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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Hobbit Trailer! (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Hobbit Trailer!
Teshi
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I like ROTK.

Just sayin'.

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Hobbes
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I'm worried, having seen the trailer, that there will be an attempt to turn the Hobbit into LoTR in scope and scale. Basically The Hobbit is the story of Bilbo, and the dwarves and that's about it. At the end there's the battle of course but that's really more of a plot mechanism than anything. It's basically a travel-tale and it works wonderfully as such. LoTR is a story about an entire world, or continent anyway (little fuzzy on the correct word for Middle Earth), and I don't want to mix the two together. Not that I wont go see it of course. [Smile]

Hobbes [Smile]

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Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

I think Galadriel was a total and utter badass though. I'd have to reread the books again to see if it was perfect or not, but I thought she fairly well rocked it.

The Galadriel of the book had a little less Large Marge in her.
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T:man
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I missed Tom Bombadil. Though I understand why he was left out.
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Jake
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Yeah, me too.
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Lyrhawn
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I honestly didn't miss him. He lifts right out.
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Graeme
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I think the Hobbit duology will be better than the LOTR trilogy. As Hobbes noted, the novel LOTR presents an entire world; IMO, the movies failed to deliver the depth of that world. Nothing against Jackson's efforts; I don't think it's possible to present such depth in the space of a movie, even three jumbo-sized ones. Nonetheless, despite my awareness of the limitations of a movie translation, I have never been able to really enjoy the movie trilogy because of that lack of depth, that absence of a full immersion in another world. In several parts, the movies even felt hokey, but I never get that feeling from the novel. (My other problem is the change in the characters' actions, as Tatiana noted. And did Gimli really need to be made a buffoon to provide the audience with comic relief?)


The Hobbit, on the other hand, mostly concerns the specific adventures of one main character, with only hints of the larger world. Judging from the previews, this will be well accomplished (e.g. the scene where Bilbo glimpses Narsil, the Sword-That-Was-Broken.)

This reminds me of my Stephen King rule when it comes to movies: his short stories are generally better translated to the screen than his sprawling mega-novels: The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, Green Mile, Children Of The Corn, 1408, are all based on short stories of King, and IMO are standouts in the corpus of King movie adaptations. (It's true that there are exceptions, but, on the whole, the percentage of good movies made from his short stories is larger than the percentage of good movies made from his novels.) Short stories tend to be more self-contained, with a more straightforward plot. Such focus usually serves a movie best.

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Dogbreath
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I feel like Fellowship did a good job of presenting, if not the scope, certainly the mood of the books. Especially from Moria through the end of the film, which still strike me as being nearly as beautiful and ethereal as they were when I first saw the movie when I was 12. Two Towers was decent, Return of the King for the most part completely failed in that respect, though it had it's good moments. See Theodin's dying words or Strider's speech at the Black Gate, Frodo and Sam lying side by side on Mt Doom talking about the shire, and especially this scene.

The Coronation scene always makes me wonder how such complex and perfectly executed beauty and grace and subtlety (notice, for instance, the white tree sewn into Arwen's banner) and humanity can exist side by side with some of the truly ridiculous elements of that film. Then again, I suppose they are based on an incredibly serious and profoundly important book that spends the first 200 pages talking about little people drinking beer and taking baths together and running around in the forest with various woodland creatures, so it's not like there's not precedence. I would still love to see a film of RoTK that gives it the respect and dignity it deserves.

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SteveRogers
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What's your basis for saying the film Return of the King didn't give respect or dignity to the novel? I haven't actually read Lord of the Rings (I've only read The Hobbit), but I enjoyed the films casually. And I'm curious what your criticisms of the film is.
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Blayne Bradley
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Having read the books I fail to see how anyone could top Jackson at this rate aside from relatively minor and pedantic differences, one would be better off to make films or a series of lesser looked at aspects such as the War in the North with the Dwarves fighting Sauron's forces or the events of the Silimilirion which I stand would make an awesome god of war game.

I want to play as Faenor damnit.

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Kwea
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It misses the entire POINT of the book, and turns it into a poor action flick. I liked ROTK, as I liked all of the movies, but some of the very critical issues I have involved Jackson missing the point of the story.

Also...a lot was added, and some plain didn't make sense. If you have a passing knowledge of the books those scenes just ring false.....Gandalf's staff breaking and him being at the complete mercy of the Nazgul being one of the most glaring...and the fact that he was there, at their mercy, and they LEFT him there to answer horns about a mortal army....


If you don't have room to fit everything in, fine. I can live with that. But when you remove the heart and soul of the story, then add a bunch of crap that not only doesn't exist in the book but which doesn't even make senses in the first place, it sucks.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
What's your basis for saying the film Return of the King didn't give respect or dignity to the novel? I haven't actually read Lord of the Rings (I've only read The Hobbit), but I enjoyed the films casually. And I'm curious what your criticisms of the film is.

I should start by saying I only view the film as a failure in regards to how it captures the mood of the book - by itself, it's an extraordinary achievement, and it left me overwhelmed and near tears when I watched it. It's not like filming the LoTR is an easy task, and I think Peter Jackson made far and away the best adaptation that we'll ever see, realistically speaking.

That being said...

If you haven't read the books, my criticisms may be hard to follow or fully appreciate. I'll try to explain as much as possible while still being concise - I don't have the time for a long post.

In roughly chronological order:

- The Denethor of the books is NOT the selfish, crazy man of the movies. By the time he passes away he's turned to madness, but when you first meet him he's a fairly decent and extremely intelligent, powerful man. The reason he fails is because he would spend every night with his palantir waging a mental war against Sauron, until on the eve of the battle Sauron managed to break his will - and his mind, with it. When you view his insanity as a result of a wound fighting the enemy, it makes him out as a fairly heroic man, not a petty and evil one. The movies really got this one wrong. Also, in the book, he and Aragorn are of the same age (both in their early 80s), and were rivals in their youth - Denethor knows damn well who Aragorn is, and what his intentions are. He's still a strong and capable warrior, and wears armor beneath his robes and carries a sword. The movies make him as being much older and more decrepit.

Faramir is radically different than from the books - where he works mostly as an Author Avatar. He's a man who despises war and killing, yet nonetheless is a career soldier because of his duty to his home country, which he loves more than his own life. There's actually a much bigger perversion of his character in the movie of The Two Towers - but the RoTK movie makes him out to be a suicidal dude with daddy issues instead of a brave, honorable man with a love of duty.

Eowyn is portrayed much more positively in the book. If you can, look up the scene where she Aragorn have a private moment before he leaves for the Paths of the Dead. ("What do you fear my lady?" "A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.") The entire passage reveals her as a strong, powerful warrior (who later marries Faramir, btw) fighting against the constraints of her society. It's also clear, from the description of Aragorn as he rides off, that Aragorn had allowed himself to begin to love her despite himself, and feels respect and admiration for her - as well as guilt and sorrow. He's pledged to another woman, so he'll never be able to experience what life with Eowyn would be like. The movie more or less turns Eowyn into Aragorn's fan girl, as well as making her far softer and more feminine. She still has her moments, but they feel greatly diminished - her action roles are treated more of her being a plucky tomboy who gets lucky than her being a mighty warrior who, with the help of a hobbit, slays a friggin Nazgul! I feel like the movie always portrays her as being subservient, or at least dependent, on the men surrounding her. The book let her define herself in her own right I won't even get into how they totally jacked up her brother.

In the book, Aragorn is joined by a large contingent of rangers from his tribe (of which he is the chief) before he sets off into the mountains. His return to Gondor with the Dunedain of the North at his back is a deliberate statement of his place as king of the remnants of Arnor, as well as a statement of his intention to come and take up his place as the rightful king of all men of Numenorian descent. It seems weird in the movie when a bunch of folks just automatically accept the weird man who arrived alone on a boat with an elf and a dwarf as being their king. The sword does help a little.

The entire battle of Pelennor Fields (except for Theodin's brilliant speech and the ride of the Rohirrim) is done horribly wrong. First of all, Denethor evacuated all women and children to safer parts of Gondor weeks in advance. Second, the movie makes it look like Gondor is pretty much Minas Tirith and the land around it, instead of a huge realm with vast armies - I sort of miss seeing all the captains of the West converging on the city, preparing to die to ensure it's survival. Also, the arrival of the (insanely overpowered) ghost army completely negates all the sacrifices made by everyone else at the battle - the ghosts kill off everyone in like 15 seconds! In the book, the arrival of Aragorn and the Dunedain helps demoralize the enemy (who were expecting reinforcements, not foes) and turn the battle at a critical point - but it still ends up being a long, horribly bloody affair and one of the saddest chapters in the book.

The same goes for the neat mop up at the black gate where the land falls away in just the precise shape to swallow all of the enemy troops. In the book, once freed of Sauron's enchantment, the Orcs and Trolls either go mad or scurry back to their holes, but the men of the east and south throw down their weapons and sue for peace. Instead of punishing them, Aragorn makes white peace with them, gives them land, and begins negotiations and trading with them. This is a nice conclusion to a 5000 year history that started with the men of the west - Aragorn's predecessors - enslaving and murdering the natives of middle earth. Most people forget that in the books the Easterlings and Haradrim are NOT wicked men by any means, and had a damn good reason not to like Gondor. They also forget that Sauron had been acting as their (seemingly) benevolent God-king for the past 5000 years. Aragorn's treatment of them again shows the wisdom and subtlety that makes him a good and righteous king.

That's about as far as I'm getting tonight... there's a lot more. I didn't even mention the goofup with Frodo sending Sam home. My advice would be to read Return of the King - you'll see a profoundly deep, complex, subtle, tragic, and beautiful book of a heart wrenching and ethereal nature that the movie only occasionally meshes with. The movie is good in it's own right, but it only captures the facts of the book, not the actual message or mood.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Gandalf's staff breaking and him being at the complete mercy of the Nazgul being one of the most glaring...and the fact that he was there, at their mercy, and they LEFT him there to answer horns about a mortal army....

Yeah, that part is just silly. I suppose they put it in place to try and show you just how powerful the Witch-King is - but at the end of the day, he's only a Nazgul, an undead man. Gandalf is a Maiar, of the same order as Sauron. Earlier in the series he single-handedly takes out a balrog (a demon of his order), and earlier in *that very movie* he overwhelms and drives off all 9 Nazgul combined. Gandalf was forbidden by Manwe to use his power to fight Sauron directly (notice how he only uses his sword and staff when fighting against other mortals) - but if a Nazgul was suicidal enough to try and fight him, I'm sure they'd get their ass obliterated.
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SteveRogers
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Thank you. [Smile] All very well put. And also serving to make me feel even more guilty for not having actually read the books. Maybe I should post that admonition in that "Time To Come Clean" thread.
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Lyrhawn
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I agree with everything Dogbreath said. He specifically enumerated almost all of the major problems I had with the movie.

I think one of the most powerful scenes of the movie, on par with the simple beauty of the lighting of the beacons scene, could have been the arrival of reinforcements from the outlying lands of Gondor. Watching the various and diverse men arriving to defend Gondor, ending with Prince Imrahil and his shining swan knights, would have been a powerful image, and it would have dispelled the notion that all of Gondor came down to one pitifully defended city on the verge of being overwhelmed in a single day.

The battle raged for days. Sauron's forces had to batter down the ranmas, had to actually fight on the field against Gondor's forces before Theoden arrived to break the siege entirely. I think it would have been more powerful to show the battle start on the fields and cutaway at various points to Sam and Frodo, returning to a battle in progress. Actually, I think the cartoon did a better job of this, though even they left out the reinforcements scene (for time constraints, I imagine).

Eowyn could have been such a badass if Jackson had only portrayed her more faithfully to the source material. Her confrontation with the Witch King on the Pellennor Fields is probably my favorite scene in the books, and the biggest disappointment of the movie. It's a series with painfully few women, but what women are there are pretty awesome. Even if you go back to the Silmarillion you get few women (but more than LOTR), and again, most of them don't have the flaws that the men do, and few of them comport to the weak woman stereotype. Luthien was a badass as well. Why Jackson felt it was necessary to turn Eowyn into a whiny iconoclast whose happiness depended on Aragorn's affection and validation, and whose greatest triumph appeared more a happy accident than a powerful measure of skill is beyond me.

The only major change that I actually liked was including Arwen in the storyline. It was always Tolkien's wish that she be considered a part of the story, but he couldn't find a way to shoehorn her in. Jackson managed to do it with some clever cinematic tricks that a lot of people had a big problem with, but I think Tolkien would have really appreciated.

I still like the film, flaws and all. It's just so frustrating to see him get so much of it right, and for seemingly no reason at all, totally miss some key aspects. It's not like there were budget or time constraints for these things, he just chose to fundamentally change them. I don't know why. And still, visually, musically, etc, no one will ever capture Middle Earth as well as he did, even if someone in 30 years tries again with a different story.

I should be happy that Jackson deferred to Tolkien as many times as he did in the dialogue in the movies.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

I still like the film, flaws and all. It's just so frustrating to see him get so much of it right, and for seemingly no reason at all, totally miss some key aspects.

For me it's not even so much about the changes he makes as it is that the changes he makes dramatically alter the mood of the story. Consider the somberness and dignity of Theodin's passing ("I go to my fathers, in whose mighty company I shall not now feel ashamed") which captures the mood of the book *perfectly*, and is placed right next to a fairly silly scene like this one. Which isn't to say that the book doesn't have silly parts - it has them in spades - but at appropriate parts. To mix goofy action-movie hijinks with high tragedy at the same time is jarring.

I really liked that they moved the reforging of Anduril to RoTK - it has a much more potent effect on the storyline - effectively showing Aragorn's change from being a wanderer to a ruler. "Put off the Ranger, become who you were born to be."

[ January 07, 2012, 01:21 AM: Message edited by: Dogbreath ]

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SteveRogers
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I guess my lack of familiarity with the text kept me from finding the scene you linked as being silly.
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Lyrhawn
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For how campy Jackson made Gimli, and Legolas by extension, it wasn't silly in context, certainly no more so than how silly the anti-climactic Army of the Dead intervention was.

But compared to the book, I think it was all out of place.

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SteveRogers
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I had intended to purchase the 50th anniversary edition omnibus of the Lord of the Rings, but every bookstore I went to was sold out from the holidays (and I try to avoid online shopping). If nothing else, this has only increased my resolve to read the actual books. I tried a during middle school, but I couldn't get through The Two Towers back then and just never tried again.
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Lyrhawn
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I didn't read them for the first time until after Fellowship the movie came out. I tried, but couldn't get through it. After seeing the movie, I sailed through all three of them in a matter of days.

I downloaded the first few hours of the Fellowship on tape and listened to it on my way home a few days ago and was delightfully surprised. I really thought I'd hate books on tape, but I was rather annoyed when I got to the fourth hour and didn't have any more to listen to. I don't know if I'd want to listen to it if I hadn't already read it though.

And it's still hard hearing anyone but Jon Huston be Gandalf.

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SteveRogers
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A buddy of mine advised just skipping The Two Towers and just reading Return of the King, but I felt like that would be silly.
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Bella Bee
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quote:
I didn't read them for the first time until after Fellowship the movie came out. I tried, but couldn't get through it. After seeing the movie, I sailed through all three of them in a matter of days.
I did exactly the same thing. Before the movies, I always got stuck on chapter nine of 'Fellowship' when Tom Bombadil simply wouldn't shut up and go away (sorry to any fans of Tom). I had this idea that he was going to be an important character, and I couldn't stand him.

Having seen the movie, I simply skipped him completely, read the series in a week and have read the books many times since.
But I've still never managed to finish chapter nine.

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Lyrhawn
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I'm not a big Tom fan as well.

I do wish they'd included the Barrow Wight stuff in there though. But I totally understand why they didn't.

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SteveRogers
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I read a few articles about various analyses of the Tom Bombadil character online, and I'm not sure how I feel about such a role being attributed to a somewhat bothersome character.
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Phillyn
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Dogbreath summarised my feelings perfectly.
What else bothered me about the film was this:
Frodo sending Sam home;
Aragorn's conflict with and refusal to accept his destiny as king of Gondor until the end - that completely changed who Aragorn was;
Turning Gimli into a buffoon;
And little things, like Gimli sprawling across the Steward's Chair in the throne room when the plans were made for the attack on Mordor. There is no way that Aragorn would have allowed Gimli, or anyone else, to disrespect the office of Steward in that way.
Also, I HATED the depiction of the Mouth of Sauron in the extended version. I was so looking forward to that scene and I felt they got the look all wrong. From being a figure of corrupted horror he was turned into a cartoon zombie.

Having said all that, I understand the reason for some of the changes enough that I can still enjoy the movie and can tell myself it's one person's interpretation of a book that we all love and so can suspend my irritation for the things I enjoyed.

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Traceria
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I'm sure that Jackson will take artistic license and change key points, as well. That said, he's earned my trust. I (and many people agree) feel that the changes in LOTR are mostly for the better.

Basically everything but the avalanche of skulls. [Roll Eyes]
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Olivet
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I really do not understand all you lovers of Tom Bombadil. I wanted to SMACK him. I could write Tom Bombadil fan fictions in which all punctuation is replaced by the impact of various blunt objects upon his person.

And while there were definitely some things in Jackson's LOTR that irritate me a bit here and there, I have to agree with everyone who said there is nobody better to direct The Hobbit.

I'm not saying that there might not be some mythological ideal director, or someone else who could do a better job given the time and training, but there really isn't anyone with the skills, money and the heart of true fan to do it.

So when I say "there's nobody better" I do not mean that it is impossible for anyone to do it better than he will, just that, when it comes to actual directors' CVs, he's the obvious choice.

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Lyrhawn
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I have to say that while I preferred Jackson, I was pretty interested in what Guillermo del Toro was going to do with it. I'm hoping that Jackson ends up using at least some of the work he did on the movie before he left the project. At the very least, I hope Jackson uses del Toro's reinvention of the wargs. The hyena thing never did it for me, and I'm not looking forward to it again.

Though after two Hellboys and Pan's Labyrinth...I was also a little nervous that it wouldn't be Tolkien's The Hobbit so much as del Toro's The Hobbit, since his mythical creations are so distinctively his own.

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Phillyn
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'It looks gorgeous': Why Jackson is doubling up on The Hobbit
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10780729

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EarlNMeyer-Flask
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Tom Bombadil doesn't do much for the story, and removing Tom Bombadil gets to the central plot problem concerning the ring faster.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Phillyn:
...
Aragorn's conflict with and refusal to accept his destiny as king of Gondor until the end - that completely changed who Aragorn was;
...

So, I agree with you on most of your objections.

Except this one.

I mean, I agree that they totally changed who Aragorn was. I just tend to be of the opinion that they changed him from a terrible character into a good one.

Aragorn in the novels is a mythic figure in the mold of people like Beowulf. The problem is, Beowulf was a completely unlikable arrogant tool. And so is Aragorn.

To my eye, unless I make a serious effort to forget everything I think about what makes someone an interesting and likable protagonist, Aragorn consistently just comes off as a pretentious puffed up windbag.

I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur, Elendil's son of Gondor, the most awesome guy ever to walk Middle-Earth. Here is the sword that was broken and is forged again! It's totally mine because I am super rad! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly! In fact I don't even care what you choose because I'm too cool to care, you guys can suck it.

Yeah. Not really my cup of tea. The Aragorn of the films is no Beowulf. He's not terribly mythic at all. But, in my opinion, he's a far more interesting character.

I guess, in the books, the hobbits generally fill in for actual human characters who occasionally doubt how awesome they are. But that doesn't quite cut it for me.

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Phillyn
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Well, that would be the reason that Jackson did what he did to Aragorn, to make him more believable/acceptable to modern audiences and to introduce some conflict in his persona. But my initial reaction was that Jackson just wasn't comfortable with moral absolutes - I guess not many people are nowadays.
But I've never had the reaction to Aragorn as a character that you have. Certainly his character as displayed in the movie worked, but I think his character in the book did as well. There are 'real people' qualities about him that come through. For example, there's an underlying bitterness and resentment of the way he's viewed by people who don't know who he is that comes through in a grim humour he manifests occasionally. Also, he's conflicted, even indecisive, about how to fill his role, when to go to Minas Tirith, leaning on Gandalf's decision making - so not superman, and freely admitting his errors.
But ultimately, he's the descendant of a race of men higher and nobler than other mortal men and is a throwback in the sense that he's not a watered down version but is the equal of any of the best of them.
I think you exaggerate the attitude that you complain about and that it only manifests itself rarely anyway; too me his humanity comes through more often. I don't think there's anything wrong with Aragorn being sure of his position and of being eager to claim it, after having waited so long.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Olivet:
I really do not understand all you lovers of Tom Bombadil. I wanted to SMACK him. I could write Tom Bombadil fan fictions in which all punctuation is replaced by the impact of various blunt objects upon his person.

And while there were definitely some things in Jackson's LOTR that irritate me a bit here and there, I have to agree with everyone who said there is nobody better to direct The Hobbit.

I'm not saying that there might not be some mythological ideal director, or someone else who could do a better job given the time and training, but there really isn't anyone with the skills, money and the heart of true fan to do it.

So when I say "there's nobody better" I do not mean that it is impossible for anyone to do it better than he will, just that, when it comes to actual directors' CVs, he's the obvious choice.

He's like a less charming David Tennant XD

I liked Aragorns characterization, its very clear what sort of mythology he is supposed to represent, that sort of old norse grandoise boasting of lineage and accomplishments prior to further additional asskicking. He Is Who He Is and Who Came Before Him.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Phillyn:
Well, that would be the reason that Jackson did what he did to Aragorn, to make him more believable/acceptable to modern audiences and to introduce some conflict in his persona. But my initial reaction was that Jackson just wasn't comfortable with moral absolutes - I guess not many people are nowadays.
But I've never had the reaction to Aragorn as a character that you have. Certainly his character as displayed in the movie worked, but I think his character in the book did as well. There are 'real people' qualities about him that come through. For example, there's an underlying bitterness and resentment of the way he's viewed by people who don't know who he is that comes through in a grim humour he manifests occasionally. Also, he's conflicted, even indecisive, about how to fill his role, when to go to Minas Tirith, leaning on Gandalf's decision making - so not superman, and freely admitting his errors.
But ultimately, he's the descendant of a race of men higher and nobler than other mortal men and is a throwback in the sense that he's not a watered down version but is the equal of any of the best of them.
I think you exaggerate the attitude that you complain about and that it only manifests itself rarely anyway; too me his humanity comes through more often. I don't think there's anything wrong with Aragorn being sure of his position and of being eager to claim it, after having waited so long.

That's fair. I've seen people take the position that Aragorn in the books is open to interpretation by the reader, so you can read him as the man or the myth, whereas the film essentially made the conscious decision to portray him as the man and not the myth (supposedly in one of the eleven billion appendices Jackson comments that Viggo Mortensen was the one who actively chose to run with playing him as the man, and Jackson supported him).

There's some validity to that idea, but in my personal reading of the books, I didn't see all that much man, I mostly saw myth, and... well, you saw how it came off to me. [Smile]

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Stone_Wolf_
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This is a great thread to read and I want to thank everyone for their great posts, especially Dogbreath, Lyr and Dan.

I might actually reread LotRs now because of this thread.

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Dan_Frank
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Your comment made me re-read this entire thread.

I've come to the conclusion that your desire to reread LotR must have been sparked by Lyr and Dogbreath's enthusiasm, since as far as I can tell my primary contribution has been to be a snarky wise-ass.

Still, not gonna lie, it felt good to get mentioned. [Smile]

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Dogbreath
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Perhaps I read too deeply into books, but I've always seen the character of Aragorn (in the books) as being the man trying to be the myth. (or the ranger trying to be the king) It's subtle, but it's definitely there.

He's got the most ridiculously royal lineage possible (going back over 6000 years), and as such has been given the Herculean task of saving the world, coming into his throne, restoring the glory of Gondor, and with Arwen reuniting the half-elven peoples. And by the time the book starts he's already made the choice to become the Myth, but you see the man struggling with it throughout. Look at his vulnerable conversations with Gandalf (I especially like the one up in the Orchards in Minas Tirith at night), or his wry sense of humor, or his bitterness over leaving Eowyn (who is in many ways who the Man wanted to be with, but the Myth could not), and you'll see he's not at all an arrogant or pompous jerk. What he is is someone who constantly has to act noble and perfect, if anyone's going to believe in him and accept his leadership. This is one of the basic tenants of Kingship, and one Tolkien really nailed, albeit subtly.

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Dan_Frank
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That's a subtle and brilliant reading, Dogbreath. (Good lord, hey man, what's your name? I'd love to have something else to use to end a sentence that includes the words "subtle and brilliant.")

I admit I was never totally sold on LotR in general. Tolkien's writing just didn't speak to me. I read the books piecemeal, a bit at a time, more out of a sense of obligation as a fantasy nerd than out of actual love of the text. So it's cool to see the way he comes off to someone who really gets the work. [Smile]

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Phillyn
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Yeah, thank you Dogbreath, my thoughts too. I think Tolkien is a wonderfully subtle writer who has a real understanding of the depths that his characters have, and is able to bring them out. He knows how to depict that even when he's dealing with someone who is larger than life, as Aragorn in many ways is.
And thanks for your comments too, Dan Frank.

Also, as I watch the way that Peter Jackson depicted Gimli, I think that that's what he is trying to do as well, in a modern way and in a way that modern audiences can relate to. By having Legolas make fun of Gimli's height at Helm's Deep by asking him if he wanted to have a box to stand on, I think he's making explicit what is implicit in their friendship in the books. Real (male especially) friends tease each other mercilessly, and this is what Legolas is doing, and Gimli is responding to.

Tolkien was in the trenches at the Somme in WW1 and he knew what friendships between men were like in battle, and I'm sure he would have understood that exchange between the two friends.

As a linguist and philologist he had a great ear for language and 'voice' of different peoples and was able to bring those out in his characters, whether they were rustic types or noble Men. I think he believed enough in his own characters to know that they weren't superhuman, but I think he also believed in what I said at the beginning of my first post, moral absolutes, and that there was no longer any conflict in Aragorn's soul about who or what he was. He relished the glory of his heritage and looked forward to having the chance to live up to it.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
That's a subtle and brilliant reading, Dogbreath. (Good lord, hey man, what's your name? I'd love to have something else to use to end a sentence that includes the words "subtle and brilliant.")

Hi! I'm John.

quote:
I think he believed enough in his own characters to know that they weren't superhuman, but I think he also believed in what I said at the beginning of my first post, moral absolutes, and that there was no longer any conflict in Aragorn's soul about who or what he was. He relished the glory of his heritage and looked forward to having the chance to live up to it.
Most definitely. And I think this is something that our modern sensibilities (which shy away from absolutes) have trouble understanding. That it's possible to be absolutely certain what you're doing is right, and still find what you have to do enormously difficult and discouraging, frightening even. Too often writers use struggle to imply uncertainty, and we begin to conflate them even when there's no correlation. We forget the lesson of Jesus at Gethsemane. LoTR is full of brave people who choose to do what they know is right (Frodo carrying the ring, Aragorn assuming the throne, Gandalf fighting the Balrog, etc.) and yet find it incredibly difficult to do so. That's why I think this is the best speech in the entire series, and the one part of the movies that truly captured the books. (sorry if it's already been posted)
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

"Here is the final question for our banquet. ”is the king lonesome?”"

Rider shouted as he stood in the center of the raging desert wind. His cape danced atop his shoulders. Somehow, he had already changed back into the proper garb of the King of Conquerors.

Archer's mouth moved, and he sniggered. There was no need to answer. He replied with his silence instead.

Saber did not hesitate either. If her own beliefs were shaken, it would be a flat denial of her days spent as king.

“A king...has no choice to be lonesome!”

Rider laughed. As if responding to the laugh, the whirlwind grew stronger.

“Wrong, wrong!! That answer is almost as good as having no answers! Let me teach you two today what it means to be a true king!”


“The King - lives to the fullest!! He needs to live more fully than anyone else! He is a figure of admiration to his people!!”

“He gathered the will of every courageous being! He marched toward that dream and began his long conquest! That is our king! Thus-”

“The King is never lonesome! For his wishes are our wishes!”

Edited to make it more brief and conform to fair use; but basically some quotations from Alexander the Great lecturing King Arthur (Fate Stay Night,Fate/Zero) about what it means to be a king. It is an excellent scene and one that makes me ponder which Sovereigns would have taken up Saber's side in either history or fiction.

I think there's a bunch of Chinese Emperor's who would have; Tolkien I definately think would've been a mix between Saber's and Rider's but leaning towards Rider while admiring Saber's ideals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2el6hN2JtbA

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Dogbreath
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To be a leader is to choose loneliness - or more specifically, to choose to retire your own personality in favor of an assumed, calculated persona. And the level to which you are forced to do so depends on the nature of your command, and your own leadership style.

This is something I deal with every day in the military. The Sergeant can sometimes be real and vulnerable with his men, smoke and joke with them, so to speak. The Captain can *never* do this if he wishes to remain an effective leader. Of course, he has other officers with which to form friendships and camaraderie, and express vulnerability, but who can a king call friend? Who can he share himself with without compromising his authority? To be a good king is to be a lonely king, someone who forfeits all of his personal desires and assumes the role of the Perfect Man, in the Platonic sense, the one whom all other men strive to emulate.

I think GRRM, for example, uses fantasy to explore the difference between good and bad and disastrous leadership more than any other writer. Robin Hobb does this extensively as well.

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SteveRogers
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IGN sees 10 minutes of rough footage of The Hobbit. And is worried.
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Dan_Frank
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Oh thank goodness, it's just about the aesthetics of the framerate. I'll reserve judgment on that till I see it.

I thought they were worried about something important, like the acting or the writing.

Edited because I can't type.

[ April 24, 2012, 08:40 PM: Message edited by: Dan_Frank ]

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SteveRogers
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I think we've all just come to expect more from Peter Jackson, so I'm really hoping the framerate and aesthetic issues can be solved in post-production before they actually finish the film.
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SteveRogers
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Also an article from Entertainment Weekly which shares a somewhat distressing detail about Jackson's portrayal of Radagast the Brown (who apparently has birds who live under his hat and periodically poop in his beard -- hoping this is a joke and not actual footage which was shown).
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Blayne Bradley
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I don't mind birds living in Radagast's beard. I think it fits with the tone of the Hobbit.

Also name of the song the Dwarves are singing?

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Jeff C.
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Well, Jackson says the footage isn't finished yet, so maybe that's part of it. I hope it doesn't look as bad as they are saying. "An old Doctor Who episode" does NOT bode well for the quality of the film. I really don't understand this, though. The trailer's footage looks fine to me, so unless they've severely changed it, I honestly don't see a problem.

Here's hoping it delivers.

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SteveRogers
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Though The Hobbit has a lighter and more comedic tone than Lord of the Rings, I'm still kinda bummed they've decided to make Radagast such a silly character seemingly. Though he wasn't a major player in the main narrative, he was still a wizard and therefore a powerful individual and ally of Gandalf regardless of whether or not his power was on the scale of Gandalf or Sauraman.. He may have been a wizard who was more keyed into matters of nature, but I think having birds poop in his bird comes across far too cartoon-esque.
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manji
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And Gandalf didn't do physical comedy? Thumping his head into hobbit ceilings and smoking his weed? Knocking Denethor down with his staff?

Wait, that last one wasn't intentionally supposed to be funny.

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