The LOTR Movie Site
November 22, 2000

Tolkien: The Sandcastle Stands
Max B.

Hello. You're correct that I seem to be "fighting" this debate on several fronts. In any case Brian, I'll do my best to make the responses clearer this time around. On to your points:

1)"It was just a stupid way to start that essay..."--Not a problem. I'm certain I've written more than my fair share of "stupid" lines.

2)"Unless you can provide me with a reason why your position can't go there, don't blame me for pointing it out."-- To be honest, I'd thought I had pointed it out in my first response. There is no "logical conclusion" in following on from the developing of women's roles in LOTR and the sudden inclusion of Smurfs. You claimed they were the same arbitrary inclusions, and I thought I'd rebuffed that. But to go further, women are an element already present within the book, an established part of the mythology and world. To only extend, change, develop or evolve their roles is not nearly as extreme as the introduction of foreign concepts (smurfs, jedi knights, transformers, ninja turtles, etc).

3)"It's simply unnecessary to put her in the there to accomplish what you want." -- Ah, and how would you perhaps go about expanding that role? And again, I believe it comes down to this. You say it isn't necessary, and perhaps it isn't. But I don't consider it necessary to keep her out of the fellowship either, you see. The fellowship is a major chunk of plot and screentime, the addition or alteration of a member is no true problem as I see it, not for the audience and not for the movie.

4)"A neutral forum"-- email, perhaps?

5)"Is your position, as you hold to it, actually falsifiable? Is it conceivable that I could prove you wrong?"--If it wasn't possible, I would not be here. I think PM theorists believe in their stances, the way you describe, because there is a belief that PM encompasses and deconstructs *everything* that comes before it. Again, I am not a PM theorist.

6)"Sandboxes et al"--then it really comes down to this. You appear to have no problem with the movie were it to go under another name, but in the end that is a problem I do not have. If the reconstructions to the castle are not that monumental (and I do not believe they are, they are possibly a sectioning off of a room, an extension here and some rearranging of furniture--yes, it is a complicated sandcastle)I have no qualms. Were he to introduce smurfs into the plot, then I would call for it to become another story altogether. I also find that I do not believe that the transfer of a work from one medium to another (and especially from one decade to another) need keep so stringently to the original architecture of the design. I consider the movie a seperate beast to the book ( how can we not? Tolkien is dead, the medium's are fundamentally different, the audience is much broader, the drive behind the works, etc). And in the case of King Arhtur, as a Historian, you would know that what we consider as "canon" is a *drastic* reinvention of the roginal celtic legends of King Arthur, after the Normans reinvented the tale and "gave it back" to the Welsh and others. While I'm very interested in the earlier versions, the "canon" one does not offend me in the slightest.

In any case, I do appreciate your ability to argue amongst the points as such. Aplogies for any and all errors, I have no time for spell checks. Looking forward to the response.