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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Is now the time for a fan-based revolt against explicit sex in the upcoming series?
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skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Oct 13, 6:58pm

Post #51 of 72 (914 views)
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Why? [In reply to] Can't Post

You sound like you relish it, rather than appreciate its realism.


Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 13, 9:27pm

Post #52 of 72 (905 views)
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I DO enjoy the realism [In reply to] Can't Post

And I wish there was more of it. Realism is created when you get the sense that the movie has nothing to hide.

Again, I always look at the action setpieces and wonder if they could have bit a touch more in the direction of Braveheart, Gladiator, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven or even The Last Samurai.

Even Excalibur, for all its whackiness, has that great shot where Uther slices off an opponent's arm and we actually see a stump oozing blood with a piece of bone peeking out.

Sword fights need to be bloody. Something about bloodless carnage just lacks punch.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Oct 13, 9:41pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 14, 2:54am

Post #53 of 72 (866 views)
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I will go this far... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And I wish there was more of it. Realism is created when you get the sense that the movie has nothing to hide.

Again, I always look at the action setpieces and wonder if they could have bit a touch more in the direction of Braveheart, Gladiator, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven or even The Last Samurai.

Even Excalibur, for all its whackiness, has that great shot where Uther slices off an opponent's arm and we actually see a stump oozing blood with a piece of bone peeking out.

Sword fights need to be bloody. Something about bloodless carnage just lacks punch.


If you are going to depict violence, you should also be prepared to show the consequences of that violence and how it affects the characters. otherwise, it just seems gratuitous to me. The same with sexuality. It has to matter, to be important in some manner to the story being told.

#FidelityToTolkien


Clarella
Registered User

Oct 14, 4:11am

Post #54 of 72 (862 views)
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Sex in Amazon's LOTR/Middle Earth series [In reply to] Can't Post

Having read LOTR and The Hobbit several times -- as well as having started to read the histories -- I can say without equivocation that I see NO NEED to add blood, gore, guts and nude sex -- or ANY sex -- to any project allegedly based on Tolkien's oeuvre. George Martin is an admitted Tolkien-wannabe -- I have never read his GoT series nor did I watch the HBO series -- and have no intention of doing so -- precisely BECAUSE he has imbued them with the kind of stuff I avoid in the movies I choose to see. There is enough real blood, guts and gore in the news almost every day -- as well as the descriptions of sex acts in reports of heinous assaults committed against women, men and children reported in the newspapers. To add this stuff to any project purporting to be based on Tolkien's work is to debase the work -- to debase the beauty of the work. We already know the Elves had sex -- they had children -- we know the Numenoreans had sex -- they had children -- we know the Hobbits had sex -- they had children. There is no good reason to sexualize Tolkien's work -- it adds nothing to the story. The same is true of the battles depicted in Tolkien's work -- we know combatants suffered grievous and fatal wounds -- there is no need to bring Tolkien's work down to the bloody gory level of other projects. The only reason Amazon is doing this is to try to increase subscriptions for its streaming service -- to make more money -- and this is one Tolkien fan who will NOT be spending money or time to watch this series if this is how they are going to debase the work and world created by Tolkien, which are already incredible without the addition of this nonsense.

Clarella Hardbottom


Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 14, 11:08am

Post #55 of 72 (833 views)
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I'll just be Cato [In reply to] Can't Post

And point to Braveheart. For my money, if you changed the names around to something Middle Earth-y and removed the Christianity from it, you could basically transplant that story as is into Middle Earth and it really wouldn't feel out of place.

Now, Braveheart has a sex scene - with nudity no less - but its beautiful and romantic and, set against the mossy Scottish landscape, could be dropped into The Two Towers and many people would be none the wiser. Like, literally, watch the scene (just ignore the dubbing) and tell me it would feel out of place in the show.

Braveheart has quite a lot of violence. Out of the historical epics that I mentioned, its easily the most visceral. But its NOT gratuitous. It just shows what happens when a sword meets a limb, and as a result - love as I might the battle of Helm's Deep - the Battle of Stirling packs a much, much more raw punch.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 14, 12:18pm

Post #56 of 72 (826 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...a sex scene in The Two Towers likely would feel out of place because: How does it advance the story or characters? Who would be having sex and what would be the point in depicting it?

#FidelityToTolkien


Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 14, 12:27pm

Post #57 of 72 (822 views)
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When Arwen was to arrive at Helm's Deep [In reply to] Can't Post

She was to have sex with Aragorn in the pools of the Glittering Caves. Even after this was written out of the film, you could argue the flashback to their time in Rivendell together achieves a similar goal, especially with her wearing that borderline-see-through gown.

If instead of that scene you would have had William and Murron's wedding night, it would work all the same, and it would have the same aethereal sensuality to it.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 14, 12:52pm

Post #58 of 72 (820 views)
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No. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
When Arwen was to arrive at Helm's Deep
She was to have sex with Aragorn in the pools of the Glittering Caves. Even after this was written out of the film, you could argue the flashback to their time in Rivendell together achieves a similar goal, especially with her wearing that borderline-see-through gown.

If instead of that scene you would have had William and Murron's wedding night, it would work all the same, and it would have the same aethereal sensuality to it.


First, my own understanding of the scene was that the couple was caught bathing nude together with no mention of them having sex. Second, the idea of placing Arwen at Helm's Deep was an awkward notion at best that was ultimately discarded. Thirdly, the scene undermines the happiness of their eventual reunion and marriage at Minas Tirith. To say nothing of the conniptions you are giving to Tolkien purists.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 14, 12:57pm)


Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 14, 12:58pm

Post #59 of 72 (810 views)
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Tomato Tomato [In reply to] Can't Post

Bathing nude together is functionally the same as a sex scene. William and Murron don't go much further than that, either.

I'm no fan of the Arwen-in-Helm's Deep plot-point, but I think they could have transplated the scene into the Rivendell flashbacks (and again, they kinda did) instead, and in that case doing a shot-for-shot remake of the Secret Wedding scene would really not have felt obstrusive to me.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 14, 1:08pm

Post #60 of 72 (807 views)
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Okay... [In reply to] Can't Post

...though what works for you is not going to fly with everybody. By the way, the phrase "Tomato, tomato." doesn't work very well when it's not sounded out. Wink

#FidelityToTolkien
#DiversityWithFidelity


Omnigeek
Lorien


Oct 14, 9:45pm

Post #61 of 72 (773 views)
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More Crassus than Cato IMO [In reply to] Can't Post

Braveheart has a sex scene. Braveheart is not Tolkien. I've seen the movie several times, I know the scene you're talking about and had no problem with it in Braveheart although I do think the scene was gratuitous and unnecessary to the story. I do have a problem with it in a series based on Tolkien. There's just no need for it.

There are plenty of scenes in The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales that would provide fodder for violent scenes in the series and even one or two depictions of nudity but you seem to want Tarantino levels of bloodlust and gore. I don't. You can be honest about the violence of a scene without dwelling on the gore -- contrasting the Normandy Beach landings in The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan would be a good example. I felt the battle scenes at the start of Gladiator were brutal and raw and a great depiction of warfare of the age -- and don't belong in a Middle-earth story.
Raw battle scenes don't make the story any more than fancy CGI, a lesson that Hollywood still hasn't learned.


InTheChair
Lorien

Oct 14, 10:45pm

Post #62 of 72 (769 views)
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Based on Tolkien or based on Lord of the Rings? Or is there no difference? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I do have a problem with it in a series based on Tolkien. There's just no need for it.


Certainly Tolkien wrote little about sex in Lord of the Rings. He barely includes any female main characters. Arwen is not really in the main story. Galadriel is mostly a side character. Goldberry as well. Only Eowyn and Faramir might have presented an opportunity if he had been thus romantically inclined in his narrative. Unless he'd go man on man, which seems unlikely.

But then there's a story like the Children of Hurin, which might prove a little more difficult to retell without at least some clear visual indication that sex has taken place.





Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 15, 8:06am

Post #63 of 72 (737 views)
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Gladiator isn't even that violent [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There are plenty of scenes in The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales that would provide fodder for violent scenes in the series and even one or two depictions of nudity but you seem to want Tarantino levels of bloodlust and gore. I don't. You can be honest about the violence of a scene without dwelling on the gore -- contrasting the Normandy Beach landings in The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan would be a good example. I felt the battle scenes at the start of Gladiator were brutal and raw and a great depiction of warfare of the age -- and don't belong in a Middle-earth story.


You really thought the battles in Gladiator were too violent for Middle Earth? The way I see it, Gladiator scrapes the bottom of the R rating, while The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit scrape the ceiling of the PG-13 rating. They're really not that far apart.

I think aiming for Braveheart/Troy/Saving Private Ryan level of violence is about right. Beats me what Tarantino has to do with it.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Oct 15, 8:19am)


MerlinEngine
The Shire

Oct 16, 11:40am

Post #64 of 72 (691 views)
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Tolkien doesn't shy away from blood and gore – Change my mind [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't get the impression that Chen wanted to see a full-on Tarantino vision, where gruesome violence is on screen "just because it's so much fun" (to quote the director himself). Rather, just like many of us, he'd probably like to see war as as war: terrible beyond words. But you suggest there is no place for such brutality in Tolkien's works. I disagree.

Having just started (re-)reading The Children of Hurin, I simply cannot understand how some of you can be so opposed to depictions of blood and gore on screen because "that isn't Tolkien" and "it doesn't belong in a Middle-earth story". In Narn, there are explicit images of pools of blood on the battlefield, hewn limbs, cracked skulls (rip Fingon) and piles upon piles of dead bodies, alongside many implied atrocities, such as rape, torture, child abuse, slavery... And that's just the first three chapters. I doubt any other battle in the secondary world was a much jollier affair than Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Now, you'll say, Narn is different, Narn is speical. And it is. But such explicit imagery is in most of these tales: Fingolfin crushed under Morgoth's foot, Maedhros pinned to a precipice by his hand, and, of course, Celebrimbor's body carried as a banner, just to name a few.

Personally, I'm not worried about depictions of brutality. They'll have to fill the story somehow – and there are several important battles in the Second Age that they can draw from. If they're faithful, some scenes on screen should make you just as sick as you are when you're reading about the gruesome death of Gelmir, son of Guilin (the beginning of the Battle of the Bastards in GoT seems tame by comparison).

It's the possibility of new "Tauriels" that keeps me awake at night. I'd rather watch several episodes of senseless blood and gore if Tolkien wrote "and then they waged war" than seeing something that has no basis in the texts. Alright, this is a bit of tongue-in-cheek maximalism on my part, but you get the point. :)


(This post was edited by MerlinEngine on Oct 16, 11:41am)


Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 16, 1:08pm

Post #65 of 72 (687 views)
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Original characters will have to appear [In reply to] Can't Post

The canonical characters of this time period are Annatar, Gil-galad, Cirdan, Elrond, Galadriel, Celeborn, Celebrian, Celebrimbor, Durin III, Narvi, Tar Telperien, Minastir and Ciryatur. The main cast alone is larger than this, and that's NOT including any number of guest roles.

As for violence, I agree; and don't forget the insinuation that Gwindor had been neutered! Basically, what I want is this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4cizXu1hRU&t=4s

or this:

https://youtu.be/NEDWpbmFY6o?t=112

That's good stuff. As opposed to this, which is awesome, but too much:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCo6SBtCByE


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Oct 16, 1:14pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 16, 1:33pm

Post #66 of 72 (679 views)
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New Characters (Supporting & Otherwise) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The canonical characters of this time period are Annatar, Gil-galad, Cirdan, Elrond, Galadriel, Celeborn, Celebrian, Celebrimbor, Durin III, Narvi, Tar Telperien, Minastir and Ciryatur. The main cast alone is larger than this, and that's NOT including any number of guest roles.


It doesn't seem to me that MerlinEngine is objecting to new characters, per se, so much as fearing that they might be poorly written or would overshadow Tolkien's original characters. I think (looking back at Tauriel and Alfrid) that this is a reasonable concern.

#FidelityToTolkien
#DiversityWithFidelity


Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 16, 4:35pm

Post #67 of 72 (656 views)
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But this is a very different scenario [In reply to] Can't Post

This isn't a fully fleshed-out story that has further characters added (not that I'm against that). This is a sketch of a story that the film-makers HAVE to add characters to.

Besides, it seems Amazon is pitching this show as the "backstory of Elrond and Galadriel" more than anything else, so...


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 17, 1:13am

Post #68 of 72 (613 views)
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Even so. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
This isn't a fully fleshed-out story that has further characters added (not that I'm against that). This is a sketch of a story that the film-makers HAVE to add characters to.

Besides, it seems Amazon is pitching this show as the "backstory of Elrond and Galadriel" more than anything else, so...


We still know who the major players should be. You've named most of them. Also, I think that the main reason we are hearing and reading so much about Elrond and Galadriel is that they are characters who are well-known to much of the audience. They are both important characters in the history of Middle-earth, but other figures should be at least as important.

#FidelityToTolkien
#DiversityWithFidelity


Chen G.
Rohan

Oct 17, 11:56am

Post #69 of 72 (564 views)
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Its not just that we've been hearing a lot about them [In reply to] Can't Post

We've been hearing that the character originally played by Will Poulter and now by Robert Aramayo is the lead of the show. Between the character description of Beldor/Neldor and the look of the actors (and, arguably, others that auditioned) it strikes me as the Young Elrond role.

But, per The Observer:


In Reply To
sources tell Observer that the true main character in Amazon’s blockbuster Lord of the Rings TV series is Eldien. She is described as a complex, unique and formidable young woman in her mid-20s who possesses an eternal quality and a strong physical component.


This could very well be the Young Galadriel role that Morfydd Clark was cast in shortly after this article. Indeed, other actresses known to have auditioned for Eldien don't look too dissimilar to Clark.

And really, being a prequel series, it makes a lot sense for Amazon to center around characters we know: it being the backstory to Galadriel and Elrond much like The Hobbit is to Bilbo or the Star Wars prequel trilogy are to Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. It makes even more sense in a show set so far in the past that casual fans will hardly recognise anything familiar EXCEPT for those characters.


Ioreth
Rivendell

Oct 31, 8:54pm

Post #70 of 72 (356 views)
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I hate blood and violence! [In reply to] Can't Post

That is SO offputting for me. One of many reasons I do not like the hobbit films. I have learned when to look away, cover my ears or take a break when watching the LOTR films.
And my guess is that when I make my own cut of the extended versions there will be around 1,5 left since I definitely will cut out ALL violence (and silly things).

For my part though I can live with sex in a movie. I will NEVER ever understand cultures where gory bloody violence is ok but the smallest bit of human skin in "wrong" places can whip up an outcry.
If it is well made and fits a story - and above all depicts caring love - I would be fine with that ...


(This post was edited by Ioreth on Oct 31, 8:58pm)


2ndBreffest
Lorien


Nov 1, 3:28pm

Post #71 of 72 (289 views)
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yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree completely. PJ style violence and silly action (particularly as seen in TH) and GoT sex scenes are two things that will guarantee that I will not be wasting my time or money on this. Both of these things should be handled tastefully in any respectable adaption of Tolkien.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 15, 4:17pm

Post #72 of 72 (247 views)
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Last Kingdom got it about right [In reply to] Can't Post

Although the books contained ‘sex scenes’ when they were necessary to move the plot forward, sex was mostly implied or inferred. The (first BBC then Netflix) production went off script—wildly in some arcs/threads—but the sexual content seemed in proportion to the source material. One place that was a wild departure was a scene between Uhtred and Aethelflaed near the start of season four. Although quite graphic, it served as a visual shorthand for how their relationship had progressed since the previous season. This perhaps is believed to be a necessary evil when adapting long literary works to screen; however there are other ways they could have shown that. Although it was in keeping with how they painted the handful of Uhtred’s other love interests throughout the series, the device was used nowhere near the frequency as in GoT. (I wondered sometimes when they did depart from source somewhat, if depictions of sex in LK were also meant to entice GoT viewers.)

This work, unlike LK (which by the way, aesthetically could have passed for Middle-earth, imho), is not an adaptation, which affords far more freedom to the writers and designers when telling the stories. However, if what they put on screen is incongruous with the spirit of what Tolkien made, they will have failed in bringing Middle-earth to life: it will reduce Tolkien to a collection of tropes used to manufacture garden variety fantasy. Perhaps we all can agree, whatever our tastes and tolerances, that if this comes to pass, the series will satisfy few, if any of us... which would be unfortunate.

There is also something to be said for trusting the audience. And honestly, if audience members are looking for a certain kind of titillation, that due to fidelity to the spirit of what Tolkien made is not part of this production, there are plenty of other texts which can satisfy those tastes. Such can be enjoyed alongside, rather than instead of, this production. Not everything we eat has to contain all the flavours we might enjoy in every meal. In fact mixing all the flavours we enjoy in one dish is the surest way to spoil the meal (unless, of course, we have a very limited pallet).


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Nov 15, 4:26pm)

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