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My Thoughts on the Lord of the Rings A place to talk about this classic >^.^<

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Mdnight Falling, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. We've been talking about LotR for awhile now where it doesn't go LOL So here's a place for all your thoughts on the books, games, movies and whatever else LotR has that I'm clueless about LMAO!

    Anyway, I finally watched the final movie tonight... I was kind of disappointed. Don't get me wrong, all three movies are great and The Return of the King is probably my favorite of the three... Gandalf is just EPIC with that staff and sword LOL, BUT... I was always told how Gandalf was this great and powerful wizard... Yet there was no magic used by him at ALL in the movie.. In fact, he hardly used magic at all in the entire trilogy... Perhaps my views of wizards are wrong, I don't know.

    I did find the destruction of the ring predictable. Gollum's a tough little freak and it was just obvious that 1)He'd go off the edge with the ring, and 2)that Frodo would hesitate.. I'm not a fan the predictable x.x

    I did enjoy and even tear up a bit at the ending when Frodo tells Sam and the others what he was rewarded, but that too was sort of predictable since there was no cure for the stab wound he'd gotten three-three and a half years before this scene. So if he didn't go he'd have died... It still a very emotional scene even if it was predictable >.<

    My favorite character from the movie is Pippen... That little fraidy cat showed alot of bravado by the end of the saga... So did Sam.. I'm not sure that put through the trials with my best friend that Sam was put through with Frodo, if I could still be there willing to die with that friend lol

    Hobbits are at this moment my new favorite fantasy thing.. They seem to be made of tougher stuff then most other races LOL

    And the way Gimli and Legolas were set up.. It was good, just when I was getting into that serious battle mode, Legolas brings down one of the huge elephants and Gimli, ever the competitive dwarf tells him it only counts as one kill LOL! I loved it

    All in all... I loved the movies and I can't wait to finish the books.. It's always been my experience that books are always better then movies.. so since I love the movies, I'm sure The Lord of the Rings trilogy will be set aside with the other books I read over and over >^.^<
     
  2. Grrr...I hated the movies. I hated Gimli and his lame attempts at humour, I hated Legolas using a shield as a skateboard, and I especially hated Bilbo dropping the Ring on the floor of Bag End as he left - that made absolutely no sense whatsoever. There are numerous other things which not only got my goat but strangled it too, but I'll pass over them. Suffice to say I won't be watching them again.

    As for reading the books over and over, Falling, I don't know anyone who has read them who doesn't pull them from the shelf every year or two and start them anew. They seem to have a read-again factor a lot of other books are missing.:)
     
  3. I agree with you Dusk at the "changes" they made in the movies from the books. However I did enjoy watching Legolas using the shield as a skateboard LOL Then again Legolas is smexy >.> anyway, I have finished the books yet LOL I've only ever read the Fellowship of the Ring. Now I have The Hobbit and The Two Towers, I just haven't read them yet x.x! I for one will watch the movies again. I did like them even if they stray away from the way the actual story was told. Then again I like movies so yeah x.x! Plus my four year old is no obessessed with them as she put it last night "This is a fantastic movie! It's EPIC!" e.e
     
  4. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    I would put the movies as no better than acceptable. There is just too much in them that has been changed, omitted, or stylized for the screen. I think that they are probably about as faithful to the books as is likely to happen in Hollywood, but it's still a poor substitute for actually reading the book. Number one thing that pissed me off about those movies: Refusing to give Liv Tyler the bit part Arwen is supposed to be. She's in like 2 scenes in the book, but noooo, we can't give her a part that small even though she can't act to save her life. And it's not enough that we replace Glorfindel with her, let's add subplots that would have Tolkien spinning in his grave to give her even more screen time! Grrr....
     
  5. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Hooooo boy! Here we go. I could talk about Tolkien all day (and have, several times) but I'll try to keep this a bit more brief.

    I loved the movies. I also went in to them keeping my hopes low, being that I am such a massive Tolkien fan. I had been following them throughout their production (as much as I follow any movie, which admittedly isn't much) and I was also very aware that certain changes had to be made to bring them to the big screen. On the whole, those changes were easy to ignore. Even folding the character of Glorfindel and some of the other rangers all into Arwen was... understandable.

    The only change that I really couldn't stand was when they had Faramir succumb to the power of the ring. In the books, he resists that temptation - and it shows just how freaking awesome Faramir is. They changed it because they didn't want to 'cheapen' the power of the ring by letting some human escape, but by that point in the story the Ring's power is already made clear. We need to get to know Faramir. And Faramir. Is. A Badass. They cheapened that.

    Le Sigh.

    Gimli and Legolas are another matter. My good friend once said that 'the best parts of the movies are everything Gimli says and everything Legolas does.' To a certain extent, sure. But it was designed that way. It smacks of blockbuster moviemaking. Wrong feel for Lord of the Rings. Legolas's action sequences are sometimes so over-the-top that I got bored. Ironic, eh? Gimli also is used a little too often for comic relief, which is also very ironic being that he is a dwarf. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Tolkien started the dour dwarf thing. On the other hand, I thought the whole bit with 'nobody tosses a dwarf' was hilarious...

    Also, I agree with Dusk that the shield-as-a-skateboard bit was horrible. Off the top of my head, it is probably my least favorite bit about the movies.

    Lastly, on the sort of a carry-over topic that Donny and I sparked: magic and wizards and Gandalf. I don't see how you can say Gandalf never used any magic. It's just less flashy than you might see in other movies. When he chases off the Nazgul who are terrorizing the soldiers fleeing Osgiliath, that big beam of light he shines on them? That's magic. Whether or not you still consider Gandalf a great-and-powerful wizard may depend on other things, but he does use magic.

    Magic in Tolkien is an exceedingly complicated subject, and I actually think that if we get into it too far it should have its own thread. :) Galadriel remarks upon it at one point in the books, though I can't remember if the movies had that scene. One of the Hobbits asks to see magic, or for something magical, and Galadriel is confused at what they mean. For the Elves, things like cloaks that keep you hidden and blades that glow blue in the presence of their enemies are not magic. They are craft. The line blurs, obviously. Same with willpower. Aragorn wrests the use of the Palantir away from Sauron, through sheer force of will. I'd call that at least a little magical, as even Gandalf arguably could not have done it.

    Heh, I'll stop there. For now!
     
  6. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    In my opinion the movies were really good, when I keep in mind they are movie adaptations of the books not the books themselves. The changes Peter Jackson made, many of which I disagree with, made the movies successful.

    Also as to Gandalf, he is not a Wizard in the traditional sense of the word, he is not even a Man. He is one of the Maiar, a sort of lesser angelic being (other Maiar include the other Istari {Wizards}, the Balrog, and Sauron) and indeed he refrained from using his power in the fight against Sauron. If he had wanted to he could have defeated Sauron by himself, however that was not why he was sent to Middle-earth. Manwe the leader of the Valar, greater angelic beings, sent the five Istari to be guides and advisers, not as warriors. Gandalf was the only one who remained true to that charge.
     
  7. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    It is true that the Istari were meant to fight Sauron mostly through being leaders and counselors, and that is a large reason why you don't see Gandalf throwing magic around. However, Gandalf could not have defeated Sauron himself. He mentions (after becoming Gandalf the White) that the Dark Lord is more 'dangerous' than he is. As far as I know, Sauron was the most powerful Maia Tolkien wrote of.
     
  8. in the THIRD movie Tel... Gandalf used NOT one bit of magic.. I wrote this thread not even two minutes after turning my DVD player off from watching The Return of the King.. I didn't say he didn't use magic in any of the movies.. I said in the THIRD movie he used NONE. Go watch it if you don't believe me. Not once in Return of the King was magic used by Gandalf the White. I did note every use of magic and the elves used it quite a bit.. especially in the gifts they gave the party... I wonder why they left out all the gifts they gave... Like the lock of hair that was given to Gimli. I guess it was too minor a part to matter for the movie, but it was a sentimental moment in the book x.x! mind you reading wise, I've still only read The Fellowship of the Ring LOL
     
  9. Abomination

    Abomination Dreamer

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    Ah, Lord of the Rings...I could also go on forever about it...but I wont...I'll try
    First of all, let me say that I actually love watching the movies. They seem to capture the feeling of the books in many places, and I don't mind all the inaccuracies.
    That being said...

    1. Having elves at Helms Deep cheapened it. It basically said, "Hey, humans are too weak to defend themselves, they can only win with elves at their side." It cheapened the valor of the Rohirrim.

    2. Legolas was castrated. Totally castrated. They wiped out all of his awesome, insightful lines and stuck a few ridiculously pointless words in his mouth. He was pretty much there to look at. I'm not going to lie, he's nice to look at. But since I don't generally go for the pretty-but-dumb types, I couldn't really appreciate this in the movie.

    3. Frodo. Oh Frodo. I've heard people complain that--in the books and the movies--he has no character, that he's basically just a vessel for the ring. For the most part this is true (I mean, who's favorite character is Frodo?) However, in the book, the change that comes over him in Mordor because of the ring, particularly in his interactions with Gollum is totally badass. He didn't decide to skip about holding hands with Gollum, I mean what was that? What? Really? Really? In the book Frodo was not so stupid as to take Gollum's word against Sam's or trust Gollum even a little bit. It wasn't even believable in the movie.

    I could go on forever, but life calls...for now...
     
  10. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    @Abomination - All good points. Especially the last. Frodo essentially has no character besides being a vessel for the ring. I mean, what does anyone actually know about him? Tolkien doesn't really describe too many characters, so I don't mean physically. You get a little blurb of back story about why he lives with Bilbo, and that he wants to be like Bilbo, and that's about it. No real hopes, dreams, loves, hates, etc. Even before the ring really turns him into the bland lifeless husk he becomes in Mordor. Sure, he says he loves Sam & company, but I didn't really mean people, although I find the total lack of any interest in hobbit women to be strange too.

    It's supposed to be a big sacrifice to take the ring on yourself and take it to Mordor to destroy it. Aside from psychological damage and the loss of his finger, Frodo doesn't seem to lose much. Tolkien doesn't tell us what he would be giving up to do this besides 'a peaceful life at Bag End' which is kind of generic, really.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02
     
  11. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    @ Midnight: My memory of when each movie begins and ends is fuzzy. I had thought that the scene I described (Gandalf chasing away the Nazgul who are attacking the Gondorians, who are fleeing Osgiliath) was in the Return of the King. I could very well be wrong.

    @ Abomination: I agree with the second two points. The Elves at helm's deep, though, didn't bother me. I actually saw it more as the Elves finally manning up and doing something.

    @ Donny: I think that, here, the 'psychological damage' is the key. The power of the One Ring over the mind is supposed to be a pretty huge thing. Kind of a permanent unrequited love combined with a major addiction (though arguably that's a bit redundant). Of course, given that Frodo gets to go to the Middle-Earth version of Heaven... yeah, maybe not that big of a deal.
     
  12. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    I preferred the movies, really. Lord of the Rings was less a narrative than it was an exploration of Middle Earth. While interesting, it does not make for a good story. None of the characters are unique, none of them are human, none of them are worth caring a damn about. The story is simple. It isn't about anything at all. It is an excuse to travel around a map he'd gotten and have people sing in a language he created. It's worth reading for the exploration of worldbuilding gone as far as can be sensibly accomplished by a single person (though I would say Austin Tappan Wright did it better in Islandia), but it just... never caught my interest. The narrative, if anything, made it worse. I didn't care at all about it. At least The Silmarillion was just a straight infodump, and The Hobbit came before he'd gotten too heavy into the worldbuilding aspect and could bog his stories down.

    The movies, I like. They are by far the best - and I use the term "best" here in an artistic sense - fantasy films ever made. The things lost were a necessity for the most part, both for the sake of narrative and for the sake of time. The movies are already far longer than many moviegoers will sit through, so to include everything would be quite the test of willpower. Besides, there are some scenes in the extras. So there's that. They cut out all that bloody singing and poetry, save one or two, which alone makes them right masterpieces. Jesus Christ. I hate the songs so much. I'd rather they were left to the appendices.

    Things I like about Tolkien... I like that this is a fantasy world that is just a fantasy world. It isn't a commentary on Soviet Russia, an allegory about the state of Renaissance Italy, a feminist dystopia. It's just fantasy. It is where he triumphs over his contemporary C.S. Lewis. Lewis' works are bogged down with Christian rubbish and Tolkien, while certainly very Christian and influenced by his beliefs, doesn't make Frodo a rather short Christ.
     
  13. Sezmo

    Sezmo Dreamer

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    You've found one. I loved parts of the books but I found other parts incredibly dull and a real struggle to plough through. I've never had the slightest urge to pick the books back up and re-read. The Hobbit I absolutely loved though and would happily re-read that.
     
  14. srg

    srg Scribe

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    I never finished FotR - I found the language to be very difficult and the book poorly-edited. I feel that the movies gave it the edit the book truly needed.

    That said, I'm going to try getting through it again sometime in the next year or two...going to start with the Hobbit first, however. Apparently that one is an easier read?
     
  15. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    Yes, it is. Also a nice little adventure in its own right, though not nearly the tale that the trilogy is.

    Though it does have the benefit of having a dragon.
     
  16. Digital_Fey

    Digital_Fey Troubadour

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    SMAUG! RAWR!

    Ahem. Apologies for the outburst :p The Hobbit was really fun, more of a fireside tale really. LoTR is a bit tricky to get into if you're not used to reading archaic mythology-style writing, but it's well worth it. IMO the movies didn't do justice to Tolkien's delicate prose and the subtlety of the writing.
     
  17. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Personally I prefer the Hobbit over the Lord of the Rings, but they are written in entirely different ways. The Hobbit is a children's fairy tale. LotR is an epic. The Silmarillion is a history text book, essentially.

    oh and by the way LotR is technically not a trilogy. Its a single novel consisting of six parts plus appendices commonly published in three volumes. Tolkien never intended for it to be published in three volumes, but his publisher felt he was taking to long to finish so the published parts one and two as the fellowship of the ring separately and continued with parts three and four as the two towers, and five, six, and the appendices as the return of the king. That's why in some sets of the books, the two towers and the return of the king start their page numberings where the previous novel left off.

    wow, i didn't mean to type that much but people calling LotR a trilogy is a pet peeve of mine.
     
  18. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    True, it was written as one story - but it was published in three books. Three books make a trilogy. :)
     
  19. Digital_Fey

    Digital_Fey Troubadour

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    I quite agree, Myrddin - although three books *is* technically a trilogy, the point is that Tolkien never intended it to be such. Unfortunately it seems to have created the common misconception that you can't write epic fantasy unless it's divided into three or more volumes >.>
     
  20. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Something I didn't know until quite recently in fact is that what we call a "trilogy" does not quite follow what the actual definition. To us a trilogy is any set of three books. According to Dictionary.com "a series or group of three plays, novels, operas, etc., that, although individually complete, are closely related in theme, sequence, or the like." Now in my opinion the three volumes of LotR are not individually complete, they each require the of the other two volumes. An actual trilogy would be the Sword of Shannara, Elfstones of Shannara, and Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks because while it is recommended; you can fully understand each book without reading the others.

    I also believed Lotr was a trilogy until I opened my uncle's copy which at the begining of the Fellowship as a Note on the Text. The first paragraph states: "The Lord of the Rings is often erroneously called a trilogy, when it is in fact a single novel, consisting of six books plus appendices, sometimes published in three volumes."
     
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