050 – You Have Kept Your Honor: The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy

Put aside the books and join us at the movies! In this episode, Alan and Shawn discuss Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. We watch clips of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) changes and go back to Tolkien’s own words about film adaptation to understand why some worked and others didn’t. Blazing beacons, tragic deaths, Elves where Elves have no business being… they’re all here in this action-packed, star-studded, Oscar-winner-watching episode of the Prancing Pony Podcast! Video version available on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

For streaming audio and a transcript of the Tom Shippey lecture “Tolkien Book to Jackson Script: The Medium and the Message”, see the Swarthmore College website at http://www.swarthmore.edu/news-events/tolkien-book-to-jackson-script-medium-and-message. (Audio highly recommended!)

The essay “Another Road to Middle-earth: Jackson’s Movie Trilogy”, is published as Appendix C in the 2005 edition of Shippey’s The Road to Middle-earth, and is also available in other collections.

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Recommended Reading:

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray]

Shippey, Tom. The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology (Mariner Books, paperback)

Shippey, Tom. J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (Mariner Books, paperback)

13 thoughts on “050 – You Have Kept Your Honor: The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy

  1. On the Helm’s Deep scene, would that be the same Elrond who was sneaking out the back, jack, while sending Galadriel’s troops to their death?

    Plus uncharacteristic behavior of Legolas,

    Plus the fact that any number of human winters would seem too few to an elf.

    • Some good points there. Legolas’ behavior makes sense only in context of the “sod this, I’m not dying” mentality of all the Elves in the movies except for the Galadhrim. And his outburst, while maybe satisfying as cinematic drama, is much more in keeping with Gimli’s attitude towards his captain than Legolas.

  2. As for moving Boromir’s death, no problem here. But it reminded me of getting to the end of The Two Towers the first time, reading “Frodo was alive but taken by the enemy” and RUNNING to the local bookstore to get The Return of The King.

  3. Had Pippin been singing the bath song instead it might have actually made that scene bearable. As it is, deciding to skip it on your admirable podcast made me realize how much more I loathe film Denethor than even film Faramir. And I still wish I had walked out at Faramir.

    • I suppose my dislike for Denethor in the books tempers my loathing of film Denethor somewhat. He’s exaggerated in the movies, but I think Tolkien’s own characterization of him is as quite the “château general” anyway. This scene is over the top, there’s no doubt about it… but it’s visual, and I like that about it. 🙂

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