A couple of days ago, my girlfriend and I killed off an evening by watching the almost three hour flick “The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug“. I’ll let you know now that this post will have some spoilers, as much as you can spoil a movie that is based on a book published in 1937.
The bottom line is that a Hobbit and a bunch of dwarves manage to royally piss off a big dragon. But instead of going after them, Smaug decides that he will flex his lethality and overall badassedness by wiping out a nearby town.
Now I’m sure that the image of a big dragon flying towards a defenseless town is captivating, especially back in 1937. Even in the movie you watch the beast fly into the air and proclaim “I am Fire… I am DEATH”. But this is 2014. Sucks for that town, but movie-goers have been repeatedly subjected to blockbusters filled with giant monsters wrecking cities like New York and Los Angeles. We’re talking bodycounts in the hundreds of thousands, maybe even into the millions. Smaug is going to light up the Lake-town, which sucks for the maybe hundred or so people floating around there. But then what is he going to do? Probably fly back to the mountain and cuddle up in some of his treasure, until Gandalf shows up and blasts him in his bald spot. His Death-train comes to an end right there.
At the end of the movie, Bilbo watches Smaug fly away and asks “what have we done?” What you did, Hobbit, is kill a few dozen people. That sucks if you happen to be one of those few dozen, but the rest of the World will not even care, or barely even notice. I watched the dragon fly toward Lake-town and thought “tough break for them, but I’ve seen worse.”
Almost three years prior to the opening of The Hobbit 2, Blizzard Entertainment released an expansion to their hugely successful multiplayer online RPG, World of Warcraft. The expansion known as Cataclysm introduced their own Big Bad Dragon, a ray of sunshine known as Deathwing. Sure he was more than “just a dragon”, but when he claims to be Death, you bloody well believe it. Smaug was an tidal wave. Deathwing was a World Breaking asteroid, the likes of which you need Bruce Willis to punch out of the sky.
Smaug claims to be Death. Deathwing has Death in his name. Which of these two is really the Alpha Dragon?
What do you think?