(4/17/02 7:06:44 am)
| Embracing Inner Geekiness|
I just saw it for the third time on Sunday and realised very quickly I was still madly in love with it.
...and with Legolas. ::sheepish grin:: What can I say? My friend and I were sitting there with these glazed-over looks on our faces and my boyfriend was rolling his eyes constantly.
Don't start me on Sir Ian because I won't stop. And both Sean Bean and Viggo Mortenson were fantastic as Boromir and Aragorn, respectively.
And the scenery. Did I mention the scenery? Oy gevalt.
But okay, I'll shut up.
(5/20/02 7:47:01 am)
| Re: Embracing Inner Geekiness|
I finally saw LOR and must say I enjoyed it. Of course, I did have this little tally going of where things strayed from the book, but overall thought it was quite wonderful. Would have to see it again, there was so much going on visually.
Also glad I'm not the only one who noticed Legolas - and then there's Arogorn. But since my husband had Galadrial to sigh over, I don't feel guilty. (Doesn't one ever grow out of these absurd crushes on movie personalities?!)
Anyway - since I'm the last one to possibly see this movie, I expect you all have no interest in discussing. Just wanted to chime in, since it's still sort of swirling around in my head.
(7/3/02 9:39:24 am)
| Tolkien and Linguistics|
Tolkien, believe it or not, only wrote the mythology of his world as a backdrop for languages that he invented. The Hobbits are his representation of the people of England, Wales and Scotland. Pippin is a Hobbit of nobility corresponding to the area of Scotland. Merry is (according to most) representative of Wales, and Frodo is the Englishman. Samwise is his cockney man-servant. The point of having the Hobbits in the story- a point which the film sets out nicely in the council-scene- is that the Hobbits were the only race with enough honor to avoid corruption by the Ring. This thesis is played upon in the stories assorted encounters with other races, most notably Galdhriel's "test".
The Elvish languages (yes, there are more than one) stem from a linguistic root Tolkien called Quenya (or hig-Elven), which he created from a Finnish core. Other languages grafted into Quenya include Welsh, Brythyonic, Hebrew, and Gaelic. I say Gaelic because Tolkien was concerned with the core sounds of the language, and not so thoroughly with spelling. In other words, he recognized that while a slight pronounciation difference exists between Welsh 'gareg' and Irish 'carrock', they can be spelled the same, and the pronounciation difference written off as dialect.
There is one more Elvish language in use in the film: Sindarin. This was a common language for the Elves in Middle-Earth, though the High-Elves did not speak it. Imagine post-conquest England, with the French rulers speaking their language and the German commoners speaking theirs. Eventually the high language seeped into the lower one. This is how Tolkien created Sindarin. It is possible to see Hebrew as a brother language to Sindarin. Tolkien designed the Hebrew in Quenya to act as a parent to both Ancient Hebrew and his own Sindarin. However, Sindarin has a much heavier dose of the Gaelic languages than did Quenya. This could very well account for its seductive yet harsh sound.
In the film, it seemed that the linguists used the two languages interchangeably, but I wasn't sure. If anyone knows exactly what is the case, please let me know. Not that I want to nitpick or anything. I am simply curious.
It would be somewhat strange to see that no class regard was made for the languages in the movie, if this is indeed the case. Tolkien made a big fuss over it in his notes.
The Hobbits' language(s) were derived from the Germanic family of languages, mainly Old English. The Hobbit-names for people, places, and things are largely derivatives of Old English. Ruth Noel wrote a decent chapter on this in her book about Tolkien's languages. The rest of the book, however, does little justice to Tolkien's work.
There is also a language from the Rohirrim, which is derived from Old German and Middle German, usually the high forms. There is also some Old English in good measure. It seems that Tolkien was trying to make the Rohirrim seem as to be the Norse, or maybe even the Scythians.
The last main language that Tolkien used in the film is the so-called 'Black Speech'. He simply corrupted his other languages (mostly Sindarin) into gutturals. There are two samples of this in the book, one of which is the inscription on the ring.
Against this amazing linguistic backdrop, the tales seem to almost weave themselves. It seems to some of us as if that is indeed the point.