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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Deadline.com: Orlando to reprise Legolas in 'Hobbit'
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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 6:31pm

Post #201 of 269 (13646 views)
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     No derisions cast [In reply to]  

but it is too bad Christopher & the Tolkien Estate do not have the same enthusiasm for this idea as J.R.R.T did.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

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Flagg
Tol Eressea


Dec 10 2010, 6:31pm

Post #202 of 269 (13664 views)
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     I strongly disagree [In reply to]  

with this line in particular:

Quote
The problem is that the inclusion of the White Council sequence is out of place and unnecessary to begin with, for reasons that I've already elaborated upon. It all stems from this fatuous idea that the Hobbit films need to "link" to the Lord of the Rings films.

How can you possibly make such judgements with any degree of confidence when you have not even seen the films which you are talking about? The White Council's assault on Dol Guldur is a canonical event in Tolkien's Middle-earth which takes place during the events of The Hobbit. It is directly referred to and interwoven with the plot of the book, even though the events alluded to are not themselves described. What makes you so unwaveringly certain that the inclusion of these scenes will disrupt and imbalance the films? It's not exactly as if they are being shoehorned in – Tolkien specifically made room for them. Gandalf leaves the Company to go and meet with the White Council in the book; if the Dol Guldur scenes really were pure fan-fiction, and Gandalf accompanied Bilbo and the Dwarves through Mirkwood, then I would be entirely with you in your opposition to these new elements. But that is not how Tolkien wrote it.

Since we all know that the confrontation with the Necromancer is going on while Bilbo makes his way through Mirkwood, the filmmakers are faced with two possibilities: either they cut to Dol Guldur and show us what is happening there, or they stay with Bilbo and show us... nothing at all, just like in the book. Do you really think it is a reasonable request to ask for the writers to stick rigidly to the book and omit a spectacular magic battle when the opportunity to include one not only presents itself, but also dovetails with Tolkien's writings? Films must visually satisfy their audience – the films cannot be vague and opaque and tell us that Gandalf has gone to meet 'a council of the white wizards' and offer no elaboration for the audience.

I expect that the White Council scenes will form a fine side-story that will give the audience an enjoyable break from Bilbo's quest. You suggest that the audience will be bored by Bilbo's story and will be more interested in the affairs of the wizards – well, so what? If Peter Jackson can make the White Coucil's adventures even better than Bilbo's, I'll be delighted for him. Are you afraid the White Council scenes will be so interesting that they will make the Bilbo scenes dull by comparison? There are far greater problems to worry about! If you really, really hate the idea of anything foreign to the direct and literal translation of the book being included in the film, you can always get The Hobbit: The Purist Cut, a fan-edit which removes everything not strictly Tolkien. Someone went to the trouble of doing this for LotR, and you can bet someone's going to do it for The Hobbit as well. Then you can watch your pure Tolkien as much as you want while the rest of us are enjoying the Dol Guldur scenes.

Speaking of purist adaptations: I watched Zack Snyder's Watchmen after reading the comic book. The film was so faithful to the comic that it was almost boring. There was no life or flair to it at all... it felt like I was watching the exact scenes of the comic acted out, line by line, panel by panel. Many things that worked well in the comic fell flat on the screen. It bordered on a pastiche; it was as if Snyder had no vision at all, but was attempting to create a carbon-copy of Alan Moore's vision – and it did not work. I found myself wishing that he had been less reverent of the source material and had thrown in a few more scenes, cut some scenes, changed some scenes, anything to make it interesting... I'm glad most comic-book adaptations are very loose. On the other side of the spectrum from Watchmen are The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist – all based on short books by Stephen King, all adapted and directed by Frank Darabont. Darabont chopped and changed things, he merged some characters and some invented some new ones, he messed about with timelines, he killed some characters that lived and spared some characters that died. These three adaptations all made significant changes, but they all ended up vastly superior to their source material! Have you ever seen a book-to-film adaptation that's as faithful as you want The Hobbit to be? If so, was it really that great?

Why is it that you assume the White Council is being added purely to strengthen the continuity between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? What makes you so certain that they're not being added because the filmmakers have some great ideas to make the scenes into an interesting and worthy addition to the story? How do you know they won't be profound and cerebral and thematically complex? For all we know, the White Council scenes could be just as good as anything Tolkien has written. You should reserve this sort of judgement until you have seen the film, or at least read the script.


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Dec 12 2010, 3:48am)


ltnjmy
Rivendell


Dec 10 2010, 6:38pm

Post #203 of 269 (13675 views)
Shortcut
     Fine posting Flagg - I am looking forward to the scenes when the White council drives the Necromancer from Dol Guldur [In reply to]  


In Reply To
The White Council's assault on Dol Guldur is a canonical event in Tolkien's Middle-earth which takes place during the events of The Hobbit. It is directly referred to and interwoven with the plot of the book, quite true !! even though the events alluded to are not themselves described. What makes you so unwaveringly certain that the inclusion of these scenes will disrupt and imbalance the films? It's not exactly as if they are being shoehorned in – Tolkien specifically made room for them. Gandalf leaves the Company to go and meet with the White Council in the book; if the Dol Guldur scenes really were pure fan-fiction, and Gandalf accompanied Bilbo and the Dwarves through Mirkwood, then I would be entirely with you in your opposition to these new elements. But that is not how Tolkien wrote it.

Since we all know that the confrontation with the Necromancer is going on while Bilbo makes his way through Mirkwood, the filmmakers are faced with two possibilities: either they cut to Dol Guldur and show us what is happening there, or they stay with Bilbo and show us... nothing at all, just like in the book. Do you really think it is a reasonable request to ask for the writers to stick rigidly to the book and omit a spectacular magic battle when the opportunity to include one not only presents itself, but also dovetails with Tolkien's writings? Fine point Films must visually satisfy their audience – the films cannot be vague and opaque and tell us that Gandalf has gone to meet 'a council of the white wizards' and offer no elaboration for the audience.

Fine posting. Since Professor Tolkien explicitly referred to the assault on Dol Guldur in the Appendices - which occurred when Gandalf was absent from the Dwarves/Bilbo - it would be foolhardy for the film makers not to show it.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 6:41pm

Post #204 of 269 (13165 views)
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     Six films would be the minimum number and that is what I had in mind. [In reply to]  

And I want to reiterate that Peter Jackson did a remarkable job with just three films.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 6:45pm

Post #205 of 269 (13649 views)
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     Two minor points: [In reply to]  

According to Tolkien the action on Dol Gulder was not an assault and it did not drive the Necromancer/Sauron out. He left before they arrived. This may give a bit of a different feel to the sequence.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


JWPlatt
Grey Havens

Dec 10 2010, 6:51pm

Post #206 of 269 (13611 views)
Shortcut
     "Spirit of the Story" [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Kangi Ska: According to Tolkien the action on Dol Gulder was not an assault and it did not drive the Necromancer/Sauron out. He left before they arrived. This may give a bit of a different feel to the sequence.



Oh yeah, that's right. Well, as a filmgoer, I find myself hoping that they stay true to the spirit of the story - Sauron leaves - but change it to include a wizard's batte to actually drive him out. The result is he still leaves. Heh. Here's to the "spirit of the story." <raises glass>


geordie
Tol Eressea

Dec 10 2010, 6:54pm

Post #207 of 269 (13166 views)
Shortcut
     Replying outof sequence [In reply to]  

- that is, I would like to respond to a couple of points, but in order to save time (and to save confusing myself) Tongue - I've opted to send a reply to the original post.

In response to those who feel constrained to remind us that FILMS AND BOOKS ARE DIFFERENT - I can do no better than to partially quote the professor himself:

(pJ's) Lord of the Rings
Is one of those things.
If you like it, you do -
if you don't, then you boo!


(This post was edited by geordie on Dec 10 2010, 6:55pm)


dave_lf
Gondor

Dec 10 2010, 6:56pm

Post #208 of 269 (13620 views)
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     I can see it now [In reply to]  

Gandalf and friends arrive at Dol Guldur, all set to drive the Necromancer out. And he's gone; off to the Lonely Mountain with an orc-host. Radagast summons the Eagles, who fly everyone north just in the nick of time.

And I'm only half-joking. Wink


In Reply To
According to Tolkien the action on Dol Gulder was not an assault and it did not drive the Necromancer/Sauron out. He left before they arrived. This may give a bit of a different feel to the sequence.



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 6:59pm

Post #209 of 269 (13563 views)
Shortcut
     If Del Toro wrote it, It is bound to be creepy and scary as can be.// [In reply to]  

 

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Arwen Skywalker
Lorien


Dec 10 2010, 7:08pm

Post #210 of 269 (13592 views)
Shortcut
     Doesn't try at all? [In reply to]  


Quote
And the film fails (doesn't even try really) to convey that very haunting "mirthful yet sad" quality that the elves of Lorien possess. Even though there is a deep sadness in them, they retain the ability to laugh. Galadriel often does so, even when she is tempted beyond all desire.


Makes me wonder if the person who said this ever watched the scene where Galadriel laughs when Gimli is complimenting on how fair she is.



HiddenSpring
Lorien

Dec 10 2010, 7:08pm

Post #211 of 269 (13620 views)
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     How I wished to see del Toro's Mirkwood/Dol Guldur [In reply to]  

As much as I trust PJ, I don't think he is very good with forests. Caras Galadhon was a thing of beauty, but the rest of Lothlórien didn't look all that impressive, and they seemed to go for the obvious choice (a forced golden palette).

Fangorn Forest just looked cheap, IMO. Like an early Hollywood "forest" set.

There's something organic and twisted about forests in fantasy stories that I think del Toro would've been extraordinary at pulling off.


Doriath
Rivendell


Dec 10 2010, 7:18pm

Post #212 of 269 (13574 views)
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     agreed [In reply to]  

forests are hugely important to me and are a big reason I live where I live. The parts of the books involving forests or trees tend to be my favorite so I always hope for those to be done well in films. I will always wish to have seen a purely GDT version of Mirkwood at least.

Gives it to us in glorious 2D!


geordie
Tol Eressea

Dec 10 2010, 7:18pm

Post #213 of 269 (13623 views)
Shortcut
     Um? [In reply to]  

- not sure where this came from, but anyway - here's my tuppence worth. To begin with the Waldman letter - it's always been clear to me, from the context of what Tolkien was saying, that he was not advocating the use of 'other hands wielding music, paint and drama...' for LotR. He was speaking of a hope which he had once had during the composition of the older tales which go to make up his legendarium; tales which, up till then, only a very few knew anything about. (I'm sure I stumbled across a quote by Christopher along those lines just the other day; can't remember where it is, now).

But anyway, back to Christopher and the Estate - it seems to me that many folk may have a misunderstanding as to what the function of a person's estate is. The Tolkien Estate was set up by JRR, and its purpose is to carry out JRR's wishes as expressed in his will. No more or less. One of these wishes was that copyright in his works should remain in his family for as long as possible. So to me, that would knock on the head any idea that the old chap held a fond hope that anyone could do as they like with his ideas and writings.

Another of his instructions to his Trustees was that they allow Christopher free access to his papers, to act as his literary executor. Tolkien gave Christopher full rights to deal with these papers as he sees fit; including the right to destroy them. Fortunately for us, Christopher did not destroy them; over the years, he's very generously shared many of his father's writings with us; both the fiction and the non-fiction, whether edited by himself or, indeed, by 'other hands'.

Smile


(This post was edited by geordie on Dec 10 2010, 7:23pm)


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Dec 10 2010, 7:19pm

Post #214 of 269 (13575 views)
Shortcut
     Don't give up hope just yet [In reply to]  

Approximately 90% of the first film has already been designed under the direction of GdT, as well as 50% of the second film. It's very likely that he has already designed a significant amount of Mirkwood – and when he left the project, he specifically told us that he had designed the spiders, wargs, goblins and some other things (I can't remember the exact quote). It remains to be seen how much of GdT's vision will be incorporated by PJ – it's entirely up to him, and he has yet to tell us about any decisions he's made – but I would assume (and hope) that most of what GdT created will make its way into the final version of The Hobbit.

The Redditor has also told us that the Mirkwood designs PJ is using are very close to what GdT intended, so take that for what it's worth.


(This post was edited by Flagg on Dec 10 2010, 7:25pm)


squire
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 7:35pm

Post #215 of 269 (13617 views)
Shortcut
     How absurd! [In reply to]  

So Tolkien's famous quote to Milton Waldman in his 1951 letter (#131 in Letters of JRRT) about wishing that "other hands" might rework the tales of his legendarium raises its laughable head yet again. Laughable? Yes, after all Tolkien himself said when he wrote it: "Do not laugh!"

This is the same passage that inspired the apocryphal phrase "a Mythology for England" - a phrase Tolkien never actually wrote. As he clearly states, this passage is a retrospect, intended to give Waldman some idea of the origin of the Silmarillion. It represents his grandiose ambition when as a young poet-scholar he began to write The Book of Lost Tales in the 1910s. He knew he could not write the detailed stories of an entire legendarium in one lifetime, and so he fancied the idea that his creation would assume a reality akin to the Matters of Britain (King Arthur, the Holy Grail, Tristan and Isolde), Troy (Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid), and other mythological/literary cycles.

But that was then, and 1951 is now - years after he had changed the entire orientation of the Anglo-Saxon-transmitted Lost Tales into the purely Elvish Silmarillion, and written the romantic comedy The Hobbit, and the epic romance The Lord of the Rings. He explicitly discards the high motive of being the originator of a new mythology - no longer expects to inspire generations of artists in "paint and music and drama" - as he says, "my crest has long since fallen".

So, for one thing, as early as 1951 he no longer saw his Silmarillion as either good enough, or archetypal enough, for him to feel comfortable letting it out into the wide world for others to adapt. For another, he is obviously not talking at all about his novelistic works, The Hobbit and LotR, both written after he had adjusted his own expectations about his life's work. More piquantly, we have the exquisite pleasure of reading in his later letters (#'s 175, 177, 198, 201, 207, 210, 235, etc.) just what he thought when "other minds and hands" actually did try to wield The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit into drama or paint: he hated it! At any point in which a change was made that contravened his "intention", to use a loaded phrase, he sarcastically asked who knew the work better, the author or the adapter? Finally, we can see that as fan fiction began to appear even in his own lifetime, he referred to it as "impertinence", "disreputable", and "tripe" (Letter #292, 1966). He does seem to make an exception for music: see letter #260, and I seem to remember his approval of Swann's settings of some of his songs.

I don't mean to say that someone who owns the film rights to one of Tolkien's works can't do what they want with it in the screenplay. Clearly they can - as Tolkien phrased one film rights deal, he would take "Art or Cash"; and in the end he took the cash. But I do think that we should stop twisting Tolkien's words to lend his posthumous approval to any changes to his stories that the "other minds and hands" of Hollywood may think necessary to ensure commercial success.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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geordie
Tol Eressea

Dec 10 2010, 7:51pm

Post #216 of 269 (13517 views)
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     Far, far better than I could have put it. // [In reply to]  

 


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 10 2010, 7:52pm

Post #217 of 269 (13120 views)
Shortcut
     Yes, the more things change, [In reply to]  

the more we're stuck in a time loop.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


macfalk
Valinor


Dec 10 2010, 8:15pm

Post #218 of 269 (13553 views)
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     Aye, feather-friend: [In reply to]  

Yes, I'll back down a bit on my Tom/Goldberry bashing. It has some mystique in it after all, but cannot say that I like it on the whole.

It's just one of those things that surprises me, you know - the "tra la la" elves in The Hobbit is a popular bashing subject amongst us Tolkien fans but Tom/Goldberry's tra la la la laing? Not so much!

I wonder why.Laugh



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

(This post was edited by macfalk on Dec 10 2010, 8:16pm)


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Dec 10 2010, 8:19pm

Post #219 of 269 (13528 views)
Shortcut
     The Tra-la-la Elves [In reply to]  

were just a bunch of Elves acting strangely. Tom Bombadil and Goldberry are enigmatic, supernatural beings – unlike those wacky Elves, Tom and Goldberry are quite fascinating to think about.


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Dec 10 2010, 9:39pm

Post #220 of 269 (13508 views)
Shortcut
     so true [In reply to]  

I definitely would have raised an eyebrow at that idea

guess I'll just have to trust that PJ knows what he is doing. While I can't picture precisely how Legolas' inclusion will work without drawing me out of the story I'm sure that if PJ truly intends to include Legolas he has an idea or two up his sleeves.


The wide world is all about you:
you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out

You can only come to the morning through the shadows


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 9:43pm

Post #221 of 269 (13084 views)
Shortcut
     Some of us have back-in-the-day syndrome. [In reply to]  

Just because a thought was once spoken does not mean it can not be spoken again.
Besides, as the old tired discussion roles out something new might be said. Imagin that.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 10 2010, 10:23pm

Post #222 of 269 (13046 views)
Shortcut
     I was speaking [In reply to]  

not of the topic, but the passion and boundless energy of the debaters.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


TheGoblinKing
Rohan

Dec 10 2010, 10:25pm

Post #223 of 269 (13045 views)
Shortcut
     I Think [In reply to]  

Its will be more effective to show its like the Council drove out the evil when really he left anyways. It would play into LOTR why Gandalf was surprised to see the activity of Mordor in Rings.
But you can have it where seems like the Council had a victory at that time.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 10:28pm

Post #224 of 269 (13064 views)
Shortcut
     They are a roudy bunch. [In reply to]  

I think it is a hoot. A wild rumpas.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
New Zealand is Middle-earth & today life is good.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Dec 10 2010, 10:51pm

Post #225 of 269 (13010 views)
Shortcut
     Not fair... NEB and Sador haven't even posted in this thread. // [In reply to]  

 

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