An Unexpected Journey
- Shorter opening: No prologue, no Frodo. However, some of those shots were used elsewhere, such as over the Misty Mountain song.
- No Radagast, White Council, Stone-Giants, High Fells or Dol Guldur.
- Azog has been visually cut from the first part of the duology and I've replaced the references to a sorcerer in Dol Goldur with Azog. Sauron has been removed and Azog takes his place as the (still unseen) threat in Dol Guldur.
- The eagles fly the company from the wargs straight to Beorn.
- Kili-Tauriel-Legolas love triangle removed.
- I’ve kept the cartoonish action scenes (Goblin escape and Barrel sequence), because although they take away any sense of real danger, I believe they are rather fun and creatively done.
- Composited a new shot to make for a real ending.
- Flashback, Prologue, Frodo and most of the “Hey, remember Lord of the Rings?”-moments removed. Instead, Bilbo (though still addressing Frodo) jumps straight into his own story. Everything that’s important will be repeated and I want to get to the dwarves as soon as possible.
- When Bilbo opens his book, the drawing of his younger self has been digitally removed (not perfectly yet) so he seems to open it solely for writing in it.
- Use of the “Old Friends”-song to accompany the beginning.
- Use of sounds from sound libraries and FotR (ink dipping) to compensate for the ones that got lost while drowned in music.
An Unexpected Party:
- The drinking-burping part has been skipped.
- After Balin says “It appears we have lost our burglar.” I’ve reversed a shot of Thorin looking at Bilbo and everything after that has been cut.
- Some footage of opening flashback (slightly de-saturated) has been put in over and after the Misty Mountain song (when the theme is reiterated by violins). Violin music from Taylor Davis was used for this, with permission. Inspired by the There and Back Again-cut.
- When they leave the shire we go straight to the farmstead where we will meet the trolls. The first night (including the Azog & Thorin backstory and the orc spying on them), the conversation in the rain about wizards and Radagast’s first introduction have been cut.
Video: Misty Mountain song (includes flashbacks)
- When Thorin mentions being betrayed by the elves, we see that part of the flashback (slightly desaturated). Imitated from There and Back Again-cut.
- Cut Thorin commanding Bilbo
- One frame has been cut from Ori throwing his slingshot to logs being dropped, making it feel more fluent.
- Talk of parasites and the ridiculous “We don’t have parasites” - “Yes we do!” part has been skipped.
- Radagast cut.
A Short Rest:
- Used the shot with the waterfall (from whey they leave Rivendell) to make a smoother transition into the hidden valley. Because the sound of the waterfall was drowned in music, I used a different waterfall-sound as background noise.
- Used the Hidden Valley-song to bridge the gap.
- Trimmed Thorin's worry about the elves.
- Trimmed the elves circling around the dwarves
- After Elrond arrives and greets Gandalf, we cut straight to them having dinner. (Removed a subtitle that’s fading in).
- Put the dwarves eating in front of Elrond asking about the blades.
- Cut out Thorin’s refusal to share the map with Elrond. Instead that scene begins with Elrond inspecting the map (imitated from Kerr’s
- White Council cut entirely.
- Azog’s weathertop-scene cut.
- After Elrond says Gandalf is not the only guardian of middle earth, we cut to Gandalf’s conversation with Galadriel about supporting Thorin and Bilbo giving him courage. Galadriel is deprived a more obvious entrance, but I hope Elrond’s lead in will suffice to explain her presence.
- Gandalf talking about Bilbo gave me the opportunity to make a match-cut to him looking at the Rivendell he’s leaving behind. This scene goes over into them walking, rather than cutting to the Gandalf-Galadriel scene that now comes before it.
Video: Exiting Rivendel without the White Council
Over Hill and Under Hill:
- The walking shot with the waterfall-shot was cut (as mentioned previously).
- Stone Giants removed. As soon as Bilbo loses his footing, we skip to the part afterwards, where Bilbo falls. (Imitated from The Arkenstone Edition, though I placed Thorin’s “We need to find shelter!” a bit later).
- Cut another one of Azog’s “I’m coming after you.” shots.
- To make the transition to them sleeping more smoothly, I used a lightning sound and made it sound like it’s coming from outside the cave they rest in instead.
- Shortened the dwarves fall to make it less ridiculous.
- Cut out The Goblin King’s talk of Azog.
Riddles in the Dark:
- Kept every single frame of Gollum.
Pictures: Digitally removed Azog
Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire:
- Digitally removed Azog from the first shot of the wargs. Not entirely flawlessly, but easy to miss.
- Imitated and even lifted parts from the There and Back Again-cut to remove Azog and let it be suggested via voice-over that the eagles dropped them at Beorn’s home. However, I made Gandalf dialogue sound more from afar to match better with the eagle-shots and I’ve also made color-correction some of them to make it night, which made for a cleaner transition.
Video: From the eagles to Beorn (inspired by There and Back Again-cut)
- Used the Extended Edition scene with Beorn where they each come out in pairs.
- After Beorn pours some milk, we skip ahead to avoid the Azog-dialogue.
- I’ve kept Beorn’s lines about these lands crawling with orcs to foreshadow the climax-attack during the battle sequence.
- Used the Extended Edition scene where Beorn talks about orcs gathering in Dol Guldur, but replaced “the sorcerer” with “The Defiler”. I’ve used the word from where it has elsewhere been cut while still matching the tone of voice. This worked much better than anticipated as you never see their lips anyway. This has been done a few times in Part II as well.
- I generally trimmed the EE-conversation between Beorn and Gandalf down to remove all references to the orcs chasing them (that aren’t anymore) as well as specific references to Sauron or Ringwraiths. Re-ordered some shots for a smoother transition.
Video: Defiler (instead of Necromancer) in Dol Guldur
Flies and Spiders:
- Cut Dwalin’s line about there being no sign of the orcs and reordered the shots to use a more menacing one when Bilbo says “This forest feels sick.”
- Cut the weird Galadriel telepath-exposition.
- Used the Extended Edition version for Mirkwood, though I’ve cut the white stag, trimmed their walking and color-corrected the last part to match the blue-ish hue of the rest of this sequence.
- Cut Bilbo seeing himself.
- Added a little bit of red into the shots when Bilbo is looking from atop the trees. Somehow that makes the shot more believable for me.
- Bilbo losing his ring and killing the baby-spider removed.
- Removed Gloin’s reference to Gimli. I don’t mind him mentioning Gimli, but the Legolas’s over-the-top insult to set it up is annoying.
- Removed Tauriel saying “more spiders will come”, though kept her heroic interlude as I want to keep her.
Barrels out of Bond:
- Once everyone is inside and the Elven gate closes, we skip them walking to and being put into their prison cells. We go straight to the shot of Dwalin thrusting his cell-door. (Imitated from There and Back Again cut)
- Removed the interaction between Tauriel, Kili and Legolas. No weird love-triangles or trouser-jokes in this cut!
- Added a shot of the Arkenstone when Thranduil talks about it. The shot has been reversed to lift from the king to the jewel.
- Removed the talk of Legolas fancying Tauriel, but used her last shot (reversed) when she looks sad to end the scene with. Now it’s because of Thranduil’s refusal to care for the world outside, which was the point of this scene anyway.
- I’ve left in the beginning of the exchange between Tauriel and Kili about his runestone. It humanizes both camps to one another, but without any infatuation or sociopathic stares from Legolas.
- Kept the entire barrel-escape sequence although I removed Tauriel looking upset at Kili being wounded
- Removed the worst of the GoPro-shots.
- Removed Gandalf’s visit to the High Fells.
- Cut Tauriel leaving as there'll be no Lake-Town battle
- Cut from Balin asking for Bard's boat to allof them sitting on it and Balin counting money.
- When they all look at the mountain, I've cut out Bilbo saying "I do believe the worst is behind us" from the original ending in An Unexpected Journey and put him in a different background. It's not a perfect visual effect, but it just might pass if you're not looking for it.
- We then go over into the original ending of An Unexpected Journey, but color-corrected to fit with the misty blue tone of the previou scene. The shots inside have also been lowered in saturation.
Video: Ending - visual effect shot of Bilbo at 0:57 (Slightly improved upon since)
- Removed Elijah Wood & Christopher Lee and put in Luke Evans & Evangeline Lilly instead.
- Put in my own (user)name next to the editor as fan-editor.
I’ve sometimes cross-referenced my edit with other fan-edits for inspiration. Though it has sometimes shown we came to the same ideas separately, at other times, I’ve been indebted to their creative decisions: The Dwarfed Edition, The Arkenstone Edition, There and Back Again, Into the Fire and The Tolkien Cut. I’ve endeavored to improve upon them though.
The first part of my duology has been (temporarily) finished. I am sharing a download link, counting on the honor system. If you wish to download my fan-edit, you should own the source-material: the Extended Bluray editions of An Unexpected Journey and Desolation of Smaug.
1080p MP4 (5,7 GB) - MegaSync recommended
720p MP4 (2,9 GB)
360p MP4 (1,5 GB)