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#91 of 118 Old 12-14-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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This is about where I'm at, but I'm a bit concerned that you still said you were disappointed. I hope that was a "disappointed, because I'd hoped my expectations were wrong", not a "disappointed, because it didn't even live up to my low expectations". .

No, the former. It wasn't, like, ghastly awful or anything. I just had lots of "yeah, that didn't really work, I didn't think it would" moments. And don't get me wrong - a few bits were excellent. "Riddles in the Dark" was very good.

 

I talked to both my little sisters about it, and they had pretty similar feelings to me. My littlest sister (the new LOTR fan) didn't like Martin Freeman, which surprised me - my other sister and I loved him. But we all agreed it could have been better, and some bits were awful, but some bits were good.

 

I read the IMDb user reviews and was startled to see how gushy they were. People were RAVING about it. Weird.


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#92 of 118 Old 12-14-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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Smokering, I am 100% with you. In fact I'm not even going to bother writing about it because it would just be one long repeat.

One "con" addition I have is is that the battle scenes were too much like a video game. In LOTR the battle scenes had a realistic feel even when the amazing happened. In this movie there were way too many impossible scenes: several falls that should have been fatal, that nutty rock giant scene (in the book the giants just threw big rocks), etc. it came off as utterly unbelievable.

And I just have to say.... WHAT is with the goblin king and his chin! It looks like a giant diseased scrotum.
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#93 of 118 Old 12-15-2012, 11:47 AM
 
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One "con" addition I have is is that the battle scenes were too much like a video game. In LOTR the battle scenes had a realistic feel even when the amazing happened. In this movie there were way too many impossible scenes: several falls that should have been fatal, that nutty rock giant scene (in the book the giants just threw big rocks), etc. it came off as utterly unbelievable.
 

 

As much as I loved the battle scenes in the LOTR trilogy, I felt this way about parts of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The oliphaunts were ridiculous. I know Tolkien said they were bigger than modern elephants, but I took that as meaning the size of mammoth - not something that could crush a horse under one foot. If that wall of oliphaunts had really descended on the battle lines, and if they were as big, tough and impressive as Jackson depicted them as being (sweeping aside whole horses with one easy swipe of a trunk, for example), it's extremely unlikely any of the Gondor/Rohan forces would have still been alive by the time Aragorn and the army of the dead arrives. It was absurd. (Don't even get me started on Legolas and the skateboarding at Helm's Deep...but ds1 loved it.)


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#94 of 118 Old 12-15-2012, 03:56 PM
 
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As much as I loved the battle scenes in the LOTR trilogy, I felt this way about parts of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The oliphaunts were ridiculous. I know Tolkien said they were bigger than modern elephants, but I took that as meaning the size of mammoth - not something that could crush a horse under one foot. If that wall of oliphaunts had really descended on the battle lines, and if they were as big, tough and impressive as Jackson depicted them as being (sweeping aside whole horses with one easy swipe of a trunk, for example), it's extremely unlikely any of the Gondor/Rohan forces would have still been alive by the time Aragorn and the army of the dead arrives. It was absurd. (Don't even get me started on Legolas and the skateboarding at Helm's Deep...but ds1 loved it.)

Ha! Right you are. I'd forgotten about both those, and I had the same thoughts about them. Those were two of the silliest battle scenes for sure. I remember seeing Legolas' skateboard thing for the first time and thinking "REALLY?"
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#95 of 118 Old 12-27-2012, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Finally saw the movie last night.  Off to read the rest of the conversation here...


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#96 of 118 Old 12-27-2012, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I enjoyed it, had fun, would even see it again. But wasn't absolutely in love like after Fellowship of the Ring.

 

And just like in LOTR and all the Harry Potter movies, they made changes that seemed utterly pointless, changes just for the sake of changing it. None of it is egregious, it just irritates a bit. 

 

 

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Cons:

 

-I hadn't realised how similar LOTR and The Hobbit are, in terms of plot. The Eagles saving the day... Rivendell and the Shire... giant spiders... wargs... orcs... I noticed this the first time I read the Hobbit to my kid. Wow, look at that, the gathering of the Five Armies is a lot like the final battle at Pelenor Field. Bilbo has a singular job to do. Instead of drop the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, he finds the door into the dragon's lair. There's a dethroned king, Thorin and Aragorn. It's fine in the book, but it felt very rehashed in the movie. Partly because of Howard Shore's leitmotif thing. Weird, because I LOVE his LOTR score, but it seemed too obvious here. "Oh, that music, the Eagles must be coming" - "Oh, Elves must be about to show up" - "Oh, the Lorien theme, Galadriel must be around". The dwarven theme was lovely, though.

...

-Galadriel looked stunning, but too iconic, if that makes sense, with her dress wrapped around her ankles as she turned. It looked like the shot was designed for a trading card. It was too perfect.

 

Exactly my thought.  A perfect ringlet on each side of her face. The obviously placed train to her dress.

 

 

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And I just have to say.... WHAT is with the goblin king and his chin! It looks like a giant diseased scrotum.

 

lol.gif Yes, we all said 'eww!' to the goblin king's double chin thing.  I loved the character, though.  Bruce the Shark from Finding Nemo was a great choice, very engaging.

 

Most of the time I couldn't follow the action in the fight/run to get out of the goblin cave.  Just a blur of bodies.

 

Dh and I agreed there needed to be a snatch of Led Zeppelin at some point.  Was a bit disappointed that the dwarves didn't play musical instruments after supper at Bilbo's.  It would have been quite easy for Thorin to play a strain of Ramble On, Misty Mountain Hop or even Stairway to Heaven.  It could have been subtle.  Perhaps other fans would have been horrified.  Much like the Legolas on skate board scene (which just made me 'tsk' and roll my eyes).  Anyway. 

 

Other thoughts, need to get on with the day. 

Edited to make the post smaller. It bugged me.


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#97 of 118 Old 12-30-2012, 08:50 AM
 
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Still haven't managed to see it yet. We've been out of town and waaay too busy when we have been home. DH and I hope to get to the theatre next week.  

 

19 y.o. DS saw it and really enjoyed it. He admitted to getting teary-eyed in a couple of places, which surprised me. I think the nostalgia hit him on a couple of levels - for watching the LOTR movies when he was younger and for visiting NZ and some of the film locations that he recognized when we were on a family trip there years ago. He recognizes that there are flaws in the film, but he's overlooking them for the most part. 

 

His reaction has made me even more intrigued to see the movie. 

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#98 of 118 Old 12-30-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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Finally managed to see it.  Mostly, I loved it.  I cannot compare it with FOTR, because that movie is beyond awesome, and the thrill of seeing LOTR on the screen for the first time (non-animated) was fresh and new.  

 

The "digressions" (or should I say "embellishments") of the Hobbit did not faze me, though I thought the council at Rivendell to be marginally clunky, though it was wonderful at the same time.  Good to see Christopher Lee one last time.  I was a bit surprised to se him, but of course the filming was done a while ago.  Even Radagast wasn't annoying.  He was a reasonable connection between the Hobbit story and the Necromancer, since Radagast lives in Mirkwood and would have seen the evil moving into the forest that was once "wholesome" (though not in that timeframe, but I can allow for theatrical necessity).

 

What caught me off guard was where the dialog diverged from the book.  Duh, of course it would be different.  But having read the book 8 times or so (3 recently to dd) I was constantly brought back to reality when it did.  My eyes welled up when Bilbo began narrating from his book "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit...."  I would have loved to immerse myself in the film, but my own brain kept comparing and thinking "do I like this?" and I would have enjoyed it more if I could have simply switched that off.  

 

I found this film far less frustrating than, say, the Two Towers, where Frodo made that huge journey far away to Osgiliath, and Aragorn was missing, and the Entmoot decided to take the hobbits back, and (gag) the Elves show up at Helm's Deep which I can never forgive Peter Jackson for, if only because the music kept switching from the Elves Theme to the Fellowship Theme to the Uruk Hai Theme and back again like some Saturday Night Live sketch.  (All this more noticeable when the girls watch the DVD for the bazillionth time.  I try not to watch, but it's hard not to listen.)

 

Which brings me to my only real complaint-- I wish there was more original music in this film.  I like the Hobbit's theme in there, and I love the new Dwarves theme, but the other themes were distracting to the point of annoyance.  If nothing else, it kept reminding me of the LOTR and where that music was used, and I think the goal of the film maker is to keep you engrossed in the film and not analyze it while you are watching it.

 

I still loved the re-imagining of Thorin.  I loved it in the trailer, and it stuck with me throughout the movie.  Love.  It.  And I finally get to enjoy that actor (forgot his name) who has always seemed so stiff and theatrical to me in the past, and stiff and theatrical works perfectly for this movie and that character.

 

Loved the Trolls.  Love the Goblin King, even that grotesque chin.  Loved the Wargs and the Eagles.  Loved that they created more tension with Azog.  Only briefly baffled with Bilbo saving Thorin, but nicely done and since this is more than one movie, there needed to be a more dramatic and immediate turn of Thorin's opinion of Bilbo's character.  And Gollum was simply astounding.  It cracked me up when the Smeagol half tried answer Gollum's own question.  What brilliant choices they made for this dialog!  In fact, this was the one time I found myself enjoying my analyzing the movie making itself while watching the film.  The animation of Gollum's skin and body were so intricate and stunning.  I loved it.

 

Nicely done, I'll say, all-in-all.


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#99 of 118 Old 12-30-2012, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there something up with Christopher Lee??

 

 

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Which brings me to my only real complaint-- I wish there was more original music in this film.  I like the Hobbit's theme in there, and I love the new Dwarves theme, but the other themes were distracting to the point of annoyance. 

 

I noticed that, too. I wasn't annoyed so much as disappointed.  I get it, it's an effective way to communicate to the audience a link to the trilogy.  But it was simply distracting, and I think trivialized the movie a bit. Made the Hobbit a 'mini me' of the trilogy.  Fresh themes would have given a little more depth. 

 

I don't know enough about Radagast to be disappointed.  And I know even less about the Necromancer.

 

Sexy dwarves-  Richard Armitage is fine, he looks noble.  But wasn't he supposed to look older? With a grey beard?  Aidan Turner as Kili is pretty darned cute.  I know this because 17 year old dd tells me so. 

 

I'd heard that Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords was going to be in the Hobbit as a dwarf.  No, he was an elf, and I'm guess he was the one who came and told Eldrond something. And I'm guessing he was the same elf in Fellowship and Return of the King.  Very distinctive face. 


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#100 of 118 Old 12-30-2012, 03:03 PM
 
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Is there something up with Christopher Lee??

 

Mea culpa.  I remember some news that he dies this past year, but I don't remember why I'm remembering that.  Perhaps his obituary was published on April 1st?  I swore I saw something.....

 

.....but apparently my mistake.


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#101 of 118 Old 12-30-2012, 03:07 PM
 
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Sexy dwarves-  Richard Armitage is fine, he looks noble.  But wasn't he supposed to look older? With a grey beard?  

Yes.  I think it was a gamble for the film to stray so far from the book's character.  For me, though, it worked.  I loved it.  Also, in the movie he was leading the charge to defend their halls, not out with Balin as the  book mentioned.  

 

ETA: On second thought, I referred to the introduction of the character in the book, and no mention is made on first glance of his beard.  The animated film I think set Thorin's appearance.  Also, remember, he and Balin were old enough to witness the destruction of Smaug, and Balin was the oldest of the company.

 

ETA again!:  Anyhow, my memory was also confused as to this actor.  I was thinking of someone else.  I haven't seen enough of his stuff to have an opinion of him.


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#102 of 118 Old 12-30-2012, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well Christopher Lee is 90-flapping-years-old, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to think he'd died.  Every year some famous person dies, and I thought they'd died years ago.  Like Jack Klugman. Died a week ago, didn't he die in, like, 1992?  Apparently not!

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ETA again!:  Anyhow, my memory was also confused as to this actor.  I was thinking of someone else.  I haven't seen enough of his stuff to have an opinion of him.

 

Stiff is a good way to describe Richard Armitage. Frankly I thought he was kind of dopey in the tv show Robin Hood.  He was very good in North and South.  His emotional reserve was useful for the part.   


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#103 of 118 Old 12-31-2012, 01:46 AM
 
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I love the fact that Christopher Lee has a metal band, and is still singing heavy metal at the age of 90! Apparently he released an album of metal covers of Christmas songs this month.
 

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#104 of 118 Old 12-31-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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I love the fact that Christopher Lee has a metal band, and is still singing heavy metal at the age of 90! Apparently he released an album of metal covers of Christmas songs this month.
 

 

His metal album is already out? DS mentioned it a few days ago but he thinks that Lee is releasing it in 2013. I don't think he knows that the songs are Christmas covers. I'll have to let him know. 

 

We started watching the extended versions of LOTR last night. DD was given the set for Christmas. There's lots of extra material, extended scenes and special features. It's been many years since I watched LOTR. It's such a beautifully filmed movie. 

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#105 of 118 Old 12-31-2012, 08:22 AM
 
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I wanted to add--someone upthread didn't like the Stone Giants.  I *loved* the Stone Giants.  Wanted to put in a good word for them.


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#106 of 118 Old 12-31-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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Yeah, still not a fan of the "sexy dwarf" thing. The thing is, the filmmakers were obviously trying very hard to establish continuity with the LOTR films - the same actors, sets, music etc. It was clearly meant to be in the same universe. But in the LOTR universe, we already have a very clear picture of what Dwarves look like. They look like Gimli and the Dwarves at the Council of Elrond. Stocky, barrel-chested, large beards, big noses, deep-set eyes. That's what a Dwarf is.

 

So when they changed it up in The Hobbit, I just couldn't find it believable. They looked fake. I spent the whole movie squinting at Thorin, trying to see him as a Dwarf, and I couldn't. He looked like a slightly swarthy man of Gondor. Fili and Kili were practically Elves! It was ridiculous. I felt like PJ and Co were just trying to match LOTR's quotient of Yummy Bearded Males to give female fans something to swoon over. But The Hobbit isn't about that. The story doesn't have an ounce of sex appeal, and it isn't meant to. They should have focussed on the humour and gruff honour of the Dwarves, instead of shooting for a brooding-exiled-king faux-Aragorn vibe. It really annoyed me.

 

Has PJ responded to the criticism of the film, does anyone know? Plenty of people have complained about it...


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#107 of 118 Old 12-31-2012, 05:03 PM
 
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I think that if all 13 dwarves had stiff faces like Gimli in the LOTR, the film would not have worked, IMO.  Less makeup frees the actors up to carry the film.  Gimli did not have to carry the film.  Personally I am glad they chose to do it the way they did.


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#108 of 118 Old 01-01-2013, 12:11 PM
 
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True, the makeup could have been an issue... but then, they've made developments with prosthetics etc since LOTR. The hobbit feet are easier to put on, I hear. So it's possible they could have found a way to retain more mobility in the faces... or, you know, just cast actors who already had Dwarvish facial features, so they wouldn't need prosthetics (or at least so many of them - a fake nose here and there doesn't seem to impact acting much. Gandalf wore one, after all - so did Saruman.)


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#109 of 118 Old 01-02-2013, 10:01 AM
 
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I saw the movie….and I did not love it.  It seemed to lack substance.  I did like the scene between Biblo and Gollum.  I reread (well skimmed) the book a few years ago, and was impressed by the humour in it.  They could have built on that more.

 

It was a pretty movie.

 

Off to read others responses and see if I have been completely redundant, lol


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#110 of 118 Old 01-02-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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The appearance/demeanour of the dwarves in the trailers is one of the reasons I haven't rushed out to see The Hobbit. DH wants to see it, so we'll try to fit it in over the next few weeks, but I'm really kind of expecting a trainwreck, and most of what I've read about it hasn't changed my expectations any.


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#111 of 118 Old 01-06-2013, 10:26 AM
 
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I'll be a dissenter. I enjoyed it. A lot. 

 

We saw it as a family yesterday. First time for DH and I, second time around for DS and DD. The kids enjoyed it as much as they did the first time. 

 

Spoiler-y: 

 

 

I was once again awestruck by Tolkein's world-building and Jackson's ability to recreate it on film. 

 

3D - I've never been a fan but I didn't mind it on this film. I've think I've only seen two other 3D movies, Avatar and the last Harry Potter film. I thought the technology has come a long way in just a couple of years. 

 

It's been many years since I read The Hobbit and I haven't read the appendices to it, I've only read Book 1 and half of Book 2 of LOTR (repeatedly, I always get stuck about halfway through TTT) and I've never read The Silmarillion. I appreciated  getting the Erebor backstory at the beginning of the film. It was necessary and useful for me. I don't think it would have worked as well to insert it as some kind of flashback later in the film. The kids have read everything much more recently than me (except The Silmarillion, it seems to be a gap in our family library) and they agree. 

 

I liked the little touches that were incorporated without being headlined. DD pointed out that the youngest dwarf is the baby brother to two others. They often make little protective gestures like pulling him back out of harm during the chase scenes. 

 

I liked the humour.

 

The chases and action scenes went on too long for my taste, but I feel that way about every single chase and action scene I've ever watched in any movie. I always think scenes with chases, fights and battles could be cut by a third or a half. 

 

I didn't mind the appearance of the dwarves. Yes, some of them didn't look particularly dwarvish. There was a spectrum of dwarf features and I'm willing to accept that. It was hard enough telling them all apart (when I said that yesterday, DS said that's racist, btw). 

 

Martin Freeman was excellent. 

 

I am not a huge Cate Blanchett fan so I always have to fight my opinion whenever I watch her. I did leave the film thinking about how little women mattered to Tolkein. To me, it was very noticeable that there are no women in this world. Galadriel is so other-wordly and spiritual that I don't think she really counts. 

 

It was good to see Christopher Lee again. Nice touch. 

 

Andy Serkis is a genius. Smeagol/Gollum - just amazing. 

 

I wondered whether Ian McKellen gets tired of yelling "RUN!" at regular intervals throughout these movies. It must happen about every 8.25 minutes and coincides with every action scene. Does he get an extra fee every time he shouts it? I think they could let one of the dwarves take that line once in awhile - maybe the baby brother dwarf. 

 

The one element of the film that I disliked intensely was Radagast. His image, his language, his portrayal, everything about him, was just WRONG. He is the Jar-Jar Binks of the franchise. 

 

 

I'm looking forward to the next installment. 

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#112 of 118 Old 01-06-2013, 05:03 PM
 
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I wondered whether Ian McKellen gets tired of yelling "RUN!" at regular intervals throughout these movies. It must happen about every 8.25 minutes and coincides with every action scene. Does he get an extra fee every time he shouts it? I think they could let one of the dwarves take that line once in awhile - maybe the baby brother dwarf. 

 

 

This happens in just about every film.  "Run!"  "Come one!"  I hate these kinds of verbal ejaculations...er....interjections.  It's a pet peeve of mine, so I've noticed it, and been irritated by it, for years.


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#113 of 118 Old 01-06-2013, 05:08 PM
 
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I'll be a dissenter. I enjoyed it. A lot. 

 

I enjoyed it immensely as well.  Though I think I'll enjoy it more the second time, when I take dd to see it.  That way I'm not thinking about the hows and whys of dialog and minor plot changes, etc. and blah blah blah.  

 

I also saw it in HFR/3-D.  I thought I'd be annoyed or distracted, but was not.  I saw Avatar on my home TV, and was seriously bemoaning how tiny it is.  


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#114 of 118 Old 01-07-2013, 10:19 AM
 
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I am not a huge Cate Blanchett fan so I always have to fight my opinion whenever I watch her. I did leave the film thinking about how little women mattered to Tolkein. To me, it was very noticeable that there are no women in this world. Galadriel is so other-wordly and spiritual that I don't think she really counts. 

 

 

I don't think it had anything to do with women not mattering to him. I think it was the fact that these books are basically adventure/war novels. He lived in a time when a woman's war role was very much staying home and keeping the fires burning. There really isn't room for women to do very much in these stories.


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#115 of 118 Old 01-07-2013, 05:21 PM
 
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I don't think it had anything to do with women not mattering to him. I think it was the fact that these books are basically adventure/war novels. He lived in a time when a woman's war role was very much staying home and keeping the fires burning. There really isn't room for women to do very much in these stories.

 

Oh, I don't know that I agree. Tolkein was a professor of literature and well-schooled in ancient history and mythology. There are plenty of examples of women taking on active roles in adventure and war stories in all sorts of classical traditions, both real and fictional. During his more modern era through WWII, women in Britain held important military roles and that would not have been unknown to him. Read Code Name Verity for a good, albeit fictional, portrayal of women at war during WWII.

 

Tolkein was not ignorant of women's abilities. He simply made a choice to create a story about a jolly brotherhood running off together for action and excitement. It was a Boys' Own Adventure, a very popular kind of story at the time. You can almost see the crude, sloppy "NO GIRLZ ALOWED" sign that he painted on the door of the boys' club. Although, since he was a prof, he probably would have spelled it correctly. 

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#116 of 118 Old 01-08-2013, 12:52 AM
 
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Tolkien was very much a man's man. He liked the boys'-club atmosphere of the university and (largely) the Inklings, and it caused some tension between him and his wife. My personal theory is that he was a bit autistic in the SImon Baron-Cohen "extreme male brain" way, and found it easier to relate to people on a very technical, academic level, so sought companionship on that level with (mostly) men at his work.

 

I know that Eowyn wouldn't have been in the story at all, except that his daughter wanted more female characters! So, yeah. I don't think he was consciously misogynistic by any means - the Silmarillion has some more female characters of much power and personality, such as Luthien (who basically took on Satan and won - she was distinctly awesome). I just don't think he thought to put them in his books, very much. If he needed a new character, he defaulted to male.

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#117 of 118 Old 01-09-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Opportunity to look something up! And avoid cleaning the stove!  So now I know who Simon Baron Cohen is.  orngbiggrin.gif


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#118 of 118 Old 01-09-2013, 01:28 PM
 
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Heh. Yep. Brother of Sacha Baron-Cohen, worsely known as Borat. They must be quite a family.


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