Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:36 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Which strain is Sam?

As I mentioned two posts ago, the Fallohidish trait of light skin was particularly associated with the aristocratic families of the Shire. Sam came from what we could anachronistically call the working class.

"Dark" and "fair", without disambiguation, can refer to both skin and hair color. In the case of Hobbits, Tolkien's statements on skin color are unambiguous. He explicitly states that some Hobbits have brown skin. He explicitly states that Sam has brown skin. Sam is not in the social class/set of interrelated families that are noted as having lighter skin. Approaching the text on its own terms, without bringing our own preconceived notions derived from our cultural context or from famous pieces of Tolkien-inspired art, it's really pretty open and shut.
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by bungobaggins on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:37 am

I don't think they're actually follow through with this. I'll bet 100 dollars it doesn't make it to a finished product.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:40 am

{{ Eldo- I dont dispute that hobbits came in different strains and skin tones- only that one use of the word brown to describe the hands of someone we know has spent most of their working life and childhood outdoors where skin can be browned by the elements is not definitive proof one way or the other of what colour Sam as an individual was, or that Tolkien was seeking in that description to make a definitive comment on it- I think it can be read with either meaning as it stands }}

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by TranshumanAngel on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:53 am

To introduce a new question: Tom Bombadil!! Should he be included in this TV adaptation (if it is in fact an adaptation of the text and not some made up fluff)? Thoughts?

I'd love to see him myself, minus a few "derry-dols" perhaps. Razz Razz
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:54 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Eldo- I dont dispute that hobbits came in different strains and skin tones- only that one use of the word brown to describe the hands of someone we know has spent most of their working life and childhood outdoors where skin can be browned by the elements is not definitive proof one way or the other of what colour Sam as an individual was, or that Tolkien was seeking in that description to make a definitive comment on it- I think it can be read with either meaning as it stands }}

If you can point to a quote where Tolkien describes Aragorn or anyone else as having "brown" skin because it was weatherbeaten, I will concede that the line is ambiguous. Because otherwise the only examples of Tolkien describing someone with brown skin that I can recall are all talking about their natural skin color (including the description of Hobbits in the Prologue, which is consistent with the TTT passage and is the most obviously relevant parallel).
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:03 am

Is it a musical? Shocked

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:09 am

"Tall dark and handsome" always refers to hair color. I think it's used this way in the description of rangers.

As to Bombadil, it would be interesting to see an attempt. Every other production, even animation, has backed out of portraying Tom. I probably would too: just too easy to slip into silliness. I can't imagine any character with greater odds of a cringeworthy performance. Of course, we now have the unexpected bar set by Radagast.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:25 am

If you can point to a quote where Tolkien describes Aragorn or anyone else as having "brown" skin because it was weatherbeaten, I will concede that the line is ambiguous.- Eldo

{{{I dont believe it requires such a qualifier to be read that way- brown is such a common descriptive term to describe weathered white skin, particularly in literature of Tolkien's period and before.
More I dont think it takes into consideration what Tolkien writes about the Shire and hobbits in general- especially those of Frodo's time.
Tolkien is both fondly nostalgic for his childhood life in a real English Shire and crushingly critical of its narrow parochial mindset and a mistrust and disdain for anything different or unusual.
But Tolkien does show us that, just as in the real England, class division is a thing among hobbits. If there were markedly different skinned hobbits it would most certainly form some sort of division- as it did in Tolkiens real world which he is reflecting in his Shire of the hobbits. Yet there is no sign of it in Tolkiens Shire, mainly because he is basing it on his memories of an idyllic England and that features few if any non-white faces or racial division in its society. And so Tolkiens Shire does not reflect it either, even though it does reflect the class divides because they did exist in his world.
Also by Frodo's time hobbits are basically isolationists and have been for a considerable number of generations. They are a contained group and interbreeding between strains of hobbit would surely have diminished the overall differences to where they would occasionally show up in a few individual examples starkly and in some family lines but in general not.
Given the nature of hobbit society, given its basis on Tolkiens white England, given its northern location and that hobbits have been in the north for generations lost to history, I dont think Tolkien envisioned Sam as being of a different skin colour than the other three hobbits but only thought to mention it in one use of the word brown to describe one of his hands some considerable way into the tale out of the entire book, it just doesn't seem that likely to me that was what Tolkien was going for. Especially as we know for certain that Sam was based on the batmen, enlisted working class British soldiers he served with in the war, the vast majority of which were white so when he was thinking of Sam's character he was thinking of white working class Englishmen.

edit add- I also dont see the description of the differnt hobbit breeds and skin colours as Tolkien gives them as meaning they were not all white. Picts were described as darker than Celts and Norse who superseded them and bred them out- now most Scots are pale like the Celtic and Norse but you get occasional pictish throwbacks of more swarthy, darker tones and short of leg- but we are all still classed as white, different shades of white but still white. So Tolkien indicating one group of hobbits was browner in comparison to another does not immediately suggest to me that they were different skin colours in the race sense, just darker like picts were darker than celts. }}}


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by TranshumanAngel on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:45 am

halfwise wrote: As to Bombadil, it would be interesting to see an attempt.  Every other production, even animation, has backed out of portraying Tom.  I probably would too: just too easy to slip into silliness.  I can't imagine any character with greater odds of a cringeworthy performance.  Of course, we now have the unexpected bar set by Radagast.

I've always thought this fairly bizarre. Jackson and co. were happy to diss Tom but then they amped up Radagast and made him a ridiculous comic relief figure - really seems to put a lie to the notion that Tom is impossibly silly to include. Evidently that isn't the case.

If executed well, it could really bring the 'Faery' element of Middle-earth out successfully, especially if, as in the books, the show had him sandwiched between the Old Forest and the Barrow-downs: real "Faery" places.
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:48 am

Bluebottle wrote:Is it a musical? Shocked

Ah, not variety, in Variety, I was thinking "Knights of the round table"-ish and all that jazz. Surprised

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:50 am

{{I think the context to Bombadil is crucial- there should be a creeping build of tension throughout the Old Forest as they get lost and misdirected by the trees, then a surreal dream quality to the encounter with Old Man Willow  that leads into the encounter with Tom- he should almost appear like part of Old Man Willows dreamlike sleepy enchantment on first appearance to ease him into the scene as it were given he arrives singing.
And following up his section with the Barrowdowns brings the tone back perfectly to the perils ahead and of the road (as well as being crucial to Frodo's character development and later plot points regards swords) }}

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:57 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Mrs Figg wrote:I think that is disingenuous, the story we are telling in LOTR does not specifically mention dark skinned people, apart from periphery characters like fallen Haradrim warrior in Ithilien or mentions of Southrons etc

Here's the description of the Haradrim soldier you mentioned (my emphasis):

TTT, IV 4 wrote:Then suddenly straight over the rim of their sheltering bank, a man fell, crashing through the slender trees, nearly on top of them. He came to rest in the fern a few feet away, face downward, green arrow-feathers sticking from his neck below a golden collar. His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent and hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood. His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword.

And here's a description of Samwise Gamgee four chapters later (my emphasis again):

TTT, IV 8 wrote:Sam sat propped against the stone, his head dropping side- ways and his breathing heavy. In his lap lay Frodo’s head, drowned deep in sleep; upon his white forehead lay one of Sam’s brown hands, and the other lay softly upon his master’s breast. Peace was in both their faces.

To be clear, this quote does not indicate that Sam's hands were tanned or dirty. The Prologue to The Lord of the Rings explicitly states that there was variation in skin color among Hobbits and that some were "browner of skin". These differences were more pronounced in the earlier eras of Hobbit history from before the Shire was settled, but that some differences could still be observed in the late Third Age. There was some relationship between skin color and class ("the strong Fallohidish strain [ie, lighter skin] could still be noted among the greater families, such as the Tooks and the Masters of Buckland"), but Tolkien was vague on the specifics, and there was plenty of of intermarriage between Hobbits of different groups. So for background extras or most Hobbits who never receive a personal physical description in the book, you could cast actors of color and it would be consistent with the text. It is in fact the uniformly white depictions of Hobbits which deviate from the text.

 You could only have a Black person playing a Hobbit if it could be established there is Africa in Middle Earth. An Africa with the distinctive African facial features, and as Middle Earth is not supposed to be 'our' Earth, but a fantasy 'Earth' then it follows that it would be a false construct. While there is a 'South' and hotter/desert countries in Middle Earth there is nothing to suggest those peoples would look anything like Southern people from our Earth. They may look brown but not necessarily Sub Saharan/African. Also I think Sam was tanned from being a gardener.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:04 pm

I saw the Haradrim as being sort of North African. Tolkien wouldn't have mentioned 'red tongues' unless the skin color made it jump out at you.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:12 pm

this new tv show may end up being grotesque but at least it will fire up the old forum with debates and that's a positive. Very Happy

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:16 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:this new tv show may end up being grotesque but at least it will fire up the old forum with debates and that's a positive. Very Happy

Nod

Petty would have a new shade of grass to moan about at long last Laughing

I'm guessing if this Tv series does happen, no matter how well or terrible it turns out it's certain at least to provoke more Tolkien discussion here than the touring production of Leaf By Niggle did...

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by malickfan on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:23 pm

Another positive point hopefully this kills for good any lingering remote chance of a Tauriel spinoff Very Happy cheers pub

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Amarië on Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:04 pm

malickfan wrote:Another positive point hopefully this kills for good any lingering remote chance of a Tauriel spinoff Very Happy cheers pub

Should be easy enough to get started, there's nothing even remotely Tolkien-related or recognizable about her and she's mostly CGI, so the actor isn't needed either.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:32 pm

Bluebottle wrote:
Bluebottle wrote:Is it a musical? Shocked

Ah, not variety, in Variety, I was thinking "Knights of the round table"-ish and all that jazz. Surprised

I kind of want to see a musical version of LotRs now... written by Terry Pratchett... silent

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm

I am already thinking about my fave casting choices.. Embarassed  my number one choice for Tom is Jim Broadbent. He has 'the blue eye' and the faerie thing.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:56 pm

Too old.  

And maybe it was purely in my imagination and not from the book, but I always thought of Tom B as being somewhat stocky, along the lines of Jon Rhys-Davis.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:01 am

How 'bout Tom Baker? Surprised

Admittedly also more 20 years ago, but still Nod

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Forest Shepherd on Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:25 am

Goodness gracious, he's 83!

As for my opinion concerning Old Tom, I think that the thing I would like the least would be a half-assed toned-down version of the character. I think if one is to show Bombadil, one should dive right in: include all the fol-de-rols and capers, and rely as Petty says on the fantastical context to ease the viewer into the whole thing. But if Tom is turned into some kind of muted, drab character who only emits a single line of lyrics and spends the rest of his time on screen battling willow trees by kicking them and smashing wights by rolling rocks down on-to them, I will throw something heavy at the TV.

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:12 pm

I think a Tom Baker at no more than 60 years old would be just the ticket!

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:09 pm

Mad

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Re: Amazon, Warner Bros in Talks for LOTR Series Adaptation: Variety

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:05 pm

Tom's got what it takes in my opinion:

Well, 40 years ago, certainly Razz

He apparently auditioned for the original triology, but when they told him it would mean staying half a year in New Zealand he basically told them: "Bugger off, no one has time for that at my age!" Laughing

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