Adapting Lord of the Rings

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:11 pm

The portrayal of Gondor as a single living city with a big grassy front lawn probably came as much from logistics as anything else. They had to do massive horse charges, and before each charge the riders would go out and check the ground for rabbit holes and the like to make sure nothing would break their horse's legs. They could have added some cultivated fields for the set pieces like the battle between Eowyn and the Witch King, but even if they had thought about it (dubious I agree) they likely would have nixed the idea in favor of the horses.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:34 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:It was a nice touch indeed, but the lack of any actual hobbits anywhere was quite the opposite.

Well yeah, that's why I spent most of that paragraph criticizing movie!Bree. Razz

halfwise wrote:The portrayal of Gondor as a single living city with a big grassy front lawn probably came as much from logistics as anything else.  They had to do massive horse charges, and before each charge the riders would go out and check the ground for rabbit holes and the like to make sure nothing would break their horse's legs.  They could have added some cultivated fields for the set pieces like the battle between Eowyn and the Witch King, but even if they had thought about it (dubious I agree) they likely would have nixed the idea in favor of the horses.

Interesting point about the logistics of the charge on the Pelennor.  Dunno if they could have CGI'd stuff in for the wide shots, although IIRC the Pelennor in the films is much smaller than the Pelennor in the book anyway.  Same thing with Osgiliath and the Ephel Duath also being closer to Minas Tirith.  Although what bugs me more than anything having to do with Minas Tirith and its immediate surrounds is the lack of any outlying territories sending reinforcements or being rescued by Aragorn from the Corsairs. Though in the latter case that might not have been worth the screen time it would take to establish.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:31 pm

Yes, I mourned the loss of the Stone of Erech.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:54 am

I always liked Imrahil of Dol Amroth. And the recounting at the end of the Battle of the Pelennor of how all the leaders of the fiefs (who we had met in procession not all that long before) died was powerful. I feel kinda torn calling for changes to this part of the battle though, because I love everything that Theoden got to do with the charge and even against the Haradrim (although the horses shouldn't have been willing to get that close!).
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by TranshumanAngel on Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:16 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote: start- its lack of context, its likelihood of details being forgotten by the time they are relevant ect- there is something to be said for Tolkien's choice to provide such information only whre its needed in the narrative.

I have an issue with the prologue in that it condenses and omits key details which bear on the thematic context of the story. In particular, the whole Celebrimbor/Annatar episode is not just elided but skipped entirely. Sauron 'makes' the One Ring to "control all others" (how? why?). But the nature of Sauron's deception of the Elves and the nature of the Elvish rings is central to the story. I wish at the least this information could have been revealed as the films went on, as it is in the books. The 'moral' or 'political' dimension of the story is reduced to Sauron = Evil and Elves = Good, but in the books at least this comes to be tempered somewhat. Sauron is surely malicious, but the Elves themselves are implicated in the story. The nature of the Elven rings is important for understanding Lothlorien, and the theme of the "long defeat" which is never really alluded to in the films at all, really.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:01 pm

It only said things like "3 rings were given to the elves...". Never said who gave them, or how they were made. Already knowing the back story I think many of the book readers were carried along without even realizing what had been left out.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:46 pm

they only had 3 hours.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:26 pm

See my first fundamental flaw in their adapting- LotR's is longer at the star than the rest!

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:44 pm

Yeah I've had a lot of discussions with film-firsters who were confused about Ring lore. To be fair, so are plenty of book readers, but the amount of stuff simplified for the films didn't help matters.

I agree with THA about Elves. PJ and Co. always struck me as having something of an elf fetish. The whole "immortal, wisestm fairest of all beings" thing from the prologue remains pretty much how they're depicted throughout the trilogy, while the whole "men are weak" thing gets beat over our heads repeatedly (with the exception of Aragorn and basically only Aragorn who overcomes this congenital weakness).
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:53 pm

and Théoden, and Aomer, and Eowyn, and Boromir.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:57 pm

You mean except for those elves at Helms Deep, of course. Well.. except for Legolas.. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:06 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:and Théoden, and Aomer, and Eowyn, and Boromir.

Theoden and Boromir manage to salvage a heroic death but they still very much succumb to their weaknesses and end up paying for it with their lives (moreso in a dramatic sense for Theoden, though clearly he felt that he had to prove something after not having been able to save his people at Helm's Deep).  Eomer ... man, I like Karl Urban, but he's basically a glorified extra in the movies.  They didn't even remember to splice his head onto the random dude they had in the final shot of the Rohan gang in TTT.  Eowyn is a really cool character of course but she ends up almost dying and needs to be saved by the most elf-like human around so I dunno. I'm most inclined to agree with you about Eowyn though.

I will agree that the "men are weak" thing is not totally relentless so humans do get some good moments in the trilogy but I think the overall message is fairly consistent: elves > humans.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:25 pm

The important thing is in the end Aragorn (the man) triumphs over his enemy, becomes a noble king and marries his lady. whats more positive than that?

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by TranshumanAngel on Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:21 am

He's still presented as overcoming some inherent 'Mannish' weakness or turpitude which makes him susceptible to the power of the ring. On the one hand, the film wants to say that no one but Sauron can actually use the ring, that Men are somehow uniquely susceptible to its corrupting influence, but that some Elves and wizards are also susceptible to it, but they are also the 'wisest of all beings'. So I don't understand the message it's trying to deliver. It inadequately explains that the ring is actually 'usable' by anyone (to the degree that it actualizes their preferences to the detriment of all others) and instead opts for the easy way out - it becomes a Mcguffin. At the same time other characters are tempted by it but this seems out of character for the way they are portrayed in the rest of the film and also seems illogical given that, apparently "it answers to Sauron alone".

Ugh. go figure.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:01 pm

Yeah, there was a tendency to throw in lines just because they sounded good but hadn't been thought out. 'It answers to Sauron alone' is one of them. If I hadn't just woken up I'd think of the others.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:11 pm

Here's one: "Is there a captain here who still has the courage to do his lord's will?"

In the book asked to more than one person. In the movie it makes no sense because he's just asking Faramir. It makes Denethor look and sound very condescending.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:41 pm

I think that was in fact their view of Denethor, so I wouldn't call that line not thought out, just part of their whole misguided characterization.

hmm...other than little lines like 'get some sleep' or 'draw swords' which are actually meaningless commands in the context, I know there was something else that sounded good but was totally illogical in there. It will come to me.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:06 pm

Related to this, I've always been a bit peeved at how thye take Gandalf's "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us" which in the book, by context, refers to the general state of the world at the time.  Somehow (mainly in previews I think) that was permuted into meaning what to do with the time left to us in life.  Focussed on the individual, not the world at large.

It's a minor point, and both are good thoughts, but I don't like the distortion. It takes practical advice, 'deal with what is in front of you', and changes it into something much more nebulous.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:25 pm

''He's still presented as overcoming some inherent 'Mannish' weakness or turpitude which makes him susceptible to the power of the ring.'' THA

He is also shown using the palantir, battling wills with Sauron, as he is the only one strong enough to use it. I also think some understandable hesitation due to the actions of Isildur, doesn't make him weak, but humble. He is worried about his bloodline thinking that he may fall into temptation, Arwen is there to give him words of wisdom. I don't see weakness in his character at all, in fact it gives him some nuance. its all very well being a noble hero with no doubts but that's pretty one note. Book Aragorn does show doubt, various times he bemoans his ill choice, or lack of action, which makes him a more sympathetic character.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:38 pm

I agree playing up his fears about his own weakness was a good idea, but saying outright that he had given up plans to be king was taking it a bit too far. The impetus became that Arwen was dying. An interesting take, but I feel it took away a bit too much from his fundamental character.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:45 pm

The thing about Aragorn which makes him so appealing (from a female perspective) is the fact he isn't the usual gung-ho action hero. He could have been more macho with less hand wringing, more sure of himself, but that would have made him like any other blockbuster movie hero. The fact that he was played as flawed made the film Aragorn transcend from the norm. There are a million superheros but only one Aragorn, they balanced it right if you ask me.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:00 pm

Not only was he flawed, but he was basically a failure. Not a heroic action hero in any sense, he could have been a tragic one, but he knew how to find strength in his own character and the reality of himself as a person. All that is gold does not glitter..

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:01 pm

Well I hated the whole reluctant King rubbish- pure clichéd nonsense- give me Tolkien's version, with an Aragorn certain of his right but doubtful of is ability to carry it off- the Aragorn who is pained by what the price of his love is to the man who raised him as father, the Aragorn who laments after the death of Boromir, "This is a bitter end. Now the Company
is all in ruin. It is I that have failed. Vain was Gandalf's trust in me. What shall I do now?"
There is one scene in TT I will never understand the existence of, its the scene right after Gandalf returns, he and Aragorn are just standing looking out over Rohan, and Gandalf is doing some exposition when he notices the look in Aragorn's eye and says "Do not repent of your decision" regarding leaving Frodo- why is this in the film? Its in the book but only because in the book Araorn does have severe misgivings about his own decision making to that point, but he shows no such doubt at all in the film, instead we get gung ho crowd pleasing action hero dialogue like "Lets hunt some orc!" as they gleefully charged off.
Did they shoot the TT stuff before the scenes at the end of FotR and were planning something closer to the book they then dumped?- if they did dump it why is this scene still there with that bit of dialogue which now relates to nothing at all we have seen on screen? Its all so painfully sloppy.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Radaghast on Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:27 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:There is one scene in TT I will never understand the existence of, its the scene right after Gandalf returns, he and Aragorn are just standing looking out over Rohan, and Gandalf is doing some exposition when he notices the look in Aragorn's eye and says "Do not repent of your decision" regarding leaving Frodo- why is this in the film? Its in the book but only because in the book Araorn does have severe misgivings about his own decision making to that point, but he shows no such doubt at all in the film, instead we get gung ho crowd pleasing action hero dialogue like "Lets hunt some orc!" as they gleefully charged off.
Didn't they discuss Frodo when they were reunited (in the book)?

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:52 am

Yes, that's my point, they do and Gandalf does console Aragorn about his decision to leave Frodo, but in the film Aragorn has shown not a single smidgen of any sort of regret about it, yet the line is still in the film even though its no longer relating to anything that has actually happened. I find it a bit bizarre, like they failed to spot the dialogue was referring to something that hadn't actually happened in their script.

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