‘The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies’ Teaser Releases

Pippin’s song in the new teaser may match a rightfully tragic end to “The Hobbit” film trilogy.
E. Stephen Burnett | Jul 29, 2014 | 5 comments |

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” poster

Home is behind
The world, ahead
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadow
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight …

Someone was a genius for suggesting the inclusion of Pippin’s song from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the new trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (which releases in the U.S. Dec. 17).1

The song could also fits with “headcanon.” In The Return of the King, Denethor sends his son Faramir on a tragically impossible quest, then blithely asks his new servant, the hobbit Pippin, to sing for his amusement. Pippin, aware of the heartbreaking contrast, sung this song — which could have been a song that Bilbo wrote in view of the similar tragedy that ends The Hobbit.

To be faithful to the book, The Hobbit film trilogy must conclude with the same heartbreaking tragedy that this teaser evokes, instead of offering a nice fairy-tale or comedic ending … just like the conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit that so many people wrongly perceive as a simple children’s story.

Thus if The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies is a fitting trilogy-ender, it should actually get many negative reviews. People need to be annoyed at the darkness of the story and the surprising subversion Tolkien employs of the “good king returns and saves the world” trope. Perhaps evangelicals in particular need to be tweaked further into complaining, “Whatever happened to the nice little children’s story about a happy hobbit on an adventure?”, after which they should go read the ending of the actual book — which reads as if Tolkien was beating film director Peter Jackson to Jackson’s game.

  1. As the release date nears, the final phase of our The Hobbit Story Group will resume and conclude.
E. Stephen Burnett is coauthor of a nonfiction book about parenting and popular culture (title TBA), to release spring 2020 from New Growth Press. He also explores biblical truth and fantastic stories as editor in chief of Lorehaven Magazine and writer at Speculative Faith. He has also written for Christianity Today and Christ and Pop Culture. He and his wife, Lacy, live in the Austin area and serve as members of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

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Paul Lee

“Will you follow me, one last time?”

Of course we will. We might never get a chance to see something LoTR on the big screen again. At least, that’s what they want us to think. They’re marketing nostalgia.

Julie D

Actually,  “Pippin’s Song” is a revision of Bilbo’s Walking Song, which is either a traditional hobbit-song or Bilbo’s revision of such a song -albeit more references to bath and bed than in the movie.

Athelas Hale

Yes. Thank you for knowing this. I noticed it while I was reading through The Fellowship a few months ago, and I’ve never met anyone else who knew the origin. Every time I hear this now, I want to end on, “And now to bed! And now to bed!”

Julie D

They’re gonna kill Radagast, aren’t they? That one scene looked an awful lot like Galadriel with a fallen Gandalf, but as Gandalf can’t die, they’ll knock off Radagast instead…. 🙁