Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Edits, The

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
One Edit to Rule Them All
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2012/2013/2014
Original Running Time:
533
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
290
Time Cut:
242
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The Hobbit is changed.

I see it in the Films.
I read it on the Forums.
I tell it, on the web.

Much that once was, is cut. And none now live, who remember it.


It began with the forging of the Great Edits.

Three films were given to the nerds, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings.

Seven years to the Editors. Redesigners, and craftsmen of the Forum Walls.

And Five, Five Edits were gifted to the Academy, who above all else, revise for hours.

For within these edits was bound the length and the skill to govern each film.

But they were all of them deceived, for another edit was made.

In the land of Indoors, in the fires of "My Room," the Dark Lord Stromboli forged in secret, a master edit, to combine all others.

And into this edit he poured his creativity, his talents, and his will to culminate all Five.

One Edit to Rule Them All.

Intention:
A few years ago it was commonplace for me to watch Lord of the Rings once a week while cleaning, cooking, gaming, etc., I wanted to include The Hobbit into the loop, but I found myself walking over to the remote and pressing "Skip Chapter" whenever it got to certain parts. I found out about this site, the projects within, and decided to dig in.

I watched a lot of other edits over the course of a few weeks, trying to find the perfect one for my taste. Many of the more popular ones were very well done, but none of them QUITE did it for me. Eventually, after a LOT of back and forth, I decided to make my own edit that combines all of the "best" elements of each of the other most popular edits, and add my own changes into the mix.

Spence, Dustin Lee, L8wrtr, Adam Dens, and DonKamillo's edits were the "Big Five" that I decided to incorporate into my own. Later, I decided to include some things from Wraith and M4's edits as well. Without these Seven other editors and their magnificent work, my edit would not exist.

Thank you so much to all of you for your work, your invaluable feedback, and your guidance as I crafted what I consider to be a biproduct of the brilliance you have poured into your own projects. Being able to honor your works in my own way has become reward in and of itself, and I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to do so.

Other Sources:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Soundtrack
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Official Soundtrack
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Official Soundtrack

CinePacks Fire and Water FX

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Special Thanks:
I would also like to thank Jasper Rex for the awesome artwork he did, Wraith for taking the time to watch and review my edit, and I especially want to give an extra big shoutout to Artisdead for guiding me, pushing me, and in some cases carrying me (kicking and screaming) to this finish line that I've wanted for so long.

Most importantly, I want to thank my wife, whom I married on Frodo on Bilbo's birthday! Without her this project would not exist, nor would I have had the opportunity to show it off at my local movie theater to almost 30 of my closest friends!

Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
There are a mountain of Hobbit edits out there, I sought to combine what I felt were the best elements of each into one.

DonKamillo's: The Anti-Cringe Cut provided the scaffolding for my edit. I have changed many things about it, but his edit has the largest inclusion of them all in my edit. Any cuts or transitions that I do not specifically mention in the "Cuts and Additions" section can be assumed to be his.

This is not a "book" cut. There are some elements from the books that I have excised, and there are some elements unique to the films that I have chosen to retain. This project came from my goal to create the best possible version of these films, without any constraints other than quality. In the end, I decided the best way to do that was to condense the films down into five, one-hour episodes. This was DonKamillo's approach, and I thought it was a unique and brilliant way to present them. If it ain't broke....

Cuts and Additions:
The Battle of the Five Edits is split into Five Episodes, each coming in at around 55 minutes
(The credits roll in Episode 5 at 58:30)
The entire project, credits included, clocks in at 4 hours and 50 minutes, which means about 46% of the runtime has been cut.


TL;DR Cutlist provided by herowoac (Found this on Billy Batson's Edit Page)

Dor Guldur/High Fells Subplot: Deleted
White Council Plot: Deleted, Galadriel has an extended cameo
White Orc Plot: 90% deleted, he is the nameless leader of the army at the end, like Gothmog in Return of the King
Army from the North plot: Yes
Love Triangle Plot: Deleted.
Radagast Inclusion: No.
Legolas Inclusion: Abbreviated. He's in Mirkwood, and shows up late in the Battle of Five Armies.
Tauriel Inclusion: Deleted, for the most part. She appears in a couple shots.
Alfrid/Master Inclusion: Severely Abbreviated. It's implied that they are both killed by Smaug.
Extended Edition Use: Yes.
Use of Deleted Scenes: Gandalf's Eulogy (audio)

SPECIFIC SCENES (yes/no/partial/more info)

Prologue/Flashbacks: No.
Chip the Glasses: Yes
Battle for Moria Flashback: No.
Radagast in Mirkwood: No.
Troll Battle: Yes.
Radagast's Rabbit Chase: No.
White Council in Rivendell: No.
Stone Giants: No.
Gollum scene modified: 99% untouched
Fifteen Birds in Five Fir Trees: Orcs removed (mostly)
DoS Gandalf/Thorin Prologue: No.
Beorn: Yes + Extended
Gandalf in Dol Goldur: No.
Bilbo fights a bug for the ring: No.
Tauriel/Kili in prison: No.
Barrel Chase: Yes, but trimmed down
Dwarves in Laketown: Partial
Dwarfs coming out of a Toilet: No
Dwarves Left Behind in Laketown: No
Orcs & Elves in Laketown: No
Dwarves Give Up at Erebor: No
Dwarves Combat Smaug: No
Black Arrow/Bard's Son & Smaug: No
White Council battles Nazgul: No
Thorin's Dragon Sickness: Yes
Battle of Five Armies - Restructured
The Master discusses class warfare: No
Alfrid wears a dress: No.
Thorin/Azog combat: Yes, but heavily trimmed: No breakout from the ice


Episode 1 - An Unexpected Journey

- Removed the "60 Years Later..." caption when Bilbo first meets Gandalf (Wraith)
Otherwise, This episode retains 99% of its structure from Don Kamillo's Anti-Cringe Cut:
- No Azog
- No Necromancer
- No Radagast
- No Arkenstone
- Bilbo finds the ring the way he did in the book
- Less silly moments

The only other difference between this episode and DonKamillo's version is I cut the scene of Gandalf scaring Bilbo by looking through the window, and added back the scene of Bilbo going to the market (M4's version)


Episode 2 - Riddles in the Dark

This is where things start changing quite a bit from Don Kamillo's Anti-Cringe Cut.

-removed small continuity errors of Gandalf mentioning the orc/sled chase sequence that has been excised, once when Elrond arrives and once at dinner

- Cut Bofur singing and dancing on the dais they used for the One Ring in the Fellowship (Love the joke, don't mind the song, but too goofy)

- You see Galadriel show up, elf announces that he dwarves snuck out, and Gandalf talks to Galadriel briefly during the dwarves's departure. It's implied that he stayed behind to talk to Galadriel about them, and intended to catch up right after (as he does)

- Used Dustin Lee's version of removing the Storm/Rock Giants; Bilbo slips on the ledge, and rather than getting pulled back by Dwalin, he fully falls off, is dangling, and needs rescuing

- No Goblin King song (kept the very short version that appears in the Theatrical) It's implied that he dies when he falls, but unconfirmed

- Bilbo does not witness Gollum dropping the Ring out of his pocket, he finds it like he did in the book. The rest of the Gollum sequence is 100% intact

- I debated a couple different versions of the Golbin Tunnels escape/battle, but most of the fighting in these scenes is just too silly and CGI heavy for me, so I went with L8wrtr's version; Gandalf shows up, chase begins, cut to Bilbo and Gollum and remove all of the fighting, Gollum then hides from the party as they run by, Bilbo escapes and joins them.

- The Eagles rescue occurs with a few Orcs, but no Azog. I then used M4 and eric1894's version of the carrock scene; Thorin's scars have been digitally removed, and the scene occurs without the complicated Thorin/Bilbo bonding scene.

- removed the "12 months later" caption at the end of Episode 2 occuring at the start of Desolation of Smaug when Bilbo peeks up at the orcs and wargs (Wraith)


Episode 3 - A Warm Welcome

- Used M4's transitions for the party arriving at Beorn's house and Gandalf's departure outside Mirkwood (cleaned it up a little)

- Beorn's intro from the extended edition is here because I loved it in the book and they kept it pretty close to verbatim

- Used M4's version of Dwarves vs Spiders after Bilbo frees them; No baby spider, no Spider-Man Legolas, much less silliness

- Kept "That's my wee lad, Gimli" because I love it.

- used M4's reversed shot of Bilbo peeking around the corner inside Thranduil's house

- The Legolas/Tauriel/Kili love story has been completely excised

- Thranduil does his weird melty-face bit because he lays down some foreshadowing about Thorin being "just like [your grandfather]"

- Legolas and Tauriel’s only real roles are capturing the dwarves in Mirkwood, shooting some Orcs during the barrel sequence and then, and warning Gandalf about Bolg's army in Episode 5

- The Barrel Chase scene remains, with Bolg, but has been trimmed heavily, in my own modified version of Dustin Lee's version

- The Company arriving in Lake Town is a modified version of DonKamillo's, with a sprinkling of M4's version

REVERTED - Balin DOES mention the black arrow being the only thing that can kill Smaug. I had originally cut this (M4's version) because Balin mentions, specifically, that the black arrow is the only thing that can pierce the dragon's hide, not necessarily that it's the only thing that can kill it. We find out shortly thereafter via Bain "....you'd know that Girion hit the dragon. He loosened a scale under the left wing." Girion's actions with the black arrow are what allow L8wrtr's regular arrow method to work, and negates the purpose of removing that line from Balin. Bard is only able to kill Smaug with a regular arrow in Episode 4 because Girion chipped off a scale with the black arrow. This is much more in line with the book; Smaug has a chink in his armor, Bard shoots him with a regular arrow that he refers to as his "black arrow" seemingly because it's his lucky arrow and is colored black.

- Including Balin's mention of the black arrow (along with Bilbo and Smaug's mention of it it in Episode 4) takes Chehkov's Gun (Arrow, in this case) from the original movies and turns it into a red herring, which, to me, was preferable to removing the term "black arrow" from existence


Episode 4 - Fire and Water

- The dwarves don’t stay behind with Bard and his family; Dustin Lee handled this beautifully, and I replicated it (including his digitally edited shot(s) of all the dwarves walking to the mountain)

- The dwarves do not give up at the secret door (L8wrtr)

- The dwarves do not enter the mountain until after Smaug has been defeated

- No Golden Smaug – I used L8wrtr’s version of Smaug’s exit and applied M4's color correction to Smaug. He breaks out of the gate for just a few frames (he's red not gold!) and then it cuts to the dwarves stumbling and Balin saying "That, my lads....was a dragon."

- The lead-up to Smaug decimating Lake Town is of my own design, and I'm very proud of it! Bard tells his children everything is going to be fine, despite the screams and roars that can be heard in the background. He then declares that he's going to kill the dragon first, right as Smaug unleashes his fury

- used Dustin Lee's digitally corrected shot of the Dwarvish Wind Lance to make it appear like it's on fire, showing the audience why he didn't attempt to use it against Smaug (and removing any possiblity of using black arrows in this fight)

- Bard then uses a regular arrow in a modified version of L8wrtr’s Smaug fight because, as I already stated, I always felt that having the Black Arrow be the only thing that could pierce the dragon's hide was fine, but then having that also be the "only" thing that could kill him once the armor was already broken was.... Overkill?

- Used a combination of M4/Dustin Lee's version of the post-Smaug lake town carnage/recovery efforts; there is no Alfrid

- Tweaked this further to remove Alfrid entirely (we assume he died with the Master) and mention of the Black Arrow, whilst keeping the scene of Bard giving his rallying speech to the people of Laketown (.......We find shelter etc)
- Gandalf is not seen returning from his travels

- You don’t see Bilbo hand over the Arkenstone, nor do you see Gandalf consult with Thranduil and Bard about the incoming orc assault. Episode 4 ends with Bilbo leaving the company on the wall at night, and Episode 5 begins in the morning with the elves and men knocking at the gate.

I did this for three reasons:
1) Gandalf telling Thrandiul and Bard that Azog has an army that has "been bred for war" is a line I got sick of hearing, it also diminishes the entire existence of the Uruk-hai in LotR.
2) Gandalf's return is now also seen as a surprise, as the viewer sees his return at the same time the dwarves do, which doesn't automatically make it a good thing, but I believe it is in this case.. Gandalf has been disappearing and reappearing for like 4 hours (7 originally) straight at this point so it's very in-character.
3) Cutting Bilbo's Arkenstone delivery adds a layer of mystery to his departure. Sure, we can all guess why he left, but we don't KNOW why he left, until it is revealed. I am aware that his delivery is a scene that's in the book, but I feel cutting it from my version helped with the pacing and added this layer of mystery that these movies never had in the beginning.


Episode 5 - There and Back Again

- The large majority of the Battle occurs the way it does in Adam Dens's edit; silliness removed, worms removed, the usual stuff. Then on top of that, he restructured the entire thing to both blend better with the people of Laketown defending Dale, and to allow the following:

- Adam Dens is the only edit I've ever seen that removes the absolutely atrocious elves-leaping-over-the-dwarven-phalanx bit. That scene gives Game of Thrones a run for its money for the Worst Military Strategy I've ever seen (Looking at you Battle of Winterfell) Thank god for Adam. It's gone. The elves shoot a volley of arrows over the the dwarves instead, who then charge.

- Azog is never mentioned by name, (re-used and reversed an older shot of Thorin to cover up Bilbo saying "Azog" in one shot)

- A lot of editors trim out Bard leading the humans in battle inside Dale, but Adam chose to leave it and intertwine it with the second phase of the Battle. I kept this because giving Bard an actual story (rescuing his kids, leading the humans) was an excellent choice by the filmmakers to fix Tolkein's Deux Ex Machina of having some random dude named Bard show up and One Shot "the chiefest and greatest calamity of our age" and then be completely inconsequential.

- Thorin still experiences dragon sickness but it is toned down just a tad. In the book it's not some magical illness, things are just going to his head (primarily greed) but I felt that trying to cut out all of the film's version left things feeling magically resolved, so I left it. Plus I absolutely love all of Richard Armitage's acting during this bit. He portrays the sort of Gollum/Smeagol-esque dual personality disorder VERY well. Not everyone is, but I am especially partial to when Thorin spits out a Smaug line word-for-word to Bilbo and he just stares back in disbelief.

- Spence was the ONLY editor that I know of to include the Misty Mountains theme when Thorin and Company break out of Erebor and rally the dwarves. Wraith saw the genius in this, tweaked it a little, and adopted it within his own edit. I then took Wraith's version and included it in my edit (at his recommendation!)

- Originally I cut Adam's version of Thorin's journey up to Ravenhill on the goat/ram (less goofy and ridiculous from the original) but decided to put it back because it gives Balin a moment to shine, and because without it, they sort of just teleport up there.

- Azog kills Fili

- Bolg kills Kili (Adam Dens's version; removes Tauriel from the sequence entirely)

- Legolas runs out of arrows while assisting Thorin, pulls out Orcrist, and instead of jumping down onto a silly CGI monster and fighting with Bolg, he throws it into the Orc about to kill Thorin. All credit for this scene goes to Spence, I just tweaked it a little so that it would fit in my own version of the surrounding events

- Azog vs Thorin: M4 had a solid version of handling this that removed the entire bit of Azog breaking out of the ice, but it involved cutting out so much of the fight that we see Thorin hit Azog with some solid sword strokes and inflict some injuries, it cuts to Beorn/Eagles, and then all of a sudden Thorin is on his back about to die, the tide turned on him off-screen.

- To circumvent this I rearranged the sequence of events here so that the Eagles/Beorn show up before Thorin and Azog even start their fight, and then the fight plays out until Azog knocks Thorin off his feet with his rock flail, and capitalizes on it. Both of our versions have some slight continuity errors, but those errors pale when compared to Azog's physics-defying jump out of the ice.

- digital removal of Radagast (Dustin Lee/M4)

- Funeral has Gandalf's deleted scene speech reinserted (M4)

- Removed the scene of Gandalf being annoying with his pipe. He now comes over and sits by Bilbo, they sit silently for a moment, and then it moves on.

- Removed Gandalf knowing that Bilbo possesses a Ring (M4)
I kept the full BoFA credits because although there are a few characters (like Radagast) who don't show up in this edit, I don't intend to diminish the time and effort they put into making the original films by excising them from the credits!

- Added shoutouts to everyone who was a part of this project!
New Trailer


Smaug Demo


Thorin vs Azog Demo

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It comes in 5 parts or "episodes", each about an hour long, with the final one being a little over an hour. I have seen the originals/theatrical cuts so I know much of what was cut. Bones was able to cut out all the bloat extremely well and in a completely unnoticeable way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to watch these films for the first time or as an alternative. The plot makes perfect sense with all the cuts and nothing felt off or strange. Fantastic job all around.

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Marvelous... stupendous... magnificent! A great idea to combine the creativity of many minds, and congrats for the hard work to make it happen. The theatrical version was a bloated mess; this edit tells a full and satisfying story. I finally understand all of the character motivations, I appreciate more of what Peter Jackson was trying to do in some areas and I was engaged throughout all 5 parts.

When I watch LOTR, it's a perfect ending but I still don't want it to end. I had this same feeling when the Hobbit finished. Well done!

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Not much of a poster but saw that I hadn’t reviewed this when I thought I had. This edit is UNREAL! Flawlessly combined and very solid format to break it into 5 episodes. Narrative was clear and I was delightfully surprised how much was edited but how much better it was. Very impressive and definitely how I will watch the hobbit from here on out. Highly recommend.

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As others have stated, taking the films and structuring them into five separate movies was a welcomed addition and it was done in a way that felt intuitive. The pace of each film gave a steady, consistent narrative that didn't feel sloppy or rushed.

A stunning feat all its own, the transitions were overall unnoticeable. I understand that Stromboli is currently working on his edit and upgrading the source files to make a higher quality edit. I'll be honest in that I did not notice any lack of quality at any point in my time with this edit. It was put together with tactical precision that doesn't remind the watcher that they're watching an edit. From a technical perspective, there weren't any scenes where care wasn't taken in the transitions. My only notice was a transition in the story with the eagles scene, but that has been reworked and fixed since I saw it and is now unnoticeable and done very well.

The removal of Azog as a main antagonist and instead using him as a powerful Orc worked very well. One could argue that this breaks the build-up that the original film held, but Azog's storyline, especially his battle with Thorin on the summit, is now put together in a way that feels right. The exaggeration of Azog, especially the ice breaking scene, was tweaked in a way that flows very organically.

Overall, this edit was a pleasant experience that really pays homage to what the hobbit movies should've been. You can tell that there was a lot of love and passion that went into this edit with spectacular execution.

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Although the first movie offers the most material to work with (and two of the five episodes are thankfully dedicated to it), I’m still of a mind that there’s too much included here. I can do without the dish song for example. I’m biased as I believe the original movies don’t capture the tone of the Hobbit book but rather they feel more like the tone of a prequel to the LotR movies yet undermine that repeatedly with silliness and inconsistencies. As such, scenes like trolls, goblins, and dragons talking or spontaneously breaking into song while juggling dishes feels out of place in the movie. That said, if you can accept all that, the episodic nature of this edit works very well. Though Gandalf suddenly appearing out of nowhere to save the day near the climax of multiple episodes does stand out. And there’s things that I feel are narratively inconsistent. For example, I may be mistaken, but is there any reason given for the orc army to join the battle at the end? I watched this over two weeks and of course also have the prior knowledge of the movies, but I can’t recall that army being a significant part of the story at all up to this point.

Overall it works better than the movies for me, but it isn’t a home run. It’s somewhere between a LotR prequel and a book edit, though closer to the latter. I want my Hobbit edits to be closer to the former as I believe that is what the source material calls for. Though I admit it would be tough to make it totally consistent with LotR given the talking dragon, etc.

That said, it is clearly what many other Hobbit fans do want and it is flawlessly executed. I now really want a strong LotR prequel style edit that uses the same episodic nature. Though I still think four hours, max, is enough time.

This is a very strong edit, if not one that satisfies my issues with the source material.

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