The LOTR Movie Site
November 21, 2000

And They Make Me Wonder...
Rob E.

Max, I wonder if you read my article at all? It seems to have elicited a more emotional response than anything else. I purposely narrowed my opinion in that essay to discuss what I perceived was a flawed reason to expand the Arwen role beyond what I perceive Tolkien intended. Some of the arguments I've witnessed on this message board suggest that flawed feminist reasoning I previously outlined (and YES, not all feminist theory or persons believe that). No where in my argument was there a suggestion that women must play nursemaids, mothers, cooks, or concubines. In fact, I don't think I defined any mandatory roles for either sex at all other than to speak generally of what the biological differences of the sexes within the same species mean. Had you given me a one line response stating 'I'm not a feminist, I just get off on seeing women run around in armor' (if that's your position), I would have accepted that response. Of course this is a work of fiction and fantasy, Tolkien could have written it so that orcs shot spears out of their butts if he so chose. However, fiction works best when we're lead to believe that therein lies something that resembles not only our natural reality, but our wishes, wants, and dreams. Hence magic, clear lines of good and evil, the noble warriors, and yes, the warrior woman. I don't argue that Arwen can't be a warrior woman on the grounds that this is fiction, I argue that this is not what I believe Tolkien was attempting to do. Jackson, of course, will alter the movie to suit what he believes will be most enjoyed by his targeted audiences and what may be the most profitable. That's his right in telling the story. It will disappoint some in the details, and make others happy.