The Scouring of the Shire: Should it have been in the Film?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:30 pm

Well that is a bugger. I don't do reasonable that well- are you sure belligerent or bloody-minded wouldn't work better? I'm better on those.

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Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:12 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I think Kafria its safe to say you are not a liberal! (Your posts don't set off alarms on my crabbit meter) Besides Odo and I can can spot them a mile off, even clever ones like young Eldo! Wink

I'll have you know that I was debating GB and popularizing the word purist into the forum lexicon long before you joined up, laddie! Humph. Talk about crabbit. Mad
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Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:16 am

Gandalf's Beard wrote:I'm hard pressed to find any lack of "emotional Impact" Petty. The ending in Jackson's version has emotional impact enough. It shows that Frodo has changed even if the Shire hadn't.

I'm torn here. On the one hand, I do think that Jackson's ending had emotional impact in its own way, but I think that compared to the book's ending it was a little lackluster. Sure, the Scouring takes place after the main climaxes in the south, but LOTR is a long, slow-building story and wrapping everything up right after the climax misses part of the point and the emotional depth. I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing to keep telling story after the main climax, so long as it can still maintain interest (though that's a subjective measure). Very Happy
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Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:17 am

Also, does anyone have a camera? We have to preserve this historic moment in our history. Very Happy

And Kafria, don't worry about being heated up, you're great with purist debates. Cool
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Post by odo banks on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:29 am

This all gets back to my longheld view that Tolkien was an extremely "visual" writer. He is filmable at so many points that a true adaptation was more than possible, without losing box office appeal. Think of soap operas. They go on and on (like some roads by all accounts), and the audience is forever fascinated by what happens and keen to know what happens next. Bilbo sailing is the last episode of a long lasting soap opera. I hope people understand my use of "soap opera" in this case.

Saruman in Hobbiton would have ben brilliant. Good ol' Sharkey. Imagine the audience wondering about who Sharkey is? Imagine Wormtongue killing Saruman! Not grand melodrama, just reality - shocking reality. Imagine the fierce skirmish of hobbits against Men. Small scale, but full of doubt and violence; poor hobbits slain, only a few, but how sad. Wonderful visuals! Can any of you see what I see? Even seeing Saruman and Wormtongue on the way home. Pathetic Saruman. An even more pathetic Wormtongue. The hint of more nastiness to come? Or the idea that Saruman is already totally defeated - like hell!

Films can be made again. One day... yes, one day. I dare to dream.
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Post by Saradoc on Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:54 pm

Hope you don't mind me going off at a slight tangent here, but I think PJ did have valid reasons for leaving the Scouring out. Firstly, is the widely varing demographic of cinema-goers. It's all right for fanmade films- we know only LOTR fans are going to watch it. But I'd say there would be a fair amount of people who would see ROTK without seeing the other two. Like people see Harry Potter films without seeing most of them. They wouldn't know what the Shire was, and for them it would certainly be very anti-dramatic because they don't know Tolkien, haven't read the books.

Apolgies if this view has already been made before on the thread, but its just how I see it.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:59 pm

I don't think you could watch RotK in isolation. It wouldn't make any sense really. More so than most trilogies. You could watch Return of the Jedi and miss a lot but still keep up with what's going on, not sure that's true of RotK. Never really thought it about to be honest as I don't even tend to think of it as a trilogy of books, its one book published as a trilogy for reasons of cost originally. So having a bit of a book seems impossible to me, I don't think you can plan a film around people who haven't bothered watching the start.

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Post by Eldorion on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:08 pm

I think PJ actually went out of his way to make the films an integrated whole. The studio wanted him to have a 'recap' prologue for TTT, but he refused, tossing the viewers right into the mix. I agree with Petty; I don't think that PJ's ROTK stands on its own, nor should it. Smile Harry Potter is a series of connected films, but LOTR is more like a single 10 hour film (12 with the EEs). Cool
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Post by Ally on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:17 pm

Of course ROTK shouldn't be viewed as a stand alone piece, it has no beginning, only an end, and character and the plot has been developing over 2 movies. But the point saradoc is trying to make is, that people did watch them without watching them on their own. And some people, probably not the biggest LOTR fans, even if they saw the first two movies, probably didn't remember much of them.

It doesn't stand well on it's own as a film, but in order for the whole cinema to engage with it, it needed to be at least enjoyable- even if you hadn't seen the first two films. Imagine if PJ had made a film that all you purists were lauding over. Do you think the average person who goes to the cinema would have enjoyed it as much? Probably not. So PJ was doing his job to create a movie, that not only finished off a remarkable cinematic experience, but also entertained millions who went to see it. Judging by the massive acclaim it had, I think he did a good job! Very Happy
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Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:21 pm

Hear, hear! Smile

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Post by Eldorion on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:24 pm

Ally wrote:Imagine if PJ had made a film that all you purists were lauding over. Do you think the average person who goes to the cinema would have enjoyed it as much? Probably not.

Tolkien's story was able to appeal to enough average people to sell 100 million copies and be regularly voted book of the century before the films came out, so I don't understand why people assume a faithful adaptation would have flopped. Can anyone help me on that point? Neutral
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Post by Ally on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:44 pm

Ah- I said average. Of course the book was popular, massively popular, because it is a great piece of literature. But not everyone who goes to the cinema is a big reader, and to be honest I think if I saw a very truthful to the book version of LOTR instead of PJ's I wouldn't have liked it as much. And that's coming from someone who reads. Plus that's 100 million copies, but in a relatively long time period. To be a commercial and cultural success (which it has I think- made loads, and inspired many to LOTR, including me) it had to adapt to the large number of people that hadn't read the books. If they had included half the stuff that was left out or changed, I think the average cinema goer, at best, would only have a vague understanding of what was going on, because either they were new to LOTR, or they were too young. What's the point of making the film that only dieheart LOTR would go and see- none- it needed to appeal to the masses!
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Post by Ally on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:45 pm

Ally wrote:Ah- I said average. Of course the book was popular, massively popular, because it is a great piece of literature. But not everyone who goes to the cinema is a big reader, and to be honest I think if I saw a very truthful adoption to the book version of LOTR instead of PJ's I wouldn't have liked it as much. And that's coming from someone who reads. Plus that's 100 million copies, but in a relatively long time period. To be a commercial and cultural success (which it has I think- made loads of money, and inspired many to LOTR, including me) it had to adapt to the large number of people that hadn't read the books. If they had included half the stuff that was left out or changed, I think the average cinema goer, at best, would only have a vague understanding of what was going on, because either they were new to LOTR, or they were too young. What's the point of making the film that only dieheart LOTR would go and see- none- it needed to appeal to the masses!
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:57 pm

"If they had included half the stuff that was left out or changed, I think the average cinema goer, at best, would only have a vague understanding of what was going on"- Ally

As a purist I've never argued it should all be in. Just that what you do put in you take from the book as much as possible (there was no need to alter most of the dialogue) and don't change the basic themes (no Scouring does this, as does Frodo shoving Gollum in) and don't make huge chunks of your own stuff up for absolutely no reason when the original version is perfectly filmable (most of TT and RotK).

The radio plays stick way closer to the books and I've never met anyone who found them difficult to follow or confusing. PJ never even tried.

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Post by Eldorion on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:18 pm

100 million copies is a lot even spread out over 50 years. Wink I understand your concern, but I don't think that a more faithful adaptation would have necessarily been harder to understand. They could have actually taken the opportunity to explain a lot about the world that PJ didn't, giving context for things like the alliance of Rohan and Gondor. Just to elaborate on that example, PJ has Theoden quite angry with Gondor for much of TTT and the beginning of ROTK, only to have him change his mind for no discernible reason other than that Aragorn said he should. In the book, they have a centuries-long history together and we even see a messenger come from Gondor. Including someone minor like that messenger might not have been time-economical, but the idea that they have an alliance could have been communicated easily through dialogue, I think. Smile
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Post by Kafria on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:36 pm

I think the biggest issue comes with the way people think of the books and the films.As already stated this is not really a trilogy in the true sense, but a story cut in three for publishing or time issues. I believe that the films have to be looked at this way and to be fair I think a number of later parts in film series would not really stand up in their own right without watching the other parts of the series. The three parts of the film feel right due to the three books, but truer to the story would have been a series, (possibly six) to allow for the proper development. (by the by, no one complains if they start watching a series part way through and get a bit lost, why should LOTR be any different?)

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:38 pm

Is there a messenger in the book? You thinking of the red arrow Eldo? They find the body of the messenger with the arrow on him somewhere about the Woses section if so. But you are right, even having that in just as an opportunity for Theoden to explain what it is and for the viewer to get the sense theres a shared past and treaties between the two.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:42 pm

cross-posting Kafria!

You are right. Part of the problem is that as a trilogy the books are not close to being even in length. TT is the most complicated in terms of people popping up and the sheer amount of physical ground it covers, fellowship is much longer, especially at the beginning where it takes a long time to set everything up, and RotK is quite short and compact. If you try to slice them into 3 roughly equal parts it doesn't really work- one of the reasons I've always thought its much better suited to being adapted as a tv series and not as film.

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Post by Eldorion on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:48 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Is there a messenger in the book? You thinking of the red arrow Eldo? They find the body of the messenger with the arrow on him somewhere about the Woses section if so.

Yes, Hirgon, the bearer of the Red Arrow. He has an audience with Theoden in the third chapter of Book V as well, then they find his corpse later on. A dark but rather effective touch, I think, to give a name and an identity to some of the casualties that our heroes come across.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:52 pm

Good Lore work Eldo. I'd forgotten he actually makes it through and dies on the way back- meaning Denethor has not received word any reinforments are coming, adding to his worries and growing despair (not that matters in PJ's version as Denethors a raving loon from the off in it with no attempts made to defend his city, quite the opposite in fact- another thing I hate, PJ gives the impression there is no one in all of Gondor who would object to their leader acting in such a manner, it makes no sense).

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Post by Kafria on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:36 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:(not that matters in PJ's version as Denethors a raving loon from the off in it with no attempts made to defend his city, quite the opposite in fact

I know he is poorly potrayed in the films and you do end up wondering how he ever ended up as Steward, but I have to say one of the most emotional impactful scenes for me is the one were Faramir is riding out, Denethor is eating (tomato juice squirting down his chin) and Pippin is singing. gets me everytime. Sad

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Post by Eldorion on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:50 pm

I agree. Sad Part of me has always mourned for the lost character of Denethor, but that is a masterful scene. Sure, it's nothing like the book, but it's still well-made and moving for me.
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Post by Ringdrotten on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:55 pm

Liberals and Purists unite! One of the better scenes in RotK, and we all agree Very Happy (perhaps with the exception of Petty Laughing )

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Post by Kafria on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:57 pm

Ringdrotten wrote:Liberals and Purists unite! One of the better scenes in RotK, and we all agree Very Happy (perhaps with the exception of Petty Laughing )

well I am new to this purist thing so I'm bound to slip every now and then Wink

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Post by Ally on Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:04 pm

It is a very moving scene. But this scene always got me even more:

While it may not be accurate in terms of dialogue from the book, I'm pretty sure that Tolkien would have agreed with the sentiment. For me this is one of the most tear-jerking scenes of the whole movie!
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