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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Questions about The Two Towers films

Anorien
Rohan

Jun 9 2008, 11:00pm

Post #1 of 23 (660 views)
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Questions about The Two Towers films Can't Post

It's that wonderful time in the norhtwest when we're currently the coldest, wettest, part of the country, we have officially labeled it June-uary. So I watched The Two Towers this weekend, the wonderful rain woudn't let me go outside, and I noticed a few things and remembered a few questions.

In the extended version of the movie:
When Eowyn gives Aragorn the "stew" that she made, what is that white stuff floating around? I know it's meat, but it looks raw or something. (the face he made, priceless)

In Osgiliath, during Faramir's flashback, I thought Boromir left Minas Tirith two weeks after the battle, after having the prophetic dream and everything. So why change it so much in the movie? Was it just more convenient?

And why did they have Frodo and Sam go to Osgiliath if they just went to the Crossroads in the book? Seems more complicated, but I guess I could see it for dramatic purposes.

Any ideas?

Thanks!


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 10 2008, 9:44am

Post #2 of 23 (478 views)
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Love the stew scene! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know a lot of people have thought that scene a bit of a stretch, but I love it as it shows that Eowyn IS a shieldmaiden and not a typical woman of the time who cooks and keeps the castle clean. It's priceless! I'm thinking it's fishsessss, precious. They're camping near a lake, so I've taken it as dinner being plucked from the water and tossed into a pot of water with what was supposed to be some herbs and TATERS!?

Re: Boromir's departure: The book's timelines has been totally tossed out the window since it's impossible to keep the story moving and take the luxury of time that the book shows. This scene was done as a pickup after the principle photography to show more of the relationship between Faramir, Boromir and Denethor; so the timing is something we look off into the sky and pretend we never noticed ;)

Re: Frodo and Sam in Osgiliath: Again, they came there to move the plot forward. There's such a diversion for Faramir's character from the Faramir in the book, they had to bring his drive to take "this mighty gift" of the Ring to his father to a climax and show him how the power and influence (and danger) of the Ring will affect not only individuals (seeing Frodo overwhelmed), but what it would do to bring it to Minas Tirith. So again, we look off into the sky and whistle and p'raps cringe a bit with this one... but it gets the job of showing Faramir's "quality" done :)

Anyway... that's what I've always convinced myself of. GREAT QUESTIONS.. and what a wonderful way to spend a rainy day. I APPROVE! You may carry on! *winkie, wink*


sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 10 2008, 9:56am

Post #3 of 23 (466 views)
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What I've heard [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The meat. It is probably something really greasy and awful. Apparently she can't cook that will (indeed, that face), and since they are "escaping to Helm's Deep", they didn't have time to pack fresh meatballs, so it will be something awful.

2. I belief that with the scene after the battle, they wanted to show the bond that existed between the two brothers, Boromir and Faramir, and also why Faramir does what his father tells him to do (go back to Osgiliath after it is taken by the Orcs). Besides that, you don't know when Boromir left, maybe it took him two weeks to prepare for leaving to Rivendell.
What I don't understand, it took Boromir 5 days (I believe) to travel to Rivendell from Gondor. When the Fellowship leaves Rivendell, Gandalf says they have to keep walking south (or something like that) for 40-days. Ok, on horseback you are a lot faster, but 5 days or 40 days, that is really a hugh difference.

3. That one I heard in the appendices. Let's see if I remember correctly. In the book it is very well described how Faramir comes to his decision to let Frodo and Sam go. In the movie it would look really silly. An army-captain, with lots of man under his command, and then let two small Hobbits go, just for no real reason. So they had to make a clear reason, so everybody would comprehend why he let them go. That is why they had to be brought to Osgiliath, where Frodo even is willing to sacrifice himself and the ring to the Ringwraith instead of going with Faramir to Minas Tirith. And after that Faramir realises (and with him lots of his men) that Frodo has to destroy the ring.

Hopefully I described it correctly, otherwise, feel free to correct me.


frederica bolger
Lorien


Jun 10 2008, 11:22am

Post #4 of 23 (461 views)
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One of the Dunedain... [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh yes, the stew scene. It makes me cringe every time. I think it is there to 'humanise' Eowyn after having seen her deadly focused and determined. there she is, having a laugh with Gimli while here uncle gazes on fondly, and trying to cook but knowing she is no good at it; it relates to 'I would have you smile again' later. I think the important bit is her realising a bit of what Aragorn really is, and withdrawing in awe; his assumed death later opens up the emotions again.

The ingredients: I agree with gramma that it is some river fish. It could be mutton fat too of course (arghhh).

The 'sons of sthe steward' business; I think it is a good way of bringing Boromir back into focus and making sure people know that his death makes a difference. You can always rely on Mr Bean to give a rousing speech...

Rain may fall and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree I will lie
And watch the clouds go sailing by.


weaver
Half-elven

Jun 10 2008, 2:44pm

Post #5 of 23 (448 views)
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rationales for filming and cutting non-book scenes... [In reply to] Can't Post

All of the scenes you inquired about are non-book scenes, invented for a reason, so it helps to think of them in terms of how they contribute to the entire film.

In the case of the stew, I can't comment on the meat, but there were three or four Aragorn/Eowyn scenes they added, which only appear in the EE's, that help add some dimension to the relationship between these two characters. They were cut, though, for timing mostly but also I think that they found afterwards that the relationship didn't need these scenes to work on screen. In fact, in some ways, I think "less is more" when it comes to Aragorn and Eowyn -- if they have more limited interaction, it makes it easier to see that "it is but a shadow and a thought" that she loves.

Sons of the Steward always seems to me like back-story the film makers had in mind for the characters, but which works better as back-story than being shown. Kind of like Tolkien working out where the Nazgul were before they got to the Shire, which you can read about in Unfinished Tales (I think); it's interesting, and nice to know there's some basis for why the Nazgul take so long to get to Hobbiton, but ultimately, that level of detail doesn't need to be told as part of the actual book. I know many like the Sons of the Steward, but to me it always feels a bit too "modern" in tone, tells me too much about these characters, and robs the first appearance of Denethor in ROTK of its impact. If you already "know" he's going to be trouble, then the scene where Gandalf and Pippin do that great ride into City, only to be dashed by Denethor's pride, is diminished.

Going to Osgiliath is a natural outgrowth of the changes made to Faramir's storyline. In addition to what others have said, about how the book scene wouldn't work on screen, I think the way they played up the "weakness" of men meant that you couldn't have any other Man then Aragorn turn down the power of the Ring. So Faramir needs to at least consider using the Ring, if Aragorn is to be shown as exceptional in being able to resist not only the ring, but being tempted by it. So this is one addition they had to make, and leave in the Theatrical version of TTT, as bigger themes and other parts of the tale hinge on it. It's beautifully filmed, but it's still a scene that supports other parts of the story, and works best I think when viewed in that context.

Good questions and glad you got to enjoy TTT again!

Weaver



Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 10 2008, 3:14pm

Post #6 of 23 (451 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

In the extended version of the movie:
When Eowyn gives Aragorn the "stew" that she made, what is that white stuff floating around? I know it's meat, but it looks raw or something. (the face he made, priceless)


Personally I thought they were dumplings.

The stew scene is somewhat puzzling, as on the one hand one assumes that Eowyn would be an accomplished cook. Surely she at least became experienced at whipping up soup while she was nursing Theoden. And the two refugee children seem to be relishing the soup she presumably made. (But then again, hunger gives savory spice to any meal.)

On the other hand one would assume that as a ranger Aragorn would be able to eat just about anything, and that even if Eowyn had made hakuna matata stew out of snails, earthworms, and beetles he’d eat it without a thought.

Now I remember the film “Support Your Local Sheriff” (1969). Joan Hackett, supposedly a very good cook, is so smitten and distracted by James Garner that she totally ruins the special dinner that she had meant to impress him. So it could be something similar with Eowyn. Maybe she was so distracted over Aragorn that she unthinkingly added just a little bit (or a whole bunch) more of this or that spice. (As an example, imagine adding one cup of salt instead of one teaspoon!) Now my wife is an extremely good cook. But sometimes even she gets just a little too enthusiastic with spices when cooking up a romantical dinner. So I’m sometimes faced with the choice of either saving her feelings and forcing it down, or else being honest and saying “Dear, there’s just too much rosemary/curry/basil/whatever.” I recommend honesty since otherwise you’ll probably get served it again.


In Osgiliath, during Faramir's flashback, I thought Boromir left Minas Tirith two weeks after the battle, after having the prophetic dream and everything. So why change it so much in the movie? Was it just more convenient?

Yes. Scenes in films have to do several things at once. They combined the battle and Boromir’s leaving into one scene. Otherwise you’d have to have a structured scene for the battle in Osgiliath, and then a separate structured scene covering the departure of Boromir. Combining the two saves time. Even in the event the scene was cut to save time. It’s always tempting to ask why didn’t the writers add a favorite scene or line from the book. But a scene here and a line there and eventually you’re talking about a whole ‘nother movie. (Which wouldn’t be a bad thing.)


And why did they have Frodo and Sam go to Osgiliath if they just went to the Crossroads in the book? Seems more complicated, but I guess I could see it for dramatic purposes.

Well, first, Frodo and Sam’s part of story needed an obstacle to be overcome. In the book it’s Shelob. But if they used Shelob in the second film then the third film would be mostly Frodo and Sam simply wandering around Mordor. Not good cinema. So Jackson & Co. moved Shelob to ROTK, which gave Frodo and Sam an obstacle to overcome. However, that gives rise to the question of what would be the obstacle in the second film!

So the screenwriters decided to make Faramir the obstacle. Now in the book Faramir is a parallel of Aragorn. So it is with the film. In the first film we worry about whether Aragorn will claim the ring. But he doesn’t, and in the end he lets Frodo go, and we realize how noble he is. Similarly, all during TTT we worry about whether Faramir will take the ring. But just like Aragorn, in the end he lets Frodo go, and so likewise demonstrates his quality. If you watch closely, Faramir never claims the ring either. Sure, he’s taking it to Minas Tirith, but in Osgilaith he orders it taken to his father as a gift. He could never have sent the ring away if he had been under its influence. So yeah, book Faramir is still there. It’s just for dramatic purposes he isn’t quite as cooperative as he was in the book. It takes him a while to trust the hobbits. And in the meantime he’s the obstacle the film requires.

And to finally answer your question, they go to Osgiliath because playing all this out at the Crossroads would have been too static, too stagy. Instead they move to Henneth Annûn, then move again to Osgiliath. Jackson uses movement in the films to keep the interest of the audience, a very important consideration in a three hour film.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



frederica bolger
Lorien


Jun 10 2008, 4:19pm

Post #7 of 23 (471 views)
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Aragorn and Eowyn... [In reply to] Can't Post

... well, I must confess that I like the later-cut scenes between the two very much, giving Aragorn the opportunity to be full of understanding and brotherly love and see Eowyn falling for him (and why). They set up Grima as the counter-point, just as perceptive but trying to get her to join his warped world. I think they work better than the confrontations (e.g. 'because they would not be parted from thee... because they love thee',) after which I personally was very glad that we got back to the boy's stuff of friendship and battle. We know what happens, she does not have to spell it out.

Rain may fall and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree I will lie
And watch the clouds go sailing by.


Artanis
Rohan


Jun 10 2008, 8:00pm

Post #8 of 23 (418 views)
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Ugh [In reply to] Can't Post

the stew. To me it looked like fish, but fish stew sounds awful to me!

I wish they had put the scene in the theatrical version, but without the joke of Aragorn trying to eat the stew and it looking so horrible. I hadn't read the book first, so that little scene when I first saw it explained a few things about who Aragorn was - that he wasn't just any old man.

Artanis

Reading: Unfinished Tales, The Princess and Curdie, Sense and Sensibility.

Listening: LOTR Trilogy Soundrack, Downhere-Wide Eyed and Mystified, Steven Curtis Chapman-This Moment.

Random Delights: tea, Peanut Butter Kitkat, toast and strawberry jam. TORN


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 11 2008, 4:56am

Post #9 of 23 (402 views)
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To be honest [In reply to] Can't Post

I took a look at this stew and decided not to look closer or to think about what that could be ... would not have been good for my stomach Tongue

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


sador
Half-elven

Jun 11 2008, 5:56am

Post #10 of 23 (406 views)
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Speculative answers [In reply to] Can't Post

The stew - I don't know, and I don't want to know. However, the scene just before (or just after) showed a flashback of Aragorn letting Arwen go. Something was needed to get him back!

Osgiliath I - your problem didn't bother me much; the Council in the movie had no need to be five days after Frodo arrived at the Ford, and even in the book timeline could have been summoned far earlier (maybe even Saruman was invited, if the letters were sent before he was known as a traitor?).
What bugs me about this scene is that it renders Boromir's dream (mentioned in FOTR, even though it was less prominent than in the books) meaningless.
Another effect (which bothers me too) is that movie Faramir knows exactly what his father want to be done with the Ring. And so does Boromir. This means a massive difference in both Men's trails and temptations, which I don't quite like.

Osgiliath II - a page ago, there was a thread about it. Quite a few interesting answers there. I posted my own thoughts about it there/

"I am going back into the open air" - Legolas


Starling
Half-elven


Jun 11 2008, 6:51am

Post #11 of 23 (393 views)
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The meat in the stew [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the finest of cuts - orcsey fillet.

Seriously though, I agree with others who have said it's fish.
The stew scene would be one of my least favourite in the trilogy. I just find it twee and embarrassing and usually skip it.


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Jun 11 2008, 10:23am

Post #12 of 23 (401 views)
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Aragorn as one of the Dunedain [In reply to] Can't Post

or rather, as Bilbo puts it, 'The' Dunadan, is impressive news for the audience as well as for Éowyn.

'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


Elberbeth
Tol Eressea


Jun 11 2008, 2:13pm

Post #13 of 23 (387 views)
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It looks like [In reply to] Can't Post

chunks of fat floating in it. Ugh.

"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 11 2008, 3:20pm

Post #14 of 23 (377 views)
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Ugh, indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

When I can't stomach something, then it is fat! Poor Aragorn! Wink

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


ladyoftheredwoods
Bree

Jun 11 2008, 10:00pm

Post #15 of 23 (384 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the trip to Osgiliath is mostly to replace shelob's lair since they decided to move it the ROTK. I sometimes wonder if they had decided to have shelob's lair in The Two Towers whether they might have decided to cut Faramir out.


Anorien
Rohan

Jun 11 2008, 10:23pm

Post #16 of 23 (385 views)
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That makes so much sense! [In reply to] Can't Post

I never considered the fish. But that is what it looks like. I understand the other two scenes better. I thought the one at Osgiliath was a little out there because Faramir was so different from the book, but what you said makes sense. It was very dramatic. Thanks!

Oh one more question, why is it that the can see Mordor from Helms Deep and not from Edoras? plot device?


Anorien
Rohan

Jun 11 2008, 10:27pm

Post #17 of 23 (373 views)
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5 days? [In reply to] Can't Post

It took him five days? I haven't heard that one. Either way it doesnt make much sense, considering he didn't know where Rivendell was in the first place. I think in the book it said something like 110 days. Wierd. Oh well, thanks!


Anorien
Rohan

Jun 11 2008, 10:30pm

Post #18 of 23 (373 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I never thought of fish, but it makes sense. They are near water.

I am also very fond of the "Window into the West" scene. I think it shows people that Boromir had an influence on Gondor and his people and that he just wanted what was best for them. He wasn't a villian like some of my friends have thought. He wanted to help his country.


Anorien
Rohan

Jun 11 2008, 10:34pm

Post #19 of 23 (371 views)
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Never thought of it that way [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the sons of the steward scene, but i do agree that it spoils the mood of Denethor. He seems to lose some of potency as far as being a bad father. You expect it and in the end don't get the full effect, it's not a surprise and you don't think "who could do that to their son?" But at the same time, I think it shows another side of Boromir that people aren't that aware of because you really only get to see him when he is fixed on the ring.


Anorien
Rohan

Jun 11 2008, 10:38pm

Post #20 of 23 (361 views)
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That is why she is a Shieldmaiden [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I agree. The stew was, shall we say... interesting? If I had to eat it, I probably would have made the same face as Aragorn.


Anorien
Rohan

Jun 11 2008, 10:41pm

Post #21 of 23 (386 views)
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Get rid of Faramir? [In reply to] Can't Post

What? That would have been so sad! He's kinda important to the story. Although, I have always wondered why they moved it.


ladyoftheredwoods
Bree

Jun 11 2008, 10:58pm

Post #22 of 23 (381 views)
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I Like Faramir. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure a three hour movie would time for both Faramir and Shelob's lair.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 12 2008, 9:23am

Post #23 of 23 (365 views)
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Plot device, fersher [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd say that they showed the Company on top of the mountain crest looking out to pull the story together at the end. You could say that they had ridden waaaaaay up high and so were able to see. You could say that. If you wanted to really stretch out the possibility. I like fantasy and Middle-earth, so I'll say "yeah". From above Helm's Deep you can see the glow of the Mountain of Fire :D

sample

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."



TORn's Observations Lists

 
 

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