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The J.R.R. Tolkien Topic (publications and adaptations)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Forostar, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    @CriedWhenBrucieLeft and other people who are interested. Did any of you read this yet or heard of it? I completely missed any news of it until today.

    Looks like a huge difference with the Silmarillion story which was about 30 pages. This book is 10 times as much.
    A new book by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien is going on sale - 100 years after it was first conceived.

    Never knew about the publications of these two either. Anyone has (heard of) these? Man, I have some catching up to do.

    The Fall of Arthur (2013)


    Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary (2014)

    Mentioned below, I am looking forward in particular to the third book as well:
    Beren and Lúthien standalone book
    The story was published as a standalone book edited by Christopher Tolkien under the title Beren and Lúthien on 1 June 2017, being pushed back from its original publication date of 4 May 2017. The story is one of three contained within The Silmarillion which Tolkien believed warrants its own long-form narrative, the other two being The Children of Húrin and The Fall of Gondolin. The book is illustrated by Alan Lee and edited by Christopher Tolkien, in much the same way as the standalone version of The Children of Húrin (2007) in that it draws from different, often incomplete, versions of the story written by Tolkien to form a complete narrative with minimal editorial intrusion.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  2. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Self-propelled artillery Staff Member

    I'm more interested in Beowulf than I am the other books. I was highly disappointed by The Children of Húrin, in that it did not feel like Tolkien wrote it. It felt like he wrote parts and someone else, with far less ability, filled the gaps.
  3. Cornfed Hick

    Cornfed Hick Electric Eye

    I have the Tolkien translation of Beowulf. It's OK, though I still prefer the Seamus Heaney translation. The Tolkien is more archaic but probably a more faithful translation, whereas the Heaney is easier to read and more poetic.
    Forostar likes this.
  4. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    Yeh, I have all of these, including the new publication of B&L. Not read it yet. Haven't read anything to suggest there is any new or unpublished material in this though. I assume most of the material is from some of the History of Middle-earth volumes. To my knowledge this is about bringing together disparate material. The press around it has, as always, been inaccurate.
    Yes, have both of these. Interesting in themselves, and certainly interesting from a Tolkien publication point of view.
    No evidence Christopher is going to do this. He's 93 this year & apparently the intro to B&L says this will be likely his last thoughts in respect to editing his father's work.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    Forostar likes this.
  5. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

  6. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    I've just finished rewatching Fellowship for the first time in years. What an absolute masterpiece. There is no other film that conveys the feeling of journey and adventure like this one. It blows me away how well it's made. The way it's shot, the design of the world, the music, the epic scale of it... Watching it brought back so many memories of the time when I was obsessed with LotR. ;) This is my favourite part of the three, although the whole thing is pretty much even.

    The Two Towers and Return of the King coming up... Damn, I love this trilogy.
  7. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    Rewatched The Two Towers today. Got some pretty fresh perspective. It is a very good development of the story, but it makes the slowest film of the trilogy by far. It does what a middle chapter is supposed to do - we get to know characters better, they are placed all over the chessboard and they face tough challenges. However, there are many drawn-out scenes, which make it less exciting than FotR. TTT is also pretty heavy on the political/war aspect (which seems to replace the adventurous tone of FotR) but I find all of that very clear and nicely done. I like how we get a really good feel of the people of Rohan. Last but not least - the battle of Helm's Deep is a great payoff. It's just one of the greatest cinematic battles ever.

    Some previously overlooked things which stood out to me during this viewing include the great performance by Bernard Hill (Theoden) and Faramir's arc (despite little screen time they managed to flesh him out by providing backstory, which made his decision at the end quite powerful). Another stand-out are musical themes. Although I've always loved the LotR score (duh), only now I pay a lot of attention to themes. Everything has one: Rohan, Gondor, Ents, Mordor, the Fellowship... They are wonderfully interwoven throughout the film.
    CriedWhenBrucieLeft likes this.
  8. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Dad Rock connoisseur extraordinaire

    Do you think that keeping the Shelob fight in TTT (as it is in the books) would improve this? And possibly make the last film less over-the-top?

    Although I never really liked how they changed Faramir's act (in the book he's actually one of the straightest and most noble characters, not being tempted by the Ring at all) for the movie, because they made him really similar to Boro in that regard, I get what you mean. The storyline, especially supported by the acting, works anyway.

    This. Shore's work there is absolutely the best score I ever heard and I don't think anyone else will be able to achieve anything remotely similar. Closest probably being Williams' Star Wars score (and I admit it's indeed quite amazing), and even that one pales next to this stuff. Even if the movies sucked (which they don't) I'd have been happy they were made if only because of the music. In fact, as I'm currently re-reading the books, I often play the score as an accompaniment. And it's awesome. BTW I also really like how he manages to use the themes in different settings and different moods, in different instrumental variations etc. 15 years later, I still discover new stuff there.
    Srogyy and CriedWhenBrucieLeft like this.
  9. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    It's actually difficult to say, because while the plotline of Frodo & Sam is probably the least eventful and interesting out of all in TTT, I think it is really satisfying in RotK. If the third one started with Sam rescuing Frodo, there would be very little material left as far as they go to accompany other rich plotlines (there has to be balance). At the end of the day it was probably a good call to move Shelob. It made space for the development of Gollum in TTT, which was pretty important.

    By the way - I haven't read the books so my perspective is definitely different. I tried to get through them, but never got far. I'm aware of some of the major differences, though.
  10. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    Aaaand Return of the King... What can I say, it truly is an epic and satisfying conclusion. The scale of this film is enormous. The climax kept me on the edge of my seat even though I obviously knew what was happening. The imagery is so powerful there - it has this kind of doomsday quality to it. On a side note, I think RotK is the one that gained the most in the extended edition. It's pretty mind-blowing that Saruman and the Mouth of Sauron were cut from the original release.

    It's an incredibly even trilogy, but, weirdly, my ranking is absolutely clear:
    1) The Fellowship of the Ring - for that wonderful adventurous tone.
    2) Return of the King - used to be my number 1 for a very long time, because of how epic it is.
    3) The Two Towers - even though it's an essential and worthwhile instalment, there's no way around the fact that it's the slowest film out of the three and the least happens there.
    Not counting Star Wars, LotR trilogy are probably my favourite films ever. Always thought so and now I know it still stands.

    What a great (and emotional!) rewatch. Now I'm all nostalgic and stuff... :p As I wrote earlier, it brought back many memories and helped me recognise and appreciate brand new aspects of this trilogy. Some of them are very small details that have never resonated with me before. Here's one - a super tiny detail from RotK: when Faramir told Gandalf he had met Frodo and Sam two days prior, I genuinely felt Gandalf's enormous relief. It just opened my eyes to how unsettling the uncertainty must have been before and how empowering this sudden surge of hope was. Seriously, it's a small scene but it made an impact on me.
  11. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Srogy are you also enthousiastic about Arwen's ridiculous role in The Fellowship? An annoying dominant, lengthy and ridiculous chase scene having Black Riders following her at equal speed.

    Currently reading LOTR for my son. He reads The Hobbit himself and we do LOTR together. I am really into a lot of details in the book, the descriptions of all the places and parts of nature where they travel. Some people don't like this side but I think it contributes immensely. Some dialogues are less intriguing and seem to pass by slower than descriptive parts. Great to experience again that this is not just an action book. It is still a fantastic world with ancient history, shaped by Tolkien's thoughts and language. Helps to create excellent visions. Right now we are at the part where Gollum tells about the alternative route into Mordor ("The Black Gate is Closed").
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  12. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    Never bothered me, to be honest. But Arwen overall is one of the least interesting parts of the whole trilogy to me. Her storyline is quite confusing and some of her scenes seem overly dramatic (mainly in TTT).
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