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Minas Tirith Forums » New Line Cinema's Lord of the Rings » Purist Rage - How the Films Betrayed Tolkien's Legacy (Page 3)
Author Topic: Purist Rage - How the Films Betrayed Tolkien's Legacy
Turogriest
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I was watching TTT the other day and all the crap that they added made the feel of the movie look like a time lapsed "Never Ending Story" based on an older character, Aragorn, then that series is used to. I feel like the child on Charlie Brown, "UUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH".
My only question that remains is will PJ introduce the big, flying, white, shaggy dog-dragon and call him Huan(being the hound of Valinor introduced in Silmarillion)?

[ 12-08-2003, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: Turogriest ]

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Oitur
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Do the producers even think about what they are doing? I know the good parts are extremly good but the bad parts are extremly bad. Why is LOTR such a poplular book? Why is it the 20th century second most read book(after the bable)? Becuase it is not a good book? NO! The book have depths, meanings. So it's like telling George Lucas(the creater)that Luke Skywalker got killed by Darth Vader. Tolkien CREATED the universe. The producers have NO RIGHTS TO MAKE UP STUFF. Tolkien wrote the book exactly he wanted it to be. I know almost all of us thinks the meaning of the book differntly. But they have to stick with Tolkien's plan. It is Tolkien's book. And the Weathertop scene, the Nazgul wore no crowns. but when Frodo puts the Ring on, they have crowns. So are the crowns real, are they substances only can be seen with the ring, or is it Peter Jacksons mistake?

[ 12-08-2003, 08:06 PM: Message edited by: Oitur ]

From: The Green City, Vancouver, Canada | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Turogriest
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You have no clue how much I am behind you guy. Who in the hell is PJ to FIX Tolkiens work by adding stuff. Taking stuff out is bad enough but I can understand a time constraint, but to take stuff out and then add JUNK!!!!!

Just like TERMINATOR 3.. NO NEED!

[ 12-08-2003, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: Turogriest ]

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Archer
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quote:
Arwen saved Frodo due to the complete lack of strong female characters in FotR.
Complete lack of strong female characters?!! I suggest you re-read the books, especially the scenes where Galadriel is plainly shown as being large and in charge. Example: When the Fellowship arrives in the Golden Wood, she easily tells Celeborn, lord of the Galadrim--who's gone off in a little rant--to lay off Gimli at once, and he quickly backs down and apologizes! I get the impression that Galadriel has more sway and influence in Lothlorien, and that it's more likely she who wears the pants or the breeches or whatever elves wear, in the family. This was actually pretty startling stuff considering the time period Tolkien was writing in! And I don't even need to go into Eowyn!

But strong female characters or not, Tolkien wrote a story about a rising evil, a ring and its bearer, and a king of prophesy. This work, in all it's past-age beauty, doesn't need to be tweaked and twisted and turned this way and that to make the average jane/joe "think" they're getting what they need--I don't care what the PJ-oids think they know about proper story telling! I once heard a critic say that the last thing Tolkien needs is to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th (21st too) century just to feed some new wave PC need to satisfy a modern--and by all appearances--a very fickle stance in what is deemed currently acceptable.

[ 12-08-2003, 08:18 PM: Message edited by: Archer ]

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The Dread Pirate Roberts
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quote:
still blame Liv?
Nobody in this topic blamed Liv. All blame has gone toward the directors/screenwriters.

I have to add my thanks for the creation of this topic thread. I have nothing to add at the moment, nor the time to add it. I'll be sure to keep checking in, though.

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Archer
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quote:
My only question that remains is will PJ introduce the big, flying, white, shaggy dog-dragon and call him Huan(being the hound of Valinor introduced in Silmarillion)?

[] [] [] []

Well, we know he's got the whole Childlike Empress thing going with Arwen dying because The Nothing, er the ring is taking over Fantasia, I mean Middle-Earth.

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Turogriest
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I blame Liv for one thing. In every interview she talks about how she "knows" elvish. She knows elvish the way that I know Russian; not at all. She then goes on to recite, key word recite, lines from the films as proof of her knowledge. She is a faker. Too quote one of the best TV series ever, that being family, "PHOOONY, HEY EVERYONE THIS GUYS A PHOOONEY!!!!"
Galadriel was so strong not because she was a woman though. IN the Silmarillion it explains that Galadriel was the last of her kind, the original elves to pass from Valinor to ME and to remain there. Celeborn being much younger than her was born in ME. All the rest of the Noldor have passed back over the Havens or have died in the Great Struggle and Great War with Morgoth that got him banished and made Sauron fade away ever before the first War of the Ring. I think this combined with age is the reason for power, not because Tolkien was being ground breaking in the women's power area.

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Roll of Honor Lillianna
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Aiye, indeed Galadriel is a strong character, however what I was referring to was "large roles"...there are no females with "large roles" in LotR. Eowyn was a minor role if you think about it...of course, that could depend what you mean by minor or major characters and how much story account of them adds up to be either major or minor. I just feel that there is a lack of major female characters for a reason....and the ones that do have roles bring a sense of poignancy that may have been diminished had their roles been expanded....

basically,

TOLKIEN took 12 FREAKIN' YEARS to write LotR and even more than that to create the world and history of Middle Earth. He was a perfectionist. Authors, especially authors like Tolkien, don't just throw stuff in for the heck of it. There's a reason why he did stuff. If you don't like how he did it, write your own freakin' book. (However, I may be pointed at and called a hypocrite....because I don't like the inclusion of Bombadil in the books...I think it strays a bit from the focal point of the story when they go to his house, but that's just my opinion. One good thing about the movie is that they left him out, knowing it would be a weird distraction)

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Turogriest
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Well I just think that you are off your rocker for not likeing Bombadill but that is just matter of opinion really. It would be the same as me saying your crazy for not likeing the color blue. Take no offense to it. But Eowyn did have a big role. She took out that Witch King for Christ's sake. That is something great.

[ 12-08-2003, 09:26 PM: Message edited by: Turogriest ]

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Roll of Honor Lillianna
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Yeah, I understand that...but Eomer wouldn't be considered a major role, even though he accomplished alot of important things. I think Eowyn is definitely the major female character, but still I think the fellowship are the main characters(until Boromir dies of course).

another rant:

why HECK do they make Legolas all stiff and board-like??? He's supposed to be like this backup Aragorn, or what? His looks are very well done - very elf like and fitting, but his personality(or lake thereof...) what the freak? In the book, although he is not as prominent as the hobbits, Aragorn, or Gandalf, he still has a personality. He jokes around at Rivendell, and actually says more substantial things than just "Orcs!" "Goblins!". In TTT, I laugh at nearly everyone of his lines...it's like the filmmakers feel bad for him having nearly no lines because the movie is all about Aragorn, so they make him "Captain Obvious" with these random lines. [] In the book he says some random, weird things too, like "I go to find the sun" comment, but goodness....nothing like:

running. sudden stop. turning around.
"A red sun rises, blood has been spilt this night.." []

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Turogriest
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Hahah. Yeah but you also have to think that he does that cool thing to get on the horse.. What the hell was that?
He was much more dynamic in the books, they all were. PJ makes it obvious that Bloom is eyecandy nothing more. He doesn't even try to take Legolas past that in the films.

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Roll of Honor EowynatHeart
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quote:
I blame Liv for one thing. In every interview she talks about how she "knows" elvish. She knows elvish the way that I know Russian; not at all. She then goes on to recite, key word recite, lines from the films as proof of her knowledge. She is a faker. Too quote one of the best TV series ever, that being family, "PHOOONY, HEY EVERYONE THIS GUYS A PHOOONEY!!!!"

OMGosh, I so thought the same thing. They had a special on one night last week and she just went on and on. I can speak it...I speak it in my sleep. Noooooo! You recite a line that you memorized. You can not speak it or write or read it or understand it outside those lines. I would like to see her in Quendil's Elvish class!!!!!

No, we did not need a strong female role. No, we did not need to have a love scene. No and No and NO!!!!

I can forgive him leaving out certain things. I can forgive him for leaving out certain people. Some of those characters would have been hard to portray in a movie. To me Tom B. would have impossible to bring to life. But why did you take Legolas and turn him in to a one line idiot who only can make comments on his feelings. Why make Gimli into a clown. Why leave out Éomer when he could have added so much to the scenes...gosh and on we go!

Oh and I just had a thought. In the movies Legolas never missed once he had bow in hand. Then why at Helms Deep did he shoot twice and never bring down the Uruk-Hai that was running to blow up the bomb? To me he just looked nervous and shook up. In no other scene do you see him like that. And what was up with him going on a little surfing trip down the stairs at Helms Deep. I actually laughed at that. Out loud!!!!

Everyone talks about Haldir dying at Helms Deep but what about poor Háma. He died defending the Gate at Helms Deep. He wasn't breakfast for a Warg!!!!!! Arrrrgggggg *shakes fists at PJ*

From: Wait! The map was upside down!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Archer
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quote:
why HECK do they make Legolas all stiff and board-like???
Lillianna,
I'm so glad I'm not the only one who sees this problem with Legolas. He has NO personality, but then the other elves don't have much of one either, IMHO. I think PJs in his attempt to make the elves so cool, drained them of all the personality Tolkien gave them. I LOVE Legolas in the books, but the film Legolas does absolutely nothing for me. I've heard people try to argue that he doesn't have much personality in the books either--no way! Legolas is a bit less vocal than some of the others, yeah, but that's because he's a bit more soft-spoken and quiet than some elves. In fact, Tolkien tells us, as he sings near the waters of Nimrodel, that he sings in a voice so soft as "hardly to be heard amid the the rustle of the leaves." But he's also very much an elf in that he's very playful--the line about fetching the sun is a good example, the amusing scenario he describes on piecing together Merry and Pippin's escape from the orcs near Fanghorn is another--and he's also very cheerful. He remains in good spirits and un-distressed even when the rest of the fellowship starts to dispair. That's a very ethereal and elven element that is missing from all the elves in the films. They are just SO GRIM and stuck up, or grim and freaky, like Galadriel by her pool. PJ either didn't pick up on, or just plain ignored that elves laugh all the time--even Galdriel laughs several times at the irony of Frodo testing her with the ring. As an elf, she sees the humor in this, even though she feels the gravity of it as well. Glorfindel is described as "full of joy," and other elves like Gildor tease Frodo and the other hobbits mercilessly, but can shift to becoming very serious if the situation calls for it. Even though elves can be grim, Tolkien wrote them with this sort of beyond-human-woe etheral quality, which I think would have translated beautifully on film. A less constipated, playful Legolas would have been much more interesting, and would have given the character something significant to do. Eh, my opinion anyway.

[ 12-08-2003, 10:28 PM: Message edited by: Archer ]

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Roll of Honor Lillianna
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Also, why was Háma portrayed as fat? Or was he just stocky? He could have been a sexy beast....
lol j/k... []

But I agree with the Legolas/Uruk-Hai-that-can't-die......he could have hit it right in the throat...it was close enough....maybe the angle was weird, but still....yeah, he did look scared. When is an elf scared? (Especially with so many "backups" that Legolas had with Haldir and the whole elven troops there) Speaking of which.....Legolas was supposed to be the only elf at Helm's Deep, giving him a depth of urgency and regret in his own race that was not portrayed in the movie. Sure, I admit, it was cool seeing the elves there(except when that one fell of the wall screaming like a girl. [] ) but they weren't supposed to be there for a reason....

Another rant:

Why the HECK is Haldir chubby? (*will get Haldir lovers after her*) He could have played a hobbit or something.... []

*note: I have had a bad night....this has really helped me vent...thanks WGW*

edit: Thanks Archer...I'm glad we agree...I indeed love Legolas in the books...and yes, the elves in the book seem to have much more joy, even though they are very aware of the pain they have experienced. In the movie, they don't have that other side - they are like...machines almost....Legolas does betray some emotion in TTT when Aragorn is presumed to be dead [] , but again this is a sorrowful emotion....his teasing, good natured, fun side rarely comes out. It came out a bit in the extended parts.....I LOVED that part with him and Gimli at the end of Helm's Deep - Legolas actually had a personality then....he was joking around....sheesh...is it so hard?

[ 12-08-2003, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: Lillianna ]

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Roll of Honor Aoife
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I am so glad WGW made this thread!

The whole "elves at Helm's Deep" thing enrages me. The whole point is that the elves would NOT come to Helm's deep and help fight. MEN have to figure their way out of this one. In the movie, the elves become a quasi-Deus ex Machina because the men are too stupid to realize their plan won't work. PLEASE. Helm's Deep was not a trap. It was a stronghold. ARGH. And why was Theoden such a complete loser? He was a tired man in the book, but he WAS NOT a senile old idiot.

And Phillippa's explanation of the change in Faramir's character is ridiculous. Even my husband, who read the Two Towers only one time, could not help yelling at the TV when I was watching that extra.

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White Gold Wielder
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Let me make a first point and then I'll make a second if the first is generally accepted.

As far as writing work, what percentage was done by each of the three stooges? Would it be fair to say that PJ / Philippa / Fran had a 20/40/40 split over the screenplay? Should we give PJ 25%?

Isn't it true that Philippa / Fran did most of the actual writing / plot decisions? Of course PJ supposedly had "approval", but the creative process wasn't dominated by him.

Does everyone agree this is plausable?

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Roll of Honor Snaga
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While we are at it, Sam completely irks me. I'm sorry, but this guy is one second rate actor. Whenever he opens his mouth I feel like I am watching a high school play actor. His only good line was "I'm his gardner." On top of that add all the drippy speeches - aghhhhh! Talk about ramming it down our throats. I know it's weak, but hey, this is our space to rant!

Gimli - alas, poor Gimli. We only got a small taste of the real Gimli in the FotR extended cut where he talks about his gift from Galadriel. I can't even begin to address the complete slaughtering of this character into the most base form of comic relief. The belch with Theoden was simply too much. It was a disgusting insult to Tolkien and not funny at all - it was pathetic and cheap.

An even weaker point to complain about, but why the heck couldn't Galadriel have given Sam his box! I don't care if they never got to it later, but come on. Give us something!

I wish I would have posted it, but when I saw the very first trailer years ago I said, "Legolas is going to be it for the teenage girls." Sadly he is nothing else beyond this - a poster boy for the paying pubescent movie going females of the world. Orlando is living proof we can have ditzy boys in this world.

Another point that I am more serious about - Narsil/Andruil and the last alliance. The wonderful sword of Tolkien was reduced to "The sword that was broken and got off a lucky shot." We saw none of the glory or power of Elendil and Gil-galad - it would have been so easy to add - 15 seconds maybe.

Edit: Yes, WGW, it sounds right to me. It sounds like PJ was much more involved in the 2 movie version (God, can you imagine what horrors there were in those two films) and Fran and "what's her face" did most of the work in filling it out to 3 movies. Still, I wonder if the "weakness of Aragorn, Faramir and all men" was in the original 2 movie screen play. I wonder how we could find out about that? I'm betting it was.

[ 12-08-2003, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: Snaga ]

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Gollum the great
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quote:
Gollum,
We've been through this before and I'm going to totally ignore any more of your insecure and unfounded accusations. If anyone can here can explain to me how my annoyance with PJ/Boyens/NewLine/whoever's decision to add Arwen to the Ford scene is a direct assault on Liv, then I'll gladly make the adequate corrections.

Ok
quote:
Since Liv Tyler has greater celebrity-power than Elijah Wood, she had to be promoted to the general film-going public , most of whom don't give one little whit about Tolkien-- in a way that would make her look totally awesome , which in turn left them nowhere to go with Frodo's character but down.
Forgive me if I'm wrong but you seem to be implying that it was the casting of Liv that led to the change in Arwen's character.

[ 12-08-2003, 11:16 PM: Message edited by: Gollum the great ]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
...What we came to realise was that you don't have to put a sword in her hands to make her strong. And where we've come to now is all these true elements of who Arwen is. I mean this is an incredibley powerful and fearless woman filled with so much hope and belief and that is strong enough. ~ Liv Tyler (Arwen)
A proud member of H.A.A.H.A.A.

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White Gold Wielder
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Yes, one of their major mistakes was converting the two-script into a three-script instead of starting over, especially since the creative dynamic changed.

Which leads me to my second point I mentioned above. I want to phrase this carefully since I am stepping over a landmine issue here.

Do you think the film versions were hurt because the majority of the script was written by two women? Let me just say that I know being a woman has nothing to do with their skill as writers. It's just that there are differences between men and women, as the Ents would testify to. I am just afraid that these differences affected how Tolkien's work was interpreted and perhaps had a hand in some of the changes.

And not to say that another pair of women couldn't do a better job than these two. It's just that I get a sense of the kind of person Philippa is from here interviews (as I said before) and I can see how a person like her could get on her ATV and do donuts in the delicate garden that is Tolkien's writing.

Perhaps there is too much emphasis put on the female perspective of the story so that the male (and more central) perspective suffers. I don't mean that there wasn't enough fighting or any other male stereotype like that. I feel that the women who wrote the majority of the scripts did not "get" the character of Aragorn (and many others) simply because the subtle male characteristics escaped them.

Aragorn is much more than simply the "hero". He is a king of men and there is a subtlety to his leadership portrayed in the books that men instinctively respond to when reading. Perhaps they will give us a taste of that in RotK, but it has been entirely missing so far.

Again, this isn't to say that other women couldn't have understood this and made sure it was felt in the films. I just feel that just as men can never truly understand the female perspective, women can never know what it is to be a man. It takes a man/woman of humility and grace to come close to understanding the opposite sex and Philippa doesn't have it. This changed the balance from male to female perspective and changed the dynamic of the story.

Now hopefully anyone responding to these comments will not make me look bad and make some stupid generalization about women. This is a delicate enough point to make without some immature dude screwing it up. []

Edit:
Gollum the Great:
quote:
Forgive me if I'm wrong but you seem to be implying that it was the casting of Liv that led to the change in Arwen's character.
But no one is implying that this was Liv's direct fault. Again, this was a writing issue.
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Archer
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quote:
Forgive me if I'm wrong but you seem to be implying that it was the casting of Liv that led to the change in Arwen's character
. . .and this is a direct attack on Liv how?
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Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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WGW has a point there, but I'd say it's not so much the specific fact that they are female, as much as that they're trying to make the films accessible to the mass market. There lies the problem. Someone had the idea that a film focusing on the idea of male camaraderie and fellowship could alienate half their potential viewers. So we get sappy Arwen scenes. (Note: I *like* Arwen. I can even put up with her replacing Glorfindel, just about. But the Aragorn dream sequencing was too much.)

I can't believe what PJ's done with the movies. Sure, they're good movies, but they're *not* Tolkien's LotR! And we have enough time for random warg/cliff scenes, and the aforementioned dream stuff, but not for things that are actually in the book?! Honestly, they could have done a better job.

And Helm's Deep. Why did they kill Haldir? It was completely unncessary! Served no plot development whatsoever. Not to mention that going by the films, the 'Last Alliance of Elves and Men' actually should have been called the Penultimate Alliance?

There's so much more I could rant about, but thanks for this thread, WGW.

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CRAM it
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quote:
Gimli - alas, poor Gimli. We only got a small taste of the real Gimli in the FotR extended cut where he talks about his gift from Galadriel.
Snaga - Yes, that was a lovely scene and it was one of my favourites in FoTR EE. It showed the potential of the development of Gimli in the movie. It's a pity because I think John Rhys-Davies is a fantastic actor and I feel his talents were wasted. He could of handled giving a performance of a complex Gimli.

WGW - Interesting point. I never thought of that. Because two women were involved in the screenplay, there are a number of issues that I thought were very well handled ie. Aragorn and Arwen's relationship. I think Aragorn's dream sequence was very well done and the Elrond and Arwen scene was absolutely amazing (totally took my breath away). I don't know if men would of paid too much attention to this detail to the relationship. To me the scenes have a certain gentle touch that I would associate with a woman's sensibilities.

[ 12-09-2003, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: CRAM it ]

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White Gold Wielder
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quote:
WGW has a point there, but I'd say it's not so much the specific fact that they are female, as much as that they're trying to make the films accessible to the mass market. There lies the problem. Someone had the idea that a film focusing on the idea of male camaraderie and fellowship could alienate half their potential viewers. So we get sappy Arwen scenes. (Note: I *like* Arwen. I can even put up with her replacing Glorfindel, just about. But the Aragorn dream sequencing was too much.)
You are right that this was also a big factor in why things were changed so drastically. I bet some female Tolkien fans are insulted by the fact that the female roles were artificially increased. Was Philippa saying that the original female roles were puny or that modern female audience members couldn't appreciate the subtle power of the original female characters? Either idea is flawed.

Ah, but somewhere in the back of my head I hear Philippa snidely screeching, "but that wouldn't have worked on film...". Bull. It's only because her hack screenwriting team couldn't wasn't up to the challenge.

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Roll of Honor Aikanáro
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True, the fact that 'it can't be adapted well' seems to be their excuse for everything.

You raise an interesting point about female roles, though. I consider myself a feminist, but I've never viewed Tolkien's work as sexist in any way. On the contrary, it is full of strong female characters. Just because the story isn't directly about them, that doesn't mean they aren't there.

What the film makers don't seem to have considered enough is the society in which LotR was set. Women in such a culture weren't warriors and leaders, but wives and mothers. The whole Éowyn/Derhelm scenario shows a very progressive view from Tolkien, and is not one that needs to be altered by having Arwen, Ioreth, Rosie Cotton, or any other randomly-chosen female character upstaging the male characters in the name of feminism. Interesting storyline? Perhaps. But not Tolkien. And certainly not true to the spirit of his literature.

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quote:
On the contrary, it is full of strong female characters. Just because the story isn't directly about them, that doesn't mean they aren't there.
Beautiful. Exactly what I was trying to get across. [] And if we think back on other Tolkien literature, what about Luthien? Indeed, she is the heroine of that story and certainly one of the strongest characters Tolkien ever created regardless of whether they were male or female. I wonder if either of the screenwriters have read the Silmarillion thoroughly.
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