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The Hobbit‘s Philippa Boyens Explains Cliffhangers and Dwarven Character Development

There And Back Again

Philippa Boyens, co-writer on all of The Lord of the Rings Movies shares some details on the cliffhanger at the end of The Desolation of Smaug, and on why she and co-writers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh decided to break the cardinal rules of adventuring and split the party.

Even if you’ve read The Hobbit the ending of Desolation feels a little abrupt. You know what’s coming, after all, and it’s going to be pretty glorious. Well, gloriously destructive. The ending is a bit of a tease. Boyens thought the ending made perfect sense.

It felt so natural that I got a shock when the audience got a shock! If you can imagine what transpires next and what’s coming, it’s quite a huge chunk of storytelling. Not only that, but you enter into the tone of the third film, which is very definitely – as is the book, by the way – moving towards the world of Middle-earth as it becomes in Lord Of The Rings. Some dark stuff goes on.

One of the other seemingly odd changes made from The Hobbit flies in the face of all the lessons we learned from Dungeons and Dragons: don’t split the party. Dwarf characters Bifur, Bofur, Fili and Kili were left behind in Laketown while the rest of Thorin’s company headed off for the Lonely Mountain. Boyens explained that this was a deliberate choice in order to give the destruction of Laketown the proper emotional impact on the audience.

We made that decision [so we would] experience the attack on Lake-town through the eyes of people we’ve come a long way with. We wanted some of the dwarves to understand what happened in that firestorm, that holocaust that rains down upon Lake-town. Bofur comes more into his own in the third film. A rift begins to open up. And I can’t say much more without going into spoilers for film three, but it’s primarily because we needed him to be there when the dragon attacks.

Speaking of film three, a mere nine months away as the post production team flies, Boyens said that it is still in the process of being edited, but that she’s particularly looking forward to seeing Richard Armitage‘s performance as Thorin spirals into gold madness.

(via Empire Online.)

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