PJs' Movie bits which enhanced the text.

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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby BerenVonRictoffen » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:40 am

Ettinblue wrote:Hmm, I never really thought of that. How is plate armor an anachronism? Bilbo has a working clock, which seems more like an anachronism than anything else I can think of, if one's comparing Middle Earth to Medieval Europe.

Dwarves were perfectly capable of making working clocks, in fact no man had the skill of a Dwarf (Farmer Giles of Ham).
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby BerenVonRictoffen » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:44 am

solicitr wrote:Well, on Tolkien's terms, Gondor's troops wore mail, and in fact most of Rohan's mail was imported from Gondor. The Dwarves also, the greatest of craftsmen, nonetheless wore mail. (It's also the case that M-E is a pre-gunpowder world, and thus its military technology on a par with Europe ca. 1300).

The Shire is, yes, very much an anachronism in many respects, a calque of rural England ca. 1700 or so.


The Shire was a shire of Fornost, which was founded by Numenoreans after the Fall of Numenor; and they were highly advanced.
Once Fornost fell, however, the Shire continued on under the Thainship of the Tooks according to the same laws; i.e. an agrarian democracy where landlords collected taxes from those who worked it, and loaned money accordingly; Bilbo was such a landlord, and Frodo his heir.
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby BerenVonRictoffen » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:53 pm

Gadget2 wrote:For instance, I too liked Grima


The movie's simplistic tone was that evil people LOOKED evil, and vice versa. Grima looked not only evil, but pure evil; meanwhile in the text, servants of the enemy seemed very fair and well-spoken whenever possible. Thus when Tolkien wrote of "a pale wizened figure," he didn't mean greasy black hair and white grease-paint, he meant a wise-looking counselor.

especially his scene with Miranda Otto's Eowyn.

What, when she rejected him? Grima wouldn't have been so overt; rather his words twisted her mind until she sought redemption and death in battle. The movie-Eowyn showed no such conflict, on the contrary she looked high on weed..

He may have been a little to overtly creepy, but frankly that is what always oozed out the pages of the book when I read it, and it works well in the movie context.

If you like simplistic black-and-white stereotypes with no hint of subtlety. In the book, Grima's evil nature became apparent only after Gandalf exposed it, though Eomer suspected him long before. Grima was trained by Saruman to appear fair and wise despite his treachery, and so he would.

I enjoyed the moth & eagle bit with Gandalf, after initially not liking it much. That was a nice bit of adaptation and excising Radagast (though, unfortunately it becomes overused and redundant in AUJ).

Just like Radagast in AUJ, who could have easily played a small cameo in FotR-- even coming to Frodo's house, to bring Saruman's summons, banging on the door and asking for "Baggins;" this would foreshadow the Black Riders coming as a stranger on horseback came to the door; but then Gandalf could have introduced him to Frodo, thus setting the stage for AUJ, with Frodo saying "oh yes, Bilbo mentioned you." And of course Gandalf would tell Radagast to send messages to Orthanc, as he did in the book, and Radagast would go off.

I enjoyed the charge of the Rohirrim at Pelenor, and the lighting of the beacons (even if the set up was a little silly).


The problem is that it was already done, in Eomer's charge at Helm's Deep. Here, the movie did NOT improve the book, which was one of Tolkien's most beautiful bits of prose:

But at that same moment there was a flash, as if lightning had sprung from the earth beneath the City. For a searing second it stood dazzling far off in black and white, its topmost tower like a glittering needle: and then as the darkness closed again there came rolling over the fields a great boom.
At that sound the bent shape of the king sprang suddenly erect. Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud voice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before:
Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!

Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
With that he seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them. Éomer rode there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first éored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Théoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and the darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.

Can't improve much on that.

I kind of liked the non-canonical image of Saruman on top of Orthanc summoning the storm on Caradras.

But it didn't enhance the text; Saruman knew nothing, other than to watch the Gap of Rohan.

Much of the Shire was quite nice.

If you like green hills. Meanwhile there wasn't much to speak of otherwise regarding infrastructure, rural or otherwise, which Tolkien indicated via the farthings, Buckland etc.

The Balrog confrontation was epic, along with the image of Gandalf & the Balrog plunging into the subterranean lake.

Fire-demons are cliche; the balrog's true terror was its shadow, which we didn't see. Likewise, we didn't see the balrog's fire which ringed the hall, and suddenly went out when it fell. Also, Gandalf seemed scared witless, rather than a badass ready to kick it. Finally, the rest of the Fellowship did nothing to help him, thus questioning the term "Fellowship" if they hung back while one of their "fellow" faced danger on their behalf. In the text:
‘Over the bridge!’ cried Gandalf, recalling his strength. ‘Fly! This is a foe beyond any of you. I must hold the narrow way. Fly!’ Aragorn and Boromir did not heed the command, but still held their ground, side by side, behind Gandalf at the far end of the bridge. The others halted just within the doorway at the hall’s end, and turned, unable to leave their leader to face the enemy alone.
‘He cannot stand alone!’ cried Aragorn suddenly and ran back along the bridge. ‘Elendil!’ he shouted. ‘I am with you, Gandalf!’
‘Gondor!’ cried Boromir and leaped after him.

Now that is Fellowship!

Other changes, like a more sympathetic Boromir, I can understand why they did it and how it works well in the movie, but I feel undermines some of the themes of the story as well. There was a reason Boromir was the first to succumb to the Ring.

Several reasons:
Faramir:
‘Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a trial!’ he said.
‘And this I remember of Boromir as a boy, when we together learned the tale of our sires and the history of our city, that always it displeased him that his father was not king. “How many hundreds of years needs it to make a steward a king, if the king returns not?” he asked. “Few years, maybe, in other places of less royalty,” my father answered. “In Gondor ten thousand years would not suffice.” Alas! poor Boromir. Does that not tell you something of him?’
‘It does,’ said Frodo. ‘Yet always he treated Aragorn with honour.’
‘I doubt it not,’ said Faramir. ‘If he were satisfied of Aragorn’s claim as you say, he would greatly reverence him. But the pinch has not yet come. They had not yet reached Minas Tirith or become rivals in her wars.

In contrast, movie-Boromir accepts Aragorn as his king, at the last. He didn't in the book; but likewise he also didn't scoff at Aragorn in the Council, but rather said "the Sword of Elendil would be a help beyond our hope-if such a thing could indeed return out of the shadows of the past."
Gandalf:
‘Poor Boromir! I could not see what happened to him. It was a sore trial for such a man: a warrior, and a lord of men. Galadriel told me that he was in peril.

Sam:
Now I watched Boromir and listened to him, from Rivendell all down the road – looking after my master, as you’ll understand, and not meaning any harm to Boromir – and it’s my opinion that in Lórien he first saw clearly what I guessed sooner: what he wanted. From the moment he first saw it he wanted the Enemy’s Ring!

In the movie, he's much more rational, and his reasons understandable-- which makes sense, since the movie never carries the message that the Ring would corrupt anyone who used it; and accordingly, Boromir never claims, like he does in the book, that while Elves and wizards were subject to the Ring's power, that good Man would not be corrupted-- which is partially true, since Men had greater power of choice, and accordingly shorter life.
In contrast, the movie claims that men are weak and stupid while Elves are all perfect... which questions why men are even in the movie at all.
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby Samuel Vimes » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:49 am

[="BerenVonRictoffen"]

The movie's simplistic tone was that evil people LOOKED evil, and vice versa. Grima looked not only evil, but pure evil; meanwhile in the text, servants of the enemy seemed very fair and well-spoken whenever possible. Thus when Tolkien wrote of "a pale wizened figure," he didn't mean greasy black hair and white grease-paint, he meant a wise-looking counselor.


The book also says that when he came out in the sun, Grimas face was almost white. So he WAS pale.
Also, when Merry and Pippin meet him at Isengard they describe him as a "twisted fellow" and they almost imideatly spot him as a liar.

And how many servants of Sauron look fair in the book?
The orcs, the Nazgul? Not really.
Sarumans spies in Bree also seem to look shady and not very pleasant. I did not take the book to mean that Bill Ferny was a handsome man.


Just like Radagast in AUJ, who could have easily played a small cameo in FotR-- even coming to Frodo's house, to bring Saruman's summons, banging on the door and asking for "Baggins;" this would foreshadow the Black Riders coming as a stranger on horseback came to the door; but then Gandalf could have introduced him to Frodo, thus setting the stage for AUJ, with Frodo saying "oh yes, Bilbo mentioned you." And of course Gandalf would tell Radagast to send messages to Orthanc, as he did in the book, and Radagast would go off.


Since the idea of making the Hobbit was not PJ's radar, such a "cameo" would not work.
You then just have another wizard pop in for one scene and then never seen again. People that have not read the book would then wonder what he is doing during the rest of the film.


But it didn't enhance the text; Saruman knew nothing, other than to watch the Gap of Rohan.


I think it worked very well and having Saruman be more visible and more active made all the sense.
I also think that Saruman was smarter in how he talked to Gandalf when Gandalf came to Isengard.
Instead of being rude and insulting or reveal his hand too soon, Saruman let Gandalf talk until he had learned all he wanted.

If you like green hills. Meanwhile there wasn't much to speak of otherwise regarding infrastructure, rural or otherwise, which Tolkien indicated via the farthings, Buckland etc.


There was also roads, houses along the roads, fields with scarecrows, fences, bridges and the ferry and a small house next to the ferry. Probably for whoever operated the ferry.

Now that is Fellowship!


Should I give you examples where the Fellowship aids and assists each other in the film?

Outside the gate of Moria, Boromir, Aragorn and Legolas attach the watcher to help Frodo.

In Balins tomb, the fellowship work as a unit, Aragorn, legolas and Boromir bar the door and then take up posistions close to it.
Gandalf has the Hobbits near him. We have several instances int eh ensuing fight where they help each other.

At the end of the film, Aragorn attack the Uruk-Hai to let Frodo escape, then Merry and Pippin run interference to draw them away, again so the Frodo can get away. Boromir runs to the aid of merry and Pippin and they in turn throw rocks at the Uruks.
Legolas and Gimli comes to the aid of Aragorn when he is about to be overcome.

Several reasons:
Faramir:
‘Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a trial!’ he said.
‘And this I remember of Boromir as a boy, when we together learned the tale of our sires and the history of our city, that always it displeased him that his father was not king. “How many hundreds of years needs it to make a steward a king, if the king returns not?” he asked. “Few years, maybe, in other places of less royalty,” my father answered. “In Gondor ten thousand years would not suffice.” Alas! poor Boromir. Does that not tell you something of him?’
‘It does,’ said Frodo. ‘Yet always he treated Aragorn with honour.’
‘I doubt it not,’ said Faramir. ‘If he were satisfied of Aragorn’s claim as you say, he would greatly reverence him. But the pinch has not yet come. They had not yet reached Minas Tirith or become rivals in her wars.

In contrast, movie-Boromir accepts Aragorn as his king, at the last. He didn't in the book; but likewise he also didn't scoff at Aragorn in the Council, but rather said "the Sword of Elendil would be a help beyond our hope-if such a thing could indeed return out of the shadows of the past."


Interesting that you omit the very next line of text in the Council of Elrond, where it said that Boromir looked at Aragorn with doubt in his eyes. This doubt so annoyed Bilbo that he stod up and sang a song to tell Bomromir to open his eyes.

In the movie, he's much more rational, and his reasons understandable-- which makes sense, since the movie never carries the message that the Ring would corrupt anyone who used it; and accordingly, Boromir never claims, like he does in the book, that while Elves and wizards were subject to the Ring's power, that good Man would not be corrupted-- which is partially true, since Men had greater power of choice, and accordingly shorter life.
In contrast, the movie claims that men are weak and stupid while Elves are all perfect... which questions why men are even in the movie at all.


The films doesn't show that the rings corrupts?
Well lets see, it corrupts Isildur quickly enough that he refuses to destroy it. It corrupts Gollum plenty.
Even Bilbo gets quite nasty and angry when Gandalf insists that he leave the ring behind.
Gandalf almost panics when Frodo wants to give the ring to him and pleads that Frodo must not tempt him.
Galadriel is very tempted indeed. She does resist it but she was tempted.
Boromir is tempted and does give in.
Aragorn, alo human, is also tempted, the ring even speaks to him directly. And he manages to resist it. So a human is shown to be able to withstand the Ring.

Also in TTT:EE Boromir is told about the Ring from Denethor and Denethor makes the point that lesser men will be corrupted but a strong man like Boromir could deal with it. Denethor also asks Boromir to bring the Ring to him.

So I disagree that the films don't show the corrupting nature of the Ring and Boromir knows about it.
Why it ensnares him is also pretty clear. He is worried about his father's rule and his realm and he feels he is the one to do that. So the Ring plays upon that and so he wants it to restore the glory of Gondor and defend his people.

Bye for now.
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby Samuel Vimes » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:41 pm

Edit to add.

I've found the bits in the book.

About Wormtounge.
"You speak justly, Lord" said the PALE man sitting upon the steps of the dais.
And
"Behind him cringing between two other men, came Grima the Wormtounge. His face was very WHITE.
And from the account of Merry;
"But out of the mist there rode a man on an old tired horse; and he looked a queer twisted sort of creature himself."

In all, pretty clear that Wormtounge was indeed pale and almost white faced. And he looked a bit twisted.

About Aragorn and Boromir at the council;
"He looked again at Aragorn, and doubt was in his eyes."

Bye .
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:11 am

BerenVonRictoffen wrote:Once Fornost fell, however, the Shire continued on under the Thainship of the Tooks according to the same laws; i.e. an agrarian democracy where landlords collected taxes from those who worked it, and loaned money accordingly; Bilbo was such a landlord, and Frodo his heir.


Beren, this is not correct. Nowhere in the text is there any indication that Bilbo and then Frodo were landlords who collected rent from tenants. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that Pippin's father, as Thain, had that capacity, but I can't recall a mention of this in the Appendices or Letters. The text makes it clear what Bilbo's source of wealth was: he was already a very well-off hobbit when he inherited Bag End from his father, and he became even wealthier thanks to Smaug's dwarf-hoard. That's the source of his (and Frodo's inherited) wealth, and no other.

Yes, the Shire is semi-feudal, or at least like 19th century rural England ... but let's not invent stuff where Tolkien didn't! :) Bilbo and Frodo are wealthy hobbits, sure, but that doesn't make them the Shire's equivalents of the Earl of Grantham. :D They don't hire servants, apart from the Gaffer and Sam as gardeners, and they are of course not live-in servants. Bilbo and Frodo are 'gentlehobbits' whose 'professions' are scholarly and intellectual. Sam doesn't become a landlord when Frodo leaves him Bag End.
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby wilko185 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:02 pm

To be fair, saying "he was already wealthy" doesn't really explain the source of Bilbo's wealth. The taxes and loans of the upper classes that BvR mentions are of course not in the text, but maybe that's not to say they couldn't or shouldn't have existed. Tolkien fails to specify just what it is that the bourgeoisie Bagginses actually do. It's as if the class structure of the Shire is meant to be so self-evident that it requires no justification or background detail.

Bilbo's written will (as given in HoMe 6) "... bequeathes the property and messuage or dwelling-hole known as Bag-End Underhill near Hobbiton with all lands thereto belonging and annexed ...", which at least suggests there were adjacent lands of which the Baggins were landlords. But does that include actual dwellings with tenants? Bagshot Row would be the obvious properties, given it was cut into the side of the Hill after Bag End was built. But when Frodo gives up Bag End, the Gaffer is said to be unconsoled at "... the prospect of having Lobelia as a neighbour", which suggests a different relationship than a "landlord" one. So yes, overall, I would agree that there is no strong evidence for the Baggins being landlords.
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:09 am

wilko185 wrote:To be fair, saying "he was already wealthy" doesn't really explain the source of Bilbo's wealth. The taxes and loans of the upper classes that BvR mentions are of course not in the text, but maybe that's not to say they couldn't or shouldn't have existed. Tolkien fails to specify just what it is that the bourgeoisie Bagginses actually do.


Fair enough. 8)

It's as if the class structure of the Shire is meant to be so self-evident that it requires no justification or background detail.


And I never questioned this initial set-up. ;)

Bilbo's written will (as given in HoMe 6) "... bequeathes the property and messuage or dwelling-hole known as Bag-End Underhill near Hobbiton with all lands thereto belonging and annexed ...", which at least suggests there were adjacent lands of which the Baggins were landlords. But does that include actual dwellings with tenants? Bagshot Row would be the obvious properties, given it was cut into the side of the Hill after Bag End was built. But when Frodo gives up Bag End, the Gaffer is said to be unconsoled at "... the prospect of having Lobelia as a neighbour", which suggests a different relationship than a "landlord" one. So yes, overall, I would agree that there is no strong evidence for the Baggins being landlords.


I guess this raises the question of whether HoME can be considered canon. :)

The finalised text is of course the official canon and many readers haven't read HoME, myself included. (Or at least most of it - I've read bits of Sauron Defeated, Volume 9). The process as as the story evolves is fascinating and I would view call HoME 'secondary' canon, if such a term exists. But not the finished done deal.
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced ( or bettered ) the text.

Postby FrodoTook » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:27 am

ToshoftheWuffingas wrote: ...the bit that resonated with me and was not canon but revealed a deeper understanding is during the cliched hand grasp after the Ring has fallen in the fire. Frodo wants to follow it and Sam pleads with him. The Ring floats on the lava. Only when Frodo rejects the Ring or despair and takes Sam's hand does it melt. It's subtle but crucial.


Much thanks to ToshoftheWuffingas for bringing attention to that.

Much appreciated.
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Re: PJs' Movie bits which enhanced the text.

Postby Captain Boromir » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:12 pm

One of the first scenes in the movie that come to my mind that was better than the books was Boromir's death. Very well done.
I saw the movies first so I am really thankful to Peter Jackson and the others who made these films and helped me discover this wonderful world that Tolkien has created.
Also I have to agree with a lot of other people concerning Boromir. Another favorite scene of mine is the scene in the Two Towers EE with Boromir, Faramir and Denethor. Definitely a scene they should have left in the theatrical version.
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