***warning: rambly rant ahead. apologies!!***
So with the release of DoS (Hobbit2) coming up quickly, there’s been a lot of talk about the new character of Tauriel and whether her existence in the Tolkien universe as seen by PJ is a good or bad thing. My response has been a resounding “meh”. I am – surprisingly – noncommittal. I really don’t care. I was at first grumpy when I heard they were adding someone, then cynical (thank you, Servetus, for helping pick the perfect word), then pretty much just bored. I reckon I’ll wait and see how she works within the context of the movie. I mean, Martin Freeman’s Bilbo is a lot funnier and a lot less earnest than the Bilbo I read in the book, and I’m loving his performance.
Richard Armitage’s Thorin might as well be a new character, he’s such a massive improvement on the book’s curmudgeonly grumpybucket. I hated Thorin in the book, but I’m fascinated by the depths to Movie!Thorin’s character and **IT’S NOT JUST BECAUSE OMG RICHARDARMITAGE IS THE GORGEOUSEST MAN OF ALL TIMES YO** even though amiright?… it’s because there’s actually a lot of backstory to him, and in the book I kind of felt like Thorin was sitting around with the other dwarfs, smoking and talking about the actors’ union laws, when he heard his cue – jumped up & put on his sky blue hat with the silver tassel – and poof! Thorin. I feel like BookThorin is the bad copy. But I digress.
So Tauriel? Let’s see how she does. I’m pretty much numb on the changes between book and movie version as well. I think the Hobbit probably works out to three movies brilliantly, because being a children’s book, it’s got a lot of fantastical, sharply-drawn characters and action sequences. (To be sure, LotR had great characters as well; they simply talked a LOT more, or in the case of Tom Bombadil, chuckled, hopped, sang, sprang, and exhorted Goldberry a lot more.) So. There are my weighty and Very Important (not) thoughts there.
But here I’ve got to unload some baggage I’ve been carrying around for ten years. It’s not pretty and I’m not proud of it, but I should air it out and let it go, or try to. And this blog is about catharsis, so here we go.
My biggest peeve with the LotR movies was and has been the changes they made to Arwen, who was being called (among other things) Xena!Arwen in the fan forums. I was thinking about it this evening – why does Arwen still tick me off so? – and I think what it comes down to are a couple things: the LotR books were SO important to me growing up, they are pretty much sacred. (Not so, the Hobbit) Also, Arwen’s character got a lot of extra stuff added that actually made Aragorn *less* (“A Ranger caught off his guard” – and her using the Kingsfoil instead of Aragorn, who had extensive herb lore – this STILL TICKS ME OFF k I’m breathing now)… Aragorn is one of my favorite characters and this broke my heart a little. Ok, a lot.
But the biggest thing, the top thing, was this – yes, Liv Tyler looked beautiful in the part. Yes. I can’t argue. However, she had trouble learning the Elvish lines and on the whole, didn’t really seem to be too serious about it. And REALLY? This stuff was SOSOSOSOSOSO serious to me. So important. I was dying inside a little to be there, somehow, involved in any way (Sweeping the floors. I didn’t care. I wanted to be there, somehow) and to see this actress who’d been offered this incredible honor to recreate such a visceral part of my childhood – and then she didn’t honor the material? – oh my god. I just died inside. I still die inside. What a letdown. And what they did to Aragorn. From the Dunedain to Boy Blunder. Well. (sigh – and with the advantage of hindsight, maybe she respected the material more than I thought. But she really didn’t seem too serious about learning the lines in Elvish. Like at all. Grump. I’ll stop.)
I can still read the books and know in my heart that Aragorn is still the character I fell in love with when I was, what? 7, 8 years old? I had dual crushes on Aragorn and Carl Sagan (as you can see in my About page) and fortunately, nobody’s done a biopic on Carl Sagan yet and ruined it by putting in some nubile young actress to tell “him” how, you know, science works.
(glaring at all and sundry) BAH.
Ok. Time for me to stop cranking about this and do something productive, like play with my dog. Here’s to the second Hobbit movie being awesome! Cheers.