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Thread: The Ring's Destruction - Jackson's Method

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[quote="hObBiTzWiLlEaTyOu":33wxs3l1]Just to throw in another old debate- was Jackson's method of finishing (frodo pushes gollum in) howd you like it?[/quote:33wxs3l1]
I just went and watched it again, and it really seems to me that Frodo doesn't push Gollum in. It looks like Frodo is going for Gollum to get the ring back, and they scuffle for a bit, and then they both fall (but Frodo catches the ledge).

Anyone else see this?
That's pretty much the way I saw it in the film too Beren. Frodo and Gollum are fighting over the ring and they both topple over the edge. This makes Frodo's (Ring Induced) actions morally neutral. I have to find my copy of LotR, but I think it lines up with how I remember the book's climax.

[b:2zzfjye5]Gandalf's Beard[/b:2zzfjye5]
I commented on this a little on the Frodo Hero thread, but I'll elaborate here. While the "bad" made him attack Gollum for the ring, look at what happened to both combatants. Frodo held to the ledge, Gollum did not. Gollum held to the ring, and it destroyed him. Frodo, at the absolute last possilbe second imaginable, finally let it go. It took long enough, I know, but he had to finally let it go, or be destroyed.
And then, with the ring gone, hell all around him, he had a choice to make, let go and die, or try for a just a little longer. Sam made the choice obvious, with him yelling to hang on. And he did. Instantly with the ring gone, he held on still. The ring couldn't force him to try more like it did before (example: his burst of strength after an attack from Gollum). The decision to live at that point was all Frodo.
And when he thought he would surely die in the eruption of Mount Doom, he was still content. His life history, memories of the Shire, green grass, and etc were all back. His life was no longer open to the lidless eye of fire. He was free, and if he had to die, he would.
Frodo still chose to die (although he didn't), but he chose to die on his terms, not the ring's.
So in the end, I liked Jackson's treatment of the moment, and I felt that is was appropriate with the source material and the actions of desires of the different forces in that scene.
The book is continuous with the movie until right after gollum bites the ring off frodo's finger. IN the movie, Gollum dances around until frodo gets back up- but in the book, Gollum just... falls. He tumbles with a last cry of "precious!"

My mom, though admitedly(sp?) NOT a tolkien fan, thought the book ending was somewhat anticlimatic. I thought that at first, but after reading more on literary and plot devices, I realised Tolkien implemented a deus ex machina (" God of the Machine"Wink Smilie Or a eucatastrohic event. Actually, I think Tolkien coined the term "eucatastrophe." Its a sudden turn of events at the climax that results in the hero's benefit.

Oh, I just consulted the trusty wikipedia and it said that a Deus ex Machina has no previous place or any cause of prediction in the story. A eucatastrphe, however, fits into the chain of events and is believable.

Anyway, Tolkien had very firm beliefs in faith and chance, and I think he was very scared of the results of past actions. It appears that small yet significant choices play a big role in the lotr. Was it Show that said that it was Frodo's PITY that ultimately made him succeed?

Wow, I rambled a lot. (LAWL, *sings Ramble On by led Zep*) But in conclusion, I like Tolkiens ending better. It just seems to be so singular and amazing and plain.. unexpected. I mean, I love jackson's, too, but its just a different interpretation of the story. Its one thats suited to a wider audience.
In either case, film or book, Gollum falls after struggling to obtain the ring. You are right on about the Eucatastrophe Hobbitz. I think when you look at what you, Show, and I are actually saying, we're pretty much on the same page :mrgreen: .

[b:37c0r4ap]GB[/b:37c0r4ap]
Well, a response to Hobbitz, Pity and Death, (Not going to explain Death, but that is a main aspect in the book), are major aspects of the book, and is indeed shown throughout the whole book. For example, Tolkien uses Gandalf in the Mines of Moria to express pity and its values.

[i:3h2m45t9] "Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many."[/i:3h2m45t9]

And also, you can obviously see that Frodo does many things as Bilbo does, and here is just one more example of that, Frodo having pity with Gollum, just as Bilbo did. Bilbo had many chances to just stab Gollum with Sting and be done with it! And yes, it probably
I was following your response with great interest LITD, but you seem to be missing a piece of your concluding paragraph :? .

[b:2a6ezjbv]GB[/b:2a6ezjbv]
Huh. . . that is rather odd, I must have been in the middle of typing it and then the phone must have rang or something. Well, what I meant to say is that both Frodo's and Bilbo's pity obviously did have had a huge impact on the story, and if they had not been so pitiful of Gollum things would have fallen apart with the trip to Mordor. Thus, the all-knowing Gandalf :P , predicted it correctly.

[i:1p3345nm]"My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over."[/i:1p3345nm]

[b:1p3345nm][i:1p3345nm]LITD[/i:1p3345nm][/b:1p3345nm]
Well, I remember watching a behind the scenes clip about this whole scene. Oringinally, Jackson had Frodo pushing gollum into the lava, but changed it to Frodo fighting for the ring. I personally thought it was a little dramatic, but still good. It worked. In the book, Frodo's finger gets bitten off, and then Gollum falls off the ledge by himself. Frodo still, wouldn't have thrown it in the fire had his finger not gotten bitten off, and I think thats what Jackson elaborated in the film. So i think, all in all, it was a good thing.
I just had another thought on the subject.
It was greed that lead to the creation of the ring. Sauron desired control over others so much he created powerful rings for others. Then he created his one ring to rule the rulers. Greed forced him to put much of his own power into the ring so that he could control the others.
And it was that very same greed in the ring that lead to it's destruction. The book with it's Eucatastrophe aside, the movie is better (in this thought process).
Think of it, without a eucatastrophe to drop Gollum in the pit, the ring would have survived. Instead, greed for the ring, on both Frodo and Gollum's parts, lead to the rings destruction.
[i:3qu05nyh]I know what I'm thinking but having trouble with the words, so bear with me.[/i:3qu05nyh]
Frodo, as the hero, set the stage for the rings destruction. Any single person, regardless of strength, never could have tossed the ring in the fire. At the last they would have been overwhelmed and claimed the ring for their own. If they had not already done so on the road there.
So it is only by both Frodo and Gollum being present, that the greed inspired by the ring turned to it's own undoing. Only through the struggle of Frodo and Gollum could the ring have made it over the edge.
Jackson quite nicely, and with a minimal change, made the rings destruction from something that just sort of happened (or was caused by a higher fate), into the destructive nature of evil destroying itself.

Then, once you get your head wrapped around that, think on this comment from Gandalf. He said that it never entered Sauron's thoughts that they might try to destroy the ring. But what if Gandalf was wrong. Perhaps Sauron did think they might try, but still never worried about it. He had that base covered already. The power of the ring simply would not allow someone to do it. The power of the ring would have corrupted the person and forced them to reveal themselves to him.
That, and any party big enough to overwhelm the ring bearer and force his hand, would have been easily picked up by his own forces.
So we have Sauron defeated by the truly most unpredictable of things. A power struggle over the ring, that made an oops and dropped the ring in by accident.
I guess there was still some level of Eucatastrophe, but it wasn't as big as the book originally put it.
Well, Frodo and Sauron's greed was different, no? Sure, they both had a large quantity of greed, but they were different types. Sauron only had the greed for power. Frodo and Bilbo, (and Gollum), it seems never wanted the Ring for Power, but they found it as a treasure. . . their precious. They just seemed complete if they had it in their positions or if they were wearing it on their finger, I do not think they had that greed to be the all-powerful ruler of Middle-Earth.

You said, Show, that: "[i:fcz48rr6]And it was that very same greed in the ring that lead to it's destruction.[/i:fcz48rr6]".

I'm not understanding how those two are the same greed, perhaps that is not what you meant? Elaborate?
I'm with you all the way Show. If you go back and look at what I posted earlier you will see I was pointing to the same thing (or did I post that at Narniaweb? :roll: ). Basically though my position has always centered on the point that the Ring would not allow itself to be intentionally destroyed by causing an "Addiction" in its bearers, thus the only means of destroying it required at least two equally "addicted" people to fight over it at the edge of the Lava Pit. It could only be destroyed "accidentally", or Providentially if you will.

LITD, I think Show meant "Addiction" when he said Greed. In that sense of "Greed", Frodo, and Gollum (and to a far less degree Bilbo) were all addicted to the Ring.

[b:20heaqif]GB[/b:20heaqif]
I think that both versions fit the medium that they are in. Jackson's method was the best method for the film, but Tolkien's method was much better for the book. Jackson had only one story to tell (in the form of 3 films), and he needed to end it with something strong and solid.
Tolkien had created a universe. He had manuscripts to back it up. He had countless drafts and revisions, literally decades of blood sweat and tears he put into it. Although Jackson had much of the same, his ended with LOTR (and somewhat Hobbit). Tolkien continued until his death. So the eucatastrophe was so much more fitting. I love it because after such huge things had been happening, and after the whole world had been half-destroyed had been destroyed 2 or 3 times (the Valar, elves, and men trying to defeat Melkor and Sauron), the simplest of things, a mere slip of the foot, ended it all. Of course, after that there was always the corruption of men to deal with (which we still deal with today).
The eucatastrophe was so small that it was too big for the movie. Haha, that's absurd I know, but please understand me. In order for the eucatastrophe to work, it must be surrounded by insurmountably huge events that had been happening for thousands of years. Jackson only had the time period of LOTR to film, so his endeavor was too small for the small event of the eucatastrophe. So he had to put in something bigger (for his small endeavor) to take its place.

Now I feel smart because I actually made that a teeny bit clearer than mud... <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what I meant. I was having trouble getting my vague thoughts into words. It happens.

I think it was something along the lines that the greed Frodo was feeling was in fact Sauron's. Therefor making it not two different greeds but all one and the same. Being all Saurons Greed and evil.
You mean like the greed Frodo was feeling was not his own, it was purposefully generated by the Ring and backed by Sauron. For indeed, Sauron put most of his being into the Ring.

Since most of Sauron (but not all) was in the Ring, the Ring's first priority was to restore itself to Sauron so that they could be complete. But it knew that if it couldn't complete that, that if it took over its bearer then, although it wouldn't have the small part that Sauron didn't put in the Ring, it would still be 95% complete. So another Sauron would arise, 95% as powerful. This is of course assuming that the bearer would give in. Frodo almost did. But he was able to hold out long enough so that he didn't.
I wasn't too pleased with the ending Jackson gave us. I don't think that the films' scope was too small for the eucatastrophe to take place: the prologue and continual references throughout the films of a long and storied past to Middle-earth are able to establish the basics of the structure. The main body of LOTR the book (not counting the Appendices since they come after the end of the story) does not reveal the stories of the First and Second Ages, though there are scattered references that can be picked up if one has read the Silmarillion and other works.

Another interesting point about the destruction of the Ring is that Tolkien held that God, Eru, was the one who caused it. In Letter 182 he refers to Eru as "the Writer of the Story ... 'that one ever-present Person who is never absent and never named'". In the movies however, it is the intervention of Frodo (trying to re-claim the Ring) rather than Eru who causes it to be destroyed. This change quite simply misses the point about the Ring: [i:1l957ttu]it was utterly beyond anyone to destroy[/i:1l957ttu] (save God). It could have been worse - in an early cut of the film Frodo pushed Gollum over the edge - but the change is still present in the version we see, even if it is not as significant.

In the end, going back to the original question, I think Tolkien addresses it quite well in Letter 246 where he says: "Frodo indeed 'failed' as a hero, as conceived by simple minds".
But Frodo did not intend to have Gollum and the Ring fall over the edge. He wanted the Ring. He was consumed by it. In the book, the Ring ended with an accident. Gollum was obsessed with the Ring, and was looking at it, and stepped to far, and fell. An accident. In the movie, Frodo and Gollum were struggling over the Ring, and they stepped too far, and fell. An accident.
The only difference in the movie is the fact that Frodo, after having his finger bitten off, decided to try to get the Ring back. And, visually, this is probably the best idea. You don't want Frodo on his knees just sitting there wallowing over his poor finger while Gollum is overly jubilant over getting the Ring. If Frodo was possessed by the Ring (which he was), that ownership that the Ring had on him would not end until the Ring died. So he wouldn't care about his finger for very long. The Ring's possession of him would draw him until the Ring itself was destroyed.
In the book, this probably would have happened too, if it had not happened a lot faster. It was like, Gollum got the ring by biting Frodo's finger off, and he held the ring in his hand and fell off. In the movie, he rejoiced for a spell, so Frodo had time to act.

Was it a good idea to add 30 seconds of time in the movie? I think it was. You get to SEE (which is what movies are all about) Gollum's reaction when he once again obtains ownership of the Ring. You also get to see the Ring's total possession of Frodo in the fact that not even a severed finger gushing with blood would stop him from retrieving his precious.
[quote="Beren":3h0x29e6]In the movie, Frodo and Gollum were struggling over the Ring, and they stepped too far, and fell. An accident.
The only difference in the movie is the fact that Frodo, after having his finger bitten off, decided to try to get the Ring back.[/quote:3h0x29e6]

The point is right there in the second sentence of the quote. The destruction of the Ring in the book was the result of the direct intervention of God. In the movie it was because a pair of brawlers slipped and fell. One could suppose that [i:3h0x29e6]possibly[/i:3h0x29e6] Jackson intended for this to be the work of Eru (though personally I'm doubtful that he's ever read Letter 246), but it is still the intervention of [i:3h0x29e6]Frodo[/i:3h0x29e6] at the very end that makes it possible.

[quote:3h0x29e6]And, visually, this is probably the best idea.[/quote:3h0x29e6]

Looking at the scene purely from the perspective of visual interest then you are absolutely correct. However, I think that the story is more important when the two aspects have to clash.

[quote:3h0x29e6]If Frodo was possessed by the Ring (which he was), that ownership that the Ring had on him would not end until the Ring died. So he wouldn't care about his finger for very long. The Ring's possession of him would draw him until the Ring itself was destroyed.[/quote:3h0x29e6]

He was also probably in shock and intense pain, and it would take some time for him to be able to do anything. I think we're on the same page with this.

[quote:3h0x29e6]In the book, this probably would have happened too, if it had not happened a lot faster. It was like, Gollum got the ring by biting Frodo's finger off, and he held the ring in his hand and fell off. In the movie, he rejoiced for a spell, so Frodo had time to act.[/quote:3h0x29e6]

A lot of things in the book would've been different if the chain of events was altered. That's circular reasoning though. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> Also, Gollum rejoiced in the book too, and it was during that rejoicing that he fell.

[quote:3h0x29e6]Was it a good idea to add 30 seconds of time in the movie? I think it was. You get to SEE (which is what movies are all about) Gollum's reaction when he once again obtains ownership of the Ring. You also get to see the Ring's total possession of Frodo in the fact that not even a severed finger gushing with blood would stop him from retrieving his precious.[/quote:3h0x29e6]

The movies could have SHOWN us Gollum's reaction and yet not deviated from the book. There were already plenty of examples of Frodo's obsession about the Ring and the weight it was on him, so that does not necessitate a change, particularly one with as radical an effect on the story.
Forgive me if I am misunderstanding who is taking which position Beren and Eldorion. But I just want to add my perspective and see if it makes sense to either of you.

In my view, Jackson's version matches up just fine with Tolkien's. Though the details are slightly different, it's clear to any who were paying attention, that Jackson was paying far more than lip service to Tolkien's notion that Providence was the key to destroying the Ring.

The Ring could not be destroyed intentionally by one individual. It simply would not allow it's own destruction. Sensing it's impending Doom, it would overwhelm any Ring-bearer at that point.

In the Mines of Moria, Gandalf makes it clear that the fate of an individual is not up to another to decide, and that for good or ill Gollum had a role yet to play, and that Frodo was meant to have the Ring . He is talking about Providence , clear as Day.

Gollum, thought to be dead by Frodo and Sam, survives his fall into the chasm outside Shelob's Lair. He reappears on the slopes of Mt Doom, just in time to battle for the Ring. This was a necessary component to the destruction of the Ring. Providence again. And finally, on the ledge, the last struggle seals the Ring's fate. It's not really important who ends up with the Ring at that point. What is important is what Providence demands. The Struggle itself. Only by someone "Accidentally" falling with the Ring or dropping it, can the Ring be carried into the Lava Pit of Doom. As long as Jackson demonstrated this, he was perfectly in keeping with Tolkien's notion of Providence.

Providence works through individuals, by choosing those who are most likely to choose a path that synchronizes with the needs of Providence. This is different from the Manipulative Power of the Dark Side, which forces individuals to bend to it's Will, against their own judgment. So Choice and Destiny in the hands of Providence are two sides of the same coin.

[b:1gdu53or]GB[/b:1gdu53or]
you stated my position perfectly, GB. Although the details were altered a bit, no one person destroyed the Ring. Frodo did not destroy it. He didn't push Gollum over. He didn't want to fall, and he didn't want Gollum to fall (or at least, he didn't think of it). It was still Providence who made them both trip and fall over the ledge. It was still an "act of God."
I think this comes down to a pure adaptation issue. Not everything that works in a book works in a movie. The definition of a faithful adaptation is this: turning a great book into a great movie. It doesn't mean that you have to follow the book to the letter. In fact, it might turn out pretty bad if you did that. You need to take the book and change it into a movie. Movies are different than books, but if you communicate the purpose, theme, and fundamental events of the book to the audience, then you have the same story.
I don't think Tolkien's point was that no one person could destroy the Ring and they had to work together. I believe it was, as he said in Letter 246, that [i:33dup1jf]no one could destroy the Ring[/i:33dup1jf], period. The obvious exception to this, of course, is Eru. However, Eru had (for some reason) decided to wait until the Ring was at the very brink to intervene. So while no one but God destroyed the Ring directly, there were a lot of people working indirectly to destroy. I wonder if we're just saying the same thing now though. :roll:

Anyway, my main beef with Jackson's method is that in it the Ring would not have been destroyed if not for Frodo getting up and attacking Gollum. This action by Frodo seemed to be more because of the corruption of the Ring and Frodo's obsession with it than the intervention of Providence.
I don't think Beren or I are saying that it could be destroyed by "working together" Eldorion. Quite the opposite in fact <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . I think we are just having a semantic issue. Because clearly Providence (which is in the hands of Eru) is the only power that can destroy the Ring.

[b:1ddmxrsc]GB[/b:1ddmxrsc]
1. we're not saying that since 2 people were working at it was the reason why it was destroyed. We are saying that, in the book and in the movie, the Ring was destroyed by Eru. If Eru didn't intervene, the Ring probably would have let Frodo get It, and Gollum would have fallen (or maybe not). Anyways, no matter who got it, the Ring would have made sure that someone got it, and that they would turn into Dark Lord #2.

2. The Ring WOULD have been destroyed if it wasn't for Frodo (as evidenced by the book). If Frodo hadn't attacked Gollum, Eru would have caused Gollum and the Ring to fall over, as He did in the book. But since Frodo did attack Gollum (in the movie), Eru made all three fall, but enabled Frodo to catch the ledge.
So yes, Eldorion, on principle, we are all in agreement :mrgreen: . It is just the particulars of [i:1r2skr2g][b:1r2skr2g]how[/b:1r2skr2g][/i:1r2skr2g] Illuvatar accomplished this goal that is the sticky wicket.

[b:1r2skr2g]GB[/b:1r2skr2g]
Okay then, it seems that we agree about the whole "more than one person" bit. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />

[quote="Beren":k92fsxay]The Ring WOULD have been destroyed if it wasn't for Frodo (as evidenced by the book). If Frodo hadn't attacked Gollum, Eru would have caused Gollum and the Ring to fall over, as He did in the book. But since Frodo did attack Gollum (in the movie), Eru made all three fall, but enabled Frodo to catch the ledge.[/quote:k92fsxay]

I'm not sure I would use the events of the book as a guide for what would have happened. Jackson played fast and loose with the book canon enough for me to not take anything for granted just because it happened that way in the book, and I've seen no evidence that [i:k92fsxay]in the films[/i:k92fsxay] it was the intervention of God that allowed the destruction of the Ring.

I think that my earlier point - that Frodo's obsession-driven attack was what caused the destruction of the Ring - stands in light of the above with regard to the films. I freely admit that this is rather subjective because of Jackson didn't give a clear indication one way or another, but I see no reason why Eru would wait a bit longer than He did in the original (book) version, unless we are treating the film and the book as separate (which I think we should for the purposes of this discussion). If we are to do that though, it goes back to my original point.
[quote="Eldorion":1rljtvym]I've seen no evidence that [i:1rljtvym]in the films[/i:1rljtvym] it was the intervention of God that allowed the destruction of the Ring.[/quote:1rljtvym]

The very fact that the Ring was destroyed by an accident (the slip of a foot) is evidence that it was the intervention of Eru.

[quote="Eldorion":1rljtvym]I see no reason why Eru would wait a bit longer than He did in the original (book) version, unless we are treating the film and the book as separate (which I think we should for the purposes of this discussion).[/quote:1rljtvym]

Yes, we should have been treating them as separate. It's not that Eru waited "longer" in the movie, because, if they are separate, there is nothing to compare to. So why did he decide to "push" them over at that particular time? We're back to adaptation. I think the answer is this: it just works better on screen. Ok, so Eru isn't Jackson. Eru didn't decide that because it works better on screen. Jackson decided what Eru did. It is fiction, after all.
[quote="Beren":332fstp5]The very fact that the Ring was destroyed by an accident (the slip of a foot) is evidence that it was the intervention of Eru.[/quote:332fstp5]

That's evidence in the book yes, but there's no evidence of that in the movie. Why should we assume that part of the book was carried over to the film when Jackson cut out so much of the rest? What is the standard?

I can't really respond to the rest of your post without repeating myself, since this difference is really at the heart of the matter. I do not think Jackson gave any indication that Eru was involved.
[quote="Eldorion":27zbu8hr]That's evidence in the book yes, but there's no evidence of that in the movie. Why should we assume that part of the book was carried over to the film when Jackson cut out so much of the rest? What is the standard?[/quote:27zbu8hr]

What is the evidence (from that scene) that is in the book but not in the movie? I just watched it again, and Frodo and Gollum were jerking each other around, struggling to get the Ring. They jerked too far, and off they went. Pure Providence.

A thought just occurred to me. I remember from watching the special features of ROTK that Jackson said he was convinced that he needed Frodo to go over the edge. I don't know why or anything, but it does lend to a great emotional moment between Frodo and Sam. But it seems that this conviction of Jackon's was what sparked the need to have Frodo try to get the Ring back.

So, in the end, everything was done in the name of faithful adaptation. Jackson believed that the scene would be best portrayed and communicated by having Frodo go over (and hang by the ledge). This is what made him have to make that one slight change.
[quote="Beren":2a0enh3d]What is the evidence (from that scene) that is in the book but not in the movie? I just watched it again, and Frodo and Gollum were jerking each other around, struggling to get the Ring. They jerked too far, and off they went. Pure Providence.[/quote:2a0enh3d]

There isn't any, but that's not the point. We only know that it was divine intervention because of a statement made by Tolkien, and I see no reason to assume why that statement applies to [i:2a0enh3d]Peter Jackson[/i:2a0enh3d]'s story. For all we now the Ring in Jackson's version of Middle-earth was destroyed by pure chance.

[quote:2a0enh3d]Jackson said he was convinced that he needed Frodo to go over the edge. I don't know why or anything, but it does lend to a great emotional moment between Frodo and Sam. But it seems that this conviction of Jackon's was what sparked the need to have Frodo try to get the Ring back.
So, in the end, everything was done in the name of faithful adaptation. [/quote:2a0enh3d]

Huh? How does consciously changing the story because of a personal preference constitute a faithful adaptation? (Faithful is defined as [i:2a0enh3d]"close, faithful (marked by fidelity to an original) "a close translation"; "a faithful copy of the portrait"; "a faithful rendering of the observed facts""[/i:2a0enh3d] by [url=http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=faithful:2a0enh3d]WordNet[/url:2a0enh3d].)
[quote="Eldorion":3fjxunrs]Huh? How does consciously changing the story because of a personal preference constitute a faithful adaptation? (Faithful is defined as [i:3fjxunrs]"close, faithful (marked by fidelity to an original) "a close translation"; "a faithful copy of the portrait"; "a faithful rendering of the observed facts""[/i:3fjxunrs] by [url=http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=faithful:3fjxunrs]WordNet[/url:3fjxunrs].)[/quote:3fjxunrs]

My sentence saying that everything was done for faithful adaptation was in summary of my entire post, not part of the second paragraph. Sorry for the confusion.

And Jackson's conviction wasn't personal preference. It was a conviction that he had. He believed that, on film, it worked best as a climax if Frodo went over the edge. It wasn't that he [i:3fjxunrs]wanted[/i:3fjxunrs] Frodo to go over, he thought it was [i:3fjxunrs]best[/i:3fjxunrs]. What I was saying in my summary statement was that Jackson, (and Boyens and Walsh), when they were writing the script, were doing so in the spirit of Tolkien. They wanted to take the story of LOTR and make it a movie. They made every decision with the conviction that Tolkien would have done the same. They did nothing out of preference (except for stylistic characteristics, like the Uruk-Hai head stuck on the pole). This "code" of theirs was what guided them.
But, guess what? They are human, and since Tolkien is dead, they sometimes had to make educated guesses on what Tolkien would have done. There is plenty of room for them to be wrong in some aspects. But, overall, I think Tolkien would have been very impressed with their job. Yes, he would probably nit-pick it, but deep down, I think that he'd be satisfied.
[quote="Beren":376a675y]And Jackson's conviction wasn't personal preference. It was a conviction that he had. He believed that, on film, it worked best as a climax if Frodo went over the edge. It wasn't that he [i:376a675y]wanted[/i:376a675y] Frodo to go over, he thought it was [i:376a675y]best[/i:376a675y].[/quote:376a675y]

Conviction, preference: it's semantics. My point is that Jackson made a change.

[quote="Beren":376a675y]What I was saying in my summary statement was that Jackson, (and Boyens and Walsh), when they were writing the script, were doing so in the spirit of Tolkien.[/quote:376a675y]

I've seen variations of this argument before, but I've not yet a specific statement of what the "spirit" was. If you could provide one that could be preserved despite numerous changes to the details of the story it would be much appreciated. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />

[quote:376a675y]They wanted to take the story of LOTR and make it a movie. They made every decision with the conviction that Tolkien would have done the same. They did nothing out of preference (except for stylistic characteristics, like the Uruk-Hai head stuck on the pole).[/quote:376a675y]

Do you have any evidence for this claim? Let's look at what the filmmakers actually said about their decision in "From Book to Film" on the ROTK EE:

[quote="Philippa Boyens":376a675y]And we also knew that we needed Frodo to go over the edge, we needed for him to go. And the reason we wanted him to go over the edge was because we felt one of the most dramatic moments was not just the death of Gollum and then Sam saying "come on Mr. Frodo, we've got to get out of here". It's gotta be "Don't you let go", and to make that a tough choice for Frodo. We needed to give him the other choice, which was to let go and end it all. And you can't do that by just having him stay there and not get up, you need to have him dangling over the edge.[/quote:376a675y]

No mention of the "spirit" of Tolkien, and no mention of what Tolkien "would have done". For that matter, we know what Tolkien would have done: it's what he did in the book. And no, the process of adapting the story to film did not make it necessary for Frodo to fight with Gollum and fall of the edge with him. We also know what Tolkien's general opinion on adaptation was:

[quote="Letter 210":376a675y]The canons of narrative art in any medium cannot be wholly different; and the failure of poor films is often precisely in exaggeration, and in the intrusion of unwarranted matter owing to not perceiving where the core of the original lies.[/quote:376a675y]

This could very well have been written about Peter Jackson.

[quote="Beren":376a675y]But, overall, I think Tolkien would have been very impressed with their job. Yes, he would probably nit-pick it, but deep down, I think that he'd be satisfied.[/quote:376a675y]

I am highly doubtful of that given the above quote and the rest of Letter 210 (particularly the passage [i:376a675y]"I would ask them to make an effort of imagination sufficient to understand the irritation (and on occasion the resentment) of an author, who finds, increasingly as he proceeds, his work treated as it would seem carelessly in general, in places recklessly, and with no evident signs of any appreciation of what it is all about"[/i:376a675y] - for a lengthy analysis of Letter 210 and how it relates to PJ that I found, see [url=http://www.lotrplaza.com/archive4/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=50&TopicID=183605&PagePosition=1:376a675y]here[/url:376a675y].) Just because you liked the films doesn't mean Tolkien would have.
I think "a close translation" is the applicable definition Eldorion. Just as when one translates popular idiom from one language to another, one must often drastically alter the key words and phrases to convey the same meaning; when adapting from a book to film one must often alter a scene to translate the meaning of the passage to a vision that means the same thing.

As I pointed out in a post on the last page, Jackson used dialogue in several scenes to directly attribute events and actions to Destiny, i.e. Providence prior to the final scene, making it clear that the Rings fate was in the hands of Providence. The final scene was definitely "Faithful" to the meaning of Tolkiens written scene, if not to the letter. And as Beren says, Pure Providence. Again, If you consider this, I think you will see that the disagreement is based purely on semantics.

[b:ev97ok6r]GB[/b:ev97ok6r]
[quote="Eldorion":tokytr7o]No mention of the "spirit" of Tolkien, and no mention of what Tolkien "would have done". For that matter, we know what Tolkien would have done: it's what he did in the book. And no, the process of adapting the story to film did not make it necessary for Frodo to fight with Gollum and fall of the edge with him.[/quote:tokytr7o]

Then what about these two quotes:

[quote="Boyens":tokytr7o]Although we have made some significant changes, we’ve tried to be faithful and true to the spirit of the end of that book.[/quote:tokytr7o] She acknowledges that they made changes (that will madden some people), but she said that their purpose was to stick with Tolkien. This is what I've been saying all along.

[quote="Brian Sibley (Tolkien Expert)":tokytr7o]THIS is the story living in a different medium. What I hope is that people will see the film and say, “What Peter Jackson has captured, what his actors have personified, is something which is really the heart, the spirit of the book.[/quote:tokytr7o]
If a Tolkien EXPERT believes this, I think that should be enough for us amateurs. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
[quote="Beren":1i0aswvq]Then what about these two quotes:

[quote="Boyens":1i0aswvq]Although we have made some significant changes, we’ve tried to be faithful and true to the spirit of the end of that book.[/quote:1i0aswvq] She acknowledges that they made changes (that will madden some people), but she said that their purpose was to stick with Tolkien. This is what I've been saying all along.[/quote:1i0aswvq]

So ... they say they've tried to be true to the spirit of the book, yet they have made changes for no apparent reason other than they didn't like it (take Faramir for example). I have a hard time believing the filmmakers though that Tolkien would have done the same as they did and changed one of the characters so radically? I might disagree with some of their decisions, but I don't think they're idiots.

We can keep quote-mining for a long time, or we can look at what the filmmakers DID, as opposed to what they said.

[quote="Beren":1i0aswvq][quote="Brian Sibley (Tolkien Expert)":1i0aswvq]THIS is the story living in a different medium. What I hope is that people will see the film and say, “What Peter Jackson has captured, what his actors have personified, is something which is really the heart, the spirit of the book.[/quote:1i0aswvq]
If a Tolkien EXPERT believes this, I think that should be enough for us amateurs. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />[/quote:1i0aswvq]

1. "Tolkien Expert" is incredibly generic. What are Sibley's credentials beyond producing a different adaptation of LOTR? A title given to him by the filmmakers does not automatically give him authority on Tolkien's works.

2. Brian Sibley was involved in the making of the film, so he has a vested interest in making them look as good as possible.

3. Ever heard of the [url=http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/fallacies.html:1i0aswvq]Appeal to Authority[/url:1i0aswvq]? It's a logical fallacy. The hopes of a (supposed) "Tolkien Expert" are not a substitute for an actual argument. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":1193mys7]Jackson used dialogue in several scenes to directly attribute events and actions to Destiny, i.e. Providence prior to the final scene, making it clear that the Rings fate was in the hands of Providence. The final scene was definitely "Faithful" to the meaning of Tolkiens written scene, if not to the letter.[/quote:1193mys7]

Talking specifically about the destruction of the Ring (as opposed to the films in general) you may have a point. How is one to discern this meaning though? For instance: I've encountered a few people who didn't think Providence had anything to do with it. I ask as a matter of general curiosity because "meaning" (or "spirit"Wink Smilie seems a very nebulous and subjective concept.
Too true Eldorion (re: Experts) :mrgreen: . But I think our own arguments stand on their own. Jackson's films provide ample overt (as opposed to implied) indications of Providence in the story, and I pointed out some of the key scenes in a post on the last page. Given that, there is no reason to believe that all of a sudden Jackson abandoned Providence in the Climactic scene of the story. Beren and I have both demonstrated how that scene (in the film) reflects the Hand of Providence. I think the ball is in your court now to demonstrate that it does not <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

[b:168bj74n]GB[/b:168bj74n]
I just saw your last post Eldorion. Yes, it's true that the scene is [i:2jr8869o][b:2jr8869o]just[/b:2jr8869o][/i:2jr8869o] nebulous enough in meaning that an Atheist can enjoy it and interpret it as Random Chance. But the same can be said of Tolkien's version too. In fact Tolkien went out of his way to leave things up to the interpretation of the reader. But...Tolkien, and Jackson, also made it perfectly clear to anyone paying attention, that the Hand of Providence was a key part of the story.

[b:2jr8869o]GB[/b:2jr8869o]
I've thought on it a bit GB, and re-read a good deal of this thread. I think the best argument for it being Providence was mentioned back on the first page, where you mentioned the line by Gandalf about how Frodo was "meant" to have the Ring. I think that's the closest the films come to mentioned Providence (though as I recall Jackson prefers the term "fate" in the documentary features).

However, this line does not mean that the fall of the edge was the [i:4jxs7lrf]direct[/i:4jxs7lrf] intervention of Providence. I think there's a difference between Frodo being meant to have the Ring and Frodo and Gollum being given a little "nudge" to fall of the edge. Forgive me if I'm missing something staring me in the eye, but where is the evidence in the film (not referencing back to the book) that that event was direct intervention by Providence?

Given that you and Beren are the ones making the positive argument, I think the burden is on you to provide evidence (not assertions or opinions) for your interpretation of the events.
Well I gave it my best shot <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> . C'est La Vie :lol: .

[b:1o5589tm]GB[/b:1o5589tm]
I have not read all pages of this thread, so forgive me if someone already said this.

The problem with Peter Jackson's version of the destruction of the ring is that his screenwriters did not fully understand the story and what happened. In the book, as Sam and Frodo are struggling up Mt Doom, they are attacked by Gollum. Frodo finally throws Gollum down and, clutching the ring in his fist, he says (may not be an exact quote) "If you touch me again, you shall be cast yourself into the fire." That was a command that Frodo made upon the ring, even though he may not have realized it when he said it. He has commanded that Gollum fall into the fire if he touches Frodo again, and it is that command that causes Gollum to fall into the fire in the book.
Welcome to the forum Bookworm. :mrgreen:

I don't think that the Ring would have recognized a command from Frodo. Indeed, the Ring had taken command of Frodo at that point. And it certainly wouldn't have allowed itself to be intentionally cast into the fires of Mt Doom. I think you are likely reading into the text something that isn't there.

But it's an interesting perspective worthy of discussion. We'll soon see what others think I'm sure. We thrive on friendly debate here :ugeek: .

[b:1cmw93n5]GB[/b:1cmw93n5]
I was never actually clear if in the book it is Frodo or the [i:2wz9mieu]Ring itself[/i:2wz9mieu] speaking to Gollum. The passage describes Frodo as "a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire. Out of the fire there spoke a commanding voice...." ([i:2wz9mieu]RotK[/i:2wz9mieu], Mount Doom). That's not really conclusive one way or the other for me. :?

This has been said a number of times in this thread, but it was the divine intervention of Eru that pushed Gollum over the book, cf. Letter 182.

Also, welcome to the forum Bookworm! :mrgreen:
[quote="Eldorion":3qeutrag]I was never actually clear if in the book it is Frodo or the [i:3qeutrag]Ring itself[/i:3qeutrag] speaking to Gollum. The passage describes Frodo as "a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire. Out of the fire there spoke a commanding voice...." ([i:3qeutrag]RotK[/i:3qeutrag], Mount Doom). That's not really conclusive one way or the other for me. :?

This has been said a number of times in this thread, but it was the divine intervention of Eru that pushed Gollum over the book, cf. Letter 182.

Also, welcome to the forum Bookworm! :mrgreen:[/quote:3qeutrag]

This quote from the book clearly shows that the power of the ring is at work here. The voice speaking, I think, must be Frodo's. At least, if the ring has any "will of its own" (which clearly it does) then it would have been far better off in Gollum's possession (who wanted to save it) than Frodo's (who wanted to destroy it). Of course, it is debatable whether or not the ring has any sense of what its holder may have in mind for it. It certainly is capable of discerning when its holder is of no further use for it (e.g. when it "abandoned" Gollum in favor of Bilbo in The Hobbit).

Still, I may be reading more into it than is really there.

This is one of the really great things about LOTR. There is a lot of depth to the story.
[quote="Bookworm":2v4dmt6u]The voice speaking, I think, must be Frodo's.[/quote:2v4dmt6u]

Why [i:2v4dmt6u]must[/i:2v4dmt6u] the voice be Frodo's? Last I checked hobbits' mouths are not on their chests. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
[quote="Eldorion":1lb7xyuk][quote="Bookworm":1lb7xyuk]The voice speaking, I think, must be Frodo's.[/quote:1lb7xyuk]

Why [i:1lb7xyuk]must[/i:1lb7xyuk] the voice be Frodo's? Last I checked hobbits' mouths are not on their chests. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />[/quote:1lb7xyuk]

True! However, I have no reason to believe that the ring can speak aloud for itself. It if could, then when Gandalf threw it in the fire at Bag End, it would have yelled, "Ouch! Get me out of here". ;-)
I always assumed it was indeed Frodo speaking. But as he was completely under the Ring's power, his addiction-like Possessiveness made him say that and act in a manner he normally would not. The way Frodo phrased his comment was archaic (that's what you get when a Professor of Olde and Middle English writes a book <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ), but he basically was saying "if you try to take the Ring, I'm going to chuck you in the Flaming Lava Pit" :lol: .

[b:3nj3l7tx]GB[/b:3nj3l7tx]
I think the Tolkien fans might be reading into this one too much- I find it hard to imagine a non-Tolkien fan would walk away from Jackson's Mt Doom scene thinking "God did that." What we have in Jacksons treatment of the scene owes far more to the rules of Hollywood that it does to Tolkien.
1. Any conflict taking place on a ledge between 2 characters over a great height, lava, water or pointy rocks must result in the hero being left dangling precariously from the ledge.
2. Any internal conflict a character may be undergoing must be acted out (hence the fight between Frodo and Gollum.)
3. Any moral decision made by the hero must also be acted out or voiced aloud. (Hence the dialogue between Sam and Frodo as Frodo dangles from the ledge).
These are cinema devices. This is purely about cinema drama not the original book-whilst myself and others here it seems would have been happy to see the scene play out as in the book the non-Tolkien viewer would most likely have gained little satisfaction from a quick dance and a slip of the foot.
[quote="pettytyrant101":1ci8wxrf]I think the Tolkien fans might be reading into this one too much- I find it hard to imagine a non-Tolkien fan would walk away from Jackson's Mt Doom scene thinking "God did that."[/quote:1ci8wxrf]

I agree. While Jackson toned down the 'Frodo murdering Gollum' part of the scene from earlier versions, it still seemed clear from the film (to me, at least) that Gollum only fell because Frodo attacked him to try to get the Ring back. No God component present.

[quote:1ci8wxrf]the non-Tolkien viewer would most likely have gained little satisfaction from a quick dance and a slip of the foot.[/quote:1ci8wxrf]

Perhaps, but then again people have been able to read the book and appreciate the ending for decades. I'm not sure what the difference between Tolkien viewers and non-Tolkien viewers is that would stop the 'non-Tolkien' ones from appreciating the original ending in cinematic form. The only difference I can think of is that the Tolkien ones have read the book, but that doesn't make them terribly different. :?
Thanks for the response Edorion, I wasn't clear as I should have been of my use of the terms Tolkien and non-Tolkien audience. I was thinking here in terms of how the company marketing the film is thinking. For some reason adapting something for what they consider to be the wider audience-nearly always more people will not have read a book being adapted than will have- seems to mean dumbing it down. I do not condone this practice but despise it, especially when its applied to Lord of the Rings. But it seems to be what has happened here- in the absence of any of the deeper resonances from the book in the film it is impossible to deliver the books ending. By the time the reader reaches Mount Doom the whole twisted history of the ring has, bit by bit being revealed, from its history to its dark character, the role of the Powers has been hinted strongly at- as the film fails to capture these aspects they are by necessity absent from the Mt Doom scene.
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