BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King??? To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=65233
57 messages

BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???

14 Dec 03 - 09:52 PM (#1072519)
Subject: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Art Thieme

A question for Peg and others-------Is it true that the film of RETURN OF THE KING leaves out the entire chapter of the book "The Scouring Of The Shire" where Sharky (Saruman) has his throat slit by Grima Wormtongue before the hobits riddle the latter's bod with arrows???

I will be quite put out if that is indeed deleated from the film. I was looking forward to seeing how they would re-make the shire into something like the coal-sooty town ala HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. And then put it all to rights again.

Art Thieme


14 Dec 03 - 10:42 PM (#1072543)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST

Art, I haven't seen the film, but read the books many years ago. Saw the film releases of both films and the extended versions on DVD. Here are some glimpses of what we might expect from ROTK, from an interview in the NYT with Jackson:

"McKINLEY But what of Tom Bombadil, the mysterious, wise tree-man in "Fellowship of the Ring" who never made it into either the movie or the extended DVD version?

JACKSON Oh, have you been harboring three years of anger?

McKINLEY Not anger, really. Just . . . disappointment.

JACKSON I always think of Tom Bombadil as a slightly silly character who doesn't actually contribute too much to the story. We've always felt the spine of the story was about Frodo and the ring."

As to Saruman being edited out of the final version, I thought this was already well known around the world? If not, here is a blurb from the Beeb from November about it:

"Actor Christopher Lee has said he was mystified to learn that his key scenes have been dropped from the third Lord of the Rings movie.
Lee, 81, who plays the wizard Saruman in the trilogy, said he had expected to appear in seven minutes' worth of climactic scenes.

"Of course I am very shocked, that's all I can say," he told ITV1's This Morning on Wednesday.

Lee fans have now started an online petition to restore the scenes.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm only telling you this because it has been revealed on the internet, someone has talked and it certainly wasn't me," he told the UK TV show.

"If you want to know why you would have to ask the company New Line or director Peter Jackson and his associates because I still don't really know why.

"I can't say any more because I signed a confidentiality agreement and I honoured my word."

Asked if he would attend the première, he said: "No, what's the point? What's the point of going? None at all."

Personally, I didn't feel Lee's characterization of Saruman was all that great, so I don't know that I'll even miss him.


14 Dec 03 - 11:28 PM (#1072560)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: artbrooks

They have to take out something so they can put it back in again for the "extended version."


15 Dec 03 - 12:38 AM (#1072570)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Alaska Mike

I think Peter Jackson has done such an brilliant job of bringing the Lord of the Ring to the screen I honestly can't complain. If he chooses not to include one thing or another, he still has my absolute admiration. I have read these books many times over my life, and if I really feel the need to hear Tom Bombadil's wisdom or see "Sharkey" ousted from the shire, all I have to do is read them again. But having these wonderful movies available to watch gives me enormous joy.

Mike


15 Dec 03 - 12:39 AM (#1072572)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

"Is it true that the film of RETURN OF THE KING leaves out the entire chapter of the book "The Scouring Of The Shire""

I've been following these movies on a few web sites for almost 5 years now... Scouring was NEVER in... It's not necessary... It's denoument...

Like Tom Bombadil, we won't see it in the Extended Ed either...


15 Dec 03 - 02:53 AM (#1072600)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Peg

yes, it was weird that Christopher Lee did not appear...I assumed he was not available for filming...ad no, the scouring of the shire scene does not occur either...


15 Dec 03 - 03:28 AM (#1072614)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: okthen

Maybr they're leaving room for a sequel.


15 Dec 03 - 03:28 AM (#1072616)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: okthen

Maybe.


15 Dec 03 - 04:58 AM (#1072662)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Liz the Squeak

So they're going to do the Appendeces to LOTR and Unfinished Tales next then? Personally I want to see Sam get the girl - he's been putting it off long enough!

LTS


15 Dec 03 - 06:55 AM (#1072724)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Grab

Art, Peter confirmed even before the first film came out that the Scouring wasn't going to be in there.

Which makes sense. When you've had the massive battles of Pelennor Fields and all that, why finish the film with a bunch of hobbits in a small local scrap? In the book, that was mainly useful to demonstrate the development of Pippin and Merry - the film can show their characters changing much better, though, so not needed.

Saruman was cut for time reasons, and the fact that he no longer poses any threat to anyone, particularly once the Scouring had been removed. Rumour is that the cut scene has Saruman killed by Grima at Isengard - basically the same scene as from the Scouring, but transported to Isengard. Scenes were filmed but had to be cut at the last minute, hence Christopher Lee is very dischuffed. It'll be back in the extended version though. Incidentally, I thoroughly recommend the extended versions as they're much better films for the stuff that got cut - hopefully one day the cinemas will show the whole extended versions instead of the original theatrical versions, and if they do, I'll be in there like a shot!

Liz, there's little chance that anything else will be filmed whilst Christopher Tolkein (JRRT's son) is alive. He won't grant film rights to *anyone*, because he fundamentally doesn't believe that a film can show his dad's work properly. LotR only got made through a legal technicality, where the rights got sold back in the 60s and then were traded around (via the animated film) until Peter Jackson got them. PJ is currently trying to get rights to film The Hobbit, but CT is basically saying "over my dead body". His nephew supported the films (and has a bit-part as a Gondorian), and CT as a result has cut him dead and refuses to speak to him for the rest of his life. That gives you an idea of what his mind-set is. :-(

Graham.


15 Dec 03 - 07:13 AM (#1072732)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Personally, although I agree that Jackson has done as respectful and creative a job as could be done, I could do with about half the slaughter scenes and a look at the scouring of the shire- it would nicely round out the story and be true to Tolkien's vision.
But, I sit in the movie theater with my eyes closed half the time anyway, so I'm no judge!


15 Dec 03 - 08:20 AM (#1072783)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST

I agree that many a battle scene could have been cut--from both books and films. I feel the reliance on the telling and retelling the same battle scenes over and over ad nauseum really detracts from the quest aspect, not to mention makes the characters in the story pretty two dimensional.

I have to say, I'm much more enamoured of the films than the books. Jackson is a better storyteller than Tolkien, IMO--and yes, I realize saying so is heresy to most Tolkien fans. But I do feel Jackson did a better job of crafting the story on film than Tolkien did on the page.

Perhaps that is what Christopher Tolkien fears?


15 Dec 03 - 09:13 AM (#1072829)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Peter T.

The films are superior to the books. At least in the films you don't have to wade through all that dreary prose. The battles do give it more of an ancient quality -- lots of killing, and more killing. Homer's Iliad is the best example: killing and more killing.

yours,

Peter T.


15 Dec 03 - 09:41 AM (#1072850)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST,Santa

The main problem with the films so far has been the over-the-top presentations of the bad-guys - Saruman's tunnels and forges around Isengard, the sheer numbers of Orcs whenever...

There were a couple of parts that were distinctly cloth-eared - Aragorn's fall for example, and having Frodo confront the nazgul in the ruins was just plain STUPID. However, as was pointed out to me, Galdalf's "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" was actually in the book...well, nearly.

Overall, I think he's done a pretty fine job - better than expected and (a few points aside) probably as good as it is possible to get in the limitations of the media. Many of the best parts of the book have been twisted, trimmed out or lost, but then the book really needs 24 hours to film properly, not just nine.


15 Dec 03 - 11:26 AM (#1072941)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST,guest

Why would you want Tom Bombadil (or Beorn) int the films when they only appear in The Hobbit? I personally could have used more of the Ents and Huorns.


15 Dec 03 - 11:29 AM (#1072943)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Art Thieme

Good points all I guess. Still, the homecoming inherant in "Scouring" would've been good to
"SEE" on screen.

As the great Thomas Wolfe once said, "You Can't Go Home Again". Things tend to change (morph -- to use a modern word) and be nothing like you remembered them when the young soldiers come home from war--older, wiser and bearing scars both mentally and physically. STILL, "Lonesome Dove" would've been ruined without Capt. Call taking Gus McRae back to Texas for burial.---Sure the basic tale still would've been told---but...

(I guess the Gray Havens weren't attempted by Jackson either, right?)

Art Thieme


15 Dec 03 - 11:32 AM (#1072947)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Uncle_DaveO

Peter T. said, in part:

At least in the films you don't have to wade through all that dreary prose.

For those of us who know how and like to read, Tolkien's prose is anything but dreary! He was a real artist, telling a high story in a high style.

Dave Oesterreich


15 Dec 03 - 11:35 AM (#1072949)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Peg

Incidentally, some rather lengthy scenes of dialogue were also cut from The Wicker Man in 1973 and Christopher Lee was also very unhappy about that...said they represented most of his lines...I think it's not very sporting of him to boycott the premiere, though; shouldn't he want to support the others in the cast and crew?


15 Dec 03 - 11:35 AM (#1072950)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Uncle_DaveO

And GUEST,guest claimed that Tom Bombadil was "only in the Hobbit".

I challenge you to show me Tom Bombadil in the Hobbit, let alone "only" in the Hobbit.

Unless you've been reading a decidedly different edition.

Dave Oesterreich


15 Dec 03 - 12:33 PM (#1072992)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

Tom Bombadil is NOT in the Hobbit... heh...

And according to insider sources, Lees work (The Voice Of Saruman) was cut because of pacing... It woulda been a lousy way to start the third movie, a long conversation between Gandalf and Saruman... so PJ cut it... and he's said it'll be back for the Extended Ed. DVD...

"For those of us who know how and like to read, Tolkien's prose is anything but dreary!"

I'll argue that, but not here... Cause I agree with Peter T. "The films are superior to the books."


15 Dec 03 - 12:58 PM (#1073005)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: McGrath of Harlow

A really bad misjudgement. Tom Bombadil was, I suppose dispensable, but I don't think the Scouring of the Shire was.

In a sense it what the whole book is about - ultimately there's no escaping trouble even in a safe backwater like the Shire, and before it's through the small people have to sort things out for themselves. And I think it's important to see Saruman reduced from a powerful and terrible enemy to a mean and pathetic one. If it was a question of time and money, I'd far more readily have dispensed with some of the big battle special effects.

(And I imagine they've left out Ghan-Buri-Ghan and the Wild Men as well.)


15 Dec 03 - 01:04 PM (#1073010)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

"I'd far more readily have dispensed with some of the big battle"

But it's a war movie... just like it's a war book...


15 Dec 03 - 01:22 PM (#1073025)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: McGrath of Harlow

It's not primarily a war book, it's a quest. The war is the sub-plot. In a way it's a diversion that enables Frodo to get through. (In fact at one point in the book this is specifically spelled out by Aragorn.)


15 Dec 03 - 01:25 PM (#1073028)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

Well, it's a war movie... that's from PJ himself... and it's his movie... so he'd know...


15 Dec 03 - 01:26 PM (#1073030)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Wesley S

According to my local newspaper Peter Jackson was contacting actors { many of them from the LOTR } to be in a film of The Hobbit. How accurate that is I don't know. I'm just reporting what I've read.


15 Dec 03 - 01:33 PM (#1073037)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: McGrath of Harlow

If a war movie means a movuie with a war in it, obviously enough that's true. But of course in real life fighting is only a small part of most wars, and not necessarily the most enduring part in the lives of the people involved.


15 Dec 03 - 01:39 PM (#1073043)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

No... he likely wasn't... When he gets the ext Ed DVD for ROTK done, he's gotta run off and remake King Kong (Like we need yet another version of THAT!?!?!?)

There was some talk of him "Producing" a made for TV miniseries of The Hobbit... But where he'd find the time I can't imagine....

I also imagine him (With his lousy sense of humour) ruining The Hobbit with jokes about being short, and about Lembas farts...

He really is a lousy director... LOTR not withstanding...

(o.k... maybe not... but -I- haven't liked ANYTHING else he's done... )


15 Dec 03 - 02:08 PM (#1073067)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Cluin

While the "Scouring" WAS a key element of the book, I can see why it was left out of the movie. It's not really a movie ending and they had to leave some bits out. Yes, it'll probably end up in some future DVD extended scenes edition; maybe not the first one, but somewhere down the road to knock another 30 bucks out of us Tolkienuts.


15 Dec 03 - 02:40 PM (#1073098)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Considering that the movies have made no mention of the power of Saruman's Voice, I'm not at all surprised that the Scouring would be left out. Remember that Saruman was stripped of all his sources of power with the exception of his Voice. It's the Voice that allowed him to escape imprisonment in Isengard and allowed him to take over the Shire. Without this key ingredient Saruman's takeover of the Shire and the subsequent Scouring don't make much sense.

Bruce


15 Dec 03 - 02:44 PM (#1073103)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

"Yes, it'll probably end up in some future DVD extended scenes edition"

Well, considering that it was never filmed in the first place... and that shooting on the Shire location was one of the first locations to get wrapped... and when they were done they destroyed the set, and returned the location to it original condition, I very much doubt they'd go back out to "Farmer Browns" field... rebuild the Shire (It took almost a year to build in the first place) only to film stuff for a highly specialised DVD release...

Especially considering that the audience that DVD would be aimed at has already shelled out tons of $$ already...

There is also good insider scoop that says there will not be a MASSIVE, All-in-one DVD Extended Ed set... PJ has said that in order to justify it to himself, they'd have to include all new behind the scenes stuff and commentary... and he simply has neither the time nor the inclination to shoot that... He's gotta get busy with King Kong...

What we might see is ONE big slip-cover set of the 3 Extended Ed versions in their slip covers... But the big "Gift Sets" (Fellowship came with the Argonath bookends... Two Towers came with the Gollum statue... both had one extra DVD of behind the scenes stuff over the regular Extened Ed release...) Once the Gift Set Extended Ed of ROTK is released, that'll be the last set you see...

So... this version will have no Tom Bombadil... no Scouring...

Folks'll have to wait till Cluin and I shoot the movie again, page for page in order to see that stuff...

:-)


15 Dec 03 - 02:51 PM (#1073108)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: NicoleC

The extended versions ARE better, but mostly they put in details and scenes that are needed more to explain things to those who aren't intimately aquainted with the stories.

Here in the LA area, they've been running FOTR and TTT extended editions in theaters for the past two weeks leading up to the ROTK opening. I saw TTT this weekend, and it was worth the $9.50 to see the 45min of extra bits on the big screen. The same theater is doing a Trilogy event on Wednesday. 10+ hours in the movie theater? Yikes!


15 Dec 03 - 03:16 PM (#1073121)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

I'd rather watch it at home where I have popcorn that isn't 10 bucks a bag... and next to my Guinness tap...

:-)


15 Dec 03 - 03:47 PM (#1073142)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Nerd

Cluin, it's not true that Saruman's voice has been ignored in the films. In FOTR, he uses his voice to change the weather (and Legolas hears "a fell voice on the wind") while the fellowship is on the mountain, and in TT Aragorn specifically tells Legolas and Gimli not to let Saruman speak because he can put a spell on them. (Of course, it was Gandalf and not Saruman they were meeting, as it turned out). One of the major reasons why they picked Christopher Lee for the role was his voice!

It's true that the scouring of the shire was never filmed and will never appear in Jackson's films, however cynical you wish to be about getting squeezed for an extra thirty bucks. Jackson has said (I believe to Newsweek) that he never liked that section of the books and therefore never scripted it in; it was out from the very beginning. They did, however, film a scene in which Grima kills Saruman, and that WILL be on the extended version of ROTK.

As to the war being a sub-plot, I don't think so. Tolkien's choice for the title of Return of the King was The War of the Ring, but publisher George Unwin overrode him. (In either case, the title is about the war and its consequences, not the quest; a title like "the destruction of the ring" would be more quest-focused.) As a veteran of the Somme, Tolkien's experience of war was one of the major ingredients he used in his fiction; even The Silmarillion is about a war. Certainly LOTR is also about a quest, but the fact that in TT and ROTK Tolkien splits the action into Book 1 and Book 2, with Book 1 recounting the war and Book 2 recounting the quest, suggests that they are equally important parts of the overall story. Jackson happens to be a war film nut, and seems to be focused on that part of the story. But, in his favor, I must say that the slowest portions of the book are the endless meanderings of Frodo, Sam and Gollum looking for the cracks of doom...


15 Dec 03 - 04:01 PM (#1073152)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Cluin

That was Bee-dubya-ell that mentioned "The Voice" (why is Tom Jones being mentioned here?), Nerd.

But you did clear up a question I had. I wondered what Christopher Lee was referring to in regard to his cut scenes if the Scouring was never supposed to have been filmed in the first place. But now I see that that scene was filmed at Isengard instead. That's the bit that will end up in the DVD then.


15 Dec 03 - 04:04 PM (#1073154)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Cluin

Oh, and me, cynical?


F##KIN"-A   RIGHT!


15 Dec 03 - 04:12 PM (#1073163)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST

I think they ought to do a porno version - some of them lads and lasses would look right good naked and abed -


15 Dec 03 - 04:23 PM (#1073172)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

"the fact that in TT and ROTK Tolkien splits the action into Book 1 and Book 2, with Book 1 recounting the war and Book 2 recounting the quest, suggests that they are equally important parts of the overall story"

Umm... no... Tolkien wrote the story that way simply because he knew of no other way to bounce back and forth between the two... cause really, he was never a very good writer...

And as for the 'splits' JRR had little to do with them... That was Unwin who spilt the book Lord Of The Rings, into the current 3 books, with 2 'sub-books' each...

"Tolkien's experience of war was one of the major ingredients he used in his fiction"
Not consciously... Tolkien HATED allegory...


15 Dec 03 - 10:42 PM (#1073203)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Good Flick!

Yes….indeed….in trying to do a MC-Max/Ted Boucher-Style…

""

The director sold out. Without a doubt! He did not care to follow Tolkein's statement on modern times conclusion.

However, do not discount the film for this small, 12 minute flaw. It is three full hours of artistatic majesty. Out of the three films…this one can stand-alone. In other-words you can encourage your non-believing/non-reading friends to view this one…and the story-line will feel complete.

It is good use of "artistic license" to place the discovery of the ring in this segment.

It is good use of "artistic license" to place the spider's lair and battle in this segment.

It is modern-day Political Correctness to "empower a woman" (the nurturing aspect is cute/sweet) but it is at the emasculating-expense of a good character.

Unfortunately, the Eagles did not hold the awe they held in the book.

My own stone-cold agate-eyes shed a few tears….certainly not at the sanguine ending….but most certainly along the way.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


16 Dec 03 - 03:03 AM (#1073308)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Coyote Breath

The Scouring was a rather heavy handed "reminder" that evil doesn't need a grand stage. It was also useful to show that underneath Saruman's desire for power there was a petty selfishness that, in the end, bred spite and meaness for their own sakes.

I just finished watching the first two films (getting ready for my visit to the cinema on Thursday) and something irritated me: Gimli shouldn't have been a "comic" figure. There were two times when "dwarf tossing" was referred to. Gimli's pratfalls also seemed out of character. I felt (in the books) that the dwarves could be almost murderous when it came to their dignity being offended.

Also I thought Legolas' "surfing" down the stairs at the ramparts of Helm's Deep was... just plain dumb.

But in the main, I agree; Peter Jackson has done a masterful job and I am moved to read all four books again, right after having seen the final film in PJ's trilogy.

CB


16 Dec 03 - 04:14 AM (#1073329)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: McGrath of Harlow

"Tolkien's experience of war was one of the major ingredients he used in his fiction" Not consciously... Tolkien HATED allegory...

I can't see how those sentences have much to do with each other. Allegory isn't about drawing on your own experiences, it's about having characters and situations that aren't there for themselves and the story, but are there in order to make some kind of commentary on the world.   

Tolkien distinguishes between "allegory" which he repudiates, more especially in relation to his own stories, and "applicability" which is a completely different thing, and which is a characteristic of any good story.

The aspects of the war he draws on don't actually appear to be the fighting as such, but the refusal of comrades to be ground down, and the endurance in the face of impossible circumstances. It was a very odd kind of war, and "the endless meanderings of Frodo, Sam and Gollum" are the part which are probably the parts that owe most to Tolkien's war experience, far more so than any of the battle sequences.   

I'm grateful for Peter Jackson's film, and glad that the extended versions exist as well. I'd be happy to see them in the cinema some time, because sitting in a living room with a small screen is handy enough, but it's just not the same experience as in a cinema.   The whole thing (well I haven't seen the last episode, but I am sure it's up to scratch) is far better than I'd have thought possible. It's just a shame if the ending is a let down.


16 Dec 03 - 08:16 AM (#1073460)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST

I'd have liked to have seen more of the Ents--that is a favorite part of the books for me.

As to the war vs quest issue...that is probably the dreariest part of the books for me, I was always more interested in the quest. The battle scenes in the book and the films are largely generic and interchangeable (I know someone will leap in here to say that was the "message" Tolkien intended, which I think is wrong--mediocre writing is the cause, in my view). I agree too with the criticism that the quest portions of the film are too drawn out (except we get to see the great character Gollum, one of the film's best). Sadly, it didn't have to be that way, but as someone pointed out, Jackson set out to make these as war movies, and that has come at the expense of the most interesting part of the story to me, which is Aragorn's journey, not Frodo's quest. Aragorn is the most interesting character in the book, for me.

I'd also have enjoyed some footage of Orcs at the craft service table.


16 Dec 03 - 11:02 AM (#1073721)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Grab

Last guest: Aragorn is the most interesting character in terms of being big and butch and handy with a sword. The point of LotR is that it isn't necessarily the strongman who makes history - some little fella can be more influential, just by taking on a tough task and sticking with it. Frodo starts off a non-entity, single-handedly (well, 9-fingeredly ;-) wins the war, and returns to being a non-entity afterwards, shattered by what he's done.

I think Tolkein's time in WW1 is the major influence here. The generals like Haig got all the fame and went on to bigger and better things after the war. Meanwhile the ordinary soldiers were the real heroes, fighting in appalling conditions and left physically and emotionally shattered at the end. I think this very much reflects Tolkein's view of war. This isn't allegory (he's not saying that Aragorn is Haig, although Denethor may well reflect Tolkein's views on "killing officers") but it's reflecting his views on the matter.

Graham.


16 Dec 03 - 02:00 PM (#1073859)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Nerd

Sorry Cluin! i misread the "voice" comment as yours.

McGrath, perceptive comments all. Tolkien would not have considered writing about war as "allegory" unless it had a one-to-one match with reality (i.e. Saruman is the Kaiser, Aragorn is Haig, etc). People tried to do that with his books relating to the second world war (Sauron is Hitler, Saruman Mussolini, and the ring is the atom bomb, for example), and he found it ridiculous and disrespectful.

Also, Clinton, while the publishers split the work into three volumes, Tolkien himself split it into parts corresponding to the six "books," so my point stands. He considered the war and the quest two major storylines running side by side, not a main plot and a subplot. The structure of the tale is in fact beautifully symmetrical. One could say either, "the war is being fought (by Arargorn et al) to give Frodo time to destroy the ring"; or, "the ring is being destroyed (by Frodo et al) to ensure that Aragorn wins the war." Each plot is necessary to the other, and neither would make sense without the other.


16 Dec 03 - 02:42 PM (#1073907)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Art Thieme

I thought the cloning of the orcs and their sounding like lions roaring and their appearance in general was exceedingly over the top. The wolves looked like buffalos with fangs.

The scenes of the orcs "birth"----them coming out of the placentas, all slimy and steaming, was TAKEN right from the original Invasion Of The Body Snatchers---the pods turning into the people who had "fallen asleep" in their ignorance, and thus, been taken over.(But, again, I digress.)

Once again I ask, are the Gray Havens still in ROTK ???

Art Thieme


16 Dec 03 - 02:45 PM (#1073911)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Clinton Hammond

" are the Gray Havens still in ROTK "

Kind of... Go see the movie...


16 Dec 03 - 04:20 PM (#1073977)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: McGrath of Harlow

Here's what I meant by the fighting war as being a diversion: "His doubt will be growing, even as we speak here. His Eye is now straining towards us, blind almost to all else that is moving. So we must keep it...We must at all costs keep his Eye from his true pewril. We cannot achieve victory by arms, but by arms we can give the Ring-bearer his only chance..." (from The Last Debate)


16 Dec 03 - 10:21 PM (#1074225)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

CRIPES....in typical MudCat fashion....the discussion is off base....not discussing the

Return of the King

topic announced in the lead thread.



If is not gremain to the discussion....start a new-thread on the second episode...or the first.....or even resurrect, like an absorbed Gandolph....the ghost of threads past.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


17 Dec 03 - 01:54 AM (#1074286)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Art Thieme

In typographical Garg fashion, it is not remain to the concussion or the implosion to continue a thread that's unravelling like Penelopes tapestry, one at a time, but et tu Brute and gather mucho from Garg's point he attempts to make. But the absorbed standoff I can understand a bit while meanings escape me right and left. The small bugs will get through the screen though no matter the barf flowing and just watch them struggle like Jay Leno in orc garb---but under Velveeta hot but juicy. You too ??? ---- **((BIG GRIN AND BEAR IT))** Hugs too--all around.

Art


17 Dec 03 - 02:07 AM (#1074290)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Art Thieme

What I'm saying partially is that Wormtongue killing Saruman and the hobbits having to kill W. is a continuation of the themes on "leaving bad guys live cause they still have an important roll to play" in the dynamic that precipitates a positive ending pretty much.

Art


17 Dec 03 - 08:12 AM (#1074432)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Peter T.

Actually, I think the early part of World War II is more of an influence -- certainly structurally, which is the great flaw of the myth in the books (apart from the dreary prose style). World War II (from the British angle) was about the threat to the little hobbit isle by the spread of Nazism. Unfortunately for the books, it sets up this weird situation where the final battle takes place on the homeland of the evil being, when by the dynamic of the tale, it should happen in the shire, with everyone's back against the wall. Everyone in the books keeps saying that our back is against the wall, but they keep moving forward into enemy territory. Throughout the books it is Sauron and Saruman who are threatened and embattled, in spite of the rhetoric of doom, evil spreading, etc.
yours,

Peter T.


17 Dec 03 - 12:06 PM (#1074583)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: McGrath of Harlow

"...the dreary prose style" means "I personally find it dreary" - which is fine, But it also implies "and those who do not, such as Uncle Dave, aren't really up to making judgements about literature", which is less so.

However I agree that "...by the dynamic of the tale, (the final struggle) should happen in the Shire, with everyone's back against the wall." Which is why removing the Scouring of the Shire (which achieves that) from the film version (which I haven't seen yet) feels like it must be a bad mistake.

....

Quite what gargoyle is on about there is puzzling. As threads go, this one is keeping on line remarkably consistently. I don't think there's a single post which isn't about the Lord of the Rings. (Well, I'm not going through with a toothcomb to check that - but certainly not many.) Perhaps this is a case of gargoyle in ironic mode?


17 Dec 03 - 12:33 PM (#1074612)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Art Thieme

McGrath, yes, that's what I was striving to say with the nonsense I wrote. ;-)

Art


17 Dec 03 - 01:43 PM (#1074663)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Saw it last night... well... really very early this morning...

I don't have any problem with omitting the Scouring, but I do have a problem with the film's failure to have any closure at all for the Saruman character. Jackson leaves Saruman in Isengard under the watch of the Ents and that's the last that's said of the matter. In the book, that decision was a mistake. In the movie it bears no consequences. Saruman is too important a character for his fate to be so open-ended.

In having Grima kill Saruman, Tolkien's point is that those who gain power by manipulating others will eventually abuse those they manipulate to the point of having the abused strike back and destroy them. In leaving Saruman's fate in limbo, Jackson has ignored this theme. He should still have had Grima kill Saruman, whether he included the Scouring in the story or not. Such a killing taking place in Isengard itself would not be inappropriate.   

Other than that, the movie was superb. The "aerial" shots of Minas Tirith alone are worth the price of admission. And the orcs are even uglier than in the other two movies.

Bruce


17 Dec 03 - 01:45 PM (#1074665)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Peter T.

Dreary, plodding. It is a pretty good critical rule of thumb that anything that takes itself seriously as an epic creates its own language in the telling -- Tolkein cheats on this by creating a clutch of separate mock-languages, etc., but it is an add on to the epic. His own prose is not very interesting. It is sort of Edwardian high-style, clunky. One would think that someone so saturated in medieval poetry would write beautifully, but for some reason all that stuff is handed off into the mock-languages. You don't read LOTR for the style, but for the story. Every once in a long while, his prose begins to match the content (some of the battles are well described).

yours,

Peter T.


17 Dec 03 - 11:06 PM (#1075046)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

And...the singing?

Any comment? Personally, I found the sound-track and screen choreography to be the catalyst that created the tears.....particulary 15-25 minutes to the denoument.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Oh...what fools these mortals be.


17 Dec 03 - 11:21 PM (#1075053)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: Little Hawk

Your yellow font is your most annoying characteristic, Gargoyle, but it's easily revealed by sweeping the mouse across it and selecting the text! Ahh...(sigh of relief)

I intend to tell everyone about it too. :-) Saves on the eyestrain.

Peter, the only thing about you that I cannot fathom is your lack of appreciation for Tolkien's writing! It's perplexing.

- LH


18 Dec 03 - 06:46 AM (#1075230)
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
From: GUEST,Cluin

Either that or a matter of personal taste, LH. I find it appeals to mine.

Going to see it tonight. Can't wait.