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Thread: Book / Film Elves

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i recently got into a heated debate with a friend of mine over the representation of the elves in the movie. my view is that jackson simplified the elves to being calm and wise rather than incorporating tolkien's vision of the elves as being joyful, youthful and mischevious because it would have been too difficult for him to portray elves with both sets of characteristics. including the youthful aspects of the elves would have taken away from the wisdom and admirability and vice versa. my friend's view is that jackson, as a scorpio, genuinely believed he was accurately portraying tolkien's elves.

what do you think??

Arwen Happy Elf Smilie
Although I'm sure many people would disagree, I think he did a good job portraying both sides of Elven personality. Remember how Legolas and Gimli had the whole game of counting the number killed? That was showing his funny side, right?
I think PJ made them all too blonde and too feminine.
Tolkien had much more leeway in his books, and could fill out his concept of the Elves as both joyous and solemn. In the movie, due to time constraints, we only meet the Elves during times of grave danger and concern, hence to reinforce that theme, Jackson chose to focus on the serious side of their nature. I believe that Jackson doesn't have a strong resonance with the Elves of Tolkien and by nature, he is interested in Hobbits, Men and War creatures. Still in all, he did a good job of bringing the Elves, particularly Legolas, to life.

Arwen Happy Elf Smilie
Did I contradict myself a bit there? Sorry. Happens often actually.

Arwen Happy Elf Smilie
Did I contridict myself a bit there? Sorry. Happens often actually

Walt Whitman wrote: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes."

I think Jackson made the elves too feminine and too airy-fairy. Moving through forests with long fine-fabric garb dragging in the damp, fleeing for the havens at 2 miles per hour was a bit much.
Elrond was just bitchy.

It was surprising seeing interviews on the extended version DVD with the actor who played Haldir because he is such a regular guy manly, so very distant from the effete Haldir of the movie.

Legolas was the exception, though. He could have been a Tolkien elf.
Elrond was just bitchy

hmm.. I disagree. Tolkien's elements of elves were merry and joyful, while (like I said above) Jackson's were more of the serious aspect. Taking that into consideration, Elrond must be of a greater seriousness then the already more focused trait of wisdom. Therefore he was, say, stricter then how Tolkien portrayed him. But bitchy? I don't know... personaly, I wouldn't say he resembles the qualities of a female dog.

Arwen Happy Elf Smilie
PJ's Elrond was still fuming over the fact that Isildur had kept the Ring instead of tossing it into the fires of Orodruin: meaning he, as bearer of one of the three Elven Rings, still had to stay on in Middle-earth until the Sauron's power could finally be unmade.

That plus the Elves were being suplanted by Men, these in the Third Age of Middle-earth being much weaker in mind and body those, especially the Numinorians, that he had known in the Second Age.

His loving wife had departed for the Western lands long before, and now his only daughter was enamored with this rag-tag Ranger of the North, which meant there was a strong possibility she wasn't going to accompany Elrond to Valinor, or even provide him with elven grandchildren with whom to play and to tell stories in his waning dotatge.

Good Eru! What a bummer! Jumping Flame Smilie Is it any wonder he was "bitchy"?
Yes, Elrond's wife left to Valinor but it's not like they're not going to see each other again : Elrond's going to Valinor one day too to get reunited with his misus. No reason to be bitchy there.

About Arwen, Elrond should just accept that his daughter has and wants to lead her own life - whether he likes it or not. Book-Elrond in his wisdom, knows and accepts this. Movie-Elrond does not : the more he objects to their relationship, the more he pushes Arwen in Aragorn's arms... he should've immediately planned their marriage, instead - and let Arwen do the Runaway Bride trick.

Besides this, why did movie-Elrond call Men "weak"? Apparently he forgot his lineage and his history of Middle-Earth. Of course, if we look at the scene in the movies where both Isildur and Elrond were standing at the edge in the Sammath Naur, with Elrond expecting Isildur to do what he has to do, which he ultimately doesn't do... : everyone would go a bit grumpy after that. But this doesn't happen this way in the book : in the book Isildur just says "Hey guys, sorry but i take this ringy as a token to remember my daddy and brother so gimme a break". So in fact, movie-Elrond made an exaggerated statement : not the race of Men is weak, but Isildur was weak.

And why did Elrond say about Aragorn that "he has chosen exile" ? Where's the love between Elrond and Aragorn? Elrond raised Aragorn as his own son, but this doesn't really show in the movies. Elrond is just a cantankerous, over-protective nutter in the movies. Of course, movie-Aragorn really isn't the most lovable character either... so again movie-Elrond has a point when he tries to get his daughter to Valinor : if i were Elrond, i'd like to see her marry some bigshot Elf in shining armor as well instead of an obscure Ranger with greasy hair.

So the conclusion is that movie-Elrond is OK.

Now what happens if we look at other Elves in the movies? Most Elves we see are tall, blond and look like girls : this is both the case in the Council of Elrond and when the Fellowship enters Lothlorien. This i didn't really like, as the fantasy cliché of Elves being blond doesn't apply in JRRT's universe : the Vanyar are all blond/fair haired and the Vanyar are the smallest subset of Elves who first made it to Valinor and after that only left Valinor once to fight in the War of Wrath.

The Noldor were dark haired, but because Finwë remarried with Indis, a Vanyarin princess (blondes are forever) blond hair entered the Noldo house --- Fingolfin, Finarfin, Galadriel, Finrod, etc.

But the Elves we see in the flicks aren't Eldar, so what i've written above doesn't apply. The Lothlorien Elves and Silvan Elves are descendants of the Teleri who stopped somewhere amongst the road to Valinor. As JRRT didn't specifically talk about hair colour for this group, i'd say both fair haired and dark haired were equally divided amongst them or maybe a 3/4 majority for dark haired Elves.

So i don't get why all Elves we see in the flicks are blond --- apparently Legolamb really did get around before joining on a little trip to Mordor. And what's with the long hair, i wonder. Poor Gimli was probably constantly asking strands of hair to "those fair Elf maidens", who in fact were men.

Of course the movie Elves don't apply JRRT's description : starlight in their eyes, their bodies radiating light, shiny hair, inexplicably beautiful... quite the contrary, if we look at Haldir and Co. But i must admit that the first time we see Galadriel ànd Celeborn in the movies, fit JRRT's description quite well, with the light and all : that was quite the perfect scene, until Celeborn began speaking.

Looks like PJ only used the "D&D Fantasy Elf"® recipe = long blond hair + pointy ears.
Quote:
Looks like PJ only used the "D&D Fantasy Elf"® recipe = long blond hair + pointy ears.

You forgot an important ingredient, my dear Vir : "the bad acting talent"!
And why did Elrond say about Aragorn that "he has chosen exile" ? Where's the love between Elrond and Aragorn?

Their relationship really doesn't have much to do with what he is saying. He's saying that Aragorn chose to be a ranger rather then reclaim the throne of Gondor.


if i were Elrond, i'd like to see her marry some bigshot Elf in shining armor as well instead of an obscure Ranger with greasy hair.

There is something called "Love". In Love Smilie

-Arwen Happy Elf Smilie

Quote:
Their relationship really doesn't have much to do with what he is saying. He's saying that Aragorn chose to be a ranger rather then reclaim the throne of Gondor.

That is not true at all. Aragorn became a Ranger but still wanted to reclaim the throne of Gondor - with being a Ranger and travelling the entirety of Middle-Earth he prepared himself to be ready to take the throne (and Arwen).

Quote:
There is something called "Love".

Yes, and Arwen proved once more that "Love is blind".
That is not true at all. Aragorn became a Ranger but still wanted to reclaim the throne of Gondor - with being a Ranger and travelling the entirety of Middle-Earth he prepared himself to be ready to take the throne (and Arwen).

Yes, but he didn't want to reclaim the throne until met Arwen. Elrond had planned for it, but Aragorn was still uncertain until he met Lady Arwen. Perhaps I didn't make it clear, but it was this time when he hadn't been sure yet that I was referring to.
I confused book Aragorn with movie Aragorn. Nothing of book Aragorn applies to movie Aragorn.
In the book Aragorn was so poor he couldn't even afford a good sword. When the hobbits met him at the Prancing Pony in Bree, he was packing the broken shards of Narsil in his sheath and had to resort to a torch when he chased off the Nazgul on Weathertop. Luckily, the Elves of Rivendell were able to put Humpty Dumpty together again so Aragorn had a good blade when the Fellowship left there on their journey to the southlands. (Yes, I know a sword wouldn't have been of much use against the Nazgul as was a torch, but it would have been of more use had those three trolls not reverted to their more natural daylight form.) Elf With a Big Grin Smilie