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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Viggo Mortensen's Advice for Whomever Plays Young Aragorn

Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 8, 1:51am

Post #1 of 13 (751 views)
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Viggo Mortensen's Advice for Whomever Plays Young Aragorn Can't Post

Story at the site Bleeding Cool. The original article appeared at Collider. Here is a quote:


Quote
I would say, not only read the book, you know, very thoroughly, that giant book of Lord of the Rings, but you could read some of the Nordic sagas. You'll get some clues there as to where Tolkien got his information. Like, Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, and the Volsunga saga. Read that.


"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Nov 8, 4:08pm)


squire
Half-elven


Nov 8, 2:14am

Post #2 of 13 (714 views)
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Is Mortensen right? Study sources for character, whether or not the screenwriters have done so? [In reply to] Can't Post

I admire Mortensen, but I am surprised that he assumes that 'Young Aragorn' will be best acted by someone who has read Tolkien and Tolkien's sources, rather than whatever the writers at Amazon have been using for their inspiration.

If the writers have gone in a different direction, say, conceiving young Aragorn as a conflicted soul with an interest in transgression and a kind of existential doubt about his future as the heir of Isildur, which will eventually be reconciled by his adventures in the East and the South, Mortensen's advice could cause major problems for the character actor on the set.



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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Darkstone
Immortal


Nov 8, 2:29am

Post #3 of 13 (710 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if the "character bibles" from Jackson's production will be available? From Jackson's stories of Mortensen's continual input I'd imagine Aragorn's character bible ended up quite extensive.

******************************************
"Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!"
"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in
thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond
all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled
mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."
"Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"
"But no living man am I! I am Eowyn, daughter of Theodwyn!"
"Er, really? My mother's name was Theodwyn, too!"
"No way!"
"Way!"
"Wow! Let's stop fighting and be best friends!"
"Cool!!"

-Zack Snyder's The Return of the King


Silmaril
Rohan


Nov 8, 7:31am

Post #4 of 13 (672 views)
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Nice find! [In reply to] Can't Post

I also like what he says about his time in LOTR in this interview.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rivendell

Nov 8, 2:19pm

Post #5 of 13 (611 views)
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To be fair [In reply to] Can't Post

Mortensen's Aragorn also suffered a kind of existential doubt about his future as the heir of Isildur. And what else other than the Lord of the Rings is going to be the inspiration for Aragorn? Sometimes you seem unnecessarily harsh towards this series, when we don't even know a thing about it yet. Mortensen's advice seems pretty good to me. I get what you're saying, obviously, but I just don't think we can assume that the screenwriters aren't going to read the Lord of the Rings, or that they haven't done so already.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 8, 2:24pm

Post #6 of 13 (608 views)
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I think that it seldom hurts to be familiar with sources. [In reply to] Can't Post

It should be very helpful--if not essential--for the showrunner(s), writers, and even the actor playing Aragorn to be familiar with "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" and other relevant excerpts from the LotR appendices. Interestingly, Mortensen also advised familiarity with the films of Akira Kurosawa. I wonder if he had any specific movies in mind? Now, whether being knowledgeable about the old Norse Sagas would be useful I could not say; but it I doubt it could do any harm.

I do find it Ironic now that Stuart Townsend, whom Mortensen was hired to replace, was in the year 2000 arguably around the right age to play the younger Aragorn, being still in his twenties.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 8, 2:29pm)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rivendell

Nov 8, 3:21pm

Post #7 of 13 (588 views)
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As someone who has read Beowulf and a handful of others [In reply to] Can't Post

I can say it would probably be very helpful - I'm also a devout fan of Norse mythology, which provided Tolkien with a bunch of inspiration. I've never heard of Akira Kurosawa, however.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 8, 3:53pm

Post #8 of 13 (580 views)
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Kurosawa [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I've never heard of Akira Kurosawa, however.


Akira Kurosawa was arguably the most influential Japanese director who has ever lived. Just to name three of his films:

- Yojimbo (remade as A Fistful of Dollars)
- The Seven Samurai (remade as The Magnificent Seven)
- The Hidden Fortress (a primary inspiration for Star Wars)

Check some out!

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rivendell

Nov 8, 4:02pm

Post #9 of 13 (576 views)
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Oh, Seven Samurai! [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, now I've heard of him, I just didn't know his name. An interesting source material for Aragorn.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Belegdir
Lorien


Nov 8, 5:42pm

Post #10 of 13 (553 views)
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Looking back at Mortensen's Aragorn [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see a sort of ronin type character influence there. The idea that, although he's a great warrior, he's still searching for his true place in the world. So Kurosawa films could have helped him get that feeling.


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 8, 10:22pm

Post #11 of 13 (485 views)
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Agree, of course you would read the source material and the influential material. [In reply to] Can't Post

Amazon is not going to write the character divorced from what he is.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 10, 6:22pm

Post #12 of 13 (378 views)
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He might have recommended the anime "Samurai 7" as well, [In reply to] Can't Post

featuring a very Aragorn-esque lead character, Shimada Kambei.



Meneldor
Valinor


Nov 10, 9:18pm

Post #13 of 13 (352 views)
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And you can't forget Battle Beyond the Stars! [In reply to] Can't Post

Believe me, I've tried.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. -Psalm 107

 
 

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