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Thread: Elves at Helms Deep

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I laughed, especially when he died, there was rapturous applause and hearty belly laughs coming from me then.


Somehow I saw that coming Big Laugh Smilie

Yeah, I missed the Huorns as well. Somehow I doubt we'll see them in the extended version. Ah well, here's to hoping. Alcoholic Smilie
I really hated the part the elves came too, it totally spoiled the battle on Helm's Deep. The battle of Helm's Deep was meant to show the power and independence of man. It was meant to show that the Age of Men is near and that Men are able to stand up against amazing odds and not back down, this shows that Men are ready to suceed the next age. It is something like the elves battle with Morgoth...when elves were the main race on Middle-Earth. About PJ's addition of the elves to Helm's Deep, well maybe he just wanted to add more glitz to the show and make it more interesting with the elves and also to cover up for his scene in most of the elves passing to the west...
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Yeah, I missed the Huorns as well. Somehow I doubt we'll see them in the extended version. Ah well, here's to hoping. Alcoholic Smilie


I've heard something (in fact i think I read it in a Jackson interview) about this, and I think we may well be pleasantly surprised come November (Huorn a-go-go)
"My opinion: The Elves should never have been at Helms Deep! And: I will never, EVER forgive PJ for killing Haldir! "

my sentiments entirely it is simply not justified. How could he kill an elf, elves aren't meant to die. This is NOT their battle!!
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Elves are supposed to be cooler than that! Think 300 fighters like Legolas (only higher, right?), not 300 combat droids with bows...


I think our impression of Elves, about how cool they seem (especially since people have seen Legolas in action in the movies) have somehow led us to believe that Elves are way more superior in strength.

Elves are NOT stronger than Man. It was mentioned in Silmarillion that they were mighty as well, the difference being they were not immortal, more vulnerable and heal slower than the Elves. This DOES NOT make them any less greater than the Elves as fighters.

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Military precision wasn't invented until after the middle ages, anyway, same with uniforms, and though I know that doesn't mean too much, I just don't accept it as an excuse. Do you think you could convince an elf it was worth his time to march in step with the rest of the people he's known for thousands of years? I mean, why would they need to? I guess it looked impressive, but I still think its out of character.


The story was not written in accordance to historical development of the world as we know it. Hence even though military precision came after the middle ages, we have to view it from a separate point of view. Can we say that the Elves, wisened beyond any person we know in the real world and who have lived for so many years are incapable of exercising a simple concept of discipline???

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The battle of Helm's Deep was meant to show the power and independence of man. It was meant to show that the Age of Men is near and that Men are able to stand up against amazing odds and not back down, this shows that Men are ready to suceed the next age.


I totally agree with this. Although it is cool to see Elves fighting side by side with Man as in the early days, this really is Man's battle. But PJ has crafted Elrond in such a way that he seemed like a very self-centered Elf with absolutely no concern for the battle on Middle Earth and is leaving for the Undying Lands without offering any form of assistance. If PJ had not included the Elves in Helm's Deep, viewers would have perceived that Elves were leaving humans in the lurch to face the impending doom. Viewers would never know of the separate wars that the Elves fought that Tolkien had spoken of in the original story. Due to these reasons, the appearance of the Elves at Helm's Deep was a "necessary evil", though Tolkien purists would leave out the "necessary"... Tongue Smilie
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The story was not written in accordance to historical development of the world as we know it. Hence even though military precision came after the middle ages, we have to view it from a separate point of view.


Right, I acknowledged that (clumsily). Wink Smilie

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Can we say that the Elves, wisened beyond any person we know in the real world and who have lived for so many years are incapable of exercising a simple concept of discipline???


Well, why and how do you train an army to be disciplined? I mean, think of boot camp. Do you see elves going through boot camp? Having their independence crushed out of them? I mean, they aren't professional soldiers, they are all like medieval knights or men-at-arms, in a way, learning to fight at leisure over their long, long lives. Knights were notorious for their indiscipline.
Then, take into account the intelligence and wisdom of the elves. Discipline in armies was to make ordinary, if not stupid, people do stupid things (like stand in rows a hundred feet apart and shoot at each other...) without a second thought. Now, first, since elves are smart enough to each grasp the overall importance of their individual role in battle, they don't need to be pounded into a brainless troop of robot-soldiers by their drill-sergeants in order to be an effective fighting force. I suppose it's the difference between discipline (doing what you are told/need to do) and discipline (marching in step, wearing the same thing, not looking to right and left, acting like automatons). The two do not necessarily equate--the elves could be the greatest fighting force on ME without resorting to military discipline as we have had in our history.

About the strength issue: I know men are just as strong, often, as elves, and the riders of Rohan are great warriors, but we're talking about people who live for a very, very long time. After a thousand years of even infrequent practice, wouldn't you think they'd get pretty good at fighting? And they would practice, especially in closely-guarded Lorien. Anyway, that's not my main point anymore, but I did think it was a little injust to have them show up, shoot a few arrows, and die. Wink Smilie I was thinking of Silmarillion battles where the piles of orcs corpses left by the elves reach to the sky! 10,000 would be nothing! But then, there are a lot of Uruk-hai in there (not all, but lots).

Lastly, yes, I see why PJ put them there, though maybe it isn't true to the books (I mean, they pretty much were leaving men and the rest of the world "in the lurch"), but as you and others said there are battles in Lorien and up north during LotR that we don't really hear about, so this is possibly PJs way of acknowledging that, too. Now, I'm just upset about how they were portrayed. But I'll have to watch it for a third time, too...

Why am I arguing for Elves anyway! I'm a dwarf! I usually have to argue against all the elf-fans (the millions of them)! Orc Grinning Smilie
Elves do have the basic grasp of tactical formation fighting as you can see at the battle of unnumbered tears, but the majority of them realise their weaknesses and turn to partisan warfare. In this way there lack of armour and their enemies encumberance by it becomes their greatest ally.
I think that the elves at Helm's Deep was a sign for men.
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Theoden: No, my Lord Aragorn, we are alone.

It showed them that they aren't alone. Even the elves knew that.
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Haldir: I bring word from Elrond of Rivendell. An alliance once existed between elves and men. Long ago we fought and died together. We come to honor that alligence.

See what I mean?
One Elf at Helm's Deep is better than ten in Mirkwood. Or should that be the other way around.
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One Elf at Helm's Deep is better than ten in Mirkwood. Or should that be the other way around.
Well, I no longer know where this discussion is going, but one Elf was needed at Helms Deep to provide Gimli with a source of companionship and a sparing partner in order to maintain the head count of his victums. The rest of the Elves at PJ's Helm's Deep, while not necessary to the story, provided a sense of awe and even more to me, a deep sense of what the world has missed with their passing. I didn't get that with their journey to the Grey Havens and beyond in PJ's LOTR: Return of the King, but I did get it from those scenes in PJ's LOTR: The Two Towers.
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The rest of the Elves at PJ's Helm's Deep, while not necessary to the story, provided a sense of awe and even more to me, a deep sense of what the world has missed with their passing.

I remember that they wore nice shiny uniforms.

And again, it's a pity that PJ took out Arwen at Helm's Deep, after the Tolkien purists (including me, I sadly confess) whined to much about Xenarwen, blablablah. It would've been awesome, especially with Éowyn around... PJ could've made the two ladies decide right then and there who would win Aragorn's heart, by means of some staring down and hair pulling contests. It would've been scintillating.
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PJ could've made the two ladies decide right then and there who would win Aragorn's heart, by means of some staring down and hair pulling contests. It would've been scintillating.

Ha Ha Ha Smilie They did film Xenarwen in action, didn't they? I saw some pictures of her in Helm's Deep, and it looked like she's having a disagreement with Aragorn. Caused by Eowyn, perhaps?
Hmm, maybe one day PJ will issue a director's cut of TTT... it would be interesting to see.
those are the special editions arent they?
Actually the Extended Editions are the Director's Cut, but as Virumor boycotted the EE so as not to encourage Peter Jackson in his further endeavors of filming Tolkien's work, he can only surmise what has been included on them. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie Elf With a Big Grin Smilie

Ah Grondy, what a sense of humour. love you.

I  just felt ill when the first elf was pinioned by a spear by one of the orcs, and I felt devestated by the death of Haldir, after all he had brothers back home. And then when I read the book I was just a tad ticked. All that needless weeping. Sad Smilie

It was completely unnecessary indeed. I think the only reasonable explanation for this is showing more elves in battle and the tragedy killing an elf is (film the Silmarillion if you want that, man).
And, if they wanted more elves fighting, why don´t put Elrond's sons in the battle? They only fight in the final battle in front the black door, but they could be introduced here, if they wanted more elves in scene without re-inventing the story completely...

Fngeor , that would have been alright with Elrond's sons, I wonder how that would have looked? I have always wished that their characters would have been fleshed out , I believe there was so very much to them.

However in my opinion throwing in the elves completely undid a lot of what JRR was meaning to convey and the ambience, the strict feeling that was in the book. I just don't like a lot of poetic license being taken.

The problem including Elrohir and Elladan in the battle could be the need to introduce them previously, in Rivendel, for instance, which means more scenes and more time spent unnecessary.

It was very simple for PJ and co....: They wanted more elves in TTT (maybe also because it was going to be the only film with only one elf appearing: Legolas), so they sent some to the Helm's Deep.

Peter Jackson, his wife and Boyens surely discussed something like that, with some beers (or something stronger):
- Ok girls, we have to decide who will be the captain of those elves?
- Arwen?, and so we can have some romantic scenes during the final battle... You know, shot of Legolas skating, after that a shot of Aragorn killing some Uruk-hai while kissing Arwen...
- No, we are changing the story but everyone has has a limit. And she just appeared at the scene of the wargs, she took the control of Aragorn's horse body using her magic and licked his head, remember?
- What about Haldir, who was introduced in the first film?
- Ok, he's a very dispensable character, so no one would worry if he dies. Because, yes, he has to die.
- Yeah, I never liked his manners.
- And he is certainly going to make shit after that. My elf eyes see something that is going to be called "The legend of the seeker".
- Peter, you look like a Beorning more than an elf.
- Yes, Haldir deserves to die. Let's choose him.

Sorry, just joking

I must emphatically agree with Vir. The Elves had no reason at all to be at Helm's Deep. And, if Peter would have not done the silly thing of making those of Rohan enemies with the Golden city under Denethor, so many ridiculous scenarios would not have to be part of the whole thing.

It was a huge departure from the book. But I think, as we didn't get to see that Lorien was under attack as well, I guess I understand his thinking. Any how the scene for me brought tears when I saw the Elven archers march into Helms Deep as a nod to the last alliance.

The Last Alliance was aptly named. As Elrond states: 'Never again shall there be any such league of Elves and Men; for Men multiply and the Firstborn decrease, and the two kindreds are estranged.'

Note Eomer's reaction to the Lady of the Wood. Or Faramir's words: that in Middle-earth Men and Elves became estranged, and by the slow changes of time each kind walked further down their sundered roads. Faramir even says...

 'For I deem it perilous now for mortal man willfully to seek out the Elder People.'

... even though he envies Frodo and Sam as having spoken with Galadriel. And there are by far more Men than Elves in Middle-earth:

'It may be noted that by the end of the Third Age there were prob. more people (Men) that knew Q., or S., than there were Elves who did either! Though dwindling, the population in Minas Tirith and its fiefs must have been much greater than that of Lindon, Rivendell, and Lorien.' JRRT, Letters

So estrangement and few relative numbers, as Elrond noted.

'For I deem it perilous now for mortal man willfully to seek out the Elder People.' Those words Galin so strongly put me in mind of the truths the boy chosen to keep the star on his forehead, now grown ,learned when he would wander of an evening or morning and stay away from wife and family for many days at a stretch walking through differehnt parts of the Perilous Realm and seeing and talking to some of the strange folk in it. Folk, like the Elves who were so noble and mysterious and mystical that is was almost painful and overwhelming. I really like those words, they sweep me away. 

Leelee and Galin, I dont know why, but your last two posts remind me of the ability of certain birds of Erebor who could understand the language of Men of Dale and visa versa.  This ability was lost somewhat after the devastation of Smaug, but seemed innate, well at least for Bard and the giant thrush.  It was the Men who forgot about this relationship.  I think there may be parallels between this, time and the quotes regarding Men and Elves and their gradual separation.  Could be way off the mark here, but something ticked a electron in my brain to this of it.  Perhaps its also a warning regarding Men forgetting Nature.....

I understand the addition of the elves at Helm's Deep, and I do like the scene, it is very well done. Although, I also understand why one would not like the addition of them. I, personally, thought that it was a good scene, even it wasn't the way it really happened. I do feel as though it could have been better if  it had been done exactly like in the book, but really that's a dream we will never see realized.

Brego,that is very interesting, and those situations do seem very similar. It didn't even come to me remotely, but when you said it it makes perfect sense. I don't think you're way of the mark, in fact I think you're quite close if not right on top it.

I'm sure I saw a version where marching badgers were substituted for the Elves arriving at Helm's Deep.

Probably on youtube though

They were hedge hogs Galin.... lol
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