OMG THEY RUINED IT!

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This is what I used to say when I was younger and a film adaptation of a book I liked didn’t live up to my expectations or sucked or was completely different to the source material. I mean, I got that quite often things would have to be cut out or we would all end up sitting in the cinema for hours with restless legs and probably desperate for the loo. But I didn’t get why things were changed unnecessarily and it would quite often end with me nerd raging.

These days I’m a little more open to the little changes they make to film adaptations as long as they still keep to the spirit of the book and are actually good. For example, I liked that they made up the Dothraki language in Game of Thrones. It made sense since the Dothraki have a completely different culture to the other characters and for me, made it more realistic. (Well, as realistic as a Fantasy series can get.) And I liked some of the changes they made to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. But it annoys me when the changes they make are bad.

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This is going somewhere, I promise. I saw the Desolation of Smaug last week and I was a little disappointed. Whilst it was a good film, it was a rubbish adaptation and I did not understand why Peter Jackson, who did an amazing job adapting Lord of the Rings, changed so much. I enjoyed the changes he made to the barrel scene, it did make it more exciting to watch and its always good to see Legolas with his archery skills. I even get replacing Bilbo and Smaug playing a game of riddles to something more action-y (though I would’ve liked to see Bilbo have his moment) but I really do not get why they gave Legolas and Tauriel bigger roles in the story. I understand that they added Tauriel because there is a lack of female characters in the book and I’m glad that she was given stuff to do instead of just being a token character. But they could’ve just changed the gender of one of the dwarves, their gender isn’t really that crucial to the plot and it would be nice to see some female dwarves. Also I wish they hadn’t included the romantic subplot just for the sake of having one. It just didn’t work for me because the actors had no chemistry. Sorry for ranting, I really didn’t mean to start ranting about this…

“War Will Make Corpses of Us All”

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I suppose I shouldn’t be making a Tolkien related post so close to the new Hobbit release but I couldn’t help myself. As much as I want to talk/rant about the film and how much happier I’d have been if they had just made a film of the book or not bothered at all. (Because sometimes it’s better that way.) To be quite honest I could probably go on about that for hours and hours and have people slowly backing out of the room whilst I carry on talking completely oblivious…

Anyway, I got sucked into a conversation yesterday (or last week, depending on when I actually finish this post) about how and why I like Lord of the Rings so much when the books are so difficult to read (LOTR is like a walk in the park compared to Ulysses. Just sayin’) and probably would not get published today without seriously heavy editing. (As much as I love Tolkien, his prose is a bit purple a lot of the time.) It’s not the fact that his books have been a huge part of my life since the age of about ten or that a lot of my values probably come from him. No, it’s the fact that his work is still pretty relevant today.

I’m not just talking about the fact that he is the Grandfather of the Fantasy genre and most modern Fantasy authors are influenced by him in some small way. (No matter how you try to avoid it, you can’t) It’s the fact that the themes of his books are still relevant today. For example, the way that industrialization is used in warfare and the effects it has on the environment. Also there’s the way that war is sometimes a necessary defense and often has huge costs in the story.(Plus you can see how he was influenced by his experiences of the First World War with the Dead Marshes and the fact that Frodo pretty much suffers from PTSD)  Let’s not forget the classic theme of death and immortality and fate.

I’d go on into more detail on this but I don’t really want to bore you. I just love the books and the way that Tolkien had this whole world existing in his head. I wish I could write about a world with as much depth and detail as Middle Earth.