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Tolkien 3.0

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3 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

The names Beren and Luthien were mentioned by Aragorn in extrnded fotr cut

And Aragorn shares part of the Lay in LotR for the Hobbits, so yeah, there's no real problem mentioning characters that are mentioned in LotR, near as I can tell. But the details of their story, since they generally don't appear in LotR, yeah, that requires rights to The Silmarillion.

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Posted (edited)

I was going to say, Beren and Luthien are mentioned in 'The Knife in the Dark' (great chapter, heh) and Strider sings a translation of their song and describes the overall adventure they had. It's not in detail - for example, they can't mention Sauron's role in the story with the werewolves, nor Huan, or the sons of Feanor - but it is in there. So they might've been able to slip a reference in there. I haven't seen the film myself, something about it hold me back. 

Incidentally, after resolving some personal stuff, I can finally get back to finishing LOTR. I'm going to start ROTK tomorrow. Excited. 

Am I the only one a bit peeved that no adaptation of LOTR has included the great part with the Rohirrim camping post-Hornburg when the Huorns pass them by as this dark twisted, growling mass in the night? It's a really interesting moment, rife with visual potential, but I don't think any adaptation - film or game or whatever - has really depicted it. 

For clarity, this bit: 

Quote

They camped beside the bed of the Isen river; it was still silent and empty. Some of them slept a little. But late in the night the watchmen cried out, and all awoke. The moon was gone. Stars were shining above; but over the ground there crept a darkness blacker than the night. On both sides of the river it rolled towards them, going northward.

‘Stay where you are!’ said Gandalf. ‘Draw no weapons! Wait! and it will pass you by!’

A mist gathered about them. Above them a few stars still glimmered faintly; but on either side there arose walls of impenetrable gloom; they were in a narrow lane between moving towers of shadow. Voices they heard, whisperings and groanings and an endless rustling sigh; the earth shook under them. Long it seemed to them that they sat and were afraid; but at last the darkness and the rumour passed, and vanished between the mountain’s arms.

Away south upon the Hornburg, in the middle night men heard a great noise, as a wind in the valley, and the ground trembled; and all were afraid and no one ventured to go forth. But in the morning they went out and were amazed; for the slain Orcs were gone, and the trees also. Far down into the valley of the Deep the grass was crushed and trampled brown, as if giant herdsmen had pastured great droves of cattle there; but a mile below the Dike a huge pit had been delved in the earth, and over it stones were piled into a hill. Men believed that the Orcs whom they had slain were buried there; but whether those who had fled into the wood were with them, none could say, for no man ever set foot upon that hill. The Death Down it was afterwards called, and no grass would grow there. But the strange trees were never seen in Deeping-coomb again; they had returned at night, and had gone far away to the dark dales of Fangorn. Thus they were revenged upon the Orcs.

 

Edited by Ser Drewy

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Ran said:

And Aragorn shares part of the Lay in LotR for the Hobbits, so yeah, there's no real problem mentioning characters that are mentioned in LotR, near as I can tell. But the details of their story, since they generally don't appear in LotR, yeah, that requires rights to The Silmarillion.

There are rather detailed appendices to the LotR. Tolkien sold the rights to his book, not just the section that makes up the novel, one assumes. Meaning that Jackson certainly had the legal right to use all the characters mentioned in the appendices as well as the books, as well as those stories that are referenced/told in the appendices. And those are a lot of characters and events.

They don't need the rights to the Akallabêth or 'Of the Rings of Power' (i.e. the rights to 'The Silmarillion') to make movies or a TV series about the SA and the destruction of Númenor.

And the broad outline of the Beren and Lúthien story is definitely part of the LotR - both the novel as such as well as the appendices.

I don't know whether the makers of the biopic also had the rights to the Hobbit and LotR, but even if they didn't - it seems ridiculous that a movie biography about an author should not be allowed to mention crucial elements of said authors work. 

Edited by Lord Varys

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12 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

The names Beren and Luthien were mentioned by Aragorn in extrnded fotr cut

That's because Jackson had the rights to LOTR. and those names are in there. The biopic didn't have the rights to Rings either.

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21 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Oh, I definitely agree that they should have put in the Mythology for England stuff. That, and Kalevala, could have been dealt with in a short scene, and it would have improved things immeasurably.

Yeah, that the Kalevala thing is missing - and the language thing is essentially only mentioned in passing - really omits rather crucial parts.

And that talk with Edith in front of the house really makes it appear as if writing the Hobbit was getting him artistically to the place where he wanted to be - which is insane. That was one of many stories for his children which essentially got published due to a number of lucky accidents. This was nothing he really wanted to get out there. Especially not in relation to his dreams with the TCBS and the trenches.

21 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Using the names Beren and Luthien in a money-making venture (which this film is) would incur the wrath of the Estate. It's why Peter Jackson had to tiptoe around the Blue Wizards - if you don't have the rights to it, don't use the names.

See above. The LotR/Hobbit does include more content that just the novels. And the movies actually went to the appendices belatedly for all the Aragorn/Arwen stuff (not really properly adapting anything, of course, but they took things like Eldarion and Aragorn's death scene from there).

The introduction to appendix A is basically a short synopsis of the Quenta Silmarillion.

The blue wizards are actually never mentioned in LotR. Only that there were five wizards in total (the rods of the Five Wizards made it into Saruman's movie speech), not who they were and where they went. That's from UT and PoME.

21 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

The religion angle would make a genuinely fascinating film - Tolkien did remember how Mabel's family had disowned her - but it would be too dark and weird (and of course religious) for a mainstream audience. It'd also turn Tolkien into an anti-hero, between Edith, and then becoming a grumpy old man who still uses Latin during post-Vatican II Masses. 

Well, one would not have taken the story to the grumpy old man. But then, it would actually have been a movie about a real person having real issues, rather than some kind of fantasy author cliché - weirdo youth having 'visions'. And it could also have given Francis Morgan a more relevant role in the story - reinforcing Mabel's beliefs in talks with Tolkien.

On an artistic level the fantasy thing is also a problem. Tolkien wanted to/did write fake mythology, he did not write fantasy literature. That people take his Middle-earth as a fantasy world is an accident because the LotR is a sequel to a children's book taking place in an imagined world (or rather an imagined geography). And he also made a proper career for himself, writing was little more than a hobby.

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On 7/4/2019 at 1:36 AM, The Marquis de Leech said:

But here's the thing - the film didn't have the rights to any aspect of The Silmarillion stories (that's why they don't use the names Beren and Luthien), and of the viewers that are familiar with The Silmarillion, only a few would get the reference to mechanical dragons. People know Tolkien as the guy who wrote about hobbits and rings and dark lords. Presenting him as a guy who writes about mechanical dragons is going to elicit outright confusion.

A biographic film, under fair use, can certainly mention inarguable facts, like Tolkien was writing a book called The Silmarillion featuring characters xx and yy and zz, without any problem. That they chose not to might have been to avoid any kind of speculative legal challenge, but certainly they would have had that right. Dramatising scenes from the Sil was right out, of course, but mentioning them, especially in a very general way, should not have been problematic.

Quote

 

They don't need the rights to the Akallabêth or 'Of the Rings of Power' (i.e. the rights to 'The Silmarillion') to make movies or a TV series about the SA and the destruction of Númenor.

 

This is correct in as far as they could make a very limited series based on what is solely in the LotR appendix, but that's quite limiting. We know they do have the rights to Unfinished Tales because they have the map of Numenor that exclusively only appears in UT, so presumably they have all of the Numenor info from UT as well, which is considerable.

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

A biographic film, under fair use, can certainly mention inarguable facts, like Tolkien was writing a book called The Silmarillion featuring characters xx and yy and zz, without any problem. That they chose not to might have been to avoid any kind of speculative legal challenge, but certainly they would have had that right. Dramatising scenes from the Sil was right out, of course, but mentioning them, especially in a very general way, should not have been problematic.

Exactly. But there is nothing about that sort in the movie.

By the way, I reread the Carpenter biography last week and the TCBS story actually was not exactly accurately depicted. Tolkien was the oldest guy, and Gilson, the son of the headmaster, wasn't bullying him, nor was the father this kind of tyrant - but rather some kind of eccentric hobby inventor.

And Arthur, Tolkien's father, had attended King Edward's, too. This was not a boy who was put in a school where he didn't belong. Sure, he was an orphaned scion of an English middle-class family (and some German immigrants), and they had money problems, but he was no beggar.

5 hours ago, Werthead said:

This is correct in as far as they could make a very limited series based on what is solely in the LotR appendix, but that's quite limiting. We know they do have the rights to Unfinished Tales because they have the map of Numenor that exclusively only appears in UT, so presumably they have all of the Numenor info from UT as well, which is considerable.

Could be. I mean, there seems to have been a deal with the Estate right around the time Christopher dropped out shortly before the TV series was announced (although they could also have only bought things like the map) - but I was more speaking about the fact that Saul Zaentz could have long ago made his own version of the SA, Númenor, and the Rings of Power simply based on the information provided in the LotR. I mean, we all do recall that the appendices of the LotR do contain a list of all of the names of the kings of Númenor. Things only mentioned in the Akallabêth or UT could not be part of such an adaptation (what springs to mind would be the detail of Celebrimbor's corpse behind used as a banner by Sauron's troops) but the core story of Númenor and the Rings is actually told in appendix A and B.

And we would assume that such an adaptation wouldn't exactly be all that faithful - meaning that all the details they don't have the rights to could easily enough be filled with new ideas - and everything could still feel like Tolkien due to the fact that they would basically have all the important names and characters, anyway.

And everything Amazon is going to do is not exactly likely to have much to do with Tolkien's SA material, anyway. It is far too cursory to provide more than a background for a tantalizing story involving living, breathing characters. I guess one can do something with the idea that Celebrimbor is/was in love with Galadriel, but aside from that I really don't see interesting character content there that could be used as basis for a good TV show. They will have to invent a lot (I guess one could make a series about the forging of the Rings of Power and the war against Sauron, and then another about the downfall of Númenor, up until the Last Alliance - a combination of both could only work if they were to completely ignore Tolkien's time line).

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One sees a great deal too of Middle Earth's previous history of warring groups, in Sultan Mehmed II's final, terrible, tragic battle - siege of Constantinople in 1453.  Incredible tales were recorded by the few who managed to survive from the besieged forces. Though, as usual, the Venetians were still parked nicely in the former capital, which they'd controlled since their Great Betrayal of the 4th Crusade, of the now forever defunct eastern empire of Rûm.

Edited by Zorral

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