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Old 09-24-2014, 10:19 AM   #7
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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One wonders what they are going to do with the Seventh Doctor, that is to say Rrrrrrrrradagast the Brrrrrrrrrrown, as well. Not very glorious for him to 'disappear' like he more or less does after meeting Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, is it? He can hardly declare at the end of the inevitable Dol Guldur rescue sequence: "Ooh dear me Gandalf, this has all been very frightening. I'm going to go into hiding now. See you when I see you," and scamper off, can he?

The thread topic actually rather struck me in terms of how much the Tauriel character embodies the 'Hobbit' films as adaptations compared to those of The Lord of the Rings. Here we find an entirely invented character given significant screentime and even a plot of her own. The nearest equivalent, if memory serves, would be the unnecessary character of 'Mardil' as Faramir's offsider in the second and third films of The Lord of the Rings (what was wrong with Damrod and/or Mablung?). Yet 'Mardil' is extremely minor as things go, and doesn't have his own plot in any sense of the word. Nonetheless his death scene rather makes me think that PJ's Azog is in a sense a rehash of his Gothmog. This in itself is a failure to understand a major notion in Tolkien's work, in my opinion: of the Orc as representative of the utterly degraded conscript-soldier. Focusing on 'leaders' and big, muscly, villainous Orc-generals who get to chat with Sauron and the Ringwraiths completely misses the point Tolkien achieves by providing us with the discourse of low-ranking officers like Shagrat and Gorbag for whom the situation is completely out of their control. I digress...

It's just striking how moot a point it is whether 'Tauriel' lives or dies: we know she's not in PJ's The Lord of the Rings, which highlights the absurdity of introducing a new character in a prequel whom we already know has no bearing whatsoever upon how things play out in the long run, and then putting them in the spotlight. If she's used to motivate Kķli (and possibly bring about his own death) then it's just emblematic of how the writers have utterly failed to capitalise upon the very bones they were thrown by the text, which they have show by such decisions as leaving Thorin's relationship to his nephews as, thus far, a line or two of dialogue. I honestly felt one of the most interesting 'invented' moments in 'The Desolation of Smaug' was when Thorin told Fķli that he would be king one day and have to face tough decisions. Not something Professor Tolkien would probably write about, but at least they were using material that was already there and thus actually fitted the story, rather than inventing ideas which inevitably do not fit the existing narrative they are nonetheless trying to follow, thus distorting it.

There's a moment in Moria in the Extended Edition of 'The Fellowship of the Ring' where I believe Gandalf mentions Thorin by name when recalling Bilbo's dwarf-mail. No one ever says anything about 'Tauriel' or Radagast or 'That time sixty years ago when Sauron, who we're now saying has just reappeared, sent a huge army to attack the Lonely Mountain' and despite supposedly having been 'entombed' until very recently the Ringwraiths already rule Minas Morgul. An effective Hobbit-as-prequel would have been one which was actually a prequel (explaining how Bilbo got to where he was, mostly) and not one which tries to tell a story which is, in a sense, bigger and more climactic than the very tale it is meant to precede.
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.

Last edited by Zigūr; 09-24-2014 at 10:23 AM.
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