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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Those with concerns...
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Sinister71
Tol Eressea


Oct 10 2012, 11:03pm

Post #126 of 135 (1890 views)
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well since I brought this thread up about concerns about the films [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess it must be off topic... because I have concerns about the film not hypothetical situations in the stories. My concerns are with the films and what is being presented in them. There is nothing in Tolkien's works to tell us that Azog or Bolg are working for Sauron that I can remember, nothing to say they have supernatural powers, and nothing involving either of them with being zombies. Which if they are it strays from the source material that Jackson is allowed to use. or am I wrong? or maybe I'm ignorant as you say Crazy


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Oct 10 2012, 11:27pm

Post #127 of 135 (1888 views)
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Yes the discussion about the possibility [In reply to] Can't Post

Of Maiar orcs in the context of whether orcs were anti-supernatural was not in response to any of your posts.

There are certainly readings to suggest that the Misty Mountain Orcs may well have been under the influence of Sauron (you can find the quotes on this forum for discussion or in a mixture of LOTR and UT)

There are also possibilities of Orcs fitting a particular description being maiar. As it happens Azog does fit the description rather well and would seem a reasonable candidate (again you will find the necessary information in HOME). It is possible that Jackson is seeking to allude to similar concepts without infringing the rights.

The word zombie has not been mentioned in any of the film material. However some form of extended life may possibly connect to the ideas in the previous paragraph.

If you haven't read the material then, in an entirely not perjorative sense, ignorance is inevitable.

LR


(This post was edited by Lacrimae Rerum on Oct 10 2012, 11:35pm)


elostirion74
Rohan

Oct 11 2012, 3:36pm

Post #128 of 135 (1906 views)
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hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Well: why call something an orc-wight when it refers to something hypothetical which doesn't have anything to do with the actual orcs in the stories? Neither in The Hobbit, LoTR or the published
Silmarillion we find anything about orc-wights or orcs that would fit this description. I'm not very interested in speculations about "what might have been", but the stories that actually have been published.

I'm aware that Tolkien re-wrote and mused about changing or tweaking some of the concepts or ideas he introduced in his published stories. He also seems to have struggled with
several of the criticisms he got against the orcs, ("creatures that are considered irredeemable etc.) It's a long time since I've read anything of Unfinished Tales and the HoME material, but
much of what I've read in these works are simply might-have-beens, early concepts, abandoned ideas or Tolkien trying to develop or elaborate on (unexplored) parts of the stories, but failing to either finish them or produce stories which are reasonably self-consistent. This is also why I generally don't think they're a good basis for discussing Tolkien's written works nor an acceptable
source for adaptation of films. Much of these books seem more like a basis for exploring how Tolkien worked creatively, ideas he abandonded, how he developed his mythology (as well as LoTR) from its early basis, and projects he had for more individual works within the big tapestry of his mythology.

With regard to the individual works, I acknowledge a notable difference these more developed "individual stories" and the drafts Tolkien writes about different topics. The two lays of Beleriands and stories like "Of Tuor's coming to Vinyamar" and "Narn i Hin Hśrin", "The mariner's wife" and the story taking place among the Druedain are much more consistent and developed than the series of brief drafts we get in the essays on The Istari and the palantirs and even "The Hunt for the Ring". Artistically they are works in their own right that I can relate to and consider suitable as a basis for discussion, since they are much more fully developed and have a greater sense of internal logic. When it comes to those parts of UT which are not self-consistent stories, I find that Tolkien's letters are as a rule much more detailed and satisfactory.

I haven't read a single page of Morgoth's Ring, so for all I know this might be a very different work from the others in the HoME series.


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Oct 11 2012, 5:59pm

Post #129 of 135 (1967 views)
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I tend to agree [In reply to] Can't Post

But then one could just as happily ask why call it an Orc-zombie. One term is as baseless as the other.

The relevant bits of Morgoth's Ring are several essays (Myths Transformed) in which Tolkien discusses conceptions of the nature of Orcs, amongst other things. These are some of Tolkien's last recorded thoughts on the matter.

It is of course perfectly reasonable to take the position that what Tolkien published should be considered to have primacy. It is also equally valid to consider that his ideas developed over time and that later ideas supercede prior ones. In either case I think they are well worth exploring.

I'm a bit puzzled by the idea, in principle, that drawing on a wider knowledge of Tolkien's ideas for the adaptation of a particular work is "unacceptable" per se.

LR


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 11 2012, 8:21pm

Post #130 of 135 (1876 views)
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Now this is a good argument, [In reply to] Can't Post

and one I can entirely agree with and support.

In Reply To
Perhaps I misunderstand you, but looking at the evidence we see that Tolkien never wrote about Sauron raising orcs from the dead. Why then should such an invention be made in a film, when the orcs clearly fill a very different purpose in Middle Earth than being a supernatural enemy? If the film makers wanted more supernatural, undead enemies, they can use creatures from Norse folk tales, which fit Tolkien's world better than typical zombies, like Barrow-wights.

The Barrow-wights are the only creatures described that really fit the bill of creatures similar to zombies. I don't agree that Nazgūl and Barrow-wights are the same either. The Nazgūl are men who end up being controlled by Sauron through their possession of The Nine rings, who live beyond their span because of their Rings, and who devote themselves to sorcery and black arts and gradually become more and more ensnared by Sauron's deceits and phantoms. When speaking about the Nazgūl, it's most helpful IMO to look at what Tolkien wrote about how a Ring of Power affects mortals ("The shadow of the past" and to look at what Aragorn and Gandalf says about their nature ("A knife in the dark", "Many meetings") and what is written about their origin in The Silmarillion. It's true that the Nazgūl don't live in the waking world like ordinary people do and are not alive in the ordinary sense, but they have never actually died and then been re-animated from the grave either.

But anyway all of this is very theoretical since we do not know anything about what will actually be in the film. I don't even know if there will be an undead Azog or Nazgūls rising from crypts or in what context we will see it, so I'll just treat these unconfirmed rumours for what they are for the present.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 11 2012, 8:53pm

Post #131 of 135 (1854 views)
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Well, much as I dislike some of the changes, if Bolg is going to challenge Gandalf, I damn sure hope he is presented as a demon orc [In reply to] Can't Post

literally, and just a standard tough guy orc captain.

In Reply To
I don't remember the names Azog or Bolg being mentioned in there..But I will admit its been a while....Even if they were mentioned in HoME as being supernatural, since it's not in the appendices of LOTR or the Hobbit story proper Jackson can't use any of the HoME material without risk of getting sued.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 11 2012, 8:59pm

Post #132 of 135 (1820 views)
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I hate to keep giving fodder to non-cannon liberties. I REALLY do! Yet I think [In reply to] Can't Post

Jackson could probably use the Wizards, The Barrow Wights, and even more so Shelob, to make the case. The Wizards, essetiall Angels taking shape as men, or manlike. The Barrowights, corpses re-animated by disembodied demons (Gothmog is that you? lol). Shelob, "an evil thing in spider form." The suggestion being that she is no true giant spider at all, but, like her mother, an evil spirit that has taken physical shape as a monster spider. With these as precedencts, an evil spirit in form like an orc is not so far-fetched. If the afore mentioned Gandalf vs. Bolg confrontation is going to be portrayed in a serious, challenging, one on one manner, I would rather it be Bolg the half-demon, or something of the sort, than Bolg the orc captain.

In Reply To
I must be missing that in the material the Peter Jackson is allowed to use... HoME is off limits to be used for his films. We are discussing the films and the material they can use for said films here. In the material PJ is allowed to use I see no mention of Zombie Orcs/Goblins or supernatural orcs anywhere. Personaly I don't care what Peter Jackson wants to include, its about what he can include, the Tolkien estate can sue him for using material outside the Hobbit and LOTR. You really think he's gonna take that chance? I'll buy that theory of Zombie orcs or supernatural orcs if you can point it out in the text that Jackson is allowed to use, the Hobbit and LOTR. Just find me one sentence where it refers to Azog or Bolg as being anything other than ordinary run of the mill large powerful goblins/orcs. Heck just find me a sentence about Bolg being "the torturer of Dol Guldur". Otherwise I think the idea is bogus and nothing at all in the "spirit of Tolkien"


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Black Breathalizer
Rohan


Oct 12 2012, 2:06am

Post #133 of 135 (1829 views)
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Filling in the blanks [In reply to] Can't Post

sinister71 wrote: My concerns are with the films and what is being presented in them. There is nothing in Tolkien's works to tell us that Azog or Bolg are working for Sauron that I can remember, nothing to say they have supernatural powers, and nothing involving either of them with being zombies. Which if they are it strays from the source material.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien told of the adventure of Bilbo Baggins. During that adventure Gandalf the Gray left the company and gave a general explanation at the end of the tale about what he did while he was gone. Tolkien's stories from the LOTR appendixes and Unfinished Tales expanded on "the rest of the story." Now Peter Jackson is preparing to tell us the full tale in three feature-length films.

There is very little detail in much of Gandalf's side story and since the source book was written as a Children's Tale, it lacked a lot of detail too. So the screenwriters are going to be filling in a lot of blanks with their own inventions. The only point I have made in this thread is that the name 'Necromancer' gives Jackson a lot of latitude when he fills in the evil-doer blanks in the story.


elostirion74
Rohan

Oct 12 2012, 3:59pm

Post #134 of 135 (1733 views)
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long answer [In reply to] Can't Post

Since I haven't read the essays you're talking about, I cannot comment specifically about the ideas as ideas. Still an essay is an essay and not a story and for me the stories are the heart and the ideas only interesting because they throw light on or deepen one's appreciation of the stories. Do you find that new ideas or conceptions of orcs in these essays in any way resonate with or throw new light on the portrayal of orcs either in The Hobbit or LoTR? Or in The Silmarillion? Is there available any version of a story or part of a story where these different kinds of orcs are being portrayed or mentioned?

Of course it's possible to lead a purely theoretical discussion about how Tolkien actually thought of orcs and their nature. But without a reference to concrete stories or versions of stories, such a discussion quickly can deteriorate into mere speculation about possibilities - it takes place in what I would call a void. What such parts of essays show is how Tolkien grappled with and continued to reconsider fundamental ideas about orcs, but never actually managed to go any further with it in practice. You could never know if these conceptions of orcs would end up as one of those many drafts or thoughts which would be abandonded. What you're actually left with are the stories and versions of stories that Tolkien managed to write.

Christopher Tolkien wrote in the foreword to The Silmarillion that in his latest years Tolkien devoted himself more to theological and philosophical preoccupations of his mythology and his prose and poetry came more in the background. It strikes me that the essays you're talking about in Morgoth's Ring are part of this tendency. Christopher Tolkien also wrote that trying to show The Silmarillion as a continuing evolvement of over half a decade would only lead to confusion and submerge what is essential. The discussion about the development of Tolkien's ideas are only applicable to the understanding of The Silmarillion, since LoTR was never rewritten and the rewriting of The Hobbit was abandonded. With The Silmarillion you have many different versions and concepts for the same stories and there you can argue which versions should be considered to have primacy and which shouldn't. But if the story is to succeed as a story or cycle of stories it still needs a very disciplined approach, where you select versions which are compatible with each other and produce a reasonably coherent and consistent tale.

When you adapt The Hobbit, you adapt a story with its own internal logic and vision, and most of all you adapt a story and not a random collection of fragments and ideas. It's definitely useful to have a knowledge of Tolkien's ideas, but the main basis is the story you're trying to adapt, not speculations and thoughts put forth in essays that are not relevant to the story. By the way I've already accepted and understood that the adaptation of the Hobbit enhances and elaborates the context around the main story, but I still expect that what they actually put on film should lead back to hints, themes and ideas in the original story.


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Oct 12 2012, 4:56pm

Post #135 of 135 (1982 views)
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Well it rather depends on what you find interesting but [In reply to] Can't Post

For me yes. Tolkien offers several descriptions of the sort of characteristics which would differentiate maiar orcs from other orcs. Actually of all the orcs we know of Azog would be pretty near the top of the list of likely candidates, for me. So I find this a very interesting idea, although of course it is on,unnecessary of several possibilities.

As I say, it is a perfectly respectable position to take to say that the act of publishing confers primacy on a particular work (although it might be a shame to take too hard a line on that here as it would rather rule out the Sil). It also raises interesting clashes such as Treebeard's comment on Orc origins in LOTR vs Tolkien's specific refutation of those comments in his letters, the first being published by him and the second not, of course.

I think it is less easy to understand your points which seem to build to the suggestion that anything not in the form of a story can be safely ignored. I don't think this makes sense to me and if we tried a little experiment where I told you that the essays I mentioned started with the words "I once met a wizard who asked me for my thoughts....." I would be surprised if you felt that was sufficient reason to dramatically alter your views on the validity of what followed.

I think equally the notions of abandoned fragments which somehow didn't make it into practice is also not a notion I share. This would rule us out from considering almost everything he wrote, the Sil included, and I think there is much interest to be had.

Equally, whilst it is a viewpoint, I would tend to disagree with the notion that when you adapt the hobbit, as full an appreciation of the wider contexts of Tolkien's work as possible is not a good thing. To use your Silmarillion example I would tend to argue that it was just such a wider knowledge which enabled CT to pull the work together, rather than the absence of it.

LR

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