Friday 20 December 2013

The Amazons of Far Harad

This lady appears for less than 10 seconds in the film, yet she is by far the most interesting character in the entire ensemble.

I went to see The Hobbit: The Disenfranchisement of Smaug. I cannot really say anything I didn't already say about the first one. What follows is a snippet of one of the strange mental gymnastic routines that happens to me when thinking about justifying narrative issues.

Scene: a group of friends are playing a tabletop role-playing game, not unlike Dungeons & Dragons. There is Pete (the Dungeon Master), Ian (a Wizard), Eva (an Elf), John (a Dwarf), Vickie (a Ranger), and Fran (a Hobbit). Their game is very loosely based on The Hobbit, where the DM has decided to make a few changes for the sake of inclusion and to keep the group's interest. Everything in italics is "in character," with breaks in character denoted by normal text.

DM: You now take in the sights around you, shaking the fish-slime from your eyes. An eclectic and unusual town stretches beyond. It is not built on the shore, though there are a few huts and buildings there, but right out on the surface of the lake, protected from the swirl of the entering river by a promontory of rock which forms a calm bay. A great bridge made of wood ran out to where on huge piles made of forest trees was built a busy wooden town, not a town of elves but of Men, who still dared to dwell here under the shadow of the distant dragon-mountain. They still throve on the trade that came up the great river from the South and was carted past the falls to their town; but in the great days of old, when Dale in the North was rich and prosperous, they had been wealthy and powerful, and there had been fleets of boats on the waters, and some were filled with gold and some with warriors in armour, and there had been wars and deeds which were now only a legend. The rotting piles of a greater town could still be seen along the shores when the waters sank in a drought. Among the townsfolk you see strange people unlike any you've seen in Bree - men with dark beards and unusual garb, ladies with strange eyes and silken hair, a woman with the darkest skin you've ever seen on a human - 

The Wizard: Where did they come from?

DM: (Sighs) Is this going to be a problem for you, Ian?

The Wizard: Is what going to be a problem?

(The rest of the group sighs and mutters, knowing what's coming next)