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Thread: Character representation/morphology in LOTR film

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I thought Sauron looked like a huge vibrator headed pillock. Not good at all. And I agree about the Troll/Shrek comparisons. And the Elves as well actually, they didn't even seem to have any of Spock's redeeming qualities.
Bummer Boring, hope things turn around for you.

Only giants in Middle Earth were the stone giants of 'The Hobbit' and that was part of the kiddy story that came before ME was fully developed. I don't think Tolkien really intended us to take their existance as literal; he probably just attributed to them, the works of nature, that were taking place behind that curtain of rain.

With only his fifteen seconds of fame in the movie, what better way to make your archvillian, Sauron appear scarry, than make him bigger than everyone else.

Also, I thought the movie Balrog was about twice the height it should be, other than that, it was perfect.

Hairy Gimli was fine, except his beard could have been longer and forked.
Well the only thing nicely done was the defeat of him and it showed there was created a vacuum of power /control over his minions... but i agree he was porly portrait...

the elves... sigh... I wont even start talking about.. I have enough troubles atm (you know the usual.. quiting school.. getting turned out of your box in the park, coz some bugger didn't pay the rent and it wasn't me,.. so you have to live with your parents again)

as the cave troll.. well... lets say the (mountain) troll in the harry potter movie was much better
Boring mate, you have my deepest sympathy, been there done that, wouldn't wish it on anyone. And I agree about the Potter troll!
Me too. Sorry to hear about your problems mate. Hope things get better.
:O oh right, forked, sorry......
Good for you Faye - got us with that one. But nothing surprises me anymore; Recently people on this board who had never seen Star Wars and hadn't even read LOTR - so you see I'm a tad worried about some people have only seena dnread things since 1991.
Mea Culpa for jumping on the Vulcan thingy
Thanks for the support

speaking of longer beards shouldn't gandalf had a much larger beard?
Very much so, a big long flowing tobacco stained thing it should be. Not like that crappy thing Ian Mckellen sported on his chin.
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How do you find the representation of Sauron during the opening scene when he fought against Isildur. Sort of a giant Iron Man. Those of you who know Tolkien's thoughts/words on this interest me.
... Just like the Troll in Moria; Was he too big and am I going to die laughing - looked like Shrek's older brother.
Per Sauron, I never remember Tolkien mentioning "giants" in ME. If memory serves me right, there may be a description of Sauron in Silmarillion. Film version seemed too excessive.
...I found the Elves "anaemic" - whether it be Legolas, Elrond or Galadriel - even Celeborn.Just seemd a concession to New Age conceptions of Elves. Nobady said Elves were supposed to be aloof and snobish. Legolas walks around as if he doesn't care about anything and seems about as emotional as Spock. (Except the outburst about Aragorns honor)
I'm not meaning to be provocative, honestly, just a question.
Thanks


It's okay, your not povocative, but I think I might be able to help.
Sauron's Build: In one of Tolkiens more obscure works (before the marring and destruction of Numenor) he is described as looking line one of the Numenoreans but much taller and extremely noble of bearing. While not being a giant, the Numenoreans at that time averaged 6 -7 feet tall an if he was taller than this...? Maybe they weren't that far off.

Not really sure how big trolls should be.

Elves and stuff: Don't forget when LoTR was written. Back then pale was beautiful. Or at least it was to Tolkien. In the Sil and other works, he often described the elves and various individuals (eg: Earendel) as pale or even of 'silvery' skin, and that this was considered beautiful, egg: description of Arwen in LoTR "...her white arms and clear skin were flawless and smooth...".

On the other hand, I do agree that at times this may have been overdone. I have seen stills of Erond in which he looks quite pasty.

Aloof and Snobbish: I don't know. Elves appear to have the capcity for mental telepathy. This may mean that they do not need to show their emotions outwardly and so they appear cold and unfeeling or aloof. I also think that elves could be a little insular and stuck up. Consider Feanor's attitude to Men. Elrond's initial response when he realises that Aragorn is in love with Arwen. "She is too far above you. And so it may well seem to her..." Also there is the general attitude of elves to dwarves whom they consider to be their inferiors because they consider them unlovely.

Well, I hope I havn't prattled on for too long. Hope that sort of answers your thoughts. I generally found the details in the movie to be well researched and accurate.

I do agree though, that maybe for a film the elves should have shown more emotion and Sauron's armour was a bit over the top. Someone even suggested that he looked like a personal stimulator.....got to agree.
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speaking of longer beards shouldn't gandalf had a much larger beard?


About Gandalf's beard. I read in The Official Movie Guide or somewhere, that originally it was supposed to be longer, but it drove Ian Mckellen crazy, blowing about in the wind and getting caught in things and such, so they shortened it.

P.S Hope things work our for you Boring Smile Smilie

[Edited on 5/1/2002 by Allyssa]
Plastic, swapfaye - good move. I had to educate my husband too before we got married. He wasn't too impressed, but we had the Throne Room theme as we walked down the aisle. I remember thinking that i wished I had Chewie there to growl & signal everyone to get up.
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I thought Sauron looked like a huge vibrator headed pillock. Not good at all.

*stupid
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Very much so, a big long flowing tobacco stained thing it should be. Not like that crappy thing Ian Mckellen sported on his chin.

*stupid

(Sorry, Grondy, but I couldn't get these three quotes to fit in one post.)

I agree with most of what was said here. I think I said it elsewhere too: Sauron sucked. The way they portrayed him in the beginning was not even a bit scary. I laughed my head off, that's what I did, and I don't think that was the intention... Smile Smilie

About the beard thingy: it was a bit disappointing, yeah. I thought it would have been much longer too. And what about his eyebrows? In the book, somewhere it is mentioned that they are brushy and grey and huge, even so that they pop out under Gandalf's hat. To be honest: I didn't even notice them, did you? Smile Smilie

I didn't remember there being any cave troll in the book, so I was quite surprised to see it in the mines of Moria, but still I was disappointed over the way they portrayed it. It didn't even look like a troll, just a huge blue bunch of slime with eyes... (not to say I didn't like it at all) Smile Smilie
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Well the only thing nicely done was the defeat of him and it showed there was created a vacuum of power /control over his minions... but i agree he was porly portrait...


*stupid
I don't know who this "SPOCK" fellow is, but let me explain why Legolas seems a bit cold. When you are as old as a tree, you have seen many things. You have learned to accept the cycle of life, the failings of friends, the joys of simple things. It isn't that he doesn't have feelings. It is only that he has learned to bend, like the willow, as the wind blows hard upon him. I know Legolas is fond of adventure and perhaps he is a little more reserved than other elves (like Arwen) but there is more to see of him in his next appearance.

But, As one of the Faye, I've noticed the wood elves are very snobbish. They are a bit fairer than we swamp elves (we spend much more time in the sun). I've always found the fair elves very quick to judge. They say that we swamp fairies are far too fond of our tricks and much to hobbit like in our fondness for tales. They don't give humans or dwarves a fair shake. But rest assured, Swamp elves are always openminded and would never hold humans responsible for the sins of their fathers. It is a great failing among Elves to look down on the other races so and not at all representative of all elves.
WOW!!! Welcome Swampfaye! Smile Smilie I must say I am impressed! Wink Smilie
I'm not, don't know who Spock is!!! :o
Geeez guys and gals - Spokc - as in Vulcan - as in ears - as in beam me up Scotty - as in Dr MAcCoy.Is there a generation gap here?
Guess you guys just don't get Faye humor...

I Grok Spock

(BTW, I wrote an article for space.com on the "Borg Children"... so, I'm down with that...)
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Very much so, a big long flowing tobacco stained thing it should be. Not like that crappy thing Ian Mckellen sported on his chin.

*stupid

(Sorry, Grondy, but I couldn't get these three quotes to fit in one post.)

I agree with most of what was said here. I think I said it elsewhere too: Sauron sucked. The way they portrayed him in the beginning was not even a bit scary. I laughed my head off, that's what I did, and I don't think that was the intention... Smile Smilie

About the beard thingy: it was a bit disappointing, yeah. I thought it would have been much longer too. And what about his eyebrows? In the book, somewhere it is mentioned that they are brushy and grey and huge, even so that they pop out under Gandalf's hat. To be honest: I didn't even notice them, did you? Smile Smilie

I didn't remember there being any cave troll in the book, so I was quite surprised to see it in the mines of Moria, but still I was disappointed over the way they portrayed it. It didn't even look like a troll, just a huge blue bunch of slime with eyes... (not to say I didn't like it at all) Smile Smilie


*stupid

I do remeber there being a large kinda ubly thing like a troll poking frodo in his ribs with a tooth pick
Teach me the ways of the faye humour! I thought you were just being thick (I get so used to comments like that from Tommy, and she means it!) Sorry Faye.
Before she was my sister in law , my SIL had never seen the original trillogy... well, obviously she couldn't join the family without seeing it! So we made her sit down and watch all three videos. I don't think my brother shold have married her... she didn't seem to enjoy it much. There should be a law - don't you think???

BTW, anyone seen "George Lucas In Love?"
Have the same problem with my best mate's fiance, I've forced her to watch all four films now, and read the Lotr, but she won't convert to Trek, so I don't think he should marry her. Oddly he won't see my point...
??? LoL ??? this looks very silly sorry
Really!!!! Fantastic! If only you'd known me then Golly, I do a mean chewie, and I'll take any excuse to dress up as a wookie!
Lol! Great discussion here, guys and chicks (ironical) but what was this topic all about anyaway?
"George Lucas in love" ? Lol! Big Smile Smilie
Great, Plastic! I'm thinking of having my it again since mom-in-law ruined it the last time. I wanted everybody dressed up as SW characters, plus elephants, fire-eaters & jugglers, but she ruined everything. At least I got the Throne Room though. Sad Smilie

Don't worry Tommy. You'll soon turn to the dark side. Think Gabriel Bryne = Grand Moff Tarkin. Wink Smilie

You'll have to wait for at least another ten years, Plastic! Big Smile Smilie
Oh yeah, right. I'm going to hire the SW videos soon, I guess I'll have to... *sigh*
Wink Smilie
Hey guys! Reading all of this reminded me of something I read along time ago about the wicked evil guy Sauron so here it is.
All of the Ainur had the ability to change their form, but none held so many different shapes as Sauron. During the First Age, his accustomed form seems to have been that of a dark sorceror, commanding a host of evil things, and especially werewolves and their kind. He shifted form many times in his existence, though, especially during his duel with Huan; among the shapes he wore were:

• Wolf-Sauron. This was the monstrous wolf-shape he chose when he went forth from his fortress on Tol-in-Gaurhoth to battle with Huan.
• During the battle, he changed his form to that of a serpent in his struggles to escape.
• Finally, after Huan released him, he became a great vampire, and fled into the east, 'dripping blood from his throat upon the trees'2.

I also seem to recall that Sauron prefered to not fight directly and instead would always choose to work from the shadows. So I do beleive that PJ may have built that up a bit. What do you think?
I don't agree about the forms, that sounds *begging your pardon, meaning no offence* ridiculous. Can you see Sauron as some sort of Dracula? He's way above that, I think. After all, he is the servant of the Great Enemy, so he can do better than that, right?

But I do remember sth about Sauron not fighting himself, but casting shadows from which he could work. I mean, is he mentioned present at the great battle scene before the Black Gate? I don't think he was fighting there. But maybe in the older days, he used to fight, but now he lets the others fight for him. Not a bad theory after all... Big Smile Smilie
we all know about the characters who were misrepresented in the films e.g. Faramir, Elrond and Gimli (who just got the XXXX took out of him more or less every time he spoke).

But what about giving some credit to the ones that were done well which were in my unerringly right opinion the likes of Saruman,Gandalf,Boromir,Aragorn,Legolas (yes Legolas!),Galadriel, The Witch-King the Nazgul in general,the orcs and the Uruk Hai (although i thought spoke distinctly posh in TTT eg"Those are not for eating" yeh dead scary mate)

Moderator Smilie Please keep an eye on your language. This is a Family Friendly site.... Valedhelgwath Moderator Smilie
Considering the changes that PJ either *had* to make or chose to make I think the majority of the characters were portrayed well or at least to the best that PJ could do with the constraints caused by needing to imply so much more than could be said on screen. Yes, I have issues with aspects of some characters but mostly they worked within the films. Some are different from the books and those of us who love the books may feel cheated but as films they worked and if none of us had read the books we probably wouldn't be arguing (sorry, discussing) it so much.

Theoden was a well portrayed character. We saw his nobility and strength and his own realisation of his impending doom. Something I liked in the book was the way he knew he would not survive the battle but accepted it. "Today is a good day to die!" as the Klingons say. The film also showed this and that Theoden would do his duty to his people and those of Gondor even knowing he would almost certainly die doing it.

Gollum was another character I thought was portrayed well. We saw his 'split personality', his whining and sneaking well enough to show this was the creature Tolkien envisaged - maybe not 100% but enough for it to work within the films.

It's a shame the only dwarf we really got to see was Gimli. Bit of a joke.
Interesting thing I heard one time when I was talking to orcplumber (He's kind of reclusive around the sight, but I talk to him alot in person. Me and him like to ransack the chatroom every now and then.) He said that the Hobbit seemed to involve dwarves as the major race for the story (Of course hobbits were the main race for The Hobbit and The LOTR, which is interesting when you think that hobbits were created just for the Hobbit, but I'm talking about the civilization the story seems to talk about or involve most.) Then he said there were hardly any dwarves in LOTR and it dealt mainly with elves. There were some elves in the Hobbit and some dwarves (Or is it dwarfs in ME?) in the Lord of the Rings (Possibly the last fantasy series to have a decent name. Everything else is something like Desert of Snakes or Sea of Dragons which is a dumb way to name the book/series. Fear of becoming like people who would title books by describing a piece of geography is why nothing I have written has a name yet. That and It's all so horrible that it aint worth naming. Like alot of other modern fantasy.

Gimli was a little bit underrated in the movie. The character of Legolas was made to look as pretty and heroic as possible. Even though he only had one knife in the book, and showed no more valor than Gimli at any point in time (With the possible exception of the Paths of the Dead). They had to make the elvish character appear as much to teenage girls as much as possible in order to move as much merchandise as possible. (When I say pretty, I mean that Mr. Bloom seems to be very involved about his clothes and makeup, and I think he was even wearing eye shadow!) Gimli was not given a proper portrayal in the movies (Most of the scenes that give Gimli a decent amount of dignity were taken out of the movie and are only on the extended editions. I thought Ian Mckellan was an excellent Gandalf. They portrayed Eowen decently (They could have done better). Aragorn should have been taller, boromir should have been taller, and Frodo, Merry, and Pippin should all have been a little more pudgy. All the elves should have been taller.
I am very partial to the character of Samwise Gamgee and I always have been. I love his simplicity, his loyalty and his strength of spirit. I think these qualities were portrayed very well in the films and that they actually didn't mess the character up too badly. Surprisingly enough, I believe that Phillippa, Fran and PJ did a decent job of writing Sam's onscreen character; better than they did, say, Faramir, Arwen, or the flat-out omission of lots of other characters that I think were central to Tolkien's vision of ME. There are flaws, but that cannot be helped in the translation from print to screen. Overall, Sam still comes out still being Sam, and I think Sean Astin did a spectacular job portraying Sammy-poo. I never regarded him as a very good actor, though I didn't dislike him, I was just used to seeing him in things like Encino Man and the like. I was shocked at how much his acting had progressed and at how well he nailed Sam. So cheers to him! I would, however, have liked to see him go a little crazier in the Tower of Cirith Ungol...you know, pretend to be an "elven prince" and scare the begeezus out of those old orcs!
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I would, however, have liked to see him go a little crazier in the Tower of Cirith Ungol...you know, pretend to be an "elven prince" and scare the begeezus out of those old orcs!
I thought his shadow in the stairway did a pretty good job of that. I don't remember Sean singing 'In Western Lands' in the movie, but he really did an admirable job as Sam.

I still think Andy Serkis should have received an Oscar for his portrayal of Gollum. So it was gfx, the movement and expressions were still based on his rendition.
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And the Elves as well actually, they didn't even seem to have any of Spock's redeeming qualities.


I hate startrek and know nothing about it. But no matter how much you hated it, it was so popular that i still recall some main characters like captain kirk, and spock, and... that's it for my knowledge of it.... Point being, I never ever heard spock being an elf. You were just joking or what?
Where was Bombadil? (Who, I believe, should have been played by Robin Williams. I am not really a Robin Williams fan, but he seems to suit Bombadil in an odd way. Haldir would have been in ROTK but (This is supposed to be a true story, but Hollywood aint normally sure what is or aint true anymore than the general pulic, like me or most of you.), he cut PJ in the lunch line on set one day, they got into an argument, and PJ replaced Arwen with him at Helm's Deep. Then modified the script so he would die. And that actor lost alot of money. None of that was in the book anyway, so what does it matter? Why did I even mention it?
Why hate something you know nothing about? Oh well.... anyway, the way I see it the elves are portrayed as rather stiff, unemotional beings with better developed senses, an air of superiority, long life and aloofness - such was the character of Mr Spock.

As for Tom B - I'd like to see Johnny Depp play him. He's not quite as slapstick as Robin Williams but still has that manic edge.
Mmm...Johnny Depp...did ya have to go and say his name, Vee?

If Peter O'Toole wasn't so dang old diddly-iddly old(Oh God, I'm Ned Flanders-ing!), I'd say he would have made an excellent Bombadil-just look at his performance in Man of La Mancha...the man had a knack for being totally loony onscreen back in the day.
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Point being, I never ever heard spock being an elf. You were just joking or what?
Túrin turambar: Star Trek's Mr. Spock had pointy ears, him being Half-Vulcan and all. (I always wanted to call him Dr. Spock.)

Robin Williams was a natural for Tom Bombadil though he'd have had to reign-in some of his zaniness. I can see him now in his bright blue jacket, yellow boots, and battered hat with the jewel-blue fisher feather, just a whistling up a merry tune a sauntering down the Withywindle.