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Field Reports: Viewer Impressions of “The Battle of Five Armies.”



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At opening day on December 17 in Cary, NC, three viewers of “The Battle of Five Armies” took the time to give their impressions for the Legendarium community. The answers contain spoilers.


Anonymous: “I thought the battle scene was too protracted, it went on for far too long, but I thought the very rare moments of humor were entertaining and I kinda liked, what seemed to me, a point he was making that war isn’t really necessarily the best solution to all of our discordance and the pastoral images I’ve always loved in the Shire. And I also kind of like that at the end it was the earth coming back to save the people from the battle, meaning the animals, the eagles and the bears and everything.”

Asked what her overall impression was, Anonymous said, “Mediocre. Yeah, For me. But it was my husband’s idea of a sweet treat.”


Matt and Bethany responded together.


Matt: “I liked it a lot, but I thought the battle sequences were dragged on a little bit. Not so much when it was everyone fighting each other but the one-on-one battles were quite dragged out. . . . I really liked the conflict of Thorin, you know, his character was developed, and the curse of the gold I thought that was really nice. And the whole dwarf company, actually—the original thirteen dwarves— I thought they were all very well played. . . .Overall I liked it.”

Bethany: “It wasn’t really quite what I expected, but I still enjoyed it, for the most part. There were some things I didn’t really care for, but. . .”

Matt: “Legolas was way too powerful. He was a little too over the top.”

Bethany: “Oh yeah. . . .[And] I thought a lot of the quieter moments were really good, especially when you could tell that direct quotes from the book were being used. The way they wrote the script this time, I dunno. . . .”

Matt: “I love Bard. He was probably my favorite character, I think. Bard or Bilbo.”

Bethany: “Bilbo was great. And Gandalf. I always like Gandalf.”

Matt: “I guess that’s who you’re supposed to cheer for—those guys. Oh, and. . .[Alfrid]. That [story arc] didn’t get tied up, I think. Like he just wandered off. . . I was expecting some kind of justice to be dealt out or something. Maybe not for him to be killed, but. . .”

Bethany: “Finishing gag or something.”

Matt: “Yeah, finishing gag! That was the other thing—with the battle, I felt like they switched over to the battle with the three dwarves. The three dwarves battling and we never really saw the end. I didn’t think we saw the real end of the main battles. I guess the eagles came and kinda just flapped their wings.”

Bethany: “I guess they just took out the Fifth Army. . . .A few of them showed up and the bats showed up and then. . .”

Matt: “But never saw the bats in combat, really.”

Bethany: “Yeah.”

Matt: “Maybe that’ll be in the Extended Edition.”

Bethany: “They just kind of got owned by the eagles, I think.”

Matt: “But they were there like ten, fifteen minutes before the eagles showed up! We never really saw them do anything.”

Asked which Hobbit film stood out the most, Matt and Bethany unanimously answered that “An Unexpected Journey” was their favorite.

Matt: “I Like the first one the best.”

Bethany: “The first one was definitely, yeah definitely my favorite. I feel like that was good, like, I dunno, even the changes they made were just really, really clever, I thought, and it was just a good arc, and everything. It ended on a good note, I think.”

Matt: “Bilbo’s character progression was really good. Bilbo going back to the Shire, I think was. . .”

Bethany: “That was pretty funny, yeah.”

Matt: “That was pretty good! That was pretty faithful.”

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