Or, if you’re not American, happy Thor’s day!
This year, I’m still thankful that Peter Jackson cast Martin Freeman as the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and with the new retrospective trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I’m just really filled with Middle-earth feels.
I recently rewatch the two Hobbit films and The Fellowship of the Ring while on a Air New Zealand flight to Los Angeles for BurCon, and, well, I’ve put a lot of thought into what my favourite moments from the Middle-earth films might be. So without any ado, here are my top 5 moments.
Riddles in the Dark
This is the most important moment in the Third Age of Middle-earth. Who knows long Gollum would have kept the One Ring hidden in his cave if Bilbo hadn’t been shoved out the door on an adventure and ended up lost in the Misty Mountains. Everything that follows from this point is because Bilbo has the One Ring. This is my favourite scene in book and it translated perfectly to film. Also, Andy Serkis’ Gollum is creepily perfect.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Benedict Cumberbatch gives great voice. I didn’t know just how great his voice truly was until this ending scene of The Desolation of Smaug. The dragon is key to the plot of The Hobbit, and much of these films could have gone wrong if the dragon didn’t inspire the proper awe. When Smaug says, “I am fire. I am death.” I get fucking chills. Every. Time.
The Mirror of Galadriel
Cate Blanchett is perfect. She transforms from a terrifyingly cold and powerful Elven sorceress to a kind and wise confidante to Frodo in 0.34 seconds. This is another scene that gives me the shivers every time I watch it.
The Cure of Theoden
When Gandalf appears in Rohan in his grey cloak, we don’t know what to expect from him. Gandalf so rarely performs overt and obvious magic that we almost believe him when he calls his staff a “walking stick.” The transformation of Theoden from a sickly, bespelled old man into a strong warrior king is nothing short of miraculous. And the look he gives Eowyn when he recognises her? Breathtaking.
The Lighting of the Beacons
This scene is why I appreciate Peter Jackson as a filmmaker. This beacons are described very briefly in the book as:
“The Lord of the City had beacons built on the tops of outlying hills along both borders of the great range, and maintained posts on these points where fresh horses were always in readiness to bear his errand-riders to Rohan in the North, or to Belfalas in the South” –The Return of the King
Yet Jackson takes the brief descriptions that Tolkien provides and creates a monumental moment in the film, one that changes the tides of the War. Jackson creates an astounding cinematic moment that wasn’t exactly scripted by Tolkien, and you know what? It’s awesome.
So enjoy your Thanksgiving, my friends, and be thankful for all the geeky things you love. Me? I’m thankful that an Oxford professor sat down one day and wrote “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”