The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Poster


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Martin Freeman and the Elvish actors all play characters who cannot grow facial hair. The actors, however, not only grew facial hair, but had a complete five o'clock shadow by the end of a day's filming, even if they were clean-shaved at the beginning of the day. This shadow appears blue on film. Rather than shave repeatedly during the day, the actors had orange make-up applied, which cancelled out the blue shadow.
During filming, Sir Ian McKellen had to spend several hours in a box, with nothing but a microphone and pictures of the Dwarves for company (the footage would be edited in to make him look taller than the Dwarves), and was so upset by this, that he exclaimed "This is not why I became an actor!" The microphone was still on, and everyone on-set heard him as a result. In consolation, the cast and crew surprised him by sticking gifts and encouragement messages into his trailer.
Gloin takes great insult that the portrait of his bearded wife is mistaken for being his brother. In the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), his son Gimli notes that Dwarf women are often mistaken for men, on account of their beards.
Bilbo steals the keys to the prison from an Elf addressed as Elros. Elros is also the name of Elrond's brother. The two brothers had both human and Elvish ancestry on both their mother's and father's side, and as such were perfectly half-Elf and half-Man. While Elrond chose to be an immortal Elf, Elros chose to become a mortal man. He thus became the progenitor of the Numenorian race, and an ancestor of Aragorn.
The sudden scars on Thranduil's face are a creation of the film adaptation. However, his scars may reflect a little-emphasized facet of J.R.R. Tolkien's lore: Elves' "Fëa" (a metaphysical concept analogous translatable as "soul") occasionally influences the "Hröa" (the fleshly, physical body), particularly under moments of extreme stress. This can manifest as extreme physical changes that reflect the mind's state, in this case deep war scars. This is in accordance to J.R.R. Tolkien's texts and books, the last battle where Thranduil fought, was the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age (about three thousand years earlier), where Sauron was defeated.
Unlike the first movie in the franchise, where he had one line of dialogue, Bombur doesn't speak at all in this movie.
Benedict Cumberbatch suggested writing and reading the Necromancer's Black Speech backwards, and then having the editors reverse the recording to make it sound demonic and unholy.
Orlando Bloom is two years older than Lee Pace, who plays his father, King Thranduil.
Orlando Bloom performed all his own stunts.
DIRECTOR_CAMEO(Peter Jackson): At the beginning of the film, as the camera sweeps through the town of Bree, he walks out of the pub looking drunk and eats a carrot. He had a similar cameo in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Jackson also filmed another cameo for this film. He played another spy in Lake Town, a man who'd hide in a basket and signal his comrades with wild bird calls. The scene was adamantly vetoed by his co-Producer and co-Writer, Philippa Boyens and was never used.
The Mirkwood scenes required nearly all color to be drained from the footage, in order to make the forest appear "sick". As a result, objects that needed to retain their color, such as certain mushrooms and lichens, had to be painted in neon colors to be noticeable at all in the final film. Peter Jackson remarked that the set looked like it was painted in 1967. The actors also had to have their faces painted unusually red in order to retain color.
Several of the women, who turn out to see Bilbo and the Dwarves leave Lake Town for Erebor, are actually tall male crew members, who were dressed up as women to get the proper scale of Humans versus Dwarves, and Bilbo for the shot.
As the company has entered Beorn's house, Dori (Mark Hadlow) tells Ori (Adam Brown) to stay away from the door, and then says: "It's not natural. None of it." This is the same quote that Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) said to Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) after climbing down their Elvish rope, in the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
Benedict Cumberbatch studied iguanas and Komodo dragons at the London Zoo's Reptilian House to prepare for the voice of Smaug, aiming for a tone that would "bridge between animal and human, a deep and rasping guttural dryness to the voice."
It took one processor-week to render a scale from Smaug's body. In other words, if a single computer processor were used, each scale would have taken a week to render. Fortunately, Weta Digital used a large server farm of multi-processor machines for its effects rendering.
After the barrel riding sequence, as the Orcs continue to search for the Dwarves, one of them dips his finger into a pool of blood on the ground and tastes it, spitting in disgust and says "Dwarf blood!". This mimics a scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) where Gimli dips his finger in a similar fashion into some blood left on some leaves and tastes it, only to spit out in disgust and say "Orc blood!"
The fish that were dumped into the barrels, to hide Bilbo and the Dwarves, were real fish, with a few rubber props mixed in. At one point, Adam Brown (Ori) had as much as four hundred pounds of fish dumped directly on him. Brown hates fish, and had to fight his own phobia while buried in them in the barrel, and while he waited for crew members to pull them off of him. Since the fish were slippery, they had to be taken out by hand, one at a time.
Aside from providing the voice of Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch also supplied motion-capture performance to portray the dragon. However, since Smaug's body is impossible to motion-capture fully, only Cumberbatch's face, upper body and arms were captured, and the rest of the body was completed in keyframe animation.
While the cast was shooting the barrel escape scenes in the specially-constructed indoor "rapids" tank, several of them (without naming names) stated that they had to "relieve" themselves in the water, since they had to stay in the tank for so long without so much as a lunch break. When Martin Freeman found out, he was furious, since Bilbo spends all of his time during that scene directly in the water, and had been swallowing a great deal of it.
The roles of Sigrid and Tilda, the daughters of Bard, are played by Peggy Nesbitt and Mary Nesbitt, the daughters of James Nesbitt (Bofur).
In a midnight screening in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the cinema's speakers broke after Smaug's first roar.
Lake Town is also called "Esgaroth" by Dwarves and Elves. Esgaroth is a word that means "bed of reed".
Silvan Elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) was created for the films. Tauriel is a name, that in Sindarin means, "Daughter of the Forest".
The budding romance between Kili and Tauriel was not a part of the original footage shot in 2011-2012. It was added to "beef up" the second film, during re-shoots in 2013.
Peter Jackson admits he misread the text, when depicting the Eye of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Sauron's appearance in this film, as a black apparition forming the pupil of the Eye, is much closer to Tolkien's descriptions.
John Bell grew six inches in between the time that principal photography was completed, and pickup shooting began. He had to stoop down when standing next to Luke Evans to maintain continuity.
This is the only movie in the Middle-Earth franchise, directed by Peter Jackson, to not feature Frodo and Gollum. It is also the first of the many Middle-Earth films, including animated ones, not to feature Elrond. This leaves Gandalf and Galadriel as the only ones to appear in every single film based on the Middle-Earth series, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, as Bilbo doesn't appear in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
The stone that Kili carries is called Labradorite, named after Labrador, Canada, where it was discovered. The Inuit people call it the "frozen fire of the Aurora Borealis" and it is considered to be magical, which may be the reason why Kili jokes about what may happen if anyone were to touch it. Labradorite can appear black, gray-green, dark gray or grayish white, and refracts colors, such as blue, green, gold, and red in the light. You see these qualities as Tauriel inspects the stone.
Lawrence Makoare (Bolg) played the Uruk-hai's leader Lurtz in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), and Witch-King of Angmar, and the Orcs' leader Gothmog, in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
The forty-eight frames per second 3-D movie was shipped to some theaters via a standard SATA hard drive. It was shipped with a security code that prevented the content from being viewed, or copied, until the code was released by the distributor about twenty-four hours in advance of the initial release time of the movie. The forty-eight frames per second 3-D version of the movie, occupied six hundred thirty-nine gigabytes of data on the SATA hard drive. The theater in question, could have downloaded the entire movie via a secured satellite link, but the download would have taken more than twenty-four hours. Given that ninety-six frames per second are required for the 3-D picture (forty-eight frames per second for each eye), the data size for each frame, for each eye, is about .66 megabytes.
This film features the first occurrence of seeing Legolas bleed on-screen.
Luke Evans' (Bard the Bowman's) performance was dedicated to Paul Walker, with whom he co-starred, in Furious 6 (2013), and who died a few days before the film's release.
To prepare for the role of Tauriel, Evangeline Lilly underwent training for swordplay and archery, as well as studying the Elvish language.
When Benedict Cumberbatch was young, his father, Timothy Carlton, used to read "The Hobbit" to him as a bedtime treat.
Originally, Doug Jones was meant to play King Thranduil, but Peter Jackson cast Lee Pace, of whom he was a big admirer, since watching Pace's film The Fall (2006).
Mirkwood is a derivation from the Germanic word "Myrkviðr" and it means "Dark Wood".
The romance between Kili and Tauriel was always intended to be in the film, from as early as 2010, with her relationship with Legolas being strictly platonic. But when re-shoots were done, to turn it into three films, the studio forced them to write Legolas into the love story, and turn it into a love triangle. Evangeline Lilly and Peter Jackson admitted they hated the idea of a love triangle, and just wanted to tell a simple love story.
Sir Christopher Lee (Saruman) commented that he would have loved to voice the dragon Smaug in a film adaptation of "The Hobbit".
Five members of the cast have previously worked in adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories: -Martin Freeman (Bilbo) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug) had starred in Sherlock (2010) (Cumberbatch was Holmes and Freeman was Watson). -Stephen Fry (the Master of Lake Town) played Sherlock's brother Mycroft in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). -Sir Christopher Lee (Saruman) played Sherlock in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991), Sir Henry Baskerville in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), and Mycroft Holmes in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970). -Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) starred as Holmes in Mr. Holmes (2015).
Neither Peggy Nesbitt nor Mary Nesbitt actually shared any screentime with their father James Nesbitt. His scale double was used for the scenes in Bard's house.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), this film, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), were shot concurrently, and wrapped on July 6, 2012 after two hundred sixty-six days of principal photography.
Jed Brophy appeared in The Hobbit trilogy as Nori. His son Sadwyn Brophy appeared as Eldarion in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
A pair of Megaloceros giganteus (Irish elk) antlers flanks the Elf King's throne.
At one point, Bilbo and the company of Dwarves arrive at Lake Town, which was mentioned in a conversation between an aging Bilbo (Ian Holm) to Frodo (Elijah Wood) in Rivendell, in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
This is the only Peter Jackson-adapted J.R.R. Tolkien film that does not include a "Wilhelm Scream", something that has become a trademark for him. In November 2014, the Extended Edition included two scenes, in which the "Wilhelm Scream" is used.
When Guillermo del Toro was going to direct, he had Ron Perlman in mind to voice Smaug.
While the novel and the previous film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) are mostly told through Bilbo's point of view, this film shifts the perspective to mainly Gandalf and Thorin, with little involvement from Bilbo in many major scenes.
Benedict Cumberbatch, in his own words, "ripped into (his) vocal chords quite literally, (he) had blood at the end of the day from tearing (his) throat to pieces." in order to get Smaug's voice right.
Robert Kazinsky was cast as Fili, and had filmed a few scenes, but left the project and returned to England about a month after filming started, due to personal reasons. He was replaced by Dean O'Gorman.
When Bilbo is examining the Ring, Black Speech is heard as the scene segues to Dol Guldur. It is the end of spell that Sauron inscribed on it when the Ring was forged: "One Ring to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman, Lee Pace, and Richard Armitage of the cast were all chosen by the readers of Empire Magazine among "The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars" in 2013.
Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel) once dated her Lost (2004) co-star Dominic Monaghan, who played Meriadoc Brandybuck in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
According to Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri, classic European and Asian dragons (particularly the European Wyvern) served as inspirations for designing Smaug.
Evangeline Lilly has been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth novels since she was thirteen.
The Sound Editors, for this movie, pulled an all-nighter to finish the sound before handing it in, because they were behind schedule, due to the sudden change of plans from two to three movies.
It was decided to CGI Azog, Bolg, and the Orcs, with the decision with Bolg being made so suddenly, that whole sequences had to be re-shot, which is why in the trailers, Azog is the one chasing the Dwarves, but in the film, it's Bolg.
Thranduil (Lee Pace) is a Sindarin word that means "vigorous spring".
Incorrect trivia: The song "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran was written for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), but rejected, and used for this movie instead.
In the "Barrels out of Bond" sequence, there are two instances where Thorin throws a sword at Orcs to kill them, first, to protect Balin, when an Orc jumps at him from above, and second, to stop an Orc from attacking Legolas from behind. If you pause the film at these times, you can see that in both instances, the sword he throws has the same design as Balin's sword, which he used in both films, until was taken by the Wood Elves upon their capture in the forest.
In the original screenplay, Bofur was supposed to be part of the group that accompanies Thorin and Bilbo to the Lonely Mountain. However, James Nesbitt had to return to the UK to work on another project, so the script was re-written to accommodate his schedule.
Eva Green auditioned for the part of Tauriel in 2010, losing the role to Evangeline Lilly. Green's audition took place right after Benedict Cumberbatch's, who successfully obtained the role of Smaug.
Lee Pace (Thranduil) and Luke Evans (Bard and Gilion) have been the lead in a fantasy epic directed by Tarsem Singh.
Saoirse Ronan was offered the role of another Wood Elf named Itaril (which may or may not have been Tauriel's original name), but she turned it down because she felt she couldn't commit to such a long shoot.
Ron Perlman was originally cast as Beorn The Skinchanger, back when Guillermo del Toro was still attached to direct.
Smaug is one of the regular rankers in the "Richest fictional characters" by Forbes. According to Michael Noer writer for Forbes Magazine's, Smaug is the wealthiest fictional character with a treasure having a calculated value of over 62 billion dollars.
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Peter Jackson, who hates fish, got a perverse pleasure from burying his actors under real dead fish.
It is quite possible that Gandalf wanted Smaug to be destroyed before the War of the Ring began, because had Smaug allied with Sauron it would have meant almost certain ruin for Middle Earth, the forces of Rohan and Gondor would not have been able to bring him down without suffering enormous losses. this idea is reinforced in the extended version of An Unexpected Journey (2012) when Gandalf meets with the white council at Rivendell, as he expressed his concern at the possibility of Smaug allying with the new darkness that Radagast had encountered (Although Saruman dismisses this as nothing more than some human playing with black magic rather than recognizing it as Sauron).
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The only film in the franchise to not feature Saruman.
According to the lunar calendar, seen in the house of Bard, Durin's Day falls on the date 30 Halimath (September).
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Nathaniel Lees was originally cast as the Necromancer.
Only entry in The Hobbit trilogy, in which Thranduil (Lee Pace) does not ride on an elk.
Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones were used for some shots in the film.
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Despite his name being in the film's title, Smaug doesn't appear fully until one hour and fifty-one minutes into the movie's runtime, and has forty-eight minutes of screentime.
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Most notably, Smaug was apparently a four-legged western dragon in the first film, but to follow the description in the book, referring to him as a "Wyrm", he was redesigned to be a more snake or bird-like Wyvern-type dragon in the second film. In the Blu-ray Extended Edition of the first movie, his forelimbs were changed to winged arms. Many other parts of his body have also been altered from what he looked like in the first movie.
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Bolg is similar to Lurtz from the Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Both have a high tolerance to pain, both are highly skilled in using weapons, and both are voiced by Lawrence Makoare.
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Some of Smaug's early designs largely resemble that of the Balrog in the movie series, as one has the horns and bulky neck resembling of the balrog, and his eyes and the inside of his mouth glow incandescent white like a Jack-o-Lantern in another one.
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Smaug was designed to be 'multicultural', combining characteristics from dragons around the world.
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According to Weta designers, Smaug's fire is not magical but 'fuel-based'.
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Smaug was somehow aware of Black Arrows with their proper noun. It is possible due to his recognizing them that he may have encountered the weapons at an unknown point prior to the film continuity or that he remembered their use against him in his attack on Dale.
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Smaug seems to have a will of dominance, as he was shown capable of forcing Bilbo into revealing himself.
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The meals at the Prancing Pony Inn are simply plates of bread with a couple of grapes and a slice of fruit. That's what the waitress served Thorin and Gandalf when they met each other there.
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Richard Armitage (Thorin) shares his name with Stephen Fry (Master of Laketown)'s first theatrical agent, Richard Armitage (1928-1986), although they are not related. The older Armitage, who was the son of songwriter Noel Gay, asked Stephen Fry, then aged just 26, to write the book for his 1984 revival of his father's musical Me and My Girl, the success of which enabled Fry to buy the house in London where he still lives.
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Alan Lee: The Conceptual Designer appears as one of the musicians, when some of the Dwarves, and Bilbo, leave Laketown. He also appeared as one of the nine Kings of Men, in the introductory scenes of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
Stephen Colbert: As the eyepatch-wearing Laketown spy, who knocks on the door with the walking stick. Colbert, a longtime Tolkien fan and expert, had brought his wife and two of his sons to the shoot. When his scene was completed, Peter Jackson personally presented Colbert with a replica of the sword Sting.
Royd Tolkien: The great-grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, is in the Extended Edition in a flashback as one of the Captains of the Gondorian Rangers burying the body of the Witch-King. This was an homage to Royd's cameo in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), as a Gondorian Ranger at Osgiliath.
Katie Jackson: As the barmaid serving Thorin and Gandalf, at The Prancing Pony.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

According to Kili, the Labradorite stone he carries was a gift from his mother to remind him of his promise to return to her. When he is looking at it in Thranduil's dungeons, runes can be seen on it. They translate to "inikhde", a word in Khuzdul (the dwarvish language, created by J.R.R. Tolkien) that means "return to me".
The only time Legolas blinks, is when he realizes he has been wounded. This is in keeping with the character, as the only time Legolas blinks in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is when he is strongly surprised.
When Bilbo first confronts the dragon Smaug, he explains who he is in various nicknames. He says that he comes from "under hill", to which Smaug replies, "Underhill?" This is the name, by which Frodo Baggins covered his true identity, in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), as per Gandalf's request.
Thranduil makes it clear that he doesn't consider Tauriel to be worthy of his son Legolas, but the film avoids explaining why. In the books, it is established that the Wood Elves of Mirkwood are Silvan, but Thranduil and his family are Sindar ("Grey Elves"), a more noble ruling class of Elves. This difference is also alluded to in the film, by the fact that Thranduil and Legolas are blonde, while all the other Mirkwood Elves have darker hair (although Legolas' hair color was never declared in the books).
There is a fan theory that the Arkenstone is actually one of the lost Silmarils, from J.R.R. Tolkiens "The Silmarilion". Changes in the visual design of the Arkenstone from how it is described in the book seem to indicate Peter Jackson (or one of his design team) subscribe to that theory. Since they do not have film rights to that book, explicit references to its story and characters do not feature in the movies.
The Arkenstone in this film is presented as a symbol of Dwarf kingship. In the novel, it was just a family heirloom.
When Kili is being saved by Tauriel from the Morgul-tipped arrow, Kili sees Tauriel surrounded by light. In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), the first time that Frodo, similarly hurt by a Morgul blade, sees Arwen, she also appears surrounded by light.
When Bilbo puts on the Ring in the black forest of Mirkwood, he can understand the giant spiders. In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Frodo could hear the Nazgul when both met on Weathertop.
Richard Armitage hated the tan overcoat he was given to wear, when the Company traveled from Lake Town to Erebor, and begged Peter Jackson to find a way to have him somehow lose it. Jackson then wrote the scene, in which Smaug lets a blast of fire loose on the Company, catching the back of Thorin's coat on fire, and necessitating its removal.
When Legolas fights against Bolg and the rest of Orcs in Lake Town, he uses Thorin's sword ("Orcrist", the Goblin-cleaver), which he kept after disarming Thorin and the Dwarf company, when they were captured in Mirkwood.
When The Necromancer is revealed as Sauron, he initially appears as a ghost clad in armor, as he was shown in the prologue of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
In order to keep Kili's bodily proportions correct while filming the scene, in which Tauriel is healing his leg wound, Aidan Turner's upper body, and his scale double's legs were filmed performing the same scene with the cast twice, then spliced together in post-production.
When Bilbo fights against a giant spider in Mirkwood with his sword, he hears the spider say "It stings, it stings". This gives the name to Bilbo's sword, which many years later, he would give to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
During his confrontation with Gandalf, the Necromancer reveals himself as Sauron, with his shadow turning into a giant eye of fire. This was his shape in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The first meeting between Gandalf and Radagast takes place in the mountains of High Fells of Rhudaur, to investigate an underground cave. They find some tombs desecrated, and its iron doors blown out. These are the tombs of the Nazgul (the ancient nine Kings of Men), mentioned by Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). Rhudaur is a Sindarin word (a fictional language created by Tolkien) and means "Eastern Forest".
The rune inscription inside the hidden door, read by Gloin, says: "Herein lies the seventh kingdom of Durin's folk. May the Heart of the Mountain unite all Dwarves in defense of this home."
The scene where the group tries to bury Smaug in gold in the forges, was added only because the filmmakers needed a cliffhanger (they confirmed this when asked), and the actors and some of the crew literally had no idea what they were filming, until they saw the completed film.
The Dwarves' capture by the giant spiders, and the Elves of Mirkwood, is considerably different from the book. In the book, Bilbo lures the spiders away with a song, and once the Company has escaped, Bilbo and the Dwarves chase firelight into open spaces to get to the Elves. Each time, the fire is snuffed out. This happens three times, before the Dwarves are captured and imprisoned in Thranduil's dungeons.
In the original script, Tauriel healed one of Bard's daughters (most likely Tilda), but when re-shoots happened, it was changed to Kili, which coupled with the aforementioned Bolg switch, suddenly explains Kili being hit with an arrow.
Although the movie's plot is roughly based on chapters 7 through 13 of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel 'The Hobbit', it also contains a lot of original content and material from other sources. In the book, the dwarfs' detainment with the Mirkwood Elves, their visit to Lake Town as well as the confrontation with Smaug each take about one chapter; in the film, these sequences are extended with new material, and together take up nearly two thirds of the movie. Legolas, Tauriel and Alfrid are not in the book; Bard, Bolg and the master of Laketown are in the book, but they are not introduced until later chapters, and only play minor roles. Azog the Defiler is mentioned, but has already died prior to the book's events. Gandalf's adventures are mostly taken from the Appendices in the Lord of the Rings novels.
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Tolkien was strongly inspired by Scandinavian languages and mythology (Norse mythology). The names of various characters are sometimes from the mythology, other times they simply reflect the character itself. When we meet Beorn for the first time he is in the shape of a bear. Björn/Bjørn is pronounced very similarly, is a Scandinavian name, and means bear. Later, a voice is heard whispering "Attercop", (edderkop) meaning spider.
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In the extended edition, Gandalf encounters Thrain in Dol Guldor. During their attempted escape they encounter Sauron, who quickly kills Thrain. When he does, Thrain lets out a wilhelm scream, which results in the scene becoming almost humorous. Why they didn't use a novel recording of actor Michael Mizrahi for this part is unknown.
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