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Hi, everyone. Welcome back from our hobbitsleep since December.

navy58 posted a link to an April 25th update on the "All things Sci-Fi" board. I'm repeating it here:
I like the whole idea -- and the two movie concept -- but I'm especially intrigued by this statement:

"New Line had [earlier] indicated the story of how Bilbo Baggins came to possess the ring of doom would be split into two movies, but now says the second will center instead on the time between Bilbo's adventure and "The Fellowship of the Ring."

Uh, would that second movie be based on Tolkien's book "Dummy's Guide to the post-Smaug, pre-Fellowship, life of Middle Earth?"

It sounds to me that only about 90% of that movie would need to be speculative. But, silly me, that is what screen writers are for.

So just what DO we know about the time between Bilbo's adventure and the Fellowship?

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Well, great. I see that the Fool has shortened the URL link.
I'll paste it again without the http://
and see if it all prints.

Problem is, I just verified it looks okay in Preview mode, but then must be shortened while submitting the message.

Here I go again. If the above link doesn't work, I'll copy the message the next time.

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Okay. It seemed to work that time.

So, back to my original question for discussion.
Just what DO we know about the years between "The Hobbit" and "Fellowship of the Ring"?

And just how many years was that anyway? 50? 60? between them?

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Just what DO we know about the years between "The Hobbit" and "Fellowship of the Ring"?

And just how many years was that anyway? 50? 60? between them?

60 years.
Highlights from Appendix B concerning the Third Age.
2942 Bilbo returns to the shire with the Ring. Sauron returns in secret to Mordor.
2944 Gollum leaves the mountains in search of the thief.
2949 Gandalf and Balin visit Bilbo.
2951 Sauron declares himself openly, rebuilds Barad-dur, sends three Nazgul to reoccupy Dol Guldur. Elrond reveals to Aragorn his true name and ancestry, delivers shards of Narsil. Aragorn meets Arwen, goes to the wild.
2953 Last meeting of the White Council. Saruman takes Isengard and fortifies it.
2954 Mount Doom erupts again. Ithilien is abandoned.
2956 Aragorn and Gandalf meet.
2957-80 Aragorn undertakes great journeys and errantries. (Maybe the movie has him finding the Holy Grail)
2968 Birth of Frodo
2980 Aragorn enters Lorien, reunites with Arwen, plight their troth, yadda, yadda, yadda.
2989 Balin enters Moria.
2994 Balin dies in Moria.
3000 Saruman uses Palantir but is ensnared by Sauron, learns the Shire is being guarded by Rangers.
3001 Biblo's eleventy first birthday.
3018 Frodo flees the Shire

Lots of material there but I suspect it would appeal to only the most ardent fan, like us. So once again those fans are going to be disappointed when the movie focuses on Aragorn and Arwen's relationship to gain mass appeal.

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So once again those fans are going to be disappointed when the movie focuses on Aragorn and Arwen's relationship to gain mass appeal.

From the appendix of LotR Aragorn is busy in those 60 years. He journies to far lands and helps Gondor in a war under an assumed name. He and Denathor do not get along at all during this period.

Bilbo, on the other hand, lives the life of a hobbit. It's a great life to live, he is comfy at home with friends visiting and he eats and drinks well. Every once in a while he pops off to Rivendale and has a visit there. It is a nice life, but a film about paint drying would be just as interesting.

Except for finding the ring, he just wasn't a force or a driver of events in middle earth for most of his life.

He's like a grandpa that you remember tending his garden and fly fishing. A great person to visit, but not a hero. It's not till after he passes that you go through his stuff and find all the medals from his service in the war that he was a hero.

Bilbo is like that, he had a brief time where he did great deeds, and while he stayed cabable of it, he spent most of his life eating 6 meals a day.

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Transcript of a chat between Jackson & del Toro, answering fan questions mostly, with some "I'm so lucky to work with such a visionary" glad-handing thrown:

A very detailed answer about Smaug from del Toro (they were counting down 20 questions, hence the number):
8 - I always thought creating Gollum would pose a great artisic challenge to the artists whose job it would be to adapt the Lord of the Rings. With the Hobbit I believe Smaug will pose one of the great challenges. Now we have all seen dragons in movies. But for the Hobbit I personally am excepting nothing less than unbelievable . Were will you go for inspiration? What styles will the art dirction look at? Personally I can see a lot being done with the setting from Pan's Labyrinth. Thank you and good luck to you all.

Guillermo del Toro - This is a big one-- Allow me to quote from my random responses at

I am a big Dragon fan. I've said it before- And I was fortunate enough to be born a Dragon in the Chinese Horocope...

And although its always impossible to agree on the "greatest" of anything, I bring forth these two as the main film contenders for that title: Eyvind Earle / Disney's Maleficent dragon ( a triumph of elegance of color and design) and Vermitrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer.

In my opinion, every other design has borrowed heavily from these two. I plan to create something new and groundbreaking.

Smaug should not be "the Dragon in the Hobbit movie" as if it was just "another" creature in a Bestiary. Smaug should be "The DRAGON" for all movies past and present. The shadow he cast and the greed he comes to embody- the "need to own" casts its long shadow and creates a thematic / dramatic continuity of sorts that articulates the story throughout-

In that respect, Smaug the CHARACTER is as important, if not more important, than the design. The character will emerge form the writing- and in that the Magnificent arrogance, intelligence, sophistication and greed of Smaug shine through-

In fact, Thorin's greed is a thematic extension of this and Bilbo's "Letting go" and his noble switching of sides when the dwarves prove to be in the wrong is its conceptual counterpart (that is a hard one to get through, Bilbo's heroism is a quiet, moral one) and the thematic thread reaches its climax in the Bilbo / Thorin death bed scene.

Anyway, back to Smaug: One of the main mistakes with talking dragons is to shape the mouth like a snub Simian one in order to achieve a dubious lip-synch. .. A point which eluded me particularly in Eragon, since their link is a psychic one.

To me, Smaug is the perfect example of a great creature defined by its look and design, yes, but also, very importantly, by his movement and -One little hint- its environment - Think about it... the way he is scaled, moves and is lit, limited or enhanced by his location, weather conditions, light conditions, time of the year, etc. That's all I can say without spoilers but, if you keep this curious little summary you'll realize several years form now that those things I had in my mind ever since doodling the character as a kid had solidified waaay before starting the shoot of the film.

A big tool is also how and when he is fully revealed. I could give you specifics- beat-by-beat in fact (I'm geeking out to do it), but...

I will say no more in order to save you from ruthless spoilerage (we have a few years to go, you now...?) and increased anxiety.

Let me, however, say that this is actually one of the points I feel most enthusiastic about.

As to his voice- well, each reader has a Smaug voice in his / her head, just like you always do when "hearing" a great character in a book.

I have mine... and it will be revealed in time...

Near the end they touch on the "middle" movie:
2 - Hello Mr. Jackson and Mr. Del Toro! Thank you very much for this time. My question is one that I think you will hear alot of from many of us...from what material will you pulling the second movie from? I know it'll be great with you two on board, but I am mighty curious. I am a huge fan of both of you and I look foward to more Tolkien films!

Guillermo del Toro - The idea is to find a compelling way to join THE HOBBIT and FELLOWSHIP and enhance the 5 films both visually an in their Cosmology. There’s omissions and material enough in the available, licensed material to attempt this. The agreement is, however, that the second film must be relevant and emotionally strong enough to be brought to life but that we must try and contain the HOBBIT in a single film.

Peter Jackson - I'm really looking forward to developing Film Two. It gives us a freedom that we haven't really had on our Tolkien journey. Some of you may well say that's a good thing of course! The Hobbit is interesting in how Tolkien created a feeling of dangerous events unfolding, which preoccupy Gandalf. There's an awful lot of incident that happens during that 60 year gap. At this stage, we're not imagining a film that literally covers 60 years, like a bio-pic or documentary. We would figure out what happens during that 60 years, and choose one short section of time to drop in and dramatise for the screen. I'm really interested in how it effects The Hobbit - do we show what happens to Gandalf during his trips away? We'll see. We may well have seeds for Film Two that we'll subtly sow during The Hobbit.

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