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The Hobbit - The 3-in-1 Epic Cut

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 (Edited)

Because of my affinity for the most vile creatures of Middle Earth, I’ve created a fan edit of a fan edit, with an hours worth of Orc and Goblin centric scenes reinserted. Using Fiona van Dahl’s The Hobbit The Two-Hour Fan Edit as my base material, I’ve trimmed the first 40 minutes down to 10 minutes. My edit now begins with Fiona’s spellbinding Misty Mountains sequence and takes off on the journey into the mountains from there (Rivendale only appears briefly in the background, implying the party has just left it). We get to know the characters as they talk and interact with one another and demonstrate their tensions on the long road ahead. While I really appreciate the early handkerchief scene, the discovery of Bilbo’s blade, Sting, and some of the early Rivendale footage, I made the radical decision to cut these out to better capture a consistent tone and color palate. I’ve omitted the the entire scene with the 3 pony-abducting trolls to also better iron out the beginning of my version’s journey (and because the tone and creature design/cgi work aren’t well handled imo). I’ve reinserted all of the Goblin King events (even the cartoonish gags because I feel that they are actually amusing and flush with the journey’s need for action and levity at this point). The journey’s purpose is mainly implied by Fiona’s brilliant montage and allusions to the dwarves homelessness in organic conversation until the first meeting with Thranduil allows for specific exposition on the journey’s nature and purpose (occurring at approx. 58min. into my edit). I’ve also greatly abbreviated the infamous barrel scene so that after Bilbo pulls the lever and the barrels take their first plunge into the water, the film next transitions to them stepping foot onto dry land (sparing the audience of all that happens in between). After the barrel scene I use Fiona’ cut until we reach the Battle of Five Armies chapters. I have reinstated most of the extended Battle of Five armies war scenes back into the mix including Legolas, Tauriel, and Kili but without any allusions to their love triangle. There are some allusions to Tauriel and Kili having a past relationship and the reason for Tauriel’s and Legolas’s involvement in the battle against the same orc which which Kili fails to slay. The fight itself is lightly edited to feel more about survival than sentimentality, and in my version both Kili and Tauriel die heroically fighting said orc. Legolas’ antics are toned down so that his action scenes are more standard war duels and tactics (no rides or melee drive-by’s on winged creatures and more toned down dodging and jumping on the collapsing stone bridge). Legolas confronting Thranduil about leaving the company of elves has been reinstated as it connects to LotR and really works as somber breather from the action at this point in my cut. The film ends with Bilbo and Gandalf parting ways in the green grassy meadows, with the film fading to black shortly after we see Gandalf walking off on his own, delivering some final words.

Overall, I felt that the violent battles and creature moments, which are honestly the best parts of the series for me, were too truncated in other fan edits and, with care and even some judicial trimming, I was able to reinsert those scenes to make my version personally more enjoyable while still keeping the core narrative itself as lean, coherent, and simplified as possible.

This edit is finished and I am quite proud of it. I’ll share it and am open to users reviewing it if there’s interest. I do think that my cut has plenty to offer which other edits do not, but certainly comes from an outsider’s perspective on narrative structural preferences.