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The Hobbit: The Third Age (a LotR film continuity miniseries)



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Art by ArtisDead over on Fanedit.org

Presenting THE HOBBIT: THE THIRD AGE, a Movie-to-TV edit of the Hobbit, available now.


This is a Movie-to-TV edit based on AdamDens’ ‘The Hobbit: The Original Two-Film Structure’, with a few further tweaks.
Therefore, this edit will be most suitable for people who want-

  • A high quality edit with well-considered changes, tightened and polished and with minimal frustration
  • Tonal and visual consistency with the Lord of the Rings movies, and the retention of the majority of content which sets up its plotlines
  • A digestible, episodic structure (8 episodes of ~50 mins each)


Looking to make this story a little more digestible for my daughter, and inspired by the announcement of the Rings of Power series, I observed that AdamDens’ edit (my preferred version) broke nicely into a natural series of ~50-minute chunks.

I love the books but the LotR movies have always been excellent, so I never sought ‘book purity’ - I always really enjoyed the White Council and their B-plot through this trilogy, both as its own storyline and worldbuilding, and as a worthy set-up for LotR.

I’ve reordered some scenes to allow the episodes each to work as cohesive thematic chunks which work end-to-end. ‘Riddles in the Dark’ and ‘The Lonely Mountain’ take on a deeper meaning, for example, and interesting sub-plots like the disappearance of Thrain are allowed to become the focus of a single episode. The TV format has also allowed me to make certain elegant changes which some movie edits have struggled to work around given the source material. I won’t spoil them here, but both fans of the movies and haters of the Hobbit films should find themselves pleasantly suprised!

AdamDens’ masterful three-to-two movie duology, ‘The Gathering of The Clouds’/‘There and Back Again’, is my primary source, however there isn’t an episode produced that I haven’t further modified in some way. I’m really pleased with some of the cuts I’ve been able to make, and am proud to present this as the Hobbit I believe it always should have been - and a worthy lead-in to LotR.


These episodes contain MAJOR CHANGES TO THE HOBBIT MOVIES with the intent of minimising poor humour, cartoonish physics, and unwelcome sub-plots, whilst focusing on the characters of Bilbo, Thorin, and Gandalf, and maximising the growing threat of Sauron and cohesiveness with the Lord of the Rings films.


  • Restructured into eight ~45 minute episodes, with bold title cards to give the impression of book chapters.
  • Full recolouring throughout for consistency with LotR.
  • Restructured some scenes for pacing, such as introducing fewer plots at the beginning all at once, introducing Azog later (since we don’t need a new main villain like the first movie did), and making the investigation of the Necromancer more of a developing mystery.
  • Used alternate subtitles for Black Speech, to simplify and better contextualise the villains’ motives, enhance the Necromancer subplot, and help contextualise the attack on the Dwarves and the Lonely Mountain as an early strategic move of Sauron’s in the war for Middle Earth.
  • Removed as much silliness as possible, such as some of Radagast’s eccentricities, the Trolls’ snot jokes, and Dwarven antics (where they appear silly or abrasive, as opposed to merely uncouth).
  • Removed as much cringe as possible, such as the Tauriel romance, most of Alfrid’s antics, the Dwarven forge and golden dragon, and Dain’s swearing and modern slang.
  • Removed as much cartoon physics as possible, or situations characters only survive through luck, such as with the storm giants, during the barrel riding scene, the goblin halls (including the major falls), and the final battles.
  • Removed as much obvious/bad CG as possible, such as the Goblin King’s wobbly singing, a lot of Legolas’ superpowers.
  • Tightened or removed scenes to keep up the pace and keep the focus on character drama and characters we’re emotionally invested in, such as removing the warg attack on the party, removing the warg attack on Lake-town, removing Legolas from the final fight on ravenhill, and trimming Thorin waiting patiently for Azog to jump out of the ice.
  • Introduced credits for each episode including episode-specific credits music to make it feel like a TV series.

s01e01 - THE HOBBIT (45:24) - Featuring Old Bilbo’s bookend, the Erebor introduction, Bilbo joining the Dwarves, and Radagast investigating Mirkwood:

  • Frodo is relegated to a cameo.
  • Far tighter opening, with less of the scenes in the shire which don’t move the plot forward, with some of Thorin’s flashbacks moved to later.
  • Dwarves are less goofy in Bilbo’s home (and throughout this edit).
  • No ‘Blunt the Knives’ (but yes ‘Misty Mountain’, of course).

s01e02 - AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (45:37) - Featuring trolls, Rivendell, the first meeting of the White Council, and the mountain pass:

  • The troll sequence is heavily trimmed (but still flows smoothly), with less snot jokes and other unfunny bits. (I’m particularly proud of this, I believe this cut is unique amongst edits and the tightest I’ve seen this scene.)
  • No warg chase to Rivendell.
  • Dwarves at Rivendell are less goofy and less awful dinner guests - they’re uncouth, not ‘hilariously’ abrasive. The tension between Dwarves and Elves is still emphasised.
  • Trimmed storm giants with less death-defying physics.

s01e03 - RIDDLES IN THE DARK (53:10) - Featuring goblins, Gandalf investigating the nine’s graves, Gollum, and Beorn:

  • No unbelievable physics in the goblin caves.
  • Lots of tightening for pacing.
  • No Goblin King singing.
  • No battle scene out of the goblin tunnels (though tension is retained).
  • No initial showdown with Azog with forced emotional stakes for Thorin and Bilbo. Their relationship develops much more naturally.
  • No eagle rescue (I use AdamDens’ alternate sequence instead).
  • Arrival at Mirkwood is split into two scenes between this episode and the next. Now, when they arrive, Bilbo immediately feels the pull of the ring and Gandalf notices immediately, before Bilbo lies about finding the ring. We end the episode ominously.

s01e04 - THE RETURN OF THE SHADOW (54:33) - Featuring the Gandalf-meets-Thorin flashback, Mirkwood, the Woodland Realm, barrel riding, and Gandalf confronting the Necromancer:

  • Following from the prior episode, Gandalf now explores Mirkwood and warns the party of its dangers, before they enter alone.
  • No Fili/Tauriel romance (here or anywhere else in the series)
  • Minimal Tauriel/Legolas. She’s a very minor character, he’s present but not focal.
  • Heavy trims to barrel-riding scene to minimise cringe and bad physics.
  • No Legolas superpowers (here and throughout the edit).

s01e05 - THE LONELY MOUNTAIN (44:07) - Featuring Bard, Laketown, the arrival at the Lonely Mountain, and the White Council coming to Gandalf’s aid:

  • Alfrid and the Master are heavily reduced - kept only as texture for the state of Laketown.
  • No warg attack on Laketown.
  • Still no Tauriel romance.

s01e06 - THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (45:05) - Featuring Smaug the Magnificent, O Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities:

  • No Smaug battle within Erebor.
  • Smaug’s attack on Laketown is tightened and reordered, for pacing and focus on characters we care about.

s01e07 - THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (45:32) - Featuring the fallout of Smaug’s death, Thorin’s madness, and the initial clash of the five armies:

  • Azog’s dialogue is edited to make him a more competent commander.
  • Dain’s dialogue is trimmed to keep him abrasive but not too offensive.
  • Nearly no Alfrid.
  • Trims to the flow of the battle and the more ludicrous CG.
  • Still no Tauriel romance or Legolas superpowers.

s01e08 - THERE AND BACK AGAIN (54:01) - Featuring more of the Battle of the Five Armies, the strike on Azog on ravenhill, the Erebor conclusions, and Bilbo’s return home:

  • Further trims to the flow of battle.
  • Heavily restructured the final battle between Thorin and Azog to make it far tighter and with less suspension of disbelief.

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was well put together overall, intro was pretty well done although there was a couple music cuts that seemed a bit abrupt. Could do with a pause when bilbo says and that my dear frodo is where I come in and the next line, that could of done with a little bit of a pause and the credits took a little longer to come in than you would expect from a show.

Maybe work on the title screen, maybe have it as The Hobbit Chapter 1: the third age etc?

can’t wait for more episodes


Thanks very much for the feedback!

I’m calling the show ‘The Third Age’, of which the first episode will be ‘The Hobbit’ (as opposed to the other way round).

When you say the credits took longer, do you mean the opening credits or the end credits?

I’ll take the note on the music cuts, thank you! What did you think of those minutes 8-12? Did they work overall?

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EddieDean said:

Thanks very much for the feedback!

I’m calling the show ‘The Third Age’, of which the first episode will be ‘The Hobbit’ (as opposed to the other way round).

When you say the credits took longer, do you mean the opening credits or the end credits?

I’ll take the note on the music cuts, thank you! What did you think of those minutes 8-12? Did they work overall?

sorry the closing credits fade felt too long on black. 8-12 mintues was very well done I noticed the blend of hobbit and lotr scenes but seemed seemless.

Only issue with the 8-12 min bit as previously mentioned was the 8:54 mark I felt maybe a little pause might help between the is where I come in and the next line for me it began, didn’t flow naturally


That’s very useful, thank you. I’m just uploading a new v2 now, having worked further on the music transitions for minutes 8-12, so that part should feel more polished. I’ve introduced more of a pause between those two lines, and extended the music into that section to make it feel a little more connected.

I haven’t edited the credits yet, as I made these changes before your clarification, but I’ll incorporate that in the next revision. I had originally planned to have the same pacing for all end credits but having worked on three episodes now I’ve found it’s much more sensible to have them match the cadence of your scene. Message received on ‘less pause’ though.

Thanks very much for your feedback!

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The full first pass of my Hobbit season is finished! I need to make minor tweaks to the titles, and may make a couple of small edits to the final couple of episodes if I can pull them off, but these are certainly in a review-ready format. I’d be very grateful for any feedback. The video may stutter a little in part, especially if cast to a TV, so watching on PC is best, though I plan to duplicate my work with software which will output to the right FPS within a couple of weeks.

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I was actually planning on doing exactly that! Once I’ve rewatched it all I’ll see if our visions align and my take is redundant or if I feel the need to take a stab at it anyway. I suspect my trimming of The Hobbit might be a bit more conservative.


I’ll be done shortly Anakin so feel free to watch mine and see if they satisfy what you were setting out to achieve. I’ll welcome any feedback you give, I really want these to satisfy folks who wished the Hobbit was a worthy predecessor to LOTR.

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I’ve now started my duplication in Vegas (to achieve smoother video output at the correct 23.976 fps), and have now finished, rendered and uploaded my first episode using it.

(If you’re interested in watching just that episode standalone, it’s episode 7, chosen because it was the simplest technically).

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Right, let’s take a look at some edits from my episode 7 (of 8) from season one (the Hobbit season). This was the first episode I recreated in Vegas for the proper 23.976 fps video output.

Episode 7, ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’, begins shortly after the killing of Smaug, and the prior episode’s cliffhanger that refugees are pushing onto the mountain. It features the build-up to the battle, Thorin’s descent into madness, Bilbo’s betrayal of the group, the initial skirmish between men, dwarves and elves, and the first half of the orc attack on both the battlefield and within the city where the refugees are. It ends on a quiet moment amidst the fighting, where Bilbo gives hope to Dain and Gandalf.

(Episode 8 picks up after, with Thorin coming to his senses and the party dwarves joining the battle.)

The only real change I made to AdamDens’ source for this episode is trimming some of Dain’s dialogue.


These are just a couple of simple cuts, to remove Dain shouting “Sodding off” and calling the elves “bastards”. I don’t think it really suits the Middle Earth setting. Gandalf himself calls him unreasonable, so it’s appropriate to maintain a sense of that, though I think this version better shows both Dain and Thranduil as equally unreasonable and arrogant in this conflict. I’d like to have removed “Pointy-eared princess” (since that rings as almost a racial and sexist slur), and “Ya buggers” (in my episode 8) but I couldn’t find a clean way to cut around them while preserving their scenes.

Here I cut from Dain’s “How are we all?” (taken in this context as a sarcastic but implicitly aggressive address) to Gandalf’s “Come now, Dain” (now taken as an immediate attempt to calm an unreasonable belligerent). I think this still works since Dain here is marching for war, with an army behind him. The threat is implied before this dialogue.

I then cut from Dain’s “You here that boys? We’re on!” to his commander’s war cry. I think that’s perfectly clean, and having it be an immediate response implies a little more martial discipline than in the original, where the commander didn’t respond till he said “Let’s give these bastards a good hammering”.

Now, since I’ve not shared them yet, let’s also look at how I’m planning to do my titles and credits:

Here’s the opening disclaimer transitioning in to the start of the episode.


As AdamDens did, I’m using the LotR font throughout, matched to size and colour where necessary.
This opening scene does have a couple of light touch cuts - I took out an Alfrid shot and slid forwards the establishing shot to allow the scene to open out of the disclaimer onto the music, which I think lands quite nicely. I’m not sure if it was an AdamDens or original score here but the use of the Rohan ‘refugees’ music track does a good job of reminding us that these are refugees, as well as maintaining that connective tissue with LotR.

Here’s the episode title, in its context in the episode.

https://vimeo.com/440997349 (skip to 1:30 to get to the point quicker)

Since Middle Earth was captured in books before films, and I’m cutting the films into episodes, I’ve opted to go with bold, large titles, to give the impression of book chapters. I think this works nicely - especially in the Hobbit season, where it breaks down into very clear thematic chunks.

As a rule, I’m trying to drop my titles within the first 10 minutes of a 45-ish minute episode, and they’re always centred, with ‘The Third Age’ appearing a second before the episode title, then six seconds of full display.

I break this rule once in episode one (‘The Hobbit’), where I place it right of frame next to a Bilbo in left of frame; and in my final episode eight (‘There and Back Again’), where I place it very close to the end of the episode. This latter allows the Battle to conclude unimpeded, with the episode’s title only appearing as Bilbo finally returns to the shire. To my mind this plays out as a kind of subtle, subconscious catharsis.

Here’s the transition to end credits.

https://vimeo.com/440991842 (main transition at 1:30 to 1:50)

A bit less interesting, but still necessary. Having had a good ten minutes of battle by this point, I end this episode on AdamDens’ beautiful hope scene, a natural break in the conflict, before the flow of the battle changes at the beginning of the next episode.

You can see here how I’m crediting myself - “a fanedit by JAM the HUMAN based on a movie edit by ADAM DENS”. I don’t think it would be appropriate to do any less, since I’m so reliant on his work, and I certainly don’t want to be passing it off as my own.

Since we end on Bilbo giving a little hope, I chose a far lighter, Hobbity, innocent track for this episode’s end credits. This serves to give us a little reminder before the final episode of how far we’ve come, and what Bilbo is now fighting for. This is in contrast to most of my other episodes, which tend to land on a darker moment which I follow with a darker track, since I’d like the majority of my episodes to emphasise the growing threat. It’s important to pick a thematically suitable track for each episode’s credits since, by nature of cutting the movies into episodic chunks, I need to allow what could otherwise be a fairly abrupt stop to feel like a moment that has a little longer to land.

You can also see here the credits I’ve created. It would be too much to place ten minutes of original credits at the end of each episode like the movies do, so I’ve tried to find a middle ground. Faneditor’s credit, then the production team’s credits, then ending on the visual credits for the production companies, for 1:30 of credits in total. My final episode in each ‘season’ will use the beautiful hand-drawn credits and all other credits in their full original length.

As always, feedback is very welcome.

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My episode seven is now rendered and uploaded, ready for your download.

My episode five (of eight), ‘The Lonely Mountain’, is rendering now.

There’s not much to say about this episode - this one’s not got any changes in it beyond AdamDens’ original cuts. (I’m reproducing these episodes in order of complexity, the more interesting cuts will come later.)

Episode five features the arrival at Laketown, (with minimal Alfrid and the Master, and no warg attack or appearance of Tauriel or Legolas), the journey on to and arrival at The Lonely Mountain, and the White Council rescuing Gandalf and believing they have defeated Sauron. This is the final episode where we follow the Necromancer sub-plot, believing it to be wrapped up here, with the hint that Saruman may be hiding something.

I end this episode on Saruman declaring ‘leave Sauron to me’, so the end credits score I’ve chosen is The Treason of Isengard from Fellowship, hinting further at his future betrayal.

You can see that episode ending here, and let me know if the moment feels like it hits right. https://vimeo.com/441024992

I reveal the episode’s title over a wide establishing shot of the Master’s mansion on Laketown - the highest point in the city. I like the visual pun of this hated figure, sitting unloved on his own wealth and power in his ramshackle mansion - his own ‘Lonely Mountain’. It’s a cheeky joke but I think it’s cute.

Episode six, ‘The Desolation of Smaug’, is also complete and uploaded.

This is the final episode where I don’t deviate from AdamDens’ cuts at all, so again, not much to talk about.

It begins with Bilbo encountering Smaug, then essentially gives us a full half hour of the engagement with Smaug (with none of the forge nonsense) up to Smaug’s death, then a little of the fallout - refugees, dwarves regrouping, etc. It ends on the moment where the dwarves realise that the refugees are flooding towards them.

This is a nice place to end the episode because previously we’ve been operating under the assumption that the plot is simply ‘kill the dragon’, but at this point we realise that the situation is more complicated than we initially thought. For its credits, I extended the existing track, The Ruins of Dale, allowing the moment to sit for longer in the audience’s mind, to the sound of an ominous, military-sounding track.

You can see that episode ending here, and let me know if the moment feels like it hits right. https://vimeo.com/441030864

Technically ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ is a place, not an action, and they arrive at that place (and name it) in the prior episode. But hey, it can be an action too, and this is the Smaug episode. Besides, a dragon can cause more than one desolation, and it certainly desolates Laketown.

I reveal the episode title at the moment Bilbo starts wandering onto Smaug’s gold pile.

Next up: Episode 8, with improvements to the final battle.

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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)

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So that’s episodes 5, 6, and 7 complete and available. 8 is now rendering.

Episodes 1-4 will be out soon.

(I’ve done them in an odd order because I’m duplicating old work on new software, and doing the easier ones first.)

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And that’s episode 8 uploaded too, so the full second half done. (I appreciate there’s likely next to no interest in just watching the second half only. Still, it’d be great to get feedback on those couple of clips above.)

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I follow it with excitement. I was afraid to write a comment because my English is not good. I like your work and I want a link from you when it is ready to download. Good work. 😃


Episodes 1 and 2 are nearly complete. (For those keeping count, that’ll be 1,2,5,6,7,8 out of 8 all done.)

Here’s an edit from my episode 2, ‘An Unexpected Journey’, which I’m particularly proud of: Bilbo getting captured by the trolls.

I believe the trolls scene should stay in my series, because it shows Bilbo’s first attempt at burglary, and while his attempt fails, he demonstrates some good smarts, and it begins to endear him to the group. It’s also in the book, and it’s referenced in the Lord of the Rings movies.

However, it’s full of snot jokes, and slapstick, which to me feels like unwelcome bad humour.

If you keep the trolls scene you do need to have Bilbo get caught with a sneeze, since that’s the moment that moves the plot forward and he’s also covered in snot later. So we have to accept that element.

However I’ve been able to cut the whole scene down to under half the time, without any of the other snot or slapstick, with Bilbo’s journey making visual sense, with the background audio making a full conversation, and with the audio matching with the video where lipsync or SFX are needed (except one visual sneeze which doesn’t have a sound effect, because to be honest the sound was egregious, and I’m happy to not draw attention to the visual).

I also flipped one shot from the original film, where Bilbo sneaks right-to-left, when the rest of his actions in that part are left-to-right.


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Episode 1 is now available.
Episode 2 is uploading now.
Episode 3 is rendering now, and will be uploaded right after
Episode 4 I’m working on now, and should be finished today.
Episodes 5, 6, 7, and 8, are all now available.

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That’s episode 2 now available. 3 is uploading and 4 is nearly complete. (If these seem quick this is because I’m duplicating existing work - all of the episodes are already fully planned out and pre-built.)

Here’s an important cut. A lot of people hate the cartoonish physics in the Hobbit, and one such scene is when Bilbo and the dwarves fall down the mountain into the goblin halls. They bounce around, when realistically they’d be bludgeoned to death. Since it’s necessary to the plot to get them into the halls, movie cuts tend to leave this shot in. However, since I’m cutting for TV, I have a few more options.

So here we have the end of my episode two, ‘An Unexpected Journey’, where the dwarves fall. Since it’s the episode end, I get to cut to black as soon as we see their initial fall into the tunnels, and just leave some far-less-egregious and far-less-drawn-out sound effects which give us the cliffhanger of a fall.


Then, here’s the start of my episode three, ‘Riddles in the Dark’, where we fade the sound effects back in, and fade the video in on the shot where the dwarves land, straight into the action.


This way, we get all of the plot of the fall, with none of the horrible visuals, and a whole lot less time spent falling. And, as a bonus, it’s a nice little cliffhanger, and an episode beginning which launches us straight into a bit of action.

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