The LOTR Movie Site
June 18, 2000
More Arwen, Yes, As Long As It's
More of Arwen
The present outrage over the extension of
the role of Arwen in Jackson's interpretation of LOTR might be a fuss all over nothing.
I know there
have been rumours that Arwen might be set as a warrior princess, but where would that
leave Eowyn? No, I think somebody somewhere got their wires crossed.
start, think like a director. Jackson is cluey enough to know that throwing a sop to the
politically correct diehards out there (by making a female character into a parody Amazon)
might win a few new fans - but it will simultaneously alienate millions of others. Not
only will the film lose the decorum and grandeur it MUST have, but it could very likely
become an embarrassment for the rest of his career.
real, here. Tolkien wrote a fantasy epic that succeeds because it resounds with the
archetypal images we all have about gods, demons, heroism, self-sacrifice and magic among
dozens of others. One warrior princess (Eowyn) is enough to satisfy the archetype of the
warrior princess. Two, is overkill. Jackson (I hope) is not a fool. He will not trivialise
the character of Arwen into something inappropriate, irksome and redundant. She is an
archetypal image of great importance in herself. Arwen is a tragically sublime figure; as
has been pointed out already by Ron W. Her decision to forego immortality is one that
poignantly throws our own mortality into stark relief. She, the Undomiel, stands as the
final farewell of the Eldar in Mortal Lands. Her passing is the final note in the Middle
Earth saga; ours are now indeed the Days of Mortal Men.
we see more of Arwen, then?
felt that Tolkien robbed himself of a great opportunity by not pursuing the love interest
between Aragorn and Arwen. Perhaps he felt he had already covered it with the parallel
lives of Beren and Luthien in the Silmarillion, and how beautifully done that was, too!
But if audiences are to really sympathise with the Elves - how their love of Middle Earth
is ultimately hopeless - we need to see an elf suffer. If audiences are to sympathise with
Aragorn - how all his sufferings and sacrifices might come to naught should Arwen, at the
end, renege on her decision to join her life to his - we must know the height of his
nobility and the depth of Aragorn and Arwen's love. (Otherwise who cares what a pair of
richie royals are panicking about... what about poor old Frodo, hey?!)
Jackson will have to pick his way through every line of Tolkien's prodigious writings to
find every paragraph, phrase or word that speaks of the love and lives of Aragorn and
Arwen before Aragorn left Rivendell - and put it on film. There is material enough
a-plenty here for a movie in itself, I am sure, but Jackson must select and edit with the
finest of discretions.
imagine whole scenes where Arwen and Elrond agonise over her choosing to join her destiny
to Aragorn's. What IS it to surrender immortality? Would all the love and glory a mortal
man can have, compensate for the loss of eternal life? Could anyone so deeply in love make
a rational decision at that point in time... even if they were over two thousand
women in the audience who have ever been in love with a man everyone says is "beneath
them", will feel their hearts moved by Arwen's dilemma? Isn't there at least half of
the world in the audience who will to some degree painfully understand Arwen?
more of Arwen, please. More indeed.
please, one Eowyn is plenty.