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Stone Giant [Source]

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, after Bilbo and the Dwarves leave Rivendell they encounter

Three(?) Stone Giants who punch and throw rocks at each other.

It appeared like they were sleeping when all of a sudden they woke up and started battling. They seemed oblivious to presence of the Hobbit and the Dwarves and only focused on hurting each other.


My Question:

  • Why did the Stone Giants fight each other?
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There were two stone giants. – user7812 Apr 25 at 22:13

I haven't seen the movie yet; only the trailer where they make an appearance. Having read the book many times, though, I do know they are present there as well. In the book, the stone giants aren't battling, but instead are throwing rocks for fun, and (as you point out) are oblivious to any other creatures around them that might be affected by their game.

One could read their presence in the book as a sort of literary description of how, in a world of fantasy like middle-earth, devastating weather (like the dwarves and Bilbo encounter in the Misty Mountains) might be imagined. It makes sense to see their game of boulder throwing as serving a similar purpose in the movie.

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2  
Thanks, I was hoping the book could shed some light on this. Hitting each other for fun? 1st rule: Do not talk about Fight Club ;) – Oliver_C Dec 13 '12 at 9:49
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After rewatching the movie, the Stone Giants really seem to be fighting, not playing (one giant clearly punches another in the head). This makes me wonder why Peter Jackson changed 'playing for fun' to 'fighting'? – Oliver_C Dec 21 '12 at 9:32
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To add from the book "When he peeped out in the lightning flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out, and were hurling rocks at one another for a game and catching them and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below". – bobbyalex Jan 24 '13 at 11:51
    
I have only seen the movie, not read the book, but in the movie they literraly crumble to stones when getting hit. I don't know how this scene is described in the book, but it just doesn't give me the idea that the giants are 'playing'. – poepje Jun 12 '13 at 17:44

There is a reference to them in the book but they were having a game in the book so only the screenwriters/Peter Jackson will be able to explain why they were feuding so violently in the movie.

I think its a change for dramatization, being that it would be a bit anticlimactic to have them merely frolicking. It just wouldn't have suited the mood of the movie. That's my assumption. It'd be nice to have there be an explanation of some sort in a DVD extra or something or maybe a mini film based off of Tom Bombadil's adventures adding in a moment where Tom sets off these giants to feuding to the death. Or perhaps as my girlfriend brilliantly suggests they are blaming each other for lightning strikes, and the feud just reaches a deadly climax during the unexpected journey!

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In the source novel, their actions are described thusly;

When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang.

The film's commentary track (between Director Peter Jackson and Screenwriter Pippa Boyens) isn't any more enlightening than that. Commenting on why the giants are fighting...

PJ: Yeah, I always wondered why these giants dislike each other so much. It must be something very personal has gone on.

PB: Well, maybe it's in their nature.

[both laugh]

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My theory is that the giants are the remnants of an ancient guardian race created by Morgoth to defend against the coming of Orome. The misty mountains were raised by Morgoth long before the first age of middle earth began. This was to hinder the riding of Orome (one of the Valar) and prevent the newly awakened elves from journeying west to beleriand and the sea beyond. Just a theory...

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