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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
SCOD: The Halls of Minas Tirith

FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rohan


Aug 28 2013, 12:09pm

Post #1 of 3 (276 views)
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SCOD: The Halls of Minas Tirith Can't Post

Welcome to another Screencap of the Day.


It was a difficult decision about which pictures I should use, so I have resolved the matter by choosing three of my favourite images. Here they are:






You can find the full-sized images here, here and here.


As always, feel free to answer any or all the questions.

1. Do you like the composition of the first image?

2. Look at the second picture. Does Minas TIrith’s halls here not remind you of a chessboard – where the two Kings (well... Stewards, in this case – Gandalf is also a Steward) are on the opposite sides of the board?

3. Now let us look at the third picture. What did you think about how the filmmakers had introduced Denethor (if you had only seen the Theatrical Editions, and not the Extended Editions and therefore not encountered this character before?

4. What do you think about the costumes?

5. Any other thoughts or comments, regarding this scene?

....."Loyalty, Honor,
......A Willing Heart.
I can ask no more than that."

...... ~ Thorin Oakenshield


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Aug 28 2013, 2:48pm

Post #2 of 3 (129 views)
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My two cents [In reply to] Can't Post

(1) Yes. I really like how the shot looks straight over the edge of the promontory (what is that big wedge of rock called, anyway?) out towards Mordor - it really hammers it in how these people live under the daily shadow of Sauron. It makes me really admire those guards there, having to stand there motionless and silent while they can see the fires of Mount Doom in the distance.

(2) A chessboard - how brilliant! I knew the black and white patterns of the citadel reminded me of something, but I could not think what. The semicircular arches, the columns, the shape of the apse, the marble floor - everything about the citadel reminds me of a Romanesque cathedral. However, the contrast of black and white isn't really seen in church buildings. White, yes. Black, not so much. However, to me it carries over some of the funereal aspect of the Numenoreans - obsessed with death, since they could not get away from it. The citadel is a shrine to their dead ancestors. Denethor and Gandalf play out opposite sides here, Denethor all in his black clothes clinging to what has been, while Gandalf all in white is bringing light and hope and the promise of a king to Minas Tirith.

(3) At the time, I didn't care very much about Denethor, so his stark raving mad portrayal didn't bother me much. Now I'm a bit more mature and can bemoan the fact that he is such a 2D character in the film. It wasn't that he acted as though he didn't love Faramir all along; it's just that he loved Boromir more. Was it really necessary to establish him as a 'villain' by making him incompetent at running the City? It makes him seem far more ruthless, far more frightening, far more effective if he is competent at running his City and actually knows what he is doing (more or less) when he sends Faramir back out to the wall. (Why was the outer wall of the Pelennor and the dike at Helm's Deep both removed? Gah, movie battle tactics.) Also, Denethor's cold sanity beforehand contrasts so much better with his suicidal madness later. As it stands in the movie, it's no real surprise when he loses it like that.

(4) I *love* the costumes. Denethor's black (or is it dark blue) robe indicates his station very well, with its fine materials and fur (some connection to Boromir's cloak there?). It also furthers the black and white pattern of the citadel quite well. I also really, really, really like the uniforms for the fountain guards. Especially the helmets. Dunno why, but I like winged helmets.

(5) Random comments? Very well, then. If they just left the tree where it was when it died, why is it on STONE? Trees need a little dirt, you know. Or maybe they moved it? Surely not, though, as you can see some of the roots snaking down into the fountain pool. Also, they need higher ramparts in Minas Tirith. Why was that one little chink left out at the end of the promontory-wedge-thing? Is this where Kings ceremoniously booted out incompetent Stewards, and, if so, was Denethor unconsciously following accepted tradition by flinging himself off of it?

Laugh I swear, I haven't even had chocolate today. I'm just rambling...

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 30 2013, 4:30pm

Post #3 of 3 (98 views)
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"'What is his sorrow?' she asked the Gryphon..." [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Do you like the composition of the first image?

Nice how the tree is on the north side of the pond, where Rohan will come from. The south is on the other side of the pond, and Aragorn will have to journey across water to get to Minas Tirith. I like how at first glance everything looks slightly off kilter, yet you can see the symmetry if you really look at it.


2. Look at the second picture. Does Minas TIrith’s halls here not remind you of a chessboard – where the two Kings (well... Stewards, in this case – Gandalf is also a Steward) are on the opposite sides of the board?

Yes. It also shows Denethor’s black-and-white, either-or, all-or-nothing type thinking. He’s on the horns of a false dilemma, with Gandalf coming to try to show him a third alternative.

Somehow this also reminds me of the chess game hidden in the narrative of Through the Looking-glass.


3. Now let us look at the third picture. What did you think about how the filmmakers had introduced Denethor (if you had only seen the Theatrical Editions, and not the Extended Editions and therefore not encountered this character before?

It’s much like in the book, where we hear so much about the great, noble Steward of Gondor, then when we finally meet him he’s a shrunken, broken man. I really like how Jackson did this. I also like how he’s in his hair-collared but otherwise very fine and comfy robe. It’s like he wants to show himself as mourning (hair-shirt) but doesn’t want to be uncomfortable doing so.


4. What do you think about the costumes?

There aren’t many ways to put wings on helmets but I think they did really well in coming up with the unique look of the guards’ helms.


5. Any other thoughts or comments, regarding this scene?

The stairway to the throne is extremely narrow and precarious. Kinda symbolizes Aragorn’s journey. It also demonstrates how abstract the idea of King has become to Gondor. Obviously those stairs are not meant for a real king to climb, nor is the impractically high throne meant for a real king to rule from.

******************************************
“That hobbit has a pleasant face,
His private life is a disgrace.
I really could not tell to you,
The awful things that hobbits do.”

 
 

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