Archive of posts tagged Mordor

The White Council in The Hobbit

White Council attacks Dol Guldur

The White Council attacks Dol Guldur by Angus McBride

In a previous post titled “Elrond in the Battle of the Five Armies?” I posed the question of whether we would see Elrond in the Battle of the Five Armies, or even possibly in a flashback showing him leading the elves in support of the Dúnedain in the north against the Witch-king of Angmar. This was based on a new image leaked from the 2013 Hobbit calendar that shows Elrond dressed in battle gear.

While perusing a message board online, I came across a comment one user made a while back that said they had read in a magazine that Elrond would accompany Gandalf when the wizard goes to Dol Guldur in search of the evil influence there that we know as the Necromancer. Unfortunately they didn’t mention what magazine it was that they had read this in. This led me to do some more searching on the Internet to see if I could come up with any more information regarding this, and to see if this could be why the new calendar has an image of Elrond wearing armor. If you don’t want to know anything that could be considered spoilers, you had best stop reading here.

My search first led me to none other than director Peter Jackson’s official Facebook page. In May of 2011, Jackson answered some questions that fans had posed to him in regards to The Hobbit. One such question was whether we would see the White Council attacking Dol Guldur. Jackson’s reply to this wasn’t a definitive ‘yes’ but it is promising.

“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.”

Now I need to point out that after making the above comment Jackson followed it up with an exclusive look at what he says is “the White Council planning the attack on Dol Guldur!” The photo in question is none other than himself, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, and Cate Blanchett hamming it up with a bunch of children’s toys!

Does this mean we won’t get to see the White Council attacking Dol Guldur? Certainly not, it just means Peter Jackson isn’t ready to tell us definitively yet, and probably wants to keep it a surprise for the movie(s). We have seen footage of Gandalf walking around Dol Guldur in the trailers, but this is probably when he goes there on a scouting mission for the White Council to determine just what the evil influence is.

The White Council was comprised mainly of the wizards Saruman and Gandalf (and possibly Radagast), and the leaders of the elves Elrond and Galadriel, as well as other wise elves such as Círdan and Glorfindel. As part of the back story to events taking place in The Hobbit, the White Council attacks the Necromancer, whom they now know to be the dark lord Sauron returned, at Dol Guldur, driving him out and back to Mordor.

As to what that message board user had read pertaining to Elrond and Gandalf at Dol Guldur, I did eventually find that the August 2011 edition of Empire Magazine, which sadly I was not able to get,  is where they probably read it.

“The week following Empire’s visit, the director will shoot Gandalf and Elrond scouting the murky dungeons of forest fastness Dol Guldur.” – ‘The Hobbit’ article featured in Empire Magazine August 2011 issue.

Knowing this, it is a good bet that the image of Elrond in the 2013 Hobbit calendar is in fact showing him when he and Gandalf are scouting Dol Guldur. Of course, there is still the possibility he could be at the Battle of the Five Armies. In Peter Jackson’s version of The Hobbit, anything is possible.

Elrond in the Battle of the Five Armies?

Elrond from the official 2013 Hobbit calendar

Elrond in the new Hobbit calendar

A recent image of Elrond from the official The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2013 calendar raises some questions about whether he will be seen during the Battle of the Five Armies in The Hobbit.

The image on the new calendar from Mead shows the wise elf lord in his armor that he wore during the Battle of the Last Alliance briefly shown in The Lord of the Rings films. But there are some notable differences between the Elrond we saw in Last Alliance battle scenes and this new image.

Elrond shown wearing his crown

Elrond’s crown at the Council

Most notably Elrond is wearing his crown in this photo, something that he was not shown wearing in the battle clips seen in the movies. This crown also appears to be different than the one he is shown wearing during the council scenes in The Fellowship of the Ring. The crown in the calendar image appears more pointed in the front, almost forming a v-shape.

Elrond in the Battle of the Last Alliance

Elrond at the Last Alliance

Another notable thing is Elrond is not wearing the house emblem of Gil-Galad, last High-king of the Noldor to whom he was herald during the Last Alliance. Gil-Galad’s house emblem can be seen in this photo of Elrond from the Last Alliance, it is attached to the chainmail around his neck, which is something else that is not seen in the new image of Elrond in the calendar. Also his armor appears to be of a different color. Instead of being green-gold it looks to be more closer to a burgundy/red-gold.

Do these differences point to the possibility that Elrond could be present at the Battle of the Five Armies in The Hobbit? We will probably have to wait until the third Hobbit movie to find out, unless some other images come out.

What do you think? Will we see Elrond, and maybe his sons, at the Battle of the Five Armies?

*UPDATE: Another possibility is that we may see Elrond’s role in the battle against the Witch-king of Angmar as part of a flash back. In an earlier post on where they broke down the Hobbit footage shown at Comic-Con, it was mentioned there was a scene depicting the White Council talking about the Witch-king of Angmar.

‘[Galadriel] explains how the Men of the North once battled against the Witch-King of Angmar, and succeeded in burying him in a spell-protected crypt, “so dark and deeply buried it would never see light again.”’

Though the Witch-king’s forces in Angmar were ultimately defeated by the men of Gondor, in an earlier battle Elrond called the elves of Lindon (under Círdan), Rivendell, and Lórien together to go to the aid of the Dúnedain, Aragorn’s ancestors,  in the north. This is information that is included in the Appendix of The Return of the King, which director Peter Jackson has the rights to use.

Also pointed out by TORn is the fact that “nowhere in the books did the Dúnedain show the ability to imprison the Nazgûl.” In the books the Witch-king escapes to Mordor. Jackson and Company have taken liberties in the past to change a few things around (e.g. Elves at Helm’s Deep!), so the fact that they are changing the witch-king’s story line around is not surprising. Could we then be shown the battle with the Witch-king in the Hobbit, with Elrond and the elves fighting alongside the Dúnedain?

Whatever the reason for having Elrond shown in battle armor, you can be sure we will be eagerly awaiting to see/hear further about it!

**UPDATE: See the post ‘The White Council in The Hobbit‘ for more on this.

Elenya, 7th of Tuilë – Today in Middle-earth History

Third Age 3018: Gandalf proves Frodo has the One Ring and tells him the history of it.

Gandalf uses tongs to pick up the One Ring

For a moment the wizard stood looking at the fire; then he stooped and removed the ring to the hearth with the tongs, and at once picked it up. Frodo gasped.

‘It is quite cool,’ said Gandalf. ‘Take it!’ Frodo received it on his shrinking palm: it seemed to have become thicker and heavier than ever.

‘Hold it up!’ said Gandalf. ‘And look closely!’

As Frodo did so, he now saw fine lines, finer than the finest pen-strokes, running along the ring, outside and inside: lines of fire that seemed to form the letters of a flowing script. They shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth.

The One Ring script
‘I cannot read the fiery letters,’ said Frodo in a quavering voice.

‘No,’ said Gandalf, ‘but I can. The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Mordor, which I will not utter here. But this in the Common Tongue is what is said…:

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

It is only two lines of a verse long known in Elven-lore:

    Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.’

He paused, and then said slowly in a deep voice: ‘This is the Master-ring, the One Ring to rule them all. This is the One Ring that he lost many ages ago, to the great weakening of his power. He greatly desires it — but he must not get it.’

[The Fellowship of the Ring, LotR Book 1, Ch 2, The Shadow of the Past]

The Hobbit Production Video #6

The sixth The Hobbit production video has been uploaded by Peter Jackson. It is the second part showcasing the adventures of location shooting.

Part one of these two videos left us off in Hobbiton. This one starts us off on the set of Laketown with Peter Jackson mentioning (teasing) that unfortunately he can’t show us what the set looks like, at least not until 2013 when the second part of The Hobbit is released to theaters.

From there viewers are whisked away to various filming locations, some that may seem familiar to eagle-eye LOTR fans. Jackson points out that one location they are filming at is just upstream from where they filmed Gollum chasing a fish while leading Frodo and Sam to Mordor. Ever environmentally conscious, we are shown how at one location they erected special scaffolding to protect the environment from the rigors of filming.

Andy Serkis takes over the reins at one point to continue the journey as head of the Second Unit. Serkis says they’ve been doing a lot of aerial shots for the film using a space cam mounted on the nose of helicopters.

Commemorative Day 127 hoodie

At one point while criss-crossing the north and south islands that make up New Zealand, First unit and Second unit crossed paths during shooting on the 127th day of filming, the project’s halfway point. Everyone was issued a commemorative hoodie to mark the occasion. The hoodie features a sketch version of the sleeping dragon Smaug.
Smaug is a closely guarded secret and one that Hobbit fans can’t wait to see.

Once again we’re shown how all the cast a crews needs are met. Oranges seem to be the hot item along coffee. And we’re shown that the cast doesn’t get to have all the fun. The crew does Formal Fridays to help keep track of what day of the week it is.

This vlog marks the end of 2/3rds of the production of The Hobbit. It’ll be sad to see this film come to an end.

The sixth The Hobbit production video can be viewed here: The Hobbit Production Video #6

Menelya, 29th Coirë – Today in Middle-earth History

Third Age 3019: Gandalf and Pippin, on Shadowfax, reach Minas Tirith.

Gandalf and Pippin approach Minas Tirith

Gandalf and Pippin on Shadowfax approach Minas Tirith

” ‘Fare you well!’ said Ingold; and the men made way for Shadowfax, and he passed through a narrow gate in the wall. ‘May you bring good counsel to Denethor in his need, and to us all, Mithrandir!’ Ingold cried. ‘But you come with tidings of grief and danger, as is your wont, they say.’

‘Because I come seldom but when my help is needed,’ answered Gandalf. ‘And as for counsel, to you I would say that you are over-late in repairing the wall of the Pelennor. Courage will now be your best defence against the storm that is at hand — that and such hope as I bring. For not all the tidings that I bring are evil. But leave your trowels and sharpen your swords!’ “

[The Return of the King, LotR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith]

—Faramir leaves Henneth Annûn for Minas Tirith.

—Aragorn and his company, followed by the Dead,  set out from the Stone of  Erech and come to Calembel on the River Ciril.

King of the Oathbreakers - A Tolkien illustration by Ted Nasmith

‘King of the Oathbreakers’ by Ted Nasmith

“‘…We rode from the Black Stone,’ [Legolas] said. ‘And lo! in the darkness of Mordor my hope rose; for in that gloom the Shadow Host seemed to grow stronger and more terrible to look upon. Some I saw riding, some striding, yet all moving with the same great speed. Silent they were, but there was a gleam in their eyes. In the uplands of Lamedon they overtook our horses, and swept round us, and would have passed us by, if Aragorn had not forbidden them.’

‘At his command they fell back. “Even the shades of Men are obedient to his will,” I thought. “They may serve his needs yet!””

[The Return of the King, LotR Book 5, Ch 9, The Last Debate]

—At dusk Frodo reaches the Morgul-road.
—Théoden comes to Dunharrow.
—The Storm of Mordor  begins to flow across the lands to the west during the night.


Aldúya, 16th Coirë – Today in Middle-earth History

Last Words of Boromir by Ted Nasmith

‘Last Words of Boromir’ by Ted Nasmith “They will look for him from the White Tower, but he will not return from mountain or from sea.” -Aragorn

Third Age 3019: The breaking of the Fellowship of the Ring.

—Boromir tries to take the ring from Frodo but does not succeed.
—Frodo and Sam head off to Mordor together, entering the eastern Emyn Muil.
—Boromir tries to save Merry and Pippin from the attacking Orcs but is slain; his horn is heard in Minas Tirith for the last time.
—Merry and Pippin are captured by the Orcs.

“A mile, maybe, from Parth Galen in a little glade not far from the lake he found Boromir. He was sitting with his back to a great tree, as if he was resting. But Aragorn saw that he was pierced with many black-feathered arrows; his sword was still in his hand, but it was broken near the hilt; his horn cloven in two was at his side. Many Orcs lay slain, piled all about him and at his feet.

Aragorn knelt beside him. Boromir opened his eyes and strove to speak. At last slow words came. ‘I tried to take the Ring from Frodo,’ he said. ‘I am sorry. I have paid.’ His glance strayed to his fallen enemies; twenty at least lay there. ‘They have gone: the Halflings: the Orcs have taken them. I think they are not dead. Orcs bound them.’ He paused and his eyes closed wearily. After a moment he spoke again.

‘Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.’

‘No!’ said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. ‘You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!’

Boromir smiled.”

[The Two Towers, LotR Book 3, Ch 1, The Departure of Boromir]

The Three Hunters - Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli

The Three Hunters

—The Three Hunters – Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli – set out after the Orcs at nightfall.

“[Aragorn] stood silent for a moment. ‘I will follow the Orcs,’ he said at last. ‘I would have guided Frodo to Mordor and gone with him to the end; but if I seek him now in the wilderness, I must abandon the captives to torment and death. My heart speaks clearly at last: the fate of the Bearer is in my hands no longer. The Company has played its part. Yet we that remain cannot forsake our companions while we have strength left. Come! We will go now. Leave all that can be spared behind! We will press on by day and dark!'”

[The Two Towers, LotR Book 3, Ch 1, The Departure of Boromir]

—Éomer of Rohan hears about the descent of the Orcs from the Emyn Muil.