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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:55 pm 
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Having just finished a complete viewing of all three Hobbit movies (Theatrical Cuts) followed by all three Lord of the Rings movies (Extended Editions), it seems to me that The Hobbit is actually much closer to the books than LotR. Not, obviously, the added stuff, but in terms of altered scenes.

I will come back with a proper comparison later, but I wanted to just put that out there to get people thinking.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:18 pm 
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What annoys purists more, adding wholly invented stuff or altering the stuff that's written?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:26 pm 
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The changes and omissions in the Lord of the Rings bother me more than the changes and additions in The Hobbit. But I am NOT a purist.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:10 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
What annoys purists more, adding wholly invented stuff or altering the stuff that's written?


For me, its the latter. But I'm not a purist. I just like the option to have somebody edit out all the extraneous stuff and still have the story as written, or at least not contradicted.

Example: Its quite possible that Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin could have gone through the Old Forest, met Bombadil and been captured by Barrow wights while we weren't looking. But in situations like the reforging of Narsil, Faramir at Osgiliath, the Ents choosing wrong, those categorically refute the reality of the books. I can't think of anything in The Hobbit that does that.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:14 pm 
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The changes in The Hobbit are, to my mind, of a more minor variety, such as Bilbo delaying the Trolls until the sun came up instead of Gandalf using his ventriloquism skills to do so, or the barrel being opened instead of closed. Certainly there is nothing like Frodo sending Sam home, which utterly contradicts the book.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:31 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Certainly there is nothing like Frodo sending Frodo home, which utterly contradicts the book.


Now I'm imagining Frodo having a Gollum-style debate with himself about going home. ;)


I don't really have an opinion on the topic at hand since I can't recall being significantly annoyed by any non-puristy changes. The only exception might be Arwen tied to the ring which I do really dislike.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:44 am 
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yovargas wrote:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Certainly there is nothing like Frodo sending Frodo home, which utterly contradicts the book.


Now I'm imagining Frodo having a Gollum-style debate with himself about going home. ;)


I have no idea what you are talking about. :whistle:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:06 am 
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For me, added stuff. The whole chat between Tharanduil and Tauriel puts my teeth on edge.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:09 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Certainly there is nothing like Frodo sending Sam home, which utterly contradicts the book.

Actually Bilbo trying to sneak out and go home (how, exactly?) and watshisface letting him go is very much like that, although it is not nearly as sacrilegious toward the characters and their relationship.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:17 am 
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I probably veer towards the Purist end of the spectrum, and the changes which contradict the written narrative bother ("bother" is such a weak word; some contradictions enraged me) me much more than extraneous or omitted material.
- The ents choosing wrong
- Turning Faramir's character inside out (actually, the entire Osgiliation)
- Frodo choosing Gollum over Sam
- Arwen's decline and inexplicable tie to the Ring
- The twisting of Gandalf's character via assaulting Denethor (also, in lighting the beacons via Pippin behind Denethor's back)
- The degradation of Denethor's character; there is no glimpse of him as one in whom the blood of Númenor ran true, so that his fall into despair was meaningful as written by Tolkien.

etc.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:09 am 
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I'm not a purist. But to me, all the added stuff in The Hobbit fundamentally changes the structure of the story, while in its deviations (some of which bother me, some don't) LotR never goes too far from the framework that Tolkien put down.

The Hobbit's additions are wider-reaching. For example, DoS has orcs, orcs, orcs running all over the place. That section of the book has zero orcs or goblins besides some offscreen in the Beorn chapter. This totally changes the entire atmosphere of the movie and almost ruins the conversation with Smaug. The entire third act in BoFA pushes the titular battle to the background in favor of a video game boss fight (okay, the last few minutes with Bilbo are good).

Admittedly, maybe The Hobbit's characters are more faithful if you don't count Tauriel, Legolas, Alfrid, and Azog. But they're buried underneath so much extraneous stuff - such as that aforementioned list of extra characters, for example!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:57 am 
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Also, is, for example, Azog chasing the dwarves in the first movie an addition or a change? On the one hand, it doesn't alter the fundamental structure of the a story, which still hits the same major plot points. On the other, it completely alters the mood and the nature of challenges that face the characters.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:40 am 
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kzer_za wrote:
I'm not a purist. But to me, all the added stuff in The Hobbit fundamentally changes the structure of the story, while in its deviations (some of which bother me, some don't) LotR never goes too far from the framework that Tolkien put down.

The Hobbit's additions are wider-reaching. For example, DoS has orcs, orcs, orcs running all over the place. That section of the book has zero orcs or goblins besides some offscreen in the Beorn chapter. This totally changes the entire atmosphere of the movie and almost ruins the conversation with Smaug. The entire third act in BoFA pushes the titular battle to the background in favor of a video game boss fight (okay, the last few minutes with Bilbo are good).

Admittedly, maybe The Hobbit's characters are more faithful if you don't count Tauriel, Legolas, Alfrid, and Azog. But they're buried underneath so much extraneous stuff - such as that aforementioned list of extra characters, for example!


Exactly how I feel about TH...whilst all the stuff Impey lists bothers me, too, if I think about it, it doesn't spoil my enjoyment of the movies so much as Jackson's treatment of The Hobbit does. Am I a purist? Maybe a selective one!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:54 pm 
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kzer_za wrote:
For example, DoS has orcs, orcs, orcs running all over the place. That section of the book has zero orcs or goblins besides some offscreen in the Beorn chapter. This totally changes the entire atmosphere of the movie...


Yeah, that's how I feel. No changes in LOTR ever made it feel like anything but LOTR but film-TH rarely feels much like book-TH despite perhaps contradicting the books details less often. It changes less "facts" but much more significantly changes the "feel", which is far more disappointing IMO.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:46 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
TH rarely feels much like book-TH despite perhaps contradicting the books details less often.


To some extent, that is because it was never the goal to just adapt The Hobbit, but rather to adapt the story The Hobbit tells within the wider legendarium.

That having been said, I disagree that the films rarely feel much like book TH. Good morning, the unexpected party, much of Goblintown, Riddles in the Dark, much of Mirkwood (particularly in the EE), the barrel escape (not the barrel ride), the entrance to Erebor, Bilbo's conversation with Smaug, Smaug's destruction of Laketown, the confrontation over the Arkenstone, Thorin's deathbed conversation with Bilbo, Bilbo's goodbye to the other dwarves, and Bilbo's return to Bag End (among other things) all feel very much like book TH, more so overall than most anything in LOTR.

ETA: Also TH has Martin Freeman as Bilbo; LOTR has Elijah Wood as Frodo. That alone makes TH more purist. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:09 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
That having been said, I disagree that the films rarely feel much like book TH. Good morning, the unexpected party, much of Goblintown, Riddles in the Dark, much of Mirkwood (particularly in the EE), the barrel escape (not the barrel ride), the entrance to Erebor, Bilbo's conversation with Smaug, Smaug's destruction of Laketown, the confrontation over the Arkenstone, Thorin's deathbed conversation with Bilbo, Bilbo's goodbye to the other dwarves, and Bilbo's return to Bag End (among other things) all feel very much like book TH, more so overall than most anything in LOTR.


I don't agree with all of those but even if I did, that's maybe about 90 minutes of film spread out over an 8+ hour movie.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:24 pm 
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Neither. 8) :D

There are hardly any 'purist' adaptations anyway. The only two exceptions I can think of right now are Hitchcock's 1940 film version of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (a fabulous film of a fabulous book), and the 1981 Granada TV series of Brideshead Revisited, which is fiendishly faithful to Evelyn Waugh's text and also a sublime, ground-breaking TV drama in its own right.

I agree with Voronwë that the dafter changes in The Hobbit annoy me far less than some of the changes in LotR.

But the LotR films, for all their heresies, have a something about them that the Hobbit films don't quite have. I've only seen BoFA twice, for example - I might go and see it for a third time if there's time - compare that with my multiple viewings of LotR!

I still enjoy the Hobbit films, though, not least that wonderful cast. :) But there was something truly special about the LotR film era, for all sorts of reasons.

Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
That having been said, I disagree that the films rarely feel much like book TH. Good morning, the unexpected party, much of Goblintown, Riddles in the Dark, much of Mirkwood (particularly in the EE), the barrel escape (not the barrel ride), the entrance to Erebor, Bilbo's conversation with Smaug, Smaug's destruction of Laketown, the confrontation over the Arkenstone, Thorin's deathbed conversation with Bilbo, Bilbo's goodbye to the other dwarves, and Bilbo's return to Bag End (among other things) all feel very much like book TH, more so overall than most anything in LOTR.


Yes, most of those things are really, REALLY good. :)

Quote:
ETA: Also TH has Martin Freeman as Bilbo; LOTR has Elijah Wood as Frodo. That alone makes TH more purist. ;)


Certainly a lot more purist on Good Hobbit Characterisation. :cheers:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:53 pm 
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Well, there's various types of purism.

Characterisations: I think here, The Hobbit probably wins on simple characterisations, while LotR wins on character design.

Bilbo, Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Gandalf, Bard and Elrond are all pretty much as per book in characterisation. However, I would have major issues with the look and design of the dwarves.
Thranduil is much more aggressive than in the books, Beorn has a very different character arc and look, even The Master is much more believable a character in the book.

In LotR: The looks and designs are almost uniformly perfect. People may quibble about Frodo looking too young, but apart from that I have no issue with the design of any character in LotR.
However, there's no question that most of the characterisations are quite different to the book. Gimli is comedy relief, Frodo is weaker than he should be, Denethor is practically a different character, Boromir is improved, Galadriel is scary, Aragorn is insecure, Arwen leaves for the havens, Faramir tries to take the ring, The Ents choose wrong, Frodo sends away Sam.

Then there's the actual major events. In The Hobbit, practically every scene in the book plays out in the movie with very minor changes. Good Morning, The Unexpected Party (apart from Thorin arriving separately and the Dwarves being boorish the events follow the book), The Trolls (again in broad strokes every beat from the books is there, but embellished), Rivendell, Stone Giants, Goblintown, Riddles in the Dark, the Five Fir Trees, the Eagles, Beorn, Mirkwood (minus the feasting Elves), Elvenkings Halls, Laketown, On the Doorstep, Inside Information, Death of Smaug, Battle of Five Armies, Auction at Bag End. All present and accounted for. No MAJOR deviations. In other words, someone could (and will) make a very faithful Fan edit of The Hobbit using the filmed scenes. Far more so than is possible with LotR.

Then we have LotR:
Long Expected Party is pretty close to the book, no 17 year gap, No selling bag end to move to Crickhollow, no Black Rider and the Gaffer, no Farmer Maggot, No Bombadil, No Old Man Willow, No Old Forest, No Barrow wights. Bree is scary and Butterbur is non existent. Attack on the Pony is good. No stolen horses or buying Bill from Ferny. Midgewater marshes, check. Weathertop plays out pretty close to the book. Stone Trolls, check. Flight to the ford, fairly major change here with Arwen and no defiance from Frodo. Rivendell, again close to the book. High Pass, close to book but Saruman instead of Sauron (or indeed the Mountain itself) is the threat. No wolves in Eregion. Watcher in the Water, fairly close to book. Moria, close to book. Lórien, close to the book apart from no Sam at the Mirror and very creepy tone throughout. The Great River, check. Breaking of the Fellowship, missing Frodo's crucial moment on Amon Hen. And thats just Fellowship, which is generally considered to be the most Purist.

Now, don't get me wrong. Somehow, LotR managed to capture Tolkien better for me than TH, but when you start to compare them side by side, its hard to explain why?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Now, don't get me wrong. Somehow, LotR managed to capture Tolkien better for me than TH, but when you start to compare them side by side, its hard to explain why?


It's pretty easy to depict scenes exactly like they are in the book and yet have them feel totally different. To take an easy and extreme example, imagine taking the riddle game scene as shot but replacing the soundtrack with shredding metal guitar solos. Wouldn't feel very Tolkien no matter how much of the book dialogue you copy. This is why I never cared about purism as it's easy to accurately replicate the book without capturing any of its magic, and it's possible to completely invent stuff nowhere in the book that does.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:31 pm 
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I wonder if we all love movie LOTR more than we live movie TH because LOTR gave us a beautiful middle-earth and the book - for the first time. We loved it, we hated it, but we lapped it up greedily. The movies, the fandom and oh the message boards!! The beauty of seeing rivendell on the screen, the first sight of the pillars on Anduin.

By the time TH came, a lot of our hunger had been sated.


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