First of all, let me say that I believe this will be a
surpassingly excellent movie, one of the greatest movies of all time. I will certainly watch it as often and as long as I can,
and I eagerly await its release. (Actually, 'wait' is like the very worst term to describe
the agony of suspense Im going through until it comes out.)
However, Im afraid from what Ive heard that it wont
be The Lord of the Rings.
It may be roughly or more than roughly Tolkien-based,
but it still wont be a film rendering of the Lord of the Rings. This isnt so bad, actually, as I give a standing
ovation to anyone who makes a movie even moderately based on Tolkien. Three cheers for Peter Jackson! However, given that this film is being heavily described
as The Lord of the Rings Movie it seems to me that it would be best to actually stick to
the book. I suppose we each have our own
interpretation of LOTR, and our own little pet peeves of things wed like changed. (Mine? Well, we could at least have Gandalf use his
Elven ring of power once...and then theres that nonsense about Cirdans beard.) However, thats not really an excuse for departing
so directly from the story line...especially when so departing flies in the face of what
Tolkien has described, and adds a redundant character to the story line, to boot.
You see, we already have a warrior princess: Eowyn. MAN, Im glad shes in the book. :-) That
scene where she defies the Nazgul ...but no living man am I! You look upon a
woman... should have the entire bleachers on their feet. Im utterly confounded that Jackson even dreamed of
cutting Eowyns role.
Converting Arwen into just another Eowyn seriously
detracts from both of them. I mean, really,
if there were 6,000 Eowyns in the host of the Rohirrim, her actions would raise little
more than a tolerant yawn from most readers. Its
her uniqueness that makes her such a powerful character.
There really seems to be no reason to convert Arwen into an Eowyn to
enhance the roles of women or similar language.
Galadriel, Eowyn, Arwen...imagine what a dull book it would be without them.
Enhancing the role of Arwen to simply to make Arwen a deeper character is a different
story. I am all for an enhanced role of Arwen
as long as it sticks to Tokiens description. He
certainly provided plenty of material. You could
easily fill many many minutes with the whole Aragorn/Arwen romance, and make Arwen a much
more developed character. This would be
However, adding Arwen to the Nine or having her ride to Helms
deep.... shudder. Not what elf maidens do. Tolkien makes it abundantly clear that Arwen is a second
Luthien so to speak. And we all know Luthien
never even handled a sword, most likely, let alone riding incognito against the express
wishes of her parents to join human armies in hack and slash orc slaying expeditions. Please...not another Xena.
Thats just now what elves do, maidens or warriors. Only VERY rarely did elves ride out to battle or
adventures unless a very large group of elves was concerned. They didnt do that much solo adventuring. Others have already written about Elves and how they
viewed their fate. Generally, they accepted it. I think they would have been rather loathe to go against
what their destiny was, after seeing the horrible mess that Feanors rebellion got
them in to.
On a side not, look at
Galadriel. She and Feanor were the greatest of the Elves.
Obviously Galadriel was not simply told to stay at home and do sewing. She was held in high honor and esteem. However, she did not do ANY repeat ANY orc fighting. (Coincidentally, of all the great Elf-lords who led the
Noldor into MIddle-Earth, shes the only one who survived. All the others died.) Obviously,
its possible for a female elf to have a very significant role without any hack
and slash necessary.
On a very side note, someone else said, in a defence of Arwen riding
to Helms Deep, that Galadriel was very active physcially. I am not sure
what that comment was supposed to mean. Does it
mean she went out and got her exercise, and didnt travel everywhere in a litter? Or
is it supposed to mean she went out and knocked down the walls of Dol Goldur with a
I think that IF Arwen rode forth to be with Aragorn, any contribution
she would have would be along the lines of what Luthien did, not grabbing a sword and
helping out in the melee. I mean, good grief! They
already had some two thousand strong Eorlingas with swords at Helms Deep, one more
isnt going to help.
When Luthien rode forth to aid Beren, it
was only because he faced a task that he could not win through with swords alone. He needed some greater help, and Luthien gave it to him. I think that if Beren had had a whole army at his
command, Luthien would have stayed at home. And so
should Arwen. I mean, Luthien never rode up to
Morgoths gates and sang those songs with the whole Elven host behind her, ready to
run in and slay all Morgoths foul brood, did she?
Another thing that seems to be ignored by
the movement to bring Arwen to helms deep is the general feeling of men towards
Elves..especially female elves. The whole
estrangement between the two races seems to have been conveniently ignored. Remember how Eomer and Boromir reacted to the
thought of Galadriel? I maintain they would have felt similarly about Arwen and would not
generally have welcomed her to Helms Deep. That
comment about how she could appear and her beauty would re-inspire the men, while it may
seem good at first, isnt really consistent with Tolkien.
Arwen does have a very significant role in
that respect, however, which many others have commented on at great length. Arwen represents for Aragorn, in a way, all that hes
fighting to protect against Sauron. Shes
perhaps the epitome of peace, of a final victory over Sauron, when the weapons can be put
away and beauty and knowledge come into their own. (Im putting this badly, I know.)
Shed be utterly meaningless in this
regard if she was out in the general melee, wielding a battle axe. If shes going to
be just like Eowyn, then why should Aragorn love her instead of Eowyn? Why doesnt he
fall for her?
I guess one way to describe it is that
Arwen is to Aragorn sort of what the Shire is to Frodo. Frodo goes on this quest in
order to preserve the Shire, free and totally unconcerned/untainted with the evil of
Sauron. He values the Shire so much because it is so far removed from the pain and agony
of Sauron's almost inevitable conquest of Middle Earth. It is almost another world, a
world of peace and bliss.
I suppose the phrase that sums up how I
feel about this movie is that Peter Jackson has come so close to successfully transferring
the Lord of the Rings to film. Its such a
shame to halt the march to perfection now.
So, I have two things to say:
(1) Dont make Arwen another Eowyn.
(2) Make that movie come out as soon as possible...please!