Why do Elves get their butts wooped at Helms deep?

Discussion in '"The Two Towers"' started by krash8765, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. krash8765

    krash8765 Registered User

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    Well i was watching Helms deep yesterday and I noticed that a bunch of drunk hobbits could fight off the uruk-hai better then the elves. Arent elves skillful and awsome warriers? Why did peter jackson show them getting their butts kicked. Every scene at helms deep is the orcs slaughtering elves left and right. There is not one scene that shows an elf put down an orc except for Haldir. One uruk jumps off the ladder and slices three of them down with one swipe. Isnt it that elves are superior to men in swordfighting? Why are the elves portrayed like this?
     
  2. Arvedui

    Arvedui Stargazer

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    I am afraid that noone can tell you the right answer to that. Especially when considering that the Elves weren't really there in the first place. So I guess that the only one that can answer you question, is PJ himself.
     
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  3. Gothmog

    Gothmog Lord of Balrogs Staff Member

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    Well basically the Elves at Helm's Deep were simply in the Wrong place at the wrong time. ;)
     
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  4. Turin

    Turin ...Lost

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    Well said Gothmog. I also noticed that there weren't any elves left after the battle, I guess PJ did it so that people wouldn't wonder what happened to them after the battle, thats just what I always thought.
     

  5. Éomond

    Éomond Rider of Rohan

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    Also, the Elves were way out-numbered, and in the most vurnerable spot in the entire Deep. That could have been a reason, and that the Uruk-hai (especialy the Beserkers) might had been a *tad bit stronger. :D
     
  6. Inderjit S

    Inderjit S Bootylicious

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    Elves were at least as physically endowed as Men and would have a longer life-span and thus a longer time in which to develop their battle skills.

    Why did P.J do this or that for? It would be best to ask the man himself. ;)
     
  7. Sarah

    Sarah Pervy Hobbit Fancier

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    Don't know. Fran was arguing about this saying that the fans wouldn't like the elves there. PJ said he didn't care about the fans. go figure :rolleyes:
     
  8. Arvedui

    Arvedui Stargazer

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    Where do you have that piece of extremely interesting information from?
     
  9. Inderjit S

    Inderjit S Bootylicious

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    From the 'extras' or commentary to the TTT DVD maybe?
     
  10. Sarah

    Sarah Pervy Hobbit Fancier

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    yup director commentary
     
  11. aragil

    aragil Just another loremaster

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    PJ did not say "I don't care about the fans".

    What he did say is that he wanted an uplifting moment. He created a siege atmosphere in which victory was impossible for the good guys. Then the Elves show up- not enough make victory certain, but enough to give the Rohirrim hope, right when it was desperately needed.

    Either Fran or Philippa point out that Elves were fighting during the War of the Ring, but given the structure of the films it would be very difficult to show the fighting in Lorien or Mirkwood. They also point out that it reminds them of Elrond sending his sons to fight with Aragorn, hence Haldir's line: "I bring word from Elrond of Rivendell". These are the reasons we see Elves at Helm's Deep- it was NOT an attempt to spite the fans, if that is what is being implied here.

    Personally, I consider myself a huge fan of the books. However, I think the Rivendell Elves at Helm's Deep is an improvement over the books (and I've said this before). JRRT gives no indication that Rivendell was in any danger during the War of the Ring. However, after the council Rivendell does almost nothing to help the other free peoples- they just sit back and enjoy the free passage to the Grey Havens that is afforded to them because of the sacrifices of the realms Eastward. This in spite of the fact that Glorfindel (possibly the greatest warrior of the third age) and the remnants of the Noldor of Eregion (who were more than a leetle responsible for the whole Ring mess) were residing in Rivendell. Rivendell Elves should have fought in the War. In the movie, they did. Where's the problem?

    Finally- the Elves weren't completely helpless during the battle. They killed many (MANY) Uruk-hai with their bows, which appeared to be there primary weapon. In close combat the Uruk-hai were undoubtedly stronger, while the Elves were more skilled. Unfortunately, skill does not always beat brute strength- but we do see some Elves killing Uruk-hai in hand-to-hand, especially as the ladders first crest the wall and during the Aragorn-led "charge into the breach".
     
  12. joxy

    joxy Registered User

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    Sarah says he did say that about the fans....

    About the uplifiting moment: did he happen to mention whether he'd read Tolkien's eight pages in which he describes the battle? Those pages contain more uplifting moments, along with more drama, more excitement, more thrills, more emotion, than there is in all of PJ's long-drawn-out mix of melodrama and circus tricks. I'm sure he could have found ONE uplifting moment that Tolkien DID write, if he'd looked for it.
     
  13. Miss Rainbow

    Miss Rainbow An Elf/Vulcan of Colors

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    :eek: I do believe that a lot of people, humans and elves alike really get their butts wooped because the orcs are really evil creatures and for certain the elves and the humans were I believe maybe really weak that night and also fearful, and that was their weakness perhaps; also, Sauron was not yet killed so he had an advantage over the people, and that's probably why the orcs were so strong that night. I don't, I am just guessing; I hope I was a help to you; God Bless you....
     
  14. aragil

    aragil Just another loremaster

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    Sarah can say whatever she wants- I listened to the commentaries quite carefully on the point, and that is not what I remember hearing. He did say (IIRC) that he didn't care that the Elves didn't show up in the books, and I suppose that it could be interpreted as meaning he didn't care for the fans. However, there remains a wide gulf between a fan's interpretation of what he said, and what he actually did say.

    Uplifting Moment in books:
    This is similar to what happens in the movie- there is already a small force at Helm's Deep but they do not have sufficient numbers to hope to defend the fortress. Hope is kindled when reinforcements arrive.
    Is there something wrong with the arrival of the Elves in the movie? I've already pointed out how it "corrects" the error of Rivendell Elves not fighting in the book.

    On the length of the battle in the movie: I think people actually enjoy exaggerating when they complain about these movies. Has anybody ever actually sat down and determined how many minutes of screen time are taken up by the battle. I have, but I'm tired of correcting people who say stuff without first checking to see that it is true. Anybody else want to do their homework, or should we just continue "making-up" allegations against the movies without worrying about their veracity?
    Yes, the book passage is shorter, but much of it is of the sort:
    Very easy to write that concisely on paper, rather more difficult to compact it on screen.

    And yes, PJ did decide to expand the imporance of Helm's Deep- he made it the dramatic centerpiece of the movie. What, precisely, is wrong with that, other than the fact that it is different than in the books? I remind folks that the chapter structure in the books would have been impossible to follow in the movies, as I discussed with Arvedui some time ago.
     
  15. Sarah

    Sarah Pervy Hobbit Fancier

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    It's more of fran telling the story. Fran talks about how peter jackson wanted the elves there. Fran says "I said the fans are gonna hate this, then peter said I don't care about the fans." then pj says "did I say that?"
     
  16. Turin

    Turin ...Lost

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    Gee, Elrond sure does have a lot of sons :D :rolleyes:.
     
  17. Gandalf White

    Gandalf White Gone Missing

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    Well, when you're around for a couple thousand years... :D :eek:
     
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  18. Barliman Butterbur

    Barliman Butterbur Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué

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    Because that's how PJ & crew wrote it! It certainly had nothing to do with Tolkien!

    Barley

    "The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth." —G.C. Lichtenberg 717
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2004
  19. aragil

    aragil Just another loremaster

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    Transcript of Commentary:
    PJ did not say he didn't care fore the fans!! Fran said it AS A JOKE, after PJ had jokingly accused the women of inisting on putting the Elves there in the first place. And even though it is a jest, PJ still denies saying he doesn't care about the fans. As for why the Elves were there, I gave the rest of their reasoning, as I think it is a useful bit of information to have on these boards.

    Anybody care to guess about the timing of the battles? In my copy of the books (First edition Ballantine, 75th printing) Helm's Deep (from Gimli and Legolas standing on the breastwork to the end of the chapter) is 14 pages. I estimate that the portion of TT covered by the movie is 284 pages (160 in the West, 124 with F&S). This means that of the portion of the book covered by the movies, 5% is devoted to Helm's Deep, with much of the passages being of the type that I posted before (Three times Aragorn and Éomer rallied them, and three times Andúril flamed in a desperate charge that drove the enemy from the wall). For the movies, Helm's Deep takes 20:36 minutes of the Theatrical cut, and 22:18 of the Extended Edition (including the final reckoning between Gimli and Legolas). The lengths of the films are 2:51:30 and 3:34:37 without credits, respectively. This means that in the two films 12% and 10% of the screen time is dedicated to the battle. This is approximately twice what is spent on the same section of the book, but given the very terse nature of the narrative in the battle description, I hardly think this should be a surprise. The Silmarillion spends about 15 pages describing the Nirnaeth Arnonoediad- how long do you thank that would go in film form?
     
  20. Arvedui

    Arvedui Stargazer

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    That depends on who made that (impossible) film. If it was mr. Jackson, I guess it would be about 30-40 mins.

    But to make a good film of The Silmarillion would in my opinion take more than 3 hrs.