The following is both complete conjecture and a possible spoiler for The Hobbit: There And Back Again, so please think carefully before continuing. But when we spoke to Benedict Cumberbatch on set of Sherlock a little while back, we asked him about his roles in Peter Jackson's new epic, and he said something that may very well be a spoiler, so let's discuss that just a bit.
Cumberbatch said of his role," I’m playing Smaug through motion-capture and voicing the Necromancer, which is a character in the Five Legions War or something which I’m meant to understand. He’s not actually in the original Hobbit. It’s something [Peter Jackson]’s taken from Lord Of The Rings that he wants to put in there."
Now those familiar with the book will notice immediately the big new piece of information here. Assuming that Cumberbatch does mean the Battle of Five Armies (which seems safe), then this points to one way that Peter Jackson and co. have expanded the book's story to fill two films, and provide a more seamless link to The Lord Of The Rings.
Readers will know that the Necromancer is Sauron, and that Gandalf disappears halfway through (the book of) The Hobbit to lead a coalition force and drive the Necromancer out of his Mirkwood stronghold. But in the book they dispatch the Necromancer back to (as it turns out) Mordor well before the Battle of Five Armies. Here, however, it looks like he's going to turn up to the finale in person, presumably at the head of the goblin and Warg army, and face Gandalf's team there.
If that is the case, it's a narratively neat way to combine the two story threads, that of Bilbo and the dwarves and the other following Gandalf and his team. It also gives the goblins a stronger motivation to suddenly turn up: in the book, they're avenging the earlier death of one of their leaders and (like all the other armies present) hoping to get their grubby hands on the dragon's hoard. If they're incited or led by Sauron, however, their actions will hang more coherently with their behaviour later in Lord Of The Rings.
Of course, this is all just speculation for now. We'll know more when we see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this December 14, and see for sure with the release of There And Back Again in 2013.
If Sauron appears as the Necromancer (whether leading the Goblin/Warg army or just torturing Thrain in Dol Guldur in some film prelude a-la Last Alliance Battle in LOTR) would it not be too far-fetched to in addition to Galadriel and Saurman appearing in the White Council, to also see Legolas with Thranduil and the Wood elves, black riders (could the Lord of the Nazgul lead the attack in the Battle of Five Armies as "The Witch King of Angmar" as reference him with his title in the LO More
If Sauron appears as the Necromancer (whether leading the Goblin/Warg army or just torturing Thrain in Dol Guldur in some film prelude a-la Last Alliance Battle in LOTR) would it not be too far-fetched to in addition to Galadriel and Saruman appearing in the White Council, to also see Legolas with Thranduil and the Wood elves, the black riders (could the Lord of the Nazgul lead the attack in the Battle of Five Armies as "The Witch King of Angmar" as Gandalf references him in ROTK movie), Gimli More
I think its obvious Benedict isn't a Tolkien fan, unless he's being a piss taker, which isn't a real problem. Neither was Viggo apparently, but his son was.
Possible Spoilers ahead:
Anyhow, if you read some of the Tolkein lore then the whole 'Necromancer' could be interesting. Put simply, its Sauron as a weaker form. He takes over this tower named Dol Guldur (i think, could be wrong) and kidnaps Thorin's (leader of the Dwarves in 'The Hobbit') Dad. He is rescued later by Gandalf, and More
A few thoughts:
- Given the total vagueness of the quote, it's possible that Cumberbatch isn't a big Tolkien fan and hasn't a clue how significant a poor or mistaken choice of words can be for the rabid fanbase. Or...
- For secrecy reasons, Cumberbatch has only received the portions of the script where he has to voice dialogue, and therefore isn't 100% sure as to the extent of the Necromancer's part in the film(s). (This conjecture may be strengthened if Cumberbatch isn't au fait w More
If this rings true, Sir PJ has lost me as a first-night customer; I will wait and learn if this 'spoiler' takes place in some form. If the Necromancer is written in where Tolkien explicitly wrote him out? For me this is too much to bear.
Unfinished Tales was unfinished but the Hobbit was a complete and coherent work. I found it quite entertaining to read alternative story lines but do not want to see them locked in cellulose. More
Possible spoiler based on the original material to cover your eyes if you don't want to know...
...seeing as Tolkien revised the events of The Hobbit as seen in The Unfinished Tales resulting in Galdalf setting things in motion with the dwarfs because he knew Sauron wanted to use Smaug as a weapon and was determined to prevent this from happening. Makes sense then as to why The Necromancer would turn up at the battle. More