For an epic like Peter Jackson’s film trilogy of The Hobbit, whose source material has a major and rabid fanbase, there’s going to be a lot of dissection of the adaptations (that’s why it helps to watch the filmmaker’s 30 hours of Blu-ray bonus features). The folks over at the Tolkien fan site The One Ring have brought attention to a list, created by fan Gary Appenzeller, of the differences and similarities between The Hobbit book and its 3-film adaptation. The list, which includes instances from the first two films of the planned trilogy, is quite lengthy and even notes some of the very minor details.
Below are six items from the list that pertain to The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, which was released in theaters on December 13, 2013.
The instances below in bold are from Appenzeller’s list; the text accompanying each item was written by me.
And, obviously, SPOILERS for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.
Bilbo’s taunting – Attercop, Tomnoddy, Lazy Lob
When the dwarves are caught by the spiders, in the book, Bilbo sings to taunt the spiders and lead them away from his companions. This taunting, delivered in the book in song where the hobbit calls the creatures names like Attercop, Old Tomnoddy, Lazy Lob, and Crazy Cob, is not in the film. In the book, it’s explained that while the insults might not be great ones, Bilbo had to make them up by himself on the spot and that “no spider ever liked being called Attercop, and Tomnoddy of course is insulting to anyone.”
Kili is shot by a goblin.
In the film, Kili is shot by a goblin during the barrel escape, but this doesn’t happen in the book. In the film, Kili is the good-looking one amongst the dwarves and his on-screen injury serves to fuel the love triangle side story with the female elf Turiel, who is a character that was created by the filmmakers.
The barrels are chased along the river bank by goblins, and Legolas and Turiel fight them.
Though the barrels, with the dwarves in them, are going along the river in the book, the film adds in goblins running alongside them on the river bank and attacking them, with the elves Legolas and Turiel running along as well while fighting off the goblins. Legolas, while a major character from Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, is not part of The Hobbit; Turiel, as previously mentioned, is not a creation of Tolkien and was added into the film adaptation, appearing for the first time in Smaug.
Bard finds a parchment that indicates that Thorin is the King Under The Mountain
In one of those convenient situations in the film, Bard The Bowman, who snuck the dwarves into Lake-town, finds a parchment that proves that Thorin is the actual King Under The Mountain as claimed. This isn’t something that’s in the book.
Bilbo’s hair is burned off the back of his head and feet, and his skin is scorched.
While Bilbo is in the dragon Smaug’s lair, the dragon breathes lots of fire, and as with most action films, no one gets burned or even singes a single eyebrow. It’s the same in Smaug, though in the book, it states that Bilbo gets scorched and the hair on the back of his head and feet get burned off and the dwarves even try to do something for his burns. In the film, he pretty much walks out unscathed, even after being surrounded by fire.
The dwarves (and Bilbo) battle Smaug by tricking him into starting up some furnaces and covering him with molten metal.
In the book, the dragon and the dwarves never encounter each other and Bilbo is the one who faces Smaug in his lair. In the film, there’s an entire sequence added where after a while, the dwarves come to rescue Bilbo and trick the dragon into starting up the furnaces, thereby melting the gold in the lair and conveniently covering the greedy dragon in molten metal. While this was a highly difficult and unlikely feat for the dwarves, its success did make for some spectacular action on screen.
Click here to take a look at Appenzeller’s massive list of similarities and differences compiled so far.
Jackson’s first film installment, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is out now on Extended Edition Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, and DVD. The Desolation Of Smaug is out in theaters now, while the final film, There And Back Again, arrives in theaters on December 17, 2014.