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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Did PJ even read LOTR?

Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Dec 9 2021, 8:04am

Post #1 of 12 (1207 views)
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Did PJ even read LOTR? Can't Post

Someone suggested that he did not, and offered an argument as to why:

''I am not even alone, or the only one of two, to wonder if Jackson ever read the books, or simply relied on Boyens and Walsh to translate them for him: given the errors he has made talking about the plot and characters in interview, along with the massive misunderstandings of the films themselves, it seems ever more plausible. Regardless, they feel like the work of a high school gamer who got bored reading LOTR and never cracked a source book in his life (not that all gamers are such, by any means, but the ones I knew in high school were so, almost to a boy.)''.

https://web.archive.org/web/20080828014316/http://oddlots.digitalspace.net/arthedain/promises/promises_kept.html

Do any of you agree?


(This post was edited by Paulo Gabriel on Dec 9 2021, 8:05am)


Asger
Rivendell


Dec 9 2021, 8:19am

Post #2 of 12 (1178 views)
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Sure he did! [In reply to] Can't Post

He even stated which edidion he carried around reading in his youth.
Of course there’s errors in the movies, some voluntary and others not, misunderstandings and elaborations. But they are not Tolkiens movies, they are Jacksons.
In thirty years we will see maybe several other LOTR-movies, hopefully better but I fear far worse. Hope to be around to compare.

"Don't take life seriously, it ain't nohow permanent!" Pogo
www.willy-centret.dk


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Dec 9 2021, 2:48pm

Post #3 of 12 (1154 views)
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Fair enough. [In reply to] Can't Post

Great answer. Smile


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Dec 10 2021, 5:01am

Post #4 of 12 (1133 views)
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My recollection is different- [In reply to] Can't Post

In one of the extended dvd extras PJ mentioned which edition he had: the single volume Allen & Unwin (1978) with an image from Bakshi’s LOTR on the cover. He said something like, “I only read half of it before making the movie” OR “I only read half of it before wanting to make a movie.” Those are two very different statements… I think it was in the Fellowship EE extras.

Regardless, Viggo hadn’t even heard of Lord of the Rings before taking the role of Aragorn. His portrayal enthralled millions of viewers and readers.


Chen G.
Gondor

Dec 10 2021, 5:11pm

Post #5 of 12 (1089 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

While Jackson's first exposure to the story was the Ralph Bakshi film in 1978 or 1979, he had admitted he had "heard the name" of the book before, and he was certainly an avid fan of fantasy stories since a very young age.

Jackson's reaction to the Bakshi film was as follows:


Quote
I got pretty confused! I liked the early part – it had some quaint sequences in Hobbiton, a creepy encounter with the Black Rider on the road, and a few quite good battle scenes – but then, about half way through, the storytelling became very disjointed and disorientating and I really didn’t understand what was going on.

However, what it did do was to make me want to read the book – if only to find out what happened!


He found a single-volume, paperback tie-in edition and started reading it. After having read it, he also picked-up the radio adaptation, which he listened to multiple times while working in his workshop.

It is noteworthy that Jackson didn't revisit the books (nor the Bakshi film) until he started working on the films in earnest. In October 1995, when he first came-up with the idea of adapting The Lord of the Rings, Fran Walsh (who had also read the books in her youth) told him they should start with The Hobbit, which Jackson hadn't read, and promptly set to redress this issue: he read it through at least once during this early development period.

He didn't re-read The Lord of the Rings beyond the introduction until well into 1997 for fear of "jinxing" the project. He admits that his memory of the book itself was "foggy" and he had a much stronger memory of the radio adaptation, instead.

He acquired a new copy - the Alan Lee-illustrated edition - and started reading it and jotting comments in the book, while Costa Botes made a scene-by-scene precis of the book as the basis for what would become Jackson's first story treatment.

Jackson had also looked for "every piece of visual interpretation of Tolkien that had ever been done." He had seen Tolkien's own illustrations, which helped him see what was "in his head" but decided they "weren't that helpful in terms of the lighting and the mood." Bakshi recalls that Jackson's company bought some of his designs, and Harvey Weinstein had made him rewatch the Bakshi film in their first story meeting together.

At some point in the writing, Philippa Boyens joined and not only had she read the books once a year every year, but she also knew The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Tolkien's Biography, his letters, Shippey's Road to Middle Earth and David Day's books, so between the three principal writers they were all pretty well-read.


Quote
Regardless, Viggo hadn’t even heard of Lord of the Rings before taking the role of Aragorn.


Neither had quite a few of the cast: Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood and Sir Ian McKellen only read The Hobbit, Sean Astin and Liv Tyler hadn't read either of the two.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Dec 10 2021, 5:12pm)


Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 10 2021, 7:17pm

Post #6 of 12 (1071 views)
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In the book?? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry, that's a great overview but this comment jumped out at me - HE WROTE IN THE BOOK?

PJ's one of those readers??

My gast is flabbered. I need a moment. No, I need a tot of whisky...

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


squire
Half-elven


Dec 10 2021, 7:22pm

Post #7 of 12 (1058 views)
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"...and David Day's books." // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



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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skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Dec 10 2021, 7:23pm

Post #8 of 12 (1063 views)
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Its encouraged in lots of English lit programs [In reply to] Can't Post

So if anything to me it makes him look more literate.

Grabbing some cheap paperbacks of each book and making comments and sharing our comments would be an interesting exercise!

I would never to think to write up comments in an Alan Lee illustrated edition however.

Oh dear, Boyens reading David Day...


(This post was edited by skyofcoffeebeans on Dec 10 2021, 7:23pm)


Chen G.
Gondor

Dec 10 2021, 7:25pm

Post #9 of 12 (1065 views)
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I don't know, is he...? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
PJ's one of those readers??


I don't know, is he...? Hmm...


Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 10 2021, 7:37pm

Post #10 of 12 (1053 views)
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*full-body twitch* / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Dec 11 2021, 6:30pm

Post #11 of 12 (1001 views)
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*full-body twitch* // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'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


ElanorTX
Tol Eressea


Dec 22 2021, 8:09am

Post #12 of 12 (791 views)
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That's what #3 pencils are for [In reply to] Can't Post

or at least 2.5 Sly

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."


 
 

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