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EE Commentary Transcripts
Concerning Hobbits

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Fran: Initially we recorded the prologue – an early version – with Elijah, who was reading it as Frodo at the end of the journey, but when we heard it back, we really felt that it didn’t seem to be part of Frodo’s story: it was reflecting on things that he could not have known about; and then we thought that, possibly, Gandalf would be a good person, and I think we actually did a recording with him; but we came to Cate in the end because of the agelessness of Elves, and the fact that Elrond appears in the prologue; he also speaks to it later in the film, and it felt appropriate to us that she would almost bookmark this trilogy by opening it and closing it, as she does at the end of Part Three. We also liked the idea of using a female voice: she’s got such a great voice, a strong and powerful voice, and we knew that she would use the language well.

Peter: [Bilbo writes the title of his book] One of the most significant changes from the theatrical version into this extended cut is the way that we introduce the Hobbits, and particularly Bilbo Baggins. At the time that we thought –. We didn’t think we were going to have a prologue, and we were going to open the movie with the writing of Bilbo’s book and hearing his voice describing Hobbits, but once we decided to go back to the concept of including the prologue, and the prologue became seven minutes long, then this sequence started to feel like there was just too much narration, and to some degree, that’s probably true, but it is such a delightful sequence that I just felt that it deserved to be seen, and so, you know, for good or bad, here it is on this extended cut. Obviously it establishes the book that Bilbo’s writing, which we now see later in Rivendell, and it makes some sense of dialogue between Gandalf and Bilbo that happens later in the kitchen when Bilbo says, “I want to find somewhere quiet to finish my book” because we will have obviously seen him writing his book here. (beat) The Hobbit extras were a bunch of people from near Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand. We chose them for their looks, for their faces, for their, sort of, ‘hobbity’ qualities; but obviously here, we get to see a little bit more of the Hobbiton set that we built. [Sam appears on screen] Here’s Sean Astin’s introduction which we just… It’s really the only time that we ever see him gardening, which is kind of strange, because obviously Sam Gamgee is a gardener and one of the things that I guess we missed a little bit is the concept of the fact, you know, that he’s a gardener, but we did have that shot originally in this early version of the opening. I like the way in which the Hobbits and the society of Hobbiton and the essence of Hobbits is set up, and we, sort of, were able to take the time to do that, whereas in the theatrical version of the film, we had to, sort of, jump straight ahead. (beat)

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The Lord of the Rings and its content does not belong to me, it is property of the Tolkien Estate;  the commentaries transcribed here, as well as the images used, are the property of New Line Cinema.