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Old 12-19-2021, 10:24 AM   #1
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Silmaril I amar prestar aen... the world is changed.

I feel it in the water.

I feel it in the earth.

I smell it in the air.

Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest, fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf Lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine... nine rings were gifted to the race of Men who, above all else, desire power.

For within these rings was bound the strength and will to govern each race...

... but they were all of them deceived.


Twenty years today we first saw that Shire, that Rivendell, that (winged) Balrog. Twenty years since we heard that soundtrack that most of us can still hum chunks of today. Twenty years since the characters were irrevocably given new faces, new costumes, in tens of thousands of minds.

Twenty years since Merry and Pippin became comic relief, Bombadil was booted, and Arwen stole a horse. Twenty years. Good grief.

Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera
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Old 12-20-2021, 01:58 PM   #2
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I went to opening night for all three of these movies, I think. I went into the first as a worried 14-year-old, terribly afraid it was going to butcher my favourite books. I emerged relieved that the books hadn't been butchered, but still spent the rest of my teen years as the insufferable fan that didn't like the movies.

"Didn't like" was probably too strong at the time, since I pushed for getting the Extended Editions and watched every single extra feature on them--and every commentary track. But in the black-and-white world of teenaged fandom, things are either Perfect or Not and the movies were imperfect.

Three bloated The Hobbit movies and an impending Amazon series later... I still think these movies have their faults, but the good far outweighs the bad. They were clearly a labour of love, unlike the later labours of lucre, and are a worthy gateway into Tolkien's world. They have not imposed nearly as much on my mental picture of Middle-earth as I feared they would.

And although I didn't come to the Downs as a Movies Fan, I probably did only find my way here BECAUSE of the movies--I heard about the Downs in person from someone with a sister here (if I once knew her username, it has long since receded from memory--but I think she might have been inactive ere I ever joined). Without the public visibility of Tolkien fandom that resulted from the movies, that may not have happened. Certainly, many of my fellows here who DID join because of the movies would not have been part of my life.

So, here's to the Jackson adaptation--I'll raise a half-pint.*

*It comes in pints?! I'm getting one.
I prefer history, true or feigned.
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Old 12-20-2021, 05:26 PM   #3
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I did go see FOTR, at the urging of my future wife. Due to a large dinner eaten beforehand, along with a few pints of "1420", I (mercifully?) slept through a good deal of it.
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Old 12-21-2021, 06:53 AM   #4
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I was twelve when the first film came out; I'd read the books at the age of ten. I don't recall having much of a reaction to it but I think I enjoyed it at the time. I didn't become cynical about the films until after the third one, I think. I was the only person in my family who'd read the books so I seem to recall my parents asking me to explain a few things that happened. I also bought, at great expense at the time, the Games Workshop set of the Fellowship; I mostly wanted Gandalf and Gimli.

I haven't watched any of the films in probably ten years or so. Last time I tried to watch Fellowship in I think the early 2010s I got bored halfway through and gave up. So to me those twenty years really do feel like twenty years. I know some people revere them but to me they seem like a historical relic of the early 2000s.
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Old 12-22-2021, 09:17 AM   #5
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Little did we know that, in true Tolkien fashion, the high point was at the beginning and everything was all downhill from there.
...finding a path that cannot be found, walking a road that cannot be seen, climbing a ladder that was never placed, or reading a paragraph that has no...
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Old 09-19-2022, 04:29 AM   #6
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Twenty years? That makes me feel old. Then again, it does feel like it was an aeon ago.

I remember very well being 11 and coming out of the cinema after seeing FOTR for the first time and feeling somehow... underwhelmed. I guess my expectations had been higher, or maybe I was just a little dazed after having been kicked out of Middle-earth so soon and knowing it would be a full year until the next movie - a lifetime for a kid. Also, LOTR had been a huge part of my childhood since I was maybe six years old, so of course no movie could compare to the universe I had built in my imagination. This was the first Tolkien adaptation I could (to any degree) watch critically as an adaptation, and I'm not sure I liked the novel experience.

Fast forward to 2002 and 2003, I was the worst sort of teenage book purist, and probably horrible company for watching TTT or ROTK - everything that was different than in the book was obviously WRONG and boy there was a lot of those things, starting from colours of horses. But I still had fun watching the films - they were entertaining and engrossing, and suddenly I could drag (more of) my friends with me to Middle-Earth. Not to mention how much amusement the early teen passtime of fangirling over the characters/actors provided. (I distinctly remember a friend reading a headline in a magazine "Orlando Bloom has charisma" and being agonized because she thought it was some kind of an illness. )

But yeah... twenty years, and I can't deny those movies have had an effect on my life, even if the effect of the book is much much bigger. Over the years, my opinion on the films has fluctuated and it still does - PJ&co managed to hit some notes absolutely right, the music is lovely, the visuals and the cast mostly great... but there are also times I rewatch those movies and shake my head at how wrong they also got some things, or the sheer lack of subtlety in the script. But the more Tolkien adaptations of any type that pop up, one has to admit it's not easy adapting Tolkien, and tip the hat at Peter Jackson a little more. (Also one has to say, for instance, that the CGI looks remarkably well aged compared to many even much newer movies.) I hope to see at least one another big, ambitious (and hopefully very different) movie adaptation of The Lord of the Rings in my lifetime, but I think it says something about those movies that even after 20 years, nobody seems to be seriously thinking there's market for one yet.

Like the stars chase the sun, over the glowing hill I will conquer
Blood is running deep, some things never sleep
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