Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Lord of the Rings

I love this trilogy. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Yes, yes, and yes. And I feel like I’m cheating a little because these movies were of course created based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s books.

Even so, I couldn’t resist. These movies pulse with all of the classic elements worthy of an epic. Even if you’re not drafting an epic right now, there’s something to glean from the well-structured plot and the hobbit-sized characters with enormous hearts (and feet…and ears…).

Grab the popcorn, folks. We’re dimming the lights with the hope some bulbs will click on with our own WIPs.

(Turn off all cell phones and please shhh, no talking.)

A Protagonist with Promising Potential for Growth
Who do we have in Frodo Baggins? Someone unexpected and small to root for, that’s who. He demonstrates moments of weakness and great strength. He’s determined, motivated, and faces innumerable obstacles on his adventure.

An Antagonist We Love to Hate (and then some)
Saruman and Sauron—tag team of tongue twisting terrors.

Saruman, a wizard believed to be on our side. Nope. Isn’t that the kind we fear most, one who we believe is good, but has intentions to destroy? Accompanying Saruman is that evil eye thing that scans Middle-earth, Sauron. Can you get freakier than an enormous black eye surrounded by fire on the hunt for more power?

Strong and Likeable Secondary Characters
I’m pretty sure I have a crush on Samwise. My husband and I like to joke with each other when one of us seems a little exhausted, “Share the load.”

This is what Samwise says to Frodo, always willing to help, the ever-loyal sidekick. I also like how he has his own story and drive in each scene. As he pines for a girl in the Shire (Rosie Cotton), he longs to see Frodo succeed for the sake of Middle-earth.

And for laughs we have Pippin and Merry.

And how about that Aragorn? Can I get a whistle or two? Or are you more of a Legolas fan?

Location, Location, Location
The Shire. Rivendell. Isengard. The names alone make me want to study a map and locate the hobbit’s journey to save Middle-earth. Heck, the name Middle-earth alone makes me want to study a map…

Layered History
Gollum… ‘nough said.

Surmounting Obstacles
The two Ss. Gollum. Slashed by a Ringwraith. Frodo’s own internal battle. This story is woven intricately with complications.

Even a Love Story
Aragorn and Arwen sitting in a tree. Doesn’t exactly roll right off your tongue, but still. Their elfin/middle-earth man love story worked for me.

Victorious Ending
After great battles and great internal conflict we are given a great ending (and if we’re talking about The Return of the King, we’re given about thirteen great endings). Readers love to feel like they’ve survived when they come to the end of a book. We can give them that and more. We can give them a great end (or thirteen).

I haven’t even touched on the fantastic symbolism (wish I had time for it), but no matter how you watch it, this movie rings epically true. ;)

Have a favorite scene from the trilogy you’d like to share?

*photos from Flickr


Wendy Paine Miller said...


Anyone watching this movie with me?
~ Wendy

Anonymous said...

Love these movies! They're probably my all-time favorites.

My favorite scene would have to be the battle scenes where Legolas and Gimli are trying to best each other with the number of their kills. Not only is Legolas gorgeous, but it gives the more serious characters a chance to give us a laugh.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Sorry, Wendy...been doing paperwork all day but this is much more fun :)

Love this movie. We quote it all the time, too. Sadly (maybe this is a comment on our intellect) our favorite quote is "po-ta-toes." I almost never read fantasy so I was surprised to fall in love with this movie. You're right there is so much you could do a month series on these movies. Can't wait for Hobbit :O Great post, Wendy!

Lacie Nezbeth said...

Love these movies! And funny enough, seeing all the crazy names spelled out in this post has actually helped me understand the story even better! Thanks Wendy! :)

Pepper said...

Just stopped in while on my lunch break and WOOOHOOOO! I am a BIG LOTR fan!
Go Wendy!

Talk about character arch or plot.
This book/movie has everything. Drama, humor, suspense, romance - but an overwhelming amount of courage.
Love it!

And there are SO MANY AMAZING CHARACTERS. I'm overwhelmed at how Tolkien holds such a cast of characters and keeps them uniquely 'them'. From Aragorn, to Legolas, to Gimli and Gandalf - they are extremely unique. Even down to Faramir (one of my FAVS from the books) and Eowyn. They ALL have storylines.

What does that teach us?
Author, know thy characters :-)

Great post, WEndy. Can you tell I'm excited :-)

Pepper said...

Oh wait -
one of my favorite quotes:
Samwise: I can't carry it for you, Mr. Frodo. But I can carry you.

WHAT a lesson in true love and friendship!

Krista Phillips said...

Um. Confession. Never watchd any of the movies. (Although I think I was in the room once while hubby watched one.....) yes, I know, gasps are allowed and pobably warrented!!!!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Whew, so glad some of you were watching with me today!

Michelle, Yes, I love those scenes, too. Especially the one where Legolas throws Gimli and they compete to see how many Orcs they've taken down.

Julia, You aren't kidding about the month series. Once I picked this topic I had to narrow it down. Tricksy (as Gollum might say). And I hardly read fantasy too.

I love the name chosen for the places as much as the characters.

Pepper, Way to represent! Thank you! And yes, that line on the mountain is precious. A classic and reminds me of my faith.

Krista, Well now I know what I'm getting you for Christmas. :D

You all are a ton of fun. Hope I didn't get any popcorn on you when I flung it up in the air at the sight of those nasty Orcs!

The good guys win though!

Woo hoo!
~ Wendy

Casey said...

I haven't seen these movies yet...

Am I in trouble now??

Phew. Didn't want to be. ;-) I need to work on my character likeable, so this was great to read, thanks! And actually I'm surprised NO ONE took Anne of Green Gables. I shoulda done that one. :) Another great series!

Laura S. said...

My favorite scene is in The Fellowship just after Frodo and Sam leave the Shire and literally walk into Merry and Pippin. Hilarious! I always laugh out loud at that entire scene, falling over eachother, their conversation as they run from Farmer Maggot, and tumbling down the little cliff. It never gets old! Hobbits are too fun.

I can never decide if I want to live in the Shire, Rivendell, or Lothlorien the most. My preference changes every time! All those places were amazingly brought to life in the films.