“Legolas, please shut up” – Aragorn [x]
Elves! Too much time on their lives …
“Legolas, please shut up” – Aragorn [x]
Elves! Too much time on their lives …
Indulgence of Beauty by Stefan Hefele
They had gone little more than a mile into the forest when they came upon another stream flowing down swiftly from the tree-clad slopes that climbed back westward towards the mountains. They heard it splashing over a fall away among the shadows on their right. Its dark hurrying waters ran across the path before them, and joined the Silverlode in a swirl of dim pools among the roots of trees.
‘Here is Nimrodel!’ said Legolas. ‘Of this stream the Silvan Elves made many songs long ago,and still we sing them in the North, remembering the rainbow on its falls, and the golden flowersthat floated in its foam.
– The Lord of the Rings, Volume One: The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two: The Ring Goes South, Chapter 6: Lothlórien
Together by aniryazul
‘Look!’ he cried. ‘Gulls! They are flying far inland. A wonder they are to me and a trouble to my heart. Never in all my life had I met them, until we came to Pelargir, and there I heard them crying in the air as we rode to the battle of the ships. Then I stood still, forgetting war in Middle-earth; for their wailing voices spoke to me of the Sea. The Sea! Alas! I have not yet beheld it. But deep in the hearts of all my kindred lies the sea-longing, which it is perilous to stir. Alas! for the gulls. No peace shall I have again under beech or under elm.’
– Legolas. The Lord of the Rings, Volume Three: The Return of the King, Book Five: The War Of The Ring, Chapter 9: The Last Debate
“If it had been in the movie it would have been… it would have been quite a nice shot.” – Alan Lee
With the home-entertainment release theatrical edition of The Battle of the Five Armies impending, I am finding myself wondering if we’re gonna get DOS’ed again with an extended edition with NO additional scenes featuring the Elves.
I was going to do this as part of a general overview post, but then it got long. The basic problem, though, is that Battle of the Five Armies suffered from a complete lack of storytelling.
This wasn’t a story. This was a series of events arranged in chronological order. Nothing really built, there was no arc for any of the characters, and most of it was pointless.
Cut for spoilers for The Hobbit (book and movies) and some mild spoilers for Lord of the Rings (books and movies).
Stumbled on this. Quite glad even though it’s long and actually is even longer, considering all the long sub-posts it links to. Because while I have neither energy nor time to go into detail about what my problems with botfa are and how I feel it, and the series, could be better, vicariously living the postulations is much needed therapy I didn’t know I need. Especially when the responses I got on a forum where I shared my thoughts tended towards vocal supporters determined to justify the problems I see with the movies (I wasn’t convinced by any shot), or had issues but were not expressed well or countered thoughtfully, this is an interesting find.
There is discussion on all the major characters, their characterisations and arcs. Bonus; the book is held up for reference too.
I am in total agreement with the premise the movie is basically a moving sequence of events. To me, it’s reminiscent of a quest game – hit certain marks in a certain order and score! Turn it on, finish it or don’t. Restart it, or give it up. It doesn’t matter. My problem is I WANT IT TO, DAMMIT!
I’ve said and expressed my piece, quite a few times, as recently as this morning but it bears saying again, so here goes.
This trilogy is based on a book, lovingly crafted with attention to details, but it is not quite with the book. It is a mass-market movie but strangely finely-tuned with rather significant nods and easter-eggs that fly right over the mass market audience.
The open secret is that knowledge of the book, and associated publications that is not going to be read by the average mass-market audience turns out to be at least beneficial to understanding the unexplained stuff in the movie. This in turn frustrates, if not infuriate, the reader, because it is replete with obtuse story-telling, unfathomable creative choices and hanging plotgaps for which resolution MIGHT BE delivered in the extended edition… which leaves the larger population of the mass-market theatrical release… where?
I’m not done with all the related posts on this post, and I’m sure I’m not going to be shouting “Aye!” at every point in every one of them, but based on what I’ve read so far, I have to encourage people with hobbit/botfa issues to try them on for size, just on principle.
And conversely, I dare people who love and support the divisive hobbit/botfa stuff (you know of what/who I speak) to have a look, and not develop a shred of agreement at all.
I’m disappointed with a lot in the movies, but there are still things I like. And I am still hanging on to the one saving grace, to my mind, that this trilogy is not what Episodes I, II, III are to the Star Wars franchise. At least so far. But I am not going to let that stop me from finishing this excellent series of critiques by lawyernovelist.
I loved the first two thirds of BotFA. Everything I didn’t like about the last third, Gandalf was so kind to summarise for me.
I’ve always been very much on the side of “Thranduil and Legolas had a good relationship” when it comes to their history together, especially given Galadriel’s statement of how Legolas grew up in joy (admittedly that wasn’t in the movies, tho) and, while watching the movies, I was initially wary of how things were portrayed, the closer I looked, the more I’m still firmly on the side of, “Yeah, that little elfling was totally doted on.”
(This is helped by the actors confirming that father and son love each other incredibly deeply, as well as Phillipa Boyen confirmed that, yeah, of course they reconcile between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.)
My view on this largely comes from the way they react to each other, even when there’s doubt and hurt and strife there. I mean, this is not the face of an elf who was not encouraged to speak his mind:
No, I’m pretty sure that’s an elf who was brought up to ask questions, to say his thoughts, to have strong convictions. (As well as maybe being a little spoiled, because—well, I’ll get into that.) As well as, when you look at the way Thranduil reacts to Legolas, there is no point at which Thranduil is cruel to him or yells at him or expresses anger towards him, even when he would be justified in doing so. There’s never any, “You sit back down, shut up, and mind your place.”
When Legolas says harsh words to his father, the reaction is instead:
So, I’m going to look at their scenes across the movies and see just what kind of dynamic they really do have. This is entirely movie-based (as it would have to be, of course), so I will be focusing on their personalities and interactions here for this post.
Bravo to myrkvidrs for a detailed look at this. As myrkvidrs postulates in this deep-dive analysis, there is a lot that confirms the relationship between Thranduil and Legolas is not as negative as the initial impression that one gets.
Even though the characterisations serve the scripts, which can be so maddeningly problematic while paying attention to nuances, much of the details and nuance are down to the actors’ ability to convey the emotion and intensity; with all due respect to Orlando Bloom, on Lee Pace’s part in particular.
The pity is that the general audience is not going to spend time studying the nuances, not even if they do see the movies repeatedly. They will, and do, form initial impressions and leave with those initial impressions.
And therein again the rub is while the brilliant portrayal is brilliant, the effort of the talent and the detailed layers crafted is wasted on a big population of the audience. Within the framework of a movie series that has so much going on, some things do need to be DEMONSTRATED overtly. Ironically, despite my gripes about the movies, I do feel this is a case where the common denominator needs to be given consideration and paid attention to. Editing is so tight, and the focus so otherly placed, there is no time for character moments to breath, and this particular relationship suffered, badly.
(With this post, my side-trip into BotFA/The Hobbit Movie feels, processing, and even quickie fix-it ficcing ends. The next post on Friday will pick up from where I left off with my notations for the Silmarillion chapters. Yes, the ANGST of Middle-earth cometh! Watch out for Reader: The Silmarillion. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 21 “Of Túrin Turambar”.)
With two viewings of BotFA, it’s enough to make me question if I want to go back for a third time. Very unusual for this fan of the Middle-earth movies. The thing is, I’ve been thinking, and I’m not happy it’s The Tauriel Conundrum having a field day(s) in my noggin, and not Thranduil’s visage. But the compound question of representation, political correction, affirmative action, and the emblematic social engineering in a movie series like The Hobbit is an interesting one.
(Fair warning. This is a LONG spiel, and there may be some controversial or uneasy to process thoughts about society after the cut, so look away now if it’s not your cuppa.)
A Library of Literary Interestingness
Law Student, Amateur Novelist, Suologist, Tolkien Fan, Easily Distracted
to live without regrets
images as thoughts
the quest for the one ring
Exploring Tolkien's Middle-Earth through The Lord of the Rings LCG
A Booster Shot for Relationships
Teacher by day, writer by night...
A place where I deposit my ramblings on fantasy, literature and the world of written word
From The Shire to Mt. Doom... Day-By-Day
Science Fiction & Fantasy News and Information from SF-Fandom.com
Middle-earth dispatches out of the lurkmirk
by Michael Martinez