Stuff that impressed me, amused me, made me want to cry, and/or Better Be In the Third Film
I apologize for this being the third post in a row about LOTR, but hey, it's my journal and you can skip it if you want to.
The wall of Minas Tirith being 700 feet high. 700 feet! That's taller than the Space Needle! And then the White Tower goes another 300 feet ABOVE that. This really is a Middle-Earth metropolis – they've got the skyscrapers and everything.
I hope they do the Pippin/palantir episode in the film, so that Pippin and Merry get separated, because their respective adventures are quite interesting, and then their reunion...well, I'll get to that. But let's just say I'm working under the assumption that they do get separated.
The Paths of the Dead. Way cool. I bet PJ, with his ghostly-horror-flick background, will not turn down the chance to film this one. Incidentally, I think an adapted Princess Bride quote is in order here:
Eowyn: You'll never survive!
Aragorn: Nonsense. You're only saying that because no one ever has.
That black Mordor sky spreading out over everything. Satisfyingly creepy. 'It began last night at sunset. From the hills in the Eastfold of your realm I saw it rise and creep across the sky, and all night as I rode it came behind eating up the stars....'
Dernhelm. Hee. Oh, Eowyn, the issues you have. I hope they keep the part where Merry rides with her. I could see myself favoring some actual "het" fanfic if it were Merry/Eowyn. With Eowyn dressed as a guy, and Merry finding out the truth in some memorable fashion...hmm...
The enemy flinging severed heads over the walls of Minas Tirith. So cruel and horrible. Much cinematic potential. But can they do that and keep a PG-13 rating?
The pyre of Denethor. Yikes. Burn, baby, burn.
Merry and Eowyn tag-teaming to take out the Witch King. Kick-ass. They BETTER get that right.
So many things from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (this tends to be where the "wanting to cry" stuff begins). Theoden's death. Eowyn's near-death. Eomer discovering them both: 'Then suddenly he beheld his sister Eowyn as she lay, and he knew her. He stood a moment as a man who is pierced in the midst of a cry by an arrow through the heart; and then his face went deathly white...' The death of Snowmane, Theoden's horse, and the touching burial they give him.
Aragorn and Legolas and co. arriving on the Black Ships. Cue the Pirates of the Caribbean jokes!
Pippin finding the wounded Merry. Poor things. They almost reach Frodo/Sam levels of beautiful angst.
'Lean on me, Merry lad!’ said Pippin. ‘Come now! Foot by foot. It’s not far.’
‘Are you going to bury me?’ said Merry.
‘No, indeed!’ said Pippin, trying to sound cheerful, though his heart was wrung with fear and pity.... he let Merry sink gently down on to the pavement in a patch of sunlight, and then he sat down beside him, laying Merry’s head in his lap. He felt his body and limbs gently, and took his friend’s hands in his own. The right hand felt icy to the touch.
Aragorn healing Eowyn, then handing her over to her brother, who tells her about Theoden's death. Eomer, 'amid his tears': '... he bade me say farewell to Eowyn dearer than daughter.'
The Mouth of Sauron, taunting Gandalf, Pippin, Aragorn, etc., with the bad news:
...he held up first the short sword that Sam had carried, and next a grey cloak with an elven-brooch, and last the coat of mithril-mail that Frodo had worn wrapped in his tattered garments. A blackness came before their eyes, and it seemed to them in a moment of silence that the world stood still, but their hearts were dead and their last hope gone. Pippin who stood behind Prince Imrahil sprang forward with a cry of grief....' (*sigh*...exquisite pain.)
The force field outside Cirith Ungol that Sam breaks through with the phial of Galadriel. Rather cool idea.
Small moments of triumph on Sam's way up the tower, such as meeting the random Orc: ...what it saw was not a small frightened hobbit trying to hold a steady sword: it saw a great silent shape, cloaked in a grey shadow, looming against the wavering light behind; in one hand it held a sword, the very light of which was a bitter pain, the other was clutched at its breast, but held concealed some nameless menace of power and doom.
For a moment the orc crouched, and then with a hideous yelp of fear it turned and fled... That Gamgee lad should thank his lucky stars for the Ring and bad lighting conditions.
One of many poignant and Gothic moments: At last, weary and feeling finally defeated, he sat on a step below the level of the passage-floor and bowed his head into his hands. It was quiet, horribly quiet. The torch, that was already burning low when he arrived, sputtered and went out; and he felt the darkness cover him like a tide. And then softly, to his own surprise, there at the vain end of his long journey and his grief, moved by what thought in his heart he could not tell, Sam began to sing. Doubt they'll keep the song, but it's one of the few songs I sort of wish they would find a way to keep. (A lot of the others, the epic-length ones, we're probably better off without, in the film version I mean.)
The Frodo/Sam reunion in the tower. I can't pick a single line or even a single page; I mean, my goodness. You understand, I'm sure.
Frodo really is rather strange and depressed – "fey," to use a more Tolkienian word. A collection of stuff he says while in Mordor:
'The whole thing is quite hopeless, so it’s no good worrying about tomorrow. It probably won’t come.'
' ...this blind dark seems to be getting into my heart. As I lay in prison, Sam, I tried to remember the Brandywine, and Woody End, and The Water running through the mill at Hobbiton. But I can’t see them now.’
' ...the Ring is so heavy, Sam. And I begin to see it in my mind all the time, like a great wheel of fire.’
'It’s no worse than I expected. I never hoped to get across. I can’t see any hope of it now.'
'Lead me! As long as you’ve got any hope left. Mine is gone.'
‘...we shan’t need much on that road. And at its end, nothing.’
' No taste of food, no feel of water, no sound of wind, no memory of tree or grass or flower, no image of moon or star are left to me. I am naked in the dark, Sam, and there is no veil between me and the wheel of fire.'
Thanks for the pep talk, Mr. Frodo.
This was actually kind of funny:
‘Let me drink first, Mr. Frodo,’ he said.
‘All right, but there’s room enough for two.’
‘I didn’t mean that,’ said Sam. ‘I mean: if it’s poisonous, or something...'
Frodo and Sam slowly dying of dehydration and starvation. Painful.
Frodo pitifully trying to crawl up the base of the Mountain; Sam's offer: ‘I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get! Come on, Mr. Frodo dear...'
Don't know if the destruction of the Ring will be faithful to the book – I have my doubts that it will be – but that's all right as long as they have the moment afterward, when Sam and Frodo huddle together on the erupting mountain, calmly sure they're about to die. 'Here at the end of all things...'
Their awakening, and their reunion with everyone – especially Gandalf. Many tears I anticipate.
Faramir and Eowyn getting together – I've heard complaints about this, but gosh darn it, I thought it was very cute.
‘How should I ease your care, my lord?’ she said. (bawm-chicka-bawm-bawm)
I hope they adapt this little exchange, too:
'I do not wish to play at riddles. Speak plainer!’
‘Then if you will have it so, lady,’ he said: 'you do not go, because only your brother called for you, and to look on the Lord Aragorn, Elendil’s heir, in his triumph would now bring you no joy. Or because I do not go, and you desire still to be near me. And maybe for both these reasons, and you yourself cannot choose between them. Eowyn, do you not love me, or will you not?'
All the partings are rather sad, of course, but I start feeling depressed when Elrond tells Frodo: '...you will not need to come back, unless you come very soon. For about this time of the year, when the leaves are gold before they fall, look for Bilbo in the woods of the Shire. I shall be with him.’
And then it gets steadily worse from there. I can't concentrate on the Scouring of the Shire or anything else in between because I know what's coming. By the time they actually set out for the Grey Havens, I'm very bitter and upset.
'Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.’
‘But,’ said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, ‘I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too, for years and years, after all you have done.’...
It occurs to me that they might put the line "Don't go where I can't follow" there, at the end, rather than its original place. Either one would work. But I still hate that last chapter for what it does to me.
Must focus on thoughts of the parody material that I can draw out of this; otherwise I'll be too sad to get out of my seat and leave the cinema once the credits roll. This, you see, is why I do irreverent things like write parody and/or slash (or read it): it's simply too sad otherwise and I wouldn't be able to stand it.