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Top 5 Moments from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Movies

As the final Hobbit film draws a close to the epic series of movies, here is a look back at my favourite moments of the journey.

5. The Eagles Save Thorin’s Company

hobbit-gandalf-fire-eaglesI remember reading the book and being utterly terrified by that scene—where the characters could be burned alive, fall to their deaths, or be eaten by wolves, and not necessarily in that order. The films captured the moment perfectly. Even knowing what happened, I was glued to my seat in the cinema.

4. Drums in the Deep

boromir-moriaWhile not as close to the book, I love the entire scene in Moria, starting with Gandalf reading from the journal, Pippin’s unfortunate incident “Fool of a Took!” and Boromir’s snarky “They have a cave troll!” This scene almost made me want to visit Moria. Almost. I loved the lighting and set design, as well as the opening part of the battle before it got CGI heavy with the troll. Also, this scene is more potent with the three Hobbit films, since we got to know some of the dwarf skeletons lying there.

3. Fall Back to Minas Tirith

osgiliath-night-attack-return-of-the-kingOne of a handful of watchable scenes in Return of the King in my opinion, I completely wore out this chapter on my DVD by watching it over and over. It could be any of the many battles for Osgiliath, including the one cut from the movies that involved Boromir and Faramir swimming the Anduin (why? why did they cut that?). For some reason I love the sneak attack and night battle through ruins, followed by a desperate retreat.

thorin-battle-of-the-five-armies2. Thorin Oakenshield Returns

In Battle of the Five Armies, you can feel the frustration of the Company as their King all but deserts them for his madness. The moment when Thorin sheds his golden robes and marches in back to his old honourable self, ready to charge out of the Mountain, is perhaps the most beautiful in the entire Trilogy. While not a scene from the book, it nevertheless brought tears to my eyes when I saw it in the theatre. Thorin is my favourite character in the Hobbit, so perhaps that had something to do with it! In the black carpet premiere, Richard mentioned this was the most moving scene for him as well, when speaking with TOR.n

1. Fear No Darkness!

return-of-the-king-rohan-chargeWhile not as impressive as the version in the book, it is nevertheless an incredible moment in the Trilogy. I am utterly biased with my love for Minas Tirith, and a part of me is with those defenders looking up to hear the clear ringing of trumpets as the sun pierces what in the book was a night so black you could barely see the warriors beside you (I took the liberty of photoshopping the screencap to get closer to the description). I recall reading in one of his letters that this was a favourite moment of Tolkien’s as well, and I can well believe it. I think perhaps it was my memory of the book scene that caused me to put this as #1, since they didn’t do a very good job of it in the film. Even badly done, it is still my favourite scene in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. I think that speaks to the power of Tolkien’s writing.

Top 5 Practical Fantasy Female Battle Outfits

I find it frustrating in books, comics, D&D, movies, and TV when women are wearing outfits that would get them killed in a matter of seconds, or are too unwieldy to move about in. When considering a female warrior character, here are some ideas to draw on.

5. Queen Susan in Prince Caspian
Suggested improvements: Helmet, neck protection, gauntlets

Highlights: Light, still feminine, designed for an archer


4. Marian in BBC Robin Hood
Suggested Improvements: Gauntlets, more substantial protection for legs
Highlights: Easy to move in for agile combat, can be used for stealth


3. Mulan in Once Upon a Time
Suggested Improvements: Helm and higher neck protection
Highlights: Serious armor for close-in combat


2. Snow White from Snow White and The Huntsman
Suggested Improvements: Desperately needs a helm, if not two nested, and additional plate on arms and legs
Highlights: Practical plate armor, ideal for an equivalent knight character


1. Éowyn from Return of the King
Suggested Improvements: Protection for neck and join at elbow, shoulders, and sides
Highlights: Finally a helm! Easy to move in, decent coverage


Character Comfort Foods

hardy-boys-the-secret-of-the-old-millAs authors, we put our characters through a lot. It is not unusual for them to be stressed, terrified, or in pain, so it is important to understand how they react. One of the fundamental ways human beings combat stress is through favourite food and drinks. In Gail Carriger’s Finishing School Series, the protagonist falls back on tea when in remarkable situations, and who can forget the second breakfasts demanded by hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

Choosing a food or beverage that a character craves when overwrought should reflect the personality of that character. It does not have to be what is expected. For example, what if the tough gunslinger’s secret passion is for petite fours? They might remind him of his mother, reflect an inner gentle heart, or maybe he really loves lovely feminine things but can’t admit to it openly. Another character might be an overt vegetarian, pushing it in other character’s faces, but secretly craves steak, showing the untrustworthy nature or false pride of that person?

hardy-boys-what-happened-midnightOn the other hand, it could simply be a chance to unwind emotionally and allow the reader and character a respite. The Hardy Boys and their hamburgers are a good example of that—hearty enjoyable food that is in keeping with teenage boys, yet always feels great after a good chase scene.

Whether the food is a running joke or serious insight into the character, writing down each main character’s comfort choice is a worthwhile exercise.

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