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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
BBC Radio Adaptation LOTR Episode 9 Last Parts


Aug 3 2008, 7:21am

Post #1 of 6 (243 views)
BBC Radio Adaptation LOTR Episode 9 Last Parts Can't Post

I thought I would finish up Episode 8 and then move into Episode 9. Please don't feel like you have to respond to everything, I just have included a lot and left a lot off. Feel free to respond when time allows, and/or to what you want or add your own impressions to the ending of the Episode.

1. I am picking up after Pippin has looked into the Palantir at Isengard and is taken away to Minis Tirith by Gandalf. How do you feel about the placing of Pippin's Palantir experience here at Isengard? Does the scene convey the tension of the moment? How is that obtained or what could they have done to obtained the threat that this poised to the West?

2. The Episode now leaves Isengard. Theoden, Eomer, Aragorn and company leave Isengard to begin their journey to Minis Tirith on the mountain paths to Dunharrow. Aragorn confirms that he and his party will ride with Theoden since he cannot see the way that he should go. Why this indecision on Aragorn's part? Has his foresight left him? Why as character does Aragorn seem to at times have this indecision? Is that a sign of a future king and leader of the West? Are you enjoying yet Sir Robert Stephens portrayal of Aragorn?

3. Now we come across a scene that I am so happy was included in this adaptation, and that I wish PJ had included (at least in the EE of the ROTK); the arrival of Halbarad Dúnadan, Ranger of the North (but no sons of Elrond). Aragorn's spirit seems to soar with their arrival, why? Does it matter to you that Elladan and Elrohir are missing? Or is having Halbarad represent them all enough for you?

4. Is the standard that Halbarad carries along with the words from Lady Arwen sufficient to give Aragorn hope in this hour of gloom? Is it the arrival of his kinsmen, with the words of Arwen and the standard that give Aragorn the surety he needs to move forward? Is Aragorn already assured of his mission and his quest, that by proving himself to the people of Gondor in battle (remembering that the last king chosen by Gondor Earnil had proven himself as a Captain) and becoming king, seeing Sauron defeated would unite Aragorn with what he wanted most, Arwen (and vice versa). Do you see this episode as important in the development of Aragorn in this adaptation?

5. Does the listener have enough information to realize the danger of the Path's of the Dead? I think Theoden conveys fear of that place in his voice while talking to Aragorn and is that fear in Theoden's voice enough to convey to the listener that this is not a place most men seek out?

6. Between Aragorn and Gandalf, they both seem to know what is best for Merry and Pippin throughout the story. Aragorn from Bree to Rivendell, with Gandalf convincing Elrond to send Merry and Pippin in Rivendell, to Aragorn deciding to pursue the Orcs who had captured them, to now with Merry. Why do Aragorn and Gandalf have such foresight regarding these two hobbits?

7. Why does Aragorn now come forth and explain to Theoden and Eomer that he had looked into the Palantir of Orthanc? Why convey that to Legolas and Gimli? Is Aragorn a little prideful here when he tells Sauron "This is no Wizard or Halfling that you may bend to your will." Or is Aragorn secure in his position as the rightful heir of the stone and thus communicates that to Sauron?

8. Does the reflection of Aragorn work for you and does his conversation with Gimli and Legolas show the danger that Minis Tirith is in? What do you think of the notion that Sauron is not so mighty that he is not above fear? What about the background that Aragorn gives to Legolas and Gimli, is this sufficient explanation on why Aragorn and his party are going to go on the Paths of the Dead?

9. What do you think of Smeagol's gift of the rabbits? More importantly what do you think of the conversation between Smeagol and Sam at this point in the story? Are we seeing anything in their relationship that could be of significance later? Does Smeagol's dislike of cooked foods, vegetables with herbs contrast with Sam's desire to have a cooked meal? Does it make sense to have a fire and a cooked mean so near enemy country to you or are they just really sick of lembas? What are your views on the conversation of Sam and Frodo? How do you think this version compared to that in PJ's? Which elements do you like and why?

10. When the Ranger of
Ithilien is heard
mimicking a bird, it sounds just like that, a man mimicking a bird. Would you expect a ranger to do a closer impersonation? What is your image of these men right now? Frodo and Sam quickly return to the moment now, and react quickly. I like how this episodes leaves off introducing us to Faramir's voice, and leaving it undecided on what will happen next. What about you?

11. Finally, I tried to just do some quick posts on the rest of Episode 8, so if anyone has anything to add to it, please do so. I'll start Episode 9 late tomorrow night (barring that the internet is working at my house) or Monday sometime.

12. For Fun:

My Old Gaffer Gamgee's Coney Stew

Another Recipe

Interesting fact from the above recipe:
Rabbit was introduced to Britain by the Normans who bred the animals in large, artificial warrens. Rabbit was a dish that was kept only for Nobility and Royalty. Later as rabbits naturalized throughout Britain and in spite of stringent poaching laws, rabbit eventually became a working mans meat. Traditionally this dish was served with a parsley sauce as well as the white sauce.

I wonder if Tolkien knew rabbit was introduced by the Normans?

Edit: I have to say I don't think I could eat rabbit as my son raises them and just adores them.

By the way, if you want to reply to the recipe's that is fine also (even if your not listening to the adaptation!).

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.

Come over to the LOTR Movie Thread and discuss the 1981 BBC Adaptation of the LOTR.

(This post was edited by ArathornJax on Aug 3 2008, 7:29am)


Aug 3 2008, 12:47pm

Post #2 of 6 (165 views)
The more I listen to this adaptation [In reply to] Can't Post

the more impressed I am with how true they've stayed to the text... which is hard to do!

Playing catchup, here are my notes as I listened once again:

Teeth of Mordor / Gollum, Frodo and Sam at the Black Gate (Cirith Gorgor)
The Black Gate; Cirith Gorgor; the passssss, the Towers, the Teeth of Mordor. Through Sméagol, we get the full set of names of Mordor from Gollum and a description of it by the narrator. Then on to Sam's reflections. Gad, I love this Sam :D I like how he almost whispers what he's thinking about Frodo taking care and what Sméagol may be up to.

Frodo becomes firm and so wise in how he addresses Sméagol. He's not frantic or reacting from lust for the Ring, but he's the righteous Ring-bearer and envoy from Rivendell and only becomes for domineering when he talks of ordering Gollum to cast himself into the fire. He makes me feel here that he's showing his equal to Gandalf, Elrond, and Aragorn.

The portrayal of this confrontation between Sméagol and himself with Sam looking on is perfect! It also becomes a powerful contrast to how he is later after the Ring is taken from him and he's held captive in that Tower.

They stay so true to so much of the text here…. It's delightful! It's times like these that my read becomes much richer when the words "literally" come alive.

"In the willow-lands when the river was younger…" Smeagol, at the Black Gate. *sigh*

Pippin and Gandalf riding
It's effective how they use the music to portray the running of Shadowfax.

Halbarad et all arrive!

I'm so glad they've left in the part where Halbarad catches up with Aragorn, Theoden and the others. "And you have found him, also!" *squeeee* One of those lines I just absolutely love! Just like when Faramir says, to Sam, "Did I so?" when Sam speaks of his quality. Glorious!

I like it that Merry gets very testy about being left behind instead of distressed about it. Nice twist :) This Merry IS tired of being a piece of baggage. He's always the one to be left behind, and he's sick of it!

Stone of Orthanc
I like the way they approached Aragorn telling Gimli and Legolas that he'd looked into the Palantir. With suspenseful music, we see Aragorn confronting Sauron and wrenching the stone to his own will. Like the Storming of Isengard in the film is changed from narration to action, it's the same here where we hear this challenge. Yeah… I like it lots!

I think it's important to leave the stone-seeing here where Aragorn takes dominion over it before he entered the Paths of the Dead rather than later before the Armies leave to face the Black Gate as in the film. Aragorn confronts the Dead in a place of power having conquered Sauron psychologically.

Coney Stew!
I just LOVE their version of stewing the coneys! What Fun! I absolutely ADORE this Smeagol's action and reaction to Sam. He pleasantly trots off to get the water and totally falls apart with angst when he returns to find Sam making a fire and prepping the rabbitsesssss. Poor Smeagol. Poor Sam.

And in the background, Frodo is sleeping fretfully. This is such a brilliant part of the story. It's brilliant how they've kept it together here. O SAM! He talks and jeers at Smeagol very Smeagolly ;) What's taters, precious? BRILLIANT! "…by S. Gamgee" What a delight!

I like how the Gondorians also call the rabbits coneys. Oh my… Faramir's here! What a GREAT VOICE!

Thanks lots, ArathornJax!!


"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

TORn's Observations Lists

(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Aug 3 2008, 12:48pm)

Tol Eressea

Aug 4 2008, 8:56pm

Post #3 of 6 (143 views)
Catching up [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll be catching up with my listening over the next couple of days, so I'll post then, I've been insanely busy with this art course I've been doing. (Tonight after work I spent 5 hours drawing a variety of items from my weekly shop! Sometimes I think my tutor is toying with me!!) Once I've managed to finish my pieces for submission I'll be able to turn my attention back to the play, until I get sent my next assignment! Argh! Education seems much harder when you try and fit it in around an adult life!!

*Jazminatar the Brown*


Aug 6 2008, 6:32pm

Post #4 of 6 (158 views)
You're looking good, AJ...! [In reply to] Can't Post

I just grabbed a few minutes away from GP1 to get on the computer. They are leaving Friday and I'll catch up with your excellent discussion on Saturday. Take care.

Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.

Tol Eressea

Aug 8 2008, 6:44pm

Post #5 of 6 (134 views)
Right... [In reply to] Can't Post

I completely share your happiness of the inclusion of Halbarad and the Rangers! I did miss them in the movies, I always thought a good way to fit them in would've been to have them show up at Helm's Deep, rather than the Elves, as at least that would be a little truer to the book.
As for Elladan & Elrohir, I would've liked to have them make an appearance, but I can understand why they didn't. There's already alot of characters to keep track of, which is more difficult in this medium, so it might've been more confusing than necessary to have them appear.

Smeagol is continuing his great performance in this play. He's played really well, I love the twitchy nervousness, and the way his voice changes accent so often. I think the scene with Smeagol giving Sam the rabbits gives us a glimpse of Smeagol's personality, untained by Gollum. I really feel he is trying to please here.

As for the rabbit recipe, I couldn't eat it either, I've kept pet bunnies since I was a little girl, so I don't think I could face it!

*Jazminatar the Brown*


Aug 11 2008, 5:04pm

Post #6 of 6 (141 views)
Was Aragorn prideful here? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, and I have to say that, quelle sacrilege, I prefer Movie Aragorn for just that reason. It's one thing to be unsure, but courageous and willing, and yet another to be so prideful sounding as is actually book Aragorn and certainly Robert Stephens' portrayal. To me, if he were all that sure of himself and prideful he would have been in the forefront long ago--it would have been his nature. I think Movie Aragorn's hesitancy gels more closely with the other facts known about him.

I would have been happy to see the sons of Elrond included in this adaptation, but really, I think the inclusion of the other Dunadan rangers was more than could be expected for a radio adaptation. Their inclusion did give the necessry added dimension and depth to the story, even though we didn't have much backstory on them.

I think that just the name Paths of the Dead would be enough to add a sense of dread and danger to this subplot.

Um, no thanks--I don't eat bunnies either. But it was neat that you included a receipe for the hobbit meal!

Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.


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