'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

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'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Radaghast on Sat May 28, 2016 7:58 pm

Some good points made here; ones I'd never really considered myself. Interesting read, anyway.

http://www.fandomfollowing.com/one-adaptation-to-rule-them-all/

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat May 28, 2016 8:11 pm

Bah, is this the one that starts off with a "The Hobbit was a better adaptation of Tolkien than LotR was"? That was rather offputting.


Ugh, one page down and we have the R-word applied to Tolkien. Stupid.

This whole bit is quite a simplified version of Arwen in the film:

"Tolkien whore [sic] this half a century ago and he didn’t feel any need to have her cook as if it was the only way for her to show her interest. Rather the contrary, she shows her interest by expressing her wish to ride to war with Aragorn. In the film, she makes him stew. Bad stew, too, because everyone knows badass women can’t cook. It’s a rule. And to think we got these scenes instead of Éowyn’s awesome monologue! Because she is robbed off [sic] her great response to Aragorn’s patronizing “a time may come for valor without renown. Who then will your people look to in the last defense?” She doesn’t question why this role is assigned to her, instead, she basically says “but I luuuv you! I wanna be with you!”


No, she doesn't "basically just say 'I luuuv you'". The potential romance between her and Aragorn is greatly exaggerated in this scene, but she says the following in the film:
"You do not command the others to stay! They fight beside you because they would not be parted from you. Because they love you."


Sure, this is not her response from the book (because the screenwriters are focusing on this romance angle), but she is not "robbed" of her response from the book, as most of it is found in an earlier scene when Aragorn confronts her as she practices her swordplay.


" 'All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Eorl and not a serving-woman. I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.'
'What do you fear, lady?' he asked. 
'A cage,' she said. 'To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.' "



Much of that does make it into the film, within a context that still helps to flesh out her character.

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 28, 2016 8:34 pm

Blue and I were talking about this on Facebook the other day. I thought it was a pretty good piece all in all. Despite the title it isn't really about The Hobbit at all, which is good, because the idea that LOTR is a worse adaptation than The Hobbit is completely ridiculous. I mean, I feel like I shouldn't have to explain why, but since some people apparently think this I'll try to do so very succinctly. PJ's LOTR put way too much emphasis on the action elements and it changed the focus of which character's got more attention and he didn't pay very close attention to some of the themes, but he did carry through the basics of the plot and most of the surface-level things that people enjoy about the book. His version of The Hobbit, on the other hand, was made as a prequel to the LOTR movies and he actively distanced himself from the book when promoting the films (the opposite of his strategy with LOTR). You want to complain about Aragorn or Faramir being different? That's cool, but they faired far better than Thorin (barely recognizable; de-aged, different motivation for the Quest, very different personality and demeanor, different backstory) or Bard (a totally different character other than being the one to kill the dragon). I could go on but honestly I don't want to keep thinking about TH. Razz

Anyway, the criticisms of the LOTR films in this piece were sound I think, though they've all been discussed to death and back since the films were first released. But Fandom Following grew out of tumblr which, LiveJournal before it, is a very different realm of fandom than message boards and apparently the LOTR purists over there keep quiet or just don't get their posts re-blogged much, given the reception this piece got. I was a little surprised at the response but if people who previously accepted PJ's LOTR-era platitudes about faithfulness start to think more critically about the movies that's a positive in my book. That said:

Galadriel could have probably walked to Barad-Dur and challenged Sauron for a personal duel, but there’s a reason she doesn’t.

This made me do a double-take when I first read because it's such a complete misunderstanding of the themes and concept of the Dominion of Men. The point of Elvish fading isn't that they could still fight Sauron and dominate Middle-earth but just choose to let humanity get knocked around by Sauron cause their self-centered assholes. It's that the Elves (especially non-Silvan Elves) can't do anything like the Last Alliance again because most of them died or left Middle-earth a long time ago and their sub-creative energies are largely spent. There's a reason that Appendix B states that the Eldar "attempted nothing new" in the Third Age and it's not because they got bored of being awesome.

But that aside I did enjoy the piece for the most part. Thumbs Up
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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 28, 2016 8:54 pm

Started writing that post before Forest added the second bit of his post.

I think this is a better discussion of the problems with Arwen's depiction in the films (written by someone I used to know on another forum): http://hubpages.com/literature/arwen-undomiel

I understand the complaint about Eowyn's motivations being made more romantic and her response to Aragorn being changed, but this piece sort of rushes through it and doesn't do a great job of explaining things. This article (I don't know the author of this one) is much better IMO: http://www.themarysue.com/the-story-of-eowyn/

Also the stew scene was highly problematic: http://www.hobbitmovieforum.com/t1105-i-think-petty-has-a-rival-in-the-over-thinking-every-change-from-the-book-department-a-interesting-take-on-the-stew-scene-from-two-towers-ee Laughing
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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 8:55 pm

I'll have to take a look at this...

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 28, 2016 9:26 pm

{{{i think its pretty clear to anyone that TH is not a better adaptation than LotR's. But it has to borne in mind that doesnt make LotR's a good adaptation, it is still a very poor adaptation. Its just TH is even worse.

The problem with the Arwen thing is many fold- the first main problem is trying to play up a 'will he/wont he' between her and Aragorn. This makes Aragorn look like a dick.
The second problem is bizarre and completely contrived early inclusion of her blurting the stuff about love to him right after meeting him. The whole Aragorn off a cliff, everyone thinks he is dead thing feels so contrived, so hollow that her words instead of being what they are in the book- all her pride will allow her to say at what seems the very end, the now or never moment with Aragorn- just sound lie a silly girl with a crush on the dashing knight whose come to court. Her words have not been earned yet.
Not to mention the fact that because they put it early, and as Forest points out above they also moved from that final conversation most of the rest of what she says to earlier too, there is nothing left of import for them to say to each other when the parting scene does come- instead of it being the bitter climax to that part of the story its a damp squib emotionally and devoid of meaningful content. }}}

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 9:27 pm



I’m going to start with an unpopular opinion: while The Hobbit movie trilogy is a terrible adaptation of the eponymous book, I think it’s actually more faithful to the basic message and setting of Tolkien’s work, especially as set out in the later books, than the Lord of the Rings films. Don’t get me wrong…I believe they’re better films, but ultimately worse Tolkien.

I'm not sure I could agree with that, sure TH trilogy covers most of the key plot points and A to B character progression of the book, but the character arcs (and characters themselves), thematic material, pacing and tone are drastically different, just because the scenes TH includes from the book may resemble the story more on a superficial level, it does not mean that it's a faifthful adaptation.

'especially as set out in later book'...I suppose you could make the (weak) argument that some of PJ's changes/additions were inspired by the appendices/QOE stuff, but I wouldn't agree that most of them felt like Tolkien esque material (the hamfisted dragon sickness, Azog, Necromancer stuff was also closer to fan fiction than Tolkien i.m.o)...

Now this, see, this makes sense. Treebeard is an ent, intimately connected to nature, and so he can feel the change while it is still happening, through this connection. Galadriel is no ent, but what she has in common with Trebeard is that she’s really freakin’ old. She doesn’t need to ‘feel it in the water’ to know that the world was changed. When she first sailed to Middle-Earth from Valinor, there was a whole huge chunk of land there that is underwater now, and also the world was flat and now it’s round. It’s kind of hard not to notice that the world was changed. I’m sure her intro could have been done without these lines that simply do not belong to her.

I'm not sure how I feel about the opening lines to FOTR, on the hand I think it's a very quotable, memorable opening, but I was never entirely sure from where/which perspective Galadriel was looking back on things, 'none now live'...other than her? (and in the film universe presumably some of the random background extras and Cirdan) is she looking back at events from Valinor? Lothlorien? Is she adressing the audience directly? Why Galadriel, she's not really a major player in the film trilogy, and everything she says becomes very obvious very quickly later in the film.

Seemed one of the frequent random cases of tweaking dialogue to get it in the script because it sounded 'cool' (on a tangent I always felt Wormtongue's 'bitter watches in the night' threat to Eowyn in the TT film seemed out of place and badly delivered by the actor...it's a little sad to think that all too often Tolkien's own dialogue felt out of place in the films...)

His rant about the race of Men failing, and them being weak, all based on the fact that one dude three thousand years ago messed up (in extremely traumatic and difficult circumstances) is very disturbing, doubly so from someone who’s supposed to be a good guy. And look, I remember Tolkien’s racism and talk about ‘highter Men’ as well as anyone, but he never makes as sweeping judgments as Elrond does here. Plus on the contrary, Faramir most of all proves film!Elrond wrong. Tolkien’s men are more liable to evil than elves, yes, but certainly not all considered weak. But apparently ‘men are weak’ is better for drama or whatever.

Movie Elrond defintely had some self hate issues I think, it's a little hard to believe this is the same guy who helped bring up Aragorn and train him as a ranger in a place of learning and history and was distantly related to him with a stake in his kinghood, yet kinda treats him like a failure (and does nothing to persuade him to seek the throne of Gondor, until the very last minute, luckily turning up alone, much later, at precisely the most convenient moment...)

Sending a unit of elves to Helm’s Deep makes no sense. And why Helm’s Deep? Why not the Fields of Pelennor? The Black Gate? What’s the logic behind this? It’s just so completely random and nonsensical and undermined the central message that it’s up to Men now. And Hobbits, of course.


And correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the Elves either have to march over the mountains, through Moria, or through the Gap of Rohan, all of which were known to be dangerous, or being watched by Saruman?

Is the victory won by sweat, tears and blood, or by magic? Why didn’t everyone just run away to hide until the ghost army killed all the orcs? Why use them to kill the corairs of Umbar and to fight in Pelennor, and not at the gates of Mordor? Why should it be Pelennor exactly that fulfils their oath, if it wasn’t just one battle?

The victory at Pelennor was cheap, too cheap, and also as it now stands, Men haven’t managed to win a single battle alone. First it was Elves, then ghosts. This is not what Tolkien intended to say. People and their sacrifices matter, but here it just seems that if the Rohirrim never came, nothing much would have changed.

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Aragorn holds their oath fufilled because...reasons? Why didn't they just go and get the ghosts first thing...


Agree with more or less everything else in that article.

It just seems that ‘randomly changing their mind on crucial things’ is a theme in this film trilogy.

No comment...


Last edited by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 9:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 9:29 pm

One of the problems with giving Arwen a more increased role was that most of her and Aragorn's backstory and presumeably drama had already happened 'off screen' before the films had started, if you are going to use Arwen as the damsel in distress/tragic princess or whatever in the films, it does make sense from a screenwriting point of view to play up the drama and make Aragorn 'earn' the right to be with her.

Not saying I agree with that though...

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 28, 2016 9:40 pm

One of the problems with giving Arwen a more increased role was that most of her and Aragorn's backstory and presumeably drama had already happened 'off screen' before the films had started- Malick

{{Use flashbacks- Tolkien does there is one at Cerin Amroth when they first enter Lothlorien and Frodo sees Aragorn younger, dressed all white, on the day he and Arwen pledged their troth to one another and pledged to fight the Darkness- you could use that- the appendices has whats said, Tolkien shows you where to use it.
Why dump the criteria Elrond sets on Aragorn that he must be worthy of his daughter, and that unless he proves himself by becoming king of north and south he can never marry her? That gives motivation without Elrond seeming like a dick or sending the mixed message he both raised and protected the line of Kings and thinks they are all dicks and failures and everything is their fault at the same time.
The material is there to be used. PJ an the Coven just dont use it, preferring to make their own stuff up instead.}}}

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 9:43 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:One of the problems with giving Arwen a more increased role was that most of her and Aragorn's backstory and presumeably drama had already happened 'off screen' before the films had started- Malick

{{Use flashbacks- Tolkien does there is one at Cerin Amroth when they first enter Lothlorien and Frodo sees Aragorn younger, dressed all white, on the day he and Arwen pledged their troth to one another and pledged to fight the Darkness- you could use that- the appendices has whats said, Tolkien shows you where to use it.
Why dump the criteria Elrond sets on Aragorn that he must be worthy of his daughter, and that unless he proves himself by becoming king of north and south he can never marry her? That gives motivation without Elrond seeming like a dick or sending the mixed message he both raised and protected the line of Kings and thinks they are all dicks and failures and everything is their fault at the same time.
The material is there to be used. PJ an the Coven just dont use it, preferring to make their own stuff up instead.}}}

Like a said I wasn't defending the changes, merely pointing out that Crapson and co had reasons for reworking character motivations as they were deliberately aiming for a more archetypal fantasy blockbuster, It worked for me as a 10 year old novice viewer Shrugging

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 28, 2016 9:55 pm

malickfan wrote:'especially as set out in later book'...I suppose you could make the (weak) argument that some of PJ's changes/additions were inspired by the appendices/QOE stuff, but I wouldn't agree that most of them felt like Tolkien esque material (the hamfisted dragon sickness, Azog, Necromancer stuff was also closer to fan fiction than Tolkien i.m.o)...

I imagine that's the argument she's making but yeah, it's a really poor one, as I thnk  we've discussed before.

I'm not sure how I feel about the opening lines to FOTR, on the hand I think it's a very quotable, memorable opening, but I was never entirely sure from where/which perspective Galadriel was looking back on things, 'none now live'...other than her? (and in the film universe presumably some of the random background extras and Cirdan) is she looking back at events from Valinor? Lothlorien? Is she adressing the audience directly? Why Galadriel, she's not really a major player in the film trilogy, and everything she says becomes very obvious very quickly later in the film.

They gave those openings lines to a bunch of different actors until they found a character whom they thought the V.O. worked for. The "none now live" part probably made a lot more sense when Frodo or Bilbo were narrating it.

Movie Elrond defintely had some self hate issues I think, it's a little hard to believe this is the same guy who helped bring up Aragorn and train him as a ranger in a place of learning and history and was distantly related to him with a stake in his kinghood, yet kinda treats him like a failure (and does nothing to persuade him to seek the throne of Gondor, until the very last minute, luckily turning up alone, much later, at precisely the most convenient moment...)



And correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the Elves either have to march over the mountains, through Moria, or through the Gap of Rohan, all of which were known to be dangerous, or being watched by Saruman?

No, they had a pretty direct path except for crossing the Limlight,* but they would have had to leave Lórien at the same time as the Fellowship (maybe even earlier ... I know someone did the math once) to plausibly arrive at Helm's Deep in time.

*They could cross the River Entwash at >Entwade< but I can't recall off the top of my head if the Limlight had any fords. EDIT: okay I checked and Appendix A has the army of Gondor being "driven across the Limlight" during the war with the Balcoth so clearly there's a crossing somewhere and it's probably not a bridge in such a remote area.



Aragorn holds their oath fufilled because...reasons? Why didn't they just go and get the ghosts first thing...

It makes sense for Aragorn to let the Dead go after Pelargir in the books but given their an invincible super-army in the movies yeah it begs a lot of questions.
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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 10:02 pm

Eldorion wrote:


They gave those openings lines to a bunch of different actors until they found a character whom they thought the V.O. worked for. The "none now live"
part probably made a lot more sense when Frodo or Bilbo were narrating it.

That makes much more sense...



Did you have that just lying around waiting for just such a conversation?



No, they had a pretty direct path except for crossing the Limlight,* but they would have had to leave Lórien at the same time as the Fellowship (maybe even earlier ... I know someone did the math once) to plausibly arrive at Helm's Deep in time.

*They could cross the River Entwash at Entwade but I can't recall off the top of my head if the Limlight had any fords. http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Entwade


:facepalm: It really has been a while since I read the books..., even so presumeably they'd make a pretty big target practically running across Rohan to catch up to Helm's Deep...

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 28, 2016 10:06 pm

malickfan wrote:Did you have that just lying around waiting for just such a conversation?

I used to pull it out regularly in movie discussions when people tried to defend movie!Elrond. Not that anyone was doing that in here but I still find it fitting and relevant. Very Happy

:facepalm: It really has been a while since I read the books..., even so presumeably they'd make a pretty big target practically running across Rohan to catch up to Helm's Deep...

The logistics of it are pretty silly. I'd imagine the men of the Wold being pretty freaked out by the Elves and interpreting it as an invasion. Though given how fast they'd have to be running who knows if they'd even be discernible as Elves. Laughing I guess it's a good thing they didn't run into Eomer's "2000 men" who were riding north.



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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Radaghast on Sat May 28, 2016 11:05 pm

Eldorion wrote:Started writing that post before Forest added the second bit of his post.

I think this is a better discussion of the problems with Arwen's depiction in the films (written by someone I used to know on another forum): http://hubpages.com/literature/arwen-undomiel

I understand the complaint about Eowyn's motivations being made more romantic and her response to Aragorn being changed, but this piece sort of rushes through it and doesn't do a great job of explaining things. This article (I don't know the author of this one) is much better IMO: http://www.themarysue.com/the-story-of-eowyn/

Also the stew scene was highly problematic: http://www.hobbitmovieforum.com/t1105-i-think-petty-has-a-rival-in-the-over-thinking-every-change-from-the-book-department-a-interesting-take-on-the-stew-scene-from-two-towers-ee Laughing
to the Mary Sue article.

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Radaghast on Sat May 28, 2016 11:23 pm

One thing that bothers me about these movies, that is often not mentioned in critiques, is the slow exodus of the Elves in TTT, which all seems to be an excuse for Arwen to have her revelation and go running back to Aragorn Rolling Eyes

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Eldorion on Sun May 29, 2016 5:41 am

Do you mean how much time it takes from Arwen making her decision before she actually leaves Rivendell in ROTK? IIRC she's traveling across Eriador when we first see her in ROTK but I don't remember how late in TTT her decision to leave was. I wanna say it was right before Elrond and Galadriel's telepathic conversation? But the timeline of the movie is hard to figure out in any real detail.
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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Radaghast on Sun May 29, 2016 12:57 pm

Just that the Elves are leaving too early, i.e. before the Ring has been destroyed. Aren't they? Like they're all just abandoning Rivendell except for Elrond. Or am I missing something?

Yes, I believe she is part of the exodus before Elrond and Galadriel's teleconference.

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun May 29, 2016 4:03 pm

I have to say I prefer the treatment of Arwen in the films. At least she has more than one sentence of dialogue. Apart from making googly eyes at Frodo in Rivendell, and us being told she is pretty nice to look at, that's pretty much it. She is relegated to the background until the very end.

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Eldorion on Sun May 29, 2016 4:11 pm

Radaghast wrote:Just that the Elves are leaving too early, i.e. before the Ring has been destroyed. Aren't they? Like they're all just abandoning Rivendell except for Elrond. Or am I missing something?

Yes, I believe she is part of the exodus before Elrond and Galadriel's teleconference.

Ah, I get what you mean. I guess I never really thought about it too much. There seems to be a new wave of Elvish departures every time Sauron starts to get more active again. Though I didn't interpret the group Arwen left with as being everyone from Rivendell; there were at least some smiths left to reforge Narsil once she returned (since it was remade so late in the movieverse).

Mrs Figg wrote:I have to say I prefer the treatment of Arwen in the films. At least she has more than one sentence of dialogue. Apart from making googly eyes at Frodo in Rivendell, and us being told she is pretty nice to look at, that's pretty much it. She is relegated to the background until the very end.

I definitely get what you mean here, Mrs Figg. I kinda like that they made Arwen more visible and gave her more lines of dialogue. I wish that her characterization had been more consistent though. It feels like once they decided to back away from the warrior princess idea (seemingly due to fan backlash) they weren't really sure what to do with her.
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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun May 29, 2016 4:58 pm

I have to say I disagree with you about Arwen, she seems pretty consistent to me. She has a bit of a wobble after getting 'the talk' with her dad, but she soon realises where her loyalties lie. I really don't get the inconsistent thing at all. They did back away from the Arwen kick ass princess thing and I am sure they were going with the Romance angle all the way.

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Re: 'ONE ADAPTATION TO RUIN THEM ALL'

Post by Ringdrotten on Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:04 pm

Desolation of Smaug is on - my gawd, it's still horrible.

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