Friday, February 20, 2009

Assorted Thoughts about LotR

The further I delve into J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the more I fall in love with it. The books are central to the obsession, of course, but around the books is also the extended universe of the movies, the musical, and things like that. And it's always so heartening and encouraging when they do the adaptions well.
Take the song Now and For Always from the musical based on the book:

Great song right? Well, it's even greater to a hard-core fan when he examines the correlation between the lyrics and the original book.

"Sing me a tale of Frodo and the Ring!
Fearless and bold,"
"Tired and cold!"
"A sword at his side, an elf-blade called Sting,
Crossing a miserable land.
Wouldn't retreat, just follow his feet,
Now and for always."
Then later:
"Sing me a tale of the bravest of them all,
Comrade and guide, at my side.
Stout-hearted Sam who wouldn't let me fall,
Holding my life in his hands.
True to the end, no finer friend,
Now and for always."

Compare that to an (abridged here) passage in the book the Two Towers:

Sam: "Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We're in one, of course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: 'Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring!' And they'll say: 'Yes, that's one of my favourite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn't he dad?' 'Yes, my boy, the famousest of the hobbits, and that's saying a lot.'"
Frodo: "But you've left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. 'I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn't they put more of his talk, dad? That's what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam, would he, dad?'"
"Now, Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't make fun. I was serious."
"So was I. And so I am."

AHH!!! I can't ever stop geeking out about how awesome that passage is and how well they adapted it for the song. I can't speak for the whole musical because I haven't seen it and have only heard the soundtrack, but that song is just amazing....

But, on the other side of the equation are the things that they didn't do so well. ((from here on out is highly opinionated ground, just to warn you)) There are many examples, some of which are forgivable, (like the elves showing up at Helm's Deep) and some which are unforgivable. (Arwen in general, Haldir dying, Frodo leaving Sam on the stairs at Cirith Ungol, Anduril not coming it when it was supposed to)

But the one unforgivable change I specifically want to discuss is Faramir's character.

Faramir is my absolute favorite character in the whole book, so as I've been re-reading the book, I have been very disappointed with a lot of the changes that were in the movie. Many of these changes are humorously illustrated in this great fanfiction story.

We can laugh at the story and how the different Faramirs compare notes, but more seriously, the movie did miss alot of things. As Mom put it, "The people who wrote it didn't seem to GET his character."

The wikipedia article discusses the book fans' negative reaction to the change and notes,
"Co-screenwriter Philippa Boyens and actor David Wenham defended the changes to Faramir's character in order to increase dramatic tension: Faramir's "sea-green incorruptible" nature in the book would not have "[translated] well filmically".

I remain in the group of fans that is "unimpressed and unconvinced" with their pithy justifications. He was "sea-green incorruptible" because he was educated and wise. The book tells us that when Mithrandir (otherwise known as Gandalf) was around, Faramir always loved to listen to him talk and study with him. He probably took that studious wizard-like habit with him long after he saw Mithrandir and kept studying.

I personally think that he thought about what he would do if he came across Isildur's bane. He probably knew that anyone who used it became corrupted and evil and decided what he would do if he ever got the chance to have it. He says before even knowing what Frodo carries,
"I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory." Then once he does know about the ring, by way of Sam's slip, he says, "Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them. But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee."

Another "what were they thinking?" moment for me was the removal of one of the greatest lines in the trilogy that was spoken by Faramir.
"War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend."


I could go on and on and on about how much I love Faramir and how most of the movie's changes are deplorable, but I've only scratched the surface of his character in the Two Towers. I'll save Return of the King and other things for another post.

But before I shut down entirely, I want to leave y'all with one of my favorite passages in the entire book. This is right after Sam's slip, and Faramir has told them he's not going to take the Ring from them.

"Frodo had felt himself trembling as the first shock of fear passed. Now a great weariness came down on him like a cloud. he could dissemble and resist no longer.
'I was going to find a way to Morder,' he said faintly. 'I was going to Gorgoroth. I must find the Mountain of Fire and cast the thing into the gulf of doom. Gandalf said so. I do not think I shall ever get there.'
Faramir stared at him for a moment in grave astonishment. Then suddenly he caught him as he swayed, and lifting him gently, carried him to the bed and laid him there, and covered him warmly. At once he fell into a deep sleep.
Another bed was set beside him for his servant. Sam hesitated for a moment, then bowing ver low: 'Good night, Captain, my lord,' he said. 'You took the chance, sir."
'Did I so?' said Faramir.
"Yes sir, and showed your quality: the very highest.'
Faramir smiled. 'A pert servant, Master Samwise. But nay: the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards. yet there was naught in this to praise. I had not lure or desire to do other than I have done.'
'Ah well, sir,' said Sam, 'you said my master had an elvish air; and that was good and true. but I can say this: you have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of-well, Gandalf, of wizards.'

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in!
~Edwin Markham

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

LOST: This Place is Death

Just for fun, my initial thoughts are in random bits. As always, spoilers appear from the get-go, so be forewarned. After this picture, you have no excuse to read unless you have seen the episode. Unless you just want to see spoilers...but I can't understand why you would.

-NO NO NO!!!!!! Why did they kill Charlotte???? Now Daniel is sad! But....he traveled in time to tell her not to go to the Island again? I thought he knew that he couldn't change anything...Hmm....maybe he's going to experience a crisis of some kind and become irrational. They did confirm that her parents were part of Dharma. So...why did her mom leave. That is the question. Also, who is her father? That's another question. Maybe her mom caught wind of the Purge...that would be a good reason for leaving.

-MWAH HA HA!!!!! Mrs. Hawking IS Dan's mum. And she is deeply enscanced in the mythology of the Island.

-So THAT'S how Montand lost his arm...Oy vey.

-Yikes! Smokey is guarding the Temple...which is apparently some sort of Sanctuary for the Others. So except in the case of Ben summoning Ol' Smokey, maybe most of those encounters with him have been in the vicinity of the Temple.

-Christian(speaking for Jacob) tells Locke that LOCKE has to move the Island?? Again?!?! Good grief, I did not see that coming. So we know the Island (or at least the people on the Island. But only certain people) has been moving in time....does that mean it's been moving in space each time as well? Or only certain times?

-And thank goodness we learned about Danielle in some way! They kept their promise. So there was a disease... It seems to me that she was the only one not affected because she was the only one who didn't descend into Smokey's summer home.

-Good for Ben with his rant! They need to quit ragging on him all the time.

Now for a serious paragraph...
Charlotte said that once she left the Island, she asked her mom about it, but her mom denied its existence. She even went so far as to say that Charlotte had made it up. It occurred to me watching the episode the second time that this parallels Lucy and Edmund in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Charlotte Staples Lewis is also named after its author, Clive Staples Lewis. Both Charlotte and her mom had been to the Island, but left. Likewise, both Lucy and Edmund had been to Narnia. But, once they were back in the "real world" Edmund denied the existence of Narnia just as Charlotte's mom denied the existence of the Island.

As always, it's been fun. I shall return later to discuss my adventures in the land of Hill Country.

Adventures Somewhere in Centralish Texas

Over the course of the weekend I have:

*Been joined by the Countess in the adventures.
*Been compared to a French knight on the walls of the Castle of Guy de Lombard.
*Gotten lost in the jungles of San Antonio looking for the Buckhorn Saloon.

Become a *gunsmith,
*bank robber,
and *convict.

Finally, to finish off the weekend, I got to watch my awesome mom run the marathon.

Great job, Mommy!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Tag...

One of those tags (abridged), because I can't think of anything else to post.

Age: old enough for a driver's license
Animals: cats, racoons, horses

Birthday: Pearl Harbor Day
Best feeling in the world: feeling God's presence
Been on stage? many many times
Books: I'm currently reading 1984, Myst, Thief of Time, and currently re-reading the Book Thief and the Two Towers.

Candy: Symphony milk chocolate
Color: purple, black, and silver
Chocolate/Vanilla: it depends....
Chinese/Mexican: Mexican.
Continent/Country to visit: Europe and New Zealand

Day or Night? night-
Dance in the rain? I'm singin', and dancin' in the rain!

Eyes: steel blue
Ever failed a class? nope

Full name: Lady Natasha E. Brainsample of the Planet Skyron
Food: steak and potato soup

Goal: finish all the books on my unread shelf
Get along with your parents? yes.

Hair Color: dyed black, light brown/blondish roots coming out
Height: 5' 8" ish
How do you want to die: with my boots on

Ice Cream: plain vanilla
Instrument: I don't play anything, but I love listening to the piano.

Job: I want to get one once I get my driver's license

Keep a journal? Yes and no....I can't ever keep up with it.

Longest Car Ride: either to Salt Lake City, or from New York
Letter: X. I agree with Miss Dawn, X is a great letter, but I also love the letter E.
Laughed so hard you cried: Well, these days our whole family is laughing until we cough.

Movie: Too many to list on a tag.
McDonalds or Burger King: Neither. Chik-fil-a.

Number of Siblings: 3
Number of Piercing: two in each ear.
Numbers: 5, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

One wish: hmm......

Pepsi/Coke: I drink hot tea....

Quail: I've seen quail around here.

Roll your tongue in a circle? Yes, precious.

Song: currently....Eilleen's Song, East to West, Twentieth Century, stuff from Les Mis, Lion King, LotR, Englishman in New York, Wonderwall, lots of swill like that....
Sing well? sing often? well enough. I'd like to be better, hence using voice lessons as an instigation to get driver's ed done. And yes, when I'm not sick...
In the shower? yes...

Time for bed: whenever I can't keep my eyes open enough to read anymore.

Unpredictable: I....don't really know. That probably means I'm pretty predictable.

Vacation spot: someday: New Zealand, Germany again, British Isles.

Who makes you laugh the most: my family.

X-rays: not since I was being fitted for a retainer.
Ex's: *hums, All my ex's live in Texas....* But seriously, I have none.

Year it is now: 2009

Zoo animal: seals

You went to the mall with? Mommy
You talked to on the phone? Sam
Made you laugh? Mom
Hugged you? Mimi
Said they loved you?: my grandparents
Spoke with? Dad
Last person you texted? James

I tag: any volunteers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

LOST: Jughead, and The Little Prince

I have been a very lazy blogger recently, and for that I'm sorry...But I do actually have a legitimate excuse by being sick for almost a week... Because I'm so far behind, I'll cover two episodes in one post.

So THAT'S why the episode was called Jughead...the army people had enough of a sense of humor to name their hydrogen bomb. Apparently it's still buried somewhere on the island. I wonder if it has to do with the thick concrete under the Swan Station because Sayid mentioned he hadn't seen concrete anywhere that thick since Chernobyl.
Confirmed theory: The compass!!!! Mwah ha ha!!! John told Richard to go see him!!
Supported theory: Mrs. Hawking being Daniel's mum. Widmore told Desmond to go to Los Angelos. Mrs. Hawking is there, assuming Ben didn't go far to see her.

Speaking of Widmore...He was an Other??? Er, Hostile. I did not see that coming at all. And he's also alot older than I would have thought. So somehow he's going to get off the Island and become a multi-billionaire. Perhaps he exploited the Island in some way to get all that money??

Desmond and Penny are happily married now...with a son called Charlie! Damon and Carlton confirmed on the Lost Official Podcast that he was, in fact, named after Charlie Pace, and not Charles Widmore.

Time travel...I guess it's possible to run into yourself on the Island if you travel to the right time. Locke certainly wanted to avoid it though. Sawyer saw Kate helping Claire give birth to Aaron in months past, which, as Dad noted is a pretty far foreshadow: Claire is now gone, and Kate has Aaron off-Island.

Another season shocker: Jin is alive!!!! Yay!!!!! Maybe he'll be an instigation for Sun to quit being so weird and to get off the side of Charles Widmore.

And.....this has been a pretty rambly post, so I'll leave y'all for now. All I can say to close is that things are probably going to get even more dire, because next week's episode is entitled This Place is Death. I guess the zombie season is coming earlier than Damon and Carlton claimed.