Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring * Peter Jackson * 2001
Lord Of The Rings: The Two Tower * Peter Jackson * 2002
Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The Ring * Peter Jackson * 2003
The bigger the hype, the less I want to see a film. There are other reasons why I didn’t watch these films earlier: I don’t read novels, so I never read the book and I particulary don’t like the fantasy genre. Still, now that the hype made room for new hypes and because I was curious about the (possible) Nordic mythology influences in the book / films ànd because the complete trilogy can now be bought on DVD for merely E 15,-, I decided to buy the box and watch the films afterall.
First, I don’t particularly like the story. As you all know, the “ring of power” has been discovered and in order to prevent evil to prevail, nine persons are appointed to destroy the ring, which adventure forms the core of the films. In the first film the ring is discovered and from the different inhabitents of “Middle Earth” (“Hobbits”, “Elves”, “Dwarves”, “Men”, etc.) representatives are chosen for the quest. In the second film, evil starts a campaign to take over Middle Earth and in the last film the last part of the quest is shown. Each film takes about three hours. The films are lauded for the brilliant effects. Indeed, sometimes they look nice, but sometimes they don’t! Also good for the big audience are the (to me) superfluous lengthy battle scenes which are not particularly impressive (maybe on the big screen they were).
So far for the films. The story is somewhat of a true epic myth with typical elements such as pride, endurance, adventure and (here very obvious) the battle between good and evil: a nice setting. As for the mythological influences, there are a few Northern elements, of course the name “Middle Earth” (from “Midgard”, the “middle garden or the realm of mankind) for the earth, only one time you get to see runes (I believe in the book the language of the elves is written in runes), here and there you get to see a glimpse of Northern ethics, such as in the scene where a hobbit has to tell a king his son is dead and offers his service instead. Then you have vague references to Northern gods, such as a description of a man with a long cloak and a big head (Odin), or the castle of Minas Ithil which could be a reference to Odin’s throne. There is also a scene in which the sword that had cut off the finger with the ring of power is reforged, which could remind of the story of Sigurd. “Isengard” reminds of “Niflheim”, the world of ice and a few other names could refer to myths of the North. On the other side, there is probably as much Greek and other mythology to be found, like the Argonauts, the statues of the ancestors in LOTR. Overall, I didn’t find too much Nordic myths in the film (at first sight at least).
Overal. I don’t know if the films where worth the hype. The books are probably better, the films are just a nice (but long) watch. Maybe the mythological style appeals to the minds of the masses, I don’t know, but I rather read them myself instead of reading them vaguely used in fantasy writing. Oh well, the films are an amusing watch, but don’t expect too much of it if you haven’t seen the films yet.