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I don't think we have too much to fear Show. I'm 99% certain that the death of Smaug will still end the first film. And I don't think they will put a lot of the Gandalf/White Council stuff in the first film because it would be distracting and not the right tone. I expect we will see a couple of set up scenes so we understand what Gandalf is up to--but most of that material is likely to appear in the first half of film 2.

[b:1ijtiu8r]Gandalf's Beard[/b:1ijtiu8r]
I'm not so sure about it ending with the death of Smaug. With it that way, the second film almost ends up being a bridge film (in a way), anyways. I think when they made the decision to "film [b:23e67rry]The Hobbit[/b:23e67rry]" in two films, they meant to split "[b:23e67rry]The Hobbit[/b:23e67rry]" into two films, not all the other stuff. So, taking that into consideration, it seems to me that they'll end with the dwarves being captured by the elves. There are two other possible points: when they escape from the elves, and when they arrive at Laketown. But these just seem like weak ending points to me.

It just seems to me that ending after Smaug's death will not leave much for film 2. It will just leave a lot of death and destruction and "pwning" as Barrel put it. It would be a lame film.
I think that the film-makers will want to end film 1 with something that will make the audience come back. If the dwarves are stuck in an elven dungeon, that seems like a good cliff-hanger.

But maybe I'm just on a different planet, lol.
Well if you are going to spread the other material out in "real time" a cliff-hanger ending makes most sense. So being stuck in the Elves' dungeon [i:2g8r132e][b:2g8r132e]would[/b:2g8r132e][/i:2g8r132e] be the best plot point for a cliff-hanger ending 8-) . I can't really think of any other decent end points. I think it would have to be the dungeons or Smaug.

But as you can tell I've kind of got stuck on the idea of Smaug ending the first film now :lol: .

[b:2g8r132e]GB[/b:2g8r132e]
Film 1 ends with the death of Smaug and a short, five minute aftermath in Laketown. At this point nothing much has happened with the white council, except that they have gathered, we have seen snippets of other threads (eg we see Aragorn as a youth) and they may have reached a decision about whether the necromancer is Sauron or not. We will also see Saruman as a good being, with a few subtle hints about his future.
Then, film two starts with the aftermath of Smaug's death from the dwarves' point of view. After ten or fifteen minutes of dwarven angst, we go back to the white council, who are getting ready to march off to Dol Guldur. They get involved in a few skirmishes on the edges of the forest, etc. Meanwhile, the whole Bilbo vs Thorin tensions rising plot thread is getting stretched to its limit, also we get a view from Bard's perspective of the Laketown dilemma. Back in Gandalf's plot thread, we follow the White Council as they fight their way to Dol Guldur, eventually we get to see the great battle between Galadriel and the Necromancer (I think that's right, I might be thinking of the sacking of Dol Guldur in the war of the ring) with Gandalf and Saruman and Elrond and the rest of the White Council pwning dark lord ass. There are a few cuts across to what's happening with Bilbo, then a twenty minute cool time after Dol Guldur is kaput, in which Gandalf wraps up and Bilbo hands over the arkenstone. The Battle of the Burning plains gets geared up, Gandalf arrives, there's some more pwnage, Thorin and his nephews bite the biscuit, and Bilbo mourns for a bit then goes home rich. Whether or not we see him actually return to the shire is irrelevant, really.
Anyway, what I can't figure out is how they will make the second installment take up three hours and yet keep the first one under three hours, when so much of the story is in part one. If it is. You never know, they might cut off the story just as they get to Smaug's lair, although starting a movie with Bilbo's encounter with him would undermine the significance and awesomeness of the moment.
Barrel you hit on exactly my fear. So much adventure is packed into the first movie that to balance with the second [i:2lv0b998]"might"[/i:2lv0b998] be an issue. Adding in the return to hobbiton with the auction would be a good balance if the second movie is running short on running time. It would also help make good on Bilbo's "There and Back Again" title.
Moving the Smaug engagment into movie 2 would be a good thing for running time and film length. But story wise it would be atrocious. Arriving at the Lonely Mountain does not make for a very climatic finish for a film. And I really don't see an earlier point in the book that would make for a good stopping point story wise. Maybe the escape from the Elves could be an early ending, thoughts?
With The Hobbit now encompassing two films, instead of one with a bridge, where will they break?
What is a good enough first break, that will leave sufficiant material to fill the second half without an over load?
I concur Eldorion. I think the first film is still likely to end with the death of Smaug. The humour and lightheartedness can then be maintained throughout it. The darker, more adult material will then be consigned to the second Hobbit film.

Then the second film will probably open with the immediate aftermath. Someone will wonder aloud "what's happening with Gandalf." Then it will cut to a flashback revealing Gandalf, the White Council etc. The first such scene would probably be a continuation of a brief set-up scene in the first film so people will understand it's a flashback (sort of how the battle with the Balrog is handled in LOTR).

I suspect this will take up the first third of film 2, then there will be cuts back to Bilbo and the Dwarves as the time-frames converge somewhere in the middle of the film. This should then lead to Gandalf meeting up with the crew just before the end the second third of the film. Then the Battle of 5 armies can commence, taking up most of the last third. This would of course be followed up with a denoument--Bilbo returning home etc. The very last scene should be Gollum leaving the mountain cave and Gandalf smoking his pipe looking perplexed as Bilbo tells his tale to a young Frodo--thus setting up LOTR just in case the bridging film is never made.
GDT suggested a while ago that they might break at the death of Smaug, but that was while the bridge film idea was still being kicked around, so I don't know. The way I see it there will be two main storylines: Bilbo's journey (from [i:385x1kc0]The Hobbit[/i:385x1kc0], the book) and the White Council/Dol Guldur, loosely based on the Appendices. At first there will be only one though, they will diverge when Gandalf leaves (assuming that much of the story's structure is retained).

There will need to be a climax for the first film, obviously, but I think it [i:385x1kc0]could [/i:385x1kc0]be something along the lines of FOTR's; not a massive battle but still emotional. I can't think of a Boromir character who dies at an appropriate point in the story though, so a suspenseful point would be better. In this case the death of Smaug might work, with the non-reading cinema audience not knowing what happened to the dwarves. The invasion of Dol Guldur would have to be balanced with the Battle of the Five Armies though. It could be put in Film One, but that leaves the possibility of having too little material to work with in Film Two.

:?:
GB, I love the final scene you proposed there with the storytelling and young Frodo.

As for ending with Smaugs Death, I didn't like it at first. That part comes so late in the story that I felt there would be too much story for film 1 and too much special effects in film two.

The more I think of it, the more I like it. Film one would be an adventure story. Complete with Journey and discovery. Film two is an action film. Complete with battle and glory.

I'm not sure about where and when to work in the white counsel. A [i:30hol1ta]Balrog battle[/i:30hol1ta] styled flashback is a hit or miss with me. I loved the way it was handled in Two Towers. But I don't know about handling Dol Guldor in the same fashion. Consider that TT was one on one combat. It was a short side story that Gandalf would relate to, and then move on. If GDT really wants to bring in the White Counsel and all it's work againt the Necromancer, and maybe even add in a little of Sauruman's switch to the shadow; I think he will need more than a short flashback to pull it off.
I was just using the example of the Balrog scene to indicate the flashback approach. It would have to be much longer and would roughly cover much of the first half of film 2, but as the Council sequence catches up in time with Bilbo and the dwarves we would see more inter-cutting.

There would definitely have to be at least one set-up/lead-in Gandalf/ Council scene though in film 1. Perhaps two. But it would leave off at a cliff-hanger for that story line so it will be clear in the second film.

And, yes, the first movie would then be more in keeping with the Children's Adventure Story/Fairy Tale approach. Then the second film would become closer to the action style of LOTR. That's how I would do it and how I intuit PJ and Del Toro are going to film it.

In the end I think the the combo of PJ and Del Toro is going to be very Terry Gilliam-esque, particularly in the first film. And Thank You 8-) ; I'm glad you like my ending :mrgreen: . Knowing PJ's and Del Toro's approach to film-making, I have a really good feeling about these films and I think they will end up much like I described.

[b:2c7aa15e]Gandalf's Beard[/b:2c7aa15e]
“When you read the book, there is only one place to break it really and everybody knows it. It’s been discussed in [b:2jywg5nn]forums[/b:2jywg5nn] and there’s a lot of people that are right. That’s where it’s going to break. So it’s very simple."

GDT
Way to inform and befuddle Ady :lol: . Does the quote get more specific?

[b:3aehzr0w]GB[/b:3aehzr0w]
So, although Del Toro tried to secretly communicate to us when it was going to break, I'm not sure if I caught on. It seems like the gist of what he said was: "We're breaking it at the logical place." He said something confusing about Bilbo's relationship with Thorin and co., but I didn't catch on. It could be that he's talking about when they are separated (when the dwarves are captured). I don't know. Anyone else have any thoughts?
“When you read the book, there is only one place to break it really and everybody knows it. It’s been discussed in forums and there’s a lot of people that are right. That’s where it’s going to break. So it’s very simple.” GDT

At this point I assumed he was talking about the death of Smaug.

He then went on to say:

“What we’re doing is because we have the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin and all the dwarves, there is a logical place for that relationship. There is a moment in the book where something is accomplished that allows us to say, Okay, on to the next one after this.” GDT

Which just threw me off scent again :?

I've been really impressed with GDT. I know its early days but he does come across as really passionate when doing interviews even though he must be getting fed up with the same questions repeated over and over.
I've been thinking about this since even before del Toro's comments, but I agree with ady that the comments are pretty provocative. When he said

“What we’re doing is because we have the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin and all the dwarves, there is a logical place for that relationship. There is a moment in the book where something is accomplished that allows us to say, Okay, on to the next one after this.” GDT

I think there are several places he could mean. We've got a 19 chapter book. In chapter 10, Bilbo gets the dwarves to Laketown and out of the barrels. Now they face the Lonely Mountain for real with the smoke and the stench. Or there's the death of Smaug, chapter 14. There were earlier hints that Smaug will die in the first film, so perhaps that will be the break.

I would argue that the logical break happens in chapter 16, when Bilbo decides that his job is to try to avert the coming battle. That is the moment where Bilbo and Thorin break and they aren't reconciled until Thorin's deathbed.

I think it comes down to what del Toro has decided to add. If the Witch King story becomes a big part of the films then the death of the Goblin King might mean more than just an attack on the goblins but an attack on the renewed schemes of Mordor.

I only wonder if the break does come as late as chapter 16 in the novel, what besides the battle fills up the second film. Any thoughts?
While he did bail out the dwarves with their escape to Laketown (pun intended). He also bailed out the dwarves in Mirkwood (couldn't think of a good spider related pun).
With everything before Smaug being so episodic and journey related, I think his death is still a good break point. Instead of ending with his firery crash into town though, I think they will take the story up to Bilbo trying to head off the battle of "three" armies.
But, in my humble opinion, they cannot go to far into the break and the start of elves & humans vs dwarves, or they risk having too weak of an ending, having gone to far past the climax of Smaugs death.
Another plus to the general smaugs death break is Bilbo's alternate title, There and Back Again.
Movie one is "There", the journey and adventure of getting to the Lonley Mountain and defeating the dragon and securing the treasure.
Then Movie two is "and Back Again" The adventure and journey of Bilbo trying to get back home.
I don't think you can end the 1st movie with the Death of Smaug as it is too far along into the story and does not leave enough for movie #2. In my opinion, a good place to end the 1st movie is after Bilbo makes a heroic effort to save the Dwarves from the Spiders, names his sword Sting (not in that order) and then the Dwarves get captured by the Elves. That way the movie has a dramatic end, i.e. a cliffhanger for those who have not read the book, which shows the possible end of the quest as the Drarves are all in the Elven King's Dundgeons. It can also be shown just prior that the the Necromancer (unless he names him Sauron, something not done in the Hobbit) is now fleeing from the machinations of the white counsel and Gandolf's other "business" is now done and he is on his way to the Lonely Mountain. Unless they want to create a whole sorcery battle between the forces of good and evil at Dol Guldur (which would be very cool in my mind), that would also be a good spot to end the 1st movie but I am not sure if such liberties will be taken with the book.
Good piont Tharkun. They could use the battle at Dol Guldor as the climax for the end of film one. Contrast it with The dwarves imprisoned. Maybe, just take it a scene further, show Bilbo riding down the river and Gandalf heading for the Lonley mountain?
I don't know the precise timing for these events so I don't know what exactly happens at the same time as what else.
From all the stuff that's been going around I'm not so sure it's likely anymore, but at first I was positive it wouldn't break at Smaug's death. That's way too late in the movie for me. And since apparently they aren't doing a "bridge" I've had the idea that they could sort of go back and forth with Gandalf and the WC and Thorin and Co. Like, they set off, then Gandalf leaves, and it follows him and shows the WC, then goes back to Thorin and Co. I don't know. But, I was thinking it could split while they're in Mirkwood or just after. Even then it seems a little late for me, but still. At first Bilbo is seen kind of as a bumbling hobbit who can't take care of himself oh-why-did-we-bring-him-along. But at the part of the Spiders, or the Elves in Mirkwood when he helps them escape, they start relying on him more. I think it would be good to leave off somewhere after the Spiders like Tharkun said, maybe something like this:
So, the Company's been traveling in Mirkwood [i:2zejoadl]forever[/i:2zejoadl] and Bilbo just saved them from the Spiders. So, they're all worn out and stumbling onward, and then they see light at the end of the road and start jumping for joy. Then hands grab them from behind, there's a little scuffle (forgive me for imagining a scene like when Faramir captures Frodo and Sam), and then maybe it goes back to Gandalf-? or maybe it ends there. I haven't thought all that out there. But the climatic scene could be the fight with the spiders, or at dul goldur, or whatever. That's as far as I got.
Everything really hinges on how they intercut the Gandalf/White Council/Necromancer storyline with the main storyline. And If PJ and DT really are still set on making at least the first film more kid friendly and humourous. If splitting the tone is most important (gradually becoming more adult like LotR), then ending with the Climactic death of Smaug still makes the most sense.

If they have decided to balance the tone and storylines throughout the films, then one of the Cliffhanger moments males the most sense (which they will have more opportunities for as they are indeed adding in the White Council etc.).

[b:4470bbaq]GB[/b:4470bbaq]
wow i see what happens when i go out of town for a week and don't have internet access this is all very interesting! i agree with those of you who are saying that the death of smaug is too late to end the movie however i also agree with GB that where they actually end it will depend on how the intercut everything with the WC and Necromancer storyline. In my pesonal opinion i think the best place to end the 1st movie would be with the dwarves in the dungeon of the the elven king as far as that storyline goes but i also am not sure how the timelines coicide so i don't know how they would do that with the WC in there.... :?
Ok, I was just surfing the internet and had to reply to this.

I think the movie should end with the Dwarves being taken into the dungeons and Bilbo sneaking around, and Gandalf setting off at an incredible pace towards a destination known only to him. I can even picture this. I can see the flashes of the Dwarves, all in chains and in different cells. Then they insert the troubled face of Gandalf and zoom out to show him riding. It then shows Bilbo just disappear behind a doorway, as if to go hide, and the camera slowly rises up and above the trees to reveal a far-reaching landscape of trees with a picturesque background of mountains, before fading to black and rolling credits.

This would instill an incredible sense of both finality, and the knowledge that it's not over yet.

With the death of Smaug, however, they would do the whole filmography thing I just mentioned, and then they would have almost no content for the second movie. I admit, I believe the movies will be based solely on the book content, with exceptions to the Necromancer. With that said, the only things left for movie 2 would be a bunch of talking between Elves/Men and the Dwarves, then a battle (it should only be half an hour TOPS, and that's with any cutscenes that might take place outside the battle, such as Beorn making his way through the underbrush), and then happily ending with Bilbo at home. Although it certainly wouldn't be boring (It's Tolkien, after all), it would lack a certain flash to it. The only other content other than battle would be political rants.
Think the first movie will end when gandalf leaves Bilbo and the dwarf's outside Mirkwood. Or when the dwarf's stray off the path in Mirkwood and find thorin missing. :roll:
There are two points in the middle of the story that fit GDT's riddles.

One is where Bilbo shows up, surprising the Dwarves, and they start to think much better of him than they ever did before, because of how he was able to do all that. This would also let them utilise the corruption moment of the Ring - where Bilbo lies to them about how he got the Ring, and Gandalf is interested and disturbed - and they could foreshadow LotR here - something that was added in the second edition of The Hobbit to conform with LotR, and change it into a flowing story

The other is the forementioned at Mirkwood, Gandalf leaves for the White Counsel. Whether the Attack on Dol Guldor is included in Movie 1 or Movie 2, this is where Bilbo's story would end for the first film, perhaps entering the winding paths of Mirkwood. The mood change with the Ring's corruption, Gandalf's leaving, and the darker elements of the Necromancer's Tower are all points that indicate a plot shift. Where they end up on either side of the split is the question here.
Sorry folks, but the death of Smaug for an ending is not logical. The real varsity Tolkien fan would (surprise!!) check the book to see where the real halfway point is. It puts Bilbo and the dwarves at approximately the enchanted river in Mirkwood. This seems a rather poor place to stop the movie, but if you back up just a little, you have them entering the forrest. When they entered the forrest, Gandalf and Beorn (in the shape of a bear) had just left them. Think about how the FotR (movie, not book) ended with everyone splitting up. I know the battle in the second film will require a lot of time, but it can be balanced in the first with some preliminary history such as how Gandalf and Thorin first met, and set up the party (see 'Unfinished Tales'). You could also push it back a little and finish the first with the capture of the dwarves and Bilbo wondering what to do.
Hi all, new guy here.

GDT's comments point me to where Bilbo exits Goblintown EAST of the mountains.

He decides that he needs to go back in to rescue the dwarves (before he hears them) and at that point he starts on his heroes journey, complete with magic sword & ring of invisibility.
Hey guys -

Was there a castle in this movie?
[quote="Iain)wgtn0128":1g5o5e91]Hey guys -

Was there a castle in this movie?[/quote:1g5o5e91]

There was no castle in the book. Only the dwellings of The Hobbits, Elrond, Mirkwood Elves, Beorn, Caves, The River City, and the Mountain.
I think that there are three good endings for the first of the movies

1. You could end with Thorin and Co. looking into the distance to the lonely mountain after the men from laketown have left

or

2. Bilbo looking depressed as he walks down the narrow walkway into the lonely mountain itself with it being dark near him with a red glow at the bottom

or

3. The wc have finally battled their way to the innermost sanctum of Dul Guldur and it shows them all ready for battle with weapons drawn as they approach the necromancer/sauron

With each of these ending you could end them with a slow dim until blackout
[quote="Shane333":2ru0smff][quote="Gandalf":2ru0smff][quote="Iain)wgtn0128":2ru0smff]Hey guys -

Was there a castle in this movie?[/quote:2ru0smff]

There was no castle in the book. Only the dwellings of The Hobbits, Elrond, Mirkwood Elves, Beorn, Caves, The River City, and the Mountain.[/quote:2ru0smff]


No Castle in the traditional sense, per se, but there are two fortress-like establishments: The Elven kingdom in Mirkwood, and the Dwarven kingdom at the Lonely Mountain. Both would be grand, impressive structures.[/quote:2ru0smff]

Sounds very interesting!
[quote="Gandalf":35kbt9jm][quote="Iain)wgtn0128":35kbt9jm]Hey guys -

Was there a castle in this movie?[/quote:35kbt9jm]

There was no castle in the book. Only the dwellings of The Hobbits, Elrond, Mirkwood Elves, Beorn, Caves, The River City, and the Mountain.[/quote:35kbt9jm]


No Castle in the traditional sense, per se, but there are two fortress-like establishments: The Elven kingdom in Mirkwood, and the Dwarven kingdom at the Lonely Mountain. Both would be grand, impressive structures.
It has to be the Elvenking's dungeon.
And more accurately the point where the party has narrowly escaped the spiders and they find that forest clearing where they catch their breath. Then Bifur or Bofur (I dont recall who exactly) suddenly gets up and asks "Where's Thorin?" and everybody freezes in panic.
At that point the camera moves to Thorin being pushed in a cell and the film ends as the heavy wooden door closes with a loud noise.
Or something like that.
Imagine the expression in the faces of all the people in the theater! :shock:
Oh, good thinking Bofur!
The first film will possibly end with death, more dark, more than an adult material will be then is sent to the second film of the Hobbit.
Who's death? I don't recall anyone dying, not till the final battle that is. :geek:
Possibly Smaug's death.
I’ve been reading and ruminating about these opinions for several months, and I think they are all excellent; you all are suggesting some good alternative endings of the movies.

But if we step back a bit and look at the story itself—what is the real importance of the Hobbit, seen in the light of LOTR? It’s the Ring, of course. “Historically” it is the most important point. It seems to me that the most meaningful and climactic point of The Hobbit is the finding of the Ring and Bilbo’s escape with it. This is early in the book, I know, but there should be no problem with filling an entire movie with all the actions involved in the story line up to Bilbo’s escape from Gollum’s hideout. I’m a little wary of cliffhanger endings when you have probably a year to wait for the second movie. What you want is a precursor, a reason to come back, but not a confusing and frustrating ending.

Tolkien’s intentions for The Hobbit don’t take into account the hugely expanding greatness of the epic story to come in LOTR. Filmmakers could treat the book within its original intent, if this movie had been made before the trilogy. (Which would validate the 1977 animated version.) However, the horse is out of the barn and the LOTR movies exist; The Hobbit must be seen as a prequel and not the children’s story originally written.

Where did PJ break the trilogy? The Fellowship ended with the Ring starting a journey across the wild lands, after splitting off from the others. The Two Towers ended with the Ring once again leaving its entourage and heading for the wild mountains and Mordor. And the final climactic ending was of course the destruction of the Ring. Why should we expect any endings that do not have the Ring in the forefront?

I’m not hung up on that particular spot in the book—the escape with the Ring. But I do think that the real meaning of the movie should revolve around the Ring.
I also agree that the ending of the first movie should involve the ring. This is what I have in mind:
Bilbo and co. are in the forest.
Bilbo has kills the spiders, big scary battle
The dwarves regroup start looking for thorin
one by one get captured.
Bilbo follows the elves
Big shot of the elven kings palace
Cuts to gandalf at the white council.
They are talking about the necromancer and the search for the ring
Big speech about the dangers and importance of the ring
Final decision to go fight the necromancer.
Final line is something about the ring
Cuts back to bilbo taking out the ring.
Focuses on him really staring at it, dramatic music.
He puts it on, and runs after the elves and dwarves, the gates closing behind his footprints
fade to black, with ominous music.
The death of Smaug comes too late in the book to be a good break point.

The capture of the Dwarves by the Elves is probably better.
I like your scenario Fingolfin 8-) .

[b:ecne96gm]GB[/b:ecne96gm]
Eegad! Turn a Childrens book into an Adult movie! Lewis Carroll, is it?

Odo
Just wanted to make an addition to my scenairo:
Before the fade to black, the camera moves up from Bilbo running into the Elvenking's palace, out through the forest top and centers on the distant mountain of Erebor. With a red glow emitting from the base.
Minor addition but saw it on the board and thought it was really cool and deserved that i voice my support. That would be a really cool shot to end on.