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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:20 am 
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Nibonto Aagun
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I have seen complaints from fans how the film showed Smaug less intelligent or even foolish than he actually was in the book. Especially in the Home-Alone sequence.
Now, I didn't perceive it and thought his craftiness was portrayed really well.but I need a proper second watch to see that.

So, anybody felt that? And why?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:16 am 
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I don't quite see that. If you've ever watched a cat try to catch a few mice in a large house, you'd understand why Smaug has trouble nabbing the dwarves. It's one thing to slaughter lots of dwarves in a heavily populated city, and quite another to find and kill just a few. Erebor's huge, and the dwarves are small.

Plus, Smaug could simply have been playing with them, as he understands (rightly) that the dwarves can ultimately do him no harm.

ETA: One thing I do think is interesting (which has nothing to do with intelligence) is that Cumberbatch's voice seems to have been altered in such a way that it resembles the voice of Smaug from the Rankin and Bass cartoon.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:21 am 
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Yes, I absolutely thought the final sequence made him look incompetent.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:33 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Thank god he sounded nothing like Rankin Bass giant Cat to me!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:46 pm 
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He seemed very much like in the book to me. And not at all like the Rankin/Bass travesty (thank Eru).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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What did she have to do with it? :P

I did wonder how he went from knowing exactly where invisible Bilbo was and sensing his ring to not being able to detect an entire company of dwarves who were standing right underneath him.

But he didn't seem unintelligent (nothing wrong with his brain); just unevenly-abled.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:36 pm 
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I don't think he knew *exactly* where Bilbo was, just close enough to be able to make it seem that way with his head the size of an elephant. But then, finding one isolated scent standing still is probably easier than pinpointing a bunch of similar scents moving around.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:40 pm 
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And what about him realizing late that Bilbo had dealings with Laketown-men? In the book, while Bilbo tried not to reveal too much about himself but Smaug was able to grasp many things even from vague hints and connected 2 with 2.
And also, him setting off for Lake town so late after getting the connection with Bilbo?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:11 pm 
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I'm not sure I understand what you are asking here? :scratch:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:04 pm 
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I have compared the R&B Smaug audio tracks to Cumberbatch's voice in certain scenes, and they are very, very similar. Not all the time, but in certain scenes - particularly in the Hall of Kings, when Smaug talks after being covered in gold, there is a striking similarity. I think PJ, and some of the sound design people, were deliberately paying homage. Perhaps we'll hear about it in the commentaries.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:12 pm 
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It's possible. I haven't seen the cartoon in a while, and can't really separate the voice from the visual design, which I despise.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:09 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Also, RB Smaug has an American accent, which is appallingly wrong for Smaug.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:28 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Also, RB Smaug has an American accent, which is appallingly wrong for Smaug.


It's not American or English. It's essentially "Stentorian," which is a neutral accent used to portray gravitas, without attaching an ethnic connotation to it (though there is a tinge of American, given the actor playing the dragon). I'm not a huge fan of the R&B Smaug voice, but I thought it striking in some scenes that Cumberbatch's voice was so altered that he sounded very similar. I mean, there are many moments when Cumbersmaug doesn't sound very English at all!

In any event, the RP English accent so many LOTR and TH characters speak with are not necessarily any better! There's a consensus among linguists that the English spoken around Shakespeare's day was likely more akin to that of the modern day Mid-Atlantic United States than modern England, so there's probably plenty of room for pseudo-American accents in Tolkien's world. It certainly wouldn't be "appallingly wrong."

Though I too usually find American accents in English stories a bit jarring...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:48 am 
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IIRC, the line "my wings are a hurricane" is delivered in nearly identical fashion by Cumbersmaug and Catsmaug from R&B. Here's the Youtube clip of the latter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or8G_jDcLNo


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Also, Smaug I think did come off a bit blunt when the dwarves used the diversions.

"Hey here!"
"No, look over here!"

And Smaug going off wherever they wished him to.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Smaug's voice wrote:
Also, Smaug I think did come off a bit blunt when the dwarves used the diversions.

"Hey here!"
"No, look over here!"

And Smaug going off wherever they wished him to.


That's not dumb. That's ADHD. :D

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:28 pm 
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Oh Smaug, the easily distracted.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:41 pm 
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My biggest complaint about Smaug is not him being less intelligent, or even easily distracted. It is the fact that he apparently suddenly forgot the scent of dwarves that he had just bragged about knowing so well.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:21 pm 
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I think he still smelled them--but as I said before, pinpointing the source of the smell is harder when there's more than one and they're moving. Plus, The Rule of Cool applies to the coins dropping from above.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:51 pm 
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The Rule of Cool just sounds like the rule of "If I like it enough, I can probably find a rationalization for most anything". :suspicious:

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