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Minas Tirith Forums » New Line Cinema's Lord of the Rings » Tolkien = Hero, Jackon = antihero?
Author Topic: Tolkien = Hero, Jackon = antihero?
The White Hand
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This pertains to my other thread on material changes to the story, but I thought this deserved a discussion of its own since it hit dead-on IMHO.

I was reading about literature, and came across this article: :

In fiction, an antihero (sometimes antiheroine as feminine) is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero, and is in some instances its antithesis. Some consider the word's meaning to be sufficiently broad as to additionally encompass the antagonist, who (in contrast to the archetypal villain), elicits considerable sympathy or admiration. The term dates to 1714,although literary criticism identifies the trope in earlier literature.
Here's where I think it really hits home:

Distinction from unlikely heroes
The traditional hero type is classically depicted to possess an image that is larger than life. They are generally expected to be more physically attractive, stronger, braver, more clever or charismatic than the average everyman. Unlikely heroes are simply characters who may not be conspicuously flawed, but simply ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

In the book, the hobbits would be unlikely heroes, while the men would be a traditional heroes. However this is where Jackson makes a singing telegram of it:


In popular culture
Many modern antiheroes possess, or even encapsulate, the postmodern rejection of traditional values symptomatic of Modernist literature in general, as well as the disillusion felt after World War II and the Nuclear Age. The continuing popularity of the antihero in modern literature and popular culture may be based on the recognition that a person is fraught with human frailties, unlike the archetypes of the white-hatted cowboy and the noble warrior, and is therefore more accessible to readers and viewers. This popularity may also be symptomatic of the rejection by the avant-garde of traditional values after the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s.

In the postmodern era, traditionally defined heroic qualities, akin to the classic "knight in shining armor" type, have given way to the "gritty truth" of life, and authority in general is being questioned. The brooding vigilante or "noble criminal" archetype, seen in characters like the Punisher or Dirty Harry, is slowly becoming part of the popular conception of heroic valor rather than being characteristics that are deemed un-heroic.

This pretty says it all for me, since Jackson seemed to be trying to "Shrekify" the story in every way, image and word: I think that having Arwen (edit: and Eowyn) pull a "Fiona" was telling in itself, not to mention Aragorn's becoming a brooding whiner who doesn't want his duty- and who chops off the Mouth of Sauron's head without warning in a parley of truce with an ambassador: all quite unheroic indeed. Everyone becomes pretty much the opposite of the book, becoming cynical and ambiguous.

While this might be popular culture, it's still the ultimate betrayal- and the ultimate arrogance for Jackson to plagiarize the story by reversing the message dead-opposite of the author's intent, while all the while swearing truth to it all along. It's like watching "Deliverance" at the same time that Bill Clinton says "Let me tell you one thing; I did [i]not (etc).." i.e. he's raping the story, while swearing to you straight-faced that he isn't.
And as Theoden said to Saruman, "even if you were ten times as wise, still you would not have the right to do as you wish with me and mine." But Jackson's not wise IMHO, he's just a legend in his own mind, who confuses smug arrogance for superior intellect; and so he thinks he can do no wrong (i.e. "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing," and he has as little as one can get).
What do you think?

[ 12-07-2010, 12:59 AM: Message edited by: The White Hand ]

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