Pretty much what the title says; In The Hobbit movie (unexpected journey), Gandalf advises the company to "be careful what you touch" in the troll cave - why is that?

This Q/A suggests it's due to magical spells, but (not having read a lot of Tolkien I assumed it was something to do with the Trolls. Who cast the spells over the troll treasure?

1 Answer 1


This one's actually rather complicated to explain, so bear with me. In the original novel, the horde was evidently protected by a magical door.

They followed the tracks up the hill, until hidden by bushes they came on a big door of stone leading to a cave. But they could not open it, not though they all pushed while Gandalf tried various incantations. "Would this be any good?" asked Bilbo, when they were getting tired and angry. "I found it on the ground where the trolls had their fight." He held out a largish key,

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

When the screenplay was originally written by Jackson and Boyens, the scene with Gandalf saying to be careful was apparently going to be said directly after they made their way through the enchanted door (e.g. be careful, there might be magical traps) however, they then changed the order of events and moved the cave entrance into a descending tunnel rather than having them enter through a door. The line about being careful remained, but the rest of the dialogue was scrapped.

Boyens: In the sense of Gandalf, with things not being really as they should [e.g. finding trolls in this part of the world]

Jackson: We wanted to start the feeling that all is not as it should be, and to give Gandalf this disquiet. We originally designed this cave in a slightly different way, and when we found the location for the forest, we found the natural rock that seemed to lend itself to being the entrance to the cave and so that then caused us to redesign it to be like a tunnel that goes down a hill under the ground, which really ended up being designed that way because of this big overhanging rock which we used on the location. You see more of it when we come back to the panning over of Sting in a minute.

Audio Commentary: The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey

Obviously there are also dangerous creatures living in the cave and rotting (infected) carcasses strewn about with broken and protruding shards of bone to catch the unwary. General caution is well advised, even if there's no evidence of magic.

  • Given that trolls collect treasure, they might have collected cursed items. Be careful what you pick up, because you might not be able to put it down. Aug 26, 2017 at 17:21

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