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Thread: How should Smaug look

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Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Hobbit (Movie) > How should Smaug look   << [1] [2]
Chinese Dragons are indeed known for their Wisdom and their Power, but they don't have the same associations with Evil, and Treasure Hording as they do in the West. In any case, Eastern Dragons are all wrong for Smaug. Tolkien clearly had in mind a fairly "tradional" sort of "Euro-Dragon" <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

Oh alright - but Chinese ones look good (sinuous and wily looking, if you know what I mean). But I wish folk would stop harping about evil, though. In the book Smaug was cruel and hungry and arrogant and covetous - but not strictly evil in the way we think of Morgoth or Sauron. To try and make him evil will take away his wryness and cunning. Purely evil creatures are nearly always dull - for they tend to make no sense.

Some minor problems with Chinese dragons. For a start they dont have wings, they dont breath fire. They are an amalgamation of lots of other animals, including camels, demons and snakes, which might seem a little strange for Smaug.

Also I have always felt that Smaug is evil, no offense to Tolkien but his main bad guys were normally genericly evil. Thats not to say other characters didnt have varying motives, plans and political positions. But the big bad guys i.e. Sauron and Morgoth were both in a position of "I want to rule the world, muahhahaha fear my huge armies of horific beasties". And as Smaug is a creation of Morgoth, as much as any Orc, Troll or Balrog, I would say that places him firmly in the intrinsically evil camp.

We could ofc argue that with out a master Smaug is free to do what ever he pleases, but it would appear Sauron was very confident he would be able to sway Smaug onto his side, and Sauron is not normally a blind fool who assumes he will always get his way.

Wither way I am interested to see how they tackle the colour. As he is said to be golden and red, so will we end up with a kind of pearlescent smaug that changes colour dependant on the angle, or will he have areas of red and areas of gold? Or maybe a kind of burnished gold colour all over.
I actually agree with you totally about Dragons so-called Evil Natures Odo. Those associations are largely Theological. I don't see Smaug in the same category as Sauron at all.

I think you are both essentially saying the same thing Odo and Elledan, that EVIL is boring. No fear, DT won't let us down. Ady just posted part of a new interview with Del Toro on the subject on his blog.

Some good news, Warg fans. In that interview DT says Wargs will be Wolves, not Hyenas on Steroids :lol: . So I think Del Toro is listening to us <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

Just read Del Toro interview on Smaug. Not once did he use the word 'evil'! He actually sounds like he admires Smaug as he is. You know the one I mean: the sinuous wry wily (not overblown) one Tolkien wrote about!

Indeed he does Odo. Spooky eh. It's almost like he's reading our posts <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

It is spooky.... wooooooo-ooooooo!!!

Hello all! I have been spending alot of time revising for examinations (of which was terribly boring) recently so I haven't posted for a while (I'm sure everyone using the forum noticed my absence and missed me very much <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> 'Who's Barelyn Dwarf?' I hear you cry!).

On the subject of Smaug, I hope Del Toro and the film crew keep to (as well as they can) Tolkienís descriptions of him. I like your Old and Sinuous Smaug suggestions Odo <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> , considering he's hundreds of years old, we don't want a baby faced Smaug :lol:, (can you imagine the audiences response at the cinema after them seeing Movie Smaug for the first time, if our movie expectations aren't as we hoped? `Bilbo made his way down the passage, he could feel the fiery breath on his face, when he was suddenly confronted with... the most adorable dragon he'd ever seen!' followed by a big 'awwww...he's so cute' from the audience!)

Seriously though I'm sure Smaug will look great, one feature I hope the production team will add, and one I imagined whilst reading, is whilst Smaug in sleeping, I'm hoping his breathing will tie in with his fire breath, i.e. When he breaths out through his nose, wispy smoke should recede from his nostrils. Fairly obvious one really :lol: but essential in some respects, he's got to feel right.
Btw just looking back, Chinese dragons aren't for me <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> , Bilbo's more likely to start dancing with a Chinese dragon and have an unexplainable but sudden urge to celebrate New Year (so this might be an option for fans who have a faint heart to push for :lol: ). , these dragons have lots of strangely human looking legs aswell from what I've heard <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />.
It's great to have you back B'arelyn :mrgreen: . Yes, I did miss you. What with the disappearance of Beren and Show and a few others too, I was beginning to wonder what was happening :? .

It's cool that Del Toro is of the same mind as us on Smaug. I have a great feeling about this.

Hello again GB, it's nice to feel welcome <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />.

Btw I'm thinking of starting a new profile, Thinking about the word 'B'arelyn', it's a bit confusing so look out for the new Joseph Dwarf I'm about to make.
Tolkien was actually rather specific on his description of the dragons. They were long-bodied, long-necked, long-limbed creatures. The label of "worm" or "long-worm" in the texts suggested a sinuously agile creature, like a snake. Look at all the Old Man's illustrations of dragons, and you will get the idea. A Smaug along those lines will get purist fan smiles from me all the time.

However, all shape aside, I want Smaug to "look" like the dragon as portrayed in the story. The reason why the not-at-all canon appearance Smaug worked in the Rankin-Bass film, was that the film depicted Smaug's personality very well. (It was this version of Smaug that persuaded my parents to get a copy of [i:1uknlqi9]The Hobbit[/i:1uknlqi9] for me from the library. So I really ought not complain!) Smaug should look smug, vain, casually cruel, rapacious, in repose. In action, he should look like the four horsemen in one scaly package. Let that be done, and I will overlook any physical divergence from the source.
Yes. Smaug exactly how he was described in the book, and visualised in T's drawings, would be a treat. Why reinvent the wheel? Why try and improve the best dragon ever?

Good day all,

I was just looking over the threads, and I would like to put in my two cents about the color. I do not know how you pull off [color=#FF8040:3abvr51o]"Golden Red" [/color:3abvr51o]unless there is a mood driven color aspect. Maybe at rest Smaug is more [color=#FFBF00:3abvr51o]golden.[/color:3abvr51o] As he gets riled up he becomes a [color=#FF0000:3abvr51o]reddish[/color:3abvr51o] hue. I know that this type of color changing was not in the book, but I can see Hollywood doing that as a way to make sure you know what an evil ,mean-spirted, and cruel scaly flying villian would look like when it's angry. Any thoughts?

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them use the drawings of Tolkien, but, by their own admission, they ARE looking to make the most spectacular Dragon ever on screen. And that means they are going to do something completely different. It WILL be spectacular imo, but not what Tolkien had sketched out.
Surely I say a more 'down home' dragon be better? A Tolkien-like dragon? I think of Smaug as witty and powerful and magnificicent, what more building up would be required? Isn't that good enough? Special effects can become 'hokey with time, well realized chartacters don't. There are plenty of fine film dragons already - looks wise - so I don't know if they should go too over the top with the CGI stuff. As to color: is 'burnished' gold a reddish color? As to 'red' with anger? Don't know about that... could work maybe... The biggest danger I fear the film makers face is losing Smaug's personality by trying to make him too powerful and too evil and too scary. Subtlety is something they might look up in the dictionary. Mind you, Mr Del Toro's recent comments suggest to me that he intends to stay pretty true to T's depictions - which are quite understated but marvellously effective, so I'm hopeful he'll be done right. (Think Alfred Hitchcock, not Peter Jackson?)

I did not read all the posts here, but found this sketch by John Howe. If Smaug comes across like this then I will be happy

Good news- they've found a real dragon- granted its a tad smaller than Smaug but hey! unfortunately I've not worked out how to post pictures yet! so here's the link-
http://scienceblogs.com/sciencepunk/201 ... overed.php
I like this one because the face has the proper qualities to reflect the personality. None of the others (except Tolkien's) has the right kind of face. The pose is nice too.

You wouldn't be able to post that picture anyway Petty, because its embedded in the page you linked to. There was another link on that page to a jpeg though, which can be posted. Its another picture of the "Dragon" (flying lizard) with its wings folded.


Damn...picture blew up too big for some reason. Here's the link:

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