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The Continuing Story - The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug - My one true gripe
December 15th, 2013
08:10 pm
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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug - My one true gripe
Okay... I'm peeved now.

Below is the link to the illustration. It is one of about 3 or 4 defining poster images of the Death of Smaug.

Rivertown is burning, Bard is running around, organizing a resistance, and trying to save lives. He gets a clear view of the dragon, and he pulls his bow, readies his shot, and lets loose the arrow, heeding the hint from his feathered friend, and takes down the dragon.

How could have P. Jackson screw this up? Even if you take away the Thrush, the point is is that using the arrow blessed by the dwarven king, he takes a one in a million shot, and hits the weakness in the armor.

So, I am guessing having a Human upstart Legolas was just too much for the producer? I mean, we added Legolas into the film, and we've already established he's a supernatural archer to begin with... so having Bard be the same is too much, right?

So, suddenly, our Yew Bow (An English Longbow, for pete sake!) is replaced with a Ballista, and we set up a chase in the streets to get the Bolt and to go back to the tower... ...

And omg, this is dumb. This is not what Bard is. He is not a man sitting in a tower hiding and not being a leader. This is horrible. This is the plot point that upsets me. It diturbed me at the theater, and it bothers me even more now.


Don't get me wrong. The film is fine, overall. It's a light romp, Smaug is gorgeous and talks just enough to make you feel you paid your money's worth, and there are niggles about the rest of the film (I will not embellish how I felt the Necromancer scene was ill-played, also...), and I feel it is worthy of your time watching, but I also feel that the Producer is pulling favorites, and messing up things just for the sake of doing it different.

The downgrading of Bard from leader of the people, to smuggler, is a bit of a downgrade.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:December 16th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
Bard's definitely well-known and respected among rivertown's common folk. The master knows exactly who must be behind any sort of organized action among the subjects -- Bard. As for the Dwarven windlass, I'll allow it if only because the thought of a normal bow reaching high enough and with enough power to lay low such a tremendous dragon is a bit unlikely.
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Date:December 19th, 2013 12:26 am (UTC)
Well, we keep protraying Dragons as Flying Bombers, when they should be much closer to the ground, anyway.
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Date:December 18th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
(Link) is still my favorite picture of this.

A lot of the Jackson stuff reads as bigger than the book versions - you know, giant multitusked behemoths instead of massive elephants - and I sort of fit that into that paradigm. Smaug's this immense tough thing, and needs a ballista to take him out. And not just any ballista but the enchanted bolts.

It's like a lot of things about these movies; this is a lot of fun, but it's not The Hobbit. I guess I'm lucky in that these movies are never going to replace the book in my mind.
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Date:December 19th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
Didn't realize WOC did Tolkien work... and it's nice, but it's not as urgent as mine feels. :D

I always read the Elephants as being an artistic license thing from the Return of the King. For sure they were not a very important detail of the story.

This feels like betrayal to me though. The Black Arrow is the Most Important thing about Bard's character. That is the arrow that was blessed by the line of Dwarven Kings that always returns to him, and always finds it's mark. It is the arrow he uses *last* for a reason, because he doesn't need the blessing. He's that good.

No matter how you want to argue away how good he *might* be with a Ballista, he'll never be *that* good with it, because you don't use Ballista like that. Ever. His ability is diminished because it's not his skill and the blessing of the dwarves that saves him, but technology and luck. We'll NEVER know how good a shot Bard really is, and that is because we are cheated out of it because it has to be bigger than it is, and we can't overshadow Legolas as Best Archer Ever.

This is as big a betrayal as other people feel when you realize that Smaug's model is a freaking Wyvern. I noticed, too, but at least a Wyvern kinda counts as a dragon. A Ballista never is going to count for a Bow. It just isn't.
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