Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Nitpicker's Corner: What do you like least about LotR? And why?
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All

Curious
Half-elven

Apr 14 2007, 12:50pm

Post #1 of 89 (785 views)
Shortcut
Nitpicker's Corner: What do you like least about LotR? And why? Can't Post

I am not posting this to provoke an argument. I hope to provide a safe and civil thread to discuss what we like least about LotR.

I think the biggest flaws in Tolkien's prose are his long passages of exposition. Even Tolkien thought the Council of Elrond was too long, for example, and admitted that he was often better off when he did not explain everything to the reader. As it was, he exercised remarkable restraint, holding back far more than he explained; but even more restraint might have been better. I also think Bombadil is a flawed character because he is so flamboyantly powerful. Restraint would have helped there, as well. And I have some quibbles with the handling of Weathertop, and with a few too many "Lo"s and "Forth the Three Hunters" from Aragorn, and some of the poetry is merely passable.

I would say more, but five-year-old daughter wants my attention. So I'll just throw this out there. Any comments?


Wynnie
Rohan


Apr 14 2007, 1:39pm

Post #2 of 89 (383 views)
Shortcut
That's a tough one! [In reply to] Can't Post

I like exposition, so that's not a problem for me. "Council of Elrond" may be one of my favorite chapters, because it explains so much. Plus you get to hear parts of the story from many different narrators, different points of view. I think there's a fair amount of character development intertwined with the exposition.

Probably my biggest criticism of LotR is that the beginning and ending are a bit more drawn-out than necessary. But by this point I'm so fond of the whole story that I can't pinpoint anything I'd cut.



Flight to the Ford
from LordofthePeeps.com


WonderBroad
Lorien


Apr 14 2007, 1:59pm

Post #3 of 89 (359 views)
Shortcut
re: [In reply to] Can't Post

The only thing that bothers me, which Tolkien himself acknowledged somewhere (in Letters, I think, but possibly elsewhere), was that the book was too short. I didn't want it to end.


elostirion74
Rohan

Apr 14 2007, 4:16pm

Post #4 of 89 (405 views)
Shortcut
I guess I dislike some of Tolkien's tendency to overtly underline his moral ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

That was a new angle:) Well, the last times I' ve read LoTR I found that what bugs me is quite random. I'm not so fond of the sociolect he tends to give to his orcs, it strikes me as a bit degrading towards lower class people. I dislike how he sometimes writes in the effect he wants to create, like calling Gollum "a starved pitiable thing", because the rest of his description already has done the job. I've also come to dislike how he underlines Gollum's physical alienation from "good" things by making him cough when eating lembas and even avoid the moonlight. It's too explicit and quite overdone in my view.

Sometimes I dislike his tendency to use the same imagery too often - I think Tolkien could have done with fewer "as if's". I also seem to notice a greater qualitative variety in his prose, which at times can be too straightforward to read, even when it serves the needs of the story. I think I was more aware of this after reading "The Worm Ouroboros", where the prose is more consistently powerful, at least that was how it felt to me.


priell3
Lorien

Apr 14 2007, 5:13pm

Post #5 of 89 (334 views)
Shortcut
I agree [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The only thing that bothers me, which Tolkien himself acknowledged somewhere (in Letters, I think, but possibly elsewhere), was that the book was too short. I didn't want it to end.



Another volume or two wouldn't have hurt! How about what was going on in Mirkwood with Legolas' people and
the Beornings and the Misty Mountains? Evil


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Apr 14 2007, 7:25pm

Post #6 of 89 (369 views)
Shortcut
only a teeny tiny nitpick [In reply to] Can't Post

I would have read Lord of the Rings a lot sooner if it wasn't filled with so many names in the first two chapters. I tried reading it right after the Hobbit in 1973 (home with an infant and no TV). But, because I have issues with memory and sorting out details, it was overwhelming to me, so I stopped reading it. The book was borrowed so I gave it back, and never thought of it again.

Periodically I would hear rumour of what a good book it was and feel a twinge of regret. In the mid 90's after a car accident kept me at home, someone again gave me the books, and I read through them focusing only on the story, with only a couple of characters standing out. I mixed up all the rest up.

But I regreted having missed reading it all those years ago. On my second and third reads, I kept copious notes and lists and charts. Doing that helped to reveal pattern and relationship and detail I might have missed otherwise. And I also learned all the characters by the third read.

In the middle of the third read, when Aragorn tells the tale of Beren and Lúthien, I stopped to read that tale in the Sil, then read the entire Sil, Then returned to reading the LotR. (Of course I kept many lists on the Sil, too.)

I am not complaining about all the names, really, I think it adds to the richness and depth of the story and makes Middle-earth that much more real. I just wish that in the beginning there were not so many. And I wish that I read the book back in 1973 . . . I miss all those years of not knowing this story and all the years of fun that everyone has had.

And I wish it was longer too. Smile

Art Gallery Revised, Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta

(This post was edited by Daughter of Nienna on Apr 14 2007, 7:28pm)


Erufaildon
Bree


Apr 14 2007, 9:50pm

Post #7 of 89 (342 views)
Shortcut
well,, [In reply to] Can't Post

My major complaint about LOTR is the last part of the book. The ending is much shorter than the beginning, IMO many of the chapters in both book 5 and book 6 feels kinda "rushed" compared to the other 4 books =(

I never thought I'd die alone
I laughed the loudest who'd have known
I traced the cord back to the wall
No wonder it was never plugged in at all
I took my time, I hurried up
The choice was mine, I didn't think enough
I'm too depressed, to go on
You'll be sorry when I'm gone


Curious
Half-elven

Apr 14 2007, 11:03pm

Post #8 of 89 (355 views)
Shortcut
Keep them coming. I've thought of another. [In reply to] Can't Post

LotR is a highly hierarchical fantasy world segregated by class, race, and sex. The story preaches universal freedom and tolerance, but on close examination that is only true for those who accept the hierarchy and the rules. Those who oppose the status quo are evil -- literally demonized and slaughtered. This is all well and fine in a fantasy, but becomes disturbing when I search for what Tolkien called applicability to the Primary World.

When people accuse Tolkien of classism, racism, and sexism, I want to defend him, and do my best to do so; but I can't completely deny such accusations. The best I can do is argue that in Tolkien's world, among free peoples, the classes, races, and sexes are separate but equal, with no one class, race, or sex dominant over the others. Sauron is the Enemy precisely because he seeks to dominate the free peoples. But I feel strange defending the policy of separate but equal classes, races, and sexes because since the 1950s that policy has been thoroughly discredited in the Primary World.


(This post was edited by Curious on Apr 14 2007, 11:06pm)


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 15 2007, 12:44am

Post #9 of 89 (317 views)
Shortcut
I wonder [In reply to] Can't Post

if that is related to my complaint: that Tolkien can spend pages and pages describing something usually thought of as mundane - topography, botany, minor details about traveling or locations (which actually I enjoy, as it's something that most authors aren't good at) but then when it comes to climactic action, everything is told in very few words and over extremely quickly. For instance, we have pages of travel through Moria, but the climactic encounter with the Balrog takes up, what: half a page?

I wonder if the last sections of the book seem so rushed because there's so much action - battles and so forth, which Tolkien tends to be very brief in describing.

Even as I type this, however, it strikes me that this pattern of long stretches of detail about "everyday" things, followed by brief flurries of action is really an awful lot like things happen in real life. Most of it is mundane details, except for emergencies, which go by in a flurry of activity during which there's not much time for reflection. And I imagine Tolkien's war experience must have been much the same; long stretches of extreme boredom punctuated by moments of extreme terror. Hmmm....I think maybe I just talked myself out of my complaint. Tongue

Silverlode

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the plan thus inspired
Depart me and I, entering a room,
Find myself on the threshold, stand still
And wonder what I came to do there.


Elven
Valinor


Apr 15 2007, 2:06pm

Post #10 of 89 (312 views)
Shortcut
The first read was a nightmare!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with trying to memorize the names problem which was mentioned!

In the first reading - I was so confused, as I didnt take notes, and could never understand why Tolkien chose the names Sauron and Saruman - for two predominant characters, so close in spelling and sound (to me at the first reading) ... and then becoming confused with the amount of names one person held .. Gandalf, Mithrandir, Stormcrow, Lathspell .. Crazy

I thought the book may have needed a working compass - like the ones that used to be in the heel of some school shoes Sly
I never knew where I was ... I wanted more maps along the way - "You are here" sort of thing.

The biggest disappointment was the 6 lines dedicated to the wedding of Aragorn and Arwen Shocked
It took me a long time to get over that - I kept reading hoping that there would be something more ... in the main story about it *sigh*

Over the year of reading it - it has actually helped me to be better prepared when I read other books now - a mental character notation system - which helps me identify and remember who people are ... and 'where' they are.

Blessings Elven x


SILVERCHAIRS Daniel Johns gets the crowd going at the 'Big Day Out Festival' at Minas Tirith.


"Never wash your name in hot water Elvenesque - it shrinks!" said the Gaffer.
Tolkien was a Capricorn!
..All we are saying ..Is Give Pete A Chance" ...


drogo
Lorien


Apr 15 2007, 3:24pm

Post #11 of 89 (293 views)
Shortcut
Description versus action [In reply to] Can't Post

I've long felt an imbalance between the very long, detailed descriptive passages of FOTR and the relatively brisk pace of the battles and the military maches in ROTK. Perhaps your ideas about the perspective of one with wartime experience could account for this. The anticipation seems to lengthen the perception of time's passage and the action itself is over in a heartbeat, figuratively speaking.

Now a lot of it could have to do with the trouble Tolkien had finding his story early on (all the early drafts in HoME show us how hard it was to find his voice once he started a "Hobbit sequel"), and Tolkien is not a conventional novelist in any way, shape, or form (editors would have been all over him if he were to submit LOTR today, as many have commented). But I think it is Ursula K. LeGuin who says Tolkien's writing effectively captures the plodding pace of a journey, which is mostly boredom or rest/waiting, punctuated by brief moments of frenetic action. That could help explain the "topheavy" structure of LOTR. (BTW, the long set-up before the journey is fully underway is my favorite part of the novel, interestingly enough).


Discuss the Bakshi Lord of the Rings on the Movie Board starting April 16


diedye
Grey Havens


Apr 15 2007, 6:15pm

Post #12 of 89 (319 views)
Shortcut
Three words: Let... Boromir... live! [In reply to] Can't Post

*grumble grumble*

Why couldn't he just have him wounded and be wracked with guilt and spend the rest of his life trying to make up for it? He and Aragorn would have made an awesome team on the Pelennor and at the Black Gates! (Not to mention looking so good as his Steward instead of that holier-than-thou Faramir! *hmph!*)

I also wish he hadn't made Aragorn so arrogant... made me want to kick his sorry assets! Mad

And having Arwen play such a small part and relegating their love story to the Appendices was a slight mistake, IMO... if it had been inserted into the main story, perhaps having Bilbo explain their story to Frodo while they were in Rivendell, would have made the story more poignant and shed more light into Aragorn's desperation to claim his kingship... it would have made him seem more... well.. .HUMAN, in my eyes.

Add to that the Elves leaving and Frodo sailing away forever, I ended up depressed and momentarily wanting to chuck the whole thing into the paper shredder.

*sigh*



Beren IV
Gondor


Apr 15 2007, 6:56pm

Post #13 of 89 (287 views)
Shortcut
I agree with Curious on hirearchy [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien's vision of hireachy and proper conduct within hierarchy drive me up the wall sometimes. In fact, all of my major problems with Tolkien and his legendarium stem from this fact, that good is basically orderly by definition and rebeliousness of any kind is evil. Do you think Tolkien was aware of this irony, even hypocracy, preaching freedom and yet discouraging it at the same time? By Tolkien's own definition, am I evil by his measure, not believing in some of the implications he makes?

This is my biggest problem in LotR, and in the legendarium in general, and it seems to have gotten worse as Tolkien got older, more devout - I think Tolkien's religious beliefes held a medieval take on hierarchy and feudal organization, where human governments are ideal if likened to a hierarchy in the celestial speheres. The irreconcilable difficulties with population dynamics, the inexplicable inaction by the Valar in any number of circumstances, and ultimately the feeling that nothing that happens in Arda matters, are all, I think, intimately linked to this underlying clash between Tolkien's personal belief system and mine. I sometimes wonder in fact if it is so bad that I should simply abandon Tolkien's writing entirely!

*

My other big problem with LotR is its vagueness and lack of detail, but that's not a problem on Tolkien's end, but on his readers' end. Many Tolkien 'purist' readers assume that "well, if Tolkien didn't mention it in his writing, it doesn't exsit in his world". I find this almost equally infuriating when I encounter it.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Apr 15 2007, 7:43pm

Post #14 of 89 (312 views)
Shortcut
Look at all these lofty reasons in this thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I can agree with some of them; but the things that nearly made me stop reading the books and what I still don't enjoy about them are much more mundane. It's the long, tedious trip with Frodo wounded from Weathertop to Rivendell, the long, tedious traveling from Rivendell to Moria (where I almost gave up during my first reading), and the even worse journey from Ithilien to Mount Doom. All that suffering and, as one Internet acquaintance of mine once wrote, "all that walking"!

I'd much rather read about the Elves, sir, (camping with Gildor, Rivendell, and Lothlorien); and yes, I love the exposition in "Shadow of the Past" and "The Council of Elrond". I enjoy the love story of Eowyn and Faramir, too. I've even come to love Hobbiton, though I didn't enjoy it much in my early readings.

~~~~~~~~

I used to be GaladrielTX, but it's springtime and I'm shedding.



Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 15 2007, 8:08pm

Post #15 of 89 (316 views)
Shortcut
Add me to the mundane crowd [In reply to] Can't Post

My nitpick: Tom Bombadil and his really annoying prancing. And the Old Forest. I always read steadily until they leave the Shire, then I hurry through the Old Forest and the stay with Tom Bombadil and also the Barrow Downs, where all the plain sensible hobbits start speaking as if they were in the Bible ("ah! the spear in my heart!"). Then they get to Bree, and meet Aragorn, and I'm happy again. And in fact I don't mind too much the loftier dialogue later on from people like Aragorn, because he's been brought up to fit in with his surroundings and speak as befits the situation. The hobbits aren't. So the other bits that annoy me are Sam's words on the Field of Cormallen, because while the sentiment seems true the actual words don't. I know that that whole chapter is written in a particularly triumphant sort of way, but I do think the way Sam speaks then is slightly out of character.

And the darned Eagle singing. What's that all about?

Karekare Beach, NZ

IMG_0365


Smokering
The Shire

Apr 15 2007, 8:20pm

Post #16 of 89 (290 views)
Shortcut
Sometimes the little pool of adjectives... [In reply to] Can't Post

...wears a bit thin sometimes. Especially when describing beautiful things, women and Elves and starlit nights, Tolkien does have a distressing tendency to revolve around a little treadmill of 'fair', 'elven', 'wrought', 'white', 'star'... you know. And then there's 'fey'. Halfway through ROTK, it seems everybody's fey. Which, they would be. But still! There are a few moments where I find myself blushing for him, seeing how a critic could read a passage with a sneer and call it cheesy. 'Tis a sad thing.

The rest of my peeves are mostly sins of omission, and therefore not really fair on Tolkien--in fact, in some ways they're a compliment to his writing. If he didn't make Arwen so tantalisingly elusive, I wouldn't have gnashed at him for not including her more; if he didn't write the hobbit interaction so well, I wouldn't grumble that I needed more of it! I would have loved to hear more about what the women of Rohan and Gondor did 'behind the scenes', but I understand that that would take the book off track. And while I'd love to have more of Sam and Rosie, I respect and appreciate his choice to keep their relationship subtle; it made it all the more special and meaningful, because it wasn't shoved down my throat.

Regarding the 'hierachies' of LOTR, that's an interesting point. I think Tolkien was necessarily informed by the structures of the civilizations he referenced, as much as his Catholicism. Gondor as a democracy, or Rohan as a republic--it just doesn't work, both for myth and 'historic' credibility. Still, many of the characters found ways to be transgressive. Aragorn was definitely a social rebel, as well as having a foot in the Elven camp. Frodo and Bilbo likewise defied social norms, as did the other hobbits by following them. Nevertheless, the fact remains that they still maintained their roles very strictly, even in situations where it arguably didn't matter. Think of Sam calling Frodo 'master' long after his paycheck had presumably expired, and while he was the stronger of the two! Or Frodo himself, who was perhaps the most important person in the world during the Quest, showing respect to Faramir as a high-ranking Ranger. This has never bothered me. Perhaps it is in part a celebration of rank and order; but it is also a very touching picture of people clinging desperately to normalcy--civilization, if you like--in desperate times.

It's interesting that PJ seemed to share the view that it was all a bit off, though. Remember Aragorn's reluctance to assume the kingship, followed by his rather meek, 'democratic' coronation speech? ;p Tolkien didn't mind people having legitimate power, only evil or unrightful stuff; but apparently PJ was a bit embarrassed even by the former. Hm.

He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative. --GK Chesterton

There is not really any courage at all in attacking hoary or antiquated things, any more than in offering to fight one's grandmother. The really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers. The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past. --GK Chesterton


FarFromHome
Valinor


Apr 15 2007, 8:42pm

Post #17 of 89 (343 views)
Shortcut
I don't really dislike the hierarchical worldview [In reply to] Can't Post

because I prefer to read LotR as an account written by people from the ancient past when this was just the way the world looked - when tribal survival depended on loving your friends and allies and demonizing your enemies, when absolute trust and obedience to your leader was essential, and when gender roles were also necessarily closely defined, because it was essential that men bond as warriors with each other, and bond with women in family groups. (Women meanwhile, being without birth control, had very limited options in any case).

This essentially feudal worldview probably allowed Europe to survive the dangerous times following the fall of the Roman Empire. Christianity, which spread through Europe during this time, is not surprisingly based on the same outlook. Kings ruled by Divine Right, and people expected to follow the rules laid down for them, accepting whatever status they were born into as their God-given place.

Through the various revolutions of the last few centuries, this thinking has essentially been swept away in the Western world. But I think that as we gave up this way of viewing the world, we didn't lose just the bad things - the inequality, the lack of freedom of choice, the potential for tyranny - but we also lost some of our earlier virtues - deep faith, devotion, self-sacrifice, acceptance of duty. With progress, people became more cynical and selfish, more focused on possessions and the pleasures of this world. But LotR looks back to an idealized world in which those earlier virtues are held in the esteem they once were. It seems to me that these virtues are still deeply important to us, and that that's why LotR strikes the chord it does with so many people. By setting the story in this mythological time and place, Tolkien is able to strip away the cynicism and self-centredness of the modern world and allow those older values to come to the fore.

However I do think it's important to remember that LotR's "applicability" is just that, and that it's not an allegory for how the world is or should be. It's an idealized, imaginary, mythical world that is wonderful to visit - but I wouldn't want to live there! ;-)

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Beren IV
Gondor


Apr 15 2007, 8:55pm

Post #18 of 89 (279 views)
Shortcut
Nonetheless the place of people in their roles [In reply to] Can't Post

bugs me. Why must all good Elves seemingly avoid Humans like the plague, and why must all good women stay at home and wait for themselves to be slaughtered? I understand the need for racial comeraderie, but the absolutism of social norms really grates on me.

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 15 2007, 9:06pm

Post #19 of 89 (290 views)
Shortcut
I like the long set-up, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

And also the "rest points"; Rivendell, Lothlorien, Henneth Annun. Though I imagine I probably skimmed over a lot of the descriptive passages on my very first reading, when I was so eager to know what happens next, now I really enjoy immersing myself in them. As others have said, Middle-earth really is a character in the books, and one of the most in-depth characterizations, at that. Unsurprisingly, since we know that Middle-earth existed in great detail long before the Ring or Hobbits were ever thought of.

My frustration lies more in the brevity of the action sections. When things start heating up, the descriptions get less and less detailed and we get more and more "as if" and "seeming" passages. It's probably realistic, as if the action is fast and furious enough, one is likely to come away with more vivid impressions but less detail. But that doesn't stop me wanting more.

*Tangent Warning*

It does provide a very interesting and different reading experience from most novels, however. The talents of the vast majority of 20th and 21st century authors seem to be exactly opposite of Tolkien; they go into great detail about action and get very descriptive about the dramatic climax, but are very brief in dealing with other things which are less vital to the main storyline, and some have almost no sense of place and atmosphere at all. Tolkien's pacing, characterizations and themes are all approached opposite of the standard approach of novelists I've read recently. He has a little more in common with the novelists of the 18th and 19th centuries, perhaps. Tolkien's style is more reminiscent to me of someone like Defoe or Dumas (though I think he knows how to stick to the point of his story much better) or Sir Walter Scott. No one's writing "high romance" anymore, are they? No wonder LOTR is such a shock to the new generation of readers; most young readers have probably never encountered anything like it, since so many classics seem to be read in abridged form, if at all. The switch from books meant to be read over many long winter evenings to brief, action-packed plots is probably a reflection of the acceleration of the pace of life. Few people take the time to notice such detail around them, and fewer take the time to write or read about it.

Silverlode

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the plan thus inspired
Depart me and I, entering a room,
Find myself on the threshold, stand still
And wonder what I came to do there.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 15 2007, 9:15pm

Post #20 of 89 (276 views)
Shortcut
Oh, I'll join you on [In reply to] Can't Post

Tom Bombadil. Aside from the Barrow Downs, the whole section with Bombadil seems to be out of sync with the rest of Middle-earth. It certainly doesn't fit anything else in LOTR at all. Apparently Tolkien thought he represented something essential, but to me he's always been a distraction. I think he would have fit in much better in The Hobbit, with the Tra-la-la-ing Elves.

I'm definitely not a Bombadil fan.

Silverlode

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the plan thus inspired
Depart me and I, entering a room,
Find myself on the threshold, stand still
And wonder what I came to do there.


WonderBroad
Lorien


Apr 15 2007, 10:02pm

Post #21 of 89 (260 views)
Shortcut
re: [In reply to] Can't Post

>>Remember Aragorn's reluctance to assume the kingship, followed by his rather meek, 'democratic' coronation speech? ;p

Yes, and I hated it. Wuss extraordinaire.

All of that manufactured drama in the movies--as if Aragorn's burdens in the novel were not enough. They had to make him a vacillating wimp. All I could think was "Are you sure you want this guy, Arwen?!"

I hated the fact that he did not leave Rivendell with Anduril. The filmmakers missed the whole point of Aragorn already having accepted the responsibility of his heritage, and laboring as a servant of others for decades, living in the wild and often disparaged during his travels, knowing how precarious the hope was that he would ever a.) sit on the throne of Gondor and claim the Sceptre of Annuminas, and b.) be given permission to wed the love of his life (which was predicated on point a.), by Elrond's decree.) Still, he was one to soldier on, with no certainty at all that he would come into his inheritance.

That's real dedication for you--and it was more than enough to base his character on. The movies went too far away from his real character, in my opinion. They made him look so annoyingly touchy-feely in an irritatingly "modern" sort of way. I truly disliked it.


Morwen
Rohan


Apr 15 2007, 10:10pm

Post #22 of 89 (314 views)
Shortcut
"He's dead--oh, no he's not" syndrome [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf, Eowyn, Frodo, Faramir and Pippin were all thought to be dead and then wonderfully and unexpectedly restored to life. This worked well in the beginning--I cried when Gandalf died and was thrilled when he showed back up as Gandalf the White--but it wears a little thin by the end of the book. By the time the troll falls on Pippin in Mordor we all know perfectly well we'll be seeing him up and about again. This was a good story device, but I think Tolkien used it at least once too often.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I wish you could have been there
When she opened up the door
And looked me in the face
Like she never did before
I felt about as welcome
As a Wal-Mart Superstore--John Prine


Smokering
The Shire

Apr 15 2007, 11:30pm

Post #23 of 89 (273 views)
Shortcut
Heh. [In reply to] Can't Post

And yet PJ felt the need to add in just one more... Aragorn's completely unnecessary near-death Warg experience. Bizarre.

Maybe Tolkien kept the battle descriptions brief in order to remind the reader that they weren't that important? When I read the book the first... many... times, before the movie came out, I barely noticed Helm's Deep and found the battle of the Pelennor Fields mostly interesting character-wise, rather than for the fighting. I was more concentrated on how the whole thing would affect Frodo--who is, after all, central to the book. PJ erred on the other side in my view, glamming up and beefing up the battles disproportionately to the rest of the book, which at times made Frodo's journey seem a little trivialised. I can see why he did it, from a cinematic perspective. But he did sort of miss the point. Battles could be won or lost, but it all rested on the Ring-bearer--as Aragorn himself realised when he ordered the last stand at Mordor's gates.

Maybe that was Tolkien's point? Works for me, anyhow; but I was never too interested in battle scenes, and as well as that, they're smeggishly difficult to write. Think about it--you can't sustain 'Clash! Bang! Swipe!' for too many pages, and if you take a purely clinical approach to the battle, looking only at the strategy and manoeuvres, you lose all sense of immediacy and peril. Perhaps that's why Tolkien largely ignored the fighting itself, and concentrated on the characters and rather abstract motifs like honour and standards and singing.

*Smokering shrugs* Maybe!

He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative. --GK Chesterton

There is not really any courage at all in attacking hoary or antiquated things, any more than in offering to fight one's grandmother. The really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers. The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past. --GK Chesterton


WonderBroad
Lorien


Apr 15 2007, 11:56pm

Post #24 of 89 (267 views)
Shortcut
re: [In reply to] Can't Post

>>And yet PJ felt the need to add in just one more... Aragorn's completely unnecessary near-death Warg experience. Bizarre.

Don't even get me started on that. A completely pointless sequence. I kept thinking "Why don't you put in actual scenes from the book?"

I'm with you on the movie's focus on battle--if one did not know the novel at all, one would think that LOTR was about nothing but battle. Sort of like the old joke: "I went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out."


Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea


Apr 16 2007, 1:40am

Post #25 of 89 (269 views)
Shortcut
Why don't you ask me what I like least about my husband? [In reply to] Can't Post

I could think of some things to criticize, but I don't have the heart to. I just love him anyway. (My husband, I mean.) (And the Professor).

Where's Frodo?

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.