Let’s Talk LOTR is a weekly series of posts, sparked by my obsession with all things Middle Earth. It’s also my way of dealing with the wait (for The Hobbit, of course). Anything Tolkien-related is fair game. Come join the fun and geekery every Sunday!
*Brace yourselves. This is a rather long and rambly post. If it helps, there are some stick figures in here too*
The other week, I came across this article, which basically discusses differences in tone between the LOTR trilogy and the coming-soon Hobbit movie (I suppose referring to December as soon is a bit of a stretch, but when you’ve been listening to Hobbit’s-coming-just-kidding-rumors for a few years, anything concrete seems like it’s just around the corner). Anyways, PJ talks about The Hobbit being a more playful novel, with child-like comedic qualities. And then he mentions that LOTR has darker themes and is not aimed at children.
While I will agree that there is a significant difference in tone between The Hobbit and LOTR, I also have to say that the LOTR books are some of the funniest I’ve read in my life. Maybe it’s because I tend to read them around 1 or 2 in the morning, and everything seems hilarious at that hour, but if you were to stand outside my door past midnight (don’t), you would hear me convulsing with barely suppressed laughter.
This is the main reason I really wish more people would read the books. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movies just as much, but they seem to be more interested in the epic adventure side of the story than the books are. The books are just…nonstop. Delightful humor.
Let’s take Aragorn/Strider/Wingfoot/more names here, for example. *spoilers ahead*
Here is movie Aragorn whenever anyone brings up the subject that he might one day be king:
And here is book Aragorn:
And then there’s that scene on Caradhras. I was slightly amused to see Legolas walking on snow while everyone else attempts to shuffle through waist-high slush.
On the other hand, when I read this part in the book, I had to put the thing down so I could grab a tissue and wipe away my tears of mirth.
Now of course, as I said before, it’s entirely possible that my laughter was due to the late hour. But even if you don’t find this grab-a-tissue-funny, you must find it slightly amusing at least?
The point I’m trying to make here is that it would be extremely sad for you to watch the movies and miss out on the books. I would say ‘and vice versa,’ but I feel that people reading the books and skipping the movies does not happen nearly as often.
Ah, you say, there she goes, trying to get the whole world to read LOTR again.
I will not say you have to read the books. I won’t go over there and stand menacingly in front of you (I wouldn’t be very good at it anyways) until you finish FOTR. But that article I linked in the beginning? Well, it makes no mention of LOTR-related humor, and I would hate to think that some people might go through life completely oblivious to the fact that the books are funny.
Have you read the books before? Did you pick up on the humor, or is this just me projecting my late-night demented mindset onto Tolkien’s masterpieces?
See you next week for more Middle Earth shenanigans!