Throughout the months of shooting the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, at times Peter Jackson has had to make decisions to tinker with the way the books have been written so that they can be adapted onto the cinema screen, and of course fit within a nine hour timeframe. One of these decisions involved changing a theme that is a strong thread woven through J.R.R’s literature, and bears with it some moral questions. Originally Tolkien wrote in the Silmarillion that orcs were created by the evil and perverse corruption of Elves, but instead when we go to see the Fellowship of the Ring, we will see a story about orc pods, genetically engineered armies of evil. This weekend, the Hall of Fire discusses Orc Breeding – The Interpratations of J.R.R Tolkien and Peter Jackson.
For some people, the way Peter Jackson is approaching the concept of Orc Breeding is a smart one. Time constraints, certification, editing out scenes, all these thing Peter Jackson had to take into account when writing the screenplay, and it seems the sum of these parts has created the story we will see over the next three years. The idea of a genetically created army of evil, hatched in cacoons and pods in the deep dungeons underneath Orthanc does have it’s own moral weight, and is in it’s own way appropriate in the 21st Century, where cloning is such a hotly discussed issue.
But is that an excuse to change another fundamental part of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth creation? What would J.R.R say if he knew his vision of elves corrupted horribly by some dark lord is now reduced to some typically-Hollywood plotline involving some make-up and special effects. Must we suffer another needless, pointless story change which is a pale reflection on the original text? Do the advantages of adding this idea into the plot really outweight the disadvantages?
You might share the first view, you might share the latter, you may have a mild interest in the topic and no opinion, or have more important things to worry about. Whatever category you fall into, we want to see you visit us this weekend, as we host what promises to be another great debate!
FAQ Movie Changes Page >
FOTR Trailer II Frame-by-Frame Analysis >
Lurtz Character Page>
LOTR Student Planner: Orc Birth >
Numenoreen Images: Various Cocoons 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
Oct 13 & 14: FotR Chapter Discussion – The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
Oct 20 & 21: FotR Movie Discussion – The Cast
Oct 27 & 28: FotR Chapter Discussion – Lothlórien
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