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Artemis

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Artemis last won the day on July 15

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    Bolt-hole
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    Eclectic.
  • Favorite series 1 episode
    The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode
    The Reichenbach Fall
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode
    The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode
    The Lying Detective

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  1. Thanks FL! I certainly hope to get well soon. My initial covid symptoms were a sore throat, high fever, pounding headache, body aches, heavy sinus congestion, heavy fatigue, and a mild cough. Most of those went away after a week or two, so for awhile I was tricked into thinking I was getting better, but my cough got steadily worse and worse. Glad your case was mild!
  2. Speaking of bad cases of covid, I've got one. It's my first time with it and it's been miserable. The covid developed into pneumonia (my first time with that also) and I've been sick now for over a month. Every muscle in my body is sore from coughing so hard. I pulled some muscles and displaced some bones in my back, shoulder and ribs. I finally got to the chiropractor last week but I was in serious pain for a couple of weeks before that. I couldn't even keep water down because I would just cough it back up a few minutes later. Not to be dramatic but about two or three weeks in, I started thinking about making plans for my dog in case I didn't get better. I felt like death. I was given antibiotics and I'm finally starting to improve, I think, maybe... very slowly, it seems. My doctor said I should be showing improvement by day two of the five-day treatment course, but I didn't notice a difference until day six. It's now day thirteen and I've still got a cough and a wheeze, and fatigue from the cough; but I'm not having coughing fits that last for hours like I was before, so that's improvement, right? I'm unfamiliar with pneumonia and how it's supposed to feel so I'm not sure at what point I should be thinking about hospitalization if it hasn't totally cleared up. Some people say I should have been almost 100% better by the time I finished my antibiotics, and others say the cough can continue for weeks or months afterwards. My doctor was vague about timing, and I'm not sure if I should or how I could go in for another appointment, seeing as my employers don't offer health insurance benefits to part-timers and I don't have enough money left to spend due to being home sick and out of work for so long. I would really like to be done with this illness asap. My family has also been dealing with bad cases of covid. My mom got hers right before I did and developed bronchitis as a result, and my brother has his right now and says he's the sickest he's ever been, he can't even get out of bed. My nieces and nephews all got it as well. Unfortunately I passed mine on to my dad before I knew I had it, but fortunately he had a mild case that was pretty much all better in less than a week. For the record, we are all vaccinated (except for the kids, who are all under age 6).
  3. Vivaldi's "Spring 1", recomposed by Max Richter.
  4. Frodo and Sam were in my dreams last night, lol. Been thinking about this too much lately, apparently.
  5. It's Gandalf the Grey smoking a pipe and in the smoke it says " Disturber of the Peace".
  6. Lookit the nifty new pin I'm sporting on my gray scarf! I'm so proud of it, lol.
  7. I don't mind that Legolas was included either, for the reasons you already mentioned. What I object to is the *extent* to which he was included. He should have been given a brief cameo or two at most, not an entire storyline. Maybe a shot of him at his home in Mirkwood, and a cool combat scene in the Battle of Five Armies... but no more than that. Maybe for the Mirkwood cameo, they could have left in (or done a variation of) the scene where he asks Gloin about his picture of Gimli. It's not my favorite scene, but it does serve the dual purpose of reminding the audience that Gloin is Gimli's father and Legolas is from Mirkwood. I *do* mind that Tauriel was included, lol. She's not a character Tolkien created, she doesn't belong in the story. I don't think there was a single character with a speaking line in the LotR films who wasn't in the books in some capacity. (Though I could be mistaken; it has been many many years since I've seen the films.) Tauriel is completely made up for the film and an entirely unnecessary character. If she had only had one small scene, maybe as a guard to the imprisoned Dwarves or something, I could have lived with it. But she should never have been given a subplot. I must admit I never noticed. I was too busy rolling my eyes and being extremely irritated by her existence. That's exactly what drives me so crazy about the changes made to characters, both here and in the LotR films. Bilbo's rescue of the Dwarves from the spiders showcased his courage and cleverness. When you take that action away from him, you take away the character traits demonstrated by him through that action. And it's especially frustrating when that action and those traits are then redistributed to a different character, just to make that character look better or cooler or whatever. Now you've diminished the character who originally took that action, and then you have to listen to everyone else shouting, "Wow, Legolas! The true hero! So brave and smart! Good thing he was there to save that helpless Hobbit!" The Mirkwood chapter is probably my favorite from the 'Hobbit' book, so I was annoyed about the Elves' involvement in the spider scene; but it didn't bother me as much as it could have, because at least they showed Bilbo confusing the spiders and cutting the Dwarves free of their webs before the Elves interfered. This will probably sound silly, but the change that actually bothered me more was the scene where Bilbo noticed Smaug's missing scale. In the film, it was just that: He *happened* to notice. (And he wasn't even the first to notice, because he'd heard the rumor in Laketown that Smaug was missing a scale after his last "visit" to Laketown, when Bard's ancestor knocked it off with a black arrow.) In the book, it was quick thinking and an intelligent play. He used flattery and feigned ignorance to trick Smaug into showing off his underbelly, so he could look for weak spots. When he found one, he told the Dwarves, and word got back to Bard, who was able to use the information to eventually take Smaug down. So not only was Bilbo proven to be clever (again), we also have him to thank for Smaug's destruction. But in the film, it was just a passing observation, and Bard just happened to notice the same thing later when Smaug was near, without Bilbo’s help. Bilbo had no effect on Smaug's outcome at all. I don't know, it just bugged me. Couldn't agree with you more! 100%.
  8. Ah yes, I remember that now. That scene was a nice addition. I still have to read your fanfic! I'm pretty sure you gave me a link a long while ago, and I totally forgot all about it. I'm sorry! I'm gonna make myself a note so I don't forget again. "Sigh" indeed. My number one gripe with the 'Hobbit' films (and I have very, very, very many) is the addition of characters that weren't in the book, particularly Tauriel and her shoehorned love triangle. No thank you. I'm not sure whether they added so much extra stuff because they thought it would be more exciting, or because PJ was forced to fill the span of three 3-hour films. They thought they could make another 'Lord of the Rings' with a book that is only a quarter of the size, and they were wrong. I've read rumors that PJ nearly had a mental breakdown struggling to figure out how to stretch the 'Hobbit' films so long. I don't think one movie would have done it though, even a 3-hour movie. It would have been too rushed. But I think two 2-hour movies might have been about right.
  9. And on that subject! That's my second most disliked scene/character change in the movie (second to the scene where Frodo sends Sam away). Faramir never takes the Ring to Gondor. He is helpful to Frodo and Sam. He also doesn't and never would have had Gollum beaten in order to learn about the Ring. It's actually Sam who lets it slip that Frodo is carrying the Ring. Luckily, he let it slip to the best person possible. Faramir has no interest in the Ring, because he has no interest in attaining power. I'm disappointed that they did not maintain this important detail as it was in the books, because Tolkien was trying to teach us something through Faramir's character. Frodo and Faramir are alike in a lot of ways. Both have wisdom, compassion, gentleness, and strength of mind. Both are intellectual and studious, preferring what you might call "higher pursuits" to the pursuit of glory, power, or gain. In contrast to Boromir, Faramir was a reluctant soldier. Denethor disapprovingly calls him a "wizard's pupil", criticizing him for his eagerness to learn and take instruction from Gandalf over the years. Boromir was known for his bravery, but Faramir was known for his nobility. Several times Tolkien draws a connection between warriors and the temptation of power. Boromir is first to fall to the Ring in large part because he is a warrior. That doesn't make him a bad person; warriors like Boromir seek greater power because they yearn to protect what they love. But that's what so deceptive and enticing about it. Frodo and Faramir are the least inclined towards fighting, and thus the least inclined to seek power to aid them. You could argue that even the other Hobbits have stronger fighting instincts. Sam is always ready to throw hands, and Merry and Pippin both go to war and end up offering their service to Rohan and Gondor, respectively. There's a lesson here, but it was ignored and changed in the films. There are moral messages littered throughout Tolkien's work, and they're relayed through the actions of the characters. When you change the character, you change the message. Maybe they thought they were making Faramir more interesting or complex or something, but I wish they wouldn't have. Everything Tolkien wrote had a purpose, just the way it was written. Anyway, if I had to pick another character besides Frodo to bear the Ring to Mount Doom, I'd probably pick Faramir first. Not that it really matters, because as Tolkien said in one of his letters, everyone would have failed at the end. Frodo got it closer than anyone else would have been able to, but no one would have been able to throw it in the fire willingly. As a second choice, though, I'd place my bet on Faramir.
  10. Oh yeah, I agree! I only meant that there could be an explanation for Sam looking older than Frodo, not for how very young Frodo looks in the movies, lol. Elijah Wood could never pass for 33. Maybe 23. I don't think Sean Astin looks as old to me as he does to you though. To me he could pass for as young as 25 but looks about 28, which I think was his actual age when filming began. Elijah Wood was 18. Hmmm... So if Sam looks 28 (to me), and Frodo could pass for 23 (to me), that is ironically a 5-year age difference, lol. Maybe that's why it doesn't bother me much. I was just about to bring that up! I'm pretty sure it says in there somewhere that his fascination with Elves is attributed to his love of Bilbo's stories as a youth. Such was true of many young Hobbits who grew up hearing Bilbo's stories, but most of them "grew out of it". Sam held on to that starry-eyed dream even into adulthood, which I think says a lot about him. Even in the movie it's said that Sam wanted to see the Elves "more than anything". And then he wants to go immediately back home, lol. Not that I blame him! Yes, working-class. Although one's respectability in the Shire is not necessarily dependent on one's social class. Frodo and Bilbo (after he returned from his adventure to the Lonely Mountain) were not so highly esteemed, in spite of their class (unless they were throwing parties or giving out gifts, lol). Sam, on the other hand, went on to become the mayor of Hobbiton, re-elected for 7 consecutive terms until his retirement. One certainly cannot say his social status hindered him from being admired and well-liked! It could be! It's hard to say really, I don't know that Tolkien ever got all that specific about its significance. When I said that their coming of age may be more symbolic than literal, I didn't mean to imply that it is somehow less significant as such. What I was ultimately trying to suggest was that the Hobbits' "tweens" may actually be another stage of adulthood, rather than a stage of prolonged adolescence as it is popularly interpreted; much like the ancient Jews became adults well before the age of 30, but were not considered fully mature until then. It's not even all that hard to put into modern human terms, really. We basically have the "tweens" stage ourselves; Tolkien just gave it a name. Our 20's are considered our unstable, "adventurous" stage of life, before we settle down. It seems very similar an idea to the Hobbits' "tweens", and covers *at least* ages 18-25, though I would say it's applied to everyone under 30. It's even pretty common to use the word "kids" to describe this group, even though they are in fact adults. "College kids" is a phrase I hear frequently, though I've heard the word "kid" applied to all 20-somethings, not just those in their early 20's. At 30, however, nobody calls you a "kid". People take the term "coming of age" so literally, they seem to think Tolkien meant that Hobbits are still children prior to age 33; when I think what he really meant was that they haven't settled down yet. Basically, "coming of age" means "reaching maturity", not "reaching adulthood". There's a difference. Anyway, applying this logic to our Hobbits: Sam is far enough out of his tweens to not be grouped in with Merry and Pippin as "kids", so in human terms I'd say he's roughly in his early 30's somewhere. Merry is "barely out of his tweens", so in human terms I'd place him around 27 or 28 years old. Old enough to be considered a more mature 20-something nearing 30, but young enough to still be called a kid sometimes. Half those times probably just because he spends so much time getting into mischief with a 22(ish)-year-old, lol. What is the acorn scene? I forget.
  11. Well yes, but that's only taking into account the Hobbits' perspective. I was thinking of it more from the author's perspective. Merry and Pippin's youthfulness is mentioned by many other characters throughout the books (who would know little to nothing of the Hobbits' class structure), and very often by Gandalf. I don't think Sam's is ever mentioned. He's never grouped in with them when the subject arises, and in fact I think even he himself makes a comment about the trouble caused by their immaturity at some point. That tells me that Tolkien wanted us to regard Merry and Pippin as youths (Pippin most of all), but not so much Sam. It's also worth noting that while yes, Merry and Pippin's coming of age might arouse more interest due to their social status, in context their youth is more often referred to in a disparaging manner, as if problematic. Weeeeell, it's debatable, because their aging timeline doesn't match up with our human timeline. We have stages of life fairly neatly divided into sections of about 20 years; but apparently Hobbits have an adolescence of 33 years, and then only 17 more years until middle age. It’s like adjusting for inflation, lol. You have to do some wonky calculations to figure out how Hobbit years match up with human years, which many people have attempted to do. And I think there is a general consensus. What I've seen most often is that, in human years, Frodo is about 40; Sam is in his early 30's; Merry is in his mid-to-late 20's; and Pippin is in his early 20's or late teens. And to me that makes sense, because that's about how old they each act in the books. But again, it's debatable. Edit: I forgot to mention, if the above age translation is accurate (and I don’t know how they arrived at that, I’m no mathematician), it could explain why Merry and Sam are treated as being at different stages of maturity despite their age difference of only 2 Hobbit years. If Sam is, say, between 30-33, and Merry is between 25-28, it would makes sense that Merry would be viewed as more of a young adult than Sam. Even humans treat people in their 30’s differently than those in their 20’s. Sometimes even when the difference is only a 30-year-old and a 28-year-old. There’s something about crossing that 30 threshhold that just changes how people think of you. So anyway, there could be something like at at play here. In any case, while I applaud those who have tried, I don’t think the age thing is necessarily worth figuring out. It doesn’t seem to follow very strict rules, and I don’t think it has to. That’s more of a silly human construct. Personally, I think that the coming of age at 33 is taken a bit too literally. Tolkien was a Christian, and 33 is an important number in Christianity. In Jesus' day, in traditional Judaism (and maybe even still, I'm not sure), age 30 was a kind of coming of age. Obviously people were long grown before the age of 30, but 30 was considered the age at which one finally achieved their full strength, full maturity, and truly became their own person, able to care for themselves. Jesus began his ministry at age 30, which ended when he died at age 33. 33 then in Christianity became a number symbolic of fully coming into one's own. I think Tolkien took that idea and applied it to his Hobbits, intending it to be taken in the same vein more as a symbolic coming of age. Less "you are a legal adult now", and more "you are fully mature now". That's an interesting thought. Maybe! I shall have to consider that some more. For some reason, to me, Frodo and Sam seem about the same age in the movies. I mean, Frodo's actor *is* very young-looking (because he *was* very young, lol), and if I think about it hard then yeah, he definitely looks quite a bit younger than Sam's actor. But when I'm watching the movie, somehow I don't notice the difference and I totally buy that they're the same age. Also consider that this could technically be explained away. Frodo came into possession of the Ring on his 33rd birthday (there's that 33 again), and it slowed his aging as it had done for Bilbo. Over the following 17 years the Hobbits began noticing and gossiping amongst themselves about how "queer" it was that he appeared to have not aged at all since then, as if time had stopped for him, just like Bilbo. So theoretically, at the time they leave the Shire, Frodo could look 5 years younger than 38-year-old Sam, give or take. Oddly, Sam could very well be the oldest-looking Hobbit of the bunch, lol.
  12. Based on what I remember hearing/reading in interviews and such, I'm pretty sure PJ was just dead set on casting Elijah Wood. If it were me, I wouldn't even bother trying to make it consistent with the movies. Just follow the original source! Ditto, lol. Ugh, that scene. It's not in the books, and it doesn't even make sense. I half wonder if they added it in because they wrote themselves into a bit of a corner. They changed the story by having Faramir bring Frodo and Sam to Gondor, and once they were in Gondor they had to think of a reason for Faramir to change his mind and let them go. The Nazgul scene prompted Sam's speech, which prompted Faramir to change his mind. I'm not really sure how they could have written it differently and led to the same conclusion. In any case, that scene bugs me. And I was already annoyed that they were in Gondor in the first place, lol.
  13. Not Sam, he’s well into adulthood. If I recall correctly, Sam is 38 when Frodo is 50, the year they leave the Shire. Merry and Pippin (or at least Pippin, less sure about Merry) are “kids”, per se, having not yet come of age in their culture, which happens at age 33. Edit: Just looked it up. Merry was 36, so also an adult, though perhaps considered a young one. Pippin was 28, so still in his “tweens”. I could be wrong, but as far as I remember, Sam’s age is never really emphasized; only Merry and Pippin are described as young and have their youth pointed out continuously throughout (Pippin especially). Which leads me to believe that Sam is no longer a youth by Hobbit standards. To clarify, the “experience” I was speaking of was not the experience that comes with age, but rather his life experience. Sam is from Hobbiton and practically the embodiment of a respectable Hobbit. He doesn’t share Frodo’s experience of being regarded as a misfit among his own people (albeit a well-to-do misfit, thanks to Bilbo’s wealth and the name of Baggins). And being a typical Hobbit, with the experience of a typical Hobbit, he has the attitudes of a typical Hobbit, which include a distaste and strong suspicion towards outsiders or anything different. I forget where I was going with that… I think I was just trying to explain how their different experiences within the Shire community have influenced the people they’ve become, the way they think and act throughout the book. I will come back and comment more later when I can. Thank you for reading my giant blocks of text, lol.
  14. Both, but more the latter than the former. There are changes to his personality and his role. My major quibble is probably that, in the book, he is more mature and competent than shown in the films. He is learned, he has wisdom and aids the group more than once with it. (In fact, his name means 'wise', and there's no chance that Tolkien didn't choose that on purpose.) In the book he is more of a leader, especially during the first half of 'Fellowship' when it's just the four Hobbits making their way (a much longer part of the story than it was in the film), and then again later when it's just him and Sam. The other Hobbits, particularly Sam and Pippin, tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves and fly off at the mouth. Frodo is more reserved, considerate and careful. This comes in quite handy on a stealth mission, but in the film it's never really useful, it just comes across as introspective or brooding. He's diplomatic, an adept negotiator, courageous and resolute in a way that's *occasionally* shown on screen but not overtly acknowledged, because Sam's more flashy bravery overshadows it (which I'm not necessarily complaining about; loyalty and bravery are Sam's best qualities and he deserves to be acknowledged for them too). He speaks up for the group, stands up to Boromir, Faramir, Saruman, and other threats; but does so using speech and intelligence rather than taking to the sword (though he will reach for the sword as a last resort). But none of that really comes across in the films, where he's portrayed more as a sweet and sheltered innocent with very little self-assurance. In the book, he speaks more often with greater firmness and conviction. Also, he’s a tad sassy from time to time, lol. He's stronger than shown on screen as well. In the films, when he gets stabbed by the troll in Moria, he's completely unharmed because he's wearing the Mithril chainmail given to him by Bilbo. In the book, the Mithril only stops it from being a fatal blow. He is pretty seriously wounded, but he presses on with his injury halfway to Lorien without complaint. Throughout the books he demonstrates fortitude of his own kind as well as incredible willpower, which is again overshadowed by Sam's in the films; but Sam is not carrying the Ring. It seems like people either don't understand or forget just how difficult, nigh impossible, of a task that is. It's not that the films *never* illustrate Frodo's willpower; but they don't do it much, and the potency of it as part of his own strength of character is lost because he's shown being saved and rescued so often. And now that I think of it, maybe that's really what I don't like most about the changes to his character in the films. To a large extent he's been relegated to the role of damsel in distress. He spends a lot of time looking scared and helpless and falling over. I totally agree with you that he does seem too ethereal, although that's not entirely a digression from the book. He is different from other Hobbits. Under Bilbo's tutelage he learned to speak fluent Elvish (which by itself confers on the speaker a more ethereal aura), and additionally was influenced by Bilbo's experience and knowledge of the outside world. So by the time he was grown, he had developed a comprehensive understanding of matters that most other Hobbits don't care to know. This imbued him with a somewhat more erudite and spiritual air, along with an atypical (for a Hobbit) interest in peoples outside the Shire, with whom he holds intelligent conversations. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the Elves even gave him the title of 'Elf-friend'. So in a sense, he *is* rather more 'Elvish' than your average Hobbit. The problem is that in the movie it's exaggerated, because they watered down his depth of character until his ethereal quality was kind of all that was left. And then they had to try to balance it out by having Frodo make some misguided decisions, mostly regarding Sam. But again, in the book those things never happened because Frodo trusted Sam and was every bit as loyal to Sam as Sam was to Frodo. It just showed itself differently because Frodo was the one carrying the Ring. Not with specific details; it's been quite some time since I've read the book, so my memory's fuzzy. I just remember noticing it. Smeagol's of course the biggest example, and if that were the only one I think it would be enough. Sam doesn't encounter all that many people on his journey besides Smeagol who might require his compassion. But I vaguely recall incidents with Farmer Maggot, and Strider; scenes not included in the film. I think all of it stems from suspicion and distrust, which is understandable, especially given the weight of their mission. And the suspicion itself stems partially from his unflinching loyalty to Frodo, which I'm not reproaching. That's an admirable trait. But the downside is that his distrust often expresses itself as harsh and unfair words, and at times an intolerant or unforgiving nature. Depending on what type of person you are I suppose you could view that as a positive or negative trait, but for me it's a negative and not something I'd want to emulate. Mercy was a theme in LotR and a quality important to Tolkien, and it's important to me. I'm not saying that his suspicion was wrong. In a way it was a good thing, because it made him the fierce protector that Frodo needed. And particularly in the case of Gollum, he was right to distrust him; but he was not right to be unkind to him, and that's where the difference lies for me. In the book Frodo didn't trust or like Smeagol any more than Sam did; in fact he was at times so repulsed by him, and wanted rid of him so much, that he was tempted to let Faramir shoot him at the Forbidden Pool. But he was never mean to him. I'm also not saying that Sam is devoid of compassion. It should be noted that in the end, even he took pity on Gollum. He could have killed him during their scuffle on Mount Doom, and he didn't. (Honestly that was one of my favorite Sam scenes in the book; also changed/not included in the movie.) But by then it was too late for Gollum to be saved. The interesting thing about the personality differences between the Hobbits is that many of those traits have their source in Hobbit culture itself. In Hobbiton, there exists a bias against the Hobbits that live outside of Hobbiton. Hobbiton is very self-contained, and the Hobbits that live there regard themselves with a kind of superiority. This bias is displayed by Sam quite a few times in the book and hinted at once in the 'Fellowship' film, with the line "Never trust a Brandybuck and a Took!" (The Tooks being known for their inclination towards adventure, considered a very 'un-Hobbitish' behavior, and the Brandybucks viewed as strange both for living by the river Brandywine outside of Hobbiton and for their greater affinity for water, another 'un-Hobbitish' behavior. It should also be noted that the bias goes both ways to a degree, because the Hobbits across the Brandywine don't like the superior attitude of the Hobbits in Hobbiton and think them strange for being so afraid of water.) Frodo is half Brandybuck, orphaned at a young age after his parents drowned in a boat (a death which many Hobbits of Hobbiton consider his parents' own fault, since they had no business doing something so 'un-Hobbitish'). And spending most of his life in Hobbiton, where he is automatically viewed as 'strange' and 'different' by parentage alone (plus living with Bilbo, who is already considered a kook by this point), he understands how it feels to be treated like an outsider and regarded with suspicion. An experience which makes him more forgiving and accepting of outsiders and outcasts, and more open to the outside world. Sam has no such experience; and thus is more narrow-minded, more rigid, more suspicious and less accepting. Once you understand the internal dynamics of the Shire and how each of the Hobbits' pedigrees and upbringings within the Shire influence them, you can see how it comes out in their personalities and behaviors in all sorts of little ways throughout the book. I love that stuff. The films do it too, but you wouldn't really catch it unless you were familiar with the book. For example, going back to the water thing: In the 'Fellowship' movie, we see that Sam does not swim; which is because he's from Hobbiton, where they distrust water. At the same time, we see Frodo operate a boat; which is because he was born to a Brandybuck, who teach their offspring to swim and boat. At the beginning of the film, Merry is the one who comes up with the idea of escaping via Bucklebury Ferry; because he is a Brandybuck, and would know all the waterways. Just cool little details. Anyway, I would like to end this by making clear that I am not anti-Sam, by any means, lol. I love Sam, and he deserves every bit of fan love he gets. I just feel that Frodo is a highly misunderstood character, mostly because of how he was presented in the film, and partly because of how Sam was presented as well.
  15. ^ Ditto to that! Sadly they only seem to exist in fiction, which is perhaps why I'm perpetually single. Frodo and Faramir are my two favorite characters from the books, I think mostly because they were the two I most related to. Really though, I love all the characters of the fellowship almost equally, along with a few characters that weren't in the movies. Glorfindel was intriguing to me, for the brief bit he appeared, and Frodo's conversation with Gildor was one of my favorite parts of the book. I found it pretty thought-provoking and revealing, of Frodo's character especially. I understand why it was left out of the film, but I was a little sad about it. Honestly though they changed Frodo's character a lot in the film, so it wouldn't have fit anyway. Aside from Gildor and the changes to Frodo's character, I was bummed that they left out The Scouring of the Shire. That was an important scene because it was meant to show that war touches everyone. I think PJ might have missed the message on that one, though again, I get why they had to leave things out. I have issues with the characterization of Merry and Pippin as well, and the overuse of Arwen, and other things they changed or left out of the films. I really missed the scene in the Fellowship book where Merry and Pippin intercept Frodo's plan at Crickhollow and insist on going with him. It really highlighted the unbreakable friendship between them all. In the films they are much more clueless and just sort of stumble into the adventure. I also missed seeing the scene with the barrow-wights, but that's just a personal fave. A major gripe of mine is the change to Faramir's character when he first meets Frodo; having him force Frodo and the Ring to Gondor before finally letting them go, instead of helping Frodo and being virtually disinterested in the power of the Ring, as he was in the book. My biggest gripe, though, is the scene in RotK where Gollum turns Frodo against Sam. That never happened in the books, and never would happen, because Frodo was as loyal to Sam as Sam was to him. But the movie nearly vilifies Frodo and victimizes Sam with this scene, and in turn gives its audience the wrong idea of these characters, which vexes me greatly. People who haven't read the books and don't know any better say all sorts of nasty things about Frodo, and it makes me quite sad, especially as I relate so closely to his character. It's kind of the same feeling I get when other characters in "Sherlock" say unkind things to/about Sherlock, except in this case it's real people hating on Frodo, not fictional characters. And what's more, this modified scene of Frodo becoming suspicious of Sam replaced one of the most important scenes in the entire book. What should have happened, what was happening in the book at this part, was the tipping point of a conflict within Gollum. He was watching Frodo sleep, and seemed to be rethinking his course of action. He knew he was leading them to Shelob's lair, but his affection for Frodo was winning over, and he gave Frodo a soft, affectionate pet. In the book it says his eyes changed. It was heavily implied that he could have been redeemed in that moment; but Sam awoke, misunderstood Gollum's posture, snapped and called him a 'sneak'. Gollum's eyes immediately changed back, and whatever hope there was for him was then lost. It was the final nail in the coffin. It's a vital lesson about the necessity and importance of compassion and the power of one's words, but it was scrapped and replaced in the film with that travesty of a 'betrayal' scene. Boo. BOO I say. A lot of people who know only the films and not the books say that Sam is their favorite character, and I understand why. Sam has many great qualities, and the movie illustrates them beautifully. But it mostly ignores and/or excuses his greatest flaw (in my view), which is his lack of compassion (for anyone but Frodo and Bill the Pony). It's not that he has no compassion, he certainly does; but he is arguably the least compassionate of the Hobbits, and in the case above, one could say his unkindness towards Gollum in particular is indirectly responsible for Frodo's encounter with Shelob. Thankfully Sam is also loyal and brave, and he was able to rectify that situation. I suppose I'd better stop or I could ramble on about this forever. I just wish that the films had not made Frodo look bad to make Sam look better. And I wish they had not done the same to Faramir. Frodo and Faramir are really the only two characters who are noble while being more studious and less inclined to warrior traits (and therefore less power-seeking), and I wonder if PJ just had a hard time understanding heroes who aren't fighters.
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