The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Movies
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-12-2008, 12:29 PM   #201
Brian Sibley
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Brian Sibley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar View Post
Rosebury's comment is in the context of comparing the movie versions with the radio production (favorably for the BBC, at that!), so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised at his kind of expectation there.
Yes, well, it's always a tricky issue: comparing chalk and cheese!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estelyn Telcontar View Post
As far as my personal experience goes, I love both reading aloud to others and being read to, with all of the imaginative possibilities that come with it. I remember the first calendar images I saw back in the 70s - I really disliked them, as they didn't seem to fit in with my concept of LotR characters at all.
I agree. Even artists whom I admire, like Alan Lee and John Howe, are often a long way off the mark as far as the pictures in my head are concerned and most fan-art leaves me feeling deeply depressed - especially since so much of it is now 'inspired' by (or derived from) Jackson.

Our response to all such things is, of course, totally subjective. You might be amused to know that someone wrote to me when the radio series was first broadcast and complained that Robert Stephens simply didn't sound like Aragorn! Funnily enough, I know what the person meant...
Brian Sibley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2008, 12:38 PM   #202
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,529
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Very true! So the audio version even has one disadvantage over the simple reading experience - voices may not fit my mental imagination. I remember that being the case in the German radio dramatisation; I'll have to listen again to see which voice it was - Gandalf or Aragorn, IIRC.
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2008, 03:28 PM   #203
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
The turn of the screw....

Sorry for my lateness in replying - started a new work assignment at short notice which broke my chain of thought!!!

Three words sum up this episode for me transition, tension and tantilising... I am no chess player but it feels like the players are moving in to position for the endgame.

It is a very dark episode because although the Ents are roused and Theoden healed - both vital for the eventual victory - as Gandalf says they win through one
challenge to face the next... also as has been pointed out there is Frodo's resignation to his fate. The burden is getting heavier but he is still coping. For me one of the great triumphs of the adaptation is the handling of the Frodo, Sam, Gollum part of the story which is not my favourite part of the book.

The casting is perfect and I think it works very well on radio. Holm's voice conveys so well the horror of the Dead Marshes - and I liked the fact that the same music was used for the Dead Marshes as the Paths of the Dead - then there is the fine balance of the relationships between the three which reminds me at times of Sartre's "Huis clos". Gollum is teetering between the animal and the human and so fine poised is the balance that it starts to seem tragic that Gollum overhears Sam's "Dratted Creature! " but not the "poor wretch!".

Eomer and Aragorn having started the episode as beggar and "outlaw" are very much kings in waiting by the end. I do understand that it must have made sense not to have Galadriel go to Minas Tirith for the wedding but it does mean that we lose one of those fab Eomer / Gimli exchanges... but nevermind. However we do get the orc slaying contest - which does help with the battle scene but I never understand how and elf archer could possibly lose given that A first rate English archer, who, in a single minute was unable to draw and discharge his bow 12 times, with a range of 240 yards, and who in these twelve shots once missed his man, was very lightly esteemed. Legolas should have made Gimli's score within five minutes but that is not the fault of the adaptation!

It was only when I saw the musical (which combines Gondor and Rohan) that I fully appreciated the parralels between the two - both have an aging ruler under a malign influence, the heir has been lost and the "spare" is estranged to a degree - Eomer is seen in the light of a traitor as Faramir will be accused of being a wizard's pupil.

Eowyn is the only major character introduced and while she says nothing of significance we learn that she is brave and loved by her people as well as her kin.

Gah sorry about this I will try and tidy it later ...
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2008, 09:56 AM   #204
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,248
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Episode 8: The Voice of Saruman

Transcript: http://www.tolkienradio.com/vos.html

This episode covers a lot of ground. We start out in the aftermath of the Battle of Helm's Deep & wnd with the Fellowship once more broken - but even more fractured than previously. By the close Aragorn, Legolas & Gimli have set forth for Dunharrow & thence the Paths of the Dead, Gandalf & Pippin are approaching Minas Tirith, Merry, in the service of Theoden is also heading towards Dunharrow, & Frodo & Sam have finally met Faramir in the glades of Ithilien.

First though, there is a series of reunions - Gimli with Legolas & Aragorn after his night in the Glittering Caves with Eomer, Gandalf with the survivors of the battle & then finally all four with Merry & Pippin at Orthanc.

The highlight of this episode for me is the confrontation with Saruman. And here I must praise Peter Howell's performance. The way he switches from charming councellor to venomous monster with such alacrity actually rivals (to my mind) Woodthorpe's Gollum. Howell is another player who never seems to get the praise he is due. As with Grout's Butterbur this is a performance to be relished. As I listen to this Saruman I'm never actually certain (as with book Saruman) whether he actually believes he is the injured party. You really get the sense that he sees himself as the victim, & that he really believes that he is working for the best of all concerned & simply doesn't understand what everyone's problem is. Michael Hordern's performance as Gandalf carries just the right combination of righteous anger & sheer frustration, mixed with sadness & compassion for the loss of his fellow Maiar.

I'm still not sure about the Palantir incident - maybe its because I'm so familiar with the way it happens in the book, but to have Pippin looking into the stone while they're still in the ruins of Isengard seems a bit 'wrong'. I suppose this was done purely for reasons of time, but the events seem compressed - as if the adaptor (don't know if it was Brian or Michael) wanted to get everyone up & moving as quickly as possible. Certainly the sudden appearance of the Nazgul while the party are still in Isengard seems not to get the serious response it deserves! And I'm definitely not sure about Pippin's expressed desire to have a Palantir of his own to see what Frodo & Sam are up to at that moment - its a nice linking device, but I honestly doubt that at that point Pippin would really want anything to do with Palantiri ever again

Other things?

I'm grateful for the appearance of Halbarad & the Rangers (though sad for the absence of Elladan & Elrohir ) Like Imrahil they are very minor players who do very little but for some reason you miss them. Oddly I think I miss them more than I miss Bombadil.....

I'm glad we got the encounter between Aragorn & Sauron - an invention but one I think is brilliantly done. Listening to Robert Stephen's performance sent shivers down my spine. If I was Sauron I'd have been a bit nervous....

'What's taters, precious?' Perfect. Tolkien's beautiful little scene played to perfection by Bill Nighy & Peter Woodthorpe. Once again I was left wondering why the movie scriptwriters thought they could improve on Tolkien's dialogue. All the Frodo/Sam/Gollum scenes are wonderfully done, subtle & informed performances by all concerned. Ian Holm's Frodo, at once driven & resigned, Nighy's frustrated & narky Sam & Woodthorpe's cunning, infuriated, frightened Gollum in the scene before the Black Gate are wonderful.

Anyway..
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2008, 03:18 PM   #205
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
Rather belated again... big week on the Archers... this isn't totally random, there is a link between Ambridge and Isengard. I knew that Jack May was the much missed Nelson Gabriel (I do try hard not to think of Grima as Shane ) but I didn't realise that Peter Howell was the Bishop of Felpersham!!! Now that is a little surreal. His voice is quite wonderful ... while I thought Christopher Lee gave one of the stronger performances in the films and has a wonderfully powerful voice, his Saruman had was a commander who expected to be obeyed; Howell's is a seducer, plausible and hypnotic. He is so subtle, seems so plausible portrays hismelf as the victim, that Gimli's interjection is needed to remind that Saruman is the aggressor, who had given specific orders that Theodred be slain at all costs - the son of his neighbour and friend.

I don't have a problem with Pippin and the Palantir - I think it is quite in character that even an encounter with the Dark Lord doesn't get him down for long.
That bit was wonderful - I can't work out quite if it is Jon McAndrew's voice when he is "being" Sauron - if so it is a great bit of acting.

Robert Stephens performance is for me quite uneven. When he is good he is very good, and he is far better as the king in waiting than as the Ranger ...at other times ...well lets say he brings out Aragorn's pompous, priggish side very well!!!

I love the Herbs and Stewed Rabbit scenes - presumably Tolkien was fond of it since it is one of the scenes he recorded. There is the tension underlying the bickering between Gollum and Sam but then a brief glimpse of normality while they enjoy their meal. Frodo sounds almost like the hobbit that left Bag End. But they relax ot much and we finish on the nice contrast of the hobbits with drawn swords and another wonderful voice, with the tantalising glimpse of Faramir.

I too am glad of Halbarad even though I miss Bombadil not at all. He is one of those characters one cares about even though he only has a few lines - though the courage of his words at the Door to the paths of the dead are very striking. Imrahil, I think does have a role in the book, where both in leadership in the city and in rescuing his nephew Faramir he shows how Denethor should be, however I can see how confusing he would be to include and he has little actual dialogue - though again his realisation that Eowyn is alive is very memorable. The sons of Elrond again say little and have some symbolic significance but are not vital to the plot.. so again while I love them in the books, I can't really criticise their absence.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2008, 03:19 PM   #206
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
Shall we hang fire on the next episode for a day or so? I had a bussy week and we might get a few more comments?
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2008, 04:55 PM   #207
Brian Sibley
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Brian Sibley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
Rather belated again... big week on the Archers... this isn't totally random, there is a link between Ambridge and Isengard. I knew that Jack May was the much missed Nelson Gabriel (I do try hard not to think of Grima as Shane ) but I didn't realise that Peter Howell was the Bishop of Felpersham!!! Now that is a little surreal.
Yep, that is worrying - or an ironic comment on the power of the Church maybe...? Another Ambridge connection: Hugh Dickson (Elrond) played the late Guy Pemberton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
His voice is quite wonderful ... while I thought Christopher Lee gave one of the stronger performances in the films and has a wonderfully powerful voice, his Saruman had was a commander who expected to be obeyed; Howell's is a seducer, plausible and hypnotic. He is so subtle, seems so plausible portrays hismelf as the victim, that Gimli's interjection is needed to remind that Saruman is the aggressor, who had given specific orders that Theodred be slain at all costs - the son of his neighbour and friend.
I quite agree...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
I don't have a problem with Pippin and the Palantir - I think it is quite in character that even an encounter with the Dark Lord doesn't get him down for long.

That bit was wonderful - I can't work out quite if it is Jon McAndrew's voice when he is "being" Sauron - if so it is a great bit of acting.
Yes, it was John McA - with a little radiophonic treatment to the voice.
Brian Sibley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2008, 06:43 AM   #208
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
Thank you - there was a lot of appreciation of the recent cameo by Alex Jennings on the Archer's website which roused memories of golden voices of the past. Howell was ..well virtually deified in some quarters (maybe the CofE should have appointed him to Canterbury!) but though HD was mentioned they didn't mention the role. I do remember Guy and his dreadful son but of course they never broadcast the cast and I wasn't addicted enough to scour the Radio Times in those days,
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 12:01 PM   #209
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,248
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
And another apology...

Yet again I haven't been able to post the intro for the next episode. Unfortunately, 'personal commitments' (mainly a six month old one) keep on intruding, so....

This is either going to have to be an occasional thread, where I post intros to each episode when I can get round to doing so, or some kind soul is going to have to take over the task of doing so. I still haven't got around to listening to the next episode & it will be at least next Sunday before I do so. If no-one takes up the gauntlet before then (i& f I can find the time to do it myself) I'll do it then.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 12:07 PM   #210
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
This has a lot of the lovely Faramir and it is high time I took my turn ..... so I will do an intro in the next day or so....
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2008, 12:32 PM   #211
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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 meant to say before I ran out of lunchtime yesterday that whatever sterophonic magic they did on John McAndrew it was great and certainly hasn't dated.

One of the things that struck me about this episode is just how good Michael Hordern is as Gandalf - even if he didn't understand what was going on!!! I have to say I am not a huge fan of Ian McKellen in the role and perhaps the reasons are similar to why I am not so keen on Robert Stephens ..it all seems a bit too "actorly", bit too Stratford... it just seems a little less natural. Overall though it is a wonderful ensemble cast who you can completely believe in as their characters, and though there are household names and names only the hardcore Radio 4 listener will find familiar it is usually quite seamless.

It is strange that even though I have listened ot these tapes so often, it never struck me before how close Frodo's threat to command Gollum to throw himself in to the fire was to realisation at the Cracks of Doom. Slightly chilling.
__________________
I see dead people.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 04-23-2008 at 12:55 PM.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2008, 07:37 AM   #212
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Post

Sorry I haven't posted. I have had a severe case of food poisoning this week and until last night I haven't been good at all. I'll post my thoughts later today.

davem, I can't PM so if you want, I am willing to alternate weeks on the initial post if you want, or we can go every other week. That would give more people time to reply and after all, it is the quality not the quantity that matters, right? Anyway, just my thoughts on that subject.

BTW, on a side note, I found my BBC adaptation of The Hobbit (well, my daughter found it for me)! I forgot what a nice map of the wild is included in my edition, and the music CD at the end.
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2008, 03:57 PM   #213
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
The Two Towers

http://www.tolkienradio.com/twotowers.html

This episode I imagine may be a little different in the more recent version since Frodo and Same remain in "The Two Towers" while the others have moved on in to "The Return of the King".

Having found the length of time that the paths diverge the barrier to finishing the book the first time I tried to read it - I was only nine and remembering what had gone on hundred of pages before was an unequal struggle and gave up at the rather gloomy end of The Two Towers - I wouldn't presume to say that you improved on Tolkien but it certainly provides variety and in this case enables parralels to be drawn more easily.

We start with Faramir and Frodo & co in Ithilien. Much of the dialogue is more or less straight from the book, skilfully edited including that wonderful bit where Sam is a far from servile servant and not withstanding that he is effectively the man's prisoner, gives Faramir a piece of his mind.

Faramir is very eloquent, almost poetic, and Andrew Seear's voice suits it well, as he moves from inquisitor, to bereaved brother, to loreman and judge.

Appropriately we then switch to Eowyn and Aragorn as she attempts to dissuade him from taking the paths of the Dead or at least take her along, and her feelings for Aragorn, hinted at in her few words last episode are made much more explicit.

We follow Aragorn and the Grey Company through the haunted mountain then return to Frodo and the capture of Gollum, and another much needed moment of humour to lighten the gathering darkness "Don't want Fish!", before Frodo embarks on his journey toinas Morgul despite Faramir's forboding.

Then we go to Gandalf and Pippin being a most unquenchable hobbit and more little references to things that are not essential to the plot but gladden the hearts of the book devotee (no dumbing down for Radion 4!!! - cannot see gratuitous references to Armenelos being allowed in Holywood.) We meet the last major player - Denethor. Another great performance hear from Peter Vaughan, famous as "Grouty" from Porridge but a great character actor in many other things. Pippin offers the Steward his service.

We then rejoin Eowyn, this time with Theoden and Eomer. She has received the Red Arrow - the formal summons of Gondor for the aid of the Rohirrim.

We briefly rejoin Frodo in a nightmarish landscape as the darkness literally spreads across the land - not only in Morgul Vale but spreading out to be sighted from Rohan "eating up the stars" . Theoden is fatalistic but for Frodo there is a moment of optimism at the crossroads and the statue of the fallen king a crown of trailing flowers like white stars. They cannot conquer for ever..

The Rohirrim depart and Merry is released from his short service but accepts Dernhelm's offer to bear him to battle.


I haven't much time now but one of the things that the juxtaposition of the threads throws in to relief is this question of duty and keeping oaths, obeying orders. Theoden is fulfilling the Oath of Eorl while Aragorn leads an army of Oathbreakers - the price of breaking an oath is clearly a terrible doom. Merry and Eowyn disobey orders and abandon duty but ... well we know how that will end. Faramir speaks twice about lives being forfeit - yet he uses his discretion to allow Frodo on his way. Then there is Frodo and the oaths Gollum swears on the precious, and Frodo tricking Gollum to save his life.

Critics often say that the book is black and white, Good v Evil...but there is a lot of moral ambiguity here (which is I need to go back to on the Age of Anxiety thread!).

The other thing which crops up here again (as with the Ents) is how men have become detached from the other races of middle earth. This is really the last hurrah of the free peoples before they disappear into folklore.

Sorry it is a Mith style ramble rather than a Dave style essay but it is a start.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2008, 04:32 PM   #214
Bęthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bęthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,037
Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
I haven't had time to follow this excellent thread but today for the first time I had a chance to look at the transcripts. Aside from the very unique study of the BBC radio show (which I do promise to catch up on, hopefully, as long as my garden allows me), I was quite surprised by something else.

What was that you ask? (Well, assuming anyone is reading/listening ). Well, Wellinghall is not only the website for the radio drama, but it is also the website for the Toronto chapter of the Tolkien Society, called actually Wellinghallsmial.

It's a very small site and has had its ups and downs, but this spring it is sponsoring something which I think it kinda cool. So, for anyone within sewing or volunteering distance of the big, bad TO, here's the project: helping the Children's Aid Foundation prepare prom clothes and acessories for girls who are unable to afford the formal celebration of as they reach that milestone, graduating from high school.

Here's the link to Wellinghallsmial Tolkien Society.

And here's the link to The Corsage Project.

Somehow I think that somewhere there's a spirit like Rosie Cotton's at work here, or maybe it is the spirit of Rosie and Sam's daughters.

EDIT: Having said that about Rosie, I must not fail to acknowledge the prime seamstress in Middle-earth, Arwen. Of course, she devoted her skills to battle insignia and gave up her life eternal for a mere Man. And according to the Appendix she did not leave any special remembrance for her daughtes. Ah well. Perhaps I shall catch up with the BBC radio show in time to hear her words at her wedding. I don't suppose the BBC show included the Appendices?
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.

Last edited by Bęthberry; 04-26-2008 at 05:38 PM.
Bęthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 12:39 AM   #215
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Reply

A few items that I really noticed in this episode. I love the interaction of Faramir and Frodo and Frodo's reaction when Faramir informs him of the death of Boromir. Ian Holm continues to really portray Frodo here as one whose despair is growing, and who sees little hope in fulfilling his quest, but his duty, his obligation as given to him at the Council is to continue.

Andrew Seear's portrayl of Faramir here is as I imagined he would be. He is able to show Faramir's power of perception in his dealings with Frodo when they are walking with the leaves crunching under their feet. I think this is important because it shows later why Faramir is able to see the evil and corruption of the ring, and to steer a clear course. This is not something outright, but something I have interpreted based on the script the actors are using, and from their own inflection and interactions.

I also think the incident with Frodo, Sam and Faramir while sitting together talking at Henneth Annűn, shows that Faramir acts according to what he feels and knows to be right, and for doing the right thing, one should not be praised for it, for the honor is to oneself in knowing you are doing Ohat is right. I think the scene here reflects that and takes it to a higher level of where Faramir is not looking for praise because he simply acts with what he believes is right and that is enough.

Aragorn in the Paths of the Dead for me shows his kingly nature, and takes it up to do his role in defeating Sauron. I like how Aragorn shows here to Halbarad that if they control their own fear, their horses will pick up on that and go with them on the path. I also admire here, as I did in the book, Halbarad going forth knowing he was going to his own death, yet remaining loyal nevertheless.

The final comment is on the last scene between Faramir and Frodo. Faramir knows from talking with Gollum that he is up to no good. He begs Frodo not to go with him and Frodo turns the table on Faramir. Frodo informs Faramir that he cannot leave Gondor and show him a way over or under the mountains. And if he takes the ring to Minis Tirith it will destroy that city and make it like its twin city, Minus Ithil/Morgul. Faramir concludes with Frodo that the quest is hopeless and that he has not hope to reunite and they embrace and say good-bye. I really enjoyed this interaction and realized in listening to it, why for me, Ian is acting Frodo the way he is. I have to admit that in the past my own critical comment of Ian's portrayal of Frodo, is Frodo gets to cranky and to hopeless. However, I think that is the point. The ring is wearing on Frodo and using only auditory, this is how we the listener pick up on this. I've noticed it slowly increases as Frodo gets closer and closer to Mordor and Mt. Doom. Again, something subtle, but I believe it is there in the adaptation.

On a sidebar; today my son and I were traveling back and forth to a University for some recitals and other things (and it is an hour up and an hour back) and so we got to finish listening to the 1968 adaptation of The Hobbit by the BBC and then listen to the Mindseye version. I won't get into my comparison in depth just to say that in this case, though there are parts of the BBC production I liked, overall, on The Hobbit my son and I agreed that the Mindseye dramatization is the version we enjoy more than the BBC version. However, in for LOTR BBC win hands down.

I'm not sure if this has been asked, and if it has, I'll check back the the thread, but Brian, did you listen to BBC version of The Hobbit that was done I believe in 1968 before beginning work on the LOTR adaptation? Just wondering if that played a part in helping you to determine what would and would not work in your own adaptation.

Last thing on a funny note. We were listening to the BBC version of The Hobbit when Smaug is attacking Laketown and the Old Thrush appears. When the Old Thrush speaks, my 14 year old broke into laughter to the point of tears (while playing that scene over and over again). I asked him what was so funny and he said the Old Thrush had to be Alvin the Chipmunk who had grown wings. Sure enough, I listened to it and I have to admit he is kinda of right. The good thing though is the memory we created and shared on that portion of the adaptation. We'll probably always think of this day when that part comes on.
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 09:18 AM   #216
Brian Sibley
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Brian Sibley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
I'm not sure if this has been asked, and if it has, I'll check back the the thread, but Brian, did you listen to BBC version of The Hobbit that was done I believe in 1968 before beginning work on the LOTR adaptation? Just wondering if that played a part in helping you to determine what would and would not work in your own adaptation.
Yes, I knew the BBC dramatisation of The Hobbit which featured good actors and was directed by one of the BBC's best directors, John Powell, with whom I worked on other programmes. But I never liked it: I found it too fanciful, too fussy and heavily cumbered with too many intrusive sound-effects. We asked if we could make a new version of The Hobbit to precede TLOTR, but the powers-that-be wouldn't approve that idea - way too expensive - so it never happened. However, I think it certainly influenced Michael and I in writing the scripts and Jane Morgan and Penny Leicester in establishing a directing style - on the basis of knowing what we didn't want to do!
Brian Sibley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #217
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,248
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I suppose the thing that stands out for me in this episode is the portrayal of Faramir. I don't know whether the adaptors went through the same kind of trauma the movie makers did (apparently) over how to make him 'believable', but you have to admire their skill in doing so - as opposed to the 'struggles' the movie writers apparently went through. Andrew Seear gets across the complexity of Tolkien's character (once again, I don't know whether he was familiar with the book beforehand) simply by using Tolkien's dialogue. I found this Faramir far more believable than movie Faramir. This is clearly a man who is prepared to sacrifice himself for what he believes in, but not to sacrifice his ideals - because he actually has ideals, rather than being a bit of a beardy-wierdy with a daddy complex..... anyway... You can certainly see how such a man could inspire loyalty in his troops. He's wise. He knows that in order to have any chance of victory over the Enemy one has to reject all the methods of the Enemy. As has been pointed up already, Ian Holm's performance as Frodo is spot on - his self-sacrificial journey (both inner & outer) to his own death, increasingly focussed on his goal to the exclusion of all else, doing what he knows is the morally right thing, while accepting that he himself will not get anything out of doing it, is heartbreaking - to the point that it is difficult to listen to his performance. William Nighy's Sam, clearly struggling to know how to cope with the dawning realisation of what's happening to his master, & Woodthorpe's Gollum, fighting against his inner fragmentation, because on some level he realises that he must get to that state of one-pointed meditation on his Precious to the exclusion of all else if he is ever to get it back, both bring out elements of the characters which many readers miss.

And Peter Vaughn's Denethor (shades of Olivier's Richard III - or is that just me?). I love this portrayal - subtle, driven, power-hungry, snide, but we cannot help but feel his loss. He may, as Gandalf says, be using his grief as a cloak, but we never doubt that that grief is real. And, again, its nice to be spared the scenery chewing .....

Briefly to the Grey Company. Nice to have an Aragorn who is in command - he tellls the Dead what they're going to do, & they get right down to it. This is another example of how the limitations of the medium actually work in favour of the story - radio doesn't allow you to go in for Indiana Jones style action sequences, so you don't get them, & such sequences aren't in the spirit of Tolkien. And jumping back to the scene with Eowyn - they way her voice breaks slightly when she says "Neither have those others that go with thee. They go only because they would not be parted from thee - because they love thee." is perfect.

Finally, Merry's failure to recognise that Dernhelm is a bird - very difficult to do, I suppose (bit like the voice of the resurrected Gandalf in Fangorn) - as soon as you hear the actor speaking the surprise is ruined - as readers we don't know Dernhelm is Eowyn till the confrontation with the Witch King on Pelenor Fields. Here, we know as soon as 'he' says "You wish to go whither the Lord of the Mark goes. I see it in your face." But that's a problem you'd have in any dramatisation, & at least this one attempts it, unlike the movie, where they simply don't bother.

Appendix - a couple of things that occurred to me while listening, first, the Red Arrow. This is a traditional summons to war. I've mentioned a couple of examples of it in another thread:

Quote:
King Audbjorn sent around an arrow of war as a signal to call men to arms throughout his kingdom & dispatched messengers to powerful men asking them to meet him. (Egil's Saga)
Quote:
The king split up a war-arrow, which he sent off in all directions, and by that token a number of men was collected in all haste. (Hakon the Good's Saga)
but I've recently come across another example in Saxo Grammaticus' Danish History:

Quote:
But if any man, from a contumacious spirit, were slack in fulfilling the orders of the king, he should be punished with exile. For, on all occasion of any sudden and urgent war, an arrow of wood, looking like iron, used to be passed on everywhere from man to man as a messenger.
So, clearly another example of Tolkien drawing on traditional lore to add historicity to his stories.

Oh, & while on the subject - 'Shield-maidens'. Saxo also has a good few examples:

Alfhild
Quote:

Thus Alfhild was led to despise the young Dane; whereupon she exchanged woman's for man's attire, and, no longer the most modest of maidens, began the life of a warlike rover.

Enrolling in her service many maidens who were of the same mind, she happened to come to a spot where a band of rovers were lamenting the death of their captain, who had been lost in war; they made her their rover captain for her beauty, and she did deeds beyond the valour of woman.
Wisna:
Quote:
a woman, filled with sternness, and a skilled warrior,
Rusla
Quote:
At the same time the amazon Rusla, whose prowess in warfare exceeded the spirit of a woman, had many fights in Norway with her brother, Thrond, for the sovereignty. She could not endure that Omund rule over the Norwegians, and she had declared war against all the subjects of the Danes. Omund, when he heard of this, commissioned his most active men to suppress the rising. Rusla conquered them, and, waxing haughty on her triumph, was seized with overweening hopes, and bent her mind upon actually acquiring the sovereignty of Denmark. She began her attack on the region of Halland, but was met by Homod and Thode, whom the king had sent over. Beaten, she retreated to her fleet, of which only thirty ships managed to escape, the rest being taken by the enemy. Thrond encountered his sister as she was eluding the Danes, but was conquered by her and stripped of his entire army; he fled over the Dovrefjeld without a single companion. Thus she, who had first yielded before the Danes, soon overcame her brother, and turned her flight into a victory. When Omund heard of this, he went back to Norway with a great fleet, first sending Homod and Thole by a short and secret way to rouse the people of Tellemark against the rule of Rusla. The end was that she was driven out of her kingdom by the commons, fled to the isles for safety, and turned her back, without a blow, upon the Danes as they came up. The king pursued her hotly, caught up her fleet on the sea, and utterly destroyed it, the enemy suffered mightily, and he won a bloodless victory and splendid spoils. But Rusla escaped with a very few ships, and rowed ploughing the waves furiously; but, while she was avoiding the Danes, she met her brother and was killed.
& Ladgerda
Quote:
Among them was Ladgerda, a skilled amazon, who, though a maiden, had the courage of a man, and fought in front among the bravest with her hair loose over her shoulders. All-marvelled at her matchless deeds, for her locks flying down her back betrayed that she was a woman....

Her second husband didn't fare so well

Quote:
Ladgerda, who had a matchless spirit though a delicate frame, covered by her splendid bravery the inclination of the soldiers to waver. For she made a sally about, and flew round to the rear of the enemy, taking them unawares, and thus turned the panic of her friends into the camp of the enemy. At last the lines of HARALD became slack, and HARALD himself was routed with a great slaughter of his men. LADGERDA, when she had gone home after the battle, murdered her husband.... in the night with a spear-head, which she had hid in her gown. Then she usurped the whole of his name and sovereignty; for this most presumptuous dame thought it pleasanter to rule without her husband than to share the throne with him.
& this got me thinking - as the term 'Shieldmaiden' seems common in Rohan (both Eowyn & Eomer use it in this episode) could there have been others in the Rohirrim?
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:58 AM   #218
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Nice to hear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sibley View Post
Yes, I knew the BBC dramatisation of The Hobbit which featured good actors and was directed by one of the BBC's best directors, John Powell, with whom I worked on other programmes. But I never liked it: I found it too fanciful, too fussy and heavily cumbered with too many intrusive sound-effects. We asked if we could make a new version of The Hobbit to precede TLOTR, but the powers-that-be wouldn't approve that idea - way too expensive - so it never happened. However, I think it certainly influenced Michael and I in writing the scripts and Jane Morgan and Penny Leicester in establishing a directing style - on the basis of knowing what we didn't want to do!
I would totally agree with you that it is too fussy and very cumbered with too many intrusive sound-effects. The trumpets that go off are annoying as is the sound of Bilbo putting on the rings. I would have LOVED to have heard an adaptation by your team of The Hobbit and I think the cost over time would have been made back and with profit, but sometimes in business decisions can be short term based.

I suspected that it may have shown you and your team what you did not want to do. Thanks for the response.
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 11:09 AM   #219
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,248
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I liked parts of the BBC Hobbit - the interaction between Bilbo & the Narrator (or 'Talebearer') & some of the comments by various characters - like Gandalf's at the end on Bilbo's memoirs ("He'll never get a publisher!").

Of course, this is an adaptation that Tolkien could have heard, but I'm not sure that he did - or what his reaction was. Can't remember it being mentioned in the letters ....
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 11:12 AM   #220
Brian Sibley
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Brian Sibley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
I would have LOVED to have heard an adaptation by your team of The Hobbit and I think the cost over time would have been made back and with profit, but sometimes in business decisions can be short term based.

I suspected that it may have shown you and your team what you did not want to do. Thanks for the response.
It was probably a short-sighted decision, but no one knew that TLOTR would be the success that it was - only when it was a hit did they decided to issue The Hobbit on audio books as a companion piece - even though they were so different.

It is worth remembering that not everyone thinks so highly of our LOTR; for instance I recently stumbled on a review of the CD set by Amanda Craig in The Independent on Sunday, Dec 15, 2002:

I have often wondered why so many intelligent people loathe Lord of the Rings (BBC Radio Collection pounds 50, boxed set) with such passion. Had my first introduction to it been through the radio, then I too would despise it. Brian Sibley has updated his classic radio version, first broadcast in 1981. He should be forced to wear prosthetic feet in atonement for the ponderous mess he's made of both story and prose. There's scarcely a single line here that belongs to Tolkien. All the humour, tension, poetry and life have been jettisoned for plonking dialogue that sounds like something left over from The Archers. Furthermore, one of the book's greatest pleasures, that of working out the mysterious past through the unfolding events of the present, has been bypassed by means of a new framing device, presumably to bring it in line with the film. The whole exercise is an embarrassment.

Of course Ms Craig is perfectly entitled not to like it, but "There's scarcely a single line here that belongs to Tolkien..." does beg the question of whether she has actually ever read the book!
Brian Sibley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2008, 12:10 PM   #221
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,529
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I've concentrated on the episode of The Hobbit with the Dwarven music in these past weeks, so I did listen to the BBC Hobbit radio play. I was not enthused over the version which was played and sung there - it lacked enchantment as far as I was concerned. Interestingly, the German radio adaptation has excellent Dwarven music, following the description in the book more faithfully and sounding much more fascinating. AJ, you mention another adaptation - can you give me more information on that, please?
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2008, 08:54 PM   #222
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Mindseye Hobbit

Estelyn here are some links:

http://www.sf-worlds.com/lord-of-the...-eye-1979.html

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The...116726/?itm=20

HighBridge is what Mindseye has become.

http://www.highbridgeaudio.com/jrrtolcol.html

I think I'd mentioned this, but there are many things I do not like about the Mindseye LOTR: the elves, the voices of Sam, Merry and Pippin, the writing, some of the acting. The BBC version is much more. For The Hobbit thought I do recommend the Mindseye or Highbridge version. Though not perfect, I do enjoy it.

Edit: I tried to put this into a private message but for some reason it is not working:

I also don't usually post something from YouTube but since this is only 3:28 of a 4 hour presentation and that is less than 10% I will post it as being ok under fair use.
This is a clip from the song the dwarves sing at Bilbo's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFcnMSJdnvA
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2008, 07:35 PM   #223
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
The Choices of Master Samwise

Transcript: http://www.tolkienradio.com/mastersamwise.html

Here are my thoughts on this episode. The interaction between Denethor, Gandalf and Faramir is well done. There are some major parts edited out, parts that I think really reflect not only the nature of the family relationships, but how they are different. Thought this is left out, I think the adaptation captures the notion of how it shows that Faramir is linked closer to Gandalf then to his father. I also like the discussion of what Denethor wished had been done with the ring. For me this is a wonderful interaction that shows Denethor's pride and vanity, that he could withstand the ring and would only use it IF it was a last choice. This reveals Denethor's hubris and how deceived he is. What was the deciding factor in putting the script together yet keeping it as true to the book as possible? Again, here I think that was done quite well.

One of the things I've noticed and again, I am not sure if it has been discussed, but I wonder how Brian and company decided on the order of events to display. I guess this episode really brought to me how the time frame of the book is not followed here. I would love to know how the decision was made to fit the various parts where they are in the adaptation.

The interaction between Frodo and the Witch King is interesting. I'm not sure if it could be done any better with the focus being on radio. It again conveys the meaning from the text while shortening the sequence. I really did miss the Phial of Galadrial that assisted Frodo in having the strength to resist the ring. For me this is important because it shows that Frodo needs the assistance of others in order to accomplish the quest. I still would like to see this brought out here in any adaptation because the Phial plays a role in what is coming, and this would show how it impacts evil when it confronts it.

Again we next see Aragorn and the army of the dead go forth to battle and take the Black Fleet over. I enjoyed the sequence here and that it shows Legolas hearing the cry of the gulls and the sea.

The highlight for me is the encounter with Shelob and the tower at Cirith Ungol. Sam and Frodo, Sir Ian Holm and William Nighy really do a great job here. I love the sound effect of Shelob, what sounds were used to make her? I also LOVE the song sung by Sam, In Western Lands . . . What tune is used there, anyone know? I also love how at the end Frodo/Sir Ian shows how the ring has corrupted him.

I really enjoyed this episode and have started the next.
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 01:44 AM   #224
Brian Sibley
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Brian Sibley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
One of the things I've noticed and again, I am not sure if it has been discussed, but I wonder how Brian and company decided on the order of events to display. I guess this episode really brought to me how the time frame of the book is not followed here. I would love to know how the decision was made to fit the various parts where they are in the adaptation.
This may have been answered previously, I'm not sure...

Basically, I sat down with the book and Tolkien's date-by-date chronology ('The Tale of Years', LOTR Appendix B) and worked out a structure that was, as you note, different to that of the running narrative in the book.

This decision was dictated by two things: the need to be able to follow the story in, as far as possible, a chronological order and to be able to include material in each (originally 30-minute) episode featuring all the major character groups.

At that point I also took some decisions about cuts and omissions (the loss of Tom Bombadil being the biggest) and selected which story elements had to be included.

This structure was then followed by Michael Bakewell and myself when we came to write the actual episodes - though that process occasionally led to some unavoidable horse-trading so that material in over-long episodes could be accommodated elsewhere.

Further compressions and cuts were made in studio when the scripts had been read and accurately timed and more in the editing process following recording - necessitated by the fact that music and effects can add considerably to the running time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
The highlight for me is the encounter with Shelob and the tower at Cirith Ungol. Sam and Frodo, Sir Ian Holm and William Nighy really do a great job here. I love the sound effect of Shelob, what sounds were used to make her?
We wanted Shelob to sound real -- and female -- so the spider was 'played' by actress Jenny Lee, whose voice-sounds were then treated radiophonically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
I also LOVE the song sung by Sam, In Western Lands . . . What tune is used there, anyone know?
Like all the music in LOTR, the tune was composed by Stephen Oliver.
Brian Sibley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2008, 06:44 AM   #225
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sibley View Post

Of course Ms Craig is perfectly entitled not to like it, but "There's scarcely a single line here that belongs to Tolkien..." does beg the question of whether she has actually ever read the book!
I have to say I doubt it .... I am amazed continually as I compare the two for this how little dialogue has been created.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 02:55 PM   #226
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
Sorry to have neglected this. I will try to do the next one on Friday if none objects?

In the meantime, I must comment more on this one. While I have listened to the series many times it is usually as a background to either a long drive or housework but listening seriously has provided new insights into the text and a greated appreciation of the adaptation on the whole. It is something I have loved since I first heard it, oh so many years ago and it is a great joy to find that it stands up to scrutiny ( trying to reread the Chronicles of Narnia which I loved as a child was a heartbreaking mistake).

I love the way that the script doesn't feel the need to explain everything and that in the circumstances there are very few "clunks" ie characters saying things for the benefit of the listeners (proof again that using a narrator was a wise choice), the only ones that really struck me were Gimli asking about Isengard (surely he would know?) and Legolas telling Eomer that he could string a bow quicker than sight.. and this is a very minor quibble from repeated listenings. Given that this was originally scheduled to run over half a year it is amazing that there isn't a lot more recapping and captain obvious statements. Perhaps Radio 4 is one place that assumes an intelligent audience.

So we get Frodo and Sam speaking Elvish - no explanations - beyond the seeming influence of the star glass - with Sam in particular this is incredibly moving. The most ordinary of Tolkien's main characters, an ordinary working man who has picked up a little education by chance invokes Varda to watch over him in as he walks under the shadow of the horror of death. It is one of those moments that align the story to the greater mythology, which it could have been so easy to cut out, dismiss as incomprehensible but it gives that richness and complexity which makes it so much more satisfying than Hollywood's pandering to the lowest common denominator (intellectual snob? Moi?).

I too love "In Western Lands"... it has aquired a personal significance that means it usually moves me to tears. Oz Clarke's version is a fine rendition but what a performance from Bill Nighy!!!! It can't have been easy with so much of this episode being nearly a soliloquy and the range of emotion is huge. It is very different from the type of role he has more recently become famous for on film, and the singing.... well he really is Sam.

The juxtaposition of threads means that we have Denethor's failure of hope to contrast with Sam's determination to carry on.

As for the textual insights, examining this episode and cross referencing made me link, to my own satisfaction, the "seek for the sword that was broken" dream to Gandalf. Faramir the wizard's pupil had the dream first and more frequently than the less apt Boromir. Something I intend to examine more closely when I have time.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 03:37 PM   #227
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,248
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
Sorry to have neglected this.
.
Me too. i still haven't listened to ep 10 yet - too many other distractions - well, one 7 month old 'distraction' actually. I intend to get around to eps 10/11 this weekend. My apologies to all as I started this project & then left everyone high & dry. If Mith is ok doing Ep 11 I'll try & do 12 - but I'm not promising.....
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 03:42 PM   #228
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
Well part of me doesn't want it to finish! And Arathorn has other things to deal with alas. I will see what I can do... but the neglect isn't because of not caring rather caring so much that you want to give it more than the available time allows..
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 05:28 PM   #229
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
I can help post (just one more test tomorrow then I'll know by early next week)

but I will still participate. I am halfway through ep. 10 and will finish it tomorrow.
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2008, 06:19 AM   #230
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
In that case I won't break my neck to get the next intro done - I'll get to work and aim to post on Monday if I don't get enough online time at the weekend.

Arathorn, I don't pray but I will be keeping you in my thoughts.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2008, 07:46 PM   #231
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Episode XI The Battle of Pelannor Fields

Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts everyone. I had my last test today, a cool thing called a PillCam. It basically is a camera that is pill sized and goes through your entire GI track. I should have results back in 5 to 12 days; sooner if its bad, longer if it is a disease that will cause lifestyle changes and medication for life (guess which I am hoping for!).

Anyway, here is my recap to Episode XI:

Transcript is here: http://www.tolkienradio.com/pelennorfields.html

The Episode begins with Sam and Frodo escaping from Cirith Ungol. I found this very interesting as in listening this time, I was able to really focus on the burden that is growing on Frodo. Sir Ian Holm is wonderful as we have mentioned and one of the things I like about this portrayl is Sir Ian is able to convey not only the burden, but how Frodo has changed. I listened to an earlier broadcast (The Shadow of the Past) and found that I really liked how much Frodo has changed. At this point I don't think Frodo is really deeply reflective or forward thinking. The quest is consuming him and inspite of knowing this, he continues on.
One of the things I thought while listening and reading the transcript was how another actor would have read these lines? Not being an actor, but having done some extra work I wonder if the actors/actresses practiced with each other (rehearsing) or if they just learned their lines and then came together for the takes? But back to my point here, I do wonder if a new version was made with different actors how that would differ from the original? I just cannot see anyone but Ian Holm doing this.

The scene then moves to a meeting with Beregond, Pippin and Denethor. More on that later. From here the Lord of the Nazgul directs Grond to destroy the Main Gate of Minis Tirith, and the conflict between Gandalf and the Lord of the Nazgul I don't know why I have never made this connection but this scene really connected me with the Battle of the Balrog.

At the Bridge:
Gandalf: You cannot pass. I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udűn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.

[The Balrog roars fire]

Gandalf: You cannot pass, I say! Back to your darkness!

[The Balrog roars again]

Gandalf: Back from this place, or I shall plunge you into the abyss! Then fall, spawn of Melkor, fall!

[Gandalf's staff breaks the bridge. The Balrog flings its whip, catching hold of Gandalf, who cries out]

Frodo: Gandalf!

[Gandalf's voice is quickly lost]

Gandalf: Fly, you fools!

At the Gate of Minis Tirith:

Gandalf: You cannot enter here! Do you not see that Dawn is at hand? Go back to the abyss prepared for you. Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your master. Go!

[The Lord of the Nazgűl laughs coldly]

Lord of the Nazgűl: Old fool! Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!

[A clear horn is blown in the distance]

Gandalf: The horns of the Rohirrim! Théoden is come at last!

[The Lord of the Nazgűl screams in anger as he retreats]

Narrator: The darkness was breaking too soon; before the date that his master had set for it. Victory was slipping from his grasp even as he stretched out his hand to sieze it. But his arm was long. King, Ringwraith, Lord of the Nazgűl, he had many weapons. He left the Gate and vanished.

Gandalf: Turn back...

[A horn cries]

Gandalf: ...lord of darkness! Flee from the Gate of the City whose gates you were never destined to enter. The Riders of Rohan are come!

I think the similarities are easy to recognize between the two meetings as Gandalf warns the subject of evil to leave and go back to its darkness. Neither creature (Balrog or Nazgul Lord) hearken to the warning and in the end, both are destroyed.

Of course the difference is that Gandalf does not destroy the Lord of the Nazgul directly as he did the Balrog (but certainly Gandalf's rousing of Theoden and Rohan has an indirect result of the slaying of the Nazgul Lord). Anyway, again, something after 27/28 years of reading LOTR, I should have picked up on that a long time ago.

I have to say that Jack May stole the show so to speak for me in this episode. I think, no, I know that for me I love his portrayal of Theoden was wonderful. A warrior lord who is coming to the 'battle of his time' and meets it head on regardless of age (and being in one's 70's would mean a loss of some energy and strength regardless of shape).

I also picked up another comparison. When the Lord of the Nazgul arrives and Theoden shouts "To me! To me! Up Eorlings! Fear no darkness!" it really reminds me of Thorin at the Battle of Five Armies where Thorin shouted "To me! To me! O Elves and men! To me! O my kinsfolk." I find it interesting that both faced a doom being either outnumbered or not capable of defeating a mighty opponent.

I think both Theoden and Eowyn (Jack May and Elin Jenkins) show that inspite of fear, they act and act with great courage and perhaps that is the definition of courage; to act inspite of fear that is wanting you not to act but to flee the situation. I've always wondered why a woman had to slay the Lord of the Nazgul and listening this time a thought occurred to me. The Lord of the Nazgul was given life by a woman, and his choices eventually made it to where he rejected normal life, and excited as a wraith. Thus since a woman gave him life, a woman would take his existence, his life so to speak from him. The other thought I had was the notion of love. I believe Eowyn at this moment acted out of love for Theoden. Merry acted out of love also. The Lord of the Nazgul acted out of evil, malice and for domination. Thus a woman (and I believe by nature they are more caring then most men) and a hobbit who as a hobbit, is focused on the greater things of life, friendship, good food, love etc., are able to defend their lord and each other from this selfishness. I thought that Elin Jenkins really showed to me the unselfishness of Eowyn in this act. I really loved this scene. My only criticism is the importance of the dagger of Westernesse that Merry used to stab the Lord fo the Nazgul. It was that dagger/sword that allowed Eowyn to destroy him but in thinking this over today, how do you convey that outside of a written text? So though I label it a criticism, perhaps it just shows how a diehard fan I am and I have to be careful with that in reviewing an adaptation that I allow leeway here as I did for Tom B. earlier.

Another insight I gained and I thought that Peter Vaughan did a great job in showing this is the pride of Denethor. It really hit me here how Denethor thinks that his house, the House of the Stewards of Anarionis greater than the House of Isildur (and Aragorn was the heir of Anarion also!), and how he only wants to rule his time, and have a son succeed him. I also thought the palantir showed here also really showed Denethor's pride in that he thought he could equal the kings whose right it was to use the stones. His house had no such right yet he thought he had the strength. What is that saying about pride, it cometh before a . . . .

An easy comparison are the deaths of Theoden and Denethor. Theoden has fulfilled his duty and obligations, and has died doing so. I loved how Jack May said the lines a "Grim Morn, a Glad day, a Golden Sunset" as a way to describe the day and the affects of it. It was a grim day at the beginning with little hope for victory. A glad day it became because oaths had been fulfilled and the battle looked to be going good. A golden sunset as Theoden would no longer live to see it, but he had fulfilled his oath and I guess, redeemed himself for his inaction under Wormtongue. Denethor though in despair, takes his own life, and attempts to take the life of his son out of selfishness, to ease his own death like the heathen kings under the control of the Dark Lord, which is what has happen. Regardless one of the things I really like here is that there is a confrontation of words between Denethor and Gandalf before Denethor takes his own life.

Another thing I was so happy that is included is the passing of the mantle of kingship between Theoden and Eomer. I think this is important for those who listen who may not have read the books. Eomer is the heir now and thus becomes King. This explains so much of his actions later.

Yet another thing I was happy to see is the role of women brought out in this episode. I have talked about Eowyn, yet the adaptation shows the importance of Ioreth. I have to say that I like Ioreth both in the book and here. She reminds me of one of my mother's sisters (yep, an aunt), yet someone with a very important role in her society and in the book/adaptation. So for all the talk that women do not play a role in the story, I say they do, and the parts they play are critical to the plot at the time they exit in the story /adaptation. So Brian, thanks for including her!

The House of Healing is wonderful scene, and one that I enjoy. The scene shows that Aragorn is the king, and begins to lay his foundation for the claim of the crown, and it does something else. I felt here the scene really shows what the relationship between Aragorn and Eowyn really is from his viewpoint, and with the fact that Eomer is the one that calls her back. I wish in some other adaptations that could have been shown because if you go into the fact that Eowyn is infatuated with Aragorn earlier, I think this scene shows the relationship as it is, and as Aragorn views it. No doubt where Aragorn loves lies here!

I also love the conversation between Merry and Pippin in the House of Healing. Pippin talks about not being able to stay on the heights for long (Tooks and Brandybucks). Merry gives an interesting reply that it is best to love that which we are fitted to love. I guess it is best to accept our position, our state. I wonder if we all did that if this would be a better world? Merry also says that we have to basically begin somewhere and have "some roots" yet there are things deeper and higher and we should be glad if we know something about them.

I've always wondered (having been to Europe 4x, India 2x among other places) how important it is to have "roots" but to also realize that in our world as in Middle Earth, there are other things that have even deeper roots and are higher? Also, it is better in life to accept what we love, regardless of what income or lifestyle that brings, if we are fitted to love it? I think this is just some great Hobbit/Tolkien wisdom coming through.

It ends with a short snippet of Frodo and Sam and the Orc Overseer scene and then the Captains of the West. I have really loved listening to this, and really getting into it. This is by far one of my favorite episodes in the series. I thought the writing and adaptations are great, and that the actors and actresses really shine here.

Let the discussion begin and remember, I'm sick so if my post makes no sense, I can always blame the medication
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2008, 06:32 AM   #232
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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.
Oh Arathorn, I hope it won't be necessary, but I should point out that you can overplay the "you've got to be nice to me, because I've got cancer" card... my aunt's best friend who (last I heard) was still partying hard 5 years after her 18 months to live expired now gets cheerfully greeted by her friends with "Aren't you dead yet?"...so there are no fixed rules even if it is the worse news.....

Anyway since you have saved me the main work I shall concentrate on the commentary, but that will have to be after work now.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 08:00 PM   #233
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Some info

Well, it's Saturday and my Dr. had told me if I had cancer he would have called by yesterday so it sounds like that one is ruled out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Won't know for sure until I see him in a week. I'm thinking that I have a really bad case of Crohn's Disease wish isn't fun either, but something I can deal with in some regards. I posted here since this is one of my favorite threads.

BTW, should we wait another week before moving on to another episode? Another thought I had was should we break each episode up into perhaps two chunks that way we don't have to listen to as much in one week? We could do 1/2 of an episode one week, and the other have the next or play it by ear? Just some thoughts.

AJ
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 09:11 PM   #234
Brian Sibley
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Brian Sibley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
Well, it's Saturday and my Dr. had told me if I had cancer he would have called by yesterday so it sounds like that one is ruled out! Won't know for sure until I see him in a week. I'm thinking that I have a really bad case of Crohn's Disease wish isn't fun either, but something I can deal with in some regards.
Hoping that is the case and wishing you well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
BTW, should we wait another week before moving on to another episode? Another thought I had was should we break each episode up into perhaps two chunks that way we don't have to listen to as much in one week? We could do 1/2 of an episode one week, and the other have the next or play it by ear?
Why not... after all, that was how the material was originally intended to be listened to!
Brian Sibley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 09:59 PM   #235
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Are We Ready . . .

Well, looks like I have 3 polyps in my small intestine and they need to go in and take a look at the lower part of it and take em out. So one more procedure. Also, I may have celiac disease from the pictures, though my blood tests don't confirm. Then again, I have to go to a new doctor in order to get this procedure done since my current doctor goes to a hospital that has the equipment but that hospital doesn't take my insurance. Thus I have to go to a new doctor who will do the procedure at a hospital that takes my insurance. Man, that's an "Other: thread topic, insurance and health care. Good news is that most polyps found in the small intestine are not cancerous so that is a relief I guess, more so when the biopsy's come back. One more procedure . . . .

Anyway, anyone else wanting to move forward with this? I'm think we break the episodes up to a smaller amount for each week. Anyone game?
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2008, 07:10 PM   #236
ArathornJax
Haunting Spirit
 
ArathornJax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out West near a Big Salty Lake
Posts: 76
ArathornJax has just left Hobbiton.
Council of Rivendell

I did have one question that came to me today. At the council of Rivendell Gimli takes the role of his father Gloin at the council. However, he states that the messanger from Sauron came to his father and not to Dain. I found this interesting as I would thought that any messanger or ambassador from Sauron would come to Dain as he is the King Under the Mountain, not Gloin. Gloin, a member of the royal household and more than likely a member of the royal council would have been present, but why come to Gloin?
__________________
"At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."
JRR Tolkien in 6 October 1940 letter to Michael Tolkien
ArathornJax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 01:03 AM   #237
Brian Sibley
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Brian Sibley has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArathornJax View Post
I did have one question that came to me today. At the council of Rivendell Gimli takes the role of his father Gloin at the council. However, he states that the messanger from Sauron came to his father and not to Dain. I found this interesting as I would thought that any messanger or ambassador from Sauron would come to Dain as he is the King Under the Mountain, not Gloin. Gloin, a member of the royal household and more than likely a member of the royal council would have been present, but why come to Gloin?
Not sure I know the answer to this... Michael Bakewell wrote that episode and I can't recall any discussions other than that Gloin should be Gimli. My guess - but that's all it is - would be that Michael a) wanted to, at least, mention Gloin and b) thought it simpler than setting up the concept of the King Under the Mountain in a 30-minute episode already stuffed with new names and facts. Sorry to be so vague, but over a quarter of a century later, it's hard to be anything else!!

Good luck with the procedure...
Brian Sibley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 11:44 AM   #238
Elmo
Pittodrie Poltergeist
 
Elmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: trying to find that warm and winding lane again
Posts: 659
Elmo has just left Hobbiton.
In my opinion this is the greatest and most beautiful part of the bbc production Gil-galad was an Elven King...
__________________
As Beren looked into her eyes within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies he saw there mirrored shimmering.
Elmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2008, 06:58 AM   #239
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,681
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 love that too and combined with hearing Brian on the radio the otherday, your post ahs reminded me it is high time we get this going again. My bad

I have had "the battle of the Pellennor fields" in the car (you know what I mean!) for months now and it is amazing that it doesn't lose it's impact. I keep thinking how good Theoden, Eomer and Eowyn are, wince every time Frodo takes his frustration out on Sam and feel slightly sick at teh death of the fell beast. Maybe it is the better speakers in the car but I never realised just how squelchy it was.
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2008, 03:15 PM   #240
Sauronbaggins
Newly Deceased
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1
Sauronbaggins has just left Hobbiton.
White Tree LOTR - The Radio Series

Hello there fellow Tolkienites
This is my first post on this humble board, after having followed your discussions for some time.
As a fan of the radio series and Tolkien overall, i have a few questions for the board and Brian
My first question is to Brian, what would you say was the best review you read that pertained to the radio series, and what was the worst, my personal favourite being the "What's Sibleys next crime, drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa?"
One other question, do you think the radio series is faithful to the true psychological horror of Gollum. I think the film succeeds in showing how horrific it must be to be Gollum, a skinny miserable psychotic schizophrenic drug addict, who's good side is continually shunned by the evil side of his nature, but who ultimately becomes the unwitting saviour of Middle-earth and succeeds where Frodo fails, what do you guys think ?
Sauronbaggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:47 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.