Could Tolkien Have Fixed The Hobbit Films?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:39 pm

Then its the shot of Conan on the throne from the epilogue photoshopped onto a different throne- Conan with crown and beard is from the film though. I havent seen it in some time and I dont watch Game of Thrones so hardly surprising I didn't notice it was a different throne- looks very 70's D and D to my eyes mind you.

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Post by Eldorion on Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:50 pm

You really need to watch Game of Thrones, Petty.  I've been dying to know what you'd think of it. Razz But yeah, the throne is what I was referring to.

{{{The lighting on Conan is also totally different from the rest of the image.}}}
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Post by davidjoneshoward on Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:05 pm

I don't think it would've stopped PJ from making further changes. The White Council stuff, the endless LOTR callbacks, and the changes to motivation (including the resurrection of Azog and the Necromancer being the prime mover behind the Battle of Five Armies) would likely not have appeared even in a completed rewrite. - Eldo

Your absolutely right about this, though I'm still convinced it would have given PJ a better idea of the film he wanted to make, rather than it feeling like a lame attempt to rehash LOTR.
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Post by Bluebottle on Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:45 pm

Eldorion wrote:You really need to watch Game of Thrones, Petty.  I've been dying to know what you'd think of it. Razz

Are we prepared to take that chance? What if he.. like.. likes it? Shocked

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Post by halfwise on Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:54 pm

He's already crabbitted about it without having read or seen any of it. May be inoculated already. But the cinematography may win him over.

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Post by Bluebottle on Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:03 pm

True. Razz Still, I'm not sure I'd wish season 5 on anyone. So, I'm still a maybe.

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Post by davidjoneshoward on Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:07 pm

No spoilers! Still reading the books Rolling Eyes
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Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:15 pm

season 1-4 are fabulous though, so its not all doom and gloom. Very Happy

I am still waiting for decent versions of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising. they would be fantastic kids fantasy films. idem The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan garner and of course, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

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Post by Orwell on Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:11 pm

I'd love to see Weirdstone made into a film. There would be no need to change much for film either, as it's a short action packed book. An old favorite of mine. Must buy it and read it again. It's been years - about thirty or thirty five, I think, since I read it, but I remember loving it. I really liked the first book of the Dark is Rising (Over Sea, Under Stone) and have read it twice (long ago), but found it hard to get through the others. The Dark is Rising Movie left me underwhelmed and I didn't watch it all.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:06 pm

cheers Wave  Hi Orwell.
yep the film of The Dark is Rising was rubbish, Susan Cooper was said to be really disappointed with the changes they made. (which they did for no good reason and ruined it). it bombed because it totally lacks the magic of the books it was made in Eastern Europe so you get English red post boxes just plonked in the middle of a Budapestian villages Rolling Eyes I have never seen Ian mcShane so wooden.

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Post by Elthir on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:14 pm

From the link to Minas Tirith, where someone asked why Gandalf just didn't clean the blades, and another someone said:

Here, he had a problem. Why in the world couldn't one of the Istari read a simple set of runes? Answer: Well, the runes were obscured. New problem: They why didn't he just clean them? Answer: Because the original story had Elrond read them as a prelude to the moon-letters.

Tolkien was trying to keep the "core" elements of The Hobbit but still make it match the information from LOTR. If he fixed one problem, he made another.

I dunno... to me this doesn't seem like a new problem. I would rather ask why Gandalf would feel the need to clean the blades at this moment. It's not like reading the runes was going to solve any problems at hand. The very next line after Gandalf says: when we can read the runes we shall know more abot them, is Fili wanting to get out of the horrible smell, and next the company carries out pots of coins, and food that looked fit to eat, and a barrel of ale. The food and drink was important at the moment, the coin going to be useful later on...

... it might be argued that, given that there was still danger ahead and the blades might see use, the Dwarves or Gandalf might want them cleaned. I'm not saying you can't swing a sword with crusted goblin blood on it, but I can see that if one were expecting to use the blades, one might want to clean the things at some point, no matter what the runes say.

On the other hand, these items were not part of the original baggage. Thorin seems to think that if the Dwarves go East, quiet and careful, as far as the Long Lake: "After that the trouble would begin..." but Gandalf adds: "A long time before that, if I know anything about the roads East."

Still, I'm not sure weapons (besides small knives) were all that much of a concern to the Dwarves here. Thorin uses a burning branch in his fight with the Trolls for example, and much later, after Beorn lent the company bows:

"Even if the dwarves had not been in such a state that they were actually glad to be captured, their small knives, the only weapons they had, would have been of no use against the arrows of the elves that could hit a bird's eye in the dark."

Barrels Out Of Bond

So, you know... there's that.

Anyway I don't see a need to clean the blades right away, and so do not find Tolkien's new idea problematic.
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Post by Bluebottle on Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:29 pm

davidjoneshoward wrote:No spoilers! Still reading the books Rolling Eyes

Good man. Nod Don't worry, we won't spoil the for you. How far in are you?

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Post by malickfan on Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:05 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:he gave up 3 chapters in after the advise from a good friend to stop- Daviejones

I think the advice he got was crucial however- it no longer felt like TH.
This is exactly the problem encountered by PJ when trying to alter the tone to LotR's- its not that you cant do it, its that you cant do it without killing at heart the very things which make TH the Hobbit.

I've said it before, but the 1960 Hobbit just feels wrong to me, The Hobbit was conceived as a largely stand alone fairytale written for Tolkien's children, and I think more people should approach the book from that angle, rather than compare it to it's much longer sequel written for a different audience, the 1960 version mostly changes small details, yet still kinda kills the magic for me a bit, I'm glad it was never finished.

One of the reasons I enjoy TH is because it dosen't entirely fit in with the tone or scope of the other stories, I don't blame Jackson for trying to mesh the two tones, but subtlety has never been one of his strong points  Razz  and when he decided the expand/rewrite/make up so much of the sketchy material found in the appendices  Rolling Eyes , it stopped being the Hobbit, and became a overblown LOTR prequel caught up in its own hubris.


The difference between Tolkien and PJ, in this and so many other matters, is Tolkien knew when to stop.

True in one way, false in another, Tolkien was notoriously indecisive, yet meticulous writing these stories, I think if Tolkien wasn't so pressed with health and time issues (or being such a 'niggler) in 1960 he may well have pushed on and finished a substantial part of the rewrite.

The three chapters from the 1960 version are certainly interesting, but its isn't The Hobbit...


Random thought, I wonder if Tolkien would have worked in some of the hints about Thorin from the Quest Of Erebor had he preceeded much further with the 1960 version?

The Oringinal Hobbit is very much Bilbo's story, but the Quest For Erebor sketches out a more detailed background to Thorin's quest, feelings and demeanour, I wonder if Tolkien would have followed Jackson's angle to an extent and reworked some of the scenes from Thorin's point of view... scratch study

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Post by davidjoneshoward on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:34 pm

Bluebottle wrote:
davidjoneshoward wrote:No spoilers! Still reading the books Rolling Eyes

Good man. Nod Don't worry, we won't spoil the for you. How far in are you?

On chapter 39, i.e. Eddard 10. My mind goes fuzzy when remember what happened though, as I had to stop about two months ago so I could read for high school Mad .

So far, haven't even completed my essay and school starts in a week so probably will be up until 3 am every night Sleep

Boy this summers gone fast!
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Post by davidjoneshoward on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:37 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:he gave up 3 chapters in after the advise from a good friend to stop- Daviejones

I think the advice he got was crucial however- it no longer felt like TH.
This is exactly the problem encountered by PJ when trying to alter the tone to LotR's- its not that you cant do it, its that you cant do it without killing at heart the very things which make TH the Hobbit.
And its important to remember Tolkien agreed and never looked on the decision. He was in the end more concern with preserving the feel of the original work and it meaning than he was it fitting more neatly into the tone of LotR's.

The difference between Tolkien and PJ, in this and so many other matters, is Tolkien knew when to stop.

Excuse me but when does PJ try and alter the tone of LOTR?
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Post by Eldorion on Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:57 pm

I hope high school goes well for you, david! Glad to see you posting here, btw. I was 14 when I joined here too but it's been too long since we've had an active teenage member. Too many have either left or grown up (if only reluctantly). Razz

davidjoneshoward wrote:Excuse me but when does PJ try and alter the tone of LOTR?

I can't speak for Petty but it's a fairly common complaint that Jackson made the movies faster and more action-heavy. Some people think that this transition went so far as to any faithfulness the films might have had to the books. I disagree with this more extreme view, especially when the extended editions are taken into consideration, as it is a very rare action movie that has as many slow, character moments as LOTR does. But it's hard to get around the increased emphasis put on action and fighting.

Here are a couple famous examples of movie criticism from this line of thinking.

http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Interview-Castagno.html

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote:I think the script written for the Peter Jackson film was in many ways quite marvelous. And I think a film-maker must absolutely be allowed all kinds of liberties in turning a novel into a film. They are such different forms!

What I found unsatisfactory in the film was its increasing obsession with scenes of war and battle; and most of all, its failure to catch any hint of what I think may be the secret of Tolkien's narrative magic: the constant and powerful alternation of tension and relaxation, war and peace, the public and the domestic, fear and reassurance, light and dark... His book has the pace of a heartbeat; of a person walking; of day and night succeeding each other... That is why people reading it "live in the book" — it has the rhythm of life. — Film, of course, is a kind of drama, and must be more concentrated, faster in its pacing; but the film goes too far that direction. It is all action, little thought; all noise, no stillness; all Yang, no Yin. And therefore, though beautiful and entertaining, it is profoundly untrue to Tolkien's story.

http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/my-father-039-s-quot-eviscerated-quot-work-son-of-hobbit-scribe-j.r.r.-tolkien-finally-speaks-out/hobbit-silmarillion-lord-of-rings/c3s10299/

Christopher Tolkien wrote:Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."

NB I feel compelled as always to point out that, while this interview is quite interesting, it was not by any means Christopher's first in 40 years.
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Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:33 am

Christopher Tolkien wrote:
Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."



My feelings exactly, Chris. And I do apologise for waiting until I'd seen 5 movies before turning away. It is a lasting regret, but I did so much want something good to come out of the movies... Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad

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Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:46 am

As to Tolkien's 1960 rewrite attempt - he dropped it because it was a dud. And rightly so! One of my big sadnesses in relation to Tolkien's view of The Hobbit is that he did not recognise it for the great book it was. Better, in my view, when looked over totally, than the Lord of the Rings (which is not to say the LotR isn't my second favorite book of all time).

Anyhow, this seems like as reasonable a time as any (by the Forumshire Reckoning) to note a quick pick Favorite 10 books of mine.

1. The Hobbit
2. LotR

Then eight more not necessarily in strict order (due to the quick pick nature of this list).


The Narnia Books (especially Magicians Nephew. Philip Pullman might have been right about Lewis to a degree but I don't care, go and have a pull, man! Mad ).
The Sword in the Stone (T.H. White: original version, though adultified later version not too bad, did better than Tolkien there).
The Dancers at the End of Time trilogy (Michael Moorcock)
Araminta Station (Jack Vance; first book of series, others good but not as good)
The Planet of Adventure series (Jack Vance)
Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery. The book was an utter surprise to me when I read it! Brilliant!)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte. Another total surprise. Awesome! Go fuck yourself Charlotte - Emily was better!)
Midnite: The Story of a Wild Colonial Boy (Randolf Stowe. Love this, love this, love this - always will!)
 

Anyway, I thought you best know! Very Happy

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Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:10 am

Of course, these are in my top 10 as well, I just don't know how to fit more than ten into ten. (Halfy is mathematical - perhaps he could help?)


Watership Down (Richard Adams)
The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
Danny, Champion of the World (Roald Dahl. My son got sick of me reading this to him: the little dick).
The BFG (Roald Dahl)
Revolting Rhymes (Roald Dahl -- oh the ghastliness - sometimes with sauce!  affraid )
The Borrowers series (Mary Norton - shame they kind of stopped in the middle of nowhere; I think death intervened  Sad )
Dune (Frank Herbert: shame about the other books which only got even worser -apparently - when his son continued on)
The Little Grey Men ("B.B" The second book was good but I could never finish it for some reason - maybe it wasn't that good after all)




If I think of any more I'm sure to let you know...


I seem to have never left my childhood behind btw...  Very Happy

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:08 am

That is a fine top ten (or 15.. or 20...) list Orwell!

I'm only surprised Watership Down and the Wind in the Willows do not rank higher on yours, although I love that the Narnia books and The Sword in the Stone do!  study


(Quite right about Pullman too. I enjoyed his Dark Materials thingum, but they pale in comparison to my beloved Chronicles of Narnia! Especially The Horse and His Boy. I always loved that one and getting to meet the Calormenes in the writing.)

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Oh my goodness, these fools on this site (Pullman is mentioned as well) accuse Lewis of racism in his depiction of Calormen. Pish, tosh and nonsense! I suppose one of their mind must also go on to claim Tolkien is racist in his writing of the Haradrim! These are cultural differences, if anything, and snubbing them off as racist is a shallow and simple-minded approach to reading them.

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Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:30 am

I like the cut of your jib Forest (if Forests have jibs, that is???)

Watership Down and the Wind in the Willows would rank much higher if I hadn't just been putting my 10ish favorites down in a spattergun fashion. Also, THe Horse and His Boy would rank highly in my estimation too, up there with Magician's Nephew. Which makes me think about rankings again: this time the Narnia Books.

1. Magicians Nephew (I think because it was the first I ever read not knowing there were others. I think I would have been about 11 or so!)

2. The Horse and his Boy. (I especially liked the girl character Aravis for some reason: and Aslan was an arse for hurting her! Though I believe Pagan-Christian Lion Son-of-a-God's can be like that. If God is actually a woman like Ishtar or Gaia: then Aslan would have been a Son-of-a-Bitch to do it.  Very Happy )

3. The Silver Chair was really good too. Loved Puddleglum. (Actually, I can't really be sure I wouldn't put any of the top three first!)

4. The Lion the Witch....

5. Prince Caspian

6. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

7. The Last Battle (the weakest but in some ways the most imaginative).


The Narnia books are the most pagan Christian books ever! cheers

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Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:40 am

Tolkien was a bit funny about Lewis writing Narnia. Sure, TH and LotR undoubtedly inspired him to write them, but that was a compliment to Tolkien and I doubt it should not be seen it as some kind of plagiarism. Narnia is a very different animal to Middlearth anyway. [I'm not even sure the Narnia are even allegoric: if so, only in the most bizarre of ways. Narnia contains a mindfield (yes, mind-field!) of peculiar mythological-cum-religious motifs, beliefs and pure imagination]. Shame Tolkien dropped the friendship with Lewis over that, which I believe was what happened. Sad

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Post by halfwise on Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:59 pm

When watching the first Narnia movie my sister, who had not delved into the history of Tolkien and Lewis, complained that the overt references to Christianity in Narnia made her uncomfortable (and she still has some scraps of religious feeling left). Tolkien was right in his criticism. But that must sting between friends.

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Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:31 pm

Yeah, sure Halfy! Shaw! Rolling Eyes The Christian stuff in Narnia is actually spooky because it's really really paganised. Any Christian (who actually knows what Christianity is according to the Early Church Fathers) would have to feel uncomfortable about the Christian motifs in Lewis's Narnia tales. Queer it is, and no mistake. But me, I prefer me Christianity that ways. Very Happy Mind you, Christianity is queer no matter what way you look at it, now as I come to think on it. It's always been a peculiar grab-bag of unconnected myths, legend and history. Nod I just like it for the fantasy it is. (Narnia, that is).

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Post by halfwise on Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:54 pm

Top 10 books....that will take some head scratching.  I'll start listing and see how far I get before puttering out.

1. Lord of the Rings
2. Dune
3. Ringworld
4. Moby Dick
5. Watership Down
6. Foundation Trilogy
7. Any of the Jeeves books (varying joy, but still can't pick just one)
8. Winnie the Pooh
9. Innocents Abroad (not fiction, but close enough)
10. She

May need some re-ordering.  Mood dependent.

Edit: I remember Wind in the Willows fondly, but don't own a copy so can't refresh my judgement.  I shall have to correct that.  If non-fiction is included my list would explode, but Thor Heyerdahl's Aku-Aku is up there, perhaps for many of the reasons that cause archaeologists to scoff at it.

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