I’ve finally worked up the nerve to discuss this. So I’ve seen Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug twice. Unfortunately, the horrible winter we got conspired to keep me from seeing it a third, fourth and fifth time.

First of all, I enjoyed the film immensely. There was so much to look at and at times during the fast paced actions scenes I was sure I was suffering from vertigo. I loved that the actors suited their characters and that their personalities shone through. I’m a bit of a purist though and I know had Tolkien been alive today, he might not have appreciated the glaring additions and changes to the novel, or perhaps he might. After all it was written for children.

I get that they wanted to soften the whole ‘it’s a man’s world’ by sticking a woman in the middle of it and even hinting at a possible love connection between a dwarf and an elf. I’m a bit of a purist and I wasn’t at all impressed by that. I belive the movie would have been fine without all the dressing. Barring that, the scenes in Mirkwood and Erebor were fantastic. Smaug was greater than I had imagined and I’m glad that Peter, whether intentionally or unintentionally made Smaug more serpentine as opposed to reptilian.

For those who have read all the books (and I mean all of them), you would remember that Glaurung in The Children of Húrin was described as “the great worm” and “The Worm of Morgoth” .Therefore one might even conclude that Smaug would be a descendant of Glaurang just as Shelob and the spiders of Mirkwood could possibly be the descendants of Ungoliant both of which were creations of Morgoth.

If anything I was glad that Peter maintained this aspect of Smaug; a metaphor for corruption and greed. This may sound like allegory and Tolkien was clear on the fact that he despised allegory, but hey, it’s everywhere in the book. Call it want you want – allegory, metaphor, symbolism, it’s all there to be interpreted.

So if PJ went a little wild with the action bit, that can be forgiven. He got Gollum and Smaug right…oh and Thranduil too, and Gandalf and Galadriel and Elrond and….well, you get the picture.

 

 

Advertisements