I admit I’m sharing this video as much for the comedy potential as I am for the fact that it’s fairly impressive they’ve put this together at all. But no matter how you feel about grown men poking each other with foam swords, it’s kind of fascinating how this all comes together.
As reported by The Escapist, the epic battle is staged every year, and has been since 2000. In the books, the Battle of the Five Armies is an epic battle as elves, dwarves and men team up thanks to the power of… uh… greed and racism. Seriously, they want the loot from Smaug’s cave and they hate goblins. That’s their driving force. Also, really, they should give it all to Bilbo since he’s the one who made everything happen. No wonder he just takes his ring and goes home.
In the real world, it’s driven mostly by fandom, as you might have guessed, and they’re not just re-enacting the book. So far, the goblins have won the battle roughly half of the time, and the contest is getting tougher; 2015’s battle, happening sometime in May or June, will be full-contact. Really, all they need to do is bring in some live eagles, and it’ll be perfect.