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Thread: Imagination

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When reading the books do you still use your own imagination or do you find yourself thinking
of the characters and the sceanary of the movies.
I tend to think of the movies, shame. I'v got a good imagination. Miss the middle earth i used
to have in my head. Had the Hobbits looking like little moles with waistcoats on like Beetrix potter. :|
I find it hard to envision people (though sometimes I can do generic outfits), so a lot of the characters look in my mind like they do in the movies. I can do land formation and buildings much easier, though, so I tend to have a much different mental picture for those (especially Rohan). In a few cases though, particularly Isengard, I deliberately work that conception into my mental image because I like it (it's worth noting that Orthanc design was first illustrated by Alan Lee years before the movies). Lands and buildings in general are less vague for me.
I tend not to use film images when I'm reading but voices I do. When I hear certain characters in LoTR I'm hearing the bbc radio versions, particularly Gandalf (Sir Michael Horden) and Gollum (Peter Woodthorpe-he also did the Bakshi version. Andy Serkis wasn't a bad Gollum voice but he lacks the emotion and pitifulness Woodthorpe brings to it-but Woodthorpe has a much better script than Serkis to work with).
The characters in the book to me RESEMBLE the characters in the movies, but they always seem less human in my mind. They aren't quite perfect, because it's what my mind conjures after reading a description. I like them better in my head because that's the way they're meant to look like; they have that solid base of actually lookng real because of the movies and then Tolkiens descriptions alter them. Its great!
Are these the ones petty?
That's the ones Noom. Any one who thinks (like me) that PJ and the Coven made a complete mess of adaptation should listen to these to see how much better it could have been done. Not perfect (not entirely sold on their solution to getting in the info normally put into a prologue) but overall highly, highly recommended. If anyone at the BBC reads this- animate that series!!(And hire me! You'll need me to tell you where you're going wrong <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> ) A fantastic cast (and best of all you don't even have to pay them all as some have shuffled off this mortal coil). So come on Beeb- do something good for once with all that tax money.
To bring this back (slightly) to the thread topic, it might however be tricky in the imagination after listening to the plays to have Ian Holm's Bilbo in mind (he is brilliant at it and the best hobbit in the films) and Ian Holm as Frodo (also brilliant, shame he didn't find time for a chat with Elijah on how to act the role).
How did you imagine Treebeard before the movies ? My memery is clouded with the annimated version.

Thanks for the link on the BBC series, sounds great.
I never knew how to picture him. I guess much like the animated version, only alittle more human looking... I'm not really sure!!!!! And according the to the behind the scenes footage on TTT, neither did PJ!!!!
he was one of the only characters that i didnt see, i never really thought about it, but when i did i always imagined him as a big tree with a voice eminating from somewhere inside, (dont ask how he moved, even i dont know) i was so glad when weta gave my something to visualise :roll:
what did other people imagine gandalf and aragorn to look like???
For the most part I see the characters from PJs movie. I watched the Fellowship first then read TTT and ROTK so the movie influence was what I was exposed to first.
Treebeard was totally different then I thought in PJs version. I kind of pictured him more humaniod and less tree-like.

I thought the characters in Bakshi's version were quite ridiculous looking. Boromir the barbarian hahahaha! And the no pants thing...However the film portrayed alot of the emotions quite well.
Gollum was interesting, had him wearing a black suit with tales like Fred Astair. Dont ask me why. I was young.
Sounds a bit silly now i think about it. Sure weve all imagined silly things. (havnt we) please say yes and make
me feel better. :oops: :oops:
Strangely enough, Jackson's films mirror very precisely much of the way I have always viewed the characters, creatures, and scenery. It's almost like he read my mind and filmed what he saw there. So it's no wonder that I tend to defend the vast majority of Jackson's film-making decisions. It's like seeing my own imagination brought to life.

And yes, that includes some of the alterations. I always imagined Arwen in Glorfindel's place (poor Gorfy <img src='/images/smileys/sad.gif' border='0' alt='Sad Smilie' /> ). Bakshi's version was pretty close for me too though. My biggest problem with Bakshi's film was portraying Aragorn as a Native American :lol: .

I guess I have a pretty strong visual imagination, so unless something really strikes me as wrong, films don't alter, but merge with, my imagination if it's close to my vision. If something isn't how I envision it, I keep my original vision and disregard the film.

He may have looked like a native American but he sounded English, being voiced by the excellent John Hurt- a fine bit of casting I reckon and my favourite Strider voice (and the one I hear in my head when I read the books).
Yes, well you can't beat John Hurt <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

Aragorn was a Native American? That's quite a shock! Was he really? :shock:
I think they got a bit hooked on the idea he could track and live in the wilds and so therefore thought "Indian", as you do. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
I simply couldn't get over neither Aragorn nor Boromir wearing pants. What was with that?
I didnt mind the pants so much - if memory serves Aragorn wears a sort of kilt like thing, so I had no problem with that. It was Boromir wearing a viking style horned helmet got me. Wings on his helm maybe, but horns? I can only assume they thought because he carried a horn he'd keep spares on his head!
They were wearing Tunics of the Medieval Anglo-Saxon period. That's why the no-pants thing. It's actually an historically accurate portrayal.


lol- no pants- thanks to the oddness of cross Atlantic English that makes me chuckle! It'd be one way to frighten the Enemy I suppose.
Tunics and Robes were the most common form of clothing for men up until the late Middle Ages and Renaissance period. In some cultures, particularly those in colder climates leg coverings on men were also worn, but it wasn't ubiquitous. Anglo Saxons and Celts among other mid to Northern European groups wore tunics without leggings as a matter of course.

:? :? :? :shock:
Thinking of them NOT wearing pants in PJ's films brings up the memory of Willaim Wallace mooning the British....
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":10wxsnp1]They were wearing Tunics of the Medieval Anglo-Saxon period. That's why the no-pants thing. It's actually an historically accurate portrayal.[/quote:10wxsnp1]

Aragorn wasn't an Anglo-Saxon, though. :P Does anyone recall if the books mention if he had pants?
No Aragorn wasn't Anglo Saxon. But Tolkien based much of Middle Earth on the Mythology and Cultures of Early Medieval Europe :P .

And he changed and added and left his own touch on it, so I'm unconvinced by real-world history.
I thought you LIKED more "realism" in the filmic portrayals :? . Maybe I'm confusing you with Petty :roll: .

I like realism in that I don't want to see the laws of reality* warped beyond recognition, but wanting realism doesn't mean assuming that certain parallels with real-world societies indicate similarities beyond those that Tolkien explicitly stated. It's possible that Aragorn didn't wear pants, but without a statement on that by Tolkien, I reside in my 'agnostic' sphere.

*After they have been modified to account for magic and fantasy creatures. This means that I'll accept wraiths as supernatural, but not, say, impossibly huge armies that couldn't be fed.
Fair Enough! Agnosticism works for me. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

Out of curiousity I had a look a the description of Aragorn as he is in the Prancing Pony. There is mention of boots and a hooded cloak but not of any trousers. (And yes they are TROUSERS, pants are underwear- if your going to nick someone elses language stop mucking about with the words! I don't know bloody colonists! You'll be telling me colour is spelt without a 'u' next).
Indeed, "Pants" weren't invented until the 16th century. Admittedly, it's from the Italian word for trousers <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> (pantaloons).

Trousers appeared in Western European culture at several points in history, but gained their current predominance only in the 16th century, from a Commedia dell'Arte character named Pantalone (the Italian language word for "Trousers"Wink Smilie. In England in the twelfth century, the rustic often wore long garments to the ankle, rather like trousers, which were really glorified braies (undergarments). Trouser-like garments, which became rare again in the thirteenth century, vanished during the fourteenth century and scarcely reappeared for six hundred years. The word itself is of Gaelic origin, from the Irish language or Scottish Gaelic, from the Middle Irish word "triubhas" (close-fitting shorts). It is, however, important to note that trews (a form of, originally, tight-fitting leggings, a traditional or derived Scottish garment) were, in fact, not trousers.[/quote:zb8lrelf]

In the end though, the only real point is that it would be perfectly in keeping with [b:zb8lrelf]Historical accuracy[/b:zb8lrelf] to have portrayed some of the inhabitants of Middle Earth as wearing tunics without pants or trousers. However, Middle Earth is also a FANTASY (i.e. IMAGINATIVE <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ). Hence we can have Hobbits wearing 19th century waistcoats, trousers and pocket-watches while the rest of Middle Earth is mired in Early Medieval cultural trappings. Aragorn and Boromir could have been wearing kilts, tunics, whatever...with or without undergarments <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

You are quite right GB, it is legitimate to portray Gondorians, Rohirrrim or Rangers with tunics/kilts there is nothing to say otherwise in the text as far as I can see. But I do draw the line at Boromir in a Viking style horned helmet- there's no cultural reference at all for that in a son of the Steward of Gondor, unless I've missed something somewhere.
How, my God, did I manage to miss this EXCELLENT discussion.... Oh God! Here it comes... Micky Rourke (didn't know he wrote poetry? :? )....

[i:1aw2k8jq]"Oh the pants! the pants! Ive lost my pants!
My Kingdom for some pants, I rants!"[/i:1aw2k8jq]

Bill Ferny:
[i:1aw2k8jq]"Oh you slinky slimly slappy chappy,
You've got the buttocks of your Pappy.
He visited me wi'out pants or trousers,
Arathorn was no shrinking wowser!
Come now, Strider! Yes, I DO know you,
And fear ye not who I'm just now talking to,
These friends of mine - a bit like orcs?
Ha! You must now prance about - or we might TALK."[/i:1aw2k8jq]

[i:1aw2k8jq]"Oh Illuvatar! My cover's blown,
My precious family jewells been shown,
And so now must I dance in vulgar Bree,
While evil men-orcs gawk at me!"[/i:1aw2k8jq]

Bill Ferny:
[i:1aw2k8jq]"Oh indeed you must show us your stuff,
Show us your kingly rounded butt,
If your glory you flaunt freely for me
And my friends Gashgut, Bumrag, Mr T,
I'll not dob you in - yes, you can TRUST me!"[/i:1aw2k8jq]

Strider (sadly):
[i:1aw2k8jq]"It seems I must succumb to Dark Forces,
But I swear I'll never perform with horses!"[/i:1aw2k8jq]

Bill Ferny:
[i:1aw2k8jq]"Ah! Strider, I might say: if only?....
Hey! Bumrag fetch you Bill the pony!"[/i:1aw2k8jq]

.... channeling has its own risks... :? :shock: :? :?

Wise Odo
That is quite possibly the most disturbing thing I have read in a long while! :shock: I may have to get that nice fellow Mr Banks to sort this out!
Actually I don't think the books mention specifically that Aragorn did wear pants as Petty says. If I find anything I'll let you guys know. I think it's kind of assumed given the climate and that not wearing pants wouldn't be pratical for a ranger <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' /> Can you imagine crossing Caradhras with no pants? I kind of thought that if anyone wasn't wearing pants it would be the elves. BTW wear does did say Aragorn is wearing a kilt type thing?
All I can say is, Mr Tyrant, thank goodness Wise Odo isn't directing the Hobbit movies! We'd have even worse things to worry about than White Councils (possibly)! :x
Indeed Fimbrethil I can find no description of what Aragorn was wearing on his lower half save boots and we can assume he wasn't going about in just boots. It certainly doesn't say he (or anyone else) was wearing a tunic or kilt but it doesn't say they weren't either. And as GB points out seeing as Tolkien drew on a lot of anglo-saxon and medieval stuff both items of clothing are perfectly plausible for the inhabitants of Middle-Earth.
As to crossing Caradhras you could do it wearing a kilt. Hghlanders crossed mountain paths in a kilt all the time, very warm and hard wearing material your kilt (and a surprising amount of it, a full kilt goes up over the shoulder and down the back and can be taken off and used as a thick blanket to sleep in when out in the wild so would in fact be very suitable for a ranger. It's a multi-purpose item of clothing).
I will wait until I have seen the film (if it ever gets made) Odo before I decide, if it's anything like LoTR turned out I might find myself wishing Wise Odo had directed it!
Yes, I fear you're right. I have very little faith in Wise Odo - and even less in PJ.
I agree that the Viking style horned helmet would be out of place on a son of Gondor Petty. One would be more likely to find such a helm on a Rohirrim.

Good Point Petty! I just can't imagine "swimming in snow" with a kilt on :lol: at least not without legings. But thats why I'm not a ranger!

About the Viking thing I thought it was only a myth that Vikings had horned helmits. At least it says so here
(Below the cliff on Cruel Caradhras. Omitted from Movie).

[i:ky12g4g2]Oh the snow it is icy,
This blizzard quite chilly,
I wish i was home,
With my curtains so frilly,
My kilt it is breezy,
My testicles sneezy,
In June tra la!

Oh there's snow in my helmet,
(A Viking endowment,
Designed by an Elf,
While studying a pelmet)
Oh this helmet is squeezy,
But still cold and breezy,
In May li-lo!

My top is all furred-up,
My chest is quite hot,
I found out one day,
That my Dad was a Scot,
(Some say Mum's a fairy,
But I know she's not!)
In March ha-ha!

Oh tra la la lally,
Will you look at my belly!
(Look no further south,
For my bottom is smelly!)
The paunch it is paunchy,
I'm froze and not raunchy,
Oh where are you Arwen?
Your warmth might be calming
In April lol lol![/i:ky12g4g2]

Christopher Tolkien: "Poems Dad might have written if he had thought of them." (Volume Eleven).

Wise Odo
Actually Fimbrethil, the passage you linked to from Wikipedia did NOT say that horned helmets were a myth. Indeed, the main Wikipedia article on the topic points out that only the wealthiest Vikings wore the Horned Helmets, but that the image was later embedded in the popular imagination in 19th century representations.


And yet another charming Ode from Odo :mrgreen: .

I would love to see a separate thread of all Odos odes, The Wise Collection, I like them, keep writing moreWink Smilie It was the first thing to put a grin on my face today <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
Noom, I have found you to be gentlemanly, even after our short acquaintance, but please, don't think it polite to suggest Wise Odo's [i:3be5dqt6]poems[/i:3be5dqt6] are anything but trash! He must NOT be encouraged. His jokes are vulgar - sexual innuendo and toilet humour - he's yet to come up with anything genuinely funny! Not only that, he states he is channeling great poets (and other assorted people from related trades) but I have had a hell of a time finding his sources! I suspect (in the Peter Jackson tradtion) he borrows great ideas from great poets, then sets about trying to improve them, while achieving the exact opposite. Alas his imaginative capacity falls far far far far far far far far short of the Greats. He is an impostor! He MUST NOT be encouraged!!! :x :x :x

Odo Banks
Spokeshobbit for:
Bring in Genuine Operatic Traditions Society.