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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Wired: "Why the Hobbit Trailer Creeps Me Out"

News From Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Jan 13 2012, 6:26pm

Post #1 of 93 (4608 views)
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Wired: "Why the Hobbit Trailer Creeps Me Out" Can't Post

Wired's Erik Wecks makes a compelling case for Tolkien fans to not get too excited about the Hobbit.

What's he on about? Well, he noticed something in the teaser (one that many other people did as well), but he's gone a step further and drawn some interesting parallels to one of the most controversial and bizarre changes that Walsh and Boyens made for The Return of The King. Of course, this being the internet, your mileage may vary. Naturally, there are movie spoilers.

Read the full article on Wired.


MatthewJer18
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 12:24am

Post #2 of 93 (2929 views)
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Really...a *compelling* case that hasn't been said on YouTube hundreds of times already? [In reply to] Can't Post

He says all of that to make a rather silly point. Gandalf shows emotion plenty of times in the material, and his moment with Galadriel seems to be nothing more than her seeking to raise his spirits some. The look on Sir Ian's face is frankly marvelous acting and shows a deep range of emotion that is perfectly consistent with what we see of Gandalf in the films, in my opinion.


duats
Grey Havens

Jan 14 2012, 12:29am

Post #3 of 93 (2871 views)
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Oh goodie [In reply to] Can't Post

Another person looking too far into a simple gesture.


(This post was edited by duats on Jan 14 2012, 12:30am)


nobofthepony
Lorien


Jan 14 2012, 12:31am

Post #4 of 93 (2955 views)
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PJ put that in to mess with us [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no way there is a romance between Gandalf and Galadriel. That is never going to happen. I can see Galadriel empathizing with Gandalf's weariness and McKellen's Gandalf the Grey is an underdog character, and he plays him as such. Therefore we see the glint of sadness in his eyes as Galadriel perhaps reminds him of Valinor and gives him a glimpse of the road ahead. She may even be marveling at his grey hair and appearance as an old man. But there is no romance happening.


MatthewJer18
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 12:39am

Post #5 of 93 (2862 views)
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Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

That people are even terrified of the possibility makes no sense to me, even in light of PJ's more controversial adaptations. It's clear that the gesture is meant to raise Gandalf's spirits, probably after the harrowing journey he has made on behalf of the Council. That they are both old and wise does not mean they are without emotion.


alienorchid
Lorien


Jan 14 2012, 12:57am

Post #6 of 93 (2903 views)
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I don't get why.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't really understand why so many people assume that it's a romantic interaction between Gandalf and Galadriel. I suppose we're just a product of our times.

To me, it seems totally natural that two people who share similar burdens - burdens of rings, of knowledge, of fighting evil, of just being alive for so long - would share a moment of intimacy and tenderness, knowing that they both have dark times ahead.

As for the author of that article not wanting Gandalf to be needy.. I don't see that look being 'needy' but even so... why wouldn't Gandalf seek solace in one of the only other people in Middle Earth who could understand him?

It seems as though Jackson & co are continuing to boost that theme of friendship that is present in the LotR movies, and in Tolkien's writing and weave it throughout all the characters and situations.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 14 2012, 1:07am

Post #7 of 93 (2878 views)
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This is what happens [In reply to] Can't Post

when your society had been ravaged by MTV and reality TV "culture" - or lack thereof - until it's been locked locked into a permanent state of arrested development:

"Hey, that girl just touched that's guy's hair........I guess they're Orcing!" Shocked "Gandy and Galadriel sitting in a tree, O-r-c-i-n-g", ETC and so on, and whatever.

BTW, I tried to point out this sort-of thing was happening all over the place just after the teaser came out, and several people dismissed it as "unworthy of discussion"; Meanwhile, get ready to hear conspiracy theories about the non-existent Gandriel "romance" for the next decade. Angelic

PS: Eric Wecks states in the article in question:

"I can imagine no reason the Galadriel I know from the books would ever touch Gandalf like that. More than that, I can imagine no reason the maia (demi-god) Gandalf would ever, ever look at any elf with the kind of need you can see in that clip. Uh-oh!"


Mr. Wecks doth protest too much, methinks. It seems much more likely that in fact it's Mr. Wecks who's concealing a massive man-crush on both Sir Ian and Ms. Blanchett, hmmmmm?

See, it's fun and easy to make a "revealing observation" when you've thrown fact and substance out of the window. Evil

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, with axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Jan 14 2012, 1:15am)


xxxyyy
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 1:12am

Post #8 of 93 (2917 views)
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One of the best momennt of the trailer... [In reply to] Can't Post

just thinking that there will be a romantic story between Gandalf and Galadriel is nonsensical.
Galadriel is the oldest elf in ME (in PJ universe) and we know she can see deep inside people minds just looking at them.
She probably sees the Undying Lands in Gandalf eyes, and that would be something, or who knows what, the evil they had to suffer...
That's why I liked it so much, because the romantic tension will be completely absent FOR SURE and there will be something we don't know, which I'm extremely curious to discover.

http://energyfromthorium.com/


Maiarmike
Grey Havens


Jan 14 2012, 1:16am

Post #9 of 93 (2767 views)
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Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

No one can look into another character's eyes in films anymore, even two people of the same gender, without people wondering when they're going to shack up...it's rather disappointing, and no doubt a result of 21st century media of reality television.

"I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge"
--J.R.R. Tolkien


Maiarmike
Grey Havens


Jan 14 2012, 1:25am

Post #10 of 93 (2822 views)
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Ugh... [In reply to] Can't Post

Yet another article about how Jackson was "unfaithful" to the book trilogy...how original. Yes...things in the book will change for The Hobbit. People are going to have to get over that fact. It's fine to argue when the movies come out whether those changes worked, but getting worked up about how things will be ruined, or whatever is a waste of time until the films come out.

Not to mention, some of the authors claims are ridiculous and flat out wrong, namely the Gandalf/Galadriel thing, and Aragorn NEVER considers having a relationship with Eowyn in the films. He helps her and looks after her, but I don't think he ever considers a relationship with her, because he has his heart set on Arwen.

This notion that most, if not all the characters of the LotR and Hobbit films should have that steely, emotionless, superhero, infallible personality that Tolkien likes to embody in his characters is ridiculous. Critics would eat them alive for making uninteresting film characters. They have to think about dramatic tension in a way that Tolkien never had to worry about in a book, because the filmmakers only have a few hours in a film.

"I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge"
--J.R.R. Tolkien


easterlingchief1
Rivendell

Jan 14 2012, 1:45am

Post #11 of 93 (2747 views)
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Absolutely, Maiarmike! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've made the argument that the changes in the characters' personalities was essential for a while now. Not only would critics lambast the film for being too simplistic, but audiences would get bored watching the films if all the players were Gary Stews/Mary Sues.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jan 14 2012, 1:48am

Post #12 of 93 (2782 views)
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Yes, well said... [In reply to] Can't Post

Agree completely. Smile The article in question, and its "points", are totally illegitimate, yet contain several tried-and-not-true sentiments about the "unfaithfulness" of PJ's films.

In fact, the LotR trilogy is just about the most respectful, and faithful, adaptation I've ever seen while working first and foremost as great works in their own medium.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, with axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Jan 14 2012, 1:51am)


duats
Grey Havens

Jan 14 2012, 1:51am

Post #13 of 93 (2765 views)
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Not only that [In reply to] Can't Post

But the author was under the impression that Arwen gave up her immortality for Frodo and Galadriel was the head of the White Council.


squire
Half-elven


Jan 14 2012, 1:52am

Post #14 of 93 (2875 views)
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that "steely, emotionless, superhero, infallible personality that Tolkien likes" in his characters [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to say I don't recognize Tolkien's writing in the above phrase. Tolkien's characters are the opposite of those terms.

The point of the Wired article is that character is character - it isn't a different thing in a movie than in a book. Yes, there is less time to bring it out in a film but then there are also more ways to bring it out because the actor is visible. The question of dramatic tension is the same in both media, and to my mind Tolkien does little with his characters that doesn't involve clear or implicit dramatic tension on a scene by scene basis. Where his writing is extended in a way that a film must compress and edit is in the areas of plot and setting: his large number of episodes and incidents, his many descriptive vistas and travelogues, and the immense back-history. His characters and their interactions, as he wrote them, would have made for excellent cinema, especially considering the cast that Jackson assembled.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Milknut
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 1:56am

Post #15 of 93 (2760 views)
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I wonder why so many people freak out over that clip. [In reply to] Can't Post

FACE TOUCH =/= SEXUAL TENSION.

Galadriel and Gandalf are millenia old. They are incredibly wise and powerful. The touch is simply a gesture of platonic affection. I'm 100x more annoyed by people making shipping comments than by the clip itself.

And while I too am grieved that the full dimensions of the characters did not translate to the screen I do think that the films managed to differentiate the characters and humanize them a bit. In the novels the personalities run together a bit and most lines could come from any character believably. It's the one issue I'm a bit torn on, however. Regardless I think the decisions made for a good film and I haven't lost the books because those decisions were made. So yeah, I don't know. Tongue

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie___


Milknut
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 1:59am

Post #16 of 93 (2765 views)
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I think the truth lies in the middle. [In reply to] Can't Post

And I think it must be admitted that the characters as written may have not translated well to the screen. Perhaps they did go a bit far, but then again perhaps they didn't. I think fans of the book should be MUCH more upset with the Faramir decision than with Aragorn and Eowyn. Aragorn NEVER leads Eowyn on and treats her with respect and platonic affection in the films and I think it's a poorly chosen complaint. Faramir, however, is a legitimate argument.

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie___


Milknut
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 2:03am

Post #17 of 93 (2728 views)
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I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's hard to even read LOTR today without getting homoerotic undertones from Frodo and Sam and I can say with 100% certainty that J.R.R. Tolkein did NOT intend that. In his era platonic love was still something people believed in. Unsure

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie___


There&ThereAgain
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 2:31am

Post #18 of 93 (2706 views)
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wow [In reply to] Can't Post

that was the silliest article I have ever read.

it must be a slow day over at wired.

Crazy

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Thanks for the money!" -George Lucas


redgiraffe
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 2:55am

Post #19 of 93 (2747 views)
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Dude is way off IMO [In reply to] Can't Post

We are all entitled to our own opinions but Pahlease. Jackson was quite true to almost every character accept Faramir in the theatrical cut. And d@mnit the movies were pretty dark close to the books.

But most importantly is Jackson stayed true to the heart, and themes of the books: love, despair, power, corruption, war, death, and above all else the power of hope especially when it is found through companionship.

Oh and yeah Gandalf is a wizard but he's not a freaking god. He's gonna have human emotions. And Galadriel is ancient and has much wisdom to give to him.

So I have to say "F" this wired guy big time.

-Sir are you classified as human
-Negative, I am a meat-popsicle


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jan 14 2012, 4:38am

Post #20 of 93 (2668 views)
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Hair, Not Face [In reply to] Can't Post

She's not touching his face.

Those who argue what a "face touch" is NOT still propagte the misleading term and the perception by using those words. She's touchnig a strand of his hair. That is all.


Milknut
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 5:01am

Post #21 of 93 (2632 views)
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Fair enough. [In reply to] Can't Post

Technically it's a wig.

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie___


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Jan 14 2012, 5:13am

Post #22 of 93 (2700 views)
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At the risk of incurring much wrath [In reply to] Can't Post

I take issue with the writer's characterization of the film version of Aragorn. In my very humble opinion, his moments of self doubt made him more believable. He was never unsure of himself as a Ranger, he didn't doubt himself as a leader of men when it really came to it, he only really doubted his resolve in the face of the One Ring which shows wisdom. Also, despite the small amount of self doubt, he never seemed as indecisive as the book Aragorn. Plus, film Aragorn never refers to himself in the third person the way book Aragorn does. Zarabia always thought that was a bit pompous sounding. Zarabia would question the sanity of someone who did that. Zarabia would have second thoughts about following himWink


(This post was edited by zarabia on Jan 14 2012, 5:15am)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 5:17am

Post #23 of 93 (2652 views)
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Erik Wecks is an idiot // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jan 14 2012, 5:32am

Post #24 of 93 (2697 views)
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Zathras [In reply to] Can't Post

If Zathras stay, he die. If Zathras leave, he die. Either way, bad for Zathras.


zarabia
Tol Eressea


Jan 14 2012, 5:45am

Post #25 of 93 (2674 views)
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LOL (Okay, I had to google it first, then LOL :) )// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Dzhon
Bree

Jan 14 2012, 5:59am

Post #26 of 93 (1965 views)
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Ugh, indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

I cannot understand that film Aragorn's lack of a Kim Jong-Il "Great Leader" complex makes him an "another angst-ridden man-child." Maybe it's a sign of how different modern sensibilities are, but the whole "man of destiny" thing would be completely off-putting. And if Elrond had really made it a precondition that Aragorn win the throne of Gondor before consenting to his marriage to Arwen, audiences would be rooting to see the "pimp of Rivendell" beheaded.

Frodo's character could have been a little stronger than the films portrayed him, but that criticism is overstated too.

Even the much despised changes to Faramir's character were for the better imo. Someone in his position might intellectually know that the Ring would only corrupt him, but anyone who's people faced extermination would be severely tempted to believe that they would prove the exception. For me, it made his ultimate decision to release Frodo and Sam all the more noble.

The only big criticism I have of Jackson's adaptation is the invincible green goo ghost army.


FoundEntwife
Rivendell


Jan 14 2012, 6:15am

Post #27 of 93 (1987 views)
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Mercy! [In reply to] Can't Post

After all, if Gandalf were reading this that's probably what he would say.

This tale grew in the telling. . .


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jan 14 2012, 6:41am

Post #28 of 93 (1985 views)
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Actually, he IS "a freaking god" [In reply to] Can't Post

...sort of. He is a maiar spirit (more-or-less equivalent to an angel) sent by the Valar to assist ME in the fight against Sauron. He is older, wiser, and more powerful than Galadriel by quite some.

But part of the conditions of his mission is that he is "clad" in human flesh, and subject to the same aches and pains as the rest of us.

IF Jackson is going to posit some romantic attachment, he is certainly way off base. But I seriously doubt that that's what's going on here. She would love him as a grandfather, at best.






Stay tuned for a Reading Room discussion of Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon by Brian Rosebury, starting January 23!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'

(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Jan 14 2012, 6:42am)


RoseCotton
Lorien


Jan 14 2012, 7:40am

Post #29 of 93 (2045 views)
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I don't know what PJ et al plan for G and G, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

Taken as just a moment in the trailer, I think it was my favourite moment!

As a Tolkien reader, I've never 'seen' Gandalf and Galadriel interact. This type of New Experience within Tolkien's world is one of the reasons why having a substantial part of The Hobbit movies as essentially fanfic is so exciting--and so scary... Wink


dormouse
Half-elven

Jan 14 2012, 9:33am

Post #30 of 93 (2000 views)
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Read the article. He lost me.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... when he set out to explain why book fans take issue with the films. There was an important word missing - 'some'. Some book fans. Other book fans are as aware as he is of the changes made in the adaptation and still value the films, because they prefer to focus on all that was good in them. But no - no mention of 'I think', 'in my opinion': his judgements are facts, plain and simple.

And as for Galadriel and Gandalf, other posters have said it. It is perfectly possible for two characters, be they human, Elf, whatever, to show concern, affection, sympathy - and yes, even love - without it having any sexual implications whatever. When you think about it, that's true of most relationships - or am I just a Martian (don't answer that! Tongue )


burrahobbit
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 11:24am

Post #31 of 93 (2001 views)
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I don't think the article was just about G and G romance [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that rumours of a Galadriel and Gandalf romance are ridiculous and the article is way off in that respect.

On the other hand the point about Gandalf looking rather forlorn and needy is a fair one I think. The scriptwriters for LotR believe in very strong character arcs, and adjusted Tolkien's characters accordingly for the films. This generally worked well, especially for Boromir and Aragorn. On occasion, it worked less well, such as the "Sam go home" part of RotK which the article writer mentions.

In the Hobbit Gandalf's character is rather more mysterious and a bit mischievous even compared to LotR. He's more a catalyst for adventure, and less the grey pilgrim, ever battling Sauron. There is a risk if they do a self-doubt character arc for Gandalf in relation to the white council storyline, then it won't gel with the Gandalf as written in The Hobbit.

Obviously I'm reading way too much into one shot, but similarly when I saw the trailer I found that shot a bit strange and out of character.


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 14 2012, 2:56pm

Post #32 of 93 (1934 views)
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I agree with much of what he says [In reply to] Can't Post

- esp. this:


Peter, Fran and Philippa must all have something against nobility of spirit and steadiness of purpose...
...Characters matter.


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 3:39pm

Post #33 of 93 (1885 views)
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This is all much ado about... [In reply to] Can't Post

...nothing.

I would bet money we won't even see the scene in the films. Jackson is notorious for filming scenes in many different ways to give himself and the film editors maximum flexibility when putting the film together.

I can see Jackson and crew having a mischievous little laugh over freaking out some fans with that throw-away scene's inclusion in the trailer.


karl marx
Registered User


Jan 14 2012, 4:15pm

Post #34 of 93 (1934 views)
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don't dismiss him as an idiot, that's blind! [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with some of his criticism of The Return of the King as well, and hope that it doesn't leak too much into The Hobbit. I think the article is fairly fair-minded in the sense that it does not condemn the movie, it is just voicing a potential concern.

I don't know, it kind of bothers me when people like something 100%, with no room for analysis, simply because they are fans. The trilogy is my favorite series of movies ever, hands down, but that doesn't excuse them from being critiqued in my eyes. Rather, I view my critiques as proof of how much I care, and respect the filmmakers/films. And I think PJ & Friends are the best crew to make these movies, but I don't think they are demigods/beyond reproach.

Anyway, I'm still excited about The Hobbit, and remember, the author wouldn't have written that article if he didn't care!

KM


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 14 2012, 4:25pm

Post #35 of 93 (1894 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

The LOTR EE director and writer commentaries reveal that Philippa and Fran are obsessed with "dramatic reversals," all the time, wherever they can be wedged in. It reminds me of amateur or armchair screenwriters who read a 101 on "film-making," and as such, are slavishly by the numbers about the need for this kind of constant, melodramatic tension for every character. They know the rules, but they don't know how to break them. That takes real artistry. In LOTR it didn't work because there were too many of these reversals, and it took away from the key protagonists Frodo and Sam. I mean, did Theoden really need to be painted as an indecisive leader post-exorcism, right up until the end of Helm's Deep?

It is a bit of a shame that more sophisticated writers and directors didn't get a chance to bring Middle Earth to life, but at least PJ, Fran and Philippa have their hearts in it.


karl marx
Registered User


Jan 14 2012, 5:18pm

Post #36 of 93 (1846 views)
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Oh, and another thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

Also, I never considered the Gandalf / Galadriel moment "romantic"... Is that the consensus?? Weird.


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 5:19pm

Post #37 of 93 (1887 views)
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It could easily have been FAR WORSE than much better. [In reply to] Can't Post

Shelob'sAppetite wrote: The LOTR EE director and writer commentaries reveal that Philippa and Fran are obsessed with "dramatic reversals," all the time, wherever they can be wedged in. It reminds me of amateur or armchair screenwriters who read a 101 on "film-making," and as such, are slavishly by the numbers about the need for this kind of constant, melodramatic tension for every character. They know the rules, but they don't know how to break them. That takes real artistry...It is a bit of a shame that more sophisticated writers and directors didn't get a chance to bring Middle Earth to life...

It's awfully easy now to forget the huge challenges facing the LOTR filmmakers back in 1999. The nature of the project required a huge budget which put tremendous pressure on the filmmakers to do everything possible to create mass appeal blockbusters that would more than recoup New Line's investment in the films. As you may recall at the time, the studio company's future rested on the performance of these films.

Now take a moment and think about most of the "blockbuster" films you've seen: the Harry Potter films.... Avatar.... The Twilight Saga.... Terminator 2... Transformers: Dark Side of the Moom... Jurassic Park... Indiana Jones... How many of them would you describe as being "critically acclaimed?" Now ask yourself, do you think the investors of these blockbuster films CARED if they were critical successes as long a they made tons of money?

Next, think about some of the films you've seen that were made by "sophisticated writers and directors." How much money did the Shawshank Redemption make? Or Schindler's List? Or Citizen Kane? The fact of the matter is that you can count the number of critically acclaimed "blockbusters" of all time on one hand.

So rather than taking pseudo-intellectual 'shots' at Jackson and Company, fans should be grateful that the filmmakers resisted so many of the studio pressures and temptations they faced in order to give us three incredible films. As many here have said, they're not perfect but they've given us years of joy---as well as provided us the opportunity to see two more Middle Earth films in the not-so-distant future.


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 14 2012, 5:32pm

Post #38 of 93 (1890 views)
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I think you must be thinking of someone else - [In reply to] Can't Post

- I never dismissed anyone as an idiot.


Hanzkaz
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 5:48pm

Post #39 of 93 (1868 views)
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About Gandalf and Galadriel - [In reply to] Can't Post

- I think showing the fact that they are shown to be close (unromantically, of course) in the Hobbit makes Galadriel's concern about his absence in FOTR more understandable.


A number of people object to the idea of Aragorn as the reluctant king. It will be interesting to see how Thorin Oakenshield will be portrayed.


(This post was edited by Hanzkaz on Jan 14 2012, 5:55pm)


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 14 2012, 5:53pm

Post #40 of 93 (1854 views)
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Please [In reply to] Can't Post

Try not to tell people what they "should" or "should not" think when it comes to matters of opinion.

I am not "grateful" just for the films being made, nor "should" I be.

Tolkien was a master storyteller, who created a wonderful world. I do not think it is too much to ask that a master filmmaker adapt his books to screen.

And I am not a purist. In fact, I am a huge cinemaphile. My gripe with the films is that they are rather subpar in terms of style, substance and craft. They are loud, melodramatic, poorly edited, uneven, schmaltzy, nerve-wracking, amateurishly directed, jumbles of scenes.

I didn't want every detail of the books to be on screen. But the tone of the books is very important. And PJ and co. were way off the mark there as well.

I think an Alfonso Cuaron, PT Anderson, Akira Kurosawa, and perhaps even Ridley Scott (though he's hit or miss) would have made films that were dramatically better than the occasionally beautiful, yet generally awful films we got.

I hope in my lifetime we'll get someone else's vision.of these enchanting books.


Hanzkaz
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 6:02pm

Post #41 of 93 (1835 views)
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Strange - [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
But the tone of the books is very important. And PJ and co. were way off the mark there as well.


- I always get the opposite impression.


karl marx
Registered User


Jan 14 2012, 7:30pm

Post #42 of 93 (1818 views)
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For clarities sake... [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, sorry, if you read my post I think you'll see I'm in agreement with you. That was just a mistake on my part, I didn't remember that I specifically replied to your post, and so the title is not meant to be in response to your post.


burrahobbit
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 7:30pm

Post #43 of 93 (1799 views)
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You've got to cut them a bit more slack [In reply to] Can't Post

Well first of all, these forums try to be generally friendly and interested in the movies, so please try not to be polemical in your arguments, otherwise we end up with the same old angry debates, and it gets awfully dull.

PJ and co went for an action-fantasy interpretation of LotR, which scored very well in bringing to life some aspects of the books, and less well in some of the more poetic and subtle character aspects. Frankly I think that making the movies was so risky in attempting to make fantasy mainstream, such a huge investment, and such an unbelievable marathon from the filmmakers, that it wouldn't have been made unless they went for an action-fantasy genre from an eccentric and wonderful director like Jackson. A less mainstream LotR just could not have happened, as much as I'd love to see it!

The question of how other directors would have approached LotR, and indeed The Hobbit, is definitely an interesting one. I was looking forward to seeing how Del Toro would interpret The Hobbit, and sadly that didn't work out.

Unfortunately the list of directors you provide, to me just shows how thin the list of alternatives is. I doubt Cuaron or Anderson (as much as I admire their work) would have been interested, or entirely suitable. Kurasawa (probably my fav director) is sadly no longer with us, and Ridley Scott... have you seen Legend? Tongue

So yes it could have been better, but it's surprising it got made at all.


kiwifan
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 7:59pm

Post #44 of 93 (1764 views)
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that would make me a Martian, too [In reply to] Can't Post

because i quite agree with you. Yes, I was surprised at this particular scene but I, too, see it as genuine affection, a comforting gesture by Galadriel, and not at all dreadfully out of place. Who says a Maia doesn't experience emotions like fatigue, and requires comfort? In the Silmarillion, even the Valar (who are practically gods) were seriously upset when the two Trees were destroyed, so does that make them wimps?

Besides, the author doesn't seem to even know the difference between 'counsel' and 'council'... so I for one am not taking this article seriously.

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


MatthewJer18
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 8:14pm

Post #45 of 93 (1789 views)
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Respectfully disagree. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't doubt that he's genuinely concerned and wants to be wrong, but his comments -- especially the one about Aragorn supposedly entertaining the idea of betraying Arwen romantically in the films -- seem to be misreadings, imo. Similarly, his reading into one rather beautiful shot is just way off base, even if he's taken exception to some changes before. Gandalf hardly looks needy in that shot -- and if anyone was to comfort him, it would be Galadriel. In most of his interactions with the company, he seems to cloak his emotion behind thoughtful, pensive looks...it's a lovely contrast.


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 8:24pm

Post #46 of 93 (1809 views)
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Being polemical [In reply to] Can't Post

burrahobbit wrote: Well first of all, these forums try to be generally friendly and interested in the movies, so please try not to be polemical in your arguments, otherwise we end up with the same old angry debate.

After looking up the definition of polemical, I AGREE. Smile








(This post was edited by Altaira on Jan 14 2012, 11:28pm)


MatthewJer18
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 8:29pm

Post #47 of 93 (1753 views)
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I think my primary issue with the post... [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that the laundry list of unfavorable one-liners, delivered with plenty of antagonism in tone, seem to be baiting, given that this thread hardly calls for someone to appear out of the blue and start ranting about the films as a whole.


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jan 14 2012, 8:35pm

Post #48 of 93 (1749 views)
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Difference [In reply to] Can't Post

That is an opinion of one's own directed at the films. "Troll" is an ad hominem directed at a person for their opinion. The former is acceptable to most moderators. The latter is not. The workaround is to refute the opinion without denigrating the person. And if you can do that, most of us are smart enough to know who the better person and argument is, given the evidence.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jan 14 2012, 8:38pm)


MatthewJer18
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 8:41pm

Post #49 of 93 (1809 views)
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Still disagree, so I'll just ignore the post and move on without bringing it up further. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think baiting is a very real concern, and the burden should not automatically be put on those who were remaining on-topic in the thread. But I respect your official judgment and will therefore remove myself from the discussion because I don't think it's an "opinion" that should be expressed so harshly on a thread where the films were not being put on trial. It's derailing, in my opinion, and not even an argument in the first place that can be engaged -- the tone of the post itself makes that abundantly clear.


(This post was edited by MatthewJer18 on Jan 14 2012, 8:44pm)


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Jan 14 2012, 8:45pm

Post #50 of 93 (1753 views)
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civil discourse [In reply to] Can't Post

JWPlatt wrote: That is an opinion of one's own directed at the films. "Troll" is an ad hominem directed at a person for their opinion. The former is acceptable to most moderators. The latter is not. The workaround is to refute the opinion without denigrating the person. And if you can do that, most of us are smart enough to know who the better person is, given the evidence.

I don't disagree. Differences of opinion should be applauded. It makes a board interesting. But if you are deliberately going to use language designed to pull peoples' chains, then at least back up your opinions with examples that you believe support your case. But when you simply throw out lines like,
loud, melodramatic, poorly edited, uneven, schmaltzy, nerve-wracking, and amateurishly directed I have a hard time believing that the 'intent' is to stimulate a good discussion of opposing views.

I used the term as a joke by saying Middle Earth is not the only place where they exist and added a smiley face.



(This post was edited by Altaira on Jan 15 2012, 2:51am)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 14 2012, 8:47pm

Post #51 of 93 (1935 views)
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Criticism of the movies is allowed and welcome here [In reply to] Can't Post

It's fine to disagree, but keep your disagreements with what someone has said, and avoid analyzing other poster's motives.

You like the films and someone else does not. Fine. Disagree and say why you disagree without becoming personal. If you can't have a civil conversation, just avoid that particular board member.


kzer_za
Rivendell

Jan 14 2012, 8:58pm

Post #52 of 93 (1934 views)
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On Aragorn and Eowyn [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, it seems to me that his gestures toward her are platonic. It's pretty clear that Eowyn is a lot more interested in him than he is in her, Aragorn is just kind to her. Perhaps you could say there is a bit more going on in the "great wave" scene in RotK EE, but that is debatable.

But further more, even if you do interpret his gestures as romantic interest, during TTT and the first half of RotK he thinks there's no chance of him ever seeing Arwen again. So it wouldn't be a betrayal of Arwen, at least in the movie version.

I really wish Aragorn hadn't beheaded the Mouth of Sauron, but other than that I'm okay with the movie portrayal of his character and I think most of the complaints about him are greatly exaggerrated. I have more of a problem with Denethor than with anyone else.


(This post was edited by kzer_za on Jan 14 2012, 9:03pm)


Arwen Skywalker
Lorien


Jan 14 2012, 9:17pm

Post #53 of 93 (1919 views)
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The movies make Theoden more realistic [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a hard time believing that anyone who was possessed for decades wouldn't question himself as a leader. And it wasn't like he was indecisive the whole time; at some points, he went too far in the opposite direction (ie, refusing to consider Gandalf's advice that Helm's Deep just might be a trap). But don't take my word for it. taekotemple has a psychology degree and she can tell you that this behavior is consistent with post traumatic stress.

As for the article itself, I was a little surprised that Galadriel was showing that much affection toward Gandalf in the trailer but didn't think it was romantic at all. But I knew some people would think that way. Not at all surprising when people thought Frodo and Sam in the movies were gay when the affectionate displays (ie, no hand holding in their sleep) were toned down.

And by the way the author is an idiot (you listening karl marx?) if he believes Aragorn in the films had any romantic interest in Eowyn. And black-and-white statements like calling Aragorn an "angst-ridden man-child" and saying PJ and co. have something against "something against nobility of spirit and steadiness of purpose (both outright misinterpretations in my opinion) don't help either. Wecks must have missed Sam's speech at the end of TTT and Theoden's resolve to "meet them in battle nonetheless" despite the dire odds at the Pelennor.


(This post was edited by Arwen Skywalker on Jan 14 2012, 9:18pm)


Hanzkaz
Rohan

Jan 14 2012, 10:13pm

Post #54 of 93 (1863 views)
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Aragorn's 'romantic' interest - [In reply to] Can't Post

- I thought the guy was being polite. Aragorn strikes me as being a courteous and sympathetic sort of character. (unless, of course, you're the Mouth of Sauron).

It was obvious that Eowyn was very impressed with him, but he must have met a number of women who felt that way, and must have found the attention a little embarrassing, but was too polite to let it show..


Quote
Aragorn an "angst-ridden man-child"


I found the movie Aragorn a more realistic 'noble' individual. He knew what the stakes were and was under no illusion that he might be 'better' than others. He only chose to accept his kingship was when he felt it was necessary for him to do so.

Someone who keeps insisting on his right to rule has a tendency to get people killed, along the way.


(This post was edited by Hanzkaz on Jan 14 2012, 10:15pm)


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 15 2012, 1:02am

Post #55 of 93 (1898 views)
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On other fora [In reply to] Can't Post

In other times, I have gone into exhausting detail about my rationale behind those adjectives. But I didn't want to do that here, as this thread is about the Hobbit trailer moreso than LOTR, and this forum is about the Hobbit, not LOTR.

Also, I was simply agreeing with the tone of the Wired article, not the content (I find his concern over G and G to be unfounded, and actually like the shot).

I, in fact, thought the Hobbit trailer was rather promising. Though I harbour the same fears as this Eric chap, given my experience of the films.

However, since you insist, I will give you a sense of what I mean, starting with one example to shore up each adjective:

Loud - Even the film's quiet moments are "loud" in that they don't breathe. Frodo by the Anduin, making his decision to leave, is hailed as a quiet moment, but the music, and the melodramatic manner in which it is acted (I can hear PJ saying "act big!") makes it, well, loud. The LOTR films are very "stagey" and "operatic" and i think that style should be left to the stage, where it belongs (and where actors need to project their voices and facial expressions across large rooms!)

melodramatic - countless scenes. Let me pick the twelve closeup shots of Frodo, eyes wide and squeaking, after the Troll stabs him. We get it! Now get on with it...
poorly edited - I find all three films to suffer from this. The worst offender is the intercut sequence involving the Uruks running down the banks of the Anduin, while the Fellowship rows their boats. The fades, and cuts, were like something out of a B-grade Syfy series.

uneven - someone once said that PJ paints a masterpiece, and then scribbles smiley faces all over it. Let me choose the Gimli dwarf toss at Helm's Deep here, but that scene is certainly not alone! EDIT: I just have to add "torch embedded in Nazgul's face on Waethertop" moment. Awful beyond belief.

schmaltzy - the absolutely awful "You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!" This kind of schmaltz is oft-repeated. The interminable hugs, in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n at the Havens is another culprit. These obviously maniupulative tricks (slow-mo, overly fuzzy lighting) which are meant to tug at our heart strings, instead point to the simple fact that the director does not trust his actors, or the material, to draw in his audience.

nerve-wracking - The films simply don't breathe. While I don't believe the original Star Wars trilogy is better in terms of substance, it has a fluid style that LOTR lacks. For example, I don't recall one scene in LOTR that captures the pure beauty and spirit of the Luke Skywalker staring up at the two suns scene. The lighting of the beacons comes close, but even there, instead of letting us hear the evocative sounds of the wind on the mountains, PJ has to drive the point home that we are looking at something majestic by including a bombastic and loud number from Howard Shore. Its decent music, but for the sake of all that is subtle, let the mountains and the fire speak for themselves! EDIT: The only scene that achieves quiet beauty is Theodred's funeral scene, and the followup conversation between Theoden and Gandalf. That was beautiful cinema, even if for a brief flash.

amateurishly directed- Primarily due to the shameless emotional manipulation (which exceeds even Spielberg) I find PJ to be someone who simply does not know how to direct actors to produce compelling performances. Either that, or he shoots lots of different takes, and chooses primarily those where the actors were forced to overact. Then, however, you get the uncomfortable unevenness of certain actors, like Viggo, underacting (IMO, refreshingly.) In short, I just don't think he has the instincts to elicit believable performances. IMO, the brilliant Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Cate Blanchett, Sean Bean, Karl Urban, and Bernard Hill acted well IN SPITE OF Peter's direction, not because of it.


So there you have it.

Are you sure you don't regret asking me? Wink


RosieLass
Valinor


Jan 15 2012, 1:28am

Post #56 of 93 (1855 views)
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This is the kind of comment that is not helpful. [In reply to] Can't Post

If you disagree with the content of the article, address the content of the article.

Don't simply sling insults at the author.



It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


RosieLass
Valinor


Jan 15 2012, 1:34am

Post #57 of 93 (1895 views)
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I agree 100% with Wecks about Aragorn and Frodo. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I think he's reading too much into Gandalf and Galadriel, at least as far as seeing some kind of romantic attachment there.

I do think he has a point about making Gandalf look too vulnerable, however. Perhaps having Gandalf comfort Galadriel with a gesture of tenderness such as this would have been more appropriate (although likely more prone to a romantic interpretation). Since Gandalf is a maiar, after all, and Galadriel is just an Elf.



It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Hanzkaz
Rohan

Jan 15 2012, 2:21am

Post #58 of 93 (1851 views)
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Oh, I don't know - [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Since Gandalf is a maiar, after all, and Galadriel is just an Elf.


- Melian the Maia seemed pretty impressed with Elwë Thingol.

On the other hand, I can't see Gandalf going after someone else's wife....


(This post was edited by Hanzkaz on Jan 15 2012, 2:21am)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 15 2012, 3:03am

Post #59 of 93 (1863 views)
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Oh dear [In reply to] Can't Post

That makes me wonder what 'exhausting detail' looked like. Wink

Maybe: "I hate PJ and I abhor the LOTR movies" would have saved some energy typing. Opinion and criticism are one thing (well, two things), hurling insult after insult is another. Just like blind worship of PJ and the movies, it loses credibility when overdone.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar

(This post was edited by Altaira on Jan 15 2012, 3:10am)


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jan 15 2012, 3:33am

Post #60 of 93 (1856 views)
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I'm grateful for the films being made, but I agree with you... [In reply to] Can't Post

They are extremely messy and go against almost everything that Tolkien intended with his books, particularly the way that characters are portrayed. But I love the movies, I think that if you ignore the source material they are huge achievements and very entertaining.

I am extremely grateful of the movies' existence because they introduced me not just to Tolkien but to reading as a whole. Had these films not been made then probably wouldn't read as much as I do, or at all. So as messy as they may be, I simply cannot dis them the way you do. But I fully understand your points.

"...For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomed at the foundations of the Earth"

(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Jan 15 2012, 3:38am)


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Jan 15 2012, 6:35am

Post #61 of 93 (1857 views)
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But the thing is [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't hate PJ. One of his greatest qualities is that he sticks to his vision, and he puts his heart and soul into his films.

I just don't share his vision, and find him a clumsy craftsmen.

Also, you'll see that I often praise certain scenes in the films. I think when he gets it right (albeit rarely, IMO) he gets it VERY right. But when its wrong, again IMO, it is so, so wrong.


(This post was edited by Shelob'sAppetite on Jan 15 2012, 6:38am)


Dzhon
Bree

Jan 15 2012, 10:07am

Post #62 of 93 (1785 views)
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To sum it up... [In reply to] Can't Post

"If you thought Peter Jackson botched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it looks like he's going to do just as bad this time around."


sador
Half-elven


Jan 15 2012, 10:56am

Post #63 of 93 (1775 views)
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Whoa! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I am extremely grateful of the movies' existence because they introduced me not just to Tolkien but to reading as a whole. Had these films not been made then probably wouldn't read as much as I do, or at all.

That's some achievement!


Mithrandír
Lorien


Jan 15 2012, 1:55pm

Post #64 of 93 (1785 views)
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Read the article [In reply to] Can't Post

And I was unimpressed. If it happens that the clip of Galadriel touching Gandalf makes its way into the final cut, it will be no different from Galadriel having a moment with Aragorn in fotr. It's a natural story telling device and I'm not sure how a sound and reasonable interpretation could end up with any other conclusion. Nuff said.

Social Science's biggest problem, is social science.



"The ring has awoken. It's heard its masters call"



Flagg
Tol Eressea


Jan 15 2012, 3:34pm

Post #65 of 93 (1752 views)
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What Celeborn doesn't know won't hurt him... [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel a strange indifference towards the prospect of a romance between Gandalf and Galadriel. I won't pretend it's a good idea, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much as it should. I guess I've never really liked how sterile Tolkien made his pantheon – the way he filtered his gods through a Catholic perspective, leaving almost all of them celibate and devoid of familial connections. We'll see.


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Jan 15 2012, 4:03pm

Post #66 of 93 (1813 views)
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No no no no no [In reply to] Can't Post

Flagg wrote: I feel a strange indifference towards the prospect of a romance between Gandalf and Galadriel.

I confess that I am befuddled that that Rivendell sunset clip has given life to such a preposterous notion. If a brief snippet from Aragorn and Galadriel's farewell scene from FOTR would have made it into that film's first trailer, some fans could have interpreted a 'thing' going on between those two as well.



peleowyn
Rivendell


Jan 15 2012, 6:18pm

Post #67 of 93 (1696 views)
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Yes - I agree... [In reply to] Can't Post

Wecks is so off target ... it also seems to me that the moment Gandalf and Galadriel share is friendship and of sharing the weight of their responsibilities in Middle Earth ... to me it seems very much in the vein of Tolkien's writings ...

"Look! There is light, and beauty up there, that no Shadow can touch!"


Sunflower
Valinor

Jan 15 2012, 7:40pm

Post #68 of 93 (1740 views)
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Tragic, really [In reply to] Can't Post

Esp affection between men. As in, "we band of brothers." l always think of that moment in the Epilogue in Minas Tirith after Frodo has woken up and Sam is the last to file through the door. First thing his eyes seek is Frodo (faithful to book Sam, still faithfully checking on the welfare of his "master") but then a look passes between them, and the camera lingers on them, in a way that I'm sure sealed the "gay" thing for people who choose to interpret that way.
But I always interpreted it as the final "time of seperation" of Frodo and Sam from the rest of the surviving Fellowship. Watching the rest of the Fellwoship happy and rejoicing around them, they realize in that moment how they have changed and how they, unlike the others, have changed in a way that none of the others could have. Unlike everybody else, they alone went where the Great dared not go: literally, they went into Hell and came out alive. Nobody else passed over the damned plain of Gorgoroth, the land of the Enemy, and into the very Fires themselves, and then lay upon the mountainside waiting with certainty for a horrible death. It was dreadful enough to do battle the Gates, and everyone else went through terrible experiences too, but unlike the rest, Frodo and Sam had a few moments where they defenitely looked Death square in the face and prepared for it. (The rest may have thought they were going to die in the battle, but they still had the Ring in their minds. It's different then looking at the approaching lava and knowing you are *going* to die. and then waking up afterwards. still alive...an out of body experience. Like returning from death.
In fact, at that moment, they are more like Gandalf, who also returned from death. (which is why all 3 characters in that scene are clothed in white?)

But I digress....in our culture, which is so devoid these days of true intimacy and affection, simple friendship and brotherhood (or non-erotic "sisterhood") cannot be fathomed. (What is it in modern culture that so despises intimacy and friendship? There is such a lack of trust between people, couples, etc...maybe it's b/c of a generation riddled with divorce, the parents generation, that's why more than half of all marriages end in divorce today...people just "hooking up" and breaking up, whatever happened to courtship? At the risk of sounding too old-fashioned..even archaic...but you know what I mean.) That's why the TTT Rivendell flashback of Aragorn and Arwen to me is so much more highly charged and erotic than any conventional love scene would be. And so much more beautiful.10 yrs on, I still get a voyeuristic feeling watching that scene...as if we are spying into something, a private moment not meant for prying eyes. The fact that this is between the future King and Queen of Middle-earth makes it all the more so...due to the more one-dimensional portrait of both in the books. Aragorn an "angst-ridden emo man-child"? Puh-LEEZE. Is the writer afraid of anything...modern?!

Anyway excuse the rambling digression. I'd add to comments but agree on everything else said so far.


Sunflower
Valinor

Jan 15 2012, 7:55pm

Post #69 of 93 (1710 views)
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"Pimp of Rivendell"? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry, but reading that, I almost spewed my egg nog all over keyboard.TongueSly Can't help it...."(Ya know it's hard out there for a pimp/when you're tryin' to get the money for the rent..")

This brings up some interesting issues...how modern audiences couldn't comprehend the whole classical motivations for the Hero, which would have made perfect sense in an earlier Age. For example, on the flip side, I can imagine kids today reading the Odyessy and wondering what the heck was Penelope's problem, ya know, all those suitors couldn't have all been losers, there had to be one rich half-decent guy among them, and when it's been what, 20+ yrs and you *know* the guy must be dead, and esp if she was too old to, you know, go out and get a job to support herself, she had to marry or starve, what was she thinking? Say what? this was ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy, and women still had 3rd-class status? Oh. Then she *really* shoulda got married. What...she had this "gut feeling" he wasn't dead, and besides, she was determined to be faithful to her husband? Oh please....

You have to shudder.Smile It also makes me wonder how, in some distant age where the Tolkien Estate might not have total control, The Sil could be adapted. How would they do Beren and Luthien? What would be Beren's motivation? They'd have to make Beren a more complex person than he is. What would Thingol be like?


Sunflower
Valinor

Jan 15 2012, 8:48pm

Post #70 of 93 (1760 views)
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How do you define "critically acclaimed"? [In reply to] Can't Post

What might make a film contemporarily "acclaimed" one decade might date it terribly in decades after. The flip side might also be true. Kristen Thompson interestingly delves into this when she discusses her own expectations of LOTR as a "genre action film" vs the kind of BBC Masterpeice theater peice we might have gotten if Mirimax retained hold of it. She talks about Dickens adaptations of the 30's going stale while the genre films of the same period reamined fresh.

IMO there is NO WAY you can lump Harry Potter in with shallow cinamatic fare like Transofmers and Twilight, which were shameless manipulations for a fast buck. (The beefcake in Twilight, and Micheal Bay? Say no more.)
The least good of the HP films still ranked miles above today's sequalitis trash, and as for the 2 best, the 3rd and 8th, landed on many of the big critic Top 10 lists, and as for the final HP film, it is not only the box-office champ for last yr, but also the 3rd-most critically acclaimed film of the yr, right behind "The Artist" and "Moneyball."
What distinsguises films like the HP saga from other blockbusters is a mentality by the film-makers that they are committed to achiving a great work of art, and even if they screw up from time to time, it is a screw-up in an attemot to deliver somethng great for fans.

Case in point: The Wizard of Oz. While today we look at the film as a national treasure, at the time it was released, it was such a huge critical and box-office flop that it would another generation before it gradually became the classic we love and revere today. If not for the advent of TV, Oz, and such other critical and box-office flops as Disney's 'Pinocchio" would have died in the dustbin of history.
Oz by itself is pure echantment, and technical genius, a snapshot of a new cinema, but I imagine it was a critical disaster b/c fans of the book were aghast that an earnest fairy-tale with defenite edgy politcal ovetones had been reduced to a silly musical with vomit-inducing saccharine songs and cutsey, simpering characters. Yes, the Witch is good, but where are the green sunglasses? Etc. I can imagine, most of all, the howls over the radical changes Victor Fleming made to the Wiz himself, who, if you'll remember, changed forms and personalities when speaking with each of the Four.

It comes of not recognizing that, as been repeated by myself and others ad nauseum, film and book are different things. Film is always inferior, but at best, a great film can inspire one to read the book. This is why, even today, GWTW the novel has not faded, but is still bought and read. I am sure book fans are shocked to discover that Scarlett has 2 more children not seen in the movie...as they are when they read ROTK and find out that that not only did Sam put the Ring on, but that he, too, was tempted by it and almost gave in. ("he had only to put the Ring on and at his command the plain of Gorgoroth would blossom and bear fruit...he imsgined himself, Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age"..."But then he was himself again, and he realized that only a small garden would do for him, not a garden swollen to a realm" etc. Excuse errors, I'm quoting from memory. )
I'm always surprised that nobody mentions this change...that Peter and co made Sam too lily-heroic, just as inversely they made Frodo less sympathetic. I was looking forward to seeing how Sean Astin would act being tempted by the Ring.

It is all too easy to renderimplistic arguments about the seeming gulf between blockbusters and "art", esp in today's Hollywood where admittedly the gulf is great and widening....but I'd be willing to bet that the number of "critically acclaimed blockbusters" is more than what you can count on one hand.
(Dances With Wolves was called a "blockbuster" in 1990 when it went past 100 million).


(This post was edited by Sunflower on Jan 15 2012, 8:58pm)


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Jan 15 2012, 9:11pm

Post #71 of 93 (1669 views)
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wow [In reply to] Can't Post

Sunflower wrote: I always interpreted it as the final "time of separation" of Frodo and Sam from the rest of the surviving Fellowship. Watching the rest of the Fellowship happy and rejoicing around them, they realize in that moment how they have changed and how they, unlike the others, have changed in a way that none of the others could have.

Thank you, Sunflower. Your entire post was wonderful. You captured in words that brief exchange between Frodo and Sam beautifully. Heart



Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Jan 15 2012, 11:00pm

Post #72 of 93 (1674 views)
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The greater good? Spurred an interesting thought [In reply to] Can't Post

It is very interesting to read your thoughts on the extent to which you found the films to be unsuccessful in delivering against your own personal vision. But the question it prompted (which I think also pertains to expectations for the Hobbit films) is if you could wave a magic wand and chance the films would you?

The answer might sound obvious but if we think about it in comparison to the millions of people who enjoyed the films (which we can reasonably arrive at from box office revenues across the series, DVD sales and so on) and, potentially more importantly, bought and read the books following the films (book sales increased by something close to five-fold in the years up to 2007) then does that give us all something to consider more deeply.

Now we might secretly think that our own personal vision would have been an even greater success, however unlikely that seems, but let us for the sake of argument run with the probability. How would we choose between seeing a film more tailored to us as individuals and inspiring millions of other people to enjoy Tolkien's work and read his books?

I think this again presents some interesting questions as we review trailers and form expectations about the upcoming films. Just how personal are our hopes and is there a greater good?

LR


Milknut
Rohan


Jan 16 2012, 1:23am

Post #73 of 93 (1651 views)
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While I'm not sure about all your examples [In reply to] Can't Post

the thrust of your argument is spot on.

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie___


squire
Half-elven


Jan 16 2012, 2:22pm

Post #74 of 93 (1706 views)
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That's a no-brainer: I want a film tailored to my exact tastes, of course [In reply to] Can't Post

Why not? Like any Tolkien fan, in my heart I don't think there is a difference between my perfect LotR films and those that millions of other people would enjoy!

More to the point, even if I am wrong (which seems "unlikely" to me), I would love to see a Hollywood-scale film that pleased only me, even if no one else liked it. After all, the movie would already have been made and distributed, and it's someone else's problem, not mine as an audience member, if the entire production loses money due to lack of popular appeal. And I really don't care if a lot of people I don't know read Tolkien's books or not because of seeing a movie I didn't like. In the case we are gaming out, Tolkien was doing just fine before the New Line films, and afterwards almost everyone I personally met who liked the films, but hadn't read the books already, told me quite complacently that they had no interest in reading the books because they were "too hard" or "I don't read books."

But wait, someone objects: if you think that way, no one will ever make such a movie again, because it lost so much money. Yes, of course. But I lose either way, primarily because (in this hypothetical situation) my taste and popular taste just don't match, so I will never get a movie that appeals completely to me, unless I grab this great chance you just gave me!

You have put the problem in an interesting way, but I think appeals to the "greater good" - you must watch a flawed movie adaptation of a book you love, because many other people will enjoy it more than you will - are more effective in the realm of public policy, not the realm of commercial entertainment.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
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Delrond
Rohan


Jan 16 2012, 3:49pm

Post #75 of 93 (1677 views)
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A slam-dunk. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
You have put the problem in an interesting way, but I think appeals to the "greater good" - you must watch a flawed movie adaptation of a book you love, because many other people will enjoy it more than you will - are more effective in the realm of public policy, not the realm of commercial entertainment.


In this greater good hypothetical, the "many other people" also have what they view as the perfect adaptation. And their idea may only overlap what you, me and the next random Tolkien fan's ideas are in a cursory way. So in this hypothetical universe, there may be thousands of iterations, and since only one film is being made, the likelihood of the content covering my exact wishes is very small. Almost by definition, the movie will be flawed except for a single individual (hopefully it's me). Which makes the choice a slam-dunk - I want it my way.

With respect to the movie-goers who know nothing of Tolkien's work, my hope is they will love the film. Why wouldn't they? They have no reference point to critique the film except for the entertainment aspect. And the point of trying to get others to want to buy and read the books really does not enter into the equation. All I want them to do is like it enough that they will go and see it again, this time with a bus load of their friends.

A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


dave_lf
Gondor

Jan 16 2012, 5:03pm

Post #76 of 93 (1763 views)
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I think a lot of people are misunderstanding [In reply to] Can't Post

The article mentions romance, but that's not the main thrust. His major concern is that Gandalf is shown being needy. And needy toward, of all people, an elf. Gandalf may be unsure of himself from time to time, but if so, he doesn't show it (except perhaps through nervous pacing and a short temper). And if he ever did let his defenses down and pour his heart out to someone, he would not choose an elf. He's a mair and outranks elves considerably.

And I share the author's general annoyance with these authors' reluctance to let characters be strong.


(This post was edited by dave_lf on Jan 16 2012, 5:04pm)


RosieLass
Valinor


Jan 16 2012, 5:25pm

Post #77 of 93 (1734 views)
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That wasn't really what I meant. [In reply to] Can't Post

I meant that if anyone was going to be calming someone's insecurities, it should be Gandalf comforting Galadriel, since he is practically a demigod and the Elves are just created beings.



It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Hanzkaz
Rohan

Jan 16 2012, 7:59pm

Post #78 of 93 (1822 views)
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I don't think Gandalf - (some spoilers) [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
he is practically a demigod and the Elves are just created beings.


- sees himself as being 'greater' than other beings.

If I remember correctly, when the Five Wizards were chosen, Olórin (Gandalf ) never wanted the job in the first place, one of his reasons being the fact that he was afraid he lacked the strength to face Sauron.

However, once he agreed to be a Wizard, he took it very seriously.

Knowing his limits, and knowing what was at stake, it's not surprising that he'd accept a pep talk (of sorts) from a friend.


(This post was edited by Hanzkaz on Jan 16 2012, 8:03pm)


RosieLass
Valinor


Jan 16 2012, 9:05pm

Post #79 of 93 (1682 views)
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I think the issue is... [In reply to] Can't Post

...his self-effacing nature notwithstanding, as a maiar, he shouldn't need a peptalk. Humility is one thing. Pretending to be weak when you're nothing of the sort is entirely different.

And if he lacks the strength to face Sauron, then Galadriel doesn't stand a chance.



It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 16 2012, 9:27pm

Post #80 of 93 (1682 views)
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From Unfinished Tales: [In reply to] Can't Post

"Who would go? For they must be mighty, peers of Sauron, but must forgo might, and clothe themselves in flesh so as to treat on equality and win the trust of Elves and Men. But this would imperil them, dimming their wisdom and knowledge, and confusing them with fears, cares, and wearinesses coming from the flesh.
"But two only came forward: Curumo, who was chosen by Aule, and Alatar, who was sent by Orome. Then Manwe asked, where was Olorin? And Olorin, who was clad in grey, and having just entered from a journey seated himself at the edge of the council, asked what Manwe would have of him. Manwe replied that he wished Olorin to go as the third messenger to Middle Earth (and it is remarked in parentheses that 'Olorin was a lover of the Eldar that remained', apparently to explain Manwe's choice). But Olorin declared that he was too weak for such a task, and that he feared Sauron."
-Unfinished Tales, Part IV, The Istari

******************************************
"Oh, Gandalf, Gandalf, you fool! Can’t you see how I feel?"
"Yeah, I see. I see our troubles don’t amount to a hill of beans. You belong with Celeborn. And I need to go find the only one who can save us."



RosieLass
Valinor


Jan 16 2012, 9:55pm

Post #81 of 93 (1724 views)
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Right. But still. [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf is a peer of Sauron.

Galadriel is not.



It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Owain
Tol Eressea


Jan 16 2012, 9:59pm

Post #82 of 93 (1681 views)
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Agreed.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

"Question everything, embrace the bad, and hold on to the good."


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 16 2012, 10:08pm

Post #83 of 93 (1703 views)
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Yeah, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

...comfort can come to the mighty from many sources. Such as, say, from a humble little hobbit.

******************************************
"Oh, Gandalf, Gandalf, you fool! Can’t you see how I feel?"
"Yeah, I see. I see our troubles don’t amount to a hill of beans. You belong with Celeborn. And I need to go find the only one who can save us."



dave_lf
Gondor

Jan 16 2012, 10:14pm

Post #84 of 93 (1709 views)
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Comfort, yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Comfort, yes, but it's hard for me to imagine Gandalf making himself vulnerable to a Hobbit or elf. Though if he were going to pick an elf, I guess Galadriel would be on the short list.


Dzhon
Bree

Jan 16 2012, 10:37pm

Post #85 of 93 (1703 views)
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Gandalf's character & origins [In reply to] Can't Post

Due to copyright and license issues, I'm pretty sure that PJ and co. cannot use any of Tolkien's published writings other than The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in their adaptation. I therefore doubt that they read "Unfinished Tales", "The Silmarillion", etc. To the extent that the screenwriters do consult with Tolkien experts on Tolkien's other works, it would have to be to ensure that they include nothing that can be construed as having derived from them.

Gandalf appeared similarly grieved in FotR when Frodo took on the burden of first carrying the One Ring to Rivendell and later to Mordor. One the one hand, he clearly recognized that this was what needed to be done, but he was just as clearly torn about having to imperiling those who he cared about. I imagine he'd be similarly conflicted over exploiting Thorin's lust to reclaim Erebor and Bilbo's latent curiosity as part of his greater goal of restoring Erebor and Dale as a potential bulwark against Sauron (the outline of his motives in "The Quest of Erebor" is fortunately contained within the LotR appendices).


RosieLass
Valinor


Jan 16 2012, 11:44pm

Post #86 of 93 (1713 views)
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Until the movie comes out, [In reply to] Can't Post

we have no way of knowing how it will play out.

I think that's all the author of the article is trying to convey. This could be one moment where Gandalf and Galadriel are contemplating the difficult task ahead of them, and for a brief second Gandalf lets his hair down, so to speak. And that is fine.

The author simply hopes that this isn't a sign that Gandalf's character is going to be weakened and made hesitant and vulnerable throughout the film.



It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jan 17 2012, 12:40am

Post #87 of 93 (1707 views)
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At least some of them have read UT and the Sil. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Ring of Barahir, which Aragorn wore throughout and which was featured in TTT-EE, didn't come out of thin air. One assumes the Estate didn't complain because it was only clearly recognizable in the EE. There were other wisps, but that one was the most blatant.






Stay tuned for a Reading Room discussion of Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon by Brian Rosebury, starting January 23!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 17 2012, 1:38am

Post #88 of 93 (1666 views)
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Why wouldn't have they? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read them, so why wouldn't they?

And from the films it appears that they have.

For example Aragorn’s description of the Nazgul to the hobbits in Bree borrows heavily from their description in The Sil, “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"

Interestingly a previous version from an earlier script also draws form it:

“They were Kings…great Kings of Men. Sauron gave to them Nine Rings of Power and with them the promise of eternal rule…unending life. They took the Rings without question…and one by one, regardless of their strength to good or evil…they fell. They are the Ringwraiths, the Nazgul, the Nine Servants of Sauron.”
-Previous draft of the FOTR script

And the little islet that Theodred was found on in the TTT EE is mentioned only in Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen”.

And as Elizabeth notes, though it's mentioned by name in LOTR, the actual description of the Ring of Barahir is from The Sil and HoMe III (The Lay of Leithian).

The guys doing the films are pretty smart people so I assume they surely know just as much as I do if not more.

******************************************
"Oh, Gandalf, Gandalf, you fool! Can’t you see how I feel?"
"Yeah, I see. I see our troubles don’t amount to a hill of beans. You belong with Celeborn. And I need to go find the only one who can save us."



Dzhon
Bree

Jan 17 2012, 4:34am

Post #89 of 93 (1675 views)
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Wasn't intended as criticism of PJ and co. [In reply to] Can't Post

For all the criticism leveled at PJ, Fran, and Phillipa, they have deviated far less from their source material than most screenwriters. All I meant by avoiding Tolkien's other works is that they wouldn't want to inadvertently include any material forbidden to them. That may even be why that line about the Nazgul was altered/shortened.

At any rate, that passage you quoted from Unfinished Tales demonstrates that humanizing Gandalf should not be considered out of bounds.


Hanzkaz
Rohan

Jan 17 2012, 6:46am

Post #90 of 93 (1685 views)
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I don't think Gandalf's too proud - [In reply to] Can't Post

- too admit something is stressing him.

We've seen him when he's impressed (by a 'lesser' being) and when he's irritated - behaviour traits that are considered more human than 'angelic'.

Also, the shapes the Maiar chose seemed to have a way of shaping their personalities and behaviour.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 22 2012, 6:04am

Post #91 of 93 (1609 views)
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Entirely agreed. A friend and counsellor has taken on a mighty burden, with little thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

to quote a pretty girl in a great 80s movie with a rockstar Elfin Goblin King, Gandalf passed through "Dangers untold and hardships unumbered," on behalf of all the free children and creatures of The World. . . to be all but blatantly scorned by a Saruman, a jealous kinsman who should have been his most staunch ally and friend. His hard work to protect the Elves put into peril, along with the Elves themselves, because the power of Saruman's persuassion, even over The Wise, was not easily overcome, even when Saruman's interests were not in the best interest of those around him.

Galadriel knew the burdens Gandalf bore. I see this gesture in a very positive light. Not that of a lover or of a Holy mother to a disconsolate child, but that of a friend and, as much as she can be a pupil to anyone, pupil (of sorts) reassuring a wearying and slightly disheartened mentor that his words of wisdom are not wholly unheeded and his works are not in vain. I see in that touch affectionate reassurance but also appreciation. It says, "I know how much you are doing for me, for my people, and for all the children of the world, and I am thankful for it, and I have faith that your work will not be vain. You have my thanks and my support." That to me is what that touch is about.

There are MANY things, from no Glorfindel, to Gandalf's diminished magic, to that business with The Witch King, to an insufficient explanation of the connection between The One Ring and The Three Rings and its relation to the departure of The Elves, which really annoyed me about Peter's adaptation of LOTR, and there will probably be a couple of changes that rile me up in The Hobbit. This show of familiarity and friendship between Wizard and Elf Matriarch is NOT going to be one of them. I was very moved by it, in fact, and look forward to seeing the scene in its entirety.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


alienorchid
Lorien


Jan 22 2012, 7:41am

Post #92 of 93 (1595 views)
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Bravo, well said! [In reply to] Can't Post

I totally agree. I think the moment captures something very 'Tolkien' - the moment of light in the darkness that friendship provides.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jan 25 2012, 6:09am

Post #93 of 93 (1596 views)
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Thank you. We are in total agreement. [In reply to] Can't Post

I am glad that this seems to be the majority opinion on this matter. I am looking forward to the full scene.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

 
 

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