The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Saruman, Christopher Lee

My Favorite Scene: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) “Dol Guldur”

First, a thanks to JaidynLuke Studios for cutting together this entire epic scene from the extended version of the film into a two-parter.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this site, that I am an enormous geek.  My Star Wars geek creds go back to practically the cradle, but around middle school, I became a hardcore Tolkienite.  I read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Book of Unfinished Tales.  I own the 12 volume literary examination of Tolkien’s entire body of work that his son, Christopher, edited together.  I mean, it got to the point where I not only knew what Quenya was, but nearly listed it as a second language on job applications.  No, actually I didn’t date much during high school come to think of it, why do you ask?
Gandalf, Galadriel, Cate Blanchett, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Nazgul

I think people who whine about The Hobbit trilogy are a little nuts, to be honest.  No, it’s not as good as The Lord of the Rings, but then The Lord of the Rings was named by The New York Times as the greatest book of the 20th Century, so…..whatcha gonna do?  The appendices to LOTR and stories in the Book of Unfinished Tales provided ample material to justify three films.  I have some issues at the places where the films were cut, but that has a lot to do with the switch from two to three films while they were being made.  The point of all of this is, I was extremely excited they were exploring the Necromancer subplot because I knew the culmination of it was the Battle of Dol Guldur.
The Hobit: The Battle of the Five Armies

You have The White Council (Saruman, Gandalf, Galadriel, Radagast and Elrond) talking on all nine Nazgul AND Sauron in an epic battle to save Gandalf’s life.  The result is one of my favorite scenes in any of the Middle-Earth movies.  In fact, at no point in any of the other films, do you see this kind of power being whomped around and enclosed area.  You also see Saruman before his fall and the set up for his fall, plus an appreciation for how powerful Galadriel is that she hauls off and punches Sauron ACROSS THE CONTINENT to Mordor.  It makes the possibility of her taking the One Ring from Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring all the more frightening because you’ve already seen how strong she is without it.  To me, this is one of the pinnacles of the saga and the extended cut of it is so much better than the theatrical (as always has been the case with Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films).

6 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) “Dol Guldur””

  1. The legal issues involving Tolkien’s estate… they vex me. I wish The Hobbit had been left pure; I wish it had been a simpler movie, a single movie, one that reflected the fairy tale I fell in love with as a kid. But after that, the franchise needed to keep going.

    I long for an alternate reality where Jackson and Company had been given the latitude to adapt Tolkien’s other writings in other, separate cinematic works. The world that Tolkien left behind is a treasure, a monument to the power of human imagination. What a waste that the rest of it has been closed off to Hollywood. I’m depressed.

    1. Well, it’s walled off to Hollywood now. Christopher Tolkien has been vocal that he wishes the movie rights had never been sold for any of the works. As long as he’s caretaker of his father’s literary estate (and at that he’s done a brilliant job; we’d have no Silmarillion without him) there’s not going to be any more trips to Middle Earth. Christopher Tolkien is in his mid-eighties now though, so when he passes, the rights to explore more of Tolkien’s legends may very well open up. The Silmarillion is such a dense work that expanding it out could yield a franchise or a Game of Thrones like multi-year series.

      1. Christopher has been a wise steward. And no one wants a LOTR theme park, I can tell you that. But I hear that Good Chris has never even seen Peter Jackson’s movies, and that is kind of distressing. Though I guess there’s a good chance he would have hated them beyond hate. Either way, he’s stuck in the past. But it’s his call to make.

        I imagine he’ll do everything in his power to keep Hollywood away from his Dad’s work once he’s gone. The problem is that the Tolkien estate does not need Hollywood. LOTR is not Shakespeare or the Bible, but it’s LOTR for God’s sake. Hollywood is the desperate, needy partner in this relationship. So I’m not holding out much hope.

  2. It occurs to me that we won the cosmic Hollywood lottery when Peter Jackson took the reigns to Middle Earth. You probably know this, but the Beatles once wanted Stanley Kubrick to direct them (as the four hobbits) in a LOTR movie, way back in the day. If that had happened, or another subpar adaptation, it would have spelled doom for any later, superior versions. I can’t figure out why those awful Hobbit and LOTR animated films from the 80’s didn’t close the door on the relationship between Hollywood and Middle Earth. Because those were pretty bad.

    HBO’s The Silmarillion would have been pretty sweet. But we still won the lottery. It usually doesn’t turn out this way.

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