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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
fan fiction points of view and why we shouldn't condemn PJ&co
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simplyaven
Grey Havens


Jan 18 2014, 11:13pm

Post #26 of 34 (208 views)
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He did it himself [In reply to] Can't Post

which is an author's right. As was Tolkien's right to change his works. I don't recall PJ being granted any right of that kind to re-write Tolkien. How would anyone argue against Dickens's decisions to change his OWN works? it would be ridiculous. Every author at some point feels like re-writing, changing, adding. Especially with works that extend beyond a single story as is with Tolkien's legendarium.

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marillaraina
Rohan


Jan 19 2014, 12:02am

Post #27 of 34 (201 views)
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subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I happen to come from lands where some of the world's most well known myths were created and I can tell you that for thousands of years they didn't change. I can also say that those who simply stole those myths and gave new names to the gods and goddesses to "create' their mythology, even they didn't change the mythology itself. So, no, myths do not change just like that. Mouth telling is a completely different category and that is where story telling often added some bits here and there but in my lands there are thousands of stories which were written down and recorded hundreds of years ago and people who told them to the writer/recorder told them as "what I know from my grandmother/great-grandmother", etc. While some elements may vary, these are usually minor and the story remains the same, that is especially true when it comes to characters and important events which form the skeleton of any written or spoken story. I, as a phylologist myself, have studied many volumes of folklore and myths and will argue that they change easily or often. On the contrary, they are among our main tools to get a good grasp of the continuity in a cultural sense.


I don't get the idea of it being stolen - the myths traveled and influenced other myths or were accepted into other cultures, IMO, they weren't "stolen". You can look at it as "stolen" if you want, but as you yourself should know as a philologist, that generally is how culture traveled and it had little to do with "stealing" in the sense we think of it now.

And actually in the grand scheme of things most of the changes being made to the Hobbit from book to film are no bigger than the ones made to those myths. I didn't say they changed easily or often but there are variations and sometimes those variations are bigger than others and that is all that is happening with the Hobbit. There really aren't any HUGE differences. Hobbit joins a band of dwarves on a quest to regain a kingdom from a dragon through the influence of a wizard, they meet elves, hobbit finds a ring, dwarves and hobbit continue to bond...they get captured by other elves, they escape through hobbits helps, they end in a town of men who arm them for the journey to the mountain, dragon gets angry, destroys town, man kills dragon(most likely), etc, etc.

Some of the details change here and there and maybe bits are added or excluded but the story is basically the same. But I feel quite certain no philologist studying both versions of the story 500 years in the future would have any problem seeing there are far more similarities than differences and would consider the changes minor at best.

Certainly a lot more similar than hundred and cento -yet both spring from the same linguistic source, which is something philology's cousin linguistics knows a lot about. If scholars can figure that out, then I feel quite certain in 500 or 1000 years anyone looking back at The Hobbit book and the Hobbit film will find the differences between them quite minor.


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Jan 19 2014, 1:08am

Post #28 of 34 (188 views)
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Oh of course they get stolen [In reply to] Can't Post

What's so surprising? Myths have been stolen. Whole legendariums have been and it's a well known fact. Sample Greek/Roman. Travelling is one thing, taking the whole thing and renaming it only is another. It's happened many times. When a myth is adopted and then worked through the nations's own system of values and culture it's obvious because as Picasso said genial artists steal. Too bad few understood the rest of his meaning that to steal as a genial person you must be at a level that allows you to take someone's idea and turn it into a completely new one!

I don't have much time to jump from point to point, now it seems we are no more on the myths changing all the time but we switch to what changes have been made to the Hobbit. Just a small tiny difference: myths and legends are a product of collective effort and even they do not change just like that because someone felt today that Zeus is not going to marry Hera but say... mermaid. Why? Because the myth is not simply a story but a mirror of a system of beliefs and values of one whole nation (or more). The thesis that myths change just like that holds no value as it would mean nations changed their value systems easily but they didn't and they don't.

More so, the Hobbit is a work of one individual and adding unexisting (totally unexisting) plot lines and characters to his work is disrespective and brings little value because the tone of Tolkien will never be copied. It's much more disrespective compared to changing one collective work but even the collective work was exposed to just anyone and everyone's PERSONAL imagination and vision because people realized its value is in its longevity.


Quote


Some of the details change here and there and maybe bits are added or excluded but the story is basically the same. But I feel quite certain no philologist studying both versions of the story 500 years in the future would have any problem seeing there are far more similarities than differences and would consider the changes minor at best.



I am not a fortune teller but I'll be very surprised to see any student of literary theory considering changing plot lines and characters a minor change.


Quote


Certainly a lot more similar than hundred and cento -yet both spring from the same linguistic source, which is something philology's cousin linguistics knows a lot about. If scholars can figure that out, then I feel quite certain in 500 or 1000 years anyone looking back at The Hobbit book and the Hobbit film will find the differences between them quite minor.



Linguistics or ethymology may know a lot about many things but it has little to do with the structure of a literary work. I'm missing your point though I've studied both extensively.

I hope I've said enough because I get the feeling we're not going anywhere. if I haven't, I'm sorry, we'll have to agree to disagree.

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patrickk
Rohan

Jan 19 2014, 2:15am

Post #29 of 34 (181 views)
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But PJ et al... [In reply to] Can't Post

...are the sreen-writers, and they are adapting (to the fans???) as the stories go along, much like Dickens did, is my point. I think he famously did this (change a plot due to reader's response) with Little Dorritt


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Jan 19 2014, 2:20am

Post #30 of 34 (177 views)
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They may be screen writers... [In reply to] Can't Post

but they are not the author. Dickens was the author of his own works, he could do whatever he wished to do. I think the difference is obvious and we're just going in circles. To add, to which fans' wishes did PJ oblige? Not to mine, for sure. Do we know that PJ took into consideration fans' wishes amd that was the reason for these changes? I'd be very surprised as it would mean many fans around the world have wished for the same changes. I don't know such a thing and he hasn't taken mine opinion into account, for one. That's all I have to say, good night.

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patrickk
Rohan

Jan 19 2014, 3:10am

Post #31 of 34 (170 views)
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I think you wll find.. [In reply to] Can't Post

..that PJ was granted a right (via complicated process that lawyers are sill fighting about) to adapt the stories. Note the rewriting is limited as most of the stuff is there in the Appendices. We have an ongoing orc versus dwarf narrative, which is in the broader story but made more immediate to keep the story flowing. Both the King and captain of guard now have a name each n a backstory, the Lakeotwn story is both sped up and fleshed out, and the conrfontation with Smaug is taken from outside Erebor to inside. All the Gandalf stuff is in the broader story, which Pj has elaborated in line.


Elciryamo
Rivendell

Jan 19 2014, 7:45am

Post #32 of 34 (156 views)
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Perhaps it shouldn't have been adapated at all [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that film and literature are two different types of art, and require a certain understanding in order to communicate the story well.

The Hobbit, in my opinion, cannot be adapted well, in to film. Narratives with multiple characters (12 Dwarves?) to track do not often work well up on the screen. A quick example, in modern culture, is the Star Trek franchise. As a show, the producers and writers could afford to take one episode and focus on Sulu or Uhura, without detracting too much from the overall product. In a film, there are usually three, maybe four, main characters and that is all.

LOTR managed this by killing one, removing one for a time and separating the groups. But, it isn't an easy to thing to do in film. Literature does it all the time, and that is fine by me. But, I don't expect a film to communicate in the same way as a book.

For me, the Hobbit is one person's view of the story. It is being filtered from Tolkien to PJ and Co and then to the audience. So, you actually have three or four levels of meaning coming in to this adaption process:

Tolkien's original intent and the original audience's understanding.

PJ understanding of the original Hobbit and the adaptation to screenplay.

The film audiences' response to all of the above.

Something is bound to be lost in translation.Adaptation is tricky business regardless of medium. And I think that the Hobbit should not have been adapted because it is so different from LOTR. But, it has been adapted, and so I will take the films, not as the original work being expressed, but an adaptation of the original.

The original Hobbit book is actually a much smaller work in terms of the scope of Middle Earth, but PJ has expanded the world of ME in LOTR in such an epic way that to treat the Hobbit in the smaller, more child like style it is written in, would feel out of place. As it is, many I have read object to AUJ and the tone of it feeling unlike LOTR. Personally, I see that as a reflection of the childlike origin of Bilbo's point of view, and the expansion, and darkening tone, in DoS indicating a growth of Bilbo and his world view, and the world is a darker place than he knew.



As for DoS, in my opinion, it is hasty to jump to any conclusions, since it is the middle act of a trilogy. It had to set up Beorn, Thranduil (and, by extension, Legolas-or explain his absence), Bolg, the Necromancer, Smaug, Bard, the Master, as well as set up the different locations. Mirkwood, Laketown (ugh), Erebor, Dol Guldor, etc. DoS isn't complete because the film trilogy isn't complete. It is setting up, and continuing, many arcs that will be concluded in TABA.



In Reply To
..that PJ was granted a right (via complicated process that lawyers are sill fighting about) to adapt the stories. Note the rewriting is limited as most of the stuff is there in the Appendices. We have an ongoing orc versus dwarf narrative, which is in the broader story but made more immediate to keep the story flowing. Both the King and captain of guard now have a name each n a backstory, the Lakeotwn story is both sped up and fleshed out, and the conrfontation with Smaug is taken from outside Erebor to inside. All the Gandalf stuff is in the broader story, which Pj has elaborated in line.



iduna
Rivendell


Jan 20 2014, 3:38am

Post #33 of 34 (115 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree completely. Excellent analysis.


Ismene
The Shire


Jan 22 2014, 2:25am

Post #34 of 34 (83 views)
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Fanfic, like all fic, has it's good, bad & ugly depending on POV. [In reply to] Can't Post

The continued usage of the word around the internet as an insult is tiresome & petty.

Me, I think PJ & Co have done a worthy adaptation of TH & LoTR given the constraints placed by the Tolkien estate. All to date enrich the MEverse and have great heart.

I'd far rather their honest best than another's slavish replication as the former retains the spirit of the tale where the latter merely mimics the original while discarding the spirit.

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