Light vs dark

The One

While the Dwarves wait on the plateau outside of the mountain for Bilbo to retrieve the Arkenstone, and Bilbo sneaking quietly ever deeper into Erebor, Gandalf and Thráin take towards the bridge that brought the Wizard there in the first place, so they can finally escape Dol Guldur. 

The dragon and the Necormancer

Thráin: “He is waiting for them. They are in league. The dragon and the One. Hurry. We must hurry.” 

This is the information that makes Thráin’s appeal for Thorin not to enter the mountain understandable. If the dragon that Bilbo is not trying to wake but steal from in league with the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, that would mean that whatever creatures of Orcs and Wargs reside in there will either march upon the mountain to rendezvous with the dragon or the dragon will come to them.

Seeing as how the dragon would not willingly leave his comfortable golden lair, the Necromancer together with his army will come to him. 

Geographically speaking, the distance between Dol Guldur and the Lonely Mountain is considerable enough to represent two strongholds of evil. If they were to attack separately, but still in league with each other, then the dragon would take Lake-town, the Iron Hills all the way down to Rohan and Gondor. It would not take him long to evaporate the Men and Dwarves of those realms.

The Necromancer and his army could launch an attack on everything West of Mirkwood. The Goblins in the Misty Mountains would give them an easy pass through after which there would be no dawn for either Elves of Rivendell, the Dunedáin, the Hobbits in the Shire, or the Dwarves in the Blue Mountains. Lothlórien would burn first. 

If they took the dragon with them then they would be unstoppable, and the world would be wrapped in darkness once again. 

Attack of Azog

Azog: “You have come too late, Wizard! It is done.”

Gandalf: “Where is your master? Where is he?” 

Azog: “He is everywhere. We are legion! It is over. Run them down.”

Azog appears leaping to fight Gandalf. He shows him what exactly is meant by legion, so Gandalf while holding them at bay with his staff looks down into the pits of Dol Guldur only to find Orcs and Wargs standing by. Gandalf knows that Azog with all his influence could not summon such an army on his own, so therefore, the Necromancer, what the Council believed to be a mortal man dabbling in black magic, must be behind it.

Azog points out that his master is everywhere which in turn confuses Gandalf seeing as how if he were a mortal man that could not be possible. 

In Azog’s opinion, there is nothing that a Wizard can do to them. They are strong and he is outnumbered so the only course of action is to leave Dol Guldur. Azog and his Orcs on Wargs chase after him. 

Light versus darkness

Necromancer: “There is no light, Wizard.”

Thráin: “He is here.”

Necromancer: “That can defeat darkness.” 

Thráin: “Tell Thorin that I loved him. Will you do that? Will you tell my son that I loved him?”

Gandalf: “You will tell him yourself.” 

Thráin: “It is too late.”

From out of nowhere it seems, a black presence appears before Gandalf. Thráin is already familiar with the entity before him and is frightened. He is also aware that this is the end of the road for him and that he will never reach the outside world. In these last moments he thinks of his son, leaving a message with Gandalf that Thorin will hopefully one day receive. Gandalf, still convinced of their escape, wants Thráin to deliver the message himself. 

Had it ever happened and had Gandalf the time and opportunity to convey his father’s message to Thorin it would probably have been a gut wrenching thing for either one of them to experience. For one, Thorin would have known that he had given up the search for his father to head out to Erebor; it may have given him a solid reason to feel guilty for abandoning him.

For Gandalf it would have felt almost the same seeing as how he himself had thought Thráin dead and couldn’t save him from death. It would have been a painful message to transmit for either one of them. 

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Death of Thráin

The Necromancer snatches Thráin with its black tentacles, killing him instantly. Gandalf remains fighting. Since Gandalf is the “wielder of the flame of Anor” or the Sun he fights the darkness with light. The darkness as it is has been created as a negative space in which evil resides. Peter Jackson himself said that it is impossible to depict the undepictable and “when you depict the undepictable you depict nothing at all.”

Therefore, in the case of the Necromancer they had to come up with a way that would make him seem threatening and powerful whilst being nothing at all but smoke. This was achieved by presenting the Necromancer as negative space, something of a black hole that is able to take everything around itself and suck it in. 

Revelation of Sauron

Gandalf: “Sauron!”

While Gandalf defends himself with the shield of light that spreads around him the darkness uses its tentacles to try and prod through. Eventually, the power of the darkness overcomes light and breaks Gandalf’s staff. It then throws Gandalf against the rock structure behind him and reveals itself to be the one enemy of whom the world lived in terror for an age.

He should have been banished, unable to take any kind of power with the loss of the One Ring. However, having gathered three Dwarf rings he has gained enough strength to be able to present himself to Gandalf in the same way he does in the Lord of the Rings, his silhouette comes walking toward Gandalf with flames reaching out on either side of him, in the shape of an eye. 

In the dragon’s lair

Bilbo: “Hello? He’s not at home. Not at home. Good. Good. What’s that? Shush, shush. Arkenstone. Arkenstone. A large white jewel. Very helpful.” 

Meanwhile, Bilbo in the most pleasing of manners enter the dragon’s lair. He is so polite that he actually knocks on the door frame to see if anybody is at home, in case the dragon was awake that he doesn’t seem rude. A very lovely way of entering such a dangerous place. After he establishes that the dragon is not at home and that in fact it seems that he is alone in the hoard, he steps lightly on the pile of treasure and begins his search for the Arkenstone.

Not knowing its shape and appearance he takes every jewel he finds into his hands and examines it. As the camera pushes away from the close-up and into a wide shot of the hoard, it plainly shows the impossibility of Bilbo’s task and his lovely sarcastic comment on the description of the stone the Dwarves gave him. 

He takes a chalice from under the pile of coins which slide down revealing a giant eye. This frightens Bilbo leaving him to run into hiding behind a pillar. On the other side of the pillar he can see the rest of the dragon moving and revealing itself. In a funny way, he takes the measure of the dragon with his two hands from where he stands and measures it against himself, coming up short. Fear overtakes him. He moves to hide behind a mound of coins and puts the Ring on as soon as he hears coins behind him falling. 

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Featured image by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash

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