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Does anybody actually like these moments in the films?
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Grey Havens

Jul 2 2011, 12:57am

Post #51 of 62 (582 views)
Oh boy [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, as far as FoTR and TTT are concerned, I've come to terms with some of the big changes PJ made. RoTK is where I finally threw my hands up at times and shouted, "You have GOT to be kidding me!" But to spare you guys a book-long post, I'll narrow it down to the Big Three for the time being.

-The Voice of Saruman
I adore this scene in the book. One of my favorites (but then again, I have a blatant bias towards Gandalf, as you will see later...).

I've heard PJ's concerns with the scene from the word "go," and to some extent I can see his point. For the sake of progressing the plot in an already-heavy movie, the scene had to be shortened quite a bit from what's in the book

But that doesn't change the fact that I found it poorly handled. There have been plenty of scenes that were shortened versions of their book counterparts, but still felt right. This scene does not. Everything about it felt rushed. The unusually fast-paced exchange of dialogue, the shotty fire effects, Grima's disposal of Saruman. Heck, even the music felt fast.

Because of how quick this scene went, it lacked power, which is probably one of the reasons why it was cut. But the thing is, I really don't believe you can cut it, because it really is an important scene. It was supposed to be a great character moment for both Gandalf and Theoden. And it should have been a proper send-off to one of the trilogy's main antagonists. And of course, it's how the Company comes to possess the Palantir. Three reasons right there, and all three benefit the story.

As it is, this scene left me wanting alot more. It just felt like a half-arsed way and finishing up that particular storyline. All you have to do is ask, and I would happily list other pointless shots/scenes that could have been omitted to add a few more minutes here.

And the way that Treebeard just mysteriously reappears at the foot of the stairs - after being completely out of sight throughout the entire scene. Perplexing.

The Mouth of Sauron
Another one of my favorites from the book. The scene annoys me for several reasons.

For one - The Mouth of Sauron himself. I like his wardrobe, and I like the helmet for the most part. Heck, I don't even mind the cracked lips so much.

So what's my problem? For one, the blind aspect. There are at least two passages in the chapter where Tolkien very clearly states, "The Mouth of Sauron eyed them" (or something to that effect, but "eyed" is used). How can you eye someone when you don't have eyes?

Then there was PJ's apparent confusion over The Mouth of Sauron's race in the Appendices, even though it is clearly stated that he is a Dark Numenorean. So a man, basically. How he couldn't have known this just confuses me.

Then there was the fact that The Mouth seemed to be more of a vessel for Sauron to literally speak through - rather than being an actual ambassador of independent thought. I don't know if this is actually the case, but it's certainly how it felt to me. It would have been nice to actually see another villain (an intelligent and ruthless one at that) without thinking, "Oh look, Sauron's talking through some dude." The voice made him sound like a brute - lacking the cruel wit and cunning of the book counterpart.

And then, there is how The Mouth is disposed of.

I know Sauron is evil, and 99.99% of his minions are evil - who have all done unspeakable, evil acts. I get that. But I'm sorry. You DO NOT kill an emissary in cold blood - especially a king (or soon-to-be king). The act itself is utterly devoid of dignity and control. The good guys are supposed to be bigger than the bad guys. Sparing The Mouth and letting his run like a coward back to safety behind The Black Gate would have been a powerful character moment for Aragorn. Even with the possibility of Frodo's death, he lets The Mouth run back to his Master and doom himself. Instead, he brought himself down to their level.

So instead of a character moment, we get another pointless decapitation, followed by another Gimli one-liner.

And now, THE BIG ONE.

- The Witchking breaking Gandalf the White's staff
Words cannot begin to express how much I hate this scene. The first time I saw it, I was literally dumbstruck. Just utterly bewildered. I've heard the screenwriters' reasoning for it, I've heard fans' justification of it, I've heard just about every positive spin you can come up with. I'm sorry, but there is no justifying this scene as it plays out.

Aragorn, a mortal, takes five Ring Wraiths to school at once in FoTR (including The Witchking). Arwen decimates all nine of them (again, including The Witchking) with a powerful river current. Yet two films later, The Witchking effortlessly breaks the staff of Gandalf the White - arguably the second strongest being in Middle-earth (second only to Sauron).

I mean, really?

The scene in the book was perfect. The imagery itself is incredible. The gate is shattered, and in rides The Lord of the Nazgul, ready to claim the city. All flee from him, except for one. Gandalf the White. Like a Western stand-off, the tension and intensity was suffocating. A showdown between two giants.

And the best part? Nothing happens. Tolkien pulls the rug out from under us and has The Witchking run off before a fight ensues. That would have been incredibly gutsy of PJ to do, because everybody would have expected a battle.

But really, my issue lies with the breaking of Gandalf's staff. The point is, we do not know who is the stronger of the two. Tolkien never specifies, and we never find out. Aragorn makes a comment in TTT about how despite The Dark Lord having The Nine, the good peoples of Middle-earth have The One - their banner. At least to Aragorn, it seemed that Gandalf would have at least gone toe-to-toe with the Witchking.

And remember, Gandalf the Grey took on a group of Nazgul in the book, and they fled from him (though I can't remember if the Witchking was present). If Gandalf the Grey can do that, imagine what a far more powerful incarnation of the character can do.

This scene felt like an incredibly cheap attempt at shocking the audience, and an incredibly ill-conceived way of creating suspense. There are ways of creating suspense without completely compromising a character. We were meant to believe that Gandalf the White was powerful. And what do we get? Nothing. He gets his staff broken and thrown off his horse like a punk.

I actually skip this scene every time I watch the EE. I hate it that much. I can't even watch it without getting angry.

(This post was edited by duats on Jul 2 2011, 1:02am)


Jul 2 2011, 12:55pm

Post #52 of 62 (520 views)
the stuff I didn't like [In reply to] Can't Post

Legolas taking down the Mumakil

Moria orcs crawling down the pillars

The sky in Mordor wasn't dark and firey enough in ROTK

That's all I can think of at this time.


Jul 3 2011, 6:52pm

Post #53 of 62 (478 views)
I'm very glad you didn't delete this post [In reply to] Can't Post

because I think it is really well done and you took so much trouble going into the details. And made it easy for me just to sit and nod in agreement and not having to do any cerebral work myself Smile .... thank you!

If I had been one of the hobbits I'm sure I would have instinctively fled towards the top as well, irrationally hoping for some way of escape, rather than being cornered in this dell-whatever-you-call it. Plus, they didn't know where Aragorn had gone, perhaps they hoped they would meet him by running away. Pure speculation, of course, but ... Wink

'Goodness gracious, you really are a messie!' 'Oh no, I'm not, these are all just mathoms...'

The Shire

Jul 4 2011, 4:56am

Post #54 of 62 (515 views)
"He turned from that path a long time ago..." [In reply to] Can't Post

"...He has chosen exile."

I hate it every time I hear Elrond say it.


Jul 4 2011, 5:17pm

Post #55 of 62 (510 views)
this is why I like watching the movie before reading the book [In reply to] Can't Post

because then everybody is comparing it to the book with out giving it a chance. As a fellow Tolkien Fan I agree that some scenes could have been closer to the book. But some of my favorite scenes are
Weathertop; I know it could have been a bit more terrifing for some people but come on! It was still an amazing scene and I watch FOTR waiting for that scene.
Bilbo's party; I haven't heard any bad comments about this for which I'm glad because despite the changes It's a hilarios party and I love Pippin and Merry shooting off the dragon better than Gandalf doing it.
Moria; The battle with the cave troll. One of the best scenes ever. "next time throw yourself in and rid us of your stupidity" is one of my favorite lines.
Sam's near drowning is I think, very symbolic regarding Frodo's past. His parents drowned when he was young and it does show the simpleness of hobbits.
it will take to long to go through all 3 movies but I'll say this. PJ made the changes he did for reasons only he will probably understand and complaining about it won't change that (though I do like hearing what people think). As an aspiring writer with a wild imagination I can look at both pionts of veiw and agree that there is well reasoned argumants about both veiws. yes the movies are not identical to the books and yes I'm sure PJ would have done it like that if A, he could and B, he wanted to. Not every one can be pleased so lets be happy with what we've been givin which is a very well put together and enchanting movie that has long been awaited and look forward to the nesxt one. But yes I agree that some scenes could be better done I'm sure. Who came up with Frodo falling 34 times? I never thought to count! and the slow-mo ending is the best! come on!

(This post was edited by shirehobbit on Jul 4 2011, 5:18pm)


Jul 4 2011, 6:50pm

Post #56 of 62 (505 views)
Arwen is dying [In reply to] Can't Post

The last time I watched this, i noticed that all you have to do is remove this bit of dialogue and the whole subplot just disappears. Arwen's "I wish i could have seen him one last time" and Aragorn's palantir confrontation don't have to mean that she's dying, and wouldn't have come across that way if this one line had been purged. So, that fact that this subplot is so small, irrelevant, and contrary to Tolkien, makes me wish it wasn't there.

Grey Havens

Jul 4 2011, 9:13pm

Post #57 of 62 (459 views)
I wouldn't say everybody is comparing. [In reply to] Can't Post

I tend to read the book and see it as a stand alone, and I watch the movies in the same way. I find when I compare them too much, I end up wanting something that comes about halfway between what the book has to offer and the films have to offer, so I'll never be totally satisfied that way.

This thread seems to be comprised of people who have definitely given the films a chance enough to have watched them repeatedly, and are noticing things in the film that didn't quite work for them as viewers. I think it's good, as a discerning viewer, to look at the film itself, not comparing it to the books, and sharing what worked and what fell flat. For example, I think the whole Arwen dying thing was not explained well enough. I tend to think her connection to the ring starts when she's trying to keep Frodo alive before they get to Rivendell, but it's just not very clear. Ultimately, when anyone sets out to make such a huge epic film(s) as these are, there's a lot more room for error. I think PJ & crew accomplished something pretty amazing, though, so when I watch the films, I can usually let go of my very few complaints and just enjoy them.

I agree, btw. Bilbo's party was fantastic! It's still one of my favorite parts to watch because there's just so much detail. I feel like I want to memorize every hobbit face, like they're beloved family, friends, and neighbors.


Jul 5 2011, 6:46pm

Post #58 of 62 (415 views)
hmmm...... [In reply to] Can't Post

You make a good point that the whole thing could have been easily dealt with by just leaving out the "Arwen is dying" reference...the film makers dropped other things, like Arwen at Helm's Deep, for example -- why not this?

I suspect that they left the "death" part in because it was tied to the plot point of giving Elrond a motivation to reforge the sword and bring it to Aragorn...leaving that out, you're left with wondering why Elrond finally decided to act. And for Aragorn, I do think, in film verse, they wanted to show that Aragorn was going on to fight, and gain the throne if he won, without any thought of personal gain for himself -- that he was putting the greater good above his own self interest, as the one person he cared about in all of this was very likely not going to be survive and be with him in the end. In that way, also, her return to him at the end is a "gift" for his willingness to serve, which avoids the fairy-tale princess sense that she's the "prize" that he was fighting for, instead.

The really frustrating thing for me is that we get hints that they did indeed have the back story worked out to make the "dying" aspect of the story credible. (I'm thinking about that trailer bit, for example, where Elrond says something like "You gave away your life's grace, there is nothing I can do for you). It seems they were trying to tie her fate to her decision to save Frodo at the Ford. Now, that kind of context would have really helped, but in the end, all we got was that she was dying, and not exactly why other than "her fate it tied to the Ring" -- just exactly how and why would that be so? Having this be the result of some action she took, like saving Frodo, would have at least provided a basis for her situation...

In the end, I sure wish they had not had to cut out all the stuff that explained this plot point...since they just didn't connect the dots enough, it's one of those things that you end up really struggling to explain, rather than embracing as part of the story.


Registered User

Jul 5 2011, 8:13pm

Post #59 of 62 (455 views)
The Wizard of Oz ending [In reply to] Can't Post

There are things I don't care for (especially deviations from the book) but I refuse to get into the debate of which is better book or movie. Its just silly. Frankly all the parts I think are cheesy my wife (who hated fantasy until the LOTR films and now can't get enough...thank you, Peter!) absolutely loves. But the one part that I just cringe is Frodo waking up to all the fellowship walking in at the end of ROTK. Oh my gosh, what were they thinking! Every time I watch it I find myself quoting, "and you were there, and you were there...." only to receive a sharp elbow in the ribs.

The Shire

Jul 7 2011, 1:10pm

Post #60 of 62 (361 views)
The "Drinking Game" scene [In reply to] Can't Post

For me this is the worst scene in the whole extended trilogy - it's not even funny just silly.


Jul 11 2011, 9:22pm

Post #61 of 62 (443 views)
Believe me, [In reply to] Can't Post

I absolutely cannot wait until the day when/if we eventually get to see the deleted scenes, especially these ones about Arwen dying. There seems to be quite a bit more of it, so I'm hoping we eventually get to see it!

But anyway, I completely see where you're coming from, but since it's not fleshed out at all, I'd rather it had just been eliminated. But it's a minor nit-pick in the greater scheme of the movies, I assure you Angelic

Niniel Valinor

Nov 20 2011, 4:08pm

Post #62 of 62 (480 views)
There's some... [In reply to] Can't Post

... parts I don't like. I probably forget half of them now and they're not big enough to ruin the movies or books for me.

- I did like Legolas' character in the movie actually, but I really wish they hadn't decided to pull some of those nutty actions scenes for him. I don't really mind them as much as others, but I get why people react negatively to them. Those moments he has in FOTR on the other hand I love. Probably because it was the first movie and all new. The troll and the one arrow straight between the eyes of one orc so far away? Badass XD

- The slow mo in the end. I love PJ, but he's way too fond of the slow mo button which I tend to hate lol. Got unnececcary cheesy.

- The ents were kinda boring. I know they're slow and 'it takes a looooong time to say anything.... in oooooold entish" or whatnot. Just a little too long XD

- Elves at Helm's Deep and Haldir's death was unnececcary.

- The way Frodo falls over the edge in Mount Doom

"Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life."

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