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Old 01-19-2004, 10:14 AM   #1
SamwiseGamgee
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Pipe Opinions on the changes to Sam and Frodos relationship.

I was just intrigued as to how people felt (both those who've read the book and not) about the part in the RotK movie where Frodo tells Sam to go home. It is a theme in the book, but it never comes to this head as represented by PJ. What do you guys think of this fairly major change?
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Old 01-19-2004, 10:33 AM   #2
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It was a purely cinematic decision. Contrary to what others may think, I'm sure PJ and company debated on whether or not to make this change. Up until that moment, they had taken great pains to show that Sam was unconditionally faithful to his friend.<P>I think the decision to make Frodo tell Sam to leave was just a way for them to set up going into Shelob's Lair - cinematically speaking, to make Frodo seem much more alone and solely confused by Gollum. <P>I really didn't have too much of a problem with PJ creating a temporary rift in Frodo and Sam's friendship, because I knew in the end that Sam wouldn't leave him. In fact, my little sister (who hadn't even read the books) told me afterward that she knew there was no way Sam would leave Frodo no matter what. <P>As for the matter of PJ leaving out the Houses of Healing...Well, that's another thread
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:33 AM   #3
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I had no problems with that added rift because I knew in the end <B>NOTHING</B> could or would cause Sam to abandoned Frodo -the worst part to me about that scene was seeing Sam so heartbroken as he's my favorite character!<P>But no - as a fan of Frodo/Sam's relationship that scene didn't bother me as nearly as much as it did some others!
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:54 AM   #4
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I know what you mean about Frodo feeling alone, but... I think that the tension in the book was better. P.J. has already shown us that there won't be a lot of subtlety in the films, and that the actors will pretty much all get a chance to come out and "talk about their feelings". I guess this is good for the non-book audience, as they lack the voice at the back of their head narrating for them... The way that Tolkein showed this rift was much more effective. The fact that he never did have Sam pound the stuffing out of Gollom until the <B>second</B> time he was attacked, and that mostly because he wanted to continue on and help Frodo. Also, one thing I did not get: they have Frodo defeat Gollom at Cirith Ungol. Now, this was obviously done so that he would not appear as helpless as he did in the book, but this diminishes Sam's character, and changes Frodo's. A better way of doing this would have been Tolkien's more subtle rift between the three travlers. Frodo knows that Gollom means to betray them, but he has no hope anyway, and he also knows that Gollom wishes to keep the ring away from souron and his armies. This makes Frodo appear wiser, and is much better than his apparently blind, and unreasonable faith in Gollom. <P>One more thing I must say: I thought that Sam accusing Gollom of stealing the Lembas bread was kind of wierd. If something like that happened in the book, I think it would have been more likely that Sam would have wondered if he had been sleep-eating.
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:26 AM   #5
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I cried at that part.<P>Yes I agree, that was something totally geared for the BIG SCREEN, kind of like all those unneccessary love scenes between Arwen and Aragorn in TTT- cute but there could have been more movie w/out them.<P>I was a little worried, too, about how PJ was going to handle the scene with Frodo naked in the tower, but it turned out all right. I wonder how he got his shirt back though [Elijah Wood with no shirt on *goosebumps*.].
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:34 PM   #6
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I went with someone who had never read Return of the King, and she was going on about how "they only did that Frodo without a shirt thing to get girls in the audience interested. I wonder how real Tolkien fans'll react to that..." I just kinda laughed...
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Old 01-20-2004, 09:51 PM   #7
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I thought that the Frodo going alone thing was okay, until Frodo says "Sam, Go home". Now at this point I personally think that they made a mistake.<BR>They actually had Sam turn around and head home!!!!<BR>Now this made me angry. Because the book Sam would never, never, never leave Frodo. I thought that they should have had Frodo and Gollum leave, and then have Sam sit and cry for a little bit. After Sam thinks for a moment and realizes that he did nothing wrong, he gets up, stands up tall and heads after them getting there just in time to defeat Shelob.<P>I think that this was a mistake because there is this one line in the FOTR book where I think either Pippin or Merry say something like Sam would jump down the throat of a dragon just to try to save Frodo. This line has always discribed Sam and Frodo's relationship for me, and that is why I am not exactly happy with this change.<p>[ 10:53 PM January 20, 2004: Message edited by: Gorwingel ]
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Old 01-21-2004, 06:33 AM   #8
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<B>Samwise</B>, (sounds strange doesn't it? ), as you would no doubt have expected from me, I am going to make a contribution to this thread which is in opposition to the movie.<P>It is true that Frodo's paranoia was a theme in the book. However, Frodo's ordering of Sam to go home was NOT an event in the book. It was a senseless exaggeration by the filmmakers in my opinion. What it shows is that the bond between Frodo and Sam is actually weaker than it should be.<P>Nor did I like Sam's unrestrained violence. Sam would not have assaulted Gollum that way. He was a much 'better' Hobbit, if you'll follow me.
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Old 01-21-2004, 07:08 AM   #9
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Weird, but good, Eomer. I'm now going to shock you and say that I agree with you.<BR>Initially, after seeing the film I thought it was a nice wee addition which just gave more time to a theme in the book. I have had time to think, reflect on the text and see the movie since then and I must say I think the decision was a mistake on PJ's part.<BR>Gorwingel, it's largely due to what you already mentioned. Samwise Gamgee, turn round and leave Mr Frodo? I think not. and even to have Frodo tell Sam to go home is, I feel, too strong. The bond between Sam and Frodo on that front is too strong for that kind of comment, at least in the book it is, and I think we got to go canon for this one!
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Old 01-22-2004, 01:03 PM   #10
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<B>Samwise</B>, I have found that my opinions towards the first two films changed a good while after seeing them. After seeing <I>The Two Towers</I> for the first time I was positively gushing with praise for it. Nowadays, I can point out several key areas which irk me terribly. This seems to be what you are saying now regarding Frodo and Sam in <I>The Return of the King</I>.<P>I have a reason for it. It has been the colossal amount of time I have spent hovering around brutal cynics such as <B>doug*platypus</B> and <B>lindil</B> on the Downs! It cannot fail to have an effect on an erstwhile student of Tolkien such as myself.
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Old 01-22-2004, 05:45 PM   #11
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when i first heard frodo say, "go home, sam" i was soo angry because i too, am a huge fan of frodo and sam's relationship; sam would never leave frodo, etc. however, after seeing it the second time, i wondered how they would get frodo and sam separated dramatically enough for sam to find frodo in shelob's lair if they hadnt had sam leave frodo...in the book, sam just gets lost (i think..); which is fine for the book...but for the movie, since it's such a dramatic part, i can completely understand why it was added. and it makes you wanna slug gollum really hard......
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Old 01-23-2004, 10:15 PM   #12
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Even though it made Sam coming and saving the day more exiting, I really disliked that part. As has been stated before, not only was the 'go home Sam' incorrect but it was totally out of character for Sam to actually leave. Also, I liked TTT overall after I saw it the first time, but I like it now even more, I guess it's just because I'm adjusted to the changes. The same thing is happening for ROTk only when I fisrt saw it I hated it, now now I only dislike it .
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Old 01-29-2004, 03:56 PM   #13
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Well I didn't care for it, but I think that PJ was just trying to add drama to the scene and to make Sam's loyalty and Bravery show more. I knew that Sam wouldn't abandon Froto. If they had changed it to that there would be a lot of upset fans. But on the whole people who have not read the book thought greater of Sam after that scene. Also it made Gollum look even more evil to try to get the point across to people who have not read the book.
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Old 01-29-2004, 08:01 PM   #14
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Yes, they did seem to want Gollum to appear super evil. Maybe they realized that they made him too fluffy in TTT. Everyone I knew who hadn't read the book thought Gollum was so cute and wanted to own him as some kind of pet!? Anyways, with the Smeagol/Deagol scene and then the scene by the water and then the lembas and then Shelob it was kind of overkill..but maybe PJ and co. felt that they had to kind of over compensate to make him seem evil and treacherus. As for the Sam and Frodo scene, I wholeheartedly agree, as does my friend who also read the books, that Sam would never leave Frodo. I didn't enjoy that they had to paint the situation in black and white like that.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:43 AM   #15
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But Sam would do whatever Frodo tells him to would he not. Frodo was paranoid enough by that point for him to believe that sending Sam home was the best thing and Sam could have obeyed.<BR>Additionally remember that the Ring gives the power of command and even if someone does not want to obey the Ring can compel them to. On the slopes of Mount Doom Frodo instructs Gollum to leave and he does, if only for a moment.<P>But whatever, the change was fine by me. And I did not exactly hear any angry heckling from the crowd about it.
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Old 01-30-2004, 09:25 PM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>It was a purely cinematic decision. Contrary to what others may think, I'm sure PJ and company debated on whether or not to make this change. Up until that moment, they had taken great pains to show that Sam was unconditionally faithful to his friend. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Which kind've puts a lot of work to waste, doesn't it?<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>But Sam would do whatever Frodo tells him to would he not. Frodo was paranoid enough by that point for him to believe that sending Sam home was the best thing and Sam could have obeyed.<BR>Additionally remember that the Ring gives the power of command and even if someone does not want to obey the Ring can compel them to. On the slopes of Mount Doom Frodo instructs Gollum to leave and he does, if only for a moment.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I don't think it's a matter of Sam obeying out of loyalty or of Frodo channeling his commands through the Ring (a good point, but not one that would've worked out in the movie). Seriously, what was Sam to do, stick around & follow Frodo like an unwanted relative? It was plain enough that Frodo considered him a double-crosser & a villian, so what's the point in trying to stay when he surely wouldn't have let him?
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Old 01-31-2004, 09:26 AM   #17
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The more I thought about it, the more I really didn't like that part. I mean, obviously I hated seeing Sam in pain, but that wasn't the problem for me. I thought it was very powerful and dramatic to have Frodo tell Sam to go home, but the more I thought about it, I couldn't imagine Sam actually doing it. I agree with Gorwingel - there was no way he would have actually left just because Frodo told him to, especially since he had so little faith in Gollum. Sam would never have left Frodo alone with Gollum, not a chance. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> It was plain enough that Frodo considered him a double-crosser & a villian, so what's the point in trying to stay when he surely wouldn't have let him? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I say, even if there was no point, even if there was no possible way Sam could help or save Frodo, he wouldn't have left. Sam would have followed Frodo, even if he had to do so in secret, far more readily than he would have abandoned him to the whims of Gollum, who Sam already knew wanted to kill them and take the ring. It's not a question of whether or not Frodo wants him around or not; for Sam, the important thing is Frodo's safety, and I just can't believe Sam would think, "Well, I'm sure Mr. Frodo will be just fine with Gollum, so I'll be heading on home now".<P>On top of that, it's not very realistic for anybody, really. If you had just hiked over half of Middle Earth for about a year, struggling every step of the way, to fulfill a quest, and you're standing there right on the brink of success, and someone tells you, "Go home" . . . are you really going to turn around and go back??
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:20 PM   #18
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I agree it was totally wrong of frodo 2 tell sam to go home, he should not have trusted gollum over hes best friend. Every1 i have spoken to think that there is more than friendship between them, tho i dont no wot 2 believe wot do u think
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Old 02-16-2004, 10:07 PM   #19
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I honestly don't fault Sam for actually leaving for a while. He loved Frodo with all his heart, body, and soul. When you've been used to receiving someone's unconditional love and acceptance for much of your life, when you've practically died for someone, your heart gets torn to shreds when they betray you like that. For a while, you will actually listen to them and do what they tell you to do. Frodo was the entire world to Sam. Sam wasn't saving Middle-earth from Sauron, he was saving his Master Frodo. What would you have done if you had been in his place? What would you have done when someone more beloved to you than life itself betrayed you and told you to leave?
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:51 AM   #20
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It is not Sam's decision that I feel was bad. It was Frodo's. Why did they taint Frodo's character by having him do this act? For a cliched comeback scene? This was not superior or easier to show than it was in the book, ergo it was detrimental.
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:44 PM   #21
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Nor did I like Sam's unrestrained violence. Sam would not have assaulted Gollum that way. He was a much 'better' Hobbit, if you'll follow me.
The more I think about this part, the more out of character it seems for Sam. You have a good point, Eomer. I winced when Sam thrust his sword at Gollum! It seemed so brutal and unthinking, and I couldn't believe that Sam not only would 1) abandon Frodo, even if told to do so, but that he would 2) not have learned ANY of Frodo's pity at ALL! I am wondering how much of this failure is due to Frodo's pity not coming across quite properly, though.

Frodo and Sam are more polarized on the subject of Gollum, probably because of the constraints of cinema and the need to show everything in black and white, so to speak. Therefore we do not see Sam trying to understand Frodo's views and respecting them while disagreeing, but instead bucking against them continually, creating a perfect atmosphere for a rift between the two hobbits that would never have existed if they had been developed on a longer and more internally focused timeline.

The line that irks me in the whole exchange is not "Sam, go home, " but Frodo's portentious and kind of creepy, "no Sam, it's you," as if Sam has some unnameable evil inside him and Frodo is only now seeing it. Elijah's dawning "crazy look" seems more at home in some dark horror film, and the setup for such is perfect. Having Sam leave for a time allows for Frodo's turn as the fly to Shelob's spider, increasing the tension to a breaking point as Frodo runs into web after web, barely escaping each time, until he is stung at the point when he thinks he is free. The cinematic effect is quite strong, and I can see why the scene is handled this way. I've never been as frightened of Shelob's Lair in the book, simply because I was with Sam. PJ puts the viewer with Frodo, which even Tolkien must have found too frightening to show, except in retrospect through Sam's eyes.

So I don't fault the moviemakers for this change, but it does harm the delicately drawn and beautiful structure of Frodo and Sam's closer and more understanding relationship from the book.
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When you've been used to receiving someone's unconditional love and acceptance for much of your life, when you've practically died for someone, your heart gets torn to shreds when they betray you like that. For a while, you will actually listen to them and do what they tell you to do.
I can see how Sam might do this if he is not as secure in his friendship with Frodo as he was in the book. It does seem that the relationship is more tenuous in the movie, that Frodo and Sam, even after all they have been through, still don't connect fundamentally. Or, from another viewpoint, perhaps Sam is less self-assured than he was in the book. He trusts Frodo, but he does not trust himself, or is unsure of himself. This would make him obey Frodo's words without complete understanding for a time, but, to me, it would diminish him to Quarter-Wise, instead of Half-Wise! (Sam also seems to have a sixth sense about when something is "right" and when it is not. I don't think Sam's hobbit sense was functioning for a few minutes there!)

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Old 02-17-2004, 03:50 PM   #22
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Child ot the 7th Age made the excellent point in the "Downsizing Frodo" thread that Frodo banishing Sam is a logical extension of the development of Frodo in the film. He is not the same character as Frodo of the book by a long way. Accordingly, this scene does not (to my mind) seem out of place in the film. Like Lyta, I was far more irked by the fact that Sam actually went, since film Sam is far closer in character to book Sam, and so it seems out of character when we see him starting off home. As I have said elsewhere, I would have preferred to see him simply stay on the ledge in despair, and then make his mind up to follow. He does not need to find the Lembas, since he knows that he did not eat it, and it does not take much to work out that Gollum was the perpetrator.

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Why did they taint Frodo's character by having him do this act? For a cliched comeback scene?
Quite often, the reason that something becaomes a "cliche" is because it works well. And I do think that the scenes where Frodo is alone in Shelob's lair, and Sam's later return, work very well on screen. Lyta put it very well, I think:

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Having Sam leave for a time allows for Frodo's turn as the fly to Shelob's spider, increasing the tension to a breaking point as Frodo runs into web after web, barely escaping each time, until he is stung at the point when he thinks he is free. The cinematic effect is quite strong, and I can see why the scene is handled this way.
So, I don't have a problem with it as a device to split them up, and it works in terms of Frodo's "film persona". I only wish that Sam hadn't actually set off.
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:48 PM   #23
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Surely a cliche is something that has been done too often. So comeback scenes were pretty happening back in the day, but I've seen approximately 990 'comeback scenes' and they're getting rather stale.

I just don't see how the changes to the Hobbits' relationship were an improvement on the book.
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:11 PM   #24
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I just don't see how the changes to the Hobbits' relationship were an improvement on the book.
They weren't. But the developments seem to fit an internal "movie logic" well enough. I much prefer the book's more fundamentally sound and secure Frodo/Sam relationship and also the great expanse of time that can be taken with it, as opposed to the fleeting instants by comparison that are given to the films to convey such things. It just cannot be done, so I don't compare them on a one-to-one basis but each according to their own separate 'logical' structures. It is less frustrating that way!

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Old 02-18-2004, 02:02 PM   #25
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The cinematic effect is quite strong, and I can see why the scene is handled this way. I've never been as frightened of Shelob's Lair in the book, simply because I was with Sam. PJ puts the viewer with Frodo, which even Tolkien must have found too frightening to show, except in retrospect through Sam's eyes.
Ooo...good point Lyta. You just gave me shivers. I hadn't thought about it that way before. (I think I was still caught up in the whole cinema experience. ) It wasn't till know that I realized that PJ did leave us with Frodo. It sorta reminds me of the idea that home goes with you. Since Frodo was moving away from everything he was, he forces Sam to leave. So when he's completely free, he's in the most danger. Intriguing. Very classic movie theme.

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So, I don't have a problem with it as a device to split them up, and it works in terms of Frodo's "film persona". I only wish that Sam hadn't actually set off.
I agree doug.......so true. *sigh* Sam would have never done that. Even with Sean Astin's excellent performance, it was still saddening to watch that scene.
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:14 PM   #26
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Eomer, it wasn't an improvement. It was merely a change to the books that enabled the audiences to realize how the Ring was affecting Frodo. In the Books, we could read about his emotions and mental reactions, because we read it from an omniscient narrator's point of view. It is only later that we find out that it is Frodo who wrote it, thus, enabling us to "see" further into his mind. In the Movies, however, we don't have anything to read, ergo, we can't see directly into the characters' minds. That was why the Frodo-Sam relationship was changed. We can't read their minds when they're on-screen, so the subtleties of their relationship became much more obvious.
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:04 AM   #27
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Finwe, isn't 'ergo' a great word?

Anywho, it was fair enough to simplify the relationship for the film, but surely not at the expense of making Frodo look like an unsympathetic, ungrateful so-and-so, nevermind a fool (any 8 year old could have worked out that 'lembas' saga - HINT; It was Gollum!)
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:51 PM   #28
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Surely a cliche is something that has been done too often.
I agree that the word "cliche" does carry negative connotations. But then, I would not have chosen that word myself to describe the Shelob scenes. It is an oft used technique. And sometimes, if not well-executed, it can appear "cliched" or "cheesy". I happen to think that the technique is employed to good effect here by Jackson, largely for the reasons stated by Lyta.

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I agree doug.......so true.
Er - that was me. And last time I checked, I wasn't a platypus.
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:16 PM   #29
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My feeling is that this scene almost wrote itself, at least in terms of Frodo! Saucepan Man made reference to my comments on another thread in one of his earlier posts.

PJ altered the character of Book Frodo -- making him younger, inexperienced, and vulnerable, with only limited backbone or interior wisdom -- as early as the first film. Having made those changes, the hobbit is bound to fall prey to this kind of thing. I mean Frodo was pretty far gone by the end of TTT so the scriptwriters had to come up with something in RotK that would signify the hobbit's continuing degeneration. And a split between Sam and Frodo would certainly be that!

This scene would be unthinkable in terms of the book. Fortunately, I was forewarned about the change and could accept the logic of the movie as I actually watched in the theater.

It was harder to understand why Sam went obediently down the steps. I think it would have been closer to his character if he'd had a good sob and then went sneaking after his master! But presumably he had to find that lembas Gollum had ditched so down the stairs he went. Given the way PJ set that scene up, they probably had little option.
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:12 PM   #30
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Doh! Sorry...Saucepan Man. I didnt' realize what I did. Accept my humblest apologizes. *curtsies*

And ergo is a cool word. Great for ending a good defense in Debate clubs.

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I think it would have been closer to his character if he'd had a good sob and then went sneaking after his master!
lol. I thought the same thing. Then Sam would have turned into the Slinker.
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Old 02-27-2004, 11:12 PM   #31
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i know that it was different from the book, but i think that jackson was trying to show something he could not explain any way else. it was not as if he could follow tolkien's words exactly, so if he had not done that scene, sam's loyalty may have been completely lost in the movie. anyway, as for the quality of the scene, i loved it. it made me cry so hard. and i don't usually cry during movies.
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:28 PM   #32
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Anywho, it was fair enough to simplify the relationship for the film, but surely not at the expense of making Frodo look like an unsympathetic, ungrateful so-and-so, nevermind a fool (any 8 year old could have worked out that 'lembas' saga - HINT; It was Gollum!)
There's always a one-word explanation for these type of complaints: Ring . The Ring no doubt sought to turn Frodo away from Sam (simplifying it's plan to get back to Sauron greatly), & Gollum playing on Frodo's greatest fear ( losing his precious) was a smart tactic for the ex-hobbit. There's no way that Frodo could just pass off the comment about Sam wanting the Ring, & even if he had, having Sam ask to share the load would only rekindle it & prove Gollum right (seemingly), no matter how impossible it might've seemed.
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:27 AM   #33
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Well, yes, anyone can write a fan-fiction. It wasn't Jackson's job to invent drama for Frodo and Sam, it was right there for him to use.
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