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JRR Tolkien vs Christopher Tolkien...who would have hated The Hobbit AUJ film more?


Mar 25 2013, 12:54pm

Views: 1244
JRR Tolkien vs Christopher Tolkien...who would have hated The Hobbit AUJ film more?

I have absolutely no doubt C.T hated the film (if he could bring himself to see it). But at least part of me is inclined to think JRR Tolkien would have appreciated the approach PJ took, given he grew to dislike the Hobbit himself.
then again the notion of PJ 'finishing the job' on rewriting the hobbit and being congratulated by a large number of fans, throwing in Azog, Radagast the drug addled hermit and Tauriel are things I don't think would have sat well with the professor...


‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’

Perhaps the most fascinating Individual in Middle Earth


Mar 26 2013, 6:36pm

Views: 575

"I have absolutely no doubt C.T hated the film (if he could bring himself to see it)."

I am struggling to imagine Christopher Tolkien with a box of popcorn and 3D glasses on.

I doubt J.R.R. Tolkien would've appreciated it that much either, though. He *might* have liked Radagast to an extent, I think. But if Azog bothers fans so much, how would Tolkien feel? Also, what would his reactions towards The Goblin King be?

Maybe DoS would have bothered him more because of Tauriel. And, I would love to see how The Professor would react to the alleged "Galadriel carrying Gandy" sequence...

Something tells me Christopher is more against adaptations that Ronald would ever be.

My question is, would Tolkien be more horrified at Rankin/Bass or AUJ? In the long run, the psychedelic sequence in Goblin-town that made me feel as if I were on opium is much worse than Azog and his cliche-villainnessness.

But it's better to listen to other people's opinions rather than mine at the moment. I'm half asleep. Crazy

Thanks for this post. Made me think a bit.

"Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended."

"You think you world is safe? It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you. Enjoy these final moments of peace. For I have returned to have my vengeance. So, shall we begin? " - John Harrison/Khan/Sherlock/Smaug (Star Trek: Into Darkness)

(This post was edited by BoromirOfWinterfell on Mar 26 2013, 6:38pm)


Mar 27 2013, 5:37pm

Views: 524

I agree with Boromir that Tolkien would probably have mostly liked seeing Radagast brought to life, and might have appreciated bringing in some story on the Necromancer. But think he'd have had many more objections to the movie than I could list. If Chris didn't like the LOTR movies, I don't see him liking any of The Hobbit, except maybe the Bag End party.


Mar 27 2013, 10:54pm

Views: 693
Funny you bring this up

I was having a think about this only recently.

Firstly let me just say (and this is only my fairly strong opinion) that I think Christopher's reception towards the LotR films was rather cruel, for too many reasons to list, but not least his sweeping generalisation of the films being "action" for "15 to 25 year-olds" despite the fact that there are people as old as him and older who loved PJ's interpretation. And of course if PJ had done it in the way that Christopher saw "the spirit of the book" the chances are that it would not have been the major success that it was (sure, fans of Tolkien would have adored it but many of the people in the wider world would have found it too much to take in). If he disliked PJ's LotR then no doubt he would have found The Hobbit *absolutely unbearable*.

I think that Tolkien would have loved certain aspects of PJ's LotR (Ian's Gandalf, the visualization of the landscapes, the attention to detail, etc). Some things like Faramir's changes and the re-issuing to certain lines to different characters would have upset him, but I do think he would have been pleased with the films overall.

However, I think he really would have been less than impressed with The Hobbit, maybe as much as Christopher probably would be. While I liked the film I couldn't help but cringe for Tolkien's sake at certain things. When Lee, a Tolkien fanatic, began talking about Radagast's mushrooms, I almost said out loud: "did I just hear what I thought I heard?" because that, I'm sure, would have had Tolkien rolling in his grave.

"True courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one."


Apr 2 2013, 2:36pm

Views: 741
Depends on when they saw it.

I get the impression that both JRRT and CT's views and approaches towards the legendarium have changed over the years - this could even be felt within the editorial notes of the early volumes of HoME and the later ones.
While Tolkien would have resented the filmmakers interfering with his plot, he would probably have more and less charitable periods, as well as moments in which he would be more and less inclined to like the visual artwork. Same with Christopher. These two were living men, not abstract personalities which you could pit against each other in combats such as this.

Tol Eressea

Jun 11 2013, 4:11pm

Views: 419
Christopher's reaction to LOTR

While I'm not sure I'd use the word "cruel", I think that CT would most likely have hated the adaptations no matter how closely they followed the book. If I'm remembering correctly, he was against the LOTR adaptations before they even hit theaters, proclaiming that the books were unsuitable for film, and I'm certain he loathes AUJ just as much.

As for JRR Tolkien, I have a feeling he would have disliked the films just as much, if not more, than his son. I read Tolkien's review of a LOTR film-script written by some guy named Morton Zimmerman in the 60s. Tolkien did not take kindly at all to the changes to the story, going on to explain WHY he wrote things the way he did. Granted, some of the proposed changes in Zimmerman's script were far worse than anything Jackson had done, but some of the criticisms would have also applied to Jackson's adaptations (off the top of my head, the use of the eagles as a taxi service). I think Tolkien would have hated the changes to Arwen, Denethor, and Faramir, the moth/eagle connection, the fact that some dwarves have little-to-no-beards, inserting Azog into the story, omission of the Scouring of the Shire, hippy/stoner Radagast (Tolkien did not appreciate his books being co-opted by the hippy culture), and probably a lot more.


Jun 25 2013, 2:04pm

Views: 881

I have no doubt he would hate it if he brought himself to see it. As for JRRT, we'll never know unfortunately. I really don't understand why AUJ is disliked so much on here though, I absolutely loved it. The only ME film I like more is ROTK.