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The Third Hobbit Is Now Subtitled The Battle Of The Five Armies
But the box set may go back to There And Back Again

24 April 2014  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  |  Source: Peter Jackson

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Could-The-Third-Hobbit-Film-Become-Into-The-Fire

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit has seen many ups and downs in its journey to the screen. It's changed director, gone from two films to three, and now sees the third film retitled from There And Back again, the book's subtitle, to The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies.

There were rumours last week that the film's title might change, with Into The Fire then said to be the likely moniker. But (and we totally called this on last week's podcast) the filmmakers have gone with the name of the climactic clash in Tolkien's book. Well, close to it; strictly, in the book, it's called The Battle Of Five Armies with no additional definite article. Here's what Jackson had to say about the change.

"Our journey to make The Hobbit Trilogy has been in some ways like Bilbo's own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we've gone along. “There and Back Again” felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the "Desolation of Smaug".

When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title. We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels completely appropriate.

And so: "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" it is.

As Professor Tolkien intended, “There and Back Again” encompasses Bilbo’s entire adventure, so don’t be surprised if you see it used on a future box-set of all three movies."

You can read the full statement here, but several things become clear from this. First of all, it's a decision that Jackson can explain thematically rather than being a business decision or similar, so all you cynics should pipe down. Secondly, there is now a cut of the film! Thirdly, we should expect some large-scale action this time around to justify that title, so brace yourselves for major fight scenes.

Spoilers for non-readers follow!

The Battle Of The Five Armies, of course, sees Goblins and Wargs (one army, supported by scary bats) face off against dwarves, elves, men and giant eagles (four much smaller armies) in a quest to gain control of Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) and Smaug's treasures within. In the book, Bilbo spends much of the conflict unconscious; we wonder whether that will still be the case onscreen? One change this time should see the Orcs being led by the still-very-much loose Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch), making them even more formidable.

Spoilers end

The three films are now united in having titles almost but not quite taken from the text of the book. The first, An Unexpected Journey, echoed the book's first chapter title, An Unexpected Party. The second film, The Desolation Of Smaug, comes from a description of the area around Erebor as "the Desolation of the Dragon" (in fairness, those exact words are used on Tolkien's map). And now the third is inspired by the Battle Of Five Armies (no extra 'the'). Purists will have to hold out for that box set Jackson mentioned.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies will hit cinemas on December 12, 2014, starring, as ever, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch (presumably as both Necromancer and Smaug), Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lily, Aidan Turner, James Nesbitt and many more.


Which Hobbit part three title is your favourite?
There And Back Again is what I'm tolkien about!
Into The Fire with all the pretenders; that's the best one.
The Battle Of Five Armies, because one 'the' is enough.
The Battle Of The Five Armies; Jackson's choice is spot-on!
  View results without voting


Have Your Say
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Your Comments

Makes sense...
....does this mean that we will get a film that resembles the book in some shape or form?! More

Posted by Hillsman at 22:34 on 27 April 2014 | Report This Post

I'm Probably Not Going to See The Third HOBBIT Movie
The two films have been totally underwhelming. Watching THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG has put me off watching THE HOBBIT. They may have done very well at the box-office, but they've failed to ignite the same passion with the critics and fans that RINGS accomplished a decade ago. Peter Jackson seems to be going though the motions in THE HOBBIT, probably explains why it's relied too much on CGI. And I'm completely disagree on THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG winning this year's Empire Film Award for Best Sci-Fi/ More

Posted by bb at 11:30 on 25 April 2014 | Report This Post

Extended edition
Anyone that can tell me when we can expect the Extended edition of Desolation of Smaug on Blu-ray? More

Posted by Chronicle at 08:43 on 25 April 2014 | Report This Post

These Hobbit films are sooo (over)long that I can't remember what they set out to do in the first place... and I've read the book! More

Posted by Plodwyn at 04:33 on 25 April 2014 | Report This Post

Well if they're not going to change this new title, the collected extended edition box set should have the 'There and Back Again' subtitle attached to it. More

Posted by cliff126 at 21:10 on 24 April 2014 | Report This Post

The Hobbit: Like Butter Scraped Over Too Much Bread
I look forward to a faithful-to-the-book fan-edit; the Hobbit movies are awfully protracted. More

Posted by Litshttam at 19:00 on 24 April 2014 | Report This Post

RE:
Well, it's entirely appropriate, seeing as all the good money is on a horrendously bloated two hour battle, a step to try and make the trilogy into another Lord of the Rings. Again. Now, a big fight is probably undertandable for a movie like this, but especially given it was never what Tolkien was bloody interested in writing (Bilbo's knock on the head) the fact that most of a three hour movie will be one fight is... well, pick your own descriptive term. But Empire will think it's the best thin More

Posted by timkins at 17:38 on 24 April 2014 | Report This Post

Just as long as they finally end the f**king thing, I don't care what they call it More

Posted by chris wootton at 17:08 on 24 April 2014 | Report This Post

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