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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Jackson Quibble: Is the new Hobbit flick harming the greater good?
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Feb 1 2013, 4:44pm

Post #26 of 48 (1352 views)
Cheers Bomby and Elessar :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I am coming into my 18/19th year of being a Tolkien fan - not bad for my age but of course very much less than yourself and a good number of people on here.

I am also interested to see how i relate to the works as i go through my life - Magpie talks about how they changed for her from reading it when younger then later in life, wonder if that will happen for everyone as they read it throughout the years.

I definitely pick up new things every time or even just things i knew previously but just forgot - just read Treebeard chapter last night and i completely forgot the water in the bowls glows, also the description of Treebeard made me go look for artists interpretations on how he looked - face wise i like Lee's best, scene wise i really like Nasmiths vision.

I dont want to come across as some militant tolkien fan though, lol. I am not going to storm into someones house if i know they dont like the books or said something i disagree with, lol.

Just more little niggles i guess. I have lots of friends who dont like the book but love the movies, i dont keep going on at them to read it but when some did i was pleased as i was hoping they would like it as much as me.

Hmm not my best thread, lol


Feb 1 2013, 5:04pm

Post #27 of 48 (1347 views)
I understand that [In reply to] Can't Post

For me it was always how do I explain these things to people who might think they're dumb or girls that thought I was giving too much time/energy/money to something that didn't matter. I let that get in the way instead of just accepting everyone won't feel the same way. In the end with the material itself both book and movie I enjoy what I do, aceept what I don't, and even try to learn to find ways to like what I haven't in the past. It has worked and made me just love Tolkien's world so much better and made it easier for me to explain what I love.


Feb 1 2013, 5:11pm

Post #28 of 48 (1328 views)
Cheers [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, you've got me by a few. I would say my fandom started in 2001 but I understand the passion you have quite well obviously.

I think that you will find some changes with both the books and movies. There are things I did not like for the most part in my early readings that now I enjoy far more (Tom Bombadil for example) and there may even be a change in things you used to like a lot that you like a little less. It all depends on how your life goes but in the end I think you will be like a lot of us in that Middle-earth is a refuge from the stresses of everyday life when you need it.

Its all good. I think most of us accept some will fall either fully on one side or the other with many (like me) inbetween. Its all about accepting that people will feel differently and finding a way to be respectful about the feelings of others on the subject. You're cool. :)

Its a good thread. :)

Tol Eressea

Feb 1 2013, 5:42pm

Post #29 of 48 (1341 views)
Try the BBC [In reply to] Can't Post

series. Much better.

Vous commencez ŕ m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Feb 1 2013, 6:52pm

Post #30 of 48 (1344 views)
Harm? *snorts* No... not at all [In reply to] Can't Post

There have been many franchises that held great promise but were utterly ruined in the execution of the film or TV series. This series of films will hold up as popular.

The greater good? Yes. Here's just some of it:

They have broken many milestones; advanced film and computer technologies; employed hundreds of craftspeople and artists; helped popularize some great writing; inspired other people to take a chance on the genre; won awards; broadened the fanbase; created whole industries with trickle-down products and even more cottage industries; promoted tourism to New Zealand; inspired stage and musical symphonies; and probably started the careers of a new generation of production crew under Jackson that will in turn make their own mark on things.

It touoches people's lives everywhere

Yes, these films have completely contributed to the greater good.

(This post was edited by Rostron2 on Feb 1 2013, 6:52pm)


Feb 1 2013, 7:05pm

Post #31 of 48 (1335 views)
This article lost all credibility [In reply to] Can't Post

with it's opening statement. Too bad.


Feb 1 2013, 7:18pm

Post #32 of 48 (1316 views)
To be frank [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if the film followed the book word for word the book would still be better-the book is the original! It would be impossible for the film based upon it to be better, and thus film companies have to make changes.

I have to say that although there were a few minor let-downs, there were bits of the film that I wish were in the book-I always wanted to see more of Radagast, for example.

The simple fact is that those people who have read the book appreciate the book for it's simplicity and comfortable, homelike feel-those who have seen both the book and film see them as two different mediums and (like Christopher Tolkien) either embrace this medium for what it is or fight it for its differences. That's just opinion for you.

Yet I see the film as, in many ways, a lens through which you can see the book in greater detail and with more vivid imagery-for example, while I will still imagine my own version of Ori when I read the book, I now see the film's version of Goblin-Town when I read it because it is better than the one I imagined.

"These are Gundabad Wargs! They will outrun you!"

"THESE are Rhosgobel Rabbits! I'd like to see them try...."


Feb 1 2013, 8:34pm

Post #33 of 48 (1281 views)
wel said dormouse! [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to me that a large percentage of people who don't like the movie really do think that theirs is the only and correct opinion and try to soften or justify this by saying 'oh well this is only what I think,you can all think what you want..' but they go away convinced that they are right and that by saying things like 'lets be honest' they can shame people in to admitting they don't really like it!! Also,people who have some film making knowledge think that just because they have some good ideas they would have made a better job that PJ!!!! Good ideas don't translate in to great results.I completely understand that some like it and some don't,that's how the world works so can't we all just stop bickering and trying to convince each other to change our minds?Smile

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Feb 1 2013, 8:47pm

Post #34 of 48 (1278 views)
very well put.. [In reply to] Can't Post

You've just said what I wanted to say there,well said!! way too much seriousness over all this.

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well

Michelle Johnston

Feb 1 2013, 9:11pm

Post #35 of 48 (1267 views)
Adaption verses Re-imagining [In reply to] Can't Post

I really am not surprised by the intellectual starting point of the article. The LOTR was an adaption of a substantial book written for adults which in the main was a compression. The Hobbit is a complete reimagining, using the spine of a childrens book, as its compass and nothing more. If the writer choses to ignore that distinction then the Hobbit will look bad from the adaptive position.

The fundamental point that this type of critique misses is that the Hobbit is not the central love of JRRT it was the Silmarillion. If someone had the rights of the that material and began fundamentally changing and adding fresh elements to the story of Luthien and Beren or Tuor I would accept the charges he makes.

CT critique is to broad brush, surely he didn't expect a fairy tale film for seven year olds incoporating the books key failing, the post Smaug collapse and muddling of tone.? One day some one will write a thoroughly balanced piece about the challanges facing a film maker, making more movies about middle earth based on the Hobbit and then we will be able consider PJ's efforts with a little more light than heat. Literary snobs opinions are no more helpful than over the top fans. Mercifully the great value of this site is we can, in community, interact gradually piecing together our long term view based on the unfolding 460 minutes of material.

Imagine a 15 year old in late 2014 being given the book to read for his/her christmas present having watched the three films. Their view will shed some interesting light on what has been achieved.

I tried to save the shire , and it has been but not for me.


Feb 1 2013, 9:37pm

Post #36 of 48 (1267 views)
Should we listen to Critics [In reply to] Can't Post

Or at least this one? And the answer is decidedly no. One of the joys of Tolkien's works is how you come to them and how you leave afterwards. I read LOTR for the first time when I was in High School -- a lonely and not very friendable girl -- and by some elvish magic met a not-popular guy who was reading it too. We would meet in the hall everyday to talk about what we read the night before. It was wonderful.

A couple of years later when my sister was very ill and bed-ridden, I spent the summer reading LOTR aloud to her. We have had a special relationship ever since.

The books are an entirely different experience than the movies -- as they should be.

The critics can go pound salt.


Feb 1 2013, 9:53pm

Post #37 of 48 (1279 views)
How is this any different from what happened in the 1960s? [In reply to] Can't Post

As I recall, in the '60s, lots of LOTR imagery and characters were seized on and transmogrified by hippies and rock bands, etc., for all manner of counter-cultural purposes. And yet it didn't result in the world losing sight of any of the 'real' Middle-earth as found in the books, so why does the Tolkien Estate fear that that is what will happen now with the films?


Feb 2 2013, 2:45am

Post #38 of 48 (1223 views)
Things change [In reply to] Can't Post

despite surface similarities

Davy Jones could've been Bilbo...I mean he was a Brit with a sense for adventure, singing & dancing. And think of the costs it would've save with forced perspective: he was ACTUALLY 5'3. He also hung out with a grumpy tall dude in a hat (Mike Nesmith.) While we're at it let's just have Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork as Merry & Pippin.


Feb 2 2013, 3:28am

Post #39 of 48 (1225 views)
Agreed. Dissapointing how, to whom, and from what perspective? I [In reply to] Can't Post

also take issue with some of these "journalists", who, not unlike certain media pundits, speak with an almost "voice of God" authority about entirely subjective matters. . . or when they are actually factually in error. I enjoyed it IMMENSELY, with some caveats concerning very specific incidents. I believe that was the case for many ardent fans, and for many more casual fans. Indeed, a great many casual fans seem to have enjoyed An Unexpected Journey more than Rings, due to the easier to follow material and more jovial tone. But. . . you know. . . haters gonna hate. I don't mind constructive criticism of the films or of Jackson et al. I have it myself, and there have been and doubtless will continue to be choices of theres and stances that will annoy me, and in some cases even leave me apoplectic with outrage. Yet I can seperate my specific irritation or even disgust over certain smaller aspects from the movies as a whole. And if the overall effect is good, I am not going to label it a bad movie because I hated some line, omission or questionable aspects of a scene. I can say it is a less great film than it might have been. . . but that is about it.

In Reply To
.... and my reaction was that the whole thing is based on a false premise. The writer, whoever he or she might be, begins by assuming a concensus view on the film. 'Let's be honest, the new Hobbit film is disappointing at best' or words to that effect, going on the say that the majority know this to be true, and so on. Well, who says?

That 'let's be honest' lost me from the start. If I were to go along with an argument that began in that way I'd be lying. I wasn't disappointed by the new film, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I've known and loved the book for almost half a century. My brother, who is older than me, also enjoyed it, as did his son (20-something) and a number of other friends. I know some people enjoyed it with reservations, or only enjoyed bits of it, or were disappointed and didn't enjoy it at all - but I'm not in a position to say which group are in the majority and I can't see how the writer of the article is in a position to say it either. Which makes the rest of his/her argument fall very flat. 'A sense of fatigue' ... 'current boredom with the movies'.... 'if the general population feel oversaturated at this stage and box office takings plummet'.... I'm beginning to feel as if I'm reading about a different film here - after all, is The Hobbit not doing rather well at the box office?

A Tolkien museum in Oxford would be an interesting idea in its own right. But the notion of funding a museum with the takings of a film which the writer dislikes so much is bizarre - and as for the roller coaster ride into Mount Doom - words fail (as they do at the suggestion that the Tolkien Estate is happy with the idea of a theme park. Words fail - is this meant to be a serious article?

Anyway, here's the link

"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."


Feb 2 2013, 3:57am

Post #40 of 48 (1208 views)
You know. . . you'd be surprised. [In reply to] Can't Post

Fandoms are rather like religions. . . and people could get really ugly about that, even when they still had 3rd world problems. Ancient 3rd world problems at that. Fandom becomes part of how a person defines themselves. And woe betide anyone who tinkers with such a thing Unsure.

In Reply To

In Reply To
The people who think that these movies are causing "harm to the greater good" have obviously never seen how most of the people in the world live

In Reply To

Many things could be took the same way - getting angry at phone being broke - most people dont have enough to eat never mind have a car - its all first world problems.

Essentially it is all debate and i hope that noone thinks genuine harm will come from the films, its as i said harm to people's collective opinion of the world created - if one is as invested as CT then i think i would be the same way and i think he can be excused for thinking the way he does.

For others i dont really get it, but at the same time i want the books to be the main source of imagery and understanding of the world and not the films - but i dont even know why really as like you say it just doesnt matter and i make no money from it and it doesnt affect my life - and yet i still want it to be the books as the main thing, lol. I think its something like - i love the books so much i want others to love them as well, haha so childish!

"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."


Feb 2 2013, 4:44am

Post #41 of 48 (1241 views)
I'm just going to repeat what others have said... [In reply to] Can't Post

People who are interested in reading will read, and movies will just be a gateway to introduce them to the original source. I saw the movie Troy when it came out and didn't like it, but after that I thought it would be interesting to go read The Illiad. At that time I knew the Illiad existed, but nothing so far had prompted me to take a special interest in it. Seeing the movie just brought the subject to my attention.

Did the movie taint my perception of the book? This I can safely say no. Reading is a totally different experience from watching a movie. It feels a lot more personal, and eventually the 'movie images' that I might have in the beginning usually fade and give way to my own imagination. In the end, it becomes my own reading experience and enjoyment, which is something unrelated to the movie.

People who don't want to read will not read, whether there is a movie or not, and it's nice that you can share a book story with them in a medium they can enjoy.

Tol Eressea

Feb 2 2013, 10:41am

Post #42 of 48 (1190 views)
I agree - [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't put much stock in this article; it reads more like a blog entry, or at best an opinion piece, to be agreed with or not.

There is, AFAIK, no talk of the Marquette manuscripts coming back to the UK. Why should they be? (Indeed, Christopher sent more material to Marquette whilst he was going through his father's papers). I think this idea is mere wishful thinking on the part of the author of the article. (One of my own ambitions is to visit Marquette one of these days).

As for the idea of a museum - once again, I think this is wishful thinking - folk on the internet seem happy to come up with suggestions on how others (in this case the Tolkien family) - 'ought' to be spending their time and / or disposing of their property. The family are no more museum-keepers than they are movie-makers. At the time of JRR's death Christopher was teaching at Oxford. The property where he and his family lived at the time had a barn, into which all of Tolkien's papers, diaries, books etc, were bestowed for Christopher to sort through and work on. This is where The Silmarillion as published took shape; and, I guess, probably several other projects too; such as Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkien. Guy Kay gave an image of this workspace in a talk at Cheltenham many years ago. There was a long table in the middle of the floor of the barn, and against the walls were ranks of filing cabinets full of material, with boxfiles on top. A lot of stuff.

Maybe not enough to fill a museum; but to give an idea of the volume of material: Christopher didn't keep everything - for example he sold off a selection of off-prints of scholarly works which Tolkien's colleagues had presented to him over the years. These are mainly philolological; some bore his father's ownership signature. Some carried Tolkien's marginal notes. These are of great interest to collectors. From what I can tell, there were a couple of hundred of these items in the second-hand market at one time. And that is just a small part of the tolkien legacy.

Anyway; rather than set up and run a dedicated museum - (which, while it may sound to some like a kewl idea, sounds bloody impractical to me) - Christopher deposited a great part of his father's writings at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This seems logical; given his own and his father's connections with the University of Oxford. The Tolkien Trust has set aside funds for the conservation and digital photographing of the material, which is still an ongoing project as far as I can tell; and also a fund for a curatorial position within the library itself.

Contrary to what newspapers tell us occassionally, there are no 'lost' Tolkien papers in the Bod. waiting to be found - everything is catalogued, as scholars such as Drout, and Lee & Solopova can attest.

And the family have granted permission for the Library to hold exhibitions of their Tolkien holdings, too. The largest of these was in 1992, to commemorate the centenary of Tolkien's birth. This exhibition filled the whole of the Bodleian's exhibition space; the accompanying catalogue lists 248 items (many of which are reproduced). The catalogue itself is a good sized paperback book; it's called 'JRR Tolkien: Life and Legend', and is well worth seeking out on the second hand books market.

(This post was edited by geordie on Feb 2 2013, 10:48am)

Kristin Thompson

Feb 2 2013, 3:13pm

Post #43 of 48 (1238 views)
Manuscripts do not a museum make [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for all the information, geordie! There is, of course, a huge amount of manuscript material, but just putting pages and pages of them on a wall doesn't in itself make for an interesting museum. People don't want to go slowly around reading pages, especially given JRRT's notoriously difficult handwriting. Plus with The History of Middle-earth volumes available, one can read many of the drafts and get Christopher's comments as well.

Marquette University occasionally mounts exhibitions of Tolkien's work. There they use the drawings and paintings, of course, but also pages of manuscripts where Tolkien sketched in little maps or views, presumably to guide his writing of descriptions. But even these exhibitions are rather small.

Apart from the Bodleian catalog that you mentioned (and which occasionally shows up on eBay), there are two Marquette publications: J. R. R. Tolkien: The Hobbit: Drawings, Watercolors, and Manuscripts (1987, from the exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the book's publication) and The Invented World of J. R. R. Tolkien: Drawings and Original Manuscripts from the Marquette University Collection (2004). The 1987 exhibition was supplemented by loans from the Bodleian.

The 2004 catalogue contains one of my favorite Tolkien manuscript items: the "Synoptic Time-Scheme," p. 36, which is a chart Tolkien created to synchronize the activities of March 13 to 17. It includes columns for Enemies, Men and Allies, Aragorn, and Frodo and Sam and is neatly written with blue and red ink (with revisions).

Anyway, the Trust putting money (and it must be a considerable amount) into digitizing the vast quantity of manuscripts and providing a dedicated Tolkien curator is exactly what is needed. The material belongs in an archive, not a museum.


Feb 2 2013, 3:55pm

Post #44 of 48 (1364 views)
True [In reply to] Can't Post

And when you think about it, there aren't really many museums devoted to a single writer. It's usually homes - Dickens' house, Jane Austen's, the Brontes' and so on, where there is something for visitors to walk round and explore - something to fire the imagination. Illustrations, drawings and photographs make good museum exhibits as do actual artefacts, particularly if there is a relevant building in which to house them, manuscripts not so much. Occasional exhibitions sound a much better prospect.

As for the suggested 'rollercoaster ride into the simulated fires of Mount Doom'..... I think perhaps not!

Tol Eressea

Feb 2 2013, 5:53pm

Post #45 of 48 (1150 views)
True enough - [In reply to] Can't Post

- mind you, for a biblionut like myself there's nothing much I like better than wandering round a display of manuscripts, such as was to be found in the exhibition organised by the Tolkien and Mythopoeic Societies at Keble College during the week of 17-24th August 1992. These were not actual manuscripts, I hasten to add; but thirty-six colour photocopied pages of The Lord of the Rings, lent by Marquette and exhibited by permission of the Tolkien estate. I have the programme here - this exhibition was, as I say, organized by the Tolkien Society mainly; the aim was 'to illustrate not only Tolkien's life, his scholarship and his fantasy fiction but also the influence of his writings around the world.' Highlights included the Marquette manuscripts, and also original artworks by Pauline Baynes; and a display of book bindings by Philip Smith.

I also remember a display of pages of Wayne Hammond's Tolkien Bibliography, which was something of an epiphany for me - this book is the Bible for collectors of tolkien's works, and I took away an order form and got a copy as soon as it was published. And there was a display of black & white illustrations by Denis Gordeyev, for a Russian edition of TH and Lotr. I particularly remember his picture of Eowyn as Dernhelm, with Merry. These pictures were for sale; a silent auction IIRC, I didn't manage to get one at the time, but I managed to buy the original of Frodo, just lately. It's on the wall behind me as I type.

As I say, I've never visited Marquette; but I do have copies of the programmes which Kristin mentions - the time-scheme is very good, isn't it? And there's another, also for March, to be found in Hammond and Scull's 'The Lord of the Rings: A reader's Companion'. I also have a couple of programmes for exhibitions at the Bod; and for the Ashmolean Museum: and also a third one for an exhibition of drawings, watercolours and manuscripts of TH held at Marquette from June 11 - Sept. 30, 1987. This also contains a letter from JRR to a friend called Selby, written on Dec, 14th 1937 in which he writes: 'I don't much approve of 'The Hobbit' myself, prefering my own mythology... to this rabble of Eddaic-named dwarves out of Voluspa, new-fangled hobbits and gollums (invented in an idle hour) and Anglo-Saxon runes.... '




Feb 3 2013, 4:57pm

Post #46 of 48 (1069 views)
I have noticed the same. [In reply to] Can't Post

And some people who I have found to appear to define themselves the most by Tolkien's work and to have certain kinds of refined attitudes, at times have a very negative reaction towards others who share that love but who are not people who they would want to share an association with.


Feb 3 2013, 4:59pm

Post #47 of 48 (1079 views)
I had the same reaction to that opening line ... "let's be honest ... " ... [In reply to] Can't Post

as if everyone has a single opinion or as if there is one true criticism or opinion about it ... which there isn't clearly for this film! Not at all. Not in any way whatsoever except maybe on these points:

*The scene with Gollum was awesome.
*The acting was well done.


Feb 3 2013, 5:04pm

Post #48 of 48 (1707 views)
I bought a friend the Children of Hurin for their birthday because they liked AUJ. [In reply to] Can't Post

This person hadn't been super thrilled with The Hobbit for years and prefers sort of like lovecraftish darkish stuff.

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