Friday, September 30, 2005

A Little Late

But that has never stopped me from rattling on. Warning: if you have not seen the movies or read the books *The Lord of the Rings* this post might not make a whole lot of sense. It also contains spoilers.

*Lord of the Rings,* written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is just about my favorite fiction work. It is beautifully written, the characters are worth caring about and the setting seems almost real.

Peter Jackson's films of the trilogy are incredible and beautiful; I love them. His attention to detail brings Middle Earth to life. The characters are wonderfully portrayed by the actors.

I have a few issues with those films, however. "Fellowship of the Ring," the first part of the story, is pretty true to Tolkien's story except for Aragorn. Tolkien's Aragorn accepted who he was; he never flinched from his duty to become king. Jackson's Aragorn seems unwilling to acknowledge who he is and that weakens him.

In "The Two Towers" we see more changes from Tolkien's story and because of the constraints of the movie format this is understandable. I do not like what Jackson does to Faramir in his story. Tolkien's Faramir is a much stronger person than his brother Boromir who dies because he tries to take the Ring from Frodo. He states this at his first meeting with Frodo in Ithilien. If he feels the call of the Ring we do not see it in the books. Jackson's Faramir almost repeats his brother's error but finally sees what the Ring will do.

Jackson's Faramir is pretty rough with Frodo and Gollum. I cringed seeing the abuse of Gollum at the hands (and feet) of Faramir's soldiers. Tolkien's Faramir is extremely gentle with the Hobbits and their guide; he displays true strength through kindness.

Jackson's Faramir is a weak leader while Tolkien's Faramir is described as a Captain who can master both men and beasts. Personally I prefer the Tolkien character as he is truly strong and noble; a man of Numenor.

There's a huge inconsistency in "The Two Towers." Elves show up at Helm's Deep and help save Rohan from Saruman's hordes. We never see anything of them though after the battle. Were they all killed? If so why is there no mention made of it? Did they go on to fight for Gondor? We never know.

Frodo, in Jackson's "Return of the King," is duped by Gollum into sending Sam away. Tolkien's Frodo would never have done this. Sam is not treated too well by Jackson, either; he was quite gentle with Gollum in Tolkien's story. When he tied the Elven rope to Gollum he made the knot quite loose. He didn't love Gollum but he was never mean to him. Jackson has Sam treating Gollum quite badly.

In spite of my criticism of the movie version of "Lord of the Rings" I still think it is a brilliant achievement. Is is, however, very much Peter Jackson's story rather than J.R.R. Tolkien's.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Catch Up


Floods seem to be happening. In early August I went to Carlsbad Caverns which is an absolutely gorgeous and wonderful cave. See it if you can.

A couple of days after returning home we were hit by a flood, the second of the year. Ow. No water got into the house, thanks be, but there's an awesome mess to clean up. Several of my neighbors were not as lucky and did have soaked homes.

A berm now surrounds my place. My heartfelt thanks go to my County Commissoner Charles Gallegos and to the Road Superintendant of Socorro County. They arranged for a county equipment operator to start the berm. Benny is an artist with that front end loader. He makes operating it look easy and he also uses it as a precision tool.

My losses are nothing compared to the mess in New Orleans. I cannot imagine the devastation in the lives of the survivors. My losses seem trivial compared to theirs. I have a small idea of their feelings.

May the survivors of Katrina find peace.