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View Full Version : The mystery of Azog solved.



Spider-pope
14-12-2013, 10:53
Watching the special features for the Extended Edition of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' has finally answered a question that i, and many others, had about why to took so long for Azog to be released, why he had no real presence in the rulebook, and just what was up with Bolg?

The answer is: Bolg was Azog.

When they began work on the Battle for Moria, the initial design of Azog was what we came to be told was Bolg, with the armour and the bolted on head metal. It was only after filming that scene that the decision was made to rethink his design. But that isn't the end of the story. The first version of the redesign was also eventually rejected, and reincarnated as Yazneg.
Then another redesign finally resulted in the Azog we are now familiar with.

So we did sort of get an Azog the same time 'The Hobbit' SBG was released. It was just the wrong versions.

Vampiric16
14-12-2013, 11:08
Actually renders the 3 models as a nice little collection in themselves. Very rarely do you get the chance to own original/unused designs of characters outside of concept art.
Glad they took the direction they did though, especially watching his scenes in DoS. He has so much presence that I think the Yazneg design wouldn't have had. Part of that is his simple yet threatening image, which the more kitted out 'Bolg' design probably wouldn't have pulled off.

Spiney Norman
14-12-2013, 23:57
All this points towards a colossal lack of professionalism, either PJ literally changed major characters at the last possible moment, or he intentionally misled companies making official licensed merchandise, either way if I were GW I would be tightening the legal thumb screws on new line for moving the goal-posts so late on in the process.

Frankly the decision to turn Azog into a cgi monstrosity was totally bizarre, even for an Orc it doesn't really work for me to have an obviously-not-real, characterless arch enemy, quite apart from the fact that Azog should have been killed (well beheaded actually) by Dain at the battle of Moria's gate, not running around the wilderness in the late 3rd age.

Doing the same with Bolg is pretty tragic when the images of Bolg that were officially released before AUJ were so good.

Spider-pope
15-12-2013, 08:53
All this points towards a colossal lack of professionalism, either PJ literally changed major characters at the last possible moment, or he intentionally misled companies making official licensed merchandise, either way if I were GW I would be tightening the legal thumb screws on new line for moving the goal-posts so late on in the process.

It's the former. The principal filming was completed using the "Yazneg" Azog, the "Bolg" version having been ditched shortly after filming the first scenes of the Battle for Moria. It was six weeks before release of the film in cinemas that the decision was made to drop "Yazneg" and go for the CGI version. Azog always felt like he was pasted over the top of another character, and it turns out thats absolutely the case.

His failure to convince us that he's real will hopefully be amended in the second movie, if only because they've had a year to do the effects shots for him rather than a month and a half.

BTJ
15-12-2013, 12:46
Saw Desolation last night, Azog felt a lot better as a character, and Bolg was pretty good too for that matter. Uses the same weapon the GW mini has too.

Getifa Ubazza
15-12-2013, 14:43
Saw Desolation last night, Azog felt a lot better as a character, and Bolg was pretty good too for that matter. Uses the same weapon the GW mini has too.

I saw it last night too and have to agree.

Joewrightgm
15-12-2013, 16:44
I also think we're going to see the desolation model of Bolg on a warg, which will make the current rules for him that much better with cavalry bonuses

BTJ
15-12-2013, 17:42
Speaking of solved mysteries, Narzug's in Desolation. No idea why they bothered give him rules though.

Spiney Norman
15-12-2013, 21:20
Speaking of solved mysteries, Narzug's in Desolation. No idea why they bothered give him rules though.

Because they have to get characters for the evil side from somewhere. Let's face it, many of the evil characters for the lotr factions were either extrapolations of minor characters that had virtually no screen time at all and died almost as soon as you saw them (Ugluk, Gorbag, Sharku, Mouth of Sauron, Grishnakh) or are complete fabrications (Groblog, Druzhag, Ashrak, khardush, Mauhur, Vrasku, Thrydan)

BTJ
15-12-2013, 21:38
Oh I know that, but they at least were someone in the books/movies (at least the ones not made up). This guy is a random mook of an Orc that just threatens Thranduil lol. Not complaining, the Orcs get a decent character mini out of him, just saying GW made him a bit overblown in terms of rules and stuff

The bearded one
16-12-2013, 02:30
Saw Desolation last night, Azog felt a lot better as a character, and Bolg was pretty good too for that matter. Uses the same weapon the GW mini has too.

Yeah, he had a whole lot more presence on the screen. Even though non-canon, I quite like his inclusion now.

There seems to have been more changes though. In the trailers there is a shot of Azog climbing over the battlement during the fight at the forest river (and it's a pretty cool shot). But that never happened in the film: http://images.wikia.com/lotr/images/9/92/Desolation-_Azog_still.jpg

Ironmonger
16-12-2013, 05:49
Huge Manu Bennet fan. I wish they'd have just called him Bolg, and he was chasing after Thorin to, I don't know... avenge the death of his father?! Bizzare, but Manu, for me, pulled it out in both the first and second films. Alot makes sense now given the myriad of last minute changes.

Personally- PERSONALLY- I thought Bolg was silly and pointless as they had him in DoS, looked like a muppet (not the good Jim Henson variety), and was in every place he shouldn't have been.

Coldhatred
17-12-2013, 16:21
I thought that leaked out as the reason that all happened anyway, but it's good to have some more concrete information to go on.

The bearded one
17-12-2013, 17:03
Huge Manu Bennet fan. I wish they'd have just called him Bolg, and he was chasing after Thorin to, I don't know... avenge the death of his father?! Bizzare, but Manu, for me, pulled it out in both the first and second films. Alot makes sense now given the myriad of last minute changes.

Personally- PERSONALLY- I thought Bolg was silly and pointless as they had him in DoS, looked like a muppet (not the good Jim Henson variety), and was in every place he shouldn't have been.

Yeah, I thought the same. Azog's role as hunter in AUJ and DoS could've been filled by Bolg more neatly, without breaking canon so much (although admittedly Azog is a cooler name than Bolg), but for me Azog redeemed himself with his on-screen performance. He has presence.

Bolg is played by Lawrence Makoare though, who did Lurtz, Gothmog and the witchking, and he was terrific as those, so I'll still reserve judgement. He wasn't much of a notable character in DoS, and I'm not a fan of the design.

Sniper Kelly
18-12-2013, 00:36
There seems to have been more changes though. In the trailers there is a shot of Azog climbing over the battlement during the fight at the forest river (and it's a pretty cool shot). But that never happened in the film: http://images.wikia.com/lotr/images/9/92/Desolation-_Azog_still.jpg

I might be mistaken, but I'm sure I remember seeing that in the film.

Gilfred The Iron Knight
18-12-2013, 04:17
I might be mistaken, but I'm sure I remember seeing that in the film.

In the film, Azog is replaced with a generic orc character, IIRK.

The bearded one
18-12-2013, 15:54
In the movie Bolg is at that fight. Azog is at Dol Guldor at that time.

Killshot
20-12-2013, 22:49
Maybe it's one of the deleted scenes? The Return of the King trailer had the scene where the Witch King confronts Gandalf in Minas Tirith but it wasn't in the theatrical release, only the extended cut.

ForgottenLore
20-12-2013, 22:54
While we are on the subject of mysteries.

I notice that GW has released a "Thrain the Broken" mini for the DoS release, but I didn't see Thrain in this movie, and can't imagine where he might have been that I would have missed him.

Sniper Kelly
20-12-2013, 23:04
While we are on the subject of mysteries.

I notice that GW has released a "Thrain the Broken" mini for the DoS release, but I didn't see Thrain in this movie, and can't imagine where he might have been that I would have missed him.

If I remember correctly, in the books Gandalf comes across Thrain in the dungeons of Dol Guldur, so this scene may have been put back to the third film.

Nkari
21-12-2013, 02:16
OR saved for the extended version..

Spider-pope
21-12-2013, 12:05
If I remember correctly, in the books Gandalf comes across Thrain in the dungeons of Dol Guldur, so this scene may have been put back to the third film.

I have the sneaking suspicion that it'll be the prologue of the third film, given the second film's opening scene.

ForgottenLore
21-12-2013, 15:07
But then why would GW release/be allowed to release it for this film?

Spider-pope
21-12-2013, 16:58
But then why would GW release/be allowed to release it for this film?

For the same reason we got a rejected design for Azog as Bolg with the first releases. He could have been included in a late cut of the film, when GW's releases were finalized. They could have given a go ahead for the design, and change it for the next film.
They made a big enough mention of his disappearance in the prologue to the second film that to never show his fate or Gandalf interacting with him seems unlikely to me.

Astraeos
21-12-2013, 22:47
Bolg's been renamed to 'Gundabad Orc General'. The description for him makes him sound like a generic character!

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat970015a&prodId=prod1830024a

Spiney Norman
22-12-2013, 13:21
Bolg's been renamed to 'Gundabad Orc General'. The description for him makes him sound like a generic character!

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat970015a&prodId=prod1830024a

Yep, I'm pretty gutted about that, though it seems to have been a sufficiently last-minute decision to not have made it into the DoS sourcebook. I guess that gives me about a year to get some use out of my Bolg model as Bolg before he gets recast as a slightly inferior Uruk Hai captain.

Spider-pope
23-12-2013, 11:08
Yep, I'm pretty gutted about that, though it seems to have been a sufficiently last-minute decision to not have made it into the DoS sourcebook. I guess that gives me about a year to get some use out of my Bolg model as Bolg before he gets recast as a slightly inferior Uruk Hai captain.

The old "Bolg" is sufficiently close to the new Bolg, with the same weapon and similar armour, that i can't see anyone kicking up a fuss if you wish to continue using him as Bolg. I know i certainly won't next time my friend fields him. I'd class it as the same as using the old pre-Hobbit Balin and Thranduil, equally valid interpretations of the characters from the book, even if they don't match the film.

Spiney Norman
23-12-2013, 16:17
The old "Bolg" is sufficiently close to the new Bolg, with the same weapon and similar armour, that i can't see anyone kicking up a fuss if you wish to continue using him as Bolg. I know i certainly won't next time my friend fields him. I'd class it as the same as using the old pre-Hobbit Balin and Thranduil, equally valid interpretations of the characters from the book, even if they don't match the film.

Yeah, I hope so, I realise that it must be equally frustrating for GW with all Jackson's last-minute changing of the goal posts.

TheProcrastinator
26-12-2013, 19:03
While I don't care for Bolg (engaging Legolas in rough fight that had some semblance of real brutality, was his only highlight), I am happy for all the corrections done to Azog over the course of production.

Overally, I don't like the artistic change within PJ that happened to him post-King Kong, where he switched his "location, location, location" approach into reliance on green screen and CGI (which gives him greater control and freedom in post-production), but I really agree with his decision to turn Azog into a CGI creation. Generally I like that orc more and more, both visually as well as a character within the story.

People complain about him being CGI, but I think that not only does he look realistic enough, but he also got that kind of vitality, energy and strong, kinetic presence that an actor in a cumbersome silicone/foam suit would never have.The presence and ferocity of the actor's mocap performance is there, and no orc in original LOTR trilogy (save maybe for Lurtz in his most badass moments) looked as ferocious and intimidating as Azog looked in his enouter with Gandalf in DOS. People often cite Lurtz as an example of Weta being able to easily create awesome looking, intimidating humanoid monsters without resorting to CGI. But Lurtz while looking badass, was a generally stoic character (the only dynamic action we got out of Lurtz was during his clash with Aragorn, and even that had the advantage of being camoflaged with fast editing and cuts), nothing like the paces that Azog was put through in the two Hobbit movies.

I also start to apprecaite him as a character. While there are many changes that Jackson and Walsh made to the story that I cringe at, Azog is slowly emerging as a welcome addition. Not only does he have a strong visual presence, he is also starting to look more and more like a palpable blight upon middle earth's people. I am sure that there will be a suitably dramatic final showdown between Thorin and Azog during the Battle of Five armies, that will benefit greatly from Jackson antagonising the two, over the course of this trilogy. It certainly beats Thorin being killed off-screen by an unnamed orc, from an characterless army of 'evil' introduced late in the story, as would be the case if Jackson went with one movie.

The bearded one
26-12-2013, 23:28
fun fact; Lurtz was played by (stunt) actor Lawrence Makoare, who also did Gothmog and the Witch King in Return of the King, and also plays Bolg.

Azog's begun to grow on me more and more. While they did not necessarily have to have kept the character Azog alive from his canon death at Azanulbizar, and they could've used Bolg just as easily for the role of hunting Thorin for the purpose of revenge, Azog as currently designed, and played by Manu Bennet, has really grown on me, and commands a lot of visual presence.

Spiney Norman
30-12-2013, 21:03
I like how Azog was portrayed, I'm not even bothered too much by his not-death at Azanulbizar. What does bother me is that firstly he is being portrayed as Sauron's flunky, when in the book there was no connections between Gundabad and Dol Guldur, and second what the hell is the King of Gundabad doing running round the wilderness with two dozen warg riders? This is the Orc that can call all the Orc armies from every warren in the misty mountains to fight for him.

Its looking very much like the Orc hordes of the misty mountains are actually going to turn out to be the Orc army of Dol Guldur in the third movie, which is pretty lame if you ask me, one of the coolest things about the battle of five armies is that the antagonist is an Orc army led by orcs instead of a disembodied uber-wizard.

Autumn Leaves
31-12-2013, 13:27
Jackson has plenty of room to move as regards the political motives of the bad guys in the The Hobbit, because Tolkien left it wide open.
As long as they make a viable plot that makes for a great film I don't care about those aspects.
More of Beorn please?

The bearded one
31-12-2013, 13:36
I suspect that's why they added to Beorn that Azog killed most other skinchangers, so Beorn has a more compelling motive to smash Azog to bits at the battle of the five armies, rather than purely coming in the nick of time to save Thorin from the antagonist.