Comparison between the Theatrical Version and the Extended Version, both represented by German Blu-Rays by Warner Bros (both versions are contained in separate releases).
- 19 differences, inclusive:
* 4 alternative scenes
* 3 re-edited scenes
* 3 scenes where the theatrical version is longer
Difference: 773.5 Sec (= 12:54 Min)
About 9 years after the finale of the phenomenal Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson's next adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's book was released. And although the literary original had a considerably smaller amount of material (~ 300 pages as opposed to ~1200 pages of LOTR), the decision was made to split the material in order to make three movies, released in theaters around Christmas time. As you could read in the news, originally just a two-movie version was planned; however, Peter Jackson managed to convince the studio to produce one more film. This three-movie split as well as usage of the new HFR 3D technology (which employs a double frame rate than usual for playback and thus creates a different look) caused some criticism among the audiences.
Some of the rather feared aspects of the first film were actually confirmed by the final result: Thorin's company sets out for the Lonely Mountain well after 40 minutes into the movie; also, the real plot does not start until the second half of the film, after arrival to Rivendell. On the other hand, one has to admit that the Appendices from The Return of the King were used quite skilfully in order to create meaningful extensions and turn the original children's book into a version more suitable for adults. Generally, although the movie has some lengths, it does guarantee a joyful experience for almost every fan striving to dive into Middle-Earth once again.
Based on past experiences and the immense audience potential, it was not hard to predict a release of a longer Extended Version, just like it was the case with the Lord of the Rings movies (although, due to the shortness of the original Hobbit book, there could be doubts about it). As you also can look up in older news, this version was actually announced by Warner as early as October 2012 - even before the theatrical release of the first film. However, this announcement was pulled back immediately - probably because of possible impact on theatrical boxoffice. A definitive announcement came a bit later, in December 2012. And now, a year later and just before the theatrical release of The Desolation of Smaug, the time has finally come...
Changes in the Extended Version
As for the possible criticisms of the long exposition listed above, most of the changes actually take part in the second half of the film.
At the beginning, there is an extension in Erebor. Thror teases Thranduil with the Arkenstone a bit more. This way, the deep animosity between the Elves and Dwarves can be understood slightly better. Added dialogues with Gandalf in Rivendell are an improvement for understanding the story. For instance, the last of the 7 Great Rings of the Dwarves is mentioned. It will have a meaning at a latter point in the story - therefore, it is quite unclear why it was removed from the theatrical version. There is also a better exposition for the dwarf Bifur - for example, the axe stuck in his head is mentioned - an unusual device which was just taken for granted in the Theatrical version.
However we have to admit that the changes in The Hobbit do not have the same impact or satisfaction for fans of the literary original as the ones for the Lord of the Rings saga. Apparently, there was already enough opportunities to adapt the (not too extensive) book material even for the theatrical version. An added song at the table is rather superfluous, a musical performance by the Great Goblin is even unnerving, and Bilbo's fascinated glance at the Ring is probably a bit too intense for his current character development. Some of the new scenes are rather a matter of taste; anyway, it is rather obvious that the filmmakers could not add as much valuable information to The Hobbit, as it was the case with Jackson's previous trilogy.
Ultimately, the Extended Version is mostly intended for fans who just cannot get enough of Tolkien's universe. Even though some of the new scenes are helpful to "round up" the overall experience, a casual viewer might would not lose too much by watching the theatrical version. However, due to quite extensive special features, the Extended Version should become the preferred version for those interested in the films.
A rather annoying side note: In scenes where Azog the Orc or the Elves speak their languages, English subtitles are hard-coded into the picture - just like the theatrical version DVD/BluRay. For those who watch the films in English this might be alright; however, when watching the film in a different language, foreign subtitles are added additionally to the English ones. This should not be necessary, as the iTunes version which was released some weeks before the DVD/BluRay proves: for that version, a clean picture master without English subtitles was used.
The time indexes are specified by the scheme:
Theatrical Version Blu-ray / Extended Cut Blu-ray
04:11-04:12 / 04:11-04:56
In the Theatrical Version the shot of Thranduil is slightly longer (he turns his head a little more to the side).
The Extended Version the shot changes to a view of Thror. Thranduil is presented with a jewel case full of white gems. As he is about to touch it, the case is clapped shut before Thranduil's very nose. Thror looks determined; Thranduil leaves, enraged. Additionally, we see a shot of Bilbo's face at the end.
This scene is commented by Bilbo: "As the great wealth of the Dwarves grew their store of good will ran thin. No one knows exactly what began the rift. The Elves say the Dwarves stole their treasure. The Dwarves tell another tale. They say the Elf King refused to give them their rightful pay. It is sad, Frodo, how old alliances can be broken. How friendships between peoples can be lost. And for what?"
Extended Version longer by 44.3 sec
Because the Extended Version offers a more extensive explanation, the next shot of Bilbo (which occurs in both versions) has the following off-comment only in the Theatrical Version: "But the years of peace and plenty were not to last."
06:07-06:08 / 06:51 (i.e. 06:14 / 06:57-06:58)
During Smaug's attack, a shot of the people of Dale running around has been moved to a latter moment in the Extended Version.
No time difference
06:18 / 07:02-07:08
Girion takes a shot at Smaug; however, the iron arrow just bounces off.
(Note: the off-comment "Such wanton death was dealt that day." is put in the Extended Version over this scene; in the Theatrical Version it occured some seconds earlier.)
06:57-06:59 / 07:47-07:49
In the shot where Smaug chases the dwarves in the Mountain (just as he passes Thorin on his way in), in the Theatrical Version, he tramples on the dwarves with his front pair of paws. In the Extended Version, he does it with the claws at the bends of his wings.
Same shot, but the CGI is changed respectively.
No time difference
08:49-08:52 / 09:39-10:11
After the exposition of the source of Thorin's animosity towards Thranduil, the Theatrical Version changes to black after Thorin's last hammer beat. Then, a harmonic view of Hobbiton is faded in.
The Extended Version changes from the last hammer beat to a shot of fireworks in the sky. We see Gandalf in action, presenting his magic powers far away from Erebor, at Old Took's party. He is approached by a little boy who turns out to be little Bilbo.
Then, we get a shot of Old Bilbo, just before the Hobbiton landscape is revealed.
Bilbo's off-comment: "Far away, in another corner of the world dragons were only make-believe. A party trick conjured by Wizards on Midsummer's Eve. No more frightening than fairy dust. And that, my dear Frodo is where I come in. It was the beginning of an unlikely friendship that has lasted all my life."
Extended Version longer by 28.8 sec
During the camera track to Bilbo's house we hear the following off-comment in the Extended Version only: "But it is not the start of my story. For me it began..."
Theatrical version longer / Re-edited scene
09:00-09:09 / 10:19
The Theatrical Version shows Bilbo's home at the top of the hill for a moment longer and contains some additional shots of him inside. The second one has been used in the Extended Version before.
Here we hear a different transition to Bilbo's part in the story, as an off-comment: "For, quite by chance, and the will of a Wizard fate decided I would become part of this tale."
+ 9.4 sec
16:17-16:18 / 17:27-18:44
After Gandalf has marked the door and left, the Extended Version features an additional scene at day. Bilbo goes to a little market in Hobbiton. The people there (some of them are familiar faces in cameo roles) are just like you can expect them in Hobbiton: happy, hard-working and a little bit clumsy at times.
Bilbo talks to a farmer and asks if he has seen a wizard pass by. As the farmer denies it, Bilbo is distracted by something that looks like Gandalf's hat. He follows it with his eyes - however, it turns out to be a bale of laundry, carried on the head by some hobbit.
In the theatrical version, the next shot starts slightly earlier (not illustrated).
Farmer(Mr. Worrywort): "Hello, Mr. Bilbo. Here. Have a feel of me tubers. Nice and firm, they are. Just come in from West Farthing."
Bilbo changes the topic; "Very impressive, Mr. Worrywort. Now, I don't suppose you've seen a Wizard lurking around these parts?"
Mr. Worrywort: "A tall fellow? Long, gray beard? Pointy hat...? Can't say I have."
Extended Version 76.2 sec longer
20:52 / 23:17-23:42
The shot of the food disappearing from Bilbo's pantry is longer; Bilbo stumbles helplessly around the house and meets Bifur. Oin tells him (and the viewer) about the axe in Bifur's head. The next shot of the merry gathering starts earlier than in the Theatrical version that cuts in in the middle of it.
Bilbo tries desperately to save his food and drink; "Excuse me, that's my chicken. Um... if... If you don't... That's my wine. Excuse me!"
One of the dwarves (Bifur) speaks in Dwarvish to him.
Oin explains: "He's got an injury."
Bilbo: "You mean the ax in his head?"
Oin takes out his hearing aid, as he just misheard Bilbo: "Dead? No, only between his ears. His legs work fine."
82:24 / 85:14-85:38
As they walk through the chasm, there is a small talk between Gandalf and Bilbo, where the latter reveals that he can feel magic around.
Bilbo: "Gandalf. Where are we?"
Gandalf: "You can feel it?"
Bilbo: "Yes. It feels like... Well, like magic."
Gandalf: "That's exactly what it is. A very powerful magic."
Voice from a distance: "There's light ahead."
87:45 / 90:59-91:39
The dwarves sit at the table some longer. Kili flirts with an Elvish harpist and tries to explain himself in front of his fellows. Then he points at an Elf-maid he seems to like; however, Dwalin tells him that this Elf is actually male. The dwarves laugh heartily.
Kili: "Can't say I fancy Elf maids myself. Too thin. They're all high cheekbones and creamy skin. Not enough facial hair for me. Although... That one there's not bad."
Dwalin: "That's not an elf maid..."
88:45-88:50 / 92:39-94:10
In the Extended Version the previous shot is slightly longer. Then, Elrond asks in an alternative take: "And what were you doing on the Great East Road?"
In the Theatrical Version we see a shot of Thorin and the scene ends.
In the Extended Version we see Gandalf and Thorin who stands up with an "Excuse me". Then Gandalf's and Elrond's talk continues, and Bofur starts singing a merry song.
Elrond: "Thirteen Dwarves and a Halfling. Hm. Strange traveling companions, Gandalf."
Gandalf, during Nori and Bombur misbehave: "These are the descendants of the house of Durin. They're noble, decent folk. And they're surprisingly cultured. They've got a deep love of the arts."
Nori says to the harpist: "Change the tune, why don't you? I feel like I'm at a funeral."
Oin seems to have got just half of the sentence and asks: "Did somebody die?"
Bofur stands up; "All right, lads. There's only one thing for it. There's..."
The song starts; "There's an Inn, there's an inn.
There's a merry old inn
Beneath an old gray hill
And there they brew a beer so brown
The Man in the Moon
Himself came down
To drink his fill
- Oh -
The ostler has a tipsy cat
That played a five-stringed fiddle
And up and down he saws his bow
Now squeaking high
Now purring low
Now sawing in the middle
- So -
The cat on the fiddle
A drink that'll wake the dead
He squeaked and he sawed
And he quickened
And the landlord
Shook the Man
In the Moon
'it's after Three!' he said.
Extended Version 86.1 sec longer
93:42 / 99:02-101:39
After Azog sends his people on the way, there is a new scene at daylight. Bilbo strolls through the rooms of Rivendell and sees the broken sword Narsil and a painting with Sauron wearing the One Ring. After that he walks out, enjoying the fresh air. Elrond joins him. They talk about what is known about Elves and Hobbits. Elrond also tells him that Bilbo is welcome to stay here in Rivendell.
Then, Elrond and Lindir see several dwarves doing their usual job of misbehaving: they dance and bathe naked (we see naked butts, which should be responsible for the 'fleeting nudity'-addition at the MPAA rating comment!) in and around a fountain.
Elrond: "Not with your companions?"
Bilbo: "Uh, no, I shan't be missed. The truth is that most of them don't think I should be on this journey."
Elrond: "Indeed? I've heard that Hobbits are very resilient."
Elrond: "I've also heard they're fond of the comforts of home."
Bilbo: "I've heard that it's unwise to seek the council of Elves. That they will only answer with 'Yes' and 'No'."
Elrond is silent, and Bilbo is insecure; however, Elrond smiles and says: "You are very welcome to stay here, if that is your wish."
Lindir (Elvish, subtitled): "The kitchen's under enormous strain, we are almost out of wine. How long do you think they will be with us?"
Elrond (Elvish, subtitled): "That has yet to be decided."
94:08-94:09 / 102:05-103:13
In the Extended Version, there is a camera move from the dwarves up to Bilbo who is still strolling around Rivendell. He overhears a dialogue between Gandalf and Elrond which explains the motivations of these characters. Elrond has doubts about Thorin, because of his ancestry; suddenly, Thorin is revealed to be standing behind Bilbo, overhearing the scene as well.
In the Theatrical Version the next shot of Gandalf and Elrond on the stairs starts slightly earlier; in the Extended Version, some frames have been cut for continuity reasons.
Gandalf: "Of course I was going to tell you. I was waiting for this very chance. And really, I think you can trust that I know what I am doing."
Elrond: "Do you? That dragon has slept for 60 years. What will happen if your plan should fail, if you wake that beast?"
Gandalf: "What if we succeed? If the Dwarves take back the mountain our defenses in the east will be strengthened."
Elrond: "It is a dangerous move, Gandalf."
Gandalf: "It is also dangerous to do nothing. Oh, come, the throne of Erebor is Thorin's birthright. What is it you fear?"
Elrond: "Have you forgotten? A strain of madness runs deep in that family. His grandfather lost his mind. His father succumbed to the same sickness. Can you swear Thorin Oakenshield will not also fall? Gandalf, these decisions do not rest with us alone. It is not up to you or me to redraw the map of Middle-earth."
Extended Version 67.3 sec longer
96:04 / 105:09-105:56
Gandalf and Saruman talk slightly longer about the meaning of the seventh ring of the Dwarves: Gandalf is worried about its whereabouts. Saruman, however, sees no reason to worry, as he considers it meaningless without the One Ring which he supposes to be ultimately lost.
Gandalf: "Does it not worry you that the last of the Dwarf rings should simply vanish, along with its bearer? Of the seven Dwarf rings, four were consumed by dragons two were taken by Sauron before he fell in Mordor. The fate of the last Dwarf ring remains unknown. The ring that was worn by Thrain."
Saruman: "Without the ruling Ring of Power, the seven are of no value to the enemy. To control the other rings he needs the One. And that ring was lost long, long ago. It was swept out to sea by the waters of the Anduin."
Theatrical Version longer
114:04-114:09 / 123:56
As the dwarves are pushed by the Goblins over a small bridge, the Extended Version is missing a shot from the side.
+ 5,2 sec
114:24-114:37 / 124:11-126:24
Before the Goblin King starts talking to the dwarves, both versions contain alternate scenes; the Extended Version features an additional song performed by the Goblin King.
Various shots of Thorin being pushed forward to the Goblin King in front of the goblin crowd.
The other dwarves try to resist a bit more. Then they get surprised by the noise, as the song is about to start.
Goblin King: "I feel a song coming on..."
Song: "Clap, snap
The black crack
Pinch and nab
Batter and beat
Make 'em stammer and squeak
down in Goblin-town
down in Goblin-town
With a swish and a smack
And a whip and a crack
When they're on my rack
down to Goblin-town
down to Goblin-town
Hammer and tongs
Get out your knockers and gongs
You won't last long
On the end of my prong
Crush and smash
Shiver and shake
You can yammer and yelp
But there ain't no help
down in Goblin Town.
The Goblin King turns back towards his throne and says: "Catchy, isn't it? It's one of my own compositions."
Balin: "That's not a song. It's an abomination!"
Goblin King: "Abomination. Mutations. Deviations. That's all you're gonna find down here."
Extended Version 120 sec longer
Theatrical Version longer / Re-edited scene
114:40-114:43 / 126:27
As the scene of the Goblin King standing up on the backs of his servants has been used in the song scene in the Extended Version, it is shown only in the Theatrical Version at this moment.
+ 2,2 sec
115:09-115:11 / 126:53-127:15
To the shock of the dwarves, the Goblin King finds several valuable objects from Rivendell, stolen by Nori. Therefore he deducts that there must be some alliance between the dwarves and the Elves. The next shot is trimmed by two seconds in the Extended Version for continuity reasons, i.e. it starts 2 seconds earlier in the Theatrical Version (not illustrated).
One of the Goblins called Grinnah says: "It is my belief, your great protuberance, that they are in league with Elves!"
The Goblin King looks at the bottom of a chandelier: "'Made in Rivendell', ah. Second Age. Couldn't give it away."
Nori explains to his comrades who are frowning upon him: "Just a couple of keepsakes..."
Extended Version 19.3 sec longer
115:13-115:19 / 127:17-128:12
In the Extended Version there are more antics by the dwarves which are the reason for the Goblin King to lose his patience. In the Theatrical Version he is enraged by their silence.
Oin: "Don't worry, lads – I'll handle this"
Goblin King: "No tricks! I want the truth! Warts and all!"
Oin: "You're going to have to speak up. Your boys have flattened my trumpet."
The Goblin King stands up and steps forward, furious; "I'll flatten more than your trumpet!"
Bofur takes over: "If it's more information you're wanting, I'm the one you should speak to!"
The Goblin King pauses for a moment and lets him speak: "We were on the road...well, it's not so much a road as a path...actually, it's not even that, come to think of it, it's more like a track. Anyway, the point is we were on this road, like a path, like a track, and then we weren't! Which is a problem, because we were supposed to be in Dunland last Tuesday."
The other dwarves try to embellish the story with some additions: "Visiting distant relations."
Bofur: "Some inbreds on me mother's side."
The Goblin King cuts him off: "Shut up!"
The Theatrical Version shows the silent dwarves, and the Goblin King says off-camera: "Speak!"
As there is no reaction, he adds: "Very well..."
Extended Version 48.7 sec longer
After "If they will not talk, we'll make am squawk" both versions are identical.