canon? in what universe?

Dear anyone: no, Peter Jackson’s adaptions of LotR were not good movies because he “stuck to the canon”, because no he did fucking not sunshine, they were good movies because they were made with love and care and dedication by people who loved their jobs. Canon was not held as highly as y’all thought, and I say that as someone who adores those movies, and believes that media in general would be so much poorer without them.

But canon was handwaved whenever it got in the way, negl. There is a reason Christopher Tolkien loathed the movies. Don’t bullshit me. I read these books every time I get depressed, I know them like the back of my hand. The movies were astonishingly brilliant, but they sure as fuck were not canon.

highly unpopular opinion time

I really, really, really dislike Galadriel’s portrayal in the films. I always have. Like. I wouldn’t say hate, but I can’t stress enough how much I don’t like it. Her design is spot-on and gorgeous, and I don’t dislike Cate Blanchett’s performance (I mean…she’s Cate effing Blanchett!); and I don’t think this is her doing — she’s just acting as she’s directed to. The performer and the performance itself is wonderful, the portrayal is the director’s and writers’ fault, not the actress’.

Movie Galadriel is so…wtf-inducting. She sounds like she’s broken into Celeborn’s stash of special lembas, is weird and haughty and untouchable, and that’s just…wrong. This is how we’re introduced to Galadriel and Celeborn in the book:

The chamber was filled with a soft light; its walls were green and silver and its roof of gold. Many Elves were seated there. On two chairs beneath the bole of the tree and canopied by a living bough there sat, side by side, Celeborn and Galadriel. They stood up to greet their guests, after the manner of Elves, even those who were accounted mighty kings. Very tall they were, and the Lady no less tall than the Lord; and they were grave and beautiful. They were clad wholly in white; and the hair of the Lady was of deep gold, and the hair of the Lord Celeborn was of silver long and bright; but no sign of age was upon them, unless it were in the depths of their eyes; for these were keen as lances in the starlight, and yet profound, the wells of deep memory.

“Grave and beautiful” doesn’t mean weird and untouchable, nor did they hold themselves above their guests. Elven courtesy? Never heard of it, apparently.

Also:

‘Nay, there was no change of counsel,’ said the Lady Galadriel, speaking for the first time. Her voice was clear and musical, but deeper than woman’s wont.

How is the way Cate Blanchett speaks in the movie clear and musical? At least they got the depth right, but good lord.

And the scene with Galadriel’s mirror in the movie is just so…disappointing. It’s the worst characterisation of her in the whole movie. It could have been done so elegantly and emotionally, and instead it’s just bombastic and honestly, a little silly. In the book she counselled Sam and Frodo but made it very clear to them that she didn’t have all the answers. She even laughed at times. The revelation that she was Nenya’s bearer wherein she lifted her hands to the East and essentially gave Sauron the finger was such a vital scene that bolstered her eventual rejection of the temptation of the Ring, which was…I mean, as the Professor wrote:

She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illumined her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf – woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

(Emphasis mine, obviously.)

It just bugs me that in the films, it seemed like she was possessed by something outside herself, and that’s just…not what it was. It was an internal struggle, and a key point in her character development, if not the key point. This was Galadriel battling herself, all those thousands of years wherein she accumulated her wisdom, her depth, her heartbreak and shame and loss and love, and it was her winning the “long defeat”, in a sense.

Look, I get it. I subscribe to the “branching canon” way of looking at adaptions, and if something’s not to my taste, oh well, you know? But it still annoys me that they had this brilliant, wholly capable actress who could become this grave, beautiful, gentle, wise, subtle woman, with all that wisdom and experience behind her…and they told her to become some kind of weird forest cryptid who’s popped a few too many xannies.

And then people think that’s canon, and use it to whine about Galadriel’s portrayal in TRoP not being accurate? Nitwit, please. TRoP is literally closer to canon than the films with their Galadriel (and their Elrond). There, I said it. TRoP Galadriel nails her sorrow, her Noldorian arrogance, her trauma, her innate wisdom, her fear and her fire, the fire that will eventually forge her into the Galadriel we meet in the books.

I should put this in my Galadriel blog, but like the title says: unpopular opinion, and you’ll get skewered if you suggest that maybe, just maybe, the films aren’t the be-all and end-all of characterisation? Nor are they the ultimate canon — the book is, and always will be.

(Do I still love the films despite this? Bloody hell yes I absolutely do.)

a new road, a secret gate, a love undying

Well. Rings of Power.

I adored it. Almost every moment of it. I was so afraid it would be awful, but it was wonderful. I cried more than once.

For two hours, I was back home. For two hours, nothing else mattered. I have never felt so happy after watching a television program before in my life.

It was worth all the worry in the world.

I choose the light. I always will.

some facts, what spice!

Fact: unsweetened cranberry juice is revolting.

Fact: nerve pain is awful, please make it stop. My body is exhausted but I can’t sleep.

Fact: I made a thing! And did a words! Elrond having twinless twin feels will never not be relevant to me.

Fact: The neighbour saw an eastern brown slide into my yard and hide beneath the bonfire pile. Cue me avoiding that area of the yard for the next ten thousand years.
(Listen to your friendly local OzScot here: you do not eff around with eastern brown snakes. They are not cute and sweet snek friends. They are incredibly aggressive, extremely venomous, and responsible for 60% of snakebite deaths in the country. If you see one, you stand stock effing still and let it go do whatever it’s doing — probably hiding from you, but still. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, do not disturb it or interact with it in any way.  Keep an eye on it, and when it’s safe, you get the hell out of there and call the snake-catcher if it’s near your home. Also, if your dog or cat has one bailed up, DO NOT DISTRACT YOUR PET. They are a thousand times more likely to get bitten if you distract them. Their snake instincts are way better than yours; just let them be and keep an eye on where they and the snake go.
…this PSA has been brought to you by my horrific fear of eastern browns.)

Fact: the online treatment of the Rings of Power cast is giving me flashbacks to my teenage years and being cyberbullied to within an inch of my life.
I hope every single person who has thrown abuse at any of these actors magically develops a condition that causes any internet service they use to stop working forever.

sigh, sigh, all the sighs

Where was I when it became a crime to be hopeful?

And in other news…we’re in the “relapse” section of relapsing-remitting right now, I see. What fun!

*sigh*

there is a tempest in me!

New Rings of Power trailer! I’m…a little torn on this one, to be completely honest.

  • Galadriel is perfect and she always will be. I think they’re leaning a little too heavily into the warrior aspect of her, BUT that may make perfect sense in context of the show and how they develop her character, so I’m not too bothered yet.
  • only just found out about the changes regarding the Númenorean royalty. Boo. Pharazon might be a bastard, but Ar-Pharazon was king bastard. Also it’s kind of belittling to Tar-Míriel’s character that her chief struggle has essentially been removed…I would have loved to see what they did with a secretly furious Tar-Míriel who wants her rightful position restored from that jackass she had to marry. That would have been gold. Think of the subplots! The passive-aggression!
  • no new Elrond material. sadface. you made me like him, now feed my addiction, dammit!
  • I see Amazon is also leaning into the “hobbits have large feet” myth…one day, someone will depict hobbits with silky curls on their feet, I’m sure…one day…T__T
  • also, I get that Harfoots are close to nature and all that, but jeez…someone teach them how to wash their faces.
  • so, um…Bear McCreary composes that wonderful soundtrack, and you just…don’t use it in your final (I think?) trailer? …y’all weird. also, hearing modern trip-hop in a LotR piece really breaks the immersion, for me. The films didn’t hit us with modern performers singing in our common tongue until the credits, and the more I think on it, the more I’m fairly sure that was on purpose. It’s like a gentle shake, being told to go back into the real world, now…but softly, softly. This was like “BLAM YOU’RE WATCHING TELEVISION”. Yeah, I know, trust me.
  • Gil-galad is gonna be SO imperiously awesome and ever so slightly angsty and baby, I am living for it.

Also, this is…really disappointing, but not surprising, let’s be honest. Oh well. The films are the films, and the TV show is the show. Maybe it’s best to keep those experiences separate, and besides which, I don’t…actually think I could have gone back to Indooroopilly yet. Yes, it’s been a year, but it’s still an open wound. Maybe it always will be, I don’t know. (Surprised there were no screenings on at Chermside or even North Lakes, tbph…)

out of death, life!

This…considering what a tiny budget it must have had, this is incredible. Something about the visuals and the beautiful music that played when Yavanna began the re-greening of the world actually made me tear up. Amazing, amazing!

far, or even further than that?

 

“…the Quenya word for “far” is “haiya”, not “haila”…”
here

This…is pointedly not true. They both mean far, actually, but haíla indicates something that’s further beyond than haiya

Aman haiya ná — Aman + far + it is –> “Aman is far (away from where we are now)”
Aman haíla ná — Aman + far beyond + it is –> “Aman is far, far beyond (where we are now)”

If you want to pick on something that Oonagh actually gets wrong, why not choose her sung pronunciations of ninya and tyelma in “Nan Úyë“? Hint: they aren’t three syllables! The LotR musical falls into the same trap, when Legolas sings nyérë as “nee-AIR-ray” in “Lothlórien“…it’s NYE~H-reh, Greenleaf! Tsk tsk, Sindarin nitwits…;P

(I must note here that this is not the fault of the actor remotely — nor even the songwriters! This is a dialect coach’s responsibility and should have been caught early…though I don’t actually know if there even was a dialect coach involved with the musical, to be honest, and Google is being unhelpful. I’m sure there was…)

a full suit of armour, and evening stars…

I am now officially double-vaxxed! What a relief. It hurts rather dreadfully to raise my arm, and I am not looking forwards to the further oncoming post-vax symptoms, but I dare say it’s better than enduring COVID-19! This also means I’m free to roam about, now (with a mask, of course). Not that I have overmuch of a need or want to do so, as of late, but still…the option is there if I need to take it.

In website news, I gave Evenstar — pka Vespera — the biggest overhaul of its coming-up-to-twenty-year life on Professor Tolkien’s birthday! New name, new layout, new address (…or an old address, if you’ve known me long enough ;P), new content, new affiliate…new, new, new! I’m astonished it’s still around, to be absolutely honest. The only websites I run that are older than Evenstar are Runaway Run (on indefinite hiatus) and World Spins Madly On (being pieced back together as we speak…and also pending a huge update for its own 20th anniversary, come late February).

I also think it’s the only non-abandoned Arwen fansite left on the web…the oldest and the last. It’s quite a melancholy thought, but it’s appropriate, in a sad way…

Yuquain yéni ar nótarië, húnir. 😛