May 17, 2001

The Heroic and the Mundane
Denver F.

One of the things that worries me about any hollywood treatment of LoTR is the way that the characters are portrayed.

(I know, I know, PJ isn't exactly your typical hollywood man, but it's still their money he's spending!)

Anyway, the heroes in LoTR come off quite badly when you look at them. Gandalf, Saruman, the Gondorians (particularly Boromir? - the one who tries to take the ring from Frodo by force), they all stumble very badly. Not at all the sort of thing we expect from our Arnie-led archtypal Heroes.

And of course the very ordinary and mundane sort of characters save the world. JRRT had quite a few egos in mind, I am sure, when he elected to pierce the general stereotype of heroic endeavour and describe Aragorn, for example, as someone who "looked foul, but seemed fair".

PJ's hobbits already seem a bit too urbane and not quite ugly or hairy enough, from what we've seen so far.

JRRT wanted (I think) to draw attention to actions and their consequences, not appearances and their attraction to us.

This is the greatest danger that I see in a highly popularist visual medium being applied to his work, particularly since the values of hollywood are so foreign to those he wanted to describe.

I only hope PJ has his eye on the ball.