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SCOD: Aragorn Signals the Longbowmen at Helm's Deep

Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 24 2013, 4:04pm

Post #1 of 23 (622 views)
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SCOD: Aragorn Signals the Longbowmen at Helm's Deep Can't Post

Welcome to the second installment of this week's SCOD! Smile





In this SC from The Two Towers, we see Aragorn on the wall at Helm's Deep, signalling the Elven longbowmen to fire. This is a essentially a non-canon film image - one of the things I thought would be interesting about discussing it.

1. Do you think the non-canon addition of Elves at Helm's Deep add or detract from the story of the relationship between Men and Elves?

2. It speaks to me of changes. What does the cap say about the state of ME, with the Firstborn responding to the leadership of the heir of Isildur? And how different is this Aragorn from Strider the Ranger, before the Fellowship?

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 24 2013, 7:15pm

Post #2 of 23 (278 views)
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Me is new to SCOD. [In reply to] Can't Post

1. This is one of the few alterations made from the books which I do like. Actually, this made the battle of Hornburg mre interesting. I don't think it distracts from the man-elven relationships.
Tolkien's Elves always seemed very sacrificial. They'd give their lives gladly for the greater cause, in most cases. So, I think no. And Elves at Helm's Deep give it a very Silmarillion-esque feeling.

I am the Grandson of Samwise Gamgee. My grandpa loved Frodo uncle and Frodo uncle loved his pet, Smeagol. So I am named Smeagol Bagginsess! Ain't I cute?


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 24 2013, 7:56pm

Post #3 of 23 (254 views)
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Welcome! and enjoy, S-B! [In reply to] Can't Post

I like your Silmarillion equation. It gives the sense of ancient-ness to the conflict doesn't it? (Especially when Aragron and the Firstborn charge the ranks after the wall breaks - gives me chills.)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 24 2013, 10:20pm

Post #4 of 23 (281 views)
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maciliel-thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

 
1. no, i don't think this detracts any from the general story of the relationship. the edain and the eldar acted in concert often, but much of that is buried in history as deep as the depths of moria. it's nice to have it actually visible in the films.

2. one thought i had, upon looking at the cap and reading your questions, was.... would the elves have been as likely to send a contingent if they knew aragorn wasn't there? i rather think they sent the force because of the old alliances and because rohan was critical in the fight against sauron, but having aragorn there, with their special knowledge of him and his path, might make them more inclined to assist than if he were not there.

just something to chew.

i think aragorn is very much in his element. he's been in large-scale battles like this before, in many guises, including as thorongil, assisting king thengel, theoden's father.

one thing that always makes me scratch my head is his exhorting the elven troops to not give mercy to the orcs, because they will receive none. they've been fighting orcs far longer than aragorn has been alive (which is pretty darn long), so this is not really helpful.

i would rather he had shouted something along the lines of what legolas shared, that the armor of the orcs was weak at the neck. that would have indeed been helpful.

i also like the scene just a little before it, when haldir speaks his line, "we are proud to fight alongside men once more." you can see legolas next to him, glittering with pride in his elven kin, and happiness that many elves will be joining in this battle, helping the edain.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Loresilme
Valinor


Apr 25 2013, 1:01am

Post #5 of 23 (239 views)
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Legolas 'glittering with pride' [In reply to] Can't Post

What a perfect way to express that, maciliel! I always absolutely loved the expression on Legolas' face when he is standing alongside Haldir at that moment. There is such a look of fierce pride and barely contained energy in his eyes that he does seem to 'glitter' with an Elven light. Thanks for putting the perfect words to it!


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 25 2013, 1:03am

Post #6 of 23 (212 views)
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ah, thanks, loresilme! : ) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i just call 'em like i see 'em.

: )

cheers --


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Loresilme
Valinor


Apr 25 2013, 1:24am

Post #7 of 23 (225 views)
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Aragorn at Helm's Deep [In reply to] Can't Post

how different is this Aragorn from Strider the Ranger, before the Fellowship?

I thought that VM's performance in Helm's Deep underwent the most dramatic change in all of the trilogy. He brings an edgy, fierce, 'fey' aspect to his character in these Helm's Deep scenes that is just electrifying. Aragorn here, with his Numenorean blood, becomes the embodiment of those great, dangerous, fearless, passionate Elves and Men of the past.

What does the cap say about the state of ME, with the Firstborn responding to the leadership of the heir of Isildur?

I think we have here the proof that the age of Men is arriving - that the Elves are indeed leaving, and their energies have begun to shift elsewhere, and here in the Heir of Isildur, the strength and drive of Men is in the ascendant.



Radagast_the_Brown
Rivendell


Apr 25 2013, 4:19am

Post #8 of 23 (216 views)
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I think this was a terrific change [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the best actually in that it accomplishes a number of different things. For one it gives a grand exclamation point to a race that has a good deal of development in FOTR and is then barely referenced again otherwise. In the books there were battles taking place all over ME while in the film I think the question could be raised "why are none of the other races helping engage Sauron?". This was a neat way of folding those peripheral events into the main plot. It provides a great light at the end of the tunnel movie moment, allows us to revel in the excellent design work that went into the Elves, makes victory at Helms Deep more of a believable outcome and through the death of the Elves and in particular Haldir we see that the battle did in fact inflict a heavy cost. And it references something which did occur in the books which was Elrond sending his sons to Aragorn along with the Grey Company.

On the next point, Mortensen's performance is at its strongest in the entire trilogy during these Helms Deep scenes. You really believe him as a capable leader of men and someone who installs hope by his very presence.

All you have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to you...


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 25 2013, 3:07pm

Post #9 of 23 (179 views)
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I agree Loresilme - ME is changing [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
how different is this Aragorn from Strider the Ranger, before the Fellowship?

I thought that VM's performance in Helm's Deep underwent the most dramatic change in all of the trilogy. He brings an edgy, fierce, 'fey' aspect to his character in these Helm's Deep scenes that is just electrifying. Aragorn here, with his Numenorean blood, becomes the embodiment of those great, dangerous, fearless, passionate Elves and Men of the past.

What does the cap say about the state of ME, with the Firstborn responding to the leadership of the heir of Isildur?

I think we have here the proof that the age of Men is arriving - that the Elves are indeed leaving, and their energies have begun to shift elsewhere, and here in the Heir of Isildur, the strength and drive of Men is in the ascendant.




That the elves know the Time of Men is coming; and that even though Isildur had flaws, the King must come in to his own. As we see Elrond sending these Elves, I suppose it also speaks of his support of his fosterling...even if at that moment he is not on board with him marrying his daughter, because of what that would mean. A difficult choice for Elrond.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 25 2013, 3:10pm

Post #10 of 23 (194 views)
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The cost to Haldir at Helm's Deep [In reply to] Can't Post

I like your referencing this, Radagast, because with Haldir's loss we see the summation of the sadness in losing an Immortal being, which otherwise we don't get a sense of. That small shake of his head as he looks at the piled corpses says volumes.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 25 2013, 3:13pm

Post #11 of 23 (185 views)
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Curious on Aragorn's warrior past... [In reply to] Can't Post

He has gone forth before, certainly, and had plenty of experience...but has he not always stayed under the hood of the Ranger? This scene to me shows him standing tall, accepting the mantle, and not simply doing his good work silently and retreating back into Strider the Ranger... (?)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 25 2013, 3:16pm

Post #12 of 23 (194 views)
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Together with the change of Faramir the best of the big changes they did, imho. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 25 2013, 5:22pm

Post #13 of 23 (176 views)
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Ahhh - the Faramir change... [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually although I am a huge Canon geek and recognize the large change, text Faramir has always been someone I love from afar, as it were. I did like seeing more of a 'journey' on his part onscreen; and my way of looking at it is that me must have done all this inner wrestling years before he encountered the Ring (in text, with help from Gandalf) so we simply have the timing of the rationalizations and conclusion changed to have it unfold in front of us.

I agree that overall I do like seeing more of the Elves.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 26 2013, 4:47am

Post #14 of 23 (175 views)
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Yes it gives me chills... [In reply to] Can't Post

.. espcially when the music kicks on. It seems similar to the Nirnaeth Arnodiad, both elves and men join to fight against an overwhelming number of orcs.

I have a small nit-pick about the scene though. Aragorn's call "Release the arrows". It takes too long to speak. In battles all commands are generally single-worded, succint and to the point. I mean all the soldiers know they have to release arrows (they can't throw their blades can they? Wink). An elvish translation of "fire!" works better.

But this is a small nit-pick, which I only caught after a zillion viewings.


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 26 2013, 3:17pm

Post #15 of 23 (141 views)
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The Immortal 32 [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Do you think the non-canon addition of Elves at Helm's Deep add or detract from the story of the relationship between Men and Elves?

Short of taking the time to add the three assaults on Lothlorien from Dol Guldur and the Battle Under the Trees in Mirkwood this is the only way Jackson could fit in Elves fighting the Enemy into the films. (And if you’re going to add the Elven battles, you just have to add the Dwarves and Men fighting Mordor at the Battle of Dale and the Seige of Erebor. And then you just have to put in the gallant deaths of King Brand and King Dáin II. And of course then you just absolutely have to add in…

Well, that’s why adding in just this one favorite line or that one favorite scene just doesn't work. Before you know it you end up needing a whole 'nother movie to fit everything in!


2. It speaks to me of changes. What does the cap say about the state of ME, with the Firstborn responding to the leadership of the heir of Isildur?

I guess this establishes Aragorn, er, that is, Elessar as King of Elves and Men, or at least King Consort.

(From The Return of the King, Appendix A(v): "As Queen of Elves and Men she [Arwen] dwelt with Aragorn for six-score years in great glory and bliss...")


And how different is this Aragorn from Strider the Ranger, before the Fellowship?

It’s all part of his training to become king. Strider was a tactical leader, here Aragorn is an operational leader, in ROTK Elessar will become a strategic leader.


Note 1: Elves are Welshmen?

Zulu (1964) is one of Peter Jackson’s favorite films and it echoes all through the build up to and into the battle of Helm’s Deep. For example, Aragorn’s arguably needless orders to his men, er, that is, Elves, mirror those chanted by Colour Sergeant Bourne to his men as they wait tensely for the Zulus to attack: “Look to your front. Mark the orders. Mark the target when it comes. Look to your front. Mark your target when it comes. Look to your front. etc. etc. etc." things his men already know from having it drillind into over and over again. This is a common technique of commanders to help keep their men calm and focused. Silence gives men time to think and time to get nervous. Sure these Elves already know what Aragorn is telling them, but any noise is better than silence. Silence gives men too much time to think. After all, look what long days of silence and thinking on the Anduin did to Boromir!

Though I would rather Aragorn had led the Elves in some dark violent songs regarding blood and slaughter. Like maybe:

Elves of Lorien, march to glory,
Victory is hov'ring o'er ye,
Bright-eyed freedom stands before ye,
Hear ye not her call?

At your sloth she seems to wonder;
Rend the sluggish bonds asunder,
Let the war-cry's deaf'ning thunder
Every foe appall.

Echoes loudly waking,
Hill and valley shaking;
'Till the sound spreads wide around,
The Uruk's courage breaking;

Your foes on every side assailing,
Forward press with heart unfailing,
'Till invaders learn with quailing,
Eldar ne'er can yield!

Of course that would spoil the entire "Elves are Vulcans" thing.


Note 2: Elves are Texas Rangers?

One reason I’m especially taken with Elves at Helm’s Deep is the similarity to the Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836, a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution). During the early morning darkness of March 1 a volunteer force of 32 Gonzalez Rangers snuck up to the gates of the Alamo to reinforce the 10-1 outnumbered defenders. Unlike the Elves being recognized by the sound of beautiful Elven horns, the Rangers were recognized by their spectacular English profanity when they were mistakenly fired upon by the beseiged. (In a Haleth son of Hama parallel, the youngest of the Rangers was sixteen year-old William Philip King who had taken his father’s place.)

All the Rangers died in the siege, and are remembered to this day as the “Immortal 32”.

(Think there were 32 immortal Elves at Helm's Deep?)

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Nuradar
Rohan


Apr 26 2013, 4:19pm

Post #16 of 23 (135 views)
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putting aside the Ranger [In reply to] Can't Post

Here we see Aragorn putting aside the Ranger (as Elrond urges him to do in ROTK). It's one of many steps he takes on his way to the throne, to be a leader of all races in ME.

I really like the intensity on his face here. Viggo does intensity very well, both vocally and with silent intensity. Thanks for the pic Brethil,

Nuradar


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 26 2013, 5:41pm

Post #17 of 23 (117 views)
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I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Here we see Aragorn putting aside the Ranger (as Elrond urges him to do in ROTK). It's one of many steps he takes on his way to the throne, to be a leader of all races in ME.

I really like the intensity on his face here. Viggo does intensity very well, both vocally and with silent intensity. Thanks for the pic Brethil,

Nuradar


I like Viggo's intense expressions better. Though he acts well in subtle scenes like when with Arwen or Eowyn, but that pales before his "fierce" scenes like his charge at the Hornburg, or when talking to the King of the Dead. At those times, he truly shows Aragorn's "kingly" side.


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Apr 26 2013, 6:13pm

Post #18 of 23 (116 views)
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I've always preferred the 'Strider' aspect of Aragorn to his "kingly" side, [In reply to] Can't Post

in both Viggo Mortensen's performance and the character as presented in the books. But that goes back to the very first time i read LotR in Junior High, when i loved Strider in Fellowship, and found him less and less interesting as the story wore on. But then i've always sympathised more with the loner characters than the heroic leaders, and found them much more interesting. But i do think Viggo did an excellent job with the role, equally excellent in the huge battle sequences as in his intimate scenes with Arwen.


(This post was edited by sauget.diblosio on Apr 26 2013, 6:14pm)


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Apr 26 2013, 6:45pm

Post #19 of 23 (99 views)
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Same goes here as well. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was only referring to my view that Viggo played Aragorn better than Strider (which too was very good).


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 26 2013, 7:18pm

Post #20 of 23 (105 views)
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The Immortal 32 Parallel.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice thought Darkstone. I have the pleasure of having heard of them, as the appeal from the Alamo was sent out on my birthday...so years ago I got the research bug after reading it on a history calendar (and yes I DO look good for my age..heehee) Whether it was truly carried in or not, I love the sentiment...


Thusly would love a good rousing son on the wall...clearly though you'd better just write for Dwarves as that knife-between-the-teeth type verse is just going to puzzle the Firtsborn. (WHAT did he say?)

And thanks for the Zulu explanation. Smile Aragorn's pacing and measured tones make perfect sense if that is what was in SPJ's head.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

(This post was edited by Brethil on Apr 26 2013, 7:23pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 26 2013, 7:21pm

Post #21 of 23 (92 views)
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I have to agree S-D with, no asperion towards the performance [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
in both Viggo Mortensen's performance and the character as presented in the books. But that goes back to the very first time i read LotR in Junior High, when i loved Strider in Fellowship, and found him less and less interesting as the story wore on. But then i've always sympathised more with the loner characters than the heroic leaders, and found them much more interesting. But i do think Viggo did an excellent job with the role, equally excellent in the huge battle sequences as in his intimate scenes with Arwen.




To specify - I think the performance was perfect... but just as you say, as a preference, I love the mystery of Strider in text and film, and that sort of feral, dangerous edge he has as the grubby Ranger.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 26 2013, 7:26pm

Post #22 of 23 (97 views)
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Viggo's eyes really do a lot of that intense work [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Here we see Aragorn putting aside the Ranger (as Elrond urges him to do in ROTK). It's one of many steps he takes on his way to the throne, to be a leader of all races in ME.

I really like the intensity on his face here. Viggo does intensity very well, both vocally and with silent intensity. Thanks for the pic Brethil,

Nuradar




And the tension in his sword arm...Glad you liked this one Nuradar!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 26 2013, 7:36pm

Post #23 of 23 (133 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

There's also the parallel with Arwen's "Come and claim him!" at the Loudwater, not to mention King Leonidas' "Come and take them!" at Thermopylae.

As producer Mark Ordesky said, there's a *lot* of layers to these films!

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”


 
 

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