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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Do you think they could have still made the Dwarves appealing

Thorins_apprentice
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 2:45pm

Post #1 of 24 (2243 views)
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Do you think they could have still made the Dwarves appealing Can't Post

Without making them look human,I was really excited to see all the different variations of beards on the Dwarves and when i found out Armitage was cast was intrigued how they'd make him transform into a fully fledged Dwarf.There was a test concept and i thought it looked great.It could have been more groundbreaking to see Armitage in the Dwarf makeup and he could have been nominated for best supporting actor.Like Monster(Charlize Theron) Hannibell lector or Jim caviezel as Jesus.They completely immersed themsleves in their roles at the expense of their looks and critics widley acclaim them.When people say Hot Dwarves have been accomplished i disagree.If they had made them look like Real Dwarves i'm sure they'd still be good looking.To be honest i think that having thorin looking too human has hurt his oscar nomination chances and critics have bashed the film for that reason before saying that the Dwarves were too human looking.

We are more connected than ever before, more able to spread our ideas and beliefs, our anger and fears. As we exercise the right to advocate our views, and as we animate our supporters, we must all assume responsibility for our words and actions before they enter a vast echo chamber and reach those both serious and delirious, connected and unhinged.



(This post was edited by Thorins_apprentice on Feb 2 2013, 2:49pm)


bborchar
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 3:42pm

Post #2 of 24 (1064 views)
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This wasn't really an "Oscar" movie... [In reply to] Can't Post

...so I doubt seriously that RA's chances were hurt by his appearance. And the only people that I've seen criticizing the dwarves' looks were book fans, not critics (critics want to bash the length and pace of the film). I doubt he would have received an Oscar nomination with a longer beard, or grayer hair. This movie, while I loved it enormously, has some failings- mainly due to the fact that it is a set-up story, and lacks the urgency and impact of the middle (or even conclusion) of this story. There's a lot of backstory to be told, so it was never going to be the best of the three films.


Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 2 2013, 6:05pm

Post #3 of 24 (957 views)
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I second the opinion that this wasn't an Oscar movie [In reply to] Can't Post

As much as I absolutely love this film, I will readily admit that it isn't Oscar material, except for the more technical and artistic aspects such as make-up etc. The story itself just isn't on that level. And I don't agree that they should have been made to appear less human. After all, what does a Real Dwarf look like anyway? This is a fictional character we're talking about. So I think it's left to the creator's imagination and interpretation, and I love how this movie has made them into individuals with a wide variety of appearances. I read recently in one of the books that came out with the film - I can't remember if it was the Companion or another one, sorry - that PJ told his dwarf-design crew (now that's a unique job!) that he wanted all the dwarves to be recognizable as individuals from a distance. Thus I think all the different hair/beard styles along with everything else that set them apart from each other, including some that looked more 'human' than others. And I have made no bones about the fact that I love this movie Thorin just as he is...especially because he is the way he is.

Okay. My one cent worth (what with the economy and all....)

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


glor
Rohan

Feb 2 2013, 6:54pm

Post #4 of 24 (897 views)
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Oscars [In reply to] Can't Post

Acting oscar nods are extremely rare for performances in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Only one acting Oscar win ever a best supporting actor for Cocoon and most of the nominations have been for the revered.and established thespians, Sir Ian for instance.


Marionette
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 7:15pm

Post #5 of 24 (953 views)
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Thorin is a dwarf [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Kili and Fili are the ones human-like because Thorin is a dwarf, Richard Armitage is transformed to look like a dwarf, a hot dwarf indeed, but he is a dwarf.

I believe if not knowign nothing I would have a time to guess itīs Richard Armitage behind Thorin. He is very much transformed but at the same time the dwarf is equally goodlooking as Richard Smile

I say itīs absolutely great what they did with Thorin.

I donīt think it might be a reason to not consider him to an Oscar, I think itīs mostly the role and the whole spirit of the Hobbit movie, not the same type of movie like the Oscar nominated ones.


"Dear friend good bye, no tears in my eyes. So sad it ends, as it began"
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(This post was edited by Marionette on Feb 2 2013, 7:18pm)


Kirly
Lorien


Feb 2 2013, 8:04pm

Post #6 of 24 (875 views)
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Of course he is! [In reply to] Can't Post

Regal, determined, handsome. but definitely a Dwarf. I was thinking that folks have a hard time seeing these thirteen men as Dwarves because there is very little to reference them against. Only one hobbit and a Wizard in human form, a few elves, and a mess of goblins of varying sizes. I think when we get to DoS and TaBA, we will see them on screen simultaneously with more and different creatures and their size and proportions might be more dwarf-like in some peoples mind.

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Kirly7/LOTRNewZealandTour#


Kimtc
Rohan


Feb 2 2013, 8:20pm

Post #7 of 24 (875 views)
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Exactly. In LOTR, Gimli stood out. [In reply to] Can't Post

Gimli was not around the Hobbits for very long, and spent most of his time around an elf and a bunch of men. So he was clearly the odd dwarf out in any given scene. A lot of people are also looking at Gimli as their "dwarf appearance reference point" as well, which is understandalbe; if you think about the other dwarves that we saw in LOTR (in the prologue, at the Council of Elrond), they were all pretty "Gimli-like."

Interestingly, in the initial scene of the Fellowship together at the Council of Elrond, Gimli is made to appear a good bit taller than the Hobbits, while here the dwarves and Bilbo are all about the same. I am thinking this is a practical choice as much as anything, since Bilbo is with them almost all the time, and it would take a lot of work to make him shorter (they already have their hands full dealing with Gandalf in relation to the dwarves).


Kirly
Lorien


Feb 2 2013, 8:33pm

Post #8 of 24 (869 views)
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height difference between hobbits and dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought i read or heard in an interview, or one of the books, or some such that Peter Jackson wanted the height differences to be natural - as in, if Martin Freeman is 5'8" (i don't remember if that is right) and the Dwarves were supposed to be up to about 6" taller, then the actors playing the Dwarves would be about 5'8" up to about 6'2" or thereabouts which is approximately what we have.

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Kirly7/LOTRNewZealandTour#


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 2 2013, 10:36pm

Post #9 of 24 (821 views)
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A-peelin' bananas, a-peelin' oranges... [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder, do dwarves eat fruit? I bet Dwalin doesn't. Oh, sorry, I'm easily distracted...



In Reply To
It could have been more groundbreaking to see Armitage in the Dwarf makeup and he could have been nominated for best supporting actor. They completely immersed themsleves in their roles at the expense of their looks and critics widley acclaim them.When people say Hot Dwarves have been accomplished i disagree.If they had made them look like Real Dwarves i'm sure they'd still be good looking. To be honest i think that having thorin looking too human has hurt his oscar nomination chances and critics have bashed the film for that reason before saying that the Dwarves were too human looking.



But Armitage *was* in dwarf makeup. From his eyes upwards, plus a nose, and all that lovely hair. Plus the extra padding of the fat suit. I could concede your point if you tried to argue that Kili looks rather human (not that I'll complain about that, either), but I think Thorin looks perfectly dwarfish. He's got a short beard for reasons that are very appropriate to his character, and other than that, I don't think he deviates from stereotype all that much. Who ever said dwarves couldn't be good-looking, anyway? And what does a Real Dwarf look like? Aren't dwarves just fantasy characters whose appearance matches some archetype imagined by us? Why can't we imagine the archetype a little differently? There's no right or wrong here, just our imaginations. And I'm (now) perfectly fine with shifting my mental dwarfish archetype to include the possibility of attractiveness.

Have you read any interviews with Armitage? I don't think you could find another actor in all of the LOTR trilogy or in AUJ who more fully immerses himself in the character, with the possible exception of Viggo Mortenson. Being in full costume appears to help Armitage immerse himself completely; I read one interview with him where he said he hated having to go on set without having his makeup and costume fully done, and that if he had to do so, he'd pull up his hood so no one could see him incomplete. He wanted -- needed -- everyone on set, crew included, to believe he was Thorin. And it sounded like he stayed in character the entire time he was on set.

I don't think Thorin's looks have anything to do with Oscar nominations. It was pretty much a given that AUJ wouldn't get the big Oscar nods; I'm sure that the big nods will be saved for TABA, similar to how it was for the LOTR trilogy. And with an ensemble cast like this, it's not very likely that anyone's going to get a supporting actor nod anyways, no matter how good they are. Unfortunately. I think Armitage deserves at least a nomination. I can only assume he'll keep up the fantastic, nuanced performance through to the end, so maybe he'll get the recognition I think he deserves in TABA.


Macfeast
Rohan


Feb 3 2013, 12:15am

Post #10 of 24 (817 views)
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Absolutely. The talent to pull it off is there, from acting and writing to design, and everything in-between. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do believe, as you say, that it would have been very groundbreaking (if not necessarily on a Oscar-nominating level) to see Armitage in more obvious dwarven design, long beard and all; That would really challenge the standard concept of heroic characters, if not the concept of important movie characters as a whole.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Feb 3 2013, 12:18am)


marillaraina
Rohan

Feb 3 2013, 3:12am

Post #11 of 24 (766 views)
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yeah [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Who ever said dwarves couldn't be good-looking, anyway?


Yeah, I tried to looking around on-line at one point and there didn't seem to be anything suggesting Tolkien had ever described dwarves' facial features, beyond having beards.

What's to say they didn't just look like short particularly stocky Vikings? :)

As for heights, the dwarves vary in height as they should -there is some overlap in dwarf and hobbit heights in that shortish dwarves and tallish hobbits tend to fall in the same height range. There is a chart where the characters heights are actually listed(I believe all the dwarf heights were ultimately adjusted upwards by about 4 inches but it gives an idea of scale), I remember Thorin was 4 ft 10, Kili was 4 ft 8, Fili was 4 ft 5, Balin was also I think 4 ft 5, Oin I think may have been 4 ft 8.5.

Now as it ended up Thorin ended up being around 5 ft 2, Kili about 5 ft, etc, etc.

ETA: Obviously I mean the movie dwarf heights. :)


(This post was edited by marillaraina on Feb 3 2013, 3:18am)


Kirly
Lorien


Feb 3 2013, 3:22am

Post #12 of 24 (749 views)
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noses [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Yeah, I tried to looking around on-line at one point and there didn't seem to be anything suggesting Tolkien had ever described dwarves' facial features, beyond having beards.

I recall there was a bit about noses. but seriously, who's going to put a 4 inch long nose on an actor and expect it to look real?


My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Kirly7/LOTRNewZealandTour#

(This post was edited by Kirly on Feb 3 2013, 3:24am)


mefansmum
Rivendell

Feb 3 2013, 3:41am

Post #13 of 24 (744 views)
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gimlii fitted in TH [In reply to] Can't Post

Kili, Fili and perhaps Thorin were more 'human' than the others but if Gimli was dwarf 14 in the group, I think his look would have fitted in fine as just another dwarf look.


Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 3 2013, 6:04am

Post #14 of 24 (827 views)
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In Brian Sibley's book, the Official Movie Guide, he talks about the size [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I thought i read or heard in an interview, or one of the books, or some such that Peter Jackson wanted the height differences to be natural - as in, if Martin Freeman is 5'8" (i don't remember if that is right) and the Dwarves were supposed to be up to about 6" taller, then the actors playing the Dwarves would be about 5'8" up to about 6'2" or thereabouts which is approximately what we have.



differences. Not all of the dwarves are mentioned, but Thorin is supposed to be 5', Bilbo 4' 11.5", Gandalf 5' 11", the Goblin King 10'. They had to show the differences in height completely differently in this movie because of the HFR. They couldn't use the forced perspective like they did in LOTR films. They did a lot of larger & smaller scale doubles and differently scaled sets in scenes that included the shorter folk and the taller ones like Gandalf and Elrond. BTW it's a fascinating book. Much better than the Movie Companion IMO, because it goes into so much more depth and detail about everything.

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


Tintallë
Gondor


Feb 3 2013, 5:30pm

Post #15 of 24 (627 views)
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I love that video you linked to in another thread [In reply to] Can't Post

that shows Thorin at Bilbo's table - Thorin, not Armitage - as Jackson and Sir Ian discuss the staging of the upcoming scene. You're right - he remained Thorin throughout.

I've been a Richard Armitage fan (although not a member of the Armitage Army) since North and South, so this is just one more reason to love him.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 3 2013, 8:35pm

Post #16 of 24 (615 views)
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Oh cripes... they're awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the decision to move them into the imagery they have was such a great call! Other than Nori's hair, I'm completely in love twith these characters... personality, look, and participation. Fabulous!



First draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - updated list coming soon



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I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



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swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Feb 3 2013, 8:40pm

Post #17 of 24 (606 views)
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Dwarves... why did it have to be Dwarves... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Regal, determined, handsome. but definitely a Dwarf. I was thinking that folks have a hard time seeing these thirteen men as Dwarves because there is very little to reference them against. Only one hobbit and a Wizard in human form, a few elves, and a mess of goblins of varying sizes. I think when we get to DoS and TaBA, we will see them on screen simultaneously with more and different creatures and their size and proportions might be more dwarf-like in some peoples mind.


Well said. I kept having scale issues watching the film... I'd forget that they were short. But then the concept is that they aren't really short (from the Dwarvish point of view) it's just that everyone else is too tall. A lot of the eye (camera) level is their eye level or lower, so we are often looking up at them. I thinnk it was necessary to put the audience in the Hobbit/Dwarf viewpoint at the beginning... later we will, like the characters, encounter a larger world in which they may seem smaller and more vulnerable.

The Hobbit came out (book) 3 months before Disney's Snow White (first full length animated feature ever in the Knowne Worlde). Both of these have influenced our modern perception of this archetype. Because Disney had the visual advantage (movie!), those short funny little guys (who actually pretty much all look alike) are stuck in our collective unconcious as Dwarves. Of course the Hobbit influenced every other fantasy genre that came along in the 20th century... and the archetypes that are part of it.

There's something that happens to myths and legends over time... they degenerate. Balin describes it perfectly with his line about "tinkers, toymakes, hardly the stuff of legend". By the time we get to the Hobbit film, we've had more than half a century of myth degeneration, and fat guys with Santa beards.

Thank Illuvatar for WETA.

Please please please oscars for these geniuses! They have given the archetype back its power. Yes, we have to connect with a modern audience... but that doesn't mean we have to so sparkly pretty boys. And they didn't. They gave us 13 awesomely unique induviduals.

...who all still channel the Dwarf archetype.

If you look at fandom, all these characters have their fans, artists drawing them, telling their backstories, showing their lives offscreen... because they love them, in some cases (the "Oakenshields") becasue they are hot... and in some cases (Bofur, and his amazing hat) for reasons we can't quite fathom (maybe Nice Guys win after all).

I'm continually amazed by the character design... and I've always been a fan (and artist and writer) of the Elves...

WETA rocks!

Go outside and play...


Kirly
Lorien


Feb 3 2013, 10:10pm

Post #18 of 24 (559 views)
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Thanks! and.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't know the camara / eye level was at that of the Dwarves! You're right, the eye level will shift when the movie is set in LakeTown or Mirkwood or Beorn's house. I'm curious to see that change.

I also wasn't aware of the timing of the publication of The Hobbit (book) and Disney's Snow White (movie). I think perhaps the Disney visual may have had more influence in Western thought on Dwarves than Tolkien - impact of a visual seems to be stronger than the written word.

I agree, WETA is amazingly creative.

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Kirly7/LOTRNewZealandTour#


Old Toby
Gondor


Feb 3 2013, 10:51pm

Post #19 of 24 (564 views)
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Got North and South [In reply to] Can't Post

I bought the DVD, and I was just going to watch episode 1 and ended up watching all 4. And yes, I can see why PJ picked RA for Thorin. He plays characters you can love and hate at the same time!

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


julia0925
The Shire


Feb 5 2013, 4:25pm

Post #20 of 24 (455 views)
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plus the oscars are very political [In reply to] Can't Post

I used to follow them until I got tired of all the nonsense. A lot of times it's not who should win for the movie they did this year, they win for the movie they did three years before but lost out (e.g. Ron Howard should have won for Apollo 13 but ended up with an Oscar a few years later for a movie I don't even remember). ROTK got all the credit for the entire LOTR series, but each of those movies could have held up on their own. I feel they were snubbed so the Academy could honor other movies who may or may not have deserved it, but it was their 'time'. You also have to look at the people who are doing the judging. Philadelphia had much better, more subtle hair and makeup, but lost out to Mrs Doubtfire because that was more obvious. It's all for show.

that being said, I do still enjoy hearing who one and if my favorites were among them. I'm just advising not to put too much stock into whether or not your favorite wins or even gets nominated. It's very political. And it's all for show.

-----
Lotr: You know it's been a bad day when even the elf is smudged.
TH: when the going gets tough, the tough call the eagles.


Escapist
Gondor


Feb 5 2013, 4:38pm

Post #21 of 24 (455 views)
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For some people, yes. For others, no. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have seen comments on message boards that make me think that for some people, making elves (and so I assume dwarves as well) seem more human makes the whole story (characters, world, plot) more appealing.

It seems to me that there is a small subset of the population which is attracted to or interested in that which is not human. For those people, I think that making the dwarves less humanized would have been a treat.

Overall, I think making the dwarves seem less appealing would hurt the overall response from the general audience because the number of people who are more interested in humanized fantasy creatures probably outnumbers those that prefer getting the feeling of an encounter with a truly different kind of being.

And as far as the Oscars go, I think this is even more pronounced. In fact, I think that any movie that isn't about "something real" is likely to be taken a lot less seriously and the more so the more unreal and unlike human experience it becomes.

This is coming from a person who is of the second kind I described and who can't remember the last time she watched the oscar awards - but does remember some award show where the scripts of the award announcers were written to include and encourage mistakes ... to make it look more real and human perhaps?


glor
Rohan

Feb 6 2013, 1:32am

Post #22 of 24 (438 views)
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it was necessary to put the audience in the Hobbit/Dwarf viewpoint... [In reply to] Can't Post

Afterall, it is Bilbo's story and Bilbo's POV, literally.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Feb 6 2013, 6:20am

Post #23 of 24 (435 views)
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POV [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a tendency to relate to the "non-human" better than the mundane human. Perhaps because as a geeky kid, I felt like an alien in my culture. (maybe a bit like Bilbo in later years).

Gene Rodenberry, in the original Star Trek had the idea that his "aliens" had to have something recognizably human about them, something we could relate to (he also had a really really low budget). he also did things like the Horta and tribbles...

Star Wars gave us some more alien aliens (more budget too)... and they still were relatable. I mean, who doesn't want to be Chewie's BFF, or hang out with Yoda?

Should I mention Sesame' Street, where a bunch of muppets are beloved by all ages...

So it's clear that in some cases, a totally alien being works fine. (Ents... talking fish in Finding Nemo)

However, I've always felt that Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits are archetypes, parts of Human Nature (I know so many of them!) and perhaps are better off portrayed only slightly sideways of "mundane" reality.

Go outside and play...


aarondirebear
Bree

Feb 12 2013, 7:53pm

Post #24 of 24 (1013 views)
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Easily [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Without making them look human,I was really excited to see all the different variations of beards on the Dwarves and when i found out Armitage was cast was intrigued how they'd make him transform into a fully fledged Dwarf.There was a test concept and i thought it looked great.It could have been more groundbreaking to see Armitage in the Dwarf makeup and he could have been nominated for best supporting actor.Like Monster(Charlize Theron) Hannibell lector or Jim caviezel as Jesus.They completely immersed themsleves in their roles at the expense of their looks and critics widley acclaim them.When people say Hot Dwarves have been accomplished i disagree.If they had made them look like Real Dwarves i'm sure they'd still be good looking.To be honest i think that having thorin looking too human has hurt his oscar nomination chances and critics have bashed the film for that reason before saying that the Dwarves were too human looking.



Looks aren't everything. But yes, it is possible for bearded, non humans to be sexy...the lazy hacks at New Line just didn't care to try.

"Others are inclined to say that any two stories that are built round the same folk-lore motive, or are made up of a generally similar combination of such motives, are "the same stories." Statements of that kind are not true, they are not true in art or literature. It is precisely the colouring, the atmosphere, the unclassifiable individual details of a story, and above all the general purport that informs with life the undissected bones of the plot, that really count." J.R.R. Tolkien

 
 

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