Return of the King Question

Discussion in 'Community' started by sjjordan, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. sjjordan macrumors 6502

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    #1
    This has been bothering me...

    What is the purpose of the flashing blue light that shines vertically from Minas Morgul when Frodo/Sam/Gollum are near???

    I don't remember about that in the book. It's really cool and I wondered what the purpose of it was...

    Thanks.
     
  2. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

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    #2
    It wasnt because Frodo and the gang drew near, it was actually a green/blue beacon in response to a similar red beacon that was sent from Mordor. (which wasnt in the movie, but WAS in the trailer--expect it in the Extended Edition) It signaled the start of the war. It just so happened that Frodo and the gang were around when it happened. Thats what I remember anyway. Its been a while since I read the books.
     
  3. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #3
    I had to look it up in response to somebody asking me the same question, and agreenster is correct.

    Mordor sends up a red beacon telling the Witch King it is time for him to join the war, and the blue beacon is the acknowledgment (cell phones are so much easier!).

    That's why the army rides out immedately after.
     
  4. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #4
    What I don't get is how Aragon doesn't defeat the 'undefeatable' King...

    Guy -- "No Man can stand up to me"
    Her -- "I'm no Man! :taks off mask: I'm a Woman!"
    Me -- BOOOOOO! CHEEZY!!!!

    He brings the dead 'spirit' people to defeat the enemy forces... I found that he didn't even surpass his father... I dunno... weird.

    Also, Frodo... arg, I found that horrible, couldn't do it at the end... arg.
     
  5. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #5
    Have you read the books. If not you really should. it all makes a lot more sense. For instance, if frodo had been able to destroy the ring at the end, the power of the ring wasn't really that powerful. The whole point is that its almost impossible to give up, which is why gandalf, and galadriel both refuse it. Only two people ever give up the ring willingly: Sam, who is a bit reluctant but gives it up because he embodies the purity of spirit and brotherhood with frodo, and Tom bombadil, an enigmatic figure not in the movies who really defies explanation as a character and stems from a completely separate story Tolkien told to his children and kind of thrown in to the story to a certain extent.

    as for the witch king thing, it was a bit cheezy, its better in the books, but I still thought it was good.

    I'm completely at a loss with your comment, "He brings the dead 'spirit' people to defeat the enemy forces... I found that he didn't even surpass his father... I dunno... weird." are you talking about Aragorn. His father isn't in the story at all. Also, defeating the witch kind by Eowyn and the hobbit are esssential to the story of Eowyn and Faramir getting together (not in the theatrical release, but obviously going to be int eh extended DVD), and the hobbit finally becoming a hero and actually having a purpose for going ont he journey int he first place. Aragorn, on the other hand, needs to get the ghost army to tie in to the history that is alluded to int he story. Aragorn isn't supposed to be the main hero or the story, he's just a character. If he did everything, I think the story wouldn't be as good at all. Just my opinion, but I think the way the story unfolds with different characters each playing a part, even gollum (again an essential element as to why he wasn't killed by them earlier, as well as a sense of fate and even redemption in some sense) is what makes Tolkien's work really special as a piece of literature.
     
  6. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #6
    I agree with the appropriately named Strider, read the books. As good as the movies are they don't hold a candle to the books.

    One of the things you find out in the appendices in the last book is that there has been a prophecy dating back to the fall of the last King of Gondor that the Witch King cannot be killed by mortal man. He believes himself invincible in his siege of Minas Tirith, until a little hobbit and the courage of a woman defending her kinsman bring the prophecy to fruition in an unexpected way. It is one of the best scenes in the books and if you can read it without crying you have a heart of stone.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Re: Return of the King Question

    A special offer in the housewares department.
     
  8. amin macrumors 6502a

    amin

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    #8
    Eowyn stabbed the sword into the Nazgul in a really girly manner that took away from the scene in my opinion. I would have preferred to see her take a good swing at him the way she did in decapitating his mount.
     
  9. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #9
    You know why I'm not reading the Book?

    Because there is a Book and there is the Movie. I saw the movie, the Movie itself should have stood on its own.

    What I need is a Family Tree with the whole cast in it.

    King of Gondor... Witch King, All the Main Cast included.

    The Dead people. The Dead Army it was called I think. (Spirit... Dead Army <-- No connection made?_

    Arargon's Father wasn't in the story...? :confused:
    Now I'm really confused... wasn't His Father... The Previous King... Therefore at the end of the movie he is crowned king... yada yada? Isn't his father the one who broke the sword on the Nazguls fingers (that made the 'one ring' drop...)?

    I suppose... I guess I was expecting more from the Next King of ______. (I keep loosing the names of the kingdoms... sorry)


    Anyway I'm not gonna read the book to help me understand the movie. The movie is like any other movie, I don't care it came from a book, It should live by itself.
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    I believe Isuldur is Aragorn's forefather not his actual father.

    And good as the movies are, the books are much better, much more character development and more background info. There are books upon books of history, family trees etc. based on Tolkein's work. In order for the movies to tell the complete story they would have to be like 10 hours each!
     
  11. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #11
    Don't read the book for that reason, read the book because its a good book and well worth reading. Its certainly a load better than the movies. I like the movies, but they aren't perfect by any means and a lot is lost in bringing something so detailed and long to the screen. There's no reason to be stubborn about it just because there's a movie that left you disappointed in some ways. Maybe the movie should stand a bit more on its own, but given the length and depth of the material, it was very difficult to completely do sucessfully. So much of the back story just couldn't be put in the movies. I think you'd really enjoy the books. You seem to like the story well enough but have some issues with the continuity of the movies. These things make a lot more sense in the book, and also in the extended DVD's (the extended versions are like totally different movies, everything makes so much more sense)
     
  12. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #12
    What kind of logic is that? The books are classics... and will be long after people have fogotten about these movies. Even if the movies were really terrible (i.e, Gary Coleman as Frodo and Dan Akroyd as Gandolf) the books would still be worth reading.

    You're clearly interested enough in the story to ask deeper questions... so do yourself a favor, read the books. You won't be sorry.
     
  13. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

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    #13
    I have never read the books, and if I had I think I would have had the same criticism.

    The ghost warriors. While the concept was great, I hate how these ghosts just kinda came in outta left field in some sub-plot no one ever heard of before. (except for maybe the die-hard Simillarion fans who know the whole 5000 year history of middle-earth) Anyway, I thought it would have been much cooler (and more fitting to the story) that the true king Aragorn would ressurect the dead from the Dead Marshes. Those who had strove to destroy Sauron those many years ago would finally have their place in the last War of the Ring. Plus, it would have tied TTT in better with the last film, and been more of a motivation for the ghosts to fight, because they knew what they were fighting for. Heck, it would have been cool to ressurect the Orcs and have them juxtaposed against the living orcs.

    As it was in the film, it was nothing more than a "left field" attempt to even the odds between 100k Orcs vs 10k men. Aragorn goes to mysterious scary place, summons some ghosts because of an obscure pact made a couple hundred years ago, uses them to wipe out an army, and then they just go away. Thats kinda dumb.

    It also doesnt bother me that some of the scenes (especially the ones at the end of TTT and the beginning of ROTK) are swapped between movies. In fact, it makes sense. In order to have a proper film ending, some scenes had to be shifted around. As a filmmaker I would imagine it would be extremely difficult to try and find proper beginnings and endings for films that the random filmgoer would appreciate. (or try to find the right combination of suspense/drama/action to keep the film moving along. If it went by Tolkeins exact writings, it would be and hour of drama, followed by an hour of action.)

    I mean, did it really bother you that the confrontation at Isengard wasn't in TTT, but was in ROTK? I would bet that if you watch the movies straight through, you wouldnt even notice or care.

    It still seems that Tolkein included SO much stuff in his books that even they became too cluttered. Perhaps though, thats what people like so much about them: getting lost in a world larger than their own and feeling a sense of belonging from it. That's probably why there are people on boards who do nothing but discuss the geneology of Middle Earth and all of her histories. Personally, I think thats lame and very sad, and thats why I enjoy the movies. I can get that little bit of Middle Earth, all put together in a beautiful package, and not have to sacrifice hours upon hours of my life to understand the book. (nor do I want to learn another language!?!) *Now if I were involved with the production of LOTR, that would be a different story, seeing as it would be my JOB to know all that stuff.

    Okay so that brings me to my point: I think its fine to discuss the movie as it is, a movie. I shouldnt have to read the books to get the story (though I feel I do, because it was done so well!) and I think PJ did an excellent job translating it to film. The only complaint I had was the ghost army, feeling that it should have tied into the second FILM more. Had Peter Jackson wanted to, he could have probably incorporated them in somehow into the second film, as he did the Dead Marshes warriors.

    I saw an early review of ROTK a few months ago, and it talked about Aragorn summoning an army of the dead, and I was sure it was going to be from the Dead Marshes. The films foreshadowed it, and I felt Tolkein must have included them in his books for a reason. As it is, they served Zero purpose, breaking a big rule of stroy-telling: Dont introduce a gun if it never fires.

    Whoo. I rambled. :D
     
  14. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    #14
    Book to movie translations

    Your lazy? :confused:

    *shakes head* Maybe if Jackson was given a 24 hour miniseries you'd understand just how freaking huge this story is. I got the tril from X-mas. I'm 1/3 of the way done with FotR and even I can tell that Jackson cut A LOT out of the movie.

    I, and others I'm guessing, can't stress this enough. READ THE BOOKS. This isn't a remake of a Harry Potter book. You can't just slap some of the story into the film and you automatically understand everything. This is a remake of an epic. And epics, for the most part, don't translate well onto the big screen unless you give everyone in the audience a colostomy bag, a bedpan, and a caffeine IV drip and set them down for 3 days of watching. This is what makes Jackson and the script writers geniuses they took the relevant parts of each story and wove it into a tale that anyone who has not touched one of the books can follow. People roll their eye at such a task but it's dang hard to do: knowing what to throw out and what to keep. Jackson damn well better get best picture and best director this year or crimes against humanity charges better be brought up against the Oscar judges. :p

    Frankly I find your being someone naive about book to movie translations. You will NEVER get an accurate description of a story with a 2-3 hour movie. NEVER. Thinking that you should get the same experience out of a movie in a book that may take day, weeks, or months to read isn't realistic in any way shape or form.
    Ahh but I forgot. We are in the 21st century where we have to have everything NOW NOW NOW. No one has time for a good book anymore. *coughs*bull*coughs*sh*t*coughs*
     
  15. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #15
    I'm sure you all want to know my opinion about the best line in the whole film. It's when Gimli says to Legolas "That only counts as one".
     
  16. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

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    #16
    Well, you're entitled to you opinions, but I really think your wrong and selling the books short. One of the things you seem to be saying is that the material was kind of thrown together and cluttered. Tolkien was much more painstaking about his work than that, and everything had a reason for being there. A lot of it comes from his desire to create a new mythology, to explore the old nordic and celtic languages and beliefs. The books are not cluttered at all. They just aren't an easy, single minded hero worship adventure.

    The ghost warriors thing is not out of left field in the book, and I don't think it is in the movie either (though I didn't feel that the movie quite captured how chilling that scene is). it ties the ancestry of Aragorn to the present, something I really liked. I thought they actually did a pretty good job with that. If you didn't like it, hey thats cool. We'll disagree on that one. But you don't need to know any back history on that one, its all explained, in the book and the movie. I think having anything to do with the dead marches would have been really dumb. aragorn isn't magic, he can't raise the dead. The dead army was cursed and committed to help aragorn, he had to face real fear and danger in going to get their help. The dead marshes are vestiges of old wars, illusions and tricks of a desolate world. If the army had come from there, it would have made absolutely no sense in terms of what the marshes were, nor how aragorn would have been able to get the help from them. There's just nothing there. The dead marshes serve the purpose of showing the gradual desolation of middle earth upon approach to mordor, the corruption of sauron and the infestation of evil and bad magics. Whats more, the dead marshes are too far away, and wouldn't have had any element of surprise when they take over the enemy ships who were supposed to be secret. Geographically and strategically, the dead marshes don't work. You say it violates a rule of story telling in introducing the dead marshes. Well, believe what you want, but I'll take a linguisitic and english professors at oxfords work rather than your idea on that. If there was a problem there, it came form the movie and had nothing to do with tolkien. That "gun", as you say, fires and serves a purpose, just not the one you thought it was because of the movie. In the book there's a scene that was cut with dead warriors again in what are called the Barrow downs. The dead army could have easily come from there too had the included it in the movie, but it again doesn't make sense with who the dead people are and how they got there. Tolkien wasn't perfect, and often disussed errors in his books. That wasn't one of them and I don't see any error there myself.

    As far as switching scenes around, I don't know that anyone had too many problems with that exactly. As you say, you can't go exactly by the books when making a movie. I thought they did a pretty good job on that. The only thing I had an issue with in the movies in terms of plots and scenes were the changes to aragorns character and the insertion of Arwen into plot lines that she didn't need to be in. Movies definitely need to have scenes moved around or cut to work within the confines of the medium.

    I don't think anyone is saying you need to read the books to understand the movie, but I think it enhances the experience. The movies are fine, but the books are better and more detailed. I was actually surprised at how well the movies stood on their own given how much they had to cut out. I thought the plot was coherent, most of it made sense (the extended DVD's will make a lot more sense though).

    Anyway, if people have different opinions about it, thats cool. I guess Tolkien isn't for everyone, or doesn't speak as strongly to everyone anyway. I probably come off like a big Tolkien nerd. I'm not actually (screen name not withstanding), though I appreciate them as literature having my degree in English. Interesting discussions though, seeing what people thought didn't make sense to the story, what they would have liked instead. But relaly, do yourself a favor and just read the books. not to understand the movei, just because its great literature thats beautifully written and offers a lot of things to think about.
     
  17. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #17
    Just a few points. I think the movie can be confusing for people who have not read the books. There is too much to be put in a 3 or even 4 hour movie. Tolkien wrote these books in six separate segments that he called books. They are published in three books. The introduction of the Dead Marshes takes place as part of Frodo and Sam's journey into Mordor and fits well into that separate part of the Two Towers. Perhaps in bringing all of this together it becomes confusing as to why the author introduces the dead of thousands of years ago, but it isn't in the books.

    As to Aragorn's journey through the Paths of the Dead, let me just say it is nothing like the books. Elrond does not bring the sword to him and tell him to take the path through the mountain. He does not lead the army of the dead to the Battle of Pelennor Fields (the big battle before the City of Minas Tirith,) and he doesn't do any of this with just Legolas and Gimili by his side. I will leave it to you to find out what really does happen by reading the books if you are interested. There are many things, and more importantly much character development, that just didn't make it into the movie.

    edit: if you are interested in the story, there is a short book, called the Hobbit, that explains Bilbo's story and how he got the ring in the first place. It is a wonderful little book and helps in understanding the LOTR.
     
  18. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #18
    yeah, that one was good, as was the one where Sam asks Gollum what he was doing and he says "sneaking..." :).

    I saw ROTK again New Years Eve with a friend. Good movie.

    scem0
     
  19. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #19
    You people who won't read the books are lazy - this story is more than any 9 hours could tell. And, no - the movie shouldn't have to stand on it's own; it'a a theatrical wonder that it has given the subject matter. Jackson did a tremendous job.

    I think the best part of the entire Trilogy was the Orc guy who looked EXACTLY like the monster guy (Sloth) from Goonies. ..."Rocky-road....."
     
  20. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

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    #20
    Now now--no need to be snippy! :p

    Nice post and it settles the questions I had. Thanks! I do find it fascinating HOW MUCH (like 5000 years worth) of backstory there is involved in Middle Earth. I mean, I did some internet reading, and the history of the Numenorians, and how Sauron used to be able to take shape is very interesting. A spinoff movie could be made of that story alone!

    No I havent read the books, and I hate it when fans act like I'm less of a human because of it. Sheesh! They're just books! I like the films (love em in fact, because I'm a CG artist as well, and it just doesnt get any better than WETA.......well, maybe Pixar.....)

    Anyway, people arent lazy who havent read the books, I just had never heard of it before the movies came out, howddya like that? In fact, the opposite is probably true...I dont have time (being so busy) to scratch my butt, much less read a gazillion page book! Maybe someday.....because it does seem like a good read. But dont call me lazy.

    Regardless, these movies are still some of the best things I ever seen in my life! Kudos to PJ and all involved!

    Edit:

    The only reason I feel the Army of the Dead is out of left field is because it is never mentioned until halfway through the last movie. (Thats 8 hours of never mentioning it, and then BOOM, suddenly the odds are even again) I just wish PJ would have somehow foreshadowed it. (film critique only) I would like to know how it does fit in in the book.

    Okay thats it--promise

    Peace
     
  21. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #21
    Before anyone feels the need to flame more...

    I loved the movie.

    You shouldn't feel the need to tell me 'Its Impossible to Fit it all in a movie!' because like 40 minutes of the last movie was basically devoted to an ending we all saw coming.

    I'm reading all of your posts still... (and are they long!)

    So be patient... And no I'm not being Lazy!

    If I do read the books it will not complement the movie. It will have to Stand on its OWN. Seperate. (Just as the movie should have).

    I don't care if the movie was 10 hours long! It just needed to be complete.
     
  22. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #22
    Spoilers here!!!!

    MrMacman.

    you are right the movie has flaws. The less you know about the story the more some of those flaws leave you scratching your head. The more you know about the story the more you start cursing under your breath, "why, in the f... did he do that!" I think the movie is very, very good in many ways - it is not what it could have been, but the only way I could see it reaching its potential would have been to make six movies instead of three. One for each of the segments Tolkein divided the LOTR into in his books. That probably was not realistic at the time of the decision to go ahead with the movies. When Jackson pitched the idea, he did it as two movies! Think of the slashing he would have done to the story in that limited format. The production company at least was smart enough to come up with the resources to make three. If they could have known what kind of money these films would make, I think the producers would gladly have made a different decision and made more.

    agreenster,
    I will say this about the Army of the Dead, Aragorn does lead them to take the ships of the Corsairs. He releases them long before the main battle before the gates of Minas Tirith. The forces that he leads to the Pelannor are a mix of Gondorians he has rallied to his cause, freed slaves of the Corsairs, Northern Rangers like himself (you wouldn't know it from the movie but Aragorn is the leader, or Chieftain of the remnants of a great Kingdom as big as Gondor - its twin, Arnor), and of course Legolas and Gimili. Oh yes, and the twin sons of Elrond, who are no where to be found in the movie.
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    A person would have to be far too jaded for their own good not to appreciate RoTK, and the entire LotR series. I was frankly amazed that such a sprawling fantasy could be brought to screen with enough cogency that someone who'd never read the books could not only follow the story, but begin to appreciate the imagination Tolkien invested in his Middle Earth mythology. The films visualizations were astonishing throughout, and the plot-line as secure as it could be made, especially considering what a meander the books were in many places (based on my distant memory of them). What Jackson left out, frankly did not much matter, and in some places improved the flow of the story.

    If I could have wished for only one thing, it would have been a bit more emphasis on the Middle Earth geography, which is so important to the books. I can only recall seeing a map of Middle Earth twice during the entire series, and as anyone who's read the trilogy will probably agree, Tolkien's maps are probably the most pawed-over pages in the books. A very minor quibble.

    So, bravo, bravo, bravo to Peter Jackson. He's done just about the impossible with these three movies. We could live a long time and never see anything nearly as epic.
     
  24. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Isildur was not Aragorn's father, he was an ancestor. Sort of like how Charlamagne was descended from Francus.
     
  25. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #25
    Due to the fact that Tolkien's Lord of the Rings story was the beginning of the whole damn fantasy genre as it is today, I would say that if you are at all interested in the fantasy world of elves and orcs and goblins, etc that you should read the books. If you are not willing to read the books, then bitching about plot points in the movies is a rather silly thing to do. I enjoyed the trilogy simply because of the vastness it described, and that so many hundreds of thousands of people dedicated so much of their lives to it that it was likely one of the most monumental and creative tasks ever taken on. To deny all that without even acknowledging the story behind the inspiration is ignorant and asinine to the worst degree. I think Treebeard captured my feelings when he said, "There is no curse in Elvish or Ent-ish..."

    Having seen the movie 3 times, I have only a few questions:
    1. Was the King of the Dead guy modeled after the same guy who was Captain Barbosa in Pirates of the Caribbean?
    2. Was Aragorn trying to kiss Arwen or devour her face at the end of RotK? Come on man, not a thing for the king of men to do in public, not to civilized!
     

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