The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films

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Post by RA on Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:54 am

I don't know if there's already a thread about this, but I just watched this scene again because it was recommended on youtube and it is possibly the dumbest scene in the whole Hobbit trilogy.



Edit youtube won't embed.   https://youtu.be/NLhypaRifcE

The whole thing. From Galadriel impersonating that girl from the Ring, to Elrond and Saruman kung fu fighting spirits, to Galadriel carrying Gandalf around like a baby, to Radagast showing up on the bunny sleigh. It's been a few years since I'd watched this scene and it just came rushing back to me, what were they thinking? This was just dumb. The interaction between Cate Blanchett and Ian Mckellen had zero chemistry. I don't know what they were trying to convey with their weird longing looks at one another. Why was Galadriel the girl from the Ring? Why is she super strong and capable of carrying Gandalf like he weighs 20 pounds? The only justification I could maybe see is that she was described in the Peoples of Middle Earth as being one of the most powerful of the Noldor.
Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, except Fëanor maybe, though she was wiser than he, and her wisdom increased with the long years
But I never interpreted that to mean physically the strongest. I couldn't see Galadriel taking up arms and being the equivalent of some sort of strong-man even though she is like six foot four. I always thought that was referring to her innate power of sub creation, Feanor being the most powerful as the creator of the Silmarills. Galadriel would be powerful in that sense too, being a wielder of one of the elvish rings of power. But Gandalf himself is no slouch either. For one thing Gandalf is also a wielder of an elvish ring of power and he is not one of the Noldor so that quote doesn't really apply to him. I think Jackson and company maybe took the crux of that quote and took it to mean that Galadriel is just the most powerful at magic (whatever that means).
I just don't really see the two of them being directly comparable in that way and this scene always bothered me.

I think people and entities in Middle Earth that are capable of subcreation are always shown to have a dangerous relationship to power and corruption. Aule the Valar for example is the smith and while he's not a bad guy or anything, it's from him that a lot of bad things end up happening. He's probably the most interesting of the Valar outside of Melkor. For example the Noldor greatly admired him and it's that Elvish people that all the trouble starts from. The Vanyar were more drawn to Manwe and they kept their noses clean. It's the Noldor being too curious and hanging out with the guy who can teach them how to make stuff where the trouble starts. They're the group that flees into Middle Earth. Feanor the greatest craftsman flirts with the creation of his own craft and from that we get the Silmarills that are the cause of everything in the mythos. Looking back at Aule we have him creating the dwarves, not out of defiance of Eru but out of a desire to create and in a way be like Eru. Sauron originally served Aule. In Two Towers we learn from TreeBeard that the trolls were made in mockery of the ents. So once again we see Sauron trying his hand at sub-creation. In Unfinished Tales we get a brief description of the Istari and it's revealed that Manwe sent Gandalf and Aule sent Saruman. Saruman being of like mind to Aule the craftsman also displays this tendency towards sub-creation with the Uruk-hai and his own ring crafting. Really all the major driving conflicts are the result of people trying to their hands at sub-creation like Eru but mucking it up: The Silmarills and the Ring-makers.

So anyways I never saw Galadriel as being someone that wielded power outright but rather as someone who displayed a potential to create and stir things in the hearts of people around her. That scene in Fellowship where she resists the Ring was her deciding to buck the trend and not get in sub-creation with the Ring to make things new again. I see Gandalf as sort of similar but in a different and more active sort of way. Galadriel throwing weird sound waves at orcs just seems silly and cheap. Maybe I'm over thinking this but this scene was stupid to me on many levels and the weird relationship it showed between Galadriel and Gandalf was part of it. Though the heavy handed showdown between Galadriel and Sauron was probably just as stupid.

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Post by halfwise on Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:06 pm

But Galadriel's kick-ass power is alluded to in Tolkien's writing. In the appendices after Celeborn defeats the armed forces of Dol Guldur, it is Galadriel who comes in and "throws down the walls". And it's her power that protects Lothlorien from attack, though the elf warriors are a big part of that.

We had discussed this in some other thread years ago. I had always looks forward to the scene where Galadriel finally manifests her full power to cast down the walls, but Figgs and I were both upset that at the moment she turns into the evil side we saw when she considers taking the Ring. That wasn't right at all.

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Post by malickfan on Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:38 pm

I'll take your word for it, I don't think I've watched a single clip from The Hobbit films since BOFTA came out, and I have no desire to change that.

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Post by David H on Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:08 pm

malickfan wrote: I don't think I've watched a single clip from The Hobbit films since BOFTA came out.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:20 pm

Blanchett is 5'9". Is Galadriel meant to be much taller?

I think you're quite right, RA, about sub-creation leading to so much strife. That's a well-recognized theme in Tolkien's writing. You can contrast that idea against a character like Bombadil, who doesn't really create anything except songs.

Edit: that scene really is empty noise. It's so lame that they constantly re-use memorable dialogue, visual spectacle, even little physical aspects of the actors' performances from the trilogy. In this scene we get:

Galadriel kissing Gandalf's forehead like Arwen kissed Frodo's and the line "come back" that echoes Arwen's "don't go!",

Gandalf gasping like he did in the flashback from Two Towers after he was reborn as the White,

Elrond in very similar armour to- and wielding a similar weapon to what he used in the battle shown at the beginning of Fellowship,

the giant-flaming eyeball consuming the stairs and tower in a visually similar way to how the eye would consume Frodo's field of vision while he wore the ring,

the "age of the orcs has come, the time of the elves is over" thing from Sauron that echoes lines from Elrond and the tumor-ridden orc who led the attack on Gondor ("Gothmog" or something in the credits),

Galadriel looking evil in a way that's actually pretty visually distinct from her appearance in Fellowship but still an obvious call-back,

Galadriel's dialogue lifted from possessed-Theoden about how "You have no power here!", and the line commanding Sauron to "Go back to the void from whence you came" which echoes Gandalf's command to the Balrog with the gist of Book!Frodo's dialogue thrown in from when he confronts the Black Riders at the ford,

and, of course, Galadriel's stumbling fall as she ceases to channel her power and returns to her normal, beautiful appearance.  

And this shit gets repeated through all the movies: obvious call-backs and references that simply annoy viewers like myself. Some people like them, apparently, I don't understand why.

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Post by RA on Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:34 pm

halfwise wrote:But Galadriel's kick-ass power is alluded to in Tolkien's writing.  In the appendices after Celeborn defeats the armed forces of Dol Guldur, it is Galadriel who comes in and "throws down the walls".  And it's her power that protects Lothlorien from attack, though the elf warriors are a big part of that.
I mean I think she has innate power to stir the hearts of those around her and to create sure but I didn't think Tolkien meant that she was a level 70 elf mage with area effect spells... I guess that's my problem with it; how direct everything is.
Forest Shepherd wrote:Blanchett is 5'9". Is Galadriel meant to be much taller?
Yeah, Galadriel is six foot four, the same height as Celeborn and Aragorn is six foot six. A lot of these characters in the books are super tall. We know that Galadriel was tallest of the Noldor women. Though the Noldor men in those days were likely far, far taller: some being closer to like 8 feet tall.


Last edited by RA on Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RA on Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:41 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:
I think you're quite right, RA, about sub-creation leading to so much strife. That's a well-recognized theme in Tolkien's writing. You can contrast that idea against a character like Bombadil, who doesn't really create anything except songs.

Edit: that scene really is empty noise. It's so lame that they constantly re-use memorable dialogue, visual spectacle, even little physical aspects of the actors' performances from the trilogy. In this scene we get:

Galadriel kissing Gandalf's forehead like Arwen kissed Frodo's and the line "come back" that echoes Arwen's "don't go!",

Gandalf gasping like he did in the flashback from Two Towers after he was reborn as the White,

Elrond in very similar armour to- and wielding a similar weapon to what he used in the battle shown at the beginning of Fellowship,

the giant-flaming eyeball consuming the stairs and tower in a visually similar way to how the eye would consume Frodo's field of vision while he wore the ring,

the "age of the orcs has come, the time of the elves is over" thing from Sauron that echoes lines from Elrond and the tumor-ridden orc who led the attack on Gondor ("Gothmog" or something in the credits),

Galadriel looking evil in a way that's actually pretty visually distinct from her appearance in Fellowship but still an obvious call-back,

Galadriel's dialogue lifted from possessed-Theoden about how "You have no power here!", and the line commanding Sauron to "Go back to the void from whence you came" which echoes Gandalf's command to the Balrog with the gist of Book!Frodo's dialogue thrown in from when he confronts the Black Riders at the ford,

and, of course, Galadriel's stumbling fall as she ceases to channel her power and returns to her normal, beautiful appearance.  

And this shit gets repeated through all the movies: obvious call-backs and references that simply annoy viewers like myself. Some people like them, apparently, I don't understand why.

Sub creation is a really interesting topic to examine. I wasn't really expecting the films to really capture that because it is subtext from the books; it's not something I picked up on on my first read through.

Now that you point out all the references that scene has to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it makes sense why something about it seems off. Since that scene is wholly invented it's literally just references and call-backs to stuff the audience might recognize. It's not doing anything for the plot at all or characters either. It might be every line of dialogue that's guilty of this.

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"From him they learnt many things it were not good for any but the great Valar to know, for being half-comprehended such deep hidden things slay happiness; and besides many of the sayings of Melko were cunning lies or were but partly true, and the Noldoli ceased to sing, and their viols fell silent upon the hill of Kôr, for their hearts grew somewhat older as their lore grew deeper and their desires more swollen, and the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest."

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Post by RA on Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:44 pm

malickfan wrote:I'll take your word for it, I don't think I've watched a single clip from The Hobbit films since BOFTA came out, and I have no desire to change that.
Generally I agree. I only watched this scene because it wouldn't leave my recommended tab on youtube. I'll go and watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy every now and again. But these Hobbit films are 12 hours and they really feel their length. So watching them is more of a chore.

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"From him they learnt many things it were not good for any but the great Valar to know, for being half-comprehended such deep hidden things slay happiness; and besides many of the sayings of Melko were cunning lies or were but partly true, and the Noldoli ceased to sing, and their viols fell silent upon the hill of Kôr, for their hearts grew somewhat older as their lore grew deeper and their desires more swollen, and the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest."

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Post by azriel on Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:13 pm

I could only watch The Hobbshit films if I were kidnapped & threatened that theyde hurt my family. The squirming, embarrassing, cringing feeling I got from these films is difficult to except. Its all made worse because they are trying to be serious but it just comes across as more ludicrous. All of it a million miles away from the warm story of exciting adventure that I read years ago. I can snuggle into the books easily but this ? 3 films of pure garbage, runny, idiotic garbage. Galadriel carrying Gandy looked more like one of those magician shows you get at cheap theatres, where the magician levitates a girl. Elrond's cringy "you should have stayed dead" & the crazy Xbox style fighting ! oh feckitty doo dahs, Im getting steamed up. I end up getting ready to kick the cupboards when the Hobbshit is mentioned & I so wanted to like the films Mad Crying or Very sad

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:42 am

RA wrote:
malickfan wrote:I'll take your word for it, I don't think I've watched a single clip from The Hobbit films since BOFTA came out, and I have no desire to change that.
Generally I agree. I only watched this scene because it wouldn't leave my recommended tab on youtube. I'll go and watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy every now and again. But these Hobbit films are 12 hours and they really feel their length. So watching them is more of a chore.
I think the extended editions are only a breezy 8 hours and 52 minutes. Quite manageable in a day if one started at, say, 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

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Post by RA on Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:32 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:
RA wrote:
malickfan wrote:I'll take your word for it, I don't think I've watched a single clip from The Hobbit films since BOFTA came out, and I have no desire to change that.
Generally I agree. I only watched this scene because it wouldn't leave my recommended tab on youtube. I'll go and watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy every now and again. But these Hobbit films are 12 hours and they really feel their length. So watching them is more of a chore.
I think the extended editions are only a breezy 8 hours and 52 minutes. Quite manageable in a day if one started at, say, 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
If you mean the old trilogy, then yeah, that's fun. But these new ones... that's a day of torment. No

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:43 pm

I really agree that this is the worst travesty in the whole sorry mess. They turned Galadriel into an evil entity and it was horrible and incredibly disappointing to watch. I remember discussing it with Halfy years ago. I said that I was hoping to see her manifesting her powers but not in the conventional and banal way they did in the movie. As far as I was concerned Galadriel didn't use physical force or strength because she didn't need to, its the conventional super hero stuff and she isn't conventional, she is otherworldly and faerie. In the book if I am not mistaken she turned Dol Guldur into a garden of flowers, her powers being radiance, beauty and creation not destruction and malignance. I hoped she would heal and cleanse the evil and not look part of it. I think Jackson totally lacked any imagination or sensitivity and just went for the block buster version.  No

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Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:04 pm

She "threw down its walls and laid bare its pits" of Dol Guldur (the LotR fandom wiki rather charmingly notes "by unspecified means") and the forest was "cleansed". Flowers could be inferred.

Stephen Tempest at Quora notes that this probably looked like when Luthien cast down Sauron's previous fortress while rescuing Beren:

There wide her arms did Lúthien throw
and called aloud with voice as clear
as still at whiles may mortal hear
long elvish trumpets o’er the hill
echo, when all the world is still.

The dawn peered over mountains wan,
their grey heads silent looked thereon,
The hill trembled; the citadel
crumbled, and all its towers fell;
the rocks yawned and the bridge broke
and Sirion spumed in sudden smoke.

I hadn't made the connection myself, but it fits the image I have of Galadriel doing something kick-ass while still feeling like Galadriel.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:38 pm

in a movie its difficult to show power that doesn't involve destruction and wall tumbling, but that doesn't do it for me at all.
I imagined her standing very still and radiating power in the form of bright gossamer beams of sparkling light which have the qualities of iridescence and transparence and thousands of spiralling tendrils of grass and richly blooming flowers springing up everywhere from the ground, and thousands of butterflies swirling round her head to form a crown and cover her gown so that it ripples and sways like the sea. I imagined her small smile and her hair flowing around her head. I imagined her so beautiful that she was hard to look at with human eyes. Maybe one final burst of multi-coloured light as she slowly faded to her normal self.

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Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:57 pm

How Disney. Smile

I imagine her being stern but confident rather than angry. She finally is unveiled: beauty and shafts of light but not butterflies.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:04 pm

No not even sparkly silver Disney butterflies. Mad

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Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:15 pm

They will come of their own accord.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:57 pm

I imagined her not in the movie. 'Cause it's the freakin' Hobbit.

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Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:49 pm

I was perfectly happy in theory to see the White Council and the destruction of Dol Guldur on film, because otherwise it may not happen. But they flubbed it all.

In my ideal world there would be two film versions of the Hobbit: one exactly as Tolkien wrote it with all the charm and initial innocence intact, and another that felt free to look at the larger picture as PJ did, but it would have to be done correctly. Or perhaps one film that follows the book with an extended edition that does all the backstory.

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Post by RA on Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:24 am

halfwise wrote:I was perfectly happy in theory to see the White Council and the destruction of Dol Guldur on film, because otherwise it may not happen.  But they flubbed it all.

In my ideal world there would be two film versions of the Hobbit: one exactly as Tolkien wrote it with all the charm and initial innocence intact, and another that felt free to look at the larger picture as PJ did, but it would have to be done correctly.   Or perhaps one film that follows the book with an extended edition that does all the backstory.
I think that would be better because if they went in a terrible direction (like they did) then all that would be confined to one film unconnected with the Hobbit proper.

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"From him they learnt many things it were not good for any but the great Valar to know, for being half-comprehended such deep hidden things slay happiness; and besides many of the sayings of Melko were cunning lies or were but partly true, and the Noldoli ceased to sing, and their viols fell silent upon the hill of Kôr, for their hearts grew somewhat older as their lore grew deeper and their desires more swollen, and the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest."

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The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films Empty Re: The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films

Post by Forest Shepherd on Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:41 pm

I think it's best to leave sleeping dragons, and here I mean the Dol Guldur and other Council scenes, lie. Part of the reason the Hobbit movies are so poor is that the film-makers included so much that wasn't The Hobbit. This idea that we wouldn't have seen these things otherwise carries very little weight with me. I wasn't excited about the films because there was a chance I could see Gandalf exploring the grave of the Witch-king, or Azog measuring his junk against Bolg, or the battle of Azanulbizar. Just like how "being back in Middle-earth" wasn't enough for me to enjoy the movies: they needed to also not suck.

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"'But whereas we have drunk with thee, who seemest to be a man of lineage, and thou hast been blithe with us, we will tell thee that we have seen one riding south along the Greenway, clad in a coat as green as the way, with the leafless tree done on his breast. So nigh to him we were that we heard his cry as he sped along, as ye may hear the lapwing whining, for he said: "POINT AND EDGE, POINT AND EDGE! THE RED WATER AMIDST OF THE HILLS!" In my lifetime such a man hath, to my knowledge, been seen thrice before; and after each sight of him followed evil days and the death of men.'"

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The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films Empty Re: The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films

Post by David H on Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:07 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote: they needed to also not suck.

Thumbs Up

That was my one and only hope from the beginning.

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The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films Empty Re: The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films

Post by Lancebloke on Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:17 pm

I always thought that the while throwing down of walls and laying bear its pits was more along the lines of what happened when the ring was destroyed.

I would imagine that some of the strength of Dol Guldur would be in magics that were used to construct its foundations and fortifications. I had imagined that Galadriel would have "simply" gone to break those spells and therefore undermine the very foundations that could no longer support the fortress and therefore it collapsed... Barad Dur style.

No ninja moves needed.
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The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films Empty Re: The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films

Post by halfwise on Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:05 pm

I think that's essentially correct.  But breaking such a spell is not a nonchalant piece of work.  It would still have some

There wide her arms did Lúthien throw
and called aloud with voice as clear...

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The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films Empty Re: The dumbest scene in the Hobbit films

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:06 am

Counter-spell boosted to a 7th level spell slot, at least!

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"'But whereas we have drunk with thee, who seemest to be a man of lineage, and thou hast been blithe with us, we will tell thee that we have seen one riding south along the Greenway, clad in a coat as green as the way, with the leafless tree done on his breast. So nigh to him we were that we heard his cry as he sped along, as ye may hear the lapwing whining, for he said: "POINT AND EDGE, POINT AND EDGE! THE RED WATER AMIDST OF THE HILLS!" In my lifetime such a man hath, to my knowledge, been seen thrice before; and after each sight of him followed evil days and the death of men.'"

-The Well at the World's End, William Morris
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