Sunday, December 28, 2008

There is Something I Don't Like About the LOTR Trilogy

I just watched all three Lord of the Rings movies for the second time [this week], and I found two things I don't like about them.

One, Frodo. Yes, he's the main character, the "saviour of the day" and all that. But what does he really do? First movie, when the Fellowship is stuck in the Mines of Moria, and they get attacked by orcs and trolls at Bali's tomb, Frodo gets hit by a spear that would have (in the words or Aragorn), "skewered a boar". Except he doesn't actually get skewered. His coat of Mithril saves him, and he's barely scratched. But what does Frodo do?* Instead of pushing the spear away and showing he's unhurt, he promptly falls on the floor (as if dead) and then plays dead while the others get rid of the orcs. I mean, I know most of the drama of him falling, and the sound effects, were probably to scare people watching the movie, but it just seemed so silly!

Throughout the trilogy, we keep seeing examples of Frodo not really being able to do anything at all. He puts the Ring on on at least two ocassions that I can think of that really could have gotten him (and everyone else) killed, he sent Sam away in the third movie when Sam was actually the only reason why he actually got as far as he did, and then, to top it off, he refused to throw the Ring into the fire at the end! Yes, I know that the Ring is evil. It has the power to influence people, to capture their minds, but it all makes Frodo seem so weak. I generally tend to forward the parts of the DVD that feature him.

The second thing I really didn't like was the Arwen-Aragorn-Eowyn love triangle. More specifically, it's solution. I'm all for the love triangle. It's very understandable that both women would fall for Aragorn. But why would he choose Arwen? The only time she actually showed some spirit was in the first movie, when she took Frodo to Rivendell. Otherwise, she doesn't really seem to do anything.

Eowyn, on the other hand, has all my admiration. She does her "duty" for the first two movies; she leads the women and children to Helm's Deep when orcs attack the people of Rohan, she stays with them in the caves during the battle of Helm's Deep. But we can see her yearning to fight, to do something to help! Finally, in the third movie, she not only dresses as a man to go to war, but takes Merry with her. And she brings down an elephant on her own, and kills the Nazgul and it's rider (whom no man can kill) by herself. Seriously, what is cooler than her dialogue, "I am no man!"??

Aragorn is my favourite character, but I would love him so much more if he'd fallen in love with Eowyn.

*I haven't finished reading the books yet, so I don't know if all this is just a dramatisation in the movie


Anonymous said...

Good to see you back.

An occasional reader

Aishwarya said...

For your first, I'd argue that Sam is the real hero of the story anyway. Frodo's more prominent a character, but recently one of my teachers asked the class who they thought the hero was and everyone yelled "Sam", so it seems I'm not alone! And I think to a great extent Frodo is the moral centre of the story - more obviously in the book than in the film though.

As for the second, I'm not a huge fan of Arwen because we never see enough of her to get to know her. But the thing is, Tolkien's writing against this gigantic backdrop of middle earth, and so much is going on offscreen because it's all too big to be put into one book. There's a bit in the appendices of Lord of the Rings where the first meeting of Aragorn and Arwen is described, but that's all. But the book also doesn't make such a parade of the love story as the movie does, so the lack of background for the love story isn't felt as a lack.
Eowyn is amazing. But Tolkien's conservative - he can write a brilliant warrior-maiden character but she has to be quietened down at the end. I'm rather glad she doesn't end up with Aragorn - you're right, it's understandable that she'd fall for him; but that sort of love is hero-worship of a sort. She ends up with Faramir (who is lovely) in the book, and that bit makes me happy; but she also decides to give up her shield and work in the garden. which makes me sad.

Sumedha said...

@Anon: Thanks.

@Aishwarya: I do agree that Sam is the real hero. It's just that I think the movies make Frodo too much the centre of attention, and therefore, make him look like an incapable "hero".

And you're right... we really don't see much of Arwen at all. The little we do see of her (at least in the movies) doesn't make me like her much. And you're right about the hero worship part too... Eowyn didn't know Aragorn at all. But shouldn't he have been really attracted to her when he saw her with the sword, saw her go to war?

And I thought she'd end up with Faramir.. there was a not-so-subtle look between them at the end of the movie. :)

Amphethena said...

"..least two >>ocassions<< that.."
Maybe this Aragorn guy has dabba taste. Lots of hot guys I know roam around completely happy with these nothing-girls. It's true the other way round too.