The First “Hobbit” Fan Edit is Available Now
It was only a matter of time before someone out there took a knife to Peter Jackson‘s nine-hour-plus opus that is The Hobbit trilogy and re-cut it into a single film, more befitting the single book from which it was adapted. That time is now, as a user named “tolkieneditor” on WordPress has claimed to have turned the trilogy into a single four-hour film.
Tolkieneditor lists some of the major changes that have been made, including:
The investigation of Dol Guldor has been completely excised, including the appearances of Radagast, Saruman and Galadriel. This was the most obvious cut, and the easiest to carry out (a testament to its irrelevance to the main narrative). Like the novel, Gandalf abruptly disappears on the borders of Mirkwood, and then reappears at the siege of the Lonely Mountain with tidings of an orc army.
The Tauriel-Legolas-Kili love triangle has also been removed. Indeed, Tauriel is no longer a character in the film, and Legolas only gets a brief cameo during the Mirkwood arrest. This was the next clear candidate for elimination, given how little plot value and personality these two woodland sprites added to the story. Dwarves are way more fun to hang out with anyway.
The Pale Orc subplot is vastly trimmed down. Azog is obviously still leading the attack on the Lonely Mountain at the end, but he does not appear in the film until after the company escapes the goblin tunnels (suggesting that the slaying of the Great Goblin is a factor in their vendetta, as it was in the novel).
As the editor used 720×576 MP4 files for the edit, the video quality (judging by provided time-stamped screen shots) is probably not what it should be, but one can only imagine that such a project as this will get tweaked when Blu-rays of the third film, The Battle of the Five Armies, become available.
Links to torrents of tolkieneditor’s recut, and more descriptions of what was excised, are provided. Interested parties should go check them out before they wind up being removed…
Meanwhile, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in its gloriously long-winded glory, is still in theaters.