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Moriarty's Report on THE LORD OF THE RINGS!!!

Hey there folks.... Harry here. I have to set this up for you. It turns out that what Moriarty has read was the Miramax stage of production on THE LORD OF THE RINGS, the 2 script, 2 film version. Which basically means that when Moriarty says the first film ended... Well that isn’t necessarily the ending any more. Also, there has probably been tweaking and polishing as well as adding in some of the things that Peter couldn’t fit into a 2 film telling of LORD OF THE RINGS. There is a revolutionary film upon our horizons I feel. A movie that will make fantasy films a viable endeavor again. For the last 30 years our cinemas have been ruled by science fiction and horror.... We’ve had some very good Fantasy films in that time period, but for my tastes I still haven’t seen fantasy done to absolute perfection. That is the hope I have in this project. And everything Moriarty says below reinforces that. He steels my resolve that these films will be something we can’t yet imagine on screens. That’s my hope.

Now here’s a warning. There are spoilers below, both if you are familiar with the books and definately if you haven’t read them. So tread carefully. The dear Professor is beside himself about these two scripts. He called after reading them and babbled for a very expensive phone bill’s length of time (had we been using Ma Bell and not the longest link of fishing line and two tin cans the world has never seen). He babbled like a billowing bail of bovine fodder desperately in search of a lobe or two. A condition that will befall us all.... when this cinematic novel opens wide. I can’t wait.

NOTE TO LOTR FAN SITES: Please just link to the article.

Hey, Head Geek....

"Moriarty" here..

You people make me smile. Maybe it's because I've been in a good mood lately, enjoying films, drunk on this weekend's stellar line-up. Maybe it's because I set aside some of my nefarious activities to take care of a few personal details. Whatever the reason, you seem to have been lulled about the goings-on here at the Moriarty Labs. You seem to have forgotten that you can't be an Evil Genius without doing a little Evil..

It was to those exact ends that I instigated "Project Jamboree." For something that's paid such rich dividends, it was surprisingly simple. Step One: announce a script review for LORD OF THE RINGS. Step Two: sit back and do nothing while the Tolkien fans go progressively more and more insane..

Ahh... sweet victory. While I was basking in the growing frenzy, enjoying all the hate mail, the damnedest thing happened. I was sitting at the Big Board, reading the 2,324th letter that began, "You suck! I bet you never read it, you liar! Oh... and you suck!", when there was a knock on the door to my Inner Sanctum. I tripped the magnetic locks, admitting two henchmen and a stranger..

Immediately, I was struck by his intense eyes, fixed on me in a piercing stare. He was dressed in dusty grey robes, wearing a silver scarf and a pointed blue hat. He had long grey hair and a great beard. For the first time in my climb to total world domination, I was speechless. You would have been, too, if you were face to face with Gandalf the Wizard..

I'm not used to feeling intimidated, especially not in the privacy of my own Labs, but I got the immediate and overwhelming feeling that I should listen, not talk, and answer any question asked of me. My henchmen retreated as Gandalf circled, eyeing me warily..

"I've heard some dangerous whispers on the wind, Professor... I believe you have something in your possession that you shouldn't, a certain document." I'm not sure exactly what I babbled, but he kept eyeing me like a hungry hawk would regard a hobbled mouse; he knew I was his whenever he chose. I know I told him I didn't have the script. I know I told him I was dying to read it. Whatever order I put the words in, something must have worked. I saw his attitude soften, and from some hidden pocket, he produced two thick screenplays, at least 300 pages of material..

"You want to talk about the scripts? These are the first drafts, before Peter knew he'd be making three films instead of two. You hold in your hands THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and THE WAR OF THE RING. Review them if you must, but don't share them with anyone. Put them somewhere out of sight. Keep them secret. Keep them safe.".

With that, the old wizard turned and hurried out, leaving me alone with the scripts. All thoughts of evil set aside for the moment, I tore into the text, and found myself reading and rereading it, unable to believe my eyes..

I don't know about anyone else's relationship with the novels. Unlike STAR WARS, we aren't all united by one common time and place when we first experienced them. Anyone who's a Tolkien fan came to it at their own pace, in their own way. For me, memories of the book are tied to one particular road trip I took with my family when I was only ten years old. We flew out to San Francisco, drove down to Los Angeles, then over to Arizona. We visited all sorts of natural landmarks, drove the coast along Big Sur, went to various LA tourist spots. During the whole vacation, though, I was preoccupied, couldn't be bothered to get out of the car. Grand Canyon? Who cares? Petrified Forest? No, thanks. I was on another journey, one I have never forgotten. I was engrossed in the four paperbacks I had purchased just before leaving home -- THE HOBBIT, FELLOWSHIP, THE TWO TOWERS, and RETURN OF THE KING. I devoured every page of the books over the sixteen days of the vacation. Images from the books burned themselves deep into my psyche..

And now, nearly two decades later, I've rediscovered my love for this story, these characters, this incredible journey. Before I even begin to discuss the work done by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Stephen Sinclair, and script editor Philippa Boyens, let me say that I can't imagine the combination of excitement, pride, fear, and expectation that they must all be feeling as they ramp up to bring this epic to the screen. This is a story that is known in every country on Earth. This is one of the best-loved stories in literature. I know that Jackson has demurred a bit about that sense of responsibility, saying this is only one vision of the books, his vision, but the truth is I wouldn't want to try and create anything under such intense scrutiny. The trade-off, of course, is that he's going to get to go on the whole journey with Frodo, Sam, the Ring, and the rest, and I deeply envy him the experience..

Rest assured, the material is in the right hands. It's obvious from the first page of the first script. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I read Frodo's first voice-over, delivered as the opening TITLES are shown:.

When we turn away from the darkness of
our past to take comfort in our peaceful
lives, we sometimes forget how dearly
that peace was bought. But there is
much worth remembering in the darkness...

Any questions I had about how seriously Jackson planned to treat the darker aspects of the material evaporated as I read of the great battles that closed out the Second Age of Middle-earth. The imagery is stark, brutal, and sad, effectively etched in just a few short pages. It was wrenching to read the intensity with which the armies of Elf and Man stand against the power of Sauron. When Isildur has the opportunity to destroy the Ring but doesn't, it's crushing. Then, just like that, Isildur is struck down, and as the One Ring settles to the bottom of a river, Frodo speaks again:.

Thus a Third Age of Middle-earth began.
History became legend... legend became
myth. And some things that should not
have been forgotten were lost.

It's a striking opening, richly imagined, and it states clearly that this is no children's film, no "family-friendly" adaptation, no Rankin Bass musical. Jackson's serious about his stated goal of making a film that feels drawn from history, not fantasy. So often, fantasy films are bogged down in needless exposition, tons of silly names designed to make sure we understand we're in another world. This story is so human, so firmly drawn from an emotional reality, that it feels like our world once removed..

Who can't relate to the simple joy of a party? When the story jumps forward 3,000 years, we join Gandalf the Wizard as he rides into Hobbiton, where he's greeted by young Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee in a charming introductory scene. Once again, Jackson and his collaborators work quickly to create a real sense of community among the citizens of Hobbiton. Bilbo's introduction is suitably iconic. He's got a secret, a plan, and he can't help but drop hints..

When he finally reveals his secret to the assembled partygoers, the script is suddenly off and running. .

From this point on, the writers wisely focus all the action on the Ring. Bilbo vanishes, leaving Bag End to Frodo's care. Gandalf warns Frodo to hide the Ring carefully, only to show up seven months later, dirty, exhausted, dishevelled. He knows the true nature of the Ring now, and his explanation to Frodo does a wonderful job of filling us in without burying us. Jackson and company seem to have learned their lesson from the adaptation of DUNE, where the exposition was so dense that Universal actually handed out glossary guides with each ticket purchased. Everything in these scripts is handled with a feather touch..

In the midst of Gandalf's explanation, we get our first teasing glimpse of the character I think most of us are dying to see -- Gollum. It's a quick flash of the creature in a torture room at Barad-Dur, glimpses without a single good look at him. Under duress, it's Gollum who cries out "Shire! Baggins!" It's that knowledge which drives Frodo out of his home and onto the road to Rivendell. When Gandalf discovers Sam, Merry, and Pippin eavesdropping, the roles are set for the four friends..

There's an achingly lovely scene on Hobbiton Fields, just pre-dawn, as the four "silly, kind, ridiculous Hobbits" say goodbye to their homes and their lives. You can't help but feel for them. These are not conventional action heroes. These are just good souls trying to do the right thing..

I've heard many people ask if there's singing in the film, and there are indeed walking songs at a few points. They're quick, though, and I'm curious to hear how they're handled. They mainly mark the passage of time, and Jackson really keeps things moving. The first Ringwraith appearance is duly freaky, and the initial encounter between Gandalf and Saruman is great, tense and exciting..

With Jackson's casting in mind, I can already see the film coming together. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin are perfectly cast in the movie in my mind, as is Ian McKellan. I can see him as both Gandalf the Grey in the early part of the films as well as Gandalf the White..

It's the smaller roles I'm looking forward to hearing names attached to now. I can't wait to see the faces that fill the Prancing Pony, or to meet Butterbur the innskeeper. I can't wait for the introduction of Strider, and I am dying to see that terrifying encounter with the Witch King and the other Ringwraiths on that midnight road..

And I am literally kept awake by the thought of my first glimpse of the power of MASSIVE, the new WETA software that will bring to life the hatchling army of Uruk-Hai in the caverns below Isengard. It's such a crazed, nightmarish sequence that I can't help but imagine the sound millions of geek jaws will make hitting the floor simultaneously when Saruman inspects his new troops..

I love the touches like when the Hobbits camp in the shadow of Bilbo's trolls, a canny nod to adventures not yet seen yet somehow remembered. It's a lyrical little interlude before another horrific encounter with the Witch King. Arwen's introduction here is strong, and it's amazing how each sequence builds, never letting up on the tension and the fear, somehow turning it up a notch each time..

Most amazing of all, the whole build-up to Rivendell is accomplished in a mere 50 pages. It never feels rushed, but it also never dawdles. It's always urgent, but never manic. Once we reach Rivendell, we are able to take some time and really get to know Arwen, Elrond, and the cleaned up Strider, revealed now as Lord Aragorn. We're also able to get to know Rivendell itself, a marvelous place that I've waited much of my life to see. The "last homely house east of the sea," the seat of Elven Wisdom, it is a place of magic and splendour, of great history..

It's a marked contrast to the creeping despair of Helm's Deep, home of King Theoden and Grima Wormstongue. Gandalf's escape from Saruman leads him into even more peril here, and only the intervention of the King's niece Eowyn saves Gandalf. Only the powerful Shadowfax is able to transport him to safety..

Anyone who's visited the official LORD OF THE RINGS site has no doubt seen this beautiful image of Arwen and Aragorn together in one of Rivendell's final quiet moments. Gandalf's arrival and Galadriel's vision to Frodo both signal another acceleration of events. A meeting in Rivendell's Council Chamber gives us the rest of the information we need to understand exactly what's at stake here. From a cacophany of voices and a storm of dissent emerges the Fellowhip: Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. This time, though, there's nothing giddy about the departure. This is no mere adventure they're embarking on; this is the most important mission imaginable..

For me, there's no scene in either script that more effectively illustrates the power of the Ring than when Bilbo says goodbye to Frodo at Rivendell. These are two people who love each other dearly, but at the first sight of the Ring, something dark and animal comes out in Bilbo. Even if it's just for a moment, it's unforgettable, haunting, and Ian Holm should kill in the role. He's been a favorite actor of mine since the year I saw both BRAZIL and the lamentably forgotten DREAMCHILD, and he should make the most of his screentime here..

Over mountains, through the Mines of Moria, the Fellowship pushes on. Jackson starts to tease us with more of the history of Gollum as the creature shadows the travellers, and Jackson finally gives the Fellowship an enemy to meet head-on in battle. A cave troll and 20 goblins serve as a warm-up to one of the most menacing movie monsters ever, a Balrog of Morgoth. When Gandalf makes his stand against the Balrog, will anyone in the audience even be able to breathe? This is no enemy we've ever seen on film, no threat we've ever faced..

One of the things that has always struck me about the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy is the sense of sacrifice. Characters die. The group is split up. Friendships are tested. Every choice matters. Another thing that has always struck me is the eccentricity of Tolkien's vision. Characters like Treebeard and the Fangorn trees are unique, and it will require real vision to make us believe in them..

The first script draws to a truly magnificent close as Gandalf the White leads the remnants of the Fellowship against Helm's Deep to free Theoden from the thrall of Saruman, then against an army of 10,000 Uruk-Hai in what will no doubt be one of the largest film battles in history..

Amidst this, Sam and Frodo finally have a direct encounter with Gollum, and he is painted as alternately pathetic and calculating. He promises to help the Ringbearers, a promise which sets up the almost operatic movement of the second half of the story. As the battle rages at their backs, Frodo, Sam, and Smeagol must confront the horror of the Nazgul before they can head into the living hell of Mordor, where they hope to destroy the Ring and Sauron's chances at the destruction of Middle-earth..

The last moments of the first script with Frodo and Sam on Emyn Muil Bluff are shattering. I'm not sure how the three films will be broken up as opposed to the two, but this ending would have me starting a line for the next film that very day. Forget STAR WARS. This has a chance at being the film myth of our time. Every element is in place. All this I've discussed is just one half of the story, and in my opinion, the second half is even greater. Despite the epic size of the project, there's not one single moment when Jackson loses track of his characters against the massive backdrop..

One final observation about the scripts: I'd never really thought about whose story LORD OF THE RINGS is, but I think Jackson has made the case persuasively that these stories belong, in the end, to Samwise Gamgee. He is a character of rare courage and integrity, and when all is said and done, the weight of the journey falls squarely on his stout shoulders. I was so moved by him, by his actions, that I read the last 20 pages of the story through the fish-eyed lens of tear-stained eyes. It's just exhausting to plow through this all at once, but the final effect for me was one of exhilaration. For all the violence, all the horror, and all the pain, this is a story of simple triumph..

The artwork used to illustrate this story is by the gifted artists Alan Lee and John Howe, both of whom are working on Jackson's films. I'm not claiming that these are images from the film; they're not. Instead, they're here to give you a taste of what to expect. They may suggest the style of the films..

And now I take my leave of you. I could write page after page about these marvelous scripts. I could tell you more about Denethor, Faramir, Minas Morgul, Cirith Ungol, or Shelob. I could tell you about how powerful and beautiful the final sequences between Sam and Frodo are, or how magnificent the final battles with the Orc armies are. I could tell you all of this without it being traditional spoiler material; it's from the books, after all. Still, all I'm doing here is telling you that all our hopes concerning this project are more than justified, and isn't that the most important question? I would gladly padlock the Labs tomorrow and beg, borrow, or steal my way to New Zealand if I thought there was any job for me on these films. As I contemplate the grand adventure these lucky filmmakers are about to have, Bilbo's words echo in my head:.

The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow if I can...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 7, 1999, 6:50 p.m. CST


    by Tookish

    Wow!! That was great. Thanks for the update, Harry. I can hardly wait for those, much less the films. So, what should I be reading in the meantime? (anyone for another pint?)

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 7:20 p.m. CST

    I can't frickin' wait

    by Quint

    I'm a huge Star Wars fan and have been since I was little. I heard about this project and thought, "Oh, cool. I remember Gandolf from The Hobbit book and cartoon that I read and saw in the fourth grade. This could be neat." Now, I'm in the final stages of reading Return of the King and just about shit my pants when I realize that this movie is being made and from everything I've heard about it, being made correctly. I can't wait. I can't wait for Episode II, but honestly, if I had to pick right now which one to see at this very instant, I'd pick the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Thanks Moriarty for setting the mood for the scripts so elequently, as usual. To quote Veruka Salt, "I want it now!" -Q

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Manwe

    I have not read Moriarty's summary yet, but thank you! This will be a day long remembered.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Good Job- Keep the music

    by DiscreetLogic

    Tolkein was a historian who made his stories from his love of myth and creating backstory. To treat this with a historical feel is wonderful! I have reread everything Tolkien has done in the last months since hearing of this production and many of my cynical fears are being assuaged. Dune was a travesty isolating both the fan of the series and the first time initiate. It sounds like PJ is getting to the heart of the story! Sam is totally the sympathetic "one-of-us" characters - Frodo is the hero, who feel almost trapped in the role, he almost has a feeling that he is forced into a 2D doom predestined. Sam gets to have a life! Anyway, I could ramble for days! I am bit worried about the exclusion of songs. In the books they provide some exegetical backstory that places the events in the story into an ancient narrative. But, I would rather not see it than see it done poorly. Also, like tolkien, I hope PJ appropriates from historical sources to create a unique melange and not from mamby pamby new-age sources. Oh, god.... Star what?!

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Screw trying to control my expectations

    by Brancg

    I tried to keep my expectations in check to avoid dissapointment but ever since I read the 2 Q&A's with PJ, the casting choices, saw the concept art, etc. etc Its been harder and harder not to get carried away. If I ever stood a chance this update was the crushing blow.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Wonder of wonders! Now how about the cast?

    by no_mince

    Finally! A proper review of the script. Or A script rather, and while I never really had any doubts, I am greatly enheartned (is that a word?) to hear that PJ has come through. Now, Moriarty and everyone else out there who is connected enough to know things, let us assume for a little while that everyone is pretty much saturated with plot and image details and please, PLEASE find out the rest of the cast for us.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Scouring of the Shire

    by Manwe

    One question, Moriarty: Does the 2 script version contain the scouring of the Shire? Also, are you sure Theoden lives at Helm's Deep in this version? OK, one more question -- do you think the script emphasises the "dark" aspects too much, eliminating the frankly nostalgic tone that makes many of Tolkien's episodes so endearing?

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Hey Ted! I'm 6th!!

    by Mr. Ho Ho

    This is really great. We've all read the LOTR trilogy since we were kids, and there are hardly any PLOT spoilers that can ruin the film for us. We have only the treatment to consider, and basically no matter how many words appear on AICN and elsewhere, nothing will be able to spoil the awesome visual treat that will be the film itself. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . chat on all you like! this is one film that can't be SPOILED!

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:03 p.m. CST

    by Tuor

    These movies are going to be so amazing. I can't wait. I can't wait. I really, really can't wait!!!!!

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:04 p.m. CST

    uh, 9th

    by Mr. Ho Ho

    and tenth

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:07 p.m. CST


    by lindzee

    I cannot WAIT to see these movies! That said, I was just looking at the pic of the guy who'll play Aragorn, and thank goodness he doesn't look like a beat-up wino as in the illustrations of my copy of LOTR. Even cleaned up and crowned, he looked like a wino. Does anyone know if the rumour about who'll play Pippin is true?

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:27 p.m. CST

    this is too much ...

    by jenna69

    I honestly don't know how I will survive these two years before the first film is out ... I want to see it NOW!!!!!!!! :o)

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 8:32 p.m. CST

    For this review.....

    by DrakeTungsten

    I love you Moriarty. I really do.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 9:04 p.m. CST


    by 7

    Finally! Dark, historic, mythological, serious, and just plan plausible - the way to tell the LOTR on the BIG SCREEN. The only thing I hope for the new adapatation is an "extended" opening scene and maybe a glimpse of SAURON. This is the first great movies of the MILLENNIUM.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 9:21 p.m. CST

    patience is a vir...screw that, I wanna see this!

    by devil0509

    As much as I still think Sean Astin is a bad choice for Sam, I cannot wait to see these movies. I love the books, of course, my favorite ever, yada yada yada. The interveiw with Peter Jackson was the first indication to me that he was the man for this job. Now Moriarty's review of the script...very close to the books, but seemingly with some nice fleshing out and well thought out streamlining. How long until these hit the theater? Exciting times we live in.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 9:38 p.m. CST

    DWD: Damn You All.

    by DwDunphy

    Another movie on my horizon, cranking my expectations up to unmatchable levels. This script sounds great. I hope the cynic in me can stand the excitement. Oh and by the way, PJ must shave that beard of his. He looks like a friggin' Ian Anderson wannabe. "Sitting on a park bench..."

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 9:42 p.m. CST

    About &#%$@*ing time!!

    by Prankster

    Just kidding. Well no, actually I was getting pretty antsy. I just got back from a camping trip yesterday and rushed to the computer, expecting the review to be up...well, it's nice not to be behind the times. Anyway, I think PJ is dead on about Sam being the most important character. That's why I'm scratching my head about the casting of Sean Astin. He's the only person cast so far that didn't immediately click with me, and it's in what is probably the meatiest role. Oh well, everything else has been so right that I'm willing to give a lot of slack. And I'm *delighted* to learn that PJ will be adding scenes that weren't directly referenced in the book. Tolkien purists are probably groaning and wringing their hands, but LOTR can be a pretty infuriating novel at times...we miss out on some vital events and terrific scenes because of Tolkiens' bullheaded insistance on sticking with the hobbits (almost) all the time. And yes, I've heard all the justifications for why he did this, and they just don't float. You don't spend 20 pages describing the Hobbits walking from point A to point B while incredibly important things are happening virtually everywhere else. And there are so many things we don't see in the book that would be amazing on film, like the aforementioned Uruk-Hai hatching. It certainly sounds like PJ is bringing all his imagination to bear on this movie, and I say, good for him!

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 10:20 p.m. CST

    If Peter Can Pull This Off, Maybe Film Will Evolve

    by GrouchLord

    I anticipate this greatly, even though I'm not a Tolkien die-hard. It might be the benchmark for a new age in fantasy film.:-)

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 10:20 p.m. CST


    by Farmer Cotton

    I feel giddy.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 10:42 p.m. CST


    by Anton_Sirius

    There are no other movies now. That's it, they're all ruined for me. All is ashes and soot. Sleepy Hollow? Who cares! Cradle Will Rock? Blech. X-Men? Booooooring. Give me LOTR! Now, damn it, now! Curse this agony of expectation!!! Curse you, PJ, and your little dog too! Hey Moriarty, go dig out that time machine and zip forward and lie to us that Fellowship sucks, just so we'll be put out of our misery. Don't worry about scaring us off, you know we'll see it anyway. Just make this gorgeous pain stop!

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Forget Star Wars?

    by Wonders

    I'm sorry my friend , but when Star Wars came out in 1977, nobody had anticipations like we have for about any movies today. I think Peter Jackson will do a great job and I'll probably like those movies, but anticipations and hype will diminish its impact. LOTR is stuff with too many characters and story elements that only geeks will understand everything (even if it's clearer than Dune). You should say instead: Forget modern myth, we're killing it before it's out of the gate...

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 10:47 p.m. CST

    NO MR. HO HO!

    by BDDres

    You're wrong MR. HO HO!!! Not everyone's read the books yet. I know, I know. Call me weird or strange or whatever, but I'm doing my best. The moment I heard these movies were being made, I rushed out and bought the books, all of them. I am now halfway through the trilogy so I treaded carefully through Moriarty's piece. I am more excited than ever, and my doubts are now quelched. This is gonna be fantastic.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 11:22 p.m. CST

    How Mr. Jackson handle Sauron.


    I am dying to see how he is realized. I cant wait to see his eyes, here what he has to say. He is pure evil and god I cant wait.

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Let's Not Be TOO Hasty

    by Dr_Frankenevil

    This film is the next big thing for me, like it is for everyone it seems. I've been a LOTR fan since I was about 12. And I have sat up nights wondering about this film, but having so much confidence in Michael DeLuca and Peter Jackson... but I do dearly hope that the 3 film version has more than this 2 film version. There was alot I didn't like about this first one... Arwen being introduced BEFORE Rivendell... Eowyn helping Gandalf escape from Saruman, when it is really Gwaihir that rescues Gandalf and THEN takes him to Rohan where he gets Shadowfax... It's real choppy. Don't jump down my throat and call me a blasphemer yet... I KNOW it's the 2 film version. I was just (and still am) hoping that the sequence would stay the same, and not bring characters in early, etc. For one thing, from what I have read on this site and others, the film will have a husband and wife team playing Faramir and Galadriel... and also that these two are romantically linked. I am SO hoping that is not the case... Faramir ends up with Eowyn, which forever seals the friendship of the Kingdoms of Gonder and Rohan... and Galadriel is happily married to Lord Celeborn. I hope that PJ keeps it this way in the movies. So let's not be too hasty... these films may be flawed after all. I seriously hope not though. And before I get all kinds of hate mail or anti-posts... No, I do NOT want Tom Bombadil in the movie. So :P

  • Aug. 7, 1999, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Wonder What's In The New Script?

    by Goodgulf

    Since the script Moriarty read was the Miramax two-film version, I wonder if any substantial changes have been made. I'm pretty much a Tolkien purist and would like a film that is verbatum the book, but as I've said before, I'd rather the film capture the "flavor" of the book if it can't capture every scene. So far I'm satisfied that Jackson is capturing the essense of the book. And BTW, it still isn't a trilogy. The LOTR is one novel, and never was and never will be a trilogy.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 1:19 a.m. CST

    This movie will never work

    by Skylewalker

    To my dismay, I refuse to believe this movie can work. I've read Tolkien's masterpieces a total of 3 times, beginning in the second grade, and although this version will still be spectacular it will never be able to compete with one's own mental imagery conjured while reading these books. I'm not a fan of Fantasy normally, but Tolkien will always be one of my favorite writers. Yet, his work is too demanding and visual to ever be put on film because it was never meant to be. Jackson's a good director. The script sounds very well done. The casting bothers me extremely though, especially that Elijah Wood bastard. Yet, even this casting is not what will hurt the movie. The true problem with this film will be that it will be too demanding, as it must be, upon viewers who haven't read the books. In addition, it will never be able to live up to true fans expectations. I still want to see it, though. Hell, I love DUNE and I'm sure these movies will be just as good. As in Herbert's book, however, the imagination will always do a better job, and I hope Harry doesn't lose sight of that. By the way, Moriarty continues to be the true highlight of this site. The man is a GOD to us all.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 1:19 a.m. CST

    BigLarz! and blind stupidity.

    by Monk-E

    Dude, you really need to lay off the crack... You challenge people to read Eddings' work, and compare it with Tolkien's? Well, I've read Eddings' books...and I LOVED them. But they can't compare to the Lord of the Rings. The only fantasy series (or series in any genre for that matter) that I've read that can come anywhere NEAR LotR is Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. (The first book of which, "The Eye of the World" had a film trailer made for it that I'd love to get my hands on...but I lost the URL. If anyone knows what I'm talking about and could hook me up, I'd be quite grateful ;). But anyway, my point is that you just can't mess with Tolkien. "Bland-alf"? Did you come up with that all on your own? It's easy to tell what you're're trolling. And everyone knows that the only good a petrified troll. ;)

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Great, Now I have to have a NEW childhood Dream...

    by SomaCube

    Ever since I read LOTR when I was in about 3rd grade,(having re-read it probably 5x since) it has been my wish to be either the director, producer, actor, all-around guiding FORCE behind a live-action version. That was my life goal, for, like, 15 years. But, alas, it would seem that Peter Jackson is not only making A version, but that he is set to make THE version, a classic that will never need to be remade. Oh well, I guess it's all for the best, considering my "film career" consists mainly of wracking up late fees at Movie Madness. (This kick-ass video store by my house, which features DVD, Laser, and cool movie paraphernalia, such as an authentic Stan-Winston designed Alien head from Aliens, and one of the knives used in Psycho.) So, good luck to everyone involved. All of the casting choices seem superb, particularly Ian Holm, and I'm still hoping that the Jeffrey Coombs-as-Grima Wormtongue report holds true. Of all the various episodes in the story, be it Moria, Galadriel, the Nazgul, whatever... the one I'm looking forward to seeing on screen most is the entire time after Frodo is taken captive by the orcs, when Sam gets to be The Great Elf Warrior. I love their whole, desperate trek through Mordor, wearing nasty Orc gear, I just always really felt like I was there during those passages. Alright, well, enough of my rambling. Let me leave you with this: ** "Now for it! Now for the last gasp!" said Sam as he struggled to his feet. Frodo groaned; but with a great effort of will he staggered up; and then he fell upon his knees again. He raised his eyes with difficulty to the dark slopes of Mount Doom towering above him, and then pitifully he began to crawl forward on his hands. Sam looked at him and wept in his heart, but no tears came to his dry and stinging eyes. "I said I'd carry him, if it broke my back," he muttered, "and I will!"** Now, tell me this isn't Sam Gamgee's story. Matt

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Why pepole hate EURO

    by Bob X

    I guess no forum is complete until EURO shows up, insults everyone who's posted there (especially their intelligence) and creeps back into his hole. Anyway, this sounds GREAT. I cannot remember my expectations ever being higher for any movie (and believe me, they were way up for TPM). Thank you Harry, thank you Moriarty!! It really sounds like PJ is getting everything right. God I'm excited. Could someone please erase my memory so I'll be able to think of anything else during those long, hard two years to come.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 4:14 a.m. CST


    by Galadriel

    When is the next 20 questions interview going to be?

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 4:15 a.m. CST

    LOTR sucks!

    by Dandy Warhol

    LOTR sucks! Tolkien sucks! These movies will suck! And you all suck for being stupid geeks! Tolkien was a mediocre author and had no talent whatsoever. BigLarz! is right, the man was a "hack" and his books were boring. Why you guys worship him like he's some sort of God is beyond me? Idiots!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Gandalf is the main character!

    by Drath

    Wow, Moriarty, you evil stinker! I suspected your love for the game was keeping this review from happening. Ah well, all's forgiven. But I'm surprised that Sam comes off as the main character for you. To me, it will always be Gandalf who commands the story, even after his apparent demise. Maybe that'll be the blessing of the films, they capture that ensemble--pick-your-favorite-hero--feel of the books. But that voice over at the beginning should be given by Gandalf and not Frodo. I haven't read the script, but Gandalf seems a better person to introduce the backstory to us, especially if he goes and tells Frodo for the first time only a few scenes later! Of course, this is the early draft. Since then, I'm sure they've improved their use of Gandalf. It occurs to me that Elijah Wood has never acted in anything this heavy, I trust his talent so I hope he can really show all these people who doubt him. And since George Lucas didn't bother to make Phantom Menace TOTALLY kick ass, and many SW fans have lost faith, it seems the tourch just may be passed to another fantasy epic. I hope this one comes together well enough to be the one. BTW, everyone who's new to Tolkien, ignore Dandy Warhol up there! Even if the book is too hard to read, the radio drama is almost just as good a way to experience it!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Dandy Warhol

    by yojimbo

    I'm hoping the following is the response you're looking for:"Dandy Warhol wrote LOTR sucks!" Yeah, so does your writing. "Tolkien sucks!" No, you suck. (sarcasm, or is it?) "These movies will suck!" You're just talking out of your ass. "And you all suck for being stupid geeks!" You're one of us, bitch. "Tolkien was a mediocre author and had no talent whatsoever." I hate people who try to get other people's attention through vougar, and annoying ways. Dude's just a loser with nothing to say, except negative, shit. "BigLarz! is right, the man was a "hack" and his books were boring." Dandy Warhol, you're repeating yourself. Bad form. "Why you guys worship him like he's some sort of God is beyond me?" I don't even need to respond to the above comment. You see, Dandy Warhol, basicly doesn't know what to say... but he really wants to say something, "Basicly that he thinks it's funny to say, LOTR's Sucks." If that's what he wants to talk about, he's gonna be the only one doing the talking, because no one's gonna be listening. Yo'jimbo

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Warhol's presumptions

    by greenleaf

    If your name, Dandy Warhol, mirrors your artistic vision, tastes, beliefs, philosophy, and goals, assuming that you are an artist and that art and the experience of art is what your life is about, then I can clearly retrace your line of thought and I see why you seem to hate Tolkien so much. If this is the case, then I respect you; but your vision is too narrow. May I suggest "pipeweed" along with your LOTR? If, however, my assumptions make no sense to you, then you're just another of those idiots who are dropping by to say how JRRT so totally sucks. Fine. Anyway I've waisted too much time on you, Dandy. // Wow!! Reading all of you who share my desperate anticipation only makes it worse!! But 'tis such sweet sorrow.....

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 9:50 a.m. CST

    The script is great.

    by Natalie

    But it's only the 2films version so I guess the 3 films verision is even better. I can't wait to see the movies like everybody else. I'm happy PJ is making them back-to-back and they'll be shown during one year unlike the Star Wars trilogies. I'm a SW fan too but I think LotR will be greater - not as great as the book though 'cause you can't simply cover all the material. Dandy Warhol SHUT UP! If you think Tolkien sucks WTF are you doing here? Goodgulf, thanx for reminding: the LOTR IS NOT A TRILOGY. It's one book and was divided into 3 parts to be convenient for publishing. The titles weren't made by Tolkien either so they seem a bit obscure to me. Can anybody explain please what The Two Towers stand for? Is it Isengard and Helm's Deep or something else? BTW I hate people who hate hobbits. They're probably the most attracting creatures in the book. And you're forgettinG that they saved everybody in the end, not Aragorn or Gandalf.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Why is everyone knocking Sean Astin so badly?

    by lindzee

    I just watched "Rudy" and is was not so awful! I had been expecting, like, a pauly shore movie. Not to be insulting or anything, but did you all just hate it 'cause it's about football jocks? I don't ususally like sports movies either, but this one was pretty good. And Astin looks like I always pictured Sam, at least. Speaking of Sam, yeah, he's the hero! So's Gandalf! So's Frodo, and Aragorn...even Pippin gets to be a hero for a little while at the end! I don't think you can choose one of them as the absolute protagonist of the story. They all have a different type of heroism, and a different role in the story. I do think that Sam is the most developed character, though.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 10:30 a.m. CST


    by Rudnii

    You win the prize for the funniest piece of forum fodder I have read in awhile!! I've read Eddings stuff, he is a Tolkien wannabe, period. I found his books highly forgettable. Eddings epitomizes a hack writer. Brooks' (another wannabe) Shannara series was more memorable, but still isn't that good! Donaldson's Covenant stories are very good and stand with no help from the icon of Middle Earth. My major problem is that Thomas Covenant is a dickhead and I don't like having a dickhead as a hero. A whining jerk that denies througout the whole series the gift that was given to him. The first thing he does in the first book after he is healed is rape a girl. OOH! I can identify with that character! NOT!! My favorite fantasy novels after Tolkien's masterworks are the Coramonde books by Brian Daley. Sadly, he has written only two.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 10:43 a.m. CST

    LOTR, too bad.

    by Dextarin

    This review seems very reminiscient of Moriarty's review of the Episode One script, and I think most of us know how quickly he was turn against the movie after he saw it. I see the same thing happening here with LOTR. What no one seems to realize is that fantasy has NEVER been very successful in the movie business. LOTR may turn out good, but there is no way it is going to be successful, especially when compared to Star Wars. Moriarty says, "Forget Star Wars." Too bad. As time will show, the public will sooner forget Jackson's take on LOTR.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 10:55 a.m. CST

    The Two Towers are...

    by DejaVoodoo

    The title of the second part (books three and four) refers to Orthanc and Minas Morgul. BTW nice script review. I am REALLY interested to know now what scenes from the book make it into the 3-film scripts. Also, It sounds as though they replaced Glorfindel with Arwen when the fellowship approaches Rivendell!?!?? The characters I am most interested in seeing portrayed are Treebeard and the Ents. The storming of Isengard MUST be shown!!!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 11:34 a.m. CST


    by Alessan

    Frst of all - Moriarity: great review. Told us very little, yet we learned a lot. All I really wanted to know is "was it good", and I think I got an answer. Now, to those who complain on the exclusion of glorfindel and similar characters: LotR has many characters, but not too many - for a book. For a movie, there's a bit too many people to keep track of. Films move faster than noves, and it's harder to keep track of characters - blame it on the difference in mediums. Characters like Glorfindel aren't much more than "third elf on the left", and are little more than plot devices or elements of Tolkien's perfectionistic backstory. So, if we have to, we can live without Glorfindel, Elrond's sons, Gloin, Celeborn, Imrahil and Ghan-buri-Ghan. Give their lines to the important characters and let the movie flow. Oh, and this is for Euro and his ilk: as they say in my country - cus imcha hatzola'at.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by sinead

    OK, I'm female, British and 14 years old so my opinion probably won't hold much weight with you guys, but I'd like to say: Wow!! I have been bought up as a film junkie, and the first book my parents bought me was "The Hobbit" followed closely by LOTR. Therefore I have to say this will be the best movie ever no matter what. Come on guys this is Tolkien, this is Jackson, this is McKellen, so quit worrying. But if you did you'd have nothing to talk about, would you?!!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Tolkien and the hacks

    by ellid

    Those who are blithely comparing Tolkien to David Eddings, Terry Brooks, et al., are forgetting something: Eddings and Brooks are not very good writers. Brooks in particular follows Tolkien so closely in =The Sword of Shannara= and its sequels as to verge on plagiarism (not to mention absurdity - a wizard named after an alcoholics support group? A redhead named "Shirl Ravenlock"? The last time I looked outside my window, ravens were black - or am I missing something?). As for Eddings - his works are readable and frequently funny, but if they're read by anyone fifty years from now, I'll be shocked. Anyone who thinks *these* are fantasy classics should read Ursula LeGuin's essay "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie," and read it soon.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Fantasy Movies and Stuff

    by Goodgulf

    I honstly feel that Tolkien's book is a notch higher than other fantasy authors that I've read. But each to his own opinion, and I respect others who do not care for Tolkien and voice their objections and opinions in a rational and polite way. But rather than put down any and all authors with my own opinion, let's take a poll. 1. Among the fantasy authors, Donalson, Eddings and Tolkien, whose book appears on the list of the century's most popular books? Answer: Tolkien 2. Among those same authors, whose book is being made into a movie? Answer: Tolkien 3. Among those same authors, which ones have dictionary and encyclopeadia articles written about them? Answer: Tolkien 4. Among those same authors, which one has a fictious character listed in the dictionary? Answer: Tolkien 5. Among those same authors, whose book is most often the subject of or is required reading for literature classes in many universities and colleges? Answer: Tolkien So if Tolkien is a hack writer and gets all this attention, not just from geeks and nerds, but from universities and Hollywood, what's that make Donaldson and Eddings? No, I don't think that either author is a hack. I enjoyed them both, but pardon me if I still prefer Tolkien.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Tolkien's Genius

    by illuvitar

    I don't understand how people could not see tolkien for what he is. Sure, some portions of LOTR tend to drag a bit, but no other author has come close to his grand sweep of adding a history to his realm. Tolkien created entire languages, histories, and legends for his Middle Earth that are unparralled anywhere else in modern fantasy. The man himself was a genius as well. I have a collection of rare Tolkien books worth roughly $2000 and let me tell you, his lesser known works are also spectacular. I am really looking forward to these films. And even if they don't add up to they hype they HAVE to be better than that crappy animated version from the 70's...

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Eddings? Jordan?

    by GreenDrazi

    I've read Belgariad, and my opinion of it was that it was mind-candy. Don't get me was enjoyable, but it was enjoyable in the way that dumbed-down television is enjoyable. Wheel of Time has more grit and is more epic, but it lacks the wondrous, magical feel of Middle Earth. I think Tolkien's characters are more enjoyable and likable too. Who would you rather meet in person -- Moiraine? Or Gandalf? Lan? Or Aragorn? Any of the Aes Sedai? Or Galadriel? Nuff said.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Cast wonderings

    by B Fett

    Now that we know that the great battle at the end of the Second Age will be shown, any ideas on who will play Elendil, Gil-galad, and Isildur?

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 2:34 p.m. CST

    LOTR Movies: what are their goals?

    by Manwe

    Peter Jackson has stated that he wants to make the first worthwhile , non-laughable fantasy movies -- movies which will be taken seriously and will finally do credit to the genre. Harry and Moriarty seem to think he has a good chance of achieving that goal. Now I have nothing against that goal, in fact I think it is a challanging and interesting one. But what about the goal of making a good literary adaption of Tolkien's work? I think a more difficult and in the end more rewarding goal would be to capture those aspects peculiar to Tolkien's literary work that make it the highly original and creative classic that it is. Namely, his mastery of tone, and the love of _history_ that shines through nearly every page. Tolkien was fascinated by History, and I am convinced that the magnificance of his work lies not in the arc of the story line and the likability of his characters but the way in which his history has the vitality of genuine history yet the meaning and moral of great myths. So the question faces the movie makers: should the book be mined for story elements and interesting characters that when rearranged make a successful movie, or should one try to make a fathful literary adaption that captures that which makes Tolkien's work more than just another fantasy story, but a great piece of art in itself? Moriarty seems to have told us little in his review, _but_ in reality (he is an evil genius after all) he has hinted at many changes and simplifications that lead me to believe the first approach is being taken. For instance the subtle changes in tone between the Shire and Rivendell are going to be lost because the episodes that fuel that change -- farmer maggot, meeting merry at the ferry, the house at crickhollow -- are being cut to save time. And the history is being profoundly damaged by such actions as moving Galadriel to Rivendell (thus probably eliminating the existence of Lorien!) and making Theoden live in Helm's Deep. So if Harry, Moriarty, or anyone serious is reading this, what do you think? Is Peter Jackson going to mine this work of art for ideas to make a great, blockbuster adventure movie (which is probably what most people want :( ), or is he going to attempt a serious, artistic adaption of a powerfully original and moving work?

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Another round, Barliman

    by Tookish

    for my hobbitish friends! IMHO I've always felt that Sam is the key protagonist in the story, although one of the great things about LOR is that it has many protagonists & antagonists. Has anyone information about what Tolkien thought? Second, I'm with *Dr. Frankenevil's* entish views on not being too hasty with the script; thank goodness what Moriarty read was only for 2 films. I'm also with *Galadriel*: C'MON, PETER, GRANT US ANOTHER WISH!! *Goodgulf*: I'm not a religious man, but Amen, brother (or sister)! *Greenleaf*, Butterbur says he has some Old Toby from 1420 left for special occassions like what this is, so fill up yer bowl and have a smoke. Let's raise a mug for Moriarty and Harry: All praise to your wine and ale!! Clink, swig, clunk.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 2:47 p.m. CST

    RE: LOTR Movies: What are their goals?

    by Manwe

    Don't get me wrong, btw. If Peter Jackson wants to turn the LOTR into an exciting adventure story (which it is not), then he has his work cut out for him -- no one has really achieved such a goal with Tolkien's work, though many have tried -- and thus if he succeeds he definately deserves praise. But what do you guys think about the other goal, do you agree that it is more more challanging and ultimately more rewarding?

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 4:08 p.m. CST


    by Eos

    All is not gold that glitters...

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 4:28 p.m. CST

    My thoughts...

    by Dracos

    Firstly, sinead: I consider you luckier than I. Tolkien was not the first author that I read. A word of advice to you: don't waste your time and ruin your image of these books and upcoming movies by seeing the animated versions: they suck. I regret seeing them. As for the trollers: if you have nothing better to do with your lives, then you must reevaluate your definition of geek. Goodgulf: VERY well done argument. The Hobbit was required reading for me in HIGH SCHOOL. On the casting, I pray every day that Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke are not the couple PJ has in mind. I have no problem with Sean Astin, I have a problem with a lot of the parts being given to actors that look too young for them. Save the budget that would go to age makeup for something better. As for who is the main hero of the story: Gandalf says it himself: "The Third Age was my age. I was the enemy of Sauron; and my work is finished." (ROTK, p.308) Beleive it or not, it only took me a couple minutes to find that, but I digress. These movies are on the right track, and it will take a great many mistakes on PJ's part to ruin our anticipation. Remember: He's also a fan of the book...Lucas showed his arrogance in could have been much better.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Re: Tolkien is the best.

    by Natalie

    How can anybody compare Tolkien to Eddings of Brooks? Just ordinary fantasy writers, you can see a lot of them in every bookshop. They may be entertaining but they are forgettable. I read Belgariad a year ago but I've forgotten everything. Other books which have stood the test of time like Tolkien's are Ursula Le Guin's fantasy works and Tolkien's friend C.S.Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia - though they're more for children. Back to the movie. I also don't like if Galadriel is moved to Rivendell and there'll be no Rivendell but you're forgetting it's just two films version. I'm sure there won't be anything like that in the 3 films version. As for changing Glorfindel for Arwen ... well... I don't like their dumping Bombadil but Glorfindel is really unimportant. Besides, they're so few main female characters in the book - just Galadriel and Eowyn. I'm a bit worried that Jackson is going to make LOTR a good adventure film like Star Wars. It's ok if it's not boring but the Lotr is deeper than just an adventure. Ofcourse they can't show everything in the movie, but some hints would be helpful. P.S. Thanx for explanation but is Minas Morgul a tower? I thought it was a city.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Wonderful world of idiots

    by Revelare

    Hi, I'm a proud member of the `AICN idiots club'. I like to read, and I like thought put into the films I watch so, when I watch them, I too can think about what a particular sentence, or object means. I'm also a `geek'. But you know what? I'm pretty damn proud to be called a `geeky idiot' ... wait, wouldn't that be an oxymoron? We can't be both, because the general perception is that `geeks' are smarter than `idiots'. Dandy Warhol, so, which is it? Are we all `geeks', or are we all `idiots'? I, for one, love to read. I have yet to read the LOTR's books, but this review has made me want to go buy them, simply so I can find out what happens. If we're `idiots', then why are we reading books that we shouldn't be able to comprehend? Your myopic opinion is appreciated ... well, maybe not, since there was no real logical statement made by you that couldn't have been seen somewhere else. You and Larz, why don't you both come back and supply us with a well thought out, eloquent post on exactly *why* you think Tolkien is a `hack writer'? Why not post *your* review of the script for the films, since, well, you've obviously read them already. We'd all be real eager to read what you have to say about them. I'm willing to bet - as I'm sure many others are too - that neither of you can do it. Or you've just not read them yet, if not, then what exactly is your basis for saying these films `will suck'? Do you even have one? I always love when someone posts on this site that we're `all idiots and geeks' then has no actual reasoning for saying it other than they have a close-minded view of the world and want to be in that `in-crowd of you/this film/these books suck posters'. Here we are; The `geeks' and `idiots' posting our opinions, and hopes, of what we think this film will be like. How good it will be, or how good we *hope* it will be, and in come the naysayers who have no actual opinions of their own on the subject. And since they have no opinions on the subject, it must therefore `suck'. And those who don't agree with them also `suck', or are `idiots', or `geeks' because we don't follow the `cool guys' views. So, who would you believe are the idiots: Those with actual opinions they make known, or those who don't have an individual thought in their head? How about those who are open-minded to others opinions, or those who are close-minded? Maybe those who post something original, or those who repeatedly post `You/This film/These books/This writer sucks, and you are all idiots, and geeks'? Why do you even post on this site if 1)You think it sucks, 2)You think the news stories suck, 3)You won't post something original, or at least explain in a logical, intelligent manner why this site/these stories/ or we `suck'?

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Bravo, Revelare

    by Natalie

    It's a brilliant speech, Revelare. Are you a lawyer? I think these guys who call all fans geeks and say TPM sucks or LOTR will suck know only these words and simply can't explain why. I bet they didn't go even to high school. Anyway, if you don't like Tolkien and his fans just just shut up and go away. Nobody cares for your opinion here.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Natalie, don't discount Ioreth! : P

    by Mirror White

    The only thing that concerns me (other than Sean Astin completely botching his part and ruining all three movies)is the rumours that Galadriel's part will be diminished... Tolkien DID NOT consider Galadriel to be a minor character in fact he considered she and Feanor to be the greatest of all the Eldar of Valinor. In terms of a mythic cycle it is crucial that the meeting with Galadriel take place in Lorien and after the descent into Khazad-Dum/Moria. I kind of like the upgrading of Arwen's part though I would miss Glorfindel. By the by, am I the only one who thinks that Gildor Inglorien could have done a bit more for a company of hobbits fleeing the ring-wraiths? Just an observation. Well until the prophecies of Mandos are fulfilled and the light of the two trees rekindled... Expect me when you see me, Mirror White!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Brooks and other stuff

    by Syrinx

    Don't critize Terry Brooks too harshly if you've only read _Sword of Shannara_. It sucks and I can't even bring myself to read it. His later books are much better. (_Running with the Demon_ is one of my favorites) Glorfindel is not that important I suppose. I don't think that Arwen was supposed to be the same type of "high elven warrior" type person, but I guess that's ok. I think Imrahil should stay, but that'll probably be cut too. "the Two Towers" are Orthanc (where book 3 takes place) and Minas Morgul (where book 4 takes place). Minas = tower. Morgul = black magic, sorcery, something like that. Minas Morgul = Tower of Sorcery. There ya go.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Gildor Inglorien definitely acted as though he was beaten with a

    by Palintiri

    Hi guys. While I like a good mental row as much as the next poster I would advise you completely ignore some of stupider comments that have recently graced our forums. After all they just say those things for attention... so why give it to them! Anyhoo, has Deluca been answering anyone recently??? And how about the next 20 questions with Peter Jackson? Anyhow, I want to get back to re-reading "Unfinished Tales of Numenor & Middle Earth" definite must reading for a Silmarillion fan. Yours-In-Haste, The Far-Sighted One!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 5:49 p.m. CST

    The movies will not work

    by Bahman

    Nope, They won't. If they are made the way some of the fans here want them to be made, they will be offal. As other have mentioned, movies cannot handle the number of characters, tolkien introduced (and, let's get real, Imrahil and his ilk were not in depth characters to begin with). Glorlfindel etc. will be dead weight in this movie, and ought to be cut. Peter will make a much more successful movie if he ignores the "literalists" (who have much in common with religious literalists) and instead tries to evoke the feel of the books, while adapting the story to the needs of the film medium. He should feel free to cut characters (a lot of characters), cut a large part of the pre-rivendell walk (what a long walk) and the slow going in Mordor. A scene or two will be more than enough for those portions of the books. Galadriel may be ethereal (like cereal), but, apart from giving some great presents, she has no import. Cut her (unless eye-candy is needed in the film, which I doubt). Ideally, peter should go through the books with a big red marker, or perhaps use his hands to just rip out pages. But, alas, this seems unlikely. We will be stuck with another movie like Dune, that makes no sens and satisfies no-one. I am pessimistic.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I know I should take my own advice, but...

    by Palintiri

    bahman, you are just the kind of idiot I was talking about. You're stupider than Gildor Inglorien. You're not even worth arguing with so I won't bother. Why don't you go somewhere where you will be among your intellectual equals--Like a Talk City or AOL chat room!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 6:04 p.m. CST

    LOTR Movie Goals

    by Manwe

    So what do you guys have to say about the whole "two contrasting goals" bit I mentioned above?

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 6:11 p.m. CST

    2 Towers & Manwe's vision & call for more authors

    by Tookish

    *Jim Ryalto*: I believe that 'The Two Towers' are Orthanc and the Tower of Cirith Ungol. *Manwe*, I think & hope that PJ is not producing an action movie. It sounds like he wants to give us a wholistic view of ME, including and even emphasizing many historical, ecological, and cultural details. At least that's what comes to my mind when I read his interviews. As I'm sure you agree, this is a story about people & their world as much as -if not more than- the events that take place. By the third movie nobody would be interested anymore if they haven't invested something in the characters, and at least the Holloywood side of PJ knows this. LOR will not be able to fulfill everyone's dreams, but I don't think we'll have to live without Lothlorien :).*Mirror White*: good points, plus I was always bothered that Gildor didn't have a bigger role (isn't he on par with Elrond, Galadriel, Cirdan, etc?). What do you folks think of posting what are your five favorite authors/novels? I can only reread LOR once before the films come out, so I need suggestions!! My faves: Tolkien, Donaldson, Herbert, Watership Down by Richard Adams, historical fiction, etc. So, any suggestions? To your health!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 6:33 p.m. CST

    this is gonna rock.

    by jefeboy

    Moriarty is consistently the best correspondent on the AICN site. I envy him for seeing these scripts, even if they are obsolete now. Keep up the good work! And if you guys need someone to read between now and then, try Guy Gavriel Kay. He helped edit the Silmarilion, and has several kickass books out. The Fionavar Tapestry is a 3-book series, then there's a handfull of one-shots - Song for Arbonne, Tigana, and Lions of Al-Rassan being the best. And if you haven't read Stephen R. Donaldson's Covenant trilogies yet, by all means, do so now.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Tolkien thought Sam was his major character

    by DChris

    I've been reading a book of Tolkien's letters that I recently picked up at a used bookstore. If PJ has made SAM the main character, then he's followed Tolkien's own opinion on the subject: in a number of his letters he refers to Sam as the main character of the story. He also offers opinions on some of the other questions posted here. For instance, he felt the title "The Two Towers" was ambiguous and could have referred to a number of different towers mentioned in the book. But, it was the only title he could think of to tie the completely disparate stories of books III and IV together when his publisher asked him to take his single novel and separate it into six separate books, to be published as a trilogy in three separate volumes, for various reasons. The Movies sound awesome. I can't wait. As for those of you who just don't get why Tolkien is so much more highly regarded than his many imitators, maybe its because Brooks just plagiarized from Tolkien; Jordan, whose first four Wheel of Time Books were excellent, has since completely lost the ability to maintain any narrative thrust in his unwieldy and quickly degenerating bestselling series (Did he sell out for more books = more money?); and others who will remain nameless are just plain not very good. More important: even the best of fantasy novelists who have come since Tolkien owe their very ability to get published to Tolkien's creation of the modern publishing genre of fantasy which he alone created. The Lord of the Rings was not easy to get published, and if it had been anything less than what it was, we'd all still be reading Homer and the Brothers Grimms for our non-sci-fi fantasy fillups. Besides, none of the authors who have followed Tolkien have yet matched his ability to use language to convey a real fantasy world in every sentence.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 6:57 p.m. CST

    If I ain't dreamin' . . .

    by Shadowdancer

    . . . I must be creamin'! I can't wait for these movies. Tookish: I suggest you read any of the Mithgar books by Dennis L. McKiernan, especially "The Eye of the Hunter."

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Great craic!

    by tink }i{

    A heartfelt thank you to Moriarty and Harry for the updates on this site. I feel very strongly about this tale being well-executed (but not necessarily done by 'my' lights, mind now!), and the more I read here the more confident I feel that the project is in good hands. It's far too early to get worked up over what characters may be composited, or which scene is cut in the Miramax 2 script version (for instance, I'll miss dear old Tom Bombadil, but I agree completely that it would slow the pace to no great plot-furthering purpose). PJ said in his last 20 Questions (sure could use another round, hint hint! but no doubt he's too busy by now *sigh*) that he thought the attack on Lorien had interesting possibilities, so I'm reasonably confident that it will survive a final cut in the 3-script version. Anyway, ours is not to speculate and get knickers in a twist about as-yet unknown dire possibilities that may not come to pass! Right? Well, we can TRY to chill, can't we? [g] BTW, if you're looking for something to read to pass the millions of hours before The Jamboree comes out (BTW, I agree about the Wheel of Time books being well-written fantasy), give Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Avalon' series a whirl. Solid Arthurian fantasy-- loaded with historical detail, Faeries and Magick, and High Adventure. TTFN... Sl

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 7:24 p.m. CST

    re: Dr. Frankenevil

    by Si Rowe

    Just a quick aside, Dr. F. -- first of all, you're probably right that we should all try to calm our rabid enthusiasm until we hear more; that being said, I have hopes that many of the "compressions" you mention (e.g. Theoden at Helm's Deep) may have been restored to their original form in the later three-film version of the scripts. Oh, and about the "married couple" playing Faramir and Galadriel -- I think that Mr. Deluca has explained that he meant that the actors were a couple, not the characters. The idea that Faramir and Galadriel would have a relationship came out of that great game of "telephone" that is the Internet. And again, to Harry and Moriarty -- thanks!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Mirror White, I don't discount Ioreth. What is : P?

    by Natalie

    I didn't forget Ioreth but I don't think she's more important than various female hobbits like Sam's wife. I think both Frodo and Sam are the most important characters, they like Don Kihot and Sancho Pansa (sorry if don't spell that right, I don't know how it's spelled in English). As for Galadriel, I think she's very essential and the whole staying in Lorien too. It's the last place they can have rest before continue their perious journey. As for books: I hate Covenant 'cause he raped that girl. I don't like long series like Robert Jordan's 'cause they have no end. He just wants to get more money. As I've said after Tolkien my favourite fantasy authors are Ursula Le Guin and Lewis because they're not Tolkien wannabes.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Books into movies and Eddings

    by unbeliever

    I can understand why some people have giving up believing that this movie will be anything but a disaster. After all we have all seen Hollywood take a great SF or Fantasy book and turn it into a warm dog-doo excuse of a movie. When a book that is favorite of yours is treated this way it leaves you bitter and resentful at the movie industry.(DUNE is a personal example} Over time, as I have become older and at times, wiser, I've come to except why Hollywood "buthcers" great books when translates them to film. Elements of books like mulitpule story lines and Chapters devoted only to character development can make films bulky and unwielding. So try to be a little understanding to some of those who are already bashing this movie because of casting or rumors on storylines that may differ from the book(or the movie in their head}. Their feelings may come from being burned before. And if you haven't experienced your favorite book turned into a lame movie I hope this will not be the first time. I really want this to be great. As for early reports that LOTR, the movie, might concentrate on the action elements of the story it will probable be for the best. In movies, trying to be to be to faithful to the book can hurt a film. I have read Eddings. I have enjoyed his stories of Belgarion. But the writting was to me Tolkein-lite. I am also a fan of Brooks and Donalson, The Chornicles of Thomas Covenant are a long time favorite. But THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS books are truly magic and hardly the work of a "hack".

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 7:56 p.m. CST


    by Reading

    How can they possibly cut Lorien? It's been a while since I read the books, but even if you put what happens there aside, they get so much stuff there that is crucial to the story. Such as: canoes, cloaks and pins, Frodo's phial, Sam's dirt, the rope. . . I'm sure there's more but like I said, it's been a while. The items sound simple enough, but think about it. I think the story would lose a lot if they exchanged the elven things for ordinary stuff.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 8:06 p.m. CST

    everytime i go AWOL something comes up.......

    by morpheus

    Thanks moriarty for the report!I personally loved DUNE.Herbert did to the biblical myths what tolkien did to european myths albeit less subtly.with the magic of Dune as science.treating the movie as a history film is cool .But treating it as a 'fairy-tale'(as mentioned ion tolkien's essays)would be better.Fairy tale according to tolkien encompasses the geography,the people,the themes,the plot,the consistent 'logic'etc. in stead of just a chain of events happening(history).I think James Joyce wrote a beatiful 'fairy tale' that rivals tolkien's.Tolkien is a 'hack',a hack that copied from various sources,compared to the original myths etc.But compared to the modern 'fantasy' writers ,he is good!

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 8:27 p.m. CST

    hobbits point of view and fantasy

    by morpheus

    Hobbits ;as an eaarlier post pointed out,are our bridge to the vast world of Endor.As mne tioned in the appendix the whole story was written from their point of view.Hence the 'waistcoats','breeeches' etc.Tolkien's sin is no more and no less than the scientist calling the rat rattus rattus and the angry joe schmoe vermin(does a rat considers it self both?).It was a way for us to identify with this world set milleniums ago.A troll called Alfred or William!?The hoobits wouildn't be so easy to identify now if we were to use their original names ,wouldn't it now.Hobits are central to what Tolkien had in mind.And can anyone tell me what fanatsy is?Is it a world created from extraplolation of a certain original theme?then sf would be extrapolation from the laws of science and 'fantasy' the laws of magic.........

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Dammit you fools...

    by Ilvenshang

    Moriarty says that Galadriel appears to Frodo in a VISION at Rivendell. She ISN'T at Rivendell, she's still at Lothlorien. No, Galadriel & Faramir aren't romantically linked, they just cast a husband-wife team (supposedly Thurman/Hawke) to save on trailer space & because they felt said team could handle respective roles. Nowhere has Jackson indicated that this is mainly an action adventure piece - and the little details of production design that will make or break Middle-Earth are the aspects which his people have been working on the longest, honing the finest.

  • Some one mentioned that many potentially cool scenes are left out of LOTR because Tolkien insists on following the Hobbits around. I might be wrong, but I think that's because the story is about *Four Hobbits during the War of the Ring* as opposed *The War of the Ring.* Just a thought, anyone else have any ideas?

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 8:49 p.m. CST


    by Ptah

    Aww my gawd, this actually feels as if it's going to work! (I have been wrong before...)

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Anyone here ever read the Deryni Chronicles?

    by jimimack

    I liked those Deryni books. They were set in a Middle-Earth type world where the characters engaged in elaborate Catholic style rituals to perform magic. Pretty good stuff. On the Thomas Covenant deal, what you've got to understand is that its not really fantasy per se; its more like a modern tale of extreme (sometimes over the top) angst which just happens to be set in a fantasy world.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 11:13 p.m. CST

    I'm speechless...

    by -=Baron=-

    Wow... I absolutely cannot wait for the LOTR movies to come out. Next to Star Wars and Highlander, LOTR is one of my favorite trilogies (well, I guess it's actually a four-part series... if you count the "prequel" Hobbit). Anyway, I have to say that I feel the movies might get the "Episode 1" response: too much hype resulting in dissapointment. I loved Episode 1, but I was a bit disappointed nonetheless. I hope this doesn't happen with LOTR. And finally, as for Samwise being the MAIN character, I have to disagree. I agree with a previous Talkback-er that said there were many central characters and the story would be nothing without all of them as a whole. But if we had to pick favorites, mine was definitely Aragorn. As soon as my mind caught the glimpse of a woodsman hiding in the shadows through Tolkien's awesome imagery, I knew this guy was a winner. And indeed he was... to be King and get a fine looking (well, I imagined her to be fine =) hehe... ) elf woman! Can't beat that! Baron out.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 11:32 p.m. CST

    TAk TAK

    by Fairlane

    Thank You Moriaty- I'm reading the books right now- and i love them. This movie will be incredible. And M. Thanks for keepink Your promise.

  • Aug. 8, 1999, 11:59 p.m. CST

    idle speculation

    by CreepyCrawley

    I can sympathize with the many of the posters who object to certain elements being cut from the film version of LOTR, but it must be remembered that this is a FILM and the material in the books must be handled as such. This is why they bother to write a screenplay in the first place. The necessity that the material has to be condensed into the medium of film does not have to mean that the material has to be "dumbed down" for the general public (I am trying to retain some optimism here, it is not necessary to flame me on this point and harsh my mellow). I have developed a respect for PJ's interpretation, based on his casting choices (yes...the hobbits and Aragorn look too young for many of your tastes...whoopdeeshit), but mostly for his choice of Alan Lee for his conceptual art inspiration. Many years ago, back before most of you had fully-hardened skulls, I thought that the Hildebrandt Brothers were the definitive Tolkien artists. However, upon viewing Lee's work for the first time I remember how stunningly and completely beautifully his vision of Middle Earth was portrayed. The thing I found most remarkable about it, and the point you should consider when evaluating PJ's vision, is that Lee's conceptions were nothing like what I originally had in mind. Middle Earth had been familiar territory in my mental landscape, but Lee's moody, atmospheric transformation made it a brand new place to visit. This is what I hope for with these movies. I don't care if Bombadil makes the cut, or if Elrond has pointy ears or not. Hell, change Smeagol's name to Bob "Stinky" Johnson. What I want is to be transported to Middle Earth. I want only to forget that I am sitting in an uncomfortable chair with my feet sticking in the remains of someone's soft drink. I want to forget that I have to go to work in the morning and deal with pinheads for the rest of the day. I want to forget about global warming, vegetarians, school shootings, income taxes, and Teletubbies. Take me to Middle Earth, Pete. I want to see the places that I've only read about. I want to run into some old friends. I don't care if they look a little different from what I remember. My memory's not that good anyway.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Now i'm really starting to feel happy

    by alpha

    The script treatment for the two movie version looks like it would of lacked the little touches that would of rewarded those of us who love the books....3 movies = 2 extra hours = subtle details = :-) I think the treatment looks acceptable and Moriaty who is the only one who has read it was very keen so I feel pretty happy. We all have to accept changes (adios Tom....hey Glorfindel has dark hair and breasts...oh he's Arwen) but to be honest if they dont mess with the plot and principal players too much I could care less about characters whose screen time would be less than 5 minutes and who would just confuse the masses (mummy whos the funny man with the silly clothes who lives with the pretty hippy lady...i have no idea son). The Two Towers was just a name and JRRT was never particularly keen on it apparently. Hopefully we will get a full cast list soon and we can all proceed to bitch about new names and leave poor old Astin & wood alone. Personally I'm hoping for Russel Crowe as Boromir (mixture of heroism and menace unmatched by most other actors running around) Tobey Maguire as Merry, Catherine Zeta Jones as Arwen, Guy Pearce as Legolas, Sean Connery as Theoden, Patrick Stewart as Sauriman (it would be cool to see McKellan and he reverse their X-Men roles) Peta Wilson as Eowyn, Mark Hamill as Gollum (trust me he can do great voices eg The Joker in Batman). None of these will probably be cast but I'm sure whoever they do will have tested wonderfully and will be more than capable of handling the roles. I like David Eddings Belgariad (I agree it is very similar in many ways to LOTR hich is probably why I like it.) Oh and by the way the main Character in LOTR is obviously Bill the Pony.....I hope they cast him correctly. With that bit of frivolity I'll take my leave. Looking forward to reading your opinions on Moriaty's report and everything else.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Timothy 'Gimli' Spall

    by Orodruin

    Whatever happened to the rumour that Timothy Spall will be playing Gimli? Non-Brits may have seen his great performance in the Oscar-nominated Secrets & Lies of a few years back. When his name was linked with the role, I knew he was Gimli in another life. Is there any news out there?

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Don't Forget.......

    by Burt McGurt

    Please do not forget the fact that Moriarty's script review is the 2 film version! Perhaps with 3 movies (which equals roughly 2 hrs!), there will be Lothlorien and Crickhollow and etc. How can there not be Lothlorien and Galadriel!? Lothlorien, to me, is the most "magical" and beautiful location in LOTR.....and Galadriel..... need I say Gimli chose "The Morning", unlike Eomer who chose "The Evening". Leave out Lothlorien and Galadriel, and the magic and essence will be lost.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 3:38 a.m. CST

    The Euro is right you know.

    by B'juzus

    First let me say that I am not a troller. I have no intention of insulting anyone or putting myself above anybody else in any way. I would even call myself a half-geek. But I will say this: for some months now I've read the occasional talk-back. I don't often feel like saying anything so I don't but I never can figure out why you people don't realise the purpose of trolling, i.e to get a RESPONSE. And that means any response. Not an angry one, not a hurt one but ANY AT ALL. A lot of folks seem to think that showing pity or making observations of a troller's flawed personality will somehow hit that person very hard and they will go away. Others believe treating everyone's opinion as valid will make the troller feel it wasn't worth their while making intentionally offensive remarks or that all they need to do to get attention is be decent to everyone. But look: a troller is not necessarily some deeply insecure individual afraid of the real world who likes to feel they have power by stomping all over the internet. A troller is often just someone who gets a kick out of getting people to address them personally when all they really need to do is ignore them. I guarantee you that The Euro is no more insecure than anyone else on the Talk back. They probably do exactly the same thing in everyday life as what they do on this forum, and is probably known affectionately to thier friends as "Dickhead". Basically, trolling is just a matter of personal taste - some people do it and the rest don't. Oh and Moriarty, thank you. This movie will be fuckin' incredible.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 4:52 a.m. CST

    it feels like our world once removed..

    by Fiddler

    That sounds about right, since Tolkien places Middle Earth not as an imaginary place, but as an imaginary time in our world's history. Thanks, Big M. Thanks, Harry. This looks cool.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 5 a.m. CST

    Styles of film (and of writing)

    by Alessan

    First of all, B'juzus - very well said. You were both polite and incredibly insulting, a rare gift that shouldn't go to waste. As to the question whether LotR should be action-adventure or cerebral-poetic, well, it can be both. Just last summer Steven Spielberg proved that a film can be both intellegent and intrispective and also have kick-ass action But a comparison between LotR and SPR is false; the source material and atmosphere are to radically different. A better comparison would be to two early-sixties classics, Lean's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and Kubrick's SPARTACUS. both were visually beautiful, intellegent and lyrical character driven movies, that also delivered thrills with some excellent battle scenes. Other comparisons would be to the works of Akira Kurosawa and John Ford. Tolkien's work is indeed about the poetry of the English language, the love of place and person; however, it is also filled with some of the most exciting action ever written. J.R.R obviously loved the concept of the heroic showdown - he wrote Gandalf three of these (Balrog, Saruman, Witch King), each one better then the last. His battle scenes are also viscerally engaging, suspensful and surprising. Balancing both of these aspects of the story will be difficult, to be sure, but it is possible, and the results can be classic.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 5:50 a.m. CST


    by bob3

    heh, it's quite funny and at the same time depressing to see little rumors run thier hysteric course thru this page, and all caused by people simply misreading things! come on people, before you start stressing out over things make sure you actually READ it right :) case in point.. there is no mention of Eowyn.. or arwen even rescuing Gandalf from Saruman, he said AFTER gandalf escapes from Saruman he lands in even more peril at the hands of Theodon and Wormtongue and only the intervention of Eowyn saves him... :) READ IT RIGHT people..

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 6:19 a.m. CST

    On Samwise....

    by Achilles

    Finally, a take on LotR that acknowledges that Samwise is the true hero of the hobbits' story. Most interpretations focus on Gandalf, Aragorn, and Frodo as the heros of the entire saga. Gandalf doesn't really count as a hero. He is the overarching element of the story; he commands all aspects of the resistance to Sauron, but ultimately he is a demi-god and cannot be counted as a hero. Aragorn is a traditional hero, and his character evolves as such. But Frodo I have always taken issue with. Ultimately it is the actions of Samwise that lead to the destruction of the ring. He spends the entire time protecting Frodo. He recovers the ring when Frodo is taken. He rescues Frodo. He carries Frodo most of the way through Mordor. And at the test, Frodo fails and succumbs to the ring. So I am glad that PJ has chosen to acknowledge this sadly overlooked fact within the books. Samwise is the true hero and should be treated as such.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 6:51 a.m. CST


    by Peregrin

    I know this is only the two film version, but I for one am quite frankly REALLY PISSED OFF THAT JACKSON WOULD DARE TO ALTER THE STRUCTURE OF THE STORY AS HE IS LIKELY TO DO. What the hell is wrong with him? You aren't supposed to know that Saruman has gone evil before the Hobbits even reach Rivendell, because you aren't supposed to know where GANDALF IS! That's the whole point you are supposed to be just as lost and bewildered as the Hobbits, and Strider [when they meet him, and I don't doubt they'll meet him right outside the Shire, standing alongside Treebeard!] You can't just arbitrarily alter the structure of the story like that. Fantasy is about a sense of wonder and discovery, about how immature and unexperienced eyes see the world revealed to them, and great fantasy takes they reader/viewer on that journey with the main characters! You can't just throw in shots of Saruman looking at ranks of orcs, and Sauron wandering around the screen...PATHETIC! I thought Jackson has been a fan of these novels since he was a child, how could he even think of dismembering them so?

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:19 a.m. CST

    too sense

    by Eomund

    I can hardly describe the joy I felt reading Moriarty's description of this screenplay. Of course, I don't have to, becuase the only people I really want to convey it to feel exactly the same way. I have nothing negative to say at all... each time I felt unhappy with a cut or a blending I just reminded my self they've got a whole third movie to put it in. I'm OK with Glorfindel's possible/apparent absence, though I'd rather he were in. He can be in the Counsel anyhow... he has some lines I believe, and his hair is a giveaway. One thing that set a little funny was Gandalf finding all three hobbits eavesdropping. Which one squeaks? Does he pull them all out by their ears one by one? A cool thing to note... it seems that there will be some great expositionary/historical flashbacks including some type of confrontation between the Witch King and Arwen. Maybe Arwen will take Glorfindel's part a second time and utter his prophecy. I think its great to add this scene, and it could lay all the groundwork we could want about the significance of the hobbit swords. I wanted more detail from Moriarty, though, especially since these are first drafts, so he can't really spoil anything. What did he mean by Galadriel's vision? Give me a list (he read the books): what was cut, and what was added or merged. How are the characters drawn. Where and how often does Arwen come in? Does Gimili drink to excess? Is Barrow Downs, Old Forest, Bombadil, Crickhollow, Farmer Cotton, or Gildor even spoken of? I didn't really want a review of it so much as an analysis... Any chance Gandalf will let you have your hands on it again for a closer look?

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:30 a.m. CST

    things which are *in*

    by nata

    I would rather concentrate on things which are *in* the script since they are probably going to remain there, then to get worked up on things which are left out. What caught my attention is the phrase 'I cried for the last 20 pages over how good Sam was" or smth like. It looks like the last 20 min in that script would be MtDoom and Grey Havens, and I see how it could work. Frodo's V.O. is a great idea, he's the author of the Red Book and he's reading from it. When action comes to a close after Ring destruction and Aragorn's crowning and wedding we switch to Frodo sitting in his study in Bag End, writing his book and reading from it. Frodo could tell (with flashbacks) about what happened next, their trip home, probably Scouring, Sam's marriage (please, please, don't throw Rosie and Elanor out!) etc., and about his own sickness. Then he would close the book, say "I'm finished" and go out looking for Sam. Then they set out on a journey to GH and it proceeds and ends more or less like in the book. (I also hope they would show us a glimpse of Valinor in the end. Please guys, you can do it!) I see that it could work. About other stuff: I agree that Galadriel could still be in Lorien and send her vision to Frodo from there. They'll keep Lorien for sure. Gandalf arriving to Rivendell later: he still could greet Frodo when he woke up 'cause Frodo is unconsious for several days there. Arwen replacing Glorfindel: no problem for me. I only hope that she joines them after Weathertop, not before. Please, please don't make her to scare Nazguls away, she's not that ugly and she doesn't have to repeat every single thing Eowin has done! OK, that's enough.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Sean and Sam

    by moviet00l

    There can be no doubt that Samwise is the personification of humanity in LOTR. His character is the moral center of this great work. This may not make him the central character, but it certainly makes him the most important. Everything that we strive to be is in Sam and Sam alone - loyalty, compasion, honor, love, duty, and (most importantly) great bravery in the face of mortal danger. Sean Astin is a good actor, and I hope he realizes the heavy weight he carries now. This is the role of a lifetime, and Sean will have to prove to us that he is more than "capable." This is the one, Sean. As Richard Dreyfus said in Moon over Parador, this is "the part." Good luck.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:41 a.m. CST

    If you still think it's going to be good, read this.

    by Freca

    This info is about the worst I've heard about the doomed LOTR movies so far. I just read at TheOneRing.Net that the costume designer for those irritating Xena/Hercules television shows has been hired for LOTR. I didn't think I would hear anything more disappointing than 2 young American actors playing Frodo & Sam, but this is a hint-and-a-half that Jackson is going to *bastardize* our favorite book, whether he intends to or not. By the way, according to Tolkien the "two towers" in the second volume's title refer to Orthanc and Cirith Ungol.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Answer to Lindzee

    by Numenor

    My theory on Tolkien's reasons for concentrating on the hobbits so much is simple: Yes, there's a lot of other activity going on, but if you knew even half of what was going on while they are having their little walk, it would detract from the mystery of the story. Rivendell marks the first idea the reader gets of just HOW BIG this whole thing really is. In essence, Tolkien gives the reader a bit of what the hobbits themselves had to deal with - A long journey with some really frightening events, and they really aren't aware of the significance. After all, I think finding out just how much danger they were in *after* the fact is much more chilling, when you remember their close calls early on.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:56 a.m. CST

    hmm - be more specific, Moriarty

    by sjmaatta

    This script review just basically tells me that "M" thought it was great. Some of the glimpses (perhaps they have been changed to accommodate the additional length of 3 movies, perhaps "M" was just mistaken) have me worried. Lorien can not be cut. If this is done, I'll be really disappointed. Meduseld would also be nice, and for Heaven's sake, where's

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Oh sure, sneak in the review on the weekend

    by creamy goodness

    Dammit! I see from the Talkbacks that this review came out Saturday. Oh thanks. I've only been looking forward to this ever since Moriarty mentioned it. Sheesh! Well, anyway, not like anybody will read this, but thanks Moriarty. Even though you decided to be an evil bastard and only tickle us with a bit of knowledge. (And being an evil genius, you know that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.) So what do we know from the bad doctor's little hint droppings (kind of like deer droppings...)? Ok, well apparently, the 17 years between Frodo getting the ring and fleeing the shire is about a year (seven months between the Party and the Shadow of the Past chapter). All three friends are caught eavesdropping, instead of just Sam (meaning Crickhollow is cut). Bilbo assks to see the ring as the fellowship is departing Rivendell, rather than at the celebration feast. Theoden is already at Helm's Deep (living there?). And one other possibility is that Wormtongue is now called Wormstongue, with an *s* (could be a typo though... you naughty evil bastard). I don't think Moriarty meant to insinuate that Galadriel was actually at rivendell - just that Frodo has a vision of her there (?), or he may even have been referring to the Mirror incident unchronologically (?) - so I think we're ok there. Other than that, the Party is in, we get a bit of exposition at the beginning (like in the Bakshi version), the attempted crossing of Caradhras is in (but that was also apparent from the images up at the official site), and Arwen may or may not have replaced Glorfindel. So what do these changes mean? Generally, not much. The year condensing (from 17 to 1) is understandable, though probably unnecessary I think. PJ is probably doing it to preempt any criticisms from viewers that Wood doesn't look 50 years old. Fans would understand that the ring preserves his youth. But I could see someone like my mother being confused (she regularly misses large plot-points of things like Indiana Jones). It's a choice - not one I would make, but a fair one. The three eavesdropping is fine, simply a way to get the film going. Same with Bilbo seeing the ring at the departure of the fellowship; I think it works better with Bilbo seeing the ring earlier (at the feast), so that he has time to digest the ring's power over him come to terms with it, but it can also work very well there (meaning the feast and Earendil's song is probably cut). Theoden living at Helm's Deep is something I would take issue with. If he's already being attacked at Helm's Deep, then there's very little Gandalf would need to do to rouse Theoden. Wouldn't the sight of thousands of men and tens of thousands of orcs trying to bash down your castle do quite a bit to rouse him? And what could he do that wasn't already being done? The point of Gnadalf rousing him is that Helm's Deep needs to be reinforced. Theoden has listened to the lies of Wormtongue for to long. He doesn't want a war. And he believes that Saruman doesn't want it either. He is pondering the fact that his son's death was unnecessary. He is confused, but content to let what seems solid cousel (keping Edoras manned)guide his actions. The thing about Gandalf waking Theoden at Edoras is that he convinces Theoden to abandon the capital city. The implications of this should not be understated. Theoden gambles the entire existence of the nation and people of Rohan on Gandalf's word. If Theoden is already at Helm's Deep, then the only thing Gandalf does, is provide moral support (effectively). But hopefully, this has been corrected with the expansion to three movies. The one thing that Moriarty didn't give us was whether or not the Scouring and the grey havens was in the second script. He says that last 20 minutes are very moving with the interaction between Sam and Frodo, but that could go either way. And even if they're out of the second script, they could have been added since. Anyway, thanks Moriarty, thanks Harry, thanks Peter and Fran and all you others. Good luck. And as for some of the many other comments here. As for other fantasy writers, I've read a bit. Various arthurian stuff (old and contemporary). The Thomas Covenent stuff. Weis and Hickman. I've been warned away from Eddings and Brooks by my little brothers, who said the stuff was awful and derivative (they like Tolkien too, but aren't as into it as I am). In general, I've been disappointed. Covenant pissed me off; I understood what was being attempted, but it still left me not caring very much. In all this stuff, the only thing that really made me think and respect it was the first book of Weis and Hickman's Death Gate cycle. It really brought me in. It's society seemed well constructed and realistic. Class attitudes, racial oppression, etc all gave a good background to a world that was strange and yet similar. And one of the lines in it still sticks with me (talking about violence and revolution, one of the dwarves says something like "with every birth, there are tears and pain"... good image). But the rest of the books (I forced my way through them) aren't nearly as good, backtrack on some of the themes, have stupid plot devices, explain thing unnecessarily, and end horribly. This is what I've come to expect from fantasy authors. Others may disagree, but when I read them, I can never get passed the feeling I'm reading *fantasy*. I never get that with Tolkien, which is why I was thrilled when I found out PJ wanted to do these as more historical films. Brilliant. And to Natalie: yes the two towers are supposed to be Isengard and Cirith Ungol, though it is ambiguous. And yes Cirith Ungol is a tower, but that is used interchangeably with city. Think, the Tower of London, not the Tower of Pisa. Minas Tirith was also called a tower. But it didn't actually have a tower (meaning a single, tall thin structure) until a (gondorian) generation before the War of the Ring; Denethor's father built the tall white tower in the seventh (or was it the sixth?) circle of Minas Tirith - the Tower of Ecthelion - some three or four thousand years after the city was founded. oops - gotta go. Bye -CG

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 9:41 a.m. CST

    For pessimists and others.

    by Natalie

    lindzee, if you like the Lotr only for the "cool scenes" and fights then you don't understand a damn anything in the whole book. Yes, it's story mainly about the hobbits as Tolkien himself announced at the beginning of the book and some other posters have already explained why. Otherwise it would have been another Skandinavian saga that the Professor was so fond of. Still, if he followed the hobbitts as you think he should have shown the last fight of Boromir with the orks and ents storming Isengard because it concerned the hobbits first of all. jimimack, yes, I read the Chrinicles of Deryni, I liked them but they looked more like The Three Musketeers and other historical novels to me than Middle Earth - probably for the better. Dumas + fantasy? For pessimists: why is the glass always half-empty for you? I'm sure this movie will be the greatest fantasy film ever made or at least the greatest attempt. It may have flaws but you can find flaws with everything if you want to. And there's at least one good thing about this movie if there isn't anything else - it'll make more people read and love Tolkien's works. BTW about Arwen I wonder will she be kinda Elven lady warrior instead of Glorfindel? Will she fight with the Ringwraiths at the end of the 1st book?

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 10:59 a.m. CST

    It's AMAZING...

    by Hexus

    (Pathetic joke) No one seems to have mentioned that Elijah Wood doesn't have brown eyes, Prof. Tolkien said that hobbits have brown eyes, therefore Elijah Wood CANNOT portray Frodo. Period. (End of pathetic joke) Man, do I wish I had the moolah to paddle my way over to NZ for some LOTR loving. Moriarty, you are my big daddy. I hope I don't get to the point where I'm expecting a religious experience waiting for this film, cause I know that is the setup for a huge-ass disappointment in the long run. I do expect to se an excellent adaptation of one of my favorite books, and I'm pretty sure I won't be bummed out when I see it. BTW, i was over looking at the viewer reaction to the final episode of MST3K, and I noticed something remarkable... I didn't see a single negative comment about MST in there. The CYNICAL appear to be LOSING their TOUCH around HERE. (No NAMES mentioned THOUGH...) ;)

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Ominous undertaking

    by Frank Enstein

    After reading Peter Jackson's comments on Star Wars: Episode I I believe the director has underestimated a very ominous task. Fantasy and fx films are very difficult to create. TLOR has never been translated successfully in animation form and will be even more difficult to translate into live action. Granted, I had many problems with the latest SW installment and loved Jackson previous work, however, Jackson should control his cockiness. Making a big budget fantasy movie is a far more daunting task than making cool schlock like "Bad Taste." Let's see if Peter Jackson can truly pay his dues before we bestow any major honors on him.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 12:48 p.m. CST


    by kingbun

    Its funny hearing all these adolescent kids in here say how great "The Phanton Menace" was and how much Jar Jar kicked ass. Then when a more INTELLIGENT film with more developed characters comes along like LOTR's, then they all start to pounce on it. I bet most of them haven't even read, or understand the books at all. I've had a feeling that this movie would live up to all expectations after I first heard P.J. was handling the project. He did after all, create the masterpiece that is "Heavenly Creatures".

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Not the 3 film script, but promising so far

    by Oberon

    Thanks for getting back to us, Moriarty. A few observations, briefly: 1) Obviously this script review has limited utility, being the previous, 2 film version; much more will be included, as Peter indicated, and the film breaks (which will determine pacing) will be closer to the books. YET, if what Moriarty has said is true, the FEEL and emphasis should already be evident. And the emphasis is apparently on...Samwise? A defensible choice, certainly (more so than, say, Aragorn would be), but really LOTR is the tale of Frodo; he's fleshed out as a character right out of the gates, and Sam doesn't really come into his own until the journey from Rauros Falls, when Frodo depends more and more on him to complete the quest. Well, we'll just have to see, won't we? 2) 17 years, not 7 months, passed before Gandalf returned with the realization of what the Ring really was. Perhaps this is a typo? Or liberty taken in compression? 3) We've all learned, the hard way, how great scripts become merely good - or worse - movies. But rarely does it happen the other way around. Still... this is a promising start. The emphasis on the dark side of LOTR is most promising of all.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Just recieved my `idiots' member card!

    by Revelare

    _Natalie_: No, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I attend college. I'm just a typical 21 year old comic store clerk (further sealing my `geek' status), and I think B'Juzus succinctly put it: `That all they want is attention.' A response of some sort to make them feel special. I do, however, think they have few friends, or if they do, those friends are exactly as they are, further contributing to their loneliness. Wanting to find some objectionable opinions. To `shake things up' as it were. Surrounded by `yes-men' whose opinions are that of `I thought it sucked' `me too' yet not thought provoking in the slightest. Or wanting to remain respected by their `cool friends', they agree with what they are told `sucks'. They seek out differing opinions yet don't want to reveal theirs out of fear. Fear that they may be laughed at - even through the anonymity of the internet - for believing one thing, and not understanding another. Or maybe they just simply want to be assholes. Personally, I hope it's the former, because I'd rather have a discussion with someone who has *A* opinion - even if they don't want to reveal it - rather than with someone who just says something `sucks' for the sake of saying it. Of course, there's always the possibility that those who say something `sucks' - a novel for instance - have never actually read it. I've found myself doing this on occassion, only to reverse my opinion after reading said novel. _unbeliever_: I doubt their posts have anything to do with the fact that Hollywood has repeatedly shown themselves to be inept at adaptions. I have seen my favorite book adapted into a film, only to find it strayed far from it's source. `Batman'; He doesn't kill yet did so in both Tim Burton films (to some extent). I loved it, but was more disappointed in that aspect of it. Yet, I have also seen a great novel turned into a good film. Even at the expense of certain plot points, and characters. `LA Confidential' for instance was a great film but a better novel. A complicated plot was turned into a complicated yet simple plot on film. While I still haven't read the LOTR novels, I'm looking forward to it, and already ordered 2 (Hobbit, and Fellowship of the rings - Can someone tell me the names for the others? Thanks). I've only recently begun reading fantasy novels (though I enjoy fantasy comics, and anime already), so, this seems like the best place to start.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 2:02 p.m. CST


    by finfin

    Thank you Moriarty for that glimpse, now please tell us everything else. I appreciate your descriptions but what I really want is exactly how the movies will differ from the books in every way. So please acquire access to the 3 scripts and share. The discussions on book vs. movie changes are the most interesting ones. I don't have any problem with the casting decisions and think negativity towards any of the actors is unnecessary. They are professionals and many I would assume know and love LOTR already and so will be highly motivated to succeed. In response to previous talkbacks: For Alessan and Natalie: I don't have a problem with Arwen making an early entrance for the story line but I do think Glorfindel is important; he represents something unique in LOTR; something you don't see elsewhere in LOTR, though it is shown in The Silmarillion. In LOTR you don't see the elves really do much, you just hear about how great and powerful they used to be. Elrond sits in Rivendell wisely, Galadriel has a ring and uses it for magic, as Samwise would call it; but the character of Glorfindel intimidates the nazgul and shows a power that the other elves don't show, power that is only hinted at elsewhere. As for being in the movie, Glorfindel, on fire, or "revealed as one of the Firstborn" (I don't quite remember the phrasing) charging and scaring the Riders (horses) into the raging Ford is something I would love to see. I think I may be in the minority here. I would prefer to keep Lothlorien in the movie but I can see a reason for taking it out. Assuming there are people who go see this movie who have never read the book, a sad statement but entirely plausible, these people won't have a copy of the map of ME to study. Lorien will seem so odd to be a place of total safety in the middle of all the perils that the moviegoer believes is in store for the Fellowship. Having said that, who cares 'bout people who aint read the book? Reading makes a good point; the elvish supplies are like manna from the heavens. Lindzee is right; the book is told from the viewpoint of the hobbits. All the cool stuff that happens in FOTR before the Council shows the hobbit characters how big this ringthing is anyway. The fact that sam then participates in the war of the ring allows him the perspective of "Nine-fingered Frodo" and allows Frodo the maturity to spare Saruman.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 2:48 p.m. CST

    A couple of RE:s

    by Alessan

    Finfin: you're forgetting Legolas. I think that with him around, we could hardly think of elves as doing little to help the war effort. Sure, he's only a Green Elf, while the others are Noldor and Sindar, but perhaps that's for the best - the higher elves are supposed to be a bit withdrawn from the world, one step away from sailing west. They don't really involve themselves with physical acts because they aren't totally here any more. CG: good morning! We've been waiting for you to show up. I think that your complaint about Theoden being in Helm's deep is valid, but there may be a way around it. The court of Rohan is a rough-and-tumble, simple thing, like the Rohirrim themselves, and a wandering court would not be out of the question (or if that's too barbaric for you, how about Summer and Winter courts?). Thus we could meet Theoden in Helm's deep - and be introduced to the place - and later in Meduseld (sp?). Remember, for Tolkien, places are almost as important as people.

  • I am not just interested in LOTR for the fight and cool scenes. I love the characters and the sweeping grandeur of the story, how it draws you into this imaginary world. Someone *ELSE* complained about how many cool scenes were left out in favour of following the hobbits around, and that was my reply: that I think the story is about four hobbits in a war not about a war. It wasn't a criticism, just an observation.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 3:22 p.m. CST

    2 Towers etc.

    by cirdan

    Just a few comments to clear up some burning issues: 1. 2 Towers: after everybody's been going on about Orthanc and Cirith Ungol for so long, I think I ought to end this discussion with the words of JRRT, in FOTR, book2, chapter 2. Elrond says: "And Minas Ithil they built, Tower of the Rising Moon, eastward upon a shoulder of the Mountains of Shadow; and westward at the feet of the White Mountains Minas Anor they made, Tower of the Setting Sun." He later adds: "evil things came forth, and they took Minas Ithil and abode in it, and they made it into a place of dread; and it is called Minas Morgul, the Tower of Sorcery. Then Minas Anor was named anew Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard." I hope that evocative passage kills all this idle speculation. 2. Sam, important or not? The answer to this is yes and no. He is not an important character to the plot, but he is important to the book. He is effectively its narrator - he is the most human, and thus the most understandable and sympathetic character. Sean Astin (whoever he is) has an important role. Sam is the only important character whose life is broadly unaffected by the events of the plot. Frodo becomes obsessed by the ring, Aragorn becomes king, but Sam is a constant figure - he is a symbol of the faithful friend throughout the story. 3. Galadriel is not important to the plot, *but* as a ringbearer she is vitally important to the mystique and mythology of the story. What she does in the films is not important, as long as she appears somewhere. 4. Glorfindel is also important as a symbol of elven power. Just think of those marvellous blond locks: "his golden hair flowed shimmering in the wind of his speed" wrote Tolkein. At the ford, the hobbits are saved by a vestige of a dying age - when elves were the most powerful race. Glorfindel symbolises that majestic power. Sorry to be sexist, but he needs to be a man. JRRT didn't live in the 90's - he had no concept of PC, so we can't say there aren't enough female characters. 5. Tom Bombadil is not an important character. OK, he's much older and more powerful than he seems, and he has a part in the history of middle earth. But he's not crucial - he doesn't have much effect on the plot. It would be a mistake for PJ to stick too closely to the book - it's not perfect. As JRRT wrote in the foreword to LOTR: "even from the points of view of many who have enjoyed my story there is much that fails to please." PJ should cut weak unimportant scenes like this to devote more time to the important ones. Even Shakespeare wrote some dud scenes - there are some that never appear in productions of his works. So why try to be to faithful to JRRT? 6. How important is the scouring of the shire? OK, it's a nice wind-down to the book, and it tells us what happens to Saruman, but does all that matter? I was never that convinced by Saruman anyway. It was a nice touch to have him ruined and disgraced, rather than go out in a spectacular battle (such a clich

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Enough with the Dune comparisons!

    by Rudnii

    People, the main problem with the movie Dune was the fact that the idiots tried to do it in one movie. I thought it started out following the book pretty well, but halfway through the director seemed to realize that this thing was going to end up alot longer at that rate. So, they crammed the rest in and the movie suffered for it. (and it still pushed three hours) The difference between Dune and the LOTR movies is just that, the LOTR will be movies. ..... Catherine Zeta Jones is a perfect Arwen! ...The proposed Glorfindel/Arwen swap is acceptable. ...Lorien must be in the movie. I have to see the Mallorn and the other trees ..... The whole Crickhollow-Bombadil-Barrow Wight route is unnecessary. The most important thing that happens in the whole thing, is the finding of the Numenorean blades in the Barrow. This can be eliminated with the hobbits getting their swords at Rivendell.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 4:10 p.m. CST

    My excuses and my Re:s

    by Natalie

    I'm terribly sorry _lindzee_ sure it's smb else, I forgot the name (maybe the Euro?). But there're really some people here and not only here that want the movie to be dark like they're happy that Ep.3 of SW will be very, very, very dark. And the Hobbit and first chapters of the LOTR (except the shadow of the past) and Tom Bombadil mostly ain't dark at all. Kill'em all! is their slogan. _kingbun_ Stop insulting Star Wars fans i'm one of them and I'm sure many of them are Tolkien fans too. Besides, as far as I know, Gollum will be CGI like Jar Jar._finfin_ Everybody in Lotr represents something and from this point of view Tom Bombadil is more important than Glorfindel because he represents nature and something that is neither good nor evil he's just neutral, and there're no other neutral characters in the book._Revelare_ you should definitely go to college... and read LotR too. The names of other books are The Two Towers and Return of the King. BTW _morGoth and others: now I think the Two Towers mean Orthanc (where Book 3 ends) and Cyrith Ungol (where Book 4 ends). Maybe it's Minas Morgul too, but Frodo and Sam even weren't inside of it, they passed it on their way to Cyrith Ungol. They met the Witch King there too but none of the heroes was in Minas Morgul and nothing very important happened there. (big deal, the Witch King with his army)

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 4:42 p.m. CST

    The Scouring of the Shire

    by gnosis

    Okay - I can't help it - although I tried to just read the LOTR sites, I had to sign in and say my piece. This is how it starts, isn't it? (deep breath). I love LOTR and have for longer than I care to tell all of you. I have waited a long time for someone to attempt it (I always thought it would be Spielberg, didn't everybody else?). I am touched by everyone's faith in Jackson, even though we all know that the best laid plans of moviemakers often go astray (hard to control the creative efforts of hundreds of people!). I am hopeful on one point only - his love of the books. Everything else is rolling the bones. And you know what? I bet these little discussions are important - we know PJ reads this stuff when he has the time and I think he is smart enough to throw up a trial balloon or two. He has to get the casual movie lover inside but he CANNOT risk pissing off the core audience - they are the ones who are going to try to sell all their friends on seeing it - and if it is good, how MANY times will you want to see it - on the BIG screen? And we're a reasonable bunch, aren't we? We know he has to change some things to get people in. I say let's help him do it with reasoned discussions by people who love the spirit of the book - he's listening. OK, having opened with that and although I could write a book in response to all I have read, I choose to respond to Cirdan's excellent post and question as to how important is The Scouring of the Shire. I think is is very important and I choose this point because it hearkens back to other discussions of what separates Tolkien from all the fantasy wanna-bes. JRRT's 'pre-history', apart from being tied in with his love of langauages and mythologies in general (particularly Scandinavian) - and apart from his considerable expertise on such things (and no matter what the flamers say, the man was the genuine article on these subjects - a scholar) - succeeds because it is both myth and literature. The difference being the connection to our motley human world as it is today. Myth speaks of fantastic things but explores deep psychologies otherwise unattainable. JRRT succeeds here - but he remade the form because his story touched on concerns of modern man - and this is why the work stands as literature unlike his imitators [with some exceptions - Donaldson came closest with his much despised antihero]. Despite JRRTs protestations to the contrary in the introduction (and he doth protest too much), the story of the hobbits is borne out of his experience - and an Englishman of his generation is the product of war and sacrifice. The sacrifice of Frodo and the hobbits ('sometimes people have to give things up, lose them, so that others might enjoy them') is meaningless without touching their own land - and their transformation (as a group and individually) incomplete without 'The Scouring of the Shire'. In fact, I truly believe that this extended coda or anticlimax is what raises LOTR above the rabble and transforms it into literature and the moving experience it is. This is what they were fighting for - the most heroic moment in the book may well be when Sam sees the Gaffer turned out of Bagshot Row in the Mirror and, after saying he had to go home, sits with his head in his hands, and says he will see it through with Frodo - but someone is 'going to catch it hot'! Count the number of times each wishes he was back in his hobbit hole (even more in 'The Hobbit!'). All this means nothing without the Scouring of the Shire. Frodo going to the Grey Havens is not good enough. It will take courage by PJ to include it - but it will transform the movie into art as it transforms the book into something meaningful - fighting everyday on your own turf for what is right and what is not. This is something we can all relate to in our own world. Would we have the courage to do what the hobbits do? You know what LOTR is like if it ends on The Field of Cormallen? All those silly ending celebrations in Star Wars. From art to schlock (though I love star wars as spectacle mind you - it works only as myth - not art). Everybody close your eyes and imagine Frodo coming home to a happy home and tell me you like the book better. OK - for the record here goes: 1. Glorfindel can go and Arwen can replace him at the Ford - makes sense really; 2. Galadriel IS important - she is the only really tragic noble high elf figure we see and besides the gifts and Gimli and Legolas and Boromir... the scene where Frodo offers her the ring is crucial - also we must have Lorien (Elrond is only tragic later over Arwen but I bet PJ throws in his possible loss of Arwen at the start) ; 3. Bombadil is gone but somebody has to give Merry the right sword; 4. the compression of time sucks; 5. NO VOICE OVER (the last refuge of the imcompetent); 6. Eowyn as crucial to helping Gandalf when asking for help is a good touch; 7. he has to shorten the trip to Rivendell so Crickhollow should go too; 8. the healing of Theoden is also important and does not make much sense to me at Helm's Deep but I can see the sense of the compression - gandalf can turn listlessness to resistance.) Guess that is it for now - hard to tell from that 'review' of the scripts. It is hard to find anything to cut from the last 4 'books' - any suggestions? 'The Houses of Healing?'

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by Natalie

    Cirdan, why are you misspelling the Professor last name? English is not my native language so excuse my grammar and my spelling and some names in the book are really difficult to remember but I know how to spell his name. Well, if Tom Bombadil is umimprotant than Glorfindel is twice less important than Tom. If they cut Bombadil, it'll affect the plot: there will be no Old Forest, Willow and Barrow Downs, so they'll have to get the knives in Imladris as somebody has suggested which will seem strange anyway. Can you imagine the elves giving these funny hobbits weapons to fight with Nazgul? Besides, if they had such swords, why hadn't they used them to kill the Witch King before? But all in all I can survive it. But what changes if there's no Glorfindel or he's replaced by Arwen? Nothing. Big deal, we won't see mighty elves. But Elrond and Galadriel are enough, besides there's Legolas. As somebody has said, most elves don't care very much for what is going on in ME. They can sail to Valinor while all others will be slaves of Sauron.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Cirdan's Two Towers

    by greenleaf

    Wrong, Cirdan. This idle speculation about *The Two Towers* cannot be killed. That is because the title is vague and ambiguous. Tolkien himself feared it was not very clear. This has been cited before but I give it just the same. "The Two Towers gets as near as possible to finding a title to cover the widely divergent Books 3 and 4; and can be left ambiguous -- it might refer to Isengard and Barad-d

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Galadriel/Glorfindel/Arwen and the Two Towers

    by Mirror White

    Hi again. Just to clear a few things up... Galadriel is crucial to the plot. Again I'll repeat myself. If you the study the hero's cycle (which Tolkien was familiar) after the hero(s) descent into the dark underworld comes the confrontation with the Goddess of nature as symbolized by Galadriel who tests each ones heart and acts as a renewer for the weary grief-stricken travelers. (Remember Tolkien referred to her and Feanor as being the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor--Unfinished Tales) She also far more effectively shows what Glorfindel only introduced us to... the Glory of the Eldar in their yought. As for the arguments about Glorfindel beeing the one to show the Elves as a once powerful race... come on think about it. Arwen is the Granddaughter of Galadriel & Celeborn on her mothers side and the daughter of Elrond bringing in and combining with the lineage of Idril/Tour, Beren/Luthien, Melian/Thingol, Elwing/Earendil among others. Only her brothers Elladan & Ellrohir can bost of such combined lineage (as well as all of their future offspring. Lets face it, she's of far greater lineage than Glorfindel (not to impune his family tree)and probably could reveal an even greater power if she so chose. So enough with the sexism. Glorfindel can always be her backup :) And in reference to The Two Towers... Tolkien has gone on record saying that the title refers to the tower of Orthanc at Isengard and the tower of Cirith (pronounced Kirith) Ungol. (He also, by the way, expressed that he was most dissatisfied with this title then with the other two books.)

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 5:40 p.m. CST

    <quote> nor do I attend college <end quote>

    by Revelare

    That doesn't mean I never have.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Orthanc & Cirith Ungol

    by Goodgulf

    No, the "idle" speculation hasn't been assauged by Cidan's post. It only makes it more clear why Tolkien himself thought the Title "The Two Towers" was too nebulous. After all the note at the end of volume one says: "Here ends the first part of the history of the War of the Ring. The second part is called The Two Towers, since the events recounted in it are dominated by Orthanc, the citadel of Saruman, and the Fortress of Minas Morgul that guards the secret entrance to Mordor;..." Isn't what the book says of any value to you folks? Now I realize that those of you with the single volume illustrated version won't see this note at the end of the first volume, but it's there in the Collectors Edition (Red Cover) and in the 3 volume editions. If you don't believe me, go to any bookstore and look at the last page of The Fellowship of the Ring. I sometimes wonder how carefully some of you are reading this book.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Re: Revelare. Sorry

    by Natalie

    But what's happened? I'm sure you finished it :) I was kidding.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:50 p.m. CST

    So, these books...Are they any good?

    by Sardonicus

    Never read 'em. Wanted to at one point, back in high school, but I was advised to start with the Silmarillion, which I'm told now is like trying to sample the story of Batman by reading a dictionary. Since then, I've always thought about giving them a read, but never have. Looks like I'm going to have to now. Big Bro tells me to start with the Hobbit this time. Sound advice, gents?

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 7:52 p.m. CST

    No worries.

    by Revelare

    If you don't mind, that's rather personal information that I'd prefer not being on the internet. Let's just say `I did what I needed'.

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Merrys blade & the Witch King

    by DejaVoodoo

    I don;t know why I always feel the need to explain this dumb, meaningless point, but I guess I must be one of those anal-retentive literalists or fundamentalists, or whatever the hell you want to call me (not a request for suggestions). The blade that Merry uses in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields is NOT what kills the Witch King. Eowyn actually kills him. Merry just sneaks up behind him & jabs him in the back of the knee, leaving him open to Eowyns death blow. To quote from the ROTK: *But suddenly he too stumbled forward with a cry of bitter pain, and his stroke went wide, driving into the ground. Merrys sword had stabbed him from behind, shearing through the black mantle, and passing up beneath the hauberk had pierced the sinew behind his mighty knee.... Then tottering, struggling up, with her last strength she drove her sword between crown and mantle, as the great shoulders bowed before her....(and a little further on)...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.*

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Casting LOTR women

    by webcutter

    So...Kate Winslet is out of the running. (see "") Now I hear that Uma Thurman has just signed a contract for an upcoming movie that was NOT "Lord of the Rings." However, I do not know when this other movie will begin production. Because Galadriel only appears in "Fellowship" (if memory serves; and possibly a brief cameo at the Gray Havens?), then maybe Thurman (if cast) will have time to play Galadriel before starting the other film. Anyone else have more info on Uma's other project? And why is Mira Sorvino mentioned on "The Lord of the Rings Movie Site" as a contender for Eowyn? I haven't heard her name mentioned anywhere else. Did she audition, or mention something in an interview? After hearing confirmation of the male leads, I am now most curious for announcements/rumors regarding the actresses. Harry, please help us!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 1:32 a.m. CST

    We will learn patience...

    by webcutter

    BTW, for those of you who have not read the article on "" ... apparently the long-awaited announcement of the entire official cast will not be made until the END of September...

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Great conversation here at the Pony!

    by Tookish

    Some excellent viewpoints, posters. Who'd a thought we could have such a hearty debate on The Two Towers' title!? And for Dune, they surely did botched much of the movie, but it would be great to have someone attempt to do God Emperor of Dune as PJ is (hopefully) doing LOR. Now to that pesky plot... hopefully they went easy with the knife, maybe even pushing the films past 2 hrs apiece (longer movies are in, luckily). Essentials for me in FotR are: Unexpected Party, Shadow of the Past, walk to Crickhollow, Barrow Downs, Bree, Weathertop, Rivendell AS IS, battle with wolves (I'll die when I see Gandalf admonish: "Listen, Hound of Sauron, Gandalf is here!"), watcher in the water & door riddle, Balin's tomb & history, Bridge of Khazad-dum, Lothlorien -including Haldir, Aragorn's line at Cerin Amroth, meeting Galadriel & Celeborn, the Mirror, & gift giving scene- Argonath, Breaking of the Fellowship. My final scene of FotR: Frodo flees Boromir and goes to Amon Hen. Here we get Frodo's sweeping view of the BIG PICTURE. Then Gandalf's voice comes to his rescue, giving us a hope that he still lives somehow. As the Walkers split up looking for Frodo, Sam breaks off from Aragorn as per text, finding Frodo. Then we follow Aragorn up to Amon Hen where he, too, surveys the land, then suddenly Boromir's horn brings him up short and he bounds back down, drawing Anduril. Cut to shots of Legolas & Gimli hearing the horn as they prowl the woods, then only slightly fainter in the distance the horn is heard by Frodo and Sam as they are lost in the mists of the river. A vaguely Golumish suggestion follows them downriver... that too much to ask for, PJ??!! Probably, in addition to all of the background that must be worked in to the first movie. *Cirdan*, I think you've lost the story for the plot! Galadriel is essential: not only are her gifts invaluable (the Phial, cloaks, Pippin's broach, lembas, lembas, lembas, the boats & Boromir's 'departure', Sam's soil and seed), but she is a key link to ME's history. She is a direct connection to the Silmarills and therefore both the First and Second Ages (I think); in many ways she is ME personified. Also, the Scouraging of the Shire is essential to the story as well as the plot, as detailed wonderfully by *gnosis*.*moviet001* has eloquently spelled things out for Sean Astin; good luck Sean!!*creamy goodness* your argument for Theoden's healing taking place at Edoras is compelling; I agree, but all of the back and forth in Rohan does get a bit cumbersome in the text. Maybe on film it would be better. *Alessan* you do provide a great solution for this; very much in the tradition of the Rohirrim (pardon my spelling, not great in English, let alone Tolkienese). *cg & the rest who contributed* thanks for author suggestions; I've read Donaldson (my fave is The One Tree, although I loved Lord Foul's Bane, once I recovered from the rape), MZ Bradley & early Brooks (yuck). Look like there is mucho good reading out there! *nata* As Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam are the authors of The Red Book of Westmarch, it would be cool if each of them had spots for voice-overs, or somehow the point was made that each of them had a part in its writing -symbolizing the value of an individual's contribution to a group effort, a recurring theme. *finfin* I like what you've said about Glorfindel; it's one reason other elves like Elladan & Elrohir, Gildor, Celeborn, etc. are essential: they give us small glimpses into that deeper world of the First & Second Ages of ME, and a spiritual/metaphysical connection with the Valar & ultimately Illuvatar (God)[so what if only the die-hards will cherish that! LOTR really can't get into what the Valar are; won't it be great to see The Silmarillion + done for the big screen?? Talk about problems...]. Even so, I can live with the Arwen/Glorfindel idea. Hope I'm not hogging space here, friends! Another toast to the party, especially after reading that one!! Barliman!!??

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Merry's Blade, Eowyn's Sword & the Lord of the Nine

    by Vanyar

    Excellent commentary, DejaVoodoo, regarding the whole death of the Nazgul Lord. However, your use of the quote at the end makes it sound as though Tolkien were talking about Eowyn's sword as being the "No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it..." He wasn't and it wasn't. Don't get me wrong, Eowyn did indeed deliver the death blow. However, without Merry's dagger "breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will" Eowyn's sword would have had zero effect on the Lord of the Nine. How can we be sure it was Merry's blade that JRRT was talking about? Look at how that paragraph starts, "So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse." So Merry's blade broke the spell that made the Witch-King's flesh invulnerable, and Eowyn stabbed The High Nazgul through the throat (between crown and mantle), and voila! Scratch one Ulairi! Hope that clarifies things and didn't muddy the water. Man, it's good to be back sharing ideas with fellow Tolkien geeks. Namarie. P.S. -- Howdy, morGoth!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Casting stuff

    by MickeyB

    Sorry if this is already widely known, but Ian Holm was Frodo in the BBC Radio adaptation of LOTR from the early 1980s - it's well worth tracking down (the BBC released it as a box set some time ago, and then reissued it last year). It's epic, the sound effects are amazingly, and it had a fantastic cast of Brit stage/TV stalwarts: Michael Hordern (Gandalf), Robert Stephens (Aragorn), John Le Mesurier (Bilbo). So there we go.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 5:45 a.m. CST


    by morpheus

    To all the yea sayers on the inclusion of Galadriel and Lorien,I can only agree with you.cirdan,the movie would definitely need scenes that ranthe entire gamut thru the emotionl range.Arwen against the Nazgul,what could be cooler!To dejavoodooo,I guess it all depends on our idea of killing now,doesn't it?And to that poster,great way ofdescribing ME;an imaginary time set in our world....Cg,how about this one;'Travelling thru a black hole would be like human life,nasty,brutal and short(:))'Gregory Benford...

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 6:02 a.m. CST

    Yet unknown

    by greenleaf

    Now, now, Goodgulf... Wasn't that last sentence a bit bitchy? You've hurt my soft spot, you know, even though you were not adressing to me personally. Heck, I'm not the the one who 'skipped' the poetry bits! Sardonicus, you may find 'The Hobbit' a bit childish. I don't think it would impair your enjoyment of LotR if you started from there. Be sure you read the Silmarillion after, though, and then re-read the LotR!! If you like it, of course. **Galadriel is ESSENTIAL.** some of you can explain why better than I do (language barrier). I agree with you, Mirror White: Arwen is a worthy substitute of Glorfindel. But I've read somewhere (wasn't it "The Return of the Shadow" or some extra material of this sort?) that Glorfindel might be a reincarnation of the great Glorfindel who slew Gothmog Lord of Balrogs after the Fall of Gondolin. Is anyone able to comfirm/infirm this? That would make him a powerful elf indeed. Of course his role in LotR is merely functional. About OldForest/Tom/Barrows. Their exclusion is saddening to me. Though uneventful (counting out Old Man Willow), I liked the mood set in the Old Forest. Bombadil is a frivolity, yet Tolkien kept him, because... [letters #144 ;)] The Barrows was a richly imagined 'adventure'. ME is old, and remains of the past lie about everywhere... Why do these chapters seem so 'unrelated' to the story? In "The Return of the Shadow", it is made clear that Tolkien was writing yet another "hobbit adventure", a linear chain of

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 6:37 a.m. CST

    This is not about The Two Towers

    by greenleaf

    morGoth: 'What did Tolkien know about his books anyway?", you ask. Perhaps you mean that he knew everything about his books. You think he had all the answers. I do not think so. JRRT has contradicted himself many times. His work is so dense; he himself was constantly returning to his great bulk of scattered papers to find something out. Most of the time he was unable to find the paper he was looking for. Towards the end of his life, he was overwhelmed by the density of his work. It standed on its own. It wasn't his any longer. Middle-Earth exists, because of that. At least that is the way I see it. I know I'm crazy, don't bother mentioning it. Now, what about those films?

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Beautiful Man. Thank you Moriarty.


    I doubt you will see this all the way down here, but that piece was genuinely beautiful man. Thank you. I can relate to many of Harry's mushier moments; his playing with his STAR WARS toys after PHANTOM etc., getting misty at this or that flick, his unbridled, honest fully emersed dives into sweet childish nostalgia, but this piece went beyond simple sentimentalism. It truly moved me. I too believe that this will be an amazing film. Peter Jackson is in love with film and storytelling. Somehow it all just gives me hope. Nuff said.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Let me touch on a few points (like anyone cares) . . .

    by Lord Shell

    ***1.) Someone mentioned that fantasy films would never be as successful as "Star Wars". Well actually, Star Wars ARE fantasy films. Space Fantasy. Just exchange the lightsabers for swords, the x-wings for dragons, and "The Force" for magic and voila! Fantasy. The psuedo-science is just thrown in there for all those technophiles out there. To call it "science fiction" is a real stretch (You really need to have actual SCIENCE to go with the fiction). This is not to say the films are bad, just that they really are classic fantasy stories with space opera trappings. ***2.) For those out there who don't realize it, it IS possible to touch on important plot points without necessarily having the scene played out. As a matter of fact, I can't see making LOTR without at least a FEW montage scenes for exposition. There's simply too much going on. Oh and no voice overs? Good luck. Without voice overs, people (those that haven't read the books; i.e.-lots of people) are going to get lost REAL quick. ***3.) I'm glad I wasn't the only person who realized that Sam was actually the primary character in the book. He's the most pivotal and the best developed. Really an everyman character who anyone can identify with. All the other characters are either too "above it all" (i.e.-Gandalf, Aragorn) or just have murky motivations. Now this is not to say that PJackson couldn't breathe new life and motivations into these character, in fact I certainly hope he does. However, as far as the books go, Samwise is easily the most three-dimensional character. ***I thank you for your patience.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Such a

    by Peregrin

    I don't understand why everyone is so convinced that Peter Jackson "is in love" with the source material, when from all that I can tell, he is ABSOLUTELY DESTROYING IT! What has he really kept of Tolkien? (1) Showing Saruman turning evil and Gandalf being captured before Rivendell is just plain stupid. One of the reasons the Lord Of The Rings is such a beloved work of literature, despite the fact that it is fantasy, which many [myself not included] consider to be a poor-excuse for a literary genre, is because of the beauty in which the way the story blossoms and unfolds before your eyes. You discover the world WITH THE HOBBITS! You aren't some omniscient eye [like SAURON] that floats over everything, absorbing the entirety of Middle Earth at once. That would be confusing, exhausting, pointless, and unrewarding. Rather you have a perspective, and from that perspective you are exposed to the world in a limited manner, one step at a time! Dramatically it doesn't make any sense for the viewer/reader to be aware of Saruman's evil and Gandalf's plight before the Hobbits reach Rivendell and before you realize just how Earth-shattering the events in the novel are. You are supposed to share the hobbits sense of wonder and fear, and experience their trials and tribulations, throughout the opening sections of the book. One of their main questions is: "What can be keeping Gandalf?" That's a question you are meant to think about yourself, until it is revealed. (2) The entire Arwen love story falls into this same category. These are things that are glimpsed by the hobbits, and they, like the reader/viewer, do not have access to all the answers. Aragorn is 87 years old, and he has been in love with Arwen for YEARS, his love is so strong that he will regain the throne in order to be with her. THEY FELL IN LOVE A LONG TIME AGO, to show it on screen now like a soap opera only takes away from their true feelings for each other and the impact their relationship has on the world. Their is strength in subtlety! (3) Helmsdeep and Medusheld [I probably didn't spell them right. What are they even thinking? It really doesn't take anymore screen time (maybe the two minute travel montage) to do it the way Tolkien originally envisioned, and it is far more powerful that way. The old King musters for war, and rides to battle like he hasn't in ages, at the request of Gandalf and in a desparate race to save his kingdom...I find it hard to believe that anyone who professes to love Tolkien as much as Jackson repeatedly does, would even consider half of these changes...

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 10:02 a.m. CST

    The Two Tower and the reading

    by Natalie

    WOW ladies and gentlemen I'm really impressed. My friends always told me I'm a bit crazy about Tolkien's books but compared to some posters I know nothing. You even read the letters!~ About 2 towers - I wish i didn't asked that question but it gave you a chance to show yourself, right? :) Well, we'll never know for sure what JRR meant because we can't ask him now. But as somebody (Greanleaf?) said Tolkien himself wasn't aware of what he was writing. Anyway I suggest you think figuratively. It's obvious the Two Towers refers to two major powers that wanted to find the Ring: Saruman and Sauron. They are represented by certain places. Nobody doubts about Orthanc (or Isengard, but it's the same). You can't come to an agreement about the 2nd tower: it may be Minas Morgul, Cirith Ungol and Barad Dur - or all three of them, they all belonged to Sauron anyway. Somebody said the Two Towers could mean Minas Tirith and Barad Dur, but I think it's unlikely because there's no Gondor in the second installment, it's about Saruman and Sauron, as I've already said. But you may disagree ofcourse. Only Eru knows that all. Well_Sardonicus_ofcourse you should read the Lotr and do it before the movie comes out, because otherwise your reading will be spoiled no matter how good the film is. I think you should read the Hobbit first, though it's really a bit childish, but it's where all the story started and it was the first book to be published. (Just imagine, people waited almost 20 years befor the Lotr appeared! And we can't wait 2 years befor the movie comes out. Young people are so impatient now :-}). But the second book MUST be LOTR. Don't get me wrong, I like Silmarillion, but:1)you won't have the nerve to rad Silm. because you'll be dying to know what happens to Bilbo, the Ring and Gandalf after Bilbo comes back home; 2)if Hobbit is too childish (though I don't think so), then Silm. is too serious (God, i cried when i read this Narn-i-hirn-Turin), so you maybe won't be able to manage the gap; 3)Silm. may be boring to read if you aren't interested in the history of Middle Earth, you can get interested in that damned history only if you've read Lotr (at least what it happened to me). Besides Silm. is unfinished. Unlike Hobbit and LOTR, it was edited and published by Christofer Tolkien after his father's death. Seems to me that Tolkien didn't want to publish after the Lotr, he had plenty of time, about 20 years - or maybe I'm wrong, and he was going to do it and 20 years were not enough for him. I didn't read the letters so don't be bitchy. Anyway I'm grateful to Professor's son. You should know the origin of everything in the world, right?

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 10:19 a.m. CST

    to greenleaf

    by metrocon

    Just a small clarification, Glorfindel of Gondolin did not slay Gothmog, Ecthelion did that in the battle. Glorfindel helped Tuor and Idril escape, and fell fighting another balrog. I'm not saying that it's much of a lesser feat, just he didn't kill Gothmog. It's detailed in the Fall of Gondolin, I forget which of those books it's in.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 11:26 a.m. CST



    Moriarty!!! You evil BASTARD!!! We've noticed Harry has left the article up since Saturday in the top spot! And no report this morning. You must be in shear delight having us examine your every word! Your every punctuation mark. Yes, there must be hidden meaning everywhere. Oh we will find it, this we all swear! UUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 11:39 a.m. CST

    well, everything

    by gnosis

    So much to write about... *Lord Shell* on the voice overs - I certainly agree that it is going to be difficult to do without voice overs, but I hope he tries. Voice overs are hard to do well - and I think if any voice-over starts spouting off Elvish names half the audience upgets and outwalks. You'll win this one for sure, though - I'm sure there will be a voice over! Good idea using asterisks for paragraph breaks*** For all who have written about Sam as the central character and 'The Two Towers' controversy, *greenleaf* has filled in the pertinent material from the best source, Tolkien's Letters (fascinating reading for a Tolkien fan). The blurb at the end of FOTR is essentially meaningless as greenleaf pointed out. Even more germane is the observation that Tolkien could not decide what he was doing half the time - if you read the letters, you will come to understand that it is a miracle he finished the thing. Anyway, from the horse's mouth: JRRT thought that Sam was the central character and he didn't much care which Two Towers you chose - he could not. So in this instance you are free to choose your own interpretation on both points -- PJ will!*** I forgot who wrote this but I believe we all agree that the death of the Witch-King comes about because Merry broke the spell and Eowyn finished him - the clear implication to me is that neither one could have done the job without the other and whatever spells were on the Westernesse blade were essential to the outcome. This is the kind of Tolkien geekness that PJ is probably not worrying about - all of us crazies out here would probably be content if a single line were put in when Merry gets the sword implying it was made expressly for battle against the Nazgul. Those of you hoping to hear 'The Witch-King of Angmar' hope in vain.*** Poor PJ.***Though of course I can think of more useless things to say, just a word about *tookish*'s FOTR ending scenario - you have to admit one thing, there is no upbeat way to end the FOTR (or TT) as anything but a cliffhanger or a downer. From what I am reading I presume they are going to end with Frodo and Sam leaving, and giving Boromir to Anduin. therefore I suggest ending with Aragorn's words (paraphrased, I don't have the book here): My mind is at last clear, the fate of the Bearer no longer lies with us...and taking off after Merry and Pippin. The Two Towers can end with Gandalf riding off with Pippin - but how about Frodo? Can they end with him captured and Sam in a swoon? I might go for the Crossroads of the King.*** OK, too long, sorry! Why can't Winslet be Eowyn: that can't be more than half a movie shooting time!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Does Jackson love the LOTR?

    by gnosis

    Can't resist a quick reply to *peregrin*: PJ says he loves it and the tone of his interviews convinces me, I guess. But your thesis is that if you really love it you can't bear to change a thing. And I bet everyone of us would want to see everything just as it is written - just once... so your are right to a degree.*** But we all know it ain't going to happen, we're just praying for the least damaging changes and staying true to the story. Remember that Edoras is another set and more cost - probably not purely time. If Arwen/Aragorn is going to happen when they all get to Imladris (ohmygod, I did not pick that up) - well, we are all going to hate it and PJ should know that. Bad news though, now that it is said out loud, I bet that is right. There is no way a filmmaker can resist Elrond telling Aragorn, that no man will wed Arwen except the King of both Gondor and Arnor. It's going to be tough, but not far different from how other works of literature make it to the screen.*** The key is going to be if he can tell it like it is history - cut out Glorfindel and Bombadil but still se the shadowy past, still get the idea that this is but the end of a tale that began when Melkor tried to imitate Shoenberg...*** *peregrin* you know it is true, but will you see it anyway?

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 12:18 p.m. CST


    by kingbun

    I love the original Star Wars as much as anybody else, but i'm sorry. Episode one is a hack job and George Lucas is nothing more than a money hungry jerk. There is an article(I live next to SF)in the Guardian newspaper detailing how Lucas got this fat tax break in San Francisco for developing This new special effects studio. Now this isn't cheap regular land, but PRIME land that is some of the most expensive in the world. And Mr. Billionaire Lucas gets a massive tax break. Now is that fair? Anyway, to get back on the subject. I've actually, had MANY doubts that LOTR's would be able to translate well to the big screen. In fact, i'm still a little doubtful. But as I said before, I put my faith in Peter unless his version of the film f*cks up VERY VERY BAD! I agree with many of the above posts, but I am one of those die-hard Tolkien purists who don't want to see ANY part of the books cut out. Including Tom Bombadil. Unrealistic I guess, but I stick to my guns.:) There are actually quite a few fantasy novels that I would rather have Peter working on than LOTR's. 1.Dragonlance:War of the Lance trilogies. One of the best fantasy novels that I have read in a long time. The wonderful thing about these books are how simply the story is told, yet how strong the characters are developed. These books would translate wonderfully to the silver screen. 2.Wheel of Time trilogies. Would be too long to actually make a film version out of it, but I could still see a TV version done sucessfully. Some of the most complex characters and plot I have ever read. Have as much doubt that this could be translated well as LOTR's, but I would still love to see my favorite babe Jennifer Love Hewitt playing Egwene.:) Have read an Eddings book once and thought it was alright, but thats it. Brooks Shannara series was good, but just couldn't take me to another world like Robert Jordan and Tolkien could. Well thats about all I could pull off the top of my head.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Faith Manages...

    by EvilNight

    Please, remember that the Lord of the Rings cannot possibly fit into three movies. I doubt that you could ever do the story full justice with unlimited resources and unlimited screen time. Books and movies are different mediums for art. Books cater to the imagination, movies cater more to the senses. LOTR is arguably one of the greatest works of literature of all time. Taking this masterpeice and fitting it perfectly into the movie paradigm is not possible. It IS possible however to create a masterpeice of a movie that captures the essence of the books (soul, spirit, etc) and this one looks good so far. Things will be changed. Characters will be cut. Events will be reordered. This is OK (yes, calm down and take a deep breath). As long as the changes are made carefully and ONLY when absolutely necessary, it won't damage the story too much. I have a few issues with this review of the scripts that represent changes that are very damaging and should NEVER be made. 1) Any attempts at reordering the storyline. EVERY event must be viewed from the hobbits' point of view because it is about them (as Peregrin noted above). Changing this is like tampering with the foundation of a house of cards - one false move and it's all over. 2) Gnosis is right, if these movies are made without the Scouring of the Shire, I will never see them. Cutting that briliant ending is an unspeakable copout - IMO it is what makes the trilogy so rare and wonderful. The story is about hobbits, and we need to see what happens to them. Think of the emotional value of these events at the end of the third movie. These events were my favorites because of the investment in the characters that we had already made by reading the previous story. They also help set LOTR apart by showing the effects (some bad, some good) of all the heroic actions taken by the hobbits. Typical movie fare simply shows the finale and then a happy ending. LOTR is more mature than that. 3) Lothlorien should not be cut. If it absolutely has to go, I can live with it, but it helps with the flow of the story and adds to the beauty and grandeur of Middle Earth. 4) Thank god someone else sees Sam as the hero. 'Nuff said. 5) Voiceovers are necessary for this movie. How else can you posibly explain everything? They can help make up for the bits that are cut. Good voiceovers can be some of the best things about a movie. If you are a B5 fan, just think of some of G'Kar's voiceovers. Chilling, wonderful, and sad, and also the best I have ever heard, anywhere. I get chills just reading the bits in the review above - no complaints there. Remember, now Peter has another 2 hours of time to work with. If he is good, maybe he can push them to let the movies run over a little and buy a few more precious minutes in each one. Two hours is more than enough time for Lothlorien, The Scouring, and a host of other bits that would have been cut otherwise. The fact that Peter had to cut it down for two originally is a good thing. Can you imagine the task of cutting down one of your favorite books for a movie? I'm sure that a few tears hit the floor along with the parts that were cut. Now Peter has been given a miracle. I bet he will suprise us. The best thing that I can tell from this review is that the movie has the FEEL of LOTR. That is the most important part. He also mentioned something about an extended DVD release, so cross your fingers. (End LOTR stuff, Begin fantasy novels in general). Lots of people above are talking about their favorite fantasy novels. I'm disappointed that no one sees the value of David Edding's work. His plot and story are completely forgettable and not very original, indeed, they even cycle throughout the books (yes I know it was explained, but come on...). The CHARACTERS are where Eddings shines. Eddings is about characters just as much as Tolkien was about history and mythology. Donaldson's work with Covenant was a very cool idea, but I didn't enjoy the books as much simply because I disliked Covenant. Brooks was ok, but forgettable (except for Allanon and the Moor Cat ;). Weiss/Hickman, not my style so I'll refrain from criticizing them too much, but I did enjoy them (Dragonlace/Death Gate) except for the endings (both times). Robert Jordan is the closest thing to Tolkien around, but he is very, very, VERY long winded and on I think the seventh book (avg 600 pages) with no end in sight. I'll have to reread the whole damn thing to figure out what is happening on the next installment. Some good ones that no one here has mentioned yet for those of you looking for something good to read: Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey - good original series and a very enjoyable read. It is about 15% Sci-Fi (Premise)/85% Fantasy (Setting). Also try the Dragon Prince series by Melanie Rawn. The plot, scheme and politics in those books is amazing, and thick enough to make your head hurt. For a bit of very strange dark fantasy, try the Dark Tower by Stephen King. Raymond Feist is also a good read. I've been out of the loop for quite a while, does anyone have any tips on anything good that was published after 1994?

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 1:26 p.m. CST

    There's purism and then there's purism

    by Oberon

    I'm as keen a Tolkien afficianado as any around, and a point of calarification seems to to me to be in order. Some purists will - and have - demand that everything in the book be in the movie, that it be done verbatim. Wonderful thought, though it would likely make for an 18 hour movie. And probably not a very good one. I am not in this company, however, for I realize that what makes a good movie and what make for a good book are two very different things. Length alone dictates significant excisions, and I'm fine with that. But what IS left in there should not vary significantly from the book. In other words, I don't want to see Arwen, not Glorfindel, meeting the Party at the Last Bridge. Not only is it wrong, it doesn't make any sense, and moreover, it isn't necessary - Arwen can be fleshed out without violating the the basic plot. Cut Bombadil, reword and recut the dialogue a little if you need to, introduce nonlinear structure and flashbacks, but making real changes to the story and characters is a whole different story, and totally unnecessary to making a compelling movie. And THAT is what purists ought to object to.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Clink, swig, clunk!

    by Tookish

    Here's to yar heatlh! So good to see all the fresh comments this today. Enjoying the Glorfindel strand, slaying of the Witch King, Tolien's self-contradictions, & more! Replies: *Sardinicus* If The Hobbit is to sweet for you, go directly to The Fellowship of the Ring, and I recommend you skip the forward and pick & choose or skim the prologue unless you're already bought in; it'll mean much more on your second journey. *Morgoth* LOR is soooo good, you can't eat it just once!!*Greenleaf* I think Glorfindel is two different elves, the one you mentioned from the First Age, and LOR's in the Third Age. In FA, Glorf was from Gondolin (probably from the family of Fingolfin somehow), a lietenant of King Turgon, and provided ecape for Tuor, Idril & Earendil (later the Mariner). He did die fighting a balrog during the battle of Tears Unnumbered towards the end of the FA, when Morgoth almost fatally spanked the elves, men & dwarves. LOR's Glorf (probably from the house of Finarfin)is one of Elrond's chief advisors (duh) but I also read he was the head of Rivendell's army for a long time. Cheers, mate! More later.....

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 1:42 p.m. CST

    What To Keep?

    by Baggins

    (1) Keep the encounter with Gildor and the elves in the Shire. Their approach drives off the snuffling Nazgul and constitues the hobbits' first narrow escape. (2) Keep the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs. The hobbits' near encounters with the Nazgul in the Shire require that they avoid the high roads. Their escape from the Barrow Downs can be effected without Tom Bombadil. Perhaps Sam can sing an Elvish song that he learns from Gildor and Co. to lift the spell of the Barrow Wight. (He might also light a fire from bits of wood he collects in the forest. This suggestion lifted from someone else's past post.) (3) Keep Lothlorien. (duh!) Not only is it necessary to illuminate the high-Elven back-story, the mirror of Galadriel, and her gifts to the travelers, but Gandalf becomes The White there after his encounter with the Balrog. (4) Keep Edoras and Helm's Deep separate. Gandalf's healing of Theoden, and Grima Wormtongue's refusal to accompany Theoden on his desperate ride to Helm's Deep are extremely important to Theoden's transformation. (especially if Sean Connery gets the role of Theoden ;-).) (5) Keep The Scouring of the Shire! I'm looking forward to the last encounter between Grima (Jeffery Combs) and Saruman.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 2 p.m. CST

    RE: Evilnight (1)

    by Alessan

    The Fantasy market has been in a bit of a slump for the last few years, so you haven't missed much. Basically, there are two writers worth folowing, at least in my opinion. The first is George R.R. Martin - a seventies sci-fi writer who's overgone a stunning transformation to fantasy, with a series called "The Winter of the World". The first novel, "A Game of Thrones", is a majestic, violent and mature masterpiece. His characters are excellent and his world is spellbinding, showing us much but hiding still more. You have an idea that he has some almost Tolkienesque backstory, but he only only releases small morsels to the reader, just as true fantasy writing should. If the second book is as good as the first (I haven't read it yet) then we have a classic on our hands. MOre on the second writer later.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 2 p.m. CST

    RE: Evilnight (1)

    by Alessan

    The Fantasy market has been in a bit of a slump for the last few years, so you haven't missed much. Basically, there are two writers worth folowing, at least in my opinion. The first is George R.R. Martin - a seventies sci-fi writer who's overgone a stunning transformation to fantasy, with a series called "The Winter of the World". The first novel, "A Game of Thrones", is a majestic, violent and mature masterpiece. His characters are excellent and his world is spellbinding, showing us much but hiding still more. You have an idea that he has some almost Tolkienesque backstory, but he only only releases small morsels to the reader, just as true fantasy writing should. If the second book is as good as the first (I haven't read it yet) then we have a classic on our hands. MOre on the second writer later.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 2:12 p.m. CST

    how 'bout a climax

    by The Human Bullet

    There's just one thing I want out of these movies: ONE FREAKING BATTLE BETWEEN SAURON AND GANDALF!!!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 2:17 p.m. CST

    by 374774

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 2:18 p.m. CST


    by dunadan

    I didn't know of the existence of this webpage until one hour ago. I was browsing the web looking for something else when I landed on a Tolkien site that mentioned the new LOTR movies and had a link to AICN. Whoa!! I couldn't believe it, they were going to make a high budget movie about my favorite book, I was really excited. However, after reading what Dr. Moriarty wrote about the script and what all you posted, I am feeling pessimistic. I understand that they can't make a very expensive movie exclusively targeted to the people that have read TLOR, but I know I'm going to feel dissapointed with every change from the book. Somebody said that if everything was put in the film, it would be eighteen hours long, I wouldn't have a problem with it, but I guess not too many people would agree with me. I completely agree with the people that said that Sam is the main character of the book, but its not my favorite one. I always found him too servile, and I couldn't forgive the fact that it was him who destroyed Smeagol's last chance of redemption. I find Frodo too melodramatic, but I guess its normal when you find yourself with such a burden. My favorites have always been Merry and Pippin, and even Bilbo, because I liked him so much in The Hobbit. Gandalf and Aragorn are cool too. I have to say that I'm jelaous of the people that have never read TLOR because they have the chance of reading it for the first time. I was somewhat lucky because I was able to read TLOR of the rings twice for the first time: in Spanish and in English. By the way, I assume that you are all native english speakers and that you have read TLOR in english only, I would like to let you know how well TLOR translates into Spanish and I'm sure it is the same in other languages. I think this happens because TLOR is a major work of literature, Stephen King's novels suck even more when they are translated into Spanish. I'm sure most of you didn't like what I said, and probably Tolkien wouldn't have liked it either, but there is no doubt that the original English version is the best by far, like any other original version. I've never read any fantasy book except the ones by Tolkien because I thought I would be disapointed. After reading what you all had to say on this matter I know I was right. Saludos

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 2:20 p.m. CST

    No Tom Bombadil!

    by 374774

    I love Lord of the Rings and everything, but I agree that Tom Bombadil should be left out of the script. However, it must include Lorien! It is essential to the story. And where are the next 20 questions from PJ!!!!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 3:10 p.m. CST

    RE: Evilnight (2)

    by Alessan

    The other Fantasy writer to watch - and I'm surprised you hadn't mentioned him - is Guy Gavriel Kay. Sure, his first effort (The Fionavar Tapestry) was more of a pastiche than a true novel, a Fantasy's Greatest Hits collection. If it hadn't been so damn well-written, it would have been a complete embarassment. No, his later works are the ones to read. He may not be the best world-builder (he skirts the line between fantasy and historical fiction) but he is one of the best world describers: his places live and breathe, and you grow to love them as much as his characters do. These characters are among the best ever in the genre - complex, three dimensional and magnetic, with ambiguous villains and exteremely human heroes. I'll concede that his plots may be a bit contrived, but he makes up for it with his discussions of such issues as loyalty, love and patriotism. His best book is probably Tigana, the book I had on my desk the first time I logged into this forum (hence my rather pretentious user ID). Don't miss him.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 3:19 p.m. CST

    dunadan, if you like what you see so far you should...

    by Mirror White

    check out some of the older posting forums on TLOTR here or check out the following websites in order: (official site) These are the best I have found. The official site has 9 beautiful preproduction conceptual paintings that are definitely worth getting. can get you up to speed on casting and such and features feedback from one of the studio execs. This site (aicn) has interviews with the director. Peter Jackson prior to preproduction recruited experts in Tolkien's languages from around the world and is planning to have (ala Dances With Wolves) dialogue spoken in Elvish with English subtitles. By the way I'm glad you caught the Smeagol almost redemption thing. It's easy to miss. :)

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 4:11 p.m. CST

    blasphemous thoughts

    by gnosis

    Let's see if I can start some real arguments! We all act as though JRRTs text is sacrosanct, but aren't there things you wish were done a little bit differently? (Tolkien had a great big list, or so he implies!)*** Pretend you are the editor at good old Allen Unwin or whatever it was and YOU get to write your notes to JRRT - I bet you would change some things!*** Let's see if I can get somebody in an uproar to start: I'd have cut Tom Bombadil from jump street: he's in the wrong story! But in the more substantive mode: I would have asked for more demonstration of Frodo's growth and the power of the ring - here's one suggestion: why not have at least one of the Nazgul actually make it to the Cracks of Doom, and Frodo, after claiming the ring, has command of him/it - makes him go to his knees or something - then Gollum smacks Frodo from behind, etcetera etcetera. Seems to me we are supposed to see Frodo as 'among the Great' - seems he could have some control of the Ring, though Sauron could take it from him himself.*** OK, I am ready for the replies - but be brave enough to tell us what you would change too!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Hmmm.... LotR.

    by greenleaf

    1 > A wind of panic is upon us. Lots of you are beginning to find that script not-so-great. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the 2-movies version! I am absolutely sure that Lorien will not be cut. I am also pretty confident that we will see Meduseld. Think about it. The new script has * 40 * minutes more PER FILM. I do not think that 3 films are insufficient to cover LotR. Indeed, I think this is the best thing that could be done. I do not think so much can be left out. 18 hours to make LotR??? Come on. 6 hours is pretty reasonable, if put in good hands. PJ = good hands. Remember how he was happy when he announced the 3-film project. I am convinced he did not like his cuts more than you did. 2 > Following Gandalf. If PJ is true to the spirit of the book (and Gandalf's spirit), he won't show us Gandalf alone. Everytime Gandalf is on his own, his story is never followed (Orthanc, Moria). Tolkien has made Gandalf so enigmatic: he could not possibly contradict himself so blatantly and let us spy on Gandalf. All the time we see him through the other companions' eyes. We never get to his thoughts. To follow this narrative convention about Gandalf is to emphasize the mystery about him. Now on film, we will see Gandalf, not through the companions' eyes, but through ours. In this you have no choice, PJ. But please, refrain from showing us every one of Gandalf's moves when he's going off alone! You have no right to access to Gandalf so easily, and neither does the viewer. (OK, that was a bit harsh...) 3 > In a Tookish followup: yes, I know that about the two Glorfindels, and of course, you're *officially* right, they were probably distinct. But I am sure I read somewhere that... anyway. Anyone believe in Elf reincarnation? A pretty odd concept coming from a Roman Catholic... 4 > Dunadan, check out the two 20 Questions rounds with Peter Jackson, the director. It will ease your worries. Also, let me tell you there are people from all over the world posting here. I cannot say the LOTR translates well in French... it doesn't. 'Frodon Sacquet'! And this guy's an englishman?!! BTW, 'LotR' translates 'LSDa' !

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 5:40 p.m. CST


    by Dan42

    I've been having the most difficult time cooling down (you can't keep that level of excitement for 2 years and remain sane) and now Moriarty goes and blows it all off to hell. I can remain calm, I can remain calm, I can remain calm... I CAN'T! THIS MOVIE IS GONNA BE THE MOST BESTEST AWESOME GOD-SENT MOVIE OF ALL TIME! I feel my blood boiling, my brain's going to explode any minute now, I don't have much time to finish this message... At least there are a few "cooling down" factors: Lothlorien merged with Rivendell, Helm's Deep merged with Edoras, Arwen merged with Glorfindel... but maybe one or two of those will be "de-merged" in the 3-movie version. // Why do so many people automatically put the Barrow Wight and Tom Bombadil in the same bag? It would be *so* easy to have the hobbits escape from the Barrow Downs without Bombadil's help. And *that* would be their first adventure, instead of the Old Willow. // Sam may be the most fleshed out character, but Frodo is the true hero. So what if Sam saves the day at the end? So what if Frodo ultimately fails? Sam's journey was a walk in a green summer park compared to the hell of Frodo's nightmarish path. Let's not forget *who* bore the Ring. And let's not underestimate the awesome crushing Power of the One Ring. I think it's a true testimony of Frodo's inner strength that he could carry it all the way to Mount Doom, even wounded as he was by Shelob's sting. // The enthusiam has reached it's fatal peak... My head is presently exploding... With my last ounce of strength I hit the "Post" button.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 6:26 p.m. CST

    oh, these wonderful postings

    by Krinkle

    Not having ever read ANY Tolkien (save for the first 15 pages of "The Hobbit", about three weeks ago), my excitement here lies in the very MAGNITUDE of this project. Peter Jackson has made two terrific movies ("Dead Alive" and "Heavenly Creatures") and one entertaining mess ("The Frighteners")--he sounds like the man for the job. But, having read the summaries for "Lord Of The Rings" AND "X-Men", I hope that the films don't turn out to be OVERLOADED with character info and exposition. I imagine that the Peter Jackson project will be the more successful of the two, if only becuase "X-Men" already reminds me of "Mystery Men", and that film is the worst I've seen all year. BY the way, why is it that most people who post here only refer to things as "great" or "the worst ever"? Why are there no grey areas? Are you afraid of sounding wishy-washy? Someone here accused Tolkien of being "the worst writer ever", but I think that that very posting has disproven that.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 6:28 p.m. CST


    by Schmendrick

    Hi there. I was just reading through the slew of LOTR posts and I just thought I'd toss in a couple of things. First, I noticed alot of discussion about what the title "The Two Towers" refers to. At the end of Fellowship Tolkien mentions off-handedly that the "Two Towers" are Orthanc and the fortress of Minas Morgul. Well, so much for speculation. With regard to reactions to the preliminary scripts, there are some things I think we need to remember. In one of the 20 q's interviews, Peter Jackson said specifically that there would be no composite characters or anything that directly contradicted events in the book. Omissions, yes, but not contradictions, hence the possibility for an expanded DVD edition that contains all the things cut from the theatre releases (so don't worry Bombadilites, you should see him eventually ;) ). As this came straight from PJ, I can only assume either that taking Moriarity's statements to imply mergings such as Arwen/Glorfindel or Edoras/Helm's Deep is a misinterpretation on our part or that, as these scripts predated the interviews (and were at the time under control of Harvey "Scissorhands" Weinstein at Miramax), that the aforementioned combinations are no longer there. (whew, what an ungodly long sentence) Anyway, I'm trying to take comfort in such thoughts. I trust in both PJ's ability and his commitment to making artistically sound films, so here's hoping!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Blair Witch is a gigantic ripoff...and i'm not referring to 'The


    Sorry, this is quite off the subject, but right now I'm so mad that I don't even care! Sure, everybody has accused 'The Blair Witch Project' of deriving its idea's from another project of similar design,'The Last Broadcast'. But, it goes even further back than that! There is a book of Lovecraftian stories(written by many authors) called 'Tales of the Cthluhu Mythos'. It is published by Del Rey, and should be easy to find. In this book, is a story called 'Sticks' written by a lesser known(but extremely good) author named Karl Edward Wagner. The story 'Sticks' has so much in common with 'TBWP'(Sticks was written in 1974) that it makes me sick to talk about it. The title 'Sticks' refers to the weird crucifice-like bundles of wood found together by the edge of a stream by a local. The crucifice is later identified to be a symbol for a HERMITIC CULT(remember Blair Witch now). But I'm not even going to go into the other comparisons, because it makes me want to throw-up. Read it for yourself. I defy you to come up with another reason for the similarities between the two, other than TBWP being an utter rip-off. I just had to write about this when I came home today to find TBWP on the cover of TIME. On a similar note, there is another story in the book called 'Notebook Found In a Deserted House' (interesting name, huh?) written by the late Robert Bloch. It tells the tale of a boy fighting off supernatural forces in the woods. This story is also eerily similar to TBWP not only becasue of its story, but also because of how the story is told(from a notebook found in a deserted house). What really gets at me is the fact that these two stories are in the same book(wonder if the creators of TBWP have this book at their house?). Go to your library and read these stories, or go to the bookstore and buy the book itself(its worth it). Then please tell everyone you can that actually cares about originality in movies and stories. Thank you...

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Translations and more

    by dunadan

    Not that anybody cares, but I've been thinking about what I said before and I guess the names in the LOTR don't translate that well into Spanish. Bilbo y Frodo Bolson, Bolson Cerrado, La Comarca, Los Gamos, Legolas Hojaverde, etc, do sound silly. Nevertheless, I like those names because they are the first names by which I recognized the characters of that great book.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 7:51 p.m. CST

    more Tookish nonsense from Bree

    by Tookish

    Hail! Thanks *Alessan* for the tip on George RR Martin (I like the ring of that). *dunadan* thx for Spanish lang perspective; I consider you lucky! I tried The Hobbit in Span but am not fluent enough. Spanish is a beautiful lang and I

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Hail, Elf Friends

    by 374774

    Wow! I just got hooked up to the internet recently, and I was delighted to find out that my favorite books (LotR, of course) were being made into a movie. Believe me, I've been trying to find all of the info about it that I could get my hands on! So far, it looks like PJ & co are doing a great job and keeping the script true to the book (except the removal of Lorien from the movie cannot be tolerated) and I can't wait until the summer of 2001. To all of my fellow LotR fanatics out there I have two questions. 1: Who is casted to play Legolas? The elf has always been one of my favorite characters. 2. Is Ethan Hawke really going to play Faramir? Also, WHEN ARE THE NEXT TWENTY QUESTIONS GOING TO BE POSTED??!!( As you can tell, I'm a bit anxious. :) )

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Translations, etc.

    by Natalie

    _Krinkle_ hi, I know you're a huge Star Wars fan, I wonder what brought you here? Anyway, read the book before the movie comes out.~~~Yes, Dunadan, there is a good Tolkien's translation in Russian, even two of them. There's a continuous debate which one is the best. Ofcourse all these hobbit names sounds funny. I wish they didn't translate them all but they have to do it because in in Chapter One there're some jokes about them. Other names don't sound so funny because Russian is much more different from English than French or Spanish but ofcourse you should read Tolkien in English to feel the spitit. It wasn't an easiest reading by the way. Those archaic words and different dialects... ~~~Well, again my suggestions about books about books. Did anyone here read Michael Swanwick's the Iron Dragon's Daughter? Ofcourse it's a bit weird and besides not a pure fantasy, but a great book IMO. Much better than this Eddings or Brooks stuff. ~~~About movie cuts: smb said he would like to cut Tom Bombadil even from the book. I think that's too much. I remember I read in Tolkien FAQ Professor's own words about Tom: smth that all the characters in the book are either good or evil and that both of them, even good ones want to control and that Tom is above all that, he doesn't want any power and that's why the Ring doesn't affect him. Besides the whole Old Forest adventure was importan for Tolkien, you know, he really loved trees. Well, I must admit i'm a Tolkien purist and would have want to see everything in the movie, but I understand it's impossible. So.. let's cut Tom Bombadil - I wonder how could they escape Nazguls without the Old Forest and besides Stider heard them parting with Tom and thus was sure it was that certain Baggins not to mention the special swords. Let's see what PJ will do. But I'll bet at least have of you who want Tom to be cut after watching the movie would say this part wasn't convincing. ~~~btw i'm thinking, we're discussing the title of the second part so much, why not discuss the title of the whole book? If only you haven't done that before, i don't know, I found this site just a week ago. So, why is the greatest book of the 20th century called the Lord of the Rings after the bad guy when we're supposed to be on the side of the good guys and hobbits. Maybe because he's the main person and there're so many good ones there? TTYL, bye for now or poka, as we say in our country.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 9:21 p.m. CST


    by Mirror White

    Actually Elves didn't have a choice. They all went to the halls of Mandos. Then, according to how they did, there they would wait until being aloud to return... as themselves (same body). Tolkien never exactly explained whether they were born again or just had their bodies recreated by grace of the Valar. Elves were bound to the world even as the Valar and the Maair. Except for the half-elven who chose mortality... the only elves who never returned were Miriel the first wife of Finwe, 1st high king of the Noldor in Amen whose spirit was too weary to ever return and their son Feanor whom Mandos has yet to release and who is fated to remain their until the end days when the prophicies of Mandos will be fulfilled!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Hi Mithrandir21

    by Schmendrick

    Hey! Well, as far as Ethan Hawke goes, that's unknown. There was some mention of a well known couple (attributed, I believe, to New Line's Michael DeLuca, though I'm not certain of it's validity) being cast in the roles of Faramir and Galadriel. Speculation has been flying with ideas of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, Sean and Robin Wright Penn, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman... Personally I'm hoping for Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. ;) (just kidding) Anyway, we're all wondering. As for Legolas, that has yet to be announced and I honestly don't have a clue. Hmm... Tangent time. Just thinking of Uma Thurman in the part of Galadriel reminded me of something that's been weighing much on my mind as far as casting goes. Namely, I am fervently praying that Peter Jackson turns a completely deaf ear to the suggestions of both Hollywood big shots and devoted fans on the casting of the female roles in the films. Why? Because all of the postings I read seem to be concerned with acting ability and suitability for the part... until they get to the female characters. Then it's strictly looks. All of a sudden, after hearing names of great actors like Ian Mckellan and Ian Holm bandied about it suddenly turns into Catherine Zeta-Jones and legions of other model-types in whom people see "elfin beauty" or whatever, and see no need to look for anything more. Well, one of the many things which distinguishes Tolkien is that his female characters were more than window-dressing. The film-going public is so accustomed to automatically not looking for real characterization in women that I can't really blame them... much. But snap out of it, people! I just don't want to see what could be a great work fall just short by casting totally untalented actresses because they look good on the poster. Fortunately, Peter Jackson is a remarkably non-exploitational filmmaker as far as this goes (Heavenly Creatures, directed by most anyone else, would have come out as tasteless "Wild Things" trash). I'm just hoping that, as the frenzy of public attention on these films grows, the higher-ups at New Line don't start trying to mess with the project and pop-culturize it into oblivion. Well, that's my random rant for the evening. Later! Oh, P.S.: To be fair to Uma Thurman, I still can't quite figure out if she's good or not. Weird, but true. When I watch Pulp Fiction, I have to wonder if some of her poorer performances weren't in fact simply cases of poorer roles...

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 10:11 p.m. CST


    by Rubel

    Wow, I can't remember ever being close to being this excited about any movies! Just look how much response it has gotten on this talkback, it is so great to see so many fans discussing LOTR, not just the coming movies but the book itself, I love it! LOTR is possibly my favorite book ever, ever since my father read it to me back in elementary school. We had read the Hobbit first, and I remember in the middle of LOTR suddenly coming to the realization that Bilbo's ring was the one ring (hey, I was in elementary school!). I'm sure none of you care about this, but I can't help it, these books are so nostalgiac to me as I'm sure they are to you. Anyway, I wanted to give props to Mithrandir, Legolas is my favorite character, he gets no respect he's only been mentioned like 3 times in the talkback, but he was certainly great, represeting the elves. Also, I agree with the one poster on Sam, he always annoyed me slightly, I liked the other 3 hobbits better, but he was important to the story. Have much more to say but this is too long already, later!

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Xoanan says hello to all!

    by Tookish

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 11:09 p.m. CST

    clink, clink

    by Tookish

    Been spending quality time at Xoanan is the webmaster and sends his greetings to all. He's a gracious host. May the hair on his toes never fall out! Clink, clink. *shmendrick* (hope I spelled that right)Very well put!! I expressed the same feeling on my first post. You put it beautifully, and thank you. Let's keep our hopes up on that one: so far, so good with the casting IMO, so why would it get botched now? We'll see.

  • Aug. 10, 1999, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Aragorn and Arwen

    by Schmendrick

    Back again! Thanks to Tookish for the kind words, by the way. I was just thinking about how Peter Jackson's stated intentions of devoting a lot of attention to A and A's love story have had everyone (myself included) at best wary and at worst resigned to the notion that the story will be reduced to (in Peregrin's words) a soap opera. As Peregrin noted, Aragorn is eighty seven years old and fell in love with Arwen nearly forty years before seeing her again in Rivendell at the time of the council of Elrond. To try and alter this and give us some improvised romance that starts in the present would indeed be a travesty. Or would it be a debacle... :) What I've been thinking, however, is that increased focus on the love story does not necesarily mean a reworking of it. The introduction which Moriarty spoke of makes it quite clear that Jackson is doing his homework on the history of Middle Earth and its inhabitants and is trying to give us some backstory. Is it not then conceivable that he will somehow relate the past of Aragorn and Arwen? I actually see the potential for a beautiful and heart-wrenching screen representation, making it clear what suffering Aragorn experiences being compelled to wander the world and endure unimaginable hardship, all the while longing only to be able to finally wed and be with his beloved. If Jackson concentrates on this backstory, and the unfulfilled longing of these two characters, this could possibly come out to be better than any of us have hoped. (and if he hasn't thought of that approach, please God let him read this post! :) ) So don't give up! It's possible that PJ can really make a faithful adaptation work!

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Merry & Eowyn contd...

    by DejaVoodoo

    Wow, I never expected to start such a slew of opinion with my last post regarding whether Merry or Eowyn actually kills the Witch King. However, I guess I really messed up by editing out the line: "So passed the sword of the Barrow Downs...blah, blah, blah". The point I was trying to make was that I always believed that Merry's blade only undid the spell that "knit his unseen sinews to his will". I still think that Eowyn dealt the death blow: ROTK pg117: "...she drove her sword between crown and mantle, as the great shoulders bowed before her. The sword (Eowyn's) broke sparkling into many shards. The crown rolled away with a clang. Eowyn fell forward upon her fallen foe. But lo! the mantle and hauberk were empty..." The question, I guess is was his gear "empty" before or after Eowyn struck? My take on it is this: Merry stabs the Witch King, undoing the "spell", leaving him open to attack by "conventional" weponry. Eowyn then siezes her chance, and deals the death blow. But I would accept as perfectly valid an argument going the other way. All the conversation about this one point has really opened my eyes to something. (Ive been backed up by Goodgulf, so I don;t feel like I am going out on a limb, here...) The beautiful thing about Tolkien is plot points that were all but sealed in stone in my mind (like the above points) are by others percieved differently. I really don't think it's a question of who's right or who's wrong on many points of discussion with regards to the books. Tolkien manages to be both complete in his descriptives, yet not so much that the reader is unable to use his/her own imagination to fill in whatever blanks the reader wants to percieve. It's almost as though the stories are written with the express purpose of MAKING you help "write" the story. I think this is why LOTR resonates so strongly with so many people. It's personal because we all write our own stories while following the professor's work. This has to be why so many of us get bent over what PJ may or may not edit/alter/amalgamate with HIS films, It just doesnt follow our own personal vision. To be fair, his is just as valid as anyones.

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 1:21 a.m. CST

    DejaVoodoo - The Man With The Power.

    by Goodgulf

    What power? The power of whodoo. Whodoo? The man! What man? The man with the power! What power? The power of whodoo... Man, that bit is sooo-o-o-o-o old! Since Deja Voodoo mentioned me backing him up in the previous post, I thought I'd take a moment to swear to all of you, I've never heard of this guy. I don't know what he's talking about. I deny it...whatever he's accused me of. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Just Kidding DejaVoodoo. You know I keep thinking I've heard that name before for some reason...creepy Twilight Zone music swells up in the background. Yes it actually swells up and now lies lifeless in a corner of my room.

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 4:14 a.m. CST


    by greenleaf

    *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** The two towers are Orthanc and Minas Morgul *** Les deux tours sont Orthanc et Minas Morgul *** Los dos torres son Orthanc y Minas Morgul *** Die zwei Turme sind Orthanc und Minas Morgul *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ho,ho,ho!

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Glorfindel Reborn

    by Vanyar

    morGoth, thy request is answered! Heehee! Yes, morgy knew I just couldn't keep silent when it comes to the topic of Eldarin re-imbodiment (Tolkien didn't like the connotations of the term "reincarnation"). Anywho, to Tookish and MirrorWhite, here are JRR and Christopher Tolkien's answers regarding the rebirth of the elves (including Glorfindel). It is brought up in several chapters of "Morgoth's Ring," which is Vol. X of "The History of Middle Earth" by Christopher Tolkien. He pulls together several writings his dad was working on referencing that whole issue. In essence, Tolkien wrote that because Miriel (Finwe's wife) wasted away and died from the vast quantities of life energy she expended giving birth to Feanor, and Finwe grieved so much, and death was NOT supposed to enter the Blessed Realm (Aman), Manwe approached Eru Iluvatar and requested permission to in some way return the Eldar to life. Eru said that the elves who died would remain in Mandos for a certain number of years and then would be given a choice -- to roam Aman as an eternal spirit (similar to a Maia), to be re-housed in a Vala-made copy of their original body, or to be re-born into their clan through their children or children's children. Pretty wild stuff. They also, evidently, were generally restricted to Aman, but could, by special exception, return to Middle Earth. Here are some excerpts that address it. "Conversation Between Manwe and Eru Regarding the Resurrection of the Elves Manwe: " . . The First-Born children, whom Thou madest immortal, now suffer severance of spirit and body . . what further should be done?" Eru: "Let the houseless be re-housed!" Manwe: "How shall this be done?" Eru: "Let the body that was destroyed be remade. Or let the naked fea (spirit) be reborn as a child." NOTE: (Eru then gave the Valar the authority to do either of those tasks through his power and their skill. Eru also tells Manwe that each elf who is put back in bodily form will retain all of their original appearance, memories, skills and powers). "The Debate of Finrod and Andreth In this section, Tolkien says that dead elves were, after their waiting period, summoned from Mandos to Aman and there given the choice to "remain houseless or, if they wished, to be re-housed in the same form and shape as they had had. Normally they must nonetheless remain in Aman. . . Only in exceptional cases, such as Beren and Luthien, will they be transported back to Middle Earth." Christopher notes that the prerequisites for a "special exception" being allowed appear to be the following: (1) Some connection with a figure carrying the divine spark of the Maiar (such as Luthien), or (2) ensuring the continuance of that divine bloodline, or (3) through some extraordinary deed. Glorfindel was evidently one of the "special exceptions" for a couple of reasons. He not only accomplished an extraordinary deed (killed a Balrog), but in doing so ensured that the divine bloodline of Melian continued (Glorfindel's victory ensured that Idril and Tuor and (especially) Earendil escaped the fall of Gondolin and survived). Christopher Tolkien also mentions that his father wrote a letter to a friend about the nature of the elves which included a section about "the Resurrection of Glorfindel of Gondolin." So, it would appear that Glorfindel was indeed "re-housed" in his original form, and was able to return to Middle Earth. However, for the VAST majority of elves, Aman was their resurrection home. So, for all intent and purposes, the elves stay in Aman after they are released from Mandos. I believe if I had the choice to live eternally in either Paradise or Earth, Earth would NOT be my first pick. :-) Hope I didn't bore y'all with my lengthy answer. P.S. -- BTW, Glorfindel was indeed of the house of Finwe, since only elves of the Vanyar (who stayed in Aman) and elves descended from Finwe and Indis (a Vanya elf) had yellow hair. All other elves had dark (raven) hair and grey eyes. Glorfindel, during was the chief of the House of the Golden Flower, one of the 12 houses (clans) of Gondolin. Namarie'

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Now in Russian, please, Natalie

    by greenleaf

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Moriarty's report, remember?

    by greenleaf

    "Gandalf's escape from Saruman leads him into even more peril [at Helm's Deep], and only the intervention of the King's niece Eowyn saves Gandalf. Only the powerful Shadowfax is able to transport him to safety.." Is that some kind of "rhetorical inaccuracy" or is Gandalf actually <fleeing> from Helm's Deep? What unknown menace lies in Th

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 9:38 a.m. CST

    No Russian, Greenleaf

    by Natalie

    No Greenleaf, I won't say that in Russian, because:1)this computer i'm sitting at doesn't have Russian letters and russian words in Latin letters look really funny - even more funny than names from Lotr in Russian translation;2)I don't agree with you (I mean, not totally) and I've already explained why, i wouldn't like to repeat that and bore other posters to death, but if you say that again, i defenitely will :) So, net, net i net! ~~~But good point about Gandalf and Theoden. i also think this saving of Gandalf by Eowyn looks weird as if Theoden is more terrible than Balrog!_DejaVoodoo_When i read ROTK i though it was Merry's blade which dissolved the spells and because of that the Witch King vanished, but now i think maybe you're right. It is one of the many things in Tolkien's books which are not totally clear (e.g. who is Tom Bombadil or what are these damned two towers)_Alessan_are you sure George Martin's series is called the Winter of the World? I found it in and they call it the Song of Ice and Fire. Or maybe they're wrong. The second book is called A Clash of Kings.

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Vanyar you are truly a Tolkien scholar... It's probably time for

    by Mirror White

    Thank you for the clarification. On another matter... what did you think of the prophcies of Mandos concerning the final days in "The Lost Road"?

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 1:29 p.m. CST

    A correction (and a note)

    by Alessan

    Natalie: I am so embarrased. You're right about George r.r. Martin - I had him confused with an inferior series by Michael Scott Rohan. The "Winter" is probably what caused the confusion. As an addition to our discussions on language, I'd like to say that LotR is excellent in Hebrew (although there is a certain problen with names; because of the Hebrew habit of vowel dropping for a long time I thought the hero was called Proodo). The book was translated again recently, and my wife tells me that it's great. Hebrew is a heavier, more portentious - if less flexible - language than English, and in certain situtions it adds a grandeur that the original version can't quite achieve. I myself am a purist, and reread it in English, but I have a bilingual friend who prefers reading the translation. Anyway, today we have four unconnected translations of Tolkien's works, two of LotR, two of the Hobbit, which gives us, among other things, five different translations of the word "elves" (for the record: Elfim, Alafim, Shedonim and Bnei-Lilith). On of the translations of the Hobbit has an interesting story behind it, sure to please any Tolkien fan. Between the years of 1970-1970 a bunch of downed pilots in Egypian captivity got their hands on a copy of the book, in English, and decided to translate it just for the hell of it. They worked in a group and translated it over the course of 2 years until their release, when they had it published. Now granted, their work was amateurish and unpolished, especially compared to the professional translation that came out later, but it has this vitality that come from a labour of love. I met one of these pilots once, when he came by my highschool for a talk. The funny thing was - he wasn't some literate proto-geek who happened to find himself flying an F-4; he was this down-to-earth, macho military type, with about 8 MiGs confirmed on his kill-sheet. And still he loved Tolkien. From that day on, I started taking pride in my passion and in my belief in the world beyond the world. You should too.

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Legolas rules!!!!

    by 374774

    Major, major props to Rubel for recognizing the prowess of Legolas Greenleaf! He's got syle, witty charm, and is a pretty good shot with the arrow and bow. I hope PJ includes the orc-killing contest between him and Gimli at Helm's Deep in the script, which is a pretty cool part of the book. " 'Two,' said Gimli, patting his axe. He had returned to his place on the wall. 'Two?' said Legolas. 'I have done better, though now I must grope for spent arrows; all mine are gone. Yet I make my tale twenty at the least. But that is only a few leaves in a forest.' " C'mon, how could you not love this guy! But I disagree with Rubel about Sam. Though he can be a bit too servile at times, he is the hero of the book. And, thanx Schmendrick, for answering my questions. But, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman! Gag, gag . . .

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Cruise, Kidman, and Jewish dwarves...

    by Schmendrick

    No problem, Mithrandir. As far as Cruise and Kidman, don't shoot the messenger. I'm less than thrilled at the idea myself, I was just mentioning the rumour. :) Hey, Allessan, I was just curious; Tolkien mentioned in one interview that the dwarvish language was based strongly on Hebrew. In the Hebrew edition of the books, did the languages end up overlapping at all? Just a random thought.

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Re: Alessan

    by Natalie

    Thank you Alessan, it's an interesting story about Hobbit's translation. We've got only one, but it's really briiliant, with humour and everything. It's a shame for our country, but Lotr was translated only in the 80s I guess because Mordor reminded the Soviet Union a bit. Now i'm dreaming to translate Lotr myself because there're pretty many things i don't like in the translations. But i'm afraid it's not a very good idea, because people have already got used to those translations and don't need another one. Besides Tolien is not a very easy author to translate indeed. Btw do you know that Tolkien meant Middle Earth was our own world 6000 years ago? I read about that in Tolkien FAQ in the Web. There're a lot of other interesting ideas there (based on Tolkien's own books and letters ofcourse).

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 5:44 p.m. CST

    translations, etc.

    by greenleaf

    You are lucky to have two translations of LotR to choose from. The French translation really needs to be redone. It was done by the same guy who translated 'The Hobbit", but the LotR was too much for his skills, I'm afraid. He wasn't even consistent with the names in his two works. And there are many passages missing from the LotR. Oh, btw, Natalie, my international newsflash wasn't that sincere at all... We had agreed before on that subject, which shall NOT be mentionned again. I have 'Morgoth's Ring' at home but I'm not through 'Sauron defeated' yet. Seems the later Silmarillion writings were concerned with fundamental matters of the mythology, and the excerpts Vanyar gave are quite compelling.

  • Aug. 11, 1999, 6:40 p.m. CST

    translations and etc

    by Agges

    hey i studied Hebrew at university for two years, where can i get a Hebrew copy of LOTR?..( outside Israel..)..guess that would be a difficulty. But ok i read down all the way in the talk back and what do i have to say? The scouring of the Shire and after, the effects on Frodo etc, must be left is a moment of showed that you can't expect to come home and find things safe and find yourself unchanged..which is an element of Tolkiens experience or war. and yay! someone used my example of how the Hobbits could escape the Barrows without Tom, allowing the inclusion of the Barrow-downs heh heh As for the Two Towers i always thought that they were Minas Tirith and Minas Ithil, as more relevant to the over all picture than say Orthanc, but anyway thats not based on anything... At any rate I am glad that it is a three film version allowing the inclusion of things that would otherwise be cut. I agree the scenes in Lorien must remain, they showed the destruction of the Ring led to the fading of this world, and everything created by the use of the lesser rings, the loss that was suffered by Galadriel and others to win the final victory. and as mentioned above by someone it was essential to have Galadriel test the fellowship, to see the first signs of Boromirs failing the test, to see Sam waver between his desire to go back and his loyalty to Frodo etc. and the gifts, the glass phial, etc as mentioned above, have to be given here rather than in Rivendell... i am sure Lorien will be in the three film version so i'll stop there. As for the question posted above Would I change anything? I'm not a Tom Bombadil supporter and I agree that it could be done without him, but hes part of the wonder of Tolkiens world ( next time I make up my own world i'll do things my way heh heh ) I agree though i skip past his songs and I'd probably look sideways and roll my eyes if I was there or would I be laughing at his antics, and smiling with the Hobbits hmm? Now doesn't he have an element of pure joy and laughter that we of the real world can't always comprehend? Thats probably why we put him aside because nothing he says or does is of any real consequence or importance, except for the fact that we can't understand him and that hes there, and that the Ring and other things in the world outside have no effect on him, he has no worries no cares no troubles. and again i am not a Tom Bombadil supporter just thinkin out loud...sure sounded like I was for a second there. Where was I before the Bombadil fan in me started typing?... With the question of the Two Towers it would be great to have some kind of travelling shot, maybe with Faramir and his men fleeing from over the river back to Minas Tirith, that would include maybe a look at Minas Morgul and then across from Osgialiath all the way back to Minas Tirith..i always wanted to see this sense of the two towers facing off ( ok distance/ place not included ) across Osgiliath...and the military strategy from both sides, especially as Faramir and his men are forced back across...

  • Aug. 12, 1999, 4:51 a.m. CST

    Of DejaVoodoo & Witch Kings, Mirror White & Prophecies

    by Vanyar

    DejaVoodoo--Eglerio! You hit the glamhoth on the noggin! Merry's Numenorean blade broke the spell keeping The Lord of the Nine's flesh invulnerable -- essentially making him "mortal." Eowyn's well-placed sword thrust then killed him. And thus the prophecy was fulfilled -- The Ulairi Lord fell at the hands of two who were not "Men." Mirror White -- WHOA! Your query about my views on the prophecies of Mandos re: the end of all things would take me far too long in this forum to write down, but suffice it to say that I find the whole "Unmarring of Arda" concept amazing. It will be a time (similar to an Armageddon) when the final battle between Morgoth and his forces and the Valar and Free Peoples will take place. After Morgoth's defeat, Eru Iluvatar reveals the answers o so many mysteries -- the fate of Men, the ultimate purpose of the Children of God (Erusen), and then Eru, with the Valar's aid, heals the wounds of the tortured earth, making things as they were "In the Beginning." I know that is just the tip of the iceberg, but still just thinking about the complexity and majesty of those concepts is fascinating. What are your views on the "Ringbearers went to Valinor permanently/temporarily" debate? Namarie.

  • Aug. 12, 1999, 9:49 a.m. CST


    by Thersites

    Don't be too hard on Moriarty for only giving us the tiniest of hints of the content of the scripts -- even if these scripts are not going to be used, then the laws of copyright apply and I am sure that if Moriarty gave us any more details then he might get another knock on the lab door: from lawyers this time!

  • Aug. 12, 1999, 11:10 a.m. CST


    by Dan42

    You are absolutely right! Female casting should not be limited to beauty considerations. That's why I've always said that Michelle Pfeiffer is the perfect Galadriel. She is one of the best actresses in Hollywood. It also happens that she's the most elven-looking ;-)

  • Aug. 12, 1999, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Vanyar, The Prophecies of Mandos, and the Fate of the Ring-Beare

    by Mirror White

  • Aug. 12, 1999, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Vanyar, The Prophecies of Mandos, and the Fate of the Ring-Beare

    by Mirror White

    Well now lets see. That's a complicated question. Unlike the other rebelious Noldor which had been granted pardon... Galadriel was, according to Tolkien, ... "'unstained': she had committed no evil deeds. She was an enemy of F

  • Aug. 12, 1999, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Go Vanyar!

    by Tookish

    Well done! Thanks for those great details. How wonderful would it be to stumble across a lost document entitled, "The Resurection of Glorfindel!" Cheers to you and all!

  • Aug. 13, 1999, 5:44 a.m. CST

    Ringbearer's Fates & Good Old Glorfindel

    by Vanyar

    Mirror White -- LOVEd your commentary on the fate of the Ringbearers. I'm not sure if Galadriel and Elrond would be allowed into Aman or just Tol Eressea. Hmmm, have to ponder that some more. True, they were not part of the Oath of Feanor (Galadriel opposed Feanor, and Elrond wasn't born yet), so that may make the difference. Oh, one point of disagreement -- Galadriel did indeed go with the Noldor on their journey to Endor. I know JRRT had, at one point, written a scenario where she and Celeborn sailed from Aman to Endor in their own ship, but he abandoned that for the scene as it appeared in the Silmarillion -- that is, Galadriel going with the host -- not participating in any of the evil, and not following Feanor, but going to Endor to found her own queendom. Look at the last page of "The Flight of the Noldor" in the Silmarillion and you'll find this "The fire of their (the Noldor) hearts was young, and led by Fingolfin and his sons, and by Finrod and Galadriel, they dared to pass into the bitterest North; and finding no other way they endured at last the terror of the Helcaraxe and the cruel hills of ice." Hope that clarifies Galadriel's mode of getting to ME. Now Gandalf, of course, would go to Aman, since he is a Maia, and Aman is home. Your explanation of the Hobbits' situation was perfect. Couldn't agree more. And your take on the ending of the LOTR movie is EXACTLY what I would love to see. That montage would be so moving it would mist your eyes pretty quickly. MAN! I'm gettin misty right now! Imagine -- Sam riding off by himself to the Grey Havens, bequeathing the Red Book at the Tower Hills, Merry & Pippin surrendering their offices, riding off to see old king Eomer, going to see Elessar Telcontar, being laid to rest in Rath Dinen beside the kings of Gondor, the death of Elessar and the passing of Arwen, and Legolas building his swan ship, and he and Gimli sailing West into the setting sun -- and then, the fitting touch, a voiceover (maybe Gandalf?) saying the final words in the Chronology of the Appendices in LOTR, "And when that ship passed an end was come in Middle-earth of the Fellowship of the Ring." Whew. Ok, OK, get a grip, lad. OK, I gotta go and re-read LOTR all over again. Tookish -- Thank you for the kind words regarding the info on Glorfindel. I too have often wished that Chris Tolkien had come across just such a document. There is a letter to a friend that JRRT wrote regarding that subject, but I don't see it in the book "Letters of JRRT." Well, gotta run. "Le vana vinya romen" and Namarie.

  • Aug. 13, 1999, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Jewish dwarves

    by m2298

    From what I recall, Tolkien mentioned that he saw the Dwarves in Middle-Earth as akin to the Jews in pre-Enlightenment Europe -- as a people living among, but apart from the "main" Christian populace -- in culture, belief, language etc. They are proud, stubborn and have a glorious/unhappy history. I don't think he meant there were any similarities between the Hebrew language itself and Dwarvish (other than use of gutterals). I believe that the Israeli people posting here can back me up.

  • Aug. 13, 1999, 8:07 a.m. CST

    It's still there

    by Natalie

    Harry, i see that Moriarty's report is stil at the top. Is it going to be there intil the FOTR is released in 2 years? Then we'll see if the movie meets our high expectations.

  • Aug. 13, 1999, 9:06 p.m. CST

    My apologies...

    by Ilvenshang

    MorGossamer was right, the report can be read in a number of ways re: Galadriel. I couldn't get access to this site in time to make amends properly, I'm only doing this now because I chanced to learn (fr. that there was still some activity in this forum. So if any of the people I insulted are still lurking here - I'm sorry.

  • Aug. 14, 1999, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Some last notes on Dwarvish and Hebrew

    by Alessan

    In response to some previous enquiries: no, there is no overlaping between Hebrew and Dwarvish. However, from what I'ne read of Tolkien's works, very little Dwarvish is evident in his writing, outside of place-names and a number of phrases. The sound of Dwarvish is certainly similar to that of Hebrew, with the use of gutterals and hard, simple vowels. I have put some thought into the subject, and believe that Tolkien did indeed base his language on Hebrew elements. Consider this: The Hebrew word for dwarf is "Gamad", similar to Tolkiens "Khazad" (Hebrew uses the letter "z" far more often than English). Aditionally, the word for "ancient" is "Kadum". Now, it's probably a coincidence, but look at the similarity between the phrase "Gamad-kadum" ("ancient dwarf - in Hebrew the adjective follows the subject) and "Khazad-dum". Interesting, isn't it? Another element of Hebrew in Tolkien's writing is the use of the masculine plural form of "-im". This usage is present in "Rohirrim" and in other incidences. Just an observation, to end this epic talkback on an intellectual note.

  • Aug. 14, 1999, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Why Thank You, Vanyar.... However...

    by Mirror White

    I need to disagree with you about Galadriel... The letter, # 353, was written one month before Tolkien's death. In it, Tolkien said, "Galadriel was 'unstained': she had committed no evil deeds. She was an enemy of F

  • Aug. 16, 1999, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Moror White -- Thanks for the Clarification

    by Vanyar

    I was wondering where that obviously quoted material came from. It sure sounded like a Letter by Tolkien, but I couldn't locate it. Thanks for telling me which one it was. Yes, Master T. was re-writing until the very end, wasn't he? As I read more and more of Chris T's compilations, it never ceases to amaze me how rich was the mine in which JRRT was delving. Sometimes I begin almost to believe that he really did find some ancient copies of even more ancient tomes and translated them. He even leaves some things in mystery -- as though he were actually only able to report what has been written, and not have the omniscient powers a writer has with his creation. Very clever of him -- it lends to the air of believability in his sub-creation. There are so many elements that Chris Tolkien's research have turned up that just make me go "What? Really?" For example, the revelation recently from morGoth (as revealed in BOLT) that in a earlier version of the Silmarillion, Gothmog was morGoth's "son." Whoa, go figure that one out. Or that Beren was originally a Noldor. Even little things like Frodo and Sam originally battling Nazgul on the slopes of Orodruin at the end of the quest. Ok, enough inane examples. Suffice it to say that JRRT was ever at work on his vision of the tales and characters in his great opus. Again, thanks for the clarification of JRRT's concept of Galadriel. While I had read "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" many times, I had always come away with the idea that The Silmarillion version was the final version of her story. I just re-read "The History of..." this weekend and lo and behold! It reads as though her sailing away from Alqualonde after helping the Teleri defend their city is indeed the definitive version. This makes her whole history more understandable and even more poignant. MW, thanks for setting me straight. BTW, what is your opinion on the following concept that has puzzled me for years -- In LOTR it clearly states that Prince Imrahil has elven blood. Now that is understandable since he is from Dol Amroth (an elf haven). However, since JRRT clearly states many times that there were only THREE unions of Eldar and Edain, it makes me wonder how Imrahil fits into the picture. What are your thoughts? Namarie.

  • Aug. 16, 1999, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Oops! Sorry for Mirror White

    by Vanyar

    That's what I get for not checking my post BEFORE posting it. Didn't mean to butcher your moniker. How in the world did I type Moror? Hmmm, Maybe I was thinking about Morgoth, which made me think of Sauron, which made me think of.....Mordor? Yeah, right, nice try Vanyar. Namarie.

  • Aug. 17, 1999, 11:51 p.m. CST

    And the actor to play Boromir SHOULD be. . .

    by yodas_ghost

    Anthony Simcoe! What, you don't know him? I don't blame you. Though, fans of the Sci-Fi Channel's "FarScape" would know him better as D'Argo. I was just reading "Fellowship of the Ring" and it hit me. This guy has the perfectly gruff voice, the imposing physical stature, and can play a pretty ill-tempered, yet very brave, character very well. Anyhoo, this is just my 2 cents worth.

  • Aug. 28, 1999, 7:06 p.m. CST


    by Elwe Singollo

    If PJ pulls this one out of his hat, guess what's next......... That's right, The Silmarillion!!!! And I'm going to make it!!!!! Anyone care to come along?

  • July 12, 2002, 9:27 p.m. CST

    LOTR rocks!!!

    by shadow_ring

    Hey, anyone else who&#39;s in total suspense for the upcoming movies-i feel your pain. the first movie-FOTR-was incredible! anyone who said it sucked should be declared deprived and absolutly insane. i mean-what kind of a person could hate Tolkien and his works, not to mention the movies? HEY! to any of the morons that came to this website to critisize a masterpiece, i have a sigestion for ya-go read the trilogy, see all three movies, and seriously consider what could have been better. Tolkien&#39;s works are beyond what most people can&#39;t even dream about. he created a new world-full of magic, mystery, different races and languages, a world full of power and malice. no one could possibly think up what he did. try making up a new language, or create a monster that strikes fear into the hearts of men, without even knowing what it is! it&#39;s impossible. no one past or future, is going to override what Tolkien brought the world.

  • Dec. 19, 2003, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Hey, look at me!

    by rev_skarekroe

    I'm posting BACKWARDS IN TIME!!! sk

  • Aug. 21, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST

    What&#39;s there to look at?

    by Wolfpack