From a young age, I’ve had a love for J.R.R.Tolkein’s works. The man was a master of fantasy, that in my opinion is rivalled by very few. The way he created this vast world and history from very little, and even created or re imagined mythical species/races and their languages is nothing short of fantastic. Before tolkein elves, dwarves, orcs, and many other races didn’t exist in the way that they do today (fictionally of course).
So you can imagine my excitement then when the Lord of The Rings Trilogy came to cinemas. It was like a dream come true. Sure they modified parts of the story a bit, for example Saruman’s death at Isengard instead of the Shire, and removed parts of the book that would have slowed the story waaaay down (I’m looking at you Tom!), but as a whole, it was just breathtaking. Every movie was beautifully crafted and played out wonderfully.
But then something happened. Another trilogy was announced… The Hobbit. “What?” I thought to myself, “Why are they making a Hobbit trilogy?”. This wasn’t because I didn’t want to see a Hobbit movie, quite the contrary. After seeing the magnificent job Peter Jackson had done of The Lord of The Rings, I had been hoping he would make a Hobbit movie. But there’s the hint about my issue… A Hobbit movie. Singular. Not two Hobbit movies (though I would have understood the need based on the amount that there is to tell in the story), and definitely not THREE Hobbit movies.
Three! I didn’t realise Peter Jackson could only do movies in threes! What a terrible ailment to have! The poor man!
But seriously, this had me on edge before I’d even seen the first one. Why? Well for those of you that have never read The Hobbit, it is ONE book that is around 300 pages long. You don’t need to be a maths wiz kid to see the issue here. 300 pages divided by 3 = 100. That’s 100 pages per movie for him to work with…
100 pages… each Lord of The Rings movie had its own book! But he felt it was totally reasonable to do the three movies based on one, not that long, book. So here’s the question; if he’s making 3 movies from roughly 300 pages, how is he going to make the movies last long enough without them dragging along at a snail’s pace? Simple really… he makes stuff up.
That’s right ladies and gents, boys and girls, elves and orcs! He made stuff up to fill the time. Oh, and when I say “he made stuff up” I don’t mean a little. Oh no! He made a LOT of stuff up! The three that get me the most annoyed are the following:
1. The taboo romance
Why does this bother me? Put simply, Tauriel doesn’t exist. That’s right, the elf girl doesn’t exist. Peter Jackson purposefully invented a character so that a book with no love interests suddenly had one. Because, hey! A movie can’t exist without a bit of romance, right?
2. Legolas the badass
“What?!” you might be saying, “How can Legolas annoy you? I loved him in The Lord of The Rings!”. Well, that’s nice, but again, he’s not in the book! Well, OK, he’s mentioned. But once again, Peter Jackson has put in a random character in order to make the movie eat up more minutes and appeal to those that have only ever seen The Lord of The Rings movies.
3. The giant game of catch the dragon
Now, there are others that annoy me, but this one takes the prize for most annoying. Why? Because it never happened! Yes, that whole part of the movie where the dwarves come into the mountain, the dragon finds them and starts to give chase, then they come up with a plan to trap him in molten gold… all a lie. Now I know they added a lot of stuff to the movies but this one infuriates me the most for three reasons. First, it took away from one of Bilbo’s most impressive and pivotal scenes as a character. Second, it was right at the end of the second movie. Could it scream “we need to make this movie last longer” any more than it already does? Third, any screen emphasis taken away from Martin Freeman is automatic cause for anger because that man carried these movies!
Oh and I’m well aware that there are countless other issues with the movies (for example Radagast suffering the same treatment as Legolas), but there are too many to list here. And that’s the problem. There are too many to list. It’s almost impossible to believe that a man that took such great care with one story could be so blasé with another.
The root to this issue though is presented to us by none other than Peter Jackson himself and his crew in the special features of the DVDs. Watch this clip and see for yourselves:
Now, there are many people who have shown sympathy towards Peter Jackson for this and said how unfortunate it is, but not me. For me, this is unforgivable. I know he will regret this for many years, but to be honest, he should. Who the hell goes into making a major movie without planning it all out properly? Who the hell, to quote the man himself “just starts winging it”?
To end this rant, I know there are many who think that the trilogy is fine. But that’s my problem, they say it’s fine. All I can say is that I am so unbelievably grateful that this trilogy came after The Lord of The Rings. If these were first, there probably wouldn’t have been a Lord of The Rings trilogy… bullet officially dodged.