The LOTR Movie Site
April 15, 2000

Comments Regarding the Elven Army Situation
Jonathan D.

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.