Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movies

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Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movies

Postby redrobot » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:39 pm

Topic: middle earth as celtic homeland


welsh, irish and scottish actors plus a scattering of yorkshire folk, take up some main roles in LOTR to bring the down to earth accents with them. is this acceptable? seems fake to have such a mix. all scottish or all welsh maybe.


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I have merged most of the (currently unanswered) threads posted by redrobot into one easy-to-access thread.

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deforestation in the shire

Postby redrobot » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:42 pm

when gandalf arrives at bag end for bilbo's birthday there is a view from the hobbit house out across the shire and it is a sad and sorry tree-less picture. we know from later that there is some serious agriculture going on as pippin and merry fall out of the corn crop but to see many many acres without a tree in sight seems rather an unlikely scenario unless you factor in a modern landscape.
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hobbit thieves

Postby redrobot » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:08 pm

casual theft seems to be part of the hobbit character - pippin and merry stealing carrots, pippin stealing the all seeing sphere from the sleeping gandalf, pippin and merry stealing fireworks from gandalf, bilbo stealing the ring from gollum... i sense there are more examples. not so lovable those little hobbits afterall.
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bromance

Postby redrobot » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:13 am

legolas / gimley
pippin / merry
frodo / sam

others?
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boromir - toff or tyke?

Postby redrobot » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:26 pm

sean bean i seem to think has a history of lapsing into broadish yorkshire when he is supposed to be doing noble / posh and probably vice versa. i think the tough guy is from yorkshire and the aristo / honourable knight is more posh. check it out. am pretty sure he can turn on a sixpence.
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a few inaccuracies / inconsistencies

Postby redrobot » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:54 pm

1. any sensible castle builder wd but the iron bars on the outer side of a drain leading under a wall such as that at helm's deep preventing bomb planters and diving torch bearers from getting started

2. anyone who has tried will tell you it is impossible to sleep with yr head on a rock. sam is fooling no one.

3. the steward of gondor erupts at gandalf, telling him that no king will return. we then follow gandalf and pippin outside where 4 sentries are guarding the tree. gandalf tells us that they are guarding it shd it flower and herald the return of the king. why wd the steward put sentries on the tree. surely he wd cut it down?
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sexual assaults on women

Postby redrobot » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:14 am

does tolkien talk about this common feature of war at all? it isnt present in the films but you cant help but think of it as the orcs come pouring down the hill towards the outlying rohan village where there are many women left behind. it seems rather coy to avoid this brutal reality of warfare either in the films or in the books.
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who is the best leader and why?

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:53 am

LOTR leaders -

aragorn
boromir
faramir
steward of gondor
gandalf
saruman
sauron
king of rohan
elrond
frodo
witchking of angmar
eomer
wormtongue
goblin king
gothmog
uruk hai that kills boromir
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whispering elves

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:29 pm

seems to be a defining characteristic of elves that they are very softly spoken. it becomes a little ridiculous after a few viewings. that said, the other end of the spectrum is no better. sam is by far the most shouty character in the films. quick to temper he yells his way thro many a scene. generally speaking there is a very human combination of quiet civiity and loud anger or heroic declamtion. aragorn's speech before the gates of mordor, an inspiring address, is lifted from shakespeare 'st crispins day'. but we all knew taht. just saying that quietness does not an elf make and that angry hobbits are too loud for anyone's good.

what is sam's relationship to frodo exactly. i know he's the gardener but he fluctuates between 'frodo' and 'mr frodo' in a way that undermines the implied class difference or differences in social standing
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julian

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:49 pm

particularly the julian calendar. in rivendell gandalf tells frodo something about october 24. wd these mythological folk really be using the roman calendar? he also says something abut 10a.m. which i also think is dubious. clocks anywhere to be seen?
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frodo as ring bearer

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:54 pm

why was frodo chosen by tolkien to be the ring bearer? because good had to defeat evil. because the ring is evil defeating evil means not using it and frodo, unlike boromir or others was the only one capable of not using it (much). ultimate triumph over evil is to remove the temptation to do evil by desstroying the ring. by not using the ring you cd say frodo resists evil, but is that really true? he is corrupted by gollum who turns him against sam and at the last claims the ring for himself, saved from evil only in fact by his very desire for it (pushing gollum over the edge in a struggle for the ring). and tolkiens view of goodness as embodied by frodo is a very ordinary and banal affair. it means getting drunk, dancing in pubs, killing pigs for bacon, having a social lesser call you 'mr' all the time and sniggering when your friend talks to a girl. that's not my idea of goodness. as tolkien said. it's more like 'bourgeois' niceness and in parts downright sentimentalism. the hovis advert style music for shire reminiscing makes me reach for the mute button.
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sauron's armies

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:40 pm

am i right in thinking the attack on rohan was by saruman's army? this means that sauron kept his own army in mordor until aragorn et al turned up at the gates. why did he hold back his army? if he'd sent it to helm's deep he wd have defeated the roherin (?) and won the day, so removing the force that went to help gondor. gondor wd then have fallen and sauron wd have won. (where did the orcs come from that attacked gondor). i'm thinking sauron made some tactical battle errors.
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people being wrong

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:04 pm

people being wrong in the story helps create tension and unpredictability. or comedy. or ...

some examples of people being wrong -

1. gandalf's original interpretation of the elvish script over the door into moria
2, pippin picking up the palantir
3. frodo thinking sam had eaten the elven bread
4. the steward thinking faramir was dead
5. pippin knocking the skeleton down the well in moria
6. the witchking of angmar thinking he cd not be killed (a sort of macbeth moment, no man of woman born and all that)
7. the guard not following wormtongue's instructions and letting gandalf keep his staff
8. aragorn thinking it wd be easy to pull a couple of hobbits off boromir
9. saruman turning his back on wormtongue
10. pippin eating 4 full pieces of elven bread
11. the hobbits lighting a fire on weathertop
12. frodo staying in the same place once he put the ring on on weathertop
13. the witch king of angmar's ride offering it's neck to a hostile woman with a sword
14. the builder of the helm's deep drain not putting the bars on the outside end.
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eowyn - not credible

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:42 pm

eowyn is portrayed as the virginal noble warrior woman and yet there are only a matter of days between her being in love with aragorn at helm's deep and her being in love with faramir after the battle of gondor. no one's emotions work that quickly unless she isnt in love at all and is merely a party girl. i think she's a party girl.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby wilko185 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:58 am

Just a few responses ...

casual theft seems to be part of the hobbit character - pippin and merry stealing carrots, pippin stealing the all seeing sphere from the sleeping gandalf, pippin and merry stealing fireworks from gandalf, bilbo stealing the ring from gollum... i sense there are more examples. not so lovable those little hobbits afterall.

In The Hobbit, Bilbo was a professional burglar. The film glossed over Frodo's mushroom-thievery, but it clearly ran in the family :D

1. any sensible castle builder wd but the iron bars on the outer side of a drain leading under a wall such as that at helm's deep preventing bomb planters and diving torch bearers from getting started

True. The only weak defence I would offer is that the builders would not have anticipated the existence of explosives (magical or otherwise), and so wouldn't have thought to defend against it.

particularly the julian calendar. in rivendell gandalf tells frodo something about october 24. wd these mythological folk really be using the roman calendar? he also says something abut 10a.m. which i also think is dubious. clocks anywhere to be seen?

It's probably best to assume that the names for the months are just words translated for our benefit, like all the other modern English used in the film. The book explicitly lays this out in the Appendices.

In the books Bilbo had a clock on his mantelpiece (e.g. where he leaves the Ring for Frodo), but I don't think there was a clock in the film. I suspect they felt clocks would look too modern. Some early clocks were mechanisms without faces (the word "clock" is derived from their chiming sound), so I suppose at a stretch one could choose to imagine hobbits measuring hours o' the clock without the need for clockfaces. Or, "x o' clock" is just a translation for the benefit of the modern audience.

by not using the ring you cd say frodo resists evil, but is that really true? he is corrupted by gollum who turns him against sam and at the last claims the ring for himself, saved from evil only in fact by his very desire for it (pushing gollum over the edge in a struggle for the ring). and tolkiens view of goodness as embodied by frodo is a very ordinary and banal affair.

I think the film was quite true to the book in this sense. Frodo did his best, but being a flawed mortal, he essentially failed. Providence intervenes. There are many debates on who is in fact the real 'hero' of the story.

am i right in thinking the attack on rohan was by saruman's army? this means that sauron kept his own army in mordor until aragorn et al turned up at the gates. why did he hold back his army? if he'd sent it to helm's deep he wd have defeated the roherin (?) and won the day, so removing the force that went to help gondor. gondor wd then have fallen and sauron wd have won. (where did the orcs come from that attacked gondor). i'm thinking sauron made some tactical battle errors.

Geography? Gondor's in the way, Sauron was dealing with Minas Tirith first. And having corrupted Saruman, Sauron could reasonably assume that he didn't need to send extra forces to deal with Rohan, Saruman should have been capable enough. With absolute hindsight, the real tactial error was Sauron not leaving his armies around Mount Doom, which would have prevented Frodo's approach.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby Aravar » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:49 am

wilko185 wrote:In the books Bilbo had a clock on his mantelpiece (e.g. where he leaves the Ring for Frodo), but I don't think there was a clock in the film. I suspect they felt clocks would look too modern. Some early clocks were mechanisms without faces (the word "clock" is derived from their chiming sound), so I suppose at a stretch one could choose to imagine hobbits measuring hours o' the clock without the need for clockfaces. Or, "x o' clock" is just a translation for the benefit of the modern audience.



Clocks are consistent with the medieval time period. The dwarves probably had some from of clockwork which operated the toys from Dale in the books.

They could also have used candles and the clock is another translation. Using candles brings to mind Alfred the Great and, by extension the "Mythology for England"

If candles were used, Frodo, being short, would need four.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby redrobot » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:36 am

There are many debates on who is in fact the real 'hero' of the story.


for me it is more a question of good versus evil and what Tolkien considered good and evil. it's like him putting up the shire folk as good when i wd see them as thieving, bacon eating evil doers. it's evil versus lesser evil.

also, are there christian elements in there as well? it's interestying that when (boromir?) dies instead of crossing himself aragorn touches his forehead and then his lips. it's sort of crossing yourself but not. when sam frodo and gollum are looking down on the gate of mordor, just before sam slips, sam makes some kind of appeal to the heavens. i cant make it out on my dvd. sound quality is poor in parts. what does he say? is theer any evidence of religion in middle earth?
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby Aravar » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:13 am

redrobot wrote:
There are many debates on who is in fact the real 'hero' of the story.


for me it is more a question of good versus evil and what Tolkien considered good and evil. it's like him putting up the shire folk as good when i wd see them as thieving, bacon eating evil doers. it's evil versus lesser evil.

also, are there christian elements in there as well? it's interestying that when (boromir?) dies instead of crossing himself aragorn touches his forehead and then his lips. it's sort of crossing yourself but not. when sam frodo and gollum are looking down on the gate of mordor, just before sam slips, sam makes some kind of appeal to the heavens. i cant make it out on my dvd. sound quality is poor in parts. what does he say? is theer any evidence of religion in middle earth?


Tolkien was a conservative Roman Catholic who regarded himself as a political anarchist. He regarded LOTR as a religious and Catholic work, but deliberately eschewed references to organised religion in the books.

I doubt that you would have agreed with him on most issues.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby wilko185 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:38 am

In medieval times there may have been clocks, but perhaps not on every mantelpiece? I'm personally not bothered by proper clocks appearing in the Shire, I think it's clearly what Tolkien had in mind.

Bilbo's clock actually plays a pivotal role in sending both Bilbo and Frodo on their respective adventures: Thorin left the contract under it to send Bilbo on the quest for the Lonely Mountain, and then Bilbo passed on the torch by leaving the Ring there for Frodo. Tolkien would presumably have thought little of this .. back in the mists of time before we all had facebook walls, people evidenced their social lives with invitations and letters propped up on the mantelpiece or tucked behind the clock.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby Aravar » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:56 am

wilko185 wrote:In medieval times there may have been clocks, but perhaps not on every mantelpiece? I'm personally not bothered by proper clocks appearing in the Shire, I think it's clearly what Tolkien had in mind.

Bilbo's clock actually plays a pivotal role in sending both Bilbo and Frodo on their respective adventures: Thorin left the contract under it to send Bilbo on the quest for the Lonely Mountain, and then Bilbo passed on the torch by leaving the Ring there for Frodo. Tolkien would presumably have thought little of this .. back in the mists of time before we all had facebook walls, people evidenced their social lives with invitations and letters propped up on the mantelpiece or tucked behind the clock.


True, it is presented as a commonplace in the Shire. There again Bilbo was himself a man of (reasonable) means, and perhaps is the sort of things the dwarves would trade to the well to do (a bit like Glorfindel and his new root vegetable when he returned from Aman).

What do you mean we all have "facebook", whatever that may be. I'm sure no good will come of it.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby redrobot » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:00 pm

I doubt that you would have agreed with him on most issues.


i disagree with everyone virtually all of the time. i'm a heretic. not sure how a conservative catholic is also an anarchist - does hierarchical patriarchy work well with extreme libertarian individualism (or something like that)?
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby RoseMorninStar » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:05 pm

redrobot wrote:i disagree with everyone virtually all of the time. i'm a heretic.

NO! Really? We never would have guessed.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby oldtoby » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:41 pm

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby redrobot » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:23 pm

mockery is an interesting thing. it's like a personal attack isnt it? shd i report to mods?
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby White Shadow » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:51 pm

Please keep things civil in this thread, this forum in general and on topic.

This is a gentle warning to everyone.

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hobbits as thieves

Postby redrobot » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:08 pm

is this why pippin was called 'took'?
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby siddharth » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:36 pm

No.
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby redrobot » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:04 am

why shd i believe you?
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Re: Issues & questions posed by redrobot concerning the movi

Postby siddharth » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:32 am

Oh you shouldn't. My nose is very long. ;)
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horses

Postby redrobot » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:49 pm

the black horses are twice afraid of water until they get to the river where arwen has crossed with frodo. after some provocation the 9 kings ride into the river. now are those horses afraid of water or not?
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