D&D General D&D Red Box: Who Is The Warrior?

A WizKids miniature reveals the iconic character's face for the first time.

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The Dungeons & Dragons Red Box, famously illustrated by Larry Elmore in 1983, featured cover art of a warrior fighting a red dragon. The piece is an iconic part of D&D's history.

WizKids is creating a 50th Anniversary D&D miniatures set for the D&D Icons of the Realms line which includes models based on classic art from the game, such as the AD&D Player's Handbook's famous 'A Paladin In Hell' piece by David Sutherland in 1978, along with various monsters and other iconic images. The set will be available in July 2024.

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Amongst the collection is Elmore's dragon-fighting warrior. This character has only ever been seen from behind, and has never been named or identified. However, WizKids’ miniature gives us our first look at them from the front. The warrior is a woman; the view from behind is identical to the original art, while the view from the front--the first time the character's face has ever been seen--is, as WizKids told ComicBook.com, "purposefully and clearly" a woman. This will be one of 10 secret rare miniatures included in the D&D Icons of the Realms: 50th Anniversary booster boxes.


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The original artist, Larry Elmore, says otherwise. (Update—the linked post has since been edited).

It's a man!

Gary didn't know what he wanted, all he wanted was something simple that would jump out at you. He wanted a male warrior. If it was a woman, you would know it for I'm pretty famous for painting women.

There was never a question in all these years about the male warrior.

No one thought it was a female warrior. "Whoever thought it was a female warrior is quite crazy and do not know what they are talking about."

This is stupid. I painted it, I should know.
- Larry Elmore​

Whether or not Elmore's intent was for the character to be a man, it seems that officially she's a woman. Either way, it's an awesome miniature. And for those who love the art, you can buy a print from Larry Elmore's official website.
 

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Big Mac

Explorer
If 'intent of the author' overrides 'what's actually in the image/book/music etc.' in your mind, I assume you say 'Jiff? when referring to '.gif" files?

Whatever Elmore intended to paint, there is no gender in the painting. None whatevsoever. It's not there. Show me it. You can't. Because it's not there. That painting shows no gender.

The painting is the painting. No more, no less. It's not what's in Elmore's head, in your head, in my head, in my dog's head--it's what's on the canvas. That's it. That's why the phrase 'death of the author' was invented. Whatever the creator intended to create, that canvas is what they created.

That's how art works. You don't get to invent stuff not in the painting and declare that as objective fact.

Therefore, there is debate to be had on this, and on every other piece of art in the world. Because every piece of art is interpreted differently by every person. Yeah, sure, I always interpreted the figure as male. WizKids has interpreted it otherwise. That is, as I said, is how art works. Neither interpretation contradicts anything on that canvas. All they contradict is your interpretation.

Anybody who declares that there is no debate on art simply doesn't understand what art is. And, indeed, what the point of art is. It's there to make you think, feel, and... interpret.

Now there's no debate on that.
I think you are being mislead about this mini by the ComicBook.com article you pulled your original post from.

The actual story on what WizKids is about to do was posted three months ago on Wargamer by Matt Bassil:

Huge Wizkids set has 60 DnD minis based on old school and 5e art​

Both retro and modern DnD monsters star in the latest Wizkids set, which has a whopping 60 different Dungeons and Dragons miniatures.
Wizkids is releasing its largest collection of DnD miniatures yet to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the roleplaying game. This 50th anniversary booster set has 60 miniatures in total, including classic characters and monsters from Strahd to Vecna, Githyanki to Gnolls. The Icons of the Realm set is available to preorder now at $25 a pack, and expected to release in Q3 of this year.

The unique thing about this collection is that there are two versions of most of the minis. One is based on the current 5e interpretation of a Dungeons and Dragons character or creature, while the other looks like the original 1e form. We’re vastly more excited by the older models. As these are very faithful recreations of the original DnD monster drawings, there are some rather funky looking minis available.

There isn't a picture of this actual mini there, but in the pictures in Matt Bassil's story he clearly showcases multiple "recreations" of 1e monsters (Matt's word not mine) alongside 5e "interpretations" (again Matt's word not mine). Go look at the pictures. the 1e miniatures from WizKids are very true to the original artwork. The 5e minis are very true to recent WotC artwork.

WizKids are clearly showcasing both "old school and 5e art" alongside each other as Wargamer said.

ComicBook.com could have published a more balanced story about the WizKids, process but instead of doing that, they put an unattributed three word quote into this paragraph:
As you can see in the renders above, WizKids' Red Box Warrior matches the pose of the original artwork, right down to the raised sword and lunging pose. WizKids also points out that their depiction of the Red Box Warrior is "purposefully and clearly" presented as a woman, providing a bit of a surprise for some wondering about details about this iconic warrior from D&D's past.
Now your story says "D&D Red Box: Who Is The Warrior?" and "A WizKids miniature reveals the iconic character's face for the first time." And you have people arguing if the art is supposed to be a man or a woman.

But if you read Matt Bassil's story, you can see that the pictures at the top of your topic are the work of WizKids minatures designers who did a "5e interpretation" of Larry Elmore's painting.

WizKids are not saying that this is the face and front of the original character. Their team have done a pretty good job presenting the old takes and new takes alongside each other in the photos of the Wargamer article.

Rather than this being "A WizKids miniature reveals the iconic character's face for the first time" story, the actual story here is "A WizKids miniature reveals how their miniature designers have reinterpreted a classic Larry Elmore painting into a new character designed for 5e D&D." And people here are missing the point and elevating what they think about Larry Elmore's painting over and above what the WizKids artists are trying to achieve with their 50th anniversary booster set.

It's a bit sad that the WizKids artists have gone to this effort to contrast original art and new art in the miniatures coming out later in the year and the focus of the conversation is not on what the artists at WizKids are trying to achieve.

The thing that I think is most sad about this process, is that everyone knows that Larry Elmore made the original painting, but nobody is giving out the names of the new artists who have been engaging in the "interpretation" and "recreation" process and making sure their names are celebrated.

The three month old Wargamer story does make it clear that the WizKids figure you have pictures of in your original post is not supposed to be the exact same character that Larry Elmore painted. It is supposed to be a new 5e character in the exact same pose as Larry Elmore's painting. Having people in the topic debate if Larry Elmore painting a man or a woman is kind of missing the point. The intentional change in skin tone, in the pictures of the mini in your original post should make it obvious that it is not supposed to be the same character.

I'm fairly confident that WizKid's artists would have known that Larry Elmore painted a man, otherwise ComicBook.com would not have had that unattributed "purposefully and clearly" quote in their article. They took a picture of a cool looking male fighter and they made a female fighter as a modern counterpoint to Larry Elmore's old school painting of a man facing off a dragon. And by making it a woman who is as bulky as Larry Elmore's male fighter, they are making a miniature that shows a high strength woman in a realistic way.

Gary Gygax asked for a male warrior. Larry Elmore painted a strong male warrior. The artists at WizKids knew it was a male warrior and reimagined the picture as a strong female warrior. That's kind of the entire point of the WizKids mini. If the box of a D&D product shows a man fighting a drgon and you want to play a PC that is a woman fighting a dragon, you can do that. Larry Elmore said this better than anyone else:
Just to be clear, the thing that I love about D&D was that anyone can be anything in this game. Male, Female, both, neither, it does not discriminate. It's a game of imagination and you can be and do whatever you want.

So I think the artist intent here is actually important, because we have a pair of artists showing a man and a woman doing the same thing. Cosplayers have been changing the genders of characters they want to potray for years. And you have here an artist at WizKids who has done the same with a painting they wanted to turn into a miniature.
When artists like Larry Elmore painted their iconic paintings, they only needed the painting to look good in a two dimensional picture. When people try to convert a 2D image into a 3D miniature, they have to try to make it look good from multiple angles. And they also need to design it to fit into a mold so that stuff can be put into the mold and the miniature can come out without getting stuck. They also need to make adjustments to the thickness of things that are thin, so that miniatures don't snap in half or have all the weapons drop off. So it's not a done deal that Larry Elmore's painting was something that was viable as a mini. Compromises might have needed to have been made. And, on top of all this, we have something that is not a straight conversion from painting to miniature. We also have this "traditional vs modern" nature of the set of miniatures coming into play. And just like a female cosplayer wanting to cosplay The Incredible Hulk has to make some creative decisions, the artist at WizKids who is trying to build a blob of plastic that looks like a female version of Elmore's warrior also had to make some creative decisions.

And, if you look at D&D art from AD&D, through to AD&D/Classic D&D, 3rd Edition, 4th Edition and 5th Edition, you can see that improved printing technology unlocked the ability to put better pictures into D&D products...and the transition from lead miniatures to plastic miniatures and Print on Demand technology has unlocked the ability to make 3D models that look better too. But there are still technical limits to both mediums. And WizKids is trying to celebrate older D&D art, without making the new recreations of that old art look terrible. Go check Wargamer's pictures and I think you will agree that the old school recreations do a pretty good job. (It would be nice if Wargamer had better resolution pictures, but the "recreations" and "interpretations" both look fairly good to me. I would happily use "recreated" and "interpreted" githyanki alongside each other.)

So when they are making 5e interpretations, WizKids are not trying to make the work of the original artists look bad either. All of this is derivative of things that started 50 years ago. The fact that they chose to evolve this mini from Larry Elmore's painting is a compliment to the original painting. That's the entire point of the 50 years of D&D theme. To show the evolution of D&D. It's new artists standing on the shoulders of giants. (And like I said, it's a shame the names of the new artists are buried.)

I'm not sure how big this miniature is. If this is a 1 inch high miniature, that is a counterpoint to Larry Elmore's painting, I think it does a really good job of being both similar and intentionally different. And the blobs on the shield are not stretched. I used to have plastic Airfix figures and they quite often had stretched bits round the side. This mini looks really good. (Although I don't think it's so good that I'm going to randomly buy $25 mystery boxes in the hope of finding this rare mini. I don't have the money to blow on multiple duplicates of things I was not trying to buy.)

A number of people (both here and elsewhere) have said they would like to see two miniatures. If you actually reach out to WizKids you might even find that they have also made a "recreation" version of this, that has a front that is male. They may even have done enough research to have seen the toy figure based on Larry Elmore's painting and pulled some of the features of that back into a 3D rendering of "what Larry Elmore might have done". (Of course, that would not be the front of Larry Elmore's figure either. It is still a different artist being inspired by the original artist.)

There may well be a number of concept drawings made for all of the miniatures (old and new) where the artists at WizKids were figuring out how much detail they could get into the various miniatures, without making the molds too complex. I would love to see those sort of sketches.

If you do reach out to WizKids, it would be nice if you could do an interview with the artists who design the miniatures, rather than just talk to some sort of spokesperson, who wasn't involved in the process.
 

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Warpiglet-7

Satan’s Echo Chamber! Muhahahaha
I think you are being mislead about this mini by the ComicBook.com article you pulled your original post from.

The actual story on what WizKids is about to do was posted three months ago on Wargamer by Matt Bassil:



There isn't a picture of this actual mini there, but in the pictures in Matt Bassil's story he clearly showcases multiple "recreations" of 1e monsters (Matt's word not mine) alongside 5e "interpretations" (again Matt's word not mine). Go look at the pictures. the 1e miniatures from WizKids are very true to the original artwork. The 5e minis are very true to recent WotC artwork.

WizKids are clearly showcasing both "old school and 5e art" alongside each other as Wargamer said.

ComicBook.com could have published a more balanced story about the WizKids, process but instead of doing that, they put an unattributed three word quote into this paragraph:

Now your story says "D&D Red Box: Who Is The Warrior?" and "A WizKids miniature reveals the iconic character's face for the first time." And you have people arguing if the art is supposed to be a man or a woman.

But if you read Matt Bassil's story, you can see that the pictures at the top of your topic are the work of WizKids minatures designers who did a "5e interpretation" of Larry Elmore's painting.

WizKids are not saying that this is the face and front of the original character. Their team have done a pretty good job presenting the old takes and new takes alongside each other in the photos of the Wargamer article.

Rather than this being "A WizKids miniature reveals the iconic character's face for the first time" story, the actual story here is "A WizKids miniature reveals how their miniature designers have reinterpreted a classic Larry Elmore painting into a new character designed for 5e D&D." And people here are missing the point and elevating what they think about Larry Elmore's painting over and above what the WizKids artists are trying to achieve with their 50th anniversary booster set.

It's a bit sad that the WizKids artists have gone to this effort to contrast original art and new art in the miniatures coming out later in the year and the focus of the conversation is not on what the artists at WizKids are trying to achieve.

The thing that I think is most sad about this process, is that everyone knows that Larry Elmore made the original painting, but nobody is giving out the names of the new artists who have been engaging in the "interpretation" and "recreation" process and making sure their names are celebrated.

The three month old Wargamer story does make it clear that the WizKids figure you have pictures of in your original post is not supposed to be the exact same character that Larry Elmore painted. It is supposed to be a new 5e character in the exact same pose as Larry Elmore's painting. Having people in the topic debate if Larry Elmore painting a man or a woman is kind of missing the point. The intentional change in skin tone, in the pictures of the mini in your original post should make it obvious that it is not supposed to be the same character.

I'm fairly confident that WizKid's artists would have known that Larry Elmore painted a man, otherwise ComicBook.com would not have had that unattributed "purposefully and clearly" quote in their article. They took a picture of a cool looking male fighter and they made a female fighter as a modern counterpoint to Larry Elmore's old school painting of a man facing off a dragon. And by making it a woman who is as bulky as Larry Elmore's male fighter, they are making a miniature that shows a high strength woman in a realistic way.

Gary Gygax asked for a male warrior. Larry Elmore painted a strong male warrior. The artists at WizKids knew it was a male warrior and reimagined the picture as a strong female warrior. That's kind of the entire point of the WizKids mini. If the box of a D&D product shows a man fighting a drgon and you want to play a PC that is a woman fighting a dragon, you can do that. Larry Elmore said this better than anyone else:


So I think the artist intent here is actually important, because we have a pair of artists showing a man and a woman doing the same thing. Cosplayers have been changing the genders of characters they want to potray for years. And you have here an artist at WizKids who has done the same with a painting they wanted to turn into a miniature.
When artists like Larry Elmore painted their iconic paintings, they only needed the painting to look good in a two dimensional picture. When people try to convert a 2D image into a 3D miniature, they have to try to make it look good from multiple angles. And they also need to design it to fit into a mold so that stuff can be put into the mold and the miniature can come out without getting stuck. They also need to make adjustments to the thickness of things that are thin, so that miniatures don't snap in half or have all the weapons drop off. So it's not a done deal that Larry Elmore's painting was something that was viable as a mini. Compromises might have needed to have been made. And, on top of all this, we have something that is not a straight conversion from painting to miniature. We also have this "traditional vs modern" nature of the set of miniatures coming into play. And just like a female cosplayer wanting to cosplay The Incredible Hulk has to make some creative decisions, the artist at WizKids who is trying to build a blob of plastic that looks like a female version of Elmore's warrior also had to make some creative decisions.

And, if you look at D&D art from AD&D, through to AD&D/Classic D&D, 3rd Edition, 4th Edition and 5th Edition, you can see that improved printing technology unlocked the ability to put better pictures into D&D products...and the transition from lead miniatures to plastic miniatures and Print on Demand technology has unlocked the ability to make 3D models that look better too. But there are still technical limits to both mediums. And WizKids is trying to celebrate older D&D art, without making the new recreations of that old art look terrible. Go check Wargamer's pictures and I think you will agree that the old school recreations do a pretty good job. (It would be nice if Wargamer had better resolution pictures, but the "recreations" and "interpretations" both look fairly good to me. I would happily use "recreated" and "interpreted" githyanki alongside each other.)

So when they are making 5e interpretations, WizKids are not trying to make the work of the original artists look bad either. All of this is derivative of things that started 50 years ago. The fact that they chose to evolve this mini from Larry Elmore's painting is a compliment to the original painting. That's the entire point of the 50 years of D&D theme. To show the evolution of D&D. It's new artists standing on the shoulders of giants. (And like I said, it's a shame the names of the new artists are buried.)

I'm not sure how big this miniature is. If this is a 1 inch high miniature, that is a counterpoint to Larry Elmore's painting, I think it does a really good job of being both similar and intentionally different. And the blobs on the shield are not stretched. I used to have plastic Airfix figures and they quite often had stretched bits round the side. This mini looks really good. (Although I don't think it's so good that I'm going to randomly buy $25 mystery boxes in the hope of finding this rare mini. I don't have the money to blow on multiple duplicates of things I was not trying to buy.)

A number of people (both here and elsewhere) have said they would like to see two miniatures. If you actually reach out to WizKids you might even find that they have also made a "recreation" version of this, that has a front that is male. They may even have done enough research to have seen the toy figure based on Larry Elmore's painting and pulled some of the features of that back into a 3D rendering of "what Larry Elmore might have done". (Of course, that would not be the front of Larry Elmore's figure either. It is still a different artist being inspired by the original artist.)

There may well be a number of concept drawings made for all of the miniatures (old and new) where the artists at WizKids were figuring out how much detail they could get into the various miniatures, without making the molds too complex. I would love to see those sort of sketches.

If you do reach out to WizKids, it would be nice if you could do an interview with the artists who design the miniatures, rather than just talk to some sort of spokesperson, who wasn't involved in the process.
Is this going to be the new mini while they also produce the “old” look?!

E.g. old 1e pit fiend and new 5e pit fiend like the rest of the collection

If so this whole discussion will be hilarious! If so very nice catch!
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Really? She created the appearance of the Monster? All aspects of the Monster were 100% original and not building upon any earlier works whatsoever? The story of Frankenstein is 100% original?

Ovid might be rather surprised to hear that. Then again, I suppose you think that Mrs. Shelly was slapping him in the face by changing the gender of the creation?

How many versions of Frankenstein have there been in the past hundred or so years? Between TV, movies, novels, and various other places? I dunno either, but, I'm going to say, "a LOT". And every single one of them is equally valid to the Mary Shelly version.

So, I guess you refuse to watch any version of Frankenstein? As it's obviously inferior? You eschew any novel, movie, or any other artistic endevour based upon Mrs. Shelly's work? No? You watch the movies? You read the books? You see the comedies, dramas, and various other versions, and enjoy some and don't enjoy others?
Influenced by isn't the same as mostly copied, used the same name, and tried to pass off as the same thing. Ovid didn't create Frankenstein as far as I'm aware.

And I suspect that Ovid would be rather surprised to hear anything at this point. Dead people generally have difficulty hearing things. :p

You seem to be confusing concepts with specific identities. Mary Shelly created Frankenstein with processes, traits, name, etc. that generate the Frankenstein identity.

If you decided that a curse hurled at a town by a dying witch caused parts from several dead people at the local graveyard to come together and create a new living being that is set on wiping out the town, and you call it Chupacornonthecobra who has super strength, speed and grows claws, you have not made Frankenstein. You have instead created a different being composed of dead parts of different people and given life.

The above creation is equally valid with Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, because they are two different identities, despite similarities. Some people might accuse you of ripping her off. Others might not. Arguments on the internet would ensue.

However, if you decide to name your creation Frankenstein, you have lost validity. The above idea is NOT how Frankenstein was created, has different powers, and so on. As a Frankenstein, your idea would be less valid(not invalid) than Mary Shelly's in a way that hers can never be. Some might like it more than hers. Some less. And some can and will say that it isn't Frankesntein at all. That last can't rationally happen with hers, because hers has the greater validity.

As for which Frankensteins I watch. Depending on how far it deviates from hers, I might not watch it. If it doesn't deviate by much, I will probably watch and enjoy it. If they give me a story about a dying witch's curse with some fast, clawed Frankenstein, I'll watch something else. I didn't like the fast zombies from World War Z for instance. Zombies are slow. Other people loved it. To me those were not zombies.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think if you ask people to describe Frankenstein’s monster, the majority are going to describe Boris Karloff’s portrayal which was decidedly not Shelley’s version of the creature.
Ignorance doesn't grant that version more validity, and remember, I didn't say other versions were invalid. I said that they were less valid than the original. Most people don't know her version.

Every version, including Karloff's, is open to dispute on whether or not it's truly Frankenstein. Every version except Mary Shelly's that is. The closer to her version you get, the less dispute you will encounter. The greater the deviation, the greater the dispute.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Where I disagree: diminishing the interpretation of a work’s creator to merely “one amongst many” as opposed to ceding its primacy is discounting the personal experience of someone else from a remove, and should only be done in extreme situations. Batten’s understanding of playing the “Beat It” solo was the best, but she probably has a lesser understanding of why the solo was composed the way it was than EVH did.

But this presumes, "Why was is composed this way?" is the primary question of interest. With every question of interpretation comes a context, an implicit or explicit reason for asking the question. Not all viewpoints are equally valuable to all contexts.

Not knowing a whole lot about guitar work, I'll bring this back around to the artwork that's the focus of this thread.

Say you are a 14-year old today, playing the game, but also, in your life, dealing with all the questions of gender roles and sexuality that 14-year-olds have to deal with, and possibly struggling with some LGTBQ+ feelings.

Larry Elmore was born in 1948, so grew up in the 1950s, in his mid-thirties when he painted the work, and now 75 years old. Is his original intent stated today the one that 14-year-old should consider primary as the art inevitably influences their conception of what is or isn't an acceptable male or female form in art?

I would say, "Probably not." Maybe that artist's conception would best be put in the "one of many" column for that teen.

I’d also say that finding something in a work that would be impossible for a creator to be aware of is a combination of coincidence and projection.

This reads as if you are really trying hard to dismiss the fact that creators are human, with limited perspective. Whether or not is it impossible for a creator to have missed something... humans miss things. A lot.

Indeed, humans are often heavily blindered by their own preconceptions, especially when that preconception is close to their sense of self. So, when a creator has poured a lot of themselves into a work is a situation in which we should expect them to miss stuff about it.
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
I said that they were less valid than the original. Most people don't know her version.
I guess at the end of the day it comes down to who are you to say what's more or less valid?

Personally, I'm not interested in listening to someone who likes to just crap on other people's opinions because they have an overblown sense of authority/superiority.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Every version, including Karloff's, is open to dispute on whether or not it's truly Frankenstein.

Interpretation of art is not a place where strict truth values have much credence, so "truly Frankenstein" is not really an important statement most of the time.

Whether something is usefully or meaningfully Frankenstein is far more relevant to our consideration.
 

Warpiglet-7

Satan’s Echo Chamber! Muhahahaha
Is this going to be the new mini while they also produce the “old” look?!

E.g. old 1e pit fiend and new 5e pit fiend like the rest of the collection

If so this whole discussion will be hilarious! If so very nice catch!
Nevermind…. Don’t think they will have alternate versions of “chase” minis….

Just looked on minisgallery…
 

But this presumes, "Why was is composed this way?" is the primary question of interest. With every question of interpretation comes a context, an implicit or explicit reason for asking the question. Not all viewpoints are equally valuable to all contexts.

Not knowing a whole lot about guitar work, I'll bring this back around to the artwork that's the focus of this thread.

S
I agree with @Dannyalcatraz as a guitar player on this one (and I think his position is pretty nuanced here). But admittedly a guitar solo is tricky because there are no words, it is all emotion, melody, cadence and phrasing. A similar musical example that everyone would get might be Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Almost no one knows the original song anymore, which is quite different from the newer versions which all stem I think from Jeff Buckley's interpretation. That one gets trickier too because Cohen rewrote some of the words to fit the themes Buckley wanted to emphasis (the original version feels more religious, whereas Buckley's focuses more on the sexual elements). But I think the fact that Cohen rewrote it to fit Buckley's interpretation is telling here. If it were me, when it comes to the meaning of the original song, I would defer to Cohen's interpretation as definitive. That doesn't mean it can't be re-imagined or aspects of it given greater emphasis. But there was an original meaning that came from Cohen which I think deserves to be respected. I just ca't get onboard with the whole death of the artist thing. The artists' intent is very important. Again for clarity, I don't think that is particularly relevant to whether a figurine based on an Elmore painting is a man or woman, as the figurine itself is a new piece of art, similar to Beck's. My critique was never with the new piece of art. It was simply with people acting like the work had left the gender a mystery this whole time.
 

Interpretation of art is not a place where strict truth values have much credence, so "truly Frankenstein" is not really an important statement most of the time.

Whether something is usefully or meaningfully Frankenstein is far more relevant to our consideration.

I partly agree that interpretation can go beyond what was intended. But there is also a text which describes the monster. Movies are a different medium. I am fine with them changing from the text (in fact I love Boris Karloff's monster). But the movie making changes doesn't erase what Shelley wrote in her descriptions of the creature. In the book the creature is eloquent, thoughtful, clearly expresses his personal history to Frankenstein and reveals an understanding of himself that the Boris Karloff Frankenstein doesn't. The creature in the book reads Paradise Lost and Plutarch! It is entirely fine that the movie imagines the creature this way. But it is also notable that it is an interpretation based on a play based on the book. Anyone who sees the movie and thinks they are getting the creature from the book, is in my view, incorrect. They may like this version better. They may find parts of it that capture the monster from the book in spirit. And you could even argue it gets at what the creature was like before he learned to fully read or speak.
 

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