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Tolkien film

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  • Tolkien film

    One of the things I always disliked about the Tolkien books is how lame the climax is! 1000+ pages and the damn ring goes in the cracks because Gollum stumbles! Also, although a Christian, Tolkien doesnt allow Gollum redemption. More interesting endings would have been, Gollum perceives his own evil and jumps in with the ring, or, better, throws it in and is taken back to the Shire and becomes a hobbit again. The filmmakers seem to have agreed with me that the climax is weak - they changed it.
    The ending of the film is full of what looks like repressed gay feeling of Frodo for Sam! One thing I do like - Eowyn, the only decent female character, pulls off her helmet to reveal her gender, no man can kill the Witch King,but shes a woman. That has a nice mythological ring, no pun intended,with parallels in Greek and Hindu mythology.
    Right, sorry for using your website to discuss something youve decried again and again,but now its off my chest. Looking forward to the Simonson / Moorcock graphic series.
    All best Alan

  • #2
    Why cant 2 guys be real good buds without there being some kind of repressed gay feelings?

    Comment


    • #3
      RotK

      Alan:

      I completely agree with you on this. I never read the full trilogy, so I went into the film not knowing how it would end. When Frodo is standing there over the lava and he can't drop the ring, I figured Sam would realize that the only way he was going to do it is if he (Sam) made him do it. I figured he'd tackle him, they'd both fall into the lava, and sacrifice themselves to destroy the ring. That would have worked.

      Then when Gollum jumps on Frodo's back, I'm figuring "OK, now Sam will tackle the TWO of them, and all three of them will die destroying the ring." That would have worked too.

      But what do we get? Poor ol' Gollum, the only character I felt any connection to in the whole trilogy, is the only one who dies! And, as you said, he's given no redemption whatsoever!

      Before the RotK came out, I know I heard the actors talking about the great "sacrifice" the characters make to destroy the ring. What sacrifice?! Did I miss it? The only sacrifice as far as I could see was that Frodo has to leave the shire at the end. Oh, boo hoo! I had no idea growing up was a "sacrifice."

      My major problem with the entire sequence was that it seems there was no consequence at all to the events. I mean, I can sum it up in two words: Nobody Dies.

      As I said, I was frankly amazed that Frodo and Sam both survived this story. But, of course, everybody survives it. The only "good" character that dies is that one king (I forget his name). To me, that seemed like a "red shirt" dying on Star Trek. Nonsense.

      Even Farimir (or is it Borimir?) lives. He shows up at the city gates, full of arrows and having been dragged by his horse for who knows how many miles, his head bashing against the ground the whole way, and there he is at the end, smiling as if nothing happened!

      The ending of this trilogy may as well have been "It was all a dream." Just awful.

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      • #4
        I have to agree with all of you. I haven't seen the movie, but did Gollum end up biting Frodo's finger off (as in the book)?
        When they had advanced together to meet on common
        ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
        and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
        each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
        mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
        killing, and the ground ran with blood.

        Homer, The Illiad

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        • #5
          Originally posted by VonWeiner
          I have to agree with all of you. I haven't seen the movie, but did Gollum end up biting Frodo's finger off (as in the book)?
          Yes, he did. Maybe that was the great sacrifice that I missed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Theoden King. He's the one that is killed by the Witch-King.

            I agree with all of you. In fact that is one of the problems I have with alot of popular fiction, whether it be in the form of a fantasy epic or an action movie; on film or in text. The good guys win, the bad guys die. The story ends with all the good guys happy and life goes on as normal.

            Let's see here...through all of LotR I can only think of three "good guys" (with names) who actually die: Baromir (killed by the Uruk's at the end of Fellowship), Theodred (Theoden's son, who is killed by Uruk's during a skirmish at Isen Crossing), and Theoden (killed by the witch-king). In the movie one other with a name dies; Haldir of Lorien (the elf killed at Helm's Deep). Of course the only Haldir I've found in Tolkien's history is one that lived during the first or second age (can't remember) long before the War of the Ring. As far as Baromir is concerned, one could argue that he was killed because he was no longer really a "Good guy" as he'd been corrupted by the Ring.
            "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
            --Thomas a Kempis

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            • #7
              Yeah, but Boramir Dies while trying to protect Merry and Pippin.

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              • #8
                Just so. His death is portrayed as a noble sacrifice...though it can hardly be confused for some great sacrifice at the end of RotK.
                "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                --Thomas a Kempis

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                • #9
                  This is true.

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                  • #10
                    Tolkien considered he was writing modern fairy tales -- not myths. He often expressed his belief in the happy ending and so forth. My argument was always that he had a right to do whatever he liked, but that LOTR lacked the resonances of mythology, which was my original inspiration, for instance -- Ragnarok. You could argue that tragedy is the essence of real mythology. We have to acknowledge the fact of death.
                    I'm not sure Tolkien does that, partly because he was of his own culture, which sentimentalised the sacrifices of the First World War. I don't blame anyone for doing it, but I would not argue that these sentimentalties were the stuff of serious literature. I'd say try compare Hardy to Tolkien, for instance, and see what seems to reflect reality best. And I don't much enjoy Hardy.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                      You could argue that tragedy is the essence of real mythology. We have to acknowledge the fact of death.

                      I have been saying something like this for years. I am a big fan of greek/roman literature. A lot of the stories I have read are tragedies and I have often wondered why you don't see more films of this kind.

                      The only modern tragedy I can think of immediately is Requiem for a Dream. It was powerful, it left an impression in your mind. Schindler's List ends sadly, but that is more historical in its tragedy, I think (still very moving).

                      I have always wanted to see more "tragedy" on film. I want that feeling I had the first time I read Oedipus, when the King is searching for the answers to his lineage and the seer (Teiresias) begs him to inquire no further, but the King is not satified. He continues to dig into the past, only to be confronted by a horrible truth (I won't spoil it for anyone!). There is a feeling of dread I had when I read it, and Sophocles, even in translation, makes this doom hanging over Oedipus palpable. As I turned the pages I kept saying, "Oh man, he's gonna be sorry...".

                      I want that feeling at a movie. Not just for a moment - when there is something lurking in a corner or when the guy finds his wife missing, and then the thing in the corner is killed or the guy's wife is ok. I want it to end on a sour note. Sometimes. Happy endings are fine, but make me sad too.

                      I have had this complaint about Steven King's work sometimes. Everyone walks off into the sunset...
                      When they had advanced together to meet on common
                      ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                      and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                      each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                      mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                      killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                      Homer, The Illiad

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        By the way, have any of you read the Silmarillion by Tolkien? It describes in a mythological way, the birth of the world, and the events that took place in the first age, mainly the time when elves ruled Middle Earth.

                        Even though it has sort of a happy ending too, the deaths of "good guys" are numerous. The book centres on the tragedy of the elves, of the strifes between them and "the endless tears they have shed since leaving Valinor and going to middle earth to recover the Silmarils". So he was not ONLY writing books that seemed as fairy tales where nobody died.

                        Thus if you liked Tolkien's books and didnt like hobbits and stuff, i definately recommend to you "The Silmarillion".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The one thing I have to say about the Silmarillion is that it reads exactly as though it were what Tolkein intended...a mythology. It reads very much like a religious text or an old fable.

                          That being said, I want to go on to say that I think Tolkein was partially sucessfull (at least) with the text. It fulfilled his desire to produce a new mythology. I'm not saying that I think it necessarily a great mythology; just that see suceeded to some extant.

                          It is true that a number of the good guys die throughout the course of the stories within the book. But that doesn't change the fact that in LotR we are faced with the most desperate war apparently ever fought in Middle Earth and there are no bad consequences for man!! The elves leave...the hobbits continue their peaceful lives (now under the protection of King Elesar) and men are united in a new peace. Of the cheif characters the ones to really pay any price what-so-ever are Frodo and Gandalf. Oh no! *gasp* Gandalf, being a ring-bearer and an Istari whose purpose is fulfilled, is "forced" to go the paradise in the west. And Frodo chooses to go as he feels he has no more place in Middle Earth. Those are hardly sacrifices! What, is Frodo's loss of a single finger (it wasn't even on his dominant hand!) the great sacrifice everyone talks about?

                          As for the other members of the Fellowship (excluding Baromir): Legolas and Gimli travel together for many years then both take the last boat to the west (years after the boat that took Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo..); Merry (if memory serves) becomes the head guardian of the shire and a sort of high-sherrif; Pippin becomes the "Grand Took" and the ruler of the Shire; Sam lives to an old old age fathering many children and is elected the mayor of Hobbiton over and over again--I can't remember now whether he eventually dies of old age, or leaves with Legolas and Gimli on the last boat; Aragorn, of course, becomes King Elesar of Gondor and marries his life-long love, Arwen, and lives to the ripe old age of 230 or thereabouts. Of the other characters: Eomer of the Rohirrim becomes king of Rohan; his sister Eowyn falls in love with and marries Faromir who continues to serve Aragorn in Gondor...um...I really can't think of any others right now.

                          To be fair, we can't say Tolkein was the only one. The many who have followed in his footsteps have followed much the same pattern. Even one of my favourites (besides Mr. Moorcock), Tad Williams is guilty of this to some extant. I must say though that there are more sacfrifices made throughout Williams's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series than in LotR and those sacrifices are much more poignant. And really we can't place blame on these author's shoulders (including) Tolkein for writting the happy ending. I agree with Mr. M that the happy ending doesn't really fit in all that well with the idea of creating a mythology; but, besides Tolkein, I can't think of any authors I've read that are trying to create a mythology. Most are simply trying to tell a tale for the sake of entertainment. They know that the majority of people--or at least the majority of Americans--prefer the happy ending. Look at it! The readers today are people who grew up with Mickey Mouse in all of his annoyance. Disney in one of the cheif suppliers of the happy ending and they've proven that it sells and sells well. People generally want to see the happy ending because it makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

                          I've rambled enough for now. :roll:
                          "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                          --Thomas a Kempis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've read it (Silmarillion). I have a first edition (and first editions of the LOTR with maps). I liked it but it took a while to get into. It reads like the bible.

                            It does "fill in the blanks", by givng a history to support the LOTR.
                            When they had advanced together to meet on common
                            ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                            and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                            each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                            mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                            killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                            Homer, The Illiad

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just once I would like to read a story, get into it, really see the story through the eyes of the main character, empathise with them, and then, halfway through, WHAM, character dies. I don't mean the main character's love interest, I mean the main character, the hero. While I can certainly undersatnd why stories are not laid out that way, I think the implicit knowledge that the "good guy" is going to be on a boat sailing in the South Pacific at the end takes something away from even the best of stories. I think it takes a good writer to have the fairy tale ending be a satisfying surprise. King has done that on occasion (It, The Stand, Bag o' Bones) and also failed miserably at it (everything else???)

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