The LOTR Movie Site
February 2, 2000

The Movies in General

The way that I see Tolkien's work is that it is more than a story, more than a couple books. Tolkien takes us all back to when one of the old men of a tribe would sit everyone down in front of a campfire and spin magnificent tales, sagas of heroism, tragedy, and beauty. I don't think that any sort of film will ever manage to capture that feeling. I have nothing against films. I think that they can express a great deal of emotion, but in no way will a film ever be able to express the same emotions in the same way as they are expressed in "The Lord of the Rings".

What Tolkien laid out was a tale, something to read late at night while listening to soft music, or by the light of a fireplace, it was not something that could ever be conveyed through a theatre, with popcorn and gum stuck to the seats. "The Lord of the Rings" is great because it is a work of imagination, when people see pictures of the characters on the screen, they will not imagine those characters, they will accept what they have seen, and thus limit their perception of the movie to another's imagination, and the technical limitations of shooting a film.

I have read that Gandalf beard is going to be trimmed because it was too large and unwieldy. Would you get the same feeling watching the movie and seeing Gandalf with his small more realistic beard as reading the book, and visualizing magnificent whiskers extending down his chest? Would it be anywhere near the same feeling?

As for the whole Arwen controversy, I think that they are totally messing up who she is, and they are degrading her, not making her more of a woman's equality figure. In the books Arwen is gentle, beautiful, and wise, but she is above all not a combat figure. How would you react to Elrond taking up arms and going off to battle? Arwen is no more a warrior than Elrond is, she is another master of magic, of peace, of defense and building. This does not make her any less than any of the warriors that fought on the Pellenor Fields, she is merely different. She is a figure of beauty and peace, not of war.

On the Bombadil issue: it is perfectly understandable why he was cut from the films. He does not contribute to the plot at all, he does not advance the story, he just is, with no explanation, no real reason. Cutting him, however, is just cutting one more thing that was beautiful from "The Lord of the Rings". This is why the film format is unsuitable for the story, because things are going to be cut, and every time that something is cut or changed, the story is diminished from its original form. Tolkien himself revered the things that were older and truer in his writings. This movie will end up as the kingdom of Gondor in the shadow of Numenor, and would Gondor be even bothered with if one had Numenor?