Home > Movie summary > Fifteen-minute Movie – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Fifteen-minute Movie – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

or, “Tales of Middle-Earth, Part 1 of 3, With Some Stuff Concerning a Hobbit”

Hobbiton (Present):
Frodo – Hi Uncle Bilbo!

Old Bilbo – Why are you here?

Frodo – To establish continuity with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Okay, I’m going away now to meet Gandalf!

Old Bilbo – I guess I better write down all my adventures before the party tonight.  Well, I don’t have a lot of time before Gandalf gets here so I’d better make sure this is brief and to the point.  So of course I’ll start with the history of the dwarves…

Erebor (Way Far Flashback):
Old Bilbo (narrating): So once upon a time the dwarves had an awesome kingdom called Erebor in a lone mountain by a town of men called Dale.  They mined, which was cool, and they found a really awesome gem that the king stuck in his throne for some reason.  Dwarves.  Anyway, everything was great until this one very bad day…

Thorin – My dwarf-sense is tingling.

Random Dwarf – Just because the wind died and the weather turned ominous doesn’t mean something awful is going to happen…

Thorin – DRAGON!!!

Random Dwarf – Wow, boy was I wrong.

[[many a dwarf gets incinerated, chomped, crushed, smashed, or otherwise killed but a lot get out including the old king; also, just for kicks, the dragon takes out Dale because dragons are #@$%ers like that]]

Random Dwarf – Why is there an army of wood elves waiting on that ridge?

Thorin – To help us fight the dragon!

Random Dwarf – Erm, no, that doesn’t make any sense.  To have an army here now they would have mobilized days ago.  The dragon took us completely by surprise and showed up like two hours ago!  There hasn’t been enough time to send for help much less have an army show up!

Thorin – Well, they’re turning their backs on us anyway so I’m going to hate elves forever.

Random Dwarf – Okay, look, even if their being here to help made any sense, what are they going to do against a dragon if our entire kingdom couldn’t do anything except get killed in myriad ways?

Thorin – Let’s not talk sense and just move on.

Hobbiton (Flashback but not So Far Back as the Erebor Flashback):
Bilbo – Ah, it’s a lovely day.  Please note that while I am not Ian Holm, I’m doing a pretty good impression.  Don’t you think, old guy dressed in grey?

Gandalf – I’m going to be a bit of a dick to you before telling you my name because wizards do that.

Bilbo – Gandalf?  Oh, the fireworks guy?  See how I established continuity with LOTR?  So what brings you by?

Gandalf – I need your help for an adventure.

Bilbo – Hobbits don’t go on adventures or do anything remotely interesting ever.

Gandalf – You are going on an adventure!

Bilbo – Absolutely no thank you but do drop in for tea something.  Thank you good morning. [[slams door]]  That was close!   I almost had something possibly interesting nearly happen in my life!  I think I need a snack to get over the shock.

[[Later a whole bunch of dwarves show up at Bilbo's house with no explanation; they tuck in and eat all his food and drink all his beer; Bilbo show his displeasure by refusing to change out of his dressing gown]]

Bilbo – I am very cross!  Why the hell are you guys at my house anyway?

Gandalf – I invited them over.  This is their leader, Prince Thorin Oakenshield.  And these other guys are, um, Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably, Kili, Fili, um, Crazy Hat Dwarf, and, well, anyway, their names aren’t important.

Other Dwarves – Hey!

Gandalf – What’s important is you know who Thorin is and that you are going on an adventure!

Bilbo – Okay, well, Thorin has quite a distinct noble countenance but I’m not going on any damn adventures and I’ll thank you to finish up and leave!

Thorin – We’ll sing a traditional dwarven ballad and you’ll change your mind, although I’m not sure why we want you to come along anyway.

Gandalf – He’ll make a good burglar, although without the backstory in the book and no narration to explain, it doesn’t really make any sense why I think that.

Bilbo – And if you think some song is going to make me change my mind… [[the dwarves sing a sad ballad lamenting their lost kingdom]]  …that might do it.  Let me see that adventuring contract.  [[reads over the contract]]  Dragon!  How on Middle-earth do you expect to kill the dragon?!?

Old Dwarf Who is Balin Probably- Eh, he’s probably dead.

Bilbo – But what if he’s not?  Listen, 14 may be a lucky number but it’s going to be worth squat against a dragon!

Old Dwarf Who is Balin Probably – We’ll think of something.

Bilbo – [[does the only sensible thing and passes out; later he comes to]]  I am so not doing this.

Gandalf – You so are or there’s no movie.

Bilbo – Really?  I was getting the impression this movie was more about that dwarven Aragorn stand-in than me.

Gandalf – No, no, it’s really all about you.  It says so in the title.  So I’m going to make some inspiring speech about how you can be more than you are and how this adventure will do you good.

Bilbo – I’m sorry, did you miss the part about the dragon?

[[however, despite all common sense Bilbo decides to join the adventuring party]]

Bilbo – Hey, don’t tell me we have to walk to the Lonely Mountain?

Thorin – Hell no!  There will be no damn walking.  We are so done with walking through Middle-Earth.  So, we have ponies, which is not lame because as dwarves we really aren’t quite big enough to ride horses, so this is the only practical way to go.

Bilbo – Riiiiight.  So, Gandalf, are you going to kill the dragon?

Gandalf – Hell no.

Bilbo – Um, are there any other wizards, you know, ones that could actually kill a dragon?

Gandalf – No.  I’m the best you’ve got.  And speaking of other wizards…

Greenwood Forest:
[[...let's meet Radagast the Brown who did not appear in this book but is in this movie and while he did appear in the book "Fellowship of the Ring" did not appear in that movie]]

Radagast – There’s blood and dead animals everywhere.  That never happens in a forest!  Also, I have bird crap all over my face!

[[Radagast proves he's both powerful and crazy by using powerful magic to heal a sick hedgehog of all things and then goes to find the source of evil in the forest, which he finds]]

Radagast – I have to go tell someone about this evil living in my forest!  This so urgent I don’t have the time to wash the bird crap off of my face!

Burnt-out Farm:
[[Thorin and Co. commence with the leisurely ride through Middle-Earth which sadly does not go much faster than walking; everything seems to go pretty well until they decide to camp at a burnt-out farm for the evening]]

Gandalf – This is not a good place to camp.

Thorin – Whatever.

Gandalf – Fine, you stubborn dwarf!  I’m leaving!

Thorin – Fine!  Be that way!

Bilbo – Is there any particular reason they’re fighting like this?

Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably – Prince Thorin has some serious issues.  I’ll relate them to you now.

Bilbo – Don’t tell me this is going to another flashback.

Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably – Okay, I won’t tell you that.

Moria (Flashback):
Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably (narrating) – So after the dragon chased us out of Erebor, we decided to re-take Moria because it seemed like a really good idea at the time to decimate our already decimated population.

Bilbo – Wait, wait, I thought in the books only Thorin’s crazy dad went into Moria.

Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably – Just shut up and listen, okay?  So the whole group of dwarves went to reclaim Moria and Thorin’s grandfather got killed by the pale orc Azog and his dad went crazy.  Thorin tried to avenge his grandfather which is how he got the nickname “Oakenshield” but he only maimed Azog and didn’t quite kill him.

Bilbo – That’s pretty tragic.  Good thing we don’t have to worry about that Azog guy.  I mean, that was decades ago and I’m pretty sure there was no orcish vendetta thing in the book.

Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably – Sure, you keep thinking that.

Burnt-out Farm, Later:
Bilbo – Hey, Kili and Fili, I brought you some food.

Kili/Fili – Hey, you did learn our names!

Bilbo – No, I actually just guessed because I vaguely remember in the book Kili and Fili were the youngest and often were used as scouts.  I actually have no idea which one of you is which.  Besides Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably and Crazy Hat Dwarf, for all I know those other guys might be named Sleepy, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Sneezy, Doc, and Bashful.

Fili/Kili – Well, it’s a long movie, so I’m sure you’ll figure out who we all are.  By the way, our ponies have been stolen by trolls so you as the burglar have to go free our ponies.

Bilbo – What?!?

Kili/Fili – That’s what we hired you for.

Bilbo – I knew I should have read the fine print.  [[he sneaks into the troll encampment and finds three trolls; of course he totally fails to free the ponies and ends up getting all the other dwarves captured]]

Thorin – If we live through this, I’m going to kill the burglar.

Bilbo – No, no, I’ll fix this.  I know!  I’ll distract the trolls by causing them to fight amongst each other.

Thorin – And then what?

Bilbo – I don’t know but you won’t get eaten right away, okay?

Troll 1 – We aren’t going to fall for that old trick.  We aren’t stupid.  [[yes, they are that stupid and yes, they do fall for that old trick]]

Gandalf – Right, now to get all the XPs for the troll kill.  [[cracks open a rock to reveal sunlight which turns the trolls to stone]]  And now let’s loot the stash!  [[stash is looted and they find totally awesome elvish swords]]

Thorin – I’m not carrying anything Elvish.

Gandalf – This is a +5 vorpal and keen sword you idiot!  And it’s got the goblin bane property too!  Just because you hate elves doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wield this thing.  Look, I’m not too proud to take one of these things.  They’re awesome!

Bilbo – Well, even though I have never ever picked up a sword in my life and don’t know the first thing about wielding one, I’ll take this little dagger as a short sword.

Thorin – Fine, fine, I’ll take the elvish blade.  But I’m not talking to any damn elves about my map.  They betrayed my people, so I hates them forever.  Let’s get going.

Radagast – Wait a minute!  I have something terribly important to tell Gandalf!

Gandalf – You’d couldn’t have taken five minutes to wash your face?

Radagast – No!  I found an evil blade at the necromancer’s place.  He’s totally making the forest evil.

Gandalf – That’s very important now could you go wash that bird crap off of your face?

Crazy Hat Dwarf – We’re being run down by wargs!  It doesn’t make any sense why they’re chasing us.

Radagast – You run!  I’ll distract them with my magic rabbit sled!

Bilbo – I’m sorry, I thought you said “magic rabbit sled” but that would be beyond ridiculous.  [[Radagast rides off on his magic rabbit sled and fails to clean off his face]]  Gandalf, I’m sorry I accused you of not being a very good wizard.

Gandalf – Thank you.  Now follow me! [[they follow Gandalf to a hidden cave entrance and the wargs and their riders are apparently just too stupid to look behind the rock; elves conveniently chase the warg riders off leaving Thorin and Co. alone]]  Okay everyone follow me.  I know a secret way that will keep the orcs off our backs.

Rivendell:
Thorin – Damn it, you tricked me into talking to some damn elves.

Gandalf – Can you read that map to figure out how to open the secret door?

Thorin – Um, no.

Gandalf – Well, I can’t either so if you want to be able to use it you’d better suck up your prejudice and ask Elrond to help you read it.  Anyway, Elrond’s not even part of the same kingdom of elves you’re mad at!

Thorin – Whatever.

Elrond – Hey, Gandalf, long time no see.  I was just killing a bunch of orcs because I’m kind of awesome like that.  So, what’s with the adventuring party?  Need a few more XPs to level up?

Gandalf – Totally.  Also, we need you to read this ancient dwarf map.

Elrond – I love ancient maps.  Hey, by the way, those are some nice swords you guys picked up.  Follow me to my special elfy rune-reader thing. [[leads Thorin, Gandalf, and for some reason Bilbo to a special room with a back-lit crystal rock]]  Okay, well, this is cool. There are some moon runes and by a spectacular coincidence they can be read by the moon we’re looking at tonight.  So here’s the way to open the secret door, as long as you get to it under exactly these circumstances.

Bilbo – What are the odds we’re going to get to the mountain under exactly those circumstances?

Thorin – Better than you think.

Rivendell, Council:
[[Gandalf finds Elrond in a meeting with Saruman and Galadriel concerning grave matters]]

Gandalf – So Radagast thinks the necromancer is a greater evil, if you know what I’m ominously hinting at.

Saruman – Radagast is an idiot and there is absolutely nothing to worry about in Greenwood or Mirkwood or whatever that tree-hugging hippie freak wants to call it.

Elrond – Why are we even having this conversation?  No new information is revealed and this movie is long enough.

Galadriel – Don’t worry, Gandalf, I believe in you.

Gandalf – Are you hitting on me?  Because it seems like you are and you’re married!

Galadriel – Yeah, I know, it’s weird.  I’m really unclear on the purpose of anything that just transpired in this scene.

[[the dwarves get as bored as everyone else with the Council meeting and just leave]]

Misty Mountains:
[[Thorin and Co. are subjected to a terrible thunderstorm and giant boulder-throwing stone giants!  Somehow they manage to escape being crushed to death or falling to their deaths]]

Bilbo – I can’t handle this!  I’m going home!

Crazy Hat Dwarf – Look, just because Thorin said some mean things doesn’t mean you have to leave.  We like you fine.

Bilbo – Yeah, look, adventures really are not my thing and I…er, my sword appears to be glowing.  This seems like a bad thing.

[[it is a bad thing as the whole party is abruptly swallowed up by the cave and tumble six thousand feet or so down a hole and land completely unhurt and in an awkward pile]]

Goblin Cave:
Kili/Fili – This seems like a re-hash of the “heavy things fall on Gimli” gag from the trilogy.  I hope I’m wrong.

[[suddenly they are ambushed by tons of goblins who drag all the dwarves away but Bilbo manages to evade them by the cunning method of ducking; it fools all but one goblin]]

Bilbo – Oh, no, a goblin is bearing down on me in a menacing fashion and all I have to defend myself with is a sword which, as I have mentioned, never used before not even once in my life.  [[successfully defends himself against the goblin]]  Okay, so it turns out the glowing pointy end goes in the other guy.  That’s easy.  [[but they both end up taking a tumble where they another six thousands feet or so and Bilbo at least lands entirely unharmed; the goblin is not so lucky]]

Gollum’s Cave:
Gollum – Oooo, fresh meat.  [[kills the goblin in a gruesome fashion and drags it off to eat it]]

Bilbo – [[finds the One Ring (unbeknownst to him it's bind on pick-up)]] Huh.  Out of all the obvious attempts to establish continuity to the LOTR trilogy this is the one scene that should actually be exactly the same and instead is shot differently.  That makes no sense.

Goblin Cave:
Goblin King (obviously not David Bowie) – Oh, how nice, dwarven guests!  I hate dwarves.

Fili/Kili – Dude, is that your beard?  Because it doesn’t look like a beard.  It looks like, well, um, the “berries” half of “twig-and-berries.”

Goblin King – I was going to kill you for your leader having that terrible elvish sword, but now I’m going to torture you before killing you for making fun of my beard.

Gandalf – Don’t worry, I’ll save you! [[kills the giant Goblin King]]  All right, all those XPs are mine!  Now run for it!  [[they do so in a chase sequence so physics-defying it begins to seem really cartoonish and ends with them falling down another ten thousand feet and being completely unharmed and in an awkward pile except for Gandalf]]

Thorin – Damn it, stop taking our XPs!  We need to level up too!

Crazy Hat Dwarf – Ugh, seriously, the “heavy things falling on Gimli” gag? [[the corpse of the Goblin King tops off the debris pile]]  For crying out loud!  There are better ways to establish continuity with the LOTR trilogy than making the whole group of us nothing but comic relief!

Gollum’s Cave:
Gollum – Hey, there’s something else in my cave.  What is it?

Bilbo – Bilbo Baggins, of the Shire.  I’m sure telling you my full name isn’t ill-advised in any way.

Gollum – We don’t know what is a Bagginses or a Shire.  Can we eats it?

Bilbo – I have a glowing magic elvish sword which improbably I can defend myself with!

Gollum – That is not good eating.  Maybe we can play a game with it?

Bilbo – We?  Is there someone else here?

Gollum – No, just us.  It’s been so long since we had anyone to talk to.  And if it doesn’t play a game with us, we can eats it, okay?  Okay, yes.  Will you play the riddle game with us?

Bilbo – Well, this is all kinds of creepy.  I’ll play a game with you, I guess, but if I win, you show me the way out.

Gollum – Okay, but if we win, we eats you!

Bilbo – That is a terrible bargain, but sure.  Besides, this is by far the best scene in the movie.

[[it totally is; thus commences the riddle-game in which Gollum proves he's crazy and Bilbo proves he's more lucky than witty but in the end he wins and manages to slip on the ring and disappear before Gollum kills him; he invisibly follows Gollum out of the cave]]

Bilbo – Okay, this guy is crazy, killed and ate that injured goblin, and threatened to eat me.  I could totally kill him right now, but for some reason I just can’t.  Anyway, what’s he going to do to me?  He’s just going to go back into that dark cave and kill goblins and never bother me again.  I guess I’ll leave him alive. [[sneaks out of the cave but Gollum realizes what happened and screams at the crane jib]]

Misty Mountains, Other Side:
Gandalf – Okay, head count everyone.  Twelve.  Really, all the dwarves managed to survive?  I’m frankly shocked.  Good thing you guys aren’t wearing red shirts.

Thorin – But the burglar isn’t here!  I’ll bet he ran off and just left us to die!  Just like he said he would before we were all captured.

Bilbo – No, I’m right here, but thanks for that vote of confidence.

Gandalf – How in the hell did you escape?

Bilbo – Um, you know, I critically succeeded on my stealth rolls.

Gandalf – Riiiiight.  But I apparently critically failed on my perception and sense motive checks.

Crazy Hat Dwarf – Can we take a breather now?

Old Dwarf Who Is Balin Probably – No, because the orcs are still after us!  It’s like they have some kind of vendetta!

Bilbo – So what do we do?  Fight the huge party of orcs or run off that cliff?

Gandalf – There are trees on that cliff.  Quick, up the trees! [[they all climb the trees which gets them away from the warg riders but really doesn't improve the situation very much]]   Okay, how about some fireballs! [[he throws some fireballs which works until the trees catch on fire and then tip over the cliff anyway]]  Maybe I should have gone with magic missile instead.

Azog – Thorin, you and me got a score to settle.

Thorin – Right on. [[goes to engage Azog by simply walking off the burning tree while the others continue to hang on for dear life]]

Bilbo – Wait, really?  This whole darn adventure is going to end with a fight with a dragon but for some reason the director thought that a dragon wasn’t enough of a Big Bad?  Really?  Well, as long as this pale orc dies then I guess won’t be that bad; it’ll will make this movie feel like something has been accomplished.

[[Azog takes down Thorin]]

Bilbo – Ah, hell.  Well, just to prove I’m not worthless, I’ll go save Thorin.  [[manages to do so]]  Although again there were plenty of opportunities to prove my worth to Thorin in the book and therefore in the next movies so I’m not sure why the director thought there had to be even more in this movie.

Azog – Listen, you just delayed the inevitable.  There’s nothing that can save you now!

Gandalf – Actually, I just had a very productive conversation with a butterfly, which further establishes continuity with the LOTR trilogy.

Azog – I have no idea what that means.

[[it means they get saved by giant eagles who carry them away from the pale orc and all the wargs and the burning/falling tree]]

Rock Peak:
Eagle King – Rooocccc.   <You know, you’d think with three bloody hours of movie, the director could have showed that we are actually sentient creatures instead of looking like nothing more than trained animals you have at your beck and call>

Gandalf – Rrrrrocc.  <But then there wouldn’t have been time for the Azog subplot>

Eagle King – Reeeaarrccc.  <Just for that, we’re going to leave you at the top of this tall, narrow peak and make you walk all the way down>

Crazy Hat Dwarf – Damn it!  We’re stuck walking again!

Gandalf – Oh, no, I’m going to fix that at the beginning of the next movie.  You guys are getting ponies again!

Crazy Hat Dwarf – Yay, ponies!

Bilbo – So, Thorin, have I proved my worth to you?

Thorin – Yep.  You’re totally okay by me.  And there’s the Lonely Mountain.  Clearly since this Azog was set up to be the Big Bad, we can be assured the dragon is actually dead.  I mean, what would be the point of two Big Bads?  That’s just silly.

Bilbo – And maybe I’ll even be able to figure out a way to tell the dwarves apart!  You’d think with all the efforts to tie this movie into the LOTR continuity I’d at least know which one of you is Gimli’s dad and I don’t know that.  I mean, seriously, do the rest of you even have names?

Lonely Mountain:
Smaug – Sure, the dragon is dead.  Riiiight.  But hey, they’ll figure that out soon enough.  Well, “soon” is relative, I guess.

–fade-out–

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