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Ian McKellen Says Which Female Tolkien Character Will Show Up In The Hobbit Extended Release


The Hobbit, as well as The Lord of the Rings, are lacking in women in a big way. You can blame the guy who wrote the first book in 1937 if you feel the need, but when adapting those stories to film in 2013, the absence is noted. Peter Jackson went so far as to add a new elf, Tauriel, to his Hobbit trilogy but it turns out a few of the women who already existed in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world didn’t make the cut for theater viewings. Sir Ian McKellen explains who. 

McKellen keeps a blog on the films’ production on his website. He recently posted about the lack of women in Tolkien’s world but when on to give some intriguing information.

One thing Middle-earth is short on is the feminine. It’s a pity, because a female dwarf would have been fun. Bilbo’s mother, the “famous Belladonna Took,” will make a brief appearance in the extended DVD/Blu-ray edition but in the film itself, thank goodness for the ravishing re-appearance of Cate Blanchett’s serene Galadriel. She is so sweet to Gandalf, countering the sinister presence of a mournful Saruman at the conference table. Actually Christopher Lee wasn’t with the rest of us, filming in New Zealand. His contribution was shot back home in London and then sliced into the scene, though you can’t tell, of course.

Also on hand with the other gorgeous-looking elves in Rivendell is FIGWIT: and if you don’t know who that is, you haven’t been following the Flight of the Conchords’ subplot. It’s a Kiwi in-joke.

I don’t think he’s realized how far Figwit has come.

That aside, we’re with McKellen here, some dwarf women would have been great. Not to mention, Belladonna totally should have made the cut, and holy crap, Christopher Lee wasn’t with them in that scene!?

The moral of this post is, McKellen should talk more often.

(via Blastr)

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  • Anonymous

    Fact that is slipped so delicately into this statement.
    EXTENDED RELEASE of The Hobbit.
    So we’re finally going to get to see that scene where Bilbo orders new crockery before he leaves on his adventure.

  • Jesse MacKinnon

    My favorite approach to gender parity in The Hobbit was the BBC Radio adaptation in the late 60s. They simply cast women as a number of the Dwarves, certainly Fili and Kili, and perhaps a few others if I recall correctly. I’m as much of a Tolkien purist as they come, and I think that Thorin and Balin are the only ones that explicitly have to be male.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    I believe we already knew they were doing an extended edition.

  • Jaggikinz

    The extended edition is 2 years long, as it actually shows Bilbo writing the first part of his book (before the One ring stuff begins) page by page. It’s a tough sell to watch him sit at his desk and write, occasionally muttering to himself, for two straight years, but us super-fans will gladly postpone two years of our lives to watch it.

  • WheelchairNinja

    Aren’t Dwarf women are supposed to have beards? So how would we tell?

    I know I saw a (clean shaven) dwarf woman running from the Lonely Mountain when Smaug attacked. But I missed Figwit! :(

  • Anonymous

    “The Hobbit, as well as The Lord of the Rings, are
    lacking in women in a big way. You can blame the guy who wrote the first
    book in 1937 if you feel the need, but when adapting those stories to
    film in 2013, the absence is noted.”

    And yet, that never seems to come up with Lawrence of Arabia, Platoon, The Great Escape, Glengarry Glen Ross, 12 Angry Men, The Thing, and most war films.

    Some stories don’t have to have female characters, just as some stories didn’t have have to have male characters. The problem, as ever, is the severe disparity which leads to far more of the former and the latter, but I’m of the opinion it’d be more worthwhile to adapt properties that *already* have decent female characters instead of gratuitously insert them into ones that don’t. It just makes the female characters gratuitous and superfluous, as opposed to relevant to the story. Rather than just stick female characters in The Hobbit, why not adapt stories that already have relevant female characters intrinsic to the narrative?

    Argh, never mind, these movies aren’t adaptations anyway, they’re RPG after-action reports using Middle-earth as a campaign setting. Which is awesome, but faithful they ain’t.

  • http://twitter.com/Tonks07 Mandy

    I thought I’d spotted at least one Dwarf woman in those scenes as well!

  • http://twitter.com/Leebot Leebot

    In a vacuum, there’s nothing wrong with this. Some movies, by virtue of their settings and historical accuracy, will be dominated by men. No one disputes this. Some other movies will, by simple chance, end up with more male than female characters. This isn’t necessarily a problem for any individual film.

    It’s only problematic when one looks at a broad array of films and sees that 80% of all important characters are male (and white, het males at that). Little things that aren’t problematic on their own can add up.

    In this case, I don’t think there’s much of a problem. It’s an adaptation of an existing work which was 99% male, and it’s made some efforts to include a few women. It’s moving in the right direction, so there’s really nothing to complain about in this case, as I see it. (If it were moving in the other direction, for instance by removing Belladonna Took and not adding any female characters, THEN it would be a problem.)

  • John Wao

    Saw The Hobbit this past Friday. It was okay. Can’t wait for Smaug to make his appearance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10049645 Katie Frederick

    I thought it would be pretty difficult to miss Figwit, since he had several lines this time around. Bret McKenzie played the elf who greeted Gandalf and the dwarves at Rivendell before Elrond rode in. He just goes by the name Lindir.

    And on the subjuct of Dwarf women, I found these concept art images a couple weeks ago. No full-on beards, but definately some heavy sideburns going on.
    http://gingerhaze.tumblr.com/post/38022412282/rambeltilx-gallirand-thorineichenschild

  • Anonymous

    “THE HOBBIT EXTENDED RELEASE”
    the wat. This movie is already 3 hours long.

    But I remember my sister nudging me in the movie when an elf man appeared in Rivendell … “look, the first wom- oh wait.” I hadn’t noticed until then, but yeah.

  • Brian

    I just assume about half the dwarfs are women. I arbitrarily chose Kili, Oin, Bifur, Ori, Nori, and Balin variously while watching.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anatasia.beaverhousen.7 Anatasia Beaverhousen

    Holy crap, I’ve been to see it twice and didn’t notice that Christopher Lee was spliced in.

  • http://twitter.com/GalacticCynthia Cynthia

    I saw a bunch of them during the attach & flight from Erebor’s destruction – ALL beardless! I was dissapoint.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    How do you know? Maybe some of those you thought were men were actually bearded women.

  • Michal

    “The Hobbit, as well as The Lord of the Rings, are lacking in women in a big way.” No, they aren’t. Have you guys ever seen Lawrence of Arabia? No woman during three and a half hours. Films can do without women. Filmmakers only don’t want to accept it and instead force female characters into them.

  • Michal

    What makes you think “it’s moving in the right direction”? I don’t think putting women in a film just for their presence’s sake is a move in the right direction.

  • Canisa

    They don’t need to add female characters out of nowhere; they can just genderswap half of the existing male characters. Also I’m not convinced that ‘historical accuracy’ is a particularly compelling excuse when discussing Middle Earth, the land of elves, dwarves and dragons etc. etc.

  • Yikes

    To Thoin’s surpise Kili is actually his niece.
    Ok ok, stop pelting me with tomatoes.