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Cool early versions of LotR

Which of these discarded versions do you like?

  • The Ents are Evil and capture Gandalf for Saruman

    Votes: 1 3.7%
  • Fatty Bolger captured by the 9 & rescued by Gandalf

    Votes: 5 18.5%
  • Trotter the travelling hobbit, not Strider the ranger

    Votes: 1 3.7%
  • Ring-mad Boromir survives and allies with Saruman

    Votes: 8 29.6%
  • A nazgul in Moria, not the Balrog

    Votes: 4 14.8%
  • Frodo and Sam fight their way out of Minas Morgul

    Votes: 7 25.9%
  • Many spiders: not just Shelob

    Votes: 4 14.8%
  • Treebeard fights at Minas Tirith

    Votes: 10 37.0%

  • Total voters
    27

Snaga

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Reading History of Middle Earth you are bombarded with all sorts of alternative possibilities that JRRT toyed with, and then discarded. Some of them are really great. Which do you like?
 

Ståle

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It always annoyed me that Treebeard and the gang didn't show up for the Battle at the Pellenor Fields. I mean, they hated orcs, didn't they? And if Sauron had won, their forests would have been gone pretty soon.
 
R

ReadWryt

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You left out one of the parts of the History of Middle-earth I adore most, the Epilogue to The Lord of the Rings...with Sam sitting by the fire telling Elenore and young Frodo the story. I never thought that Sam got the attention he should have in the long run, seeing as how a strong argument could be made that he was actually the hero of the story...
 

Snaga

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Yeah I guess so, that IS really good. I suppose I don't really think of it as a different version so much as an additional section.

I think my personal favourite is Sam and Frodo trying to impersonate orcs and 'swagger' out of Minas Morgul. A guard spots Sam, but when Sam turns round he just sees the Captains shield, and thinks Sam is the orc captain and gets very apologetic.
 

Hama

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I was trying to imagine all of the above siuations but the only one i could fathom was Fatty being captured by the ringwraiths. However, thinking about that even, I am not so sure. The Nazgul would just kill anyone, they aren't hostage takers. They inspire fear in everyone.
Here is my logic concerning the other ideas and why I think they would not work:
I don't think the Ents were most open to traveling far away, and would only get angry if they were immediately troubled as in the case of Isengard. They were quite isolationists. Plus I cannot see Gandalf falling victims to ents after he escapes nine ringwraiths. Having a hobbit as a guide would not be too different, but a hobbit would sure as heck not know anything about dealing with Ringwraiths, and so would make the them standing up the nine tougher for us to believe. Boromir would not ally himself with saruman, because he would see Saruman as a threat to the line of Stewards which is what he is trying to preserve, basically. We have enough of Nazgul throughout the book so a Balrog makes a welcome change. You've got to be kidding me, imagine two hobbits fighting a pack of battle-hardened orcs! Shelob made a good maverick enemy - a "she" for Sauron's "he". If there was more than one spider, it would become a reenactment of Bilbo's fight in mirkwood.
Thanks for taking the time to read my analysis.
 
M

Mormegil

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I did like the Hobbit-Ranger Trotter idea. But obviously it wouldn't have worked in the big picture.
 

Telchar

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I like the part where Frodo and Sam fights their way out of Minas Morgul. But I mix the stories together, especially the part with the silent watcher/guard..
 

Hama

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No, I would have not liked to have seen that scenario. Even though Fangorn is a great character. The two fronts in the war had to have been dealt with in very differing fashions. In the war against Isengard, the x-factor played a key role, something the enemy never saw. On the other hand, in the battle of the pelennor, the expected sides lined up - the men of Rohan and Gondor and the Dunedain on one side and the army of Sauron on the other. The book would have been far less exciting if the men of Gondor had to rely on the Ents to bail them out at the last minute, just like the Men of Rohan had to against Isengard. It was also against the nature of the Ents to be angered or even care if they themselves were not in the direst of straits.
 

Snaga

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The stuff with Gandalf and the Ents is interesting.

Partly it shows you how the concept of the Ents emerges. Ents is an old english (?) word for 'giant' and hence JRRT first concieves them as malevolent.

But also, it is a very early decision to ensure that Frodo does not leave the Shire with Gandalf, because Gandalf is far too reassuring and powerful and so the plot doesn't work. So he needs a device to delay Gandalf. An early option was G being besiege in a tower (on the Tower Hills) by the 9. Then that shifts to the Ents, and then that the Ents are working for Saruman. And it is quite late down that chain of development that Saruman emerges as a traitor.

Its fascinating!
 

Camille

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I do not like the idea of Fangorn fighting, I like the idea od frodo and sam fight their way out of minas morgul!
 

Snaga

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Originally posted by Hama
No, I would have not liked to have seen that scenario. Even though Fangorn is a great character. The two fronts in the war had to have been dealt with in very differing fashions. In the war against Isengard, the x-factor played a key role, something the enemy never saw. On the other hand, in the battle of the pelennor, the expected sides lined up - the men of Rohan and Gondor and the Dunedain on one side and the army of Sauron on the other. The book would have been far less exciting if the men of Gondor had to rely on the Ents to bail them out at the last minute, just like the Men of Rohan had to against Isengard. It was also against the nature of the Ents to be angered or even care if they themselves were not in the direst of straits.
Hama on reflection, I think Aragorn turning up with the fleet from Umbar full of good guys was the x-factor at Pelennor.

On the Fatty being kidnapped scenario the theory was that they would find him hiding out at Crickhollow, realise he didn't have the ring but know he had something to do with it. THey would take him to their Captain near Sarn Ford (where you may recall he was hiding) for interrogation. Gandalf would pursue them and free him. It has a lot of dramatic potential. The real difficulty with it for me is that why wouldn't the riders who found him have questioned him there and then? JRRT in fact toyed with a number of Crickhollow scenarios, and Gandalf's role, including Gandalf arrives there before the riders and escapes with Fatty.
 

Gildor

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When a writer discards something, its usually for good reason. :)
 

Inderjit S

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The Ents fighting at Minis Tirith is my fave., I didn't like the others much when I read them.

And yes 'Ents' is Old English for 'giant'-originally Treebeard was a giant, of some sort.
 

Kelonus

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I like them all, but I chose Ring-Mad Boromir survives and allies with Saruman. It's amazing how you have an ally who you feel is by your side, but actually isn't. I like stories with characters like that, because it surprises me and when I see it in movies or read it when it happens I say to myself "Oh man that sucks. I liked him/her as good character." Although when you think about it, they were never really good, because of their intentions.
 

Firawyn

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I tihnk it would add to the complexity of the evil side if Borimir lived and sided with the bad guys...

I think that all the evil characters in LotR are flat characters..maybe with Saraman as an exception....the evil side needed more pop..if you know what I mean.. :) :rolleyes:
 

Feorran

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Hama said:
I was trying to imagine all of the above siuations but the only one i could fathom was Fatty being captured by the ringwraiths.
Here is my logic concerning the other ideas and why I think they would not work:
I don't think the Ents were most open to traveling far away, and would only get angry if they were immediately troubled as in the case of Isengard. They were quite isolationists.
Thanks for taking the time to read my analysis.
But you have to consider that the Ents were not fully developed at that point, so it might have been more logical for them to travel like that.

Also a mean Ent seems very intimidating, and for me that makes them cooler to read about. But thinking back... You have the Nazgul, Sauron, Saruman, not to mention the countless orcs and goblins; in other words, there are plenty of cruel intimidating forces out there.

Kelonus said:
I like them all, but I chose Ring-Mad Boromir survives and allies with Saruman. It's amazing how you have an ally who you feel is by your side, but actually isn't. I like stories with characters like that, because it surprises me and when I see it in movies or read it when it happens I say to myself "Oh man that sucks. I liked him/her as good character." Although when you think about it, they were never really good, because of their intentions.
That is a good point I can relate to, but in Borimir's case, his intentions weren't bad, the ring just corrupted him like.

Over all, it is interesting to read about the other versions, but in my opinion the LotR as most know it is the best version.
~Feorran
 

Arvegil

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Actually, the list makes me appreciate the decisions that were made.
 

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