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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
This is the benefit of having CRRT on board

Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea

Jun 12 2008, 5:27pm

Views: 66
This is the benefit of having CRRT on board [In reply to] Can't Post

I read on Brian Sibley's site that Christopher Tolkien reviewed the scripts and that these two incidents from "Unfinished Tales" are included in the radio play with his permission. Having access to more of Tolkien's legendarium certainly helps to flesh out the series!

Dramatizing the Nazgul's confrontation with Saruman and their interrogation of Wormtongue serves several purposes. For starters, it fills in a couple of gaps in the story. Instead of just leaving the listener to assume that the Nazgul had found the Shire through their search, it shows them getting explicit directions to it. It also confirms Saruman's treachery by dramatizing his (sort of) co-operation with agents of Mordor. And it tells us that Grima Wormtongue values his skin more than his loyalty to Saruman!

I rather like the actor who voices Gwaihir in this scene. The talking eagle works here because it's presented straight and not sentimentalized. He sounds fierce and at the same time speaks with precision, two characteristics that I think befit a lord among birds.

Gwaihir scotches the "fly Frodo to Mt. Doom" idea by telling Gandalf that he can bear him many leagues, but not to the ends of the earth. The flying Nazgul (which we see later) also would make a vertical insertion into Mordor via Eagle decidedly dangerous.

One thing I noticed here is that Gwaihir does a bit of "maid and butler dialog" to explain things to the listener. For example, in reply to Gandalf's request for help in finding a swift steed, he responds, "Then I will bear you to Edoras, where the Lord of Rohan sits in his halls; for that is not very far off. And there are no horses like those that are bred by the Rohirrim, the Horse-lords of Rohan." This rather long-winded response helps the listener who's new to the story to understand where they are going and what's happening, although it is a bit of overload for someone who's familiar with LOTR. But I think it's necessary in a radio play, which lacks the visual element of showing where Gwaihir takes Gandalf. The narrator could always simply state where Gwaihir takes Gandalf, of course, but that's less effective as drama (IMO, the narration is most effective when it's used sparingly).

I hadn't thought about the connection between Theoden's comment that Gandalf never sought aid and Saruman's. This establishes Gandalf as an independent agent -- or, from Saruman's point of view, a loose cannon!

Overall, I think that Sibley placed these scenes here to dramatize Gandalf's adventures chronologically and resolve the cliffhanger at the end of Episode 1. I don't think they'd work as well if they were dramatized as part of the Council of Elrond. Too much is going on there to break away for an extended and possibly distracting flashback. Stepping away from the hobbits gives the listener context for the events that are about to occur, but it does violate Tolkien's hobbit-centric POV since the listener now knows things that the hobbits have no way of finding out.

"Upon the Hearth" does sound like a hobbit song -- simple, singable, with a tune that's easy to remember. It's used to good effect here to show how light-hearted Sam, Pippin and Frodo are as they set out on their journey.

We're discussing the BBC Lotrd of the Rings Radio Play on the Movie Discussion - LOTR board.

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Subject User Time
BBC Episode 2 The Black Riders : Gandalf, Gwaihir and Leaving the Shire ArathornJax Send a private message to ArathornJax Jun 10 2008, 12:49am
    Lots of points.. Huan71 Send a private message to Huan71 Jun 10 2008, 11:12am
    Philippa Boyens addresses the question grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Jun 10 2008, 2:16pm
        I love most of the singing frederica bolger Send a private message to frederica bolger Jun 10 2008, 4:10pm
            I'm with you on voices Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Jun 10 2008, 6:37pm
    I love the songs Jazmine Send a private message to Jazmine Jun 10 2008, 8:59pm
        different version Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Jun 10 2008, 9:17pm
            Mine is the BBC version Jazmine Send a private message to Jazmine Jun 11 2008, 7:15am
                Well... Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Jun 11 2008, 10:45am
    I agree with you... Elenedhel Send a private message to Elenedhel Jun 10 2008, 11:58pm
    This is the benefit of having CRRT on board Idril Celebrindal Send a private message to Idril Celebrindal Jun 12 2008, 5:27pm


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