Lord of the Rings: You have to be joking.

I’m falling into the ‘What rock have YOU been under’ school of thought here.

Anyone who DIDN’T know what they were getting when walking into the movie just hasn’t been paying attention.

And actually, the movie ended with less of a cliffhanger than the book. (Boromir dies in TT).

Rumor has it the second movie will end before the second book does, and save us from this cliffhanger:

The second movie will end before Shelob, so we won’t have the whole “is Frodo dead?” cliffhanger


If the major plot point were resolved in the first movie (FOTR), then there would be nothing left for the other movies to do.

I have read series that have been called “trilogies”, but still didn’t resolve a major plot point in the first book. In fact, in some of these, the books really don’t stand completely alone.

In this case, Peter Jackson actually did do some things that give the first movie more of a “resolution” on certain elements than the publisher’s division of the books did. Read the books and you will find that in FOTR, Boromir doesn’t die (yet). That, and the battle at Amon Hen, actually take place at the start of “The Two Towers” (again, the book).

Peter Jackson places it (and I think, to good effect) at the end of the first movie, giving a resolution to the “Boromir wants to use the ring for the good of Gondor, even though it is misguided” part of the story, along with the whole Boromir/Aragorn interaction. Jackson also makes more of a point of the Uruk-Hai captain that leads the troop against them at Amon Hen – being a major bad guy for the first movie. And of course, Aragorn kills this bad guy at the end of the movie, so there is another resolution for you.

But at the same time, new plot elements are raised, which will lead us in to the second movie. The abduction of Merry and Pippin. The breaking of the fellowship, where Frodo and Sam are now on their own.

I certainly hope that when the second movie comes out, you won’t be disappointed when you find that the ring is still not destroyed at the end of it. If you are, you’ll have to blame Tolkien…

Oops, was that a spoiler? :wink:

Okay, here’s the scene: I went out paddling today (nice trip, BTW – Made it to the Venice Beach Pier) and I was a little tired. I’ve just gotten up from a nap and I’m a little groggy. (Going to take a walk to wake up.) So I guess I missed it.

What “major plot point”, specifically, was not resolved? The major plot point? The Ring? Obviously that cannot be resolved until the end of the third film; so what “major plot point” is KidCharlemagne talking about?

Pointing out how the book was split up into three parts for marketing reasons, and that the first part of the book ended where it did, is missing the main point. The main point is that the OP is silly.

As others have pointed out, the name of the first movie is “The Fellowship of the Ring.” It tells you what the ring is, who the fellowship are, why they formed, what they did, and how the fellowship of the ring ended. What’s so “ridiculous” about that?

The movie has a clear introduction, beginning, middle, and end. And again as others have pointed out, the movie stands on its own even better than the first part of the book, because it shows what happened to Boromir. It’s clear that more stuff happens to these characters, even if you haven’t read the book.

Saying that the movie is incomplete because it doesn’t show the ring getting destroyed, is as ridiculous as saying that every WWII movie should include scenes of Hitler’s suicide (note: Godwin’s Law in effect) and the bomb blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I saw the ending as the death of Boromir. The rest was look at what’s coming. I do believe that’s what was meant.

Last time I post something against something with a significant fanboy following.
Wendell, read what I wrote again. I was paraphrasing you about the book being cut into thirds and was agreeing with you that it’s not a trilogy (even though the boxed set calls it that).

Why did I waste my time reading other fantasy trilogies?? Isn’t that a bit presumptious? Who said I read FANTASY trilogies? How can you say they’re better if you don’t know what books I’m talking about?

Most everyone else,
People, the fact that the book was broken up into thirds for publishing reasons and not literary/artistic reasons should tell you right there the fricking story wasn’t intended to be told this way. The major plot point is the destruction of the ring. If you can’t see the ridiculous logic of arguing that there wouldn’t be anything for the other movies if that was resolved then I ain’t gonna bother explaining it. BTW, Speaker for the Dead, the problem is that LOTR IS cut and paste. And don’t try and tell me this tripe about storyline - this is a plot, not a storyline.

I haven’t read the books but I found the end of the film quite satisfying marked as it is by the death of Boromir and the splitting of the party.

I would have preferred having the films released simultaneously so that film-goers could see them in succession(with intervals) or on successive days, if they wanted to. Of course in economic terms it probably makes sense to string them out over three holiday seasons.

I do hope that the films are released simultaneously when all three are out. In fact that they should release LOTR again when the next one is released. I suspect lots of people would go see it again; I probably would

N9IWP, your spoiler question was answered at the end of the book The Two Towers**.

KidCharlemagne: Which specific plot point did you want to be resolved?


So…you hated the Star Wars trilogy, 'cause the point was (depending if you believe the revisionist version or not) either the destruction of the Empire or the Redemption of Darth Vader and neither was accomplished in the first movie?


Does this mean that you’ll continue to post uninformed, off-base opinions about something that you just didn’t happen to like as much as other people?

Other posts have made it quite clear that your criticisms of the movie are quite wrong. I would suggest that until you can answer Johnny L.A.'s question, you refrain from continuing on that line of criticism.

It may not have been intended to be told this way, but look at it from a practical point-of-view. If you even TRY to squeeze the entirety of The Lord of the Rings into a two or three-hour movie, you will have to excise major portions of the story…major portions. There is simply no practical way to do that without doing a tremendous disservice to the source material.

True. And that point will be resolved at the end of the third movie. You don’t like that? Deal with it.


Once the major plot point (destruction of the ring) has been resolved, then the primary reason for watching the movie is over, correct? This is the reason why writers tend to put the resolution of the plot point as close to the end of the story as possible.

If Peter Jackson totally bent the rules and had the ring destroyed at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, then you would have to explain what all the fighting is about in The Two Towers, and explain why Frodo and Sam continue to journey to Mordor.


Are you referring to the book or the movie here?


Just so that we’re all on the same page here, would you mind telling us what you think the words “plot” and “storyline” mean to you?

<<*People, the fact that the book was broken up into thirds for publishing reasons and not literary/artistic reasons should tell you right there the fricking story wasn’t intended to be told this way. *>>

Right. That’s what everybody’s been saying. Tolkien intended this to be one big story. Key on the word big.

<<*The major plot point is the destruction of the ring. *>>

Again, a true statement. No arguments there.

<<And don’t try and tell me this tripe about storyline - this is a plot, not a storyline.>>

Again, correct. This is a novel with a plot.

<<*If you can’t see the ridiculous logic of arguing that there wouldn’t be anything for the other movies if that was resolved then I ain’t gonna bother explaining it. *>>

That’s only if you presume that the entire story must be told in one movie.

And correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like that is the major beef you have with it? That the entire story wasn’t told in one movie?

But, the point that others are making here is that the Tolkien story LOTR, in its entirety, cannot be told (and done justice) in one movie. You either have to:

  1. Film a 9-10 hour movie.
  2. Cut out a BUTTload of the original story to trim it down to 2-3 hours, thus decimating the original story.
  3. Make multiple movies, each one taking you through a portion of the story.

Obviously the first option would not work, as no audience would sit through a movie that long. The second option would really not do justice to the story – and Tolkien fans would certainly not be happy with the Cliffs Notes version. And the final option was obviously what was done – and was not as difficult to do, seeing as how the story is already published in three volumes.

Personally, I’m perfectly happy with the decision to do a movie roughly covering each volume, because it means that I do get 9 hours worth of movie – even if they are seperate sitting on the initial viewing (and once I have all the DVDs I can watch any portions at my leisure). I get to see a more full visual presentation of one of my favorite books, rather than a seriously abridged version (already the current version is somewhat abridged).

So, is there one of these options that you are saying you would have preferred? Or is there another option that you think should have been done in Peter Jackson’s treatment? If so, please present it.

FWIW, Ralph Bakshi tried to do LotR in a single film. Even though the animated feature was rather long for its time, he only made it half way before running out of money and running-time. Basically he ended with, “So this war, like all wars, eventually ended and everyone lived happily ever after.” Anyway…

As I said, I was groggy when I posted the question. Here he says that “The major plot point is the destruction of the ring.” Surely, KidCharlemagne, you can’t be serious that you wanted that resolved in the first film?

And I don’t see how arguing that after the ring is destroyed there wouldn’t be anything for the other films is “ridiculous logic”, so I’m afraid you’ll have to explain it to me. You see, the other two films are about the battles between the good guys and Sauron, and the trek to Mount Doom to destroy the Ring. If the Ring is destroyed in the first film, then there is no Sauron to battle. Also, if the Ring is destroyed in the first film, I see little point having Frodo and Samwise go to Mordor to destroy the Ring.

Given that, I must conclude that there is some other plot point that needs to be resolved by then end of the first film. If my conclusion is incorrect and you really do mean that you think the Ring should have been destroyed in the first film, then I’ll say you’ve missed the point of the story and invite you to explain this “ridiculous logic” of which you speak when we point out that there would be no point to two more films.

It seems to me it was no secret TLOTR was only a third of a movie…

What is interesting is that I was left on this cliffhanger for several years when I read the books. And older brother gave me the two first tomes when I was 9 or so, and I only read the third when I was 14-15…

KidCharlemagne writes:

> Why did I waste my time reading other fantasy trilogies?? Isn’t
> that a bit presumptious? Who said I read FANTASY trilogies?
> How can you say they’re better if you don’t know what books
> I’m talking about?

You said in your OP that you’ve read other trilogies. The only field in which there are significant numbers of trilogies is fantasy. If that’s not what you’ve been reading, what are you talking about? Which trilogies are you referring to? And the fact is that The Lord of the Rings is better than just about any other novel. You shouldn’t be wasting your time reading other books until you’ve read The Lord of the Rings. You shouldn’t even be posting to the SDMB anymore until you’ve read it.

That’s different since obviously there was a plot and a resolution in each of the Star Wars movie. But I just don’t get how one could expect the same thing in TLOTR. Either you’d have to tell the whole story in only one movie, and most of the book would be hacked off, either you would have to make major changes to the storyline (like inventing another plot, resolved in the movie, but which would not exist in the books : Say, the Lothlorien is attacked by the forces of Sauron, the fellowship travel to help Galadriel, and win the big battle which ensue, or somethiong like that).

I don’t get what kidcharlemagne expected from a movie which was notoriously based on 1/3 of a book, not I understand why he think that a movie is “ridiculous” just because there’s no resolution…

Well I was about to abandon the thread because of replies like Spoofe’s and Speaker of the dead’s but some intelligent people have asked fair questions that I’ll be happy to explain.
First off, the difference between a plot and a storyline:

A plot typical deals with events, with the characters themselves being relatively unchanged at the end. Also the point of recognition as to whether the chief motivating force driving the protagonist will succeed or fail is typically near the end of the story.

A storyline places an emphasis on the development or disintegration of character. The ultimate success/failure of the motivating force can be known relatively early in the story because it’s not a typical “reveal,” it’s about watching a character change over time. The audience know a character will fail at something but the point is to watch him learn from it.

Regarding Star Wars:
This is a legit literary trilogy. I can’t remember them too well but I know these movies stand on their own. That is, whatever plot point they present with emphasis in the beginning of any of these stories is resolved by the end. That doesn’t mean there aren’t macro and micro plots that are dealt with through the thread of the entire trilogy, but there is a definite emphasis on one plot point.

The movie, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings presents a very very clear major plot point right from the beginning: In order to stop the forces of evil from gaining control of middle earth, the ring of power must be thrown back into the mountain fire crevice thingy from whence it came. The movie is not subtle on that point and that is the complication that i figure will be resolved by the end of the movie I’m watching. If the movie was REALLY about the fellowship of the ring development they could have emphasized the macro story of the ring’s destruction a bit less and placed more emphasis on the story of the trials and tribulations of getting a worthy band of differing people together to do the task. For instance, Star Wars isn’t really about the Imperial/Rebel War- that is just a macro plot to be developed later and serving as backdrop now for the story of Luke’s developing as a Jedi.

Now, the reason the moviemakers don’t want to de-emphasize the plot point of the ring is because the fellowship of the ring is not a story that should have a resolution - it’s the first third of a story, not a bigger story, a complete story. I don’t think alot of people get that the lord of the rings “trilogy” isn’t a trilogy, it’s a marketing gimmick. So by agreeing that you think Fellowship of the Rings is complete your letting a publisher’s marketing group write your stories.

Now, I do understand the problems of a telling an epic tale in two hours through editing as well as the problems in making a nine hour film. While the psychographics of this board is heavy on the knowing the story of the LOTR side the general public (myself included) is not. I shouldn’t have to read the book before seeing the movie. I shouldn’t have to know ahead of time that the plot point being offered as grist for the movie mill will not be resolved by the end. They could have written the movie with virtually no change to the overall story but nevertheless clued you in that the ring would not be resolved and that the major point of this movie was putting together a group of people to do it. But that wasn’t the way it was presented.

FWIW, Im not saying the story sucks, or even the first third of the movie sucked.