The Dwarves have finally reached Lake-town, a little cold, a little smelly, a little frustrated, but all in all safe. Whatever their escape route now is they need to follow Bard in order to remain as inconspicuous as possible. It would not bode well for Bard to be seen smuggling Dwarves, given his reputation with the Master. Nevertheless, upon risk for his own life, he takes these Dwarves into his custody.
Dwalin: “Get your hands off me.”
Bard: “You didn’t see them. They were never here. The fish you can have for nothing. Stay close. Follow me.”
Bilbo: “What is this place?”
Thorin: “This, Master Baggins, is the world of Men.”
Man1: “Get it over here now.”
Man2: “Grab the other end. That’s it.”
Bard: “Keep your heads down, keep moving. Quickly, now.”
Man3: “God, how many are there?”
From the barrels to the wooden pathways of Lake-town, the Dwarves follow suit, one after another, stirring the crowd as they walk by. It is difficult not to spot them given the difference in height between them and the Men.
The world of Men is not a realm Bilbo is in any way familiar with. He only ever wanted to meet the Elves, and in Rivendell he did. This new world now is very unfamiliar and he appears to be feeling very unwelcome in it. He looks around himself at the architecture that does not bring about a pleasant and warm atmosphere.
If anything it appears all too menacing to him. Everything is in grey and dark brown, blue and green colors, the houses are rickety and leaning, and the people seem to not throw them any approving looks. The situation in Lake-town is bad enough for them, they don’t need trouble with so small a race, not knowing what they are up to.
A long harboring grudge
Thorin for his part expresses anger of this world. He had taken work in the villages of Men when the Smaug took the throne of Erebor. He took any job they would give him just as long he could provide for his people and make it as comfortable for them as possible. This, however, didn’t mean that he enjoyed laboring for others, and especially Men at that.
To go from being a mighty Dwarf prince on his way to inheriting the throne of Erebor to a hired hand in the world of Men must have taken a lot of pride and ego out of him, to bow to others when not that long ago they had to bow to him. A terrible turn of events as far as he is concerned.
However, with the perpetual expression of bad mood and displeasure of his circumstances, one could easily deduce the reason behind it.
Guard: “Halt! Oi!”
Thorin: “Come on. Move.”
Guard1: “In the name of the Master of Lake-town. I said halt. Halt! Stop them!”
Thorin: “Get back!”
Guard2: “Come here.”
The Guards of Lake-town take their duties of roaming the town very seriously. Their job is to keep everyone working and quiet. Looking for any spot of trouble, they easily discern the Dwarves among the Men. The Dwarves, being skilled at protecting themselves, run into the market hoping to lose the Guards in the maze of goods.
The Guards follow them in, but their Dwarvish ingenuity and teamwork serve them well as they take out Guards one by one with just the use of tools at hand, no weapons needed. The Dwarves hide behind whatever they can find, pulling the Guards by the feet to hide them as well.
Braga: “What’s going on here? Stay where you are. Nobody leaves.”
Bard: “Braga. Sorry?”
Brada: “You. What are you up to, Bard?”
Bard: “Me? Nothing. I’m looking for nothing.”
In this brief moment of togetherness between the two unlikely races, the people of Lake-town help the Dwarves hide and seclude the Guards with decoration and vegetables. It is the struggle between the Dwarves and the Guards that has the people of the market helping the Dwarves. They, not really knowing who they are aiding and abetting, take a stand against the Guards.
They themselves want to see the Guard taken down a notch. The oppression that the people of Lake-town have been enduring for years now has made them complacent to a certain extent, but they will always want to rebel against their oppressor, no matter how small a way.
If they rebelled on their own, the Guards would have taken them captive and the Master would have probably placed them in jail for disobedience. But as contributors to another race’s safety seeing as how they are fighting the same Guards, the Lake-town people would dearly wrap their hands around their necks. It becomes more of a cause than anything else. And a satisfaction for them as well.
Braga, as the Captain of the Guard, walks slowly wanting to see exactly what all the fuss is about and why all the people are suddenly piled up in front of the market. To distract him, Bard comes out of nowhere. Braga is suspicious of him as the word of the Master reaches the Guard to keep an eye out on Bard.
Bard: “Hey, Braga. Your wife would look lovely in this.”
Braga: “What do you know of my wife?”
Bard: “I know her as well as any man in this town.”
As Braga comes ever closer to the points of assault his Guards had taken just moments earlier, Bard distracts him with a woman’s undergarment that he thinks would fit Braga’s wife perfectly. It is a cheap shot. It pains him to stoop this low to protect the Dwarves. Braga, of course, falls for the ruse, thinking his wife unfaithful and treacherous, angered at the thought that other Men of the Lake have had their way with her.
Bain: “Da! Our house, it’s being watched.”
Bard: “You can tell the Master I’m done for the day.”
It’s worse than he thought. It is one thing for the Guards to have their eye on Bard but to have spies watching his house, placed in strategic places to watch his every move takes the whole threat thing to another more serious level. As Bain and Bard walk toward their house they come across a couple of well-hidden spies.
Spies of Lake-Town
The first one is the eyepatch man, also known as Stephen Colbert. Aside from being a television host, among his many talents, he is also a world-class connoisseur of Professor Tolkien and his works. He came to New Zealand on vacation and, having known The Hobbit was being filmed, asked permission to come by and check it out. Little did he know Peter Jackson would incorporate him, his wife, and his two boys into the movie. He was more than thrilled to participate, and for his efforts, he was given the Sting after the shoot was done.
The second spy should have been the birdman in the basket, also known as Peter Jackson. They shot a scene with the director in a wicker basket, lurking out with a bird call whistle, giving the other spies a signal that Bard had passed his way. The scene was shot several times, sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully. However, Fran Walsh, the co-writer and partner, decided his acting skills were terrible and decided against showing it to the general public.
The third spy in the boat in front of Bard’s house was none other than the executive producer of The Hobbit, Zane Weiner.
The Nesbitt family
Tilda: “Da! Where have you been?”
Sigrid: “Father! There you are! I was worried.”
Bard: “Here, Sigrid. Bain, get them in.”
As we move into Bard’s house we meet the rest of his family, his two girls, played by the daughters of James Nesbitt (Bofur). Peter Jackson wanted to make The Hobbit a family affair and took to close relatives or friends of the actors or the crew itself to star in the trilogy. A testament to the loyalty he holds for the people he works with.
The toilet escape
Dwalin: “If you speak of this to anyone, I’ll rip your arms off. Get off.”
Bain: “Up there.”
Sigrid: “Da, why are there Dwarves climbing out of our toilet?”
Tilda: “Will they bring us luck?”
Bain knocks on the wall of their bathroom to give the Dwarves a signal. Suddenly, Dwalin’s head emerges from under the toilet seat. He doesn’t take to the helping hand Bain has stretched out toward him. Bain then points in the direction he must take to reach the living room of the house. Others start to climb up the toilet as well. When it’s Bilbo’s turn, his facial expression depicts shock covered disgust. He, a Hobbit of good breeding and manners, one who takes pride in cleanliness and order, is now emerging from the toilet. A slap in the face of his ego.
The two daughters cannot know why there are suddenly Dwarves climbing out of their toilet, but they don’t second guess their father’s actions. Now that the Dwarves are safely hidden inside Bard’s house they can relax and regroup before journeying to the mountain.
Follow me to my next post.