Lurker in the Mirk
Dec 21 2014, 3:02am
Welcome, and thanks so much for articulating these thoughts. I've often wanted to write up my thoughts, but gave up because well... anyway, I agree with almost everything you say, so thank you again for doing it.
*waves* Hi Dragonrnbw. You're not alone
Let me start off saying I have great respect for PJ and Company. I loved the LOTR and walked into the Hobbit with the same love. Yet, I shed no tears..I found the story rushed and memorable scenes I remembered so fondly from the books gone. I am also confused how someone who paid such close attentions to details in the clothing, sets, and props have such crazy holes in the plot/ story???I have the same conflicting frustrations and affection with the story development and treatment.
Sure, LotR is not perfect either but there seemed a better awareness of going closer to book than not where there's a choice. This I believe boils down, in part, to actual life-long fans in the form of Christopher Lee and Ian McKellan feeling strongly and actually speaking up for changes and decisions that's pro-books.
And sure TH is much less substantial as a book for a trilogy-so understandably the team decided to mine LotR appendices and co-opt stuff from copyrighted materials they can't touch directly. But when they decide to wing it and free-style parts of the story, and especially to depart from the actual narrative, and there's no Christoper Lee or Ian McKellan to reign in their wilder tendencies, that's where the trouble starts, and things get into a quagmire.
AGE: Yup. Again, ditto. The first time I heard LP say it, I was going "Woah..." and the thought about, Legolas' movie age popped into my head too. I remember going "What's this guy on?" But I've changed my mind since. I can't claim to know the inner workings of the team nor to know anyone or have any inside knowledge, but this strange problem we see here I place squarely on PJ and PB. Please bear in mind, I'm not trying to defend LP just cos, but from the interviews I've seen/read of him, for TH and other stuff, I get the feeling he takes his work really seriously and treats all his roles with respect and research the heck out of them, and he seemed to be conscious of being the spokesman for his roles. Aside from the age thing, he's shown himself to be quite the geek in all things Thranduil. So I think that as any good student would, and in the face of nothing concrete on the fact, LP would not pull out any random number but had probably taken the number PB/PJ gave him as Thranduil's age.
– I love Lee Pace. He did an awesome job. Now he needs to stop doing interviews and I need to stop reading what he says about Thranduil.
Lee goes on and on about Thranduil being so old. Then he states Thranduil is 3000 years old. OK 3000 years old is YOUNG in the lives of the Eldar. Many are much older than him! In fact he is not much older than Arwen and her brothers.
- Also add to it Legolas is supposed to be 2931 at the time of LOTR. His son is almost as old as him!
- If he is 3000 during the Hobbit then he is tender 52 years old in War of the last Alliance – too young in my opinion.
- Also in one interview he states Thranduil was alive in the First Age…WHAT?????
One personal note: I have Thranduil pegged as a FA Elf, just from the experience needed to not only get through the WoLA, but also suddenly having to become commander and continue from thence to the throne back at home, and also his penchant for underground fortresses.
Again, Yup! Really, the rest of your post is very thoughtful and well thought-out, and I find myself nodding, in agreement, not sleepiness. Bravo! I'd just to add
This plot/story has more holes than Swiss cheese!!!
- like you say, money talks. Even if the Mirkwood Elves were not viewed in a different light, I imagine that Thranduil is enough of a savvy ruler to understand the power of economics. Besides, hey the Mirkwood Elves are the same sort as Lothlorien Elves. If Mirkwood has problems with image, so do the Lothy ones, to a certain extent. The gap is of course made up for by Galadriel and the power of Nenya. But the filling of that gap is really down to the personal glamour of Galadriel and her Ring more than any real benefit to the rustic peasants in Lothlorien, imo. Going back to Thranduil, I cannot believe he would throw his people at a venture that seemed to be defined as just a personal quest reclaiming a memento either.
- the wifey bit. Again, bizarre. I suspect this is a curious side-effect of the so-called initiative for female representation. After making one warrior female Elf, for whom they cannalised time (along with Legolas who imo, has too much screentime too) that should be devoted to Thranduil, and then wasting all that setup to have her end as a trope, Thranduil's wife was trotted out as another sally at romanticising the notion of empowerment for girls in the narrative. Again, bizarre, because there was no hint of her ghost since the start until Legolas mentioned his mother in BotFA. Another "Wha...." moment. Poor story-telling again, imo.
I have nothing to add, except to cite this (emphasis mine), and say this: this is the perfect piece of evidence of the team winging it as they like when they feel like it.
I just don’t get this entire story line. It makes no sense to me! I sometimes wonder if the reason they don’t tell us more is because it has so many holes in it. Just like the line where he tells him to find Strider. Now we all know he is only 10 years old and does not have that name yet. I am pretty sure he did that to clue in people who haven’t read the books. I wish PJ wouldn’t dumb up the fans…we know it doesn’t fit..let the non-obsessed fans look it up rather than toss something in that isn’t correct!
I definitely have my problems with Thranduil's character-arc in the movie, but honestly, I like the dangerous fey LP projects as this MAGNIFICENT ELF, which to me, does evoke FA!Elf for me. There was little enough of the Elvenking in the book that for one, I'm happy for the room to create. Sound contradictory I know. But even with the confusing and strange and senseless creative decisions PJ made about Thranduil, the ambivalance in what we were given of his character made him more real and solid than the others we've got throughout the ME movies. Thranduil is the best Elf of the ME movie-verse, to me, not only because of his perfect beauty, but because of his solidness as an imperfect entity of ME.
There are moments that I caught that hint at the potential, if only there was some proper scene setup and proper progression. For example, Thranduil's grand entrance. His arrival in Dale with aid clearly shows compassion, albeit tempered with pragmatism (Dale is a great staging area for the chain-gang that would be needed to empty the obscenely overflowing glittery in Halls of Erebor). His immediate disclaimer to Bard about any altruism is quite telling to me - Thranduil abhors misrepresentation and disingenuity - which informs the confrontation scene with Thorin in DoS. But it's too short, and there's too little of it!
Also, it's ridiculous that the writers talk so much about Thranduil's backstory informing what happens in the movie when so much of it is not even evident, to the point of if you're not a fan who reads/watches interviews and the paraphernalia, you simply DON'T KNOW. That, to me is a serious failing of not just movie-making, but story-telling. Backstories outside of the delivered product should enhance, augment, not be requisite for "getting it". The movie-makers seemed at times confused about who their audience is, or even what medium they're working in. I suspect this may be partly due to meddling studios with an eye on the profile margin. The bizarre focus on linking TH to LotR in some of those trailers and PR stuff is evidence enough, imo.
So please make room on the bandwagon, because there's at least one other person here who has a ticket on it
"I'll say dark and gritty, which, with the Elvenking, translates as Hot and Sexy. " - vanima ephel
I fancy myself an ME BFF (Book/Film Fan)
(Aaaaand a gushy Thranduil fangurl before The Hobbit movies; still a gushy Thranduil fangurl through them. )
Thranduil Appreciation. Threadcount: XXVIII
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"BoFA"= The Battle || "BotFA"/"tBotFA" = The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk