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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
What's subtlety got to do with it?

FarFromHome
Valinor


Nov 15 2012, 9:39am


Views: 356
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What's subtlety got to do with it? [In reply to] Can't Post


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The music foreshadows the events too obviously, IMO. I feel that in many cases, the LOTR soundtrack piled onto the drama too forcefully, thus exacerbating PJ's lack of subtlety even further.


When you're telling a larger-than-life epic story, you're not going for subtlety, instead you need villains that project a powerful sense of evil and danger. This is not a mystery story, where you are supposed to figure out for yourself who's the villain here. Let's face it, Tolkien wasn't so subtle himself, introducing this character as "Wormtongue" before we even meet him!

Actually, I think starlesswinter's point about the time signature of the music is a very good one, and one that's borne out by Tolkien's treatment of this episode in the book. I don't think the muscial "clue" is overly obvious, although of course if you pay attention you understand what it means. In fact that's a very good approximation to the storytelling style used by Tolkien here - he's also has made it clear to those who were paying attention that Saruman is at the bottom of the trouble in Rohan, with Gandalf's words at the Council of Elrond: "In Rohan I found evil already at work: the lies of Saruman..." And Gandalf's reaction to the first mention of Wormtongue is far from subtle too - when the guards obstruct the travellers saying they are under orders from Wormtongue:
"‘Wormtongue?’ said Gandalf, looking sharply at the guard. ‘Say no more!"
Not so subtle - but I don't see Tolkien attempting subtlety here, any more than Jackson does. There's a time and a place for subtlety, and this ain't it!

Tongue

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings


Subject User Time
SCOD - The words of a snake FlyingSerkis Send a private message to FlyingSerkis Nov 14 2012, 5:56pm
    Brad Dourif is amazing in this scene. I love his delivery of "I told you to take the Wizard's staff!" thomasofrohan Send a private message to thomasofrohan Nov 14 2012, 6:00pm
    Music starlesswinter Send a private message to starlesswinter Nov 14 2012, 6:15pm
        IMO, that's the problem with it Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 14 2012, 8:20pm
            "More subtle" is not necessarily "better" thomasofrohan Send a private message to thomasofrohan Nov 14 2012, 10:18pm
                Its a matter of taste Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 14 2012, 11:19pm
            But how many people actually notice something like that? starlesswinter Send a private message to starlesswinter Nov 14 2012, 11:53pm
                Most people I have spoken with Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 15 2012, 4:43am
                    That's not the point I was trying to make starlesswinter Send a private message to starlesswinter Nov 15 2012, 6:32am
                        Got it Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 15 2012, 6:46am
                    But was Tolkien really subtle himself? // macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Nov 15 2012, 2:02pm
                        Depends on what you mean by subtle Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 15 2012, 6:51pm
                            I love a good bad guy design! starlesswinter Send a private message to starlesswinter Nov 15 2012, 7:59pm
                                What do I expect from PJ? Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Nov 15 2012, 8:22pm
                                    Well hope that the dim witted audience members ForestPark Nov 22 2012, 2:22am
                    As you see, GoodGuyA Send a private message to GoodGuyA Nov 15 2012, 5:05pm
            What's subtlety got to do with it? FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 15 2012, 9:39am
        The bit of music I'm talking about, which plays over this, is not in 5/4 FlyingSerkis Send a private message to FlyingSerkis Nov 15 2012, 1:06pm
    Great choice, thanks! Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Nov 14 2012, 6:15pm
    Do I dare to put in my two cents? :P zarabia Send a private message to zarabia Nov 16 2012, 7:00am
        Movie Demographics like LOTR need to appeal to a Bombadil Send a private message to Bombadil Nov 16 2012, 2:16pm
    Meant to say this earlier, One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Nov 21 2012, 1:14pm

 
 
 

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