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Old 09-24-2014, 06:50 PM   #8
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Tar-Jx has just left Hobbiton.

Originally Posted by Zigr View Post
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 Kli (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 Fli 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.
I think it's pretty clear that PJ is trying to outdo Lord of the Rings. This is a terrible idea, considering how in lore, the events that take place in Lord of the Rings are MUCH more important. The most important parts in the long term in the Hobbit were Riddles in the Dark, killing Smaug, and the Battle of the Five Armies.

I will give PJ that Riddles in the Dark was fantastic, but if you try to outdo something which has a much bigger scale and higher stakes by nature, you will fail. Tauriel was probably put there to appease the female audience, all of which don't care that there are no females in Middle Earth, because they're too busy cooking and cleaning to be part of the action, save 2.

By killing Tauriel, everyone wins, and if Tauriel dies a dwarf-lover, Legolas would ease to the idea, which works well-ish. PJ made a lot of mistakes by bringing Azog back to life, inventing new characters everywhere, and taking 'artistic license' for what you can't really change. If you want to change up the story, make a parody, or an interpretation in a different setting. Don't try and change what was already complete.
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