An Unexpected Journey
Spoilers Off applies to all "Moments" pages, so all spoilers are unmarked.
- For many a long-time fan, the trailer of the first movie was enough to do it.
- The plight of the Erebor Dwarves is one horrid tearjerker after another. Not only do they lose Erebor and all the priceless relics within, but Moria and dozens of other strongholds began to fall one after another. This would be hard for any people to endure, but Dwarves in particular value their ancestral homes in a way few humans can comprehend.
- True, his greed caused the whole disaster, but it is honestly heartbreaking to see poor Thrór as Smaug attacks his home, stealing all the wealth he'd amassed over the years and taking away his heart's desire. You really do have to feel sorry for him.
- And, in addition to losing Erebor, the beginning of Thorin's grudge against the Elves. Thranduil shows up with his army, but when he sees there's nothing they can do against Smaug, he retreats. (Several viewers have criticized him for this, but really, what was he supposed to do against an entrenched Dragon?) It's not as if he doesn't care, though; you can see by the look on his face that he hates having to do this. Unfortunately, you can also see the look on Thorin's face, thus witnessing his despair and utter betrayal, and it doesn't help that Thorin probably mistook his look of sorrow for aloofness and arrogance. Poor Communication Kills, indeed.
- In the Extended Edition, there is a scene where Thranduil has arrived to pay homage to Thrór, and Thrór holds out a box with white gems inside: they're the White Gems of Lasgalen and quite possibly a memento of Thranduil's late wife. Thranduil reaches out his hand to touch them and the box slams shut. The look on Thranduil's face as he's reaching out for them, and his look afterward, speak volumes for how much he cherished his wife and anything that reminded him of her. Becomes an even bigger Tear Jerker when you realize this might have been the real cause of the rift between Thranduil and the dwarves - another tragedy caused by Thrór's greed.
- Seeing Frodo in the beginning, helping Bilbo get ready for his birthday party. He looks so happy and innocent and you cannot help but smile at his young self. Then you remember that this is his last truly happy day. From here on out, it's all downhill for him. He'll never be truly happy again once he's become the Ringbearer.
- Just before the Dwarves sing "Misty Mountains", Thorin and Balin have a private conversation in the hallway. Heartbreaking for so many reasons:
- Their closeness. Those who watch this again after seeing Battle of the Five Armies will mourn how their closeness gets torn apart due to Thorin's dragon sickness. Fortunately, they get better.
- Their subject matter: Balin is earnestly telling Thorin that they don't have to undergo the quest. He says that Thorin has helped the survivors of Erebor's destruction and the battle at Moria find a fine life where they are, and he thanks Thorin. But Thorin won't turn away from his quest. Why? Because regaining their lost home was his father's and grandfather's dream, and he wants to personally see to it that he honors their wishes. Family and responsibility are deeply important to Thorin, and it shows. Later, when Bilbo finds the burglar contract, the viewer can briefly see Thorin's signature: "Thorin son of Thráin", instead of Thorin Oakenshield.
- Which can gain a little extra significance later, when Thorin is consumed by dragon sickness. He pleads to not be spoken to as if he were still Thorin Oakenshield, insisting instead that he is his men's king. A reason why the dragon sickness consumes him so deeply is because it's based on something else far deeper than raw greed: taking the mantle of "king" to Thorin is confirmation that he has honored and avenged his forefathers, who were kings themselves, and that he has taken up their responsibilities. This reinforces that same values of family Thorin has always had, albeit being shown in a less than healthy way.
- Knowing that they'll both die equally tragic deaths; Thorin by Azog's hand and, sometime during the timeskip between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Balin by orcs near Moria.
- The lyrics to the song "Misty Mountains" are absolutely heartbreaking, as it's a song about the destruction of Erebor.The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red,
It flaming spread,
The trees like torches blazed with light.
- Thorin's story. His city razed, his people mostly dead (including his grandfather, little brother, and most likely his father), on a seemingly hopeless quest... when he turns around after Balin's Info Dump about the Battle of Azanulbizar, and just looks so broken, you want to give the poor guy a hug.
- Balin and Dwalin embracing in grief during said Info Dump, surrounded by hordes of dead dwarves (incidentally, their father being among them).
- For those who know how the book ends, many of the dwarves being as likeable as they are. Especially Fíli and Kíli.
- Almost as a precursor to this, during the stone giants scene the company is separated when part of the cliff they are on comes alive, with Fíli, Bilbo and a few others being carried away. Seeing Kíli reaching out helplessly to try and grab his brother's hand is bad enough, but when the giant falls and appears to have crushed them, Thorin just about loses his composure and runs towards the wreckage screaming Fíli's name.
- Adding to this (combined with Fridge Horror): Ori, that adorable little dwarf who, at the party, politely asks Bilbo where to put his plate, and grumbles about the green food in Rivendell, will - fifty/sixty or so years later - be writing the horrific words Gandalf reads in Moria during FOTR: "We cannot get out. They are coming."
- And he will die on an expedition led by the equally ill-fated Balin, the kind, wise, Cool Old Guy of the dwarves, Bilbo's devoted friend and one of the most endearing characters. Suddenly Gimli breaking down in front of his tomb becomes much more poignant.
- There was a third member of their party who joined the expedition: Óin, who was unceremoniously eaten by the Watcher in the Water (the giant squid-thing that attacked Frodo). He also happens to be Gimli's uncle and Glóin's brother.
- The death of Sebastian, Radagast's hedgehog. He gets better, sure, but the look on Radagast's face is heartbreaking all by itself. Considering he named and doted on him, and his panic at trying to cure him, he probably thought of Sebastian and all the animals in the forest as his children. Any parent who's ever had a sick child knows the same fear and dread he was going through.
- Forest creatures dying left and right as the Shadow spreads over Greenwood/Mirkwood.
- Radagast's despair as the corruption spreads. Its clear how much he loves the forest, but not even the power of a wizard can help spare his home from the spiders who are invading it.
- In the Extended Edition, we see Thorin overhearing Elrond and Gandalf talking about how insanity runs in Thorin's family. Despite his bluster, it's clear that Thorin feels the weight of what he is attempting, and having his sanity questioned and his father and grandfather spoken of in this way is like a knife in his heart.
- The look on Bofur's face after Bilbo says that he and the other dwarves "don't belong anywhere". You can tell he's trying to hide how much those words hurt him, and he still wishes Bilbo the best of luck with a smile.
- Bilbo realizing how insensitive his comment was and almost immediately attempting to backtrack more than likely helped assuage the blow.
- On top of that, Bilbo's face as he realizes that the dwarves are fighting for exactly what he can scurry off to any time, and that is why he has to stay. His conversation with Bofur ties in nicely with his speech to Thorin near the end.
- Thorin is listening in. Having said that Bilbo didn't belong with them, he was half-expecting that Bilbo was going to leave, anyway. But when Bilbo said that they didn't have a home, Thorin looks really hurt. You can tell he knew what was coming from their conversation, but even if he had a shield, those words cut deep. For homeless people, it is heart-wrenching.
- One of the goblin's smashing Óin's ear trumpet. It's so cruel and unnecessary.
- The look on Gollum's face when he knows his "precious" is lost. Bilbo can't even kill him after that. And even though you know what will happen with him later on, you can't help but feel at least a tad sorry for him.
- Indeed, Gollum's face was of a lost boy, looking for his mother. Slow tears and all, and utter sadness. This is how Gollum is in reality: not a vengeful monster, or a Dark Lord, he's just this poor hapless Hobbit dude who fell victim and succumbed to the Ring's evil simply by looking at it, driving him to murder his brother and transforming him a deformed crazed wretch skulking around in dank caverns alone.
- The final scene where Thorin and Bilbo reconcile is also one, if you know how their relationship will end.