Author Topic: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)  (Read 16347 times)

Offline cliffette

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2004, 04:09:57 PM »
I'm not. You're reading too much into it. Maybe my tone appears patronising, but I've written a few hundred more words than I intended to and put alot of effort and time into my post, which should indicate to you that I genuinely do not want hard feelings between us and wish to give you the respect and explanation you deserve. Beyond that, I can do no more.

Yes, you did put a lot of time and effort into your post, which is why that comment to Eral surprised me.

Just to totally clear things up, I did mean - "As for Eral - all I can say.."
So the 'sending herself up' referred to Eral sending herself up, not you. I was wondering what was wrong with my previous post, so thanks for naming it. What a difference two little words can make. I won't be quite so lazy next time. :)


And WolfCat, I'm sorry!  :-*

Here is the Oliphaunt poem from the books, to make up for the derailing. :)

Grey as a mouse,
Big as a house,
Nose like a snake,
I make the earth shake,
As I tramp through the grass;
Trees crack as I pass.
With horns in my mouth,
I walk in the South,
Flapping big ears,
Beyond count of years,
I stump round and round,
Never lie on the ground,
Not even to die.
Oliphaunt am I,
Biggest of all,
Huge, old, and tall.
If ever you'd met me,
You wouldn't forget me.
If you never do,
You won't think I'm true;
But Oliphaunt am I,
And I never lie.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 04:12:28 PM by cliffette »

Offline SeanFan

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2004, 04:17:07 PM »
I have a question... :)

Seeing as how I've watched the ROTK:EE about six times so far, something still bothers me, and I was talking about it last night with my friends while we watched it...

Why did Frodo have to leave to the Undying Lands? One friend said "Well he's seen to much...", which to me isn't really an explaination. I mean Sam has been to the same places that he has and Merry and Pippin undoubtably saw more terrible things in the middle of a war...

Another friend suggested that since he had been touched by Sauron, he had some of his evil inside of him, and it could come back... But I feel that isn't explicitly said, so that's not a complete explaination to me.

Yet another person there said something to the effect "Well when he got stabbed he got a little bit of evil in him, and if he doesn't leave with the elves, the magic they used to keep him alive will go away and he'll die." Well to me isn't adequately explained either and doesn't stand up as an explaination. I mean if that were true then wouldn't that mean anyone who was wounded by a Morgul weapon, like that wielded by the Witch King, (i.e. Eowyn) would die as soon as the person who healed it died?

It was a combination of things, IMO. Perhaps the best way to explain it is that Frodo was so wounded in body and spirit by his long struggle with the Ring, and the other wounds he'd taken--especially being stabbed by the Morgul blade--that neither time nor mortal magic could heal him. He wouldn't have dropped dead if he had stayed in the Shire, but neither would he have been healed and able to live a normal, happy life. Personally, I think the most important wound was to his spirit, though the book also says explicitly that the pain from the Morgul knife wound never really leave him.

Eowyn's arm was broken by the Witch King's mace, which is quite different, I think. She was never in peril of being turned into a wraith like Frodo was.

Quote
One thing I was thinking about was that it was some sort of 'reward'... Like since he carried he ring in order to destroy it, then he was to be rewarded with everlasting life (kind of like Bilbo). But maybe it's because I never quite understood the Undying Lands, other than the literal connotation of the name, that I'm having this problem...

Good call. It definitely was a reward for what he endured to save ME. Part of that reward was the chance that the magic of the immortal Valar could heal the wounds that could not be healed if he stayed in ME.

I won't go into too much detail about the Undying Lands, 'cause there's a lot you could say, but the basics are this. "The Undying Lands" are the continent of Aman which lies across the ocean to the west of Middle Earth. The immortal Valar, their servants the Maiar (of which Gandalf is one) and many elves live there. For the elves, who are also immortal, Aman is considered to be thier 'true home' in a sense, and all elves are welcome to travel there. It is not accessible by normal means, but elves can sail "the straight path" and find their way there.

In general, mortals are not allowed in Aman. (Which is the core of the story of the Downfall of Numenor, but that's another tale.) However, Frodo and Bilbo--and some others later, it is told--were given special dispensation to go there as a reward for their service. Though the name "Undying Lands" kind of implies it, Tolkien was clear that mortals who travel there do not become immortal themselves. Frodo will live out the rest of his life there, hopefully healed and happy.

Quote
So I was thinking, since some folks here obviously have knowledge of the books and the movies which surpasses my own, that you could give me a little insight into the reasoning behind Frodo leaving. Maybe it's something that is explained better in the books? Maybe it's something that I missed in the movies?

Yes, it is explained somewhat better in the books, but some of it you still have to read between the lines. I'll give PJ credit, he tried to put some dialog in there that would help explain it, but it's kind of a subtle concept so I'm not surprised that it wasn't terribly clear to the non-book readers in the audience.

Hope I helped some.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 04:34:47 PM by SeanFan »

Offline Kish

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2004, 04:20:07 PM »
What's the scouring of the Shire? Were they attacked or something? The place looked fine at the end of the movie I think, ummm. Do the hobbits have an army?
In the books, after the big Gandalf/Saruman confrontation (which was cut from the movies ::)), Saruman went to the Shire and essentially did as much damage as he could to Frodo's hometown, out of spite and bitterness over having lost.
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Offline Kish

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2004, 04:22:49 PM »
Why did Frodo have to leave to the Undying Lands? One friend said "Well he's seen to much...", which to me isn't really an explaination. I mean Sam has been to the same places that he has and Merry and Pippin undoubtably saw more terrible things in the middle of a war...
But Frodo carried the ring.  All the way to Mordor.  It got to him, enough that he gave up his quest at the end in order to keep it, even knowing what the consequences would be.  The scars the ring left on his soul could never come out.
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Offline Eral

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2004, 04:48:39 PM »
SeanFan, sorry for offending you. It was wrong of me to get cranky. I felt you were not debating and discussing and got snippy. If you reread some of your posts maybe you will see why I felt we were at cross-purposes. Friends?

Umm, jc, you say the sweetest things, but I think you'll find Australia has a population of about 18 million. At least 14 million of us are like this. And then there's Ireland, no idea what the population there is, all I can say is, a significant proportion are similarly affected. You may decide for yourselves if the Tourist Boards of both countries are going to be really pissed off with me for saying that. And I believe we want more hairy dwarves, not elves.

The battles are important in the film, with it's focus on the noble characters with great destinies, but the book's focus is the hobbits and their ordinary simple lives. Sam is the inheritor of the hobbits' kingdom - the most down-to -earth and simple of all the characters. For the hobbits to return from righteous battle, scarred and changed, to find the home they were fighting for damaged and maybe destroyed, is very powerful.
I think the message is ordinary people have to fight battles against evil at home or else the sacrifice of the soldier is wasted.

I want to discuss why Sam would never have left Frodo, but I've been terribly serious for about ten minutes now, and the strain is tremendous.
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Offline SeanFan

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #80 on: December 30, 2004, 05:48:58 PM »
SeanFan, sorry for offending you. It was wrong of me to get cranky. I felt you were not debating and discussing and got snippy. If you reread some of your posts maybe you will see why I felt we were at cross-purposes. Friends?

NOT debating and discussing?!? I don't know how it works in Australia, but in this neck of the woods, civilly explaining why you disagree with someone's opinions is exactly that. Dismissing changes PJ made to adapt LotR to film by saying they're a result of "the corrupting influence of Hollywood" is not a debate point, its a diatribe, and a darn unconvincing one at that. That is, of course, unless you were joking when you said that, and if that's the case, I don't know how I supposed to know it at the time.

My main point in all this film/book discussion is that changes can be made in adapting a book to film for good, sound filmmaking reasons that do not jibe with someone's personal conception of the book. Just because you really don't like the idea that Frodo would send Sam away doesn't mean that it was a bad filmmaking decision or it makes RotK a bad film. There's definitely no universal agreement that the change violates Tolkien's depiction of their relationship in the book.  Most of the people I know who've read the books are okay with it, certainly more so than, say, the depiction of Denethor.

I'd be happy to discuss these issues with you, but it would be easier if you could try to separate your personal likes and dislikes in regard to the source material from the issue of what changes did and did not work in the movies.

Offline Eral

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #81 on: December 30, 2004, 06:12:07 PM »
Civilly discussing what we agree and disagree with is debating here too.
In future I shall mark all my hyperbolic statements with IAJJ. This  stands for It's a joke Joyce - a line from an old vaudeville show.  So, are we OK?
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Offline SeanFan

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #82 on: December 30, 2004, 07:14:50 PM »
Civilly discussing what we agree and disagree with is debating here too.
In future I shall mark all my hyperbolic statements with IAJJ. This  stands for It's a joke Joyce - a line from an old vaudeville show.  So, are we OK?

Yep.

BTW, I have seen people make just such hyperbolic statements in complete seriousness. On another board, after TTT came out someone posted, "So, I guess we can all agree that Peter Jackson has no respect whatsoever for Tolkien's work" and was quite surprised when no, not everyone agreed with that statement.

Offline WolfCatBot

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #83 on: December 30, 2004, 07:21:39 PM »

And WolfCat, I'm sorry!  :-*

It's fine, I was mostly joking, aaiiioww!

And cute poemish, thankies. I've seen brown mice though. ^_^

Quote from: Kish
In the books, after the big Gandalf/Saruman confrontation (which was cut from the movies ::)), Saruman went to the Shire and essentially did as much damage as he could to Frodo's hometown, out of spite and bitterness over having lost.

Thankies Kish sir. Yowwwch. Well umm, I think they looked fine at the end... I mean, I take it the hobbits won, woof?
It was called victim. :D

Offline Kish

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2004, 07:24:46 PM »
Thankies Kish sir. Yowwwch. Well umm, I think they looked fine at the end... I mean, I take it the hobbits won, woof?
In the movies, there was nothing to win--the whole thing was cut.  In the books...well, Frodo came back and rescued the Shire, but not without casualties and lasting effects.
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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #85 on: December 30, 2004, 07:26:10 PM »
Oh. :(
It was called victim. :D

Offline Eral

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #86 on: December 30, 2004, 07:26:22 PM »
BTW, I have seen people make just such hyperbolic statements in complete seriousness. On another board, after TTT came out someone posted, "So, I guess we can all agree that Peter Jackson has no respect whatsoever for Tolkien's work" and was quite surprised when no, not everyone agreed with that statement.

;D Poor Tolkien. Little did he know his body of work would attract such a body of  loons: their ideas so scary, and yet so strangely compelling.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2004, 07:32:05 PM by Eral »
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Offline Veloxyll

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #87 on: December 30, 2004, 09:30:18 PM »
Also, one thing that hasn't been mentioned, Sam also went to the Undying lands. And I finally remembered the thing that annoyd me the most in the movies.

Trolls

In sunlight

And not Turned to Stone.

It was supposed to be DARK at the Battle of Minas Tirith too :< Right up till Rohans cavalry arrived, but quite often there was sunlight all over the place. And the Beacons scene was too long. About 6 beacons too long. Also, the White Tree sapling scene was missed. IIRC someone even quoted the prophecy mentioning the White Tree.
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Offline SeanFan

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #88 on: December 30, 2004, 10:17:45 PM »
Also, one thing that hasn't been mentioned, Sam also went to the Undying lands. And I finally remembered the thing that annoyd me the most in the movies.

Trolls

In sunlight

And not Turned to Stone.

It was supposed to be DARK at the Battle of Minas Tirith too :< Right up till Rohans cavalry arrived, but quite often there was sunlight all over the place. And the Beacons scene was too long. About 6 beacons too long. Also, the White Tree sapling scene was missed. IIRC someone even quoted the prophecy mentioning the White Tree.

Hmm, not all trolls turn to stone in sunlight. As a matter of fact, Sauron developed a race of "super-trolls" called the Olog-Hai which could exist in direct sunlight. Tolkien also specifically mentioned that there were trolls at the battle of the Black Gate, which took place during the day, so obviously trolls in sunlight was not a big problem for him.

Actually, I'd never really considered whether there were too many beacons or not, though I couldn't help but think that some of those beacons were on incredibly inaccessible mountain-tops, so who the heck was lighting them? But that is a very good example of a scene that was done so well, and was so beautiful and just, well, cool, that I couldn't care less that it was implausible.

Really, Veloxyl, don't you think complaining that the number of beacons wasn't exactly correct is a little, well actually, *very* nit-picky?

Offline Veloxyll

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #89 on: December 31, 2004, 01:05:26 AM »
I hadn't heard about the muta-trolls. It would've still been dark at the black gate too since there's only so far the wind can go against the smoke of Mt Doom. I imagine Sauron could keep it over the immediate surrounds of Mordor enough to shield any trollish troops from being stonified. Although the Stonable trolls did speak, while the mountain trolls just growled. So I suppose they could've been Muta-trolls. But if that were the case there shouldn't have been any mention of Bilbos encounter with the Trolls (although that might've only been EE it's not like they pointed out the difference)

And it'd be nitpicky if it didn't make the scene TOO LONG. And a beacon surrounded by clouds. Uh, how did it see the previous one? There's only so far my suspension of disbelief will go. And it was worn out when Helms Deeps doors opened inwards.
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Offline neriana

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #90 on: December 31, 2004, 04:08:45 AM »
Sam went to the Undying Lands? When? After he had a family and a long and healthy life and finished the history? I don't remember that from the books, but if he did -- are you saying you wanted them to make the end of Return of the King longer?! Doors opened the wrong way... um... yeah... no nitpicking there!

I only have one more thing to add. The LoTR movies are far more enjoyable than the LoTR books, with the exception of The Hobbit, which is the only one that is written well. You can go on about "great story" (kill evil guy and destroy evil object) and "interesting characters" (Boromir, Eowyn, Gollum, Galadriel, Gandalf, maybe Saruman, Merry and Pippin, the rest are almost as dull as possible, IMO) all you want, but the writing is simply not there. I liked every change the script writers made. I still haven't read all of The Two Towers. "Frodo and Sam trudging through wastes." Ten pages later: "Frodo and Sam trudging through wastes." 30 pages later: "Oh look! Frodo and Sam trudging through wastes." Not exactly riveting.
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Offline DoughyGuy

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #91 on: December 31, 2004, 04:53:26 AM »
It was a combination of things, IMO. Perhaps the best way to explain it is that Frodo was so wounded in body and spirit by his long struggle with the Ring, and the other wounds he'd taken--especially being stabbed by the Morgul blade--that neither time nor mortal magic could heal him. He wouldn't have dropped dead if he had stayed in the Shire, but neither would he have been healed and able to live a normal, happy life. Personally, I think the most important wound was to his spirit, though the book also says explicitly that the pain from the Morgul knife wound never really leave him.

Yeah, I guess that kind of made sense, but I just felt that maybe all of them were damaged in some way by their experiences, and that by breaking up the four of them, it didn't make much sense. I know Frodo wouldn't have been the same for the rest of his life, but it just seemed to me that he was doing OK but not great, after all was said and done, once Sauron was destroyed...

Quote
Eowyn's arm was broken by the Witch King's mace, which is quite different, I think. She was never in peril of being turned into a wraith like Frodo was.

True, but in the House of Healing scene you see that her arm is covered in the same black 'veins' that Frodo's shoulder had on it in Fellowship, and in the commentary for ROTK:EE, Miranda Otto mentioned that Eowyn was supposed to have 'The Black Breath', and I assumed that it was another name for the sickness that was killing Frodo.

And wasn't the Witch King the same one who stabbed Frodo in the first place, IIRC? (Gandalf's line to Pippin was something to the effect that 'You've seen him before', and it showed the Ringwraiths attacking the hobbits from Fellowship)

But I guess what you said makes sense :D It was never explicitly said that the mace broke the skin, after all. And if it were the same kind of sickness that inflicted Frodo, and since it was implied in the EE that Aragorn's abilities were what helped her through the ordeal, why wouldn't he have done the same thing two movies ago... So it probably wasn't the same situation...

Many thanks to all who attempted to answer my questions, I think I understand things better...

So now, a hypothetical question... If things had turned out differently inside Mount Doom, and Gollum hadn't died, and the Ring was still destroyed... Would he have gotten an invite to spend the rest of his days in the Undying Lands? Kind of makes me chuckle to think of Gollum hopping around amongst all those elves for the rest of his life...

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Offline Veloxyll

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #92 on: December 31, 2004, 05:13:34 AM »
Sam went to the Undying Lands? When? After he had a family and a long and healthy life and finished the history? I don't remember that from the books, but if he did -- are you saying you wanted them to make the end of Return of the King longer?! Doors opened the wrong way... um... yeah... no nitpicking there!
Doors opening outwards isn't that complex to figure out that's what they do! Minas Tirith shows EXACTLY why it's the case too! The door could've taken much more beating (I'd insult any movie that opens doors the wrong way on castles).

I wasn't saying they needed to add in Sam going to the Undying lands. I was just pointing out he did. It was something to do with having been touched by the Ring.

IIRC it should be Eowyns sword arm that was all messed up by the Wraiths ability, her shield arm just broke.
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Offline discharger12

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #93 on: December 31, 2004, 10:12:55 AM »
I really wish that had kept Bilbo from that scene. I mean, god, what the hell was keeping him together? Look liked the site of troll would turn him to dust. He wasn't even looking(moviewise) too good back in FotR.

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #94 on: December 31, 2004, 10:26:03 AM »
I really wish that had kept Bilbo from that scene. I mean, god, what the hell was keeping him together? Look liked the site of troll would turn him to dust. He wasn't even looking(moviewise) too good back in FotR.

Pretty sure everyone in Elfland is immortal.
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Offline Alarielle

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #95 on: December 31, 2004, 10:29:50 AM »
I really wish that had kept Bilbo from that scene. I mean, god, what the hell was keeping him together? Look liked the site of troll would turn him to dust. He wasn't even looking(moviewise) too good back in FotR.

O.o

Well, if you read the book you would discover that ownership of the Ring delays the effects of old age (look at Gollum).  Bilbo's life was extended significantly by his possession of the Ring, and his years only began to catch up with him after he lost it.  Even then, he was granted a life longer than the average Hobbit, so that was what was 'keeping him together'.
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Offline SeanFan

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #96 on: December 31, 2004, 10:30:25 AM »
Pretty sure everyone in Elfland is immortal.

If by this you mean going to Undying Lands would make mortals like Frodo and Bilbo immortal, nope, not true. Everyone else in "elfland" is immortal, but mortals who go there will die, just as they would if they had stayed in Middle Earth.

Offline discharger12

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #97 on: December 31, 2004, 10:39:14 AM »
I really wish that had kept Bilbo from that scene. I mean, god, what the hell was keeping him together? Look liked the site of troll would turn him to dust. He wasn't even looking(moviewise) too good back in FotR.

O.o

Well, if you read the book you would discover that ownership of the Ring delays the effects of old age (look at Gollum).  Bilbo's life was extended significantly by his possession of the Ring, and his years only began to catch up with him after he lost it.  Even then, he was granted a life longer than the average Hobbit, so that was what was 'keeping him together'.

So what, he'd have about 20 more years left in him? Bah.

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #98 on: December 31, 2004, 01:55:04 PM »
True, but in the House of Healing scene you see that her arm is covered in the same black 'veins' that Frodo's shoulder had on it in Fellowship, and in the commentary for ROTK:EE, Miranda Otto mentioned that Eowyn was supposed to have 'The Black Breath', and I assumed that it was another name for the sickness that was killing Frodo.

And wasn't the Witch King the same one who stabbed Frodo in the first place, IIRC? (Gandalf's line to Pippin was something to the effect that 'You've seen him before', and it showed the Ringwraiths attacking the hobbits from Fellowship)

But I guess what you said makes sense :D It was never explicitly said that the mace broke the skin, after all. And if it were the same kind of sickness that inflicted Frodo, and since it was implied in the EE that Aragorn's abilities were what helped her through the ordeal, why wouldn't he have done the same thing two movies ago... So it probably wasn't the same situation...

  regardless of where she sustained what sort of wound, eowyn wasn't healed by elven magic.  she was healed by aragorn, who {even if he hadn't yet entered the city officially as king, my memory is fuzzy here} was manifesting the legendary healing power of the king.  so in that context, the movie excuse for not having him heal frodo in tFotR would be because he started out 'reluctant' to claim his birthright, or simply that they weren't {aragorn wasn't} in minas tirith, or that minias tirith was under stewardship...
  and it still plays out smoothly in the movies, in that while frodo was healed by arwen and arwen didn't leave, her immortality did, and therefore most likely the power behind that healing - she gave him a portion of herself so that he would survive the journey to rivendell iirc - and elrond or whoever did the rest of the healing had left or was leaving with frodo.
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Offline Eral

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Re: Lord of the Rings questions! (Spoilers!)
« Reply #99 on: December 31, 2004, 05:39:18 PM »
or maybe they didn't have any leaves,(I didn't see any, but then I didn't see Faramir get corrupted) what was the stuff? kingsheal?... though "Sorry my Lord Aragorn, we're fresh out" - probably would have brought down the tone of the film.
They did put in the banner of the white tree, Veloxyll, and a long helicopter shot of the tree in bloom. If they had put any more in, the hobbits wouldn't have had time for their beer in the pub. Where no-one treated them with deep suspicion for having been away. ;D
Perhaps the saddest thing about cutting the Scouring from the film, was we never got to see Sam's dad, and hear his immortal line "Where's his weskit? I don't hold with wearing ironmongery."

The LoTR movies are far more enjoyable than the LoTR books
Some people are more visual, and I believe that's why the films have been a success, bringing things that can be difficult to imagine to life. I myself found TT harder going when I was young, as there was much less action in it (war does have long periods of boring bits while you wait for things to happen) but I suppose as my admiration for Sam and Frodo grew into it's current state of utter devotion, I developed greater appreciation for TT.

Some people remain on the sane side of the scale, and others go right over the 4 point.

 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2004, 06:16:57 PM by Eral »
If you see anything mysterious or unusual, just enjoy it while you can.  - Michael Leunig.