The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) Poster


Add to FAQ
Showing all 11 items
Jump to:


  • The Battle of the Five Armies is the third part of a three-part adaptation of the novel The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973). The first film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) (2012) covers the first six chapters of the novel and a few moments from the seventh chapter. The second film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) covers the seventh through the 13th chapters. Finally, this film covers the remaining 14th through 19th chapters. Also, based on comments by Peter Jackson leading up to the release of the first Hobbit film There and Back Again, the movies may contain scenes based on the appendices from the novel The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, also by Tolkien. Edit

  • Because The Hobbit is such a short book, it was reasonable to assume the story would be wrapped up by the end of the second movie. But the second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ends where the book would still have six chapters remaining. These scenes include, among others, the Battle of the Five Armies and the struggle over the Arkenstone, so a significant portion of the book has been shifted to the final film in the trilogy. Initially, The Hobbit was planned for one or two films, following the original book more closely. Shortly after Guillermo del Toro left the directing position to be replaced by Peter Jackson, MGM agreed that a third movie should be developed to bridge the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, since both books were so starkly different in tone that film audiences possibly would have had a hard time reconciling the two film series. What is also known is that Peter Jackson has used the appendices of the novel of The Return of The King to help develop the story of the third film. Edit

  • In the film trilogy Smaug measures nearly 140 meters (about 450 feet) long with a wingspan of perhaps 150 meters or more. This is perhaps five times as large as Tolkien depicted him. Edit

  • Tolkien's novel specifies that the climactic battle "was called the Battle of Five Armies ... Upon one side were the Goblins and the Wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves." As the movie does not feature an army of Wolves (Wargs), the identity of its "fifth" army has been the subject of some debate. Some viewers have argued that the movie depicts two separate armies of different species of Goblin or Orc. Others have argued that the Eagles represent the movie's fifth army. Support for the latter view may be found in the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit (1977), in which Bilbo refers at the start of the battle to "four armies" (apparently treating the Goblins and Wolves as one single army). On the appearance of the Eagles, Bilbo then describes them as the "fifth" army. It was finally confirmed in the appendices of the Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition that the five armies in the film are Thranduil's Elves from Mirkwood, Bard's men of Laketown, Dain's Iron Hill Dwarves, Azog's Orc army from Dol Guldur and Bolg's Orc army from Mount Gundabad. Edit

  • J.R.R. Tolkien wrote extensively on every detail of the history of his fantasy world, seen in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Much of this writing exists not as narrative storytelling but as story notes and fictional historical accounts. The appendices to Return of the King are part of that extensive work. They were included in the book to give readers a better understanding of the history of Middle-earth leading up to, including, and following the events of The Lord of the Rings. The appendices include detailed timelines, family trees and a pronunciation guide. Also included is a story not told in the books. This includes, but is not limited to, some of Gandalf's back story, the creation of the Rings of Power, and what happens to all the main characters of The Lord of the Rings after the original story. Peter Jackson has said that he has pulled a lot of information from these appendices to help fill out the story of the first two Hobbit films and to create a story for the third film. Tolkien's breadth of writing on Middle-earth can also be found in books like The Silmarillion and the 12-volume series The History of Middle-earth, to which the filmmakers do not have rights. Edit

  • Peter Jackson previously signed on as an executive producer (the same role that, comparatively, George Lucas served on Star Wars Episodes V and VI); The main reasoning appeared to be timetable conflicts with other directing commitments Jackson already had or has made (The Lovely Bones and Tintin). The fact that Jackson was in a financial conflict with New Line Cinema at the time may have also played a role. There may have also been the matter that The Lord of the Rings movies were hugely popular movies a decade after their releases. This would raise the expectations considerably for The Hobbit, while the novel is in many regards (e.g. story structure) quite similar to the Rings trilogy, which had become much more popular than The Hobbit throughout the 20th century.

    With Peter Jackson at the helm, expectations possibly rose to unrealistic proportions. This lead to potential mass disappointment with the fan base, arguably comparable to when George Lucas decided to create his prequel trilogy to the original Star Wars trilogy himself, and when Steven Spielberg created a fourth Indiana Jones movie after nearly 20 years. Jackson himself also experienced firsthand just how high expectations could rise when he was listed as director, having met with some harsh criticism for his post-LOTR movies (namely King Kong and The Lovely Bones). However, when the financial conflict with New Line Cinema was suddenly settled and no replacement had yet been found, Jackson felt he had spent enough time in pre-production to overcome his reluctance, and agreed to step in as director. Moreover, due to the delays in production, his schedule had been cleared. He has directed all three films with shooting started in February 2011.

    Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who all wrote the screenplays of the previous Middle-earth trilogy, wrote the screenplay for The Hobbit parts 1, 2 and 3. The movie has been split into three parts with added expanded content from the book (i.e., drawing story elements from the Appendices, see above). It is clear that the maker's intentions for this film go beyond a mere introductory prequel. The choice to extend the single, relatively-small, 297-page (paperback) book was allegedly Jackson's, and he claims it is due to the sheer amount of content in the expanded universe so that the story can be told in its entirety as well as fan service, though there have been valid claims that the huge financial investment and potential profits were a factor in the final choice. Edit

  • Yes, they were shot in 3D at 48 FPS. Each is also available in 3D at 24 FPS and 2D at 24 FPS. At the time of the film's release, viewers could check with their local theatres to find the format they wanted to see. Edit

  • Thranduil probably should not know about Strider, as Aragorn was raised secretly by Lord Elrond in Rivendell after the death of his father Arathorn II. However, Aragorn would have been alive at that time of the Battle of Five Armies; in the continuity of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films, he would have been in his mid-20s, between 25 and 27 years old (in J.R.R. Tolkien's book-continuity, Aragorn would have been 10 years old at the time of Thorin's quest). It is possible that Thranduil had been acquainted with Arathorn before he died and might have met Aragorn as a young man, or he learned of Aragorn's existence from Lord Elrond. In any case, meeting with Gandalf and witnessing the Battle of the Five Armies may have convinced Thranduil that this was only a prelude to a much greater war, and that the return of Sauron and his forces is unavoidable. Knowing that Aragorn was the last descendant of a long line of kings, and destined to reunite the race of Men, he may have forseen the importance of Aragorn in the future. He therefore urges his son to find and assist Aragorn, and to prepare him for a role he has to play later on. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas and Aragorn indeed seem to have been friends for some while, with Legolas defending Aragorn as Isildur's descendant, and heir to the throne of Gondor. Edit

  • The Dwarves' New Year occurred on the first day of the last moon of autumn. Durin's Day only happened in years when this moon and the sun appeared in the sky together. Using the crescent moons seen at Midsummer's Eve in An Unexpected Journey and on Durin's Day in The Desolation of Smaug, we can estimate that the date for Durin's Day in the latter film was on or near October 27th (the twenty-seventh day of Winterfilth) in Shire Reckoning. On our Gregorian calendar that should convert to October 17th. Edit

  • The Extended Edition, in fact, really pushes up violence: more than the half of the extended runtime is happening during the large conflict in the middle of the movie. Often they are rather bloody, and feature dismemberment and decapitations (especially by using a certain war chariot), or just are more violent (Legolas turns his dagger in Bolg's head which is amplified by a crunchy sound). It is debatable if it justifies an R rating or actually improves the movie—however, everybody has to see for himself/herself. Without question, the longer version has been mostly extended by violence. Edit



See also

Awards | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed