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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Was Saruman portrayed as too evil?
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Feb 24 2013, 2:16pm

Post #26 of 31 (906 views)
I agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I found them playing too much on him as someone that will become evil. They should have been much more subtle than that. In FOTR when we first meet him he seemed kinder, even if falsley.
Even though Lee's a legend really that scene just did not work for me. It felt forced.

For me, the issue here is not how faithful to the book Saruman's portrayal was, but simply internal consistency. I would have liked Saruman in the White Council to feel at least the same as when we first meet him in FotR (whether you call that 'evil' or 'arrogance' -- it has to be of the same 'degree')


Feb 24 2013, 7:55pm

Post #27 of 31 (882 views)
Thankyou :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't sign in too often so I haven't been involved in the discussion. But I was simply asking a question!

And the answer I got back was an apparent "No, he's arrogant in the book too" which I'm content with. Smile

Tol Eressea

Feb 25 2013, 1:58am

Post #28 of 31 (857 views)
Saruman in FOTR... [In reply to] Can't Post

I had not read the LOTR books before seeing "Fellowship..." in the theater, and I knew Saruman was a bit shifty the moment he began chastising Gandalf for his "love of the halfling's leaf". As soon as the scene cuts to the two of them inside Orthanc, Saruman's facial expressions said "Ok, this guy is evil" (even before he reveals the Palantir to Gandalf). Saruman in AUJ came across as grumpy and haughty, but I totally did not see that evil look in his eyes that we saw in the beginning of "Fellowship". IMO, he did not come off nearly as sinister in AUJ, and softening him up further just to emphasize the fact that he was once good would've been all wrong. Again, I feel the portrayal was appropriate within the bounds of the film universe.


Feb 25 2013, 2:36am

Post #29 of 31 (853 views)
Oh, Thank God she couldn't! Nor would she have been able to. [In reply to] Can't Post

Boromir is NO Saruman, and vice versa. Galadriel would have been hard pressed to attempt to force her way into Saruman's mind, against his will, and the risk would have been significant.

In Reply To
If I remember rightly (which is pretty likely given how many times I've seen LOTR) that theme was used in Isengard before it is heard in Mordor. You first here part of that tune in the moth scene.

Regardless of that, I have to say that I couldn't agree more: Saruman needed to come across in a different light in The Hobbit, and he didn't. The only bit of kindness we saw was when he said to Gandalf "You've been busy of late, my friend" before giving the grey wizard a run down about his "schemes". Surely the all-powerful Galadriel as she is in the films would have been able to read his mind and see his obvious intentions. You don't even need mind-reading skills: Gandalf and Elrond should have been able to work it out as well.

However, it was important to see a bit of evil in him: after all he is searching for the Ring around this time frame. Nevertheless I really must agree and say that they missed an opportunity here.

"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 25 2013, 12:50pm

Post #30 of 31 (815 views)
Some background. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I do believe AshNazg asked a sensible, thoughtful question to start this thread. Didn't look like hatred and bashing to me, though I've certainly seen that in other threads. If you find this depressing, pointless and annoying, take a deep breath and try finding something you do like.

In recent times I've come across far too many instances where people come together with purely negative intents, enjoying complaining for its own sake and to that end either deliberately finding the worst trash they can for this sole purpose, or worse, simply making up stuff about something completely random.

This thread seemed far too much like the latter type of activity, when I came across it. Insistences like that Mordor theme was supposedly playing with Saruman's introduction or that Galadriel casually reads Gandalf's mind seem like the kind of stuff that people invent for the sake of having something to get angry about, rather than actual criticism. On the second reading the text seems less harsh, but the use of these random "facts" like some sort of proof still comes off as something sprinkled on top of the critique to make the case seem stronger. And insisting that a scene should play like you imagine it would rather than how the original author wrote about it is at best inconstructive. The scriptwriter and the director have a difficult job at bringing a classic piece of literature to life even without fans who assume that their personal vision is the only one that matters.

Perhaps I overreacted based on too many bad experiences in recent memory and in that case I apologise, but I take the sort of actions that I described pretty seriously; when people are seeking complaints for the sake of complaining, they tend to slowly drive away the people who are interested in positive discussion and differing points of view, until only the complainers remain, assuming that their views make up the whole community.


Feb 25 2013, 7:57pm

Post #31 of 31 (818 views)
Not really for me [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought he was basically as the books described: Rather arrogant in his knowledge and power.

It's already too late anyway, and even for those that didn't see LOTR, Christopher Lee has a LONG history of playing heavies, mad scientists and egomaniacs. He does it so well, it's hard not to like his heavies, mad scientists and egomaniacs!

As others have said, I think it actually lends depth to his later betrayal. "If Saruman, the arrogant bastard, could be corrupted by Sauron, we're really in deep trouble..."

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