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Riddles in the Dark: Episodes Six and Seven

At last! The long expected Riddles in the Dark “Split” special is here!

A two-part special digging into the questions, evidence, and controversy surrounding where the two films will be split!

In this pair of special episodes, Prof. Corey Olsen and Dave Kale finally wade into the most hotly debated aspect of the upcoming Hobbit films, namely how the story will be divided between the two films.  To a thorough review of the evidence we’ve seen so far, they add an insightful and, at times, surprising analysis of the merits and implications of Peter Jackson and crew’s various options for the end of An Unexpected Journey and the beginning of There and Back Again.  In addition, they blaze trails of Hobbit speculation by doing a thorough review of story elements and evidence related to the White Council storyline, discussing how it may be modified and incorporated into the chronology of the main Hobbit story.

Episode 6: The main Hobbit storyline

In the first part, Prof. Olsen and Dave dig into the location of the split with respect to the main storyline: after the capture of the dwarves by the Elves? While floating down the river in barrels? After their arrival in Laketown? Acknowledging that the widespread consensus is probably right, they nonetheless unearth compelling reasons for each location; they also reach the surprising conclusion that – contrary to popular opinion – the filmmakers actually have far more content to work with then they will be able to fit into two films! Finally, the make a prediction about the tone of the very last moment shown on-screen.

Prediction: What will be the tone of the final moment of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?

A. Suspense (the heroes in immediate mortal danger)
B. Hope (the heroes escape danger, leaving the audience with a sense of relief)
C. Foreboding (a looming, far-off peril is revealed to the audience but the heroes are in no immediate danger)
D. Grief (the film ends with tragedy)

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

Episode 7: The White Council storyline

In the second part, Prof. Olsen and Dave are joined by Fr. Roderick of SQPN (also Dave’s partner on the SQPN Secrets of the Hobbit podcast) to discuss how the filmmakers will handle the parallel storyline of the White Council and its opposition to the Necromancer of Dol Guldur.  The trio reviews what we know about the Necromancer and the White Council from the sources and discusses how it will make the transition to the big screen and which elements will be placed in which film.  They focus especially on Saruman’s role (and whether his treason will be hinted at) and on the actual confrontation between the Council and the Necromancer, presumably at Dol Guldur.  They also fret over the possibility that this will be conflated with The Battle of Five Armies (or that Sauron will show up at the Lonely Mountain) but ultimately dismiss the possibility.  Finally, they make predictions about how the Dol Guldur confrontation will be executed on-screen.

Prediction: How will the confrontation between the White Council and the Necromancer be portrayed on-screen?

A. Immaterial, spiritual conflict from a distance
B. Epic,
Battle-of-Helm’s-Deep-style battle between two large armies
C. Avengers-style small-band-of-superheroes vs. evil hordes battle
D. No conflict at all – the heroes will arrive to find the Necromancer has already fled.

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

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