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RE: [mythsoc] RotK Trailer

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  • Croft, Janet B
    In the chapter Minas Tirith , Gandalf tells Pippin The board is set, and the pieces are moving ... But the Enemy has the move, and he is about to open his
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 1, 2003
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      In the chapter "Minas Tirith", Gandalf tells Pippin "The board is set, and
      the pieces are moving ... But the Enemy has the move, and he is about to
      open his full game. And pawns are likely to see as much of it as any..."
      And Aragorn continues the game metaphor at the end of "The Last Debate":
      "Nay, it is the last move in a great jeopardy, and for one side or the other
      it will bring the end of the game."

      So the game metaphor is Tolkien's -- but I do like David's observation that
      Jackson's film reads like a big RPG. So THAT's where the added bits like
      Aragorn falling into the river and being rescued by the wonder horse come
      from...

      One older article I ran across in my research speculated that Sauron
      wouldn't have been that good at chess. He didn't seem to understand feints
      and sacrifices, and clearly couldn't see ahead to Gandalf's next moves.
      Then there's the gaming metaphor that was used in the original Star Trek
      somewhere -- Spock plays chess and Kirk plays poker. Spock's moves and
      forces are all out in the open; he has no secrets from his opponent except
      what's in his head. Kirk's hand is hidden -- you can't know for sure what
      resources he has or what he plans to do with them. So Gandalf is actually
      playing poker, not chess....

      Janet Croft

      -----Original Message-----
      From: SusanPal@... [mailto:SusanPal@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 9:19 AM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] RotK Trailer


      In a message dated 10/1/2003 12:45:11 AM Pacific Standard Time,
      dbratman@... writes:

      > Gandalf's comparison of the storyline to
      > chess is a dead giveway: he thinks of the war itself as a giant
      war-playing
      > game.
      >

      Doesn't Gandalf say, at some point in the written RotK, "The board is set,
      and the pieces are moving"? I can't find it at the moment, but I have a
      distinct memory of that; and if so, the chess metaphor is Tolkien's, not
      Jackson's.

      Susan


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    • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
      ... And an extra Seat Cushion! (for the numb butt) We re talking 9 + hours of film viewing here! Still I wonder if I can talk Big Harold into it :-)
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 1, 2003
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        SusanPal@... wrote:

        >In a message dated 10/1/2003 12:45:11 AM Pacific Standard Time,
        >dbratman@... writes:
        >
        >
        >
        >>>Tuesday, December 16
        >>>One-time-only marathon of both the Extended Edition prints followed by the
        >>>first
        >>>screenings of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
        >>>
        >>>
        >
        >Oy! Bring lunch -- and dinner!
        >

        And an extra Seat Cushion! (for the numb butt) We're talking 9 + hours
        of film viewing here!

        Still I wonder if I can talk Big Harold into it :-)

        Mythically yours,
        Lisa
      • Kevin Bowring
        ... David, you don t know how much I needed a really good belly laugh today. On the money as usual. Thanks, Kevin
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 1, 2003
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          "David S. Bratman" wrote:

          > But that's not the worst of it. Gandalf's comparison of the storyline to
          > chess is a dead giveway: he thinks of the war itself as a giant war-playing
          > game.
          >
          > I think I've finally figured it out. Jackson is not making a film of "The
          > Lord of the Rings." He's making a film of a Lord of the Rings board game.
          > I think that would explain a lot. As a film of Tolkien's book, it sucks
          > and has always sucked. But as a film of a board game, it's really excellent.

          David, you don't know how much I needed a really good belly laugh today. On the
          money as usual.
          Thanks,
          Kevin
        • David S. Bratman
          ... Touche. But I still think the application of the metaphor is typical of Jackson s thinking, not Tolkien s. Notice how Tolkien, almost uniquely among
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 1, 2003
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            At 07:19 AM 10/1/2003 , Susan wrote:

            >Doesn't Gandalf say, at some point in the written RotK, "The board is set,
            >and the pieces are moving"? I can't find it at the moment, but I have a
            >distinct memory of that; and if so, the chess metaphor is Tolkien's, not
            >Jackson's.

            Touche. But I still think the application of the metaphor is typical of
            Jackson's thinking, not Tolkien's. Notice how Tolkien, almost uniquely
            among fantasy authors, is able to write giant strategy sessions (the
            Council of Elrond and the Last Debate) that don't read like giant strategy
            sessions.

            - David Bratman
          • David S. Bratman
            ... Have you played much chess? A talent of chess masters is to do things which the opponent can physically see but does not realize the significance of.
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 1, 2003
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              At 07:32 AM 10/1/2003 , Janet wrote:

              >One older article I ran across in my research speculated that Sauron
              >wouldn't have been that good at chess. He didn't seem to understand feints
              >and sacrifices, and clearly couldn't see ahead to Gandalf's next moves.
              >Then there's the gaming metaphor that was used in the original Star Trek
              >somewhere -- Spock plays chess and Kirk plays poker. Spock's moves and
              >forces are all out in the open; he has no secrets from his opponent except
              >what's in his head. Kirk's hand is hidden -- you can't know for sure what
              >resources he has or what he plans to do with them. So Gandalf is actually
              >playing poker, not chess....

              Have you played much chess? A talent of chess masters is to do things
              which the opponent can physically see but does not realize the significance
              of. Sauron knows perfectly well that spies are being sent into Mordor. He
              even captures one, and has his Lieutenant use his belongings to taunt the
              invaders at the Black Gate. What he doesn't know is the significance of
              what is happening. Frodo putting on the Ring at Mount Doom is as much the
              equivalent of Gandalf suddenly and unexpectedly making a check or even a
              checkmate as it is of Gandalf laying down the winning poker hand.

              - David Bratman
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