The LOTR Movie Site
April 15, 2000
Comments Regarding the
Elven Army Situation
In the account of the Uruk-hai extra (this was an article
from a LOTR extra that ran on Ain't It Cool
News a few days ago), he states that there is an entire army of elves at Helms Deep.
This may sound sacrilegious, but I regard this as an encouraging sign. Why? Obviously it's
not what Tolkien wrote. However, as many have pointed out, it's more important to stay
true to the spirit of Tolkien' than the words of Tolkien. I've always thought it
would be jolly hard to go wrong from the spirit of Tolkien if you stuck with the words of
Tolkien, but that's another issue.
Anyway, the reason why I see an entire army of elves at Helm's Deep as a good sign deals,
of course, with Arwen. We all know she was at the Helm's Deep set. Obviously, she must
have been there for the battle. It makes a whole lot more sense for Arwen to show up at
Helm's Deep as part of a large Elven army than it does for her to show up as a lone and
rebellious teenager. The former sticks closer to Tolkien's spirit than the latter. It
isn't exactly what Tolkien intended (He'd probably be turning over in his grave at the
suggestion that Elven maidens regularly rode out to duke it out with Uruk Hai), but it's
reasonably close. I could see an army of elves winding up at Helms Deepthe two
kindreds get a little less estranged, Aragorn's kin ride for Helm's Deep sooner, along
with Elladan and Elrohir, and they gather a few elves to help. If they've made Legolas
into a sort of Noldorian Prince it would also be a bit more believable.
All this, I am sure you will agree, is much truer to Tolkien's spirit than the
"Arwen: Warrior elf" motif.
And while we're on the subject of small changes, why does Boromir have blond hair? I find
it hard to believe that PJ thinks he is sticking closer to the spirit of Tolkien by giving
him blond instead of Black hair. I find it rather offensive to make changes in Tolkien
simply because they're changes. Stick with the book unless there is a very compelling
reason to do otherwise.
That said, the rest of the trailer looked pretty good, although there were perhaps too
many ruins on weathertop. Although, I regard that as acceptable. It gives a feel for the
grandeur and glory of the Numenorean kingdoms that have largely faded away. I think
putting more ruins than were in the book on the hill is one of the best possible ways to
convey the downfall of the Dunedain in the north in a movie. In a book you can write about
it, but in a movie, you either have to show it, or have characters make reference to it,
which takes extra time, or have some ruins appear.
So, on the whole, I'm encouraged.
I'm just a little worried that difference in the Character's appearances may confuse
people who see the movie first and then read the book. I'm not too worried it will destroy
the way I visualize the characters, places, and creatures of Middle Earth, but for those
who haven't actually read the book it may pose a bit of a problem.
For those of us who have read the book, no matter how horrible the movie is, we always
have the book to fall back on.