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Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online 

General Discussion  » Christopher Tolkien speaks out after 40 years...

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218 posts found

Elite Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1805

12/29/12 3:29:20 PM#41
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Gishgeron

  I dunno, I read the books a couple times.  His writing was dull to say the least.  The story was good, but the pacing was terrible.  The movies did a near perfect job of capturing what was good about LoTR and leaving out what was bad.  The only thing they left out that I WANTED to see was good old Tom Bom, but I can get why he was cut.  He was a deity-force that could sing things into submission, which was a power feared so much that the orcs were commanded to stay as far from his grove as possible.  Hard to translate that into movie without turning it into a musical that borders on silly.

  We honestly put way too much stock in Tolkiens writing.  It was good for its time because it was among the first of its kind.  Epic high fantasy just didn't exist on that level.  These days we have infinitely better authors in terms of readability and pacing.  If anything, I say Peter jackson did that property a favor.  The books could have used his pacing desperatly.




To clarify, I read the books more than once to try and figure out who exactly started the whole "dwarves speak scottish" stuff we see as normal now.  My friends and I all thought it probably started with Tolkien since his books were probably the first to really star the race and be written more recently so that localization didn't affect it.  Turns out, his dwarves weren't written with an accent at all.  They basically spoke clean and cut english that was so neutral you couldn't really place it to anything.  Certainly no scottish "laddy this and drankin all the burrs that".  I still dont know who started that.

I dont' disagree, I do think they are a bit dry and they don't naturally lend themselves to a compelling cohesive narrative. My only beef with the movies is making changes that didn't need to be made. Adding the white orc in the hobbit wasn't necessary. In the movie, when Bilbo starts writing "There was a hole in the ground and there lived a hobbit" the scene should have immediately gone to gandalf standing before him as opposed to adding the frodo scene.

The Troll scene really didn't need to be changed the way he did it.

I disagree about the scene with Frodo.  I think it was meant to to tie the Hobbitt in with the last three movies in the minds of the audience.

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/17/06
Posts: 110

12/29/12 3:29:36 PM#42
Originally posted by shawn01
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is terrible. Its such a slog to get through, like walking up hill through kneee deep mud. The movies are actually good.

Thus speaks the death of literacy.



Elite Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1805

12/29/12 3:33:40 PM#43
Originally posted by rochrist
Originally posted by shawn01
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is terrible. Its such a slog to get through, like walking up hill through kneee deep mud. The movies are actually good.

Thus speaks the death of literacy.


I wouldn't say the LoTR books were terrible, they aren't, but they are a difficult read.  No one writes or talks like that anymore just like no one writes or talks like the characters in Shakespeare.

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/08/08
Posts: 672

Try not! Do or do not. There is no try.

12/29/12 3:36:09 PM#44

Read the article and I do understand Chris's desire to preserve the integrity of his father's work, but I believe sometimes people beat at the wind trying to hold back a storm. The popularity of the movies also drives up interest in the literary work. I myself have re-read the books since watching of the movies. After re-reading the books I do not see where Peter Jackson did a huge injustice to them. I marvel at the beauty and life the movies have added to my imagination of what the world Tolkien wrote about must have been. 

One thing from the article that mad me sad was the minimal amount JRR sold the rights back in the day. It would be nice to see the family and estate get more credit from the ever expanding love of JRR's world.

I do look forward to some day reading JRR's unfinished works.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 106

12/29/12 3:37:02 PM#45

Wow, some of you posters make me feel like a geriatric stick!

"There are better writers today?"  Have you actually read these books?  I mean, read them?  The wordcraft is exquisite.  Writers today, myself included, can't even edit properly, much less understand grammar and vocabulary.  I've spent hours marveling at  sentences in those books...

Sure, some think plastic is better than glass.  Some would rather get McD's than fresh cut.  Some would rather have a five-minute quickie than a life-long friendship.

Peter Jackson has great vision, but his movies contain too many: "Oh that's just silly!" scenes for me.  I almost had to walk out of "Two Towers" (Horses galloping down that pitch, into a pike formation?  Really?).  "Return of the King" was even worse.  Now "Hobbit" was too long and then had twenty minutes of epic sillyness.  The last third of the movie could've been cut to three scenes and been the better for it.

Yeah, I understand Christopher Tolkien's grief.  We live in a world that is all flash and no substance.  Professor Tolkien lived in time before American pragmatism ruled the world.  He tried to write about it.

Hluill, a barbarian rogue, and his Warrior-daughter, Leyek
Playing: GW2, TSW, LotRO, EQ2, and V:SoH
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Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3224

Veni, Vidi, Converti

12/29/12 3:47:43 PM#46
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Nobadeeftw

What's next, is one of Lucas' kids going going to cry about whatever Disney does to Star Wars.  ha ha  It's one thing to dictate the legacy of an IP that you created yourself; but, when it's passed into the hands of others, it's an automatic free for all.  Look what happened to Star Trek, it's the epitome of how to quickly turn your IP into a farcical circus.  I can't tell you what's worse, a holocaust denier or an apologist trekkie.


Point is, once the creator dies or passes on their IP, it's going to evolve into something different.

True, but I don't see him as "crying".

First of all, he's a professional in his own right. he is also responsible for compiling and editing his father's work and notes. I would think that makes him far more intimate with his father's oeuvre than many people.

Secondly, he is a member of the family and is the son of J.R.R. Tolkien. That probably means he was privy to a lot of comments, stories, complaints, wishes, etc that Tolkien had said over the course of his life. So again, he is closer to the materal and author than many people.

Third, like many people, he has an opinion and he has stated it. I can't say I disagree with him. I love Peter Jackson's movies but he sometimes makes decisions that just aren't needed or that dont' do justice to what he is working on.

Christopher Tolkien has a perspective as you identify above that is worth taking into account even if you feel it is wrong-headed/irrelevant/erroneous etc. "He knows his onions" as Master Samwise might have said.

@ShakyMo: Those often come up: (1) He's writing for a particular audience back then (2) He writes in an epic style as per the myths traditions. For eg I enjoyed "Bridget Jone's Diary", but all the way through I felt like shaking her as per Airplaine! "Sto---op panicking!!!" 


Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/07
Posts: 814

12/29/12 4:29:34 PM#47
I felt much the same way as Christopher when I saw the LOTR movies. I still do. I seriously doubt I'll watch the Hobbit.

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3224

Veni, Vidi, Converti

12/29/12 5:38:27 PM#48
Originally posted by BarakIII
I felt much the same way as Christopher when I saw the LOTR movies. I still do. I seriously doubt I'll watch the Hobbit.

What I've gathered from The Hobbit so far is: The tone alternates between The Hobbit & LOTRs and can't seem to settle on the appropriate one and also it's ovelry long. Secondly the 48 frames per second fps makes the sets look really fake does not help. It's probably not a bad movie, but why oh why did they choose WoW dwarfs... 


Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/12
Posts: 185

12/29/12 5:50:32 PM#49
Originally posted by VassagoMael
carry on enjoying the two different formats while respecting the limitations of each.

Well put.


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Joined: 1/07/11
Posts: 106

Sheldon Cooper: Leonard, be serious. We're playing a game here. (Big Bang Theory)

12/29/12 6:00:57 PM#50

I am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and I think that his universe is unique in the history of literature.

I love all Tolkien´s books and, for me, they are a masterpiece. Actually I think J.R.R. Tolkien should have won the Literature Nobel Prize in 1961.

Peter Jackson was the first director capable of putting in film Tolkien´s universe properly. And because of his movies millions of people bought the books and read them.

Tolkien´s work was resurrected for the new generations because of Peter Jackson movies.

We live in a multimedia age, most of people prefer images to books but still the movies made them go into books again.

Christopher Tolkien comments and complains are very unfair. He has been living since ever from the royalties of his father´s work. And it was him and his family that sold the movie rights. Peter Jackson did not stole anything from anybody.

What Christopher Tolkien keeps crying about are the royalties he missed because when he sold the rights for the LoTR movies his lawyers did not realized all the merchandising areas available and did not covered them in the contract. When they realized that a lot of money was being made in areas where they could not claim royalties he started his smearing campaign to pressure Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema. As far as I know he already closed a secret deal with New Line Cinema about those royalties but maybe they want some more now. Its a never ending story and nothing else than chasing the money.

In my opinion, Peter Jackson made much more for J.R.R. Tolkien´s work than all his family put together. The quality of Peter Jackson movies demonstrates that he is a worthy Tolkien´s universe heir while Christopher Tolkien did nothing else than being born in the family.

Leonard: Penny, you are on fire.
Penny: Yes, so is Sheldon.
Sheldon: Okay, that's it. I don't know how, but she is cheating. No-one can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game.
[walks away]
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Sheldon: What?
Penny: This plasma grenade.
Penny: [laughs] Look! It's raining you.
Sheldon: You laugh now. You just wait until you need tech support. (Big Bang Theory)


Elite Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2950

12/29/12 6:15:48 PM#51

It wasn't a very revealing article.  He obviously lives in a bubble and doesn't see the point in any products based on his fathers writing.  He only wants the writing to be the focus and doesn't want true fans of his fathers work to play around in that world.


I personally don't care for the silmarillion, the history of middle earth and everything else christopher has published.  And so I don't really feel in debt to him at all.


As far as I'm aware, Christopher has refused to watch any adaptations of the Hobbit or LOTR.  The Tolkien Estate could have been influential if they were more open minded and offered their support to works that meet their standards.  A Tolkien Estate seal of approval so to speak.  He's an old man that doesn't understand why people want to play games or watch movies in that universe and if he had the power he wouldn't have allowed any of it.  Something his father wasn't nearly so adamant against unless it completely lost the point of teh books.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

12/29/12 8:02:35 PM#52
I think he's a great world builder and a decent writer, but not a great writer. As opposed to say h.p lovecraft who is a great world builder, but a terrible writer.

There are better fantasy writers though, from before like fritz lieber & mervyn peak. I disagree that generally better fantasy writers came after Tolkien, most are hacks like robin hobb or terry brooks. Although there are good post Tolkien fantasists like gaiman, moorcock and Martin.

Most fantasy is rubbish to be honest, there's only like about 10 authors this century worth reading.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/03/12
Posts: 497

12/29/12 8:15:48 PM#53

I'm glad I read the books. Honestly The Hobbit was one of those shields against the world that I needed when I was 11.

I had fun with the films, and thought they were well done. There's some things from the books I'd like to have seen and a few things extra I'd rather not have seen. Still, can't say they're not my favorite films from the 2000s.

Most of the video games have been good. I enjoy the MMO despite questioning some of the liberties taken with the lore. But then I think back on it.. Why not giant bugs? Since there are dragons, orcs, and such also in the world.

Really we have to remember that FICTION isn't supported by FACT, it's supported by EMOTION. Seeing the Eagles called on for support by Gandalf, seeing the fearsome hordes of The Enemy tearing at great ancient walls, sensing the lust of great power within the form of a Ring. 

I've emotionally seen and felt all of it in each of the formats that Tolkien's work have spread to.

a yo ho ho


Novice Member

Joined: 1/10/11
Posts: 2106

12/29/12 8:22:26 PM#54

Only thing I care about is if the movies are good, this includes the movies having to be recognized with their source material close enough.


I havent seen The Hobbit yet, but I think the LotR movies were really good, high quality fantasy that we have far too little in movies, and series, and they also worked very fine as LotR. The story was there, the characters were there, all in all a good job from Jackson. I'm not interested if every detail and scene are pinpoint accurate from the book, or even included, when looking at the big picture.


Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

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12/29/12 8:55:29 PM#55

Hopefully, it'll be another 40 years before he speaks again.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2045

12/29/12 9:04:16 PM#56
Originally posted by Banquetto

Well J.R.R. Tolkien's great-grandson Royd Tolkien loved the movies.

"I was beyond excited just to go on set and see behind the scenes. To watch how such a colossal film is so intricately crafted and pieced together was inspirational and planted a seed in me that has since grown into a love of film production and a desire to reach the heights scaled by Peter Jackson. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had."

Is his opinion less valid than Christopher Tolkien's?

Everyone knows children are complete authorities on their fathers' lives, but grandchildren don't know crap.  


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 2362

12/29/12 9:20:26 PM#57
If people would pay attention to what information is posted before or after a movie starts, they will read that the movie is BASED on the book, not an UNABRIDGED version.  Some liberties have to be taken with events and characters to make the story flow on screen and to keep the movie running time less than 3 hours.  Movie goers patience and studio dollars are major factors for keeping the movies under 3 hours, in theaters at least.  The best they can do with these types of book to movie situations is hit the major plot points while keeping as close to the source material as possible.  I don't know why this isn't common sense amongst people who make these types of complaints.  As far as Tolkien Jr being dissapointed or the Tolkien Estate, who cares?  J.R.R. was the author of those stories, not his estate.  They are just family members and lawyers making a massive passive income off of a past great writer's work.  They had no idea about all of the information and imagination in J.R.R.'s head that he still had for Middle Earth.

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Joined: 9/03/07
Posts: 150

12/29/12 9:22:15 PM#58

I don't know why everyone is hating on this Tolkien guy. From a story telling persepctive Peter Jackson ruined a lot of characters and scenes in the final two films. The way he overdid Galadriel and Arwen cramming in worthless Rivendell flashbacks.

Sending Elves to Helms Deep.

Making Frodo show the One Ring to a ringwraith in Osgiliath, but then Sauron still thinks Pippin somehow has the Ring in Rohan.

Frodo telling Sam to go home as if that's even a realistic option, and Sam listening until he finds the bread at the bottom of the stairs lol.

Bringing the Oathbreakers to Minas Tirith. Waiting for the RotK to reforge the shards of Narsil.

Making Lord Denethor unwilling to light the beacons. Having Theodon unwilling to go to Gondor's aid.

Over conflicted the character of Faramir (He was supposed to be a foil to Boromir and shw that not all men fall into temptation), then over stressed the Denethor's disapproval of him, which led to a scene where about 200 horsemen charge toward Osgiliath in an unexplained suicide mission.

Missed one of the major points of the book by leaving out the scouring of the Shire. (Although this one I didn't mind as much.)

Failed to develop Merry and Pippen's character arcs, by having Merry stab the Ringwraith and then stay behind, and then NOT have Pippen stab the troll when he goes to battle.

Having the Ents not want to fight Saruman just ti giver Merry and Pippen something to do.

These are just off the top of my head...There're definitely more, but you see Jackson could have chosen to do things by the book, but he chose to do things differently for no other reason that I can surmise other than to put his own stamp on the story.



"I will not play it nor any other MMO until they make it possible to obtain the best gear without forcing people to group up to do so." SwampRob


Elite Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2950

12/29/12 9:34:27 PM#59
Originally posted by Cameron27

I don't know why everyone is hating on this Tolkien guy. From a story telling persepctive Peter Jackson ruined a lot of characters and scenes in the final two films.

It's because Christopher Tolkien has no interest in seeing ANY film adaptation of the Hobbit or LOTR.  In his mind nobody could do the books justice and they shouldn't try.  That's a bit closed minded and selfish.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/03/07
Posts: 150

12/29/12 9:45:34 PM#60
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Originally posted by Cameron27

I don't know why everyone is hating on this Tolkien guy. From a story telling persepctive Peter Jackson ruined a lot of characters and scenes in the final two films.

It's because Christopher Tolkien has no interest in seeing ANY film adaptation of the Hobbit or LOTR.  In his mind nobody could do the books justice and they shouldn't try.  That's a bit close minded and selfish.


Well they say hindsight is 20/20

"I will not play it nor any other MMO until they make it possible to obtain the best gear without forcing people to group up to do so." SwampRob

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