The LOTR Movie Site
March 10, 2000

Arwen ... a Queen, Not a Princess
Derek Bessette

As anyone who read LOTR knows, the relationship between Aragorn and Arwen was only the third human-elf bonding the world had known (at least, the only three of import). In a larger context, Aragorn and Arwen represented the conclusion of the relationship between elves and men. Beren and Luthien, in my opinion, had by far the most important of the three relationships. But how does this all relate to the movies?

It doesn't. And that is the problem.

While I was incredibly happy to see that LOTR was being made into three movies, not one, I was still reticent about it being made without the Hobbit being made first. And all of this goes without taking the Silmarillion into consideration. I believe that most readers of LOTR peered into the appendices at the back of Return of the King and were pleasantly surprised by the additional stories it contained: The Goblin Wars, details on the romance of Aragorn and Arwen, histories concerning the kings of Rohan and Gondor. Always, within the LOTR and the appendices, was the sense of enormity, the feeling of deep, deep history, the occasional glimpse of what had come before. Within the Hobbit, it was mention of Gondolin when Elrond examined the swords from the trolls' lair. In LOTR, it was mention of Elbereth, Elendil, and Beren and Luthien.

In the movies, will this be done?

This brings me back to Arwen again. While I shudder to think of Arwen played as a 'rebellious teen warrior princess', I believe that some of the shock of this can be blunted if Mr. Jackson seeds the movie with Tolkien's sense of history. Arwen can relate this sense of history by interjecting musings on the land of the Valar, or even the choices made by Luthien and Idril. She can speak of the death of her mother, the pride she has in the long, good fight her father has fought, or the experiences she herself has had over the long years.

We must remember that Arwen was not a primary character in the story. Movie makers have always expanded upon characters, adding what was not in the books they base their works upon. If it must be so, let us hope that Mr. Jackson is prudent and wise, and does so with respect given to Professor Tolkien and his masterpiece.

I know that the movie must make a profit. But wouldn't you think that the popularity of the LOTR in book form would guarantee a faithful movie rendition making a huge profit? I suppose we can only wait and see. After all, no one said LOTR can't be made into movies again. And again. And again...