Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Goblin's Song

The Movie: The goblins do not sing while transporting the dwarves. The Goblin King, however, sings a song to taunt Thorin and his Company. It goes like this:

Bones will be shattered.
Necks will be wrung,
You'll be beaten and battered,
From racks you'll be hung.
You will die down here and never be found!
Down in the deep of Goblin-town!

The Book: The goblins sing on their way to Goblin-town, keeping time with the flap of their feet on the stone. The song they sing in the novel is much different from the movie:

Clap! Snap! the black crack!
Grip, grab! Pinch, nab!
And down down to Goblin-town
You go, my lad!

Clash, crash! Crush, smash!
Hammer and tongs! Knocker and gongs!
Pound, pound, far underground!
Ho, ho! My lad!

Swish, smack! Whip crack!
Batter and beat! Yammer and bleat!
Work, work! Nor dare to shirk,
While Goblins quaff, and Goblins laugh,
Round and round far underground,
Below my lad!

What difference does it make? It doesn't really matter. The song the goblins sing is not important to the novel. It is a change, however, and one that did not need to be made.

My Opinion: This is an awful change. Aside from the fact that this was my favorite song from the book, there wasn't any purpose to this change! This isn't like with the elves, where Peter Jackson decided that everybody's singing might change the tone of the movie. He's having the goblins sing either way. But instead of using the actual song from the novel, he's just made one up himself! Peter Jackson has literally looked at the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, said "I could do better," and made a pointless alteration to the source material. There is no reason not to have used the book's song. You can still have the Goblin King sing it to taunt the dwarves, it works just as well for that. Make the changes you need to make so that the story works in a new medium, but you're not allowed to just rewrite parts that you think you can do better. The new lyrics fucking suck, anyway.

Maybe the point was to make the audience feel the suffering of the dwarves?

Over Hill and Under Hill

The Movie: Thorin, who is also awake, notices sand draining from the cave floor and shouts for everyone else to wake up. His warning cry is no good, however; trap doors open up the entire floor, and Thorin's Company falls several hundred feet into a large metal cage. They are immediately swarmed by hundreds of goblins, who grab the dwarves and take them all away. They somehow miss Bilbo however, leaving him alone at the cage. He draws his sword - now glowing bright blue - and attempts to follow the goblins, but a lone sentry leaps down and attacks him. After a short fight, Bilbo and the goblin fall down a great distance, into the darkness.

Yup, he's dead. Roll credits.

The Book: Bilbo has a terrible dream that a large crack had opened one of the cave walls. He awakes with a start and realizes that his dream is true - one of the cave walls had opened into a wide passage that the ponies were disappearing into. He gives a shout and wakes up the rest of the Company, just as several dozen goblins leap out of the crack, snatch up Bilbo and the dwarves, and carry them into into the dark passage. Gandalf was awoken by Bilbo's shout just in time to kill several goblins with his magic, but could not save the rest of the Company; the crack closes with a snap, with Bilbo and the dwarves on the other side of it, at the mercy of the goblins.

What difference does it make? This is a small change, really. In one telling of the story, the wall opens up, and the goblins snatch up the dwarves. In another telling of the story, the floor opens up, the dwarves fall in a cage, and then they're snatched up by goblins. The only notable difference is that this is when Gandalf is separated from the dwarves in the novel, not Rivendell.

My Opinion: On the one hand, I wasn't really in love with the way Tolkien described the opening of the wall; I could never really visualize it when I read the book. Is it some kind of magic door? Do the goblins have the ability to literally change the shape of rock? A trap door, at least, makes sense. Why Peter Jackson decided to have his characters fall several hundred feet, though, is beyond me. It takes me out of the scene, destroys immersion, and defeats any kind of suspense that the characters may be in danger. This could have been solved so easily: just have them fall less of a distance. It may be less visually impressive, but, c'mon. You need to at least pretend that dangerous things can hurt the protagonists.

Also, what the hell is up with how Bilbo escapes the goblins here? He's in as much danger as the rest of the dwarves, but somehow the goblins just.. miss him? It looks like he evades capture by standing still, then crouching down on all fours so that nobody can see him. I'm not sure that's the way vision works. I don't know why Bilbo couldn't be separated from the rest of the dwarves later, like it's done in the novel. This is not only another unnecessary change, but it's a stupid one.

I'm pretty sure this goblin has to actually go around Bilbo. 

I did like watching Bilbo handle a sword, though. He's inexperienced, and scared, and barely able to keep up with the ferocity of his opponent. Just like a hobbit ought to be, wielding a weapon for the first time in his life.

Bilbo Baggins Departs

The Movie: The dwarves retire for the evening in the cave Thorin found. Thorin rebukes Gloin's efforts to make a fire, and tells Balin that they would not be sticking to the plan and waiting for Gandalf. Bilbo waits for all the dwarves to fall asleep, then packs his things up and tries to sneak out. Bofur, who had first watch, asks him where he's going. They have a small argument about whether or not Bilbo Baggins belongs with Thorin's Company. Bilbo, in frustration, accidentally insults Bofur and the rest of the dwarves by claiming that they don't belong anywhere.

Casual racism shouldn't come so easily to you, Bilbo Baggins. You've been hanging out with Thorin too much.

Bofur is offended, but he warmly offers Bilbo the best of luck and lets him go. However, before the hobbit can take off, they see his sword glowing blue. Bofur is confused, but Bilbo knows exactly what it means: goblins are nearby.

The Book: No such scene occurs. Gandalf tells Gloin and Oin that they cannot light a fire, but the dwarves are otherwise in high spirits for the night. They tell stories, discuss what each would do with their share of the treasure, and blow smoke rings, which Gandalf turns into different colors and dances around the roof to amuse everyone else. Bilbo Baggins falls asleep with the rest of them.

What differences does it make? This is an enormous change to the novel, and in fact the culmination of several other smaller changes. From Bilbo's screw up with the trolls to his near death on the cliffs, Peter Jackson has constantly and consistently downplayed Bilbo's worth to the dwarves, instead portraying him as a worthless lodestone. The payoff for these small changes is here. In the novel, Bilbo does not have much of a reason to want to abandon Thorin's Company, aside from missing his home. Though he occasionally grumbles about how much he misses his chair or kettle, Bilbo never struggled to justify his decision to leave home. Peter Jackson's version of the character does, and it is such a difficult internal struggle, that Bilbo Baggins actually decides to skulk away from the dwarves in the middle of the night. This changes the character of Bilbo Baggins, and introduces a personal conflict that is not present in the novel.

My Opinion: I can see a lot of people getting upset with this change - it's nearly as bad as Frodo sending Sam away in Peter Jackson's Return of the King - but I honestly quite like it. It portrays Bilbo Baggins as a little more conflicted (and therefore interesting) about his decision to leave home, and makes the decision look bigger than it may have otherwise. He's realizing, after being attacked by orcs and trolls, that he might not be cut out for the adventuring life. This allows him (and us, the audience) to be surprised by his later bravery, and to see character growth that simply isn't present in Tolkien's novel. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Thunder Battle

The Movie: It's dark out, and the dwarves are traversing a narrow walkway on the side of a mountain. It's raining heavily. As Bilbo slips, and avoids falling only thanks to the aid of Dwalin and Bofur, Thorin shouts that they need to find shelter. A massive boulder sails through the air, and smashes into the mountainside over the dwarves' heads. Balin shouts, "this is no thunderstorm! It's a thunder battle!" A part of the rockside separates from a mountain in the distance, revealing itself to be a stone giant. It hurls a rock, this time catching its intended target: another stone giant. The dwarves are caught between two fighting giants. The cliffside itself moves, and the dwarves realize that they're actually standing on the craggy legs of a third giant.

Right? It's leg? God, I seriously fucking hope that's its leg they're standing on.

As the three giants fight each other, the Company gets separated. The giants continue to battle, and one manages to kill the other, sending it (along with the dwarves stuck on its leg) crashing into the mountain. Thorin screams in despair, fearing his kin dead, but he rushes forward and sees none of the dwarves injured. Bofur shouts that Bilbo is missing, and they quickly find him dangling precariously over the side of the cliff. Ori and Bofur try to help, but cannot reach the hobbit; Thorin has to leap down to rescue him. Dwalin, who pulls Thorin up, is happy that they haven't lost their burglar. Thorin says scornfully, "He's been lost ever since he left home...he has no place amongst us" and leads the Company into a nearby cave.

The Book: One rainy dark night, Bilbo and the dwarves (and Gandalf) find shelter under a hanging rock. They watch in awe as, across the valley, stone giants are tossing rocks at each other for a game. The giants are far away, and playing instead of fighting (Bilbo can hear their laughter and shouting echo throughout the mountains). Thorin complains that the shelter they have is inadequate. They send Fili and Kili to scout out for something better, who come back very quickly, having found a cave. Gandalf, fearing that the caves may not be unoccupied, asks them if it had been examined thoroughly. They insist that it was, though none of the Company believes them.

What difference does it make? The big change here is the behavior of the giants. In the book, they are harmlessly throwing rocks at one another, a great distance away, and pose no threat to the dwarves (though Thorin does fear that they risk being used as "footballs" by the giants if they don't find better shelter). The movie bring them closer, and makes them far more dangerous; the dwarves are caught in the middle of an enormous brawl. Bilbo does not fall, and consequently, he is not insulted by Thorin for being a worthless addition to his group.

He just happens to really hate it when people fall.

My Opinion: This is such a small change, that makes such a great spectacle. It really doesn't matter if the stone giants were a threat or not; the way Peter Jackson portrays them is a bit gratuitous, but it doesn't really change anything of value. The scene adds a lot of excitement, and it does so without affecting the rest of the story. The big difference is the short exchange between Thorin and Bilbo at the end of the scene. This level of animosity and disdain was never mentioned in the novel. Your mileage may vary here, but personally, I really like the relationship between the two. It's a good setup for some character development for both of them.

Also, in the book, the narrator refers to the storm that's befallen the dwarves as the phenomenon when one thunder storm collides with another, or, "a thunder battle." When Balin comments that the fighting giants is a "thunder battle," it may not make much sense, but it's a neat little reference to the novel.

Gandalf Confides in Galadriel

The Movie: The dwarves are sneaking out of Rivendell. Thorin, noticing Bilbo Baggins gaze wistfully back at the elven outpost, curtly suggests he keep pace. The scene cuts to Galadriel and Gandalf, now alone, talking about the dwarves. Gandalf admits that he will follow them, and Galadriel tells him he is doing the right thing. She is concerned, however, with the "riddle of the Morgul Blade," and fears that there is a darkness growing. As Gandalf begins to walk away, she asks him why he brought Bilbo. He says that he disagrees with Saruman's idea that power is needed to keep the darkness at bay: he believes it is the everyday kindness of the small folk that does so. He keeps Bilbo Baggins around because "[he] is afraid, and [Bilbo] gives him courage." Galadriel takes his hands, strokes his cheek, and tells him that he is not alone. If he should ever need her help, she will come. With that said, she disappears, leaving Gandalf alone.

The Book: No such scene occurs. Nothing in the text indicates Galadriel is capable of teleporting. Gandalf leaves with the dwarves, and they don't leave without telling anyone.

What difference does it make? This scene helps to humanize Gandalf a little bit, by showing a more vulnerable side of him as he opens up to Galadriel. Furthermore, it provides the audience with a bit of his reasoning that is not included in the novel. Gandalf's separation from Thorin's Company now necessitates some invention on Peter Jackson's part, instead of just following the novel's plot and keeping them together until the goblins' ambush.

My Opinion: I really do not like this scene. This is another example of a little change that is entirely unnecessary. It doesn't really add anything that the movie needs, and just interrupts the pacing. The movie's already three hours long, we don't need five minutes of Gandalf and Galadriel talking about their feelings. Speaking of which, what the hell was up with that? This scene jumped things up from affectionate, deeply respectful friends to full-on romantic tension.

For god's sake, Galadriel, you're a married woman!

I also really hate Gandalf's little speech about how the "little acts of kindness and love, not great power, keep the darkness at bay." It sounded deep and poetic, with that lovely music playing and Sir Ian McKellan's wistful tone of voice, but, c'mon. Are you going to use small acts of love to fight the Balrog, Gandalf? How about when Sauron's army comes marching on Minas Tirith - will you hope that the small folks will defeat several thousand orcs by being nice to each other? Small acts of kindness are great, don't get me wrong, but they're not going to do shit against a fucking dragon

Providing Gandalf with a reason for not leaving with the dwarves (staying behind to participate in a meeting with the White Council), instead of having him narrowly evade capture at the hands of the goblins, is a good decision, I think. It's not that big of a change, and it provides a somewhat more plausible reason for their separation.

Also: Galadriel can teleport now? Are we just gonna make up super powers as we go along, like this is a Silver Age Superman comic?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The White Council

The Movie: Gandalf angrily proclaims to Elrond that he does not feel his actions are answerable to anybody. Elrond responds that "it is not me you must answer to," and gestures to Lady Galadriel. She and Gandalf share some warm words before Saruman reveals that he, too, is present. They sit down to discuss things, and Gandalf starts by explaining his actions to Saruman and the rest. He is concerned that Smaug may side with "the enemy," an idea that Saruman and Elrond find preposterous - they'd been living in peace now for four hundred years. Sauron had been vanquished and can "never regain his full strength." Gandalf disagrees that they are at peace, citing the troll and orc attack as evidence. When the others do not believe that this is a prelude to war, Gandalf mentions the sickness that has come over the Greenwood, which the woodsmen who live there now call the Mirkwood due to the presence of the Necromancer. Saruman dismisses this claim. Gandalf brings up Radagast, who Saruman scoffs at, claiming he is a foolish, mushroom-addicted embarrassment to the Istari.

He then dominates the conversation to talk shit about Radagast for a while. Trust me, I totally understand.

As Saruman continues to insult Radagast, Galadriel telepathically communicates to Gandalf, asking him to show the rest of them what he's hiding. Gandalf does so, interrupting Saruman by revealing the Morgul Blade. Galadriel recognizes it as a relic of Mordor, as Elrond hesitantly pulls aside the fabric covering it. Galadriel is frightened at the implications; this sword belonged to the Witch King of Angmar, and was buried with him in his tomb at Rhudaur. Elrond does not see how this is possible; powerful spells had been placed over that tomb. Saruman asks if there is any proof that this weapon came from Angmar's grave, to which Gandalf admits there is none. Saruman reviews the facts, and finds them to be meager proof of Sauron's return. He furthermore cannot condone Thorin's quest. Galadriel speaks to Gandalf telepathically again, warning him that the dwarves are leaving. He already knew, however, and coyly says nothing of it to the rest.

The Book: No such scene occurs. The meeting of the White Council is mentioned in the appendices of Return of the King, but it is never discussed or even alluded to in The Hobbit. The White Council does meet around this time, but to plan an attack on Dol Guldur; they had known Sauron was present at the old fortress for years by the time Bilbo Baggins joins the Company. Sauron had been defeated almost three thousand years ago, not four hundred. The Witch King of Angmar never died, and therefore did not have a tomb. The dwarves did not sneak away, and in fact, left Rivendell at the same time Gandalf did. 

What difference does it make? Almost none, although the number of changes and mistakes here are actually pretty staggering. Very similar to the Battle of Azanulbizar, Peter Jackson has to condense a lot of history from the appendices into just a few scenes, and he does a rather remarkable job of conveying the most important information to an audience. Scenes like this flesh out the story of The Hobbit by giving Gandalf's mysterious disappearances some narrative focus, and help to tie together the plots of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. What matters is that the White Council meets, discusses the growing threat of the Necromancer, realize he is Sauron, and attack his stronghold at Dol Guldur. In a narrative sense, it is not strictly important to show these meetings happening over the course of centuries. 

My Opinion: Hoo boy. I got opinions about this.

I like that Peter Jackson decided to include Gandalf's activities with the White Council in his portrayal of The Hobbit, but I take issue with some of the ways he goes about it. The Witch King of Angmar, for example, never died. He never had a tomb, and finding his sword would not be evidence of any evil magic surging back. This is the opposite of what Peter Jackson did with Azog - instead of pretending a dead character was still alive, he makes a living character dead. This goes against Tolkein's versions of events, and I cannot see the benefit to such a change. Is it so that the title "Necromancer" makes more sense? Is it solely to set up the scene in Desolation of Smaug where Gandalf investigates the tomb? Just remember, every time a change is made to "improve" the source novels, the movies become just a little less faithful.

Elrond makes a comment about how they had been at peace for "four hundred years." He calls it a hard-earned "Watchful Peace." I am not sure what Peter Jackson is trying to communicate with this line. Sauron's defeat at the end of the Third Age was almost three thousand years before the Quest for Erebor. If this is a reference to the amount of time since the defeat of the enemy, they are way off. However, there actually is a four hundred year period referred to as the Watchful Peace - the first time Gandalf investigates Dol Guldur, Sauron retreats and hides in the east until four centuries later. That's the Watchful Peace. The Watchful Peace ends, the White Council realizes that Sauron and the Necromancer are the same entity, and, years later, the events of The Hobbit start. It doesn't matter if Peter Jackson's "Watchful Peace" refers to the peace since Sauron was defeated, or the segment of Tolkein's history actually called the Watchful Peace. Either way you slice it, he messed this one up.

You may have pulled like six things out of various appendices and expertly woven them into the narrative with a few sentences, but you got some of the dates wrong Peter Jackson! Do you even care about the books?

I appreciate the way Peter Jackson decided to play up the threats of trolls and orcs as a precursor to Sauron's return. The book did not make any special deal of the trolls presence or the evil spiders, and of course, the orc pack led by Azog wasn't in the book at all. Attributing these things to some dark lord regaining power ties everything into a neat little package that gives the story a little more narrative cohesion. Using Radagast as a catalyst was a good choice; it stands to reason that, given his proximity to Dol Guldur, and an Istari to boot, he would have been one of the first to notice Sauron's presence in Mirkwood.

Saruman, by the way, was still a bit of a contrarian in the book, but for a different reason. He at first refuses to allow an attack on Dol Guldur, but that's because he desires the One Ring for himself. He only agrees after he realizes that an attack on Sauron would be necessary for him to get the One Ring before Sauron does. He doesn't become an agent of Sauron's until about a year before Bilbo Baggins' farewell feast in the Shire. I have no idea what is up with his attitude here in the movie. Is he just being his usual self: logical, efficient, and a bit of an ass? Is he trying to get the Ring for himself? Is he already under the thrall of Sauron? The timeline has been messed with so badly it's hard to say what exactly Peter Jackson is doing with the character. 

Either way, his argument that "Sauron can never again regain his full strength" is... an odd choice. The wizards were sent to Middle Earth two thousand years ago for one purpose: to keep an eye on Sauron, who is a risk of returning to full strength once he gets the Ring. This is the purpose of the Istari. I mean, literally, its the reason there are wizards at all. What the hell was Gandalf doing for the past millennium that he's just now getting around to looking into things? Why is Saruman rejecting the idea, and dismissing Sauron as a threat entirely? I get that this may be a consequence of compressing all the White Council meetings into one, but it really makes Gandalf and Saruman look bad at their jobs.

"I'm the only wizard without a drug habit or a dumb hat, what more do you want from me?"

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Azog the Defiler

The Movie: At Weathertop, the pack of orcs and wargs that had chased Thorin's Company earlier congregate and discuss their hunt. Yazneg, the orc who had previously led the pack, apologizes to his master for the dwarves' escape. We see his master is none other than Azog the Defiler.

Probably the only twist that those who didn't read the book saw coming before those who did.

Azog's hand, which had been chopped off by Thorin at the Battle of Azanulbizar, has been replaced with a metal fork. Azog is large, covered in scars, and most noticeably, is pale as snow. He is uninterested in Yazneg's excuses, and kills him for his failure. As the wargs tear Yazneg apart, Azog angrily demands the rest of the orcs send word out - he is placing a bounty on the Dwarf King's head.

The Book: No such scene occurs. Azog was killed at the Battle of Azanulbizar.

What difference does it make? The orc pack hunting Thorin's Company has already been discussed, but this time, we learn that they are headed by none other than Azog himself. This change is enormous; Peter Jackson is literally bringing characters to life that had explicitly and unambiguously died before the novel even started. Azog's death was never in question; his head was removed after the Battle of Azanulbizar. Peter Jackson is not only creating storylines of his own, but he's making changes on details that Tolkein had been very clear on.

My Opinion: I'll start with the good first: Azog is made far more interesting than he ever was in the books (or, should I say, the appendices). He was never called "the Defiler," and was never described as being any different from another orc, except for having a "huge head." The scars and pale skin make a very distinctive character, and as far as villainous titles go, "the Defiler" is as good as it gets. I'm irritated at his blue eyes, though. Why not just make him an albino? Not only would this explain why his skin is so pale, but it'd be the perfect opportunity to give him evil red eyes! It's a small detail, I know, but one I think that would have made a significant impact.

That said, this is probably the biggest and most controversial change Peter Jackson made for the movie. While I do understand the need to have some sort of villain created for the movie, like Lurtz from the first one, Peter Jackson had a couple of other options available to him. He could have invented a character, like he's done in previous movies, just to act as a sort of personification of some nameless book villains. Using the white warg, for example, and increasing the wargs pack's role a little bit would have served this role excellently. They could have began hunting Thorin's Company between the troll attack and Rivendell, and returned for the exciting conclusion. Or, if Peter Jackson wanted to make things more "personal" for Thorin, he could have used Bolg, Azog's son, who leads the goblin army in the Battle of the Five Armies. Bolg would have a personal vendetta against Thorin for killing his father (in Peter Jackson's adaptation), and his villainy would have lasted until the end of the new trilogy. Using Azog not only complicates the story of The Hobbit, it pointlessly makes changes to Tolkein's history of Middle Earth for the sake of a little more drama. This is a terrible change, made so much worse by some uncharacteristically bad CGI.

Plus it looks like he's having an orgasm when he kills this dude.

A Short Rest

The Movie: The dwarves have sat down to eat, and are complaining about the vegetarian fare set before them. Dwalin digs through his salad for meat, and Ori refuses to eat the green food, asking instead if they have any chips. Elrond, seated by Thorin and Gandalf, inspects their swords. He tells Thorin that his sword was forged by the elves of the west, and is named Orcrist, the Goblin Cleaver. Thorin says nothing, but nods in begrudging thanks. Elrond examines Gandalf's new sword next, and names it Glamdring, the Foe Hammer, the sword of the elf King of Gondolin. Bilbo makes as if to have his blade looked at, but Balin tells him not to bother; it's more of a knife than a sword, and likely has no name or history to it. Elrond asks where they came by their swords, and when Gandalf answers that they found them in a troll den on the East Road, he asks the purpose of their journey. The scene changes to nightfall, but the conversation continues: Thorin refuses to show Elrond his map. Gandalf tells Thorin that his pride will be his downfall, and that Elrond is one of the few people in the world who can read the map.

"You mean to tell me you can't read it? It's in dwarvish. You're a dwarf. You want some tips on beard maintenance next?"

Against Balin's wishes, Thorin hands Lord Elrond the map. Elrond recognizes Erebor immediately, but when he asks why they want the map translated, Gandalf lies for the Company and says the interest is "mainly academic." The map is in ancient dwarvish, and written in moon runes. Fortunately, Elrond can read both. The runes were written on a midsummer's eve in the light of a crescent moon, long ago; fortunately, the same moon shines tonight. Elrond reads: "Stand by the gray stone when the thrush knocks, and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the key-hole." Bilbo asks about Durin's Day, and is told by Gandalf that it is a dwarven holiday when the last moon of autumn and the first sun of winter are in the sky together. Thorin laments that time is running short, but Balin claims they still have time to find the door. Elrond realizes the dwarves' intent, and warns them that it would be unwise.

The Book: The elves tease Thorin for his beard, and Bilbo for his fat stomach, as Thorin's Company makes its way to Rivendell. The dwarves stayed at the Last Homely House for two weeks, and just sort of sat around - "there is little to tell about their stay." They took the time to grow refreshed, and mend their clothes and tempers. Elrond examines Orcrist and Glamdring, and mentions that they must have come from a dragon's hoard or a goblin plunder, since dragons and goblins destroyed the city of Gondolin long ago. Thorin promises to keep the sword in honor. Elrond asks for the map, and is given it. He disapproves of dwarvish love for gold, but still agrees to read it. He notices the moon runes for the first time, and says they "must have been written on a midsummer's eve in a crescent moon, a long while ago." His translation of the runes is word-by-word the same as in the movie. Elrond asks about Durin's Day, and Thorin says it is when "the last moon of Autumn and the sun are in the sky together." The next morning, Thorin's Company leaves Rivendell and makes way for the Misty Mountains.

What difference does it make? A lot of little changes here, but things are mostly kept the same. The small differences are on topics we've already covered, like the silly nature of the book's elves, and Thorin's barely contained anti-elven prejudice. Bilbo has no designs on discovering the history of his sword in the novel, either. One of the biggest changes is the length of time Thorin's Company stays in Rivendell. In the movie, they stay a single night. In the book, they're there for two weeks. This is consistent with Peter Jackson's decision to play up the friction between dwarves and elves; they'd have no desire to stay at Rivendell any longer than stricly necessary.

Lucky for Bilbo. Thorin's bigotry was starting to get super embarrassing.

My Opinion: While I like the increased animosity between dwarves and elves, I found some of the movie's attempts at humor in this scene a little cringe-worthy. The implication that elves are vegetarians is an odd one, too; they eat meat in the books (later chapters explictly reference the smell of cooking meat in an elven outpost), so why the change? I prefer Oin's reaction to hearing the flute. There's no need to create differences between the two cultures, Peter Jackson, there's plenty of reasons for them to dislike one another already. The decision to keep the dwarves at Rivendell for only a day was a wise one, too, in my opinion. Both because it fits with the racial tensions, and for narrative purposes - I'm really not interested in seeing fourteen days of rest.