Thoughts on RotK, chock…

Thoughts on RotK, chock full o' spoilers:

  • Gollum kicks ass.

  • It was disconcerting seeing Frodo send Sam away (and then face Shelob alone), but I thought it was an interesting character choice, and a logical extrapolation of the Frodo/Sam/Gollum dynamic. A variation from Tolkien, but a good one, and it gave Frodo an opportunity to fight on his own for once. Nice job, script-writers.

  • Fascinating choice, at the very end, to have Frodo fall over the edge with Gollum, and have to decide to grab for Sam's hand -- nicely balanced against the ring, floating there on the molten lava, only dissolving when Frodo moves for Sam. It's not a clear causal relationship, of course, it could just be a coincidence of timing. But the implication is rather lovely, and restores just a little agency to Frodo at the end, lifting a little of the weight from Gollum's accidental fall (which has always disturbed me just a bit, though I think I understand what Tolkien was going for, and I do certainly think it's right that Frodo fails first).

  • I miss "The Scouring of the Shire" -- I suppose there's some faint hope it'll be in the extended version, but I rather doubt it. I think it may be the most significant thing in the trilogy -- but that said, I can understand why Jackson left it out. It certainly does odd things to the pacing of the climax/denoument.

  • The denoument was just a tiny bit slow -- there's a lot of it, after all. But other than that, I was pretty much riveted all the way through.

  • Arwen isn't ethereal enough for me, and overall, I wish they hadn't wasted so much time a) adding extra tension to the Aragorn/Eowyn relationship by implying that he thinks Arwen is going to the Grey Havens, and b) making up all the stuff with Elrond and such. I know they drew on the lay of Beren and Luthien, so I'm sure it's all reasonably Tolkien-ish -- I just don't think they needed it. And if they cut it all, then they'd have had room for the Scouring of the Shire. It's not that I object to giving the girls a few more lines -- I thought giving Arwen that race to the river in Fellowship was an excellent choice. It's not as if anyone gives a damn about Glorfindel anyway. I just could have done without the rest. If they put that all in because they thought they needed to do it to attract women to the movie -- well, pfui on that. Stuff and nonsense.

  • Eowyn, on the other hand, was pretty much perfect. I do wish they hadn't trimmed her dialogue with the Nazgul quite so much; I wanted to hear "No living man may hinder me!" and "No living man am I! I am a woman! Eowyn am I..." etc. Of course, that might have to do with my running around brandishing a mock-sword (probably a roll of cardboard left over from Christmas wrap) as a ten-year-old, repeating her lines over and over.

  • I still get choked up, when I think back to some of the scenes. I cried at least twice. Once when Merry and Pippin were parted, once at the very end, when the crowd bows to the hobbits. I am a big sap.

  • I want to see it again.

  • Why isn't Jackson planning on making The Hobbit? He'd need to rush to be able to do it with the same characters (Bilbo, Gandalf, maybe Gimli to play his relative, Gollum), so if he's going to do it, he needs to do it soon. I want to see a dragon in the sky over the Lonely Mountain, dangit.

  • I can't wait to see what he does with Narnia. David and I have been watching the documentary material on the extended DVD's, and the man is obviously obsessive-compulsive and insane, which is exactly what I want in my directors.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on RotK, chock…”

  1. Re: The Scouring of the Shire. Jackson’s said from early on that he never liked that bit, and never bothered to film it. (Which is just one reason why I think Jackson fundamentally doesn’t get the books, but never mind that. I’m just grumpy.)

    And please tell me that you’re making up the Narnia bit. Please.

    [Googles it]

    Oh, God. You’re not. Aiiiiiiieeeeeee!

    [reads more closely]

    Oh, just the digital effects. Not the script adaptation or anything else.

    [Heart rate returns to normal. Or as normal as it can get while still being faced with the dismal spectre of anybody trying to make a major motion picture out of Narnia. Wasn’t the BBC version good enough?]

    Sorry about that… carry on.

  2. Yah, apparently I was wrong about Jackson directing Narnia. I think it’s too bad — I like seeing different people’s interpretations of my favorite stories, even when I wildly disagree with them. You pretty much can’t wreck the original for me by doing a variant on it. I realize some people feel differently…but they’re just wrong. 🙂

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