From The Blog

Riddles in the Dark: Episode 14

Trilogy? What trilogy? There’s no trilogy here. OK, we lied, we talked about the trilogy on Riddles in the Dark!

In this episode of Riddles in the Dark from the Mythgard Institute, Prof. Corey Olsen and Dave Kale continue their discussion about Bilbo’s character development, this time focusing on the first big accomplishment of his illustrious burglary career: escaping from the goblin tunnels beneath the Misty Mountains and surprising his dwarven companions as they sat at peace, wondering what had happened to the poor hobbit.  They contemplate the various (and sundry) ways in which the filmmakers might alter these events to emphasize various story and character elements.  In particular, Prof. Olsen proposes an interesting alternative that will emphasize Bilbo’s evolution into a hero: that they may send Bilbo back into the tunnels to help rescue Gandalf and the dwarves.  They also discuss a slightly more cynical angle: that the Company’s escape from the mountains will transition directly into their “fiery” confrontation with the goblins and wargs.  They also take questions and feedback from live listeners using the Mythgard “Netmoot” interface!

And oh fine, they also discuss the Hobbit movie trilogy announcement.  Not that big of a deal, really!

Riddle #14: Under what circumstances will Bilbo be re-united with Gandalf and the dwarves?

A.  Bilbo will escape the mountains alone, then find the Company by chance and sneak invisibly among them, showing off his competence as a burglar (book answer!).
B.  Bilbo will meet up with them within the mountains somehow, and they will all escape together.
C.  Bilbo escapes alone and meets them outside the mountains, but the meeting is turned into an action sequence instead.
D.  Bilbo escapes alone, and then returns into the mountains to find Gandalf and the dwarves.
E.  The dwarves escape and return to rescue Bilbo from the tunnels.

Download: .mp3 (right click and choose “Save As…” to download)


  1. Duke of Earl Grey August 20, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I choose option D. I like giving Bilbo that powerful character moment of being willing to return to the tunnels, and yes, I think that’s the only way to make it work for the audience. But I do love the idea of Bilbo meeting the Dwarves as they both are headed back to save the other.

    You know, when you were talking about things considered or mentioned in the book, but decided against, that ended up actually happening in the movie, I really thought you were going to bring up Pippin singing for Denethor, a scene which only enhanced the movie, in my opinion.

  2. Trish August 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Thanks for reminding me of that scene of Pippin singing, Duke Tea. I agree with you. I liked that addition. I hope that the additions/changes made to The Hobbit are as enhancing!

  3. S.N. Legard August 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    That Pippin song for Denethor, as you probably know but some readers may not recall, was a song that Frodo, Sam & Pippin sang while they were walking from Bag-End to Crickhollow in the early chapter “Three is Company” of the first LotR book.

    Reading “A Walking Song,” it never seemed to me to be so full of melancholy or yearning as the film re-purposed it. The song in the story was filled more with a longing for travel and discovery in the first 2 1/2 verses, with the third verse taking the travelers back home:

    Home is behind, the world ahead,
    And there are many paths to tread
    Through shadows to the edge of night,
    Until the stars are all alight.
    Then world behind and home ahead,
    We’ll wander back to home and bed.
    Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
    Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
    Fire and lamp, and meat and bread,
    And then to bed! And then to bed!

    The comfort of the center two and final two lines, about home and bed, is excised from the movie version, keeping the song more melancholy as befits the scene with Faramir making the suicidal charge. Also, the idea that the mist, twilight, cloud and shade “Away shall fade” is altered to “All shall fade,” implying more that home and the world will fade, not just the shady parts.

    I can imagine that some of the songs and scenes of The Hobbit will similarly be moved around in the film, rearranged, and put to an entirely different use than was originally intended. When they use Tolkien’s words for this, I do not mind and enjoy the creativity and sensitivity that Boyens/Walsh/Jackson can bring to the story. Most likely, they will employ the moving of song and lines from some of the main characters – Gandalf, Bilbo & Thorin – to the other dwarves to flesh out the 12 dwarves who have little development or dialogue in the book.

  4. Triski August 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Regarding the trilogy announcement and the questions about how much additional filming will be done or needed – does anyone else remember one of the Hobbit Production Diaries when PJ and Andy Serkis were talking about why The Hobbit, being two movies, had a much longer shooting schedule than LotR, which was three movies?

    At the time PJ made a joke that it was because they’re all 10 years older. But, looking at it now, perhaps this is an early clue to the trilogy announcement. It may have been in the back of his mind all along, but something he was not sure he could sell at the outset. This wouldn’t surprise me at all, and if so, I think that PJ had a plan he could use for three movies from the start, and this isn’t just something he’s going to try to pull together at the last minute.

    At least that’s my hope. My first reaction to the news was “Oh, bother!”, not “Oh, joy!”

  5. John O'Connor August 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Ok. Heres my crazy idea… Peter, Fran, and Phillipa planned it as a trilogy from the beginning. They pitched it to the cast and crew as two parts, but knew that they would (to try to raise hype for the movie) release a statement saying that it would be three parts. That way, they’ve already filmed all that extra stuff that you theorize they won’t have time to do next year.

    After all, the filming of two parts took nearly as long as the filming of the Lord of the Rings. They were secretly filming a third movie!!!!!

    Here is my most convincing proof: In one of the Production videos, Andy Serkis and Peter Jackson are talking about the amount of time they have spent filming. And Peter very smugly says, “Well the answer’s quite simple: we’re ten years older, so we move slower.” But he looks mischievous… I think he was hiding the real answer…

  6. Adam August 23, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    First Film:
    Ends with barrells floating down a river, panning to a shot of the lonely mountain, we zoom in, or shoot inside, and see Smaugs eye open. Fits with what we have seen and Cumberpatchs announcement here:

    Second Film:
    Dol guldur/Lake Town, possibly heavily intercut, expecting the assault on Dol Guldur, and dwarves meeting bard and the mayor etc, and eventually planning to leave, it keeps us interested in the Dwarves whilst dealing with the DG stuff. (we may also get a lot of flashback/exposition here about the lonely mountain, as its a good setting, Thorin recounting stories in a feast.
    Leave Laketown and head to the lonely mountain
    Arrive at the lonely mountain, or see it as they arrive
    This is where I stick my neck out and say that they probably go in see Smaug, do the riddles, and maybe even provoke him into attacking the mountain side, and heading off to Laketown, seeing Smaug swoop off towards Lake town would make a cool ending.

    Finally, I wonder if they go the full way, and Smaug dies at the end of film two. Having taken on board what Corey and Dave say, I think its perhaps an anti climax for the thrid film, but it will also be less of a wait, 6 months, not 12, for film three, and they may well play on the atagnonism and leave the second film with us wondering perhaps if the elves and men of Laketown are about to go and get the dwarves, or maybe wondering if they are alive, so after the attack on the mountain side we see the door in the side creak open as the last shot, begging the question ‘so some are alive, but who?’, or that sort of thing.

    Third Film:
    Greed of Thorin, Ravens (yeah I reckon they might be in actually, though perhaps whispering in Thorins ear). Dain coming, Elves arriving, Bard arriving, Arkenstone, Battle of Five armies, and many, many endings. This will be a pretty full film, even from that.

  7. Tony Meade August 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    My proposal for the three titles:

    Film 1: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Film 1: The Hobbit: The Quest of Erebor
    Film 1: The Hobbit: There And Back Again


    Film 1: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Film 1: The Hobbit: The Lonely Mountain
    Film 1: The Hobbit: There And Back Again

  8. Bre August 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    You know, I think this is an A for me. I don’t think Thorin and company will be sitting around a camp or anything.

    I think it’s better to have Bilbo have a very theatrical scene with Golumn that doesn’t cut back to Gandalf and the Dwarves since the Riddles in the Dark chapter is so iconic. In addition, not cutting back to the other characters allows the audience to relate more to Bilbo during these scenes because Bilbo doesn’t know what has happened to the others either, and must really step up as an adventurer in these moments. While 13 minutes seems like a long time on-screen, it is, but this is the time it took the actors to film it, and does not account for even the most basic of editing. It’s a very powerful and rememberable scene that deserves not to be inter-cut with others.

    Concerning the third film. I was trying to figure it out after it was first announced by putting together this structure chart: (I don’t 100% agree with my chart, but it’s the best I could make sense of the possible structure of these films without spending a great more amount of time on it).

    While I remain as always thinking that the first split will be the barrels. I still like my Mirkwood idea split, even more so in light of the split. No I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I think it would would be good to have more Mirkwood Elf action at the beginning of film two if film two does end with the death of Smaug and the Elves arriving to head to Lonely Mountain with the men of Dale. That way the film ends and begins with the elves and the audience doesn’t forget who they are from the last film (silly I know, but you know mainstream audiences these days).

    However, like you guys, the death of Smaug in film two does create marketing problems from film three, since people who haven’t read the book won’t understand why there is a third film.

    I do think this third film thing does mean more Azanulbizar, because I have a feeling they did film something for their original cut, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they filmed a bit more for this. However, I think the main use of Azanulbizar will be in the building of Thorin’s character. For example, the third film could start with a flashback of the battle, and then end with a long shot on Thorin thinking, before resuming the story of The Hobbit, which is very similar to how Return of the King started.

  9. Chincilla of Valinor September 2, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    With the talk of ‘hot’ dwarves, and romance between races, I wonder whether the ‘elf’ angle provided by Tauriel may be a ruse to throw us off task. Instead, in a very non-book answer, the ‘hot-ness’ of Kili is duly noted by the Great Goblin, who decides he wants him for a ‘pet.’ He commands his troops to capture his favourite forthwith, at which point Gandalf and the Dwarves take off. Although the Great Goblin perishes in the chase, Kili and the rest plough on, pursued by the Goblins, unaware of their lothario’s demise. Fortunately, enough Goblins swoon over Kili that they end up battlling amongst themselves, leaving Gandalf and the crew to saunter out, joining Bilbo before they exit. Gollum catches sight of them before they leave the Misty Mountains, leaving him to pursue at a great distance, too shy to catch Kili’s eye…

  10. Robagast the Green September 5, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    I would have to go with C as my answer. Here are my film titles for you.

    The Hobbit 1 “Floating down the River and other things you can do with Barrels.”

    The Hobbit 2 “Birding and other things to do in the Mountains”

    The Hobbit 3 “The Eye of the Necromancer”

  11. Matthew the Wayfarer December 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    What happened to EPISODE 13? Superstitious?


  1. Riddles in the Dark Digest 8: Escape and Animals | Mythgard Institute - September 11, 2012

    […] Kale and Trish Lambert return with more banter and opinio, first reviewing Riddles in the Dark Episode 14, considering how Bilbo’s escape from the Misty Mountains will play out on screen. Then […]

Leave a Reply