December 9, 2001

Arwen (Ad Nauseam) -- In Response to Chris S.
Lee C.

Christopher, I definitely agree with you on the subject of Arwen's role being expanded in the name of almighty marketing. I have a few nitpicky points to make though:

It wasn't the Tolkien family who relinquished control over the movie. The control was relinquished the moment JRRT signed away the movie rights. Unfortunately, that was part of his agreement with the publishers.

Faramir didn't charge the Nazgul in Book 1 or unleash the flood--it was Glorfindel and Elrond respectively. I can see how Glorfindel's character needed to be eliminated due the movie time constraints (sad but true). Arwen as Glorfindel's equivalent though is about the worst possible choice I can think of. She is a 'delicate flower' pointedly incapable of any action (so much for her resemblance to Luthien). Her role in the story is to be a damsel in distress to her knight in shining armor. There are plenty of strong women in the book beside her. Arwen's evolution into some Xena clone destroys the character diversity, which IMO is one of the greatest aspects of the trilogy.

Finally, this is a story about Frodo the hobbit and his quest, not Arwen the elf and her romance. The scene at the ford expands Arwen's presence at the expense of showing Frodo's bravery: the whole point of that scene in the book is that Frodo confronts the Nazgul _alone_. It's really sad that the movie just dismisses a crucial stage in the development of Frodo's character.

On the bright side, it could have been worse. I am at least grateful Galadriel isn't played by Pam Anderson.