in that way, I think. And of course having Billy Boyd (Pippin in LOTR) sing it just adds a whole extra layer of pain.

Moving on from my many, many feels, I did absolutely love this movie. I am so glad they decided to use Tolkien's revision notes for the movies. I have been wondering since the first movie how Azog the Difiler was going to fit into the bigger picture and I really, really love how everything got connected. I am so sad that Tolkien died before he could publish his revised version, but I am grateful that we get to see the story the way he intended it in the film. The additions to The Hobbit make it segue very nicely into The Fellowship of the Ring- by the end of this movie all of the dots bridging the two stories are connected beautifully.

Lord of the Rings fans also have quite a few throwback references to look forward to. There are a number of quotes in BOTFA that are either taken directly or nearly directly from lines in the original trilogy, and they are able to draw some amazing parallels that I might not have thought of otherwise by using them. Plus I am a huge quote junkee so hearing lines and realizing they were from LOTR was awesome for me. It felt like an inside joke because the people I was with don't remember quotes like I do and they missed quite a few of them.

LOTR fans will also enjoy a brief scene of Lady Galadriel being the biggest badass in Middle Earth. Seriously.

I will admit that there were a few scenes that felt a bit forced to me. The biggest one I can think of was a scene where they really wanted to emphasize Thorin's growing madness- Dragon Sickness- and I just feel like they went a bit over the top with the voice effects and such. I think the message would have gotten across just as well without them.

I also really think Fili and Kili got jipped throughout most of this movie, Fili more so than Kili. In the book Fili and Kili are especially and equally important because of the bond they share as twins, but Kili is given far more attention in the films- especially this last one- as a result of his romance with Tauriel. And I have no real issue with the romance, but I do have an issue with it partially erasing Fili and Kili's relationship with each other and largely erasing Fili from the movies in general. He deserved better; but that is a whole different post.

From what I've seen so far, people who have not read the book don't like it as much as people who did read the book, mostly because of how the book/film ends. Personally, I loved it. It was a fantastic end of an amazing journey. As devastated as I am that there will be no new films returning to Middle Earth, I am very, very happy with the films we have been given. I am so, so grateful that Peter Jackson cared about these stories as much as the fans do and that they all put in the necessary effort to do the tales justice.

Have you seen the movie? If so, what did you think? Did you read the book before seeing it? If you haven't, are you planning to see it? (The answer is yes.)

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