I have been reading the famous last magazine, and there is a very good
interview with Peter Jackson and another with Fran Walsh, a good
article on John Howe and very interesting articles on make-up and the
usual New Zealand Tourism extended advertisement.
One thing missing is an interview with one of the actors, and perhaps
that is why they finally decided to end the mag, as the actors have
mostly gone on to other projects, or might not want to do it anyway.
I was always a bit divided on the subject of Fran Walsh's
scriptwriting. I knew the book had to be changed to provide a script,
but some things irritated me. When Pippin finds Merry on the field of
battle, in the book, Merry says to him;
'Have you come to bury me?', one of the book's most heart-rending
lines. The film had 'are you going to leave me?' which was not as
moving and changed the meaning completely. There were a lot of minor
changes like that which I thought were unnecessary (and a lot I knew
were necessary) Also, in her interview on the dvd extra disc Fran Walsh
said about her changes to the character of Faramir
'We felt like bad mothers, tee hee'
Tee hee? What was so funny about the wrecking of Tolkien's most
beautiful character? it weakened the films and certainly lost them a
lot of 'book' fans, not to mention endangering their claim that the
film was 'made by fans for fans'.
Looking at the letters page I have to admit one thing missing from this
publication was controversy like this. The letters sing the magazine's
praises but hardly hint at the scale of the disappointment we felt when
its end was announced. There is a letter in the magazine from Dan
Madsen saying what a wonderful time it has been, and how great
friendships were forged and this is true, but we all know from posts
here a lot of friends were lost after the clumsy revamp of the boards
and the total lack of any feeling that'they' were listening to us.
The merchandise pages are looking a bit thin, and one wonders was the
lessening of sales another reason to cap the magazine. Despite the
effusive tributes, money matters.
I hope no-one from the Tolkien Society reads this, but I always thought
the fanclub magazine was as far from the TS publications as you could
get; glossy, glamorous, full of merchandise and glorious images. But it
did celebrate something else different from traditional Tolkien
societies; in 30 years with the Tolkien Society I never made a single
friend there; here I managed to visit Canada and the US, England,
Germany and Donegal, all the time visiting fellow LOTR fans who became
close friends as well. I suppose that, rather than a glossy back
number, is the legacy of the fanclub....
Thanks, fellow fans
Interesting observations as always. And even though we didn't get to
meet personally, you did meet Bregalad, whom I have met and gone to THE
movies and dined with. I haven't met Linaewen or Lith, but I have met
FDNL, who has met her. I haven't met Prim but Bregalad and jan-u-wine
have both met her, and so many others. The friendships that have
changed my life are a legacy I will be grateful for the rest of my life.
Do I agree with everything PJ and co. did? I agree that many things
were changed that did need to be changed and little things could have
been slipped in and a few things left out. I'll miss the excitement of
the magazine arriving, and they could have handled things differently.
I've voiced my thoughts to them; I've done what I could. They have
their decisions to make, and I have mine. I have chosen not to shop in
the New Line store if I can buy what I want someplace else, which I
can. My chose will not affect them, not really, but the important thing
to me is that I get to choose. I also get to choose to be grateful for
what I have been given and let go of any disappointment that doesn't
affect them in the least but does hurt me. I've learned about
discussing things, including -- and maybe especially -- things one
doesn't agree with when there will never be agreement, and more
importantly I've discovered good people can disagree and still be
friends. I don't care for the new board format but my forced absence
because of my back trouble has taught me a new appreciation for it. And
at the risk of being roasted alive, I didn't mind the "change" to
Faramir since I saw him as a bully to begin with, that is until the
very end of the exchange in the book. Hmmm... I suppose I should
consider having stew for dinner.
Reply to Ladyhawk
Faramir a bully? Oh dear, not so my dear Lady H.
In the book, Faramir has the right to execute Frodo, who is travelling
in a country where it is lawful to kill strangers. But he never
considers killing Frodo. Even the 'trial' he puts Frodo on is just a
formality; this is Tolkien's final creation in a long line beginning
with Turin and leading through Aragorn; the just leader, the
compassionate warrior, the thinking man as war hero, forced to make
momentous decisions on the spot in the wilderness.
Far from being a bully, it is Faramir who says;'I would not trap even
an orc with falsehood' and who hates killing. It is Faramir, not
Aragorn, who is Frodo's real soul friend. It is Faramir who says to
Frodo the prophetic and beautiful line;'I won't see you again under the
Nor does he, Frodo never lives again under a sun, only in a halflight
of painful memory.
Far from being a bully, Faramir is all that is best in The Lord of The
Rings; brave, full of reverence for the greatness and beauty of his
city's past but unwilling to sacrifice life to it, he has, as Sam says,
'an air of wizards', the air of Numenor. The real bully is his brother
Boromir, who seizes Faramir's errand to Rivendell and takes all their
father's love, then throws it all away in a moment of madness.
'We are truth-speakers' says Faramir 'we men of Gondor; we boast
seldom, and then perform, or die in the attempt. Not if I found it on
the highway would I take it I said 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...'
And Frodo in parting says to Faramir;
'It was told to me by Elrond Half-elven that I would find friendship
unpon the way, secret and unlooked for. Certainly I looked for no such
friendship as you have shown...'
Bully? Not so.....
Reply by Ladyhawk:
Frodo was small and clearly worn from his travel and burden and yet
still Faramir interrogates him, until he faints. I find that neither
kind nor generous. I am well aware that Faramir should have had him
killed, and at least he had the good sense to question authority. But
Faramir goads and threatens an already tortured soul. I find nothing
brave or praiseworthy in that. BTW, I did like Faramir by the end of it
all, for he and Frodo did come to understanding, but it did not change
the memory of my first impression of him. And I didn't say Boromir
wasn't a bully and in fact this more or less proves my point. The two
are clearly brothers, the only difference is that one followed through
on his threats, provoked by the Ring, while the other chose long before
that the Ring was not what it was cracked up to be, and did not follow
through. Frodo and Sam were not seasoned warriors, even Faramir admits
it, and yet he treats them as if they are. Over and over it is driven
home that the hobbits are considered to be more like children by Men
and not taken seriously and in fact many did not believe they existed
at all. It is two small hobbits captured by seasoned warriors, all of
whom are twice their size. I do understand that this was war, but that
doesn't mean I have to approve of the behavior, which even Faramir
would admit brings out the worst in a Man. It did not bring out the
very worst in Faramir but I still did not find his threats and behavior
I have ever admitted I feel much akin to Frodo. I don't like to be
bullied either. And I don't like to see it happen to anyone else. It
brings out the Mother Bear in me.
I do wish the interrogation scene could have been in the movie only
because it brings out the deep down strength and courage of Frodo, but
sadly PJ chose not to emphasize that aspect of Frodo, but I never
forget it is there.
I agree with you Varda, about the changes to the Faramir character in
the movies – I would also have liked to have seen more of the
Faramir/Eowyn story and the Houses of Healing. To me the most annoying
parts were the “Arwen’s dying” and her fate is tied to the ring
nonsense, and also, the time when Frodo told Sam to “go home”. I cringe
a little when I watch those parts. I also thought Gimli’s part in the
EE “Drinking Game” scene was a bit juvenile and out-of-place (in such a
high-class movie). But I guess everyone has their own pet peeves.
As far as the magazine is concerned, I guess it had to come to an end
sometime. They could have given us a bit more notice, though. I have
yet to meet any other fans or go to a meeting or convention; I hope
someday to meet some other ringers – I wonder if this fanclub will die