SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen the movie or read the book, you may want to think twice about reading this post because I give a lot of it away and I will give a lot away in the upcoming 3rd and 4th editions to the movie.
It’s been an interesting week. I find myself unemployed for the first time since my college days. Every day is filled with contacting former colleagues to see if they know of any open positions, filling out online applications and hoping their not using a computer-automated system to rule me out and scheduling interviews and meetings. I feel I’m on this unexpected journey in which I know what the end result will be but the path to lead me there is full of obstacles, challenges and tests.
I can imagine that Thorin is feeling the same thing as we begin watching the second installment of The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug. Thorin, his company of Dwarves, his Hobbit companion Bilbo and their fearless Wizard Gandalf are being pursued by Orcs as they continue on their journey east toward The Lonely Mountain. They seek refuge in the home of Beorn who is a shape-shifter and can take the form of a massive bear.
After spending the night at Beorn’s the Dwarves are led to Mirkwood Forest where they must pass through using the elven trail to get to the lake. There Biblo would save his companions from not only giant killer spiders which are invading the forest, but wood elves that capture and imprison the Dwarves until they agree to return jewels that Thorin’s grandfather took from the elves a long time ago.
After escaping the elves, Bilbo and the Dwarves convince a resident of Lake-town to take them across the lake. Nothing is ever this simple, but with the support of the town, the Dwarves soon find themselves at the foot of The Lonely Mountain. It takes Bilbo’s logic to figure out the way in and here he confronts the dragon Smaug in an effort to locate the Arkenstone.
With the help of the Dwarves, Bilbo is able to escape the dragon, but not before enticing the dragon to take off to Lake-town to punish the town for their support of the “burglar”. We are left with Smaug in the air heading towards Lake-town and Bard revealing a hidden black arrow he’s been keeping around just for this moment.
My favorite parts
It’s probably not surprise that I have some favorite parts of the movie. Below is a list of my top 5 moments.
I watched this movie in 3D, so it may not be much of a surprise that I found the spider scene very intense. I felt myself jumping in my seat and actually leaning forward to the front of my chair. Yikes, those spiders were intense and creepy. They make the giant spider in the Harry Potter movies look like kittens.
The Barrel Ride
We all know that Bilbo sneaks the Dwarves out of the Wood Elves’ kingdom using barrels that they ride down the river and out of the fortress. The ride itself was an incredible scene with the Elves and Orcs battling it out on the shores, both in pursuit of the fugitives. And the fact that the Dwarves are also fighting the Orcs while floating down into the river rapids, is incredible. The scene itself was visually beautiful and the action was exciting.
Filling in the blanks with Gandalf
In the book we never really know why Gandalf decided to leave the Dwarves and Bilbo at the entrance to Mirkwood and go his own way. It’s necessary in the storyline because through their experiences Bilbo receives more respect by the Dwarves and gains in his self-confidence as well as continues to fall victim to the lure of the ring. But Peter Jackson and crew actually filled in the blanks of where Gandalf may have gone. He heads to an abandoned fortress where the Orcs are building their army and Sauron is beginning to make his first moves.
The introduction of Sauron
After the introduction of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien returned to The Hobbit to tie the story closer to the sequential series. The film itself goes a step further by introducing Gandalf to the Sauron of that time, a dark entity in the shadows of the fortress’s shadows.
It’s crazy the way they introduced Bilbo to Smaug. I had my reservations as to how Peter Jackson would pull this off as doing a dragon realistically, yet keeping with the still whimsical theme expressed in the movie would be quite a challenge. I wasn’t disappointed. Smaug was terrifying and grumpy like an old man being woken early from his nap, yet he still maintained that almost fairy-tale like quality that you would hope the dragon would have.
What I’m looking forward to next Christmas
So we’re ¾ of the way through the story, but have two more movies to look forward to over the next two years. Below are the things I’m looking forward to seeing in the coming movies to be releases in the upcoming Decembers.
It’s no surprise that Bard is the black sheep in Lake-town. But upcoming films will see this dark horse become the savior of Lake-town as he once and for all defeats the dragon Smaug and saves his town from complete destruction.
The Battle of the Five Armies
The Battle of the Five Armies will soon be upon us and I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s going to take place. The setting, the graphics and effects and the addition of Beorn and the eagles will be absolutely spectacular. It’s probably my most anticipated scene from this film series.
Hint: Bring some tissues because not all the main characters will make it.
Bilbo’s return to The Shire
After such an adventure, how will Bilbo be able to return to the quiet of The Shire? How will the adventures affect his relationships with the other Hobbits? I’m interested to see how Jackson will interpret this part of the film as it will be the last time we see Bilbo until he returns in the first of the Lord of the Rings movies as an old man ready to retire in Rivendell.
While I continue on in my adventure of finding a new job, signing up for healthcare as an unemployed American and searching for my next position in an already saturated market, I’ll be thinking of the obstacles that Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin undertake in their own adventure in order to reclaim the homeland of the Dwarves and restore peace to the land they once called home.
Did you see this movie over the weekend? What was your favorite part?
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