November 18, 2003

Geek Boy is Busy

Your regularly scheduled programming has been interrupted. Mr. Totten received by mail his copy of the extended version (43 extra minutes!) of The Two Towers, the second of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. Lord of the Rings is popular in his household, and he and his wife are busying themselves with Orcs, Ents, and the battle of Helm’s Deep. He is not available this evening for blogging duties. He shall return shortly.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 18, 2003 09:16 PM

Anar sila lumenn omentielvo!

Posted by: Rob at November 18, 2003 09:28 PM

Lucky Devil!

And Rob, I can only guess what that phrase means. But your knowing it is a 9.0 on the lame-o-meter.

Posted by: FH at November 18, 2003 10:44 PM

I just got home from watching it with my friends and family.

It was glorious. With 40 extra minutes of juicy footage, the movie played like I was reading the novel.

Posted by: David at November 19, 2003 12:23 AM

I suspect the Orcs wore themselves out posting on the Iraq is not Vietnam issue.

Posted by: Zacek at November 19, 2003 05:36 AM

Rob's phrase reads, "The Sun shines on the hour of our meeting." It's adapted from the Elven greeting, "A star shines on the hour of our meeting," given by Frodo to Gildor when the hobbits met the High-Elves while still traveling through the Shire.

(Who's the geek-boy, now?)

Posted by: Brian Swisher at November 19, 2003 06:29 AM

Unless you can draw the map of Northwestern Middle-Earth from memory, know the background story behind the cats of Queen Beruthiel and think that all of the Appendices are as equally interesting as the rest of the book*, you aren't a true Tolkien geek-boy. :)


*Anybody who thinks of LotR as a 'trilogy' shouldn't even bother to show up for the qualifying round. Not that I am accusing anybody here of making such an elementary mistake. :)

Posted by: Moe Lane at November 19, 2003 06:49 AM

Ok, because Moe is obviously too geeked out to engage in self-promotion, I thought I'd point the way to his own blog. You might remember him from such blogposts as Solid State Superman - Adventures in Physics and "Yo, Katzman - My Monk Has +5 Saving Throws!"

Yes he does, Moe. Yes he does.

Posted by: George Jong at November 19, 2003 08:09 AM

Damn, wrong link.

Posted by: George Jong at November 19, 2003 08:26 AM

"Ok, because Moe is obviously too geeked out to engage in self-promotion,"

Well, the URL link shows up in the signature, now, and Michael was kind enough to blogroll the site, so why not be all modest and stuff?

I'll comment on your opinions re Alvin Maker when I can get to a computer that'll let me comment on my own thread, but $50 for the extended version? Is that $50 American? - because I walked into the Barnes & Noble yesterday and picked it up off of the shelves for a mere $31 and change (combination of $39.95 sales price, 20% special discount offer and regular 10% discount for having the B&N Reader's Advantage card). I actually made the guy check the price and everything. :)

Posted by: Moe Lane at November 19, 2003 09:02 AM


Your tedious, literal argument that Iraq is not the Battle of Helm's Deep proves you're bought-and-paid-for by the One Ring. Just because Rohan is grassy plain and Iraq is a miserable desert doesn't invalidate the Vietnam comparison

And Gandalf lied about Sauron's WMDs.

Posted by: Oberon at November 19, 2003 09:16 AM

I realized what would happen, FH, but I feel that the two people left who thought I was cool deserved to know the truth. And also now I can tell my Quenya (high elvish) group about my geek pride.

Quenya is used also in Fellowship in Galadriel's song, and in Aragorn's declaration as he takes his crown in Return of the King. So far, the movie's only use of quenya was NOT originally in the book: Saruman's summoning spell for the storm atop Orthanc. Most of the elvish was Sindarin (common elvish- harder to learn but also very beautiful sounding).

Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2003 09:17 AM

Moe - $50 was an approximation - in fact, it's available from Amazon for $25.99 (which brings up the question: super-saver shipping, or not?). Here's the bonus question, though: who got the Gollum statue?

Posted by: George Jong at November 19, 2003 09:31 AM

Rob, that was just way too geekish even for me. I knew that there were different elvish languages, but I've never been able to tell them apart. How you can figure out which one they're using in the movies is beyond me.

Posted by: Brandon at November 19, 2003 10:01 AM

"I knew that there were different elvish languages, but I've never been able to tell them apart."

It's as easy as telling Welsh apart from Finnish, which respectively form the basis for Sindarin's and Quenya's phonetic structures.


OK, OK, I couldn't do it, either - but there are people who can. Heck, Elvish is like porn to linguists. :)

Posted by: Moe Lane at November 19, 2003 10:10 AM

Entertainment Weekly has a review of the Two Towers extended edition which states that the theater version released last December was in lockstep with the adminstration's buildup to the war, but that the extended edition is more nuanced and less pro-war. I haven't seen the extended edition, but based on this review I'm guessing one of the additional scenes shows Gandalf in sincere negotiations with Sauraman (perhaps he plays the Sauron card?). I wish I could link to the article but apparently one has to have AOL to access it online. To sum up: extended edition = United Nations edition.

Posted by: Peter G at November 19, 2003 11:10 AM

Found a link to the EW review (beneath picture):

No political figures mentioned by name, but it's definitely a politicized review.

Posted by: Peter G at November 19, 2003 11:18 AM

Sounds like some projection to me. Not everything is political.

Posted by: FH at November 19, 2003 11:22 AM

They did have a scene in the first half of the extended version where Faramir mused regretfully on a dead Easterling youth's motivations, but it wasn't what you'd call particularly jarring.

Posted by: Moe Lane at November 19, 2003 11:23 AM

I don't know about "the extended edition = UN" (frankly, I thought all of the LOTR-Iraq comparisons, pro and con, were a stretch), but has anybody else noticed the completely incompetent military strategy Gandalf advocated? Frankly, I'm hoping this is one of the bonus scenes:

ARAGORN: We're outnumbered 20 to 1, and have women and children to defend.

THOEDEN: Then we retreat to a defensive posture, and face them on the ground of our choosing.

GANDALF: No, we should charge directly into a vastly superior force on open ground where we can be encircled.

THEODEN: %&$#@ YOU OLD MAN! The rest of us don't get resurrected after being killed.

Posted by: George Jong at November 19, 2003 11:29 AM

My girlfriend had somewhat similar comments along those lines, George*.

Still, the actual fight scenes at Helm's Deep were quite good. I look forward to seeing the extended versions of them...


*We're both roleplaying geeks, so we're watching the entire thing in the context of a extremely long and involved campaign...

Posted by: Moe Lane at November 19, 2003 11:39 AM

Chomsky and Zinn pretty much destroy the LOTR and show it is just capitalist racist propaganda on the part of the greedy hobbits at Pipe Weed Inc. (and its neocon masters Gandulf and Elrond) to oppress the Orcs:

Posted by: ZinnFidel at November 19, 2003 12:30 PM


Posted by: Rockabilly at November 19, 2003 02:00 PM

I am going to wait until next year or later when they will release all three movies with extended footage!!!! There is not doubt it is going to happen but until then I must be patient.... must concentrate....must resist..... the precious...... must

Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2003 08:53 PM

Rob, you might as well break down now. Lemme put it this way: to give just two examples, they fixed half of what was slightly off about Galadriel in Fellowship and made Faramir a bit more understandable in Towers. The extended versions of both films simply make more artistic sense.

Look, if nothing else you'll be glad when you marathon/mainline both films the day before you go see Return of the King: everything will snap into place more easily. Trust me on this.

Posted by: Moe Lane at November 19, 2003 09:23 PM

One of my favorite lines, is when the frenchman, excuse me, the U.N., wait excuse me, the A.N.S.W.E.R. person, wait wait, I mean Wyrmtongue calls them "Warmongerers".

Sure those people are raping and pillaging. Maybe they are just misunderstood. That should have went for more containment. You know, it is someone elses problem.

The above is satire.

Oh, and please tell me Chomsky and Zinn did not make LOTR out to be racist? If anything, most Fantasy novels are anti-racists. They usually start with the Dwarves, Elves and Humans hating each other, but thru working together, overcome the enemy.

Posted by: James Stephenson at November 20, 2003 05:31 AM

Er, um -- the McSweeney's "Chomsky-Zinn-LOTR" debate is a satire. Though unfortunately the "Tolkien was a racist" pseudo-theory actually has been postulated. As is the "Tolkien was a misogynist because Eowyn quit the army to get married & there were no other women doing anything" notion. Ugh.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 20, 2003 08:59 PM

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