January 8, 2004
Greetings again; I have been to busy to psot for a goodly while and have jsut skimmed the recent debate stuff. Here are some answers to questions posed.
Everett: Balrog v WitchKing is no contest - Nazgul fear fire. On the same point, Gandalf in the text is also more powerful than the WitchKing, though I fear he is going to come off second best in the extended cut, once again in order to "add dramatic emphasis". sigh
- Theoden's speech on the Pelennor is better than Aragorn's at the Black Gate because the latter is a movie writer creation, while the former is almost word for word Tolkien. Sadly the "Ride to Gondor" bit was used earlier instead of it's proper place. The "Ride to Ruin" line is actually Eomer's [boy, he really missed out on screen] after he finds Eowyn fallen on the field.
And, on a similar point, Theoden in the books dies much earlier, well before the main force of the Haradrim are engaged. The bulk of the battle is still to be fought when he faces Angmar. Eomer actually rallies the Rohirrim against the Mumakil.
Nat: the gift of foresight line was clearly moved around in post production a bit, as were the Smeagol and Deagol scenes and Saruman at orthanc in ROTK: could they not have used a cutaway to Saruman in the tower during Gandalf's talking to Treebeard - at least Christopher Lee would then, like Sean Bean, have meritted a mention in the final credits.
Melkor: I know PJ has read the books and is well versed in the timeline at the back of ROTK because of his references to the timing of Helm's Deep and Cirith Ungol in TT. I suspect it is sarcasm, however obscure, in reference to the implausibility of his own cinematic arrangement of a messenger from Elrond being able to reach Denethor and Boromir get back to Rivendell in time to attend the Council.
I think Legolas' leap is just another example of Elves supernatural dexterity - in the books he runs along a single rope strung over a river and leaps about 8-10 feet straight up in Lothlorien to grab a tree branch. And of course in both books and movie he does not sink in the mountain snow.
LiVa: the Arwen baby shot is a cinema invention based on Tolkien's own work that [a]Awen and Aragorn's first child is a son, Eldarion, and [b] her race, being related to the Numenorean's is gifted wiht a strange ability to percieve future events, as seen in Elrond.
Legolas and Gimli do have less to do in ROTK, but that is largely their role in the book, too. The most they ever get to say in the text is the relating of the ride from the Path's of the Dead to the siege of Gondor, which of course would be redundant on screen. Indeed, they are given a more significant role by PJ in that they participate in the Last Debate, in the great hall of Gondor [Gimli sitting in the Steward's chair - so irreverant, yet I can't help loving it!]
Stider: like others I had the impression Frodo and Gollum over balanced. In the books Frodo does indeed 'push' him, but only in as much as he calls on the growing power of the Ring to lay a curse on Gollum that if he touches him [Frodo] again, "...you will yourself be cast into the Fires of Doom!"
And Celeborn - 8000 years plus, probably closer to 15000. At the time of the War of the Ring he was the 2nd eldest Elf in Middle Earth, after Cirdan of the Havens.