We’ve assumed it for a long time now, ever since rumors that Cate Blanchett would be joining the production of The Hobbit and that they were looking to cast someone as Radagast the Brown began to swirl, but Peter Jackson has now confirmed that the attack of the White Council on Dol Guldur will be a major plot point of the movies, which now have confirmed release dates of December 14th, 2012, and December 13th, 2013, under the names The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
A translation for everybody who just wants to go see the movies but hasn’t read the extra books you need to read to understand a bit of Tolkien story that didn’t even make it into The Hobbit itself follows.
The members of White Council were:
Gandalf (who needs no introduction), Saruman (Christopher Lee before he went evil), Elrond (Hugo Weaving’s I’ve Got Knots In My Hair And I’m Wearing Twenty Pounds of Brocade character), Galadriel (the beautiful elf lady with the single terrifying mood swing from The Fellowship), and a few other blokes including Círdan the Shipwright and some other wizards, including Radagast the Brown who is most memorable for liking to talk to animals.
Back in The Hobbit, Sauron (that’s the big flaming eye) hadn’t set up shop in Mordor yet. He was hanging out in southern Mirkwood (where Legolas is from). Mirkwood was not a happy place due to his influence. So the White Council decided to throw him out of the place before he got any stronger.
A group of the most powerful magic users in Middle Earth all got together and had a spectacular battle with Middle Earth’s biggest, baddest enemy, and kicked his ass. (And their resounding victory was used for many years by Saruman to dismiss the others’ worries about Sauron rising again in another part of the world, so that he could spend his energies watching Sauron’s forces to see if he knew where the One Ring was so that Saruman could get to it first. So there’s that.) It’s like if Middle Earth had a Justice League, and smack in the middle of The Hobbit it just so happened to defeat Darkseid. If Middle Earth had the Avengers, and they threw down with Thanos.
Sadly, the awesome potential of the battle at Dol Guldur does not appear in The Hobbit originally, possibly because Tolkien had not yet figured out that it was happening (he didn’t know who Strider was when he wrote the first draft of the scene in the Prancing Pony, after all), and possibly because he was a terrible novelist. A brilliant linguist and creative thinker, but a terrible novelist.
But Peter Jackson wants us to know for sure that it’s in his version of the story:
I’m not going to say just what and when, but I will confirm that both the White Council and Dol Guldur will feature in the movies. And not just in one scene either. Just how to visualise it has been a challenge, but fortunately Alan Lee and John Howe went crazy with ideas, and it should look pretty cool.
He also included a picture of the White Council planning their attack while “brandishing an array of fearsome Elvish weapons,” which turned out to be the image above. Yes, that’s Peter Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, and Ian McKellan. Now you can be sad that you aren’t in The Hobbit.
(via Peter Jackson on Facebook.)