Lord of the Rings, Adaptations, and Thoughts

– I turned off the Rings of Power after about five minutes, not because I was outraged by every detail and deliberate choice made by the filmmakers, but because I was actively zoning out after a mere five minutes.

– There’s plenty to be outraged about, sure, such as the film style of the prologue-flashbacks being a deliberate and obvious homage to the Lord of the Rings‘ flashbacks, with none of the quality. But also it seemed like the actors were kind of in on the joke. Galadriel’s short-haired brother seemed to be actively holding back a smirk during the “rocks look down, ships look up” discussion.

– In contrast, The Fellowship of the Ring‘s prologue is seven minutes long, and riveting.

– The Extended Editions of the Lord of the Rings movies….are great when they’re putting back in plot-relevant information that had been omitted for time. When they’re adding unneeded filler, they destroy the pacing and tension of already perfectly-paced, beautifully-tensioned movies. The Two Towers and The Return of the King Extended Editions are okay…The Fellowship of the Ring, which was the most deliberately paced of the three, suffers from this. No, we didn’t need to see Bilbo spazzing out looking for the Ring when the theatrical edition gave us a slow-burn, perfectly-acted introduction to its addictive nature. No, we didn’t need to see Bilbo hiding from the Sackville-Bagginses at the Long Expected Party and also giving Frodo a rundown on the fact that he, Frodo, is an orphan adopted by Bilbo and expected to be his heir. It wasn’t necessary, and it interferes with the actual plot. Ninety seconds of Aragorn humming  a song about his girlfriend’s great-great grandma was unnecessary and useless.

– Look, I know that Glorfindel was supposed to meet Aragorn and the hobbits at the ford of Bruinen. I actually like the fact that it’s Arwen instead, and I think the scene is badass. That being said, it was also a mistake for two reasons: first, because it’s a great introduction to a character–and it’s the entirely wrong introduction to this character. Having Arwen be a warrior who sasses her love interest and spits defiance at the enemy after leading them into a trap, contradicts [yes, Helm’s Deep, they course-corrected, etc] the rest of Arwen’s character. For the rest of the movie, she’s gentle and passive and….kind of doesn’t do a single other thing else plot-relevant. Like, not even get kidnapped and need to be rescued, weirddddd.

– Maybe have one or other of the sons of Elrond be the rescuer, and then have Arwen be somewhere near the river and be the one who “unleashes” it, okay okay, fine, along with her father and Gandalf. Still not canonical, but then it gives Arwen something to do, and introduces Elros or Elladan for them to come back in RotK with Aragorn’s reinforcements and spiffy new banner.

Oh well.

– The second error in judgment is that it heralded the new wave of Tolkien-Ripoff Fantasy Love Interest Characters who are spunky, ride horses, use swords, sass the hero, and….uh….then lose their entire personality, because neither Tolkien nor Peter Jackson’s team provided the rest of the template they were copying.

– This seems an excellent place to insert a link to the wonderful Jill Bearup’s Fantasy Heroine series, which mocks the everliving heck out of this and sundry other tropes: