From The Blog

Riddles in the Dark: Episode Five

The fifth episode of Riddles in the Dark is here!

The first of many episodes to come in our “Bombur and Buffoonery” series on humor in The Hobbit!

The Hobbit is often described as a children’s book, chock full of light-hearted humor and ridiculous moments (hence the name of one of Corey’s Hobbit lectures, “The Ridiculous and the Sublime”).  This presents a dilemma for Peter Jackson and his team, who seek to fulfill the expectations of both the die hard Tolkien fans (who expect the hilarity and childishness) and the casual film-goers expecting action-packed adventure films!  Will the Hobbit’s now famous humorous characters and scenes survive the transition to epic film?  Find out as Riddles in the Dark delves into “Bombur and Buffoonery.”

This week Prof. Corey Olsen and Dave Kale discuss one of the funniest and most unusual scenes in all of Tolkien.  No, not Tom Bombadil! It’s the three trolls – William, Bert, and Tom – and their fatal indecision when it comes to deciding how to cook and eat thirteen dwarves and one “burrahobbit.”  These scene poses a number of challenges to our Kiwi filmmakers and seems quite incompatible with the version of Middle-earth we encountered in the Lord of the Rings films, particularly its depiction of trolls.  How will they do these scene, and what changes might they make?  We cover those questions and more in the latest installment of Riddles in the Dark and the first of our “Bombur and Buffoonery” series on humor in The Hobbit, and the episode wraps up with speculation about how the trolls will be defeated and turned to stone!

Prediction: How will the trolls’ defeat and subsequent transformation into stone be portrayed on screen?

A. Gandalf will accomplish it as he does in the book, through sheer cleverness.  Note: NO MAGIC.
B. It will happen via epic LOTR-style action sequence, occupying the trolls until sunrise.  Note: NO MAGIC.
C. Gandalf will accomplish it via magic, directly or indirectly.
D. The trolls will fall prey to their own stupidity – after the dwarves escape pursuit, the trolls simply forget about the sunrise and get caught outdoors.

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