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Old 06-09-2013, 12:48 AM   #41
THE Ka
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Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
So straw poll...does Tauriel look more like Peter Pan, Robin Hood or....?
I'm convinced its somewhere between Peter Pan and a bad cosplay of Link, as much as I love Link costumes...

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55
I am not against feminism, but I dislike over-the-top demonstrations of the phenomenon (Agan will now for sure beat me with a banana when we meet in the indefinite future ). I easily agree with the phrase "why are women worse then men?", but have you ever thought of the opposite - "why are men worse than women?"? Male elves aren't good enough for PJ&co, it seems. Even disregarding the first point, it's one thing to plop a new female character in. It's another thing to have that character take over the job/scenes that were originally meant for male characters - characters that are no worse than hers, may I add.

My concluding thought: Either have a character who will leave the reader/viewer with a strong impression - a deep character, of any gender - or don't disgrace yourself with a shallow desperate fighter character of any gender.
Neither am I, but instead prefer to have my actions weigh more than just sitting around discussing gender obstacles. Of course, it's pretty hard to call someone out for being 'one of those darn feminists' when they're shoveling a water pipe out with you in the rain and snow. All in all, I prefer to address feminist issues in life as more of a Maege Mormont.

It's always better to have well developed characters who can stand on their own beyond more than flesh and looks, because they have personalities and character that are admirable by both men and women. The Hobbit is by far one of my favourite books, and is primarily full of a bunch of men on a long, witty and adventurous camping trip (for lack of trying to be funny about this...), with some of Tolkien's more memorable characters (Beorn has gotten better since childhood, when you can truly appreciate his blunt crankiness and sarcasm).
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:16 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by G55
And, by the way - even with Tauriel TH movie still doesn't pass the Bechdal test, so what's the argument about?...
Well, when you put it that way... um... I have no idea, actually. Unless Arwen or Galadriel decide to pay a visit to Mirkwood, or there’s another new “she-elf” we haven’t heard about yet, or something... (And seriously, I agree the test shouldn’t be treated as a pass-or-fail for individual characters anyway– I don’t think that was supposed to be the point of it.)

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Lately, though, in many cases women who are presented as "female Harry Potters", for lack of a better term - noble, brave, overcoming unfairness, fighting, etc - end up becoming rather weak-charactered Mary Sues. You don't need a bow in your hand to be a strong character. Giving a bow to a person who has a weak character and/or impression makes it look like one of the over-the-top demonstrations of feminism which quickly turn into something akin to REB.

My concluding thought: Either have a character who will leave the reader/viewer with a strong impression - a deep character, of any gender - or don't disgrace yourself with a shallow desperate fighter character of any gender.
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Originally Posted by Kitanna
I've seen a lot of female characters thrown into books, video games, and films/TV just to have one because one was previously lacking. They tend to be cold, skilled fighters, and just in need of a hug. If this elf-lady addition falls into that and serves the purpose of just being female then she's better left out.
Well, this all goes back to what I was saying before. It seems to me that, for whatever reason (under-representation, maybe?) female characters, I think particularly in SF, tend to be seen as Woman rather than women, and therefore have a quite different set of demands made of them from that made of male characters. You often get the impression that writers ask themselves not “is this character in any way likeable, interesting or even believable?”, but “can she be passed off as an Ideal Female Role Model (while remaining palatable to the male audience)"?

Okay. That’s one aspect... but this thread demonstrates another. Would everybody be carrying on nearly so much at the addition of “a shallow desperate fighter” who was a male? (Note that technically the “shallowness” is still an assumption, though probably a safe one.)

Oh, and I vote “Peter Pan”. Shouldn't we have a formal poll for this?
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:56 AM   #43
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Maybe if he were the sole representative of his discriminated against group ~ oneparent family. ethnic minority. disabled. gay whales as the catch all phrase used to be.

Alas I don't have the authority to start a poll but if anyone else does I would be delighted. Love the alternative suggestions....
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:06 AM   #44
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As an elven guard, I wonder if Evangeline Lilly's password is "A Locksley"? No wait, that was Olivia DeHavilland.

And what's with Tauriel's hair? I've seen better dye jobs on Courtney Love when she played with Hole. And I can't stand Courtney Love.

I'm sorry, but creating characters where they don't belong, by a director and scriptwriter who is a notorious failure at deviating from an original story line, is the height of hubris, and stinks to heaven of high-handed Hollywoodish scripting for marketing demographics. Thank the Lord Sir David Lean did not create a female Bedouin love interest for Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:46 AM   #45
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Well, this all goes back to what I was saying before. It seems to me that, for whatever reason (under-representation, maybe?) female characters, I think particularly in SF, tend to be seen as Woman rather than women, and therefore have a quite different set of demands made of them from that made of male characters. You often get the impression that writers ask themselves not “is this character in any way likeable, interesting or even believable?”, but “can she be passed off as an Ideal Female Role Model (while remaining palatable to the male audience)"?
Right. I guess that while many can stomach a Tauriel, the bigger issue seems to be TauriElle.

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Originally Posted by Nerwen
Okay. That’s one aspect... but this thread demonstrates another. Would everybody be carrying on nearly so much at the addition of “a shallow desperate fighter” who was a male? (Note that technically the “shallowness” is still an assumption, though probably a safe one.)
Hmmm... I don't suppose so. Because there's three points against Taurielle - the addition, the shallowness, and the Elle. The first two points could apply to a male as well, but the third is there only because it's just waaay too overly un-sexist, to the point that it makes one even more conscious of that aspect. I already ranted about that one, so I won't repeat it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:22 PM   #46
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This has been quite fun. It's been a long time since I've seen a thread move so quickly and inspire so many Downers' responses.

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I think you're right earlier in the thread when you say you suspect that Tolkien had the same objection--virtually every one of his "gated communities" fails spectacularly: Nargothrond, Gondolin, and Doriath rather obviously; and you've mentioned how Tolkien censures Lorien and Rivendell as proceeding from the wrong ambitions--and thus the Elves failed. Likewise, with Gondor: Gandalf criticises Denethor's strategy of remaining behind guarded walls and it is only when Gondor marches out of itself to the Morannon that it can truly be said to contribute positively to the salvation of Middle-earth. Even Valinor, though it never falls in its isolation, fails from it.
thanks for all the other examples! Interesting that he made the immortals so uncomfortable with change. It's actually one of the main reasons I'm personally not so keen on the high elves. For all their love of music and the fine arts, they are rather self-involved.

Quote:
Also, a brief hiccup of a thought:

Substitute a couple characters and you get:

...they [all good folk] cannot stop Morgoth, only escape from him, which reads rather like the entire Silmarillion in microcosm--though Túrin's story, at least, suggest that the flight is ultimately impossible (and Gandalf says as much about the recurring waves of evil).
lol, perhaps I should have said she does not confront him. But perhaps that's the situation of a woman in her culture.

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And this makes me think about the chief contrast between Idril and Lúthien--or is it their point of convergence?--namely that she does the complete opposite of her mother: where Melian guards against Morgoth, she goes on the attack. Not, obviously, in a military manner, but certainly in a proactive one.
I come back again to the point that much of what we know of Idril is reported to us; we have hardly any dialogue between her and other characters. It might be interesting to posit why Tolkien presented her this way and gave more narrative development to others.

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Originally Posted by Nerwen
But I think there is a difference between “talking about men” and “talking about a series of events in which men were involved”.
True, and as Agan has pointed out the Bechdel Test is not a standard for feminist depiction but for representation or gender bias and I do find myself falling into looking at the characteristics of the depiction. It is true that Melian uses the conversation--or perhaps I should say Tolkien uses it--to elicit information that is needed for Thingol's motivation.

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Originally Posted by Nerwen
It seems to me that, for whatever reason (under-representation, maybe?) female characters, I think particularly in SF, tend to be seen as Woman rather than women, and therefore have a quite different set of demands made of them from that made of male characters. You often get the impression that writers ask themselves not “is this character in any way likeable, interesting or even believable?”, but “can she be passed off as an Ideal Female Role Model (while remaining palatable to the male audience)"?
I think that's a valid generalisation. Not particularly relevant here, but I've always been intrigued by Asimov's Susan Calvin and her role in the creation of the robots, because of the studiously cold manner he gives her and the events of the short story "Liar". Asimov was clearly wanting to show a capable woman in a positive, intellectual light, but fell pray to using romance as a plot device.

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Originally Posted by Morthoron
I'm sorry, but creating characters where they don't belong, by a director and scriptwriter who is a notorious failure at deviating from an original story line, is the height of hubris, and stinks to heaven of high-handed Hollywoodish scripting for marketing demographics. Thank the Lord Sir David Lean did not create a female Bedouin love interest for Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.
Well, we all know why Lean could not create a female Bedouin love interest for Lawrence.

Thomas Leitch's book Film Adaptation and Its Discontents examines the many ways in which a novel can be represented on the screen. Not all of the great films are seamless transpositions. Several theorists posit a range of three or up to six different ways to frame the relationship. So a director is free to interpret his material as he sees fit. I think the great problem with Jackson is that he really isn't sure himself just what kind of adaption he is aiming for: pure transposition, analogy, or any of the other way of transtexual or intertextual relationship. He's got a bunch of other ideas mixed in there with Tolkien too.

It's not like he's Joss Whedon doing Much Ado About Nothing as a modern romance and getting it bang on while maintaining Elizabethan English.

As the responses to this thread have shown, there is also a variety within Tolkien's own work. The Hobbit was bed time story for his sons and as such has no female characters. Is it fair to imagine what it would be if he had included his daughter in his immediate audience? I would argue yes, particularly in the hands of a good artist. But that isn't Jackson's MO.

Lord of the Rings provides more gender variety and The Silmarillion even more (despite my own personal disappointments with many of the characters). An interesting question might be to ask why that difference exists in Tolkien's representation of woman.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:29 PM   #47
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I come back again to the point that much of what we know of Idril is reported to us; we have hardly any dialogue between her and other characters. It might be interesting to posit why Tolkien presented her this way and gave more narrative development to others.
Perhaps he never had an opportunity to flesh it out. It is part of his "unfinished, published posthumously" work.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:44 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
I'm sorry, but creating characters where they don't belong, by a director and scriptwriter who is a notorious failure at deviating from an original story line, is the height of hubris, and stinks to heaven of high-handed Hollywoodish scripting for marketing demographics. Thank the Lord Sir David Lean did not create a female Bedouin love interest for Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia.
Ah, but think of all the other things he didn’t do either... here we are dealing with a story that’s being violently shoved into the Standard Hollywood Blockbuster Template anyway, so what difference does one extra character make, really?
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:28 AM   #49
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I am not against feminism, but I dislike over-the-top demonstrations of the phenomenon (Agan will now for sure beat me with a banana when we meet in the indefinite future )
Heck, I am an outrageous over the top demonstration of everything I am, including feminism, and I will only beat you with a banana if you don't like me because of it.

Still, I doubt Tauriel was written from a feminist perspective entirely. I feel Mith is right when she says Tauriel isn't there for the girls. Us women, we have got used to relating to male characters because women aren't available - that's not the problem. But can straight men watch a film without a hot heroine to entertain romantic thoughts about? The movie industry thinks not.

Again, I'm unwilling to pass judgment yet, but if Tauriel, who is 'slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill' only has a harsh exterior, and all it takes to warm her up and help her solve those dassy issues is a whiff of testosterone, you will know she wasn't there for the ladies.

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Would everybody be carrying on nearly so much at the addition of “a shallow desperate fighter” who was a male? (Note that technically the “shallowness” is still an assumption, though probably a safe one.)
I don't think there was much of a fuss about Figwit, or Lindir if you prefer, even though it wasn't exactly necessary for him to have a name or lines. We don't complain (much) about Lurtz replacing Uglúk, or any of PJ's other original characters that I just read about on Wikipedia.

While I certainly have my doubts about Tauriel, as I have pointed out, I feel a lot of the hate comes down to her being a woman. She seems off primarily because there are no women in The Hobbit, and when you're uncomfortable with something, it's easy to come up with excuses for why she's a baaaad character. Mind you, I am by no means implying anyone is misogynistic for not liking her (even if there's also evidence of that on the internet) - it's just something I feel needs saying. Especially as all we actually know about her is how she looks (also, would we be paying so much attention to a male character's looks?) and a couple of little things.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:31 AM   #50
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We don't complain (much) about Lurtz replacing Uglúk
Actually, I've always been quietly upset about that one. I understand why they did it so they could have a big payoff at the end of the first movie and so Aragorn could look all cool...but I still don't like it.

Quote:
Especially as all we actually know about her is how she looks (also, would we be paying so much attention to a male character's looks?) and a couple of little things.
In fairness, there was a lot of complaining about the look of the all male dwarves back when their appearance was debuted (I should know, I was doing some of it).

And, come on, her ears look terrible!
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:46 AM   #51
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Actually, I've always been quietly upset about that one. I understand why they did it so they could have a big payoff at the end of the first movie and so Aragorn could look all cool...but I still don't like it.
I was more upset about Brego replacing both Hasufel and Roheryn! He was even the wrong colour. Sheesh!

Quote:
In fairness, there was a lot of complaining about the look of the all male dwarves back when their appearance was debuted (I should know, I was doing some of it).

And, come on, her ears look terrible!
I know! I was doing it too (in real life if not on the Downs, I think that may have been one of my quieter times)! And yes, her ears and hair do look bad. Still, I've seen comments along the lines 'She's an ugly bitch and doesn't look like an elf at all', and that goes too far.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #52
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What we know is pure Mary Sue cliche

young impetuous tick
specially gifted in this case an exceptional warrior tick
red hair tick
high in the favour of high ranking elves tick
has a romance which motivates her tick.

Do we know if she has cerulean orbs?
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:08 PM   #53
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Still, I've seen comments along the lines 'She's an ugly bitch and doesn't look like an elf at all', and that goes too far.
I certainly agree that personal attacks are inappropriate...however, I did say she looks like a Vulcan earlier in the thread.

Of course, it kind of can't be avoided because the Vulcans are essentially space elves and the Romulans are space dark elves. There is nothing original anywhere.

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has a romance which motivates her tick.
Is it confirmed that she will have a thing with Kiligolas? (or is it Filigolas...even I can't keep the two of them straight).

To cross reference this thread, that could lead to some height-related awkward visuals.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:14 PM   #54
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You know, I just saw someone on FB call a picture of this character "beautiful". (Not the picture we have here.)

Different strokes for different folks.

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Originally Posted by Kuru
Perhaps he never had an opportunity to flesh it out. It is part of his "unfinished, published posthumously" work.
Possibly. I've never checked out HoMe on Idril, mainly because I'm still enjoying BoLT too much.

But the lack of time, given how much niggling he did do on the Silm, is not really an explanation. The point still remains that he did spend time on Galadriel and Melian, who have flaws, but not on Idril, who folks here would seem to assume was a very positive character. Would flaws have come to light had Tolkien developed her? Or was he more interested in the flawed characters and less in the good? After all, we have a great deal about Turin but less about Tuor.

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slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill'
This I am positive would not be appropriate for any of Tolkien's heroes, let along his heroines. It was Gandalf, after all, who warned Frodo against killing Gollem and showing him mercy instead. That could not be said even of the Rohirrim, with their battle ethic. And I'm darn sure Tolkien would not have put it in a bedtime story for his sons.

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:21 PM   #55
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Or was he more interested in the flawed characters and less in the good? After all, we have a great deal about Turin but less about Tuor.
There is probably something to that.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:40 PM   #56
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Lilly has said there is romance she isnt allowed to talk about

There isnt a lot of direct speech in the Silmarillion which I think it is more to do with it being written as synthetic myth as opposed to the synthetic history conceit of LOTR. Direct speech tends to be dooms and disputes. I don't see that its lack hould be a stick to beat zidril with. Er actions speak for her and even the sainted canary who has a lot more airtime speaks directly only once in the silmarillion and it is fairly banal. In UT Erendis talka a lot doesnt make her a more positive character.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:03 PM   #57
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I don't think there was much of a fuss about Figwit, or Lindir if you prefer, even though it wasn't exactly necessary for him to have a name or lines. We don't complain (much) about Lurtz replacing Uglúk, or any of PJ's other original characters that I just read about on Wikipedia.
I like how by far the longest and most detailed entry is for Brego the Kissing Horse...
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #58
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I ran a poll on the site I was on at the time ~ yes there was life before the Downs ~ as to whether people would rather snog Brego or Arwen....IIRC the horse got well over 90%
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:07 AM   #59
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Again, I'm unwilling to pass judgment yet, but if Tauriel, who is 'slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill' only has a harsh exterior, and all it takes to warm her up and help her solve those dassy issues is a whiff of testosterone, you will know she wasn't there for the ladies.
Wait... So is she effectively Thranduil's John McClane?



Tauriel: A Loose Canon Cop, who doesn't play by the rules!

... Sorry, I couldn't help myself when I read that description of her character.

I think I've collectively made my peace with this whole entire character issue now.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:14 AM   #60
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Boots

Gah!

MY EYES!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:37 AM   #61
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Heck, I am an outrageous over the top demonstration of everything I am, including feminism, and I will only beat you with a banana if you don't like me because of it.
I like you well enough.

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I was more upset about Brego replacing both Hasufel and Roheryn! He was even the wrong colour. Sheesh!
I was upset about Brego being some Arwen incarnation with four legs. Tsk tsk. That Arwen totally ruined the poor horsie. You know, PJ could have seriously developed the theme of relationships of animals to humans with this one. He should have spent more time on how Aragorn and Brego come to love each other like no two humans can.

:-D

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But the lack of time, given how much niggling he did do on the Silm, is not really an explanation. The point still remains that he did spend time on Galadriel and Melian, who have flaws, but not on Idril, who folks here would seem to assume was a very positive character. Would flaws have come to light had Tolkien developed her? Or was he more interested in the flawed characters and less in the good? After all, we have a great deal about Turin but less about Tuor.
Because "things that are good to hae and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway."
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:39 PM   #62
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After seeing the new trailer, Tauriel is the least of my concerns.

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I certainly agree that personal attacks are inappropriate...however, I did say she looks like a Vulcan earlier in the thread.
Aw don't you mind, love, sometimes Vulcans happen.

The thing with Kiligolas (Fili is the hot one, the blonde who looks like me) hasn't been confirmed even though there have been rumours. However there have also been rumours about her having a thing with Legolas and/or Thranduil, so... For all we know, she'll teach Bard the Bowman to shoot and will end up marrying him.

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This I am positive would not be appropriate for any of Tolkien's heroes, let along his heroines. It was Gandalf, after all, who warned Frodo against killing Gollem and showing him mercy instead.
And after saying something equivalent in the Hobbit film, he unnecessarily butchers the Great Goblin while joking with him. Oh PJ, you couldn't have screwed it up worse.

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Ooh, careful. I've seen how swift Gal55 is with a banana in person.
I'll have you know I can shoot three bullseyes in the time it takes most shooters at the archery range I go to to shoot one arrow.

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Tauriel: A Loose Canon Cop, who doesn't play by the rules!
Hahaha this is amazing.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:03 PM   #63
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I'll have you know I can shoot three bullseyes in the time it takes most shooters at the archery range I go to to shoot one.
But with bananas? That's settled then. When we meet in RL, we will have an archery competition with bananas for bows.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #64
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But with bananas? That's settled then. When we meet in RL, we will have an archery competition with bananas for bows.
Or we can shoot bananas with rubber bands?
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #65
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Or we can shoot bananas with rubber bands?
Shoot bananas, shoot shoot bananas...
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:47 PM   #66
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Here's a quote from alleged Tolkien fan Philippa Boyens on the matter of 'Tauriel' derived from this TORN article: http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012...-hobbitcon-qa/

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Who you saw a little bit of. She’s our redhead. We created her for that reason. To bring that energy into the film, that feminine energy. We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien. You know, we tried really hard, and she wanted that more than anything, herself. She didn’t want it to be a ploy. We wanted her to sit in the world, and I think you guys are going to fall in love with her.
Whichever marketing person thirteen years ago or so at New Line invented the phrase 'Spirit of Tolkien' must be very, very pleased with themselves.

"But why is Dale a Mediterranean city full of medieval Muscovites?"
"Spirit of Tolkien, guys, spirit of Tolkien."

"Why are Bilbo and Thorin both nothing like their book counterparts?"
"The spirit of Tolkien told me it was okay."

"Azog?"
"Spirit of Tolkien."
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:01 AM   #67
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Zigûr, you're hilarious and I love you. That was perfect!
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:09 AM   #68
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Well, between that and “it’s in the Appendices", it looks like they’ve got all bases covered, doesn’t it?

I do hope the “she” who “wanted it more than anything” is Evangeline Lilly and not Tauriel.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:17 AM   #69
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Zigûr, you're hilarious and I love you. That was perfect!
Well you've got to laugh, haven't you? We need some 'grumpy Tolkien' smilies...

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Well, between that and “it’s in the Appendices", it looks like they’ve got all bases covered, doesn’t it?
Mithril could not ward off the critics any better, could it? I find the only thing the 'Appendices defence' is preferable to is the much-repeated call by people online of "It's in The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Histories/Letters/Roverandom/The Father Christmas Letters/delete-where-applicable." No it's not...

Well, apart from 'Blue Wizards', huh? I read somewhere they were advised by people of the copyright persuasion not to do that, but I guess as long as they don't name names it's fine...
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:17 AM   #70
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
I am afraid I took near sadistic glee in quoting the letters at someone who insisited that JRRT would have loved the films. But I am paying for any bad karma fo this morning I gave myself a hair dye disaster to rival Tauriel ~ oh my children heed the words of your Auntie Mithalwen and should you absentmindedly mix the conditioner with the developer, do not think what is the worst that can happen and add the dye and slap it on anyway...
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:26 PM   #71
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[QUOTE=Nerwen;684127]Well, between that and “it’s in the Appendices", it looks like they’ve got all bases covered, doesn’t it?
I think that's mostly used by fans who defend the films. "What do you mean there's no Azog? It's in the Appendices!"

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I do hope the “she” who “wanted it more than anything” is Evangeline Lilly and not Tauriel.
Well, you know, Tauriel may really have wanted to be born. That sometimes happens if you get involved in writing a story.

And we need Grumpy Tolkien smilies. Mods? Admins? Please?

Also, Zigûr, that made my day.
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