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Old 03-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
Legate of Amon Lanc
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Dark-Eye Sauron versus Aragorn

Maybe this is very old news, but at least for me this was very surprising news and absolutely horrifying, too. A friend informed me about the discarded idea of Peter Jackson's to have Sauron dueling Aragorn in RotK, which has been actually shot! As for example this clip proves.

Seriously, with all my hatred for Peter Jackson's treatment of the story, I have always been very... reserved. Or let's say, tolerant. I mean, yes, I consider much of what he has done twisting the story, taking it into completely different dimension which has nothing to do with the original, and all that. But at the same time I accept that his vision of Middle-Earth is just different from mine, and he is fully entitled to it. (Or would be, if he did not push it on others, but that's a completely different topic.)

But. I think I have heard many people say that PJ has "no sense for subtlety".* Valar probably saved us from the greatest proof of that by making him cut that scene. Aragorn, dueling Sauron in front of the gate... and they all had been very seriously (as it seems, since they even shot it and all, and had no backup plan for leaving it out) contemplating that? I would understand someone mentioning that when the screenplay was being written, as a possibility, which would of course be discarded... but how could it get so far as to shoot it goes beyond me. Likewise the "angelic voice"... putting aside the fact that it is absolutely uncanonical for Sauron to take on the fair form anymore (he couldn't), wouldn't it be even unfitting into PJ's own treatment of the setting? I would think so, actually. Mordor and its servants had always been grim and dark and hostile in PJ's presentation, and there was never any hint of alluring presence of some fake goodie angels. PJ's Mordor is even less of that kind, PJ's Mordor is only darkness, dark power, brute force, terror, and all that. This would be the first time ever in the movie we would see some "wannabe-goodie" on the Dark Side, and it would really seem out of place, I would think.

So what do you think? Have you seen this before? I know it would be hard for anyone to now stand up and actually defend such a scene after my initial outburst, but... if anyone feels that way, please do speak up

P.S. This of course raises a slight doubt in my mind - what is the Dol Guldur thing going to look like in The Hobbit. But hey, at least there it is justified for Sauron to have physical (or at least wannabel-physical) form. I think, however, after seeing this, that a duel is inavoidable.

I just very much hope it is Saruman dueling him (Well, canonically, it should be him, as it was "his art that drove the Enemy out".)

*(And whereas unrelated to the "Sauron versus Aragorn" thing, probably the worst thing from the whole video was to hear PJ say that in LotR, "the villain is basically just a giant eyeball". NO, HE ISN'T! THAT'S ALL YOUR DOING, SIR!!! Your villain is a giant eyeball. Not Tolkien's. /end of outburst which I just could not leave out)
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
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I have seen the feature about this on the Return of the King Extended DVD. When I was younger I didn't object to the films nearly as much and as such I do have the Extended Editions but I haven't watched them all the way through/with much attention for years. Anyway, frankly I find it absurd that this concept made it all the way to being filmed. As you say, it's totally inconsistent with their own characterisation of Sauron: as a wholly, indeed arbitrarily dark and evil figure, as a giant eyeball, as a hidden menace who never leaves his tower. And while I think it was the right decision for them to replace Sauron with a troll in the end, where's Pippin's heroic slaying of the troll?

It reminds me of the idea that apparently at one point they wanted the Mouth of Sauron to appear as an attractive woman (Kate Winslet possibly?) to "represent the temptations Aragorn is facing" or something. What temptations? And why Aragorn? Frodo and Sam are toiling up Mount Doom and they're worried about how they characterise Aragorn. I guess common sense tended to triumph somewhat in the long run, albeit in the Sauron case later than you might expect.

It really makes me wonder why Sauron-as-Annatar never appeared in the opening sequence of Fellowship, yet they wanted him to appear that way at the Black Gate.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
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Pipe

Yes, I knew about that. I'd never attempt to defend something so ridiculous, but perhaps I can explain it:

-It probably follows some half-baked set of rules that says there must be a one-on-one fight between the Villain and the Hero (i.e. Aragorn, Frodo having been pretty much fired as the hero by that point- but that's a whole other issue). There are things that made it through to the final cut that reflect that kind of "Screenwriting 101" thinking, too. I know this all sounds pretty belittling. Okay, I'm not saying everything about the script's terrible, by any means- but I believe the writers were relatively inexperienced, and at times it shows.

-It also seems like a very misguided attempt at canonicity or fan-service, using the same "anything Tolkien wrote can be inserted seamlessly into anything else he wrote" reasoning that now has Azog all over "The Hobbit". They might even have had some notion that the "Annatar" nonsense would balance the otherwise uncomplicated portrayal of the evil side. Without thinking it through, of course.

-Finally, I wonder how serious Peter Jackson ever was about including the scene in the finished version? He's one of those directors who always shoot vast amounts of extra material, just on the off-chance they might find some use for it.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:18 AM   #4
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I have seen the feature about this on the Return of the King Extended DVD. When I was younger I didn't object to the films nearly as much and as such I do have the Extended Editions but I haven't watched them all the way through/with much attention for years. Anyway, frankly I find it absurd that this concept made it all the way to being filmed. As you say, it's totally inconsistent with their own characterisation of Sauron: as a wholly, indeed arbitrarily dark and evil figure, as a giant eyeball, as a hidden menace who never leaves his tower. And while I think it was the right decision for them to replace Sauron with a troll in the end, where's Pippin's heroic slaying of the troll?

It reminds me of the idea that apparently at one point they wanted the Mouth of Sauron to appear as an attractive woman (Kate Winslet possibly?) to "represent the temptations Aragorn is facing" or something. What temptations? And why Aragorn? Frodo and Sam are toiling up Mount Doom and they're worried about how they characterise Aragorn. I guess common sense tended to triumph somewhat in the long run, albeit in the Sauron case later than you might expect.
Well, it just shows how much, despite the whole "you bow to no one" fuss and attempt to show the Hobbits as the heroes and trying to keep the basic idea of LotR that one does not win by the strength of arms, the filmmakers were affected by the common mentality of cheap heroic-movie expectations. Therefore, who cares about Pippin, we want surfing Legolases; who cares about Frodo and Sam, we want to see Aragorn dueling Sauron.

And whereas the idea of Mouth of Sauron being a woman would have been interesting especially in a story consisting mostly of male characters, I am afraid that it would be no win and it would just slip into some "dark seductress" film stereotype. Besides, I think at this point, Aragorn is already past all temptations. At least where the Ring is concerned, and also where sitting at home and trying to just preserve his new kingdom a la Denethor is concerned. His final decision to march to the Black Gate was the final act of bravery and possibly even self-sacrifice in order to help Frodo's mission to succeed. He can't even run anymore. So what could Sauron still tempt him with? Sure, Sauron could not have known he did not have the Ring, so maybe in his mind Aragorn falling to it could still be an option, but I doubt PJ would think so far.

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It really makes me wonder why Sauron-as-Annatar never appeared in the opening sequence of Fellowship, yet they wanted him to appear that way at the Black Gate.
Exactly. But then again, not sure how much the development of the script went, maybe the idea came only later than when the opening had been already made? I don't know.

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-It probably follows some half-baked set of rules that says there must be a one-on-one fight between the Villain and the Hero (i.e. Aragorn, Frodo having been pretty much fired as the hero by that point- but that's a whole other issue). There are things that made it through to the final cut that reflect that kind of "Screenwriting 101" thinking, too. I know this all sounds pretty belittling. Okay, I'm not saying everything about the script's terrible, by any means- but I believe the writers were relatively inexperienced, and at times it shows.
Indeed. They even basically say as much in there. That's why I think they decided they have to keep the part of Aragorn fighting someone, even if it were to be a totally random troll (which is even a bit downgrading to Aragorn already at that point, in my opinion. After all, he had fought a troll before already in Moria. I think one would have expected at least a Nazgul, but I guess that comes from the fact that they had only the material of him fighting Sauron, and Nazgul would probably be at least slightly smaller enemy).

Quote:
-It also seems like a very misguided attempt at canonicity or fan-service, using the same "anything Tolkien wrote can be inserted seamlessly into anything else he wrote" reasoning that now has Azog all over "The Hobbit". They might even have had some notion that the "Annatar" nonsense would balance the otherwise uncomplicated portrayal of the evil side. Without thinking it through, of course.
Yep, I would say you are right on this one probably as well. (But that isn't a very good defense of it, right )

Quote:
-Finally, I wonder how serious Peter Jackson ever was about including the scene in the finished version? He's one of those directors who always shoot vast amounts of extra material, just on the off-chance they might find some use for it.
That is possible, but the more it surprises me that he actually didn't shoot at least a short scene of Aragorn fighting a troll, or something similar they could replace it with. It is clear that they were all the time totally and absolutely serious about having the Sauron-fight, it was a no-question thing, nobody even dared to assume it would not happen. Because if they did, then they would have had some backup option of having Aragorn fighting something else, in order to make the proper "one on one, hero vs. villain" epic ending.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:01 AM   #5
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I really don't think they knew what to do with Sauron in general. In the opening of Fellowship he shows up with zero explanation as some big horrible person who made a Ring. As I've said elsewhere, this is why in my opinion an adaptation of The Hobbit really needed to come first. When you have the mysterious "Necromancer" becoming the main villain in the sequel it really is a lot more dramatically effective. You probably couldn't sell that to Hollywood, but my point is that we never really hear anything about Sauron: not that he helped forge the Rings, nor that he was significantly responsible for the destruction of Númenor, two events which establish him as a deceiver and despicable villain, and both of which are in the source material (although Númenor is largely confined to the Appendices, but that didn't stop them elsewhere, with Aragorn and Arwen for instance - is there a risk of treading into The Silmarillion and other material for which they lack the rights regarding Númenor?). Anyway, I'm not saying that these events should have been dwelt upon, but they could at least have been given as elaboration at some point for the evil of Sauron.

Instead the filmmakers don't know what to do: first he's just a spooky costume apparently defeated because he stuck his fingers out at the wrong time. Then they turn him into a giant floating eyeball and give all the actual villainy to Saruman, upon whom swathes of time in the first and second films are unnecessarily spent. The fight with Aragorn is just another example of this. They don't even know their own interpretation of Sauron. Is he an eyeball who "cannot yet take physical form" (an example of both misinterpretation and very un-Tolkien-like vocabulary with "physical", incidentally)? Is he still a big armoured dark lord? Aragorn sees him this way in the palantír in the Extended Edition, and so they film him coming out to fight before the Morannon after appearing as a seraphic vision. Now in "The Hobbit" he's a shadow in a corridor.

Professor Tolkien is impressively subtle in his depiction of Sauron, of course, and that makes certain demands upon readers which are more possible in literature than film. It turns out he was too subtle for the filmmakers, at least. They have the challenge and the opportunity to bring these elements out into the open, but it's too great a task for them and they retreat in the opposite direction, instead making him a cardboard cutout, leaving us with an empty suit of armour and a giant floating eyeball. The latter of these denies us even of the possibility of Sauron-the-absence, the faceless, often nameless foe who operates solely through armies and agents. Professor Tolkien gives us both takes on Sauron, of course, across the Second Age and the Third. The filmmakers give us neither, just hollow images, neither meaningfully present nor genuinely absent. They had the archetypal Fantasy villain in their hands and frankly I think they bungled it with particular incompetence.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:11 AM   #6
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While I'm really happy they realised that some sort of duel between Aragorn and Sauron would totally undermine the message of the story and Aragorn's heroism, I was actually kind of positively surprised by that clip. (I've heard of this duel idea before but I hadn't seen the footage.)

I mean, come on, how cool is that Sauron manifests himself in an angelic form? That they wanted to show what kind of good and noble stuff he was originally made of? That is kind of awesome. And while I abhor Orlando Bloom's acting in general (not sure if this is a necessary disclaimer from anyone on this forum but anyway ) his expression looking at the angelic Sauron kind of sends shivers down my spine. Because he looks actually intrigued or awed or kind of enchanted by the main villain. (Nice nod to the Eregion Elves and Númenóreans being enchanted by Sauron.) This is actually the kind of "subtlety" I always wanted from Peter Jackson.

But of course from the canon point of view this is just more and more nonsense, or did PJ skip the part where it says that Sauron lost his ability to assume a fair form? That was quite explicitly stated.

Last of all, I think they could have left the duel out all in all. Aragorn dueling a troll is just kind of too random (anyway it should be Pippin doing that, not him).
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:36 AM   #7
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The very fact of it is irrebuttable proof positive that PJ is completely unqualified to make any Tolkien movie whatsoever, including Mr Bliss. The man truly has no clue.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:12 AM   #8
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While I'm really happy they realised that some sort of duel between Aragorn and Sauron would totally undermine the message of the story and Aragorn's heroism, I was actually kind of positively surprised by that clip. (I've heard of this duel idea before but I hadn't seen the footage.)

I mean, come on, how cool is that Sauron manifests himself in an angelic form? That they wanted to show what kind of good and noble stuff he was originally made of? That is kind of awesome. And while I abhor Orlando Bloom's acting in general (not sure if this is a necessary disclaimer from anyone on this forum but anyway ) his expression looking at the angelic Sauron kind of sends shivers down my spine. Because he looks actually intrigued or awed or kind of enchanted by the main villain. (Nice nod to the Eregion Elves and Númenóreans being enchanted by Sauron.) This is actually the kind of "subtlety" I always wanted from Peter Jackson.
Mayhaps (pun intended ). But I am not sure how much "subtlety" there is in having the main villain walking about merrily on two legs, in the size of a house, whichever form he might currently have. Anyway, as I have outlined above, it might be nice, but it is too late for subtlety. Had he done this in the first movie, fine. But PJ's Sauron is already a Dark Lord in a Dark Tower (resp. a fiery eye on top of a mostly orange tower) and remembering two minutes before the end (okay, okay, 45 minutes before the end, but two minutes before Mordor crumbles down) that Sauron might actually have that more subtle, tricky side to him is not going to change the movie - rather, it will confuse the hordes of casual viewers who will be like "what, how did Sauron recruit an Archangel at Inferno?"
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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But PJ's Sauron is already a Dark Lord in a Dark Tower (resp. a fiery eye on top of a mostly orange tower)
Oh, so that's who the Highly Irritable Lighthouse was supposed to be!
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #10
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Complete silliness. If PJ HAD used his intentional footage of Aragorn sword-fighting with Sauron at the Black Gate, I wonder whom he envisioned winning this fight, and what would have happened after that?

Presumably he intended Aragorn to "win". But if he had won (i.e. killed Sauron with Anduril), would the quest of the ring-bearer immediately become meaningless? If Sauron won, then Aragorn would be dead? A sad beginning for the Fourth Age of Middle Earth.

Neither would have worked, so I imagine PJ probably intended some dramatic stalemate in the fight, or Aragorn in imminent peril of death, but either potentiality resolved just in the nick of time by the Ring+Smeagol falling into the fires of Mount Doom. Or even Aragorn winning heroically and running Sauron through just at the moment the Ring is destroyed (for a complete over-the-top double-kill of Sauron).

At least if Sauron had appeared in physical form to fight at the Black Gate, we might have been spared that scene when the Dark Tower crumbled and the giant eye (which was supposed to actually be Sauron) was furtively looking back and forth in a complete panic as the tower fell. Remember that scene? Sorry if it brings back bad memories...
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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I know how it would have gone: Aragorn and Sauron would fight while the armies watched, ordered to stay out of the fight. Aragorn would get knocked around fiercely during the fight (more than a mortal man could endure and yet live). But in the end he would summon the strength of the Numenor and heroically behead Sauron.

He would turn in exhausted triumph towards his army, but behind him we would see Sauron pick up his head and place it back on his neck. Gandalf would despair and look at the ground, knowing that Sauron cannot be killed while the Ring still exists (he would probably mutter something to this effect so that the audience understands this subtlety).

Sauron and Aragorn would fight again and this time it would go badly for the exhausted Aragorn. Finally, he would be on his knees and Sauron would pause to gloat before killing him. Flash to the events on Mount Doom, where Frodo is defeated by the will of the Ring (everything is going just bad, bad, bad). Then Smeagol attacks, and the Ring + Smeagol fall into the fires, etc.

Flash back to Sauron, who bursts into flame or explodes or whatever just before killing Aragorn. Aragorn, Gandalf et al. realize that Frodo was successful and the rest of the movie proceeds. This way both Aragorn AND Frodo get to be heroic and "defeat" Sauron in their own way.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:33 AM   #12
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I know how it would have gone: Aragorn and Sauron would fight while the armies watched, ordered to stay out of the fight. Aragorn would get knocked around fiercely during the fight (more than a mortal man could endure and yet live). But in the end he would summon the strength of the Numenor and heroically behead Sauron.

He would turn in exhausted triumph towards his army, but behind him we would see Sauron pick up his head and place it back on his neck. Gandalf would despair and look at the ground, knowing that Sauron cannot be killed while the Ring still exists (he would probably mutter something to this effect so that the audience understands this subtlety).
Isn't that Legolas' rôle, though? Or is his job merely to exclaim loudly, "He's putting his head back on!"?
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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I know how it would have gone: Aragorn and Sauron would fight while the armies watched, ordered to stay out of the fight. Aragorn would get knocked around fiercely during the fight (more than a mortal man could endure and yet live). But in the end he would summon the strength of the Numenor and heroically behead Sauron.

He would turn in exhausted triumph towards his army, but behind him we would see Sauron pick up his head and place it back on his neck. Gandalf would despair and look at the ground, knowing that Sauron cannot be killed while the Ring still exists (he would probably mutter something to this effect so that the audience understands this subtlety).

Sauron and Aragorn would fight again and this time it would go badly for the exhausted Aragorn. Finally, he would be on his knees and Sauron would pause to gloat before killing him. Flash to the events on Mount Doom, where Frodo is defeated by the will of the Ring (everything is going just bad, bad, bad). Then Smeagol attacks, and the Ring + Smeagol fall into the fires, etc.

Flash back to Sauron, who bursts into flame or explodes or whatever just before killing Aragorn. Aragorn, Gandalf et al. realize that Frodo was successful and the rest of the movie proceeds. This way both Aragorn AND Frodo get to be heroic and "defeat" Sauron in their own way.
Actually, what would have happened would have been that Sauron and Aragorn would have fought it out and Aragorn would have been badly knocked about. Then, Sauron would have cut Aragorn's hand off, with a slow-motion scene of the sword hurtling into the distance.

With Aragorn badly wounded and lying on the ground, Sauron would then extend his hand out to Aragorn and say,

"Aragorn, I am your father."

At which point Aragorn screams, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"

to which Sauron replies, "Search your feelings. You know this to be true."

and Aragorn then murmurs, "Gandalf, why didn't you tell me?"

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:23 PM   #14
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Isn't that Legolas' rôle, though? Or is his job merely to exclaim loudly, "He's putting his head back on!"?
Legolas: He's putting his head back on, unless my eyes are cheated by some spell!
Gimli: (shouting to Aragorn): That one doesn't count!
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:45 AM   #15
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LMAO that entire Darth Vader thing got me.



Anyway I was absolutely HORRIFIED to learn what almost happened. I mean it made me think " Wait. Maybe he didn't read any of the books! Maybe this guy was parading as a learned fan of Middle Earth all this time..."


And its not like he didnt have any material to help build Sauron beforehand so that he needed to do that B-actionfilm sequence of Sauron VS Aragorn to show how awesome Sauron is.... they had 3 movies to do it and an entire history they could have eluded to including his fair form and his past accomplishments.


Although I think Jackson is a ham-handed semi-fan and often caught up in corny hollywood BS, I think the Hobbit will soothe my pain about LotR. All the bits so far abotu Sauron are helping acheive a sort of retroactive character build up.


But my God, I dont know if I could even consider it a Tolkien work if he went that far in f*cking it up.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:38 AM   #16
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Isn't that Legolas' rôle, though? Or is his job merely to exclaim loudly, "He's putting his head back on!"?
LMAO just been reading this whole thread, and this comment nearly killed me!

As for this scene of stupidity: I think that even the whole 'Giant Eyeball' nonsense is better than having this apparition thingy appear. Jackson could still claim that he misinterpreted the text about Sauron somehow being an Eye on top of a tower (By the way, I wonder how the Sauron-Eyeball got up there on top of Barad-Dur??? maybe Saruman helped him up with his staff levitation tricks! ), but in no possible way could he have explained away why he totally disregarded what the books state to be impossible and have Sauron appear fair.

The 'Eye' kind of reminds me of 'The Bat Signal' from Batman .
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:08 AM   #17
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I know the way he had Elendil go out was so dumb. I mean, the Númenóreans were like the strongest force in Middle Earth and he basically had Sauron b-slap Elendil to death. I suppose he wanted to represent Elendil in Aragorn with that one on one fight because the way Elendil went out was weak.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:34 AM   #18
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This thread has been hillarious, and that clip was rather sickening, ignoring its non canon appearance, cliched screwriting 101 feeling, and god awful further cheapening of Frodo, I've got to say...I know it was left unfinished but that 14 fot Sauron suit looked ridiculous-and how did Sauron as a floating eyeball put it back together?

It's little wonder Phillpa Boyens hasn't read The Silmarillion in 25 years, obviously the material is too complicted for them to understand.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:17 AM   #19
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I agree with this 100%. can you imagine the nonsense that would come of it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:54 AM   #20
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I totally agree that shooting one-to-one fight would have been in sharp contrast with what Tolkien had written about the demise of poor Sauron. On the other hand I don't see this particular amendment a grave matter. Aragorn and Gandalf (with essential aid on behalf of Pippin) had done everything to make Sauron believe that Aragorn bore The Ring. Thus, it had not contradict everything else in the plot if Sauron, desperate to have his Ring back, would have gone to Morannon Gates and duelled Aragorn.

What I tend to agree is that Sauron's character was left without any proper development, and an attempt to replace it with some rapid change of images during the last minutes of his screen presence is a very poor substitute. Moreover, transforming him into virtually the Eye left PJ without an opportunity to show him, for instance, present at Gollum's torture as it happens in the book. Apart from PJ's tendency to opt on occasion for more eye-catching (sorry for the pun) but superficial solutions, I have to admit that Tolkien's manner to show Sauron indirectly makes an awful lot of difficulties for any director. One would have to re-create this paranoid feel about Hitler's bunker/Stalin's ever lit window out there, where something had been always going on, that no-one could see but it would define everyone's life no-one could hide; and an almost 'physical' presence of fear and admiration. Honestly, I believe, PJ managed to catch this feel here and there in the movie but it is rather in the horror of Nazgul, or in Gandalf's concerns, or in Galadriel's sorrow than simply in the image of the Eye on the top of the Tower.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #21
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I know the way he had Elendil go out was so dumb. I mean, the Númenóreans were like the strongest force in Middle Earth and he basically had Sauron b-slap Elendil to death. I suppose he wanted to represent Elendil in Aragorn with that one on one fight because the way Elendil went out was weak.
Agreed. I thought Jackson botched the flashback scene. I always read the text as the two great champions of Men and Elves (Elendil & Gil Galad) facing off against Sauron, and killing him. They were mortally wounded in the process. Isildur (who was with Elrond as a sort of corner man) then picks up his father's broken sword and slices off the ring as his father's "wereguild".
Felt like the movie made Isildur out to be a lucky, and he immediately came off as sullen and evil right away.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:33 AM   #22
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And Gilgalad who actually wrestled Sauron in one account doesn't get a look in..poor guy's credit was longer than his appearance.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:41 AM   #23
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I guess Gil-galad is seen as a shadowy figure, but that was his moment.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:58 AM   #24
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Then again if we'd seen Peter Jackson's interpretation of Gil-Galad's canonical death by the "heat of Sauron's hand" presumably he would have exploded into a twenty-foot pillar of fire and run screaming off a cliff-top flailing his arms, thus foreshadowing Denethor's championship-title earning Marathon Man whilst-on-fire run in the third film.

Perhaps then Elrond could have ridden to the summit of Minas Tirith all the way from Rivendell (having just returned there after delivering Andúril) to deliver an arch comment about how back in his day Elves died in flames better than Men.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:50 AM   #25
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I don't get the feeling that Gil-galad ran, even though he was burned to death, in any sense. haha
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:26 PM   #26
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The movie couldn't have been the same as the book for a myriad of reasons. Most of which would be absolutely undeniably boring on screen.
Another thing, those movies got millions interested in the works of Tolkien. These two facts combined, I can't believe a person actually took on the task of bringing something so incredible onscreen. What a daunting task. He did the best he could and if any one of you tried to make a film adaptation the same number or even more would be upset with your version for various reasons. He's a director, not a literary master. He did what he could with what he felt and what he knew and, you know, I couldn't imagine the courage.

As far as the eyeball thing goes, he's right. In the books it was very situational evil that had the fellowship and other allies on their toes, rarely was it ever specifically Sauron. It's even been said by fans that the books didn't do much of a job at conveying the pain (mental or, later, physical) Frodo is in from the ring during the books aside from Frodo siding with Gollum increasingly as their relationship develops.

Jackson thought that Aragorn, as the pointedly heroic protagonist of the story, should fight Sauron as a way of retribution not only for the evil he's caused, but because Aragorn may have felt the need to conquer the history of his bloodline that haunted his thoughts about being able to rule Gondor.
Obviously, in the end he decided to leave it out because, and according to Jackson's logic which I thought was very considerate, it doesn't take a battle to prove you're a hero, as we see with Frodo. He acknowledged that Aragorn was not our true hero, as the Hollywood stereotype would argue, but Frodo, the character that drew his sword as little as possible during his battle, because it was inward.

The books are the books, and the movies are the movies. I just think they should be judged on their own merit instead of comparing the two. That's the only reason I defend Jackson. Of COURSE I wish it was more like the books I've loved and adored for years, but that's not what I got. I don't know, I just think it's cool in it's own way, and the works of Tolkien can never be devalued by any work by another whether by film, literature, or any other kind of media. Tolkien is ultimately untouchable.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:53 PM   #27
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[quote=Calacirya;686816]The movie couldn't have been the same as the book for a myriad of reasons. Most of which would be absolutely undeniably boring on screen.[/quọte]

You are making up the “undeniably boring”. Numerous posts have complained about many features of the film. Now if the original poster has changed his or her mind, then you may have a case that this particular change would be “undeniably boring”. Otherwise, it is provable that many people deny what you falsely claim is undeniable.

You might better try to prove that they are wrong rather than that they cannot deny what they so obviously are denying. Be precise.

I am unaware of anyone who claims that any film must follow a book exactly. But comparisons between the book and the film are common among people who have read a book and then seen a film adaptation. Claims that a film cannot be the same as a book are true in general, but do you wish to prevent persons from posting cases where they honestly feel that the film was far worse than the book and did not need to be?

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Another thing, those movies got millions interested in the works of Tolkien. These two facts combined, I can't believe a person actually took on the task of bringing something so incredible onscreen.
So you do not believe that Peter Jackson or Ralph Bakshi “actually took on the task of bringing something so incredible onscreen”? Well both did. If you claim that what you posted wasn’t what you meant, then perhaps you should post more carefully.

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Ẉhat a daunting task. He did the best he could and if any one of you tried to make a film adaptation the same number or even more would be upset with your version for various reasons. He's a director, not a literary master. He did what he could with what he felt and what he knew and, you know, I couldn't imagine the courage.
I get your point. Jackson is perfect and is not to be criticized. But many people have criticized him and still do. Many think that if that was “the best he could do”, then he was not the director to produce the films. Understand that tastes differ, and that those who think differently than you have just a much right to post here, if their opinions make sense. The dislike of Sauron as a mobile eyeball is something that makes sense to me.

Quote:
As far as the eyeball thing goes, he's right. In the books it was very situational evil that had the fellowship and other allies on their toes, rarely was it ever specifically Sauron. It's even been said by fans that the books didn't do much of a job at conveying the pain (mental or, later, physical) Frodo is in from the ring during the books aside from Frodo siding with Gollum increasingly as their relationship develops.
You start by mentioning the eyeball, claim that Jackson was right, then ignore it altogether. If you have something to say about the eyeball, then try to say it clearly. You have not even presented your argument.

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Jackson thought that Aragorn, as the pointedly heroic protagonist of the story, should fight Sauron as a way of retribution not only for the evil he's caused, but because Aragorn may have felt the need to conquer the history of his bloodline that haunted his thoughts about being able to rule Gondor.
Obviously, in the end he decided to leave it out because, and according to Jackson's logic which I thought was very considerate, it doesn't take a battle to prove you're a hero, as we see with Frodo. He acknowledged that Aragorn was not our true hero, as the Hollywood stereotype would argue, but Frodo, the character that drew his sword as little as possible during his battle, because it was inward.
Possibly true. But then why did Jackson even intend to have a one-on-one with Sauron? And why did he make Faramir so tempted by the ring? And why was Denethor portrayed as a selfish glutton? Why was Gimli used so much for comic relief, the jokes almost all having to do with the fact that Gimli is short? Why did Jackson create the idea that Sauron was physically a giant eyeball, and then not use that idea? What was Aragorn’s backstory in the film, in a Middle-earth in which Arnor seems not to have existed. What was the point of Brego the wonder-horse? What was Arwen’s illness near the end?

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The books are the books, and the movies are the movies. I just think they should be judged on their own merit instead of comparing the two. That's the only reason I defend Jackson. Of COURSE I wish it was more like the books I've loved and adored for years, but that's not what I got. I don't know, I just think it's cool in it's own way, and the works of Tolkien can never be devalued by any work by another whether by film, literature, or any other kind of media. Tolkien is ultimately untouchable.
In short don’t anyone dare to criticize the films because the original writer is untouchable. Yet you admit that you wish the films were more like the books. Doing so admits the validity of many of the criticisms of the films. Seemingly you just don’t like people posting it openly. Is it that any film, no matter how bad it might be, is acceptable to you, because the books are the books, and the movies are the movies?

Some viewers recognize that it is legitimate to compare a film to the book it is based on and legitimate to say where they feel the film falls down or perhaps surpasses the book.

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Old 07-21-2016, 11:59 AM   #28
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I absolutely hated the portrayal of denethor and gondor in general, it feels like a silly caricature without any depth whatsoever. Minas Tirith is just disappointing, where are the farmlands, the city and culture simply do not feel real and the disgusting interpretation of denethor is just the tip of the iceberg. And Gandalf knocks him out for comedic effect ...
Sadly out of all he movies only one (the fellowship) is any good, it has somewhat the right "tone", a sense of fairy-tale like wonder but it still feels real and believable ... the second and the third movie just do not "feel" right, they feel silly, like b-movie comic-book adaptions without depth.

But can we for a moment dwell on the depiction of Sauron as a giant eyeball ...
How ridiculous is that? What is that even supposed to be, when you think about it? His body? But Saruman said he can't take "physical form" ...
So it's supposed to be his spirit? ... In eye-form?
...
Nearly everyone who has read the Book must have understood that tolkiens usage of the "eye" is just a metaphor for the watchfulness and the inhuman, never sleeping power of Sauron. This "mistake" alone disqualifies Jackson in my opinion and I agree with the other posters that they probably just had no idea how to handle Sauron and so took the easy way out: "ah €?!&@ it, he's an eye". It was tolerable in the first movie because the camera didn't dwell on it and it was shot in a hazy way, so you could actually interpret it as a mental image ... In the second film there are several clear shots of this absurd monstrosity, but at least it's static ... But for whatever reason, in the third movie this thing starts moving like a lighthouse, like something out of a Saturday-morning cartoon and that just took me completely out of the movie and destroyed any supsension of disbelief that had survived until then. When I saw that for the first time I had to laugh out loud, it's just so unintentionally funny, ridiculous and absurd ...

A competent filmmaker would have captured the eery atmosphere of Barad-Dur and the inhuman horror of the inner court of sauron, whiteout necessarily showing sauron himself, and we would have a credible and believable villain.

But the eye is only the tip of the ice berg, removing that absurdity would not make the movies better and I could list dozens of other things that are just wrong in my opinion. I agree with the posters that said that the fact that the filmmakers even considered the Aragorn-Sauron duel, shows that they just didn't "get" Tolkien!

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Old 07-22-2016, 01:30 PM   #29
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I had little idea that there were others who shared almost the same level of disdain for PJ's movies pretending to be the work of Tolkien as I have of them.

I often use the metaphor of a Catholic Mass and Communion.

Peter Jackson has dressed up four guys in black robes, handing out beer and pizza in an auditorium, an told us it is a Catholic Mass and Communion in a Medieval Gothic Cathedral.

Well... Pete... You have some of the elements that are similar.... You just missed out on the particulars, and most of all the Substance of a Catholic Mass and Communion.

His vision is beautiful and visually stunning. I will be happy to give him that much.

But he did not have a clue as to what he was leaping into when he made the movies.

And the sad fact is that Paramount, New Line, and Saul Zaentz (or his Estate) have now so sewn up the Rights to Tolkien's legacy that it will likely never be available again until it is in the Public Domain.

The proposed Fight between Aragorn and Sauron was just further evidence of how out of his depth he was.

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Old 07-22-2016, 01:42 PM   #30
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And let me hand it to the people who made the criticism of Jackson for their portrayal of Denethor (and his death), not to mention Gil-Gilad.

That run that Denethor made while on Fire really had me stunned when I saw the movie.

I was like "He ran roughly a mile while on Fire???!!!"

And Poor Elendil and Gil-Gilad have their epic fight with Sauron cut.

Applause to you guys for pointing these out.

And.... BTW.... There is no real reason why the movies could not have been done like the books. Only modest changes would need to have been made, with very minimal cutting.

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