Gandalf at the Center of ‘The Battle of Dol Guldur’ Fan Edit

David Killstein is one of several fans involved in re-editing the Hobbit film series, many of whom are attempting to restructure the trilogy as a single movie in accordance with J.R.R. Tolkien’s original narrative. Thus, Gandalf’s cinematic subplot involving Dol Guldur and the Necromancer is inevitably cut away from many of those projects. However, LOTR: The Battle of Dol Guldur is a 43-minute fan edit that is mainly sourced from Gandalf’s subplot in The Hobbit film trilogy. Fan editor David Killstein explains:

This is the adventure of Gandalf the Grey. Fear strikes the great wizard as he realizes that evil may be on the rise after hundreds of years of peace. With rumors of a necromancer and increasing darkness at Mirkwood Forest, Gandalf attempts to seek help from Saruman the White. Turned down, he ventures off on his own to meet with Radagast the Brown and investigate the darkness of Dol Guldur. All footage is taken from The Hobbit trilogy (except for a short scene from The Fellowship). Unlike my 3-Hour Hobbit edit, which removes this plot entirely, this cut does precisely the opposite: it is a 100% Hobbit-free version of the Hobbit, it exclusively tells the story of Gandalf and his adventures that take place during Bilbo and Thorin’s journey to The Lonely Mountain.1

The concept of this fan edit bears resemblance to a much longer but unreleased project that has been suggested by TolkienEditor:

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I will be releasing a follow-up fanedit, focusing primarily on Gandalf’s story and the investigation of Dol Guldor. The editing for the first two films is completed (clocking in at a feature-length 80 minutes already); however, I will be waiting until the extended edition of The Battle of the Five Armies is released, before I add it to the site. I think you’ll be surprised by how well Gandalf’s story works as a movie unto itself, albeit a much darker, creepier, more psychologically daunting movie than Bilbo’s adventure romp.2

Although many Hobbit trilogy-edits focus squarely on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original narrative, I’m excited to see alternative projects like these in the works because they demonstrate how resourceful fan editors can repurpose excised or seemingly superfluous material and essentially create new movies. Divested from the Hobbit films themselves, a paratexual Gandalf/Dol Guldur fan edit like LOTR: The Battle of Dol Guldur contributes to the cinematic Middle-earth much like Agent Carter (2013) and other One-Shots in the expansive Marvel cinematic universe. Likewise, Kerr’s The Lord of the Rings: Book VI – The End of the Third Age (2010) includes “The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen,” a 17-minute film composed of some material cut from Kerr’s book-inspired project. Presented as an appendix on Kerr’s custom DVD, “The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen” chronicles a romance that runs parallel to the primary narrative in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

  1. David Killstein. 2015. “LOTR: The Battle of Dol Guldur.”, March 18.”
  2. TolkienEditor. 2015. “Press Coverage for ‘The Tolkien Edit.'” The Hobbit: The Tolkien Edit, January 13.