The LOTR Movie Site
April 13, 2000

My View on 'Alterations'
Jeff Capron

I guess it is about time I put in my two cents.

Alterations will be inevitable, this is a movie, not a book. I mean think about all the descriptions in the novel.. Are there going to be 10 minute silences as we view Caradhras? I doubt it (at least I hope not!).

I think what we all want is that the movie contains the same FEEL as the book. I remember first picking up the books long ago and reading the word "elves". Instantly I pictured the Walt Disney pointy toed spock eared creatures. After reading the book more I realised they were actually more like humans just better looking and of course immortal.

The changing of Arwen of course is ridiculous IF it is true. Tolkien, with exception of the Noldor, tried to keep elves out of battle be they female or male. The female elf seemed to contain powers far beyond that of physical attributes. Remember the song of Luthien in The tale of Beren and Luthien, that her song brought Morgoth to his knees and bowed his head to the floor so Beren could PHYSICALY remove the Silmaril. Sauron was but a servant to Morgoth. Beren himself could not have done this without Luthien the ELF. Yet did Luthien attempt this by force? Of course not. This is what I believe Tolkien was trying to relate about the elves. Their power is more magical (for lack of a better term) than physical.

Indeed I believe if you were to ask Tolkien how would you involve Arwen directly into the War he would have said something to the effect of "Why would you want to do that? This is about the battle of MEN against Sauron, not the battle of elves, those tales are told elsewhere and do not concern this story." (In typical Tolkien fashion :) ).

Yes Tolkien (without the pressures of political correctness) inserted a female role into the second most dangerous, one on one battle in the story (at least I believe). She actually won more renown than any man in the war did. Eowyn was the one who actually dealt the Witch King his death blow. Does this sound sexist to anyone?

I think people today yearn more for the ways things REALLY were than inserting the way things are today into past (even fictional past).

Of course PJ is going to HAVE to cut out some things. All movies have to, hence the saying "It was a great movie but the book was much better". Star Wars fanatics say this all the time. I dont think anyone really expects PJ to be able to insert everything into the movie and I am sure we will all be a little sore that some special part of the books that we held dear will either be missing, or not told in the detail we would like.

Remember, even though it is one of the, if not THE, greatest works of the century the majority of people haven't read it. The movie itself may move these people to read the books. Gee that would be horrible wouldn't it? In this day of video games, drugs and gangs. that kids, and adults might actually sit down and read a few books.

My greatest fear above all things in dealing with this movie is that MY personal view of Middle Earth, Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves, and basically everything else under Iluvatar, will be forever ruined as I watch the movie. Now all the pictures in my mind will be burned to what I see in this movie. My vision of these things is what I find the most beautiful and inspiring over most anything else in dealing with Tolkien.