||The LOTR Movie Site
November 13, 2000
Responses to Austin G.,
Stephanie G. and Brian M.
I will address the last round of commments on Arwen more or
less in point form. I am in a rush, so grammatical and structure mistakes are a certainty.
1) Arwen is better than the Fellowship of the Ring? How so? (note: I am not saying that
the Fellowship is "better" than Arwen either). As for the "bladeslinging
woman" being an invention of modern society, try looking to history. Not only are
there goddesses of hunt and war, but there are warrior princesses, druids and leaders in
Celtic, Pictish, etc, culture. Even when being lead by men, war bands and armies were not
purely male driven. It's quite interesting, since the society we live in now (modern) has
this backward view of the history of culture and in some ways is much more masculine
driven than the past.
2) In reference to my "Buffy" analogy, it was in response to the
"Xena" one. Nothing more. So, it's amusing that you singled it out.
3) My love for the text was made obvious in my first post and my outrage at the comparison
with Armaggedon. Secondly, it's fans (re:"fanatics") that I have no love for,
not the story. But my love is not blind (do not read too much into that).
4) To say Tolkein was uneffected by Modern Society in his writing is laughable. He even
admitted to as much in interviews and in texts aplenty. It is obvious the way his work was
affected by modern society, the war, and life around him both consciously and
unconcsiously ( note: I am not one for supporting the idea that LOTR was a metaphor for
No, that's the funny thing about it. Arwen's story needs no more real explanation (or
little more) than say Legolas'. If you really consider the role of Legolas, he could have
been replaced by *any* elf. Whereas Borimir , Aragorn and Gandalf were closer to
indespensible characters, Legolas was little more than a cipher representative of the
Elvish people. It would be no great impact on the story to remove his character and
replace it with Arwen.
2) As for your other comments. I reiterate: LOTR as stands allows men to take on both
classically "male and female" roles, but does not allow the same of women.
1) If I overlooked your response it was either because you said nothing that had not
already been touched upon by others or because it appeared after I had posted.
2) I responded to a specific post and broadened the issues. Correct. It's a pity that
people attacked the specific parts of my response with their broader contentions, rather
than simply my broader issues. Read over the posts again if you like. You'll understand
where people lost the plot.
3) PM is dead and was an awful mess, but that doesn't mean that it didn't possess certain
valuable ideas which can't be worked on. As for your Smurf's line of reasoning, must it
always comes down to people presenting ridiculous extremes to make their point? If a
Female in the fellowship is as arbitrary as Smurfs fighting the dark lord to you, then
I'll let that stand on it's own.
4) This then becomes a simple area of disagreement. I see the text as wonderful, but
nowhere near perfect. I don't worship it or the author. If someone feels a certain amount
of reinterpretation (ie: No Ewoks, Smurfs or any other cute pop culture references you can
think of) would be valuable for a specific audience, then I can't see why not. The book
exists in pure form for anyone who wants to experience Tolkien's work
"unmolested". They can read it in the form and medium to which it was originally
created. The movie can not change that.
5) As far as male/female roles go, I was also working with the terms and definitions that
seem to have evolved in the discussion between myself and others. I am quite happy to work
within that structure for the sake of arguement and for other's accessibility. If you want
to take issue with definitions of masculinity , we can start a new thread. And no, Arwen
does not have to hack someone's arm off. But she isn't even allowed to go on the journey?
Surely she could pick berries or something on the way? And on that point, why must men
hack arms off? What I suggest is that men are allowed to act as (per the definition used)
"women" and "men", while women are only to act as "women".
Now, while you may continue to argue that females have wonderful roles in the book, it's
not hard to see that in the movies...those roles would amount to all of 10 minutes film
6) No, it's a personal opinion, and I believe Tolkien was in touch with society (though
selective in his portrayal and reinterpretation of European history-men with big swords)
as we all are. This is easily the flimsiest of my arguements and I'll admit freely to
7)And post-postmodernism is exactly that. It's not a genre. What it comes down to in many
cases, is the person who fears that environment always seems to look to history and the
past (and origins) for what is better than what we have now or could posssibly ever
develope. Hence, Tolkiens' work in it's original format is perfect, ancient races were
more pure and noble than today, etc et al. And fear this, PJ may not actually be making
the movie specifically for you or other people on this site.
But to conclude: I think the inclusion of Arwen in an active role in the Fellowship is a
fine idea. She does not have to hack the arms of Orcs and and hang their testicles from a
necklace around her neck. But an active and present role is desirable. If it were up to
myself, I would replace Legolas with her character ( and keep the romance between her and
Aragorn at an arm's pace). Unfortunately, from what I hear of PJ's plans (the removal of
Eowyn, etc) it comes down to a very poor execution of an exciting idea.