Implied changes in Tolkien's Timeline in FOTR, in the film: what do you think?

Lady Dragon

First Post
Why does one always have to be better than the other why not just different but equal. It all comes down to the fact that the movie didn't have the time to explain that substantial time was passing sometimes between scenes. Similarly many of the incidents in the book are omitted from the movie due to a lack of time that doesn't mean they didn't happen in the story, just that we the movie goer didn't get to see that part of their journey. People who both read the book and seen the movie just have to understand that. Both are excellent in their own right and comparing them that closely is like comparing apples and oranges they are both fruit but different.
 
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JoeBlank

Explorer
Perhaps giving PJ too much credit to pull this off, but consider this possibility: He intentionallly left our any reference to time in order to please both fans of the books and the casual movie-goer. Those who have read the books know how much time passed, and they can presume that this is unchanged in the movie, although it is not specifically addressed. Those who have never read to books can presume a more fast-paced, action-oriented movie. This way, everyone can be made happy.

I had a similar theory after watching the movie version of The Fugitive with Harrison Ford. There are no specific references to time, that I can recall, in the movie. A fan of the old television series could presume that it took at least months, if not years, for the plot to develop. Someone unfamiliar with the series could presume a matter of weeks, and therefore a much faster pace.
 

Tsyr

Explorer
Edena, as others have stated, it isn't a yes/no better/worse question.

As you are so fond of breaking things down into little factoids, lets do that, shall we?

Fact 1) Tolkien wrote a great book.
Fact 2) PJ made a great movie based on Tolkien's great book.

Can we agree on those two? Good. Lets move on.

Fact 3) Books can take a day or more to read.
Fact 4) Movies are generaly over in 2-4 hours at most.

Can we agree on those as well? Good. Lets move on.

Fact 5) Tolkien's book would have been an abysmally long movie.
Fact 6) PJ's movie would be a sickly short book.

Now, carring 5 and 6 to their logical conclusion, we have

Fact 7) Tolkien's book would not make for a great movie, as is.
Fact 8) PJ's movie would not make for a great book, as is.

Now, you can disagree with those two, and tolkien purists might disagree with fact 7, but looking at it objectivly, I can't see the original book making any sort of a good movie. TV series, maybe, movie, no.

Now, that leads to the conclusion...

Fact 9) Tolkien's book and PJ's movie must by nessessity be different, and while they both work for the medium they were presented in, are not by divine law ideal for all other itterations of the same story in different mediums.

Follow?

To elaborate on 9...

PJ's version of the story was better FOR WHAT HE WAS DOING than Tolkien's original version would have been.

Likewise, Tolkien's original version of the story worked better FOR WHAT HE WAS DOING than PJ's edited script would have.
 
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Agback

Explorer
Re: Hasty Timeline

The Whiner Knight said:
Maybe aging Frodo 16 years would have put too much strain on the budget....

It wouldn't have been necessary. Frodo showed no visible signs of aging while he owned the Ring. People had already begun to talk.

And by the way, it was seventeen years. Bilbo went away on Frodo's 33rd birthday, and Frodo left on his adventures on his 50th birthday.

Regards,


Agback
 

Agback

Explorer
Edena_of_Neith said:
I am simply curious as to what you think.

You are? Excellent!

I think that the "Long-Awaited Party" was only included in the book as a bridge from 'The Hobbit', and as a sort of counterpoint to the way 'The Hobbit' began with an 'Unexpected Party'. Since the film is not being made as a sequel to 'The Hobbit', neither bridge nor counterpoint is necessary. The story actually begins five-and-a-half pages into chapter 2, when Gandalf reappears after nine years' absence. That is where the film ought to begin, too. I would much rather have seen the conspiracy of Pippin, Merry, Fatty, and Sam retained than the Party.

Cutting the Bombadil digression and the Barrow-wight gets the thumbs up from me, but I didn't care for the expanded part for the cave troll, and I found the collapsing stairs thing not to my taste. Lorien came across as too dark. And I have very grave reservations about replacing the hobbit noblemen Peregrin Took (eldest son of the Thain of the Shire) and Meriadoc Brandybuck (eldest son of the Master of Buckland) with a pair of thieving gangrels. I wasn't married to Tolkien's concept of a forgotten king from a forgotten dynasty, but something grated about Jackson's concept of a truant heir whom everyone knows about.

Thanks for asking!


Agback
 

Sulimo

First Post
Agback said:


You are? Excellent!

Cutting the Bombadil digression and the Barrow-wight gets the thumbs up from me, but I didn't care for the expanded part for the cave troll, and I found the collapsing stairs thing not to my taste. Lorien came across as too dark. And I have very grave

Personally I would have preferred to have included a bit of Gimli's chat about Khazad-Dum and trimmed the troll/stair sequence a bit. In the film it seemed a bit confusing, the whole Moria thing. It seemed like Gimli expected it to be a thriving city.

My main gripe is the Council of Elrond sequence. Even Bakshi did that better.

reservations about replacing the hobbit noblemen Peregrin Took (eldest son of the Thain of the Shire) and Meriadoc Brandybuck (eldest son of the Master of Buckland) with a pair of thieving gangrels.

Yeah. It was strange. I guess jackson felt there was a need for R2/C3PO/Jar-Jar style comedy relief.

I wasn't married to Tolkien's concept of a forgotten king from a forgotten dynasty, but something grated about Jackson's concept of a truant heir whom everyone knows about.

Yeah. The twisting of Aragorn and his background was a point which aggravated me quite a bit.
 

Droogie

Explorer
If you must have an answer Edena, I would have to agree with JoeBlank and Tsyr- the timeline in the film was ambiguous for a reason, and the implied or even "imagined" shortened timeline neither improves no detracts from the story. Long in the book, short and more urgent in the film. Works both ways for me.

If hard pressed, which I guess I am, I might even say a tightened time-line improves on the story.....SLIGHTLY...as it seems to be more...I dunno...realistic? If you knew you had such a coveted item, and the enemy was already looking for you, I suppose I would dash outta Dodge with sweat on my brow too.

But to continue the hijacking of this thread, I'd like to comment on the departures from the book as well...

1. Frodo needed to make the flight to the ford alone.

2. Agreed: Gimli's belief in a thriving dwarven kingdom was bogus. All it probably did was confuse the non-tolkien audience. That whole scene raised lots of questions for one who hadn't read the book: " Why don't they knock? Why doesn't Gimli know the password? Why is the door written in elvish?"

3. I actually kind of like the "reluctant king" angle. I've read that narsil is not reforged until the third film,which I feel gives more poignancy to the third films title. Aragorn's apprehension and self-doubt make him a character we can relate to moreso than the one on the page. Also lends more weight to his eventual triumph. Bit of a cliche I suppose, but I'm a sucker for this kind of thing.
 
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ReignofGeekaos

First Post
Different strokes for different folks honestly. The book, and the movie where great for two different reasons, one was the book itself can be considered very dry, and dragging in places, this has been mentioned countless times in connection with it, Tolkien tend to ramble on a bit, and while that worked well in a long book, in a movie where everything is show yeah it would be utterly boring, and the pace would be shot to hell. That's not to say the book isn't as good as the movie because it is just different, the book is a sweeping epic and has the space to go into these tiny details in quite a great deal of depth.

Now then the movie was excellent, and the cutting of Tom Bomdebil, and the Barrow Wight scene was in did nessacary because in a movie that would be very dull, and come across as stupid, now then Peter was contructionly obligated to cut the movie down to three hours he had no choice, but he also knew he could fix this with the DVD release, so it didn't bother him as much, he choose to focus on the more entertianing aspect, and in fact make it more fun for the common movie going public while still making it fun for the Hardcore Tolkien Fans. He shortened what was nessacary to make it appealing, but he kept things that greatly appealed to fans of the book. Hell that's why he had Gandalf be in the trailers because we the book fans knew he would be back, and wanted to show us what he looked like I'm thinking.

Now then these are two different mediums, you can't translate the book prefectly because it'd be boring.

Now then timeline question I think that time did pass but no more then Five years top. The reason Pippin, and Merry where portrayed that way was to show their growth over the course of the Trilogy, one of the more resounding themes about the book, and movie where the growth of people over time, Frodo from innocent, Aragorn from Mere Ranger to King, Sam from Loyal gardener to a noble soul in himself, and the growth of Mankind as a people.

Peter Jackson is trying to show that through pictures, pictures can't show inner thoughts, so he had to show the growth visually.

And I think he did an amazing job.
 
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Bob Aberton

First Post
I agree with the above poster on the bit about character growth.

Merry and Pippin were NOT presented the way they were as comic relief (and please don't ever compare them to that abomination, JarJarBinks:mad: ). They were presented as thieving rascals to show that OVER THE COURSE OF THE MOVIE THEY GROW FROM THIEVING RASCALS TO TRUE SHIRE GENTRY.

Aragorn was presented the way he was to make him seem more human, and also to show HIS GROWTH FROM RELUCTANT RANGER TO KING. We see the beginning of this growth in the scene with Boromir in Lothlorien and again in Boromir's death scene.

whew. Glad I got that out. Have some faith in PJ. Everything he does in the movie, he does for a reason.
 

Lady Dragon

First Post
Where in the movie does it say that Merry and Pippin are not of noble hobbit birth.The fact of the matter is that there are too many characters and not enough time to fully develop all of them so they are forced to focus on Frodo and Aragorn since they are the primary characters,therefore they need to show Merry and Pippin's immaturety in a quick basic way so that when they mature in the next 2 films the veiwer will understand what is happening.
 

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