When Saruman meets a Pale Orc in “The Hobbit” movie *SPOILER ALERT*

I saw “The Hobbit” movie this past Sunday, as did one of my friends.  Rachael and I are both huge Tolkien fans, so we decided that it would be fun to both post about our thoughts on the movie.  Click here to check out her blog – it should be fun comparing our posts.  This is my attempt at a movie review – complete with pictures.  *SPOILER ALERT!*  There will be lots of spoilers in this post, so if you haven’t read/watched the movie yet, don’t read this post, just saying.  You have been warned.

First off, I was uber excited to see the movie.  I absolutely love the Lord of the Rings, and all the behind the scenes footage to go with it.  I own five Lord of the Rings posters, the extended edition movies with all the appendices and behind the scenes footage on both DVD and Blu-Ray, a book about Tolkien’s world, all of the LOTR books, and have at three LOTR ringtones on my phone.  Yeah, I’m pretty sure you didn’t know how much of a nerd I really am.  Well, now you know.  I have also included LOTR references in my novel, and a day doesn’t go by without me saying something that alludes to Gollum.  Then, when I hear people mention LOTR, it just lights up my day.

So.  You can imagine how excited I was to see the Hobbit.  I read the book summer of 2010, and LOVED it.  I read it in one week, which is pretty good for me, considering I’m not *that* fast of a reader, and I don’t have all that much time to read.  However, it was summer, so it allotted me more time.  Anyways – great book.

The movie was… *drumroll* good.

*Gasp!*  What?  I didn’t use “amazing,” “wonderful,” “fascinating,” or “awesome”?  Nope. But it was good.

I think the absolute best thing about it was the humor.  This movie is brimming with humor.  It is very lighthearted – much more than the LOTR.

Second best thing are the actors.  I think Peter Jackson did an excellent job choosing actors.  Martin Freeman was a spectacular Bilbo.  He is SO talented, and totally made the movie.  For me, a good actor means an expressive face (to speak volumes when the speaker is silent), an ability to change voice inflection, and the ability to portray feeling and emotions without excessive dialogue, whether in acting or expressions.  Martin Freeman had it!  He was SO funny and there were several times when he wasn’t saying anything at all, but had me bursting at the seams with laughter.

Who else did I really like?  Thorin.  Richard Armitage did an excellent job as Thorin.  I am slightly partial – North and South is one of my favorites, and he plays Mr. Thornton there.  Still, he was an amazing Thorin.  You could totally see his emotions, and he was a real character.  In the book, he was a pretty snobby character, but in the movie you could see his inner sensitivity.  His main goal was to honor his father and grandfather, and give his people back their home.  I really liked how Peter Jackson improved on his character.

Also, I loved the dwarves.  That is something that I liked better in the movie than in the book.  When I read the story, I had this image of a bunch of weird, fat, and hairy short creatures bumbling around with Bilbo.  The movie totally changed that image for me!  It made me realize that I really like the dwarves.  They were brilliantly portrayed.  All of the characters in this movie had such depth and reality.

Third best thing about this movie: the soundtrack.  Oh my goodness.  This soundtrack just…grabs you.  I don’t know what it is, but I have a weakness for deep instrumental and vocal music – and this soundtrack is definitely that.  The vocals are incredible; the instruments superb.  It drives the movie, and makes you feel the emotions.  I especially love Thorin’s song (Misty Mountains?  Not sure of the name.) – it is so rich, mystical, and enthralling.  I think that is the same song that plays in the credits, and it was stuck in my head for the rest of the day – in a good way.  I enjoyed every moment of remembering it.

So, main good things about this movie (for me, anyway) are: the characters, actors, humor, and music.  Brava, Peter Jackson!  Those key points made the movie extremely enjoyable.  Oh, and the visual effects were stunning, and the landscapes were breathtaking.  Those definitely earned brownie points with me. 🙂

Onto the not-so-good things.  Now granted, it has been two years since I read the book, but I don’t remember anything about the Witch King in the Hobbit.  I was talking with Rachael, and realized that the Witch King was from the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring.  So I guess that’s one of the things PJ decided to add in.

Also, this movie seemed to have more dark magic in it than LOTR.  The Fellowship of the Ring has the most of all dark magic in it, and that’s just with the Ringwraiths.  But this…I didn’t really understand the point of putting it in.  Still, it wasn’t overwhelming or anything, and it didn’t last for all that long – it was just surprising and seemed a little out of place.

I’ve been told that Saruman did have a brief appearance in the Hobbit book, so his appearance in the film only seems natural, but once again, the twist PJ put on it was a bit surprising.  I didn’t expect Saruman to be there, and I couldn’t figure out if he was already turning evil, or if he was still good.  In the end, though, I think it was a perfectly fine addition for the movie, and added a bit more depth to the story.  However, Galadriel is another story.  Her purpose there was…what?  She was absolutely beautiful but…she didn’t really seem to play much of a part.  Who knows, maybe Peter Jackson has plans for her to have more relevance later on in the trilogy.

Now comes my main issue with the movie: the Pale Orc.  This was soooo not in the book.   It was a little bit disturbing.  The orcs in The Hobbit don’t look anything like the orcs in the LOTR, but I’m guessing PJ had a reason for making them look different, so I’m not going to pick a fight there.  But adding in a Pale Orc?  This orc that had his hand cut off by Thorin, and then decides to jam a stick through his arm to substitute for his missing extremity?  The orc that has super-orc powers and seemingly consults dark magic?  I think that was a bit of a stretch, and I think I would have enjoyed the film a bit more if he wasn’t in it.  I have to admit, it was interesting how it added depth to Thorin’s character – so in that way, it was okay…but I think there *may* have been a way to do that with orcs in general instead of creating a “Pale Orc.”

That’s pretty much all that I didn’t enjoy about the film.  Considering that it was almost three hours long, I would say that’s not too bad, and I can easily deal with it.  It was very much so worth it to see all the rest of the movie.  Oh, but the ending…the ending….  All I can say about the ending is that it is way too long until Part 2 and 3 come out.  It leaves the audience hanging…and I really want to see the rest of the story – even with the minor downfalls!  And…I was really hoping to see Legolas in this movie, but I guess I will just have to wait for Part 2.

So, all in all, it was a good movie.  I didn’t come out of it thinking, “That was AMAZING!” like I did with the Dark Knight Rises, or even that it-was-so-awesome-I-can’t-wait-to-see-it-again.  I came out thinking that it was good, but perhaps not as good as I was hoping for, or expecting.  It was funny and entertaining.  The actors were phenomenal, and the music was enthralling.  It was overall a satisfactory movie.  Oh, and I forgot to mention this earlier, but I absolutely LOVED Gollum!  He was incredible in this movie.  His self-conflict was so entertaining.  If I loved Gollum in the Lord of the Rings, I loved him even more in The Hobbit. 😀

I’d like to know, if you have seen the Hobbit movie, or when you do see it, what do you think of it?

Ciao,

-Tia

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15 thoughts on “When Saruman meets a Pale Orc in “The Hobbit” movie *SPOILER ALERT*

  1. Sorry it took me so long to comment! our interent is finally working.
    Wonderful post. I think its funny that we said such similar things about the Hobbit! Sorry I didn’t get to church today, I am not feeling well and decided not to spread the “joy”. Merry Christmas to me I suppose. I will have to get Holding the future Hostage from you some other time, I am looking forward to reading it!
    RAD

    • Hey you! That’s fine…I totally understand finicky internet connections.

      Thanks! Yeah, I thought that was really interesting too! It was fun – and overall a good, satisfactory movie. I heard that you were sick – I’m so sorry. I hope you feel better soon. Having the flu is just plain miserable. Actually, your dad bought the copy, so I hope you enjoy it! 😀

      Get well soon, girl!

      -Tia

  2. I just saw the Hobbit today too and I agree 100% with your review. I mean what’s with the Pale Orc?? Huh? Otherwise it was great. I loved the brown wizard (he reminded me of Catweazel!)

    • Thanks! Yeah…I have to say I didn’t care for the Pale Orc much at all. I’m glad someone else agrees with me! It seems like everyone else I’ve talked to are fine with it. Yes! Radagast was hilarious. *Loved* him. 😀 Thanks for commenting!

      -Tia

  3. Nice update, I’ve been looking for a review for some time now. Just an FYI: the reason that Saruman and Galadriel were put in there, is because in the appendixes, the White Council included them. As you know, the White Council was mentioned in the Hobbit because Sauron was in Mirkwood pretending to be the ‘Necromancer’. The Council was not described in detail, but the appendixes at the back of Return of the King mentions it. Azog, or the Pale Orc, was also mentioned in the Appendixes when Moria is overtaken. So, PJ added all the appendixes to the movie, so as to probably make it longer, and more interesting. So he didn’t ‘Create’ that. Just letting you know, cause you seem a little confused. 🙂 hope it helps.

  4. I found the pale orc to be a nice addition from PJ other than that music was phenomenal and the actor choice was wonderful. I do love how the songs from the 1977 cartoon showed up like the goblin king singing and “thats what Bilbo Baggins hates” were there. I loved the riddle off with gollum and his exspressions were so funny when he was stumped. I mean hey when gollum is in a movie its bound to be good… The one thing that really just creeped me out was that oversized super chin the goblin king had and how he was 10x bigger than the other goblins! Peter Jackson really outdid himself and what I am hoping for is 4 hour movies like old times and the ending with the bird waking the dragon Smaug just really got me wanting to watch the next ones.

    • Wow, thanks for your thoughts! Yes, the music and actors were incredible. “That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates” was hilarious. I completely agree about Gollum! Anything is better when Gollum is in it. 😉 Yeah, the double chin was a bit disgusting…actually, let me rephrase that – the Goblin King was all kinds of gross. 😛 I most definitely can’t wait for the next ones as well!

      -Tia

  5. I literally just got home from seeing the film and I really enjoyed it, to me it was more than just “good” as I enjoyed pretty much all of it and I do really want to see it again.
    Despite that, I still agree with most of what you said except for some of your issues with fidelity towards the original book, such as the Pale Orc and Galadriel not being part of it (well the Pale Orc kind of is, but he’s just called Azog and mentioned like twice but for all intents and purposes he’s a non-entity). It would probably be more accurate to say that Jackson is adapting Tolkein’s history surrounding the time when The Hobbit is set, rather than the Hobbit novel, if that makes more sense?

    It’s mentioned more in LOTR that the Necromancer turns out to be Sauron building power and that when Gandalf wasn’t with the dwarves he was with Galadriel, Saruman and the others trying to figure out what the hell is going on, so those characters WERE actually there during the Hobbit time, but weren’t directly connected to Bilbo’s story as only his story is the focus of the novel, thus weren’t seen or mentioned (Legolas would be another one since he’s the Elven prince of Mirkwood and would likely be part of the events when the movies eventually get to that bit).

    So Jackson is doing a certain amount of embellishment to fill in the blanks and it kind of just comes down to which ones you like or don’t (i.e. you like Radagast but not the Pale Orc despite both of them not being in the original novel) I actually liked both of them, and while the Pale Orc is a little goofy it does a great job (like you said) of enhancing Thorin’s character development and focusing the narrative a bit more by presenting a more tangible antagonist for the first film until the Necromancer and Smaug turn up to later completely eclipse him, much in the same way as the Nazgul, Saruman and Orc Captains act as proxy-villains for Sauron in LOTR as he’s kind of an unknowable, ominous, floating, spirit-eye-thing of malevolence whose main characterisation comes from how evil and powerful all of his minions are (therefore he must be a pretty scary guy). While not always focused on in the books as such, they’re kind of a necessary addition for film story-telling of this nature.

    My main criticism of the film was the Rock-Giant scene which was probably something that could have been edited out to save some time. It was kind of fun and I liked the fact that PJ managed to turn a couple lines of descriptive prose into a ten minute scene but it wasn’t all that important. There’d been a lot of dialogue but since the Goblin King scenes were coming up they didn’t really need an action break there.
    The other criticism I had was the use of the Eagles. The dwarves get dropped off and don’t think to mention the fact that giant sodding birds just saved their butts, nor do they even talk to the Eagles themselves which does happen in the book! Not a big deal really but I thought they just got a bit glossed over, but they rock up again later in the story so maybe the next movies will do something more with them.

    Now that I think about it actually my main concern with your review is that you mentioned that Dark Knight Rises was an amazing film which is total bollocks! 😛
    It had fantastic acting (Gary Oldman for the win!) and a great soundtrack but a phenomenally stupid and badly written plot and god awful action scenes but I won’t get more into that as this is a Hobbit discussion 😛

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the movie! As far as your comment goes, I really appreciate how you cleared up what all was going on in Middle Earth during Bilbo’s journey. So Peter Jackson was just trying to portray a complete image of Middle Earth, not just what was written in the Hobbit. I think I may enjoy the film a bit more now that I have that background knowledge.

      See I didn’t really mind the Rock Giants or the Eagles. I guess everybody has points about the movie that they either do or do not like, and everyone has logical reasons for why they do (or do not) like it.

      About the Dark Knight Rises: I happen to love every moment of that film – the plot, the action, the soundtrack – everything. But to each his own. To me, it was amazing. To me, the Hobbit was a satisfactory movie with a lot of humor, great acting, and excellent characters.

      Thanks again for the extra info about the movie.

      -Tia

  6. I think the Pale Orc was great. The problem i see here is that you been waiting a film about the book, but this is a film about the story. As few people already mentioned non of that is pulled out of thin air every aspect of the story has already happened but was mentioned only partial, and thats what i liked about the movie it adds to the story. Anyway I for my part wouldnt be so happy about the film if the pale orc would be not in it. If you seen the extendet version of Lotr Saruman dead wasnt made by the book but still i liked it.

    • Thank you for your thoughts! I’m glad that you liked the Pale Orc. It seems like the majority of viewers appreciated that addition into the story. See, I didn’t mind the death of Saruman in the extended LOTR because he still died in the book (Grima killed him during the scourging of the Shire), so even though it was a different death, I thought it was still fine. Once again, thanks for your thoughts, and I’m glad you enjoyed the film!

      -Tia

  7. Pingback: Thoughts on the Pale Orc « Holding the Future Hostage

  8. Saruman was not evil until the Fellowship of the Ring.

    The movie isn’t exactly like the book, that is true…. but, for the people who have seen the movie and have not read the book, they don’t know what is supposed to happen and what is not supposed to be in the movie. 🙂

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