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  1. #1

    [Movies/Books] What made Lord of the Rings different?

    I love the series, both the books and the movies. But, when we think about it, there are so many fantasy IPs/stories out there and so many of them are just... bad.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460780/ <-- In the Name of the King, basically has the same medieval/middle-earth fantasy theme of LoTR, but it's just horrible. Corny, cheesy, everything about it is just a mistake.

    What themes and aspects about Lord of the Rings made it so different and so epic? Was it the fact that it was a complete fantasy world that felt real, or that elves and dwarves and ghosts were actually fleshed out properly and not just made silly? What do you think?
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  2. #2
    Because it felt real. Every other fantasy IP failed because it's too whimsical, or simply trying to damn hard to be ultra-gritty. LotR felt as realistic as a fantasy world with magic and immortal beings and wizards could actually be.

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by vizzle View Post
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460780/ <-- In the Name of the King, basically has the same medieval/middle-earth fantasy theme of LoTR, but it's just horrible. Corny, cheesy, everything about it is just a mistake.
    Uwe Boll directed that, what did you expect?

  4. #4
    Bloodsail Admiral Amirila's Avatar
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    Beacuase Tolkien didn't just write it over a year, he dedicated his life to Middle-Earth
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  5. #5
    Because Tolkien dedicated so much to this tale. He even went to the lines to pretty much invent a language. In my edition of the book, in the back there are about 100 pages of appendixes and indexes just detailing backstory and family trees. It's not just some story that was thrown together without any hopes of continuing forward or backwards, Tolkien truly wanted people to become immersed in the story and understand every little crack and bump.
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  6. #6
    Warchief Sand Person's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drekmen View Post
    Uwe Boll directed that, what did you expect?
    this^^ anything uwe boll touches is just so terrible. there was a site dedicated for a petition for him to stop making movies.

  7. #7
    tolkien made it different. he was a genius.

  8. #8
    Stood in the Fire asteest's Avatar
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    Frodo,resilient bastard!
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  9. #9
    To me it starts at the top with J. R. R. creating good source material. I find "some" of the problems of a novel to movie adaption can usually be traced back to the source material.

    You then move down to Peter Jackson who practiacally planned all three movies out before shooting a single scene. I think that makes it easier on everyone rather then "winging it" on the fly. Also, it sounded like he would wait all night until he got the perfect scene shot rather then some directors who would shoot 9 or 10 shots and move on.

    The actors that he got seemed to really enjoy shooting the movies and gave 110%. In some extras on DVD's you hear them say they enjoy the movie but they say it in a monotone voice.

    Lastly, I think some of the locations they picked out in Australia and being outdoors helped a lot. A lot of movies you can tell they are on some soundstage in front of a green scene. It just adds to the realism.

  10. #10
    Old God Arrowstormen's Avatar
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    This reminds me, anybody got an answer for the argument "They could just have used the eagles to throw the Ring down in the mountain".
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    This reminds me, anybody got an answer for the argument "They could just have used the eagles to throw the Ring down in the mountain".
    In-world answer: the eagles were only able to get into Mordor to rescue Sam and Frodo because Sauron was - at that point - both highly distracted and completely screwed. Any earlier, and they would have had to deal with the Terrible Gaze of the Dark Lord (it's also not implausible that the Eagles would have been susceptible to the corruption of the ring just as the other races were).

    Literary answer: If you try to shortcut a heroic journey, you undermine the entire point of said journey. Destroying the ring wasn't the point, choosing to destroy it was.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    This reminds me, anybody got an answer for the argument "They could just have used the eagles to throw the Ring down in the mountain".
    Five reasons.

    One, hellhawks. Those dragon like things that the ring wraiths ride would have harassed them every step of the way, making the journey far too risky.
    Two, the Witch King. He's a powerful sorcerer and could have easily killed the eagles with the black breath, or various other powers such as fear, or even summoning dark fire.
    Three, the ring itself. Eagles are pure beings that aren't meant to be able to take on corruption of that level. The ring would corrupt them, and even if it didn't good luck trying to get the eagles to so much as look at the ring. They fear its power, and wouldn't be caught dead within a mile of it.
    Four, Sauron. He's also a powerful sorcerer, and he still has dark magic under his command, even without the ring or a body.
    Five, Saruman. Once again, powerful sorcerer capable of owning the eagles without even being within 100 miles of them.

    By the time any of these reasons were neutralized, nobody important actually knew where Sam and Frodo were.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drekmen View Post
    Uwe Boll directed that, what did you expect?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoic_(film)

    I actually liked this one that he did. The acting wasn't all that great, but it was actually directed quite well. But yeah, for the most part I agree.

    As for LotR, it's just one of the most complete stories. The world was so meticulously crafted that it felt real, which is why it's such a success. That can't really be said for anything else so far, although A Song of Fire and Ice is looking like its T.V adaptions are going to rule. The first book's adaptation was amazing, so here's to hoping the rest do well too.
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  14. #14
    Stood in the Fire rogoth's Avatar
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    the reason LoTR is so successful and soo believeable, is because the primary characters are those we as a race can relate to, u have a class hierarchy system in this little village of little people, however, one clever thing that is used not only in teh books but in teh films aswell, u forget how small hobbits are until they stand next to "men" or elves, up to that point we as viewers see them as regular sized people, also with teh back story, it is known the elves possess some magic, but only the most powerful of the race are able to show this magic (galadriel and her mirro and then subsequest transformation in loth'lorien), the only people with great magic and who can use it at will are the istari and however the main magic is words not spells, invoking hope and courage in thier allies, ofc we see saruman and gandalf early on using magic inside orthanc, we see gandalf use vast powerful magic to take on the balrog of morgoth in moria, we see arwen and elrond using powerful healing spells to help frodo, and we see a few other examples in teh films, however its not every other scene, it is very few and far between, most of the healing is done with "medecine" like aragorn using athelas to help frodo after he gets stabbed, all battles involve sword/shield/bow/arrow, rather than just gandalf going "to hell with you" and blasting everything aound him (like u can in teh EA games), all of these factors thrown together are what makes TLoTR soo brilliant and believable, because soo much of teh story isn't actually fantasy, yes the world where it takes place is make believe, but the acts of its inhabitants are not.

  15. #15
    Bloodsail Admiral Memory's Avatar
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    Tolkien was a very talented writer and learned scholar. His work was original and had a dense background of so called high culture.

    Most fantasy writers, nowadays, just try to put their D&D games on book paper; moreover, they don't have the same wide knowledges, linguistic skills and artistic intelligence of J.R.R. Tolkien. Finally, while Tolkien was inspired by a huge body of European literatures that he shaped into something originally innovative, most fantasy writers cannot but keep it within his railway lines.

    It doesn't mean that there's no good fantasy writers beside Tolkien: simply, they are rare, just like good writers are supposed to be.

  16. #16
    Because you've hyped LoTR in your mind, and nothing can compare. In fact, if you wouldn't have watched LoTR, In Name of The Kings i.e would seem like a much better movie.

  17. #17
    Dreadlord Teroseth's Avatar
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    The books? Well they became really popular because of the hippy movement. Seriously, the whole pastoral, pipe smoking, easy going shire folk, they related to that. As for the films, they're basically sugar coated pieces of sugar and dipped in sugar water for the family. It's all very tasty and pretty to look at...but it's really just a paint by numbers sword and sorcery movie.

  18. #18
    I think that in art there are mainly two kinds of people, the artists that mainly create and the artists that mainly imitate.

    The creators have this almost natural connection to their craft. Creating their form of art is as seamless as breathing. It is as if a part of their self.

    Immitators are mostly trying to create. But be it lack of knowledge or experience, or just the non-existence of talent, they end up recreating other people's work.

    The differences are not very clear. This is art after all. But it is kind of the difference between an amateur guitarist agonizing to create a small solo section for his band's song or one that thinks is capable of doing it but ends up just practically copying something he has heard of before, and a true musician like Jimi Hendrix who just lights his guitar on fire, figuratevily and even literally at times. The first two are struggling to express themselves through music either because they are first-timers or can't just get it, while the latter just lets himself play.

    It's the same thing with writing and directing. There are people that can do it almost naturally. Others that can do it after some practice, and some lost causes. The natural talents if combined with some good training to learn the appropriate techniques can produce wonders. The others can hope to become somewhat good.

    However, no matter the talent, there is the practical side of things. The matter of how much do you know about what you want to do, how much you practice on it, and how much you work on your projects. This has mainly two outcomes. a) Perfecting your inspired work. b) Shaping mediocre material to something bearable.

    Tolkien and Jackson belong in the talented creators category. Tolkien was a master writer, the kind of person that has confidence that he "has" it. And similarly Jackson belongs to that small team of directors that shape filmmaking, paving the way of how things are done and not just following others. What is more, both worked extremely hard on their projects to get them to the level of perfection that they managed to. Tolkien wrote and rewrote pretty much everything, and didn't even let things be, but made corrections to his stories even after they were published. As at least one poster has already mentioned, the guy created an entire language just for the stories. And he didn't stop there. The Silmarillion, an entire book's worth of stories was created as a form of reference for the story of the world in which the Hobbitt and the lord Of The Rings took place. Other writers create some form of backstory for their fictional worlds but rarely ever anyone goes to such lengths. Jackson similarly exhausted himself making the movies. The attention to detail, the horror stories-inspiring insistence of numerous takes for each scene, the covering of almost everything from multiple angles each thought out carefully just to have the options to choose what to portay and how, and the sheer will to do all that and much more, for material worth of three gigantic in just raw playtime movies, shows that beyond doubt. That's how human beings ususally succeed in creating their own little miracles, talent, and a loooot of work.

    On the other hand the mainly immitators first of all don't feel comfortable with what they are doing. Unlike creators who do research to find potential ways to create, immitators research mainly because they wouldn't know what to do otherwise. What is more, what they have to offer is usually something that is forced to be art, and is not truely. Like a music solo that follows some established scales but has no inspiration to it. Correct technically but "soulless". Additionally most such attempts are done without much effort. Work for hire in writing, like Knaak's work on WarCraft has it's origins on the desire of someone to make a living, not make the world richer with something that he just feels he has to share because he thinks it is so beautiful, or the inability of someone to tell a story himself and hiring a writing "voice" to tell the story for him.

    So, unfortunately most of the time, simply the talent, maybe the technique, or just the effort aren't there. However, every now and then the stars align and a truely talented person, with some good technical skills under his belt, gets the chance to create based on his inspiration, and has the freedom to work the way he wants on his creation, and then a small miracle like the Hobbitt or the Lord Of The Rings happens, to keep as busy for some years until the next one.
    Last edited by Drithien; 2011-10-02 at 11:08 PM.

  19. #19
    Bloodsail Admiral Memory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teroseth View Post
    The books? Well they became really popular because of the hippy movement. Seriously, the whole pastoral, pipe smoking, easy going shire folk, they related to that.
    You won't believe it but fantasy genre does often cater to right wing movements, and so did Tolkien in Italy, where he has long been considered a far-right author.
    Anyway Tolkien stands above any political reduction, whether it's hippie like in the anglo-saxon countries or far-right oriented like in Italy.

  20. #20
    Amazing background details for the novels and for the movies, great actors.

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