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Old 01-21-2005, 05:59 AM   #1
Eomer of the Rohirrim
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Boots Flow my tears, the spider said...

I write in regard to the single most disappointing part of the trilogy for me. So as not to make a new thread without much purpose, I will try to ask a more general question about the films. That is why I am not posting this in the Pelennor Fields thread.

The part of the films I was looking forward to more than any other is in The Return of the King. It is the series of events in the book which includes Theoden's fatal injury, Eowyn's battle with the Witch-King, her subsequent serious injury, Eomer's despair, madness and lack of hope, and reaches its climax with the arrival of Aragorn to the battle.

This for me is the most action-packed, frenzied, exciting, emotional scene in the book. It incorporates so much. I am not exaggerating when I say that I think this scene could have been the greatest in cinematic history.

So why was it tampered with so much? There are other parts of the film that have been understandably altered. The allusions to the passing of the Elves and the deep sense of melancholy that went with that were sadly missing from the films but most people can understand that this ommision makes sense.

But the Pelennor Fields? Eomer is nowhere to be found. Aragorn makes his arrival in a relatively meek and quiet way. Theoden gets to talk with Eowyn after the battle. The result is a watered-down version of the heroism and tragedy that should have been given to us.

And I can see no good reason for doing this. The reason I do suggest in the title is that Tolkien's scene was too violent on the ol' emotions. I will not deny that I had tears in my eyes as Theoden died. However, what could have been given was the brilliantly tragic way that Theoden died practically right next to Eowyn, yet had no knowledge of this. It seems as if the filmmakers thought that it would be better to have a fairly sad 'closure' of the relationship, rather than a tragic unfortunate lack of one.

When I read this part of the book I am awestruck at how amazingly fantastic it is. When I see the film I just think of it as alright. It surely cannot be to do with the medium, because other films manage this kind of epic scene very well. It also cannot be to do with the fact that it is fantasy, because the part I describe is a completely human story.

Any thoughts at all?
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Old 01-21-2005, 06:56 AM   #2
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I was disapointed by nearly all of the War of the Ring sequences from RotK. On the one hand, I think that Frodo's half of the story was carried off near-perfectly, but virtually everything I wanted to see in RotK was either cut or changed beyond recognition or coherence. Imrahil, the Knights of Dol Amroth, Denethor (the real one), Beregond and Bergil, Ioreth, Elfhelm, Gondorians who actually act like real Gondorians, and of course Eomer's madness on finding Eowyn and subsequent battle-rage, none of these are on-screen.

What I'm almost beginning to think is that, with the exception of Frodo's Quest, Jackson just about converted RotK into a monster movie, and thus the over-emphasis on the Army of the Dead, Fell Beasts etc.

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Old 01-21-2005, 08:53 AM   #3
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Yes, I agree we miss the Tragedy of Theoden dying right next to Eowyn and not knowing she was there.

Let me explain why this happened movie wise IMO.

In the book, we have time to see Merry and Theoden's relationship grow to a Father / Son type relationship. In the film they did not have the time to do this. i.e. the two friends sitting down discussing the merits of pipe smoking would have slowed the start and middle of the movie down too much. I AM NOT SAYING I AGREE WITH THIS CHANGE, as the scenes between theoden and merry are some of my favourites, esp. Theoden's death scene, but I can understand filmically why it was done

This leads us on to that scene. We HAD to have a death scene for Thedoen, and if we didn't I'm sure there would have been Gandalf Staff like annoyance and much gnashing of teeth if we didn't. The only person Thedoen could talk to with any degrees of feeling was of course his Niece.

On to Eomer. Yes, we didn't have the shot of his rage and madness as he rides off not knowing his sister is alive. But, filmically, I thought the scene with him discovering Eoywn was excellent. The acting in just the look on Karl's face is absolutely STUNNING. (I thought a LOT of superb acting was shown throughout the trilogy by 'looks' alone) This, to me, worked better, as it was shot in a more sedate style, with the Soldiers walking around tending to the wounded and looking for their dead. Also, in this way, we can cut straight to the Houses of Healing Scene.

My main gripe in this area does not come from what Eomer states above, but from the Merry scenes that we could have had, i.e. him going into Minas Tirith and in the Houses of Healing, which always bring a tear to my eye as I read them. And instead of Merry saying to Pippin 'I knew you'd find me', he could have said one of the most memorable lines in the whole book 'Are you going to bury me?' instead.

Ah well.
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eomer of the Rohirrim
The part of the films I was looking forward to more than any other is in The Return of the King. It is the series of events in the book which includes Theoden's fatal injury, Eowyn's battle with the Witch-King, her subsequent serious injury, Eomer's despair, madness and lack of hope, and reaches its climax with the arrival of Aragorn to the battle.

This for me is the most action-packed, frenzied, exciting, emotional scene in the book. It incorporates so much. I am not exaggerating when I say that I think this scene could have been the greatest in cinematic history.

So why was it tampered with so much? There are other parts of the film that have been understandably altered. The allusions to the passing of the Elves and the deep sense of melancholy that went with that were sadly missing from the films but most people can understand that this ommision makes sense.

But the Pelennor Fields? Eomer is nowhere to be found. Aragorn makes his arrival in a relatively meek and quiet way. Theoden gets to talk with Eowyn after the battle. The result is a watered-down version of the heroism and tragedy that should have been given to us.

And I can see no good reason for doing this. The reason I do suggest in the title is that Tolkien's scene was too violent on the ol' emotions. I will not deny that I had tears in my eyes as Theoden died. However, what could have been given was the brilliantly tragic way that Theoden died practically right next to Eowyn, yet had no knowledge of this. It seems as if the filmmakers thought that it would be better to have a fairly sad 'closure' of the relationship, rather than a tragic unfortunate lack of one.

When I read this part of the book I am awestruck at how amazingly fantastic it is. When I see the film I just think of it as alright. It surely cannot be to do with the medium, because other films manage this kind of epic scene very well. It also cannot be to do with the fact that it is fantasy, because the part I describe is a completely human story.

Any thoughts at all?
I agree that there just isn't enough emotional intensity during the battle, other than Eomer running towards Eowyn's body. Theoden's death was ok, but it could have (I suppose) been made better if it kept in line with the book a bit more, i.e. Theoden talking about Eowyn, not realising that she is lying near him. Now THAT would have been more of a tear-jerker. In fact, one of the best scenes for me was Theoden's rally to the Rohirrim before their onslaught.

I thought throughout there was not enough "human" involvement. I agree that lack of Eomer, Lords of Gondor, possibly even the absence of Imrahil were detriment to the emotional impact that the film could have made.

The heroism and tragedy were put on the back-burner by PJ during the battle scene. Instead, for reasons that I personally cannot comprehend he resorts to using (bad) CGI effects, green "things" and Legolamb's ridiculous acrobatics.

Aragorn's arrival certainly lacked any emotion. It was just too corny, especially with the music that is played.

What a shame. I also thought that the Pelennor battle could have made cinematic history. Instead, it was just run-of-the-mill fantasy stuff.

*a little dig at movie lovers*: PLEASE don't make excuses for PJ & co! Try to be objective
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
I agree that there just isn't enough emotional intensity during the battle, other than Eomer running towards Eowyn's body.
I actually found Pelennor Fields to have a lot of emotion. Maybe, I'm just biased, because besides Boromir, Theoden is my favorite character. But, I just love Theoden's chutzpa speeches during this battle, to get you going.

Quote:
Eomer, take your éored down the left flank. Gamling, follow the King's banner down the center. Grimbold, take your company right, after you pass the wall. Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise. Arise, Riders of Théoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered. A sword day... a red day... ere the sun rises.
Then of course the lovely, "Death! Death!"

After the Rohirrim ride and send the orcs retreating, Theoden declares victory...
Quote:
We saved the City! (spots Haradrim and I love Bernard Hill's expression) Reform the lines...reform the lines...Sound the charge. Take them head on. Charge!
I think what makes these two lines good, and gets your blood going (and the goosebumps) is Bernard Hill's acting. Also, they back of Gamling's claim in TTT "Your men will follow you to whatever end."

I don't mind Eowyn spotting Theoden. The movie sets up a strong relationship between the two. With many scenes between them where Theoden is acting like a father to Eowyn...

TTT- Eowyn: I can fight! Theoden: No! You must do this...for me.

The scene with "I am happy for you. He is an honorable man."

Then, one of my favorites, with a bit of emotion itself...

Eowyn: What other duty would you have me do my lord?
Theoden: Duty? No...I would have you smile again. Not grieve for those whose time ahas come.

Let me point out two more scenes that we get in the EE, which adds more tears...

Eomer, finding Eowyn. Urban does great.

Eowyn fighting fiercely next to Theoden. Theoden has no idea its Eowyn, and gets this look like "Who is this person?" Such great stuff.

The only downsides I see is Aragorn's arrival, and that whole sequence with the dead army. And also, Gothmog chasing after Eowyn. What the heck?

Other than that I can not see how one can say Pelennor fields doesn't have a lot of emotion in it.

Edit: I got exactly what I was expecting from the Eowyn vs. WK scene....

"Fool no living man can slay me."
"I am no man!"

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Old 01-21-2005, 04:14 PM   #6
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White Tree

That's "Make safe the city".
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:19 PM   #7
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Silmaril

Ah...the Pelennor Fields. Sad, yet full of hope. One of the most wondrous parts of the Book...and I do agree with Eomer that it was downplayed in the films.

Has anyone ever noticed that the films seem to be putting more emphasis on Eowyn than Eomer? We could see right through movie Eowyn, but movie Eomer is a little distant. Maybe that's why PJ chose Eowyn to be the last person Theoden talks to rather than Eomer. After all, it would be more dramatic doing so. They have already shown a very intimate relationship between the king and Eowyn in TTT, and it would be best for them to continue with RotK with that in mind.
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:56 AM   #8
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Boots

Well, I do think it was completely right to have more of Eowyn. Having said that, Eomer was practically not in the film at all.

Please don't think of me as one-dimensional Boro (even though I did invite it upon myself). I too love the Ride of the Rohirrim, it is one of my favourite parts of the films. This was epic. The filmmakers also made it work at the close of the Battle at Helm's Deep. But this only furthers my bemusement at the horrible way Aragorn was introduced to the fields of Gondor. Read the book, this introduction is just gold.

Boromir's death scene was already one of those sad-but-happy-in-a-way deaths. Theoden's was pretty similar. I think they missed out on this opportunity to have an unorthodox death scene. Do not have it in the quiet after the battle, with the final goodbye from the niece. Have it in the midst of battle, with no chance of a goodbye. That will make the audience cry in a different way.
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:23 PM   #9
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Shield

And of course, among others, two of PJ and friends errors were in not having
the Pelennor Fields in darkness which breaks (centering on Theoden's standard)
as the Rohirrim charge, and the foolish overuse of the Army of the Dead- which
makes the Rohirrim charge almost pointless.
Quote:
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Orome the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terrortook them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:40 PM   #10
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Read the book, this introduction is just gold.
If you look at my post #5, I said that is one of the dissapointments in the movies. I love when Eomer in this part. He sees the corsair ships, and begins to lose all hope, then the White Tree goes up. Oh, and when they meet in the midst of battle, "Let this be the hour when we draw swords together," is indeed gold. Even with the way done in the movies, the overuse of the green slime, I don't see how this takes away from all the other great moments that I listed...

Theoden's pep talks.
Eowyn vs. the WK.
Eomer finding Eowyn on the battlefield.
Eowyn fighting fiercely next to Theoden.
Theoden's words to Eowyn (I explain why I like this in post 5 as well).
I think another thing worth mentioning is the sequences on Pelennor between Merry and Eowyn.

So much great stuff in this scene. I agree with Tuor that the green slime does take away from Rohan even being there, but I don't think it lessens any part of the emotional scenes in this part of the movie.

Consider this point as well. If Rohan hadn't of arrived Aragorn wouldn't have gotten to the city in time to save it. Sauron's hordes are on what the 5th level? About to break through again with only a few Gondorian soldiers left with Gandalf and Pippin. Rohan arrives, clears the outside of orcs, then haults the Haradrim, so you can't just take out Rohan or Aragorn wouldn't have arrived in time.

I think any part after Theoden's death (excluding Gothmog's chase which was just absolutely ridiculous) was done bad. Especially the arrival of Aragorn and the green slime, that whole sequence and Legolas' Mumakil stunt. However, any part before that was I think done great, which is most of Pelennor fields.
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:08 PM   #11
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The climax was not delivered, though. I agree that the fighting was good and I enjoyed the parts with Theoden and Eowyn. I especially loved the fight with the Witch King (although I wish Merry could have had more than 4 nanoseconds to do his bit).

I do think that the emotional involvement would have been astronomical had they followed the footsteps of Eomer through from the death of Theoden to the sight of Aragorn; incorporating the sense of hopelessness that we had in the book after Theoden passed away, and the utter joy felt by those in Gondor at the return of the King.

There was not even a gap between the two central events I describe here. Aragorn arrives at the same time as Eowyn is battling Witchy! There is no chance for despair.
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:18 PM   #12
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Very good points, and the whole fighting even after Aragorn's arrival I thought was bad. I too would have loved to see more through Eomer's eyes, when the corsairs arrive, the way it is in the book with Eomer first it describes his despair at seeing the black sails, then he gathers up his courage, blows the horns, and rallies his men, to await what he thinks are the corsairs. Then out pops the White Tree, very powerful stuff, it is a pity we miss it.

One small comment. When Aragorn is in front of Minas Tirith with the dead army, telling them they are now "uncursed," the Rohirrim aren't around at all. I think they took Theoden's death speech a little too seriously .
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:21 PM   #13
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Or how Gimli still manages to crack a joke when faced with an army of hideous ghouls. Strange.
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Or how Gimli still manages to crack a joke when faced with an army of hideous ghouls. Strange.
You know, that kind of bothered me. Yeah, in Helm`s Deep they were making a game out of killing the orcs, but this is different. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was much bigger than Helm`s Deep. I can see that PJ wanted to add humor to the movie,but... I don't know.

I can see where you are coming from Eomer. They did not build up the emotion and tragedy of it all in the movie. Yes, Theoden's death scene was rather sad, but personally, I think it would have been better if it had been more... what's the word... tragic, I guess. I admit that I enjoy the dark part of movies.

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Old 01-23-2005, 07:10 PM   #15
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I think the counting thing was funny. Even if it was totally unreal. NOBODY I mean, NOBODY would make a game out of an army they couldn't even see. (Referring to Gimli.) No matter how weird and unliteral, it was still funny. And also, you'd think that at least one of the head haunches would die, for instance, Eomer, or Gimli, or Eowyn. I wonder who the most obsessed person with LOTR is.
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Old 01-24-2005, 03:34 AM   #16
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There was too much of an over-reliance on CGI during the battle IMO that failed to capture much of the humanistic elements already commented upon.
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