The Hobbit: The Bilbo Edition 2.0 (Extended Edition)

The Hobbit: The Bilbo Edition 2.0 (Extended Edition) 

4.5 Hour Fan-Adaptation of the Peter Jackson Hobbit Trilogy

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After nearly ten months of development, neurotic levels of attention to detail and hundreds of hours editing, reading and critiquing, I can confidently say that the final cut of The Hobbit: The Bilbo Edition – Extended Edition is complete and ready for download.

My original post explaining the overall backstory of this project and my initial cuts can be found here. I encourage you to read that post in full if you haven’t already, as the rest of this post will be scarce in detail about the initial 1.0 Version. The final edit now comes with 20 minutes of additional extended footage, some changing the film dramatically. Major changes of The Bilbo Edition 2.0 include

  • A new introduction to Azog the Defiler
  • New Rivendell scenes
  • The escape from Goblin Town has been streamlined more thoroughly
  • A radically different introduction to Beorn, faithful to the source material
  • Deleted footage of the Battle of Five Armies, dramatically changing the context of some scenes while adding exciting new sequences altogether
  • Thorin, Fili and Kili’s funeral scene, which still baffles me as to why it was cut from the original film

Not only is the final cut of The Bilbo Edition available for direct download, but can also be streamed in 15 parts with complementary commentary and analysis regarding the source material’s transition from book to film, both in the original Jackson films and regarding my adaptation’s creative take. I have also taken the liberty in reviewing a few competing fan cuts – all of the different fan cuts have a different creative vision and different folks will prefer different fan adaptations. I argue here which of the films I think are the best and what makes them distinctive from alternative options.

The final product is a Blu-Ray quality, widescreen, 8 gigabyte film running at approximately 4.5 hours, accounting for extended edition footage and the lengthy untouched credit sequence. This was a labor of love and I hope that Tolkien fans will appreciate the passion and attention to detail that went into this endeavor.

I had three goals in mind for this fan adaptation:

  • Streamline the bulky 8+ hour trilogy into a single, coherent, narratively rich story that is both faithful to the essence of the source material while still maintaining the best of Peter Jackson’s original contributions and deviations
  • Maintain suspense and tension in iconic scenes and allow for the remarkable acting of all actors involved, particularly Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen, to shine. Bilbo is the heart and soul of the story and unlike the original trilogy that dodges around him, he remains front and center as the audience surrogate and the thematically rich protagonist at the core of the story.
  • Provide the best possible fan-adaptation that can satisfy both lovers of the original films and lovers of the source material. Although there are other fan-edits that excel in different areas (check out the 2-Hour Fan Cut by Fiona van Dahl!), I truly believe my film is narratively the superior choice amongst the “long-form” fan-adaptations.

The final version of the fan-adaptation can be downloaded through the below torrent links, which can be opened by a free Torrent program such as uTorrent.

The Hobbit – The Bilbo Edition (Extended Edition) > Direct Download

Edit: As of October 29th, 2016, TBE-EE is now available through direct download without the need for torrents! Enjoy! 🙂

The Hobbit – The Bilbo Edition (Extended Edition) ~ Google Drive Direct Download!

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15-Part Breakdown of The Hobbit – The Bilbo Edition

Note as of Sep. 4, 2016 – All streaming video segments are unavailable until further notice due to video hosting and copyright complications. The full film is still 100% available for download, however, and time stamps will be provided in place of the streaming videos so the below links can still correspond with their respective segments.

Part I. An Unexpected Journey / Chapter I. An Unexpected Party  / 00:00:00 — 00:28:16

Part II. Trouble with Trolls / Chapter II. Roast Mutton / 00:28:16 — 00:56:49

Part III. Rivendell / Chapter III. A Short Rest / 56:49 — 01:09:33

Part IV. The Misty Mountains / Chapter IV. Over Hill and Under Hill / 01:09:33 — 01:23:27

Part V. Rings and Riddles / Chapter V. Riddles in the Dark / 01:23:27 — 01:42:07

Part VI. Wargs and Wind / Chapter VI. Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire / 01:42:07 — 01:50:17

Part VII. The Skinchanger / Chapter VII. Queer Lodgings / 01:50:17 — 02:03:35

Part VIII. Mirkwood / Chapter VIII. Flies and Spider [and] Chapter IX. Barrels out of Bond / 02:03:35 — 02:24:15

Part IX. Lake Town / Chapter X. A Warm Welcome / 02:24:15 — 02:38:43

Part X. The Desolation of Smaug / Chapter XI. On the Doorstep / 02:38:43 — 02:47:52

Part XI. Smaug the Stupendous / Chapter XII. Inside Information [and] Chapter XIV. Fire and Water / 02:47:52 — 03:10:20

Part XII. Dragon Sickness / Chapter XIII. Not at Home [and] Chapter XIV. Fire and Water [and] Chapter XV. The Gathering of the Clouds / 03:10:20 — 03:36:39

Part XIII. The Battle of Five Armies / Chapter XVI. A Thief in the Night [and] XVII. The Clouds Burst 03:36:39 — 03:52:00

Part XIV. The King Under the Mountain / Chapter XVII. The Clouds Burst [and] Chapter XVIII. The Home Journey / 03:52:00 — 04:16:27

Part XV. There and Back Again / Chapter XIX. The Last Stage / 04:16:27 –04:37:54

All footage is property of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project and given constructive and positive feedback. This is my gift to the Tolkien community and I seek no financial gain from this project.

Mae g’ovannen!

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61 thoughts on “The Hobbit: The Bilbo Edition 2.0 (Extended Edition)

  1. Thanks for this – I watched this through yesterday, and feel it is the best version I’ve seen to date.

    A question: the final cut of the (non-extended) Bilbo Edition is 4:19:36 long, and 11.4 GB. The Extended Edition of the Bilbo Edition is 4:37:54 long, but only 8.0 GB. Does that mean that the Extended Edition is encoded at a lower quality than the final cut of the Bilbo Edition?

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    • Thank you for your kind words Rob! I know TBE won’t be everyone’s favorite depending on taste and preference, but it’s beyond gratifying to hear that for some it is their favorite. That’s all I could hope for, so I really appreciate you dropping a comment. 🙂

      And no, I don’t believe so, I think I just found a better program to compress the initial render. The initial render was nearly 20 GB, bringing the current cut down considerably but retaining the image quality. In comparison, the first cut published last year was initially 16 GB and compressing it then only brought it down to 11.4 GB. In fact, I played the two side by side before uploading to check quality and I found that the compressed file had a slightly sharper image to it than the initial render. I admit I’m not much of a tech wizard, but I believe that the quality should be equal if not greater than the initial version released last year.

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  2. I absolutely love this version of the film and You are quite right to say it is narratively superior to all the other fan edits I have seen and so much truer to the book! I used the torrent link and downloaded your film but I’m finding there are some issues with some loss of clarity and blur, particularly in faster scenes and the sharpness of color. sound and contrast dips slightly at certain points during the film when you play it on a good screen compared to the original 3 Hobbit films.

    I was wondering if this is due to the type of download or the original edit itself, would there be a way to get a larger, less compressed or lossless file so I could burn in higher definition to a dual layer blu-ray? (Eg: an ISO file)
    Aside from these minor issues this truly is a masterful edit and one I would love to add to my movie marathons! Thank you so much for putting this time into restoring a treasured story 🙂

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    • I definitely didn’t mean to say an ISO file 😛 I meant a higher quality file like a Blu Ray or something similar!

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    • Thank you so much! I don’t know much about ISO files so I’ll have to look into it, but if I do or find someone who can help I’ll certainly add a link to the main page 🙂

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  3. You, my friend, have done an amazing job. Upon reading your book-to-film analysis, I realised how truly invested you were in this whole procedure. Editing the trilogy into a 4.5 hour, single film is truly amazing, and you’ve done it with excessive care and love, and as a viewer and a huge fan of everything Tolkien, I felt it! You nailed the narrative and the characters.

    The only slight problems I had with the film were that some scenes and transitions seem a bit too abruptly stitched together. The biggest one for me was the AUJ-DOS transition, something really felt off with the sound editing and the way the shots were placed, the general structure of this particular spot in the film. Another little problem that I had with the editing was the scene where Beorn asks Thorin about his quest, and suddenly Bilbo asks Beorn if there are others like him, Beorn replies and then suddenly we’re back to Thorin’s quest. That felt really abrupt and kind of put me off track for a while. The last nitpicky thing I have to say about the editing is that the way you combined the theatrical with the extended version scenes in Rivendell was a bit too abrupt and the noticeable change in image quality really stood out. The way you also switch from Elrond asking Gandalf about the Great East Road to Bilbo walking around and exploring Rivendell seemed rushed and felt incomplete, like a piece was missing through these two scenes.
    I am an amateur editor myself, and I of course realise how difficult it is to make these transitions seamless, however, seeing how well made the rest of the edit is, I must admit I’ve found myself wondering what caused these “imperfections” in an otherwise perfect adaptation.

    The way you handled Smaug was excellent. I also liked your take on Lake Town. I also read your reviews on the other edits as well, and you’ve convinced me to watch Fiona’s take on the story. The Maple Films edition got my attention, but after reading your review, I believe The Bilbo Edition is the closest to what I’ve always wanted The Hobbit films to be than any other fan cut I’ve watched. I can forgive the downsides I referred to before, since I couldn’t appreciate all the hard work you’ve invested into this any more than I already am. Nevertheless, I believe that if you fixed these little imperfections, along with some other things I’ve read from others who’ve watched this film in the Reddit post, like Bilbo killing the Warg (although it did get a laugh out of me, purely because of Bilbo’s reaction after he realises what just happened), the trolls sequence being a tad too long (but very enjoyable nonetheless), and the Stone Giants sequence also dragging a bit (I appreciated them but, in my opinion, the scene could have been shortened a lot and a lot of goofiness and Hollywood physics could have been avoided – again, editing is extremely hard and if you can’t do anything about this sequence, I’m fine with how it is right now).

    I hope my comment doesn’t pass through as too critical, I adored the way you treated the source material and how everything turned out, I think you’ve done an outstanding job that definitely deserves praise and many, many viewers. Everything I’ve said is about what can be done that would make The Bilbo Edition even slightly better than it already is. It’s now my definitive Hobbit film and it’s earned its place in my Lord of the Rings marathon that I do every now and then. Congratulations!

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    • Thank you so much! I’m over the moon you enjoyed the film so much 🙂

      As for your constructive criticism, you’ve actually pin pointed all the most difficult areas that I agonized over the longest and eventually settled with. The transition from AUJ to DOS is nearly impossible to nail smoothly unless you keep the orc chase and the original introduction of “scary” Beorn, and to be honest I have yet to see another fan edit nail the transition any better. I’m not saying mine is the best (Fiona’s cut just removed Beorn entirely so technically she has the best transition, albeit with serious sacrifices), but if you watch any others you may notice similar tactics being used and none really do the transition perfect justice. DOJ starts awkwardly and unfortunately there’s no easy way to splice the two films together perfectly, as far as I have seen.

      I was using different quality footage for the Extended Edition Rivendell shots, so that might be why they seem so out of place. I had to arrange them around a few times to get them to fit rather organically, and the current manifestation was the best I could do with the music/dialogue not mixing strangely in the background. I agree though the shift from the dinner to Bilbo walking is slightly jarring but I had hoped it implied that Bilbo left dinner to explore while the dwarves continued to make fools of themselves.

      As for Bilbo talking to Beorn, I agree I could have rearranged those scenes possibly, but instead I kept them in sequence with how they flowed in the film. I always read that scene as Bilbo interrupting their discussion because he’s so fascinated with Beorn, and Beorn’s sad answer shuts him down enough that he can return to his discussion with Thorin. But I agree with your point that the conversational flow is a little weird.

      I agree that the Stone Giants and Troll scenes are overlong, and in the end I chose not to break them up because they are personal favorites and they add an interesting subtext of questioning whether Bilbo is a reliable narrator – are those scenes as ridiculous as they are, or is Bilbo exaggerating them in this version of the story? Remember this entire film is essentially a film adaptation of Bilbo’s Little Red Book from LOTR, not so much an adaptation of the actual book The Hobbit. In the end I’m being selfish there and keeping them, but were I ever to go back into this and edit some more, I would likely trim down the Stone Giant sequence significantly.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the rest of the film, especially Smaug and Lake Town, which is my favorite sequence. Please feel free to share this with any Tolkien-loving friends, and be sure to check out Fiona’s 2-hour cut! It’s really remarkable what she was able to accomplish. Thanks for dropping by to leave warm comments and constructive feedback! 🙂

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      • > DOJ starts awkwardly and unfortunately there’s no easy way to splice the two films together perfectly, as far as I have seen.

        DOJ = Desolation of Jackson? 🙂

        IMHO the transition from the first to the second movie is really well handled, given the constraints you had to deal with. It’s not ideal, I agree, but it’s so much better than Azog and scary Beorn chasing them into the house.

        I did find that conversation with Beorn a bit jarring too – Beorn: “So you’re the one they call Oakenshield.” Bilbo: “There are others like you?”

        I guess you had to do that to cut out Beorn suggesting that Azog is hunting the company. It wouldn’t have been too jarring to have left that in, actually… Azog had already been introduced in the flashback to the gates of Moria, and Beorn letting them know that Azog is still out there and holding a grudge would actually be new information for the company in your version, rather than the totally redundant comment it was in the original.

        BTW, thought you might like to know that a USB stick with your extended edit has been passed around to a number of my friends who don’t Torrent, to enthusiastic comments after they watch it, and at least one has told me that she’s handed on copies to every Tolkien fan she knows 🙂

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      • Thank you so much! I am beyond ecstatic you’ve found an audience amongst your friends and I’m so glad they like it too!

        Good call on Beorn mentioning Azog not being a continuity error in the 2.0 version of the film, I hadn’t thought of that, largely because that scene had already been cut when I started the 2.0 cut so I had long forgotten it was even there during the editing process. If I ever go back into this for a cleaned up version maybe I’ll consider reintroducing that element.

        And thank you regarding the DOJ transition – like I said, it’s bloody hard to get a seamless transition with these fan edits and I haven’t seen anyone do it perfectly without sacrificing Beorn entirely, so I appreciate your praise on that particular creative choice. The audio could be better, but the way the music ends at AUJ and the dialogue necessary to set up Beorn just do not fit together well so a trade-off in quality has to come in somewhere.

        Thanks again!

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      • I understand the problems, and in all honesty, the fact that you’ve put all this work into trying to fix them is enough, for me at least. The Bilbo Edition is my favourite version of The Hobbit, and these little imperfections can easily be forgiven. I think that the main reason I noticed them in the first place is because I’ve seen the original trilogy a number of times and as I aforementioned I’m an amateur editor myself, so I can understand the cuts more easily. I strongly believe that, to someone who hasn’t seen the original trilogy or has no knowledge about editing and all that, these imperfections would not even be noticed, and I have to say I admire you for that.
        I also forgot to mention how much I loved the way you handled the Battle of the Five Armies. The original film was a real mess, and it got tiring after a certain amount of time. Your version kept me at the edge of my seat at all times, and I was more than excited to see what would follow after.
        In your reply you said that the film is an adaptation of Bilbo’s book rather than an adaptation of Tolkien’s. I must admit that I never thought about it this way, it really shines light on the choices you made about the trolls sequence and the stone giants and why you made them – it just makes sense now and it also changed my point of view about them, and now I’ll enjoy them even more when I watch them, so thank you for that too!
        I’ll make sure to pass this edit around to all my friends who love Tolkien and I’m certain they will love it as much as I did, and for a good reason too.
        Keep the great work up!

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  4. I saw the two hour fan edit and thought it was pretty good, but it was just too short. I think yours is the best fan edit because you focus entirely on Bilbo. The change that first annoyed me was cutting out Thorin’s fight with Azog, I couldn’t believe you cut it out. But the more I thought about it, I realized it was brilliant. You cut out all the unnecessary bloat. Kudos to you! Peter Jackson and company put so much heart and effort into the the Hobbit. It seemed like such a shame to disregard all the work despite the trilogy not turning out so great. But now with your version, I can appreciate all the work!

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  5. Hi Dan,

    Would really like to download this but having trouble with the magnet link being stopped by Virgin Media and the direct download seems to have a server issue. Are there any fresh download links around?

    Kind Regards,

    J

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  6. Very excited to watch this but currently can find no way to do so. The Magnetlink has been removed and the direct link isn’t working as far as I’m aware. I have also tried watching the individual segments but ZippCast also seems to be down. Are the download links going to be updated?

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    • Sorry for the technical issues – the magnet link and direct download link have been updated and are fully operational again, thanks for giving me a heads up on this! It looks like Zippcast was taken down, so I’ll have to find an alternative source to upload the streaming videos.

      Hope you enjoy the film!

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  7. Daniel,

    This looks excellent and I’m looking forward to viewing it, but upon sampling a few minutes of the film I was disappointed to find only a stereo audio track. Was there no way to preserve the original surround mix from the trilogy?

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    • Hey Steve,

      Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of technical background in audio management and I could not find a consistent method of maintaining a surround mix with the programs I had at my disposal. If this is purely a setting issue I could possibly rectify this in a future update but otherwise I might not have the resources to properly give it the mix it truly deserves for a home theatre system. I do think the stereo audio track works well for single speaker systems though so I hope most people don’t experience any issues with it.

      Thanks for your interest, please let me know how you like the film!

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    • If you’re referring to the download links both appear working on my end? If you’re referring to the individual streaming videos, those are indeed down for the time being.

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  8. This was such a wonderful idea! I had thought about making an edit, but first looked to see whether anyone else had made a version like this. I just watched Dustin Lee’s version, but reading your description of your edits, and seeing your version of the Smaug scene, I think I would prefer your edit. I would love to watch your version, but my college has a program which prevents the use of torrents. I realize this is a huge file, but is there any chance you could provide the option to download over google drive like Dustin Lee does? I would really love to show your version to my family. We’re all huge Tolkien fans and were so disappointed with the Hobbit trilogy, especially the second half. Thank you so much for your help and hard work!

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    • You know, I haven’t looked into the logistics of Google Drive but I will in the coming week to see what I can do. Thanks for your interest, I’ll try to shoot you a private message if I manage to get a new download source up in the coming weeks 🙂

      Edit: I’ve actually looked into this and it looks doable, it just will require a huge amount of time (roughly 14 hours or less) to upload such a large file to Google Drive, so I’m gonna have to wait until I have that kind of time where I can attempt an upload uninterrupted by laggy internet connection, which I’m currently stuck with for the next year. So this is possible, but I need to wait for an ideal window for optimal upload time.

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      • Thank you so much! I am looking forward to watching it over the weekend. I really appreciate all the time you’ve put into this and I’ll be sure to share it with my family, including my sisters Galadriel and Eowyn. 😉

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  9. Great job on this! Of all the fan edits I have investigated, yours is definitely the best. Overall, you made the best decisions of anyone, in my opinion. For me, including the scene where the dwarves are introduced to Beorn is a must, and yours is the only edit that includes that! That alone makes yours the must-watch, but I also really appreciate that you cut out the clip of Smaug bursting out of the mountain covered in gold. There are lots of other small choices you made that I think are great.

    If you ever revisit this to do a 3.0 version, the only changes I personally would like to see would be to cut (or at least heavily trim) the Stone Giants scene, and to cut the beginning of the gollum scene when we see him beat up the goblin and drop the ring. I much prefer the way Fiona and Dustin introduce this scene and think it is much truer to the book. Those are just my personal opinions though. I’m quite grateful for all the work you put into this!

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    • Hey thanks! I really appreciate you taking the time to stop in and comment 🙂

      If I ever do go back and do a 3.0 those are actually the only two scenes I would revise, I wholeheartedly agree. The Stone Giants could certainly be trimmed and Fiona and Dustin both do a far more serviceable job with Gollum’s introduction, even if mine is simply an untouched version of Jackson’s.

      I’m so glad you like my inclusion of Beorn’s proper introduction, so I hope that balances it out haha. It baffles me as to why no other edit has bothered to attempt it! Among all the different tricks and weird edit tactics I had to use for various parts of the film, including his deleted scenes was actually one of the more simple to do.

      Please share the film with any family or friends who love Tolkien or are looking for a good fan-edit to satisfy their Hobbit itch. Thanks again for stopping by! 🙂

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      • > If I ever do go back and do a 3.0 those are actually the only two scenes I would revise

        Not the Beorn: “So you’re the one they call Oakenshield.” Bilbo: “There are others like you?” stuff we discussed above? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for considering the revisions! I actually played around with it a bit in iMovie and I don’t think it would be too hard to make either of those cuts.

        Will do. I’m planning to watch it with my family over Christmas!

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      • Thanks for considering the revisions! I actually played around with it a bit in iMovie and I don’t think it would be too hard to make either of those cuts.

        Will do. I’m planning to watch it with my family over Christmas!

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  10. This version was great! I definitely preferred your take on all the Smaug scenes and was so glad you included the stone giants and Beorn’s introduction. Out of curiosity, how did you work with the file in iMovie (Daniel Sellers)? I was playing around with scenes in Final Cut for fun, but it was very jumpy. I thought maybe I had set my frame rate wrong or that it wasn’t rendering fast enough. How were you working with it without losing quality? Daniel Udell, I’m sure you could answer this very well. Thanks!

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    • I actually didn’t use Final Cut or iMovie; I used Adobe Premiere Pro, and I have been for over six years now. It’s incredibly intuitive, there are countless online tutorials to help with trickier issues, and always renders clean and quickly. My only complaint is that it is known to crash somewhat frequently when working with many files at once, so I encourage saving your work a lot. You can try a free trial through Adobe’s website 🙂

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  11. Hey I really appreciate the effort you’ve put into this edit and I truly believe yours is the definitive version. However I believe your excellent pacing and narrative is ruined by the poor picture quality of the file. When I was watching on google drive there were even some framerate issues in Rivendell and some other sections. I wonder if you might consider uploading an uncompressed version so we can all really appreciate this revision of the hobbit films.

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    • I did notice that the Google Drive stream quality is borderline appalling compared to the actual file played on its own. I think that has to do with Google Drive’s carrying capacity for large video files. Did you try downloading it, either through Google Drive or the torrent? An uncompressed video is usually much larger in file size and wouldn’t fit on Google Drive. Let me know if downloading the video file results in similar video quality and I’ll look further into it. The video is streamable, but I should emphasize that it is best consumed after downloaded and viewed through a personal video player.

      Thank you for the praise though, I’m glad you liked the narrative changes. 🙂

      Let me know if anything I suggested helps with the video quality, or if there’s something specific I can try on my end.

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    • I checked the torrent link and it worked fine – try again with the direct download link; I’ve removed the magnet link altogether since it’s unnecessary now with the added Google Doc link.

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  12. Thank you! This was amazing. I watched each of the original Hobbit films once in theaters, and as a lover of the book, I felt so let down. I haven’t watched any fan edits before, so I really wasn’t expecting much when I decided to give your edit a try. I was blown away by the consistency of the quality and story focus that you brought to this. I cannot heap enough accolades and thanks on you. Well done!

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  13. Wow, truly the best cut I´ve seen so far! I am so sad that this kind of version didnt hit the cinemas for the wider audiance to see, instead we got what we got…
    I was moved to tears! It was the best adaptation to the books I`ve seen done with this film, true to the books! I loved how you cut out the dwarven-Smaug fight and how you handled the arrival at Beorns place and final fight between Thorin and Azog! Just brilliant! Some of the extended scenes really shined and made it so much smoother to watch! Cut out the dragging bits and moved the story on so much more smoother and got all the important bits.

    Thank you so much for making this cut! I love how you managed to make the story about Bilbo and the dwarves! I cried at the end 🙂

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  14. This is a long comment, but I just needed to tell you how much I enjoyed this fan edit. I’ve actually made my own fan edit that made the trilogy (three movies) into a duology (two movies). But my fan edit isn’t going to be uploaded online as I only made it for my friends and my own personal enjoyment. But I decided when I was finished with my fan edit to watch some other ones, in order to compare them to the one I did. So far, I have watched the Dustin Lee edit, and your edit. I have also seen clips of the Tolkien Edit, but I didn’t watch the edit itself because I heard that it wasn’t very good. So, I will talk about your fan edit, and what I thought of it.

    *The Prologue*

    I’m personally not a fan of Bilbo addressing the book to Frodo. In my edit, I muted the audio in the beginning of the movie, and replaced it with the audio from the “Bilbo Writes in His Book” scene from the FOTR extended edition. I personally think this dialogue is a better way to open up the movie. If you like Bilbo addressing the book to Frodo, that’s fine. It doesn’t take away from the quality of the edit, it’s just not what I prefer. We all have different tastes, and that’s what makes comparing fan edits so fun.

    Good riddance with the Erebor flashback sequence. It’s entirely unnecessary, as we get all the information we need during the the dinner sequence. The flashback also takes away from the plot build-up, as we already know why the dwarves are at Bilbo’s house, and therefore, don’t get to wonder about it with him. It’s like the the filmmakers threw food storytelling out the window, and just decided to go LOTR style with a flashback at the beginning. But (ignoring for now the fact that different things work for different movies) The Hobbit book has a different tone that the LOTR trilogy, and therefore doesn’t have to have the same style. In both me and Dustin Lee do it the way you did, and have the first words Bilbo writes be “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” as it should be. Even movie Bilbo points out that “it began as you might expect.”

    Dustin Lee cut out all appearances of Frodo from his fan edit. You and I both kept him in a brief cameo, which is just fine. Both ways work well.

    Your cut to Bilbo sitting outside smoking his pipe had an abrupt music change, but to be honest I probably only noticed this because I’ve been editing the footage for so long.

    *An Unexpected Party*

    All three of us kept the Gandalf and Bilbo scene in its entirety. It’s just fine the way it is.

    I took a slightly different route than both of you, and inserted the extended edition scene of Bilbo in the the marketplace. It think it’s nice to show what Hobbit life is like before we get to the event that changes Bilbo’s life.

    I also put in Bilbo trying to talk to Bifur, with Oin pointing out that Bifur can’t talk because of the axe in his head, and then thinking that Bilbo thought Bilbo said “dead.” I found this scene humorous, and just wanted it in. But to be honest, I think it all depends on taste.

    “Blunt the Knives” stays in all three fan edits. It’s got Tolkien’s style of humor.

    I like how the filmmakers added the bit about Bilbo being an adventurous-minded person when he was a kid. Though it wasn’t in the book, it’s interesting to have Bilbo essentially be rediscovering his childhood on the adventure. All three of us kept it in.

    At one point, I considered inserting footage from the Erebor flashback into the “Misty Mountains” song, as I’ve seen in some clips on YouTube. But I decided against it.

    I love how Bilbo has a choice in the movie, rather than being pressured into it.

    *The Journey Begins*

    Unlike both you and Dustin Lee, I cut out the dwarves and Gandalf making bets. Since Tolkien was a Catholic, a seriously doubt he would have appreciated this part.

    I went the same route as Dustin Lee, and went immediately to the ruined farmhouse where Gandalf argues with Thorin. Part of the reason for this is that I moved the “Battle of Moria” flashback to later in the movie. I think the way it is in the actual film introduces goblins into the film a bit too early. Dustin Lee, on the other hand, saves the Moria flashback for his sidequest movie about Gandalf at Dol Guldur, which is a bit weird.

    *Roast Mutton*

    I actually kept most of “Roast Mutton,” like you did. The only thing I cut was Bilbo talking about parasites. I think that part is hilarious, but the scene was already too long. It was hard to figure out just what to cut, as it’s a very entertaining scene.

    The troll cave is in its entirety.

    *News From Radagast*

    Deleted by all three of us. Good riddance.

    *A Short Rest*

    I put in Bofur singing at Rivendell from the extended version, as I wanted more humor in the movies. But honestly it could be either in or out, depending on taste.

    Here’s where I start to get a bit disappointed with you. You show the painting of the battle with Sauron. I personally think “The Hobbit” should be able to be enjoyed on its own, without people needing to see a sequel to figure out some of the stuff that was going on (case in point, my Mom has no interest in seeing LOTR, and just wanted to see “The Hobbit.” And I ended up having to explain everything about the ring to her when the third film was done. It drove me nuts). After all, Tolkien didn’t originally plan to write a sequel. So seeing this stuff still in the film is a bit of a downer. I did keep the shards of Narsil, as it doesn’t affect the stand-alone nature of the film, but I did cut the painting.

    I kept the rest of the extended scenes you put in, as well as the one in Dustin Lee’s edit.

    *The White Council*

    You and Dustin Lee both cut it. I kept a vastly shortened version of it, and moved it to later in the story.

    *Overhill and Underhill*

    Both me and Dustin Lee cut out the stone giants, and just implied that Bilbo slipped and fell. Honestly, I think the stone giants were only in the movie because they were in the book, which is not a good excuse for including them in an adaptation. I also thought the stone giants were ridiculous in the movie. I’m not even sure if stone giants are actually made of stone in the book. They might be called “stone giants” because they THROW stones, not because they are MADE OF stone. In the graphic novel version, they are regular giants, not made of stone.

    Bilbo attempting to leave the company is an adaptational change that I really appreciated. I like the way Bilbo’s character develops in the movies. Too bad they didn’t focus on him enough (it’s funny that it’s called “The Hobbit” when they spent more time with Dol Guldur and Tauriel and Kili than with him).

    And… you kept the ridiculously long fall into the pit that realistically would have killed them all. Both me and Dustin Lee shortened it.

    I kept the Goblin King’s song, as well as the various ramblings from the extended edition, as I found them hilarious. It depends on taste though.

    Like Dustin Lee’s edit, this is when the audience first learns about Azog. I found it a bit more interesting this way, because we get introduced to the goblins the same way we do in the book, and also learn that Thorin has an old enemy at this point, about an hour into the film. You of course, cut out the Great Goblin mentioning Azog, because you want his appearance at the final battle to be a surprise.

    Now for what is probably my least favorite change in your entire edit; having Gandalf rescuing the dwarves before we see what Bilbo’s up to. This just ruins the mood of the scene. In the actual movie, we transition to Bilbo, and we are left wondering what’s going to happen to the dwarves. It’s a sense of worry. In your edit, we’ve already seen Gandalf rescue them, so all that worry goes away. I just didn’t like this change in your edit at all.

    In my edit, I saved the rescue for after the confrontation of Gollum, like it was in the original. However, I still rearranged the scenes. I placed the “Bilbo first puts on the ring” scene directly after the first Gollum scene, and then made the dwarf rescue and chase one long, uninterrupted sequence (with epic music from the soundtrack placed at the point where the scenes were originally separated so as the cover up the fact that they were separate scenes). I did, of course, cut the silliness out of the chase, and made it about a minute long, when it was originally about three minutes long. I made the boulder rolling over the goblins with the epic music be the end of the scene. It’s the way it should be. At that point in the theater I was like, “yay, go Gandalf!” But then the Great Goblin reappeared, and I was like, “are you kidding me? Get done with the dang chase already!” I was glad to cut the scene down enough to make it feel climactic and cinematic.

    Just a minor nitpick; Why did you keep the part where the dwarves are on that silly swinging bridge. That part is ridiculous. Oh well.

    *Riddles in the Dark*

    Oh no, you kept Bilbo seeing Gollum drop the ring. I hated that part I the movie. It makes Bilbo into a thief. Both Dustin Lee and I cut it out, and just implied that Bilbo saw the ring laying there, without knowing where it came from. It also helps make Gollum first appearing seem more creepy that way, because we haven’t already seen him.

    Oh boy do I love the rest of the scene in the movie though. I kept it in its entirety, aside from the beginning part.

    I do have to agree with you though that the scene needed to have a creepier edge to it. It felt more comedic than creepy. I love the way it is in the animated version, with that awesome music. I think the animated version did it very well, especially when we hear that creepy singing (“It cannot be seeeeeeeeeen, cannot be felllllllllllllllt, cannot be hearrrrrrrrrrd, cannot be smeallllllllllllt, it lies behind staaaaaaaaars, and under hilllllllllls, and empty hooooooooooles it it filllllllllllllllls.”)

    If only the movie could have nailed that.

    *Out of the Frying Pan, and Into the Fire*

    Bilbo’s speech is a wonderful adaptational addition. I was happy to keep it in.

    This is the first time we see Azog in my edit (and in Dustin Lee’s edit). I think it’s a great way to introduce him. Of course, you save him for the end, so in your version it’s implied that the goblin’s are attacking the dwarves as revenge for slaying the Great Goblin, just like it was in the book.

    I still feel sad at the filmmakers’ decision to have Azog still alive. I don’t mind there being a goblin that wants Thorin, as it feels more cinematic. But I feel as if they should have used Bolg instead. Since Bolg is Azog’s son, they could have had Bolg be out for revenge against Thorin for slaying his father during the battle of Moria. Why they didn’t go with that idea is beyond me.

    I’m also disappointed with the wargs being nothing but steeds for the goblins rather than being in intelligent species like they were in the book.

    You and Dustin Lee both kept the moth, which is disappointing. I cut out the moth, and implied that the eagles came on their own accord, implying that the dwarves have allies in Middle Earth. This also is able to go along with the fan theory I’ve read that in the LOTR movie, when Gandalf was imprisoned by Saruman, he sent the moth to Radagast, and Radagast sent the eagles to Gandalf (which was actually his role in the book, despite the non-existence of the moth).

    Once they get to the Carrock, I insert the “Battle of Moria” flashback, implying that Balin tells the story to Bilbo while they spend the night on the Carrock. In my version, it is specifically so that Bilbo knows why Thorin hates Azog so much. I think it works well this way (and in fact, I heard somewhere that the filmmakers were originally going to do it that way).

    And, we’re done with “An Unexpected Journey.” I’ll post about “Desolation of Smaug” in my next comment, as this is getting too long.

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    • Enjoying this scene-by-scene comparison/commentary, but I wanted to comment on this:

      > Oh no, you kept Bilbo seeing Gollum drop the ring.

      I obviously haven’t scrutinized the films as closely as you folks who have made fan edits, but I never got the impression that Bilbo actually saw the ring fall. The audience does, obviously, but when Bilbo puts his foot on it later he doesn’t appear to know where it came from even though he was present when it came out of Gollum’s pouch.

      Just throwing out an alternative way to interpret the scene – your interpretation never occurred to me.

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      • I actually agree with this interpretation in that it’s the audience who’s seeing the ring fall from Gollum, not Bilbo. Bilbo just stumbles upon it by chance in the dark.

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      • Yeah, I guess that’s a valid interpretation. But including the scene still ruins Gollum’s reveal when he finally talks to Bilbo, as we’ve already seen him earlier in the scene. It’s almost as if the filmmakers spliced two alternative scenes together that were scripted differently, because they show us Gollum, and then still try to make him seem creepy when he’s approaching Bilbo later.

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    • Hey thanks for taking the time to evaluate my adaptation so closely, I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

      Just a few retorts to some of your remarks:

      – You’re correct in noting that there’s a musical shift during the intro when I transition to Bilbo smoking on his patio. I think you might have noticed it more because you’ve been working with the film so closely, but I hope that the casual viewer wouldn’t catch it. I don’t feel as if it’s a dealbreaker and the scene moves on fairly quickly, but the change in key is definitely something I would have liked to smooth over better had I had more experience in sound mixing.

      – I agree with your point on the filmmakers’ decision to develop Bilbo’s character more and giving him a more adventurous backstory. I think it’s a lovely addition and it’s something that really speaks to my childhood, so in a way I almost feel more aligned with the film version of Bilbo than I do the book version.

      – I hadn’t ever considered Tolkien’s views on gambling as a Christian, that’s quite a good catch of yours. 🙂

      – I would like to defend my inclusion of the Sauron mural. I include it not as an obligatory hint at what is to come but purely as a world-building scene. Rather than force someone unfamiliar to Tolkien to ask, “What does that mural mean?” or feel coerced into setting up a film that doesn’t require such, I think the scene shows Bilbo’s inquisitiveness and hints at the broader themes at play, namely, that he’s only “a little fellow in wide world.” There’s more beyond this story, and the Sauron mural I feel encapsulates that sense in an emotionally satisfying way for me. I do apologize though if you had to explain who the Dark Lord was to your poor mom. 🙂

      – I kept the stone giants purely because when I saw them the first time in theaters they excited me and I liked the sequence a lot, as corny as it is. Could it be cut? Yes. If I did a 3.0 version would I trim it down? Yes. But as of now I’m very satisfied with the current cut and although I absolutely agree with you on the matter, I also don’t mind the sequences and think they add an interesting subtext of whether or not Bilbo is a reliable narrator. Did these things exist? Did he over exaggerate parts of the story? Likewise for the comical fall down to the goblin tunnels. Perhaps Bilbo is just exaggerating his story for the kids, as we see him do in Fellowship of the Ring. 😉

      – I split up the dwarves and Bilbo the way I did so that I could maintain tension for both. That way when they are rejoined together at the end of the sequence they are both running away from something at the same time, keeping somewhat of a timeline going. Again, if I were ever to do a 3.0 cut, I would likely follow Fiona’s and Dustin’s lead and cut the scene of Gollum killing the goblin and dropping the ring, having Bilbo simply waking up and finding the ring. However, I do think the scene of Gollum killing the goblin shows the audience and Bilbo that Gollum is not to be taken lightly, and that he is indeed a killer. So the scene does have some merit. Furthermore, the goblin chase could be cut down more, I agree, but I kept it as it is because I thought it reflected thematically and cinematically the flight from goblins in Moria in Fellowship of the Ring, so it was more a callback (forward?) to that sequence than necessary for the film as a standalone. Again, these are just personal creative licenses I took, I don’t necessarily disagree with your critiques on this matter.

      – I agree, the Wargs were poorly adapted by the filmmakers; they’re much better written in the book.

      – Your moth idea is interesting, I hadn’t thought of that. Your film adaptation sounds quite good, actually.

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  15. *Queer Lodgings*

    Boy, is the transition from AUJ to DOS difficult or what! The clip I’ve seen of the Tolkien Edit cuts out the eagle rescue, and inserts Gandalf and friends running from Beorn immediately after the goblins arrive. I great transition, but cutting out the eagles is just wrong. Both you and Dustin Lee came up with decent transitions.

    In my edit, since I had the Moria flashback right at the end of AUJ, I was able to insert the “Bilbo sees Beorn on a cliff” scene right after it, and it was a pretty good transistion. My only problem is that I hate the part where the dwarves are being cased by Beorn, and I had to keep it in.

    I put in the extended Beorn introduction, like you did. I really think Beorn is similar to Tom Bombadil, in that he’s a character that many Tolkien fans enjoy, but that he is not really necessary in a movie adaptation. However, I couldn’t cut him out because otherwise the dwarves would get ponies from out of nowhere once they reached Mirkwood. So I had to leave him in.

    At this point, we are at the halfway point of the first movie of my duology. The dwarves are safe for now, but they’ve just discovered that an old enemy has returned, and they won’t be safe for long. This is where the story really gets moving, which just goes to show that The Hobbit should never have been a trilogy.

    At Mirkwood, I went your route, and inserted music during the scene where Gandalf sees Sauron’s eye painted on a statue. Dustin Lee’s method of using a VoiceOver of Beorn was clever, and I like that. I wish I had thought of it when I did my fan edit.

    Unfortunately, it appears that Dustin Lee is taking the same route as you by tying the ring to Sauron, which we’re not supposed to know about until LOTR. In The Hobbit, as far as audiences are concerned, the ring is just something useful that Bilbo found. I cut out Bilbo holding the ring while Gandalf is looking at the statue, as well as Bilbo almost telling Gandalf about the ring.

    *Flies and Spiders*

    I inserted the crossing the river scene from the extended version. It doesn’t need to be there, but I think it makes Mirkwood more haunting.

    I cut out Bilbo murdering a young spider over the ring.

    The capture of the dwarves by Wood Elves is probably about thirty seconds long in my cut. Legolas and Tauriel are only heard speaking in Elvish for a few seconds, and then the scene ends shortly after that. It’s quick, and to the point; the dwarves were captured by the Wood Elves. That’s all we need to know.

    *Barrels Out of Bond*

    Tauriel and Kili’s romance is cut out in all of our versions. Good riddance. It adds nothing to the story.

    I’m the only one who cut the ridiculous part where Thranduil shows his face wounds to Thorin. What was the point of that part anyway?

    After all the dwarves are imprisoned, we go immediately to Bilbo in the cellar in all of our cuts.

    Since the escape from Mirkwood is the climax of the first part of my duology, I kept the goblins attacking during the escape. I needed the scene to look like a climax to a movie. I did, however, cut out Bouncing Bomber, as well as Legolas standing on the dwarves’ heads. What was up with that in the movie?

    There’s also no implication in my cut that the arrow that hit Kili was anything other than a regular arrow. Ditto for Dustin Lee’s cut.

    I guess Dustin Lee kept the scene because he had an intermission shortly after the escape from Mirkwood, which means its kind of like watching two films, and thus he needed some sort of climax.

    Since your film is one movie with no intermission, the goblin attack was unnecessary, and you cut it out well.

    I end my first film on a bit of a cliffhanger. Bard walks up. He’s seen in the shadows. Then, I cut to the ending of AUJ, where we see Smaug’s eye. This way I give the audience the impression that the dwarves need to get around the lake to get to the mountain before the goblins catch up to them, Kili needs his wound bandaged up, there’s a bowman who we don’t know is friend or foe, and the dragon is still alive in the mountain. Then, the credits roll. Perfect ending for part one. The Hobbit REALLY needed three movies didn’t it? (sarcasm intended)

    I begin part two with Gandalf at the White Council. I felt it was necessary to remind audiences (who had probably taken a break before they watched part two) what Gandalf was doing. The White Council scene is vastly shortened (there’s no mention of Radagast being a drug addict, and absolutely no telepathic communication from Galadriel), and I get the point across quickly. This isn’t a major plot point in my cut. It’s just there for cinematic purposes. I am able to imply that after Gandalf saw Sauron’s eye on the statue, he returned to Rivendell. A major plot change from the actual movie, but who cares?

    I repeat the scene with Bard first walking up with his bow, in order to show it in its entirety this time. Then, I get on with the story.

    *A Warm Welcome*

    I reduced Alfrid’s role, like you and Dustin Lee did. Like Dustin Lee, I kept the Lake Town politics. I don’t mind them too much, but what you did in your edit works just as well.

    I kept Bard looking at the tapestry and recalling the prophesy, as well as Fili, Kili, Oin, and Bofur staying behind in Lake Town. I don’t have the skill the digitally add extra dwarves to the long shots, and it was easier to give an explanation for why those dwarves couldn’t be seen than to just leave it a mystery. However, Kili’s wound heals without the need for Tauriel to come to Lake Town, since it’s just a regular wound in my edit.

    *Gandalf at Dol Guldur*

    Cut entirely. 

    *On the Doorstep*

    I kept the entire sequence. I can see why Dustin Lee shortened it, but I honestly like the scene the way it is. You must have felt the same way.

    *Inside Information*

    Probably my favorite chapter in the book (though Riddles in the Dark is pretty good too), so I wanted to put a lot of thought into it.

    As for Bilbo having only one encounter with Smaug, rather than two like he had in the book, I think this was a more cinematic change. It would have been weird to have two encounters in a movie. Even the animated version reduces it to one.

    First of all, like you, I made Smaug and Bilbo’s conversation one long, uninterrupted scene. And, like both you and Dustin Lee, I cut out Smaug saying, “A darkness is coming.” How in the world would he know about that?

    And I thought I was the only one who noticed that Smaug knew Thorin Oakenshield’s name. I have no idea how the filmmakers missed this plot hole. All logic goes out the window with this part. But, I guess I was wrong. You noticed it as well, and you cut it out, just as I did. Unfortunately, Dustin Lee didn’t.

    In fact, the entire conversation is cut the exact same way in yours as it is in mine, the exception being that I also cut out the brief shot of Sauron’s eye when Bilbo is hypnotized into removing the ring. Great minds think alike!

    After the conversation is over, I do things a little bit differently from you though. I decide to leave Bilbo and Smaug for a little while, and leave the audience wondering if Smaug killed Bilbo or not. So I transition to Bard deciding to kill Smaug, then show the scene where Thorin refuses to enter the mountain to help Bilbo, then show Bard’s arrest. When the log comes down on Bard’s face and it cuts to black, I slowly fade to the scene where Bilbo runs through a door, and then Smaug comes crashing through. Like you, I have the dwarves never enter the mountain. I have no idea why Dustin Lee kept it in (even though he did make it easier to sit through), as it adds nothing to the story. It is pure padding. However, all three of us have the marvelous idea of cutting the goblin attack on Lake Town. Good riddance.

    Smaug’s exit from the mountain is a pain. He’s completely covered in gold in the shot, making it useless. I can’t edit the scene to look different (and seeing how crappy of an editing job it was in Dustin Lee’s version, something tells me I still wouldn’t have been able to use the shot anyway), and I really don’t want him suddenly covered with gold like he was in the Tolkien Edit. So, I came up with a clever way to get him out of the mountain. A way that turned out in the end to be exactly the same as yours. Great minds think alike.

    And, we’re done with DOS. My next comment will be about BOTFA.

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    • Some more comments in reply to your remarks:

      – I think it’s interesting for viewers to see that the Ring is something sinister, even if in the original text its true nature is never hinted at. We see the effect the ultimate power has on someone as innocent as Bilbo, so including it’s effects on him were important to me thematically. Furthermore, including references to Sauron hint at what Gandalf is leaving to investigate. This further justifies the inclusion of the Sauron mural, as his specter is a real presence in both the book and my adaptation without it necessarily hinting at LOTR.

      – The river scene is cool, I only excluded it to keep time down.

      – I actually really like the Thranduil-face scene. It implies a deeper mythology and expands the world building while still keeping in tune with Tolkien’s work. It’s entirely plausible that Thranduil fought the dragons of the north in his youth. He’s been around long enough, and dragons were far more plentiful in the ages past. It also helps explain his hesitance to fight one again.

      – I like Dustin’s film a lot but I also don’t quite understand why he cut down the Doorstep sequence as much as he did. I think it takes away a lot thematically. Glad other people agree on that point.

      – I’m VERY glad to hear you agree with me on the Oakenshield plothole in the Smaug dialogue. I think it’s unforgivable on the filmmakers’ part and I’m glad you noticed it too, haha

      – Dustin does make the Dwarf / Smaug chase sequence bearable, but I agree it’s pure padding and very confusing as it why it was kept in. If he kept the golden statue it might have made sense, but as that was cut too it really made me scratch my head.

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  16. BOTFA is a huge mess to try to edit. It’s easily the least faithful of the trilogy.

    *Fire and Water*

    Unlike the transition from AUJ to DOS, transitioning from DOS to BOTFA is laughably easy. All I had to do was go straight from the ending of the former to the beginning of the latter. To doesn’t feel as if the movie ever ended where it did.

    At one point, I did similar to how you did, and had Bard decide to slay the dragon after the dragon left the mountain rather than before, as well as cut Bain out of the scene where he defeats Smaug. But I just kept getting bugged by the fact that there’s a long shot where Bain can be seen lying still on the bell tower, and I couldn’t cut that part out without the music awkwardly jumping. So I just said, “screw it,” and the scene as it is in my cut now s pretty much the same as it is in the actual movie. Dustin Lee did the same. You however, cut Bain out, but the shot that bugged me is still included. Oh well. No one will notice unless they’re looking for it.

    *The Gathering of the Clouds*

    I cut out most of Alfrid, but the rest of this chapter is pretty much the same. There are a lot of cuts, but I can’t pinpoint them all because this movie is such a mess to have to edit.

    *A Thief in the Night*

    I didn’t use the extended scene of Bilbo sneaking out, though Dustin Lee did.

    The scene of Azog marching with the goblins is edited to remove dialogue about the (non-existent) attack on Lake Town. You did similar, but I have to give extra credit to Dustin Lee for cleverly rewriting the subtitles.

    Bilbo’s conversation with Gandalf about Thorin is cut in my version. I imply that Bilbo just returns to the mountain.

    *The Clouds Burst*

    Yes, I used the extended version of Dain’s arrival. I find it much more entertaining than the theatrical version of the scene.

    I do have a small gripe with the way you used the scene; Gandalf says, “Thranduil, this is madness,” at an earlier part of the scene in the extended version, before the goblins arrive. But in the theatrical version, this comment is moved later, to after Bilbo asks if the elves will help to fight the goblins. In your edit, you used the extended version, but switched the theatrical once the goblins arrived (I could tell because the picture quality was different). So, in your version, Gandalf says the line twice. I suppose it not impossible that Gandalf could have said it twice, but just seems odd when I know that it’s from two separate versions.

    I have many parts of the fight cut out, too many to list.

    Why did you leave the wereworms in? Haven’t you seen “How it Should Have Ended,” where the goblins just do the easy thing and have the wereworms eat everybody? You fix a plot hole if you cut them out.

    Also, despite the fact that this is when the dwarves first discover that Azog is alive in your version, there’s no acknowledgement of it. Something tells me it would have been better to leave Azog out, and in his few appearances just imply that he’s some random goblin.

    I shortened Thorin’s change of heart, similar to how you did.

    When the dwarves rush out of the mountain, I inserted the Misty Mountain theme, similar to how Dustin Lee did.

    I used the extended chariot chase (slightly shortened), and inserted the music from troll fight into it.

    I kept Fili’s death. You cut it out, and then showed Bilbo getting knocked out, with the audience blacking out too, leaving them to assume (from the funeral scene) that Fili and Kili died. I had Kili die trying to save Bilbo after being knocked out by Bolg, which, to TE best of my knowledge, is an idea no one else has come up with.

    I decided to keep the Thorin and Azog fight, but didn’t want Thorin to magically get Orcrist back, so I kept Legolas and Tauriel going to the battle. I took inspiration from a video I saw on YouTube, and had Tauriel be killed by Bolg, with Legolas killing Bolg in revenge. In order to leave out the crazy stunts, I ended the fight when the rocks fell on top of Bolg, leaving it implied that he was crushed to death.

    I added the Misty Mountain theme to the Thorin and Azog battle, and delayed the eagle arrival until Azog was dead and Bilbo has woken up. Now, when Bilbo says, “the eagles are coming,” he is correct.

    I added the funeral scene back in. Why was this cut from the theatrical version?

    Even if I had enjoyed the additions of the ties to LOTR, I probably would still have hated the scene where Bilbo says goodbye to Gandalf. They changed the order of lines to give the conversation a completely different meaning than it originally had. Now, I rearranged the order of lines, to put the scene back in its original context. It’s a nice scene.

    After this scene, the movie is the same. The auction is still in, and we see grown Bilbo, and see Gandalf visit him for his 111th birthday. The end.

    My opinion of your fan edit? I think it’s very good. You obviously put a lot of thought into the choices you made. Whether people are going to appreciate it is going to depend on their tastes. I personally found it entertaining, and I can’t decided whether I prefer your edit, or Dustin Lee’s edit. They are both very well done.

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    • Final remarks:

      – Yeah I’ve decided Bain is unnoticeable unless you’re purposefully looking for him. Glad you agree.

      – Dustin’s rewriting of the Orc subtitles is genius, one of my favorite additions of his.

      – I’m not sure I understand your Gandalf “madness” comment. He only says it once at 3:48, referencing his hesitancy in defending the Dwarves against the incoming orcs. You are right that it is used differently in the theatrical version than how it’s used in the extended version, though.

      – I don’t mind the weirdness of the were-worms. They’re mentioned once, briefly in the first chapter of the book, and again it calls into question if Bilbo is a reliable narrator, since he’s the one who references them in the first place. Also, if they were cut out, where would the orcs come from?

      – Kili dying trying to save Bilbo is an interesting idea. Also glad you also noticed that Orcrist doesn’t make sense coming back without Legolas. Since it only appears briefly again lodged in Azog’s chest in my cut, I presumed most viewers would assume it was just an average sword.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to write all this out! I’m beyond glad you enjoyed my film. By the sounds of it you made a very good adaptation yourself. 🙂

      Best of luck with your future film endeavors!

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      • Hey, thanks for replying to my comments awhile back. There were some interesting observations there. The thing about Bilbo exaggerating the story (hence the outrageous mythological creatures and ridiculous action sequences) is quite interesting, though I would assume that if we were seeing Bilbo’s exaggerated version, we would see the version of Riddles in the Dark from the first edition of the book (where Gollum initially intended to give the Ring to Bilbo if he won the riddle game), as that’s the version that Bilbo told everybody other than Gandalf and Frodo (though I guess one could assume that the movie continuity is different in this aspect). But still, interesting interpretation. I never thought about that, though I’m still going to keep those things out of my edit.

        If you’re interested, I’m in the process of recreating my edit from scratch. Back about a year ago, when I first made my edit, I was using the theatrical versions, and the extended scenes pulled from YouTube. Also, the picture quality of my initial edit was very bad. I recently purchased the Extended Editions at a good price and decided to recreate the entire edit, this time with better picture quality. It is still a DVD copy, so the quality is not the best it could be, but I like it way better than my original edit. I’m also this time taking inspiration from other edits I’ve seen  (though only in certain little aspects. The recreation is still pretty much the edit I did before).

        I’ve started to appreciate Bilbo addressing his manuscript to Frodo more for some reason, so that’s back in. It also helps explain Frodo’s cameo when we see him walking outside to the mailbox, as my initial edit kept the cameo but never mentioned him by name.

        The lines about “parasites” during the troll sequence are back in too. I just missed them too much in my initial edit.

        The painting of Sauron is back in. After reading your explanation about world-building, I decided that it would be kind of interesting to include it in my edit. However, I cut the close-up of the Ring on the painting. Like I said earlier, I’m trying to save all hints of the Ring’s true nature for LOTR, and even if I was keeping the hints in, I think showing the Ring before its even a plot point is kind of weird. Also, some people have told me that when the painting appears in LOTR, it doesn’t even have the Ring on it (I’m not sure though because the lighting isn’t very good when it appears in those movies), so removing it makes it more consistent with LOTR. In my edit, we just see Bilbo look at the painting, and then it cuts to the next scene, implying that Bilbo was looking at the painting as a whole rather than a specific part of it.

        Likewise the Sauron references at Mirkwood were always part of my edit, the only thing I changed was that I cut out Bilbo holding the Ring during those parts, in order to simply show that Sauron is at work in Middle Earth, rather than show that the Ring is tied to him. I don’t want there to be confusion about Bilbo’s character (specifically the lie he tells at the end to Gandalf) for those who have never seen LOTR, and are getting their introduction to Middle Earth through The Hobbit. Your interpretation is interesting, but I’d rather cut it out than confuse audiences. That’s not to say that your version is wrong. I actually do think it’s interesting to see what the Ring does to Bilbo. I just want to make sure the audience can understand what’s going on. I loved the way it was in the animated version, where it’s simply a line at the end by Gandalf, “Oh, Mr. Baggins, if you only understood that ring. Someday members of your family not yet born will. And then you will see that this story has not ended, but is only beginning.” It’s a hint at a story, it’s saved for the end, and it’s not confusing for audiences. I wanted this same type of feel for my edit, and that’s what I believe I accomplished.

        I do think it’s cool to know about Thranduil fighting dragons when he was younger. My problem is that the face wound scene just seems to be one of those “in-your-face” CGI things. I’ve never been a fan of showing off CGI just for the heck of it. Maybe if it hadn’t been so blatantly obvious and goofy (like maybe not having Thranduil go right up to the camera and talk in a demonic voice), I might have liked it. But the way it is in the movie just makes me laugh.

        My brother still keeps trying to convince me to put Smaug’s mention of Oakenshield back in, as he likes the foreshadowing of the dragon sickness. But I’ve told him that the plot hole bugs me too much, and I absolutely refuse to put it back in. At one point, he tried to come up with some theory about the thrush being a spy for Smaug, but I don’t buy it. I always imagined that the thrush was on the good characters’ side (it definitely is in the book), so imagining it giving information to Smaug doesn’t sound logical to me.

        In fact, it reminds me of a missed opportunity of the filmmakers. When I first saw the films in the theatre, it got to the point where they mentioned Girion trying to shoot multiple Black Arrows at Smaug, and at first I was thinking, “Seriously? They’re really going to go there and give a complex backstory t what was originally just an ordinary arrow?” But then Bain mentioned the legend about Girion actually managing to knock a scale loose from Smaug, and I was like, “Ohhhhhhh, it makes sense now.” You see, in the book, Bilbo decides to see if Smaug has a weak spot, having no reason to believe he has one, and then when he looks at Smaug’s chest, it turns out that he DID have a weak spot. What a coincidence. I was assuming that the filmmakers were trying to make more sense of this by having there be a legend about Smaug having a weak spot, in order to give Bilbo more of a reason for searching for one, making it less coincidental. But nope, when he finally talked to Smaug, he noticed the weak spot completely by chance, and didn’t even tell the thrush about it, meaning that Bard also noticed it by chance. Such a missed opportunity. It even makes the thrush completely pointless. They might as well have cut the thrush out entirely and changed the moon runes to read something like, “Stand by the grey stone when the sun sets, and the last light of Durin’s Day will shine upon the keyhole.” In fact, that would have made more sense anyway, since it wasn’t “the setting sun” shining on the keyhole in the movie.

        The first instance of Gandalf’s “madness” comment in your edit is at 3:45:10, and the second instance is at 3:48:00. Unless I downloaded your edit in an alternate universe of course. It’s fine though, it doesn’t hurt the movie.

        So, anyway, if you’re interested in my edit, I just wanted to tell you that I will release it soon, as I’m almost finished with it. I think it’s going to be pretty good.

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      • I like the scene in the film too 🙂

        Here’s the original quote from the end of the text:

        “Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!” said Bilbo.
        “Of course!” said Gandalf. “And why should not they prove true? Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”
        “Thank goodness!” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.

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    • Thank you for including me in your fan-edit roundup! I agree it would be nice to have some kind of master combination film tactfully including the best parts of the film edits, although I’m fairly certain it will be impossible to satisfy everyone in such an endeavor.

      It might serve your audience to go slightly more in depth regarding your pros and cons. Your cons are rather arbitrary without some measure of how you’re judging the particular films. Summarizing an entire fan edit in just one or two minor details does not give a good idea of the flavor and tone of the different options. That said, I enjoyed reading your page. Thanks again for dropping the link off here. 🙂

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  17. Thank you so much for your wonderful work! After having seen a few of them, I can say this is finally a movie cut faithful to the book! In particular kudos for Beorn’s introduction and for omitting 1) Tauriel and 2) that horrible final fight scene between Thorin and Azog. It really feels like reading the book, this is hands down the best long version fan cut. Bravo bravo bravo!

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  18. Hello. Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your edit. I also watched the 1977 animated film for the first time just the other day. Seeing the animated film actually makes me appreciate some of the additions made to the live action version so I was glad that you kept many of Jackson’s positive contributions in. Martin Freeman really is fantastic in the role of Bilbo and its a shame that the theatrical release watered down his adventure so much. I am trying to figure out how I can burn your edit onto discs so that I can make it a part of my DVD/BD collection. I’m guessing I would need to split your film and burn them onto two blu-ray discs but I really have no idea how to do that or what program to use. Anyway thanks for all your hard work.

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  19. Thanks Daniel for your fancut. It made me appreciate the Hobbit saga much more than before. The best part is your handling of Azog to make him appear just late in the cut. The attack of the wargs was the scene that I hated most in the first film and your edits made it my favorite scene in the trilogy. Your handling of Smaug and his departure from Erebor were similarily great!

    Two suggestions for a possible 3.0 cut:
    – I liked that you kept the Stone Giants. But Jackson’s knee-riding was as over the top as his inclusion of the were-worms. Could you cut the scenes so that the dwarves are just spectators and not actively involved? Perhaps making it ambigous as possible if the stone giants were perhaps a noisy thunderstorm illusion in thin air than a real threat. Just skip the surfing on the giants’s knees.

    -of all the scenes cut, I just miss the short sequence of the dwarf miner finding the arkenstone. It is so elaborate visually and just feels dwarfy 😉 Maybe that short sequence can be shown as a mini-flashback when Balin or others talk about the arkenstone.

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    • Thank you! I agree wholeheartedly about the Stone Giants sequence – if I go back for a 3.0 version I will certainly trim down the segment now that I’ve had a few years to mull over it. I also really like your Arkenstone suggestion. The idea had never occurred to me, but I think I might go ahead and do just that if I edit a new version in the future. Thanks again for your time and feedback!

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  20. Reinserting the dwarf miner (and perhaps a short shot of Thror with the Arkenstone behind him on his throne) could bring a bit of colour and variation to the otherwise slightly dull visuals of the „Erebor backdoor“ with just Bilbo and Balin talking.

    Trimming the riding on the stone giant’s knees would bring the movie closer to the book again where the party was just watching. As far as I remember the stone giants scene was rather short in the book.

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    • I left the stone giants part as it was because I thought it was an interesting creative choice by Peter Jackson. It calls into question if Bilbo is a reliable narrator: did this really happen, or is Bilbo spicing up the story?

      While I agree a flashback might be a good idea to the Arkenstone, I think it should be left until after Bilbo finds it. I like that when Balin describes it to Bilbo it isn’t quite clear what it looks like. That way, the audience is in the same boat as Bilbo, looking for this strange gem they’ve never seen before amidst a massive treasure hoard.

      Thank you for your suggestions though!

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  21. Sure. There are a lot of mentions of the Arkenstone later on, Thorin in “dragon sickness“ mode, then Bard and Thranduil.

    Good idea to not spoil the reveal.

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