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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
official and only Radagast issue thread

jimmyfenn
Rohan


Jan 17 2013, 8:17pm

Post #1 of 19 (630 views)
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official and only Radagast issue thread Can't Post

one of the biggest gripes i have with pj vs tolkien versions is the inclusion of radagast in such a big way into the hobbit (amongst many other non canonical things)

i think it alters the universe in a big way, i do not associate radagast in any plot stealing way in the story of hobbit or lotr ( though i dont discount his influence and indeed could deserve a cameo)

i think it will confuse the readers of the hobbit who only know and love the book and i dont think bilbo would have ever met him, it seems a step too far for me! thoughts?

[personal comments about another user have been edited out. Please keep things civil per Hengist's request and our ToS]

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro

(This post was edited by Altaira on Jan 17 2013, 9:31pm)


Radagast's Lead Bunny
Rivendell

Jan 17 2013, 8:21pm

Post #2 of 19 (361 views)
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sled [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't you like cute rabbits ?


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Jan 17 2013, 8:22pm

Post #3 of 19 (350 views)
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sometimes... [In reply to] Can't Post

but only in a stew with herbs.

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Jan 17 2013, 8:32pm

Post #4 of 19 (345 views)
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"The inclusion of Radagast in such a big way"...hmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

The character had about 10 mins screen time in the whole three-hour movie! I wanted to see more of him!

On a serious note, though, I felt his character was handled very well: bumbling yet wise in his own specialist subjects nonetheless, and played brilliantly by McCoy. While he had some questionable moments I felt that he was played well and (most importantly) he carried a message that was ultimately very serious: the re-emergence of "A dark and powerful magic".

If you don't like the bunnies that's fair enough, but in my mind they are no more ridiculous than Beorn having dogs and horses serve him dinner! For that reason alone they are entirely justifiable (I somehow doubt we'll see Beorn's pets serving dinner in the next film. Like the purse it just seems to bizarre for Jackson's taste, though I'm not saying a rabbit-powered sled is exactly normal....)

The only thing I disliked about Rad was the guano....seriously, I don't like that at all. Just...really unnecessary.

"These are Gundabad Wargs! They will outrun you!"

"THESE are Rhosgobel Rabbits! I'd like to see them try...."



Radagast's Lead Bunny
Rivendell

Jan 17 2013, 8:34pm

Post #5 of 19 (323 views)
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gollum [In reply to] Can't Post

Smeagol hates you ! Cool


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Jan 17 2013, 8:38pm

Post #6 of 19 (333 views)
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Not sure what you mean here... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i think it alters the universe in a big way, i do not associate radagast in any plot stealing way in the story of hobbit or lotr ( though i dont discount his influence and indeed could deserve a cameo)

i think it will confuse the readers of the hobbit who only know and love the book and i don't think bilbo would have ever met him, it seems a step too far for me! thoughts?


Whom do you mean by readers "who *only* know and love the book"? Ones who have read the book but did not closely follow the making of the films? Or ones who have never read any other works of Tolkien?

I am among the former group (having read and loved the book for the first time in 1975 or so, and having reread it many times), but not the latter group (I finished LotR a couple of years later and loved itand reread it even more, and plowed through the Silmarillion once, perhaps a decade later...). I was not confused by the movie, I enjoyed it.

I would disagree it changes the "universe" in a big way, since Radagast's existence during Bilbo's lifetime is a "fact" of the book itself. (In that sense, I'd say Galadriel's presence in Rivendell at the same time as Bilbo would be a bigger departure as she, anyway, is not even mentioned in the book. Not that this either bothered or confused me either...).


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 17 2013, 8:59pm

Post #7 of 19 (347 views)
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Just as a gentle reminder to everyone [In reply to] Can't Post

posters should not be telling other posters how and when to post because thats really quite rude (and against our ToS) and makes us admins sigh a lot Wink


And thats really not adviseable...


" So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane? "


jimmyfenn
Rohan


Jan 17 2013, 10:35pm

Post #8 of 19 (252 views)
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thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

this makes me sound like i hate this film so much lol, i really dont i enjoyed its lots!

but when does something become too much? what is ok and isnt to change for film purposes, or could other ways of doing things within the story have been better than others?

ive picked on radagast becuase it seems like he is an idea that puts purism against commercialism against film making decisions on a knife edge, stray but a little and it will fail!

would it have been ok to have sauron fight aragorn? or arwen at helms deep?or 2 lotr films? i think it was pure luck that we could have had these terrible changes to canon.

i find these issues more interesting to consider , than say design elements like bird poo or bunnys or hair design! surely they are more important?


(to answer an earlier point, for example my mum read the hobbit and she didnt have a clue who radgast was and couldnt understand why galadriel and saruman were in it, not everyone is a fanboy or fanmum that even knows there are 3 films being made! to some people i think it is bewildering these characters are in the hobbit! and i can sympathise)

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Gwenhwyfar
The Shire


Jan 18 2013, 12:40am

Post #9 of 19 (201 views)
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Plot vs. character [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
but when does something become too much? what is ok and isnt to change for film purposes, or could other ways of doing things within the story have been better than others?



That's an interesting question. I liked Radagast in the movie; your post has made me try to identify the criteria by which I judge what is or isn't ok in an adaptation.

Personally, I can live with some alterations in plot and timing without being greatly troubled. What I dislike is when filmmakers alter a character so that he/she behaves in a way that is out of character compared to how they behaved in the book. (This applies for all movies based on books that I see, not just Tolkien ones.) We get so little in the way of details about Radagast's personality in the books that the film's portrayal didn't bother me because it did not directly conflict with anything I knew about the "real" Radagast.


Quote
would it have been ok to have sauron fight aragorn? or arwen at helms deep?



By my criteria, the answer would be "no" to both because those alterations would affect character as well as plot. What I mean is, the "real" Aragorn (from the book) would probably have been willing to fight Sauron if he had to, but there is no way he could have survived more than 5 seconds unless the filmmakers gave him some heavy-duty superpowers that were not part of his original character (and if he died, that would take the plot too far away from the original, even for meWink). Arwen shouldn't have been at Helm's Deep because in the books she is not a fighter. (As a latecomer to this conversation, I get the impression that these issues have probably been discussed more fully elsewhere; I just mean that this is how I would imagine them playing out.)

So, if they had portrayed Radagast as 100% foolish, or cowardly, or pompous -- anything that conflicts with his character as I interpret it from the books -- I would have been very unhappy. It seems you give more weight to plot than I do in judging such matters. I wonder if other folks who liked Radagast in the movie feel similarly or if they do so for other reasons?
I could imagine disliking him if McCoy's portrayal was very unlike the book-version of him that lives in one's head.

Of course, it's usually best when they get both character and plot true to the book, but in this case I make a plot-purism exception because we wouldn't get to see Radagast otherwise!

(I've noticed that I feel much more strongly about characters than about plot in most stories in most media. For instance, I can watch a crime procedural on TV without caring all that much whodunit because I'm more interested in watching the characters interact while they chase the bad guy.
)


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Jan 18 2013, 2:35am

Post #10 of 19 (227 views)
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Radagast is actually mentioned in The Hobbit (book). [In reply to] Can't Post

And the sack of Dol Guldur occurs during the timeframe of the book, right? So Radagast should be involved with that. I think it's sensible to introduce him as a character before we see him involved in sacking Dol Guldur.

Like Gwynhwyfar, I have no problem when PJ includes something in the movies that is not at odds with what we already know about a character. Arwen at Helm's Deep would have been wrong (thank Eru he saw the sense in that). I still think the Ents' very hasty decision to attack Isengard was wrong. And I never liked the motivation for Merry and Pippin joining Sam and Frodo in FOTR. But showing us a reasonably-characterized (in my opinion) Radagast when he's not part of the actual story in The Hobbit (book)? No problem. PJ has always said he's making this trilogy using all the material available to him, including appendices etc., and that he is not just following the story as written in The Hobbit (book). I think that's great: it adds depth and complexity to what is otherwise a more simple tale. And I imagine these movies could be closer (in some ways!!!) to how Tolkien might have rewritten the story had he ever done so after finishing LOTR.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 18 2013, 4:55am

Post #11 of 19 (168 views)
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Radagast [In reply to] Can't Post

Many of the characters in the Hobbit have a humorous surface... then we scratch the surface and see the power underneath. Radagast is one of those. I like the portrayal of someone who seems crazy... but is crazy like a fox...

It certainly gives younger members of the audience not only a laugh, but something to think about: don't judge that "odd person too quickly...

As for the rabbits, I blogged about that elsewhere...

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2013/01/03/67872-radagasts-racing-rhosgobel-rabbits-a-recreational-musher-looks-at-the-realities-of-bunny-sledding/

Go outside and play...


Chainsaw Charlie
Bree


Jan 18 2013, 5:34am

Post #12 of 19 (157 views)
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Britain has a rich history of eccentrics [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It certainly gives younger members of the audience not only a laugh, but something to think about: don't judge that "odd person too quickly.../


Like Radagast, Tolkien was unconventional, loved nature, and was mocked and/or dismissed by many critics as nothing more than a childish nutter who wasn't living in the "real world." He also loved the pipe weed.

More bird droppings, please.


Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Jan 18 2013, 6:09am

Post #13 of 19 (149 views)
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Mixed feelings [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a mixed reaction to Radagast. I'm a fan of Sylvester McCoy and enjoyed his portrayal of the character. I just don't think his scenes were necessary. If he had been included in the White Council scene, I would have been fine with it. A brief cameo and a flashback to his experiences at Dol Guldur would have made sense. What we got just felt too extraneous and too much like fan fiction -- the hedgehog rescue scene and the rabbit sled just seemed very silly to me. And his presence raised a lot of questions -- how did he find Gandalf and the company? How did he cross the mountains? Radagast's scenes just served as a reminder to me that The Hobbit is now a trilogy and as such is going to have a lot of new invented material.


imin
Valinor


Jan 18 2013, 8:58am

Post #14 of 19 (137 views)
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Great post [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with it very much but come to a different point to you - as i dont really like Radagast that much - though more than i did after my first viewing.

you said 'I could imagine disliking him if McCoy's portrayal was very unlike the book-version of him that lives in one's head. - I think this is what happened to me. I know he is an eccentric but i felt it went too far with him to a point done just for laughs on a good few occasions - nothing wrong with that i guess, it was certainly done for kids (whether others found it funny or not is a different matter), ultimately it just didnt fit my version of eccentric and lover of birds and beasts (my friends mum is a pagan - never seen her covered in s***).

Its a very interesting post though and i agree with a lot of what you said. I think the feel of the characters/film in general needs to be right. This was done brilliantly in some parts - bag end for example.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Jan 18 2013, 4:56pm

Post #15 of 19 (96 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I do believe that Radagast could have been utilized better than he was in AUJ. I also disagree with Jackson on the need to move the darkening of the Greenwood to the timeframe of the movie. Among other things, it muddles Gandalf's motives for aiding Thorin in the first place. His primary concern should be the safety of the North, not the ambitions of Thorin Oakenshield.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Jan 18 2013, 5:27pm

Post #16 of 19 (91 views)
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Movie seems to address this... [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf's reasons for involvement in the quest are explicitly stated, by him and by Galadriel, in the White Council scene of the film. He assumes "the Enemy" will be back, and has long considered the dragon, because he sees how the dragon could be used by him.

It seemed to me that his involvement with Thorin was because Thorin was the one person also interested in doing something about the dragon.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 18 2013, 7:38pm

Post #17 of 19 (88 views)
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crossing the Misty Mountains Cold... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have a mixed reaction to Radagast. I'm a fan of Sylvester McCoy and enjoyed his portrayal of the character. I just don't think his scenes were necessary. If he had been included in the White Council scene, I would have been fine with it. A brief cameo and a flashback to his experiences at Dol Guldur would have made sense. What we got just felt too extraneous and too much like fan fiction -- the hedgehog rescue scene and the rabbit sled just seemed very silly to me. And his presence raised a lot of questions -- how did he find Gandalf and the company? How did he cross the mountains? Radagast's scenes just served as a reminder to me that The Hobbit is now a trilogy and as such is going to have a lot of new invented material.


I didn't think of that watching the film (I'm topographically impaired, I travel with maps, mapquest and a GPS, and still get lost), then someone mentioned it ... yeah, he's on the OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS!!! Maybe magic rabbit holes, like in Rise of the Guardians...

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 19 2013, 6:56am

Post #18 of 19 (82 views)
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the Rabbitarod [In reply to] Can't Post

... I'm not sure how much time passes between Radagast finding the issues at Dol Guldur, and finding Gandalf and Co.

Or how far it is. I'm topographically impaired. Even with Thorin's map. (why isn't there a Middle Earth mapquest???)

I do know a typical Iditarod team can run the 1100 mile race in nine days (now where'd I put that darn calculator, I'm math-impaired too). That's like, 122.2222 to infinity miles per day. Yes, they stop, yes they rest, yes they eat. Yes a forty pound dog burns about 5,000 calories per day; they are fed some high-test food including raw fish and meat.

Now about those bunnies. Radagast could make 122 miles per day or more, depending how fast those Rhosgobel Rabbits really are. He'd have to carry some kind of bunny kibble. Or forage for superduper shrooms. Rabbits eat salad, so do horses, unless they are working, then you feed horses grain. Rabbits, same deal. A typical running schedule is run/rest for the same amount of time.

So, how far was Raddy going? And how long did it take him to get there?

Go outside and play...


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jan 21 2013, 5:34pm

Post #19 of 19 (64 views)
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official and only Radagast issue thread [In reply to] Can't Post

Gotta love the presumptuousness.

There seem to be other threads. Maybe call your attorney to have them shut down.

 
 

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