MaedrosOneHand writes: I had the privilege of attending both Tom Shippey lectures at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia today and I thought I could offer something of a report.

In his first lecture, Shippey focused primarily on the differences and similarites between the Lord of the Rings books and films. He had three primary observations about Jackson, Boyens and Walsh’s treatment of the story. First, he noted that the films place far more importance on character “journeys” than the books. For example, the fairly straightforward character of Faramir in Tolkien becomes the tortured, indecisive, father-scorned character in the movie who has to go on a “journey” of character development before he’s willing to part with the ring. Along with this, Shippey also talked about how the minor characters played a much bigger role in the films of changing major characters’ minds. Faramir was essentially convinced by Sam to let the quest to Mount Doom proceed and Treebeard was convinced by Pippen to attack Isengard. Shippey didn’t express much condemnation of these choices, he just took them for what they were. Continue reading “Tom Shippey at Swarthmore College Report”