The LOTR Movie Site
June 2, 2000

Luthien is Turning Over in Her Grave
Ron W.

It was eight years ago when I got my first taste of Tolkien, and boy was it good. However, after reading some of the information on this web site about the changes in store for the movie, bitter bile is rising in my throat. Arwen as a sword wielding Xena wanna-be warrior princess?!!!! An abomination! An outrage! What the hell is Jackson thinking? What ever happened to the serene, awe inspiring, wise, gentle Arwen portrayed in The Lord of the Rings? I completely agree with another person who submitted an essay denouncing the directors attempt to make Arwen into a clone of her forerunner Luthien. Of all the tragic mistakes being made during the production of this movie (cutting out the Tom Bombadil scene for one) nothing could be worse than butchering the Arwen Undomial character. How can I convey my disgust and disappointment at this? Words are almost not enough. This character is essentially tragic and doomed by nature. If you're reading this and you don't understand where I'm coming from than 1) you haven't read The Return of the King's Appendix A, and, 2) You haven't captured the true essence of the Arwen character. Arwen wasn't called the Evenstar of her people for no reason. She probably was the last or one of the last High Elves to remain in Middle Earth after Elronds departure. In a conversation Arwen has with Aragorn in Lothlorien, she seems to almost begrudgingly decide to be with him, knowing that by doing so she is forsaking her relationship with her father and her chance to go to the Blessed Realm or Valinor. Again in a conversation with Frodo in The Return of the King, she expresses sorrow with just a touch of bitterness as she gives  him the gift of taking her place aboard one of the ships that would have taken her to the Blessed realm. And if you're still not convinced that the character of Luthien should not be cast as a rebellious, dukes of hazard like thrill seeker than note her tragic parting with Aragorn in Appendix A. She indeed found giving up her immortality to be extremely bitter at the end, as Tolkien demonstrated by having her die alone and apparently distraught in abandoned Lothlorien. Having a character with this depth and nobility riding out to war like a common soldier is not only obscene, it's almost sacrilegious and an insult to true Tolkien fans everywhere. Let us not also forget that Arwen was almost two thousand years old during the time of the Lord of the Rings. She didn't live that long by foolishly risking her life.

Lastly I would like to point out that it is obvious from Tolkiens works that Arwen chose to be with Aragorn out of duty more than unconditional soul wrenching love. There is little comparison between her and Luthien. I think that this is the way Tolkien wanted it, and this element entered into the plot of the story would catapult it into Oscar territory. I just pray that everything will turn out alright, and may Luthien rest in peace.