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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
SCOD 3/4/11: "The house of his spirit crumbles."

Arwen Skywalker
Lorien


Mar 5 2011, 3:01am

Post #1 of 6 (297 views)
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SCOD 3/4/11: "The house of his spirit crumbles." Can't Post



1. Much has been said about how the movies made Denethor into a less sympathetic character. This is the first time we see him displaying any kind of affection towards Faramir. Is this too subtle?

2. Why does Denethor refuse to consider the possibility that Faramir is alive? Why get so angry at Pippin?

3. What did you think when you first saw this scene?

4. When Pippin walks in, there's a brief shot of a mummy (thanks FCL!). Where did all his clothes go?

5. Other thoughts?



weaver
Half-elven

Mar 5 2011, 9:35pm

Post #2 of 6 (154 views)
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A mummy? [In reply to] Can't Post

I will have to go looking for that bit -- thanks, did not notice that before! Something to add to our geeky observations list!

I was really pleased with this sequence in the films. I kind of think that for this very, very extreme moment to work, it was important for Denethor to be played over-the-top from the start. Otherwise, it's hard to fathom how a father would ever get to the point of being able to do something like this -- and it would seem out of proportion to everything else. It's kind of like Mount Doom, in that way. To get us to buy the volcano scene, it helped that the rest of the movie was told in way that set the stage for that moment.

John Noble is just great in this scene; I thought he captured the right combination of caring and craziness here -- which I imagine is not easy to do. And David Wenham looks very nice covered in oil! (Now, if he had just been on a beach...well, that's another scene I would have enjoyed seeing!)

To answer one of your questions, if Denethor accepted that Faramir might still be alive, that would open the door to him having to accept other things, like his accountability for what's happening in his city and with both of his sons. He doesn't want to have to deal with that, so he rejects Pippin's words and directs anger toward him. IMHO, of course!

Weaver




KAOS82
Rohan


Mar 5 2011, 11:56pm

Post #3 of 6 (117 views)
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answering [In reply to] Can't Post

1) As Gandalf says when Faramir leaves Minas Tirith going towards a suicide (Denethor's will)
"YOUR FATHER LOVES YOU FARAMIR, HE WILL REMEMBER BEFORE THE END" (translation by italian...)
so Denethor's expression justifies what Gandalf said and shows the last moment of his lost mental sanity
2) Denethor, as we all know, wants Boromir to live and Faramir to die so I think when I see his son in that conditions he just think at the end of his reign and of his ancestry; then I think he consider Pipin as part of the cause of Boromir's death and even if Denethor accepted his services in the end madness takes over so he pikcs on the poor hobbit
3) Cool, indeed it has been already impressed in my mind
4) WOW that's the first tiem I hear about mummies in LOTR
5) PJ brings us Denethor as a crazy man who wants only power; in the book he's not so bad, not at all, he is a great 'king' of a great city and he shows great respect and well-speaking, in the movie all his negative points are lightened and that's the fact why some people quite hate him

TÚRIN TURAMBAR DAGNIR GLAURUNGA & NIENOR NÍNIEL


frederica bolger
Lorien


Mar 7 2011, 7:55pm

Post #4 of 6 (74 views)
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hmm, interesting... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it is all linked with his hopelessness: better to die sooner than late and possibly in the dungeons of Barad Dur (he will remember what Morgoth did to Hurin). In a sense, it does not matter whether Faramir is dead or not, as Denethor saves him from a terrible ordeal by killing him in his fevered sleep. I think.

On the other hand, it is the terrible possessiveness of the parent who kills his child rather than having it taken away from him (usually the father but today a mother was on the news having done the same thing). "You will NOT take my son from me"!

What really struck me in this about Movie-Denethor is that he still has his gloves on! He seems to be so in love with the trappings of Stewardship that he can't touch his son with his bare hands.

And, what mummy? I do not remember a mummy, only lots of sarcophages of dead Kings and Stewards.

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.


Darkstone
Immortal


Mar 7 2011, 10:40pm

Post #5 of 6 (111 views)
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Low-fat Faramir [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Much has been said about how the movies made Denethor into a less sympathetic character. This is the first time we see him displaying any kind of affection towards Faramir. Is this too subtle?

I like weaver’s answer.


2. Why does Denethor refuse to consider the possibility that Faramir is alive?

Faramir has “been dead” to him for some time.

I also like the answer of frederica bolger.

And I'll do a shout out to il mio amico KAOS82 so he don't feel left out.


Why get so angry at Pippin?

He’s Pippin. Who doesn’t get angry at him?


3. What did you think when you first saw this scene?

From its consistency I guessed the “oil” was watered-down glycerin. Later I found out it was. They probably used it because it was non-toxic and non-flammable. Plus it’s very cheap because it is a waste product from the production of bio-diesel. Some TORnsibs might be interested in the fact that it tastes about two-thirds as sweet as sugar. (It’s often used as a sweetener in low-fat cookies.) It’s also a very effective mouthwash. If Noble or Wenham had any skin injuries like burns or cuts glycerin makes a pretty good topical antiseptic. As one might suspect it is a precursor to nitroglycerin.


When Pippin walks in, there's a brief shot of a mummy (thanks FCL!). Where did all his clothes go?

Mummy was skinny-dipping in the fountain of the White Tree and Daddy took all her clothes so she had to go hide in here.


5. Other thoughts?

Glycerin makes an effective antifreeze so the far more toxic ethylene glycol is used. (Er, wait…)

******************************************
Pippin: "When you guys fall in the forest, does it make a sound?"
Bregalad: "Are you kidding? Scott fell last week and he hasn't shut up about it since!"


(This post was edited by Darkstone on Mar 7 2011, 10:48pm)


Arwen Skywalker
Lorien


Mar 11 2011, 4:47am

Post #6 of 6 (70 views)
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good observation [In reply to] Can't Post

It's hard to miss that Denethor is wearing gloves in that scene but I never noticed before how wrong that was for a last moment with his son. Compare that Darth Vader telling Luke "let me... look on you with my *own* eyes." Darth freakin Vader! Yeah, technically he's Anakin reborn but I'm sure you get my point.

To make things easier for my TORNsibs, I'll post a mummy picture.



 
 

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