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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Do the Hobbit movies capture the "spirit" of the book?
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Omnigeek
Lorien


Apr 30 2016, 2:43am

Post #226 of 275 (1952 views)
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Alfrid [In reply to] Can't Post

Alfrid in drag, Alfrid's death ... pretty much everything with Alfrid after the Master's death was over-the-top and annoying IMO. Like I said, wasn't even in the top 3 of my issues with the movies but since you brought the subject up, I found the scenes annoying and distracting.


Omnigeek
Lorien


Apr 30 2016, 2:44am

Post #227 of 275 (1952 views)
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Yes it does [In reply to] Can't Post

The magic purse fits in with the setting and type of world Tolkien set. "Pull my finger" and "you never know what's down my pants" doesn't.


wizzardly
Rohan


Apr 30 2016, 2:55am

Post #228 of 275 (1950 views)
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sure it does [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe not in PJ's re-imagined Middle-earth...but in Tolkien's story it fits perfectly.


LittleHobbit
Lorien

Apr 30 2016, 4:22am

Post #229 of 275 (1939 views)
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Double standard. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Maybe not in PJ's re-imagined Middle-earth...but in Tolkien's story it fits perfectly.


Both are extremely puerile story elements, yet you seen to accept one, but not the other. Strange.


LittleHobbit
Lorien

Apr 30 2016, 4:32am

Post #230 of 275 (1937 views)
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I am not sure... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The magic purse fits in with the setting and type of world Tolkien set. "Pull my finger" and "you never know what's down my pants" doesn't.


I would argue that it doesn't fit too nicely with Tolkien's overall legendarium world, since it detracts too much from the ''realism'' and ''seriousness'' of the other stories. It's just an unexplained ''magical'' element. Understandable in a children's book, but inconsistent with the rest of the fictional universe.

And by the way this ''pull my finger'' was an actual joke in the movie? I must have missed it. In which scene this happened?


LittleHobbit
Lorien

Apr 30 2016, 4:40am

Post #231 of 275 (1934 views)
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Alfrid [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Alfrid in drag, Alfrid's death ... pretty much everything with Alfrid after the Master's death was over-the-top and annoying IMO. Like I said, wasn't even in the top 3 of my issues with the movies but since you brought the subject up, I found the scenes annoying and distracting.


OK, thanks for answering. But it wasn't *me* who brought up the subject, I was just saying I was in general agreement with Smaug the iron's sentiments. People were on the subject of humor in PJ's movies before my post. But I think you probably have noticed that.


Omnigeek
Lorien


Apr 30 2016, 5:26am

Post #232 of 275 (1926 views)
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You're free to argue that [In reply to] Can't Post

Obviously, you can argue whatever you wish but Tolkien created a world where inanimate objects could be and were sometimes imbued with their own spirits or wills and even occasionally the ability to talk. These items ranged from doors that would open when addressed properly to a semi-conscious ring that knew who its master was to a sword that had its own will and replied (once) when addressed (remember, Gurthang told Turin it would slay him quickly). A purse that would alert its owner when being filched fits right in with this world in a way that a dwarf inviting an Elf maiden to inspect his pants just doesn't and I don't think it detracts at all from the realism or seriousness of the story precisely because of the aforementioned examples.

IMO, the talking purse was fantastic in a fairy tale sort of way but was fully consistent with a magic world that was clearly filled with magical artifacts and it was nowhere near as puerile as Kili's banter with Tauriel. Kili's banter with Tauriel took away from the uniqueness of Gimli's reaction to Galadriel and made it worse as there was nothing of eros in Gimli's devotion to Galadriel.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 30 2016, 6:59am

Post #233 of 275 (1917 views)
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The Talking Purse [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But a TALKING TROLL PURSE does fit, right?


As a fairy-tale element of a children's bedtime story? Yes, absolutely. On film? Not necessarily.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


dormouse
Half-elven


Apr 30 2016, 8:44am

Post #234 of 275 (1914 views)
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They do laugh at Oxford you know.... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and highly intelligent men, particularly of that generation, have often shared a simple, childlike sense of humour, including slapstick and the unfortunate things all our bodies do at times. I think there's every chance that Tolkien laughed at those things too.Just to name a few examples, the trolls, Bombur and much of Farmer Giles of Ham suggests to me that he wasn't quite as prim as some posters here would make him.

It's a given that we all laugh at different things, but I'm another who doesn't have a problem with Peter Jackson's humour. It baffles me that some of the people who disdain the humour in The Hobbit films seem quite happy to accept it in the Lord of the Rings films. PJ hasn't changed - he likes to laugh, and for all his skill at crafting a film he seems to be a very simple, down-to-earth sort of person.

It also makes me smile when I read comments that it isn't a very British kind of humour. I'm assuming that those who think that have never seen a classic British seaside postcard or a Gillray cartoon. The humour in them is much, much broader than anything in PJ's films - and it's essentially British.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


Noria
Gondor

Apr 30 2016, 12:22pm

Post #235 of 275 (1895 views)
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Tolkien and humour [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...and highly intelligent men, particularly of that generation, have often shared a simple, childlike sense of humour, including slapstick and the unfortunate things all our bodies do at times. I think there's every chance that Tolkien laughed at those things too.Just to name a few examples, the trolls, Bombur and much of Farmer Giles of Ham suggests to me that he wasn't quite as prim as some posters here would make him.

It's a given that we all laugh at different things, but I'm another who doesn't have a problem with Peter Jackson's humour. It baffles me that some of the people who disdain the humour in The Hobbit films seem quite happy to accept it in the Lord of the Rings films. PJ hasn't changed - he likes to laugh, and for all his skill at crafting a film he seems to be a very simple, down-to-earth sort of person.

It also makes me smile when I read comments that it isn't a very British kind of humour. I'm assuming that those who think that have never seen a classic British seaside postcard or a Gillray cartoon. The humour in them is much, much broader than anything in PJ's films - and it's essentially British.


It baffles me too when people complain about the humour of TH movies when we saw similar stuff in the LotR trilogy. That goes for a number of other criticisms as well.

Oxford professor or no, Tolkien was just a man, a man who fathered four children and was once a little boy himself. I am not a Tolkien scholar and while I’m familiar with the general outline of his life I can’t comment on his personality in that detail. So who can tell us? Did Tolkien himself have an earthy sense of humor that would appreciate a fart joke or was he more prim?

His books, at least the with which ones that I am most familiar, like TH, LotR and The Silmarillion have a lofty tone that seems to be above such things as body or even sexual humour. There appear to be no camp followers or beggars in Tolkien’s Middle Earth and it's hard to imagine anybody even going to the bathroom. That works and is in keeping with these stories being presented as lore and legend but is not at all like real life and, as an adult person, Tolkien knew that.


Morthoron
Gondor


Apr 30 2016, 2:59pm

Post #236 of 275 (1873 views)
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It certainly does fit, and I'll explain why... [In reply to] Can't Post

Such things as talking purses, magic rings, enchanted doors, anthropomorphic animal servants, were-beasts and symbolic creatures (Beorn, Wargs, the white stag, Smaug, etc.), and legendary swords are all well-known motifs to anyone even faintly acquainted with Northern European folklore and fairy tales. And Tolkien was no casual observer. His research in the field was extensive.

The Hobbit is grounded in Northern European folklore, right down to the naming conventions of Gandalf and the Dwarves being culled direclty from the Völuspá, to the dragon and magic ring from the Nibelungenlied, to Beorn's house matching Heorot from Beowulf, and Beorn himself comparable to Beowulf and Bödvar Bjarki.

So yes, a magic purse has a place in The Hobbit, whereas bad jokes about what's in the wee Dwarf's pants is not.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



wizzardly
Rohan


Apr 30 2016, 3:07pm

Post #237 of 275 (1867 views)
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not really [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't consider the inclusion of a magically enchanted purse in a magical world to be on the same level as someone making a comment about the contents of their trousers, in an obvious sexual manner. Think of it this way, just to get this thread back on topic...which of these two things do you feel appropriate to the "spirit" of a children's story?

And "Pull My Finger" comedy, is how I would best describe the types of things PJ finds humorous. Obviously there wasn't a scene where this gag was used...though I'm sure PJ would have thrown one in there if he thought he could get away with it. He probably had to try with all his might to resist turning the dwarve's meeting at Bilbos into the Klump's dinner table scene.


Sarahbor
Lorien


Apr 30 2016, 6:44pm

Post #238 of 275 (1834 views)
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Agree [In reply to] Can't Post

While I concur that certain quips in TH films were inappropriate and would make Tolkien cringe, I do think people need to lighten up about some of the other humor. We all burp. It's a part of life. No, you don't *have* to show it on film, but if you can't laugh at dwarves burping after downing an ale, you need to loosen your corset. Tolkien, as a Catholic, would cringe at Kili's line (as do I) because it is morally offensive. There's nothing morally offensive about bird poop or burping. Simply teaching at Oxford doesn't automatically make you an uptight wad who can't laugh at the things we all do. Mythologies from around the world are full of fart jokes, for instance (and yet they're studied at Oxford, I'm sure). People all over the world have laughed at harmless 5th grade humor since time began.

Hobbit/LOTR cartoons & humor: http://www.sarahbor.com/

(This post was edited by Sarahbor on Apr 30 2016, 6:47pm)


wizzardly
Rohan


Apr 30 2016, 8:55pm

Post #239 of 275 (1809 views)
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ok i can see your point [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have a problem with belching or even farting for that matter and for all I know, the Inklings may have hosted riotous farting competitions at the Eagle & Child when they weren't discussing medieval epics and poetry. But the point I was making was that those kinds of things were not in the spirit of this particular book.


LittleHobbit
Lorien

May 1 2016, 10:44am

Post #240 of 275 (1769 views)
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Not just for children. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I don't consider the inclusion of a magically enchanted purse in a magical world to be on the same level as someone making a comment about the contents of their trousers, in an obvious sexual manner. Think of it this way, just to get this thread back on topic...which of these two things do you feel appropriate to the "spirit" of a children's story?

And "Pull My Finger" comedy, is how I would best describe the types of things PJ finds humorous. Obviously there wasn't a scene where this gag was used...though I'm sure PJ would have thrown one in there if he thought he could get away with it. He probably had to try with all his might to resist turning the dwarve's meeting at Bilbos into the Klump's dinner table scene.


But the Hobbit trilogy is not meant for kids... it's PG-13 actually (over 12 in my country). So there is nothing wrong with mild sexual jokes.

As for your second paragraph, not only there wasn't a ''pull my finger'' type gag in the movies, but there wasn't a single fart joke in the entirety of the trilogy, despite many claiming the opposite. And only like 2 or 3 belch/snot jokes. It's almost as if people WANT to dislike these films and are making up reasons to do so.


LittleHobbit
Lorien

May 1 2016, 10:54am

Post #241 of 275 (1770 views)
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Why not? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Such things as talking purses, magic rings, enchanted doors, anthropomorphic animal servants, were-beasts and symbolic creatures (Beorn, Wargs, the white stag, Smaug, etc.), and legendary swords are all well-known motifs to anyone even faintly acquainted with Northern European folklore and fairy tales. And Tolkien was no casual observer. His research in the field was extensive.

The Hobbit is grounded in Northern European folklore, right down to the naming conventions of Gandalf and the Dwarves being culled direclty from the Völuspá, to the dragon and magic ring from the Nibelungenlied, to Beorn's house matching Heorot from Beowulf, and Beorn himself comparable to Beowulf and Bödvar Bjarki.

So yes, a magic purse has a place in The Hobbit, whereas bad jokes about what's in the wee Dwarf's pants is not.


It's not like there isn't references to sex in Tolkien's work... Túrin and Niënor anyone? And didn't Túrin throw a glass at Saeros in the Silmarillion for insulting the women of Hithlum for ''having only their hairs as clothes''?


(This post was edited by LittleHobbit on May 1 2016, 11:00am)


LittleHobbit
Lorien

May 1 2016, 11:02am

Post #242 of 275 (1758 views)
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Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
But a TALKING TROLL PURSE does fit, right?


As a fairy-tale element of a children's bedtime story? Yes, absolutely. On film? Not necessarily.


I agree completely that it fits in a children's book, but I was replying to those who thought that this does fit, but other ''childish'' elements in the movies don't.


LittleHobbit
Lorien

May 1 2016, 11:37am

Post #243 of 275 (1753 views)
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Again, why not? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Obviously, you can argue whatever you wish but Tolkien created a world where inanimate objects could be and were sometimes imbued with their own spirits or wills and even occasionally the ability to talk. These items ranged from doors that would open when addressed properly to a semi-conscious ring that knew who its master was to a sword that had its own will and replied (once) when addressed (remember, Gurthang told Turin it would slay him quickly). A purse that would alert its owner when being filched fits right in with this world in a way that a dwarf inviting an Elf maiden to inspect his pants just doesn't and I don't think it detracts at all from the realism or seriousness of the story precisely because of the aforementioned examples.

IMO, the talking purse was fantastic in a fairy tale sort of way but was fully consistent with a magic world that was clearly filled with magical artifacts and it was nowhere near as puerile as Kili's banter with Tauriel. Kili's banter with Tauriel took away from the uniqueness of Gimli's reaction to Galadriel and made it worse as there was nothing of eros in Gimli's devotion to Galadriel.


As if there isn't any reference to sex or sexual innuendo's in all of the works of Tolkien's legendarium... refer to my post in response to Morthoron.

Kili's banter with Tauriel was puerile, but in a more teenage kind of way... however, for me, the talking purse is puerile on the level of the tra-la-la elves. So awkward and childish as not being able to work on screen at all.

And re the scene with Gimli and Galadriel, are you talking about the movies or the book? Because such a scene only appears in the Extended Edition of FOTR... are you referring to that?


(This post was edited by LittleHobbit on May 1 2016, 11:41am)


Morthoron
Gondor


May 1 2016, 12:59pm

Post #244 of 275 (1737 views)
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Bad analogy... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's not like there isn't references to sex in Tolkien's work... Túrin and Niënor anyone? And didn't Túrin throw a glass at Saeros in the Silmarillion for insulting the women of Hithlum for ''having only their hairs as clothes''?


I would suggest your example is not sexual in nature at all, and not a low joke but an insult from a haughty elf regarding the primitive nature of the Edain, who Saeros perceived to be no more than animals. And Turin caused his death for giving such an outrageous insult to his kin.

Again, Jackson's reliance on puerile humor detracted from the epic nature of the story, and was not in the spirit of the book. For instance, when Gimli asks for a single hair from Galadriel, he did not ask for hair left over after she got her Brazilian bikini wax, which is how the Kili/Tauriel dialogue felt -- to me, anyway. You perhaps have a different set of standards in comparing book to movie.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 1 2016, 1:04pm

Post #245 of 275 (1733 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I agree completely that it fits in a children's book, but I was replying to those who thought that this does fit, but other ''childish'' elements in the movies don't.


And so was I, except that I think my view is the opposite of your own. Many of Peter Jackson's gags in the films would feel out-of-place in Tolkien's book because that do nothing to add to the fairy-tale quality of the story but only represent the kind of rude, crude humor that Jackson is fond of (a trait he shares with Evil Dead director Sam Raimi).

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 1 2016, 1:17pm

Post #246 of 275 (1733 views)
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Sex in Tolkien's Middle-earth [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I would suggest your example is not sexual in nature at all, and not a low joke but an insult from a haughty elf regarding the primitive nature of the Edain, who Saeros perceived to be no more than animals. And Turin caused his death for giving such an outrageous insult to his kin.


Well, that was only his second example. The first one, Turin leaving his sister with child (without either of them knowing her true identity) is quite apt. And it ended in tragedy for both of them.

The only times that I can think of where Professor Tolkien used sex for humor, though, are in reference to Samwise's shyness regarding Rose Cotton, and Gimli's comments in the Appendices about Dwarf-women and the misconceptions of Men about them.

"Things need not to have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure
when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."


- Dream of the Endless


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 1 2016, 1:18pm)


wizzardly
Rohan


May 1 2016, 1:32pm

Post #247 of 275 (1729 views)
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that's the point right there [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien's Hobbit was a story for children. PJ decided to keep only the very basic structure of the story, and do his own thing with it. He removed almost all of the whimsical children's storytelling elements, like talking animals,purses, and poetry, and replaced it with more orcs, an over emphasis on violence, sexual innuendo and boogers. His idea of keeping within the parameters of a children's story was the addition of ott action sequences that looked like video game cut scenes...cause you know, kids like video games.

But I really wanted to like these movies...I went to the midnight showing of the first two...AUJ wasn't good, but I had hope that there was still a chance it could be at least ok...after DoS I was done. And from clips I've seen of some of the the supposed "best" scenes of BotFA, I know my prediction was correct. It wasn't going to get any better.


wizzardly
Rohan


May 1 2016, 1:39pm

Post #248 of 275 (1729 views)
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lol [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh man, I'm just imagining how that scene would have turned out if that was Gimli's request from Galadriel. Everyone would just turn and stare at him with a look of horror and confusion.


Omnigeek
Lorien


May 1 2016, 6:00pm

Post #249 of 275 (1700 views)
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You are certainly entitled to your opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

My view is perhaps framed by reading a lot of mythology from Northern European to Greek to Polynesian. The idea of magically endowed items, ones that have their own personalities and voices were accepted and not viewed as infantile material. A lot of it is in the presentation so another director would perhaps have made the talking purse a bit less over-the-top than PJ did but either way, the purse fits in with the tone and spirit of the story -- including LOTR. Teenage innuendo does not.

The purse wasn't just a fairy tale element. I pointed out that LOTR accepted the idea that the Ring had its own malevolent spirit and betrayed its wielder at times in order to try to make its way back to Sauron. The Hollin door had magical enchantments to make it respond to people speaking. Gurthang spoke to Turin, welcoming his suicide. It didn't have to be awkward or childish anymore than the thrush speaking to Bard would have had to be childish or awkward.

As far as the Gimli's reaction to Galadriel, it applies to both book and movie. The scene with his asking for 3 hairs was only in the EE version of FOTR but the transformation of his attitude from curlish and suspicious to somewhat short of adoration is present throughout -- and it has nothing to do with eros in either media.

There is certainly room for a variety of opinions here but the ones defending Kili and PJ are more reflexively defensive and somewhat less informed by lore IMO.

EDIT: I want to add here ... I'm leaving the original text up there but it can be taken as haughty. What I mean is that this thread was started by asking about the spirit of the book so I've tried to cite distinct examples from the books (TH, TLOTR, TS, etc.) showing why I think I do about the spirit and tone whereas the affirmative case frequently jumps in with "I think the movie is okay because ...." or "I didn't like the way the book did it anyway because ..." As I've said, you can enjoy the movies, I do on one level. I just contend the movies do NOT reflect the spirt of the took and cite specific examples why.


(This post was edited by Omnigeek on May 1 2016, 6:07pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 1 2016, 7:38pm

Post #250 of 275 (1699 views)
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Nice post. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have the time to follow up in this discussion, but at some point in the future I hope to revisit the subject of violence in art, probably in the Off Topic forum, and I'll be sure to refer back to your comments here.

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