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Posted: 2/7/2006 5:32:11 AM EDT
I have seen all 3 of the movies and they are fantastic, maybe my favorite movies of all time. Question is should I bother reading the Lord of the Rings books? I know sometimes the books are better and sometimes they are not? Opinions? If they are worth reading even though I've seen the movies, does it apply to all 3 books?

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:33:49 AM EDT
Without question, yes. The books are 10x better than the movies. And the movies are damn good.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:34:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Without question, yes. The books are 10x better than the movies. And the movies are damn good.



+1
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:34:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Without question, yes. The books are 10x better than the movies. And the movies are damn good.



What he said. The movies were EPIC, and the books are that much better.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:36:23 AM EDT
you probably already know this, but once you get started, you'll realize the movies chose different stop/start points than the books did.

good reading.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:44:33 AM EDT
You should have read the books first. Now you can never use your imagination when reading the books, you'll always read the books and imagine the scenes from the movies.

And yes, the books are a lot better than the movies. But if you thought the movies were long, you ain't seen nothin' yet (I'm not saying it's a bad thing.)
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:47:41 AM EDT
I hear ya, but that isn't really a bad thing.

I read the hobbit and thought it was one of the better books I've read.

You guys have me excited to read these now
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:47:49 AM EDT
Absolutely, positively read the books. I've read the books twice. I've seen the movies about five times each. I love both. They both have their strengths and they both have their weaknesses. Either way, it's a wonderful story.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:50:40 AM EDT
Read the books.

Then read the Silmarillion if you want some good history of Middle Earth.

The books are way better than the movies (as usual).
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:19:31 AM EDT
I read the books after I saw the movies.. Made me disappointed in the movies actually..

The movies changed some stuff around, expanded the love plot (that wasted allot of time that could of been used elsewhere), and left ALLOT of stuff out..

I could see compressing stuff/leaving out minor stuff but changing major things kind of ticked me off.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:27:27 AM EDT
You want to see bad movies...???

Find the old Bakshi (sp?) Lord of the Rings....

The Cell animation was a new thing and even then it seemed to be done so badly that the 2 remaining stories were doen in total cartoon type animation...

Ted...
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:30:32 AM EDT
I would highly recommend reading the books. My daughter(Sr in high school, and is very good in English) read all of the books, the books explain may things that the movies either touch lightly or skip entirely. This is the creative license involved in getting a book to the big screen, so things have to be left out.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:49:51 AM EDT
My wife got hardcore into the books, she went out and bought all of them.. I for some reason, Dont see the pitcure... I cant get into books about wizzards and such...?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:51:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Without question, yes. The books are 10x better than the movies. And the movies are damn good.



+1
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:57:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Without question, yes. The books are 10x better than the movies. And the movies are damn good.



+1



+2

Read The Hobbit first and tack The Silmarillion on the end.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:03:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 8:04:32 AM EDT by Beleg]
If you don't know what my screen name means, you don't know Tolkien.

Seriously, though, they may be the best novels ever written. Gun people especially seem to enjoy them; lots of common beliefs with rugged individualists and fighting evil. They are DIFFERENT than the films. Empty your head of expectations before you read. For example, sixteen years pass between Bilbo's departure and Gandalf's discovery of the nature of the Ring.

Frankly, I am envious of you; I would love to be able to go back and read them again for the first time. I finished them for the first time in eighth grade (I can still remember where I was) and have read them at least once a year since then. I'm thirty now and still enjoy them as much as I ever did.

ETA: Read the Hobbit first, and then the LOTR trilogy.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:05:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Without question, yes. The books are 10x better than the movies. And the movies are damn good.



+1



+2

Read The Hobbit first and tack The Silmarillion on the end.



Big +1
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:10:38 AM EDT
Rumor has it that Jackson my direct The Hobbit. Anyone else heard that??
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:11:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lupey:
Rumor has it that Jackson my direct The Hobbit. Anyone else heard that??



I fricking wish! I have not heard that. Nor has my GF who makes my obsession look like a slight interest.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:20:36 AM EDT
Read the books! Go to this web site to learn more about LOTR than you ever imagined. Tolkien worked on these books for most of his life. There is sooooo much more there than you will pick up on an initial reading. The Tolkien scholars (no, this is not an overstatement) on this web site will clue you in:

Council Of Elrond Forums

Yes, there is a big push to get Jackson to do "The Hobbit".

Ian Holm will most likely NOT be playing Bilbo Baggins due to his age. In "The Hobbit", Bilbo is a much younger man.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:26:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 8:28:09 AM EDT by mjohn3006]

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Read the books! Go to this web site to learn more about LOTR than you ever imagined. Tolkien worked on these books for most of his life. There is sooooo much more there than you will pick up on an initial reading. The Tolkien scholars (no, this is not an overstatement) on this web site will clue you in:

Council Of Elrond Forums

Yes, there is a big push to get Jackson to do "The Hobbit".

Ian Holm will most likely NOT be playing Bilbo Baggins due to his age. In "The Hobbit", Bilbo is a much younger man.




Yeah. That would not be to bad if they got another actor for Bilbo. In fact as you said because of age it waould make sence. But they sure as heck get Ian Mckellen for Gandalf. And of course there is no doubt about Andy Serkis playing Gollumn.

Legolas and Gimli could even make cameos.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:58:39 AM EDT
The books have to be read to be believed. I read the Trilogy spring break between probably 5th and 6th grade. Started them the moment I got up from the breakfast table and would read straight through until I had to go to bed. It took me probably a week to get through them with my parents interrupting me and literally forcing me to take a break and go outside. The movies are great but they leave so much out that the books fill in.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:03:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hsvhobbit:
The books have to be read to be believed. I read the Trilogy spring break between probably 5th and 6th grade. Started them the moment I got up from the breakfast table and would read straight through until I had to go to bed. It took me probably a week to get through them with my parents interrupting me and literally forcing me to take a break and go outside. The movies are great but they leave so much out that the books fill in.



Yet another life destroied by these cursed books!!! They need to put big warning lables on the books to warn of the addictive nature of them. "Warning! Reading this books has been found to be extremely hobbit forming"



Seriously tho, the books are simply fantastic!
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:26:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 9:35:07 AM EDT by Greenhorn]

Originally Posted By FlyByWire:
My wife got hardcore into the books, she went out and bought all of them.. I for some reason, Dont see the pitcure... I cant get into books about wizzards and such...?



Don't just read the books as a story about wizards, strange creatures and magic. Read it for the deep, amazing characters, the rich cultures, and the incredible storytelling/plot progression, not to mention the basic human story of good vs. evil.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:33:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FlyByWire:
My wife got hardcore into the books, she went out and bought all of them.. I for some reason, Dont see the pitcure... I cant get into books about wizzards and such...?



The books are about far more fundamental things than “wizzards and such”…
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:36:27 AM EDT
The movie are cool. The books are art.

The guy created entire languages for them. You'll be amazed at how incredibly deep they are. He basically created entire mythologies, cultures, history, etc. It's not just a story.

Although I always feel sad when I finish them.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:47:51 AM EDT
There are MAJOR plot digressions from books to movies. Some of them leaving you shaking your head, WTF was Jackson thinking when he did THAT??!!! Jackson tries to explain it, but it really doesn't make that much sense. Gimli isn't comic relief in the books, nor does Aragorn angst out like some Danish wuss over his responsibilities. Elrond is much more noble than the bitter, overprotective daddy in the movies. Arwen is a bit of a footnote in the books, but there is also no question that she is Aragorn's rock.

Don't get me started on Wizards....the confrontation between Gandalf and the Witch King has a completely different tone in the books.

Enjoy.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 12:52:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lupey:
Rumor has it that Jackson my direct The Hobbit. Anyone else heard that??



I heard that Jackson was slated to direct The Hobbit back in 2005 when he was working on King Kong. The skinny was that he was going to do The Hobbit after King Kong.

Now the word is that he is no longer doing The Hobbit and has decided to work on Halo instead.

I hope he gets it back into his head to do The Hobbit sometime down the road.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:24:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 1:25:45 PM EDT by corwin1968]

Originally Posted By Beleg:

Seriously, though, they may be the best novels ever written.

Frankly, I am envious of you; I would love to be able to go back and read them again for the first time. I finished them for the first time in eighth grade (I can still remember where I was) and have read them at least once a year since then. I'm thirty now and still enjoy them as much as I ever did.



I started The Hobbit in the chair on my parent's front porch and finished Return of the King (with tears in my eyes) sitting in first hour (typing class with Mrs. Austell, 10th grade, 1984).
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:45:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
The movie are cool. The books are art.

The guy created entire languages for them. You'll be amazed at how incredibly deep they are. He basically created entire mythologies, cultures, history, etc. It's not just a story.

Although I always feel sad when I finish them.



I wouldn't quite agree with that.

Tolkien's professional background was that he was a Professor at Oxford University in the UK, specialising in researching and translating old european sagas and mythologies, especially from old pre-Saxon England and Scanadnavia (the vikings). He was also one of the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary for a while and was a devout Catholic from what I've heard and a close personal friend of CS Lewis (who wrote Chronicles of Narnia).

Read the opening chapter of Silmarillion, then read Genesis in the Bible. The two are so similar to each other it's not funny. Even the downfall of Lucifer (bible)/downfall of Melkor (silmarillion) very strongly paralell each other.

While Tolkien did create the languages for the dwarves and elves (several different elven dialects actually) and the elven alphabet, the dwarven written alphabet is highly derivitive from the old viking written alphabet and the language for Rohan was actually one of the old pre-Saxon languages of England that he had researched professionally.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:36:06 PM EDT
Tolkien Uber-Nerd checking in:

This will take more time than I currently have right now.

Books>Movies without question.

Jackson slaughtered the books, ie dumbed them down, shat on the main themes and danced on their graves singing alleleujah'.

The books have such a sweeping vision and by reading them, you become immersed in vast uncharted areas that your imagination has never been to before.

All who have come after Tolkien have stolen from his writing. Stealing bits and pieces of his masterwork to people their own universes. Of course their were Dwarfs and Elves and Trolls... but Tolkien gave them their proper beginnings and places... he made Dwarves and Elven lords and lands whence they sprung...

He took these poor misplaced mythic creatures and gave them all a permanent home in literary history. He spent a lifetime doing just this thing. Full written language for the Elves, along with not just an alphabet but several flowing scripts. The Dwarves language he based on Hebrew I believe... as the Dwarves themselves were based on the Jews interestingly enough. "Baruk khazad! Khazad ai menu!" "The Dwarves, the axes of the Dwarves are upon you!" happens to be their ancient battle cry.


The history is so deep and compelling that it is easy to get lost in Tolkiens creation and look upon it as real.

If you are a history buff, and would like to think things at one time were high and noble... then Tolkien is for you. Decidedly so.

The movies? Well intentioned, ill researched. He got quite a bit of the look ok, but the INTENT he gave was utterly WRONG!

Dram out
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 3:35:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dramborleg:
The movies? Well intentioned, ill researched. He got quite a bit of the look ok, but the INTENT he gave was utterly WRONG!

Dram out



Exactly.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 3:36:11 PM EDT
Thank you
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 3:42:04 PM EDT
Do you remember the part in the Fellowship with the Pony as they are about to enter the caves (the one with the enchanted door and the octopus monster in the lake)? Well the pony had a bigger part in the books. Also the movies don't mention Tom Bombadil. There are so many parts that the movies had to cut out that it would be a sin not to read the books.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 3:42:45 PM EDT
Read The Hobbit. It precedes the Lord of the Rings and I believe it's shorter than any of the trilogy. That way you'll add to the total story and get a taste for the writing to see if you like it.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/0618002219/104-8370042-8103921?v=glance&n=283155
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:00:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:

Originally Posted By Lupey:
Rumor has it that Jackson my direct The Hobbit. Anyone else heard that??



I fricking wish! I have not heard that. Nor has my GF who makes my obsession look like a slight interest.


Why?
It'd be two hours of Smaug and about 20 minutes of plot.

If he's doing Halo, thank God. He's finally found his medium.

g/f dragged me to King Kong this weekend. I don't know why they bother paying live actors. Jackson needs to get a job at Pixar.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:34:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stryfe:
It'd be two hours of Smaug and about 20 minutes of plot.



I dunno if that's necessarily a bad thing ... the other potential highlights of the Hobbit really pale in comparison with everything that happens at Lonely Mountain. The trolls, the capture by the forest elves, even the battle over Smaug's treasure don't really compare to the actual confrontation with Smaug himself.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:41:43 AM EDT
In the movies, all of the characters are less heroic. Much less knee biting in the books.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:48:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:49:50 AM EDT
the special effects in the books suck
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:51:07 AM EDT
The books are classics, but frankly I liked the movies better. While I appreciated the books, I never found them "pulling me in" the way other books have. The movies, however, emotionally involved me completely with the characters. The books are definitely worth reading though.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:02:18 AM EDT
The movies are visually fairly interesting. And alot of the locations look pretty darn good. But there are horrible inconsistancies too. The rolling grasslands of Rohan are bleak and wasted looking whereas they are supposed to be lush and green. Nice frackup Pete. How but CG'n a bit of fricking green, eh? Alot of it really.

And to stay in the Rohan vein for just a sec... whats with all the leather armor???? They wore mail coats to their knees. How hard is that??

Pete even manages to frack up the slaying of the Witchking, totally ruined Tolkiens perfect dialogue for Dernhelm/Eowynn.

Ugh... cheap film theatrics ... for what?? A nice simple and straight plot line ruined by a gee whiz moron and his two illiterate broad screen writers.

What a joke.

Here lets let Luigi and Giuseppe the janitors clean the Mona Lisa with their mop and bucket... that is what good ol' Pete did by unleashing those two idiot women on Tolkiens Masterpiece. No sense of gravity, no sense of the downright HEROIC nature that men had in the books... none of that stuff for good ol' Pete. No-sir. How about a love story with the ugliest fish mouthed broad breathing starring as the most beautiful creature then existant? How bout' that, eh? Bluuuuuuurgh!

Enough, I am ranting. No need. If someone can enjoy the movies good for them. They are more painful than good for my own taste.... painful in the opportunity that was thrown away by Petey.

Dram out
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:17:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
the special effects in the books suck


You need a better imagination.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:21:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:
The books are classics, but frankly I liked the movies better. While I appreciated the books, I never found them "pulling me in" the way other books have. The movies, however, emotionally involved me completely with the characters. The books are definitely worth reading though.


I have the exact opposite take on that.
So, I guess it's to each his own.
I chuckle when I see people write that the films were epic. I felt they were rushed, and that the book gave a much greater sense of time than the film did.
As someone posted earlier, a number of years passed between Bilbo's departure and Frodo's. And yet the movie turns it into a short chase sequence, compared to the longer pursuit that took place in the book.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:22:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dramborleg:
...
Dram out


And I thought I was the only one who thought that way.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:59:56 AM EDT
While I didn't think the movies were THAT bad (despite normally being a purist when it comes to these things), I think you've got a good point here:


Originally Posted By Dramborleg:
Pete even manages to frack up the slaying of the Witchking, totally ruined Tolkiens perfect dialogue for Dernhelm/Eowynn.



Jackson really screwed that one up ... the original text would have been MUCH more powerful but for whatever reason he reduced it to a single line (which didn't have anywhere near the impact of the original).

"Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!"

"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."

"Do what you will, but I will hinder it, if I may."

"Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!"

"But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Eomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:09:44 AM EDT
Books and movies were both great.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:23:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 11:25:46 AM EDT by Kharn]

Originally Posted By Vinnie:
Do you remember the part in the Fellowship with the Pony as they are about to enter the caves (the one with the enchanted door and the octopus monster in the lake)? Well the pony had a bigger part in the books. Also the movies don't mention Tom Bombadil. There are so many parts that the movies had to cut out that it would be a sin not to read the books.

I really cant figure out where Tolkein was going with Bombadil, they show up at his place, spend a long time there, then suddenly just one day depart as if he lost his train of thought on that sub-plot. I was glad they finally departed his place, I was seriously considering putting the book down with how boring those ~50 pages were.

Kharn
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:27:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 11:28:33 AM EDT by RikWriter]

Originally Posted By Stryfe:
I chuckle when I see people write that the films were epic. I felt they were rushed, and that the book gave a much greater sense of time than the film did.
As someone posted earlier, a number of years passed between Bilbo's departure and Frodo's. And yet the movie turns it into a short chase sequence, compared to the longer pursuit that took place in the book.



And why is changing that a bad thing? I think, rather than feeling "rushed" it gave the story a sense of urgency, which the books sorely lacked. The films were definitely epic and gave much more of an epic feel than the books did.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:35:53 AM EDT
no scourging of the shire in the movies.

that part pissed me off that jackson wacked that off.
that rereading the novels pissed me off even more.

Books Own the movies.
Read em already.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:46:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandman67:
I have seen all 3 of the movies and they are fantastic, maybe my favorite movies of all time. Question is should I bother reading the Lord of the Rings books? I know sometimes the books are better and sometimes they are not? Opinions? If they are worth reading even though I've seen the movies, does it apply to all 3 books?




ABSOLUTELY. The movies were very good, but there were still a lot of background details lost. I had to do a lot of explaining to my wife about the origins of the Ring, the Nine, Galadriel, the Mines of Moria, and a lot of other background stuff to fill in the gaps. You really dont get the entire story just from the movies. Hell, they left out the scouring of the Shire entirely.

Actually, read all of his books and writings, in the following order: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Silmarillion, the History of Middle Earth series, Unfinished Tales, and any other collection of essays and writings you find.

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