Hobbit 3: The Battle of 55 Armies


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Sovereign Court

You are in a vast, vast, vast minority.


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Must explain why I get so much more enjoyment from movies, tv, games and music than others. ^_^


havoc xiii wrote:
Must explain why I get so much more enjoyment from movies, tv, games and music than others. ^_^

Or how you get so much less from books. :)

In fairness, there are a lot of people not fond of Tolkien's writing and many of them may like the over the top action of the movies more.

Probably the (vast?) majority of people who've seen the movies haven't read the books at all, so I don't know where they fall.


Nope I spend more time reading than I do anything else. I just liked the movies more than the books, just didn't enjoy the books as much as I had hoped. Though I am contemplating rereading them and seeing if its beter the second time.

Only time will tell.


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thejeff wrote:
In fairness, there are a lot of people not fond of Tolkien's writing ...

Fortunately, there are medications and therapies for that.

Liberty's Edge

I like the books but found the movies much better. So no havoc is not in the " vast vast minority" at all. Seriously people need to stop with the whole "if you don't agree with me you opinion is in the minority" line of reasoning. I don't like liver. I don't say that those who like it are in the minority.


I gotta say not knowing where those goats came from just really ruined the movie for me.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Could be something that was cut and will be in the special edition when they release it.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I gotta say not knowing where those goats came from just really ruined the movie for me.

Obviously they came from mommy goats, did you not see The Nazgul and Gollum?


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I liked both the books and the movies, I like champagne AND beer.

I look forward to a full set of director cut hobbit films so I can marathon them, then run the Lotr marathon afterwards.

Frankly I'd be delighted if Peter took on all of tolkiens works.


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Hama wrote:
I'm sure they'll honor their grandfather's wishes.

If anything, JRRT was a lot less maniacal about the books than his son was. Tolkien was up for different adaptations/alternative versions of the books and even fanfiction, as long as no-one tried to make money out of it.

Christopher has a strained reputation in Tolkien fandom because he hasn't done what JRRT said he wanted, the canon opened up for different people to take a look at.

Quote:
I gotta say not knowing where those goats came from just really ruined the movie for me.

The Extended Edition :) When Dain shows up some dwarven cavalry (!) on war-goats (!) are also supposed to be shown, so later on we know where they've come from. There's also supposed to be a longer sequence with Radagast and Gandalf where Radagast gives Gandalf his staff and there's more on Radagast going to recruit Beorn. Also, a funeral sequence with Thorin, and more of a reflection on what happens at the end.

I haven't been moved to get the EEs of the other two films, but this one sounds like it'll have a lot more stuff in it that's actually important and relevant to the story.

Dark Archive

havoc xiii wrote:

Nope I spend more time reading than I do anything else. I just liked the movies more than the books, just didn't enjoy the books as much as I had hoped. Though I am contemplating rereading them and seeing if its beter the second time.

Only time will tell.

I reread The Hobbit just before the first movie and was struck by how childish it seemed. (I last read it when I was ten, so my critical faculties were perhaps not yet matured...) I didn't mind the kind of whimsical tone, since it felt like something from Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in places, but he did seem to recycle some beats, like the dwarves arriving in dribs and drabs (at Bilbos and later at Beorns and against the trolls), and have far too much of Bilbo and the Dwarves being utterly useless, practically NPCs in their own adventure, and then being saved by Gandalf.

At the end of the first movie, I was thrilled that Peter Jackson had changed some of that. In the goblin cave, for instance, the dwarves weren't taken in their sleep and Bilbo didn't accidentally get missed, but deliberately slipped away in the confusion. In the troll incident, the dwarves fought actively instead of getting plucked away in ones and twos, and Bilbo again actively stalled things, instead of Gandalf doing all the heavy lifting.

So I was happy that Peter Jackson had changed things by making both Bilbo and the dwarves somewhat competent.

And then he added the mountain giant scene and the run through the collapsing goblin walkways, both of which they only survived through dumb luck, and which looked more like something you'd see as a Disney World attraction than part of an adventure, and made the team look like bumblers who survive only through plot armor, so, as I said at the time, with one hand Peter Jackson giveth, and with the other, he taketh away. :)

As for this latest movie, the youngest was excited that Dain looked almost exactly like the Dwarf Trollslayer he likes to play when we play Warhammer Quest, so there is that. :)


Werthead wrote:

I haven't been moved to get the EEs of the other two films, but this one sounds like it'll have a lot more stuff in it that's actually important and relevant to the story.

For the Desolation of Smaug, I highly recommend the Extended Edition. I rarely think those things are better than the original, but this is one of those times.


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Lathiira wrote:
Werthead wrote:

I haven't been moved to get the EEs of the other two films, but this one sounds like it'll have a lot more stuff in it that's actually important and relevant to the story.

For the Desolation of Smaug, I highly recommend the Extended Edition. I rarely think those things are better than the original, but this is one of those times.

I am waiting to buy the Hobbit movies til all three have their extended versions released, preferably in a nice boxed set to sit on the shelf beside my LOTR boxed set.


Set wrote:

I reread The Hobbit just before the first movie and was struck by how childish it seemed... I didn't mind the kind of whimsical tone, since it felt like something from Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in places, but he did seem to recycle some beats...

So I was happy that Peter Jackson had changed things by making both Bilbo and the dwarves somewhat competent...

As for this latest movie, the youngest was excited that Dain looked almost exactly like the Dwarf Trollslayer he likes to play when we play Warhammer Quest, so there is that. :)

All of these = my thoughts.

Yes! King Dain and his 40,000! :D

The The Great Bouncing Barrel Escape was right in line with Tolkien's flavor for the book.
Along with the singing Goblin King Skip to 0:31

But yeah, like Lucas, Jackson has now become too big for someone to tell him, "Uh... no", when he has his JarJar Moments and so we are slathered with crypto politically correct messaging on Elf-Dwarf love or whatever we were supposed to take away from the Tauriel-Kili liaison.

In fact, I would've preferred King Thranduil Do'Urden to the Tauriel-Kili-Legolas ménage à trois. Gah!

... I still hate JarJar more though.

The Exchange

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Quote:
And then he added the mountain giant scene and the run through the collapsing goblin walkways, both of which they only survived through dumb luck, and which looked more like something you'd see as a Disney World attraction than part of an adventure...

Well, how would you expect them to make a The Hobbit ride in any theme park if they don't set it up in the movies?


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I definitely enjoyed the movies. I went into each movie just expecting to be entertained and see what someone else's idea of Middle Earth come to life was besides my own. I wasn't disappointed by any of the six films. I loved the battles in this one, and Dain was great! I love reading, and when they come out with a movie for a book I read, I usually go see it so that I can see the book come to life and see how close my interpretation was to the directors, and to the author's. But i just enjoy them for what they are: entertainment.


DM Klumz wrote:
A note to all those taking this film far too seriously. Ever considered it wasn't made with just you in mind?

Any number of movies can be invented whole cloth for the entertainment of children, and the Hobbit/LoTR has already been done in more than one cartoon version. Why take one of the most well-known literary properties in the world, give it a large-budget live-action treatment and deliberately alter it for a small fraction of the audience?

I would argue that whatever the end effect was, Jackson's goal wasn't making the film more child-friendly, he was simply injecting more and more of himself into it.

Having the thrush come to Bard to reveal Smaug's weakness would have been child-friendly, but it was left out, even though the thrush was in the previous movie, knocking at the door to Erebor.

Showing the eagles as intelligent creatures who came to the battle on their own led by the Great Eagle would have been child-friendly, instead they were depicted as mere animals summoned by Radagast. (Radagast may well have been added for the kiddies, but I think he's the closest thing this movie trilogy has to Jar-Jar Binks. He's a goofy naturalist covered in bird poop, and cannot be taken seriously as someone who keeps company with Gandalf, Saruman and Galadriel.)

I appreciate your daughter's feelings about the lack of significant female characters in the book, but inventing a love triangle between a dwarf (whose only distinction in the book is being one of the ones who dies), a non-existent female elf and a malf elf who doesn't appear in the book wasn't done with 8-year-olds in mind, that was all Jackson's elf obsession.

I was okay with most of what Jackson did with the LotR movies -- dwarf tossing being one notably exception -- but The Hobbit should never have been stretched to three movies. All that did was allow Jackson to dilute Tolkein's original story by padding it enormously with his own.


What if it had been one movie, 120 minutes? How many minutes would you have given each part of the story?


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I honestly don't think it could have been a 120-minute movie and given justice. But three films required padding the likes of which would have make Orson Welles say, "Dude, you gotta drop a few pounds."

Two would have been fine.


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You could have cut down on some of the interminable action ride scenes, if nothing else. And the elves showing off. And Radagast.

Probably not 120 minutes, but then none of these movies were 120 minutes. One 160 minute movie? Two 120 minute ones?


Let's say one 160-minute movie.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Hama wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
I would say that for all its faults, Jackson did a much better job of adapting The Hobbit to film than Verhoeven did adapting Starship Troopers. :-)
Heinlein's book was horrible. It's a good thing that Verhoeven strayed so far from the source material.
If you say that the book was horrible, either you didn't read it, you didn't understand it, or you're a raving liberal. Or any combination thereof. :-)

I read it, I saw it, and I am a flaming liberal. Did not care for the book series. LOVE everything else, from movie to animated to roleplaying game to wargame. If you want powered suits, check out computer animated.


Ed Reppert wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
I went to see exploding alien bugs. I got exploding alien bugs. It was a GREAT movie!

I went to see powered suits and drop capsules. No powered suits, no drop capsules. I went to see the trials and tribulations of soldiers in training and in combat. None of the former and not much of the latter. I went to see a Filipino kid make good in the Mobile Infantry. Instead we got Nazis and a blond and blue-eyed Aryan kid.

Rumor has it that Ginny Heinlein went to a screening before the movie was generally released. Asked her opinion, she alleged said "it sucks". I find it hard to believe she said that, since from what I've read of her she wouldn't talk that way, but I don't find it hard at all to believe she expressed the sentiment, albeit in different words.

Again, watch computer animated series. Loved it.

Need to catch the anime when I can.


DM Klumz wrote:


And just for the record, he thinks the new light sabre is the BEST THING EVER!!!

I prefer the inquisitor's lightsaber myself.


Sissyl wrote:
What if it had been one movie, 120 minutes? How many minutes would you have given each part of the story?

A single movie of 150 minutes or more should have done nicely. I don't want to spend the effort timing it myself, but I'd be curious to know what the total run time would be once all scenes with Radagast, Tauriel, Legolas, Azog, the stone giants, and any scene clearly added just for the eventual video game were edited out. Bolg needn't appear except to be killed by Beorn during the final battle.

If the movie's still too long after that, we can discuss cutting Galadriel, Saruman and Gandalf's investigation of Dol Guldur, but I thought that nicely filled in some things only hinted at in the books.

Liberty's Edge

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My family and I thoroughly enjoyed all three films. I think they added positively to the book. The finale fight scenes of TBOTFA were spectacular. I did think the battle scenes were very close-quarters and some of the scale was lost (intellectually); but I imagine it's a nice way to ensure the battle didn't too-closely resemble LOTR.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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They took out my favorite bit--Bard's speech to his arrow!


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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
They took out my favorite bit--Bard's speech to his arrow!

I think it was dumb to change it from a normal arrow shot from a bow to a huge harpoon-like arrow shot from a siege weapon.


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Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
They took out my favorite bit--Bard's speech to his arrow!
I think it was dumb to change it from a normal arrow shot from a bow to a huge harpoon-like arrow shot from a siege weapon.

I agree with both of these statements. Especially after they spewed out that whole thing with the "dwarvish windlance"...

I liked the Hobbit/LOTR movies. I feel there were things that had been changed/added/omitted which I did not agree with; however, I still enjoy the movies immensely. I do wish Jackson would have tied things up better at the end of Battle of Five Armies though; it is never mentioned that Dain takes over Erebor, that Bard reclaims Dale as his kingdom... and they do not even show Thorin being entombed!!! I get that will be in the extended edition, but those three things should have been in the theatrical release of the film.

The Exchange

Sissyl wrote:
What if it had been one movie, 120 minutes? How many minutes would you have given each part of the story?

Not too difficult, especially since this (and other similar projects) were done before.

There are 13 dwarves. Nobody can get familiar with and care about so many similar characters. Play them all as comic relief and background characters. Don't actually try to develop subplots for any of them.

Gandalf and dwarves arriving at Bilbo's home and dragging him to a journey could very easily be done (and done well) with 20 minutes. Next 60 minutes are a collection of some whimsical encounters along the road (like the trolls, goblin caves, and elves). Then dedicate about an hour more to entering the lonely mountain, Smaug, saving the village, returning home. Cut out the battle of five armies entirely, it was never terribly important to the main narrative of the book.

That's about 140 minutes of a solid, enjoyable, lighthearted adventure story. Y'know, kind of like "The Hobbit" was. A movie with a potential to be a classic - simple story, relatable main character and a brimming imagination. Sure, Tolkein purists might be annoyed over this or that being left out, but they surely would be less annoyed than they are with some of the details in the trilogy we wound up getting.

Shadow Lodge

They could have cut out Peter Jackson's Legolas masturbation fantasies.

The Exchange

Kthulhu wrote:
They could have cut out Peter Jackson's Legolas masturbation fantasies.

That goes without saying. Also, cutting out the entire subplot about that fortress where Sauron was would have been easy. At the very least it would have allowed them to move the death of Smaug to the end of the second movie.


That was the best bit!!!!

Sovereign Court

Ninja kung fu Saruman for the win!


I think part of the problem is Hollywood doesn't really have a concept for a series of TWO films. Sure, there have been some, either accidentally when #2 sold far worse than #1, a too long movie broken up into two parts (Kill Bill), or similar stuff, but come on, it's both a movie series AND fantasy. It sort of HAS to be done three.

Liberty's Edge

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I don't think a single movie would have done it justice but I certainly agree that 3 was too many.

In my opinion, doing the Hobbit as 2 movies would have been by far the best. Enough space to fit everything you needed in but no extra space needing long bits of padding and other nonsense.


Faelyn wrote:
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
They took out my favorite bit--Bard's speech to his arrow!
I think it was dumb to change it from a normal arrow shot from a bow to a huge harpoon-like arrow shot from a siege weapon.

I agree with both of these statements. Especially after they spewed out that whole thing with the "dwarvish windlance"...

I liked the Hobbit/LOTR movies. I feel there were things that had been changed/added/omitted which I did not agree with; however, I still enjoy the movies immensely. I do wish Jackson would have tied things up better at the end of Battle of Five Armies though; it is never mentioned that Dain takes over Erebor, that Bard reclaims Dale as his kingdom... and they do not even show Thorin being entombed!!! I get that will be in the extended edition, but those three things should have been in the theatrical release of the film.

For that they would have had to cut the overly-long continuous fight scene that felt more like a chore.


Caineach wrote:
For that they would have had to cut the overly-long continuous fight scene that felt more like a chore.

Which one? ;D


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OK, I get they change stuff from the books, but... seriously?

Even getting rid of all that, it fails on basic PLOT, moviemaking, and Common Sense.

WARNING: Incoming mangling of names. If you're a Tolkien purist, you may not like this, but as I see it, it's not REALLY those characters anyway.

Large Text Wall Warning: Not for Faint of Heart

You know the MacGuffinstone? That magic glowy smooth, totally-not-cut with hundreds of facets superdiamond that the motivation of the main Dwarf was based around? Whatever happened to it? It was important, right, so... where did it go? How did they resolve it in the plot OF THE MOVIE? (Not the book, where it was resolved well.) Note: Attempts to call it unimportant and blowing it off would be akin to blowing off the resolution of the One Ring in the LotR series.

What about the Elven Star Necklace MacGuffin? What happened to it? Why did Scarface the Coldblooded (the Elf leader) bring eleventy-hundred-thousand armored elves with bows to kill every Dwarf there for the sake of the necklace, knowing that many of his people would die, but then balk at seeing 2 dead Elves in the city and turn away? Despite having vowed to retrieve it against all opposition? And despite having faced much greater foes personally, such as the dragon that scarred him? Did we ever see that part resolved? For that matter, if you're sieging a mountain, why don't you bring SIEGE? 10,000,000 arrows mean nothing against a mountain.

What's up with Fakebeard the CGI Dwarf King? Is there really a reason you needed to CGI a single, individual Dwarf that wasn't one of the THIRTEEN OR SO others who were done by actors. The voice actor was Billy Connolly. Go look him up on IMDB... he could definitely look the part for when his face is on the screen! Why would they bother using CGI? You could even get someone else and just add his voice in post production (you know, like was done for every single Orc ever).

Where did the Orcs learn to summon Shai-Hulud? Did they gate in from Arrakis? Why did they need the worms to get the Orc Army there, when every other army had no problems walking? If you've got a worm that can BURROW THROUGH ROCK, why not just come up under the foundation of the enemy city and invade directly? Why not use the worms to fight? They could just roll sideways and flatten all the Dwarves in one go.

The best addition? The Orc Command Post. That was ACTUALLY quite sane and sensible, from a medieval-style military perspective. A horn to alert the Orc Army to look at the flags, and the flags to tell them what to do. I like this, in theory. I'll probably use something similar in my game world, actually, so that's a good thing.
But... how did the Orcs build it on the tallest rock in the land AND NOBODY NOTICE? There weren't any trees on that rock, so clearly they had to haul the stuff waaay up there somehow, and then assemble it. Why is it when they blew their horns, none of the allied leaders said "Hmmm... that's not ours, so lets send all our heroes to go smash it and leave the Orcs leaderless?"

And all of this pales compared to the basic common sense violated horrifically in the battles. People may be upset at the Dwarves summoning their Stormpike Battle Chargers. I'm OK with that, it's hero stuff, PC's get to cheat.

But why, when you have a PHALANX OF DWARVES WITH A SHIELD WALL, would THOUSANDS of Elves (all previously armed with Elven Longbows and TONS of arrows) go kickflipping over them to fight the Orcs 1 on 1 in melee with spears? Instead of, you know, staying behind the Dwarves and mowing down the middles ranks of the Orcs as they try and make it. PERFECT combo there. Elves are kinda known for archery and all that (having said that, the Dwarven Shortbow was beautiful).

Why is it that the Dwarf heroes tries to attack the chests of their larger Orcish allies, especially when said chests were armored in iron and THEIR LEGS WERE BARE? Attacking the legs is a Dwarven staple.. doesn't matter how tall you are when you're flat on your back and bleeding out your femoral.

How'd all the Giants attacking the Dwarven Walls get massacred during the Charge of the Dwarf Brigade (ie: the PC Dwarves joining the fight). There were like 5 or 6 of them. They all fell over and started dying for no discernible reason. One of them had a giant spear through it's head, and from the side of the Dwarf wall. I'm going to assume it was from a siege weapon, either that or Dwarves have some pretty awesome Brutal Throw action going on there. Of course, we never see the siege weapon, let alone the 5 or so it'd take to down them all in one go, and we never see it again, either. (And we know for a fact Smaug smashed all the 'silly Dwarven toys' anyway, long ago.)

Finally, the Humans. The poor, poor un-armored, peasant humans wielding either farm implements or ancient, timeworn weaponry. Standing there against a greater host of Plate-clad Orcs with big choppy blades. Outnumbered. And somehow holding them off where they fought, while every other Human not part of the "Magic Militia" was getting butchered. Then "Let's have the noncombatants hide in the Great Hall!" There's a great idea! It's a good thing the enemy army doesn't have three-story-tall giants who can headsmash holes in CITY WALLS. Heaven forbid one of them stagger over there and accidentally stub its toe on your front door and eat all the noncombatants when it caught their scent.

I can see people in the general populace turning their brains off for this in the theater. I find it hard to believe that fellow gamers could ever do such a thing. This whole thing stunk. Like the source material, it was good when it was the personal issues between the characters. Which is probably why Tolkien never bothered describing all this 'icky battle stuff' in detail... it wasn't important.

Unless you need an extra hour to a 3-part movie series that shouldn't have been more than 2.


One reason I like most Tolkien stuff is you don't get cut and thrust battle descriptions, say like Gemmel did

Not a fan of each thrust, parry and dodge in rpgs either!

But yeah, AF, I see where you are coming from!


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Caineach wrote:
For that they would have had to cut the overly-long continuous fight scene that felt more like a chore.
Which one? ;D

As far as I'm concerned, there were only 3 fight scenes in the movie. Saving Gandalf, which was awesome, Smaug, which had a dumb ending, and the rest of the movie, which needs a rewrite.

The dwarves are not supposed to be level 15 fighters.

Sovereign Court

What? They were getting slaughtered by orcs. Till eagles came and turned the tide.
Smaug died the way he was supposed to.

What gives you the impression that dwarves were level 15 fighters?


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Hama wrote:

What? They were getting slaughtered by orcs. Till eagles came and turned the tide.

Smaug died the way he was supposed to.

What gives you the impression that dwarves were level 15 fighters?

13 dwarves join the battle, and then the dwarf army of hundreds goes from being on the retreat to slaughtering everything in their wake.

3 dwarves take out 100 goblin scouts.

Sovereign Court

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Morale. Morale is very very important. And it was 2 dwarves. Torin and Dwalin. Who very well could be high level fighters.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Hama wrote:

Smaug died the way he was supposed to.

Eh, sort of? They removed Bilbo's role in Smaug's death (via the thrush). In the movie, Bilbo just stirs up s!+& with the dragon and leaves it to Bard to clean up his mess.

I'm not generally one of these "it has to be just like the book!" people, but I found the changes they made to the Smaug section pretty unsatisfying.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To be fair the way it happend in the book always came across as a bit of a deus ex mechanica to me Bard pretty much only appears about half a chapter (if that) before slaying Smaug and the entire thing with the Thrush was pretty much a "Oh and also he can understand bird speak."


Benchak wrote:
Eh, sort of? They removed Bilbo's role in Smaug's death (via the thrush). In the movie, Bilbo just stirs up s$*+ with the dragon and leaves it to Bard to clean up his mess.

Yeah, had forgotten about that, since it's drawn out over two movies. In the 2nd, when Bilbo realizes what he's done by trying to be clever in hiding his real name, he gets this 'oh crap' look on his face and the viewer feels the same gut reaction of realizing what he's just unleashed on the helpless people of the town. In the 3rd, he never even really has a big sigh of relief, or confides in anyone how he accidentally unleashed Smaug on the town. Kinda important, but with my rant above, it's certainly not the first major plot point that was left abandoned on the side of the road.

Kevin Mack wrote:
To be fair the way it happend in the book always came across as a bit of a deus ex mechanica to me Bard pretty much only appears about half a chapter (if that) before slaying Smaug and the entire thing with the Thrush was pretty much a "Oh and also he can understand bird speak."

That's because Smaug himself was never made to be a final 'boss monster' that the main characters defeat, the story was more concerned with the journey and interaction between the characters. Like many old fairy tales, the big evil monster is defeated by exactly the thing needed to do so at the very end almost as an afterthought, and the story is brought to a happy conclusion.

Also, Speak With Animals is kinda a thing, and this is why. ;)

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Kevin Mack wrote:
To be fair the way it happend in the book always came across as a bit of a deus ex mechanica to me Bard pretty much only appears about half a chapter (if that) before slaying Smaug and the entire thing with the Thrush was pretty much a "Oh and also he can understand bird speak."

Which is a fair point, and I'm down with giving Bard a bigger role in the story, as they did.

I just think it would have been better to include the thrush (maybe with some additional setup or modifications) than the whole windlance thing.

I find the idea of a guy being able to understand birds no more fantastic than a guy being able to fire a solid metal ballista bolt from a broken bow :)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Caineach wrote:


The dwarves are not supposed to be level 15 fighters.

Well, they're not, but then neither were the goblins in the book. Thorn and Company make a difference in the fight in the book because they are able to drive into the goblins (including Bolg's bodyguard) by surprise and in nearly impenetrable armor. And even then, they ultimately fail and it's up to Beorn to rescue Thorin and crush Bolg.

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