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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Cautionary tale - The Last Jedi - lessons?
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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 12, 5:43pm

Post #51 of 67 (4089 views)
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Hey, now! Don't put words in my mouth. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And why does growth only have to be on the side of good


It doesn't, and that was the point. Villains are often allowed to be more developed and complex than the heroes. Which makes them more interesting for the actors playing them--and to the audience.


In Reply To
As a contrast to Aragorn, Grima Wormtongue would be a very interesting character to watch as he 'grows' from being a man of Rohan to the pathetic creature he ends up.

I could see it as a fall by a thousand tiny missteps and wrong decisions. It would have to be the entire focus, but coming back to him from time to time to see how far he's fallen would be very interesting.


Yes, even Gandalf acknowledges of Gríma, "Once it was a man, and did you service in its fashion. Give him a horse and let him go at once, wherever he chooses. By his choice you shall judge him." I'm not sure, though, that Gríma's story should connect to the errantries of the king. The son of Gálmód was probably only a boy (if yet even born) when Aragorn rode with King Thengel of Rohan. However, a Middle-earth series might find opportunities to follow Gríma's early career and show how and why he broke bad under Saruman.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 12, 5:45pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 12, 5:59pm

Post #52 of 67 (4080 views)
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Why should it be easy? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jan 12, 6:38pm

Post #53 of 67 (4082 views)
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Easy? [In reply to] Can't Post

It certainly doesn't need to be easy; very little that is worth doing is! However, I'm not convinced that it is even feasible to dramatically present a character that starts out better than everyone else and gets better from there in a way that works. I am mindful of Tolkien's comments in On Fairie-stories that "Fantasy, even of the simplest kind, hardly ever succeeds in Drama, when that is presented as it should be, visibly and audibly acted." He was not, of course, speaking specifically about presenting this type of character, but as he says the biggest difference between literature and drama is that "the characters, and even the scenes, are in Drama not imagined but actually beheld." I think a character such as you describe can be much more successfully presented in literature where he can be "imagined" than in drams, where he must be beheld.

Of course, I could be wrong (it has happened before!) and I would welcome the opportunity to be proven so.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

(This post was edited by Voronwë_the_Faithful on Jan 12, 6:39pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 12, 10:58pm

Post #54 of 67 (4055 views)
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I'm saying we're setting the bar too low. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm saying maybe we should elevate our ideas about heroism.

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 12, 10:59pm

Post #55 of 67 (4053 views)
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Humankind's "quick satiety with good". [In reply to] Can't Post

The idea that development from very good to great is "boring" is an example of what Tolkien talked about when he explained the idea underlying "The New Shadow".

There are four lights.

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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 12, 11:26pm

Post #56 of 67 (4043 views)
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Sorry, I can't agree. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm saying we're setting the bar too low. I'm saying maybe we should elevate our ideas about heroism.


It's entirely possible that you're right, but I believe you are setting the bar too high. We both agree that Aragorn as a young Ranger should remain a Man of integrity and character. However, at this point he can only remember being fostered by Elrond among the Elves of Rivendell. His mother represents his only regular contact he has had with his own people. He has gained much lore and possesses many physical skills, but he has yet to put them to use in the larger world, or to experience a wide range of people and cultures and what they can teach him.

I think my problem here is that I have a good idea of how I see Aragorn at this time of his life, but I don't really know how YOU see him. You state that you see him: "as about twice as good as anybody you or I know." But what does that even mean? As a descriptor it is less than helpful. What are the weaknesses in Aragorn's education? What does he think about his fellow Men at this time? What are his initial attitudes concerning Dwarves or Hobbits? Or of the Men under the yolk of the Enemy? These are all things that the writers of a series about his early days would have to consider. That's just the way that drama and good storytelling work.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 12, 11:29pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 12, 11:31pm

Post #57 of 67 (4036 views)
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A nuanced Aragorn. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The idea that development from very good to great is "boring" is an example of what Tolkien talked about when he explained the idea underlying "The New Shadow".


No, it's just bad storytelling. Conflict is the heart of drama and internal conflict is the most profound.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 12, 11:57pm

Post #58 of 67 (4035 views)
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Aragorn is the wrong vehicle for that kind of storytelling. [In reply to] Can't Post

In my view, when he starts his career, he's already a better person than just about anyone you've ever met.

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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 13, 12:48am

Post #59 of 67 (4023 views)
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I agree to disagree. [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, Amazon's series might not involve Aragorn at all. For you, that might be for the best.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


squire
Half-elven


Jan 13, 1:41am

Post #60 of 67 (4027 views)
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It sounds like this debate is getting to the heart of the conflict between epic and novel. [In reply to] Can't Post

My heart is with NEB's argument that Tolkien was writing in the epic tradition whereby the hero is in fact already superlative and aspires to near-godlike status. He is above us, and worthy of our admiration, not our identification or emulation. Aragorn plays that role in LotR, without however failing to grow - we see his relative insecurities as he grows from the wizard's pupil (greatest huntsman, etc.) to the King of the West in the latter books of the story. The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen deliberately slights any indication of his growth as a youth, because the focus is on his discipline, heroism, and fidelity to his impossible goal of winning Arwen, the crown, and a new Age. To get into the details merely mars the arc that Tolkien wanted to focus on, and that's why it's in the Appendices.

My head is with Osaku's argument that this kind of thinking simply won't do in modern entertainment. There are character arcs that today's audiences expect or demand. Today's heroes simply have to have weaknesses and conflicts, temptations to overcome, and victories to win over inner echoes of darkness - so that we can identify with them. It's the drama of a democracy, where everyone is equal, rather than of an aristocracy, where the leadership class is distinctly superior by God's decree. I really don't think Tolkien thought that all that much of the democratic approach to heroism, but I do see the logic of putting half a billion dollars of original screenwriting into what's known to work at the box office, rather than what's known to be the author's original vision going back to the middle ages.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 13, 1:57am

Post #61 of 67 (4017 views)
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I can sympathize with N. E. to some degree. [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand where poster N.E. Brigand is coming from, I really do. But I think he paints a portrait of young Aragorn that is too straightforward and has nowhere to advance. This is still a twenty year-old Man who has only just had his true name and heritage revealed to him and has just fallen in love for the first time in his life. And now he is leaving the only home that he as known to wander the world for what will be twenty-nine years to become the Man he is destined to be. A baseline needs to be established from which he can grow and flourish. And young Aragorn must be perceived as having the potential to make mistakes along the way so he can learn from them and become better as a result.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jan 13, 5:21am

Post #62 of 67 (4008 views)
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I’m hoping they trust the audience and go with ‘dignified’ - [In reply to] Can't Post

There is absolutely no reason to appeal to baser instincts or write to the lowest common denominator in order for this thing to fly. Having Tolkien as primary source would give them an excuse to try making something uplifting, perhaps even numinous, for a change.



(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jan 13, 5:28am)


entmaiden
Forum Admin


Jan 14, 10:46pm

Post #63 of 67 (3875 views)
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I wonder if Faramir better fits the role [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a lot to work with in Faramir. The younger brother, overlooked by his father in favor of his athletic, hero older brother. The young man who meets a wizard and learns so much from him. Losing his brother, only to be blamed for that loss by his father. The man who meets a shieldmaiden and falls in love.

I would LOVE a story about Faramir.


InTheChair
Lorien

Jan 14, 11:34pm

Post #64 of 67 (3864 views)
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They can always cut back the expenses if the audience begins to drop off [In reply to] Can't Post

Star Wars for good and bad, has moved into the Comic Book formula of Marvel. Grind out a new number/movie with regularity, and keep finding new audiences. Some will be duds, some will be hits, but either way as long as the machine keep producing the franchise will survive.

What may not survive, or rather what will not survive, is the universally accepted canon, into which everything tagged Star Wars can be fitted in. Instead fans will find their own favorite tracks, or favorite artists to follow in the franchise.

The fans reaction to The Last Jedi does not seem like much of a mystery. I am much more curious to know what has happened with professional movie reviewers in the age of internet.

Lord of the Rings, even with the upcoming Amazon series still stands some distance away from similar Comic book franchise identity. Amazon can choose to bring it closer, or further away. Either way they choose to go, as long as they keep regular production up, there's a potential fan base to be tapped.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 22, 4:27pm

Post #65 of 67 (3763 views)
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To the very complex man we meet in LOTR. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mysterious and intimidating, experienced and world-weary, snarky and snappish, and cruel when he needs to be:

‘He seldom talks: not but what he can tell a rare tale when he has the mind.’
-At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

'Go on then!' said Frodo. 'What do you know?'
'Too much; too many dark things,' said Strider grimly.

-Strider

'Well, I have rather a rascally look, have I not?' said Strider with a curl of his lip and a queer gleam in his eye.
-ibid

For a while he sat with unseeing eyes as if walking in distant memory or listening to sounds in the Night far away.
'There!' he cried after a moment, drawing his hand across his brow. 'Perhaps I know more about these pursuers than you do.'

-ibid

Strider did not reply to Sam, but turned his keen eyes on Frodo. Frodo caught his glance and looked away. 'No,' he said slowly. 'I don't agree. I think, I think you are not really as you choose to look. You began to talk to me like the Bree-folk, but your voice has changed.’
-ibid

'Then who would you take up with?' asked Strider. 'A fat innkeeper who only remembers his own name because people shout it at him all day?’
-ibid

‘In any case, I did not intend to tell you all about myself at once. I had to study *you* first, and make sure of you. The Enemy has set traps for me before now. As soon as I had made up my mind, I was ready to tell you whatever you asked. But I must admit,' he added with a queer laugh, 'that I hoped you would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship. But there, I believe my looks are against me.'
-ibid

'I see,' laughed Strider. 'I look foul and feel fair. Is that it?’
-ibid

They tramped off, anxious and downhearted, under the eyes of the crowd. Not all the faces were friendly, nor all the words that were shouted. But Strider seemed to be held in awe by most of the Bree-landers, and those that he stared at shut their mouths and drew away.
-A Knife in the Dark

'Morning, Longshanks!' he said. 'Off early? Found some friends at last?' Strider nodded, but did not answer. 'Morning, my little friends!' he said to the others. 'I suppose you know who you've taken up with? That's Stick-at-naught Strider, that is! Though I've heard other names not so pretty.’
-ibid

'He will never love me, I fear; for he bit me, and I was not gentle. Nothing more did I ever get from his mouth than the marks of his teeth. I deemed it the worst part of all my journey, the road back, watching him day and night, making him walk before me with a halter on his neck, gagged, until he was tamed by lack of drink and food, driving him ever towards Mirkwood.'
-The Council of Elrond

'You have looked in that accursed stone of wizardry!' exclaimed Gimli with fear and astonishment in his face. 'Did you say aught to – him? Even Gandalf feared that encounter.'
'You forget to whom you speak,' said Aragorn sternly, and his eyes glinted.

-The Passing of the Grey Company

'If your pack has not been found, then you must send for the herb-master of this House. And he will tell you that he did not know that the herb you desire had any virtues, but that it is called westmansweed by the vulgar, and galenas by the noble, and other names in other tongues more learned, and after adding a few half-forgotten rhymes that he does not understand, he will regretfully inform you that there is none in the House, and he will leave you to reflect on the history of tongues.'
-The Houses of Healing

Can't wait to meet him!

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.





N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 29, 2:57am

Post #66 of 67 (3338 views)
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Túrin, waiting for Glaurung to cross the ravine: "All'alba vincerň!" // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

There are four lights.

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Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
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Eruonen
Valinor


Feb 4, 6:51pm

Post #67 of 67 (2867 views)
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These selections show Aragorn as a man and not a character of virtue alone. [In reply to] Can't Post

He has real emotions, real stresses, real anger....he is high born but rough when needed, he is tall, dark and handsome but often foul, he is haunted yet focused on the task etc etc.

I have said it many times but the mental image I have has always been somewhat like: https://orig00.deviantart.net/...28accc31-d8mod45.jpg

Here is a good one too: https://pre00.deviantart.net/...ilgolem1-d8mtgx6.jpg

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