Adapting Lord of the Rings

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:18 am

As others have been saying, this is another example of dialogue that is included because it sounds cool, but has not been thoroughly thought through.

I've mentioned this a few times in the past, but I wanted to follow up the discussion of film-Man's inherent weakness. This is seen nowhere so strongly as in Gondor. Apart from his father, Faramir is the ONLY man in Gondor who is not weak, disposable, and (actually) who's character is even explored at all. Everyone else is an extra. And what happens to extras in war movies? They are killed. They are crushed under rubble, they fall to the ground in fear of what flies overhead, and they are struck down by spear and axe and troll-fist. Do we see them eating food? Enjoying eachother's company? Discussing matters of state, relating to their families? (A very brief amount before Faramir's suicidal charge yes, but that's it.)

It's like,

Cast of Gondor:

Denethor (douchy-rude dude)

Faramir (nice but probably-going-to-die-because of daddy issues)

Random captain dude -"It is as Lord Denethor predicted! Long has he foreseen this Doom." (annoyingly speaking of that which he does not understand)

Other random captain dude "If you allow them to leave, your life will be forfeit." (Easily misinterpreted by my younger self to mean that Faramir will be killed or something retardedly stupid simply for letting the hobbits go.)

Various extras

And that's it.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:53 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:Other random captain dude "If you allow them to leave, your life will be forfeit." (Easily misinterpreted by my younger self to mean that Faramir will be killed or something retardedly stupid simply for letting the hobbits go.)

I mean ... how else would you interpret that line? Granted, nothing comes from it, but the line itself is pretty straightforward. I've always interpreted it as meaning Faramir was risking the death penalty (and I guess one can argue that it sorta comes back to bite him with Denethor sending him on a suicide mission in retribution).
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by azriel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:50 pm

I thought that also & thought what a dumb arse line ? & when Galadriel has her atomic Chernobyl melt down she says she "passed the test & diminish " ?( at Caras Galadhon, after Frods looks into the alcohol free water bowl........ or so she says ! ) I thought that also meant she would pop her Elvish clogs ? scratch

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:09 pm

Galadriels line is in the book but in the film its given totally out of context and so has no meaning.
Same goes for the line "You are the footstep of doom' which in the film Frodo hears telepathically on entering the borders of Lorien right before their capture.
But it means nothing in the film- why is he the footstep of doom? To Who? How? in the context its given in the book it refers to the fact that Galadriel believes all the work done with the 3 will fade and be swept away by Time if the One falls, so that if Frodo fails the elves lose, and if Frodo wins the elves lose.
Hence he is the footstep of doom to them, as well as explaining Galadriel's line and the excellent phrase from the book which doesn't sadly even make the film about 'fighting the long defeat'.
I find the entire Galadriel section completely rubbish in the films as it doesn't give any meaning or context to half the things that are said there.
Its telling to me that probably the best scene in the Lorien section is the largely invented conversation between Aragorn and Boromir- the actual book material from that section is however completely butchered.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:30 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:As others have been saying, this is another example of dialogue that is included because it sounds cool, but has not been thoroughly thought through.

I've mentioned this a few times in the past, but I wanted to follow up the discussion of film-Man's inherent weakness. This is seen nowhere so strongly as in Gondor. Apart from his father, Faramir is the ONLY man in Gondor who is not weak, disposable, and (actually) who's character is even explored at all. Everyone else is an extra. And what happens to extras in war movies? They are killed. They are crushed under rubble, they fall to the ground in fear of what flies overhead, and they are struck down by spear and axe and troll-fist. Do we see them eating food? Enjoying eachother's company? Discussing matters of state, relating to their families? (A very brief amount before Faramir's suicidal charge yes, but that's it.)

It's like,

Cast of Gondor:

Denethor (douchy-rude dude)

Faramir (nice but probably-going-to-die-because of daddy issues)

Random captain dude -"It is as Lord Denethor predicted! Long has he foreseen this Doom." (annoyingly speaking of that which he does not understand)

Other random captain dude "If you allow them to leave, your life will be forfeit." (Easily misinterpreted by my younger self to mean that Faramir will be killed or something retardedly stupid simply for letting the hobbits go.)

Various extras

And that's it.

they had 3 hours. Shrugging  its not a tv series where all these interesting details can be explored. its a blockbuster film after all. anything that slows down the action to a crawl is never a good idea.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:41 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Galadriels line is in the book but in the film its given totally out of context and so has no meaning.

that statement is patently and demonstrably not true. it has the same meaning as in the book.


Same goes for the line "You are the footstep of doom' which in the film Frodo hears telepathically on entering the borders of Lorien right before their capture.
But it means nothing in the film- why is he the footstep of doom? To Who? How?

well if you haven't cottoned on why he is the footstep of doom you really haven't been paying attention.


in the context its given in the book it refers to the fact that Galadriel believes all the work done with the 3 will fade and be swept away by Time if the One falls, so that if Frodo fails the elves lose, and if Frodo wins the elves lose.
Hence he is the footstep of doom to them, as well as explaining Galadriel's line and the excellent phrase from the book which doesn't sadly even make the film about 'fighting the long defeat'.

In FOTR it was mentioned that the Elves are leaving Middle Earth, they also chose to unit the fate of Arwen and the Ring. So they do actually tie the fate of the Elves with Frodo's quest.


I find the entire Galadriel section completely rubbish in the films as it doesn't give any meaning or context to half the things that are said there.

I find your analysis complete fantasy. Mad

Its telling to me that probably the best scene in the Lorien section is the largely invented conversation between Aragorn and Boromir- the actual book material from that section is however completely butchered.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:37 pm

that statement is patently and demonstrably not true. it has the same meaning as in the book. - Figg

It happens at the same point as in the book, but it lacks the books context about the elvish rings, the way Time acts differently in lorien and its connection to Galadriel and the Ring she bears, or what will happen to those things when the One is destroyed or taken.
There is no mention of the Long Defeat, or any of the context of the footstep of doom line- when its given its given by an unknown character who is just a disembodied voice that the viewer hasn't even met yet.
Without that information pretty much nothing Galadriel says in the film has the original meaning in the manner it does in the book. The viewer is missing all the crucial information about Galadriel and the elves position necessary to make sense of her words.
Like Rivendell PJ's main concern is to get the story out of there and back to the action and movement.

'well if you haven't cottoned on why he is the footstep of doom you really haven't been paying attention'

A non-book reader would have be mentally linked to the writers to get the meaning of that line as it given in the film- its the first thing Galadriels says and its meaningless without the context of why. Without telling the viewer that no matter the outcome the elves, and in particular all Galadriels work in Lorien will fade the line has only a vague general meaning. Not the specific meaning of the books.

'In FOTR it was mentioned that the Elves are leaving Middle Earth'

Only in the EE, that scene didn't make the theatrical. PJ didn't think it was important enough to keep. And in a sense he was right as he was never going to expand on it later anyway.

'I find your analysis complete fantasy.'

Likewise your rebuttal of it! Mad



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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Radaghast on Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:49 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote: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.
Ah, gotcha. Thanks for clarifying.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:54 am

Mrs Figg wrote:
Forest Shepherd wrote:As others have been saying, this is another example of dialogue that is included because it sounds cool, but has not been thoroughly thought through.

I've mentioned this a few times in the past, but I wanted to follow up the discussion of film-Man's inherent weakness. This is seen nowhere so strongly as in Gondor. Apart from his father, Faramir is the ONLY man in Gondor who is not weak, disposable, and (actually) who's character is even explored at all. Everyone else is an extra. And what happens to extras in war movies? They are killed. They are crushed under rubble, they fall to the ground in fear of what flies overhead, and they are struck down by spear and axe and troll-fist. Do we see them eating food? Enjoying eachother's company? Discussing matters of state, relating to their families? (A very brief amount before Faramir's suicidal charge yes, but that's it.)

It's like,

Cast of Gondor:

Denethor (douchy-rude dude)

Faramir (nice but probably-going-to-die-because of daddy issues)

Random captain dude -"It is as Lord Denethor predicted! Long has he foreseen this Doom." (annoyingly speaking of that which he does not understand)

Other random captain dude "If you allow them to leave, your life will be forfeit." (Easily misinterpreted by my younger self to mean that Faramir will be killed or something retardedly stupid simply for letting the hobbits go.)

Various extras

And that's it.

they had 3 hours. Shrugging  its not a tv series where all these interesting details can be explored. its a blockbuster film after all. anything that slows down the action to a crawl is never a good idea.
It wouldn't have taken much. It's a poor comparison, but the movie Excalibur manages to tell its story while also giving the viewer a sense of what Camelot is like: showing the knights feasting together, jousting, living. It has a couple good set pieces for developing the feel of the culture of the times as well. The scene earlier in the film when Arthur draws the sword follows a good sort of mounted combat bit in a rough village in the woods.

In the Lord of the Rings, we should see things like the men of Gondor sending away their children and women, and supply trains arriving from... wherever it is they are meant to have come from in Jackson's adapted landscape. These sorts of things could have been included in the same way that Gandalf's ride through the streets of the city were included: Gandalf would simply have rode past them. It would also have been nice just to include some more people in the scenes when Denethor is holding council. As someone pointed out already, Denethor's line towards Faramir worked differently in the book because there are multiple captains around the steward when he delivers it. I can't say that I expect to have minor characters like Beregond and Bergil included (although they could have been), but there is a terrible dearth of normal, living Gondorians in the movies. There architecture receives more focus than anything else, and their own lives are completely skipped over.
In the same way that we see the hobbits (in the extended edition) carousing in the shire, it would have been nice to see some of the Gondorians enjoying their company, enjoying life. Then when so many of them die in the battles to come there would be some impact behind their losses.

I think the way in which the joy and beauty of the elves is mostly (apart from their architecture that is) replaced with superhuman abilities, fierceness, and racism in the movies is similar to how the Gondorians are treated. They are Men, and the lesser kind of Free People. So their deaths are far less heroic, while their culture is nonexistent. The most meaningful scene involving the people of Minas Tirith was when Faramir rode out to die. The people lined the streets to say farewell and there was some real emotion between those leaving and those staying. It wasn't nearly enough, of course, as it consisted only of sorrow and sadness.
The rest of the time, the soldiers are just running or fighting and dying and scared. Unlike the messy melee of knights in Excalibur, the cast of Gondor in the Lord of the Rings feels very small.



There are time constraints, of course, but that doesn't really satisfy as an explanation. The heroes of the battle of Pelennor Fields are ultimately the Rohirrim, who ride in to save the defeated Gondorians from death. Even once the tide of battle is turned, the men of Minas Tirith are simply not there. It is the green waves of the dead that clear out the city and "clean up" the field.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:08 pm

I would have done the army of the dead section totally differently which would have included ordinary Minas Tirithians.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:26 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Galadriels line is in the book but in the film its given totally out of context and so has no meaning.
Same goes for the line "You are the footstep of doom' which in the film Frodo hears telepathically on entering the borders of Lorien right before their capture.
But it means nothing in the film- why is he the footstep of doom? To Who? How? in the context its given in the book it refers to the fact that Galadriel believes all the work done with the 3 will fade and be swept away by Time if the One falls, so that if Frodo fails the elves lose, and if Frodo wins the elves lose.
Hence he is the footstep of doom to them, as well as explaining Galadriel's line and the excellent phrase from the book which doesn't sadly even make the film about 'fighting the long defeat'.
I find the entire Galadriel section completely rubbish in the films as it doesn't give any meaning or context to half the things that are said there.
Its telling to me that probably the best scene in the Lorien section is the largely invented conversation between Aragorn and Boromir- the actual book material from that section is however completely butchered.

You can pick apart how they could have done it better, but will never be satisfied until it matches the book exactly. The thing is, plenty of non-Tolkien readers did see and followed the scene. They may not have gotten the specific reasons stated for some lines, but they got the general context and meaning. It would have been nice to get more things in context, but would have cost more film time. Trading some of the Moria scenes may have been worth it.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:50 am

I have said it before and it seems shall have to again- adaptation does not mean an exact copy of the book- but it does mean retaining the important information form the book necessary to understand whats going on.
You say viewers know what what was meant when Galadriel calls Frodo 'the footstep of doom' to them, I question that as the information to explain it is not anywhere in the films.

Even if you take the EE and Figgs excuse- that we saw the elves leaving, there is no reason to connect that to Frodo- or to Galadriels words- those elves had set off to leave before the elves had even heard of Frodo or had any idea the One was returned, and the elves have been leaving for a long time by the time of LotR's. On top of that the hobbit skno they are going to sail and leave which they would not do if it was a new thing. And it is confirmed in film by Elrond to Gandalf at Rivendell- "My people are leaving these shores" so it cant have anything to do with Frodo, as they didnt know about him till he turned up let alone about the Ring.

In the film if Frodo destroys the Ring bad guy loses good guys win- why should that be a footstep of doom to the elves in the film? What film reason is there for this to be the case or for Galadriel to view Frodo this way? I await genuine answers with interest.

The Mirror scene in the BBC adaptation contains all the relevant information (and Sam) and does so in just under ten minutes (and about half of that is the actors describing what they are seeing in the Mirror- not necessary in a visual medium), yet it contains not only the information about the elven rings but exactly and clearly why Frodo is a footstep of doom to the elves (in fact the time necessary to give the crucial information under discussion is less than 3 minutes! Surely worth 3 minutes less of stupid troll fighting).

Scene starts at 19.00



Now if you are short of time and don't have 10 minutes there is some sense to cutting Sam and giving his important stuff (seeing the Shire ect) to Frodo, which saves you some dialogue and a bit of time. What you dont cut is all the important plot stuff required to understand the elves position regards the main character, Frodo.

In Pj's version its as if they were aware of the importance of the line but had cut the scenes so much there was nowhere left to put it where it could be explained, so they just bunged it in as a disembodied voice in no context at the start 'for the fans'. But it makes no sense in the story being told in the films.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:51 pm

humbug.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:14 pm

No just poor adaptation. Unless anyone can come up with the reason given in the film for the question I posed-

'In the film if Frodo destroys the Ring bad guy loses good guys win- why should that be a footstep of doom to the elves in the film? What film reason is there for this to be the case or for Galadriel to view Frodo this way?'

Even the Bakshi version manages to fit in the elven rings and why Frodo is the footstep of Doom and that if the Ring is destroyed Lothlorien will fade, and Bakshi has less time than PJ to tell his tale in.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Forest Shepherd on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:35 pm

Yes, it is one my favorite scenes from the Bakshi LotR! When that one brown slodge of something leans over and speaks to that other reddish-gray blur about Frodo's Doomy footsteps. Laughing


I take back one of my earlier statements by the way. It is incorrect to say that elven culture is almost non-existent in the films. There are, in fact, many little bits like: the architecture, the clothing, the customary greetings, the language, the songs (well, one), and things like Frodo's "star-glass." These certainly add up to create an ethereal feeling for the elves.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:45 pm

You're on a roll this morning, Forest! Very Happy Laughing
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:35 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:Yes, it is one my favorite scenes from the Bakshi LotR! When that one brown slodge of something leans over and speaks to that other reddish-gray blur about Frodo's Doomy footsteps. Laughing


I take back one of my earlier statements by the way. It is incorrect to say that elven culture is almost non-existent in the films. There are, in fact, many little bits like: the architecture, the clothing, the customary greetings, the language, the songs (well, one), and things like Frodo's "star-glass." These certainly add up to create an ethereal feeling for the elves.

not to forget swords, furniture, gardens, jewelry, altered states of being, magic, dreams, mind reading etc.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:23 pm

Peter Jackson did an interview with Oxford's alumni magazine and there were some interesting tidbits about the production of LOTR in there. Most of it I'd read before but it's nice to have a source other than Wikipedia. Razz

http://www.oxfordtoday.ox.ac.uk/culture/events/peter-jackson-comes-tolkien%E2%80%99s-oxford

Middle-earth had not been his initial destination. Closing the shoot on the director’s fifth feature The Frighteners, he and partner Fran Walsh (now Dame Jackson) had sought to create an original fantasy adventure in the mould of the Sinbad films or Jason and the Argonauts — movies involving the stop-motion genius of Ray Harryhausen, a major childhood influence on Jackson. Only after recurrent discussions about how to construct their film ‘like Lord of the Rings’ did they decide to try adapting Tolkien’s work itself.

The whole thing isn't that long though and is worth reading.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by azriel on Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:11 pm

I see he gets this line in straight away at the beginning as tho its some sort of apologetic excuse ?

"‘Haha, really?’ grins Sir Peter Jackson. ‘Well, I’d love to show him our movies. I’d be terrified. I’m sure there would be lots in them he’d not like at all. . . . But hopefully some of what we did would delight and surprise him.’"

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:52 am

Though not Tolkien related, I think this is an interesting essay on historical adaptation, comparing two versions of The Borgias. Some of his comments about how historical reality may be indigestible by modern audiences can transfer over to how a 'true' Tolkien depiction may have problems with a general audience.

http://www.exurbe.com/?p=2176

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:12 pm

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:12 am

"...as part of Exeter College’s celebrations of its eighth century,"


Shocked
I mean, I knew it was that old, but having it dropped casually in writing like that is pretty crazy.



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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:37 am

Yeah, and Exeter isn't even the oldest college at Oxford. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around that much history in a single institution. My alma mater is getting ready to celebrate it's 50th anniversary next year. Laughing Though it's come a long way in that time. But I'll probably always be jealous of the Brits (among other nations) for having such a long continuous history. Razz
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:53 pm

8th century- bit recent. They just discovered a settlement in the Cairgorms here in Scotland, dates to 8000bc. Not so sure they had a university however. Bet they had a pub though Nod

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:01 pm

Yes, it is one my favorite scenes from the Bakshi LotR! When that one brown slodge of something leans over and speaks to that other reddish-gray blur about Frodo's Doomy footsteps.- Forest

Bit cheap as a reply Forest and completely fails to address the issue I was raising which is the utter uselessness of the line "You are the footstep to doom to us" in PJ's version in comparison to its proper in context use in the Bakshi script. Its meaningless in Pj's, has no context and doesn't make sense with what we are shown in the rest of the trilogy. There is no reason why he would th efootstep of doom to the elves in the PJ films. Not even an implied reason.

Aesthetics are just that, and if we are talking aesthetics the animation on Galadriel is beautifully done, hand drawn rotoscoping is not actually very easy in days before computers to help composite shots, and Bakshis version doesn't completely shit all over Galadriels big speech by making it look like someone just shoved several thousand volts of electricity up her arse mid way through it.
Aesthetically the Mirror scene in PJ's is one of my least favourite in the trilogy, and easily one of the worst in FotR- one of my favourite scenes, one of my favourite speeches utterly butchered by an awful visual choice, not to mention Galadriels irritating slow mo delivery and the utter lack of context or meaning to anything she says. Mad

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