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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Why only Minas Tirith?


Jan 4 2013, 4:00pm

Post #1 of 15 (972 views)
Why only Minas Tirith? Can't Post

I love the ROTK movie but there's one thing I'm dissapointed with - if I didn't know the book, I would get a feeling that Gondor consists of Minas Tirith + a small harbour and several beacons. Even Rohan seemed to be "richer" in the movie - Edoras, Helm's Deep and a village burned down by orcs can be seen there. PJ could have either shot scenes of Gondorian armies from various areas coming into Minas Tirith or he could have shown, in whichever context, locations such as Pelargir or Dol Amroth. If those bruning settlements behind the corsairs' ships were supposed to portray Pelargir or some other city, it's okay, but it's not really clear from the movie... What's your opinion?


Jan 4 2013, 4:19pm

Post #2 of 15 (538 views)
Sure, I would loved to have explored more of Gondor [In reply to] Can't Post

and Middle Earth but as with all films they are only going to shoot what is critical due to costs and running time. Great EE filler material though. You just have to use your imagination with artwork showing those places and your mind when reading the books. I agree the movie world is much smaller than the one presented in the books. Gondor had multiple provinces and they all contributed men to the defense of the city but not as many as they could have out of fear of attack from the south / corsairs etc. The whole Dol Amroth scenes would have been terrific and seeing the incoming troops from those areas coming in would have been a great scene. Remeber the arrival of Aragorn with the ships was totally different than the books. The Dead Men of the White Mountains were released after the Umbar raid. The ships arrived with Gondorian troops from the south plus Aragorn's company including Dunedain and Elrond's sons. A tidbit...they had not yet chosen their kindred - elf or mortal man - so I am not sure what would have happened had they died....to what realm do they go?

(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jan 4 2013, 4:25pm)


Jan 4 2013, 5:18pm

Post #3 of 15 (526 views)
Well, what Jackson could have done... [In reply to] Can't Post

Peter Jackson could have kept the role of the Army of the Dead as small as it was in the book and spent less time under the mountain. Instead, the army would have been used against the Black Corsairs and Aragorn would have then had to muster the Southern Fiefs and bring the Men of South Gondor to the defense of Minas Tirith.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Jan 4 2013, 5:22pm

Post #4 of 15 (522 views)
Yes, but we know that is not "exciting enough" and the Army of Dead [In reply to] Can't Post

added a "wow" factor that mere mortals could not have had...after all, could humans scour the buildings of Minas Tirith clean of orcs and swarm Oliphants? ;)


Jan 4 2013, 5:26pm

Post #5 of 15 (524 views)
My wife's take is slightly different... [In reply to] Can't Post

She points out that the Army of the Dead keeps the pace of the film moving where forcing Aragorn to muster the Men of Southern Gondor would slow things down considerably (depending upon how much of this was depicted). Certainly the Men couldn't just swarm over the attackers in the same way as the supernatural allies.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Jan 4 2013, 5:33pm

Post #6 of 15 (494 views)
One that scene would have accomplished is to show the [In reply to] Can't Post

Kingship of Aragorn as accepted by the Gondorians.


Jan 4 2013, 5:53pm

Post #7 of 15 (493 views)
I think it's *more* exciting, and I bet the general audience would agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

Like the eagles, they would be wondering why the Army doesn't just go into Mordor!

Silly, silly idea.


Jan 4 2013, 7:12pm

Post #8 of 15 (473 views)
Actually [In reply to] Can't Post

My uncle asked that very question. Why didn't they take the dead to Mordor? Then you just have to explain that that's not how it is in the book.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).

Fredeghar Wayfarer

Jan 4 2013, 7:46pm

Post #9 of 15 (501 views)
Taking the Dead to Mordor [In reply to] Can't Post

The Army of the Dead at Minas Tirith does kind of open up a can of worms. However, I can think of a possible explanation for why they can't take them to Mordor. Sauron is a Necromancer. The dead are his to command. If they took the Dead Men to Mordor, there's no guarantee that they'd stay loyal to Aragorn. Granted, this is not mentioned in the movie but it could help book-fans and nitpickers feel better about that plotline.


Jan 6 2013, 2:34am

Post #10 of 15 (423 views)
Third child syndrome... [In reply to] Can't Post

As in, parents typically have photos of every minute of their first kid's life...
For the second kid, there are lots of photos but many have both kids in them...
And for the last kid, the photo album goes directly from birth to graduation,,,

For the films, we got a loving, indepth look at the Shire in Film 1...
In Film 2, they had lots of time to introduce Rohan so it got many photos, but most with the characters from the first film in them...
And for Film 3, it was sort of "whoosh", let's just focus on the big events...

But really, in Film 3, they were needing to wind up all the plot lines, close out all the character arcs, wrap up the entire story, etc. So there was simply not time for an indepth tour of Minas Tirith guided by Beregond, or even Gandalf's history lesson about the place (though we do get that in the EE). They needed to get into the story very fast, and so the minute Gandalf rides off with Pippin on Shadowfax, it's a big race to the finish line more than a leisurely tour of the new country we're visiting.

I would love to see a miniseries some day, where they could pace the story more slowly and spend more time in each location and focus just on one part of the story at a time. That would be about the only way I think you could give equal weight to every setting and the storyline that happens there...including the time Merry and Pippin spend with the Ents, or the entire scene as written with Faramir and Frodo...

Oh, and I think you are new(er) so I'll also say Welcome to TORn and looking forward to seeing more of what you have to say!



Jan 6 2013, 5:24am

Post #11 of 15 (455 views)
You're not alone [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Weaver makes a good point about the need for speed in the 3rd movie and the inability to travel through Gondor's vastness, but it seems like the movie should still have more accurately displayed the true scale of Gondor, which seem like it's just this really cool city. The army that Faramir leads to near-total destruction appears, in the movie, to be Gondor's only army, and it looks smaller than Rohan's. From talking to people I know who've seen the movie but haven't read the books, they all assume that Gondor is the same size or smaller than Rohan, just more advanced, so Jackson got the advanced part right, but not the right impression of Gondor's might.


Jan 7 2013, 2:15am

Post #12 of 15 (364 views)
They were cursed until they fulfllled their task [In reply to] Can't Post


But as noted, they were torn in allegiance as they had been supporters...worshippers of Sauron before Isildur.

Registered User

Jan 7 2013, 2:49am

Post #13 of 15 (328 views)
Question [In reply to] Can't Post

Can anything defeat the army of the dead? I mean, are they affected at all by a physical blow?


Jan 7 2013, 3:04am

Post #14 of 15 (370 views)
My guess is no [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a good question. I reread Legolas's description of them, and they seem to be ghosts in the traditional sense of being a visible but non-physical thing, so I don't see how a physical blow could affect them. They're not like the Nazgul, who are ghost-like but still have physical forms that can be killed. I guess we'll never know how a Nazgul/King of the Dead standoff would have ended.


Jan 10 2013, 3:42pm

Post #15 of 15 (371 views)
Even moreso beforehand.. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
She points out that the Army of the Dead keeps the pace of the film moving where forcing Aragorn to muster the Men of Southern Gondor would slow things down considerably (depending upon how much of this was depicted). Certainly the Men couldn't just swarm over the attackers in the same way as the supernatural allies.

I don't think the actual battle itself would be a massive issue since you really don't need to show all the action, look at the end of Helms Deep for example.. What would really have needed alot of extra time is properly setting up Dol Amroth and the seige, I just think the jump from Aragorn leading the dead to Aragorn suddeny appearing with Gondorians off the boats would have been too great for the audience.

Whats more if you show that section I think it needs to be a fairly major climax as its the payoff to the paths of the dead. So not only are you looking at extra time in an already long film but your also looking at having to fit in an extra climax that doesnt really have anything to mirror it in the other stories.


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