"Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of reality, O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities," replied Bilbo. -The Hobbit, Page. 220
First off, I'd like you all to know that I have read ALL of Tolkien's works. I also would like you to know, he was a scholar first and a writer second. J.R.R Tolkien was a intelligent professor/linguist. If you have seen the movies or read the books I'm sure you have appreciated the exotic writing systems buried through both amazing works.
Being a student of his particular writing system, Tengwar, I have spent a lot of time in the back of the books where the Appendixes are. (I have an entire thigh tattoo dedicated to his works that I translated myself.) There are a lot of differences and similarities to the book. If you're a die hard book lover, you probably hate the movie. If you've never read, then you probably loved the movie. The third option is love both as you realize, they are separate entities of two fantastic, imaginable minds.
Lesson for "book lovers".
The only thing I found annoying about the movie was my boyfriend constantly whispering (he never read the book) "Did that happen in the book", to which I'd reply, "Well, yes and no" and "well, in spirit it kinda did" or "no that didn't happen at all". Well, as all curious minds do, I also read all the other bits (Appendixes). Later, I explained what I meant by, "yes and no".
Although, the timing of the events are different from the book to the movie, some of the things you saw in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, did indeed happen. If you happen to own The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, I would like for you to check out Page. 460-461 (especially year 2941) if you were confused on Gandalf's adventures in the movie. For more extensive clues, check out Appendix A, Durin's Folk, Page. 438.
Now as I said, it wasn't linear, and was quite off from the book, but Gandalf going to Dol Guldur and meeting Sauron was there.
Tauriel- we all know was made up, but I've always been for her addition. After seeing the movie, I really liked her addition because it did help us look into the race of elves, their social ladder, their language, and complexity. All the things I wish Tolkien had done more of.
As for Legolas being in the movie. I've said it before, and I'll repeat it again. He was there in spirit. He is much older than Bilbo. It was appropriate to see him in Mirkwood. However, the rest really needn't have happened but I'm not sad about it. The fight scenes were fantastic. I was at the edge of my seat! Did it actually happen that way, no, but could it have? Well maybe.
Can I just start by saying...SMAUGGGGGG!!!!!!!! Did anyone else sit at the edge of their seats, with a little anxiety, as if Smaug could smell you too? I had chills! Bravo, Benedict Cumberbatch! Truly lived up to and exceeded all expectation. I smell an award in the future.
I truly loved the fight scenes! I would not mess with a Dwarf or especially an Elf. I loved how I felt like I was somewhat in a video game. It was truly entertaining.
Beorn- Everything I imagined him to be, I just wish there was a little more screen time of him.
Dol Guldur- I'm glad that even though it's not all accurate, it was at least explained. I found it very important. Plus, we got more Gandalf screen time. Which in my book, is always good. Loved what they did with Sauron's shadow. I felt like a 12 year old watching The Fellowship again.
The mentioning of Gloin being Gimli's father was AWESOME
Lake town was how I imagined it to be, along with Bard.
Thranduil was dreadfully fantastic, I just wish there was more screen time for him.
Scenery! Scenery! Scenery!
But most of all? I loved seeing Cirth (Dwarvin runes) and hearing more Sindarin (Elvish)!
The only thing I honestly hated were that the blue contacts were really noticeable. I don't remember noticing it that much in LotR. That and how the ending left us REALLY hanging, but now you non-book readers must go read the books!
Haters will hate, but I loveddddd this movie.
How did you feel about the movie?