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Old 01-09-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
Lush
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Shield Does anyone else hate the Rohanites? Or am I just a horrible person?

So TTT is playing on the Saudi-owned channel tonight, MBC (they cut out all of the kissing - how pathetic. Not very tolerant of me, I know, but KISSING? MBC is a horrible channel, and the minute I'm able to get Showtime Arabia at my new place, I will shout up at the heavens in rejoicing)... And I am reflecting on the fact that I hate the way that most Rohanites are portrayed. Always have.

Eowyn and Theoden and Eomer are great, but the ordinary folk? I think Peter Jackson really overdid the "miserable" angle. And I hate the two little kids who ride on the horse by themselves. Everyone thinks they're cute, even my boyfriend thinks they're cute - but I think they're annoying. And it's like this false drama is introduced with them, and it's hugely overblown, and I just want them to stop whining.

Am I just mean and awful?
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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I think you're right - though we didn't get to see the worst - the original plan was to have Eowyn help deliver the mother's baby (if you see what I mean- she was pregnant in the original script) in the Glittering Caves.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:14 PM   #3
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I love Rohan, in general... I mean, The Golden Hall was simply gorgeous and I love all of the art.
The people, however, I never really thought about even really paying them attention... hah! But I can truly see what you mean about them seeming truly pathetic and poverity ridden... helpless. I would think that despite hard times the people would be stronger than that.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #4
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I think you're right - though we didn't get to see the worst - the original plan was to have Eowyn help deliver the mother's baby (if you see what I mean- she was pregnant in the original script) in the Glittering Caves.
And she managed to waddle her way from danger as her town was being burned and pillaged? I am impressed. And Eowyn hardly seems like the midwife type, but it is still better than the plan to have Arwen miraculously show up at the Battle of Helm's Deep.

But to the original topic at hand...any soldier of Rohan is worthwhile. Sure they hardly speak, but maybe that's why I like them. Those little Rohan children would have more of my pity if they didn't have any speaking lines. In fact the whole scene would have been better with music and no speaking. It could show the plight of the Rohanites without giving them a word edgewise.

Personally I'm more annoyed by the scene where Aragorn does a bit of sword play with the young Rohan soldier who seems to have soiled his armor.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:29 PM   #5
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And she managed to waddle her way from danger as her town was being burned and pillaged? I am impressed. And Eowyn hardly seems like the midwife type, but it is still better than the plan to have Arwen miraculously show up at the Battle of Helm's Deep.
Really true -
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# The scene shown in the very first TTT trailer of Eowyn with a sword in the Glittering Caves was originally part of a larger scene where she helps deliver a baby and then defends the people against an invading Uruk. The entire sequence was dropped, which is why it does not appear in the Extended Edition. http://uk.dvd.ign.com/articles/440/440963p6.html
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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For Rohan!

But yeah anyways, I didn't care for that scene with the children. Sure, it shows them invading the village but the kids were annoying.

And how the mother got to Helms Deep I have no clue...I figured she would have been slain right after the kids left.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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I think you're right - though we didn't get to see the worst - the original plan was to have Eowyn help deliver the mother's baby (if you see what I mean- she was pregnant in the original script) in the Glittering Caves.
That would have been amusing, knowing how visceral childbirth is Or would it have been a fantasy birth in every sense of the word, such as those we see in Hollywood films or the ones everyone imagines they'll have with whale song in the background and a few aromatic candles when the reality involves lots of swearing, gore and often copious quantities of drugs

Actually, I don't mind that bit in the film at all, though I wish the woman would have brushed their hair - nobody lets their hair get so matted unless they are an anti-road protestor that lives in a hedge or something like that.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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I never noticed it was the same woman in the caves...I'm glad they didn't go with a "birthing" scene: it would be so out of place, and having Eowyn involved when doubtless there were many many other women who would have been more useful in such a situation? I don't understand filmmaking.

I have to agree with most of the previous comments. The Rohirrim are supposed to be a warlike folk, and although doubtless they lived in terrible times surely they were stronger than portrayed. When you imagine the Rohirrim, do you not picture the women (not just Eowyn), as proud and stern? The men as well - fell and fearless?

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And we love them: tall men and fair women, valiant both alike, golden-haired, bright-eyed, and strong; they remind us of the youth of Men, as they were in Elder Days. - Faramir, The Two Towers, The Window on the West
Are these the same people who are in the movies? I don't mean to sound harsh and unrealistic, but the women were wimpy and the men didn't exactly exude confidence until Theoden bent his heirloom sword out of shape on their spears.

Sure, children are children and SHOULD be scared under such conditions, but was it necessary to go out of the way to show weakness? The Rohirrim are not about weakness. Weakness exists, but shouldn't a movie accentuate the elements that define a race, instead of digging deeply to find a fear common to everyone, and then expanding upon this weakness? In the effort to make characters more "human" the filmakers have changed the very nature of the Rohirrim, the Gondorians, and Aragorn in fact.

I could go on.


I get angry sometimes. Believe it or not I love the movies. I do. If I didn't love them I wouldn't care about such inaccuracies. But when I watch the movies, see the potential, and think of all these little things that could have been changed to make the entire production so much better, I just have to rant.

So you're not a horrible person, Lush, at least not for this reason.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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But the Rohirrim are pathetic!

Thank goodness the Elves came to Helm's Deep, or who knows how much more miserable it could have gotten! If only the Anglo-Saxons had Elves at Hastings, there wouldn't be all those orkish Normans mucking about in Ivanhoe or Robin Hood.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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So TTT is playing on the Saudi-owned channel tonight, MBC (they cut out all of the kissing - how pathetic. Not very tolerant of me, I know, but KISSING? MBC is a horrible channel, and the minute I'm able to get Showtime Arabia at my new place, I will shout up at the heavens in rejoicing)... And I am reflecting on the fact that I hate the way that most Rohanites are portrayed. Always have.

Eowyn and Theoden and Eomer are great, but the ordinary folk? I think Peter Jackson really overdid the "miserable" angle. And I hate the two little kids who ride on the horse by themselves. Everyone thinks they're cute, even my boyfriend thinks they're cute - but I think they're annoying. And it's like this false drama is introduced with them, and it's hugely overblown, and I just want them to stop whining.

Am I just mean and awful?
Well, it's been years now since I saw TTT and nothing could induce me ( ) to rewatch it. But I'm curious, Lush (not yellow, just curious)--did they also omit Aragorn's snogging with his horse? I mean, I know how Arabs love their horses and all and would imagine any decent horse lover would have been thoroughly appalled by that scene.

But there's something else that interests me about your post. As some of our most doughty Downers mention, the people of Rohan are usually referred to as Rohirrim, which I believe was Tolkien's word for the local folk. So, what prompts you to call them Rohanites? Makes me think of Jacobites, stalactites (thinking of caves), why, even Sodomites!

Were you that miffed with PJ over his depiction that you just had to differentiate his horsey crowd from Tolkien's?

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But the Rohirrim are pathetic!

Thank goodness the Elves came to Helm's Deep, or who knows how much more miserable it could have gotten! If only the Anglo-Saxons had Elves at Hastings, there wouldn't be all those orkish Normans mucking about in Ivanhoe or Robin Hood.
Yes, just think what those long bows did for Agincourt.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:13 AM   #11
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Good point Lush! One that I have thought of myself but not so consciously as to make a thread about it.

There's one scene in particular. It's when Grima is kicked down the stone stairs (which looked ridiculously painful). He then runs away and someone shouts "All hail Theoden King!" Then you see the peasants of Rohan bowing their heads, looking really quite scared and worried, and Theoden just looks really angry with the situation.

"All hail Theoden King"? Doesn't that sound quite glorious in the script? This scene looks and feels so, so depressing.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:17 PM   #12
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Well, I'm glad I'm not too horrible, I guess.

And the horse-love was definitely let in. Showing affection to an animal is perfectly alright. It's those icky people Saudi censorship is always worried about.

I guess the correct term is Rohirrim, innit? I've completely forgotten, how silly of me. Oh well, they're not so awesome in the movies that one'll bother to remember (and being separated from my books means that I remember even less).

Seriously - they don't just look poor, that wouldn't be the problem. They look downright stupid. It makes me sad. Especially as it's such a huge contrast with Eowyn. The matted hair gets to me too. I'm not saying that people should look perfect in movies - I'm not a fan of perfection, it's boring - but come on. I think about how other people are portrayed, when they're a bit down on their luck, even though they're still great and they haven't forgotten their roots - and that's not IT. It's the facial expressions more than anything.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:13 AM   #13
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I know what you mean Lush - watching the faces of the ordinary people - it's like watching one of those miserable Lars von Trier films where everyone goes round with a face like a slapped backside. Or like someone's about to shuffle past gnawing on a dead rat just to over-emphasise the level of misery they live in.

It doesn't work, does it?

I get the same thing when I see the dead, brown fields of Rohan they had in the film. It might be an epic landscape but it looks like it wouldn't support a Shetland pony never mind vast herds of horses!
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:07 AM   #14
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forgive my rant

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So TTT is playing on the Saudi-owned channel tonight, MBC (they cut out all of the kissing - how pathetic. Not very tolerant of me, I know, but KISSING? MBC is a horrible channel, and the minute I'm able to get Showtime Arabia at my new place, I will shout up at the heavens in rejoicing)... And I am reflecting on the fact that I hate the way that most Rohanites are portrayed. Always have.
Ouch. I have Arabic blood, even if I'm a Catholic Filipina who grew up without any trace of Arabic-Muslim culture, not blatantly anyway. Muslim tradition in its most conservative is even worse than ten Saint Augustine's or any other patriarch or what in its Christian counterparts. That's the country where women are veiled, for God's sake, and one must understand that ergo, kissing scenes are as taboo as porn in such a society. I'm not justifying their act of censoring, I'm simply saying that it's their prerogative, in much the same way PJ got away with his many blunders.

I'm so sorry for this rant.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:04 AM   #15
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So is the problem the conception or the application?

With the Rohan scenes PJ is doing something Tolkien never, ever gives us: a view of how war affects civilians, decimates populations, destroys social organisation, is no respector of age or gender. Of course, this modern perspective on the terrible consequences of war was not a main aspect (if it featured at all) in the traditional epics so beloved of Tolkien. Is this part of PJ's efforts to "modernise" Middle-earth for a new age, much as he attempted to give us warrior Arwen and funny sidekick Gimli?

Or is the problem simply bad staging, bad acting, bad hair day, a miserable attempt at a sociological depiction of a culture different from the Shire's culture?
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:25 PM   #16
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Or is the problem simply bad staging, bad acting, bad hair day, a miserable attempt at a sociological depiction of a culture different from the Shire's culture?
...the lack of green grass.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:27 PM   #17
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The green grass was another of my pet peeves, before I realized it was still late winter, and the grass can perhaps be excused for it's dry browness.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #18
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With the Rohan scenes PJ is doing something Tolkien never, ever gives us: a view of how war affects civilians, decimates populations, destroys social organisation, is no respector of age or gender. Of course, this modern perspective on the terrible consequences of war was not a main aspect (if it featured at all) in the traditional epics so beloved of Tolkien. Is this part of PJ's efforts to "modernise" Middle-earth for a new age, much as he attempted to give us warrior Arwen and funny sidekick Gimli?
I would have to agree with you on that one. PJ uses some features here that are usual in many modern movies, like showing how real people suffer. But it just doesn't feel right when done in an epic story like this. Tolkien's intention was to show brave and strong people, not pathetic people like those portrayed by PJ.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:34 PM   #19
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The green grass was another of my pet peeves, before I realized it was still late winter, and the grass can perhaps be excused for it's dry browness.
Sure it can. It's just that when I see Rohan, I think it two sips away from becoming a dustbowl.

And note that the grass around Helm's Deep will be even greener the next season...all of those dead elves fertilizing it.

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I would have to agree with you on that one. PJ uses some features here that are usual in many modern movies, like showing how real people suffer. But it just doesn't feel right when done in an epic story like this. Tolkien's intention was to show brave and strong people, not pathetic people like those portrayed by PJ.
Welcome to the Downs, BGreg.

More pathetic than the civvies run outa town with little more than their skivvies, is the sight of the proud Gondorian army getting crushed by a few trolls and some orcs.

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Old 01-13-2009, 01:43 PM   #20
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...the lack of green grass.
I hear a voice, faintly at first, but then it's getting stronger. Yes, yes, it is. It's Tom Jones crooning "The green, green grass of home."

How that went over in Vegas I'll never understand.

And welcome to the Downs, BGreg.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:09 PM   #21
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I hear a voice, faintly at first, but then it's getting stronger. Yes, yes, it is. It's Tom Jones crooning "The green, green grass of home."
.
At least you can't hear Tom Bombadil bellowing What's New Pussycat? at Goldberry
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:00 PM   #22
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Lindale - But Muslim culture is not a monolith. As I mentioned in my first post - Showtime Arabia is not the same as MBC. The problem has to do with Saudi clerics who, because of a few generous sponsors, get to decide what I can or cannot watch on an entertainment channel. I live in Jordan - veeery different place from Saudi. The only reason why the Saudi censorship boards has any say about what I watch has to do with money.

Beth - I think that the filmmakers' designs vaulted over realism and went straight into caricature. Stern, proud, whatever - I really don't care either way, I like my characters to be human thankyouvermuch. But this - aside from a few actors pulling their weight - was bordering on the grotesque.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #23
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Tolkien oh yea

I think in the movie the peasants were WAY to poor and dirty. I personally am more of a book guy, (I read the entire lotr series, silmarillion, hobbit, exc. every year at least once as a rule) and in the book they are much better. I think they could have done better portraying them...

Mekor

And yes, the kids are out of place.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:34 PM   #24
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I think in the movie the peasants were WAY to poor and dirty. I personally am more of a book guy, (I read the entire lotr series, silmarillion, hobbit, exc. every year at least once as a rule) and in the book they are much better. I think they could have done better portraying them...
Nice 'rule' to have...and welcome to the Downs, Mekor Karun.

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And yes, the kids are out of place.
And yet they did exist...
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:15 PM   #25
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And yet they did exist...
Of course, but they're just too faux-cute for me! They're just trying way too hard! Instead of evoking sympathy, they make me feel as though I've stumbled into a viewing of this epic movie while having eaten an entire box of marshmallow PEEPS. It is insane. And bad for my teeth.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:23 AM   #26
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Instead of evoking sympathy, they make me feel as though I've stumbled into a viewing of this epic movie while having eaten an entire box of marshmallow PEEPS. It is insane. And bad for my teeth.
Totally out of context, my daughter and I have an Easter ritual, wherein we put marshmallow PEEPS in the microwave and watch them explode. We think it's hilarious, but the wife? Not so much.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:45 AM   #27
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The green grass was another of my pet peeves, before I realized it was still late winter, and the grass can perhaps be excused for it's dry browness.
Or its greenness

'So ended the Emyn Muil, and the green plains of the Rohirrim stretched away before them up to the edge of sight.' The Riders of Rohan.

Legolas also describes a green hill and a green terrace in connection with Edoras, in The King of the Golden Hall.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:20 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Galin View Post
Or its greenness

'So ended the Emyn Muil, and the green plains of the Rohirrim stretched away before them up to the edge of sight.' The Riders of Rohan.

Legolas also describes a green hill and a green terrace in connection with Edoras, in The King of the Golden Hall.
Actually, Rohan of the movies was far too lumpy for the proper establishment of a horse culture. Rolling plains and meadows (think the Mongols or the Cheyenne and Sioux) are needed for such a society to thrive, not humps and ruts and craggy tors.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Actually, Rohan of the movies was far too lumpy for the proper establishment of a horse culture. Rolling plains and meadows (think the Mongols or the Cheyenne and Sioux) are needed for such a society to thrive, not humps and ruts and craggy tors.
Does this mean South Dakota or Wyoming could be Rohan? Or are they simply not exotic enough to be considered for Middle-Earth?
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:12 AM   #30
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Is it possible New Zealand simply doesn't have nice grassy plains? It has everything else...
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:21 AM   #31
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Is it possible New Zealand simply doesn't have nice grassy plains? It has everything else...
Hobbiton looked green enough...and I understand it, there's technology available that can change what the scene looks like, meaning that some of the locations observed might not even be *real!*
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