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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Why are the elves at Helm's Deep?

Lurker in the Dark
The Shire

Aug 24 2012, 2:19am

Views: 1094
Why are the elves at Helm's Deep? Can't Post

My apologies if this has been canvassed before.

In the cinema for my first viewing of TT my biggest surprise was the presence of the Elves at Helm's Deep.

In the book, of course, they're not there. When Haldir arrives in the film he brings "word from Elrond of Rivendell. An alliance once existed between Elves and Men. Long ago we fought and died together." But that's all by way of explanation, and it's not enough for me.

"Long ago" the Elves were at home in Middle Earth and wanting to stay, so fighting for it makes sense. Now they have given up on Middle Earth and are leaving. Too, Elves are immortal unless, it seems, something kills them. So why give up immortality in the Undying Lands - which from Gandalf's description seems pretty pleasant - to die, really die, for a lost cause. And if you're going to do that, why not do it where it might really matter - facing Saruman at Gondor rather than at a side-show which is all Saruman and Helm's Deep is?

And why does Haldir bring word from Elrond of Rivendell when he and his army is from Lothlorien and, presumably, Galadriel?

I believe from hints elsewhere that the film originally intended for the Elves to come to Helm's Deep as a result of pressure from Arwen, and from the Appendices to the Extended Edition DVD it seems it was at one point intended to have Arwen herself fighting at Helm's Deep.

I assume that it was decided late in the day to delete Arwen's presence at Helm's Deep, and although this makes the presence of the Elven Army there as well superfluous it was hardly possible to also delete the scenes involving them as they are in so many.

I can certainly see there might be some difficulty in having both Arwen and Eowyn at Helm's Deep, particularly with Arwen fighting in the front lines and Eowyn banished to the caves - Eowyn would not like that one little bit - but surely that would have been thought through during story-boarding. Without Arwen the presence of the Elves, other than Legolas, is quite unnecessary and even, to my mind, clunky. To have included them in production was surely expensive in money, time and resources which indicates they were thought to be important as a support to Arwen's inclusion, which suggests Arwen's inclusion here was thought to be significant. Yet not significant enough to survive editing.

The Wikipedia entry for LotR makes reference to a possible 'Ultimate' edition of LotR which could include Arwen at Helm's Deep, and for me this is a consummation devoutly to be wished for as it currently stands I think either the Elves have to be there because Arwen's pursuades Elrond and Galadriel both to support Aragorn, or not be there at all. The 'twix and 'tween we have presently is most unsatisfactory in my view.

Subject User Time
Why are the elves at Helm's Deep? Lurker in the Dark Send a private message to Lurker in the Dark Aug 24 2012, 2:19am
    From what I can remember Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Aug 24 2012, 2:57am
        Arwen at Helm's Deep Lurker in the Dark Send a private message to Lurker in the Dark Aug 24 2012, 3:33am
    I think the real question here is... Spaldron Send a private message to Spaldron Aug 24 2012, 1:54pm
        The foresight of Elrond and Galadriel. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Aug 24 2012, 8:40pm
            Other questions Lurker in the Dark Send a private message to Lurker in the Dark Aug 24 2012, 10:34pm
                The Witch King would stop the King of the Dead.// Plurmo Send a private message to Plurmo Aug 25 2012, 1:38am
                I think Arwen was originally supposed to look in the Mirror, too.// Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Aug 26 2012, 2:17am
                    Perhaps that's where her image in the palantir in EE RotK came from? GoodGuyA Send a private message to GoodGuyA Aug 26 2012, 3:19am
            There was definitely a scene with Elrond and Galadriel GoodGuyA Send a private message to GoodGuyA Aug 25 2012, 1:53am
                Helm's Deep was the weakest part of the film Shelob'sAppetite Send a private message to Shelob'sAppetite Aug 25 2012, 3:57am
        i believe MouthofSauron Send a private message to MouthofSauron Aug 25 2012, 6:25am
    Because it's the big thing they needed in the film at that point... weaver Send a private message to weaver Aug 27 2012, 1:57am
    Lurker, when an elf dies ElendilTheShort Send a private message to ElendilTheShort Aug 27 2012, 9:55am
    A Simple Answer sam90 Send a private message to sam90 Sep 6 2012, 6:50pm


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