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February 1, 2005

Re: I Don't Know

Faerlas, I think you're missing my point. LotR certainly has its darker side, and I don't think that was ever in dispute. My point is not that Peter Jackson conjured up darkness where there was only light. Rather, my point was that he was at his best when portraying this darkness and played to this strength in the movies as much as possible, sometimes, but far from always, to the point of caricature or absurdity. This is not something that can be reasonably done with "The Hobbit" because its tone is completely different from LotR. It is a light-hearted adventure tale as opposed to an epic struggle over the fate of the world. Simply put, "The Hobbit" lacks the underlying sense of growing darkness that Peter Jackson was able to use to such great effect in the LotR movies. What's more, "The Hobbit" deals with simply regaining what was lost while LotR deals as much with loss. The Elves lose the ability to preserve what they have wrought in Middle Earth. Frodo loses his ability to find joy and consolation in the Shire. The Hobbits lose their innocence at great price. Much that was fair is marred beyond repair. There is some of this in "The Hobbit", but it is not central to the story. Ultimately, there is not enough dark material in "The Hobbit" for Peter Jackson to draw upon and expand upon and yet preserve the essence of the book. Tone matters as much as substance, and I haven't seen anything from Peter Jackson that indicates that even if he stuck perfectly to the events in the book, he would produce a movie with the lighter mood that makes "The Hobbit" so enjoyable. Indeed, if LotR is any indication, he'll find it very difficult to do so.

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