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 12-29-2003, 03:25 AM   #1
steve
Wight
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Edoras... er, Philadelphia
Posts: 191
steve has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to steve
Sting PJ steering away from racism

I was curious in wondering if anyone else notices how peter jacksom made every race in middle earth white, even the Haradrim (Haradrim Forever) where described by Tolkien as dark skinned but yet they where white...do you think it was just a casting error or done to avoid racism
__________________
MAGIC SHOP!
Spells of Mass Destruction
20% off! Today Only!
steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2003, 09:31 AM   #2
Finwe
Deathless Sun
 
Finwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Royal Suite in the Halls of Mandos
Posts: 2,609
Finwe has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Finwe
Sting

It was probably done partially to avoid racism. PJ would have mobs down on his head if the audience noticed that all the bad guys were "dark" and all the good guys were "white." Unfortunately, we live in an extremely insecure world that can't handle things like that.
__________________
But Melkor also was there, and he came to the house of Fëanor, and there he slew Finwë King of the Noldor before his doors, and spilled the first blood in the Blessed Realm; for Finwë alone had not fled from the horror of the Dark.
Finwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2003, 10:09 AM   #3
Olorin_TLA
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Gardens of Lórien, Valinor.
Posts: 420
Olorin_TLA has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Actually, they look browny-skinned to me, kinda like my skin colour. Especially the one who falls next to Sam in TT.<P>Frankly, if he was steering away from racism, then the good guy's wouldn;t be so very much more blonde and blue eyed than in the books, and Gimli wouldn;t be a Scot.
__________________
"For I am Olórin! And Olórin means me!"

ELENDIL! - Join "Forth Tolkiengas!"
Olorin_TLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2003, 10:27 AM   #4
Gashberz
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Diego, U.S.A
Posts: 57
Gashberz has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Gashberz
Sting

Yeah, I guess he wanted to be sucessful in the future if he wanted to make more movies. And its true we do live in an insecure world, and its wierd cause black people can make fun of white people but when a white person makes fun of a black person its racism. Some things I just dont understand.
__________________
"We are the fighting Uruk-hai! We slew the great warrior. We took the prisoners. We are the servants of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand: the Hand that gives us man´s flesh to eat!"
-Uglúk
Gashberz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2003, 01:44 PM   #5
lizzmongoose
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up

i noticed that all the people were white too i think they should have let theme be dark skined if they wanted the roole
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2003, 03:53 PM   #6
HCIsland
Zombie Cannibal
 
HCIsland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,000
HCIsland has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

I agree with Olorin. The Haradrim that falls in front of Sam looks pretty dark skinned to me. <P>I think there was an attempt to make the Easterlings and Southrons of no definable culture, while still making them look foreign. I believe it was the right call because as soon as you are watching the film thinking, "that guy looks African and he looks like he's from the Middle East," the you've left the world of the film.<P>H.C.
__________________
"Stir not the bitterness in the cup that I mixed myself. Have I not tasted it now many nights upon my tongue, foreboding that worse yet lay in the dregs."
-Denethor
HCIsland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2003, 05:01 PM   #7
Kalimac
Candle of the Marshes
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Flyover Country
Posts: 780
Kalimac has just left Hobbiton.
1420!

I don't know, those troops marching in at the Black Gate and riding on the Oliphaunts looked fairly brown to me. And HCIsland, you're right - they did a good job of making them look foreign, but not a foreign that anyone could recognize as coming from some specific country.<P>Though actually, to me, the soldiers in TTT (the ones who came over to investigate the noise of Sam sliding down the slope) looked a bit like they were from India. It wasn't the clothing, though, just the eyes and the shape of the face. Also, with the soldiers riding on top of the oliphaunts, it's hard to shake the image of a howdah.<p>[ 6:02 PM December 29, 2003: Message edited by: Kalimac ]
__________________
Father, dear Father, if you see fit, We'll send my love to college for one year yet
Tie blue ribbons all about his head, To let the ladies know that he's married.
Kalimac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 12:08 PM   #8
Olorin_TLA
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Gardens of Lórien, Valinor.
Posts: 420
Olorin_TLA has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Nice point, Lizzmongoose, and were LotR set today or in the future I'd say yes, defiantely, but sicne it's set in a far off Medeiaval-like time where people didn't mingle too much as such, and the geographical location of LotR is in the north-west, the roles for the people from the northwest would have to go to people who look like they came from the real northenr hemispehre, just as the Haradrim roles would have to go to people who look like they came at least from the Meditteranean, if not further south.<BR>It's like the majority of people in an adaptation of a novel such as Pride and PRedujice would be white, because historically in the story's context, they just were.<P>Mind you, plenty of darker skinned people acted in the roles - Lawrence Makenrie (I'm sure I got the sirname worng) is a Maori who acted as Sauron, The WitchKing and Gothmog! (And several Orks!)
__________________
"For I am Olórin! And Olórin means me!"

ELENDIL! - Join "Forth Tolkiengas!"
Olorin_TLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 03:43 PM   #9
Finwe
Deathless Sun
 
Finwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Royal Suite in the Halls of Mandos
Posts: 2,609
Finwe has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Finwe
Sting

Kalimac, I noticed that too. Who knows, perhaps a few of my distant cousins were extras. (Since I'm Indian, I'm practically related to half the world. )<P>I actually didn't mind that at all. The Easterlings were supposed to be based on Asians, and the Haradrim were supposed to be based on Africans. After all, Tolkien was creating a mythos for England, not the entire world, and certainly not for this race-sensitive world.
__________________
But Melkor also was there, and he came to the house of Fëanor, and there he slew Finwë King of the Noldor before his doors, and spilled the first blood in the Blessed Realm; for Finwë alone had not fled from the horror of the Dark.
Finwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 03:48 PM   #10
The Only Real Estel
Raffish Rapscallion
 
The Only Real Estel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Far from the 'Downs, it seems :-(
Posts: 3,025
The Only Real Estel has just left Hobbiton.
Pipe

It's really nearly impossible to 'steer away from racisim'. If people wanted to, then they could take offence at the fact that there are no african-americans in the movie & say that PJ wasn't being fair & including them. But there was at least the one that Faramir shot off of the Oliphaunt in TTT, so I guess that's one.
The Only Real Estel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 03:50 PM   #11
Lord of Angmar
Tyrannus Incorporalis
 
Lord of Angmar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: the North
Posts: 833
Lord of Angmar has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>After all, Tolkien was creating a mythos for England, not the entire world, and certainly not for this race-sensitive world.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I could not have said it better myself. Anyone who falsely imbues Tolkien's works with an underlying racist tone should study the matter more closely, and should also consider the societal norms of the world that Professor Tolkien grew up in.
__________________
...where the instrument of intelligence is added to brute power and evil will, mankind is powerless in its own defence.
Lord of Angmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 04:10 PM   #12
Rouroni
Newly Deceased
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 10
Rouroni has just left Hobbiton.
The Eye

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Anyone who falsely imbues Tolkien's works with an underlying racist tone should study the matter more closely, and should also consider the societal norms of the world that Professor Tolkien grew up in.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Exactly. Anyone who thinks that should definitly think a bit harder and read a bit more about where Tolkien grew up and the society he was used to. Besides, Tolkien was making a mythology, one that took place thousands of years ago, and weren't wars between different "races" common occurences back then?<P>Anyway, in RotK, the Corsairs looked Asian to me, which is what they are described as being in the book.
__________________
"Cold be hand and heart and bone/Cold be sleep under stone/never more to wake on stony bed/Never, until the Sun fails and the Moon is dead./In the black wind the stars shall die/And still on gold here let them lie/Until the Dark Lord lifts his hand/Over dead sea and withered land."-Fog on the Barrow-Downs
Rouroni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2003, 10:51 PM   #13
QuickSlash
Wight
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Not here.
Posts: 121
QuickSlash has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to QuickSlash Send a message via Yahoo to QuickSlash
Shield

When I saw RotK, that's what I thought, Steve. He showed some Haradrim as brown-skinned and he showed the Corsairs as Asians, but he didn't make *all* of them as such (Although there was only one shot of the Corsairs). It was another way PJ compromised between hard-core book fans and common movie fans. Har-core book fans might well've wanted all the Haradrim to have darker skin than the regular cast, but common movie goers might've been very offended. He kept both sides happy, imo.
__________________
We're here and now, but will we ever be again? / 'Cause I have found / All that shimmers in this world is sure to fade, away, again. -Shimmer, Fuel
QuickSlash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 09:54 AM   #14
Olorin_TLA
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Gardens of Lórien, Valinor.
Posts: 420
Olorin_TLA has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Right, Tolkien started with a mythology for him, his homeland: when people create stories, characters tend to be like themselves, because that's the way the mind works.<P>So therefore, good guys of Middle-earth, whom he wrote of=white, like him (thoguh there are a fair percentage of swarthy good guys, and even the Wild Men, so it's not like he was saying white=good...).<P>Now, LotR covers a hell of a lot more terrain than Silm or the Hobbit. Since it was set far in the past of our world, the further aborad your map goes, the more vaired skin tones will be. It's a simple human fact.<P>You know what would have been racist? Albino Haradrim and men of Rhun. An entirely white world. Think about that if ye will.
__________________
"For I am Olórin! And Olórin means me!"

ELENDIL! - Join "Forth Tolkiengas!"
Olorin_TLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 11:33 AM   #15
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Up a tree somewhere in Caras Galadhon...or England
Posts: 364
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1 has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Good grief. A White world. *Falls off chair at the thought*. I can't imagine that...would that mean everyone nowadays would suddenly turn albino, or would all non-whites just not exist? In which case I wouldn't be able to imagine it, because I wouldn't be here- I'm half Chinese.<BR>I totally agree with all this stuff about Tolkien not being rascist- it distresses me when rascists use the material and turn it for their 'cause'. They forget what Sam says, you know, the bit where he wonders whether that foreigner really was evil, or whether he was just forced to come along etc etc. I read an interview with this mother and her two daughters. The mother is a white supremist and her daughters are being brought up to be that too...which is really sad in itself...but what got me was the mother said she found the book extremely racial. But then I suppose you see what your eyes want you to see.
__________________
'"Forweg can lead you no longer; for he is dead...I slew him...I will govern this fellowship now, or leave it."
"As it was when he joined us, so it is again. He kills to make room."'
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 01:19 PM   #16
Durelin
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
 
Durelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,121
Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Sting

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>It's really nearly impossible to 'steer away from racisim'. (Estel)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>In today's society, it most definitely is. Though it seems Peter Jackson has done it well enough, luckily.<P>Peter Jackson's just lucky no one's twisted the idea of orcs being 'dark-skinned' into a 'racial slurr' (a nifty name, eh?). <P>I really don't understand this 'white world' thing, though. If it had been 'black world,' it wouldn't be considered racism, would it? It most likely wouldn't even make it into the category of 'reverse racism.' That's another nifty name, direct from some lovely politicians. <P>Peter Jackson most likely did try to avoid accusations of racism, and, luckily, so far he has. Most likely because he's making enough money. <P>That was a bit harsh, but those are the kinds of things I think about sometimes...so, it's basically opinion. Please enlighten me to anything that I have said unfairly.<p>[ 2:22 PM December 31, 2003: Message edited by: Durelin ]
Durelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 01:33 PM   #17
Lord of Angmar
Tyrannus Incorporalis
 
Lord of Angmar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: the North
Posts: 833
Lord of Angmar has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Peter Jackson most likely did try to avoid accusations of racism, and, luckily, so far he has. Most likely because he's making enough money.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I don't follow you. What do you mean by this?
__________________
...where the instrument of intelligence is added to brute power and evil will, mankind is powerless in its own defence.
Lord of Angmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 01:43 PM   #18
Durelin
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
 
Durelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,121
Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Sting

Well, people tend to leave you alone if you have enough money, don't they? I'm not going to get into the details of this, or how this could work in a political world, but if you'd like to know, I'd gladly tell you my ideas over PM, as they are not completely relative to the topic. I also doubt that anyone wishes to know my ideas, so I will bore no one unless they ask. <P>It was pretty much a joke, though it could also be a...consideration.
Durelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 04:04 PM   #19
Eomer of the Rohirrim
Auspicious Wraith
 
Eomer of the Rohirrim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 4,990
Eomer of the Rohirrim is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Eomer of the Rohirrim is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Sting

Another point. The Hobbits were actually darker-skinned than they were shown in the films. Perhaps the casting made sense with regards to the actors' voices? Meaning, I do think the Hobbits' voices were good in the film (with the possible exception of Pippin) but the skin colour was off.
__________________
Los Ingobernables de Harlond
Eomer of the Rohirrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 04:41 PM   #20
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Sting

Eomer,<P>Actually it would be Sam who would be "nut brown" because he was a Harfoot. Fallohides like Frodo and Pippin would have been quite fair.<P>However, even most Tolkien illustrators do not make that distinction (let alone PJ!).<p>[ 5:43 PM December 31, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
__________________
Multitasking women are never too busy to vote.
Child of the 7th Age is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 06:07 PM   #21
Lost One
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 67
Lost One has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Regarding racial types in the book, I tend to assume Tolkien was thinking in medieval terms, and so would have envisaged Easterlings as Huns, Avars, Magyars, Turkic peoples etc, while Southrons and Haradrim would have been vaguely Moorish. Though, of course, everyone in Middle-earth (barring Valar and Maiar) came from the east at some point, and in the Silmarillion it is the north that is the source of evil.
Lost One is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2004, 06:21 PM   #22
Olorin_TLA
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Gardens of Lórien, Valinor.
Posts: 420
Olorin_TLA has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Durelin, what I was saying abouit "hite world" was that it would be stupid if here you have this...well, let's face it, a World War, which the War of the Ring is: or at least a War sretching acorss an entire super-continent - and everyone's white! If he hadn;t been realistic and made skin coulours change as they get mote distant, then we would have had some kind of white-people only world, which would have been bizarre and stupid - and porbbaly got complaints baout racism by the same people saying dark-skinned Haradrim are a racial slur!
__________________
"For I am Olórin! And Olórin means me!"

ELENDIL! - Join "Forth Tolkiengas!"
Olorin_TLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2004, 06:25 PM   #23
Lord of Angmar
Tyrannus Incorporalis
 
Lord of Angmar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: the North
Posts: 833
Lord of Angmar has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

This is rather a side note, but a (much) younger relative of mine was watching MTV last night on the countdown to the new year. There was a freestyle rap competition going on, between a lighter and a darker skinned African American. The lighter skinned rapper said something like, "You look like an orc from the <I>Lord of the Rings,</I>" to the other rapper during his freestyle. It seems, sadly, that perhaps such a slur has worked or will work its way into the popular conscious.<p>[ 7:25 PM January 01, 2004: Message edited by: Lord of Angmar ]
__________________
...where the instrument of intelligence is added to brute power and evil will, mankind is powerless in its own defence.
Lord of Angmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2004, 07:56 PM   #24
Olorin_TLA
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Gardens of Lórien, Valinor.
Posts: 420
Olorin_TLA has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

...<P>...<P>...<P>
__________________
"For I am Olórin! And Olórin means me!"

ELENDIL! - Join "Forth Tolkiengas!"
Olorin_TLA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2004, 11:36 PM   #25
TolkienGurl
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 637
TolkienGurl has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via ICQ to TolkienGurl Send a message via AIM to TolkienGurl
Sting

I remember reading a ridiculous article in <I>Time</I> magazine a few years ago that mentioned, among other things, how odd it was that all the orcs were dark-skinned and that there were so few women in LotR. That kind of thing makes me mad (right up there with people who insist LotR is an allegory to WWII). I personally think people should stop applying modern ideals to a book that was written in a different time with different social conditions.<P>I don't see a problem with the Haradrim having dark skin, even if PJ wanted them to be darker for the movie. I mean, they live in a harsh desert, so their skin has more pigmentation. Makes sense to me.<P>~Sam
__________________
Hopes fail. An end comes. We have only a little time to wait now. We are lost in ruin and downfall and there is no escape.
-Frodo
My Livejournal
TolkienGurl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2004, 01:11 AM   #26
Kalimac
Candle of the Marshes
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Flyover Country
Posts: 780
Kalimac has just left Hobbiton.
1420!

Finwe - Hey, it's nice to know somebody else thought that too . And I tend to agree about the "mythos" aspect - Tolkien was trying to create a myth for England, so naturally it'll be centered around people who look like the English, and the foes and foreigners (not always the same thing) will look different. If you read myths and old stories from other geographical regions, the central figures always look like the people telling the story. In the book of Dede Korkut, for example, the beautiful heroines inevitably have lovely eyes of perfect almond-shape, because they're Asiatic. The enemies vary in colour. And so forth. In a way such stories transcend offensiveness; they aren't so much "racist" or "not racist" as simply outside of racism altogether. They're just telling their own stories (whose else could they tell?) and in the days when travel was risky and seldom-done, the heroes of your own story were inevitably going to look like you. <P>TolkienGurl - If they're complaining about lack of women in LOTR, I can't wait to see the reaction if "The Hobbit" gets made. Scads of characters, and not one woman with a speaking role from beginning to end. (Come to think of it, not one woman is named who's still even alive when the story begins!) But I'm a girl who's loved "The Hobbit" since she was eight, and never noticed its complete freedom from females until rather recently. Guess I can't have been too traumatized .
__________________
Father, dear Father, if you see fit, We'll send my love to college for one year yet
Tie blue ribbons all about his head, To let the ladies know that he's married.
Kalimac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2004, 12:19 PM   #27
thephantomcredits
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 33
thephantomcredits has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

aside from skin color, the easterlings that come to check on the commotion sam and frodo make at the black gate seem to be wearting alot of eye makeup
__________________
unity in what is essential, liberty in the nonessential
thephantomcredits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2004, 12:36 PM   #28
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Up a tree somewhere in Caras Galadhon...or England
Posts: 364
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1 has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Women? At least there don't seem to be outright accusations of sexism from women's rights groups...or are there? And isn't Annie Lennox supposed to be one of those kind of women? She sang the credits song for ROTK...<BR>And in any case, the lack of women for me is very simply explained: (1)It was a war (2) It was set a long time ago, so few women would have been fighting anyway. Guys are stronger than women generally. (And I'm willing to argue this if people disagree...and I'm a girl ). So what? Big deal...Also, look at the whole deal with Éowyn- she is given a lot more attention than dozens of male characters, who are really no more than names.<BR>And as for the Hobbit...do you know, I hadn't actually noticed? Although now you mention it, I suppose it's true... Oh well, big wow! Hobbits aren't into adventures anyway, so why excite not only contraversy among fellow-hobbits but also downright horror?<P>EDIT: This post seemed to enter itself...but yeah. As for the eyeliner...an interesting touch, but hey, why not? At least guys of that colour skin can pull it off. (Think Jack Sparrow).<p>[ 1:37 PM January 03, 2004: Message edited by: Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1 ]
__________________
'"Forweg can lead you no longer; for he is dead...I slew him...I will govern this fellowship now, or leave it."
"As it was when he joined us, so it is again. He kills to make room."'
Elentári_O_Most_Mighty_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2004, 01:07 PM   #29
Finwe
Deathless Sun
 
Finwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Royal Suite in the Halls of Mandos
Posts: 2,609
Finwe has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to Finwe
Sting

<B>thephantomcredits</B>, they must be pretty secure men, aren't they? The only other Men that I can think of who can pull off the eye-make-up thing are Jack Sparrow and Eddie Izzard.
__________________
But Melkor also was there, and he came to the house of Fëanor, and there he slew Finwë King of the Noldor before his doors, and spilled the first blood in the Blessed Realm; for Finwë alone had not fled from the horror of the Dark.
Finwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2004, 03:01 AM   #30
Rouroni
Newly Deceased
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 10
Rouroni has just left Hobbiton.
The Eye

In regards to to the sexist, lack-of-women problem. I have had so many people ask me why there are only three main female parts in the LotR movies. And this annoys me to no end.<P>If people would bother to read the book, they would discover a surprise. PJ actually gave Arwen and Eowyn much larger parts in the movies than they had in the book. I'm sure some of you were annoyed when Arwen came riding in with all her Elf-princess glory instead of Glorfindel. <P>In fact, Arwen was in all of the movies, not just FotR (breifly) and RotK (breifly again).<P>Nevertheless, people want to know why Tolkien was such a sexist. Well, he wasnt. <P>Some people just dont understand that times change, and the time frame Tolkien was writing about would have been vastly different socially than things are today. <P>But people are content to believe, in thier own insecurity, i suppose, that the media is biased and everyone hates them for what they look like. <P>It's sad, really.
__________________
"Cold be hand and heart and bone/Cold be sleep under stone/never more to wake on stony bed/Never, until the Sun fails and the Moon is dead./In the black wind the stars shall die/And still on gold here let them lie/Until the Dark Lord lifts his hand/Over dead sea and withered land."-Fog on the Barrow-Downs
Rouroni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2004, 04:43 PM   #31
Durelin
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
 
Durelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,121
Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Sting

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>I have had so many people ask me why there are only three main female parts in the LotR movies.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Just tell them that that's one more than in the novel.<P> <P> <P>People just like to complain, I think, and they're are encouraged to, too.
Durelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2004, 04:28 PM   #32
Kronos
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: England
Posts: 47
Kronos has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> I totally agree with all this stuff about Tolkien not being rascist- it distresses me when rascists use the material and turn it for their 'cause'. They forget what Sam says, you know, the bit where he wonders whether that foreigner really was evil, or whether he was just forced to come along etc etc. I read an interview with this mother and her two daughters. The mother is a white supremist and her daughters are being brought up to be that too...which is really sad in itself...but what got me was the mother said she found the book extremely racial. But then I suppose you see what your eyes want you to see. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I think the last sentence in this post is the key one. I don't know that anyone would accuse LOTR as being an implicitly racist book or Tolkien as a racist author. Or nearly no-one at least.<P>I do not think that by reading Tolkien you could adopt a racist viewpoint however many of the people who advocate the white supremacy viewpoint and produce LOTR as a text to support this already are racist before they read the book. And like it or not a book is an individual experience to each person that reads it. The experience you get out of a book may well be coloured by your life experience, your perceptions, your viewpoints.<P>So the questions is really this. If someone who already is a white supremacist reads LOTR could they find material to fit with their world view.<P>Now unfortunately, whatever the arguments about LOTR being a mythology for England may be, the book does contain material that can fit with a racists viewpoint.<P>Many white supremacists preach a dogma that states that the white race is under attack, under threat if you will, from the numerically superior "foreigners". People with a different skin colour, people with a different culture, people who speak differently, any number of things can mark them as "different".<P>Now could a racist read LOTR and find text to support that view? Unfortunately the fact remains that they could. It is a fact that the LOTR does present a world in which the good people are almost 100% white and the bad guys are almost 100% of a different ethnic type. Not only that but the races that are wholly evil, Orcs and Trolls, also have dark skin. Tolkien also implies that they share features with the men of the south when he compares men of Harad to trolls. Now this is not to say that Tolkien is being racist but we have to say.....could this appeal to someone who is already a racist?<BR>The answer I think is yes.<P>Another popular theory with racists is that the white racist is inherently superior and that their blood should not be "diluted" with that of lesser men. This theory was a firm favourite of Hitler and Himmler, so much so that the Nazi's funded a great deal of research into the Atlantis myth. They saw the Aryan race as being decended from Atlanteans and that this race was superior but had been "reduced" by mixing with lesser men.<P>Again could the words of Tolkien be used to support this view? And again the answer is yes. In fact they support it very closely and one does not have to look very hard to find it. Indeed, Atlantis is the common theme.<P>The men of Numenor are "higher" than lesser men and Tolkien makes it clear that in those in whom the blood runs true, are to be found the most noble of men. Not only that but they appear "fairer" and live longer than lesser men.<BR>Again I doubt the intent was racist but it is very possible that racists will latch onto it.<P>Now none of this implies that Tolkien was a racist or that the LOTR is a racist work but I do think it a little naive if we were to think that the LOTR contains nothing that could be construed as racist by someone who is already firmly entrenched in that opinion.
Kronos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2004, 04:46 PM   #33
Kalimac
Candle of the Marshes
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Flyover Country
Posts: 780
Kalimac has just left Hobbiton.
1420!

Kronos, I don't mean to be rude but this whole thread has been about how people can misinterpret Tolkien's work in such ways - what we were saying was not that the book *cannot* be interpreted in racist ways, merely that there's no rational grounds for it (Tolkien was not trying to promote an Aryan worldview, or whatever it's called nowadays) - and so it *should* not be interpreted as a brief for that sort of thing. <P>You have a good point when you say that people will often get out of a book what they want to get out of it instead of looking at it objectively. But does this necessarily make the book itself guilty? Depends on the book. I'd say that "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" would be a guilty book, because its whole purpose in being created was to inflame anti-Semitism. It wouldn't exist without that. With Tolkien, the colour business is almost a side-note; that's not what the story is about. I get skittish when people talk about a book's potential for misinterpretation because that makes it sound like the book (or the author) is the involuntary cohort of anyone who decides to use it for evil purposes. <P>Besides, anyone with a sufficiently loopy opinion will be able to twist anything around to justify it. I've seen websites arguing that "The Chronicles of Narnia" are actually devices to subconsciously instruct children in death cults, but the fact that people are capable of interpreting them in that way does not mean that I am obliged to somehow justify my reading of them, or mount an elaborate defense of C.S. Lewis's non-cultic tendencies, before being comfortable in reading them. Charles Manson got his inspiration for killing sprees out of Beatles lyrics, but this doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the Beatles. <P>One more thing; you have to remember that often they will distort the actual text to get the results they want. I've run into this personally, under rather bizarre circumstances. Several years ago, a co-collegian of mine committed suicide by swallowing cyanide; an unusual and very nasty way to die. Recently I found out that several Holocaust-denial groups had picked up on the newspaper items about his death and had used the circumstances surrounding it as indirect evidence that the gas chambers couldn't have existed. Cracked in itself, but that wasn't all; they CHANGED several facts and grossly distorted several others to the point where the original incident was scarcely recognizable. I was furious, but there wasn't much to do except ignore them and remember the boy the way he ought to be remembered. So if someone from one of those groups tells you that something is a commonly-known Atlantean reference, or that something else can be interpreted as a symbol for Aryanism, triple-check it. They could have made those facts up on the spot. <P>I believe that neo-Nazi and Aryan groups use Tolkien's books to justify their positions, and while it bothers me, there's nothing I can do about it except enjoy the books as they were meant to be enjoyed, and not let their perversions of it trouble me. As long as they don't consist of more than 1% or 2% of the population, there's little more to be done than that.<p>[ 5:52 PM January 06, 2004: Message edited by: Kalimac ]
__________________
Father, dear Father, if you see fit, We'll send my love to college for one year yet
Tie blue ribbons all about his head, To let the ladies know that he's married.
Kalimac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2004, 02:19 AM   #34
Kronos
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: England
Posts: 47
Kronos has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> what we were saying was not that the book *cannot* be interpreted in racist ways, merely that there's no rational grounds for it (Tolkien was not trying to promote an Aryan worldview, or whatever it's called nowadays) - and so it *should* not be interpreted as a brief for that sort of thing <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>But I have seen many threads (not just this one) in which people get angry because Racists are claiming to see things that they like in the books, taking personal affront at it.<BR>My point is that whatever Tolkien was trying to promote is largely irrelevant. With Art it is all about the viewer/reader/whomever and their experiencing of said art.<P>Also Tolkien may not have been trying to promote an Aryan worldview but that is basically what he ended up with really. When you boil it down to bare essentials the war in LOTR describes a good side of pretty much all white combatants against a bad side of mostly dark skinned combatants. It would be difficult to see how that would NOT appeal to racists.<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> So if someone from one of those groups tells you that something is a commonly-known Atlantean reference, or that something else can be interpreted as a symbol for Aryanism, triple-check it. They could have made those facts up on the spot <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I did not get the Atlantean thing from any individual. It is a documented fact concerning the Nazi’s and in particular Himmler. He was obsessed with trying to find evidence to support his theory that the Aryan race originated in Atlantis (Thule as I seem to remember them calling it) and that there was evidence in their racial superiority to be found in that. From those believes flowed a lot of their theories concerning the need to keep the Aryan bloodline pure as they believed that individuals in whom that blood flowed to be superior.<P>It is likewise a documented fact that Numenor is Tolkien’s Atlantis myth and that the inhabitants that retained the pure bloodline were “higher” and lived longer than lesser men.<P>Again these are issues that Racists would find much in common with.<P>I think that it is clear that there is material within the books that would appeal to racists and that, in fact, it does not require as much twisting as we would prefer it to.
Kronos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2004, 06:47 PM   #35
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,468
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
White-Hand

Detailed discussion of racism in Tolkien's books is more suited to the Books forum. If you are interested in discussing the issue, try these threads:<P><A HREF="http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=002648" TARGET=_blank>Racism and Tolkien</A><P>and<P><A HREF="http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=001610" TARGET=_blank>Racism in LotR?</A><P>There are some interesting points made there (particularly in the first one listed) to the effect that not all the peoples of the West had fair skin.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2004, 02:39 AM   #36
Kronos
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: England
Posts: 47
Kronos has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>There are some interesting points made there (particularly in the first one listed) to the effect that not all the peoples of the West had fair skin. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>I don't want to add too much to the debate since you have posted alternative threads but I will say that I was aware of the fact that not all had fair skin. That was why I made clear that it was not 100% white skin versus dark skin.<P>It is probably 95% plus white skin versus 95% plus dark skin. The fact that a minute percentage of those who fought for the West were something other than fair skin does not diminish the overall picture. I think that the average racist would still find those figures fair game.<P>After all, in a microcosm, take a look at the battle of the Pelennor Fields. Percentage of guys on the side of the West who were white/fair skinned? Pretty close to 100% I should think.<P>Percentage of those on the side of Sauron who were dark skinned? As close to 100% as makes no difference. Even the Witchking who we would assume was originally fair skinned is now clothed all in black.
Kronos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2004, 04:40 AM   #37
Sambar
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sting

More to do with cheesy, unsubtle symbolism than racism?<P>Life = light = daytime = good = white<P>Death = darkness = nighttime = evil = black<P>I don't see anyone complaining that Mt Doom is a black volcano instead of a white tree or that Mordor is black rock and gloomy swamp instead of sunny fields of wildflowers. We all get it! *light bulbs*!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2004, 12:47 PM   #38
Lathriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Lathriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wandering through Middle-Earth (Sadly in Alberta and not ME)
Posts: 612
Lathriel has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

This is just as simple as looking on the map of Middle-Earth!!!!!!!!!!<BR>The southrons and easterlings come from the far south, so of course they are dark, they are exposed to the harsh southern sun.<BR>Now look at the Shire, Rohan, and Gondor. These countries are all in the north so of course our main heros are going to be white because they come from the north! I mean they would have to go to a suntanning saloon if they wanted to have a dark skin colour. Besides Tolkien wrote LOTR to kinda replace Britain's lost Myths and legends.
__________________
Back again
Lathriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2004, 09:10 PM   #39
Magician of Nathar
Animated Skeleton
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 46
Magician of Nathar has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

PJ steered away from racism? You are JOKING right? Have you noticed how much the Haradrim resemble the Arabs? Their attires are almost exactly the same, the only difference is that Haradrim ride on giant elephants instead of camels. A friend of mine, who knows pretty much nothing about LOTR, and the first thing he said after watching ROTK was "What blatant racism and American propoganda!"
Magician of Nathar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2004, 09:29 PM   #40
Kalimac
Candle of the Marshes
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Flyover Country
Posts: 780
Kalimac has just left Hobbiton.
1420!

Kronos, you said "With Art it is all about the viewer/reader/whomever and their experiencing of said art."<P>But again, how is the art itself responsible for its own interpretations? (I'm discounting propaganda posters and the like, which are clearly designed to promote a particular train of thought). You're making it sound as if Tolkien is somehow subconsciously complicit in all of this. And if it's true that it's all about what individuals get out of it, then why shouldn't the viewpoints of those refuting a racist interpretation have just as much validity as those who promote a racist interpretation? I'm probably misreading, but it seems almost as if you're saying that because it's *possible* to interpret Tolkien in a racist way, we should somehow not be allowed to forget that or to deny that this is a possibly-legitimate interpretation. After all, he left himself open for it by using concepts which have been around for thousands of years. (The concept of a long-lived ruling family which has the blood of the gods - or in this case, the Elves - is one that goes back to the Egyptians and Incans - neither of these groups being notably white - and even earlier). <P>As for Atlantis - I realize that Himmler was a yo-yo who believed in Atlantis as the origins of Aryans; he also sent SS details out to dig up the roots of Yggdrasil, among his many other pursuits. But the myth of Atlantis existed long before the Nazis put their own brand of interpretation upon it, and I should point out that Tolkien was working on the Silmarillion materials before the Nazis even came to power, let alone before the war started. I have no idea if he ever knew of Himmler's perversions of myth, but I'm sure he would have shuddered at it; he was angry enough at the very concept of "Aryans." The white power groups are grasping at very thin straws by saying that this is what Atlantis was all about originally, and at thinner straws by saying that Tolkien was drawing, subconsciously or not, on this idea; they are relying on an interpretation of myth which was made by one very disturbed man, and which did not become common knowledge until Tolkien had been working on LOTR for many years. <P>Magician of Nathor: Perhaps they looked Arabic - there's obviously been a lot of debate about it, which to my mind shows that PJ did a good job of not making them look like any specific recognizable group in the present-day world. To my mind, as I said before, they looked more Indian. But I should point out for your friend's benefit that neither PJ nor any of his fellow scriptwriters are American, nor are they likely to be cranking out American propaganda. Secondly, I must assume that your friend was thinking that it was anti-Arab propaganda brought about by the present troubles. In that case, please remember that these movies were largely filmed before September 11, and that before that time I doubt that the issue of whether they looked Arabic would have been an especially hot one.<p>[ 10:31 PM January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Kalimac ]
__________________
Father, dear Father, if you see fit, We'll send my love to college for one year yet
Tie blue ribbons all about his head, To let the ladies know that he's married.
Kalimac 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 02:05 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.