View Single Post
Old 11-14-2015, 11:35 AM   #33
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
Morthoron's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ensconced in curmudgeonly pursuits
Posts: 2,329
Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
-locations like Dol Guldur, Rhosgobel and Lake Town, which to me look very affectedly hodge-podge or ramshackle; they look designed to look chaotic rather than looking like they've organically come to look that way. By contrast, Edoras and Minas Tirith in the films look like places that could actually exist.

I think this last part is especially noticeable when comparing the elements which returned from the other films, like Hobbiton and Rivendell, to those which were designed for these ones.
The issue is, and always has been, that left to his own devices and being allowed to drift from the original plot leads Peter Jackson into excess and all but destroys a suspension of disbelief.

Dol Guldur is not necessarily described by Tolkien in any way that would lead to PJ adhering to a book description (like in the case of Minas Tirith, which is described in detail). Dol Guldur, as depicted by PJ, is Halloweenish -- a ghostly graveyard of trite tricks, whereas Minas Morgul in the LotR films is genuinely creepy because there is not an excess of eerie tomfoolery that makes it seem like a Disneyworld haunted ride. It's like Sauron hired a ghostly decorator to spread cobwebs and strew crumbly edifices about for a photo shoot for the magazine Haunted Architectural Digest.

Lake-town looks like PJ borrowed the set from the dreadful 1980s Popeye movie that featured Robin Williams. You've not seen it? Go on YouTube and check out the architectural elements:

Again, like the Chutes 'n' Ladders(TM) lunacy of Goblintown, Lake-town is set up for stunts 'n' chases, and does not at all look like the drawings Tolkien made. Not at all, not one bit. Tolkien's depiction is reminiscent of Northern European prehistoric villages built on piles offshore, but with more medieval architecture, as Michael Martinez offers here:

It seems purpose built and orderly, whereas PJ's looks like a kindling and recycled wood convention, precarious and architecturally ludicrous.

Rhosgobel? As I have said previously, the whole Radagast shtick was lifted almost wholesale from T.H. White's The Once and Future King, with Radagast's bird droppings an exact match for Merlyn, and the interior of the wizard's abode sharing many elements. And while I cherish the works of White, his work is fairly incongruous to that of Tolkien's and PJ borrowed the most clownish aspects of Merlyn and none of his character. Once again, PJ, left to his own devices, creates a silly character (on a C.S. Lewis bunny sled, no less) that would make Tom Bombadil blush in embarrassment.
Please visit my newly resurrected blog...The Dark Elf File...a slightly skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.

Last edited by Morthoron; 11-14-2015 at 12:04 PM.
Morthoron is offline   Reply With Quote