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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Not all that glitters is gold

It’s Official: We’ll Get to See The White Council Throw Down With Sauron in The Hobbit


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.)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741755026 Alexander Lorenzen

    As soon as I heard it was in two parts, I predicted this. My friends were like: “Okay, there’s no evidence yet, what makes you think he’s not going to just drag out the book into two movies.?” Because PJ knows what he’s doing. I always thought all of the Sauron/White Council backstory was incredibly interesting, but was frustrated that Tolkien never did anything with it besides have Gandalf summarize it. I feel like every movie that has come out since the LOTR’s trilogy has just been filler to hold the world over until the two come out.

    If I may address something. I know people are going to get in my face (metaphorically) about this and tell me to “get over it,” but I don’t think it’s fair to call Tolkien a terrible novelist (yes I know it was mentioned that he was talented in other areas). I’d say he was terrible at editing and structuring his work. Yes, that is part of being a novelist, but I think the parts of writing that he is good at have yet to be surpassed. The sense of wonder generated by the lore of Middle-Earth have changed lives and will inspire creative minds for generations. I’d say disliking his writing style is a matter of opinion rather than fact. I guess I just like long descriptions and exposition :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741755026 Alexander Lorenzen

    As soon as I heard it was in two parts, I predicted this. My friends were like: “Okay, there’s no evidence yet, what makes you think he’s not going to just drag out the book into two movies.?” Because PJ knows what he’s doing. I always thought all of the Sauron/White Council backstory was incredibly interesting, but was frustrated that Tolkien never did anything with it besides have Gandalf summarize it. I feel like every movie that has come out since the LOTR’s trilogy has just been filler to hold the world over until the two come out.

    If I may address something. I know people are going to get in my face (metaphorically) about this and tell me to “get over it,” but I don’t think it’s fair to call Tolkien a terrible novelist (yes I know it was mentioned that he was talented in other areas). I’d say he was terrible at editing and structuring his work. Yes, that is part of being a novelist, but I think the parts of writing that he is good at have yet to be surpassed. The sense of wonder generated by the lore of Middle-Earth have changed lives and will inspire creative minds for generations. I’d say disliking his writing style is a matter of opinion rather than fact. I guess I just like long descriptions and exposition :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741755026 Alexander Lorenzen

    Sorry I got defensive :( I’m not trying to accuse you of attacking Tolkien. I know you wouldn’t have written this if you weren’t a fan ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741755026 Alexander Lorenzen

    Sorry I got defensive :( I’m not trying to accuse you of attacking Tolkien. I know you wouldn’t have written this if you weren’t a fan ;)

  • Anonymous

    Haha, no problem. It’s a little unfair to call Tolkien a terrible novelist, but what I mean by it is that he generally makes choices that are good for him but not good for the reader. Splitting The Two Towers into a non-linear narrative, for example. Not telling the reader about Gandalf going off and doing something really awesome and exciting just as The Hobbit winds into one of its most tedious few chapters. Leaving Arwen and Aragorn’s romance, which he clearly had put a lot of heart into, judging by the appendices, almost completely out of The Lord of the Rings proper, etc.

    That said, if his books weren’t compelling enough to get past those flaws, we wouldn’t even be talking about them :)

  • John Coene

    “It’s like if Middle Earth had a Justice League,”

    And the award for Geekiest Sentence Uttered in All of 2011 goes to… Susana Polo.

    *wheezing asthmatic cries of joy*

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741755026 Alexander Lorenzen

    Well said, I completely agree with Aragorn and Arwen’s romance, I think that’s why I love the Silmarillion so much, by no means is it written to be a bestseller, but I loved how epic the relationship between Beren and Luthien was. I think Peter Jackson took more from that as an influence for A&A’s relationship for the films than from the actualy LOTR’s trilogy. I can’t believe I just referred to them as A&A.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7G4SWUX2MCWWXLMYNN347JMIZY Frodo Baggins

    There’s some gorgeous descriptive passages in LOTR, alright. I didn’t read it for the linguistics and mythology, I’ll tell ya that much. I read it because that shit was enthralling and compelling and beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000416149823 Hannah Wick

    Oh, one little thing they didn’t put in the article. Sylvester McCoy.