The LOTR Movie Site
November 18, 2000

Rob E. Stating the Obvious ... and Others Too
Max B.

Rob E-

Unfortunately, it is yourself who wishes to bring this down to an arguement on feminism. It is plain that you've had your points sitting in wait to be flexed at the first sign of "feminazism", obvious since you moved as far away from any sort of real textual analysis as possible (your "reality" arguement).

1) No, I'm not a feminist, but if you had actually studied feminism at all you'd know that a) the model you describe has been dispensed with and expanded b) feminism has many different models and theories. Again, like PM,while I don't like the "movement" overall I do find value in some things expressed.

2) As you said, historical figures can be brought into play (both mythical and real) to back up my "modern society depiction of the warrior woman argument". Your introduction of "physical reality" to try to dissuade against the use of warrior women in a  *fictional work* at all, is amusing and arguing a different point (not one from the historical line the point was originally made for). Shall we also discuss the fact that magic is not a "physical reality"? How about dragons? (a nod goes towards Brian on this tactic)

3) I'll say it better than your famous woman "Men and Women are different.That doesnt mean we have to confine them to preconcieved roles"

To sum up, women and men are still defined by choice rather than nature (in modern times and historically and in fiction). A man (and a few in Tolkein's work!) can choose not to be a warrior or "manly" and stay home and sing and sew to his heart's content. So too, I believe, can a woman choose to pursue more "masculine" activites, if not actually battle (as Eowyn), then an active role such as accompanying the followship on a dangerous journey. Despite the fact that she can *possibly* bear a child, it does not mean she must sit at home doing nothing but give birth. Nor do I mean, that if she does, she is devalued. But I do want some diversity and balance in my stories. Humans (despite gender) do not all have to conform to a set mode.


1)I have to say that it's a boat I have no interest in catching. It really isn't that huge a plot or story developement. Again, nothing that Arwen can not fill.

2) And why is it strange to bond with an elven Princess? Obviously not the royalty factor...since Legolas has that. Is it simply their genders? Do you and Stephanie not bond with people of the opposite sex? I can't understand finding that strange.

3) First, nobody claimed the bow was a "sissy" weapon. Your choice of words and discourse. Nobody else's. Secondly, if you think movie goers are going to reel in confusion about where and when Arwen learned to use a bow in her childhood (her childhood being first and foremost in their minds, of course) then I'll let you keep that point.

4)You do however, have a point as to how Arwen may enter the journey. It's an interesting point, but I will say again that my Legolas/Arwen ( as an original companion)was simply hypothetical.

5) I recommend learning more about Celtic and Pictish culture's in full.
And what comic books do you pencil? You're American, correct?

Stephanie C-

Excellent and well thought out, I have to congratulate you. I only regret that I have so little time to devote to this. Now, on to the points-

1) As fascinating as you find Legolas, I am sorry to say that a film audience wouldn't much care if they got Arwen instead. It's only an extreme idea if you keep coming from a Tolkien "fan" point of view.

2) Simply because Gimli admires one Elven lady, he will become jeolous and obsessed with each one he meets? He is more of a cad than I'd ever suspected.

3)I still don't believe the story would be warped "beyond recognition" (bad ring-hobbits and friends go on a journey-lots of heroism-bad ring destroyed-check).

4)As I have said before in regards to challenging roles assigned to gender, I'm simply arguing along the lines I've been presented with. I'm more than happy to ditch any and all references to them as such, but the fact remains that people's contentions were that Arwen would become
"butch" in a more active role.

5)And don't make the mistake of equating force, influence, or aggressive activity with negativity. I am not asking for Arwen to be a "brute". If the fellowship are brutish in our eyes, then they really are a dispicable part of the story.

6) Your Hollywood description is an excellent example of how society still refuses to accept the character of the active female. She must still submit to men in some manner...
But you seem to polarise strength/action away from intelligence/mind unreservedly. Why?

7) As for your contrasts of Eowyn and Arwen, I argue that contrasts can be made with charaters that are not polarisations of one another. That is simply lazy writing. There were contrasts between male characters who were much less obvious opposites. As I have said before, having Arwen on the journey does not need to make her a "Warrior Princess". Was Sam considered a "Warrior Gardener" by anyone here?
7) Though I challenge the idea of "doing it right" (ooh, will anyone jump on that?), I concede that Jackson appears to be doing things in the wrong way. As for the rest of your points in the last paragraph, I'm afraid I'll have to refer you to my last post where I've said more than enough about it (in particular to Brian).

I'll confess that I didn't have time to do anymore than skim over people's points, so if I did miss some or misrepresent others, then feel free to point it out as snidely as possible.