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Tony Grist

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Random Thoughts On Lord Of The Rings [Nov. 4th, 2004|07:21 pm]
Tony Grist
We spent election day watching Lord of the Rings. The rental company had sent us disc one of TFOTH and disc one of TTT, but, happily, the whole of TROTK. We watched the whole thing minus those two chunks, but- hey- we knew the story anyway.

The simple mythical story suits our times. The bad guys are ever so bad and the good guys are ever so good. Actually, "mythical" is the wrong word. True myth has nothing to do with good and evil. LOTR isn't a myth it's a morality play.

I don't think it's possible for a morality play to be great art- and LOTR certainly isn't, neither the book nor the film.

Tolkien stole Gollum from Dickens. He's part Fagin, part Uriah Heep.

God, but aren't the Riders of Rohan boring!

The scenes I like best in the book go for little in the film. The Mines of Moria and the Dead Marshes. Jackson's Dead Marshes are particularly feeble. He doesn't do spooky at all well.

Talking about spooky- the silliest thing in the story is the bit where Aragorn rides to the rescue at the head of an army of deaders. Tolkien rather skates over it (as well he might) but the film exposes the full absurdity of the idea. An army of monsters is swept away by an army of ghosts- all green and glowy like halloween novelties- oh please!

The battles scenes are OK, but they're not the greatest ever filmed.

The greatest battle scene ever filmed is in Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight.
The second and third are the opening and closing sequences of Saving Private Ryan. The battles in Kurosawa's Ran are pretty amazing too.

So why didn't they just get one of those eagles to carry the ring-bearer? No-one ever sees them coming. Frodo could have dropped the ring into Mt Doom from a great height and- bingo- the whole mission would have been done and dusted in half an hour.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-11-04 09:01 pm (UTC)
So why didn't they just get one of those eagles to carry the ring-bearer? No-one ever sees them coming. Frodo could have dropped the ring into Mt Doom from a great height and- bingo- the whole mission would have been done and dusted in half an hour.


I'm just glad Tolkein never thought of your clever plan, or we'd never have known about the mines of Moria.

Yes, and if Frodo had just worn the ring and become invisible, the eagle would have looked like he was just flying around to look for mice on Mount Doom.

But, hold! Frodo wouldn't have been able to drop the ring, because he would have wanted to keep it in the end. He would have just told his eagle to take him back home, please, he had lots of plans for the shire...

And the eagle, not having opposable thumbs, couldn't have done one thing to stop him.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-04 09:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, but if they'd plonked Frodo on the eagle's back in Rivendell he wouldn't have had time to become really badly corrupted by the ring.

And, as a failsafe measure, the eagle could have been given orders to drop him into the crater if by any chance he acted up at the last moment.

Alternatively, they could have sent the eagle on its own. They seem like pretty intelligent eagles.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-11-04 09:28 pm (UTC)
I don't trust those eagles. Just because they're nice to Gandalf doesn't mean that they wouldn't want that ring for themselves the second they're out of his sight.

They might be weak-willed eagles, easily taken over by Sauron as soon as they flew near his "Eye." And just imagine--they'd fly right to him and hand over the ring.




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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-11-04 09:36 pm (UTC)
they'd fly right to him and hand over the ring.


Well, beak over the ring.

(Kate is laughing. She says, One thing is for sure, they sure couldn't use the ring themselves. No fingers.

To which I say: But they could wear it on a talon. Assuming they could put it on with their beaks.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-04 10:26 pm (UTC)
I love this picture of the eagle fiddling with the ring, trying to "beak" it onto his talon.

I imagine it clucking to itself in frustration.




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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2004-11-05 04:48 am (UTC)
but the nazgul had those horsey wingy things to fly around on, they would have snatched him right off the eagle's back. and if he put the ring on, they would be able to see him.

also, they'd never order frodo dropped into the fire, because that's the sort of thing that "bad guys" do. the good guys always have qualms about ends justifying means.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-05 09:17 am (UTC)
But when the eagles take on the nazgul in the battle at the end it's the eagles who come out on top.

The nazgul are supposed to be these invincible, immortal terminator types, but every time anyone stands up to them they wimp out. On Weathertop Aragorn routs five of them with nothing more than a flaming torch- and they run off with their nightshirts on fire.

And earlier one of them turns back at the Brandywine when the hobbits are within his grasp for no better reason than that his horse doesn't want to get its hooves wet.
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[User Picture]From: qos
2004-11-05 03:35 am (UTC)
So why didn't they just get one of those eagles to carry the ring-bearer? No-one ever sees them coming. Frodo could have dropped the ring into Mt Doom from a great height and- bingo- the whole mission would have been done and dusted in half an hour.

LOL! I've been wondering about this too!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-11-05 09:10 am (UTC)
Tolkien's original is actually quite thin on story. You don't notice this because you're caught up in the atmosphere. Dammit, those places are real! But in the film, which is about action rather than atmosphere, the weaknesses in the plot are much more apparent.
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