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Old 01-05-2005, 05:10 PM   #41
Boromir88
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1420!

In FOTR I didn't mind the eyeball, it just goes to show the all-knowing/all-seeing side of Sauron. I don't have a big problem with the way they showed it in FOTR.

But, when you start giving it human qualities (the eye blink) and equip it with a spotlight, it's taking it way down cheese lane.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:58 AM   #42
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Boromir88 is spot on (or is that spotlight on) when he says the eye is cheesy, hell they even have the damn thing talking at the end. To Obluquy, I take your point on wooing the ladies, great. Going back to The Witch-King vs Gandalf. There has been some point made to Gandalf being scared, what of? The most that can happen to him is that his physical body would be destroyed, well that has already happened at least once. As one of the Ainur he cannot die. If he failed in his task, then The Valar could have sent more aid. The only thing that mattered was the destruction of the ring, that was already on course, if Gandalf had died it would not have meant the end of his task anyway, he had already (almost) succeeded by moving all the pieces into place by the time of his confrontation with Angmar. The main problems here are that Jackson doesnt fully explain the origins of Sauron, Saruman and Gandalf ie Maiar, this could have been one of the extended parts of one of the films, if they could invent that pathetic piece where Eowyn and her stew dribble over Aragorn, whilst explaining he is of The Dunedain, then I am sure that a few lines could have done the same for the others. Going back to Gandalf being scared, I again mention Narya, this Ring had the power to strengthen hearts, and Gandalf was far from being a mere mortal. Another thing, Angmar had led troops to the defeat Amon Sul and Fornost, he had also been beaten at Fornost by Earnur. This same king later accepts the challenge of The Big Bad Witch-King, who is sooo powerful he has to betray him into defeat, the King is captured and never heard of again. Where am I leading to, well can anyone tell me who The Witch-King of Angmar had personnally killed all by his himself. There seems to be lots of running away from the bogeyman stuff, which is in keeping with one of his other names The Captain of Despair. So that is why he isnt called Lord of The Mighty Sword Arm or King of The Warrior Wraiths then. Which brings me back to the confrontation. In through the gates came Angmar, Gandalf sat upon Shadowfax (The horse by the way endures the terror) tells The Witch-King he cannot enter, it is the Witch-king who halts (Why? what is he scared of). The Witch-King then taunts Gandalf, who doesnt move. If anyone should be scared it would be Angmar, for in defeat his doom is very dark. Now can anyone explain to me how Jackson could get this one scene so wrong.
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:02 AM   #43
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Whooooooooo boy. I like you, but you called the Witch-King "Angmar". Did some old forum Wight send you a PM telling you how to push my buttons?? :P:P:P

Edit: I do agree with you, though, as you can see from my posts above, and my generally enormous regard for Gandalf.

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Old 01-06-2005, 11:12 AM   #44
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Narfforc, you make some good points. But I don't see the logic of interpreting film events by reference to book history that does not feature in the films. The films are adaptations only - they tell a different story to the book.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:08 PM   #45
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I only wrote Angmar because it is quicker and I am a lazy orc, I shall write out a thousand times The Lord of the Nazgul was known as The Witch-King of Angmar in Angmar, sorry but in my defence (getting all filmy) Gandalf does call him that in the film, so I thought I would get away with it. To Saucepanman, Hi. My very few moans about the film are where Jackson goes too far, he has done marvelous things with these films, I even noticed the walls glittering beneath Helms Deep. The costumes, the places, the visualisation I dont have many problems with, it is when things are changed beyond reason, that my blood boils. Remember this may be a film now, but when the books that have been read by millions, are still being read by millions, people will still be discussing how wrong Jackson character adaptations are/were. I first read Tolkien in the sixties (The Hobbit) and went on to read LotR in the seventies, I feel people like ourselves on this site have a duty to uphold the vision of Tolkien, not Jackson. I remember when the radio series came on air, there was lots of moaning then about missing bits. I can understand leaving things out, but who do they think they are putting bits in that they have blatantly made up. Many people have read Tolkien and have a very personnal relationship with his works, and I say to you my friend, to treat Gandalf this way was wrong. I also do not like how the very solemn and respectable race of dwarves are portrayed, Balin would be spinning in his tomb.

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Old 01-06-2005, 12:15 PM   #46
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I have a great deal of sympathy for your views. I too read LotR first in the 70s. But, if people want to read the books, they can (and a great many have been encouraged by the films to do so). If they do, they will understand the differences. If not, well that's their choice.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:30 PM   #47
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Narfforc, I understand your criticism of the Witchking, but I don't think he should be regarded as such a minor threat. Sure, we never actually see him fight anyone, but he is without a doubt Sauron's most powerful servant and I believe very few could defeat him in single combat (one would need great power and a magically endowed blade, as well). It didn't seem to me that he was scared of Gandalf at the gates of Minas Tirith, and he surely would have entered had the Rohirrim not shown up.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:30 PM   #48
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You make a good point about those people coming to the books through the films, and my wish would be that they all would, my pity goes to those who do not and will never see the full extent of the glorious vision that Tolkien has given us. For years I have wished to go down to the pub and say to my workmates, "Did you know that Gandalf isnt just some old bloke", well I live in hope, normally the conversation descends into The Black Speech of Mordor.

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Old 01-06-2005, 12:59 PM   #49
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To The Captain of Despair, Hi. It is Gandalf who halts The Lord of the Nazgul by saying "You cannot enter here", why did he not just keep riding forward until he heard the horns of the North and then halt. As for having to be mighty to defeat him, Aragorn chased him off with a bit of wood and he was killed by a woman in armed conflict. The argument that Merry helped Eowyn is weak, and how magical was her sword. I think that the greatest weapon Sauron had was fear, and the greatest of those that wielded such power were The Nazgul. If you have ever felt gut wrenching fear, it paralyzes people, Tolkien saw that in The First World War. I spent 24 years in The Army, and have seen it too often to ignore it. I think in normal circumstances, a man confronting a Nazgul would run and hide. What made Eowyn stand and fight, Love of kin, Tolkien knew that love (of comrades) is mightier than fear, people will do the most courageous things for love, some say it weakens the head and strengthens the heart HA-HA.

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Old 01-06-2005, 01:32 PM   #50
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Quote:
As for having to be mighty to defeat him, Aragorn chased him off with a bit of wood and he was killed by a woman in armed conflict. The argument that Merry helped Eowyn is weak, and how magical was her sword.
1/ The Nazgul at the dell near Weathertop were not only beaten back by Fire (which was the state the 'bit of wood' was in) but by Frodo's utterance of the line 'O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!'
As Aragorn himself says of the WK
Quote:
More deadly to him was the name of Elbereth
2/ What's wrong in being killed by a Woman?

3/ The argument of Merry's sword is ANYTHING but weak. It is one of the most important central actions in the whole Trilogy. Eowyn's sword did not need to be magical.
Quote:
So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.
'nuff said.
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:56 PM   #51
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Gandalf was Sauron's equal (yeah, argue all you want--I'm right), and Sauron's most powerful servant was not nearly on par with Sauron himself.

The Witch-King was a blind servant. He did what he was commanded to do because his actions were controlled by Sauron, not because he had reason to believe he was unstoppable. In the movie he's quite impressed with himself, and thinks that this prophecy makes him impervious to all, including Gandalf, who was not a Man, and therefore could have slaughtered the Witch-King without proving Glorfindel a phony. Whether WK knew this in the book is up for debate, but he was at least given pause by someone who did not fear him. In the movie, even Gandalf buys into the Witch-King hype.

The worst scene in the movie is when Gandalf gets all dire and says "the one they say no man can kill" or something like that.
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:45 PM   #52
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To Essex Hi. What you are implying in a round about sort of way, is that the hobbit Merry and his magic sword killed The Lord of The Nazgul, was it Merry or was it Eowyn, or should the prophecy have said "He will not be killed by any ONE man" or maybe "He will not be killed by one man alone , but by a woman also". Also please dont get all politically correct on me, women in battle are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. You can quote all incidents you want, but you wont convince a man who has carried 50pounds on his back into battle, that a woman can endure as long as a man, sorry but there it is. However I do know that this is fantasy and so that a prophecy can be fulfilled, Tolkien endows a woman with fighting skills beyond the norm, however as I said before it is not the fighting skills that are important here, it is Eowyns love for her kin that stops her running for cover, and it is also for love, which makes Merry do a thing of great courage. The only thing I will say is that Gandalf the Grey (not yet enhanced to White) held off a number of The Nazgul on Weathertop all night, I do not think that Gandalf the White would have had been that scared of their Captain.

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Old 01-06-2005, 06:38 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narfforc
It is Gandalf who halts The Lord of the Nazgul by saying "You cannot enter here", why did he not just keep riding forward until he heard the horns of the North and then halt.
It doesn't seem to me that Gandalf's words were the reason that the Witchking halted. It seemed more like the Witchking was confronting Gandalf as the warriors of old did before battling. The Witchking threw back his hood, countered Gandalf's words with a few of his own, and proceded to raise his flaming sword as if ready to attack.

In response to obloquy: I don't believe the Witchking to be on par with Gandalf, but I also don't believe Gandalf to be equal to Sauron.

Another comment I would like to make (to no person in particular) is about the infamous prophecy. People always use it to justify why a person could or could not defeat the Witchking, but this is one of my pet peeves. All the prophecy meant is that the Witchking would be defeated by Eowyn and Merry. It did not mean that, in theory, a man could not defeat him or any non-man could.
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Old 01-06-2005, 06:55 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain of Despair
It doesn't seem to me that Gandalf's words were the reason that the Witchking halted. It seemed more like the Witchking was confronting Gandalf as the warriors of old did before battling. The Witchking threw back his hood, countered Gandalf's words with a few of his own, and proceded to raise his flaming sword as if ready to attack.
He halted because Gandalf was in his way. He couldn't continue. And not only was Gandalf unafraid (which WK was unaccustomed to), he was capable of squashing him out of hand.

Quote:
In response to obloquy: I don't believe the Witchking to be on par with Gandalf, but I also don't believe Gandalf to be equal to Sauron.
I anticipated this response and retorted preemptively in my post above. I've written a lot on it here on the Downs and provided plenty of evidence to support my contention. Your turn.

Quote:
Another comment I would like to make (to no person in particular) is about the infamous prophecy. People always use it to justify why a person could or could not defeat the Witchking, but this is one of my pet peeves. All the prophecy meant is that the Witchking would be defeated by Eowyn and Merry. It did not mean that, in theory, a man could not defeat him or any non-man could.
But if a male Man had killed the Witch-King (which he could have), Glorfindel would've been proven wrong, and we are all familiar enough with Tolkien to know that Glorfindel would not have been proven wrong. That's the point. "In real life," yeah, a male Man had just as much shot as anyone at killing the WK, but really, once the prophecy had been uttered, it was then "impossible" for any male Man to do the deed.
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Old 01-06-2005, 08:15 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obloquy
I anticipated this response and retorted preemptively in my post above. I've written a lot on it here on the Downs and provided plenty of evidence to support my contention. Your turn.
Well, I have neither the desire nor the knowledge to try and defend my claim agianst someone so well versed in Tolkien's works. It is more of a personal view that I have developed over time. But I would love to read what you have written if you could provide me with the links.


Quote:
Originally Posted by obloquy
But if a male Man had killed the Witch-King (which he could have), Glorfindel would've been proven wrong, and we are all familiar enough with Tolkien to know that Glorfindel would not have been proven wrong. That's the point. "In real life," yeah, a male Man had just as much shot as anyone at killing the WK, but really, once the prophecy had been uttered, it was then "impossible" for any male Man to do the deed.
My point is that you can't really use the prophecy when discussing whether or not so-and-so could theoretically defeat the Witchking.
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:05 AM   #56
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To Obluquy and The Captain of Despair, Hi. Just a few things to add to this marvelous ongoing discussion. Firstly, Tolkien does use Prophecy as Doom, once uttered it is carved in stone, in his world no other thing will happen but The Prophecy. Secondly concerning Gandalf and Sauron. There are a number of things to think of here. Why did Manwe want Olorin to go so badly, why did Varda and Cirdan perceive him to be greater than Saruman. What we also must remember is that this is not Sauron of The First or Second Age, this is a much weakened Sauron, Gandalf the Grey would have struggled, maybe Gandalf the White wouldnt. However in saying all this, I personally think that the reason Gandalf was sent was for his inner qualities, his ability to move mens hearts, to defy the darkness, in this he was a match for Sauron, he matched hope against despair and won. I dont think it was Gandalf`s part to fight openly against Sauron, in fact the Istari had been forbidden to, so we will never know.

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Old 01-07-2005, 03:41 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by narfforc
To Essex Hi. What you are implying in a round about sort of way, is that the hobbit Merry and his magic sword killed The Lord of The Nazgul, was it Merry or was it Eowyn, or should the prophecy have said "He will not be killed by any ONE man" or maybe "He will not be killed by one man alone , but by a woman also"
Hi, no, what I was saying was your point in the next quote was incorrect
Quote:
The argument that Merry helped Eowyn is weak, and how magical was her sword
Merry was instrumental in the success of defeating the WK and, therefore, Sauron. His blow with the Sword was the IMPORTANT one. Eowyn finally 'killed off' the WK as his powers were nullified by Merry's stroke.

Your next point:
Quote:
Also please dont get all politically correct on me, women in battle are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. You can quote all incidents you want, but you wont convince a man who has carried 50pounds on his back into battle, that a woman can endure as long as a man, sorry but there it is.
You counter this argument with your next sentence.
Quote:
However I do know that this is fantasy
If we believe in a Ring that can make someone invisible, wizards, balrogs etc, why can't we envisage a Woman being of more use in battle than a chocolate fireguard? It's a Fantasy as you say.
Eowyn had a sword and a shield, who cares if she can or cannot carry a 50lb backpack around with her?

Quote:
....and so that a prophecy can be fulfilled, Tolkien endows a woman with fighting skills beyond the norm, however as I said before it is not the fighting skills that are important here, it is Eowyns love for her kin that stops her running for cover, and it is also for love, which makes Merry do a thing of great courage.
I agree with Love being an important factor, but I didn't argue this point.

Quote:
The only thing I will say is that Gandalf the Grey (not yet enhanced to White) held off a number of The Nazgul on Weathertop all night, I do not think that Gandalf the White would have had been that scared of their Captain.
Fine, and I think he WAS. Just as he was scared of facing the Balrog. Fear is what keeps people alive. You as an ex soldier will no doubt understand that....
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:42 AM   #58
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Based primarily on what Tolkien says in his Letters, I would agree with obloquy that Gandalf was Sauron's equal. Although I would rule such evidence as inadmissible, or at best of little persuasive value, in interpreting the films as the "book" facts relevant to this are not part of the film story.

Nevertheless, I think it is fair to say that, in the films, Gandalf is portrayed as more powerful as the Witch King. But does this really mean that it is ludicrous to have Angmar ( ) seemingly better Gandalf, and to have Gandalf show fear, in this scene? After some consideration, I don't think that it does. There are numerous examples in Tolkien's works, many of which are carried over into the films, of characters defeating those who are clearly superior in power. I would class Eowyn and Merry combined as less powerful than the Witch King, yet they defeated him. And Wormtongue (in both book and EE) was able to kill Saruman. Circumstances count for much. Perhaps, given all that was going on in his mind (directing the defence of Minas Tirth, riding to the aid of Faramir, not to mention thoughts of Frodo's desperate journey), Gandalf's mind was momentarily distracted and the Witch King was able to seize the initiative. Gandalf's fear is also justifiable. If it was possible for the Witch King to defeat him (and, given the precedents noted, I believe that it was), there was much at stake. If Gandalf fell, Minas Tirith could fall. And that could well bode darkly for Frodo's Quest and the fate of Middle-earth itself. A fear of failure in these circumstances is understandable. Moreover, since Gandalf is not portrayed as a Maia in the films, it is plausible that he was subject to the Witch King's main weapon - fear - even if less so than "ordinary" Men.

Finally, who is to say that, in the film, Gandalf would not have rallied his powers and defeated the Witch King, or at least driven him off, had the Rohirrim not arrived? Perhaps the Witch King feared this, which is why he did not finish Gandalf off when he had the chance. We cannot be sure, just as we cannot be sure what the outcome of the encounter would have been at the Gate in the book, but for the arrival of Theoden's Riders.

Now I doubt that any of this went through the film-makers' minds. My only point is that this scene can be explained and justified, in film terms. It is not inherently ludicrous (in the same way, for example, as having Denethor run all the way from Rath Dinen to the front of the Citadel and fall off the edge while on fire).

As to Glorfindel's prophecy, I agree that there is a difference, in theory at least, between prophesising that someone will not die at the hands of a Man and saying that they cannot die in this way. Glorfindel's prophecy in the book is of the former category, but the prophecy in the film falls into the latter category. Gandalf says that there are those who say that no man can kill the Witch King. The suggestion in the film, therefore, is that he is impervious to attacks by Men. Assuming that, in the films, Gandalf is a Man, this gives Gandalf even more reason to fear him.
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:13 PM   #59
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Hi saucepan man,
I am going to respectfully disagree with you on two points that you made in your last post.
First, I feel that we need to assume that Gandalf is a maiar in the movie, and thus is endowed with the extroardinary powers of an istari, even though Jackson never explicitly explains gandalf's origin or nature in the movie. I feel that there are numerous occasions where Gandalf displays powers that far transcend that of even "extra ordinary men", (kills balrog after surviving endless fall, is sent back after death, uses power from staff to stave off nazgul on fell beasts) and in addition, Tolkien himself had characters and places in his books that were not explained, except in the apendices, or the silmarillion. Thus, I do not feel that Jackson can be let off the hook for his besmurchment of Gandalf's character by concluding that he wasnt treating gandalf's character as though he were a maiar.
Secondly, I think you are correct in asserting that it is not so terrible to simply portray Gandalf as being frightened and unsure in the face of the Witch King. Although I did not like it, that's likely only because I simply love gandalf as a tolkien character so much, and I hated to see him depicted so weakly. However, I feel that having the Witch King destroy Gandalf's staff is a scene that was completely unforgivable. As others have mentioned, the staff might be thought of as an extension of the istari, and I feel it is a representation of their power and senioirity within the order of the istari.....and I feel that others were correct in assuming that it acts as focusing device for a wizards power. Thus, I feel that having the Witch King destroy Gandalf's staff is the same as saying that the Witch King of Angmar is greater and has more raw power that Gandalf, clearly a completely propsterous statement. I could have lived with the witch king knocking Gandalf off his horse, and maybe even with him getting lucky and besting gandalf in a quick one one one battle. However, I think that having him outright destroy gandalf's staff was WAY too much off a statement. When you see the importance of the wizard's staff in the movies (Gandalf and Saruman fighting with them, and then Gandalf finally losing the fight when saruman get's his from him, to gandfalf seeming to need his staff to extract Saruman from Theoden, and gandalf destroying saruman's staff as a symbol of Saruman's expulsion from the order of the istari, and of Gandalf usurping saruman as leader of the order), the natural conclusion that one must draw from the the witch king having the ABILITY to destroy gandalf's staff is that the witch king was a more poweful entity than Gandalf....and just writing that tears me up in side because it's such b.s.

Perhaps, I misinterpreted your previous post, and all that writing was for naught
What do you think?
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:18 PM   #60
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Hi Essex, Yes I agree Gandalf would have been scared of failure, but not petrified of The Witch-King himself. As for the killing of The Witch-King neither Eowyn or Merry could have done it on their own. The damage done by Merry could have been rectified by the odd bandage spell, if not and the pin prick from his Numenorean Dagger had totally unravelled the spells that kept The Witch-Kings body together, then even the least mighty could defeat him. If Merry had not started the ball rolling, then Eowyn could have bashed away at hearts content, but to no avail, so who killed The Witch-King?. If all it take`s is someone who is not of the race of Man, who is mighty, and has a magical sword, then let me put forward Gandalf the White armed with Glamdring, the sword that had already despatched an equally if not greater spirit to utter destruction. However in saying all this, they were never destined to fight physically. Gandalf had already defeated The witch-King, How?, Gandalf was the mover of all things and always one step ahead. Great tacticians do not always fight themselves. One by one Gandalf blocked and destroyed Saurons pieces, The Witch-King was not important to Gandalf, Sauron was. The quest of Erebor, Smaug Destroyed. The Mines of Moria, Balrog Destroyed. If Sauron could have gained an alliance with either of these two, then Sauron`s forces would have been devastating. The alliance with Isengard in tatters. One of the final pieces to block was The Witch-King. How fortunate that Theoden turned up just at the right time, or was it. Remember the state he was in before Gandalf release`s him from Saruman`s` spell. One step ahead, and all the time the most important piece was coming in through the back door. If Gandalf could not have out-fought Sauron, Then he certainly out-thought him.

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Old 01-07-2005, 01:29 PM   #61
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Staff-breaking is the ultimate. The scene was too much. When Saruman's staff was blown apart by Gandalf, it signified utter defeat and we all knew it. Gandalf was far from "broken", even in the movie, so his staff should've remained intact.
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Old 01-07-2005, 02:45 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habriz
However, I feel that having the Witch King destroy Gandalf's staff is a scene that was completely unforgivable.
Totally agree. Completely took me out of the movies. And if Gandalf got his staff back at the end of the movie, where did he get it from and so why couldn't he get/make another during the Gondor battle?

I wasn't really big on his staff changing when he went from grey to white (think that it cracked on the Bridge) - he was able to keep Glamdring...
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:51 PM   #63
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I love this thread. All of you, no matter what your stances, have some very good points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
Gandalf says that there are those who say that no man can kill the Witch King. The suggestion in the film, therefore, is that he is impervious to attacks by Men.
But in the book, the Witchking says: "Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!" This suggests that even in the book the Witchking believed himself to be invulnerable to harm from men. So the prophecy could have very well been in the same context in both the film and the book, despite what Gandalf said.
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Old 01-07-2005, 03:57 PM   #64
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But in the book, the Witchking says: "Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!" This suggests that even in the book the Witchking believed himself to be invulnerable to harm from men. So the prophecy could have very well been in the same context in both the film and the book, despite what Gandalf said.
A lot of times you have to ask yourself, when reading, whether ther person speaking is reliable or not. In this case you must ask yourself who is more reliable, The Witch King or Glorfindel? Tolkien does this a lot, adds a lot of biased opinions from people, that aren't necessarily true (Boromir, as well as men in general come to mind). I find Gandalf to be a more reliable witness to history then Boromir.

In this case, I find Glorfindel to be more reliable. The Witch-king here, just sounds arrogant. Obviously knowing about the prophecy, he thinks he's indestructable, probably taking it as "no one can slay me," obviously not thinking about a possibility of a woman being in the army. If he even realizes he can be defeated at all.

Glorfindel, in his death, and reincarnation learned a lot. Also, a noldor that slew a balrog, I just find him more reliable then the WK. However, that's me
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:04 PM   #65
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But I don't see the logic of interpreting film events by reference to book history that does not feature in the films. The films are adaptations only - they tell a different story to the book.
SpM, it's not that it's different from the book, that gets me irked. Just that when looking at it from a film judging perspective, it doesn't hold unity, that Gandalf can fight off 5 Nazgul (although they were weaker), and defeat a Balrog. Come back stronger (if not physically then mentally), after slaying the Balrog, then get owned by the Witch-king.
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:09 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88
A lot of times you have to ask yourself, when reading, whether ther person speaking is reliable or not. In this case you must ask yourself who is more reliable, The Witch King or Glorfindel? Tolkien does this a lot, adds a lot of biased opinions from people, that aren't necessarily true (Boromir, as well as men in general come to mind). I find Gandalf to be a more reliable witness to history then Boromir.

In this case, I find Glorfindel to be more reliable. The Witch-king here, just sounds arrogant. Obviously knowing about the prophecy, he thinks he's indestructable, probably taking it as "no one can slay me," obviously not thinking about a possibility of a woman being in the army. If he even realizes he can be defeated at all.
You are actually proving my point, Boromir. Just because Gandalf, in the film, says that some people claim that the Witchking cannot be killed by man does not mean that this is actually the case.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:23 PM   #67
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My point about disliking this scene was not about the book at all - it was purely cinematic. The scene detracted from the drama of the city falling and Rohan coming to save it. You were suddenly drawn into a personal conflict between two protagonists and away from concerns about this brave city about to fall to the invaders. It was done so brilliantly in the cinematic version.
I swear, that EE annoys me so much I'm going to have to commit an act of apostasy and buy the original theatrical dvd...
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:52 PM   #68
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I don't think the Witch-King knew about Glorfindel's prophecy. I think he was just arrogant. He says "no living Man may hinder me," which might've been true, but he didn't count on being "hindered" by a Man of Westernesse. HAH
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Old 01-08-2005, 12:01 PM   #69
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Hmm. A lot to reply to.

First let me say that I am not a great fan of this scene, at least from the moment that the Witch King breaks Gandalf's staff. In my previous post, I was simply arguing that it can be explained in film terms. It does not introduce a logical impossibility.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Habriz
First, I feel that we need to assume that Gandalf is a maiar in the movie, and thus is endowed with the extroardinary powers of an istari, even though Jackson never explicitly explains gandalf's origin or nature in the movie.
99.99% of film-goers will never even have heard of the terms "Maiar" and "Istari", let alone know what they refer to. I agree that, in the films, Gandalf is portrayed as an extraordinarily powerful being and as more powerful than the Witch King. But it does not follow that the Witch King could not have defeated him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Habriz
However, I feel that having the Witch King destroy Gandalf's staff is a scene that was completely unforgivable. As others have mentioned, the staff might be thought of as an extension of the istari, and I feel it is a representation of their power and senioirity within the order of the istari.....and I feel that others were correct in assuming that it acts as focusing device for a wizards power.
I have some sympathy with your view since, as you say, the films do portray a Wizard's staff as the focus of his power. But, if the power which it focusses is distracted (as I posited in my previous post), it is possible that a lesser sorceror could take the initative and break it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by obloquy
When Saruman's staff was blown apart by Gandalf, it signified utter defeat and we all knew it.
Well, in a way, that was the film-makers' intentions. They wanted to heighten the tension and suggest that Gandalf alone could not save the White City. But who is to say that Gandalf the White, even without his staff, would not have been sufficiently powerful to defeat the Witch King? As I recall, he doesn't have his staff at the final battle before the Black Gate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
And if Gandalf got his staff back at the end of the movie, where did he get it from and so why couldn't he get/make another during the Gondor battle?
Well, he did get a new staff (in both the book and the films) when he came back after his battle with the Balrog. It has been speculated that Galadriel fashioned it for him. So it is quite feasible that he would have one again by the end of the film. But there is no way that there was anyone in Gondor with sufficient skill to fashion one for him, particularly during the battle itself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain of Despair
But in the book, the Witchking says: "Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!" This suggests that even in the book the Witchking believed himself to be invulnerable to harm from men.
I agree. It does. The Witch King either misinterpreted Glorfindel's prophecy or, as obloquy suggests, he was not aware of it and was simply displaying his arrogance. But Gandalf's description of the prophecy (in the film) clearly characterises it as cannot rather than will not, and, like Boromir88, I tend to trust Gandalf in such matters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith
My point about disliking this scene was not about the book at all - it was purely cinematic. The scene detracted from the drama of the city falling and Rohan coming to save it.
For me, this is the most compelling criticism of the scene. I felt much the same when I first watched it. But this is, I think, a result of clumsy editing. It could have been done better, for example by cutting back to the battle and then the Riders' arrival, then cutting back to the Witch King flying off in response.
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Old 01-08-2005, 12:16 PM   #70
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Well, in a way, that was the film-makers' intentions. They wanted to heighten the tension and suggest that Gandalf alone could not save the White City. But who is to say that Gandalf the White, even without his staff, would not have been sufficiently powerful to defeat the Witch King? As I recall, he doesn't have his staff at the final battle before the Black Gate.
Which is inconsistent, right?
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Old 01-08-2005, 12:37 PM   #71
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Which is inconsistent, right?
Not really. It introduces tension and doubt without providing a definitive answer. The suggestion is that the Witch King had prevailed, but we do not know for certain that this would have been the case had he remained.
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Old 01-08-2005, 01:57 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
I agree. It does. The Witch King either misinterpreted Glorfindel's prophecy or, as obloquy suggests, he was not aware of it and was simply displaying his arrogance. But Gandalf's description of the prophecy (in the film) clearly characterises it as cannot rather than will not, and, like Boromir88, I tend to trust Gandalf in such matters.
Oh, I would definitely trust Gandalf as well, but he is not the one claiming that the Witchking cannot be killed by a man, rather he is restating what some other anonymous people have said

As far as the staffs are concerned, I also saw them as being a large part of the wizards power in the movies. Thus, of course, I did not like the fact that Gandalf's was broken.
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Old 01-08-2005, 03:59 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
Not really. It introduces tension and doubt without providing a definitive answer. The suggestion is that the Witch King had prevailed, but we do not know for certain that this would have been the case had he remained.
But doesn't it conflict with Saruman's defeat-by-staff-exploding? If that was the ultimate act of domination in Saruman's case, and afterwards he was totally defeated, why does the staff (or the destruction of it) symbolize something else in Gandalf's case?
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Old 01-08-2005, 07:49 PM   #74
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But doesn't it conflict with Saruman's defeat-by-staff-exploding?
Sorry, I misunderstood. Well, one might take the breaking of the staff as symbolically suggesting defeat (thus heghtening tension etc), but that doesn't necessarily mean that the staffless Wizard is without power. Saruman in the films may still have had power, but we never find out as he takes a dive off the edge of Orthanc, courtesy of Grima.
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:07 AM   #75
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Live with it

All G & WK Scene Haters. You're going to have to live with it. This is the FILM ADAPTATION not the book.

I've stated my main points earlier as to why Gandalf's staff was destroyed. (1/ Gandalf + staff = no problem dealing with Denethor 2/ The 'world of men' saves the day)

Here's one more.

In this film Gandalf has not had a real 'baddie' to confront, as (thankfully) Sauron does not exist in physical form in this movie. Therefore Jackson has given him decent oposition to fight.

The Rohirrim DID help save the day. Jackson has just heightened this by seemingly having Gandalf ready to take a pasting, and then the horns blow and the WK leaves realising his plans may have gone wrong. I'll say again, IMO in the book as in the film, the Rohirrim saved Gandalf. I feel uncomfortable that Gandalf's staff is broken, yes, but I put up with it.

Now if you think this is bad, thank your lucky stars two other things didn't make the final cut of the films as discussed in the rotk DVD EE appendicies.

1/ Sauron appears in physical form to fight Aragorn. (funnily enough the very first time I saw Aragorn fighting the Troll at the black gates I thougt they had airbrushed Sauron out of this fight scene)

2/ Frodo pushes Gollum over the edge (this was the version until the last day of woods/serkins pickup filming)

Just imagine one of those (or both) appearing in the film. We would be discussing nothing else!!!

PS On another point, we do not actually see Gandalf use his staff to destory Saruman's do we? As SPM points out, a wizard without a staff still has power (albeit no doubt lessened)

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Old 01-10-2005, 12:07 PM   #76
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Hola Essex,
Respectfully, I am not losing sleep over the Witch King vs. Gandalf situation in Return of the King, but considering that this thread is devoted to expressing views regarding that scene, I will be happy to continue to use this forum as a vehicle to share my points, and hear other points.

Also, I am not quite clear on the significance of Gandalf's having to confront Denethor, and thus needing to be devoid of his staff.
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:21 PM   #77
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Movie wise, with his staff Gandalf could have 'zapped' him from the gate as he rode in. Unfortunately he didn't have his staff so Denethor could start the flames which lead to his death before Gandalf could grab the 'pike' from the guard and confront him. With the staff Gandalf could have overcome him quickly without the need to ride up and knock him down, etc.

that's one of the reason's why I believe he staff was broken, along with the others I've posted.PS Habriz, no worries debating the scene, I just feel sorry for the people who feel so strongly about it and it 'ruins' the film for them, so much so that one of us if thinking of scrapping watching the EE and buying the theatrical release instead! How sad.........
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:20 PM   #78
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All G & WK Scene Haters. You're going to have to live with it. This is the FILM ADAPTATION not the book.
I have a lot of respect for you Essex, in defending these movies. However, we have a right to find faults in the movies. If someone creates/writes a book/movie they have to accept that it's going to be criticized, no matter how good, or appealing it is to us. Tolkien was criticized a countless amount of times, the characters lack depth, I don't care for the plot, it sounds too biblical...etc. Some people are just attracted to other things then others, I don't agree with those critics, but they pick what they don't like and they show examples to back it up. You, or I, or SpM, or anyone on here, may not agree with those complaints, but if someone tells us why they have a problem with that scene (and I see some reasonable explanations) then I don't see any problem with having complaints about that scene, or any other part in that movie. I do agree that the excuse "it's different from the books," is weak, but there have been other reasons given, why this scene doesn't work.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:39 AM   #79
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I hear what you're saying, Boromir.

What I'm doing is making up for the time I also spent a few years back slagging off the first movie because it wasn't the same as the book, or that some things shouldn't happen. (this was on another Forum site that seems to have bit the dust before I came along this one....)

I use to moan frequently and LOUDLY. I then watched the EE version, along with the commentaries and appendicies, and I finally saw the light on how these movies are made.

I still have quite a fair few issues with a lot of the movies, but it seems to me that there aren't too many of us who point out why certain changes have to me made by the movie makers, and therefore back up the Director and scriptwriters. (For example, I have to Live with the Faramir/osgiliath change, and the EE has made it a bit more palatable)

Now most of us are glad the movies are made, I just HONESTLY feel sorry for people who felt let down by the last movie (there seems to be a lot of them). ROTK was beyond my wildest dreams how good it was. I spent days and weeks beforehand fretting on how they could and would muck up the last film. So I really do feel sorry for people who didn't thoroughly enjoy the film..........

Back to the Staff. Yes, I can see people's anger over this, and I admit I winced when I saw it explode. But as I've said, we have to live with the changes in the films and try not to get too bothered by them. I've learnt to do this, and I wish other people could do this too. I can almost TASTE the anger in some of these posts. I am not saying you cannot be angry, it is just my wish that we could 'Live with it' as I stated before.

Ah well, wish over, and back to real life......
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:23 AM   #80
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I can almost TASTE the anger in some of these posts. I am not saying you cannot be angry, it is just my wish that we could 'Live with it' as I stated before.
Why all the anger?
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