Games, General Geekery, and what knots found on the web
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Lego Lake Town Chase set and video (spoiler)
Artwork for the Lego Lake-town chase set has been around for a while.
The set, which has just five mini-figs — Bard the Bowman, Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, a Lake-town Guard and the Master of Lake-town — also features several Lake-town buildings, and a boat. I’d forgotten about it entirely until Ringer Sander recently reminded me of the existence of the Lake-town Chase set. Looking over the artwork again, I got thinking about the significance of that boat and exactly what this Lake-town chase might be, and its relation to what we saw in the trailer itself. So, from here on in, we’ll be talking about movie spoilers!
Who’s doing the chasing?
The question uppermost in my mind is, if it’s a chase, then who is doing the chasing? Somewhat stupidly, when the set was announced I assumed it would be orcs and they simply weren’t included so as to not give away a plot twist.
Upon seeing the trailer, I realised what should have clicked in the first place — the dwarves (represented by Thorin in the Lego set), Bilbo and Bard must surely be fleeing the Lake-town guard and the Master of Lake-town. Although there does seem to be an orc invasion of Lake-town (Legolas battles an orc or two in the trailer), this cannot be what the Lego set is based around.
Now, the design and structure of the boat that weaves through small ice floes and the granite columns of some ancient ruin in the trailer is undeniably the same as that of the Lego version. I think putting the two together, we just might be able to conclude that, this scene in the trailer is the Company is fleeing Lake-town. More, Dwalin’s line, “How do we know he won’t betray us?” must refer to their temporary ally Bard… and that Bard has just assisted their escape from Lake-town, and the clutches of the Master of Lake-town.
The character of Bard
But why has Bard allied with the Company?
After all, Bard will have already proven a strident opponent of the Company’s goals. In the trailers he states: “You will awake that beast and destroy us all.” At a different point he says “You have no right to enter that mountain.” to Thorin, a fact the dwarf fiercely disputes. And he also declaims, possibly to a crowd of people: “Fire and ruin. That is what you will bring upon us. He cannot see beyond his own desires!”.
Although Bard, it must be said is not the most optimistic of sorts, he does seem to be quite the Orator. And he is certainly not in favour of what Thorin Oakenshield plans.
The source of Bard’s about-face?
Yet something — the so-called Robin Hood qualities that he supposedly exhibits, perhaps? — must prompt him to align himself at least temporarily with the Company.
As many others have observed in various comment threads here on TORn, the Elven-king’s line “I offer you my help” might be directed at one of the minions of the Master of Lake-town and not Thorin, nor the other dwarves. It could be that — if this is some pact with the Master of Lake-town that Bard gets wind of (via Tauriel, maybe?), that could provide the impetus for a change of heart.
If that all sounds a bit far-fetched, recall that Peter Jackson earlier this year talked about enjoying the opportunity to film invented material. This involved, I am pretty sure, Bard and Lake-town (I am paraphrasing badly because I cannot find the original quote again). It’s also worth remembering that Jackson’s key characters in Middle-earth tend to have an arc of development.
In his adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, this is probably most prominent with Aragorn, of course. But it also occurs fairly dramatically with Faramir and to some extent, Elrond. Perhaps Bard will prove to be the Faramir of The Hobbit.
Anyway, if I’m correct, some dramatic event will occur to influence the thoughts of Bard.
Other consequences of this scenario? Well, I think it means that the Company won’t be using ponies to get to Lonely Mountain. Well, not apart from good old Shank’s Pony. It’s a minor detail that will irk some, but on the other hand, do the studio suits really want to frighten kiddies seeing Smaug roasting 14 ponies for brunch?
There is one nagging issue, of course, that I can’t entirely work out.
That second boat.
It’s certainly not the same boat. What is it doing there? The easy conclusion is that it must be bearing the Company to the mountain. But is it? Does it actually contain the Company? It’s hard to tell, but a large, reddish figure could be Bombur.
But, looking closely, it does seem to me that the boat is being rowed away from the mountain, not towards it. But don’t just take my word for it, have a look for yourself.