Arwen: The Removed Keystone

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Alcarináro 22/Dec/2004 at 07:18 PM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003

Disclaimer: Read this entire post, then read the entire thread.  If you do not, I will regard your post as worthless, because you have done the same to me.
Disclaimer: Any knowledge from EE’s was received from others, because I won’t submit to the merchandising scheme.

 

 

Oft have I thought about Peter Jackson’s peculiar insertion of Arwen as a main character.  Although his intentions were for the most part acceptable (adding romance into the story), the results of this were far-reaching and grave.  I believe that most of the major reasons why the movies are disliked have their root in Arwen.

 

When we first meet Arwen in the movies, she has usurped Glorfindel’s role and is rescuing Frodo from the Nazgul and his wound.  Peter Jackson’s reasons for having Arwen take Glorfindel’s place is because he wanted to enlarge her character and didn’t want Glorfindel to show up only for that time, then disappear for the rest of the movie.  This shows his ignorance, for Glorfindel would not disappear for the rest of the movie (unless Peter Jackson wanted him to).  In all the Lord of the Rings (not including the Appendices) the name Glorfindel appears on 25 pages.  Most of the references to Glorfindel occur because he is being an active participant in the story there.  Arwen is mentioned in only 16 pages.  About half the time, she is not present.  Her name is merely said.  Thus, it is quite easy to see that, as Tolkien wrote it, Glorfindel was a more prominent character.  Peter Jackson’s excuse is a lie.
So why did Peter Jackson put Arwen in a central position?  It is because he wanted to turn Lord of the Rings into a love story.  Tolkien saved the love for the Appendices because it didn’t fit in with the text.  Peter Jackson presumes he can make it work.  As will be shown, he cannot.  But he decided that a love story it must be.  So now, instead of hiring another actor, he decides to cut costs by turning Arwen into Xena: Warrior Princess.  She rides in on a horse given the same name as Glorfindel’s (the keeping of the insignificant while changing the large picture, a direct ‘slap to the face’ from Peter Jackson).  This is merely setting the foundations for the ensuing hell.

 

Now we come to TTT.  If you haven’t guessed what I am about to say, then you probably have never heard that Peter Jackson intended for Arwen to come to Helm’s Deep and fight.  That’s right, Arwen: Warrior Princess shows herself again fighting off Uruk-hai.  Thankfully, someone beat the sense into Peter Jackson’s head and prevented riots from all who had read the books prior to the coming of the movies.  But it did not fix everything.  The Elves that came with Arwen to Helm’s Deep were still there.  Peter Jackson decided not to get rid of them.  Helm’s Deep, with Men and Elves united, became the central focus of the second movie.  It’s total screentime, preparation included, was about 1/3 of the movie.  Tolkien himself wrote one chapter on the whole thing, with ten mere pages of battle.  He also commented in Letter 210 about how the Battle of the Hornburg was not necessary for a movie were there to be time constraints, and recommended spending the valuable time on something more critical to the story.
However, Peter Jackson decides that he should do this.  The situation at Helm’s Deep is a direct consequence of Arwen’s assumption of Glorfindel’s role.  This is an operation which shall henceforth be referred to as the ‘Error to match an error’ process.

 

TTT ends, and anyone who has read the book sits there for a second, dazed.  Then comes the realization.  ‘That was it?  Where did the other half of the book go!?’  The rest of TTT went into the third movie.  But the real question is why?  Why did this happen?  It is because there was not enough time in the second movie to cover all of it.  But why is that?  The answer is simple.  It is a direct consequence of expanding Helm’s Deep.  ‘Error to match an error.’

 

Then we come to RotK, and finally to nearly the end.  The Hobbits return to the Shire, and everything is peaceful as can be.  The Sun is shining.  An ugly Hobbit is carrying a pumpkin and grinning like a fool, and no one is starving to death or living in fear under Sharkey.  Why?  Because, of course, there was no time for the Scouring of the Shire!  Despite the face that Tolkien calls it essential to the story, it is gone.  What possible reason, rather than Peter Jackson’s personal dislike, can there be?  He hides behind claims of ‘time constraints’.  Why are there time constraints?  The actual text of RotK (not including Appendices) is less than FotR and less than TTT.  There are time constraints because half of TTT was shoved onto RotK!  It is a direct consequence of this action.  Sure, there are time constraints, but what Peter Jackson fails to tell you is that these are purposeful, self-imposed time constraints.  ‘Error to match an error.’

 

It all leads back to Arwen.  So tell me, which is better.  All this hell because he wanted to turn Lord of the Rings into a love story with Xena in it, or hiring another actor to play Lord Glorfindel?  The choice seems a simple one to me…

Morbenion 22/Dec/2004 at 08:58 PM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 1257 Posts: 1160 Joined: 04/Oct/2003
Elenhir- I do agree that the skipping of the Scouring of the Shire was a BIG dissapointment. But there was a love story between Aragorn and Arwen, not as much in the movies but it was existant. I think it would have been very odd to have this little tiny love story amist the movies. But instead he made it a key part in the movies which i think advertised the LOTR as somthing that can relate to all people.
Laitaine Adarlas 22/Dec/2004 at 09:16 PM
Counsellor of Imladris Points: 3343 Posts: 2007 Joined: 03/Oct/2003

On reading all three books of the LOTR, it can come off as surprising that Aragorn marries Arwen in the end.  He acknowledges that he knew Lady Arwen was at the banquet he missed in FOTR, she gives him a banner in ROTK and then he marries her.  I do not condone PJ for expanding on their romance to include it into the actual story.  However, I think he expanded her role because without her, there would have been only one prominent female character in the whole trilogy.  I am sure that many feminists would have caused an uproar over that.  Glorfindel really only impacted the story in FOTR so I gather that PJ thought him replaceable.

I didn’t know that PJ wanted to have Arwen fighting at Helm’s Deep.  Was she planning to march beside Haldir or was she going to hide away like Eowyn amongst the Rohirrim?  But I think that PJ expanded the battle of Helm’s Deep mainly because there was a large emphasis on the spectacular battle sequences.  Even boys (no sexism meant) who had not read the books would probably be drawn to the violence.

ROTK:  I guess that PJ had to cut out the Scouring of the Shire because he was trying to fit the rest of TTT into the last movie.  However, as Elenhir pointed out, this was probably due to the battle at Helm’s Deep.  Considering that Arwen did not end up in that fight, it is not her fault.  I rather choose to blame Haldir.

Telhuaniel 22/Dec/2004 at 10:46 PM
Archer of Imladris Points: 626 Posts: 2113 Joined: 28/Jan/2004
Lauz-Blame Haldir? For what?

I think PJ made 3 great movies, and we’re all lucky he didn’t have his way. He was trying to make ONE big movie, that would probably only go for 4 hours at least. Now think about how much stuff would have been cut out of that! Also, I was strongly against the killing of Haldir and the elves at Helm’s Deep. All it did was add on 15 minutes to the running time of the movie, therefore adding 15 more minutes onto the running time of RotK, effectivly shoving some of it out the window.

P.S. I am not against PJ. I am simply embellishing on what others are saying.
O.E.E. 22/Dec/2004 at 10:58 PM
Potentate of Isengard Points: 3520 Posts: 4030 Joined: 22/Mar/2003

Very good post, Elenhir.

Well, for the first part, nothing can be added. PJ stole Glorfindel’s role and gave it to rwen turning her into what she was to create the ble, bla, bla (things you already mentioned). About the Helm’s Deep part, I don’t think someone knocked some sence into him. I think that he just realised that because of his "bip bip" idea he had nothing to do with the elves so he killed them all. And it was the same with Arwen, he had no ... clue what to do with her from that point forward, probably complicating the thngs more and changing more important parts. The love story part should have stayed in the Apendices where it belonged and where Tolkien wanted it.
Lauzicles: There is a big difference between Arwen and Eowyn, Eowyn was actually trained in the art of fighting, beeing a lady of the mark. For example, even Theoden left her in charge to defend and rule the people while he was at war.

Also about Helm’s Deep and TTT. The battle has been greatly described by Tolkien, but, and that is the word, PJ had to come and stretch it out for almost half of the movie, when there was no point of doing that (check Elen’s post he explained the reasons) and he didn’t even keep it Tolkien accurate (no Erkenbrand, adding elves, super Legolas, Saru’s bombs, etc). This way he did a ruined prelonged battle and got rid of all the wonderfull parts that were in the book, some of which got transfered to RotK (and some were shamesly left out).

What else can be said about RotK, nothing really, most of the important tthings had been altered and some even left out because PJ had to pack TTT and ROTk here. But why did he leave out the Scouring of the Shire, i have no ideea. It was one of the ost relevant parts in the books that described the way things turned out, a part which really gave closure to the books. It was also and important part which was important to describing the characters of the hobbits, which even though hey went through so much, they still hanged in there (especially Frodo). But that was PJ and those were his wrongdoings.

Star Flower 23/Dec/2004 at 09:50 AM
Elder of Erebor Points: 19230 Posts: 21250 Joined: 28/Jun/2003
Elenhir, I understand the disappointment of PJ centralising Arwen’s role. As I read your post, the only thing I wondered to why self is… why do you work yourself up like this? It’s a movie. You are not forced to watch the movies, nor are you forced to like them. As you, yourself have said:

Disclaimer: Any knowledge from EE’s was received from others, because I won’t submit to the merchandising scheme.

Some people enjoyed the movies the way they were. Though it irritates me that so many things have been cut, changed and deleted we just need to accept that the movies were not only made for the pleasure of Tolkien fans but also for the huge amount of people who have not read the books.
To sell a movie successfully, you have to have various components in it that will attract to the “greater” audience. You have many good points. Such as this following one:

Where did the other half of the book go!?’  The rest of TTT went into the third movie.  But the real question is why?  Why did this happen?  It is because there was not enough time in the second movie to cover all of it.  But why is that?  The answer is simple.  It is a direct consequence of expanding Helm’s Deep.  ‘Error to match an error.’

I also agree – it would have been more reasonable to cut out the elves, and Haldir coming but really, what can we do? Nothing. We can fume, complain and … be bitter. Which from what I have read from your post you are. I realise the fact that Tolkiens creation and over all image has been destroyed by the movie. If I could go back in time, I possibly would have preferred the movies not to be made. But look at the pro’s that have come from the movies:

1. The plaza
2. More people reading Tolkien.
3. More awareness about Middle Earth and the Lore associated behind it.

So much good has come from the movies. I feel, if you despise the movies so greatly – don’t watch it. If you hate the way Peter Jackson portrayed various scenes – don’t comment on it. If the movies bother you so much, I do not understand why you even roam in these forums. I hope you do not take this in a bad way, I just have to wonder…
Morbenion 23/Dec/2004 at 10:22 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 1257 Posts: 1160 Joined: 04/Oct/2003
Very well put Star Flower *gives high five*
Star Flower 23/Dec/2004 at 10:34 AM
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Tornihyanda 23/Dec/2004 at 10:40 AM
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Where did the other half of the book go!?’  The rest of TTT went into the third movie.  But the real question is why?  Why did this happen?  It is because there was not enough time in the second movie to cover all of it.  But why is that?  The answer is simple.  It is a direct consequence of expanding Helm’s Deep.  ‘Error to match an error.’

Well, I would just like to answer to this. Peter Jackson also decided to pass the Shelob’s scenes to "The Return of the King" because in cronology time it is (more or less) at the same time of the Battle in the Fields of Pelennor. The explanation is in the Extras of the Extended Edition of "The Return of the King".

Oin 23/Dec/2004 at 07:44 PM
Architect of Erebor Points: 11372 Posts: 8807 Joined: 14/Feb/2004

Hey hey hey guys, lets be fair. We cannot blame Peter jackson for the Arwen stuff. Yes, he was a supporter of it, but he was not personally responsible for it. That dubious distinction belongs to his wife, Fran Walsh. As for the third writer, Phillipa Boyens, I have determined from the RotK EE Commentary that she cannot read.

Star: Good post (and nice sig ), but I find your third point to be a bit odd. If anything, I would say that the movies reduced the (correct) knowledge people had of Middle-Earth and Tolkien lore...

Searogim 24/Dec/2004 at 06:41 AM
High Elder of Isengard Points: 22795 Posts: 21919 Joined: 06/Feb/2004
Elenhir I will not pretend that our opinions often differ considerably, but I really must congratulate you on your post.  Whilst I am not too bothered about the inclusion of a love story in the movies and some of the rearranging of the story, there are some aspects of the movies which really are inexcusable, and as you say, seem to stem from the replacement of Glorfindel with Arwen, namely the inclusion of the elves at Helms Deep.  I can understand making more of this for the movies as it is the sort of thing the view public wants, but whyever did the elves have to go there just to be slaughtered?  And don’t even get me started on the completely ludicrus idea of having Arwen present as well.  As reguards the Scouring of the Shire, whilst I would have liked to have seen this in the movies, I can see why this was left out, but as with most of the changes, this was only to please the non-book readers.  But as you said, all the problems seem to lead back to Peter Jacksons insistance on making more of one character.
Star Flower 24/Dec/2004 at 06:49 AM
Elder of Erebor Points: 19230 Posts: 21250 Joined: 28/Jun/2003

Oin ~ The sig comes from a line from the song my Goo Goo Dolls. I love them.  What I meant by that for instance is that people who were intrigued by the movie, will start reading all of the books offered by Tolkien. For example:

A friend of mine, on the plaza, first watched the movies and then read the books, he knows more about Lore then I do. And I have been a fan of Tolkien for 7 years.   Maybe…. I mis-phrased my point. How about… It starts a search for knowledge about the Tolkien world from those REALLY intrigued by the book? People who really are intrigued by the movie will want to learn more about the Lore behind the book and the movie, by reading : Sil, UT, Home, ect.

Sure we have those "oblivious" people, who think that movies are the true depiction of the book... but that’s part of life.

Does that make more sense?

Variene Áduial 27/Dec/2004 at 12:26 PM
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"applauses Star Flower" wonderful! You said everything that needed to be said in response! Only I would like to add, Elenhir, that the amount of times certain characters appear on certain pages really doesn’t matter that much (at least to me). Wow! Arwen’s name appeared 16 times, but Glorfindel appeared 25! ?? What’s the point? Arwen was always present in the mind of Aragorn, sometimes, you know, love keeps people going through hardships. PJ just chose to make Arwen’s role physically larger.
As Star Flower said, if you don’t like the movies, you aren’t forced to watch them.
Oin 27/Dec/2004 at 04:31 PM
Architect of Erebor Points: 11372 Posts: 8807 Joined: 14/Feb/2004

Star: Yup, I recognized it from Iris.  And thanks for clearing up the whole awareness thing...

novarien: Whether or not Arwen was present in the mind of Aragorn on a more or less constant basis doesn’t really matter. The whole point of this thread is to show that Arwen’s enlargement as a character worked against the movies and the "time-limit" they had to a large degree.

Melethron 28/Dec/2004 at 02:08 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1837 Posts: 2647 Joined: 18/Feb/2004

Elenhir: While most of your post seems reasonable enough, let me make a few comments on some of you addressed topics.

First of all, you are correct that the Arwen and Aragorn love story was placed in the appendices because Tolkien said it didn’t fit in the actual text of the book, HOWEVER, he does not say that it is any less important. Rather, I do believe that he said it was one of the most important themes of the book, but he was unable to fit it into the narrative section of the book because there were so many running plots that it would become bothersome. On the other hand, PJ takes his opportunity to honor this and fit the love story in as best he can. I do agree that the elves coming to Helm’s Deep is only a result of the need to put Aragorn and Arwen in the same place (they did mention having trouble making the love story work, just like Tolkien) and also the general masses’ love of the elves.\

Second, the Scouring of the Shire was left out because, plain and simple, it would have been an anti-climax to the film. Movies are a different medium than books, and must be treated as such. The SotS would have been the death of the RotK as a film, not only because of its anticlimax, but also because it would add yet another long ending (though I wouldn’t have a problem with it, people have already complained greatly about multiple endings, which aren’t quite suitable for movies).

Lastly, you overexaggerate Glorfindel’s importance. While I do wish he had been left in the films, he would only appear twice: to rescue Frodo and to participate in the Council of Elrond, hardly enough to give a suitable actor the role. And if you want to get really technical and follow details of the book, he wouldn’t even show up to rescue Frodo, rather he would give Frodo his horse and be gone.

Star Flower: Very well put. I applaud you greatly.

Annaeril 28/Dec/2004 at 04:06 PM
Herald of Imladris Points: 258 Posts: 8 Joined: 27/Dec/2004
Star Flower, I too must add that you are absolutely right. I am very grateful to Peter Jackson. If it hadn’t been for his movies, I don’t know when I would have discovered Tolkien (I always loved to read, but Tolkien wasn’t on my list nor in the libraries I had access to). With PJ’s help I found what I now feel it is a part of me: Tolkien’s world. Of course, after I read the books I wondered why some things were not in the movies and how could PJ miss such important stuff! Never mind what the answer is, what I want to point, Elenhir, is that even if there are very good reasons to dislike PJ’s work, you (and all of us) should at least acknowledge the great job he has done in bringing Tolkien to almost everyone.
By the way,thank you for such an interesting post, Elenhir!!!
Star Flower 28/Dec/2004 at 08:04 PM
Elder of Erebor Points: 19230 Posts: 21250 Joined: 28/Jun/2003
Oin ~ Hehe...Trust an editor to confuse matters  Glad you understand now.
Nova ~  
Anna ~ Despite the fact that the movies do irritate me, there is nothing better then seeing a newbie on the plaza who is here to learn about Tolkiens because they watched the movie. I do thank PJ for making the movie. I think we are lucky to have access to the films for the reasons I stated in my first post. Without the influx of the movie, I would not have the pleasure to post on a forum such as this one. Welcome to the plaza, btw. I hope to see you here more often.
Arwén-Evenstar 29/Dec/2004 at 02:34 AM
Herald of Imladris Points: 328 Posts: 216 Joined: 12/Oct/2003

oh shut up! stop complaining about Arwen...the point is this subject has come up let me see..............................LIKE 100000000000 TIMES!! so leave it already! we get it!! some people agree with you while others think that PJ’s idea 4 Arwen 2 b at Helm’s deep was brilliant!!

will you stop moaning and complaining because the movies are brilliant and YES i have read the books if you were going to ask, i read them when i was 10!. so be quiet because in the end PJ didn’t do the Arwen thing and Arwen didn’t make the movies bad YOU are just convinced that she did and are ruining it for yourself and wasting peoples time with your droning post that sounds like it was done by a sulky 7 year old. If you think u could do it better i’d like to see you try.

PS there’s no point replying as i am not coming back on to this pointless thread. 

Anárië 29/Dec/2004 at 06:38 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 5602 Posts: 3153 Joined: 03/Nov/2004

If I may add to this thread...I think you all overdue it. The films are great, and so are the movies. And, as others have said before me, the story of Aragorn and Arwen is one of the strongest parts of LOTR. In the book, you can read it in the appendixes, but a film is a different story. PJ had to make it look REAL and for a larger part of the world, who DIDN’T READ THE BOOK.

O.E.E, I don’t agree with you. The times in which Arwen grew up were partly difficult. Read: she PROBABLY (even if it is NOT shown anywhere in the book) knew how to use a weapon. For my part, I think that her family would make her learn to use it. If not sooner, after her mother was waylaid while braving the pass of Caradhras. And if you look at it this way: Galadriel knew how to fight. So why not teach her daughter the skills she needs to protect herself? Or, if that fails, she MUST have insisted that Arwen learns how to fight, after Celebrian was wounded.

As for the Elves at Helms Deep..when I was in the cinema, the only thing I could do was   But later on, when I thought about it, it made sence. It was the first step to show the avdience the meaning of the Last Allience.

 

Star Flower 29/Dec/2004 at 10:49 AM
Elder of Erebor Points: 19230 Posts: 21250 Joined: 28/Jun/2003
Arwén Evenstar ~ That’s a little harsh, don’t you think. The beauty about a public forum is that these type of topics can be discussed. When expressing oneself, you should do it in a respectful manner to the other party or otherwise this type of thread - which can be considered a small debate - will get into a big argument.  Plaza Ettiquete is important.
Oin 29/Dec/2004 at 08:47 PM
Architect of Erebor Points: 11372 Posts: 8807 Joined: 14/Feb/2004

Star:

*looks at Arwen Evenstar’s post and dies laughing* You know, it is really hard to take people seriously when they make posts like that.

Anarie: Since I cannot talk about how the movies are different textually from the books, I cannot comment on most of your post. However:

It was the first step to show the avdience the meaning of the Last Allience.
Erm... not really. It’s called "the Last Alliance" for a reason. i.e. no more military alliances between men and elves. So tell me, how does the elves coming to the aid of men to create a new alliance show the meaning of the "last alliance"?

Alcarináro 29/Dec/2004 at 11:35 PM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003

Star Flower, what I am forced to do, however, is listen to people go on and one about the movies.  And when they actually think that they are correct and try to pass themselves off as correct, it hurts me deep.  So I take the negative energy from that and channel it into something constructive (or destructive if you ask those whom I often clash with in these forums).  Plus I find it fun to rip into shreds things that are held together weakly.  In this case, PJ’s movies.

One point I always like to make is ’why go for the larger audience?’  Let’s look at this for a second. Peter Jackson needs to go to the larger audience in order to bring the books to the big screen, because otherwise New Line won’t let him make it.  So he makes changes, makes changes to accomodate those changes, and them makes another round of changes for the hell of it.  He then stores away some parts for the Tolkien fans in the EEs, but of course, he makes changes (I really don’t get that, because it isn’t for the larger audience, the EEs are supposed to be for us).  So what we end up with it essentially the normal Hollywood movie, but it bears some resemblence to a story we know and love.  I don’t get the point.  Maul something as much as possible so you can theoretically show the pre-mauled version to the public?  That doesn’t happen.  You end up showing the mauled product, and to state the obvious, the mauled product is mauled.  And therein lies the problem.

We can do something else.  We can show people the truth, and the reason why Peter Jackson did what he did, and how what he did was not justified.  We can hopefully influence the next person to take on such a task, maybe a score years from now.  I would like it very much if the next person who made the movies of LotR was to actually do it without Hollywood and without all the bilge that goes with it.  Something that Tolkien himself would not be ashamed at.  So until then I fume and act bitter, and hope it goes noticed to whomever shall be the one.
1) The Plaza is indeed good, if it never existed and you did not know that it ever had, would you miss it?
2) Won’t most of the people who like it find it anyways?  And a con is that now almost every paperback copy has one of the actor’s faces on it.  Can you say ’goodbye’ to imagination?
3) I have actually argued that the opposite has happened in a TTT thread.

Tornihyanda, if we want to get into chronology and time within the story this is just gonna get really ugly.  I have some really not nice things to say about Peter Jackson when it comes to his handling of time...  But that is no excuse anyways.  He still ended screwy.  Frodo and Sam were at least 5 days ahead in the storyline(according to Appendix B) when the second movie ended.  Of course, Peter Jackson may be referring to his insane warping of time and space....

Arwen Evenstar,  hmm.... let me guess... you like Arwen?  No? I guessed right?  You know what?  My topic has not come up before.  Never in all the time I have been on this site has anyone linked Arwen to Helm’s Deep to the Scouring.  Except for me.  And this is the first time I have opened a thread about it, rather than making posts 1/3 the size of the opener here.

You know what?  I like Glorfindel.  He is my favorite Elf.  That is one reason I don’t like Arwen in the movies very much.  But my post does not reek of Glorfindel praise.  I believe I have stated my arguments clearly and without such obvious character fanatacism as you have displayed.  And I would like to find people who think that Arwen at Helm’s Deep is a good idea.  So far you are the first I have seen... ever.

You read the books when you were 10, eh?  Well, I have a question for you?  Are you still 10?  Because the ’try to do better’ argument is what I would expect out of a 10-year old.  Actually, no, it is a worse argument than that.  Also, even though you are not coming back, I am responding, for two reasons.  Firstly, because you probably are coming back, even if you do not post.  Human curiosity makes it so.  Secondly, because I have a little habit of not letting people say such things to me without a retort.  So even if you don’t come back, this is for other people who may try and say the same things you have.  Most people tend not to repeat poor arguments after they are countered, unless they haven’t read them (and I have already said something about people who don’t read threads).

<Manwë edit: Elenhir, please tone down the rudeness if you will. >

Anarie, I believe in my first paragraph I say I have nothing against adding romance.  I say I have an issue with shoving romance into the front.  The romance of Aragorn and Arwen was never in the forefront of the books.  It did not belong there.  It does not belong there in the movies.  Peter Jackson turns Lord of the Rings into a love story to the detriment of the plot and to the deletion of necessary scenes.

I see no reason to think that Galadriel, Celebrian, or Arwen knew how to fight.  I would like you to quote something to help your argument.

The Elves of Helm’s Deep cannot show the Last Alliance, and for the reasons Oin stated it showing meaning of the Last Alliance is foolish, because then the old one wouldn’t be the Last Alliance!  Elves at Helm’s Deep is just an Elven cameo.  PJ thought people would be angry if there were no Elves in the second movie (and knowing the average movie-watcher, this is likely true; but that does not mean it is justification).  The number of plotholes that result from the Elves at Helm’s Deep is greater in number than the Elves that PJ sent there.

novarien, it is not the number times, it is the number of pages.  That shows character involvement better than number of times on certain pages.  The simple facts are that Glorfindel appeared more often, and when he appeared he was more prominant.  So he was only a big player in the first book.  Well, so was Elrond, but Peter Jackson fixed that, didn’t he?  Could he not have done the same for Glorfindel?  Yes, he could.  He didn’t.

Melethron, and I find that Peter Jackson cannot fit it into the narrative very well, either.  As I believe I have shown, all hell breaks loose because of his decison.

The Scouring was left out because it was an anti-climax.  That is true, except with the insertion of ’PJ thought’ after ’because’.  I do not find it an anti-climax.  No more than the rushed end of the third movie and the slowness that followed anyways.  Aragorn’s kingship almost took longer than the time from the end of Pelennor to the destruction of the Ring!  Anti-climax through rushed climax!  Besides, I don’t find it to be anti-climactic period.  But the ’time constraints’ were something for Peter Jackson to hide behind, rather than just his ’I don’t like it because I think it is anti-climactic’ nonsense.  It is deliberate deception, and with the shattering of his wall of lies he has no good reason.  Only his personal opinion (and quite frankly, seeing what he did with the movie overall, I think his personal opinion is not good in the least).

I do not exaggerate Glorfindel’s importance.  He is far more important than Arwen, who in the story is really nothing more than a sidenote.  Glorfindel is an active participant.  ’Nuff said.

Lanthir Lamath 30/Dec/2004 at 03:04 AM
Vána Points: 14827 Posts: 14992 Joined: 25/Sep/2002

Elenhir, while your post is well thought out, I have to say I somewhat object to being told that "Arwen is the mother of all evil". You speak like a fan who loves the books well_ but possibly not one who considers that the 16, 25 times Arwen and/or Glorfindel appear in the Story are not indicative to their importance.

Peter Jackson was inspired to leave Glorfindel out, certainly; but he DEFINITELY wasn’t the first ever to do so: if you look at the comic version of LoTR.... it’s certainly a male, blond elf who goes to the rescue of Frodo and Aragorn...except, his name is Legolas. Not Glorfindel.

Glorfindel may have been your favourite character in the books_ he was my favourite elf too, come to think of it_ but the problem with him was that his part was easy to combine with Elrond’s during the Council of Elrond; that left that one flight to the ford, and that’s not enough to support a movie character. Which is why he was replaced.

As for Arwen’s importance; foremost, I believe I remember a thread saying that yes, elven women could fight, but simply selected not to. But I do agree her presence in Helm’s Deep was out of bounds. Point being: it didn’t make it into the final movie, which certainly does mean something; it means that elves remained in HD for some other reason. The point’s not up for discussion atm; Arwen is.

The Romance between Arwen and Aragorn is an underlying plot; to wit, this phrase he tells Galadriel "Lady, you know what I most desire and long have you held it in keeping" (it’s almost exact I believe, when she gives gifts).
The inclusion of some things_ like Arwen’s banner, or her turning up to marry aragorn at the final moments wouldn’t have made much sense, if she had not been at the back of his mind in all his deeds: as indeed love is supposed to be.

Further, I do wonder if you’re slightly filled with dislike for Arwen because, precisely, she took Glorfindel’s role... forgive me if it sounds a bit patronising, but the question does bear thinking about. Doesn’t it?

On the other hand, I do agree that some choices_ Aragorn falling off the cliff, Arwen riding off to Valinor should have been cut to make room for more important things, I also think that the bit about Smeagol and Deagol was needless, and that in the 10 or so minutes it lasted, one could have scheduled half a Scouring. Not to mention, stuff like the birth of the Uruk Hai...and other substituted scenes (the return to the Shire that replaced the original Scouring). Was especially peeved at the fact that the Eowyn/Faramir plot, which was not only explicit (moreso than the Arwen/Aragorn one), was totally absent; there would be romance if one had wanted it, I suppose. But still, casting Arwen’s magnification as the reason for the ruin of an entire movie is.... slightly overboard I think.

Geirve 30/Dec/2004 at 04:35 AM
Guard of Erebor Points: 4985 Posts: 6056 Joined: 11/Jul/2003

An interesting discussion, and many good points on both parts.

Elenhir, while I agree with your conclusion that most of the problems with the plot in the films resulted from desperate patching up some primaveal errors, I believe we are discussing several totally different issues here.

1) Was throwing out Glorfindel justified? (Which is a different question from: 1a) Was replacing G. by Arwen justified?)

2) Was increasing Arwen’s role a good decision in the first place?

3) Was it carried out well?

Re 1), sorry, but my answer would be ’yes’. Glorfindel is a nice character, but if I was looking for characters to throw out of FoTR, Tom Bombadil would be first, Gildor second, and Glorfindel close third. LL explained it very well. Plus, look at how Glorfindel entered LoTR is the first place - Bakshi’s decision to replace him with Legolas was actually book-based, in a way - originally, it was Glorfindel, introduced as a rescuer of Frodo, who was supposed to go with the Fellowship. (But Tolkien apparently realized that he made him ’too great’, and that Gandalf was enough of a plot problem in this sense.) Apart from this, Glorfindel doesn’t do anything, his lines at the Council could have been given to any random Elf.

Re 1a), PJ made a huge problem for himself. Arwen introduced as a Xena-II begs for further active role as a fighter - that’s why the original idea of her coming to Helm’s Deep. (And I agree with you, Elenhir, that it disturbed very much the whole structure.) PJ withdrew from the idea, and "solved" the problem apparently by killing FoTR-Arwen and replacing her with some weepy consumptive clone in TTT and RoTK. So, I would say: ’no’ here.

Glorfindel should be replaced, but by Legolas, Elrond himself (why not?), or  Elladan and Elrohir (best solution, IMO). They could later apprear as they should in the Grey Company, which was cut off, since time for it and its narrative role was usurped by Elves at Helm’s Deep. If PJ at comp. thought a bit more, they should realize that they have narrative space for ’Elves to the rescue’, apparently so popular among the audience - Grey Company. (They could throw in a few Elves, too, I am feeling generous.). Which would at once put the Battle at Pellenor Fields and Helm’s Deep in the right perspective. Plus, by showing the Dunedain of the North, would give some background to Aragorn, and do not create the ’Men are useless’ image.

Re 2), I dunno. I understand the reasons (love at distance in not cimematic), but Arwen would always be underfoot. The only solution which I believe would have been consistent with her role and character would have been a healer (of Eowyn?), but even that is fraught with difficulties.

Re 3) Resounding  ’no’. Xena-II in FoTR was problematic, but palatable (for me, at least). Spineless wuss in TTT was NOT palatable. Disney princess in RoTK, dying off (for some reasons never mentioned before or afterwards, and making zero sense) and waiting for her prince to rescuse her, was even worse. And that’s how ’strengthening’ of the role of women looks like? Valar save us. Plus, in effect, Arwen came out as a complete schizophremic, with triple personality split - Gollum pales in comparison to her.

Plus, as LL already rightly noted, plot mishmash in TTT (Aragon off the cliff, Elves at Hemls Deep) resulting from attempts to increase Arwen’s role (more women, more romance) led to:

a) cutting off Eowyn and Faramir subplot from RoTK, because of time contrains - a cardinal sin, considering how blown up was the subplot of Eowyn and Aragorn in TTT. That’s about ’more romance’.

b) cutting off roles of all civilians, including Ioreth form RoTK, because of time contrains. That’s about ’more women’.

c) cutting of the Scouring, because of whatever (anticlimax? End of RoTK-movie - or rather 6 ends - was anticlimatic, but that was PJ’s own doing). And in this way, the only female character which feels ’real’ to me in LoTR, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, never appeared in the movie. That’s about ’more women’.

Geirve 04/Jan/2005 at 02:28 AM
Guard of Erebor Points: 4985 Posts: 6056 Joined: 11/Jul/2003
*bump*
Ashen Shugar 04/Jan/2005 at 08:59 AM
Linguist of Lothlorien Points: 3348 Posts: 3027 Joined: 27/Aug/2004

Well I just noticed this thread so I thought I’d put in my two Eurocents (along with all the others) in the pot!

 

When I heard that the character of Arwen was going to be expanded, when we were just hearing rumors about the Fellowship (and when I still had hope of some sort of a decent movie) I wasn’t too bothered to be honest. I mean I am aware that a lot of people would want something like that in the story but then I expected something like certain parts of Aragorn and Arwen that appear in the Apps to be filmed, or why not even modified, but with considerations of not changing the essence and then added.

 

Imagine my surprise – not a pleasant one – when I first saw the movie. I have no issues with Tom Bombadil being left out, in fact I hoped he would be because honestly I do not see how he could have been transferred to the movies in a good enough way, to do him justice. I even have no issues with Glorfindel being left out. I believe that seeing a powerful character like him movie goers who haven’t read the books might be too confused as to why he isn’t the one on the quest, etc, etc so even though I would have liked to see Glorfindel I am all right with him being left out.

 

What I do have a huge problem with is Gildor and leaving out his character for I do think he played a rather big part in all this, at least big enough to have him and the meeting with Elves present in the theatrical and the EE (without that modified part of the EE without the actual encounter). I mean it is he who tells Elrond about the Hobbits, it is after a conversation with him that Sam is changed so to call it, it is him who tells Tom Bombadil (even though that wouldn’t be in the movie but still). There is another reason but let me skip ahead for a second.

 

The Two Towers and the Elves at Helm’s Deep – a really big issue for me in these movies, although not the biggest one – the character changes are more relevant for me personally. I think Arwen is not the reason we got what we did in the end. I think partially it is connected to the Men are Weak part where Rohan really couldn’t be more pathetic … well actually maybe Gondor in RotK is worse … anyway, we need the Elves for the dramatic effect of going to the rescue. Then another part is I believe that people, the viewers (again those who haven’t read the books, but lets face it – that is the bigger part of them) would expect some kind of intervention from the Elves, and wanted to see more Elves in action, and they wouldn’t understand the significance of Men alone fighting this time. Of course, by the time the battle ends PJ and co have no idea what to do with them so they are all killed off – an even worse epilogue if you ask me! Error born out of misinterpretations and other errors …

 

So perhaps Gildor could have given us more screen times for Elves. I would have been all right with him and a conversation with Elrond where then Elrond sends Glorfindel or why not even Elladan and Elrohir to get Frodo because that is based on the text in a way and we would have Elves with more screen time, something they obviously wanted, something they thought the viewers wanted. That could have introduced the two of them, and then without the added Elves at Helm’s Deep we could have had characters that we already know, come back – because now we would have the time – and go with Aragorn etc, etc ,etc.

 

I couldn’t agree more with Geir about how the character of Arwen turned out in the movies, when you look at them as a whole, I mean I don’t think we’ve had a character change so drastically as she did but no wonder really. I will not repeat all of it for I agree with the points she made. I am not sure I agree with Elenhir about Arwen alone being at fault for everything that has happened, but I do agree that errors were born out of other errors and as the movies progressed they kept getting more and more entangled into a web they couldn’t shake.

 

Now as for Star’s three points:

 

1.       The Plaza – I am happy and I thoroughly enjoy my time here, and the people I have met here, but lets face it we would all find something else to do – I was a member of a local Tolkien society before I moved to another country and that took up my time.

2.       More people reading Tolkien – now this is probably true, actually true, I have no issue with that sentence per se but I have believe we have to look at a slightly bigger picture here than just that and that is related to your third point, or these two together really.

3.       More awareness about Middle Earth and the Lore associated behind it – while more people know about Middle Earth now and the world the Master created I think it would be a very difficult thing indeed for you to prove that they are aware of anything other than names of these. They know who Tolkien is, they know the names of the books and now movies and that is it. The movies give such a distorted picture that it is frightening so now we have a very large amount of people walking around thinking they do know something when actually they do not, even worse – what they do know is wrong. A huge amount of people will never read the books, it is the times we live in, and they will remain with the movies and hence the wrong info. From those who do end up reading, again a huge amount will still – why do not ask me – accept the movie facts as true. Which leaves us with a tiny amount of those who will actually go past the falsities of the movies and move to the real Middle Earth – to me it is not worth it. Just statistically speaking that tiny amount would have found their way to these books anyway – for there always existed a solid base of the fans of these books – so you are just left with all those misinformed people – it is not worth it!

Tindómë 04/Jan/2005 at 02:22 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 882 Posts: 1724 Joined: 23/Aug/2002
Quote: Originally posted by Tornihyanda on Thursday, December 23, 2004

Well, I would just like to answer to this. Peter Jackson also decided to pass the Shelob’s scenes to "The Return of the King" because in cronology time it is (more or less) at the same time of the Battle in the Fields of Pelennor. The explanation is in the Extras of the Extended Edition of "The Return of the King".


I agree with Tornihyanda on the chronology point. I’ve read in several places that it would have been "author suicide" to write in the manner that JRR did (and pulled it off shmashingly, I must say). To put that same chronology (verbatim) into the movie would have thoroughly confused viewers, and because the Lord of the Rings team tried to put it into chronological order, that would mess up the time scheme.

Geirve 05/Jan/2005 at 02:28 AM
Guard of Erebor Points: 4985 Posts: 6056 Joined: 11/Jul/2003

I don’t buy this explanation, since this is simply false - scenes with Shelob happen 3 days before the battle of the Pellenor Fields (when Aragorn was fighting at Pelargir). And if ’time scheme’ was really their motivation, it was still a very bad decision - perhaps the worst PJ and comp have made from purely cinematic POV.

I don’t see why ’time scheme’ suddenly became so important to them. Even if the viewers would be left with an impression that travel of Frodo and Sam from Cirith Ungol to Orodruin took a few more days than it took in the book (since this would be the only "confusion" resulting) what harm is done? The viewers were left with the impression that Frodo left the Shire immediatally after the birthday party (and not 17 years later), and this did not trouble PJ.

There is no connection between Cirith Ungol and the Battle of the Pellenor Fields, or the battles at Pelargir (other than chronological one). As long as they would have the meeting of Frodo and Faramir before Faramir comes to Minas Tirith (Faramir connection), and Black Gate Opens scenes well after Cirith Ungol (mithril shirt connection), everything would be fine. And putting Shelob in TTT does not harm this.

Now, consider the consequences of NOT having Shelob in TTT (no screen time for anything important in RoTK, no resulution of Smeagol/Gollum conflict in TTT, no fantastic cliffhanger for the end of TTT as we had for the end of FoTR), and consider the possibility that PJ, whatever his explanations are, was simply wrong.

Smeagól 05/Jan/2005 at 03:04 AM
Builder of the Shire Points: 1316 Posts: 457 Joined: 11/Apr/2003
I agree with you completely, Elenhir!!! I had also thought that PJ should have put more of TTT in TTT but I hadn’t thought of Arwen affecting it. Scouring of the Shire should defiantly not have been cut, as it is the only major place where hobbits are shown to be able to fight.
Alcarináro 05/Jan/2005 at 10:16 AM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003

Lanthir, Arwen and Glorfindel do not appear in the story 16 and 25 times respectively. Please reread what I have said about that.  I have examined it so that it is indicative of their importance.
And are we really to be taking what Bakshi did as anything good at all.  Most people I hear usually regard Bakshi’s movies with a very low opinion.  I see that more as hurting PJ’s case.
Glorfindel’s part is easy to combine with Elrond’s in the Council only if you make a scene of the Council that is a complete mockery and horribly done job.  That is what Peter Jackson did.  His Council of Elrond scene is pathetic.  If the Flight to the Ford is such an insignificant part, then why does Peter Jackson keep Celeborn in the movies?  He gave him such a minimal part that people who haven’t read the books yet have seen the movies multiple times will not know his name!  I think Glorfindel could easily have taken his own part.
Some Elven women could fight perhaps, but I see no reason to assume all could.  I don’t even think there is reason to assume that all Elven Men could fight!  I see no reason to assume that Arwen could fight.  I believe there had already been shots with Arwen fighting, am I right?  I seem to have heard of the concept first from some people talking about posters depicting it, I believe.  So obviously the filming had gone underway.  And so it would be with the Elves as well.  I doubt Peter Jackson would redo all those night shoots.  Far too much work.  Maybe he invented another reason, but I doubt that the Elves would have come at all had Arwen not been sent there first.  And thus, Arwen is to blame.
Underlying it is.  And therefore underlying it should be.  But underlying it certainly was not on the screen.
I must admit, yes, that does give me a bias, and one that I cannot (and will not) overcome.  Still, I see that as merely the gateway that allowed me to discover this.  I do not think it impacts the truth of the situation in the least.

Geir, I must completely disagree that Bakshi’s decision was based on the book.  Bakshi, at the time of his movie, had no access to the old drafts of Tolkien.  We cannot give him any credit for that.  Peter Jackson as well has obviously not read HoME VI.  We cannot think he knows anything more of Glorfindel than is stated in LotR itself, if that much.
About your order of deletion, I find that Glorfindel is different from both Tom and Gildor.  Tom and Gildor were both taken out of the movies completely.  Nothing was in their place.  Glorfindel is not deleted, but replaced.  This in itself shows that he has a large enough role so that it must be filled.
I really do not see the reason for Elladan and Elrohir.  That would require two actors instead of one, and it would end up with relatively the same consequences as if it had been Glorfindel.  Peter Jackson would still have to cancel his corruptions to the text.  It would just be like two Glrofindels instead of one.  I see that as better than Arwen, but I see Glorfindel, the original, as better and easier than that.

2) I think maybe a slight bit of adding for Arwen would have been acceptable.  Maybe even necessary for the less astute movie-watcher.  But by no means do I see any plot-influencing changes necessary.

I definately agree with 3.

Aithne, I already addressed the falsity of Tornihyanda’s claim in my previous post, and Geir elaborates more on it.  However, that is really the tip of the iceberg.  If you want to deal with issues of time internal to the story, you will find that Peter Jackson really has nothing to work with.  He made such a mess of it that anything he says about it is laughable.

Hands 05/Jan/2005 at 12:59 PM
Banned Points: 464 Posts: 196 Joined: 05/Jan/2005
I’ve never really given the movies much thought but I mostly agree with Elenhir. Peter Jackson’s Arwen is the root of most of the problems in the movies, if he had just kept her to the sideline then Helm’s Deep would not have been blown out of proportion and pushed half of The Two Towers into The Return of the King. I also think that Peter Jackson’s Arwen is the root of the problem with Faramir. Arwen messes Aragorn up so he is always whinging about how he doesn’t want to be King and that the same weakness as Isildur runs in his veins. Arwen then steals Aragorn’s line saying that he will face the same evil and he will defeat it. If Faramir was shown as he really was, the noble and valiant Faramir instead of the cruel and corrupted Faramir which is shown in the movies the average movie-watcher would say "why doesn’t Faramir become King instead Aragorn, he’d be much better for the job". So to ’solve’ this problem he make Faramir even worse than the whinging Aragorn so it looks that Aragorn is the best Man to become the King of Gondor. He also messes Denethor up in the movies, okay he was corrupted by Sauron and disliked Faramir but he wasn’t like he was in the movies. Suicidal, hates Faramir and sends him on a suicide mission and refuses to call for aid. If Glorfindel had been replaced by Arwen in the Flight to the Ford I wouldn’t have been too bothered because in a movie Glorfindel would have been a very obscure character because movies aren’t the same as books. What does bother me is the whole Arwen/Aragorn love story which take up so much time. If there had been no Arwen/Aragorn love story their would have been no Aragorn falling off the cliff, no Elves at Helm’s Deep, no Elrond delivering Andruil to Aragorn, no scenes with Arwen and Elrond arguing and none of the whole Elves leaving Middle Earth thing. Time is no excuse for pushing half of The Two Towers into Return of the King and there being no Scouring of the Shire because at least an hour is wasted on these things which are simply not needed.
The excuse "If you think you could do it better i’d like to see you try." isn’t at all applicable. If for example a surgeon was operating on someone you loved, messed up and killed them if he just said "If you think you could do it better i’d like to see you try". Could you have done it better, of course not. Does this make it alright, of course not.
Rohan2222 05/Jan/2005 at 09:30 PM
Stablehand of the Mark Points: 212 Posts: 65 Joined: 02/Jan/2005

Elenhir- Another good point.  The love story in the movies has always bothered me.  This reflects the tendency of every Hollywood production to be based around this feeling almost everyone in the world wants a piece of.  LOTR was not meant to be a mushy gushy story that made people "feel good."  That’s why the scenes where Arwen and Aragorn are exuding with blissful love makes me a bit uncomfortable.  It doesn’t fit.  I find that there is more romance between Eowyn and Faramir in the books than there is of Arwen and Aragorn.  But is this romance story really in the movies?  Except for a very short scene, No. 

There is only room enough for one Xena in the books and that is Eowyn.

Tindómë 05/Jan/2005 at 09:31 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 882 Posts: 1724 Joined: 23/Aug/2002
Didn’t mean to get you worked up about it, Elenhir; I was just sharing my abounding knowledge. </jovial sarcasm>
Geirve 06/Jan/2005 at 06:32 AM
Guard of Erebor Points: 4985 Posts: 6056 Joined: 11/Jul/2003

Elenhir, I have written book-based, in a way. I know the date of publication of HoME.  But I find it very interesting that Bakshi (or whoever wrote this scene for the cartoon film) "reproduced" the original role of Glorfindel without prior knowledge of it, and I think this an evidence of good perception of Tolkien’s text by the writer.

Glorfindel, as he appears in the published version of LoTR, is troublesome for anyone wanting to make an adaptation. For a character introduced with such a "bang" (which is strengthened by Gandalf’s words to Frodo about him), he fades into nothingness awfully fast. It is a minor flaw of the text (if a flaw at all), not jarring in an epic book like LoTR, but it would much more evident in a film. It is not possible to delete him, since his narrative role is important for the plot, but, much as I dislike "correcting" Tolkien, I maintain that replacing him is a good decision. Only, not replacing by Arwen.

Another acceptable solution would be delete Elladan and Elrohir, and have Glorfindel in their role in the Grey Company.

And are we really to be taking what Bakshi did as anything good at all.  Most people I hear usually regard Bakshi’s movies with a very low opinion.  I see that more as hurting PJ’s case.

You did not see the movies, I suppose. Bakshi’s movies were poor (very poor, IMHO) visually, but the scenario was pretty good, and characterization generally close to the text. (With exception of Sam.) The exact opposite of PJs movies.

I also don’t see why you persist in claiming that Glorfindel is more important for the plot than Arwen. The only unique role of Glorfindel is to provide transport for Frodo, and to ward off the Nazgul. After this episode, he is redundant. He is at the Council, but does nothing, or say nothing which is unique for him, moves the plot forward, or characterizes him. Be honest - could you say, without looking into the book, what was what Glorfindel said, and what Erestor? Afterwards, he is only mentioned in passing as being present at Arwen’s wedding, and Tolkien even forgot to put him on the ship.

Now, Arwen, although off-stage during almost the whole of LoTR, has several roles:

a) She provides additional motivation for Aragorn to regain the throne;

b) She provides the reason for Aragorn to reject Eowyn, with all consequences of this, including the death of the Witchking, and Eowyn-Faramir subplot;

c) She is, of course, Aragorn’s bride, bringing the sense of renewal of Mankind at the end of RoTK, and provides the link with the Eldar - and with Beren’s and Luthien’s story.

Remove Glorfindel, and you have one plot hole (not very large, after all, Aragorn could get Frodo to Rivendell himself). Remove Arwen, and the whole structure of LoTR collapses. I share your irritation with the way PJ treated (and wanted to treat) Arwen, and I agree that most of the troubles with the movies originated from this, but I don’t think this argument stands.

Star Flower 06/Jan/2005 at 11:59 AM
Elder of Erebor Points: 19230 Posts: 21250 Joined: 28/Jun/2003

Elenhir ~ Before I read your post I wondered what the “emotion” in your reply would be. I am happy not to be on your bad list. *grins*  I understand when one who has watched the movie and not read the book is all “ignorant” but we can always correct them in a polite and neutral fashion. The plaza is about a learning experience. In real life, I am the “LotR” fanatic amongst my friends. All questions are directed to me and though I find it slightly irritating that they ask such stupid questions (which would be cleared away if they actually read the book), I always try to remain calm. No matter how narrow—minded their arguments are.

On your second paragraph, I truly had to laugh. The sense in it is so obscure yet true. I would have thought when watching the EE it would have been truer to Tolkien style but then again you hit the hammer right on the nail, if Peter Jackson hasn’t changed the movie, he wouldn’t have been allowed to make it. You make a good and justified point though:


We can show people the truth, and the reason why Peter Jackson did what he did, and how what he did was not justified. 

All I am saying is that we should do this in a respectful manner. Some people truly love the movie – even with the changes. Shouldn’t we respect their likes or dislikes? You say that it hurts you deeply when someone who is wrong is trying to prove – without a doubt – that they are right. Don’t you think that they might just feel hurt as well when you prove them wrong?

1) The Plaza is indeed good, if it never existed and you did not know that it ever had, would you miss it?

I would not miss it, true enough but I have it now… and I am thankful that I have it.

2) Won’t most of the people who like it find it anyways?  And a con is that now almost every paperback copy has one of the actor’s faces on it.  Can you say ’goodbye’ to imagination?

OK. This I agree with. People who have watched the movie first will not have that “great imagination area” which I had for instance. I was able to picture Tolkien’s characters through his words. With the movie, your own visions are obscured. *huggles her old, old edition of LotR*

3) I have actually argued that the opposite has happened in a TTT thread.

I have not seen this thread, so I cannot comment.

Gonmehil 06/Jan/2005 at 07:29 PM
Miner of Erebor Points: 1487 Posts: 1823 Joined: 09/Apr/2004
I saw FotR and TTT movies before reading the Book. I had no idea who`s Mr.Tolkien and that there is such a LotR book, before that. So, I would like to express my humble hopes to you, honorable Ashen Shugar and Elenhir, that these movies have done something good as well, and that my becoming as a fan of Tolkien`s works is not that worthless, even if I`m not that skilled in Tolkien`s lore, yet.
Back to the topic of this discussion. Believe me, after watching FotR movie (I thought it was best movie I had ever seen) I had some unexplainable feeling that those scenes with Aragorn and Arwen just did not fit. I didn`t know that it should not be Arwen who saves Frodo. I didn`t know that the shards of Narsil originally were with Aragorn, all the time. Though, even then PJ was not able to fit the story of Aragorn and Arwen into the LotR as he wanted to, and the feeling of "there`s something wrong" bothered me.
The same about TTT movie. I didn`t know that there were so many "genious improvements" made comparing to the original story, back then. So, you probably can imagine how excited and impressed I was. (It impressed even proper people of my RL Homeland and as the result of it was the appearance of LotR Book in our book-shops!) And again, the scene with Arwen (after Aragorn`s falling of that cliff) was the one who made to exclaim: "And what a miracle was that!!" And even without any knowledge of original story, it was absolutely clear to me that there was a desperate try to create some romantic things out of nowhere. And I kept wondering why it was done in so clumsy way. Of course, now I understand why... and that there was even more of problems than I suspected, back in those days of my pre-Tolkien ages of Darkness...
Ashen Shugar 07/Jan/2005 at 03:07 AM
Linguist of Lothlorien Points: 3348 Posts: 3027 Joined: 27/Aug/2004
GugaF - I am sorry if you took that part of my post personally ... I am forever grateful for every fan that discovers the Master’s work and while I am a Lorist, I do not think that a neccessery prerequisit for being a true fan, one just has to love the books. Natually, this includes you and we are very happy to have you with us. My point was more one of a general nature - I firmly believe that a number of fans, like yourself, who has gone on to discover the books and actually started studying them and altering your knowledge to truth from all the falsities, is so pathetically small it is quite sad. I do believe you would have found your way to Tolkien either way, eventually, it is statistically true. Now compared to the other portion, the one which I name in my previous post the making of the movies were not worth it. Of course you would judge by your own example but I am talking about the big picture, leaving individual cases aside. But either way, I am happy you joined us!
Geirve 10/Jan/2005 at 01:45 AM
Guard of Erebor Points: 4985 Posts: 6056 Joined: 11/Jul/2003

Ashen, my personal experience tells me that the movies did bring people to read the books. I know of two people in my immediate surroundings who did that (my mother - whom I tried in vain to persuade to read Tolkien for years before that, and a friend of mine). And Tolkien was already very popular in my native country pre-films (The Hobbit was translated into Polish in the 50-ties, LoTR in the 60-ties). So I think the percentage is much higher in the countries where LoTR was not so popular - for example because of the lack of pre-movies translation (or good translation) in the native language (the number of translations skyrocketed after FoTR was released).

GugaF, thanks for your observations. They confirm my impression that the PJ-made scenes "stand out" even in purely cinematic sense. On the other hand, it means enough of the spirit of the story was saved elsewhere for them to appear strange. How did you perceive Gimli in TTT-movie, I wonder?

Melethron 11/Jan/2005 at 09:50 PM
Fletcher of Lothlorien Points: 1837 Posts: 2647 Joined: 18/Feb/2004
Quote: Originally posted by Elenhir on Wednesday, December 29, 2004

1) One point I always like to make is ’why go for the larger audience?’  Let’s look at this for a second. Peter Jackson needs to go to the larger audience in order to bring the books to the big screen, because otherwise New Line won’t let him make it.  So he makes changes, makes changes to accomodate those changes, and them makes another round of changes for the hell of it.  He then stores away some parts for the Tolkien fans in the EEs, but of course, he makes changes (I really don’t get that, because it isn’t for the larger audience, the EEs are supposed to be for us).  So what we end up with it essentially the normal Hollywood movie, but it bears some resemblence to a story we know and love.  I don’t get the point.  Maul something as much as possible so you can theoretically show the pre-mauled version to the public?  That doesn’t happen.  You end up showing the mauled product, and to state the obvious, the mauled product is mauled.  And therein lies the problem.

2) We can do something else.  We can show people the truth, and the reason why Peter Jackson did what he did, and how what he did was not justified.  We can hopefully influence the next person to take on such a task, maybe a score years from now.  I would like it very much if the next person who made the movies of LotR was to actually do it without Hollywood and without all the bilge that goes with it.  Something that Tolkien himself would not be ashamed at.  So until then I fume and act bitter, and hope it goes noticed to whomever shall be the one.

3) Melethron, and I find that Peter Jackson cannot fit it into the narrative very well, either.  As I believe I have shown, all hell breaks loose because of his decison.

4) The Scouring was left out because it was an anti-climax.  That is true, except with the insertion of ’PJ thought’ after ’because’.  I do not find it an anti-climax.  No more than the rushed end of the third movie and the slowness that followed anyways.  Aragorn’s kingship almost took longer than the time from the end of Pelennor to the destruction of the Ring!  Anti-climax through rushed climax!  Besides, I don’t find it to be anti-climactic period.  But the ’time constraints’ were something for Peter Jackson to hide behind, rather than just his ’I don’t like it because I think it is anti-climactic’ nonsense.  It is deliberate deception, and with the shattering of his wall of lies he has no good reason.  Only his personal opinion (and quite frankly, seeing what he did with the movie overall, I think his personal opinion is not good in the least).

5) I do not exaggerate Glorfindel’s importance.  He is far more important than Arwen, who in the story is really nothing more than a sidenote.  Glorfindel is an active participant.  ’Nuff said.


1) Ah, but doesn’t every big-budget film have to go for the larger audience? With all the money and resources that were required to make the films, it would be impossible to make even a slightly believable live-action (i.e., NOT animated) LotR unless you were Steven Spielberg or George Lucas. God forbid.

2) Unfortunately, I highly doubt that another version of LotR will be made anytime too soon, for the obvious reasons. And with the way society goes, apart from Hollywood is unthinkable. Let’s face the facts (or fact, rather): a remake won’t be in works for another hundred years. At least.

3) But he does try his best, which I might add is better than nothing. Had Arwen shown up only in the RotK to marry Aragorn, I would have been a bit miffed, and the same is true for if she did not show up at all. Personally, from what I’ve read elsewhere than LotR about Arwen and her character, I do like her and I’m glad she was in the movies. Misused in some instances, yes, but there nevertheless.

4) And here it goes again..... really Elenhir, if one day you’re bored out of your skull, I wish you’d watch the Appendices of the EEs. Or at least the first few documentaries on them that cover Tolkien’s writings and how they adapted a script. That would explain a lot of reasons for the changes. The ’anti-climax’ opinion about the Scouring of the Shire doesn’t belong to just PJ, but to many others who were, shall we say "Of high influence".

5) Arwen is also an active participant! She shows up in the RotK, if only for a short time, and in addition with her and Aragorn’s story included in the Appendices (which I note yet again, was for practical purposes) makes her a substantially important character, does it not? I would hate to think that Aragorn did all that he did purely to become king, and not to earn Arwen’s hand.