Discussion in 'Community' started by -Courtney-, Nov 25, 2006.
I guess that makes sense, then. Thanks.
I'm actually hoping they DON'T foreshadow Saruman's turn- or if they do, they make it extremely subtle.
It'll actually be harder to convince people he's not evil. One of the flaws of the films is FOTR makes no attempt to disguise the fact that he's bad before its revealed (partly the fault of the source material for giving the guy serving Sauron the Big Bad a name that sounds like Sauron Man, but I digress)
Not to mention that Orthanc, supposedly made by men of Numenor, looks like it was designed for the Witch King.
This is how it should have ended.
Just come back from the cinema from seeing it. Apart from the breath-taking scenery, i thought the film had waaayyy to much talking and that made me quite bored.
The only reason I'm going is because it turned out to be a company event. I'm surprised the first part is so long but I guess it's still better than being stuck at work on a Friday. Maybe
After the LOTR movies, I was under impression that PJ & co. are terrible writers who don't understand Tolkien's world except for what lies on the surface. So I don't expect much from The Hobbit. Besides, the story is much simpler so I guess there's less for them to mess up.
A tongue-in-cheek guide to premiere night preparations - and celebrations. Have fun!
The "You bow to no one" pull back, followed by a fade to black, would have been the most effective ending, IMO.
I could see a briefer version of Sam's return home being used as an epilogue or post-credits tag, but that doesn't work without the sea/ship farewell to explain what happened to Frodo, and that ship scene absolutely should go (despite relevance to the characters), if we're talking pacing and audience patience.
I pledged to come back to this, so here goes.
Specifically I was responding to DarthLowBudget, who wrote:
And to which I responded:
Here then is my attempt to defend the assertions "Tolkien never hand-waves any of the 13 dwarves away" and "Each of them plays some vital part in the story, and their actions are united to their individual personae". Apart from the dodgy syntax of that last statement, perusing The Hobbit novel I find that my claims hold up. But not only are the individuals important, the large number of them is essential to the story, too.
WARNING: BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT THE FILMS TO BE SPOILED!
First, obviously Thorin is distinct; no one has disagreed with his unique role in the story. He out of all the dwarves has a character arc, and serves as both leader of the dwarves as as the expositor of essential plot points. So with Thorin's distinctness established I'll move on to the others.
The dwarves' first function in the story is comical. They arrive in groups of two and three at ironic moments when Bilbo is expecting Gandalf, and demand foodstuffs in large quantities. Bifur, Bofur and Bombur arrive together with Thorin and fall into Bilbo's home. The groupings and the sonorance of their names are necessary because there are so many of them. But beyond that, if the groups were reduced to just one dwarf each, the comical irony of the scene would not play. The entire point of this chapter in the book is precisely that there are so many of them. Shrink their number to three or four or five "essential" dwarves and suddenly this sequence is neither ironic nor comical. That is the first function of the 13 dwarves in the story.
Apart from Thorin, the first dwarf to be distinguished by his speech and attitude is Dwalin, who informs Bilbo of the necessity of his burgling skills. The dwarf who says this cannot be Thorin, because T. is grumpy and uncongenial, and Dwalin has an amicable tone as he explains the group's needs and Gandalf's promise. This is minor, perhaps, but it does show that the individual personae are not being handwaved away or lost in some mass of like-minded dwarfness.
The next dwarf to be distinguished is Balin. He seems to be the most observant of the group (he spots the troll campfire) and is perhaps second in command, as he's the first to come looking for Bilbo who is detained at the troll camp. Also in this scene, the number of the travellers is important because it makes the trolls keen on capturing them all; if there were fewer their greed would not be as evident and the scene would play out differently.
Next to be distinguished, by his kindness, is Dori, who carries Bilbo out of the Goblin-cave after the hobbit lags behind. Then the number of the dwarves becomes important to the story when Gandalf has to count and enumerate everyone to make sure none has been left behind. Again, this scene would not play if the number were reduced. Dori's kindly decision to carry Bilbo on his back becomes important when the dwarf slips during a goblin pursuit, and drops Bilbo down the cliffside into the dark where he meets Gollum.
Balin's powers of observation are then traded on, ironically, when he is watching for goblins and Bilbo, invisible now through the Ring's power, slips past him. This scene would not be meaningful had Balin's keenness of sight not been previously established.
Next, at Beorn's cottage, the exact number of dwarves becomes important as the group gradually reveals the truth of their number to the hairy ursanthrope. First Gandalf shows only himself and Bilbo, then when Beorn questions Gandalf's story the wizard summons four of the dwarves, and so forth. This sequence would absolutely not work as a story, unless there were a large number of dwarves to be revealed in gradations.
I think I've written enough on the subject for now. I'll come back later and continue the work!
But they are not all individualized, and often speak in groups.
Not that I think there should be less, and I understand how the Beorn scene and the Bag End scene lose their effect with less dwarves, but individual personae-not so much.
I've already distinguished Thorin, Dwalin, Balin and Nori as having unique personae from which their actions spring, and through which the events of the story emerge. Merely contradicting me without offering any reason does not rebut my assertions. I'll distinguish the other dwarves where the text supports that effort in a future post.
I'm not convinced that Dwalin explaining things to Bilbo quite fits as demonstrating his persona.
There really isn't much I can say about them not all having distinct, easily recognizable personalities, because I can't quote the book saying such, but how, from actions and dialogue, could you distinguish Kili form Fili?
Obviously Thorin is clearly defined, and I'll grant you Balin (the wise watchman). No comment on Dori at the moment, as I believe I am having the cartoon version of him confused, and do not have the book with me to clarify.
Basically, I'm saying that they are not all distinct, clearly drawn seperate characters in the book, with their own arcs, etc.
Well, he's played by Christopher Lee. There's really no point trying to pretend he's not a villain.
But, yeah, I hope they show us a Saruman who appears trustworthy and wise, rather than cheap villain-foreshadowing.
I hear that he just kind of sits there, and talks on and off. And he's heavily CGI'd.
Which doesn't sound all that great.
I think that's a fair way of describing Saruman's role in the movie, though the de-aging effects were pretty good. If I didn't know they had been used on Ian Holm and Christopher Lee I wouldn't have noticed them.
While I don't like the numerous fake-out ending edits, it wouldn't be RotK without the last line of dialog being "Well, I'm back."
The burden of proof is on you here. We can't prove a negative. You however, can demonstrate their unique attributes. If you fail to do so, that would suggest Tolkien didn't do a good job of making distinct characters out of them.
As to how you are doing so far, count me as another unconvinced vote on Dwalin and Dori. You just named something each one happened to do. That doesn't make them into fully fleshed out characters. It's just mentioning an event. For instance, couldn't the two people you designated as leaders have credibly chosen to carry Bilbo as part of their commitment to keeping their team intact? Especially when, as you just said, the dwarves stated that they had a need for BIlbo's skills. Isn't it as much practical as kind to make sure someone doesn't die before you are able to make use of them? And did explaining their needs really require some huge amount of diplomatic savvy, thus that it merited a whole character on his own? Does the guy ever show this trait again? Otherwise, couldn't it just be a second dwarf who is not the commander?
Finally, I'd not dispute your rationale about why the large number of dwarves is made important to the story. But I'd counter that saddling the entire narrative with almost ten useless characters just for the sake of a single joke or effect is probably not wise. Either more work should be done to make each character worthwhile, or the author might consider whether the original goal is really that worthwhile to begin with.
Or you might consider that it's an amusing story for his children.
Certainly there's that. But Ambrosius was part of the crowd claiming it was one of the most well-written works in the English language, and that it was short-sighted not for it to win international accolades in literature. In light of that, I just wanted to point for him one instance where, although a fun and enjoyable story, it really falls short of the praise he was trying to force onto it.
Christopher Lee doesn't necessarily have to be perceived as a villain- his role in Hugo, for example.
Everton got me this scarf for Christmas, which effectively proves that I have the best boyfriend in the world.
You can all start envying me now.
But....it's not Christmas yet.
It's an early present, because we're together this extended weekend and I didn't want to wait with unwrapping it until Christmas.
Also it means I can wear it when we go see the Hobbit tomorrow.
This thread is more about mar + everton dating than the hobbit.