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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:53 am 
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Anyone object if I chip in the next part?

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:41 am 
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That would be great. I'm up the walls at work and don't know when I'll next be able to contribute

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:10 pm 
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I'll take us up to bedtime, then. Should be able to get this up by tomorrow, luck being with me.

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Looking forward to it! :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Here is the first part of the scene. This finishes up the "light" bit and leads into the explanation. I'm breaking it up a bit because I want to make sure I've hit the right tone before I post the heavy stuff. For approval:

[Camera focus on Bilbo, shocked. Pan back as Dwarves climb to their feet. Bilbo struggles to help them, but he is too small to be much good and the hall is too narrow for him to get where he needs to. Camera pan over Dwarves, slightly rumpled. Bifur and Bofur grin as if this has been a goo d joke, Bombur looks worried, and Thorin seems very affronted. Gandalf chuckles softly.]

Bilbo: (stammering) I’m terribly sorry . . . Please come in . . .
Bifur, Bofur, Bombur: (bow) At your service. (all hang hoods on the remaining pegs. Bofur takes Thorin’s hood and hangs it carefully, moving another hood to make space for it. Gandalf steps inside, ducking under the rafters. Camera focus on Gandalf as he hangs his hat on the last peg, turns toward Bilbo, and tangles in the chandelier.)
Gandalf: (very pleased) Well, now we are all here. (to Bilbo) I hope there’s something for the late-comers to eat?
Bilbo: (brightly) Of course! The tea is ready, and –
Gandalf: This is not a night for tea. A little red wine for me.
Thorin: And for me.
Bifur: (quickly) Apple tarts.
Bofur: Mince pie and cheese.
Bombur: Pork pie and salad.
Bilbo: Of course. Please follow me.

[Camera follows as he hurries down the hall. Dwarves, Gandalf follow. Camera pan the room, very crowded by now, as Dwarves scramble to make room for the newcomers. Dwalin and Ori clear a space for a large chair near the fire. Balin brings a leather armchair and sets it in the place of honor. All Dwarves bow as Thorin sits in the chair.

[Camera cut to kitchen. Bilbo enters top right, carrying a small carafe of red wine. He sets it on a tray with fine glass cups. Camera pan over table; several different pies, loaves of bread, cheeses, a ham, and a platter of cakes are laid out. Mugs of beer are on another tray at one end of the table. A kettle whistles over the fire. Camera focus on Bilbo, who surveys the load.]

Bilbo: (frusterated, mutters) Hurrumph! They seem to know as much about my larder as I do myself! Why don’t some of them lend me a hand, I’d like to know!

[Camera shift to door. Balin and Dwalin bustle in, scoop up large trays, and hurry out. Fili and Kili follow. Bilbo is left with only the tray of wine and cups. Camera cut to parlor, where Dwarves have moved much of the furniture into the hall, set up tables, chairs, and plates, and made themselves at home. Bilbo enters left, puffing a bit. Ori takes the wine from Bilbo, carries it to Thorin, and serves Thorin and Gandalf. Camera cut to Bilbo, gaping.]

Balin: (tucks in a napkin) This is quite a meal.
Oin: Now I don’t mind missing breakfast.
Gandalf: (sips wine) I told you there would be a fine spread laid for us.
Bilbo: (under his breath) Generous of you! (takes a shortbread from a plate and sits near the fire.)

[Camera pan over table as Dwarves eat. Shadows lengthen. Focus on fire, slowly burning to coals. Bilbo puts another log on the fire and begins to gather empty plates. Thorin leans back in his chair, lights his pipe, and draws a long breath.]

Thorin: It looks to be a long night, and it will get no shorter for delay. Clear away!

[At this, all Dwarves except Thorin begin to clear away plates. Bilbo is pushed into a corner by the crowd of Dwarves. Camera follows Bilbo down the hall as Dwarves work efficiently to clear away the mess and put the kitchen right. Camera focus Fili, drying plates and bowls and tossing them over the heads of other Dwarves to Kili, who stands near the cupboard, catches them, and puts them away. Camera focus on Dori and Nori, who place a bucket of soapy water in the middle of the table, shove rags into the water, and begin to wash the table while sending soap flying about the kitchen.]

Bilbo: (shouting to be heard over the noise) Please don’t trouble yourselves – Those are my mother’s! Have a care! I can manage! By all that’s --!
Dwarves: (laugh, comment on Bilbo’s worries)
Gloin: (calm, pats Bilbo’s shoulder) Come on now, Mr. Baggins. Why don’t you go back and sit down quietly. Have a cup of tea and leave this to us. (ushers Bilbo off screen lower right)

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:54 pm 
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I like it! In fact I like it so much I'm not even going to check the book for what's changed or omitted. It feels like The Hobbit and the dialogue works really well!

Nicely done!

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Thank you, Alatar. That's high praise from you. Here's the rest, so let's see what's made of it.

[Camera cut to Parlor. Bilbo pauses at the door. Camera shift inside, focus on Thorin and Gandalf, close near the fire. Camera shift to Bilbo, who draws back against the door sill. Camera focus on Thorin and Gandalf.]

Thorin: (doubtful) Of course I trust your judgment, Gandalf. Still, you said we needed skill and stealth for this job; and rightly so. I have seen little skill and no stealth in your choice as yet.
Gandalf: (relaxed) That is because you are only looking with your eyes. I will grant you he is inexperienced, but he rises nicely to a challenge set before him.
Bilbo: (voiceover) What ever is Gandalf thinking? There is more to this than a surprise party to put me out of comfort! I’d wager my last bottle of Old Winyards on that!
Thorin: I, for one, do not care to trust our fate to someone who has yet to face real danger. He might do well in charge of our commissary, but given what we need –
Gandalf: (raises his hand to silence Thorin, turns toward Bilbo) Why don’t you join us, Mr. Baggins?

[Camera focus on Thorin, startled, as Bilbo enters, takes a mug of beer from the table, and sits on a stool near the fire. Focus on Gandalf, smiling and nodding. Cut to door as Dwarves enter, carrying a cask of beer and several more mugs.]

Thorin: We need the right mood for our enterprise. Bring out the instruments!

[Dwarves exit. Cut to Bilbo, confused. Cut to Dwarves, returning with several kinds of flutes and stringed instruments. Dwalin carries only Thorin’s harp, in a green suede bag decorated with gold and silver studs and small gems. Thorin draws out the gold inlaid harp and checks tuning. Dwarves match his tone.

[Thorin strikes a chord and Dwarves pick up the song. Dwalin stands behind Thorin’s chair and leads the singing, with other Dwarves joining. Camera cut to Bilbo, lowering his drink. Bilbo glances out of the window. In the growing shadows, the hills beyond the river seem to grow. A fire flickers in the distance.

[Camera fade to mist. Images of mountains, Dwarves working in mines, jewels set in golden treasures, and shining baubles flash through Bilbo’s mind. Overlay Bilbo’s face, smiling as imagined mountains with neat walking paths and strange but friendly people form in his mind. A log in the fireplace, sending sparks into the room and up the chimney. Bilbo jumps, then shakes himself, sweeps up the sparks, and turns. Camera pan Parlor; all Dwarves and Gandalf are looking at Bilbo.]

Thorin: (evenly) Where are you going?
Bilbo: (hesitant) I thought . . . a little light . . .
Balin: Dark is best for dark business.

[Bilbo nods, edges back to his stool. Cut to Gandalf, smoking slowly, lit by the glow from his pipe. Cut to Thorin, who stands, adjusts his clothing, and glances around the room.]

Thorin: (clears throat, somewhat pompous) Gandalf, Dwarves, and Mr. Baggins! We are met today in the home of our friend and fellow conspirator, this most excellent and audacious hobbit – may the hair on his toes never fall out! All praise to his wine and ale!—
Bilbo: (mutters) Will you get on with it!
Thorin: We are met to discuss our plans, our ways, means, policies and devices. We shall soon, before the break of day, start on our long journey, a journey from which some of us, or perhaps all of us, may never return. I, of course, except our friend and counselor, the ingenious wizard Gandalf –
Bilbo: (sets mug down loudly. Dwarves turn to him) Exactly whom are you including in your “We”?
Thorin: Excuse me?
Bilbo: You have said “We” several times, and I want to know exactly which of the people in this room you are referring to.
Fíli: (confused) What does he mean by that?
Kíli: He sounds confused.
Óin: Too much beer.
Glóin: (firmly) Humph! As soon as I saw him bobbing and puffing on the mat I had my doubts about this! He looks more like a grocer than a burglar!
Bilbo: (to Glóin) Pardon me! I do not pretend to understand what you are talking about in regards to burglars, but I most certainly am not one! You have apparently come to the wrong house for whatever you were intending, and I must say the inconvenience –
Glóin: The only thing I am certain of is that we are not at the wrong house. Gandalf himself gave us the directions, and arranged the meeting here this Wednesday tea-time.
Gandalf: Of course I did, and for very good reasons. (Dwarves and Bilbo protest. Gandalf turns to Thorin) You asked me to find a fourteenth man for our expedition, and I have chosen Mr. Bilbo Baggins. I have very sound reasons for my choice, but if you do not like it you are welcome to go straight back to digging coal! (turns to Bilbo) Let’s have no more arguments. (to Dwarves) If I say he is a burglar, he will be a burglar when the time comes. There is a good deal more to him than even he guesses at this point. I trust most of you will live to thank me when this is over! (to Bilbo) Now, fetch us a lamp.

[Bilbo lights a lamp from a side table. Gandalf spreads a map on the table in front of Thorin. Dwarves gather around the map as Bilbo sets the lamp on the table, so Bilbo is pressed against the table and unable to slide out.]

Balin: Where did this come from?
Dwalin: I know all the maps of Erebor extant –
Fíli: No, you don’t.
Dwalin: (frowns at Fíli) but I have never seen this one.
Fíli: (to Kíli) My point is made.
Nori: (nudges Fíli sharply)
Gandalf: That is because it was drawn by Thror, your grandfather. He was one for keeping his own counsels.
Thorin: Ever. (examines map. Camera focus on map as Thorin speaks) I don’t see how it will help us much. I remember the Mountain well enough, and the lands about it. And I know where Mirkwood is –
Dori: (whisper to Óin) If we cannot avoid going through that place!
Thorin: --and the Withered Heath where the great dragons bred.
Bofur: Are there still dragons on the Withered Heath?
Glóin: I think not.
Bombor: I hope not.
Gandalf: If there were, no doubt we would have heard.
Balin: (reaches over Bilbo’s shoulder, points to map) There is the Dragon marked in red on the Mountain, but it will be easy enough to find him once we arrive.
Thorin: (to Gandalf) What is so special about this map?
Gandalf: This. (points to map) This secret entrance. You see that rune on the West side, and the hand pointing to it from the other runes? That marks a hidden passage to the Lower Halls.

[Camera cut to Bilbo, who stretches to better see the map. Camera focus on Runes.]

Thorin: (doubtful) How do we know the passage is still secret? Smaug has had more than enough time to find out all there is to know about those halls.
Gandalf: Fortunately, the passage is much too small for even a young dragon to have entered. Five feet high at the door, and three may walk abreast, according to the map. I doubt he has given it much thought.
Bilbo: It seems an enormous hole to me. How could such a large door be kept secret from everybody apart from the dragon?
Gandalf: No doubt the closed door is made to look exactly like the side of the mountain. This is the usual Dwarves’ method, and it is astonishingly effective.
Thorin: (proudly) Quite right. If the secrets are lost, even the masters that created the door will be unable to find it, or ever open it even on the unlikely chance that it is found.
Bilbo: Then what good is it?
Gandalf: (rummages through his clothes, pulls out a small silver key on a fine chain) Perhaps this will help. It came with the map; keep it safe.
Thorin: I will. (tucks key inside his tunic) This begins to look more hopeful. So far, we had planned to travel East as quietly and carefully as we could until we reached the far end of Long Lake. After that the trouble would begin –
Gandalf: (chuckle) A long time before that, or I’ve not been in those parts recently.
Thorin: (frowns at Gandalf) I had thought of traveling up the River Running to the old town of Dale. Still, the idea of going in the Front Gate seemed a bad one. It is too open, and the Dragon uses it too often unless he has changed his habits.
Gandalf: For that to work you would need a warrior, preferably one that could lead an army. You have a burglar.
Thorin: Then suppose our burglar offers some ideas of his own?

[Dwarves turn to Bilbo as Camera focuses on him.]

Bilbo: (squares his shoulders) First, I should like some details made clear. How did all this gold get collected in the Mountain? Where did the Dragon come from? Who does this treasure belong to?
Thorin: Durin’s Beard! What have we been talking about?!
Bilbo: (forced calm) All the same, I should like it made perfectly clear. Before we go any farther, I want to know about risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required –
Ori: (chuckles) You want to know what you are going to get out of this and if you have a hope of coming back alive.
Bilbo: (nods) In a nutshell.
Thorin: (exasperated) Oh, very well. My grandfather, Thrór, returned our people to the lands discovered by our distant ancestor Thrain the Old. There were no settlements in the area at the time, but through dint of toil and excellent craftsmanship, and, I will admit, a bit of good luck in finding rich veins of gold and silver nearby, our people became very wealthy. Undoubtedly, our industry attracted the attention of a most especially greedy, strong, and wicked worm called Smaug. (shudders) I was an adventurous lad when I was young, always wandering about where I was not supposed to be, not attending to my lessons – and the day the Dragon arrived it saved my life. I saw the Dragon settle on our mountain and set the slopes ablaze.
Glóin: We thought the world was ending.

[Camera pan Dwarves, nodding and shuddering in agreement.]

Thorin: For most of our people, it did. The Dragon left none alive inside the halls or in the town, and none of the warriors could so much as wound him. I have no doubt that he has looted all the treasures from the town and all of my grandfather’s wealth, and he no doubt sleeps on it for a bed.
Dwalin: But we mean to get back our goods, and bring our curses home to Smaug if we can.
Bilbo: (doubtful) So you are telling me that not a single warrior in the entire place could so much as hinder this beast when he was young? (Camera cut to Thorin, who nods) Then how did so many of you escape?
Thorin: Well, some of us were well outside when the destruction began, and some managed to slip away during the chaos. My father and grandfather joined us near nightfall, with singed beards. When I asked how they had got away, they told me that in the proper time I should know. (glances at Map) Now I know. (to Gandalf) By the way, how did you get hold of this map?
Gandalf: I was given it. Your grandfather kept his secrets close, but he gave this map to your father before he went away to the Mines of Moria. When he died there, your father decided to try is own luck with the map. Some time when we have leisure I shall give you that entire story, but let us just say that by the time I found your father he was not well. He never gave me your name, nor could he remember his own. I think I have done well to find you at all and return your property.
Thorin: (suspicious) And where did you find my father, may I ask?
Gandalf: In the dungeons of the Necromancer.
Thorin: (sighs, nods) I see. Well, when we have finished with the Dragon we shall have to pay a visit to the Necromancer.
Gandalf: (snorts) I would think the Dragon and the Mountain were more than enough for you.
Bilbo: (nods) Hear, hear!”
Thorin: (frowning) Hear what?
Bilbo: Hear what I’ve got to say. (Camera cut to Thorin, who nods. Cut to Bilbo, now flustered as all Dwarves stare at him.) Well, I think you ought to go East and have a look at things as they are. You have a map and a key, and Dragons have got to sleep sometime. I daresay if you sit on the door-step long enough something will turn up. Now, what about bed and an early start? I will cook you all a good breakfast before you go.
Thorin: Before WE go, I suppose you mean. Isn’t it your job to sit on the door-step and get inside as best you can? But I agree about breakfast. I like six eggs with ham when starting on a journey; fried, and mind you don’t break them!

[Clips of Bilbo finding enough beds for all the Dwarves. Some share beds in the guest bedrooms, others settle down in front of the fire. Cut to Bilbo, climbing into his own bed, wearing a nightshirt. Bilbo blows out the candle. The room is in deep shadow.]

Bilbo: (mutters) Fried, and mind you don’t break them! Well, my lord Thorin, you can bloody well fix your own wretched breakfast. It might do you some good!

[Camera fade to black.]

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Hmm. I still don't like the Burglar business. I know its in the book, but I'd prefer we don't present it as 13 Dwarves arriving in Hobbiton expecting a professional thief. I'll have a go at reworking your piece with that in mind, if nobody objects?

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:24 pm 
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How can you have The Hobbit without referring to Bilbo as a Burgler? :scratch: To me it is a very important element of the plot. :scratch:

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:55 am 
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Help yourself, Alatar. I don't think Bilbo liked the Burglar business either.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:33 am 
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This thread seems to be moving at such a pace I've been left behind somewhat - now I know how Bilbo must have felt!

Ethelwynn - loved the first section - as Al said, you've seemingly left in and cut out just the right amounts, and captured the atmosphere and mood perfectly. (I'd actually forgotten Gandalf's taste for red wine !)

Regarding the burglar business, I agree with Voronwë (and I also said the same previously on the subject.) There is an element of humour over the dwarves insisting on calling Bilbo their burglar, even if Bilbo protests and wants to be known as something else more pc.

I haven't had a chance to compare your second part with the book as yet, though on the whole it seems to work well, and I particularly like the way you handled the dwarves song about te treasure.

My query on this section is only regarding the fact that I thought we had considered inserting some live action flashbacks at this point, certainly to show Gandalf finding Thrain in DG, and possibly the coming of Smaug to Erebor?

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:04 am 
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I don't think the Burglar has to be excised completely, just come at from a different angle. I've made an attempt below, trying to bring in the sense from Quest of Erebor that Thorin felt Gandalf was mocking him. I've moved around some of the order to bring the Burglar stuff right before Gandalf produces the map, as the Quest for Erebor states that was the only thing that stopped Thorin from storming out. I've also altered some dialogue that I felt was a bit out of place.

I have also provided an optional piece of dialogue in the middle. Personally I feel that the "Most audacious Hobbit" speech breaks the mood, and makes it difficult to sell the story, particularly in this version (based on the UT version) where Thorin does not know that Gandalf intends Bilbo to join the quest. However, I can see why some might prefer to keep it in, so I've tried to make a version that isn't too incongruous.



[Camera cut to Parlor. Bilbo pauses at the door. Camera shift inside, focus on Thorin and Gandalf, close near the fire. Camera shift to Bilbo, who takes a stool and moves to a quiet corner by the fire. Camera focus on Thorin and Gandalf.]

Thorin: We need the right mood for our enterprise. Bring out the instruments!

Dwarves exit. Cut to Bilbo, confused. Cut to Dwarves, returning with several kinds of flutes and stringed instruments. Dwalin carries only Thorin’s harp, in a green suede bag decorated with gold and silver studs and small gems. Thorin draws out the gold inlaid harp and checks tuning. Dwarves match his tone.

Optional wrote:
Instead of getting instruments, which somehow Bilbo failed to notice when all the Dwarves were arriving, Balin starts a low hum, which all the Dwarves join. As he begins to sing the dwarves humming moves into chords and harmonies, perhaps Chanting in Khuzdul under the melody in Common


[Thorin strikes a chord and Dwarves pick up the song. Dwalin stands behind Thorin’s chair and leads the singing, with other Dwarves joining. Camera cut to Bilbo, lowering his drink. Bilbo glances out of the window. In the growing shadows, the hills beyond the river seem to grow. A fire flickers in the distance.

[Camera fade to mist. Images of mountains, Dwarves working in mines, jewels set in golden treasures, and shining baubles flash through Bilbo’s mind. Overlay Bilbo’s face, smiling as imagined mountains with neat walking paths and strange but friendly people form in his mind. A log in the fireplace, sending sparks into the room and up the chimney. Bilbo jumps, then shakes himself, sweeps up the sparks, and turns. Camera pan Parlor; all Dwarves and Gandalf are looking at Bilbo.]

Thorin: (evenly) Where are you going?
Bilbo: (hesitant) I thought . . . a little light . . .
Balin: Dark is best for dark business.

Version I wrote:
[Bilbo nods, edges back to his stool. Cut to Gandalf, smoking slowly, lit by the glow from his pipe. Cut to Thorin, who stands, adjusts his clothing, and glances around the room.]

Thorin: (clears throat, somewhat pompous) Gandalf, Dwarves, and Mr. Baggins! We are met today in the home of our friend and fellow conspirator, this most excellent and audacious hobbit – may the hair on his toes never fall out! All praise to his wine and ale!—
Bilbo: Conspirator?
Thorin: We are met to discuss our plans, our ways, means, policies and devices. We shall soon, before the break of day, start on our long journey, a journey from which some of us, or perhaps all of us, may never return. I, of course, except our friend and counselor, the ingenious wizard Gandalf –

Bilbo: May never return? What!

Thorin (Sharply): Of course! There is a Dragon to be considered! How will we succeed where so many doughty dwarven warriors of old failed?



Version II wrote:

Thorin: Dark business indeed. This is no jaunt, but a quest to recover our stolen heritage, our kingdom of old, and our pride. But there is a dragon to be considered! How will we succeed where so many doughty dwarven warriors of old failed?


Gandalf: A new approach. You need stealth. He can smell a dwarf and hear your clodhopping boots long before you can get close to him. You will need a companion; one with professional stealth.

Thorin: A thief? A paid thief?

Gandalf: Our Mr. Baggins here!

Bilbo (Dropping the teapot): What? Me!

Gandalf: You can say Burglar if you prefer, or "Professional Treasure Hunter", but you must admit that Hobbits can move silently at need?

Bilbo: Well, yes, but... Burglar?

Thorin: (indignant) There is more of the grocer than the burglar about this fellow Gandalf!

Bilbo: Begging your pardon, I am no Burglar!

Gandalf: You are if I say you are! Or will be when the time comes.

Bilbo: Pardon me! I do not pretend to understand what you are talking about in regards to burglars, but I most certainly am not one! You have apparently come to the wrong house for whatever you were intending, and I must say the inconvenience –
Glóin: The only thing I am certain of is that we are not at the wrong house. Gandalf himself gave us the directions, and arranged the meeting here this Wednesday tea-time.
Thorin (starting to rise): Enough! This ends here, I did not come here to be insulted!
Gandalf (Commanding voice*): Sit down Thorin! You asked me to find a fourteenth man for our expedition, and I have chosen Mr. Bilbo Baggins. I have very sound reasons for my choice, but if you do not like it you are welcome to go straight back to digging coal! (turns to Bilbo) Let’s have no more arguments. (Producing the Map and Key) Besides, there is THIS to consider! Bilbo, fetch us a lamp.

[Bilbo lights a lamp from a side table. Gandalf spreads a map on the table in front of Thorin. Dwarves gather around the map as Bilbo sets the lamp on the table, so Bilbo is pressed against the table and unable to slide out.]

Balin: Where did this come from?
Dwalin: I know all the maps of Erebor extant –
Fíli: No, you don’t.
Dwalin: (frowns at Fíli) but I have never seen this one.
Fíli: (to Kíli) My point is made.
Nori: (nudges Fíli sharply)
Gandalf: That is because it was drawn by Thror, your grandfather. He was one for keeping his own counsels.
Thorin: Ever. (examines map. Camera focus on map as Thorin speaks) I don’t see how it will help us much. I remember the Mountain well enough, and the lands about it. And I know where Mirkwood is –
Dori: (whisper to Óin) If we cannot avoid going through that place!
Thorin: --and the Withered Heath where the great dragons bred.
Bofur: Are there still dragons on the Withered Heath?
Glóin: I think not.
Bombor: I hope not.
Gandalf: If there were, no doubt we would have heard.
Balin: (reaches over Bilbo’s shoulder, points to map) There is the Dragon marked in red on the Mountain, but it will be easy enough to find him once we arrive.
Thorin: (to Gandalf) What is so special about this map?
Gandalf: This. (points to map) This secret entrance. You see that rune on the West side, and the hand pointing to it from the other runes? That marks a hidden passage to the Lower Halls.

[Camera cut to Bilbo, who stretches to better see the map. Camera focus on Runes.]

Thorin: (doubtful) How do we know the passage is still secret? Smaug has had more than enough time to find out all there is to know about those halls.
Gandalf: Fortunately, the passage is much too small for even a young dragon to have entered. Five feet high at the door, and three may walk abreast, according to the map. I doubt he has given it much thought.
Bilbo: It seems an enormous hole to me. How could such a large door be kept secret from everybody apart from the dragon?
Gandalf: No doubt the closed door is made to look exactly like the side of the mountain. This is the usual Dwarves’ method, and it is astonishingly effective.
Thorin: (proudly) Quite right. If the secrets are lost, even the masters that created the door will be unable to find it, or ever open it even on the unlikely chance that it is found.
Bilbo: Then what good is it?
Gandalf: (rummages through his clothes, pulls out a small silver key on a fine chain) Perhaps this will help. It came with the map; keep it safe.
Thorin: I will. (tucks key inside his tunic) This begins to look more hopeful. So far, we had planned to travel East as quietly and carefully as we could until we reached the far end of Long Lake. After that the trouble would begin –
Gandalf: (chuckle) A long time before that, or I’ve not been in those parts recently.
Thorin: (frowns at Gandalf) I had thought of travelling up the River Running to the old town of Dale. Still, the idea of going in the Front Gate seemed a bad one. It is too open, and the Dragon uses it too often unless he has changed his habits.
Gandalf: For that to work you would need a warrior, preferably one that could lead an army. You have a burglar.
Bilbo (muttering): Burglar indeed...
Thorin: Then suppose our burglar offers some ideas of his own?

[Dwarves turn to Bilbo as Camera focuses on him.]

Bilbo: (startled, but recovers, squares his shoulders) First, I should like some details made clear. How did all this gold get collected in the Mountain? Where did the Dragon come from? Who does this treasure belong to?
Thorin: Durin’s Beard! What have we been talking about?!
Bilbo: (forced calm) All the same, I should like it made perfectly clear. Before we go any farther, I want to know about risks, out-of-pocket expenses, time required –
Ori: (chuckles) You want to know what you are going to get out of this and if you have a hope of coming back alive.
Bilbo: (nods) Well. Yes, I suppose so.
Thorin: (exasperated) Oh, very well. My grandfather, Thrór, returned our people to the lands discovered by our distant ancestor Thrain the Old. There were no settlements in the area at the time, but through dint of toil and excellent craftsmanship, and, I will admit, a bit of good luck in finding rich veins of gold and silver nearby, our people became very wealthy. Undoubtedly, our industry attracted the attention of a most especially greedy, strong, and wicked worm called Smaug. (shudders) I was an adventurous lad when I was young, always wandering about where I was not supposed to be, not attending to my lessons – and the day the Dragon arrived it saved my life. I saw the Dragon settle on our mountain and set the slopes ablaze.
Glóin: We thought the world was ending.

[Camera pan Dwarves, nodding and shuddering in agreement.]

Thorin: For most of our people, it did. The Dragon left none alive inside the halls or in the town, and none of the warriors could so much as wound him. I have no doubt that he has looted all the treasures from the town and all of my grandfather’s wealth, and he no doubt sleeps on it for a bed.
Dwalin: But we mean to get back our goods, and bring our curses home to Smaug if we can.
Bilbo: (doubtful) So you are telling me that not a single warrior in the entire place could so much as hinder this beast when he was young? (Camera cut to Thorin, who nods) Then how did so many of you escape?
Thorin: Well, some of us were well outside when the destruction began, and some managed to slip away during the chaos. My father and grandfather joined us near nightfall, with singed beards. When I asked how they had got away, they told me that in the proper time I should know. (glances at Map) Now I know. (to Gandalf) By the way, how did you get hold of this map?
Gandalf: I was given it. Your grandfather kept his secrets close, but he gave this map to your father before he went away to the Mines of Moria. When he died there, your father decided to try is own luck with the map. Some time when we have leisure I shall give you that entire story, but let us just say that by the time I found your father he was not well. He never gave me your name, nor could he remember his own. I think I have done well to find you at all and return your property.
Thorin: (suspicious) And where did you find my father, may I ask?
Gandalf: In the dungeons of the Necromancer.
Thorin: (sighs, nods) I see. Well, when we have finished with the Dragon we shall have to pay a visit to the Necromancer.
Gandalf: (snorts) I would think the Dragon and the Mountain were more than enough for you.
Bilbo: (nods) Hear, hear!”
Thorin: (frowning) Hear what?
Bilbo: Hear what I’ve got to say. (Camera cut to Thorin, who nods. Cut to Bilbo, now flustered as all Dwarves stare at him.) Well, I think you ought to go East and have a look at things as they are. You have a map and a key, and Dragons have got to sleep sometime. I daresay if you sit on the door-step long enough something will turn up. Now, what about bed and an early start? I will cook you all a good breakfast before you go.
Thorin: Before WE go, I suppose you mean. Isn’t it your job to sit on the door-step and get inside as best you can? But I agree about breakfast. I like six eggs with ham when starting on a journey; fried, and mind you don’t break them!

[Clips of Bilbo finding enough beds for all the Dwarves. Some share beds in the guest bedrooms, others settle down in front of the fire. Cut to Bilbo, climbing into his own bed, wearing a nightshirt. Bilbo blows out the candle. The room is in deep shadow.]

Bilbo: (mutters) Fried, and mind you don’t break them! Well, my lord Thorin, you can fix your own wretched breakfast. It might do you some good!

[Camera fade to black.]


* By Commanding voice, I mean a similar effect to that used in FotR where Gandalf does his "Do not mistake me for a conjurer of cheap tricks" bit

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 1:40 pm 
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We can certainly fold in some live action flashback sequences in this scene if we want. I'm wondering if this is the right place, as it is early in the story. The bit with Gandalf and Thorin in Bree could be told in Rivendell more smoothly, I think (now that I've been talked out of putting it at the beginning). We need some scenes with Smaug attacking Erebor, but I wondered about putting those in when the Dwarves reach Laketown and can actually see the Mountain. It's usually easier to put something in than to take it out once it's written, so I left the flashbacks out pending discussion.

Al, a couple of points. First, I like your idea about leaving out the instruments. They never made sense to me as they're written in the book, but they're such an icon that I kept them in. I'll make the change in the main manuscript.

I haven't seen the reference you cited, but from rereading the passage in The Hobbit I would say that the only one in the dark about why the Dwarves were in Bag End was Bilbo. It's pretty clear they thought they were coming to meet and hire a professional treasure hunter. They might have questioned Bilbo's abilities, but they knew what they were there for. I think if Thorin is ready to walk out it's because he sees a chubby, bumbling, mundane little fellow who is more likely to pour tea than to steal treasure from a dragon.

Thorin's opening "excellent and audacious" speech is a bit boggy, but I'll make a case for it as characterization. Thorin has many great qualities as a leader and a load of personal courage, but he's also got POMPOUS written across his forehead. None of the other Dwarves will set him down, but Bilbo is less impressed with Thorin's rank and history and will cut to the practical. We see these characteristics again and again; Thorin won't talk to Thranduil where a bit of honesty and humility might have saved him a prison stretch, Thorin won't even meet with Bard and Thranduil at the Mountain and turns the situation into a standoff with his attitude, etc.

Let's see what the rest think.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:38 pm 
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As an explanation, I think the Wikipedia entry on "Quest of Erebor" nicely sums up my feelings on this:

Quote:
The story serves several purposes for readers. Since The Hobbit is written almost entirely from the perspective of Bilbo Baggins and contains little that he does not directly experience or at least witness, "The Quest of Erebor" provides additional insight into the events during and preceding the story. It provides an explanation of why Gandalf was willing to include Bilbo in Thorin's business, and why the Dwarves were willing to accept him. This assists in placing The Hobbit on a more equal footing with The Lord of the Rings; as The Hobbit is essentially a children's fantasy tale, the level of suspension of disbelief is already somewhat high and such matters do not require much explanation. The Lord of the Rings, on the other hand, has a more serious tone, and so the additional information provided in "The Quest of Erebor" helps to explain the otherwise questionable motives of the characters in The Hobbit.


In short, I'm trying to write the scene to be believable in the world of Lord of the Rings, while retaining as much as possible from The Hobbit.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:35 pm 
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I'm fine with using the extra detail from UT to round out the chracters and help explain motives where appropriate....

in fact I rather like Al's version II incorporated with some of version I, thus:

Thorin: (evenly) Where are you going?
Bilbo: (hesitant) I thought . . . a little light . . .
Balin: Dark is best for dark business.

[Bilbo nods, edges back to his stool. Cut to Gandalf, smoking slowly, lit by the glow from his pipe. Cut to Thorin, who stands, adjusts his clothing, and glances around the room.]

Thorin: Dark business indeed. This is no jaunt, but a quest to recover our stolen heritage, our kingdom of old, and our pride. (clears throat, somewhat pompous) We are met to discuss our plans, our ways, means, policies and devices. We shall soon, before the break of day, start on our long journey, a journey from which some of us, or perhaps all of us, may never return. I, of course, except our friend and counselor, the ingenious wizard Gandalf –

Bilbo: May never return? What!

Thorin (Sharply): Of course! There is a Dragon to be considered! How will we succeed where so many doughty dwarven warriors of old failed?

Gandalf: A new approach. You need stealth. He can smell a dwarf and hear your clodhopping boots long before you can get close to him. You will need a companion; one with professional stealth.

Thorin: A thief? A paid thief?

Gandalf: Our Mr. Baggins here!

Bilbo (Dropping the teapot): What? Me!

Gandalf: You can say Burglar if you prefer, or "Professional Treasure Hunter", but you must admit that Hobbits can move silently at need?

Bilbo: Well, yes, but... Burglar?

Thorin: (indignant) There is more of the grocer than the burglar about this fellow Gandalf!

Bilbo: Begging your pardon, I am no Burglar!

Gandalf: You are if I say you are! Or will be when the time comes.

Bilbo: (agitated) I do not pretend to understand what you are talking about in regards to burglars, but I most certainly am not one! You have apparently come to the wrong house for whatever you were intending, and I must say the inconvenience –

Gloin: The only thing I am certain of is that we are not at the wrong house. Gandalf himself gave us the directions, and arranged the meeting here this Wednesday tea-time.

Thorin (starting to rise): Enough! This ends here, I did not come here to be insulted!
Gandalf (Commanding voice*): Sit down Thorin! You asked me to find a fourteenth man for our expedition, and I have chosen Mr. Bilbo Baggins. I have very sound reasons for my choice, but if you do not like it you are welcome to go straight back to digging coal! (turns to Bilbo) Let’s have no more arguments. (Producing the Map and Key) Besides, there is THIS to consider! Bilbo, fetch us a lamp.

etc...

* * *

Regarding the flashbacks, I agree that Bree should be left till Rivendell, if you get my drift, but I really think we should see something of Gandalf finding Thrain here...there is definitely room for one brief flashback here, at least. And if not here, then where else can we cover Thrain's story but also at Rivendell, which is going to overload that section.

I'm not thinking major drawnout scene here, more a sequence of visuals under Gandalf's reminiscences, with a couple of lines of dialogue. Anyone mind if I have a go at it? I'm away for the coming week so this will be my last chance to contribute for a while!

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Go for it!

(I like your combination of the two scenes btw)

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Thanks!

I've had a little play with this now, trying to work a flashback in with what Ethelwynn already gave us. I've taken the more comprehensive approach of including Gandalf's realization of the Necromancer's identity within this scene,(sort of two birds with one stone!) but if we don't want to introduce this yet it can easily be trimmed out to leave the bare bones of Thrain handing over the map and key.

For approval:

Thorin: Well, some of us were well outside when the destruction began, and some managed to slip away during the chaos. My father and grandfather joined us near nightfall, with singed beards. When I asked how they had got away, they told me that in the proper time I should know. (glances at Map) Now I know. (to Gandalf) But how did you come by this map?

Gandalf: I was given it. Your grandfather kept his secrets close, but he gave this map to your father Thrain before he went away to the Mines of Moria. When he died there, your father decided to try his own luck with the map and he set out for Erebor. He never reached his destination…by the time I found your father he was not well. He never gave me your name, nor could he remember his own. I think I have done well to find you at all and return your property.

Thorin: (suspicious) And where did you find my father, may I ask?

Gandalf:: I found him a prisoner in the dungeons of the Necromancer…. he was witless and wandering, and had forgotten almost everything except the map and the key…

[fade into dark screen: we hear scuffling noises, and the sound of someone shuffling…a light source flickers into existence and we gradually make out an old beggar man (disguised Gandalf) peering with the light of a torch at an old, pinched dwarf, horrendously malnourished and covered in scars from torture which are barely concealed by the rags he wears.]

Gandalf: [voiceover] He said he had possessed a great Ring: nearly all his raving were of that…”the last of the Seven” he said over and over again


Dwarf: (raving) The ring... the ring...he took it back!
Gandalf: (alarmed) The Ring? Which ring are you talking about? (He kneels down beside the Dwarf)
Dwarf: He took back the ring... the last of the Seven...
Gandalf: (grunts with just a little relief) You had one of the great Rings? Who are you?
Dwarf: (moaning wretchedly) I could not save the ring... He was looking for it. (suddenly calms and seems lucid for a moment. Leans in towards Gandalf and whispers) But he did not find these... (withdraws from somewhere amongst his tattered robes a key and a map and presses them into Gandalf’s hand) For my son...

Gandalf : (talking to himself) He was looking for the Ring? Who is he? The Necromancer? But why would he go chasing the Rings...? (becoming alarmed again) He cannot be... No, it's impossible, surely!

[Gandalf puts his hand to the dwarf’s forehead and reads his memories* of his torture, the identity of the Necromancer is revealed to be Sauron… Gandalf gasps in horror…he releases his hold on the dwarf’s mind and the dwarf dies. A noise is heard from the outside of the dungeon. ]

Gandalf: ( takes the key and the map, gives a last look to the dead Dwarf.) I will keep these, my poor friend, until I find your son... whoever he is... [fade back to Bag End.]

Thorin: I do not understand. What was he doing there – or you for that matter?
Gandalf: Never you mind. I was on a dangerous mission and even I barely escaped. I would have tried to save your father, but it was too late.
Thorin: (sighs, nods) I see. Well, when we have finished with the Dragon we shall have to pay a visit to the Necromancer.

etc...

* I reasoned that Gandalf would use the same method we saw him adopt when Pippin looked into the palantír in RotK for the "mind reading". Question is, what should he see (if anythng) that would confirm Sauron's identity here?

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:21 pm 
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It's fun to watch this process developing. Creative collaboration is an interesting thing.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:54 pm 
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So join us, Voronwë. We can always use another voice.

Elentári, I love the scene you put together. The foreshadowing of Sauron as the Necromancer will catch those in the theater who are paying attention and keep them on the edge of their seats. Anyone who'se asleep, talking on their cell phone, or scarfing Raisinetts is going to feel stupid but who cares?

Alatar, I'm going to hunt up Quest for Erebor and read it. I hadn't heard about it before you mentioned it here, and anything that might help us merge the tone of LotR with the lighter mood in Hobbit is going to be great.

See everyone after the holiday. I'll be back, sore and tired but relaxed.

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:08 am 
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Thanks Ethelwynn - have a good break, btw!

I do think it wouldn't hurt to start dropping hints here about the Necromancer's identity if we are indeed intending to include the White Council storyline. But I appreciate it might be too early on in the film for a firm conclusion to be drawn, at least for the audience, so perhaps we should cut the mind-reading part and just leave Gandalf's spoken ruminations as hints that fans will get!

The mind-reading clip could still be used later, possibly as a further flashback within the 2941 White Council meeting to reference Gandalf's reveal at the 2851 meeting.

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