12 June 2013

If there is something that has truly helped me regain my faith in human kindness, virtue and friendship, it's the Tolkien fandom. During the LOTR times, it was in no way organised, as there was no big social media, but now with Facebook, Tumblr, blogging platforms and Twitter, fans have their places where they can express their excessive love without fearing the outsiders' reaction.

So how does the fandom fare in June 2013, 6 months since the great re-ignition with The Hobbit and 6 months away from the second installment of the trilogy? Well, I am glad I'm writing this 24 hours after the 2nd trailer release and not right away because, in the meanwhile, one marvellous thing has happened.

Two daring girls filmed themselves while waiting for, watching and then commenting the hot trailer - typical lovely fangirl reactions, that many respectable fans also confess to have had. One thing we need to clarify here: real, respectable fans always watch a trailer right when it's out. It's the magic of the moment. Being present right from the start, before it gets shared by your Facebook friends, is essential. And there you go, this is how you get to have all that thrill, anxiety and insane reactions when the time comes. The girls posted their video and the unexpected, the incredible happened just shortly after.

In our dear "planet Middle Earth" aka New Zealand, the big crew is still filming for The Hobbit. Besides, it seems they're keeping an eye on the fandom! This is how we got a brilliant response from Peter Jackson's crew itself to the girls' crazy little video! Lee Pace (Thranduil), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas) themselves, in the flesh, in costume, have watched the video and filmed their live reaction to it! Thumbs up guys, I'm sure no other fandom has ever been rewarded with such a gesture!

Watch the already super-famous footage here.

My reaction to the Desolation of Smaug trailer:

There's a tense, darker feeling right from the start, enhanced by a mysterious narrating voice... The Lonely Mountain now closer and more majestic, colossal entrance statues... wait, who is the narrator? For a moment I thought it's Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, freaked out a bit because it wouldn't sound at all like expected... then saw it was Thranduil. Oh! Fantastic job... This film really manages to create believable creatures that belong to other races... that just can't be topped. Thranduil the Elvenking looks spectacular, although I hate that, as a most loyal supporter of the Dwarves. But what is wrong with Legolas? In an attempt to make him look younger and more 'otherworldly', he simply looks 'too photoshopped'. Add the terrible eyeliner effect and you'll have a Legolas that just doesn't look like the one we knew. Hopefully this will change in the final version.
Barely any Dwarves, barely any Thorin... so scarce, yet so enrapturing! Some primitive effects and too much unrealistic tree-jumping and loops...Hopefully this will also change in the final version. Apart from these, I am overall satisfied and declare this a historical moment (which it is, with or without my acknowledgement of it)... Oh, Tauriel says one wise thing (maybe she won't be that bad) and later Balin delivers a killer line on Smaug to get the fandom gasping! Fading to black... now we must hear the dragon or have a glimpse of it... bring it on, Smaug, say something... A-ha! There is Smaug.. there he is... his face!! Unbelievable! While most people bet we would only hear the Voice, we got NO voice, but his face! Cheers to a really unexpected twist!
Bonus: unforgiving music - dark, crushing, thrilling.
Important remark: here we have one elven kingdom that isn't in the usual blueish or light colors - Thranduil's Halls in Mirkwood are so earthy in those dark honey shades!

The Trailer 24 h from its release -
Casualties so far:

  • A video response from Tauriel, Legolas and Thranduil to the fan's reaction, straight from the set in NZ.

  • Tumblr: within 1 hour, not only there were .gif files available, but also fanart containing these!
  • YouTube:  >1,6 million views on main channel (I predicted it would easily go past 1 million). 
  • 140,000 'Likes' on Facebook, >11,000 comments.

Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage)
Thranduil Oropherion (Lee Pace)

P.S.: Where is the singing? The Dwarven singing? I demand songs, as promised and confirmed by the holy words of Mr Armitage!
P.S. 2: Long live the fandom!
P.s. 3: The fandom is on fire, seriously. I can't believe how fast and active these people can be.

A little Tumblr .gif (from the trailer itself) to represent the exact situation we have here - our little trailer just coming out, with the big scary army of fans lurking and quickly setting its greedy eyes on it: