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Old 07-26-2002, 08:42 AM   #1
The Green Ringwraith
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1420! Still forming your own images of Middle-earth, or stuck with Elijah and co.?

I can still form my own images of the terrain and I prefer to do that, and I'm glad I can. But whenever the Fellowship comes to mind, I think of the people that play them in the movie and what they look like. And that's not all bad, is it? *wawrm fuzziness*
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Old 07-26-2002, 09:15 AM   #2
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Well, for me it certainly depends on the character or place. I was totally sure Legolas had brown hair, and the hobitts all seemed strangely big to me in the movie, so I still keep that image. On the other hand, Cate Blanchett&Christopher Lee matched my imaganation of Galadriel&Saruman perfectly, so I sort of "copied" them in my image. I totally think it´s all right to use the movie characters, especially if you don´t have your own clear picture.
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Old 07-26-2002, 09:22 AM   #3
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That's a reasonably interesting question. I prefer books to celluloid by far and always will, however when PJ started work on this project I knew that I would end up seeing it, although I would be disappointed, inevitably. Indeed, so I was. I had, decades before the recent movies, definite ideas of what people and places looked like and how they spoke and inter-reacted. Seeing the film was similar to seeing an old friend who has aged rather poorly. You can see the structure of their face and how they looked when you knew them before but there is a layer of something alien shrouding them and distorting the picture.

I shall continue to create my own pictures; but I confess to have been affected by the images I saw on the screen.
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Old 07-26-2002, 11:07 AM   #4
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Well, in defense of the movie (which I loved), Peter Jackson said many times that this was just HIS interpretation of the books, and that he couldn't please everyone.

On the other hand, my view of Frodo was NOT teenage heartthrob. I was picturing someone a little less...adorable, I suppose. I did think that most of the characters (Gandalf, Sam, Pippin, Saruman, Galadriel, Aragorn, Boromir... everyone except Frodo, Legolas and Arwen) were really great. I was disappointed in Legolas mainly because I could tell that from the moment he entered, it was going to become a "hot guy" scene and movie. And Arwen should never have been a shieldmaiden.

But still, PJ said that he couldn't please everyone.
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Old 07-26-2002, 12:54 PM   #5
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I saw the movie before I read the book (this is sadly, but it's true)... So, I can say that when I read the books, I already had a picture in my mind about all the characters and places. But, this image was adjusted after I read the book, so I can say I have my own image of ME.

I have one BIG trouble. In my country, LoTR was published only this year... The Hobbit, Silmarillon, and the Unfinished Tales are not translated in my language. I woud read them in english, but I can't find them anywhere. I am so sad about this, cause all the people on this forum know so much about JRRT's works and about ME and I don't. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] I want to read these books!!!
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Old 07-26-2002, 01:38 PM   #6
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Nope, I still see Elijah and everyboody, well to some extent. The new characters that are introduced I still see my own way.

Anunia: Where are you from?
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Old 07-26-2002, 02:04 PM   #7
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Here is a link to an excellent discussion concerning this topic:

Movie characters
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Old 07-26-2002, 02:12 PM   #8
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This was one of the rallying cries of the anti-movie crowd in the months leading up to its premiere: “The movie will overwhelm and destroy your cherished mental images from the books!” Well, months later I’m happy to report that my mental images are still well intact. I enjoyed many aspects of the movie, would have liked to have seen others done differently, and was flat disappointed by others, but what happened was basically what I thought would happen – I’ve taken the things I liked from the movie and discarded the rest. For instance, though many have raved about the beautiful New Zealand locations, I have to confess that many of them underwhelmed me. I still picture images which are no doubt influenced by the lush greenness of my native Pennsylvania for many of the locations – New Zealand seemed, for the most part, a bit too scrubby and rocky for my Middle-earth.

I too, retain an image of Frodo that’s less innocent and a bit older and “good-natured rather than beautiful”, as well as a Sam that’s more simple than simple-minded, even though I think the performances were generally good in both cases. It never occurred to me that Legolas would ever become some sort of teen-idol dreamboat – and still doesn’t when I read. I liked the portrayal of Aragorn and thought his costume was especially good, though my Boromir is completely different than Bean – though again, good performance. I thought Gandalf was pretty spot-on.

That’s a vivid analogy, Stephanos, though I would bend it slightly for my own experience – seeing the movie was like seeing a drawing of an old-friend by a journeyman artist. You can see that it’s supposed to be your friend – the nose and the sweep of the cheekbones are just right, but the expression in the eyes is off and there’s something not quite right about the set of the mouth. I can say, hey, neat picture but a bit off, without having to feel like my old friend has turned into a melted basset-hound version of himself. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-26-2002, 02:37 PM   #9
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Underhill: lol

You make reading this forum an immensely enjoyable business.
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Old 07-26-2002, 03:34 PM   #10
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*cough* Actually, I liked the way the film depicted Boromir's fall and forgiveness much better than the book's. It is one of the few places where I though the movie enhanced the story. Perhaps this is because Boromir's death has been moved to the end of FOTR rather than being lost in the opening of TTT. It has become dramatically more focussed and provided vivid evidence of how powerful the ring is. *cough*

Movie Legolas (with all the drooling) may have permanently, I fear, destroyed any interest I had in the book character. Book Galadriel remains far and away safe from any taint by Movie Galadriel.

Much as I think the movie was well done as a fan fic, as Mark12_30 put it, there is still so much more in the books to explore....

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Old 07-26-2002, 03:44 PM   #11
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I never got a chance to form my own visions of the characters! The books I was given have scenes from the movie on the front and little pictures of each actor from the movie as the character on the back, so whenever I thought of the character, I thought of the actor that plays him in the movie.
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Old 07-26-2002, 03:50 PM   #12
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Stephanos -- what a generous thing to say, to which I can only respond: likewise (despite the arrogance implicit in your even bothering to post in the first place [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]).
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Old 07-26-2002, 04:46 PM   #13
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Bethberry, I have to agree with you regarding Boromir. I myself am not good at "picturing" characters, and the image I had of Boromir has always been vague "Conan the Barbarian"-ish" He was also one of my least favorite characters.

Sean Bean, I think, did a wonderful job of instilling some humanity into the too-prideful Gondorian, and I have much more sympathy for Tolkien's flawed warrior now. And I agree that PJ's fiddling with the time line worked for me.

(Cough) Say, shouldn't this thread be in the "Movie" forum?
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Old 07-26-2002, 06:43 PM   #14
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I hadn't even finished reading FotR when I went to see the movie, but I don't picture the actors in my head when I read it. My picture of Frodo was totally different. When I saw the movie, it took me a while to realize it was him. And when I read the books, I simply cannot picture Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, even though I've seen him do it before. Gimli looks different in my mind, though I'm afraid Legolas looks a bit like Orlando Bloom. Celeborn and Galadriel are totally different, as is Elrond, Gandalf, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Bilbo. (actually, my mental picture of elves was so weird from reading the Hobbit -- I pictured them as these short little faerie things that skipped around singing...)
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Old 07-26-2002, 06:55 PM   #15
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i still, when i picture Lotr in my head, i think of it form my own imagionation, not totially form the Fotr movie, like SAMWISE merry and pippin, were partly how i imagined them, but a lil smaller, but i allways pictured frodo as a little chubby cute like hobbit, not a short teenage human, and most of the images i got of my lotr, are from the hildebrant brother's artwork
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Old 07-29-2002, 10:07 AM   #16
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I thought most of the characters were pretty good and fairly close to my mental images, especially, Aragorn, Gandalf and Saruman.
Galadriel? well, not even close ,apart from the hair colour and I wasn't that keen on Elrond for that matter, not really sure why.The hobbits I found were a little off from my visions, adn Boromir, while not physically how I saw him, I liked Sean Bean's portrayal.
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Old 07-29-2002, 01:08 PM   #17
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Well the Hobbits were too big for one thing. They are meant to be between three and four feet tall, but some amadán in casting read about how Merry and Pippin were over four foot five (hello, Ent draught)and decided to make all Hobbits a lot taller. Is it just me or did Elrond look a bit too wrinkly.
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Old 07-29-2002, 08:50 PM   #18
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lol, wrinkly! Like an old prune! And I thought elves weren't supposed to age.

One of my major mental conflicts (and there are many), as Galadrie1 said, was that the elves in the Hobbit were decided more frisky and silly, climbing trees and singing "tra-la-la-lally". Can anyone imagine the elves of LotR doing that? (Elrond shimmies up a tree, belting out the chorus and tugging at his robe as it rides up around his knees *eeew*)
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Old 07-29-2002, 09:18 PM   #19
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Silmaril

I read the books after I saw the movie... *cowers from disdainful forum veterans* but my images of some characters changed after I read the books. Frodo I imagined to be not as youthful in appearance, as he was supposed to be fifty years old *cough*. Ian McKellen played a perfect Gandalf, and that's my image of him. I imagine Arwen to be more... I don't know, stern in appearance than Liv Tyler's Arwen. Legolas could be very slightly different, but only in facial structure. I suppose I unconsciously filtered out the mental images from the movie that I did not like and kept the ones that I did. I'm happy to say that the movie did not scar my mental images of the book characters for life.
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Old 07-31-2002, 03:53 AM   #20
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bad luck for me! my impression of elves didn't add up to the movie. the book made me thing of something grace and elegant and no matter how much orlando runs around trying to be light footed, and cat like as he puts it, it doesn't work. yes he is good looking but i think he's to young! isn't he like 2931 years old when he joined the fellowship. okay elves don't age but there was still no age in his wisdom or something. it escapes me now! i know i had a pt when i began this!!
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Old 08-11-2002, 06:07 PM   #21
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Even though the way lots of things were in the movie is really similar to how lots of people imagined (especially the landscapes, of course that was New Zealand not PJ...), having your own image of it all is important. The movies are just how some people saw it, and even they couldn't do everything they thought of.
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Old 08-12-2002, 07:22 AM   #22
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Legolas has short, dark hair! Long hair is impractical in battle (I know it's impractical in a lot of situations - my hair is twice as long as Orlando's wig) I wouldn't like an orc grab me by the hair.

As for Frodo... hobbits have brown eyes. Possibly golden-brown, or greenish-brown, but certainly not contact-lenses-blue.

Just my mental images, feel free to keep yours.
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Old 08-12-2002, 07:54 AM   #23
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I'm kind of in the middle with this. I started reading LotR only a few days before I saw the movie (I honestly had no idea what LotR was before I saw a commercial on t.v.) so I had already created a basic image of some of the characters when I first walked into the theatre. But when I saw the movie, I was surprized a little because most of the characters looked almost just as I imagined them. The hobbits resembled my own imagined ones, and the most of the fellowship as well. I was most pleased with Gandalf and Saruman however. And Elrond pee'd me off, 'Matrix Man' is a good actor....but not a good Elrond. His hair looked awfully funny.

But, luckily, I have already finished TTT and RoTK, so I have been able to use my imagination much more with the other books, and the new characters/landscapes. But like someone else has said already on this forum, I find that I still picture different landscapes when I read about ME. I liked the ones used in the movie..but for some reason they aren't the same for me when I read.

I too though Sean Bean played an excellent Boromir. I almost like the movie Boromir better than the book Boromir, save for the fact that books always offer more to a character, even if the actor for the character is great.
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Old 08-12-2002, 08:10 AM   #24
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Hmm . . . The way they did the scenery in the movie (ie: Rivendell, Lothlorien, Weathertop, etc.) was just how imagined the places to look like, so I have no conflicts there, but I still have my own images of the characters. ie: I imagine Frodo a little rounder around the middle, and other little details like that.
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Old 08-12-2002, 08:12 AM   #25
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Yeh...the hobbits seemed to almost all be too skinny. If they do infact eat that many meals a day, they should really be packing on the pounds.
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Old 08-12-2002, 09:29 AM   #26
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Quote:
I find that I still picture different landscapes when I read about ME. I liked the ones used in the movie..but for some reason they aren't the same for me when I read.
I thought that the NZ landscape was very raw and young-looking, like some kind of frontier. But my Middle Earth was very ancient, and its rough edges had been mostly smoothed by time and so many events that had crawled across its surface, i.e. cities built and crumbled to dust, wars won and lost, great deeds and massacres. NZ just couldn't quite accomplish that broad sense of ancient and mysterious civilizations, the huge tapestry that we glimpse in LotR's background.
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Old 08-12-2002, 01:02 PM   #27
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I can see the landscapes in my own way when I read the books. Although, alot of my "pictures" aren't even close to what they are supposed to look like. Like in Moria, I, for some reason, pictured it as this huge outdoor scene that was really dark no matter what time it was. And the only time they could see anything around them was when Gandalf shone a light from his staff. Wow was I wrong.

I can't wait until I see Gondor. I have another picture in my head of what that city looks like.

But as for the characters, I just knew them from the movie characters. Of course, it would have helped if I didn't have the version of LOTR with the movie characters on the cover. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-12-2002, 01:06 PM   #28
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I thought that Sean Bean was absolutely brilliant as Boromir. In the book (one of its few flaws), Boromir is sort of the bad guy in the fellowship, even from the beginning. In the movie, they portrayed him as a good guy corrupted by the ring, not a corrupted guy driven over the edge by said ring.

And I loved it when he was teaching the hobbits to fight. That was possibly the best moment in the movie, because it shows that, if it weren't for the ring, all of these people could get along well, and Boromir's a pretty nice guy.

As for Elrond, well, I thought he did a very good job. It isn't his fault that he was in The Matrix. Gotta pay the bills, you know. And for someone who has been alive for thousands upon thousands of years, he is comparatively non-wrinkly.
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Old 08-13-2002, 07:16 AM   #29
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Well, I'm just 15, and I finished the book only two weeks before I saw the movie, so you'd think I'd get stuck with Elijah and Orlando, but I'm not. But PJ has been good, I think most of them are pretty much like I imagined them, except for Frodo (too cute... And the hobbits are too tall...), Arwen (she just isn't right.) and Elrond (he will always be the creepy agent Smith to me..). The best ones, I think, is Sean/Sam and Billy/Pippin + Ian/Bilbo
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Old 08-13-2002, 08:31 AM   #30
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Ooh! I thought of a new analogy, along the lines of Stephanos's.

It is like an artist paints a picture of your friend, and all of the basic features are right; the face shape, the eye color, the shape of the mouth...

But they forgot the twinkle in the eyes, the number of freckles, all of the tiny little things that you notice because you know them well, but people who don't know the friend well wouldn't notice.
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Old 08-13-2002, 03:24 PM   #31
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I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was 11, so I never really visualized the characters as anything. Now, it's 4 years later (lol), and I can finally begin to compare characters to real-world people, and, I'm sorry to say, I am using the actors from the movies. They all did a great job portraying their respective characters (yes, even Elijah and Orlando), and I see no reason to change my mental picture. I find Elijah Woods much more preferable than the (seemingly) middle-aged hobbit on the cover of my edition of Fellowship. My only problem is the whole "shieldmaiden Arwen" thing (she should've been more regal and majestic) and the fact that all the Elves of Lothlórien look almost identical (I mean, Celeborn and Haldir could've been twins, for Eru's sake!).
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Old 08-13-2002, 05:49 PM   #32
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I think PJ did mostly a good job, the only people who didn't look like how I pictured then were Aragorn and Frodo.

Now Frodo is supposed to be older, a bit more... err round... less cute. I was surprised, but it wasn't a bad surprise. I didn't have a problem with it really, Elijah did a GREAT job of turning himself into a hobbit and his acting was great.

I pictured Aragorn to be more Built. Sorry to say, Viggo is a lil scrawny to be the tough Ranger Tolkien described. Maybe even tanner, as in more weather beaten. Even more handsome, after all, he's the king!

Ah, after seeing the movies as many times as I have now, I can now understand PJ's vision, and realize that it wasn't as bad after all.
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Old 08-13-2002, 09:15 PM   #33
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Time to throw in my own humble opinion.

First off, I loved the movie and it in now way ruined the books for me.

Second, I see the books and the movie(s) through a different mind set. When I watch it, everything looks/fits perfect (to me at least). I love books, often times more than movies, but I also love it when a book is made (well by the way) into a movie. But when I read the books, it's a totally different look/feel. I can't describe it; it's just different for me. The movie doesn't affect my imagination when I'm reading and I don't get ****ed if the movie has something/excludes something from the book.
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Old 08-14-2002, 01:59 PM   #34
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Well I read the books before the movie came out. However the book was the official movie one, with pictures on the back. So I was maybe a little tainted, but after watching the movie multiple times I still retain my own images. Movie Galadriel and "my" book Galadriel are almost identical; it is the same with Gandalf and Boromir. Arwen and Legolas looked a little too "modelish" to be "true" elves, but they line up pretty good{although my Legolas does NOT have dark eyebrows and a sissy voice}. I thought the hobbits were also reasonably well casted, although I would have made them a bit thicker around the waist at the start of the journey. The one person I could not see was Elrond. In the movie every time I see him I expect him to don sunglasses and start shooting. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-14-2002, 02:57 PM   #35
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1420!

i love the books, i love the movie. pj must have the same mind as me because i saw middle earth the way it is on film. probably because the shire reminds of where i live.

yes when i read the books now i see the fellowship as they are in the film. however in parts like tom bombadil my imagination runs wild. in the two towers i see teh fellowship as they are in the film, but in new places like shelob's lair and Rohan my imagination runs wild again.

[img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-15-2002, 07:01 AM   #36
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One thing that the movie lacked, and this has been stated before, was all the little details that made things unique. Example:

Gil-Galad, I really didn't picture him as a brunette. And I was rather dissapointed that they gave him a naginata than a spear.

Narsil, did anyone notice that Narsil looked exactly like every other sword used by men except for Boromir's?

Yes, the Arwen this kinda' made me mad, only because they cut out Glorfindel [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img] , but her scene at the fords was way underdone. One of the most interesting things about the fight there is how the book depicts Glorfindel, as he is in the other realm and elven lord of terrible might.

And finally, Glamdring. I've always loved the fabled swords of Goldolin and they way they glowed as if anticipating some measure of revenge for the sack of that fair city. And in Moria, I wanted so to see Gandalf wielding Glamdring against the orcs as it glowed coldly. Nope!, we got none of that.

These may sound like little details that are trivial, but they were always the thing I loved about how Tolkien created ME. The amazing about of minute detail he put into it was amazing. And though I loved the movie, I can't accept the rather identical nature of it.
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Old 09-19-2002, 06:05 PM   #37
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Well I thought Viggo was was everything I had dreamt my Aragorn to be until my sister pointed out that he looked like Jesus...She totally ruined it for me [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img]
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Old 09-19-2002, 06:43 PM   #38
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Everyone in the movie is basically how I pictured everyone in the book except for Galadriel. No offense to anyone, but did Galadriel look anorexic to anyone else. She was extremely pale and her cheeks looked sunken in somehow. Well she looked exactly like this anorexic girl in my school and that completely freaked me out.
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Old 09-19-2002, 07:18 PM   #39
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More vital to me when I read the books than the way the charactors look in my mind is the way they sound. Since watching the movie(which by the way ticked me off until I was able to separate it from the book) I do see the movie charactors at certain moments in the book. I Don't mind that. Sometimes I hear the actors' voices and that does bother me a little, but those parts are few and brief. It was quite upset about the omission of Gildor Inglorion when I first watched the movie, but now I think I am thabnkful for it. Deep down, I want to know what he would have been like in the movie though.
I said this morning at another forum: It's funny how the movie could not take the boook away from me as so many other adaptions have. One the whole,I read the book, PJ and his attempts do not exist.

[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: Amarie ]
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Old 09-19-2002, 11:13 PM   #40
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I think the most failed charachters in the movie were those who were not humans... I mean, they are played by just normal humans...

Aragorn and Boromir (who is my fawourite of the fellowship) are exactly as I have alwys thought them to be. So are Gandalf and Saruman.

Not even all the non-humans were failed. Dwarwes were rather good... its easy to conseal inadequaciues under that enormous beard. Elronds player brought well out his bitternes and tiredness to the world and looked as a half elf should.

But...

Hobbits were not stubby and plumb enough.

Legolas was not tall enough.

Note to Liv Tylor, you might be pretty, but you are not Arwen.

Note to Cate Blanchett... It is not easy to play someone who is threehundred times your age.

Oh the inadequasies of humans trying to play eleves and hobbits.


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