From The Blog

Upcoming Riddles in the Dark “Split” Special

Announcing a Riddles in the Dark Special Event!

The Riddles in the Dark Podcast is pleased to announce a special two-part event focused on the most hotly debated question about the upcoming Hobbit films: where will the movies be split?

Join The Tolkien Professor Prof. Corey Olsen and Dave Kale of Middle-earth Network, as well as special guests, for a special two-part discussion on the topic listeners have been demanding more than any other: how will the filmmakers divide the story of the Hobbit across the two films?  Broadcast live on Middle-earth Network Radio on the next two Tuesdays, April 10 and 17, at 10am EDT, these special episodes will provide an in-depth look at the both J.R.R. Tolkien’s text and the evidence released by Peter Jackson and company so far (particularly the widely discussed Production Video #2 comments) and answer that most pressing of questions.  Prof. Olsen and Dave will particularly focus on the part that most Tolkien pundits have ignored: how will the “White Council” storyline be split across the films?

Over the next few weeks, we encourage excited listeners to post their questions and speculations here, on the Tolkien Professor Facebook page, and on Twitter (@tolkienprof and @davekale, remember the #riddlesinthedark hashtag!).  Then on each Tuesday, listen live and join us in the Middle-earth Network Radio chat room!

  1. Trish Lambert April 6, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Hooray! Looking forward to these episodes, even though a business appointment will keep me from listening to the first one live (so annoying when work interferes with this stuff!).

    I’ve been mulling on this. The two big data points are: 1) the production video showing the dwarves floating down the river in barrels and 2) Evangeline Lilly (who will play one of the Elf guards) saying in an interview that she has a very small part in the first picture but a much larger one in the second. Point 1 initially made me think that the floating scene (with perhaps landing at Laketown) would conclude the first film. BUT, Point 2 stopped me. Tiny part in movie 1, larger part in movie 2 for the lady Elf guard…hmmm….for me, that points more toward the imprisonment of the Dwarves as the end of movie 1. This makes sense….people haven’t changes much since the film industry began, and cliff hangers work just as well now as they did for silent films. Ending film 1 with the Dwarves in Elf prison and Bilbo trying to figure out what to do seems like the strategy with the most mass (i.e. more than Tolkien geek) appeal.

  2. R April 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Thanks for the great podcasts, looking forward to the special.
    My own theory on the split is that the first film will end with the barrels floating round a bend in the river, with the last shot being a dramatic reveal of the Lonely Mountain, similar to the reveal of Mordor at the end of The Two Towers. This is supported by the fact that the Hobbit Production videos have shown us the shooting of the barrel scene but kept the set of Laketown a secret. It would also be a nice culmination, since the title of the first film is “An Unexpected Journey”, and the goal of that journey is to reach the Lonely Mountain. It would leave the audience feeling satisfied but still keep up the anticipation for the next film.

  3. Trish Lambert April 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Ha! I got my priorities straight. Rescheduled my client appointment for AFTER the show!!! Laugh….I mean, really, some things CANNOT be missed!

  4. Brent Sprinkle April 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    My take on the split is that even though the production video shows them shooting the barrel scene that does not necessarily mean that is going to be included in film one. We know for sure that Laketown is in part two based on PJ’s admission in the 6th production video but that is it. They do not shoot the film in order. For LOTR, they shot several Minas Tirith shots while still working on the first two films. Also, on the stairs above Minas Morgul when Frodo tells Sam to go home there is a years time between the dialogue cuts of Frodo and Sam. The barrel scene’s were included in the location shooting because that was what they were showing us, locations. That in no way indicates what film they are in. PJ never said that everything we are seeing in the production videos only exist in part one. He only said Laketown is not in part one.
    This brings me to the conclusion that Evangeline Lily’s interview is more revealing about the place of the split. She will obviously be introduced in the Elven Kingdom in Mirkwood which she says is near the end of the film. She is going to be in part one which tells me the dwarves will get captured and taken to the Elven Kingdom in part one. She commented in her interview she only has a small part in film one. How do we define a “small part”? Well, we would have to speculate about the “more involved part” she has in film two in order to compare the two. She said that film two was turning out to be more involved with her character than originally intended. This was before they had even started shooting the Battle of the Five Armies. Where else in the film would she be other than the Battle of the Five Armies or the Elven Kingdom? Unless by some oversight I am blind, I do believe this tells us that her more involved part that was becoming more than intended is in the Elven Kingdom. So, the Elven Kingdom in Mirkwood is still in film two which puts the split after the dwarves capture but before their escape.
    Therefore, I believe the first film will end with the capture of the dwarves and the introduction of Tauriel’s character.
    Also, I agree with others that this is a good cliff hanger that will appeal to the majority. It seems ideal that the second film would start off with the dwarve’s escape. It is a good action scene that will start the second film with a “bang.”
    You can read Evangeline Lily’s full interview here:

Leave a Reply