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If LOTR was adapted now AFTER a 3-film Hobbit...
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Sep 8 2012, 12:46pm

Post #1 of 51 (1463 views)
If LOTR was adapted now AFTER a 3-film Hobbit... Can't Post

I'm not one of those who have a problem with 3 Hobbit films. But I see why people feel it's not appropriate. If you tell LOTR in only 3 films, why then the much shorter Hobbit in 3? With The Hobbit, they apparently take a lot of time to let the story unfold, nothing will feel compressed and rushed. What annoys me is that the LOTR did not get that treatment. LOTR as 3 films could not possibly get that treatment. Too many events, too little time to tell everything properly... FOTR was a long and eventful movie even though so much was cut completely. If the LOTR films hadn't been done yet, if it would be the next project after these Hobbit films (and boy I wish it was!) they would make more than 3 films, and it would be good! I thought about it a bit, and I think these 5 films would be perfect!

01: "The Return of the Shadow"
adapted from Tolkien: 12 chapters (all of Book 1)
Bilbo's birthday party until the Council of Elrond. This would include Crickhollow, the Old Forest, the Barrows. Bombadil would be in, but not quite as jolly as in the book, more of a mysterious character. At Weathertop we would get a flashback as Aragorn tells about the Northern Kingdom and its fall, giving some background on the barrows and hinting at the Witchking but not telling too much about Angmar since the Nazgûl are close by. Maybe his tale about Beren and Luthien could be longer, as in the book, and illustrated with a few scenes... Bringing the ring to Rivendell really is one story. Frodo and Sam even think the adventure is over, then we hear Elrond's conversation that the ring cannot stay in Rivendell... it ends with Frodo taking the task upon himself to get the ring to Mordor. Great ending!

02: "The Fellowship of the Ring"
adapted from Tolkien: 10 chapters (all of Book 2)
We begin with a flashback-prologue from Aragorn's past and him and his mother seeking refuge in Rivendell, then cut to the present and Aragorn's conversation with Elrond about Arwen. Aragorn says farewell to Arwen, that it was just a dream etc. and he sets off with the Fellowship - I never liked how this scene was given as a flashback, it makes more sense to present it here, right before "the ring goes south"... Among the events not included in PJ's adaptation is Legolas shooting down a Nazgûl while they camp at the Anduin. More screentime for Lothlorien could include background on Galadriels past. Not too detailled since the Silmarillion is off limits, but some stuff could be told. The film ends as PJ's FOTR did, it can't be improved really.

03: "The Two Towers"
adapted from Tolkien: 10 chapters (Book 3 I-VII, Book 4 I-III)
This movie would basically be like PJ's TTT, but with the difference that Frodo's story line ends earlier. It would have the advantage of intercutting the time lines more correctly: in TTT as it was done, Helm's Deep is followed by the Journey to the Crossroads. Those events are not happening at the same time. As I outline it, Gandalf's "Our hopes rest on two hobbits somewhere in the wilderness" would cut to the Black Gate. The silly scene with the two soldiers and the Elven cloak would be out or treated much better. The gate closes, and Frodo agrees to let Gollum guide them along a different path, and as they follow Gollum, the camera moves up and we get a peek across the mountain range into Mordor... perfect ending! Very similar to PJ's visually, but at a more appropriate point chronologically. Leaving out Ithilien and Faramir shortens this film quite a bit compared to PJ's TTT, but it would make room for some more time in Fangorn and Edoras.

04: "The War of the Ring"
adapted from Tolkien: 11 chapters (Book 3 VIII-XI, Book 4 IV-X)
Now things get really interesting structurally. ROTK is very unsatisfying to me in that respect. The script is too crammed. I see why Shelob had to be in ROTK if you only do 3 films, but it just made the final film too complicated. So my idea is to let the final film be book 5 and 6 without ANY book 4 stuff. It's just too much.
This fourth film I called "The War of the Ring", but it's really more about the build-up to that war's main battle. We begin with the Smeagol/Deagol prologue from PJ's ROTK, and from there edit to "Herb's and stewed rabbit"! What follows is the voice of Saruman and getting the Palantir. Saruman dies by the hand of Gríma, but doesn't fall on the wheel, instead it's visually closer to Tolkien's description of his body dissolving somehow in the wind... when Pippin looks into the Palantir, this opportunity to show Sauron as more than a flaming eyeball will be ceased! He will appear as a powerful Dark Lord in Pippin's mind. (In my dream adaptation, The "eye" only appears in those "Gandalf touching the ring"/"Frodo having a vision" moments. There would be no giant eyeball on top of Barad-dûr...) - During the film we follow Aragorn's journey to Dunharrow, until the point where he enters the Paths of the Dead... all of this much closer to the book, but I would agree with one difference that PJ made: that Aragorn looks into the Palantir before setting off for the Black Gate, not yet here before the Paths of the Dead. We also see Gandalf and Pippin ride off towards Gondor and the Muster of Rohan towards the end of the film.
As for Frodo's storyline: the Hennuth Annun sequence includes the flashback to the retaking of Osgiliath and our first glimpse of Denethor. I agree with PJ's decision to let Faramir have a development, and him being tempted to "show his quality" and prove himself to his father by bringing the ring to Minas Tirith, it's great character stuff! And in the end, Faramir is totally Tolkien's Faramir, so that's fine. But we only get to Osgiliath, Minas Tirith is only glanced in the distance yet... The scene with Frodo offering the ring to the Nazgûl is stupid beyond belief and out! The crossroads and Minas Morgul follow, Frodo and Sam encounter Shelob TOGETHER. The film ends with Frodo being captured and Sam taking the ring, just as Tolkien ended Book 4!

05: "The Return of the King"
adapted from Tolkien: 19 chapters (all of Books 5 and 6)
This film is basically PJ's ROTK minus Minas Morgul/Shelob, but with some other significant differences... It begings with a flashback-prologue about the Palantiri, voiced by Gandalf, and we cut to him and Pippin riding on Shadowfax, realizing that the prologue is what Gandalf tells Pippin. They encouter the men who repair the outer wall and arrive in Minas Tirith. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli come to the Stone of Erech. All this treated much better than in PJ's ROTK, because if Shelob is in film 4, there is time for this! Even for Ghân-buri-Ghân. There also is more time in Minas Tirith for a proper Denethor and some great flashback scenes that tell us that this city is culturally heir to Numenor! You wouldn't want to miss the oportunity to design Numenor, would you? We would understand Minas Tirith and what's at stake much better. Sauron isn't fighting Numenor for the first time, this is only the final showdown of a history of battles between him and the Men of the West, and we need to understand that much better than PJ's ROTK makes possible! The Witchking would have his gorgeous flaming sword moment, but would not break Gandalf's staff (of course not!). Gandalf also wouldn't use said staff to knock out Denethor (what were they thinking...)
The Mouth of Sauron would be in, there would be more scenes in Mordor with Frodo and Sam after Sam rescues Frodo from the tower, and the ending of the movie might as well be exactly as PJ did it (no scouring of the Shire). All in all this would be a movie just as long as ROTK, but because Minas Morgul and Shelob are in the previous one, there is proper time for Aragorn and Denethor, and the movie would feel less crammed. Could be awesome!

That would make for a more satisfying adaptation, I think. If The Hobbit was treated like the LOTR trilogy, it would be two films. But I'm glad they take more time than on LOTR, they don't rush things and compress the story. Especially ROTK suffers from having to simplify plots and characters! They would have treated all that differently and closer to the book in a 5-film adaption. And as much as people praise PJ's LOTR trilogy: the scripts have major flaws! Not because the writers were amateurs, but because the limited screentime forced them to make some really unfortunate decisions. The music, the costumes, everything is so gorgeous, but then the scripts have those severe flaws...

I don't think these movies will be remade in my lifetime. But if PJ is crazy enough to make 3 Hobbit films out of 2 after principal photography has ended, maybe he would shoot more stuff for LOTR and completely re-edit the films. I even wouldn't mind if they shot a lot of LOTR again from scratch and came out with 5 3D movies that perfectly tie in with the adaption of the Hobbit, that flow just like The Hobbit, take their time to tell the tale well.

And those 5 movies as outlined above all have a great story arc, I think, they all would make sense as films. Would you agree? And would you like to see PJ work over the trilogy to spread the story over 5 films? This would be an unprecedented move, but one could argue that it would only turn the films into what they would have been if PJ had made LOTR after a successful Hobbit adaptation...

(This post was edited by micha84 on Sep 8 2012, 12:55pm)


Sep 8 2012, 2:42pm

Post #2 of 51 (837 views)
Sorry, I can't except your premise... [In reply to] Can't Post

Without The Lord of the Rings being adapted first, there is no way we would have ever gotten a Hobbit trilogy. I doubt that Peter Jackson could have even gotten two Hobbit films green-lighted.

'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White


Sep 8 2012, 5:14pm

Post #3 of 51 (784 views)
-exhale- Okay... Let's get started on this. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm just going to ignore the entire "what if" part of this and focus on the whole idea of everything here. I'll admit that it's better laid out than I would have initially thought, but it still does not work properly in the context of everything. Primary because it's, you know, five movies. I'll explain more as we go down.

Return of the Shadow

No Bombadil. I'm sorry, but there's a reason he's cut out of every adaptation, including the radio play. He completely undermines and derails the story, and should he ever be included in an adaptation, I would walk out of the theater and just sit in a quiet place for a long while wondering what credibility has been lost in the name of 'faithfulness'. He does not work in LotR, plain and simple. The absolute crippling issue about restructuring Fellowship though is that there's no real break point. End it after The council? So what? Why should I watch the next film? They had a rather lackluster journey which gave us no sense of the greater world around it. That's the problem with Book I as a reader. Unless you know how huge it's going to get, there's no hint of that beforehand, and that's why Jackson initiated the Prologue, but I doubt I would have kept watching if it ended before we actually got to see the greater world.

After that though, there is no logical breaking point without being a cliffhanger. After Moria? As if. Lothlorien? Where's the resolution? Boromir's death is the only way to end it properly. The character's divide, and their own separate journeys come into the fold. Waiting a whole film to even meet them is just too long spent with characters who are not particularly serious in a story which doesn't understand its scope. The fact that it was accelerated and intensified is why the first film worked so well for many people, and that is not going to be improved by pointless meandering and underselling your material.

Fellowship of the Ring

There's obviously some story bits that could have been included here that were not, but it's not substantial enough to create another 90 minutes of a movie. People all ready felt Moria was a bit extended, and not even getting there for like 20 minutes by having the Warg attack and all would just be torturous. And Lothlorien... Nothing happens in Lothlorien, beyond Frodo's greater understanding of his quest. The scenes which PJ fit in that for the Extended cut were lovely, but I feel fatigued in Lothlorien rather quickly, since it is a breather which lasts too long. As said, the only eventful thing is what happens with The One, which is obviously a lot different in the book. What do you do after that though? They made a point of really slowing everything down for the steady build up to Boromir's 'betrayal', and one hell of an action scene after it. What else can you fit in, beyond more exposition in boat riding?

The Two Towers

And here's where it all falls to pieces... The biggest thing in the movies was the distribution of storyline, and why changes were necessary. It's also why six films based on the six books couldn't work, because Frodo's storyline is empty as hell. Lots of walking in the lonely places towards Mordor. Takes a long time to emphasize in the book, but just a look at Emyn Muil or the Dead Marshes tells us everything. when you say that "Frodo's storyline ends earlier" you're saying that it ends immediately. Nothing happens in this span of time! If the first chapter could be represented in the first 8 minutes or so (Extended), what hope have you for even giving 1/3 of the screentime to Frodo's story? He would walk to the Black Gate, realize they have to go another way... Then that's it? Really? Can't at least get to Faramir? That's not a good ending at all, especially given the fact that all of their work in the story thus far is completely invalidated by it. That's just a horrid assertion, particularly when you remember people saying how they all ready didn't care much for Frodo's story in Film 2.

The War of the Ring

Not a terrible line up, though everything is built on what I've said behind it. Again you're really trying to stretch out chapters into lengthy diatribes, and leaving many characters completely absent. We get reintroduced to Gandalf and then... He's gone again, and so is another character we're supposed to care about! Oh, I'm so glad they're not a burden anymore. Otherwise I might have started to like that wizard guy again! Besides, how do you even understand the whole beacon thing if you're not brought to Minas Tirith to see the beacon lighting across the planes of Middle-Earth? Works much better than exposition, and you understand the turmoil that the city's in through the actions of Denethor (which, while misrepresented in the movie, still convey the idea). Having him not actively doing things in a flashback does not make us understand him as a character.

The biggest thing I have to point out is that the entire structure of PJ's LotR is built on climaxes, as it is an action film (and yes, that's the only thing LotR is suited to, as sophisticated a drama as it may be). Osgiliath without there being any emotional climax there becomes as pointless as Bombadil when you strip away the fact that Faramir is a non-entity for the rest of the picture. Because it was at the end of Two Towers, it worked, whereas here it would be an aside and not worth bringing into the story. The climax here is Shelob, so why do you need Faramir's journey when he'll be lying down for the final film (and getting married, whatever)? It doesn't strengthen our feeling of men as resonantly when it's "just another danger".

The Return of the King

Aforementioned problems, of course, with character's being out of it a long while. I will always bring this up though: As much as you want Mouth of Sauron, it screws up everything. Why? Because Frodo and Sam have three chapters, and the final one, of course, happens coincidingly with the battle. Unless you're trying to make a premise on it, you can't just leap about in time as you please. There's obviously a lot of parts in RotK that seem hard pressed to get their point across in time, but you can't stretch out Frodo in the Tower, Frodo and Sam walking some more, and them getting to Mount Doom enough to fill out the amount of time needed in the movie. Obviously since the whole of Book 5 is filled with a lot of glossed over stuff, you have enough there to make a movie, but Frodo and Sam's journey lies at the heart of everything. There's just no way to make people invested in the journey if you eliminate their screentime and actions in the story itself.

The only structure I could ever seeing LotR working otherwise would be, at maximum, 4 films. 3 seemed like just under the amount needed, but I don't know where else I'd split it. This structure, though, is taking for granted the most uncinematic parts of Tolkien's language. We love the books, obviously, but we have to keep in mind that there's a different story at stake here: The one of the movie. PJ and Co. thought long and hard about how to make these movies breath and shine, and they did what I believe might be the only possible way to create these films. I don't think he would have ever wanted to do it in any more, even if he was dissatisfied with parts of these films, because it always fit as a trilogy for a myriad of reasons. There is no perfect solution, and I'm personally glad we got such understanding of the material without sacrificing the enormous amount of heart and knowledge of filmmaking as a whole.


Sep 8 2012, 5:45pm

Post #4 of 51 (774 views)
"Osgiliath without there being any emotional climax there becomes as pointless as Bombadil" [In reply to] Can't Post

Osgiliath is pointless, full stop.

There was no reason why a better rendering couldn't have been made within the existing 9-10 hour timeframe simply by including more Tolkien and less PJ filler.


Sep 8 2012, 6:15pm

Post #5 of 51 (701 views)
Oops! Make that 'accept'. // [In reply to] Can't Post

My mistake. Still can't do it, though.

'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White


Sep 8 2012, 6:23pm

Post #6 of 51 (744 views)
Bombadil... [In reply to] Can't Post

Point-of-order. Tom Bombadil has not been left out of every adaptation of LotR. He and Goldberry were most conspiculously included in the Mind's Eye dramatization which aired on National Public Radio. I thought that it worked fine. Besides, if you drop Tom then you also have to either eliminate or completely re-write the Barrow-downs sequence. Peter Jackson chose to ignore it rather than introduce Strider earlier so that he could be the one to rescue the strayed hobbits.

I can't really disagree with your other criticisms.

'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White


Sep 8 2012, 7:00pm

Post #7 of 51 (706 views)
Great points! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for taking the time. ;)

Yeah I got a bit carried away by the whole idea... but your very good points raise the question if 3 films for The Hobbit will not have the same lengths that you criticise in the layout for 5 LOTR movies. You mention Frodo travelling from Emyn Muil to the Black Gate as "nothing happening"... then just how many scenes will we get in The Hobbit of the company just travelling? On the way to Rivendell, from Laketown to Erebor etc....

The whole mind game was: if The Hobbit can be blown up to 3 movies, shouldn't LOTR be something like 5 films? And if LOTR doesn't work as 5 films because it would create unnecessary lenghts, can THe Hoobit possibly be successful as 3 movies?

Tol Eressea

Sep 8 2012, 7:36pm

Post #8 of 51 (723 views)
Brian Sibley [In reply to] Can't Post

included Tom in a BBC radio series some years after he did LotR. The series was called 'Tales from the Perilous Realm' and included dramatisations of 'Leaf by Niggle'; 'Smith of Wootton Major'; and 'Farmer Giles of Ham', with Brian Blessed playing the farmer.

For 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil', Sibley adapted the Bombadil episodes of The Lord of the Rings, beginning with the hobbits' journey through the Old Forest, and ending with their farewell to Tom just outside Bree.

All four episodes are excellent; the Bombadil not least. Sibley has proven that Tom works very well in a dramatisation, if whoever is doing the adaptation is aware of what Tolkien is getting at and, most of all, is good at what they're doing.

The series used to be available on cassette; I still have my set. I wonder if it ever became available on CD?



Sep 9 2012, 12:33am

Post #9 of 51 (719 views)
This would make a brilliant six films [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I still think Bombadil would have been a casualty. Smile

I would also add the Dunedain material back in, with Aragorn's people meeting up with him to travel the paths of the dead. Excellent stuff, that would then allow Aragorn to show up with a human army at the Pelennor, rather than invincible scrubbing bubbles.

(This post was edited by Shelob'sAppetite on Sep 9 2012, 12:37am)


Sep 9 2012, 12:44am

Post #10 of 51 (726 views)
You really forget a lot of cinematic material that's in the book, but wasn't in the films [In reply to] Can't Post

- the Dunedain
- the Barrow Downs
- the warg attack before Caradhras
- the orc attack on the outskirts of Lorien
- the orc attack on the boats at night
- the rapids
- Legolas shooting down the flying Nazgul
- The Stone of Erech
- Aragorn's attack on the pirates
- The rallying of a human army to the ships, and to the Pelennor
- Aragorn tents outside Middle Earth
- Ghan-Buri-Ghan
- the road to the Black Gate, with some men despairing and going home

etc etc etc

You often go on and on disparaging the books without realizing how much cinematic potential there is. If PJ can make three films out of the Hobbit, he could certainly have made six out of LOTR. It is definitely possible, and possible to do right.


Sep 9 2012, 1:17am

Post #11 of 51 (716 views)
Not possible given the expectations of the general public [In reply to] Can't Post

Listen, as much as you could try and argue about what is dumbed down in the films for audiences, there is expectations you must fulfill. You could not have filmed 6 movies based on the 6 books for two reasons:

1. The splitting of the characters didn't work in its favor in the books there, and it would be the murderer in the film. Asking audiences to see two entirely separate movies which could be mixed together to get the whole story is far too much to ask of studios, people involved making the film, and audiences. LotR all ready demanded much more from its audiences than most movies, even if you forget the running time.

2. Book 1 and Book 6 are not movies, in themselves. Book 1, as I've mentioned, gives a viewer no idea about a bigger tale than Hobbits having adventures. It was written to acclimate readers of The Hobbit to a new style of story, but as a film it would be an unfittingly slow piece in a medium where no "warm up" is required. Book 6 is just resolution, after chapter 3. Scouring, yes, but you wouldn't ever drag out chapters 4-7 in any more time than was given to them in RotK. Not every story needs to be neatly resolve, nor every footstep seen. Book 6 is not a film at all.

Like I said, Book 5 particularly has some great stuff that could have been done better, if given more time, but we weren't. It wouldn't require that much more time to hit the important beats here, and that's the thing. The trilogy did it well, in my opinion, even if it faltered on some of the more 'epic' moments. You didn't need the Warg attack when you cut down Caradhras itself (and made it make more sense). You don't need the Uruks actually attacking when you're building up the final confrontation so skillfully. Every scene serviced something more than being a scene in itself, and you felt with the characters as they grew. LotR has always been more of an emotional experiences for me than anything, and that's why it stands out. It uses its skills, as a movie, to show what the adventure is on many layers. I never found anything in it inconsequential. All actions flowed into one another, and the book sort of falls on that with its attempts at realism, which don't service the narrative of the characters, but rather just Tolkien as a writer wanting to tell this fake historical piece. That's where the books fail, to me. Places they camp at don't matter. Their feelings matter, and that's what I loved on screen above all the amazing battles and the timeless story and everything else.


Sep 9 2012, 2:01am

Post #12 of 51 (703 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I am loathe to defend the Osgiliath move, because I don't like much of the way that section is handled, but it is not "PJ filler."

Osgiliath is a dramatic counterweight, there to keep some kind of action balance among the three storylines. The Three Hunters and Gandalf finish with a battle scene; Merry and Pippen finish with a battle scene; the whole Faramir downgrade and side trip to Osgiliath puts Frodo/Sam/Gollum into a comparable arc with the other two stories, complete with a battle scene at the end.

Jacked up though it may be, it's not filler.

(This post was edited by Harold.of.Whoa on Sep 9 2012, 2:06am)


Sep 9 2012, 3:09am

Post #13 of 51 (689 views)
I didn't say they would be based on the six books [In reply to] Can't Post

The films would have to inter-cut between Frodo/Sam/Gollum and Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli/Gandalf. I do not think you could go with the book's structure, and get away with it.

You consistently talk about how film audiences would never stand for six (or five) films, etc. etc. Yet if Peter Jackson can make three films out of one short book, he most certainly could find a very creative way of making six books out of three long ones.

It CAN be done. Stating that it cannot be, and stating it definitively, does not make it so.

Creative minds find all sorts of ways to tackle such challenges.


Sep 9 2012, 8:01am

Post #14 of 51 (692 views)
non-book material [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, and one should consider that in a 5 or 6 movie adaptation of the LOTR, there would be a lot more "extra material", like the Dol Guldur plotline is added to The Hobbit now. More Aragorn and Arwen, obviously. But think of the potential for Theodred and Eowyn... Denethor wrestling with Sauron at the Palantir, the War in the North... this is where the Appendices really could be mined heavily... that 5 film structure I laid out above doesn't really take any of that into account.

(This post was edited by micha84 on Sep 9 2012, 8:02am)

Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Tol Eressea

Sep 10 2012, 9:52am

Post #15 of 51 (623 views)
Things I missed in PJīs films [In reply to] Can't Post

With your permission Iīm gonna join in this list saying my bookīs moments that didnīt appear in the movies
-Legolas shooting fellbeast (indeed)
-Eomerīs speech before seeing the withe tree in the corsairīs ship (I still cannot believe PJ didnīt putted this in the movies)
-Gandalfīs shouting before the black gate when the hour of doom came (I still cannot believe this one also is out)
-All Cricholllow and Magotīs stuff (I like Bombadil but I miss this two more than him)
-Scouring of The Shire of course
-More Frodo and Sam in Mordor(Durthang stuff, thought is a little bit actually, Mordorīs flies, and the Nazgul at Cirith Ungol) and in their approach to Morgul valey.
-More Imrahil and the coming of the men of south Gondor into the aid of Minas Tirith
-How Morgulīs armies approached Minas Tirith in the night with the torches
-Frodo and Sam cleaning their clothes and having a bath in Ithilien, I enjoyed those happy moments a lot.
-Denethor with The Palantir.

I like you reminded the road to the Black Gate, thatīs one I love, along the burning of Minas Morgulīs bridge

I can not guarantee his safety - understood...
Nor will I be responsible for his fate - Doh!


Sep 11 2012, 5:56pm

Post #16 of 51 (607 views)
Mining = fanfic [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
this is where the Appendices really could be mined heavily...

Oh, God, say it ain't so!

"Mining" the appendices means taking one or two lines of bare statement- no actual Tolkien narrative, no scenes, no dialogue, nothing but the tiniest of thumbnails- and allowing Boyenss and her accomplices to "flesh them out". Please, let's not forget that these are the people whose notion of "fleshing out" included mutant hyena attacks, impossible teetering staircases, cascading skulls, Aragorn off the cliff (starring Trigger the Wonder Horse), pseudo-Faramir's impossibly stupid suicide charge, Wizard Fu, and Frodo in Osgiliath (???) offering the bloody One Ring to a Nazgul with pseudo-Faramir thereupon losing his (invented) overpowering Ring-lust and instead going "Well, since it's now clear you have only a tenuous grip on sanity and moreover will plainly give the Ring to the first minion of the Enemy you run into, guess I'll now turn you and the Ring loose in the direction of Minas Morgul!"


Sep 11 2012, 6:14pm

Post #17 of 51 (586 views)
not quite [In reply to] Can't Post

Much fanfic is totally off the wall and contradicts much of what is actually written - so there goes one side of the equality.

Mining appendices for lines might turn into a fan-fic if a single line becomes a full-length movie, but probably not if it becomes a 2 minute scene (and it would be iffy if it were something like a a 15 minute clip).

For something to be a fan-fic, I think the majority of the content of the story (characters, locations, events - not just dialogue) has to be generated by the fan author - otherwise it is more of an adaptation of an existing story.


Sep 11 2012, 6:18pm

Post #18 of 51 (618 views)
Frodo does not offer the ring to the Nazgul [In reply to] Can't Post

It's very clear that he's going to put the ring on, not give it away. And this has some precedence in the books when he feels drawn to the Witch King at Minas Morgul (admittedly, they didn't need to do it twice). I'm surprised that people still read the scene this way, because it's definitely not what's happening.

This interpretation of the scene reminds me of those who dislike Tolkien so much that they misread the text to make him look as bad as possible.

(This post was edited by kzer_za on Sep 11 2012, 6:21pm)


Sep 11 2012, 7:00pm

Post #19 of 51 (573 views)
They're also the ones who "mined" the appendices during LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

particularly the tale of Aragorn and Arwen. The vision of Arwen's future in TTT came from a sort of flash-forward to the appendices and IMO it worked phenomenally well.

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast, as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower."


Sep 11 2012, 7:47pm

Post #20 of 51 (571 views)
Mining = finding gold [In reply to] Can't Post

That view is a little limited, if I may say so, because some stuff in the appendices is only in the appendices because Tolkien didn't know how to integrate it into the main narrative of the book! He himself mentioned that especially the appendix on Aragorn and Arwen is of great importance.

So "mining" is not necessarily scraping the bottom of the barrel... you can find great things in there. Because they're not in the main narrative, they haven't been developed a lot by Tolkien. A film maker has every right to expand on some of it.


Sep 11 2012, 7:50pm

Post #21 of 51 (561 views)
And what else... [In reply to] Can't Post

would you call PJ's entire White Council-Necromancer business?

"Mining appendices for lines might turn into a fan-fic if a single line becomes a full-length movie...and it would be iffy if it were something like a a 15 minute clip)."

The sum total of actual Tolkien material consists of

a) The Hobbit p. 310: "Gandalf had been to a great council of the white wizards, masters of lore and good magic; and that they had at last driven the Necromancer from his dark hold in the south of Mirkwood."

b) Appendix B (1-vol. p. 1126): The White Council meets; Saruman agrees to an attack on Dol Goldur, since he wishes to prevent Sauron from searching the River. Sauron having made his plans abandons Dol Guldur." (variant reading in XII. 239 adds nothing).

c) Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (Sil. p. 302): "Therefore, for the last time, [Saruman] aided the Council, and they put forth their strength; and they assailed Dol Goldur, and drove Sauron from his hold, and Mirkwood for a brief while was made wholesome again."

That's it. That's all there is. But out of that PJU is going to "mine" God knows how much screen time of action seqwunces, of blasts and collapsing walls and flying bodies and doubtless shield-surfing. Fan-fic by a teenage boy with an f/x budget.


Sep 11 2012, 7:53pm

Post #22 of 51 (561 views)
Frodo gives in there [In reply to] Can't Post

And what would have happened? Frodo would have become perfectly visible to the Nazgul. He would have been literally "up for grabs". And in that scene, Frodo doesn't strike me as someone who wants to resist. He totally gives in.

But that's not what makes the scene stupid. It's that the Nazgul just flies off. Is he going to keep it to himself that the ring is in Osgiliath? He just flies off as if he hasn't seen anything of importance. Shouldn't all the nine be storming towards Osgiliath at such an occasion? Or shouldn't at least something happen? The scene is not resolved properly. That's why it's stupid.


Sep 11 2012, 7:53pm

Post #23 of 51 (566 views)
The right? [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
A film maker has every right to expand on some of it.

The right? Perhaps? The ability? Not necessarily... and in Jackson/Boyens' case necessarily not.


Sep 11 2012, 8:09pm

Post #24 of 51 (538 views)
That's not really all that is there [In reply to] Can't Post

because the sum of the parts is greater than the whole in this case.

All of the named characters and locations already exist in the main narratives. Supporting characters related to servants of Sauron, White Council members, and events listed also already exist.
The excerpts you selected fit within the threads of The Hobbit story simply by showing where Gandalf goes and what happens rather than leaving that totally hidden.

There are precedents set related to other council meetings, exchanges between wizards, and clashes with Sauron aka Necromancer that can be drawn from. There are contexts, characters, events, and story lines from other parts of the appendices that can help fill in any gaps.

I'd say that this could run for about an hour easily without requiring any new characters, events, or locations to be invented by PJ and crew - and that if they did take the liberty to insert a limited amount of invented material (limited amount) to fill in gaps and make the story flow - it wouldn't be enough to warrant calling all of it "a fiction invented by Peter Jackson the Tolkien fan" because way too much of it is well rooted and established in existing material.

It just wouldn't be fair to attribute it to PJ as a fiction of his own making unless he really does provide a threshold level of his own invented material - and it sounds to me like this is not the idea at all. Instead, it sounds like he is making an adaptation of this highly related content found in various places here and there (and making a good adaptation does take some invention - just not the same kind or level of invention as fan-fiction requires).


Sep 11 2012, 8:52pm

Post #25 of 51 (590 views)
Refefrences that you missed... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Council of Elrond, with Gandalf (the most detailed account?):


"Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the door of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again. Some, too, will remember also that Saruman dissuaded us from open deeds against him, and for long we watched him only. Yet at last, as his shadow grew, Saruman yielded, and the Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood--and that was in the very year of the finding of this Ring: a strange chance, if chance it was.

"But we were too late, as Elrond foresaw. Sauron also had watched us, and had long prepared against our stroke, governing Mordor from afar through Minas Morgul, whre his Nine servants dwelt, until all was ready. Then he gave way before us, but only feigned to flee, and soon after came to teh Dark Tower and openly declared himself."

And in Appendix A, Part III, DURIN'S FOLK (repeated in somewhat different manner in "The Quest of Erebor" in Unfinished Tales):


In the late summer of that same year (2941) Gandalf had at last prevailed upon Saruman and the White Council to attack Dol Guldur, and Sauron retreated and went to Mordor, there to be secure, as he thought, from all his enemies.

'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 11 2012, 8:54pm)

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