“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 …
No one can dispute the Moth’s singular importance as the saviour of the day, at least where Gandalf is concerned in the ME movies. Yes, the Eagles were the muscle, but how would they know where to bring the brawn if not for the stalwart Moth?
We’ve seen how in LotR, the Moth quietly saved Gandalf from his imprisonment atop Orthanc by literally bringing an Eagle in, and displaying great
sense of timing by telling Gandalf when to jump. No one else could lay claim to making a Maia jump where and when.
the Moth goes on to save the host at the Morannon single-handedly
(antennaly?) by bringing a flock of Eagles, even considerately notifying
Gandalf in that signature discrete unassuming way. Who knows what dangers the
Moth risked to complete these insane lifer missions for Gandalf with such quiet
The Hobbit movies, at least in AUJ, showed us the relationship between Gandalf and the
Moth went back a ways. In the time-honoured work ethnics of true unsung heroes, the Moth didn’t brag about saving the behinds of
Gandalf and the Company from Azog’s rampage.
With the importance of the Moth to Gandalf’s continued well-bring, I had thought there would be big scenes where the Moth would flap in to save Gandalf in BotFA. It’s all moot now, but I suspected the Moth
might answer two calls of deployment, one to line up the transport for
Gandalf from Dol Guldur, and then to call in the flight squadron at the
end of That Day. Twice, a good encore number for the unsung hero of PJ’s ME
But nope, the Moth’s moment of glory was never meant to be. Still, how did the unassuming Moth take on all that dangerous work and still manage to deliver with such impeccably-timed spectacle?
Two words: aerodynamics, and gumption.
Moth gumption was on display every time Gandalf needed saving. But what about aerodynamics? Call upon science and the answer is there for the taking. Without further preamble, the secrets of mothmail success revealed:
An interesting new paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Jesse Barber and colleagues found that moth hindwing tails are an
effective defense against bat predation. Pretty cool stuff!. (Continue reading)
Truly. Mothmail: Deus ex machina supremo.
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.
Gandalf Count Dooku Saruman the White techni-coloured for the win. Because even though already disgraced but still good for parlour tricks even in crossovers Maia!
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.
This has been a long time coming. This is basically Dáin: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Except I’m here to argue that there’s a lot of good, very little bad, and, lbr, even less ugly.
Look at that face.
Everyone should read this. It’s a very detailed, and well-thought out thesis on book!Dain and his movie avatar. I have nothing to add except to draw attention to this bit:
Most of the negative opinions of Dáin seem to revolve around the idea that he refused Thorin and company aid when they most needed it, but
then was eager to come cash in on the reward when the dragon was dead and the
mountain retaken. I’d argue that this idea is a very misguided one. I think it’s
very reasonable that Dáin, Lord of a prosperous and happy people in the Iron
Hills, would decline to help on a quest that honestly seems ridiculous. When
the dragon came to Erebor, even an army of Ereborean Dwarves (as depicted in
the movie) couldn’t stop or kill the dragon, and countless Dwarves were killed
in the process. If the dragon were still alive and woken up, the Iron Hills are
close enough to possibly get paid a visit from Smaug. The chance of success is
very low, and the risk extremely high.
As a Tolkien reader, I find this litany highly applicable to all the interesting canon characters that the movies have taken and turned up the inherent or implied qualities of the characters picked to provide foil and counter-foil to the Company of Thorin, in that
I am of course, thinking in particular about my personal canon!love, Thranduil the Elvenking. I have dome my share of movie feels and griping, but someday, hopefully soonish, I will put up a proper thesis for Thranduil that does him jusitce, just like bilbosoaktree‘s magnum opus for Dain. For now I will enjoy this piece and thank universityofarda for bringing both blog and post to my attention.
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.
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