We asked for Radagast the Brown.
And we got him.
In a bunny sled.
By now you’ve seen the new trailer for The Hobbit Part 1. In fact you’ve probably seen it 20 or 30 times. And it should be subtitled “A Long-Expected Fan-Fiction.” Probably about 20% of this trailer is actual stuff that happened in the book called The Hobbit. The rest is entirely made up by the filmmakers. And I loves it! I loves it forever! (Maybe.)
Take Radagast, for instance. The fellow—whose name in Elvish was Aiwendil— is mentioned only a few times in The Lord of the Rings, proper, once merely to note that he wasn’t at home when some folks stopped by for lunch. Nonetheless, as the other “Istari” or wizard mentioned in LoTR and The Hobbit, he’s been the source of much speculation and affection among Tolkienistas, perhaps because little is known of him and we can project our own fantasies. (There are actualy FIVE Istari, and only three are named in the main works—and given that their names are the very un-Quenya Alatar and Pallando, you can see why.)
Anyway, we’ve long known that Sylvester McCoy (a former Doctor Who) was set to play Radagast in The Hobbit movies. And it seems that with everything stretched out to make three movies, Radagast’s part has likewise been expanded. As seen in the new trailer (and stills) Radagast is, in fact, wearing brown. He’s also wearing a hipster trapper hat, or as they call it in Siberia, a ushanka. Just like Bofur.
Expect to see many Bofurs and Radagasts when the weather gets a little colder over in Bushwick.
Instead of riding a fixie, Radagast toots around in a sled pulled by rabbits. In the trailer we also see him molesting hedgehogs. This is because in the tiny little snippet about him in LotR we learn that he talks to the animals, perhaps even squeaks and squawks with the animals. From this brief description, the filmmakers have invented this rabbit sled.
And I love it.
Maybe I’m not going to love it as much when the movies actually come out. Too much of a good thing, as it were. Like when you have a big giant chocolate bar and instead of just eating three squares you say, “What the hell,” and eat 6 squares. And then you have to drink a glass of milk to wash the taste out of your mouth…and eat 6 more squares. You know what I’m talking about.
There are some nice looking screencaps from the movie here. While the trailers don’t seem to reflect the overcranked 48-frames-a-second filmmaking which will either revolutionize the movie business or repel viewers with an uncanny valley of realism, the trailer and stills do seem to have a waxy, digital quality to them, as if everything had been graded to look like a Maxfield Parish painting, or perhaps, a video game inspired by a Maxfield Parish painting.
And I love it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.