The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles – The Art of War goes behind the lines to explore how thousands of artisans brought the defining film of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit to the screen. More than 1,000 intricate illustrations, stunning photographs and never-before-seen imagery illuminate fascinating insights shared by cast and crew, including exclusive content from the extended edition of the final film. Also included is an exclusive fold-out battle map illustrated by Weta Workshop Designer, Nick Keller!
From the sorcerous ruins of Dol Guldur and the fiery conflagration of Lake-town, follow the filmmakers on to the blood-soaked battlefields of the Lonely Mountain, and climb the steps of Ravenhill to witness the final, tragic duel of Thorin Oakenshield and Azog, the Pale Orc.
Discover the challenges and reactions of the stars of The Battle of the Five Armies as they recount their experiences and excitement. Join the choreographers of the film’s action to examine the battle strategies and formations of each of the five armies, and learn how a dozen stunt performers became thousands of digital troops. Pore over archive-quality photography of staggeringly detailed weapons and armour and browse galleries of fearsome war beasts and monsters.
As the story of The Hobbit reaches its shattering climax amidst an epic landscape of war and tragedy, join Weta Workshop senior concept designer Daniel Falconer behind the scenes one last time as this sumptuous final book in The Hobbit: Chronicles series celebrates the epic conclusion of The Hobbit film trilogy. (Summary and image from goodreads.com. I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)
Review: As a bigger fan of the Tolkien movies than the books, I think the final movie, The Battle of the Five Armies may be the exception. Not because the movie isn’t breathtaking, but because it’s such a small part of The Hobbit, it’s almost like Peter Jackson out-Tolkien’d J.R.R. Tolkien. That being said, the craftsmanship that went into the film is still extraordinary.
The Art of War delves into all of those incredible details. From the histories behind the armors worn by the armies and the Houses of dwarves, to the history of Thranduil’s Elk (because, WOW. That’s an ELK.), to the legends behind the gems and the foes, everything is displayed in exquisite detail and described by the masters who made them. The photographs show those details that you can’t notice in the movie-viewing experience to their best advantage. It’s just mind boggling to see the amount of work and love that went into this last movie.
As with the last book in the series I reviewed, this made me want to rewatch the movie and look for the details I came to love through the book. Whether you’re a Tolkien Purist or a superfan, these books are well worth owning.
Rating: Five stars