The Silmarillion
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
May 17 (edited)
2022/5/17 21:04:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
At the end of the day, Tolkien wrote his Middle-earth work out of a personal drive to create (and often re-create). An Amazon TV show has one purpose - and ONLY one purpose - which is to make money in the 2020s. Lots and lots of money for Bezos.

The entire reason for these two creations (sub-creations/whatever) is different. It will be very difficult for the TV shows, in the same way it was difficult for the movies. Even harder now than it was for PJs LoTR, because the kids are fed a constant diet of superhero movies with nonsensical rules and exaggeration. It is what they expect. And crucially, it is what makes money.

A book can be written by just one person driven by artistic vision, with no expectation of ever making money. A TV show on the same scale needs a crew of thousands and costs an absolute fortune. The only thing that matters is making the money back and turning a profit. I don't think TV or movies can ever represent Tolkien's vision.

But at the end of the day, in 6 months people get to watch it and judge for themselves whether the product suits them. Until then it is all speculation with little to go on.
May 19
2022/5/19 5:43:30 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Today, Maggie and Corey are joined by Sergio and Cesar from the Tolkien Talk YouTube channel in Brazil!

Other Minds and Hands: An Open and Friendly Discussion of Tolkien Adaptation, Episode 10, recorded on May 18, 2022

May 19
2022/5/19 21:04:39 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:



A book can be written by just one person driven by artistic vision, with no expectation of ever making money. A TV show on the same scale needs a crew of thousands and costs an absolute fortune. The only thing that matters is making the money back and turning a profit. I don't think TV or movies can ever represent Tolkien's vision.

But at the end of the day, in 6 months people get to watch it and judge for themselves whether the product suits them. Until then it is all speculation with little to go on.

I share this sentiment somewhat, and so don't see why many are getting so upset about the show being made, certain aspects about the show or any of the adaptions that came before it for that matter. Film and TV adaptations involve other media than what Tolkien was working in or thinking about when he was creating Arda and all it's contents.

Seems to me that anything, whether now or in the years before that has been adapted from his books into a different medium isn't Tolkien and is just someone else's interpretation of Tolkien's world. It can't possibly capture Tolkien's vision because Tolkien's vision was in the print medium, strictly the written word. The Amz show is not that medium...it's comparing Apples and Oranges, no?
May 19
2022/5/19 21:53:05 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
"The canons of narrative in any medium cannot be wholly different; and the failure of poor films is often precisely in exaggeration, and in the intrusion of unwarranted matter owing to not perceiving where the core of the original lies."

— J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #210
May 19
2022/5/19 22:13:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I can think of several films that capture the essence of the books they are based on, even if the surface has been changed quite a bit. Thanks to Lee and Howe Jackson got some surface right, but that's about it. His is not a failiure of medium, but of ambition....the ambition was making actionmovies that earned alot of money.
May 19
2022/5/19 22:19:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

northman wrote:

I can think of several films that capture the essence of the books they are based on, even if the surface has been changed quite a bit. Thanks to Lee and Howe Jackson got some surface right, but that's about it. His is not a failiure of medium, but of ambition....the ambition was making actionmovies that earned alot of money.

In that sense, his was most definitely not a failure of ambition (or medium) - as action movies they were rousing successes that made reams of money!

To me, it is quite apparent that Amazon has the related ambitions - earn a lot of money, and put Prime Video on everyone's streaming app "must have" list for the next 5+ years. While certainly possible that they can capture the core/essence of Tolkien's writings while doing this, that won't be apparent until we've seen the finished product.
May 19
2022/5/19 22:33:19 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

northman wrote:

I can think of several films that capture the essence of the books they are based on, even if the surface has been changed quite a bit. Thanks to Lee and Howe Jackson got some surface right, but that's about it. His is not a failiure of medium, but of ambition....the ambition was making actionmovies that earned alot of money.

In that sense, his was most definitely not a failure of ambition (or medium) - as action movies they were rousing successes that made reams of money!

To me, it is quite apparent that Amazon has the related ambitions - earn a lot of money, and put Prime Video on everyone's streaming app "must have" list for the next 5+ years. While certainly possible that they can capture the core/essence of Tolkien's writings while doing this, that won't be apparent until we've seen the finished product.

What I meant was that such an ambition is a failiure in itself because it greatly reduces the story at hand. I do not disagree that he succeeded in what he set out to do.
May 19
2022/5/19 22:51:44 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

northman wrote:

Urulókë wrote:

northman wrote:

I can think of several films that capture the essence of the books they are based on, even if the surface has been changed quite a bit. Thanks to Lee and Howe Jackson got some surface right, but that's about it. His is not a failiure of medium, but of ambition....the ambition was making actionmovies that earned alot of money.

In that sense, his was most definitely not a failure of ambition (or medium) - as action movies they were rousing successes that made reams of money!

To me, it is quite apparent that Amazon has the related ambitions - earn a lot of money, and put Prime Video on everyone's streaming app "must have" list for the next 5+ years. While certainly possible that they can capture the core/essence of Tolkien's writings while doing this, that won't be apparent until we've seen the finished product.

What I meant was that such an ambition is a failiure in itself because it greatly reduces the story at hand. I do not disagree that he succeeded in what he set out to do.

I'm not sure I agree. The ambition was to make lots of money and it made lots of money. I think really what you are saying is that the ambition doesn't correlate with what you (or I) would like the ambition to be. Really it just means the PJ movies weren't a product aimed at us.
May 19
2022/5/19 22:55:34 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I do think that Peter Jackson and the team had the goal to capture the core/essence of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, based on his interviews and the behind the scenes "appendices" released with the DVD boxed sets, etc. I don't think he succeeded, though.
May 19
2022/5/19 23:15:12 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

"The canons of narrative in any medium cannot be wholly different; and the failure of poor films is often precisely in exaggeration, and in the intrusion of unwarranted matter owing to not perceiving where the core of the original lies."

— J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #210

Hard to argue with The Man himself 😁
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