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Old 06-14-2017, 09:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan View Post
I think we should be allowed to want a different kind of cake.

Perhaps in this instance a cake that doesn't have so much stupid trash in it like elves at Helm's Deep, Faramir trying to take the Ring back to Minas Tirith until a Nazgul suddenly shows up, Théoden being reluctant to go aid Gondor, Denethor being a cowardly lunatic, the list goes on and on.

I have yet to see a sound justification as to why changes like these were needed to successfully adapt the novels to film.
Can I give the perspective of someone with actual media experience and training? In my view, many of the changes from book to film are justified due to the need for time compression and visual drama. This is, of course the "different mediums" argument in a nutshell, and I think it's fair as far as it goes.

But the things you're talking about- no. TTT (the film) especially has some strange storytelling decisions in it which I can't defend artistically and which I think might have more to do with the production history than anything else. I didn't realise this until recently, but it seems originally Jackson & Co. wrote the script for LotR as two films, meaning, presumeably, that everything in TTT (the book) was either cut or moved. And then when they did get the green light for three films, I suppose the middle part had to be sort of Frankensteined out of a.) the other scripts, b.) the Appendices and c.) thin air. I think the result is still a decent film, but arguably the fact they got away with it that time set an unfortunate precedent.

As an example of a major change I think was quite justified: giving Glorfindel's role to Arwen. Yes, I know you're all going to scream- but the fact is the "Glorfindel" section occupies such a tiny amount of screentime that there would have been no time to do anything with the character anyway. It would have been quite weird to introduce an apparently significant character only to have him disappear after a minute, never to be seen again. (Tolkien, by contrast, had a lot more time/space to work with).

I think much of the hostility to the "different mediums" argument from book fans comes from the way it has often been used as a supposedly irrefutable blanket defence of, well, everything. Also, perhaps, the fact that some of its proponents want to have their cake and eat it- some people who don't think the films should be like the books ("different mediums, guys") will happily bash the books for not being more like the films ("all those boring descriptions"). This was particularly noticeable in "The Hobbit" honeymoon period, when one heard quite a lot about how Jackson had "treated the material with more respect than Tolkien ever did"- because apparently JRRT wrote the book as a children's story by mistake.
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