The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug – Lost in Adaptation

The Dom teams up with Calluna again to review the second of The Hobbit adaptation trilogy: The Desolation of Smoug.

About The Dom

Reviewer of games, TV shows and movies. The Dom also likes to look at film adaptations of books and talk about what got lost transitioning from page to screen.

20 comments

  1. I saw the movie and didn’t read the book. I know that the lady elf wasn’t in the book though. The romance annoyed me just because I came to see world-building and action scenes. All the action scenes in this movie were great. I’m glad they added in Legolas though. I’m a sucker for his awesomeness. Thanks for the spider warning too. I can’t watch that scene without looking down. Lastly, I at first didn’t realize that “Turn Down for What” was coming from this video. Hahaha.

  2. I think the only way the Elf King’s comments about fighting dragons makes sense, is if he was one of the elves who fought against Morgoth in the Silmarillion. I really don’t think he’s meant to be that old though.

  3. Maybe before the Legolas effect, we might have called this the Fonzie effect.

  4. “Evolutionary standpoint”. That’s because dragons didn’t evolve, per se; they’re basically incarnate earth spirits that have taken those giant monstrous forms.

    “I USED TO BE A DWARF ADVENTURER LIKE YOU… THEN I TOOK AN ARROW IN THE KNEE!”

    • Actually I believe, in Middle Earth anyway, dragons were created by Morgoth who is also responsible for orcs and other nastys.

      • Sort of, but not quite. Morgoth can’t really create, per se; he can only twist and corrupt those things which were already created by Illuvitar. Even the Orcs were supposedly corrupted Elves, although that has been debated.

        Exactly what the dragons are and how Melkor made them (if he made them, or simply bred them for his purposes) are not clearly known. But the theory that seems most satisfying to me is that, like the Balrogs, they were powerful evil Maiar who took elemental physical form in order to serve Melkor’s needs.

        • So what you are saying is, given the chance to intelligently design dragons, he made their stomachs vulnerable even though they would be flying creatures?

          Morgoth was an idiot.

          • Given that they slaughtered his enemies, required massive losses amongst their enemies to slay just one and were only defeated when the equivalent to an army of gods got involved in the conflict…he really wasn’t.

            Especially when you consider that that army of gods wasn’t even able to slay all the dragons, as evidenced by Smaug still being around.

          • That still begs the question of why you would create a creature that attacked from above that would be vulnerable from attacks from below.

            Yeah, it worked in Tolkien’s story but that just means the story makes less sense, not that the criticism is invalid.

          • Simple: the earliest dragons attacked from the ground; they didn’t grow wings until later. In fact, there’s a story in which one particular dragon was so deadly that the only way he could be defeated was by a man digging a trench, luring him out, and then sneak-attacking him from below. The point is, under most battle conditions, dragons are better protected by armor on top than below.

            “But growing wings is evolution.” Not quite. If dragons are elemental spirits (my favorite theory), then they simply adapted themselves. On the other hand, if they were made or bred by Melkor that way, then the addition of wings is most probably the result of magic.

  5. Those giant Bee’s are too small. I remind that hobbits are half size of the man so those “giant Bee’s” are basically Bumblebee’s. Not even a hornets.. twice as big assholes.

  6. These movies aren’t even in the same league as the LotRs trilogy but I still enjoy them as fun, fantasy adventure films. I just like Jackson and co’s take on this universe. Some of the stuff they added, and some of the stuff they took out or changed doesn’t work for me however. For instance they could’ve cut back on the forced romance and spent more time exploring Mirkwood. I really missed the part in the book when they keep seeing the torchlights of elves partying in the woods and as soon as they arrive the party vanishes. On the flip side, I like how they changed the barrel scene into an exciting action sequence. Bombur literally barreling through orcs Donkey Kong Country style always puts a smile on my face.

  7. Yeah the whole Hobbit movie trilogy is a complete non-stop action-adventure ticking-clock quest story that hardly takes a break much like a Role-Playing Video Game, gotta get to that freaking Erebor or the Lonely Mountain or Extremely Riches and Treasure Galore-filled Jerusalem Mountain that has an extremely greedy evil traditional European or Vikinish Dragon archetype.

  8. You know Tolkien’s Dwarves are an allegory for Jews and Scandinavian Vikings combined, one for the quest part to reclaim their two ancient homes in Erebor and the Moria Mines and fighting style and look of the Dwarf peoples ethnically.

  9. Sorry, Calluna, GoT is not a selling point for me (which is why I didn’t even know this was posted ’til now; I haven’t been watching this channel while you’re focusing on it).

    … so 10 people have neither seen nor read it?
    Hunt them down!
    (Great, now I have to watch NC’s training video.)

    “I can’t blame 21st Century film-makers for adding a female character.”
    Agreed.

    What they left out alltogether:
    Smaug’s front legs. I really hate it when they make dragons 4-limbed (instead of the proper 6: front legs, rear legs, wings), and this one is established (even in the theatrical release of the first movie) as 6-limbed.

    Also, all the colour.

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