Keep The Company Moving
Peter Jackson did everything he could to spice up the beginning of The Hobbit - adding in the destruction of Erebor as well as Thorin’s great battle against Azog The Defiler – but the truth is that the beginning of the movie moves incredibly slowly and that things don’t really start to pick up until Bilbo chases down the company the morning after the great party (and even then things don’t get really good until the group must deal with the group of trolls that steals their ponies).

If Jackson insists on making all of his titles near-three hour affairs then that means it’s his responsibility to keep the main characters hitting the pavement and making their way towards Smaug in The Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. While of course we want to see all of the conflicts and issues play out (and we don’t want to see any of them cut from the story), there has to be an over-awareness of pacing in the second film that will keep the audience invested in the story and the ultimate mission.

Keep Bringing The New
One of the elements of Tolkien’s The Hobbit that makes it such a hard story to adapt is the fact that it’s structured very episodically. Each chapter represents a new obstacle that Bilbo and/or the entire group must deal with before moving forward with their quest. Hell, it can even be seen in the first movie, as the characters go from facing off against trolls to visiting the elves in Rivendell to escaping the goblin caves. But it’s an issue that the first movie did a great deal to solve and one we hope continues to be fixed in the next title.

Obviously the best way to break up the original story is to include “new” segments (which are actually based on other writings, footnotes and appendixes by Tolkien) and that’s exactly what Jackson and Co. needs to keep doing in the sequel. Both the inclusion of Azog The Defiler (which gave Bilbo and the dwarves a constant threat to be on the lookout for) as well as the side-story about the rise of the Necromancer are both story elements that can easily be bridged to the second movie and create more over-arching storylines that don’t necessarily involve the main characters and their journey. Not only does it help the overall structure of the piece, but it even gives fans of the book something new and surprising to look forward to.

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