The LOTR Movie Site
May 17, 2000

My Two Cents Worth
John C.

I feel compelled to weigh in on the Arwen issue.  I understand the need to expand Arwen's role in the movies.  I don't have a problem with her being at Helm's Deep.  But I think they could have done a much better job casting Arwen.  In addition and more importantly, the writers have completely departed from the character of Arwen as portrayed by Tolkien.

First the issue of casting.  Let me begin by saying that all in all, PJ & Company have done a great job casting the characters.  Casting Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, for example, is right on the mark.  But Liv Tyler as Arwen?  You've got to be kidding me!  Now, I happen to think that Liv is a fine actress, she's attractive, yadda, yadda, yadda.  She was great in "That Thing You Do" and "Inventing the Abbots."  But she is not Arwen.  I can't see Tyler's Arwen as a wise, demure elven princess and am afraid that her portrayal will be that of a teenage elven tomboy, chasing after her boyfriend with a sword in her hand.  Were I casting (unfortunately PJ didn't call and ask me) I would have cast Joanna Going ("Still Breathing", "Phantoms", "Inventing the Abbots", "Wyatt Earp").  She has the class and charisma to portray Arwen the way she should be portrayed.

Now for the issue of Arwen's character.  Being the daughter of Elrond and granddaughter of Galadriel, Arwen is graceful, elegant, beautiful and wise. She is no more a warrior than Galadriel is.  As mentioned earlier, I have no problem with her being at Helm's Deep.  But for God's sake,  what is she doing blowing the damn horn!?!?  She should be immediately taken to the caves and guarded with a detachment of elves, not out front cleaving Orc heads with Gimli!

Bottom line, I'm really pissed about this.  Hey PJ, expand Arwen's role in the movie as much as you want, but don't change her basic character!

Alright, in December 2001 I'm going to be in a theater somewhere loving The Fellowship of the Ring just like all the other hardcore LOTR fans that visit your site.  Somehow,   I'll look beyond the wholesale changes that were made to her character.  I'll find a way not to let Liv ruin it for me. Who knows, maybe she'll even surprise me....maybe.