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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A little hint on riddles.

Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 3:11pm

Post #1 of 16 (1074 views)
A little hint on riddles. Can't Post

The Sunday Times has a Hobbit poster in it today with several little word searches and whatnot. One of the boxes is entitled Riddles and the question is posed "Can you figure out what Gollum's on about?"

Three riddles are included (wind, fish and time) but the interesting thing is that each has some very minor, but clearly deliberate, changes from the riddles as quoted in the text.

Now either the paper fancied tweaking them a little (which is perhaps less likely) or this might be a hint that these riddles will be appearing in the film (and thus have been tweaked by the filmmakers)



Nov 25 2012, 3:18pm

Post #2 of 16 (662 views)
I always said PJ would change the riddles [In reply to] Can't Post

What are the changes LR, and what poster is it?


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Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 3:38pm

Post #3 of 16 (633 views)
Only very minor in all fairness [In reply to] Can't Post

So "wind" is:

Voiceless it cries,
Wingless it flutters,
Toothless it bites,
And mouthless it mutters.

Whilst "fish" is :

As cold as death;
Never thirsty,
Ever drinking,
Dressed in chainmail
Never clinking

Which is slightly closer to the LOTR version of the riddle (although the punctuation matches the Hobbit version)

And for "time" : "king" is instead "kings"

I find all of these to be rather plausible changes one might make if the riddles were to be heard by a modern audience rather than read.



Nov 25 2012, 3:52pm

Post #4 of 16 (556 views)
Tattered poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I find all of these to be rather plausible changes one might make if the riddles were to be heard by a modern audience rather than read.

I don’t: the violence done to the scansion destroys the illusion that these are old rhymes handed down from generation to generation. Introducing the “chain” part ruins everything.

…all eyes looked upon the ring; for he held it now aloft, and the green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.
The Silmarillion, pp 150-151
while Felagund laughs beneath the trees
in Valinor and comes no more
to this grey world of tears and war.
The Lays of Beleriand, p 311

Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 3:55pm

Post #5 of 16 (533 views)
I would imagine [In reply to] Can't Post

Ease of audible comprehension might be seen as a higher priority than the associations of the scansion.



Nov 25 2012, 3:57pm

Post #6 of 16 (518 views)
Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

Odd changes, I have to say. I'm not sure what it achieves. Like you say, it might be designed for modern audiences. But personally I think the book riddles sound better. But then again, aren't we all bias towards the book.

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Nov 25 2012, 4:18pm

Post #7 of 16 (495 views)
About riddles [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the concept of playing riddles with a monster might work fine in a book, but might seem weird or uncinematic in a film. I fear this scene have the potential to come across as just juvenile and absurd for casual audiences.

The Shire

Nov 25 2012, 4:38pm

Post #8 of 16 (461 views)
Sure. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not like the Dwarves are going to do juvenile and absurd things in the film...


Nov 25 2012, 4:49pm

Post #9 of 16 (457 views)
It runs alongside Goblintown [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone bored by the Riddles scene should be kept entertained by the Goblintown scenes.

But I think the general audience deserve some credit. I'm sure they'll appreciate it's importance.

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Nov 25 2012, 5:11pm

Post #10 of 16 (412 views)
But a fish wears scalemail, not chainmail // [In reply to] Can't Post


Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 5:24pm

Post #11 of 16 (407 views)
well [In reply to] Can't Post


If fish can wear such armor I don't see the problem of them wearing a chainmail Wink

Vocalist in the semi-progressive metal band Arctic Eclipse

Forum Admin / Moderator

Nov 25 2012, 5:43pm

Post #12 of 16 (382 views)
I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

that they are changes made to ensure that the audience "gets" it on first hearing. On the page, you can re-read or pick up nuances of slightly archaic phrasing from context but on screen it will be said once, and that's it.


Tol Eressea

Nov 25 2012, 10:12pm

Post #13 of 16 (293 views)
I just checked the riddles printed in The Hobbit: AUJ Annual [In reply to] Can't Post

which was published back at the end of August, and the riddles quoted on pages 48-49 are the original versions from the novel...so perhaps The Sunday Times has made the errors?

"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort

Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 25 2012, 10:21pm

Post #14 of 16 (276 views)
Perfectly possible, I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

Though equally it is possible the riddles in the annual were taken directly from the text.



Nov 26 2012, 1:01pm

Post #15 of 16 (185 views)
Have they been changed for copywrite reasons? [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe the paper didn't have the rights to use the original versions.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...

Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 26 2012, 9:33pm

Post #16 of 16 (158 views)
Weeeeell possible [In reply to] Can't Post

Although if copyright were an issue then adding an "s", for example, wouldn't make it any less of an infringement.



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