Watching LOTR for the first time in four years

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:28 am

Eowyn must be a good actress, and Merry fails to see through it.

Here's what I was talking about:

Eowyn with helmet:
Watching LOTR for the first time in four years - Page 12 Eowyn_art

Annoying Orange:
Watching LOTR for the first time in four years - Page 12 Hqdefault

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"'But whereas we have drunk with thee, who seemest to be a man of lineage, and thou hast been blithe with us, we will tell thee that we have seen one riding south along the Greenway, clad in a coat as green as the way, with the leafless tree done on his breast. So nigh to him we were that we heard his cry as he sped along, as ye may hear the lapwing whining, for he said: "POINT AND EDGE, POINT AND EDGE! THE RED WATER AMIDST OF THE HILLS!" In my lifetime such a man hath, to my knowledge, been seen thrice before; and after each sight of him followed evil days and the death of men.'"

-The Well at the World's End, William Morris
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:16 am

Then a certain Arithmancer points out that the book doesn't work either: much of the power of the scene is Merry's surprise to find out Dernhelm is actually Eowyn. But he had spent days riding with her, that he wouldn't have figured this out rather stretches credulity.- Halfy

{{Well I'd crabbitly dispute Arithmancer. It works on the page fine. And he has left some bits out.
Interestingly the radio play version keeps a lot more of the stuff with Eoweyn/Dernhelm and Merry- unfortunately in it the actress does that theatre thing of doing a female, doing a male voice in such a way as the audience will know its a woman doing it. Whereas I suspect the 'real' thing would have been better at it.

Merry still has limited experience with humans, and even less so with female humans so him not noticing if she was discreet enough is not so incredulous. Plus Eowyn herself is surprised he doesn't right from the off, when she first offers to take him with her Merry responds that he doesn't know her name thinking him a young male rider, to which she replies "Do you not?" before giving him the Dernhelm name. So I think there Tolkien is showing us that Merry simply lacks the experience of human females to even have the suspicion and that Eowyn was quite prepared for him to spot it was her from the off. And in fact was a bit surprised when he didn't immediately spot it was her.
Also its dark, thanks to Mordor sending out a permanent night most of the ride is conducted in the dark and at pace.
And finally in the book at least she was not working alone, she had the head of her company of Rohirrim in on it and covering for her, though Tolkien doesn't make a lot of it the implication is he was someone who was either a bit soft on her in their youth, or they were just good mates. So she wasn't fooling everyone, just Merry and anyone outside her Company. At least some in her company were in on it (and incidentally defining their King for her which is interesting in itself but hardly surprising. Given the situation at Court up until Gandalf's reappearance its not surprising Eowyn would have made her own allies and political friends to survive in the meantime, she was certainly smart and strong enough of mind to have done so).
Ive always found it one of the more interesting, yet largely completely unexplored bits of the story. }}

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:19 am

My favourite parts of the LotR EE blu-ray boxed sets are the lightly-edited "Behind the Scenes" videos. There's only one for each film, but they take up a whole disc each. They aren't polished, like the other special features. There are no talking heads in front of a green-screen, or clever musical editing: it's mostly just candid hand-held filming of the on-set day-to-day operations. You get to see the faces behind a lot of the lesser names from the credits, as well as some of the "warts" of the project. It feels more real, like an actual peak behind the scenes at some of the stuff that the PR people wouldn't want shown.

There's a lot of footage taken from the sidelines of deleted scenes and scrapped takes. One in particular stood out to me from Two Towers: they have the Three Hunters stop at what was, I think, the partially-eaten corpse of an orc. I only caught Gimli's response, which was something typically goofy about how the uruks have "quite the appetite on them!" and how they even ate the maggots. That line doesn't quite make sense to me, as I recall it, so perhaps something else was going on in that scene. Or perhaps there's a reason it was cut.

Anyway, point is, the main special features are well-made and great for breaking down how certain effects were made, or why the writers chose to include or exclude different story elements; but the behind-the-scenes stuff with all its little details and lack of polish appeal to me just as much. I especially like seeing what might have been in the movies, but didn't make it.


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"'But whereas we have drunk with thee, who seemest to be a man of lineage, and thou hast been blithe with us, we will tell thee that we have seen one riding south along the Greenway, clad in a coat as green as the way, with the leafless tree done on his breast. So nigh to him we were that we heard his cry as he sped along, as ye may hear the lapwing whining, for he said: "POINT AND EDGE, POINT AND EDGE! THE RED WATER AMIDST OF THE HILLS!" In my lifetime such a man hath, to my knowledge, been seen thrice before; and after each sight of him followed evil days and the death of men.'"

-The Well at the World's End, William Morris
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Post by Eldy on Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:45 am

I still have yet to watch the behind-the-scenes film for Return of the King but I agree, they are exceptional. More of a "boots on the ground" approach, as Forest describes. I've never owned a copy of the Limited Edition DVDs where those documentaries were originally included, so I'm really glad they were added to the Extended Edition box sets when those were released on Blu-ray. The bonus features on the EE DVDs are largely responsible for my interest in film as a medium, but I think the other documentaries are a great complement because they take a different approach.

If anyone hasn't seen them, the director, Costa Botes (who also co-directed the mockumentary Forgotten Silver with PJ before LOTR), has an informative post about them on his blog talking about the production-within-a-production that was the making of the documentaries. His films were produced separately from the better-known "Appendices" material, although those used a lot of his footage.

https://costabotes.com/making-of-lord-of-the-rings/

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Post by halfwise on Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:57 pm

I love their posh New Zealand accents.  Somehow all the other New Zealanders sounded a bit more outback.

(I love the outback accents too; it's the contrast within the accent that's so adorable).

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Post by azriel on Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:59 pm

I enjoyed that Eldy. I would love to see all the footage Costa managed to film from LOTRs , that would be so interesting !

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:54 am

Oh neat! I thought "Costa" was a woman, for some reason, haha.

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"'But whereas we have drunk with thee, who seemest to be a man of lineage, and thou hast been blithe with us, we will tell thee that we have seen one riding south along the Greenway, clad in a coat as green as the way, with the leafless tree done on his breast. So nigh to him we were that we heard his cry as he sped along, as ye may hear the lapwing whining, for he said: "POINT AND EDGE, POINT AND EDGE! THE RED WATER AMIDST OF THE HILLS!" In my lifetime such a man hath, to my knowledge, been seen thrice before; and after each sight of him followed evil days and the death of men.'"

-The Well at the World's End, William Morris
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