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Old 05-27-2021, 10:51 AM   #241
Legate of Amon Lanc
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Personally, I was going to watch the series (subscribe to a streaming service? Not if I can avoid it) - ignoring the Tolkien connection and just seeing what they come up with. Once it's out, I'm happy to give it a try on behalf of the lot of us Downers and then bring back report. Though, if anyone is expecting Tolkien, I rather fear they might be disappointed.
My question is, how can anyone expect Tolkien from anything besides the books themselves? Okay, perhaps I am being hypocritical here - I myself find Tolkien in some paintings (but one could argue that those are static and only offer an illustration to the text itself, and only to a certain moment) and I found it in a card game (well, that had illustrations - so the same as above - and flavour text from the books) and tabletop roleplaying games (where the chief component is one's imagination).

But a film - or a series - has the problem that it offers a "whole package" and does not leave anything to imagination. Even if it somehow managed to be 100% faithful to Tolkien in spirit (to be fair, I would be happy with, say, 60%; or more than 50%, which is something that gets close to what PJ managed - but already that does not qualify as Tolkien, in my book. And yes, I know I am very strict about this), so, even if it succeeded, it would be visually and in terms of atmosphere probably completely different from what I perceive to be "Tolkien". And if by some miracle myself and the director have the same vision, then fifty other people won't.

I am always reminded of this quote from On Fairy-Stories:
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Originally Posted by On Fairy-Stories
Should the story say “he ate bread,” the dramatic producer or painter can only show ”a piece of bread” according to his taste or fancy, but the hearer of the story will think of bread in general and picture it in some form of his own. If a story says “he climbed a hill and saw a river in the valley below,” the illustrator may catch, or nearly catch, his own vision of such a scene; but every hearer of the words will have his own picture.
So, no, I am certainly never expecting Tolkien and absolutely not "my" Tolkien. It will, at best, be a decent adaptation - or in this case, a decent "fanfiction". Likely I will perceive it about as close to Tolkien as I would a handheld console game from thirty years ago composed of four brown pixels that are supposed to be Orcs. (That hypothetical game could actually be more satisfying to me as it would leave more to imagination.)

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I can't imagine how it will possibly work in an artistic sense, admittedly, but I'm sure (as it always does with these things) it will initially be touted as the best thing ever made and then the pendulum will swing the other way and it will become the worst ever. Or maybe it will trip straight out of the gate. I suppose only time will tell.
Very interesting. My approach is usually the other way around: I am repulsed (and usually do not desire to watch it in the first place), then I may grudgingly admit that it has some good points. Eventually I may grow to accept that it is not that bad, and even though it is not Tolkien, it deserves recognition for the work put into it and for the parts where the creators clearly tried. (That, if I have to spell it out, was literally how I felt about PJ's films.)
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:12 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
My question is, how can anyone expect Tolkien from anything besides the books themselves?
But this is being sold as offering something of the sort. The consumer bases their choices on the statements of the marketing.

What we are pointing out here is that Amazon is engaging in what might be referred to as terminologial inexactitude motivated by greed for gain.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:44 AM   #243
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But this is being sold as offering something of the sort. The consumer bases their choices on the statements of the marketing.

What we are pointing out here is that Amazon is engaging in what might be referred to as terminologial inexactitude motivated by greed for gain.
Just the same thing that PJ did, as far as I am concerned - or that the makers of all these LotR video games are doing, for that matter.

But, at the same time, I assume that an average, not-as-geeky-as-us person will understand Amazon's advertising as "something like PJ's LotR" (very broadly speaking), and that is, while it will not make *me* consider it "Tolkien" any more, acceptable in terms of what it is doing - as much as PJ's films were acceptable. (And, to be fair, they were.)

So, it will likely be a matter of how acceptable it is. If it is roughly similar to PJ, maybe worse in some ways, but also maybe better in some ways, then it still fits the generic category of "commercial adaptations of LotR for wide public".

Would I wish that they were done more faithfully? Sure. But like I said, even that has a limit (you are never going to make Bree or Boromir look 100% the way I imagine them to look).

Is it motivated by greed? I sadly assume that it is, because what in this rotten world of commerce, that Amazon is a prime example of, is not? But then one hopes that there are at least some individuals present who do it out of love for Tolkien (and note that I am intentionally saying love and not enthusiasm; enthusiasm can spawn a ton of fanfictions that can however be as far from Tolkien as Batman versus Predator).
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:58 PM   #244
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Just the same thing that PJ did, as far as I am concerned - or that the makers of all these LotR video games are doing, for that matter.
My intense hatred of his...actions (I will not dignify them with the word "effort") in this regard are a matter of copious public record...parasites trying to stand on the shoulders of a giant because their own meager offerings are so inadequate.

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But then one hopes that there are at least some individuals present who do it out of love for Tolkien
It is a matter of public record that those people have been deliberately run off.
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Old 05-30-2021, 06:51 AM   #245
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I go back and forth all the time about the Amazon series, currently I'm at a "maybe I'll watch the series a few years later if people I know and respect say it's great and worth it. And if they say it's a flop then maybe I'll watch it 10 years later."

My problem with the trend in Hollywood and Amazon, Disney...etc is it's just laziness and uninspired. There's nothing wrong with trying to create stories that are relatable to different audiences, or has a positive message you want to get out...but Melkor have mercy, CREATE YOUR OWN.

Changing races, genders, adding in love interests to a story when there isn't one will inevitably be a cheaper, lazier product. In my opinion it just tells me right off the start "Hey, I can't write an inspiring, good asian/latino/gay/female character, so I'm going to use a large brand like Tolkien to sell it."
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Old 05-30-2021, 10:38 AM   #246
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Changing races, genders, adding in love interests to a story when there isn't one will inevitably be a cheaper, lazier product. In my opinion it just tells me right off the start "Hey, I can't write an inspiring, good asian/latino/gay/female character, so I'm going to use a large brand like Tolkien to sell it."
I agree with what you said in general but... in this particular case, this specific thing you named isn't probably going to be a problem. Because exactly, if this is going to be taking place somewhere in the Second Age, then you don't know anything about the people's races, genders and love interests (apart from that if there is, say, Númenorean king who has a known wife, obviously he should be married to her; but aside from such a case anything goes).

This whole thing will be about inventing new characters besides some five known Isildurs and co. But Isildur's second-in-command, Isildur's best childhood friend, the person who bullied Isildur at school, Isildur's kind teacher who secretly let him study Elvish... all these are open to create. And yes, the only question is whether the creators will make these INTERESTING, and not just random and un-Tolkien-y straw figurines. That's their only job.
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Old 05-30-2021, 12:06 PM   #247
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Which means it's goin to be fan-fic, and can never be anything but. Or worse than fan-fic, just standard TV hack-work, written not by fans but by people who don't give a rodent's rump about Tolkien.
-----------------------
And actually we know this much: this is (supposed to be) Tolkien's universe. JRRT would never in a million years have peopled it with non-hetero people. I doubt he would even have ascribed it to Umbar; his mode of expressing corruptioon never went in the Sodom-and-Gomorrah direction.

Pretty much nobody can write Tolkien but Tolkien. PJ tried and failed, and at least he tried, and had a novel to work from. Amazon, I firmly believe, merely wants to hang the Tolkien brand name on an overwrought sword-sorcery-and-sex epic. (Note how they paid Tom Shippey for his name, only; certainly not his expertise or advice).
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Old 05-31-2021, 08:18 AM   #248
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"Hey, I can't write an inspiring, good asian/latino/gay/female character, so I'm going to use a large brand like Tolkien to sell it."
That right there is basically everything that is wrong with contemporary pop culture summed up in a single sentence.
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Old 07-05-2021, 02:33 AM   #249
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It occurs to me quite belatedly that if this series is indeed the Forging of the Rings through to the Last Alliance, then it's not just a Middle-earth story: it's a villain origin story. "How did Sauron become Lord of the Rings and a giant burning eyeball?" is in the same vein as "How did Cruella become an evil fashionista?" or "How did Insert Name Here become a crazy clown?".

Stay tuned for the tragic tale of Mairon, who only turned to evil because short people in waistcoats pelted him with gold rings and hit him in the eye. "Ouch! That's a Sore One! Hmmm..."

(Also I think they released some more cast members recently, but didn't attach any names to them or anything.)

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Old 08-03-2021, 01:50 AM   #250
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White Tree

Courtesy of the official Twitter account, we finally have a release date - 2 September 2022 - and the first image from the series!



The city design is very much "Peter Jackson's Minas Tirith in the style of Peter Jackson's Rivendell". There's lots of details to be seen if you zoom in on the full-size version - I spotted birds flying over the city, and people walking the path down by the ?lake - but the biggest is right there in the centre: this ain't Numenor, and that ain't the sun.



(From the prologue, I guess, but also AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA)

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Old 08-13-2021, 01:26 PM   #251
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I have a bit of a bizarre reaction, but seeing this image actually (and irrationally) makes me angrier about this whole thing than I was before.

I guess I had made peace (sort of) with the Debauchery of Numenor but seeing this makes me afraid that we will have to endure the salacious tale of Indis the Whore of Tirion-upon-Túna.

Although, this bothering me more makes no sense because I had no hopes for this thing from the get-go.
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:41 AM   #252
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Can someone please remind me what material they do and don't have rights to? Like, how much of The Sil could we reasonably see here? I really hope that this is not going to be about the Fall of the Noldor. I felt quite mildly about the thing when I assumed it would be a totally made up from scratch thing with only some names to link it to Tolkien, but I am not watching them butcher The Sil.
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Old 08-17-2021, 07:32 AM   #253
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Can someone please remind me what material they do and don't have rights to? Like, how much of The Sil could we reasonably see here? I really hope that this is not going to be about the Fall of the Noldor. I felt quite mildly about the thing when I assumed it would be a totally made up from scratch thing with only some names to link it to Tolkien, but I am not watching them butcher The Sil.
As far as I can tell, nooooobody knows. My best guess, given that Christopher was alive at the time the deal was made, is that they have only Second and Third Age material - ie, Akallabeth and Of the Rings of Power from Silm, plus everything except Of Tuor and the Narn from UT. That would give them "Galadriel and Celeborn", which I'd imagine they'd want given that she's one of the few movie characters around in the Second Age; and assuming they also have access to the Hobbit+LotR license, the beginning of Appendix A gives enough about the Two Trees and such that they could legitimately use it in the prologue without drawing on the Silm.

I have seen a claim that the Tolkien estate is "very happy" with how things are going. That comes from the same source that claims the only nudity being filmed is specifically non-sexualised... which led to the adorable claim by various fans that there is "No Nudity In Any Of The LotR Books". Bless... I can name three instances without even thinking about it, and that's not going near the Silm.

Honestly, I'm looking forward to it just so I can cackle with glee every time ill-informed people elsewhere on the internet claim that Tolkien would never have written nudity, or women doing anything other than sewing (no, actually it's pretty much only Arwen who sticks to that), or skin that wasn't ivory-white ("The Harfoots were browner of skin..."). At least on the Downs I know the criticisms I read will be grounded in actual facts, not people's made-up memories of misreading the books!

hS, practicing the cackle already, mwehehehe
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:24 PM   #254
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I have seen a claim that the Tolkien estate is "very happy" with how things are going. That comes from the same source that claims the only nudity being filmed is specifically non-sexualised... which led to the adorable claim by various fans that there is "No Nudity In Any Of The LotR Books". Bless... I can name three instances without even thinking about it, and that's not going near the Silm.
I got Frodo after the Orcs strip him clean after Cirith Ungol, and when Bombadil basically tells the hobbits to run around starkers in the grass. What's the third one?

And if we go to the Sil, I wonder if there is a mad fanfic somewhere out there about nude Saeros meeting nude Nienor. You know, he was not entirely wrong about the women of Dor-lomin.
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Old 08-17-2021, 04:04 PM   #255
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I got Frodo after the Orcs strip him clean after Cirith Ungol, and when Bombadil basically tells the hobbits to run around starkers in the grass. What's the third one?
Gandalf uncloaking? He does say "Naked I lay upon the mountain-top".

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And if we go to the Sil, I wonder if there is a mad fanfic somewhere out there about nude Saeros meeting nude Nienor. You know, he was not entirely wrong about the women of Dor-lomin.
Saeros shows his elvish foresight! Túrin can't handle the truth!
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Old 08-17-2021, 04:37 PM   #256
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I got Frodo after the Orcs strip him clean after Cirith Ungol, and when Bombadil basically tells the hobbits to run around starkers in the grass. What's the third one?
Bath time at Crickhollow, a scene in which I've just discovered Merry carefully lays out bathmats for the boys. Clearly he's familiar with Pippin's style of bathing!

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And if we go to the Sil, I wonder if there is a mad fanfic somewhere out there about nude Saeros meeting nude Nienor. You know, he was not entirely wrong about the women of Dor-lomin.
There's not nearly so much Silm fanfic out there as there is LOTR, but also, absolutely yes this must exist.

Even with just those examples, we can see Tolkien using nudity as both a positive and negative thing. So yeah, it can certainly have a place in Middle-earth.

hS
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Old 08-20-2021, 07:16 AM   #257
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"Tolkien"-brand Game of Thrones?

In a link that I posted to another thread about "LOTR"-brand television production shifting from New Zealand to the British Isles, I came upon the following quote that I thought also applies to this thread, as well:

Quote:
After Amazon founder Jeff Bezos demanded a ‘Game of Thrones’-style program [emphasis added] to boost his company’s streaming service, the retail giant paid $250 million to secure the television rights to the franchise four years ago ...
How do we reconcile the treatment of nudity -- let alone, sex -- in Game of Thrones versus the treatment of such subjects by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings? I haven't read The Silmarillion, but I don't suppose one could find much explicit sexuality in this collection of unpublished (in his lifetime) writings. I haven't seen a single episode of The Game of Thrones, either, so I went looking on the Interwebs for something on the subject. I got the following back, right off the top:

The Ultimate Ranking of 'Game of Thrones' Sex Scenes
Rated on a scale of dracarys. 🔥
https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/...es-sex-scenes/

Quote:
Even though it's over, if there's one thing Game of Thrones remains notorious for—aside from that divisive and disappointing ending, of course—it's the sex scenes that littered the series. From season one, episode one, Game of Thrones proved that it was a show that was not afraid to show plenty of sex scenes, from young hotties Daenerys and Jon Snow to the incestuous pairing that were Cersei and Jamie. Yes, there was plenty of death in Game of Thrones (some would say a depressing and unnecessary amount of death), including many of the people above—it's been over for a while, guys, I'm not going to apologize for the spoiler—but those heartbreaking death scenes were far outweighed by a long list of scorching hot (and, okay, if we're being totally honest here, some not as hot) sex scenes.

Game of Thrones wasn't shy about exploring sex in many different forms and between many different characters. Some of the show's love scenes were hard to watch (but some real-life sex is not the greatest either, so who are we to judge), but many of them were flaming hot like dragon fire. That's why we think it's appropriate that we've utilized a very scientific, very official fire emoji 🔥 -based system to rank the best Game of Thrones sex scenes. Below, we count down Game of Thrones' best and most iconic sexy time moments, from the not-at-all sexy to the ones that might as well have had characters literally screaming "DRACARYS" in ecstasy.
As opposed to this, I searched for some comments by J. R. R. Tolkien relative to this subject and found the following from an interview with him in 1964:

Quote:
[16:36] Denys Gueroult: “Now, women play very little part indeed in the Lord of the Rings. Eowyn is almost the only woman in the book who shows any sign of sexual awareness at all. Did you deliberately exclude sex from the book?

J. R. R. Tolkien: “No, but after all, these are wars and a terrible expedition to the North Pole, so to speak.”
[For the complete interview, see: J.R.R. Tolkien 1964 interview (Subtitles)
J.R.R. Tolkien interviewed by Denys Gueroult for BBC in 1964 (released 1971).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzDtmMXJ1B4]

Now, does anyone who has read The Silmarillion and seen Game of Thrones have any idea if the richest man on earth will get what he wants out of this television series and whether the "discriminating" television audience will swallow it as J. R. R. Tolkien's work without gagging?
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Old 08-20-2021, 02:22 PM   #258
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The Silmarillion has rape, attempted rape, incest, lust, nudity: it doesn't pull any punches and gives the lie to notions of Tolkien as some kind of puritan prude.

The old complaint that the Amazon series was going to go down the route of GoT style gratuitous titillation seems largely founded on the hiring (or at least advertising for) some kind of "nudity consultant" over a year ago. That's old news and seems disproven by the nudity actually being captured and tortured elves in a concentration camp type scene, possibly in the process of being twisted into orcs. There's seriously no other reason for it, other than unfounded Internet worries.
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Old 08-20-2021, 09:01 PM   #259
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I think the issue around sex/nude scenes is not so mich in their presence as in their use. GOT early seasons are known to have sex scenes just for the purpose of sex scenes - the story does not necessarily benefit from the expliciteness, nor even from the existence of the scene at all. Tolkien can write about nudity and sex and rape, but he'd never spend half a page describing someone's private parts in exquisite detail. He is more the type to let you know exactly what haplened, but to keep the details of the bedroom behind the curtain. It's not the presence of the scenes so much as the way they are done and the purpose they contribute to the story.

Would I watch a GOT style sexed up thing with Tolkien names? I would for Second Age material, to give it a fair chance as a very loose adaptation. I wouldn't if it attempts to adapt any more solid material. However, Hui said before that some sources say the sexualized angle is not what they are going for. Still, the nudity is not the reason I wouldn't watch it - I purposefully haven't watched movie adaptations of books that I really liked because I know they won't do it justice for me. Hence, if it's a very loose adaptation, I don't really care what they do with it, I will treat it basically as a work of its own, or a fanfiction. But if it sticks to the text enough to sort of follow the stoey but also warp everything, nah.
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Old 08-22-2021, 02:00 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Michael Murry View Post
Now, does anyone who has read The Silmarillion and seen Game of Thrones have any idea if the richest man on earth will get what he wants out of this television series and whether the "discriminating" television audience will swallow it as J. R. R. Tolkien's work without gagging?
Unknown on both, but what the richest man on earth wants is the series to make him lots of money and that may well happen. Fundamentally, this is just an attempt to make a quick buck off the name and work of a better creator.

Whether the discriminating audience will swallow it depends on how the source material is treated, but the philosophical perspectives of Tolkien's work and Game of Thrones (even as a separate thing from A Song of Ice and Fire) are miles and miles apart. I have a hard time imagining that they will mesh well.

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Originally Posted by mhagain View Post
The old complaint that the Amazon series was going to go down the route of GoT style gratuitous titillation seems largely founded on the hiring (or at least advertising for) some kind of "nudity consultant" over a year ago. That's old news and seems disproven by the nudity actually being captured and tortured elves in a concentration camp type scene, possibly in the process of being twisted into orcs. There's seriously no other reason for it, other than unfounded Internet worries.
This is not true, at least in my case. I had a bad reaction to the idea the moment I learned of the project and who was behind it. My concerns were increased tenfold when I saw in the statements from Amazon itself that they wanted to mimic the success of Game of Thrones. Per the links provided by Michael Murry provide ample evidence that everyone knows why GoT was so successful. Even the current overall cultural milieu is cause for concern that Tolkien's work will not be treated respectfully.

To the point I made above, based on their own words I think the Amazon production is more sympathetic to the philosophical point of view of GoT and will have every motivation to titillate the audience because that was the secret to success of GoT; and that is just one problem (although admittedly a major one) I have with this production.
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Old 08-22-2021, 03:09 PM   #261
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I think the Amazon production is more sympathetic to the philosophical point of view of GoT and will have every motivation to titillate the audience because that was the secret to success of GoT; and that is just one problem (although admittedly a major one) I have with this production.
Precisely. I have little faith that fidelity to the spirit of the source is a concern for the project (if, indeed it is even possible to capture it in such a medium).
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Old 08-26-2021, 06:44 AM   #262
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Lord of the Rights

The richest man on Earth has spent some money:
two-hundred-fifty million, so we hear,
for rights to make what some will not think funny:

a TV-series "based on" "writings" "near"
to what an Oxford don had not completed
but "might have" had he lived another year

or ten. His death left fandom feeling cheated
who wanted more of Tolkien's Middle-earth.
Escapist fantasies: Morgoth defeated!

In fact, where joined by Amazon's net worth,
the HBO and Netflix "streaming" plan
distracts from sights of "good guys" doomed from birth,

defeated by the common peasant man
in Vietnam and now Afghanistan.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2021
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Old 08-27-2021, 03:11 AM   #263
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Game of Thongs

I kid you not, fellow Crimestoppers. Just as I started thinking about another way to lampoon in verse the forthcoming Amazon "steaming" [spelling intentional] television series and it's Amazon-ordered mission to mix Tolkien's Middle-earth mythology with HBO's Game of Thrones sexploitation, I catch this little item from Sputnik News:

Monica Lewinsky Pushed 'Thong-Flashing' Scene to Be in Upcoming 'Impeachment' TV Show
https://sputniknews.com/society/2021...hment-tv-show/

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"Impeachment: American Crime Story" a forthcoming FX TV show, is set to hit the small screen on 7 September. It is based on the widely-known sex scandal involving the 42nd US president, Bill Clinton, and a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, which led to Clinton's impeachment in the US House of Representatives.

Monica Lewinsky, one of the show producers for "Impeachment: American Crime Story", insisted that writers include a scene depicting her flashing a thong at then-US President Bill Clinton at the time of their White House affair, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The screenwriter team was at first afraid that re-enacting the scene would "retraumatize" Lewinsky, but the former White House intern greenlighted the "thong-flashing" section.

. . . [snip] . . .

Initially, Lewinsky shared the intimate detail in 2018, saying that she exposed her thongs to Clinton in 1995 in the middle of a government shutdown.

Lewinsky became a part of the production team of the show after Ryan Murphy, an FX producer, urged her to reconsider her concern and pledged that the show would be about the affair between her and a president, from the perspective of the women involved.

Despite the spicy topics raised in the show, "Impeachment", according to executive producer Nina Jacobson, will be "mindful of what we show when, and why, and what we don’t show, and why".

The show is scheduled to be released on 7 September, starring Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky and Clive Owen as US President Bill Clinton.
Oh, well. At least I've got a working title for my next poetic polemic: "Game of Thongs."
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:58 AM   #264
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Demiurge Dementia

Again, from what I understand: Amazon plans to start televising the first episodes of their "Lord of the Rings" series next year (2022) which I look forward to lampooning given the sort of material that I assume will disgrace the entertainment industry -- a difficult task, I admit. Others more knowledgeable than myself in Tolkien Lore have said that The Silmarillion will constitute the literary basis for the intended rip-off. I don't have a copy of The Silmarillion, but I do have a copy of Unfinished Tales, where the Editor, Christopher Tolkien, writes in the Introduction:

Quote:
"The problems that confront one given responsibility for the writings of a dead author are hard to resolve. Some persons in this position may elect to make no material whatsoever available for publication, save perhaps for work that was in a virtually finished state at the time of the author's death. In the case of the unfinished writings of J. R. R. Tolkien this might seem at first the proper course; since he himself, peculiarly critical and exacting of his own work, would not have dreamt of allowing even the more completed narratives in this book to appear without much further refinement." [emphasis added]

"On the other hand, the nature and scope of his invention seems to me to place even his abandoned stories in a peculiar position. That The Silmarillion should remain unknown was for me out of the question, despite its disordered state, and despite my father's known if very largely unfulfilled intentions for its transformation; and in that case I presumed, after long hesitation, to present the work not in the form of an historical study, a complex of divergent texts interlinked by commentary, but as a completed and cohesive entity." [emphasis added]
Without a copy of The Silmarillion, I have had to research the Internet -- Wikipedia and other on-line sources -- so that I have some clue as to the "divergent texts" that the television series plans to pilfer and "adapt." As a model for how I might go about lampooning this stuff -- as I did with the "Itaril/Tauriel" butt-kicking elf-chick love interest in The Hobbit movies -- I consulted National Lampoon's "Bored of the Rings" and the terrific send-up of Star Trek and its fan base in Galaxy Quest. I trust that this influence will come through in my next verse offering:

Demiurge Dementia

Valium, Land of the Vulgar, it seems,
features some real-estate made up of dreams
parceled-out absent competitive schemes,
"built" by The Owner for "his" chosen teams:
“Angels” who mouth metaphysical memes;
“Demons” who thump theological themes.

Boron and Lithium, man and elf female,
teamed up to perpetrate – down to the detail –
theft of a mineral stone (cheap at retail):
Morbid’s crown missing a rock, now for resale.
Lithium’s dad asked his girl why should she wail?
Boron knew that he’d get shafted should he fail.

Where do the Halfwits come into this story?
Trying to separate Labor from Tory,
What should we call them? A “truck” or a “lorry”?
Do they not serve as an apt allegory:
Rustic and “Middle” and “common” and hoary?
Who, if not them, will suffice as pure quarry?

Somehow this story sounds already told,
Like a stale meal having long since grown cold;
Fetid like swamp water covered with mold;
Reeking of avarice; done; over sold;
Amateur alchemy: tin made from gold;
Narrative nonsense: escape from the fold.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2021
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Old 08-28-2021, 10:23 PM   #265
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The Undying Dirt

Moving right along after consulting Wikipedia for the low-down on the tree-dwelling Elf Queen and her "consort."

The Undying Dirt

Gladrail and Celebrate,
Elf Queen and toy-boy mate,
she splits and he stays late
minding the forest.

She wears a ring: her fate.
He has to mind the gate.
He gets to clean her plate
and pay the florist.

She sails away to wait,
Dimly the Dwarf her date.
Present tense adequate:
Elf-speak’s aorist.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2021
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:42 PM   #266
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As far as I can tell, nooooobody knows. My best guess, given that Christopher was alive at the time the deal was made, is that they have only Second and Third Age material
Although the events of that year remain to date very murky, it is clear that Christopher's position as head of the Estate ended almost exactly at the same time as the Amazon deal was struck.

Now, I can say with almost complete certainty that CRT would never, ever have agreed to this, not if Amazon, or anyone else, had offered him the entire US national debt in payment. Which leads me to conclude that either (a) Christopher retired due to advanced old age, and as soon as he was out of the way other family members jumped; or (b) Bezos came offering a quarter-gigabuck of cash, and the obstreperous old man was forced out because he stood between them and Smaug's horde.
And since the deal was made without Christopher it's almost certainly for the whole damn legendarium.
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:26 PM   #267
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What comes to those who wait . . .

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... And since the deal was made without Christopher it's almost certainly for the whole damn legendarium.
It sure looks that way. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
A synopsis released in January 2021 revealed that ... by July [2020], Amazon had gained access to certain elements and passages from The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales due to the Tolkien Estate being happy with the development of the series so far.
In light of the above, I think we can fairly assume that Amazon studios have already begun "interpreting" (i.e., encroaching upon) the Tolkien legendarium and will continue to do so. Then, as per typical movie-industry practices, lawyers will argue and judges will decide the distribution of profits, if any, resulting from the billion-dollar exercise in "entertainment."

At any rate, I understand that teaser trailers and a pilot episode will debut sometime before the end of this year; and, depending upon the viewing audience's reactions, we will no doubt see "changes of direction" (meaning, recasting of certain roles or deletion of them, etc.) that the "creative" executive producers will choose to make prior to the first season's episodes beginning to "steam" (not a misspelling) in early September of 2022. Not all that long to wait now for at least "something."
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Old 09-04-2021, 03:33 PM   #268
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Apotheosis of Existential Odor

To recapitulate my understand things, the forthcoming Amazon television series of steaming [not a misspelling] "Lord of the Rings" episodes -- projected to span several years -- will base itself on a mythology found in The Silmarillion, a book put together by Tolkien's son Christopher, about which I know next to nothing. (I always felt that if Tolkien didn't consider these writings fit to publish, then I needn't waste my time reading them.)

But "the show must go on," as the people paid to stage theatrical entertainments like to say, and so some sort of "adaptation" of Tolkien's "writings" (i.e., extensive notes) will most likely appear on television (or cell-phone) screens beginning with a teaser trailer and pilot episode sometime before the end of this year, with regular weekly episodes to begin in the fall of 2022.

In preparation for reading on-line reviews of these productions and their possible relation to mythology in general -- or J. R. R. Tolkien's "legendarium" in particular -- I thought I would access the Interwebs for information, if not enlightenment. Most, if not all, mythologies contain some sort of "origin" or "creation" story -- in this case, probably a narrative voice-over by an "immortal elf" like Cate Blanchet or Hugo Weaving -- and so I thought I would start with asking how Tolkien supposedly began describing his made-up world.

I found this:

Quote:
Eä was first spoken by Eru Ilúvatar with which he brought into actuality. Eru commanded that the Eä "be!", "[Let it] be!", and then it was. It may be assumed that everything outside Eä, including the Timeless Halls of Ilúvatar, had no material form.
Pure, unadulterated gibberish. It meant nothing intelligible to me, but it did sound like something I hear or read from time to time:

Quote:
ew – interjection. Pronounced ē-ü — used to express disgust at something distasteful or repellent (such as a bad odor) “Ew, what's that smell?”
Then, a somewhat technical term for this sort of thing occurred to me:

Quote:
apotheosis – noun. The elevation of someone [or something] to divine status
Which led to another terza rima sonnet attempting to put it all together in verse, my preferred medium of literary exposition:

Apotheosis of Existential Odor

Ew (ill avatar) cried: "Let stuff be!"
So stuff became where stuff wasn’t before.
Nothing for stuff means stuff happens for free:

Schema, mythology, hand-me-down “lore;”
Pure fabrication: fictitious tall tales;
Filling up silence which Halfwits abhor.

Fantasy triumphs where disbelief fails.
Posit The One and name IT “Deity.”
Publish and hope that does wonders for sales.

Coin the term “being” (which no one can see).
Then call it “is” (far more easy to spell).
Thus, tautological identity:

"A is A," proves syllogism can sell
Anything – if you can just stand the smell.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2021
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:19 PM   #269
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Amazon is the perfect company to destroy Tolkien's work. Having said that I will watch the first episode while I scream at the television until I refuse to watch anymore. I will then pick it up the next week in defiance of my oath to never watch it again where my actions will predictably repeat. I assume it will take anywhere from 3-5 shows for me to actually keep my word, realize my hope of an accurate portrayal could never happen with Amazon at the helm, and finally discard the show.
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Old 10-27-2021, 04:40 AM   #270
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Amazon is the perfect company to destroy Tolkien's work. Having said that I will watch the first episode while I scream at the television until I refuse to watch anymore. I will then pick it up the next week in defiance of my oath to never watch it again where my actions will predictably repeat. I assume it will take anywhere from 3-5 shows for me to actually keep my word, realize my hope of an accurate portrayal could never happen with Amazon at the helm, and finally discard the show.
You know, I think my response to watching the show would likely be very similar.
That said, I don't yet see any reason that I should watch it (which was precisely my view on the PJ film treatments).

The books have very deep meaning to me. Tolkien has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.
Would watching "adaptations" written by other people, using his invented settings and characters, increase my affection for the original material? My experience with the LOTR movies indicates the answer is "not bloody likely".
Am I likely to appreciate the direction Tolkien's world takes in the hands of those who, in all likelihood, don't have the love and respect of his creative output that I possess?
Highly doubtful.
If Tolkien didn't give me some bit of information I am curious over, I much prefer to speculate on it in my own mind, rather than having a big-budget production spoon-feed their own version to me.
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Old 10-27-2021, 04:56 AM   #271
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That said, I don't yet see any reason that I should watch it (which was precisely my view on the PJ film treatments).
I agree. Life is too short to waste watching something I already know I won't enjoy.
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:29 AM   #272
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That said, I don't yet see any reason that I should watch it (which was precisely my view on the PJ film treatments).
So as someone who plans to watch the show, my answer is that the reason for the decision has nothing to do with Tolkien. For all intents and purposes, I am pretending this is just another run of the mill unrelated fantasy show, and if they get something right - it's a bonus. And I'll watch for the same reasons that I'd give other shows a shot. I suppose it's a similar attitude I've had to the show Sherlock. It was a pretty good show in early seasons, though the only thing it had in common with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were a few names. You don't watch it for Doyle, you watch it for the show itself, and enjoy the oblique references to Doyle's stories when they appear.

Now, if they actually make it Tolkien enough that it's recognizably written-ish material, and butcher that, I might just stop watching, because that is something that will ruin my appetite.
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Old 10-28-2021, 01:21 AM   #273
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...once upon a time... I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story – the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths ..... The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.
I'm going to keep an open mind, not pre-suppose whether I'll like it or not, and at least watch it for what it is. If it's good, I'll enjoy it. It won't be the books, it won't be the same story as in the books, but I'm not going to just decide that I hate it on that count. If it's not good I won't enjoy it.
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