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Riddles in the Dark 2.04: Attercop and Tomnoddy

It’s SPIDEY TIME on the Riddles in the Dark!

Tolkien Professor Corey Olsen, Trish Lambert, and the illustrious Dave Kale talk spiders, Hobbits, Dwarves, and Elves in this episode of Riddles in the Dark.

We’ve already seen scenes of Dwarves swathed in webs, the Lego playset implies that Legolas and Tauriel take part in the spider fight in some way, and we know that the Company (except Bilbo) has to eventually end up in the Elven King’s dungeon. How is all that going to play out in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug?

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


RIDDLE 2.04: Under what circumstances will the Dwarves be captured by the Wood Elves?

A.  Elves are sent out to capture the Dwarves and do so after they are freed from the spider web casings. (book answer)
B.  Elves are sent out to capture the Dwarves but they have to rescue them from the spider web casings to do so.
C.  Elves encounter the Dwarves by chance or seek them benevolently after they are freed from the spider webs.
D.  Elves encounter the Dwarves by chance or seek them benevolently and rescue them from the spider web casings.

Many thanks to the Lonely Mountain Band for allowing our use of their wonderful music to accompany the episodes. Season 2 sees excerpts from their new album “Songs of the Dwarves.” Intro: Battle of Azanulbizar; Outro: The Sevenfold Meeting.

  1. Denis March 12, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    My 2c

    Elvish Feasts? – the whole elvish feast interruption sequence is not going to happen, for the practical reason that it works in the book because of the dark, the movie is not going to have that dark. Like Moria, and like what we’ve seen of Mirkwood already, the light levels have to be high enough for us to see the action, so the whole “torches go out and its dark” thing isnt going to work.

    Will Thorin be captured alone? – I say not. If he were captured the other dwarves would rush to his aid and fight to the death. Unless he volunteered to go find help, which would be futile. I mean why would he think help was nigh after weeks of wanderings? No, I can imagine any way PJ could accomplish this, and again it is because we will not have that overpowering dark in the film, so the confusion and separation of the dwarves will not happen like that. I think the dwarves will not speak to Thrandiul until they are presented to him as captives. They may see him from afar perhaps, but I don’t think they’ll interact until out of the forest.

    As for the elves and whether they were there by chance or not, I say by chance. How would the elves know about a party of dwarves wandering through the forest? I say it was a chance meeting (if chance you can call it – say rather it was meant to be) The elves may have been out hunting, gathering intelligence, or perhaps Legolas and Tauriel were out for a moonlight stroll.

    As for the rest, I think Dave has it right. This scene needs to allow Bilbo the time to shine and be the up and coming hero. It also needs action, near catastrophe and eucatastrophe. So Bilbo will free the dwarves, fight off the spiders but the tide will turn and just as it seems all is lost the elvish horns will sound and/or the arrows will fly, Legolas will slide down a tree on a shield and save the day. The elves will defeat or fend off the attack and take the exhausted / injured dwarves captive.

    After Helms deep in TTT, elves in the spider battle seems quite acceptable by comparison.

  2. Michael Lucero March 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the elvish feasts purely on the darkness reason. We could have equally, and just as justifiably, said the same thing about the entire Moria sequence, and yet they were able to pull off a convincing impression of darkness even though there was light to see the characters. I can very easily see it happening.

    This is an interesting question because, as y’all said, any of the options are equally likely. I’d like to see the more eerie aspects of the elves, but Peter Jackson seems to think of them quite differently than that. I’m going with A, I think. (Can you log my answer officially for me? I’ve given up Facebook for Lent so I can’t log in and vote on the Facebook page.)

    I’d also love to see a whole “there’s another side to the story” thing with Thranduil and Thorin, especially since I don’t think his appearance with a whole entire army and then the decision not to help after all (since it’s not like he didn’t know there was an army-worthy danger there, he wouldn’t have just been taking his army out for a casual jaunt) doesn’t make much sense as it now stands. But I’m not terribly optimistic in light of the description of Legolas doing the right thing. It makes more sense, continuity-wise, to have Thranduil be the wise, patient one and Legolas be the hot-headed, dwarf-hating one who eventually learns to trust them from his interactions with Gimli, but it seems that’s the opposite of what they’re doing. Pity, since the whole “father is old-fashioned and prejudiced while younger son is open-minded” thing is a bit stale and doesn’t fit well with Tolkien’s story.

  3. Sarah Watson March 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    I have an idea about the capture of the dwarves by the elves that makes sense with all the pictures and character conflicts we have been privvy to. I agree with Prof. Olsen about the capture by the spiders and Bilbo freeing some of the dwarves and having to try to lead the spiders away for a second time.

    However, I think that the elves are battling the encroaching evil in the forrest. I think that Legolas will be leading a faction of elves that hunts down and drives the spiders away. They will attack and defeat the spiders that have captured the dwarves. Thorin will be one of the dwarves that Bilbo was able to free. While he (and the others few who Bilbo freed) frees the rest of the dwarves, Thorin realizes who it was that killed the spiders and goes after the elven party, leading the rest of the dwarves on a mission of revenge (fits with Thorin leading cob-web covered dwarves). As they attack the group of elves, Thorin is separated from the rest and is taken captive (or they are all taken captive as a group). Bilbo has followed after, still wearing the ring, and is therefore able to follow the elves and captives back to Thranduil unnoticed.

    Here you get the arguing between Thorin and Thranduil about both sides being wronged (the elves by the dwarves attacking them for no reason whatsoever, especially seeing as how they just saved the dwarves from the spiders, albeit accidentally, and the dwarves by the long-ago desertion at Dale), and maybe even some conflict between Legolas and his father (being the leader of the elven party, Legolas thinks the dwarves should be punished more severely than just put into the prisons). This would also tie into LOTR with the conflict between Legolas and Gimli in the first film and their prejudices against each others race. I don’t think the meeting between the elves and the dwarves will be benevolent on either side, and that Bilbo stays hidden from the elves throughout his time in the palace and establishes himself as a burglar. In the end, I think this makes my answer C.

  4. Halstein October 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I think I will go for C. The elves run into the dwarves after they have gotten loose from the spiders. I think they gets tossed in the dungeons after Thranduil and Thorin exchanges “pleasantries”.



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