Thread: What would you change about the LotR film trilogy?
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What do you think?
But just off the top of my head, the Wargs defintely needed a makeover . They are supposed to be Large wolves, not some creature that escaped from the show Primeval.
Tom Bombadil might have been an interesting episode as well.
Also thought the Black Riders could have been treated better. Their build up in the book is excellent. The Hobbits going to Crickhollow has always been a good part of the story for me. Jackson is not Hitchcock - but maybe if he was, he might have built the same suspense about the Black Riders that is in the book.
As to the intro - I guess fair enough, but I would have preferred starting with The Long Expected Party. Non readers of LOTR would surely have coped with it.
Did not like Denethor - sorry.
Loved the fact that Arwen replaced Glorfindel. Loved the Romance between Aragorn and Arwen (the way their story in the appendixes was translated into the movie too).
Having Pippin and Merry get stuck under the roots in Fangorn Forest didn't work for me.
I also loved that Arwen replaced Glorfindel and the expansion of her role. I always felt that the Aragorn/Arwen romance belonged in the body of the text.
Have you seen the Extended Edition DVDs Odo? Much more of Bilbo's party is shown, including Bilbo avoiding the Sackville-Bagginses.
And by the way, Old Man Willow does actually make an appearance, but apparently in Jackson's version he's visiting cousins in Fangorn .
You trickster. I almost went off to check where Old Man Willow visits Fangorn! As to the extended versions, yes I've got them. It's not the length of the Party scenes that bother me though - it's the opening battle scenes. They could have been placed where Gandalf reveals the identity of Bilbo's ring to Frodo. The Black Riders could have come in gradually - an unknown menace whose identity and purpose is shrouded in mystery until Aragorn tells the Hobbits the truth about them in Bree.
Mind you, I feel there should have been six films - one for every book. I'm probably showing my innocent impracticality.
Hey! This is probably not the place for it, but...
TH = Movie One: The Hobbit: Hobbiton to Mirkwood (when Gandalf goes off to White Council and Dol Guldur and Bilbo begins his rise to quasi-leader of expedition!)
Movie Two: The Hobbit: From Mirkwood right through to Bilbo arriving home!
Movie Three: Gandalfs' LOTR like adventures elsewhere while the Erebor Quest (off screen) continues. Here we have the White Council, and the fight in Dol Guldur, and the flight of the Necromancer. Gandalf doesn't have to specify what his adventures were in southern Mirkwood when he arrives at The Battle of Five Armies. In Movie Three Gandalf could fight all sorts of monsters and foes, and this way give fans a view of his true prowess. (A lot of poetic license would be required - but this would be right up PJ's alley, I reckon).
I keep vacillating on the issue of where to cut the films and where to place the White Council/Dol Guldur stuff. As only two films are curently in the works, i am leaning back to my original notion that film one should end with Smaug's death (keeping all the fun "innocent" stuff together) and putting the bulk of the LotRish Sturm und Drang into the second film (Dol Guldur and the battle of 5 Armies). Yes this would take some artistic license on PJ's part, but I think it would work.
Anyway before this thread turns into yet another "How to film the Hobbit thread" , pop over to one of the other ones and browse and post your notions.
But yes, I quite agree that LotR would have been nice with maybe three 6 hour films (or 6 three hour films ). Still, I'm beyond happy with how PJ adapted the books. I honestly don't think any other director would have come closer. And I think he actually improved a bit on the narrative flow (for the film screen).
Which is why I actually prefer the films without The Scouring of the Shire. It's probably just because I'm a big Softy. But I always found that scene a wee bit anti-climactic in the books. I think a happy end should just be happy, and not have a slightly sour digression after the World has been saved. It's bad enough Elves and Wizards were deserting Middle Earth. But again, just my soppy take on things .
I'll go off and read those Hobbit Movie Threads.
But one passing shot over your bowels, if I may.. sorry 'bows':
Perhaps, the Scouring (or Souring?) of the Shire makes the LOTR stay true to it's 'Adult' story line? Aren't totally happy endings devised for Childrens Stories? (Nudge nudge wink wink).
Having Pippin and Merry get stuck under the roots in Fangorn Forest didn't [/quote:243v161w]
I also thought that this didn't really work,it was also really badly timed aswell. Also I thought, the Ent moot could have been alot longer although it is emphasized that the Ents take a long time to make decisions. The extended DVD version does follow the book better that the normal one especially in the Two Towers when they show the clip of Theodred being found. They also add a bit with Merry drinking some of the Uruk's Draught which also corresponds well with the book, although the Riders of Rohan didn't persue them for as long as in the book.
Tom Bombadil and Goldberry would have been good in a cameo part, but I think the Barrow wights might have confused the audiences of the LotR because they have similar characteristics to the Black riders.
Oh and BTW I love the ending how it is, I'm glad GB's a softy too!
A cameo for Tom would just not be enough, I feel. On further reflection, you could be right about the Barrow wights - moviewise. Can't agree on The Scouring of the Shire though.
(Would you mind if I call you BD in future? I'm not a quick typer?)
Although I didn't mention it in my earliar post I also think that the way Jackson used the part that Glorfindel should have played in to introduce Arwen was great aswell. Wish they'de included the bit just before that with the stone trolls because theres a clip in which Bilbo mentions it at the Long Expected Party to the children sat listening to him telling the story. Not sure if its extended or non extended though. Glorfindel is sort of an unnecessary character really.
Btw please call me BD, tried to copy GB before but I didn't catch on! Sorry bout that GB!
Um... I'm not sure I understand your reference to the Stone Trolls though. Could you try and explain. (I'm on night shift - maybe I'm missing the obvious).
What I meant was I wished that the film had included the part in which Aragorn hits the Stone Trolls with a stick (the ones that Gandalf had tricked in The Hobbit). I also meant to say although it came out wrong lol, was that in a clip, in the film, Bilbo can be seen telling some Hobbit children the story about the Trolls and I meant to explain that it might have been quite easy including the part in the LotR I mentioned earliar because it had already been mentioned once in the film.
Oh and Btw I think it was you, someone said they weren't satisfied with how the Black Riders were portrayed in the film. If it was you could you expand on that, what is it that you don't like about them? I quite like them, although you only see them once in Twilight form in all three films.
[list:2o3v5ab0]1. Not changing characters. I really don't like giving them new personalities, even for the sake of the plot.
2. Leaving the general plot alone. Not overemphasizing (Helm's Deep), adding (Aragorn falls of a cliff), or cutting (Scouring of the Shire), among others.[/list:u:2o3v5ab0]
These are really the big ones. In my opinion, since PJ was making movies called [i:2o3v5ab0]The Lord of the Rings[/i:2o3v5ab0] that were ostensibly the same story albeit in a different media than in the book, he should have stuck to the story, plot, and characters of the book.
I understand your reference now. Yes. Aragorn belting the troll with a stick would have been nice (and easy to include). Aragorn might also have mentioned the birds nest in one of their ears (it's in the book, I think).
I did bitch about the Black Riders. I just thought it would have been better if they weren't seen leaving Mordor for a start. And a sudden distant evil cry on the wind in the Shire might have begun the suspense. Then another cry. Then the episode with the Black Rider on the road might happen (which is the first sight of it). Then maybe another distant cry - and then a sight of two Black Riders, maybe in different directions - and the hobbits then having to flee across country. And then more distant cries, with the hobbits (and the audience, hopefully) getting more frightened. All this over a greater span of movie time. Still no one has a clue who the Riders are! At last, the dash to the ferry (if Farmer Maggot really must be left out!) This would set up what happens in Bree. In the book, Aragorn tells them a little about the Black Riders, I think; and then the Black Riders attack what they think is the hobbits sleeping!
I hope this explains better what I mean. It's closer to the book, I reckon.
I don't think you're supposed to like the guy. Or was that not how you meant it? Seriously though, I think the films did a bad job showing Denethor. To borrow from an earlier discussion of the matter:
[quote="[url=http://eldorion.wordpress.com/tolkienpurism/characters/:2yyl3f2h]I[/url:2yyl3f2h]":2yyl3f2h]Denethor’s character was drastically simplified into a one-dimensional lunatic. Tolkien stated in Unfinished Tales, ’The Palant’ri’ that:
[quote:2yyl3f2h]’Denethor was a man of great strength of will, and maintained the integrity of his personality until the final blow of the (apparently) mortal wound of his only surviving son. He was proud, but this was by no means merely personal: he loved Gondor and its people, and deemed himself appointed by destiny to lead them in this desperate time.’
The truth of this is evident in The Return of the King, in which Denethor is no fool. He did summon the armies and call for aid from Rohan, and sent Faramir only to reinforce Osgiliath, not retake it. True, book-Denethor was irrational at the end, but film-Denethor was irrational from the beginning: blindly foolish, refusing to summon the armies of Gondor or light the beacons; and sending his son on a suicide mission to retake Osgiliath.[/quote:2yyl3f2h]
I knew I had good reason for not liking how Denethor was portrayed in the movie!
Now, in the films we only really see Denethor after he's lost his marbles (because he lost his favourite son). But we do get a glimpse of him in flashback being a jerk to Faramir (is that only in the EEs, it's hard to recall the theatrical version now).
I don't think he really came across as "one note" in either the books or the films (he seemed complicated enough), just a jerk. There are plenty of people in Real Life just like him (I used to work for one of them ).
Edit: by the way, that last bit probably biases my opinion
Anyway, I defer to you (somewhat regarding the timing of events) on how he is portrayed in the books. But he's still a jerk either way .
I'm off home now. Goodbye.
I will do a last check of the other threads though before I disappear.
I'd forgotten about the scene with the Black Rider, though I thought that one was well done (much better than that one where they killed a hobbit). I did not, however, like the scene where Farmer Maggot chases Merry and Pippin out of his fields, primarily because that was the way M&P entered the Quest, as opposed to doing it deliberately.
As for Faramir, the worst part about his storyline to me - taking the hobbits to Osgiliath - can be explained through the changes to Frodo as he wasn't particularly trustworthy ([url=http://www.istad.org/tolkien/faramir.html:y2yuo4yb]this essay[/url:y2yuo4yb] gives a nice discussion on that). However, I didn't like how he was almost corrupted by the Ring, and I thought - given the changes to Frodo - it was foolish for him to let Frodo go [i:y2yuo4yb]after[/i:y2yuo4yb] seeing him almost give the Ring to the Nazgul.
I didn't like the way Farmer Maggot was introduced. And btw I didn't see how Sam could know it was Farmer Maggot's field when not long before he made it clear he was passing out of familiar parts of the Shire. Was Farmer Maggot so famous in Hobbiton? Was his farm a kind of natural border for Sam - and that's why he knew it? Maybe, he did. I don't know. I just got out of bed.
I used the word ’ntelligent' for Faramir (referring to the book), but 'wiser' seems more applicable. In the book he does struggle a bit - but he sees quickly Boromir's error. That's wisdom! And resisting the Ring - Hey! That's strength! (David played PJ's version with aplomb - but T's version would have been better).
I'm disappointed in you. How could you ever think Faramir was timid in any way. I just won't have it! Not even Faramir in the movie version was timid! (NB Faramir was played by an Australian. You may not know this, but in Oz we put timid people in a special camp where they're set a series of dangerous tasks which, if they survive, make them braver. Incidentally, I think this is why Australians are generally so good at sport.)
Though a few people are shown as having Superior will power. So the other reason was to give Aragorn a stronger claim to The throne pf Middle Earth. So Faramir, Noble Numenorean blood and strength of character, Aragorn even Nobler blood and stronger character.
Anyway, it worked for me . Can you tell i'm not a "purist" ?
It's wonderful how you can be so right when you're so wrong!
Am I becoming a Dualist?
As the most vocal (I'm fairly sure) purist on this forum ... yes.
We went over the Faramir issue a while back, but for what it's worth, I still think that the Ueber*-powerful Ring excuse doesn't make much sense given the rejections of the Ring by Gandalf, Galadriel, and Aragorn in FOTR. And while I can appreciate wanting to distinguish Aragorn (though I feel obliged to point out that he did not become King of Middle-earth ) I don't think that was worth sacrificing Faramir.
But of course, to each his own.
*Damn umlaut-less keyboard
I can't say this ever occurred to me, but that's a very good point! I can't think of an obvious in-universe solution to this riddle other than your suggestion that Farmer Maggot was a well-known figure or that Sam knew that Merry and Pippin had a history with him.
I'm with you about the Ring's power. If Faramir had taken the Ring I'm sure he would have succumbed to its power fairly swiftly, but he seemed to have some natural resistance to it up front (like Gandalf and Elrond and Tom Bombadil and everyone else who knew Frodo had it but didn't immediately plan to take it off him). Some seem to be more heavily drawn to it as a starting point than others, of course (like Boromir and Denethor and Gollum).
Anyway, you've obviously been all over this Faramir business already. All I want to finish with is: I think the Faramir of the book would have been perfectly okay for the movie. In fact, the better choice!
I agree about this. I've seen a lot of claims that some element(s) of the story had to be changed because it was a movie and not a book. I don't think this holds water though when it involves changing elements of the story (for instance, characters) since that defeats the purpose of [i:1p8smfc2]adapting[/i:1p8smfc2] an existing story. I may be biased since I'm a huge Faramir fan, but I'd've liked to see him make an appearance.
Was that directed at Odo or I?
I've gone back and I don't really know who GB is Touche-ing to!
But for the record, I think Faramir from the films is, in all essentials, the character from the books. The only real change is the externalizing and expanding of his struggle with the Ring. And yes, changes like that are necessary when adapting books to "show" the narrative, rather than "telling" it. And letter perfect adaptations aren't always better. The Dune miniseries was closer to the book than the 80s movie with Sting and Kyle McLachlan. Yet it was dull, flat and boring. The film was much more fun, and truer to the spirit of the book.
Further reflections after sleeping on it:
Consider that the others who pass on the Ring are either Elves (Elrond who stayed at a distance, Galadriel, who still has Hissy Fit so near to the vicinity of the Ring , and the other Elves such as Legolas and Arwen, who though near the Ring Bearer at times are motivated by such noble purposes the Ring has little effect on them), Gandalf, who himself admits he has to resist the inexorable pull of the Ring, Gimli, who is single-minded of purpose and never really gets too close to the Ring, and Aragorn, again his Nobility of Spirit and Purity of Purpose make him Resistant to the Ring.
That other Bloke, Bombadil, in the book is mentioned as the only being on Middle Earth who is wholly unaffected by the Ring. He can touch it, hold it, do a jig with it, eat it for breakfast, and it still won't affect him .
And speaking of Bombadil, I love that section of the book. But it would be the first section I would axe if I were adapting the film. Bombadil looks like Gandalf and acts like Treebeard, and is largely extraneous to the plot.
Films have to be more efficient in conveying the themes and plots of stories. It's the nature of the medium. What works well in print may bog a narrative down in film. There is only a limited amount of time to convey the story. Extraneous characters can be confusing (especially to non-book readers). And the fact that the audience will consist of a large percentage of non-book readers makes conveying internal struggles in an overt way necessary.
Then there's the fact that any adaptation of anything is basically a "Remix". The new Artist must alter certain elements to suit the medium as described above. The things they choose to alter reflect their own artistic judgments, and make whatever they are working on their own. Some people might like the Hildebrandts more than the Howes of the world (I like both). But each artist puts their own spin on things, which is as it should be.
All I ask is that a film be cohesive, and remain true to the Spirit of a Book, without Butchering it too badly (as was done to Goblet of Fire).
I should mention that I used to be a "purist" myself regarding film adaptations, but I got over it many years ago because I was tired of being disappointed. So I learned to appreciate films own their own merits.
I still bridle at certain artistic choices directors make from time to time, but I recognize their need and right to make those choices. So if I argue against hatchet jobs (and there are many), it is based on the merits of the changes made, not on any sense of "purity".
I find myself in the uncomfortable position (I do admire you) of disagreeing with your last post at almost every point!
LOTR could have been filmed much closer to the overall plot with the characters as depicted in the book. The characters are interesting for anyone whether folk have actually read the book or not. They're great characters! Good acting and directing is all that is required. (A case in point is Gandalf. He was the least 'altered' character in the film in my opinion - and the best! Great actor for a great part!)
I would have put Tom in FIRST before worrying about the rest, well, not really, but I don't think him irrelevant at all. The Ring is different things to different people. It affects them in different ways - some don't even seem to notice they're in its presence (like Gimli and Legolas for instance). A bit like people seeing different things the same person.
Films can be remixed, but they don't have to be. I'm a Purity man here.
Not everything could be done - but contrariwise much of what PJ added creatively could have been replaced by what T already had and was omitted. Poor Tom. Poor Farmer Maggot. Poor Old Man Willow. I still think of you! Your memory lives!
Part One, Book One, now I think of it, seems to me to be the most neglected part of the book filmwise.
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":2mxqvj9d]I think Faramir from the films is, in all essentials, the character from the books. The only real change is the externalizing and expanding of his struggle with the Ring. And yes, changes like that are necessary when adapting books to "show" the narrative, rather than "telling" it.[/quote:2mxqvj9d]
Faramir in the book does not really have much of a struggle with the Ring. If he had had one I could understand wanting to show it more obviously, but the filmmakers essentially created one (or you could say drastically expanded from the small germ of a struggle in the book). I for one don't think that changing a major part of a character's storyline is necessary when adapting a book since it [i:2mxqvj9d]changes the story[/i:2mxqvj9d].
For reference here is what Faramir says after discovering that Frodo is carrying the Ring in the book: "[i:2mxqvj9d]Not if I found it on the highway would I take it[/i:2mxqvj9d]I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I whould take these words as a vow, and be held by them. But I am not such a man. Or I am wise neough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee. Sit at peace!" ([i:2mxqvj9d]TTT[/i:2mxqvj9d], The Window on the West).
[quote:2mxqvj9d]And letter perfect adaptations aren't always better. The Dune miniseries was closer to the book than the 80s movie with Sting and Kyle McLachlan. Yet it was dull, flat and boring. The film was much more fun, and truer to the spirit of the book.[/quote:2mxqvj9d]
I have never suggested (nor have I met someone who has suggested) an exact carbon copy adaptation of the book. Obviously there will have to be cuts and maybe even a few changes. But drastic cuts of major elements, preferential or otherwise unwarranted changes, and outright additions are not necessary though either to make an adaptation period or to make a good one. If a filmmaker changes a story that much he might as well just make his own one from scratch instead of trying to pass off his work as a version of someone else's.
We already went over the difference between Faramir and others before, I'll just give a [url=http://the-hobbit-movie.com/forum/digressions-11-20.html:2mxqvj9d]link[/url:2mxqvj9d] to that
[quote:2mxqvj9d]And speaking of Bombadil, I love that section of the book. But it would be the first section I would axe if I were adapting the film. Bombadil looks like Gandalf and acts like Treebeard, and is largely extraneous to the plot.[/quote:2mxqvj9d]
Unlike many I don't really mind Bombadil being cut - I hesitate to use the phrase "expendable" but he's certainly not that important. However, neither was the Battle of Helm's Deep (according to Tolkien in Letter 210), if you want to talk about that.
[quote:2mxqvj9d]Films have to be more efficient in conveying the themes and plots of stories. It's the nature of the medium. What works well in print may bog a narrative down in film. There is only a limited amount of time to convey the story. Extraneous characters can be confusing (especially to non-book readers). And the fact that the audience will consist of a large percentage of non-book readers makes conveying internal struggles in an overt way necessary.[/quote:2mxqvj9d]
None of this, however, necessitates actually making outright [i:2mxqvj9d]changes and additions[/i:2mxqvj9d] (beyond the trimming down process) the story.
[quote:2mxqvj9d]Then there's the fact that any adaptation of anything is basically a "Remix". The new Artist must alter certain elements to suit the medium as described above. The things they choose to alter reflect their own artistic judgments, and make whatever they are working on their own. Some people might like the Hildebrandts more than the Howes of the world (I like both). But each artist puts their own spin on things, which is as it should be.[/quote:2mxqvj9d]
I disagree. wordnet.princeton.edu defines [i:2mxqvj9d]adaptation[/i:2mxqvj9d] as "a written work (as a novel) that has been recast in a new form". If someone wants to create a story with their own ideas in it they should make their own story. Obviously they will have some affect on their work, but that is no reason for them to change a story that is ostensibly an existing ones.
I may be beating a dead horse at this point, but the matter really comes down to this for me: Jackson changed LOTR far beyond what was necessitated by adaptation to the point where the story is not really the same as the one Tolkien wrote even taking into account the difference of medium.
EDIT: this seems to have become a bit more than just a Faramir debate.
I would have loved to have seen a cohort of rangers together with Elronds sons, Elladan and Elrohir, joining up with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli to beat the crap out of the orcs and men of Harad in Pelennor fields.
Firstly this would remove the need for the undead trump card, and secondly it would thoroughly emphasise the fact that Gondor isnt a tiny little nation with a cast in stone culture.
I would have loved to have seen some more of the soldiers join the battle, Dol Amroth heavy Knights, and Long Bowmen more remeniscent of an earlier period in history than the polished gaurd of Minas Tirith. I feel it would also have made the end to the battle much more spectacular, rather than waves of acid green washing over everything.
Of course we have to remember that budgeting and timing reasons probably came into this. As it was the film was stretched. With the addition of another 5-6 cultures/fighting styles/armour sets the makers would have wanted to get thier worth out of them. There would also have required time and sets to show Aragorn, and his undead army destroying the pillaging corsairs not to mention organising the vast army of reinforcments he went to recieve.
On top of this we see the inclusion of what are effectively some of the best fighters in middle earth. Having about 20 Aragorn like figures running around the screen beating orcs up and 2 identical Elves with thier own slick and fast fighting style would not only have been impossible to co-ordinate it would be impossible to follow or film effectively either.