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Thread: What would you change about the LotR film trilogy?

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I thought those lady writers would have been more maternal and tolerant about Tolkien's baby. You know, allowed it to grow up with the least amount of insistence on being something it weren't, Hail.

And 63 - if I may be so bold as in calling you that - I haven't seen a donkey for ages! Have we done it again? As to these haggis folk, if you had listened a little more closely, you would know they are a Scottish skeleton-in-the-cupboard. We should not go claiming decimations that we aren't actually responsible for (if indeed they are at risk - for opinion varies). As to 'flip flops', 63, I suppose they only do so when worn by men :?:
Hi Hail Manwe-I'm a noob here too- I just talk a lot since I got here! So feel free to jump in I've found that the locals here are generally most welcoming and when they are not they at least have the decency to either be funny with it or constructive. On your point about the script I couldn't agree more, it's the lack of trust they have in Tolkien and especially in his dialogue that I find most difficult to forgive. How much this has to do with it being written by women I'm not sure - in fact if I'm honest I'm racking my brain for a female writer I really like and a glance at my book shelf shows a largely male authorship- although this may say more about me than female writers! And in the defence of women all I can think of is Born of Hope- which for me is far and away the best Tolkien adaptation on film- funded, driven and directed by a woman- although I think a man wrote the script- need to check that however as I'm not certain.
Much thanks to you guys for not 'skelping' me (a good scots word) with the chauvinistic stick !
I'd feared a step too far so i'm glad you took my meaning.
You're quite right about Born of hope pettytyrant, Although it was produced & directed by Kate
Madison, the script was overseen by Alex Aldridge aided by no less than Arathorn himself, Chris
Dane ! She takes a credit for it but I know the truth !!!
In that film, Tolkiens dialogue/language (his real baby after all) is treated with a lot more respect
which was great to see.
My issue with women adapters/writers goes a little deeper than just maternal instinct although it
does have some similarities with that theory Odo,
Basically, Tolkien (or any man in my opinion) could only conceive a new world with his mind ie;
without his body. Women, on the other hand conceive from within ! ie; without the mind ! By
this I mean it would be much harder for her to understand a creation of something from nothing and
therefore would not really be able to 'get into it' properly. If you've ever had a discussion with a religious
women (and I have had many) most find it hard to go back further than 'god done it, end of...' I very much doubt
the jackson mrs tried to comprehend the concepts of 'voids, light or even rainbows' so lack the necessary
skills & importantly language required to describe them. These are essential elements you would need to understand to
really get inside Tolkiens thought. I have yet to find a woman who could stay with the silmarillion or who
even wanted to !
There are not many female inventors of much note which lends further weight to this
argument. I too, struggle to name many great (non romantic) authors ! Sorry ladies.

Hail !!
Well, I'm not about to "skelp" you Hail Manwe, but I may pwn you :lol: . Methinks one could stand a bit more knowledge of the subject on which one is posting <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . Therefore please hence make forth to the Feminism thread which is in the JRR Tolkien sub-forum and meet me there.

[b:3tmlvmsd]GB[/b:3tmlvmsd]
Theres a feminism thread and you know where it is GB yet you can't remember where the Faramir stuff is? Mmmmmm.
The Faramir stuff is likely spread over several threads related to this one, anything regarding the changes in the films. I haven't looked through all the pages yet to find my posts. As soon as I've located my posts I'll let you know. Suffice it to say for now, that we will no doubt disagree :mrgreen: .

By the way, the invitation to the Feminism Thread is open to all. I welcome the commentary. If I don't get any hits, I may have to repost those posts in this thread <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ).

[b:2wx25lom]GB[/b:2wx25lom]
Faramir was one of the first things I talked about here. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> [url=http://the-hobbit-movie.com/forum/digressions-11-10.html:2qxxthdp]This[/url:2qxxthdp] is the only thread about it that I can remember, though.
Nice 8-) . Thanks Eldorion :mrgreen: . I thought there might be some discussion on another thread too. But that'll do for now.

[b:3ih94sum]GB[/b:3ih94sum]
No problem; I remember that thread since it was one of the first times we talked about the movies and changes. :mrgreen: I'm trying to find one of the other Faramir threads but the forum search says its too common. Guess I'll try advanced search next. 8-)

EDIT: That's not working either. Old-fashioned browsing and clicking, is it, forum software? :x :P
hail !! and well met Pettytyrant. You got the point about the script over better than I did and of course
youre dead right ! Surely the language wasn't THAT hard for the common movie buffs tastes and it would
have made the thing far more believable ! PJ & co's 'dumbing down' was frustrating to say the least.
I always suspected the reason the characters didn't have many lines (eg.. Legolas & Gimli) was because
the actors slices of pie were dependant on their screen time/dialogue ! (Gandalfs Beard will no doubt know
if this is true or not). That wouldn't explain WHAT they actually said though... which, as we all know, wasn't
very much !
I guess they did better with Gollum and I liked wormtoungue's scenes but the utter ruin of 'the last debate'
was too much to bear ! That was one of my favourite parts of the book and I was quite depressed by the
awful dialogue in that scene ! Likewise the extended versions inserted scene of Gandalfs visit to Saruman !
'You were deep in the enemy's counsel' (and again) grrrrrrrrr!!!


Hail !!
Thinking back, in the Two Towers film there's a scene in which Merry and Pippin get kind of swallowed up by a Hourn, a living tree. Do you think it has any connection to the taking out of the Tom Bombabdil -Old Man Willow part in the FSoTR? Do you think it was added to make up for the taking out of that part?

[b:12wpblr1]JD[/b:12wpblr1]
I think the screenwriters were trying to make a "tribute" to Tom Bombadil/The Old Forest in that scene. They switched around dialogue in order to say more lines from the book onscreen, though I'm not sure that was always a good idea, as it sometimes destroyed context (case in point: Faramir's dream given to Eowyn in ROTK).
Yes your right enough J D. In the extended dvd, Jackson mentions that point about old man willow and it
was deliberate.
I agree with you too Eldorion, that was a spoiler for me !
Not to mention the substitution of Arwen for the great Glorfindel at the ford !! (although thats been covered elsewhere)

I wonder if the Hobbit will contain any extra ''missing' parts from LotR ? Perhaps thats yet another idea for a new thread !

Hail !!
Talking of line changes- although they kept the right person- I felt Eowyns line to Aragorn "..because they love thee" came far to early in the film -making her seem like a girl with a head full of fancies- and its abscence later from its rightful place when Aragorn departes for Paths of the Dead reducued that scene to near pointless- never understood why they made that particular change. Any suggestions?
My guess is that it was just another 'lovey dovey' thing in keeping with Jacksons vein of over romanticising the film !
It's an important element in the book and it was right to have it in, somewhere !
On the other hand, I feel Eowyn's story was fairly well told (if not in the right order).

Hail !!
I agree the the Eowyn and Aragorn thing was totally exaggerated, it was totally cringeworthy when Aragorn tells Eowyn he cannot give her what she seeks, when he leaves for the Paths of the Dead... :roll: ...just like a boring hollywood film.

[b:2u0pohs5]JD[/b:2u0pohs5]
I thought this was a boring Hollywood film? I thought the whole point was making money?
In the prologue: Elendil really should have "killed" Sauron and died in the act like in the Silmarillion. Elendil is such a grand and powerful character but all we see of him in the trilogy is him going down almost without a fight. It just didn't do him justice. I do understand, however, that Jackson probably wanted to shift the focus more heavily onto Isildur in order to firmly establish the character in a short period of time. Either way, I like both portrayals of the event even though they are quite different.
An issue the film version raises is why Sauron switched from magic-mace-thwacking to reaching out with an unarmed hand towards Isildur. I'm not really sure what he was trying to accomplish with that, and it made it possible for the Ring to be lost. If Sauron had just whacked Isildur with the mace like everyone else he wouldn't have lost the Ring. I think the book version makes more sense from a realism/believability standpoint, which is important to me. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
Oddly enough Eldo there is canon support for Sauron reaching out with his hand to finish Isildur off (more so than for his magic mace!). In the letter Isildur wrote after acquiring the Ring he says this;
"The Ring misseth, maybe, the heat of Sauron's hand, which was black and yet burned like fire, and so Gil-galad was destroyed."
Except Sauron was in no position to "finish off" Isildur. The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age makes it clear that it was Gil-galad and Elendil who "wrestled" with Sauron, resulting in the demise of all three (this is also stated in LotR, Appendix B). Isildur came and cut the Ring off of Sauron's hand after the fact. To be fair, he claimed to have dealt the "death blow", but even if we assume that wasn't an outright lie to justify his possession of the Ring, it still refers only to him dealing the coup de grace on an already defeated enemy.

I could imagine a scene somewhat like that from PJ's Prologue with Gil-galad subbing for Isildur, though.
Does Sauron even have a big magic mace in canon? I got the impression he fought mainly by exuding total evil (bit like the opposite of Gandlaf -in the book bad guys instinctively avoid him rather than fight him) and by having lethal burning flesh- which is much scarier than a big mace I reckon.
Also there a whole other-world sort of thing going on presumably- when Frodo is near to fading at the Ford of Bruinen he sees Glorfindel as a glowing figure, a shining light - as he is 'on the other side'- given the Ring also allows a view of this other world and that Sauron is a fallen spirit of an angelic order it would be logical to assume that the fight on the slopes of Orodruin was as much a spiritual one as a physical one.
[quote="pettytyrant101":21roxspi]Does Sauron even have a big magic mace in canon?[/quote:21roxspi]

I don't recall any mention of Sauron's weaponry in the books, and as I observed in my last post, Sauron is said to have wrestled with Gil-galad and Elendil. Take that as you will; I'm seeing a WWE Cagematch on the slopes of Mount Doom. :twisted:

[quote:21roxspi]given the Ring also allows a view of this other world and that Sauron is a fallen spirit of an angelic order it would be logical to assume that the fight on the slopes of Orodruin was as much a spiritual one as a physical one.[/quote:21roxspi]

I had never thought of it that way, but it would make a certain degree of sense insofar as Gil-galad is involved. Elendil, being a Man, would have difficulty fighting a spiritual battle of that sort, I think.
I can see how wrestling with someone whose flesh burns could be tricky. maybe Elendils mortal view of things is one of the reasons he got killed!
Love the idea of a cage match- wonder what Saurons entrance theme would be?
I'm hearing Metallica--Enter Sandman 8-) . And screw WWE. I'm talking full on Kumite cage match, no wussified MMA stuff. Full On Death-Match :mrgreen: .

[b:ztfl3auc]GB[/b:ztfl3auc]
I was going to suggest AC/DC - Back in Black or Highway to Hell, but I think Metallica is much more Sauron's style. :mrgreen:
AC/DC--bit too "bluesy" for Middle Earth. No, It has to be Teutonic Metal 8-) .

[b:3gjygyp7]GB[/b:3gjygyp7]
Maybe something more heavy- Slayer?
Well, anything from Metallica up through Death Metal would work really. So Slayer fits the bill. But it definitely has to have churning square rhythms and tight crunchy chords, no loose "bluesy" stuff. I could actually see some Industrial Metal as working too: Rammstein, Die Krupps etc.

Oh...I should add that it shouldn't be too fast though. The rhythms should have a rolling Epic feel to them, like something enormous moving across the landscape.

[b:1ykuyyb1]GB[/b:1ykuyyb1]
If you want somewhat slow, how about Fear of the Dark (Lord) by Iron Maiden? <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />

P.S. GdT or Howard Shore, if you're reading this, please give The Hobbit a heavy metal soundtrack. 8-) :P
I was just wondering why do we call the books canon? I don't get it hahaha is that a common way to refer to the books?
Thanks <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
[quote="Fimbrethil":3l13p4aw]I was just wondering why do we call the books canon? I don't get it hahaha is that a common way to refer to the books?[/quote:3l13p4aw]

Canon, in the literary/cinematic sense, refers to the 'official' material for a franchise, detailing what 'really' happened. For instance, a book might be canon, yet a video game based on it would likely not. Generally when it comes to LotR, "canon" usually means "book canon", though there is a film canon as well. They have some big differences, however, and what is in the film is not part of Tolkien's canon.
So Canon pretty much mean the source material for something?
More or less. You can have canon without having something else to distinguish it from, but its a rather meaningless concept in those cases. On the other hand, derivative works (for example, the books based on Star Wars) can be added to the canon, so it's not always limited to the original work. In the case of LotR it's pretty cut-and-dried though, so there's no sense over-complicating things.
How does it nullify my previous position? If the relevant 'authority' deems it canon (and Lucasfilm has an official canon policy, unlike the Tolkien Estate), why would it not be canon? That said, the fact that the authority for Star Wars is actively involved in determining what is canon and what is not makes Star Wars a [i:21iotzmv]very[/i:21iotzmv] different case than the Tolkien canon.

Additionally, neither Christopher Tolkien nor the Tolkien Estate have given The Silmarillion any higher canonical status over The History of Middle-earth, which is [i:21iotzmv]also[/i:21iotzmv] attributed to Tolkien, was published [i:21iotzmv]after[/i:21iotzmv] The Silmarillion, and contains fewer edits to the actual texts (as opposed to annotations and commentaries in between the actual texts).
[quote:3tdlkvtv][b:3tdlkvtv]Eldorion:[/b:3tdlkvtv]
On the other hand, derivative works (for example, the books based on Star Wars) can be added to the canon, so it's not always limited to the original work.[/quote:3tdlkvtv]

In regards to our previous debate regarding LITERARY Canon, I'd say this statement nullifies your previous position Eldo <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> (not to mention being wrong :mrgreen: ). Derivative works in different mediums are not Canonical to the original work in it's original medium. In other words, a book series based on movies can expand upon the original Canon, but are not themselves Canonical to the films. Likewise, TV shows based on films (like Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles for example), are not Canonical to the original. Nor would films based on books be considered as part of the same Canon stream as the books.

[However, works attributed to an original author, published after their death--even if unfinished and completed by others--can be considered Canon if approved by either the Author's estate and/or those who hold the publication rights (and The Silmarillion fits this bill).]

There are occasionally exceptions to this rule: The film Serenity was intentionally filmed as a Canonical sequel to the TV show Firefly. But these sorts of exceptions are extremely rare.

[b:3tdlkvtv]GB[/b:3tdlkvtv]
I'm not sure I agree with your position on Silmarillion Eldo, although I get where you are coming from. Tolkien does not easily sit with the normal use of the word 'canon' I offer up this from Christopher Tolkien's introducing to UT; (brackets added)

"...the further knowledge of Middle-Earth, to be found in his unpublished writings will often conflict with what is already 'known'....I have made no alterations ( in UT) for the sake of consistency with published works...in this respect therefore 'Unfinished Tales' is essentially different from The Silmarillion as a fixed point of reference of the same order as the writings published by my father himself."

From this it would appear Christopher Tolkien considers The Silmarillion 'canon' but not 'Unfinished Tales.' i would imagine if this is the argument he uses for UT it would apply equally to History and any other posthumously published work excepting The Silmarillion.
And that argument is good enough for me even if its not perhaps the definitive use of the word 'canon'.
[quote="pettytyrant101":g5mk8h1b]Tolkien does not easily sit with the normal use of the word 'canon'[/quote:g5mk8h1b]

Indeed, I would say there is [b:g5mk8h1b]no[/b:g5mk8h1b] single work of Tolkien canon when it comes to his writings on the First Age, and that we should consider things on a case-by-case basis, though the published Silmarillion is useful as a starting point.

[quote:g5mk8h1b]From this it would appear Christopher Tolkien considers The Silmarillion 'canon' but not 'Unfinished Tales.'[/quote:g5mk8h1b]

I find that to be an unjustified conclusion based on Christopher Tolkien's comments in UT. Consider a fuller version of the end part of the quote you gave:

[quote="UT, Introduction":g5mk8h1b]"[b:g5mk8h1b]except in a few specified cases[/b:g5mk8h1b] I have indeed treated the published form of [i:g5mk8h1b]The Silmarillion[/i:g5mk8h1b] as a fixed point of reference of the same order as the writings published by my father himself, [b:g5mk8h1b]without taking into account the innumerable "unauthorised" decisions between variants and rival versions that went into its making[/b:g5mk8h1b]." (emphasis mine)[/quote:g5mk8h1b]

Regardless of what suppositions C.T. may have made when editing [i:g5mk8h1b]Unfinished Tales[/i:g5mk8h1b], his faith, as it were, in TS is weak and bracketed by qualifiers. If Christopher Tolkien had said something to the effect of "I have treated the published form of [i:g5mk8h1b]The Silmarillion[/i:g5mk8h1b] as definitive in the same manner as the writings published by my father himself" without the qualifiers I might have no case, but that is quite different from what he actually said. Even when considering TS as a point of reference (and it's not entirely clear what he means by that), he sees exceptions to this general rule and acknowledges that TS was to a significant degree his work as well as his father's. Something that were canon would have, I think, received a stronger endorsement.

In fact, C.T. had recognized earlier in the Introduction that the history was not "a fixed, independently-existing reality which the author "reports" (in his "persona" as translator and redactor), but as a growing and shifting conception in his mind." This is a rather succinct description of The Silmarillion as Tolkien left it as a whole, and brings to mind a quote from Christina Scull (co-author of the [i:g5mk8h1b]Tolkien Companion and Guide[/i:g5mk8h1b] and [i:g5mk8h1b]LOTR: A Reader's Companion[/i:g5mk8h1b]) that "[p]ractically speaking, of course, none of the Matter of Middle-earth was 'finished' but continued to evolve and was open to second thoughts , while Tolkien lived."

TL;DR: While the published version is useful in giving a general sense of the mythology and a standard with which to compare the other versions (in other words, a fixed point of reference <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ), it's hardly definitive or canonical.

I hope that at least made sense, even if you disagree with it.
It did indeed make sense Eldo however we seem to have come to a different conclusion from the same statement. I had 3 reasons for leaving out the caveat;

1. I was getting bored copying out from the book and wanted to wrap it up.
2. I read the statement to mean that even taking into consideration the caveats he (CT) thought of Silmarillion as 'canon' and "I have indeed treated the published form as a fixed point of reference..." etc therefore I did not feel it necessary to the general point.
3. From previous postings you have made I know 2 things for certain about you (I think)- you own a copy of UT and you are the Lore type and I was certain you would check the quote anyhow and read it for yourself (always best) thus saving my weary fingers unnecessary typing.

I still read it as C.T. saying as far he is concerned when dealing with his fathers work he treats the published Sil on the same level as he does LoTR- which is why I said it was good enough for me- but it may not be for you.
I wasn't trying to suggest that you had dishonest reasons for not typing the rest of the paragraph, and I apologize if that is the impression that I gave. I certainly understand the finger-weariness of typing long passages. However, I feel that the ambiguity in the phrase "point of reference" and the qualifiers that C.T. adds suggest that TS is not on a [i:2ov6aevy]canonical[/i:2ov6aevy] level with TLotR. I may be misinterpreting C.T. (or you might, or we both might), but it is in any event it is not specifically a statement of 'canonization', hence the ambiguity.

At any rate, it's a complicated issue. :lol:
Indeed Tolkien and cannon do not mix.
And fear not Eldo I was not concerned so much at you thinking me dishonest so much as concerned that it might appear so. I had no desire to deceive just to stop typing!
For me the only true canon is confined to pages of TH and LoTR- I like to view the rest from within Tolkien's own conceit- as surviving tales, myths and legends of which history, story and time and have added altered and made many variations of. For me that adds to the realism of LoTR it does not detract from it.
Ahhhh! I'm sorry for starting a debate :lol:
Cannons? No, Tolkien didn't like 'em... :ugeek:
[quote="pettytyrant101":s3vsort1]For me the only true canon is confined to pages of TH and LoTR- I like to view the rest from within Tolkien's own conceit- as surviving tales, myths and legends of which history, story and time and have added altered and made many variations of. For me that adds to the realism of LoTR it does not detract from it.[/quote:s3vsort1]

I agree on both points. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were the only two of Tolkien's famous works that were brought to anything resembling completion (though with Tolkien's continual revising over the years, it's arguable that they were never truly finished (or at the very least were only finished years after their initial publications). Going by the 'conceit' they are tales that we have more direct accounts of (being written down by Bilbo and Frodo themselves rather than mythological/historical records made thousands of years after the fact). I especially like your point about realism, and also think that it enhances the mythological nature of Tolkien's stories: few mythologies (if any) are without contradictions.
[quote="Fimbrethil":3bf5umcv]Ahhhh! I'm sorry for starting a debate :lol:[/quote:3bf5umcv]

Debates are fun! :mrgreen: Can we start some more? :P
Indeed debate is why we come here and its all in good spirits!
On the point of realism one of the things I'd change about the films is its lack of it. As you so rightly point out Eldo it is the carefully managed sense of reality which Tolkien creates that allows us to accept the fantastical elements. What PJ did was (to be polite) exaggerate the fantastical; the mumakil, leaping from crumbling staircases in Moria etc and in so doing he undermined the reality of it and made the whole piece feel fantastical. In my view this was a mistake.
Well after a lengthy absence due to technical (and financial) problems :roll: , I'm back :mrgreen: . It'll take me a while to catch up on a lot of the threads, but this discussion of canon is where I left off.

I should have known better than to use Star Wars as an example :roll: . Point to you Eldo 8-) . Lucas is a crazy old coot who doesn't mind being written into a corner and who is obsessed with Universe Building. As such his franchise is one of those exceptions I was talking about. The Star Trek franchise also partially went that route with the films picking up where the TV series (including the animated season) left off. Even the new "reboot" is built into the canon in such a clever way as to press the reset button without dismissing what came before. However, the books and the comics are not part of the ST film/TV canon stream.

As to the Silmarillion, I think it MUST be included as part of the Middle Earth Canon including The Hobbit and LotR as the only other completed work of the series. The Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle Earth are certainly [i:2tksulrx]Tolkien Canon[/i:2tksulrx] insofar as they are part of Tolkien's entire body of work (which has come to be known as "Tolkien Canon"Wink Smilie. But those works are varied and document Tolkien's revisions over the years. Whereas the Silmarillion (despite some of Christopher's later misgivings over [i:2tksulrx]some[/i:2tksulrx] of the "editing"Wink Smilie presents a relatively [b:2tksulrx]internally[/b:2tksulrx] consistent "history" and cosmology which for the most part captures the direction his father had taken his World, and is most compatible with the other two books (taking into account such conceits as Bilbo being the author of There and Back Again and "incongruities" left unaltered such as Bombadil and Goldberry).

Certainly, as far as any stories included in other works that aren't included in Sil, TH, or LotR, are consistent with the World as established in those three books, we can accept them as Canon also.

Petty, on your point regarding Jackson's films being "unrealistic", I beg to differ <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> . He made the Fantastic elements LOOK more "Realistic" than any such kinds of films to date. All while pushing the visual and technological envelope.

[b:2tksulrx]GB[/b:2tksulrx]
The live action was realistic, costuming was good, as were the props, I thought, but the CGI looked CGI; I agree with Mr Tyrant there.
Welcome back GB! We missed you here, but it's great to have you posting again. I hope your problems are resolved or will be resolved shortly.

I think we at least partially agree. I have no problem using The Silmarillion as a baseline, a standard or point-of-reference when considering matters of lore, but I wouldn't give it definitive status as (I think) the word canon implies. I'm not sure if you think the 1977 Silmarillion should be considered definitive, so it's possible we agree even more fully. However, there are certain points (such as with orcs) that I think we should look deeper.

I still don't think there is any true "canon" of the First Age in that it is definitive, though as I mentioned above, I'm not sure what exactly your definition is. <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
Welcome back GB. You were missed.
To address your point on the PJ making things realistic- it's not the special effects I am complaining about per se so much as PJ exagerration of almost every 'action' scene in the book. I think Tolkien was very careful not to do this and Pj stomps all over that careful crafting.
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