Here there be Dragons: Smaug (2nd in an occasional series)

I saw The Hobbit: Part Two for the third time today, and it held up pretty well. Some of my gripes receded a bit with this viewing. I don’t know if I was just feeling less critical today or if it was just because I knew what to expect, but the relationship between Tauriel and Killi flowed better for me this time, and the CGI wasn’t too distractingly bad. Speaking of Smaug, I love how reptilian he is in this — how snake-like, actually. I think his creators studied snakes while making him, how their scales move over flesh and bones, and the effect is eerie.

About Cumberlatch and Freeman, I do think it’s hilarious that Bilbo is Smaug’s Watson. Thankfully Peter Jackson refrained from tossing in an “It’s elementary, my dear Bilbo” in there.

Saints and Trees

As a follow-up to last week’s post on J.R.R. Tolkien, I thought I’d pen a few thoughts on visual images of Smaug, the dragon in Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Smaug, J.R.R._Tolkien_-_Conversation_with_Smaug_(large)First we have Tolkien’s own illustration of the beast. Despite Tolkien’s literary portrayal of Smaug as an evil creature, the drawing is a delight to the eye. The dragon’s body is a graceful curve, ending in a fanciful fleur-de-lys tail, Smaug’s bright orange scales a pleasing and complementary contrast to the bright gold of his hoard. Like Alice’s Crocodile, Smaug’s claws are neatly spread, and their greenish cast makes them stand out against the background of gold. Crocodile like, too, is Smaug’s expression, not quite a grin, but the slight upward tilt suggests a degree of smugness and satisfaction with his accumulated (and ill gotten) wealth.

Smaug, b&w, direction pictured in bookDragonSketchTolkien drew another image in black and white, a stripped down version that again emphasizes…

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