Hobbit Desolation Smaug Header

Minor spoilers for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug follow.

Orcs have always been a primary obstacle to progress in Middle Earth. As Frodo travelled to Mount Doom, Orcs kept trying to kill him and his friends. The same goes for Bilbo in The Hobbit. The disgusting creatures are all over the lands of Middle Earth, with a thirst for dwarf and hobbit blood. In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Orc leader was Azog the Defiler, a particularly large, treacherous white Orc brought to the screen with computer graphics.

As The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug begins, Azog is given a new task and his son Bolg takes over the job of tracking down Thorin Oakenshield and the dwarves company that is en route to the Lonely Mountain. Bolg is also CG, but his foot soldiers are practical, just like the Orcs of Lord of the Rings.

That’s the backstory; now to get to the point. In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, both Azog and Bolg are CG while the others Orcs are actors in practical makeup. But director Peter Jackson originally filmed Bolg in live action on set, and a photo has now shown up online. Check it out below.

Thanks to Badass Digest for the heads up on this. Here’s Bolg as he is in the movie.

Bolg CGI Hobbit 2

And here’s the practical suit from the set.

Bolg Practical Hobbit 2

While the CG version certainly looks more like Azog, I can’t think of anything scarier than that practical version. Jackson hasn’t yet stated why he made the change, but the fact Bolg and Azog are related and must interact is probably the reason. You see them in the same shot a few times and with them both CG, it looks much less awkward. Also of note, actor Conan Stevens played Bolg on set.

Watching the film, this didn’t particularly bother me because the whole movie is filled with CG characters. There are CG wolves, spiders, bears and more. Plus Bolg is taller than the other Orcs and making him CG helps him stand out. However, seeing that new image, I’d love to see what it looked like in some battles.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel like Jackson is relying too much on CG in this new trilogy?

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