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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Ladies, what are your thoughts about Tauriel?
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Elarie
Grey Havens

Dec 6 2014, 3:16pm

Post #26 of 78 (1315 views)
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Tauriel's military conduct was very "Tolkien" [In reply to] Can't Post

I've thought about this before, and I think it's worthwhile to consider here that applying 20th century western military protocol to Middle-earth elves might not be really appropriate. I've just finished reading Tom Shippey's book "J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century" and one of the many interesting things he addresses (it's a great book) is how Tokien based some of his characters' military decisions on the coast guard in Beowulf, who decided quite independently of his superiors to conduct Beowulf to Heorot, using his own judgement. Shippey points out a couple of the pertinent places in LOTR where Tolkien follows this cultural example in Rohan, first when Eomer lends Aragorn horses in direct violation of the king's orders: "I place myself, and maybe my very life, in the keeping of your good faith", and again when Hama allows Gandalf to keep his staff when he enters Meduseld. Of course this is Rohan, not an elf culture, and Tolkien was deliberately using Beowulf as a model, but in the Silmarillion we have the elf Voronwe using his own judgement and leading Tuor to the hidden city of Gondolin, and in Doriath we have Beleg Strongbow, the Chief of Thingol's Marchwardens, receiving permission from Thingol to drop everything and go search for Turin. The point is that Tolkien's characters in general make their own choices - Frodo chooses to carry the ring; his friends choose to go with him; Faramir chooses to let Frodo and Sam continue their journey, in direct defiance of orders; Eowyn chooses to ride to war in disguise, once again in direct defiance of orders, and even the orcs have moments when they make their own decisions (usually bad ones). In this context, Tauriel's decision to go after the orcs and to heal Kili seems entirely "Tolkien".

I've always been a little bit bothered by the movie portrayals of the elf armies marching in perfectly straight lines and doing modern military drill movements. It feels incredibly anachronistic to me, and seems to be based more on ancient Rome than Middle-earth and when reading the books elf culture doesn't seem to be that rigid and dictatorial. They obey their kings, but they also seem to spend a lot of time wandering in the woods singing and looking at stars and just generally being one with nature. Having a social organization and clan loyalty doesn't necessarily imply rigid control and in a culture of immortals who have all had plenty of time to mature and learn and think their own thoughts, it would be surprising to find people who obey orders like automatons instead of making their own decisions according to the need of the moment.

__________________

Farewell hope,
and with hope
farewell fear.

John Milton


Eleniel
Tol Eressea


Dec 6 2014, 3:27pm

Post #27 of 78 (1321 views)
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Yup, and I just interviewed a representative of that target audience... [In reply to] Can't Post

(my 12-year-old daughter) ...I asked her what she thought of Tauriel: Answer: I don't know, really....
so then I asked if she would still have liked TH (DoS) if Tauriel hadnb't been in it. Answer: She's all right, but doesn't really add anything...


There you go... Wink




"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort


(This post was edited by Eleniel on Dec 6 2014, 3:28pm)


MedwedtoBeorn
Rivendell

Dec 6 2014, 4:10pm

Post #28 of 78 (1276 views)
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Niece [In reply to] Can't Post

My nine year old niece was Tauriel for Haloween. After she watched the DoS on Blu Ray back in the spring all she could talk about was being Tauriel for Haloween.


Milieuterrien
Rohan

Dec 6 2014, 5:01pm

Post #29 of 78 (1302 views)
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Thranduil is obeyed (spoilers) [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's my opinion about Tauriel (while i'm not a lady)

- First : the story needed a female elf presence.
It had to and it dit, for such a movie couldn't get seen only through Bilbo's eyes : there is a story further and this story is LOTR

- Second : Actress Evangeline Lilly asked not to get a love triangle.
What we get is a love quadrangle. Legolas and Kili yes, but don't forget Thranduil, Elf of strong will.

- Third : For the future of Middle-Earth, Thranduil has to find a motivation able to end his obsidional obsession and lack of care about Middle-Earth
Tauriel gives him this motivation as we'll further see, since we know Thranduil will be active in Middle Earth in the aftermaths of the Battle of Five armies

- Fourth : Legolas has to get his 'arc' through LOTR not to stay just a skilled archer, but also to show a soul.
That's what we get here : As TricksyHobbitses has noticed, Legolas didn't 'get the girl' at the end even if he follows her and saves her many times. Instead of that,
Tauriel shows him that she cares about a dwarf more than about him ; the fact that a dwarf can be an object of affection for an elf puzzles him as he's fond of her, the gives him a step into his further friendship with Gimli

- Five : Tauriel is indeed a good captain.
She left the Realm before she got any order to stay in the realm, and as so, she acts as a visionary scout.
When Legolas meets her, he finally decides to track the dwarves with her in Laketown, better than leave her in a grief. And Legolas is Tauriel's superior. Hadn't he decided to go to Laketown, we'll never know what would have happened.
The, Kili was already dying when Legolas asked Tauriel to follow him.Then she was up to do it and follow Legolas. Then, and only then, she met Bofur and the weed that could save Kili : this was a new information, an important one, because Kili being Thorin's nephew, leaving him die instead of saving him could have bad diplomatic consequences. Knowing she could save this dwarf kili, she couldn't take such risk for her people.
Further on, she and Legolas will scout the Orcs and find out that there is a second army : when Thranduil learns it, he jumps out of the battle to spare more elf blood, which gets Bilbo involved to finally get Thorin out of his madness and out of Erebor. Then Tauriel helping the dwarves alone isn't an disobeyance for she isn't a captain anymore.

Six : Tauriel could have a feeling for Kili's promise, as well as for Kili himself : she says that such a promise is sacred.
But Kili finally somewhat shows his own recklessness, because he sacrifices himself fighting against Bolg (who is stronger than him) in order to save Tauriel instead of saving his own life, which is breaking the promise he gave to his mother. (Had he died trying to save Thorin, the promise would have been broken as well). Doing so, Kili's fate ends the line of Durin.

What we can't know about Tauriel (I haven't seen the film yet, these are only speculations based on spoilers about tauriel and Kili's fate) is which grief is hers.
Her failure to save Kili ? Feeling responsible to have Kili broken the promise he gave to his mother because of his loving an elf ? Having been banned by Thranduil while not guilty ?

The good thing is she survives, and that Thranduil acknowledges that her grievance is not only a true love grievance, but also a loyal one.
Because showing her 'love' for a dwarf, she doesn't give any hope to Legolas...
... Which is exactly what Thranduil asked her to do.

That seems a perfect ending for me.
A puzzle, surely, but a mess, no.

A stunning puzzle, as well as Lilly's performance, as I hope so.


(This post was edited by Milieuterrien on Dec 6 2014, 5:12pm)


sarahb1863
Rivendell


Dec 6 2014, 5:06pm

Post #30 of 78 (1251 views)
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My take [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm not thrilled with the character. But one of my friends six year old daughter looks up to me, and I know that every time I show her a trailer for an upcoming movie on my labtop, she says to me, "What does the girl do?" So I would like to present a question to you. In your PERSONAL opinion,

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?

Thanks!


1. No.
2. No, but it didn't make me more likely to see the movie, either. Mostly I was worried her made-up story would detract from Tolkien's story, and I was right.
3. No.
4. I would have preferred the story Tolkien actually wrote. I'm having a hard time finding any of it in these movies. It's hardly about Bilbo's adventure at all - it's about the elves, and Tauriel, and Sauron. Bleh.


Morthoron
Gondor


Dec 6 2014, 5:15pm

Post #31 of 78 (1247 views)
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In my estimation... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
What statement would it have made to have created three films which span different locations and cultures and did not have a female character?


The statement would be that the director chose authorial integrity over demographic marketing. Inventing a character that does nothing for the plot -- and in fact weakens it by adding an inane and implausible romantic subtext -- simply to appease a certain market sector, was done for commercial reasons alone, or a weak effort to further pad a plot already stretched thin by making a rather short book into three ponderous films.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



jkm7
Bree


Dec 6 2014, 5:50pm

Post #32 of 78 (1228 views)
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Very smart girl then :-) and bitter for PJ [In reply to] Can't Post

that not even the proclaimed target audience is entirely convinced.


Oleander Took
Rivendell


Dec 6 2014, 6:39pm

Post #33 of 78 (1237 views)
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Honestly? [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?

No, we had Galadriel already, perfect powerful female character. I prefer to have just one good female character in a movie than 10 shoehorned and badly done, or in this case one that is pushed so much to the front that it feels she is even more important than the actual Hobbit.

I've read and watched hundreds of books and movies and never needed to see a female to make me feel comfortable or able to identify with the story and characters. I read and watch for the story and the characters need to serve it, not overpower it. Give me a good character that serves the story and I won't even mind if it's a lizard. She is nothing of this.

This was a story written long ago and reflects the structure and thought of its time, when adapting it it should be respected to show how it was and make people think and realize the differences, not adapted to modern standards because that just makes it 'acceptable' in this moment, no atemporal. Want powerful female characters? create new stories


2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?

Not at first, I hoped she'd be a secondary character, then I watched and was incredibly dissapointed and seems it'll continue in the last one. I'll watch to finish the saga, but now that I know what they have done with her will deff affect my experience and enjoyment.


3.Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?

Not at all. I've seen people mentioning her military behaviour and I have to agree, I was flabbergasted when she was reporting to Thranduil and started to move and act as if he was just a basic soldier. But that is just a minor problem I have with her.

A character come from nowhere is more important than the only elf in the book? and even more important than a fellowship member?...or book and canon things?

But my biggest problem is that Tauriel just cuts into major plot points and moments and affects both Hobbit and LOTR.

LOTR point: first important friendship between an elf and a dwarf in ages. Add her and her story with Kili? there you have Legolas and Gimli's friendship diminished because 'we have already seen that why is it so special?'

LOTR point: Aragorn and Arwen's love story (even expanded), important and interspecies. Add her and her horrid 'love story' with Kili? 'we have already seen a romance and also between species, it's the same again'. Plus typical cliches like 'you save me i fall in love' are outdated already

LOTR point: Arwen+Elrond healing, again not that special because we already saw it before

LOTR point: warrior woman Eowyn, singled out as women make a difference. 'ah another warrior woman'

Hobbit point: we have to make place for her to shine and her love story, let's reduce Beorn, Mirkwood, leave canon iconic scenes out to make space. Fili and Kili were all about them both being together singling out how they did all together and how they love each other, here we have Fili loving Kili but Kili is more busy in other things

Bard's daughters were also invented but their characters are so much better done, they really fit into the story and even have moments where they shine without taking over the story



4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?

Make her be like Haldir. A couple of punctual moments that tells about her but doesn't roll over the rest of the story and characters.

Use all the time wasted in her and the unnecessary 'love story' in trying to give Legolas a personality, 5 movies and he is still basically the prince of pulling faces and acrobatics; and to build a relationship between
Thranduil-Legolas and Thorin-Fili-Kili.

The excuse that she is there to be the spark for Legolas change is also ridiculous, makes Legolas this empty brained being that needs to be shown the way when actually all his change came from himself; he could have taken that role and place by having him arguing a couple of times with Gloin and then talk more calmly with Fili or Kili and see that not all dwarves are the same hence making him think more about the world outside Mirkwood.

So many lost chances.



"The closer you to get to light, the greater your shadow becomes"


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 7:29pm

Post #34 of 78 (1182 views)
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I did not like how she was written [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm fine with the character itself. The stupid and insipid love story was just banal. It was a waste

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Arveldis
Rivendell


Dec 6 2014, 8:05pm

Post #35 of 78 (1193 views)
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I'm female... (No spoilers) [In reply to] Can't Post

And Tauriel did not work for me at all. Granted, the first time I watched DoS I went into the movie with a bad impression of her. I had taken all of the spoilers I'd read and twisted them into a horrid nightmare that I just knew was going to happen onscreen. Now, upon several more viewings of DoS, I've come to the conclusion (and this is after trying to view her from a non-biased perspective) that she doesn't work for me. Some people like her, and that's great. I wish I could like her, but I don't.


1. Do you think the Hobbit needed to add major female characters?
No. Since the producers felt the burning need to include females to make the "gentler" part of the audience happy, though, I would have been fine with a few minor female characters, a few extras with a line or two each, or even Tauriel -- as long as her appearance was limited. But The Hobbit did not need a "strong" (aka: rebellious, defiant, strong-willed, fiery-tempered warrior Elf-lady) female character. The Hobbit survived decades without a single female character (aside from the off-hand mentions of characters like Dis and Belladonna). It needed no female character.


And the fact that the producers added a woman to make the females in the audience happy is insulting to women. Do they think that we cannot like a story unless it has a prominent female character? I think they'll soon find that they're wrong there. When I was little I read many books that would be considered "boy books," and I loved them. I still do. I love the world of Middle-earth, even though many complain about how "male-dominated" it is. It isn't to me -- just look at the Sil! There are many "strong" women in there: Luthien, Galadriel, Aredhel, etc. Creating a female to bring a story "up to times" and satisfy a section of the audience is, to me, a slight, both to Tolkien and women.


2. Did that affect whether or not you were going to see the movie?
No, I was going to watch it anyways. However, I couldn't appreciate the first half of the movie because I was dreading certain scenes in Mirkwood (a place, that before reading spoilers, I had been looking forward to seeing) that I'd read about. Tauriel and the "love triangle" put a blot on the movie and diminished my viewing experience. That said, I now love other parts of DoS that I was unable to appreciate during my first viewing. It's just a shame that Tauriel's overblown scenes darkened parts of the movie that I would have otherwise liked.


3. Are you happy with the filmmakers decisions?
I think it should be obvious by now what I think about this decision. Wink I believe that Tauriel could have been a good addition had she not morphed into an Elven "Superwoman." The amount of time spent on her should have, in my opinion, been used on real characters. I'm hoping that this is remedied in BotFA, but I'm not going to hold my breath.




4. If you are not happy with Tauriel, what would you have preferred?
Honestly? No added major female characters at all. Tilda and Sigrid, although invented, are perfectly fine with me. I'm fine with Hilda Bianca and the other various female extras. Why? Because they don't take away from major scenes/characters. They have a few lines, but their characters aren't forced down the viewers' throats. Tauriel could have been the same way: unobtrusive, but still a presence. But she's not -- to me. Tauriel has featured prominently in almost every single piece of promotional material and that, for me, has not helped her case. Viewers don't like feeling like they're being forced to watch something; nobody does.


I would have also preferred that the "love triangle" had been left out of things. It's trite and tacky and does not add to the story. It was put there for a certain audience, but it really should have been cut out. People are going to come see these films no matter what. There will be people of every age who watch them no matter what. Forcing romance into a story that had none just for the expense of getting a particular group of the population into the theater is unnecessary. Members of that group will come for their own reasons; they don't need an "enticing romance" to draw them in.


Besides that, the "romance" detracts from the other notable Elf/Dwarf friendships/romances of the Third Age. Like Oleander Took posted above, what will people think when they see the friendship of Legolas and Gimli, Gimli's adoration for the Lady Galadriel, or the love story of Arwen and Aragorn? "Been there, done that." The impact of more powerful relationships is now affected by this, and that's not something I like.



In summary: To me, Tauriel goes against everything Tolkien ever wrote about women and Elves. In my reading of Middle-earth I got the feeling that women were valued and treasured, and not just for their looks (though I will concede that many of the men in Tolkien's world fell for women first for their beauty -- but they could also look beyond that and see the gem on the inside). I don't see that with Kili.


Women don't need to be "tough" or physically strong to be strong characters. Look at Arwen in the books: Never was she shown to engage in violence. What made her strong was her enduring love for a Man and the sacrifice she paid to be with him. I'm sure it wasn't an easy choice forsaking her family so she could be with Aragorn. Look at Eowyn: She was strong -- on the outside. Inside, she was terrified. She felt alone. She covered her fear with a desire to die honorably like a man. But she soon realized that fighting wasn't the most important thing in life. She fought an internal battle against her beliefs. Look at Luthien: She had power, yes. She faced down Morgoth, and that's no small feat! But was that what made her strong and renowned across the lands? No, it was her selflessness and willingness to go to the end of the world for Beren because she loved him that much.


Tauriel, to me, is, frankly, flat compared to these women. Her presence isn't compelling (to me) and her story isn't as beautiful or memorable as any of the women I mentioned above.


Before I get lambasted and called a "hater," I want to reiterate, as I've done throughout my post, that these are my thoughts. I value other posters' opinions and am not trying to sway anyone to any side, nor am I trying to criticize folks who do like her. I'm merely stating my thoughts on her. I would appreciate it if those who do find my post insulting in any way respectfully tell me why.


Spriggan
Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 8:10pm

Post #36 of 78 (1159 views)
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I would argue the statement it would have made [In reply to] Can't Post

Would have been to place gender far more centre stage than the story merits, highlighting it through absence.

My own estimation would be that we would have seen far more critical discussion of the very unusual presentation of a large all male cast (without a closed setting).

I would also guess that in an adaptation that changed anything else, the authorial integrity defence would have been generally rejected by the ordinary audience and critics.


Magpie
Immortal


Dec 6 2014, 8:22pm

Post #37 of 78 (1172 views)
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If I had more time and proper motivation... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I could write out quite a lot on what I think about Tauriel. As it is, I agree with many comments here but your summary is very close to how I feel.

So... what Oleander Took said.

And for what it's worth: demographic-wise I'm female and old. And an old feminist. lol.

(I know the OP asked what females think but I think some responses have been from males which is fine... but it makes it harder to sort out 'what females think' if one doesn't know which response is from a female and which is from a male)


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Morthoron
Gondor


Dec 6 2014, 8:29pm

Post #38 of 78 (1152 views)
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Political correctness aside.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Concentrating on the original story itself, a classic for generations with an established set of characters remembered fondly by boys and girls alike, would preclude any discussion about gender, as it would not be a talking point, given it is a reflection of the book, not some revisionist construct. I would counter that the intrusion of a farcical non-canon character has generated more negative feedback than if the director swallowed his hubris and let the original stand as is. This is even more evident in that Jackson is no where near the equal of Tolkien in a literary sense, and the scriptwriting is embarrassing -- case in point being the awkward romance/not romance pandering between Elf and Dwarf.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



Spriggan
Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 8:38pm

Post #39 of 78 (1144 views)
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Nothing to do with political correctness. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I wouldn't agree that the response to such a very unusual cast simply being a fact in the book would hold much water with ordinary folks.

If any other change was made (including DG, the bookend, anything) then surely the question would be why that, and not this.

On negative feedback I'm not sure that is the case. A good deal of reviews of DOS commented very positively on the addition.

More to the point, outside the esoteric discussions of fans, there has been very little discussion of gender, and what tiny comments there have been have been mostly positive. Perhaps our speculations differ, but I strongly suspect we would have seen a far greater focus on gender in critic/general audience responses if the cast had been so unusually exclusively male.


EomundDaughter
Lorien

Dec 6 2014, 9:08pm

Post #40 of 78 (1139 views)
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What a great discussion...fellow ladies !! Thank you Tauriel and PJ !! [In reply to] Can't Post

Must admit...I found her character inspirational, powerful and also tragic...


Morthoron
Gondor


Dec 6 2014, 9:09pm

Post #41 of 78 (1136 views)
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These "ordinary folks" of which you speak... [In reply to] Can't Post

I assume they are not part of the millions who have read The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. I would suggest that the subject would not come up with anyone familiar with the books, and this would include the bulk of responsible journalists and critics, who would research the story if they were worth anything from a review standpoint; ergo, no one would clamor for or miss a superfluous fan-fiction Mary-Sue character thrown in for marketing purposes.

Therefore, these "ordinary folks" must not have ever heard of the stories and are completely oblivious to Tolkien, or perhaps literature in general. Would they be inclined to see the movie? Peter Jackson seems to throw in enough CGI pyrotechnics for those who have no literary bent and are going to the movies to see exploding things and beheadings. Either that, or the idea of an all-male cast is so repugnant that they stop up their ears whenever someone utters "Halfling", unwilling as they must be to subject themselves to the obvious gender bias of the original book.

We can't have the characters smoking tobacco, obviously, as impressionable teens are likely to smoke after watching Gandalf puff his pipe -- which as you know leads straight to heroin addiction. Perhaps Hobbits should reflect a revisionist need to throw in characters of various ethnicity and race, because they are all Caucasian in aspect, as are all the Elves and Dwarves. Then we must also look at the bias shown to homosexual and transgender people, because there are no same-sex relationships in Middle-earth. Although I've always wondered about Frodo and Sam. Wink

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



(This post was edited by Morthoron on Dec 6 2014, 9:10pm)


Spriggan
Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 9:23pm

Post #42 of 78 (1112 views)
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No, not at all. It would include people with lots of different levels [In reply to] Can't Post

Of awareness, but certainly readers too.

I would completely disagree. The fact that it happens to be the case in the books would certainly not mean that it would be accepted without question by anyone aware of this fact, in my view.

That seems, at a more extreme level, like suggesting that no one who has read Huckleberry Finn would raise the issue of vocabulary choice in a family film adaptation made today. Surely not, in my estimation.

Would we expect any reader who knows the book contains a talking purse to never question its inclusion, or who knows that the book does not include events at DG to never question its omission?

It also seems slightly at odds with established facts. Many critics, who by your estimation and their own pieces are aware there were no female characters in TH have been very positive about their inclusion. So clearly they, as a sample, are not wedded to the idea that things which happen not to be in the book are beyond question or indeed approval.


(This post was edited by Spriggan on Dec 6 2014, 9:28pm)


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Dec 6 2014, 9:28pm

Post #43 of 78 (1138 views)
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My views [In reply to] Can't Post

1. If it was going to add any, yes, it needed to add female characters.

2. No, I would watch any adaptation of one of Tolkien's Middle Earth stories.

3. Yes! Tauriel was a excellent addition. I particularly liked the "Feast of Starlight" scene, and her use in the script to clarify Thranduil's isolationism, by providing a different view.



CaptainObvious
Rivendell

Dec 6 2014, 9:34pm

Post #44 of 78 (1120 views)
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First, I'd like to thank all the ladies who responded thus far. [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments. As a guy, I often have no clue about the feminine perspective, but it seems a lot of you agree with me. Cirashala raised a couple excellent points. Tauriel, definitely was NOT captain material. There were a number of moments in both films when I thought, "If she was a guy, she'd be put to death for doing this." Namely the scene where she threatens Thranduil. If she'd been a guy, he would have turned her into chop liver at that point.

However, I do think the idea of Tauriel had merit. I'm glad Bernhardina and MedwedtoBeorn's neice like Tauriel. However, I do feel so much more could have been done to make her an actual character as opposed to a plot device.

Were any of you turned off by Kili and Tauriel's initial exchange? I immediately thought the romance plot line was going to fail when Kili's opening line to Tauriel was a lewd comment. Basically, I feel if this video had been filmed in Middle Earth, Kili would have been one of the guys in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A

The only moment when I thought the romance had any potential was when Kili and Tauriel were talking in the dungeon, about starlight. Because then Kili wasn't being obnoxious. They were having a decent conversation, where he was listening to her. It wasn't enough of a conversation to justify them immediately falling in love, but at least Kili wasn't being vulgar.

Still, you'd think a six hundred year old woman would have more sense than to risk having children that would have to shave by the time they're four.


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Dec 6 2014, 9:48pm

Post #45 of 78 (1136 views)
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maybe the generalization was a bit much (BO5A spoilers) [In reply to] Can't Post

But I could care less if Tauriel was a duck, if her story inclusion made sense.

Adding a female wasn't the problem- I applaud the filmmakers for showing that Middle-earth had more than just male characters at the time of TH. It was the way she was utilized that I have issue with.

For example (and this isn't necessarily a reply to you specifically Starling, but more a general thought after reading all the flat view posts above this one), what if we swapped the genders? What if Tauriel was the male, and Kili was the female here? Would Tauriel's plotline still be an issue?

And to answer that, I'd say yes. Her gender doesn't matter here for me as much as the story she was given. If Tauriel were a male, who did everything that the character did in the films, the story would still be questionable as to its validity and plausibility in the context of the world.

If Thranduil is so patient as to be able to wait 100 years, and if 100 years is but a blink of an eye to him, how can we expect an elf to fall in love with a dwarf in such a short span of time? She has all the time in the world- why so fast? He's not even old by dwarf standards, though he's undoubtedly young in years compared to her. If it weren't for the battle, he'd have at least 173 years left to live (going by average dwarf lifespan of 250).

I do think it is beautiful what they did with her and Kili in DOS. The feast of Starlight scene was definitely among my favorites. But the way they've handled her character arc, as described in detail by some who have seen the movie, for me kind of ruins the idea that she's a heroic warrior elf who happens to be female.

Her story arc was poorly written, IMHO. It's not that I didn't enjoy her in DOS- far from it! But I think they went too far with her in BO5A is all. The ONE thing I was hoping would be included from the book- seriously, the one thing- was that Kili and Fili would die defending a mortally wounded Thorin. Out of all the things in the book that stood out to me, that was it (along with Thorin's apology to Bilbo).

I am not normally a purist by any means at all (I've liked most of the content in the films). But I was hoping that their end would be as heroic as Tolkien wrote.

Tauriel's inclusion into the films was necessary, I enjoyed seeing a female in the film who was a good representation of feminine energy (along with Galadriel, though admittedly she barely featured in DOS).

But my problem is not with her gender- it's with how her story arc plays out in BO5A. And if she were male, I'd still have a problem with it, simply because it's a poor writing choice.

I challenge those who are debating her gender back and forth to analyze her arc as if she were a male, and see if they still reach the same conclusion. Gender isn't the issue- her storyline is.



Morthoron
Gondor


Dec 6 2014, 9:51pm

Post #46 of 78 (1094 views)
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Oh well.... [In reply to] Can't Post


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I would completely disagree. The fact that it happens to be the case in the books would certainly not mean that it would be accepted without question by anyone aware of this fact, in my view.



Then we are at an impasse. And I certainly would be uninterested in a remake of a classic war epic like Lawrence of Arabia because the new director felt it necessary to pander to audiences by requiring T.E. Lawrence to have a romance with an imaginary Bedouin beauty who battles the Turks by his side simply because there were no women in the original cast. But by all means, purchase your tickets.




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That seems, at a more extreme level, like suggesting that no one who has read Huckleberry Finn would raise the issue of vocabulary choice in a family film adaptation made today. Surely not, in my estimation.



There are rabid censors who wish to eliminate Huckleberry Finn from libraries due to its content, when in fact the book is an integral and very important piece of who we were as a nation, and how we looked at each other from a racial standpoint. I look at Bowdlerizing Mark Twain as dangerous and dumb as the insipid original Bowdler tried to purify Shakespeare.




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Would we expect any reader who knows the book contains a talking purse to never question it's inclusion, or who knows that the book does not include events at DG to never question it's omission?



The troll has a talking purse? That's outrageous! I want my imaginary trolls to be as realistic as possible. I was having a discussion at tea with my Yeti friend the other day -- who, by the way, is not as abominable as the gossips say -- and we both agreed that trolls are portrayed far too cartoonishly in modern film.



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It also seems slightly at odds with established facts. Many critics, who by your estimation and their own pieces are aware there were no female characters in TH have been very positive about their inclusion. So clearly they, as a sample, are not wedded to the idea that things which happen not to be in the book are beyond question or indeed approval.



Just as many critics have been...ummm...critical of the obvious additions by Jackson cluttering up the landscape of Middle-earth, in particular the wince-inducing quasi-love scenes between Tauriel and her unrequited Dwarf lover/not-lover.
While I appreciate you have a differing opinion, I don't think the absence of Tauriel would have affected the film negatively in the slightest bit, save for the folks who complain there are no African or Asian Hobbits; in which case, I would suggest they would complain nonetheless.

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



Spriggan
Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 10:03pm

Post #47 of 78 (1083 views)
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Here you are arguing for one side or the other, which is not my point. [In reply to] Can't Post

My point was that it would be a matter of discussion and focus.

You went on to say that no one who had read the book would so much as raise the question, as they would automatically accept that there should be no such revisions in adapting for the screen.

My examples are in response to that. Whether or not you think it is good to have particular racial terminology in a hypothetical film of Huckleberry Finn is not at issue. The question is would it be a matter of much focus and discussion or not (on your basis that no one who had read the book or researched it would think it was worth discussion)?


Morthoron
Gondor


Dec 6 2014, 10:35pm

Post #48 of 78 (1070 views)
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As I said, we are at an impasse... [In reply to] Can't Post


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You went on to say that no one who had read the book would so much as raise the question, as they would automatically accept that there should be no such revisions in adapting for the screen.


First, there is the director's arrogance in adding a major character at all, male or female, to which I believe Tolkien would refer to as "impertinent" or perhaps "impudent". When we refer to people that read the books, I assume, based on decades of Tolkien discussion, that fan-fiction elements should remain in fan-fiction stories and not impinge on the original. One only has to look at Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring and Arwen's presence at the Ford battling the Nazgul as a scene that most Tolkien readers found irritating, if not downright ludicrous. It is forced Jacksonism and not representative of Tolkien whatsoever; however, readers and casual audiences cheered when Eowyn defeated the WitchKing. Like everything else in the movies, when the story follows Tolkien's original, and even though lines may be given to another character, the story rings true.

So, would Tolkien readers miss an extra character that never had a place in canon and doesn't necessarily fit Tolkien's narrative? I maintain the vast majority would not. Except for you and three other people, of course. Wink

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



(This post was edited by Morthoron on Dec 6 2014, 10:36pm)


Spriggan
Tol Eressea

Dec 6 2014, 10:46pm

Post #49 of 78 (1058 views)
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Well we might be but it seems like different impasses. [In reply to] Can't Post

Again you are discussing the outcome of the question, one way or the other, not whether it would be a matter of discussion and focus for critics and the general audience (including many readers).

Your argument was they would not bother to discuss it because they simply reject any revisions. I'm saying they would discuss it and offered some examples to back up the fact that people do not simply accept that revisions should never be made and therefore do discuss such things.

But you keep offering views on what the right answers to such questions would be rather that the issue of whether the questions would be discussed on the first place.

I don't know if I'm being very difficult to follow


CaptainObvious
Rivendell

Dec 6 2014, 10:57pm

Post #50 of 78 (1062 views)
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I loved Arwen's moment. [In reply to] Can't Post

I found Arwen's moment with the Nazgul perfectly acceptable. For one thing, Arwen was an actual character in Lord of the Rings. For another, the scene with the Nazgul and the river happened in the book. Even though Arwen usurped the role of Glorfindel, I thought that the scene was great. And Arwen is more interesting than Glorfindel.

However, Peter Jackson has strayed so far from the path in making The Hobbit, as to get completely lost with these new non Tolkien plots. And the sad thing is, I believe Jackson has already shot enough footage that when properly edited would have made an amazing Hobbit movie.

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