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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
the line didn't work at all

Semper Fi
Rohan


Sep 29 2013, 8:24pm


Views: 774
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the line didn't work at all [In reply to] Can't Post

It was obviously envisioned to become the next "get away from her, you ****!" and failed epically. Nobody ever quotes it and few who remember it often cringe because it was too Buffy for Middle Earth.

IMO, the whole scene in the movie was a complete failure. So, first, I'm going to breakdown the problems with the scene itself, and then compare it to superlative Arwen chase from FOTR because they operate on the similar level.

What Went Wrong in the movie

In the book, Eowyn reveals herself to WK as soon as he assumes she is a male. This works on 2 levels:

a) it evokes Beauty and the Beast, which is one of the most powerful images in fiction, successfully re-played in iconic monster movies such as original King Kong, Creature from Black Lagoon, and Dracula also heavily borrowed the undertones. We have Eowyn's beautiful face pit against the hideous WK and his beast. The contrast is so powerful it inspires Merry to spring into action.

b) it shows Eowyn's chivalry. She masked herself to go into battle but she honorably shows her true face to the enemy. Since he revealed to her how he could be defeated, she shows him that she could fulfill it unless he backs off.

In the movie, Eowyn keeps her really unflattering helmet, that made her look about as hideous as WK, for way too long. There's no Beauty and the Beast contrast which robs the scene of its powerful archetype. The idea is to bring the element of surprise to WK once she takes off her helmet. But that doesn't work because the audience knows who the masked warrior is. The beauty of the book reveal is that nobody - readers, Merry and WK - knows Dernhelm's true identity and then we all find out at the same time. It's powerful because nobody could see it coming and because of the strong archetype mentioned above. In the movie, none is present.

So, the scene goes like this: Hideous Green Helmet tries to defend her fallen uncle from Hideous Black Helmet who wants to feed his Hideous Beast with king's skin and bones. HGH cries (as in battle cry), HBH growls some more (including a crash course on How I Can Be Defeated) and HB howls most. HGH decapitates HB prompting HBH to pull out a mace, smash ground around HGH and grab HGH by her throat and start choking her. With his iron glove. She should be dead in 30 seconds. But...

Cut to "In the meantime, other characters are busy too" which lasts for additional 20 minutes or so creating an impression that HBH was choking HGH with his iron gauntlet for, yes, 20 minutes, when we pick up where we left of.

Merry springs into action, stabs HBH, who has a few seconds to recover from the shock so time shouldn't be wasted. However, HGH gets possessed by the spirit of L'Oreal and decides to waste those precious seconds on:

Ceremonially taking off her helmet (while leaving herself defenseless in those moment when helmet passes over her eyes and one of her hands is busy with the helmet)

Shaking her hair (that obscures her vision while hair flies into her eyes)

Delivering a Cheesy Power Line that sounds like something out of a LOTR fanfic written by a 13 years old Buffy fangirl

Finally, she does what she should have done many moments ago - stabs the HBH who by some miracle didn't compose himself while all the L'Oreal and Buffy nonsense played before his eyes.

So moment when HGH becomes Eowyn again was too short for Beauty and the Beast archetype to kick in, L'Oreal was just Crazy and the line was laughably bad. In short, what could have been an iconic scene became a poster for all that's wrong with girl power scenes.

Arwen Chase vs WK Slaying - Why the Former Works Even Though Arwen Haters and Glorfindel Purists Won't Admit It

Arwen Chase: Beautiful Arwen takes Frodo on her white horse. She is chased by Black Riders on their black horses. The Beauty and the Beasts (s) contrast is haunting. The scene in beautifully shot with the iconic image of Black Riders half-circling the rider on a white horse. The scene is simple yet effective and helicopter shot give it an epic feel. It feels larger than life.

WK Slaying: HGH confronts HBH and his CGI HB. Green screen is felt, HB isn't very well incorporated into the scene (there are some issues with proportion) and camera is too close so the scene feels small and overstuffed.

Arwen Chase: Shot as one scene. No interrupted flow.

WK Slaying: Was intercut with "In the meantime, other characters were up to ________". Interrupted the flow by making the strangulation seem to go for ridiculously too long.

Arwen Chase: When Arwen hits the Ford, the only misstep here is Cheesy Power Line. But it didn't sink the scene because, unlike WK Slaying, it wasn't supposed to be the highlight. The deception of Nazgul, that she would fight one on Nine, only to drown them with the spell, worked fantastic especially from non-reader's POV. The twist with the spell wasn't obvious so it came as a genuine surprise. This is the climax of the scene and it produces shock and awe as it should. It closes with an emotional moment that gives another layer to the character with very short screen time.

WK Slaying: Since the Cheesy Power Line was intended to be the highlight, and it didn't work, the whole thing fell flat on its face and crumbled under the weight of bad calls mentioned in What Went Wrong section.

I'll underline once again this is MY opinion, not universally accepted fact.





"RadagaStoner deserves no mercy!" Tauriel the Radagast Slayer, the Chief of Inglorious Elfguards

Tauriel saved us from Itaril. Never forget.



(This post was edited by Semper Fi on Sep 29 2013, 8:28pm)

Subject User Time
Eowyn VS The Witch-King Barrow-Wight Send a private message to Barrow-Wight Sep 29 2013, 5:25pm
    the line didn't work at all Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Sep 29 2013, 8:24pm
        "I am no man" Fredeghar Wayfarer Send a private message to Fredeghar Wayfarer Sep 30 2013, 5:50am
            Legolas totally 100% stole the show Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Sep 30 2013, 12:49pm
        Not exactly... arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Sep 30 2013, 1:09pm
            *claps* Well said!!! FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Send a private message to FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Sep 30 2013, 1:33pm
            And 10 years later nobody remembers it Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Sep 30 2013, 4:57pm
                Kick-a** heroines arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Sep 30 2013, 7:08pm
                    Hey, Boba Fett was a silent glorified cameo in ESB Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Sep 30 2013, 10:12pm
                        Boba Fett... arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Oct 1 2013, 12:54pm
                            adding one Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 2 2013, 3:16am
                                I thought that her overacting was ridiculous Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 2 2013, 3:35pm
                                    There Faleel Send a private message to Faleel Oct 2 2013, 6:35pm
                                        ha! Barrow-Wight Send a private message to Barrow-Wight Oct 3 2013, 2:30am
                                            I'd say "sand" and "man" were about equally bad Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 3 2013, 12:28pm
                                        That's always a comfort! Werde Spinner Send a private message to Werde Spinner Oct 3 2013, 3:24am
                                    Really? Just shows how people can have dramatically different interpretations... MatthewJer18 Send a private message to MatthewJer18 Oct 3 2013, 3:11pm
                                        As you said people have dramatically different interpretations Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 3 2013, 3:21pm
                                            eowyn and eomer are about the same age Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 3 2013, 7:23pm
                                                Urban looked younger Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 3 2013, 7:29pm
                                            Plain?! Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Oct 3 2013, 8:20pm
                                        Miranda Otto Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Oct 3 2013, 5:18pm
                                            Again, each to its own Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 3 2013, 5:48pm
                                                Wow Starling Send a private message to Starling Oct 3 2013, 6:53pm
                                                    I say she's obviously in her 30s Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 3 2013, 7:28pm
                                                        echoing starling's "wow" Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 3 2013, 8:06pm
                                                            I didn't say teen behavior but teen soap opera behavior Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 3 2013, 8:26pm
                                                            "it does astonish me that someone could have such a pronounced, negative reaction to otto's performance." Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Oct 4 2013, 12:20am
                                                                people think alike Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 4 2013, 1:28am
                                                                    The Faleel Send a private message to Faleel Oct 4 2013, 2:21am
                                                                        Oddly enough Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Oct 4 2013, 5:52pm
                                                                    just to say.... Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 4 2013, 3:59am
                                                                        Thanks! Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Oct 4 2013, 10:25am
                                                                    Let's be honest? Starling Send a private message to Starling Oct 4 2013, 4:10am
                                                                    From a book-firster perspective CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 22 2013, 12:14am
                                                                        Maybe the difference is in Eowyn's presentation Elciryamo Send a private message to Elciryamo Oct 22 2013, 6:32am
                                                I agree to each their own. Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Oct 3 2013, 7:49pm
                                            Definitely agree Old Pilgrim Send a private message to Old Pilgrim Oct 9 2013, 8:03am
                            Speaking of Star Wars characters... Lieutenant of Dol Guldur Send a private message to Lieutenant of Dol Guldur Oct 7 2013, 7:29pm
                I would definitely say it does the same for me... Misty Mountain Hop Send a private message to Misty Mountain Hop Oct 8 2013, 6:07pm
    Like much of ROTK, the focus was on 'coolness' sycorax82 Send a private message to sycorax82 Sep 30 2013, 12:30am
        But neither turned cool Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Sep 30 2013, 12:45pm
    I admit to not being a fan of this scene demnation Send a private message to demnation Sep 30 2013, 10:07am
        many cheesy lines get saved by delivery Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Sep 30 2013, 12:51pm
    Honestly, I don't understand what the fuss is about either Ziggy Stardust Send a private message to Ziggy Stardust Oct 2 2013, 12:50am
    The Line Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Oct 3 2013, 1:05pm
    i loved the witch king flameofudun Send a private message to flameofudun Oct 4 2013, 1:43am
    I thought the scene worked brilliantly in the film, sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Nov 7 2013, 3:10am
    Another one simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Dec 28 2013, 1:20am

 
 
 

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