I did not wish to derail the Hobbit thread. So here goes.I may get smacked around for this!:eek: This is me in a firing line. I loathed Jackson’s movies! (OK I have an Strider Avatar, sort of liked his performance.) That said…WHY? (do I detest it)…it mangled it. Take one of my favorite Tolkien contrasts, Faramir/Boromir…Faramir was viewed by his father as week, and Boromir the Golden Child…In the Novel, Faramir is strong of mind…and heart! He turned away the Ring. Boromir strong of body was a willful mind and tried to seize it. Jackson has Faramir as a Sadist! Torturing Gollum! Bring Frodo and Sam to Osgiliath and even then when he gives the words:Now I understand…it is…flat. The nobility is gone! Look I can go on I use just ONE horrid example…of many…the only good of the movies…a new generation bought the BOOKS…to me that was it’s only grace. NOW! I will put on a helmet ant await my stoning!:eek::eek::eek:
I absolutely loved the movies. PJ brought so much of Tolkiens dream to life and did a pretty good job. I think he brought most of the themes through well, though his characters did deviate. Faramir was my worst disaappointment too, though I also did not like Aragon’s wishy-washy attitude about his destiny or Elrond’s disdain of humans and Aragon in particular.
BTW - If you go to this site, Peter Kreeft has two lectures specifically on The Lord of the Rings you might enjoy.
I also felt the “Jackson” Elrond was …odd…the human hatred…Elrond in Tolkien Mythology was an “unusual” breed…his Elvin blood was not pure Elven…his lineage would give both human and the immortal “sub-creators” …it is pretty complex actually. I had an annotated Simaralion it had about have a page for Elrond! So…getting back “round” the human line in his blood would have “precluded” anti-human feelings! (For those interested in how the human blood did not "taint him from immortality in the Havens, Tolkien…did a work around…Christopher put them (JRR had them in notes)…his work around was a “splash” lol…of the Immortal Sub-creators. Strider…the great magazine (if you do not get Touchstone : A Journal of Mere Christianity…subscribe…that and First Things…Touchstone had a number of articles mostly critical! one was Strider ala Jackson was emasculated compared to JJR Strider!
I actually like the performances better because it rounded the characters more.
Faramir? Turns out he’s completely human and can succumb to temptation too. He’s always felt like he’s been second to Boromir and despised by his father for simply being alive. Everyone feels like they need to impress their father, it’s a natural desire in life. For Faramir, it is a double temptation: the ring of power (which mine as well be called temptation itself) and finally being able to get the love and praise of the father who never loved him enough. It makes his character come across as a lot more real.
I know that I’ve seen a lot of disagreement on Aragorn, but I liked the movie performance better. It’s a contrast with the “normal” portrayal that sometimes (not in the LOTR books though) can come off as arrogant (the “I’m the heir so I’m important type”). Aragorn is a humble man who may not be completely on board with where he has to go, but does it anyways (reminds me a lot of “take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done”, LK 22:42). It’s his vocation, and like many people called to an extraordinary vocation he doubts, but puts it on in the end.
Elrond’s performance is actually a little funny. It’s a bit of an in-joke actually because Hugo Weaving plays both Elrond and Agent Smith in the Matrix. But he was being a father who was protective of his daughter; he didn’t want her to have to watch as Aragorn withered away over the years while she did not. He also has a fairly good reason to be a little mad at men (he did watch as Isildor kept the Ring instead of destroying it, and watched the consequences of that action unfold over generations later).
OK See a defender my Boromir point was not his Humanity…it was the total horrid deviation of JRRs I so loathe. lol! Also…the Clowning scenes with poor Gimli…falling off a horse making a lame joke! NO! NO! Legolas going “Radical Dude!” Bart Simpson and using a Shield to slalom down at Helms deep…Back to poor Gimli…the moronic conversation with “Shield Maiden of Rohan.” Please! I don’t they they ever talked …“wallflower” only had eyes and words for Strider! LOL…Sigh…I cannot explain why it enraged me.:D:D:D
Curlycool summed up what I think pretty well, but for reinforcement:
I don’t know if you’ve seen the extra footage from the extended versions, but contained in there is a documentary on the script and development. In that documentary, Fran Walsh (one of the writers) explained why they changed Faramir. To them, Faramir was just as corruptible as anyone else. EVERYONE in Middle-Earth was subject to the corruption of the Ring. (Probably also why they removed Tom Bombadil.) In the original Tolkien, there is much emphasis put on how heavy a burden the Ring is, and how it can corrupt anyone, and then all of a sudden there are exceptions. (Tom Bombadil/Faramir/Ents) The Ents and even Tom Bombadil to an extent I can see, but for Faramir to just turn away from the Ring’s power without even THINKING about it is kind of sketchy. Especially with his background as the forgotten son, trying to please his father. Don’t you think he would TRY to please his father by bringing him the Ring?! He then realizes (as Boromir realized; albeit to late) that the ring is TOO much power, and that it corrupted his brother. That’s why, in the end, he lets Frodo and Sam go.
Hope that clears up why the writers chose the course they did.
It clears it up but again, it mangles JRR’s whole story. Why not allow Faramir to give some nobility to humanity? Lord knows there were plenty of ‘fallen men’ (bring on the Nazgul, people, not to mention the Oathbreakers from the Paths of the Dead), and while the novel made Faramir not really hesitate to give up the ring, sheesh, he hadn’t even SEEN it, and after all, BILBO (who had the ring over 60 years and used it too) gave it up. What’s the matter, humans can’t be as noble as hobbits? Particularly somebody who had studied (and had, as I recall, at least some sessions with Gandalf as a youngster which could have deepened his wisdom --and even Aragorn remarked that the blood of Numenor ran ‘nearly true’ in DENETHOR AND IN FARAMIR (but not in Boromir --and even so, Boromir still repented and paid the full price) –
I’m sorry but the kind of reverse snobbery the movie was full of truly disappointed me. Turning dwarves into comic relief (and not of the kind that would have been proper in The Hobbit). . and don’t even START me on Pippin and the anti-Irish suggestion or the idea that he and Merry instead of being human equivalents of 19 and 22 year olds, were just bumbling stumbling CLOWNS. . .the ‘relationship’ of Aragorn and Eowyn. . .and the whole beefing up of Arwen. . .Denethor’s ‘flaming end’ which turned from the pathos of the novel into yet another ‘special effects demo’. . .
Ugh. I too did not care for the movies overall. Yes, parts were excellent. But it was NOT Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. . .it was “Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings”. . .and despite Mr. Jackson’s no doubt good intentions, it was a disservice to Mr. Tolkien. Heck, the ANIMATED Lord of the Rings had more true Tolkien than Mr. Jackson’s works --and that’s saying something!
But it was NOT Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. . .it was "Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings"
Exactly! In Tolkien’s Middle-Earth there are exceptions. In Peter Jackson’s there aren’t. Neither one is wrong. You can decide which one you like better and stick with that.
I think you missed the entire part where it’s said that hobbits seem to have a particle resilience to the ring that is not possessed by any other race. The hobbits were Tolkien’s heros if you didn’t notice and they got preferential treatment for everything. You must have missed the Scouring of the Shire where the good hobbits threw out the rest of the bad men because hobbits are good and men are greedy cowards.
The Bashki version was terrible, and I don’t just mean the animation (seriously, add some lighting to the scenes, and they couldn’t get Gimli’s size right if their life depended on it). And don’t even start of the Rankin-Bass version. Seriously, you have problems with Jackson, but in Baski:
- Aragorn was a Native American stereotype
- Gimli was a Norse/viking stereotype (and had no scale)
- Sam was a mental patient stereotype/idiot
- Gollum was just creepy instead of actually fleshed out and pitiable
The writer’s “explanation” of why they changed Faramir was incredibly lame. They basically said: “Tolkien screwed up by letting anyone not giving into the ring and being good and virtuous, so we changed it.” Another problem with their “change” is that it was supposedly because no one was immune to the evil of the ring and thus it would corrupt anyone and everyone, but then Faramir suddenly, and inexplicably let’s them go! After they build up how evil the ring is, and then how it affects Faramir just like everyone else, he does a 180 on a dime. In fact, after seeing Frodo try to give the ring to the ring-wraith Faramir (or any sane person, let alone someone under the evil influence of the ring) would have taken it from him and taken it somewhere where he wouldn’t try to GIVE the ring Sauron and end the world!
The best adaption of the books still remains the BBC radio dramatisation. All others fall massively short of that. The movies are a true curate’s egg. For everything they do right, something else is flawed. The sequences with Gimli are cringe worthy at times. The old cartoon does have serious flaws to but I actually prefer the Aragorn of that version as John Hurt’s voice suggests a more mature and confident figure, although the visuals are somewhat ‘native American’ to an extent. At times the Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s movie seemed in tune with the books, at other times not. The whole sequence with him killing the Mouth of Sauron was particularly awkward I found as loathsome though the Mouth is ultimately he is a herald and although he and his master plainly have no intent of keeping their word for Aragorn to kill him diminshes the latter’s moral standing considerably.
I had less trouble with Arwen, as I understand that her marriage to Aragorn would come as a big surprise if it was just suddenly introduced. Although I feel other approaches could have been taken to introducing her character and building it up. Even in the novels one does not realise the import of Arwen (and her relationships with both her father AND Galadriel) till one reads the appendixes. Tolkien himself fails somewhat in introducing her throughout the novel.
I think you have a valid point. We are hobbits and hobbits are are reflection on humanity. It is a reflection of how God choices the weak of the world to do the greatest work. Still, I wish they hadn’t watered down the nobility of Aragorn. He already had that sense of the weak and humble by being a nomad without a country. There was no need to weaken him morally.
THANK you!!! Tolkien wanted a sharp CONTRAST with Boromir/Faramir it was Faramir’s Nobility that gifts us with the moving speech between Frodo and Faramir…both “see…something in the other more that the surface level”…Tolkien buffs will recall this…and why it is significant …
Upfront I will say that LotR is probably both my favorite book(s) and my favorite movie(s).
I was disappointed with how they handled Faramir. I was similarly disappointed with Theoden. In the book, he was much less hesitant about joining the battle.
Nonetheless, I understand why movies need to deviate from the books at time. They sort of downplayed the nobility of some of the more minor characters to highlight the bravery of the more central characters. If it were me, I would have chosen to do it differently than Jackson on these points, but I really consider it a minor gripe in terms of the whole.
I don’t know why, but I didn’t really mind them turning Legolas and Gimli (and Merry and Pippin) into comedic relief characters. I enjoyed Legolas’ elvish escapades (sliding down the Oliphaunt tusk, swinging from ground to horse, riding down the shield, etc.). Sure, these things weren’t in the book, but they drew attention to his elvish nature. And they made him look cool.
Theodon was oddly off to a GREAT start …I agree the (almost) refusal to go to Gondor bothered me…in the Book, he “found” himself again, and was ready to be a Leader again…
I feel like some of you weren’t watching the same movie I was. Faramir wasn’t planning to let Frodo go, but got distracted when Osgiliath was attacked. Frodo goes a little crazy, and Faramir sees the madness of the Ring. He sees that it is no good as a weapon, it only seems to drive the bearer insane (or at least into fits of insanity). Here was the Ring at Osgiliath, and it did Faramir no good. On the contrary, Faramir had to help save Frodo from the Nazgul. The Ring seems to be nothing but bad luck. He had a chance to see just why it’s got to be destroyed.
Again, it makes a rounder character. Théoden just got back from Helm’s Deep via Isengard. He’s looking at his country which is largely destroyed, and there are many many dead from the battles. He’s sort of like Chamberlain after the Great War, not too eager to get into another one when there’s much to rebuild and much to mourn.
He’s afraid for his people; he doesn’t want to have to ask more men to die. He’s doing his job as King of Rohan. He needs a little time to decide if he really wants to do it all again.
Look, LOTR is my favourite novel. And Tolkien was a great writer, but he was a linguist. Some of his characters are very flat and seem very stereotypical (even if he helped to establish the stereotype). Some were rounded out a bit more in the movies and given deeper motivations.
On another note, I’m personally happy that Tom Bombadil got cut. I’ve never liked those chapters, and all in all Bombadil seems like an imported character into LOTR (LOTR and The Hobbit themselves being imported into the rest of Middle Earth because Tolkien liked his work with the then-unfinished Silmarillion better, and just placed his more popular books into the same world).
Tolkien V Bombadil:) : Years Later I cannot remember in a paper or while speaking he stated “I later grew to detest Bombadil, I asked myself why I even had him in the novel, to this day I still cannot explain what I was thinking.” ROLF!:)
Well, it takes a real man to admit that you were wrong
Oh! JRR…man…hey busted on HIMSELF on a number of things he wished he had or had not done! I never liked Bombadil…I felt better upon finding Tolkien regretted creating “that creature” his words! LOL.
Tolkien, being the perfectionist he was, always had quite a few changes he wanted to me. I must admit, however, that Bombadil seemed to be one of his bigger regrets.