Tag: The Hobbit

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

‘The actual beginning, though it is not really the beginning, but the actual flashpoint, was – I remember very clearly – I can even, I can still see the corner in my house in 20 Northmoor Road where it happened: I’d got an enormous pile of exam papers there, and marking school examinations in the […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I’ve a little trepidation in discussing this book. The last time I brought up Tolkien, it sparked a huge fight. Granted, I started the fight by throwing the first rhetorical punch, but it was still a fight. So yesterday I posted about the Bible, and yet now I’m more worried about sparking up controversy and […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Epic Fail: How Peter Jackson Misunderstood Tolkien

 

Boromir2

The new Hobbit trilogy is a one pound bag with three pounds of manure. Some failures are predictable: we know that Michael Bay’s Middle Earth would have more explosions than elves and that Tim Burton would spend most of our time in Mirkwood and Moria. Peter Jackson made a masterpiece with his Fellowship of the Ring, perhaps because a limited budget forced him to keep the focus on the fairy tale and to edit out some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s weaker moments (I am rewatching it as I type to remind myself what a good movie looks like). Jackson wisely cut Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel, and he also built up Arwen’s role so her later marriage to Aragorn would make sense. In contrast, Jackson seems to have gotten an unlimited budget for his Hobbit trilogy, which falls short because Tolkien’s fairy tale was never meant to be an epic.

The focus of an epic is a dazzling hero who’s greater than ordinary men: either blessed by the gods — like the near invulnerable Achilles or the wily Odysseus — or he has godlike powers, like Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, or Spiderman. These heroes overcome monsters in part through their powers, but mostly because they have the moral character to use their powers wisely; if not, they come to a tragic end because they misuse their blessings like Heracles and Oedipus. But whether heroic or tragic, the epic’s hero is on a grand scale.