Episode 5 is now being uploaded, and episode 8 is currently rendering.
I’m quite excited by the cuts I’ve been able to make to the final battle in episode 8. Legolas and Tauriel don’t feature in the final fight at all, and a huge amount of guff is gone. I get the elven sword to Thorin by reversing a shot where he originally looked up from the floor to instead look down, then the shot of him picking up the sword after he willingly drops it later in order to throw the rock at Azog.
So now, our final battle scene on ravenhill goes as follows:
- The dwarves race their way to the top via the chariot (I cut the shot of it jumping down a small frozen waterfall)
- The main fight goes poorly, Thranduil quits, we learn that a second army is coming, Bilbo goes up to warn the dwarves
- Fili and Kili go to infiltrate Azog’s tower
- Bilbo warns the dwarves, Thorin realises it’s a trap and intends to pull the dwarves out
- Azog kills Fili in front of the dwarves, Thorin sees red and instead races forward
- Orcs attack the others, Bilbo is knocked out by Bolg
- Bolg kills Kili
- Thorin, now on the ice facing Azog, picks up an elven sword on the floor and marches toward Azog (I don’t have a problem with him spotting a sword on the floor, this is a war zone)
- The second army appears, Azog attacks Thorin with the rock-on-a-chain
- Azog breaks the ice and has the upper hand
- Radagast riding eagles with a man-bear comes, distracting Azog
- With a quicker cut, Thorin drops his sword and throws the rock at Azog, who falls into water
- The eagles and Beorn are clearly swinging the battle in our favour
- Now with sword in hand (it was at his feet, and he’s a warrior, so he can pick it up offscreen without that being a continuity issue), Thorin turns toward the next field of battle and walks a couple of paces until-
- -without any watching of Azog’s body or warning, Azog leaps up through the ice
- Thorin allows Azog to stab him in order to kill him in return
- Bilbo comes to, and reconciles with Thorin before his death
- The rest of the movie plays out as before in Adamdens’ version.
No Tauriel crying about her unwanted love interest, no Legolas silly physics, no Legolas at all (other than hanging out around the city with the other elves). And far quicker cuts to make Thorin quicker-witted and pace the fights far better.
Bolg dies offscreen but he’s not really a character so I have no problem with that. After he kills Kili and we cut away to Thorin, I do keep a little of the audio sounds of combat, so you can assume he dies then.
You can watch that clip here: https://vimeo.com/441151601 (actually 04:20, I accidentally added a lot of black after the clip)