Thread: What would you change about the LotR film trilogy?
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Among others would be Tom Bombadil, the scouring of the shire, and when in ROTK Gollum convinces Frodo to abandon Sam and send him away(which, I thought, was totally unrealistic when it comes to the friendship between the two hobbits).
I'll just have to go read Fellowship of the Ring to refresh my memory....again
[quote:7cubas4x]Suddenly, hopping and dancing along the path, there appeared above the reeds an old battered hat with a tall crown and a long blue feather stuck in the band. With another hop and a bound there came into view a man, or so it seemed. At any rate he was too large and heavy for a hobbit, if not quite tall enough for one of the Big People, though he made noise enough for one, stumping along with great yellow boots on his thick legs, and charging through grass and rushed like a cow going down to drink. He had a blue coat and a long brown beard; his eyes were blue and bright, and his face was red as a ripe apple, but creased into a hundred wrinkles of laughter...
Many illustrations show him looking a fair bit like Gandalf (with the addition of a feather in his hat). In any case he would be a bit shorter than the average European male but much taller than Hobbits and Dwarfs.
What are your views?
Tom has no wish to be burdened by the world, just to live on the land, 'his' land, with Goldberry. Without him the Old Forest would simmer in anger unchecked, and no where in it would any good be found.
It's that cheerfulness about him that has always attracted me, and the feeling that if I was on a quest to destroy the One Ring just as Frodo was, I would probably find myself longing for the safety of the House of Bombadil.
Unfortunately I have yet to read The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, but hopefully when my To-Do list gets a little shorter I'll find some time for it.
Even if he's over cheerful, I'll never get tired of him.
And this is not to say Tolkien's characters don't have depth, it's just that depth is only ever hinted at, largely left to the reader's imagination. Tolkien respected his readers. He knew they could go as deep or as shallow as they want with his characters. He was a Story teller - and not a social commentator - which is what most modern 'serious' fantasy writers are nowadays (I cite Phillip Pullman! Yuk!)
To suggest that something is loved in a book but shouldn't be incorporated in a movie seems daft to me. Either the Tom Bombadil's of fiction are acceptable in both books and movies, or they're not. If they're not, it means only so called "realistic" stories would be left to be read. And that would be sad.
Both T and CS wanted to write books they liked to read. I'm glad they did. Hey! There are not enough Tom Bombadil's or Puddleglum's in the world as it is!
I generally agree with Eldorion. I felt that PJ took too many liberties in changing the characters from the book. I was less than satisfied with PJ's depiction of Faramir. I feel that he dumbed down the character for the movie and portrayed Faramir as having a weaker character. Made Faramir more petty. In the extended edition he rectified this a tiny bit, but still too petty in my mind compared to the Faramir from the books.
PJ also watered down the greatness of Aragorn's character. Aragorn left Rivendell knowing full well what he was out to accomplish, in the big picture, and he was motivated to accomplish both (help Frodo destroy the One Ring, and become ruler of Gondor and Arnor). Like Faramir, I felt that PJ's depiction of Aragorn made him more petty than the character from the books.
Then there's Arwen. Oh boy, where to begin. First off, there was no way in "Angband" that either Aragorn or Elrond would allow Arwen to put herself at risk. If she so much as stepped foot outside of Rivendell or Lothlorien, she'd have a heavily armed escort accompanying her, ensuring that she not so much as stub a toe. The idea of her being some kind of warrior princess is proposterous. For "Valinor's" sake, when Frodo sees her seated at the table in the House of Elrond (in the book), doesn't she sit under a canopy...indoors! This is one of the most cherished persons on Middle Earth!
At least PJ listened to the LOTR fans and refrained from including Arwen at Helms Deep.
Gimli was a bit too unrefined and dirty in the movies. Had Gloin from the book seen his son behave as crudely as was portrayed by the movies, he'd probably have beat him like a redheaded stepchild. Not suggesting that Gimly should be dressed in nothing but silks nor am I suggesting that Gimly should prance around like some short fop. Just saying that burping, using his beard as a napkin, and babbling drunkenly about hairy dwarf women wasn't appropriate for the Gimli from the book.
Now, for personal taste, I would have liked someone else for the part of Galadriel. Cate Blanchett has a great presence about her, but in my opinion she is nowhere near beautiful enough for Galadriel. Galadriel is supposed to be one of the two most beautiful people in Middle Earth, and unfortunately Cate Blanchett just doesn't come close to cutting it in that regard. That said, she did relatively well in her acting and I recognize that beauty is subjective.
I'll continue on with another post in a little bit. This one is getting long already.
Wargs are supposed to be large, intelligent wolves, not mutant hyenas.
I'm really conflicted about the Old Forest, Old Man Willow, Tom Bombadil, and the Barrow Downs. It'd be hard to include any one of them (correctly) without including all of them. That would have tacked another hour onto the film. Shame though, because if done properly the Barrow Downs would have rocked.
Denethor is an interesting character. In the books he is actually a great man that has simply been beaten down from going will-to-will against Sauron so many times. I thought he could have been portrayed a little better, especially in his treatment of Faramir, but otherwise I can understand how they portrayed him in the movies.
As for other odds and ends, I thought it was silly showing the orcs of Moria climbing down walls like cockroaches, the collapsing stair scene in FOTR (as if Aragorn and Frodo would have enough weight to influence which way that massive slab of stone would lean), a blue-ish Lothlorien, and a few other tidbits.
On the other hand, I thought Minas Tirith, the Shire, Moria, and Rivendell were pretty well portrayed. I also enjoyed the portrayals of Bilbo, Frodo, Pip and Merry, Gandalf (though I think he needed a bit more beard when he came back in The Two Towers) Wormtongue, Gollum, and especially Shelob.
I have watched them all at least a couple of times and it was only when re-viewing them that I realised one or two things that I thought, at best, could have been done better and at worst, actually made me cringe!
Most of my problems relate to the first of the three films - FOTR.
I thought the battle at the end between the fellowship and the Uruk-hai just seemed wrong to conducted on a beautiful, sunny day amidst lush green surroundings.
I'm not saying that it should have been a dark night battle but perhaps a bit more overcast and moody? I dunno... monsters just seem less scary in the day!
The second thing is Legolas. I thought Bloom pulled the part off pretty well and he looked as close to how I imagined him as any human could be made to look but some of the dialogue he was given left something to be desired.
His lines largely consist of him staring into the middle-distance and saying some profound one-liner before the camera breaks away to something else entirely.
It's been a few years since I last watched the film but one of the lines I seem to remember is him running up a bit of a hill, looking into the middle-distance and saying something like, "There is a fell voice on the air".
It's not so much the dialogue I suppose but the way it is delivered and then left as if it's the most Middle-Earth shattering statement anyone has ever uttered.
I think it is supposed to give it this kind of gravity - I just felt that it made him look cheesy.
Then there are some other bits of dialogue, there are several throughout the films where I just can't believe nobody took PJ over to one side and said, "Do you REALLY think he would say this?" and the biggest culprit is Aragorn's closing sentence in FOTR - "Let's go kill some orc!"
Hmmm... would Aragorn REALLY use those words?
Talking of orcs, why did they all have to be given some dodgy Cockney accent? I half expected them to break into a rendition of "When I'm cleaning windows" at one point.
Apart from those minor quibbles, I thought the films were great.
I do go along with all the people on here who mourn the loss of Bombadil and the Barrow Wights and the bit in the book where Merry and Pippin become military captains (or whatever rank they are given, I can't remember), one of the befriends a boy I seem to remember and that is a little storyline all of its own and then they go back to Hobbiton as the big war heroes and there's a bit of a scrap when they get back in.
All of this stuff wouldn't have made much sense in the cinema release of the film and it probably needed to be cut but I can't believe that filming that stuff for the extended DVDs wouldn't have been financially worthwhile.
LOTR is a masterpiece of fiction, the likes of which may never be written again, surely the films will never be made again either so you might as well give them absolute A1 everything at the time of making because the opportunity probably won't ever come around again.
Besides, when I see some of the dross that comes out of the film industry all the time, surely they could have sacrificed one of those crappy movies and spent the budget making LOTR even better?
Anyway, thanks for reading.
[quote="Garindalf":3hpc6dq8]LOTR is a masterpiece of fiction, the likes of which may never be written again, surely the films will never be made again either so you might as well give them absolute A1 everything at the time of making because the opportunity probably won't ever come around again.[/quote:3hpc6dq8]
I'm not sure why we should give the films a perfect score just because they were a massive project, for one. Also, I highly doubt that a franchise as lucrative as [i:3hpc6dq8]The Lord of the Rings[/i:3hpc6dq8] will never again be adapted at any point. Maybe not for a few decades, but eventually the Jackson/Del Toro series will be less in the forefront of people's minds and technology will improve. I think there could be another series made out of LOTR within the lifetime of some of us younger folk.
[quote="Shane333":3k5ltc0l]I'm really conflicted about the Old Forest, Old Man Willow, Tom Bombadil, and the Barrow Downs. It'd be hard to include any one of them (correctly) without including all of them.[/quote:3k5ltc0l]
Personally, I don't feel the Old Forest/Tom Bombadil/Barrow-downs should be prioritized when making an adaptation. I hate to try to rank different parts of the book, but given time constraints some parts will have to be cut or condensed (and in that vein, I don't much anything should be [i:3k5ltc0l]added[/i:3k5ltc0l]). I don't mind too much that Bombadil got cut.
[quote:3k5ltc0l]otherwise I can understand how they portrayed him in the movies.[/quote:3k5ltc0l]
I disagree about Denethor, I thought he was done horribly in the films. He was supposed to be a noble but proud leader of Gondor who eventually lost his mind following the apparent death of Faramir. In the book he called for aid from the fiefs and from Rohan before Gandalf showed up in Minas Tirith. In the movie he did neither and for Rohan to come Gandalf and Pippin had to resort to sneaking around behind Denethor's back. Denethor was a literally drooling madman from the first time we meet him in [i:3k5ltc0l]RotK[/i:3k5ltc0l] instead of only towards the end.
[quote:3k5ltc0l]Frodo, Pip and Merry, Gandalf[/quote:3k5ltc0l]
I strongly dislike movie-Frodo for being a wimp. Obviously Frodo in the book was eventually weighed down by despair and "failed" in the Quest, but movie-Frodo starts succumbing much earlier on and would have ended the Quest by surrendering the Ring to a Nazgul in Osgiliath if not for the timely intervention of Sam and Faramir.
Merry and Pippin I thought were okay, but far too trivialized, especially in [i:3k5ltc0l]FotR[/i:3k5ltc0l] where they do little more than provide comic relief (and undergo both the Fireworks scene and drop in on the Council of Elrond and start scampering around at the end, taking the kernel of Sam's interruption and making it almost a circus of hobbits who are clearly annoying Elrond - and some members of the audience ).
I [i:3k5ltc0l]loved[/i:3k5ltc0l] Ian McKellen's performance as Gandalf the Grey, but I was a bit let down by his Gandalf the White, mainly because of his smack-down of Denethor in [i:3k5ltc0l]RotK[/i:3k5ltc0l]. Leaving aside the ridiculousness of the Gondorians following his orders after he beat up their leader, it was the sort of violent and domineering intervention that Gandalf was supposed to avoid (and the sort that Saruman succumbed to).
Just some of my thoughts on the matter.
Legolas' almost mystical demeanor was rather annoying to me, but two lines really stood out. The first was "the Uruks have turned northeast ... [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE-1RPDqJAY:3380l1uo]they're taking the Hobbits to Isengard![/url:3380l1uo]" (though the music video is pretty good in my opinion). The reason for my dislike was the fact that the Uruks were actually heading more or less due [i:3380l1uo]west[/i:3380l1uo] in the direction of Isengard and there wasn't much of anything in the north-east for a very long distance. The other line I disliked was "A diversion" in [i:3380l1uo]RotK[/i:3380l1uo]. The plan had already been laid out and it was obviously a diversion, so Legolas' statement was redundant and made him seem a bit slow (to me at least).
[quote:l02e0jka]Gandalfs Beard wrote:
While it's perfectly reasonable to debate the merits of certain changes vs others, it is less reasonable to challenge the necessity for making such changes.
I'm curious as to how this is relevant, as I have never claimed that no changes need be made.
Sorry, I wasn’t directing that at you personally Eldorion . I was just trying to answer your question generally speaking (as quoted below):
’Are you saying then, anaclagon, that the point of adaptation is not to give an accurate representation of the original story, just in a different media with some changes made to facilitate this; but is in fact to make a story that may or may not show similarities to the original?’[/quote:l02e0jka]
As to your points regarding Faramir, Denethor and Aragorn, I don’t think Jackson did significantly alter those characters. Although he did develop Aragorn and Faramir’s character arcs, but I really don’t think he changed their basic natures, nor their roles. He took the characters’ essential traits and developed believable character arcs that were tied symbolically to the Greater Story. Denethor was introduced, in the films, after his losses. Which would explain why we only see him in his "fallen" state .
Your own use of quotes around ’essential’ suggests that perhaps it ain’t necessarily so . The Scouring of the Shire is not so essential as to necessitate drawing out an already lengthy denouement. It’s fine in the book (despite it’s anti-climactic nature) because one can read it at their own pace, but in film that anti-climax would have thrown the pacing and balance of the action totally off. Some of my friends who never read the books asked me how many endings LotR had when they saw it . Which just shows that one more would have been overkill .
And I think Spirit refers to a number of aspects such as imagery, mood, setting, key plot points, basic character archetypes etc., that, when taken as a whole, convey the primary aspects of the original author’s works. When the Spirit of the film gives you that same tingle you felt from reading the books for the first time, you know it works. And yes, that is subjective, but I think a lot of us felt that way.
An extensive analysis (such as that which you linked to) will undoubtedly uncover many details that were indeed either, eliminated, added, altered, or shifted to another part of the story. But that doesn’t make them, in and of themselves, bad. Each point is debatable on it's own merits, but if you’re making a film you have to make these choices and trade-offs.
And honestly, do you agree that: [color=#FF0000:l02e0jka]’’some of these changes were so drastic that the story cannot truly be called The Lord of the Rings (in any form).’[/color:l02e0jka] (from the first numbered points regarding Tolkien purism on the blog you linked). That seems a little overstated to me.
Anyway, I do think that purism has an important role to play in making certain that adaptations are successful and faithful nowadays . I just think that too much can spoil one’s own enjoyment of something that is exceptional in it’s own right.
[b:l02e0jka]EDIT: I just read your previous posts on the last page Eldorion. So I know you aren't necessarily an "ultra"-purist [/b:l02e0jka] .
Have to disagree with you on a few specific points (and generally too, but I won't tie up space just paraphrasing Eldorion's arguments!)
(1) Faramir was markedly different in the movie. I don't think his 'arc' was credible at all. (Well acted - yet wrong wrong wrong!)
(2) Denethor just wasn't Denethor. (Well acted - I really don't know - just bad bad bad!)
(3) Aragorn, well we could make some argument that his 'arc' seemed reasonably consistent. At least, his character did not generally jar with me. (I have to say his scenes with Arwen were nice. It did not bother me they weren't anything to do with the book. I tend to the Purist Trend - but can obviously be swayed by a lovely romance!)
As to the Scouring of the Shire being 'anti-climactic'! I didn't know there were two versions of the chapter. I mean, a hugely climactic one and an anti-climactic one! Maybe you meant you forgot the first time you read it and only remember the times you read it when you already knew the good guys win? Might you not be getting forgetful with venerability? I mean it kindly... And how can you say it was not 'essential' to the story!?!? Oh fiddlesticks to you!
I'll leave Eldorion to respond to your more technical points, if willing. That stuff's a bit above a simple hobbit's head, thank you very much.
I'm afraid I have to respectfully disagree. Aragorn was made into a reluctant King-in-Exile as opposed to one who was simply biding his time, and his self-doubt over leaving Frodo in [i:1ou4mdry]TTT[/i:1ou4mdry] (the book) was expanded to fill more or less his entire "arc" up until his meeting with Arwen in [i:1ou4mdry]RotK[/i:1ou4mdry] (I'm not sure if that was supposed to be their wedding or what ). As for Faramir, I think his role was changed into one of growing out of a Boromir-like mold and into one more like book-Faramir, but it involved removing his resistance to the Ring from the book.
[quote:1ou4mdry]Denethor was introduced, in the films, after his losses. Which would explain why we only see him in his "fallen" state .[/quote:1ou4mdry]
He was introduced after losing Boromir but before "losing" Faramir. In other words, at the same point as in the book.
[quote:1ou4mdry]Your own use of quotes around ’essential’ suggests that perhaps it ain’t necessarily so . The Scouring of the Shire is not so essential as to necessitate drawing out an already lengthy denouement. It’s fine in the book (despite it’s anti-climactic nature) because one can read it at their own pace, but in film that anti-climax would have thrown the pacing and balance of the action totally off.[/quote:1ou4mdry]
Sorry, I wasn't really clear about that. "Essential" was put in quotation marks because it is part of a passage from the Foreword to the Second Edition of LOTR: [color=#0000FF:1ou4mdry]"It [the Scouring] is an essential part of the plot"[/color:1ou4mdry]. It is, in the book, the true culmination of the story where the Hobbits' journey finally comes to an end but they also realize that not even the Shire was safe. In the events of the Scouring they truly come into their own without any outside help.
In the films, on the other hand, the Destruction of the Ring was made the culmination of the story. This would explain why the Scouring wasn't included, though of course it doesn't mean the films were faithful.
[quote:1ou4mdry]And I think Spirit refers to a number of aspects such as imagery, mood, setting, key plot points, basic character archetypes etc., that, when taken as a whole, convey the primary aspects of the original author’s works.[/quote:1ou4mdry]
That seems a reasonable definition, but when imagery (ex: Rohan and the Rohirrim), mood (ex: emphasis on battles, especially in [i:1ou4mdry]TTT[/i:1ou4mdry]), setting (ex: adding stuff like Osgiliath), key plot points (ex: Aragorn's "tumble off the cliff", going to Osgiliath, expanding Helm's Deep, cutting the Scouring, etc.), and basic character archetypes (see above in this post) are changed then the spirit changes.
[quote:1ou4mdry]When the Spirit of the film gives you that same tingle you felt from reading the books for the first time, you know it works. And yes, that is subjective, but I think a lot of us felt that way.[/quote:1ou4mdry]
It is of course impossible to invalidate that subjective feeling, but it seems to me a poor method for adaptation, since it essentially leaves it up to the director to define the spirit he wants to follow. I think that sort of misses the point of adapting an existing story rather than being inspired by a story to create one of your devising.
[quote:1ou4mdry]if you’re making a film you have to make these choices and trade-offs.[/quote:1ou4mdry]
Of course you do, to a degree, but I think they went much too far on some of them.
[quote:1ou4mdry]do you agree that: [color=#FF0000:1ou4mdry]’’some of these changes were so drastic that the story cannot truly be called The Lord of the Rings (in any form).’[/color:1ou4mdry] (from the first numbered points regarding Tolkien purism on the blog you linked).[/quote:1ou4mdry]
I do agree with that (I wrote it ). My point in that statement is one that I think I've made here too: that I feel that when the filmmakers change the story itself in the process of "adapting" it, it becomes misleading to still call it [i:1ou4mdry]The Lord of the Rings[/i:1ou4mdry], since it has ceased to be the story of LOTR (in my opinion).
[quote:1ou4mdry]I just think that too much can spoil one’s own enjoyment of something that is exceptional in it’s own right.[/quote:1ou4mdry]
I suppose it could depending on how much is "too much", but for myself I enjoy the films, or at least parts of them, despite being annoyed by their unfaithfulness. I think they should have shown more respect to the original story without which the films would never have existed, but I can still appreciate them as more or less great cinema.
In ROTK mainly, probably because they finished it two days before it was released.
1) Gandalf's staff magically reappears at the end of the movie
2) Frodo was stabbed by Shelob in the stomach in the movie. In the book, he was stabbed in the neck. IN the movie, the sting wouldn't have affected him because he was wearing the mithril vest.(hence the whole "shiny shirt" scene)
3)Frodo's finger grows back at the end!(Though they try to make it conspicuous)
Just some little things that wouldn't have been missed if there was more time to finish and there was no rush... but the movie was still GREATLY EPIC!!!!!
By far the biggest complaint I had about the LOTR trilogy was the role of Saruman. In the book, Saruman is corrupted by the ring. I guess one of the messages of the book is that the more powerful and 'wise' you are, the more susceptible you are to corruption by the ring (and perhaps corruption in general). Saruman is so wise and powerful, he gets corrupted even without physical contact with the ring! He is corrupted because he studies ringlore so deeply, and in the end decides to wield it for himself and become master of Middle Earth.
In the movie, they made his mind-boggling betrayal of Middle Earth into just a cowardly, Machievellian decision. He figured Sauron would win, so he wanted to brown nose the Dark Lord. The Saruman from the book would have preferred to die a painful death rather than to bow to anyone, Sauron included. He was rising up AGAINST Sauron, not becoming his willing lieutenant. I recall a dialogue in the LOTR (though I don't recall who said it) where someone regrets that Isengard and Mordor could not be next to each other so the two armies could smash each other to smithereen...but then it is noted (I assume by Gandalf) that the eventual winner would emerge even more powerful.
By unnecessarily changing this aspect, I felt the filmmakers 1) didn't do justice to the character of Saruman from the book and, 2) missed an opportunity to reinforce yet again the power of corruption in the ring.
Related to this is my secondary complaint. My understanding from the book was that the ring COULD be used by anyone powerful enough. They COULD use it to overpower Sauron and become the lord of Middle Earth. The only trouble was they would become corrupted in the process and become dark lords themselves. In the movie, it is claimed, NO ONE can use this ring besides Sauron. The ring only has one master, the ring and Sauron are one and the same. If so, then why does Gandalf ask Frodo to not "tempt" him with the ring? If he can't REALLY use the ring to become powerful anyway? This turned it from a REAL temptation to just some illusion.
As for how Saruman actually becomes corrupted, it isn't his power or "wisdom" which makes him more susceptible, but his Mechanistic nature. He was corrupted not by the Ring, but by his own desire to shatter things into their components to see how they work, and then mistaking the parts for the sum of the whole. Hence, Saruman The White became Saruman of Many Colours.
In LotR, the Book, it is people's own natures that make them more or less corruptible. Strength of Character and Purpose generally decided who would fall most readily to the Power of the Ring. I think this is also a key point in the films.
As to your secondary complaint, I think that there may be a misunderstanding at it's center. In the films, as in the book, the Ring only has One True Master, because that is how it was made, with Sauron putting much of himself into the Ring. Now, indeed, in the books, one could conceivably use the Ring against Sauron--but they would become corrupted and become Dark Lords themselves--just as you suggest. But the films have the same message.
In the films a lot of emphasis is put on the Powerful (Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond etc.) "becoming like Dark Lords themselves" if they were to use the Ring. Anyone (powerful that is) COULD indeed take the Ring and use it, but they SHOULD not--which is why Gandalf asks Frodo not to tempt him. The temptation is as "real" in the films as it is in the books.
thanks for taking the time to give me your thoughtful comments.
We'll probably have to agree to disagree on this one I suspect.
[color=#BF0000:21jnkl1j]"Jackson's version of Saruman is clearly portrayed as seeking his own aggrandizement first, his surreptitious moves a ploy to distract Sauron as he attempts to capture the Ring for himself. This doesn't contradict your (correct) contention that Book Saruman would bow to none."[/color:21jnkl1j]
Well if by "aggrandisement", you mean not being wiped off the map by Sauron, I would agree. But if you refer to the usual definition, I disagree. I didn't see anything in the movie that suggested Saruman was planning to backstab Sauron and grab the ring for himself. He never said to Gandalf: "bow to me, and together we'll overthrow Sauron by grabbing the ring for ourselves", he said (paraphrasing) bow to Sauron and submit to his will, as I have, because he is so big and mighty. The closest thing to the evidence of "aggrandisement" is, as someone else quoted to me in the LOTR forum, his question to the Uruk-hai..."Whom do you serve?" "SARUMAN".
The person who mentioned this was actually hoping that this (in the first movie) indicated Saruman would yet seek to betray Sauron in the second movie (which was not yet out then)...but nothing more came of it. By itself, I don't think it's much of an evidence. If you have others, I would be curious to hear them.
[color=#BF0000:21jnkl1j]"He was corrupted not by the Ring, but by his own desire to shatter things into their components to see how they work, and then mistaking the parts for the sum of the whole. Hence, Saruman The White became Saruman of Many Colours."[/color:21jnkl1j]
That's fascinating. Is that something from the book? Sounds pretty good.
[color=#BF0000:21jnkl1j]"As to your secondary complaint, I think that there may be a misunderstanding at it's center. In the films, as in the book, the Ring only has One True Master, because that is how it was made, with Sauron putting much of himself into the Ring. Now, indeed, in the books, one could conceivably use the Ring against Sauron--but they would become corrupted and become Dark Lords themselves--just as you suggest. But the films have the same message. In the films a lot of emphasis is put on the Powerful (Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond etc.) "becoming like Dark Lords themselves" if they were to use the Ring. Anyone (powerful that is) COULD indeed take the Ring and use it, but they SHOULD not--which is why Gandalf asks Frodo not to tempt him. The temptation is as "real" in the films as it is in the books."[/color:21jnkl1j]
I respectfully disagree. At the very least, I think the movies didn't make this clear. Sometimes it seemed to suggest a powerful individual could use the ring against Sauron (as when Gandalf asked Frodo not to tempt him), but other times it seemed to suggest NO ONE could use the ring against Sauron (as when Boromir suggests using the ring against Sauron at the Council, and he is flat out told NO ONE can use the ring against Sauron because it only has one master - Sauron himself). If in the movie it was only said "the ring can have only ONE TRUE master", that would leave open the possibility that the master need not be Sauron. However, from memory, the movie stated that the ring only served Sauron (paraphrasing, can't recall the exact quote)...which sounds fairly definitive...so I remain unconvinced.
DISCLAIMER: I read the books about 8 times (not counting the dozens of times I've read chapters here or there) but I confess the last time I read them was about 20 years ago! So I stand ready to be corrected on my memory (including spelling of names!).[/color:21jnkl1j]
1) The death of Boromir is one of my favourite descriptive passages in the books. It had a really heroic poetry kind of grandeur to it...something from mythology. It was a beautiful image...of a proud but broken warrior, outnumbered completely, but fighting as a man possessed (indeed, fighting for his soul) with countless dead piling at his feet.
I generally thought the movie handled it well, and it brings a tear to my eye whenever I see it...but I still (being one of the never-can-be-satisfied-LOTR-fans!) found myself disappointed.
This was supposed to be something epic. One against a thousand. Like the 300 spartans of old. We are supposed to be in awe of how hard Boromir fought. However, the first most striking image we see is of ARAGON facing down the thousand Uruk-hai! And pretty much, we soon find EVERYONE is killing mountains of Uruk-hai quite well thank you very much. So instead of being in awe of Boromir standing up against the avalanche, I found myself wondering whether Boromir wasn't quite up to the challenge of killing cannon fodder as easily as the rest of the Fellowship.
I have more, but my wife is waiting to go out and have dinner...so the others will have to wait till later!
It's true that Saruman doesn't explicitly say to Gandalf "Let's take the Ring and Rule ourselves". But it's fairly clear from his duplicitous nature that he intends to keep it for himself should he find it before Sauron. In fact, I am pretty sure his Orcs have orders to bring any Hobbits and their possessions to him rather than to Mordor. There are some lines uttered by Orcs that suggest that very thing, but I'd have to skim through the films to find the scene.
As Gandalf escapes Saruman, Gandalf points out that Sauron does not share power. I think Saruman's expressions and actions make it clear that he knows this full well, and is going along with Sauron for convenience's sake until he has a chance to grab power for himself. Most of my non-book reading friends picked up on this, so I don't think it's something I'm "reading into" the films. But I grant you, that the evidence is ambiguous enough that I wouldn't make a Federal Case out of it .
Back to the books, the scene featuring Saruman of Many Colours does appear in Fellowship as another forum member, Durin, posted. Tolkien himself discusses Saruman's motivations, but for the life of me I can't remember where I read it now . Anyway, the scene as quoted by Durin:
[quote:2lgs6h67]Well here is a Quote right from the Book, "Lord of the Rings". This is from the Fellowship of the Ring, or Part 1, Book 2, Council of Elrond.'"Yes, I have come," I said (Gandalf). " I have come for your aid, Saruman the White." And that title seemed to anger him.
"Have you indeed Gandalf the Grey!" he scoffed.' Well, now I have skipped to a section, not to far from this, maybe Paragraph or so. "' For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colors!'
'I looked then and saw that his robes, which has seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered. "I liked white better" Gandalf Said.
"White!" he sneered. "It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The white Page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken."
*Back to the films*
As to your last point, at the council of Elrond, Gandalf says the Ring is "altogether Evil". Aragorn does say "You cannot wield it, none of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other Master". Gandalf does reply to Boromir at one point that "Aragorn is right, we cannot use it."
On it's face this seems to support your point. But I think the context changes things. Some (i.e. Boromir ) need to be utterly convinced that it would be beyond foolish to use the Ring. So a little Rhetorical embellishment on the part of another character (Aragorn) is certainly called for. And under those circumstances there is no way Gandalf would have corrected him by saying "well, actually we could use it to defeat Sauron, but then we would become as Evil is him". That would have weakened the position they were taking, which was that the Ring must be destroyed under all accounts.
Again, there is just enough ambiguity though, that this scene alone would not be convincing. No, it takes Gandalf's and Galadriel's temptation to make it clear that in Jackson's version, the Ring could just as readily be wielded by another powerful being if they so chose.
In any case, it's been about 3 years since my last reading of LotR (the Hobbit just last year), but my memory isn't always brilliant either, and we're a very forgiving bunch here .
You're right, of course. Given that the minions of evil are 1) multitudinous, and 2) hardly kill a member of the Fellowship except poor Boromir, it is hard to represent them as being too much of a threat!
However, I guess that's the magic of reading a book....I still could imagine how strong and vicious those Uruk-hai were.
Also, though they were all AOK (Awesome Orc Killers), I still think that scene belonged to Boromir alone. I would have had the other members of the party fighting scattered groups of Uruk-hai, but save that moment when Aragon looked up, and then the camera panned to reveal masses and masses of Uruk-hai, for Boromir. I would prefer what Boromir achieved to be appreciated as extraordinary, even by the standard of AOKs!
[color=#BF0000:2mnpvmsk]*Back to the films*
As to your last point, at the council of Elrond, Gandalf says the Ring is "altogether Evil". Aragorn does say "You cannot wield it, none of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other Master". Gandalf does reply to Boromir at one point that "Aragorn is right, we cannot use it."
On it's face this seems to support your point. But I think the context changes things. Some (i.e. Boromir ) need to be utterly convinced that it would be beyond foolish to use the Ring. So a little Rhetorical embellishment on the part of another character (Aragorn) is certainly called for. And under those circumstances there is no way Gandalf would have corrected him by saying "well, actually we could use it to defeat Sauron, but then we would become as Evil is him". That would have weakened the position they were taking, which was that the Ring must be destroyed under all accounts.[/color:2mnpvmsk]
That's an interesting take on the scene. So Aragon was actually lying to Boromir (and Gandalf, sensing what he was trying to do, jumped in to help), in order to avoid a situation where the Council might decide to use the ring instead of to destroy it (though Boromir seems the only one considering it). I guess, in the end of the day, it was probably true enough for Boromir. I mean, it would have taken someone of some intrinsic power (Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, etc) to have used the ring...and I suspect Boromir or Denethor would not have qualified! (unless they decided to turn invisible and backstab Sauron's entire army! lol)
I'll be quick to add here I either liked or loved most of the casting decisions. Bilbo and Gandalf were my favourite, but I also really liked Frodo, Aragon, Boromir, Theoden etc...
I didn't like Sean Astin in the role because he seemed to be a bit too affected in his 'down-to-earth countriness'....it didn't seem natural. And there was a scene in the first movie when they are leaving the Shire when he looks at Frodo, and it seems a very dismissive, kind of condenscending look, which didn't sit well with his character. Anyway, it wasn't SO bad that I wasn't moved in the third movie at Sam's bravery and sacrifice. Just didn't find myself warming to Sean's Sam as much as most of the other characters, which was a shame because he is such a central figure.
However, I can't believe you didn't like Sam!!! I thought he was one of the very best (which is saying something). I felt he was as close to perfect as you could get. Each to his own, I guess.
The problem I have with the movies is that not many of the characters consistently mirror the ones in the book. I think Ian McKellan was brilliant and the closest to his character in the book. Other characters I thought were excellent; Aragorn for instance; it's just he, like others, wasn't particularly like the Aragorn in the book. In some ways I thought Boromir was better (and different)than in the book - and Arwen too - but that's another story completely!
Overall, the same old is the same old. If Peter had stuck more truly to the book, the film would have been immeasurably better.
NB PJ might have done another action/fantasy/romance about a Mortal Man falling in love with an Immortal Maid - starring Viggo and Liv - and I would have sat in the front pew at the cinemas to watch it!!! Of course, it would not be a Tolkien adaptation, but who cares?!?!
NB Hey! What about the Story of Luthien and Beren? Now that'd be a great movie idea!
Personally I thought Sam was brilliant, but I see what you mean about the odd condescending glance at the beginning. I just took it as the look a "servant" might give his "master" when he thought "master" was off his rocker . So it worked for me, but I can see how that might annoy.
Tar-Palantir, I don't think I agree that the Orcs were feeble, they seemed right on the mark to me. Some varieties were definitely not as rugged fighters as others, but they were still pretty creepy and scary-looking.
Funnily enough, I actually found Boromir's death more moving than the book. And he seemed a more sympathetic character to me in general (not to say I think his basic character was changed, just a different emphasis on certain aspects of his persona). I don't think he truly realized until that moment Frodo disappeared, the Truth of the Ring's "altogether Evil" Power.
Whether one agrees or not that Boromir of the film was like the book, I think his performance was so convincing I forgot it was a performance. And really, though I concede it's debatable how accurately the film characters in general reflect the book characters, I think the casting was, on the whole, brilliant and all the performances were convincing.
I think I'm back tracking a bit here, but I do actually think movie Boromir was reasonably close to the book version. He was brought out a bit more, I think, but not all that inconsistently with what was written by T. I'm certainly in agreement with you that movie Boromir was excellent. I truly liked him. When I read the book again after the FOTR movie, I saw some differences to book Boromir, but not jarringly so - and the differences to me were more to do with how I imagined him physically, not so much anything to do with his characterisation.
What I didn't like, however, was how Aragorn came in at the last moment and finished off the orc that shot Boromir. Shouldn't Boromir at least get the honor of killing off his enemy before his tragic death?
I'm not saying the death scene wasn't moving, only that it could have been even more moving...and it didn't have that epic feel I think it was supposed to have. Something that kiddies centuries later would be talking about. The day Boromir held back an army of Uruk-hai on his own and left a mountain (okay, a small hill! ) of dead bodies around him in his effort to protect Merry and Pippin and regain his honour.
It's all the shame because I think Sean Bean was a superb Boromir. I loved his scene in the mountain when he returns the ring (very reluctantly!) to Frodo...and his death scene. The sight of Merry and Pippin as they watched him fall is probably the saddest part of the movie for me - always moves me to tears!
Yeah, exactly. I also think it was unnecessary (and more than unnecessary - distracting) for Aragon to come in and do his hero thing against the top dog Uruk-hai. Boromir should have been allowed to kick his arse.
I never thought the Aragorn/Uruk-hai fight scene climactic anyway. Now you've brought it up, I know why. Thanks for clarifying my thoughts (it's no mean feat, I can tell you!)
In the TT, althoug it was what initially drew me into the rest of the movies when i was 8 (for i saw FOTR when i was 6 and it scared me to death!) was the scene where aragorn falls over the cliff. I thought that that was unneccessary to the plot and just created some pointless drama and some Arwen time. I thought it was really cool before i read the book. It seems there was alot of drama in that movie, yet i myself set an example of how it drew in the audience, so I guess I can't complain...