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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The importance of evaluating apples and oranges

Grey Havens

Jun 25 2013, 12:49am

Views: 849
The importance of evaluating apples and oranges Can't Post

This is a blanket response to the last forty or so threads that have popped up lately on likes, dislikes, and detests regarding AUJ and the responses that LOTR was better.

I have come to a puzzling question- why are critics comparing apples to oranges?

We have some key factors regarding LOTR that we do not yet have regarding The Hobbit, and so to compare one to the other expecting the same end result WILL be disappointing, because it is not a fair comparison.

Now, I will mention that my parents hated anything to do with magic or wizards (extremely conservative- they even fast forwarded the part in Disney's Snow White where the witch queen made the apple because it was "witchcraft"). And, since I am only 26, and was only 13 when LOTR came into the theaters, I did not have the honor to be introduced to Middle-earth until I met my (now) husband in July of 2007. So, I cannot fully understand the POV from those who saw the TE of LOTR when they were released in theaters, as I never saw the TE's.

I became acquainted with the magnificent and awe inspiring world that is Middle-earth via the LOTR EE's. I can honestly say that the most I had EVER heard of Middle-earth up to that point was a vague memory of Frodo figurines in McDonald's happy meals on a road trip and thinking that he looked very weird with those ridiculously huge feet! (I now know better! Wink)

One evening, my husband's very Tolkien fanatic brother happened to be watching FOTR at the point where Galadriel and Celeborn descend in the light toward the Fellowship after Moria. I was thunderstruck by how mysterious, awe inspiring, and stunning it was. Not a week later, I had borrowed each disc and watched it after work, and got so impatient being stuck in the middle of ROTK after they bring out the wolf battering ram and the second disc ends (his brother was not in town at the time or something-I just remember getting stuck there and not being able to get the last disc for another week!) that I went down to a local book/movie store and bought ALL THREE EE's! I finished it that night, and was completely dumbstruck and totally fell in love with Middle-earth. I was hooked!

I have subsequently watched LOTR EE's more times than I can count, practically have most of the screenplay memorized (although since AUJ came out I have been very Hobbit-fanatic and as such it's fading- I need to watch them again!), can listen to the music and visualize what's happening at the time, etc. It's my absolute favorite movie trilogy of all time (or movie of all time, if you lump them together).

But----those of you who are Tolkien canon-ites (for lack of a better word), this will please you as well. Between my husband and I we now own nearly every Middle-earth book that Tolkien has had published (with exception of lost tales, which I have yet to acquire but did borrow from my brother in law). And I have read them all- except haven't quite gotten all the way through LOTR- I was at Osgiliath when Hobbit came out....and have been rather, shall we say, distracted since then Wink However, I have read several parts of it over and over again, I have read The Silmarillion over and over again, I practically have The Hobbit memorized, etc. And I desperately want the HOME series! As well as the visual guides from the movies, weta's chronicles, etc. But alas, I have two young daughters and not a lot of spare change to buy them right now Frown

Coming back to my original point, these movies have made me absolutely adore Middle-earth in a way no book or movie has ever done before.

Now, regarding LOTR EE's vs The Hobbit-AUJ. I cannot emphasize this enough:

There is no way to fairly compare the two and expect the same level of satisfaction YET.

Think about it- we only have an incomplete (if you count the EE's as complete) 1/3 of a TRILOGY. Whereas, with LOTR, we have 3 COMPLETE parts of a trilogy. We cannot expect that every storyline has been established, resolved, or unexpected presences explained. We cannot expect that we will leave the theater with our curiousity, our expectation of the story arcs, etc satisfied.

My sister is not that familiar with LOTR due to that she still lives at home with my parents, however she decided to see AUJ with me because she put it in the same class of make believe as Star Wars, which ironically my parents do allow (go figure). When we finished at the end, she was extremely confused, and all out groaned when I told her it was part one of a trilogy.

The answer for many of these professed dissatisfactions is quite simply we don't have the whole picture yet. We are very spoiled- yes I will say that- because we are used to, and for most of us, have been used to having a complete 12 hour story that goes from start to finish for thirteen years (fourteen? I cannot remember when FOTR came out in theaters like I mentioned above). So naturally, when faced with an incomplete 1/3 of a story, we will feel that something is missing-because it IS.

I just want people to keep that in mind when they get upset or feel the need to criticize AUJ and its changes. I am all for discussion-it broadens horizons and encourages growing if more than one side are presented and is healthy providing it isn't done in a criticizing, judgmental, or attacking manner. But, it would be far more fair for all concerned (the director, the actors, other fans, etc) to give PJ&co the benefit of the doubt, at least until they have seen the entire trilogy with the EE's from start to finish. And remember, it is the movies that have reached a new generation that did not see the books originally published and turned many an uninitiated into a full blown passionate Ringer (albeit a poor one, at least in my case! Wink)

Only then will we have a fair comparison to LOTR. Until then, it is mere speculation Smile

And there is nothing wrong with that- as long as we remember that is what it is- speculation. Nothing more Cool

Half Elven Daughter of Celethian of the Woodland Realm

Subject User Time
The importance of evaluating apples and oranges Cirashala Send a private message to Cirashala Jun 25 2013, 12:49am
    Sorry Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Jun 25 2013, 1:15am
        judging Cirashala Send a private message to Cirashala Jun 25 2013, 1:44am
            well Lusitano Send a private message to Lusitano Jun 25 2013, 1:34pm
    I totally agree with you shadowdog Send a private message to shadowdog Jun 25 2013, 1:59am
    I agree. Here's my opinion... Misty Mountain Hop Send a private message to Misty Mountain Hop Jun 25 2013, 3:34am
    The Lighter Tone SheHathaldir Send a private message to SheHathaldir Jun 25 2013, 4:08am
    I dont compare LOTR with AUJ Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Jun 25 2013, 12:00pm
        But Elenorflower, are you not comparing AUJ with the LotR trilogy? Noria Send a private message to Noria Jun 25 2013, 12:45pm
            Funny. I read The Hobbit first entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jun 25 2013, 2:41pm
            i dont think so Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Jun 25 2013, 2:55pm
                So true jtarkey Send a private message to jtarkey Jun 26 2013, 3:00am
                    Personal Opinions SheHathaldir Send a private message to SheHathaldir Jun 26 2013, 3:49am
                        The problem is jtarkey Send a private message to jtarkey Jun 26 2013, 4:00am
    so glad you are on your way to an adventure! swordwhale Send a private message to swordwhale Jun 26 2013, 5:58pm


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