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Old 12-18-2006, 09:32 AM
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LOTR: Why no "Scouring of the Shire"?


TBS's run of LOTR this weekend motivated me to break out the DVDs and I was once again astonished and saddened by the omission of the "Scouring of the Shire" from ROTK. The omission has been discussed in many a thread, but I could not find a reason why... the jump from Mt. Doom to the joyous hobbit reunion to Aragorn's "kinging" to sharing a beer in the Shire just killed me.

I did not yet listen to the director's commentary, so sorry if I am asking a question for which the answer is readily available, but has there ever been a reason give for omitting this part and shortening the ending? Why is it not in the EE?
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:40 AM
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It would have thrown off the pacing too much. The series has been working for 9 hours toward the climactic destruction of the One Ring and Sauron; it wouldn't have made sense to then spend another 20 minutes on a brand new subplot starring a secondary villain. Even as it is, lots of reviewers complained that the movie's ending was too long.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:41 AM
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The most obvious reason is that it's a rather large letdown to go from Beating the Big Bad Guy to Running some Ruffians Out of Town. Furthermore, many people already complained about how long the movie went on after the defeat of Sauron; putting in the Scouring would have lengthened it even more.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:41 AM
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Because it doesn't work in movie form. You have the big conflict, the final win and it is denouement time. To try and introduce another (and much smaller) level of conflict to a movie that was already quite long would not have worked for theater audiences. People already complained about how long it took to end the movie after Mt Doom.

That said, I think that the scouring is critical to the book, it's major themes, and character development, it just doesn't translate well to the screen.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:52 AM
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Because Peter Jackson didn't remotely care about faithfulness to the book and felt that he could change anything he wanted to.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:53 AM
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I always imagined that we had gotten a glimpse of it via Galadriel's pool in FOTR.
They showed a burning shire run amuck with baddies.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
Because Peter Jackson didn't remotely care about faithfulness to the book and felt that he could change anything he wanted to.
Are you saying that the Scouring could have been integrated into the movie, but Jackson just didn't know how to do it effectively? If so, I'd be interested to hear your ideas. (I'm not interested in hearing a blanket "the movies suck because they don't follow the book verbatim.")
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:19 AM
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I read a rundown of what was cut from the theatrical release of the LOTR movies Either Newsweek or Entertainment Weekly). Some were mentioned as having been cut from the movie, but that they would be on the DVD. For the scouring, it said, "Jackson always hated this part of the book. Don't look for it on the DVD."
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by saoirse
For the scouring, it said, "Jackson always hated this part of the book. Don't look for it on the DVD."
I agree with Jackson. Same for Bombadil.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:39 AM
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Pity, though. I would have liked to see Saruman and Wormtongue put in their final appearance. I also was sad they cut that ubercool scene at Orthance, where Saruman tries his silver-tongued persuasion on King Theoden and then gets punked out by Gandalf. Watching Saruman's staff split up the middle (OUCH!) at a mere word from Gandalf would have been well worth the extra runtime.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:43 AM
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I agree with Jackson. Same for Bombadil.

Yup, same here. I love the books as much as anyone but it would not have worked cinematically.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:45 AM
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I never cared for the Scouring myself. I know the point Tolkien was trying to make, but I thought there would have been a better way to make it...for instance, the Hobbits coming back to find that orcs had come through the Shire and razed it, and having to set about rebuilding. That would have been a somber ending that brought home the fact that no part of the world was untouched by the war. But the whole business with "Sharky" (what an incredibly campy, lame, jerk-you-out-of-your-suspension-of-disbelief name that was) and the anticlimactic battle was a bad end to the story.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:49 AM
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I have listened to Jackson's commentary on the Extended Edition.

He explains that of course he wanted to put the chapter in (Wendell, what are you basing your allegation on? - Jackson is a huge Tolkien fan) but:

- unlike a book, the cinema audience cannot reread a few pages when they feel like it, so the plotline has to make sense
- there were a number of endings to tie up (Aragorn marrying Arwen; Scouring of the Shire; departures from the Grey Havens; Sam courting + marrying Rosie; Frodo realising he has to go overseas himself; Sam saying "I'm back")

As Autumn Almanac, athelas (that name sounds familiar ) and flight have said, the Scouring sadly would take up too much time and devalue the power of Sauron's fall.
Even in the Extended Edition (which is well worth getting in my opinion!)

Hampshire is also right - Galadriel's Pool does show the Scouring.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RikWriter
"Sharky" (what an incredibly campy, lame, jerk-you-out-of-your-suspension-of-disbelief name that was)
He's Mister Heartbreak.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
Because Peter Jackson didn't remotely care about faithfulness to the book and felt that he could change anything he wanted to.

Look, you don't like the movies-we get it already. Must you always do this in EVERY thread about the Peter Jackson films? It's not true, and it's deliberately inflammatory.



As for me, count me with those who say it wouldn't have worked in cinema form-slowed the pacing, been too much of a let down, etc. I don't believe you can ever make a movie adaption 100 percent identical to a novel-they are different and mediums, and there are always things that are going to have to be changed.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by RikWriter
...But the whole business with "Sharky" (what an incredibly campy, lame, jerk-you-out-of-your-suspension-of-disbelief name that was) and the anticlimactic battle was a bad end to the story.
The name Sharkey comes from the Orcish Sharku (with a circumflex over the u) meaning 'old man'.

Tolkien took enormous trouble over his names - it's not his fault if for example 'Jaws' spoilt the impact decades later...
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:12 AM
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The Scouring could have worked in a differently movie version, but I agree that it couldn't have worked in Jackson's version. It really would have thrown the pacing off.

The problem is that it is a big part of the heart and soul of the story. The heroes return home to their quaint little home and find it doesn't exist anymore: they've grown, and its been corrupted, so they can only make it anew. And Frodo can't share in it regardless.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:54 AM
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The chapter on the Scouring of the Shire was not in the movies because the movies didn't really attempt to deal with the growth of the hobbits aspect of the books. The chapter is vital to the story in the books, because it shows exactly what the hobbits learn while away on their travels. This gives you a sense of how hobbits will be potentially different in the Fourth Age. But none of that growth of the hobbits aspect ever was in the film. Instead, you get Merry and Pippen treated like comic sidekicks, etc.

When you add the fact that movie audiences generally prefer short denouments, it wasn't surprising at all. I'd have been much more surprised to see it happen, though I must admit watching Christopher Lee's Saruman get it in the back with a knife would have been fun.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:13 PM
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One small twist between the plots of the book and movie versions makes it inappropriate in the movie.

In the book, the Ring corrupts Saruman -- like many another, his lust for power overcomes his wisdom, and he "commits treason against the Valar" to set himself up as supreme, in place of Sauron.

In the movie (like the books, the movie sequence should be seen as a single tripartite whole), Sauron corrupts Saruman, enticing him over to the Dark Side, so to speak. Hence the fall of Orthanc is not the destruction of a separate menace (except that of course it proves not to be) but a foreshadowing of the fall of Barad-Dur.

Then, too, the important characterization detail of the growth in responsibility of Merry and Pippin is omitted from the movie, allowing them to function (which was a true-to-book role as well) as foils for the tragic Frodo and the assorted High and Mighty Figures with whom they come in contact. Hence their coming into their own in the Scouring was never foreshadowed.

PJ took liberties with the story as told in the book. But as anyone who's reviewed Christopher Tolkien's edited versions of his father's unpublished work realizes, Middle-Earth was a work in progress throughout Tolkien's life. Jackson did not produce a travesty, but a variant retelling of the story, with details omitted and altered. With Tolkien's taste for medieval literature, where the retelling by different authors of Arthurian, Rolandian, Alexandrian and other legend cycles was a commonplace, one can only presume he was smiling down on a fairly true-to-book adaptation for the large screen. (His comments on the abortive Forrest J. Ackerman adaptation in the Letters are instructive on his views about what a LOTR movie ought to be.)
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
Because Peter Jackson didn't remotely care about faithfulness to the book and felt that he could change anything he wanted to.
Cite?

Or shut the *** up.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:18 PM
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I have been a long time fan of the trilogy since the early 70's. I can honestly say I have always felt the scouring was anticlimactic. I can understand why Jackson left it out of the movie version. Much of the history and sideline details would have been too much for a viewing audience of Ring Newbies. The movie already had several false endings to the uninitiated viewers. The scouring would have sent many people out early in frustration, causing them to miss the beautiful ending.

What did bother me was:

1) The quickened pace. The trip from the Shire to Rivendell was a merry little hop, skip and a jump compared to the long and grueling journey written by Tolkien. I would like to have seen more travel time in the beginning accented by more road songs and such. They started out naive and simplistic on a mysterious journey, not knowing how dire their circumstances really were.

2) The time spent at Rivendell seemed like an overnight stopover in the movie. I wanted to see more of this place. Where were the tales by the fire? The songs? The pipeweed smoking? I want more elf time!

3) The beauty and wonder of Galadriel and her people was replaced by scary and disturbing. No gift giving...no explanation of the magical cloaks. Yeah, I knew all this stuff, but the Ring newbies didn't. Again, not enough elf time.

4) Merry & Pippin were reduced to mere, comic-relief sidekicks. Pippin was never purported to have grown in stature as a result of consuming great amounts of entwash.

5) Frodo was portrayed as a bit of a whiney-baby in the film version, whereas in the book, I was moved by his strength and stamina despite his burden. The movie version left me feeling like Sam got the shaft when they were giving out hero status.

But overall, I thought the movie was great. I was amazed at how Jackson managed to enter my own brain to get the visuals for the scenes.

But the scouring - didn't miss it a bit.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everkid
I have been a long time fan of the trilogy since the early 70's. I can honestly say I have always felt the scouring was anticlimactic. I can understand why Jackson left it out of the movie version. Much of the history and sideline details would have been too much for a viewing audience of Ring Newbies. The movie already had several false endings to the uninitiated viewers. The scouring would have sent many people out early in frustration, causing them to miss the beautiful ending.

What did bother me was:

1) The quickened pace. The trip from the Shire to Rivendell was a merry little hop, skip and a jump compared to the long and grueling journey written by Tolkien. I would like to have seen more travel time in the beginning accented by more road songs and such. They started out naive and simplistic on a mysterious journey, not knowing how dire their circumstances really were.

2) The time spent at Rivendell seemed like an overnight stopover in the movie. I wanted to see more of this place. Where were the tales by the fire? The songs? The pipeweed smoking? I want more elf time!

3) The beauty and wonder of Galadriel and her people was replaced by scary and disturbing. No gift giving...no explanation of the magical cloaks. Yeah, I knew all this stuff, but the Ring newbies didn't. Again, not enough elf time.

4) Merry & Pippin were reduced to mere, comic-relief sidekicks. Pippin was never purported to have grown in stature as a result of consuming great amounts of entwash.

5) Frodo was portrayed as a bit of a whiney-baby in the film version, whereas in the book, I was moved by his strength and stamina despite his burden. The movie version left me feeling like Sam got the shaft when they were giving out hero status.

But overall, I thought the movie was great. I was amazed at how Jackson managed to enter my own brain to get the visuals for the scenes.

But the scouring - didn't miss it a bit.
Buy the Extended Edition!

You'll enjoy extra scenes such as:

- hobbits singing and dancing at the Green Dragon Inn
- elves travelling to the Grey Havens
- hobbits struggling through the Midgewater Marshes
- Gilraens' Memorial at Rivendell
- The Fellowship departing from Rivendell
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:12 PM
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I thought that Jackson should have included a clip on the DVD that showed the hobbits scrubbing away at a bathroom.

Pippin: "Why are we doing this?"
Merry: "Because the fans want to see the Scouring of the Shower. Keep scrubbing!"
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Old 12-18-2006, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq
Instead, you get Merry and Pippen treated like comic sidekicks, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everkid
Merry & Pippin were reduced to mere, comic-relief sidekicks. Pippin was never purported to have grown in stature as a result of consuming great amounts of entwash.

It's been awhile since I read the books, so I'll just stick with the fims.

I disagree with all this Merry and Pippen talk. While they do start off as comic buffoons, by the end of the third film they HAVE shown growth. Merry rides with into battle the Rohan and Pippen finds himself aiding in the defense of Minas Tirith as an (albiet reluctant) Guard of the Citidel (correct me if I mixed them up). Respect.
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Polycarp
With Tolkien's taste for medieval literature, where the retelling by different authors of Arthurian, Rolandian, Alexandrian and other legend cycles was a commonplace, one can only presume he was smiling down on a fairly true-to-book adaptation for the large screen. (His comments on the abortive Forrest J. Ackerman adaptation in the Letters are instructive on his views about what a LOTR movie ought to be.)
Few of the changes in the movie are similar in kind to the many he complains about in the letter. However, considering their detail, I think the presumption of "smiling" is too strong. Probably more like a grudging "Well, it's better than the cartoons."
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
I would have liked to see Saruman and Wormtongue put in their final appearance. I also was sad they cut that ubercool scene at Orthance, where Saruman tries his silver-tongued persuasion on King Theoden and then gets punked out by Gandalf. Watching Saruman's staff split up the middle (OUCH!) at a mere word from Gandalf would have been well worth the extra runtime.
Yes, yes!
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:45 PM
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Few of the changes in the movie are similar in kind to the many he complains about in the letter. However, considering their detail, I think the presumption of "smiling" is too strong. Probably more like a grudging "Well, it's better than the cartoons."
On the contrary, he'd be pleasantly amazed that anyone had the talent and imagination to bring his vision to the big screen as faithfully as Jackson did...and bring in a shitload of money in the process.
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:46 PM
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On the contrary, he'd be pleasantly amazed that anyone had the talent and imagination to bring his vision to the big screen as faithfully as Jackson did...and bring in a shitload of money in the process.
I don't know. I'd like to believe that. I really enjoyed the films, and it would be nice to think that Tolkien would have been pleased. But that's just not the sort of guy who comes through in the letters. Reading them gave me the strong impression that he would have been as intolerant of any deviation as the most vitriolic fan boy. The "re-imagining" of some of the characters, like Faramir and Denethor, would have been the most intolerable to him. He probably could have accepted abbreviating the plot to fit a film format, but my sense from his letters is that he would have been deeply aggravated by any alteration of the meaning or significance of anything in his world. I think he was deeply attached to these details. Seeing his creations altered by the hand of another and then broadcast to the world would have driven him nuts.

On the one hand, he wanted to create a new mythology for the British people. On the other, like many artists, he wanted to maintain absolute control of his creation. But nothing can serve as a cultural myth when it is the exclusive property of one person. It has to be re-created by every listener to be kept alive.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:03 PM
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I was hoping Jackson would be both "The Hobbit" and "The Scouring of the Shire" together are one movie.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:05 PM
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I would have gladly watched a fourth movie. Were there three movies because there were three books (or three sections to one book)? I wonder if Jackson ever considered four, so he wouldn't have to leave so much out.

I suppose if the third movie had to end with Sauron's defeat and Aragorn's ascendance, viewers who hadn't read the book might have thought the best part of the story was over and stayed home from a fourth movie.

I didn't read the book until after I saw the movies, and so I thought the Shire was kept out of the conflict. It didn't seem quite fair, that all the other Middle Earthers suffered so mightily while the Hobbits were able to go about their business.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:25 PM
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The reason is because it was complex. It defied the idea that all the evil comes from Sauron, and was cured when the ring melted. This is the same reason that they blamed the snow directly on Sauron in the movie. It is not tidy, so it was cut.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:43 PM
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I don't know. I'd like to believe that. .
Then do! No way to prove one way or the other. I think he'd have been a bit miffed about Denethor, but I think the movie treatment of Faramir made him more human and admirable. It's easier to admire someone for resisting temptation if you see how close they came to giving into it and how irresistible its pull was.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
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The reason is because it was complex. It defied the idea that all the evil comes from Sauron, and was cured when the ring melted. This is the same reason that they blamed the snow directly on Sauron in the movie. It is not tidy, so it was cut.
That's the main reason I find it justified to hate the absence of the Scouring. (I dislike the absence because it's a cool part of the book, but it actually has some symbolic importance.)

It almost completely changes the meaning of the entire trilogy. It turns it into another neat cinematic struggle between good and evil where everyone's happy at the end (even the Elves: who wouldn't want to go to Heaven on Arda?)

But in Tolkein's original tale, while it still is an impressive, nearly black and white struggle between good and evil, the Scouring drives home the point that while Sauron was defeated, we must be ever-vigilant against the rise of evil and that no one was left untouched in the struggle in Middle Earth.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:20 PM
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Autumn Almanac writes:

> Are you saying that the Scouring could have been integrated into the movie,
> but Jackson just didn't know how to do it effectively? If so, I'd be interested to
> hear your ideas. (I'm not interested in hearing a blanket "the movies suck
> because they don't follow the book verbatim.")

I didn't say anything about whether it could have been integrated into the movie. I said that Jackson didn't care whether it could have been done effectively. Jackson had his own version of the plot arranged in his mind before he (and his co-writers) wrote the script, based on his vague memories of his two readings of the book.

glee writes:

> Wendell, what are you basing your allegation on? - Jackson is a huge Tolkien fan

Jackson was *not* a huge Tolkien fan. He had read the book twice, once at 18 and once in his thirties. Jackson is not even much of a reader. He was someone who grew up making his own films on a camera his parents gave him. Jackson's strengths are visual. He doesn't write good dialogue and isn't good at directing actors in scenes with important dialogue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Jackson

> I have listened to Jackson's commentary on the Extended Edition.

Jackson's commentaries (and his comments in interviews) are hype. He changes his story about his view of the relationship of the book and the film whenever he wants to. At times he insisted that faithfulness to the book was important to him. At other times he said that it wasn't important at all.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
Jackson was *not* a huge Tolkien fan. He had read the book twice, once at 18 and once in his thirties. Jackson is not even much of a reader. He was someone who grew up making his own films on a camera his parents gave him. Jackson's strengths are visual. He doesn't write good dialogue and isn't good at directing actors in scenes with important dialogue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Jackson
What part of that cite is meant to support what part of your post? I don't see anything in there that relates to anything you've posted here.
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:41 PM
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It's about the fact that Jackson grew up making his own films.
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic
It almost completely changes the meaning of the entire trilogy. It turns it into another neat cinematic struggle between good and evil where everyone's happy at the end (even the Elves: who wouldn't want to go to Heaven on Arda?)

But in Tolkein's original tale, while it still is an impressive, nearly black and white struggle between good and evil, the Scouring drives home the point that while Sauron was defeated, we must be ever-vigilant against the rise of evil and that no one was left untouched in the struggle in Middle Earth.
Time to bring down Godwin's Law (sorry!): if you look at it in the context of Tolkien's experiences as a communications officer during World War I and his views on World War II (and war in general)--it's like saying "yay, the Nazis are defeated, time to go home" and packing up and leaving. You can't ignore what happened there and pretend everything's hunky dory again.

Tolkien lost a lot of his friends in the trenches in World War I and bitterly railed against the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was a staunch believer in real life that war isn't a tidy, neat struggle between good and evil--bad things happen and lives are changed forever, and the Scouring of the Shire in The Lord of the Rings reflected that.

I agree with most everyone, though: great in the book, wouldn't have worked in a cinematic adaptation.


Wendell Wagner, how would you have done it effectively?
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:45 AM
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Can I interject and say that I'm glad there was no Scouring of the Shire in the movies? Not because I don't like the scene in the book --- I do. Not because I don't think Jackson would have made it awesome --- I do.

But because RoTK (the movie) would not freaking end. I am a super-huge Tolkien fan - read the books over every year - and I was squirming my ass off by the end of RoTK and thinking to myself "End! End Goddammit! By Smeagol's Hairless Bum, end the movie!"
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 4everkid
Frodo was portrayed as a bit of a whiney-baby in the film version, whereas in the book, I was moved by his strength and stamina despite his burden. The movie version left me feeling like Sam got the shaft when they were giving out hero status.
Well, I read the book (between TTT and RotK), and Frodo came off as something of a whiny baby there too, but he was a whiny baby who was still dragging his ass halfway accross Mordor (With Samwise dragging him the other half). I think the fact that Sam doesn't get any renown for his many acts of bravery and perseverence is sort of the point, he's not the celebrated hero, he's the unsung hero, the anonymous peasant boy who carries the wounded knight to safety on the battlefield. He doesn't get any real renown until he helps rebuild the shire, doing the hard work to rebuild that which was destroyed while the Heros fought the Villians centerstage.

As for the Scouring of the Shire not being there, Jackson's version of the story generally presents a higher opinion of humanity than Tolkiens' does. Tolkien had a recurring theme of humans giving in to their inner demons, or in to outer corruption, being too short sighted to act in the name of the greater good, while Jackson generally presents many of the humans as good folks who realize their mistakes and try to atone for them, and villians promptly get what's coming to them.

In the book, Gandalf lets Saruman go, making him promise to behave, and no sooner have our heros stepped out of the room than does Saruman go about working over the Shire (indeed, it's implied heavily as early as The Two Towers that he had been doing that even before the Ents attacked Isengard, with Pippen and Merry finding the cache of Shire pipeweed.)

So in short, it wasn't in the movie not only because it would have ruined the pacing, but it just didn't fit the somewhat happier fuzzier version of Middle Earth that Jackson was presenting. To be honest, I'm OK with that.
  #40  
Old 12-19-2006, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AuntiePam
I wonder if Jackson ever considered four, so he wouldn't have to leave so much out.
If memory serves, he originally intended to make only two movies (covering all three books (not that there really are three books, there are six, or rather one, but never mind)) and was amazed when the boys with the money said "let's do three". It probably never crossed his mind to try for four.
  #41  
Old 12-19-2006, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
It's about the fact that Jackson grew up making his own films.
And you pull your rant out of THAT ass?
  #42  
Old 12-19-2006, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 4everkid
4) Merry & Pippin were reduced to mere, comic-relief sidekicks.
Yeah, when Pippin sang that song to Denethor, it was comedy gold. I nearly bust a gut laugh...oh, wait, no I didn't, I bawled my eyes out. Not a mere sidekick at all, no.

As to the OP - on a simple level, the Scouring serves to wrap up the loose ends of Saruman & Wormtongue, as well as drive home the point that things have changed for the adventurers. Well, as anyone who's seen the ExtEd knows, Jackson dealt with the problem of Saruman & Grima as loose ends differently (but still plausibly), and he does a very subtle job of showing the returned Hobbits as different in the pub scene at the end, just in the looks they share. Plus, as noted, he pays homage to the Scouring in Fellowship's Mirror scene.

Walter, Jackson may only have read the book twice (which definitely makes him a fan, BTW) , but he wasn't the sole (or even, IMHO, the chief) scriptwriter. I think the two ladies were bigger Tolkien nuts, Philippa certainly came across as a bigger fan than Peter.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:01 AM
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:: takes a Valium::

I have no idea what you are talking about. No live-action film adaptation of Lord of the Rings was ever completed. Peter Jackson managed to get through the first two volumes, but during the third he was ... um ... beaten to death a mutant dung beetle. Yeah, that's it. Mutant dung beetle.

:: takes another Valium ::
  #44  
Old 12-19-2006, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer
:: takes a Valium::

I have no idea what you are talking about. No live-action film adaptation of Lord of the Rings was ever completed. Peter Jackson managed to get through the first two volumes, but during the third he was ... um ... beaten to death a mutant dung beetle. Yeah, that's it. Mutant dung beetle.

:: takes another Valium ::
I'm thinking you're taking the wrong drugs, dude.
  #45  
Old 12-19-2006, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer
:: takes a Valium::

I have no idea what you are talking about. No live-action film adaptation of Lord of the Rings was ever completed. Peter Jackson managed to get through the first two volumes, but during the third he was ... um ... beaten to death a mutant dung beetle. Yeah, that's it. Mutant dung beetle.

:: takes another Valium ::
Can I just interject here and say how tired I am of this joke. Also, there was a second Highlander movie, and multiple sequels after that. They all sucked. Deal with it.

Anyway, I agree with the general consensus that the Scouring simply wouldn't work in a film. You can't follow a grand battle against the ultimate evil with a little battle against an already broken smaller evil, no matter how thematically important. The pacing of the end of ROTK was already pretty tortured, and I say that as a big fan of that film.
  #46  
Old 12-19-2006, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner
It's about the fact that Jackson grew up making his own films.
And what does that have to do with anything else you've claimed?
  #47  
Old 12-19-2006, 09:48 AM
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You can add me to the list of people who hated the Scouring in the book. Oh, I understood the point of it but it was unneccessarily tacked-on and I was glad to see it cut. I think the part is somewhat well-written but it's ridiculous in my eyes and I agree on the stupid name Sharky.

Let me go on and class myself as a complete heathen and say I also don't care much for Tom Bombadil.

I also don't think Tolkien is really that stupendous of a writer. Sure, he had some truly phenomenal ideas, but getting them across in print? Eh.

I don't think the movies were the end-all be-all but I am grateful someone made them, and made them grand and overarching and did what they could to make them beautiful. I think that no matter who made them there would have been changes and tons of people would have critized. I think Jackson did an excellent job of making them true to the feel of Tolkien and still making them sellable. I think a whole lot of new people were introduced to LOTR and many people read the books that never would have.

To me, that's good enough. As for dialogue, quite frankly, I don't think much of Tolkien's dialogue. Yeah, people always talk like they do in the books, with hugely grand pronouncements that take up paragraphs and sometimes pages, with no breaks and no one ever says anything simple. And then they stop to eat.

Please don't think I didn't like the books! I love them. I just don't revere them.
  #48  
Old 12-19-2006, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Anaamika
I also don't think Tolkien is really that stupendous of a writer.
He wasn't. He was really, really badly in need of an editor. That he managed to get his vision through to so many readers anyway is a testament to the power of the worlds he created.

I loved the Scouring in the book, and Tom Bombadil, and everything else that seemed strange or tacked-on or pointless or dramaturgically incorrect, because those things made the world that much more real. In the real world, sometimes things happen that aren't connected to anything else. In the real world, you don't kill the bad guy and live happily ever after. You kill the bad guy and life goes on much as it has this past age.

But I also realize that those things (well, the Scouring anyway; Bombadil could have worked at least as well as the Grey Havens) would not have worked in the movie. It would have been nice on the Extended Edition, though, but that would have been financially impossible. I doubt a single person who now didn't get the Extended Edition would have done so just for the Scouring.
  #49  
Old 12-19-2006, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Priceguy
I doubt a single person who now didn't get the Extended Edition would have done so just for the Scouring.
I didn't. I would have if the Scouring were included.
  #50  
Old 12-19-2006, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by saoirse
I read a rundown of what was cut from the theatrical release of the LOTR movies Either Newsweek or Entertainment Weekly). Some were mentioned as having been cut from the movie, but that they would be on the DVD. For the scouring, it said, "Jackson always hated this part of the book. Don't look for it on the DVD."
There were all kinds of good reasons for putting this in the book, most of them metaphorical and allegorical. Unlike Jackson, I liked this part of the book because it brought home the extent to which the evil had spread, and the need for good people to take action against creeping evil. It also allowed the heroes to be heroic in their hometown -- remember, nobody from the Shire saw any of their exploits. In literary form, the scouring works on several levels.

In the movie, however, it just wouldn't work. Remember, movies have to be pigeonholed in the viewer's mind, and LOTR was pigeonholed as an action epic. Audiences expect the depth of a teaspoon in action epics, and Peter Jackson excels at meeting audiences' expectations.

My only disappointment was making Arwen the love interest for Aragorn rather than Eowyn, as Tolkein had. It makes more sense to strengthen the alliance of Rohan and Gondor, but no sense for an elven princess to give up her immortality. But Jackson is a filmmaking genius, not a Tolkien geek, and as brawny, fun cinema, LOTR is as good as or better than Star Wars.
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