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Tom Bombadil doesn't even make a cameo appearance, Frodo goes to Osgiliath, the Shire's all warm and cosy when the hobbits return, and Frodo faces the tunnel alone, not to mention the fact that we already know he survived when we meet the mouth of Sauron. All in all, the movie stayed relatively faithful to the books, however, as always happens when translating literature to film, digressions had to be made. But which of these were beneficial, and which would have been better off sticking to what was written? Opinions?
I'll take on Bombadil since that was the first you listed. For starters, I loved him. Let me make it clear that the following is not a dig on the merry yellow booted song singer.
That said, he would have added nothing but filler in a movie that has no extra space for it.
The journey through the old forest and the following save by Bombadil. To be followed by another rescue from Bombadil doesn't add much to the story of the Ring. This story worked much more as an example of how helpless the Hobbits are in the beggining. Also the pacing for the scene just doesn't flow. The real Digression from the story was the urgency Frodo is under. Instead of dillydallying before leaving, he is thrust out into the world on a desparate march to Bree. In the book he was simply going "into hiding" with the ring.
With the new (and I felt appropiate) approch to story movement Tom got the axe. The act of the Hobbit getting swords then fell to Aragorn. Quick, easy, and well done.
Another reason to axe Tom comes from the Movie's perception of the Ring. This is the same reasoning for changes made to Faramir. So PJ in the film sets about making the Ring a piece of utmost evil. Completely evil, period. To come across a lovely little cottage where everything is pretty and safe and the Ring has no effect on the Master at all. So much for ultimate evil. Same for Faramir. He could not leave such a weapon on the roadside as he claims in the book. He must be tempted. He can win out over the temptation in the end. But he has to see the ring for the evil it is, not just a garuntee of strength.

With the audience already in the know that Frodo was alive during the Mouth of Sauron scene it allow the viewer to see this as a sign that Sauron is not all powerful. Here the audience is given that glimpse of hope. The sight of just what might be possible.

As for Frodo going into the tunnel alone, I hated it at first. Listen to the directors commentary, it has an interesting take. They saw it as Gollum working a sort of long con on Frodo to get the Ring, but without any real victory for him. That's why they let him win out over Sam with Frodo. That one I can take or leave. Shelob looked really cool.

The scouring of the Shire... They had my hopes up in Fellowship with the Mirror of Galadriel. But to be honest, by time the movie reached that point I just wanted a nap. Much like Bombadill and the Old Forest, this was a story about the Hobbits, not the ring.
I missed the Barrow Downs part. I found that interesting. Oh, and the battle with the wargs outside Moria was neat but short. The scouring of the Shire would have been awesome...but would have also made the movie another hour longer. They should make it a seperate movie in my opinion...

Things that they added in the film: I liked when Haldir brought the Elves to Helm's Deep. Being an Elven fanatic, I rather enjoyed that part (although I cried when Haldir was killed; I wasn't thrilled they added that).
I must cocur with most of Show's points. Lady Legolas I agree that the elves joining the battle at Helms Deep was an inspired touch. I think Tolkien himself would have approved.
Part of PJ's reasoning for adding the elves at Helms Deep was for the viewers who never read the book. For those of us who read the book we know that Lothlorien came under attack, and so did Dale, Ereabor and many other places. He added elves to Helm's Deep to show the viewing only audience that the elves are fighting the darkness as well.

...that and it was really cool.
For the most part I agree with show. That Bombadil and the scouring of the shire both would have added too much length to the films. But I do have to say that Frodo facing the tunnel alone really made me mad! I was always impressed in the book by Sam and Frodo's loyalty to eachother and I kinda feel like that threw it off quite a bit. I understand why they did it but I still don't like it. But what can you do? It's already over and done with and besides they did more good things than bad in my opinion. I also miss when the rangers come to Helms Deep. That was one of my favorite things in the book that they skipped on in the movie. That's when Aragorn gets the jeweled banner and Anduriel. But they did do a good cover by sending Elrond to Dunharrow.
The digression that really bothered me was the Army of the Dead. They allowed Aragorn to take the fleets and sail to save the day at the Pelenor fields. In the movie they worked like a trump card and let Minas Tirith stand. For me, it cheapened the victory, like it wasn't really the men of Gondor and Rohan who won the battle, all they did was hang in long enough. But that's just me.
[quote:2kax7dyp]The act of the Hobbit getting swords then fell to Aragorn. Quick, easy, and well done.
[/quote:2kax7dyp]

Okay, so it has always bothered me that in Fellowship, which I think is far and away the best of the three films, Aragorn, expecting Frodo and maybe Sam, just happens to have FOUR hobbit sized swords with him! I know that its a small thing, but it never made sense to me. I suppose he couldve gone and gotten two or three more swords after the hobbits arrived in Bree, but with the Nazgul coming, would he really leave them alone. ESP after Frodo disappeared in front of all those people?

Of course I understand why it was done that way, there was no room in the film for Bombadil (kind of a pointless character in the books as well. Seems like Tolkien really had no idea where the story was going at the time, but oh well.) or the barrow downs yet the hobbits had to be armed. Just doesnt make sense that this Ranger, living off the land and such, would be carrying extra swords just in case.

The scouring of the shire wouldve caused revolt in theaters because people would be wetting themselves left and right. Long film, long ending, no room. One of my favorite parts of the book though. Amazing.
Ahh I have to disagree with you there stelladog.

Aragorn was not told to meet he hobbits at Bree. He and his rangers were tasked with gaurding the shire and his job specifically was to watch the ring bearer, in the books he is noticed by frodo as a dark shape leaping the wall along the road behind them. So Aragorn would have had plenty of time before they showed up in Bree to aquire some daggers for the hobbits to use.

As for me my least favourite cut was the removal of the rangers and Elronds sons through the paths of the dead and into the battle of Pellenor fields.

I know this would have been very difficult to film however as the art team would have had to come up with several new cultures of the Gondorian fiefdoms. The filming itself would also have been harder with more soldiers running around in all directions killing things rather than the relatively simple CG undead killing the CG mumakil.

Shame really I would have also liked to have seen even somewhat briefly Radagast just so we know he is there.
In Bakshi's version Glorfindel is replaced with Legolas. These kinds of changes make a lot of sense when adapting books with a lot of characters. In LotR, Glorfindel is a relatively minor character (though a cool one 8-) ). He has the one strong scene saving Frodo, then is mostly absent the rest of the series. You just can't do that in a film, which has to use it's time more efficiently, and not confuse viewers with too many characters.

As Legolas already has a very strong presence in the series, it made much more sense to introduce Arwen in that scene. The film series needed a strong feminine presence as their presence in the books is diminished (despite Tolkien's elevating females to strong positions). And though Elrond may have disapproved of his daughter putting herself in danger for a Hobbit, it suits Arwen's character as she has already demonstrated an independent streak by falling in love with a mortal.

Anyway, I understand why you didn't care for the alteration Shane, but I think the films are better for it (plus I love Arwen and always thought she should have had a bigger role <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> :mrgreen: ).

[b:y6g1aqd4]GB[/b:y6g1aqd4]
I guess that I'm odd man out when it comes to my opinion of the elves at Helms Deep. I felt that it cheapened the monumentous accomplishment of men at that location. Not to mention the location of the caves at Helms Deep was moved, minimizing the accomplishment of the men and dwarf who held their ground there against the invading orcs. Then there's the fact that it changed the status of the "Last Alliance of elves and men" to the "second to last alliance...." <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

The other change from the books that really bothered me was Arwen replacing Glorfindel at the flight to the ford. Considering what happened to Arwen's mother, does anyone actually believe that Elrond would let Arwen step foot anywhere outside of Rivendell or Lothlorien without a strongly armed escort?! Arwen wasn't a warrior maiden. For heavens sake, in the books when Arwen is seen at the feast in the House of Elrond, doesn't she sit under a canopy (even indoors)? Arwen was as sheltered (from harm) as possible.

Yes, I'm picky. I can understand PJ taking some liberties to make the movies fit the limited time, but these I just didn't agree with.

My other beef is with the wargs looking more like hyenas than great wolves.
Well, at least I agree with you about the Wargs Shane <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

[b:1v0qlrit]GB[/b:1v0qlrit]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":voi20f3z]Well, at least I agree with you about the Wargs Shane <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

[b:voi20f3z]GB[/b:voi20f3z][/quote:voi20f3z]


Hehe...thanks.

I has experiencing a cranky moment when I typed all that.

I need to find my happy place...searching through Smaug's horde...finding and donning a man-sized hauberk of Mithril, with matching helmet, pauldrons, Schynbalds, and gauntlets....


Yes, I feel much better now. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
I agree with you on Arwen, Shane. But I think that this part of her replacing Glorfindel (and then saving Frodo very heroically) was written with a very different Arwen in mind. I think that they got it right later on (consider the "sheltered" feel of at the end of ROTK when she is hiding behind the banner), but remember that they DID write and FILM her at Helm's Deep. It seems as if they were (at first) going for a much more action-packed Arwen (like Susan in Prince Caspian.) They probably decided to change this sometime, but the part with her being the hero in FOTR was already done (perhaps already out in theaters), so they just had to mend from where they were.
Well personally for me i didn't really feel that i missed Bombadil, the barrows or the old forest really, as didn't really see the point of them in the book (apart from the barrow sword that Merry uses to wound the Nazgul Lord in ROTK). I alo thought that the Elves turning up at Helms didn't really make alot of sense but maybe made it a little better for people who hadn't read the books, but i REALLY didn't see the point of making it look like Aragorn had died (over the cliff) in TTT, what did that add??
The scouring of the Shire would have been nice but to be honest, as others have said, would have added at least another half hour on to what was already a very long film.
This probably sounds like a whinge but i thought the films where pretty fantastic to be honest and PJ did a great job overall! :0)
Shane Wrote[quote:dgwmxo6o]Neither did I need a different Faramir, and didn't like how PJ made him into a "Boromir part II" in the theatrical release. Though in the extended editions both Boromir and Faramir were portrayed better.[/quote:dgwmxo6o]

When I came out of the theater I agreed with you. When I saw the extended film on DVD, I agreed with you. When I listened to the DVD Directors Commentary, I disagreed with you.
As PJ put it, Faramir simply could not, [b:dgwmxo6o]could not[/b:dgwmxo6o], respond to the ring like he did in the book. Over the past 5 plus hours of film the ring was made into the absolute object of evil that could corrupt anyone. To simply pop in a character who would not take it should it be lying on the roadside would has ruined everything.
What would Faramir's lines have been? [quote:dgwmxo6o]Oh! You have the ultimate ring of power?! Well... would you like some sausages? [/quote:dgwmxo6o]
It just doesn't work.
[quote:254m2991]Aragorn was not told to meet he hobbits at Bree. He and his rangers were tasked with gaurding the shire and his job specifically was to watch the ring bearer, in the books he is noticed by frodo as a dark shape leaping the wall along the road behind them. So Aragorn would have had plenty of time before they showed up in Bree to aquire some daggers for the hobbits to use.[/quote:254m2991]

All well and good for the book, but this is not once alluded to in the film where the first mention of Aragorn is when we see him in the Prancing Pony. I suppose he could've slipped away to find daggers if he was tracking the hobbits, so to speak, but then again, if he was tracking them 1: he did nothing while they were pursued by the wringwarith and 2: why would he not have made himself known to the hobbits outside of bree since he could've saved them a big hassel and simply skirted bree en route to Rivendell? Suppose it doesn't matter.

Its been a few years since I've read the books, and I know they are in The Hobbit, but do wargs even show up in LOTR? I hated that scene in the film. It was like PJ was saying, uh-oh, things are slowing down, better throw in some action. Thought it rather unnecessary myself.

As for Aragorn going over the cliff... Eh, whatever. Common movie convention. Made weaker by the fact that the same thing had basically happened to Gandalf in the first film. I suppose it was necessary to build some of the tension that he see the Uruk Hai headed for HD but that whole battle could've been cut imo.

Thank God they changed their minds about Warrior Arwen... Tolkien wrote in a female who did plenty of fighting, so the ladies were represented. Arwen fighting at Helms Deep wouldve been... well, I'm just glad they didn't do it. Her role was expanded enough in the films anyway, there was no need to change the nature of the character to suit modern conventions. That said, I actually enjoyed seeing her ride with Frodo in Fellowship. Great chase scene, and, since I'd not read the books before that film, the horse-flood at the ford was one of the things that hooked me. When I did read the books, starting the next day, I was extatic to see that, with minor changes, the horse-flood thing was in there. Loved it. Don't think Tolkien called it the "horse-flood thing" though. Him rite good. .
Oh, no one's denying that, Dunadan! LOTR is my FAVORITE film of all time, and will always be no matter what else comes and goes. We were just discussing the more minor parts of the adaption, and were wondering (as obsessive fans like us always do) if the route that Jackson and team took was the best.
Overall, I think that the LOTR film was the BEST adaptation job that anyone could even think about doing. It was far better than the Narnia films are turning out (even though I am an obsessive fan of those too).
Gaaah! Don't get me started on how Awesome the Narnia films are Beren, I'll never shut up and derail another topic :lol: . I love those adaptations :roll: . It's great not being a "purist" (well, not too much of one anyway <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ).

One of my favourite things in Prince Caspian was showing the trees fighting. It was just how I had hoped Jackson would show the Fangorn trees fighting at Helm's Deep :mrgreen: . I suppose if there's enough interest we can always start a thread comparing and contrasting LotR and Narnia, and the film adaptations of them :idea: .

[b:26v9lz6i]GB[/b:26v9lz6i]
[quote="Beren":11f0hrqq]I agree with you on Arwen, Shane. But I think that this part of her replacing Glorfindel (and then saving Frodo very heroically) was written with a very different Arwen in mind. I think that they got it right later on (consider the "sheltered" feel of at the end of ROTK when she is hiding behind the banner), but remember that they DID write and FILM her at Helm's Deep. It seems as if they were (at first) going for a much more action-packed Arwen (like Susan in Prince Caspian.) They probably decided to change this sometime, but the part with her being the hero in FOTR was already done (perhaps already out in theaters), so they just had to mend from where they were.[/quote:11f0hrqq]

The reason PJ pulled the "Arwen at Helms Deep" scenes was because fans like myself hit the ceiling when we found out what he was doing during filming and gave him a piece of our mind. I agree with your use of the word "mend" because I feel that after Arwen's altered part in Fellowship of the Ring the character needed serious mending to get back to Tolkien's vision.

I didn't need a different Arwen from the books.

Oh boy, now you've opened a can of worms with me. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />

Neither did I need a different Faramir, and didn't like how PJ made him into a "Boromir part II" in the theatrical release. Though in the extended editions both Boromir and Faramir were portrayed better.

Then there's Aragorn. In the book Aragorn leaves Rivendell knowing full well, and accepting, what he needed to become in order to be worthy of Arwen's hand in marriage. He left Rivendell with the sword reforged already. I appreciate what Viggo Mortenson was trying to do with the character, but I wanted an Aragorn a bit more sure of himself. For goodness sakes, his true love was depending on him and he knew it!

Not angry at you or anyone else here. Nor am I suggesting that I didn't like the movies. I just felt passionately about these things.
Am I the only one who got that about PJs treatment of Faramir the first time around <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ??? Sorry Show :oops: . But the Power of Ultimate Corruption that was the Ring was apparent to me from the start. And it was clear to me that the only people with any chance to resist it were a couple of Wee Folk from the Baggins family.

To some degree this was Tolkien's intent too. Though in the book he was trying to demonstrate a greater degree of distinction between the will-power and corruptibility of Boromir and Faramir. Jackson realized that it wouldn't make sense (as you eventually did) for Faramir to be so pure as to be totally unaffected by the Ring. So he drew it out, but still showed that Faramir ultimately had greater strength of character to resist the pull of the Ring.

[b:2l6h5tqs]GB[/b:2l6h5tqs]
[quote="Show":r33gd25c]As PJ put it, Faramir simply could not, [b:r33gd25c]could not[/b:r33gd25c], respond to the ring like he did in the book. Over the past 5 plus hours of film the ring was made into the absolute object of evil that could corrupt anyone. To simply pop in a character who would not take it should it be lying on the roadside would has ruined everything.[/quote:r33gd25c]

You mean the past five hours of film in which no fewer than three major characters (Gandalf, Galadriel, and Aragorn) rejected the Ring? Why would Faramir be any different?

[quote:r33gd25c]What would Faramir's lines have been? [quote:r33gd25c]Oh! You have the ultimate ring of power?! Well... would you like some sausages? [/quote:r33gd25c]
It just doesn't work.[/quote:r33gd25c]

I think it worked well enough in the book, I don't see many people complaining about the book version of the character. How does the process of filmmaking make [i:r33gd25c]necessary[/i:r33gd25c] (as opposed to a matter of personal preference) for Faramir to come closer to succumbing to the Ring than he did in the book?
Well, Faramir was a mortal, neither Istari nor Elf nor Half-Elf like Aragorn <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . Gandalf admitted that he was tempted but he kept his guard up and refused to touch the ring lest he be turned. Galadriel was sorely tested but ultimately resisted. Aragorn kept his focus on the mission. All three knew the dangers of the Ring, and all three had a Nobility of Blood and Purpose that gave them an edge--as long as they didn't touch or bear the Ring for any length of time.

Faramir was a mere mortal, and had no understanding of the corrupting power of the Ring. But he was pure of heart. It makes sense that he would have had a greater struggle with the Ring. But in the end he was able to resist it too, not having actually taken the ring from Frodo. Drawing out his struggle in the film made more sense given how Powerful PJ had made the Ring.

The only person indicated in the books as being completely immune to the power of the Ring was Tom Bombadil. But he doesn't make an appearance in the films. The ability of the Ring to corrupt people was based partly on it's own increasing power as it drew nearer to Sauron, and the strength or weakness of an individual's character. Some, such as Smeagol could be corrupted almost immediately. But only Bilbo and Frodo had the strength of character to carry it as long as they did. But eventually the Ring corrupts all who bear it.

[b:3oecwfjw]GB[/b:3oecwfjw]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":3pwvcfb6]Well, Faramir was a mortal, neither Istari nor Elf nor Half-Elf like Aragorn <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . [/quote:3pwvcfb6]

Aragorn wasn't a half-elf. Elrond and Elros were half-elves, but Elros' descendants were mortal. Granted, they were more elf-like than other men (being Dunedain), but Faramir was one of the Dunedain as well.

[quote:3pwvcfb6]Gandalf admitted that he was tempted but he kept his guard up and refused to touch the ring lest he be turned. Galadriel was sorely tested but ultimately resisted. Aragorn kept his focus on the mission. All three knew the dangers of the Ring, and all three had a Nobility of Blood and Purpose that gave them an edge--as long as they didn't touch or bear the Ring for any length of time.[/quote:3pwvcfb6]

Again I ask, how is Faramir any different? He has a nobility of blood - coming from a very old family of the Dunedain ("by some chance the blood of Westernesse runs nearly true in him; as it does in his other son, Faramir" ;[i:3pwvcfb6]TRotK[/i:3pwvcfb6], "Minas Tirith"Wink Smilie. Faramir understood the danger of the Ring - "I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee" ([i:3pwvcfb6]TTT[/i:3pwvcfb6], "The Window on the West"Wink Smilie, and also had a great deal of personal integrity, which helped him (ibid). And he didn't touch or bear the Ring directly either.
True, Aragorn and Faramir are both Dunedain and therefore both part Elf. But isn't Aragorn more directly descended from Elendil? And if I recall correctly, Aragorn was an heir of Elendil from both sides of the family. Can the same be said for the sons of Denethor? Weren't the houses of Gondor "fallen" at the end of the Third Age?

I totally agree that the nobility of the Dunedain was much stronger in Faramir than his brother and father. And I think that came across very strongly in the film. And he wasn't tempted to take the Ring for himself in the film. The film shows that he was driven more by a need to impress his father than a desire for the Ring. So, in the end he still won his struggle against the Ring. It's just drawn out in the films to highlight both the power of the Ring, and Faramir's dilemma. I think the point may also have been to demonstrate categorically why Aragorn was more rightfully heir to the throne of Gondor.

[b:wg3xrs7c]GB[/b:wg3xrs7c]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":29psdkab]True, Aragorn and Faramir are both Dunedain and therefore both part Elf. But isn't Aragorn more directly descended from Elendil? And if I recall correctly, Aragorn was an heir of Elendil from both sides of the family. Can the same be said for the sons of Denethor? Weren't the houses of Gondor "fallen" at the end of the Third Age?[/quote:29psdkab]

Aragorn was the direct male-line descendant of Isildur, and one of his great-...-great-grandmothers was a descendant of Anarion. The Stewards, on the other hand, are not direct descendants of Elendil (though it's possible that they're related through intermarriage). However, Elendil wasn't the only Numenorean to come to Middle-earth. It's also possible that Faramir had more elvish blood in him then Aragorn, since his mother was of the House of Dol Amroth which was supposedly descended from one of the elves of Lorien.

[quote:29psdkab]It's just drawn out in the films to highlight both the power of the Ring, and Faramir's dilemma. I think the point may also have been to demonstrate categorically why Aragorn was more rightfully heir to the throne of Gondor.[/quote:29psdkab]

I can sort of see the reasoning behind that, but I think that changing the character of Faramir was too much of a price to pay for that. Admittedly, that is a subjective value judgement.

Also, thanks for debating, [b:29psdkab]GB[/b:29psdkab]. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
Thanks for clearing up some of the lineage issues Eldorion :ugeek: . It's been a long time since I looked up the genealogies :roll: . But I was fairly certain about Aragorn's line of descent. And you made some great points :mrgreen: .

GB