The Final Battle

So a little while ago, the trailer for The Battle of the Five Armies, the last movie in The Hobbit trilogy, was released, and as I was watching it, I felt a bittersweet mixture of excitement and sadness. On one hand, I am so pumped for the last movie to come out to conclude the incredible adventure this trilogy has so far been. On the other hand . . . I don’t want it to end.

When the original Lord of the Rings movies came out, I was too young to watch them, or even really care about them. So I never got to see them in theatres and didn’t even watch them at all till several years later. When The Hobbit came out, however, I was set and determined to watch it in theatres on opening night. With the first movie, I actually found myself in the theatres three times for it—once with my dad and grandparents, again with my grandma on my mom’s side, and again with my friends. I only watched the second movie twice, but it was the same: I was there opening night to take part in the adventure.

And what an adventure it’s been.

Watching a movie on the big screen (and in 3D, to boot) is of course a magical experience in itself. The image fills your entire vision, the sound fills the whole auditorium, and the 3D effects whisk you into a world that appears to be tangible and real. You’re fully immersed in a way that just doesn’t exist when you watch in on your home TV. And then, when the movie you’re watching is full of hobbits, dwarves, and dragons, it becomes that much more magical an experience.

Considering The Hobbit was the first time I’d ever ventured into Middle-earth on the big screen . . . well, there was enough magic in that experience to make a dragon’s treasure hoard seem mundane and dull.

The green beauty of The Shire, the firelit expanses of the goblin lair, the breathtaking elegance of the elven kingdom, the ruggedness of Lake-town. Meeting the reluctant and often disgruntled Bilbo (played by the wonderful Martin Freeman, my favourite actor); Thorin and his grim task; Gandalf the Grey, a much beloved wizard; Tauriel and Legolas, fair and graceful elves; Smaug, the fearsome but dignified dragon. Travelling to all these incredible places, meeting all these amazing people (and dragons), I really felt like I became a part of the adventure.

So now . . . watching the trailer for the last movie in the trilogy (and possibly the last movie to ever take place in Middle-earth) . . . it’s sad. I’m not ready to leave the adventure yet. I don’t feel ready, anyways, but I don’t think Bilbo feels ready to fight a dragon yet either. I guess we’ll both have to face our doubts when the time comes and hope there is a happy ending for us.

As are the trailer’s final words: “one last time . . .”

It’s never easy, leaving behind an adventure and the companions who were with you all throughout it, but I guess that’s what memories are for. After all, I’ll never forget the night I entered Middle-earth for the first time on the big screen, or the breathtaking feeling of watching the end credits after that first movie. I’ll never forget the amazing experience it’s been, and thanks to the wonders of technology, I can always return.

And so I eagerly await the moment I can return to Middle-earth, resume the adventure with my wonderful companions, and come to the end of the journey.

One last time.

When have you mourned the end of an adventure?

May the adventure never end, but live on always in your heart.

-Alex

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6 thoughts on “The Final Battle

  1. Why did they use ‘The Edge of Night’ that Pippin sang in RotK? Are they incapable of creating new music?

    I loathe the Hobbit films. It took all of my will not to up and leave the cinema halfway through The Desolation of Smaug. But it saddens me that I hate them so much; I wish I didn’t, because I love Tolkien and LotR so much – and the Hobbit book, for that matter! But Peter Jackson has been a total moron with these films. Ugh. But, because I saw the first two films, I kinda feel like I have to see the last one, but I really don’t want to….. I mean I probably will, but again: UGH.

    I agree that the cinema experience really is something special. I don’t watch in 3D though, ’cause it hurts my eyes, and when you have to wear glasses anyway… -_- Nightmare.
    I will never, ever forget how I felt watching the Fellowship in the cinema when it first came out. It was the most amazing film ever. No film has ever moved me and grabbed me in such a way before or since, and so, when the last one came out, it was obviously a rather heartbreaking experience knowing it was the end. So, I can understand that you are sad about this final Hobbit film. It is sad when reach the end of a journey.

    (I, on the other hand, am glad it’s finally over)

    • Haha, I can see we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum!

      To be completely honest though, I can totally see where the angst about the Hobbit films is coming from (for you and for others too). Three movies is a hell of a lot to ask for from one slim book, and when you start adding in non-canon characters and events… It gets risky, to say the least. I get why people would be upset when a movie that is supposed to enhance and honour a beloved story seems to more or less butcher and rearrange it into something of a mockery of its original splendour.

      But I guess for me, I don’t find that sort of thing annoying. I mean… the book is always going to be the book, and I’m always going to love it for how wonderfully Tolkien wrote it. The movie, on the other hand, wasn’t written or directed by Tolkien (pretty obvious, I’d say :P). So for me, it’s just not the same story. Adaptation, I guess is the word. Most of the same characters, most of the same events, but… different. I love the book for being clever and emotional and witty, and I love the movies for being visually stunning and bringing fantasy worlds to life (and for starring Martin Freeman. Maybe I’m biased because he’s in them :P). So yeah, that’s why I’m able to like the movies even though they would be unacceptable as the book.

      But jeez, if they ever played the original LOTR movies in theatres, I would be there in a heartbeat! I can only wistfully imagine what it was like for you lucky ones to have been there when they came out :) I suppose I can only be grateful that I didn’t also have to experience the sadness of LOTR ending as well as the Hobbit.

      (Haha, so while I raise a glass in fond farewell, you’ll be raising your glass in good riddance ;) )

      • Opposite ends completely, yes :P

        I’m glad you can understand where we disgruntled folk are coming from. But I agree with you that films and books are two different forms of media, and that films and ADAPTATIONS of books – of course there is going to be change! But it’s when they play around with to such a degree that it loses it’s charm, or falls away from the original story it was based on. I mean what is the point, if you’re going to do that? It drives me bonkers.

        Oh, Martin Freeman was BORN to play Bilbo, though. I love Martin Freeman, too. Such a marvellous actor. It’s his humour that gets me.

        I cannot tell you how much it saddens me to know there are people out there who have not experienced the LotR films in the cinema. Literally a tragedy. I do think myself as desperately lucky to have been there when they first came out. Glorious memories. Maybe they might reshow them on a big anniversary? We can only hope. AND YOU’D HAVE TO GO MY GOODNESS. Approximately 20 times. That should make up for the fact you missed them first time round ;)

        Here’s a thought, though.. Maybe because you DIDN’T experience the original LotR films in the cinema, you’re more open (is that the right word?) to The Hobbit films. ‘Cause, I’m telling you, if one fell in love with the LotR films in the cinema, one would more likely understand just what big, big, BIG shoes the Hobbit had to fill. And it has fallen so short I cannot tell you. Who knows, it might be a factor – or, at the very least, something to consider.

        Words cannot express how much I love those LotR films. And sometimes I think, when I’m an old lady, I’ll still be watching them, and my grandchildren will come in saying, “Grandma, why are you watching those ancient films? They’re SO RUBBISH and BORING.”

        Alas.

        I’m intrigued to know when you first saw the LotR films :)

        Haha, good riddance indeed. The accursed things they are.

        • Mm, yeah, there does come to be a certain point where they become too distant, and the story loses its memorable heart in the adaptation. Then of course there’s the problem of everyone having different opinions and interpretations of things. If only we all had the same tastes and opinions about things–how much easier that would be! Haha, no, but it is hard to argue just where exactly one must draw the line between a good and bad adaptation. I guess at the end of the day everyone’s gonna feel differently about it.

          He was! It’s that thing he does with his expressions, where he makes a hilarious joke in just one look! Love him :)

          I hope they do, because you can sure as hell bet I’ll be there! Hm, yes, approximately twenty viewings should reasonably suffice for all the lost magic of seeing them premiere for the first time in theatres. Maybe a couple extra times though for good measure ;)

          Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if me not seeing LOTR in theatres played a role in me being more open to The Hobbit films. I don’t have anything to compare it to so it’s easier to love. Or maybe I just don’t want to be disappointed, so I’m subconsciously telling myself I love the movies :P Who knows, who knows!

          I swear, if your grandchildren grow up thinking LOTR is RUBBISH and BORING, then your son/daughter has done something very very wrong! Although I guess I’ve done the same to some of the things my own grandparents think are golden from their younger years :P

          Ooooh, I don’t know! I’ve racked my brains trying to come up with an answer for you but I honestly don’t remember! Many years ago, that’s all I can say (too many, in fact). I should watch them soon, maybe over Christmas break or something I’ll have a marathon… :)

          • Well, if everyone thought the same and had the same opinions, how boring would that be! ;) I know what you mean, though. It is an enticing dream.

            Ha, oh yes, we cannot forget the couple of extra viewings for good measure ;) There’s no such thing as over-seeing it. Never never.

            I think it must play a part, I really do, ’cause all my friends (i.e. people who saw LotR in the cinemas) do nothing but bitch about The Hobbit films. It’s quite funny actually. I went for a meal around Christmastime/New Year last year, and everyone who happened to like LotR/Tolkien etc was at one end of the table, while everyone else who didn’t was at the other end (complete coincidence that was, but I happened to be right in the middle, so I could dip in and out of whichever conversation I preferred). Anyway, my LotR friends started talking about the latest Hobbit film, and they went on and on and on and on about literally every single thing wrong with it. I don’t think I had ever seen them bitch quite like that before. It was an experience, to say the least :P Needless to say, I joined in with this bitching.

            Hahahahaha, this is true!! My son/daughter will obviously grow up loving LotR themselves. There is no option. When they are old enough to watch it, I shall sit them down and say, “YOU ARE WATCHING THIS SACRED FILM AND YOU WILL LOVE IT AND YOU WILL PASS DOWN THE SACREDNESS ONTO YOUR OWN CHILDREN, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?! AND IF YOU REFUSE TO LOVE IT THEN THERE IS NO OPTION BUT TO DISOWN YOU. IS THAT CLEAR?!” Grand parenting right there, I think you’ll agree ;)

            You know, I was sat here thinking the other how long it’s been since I last had a marathon. I feel one is due. A friend of mine once said, “If you cannot remember the last time you watched LotR, it’s time to watch LotR again.” Wise, wise words.

          • Haha sounds like a rowdy table! I can only imagine the hatred and desire to burn growing more and more intense while the non-LOTR fans were slowly engulfed by the fiery loathing at the other end of the table XD

            Yep, that’s the kind of parenting that all the parenting experts advise. If your kids aren’t raised with respect for the most sacred of their parents’ obsessions, then your kids will ultimately end up a failure at everything and will be miserable forever. It’s totally a proven correlation ;)

            Ooh, wise words indeed! I definitely must plan a marathon, I simply cannot go much longer without seeing them again!

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