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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Something like that. It should be pretty clear that any theme or meaning that could have been found in Lord of the Rings has long since been abandoned by its adaptations.
    Amusingly enough while absolutely running rough shod on specific characters (Shelob in particular bears no resemblance to her canon version) Shadows of War does a pretty good job of exploring one of LotR's central themes, that true victory cannot be attained through strength. Throughout the games you attempt to fight Sauron through his own methods and at best delay him and frequently make things much worse.
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    That said ... well, yes, I do watch a lot of anime, and I'm constantly on the lookout for really good ones. Which means I'm sifting through a lot of dreck which DOES use those tired old cliches. Tropes are tropes for a reason; audiences understand them, people know how to draw them, and people like to see them. Stuff like So I'm a spider, so what? about a schoolgirl who dies and is reincarnated as a spider in a fantasy world to be a random encounter.
    What impresses me most about I'm a Spider is that it's a piss take on isekai anime that manages to move past the premise. It revels in the tired old tropes while making fun of them, and the human side of the story is a totally serious fantasy epic that out-Fire Emblems Fire Emblem. The non-comedic elements of the plot stand on their own which is a very important thing many series don't manage.

    But I digress.

    I'm not against the idea of a LOTR anime on a "Dear God Why" level. I just don't believe it's likely to be done well. I can count the "high fantasy" animes I've enjoyed on one hand, and two of those are parodies. I can count the LOTR adaptations I enjoyed on one thumb, because there's exactly one: Peter Jackson's trilogy. Oh, Shadow of Mordor was serviceable, but the plot was there to facilitate you killing orcs by the bushel and didn't get me invested. Add to that the need to keep the cultures straight - I don't want a lot of the cultural baggage that works in anime to be applied to LOTR and vice versa.

    So, is it possible for them to do it? Sure. There have been some incredible anime out there that I would never have thought could work like 91 Days. American 1920s gangsters with zero fantastical elements...as an anime? I thought the idea crazy, but damn if they didn't tell a good story.

    I'm the same way with this project. It sounds crazy, and I have no confidence in it working, but I wish them the best of luck with it.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    What impresses me most about I'm a Spider is that it's a piss take on isekai anime that manages to move past the premise.
    It does quite a lot to take isekai to bits. Generally anyone who behaves like a normal Isekai protagonist and clings on to their assumptions and expectations from the previous world instead of addressing their new one on its own terms comes a cropper.

    The worldview and skills of the average Japanese highschooler are not, it turns out, a superpower.

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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    I haven't seen 'sexy shelob' in Shadow of War but I don't think it's as alien to the source material as made out. Ungoliant was originally a spirit. She 'took the form' of a giant spider, yes, but that doesn't mean she couldn't change into other forms as well. Shape-changing is a thing in the Silmarillion. Sauron changes into both a werewolf and a vampire at different points in the story. Luthien takes on the guise of a vampire herself. King Finrod changed himself , Beren, and the rest of his party into orcs in order to infiltrate enemy territory. Even with Gandalf, we're led to believe that he isn't really an old man; that's simply the form he takes when dealing with humans, since his role is as an advisor and counselor, not a general or conqueror in his own right.

    It's not a stretch to believe that Ungoliant could change shape. And if she could, and Shelob is her daughter, then Shelob could potentially inherit the ability as well, just as Luthien inherited many of her mother's magical abilities.
    The only true shape-shifters in Arda were the Ainur - the others you bring up were instances of people disguising themselves, sometimes magically, not truly changing into another form. And while Ungoliant being an Ainu is plausible (though not definite), given the initial description of her speculated origins would track with her being one of the Maiar that Melkor convinced to join him, Shelob would have been at least half something else (likely giant spider, for obvious reasons), and our other known instance of a half-Ainur, Luthien, inherited some magic to be sure, but was very definitively an Elf, and not a spirit able to change forms the way mortals change clothes, as the Ainur were described. And frankly, despite her parentage we have no precedence for Shelob herself possessing any abilities beyond simply being a particularly enormous and intelligent giant spider - she never uses any magic in her encounter with Sam and Frodo, and is never described as doing anything magical anywhere else (unlike Ungoliant, who does things like spinning webs of pure darkness). So to leap from that to treating her the same as a full-fledged god, able to take on a radically different form like that, just because Ungoliant may have originally been one is quite the stretch. And doubly stupid because it was probably just done for the sake of including a sexy woman in a game where you'd otherwise struggle to include one, given the choice of Mordor as the setting.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    The only true shape-shifters in Arda were the Ainur - the others you bring up were instances of people disguising themselves, sometimes magically, not truly changing into another form. And while Ungoliant being an Ainu is plausible (though not definite), given the initial description of her speculated origins would track with her being one of the Maiar that Melkor convinced to join him, Shelob would have been at least half something else (likely giant spider, for obvious reasons), and our other known instance of a half-Ainur, Luthien, inherited some magic to be sure, but was very definitively an Elf, and not a spirit able to change forms the way mortals change clothes, as the Ainur were described. And frankly, despite her parentage we have no precedence for Shelob herself possessing any abilities beyond simply being a particularly enormous and intelligent giant spider - she never uses any magic in her encounter with Sam and Frodo, and is never described as doing anything magical anywhere else (unlike Ungoliant, who does things like spinning webs of pure darkness). So to leap from that to treating her the same as a full-fledged god, able to take on a radically different form like that, just because Ungoliant may have originally been one is quite the stretch. And doubly stupid because it was probably just done for the sake of including a sexy woman in a game where you'd otherwise struggle to include one, given the choice of Mordor as the setting.
    With regards to Luthien I must disagree. Consider this passage from Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sil
    By the counsel of Huan and the arts of Lķthien he was arrayed now in the hame of
    Draugluin, and she in the winged fell of Thuringwethil. Beren became in all things like a
    werewolf to look upon, save that in his eyes there shone a spirit grim indeed but clean;
    and horror was in his glance as he saw upon his flank a bat-like creature clinging with
    creased wings. Then howling under the moon he leaped down the hill, and the bat
    wheeled and flittered above him.
    A tiny bat wheeling and fluttering above something mansize definitely sounds like true shape changing to me, therefore I conclude this is a power she possessed, using it primarily for disguise. I suppose we could argue that it was illusion rather than true shape change, but equally at that point we could argue that Shelob had the ability to project an illusion of herself as a humanoid woman! That's at least a touch more plausible than a giant spider polymorphing into a human.

    And doubly stupid because it was probably just done for the sake of including a sexy woman in a game where you'd otherwise struggle to include one, given the choice of Mordor as the setting.
    Oh, I agree with your rationale for why they'd want to include it in the game and it is indeed silly. But I wouldn't think it would be that hard to fit a sexy woman in. Sauron has human servants as well as orcs, which presumably means there are both families and camp followers. Tolkien doesn't portray kitchens or nurseries or warehouses or much of anything in Mordor, but that doesn't mean it can't exist off-camera. It shouldn't be hard to invent a female Mordorian whether as Captain in Sauron's forces or in any other occupation. As I recall, in the hold HoME adaptation at least one of the ringwraiths was female.

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    Last edited by pendell; 2021-06-11 at 04:34 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    The uncomfortable thing was how quickly all these adaptations moved once Christopher Tolkien died and could no longer protect his father's legacy. I admired how much he resisted cashing in.
    Yeah, whoever took over lacked his spine. Christopher was an excellent guardian and assembler of his father's legacy.

    I'm currently on lecture 3 of a really interesting lecture series (free on Youtube) by Ryan Reeves on JRR & CS Lewis and their writings. So far it's been setting the context including what was going on culturally at the time, and their mutual reaction against evil-focused Gothic horror where the bad guys usually win. I hadn't realized it, but not once in all of LOTR do we get the story from the perspective of any of the bad guys. The evil enemies are not the main focus of the story they way they end up being in a lot of more modern literature. (This is me summarizing about 15 minutes in 2 sentences, so it's not very precise).

    Anyway... after what The Hobbit turned in to, I don't plan to watch any of the newer "Tolkien" spinoffs. The Silmarillion would make an excellent TV series or movie series, although I think a lot of the stuff with Feanor's family would need to be extended... easily able to rival GoT but without all the X-rated stuff (which admittedly is apparently even worse and more rapey in the source material). But at this point I don't trust anyone to do it well, so I'd rather see it not happen.

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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    The only true shape-shifters in Arda were the Ainur - the others you bring up were instances of people disguising themselves, sometimes magically, not truly changing into another form.
    It's a nitpick that isn't relevant to your original point, but I did want to point out that we have Beorn and his kin as shapechangers who aren't Ainur. (Though he originates from the Hobbit, which is at times kind of disconnected from the rest of Tolkien's work.)
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    Anyway... after what The Hobbit turned in to, I don't plan to watch any of the newer "Tolkien" spinoffs. The Silmarillion would make an excellent TV series or movie series, although I think a lot of the stuff with Feanor's family would need to be extended... easily able to rival GoT but without all the X-rated stuff (which admittedly is apparently even worse and more rapey in the source material). But at this point I don't trust anyone to do it well, so I'd rather see it not happen.
    Eh, yes and no. The books make no attempt to alleviate the rape that would happen as a natural part of the events of the setting. Wars are horrible and all that, societies modeled on slavery or the ancients have rape as a pretty integral part of the culture. And a cursory reading of the Iliad and a look at genetics in the American south would back up the statement GRRM seems to be trying to make.

    But the show literally adds scenes where protagonists get raped that are not in the books, and even takes consensual scenes in the book and makes them rape-y, seemingly just to add drama. Yeah, I got a lot of criticisms of some of the shows writing.

    But anyway, while I do enjoy taking that more dark view of the world, keep that well and far away from Tolkien.

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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post

    But anyway, while I do enjoy taking that more dark view of the world, keep that well and far away from Tolkien.
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    The Silmarillion is my favourite book of all time and I would watch the heck out of a well made adaption of it. But given the current state of adaptions we get I'm not holding out hope of a good one ever being done.

    But, yeah, it is dark. Not as blatant and in your face about it as GoT, but still very dark. You've got civilian massacres, child slaying, forced marriages with all that implies, incest, murder and a host of other such fun stuff. And that is just by the good guys. And lets not forget a kill count that leaves GoT to shame - pretty much no one from the start ends up alive at the end (except Galadriel). That is the one thing that cheap Tolkien elf knock-offs seem to miss, that elves could and did mess up big time and had serious flaws.

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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    With regards to Luthien I must disagree. Consider this passage from Silmarillion.

    A tiny bat wheeling and fluttering above something mansize definitely sounds like true shape changing to me, therefore I conclude this is a power she possessed, using it primarily for disguise. I suppose we could argue that it was illusion rather than true shape change, but equally at that point we could argue that Shelob had the ability to project an illusion of herself as a humanoid woman! That's at least a touch more plausible than a giant spider polymorphing into a human.
    Considering that same passage makes it quite clear that what she does to disguise Beren did not actually transform him, just make him appear as a werewolf (he became as a werewolf "to look upon"), and the fact that her being biologically counted among the Elves is a significant plot point later while the Ainur's shape-shifting is described as being a result of their being spiritual beings who can treat physical bodies like clothes, I am very much inclined to consider that an illusion. (Also, I don't think she's supposed to be a tiny bat there, but either a bat-winged humanoid creature, or at least a giant bat. The creature who she's disguising herself as was described as a vampire, with "great fingered wings" that "were barbed at each joint's end with an iron claw." Even the part you quoted only describes her as "bat-like." Pretty sure she's not supposed to be like a normal bat given all that.)

    And while Shelob being able to project illusions of some sort is a little less ridiculous than her being able to turn into one, it's still well outside anything we know about her being able to do - and it's the sort of trick you'd think she might use in that battle with Sam when things go wrong if she were able to. Again, as far as she's described in the books, she seems to be "just" a particularly large, vicious, intelligent giant spider, with interesting parentage.

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Oh, I agree with your rationale for why they'd want to include it in the game and it is indeed silly. But I wouldn't think it would be that hard to fit a sexy woman in. Sauron has human servants as well as orcs, which presumably means there are both families and camp followers. Tolkien doesn't portray kitchens or nurseries or warehouses or much of anything in Mordor, but that doesn't mean it can't exist off-camera. It shouldn't be hard to invent a female Mordorian whether as Captain in Sauron's forces or in any other occupation.
    Sauron had human servants too, but they were drawn from the nations east and south of Mordor - he had their militaries there to bolster his forces, not their entire populace. And given that in Tolkien's world women didn't normally serve in militaries (hence Eowen's role in the story being a twist and all), it would actually be quite odd to see women among those forces, especially any as sexualized as that form they gave Shelob (she's not exactly decked out in a bunch of armor there, you'll notice...).

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    As I recall, in the hold HoME adaptation at least one of the ringwraiths was female.
    I don't know what that adaptation is, but that's also quite the stretch, considering the ringwraiths were described as having been great Kings, warriors, and lords before they were corrupted by the rings, and again, women being such things was very much not normal in Tolkien's work.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    It's a nitpick that isn't relevant to your original point, but I did want to point out that we have Beorn and his kin as shapechangers who aren't Ainur. (Though he originates from the Hobbit, which is at times kind of disconnected from the rest of Tolkien's work.)
    True, I did forget about him - mostly for exactly the reason you mention, it's easy to forget about the elements of The Hobbit that don't quite mesh with the rest of LotR/The Silmarillion. Still quite disconnected from Shelob, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    And lets not forget a kill count that leaves GoT to shame - pretty much no one from the start ends up alive at the end (except Galadriel).
    Eh, and Cirdan. And Maglor, though his fate's not exactly a happy one either.

    But yeah, The Silmarillion is fundamentally a tragedy, tracing the fall of the Elves in their struggle against Morgoth. Which is probably a big part of why they've never tried to film it, honestly, that puts it as tonally quite different from LotR, which is heroic fantasy where the protagonists struggle heavily, but are eventually victorious. Even the individual stories within The Silmarillion that would be easier to do stand-alone are tragedies - the main two being Beren and Luthien and Turin Turambar, the former of which requires the gods to let the main protagonists return to life temporarily to have a quasi-happy ending after everyone dies, and the latter of which ends in multiple suicides.
    Last edited by Zevox; 2021-06-12 at 11:13 AM.
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    The Silmarillion would also require so much work to adapt it's not even funny. From the perspective of a screenplay there's basically nothing there except an outline; dialog is very sparse and in such a high style it would have to be almost completely rewritten to be approachable for a large audience, emotional states are similarly distant, and even the action is written very tersely. It wouldn't so much be adapting the Silmarillion as it stands, as it would writing a 98% new version that shared the same general plot and characters.

    And at the end of the day, I think the Silmarillion is for all practical purposes unadaptable to film. Even if you did all the above, and had a genuinely huge budget, I don't think a movie or TV show can capture the feel of the thing. Sure at one level there's a lot of fantastic visual detail in the Silmarillion, but a huge amount of what makes it work for me is stuff that essentially bypasses visualization and goes straight into pure emotional resonance. The Silmarils are a perfect example of this; I cannot visualize gems that beautiful, and any attempt to actually show them will fail. But I can imagine the feeling and effect of them, and be moved by it. Or Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth. I've seen a lot of paintings of this, and while many of them are very good, none of them feel right. Not because it doesn't match my image of the scene, because to a large degree I don't actually have a visual, but I have a very detailed sense of the feeling of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    The Silmarillion would also require so much work to adapt it's not even funny. From the perspective of a screenplay there's basically nothing there except an outline; dialog is very sparse and in such a high style it would have to be almost completely rewritten to be approachable for a large audience, emotional states are similarly distant, and even the action is written very tersely. It wouldn't so much be adapting the Silmarillion as it stands, as it would writing a 98% new version that shared the same general plot and characters.

    And at the end of the day, I think the Silmarillion is for all practical purposes unadaptable to film. Even if you did all the above, and had a genuinely huge budget, I don't think a movie or TV show can capture the feel of the thing. Sure at one level there's a lot of fantastic visual detail in the Silmarillion, but a huge amount of what makes it work for me is stuff that essentially bypasses visualization and goes straight into pure emotional resonance. The Silmarils are a perfect example of this; I cannot visualize gems that beautiful, and any attempt to actually show them will fail. But I can imagine the feeling and effect of them, and be moved by it. Or Fingolfin's duel with Morgoth. I've seen a lot of paintings of this, and while many of them are very good, none of them feel right. Not because it doesn't match my image of the scene, because to a large degree I don't actually have a visual, but I have a very detailed sense of the feeling of it.
    The Silmarillion is written in the fashion and style of an epic historical saga, which is effectively what it is, just that the history is something Tolkien made up rather than a series of embellished historical events. Plenty of popular historical sagas written in this fashion are regularly adapted. Three Kingdoms has been adapted often enough it has it's own wikipedia page. However, such adaptations usually focus on a small number of specific incidents that are described with a high level of detail and not the backdrop of events marching through the years. Trying to do the entirety of the Silmarillion would indeed be madness, instead you'd adapt one of the three 'great tales' within the overarching narrative, in the same fashion that Christopher Tolkien adapted those tales into stand alone novels already.
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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Shonen is also not a genre, it is a target audience. Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Great Teacher Onizuka, Bakuman, The Promised Neverland, and Death Note are all shonen.
    Except that there are common themes in most shonen anime:

    Camaraderie between boys/men on sports teams or other close knit units
    Protagonists having a desire to better themselves and face challenges to their abilities, skills and maturity
    Emphasis on self perfection, austere self-discipline and sacrifice in the cause of duty and honourable service to society/community/family/friends

    Of all the series you have listed, Death Note is the only one that doesn't really have more than one theme (although I didn't finish that one and can't say whether the later parts of it do).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    I don't see 'shonen' in the press release anywhere.
    All the comments made previous to my post were highly indicative of the tropes of shonen fiction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    All the comments made previous to my post were highly indicative of the tropes of shonen fiction.
    Well, that and magical girl. Those two genres get picked on because they're the most derivative and the most common. This also leads to a Poe's Law effect that is more pronounced than elsewhere in anime - if somebody makes something that isn't shonen, mecha, or romantic comedy there's a better than average chance of it being good because they're taking a risk making it.

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    Default Re: War of the Rohirrim: LOTR prequel anime

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    What? You're saying the nine Nazgul combining into one gigantic Uber-Nazgul (Nazgul Ultima?) is not in keeping with the spirit of JRR Tolkien?
    Or a thirty second stock transformation when Frodo puts on the ring, complete with costume change?
    Or the Eagles being able to change into human form as high school girls, complete with anachronistic sailor outfits?
    Or Minas Tirith turning into a giant mecha when the armies of Mordor approach?

    C'mon, Tolkien would TOTALLY go for it, were he not spinning in his grave so fast a connected turbine could power a small city.

    Tongue-in-cheek ,

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    These actually all sound like something Iíd love to see, if only for kicks and giggles.

    In all seriousness, Iíve seen some anime set in medieval times that would have the right feel for LotR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    What? You're saying the nine Nazgul combining into one gigantic Uber-Nazgul (Nazgul Ultima?) is not in keeping with the spirit of JRR Tolkien?
    Or a thirty second stock transformation when Frodo puts on the ring, complete with costume change?
    Or the Eagles being able to change into human form as high school girls, complete with anachronistic sailor outfits?
    Or Minas Tirith turning into a giant mecha when the armies of Mordor approach?

    C'mon, Tolkien would TOTALLY go for it, were he not spinning in his grave so fast a connected turbine could power a small city.

    Tongue-in-cheek ,

    Brian P.
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