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[Review of] The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
Home Theater Forum ^ | 28 Nov 2001 | "Ron & Chris"

Posted on 11/27/2001 8:56:31 PM PST by sourcery

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring





Cast (Major Roles Only)

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf
Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
Sir Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins
Sean Astin as Sam Gamgee
Billy Boyd as Pippin Took
Dominic Monaghan as Merry Brandybuck
Orlando Bloom as Legolas
John Rhys-Davies as Gimli
John Rhys-Davies (voice) as Treebeard
Sean Bean as Boromir
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Liv Tyler as Arwen
Christopher Lee as Saruman
Brad Dourif as Grima Wormtongue
Andy Serkis (voice) as Smeagol (Gollum)

Director:

Peter Jackson



A review by Ronald Epstein

One ring to rule them all,
One ring to find them,
one ring to bring them all and in
the darkness bind them.

Published in 1954-1955, J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece Lord Of The Rings trilogy still remains one of the
most definitive works of imaginary fiction ever written. The extraordinary efforts to get this trilogy to
the screen is a testament of how popular these stories are today. New Line has taken a gamble and risked
everything by filming all three movies back-to-back without knowing the fate of the original release.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the very first of the Tolkien trilogy. It will be followed up with
The Two Towers (2002) and Return of the King (2003).

As release date slowly draws nearer, everyone is holding their breath. Will this film live up to expectations?
Will this movie make a strong enough impact that audiences will anxiously want to remain loyal to the
films that will follow? The answer is a definitive YES on all accounts.

Lord Of The Rings will make its mark in film history. Fans will embrace this film and newcomers will
be in complete awe of one of the most visually entertaining films ever made....and this is only the beginning!

The film begins with lengthy female narrative that tells the story of Middle Earth - the ancient land of elves,
dwarves, hobbits, wizards and other creatures. We are told of the creation of the individual rings that
were handed down to the wisest and most noblest creatures of Middle Earth. We are then told of the ONE
ring that was forged out of Mount Doom -- the ring that controlled all others -- worn by the dark and
evil Lord Sauren. We are told of a battle and the defeat of Sauren and how his ring is eventually lost
only to be found by Gollum, a lowly creature that gets poisoned by its power. The ring is eventually
stolen by hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. And so, this is where the trilogy begins.....

It's a beautiful day in the Shire, the peaceful home of the Hobbits. A carriage rolls through a lone road
that parts meadows of lush grass and farmland. It is Gandalf the Wizard visiting his old Hobbit friend,
Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm). It is Bilbo's birthday, and the old hobbit is more concerned about leaving the
Shire rather than partake in any party. Something is very heavy on Bilbo's mind, and Gandalf is watching
him closely. That evening, Bilbo's party is in full swing with some of the most amazing and beautiful firework
displays ever seen on film. When Bilbo makes a daring announcement to his party guests, Gandalf realizes that
Bilbo is in possession of a very important ring. Gandalf convinces Bilbo to give up the ring, and give it to
the very young Frodo (Elijah Wood). When the secret of the ring is finally revealed to the old Wizard, Frodo
is warned to leave the Shire at once. Hence, the adventure of a lifetime begins.

Clocking in at about 3 hours running length, Lord Of The Rings doesn't waste time. Every minute of
the film is used to remain as faithful to the book as possible. The most important aspect of this film is
that it had to properly tell the story as written. The end result is that this film becomes a definitive
and accurate recreation of the story.

Though it had been 20 years since I last read the trilogy, the film brought back every single memory I had
of the story with visuals that exceeded my own imagination. You will see visuals in this film that go beyond
anything you have seen before. The film is visually beautiful as we travel through the lush green grasses
of the Shire with the huts built into the hills, or, the beautiful mountain village of Rivendell, inhabited
by the Elves. With so much beauty also comes the darkness of Mordor and Mount Doom so grimly recreated
with cameras that swoop into the lowest depths of these locations as we watch armies of death manufacturer
weapons as they grow, amass, and hunt the one that holds the ring.

Make no mistake about it, this film is very dark. The most terrifying creatures of Middle Earth are
realistically brought to life. Whether it be the Ringwraiths, dark riders who are neither dead or alive
or the armies of orcs who inhabit the Mountains of the Dwarf kingdom, this movie manages to keep your
heart racing with scene after scene of edge-of-the-seat battles set to sweeping music of Howard Shore.

I have two favorite sequences in this movie. One involves a duel between Gandalf (Ian Holm) and the
elder wizard, Saruman (Christopher Lee). With each Wizard testing their powers against each other,
the duel becomes one of the most memorable scenes of the film as we see Gandalf helplessly spinning
around the floor. Another favorite sequence involves Frodo putting the ring on his finger and not
only becoming invisible to the outside world, but being visible to the inner world of darkness. These
effect sequences are creatively reproduced on screen to the point where you get chills running down
your spine.

The biggest hurdles that New Line faces with Lord Of The Rings is the 3-hour running time and
the fact that this is not a film that is going to appeal to all audiences. While the fans who read
the original books are going to be enthralled with its faithfulness to the book, I couldn't help but
hear many women of the audience talking afterwards about how much they were unimpressed by the whole
film. Fans of the books and Fantasy films alike are in for the treat of their lives. Lord Of The Rings
has accomplished what many thought was the impossible -- to bring a live-action film to the screen
that accurately portrays the books as written, with enough visual eyes candy and engrossing battle scenes
that could very well make this the STAR WARS trilogy of the new century.

On a scale of 1-5, I give this film a 5.

Opens December 18th, 2001


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
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To: Abn1508
I'll likely do the same. I and my friends are ex-D&Der's and love Fantasy Films, especially good ones. LOTR is going to be an event for us.
151 posted on 11/28/2001 11:14:46 AM PST by SoDak
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To: 300winmag
Well said.
152 posted on 11/28/2001 11:16:48 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Eowyn-of-Rohan
I just love these books! My husband is taking me to see this movie for our anniversary next month (which is a big deal, since we don't EVER go to the cinema!)

Eowyn was a strong character, I've always thought higher of women like her than like "Charlie's Angels". For a young girl (I was sixth grade when I read the books), what better role model?

Ican'twaitIcan'twaitIcan'twait!!!!

153 posted on 11/28/2001 11:19:01 AM PST by 2Jedismom
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Denethor was wise and restrained, but Sauron held the master Palantir and was able to slowly corrupt him (as he did Saruman).

Not to be picky, Sauron had the Ithil-stone, The master stone was lost in the fall of Osgiliath.

His first action as a proclaimed heir was to go to the Stone of Erech and claim the fealty that the dead owed Elendil.

Isildur instead of Elendil

154 posted on 11/28/2001 11:23:50 AM PST by Dstorm
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To: ArGee
IMO Tom and Goldberry are two of the most important characters in the story, both for what they are and for what they are not. True, they refuse to get involved in things outside their own forest and that's not exactly admirable, but Tom, who is Master and the River's Daughter teach us all some very valuable lessons that are touched nowhere else in the books.

That's true. To me, it was a tease. I thought they would come back later in the series. To introduce such powerful characters only to have them drift away wasn't what I wanted to see.

Will Fangorn and the Ents be in The Two Towers? I don't seen them listed in the The Two Towers credits.

155 posted on 11/28/2001 11:35:37 AM PST by HarryDunne
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To: Dstorm
I thought that the Ithil stone was brought to Minas Tirith after the fall of Minas Ithil and that Sauron acquired the master stone with the fall of Osgiliath. Which stone did Denethor have if not the Ithil stone? My library isn't handy right now.

I thought that Elendil called them to fight by his side at the last alliance of Men and Elves. When did Isildur in his short reign call on them?

156 posted on 11/28/2001 11:37:48 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: HarryDunne
The Ents will be CGI and John Rhys-Davies is doing the voice of Treebeard. I don't know who else is doing the voices.
157 posted on 11/28/2001 11:39:04 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: HarryDunne
That's true. To me, it was a tease. I thought they would come back later in the series. To introduce such powerful characters only to have them drift away wasn't what I wanted to see.

The key is in understanding Tom as master. Tom is master of himself, not of Middle Earth. That's why the ring has no impact on him. The ring can't master him because Tom is master.

Tom is a person who is totally at home with who he is and his place in the world. He does not desire adventure for its own sake, nor fame, nor glory, nor wealth. All he desires is to love his lady and be loved by her. He has his part and doesn't try to go playing someone else's. In Christian terms, he doesn't see every opportunity as a calling, but waits patiently until he is called. Because he so thoroughly trusts in G-d for who he is, he can resist the opportunity to try to step outside of his calling.

Shalom.

158 posted on 11/28/2001 11:45:44 AM PST by ArGee
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To: 2Jedismom
My husband is taking me to see this movie ... (which is a big deal, since we don't EVER go to the cinema!)

Bev? What are you doing on Free Republic?

Oh, sorry Ma'am. Easy mistake.

159 posted on 11/28/2001 11:48:45 AM PST by LTCJ
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To: 300winmag
Another theme from the books is that "the great" might not have the greatest roles, and stupendous deeds may have to be done by the least great of the creatures, like soft, complacent Hobbits. In fact, when the greatest of The Great get too big for their britches, it's only "the little" than can take them down.

Outstanding.

Is it the little, or the humble?

BTW: One of my Sunday School teachers was talking about the passage where Jesus said, "You must enter the Kingdom like a little child" (blew the quote but got the sense). He was asking, "What are some of the characteristics of children that Jesus might have been talking about." The answer he was looking for (but never got out of us) is that they're little.

Worth a lot of thinking.

Shalom.

160 posted on 11/28/2001 11:50:21 AM PST by ArGee
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To: airedale; Senator Pardek
Lovely eyes she has....
161 posted on 11/28/2001 11:51:54 AM PST by PogySailor
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To: MrConfettiMan
Thanks for the ping on this thread!

I am astonished that there seems to be a belief that LOTR does not appeal to women. I think I've read it at least 10 times by now. Sword and sorcery is my favorite genre.

But then again, I'm not your ordinary chick ;)

Uhhhh, would everyone please send "go into labor" vibes my way so that I don't miss the opening of this movie? Thanks.

162 posted on 11/28/2001 11:57:00 AM PST by Explorer89
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To: Explorer89
Vibes on the way....
163 posted on 11/28/2001 11:59:41 AM PST by MrConfettiMan
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To: MrConfettiMan
Damn, you are fast..... :0
164 posted on 11/28/2001 12:09:02 PM PST by Explorer89
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Cool! Thanks
165 posted on 11/28/2001 12:28:28 PM PST by HarryDunne
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To: ArGee
Ah! Good point. Thanks
166 posted on 11/28/2001 12:28:47 PM PST by HarryDunne
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To: Eowyn-of-Rohan
When I first read the Trilogy, a friend got me all three volumes at once... soon after I had read the Hobbit.

I started reading in my dorm room in Graham Hall at LSU on a Monday afternoon after classes, my sophomore year in college, in the spring.

I read until I fell asleep, about 4 AM on Tuesday. I had no morning classes on Tuesday and Thursday. I awoke, ate lunch at the cafeteria by Kirby Smith dorm, went to class Tues PM, and then returned to my room and started reading again.

I skipped class Wednesday and read.

I skipped class Thursday and read, only pausing to eat when I noticed the time.

Friday morning about 9 or 10 AM, I finished. I had LIVED in Middle Earth for almost four days. It had become more real than reality.

I was heartbroken as I walked back to Sam's cottage with him, knowning that while someday Sam, as a bearer of the ring, might sail across the sea and be reunited with Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf, that I would never see them again... I wept.

It was the most all-encompassing reading experience I could possibly conceive anyone of having. I have always read intensely and into oblivion, becoming engrossed and unaware of my surroundings. It is a "cinematic" experience for me as I am a strong visualizer (you ought to see some of the dreams I have!)

I have never duplicated that experience again, even when I have reread the Hobbit plus the Trilogy hard on the heels of one another.

Maybe - just maybe - this movie (these movies) will bring me there for a second time.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

167 posted on 11/28/2001 12:30:34 PM PST by muffaletaman
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To: HarryDunne
Ah! Good point. Thanks

You're welcome. It took me forever to figure out why Tom was in the story. It took even longer to learn to respect Goldberry as one of the most powerful women in the drama.

G'head. Ask me why. G'head.

Shalom.

168 posted on 11/28/2001 12:56:52 PM PST by ArGee
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To: ArGee
Why?
169 posted on 11/28/2001 1:05:58 PM PST by doubled
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To: slhill
I can't remember my LOTR well enough to be sure, but doesn't Aragorn have one of the Rings? The rings are magical.

I'm pretty sure that the Elves rings belonged to Elrond, Galadriel, and the Elf Lord at Grey Haven (I'm drawing a blank on the name). If Aragorn acquired a ring, it was only when the elves were leaving Middle Earth.

170 posted on 11/28/2001 1:45:30 PM PST by the bottle let me down
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To: sourcery
As release date slowly draws nearer, everyone is holding their breath. Will this film live up to expectations? Will this movie make a strong enough impact that audiences will anxiously want to remain loyal to the films that will follow? The answer is a definitive YES on all accounts.

The answer I wanted to hear--hope it's true! This flick may be a rare 2-timer for me. :)
171 posted on 11/28/2001 1:50:22 PM PST by k2blader
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To: Explorer89
I am astonished that there seems to be a belief that LOTR does not appeal to women. I think I've read it at least 10 times by now. Sword and sorcery is my favorite genre.

Know whatcha mean! Sometimes it seems I like "Swordy Books" & "Swordy Flicks" even more than the average guy does! :)
172 posted on 11/28/2001 1:54:07 PM PST by k2blader
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To: Darth Reagan
The changes make sense. Tom Bombadil, interesting as he is on his own, doesn't really fit the main narrative. If you've got to cut stuff (to make a movie that isn't 8 hours long), that's really an easy call. Not that I wouldn't like to see him. As for Arwen/Glorfindel, that really makes sense too. Get Arwen in there earlier and not bother introducing a minor character who never appears again (IIRC--I'm halfway through THE TWO TOWERS, and I last read the books 27 years ago, when I was 13)
173 posted on 11/28/2001 2:13:48 PM PST by Heyworth
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To: AuntToots
Frodo has already reached Rivendale, or whatever. But I'll keep struggling along.

It doesn't get going 'til they leave Rivendell. Everything before that is setup.

174 posted on 11/28/2001 2:21:16 PM PST by copycat
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To: Mudboy Slim
BUMP to you and your post my dear friend.
175 posted on 11/28/2001 2:28:58 PM PST by Snow Bunny
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To: muffaletaman
Hi Muffalettaman,

My Trilogy initiation was nearly identical to yours. I, too, was completely transported and immersed in Middle Earth for about 3 or 4 days, as I recall, during my college days (though I had dropped out then, only to return a number of years later)...Later I named my bike (10-speed) Sting (there's a strange reason). On my 33rd birthday I threw my own party and gave presents to my friends. I really feel I should reread the 3 books before I see the movie. I don't think I could recreate that 1st experience either, but I want to bring the characters and scenes to life in my own way before I see Hollywood's intepretation. BTW: I was in New Orleans last week and had a Muffaletta at Frank's Grocery. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

176 posted on 11/28/2001 2:32:59 PM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: slhill
So my question is, is anyone planning to boycott LOTR given that Ian McKellen is a prominent gay activist?

Not so long as he keeps his hands off of the entfruit. ; )

177 posted on 11/28/2001 2:38:09 PM PST by piasa
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To: AuntToots
i read the trilogy in my freshman year of college, then reread it as a junior. it's a wonderful story and i can't wait to see it although at first i didn't think it could be translated into film. it's beautiful and magical and good against evil so in a way it is a very romantic narrative. it's difficult not to love some of the characters. the absence of a conventional romance makes it more etherial and sweet.
178 posted on 11/28/2001 2:39:59 PM PST by contessa machiaveli
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To: RobbyS
robby you're being patronizing. i loved dogs of war and the siege and those are certainly testosterone filled movies. i can't wait to see LOTR.
179 posted on 11/28/2001 2:46:12 PM PST by contessa machiaveli
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To: Senator Pardek
Seeing the silly animated version 20+ years ago was on par to my seeing VH with David Lee Roth.

Was this the one that had the memorable line: "Where there's a whip, there's a way."

180 posted on 11/28/2001 2:55:17 PM PST by rightofrush
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To: Snow Bunny; FallGuy
Backatcha Bump, my FRiend, and thanks fer the great FReepMail...it means a lot.

FReegards...MUD

181 posted on 11/28/2001 3:10:34 PM PST by Mudboy Slim
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To: Eowyn-of-Rohan
Love yer Screen Name, Newbie...MUD
182 posted on 11/28/2001 3:11:46 PM PST by Mudboy Slim
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Re #90: To MarkWar I would say - "Me thinks thou dost protest too much!"
183 posted on 11/28/2001 3:51:35 PM PST by sneakers
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To: ArGee
There is much discussion about Tom and just what he is. Check out..http://tolkien.slimy.com/essays/Bombadil.html
184 posted on 11/28/2001 4:09:27 PM PST by Heyworth
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To: sourcery
bump
185 posted on 11/28/2001 4:13:07 PM PST by Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi
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To: jrherreid
Just burned me a copy! Nice sounds!
186 posted on 11/28/2001 5:22:39 PM PST by US_MilitaryRules
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To: Darth Reagan; Mudboy Slim
the elimination of Tom Bombadil

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!

In response to "Who would I be?" on the Thread "We are all hobbits now", I wrote:

"Well if I can't have fire, (Arien) then how about water. I think I'd choose Goldberry, river daughter of the Old Forest, married to Tom Bombadil, and probably a decendent Maia (like Arien):

Golden-haired... I am

Concerned with the natural world of forest and stream... my hobby is to photograph the same

aside her husband, rescuer of the Hobbits during the Quest of the Ring.... on my own quest for justice, as you know

An Elf-queen in her radiance, flowers in her hair, garments of silver and gold, shoes that shimmered...nothing finer than silks and cashmere and a little glittering Angel dust for those special ocassions

Sings like a bird...How I wish to sing those love songs

Husband Tom: powerful and eccentric and merry....ah yes, strength with a sense of adventure and he'd make me laugh

He was always singing....love songs no doubt

His power was absolute, no evil could touch him...safe and true."

NOW I AM IN MOURNING!!!!!

187 posted on 11/28/2001 5:29:59 PM PST by LoneGreenEyeshade
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To: Eowyn-of-Rohan
My experience was in 10th grade in an english fantasy class. Started reading the hobbit and was done in three days. I still had the rest of the quarter to read it! So I read it again. Then as a junior, 11th grade, I had to read The Fellowship. Well I thought I might as well buy the trilogy. That was 1976-77. Can't wait for the movie and DVD later. Strider and Gandalf are my favorites.
188 posted on 11/28/2001 5:55:39 PM PST by US_MilitaryRules
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To: the bottle let me down
Cirdan was the lord of the Grey Havens and indeed he was given a ring by Celembrimbor, but Cirdan then gave it to Gandalf. In the War if the Rings they were held by Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf, but Cirdan was given one.
189 posted on 11/28/2001 7:37:09 PM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Mudboy Slim
Did you ever reveal your choice of who you would be?
190 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:21 PM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Explorer89
Uhhhh, would everyone please send "go into labor" vibes my way so that I don't miss the opening of this movie? Thanks.

I don't know you, so I may be misreading your message. Are you about to deliver? If not, my apologies. If so, and you are anxious to deliver, I swear Italian food does something. Italian worked for a friend. My sister's lasgana worked for me. My Italian roast beef worked for a friend. Coincidence? Probably. But if you get desperate, let me know. I'll send you a recipe. Good luck.

191 posted on 11/28/2001 7:43:40 PM PST by Samwise
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To: muffaletaman
I started reading in my dorm room in...Friday morning about 9 or 10 AM, I finished. I had LIVED in Middle Earth for almost four days. It had become more real than reality.

Wow! Freshman year. Girl's dorm. Other than that, it's deja vu all over again.

192 posted on 11/28/2001 7:50:46 PM PST by Samwise
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To: sourcery
bump
193 posted on 11/28/2001 10:28:13 PM PST by John Farson
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I just hope the Balrog isn't some gigantic, conventional, bat-winged monstrosity. The Balrog was a demon whose imposing presence made it seem much larger than it really was. Tolkien described it as a having a "man-shape" and "wings of shadow."

A demon of might and power is how the word Balrog (Valarouko) ultimately translates in Tolkien's invented languages. Too many artists render the Balrog as some towering, bat-winged, dragon-like figure on two legs and wielding a sword.

Everytime I watch Forbidden Planet and watch the arrival of the Id Monster, I think, "THAT is how the Balrog should make its entrance." The Balrog makes even the orcs tremble with fear.

Were I the monster-maker, the Balrog would be an almost ethereal creature wreathed in smoke and fire. Constantly curling and changing shape like licking flames. One moment it appears solid. In another it appears insubstantial. It's eyes would be like smoldering coals one second brighten like kindling embers the next. Its wings of shadow would spread and fade and assume other menacing shapes and forms. It would appear to be almost otherworldy.

But as long as it's frightening and not too conventional, I'll be pleased. Really anxious to see how the books are treated.
194 posted on 11/28/2001 11:23:34 PM PST by BradyLS
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To: piasa
Very good! ;^)
195 posted on 11/29/2001 4:17:37 AM PST by slhill
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To: JoeSchem; All
OK, and I said that I didn't know. I wondered *why* you were asking. Why *were* you asking? As I said in my original question, boycotts are tactics used by all sorts of communities, so I wouldn't be surprised if either scenario were true. I was just interested in finding out what Freepers thought, and for some reason, I guessed I'd find more people prepared to boycott because of McKellen's views here than Tolkein's... ;^) That's not a value judgement--I haven't said that I think that boycotts in general or this type of boycott in particular are good or bad things.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who responded with their own perspectives.

196 posted on 11/29/2001 4:21:50 AM PST by slhill
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To: Outlaw76
I'm with you - Tom fascinates me as well. He's a symbol of hope - living proof that the damn ring isn't all-powerful. He's shacking up with a hottie to boot; but most of all, remember that after all the evil stuff is over, once the battle's been won, Gandalf didn't go to Disneyland. First thing he did once he could relax was head off to Bambadil's to have what he called a very long talk.

Wonder what they chatted about...

197 posted on 11/29/2001 4:30:01 AM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: US_MilitaryRules
'76 was the year I read them first, too. Started with the Hobbit, and went right on through the Trilogy. Borrowed them from a housemate. It was the most transforming literary experience I have ever had. Strider and Gandalf are also my favorites--Strider is such a dashing, romantic figure (female perception, anyway). Gandalf stands alone. I fantasized also of the perfect, idyllic life of Golberry, and saw her as an archetype, a role model. Now I identify more with Eowyn.
198 posted on 11/29/2001 5:18:02 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: Wm Bach
Wow. If that's the only kind of women you know I don't blame you for being bitter.
199 posted on 11/29/2001 5:36:48 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: Samwise
I would prefer they cut entire characters rather than change them or rewrite them--It's much cleaner and historically accurate...It's like rewriting history. It is history...and we shouldn't rewrite it.

I so agree with you. Look what Disney did to Pocohontas!

200 posted on 11/29/2001 5:42:44 AM PST by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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