Thread: Battle of the Pelennor Fields
1. How do you guys feel about the Army of the Dead arriving at the battle instead of reinforcements from southern Gondor like in the book?
2. Does anyone else find the Rohirrim charging head long into the mumakil to be completely asinine?
To be a little more specific the RoTK the film suffers overall from a complete lack of politics, without mention of Dol Amroth, or any of the other Captains or the aid for Gondor being drawn off in defence of their own lands by the Corsairs, there was no way for PJ to introduce where Aragorn got the men from so they copped out and just had him bring the dead along (besides when the green glowing dead swarm through the streets of the white Minas Tirith it looks like an advert for a toilet cleaner).
And whilst the charging of the Mumakil is certainly exciting and an excuse for PJ to recreate the Hoth battle from Empire Strikes Back but with elephants, it is stupid. In the books the horses won't go anywhere near the mumakil and they serve as safe havens and rallying points for the enemy. They never charge although occasionally one of them does go berserk and trample friend an foe alike. But I guess that's not as exciting as having Legolas single handedly taking them down or Eowyn slicing the legs from under them. (You've made me depressed just thinking about it).
It cheapens the whole battle. In the book the southern reinforcements helped turn the tide, but there was still a lot of fighting to be done. In the movie the Green Mouthwash Mary-Sues just come in, mop up in a matter of minutes, and render meaningless all the sacrifices made to that point. The book-reinforcements alone could not have won the battle, but the Mouthwash would have been just as effective if everyone else had just hidden for a few extra hours.
[quote:q615q0q3]2. Does anyone else find the Rohirrim charging head long into the mumakil to be completely asinine?[/quote:q615q0q3]
Yes. The horses (and probably the riders) should have been freaked out, like the book and common sense dictates they would be by strange, giant creatures. I also got very sick of the stomping [i:q615q0q3]very[/i:q615q0q3] fast. As a semi-related rant: I cannot stand that Eowyn was able to take down a mumak with a couple light slashes against its legs when the mumak apparently had a thick enough hide that it could have arrows sticking out of it like a ladder. Inconsistency much?
Legolas takes out an oliphaunt and surfs its trunk WOW! Loved the Eowyn ankle slicing scene. Army of the Dead...Epic save in the nick of time...Nice bit of real Fantasy there. Jackson's Battle Kicks Arse!
If I wanted another "realistic" medieval battle movie I'd just watch Braveheart again. No thanks !
After that, yeah, it was a bit of a let down (LotR book speaking), but as pure cinema... oh my God.... I agree with GB (in part)! I even liked the Legolas climbing up the arrows bit! Shame! Shame on me! Sorry Mr Tyrant!
I agree, however, about the green cleansing liquid. Though I guess Minas Tirith did need a good wash, what with all those foul orcs despoiling and soiling it!
I just prefer fantasy that makes sense by a certain set of rules. They'll be its own rules to a large degree, sure, but being fantasy doesn't mean anything can happen. That's my preference, at any rate.
Orc weaponry and armour is another one, I suspect a lot is just plunder but they do seem to have their own distinctive styles which raises the thought of orc blacksmiths etc.
I don't think it could have been too hard for them to guesstimate the height of the walls. Sauron is known for having spies, after all.
On the point of swinging room for long and broad swords I know that in Scottish clan battles one of the main weapons was the claymore, a two handed broadsword used for hacking and slashing. And these battles were simply two forces rushing at each other and colliding- much like I envisage many of the battles in LoTR, so it is possible.
He did, though they were specifically mentioned as working largely in agriculture. There's no reason he couldn't have had human slaves working on construction though, or that he couldn't have gotten some of the Easterlings or Haradrim to do it. For that matter, I see no reason why the Orcs themselves couldn't have; I don't think they're as unruly as you guys suggest. They had their own cultures, sometimes even independent of Sauron (like the reigns of Azog and Bolg in the North, and as was the ambition of Shagrat and Gorbag), and had women and children who had to be organized and supported somehow.
And I LOVED it when the Rohirium charged the mumaks!!!!!! It was like "Yay we won!" then "Oh *%$@!, that's a problem!!" And then, there was big epic music as they rode to meet each other, then as soon as someone's hit, BOOM! no more music!!! I think Pelennor was the best part of the movie!
The solidity of the dead is another issue PJ muddles- I don't think in the book they kill anyone with violence- its fear that's their chief weapon.
In any case, the battle had gone on long enough, the Army of the Dead was an excellent way to bring it to a close, and give the film enough time for the rest of the story.
I wonder how much of that is simply due to the chaotic nature of filming, with the script being written and re-written so late into production that the actors did not, in some cases, even read certain scenes before doing them. It's possible that the disappearing Elves was just lazy storytelling, but I think it might have been simple sloppiness. In any event, continuity errors of that sort irk me.
Why not? Perhaps more to the point though, the 'death by fear' bit shouldn't have occurred at the [i:q4evtgru]big[/i:q4evtgru] battle, but in the south.
[quote:q4evtgru]In any case, the battle had gone on long enough, the Army of the Dead was an excellent way to bring it to a close, and give the film enough time for the rest of the story.[/quote:q4evtgru]
I can understand wanting to get on with the story, but I don't think that excuses the incredibly lazy method by which PJ ended the battle. If he had cut, say, Legolas on the mumak and maybe a few of the siege scenes (or flaming Denethor) he would have been able to show a few wide shots of the battle raging (with the implication, perhaps aided by a setting sun, that it lasted for hours) before moving on. Even if he didn't make room by cutting other elements, it wouldn't take that much longer.
The battle of the Pelennor Fields is a small infraction on there part. Look what they did to The Two Towers. It is like the screenwriters made a list of the names of people and places from the book, then threw the book away an wrote their own story using those names. There was little (besides the names) in the movie that resembled the book.
I agree, and see no reason why a few closing shots of battle after Aragorn arrived couldn't be imaginative as well. If anything I think it would be less lazy and [i:3ogdg4ku]more[/i:3ogdg4ku] imaginative than the route that he actually took.
I wouldn't say "dumbed down", but you are of course correct. It should be obvious that the dialogue from the book could not simply be copied and pasted onto a script and then used for filming. However, the filmmakers went far beyond what was necessary to make the book work on film (even a very long film).
I agree, absolutely, that the story had to be modified to be filmed. If PJ had filmed the movies using the book as his script, filming it line-by-line, page-for-page, The Fellowship of the Ring would have been a 12 hour movie by itself. No argument - changes had to be made and things had to be left out.
However, there is a huge difference between making necessary changes and completely ignoring the book and writing their own story, as they did with The Two Towers. That movie had almost no resemblance to the book.
The did a pretty good job on the script of The Fellowship of the Ring. For the most part, the things they left out were not overly critical. Most of the changes they made had to be made to make up for the parts left out. I don't know what happened with The Two Towers. I have not looked at the credits - was it a different team of writers? Or maybe when they worked on that script, they decided, "Screw Tolkien, let's get drunk and write this thing!"
In The Return of the King, they came back a little closer to the book, but still some way off.
In all of the movies, there are many examples of things that they changed needlessly. And many of these changes made no sense at all and bent (or broke) the plot of the story. The very nature of some of the main characters are far removed from their counterparts in the book.
As for the ghost army coming to the battle of the Pelennor Fields, I did not like it. The ghost army was NEEDED to clear out the southern regions of Gondor and drive off the Corsairs of Umbar. Having done that, they were not "needed" any further. You could argue that they were needed at the Pelennor Fields, but then you could further argue that they were also needed to storm Mordor. If Aragorn was not going to release them after driving off the Corsairs, why did he not keep them until after Mordor was overrun? And after Mordor was taken, maybe he should have sent them to Harrad to "teach them who the boss is". Where does it end?
I don't object to omissions and necessary changes as the result of the omissions. I object to completely senseless and drastic changes made to the story just because a bunch of hack screenwriters thought they had a better idea than Tolkien.
I agree, and see no reason why a few closing shots of battle after Aragorn arrived couldn't be imaginative as well. If anything I think it would be less lazy and more imaginative than the route that he actually took.[/quote:2invuy0c]
Well, i wouldn't use the term "lazy", but I can't disagree with this statement. Some closing shots of the battle [b:2invuy0c]including [/b:2invuy0c]the "ghostys" in hand to hand combat rather than just a wave of green WOULD have been even more imaginative.
Bookworm, I profoundly disagree with many of your points, but having debated many of those issues on other threads I am just going to leave it at that. And Eldo, I appreciate very much your "middle road" position regarding Jackson's films. I know it's hard to take such a position and still maintain your "Purist" cred.
I don't think either of us are going to budge more than this. Thanks for a fundebate, though.
[quote:kw1s371s]And Eldo, I appreciate very much your "middle road" position regarding Jackson's films. I know it's hard to take such a position and still maintain your "Purist" cred.[/quote:kw1s371s]
I just think that the ideas "credit where credit is due" and "no credit where credit is not due" are equally valid (and, of course, equally subjective). Since I'm in a minority (at least on other boards, not sure about this one) in thinking that PJ failed in making faithful adaptations I come off as far more negative than most, but I have no problem acknowleding the good that I see. I really do like the movies, after all, when considering them as movies and not as adaptations.
(...and while there are out-out- diehead stubborn-heads like Mr Tyrant and myself about, the War shall go on! It's like we're on a foolhardy quest, but because of our true hearts we continue on while others turn to water and dribble away into the muddy puddle of Liberalism... They take the gentle stream... the drip-drip route... not knowing only the shallow puddle awaits - and the hot sun too.... But must we dribble away with them? Quests are never easy, the results never certain... does what I say have a certain Resonanace... a certain Ring to it...?)
In other words I love a good debate, and it's nice to agree on occasion too . And you guys and gals are my favourite bunch to hang out with on the web .