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The Writing on the Ring

Foe-Hammer

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Another change. I hate mentioning it because there are those that will fixate on it and we'll have never ending threads on the subject.

When Frodo got the ring out of the trunk, Gandalfs seal was unbroken, meaning Frodo never used the ring. In the book, Frodo used the ring many times in that 17 years.
 

Greenleaf

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I'm not sure if I would be considered a “purest”, but I did feel that delaying the appearance of the righting was very effective, it kept the audience on the edge of their seats, and although it may not have been true to the book, it definitely added to the movie. I must admit (to my shame) that I didn’t note the unbroken seal. I think it probably slipped by most people unnoticed since Frodo’s use of the ring in Gandalf’s absence was not addressed.
 

Greymantle

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"I invite the purists to respond as to whether even in these minor cases, e.g. the delay in the writing appearance on the ring--not mentioned in the book--but very dramatic in the movie, was worthwhile."

I'm afraid that, as always, I go with #1. Not all the purists automatically disagree with every unnecessary change, but I do.
Beyond that, I do have a reasoning, in this case. The delay in the appearance of the writing, while dramatically effective, contributes further to the alteration of Gandalf's character. Throughout the movie we see more emotion and thought in him than are not easily apparent in the book. His thought process is very visible in a way it is not in the books-- we see him considering things at Bag End, for example. Furthermore, decisions are continually made for him (i.e. Elrond in Rivendell, Frodo at the Gates of Moria); in the books, it is truly Gandalf who is the mover of events.
Gandalf does want to be sure of the Ring by putting it in fire, that much we know from the Council of Elrond. However, at Bag End, he is true Mithrandir-- apparently all-wise and completely self-assured. The delay in the wording makes Gandalf doubt-- visibly. We see him worried and concerned in a way that is not very much in line with his character. If this were the only place, it'd be one thing... but he does it many times (such as "Is it secret?" etc.). Sort of getting me here?
 
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Thorin

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Nope, doesn't make sense...PJ contradicted himself. Grey's right.

Gandalf searches through Gondor's records and reads Isildur's record of the ring. "It is cool to the touch though having been in the fire" (Okay, not an exact quote)

Then Gandalf goes to Shire and tells Frodo, "Put it in your hand, it is quite cool" (Okay, another not exactly accurate quote) The fact that Gandalf is so non-chalante about it, and the fact that it IS indeed cool to the touch shows that Gandalf knew it was the one ring. A lot of sense that would have made if Gandalf would have had doubts about the ring before he makes Frodo touch it!

Gandalf: Here Frodo, put it in your hand, it is quite cool
Frodo: (SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gandalf: Whoops! Silly me! I guess I was wrong! Here, put your hand in this bucket of water!

Then after this faithful and true test, he puts this stupid, doubtful look on his face like "Gee, maybe there are two rings in ME that stay cool in the fire. I guess I went all the way to Gondor and avidly searched the archives for nothing. What does Isildur know anyway?"

It does make Gandalf seem not in control of anything like he is in the book. There were many things that were un-Gandalf in the movie, that shouldn't be denied. (Though many still do) Even still, Ian did do a pretty good job.
 
R

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Here's where Ed gets really picky. Ever since the first time I saw the scene where Frodo is looking at the recently "fired" ring and they showed the projection of the letters moving across his face, it really ticked me off. Not because of any Tolkein related reason, just because that wouldn't happen.

I do 3D animation. I have played with all manner of lighting and Ray Tracing effects and even slaved away for 6 hours to get just the right reflection of Mount Doom in a rendering of the Ring, and I know that having the red flaming letters project out like that was just hokey (as in a bunch of hokum!).

...but then, as stated in other threads, I am a picky bastard...
 

Greenwood

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Greymantle

A well written and and well reasoned position. (You slipped a little at the end though with your snide "Are you getting me here." :) ).

One point where I disagree with both you and Thorin is that Gandalf knew Frodo's ring was The Ring.

To quote from FOTR:

(Gandalf speaking) " 'Your ring is shown to be that One Ring by the fire-writing alone, apart from any other evidence.'

" 'And when did you discover that?' asked Frodo, interrupting.

" 'Just now in this room, of course,' answered the wizard sharply. 'But I expected to find it. I have come back from dark journeys and long search to make that final test. It is the last proof, and all is now only too clear. ...."

Gandalf believed Frodo's ring was The Ring, but did not know it for sure. Otherwise why make the fire test? Obviously he hoped he was wrong and that somehow his reasoning and piecing together of the Ring's history had led him to a false conclusion. I thought the scene in the film did a good job of conveying that visually and briefly. I did think that Gandalf's telling Frodo here "take it, it is cool" (or words to that effect) would strike people as strange, but I always thought the same thing when I read it in the book. I thought this was a place where the movie was confusing by adhering too closely to the book.

Thorin

As stated above I think your problem about the ring possibly being hot goes back to the book and is not an invention of the movie.
 
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Foe-Hammer

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someone on the board always asks "how many rings were there?"
If I remember right....
We have accounted for the 9, and the three, and the 7.

This might be a question for the other writings, but with just what I remember from the 4 books, it never made any sense for gandalf to act that way. If he knew all the rings were accounted for except the ruling ring, the frodos ring was the ruling ring. There was no reason for that whole exercise.

Now, if he though that somehow one of the 7 was found, then the book and the movie make sense.

please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Foe-Hammer

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I suppose.

So gandalf knew that all magical rings could be tossed in a fire and not be hot to the touch. He was relieved when there was no markings and it must be a different ring, but then the makings appear and he knows it is the one ruling ring.

Is that about right?
 

Thrakerzog

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Foe-Hammer,
Not a quote from the book, just a little signature for fun. :)

Thorin,
I can not believe you are so blind to your belief as to not see any truth.

Why would Gandalf have put the ring in the fire at all if he was as confident as you seem to think he was?!?!?

Greymantle,
You, once again, are stating your beliefs as facts.
Your opinion:
Throughout the movie we see more emotion and thought in him than are easily apparent in the book.
The fact you base on it:
We see him worried and concerned in a way that is not very much in line with his character.

I am sorry you are such an unemotional person as to not be able to pick up these things. The Miara are very powerful, but it is very obvious they are not all knowing and without question of which action to take.

ReadWryt,
You are indeed very picky. But that might just be another magic property of the ring - to project the words when glowing.
Of course, I have no reference for this, as there is none at all, but what are we looking for here, perfect truth that we can not find, or a reasonable explanation?
 

Pops

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I'd like to share my thinking on the movie/ring/Gandalf subject for all of those upset/confused about Gandalf's (movie) reaction to the delayed lettering on the ring by putting yourself in Gandalf's shoes:

You, after much research, are very sure that this ring is indeed THE ring. The ring missing for hundreds of years. The ring that could bring Sauron back to full power and destroy ME as you know it. You are so sure, in fact, that you place it in the fire and remove it...knowing that it will be cool to the touch, place it in Frodo's hand. You also know that writing will appear on the ring. Now, Frodo is holding he ring in his hand, OBVIOUSLY cool judging by Frodo's reaction (or lack thereof)...and no lettering appears. Knowing that it makes you invisible and knowing that the ring is indeed cool to the touch after a firebath, I think a WTF look upon the face of Gandalf is warranted...wouldn't you get that same look after expecting the effect (shiny red words) from the cause (tossed into the fire) and not receiving it immediately?

Gandalf is by no means a flawless character in the book. In fact he berates himself and shows self-doubt on more than one occasion. Examples: He states, in one way or another, that he should have seen the signs that Saruman was being corrupted. He admits himself foolish to trust Butterbur to relay the message to Frodo and that he, himself should have delivered the ill tidings to Bag End.

I think PJ is using this same self-doubt, not exhibited in the movie thru the Butterburr incident, in the ring/fire scene in debate.
 

Greenwood

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1. makes you invisible
2. stays cool in the fire
Harad

I will grant you these two possibilities. I know of nothing in LOTR to support them, but neither do I know of anything that positively refutes them (but see below). However, given that Tolkien never stated that magic rings do not get warm in a fire, I think it is fair for a reader to question why Gandalf knew the ring would be cool.

In conflict to the idea that The Ring would not get hot is Isildur's account of the taking of the ring that Gandalf finds in the library of Minas Tirirth. In it he states that he was burned by the heat of the ring when he retrieved it and that the writing faded as the ring "cooled". This was the very reason for the fire test. (Isildur also states that the ring appeared to shrink as it cooled and as he held it. An effect nicely shown in the film. This is one of the places where I thought the film showed an amazing attention to the details of the book.)
 

Pops

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Originally posted by Foe-Hammer
Pops,

That's it! I am convinced!
ok, I come from a group of forums (that I host and is non-Tolkien topical, just general forums) and we reek of sarcasm in every post. So, being new to this forum and seeing that it is obviously different to what I am accustomed to, I must ask:

sarcastic or serious?

I hope serious. That would mean I added something of value to the conversation. :)
 

Foe-Hammer

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Pops,
No sarcasm. I totally agree and your explanation makes the most sense.
 

Pops

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Originally posted by Foe-Hammer
Pops,
No sarcasm. I totally agree and your explanation makes the most sense.
YAY!! I have fulfilled my daily quota for saying something that makes sense.
 

Pops

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*awaits the arrival of Grond*

back on subject of writing on the ring. I found these kickarse bookmark at Barnes and Noble (one of which Grond has). The bookmark itself is a picture of "Strider" or the Black Riders. The neat part is that tied to the the tassle on the bookmark is a ring that has the actual writing (to the 'T') on it. GREAT pickup for only 2 bucks. Anyone else seen these?
 

Pops

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Originally posted by Harad


Pops:
I put on my NPW hat (yes I got one) for this reply: But that's the point. There is no justification for the delay. The WTF look is because Gandalf realizes that the logic of Rings in Middle Earth is violated by the delay shown in the movie.

Therefore (taking off the hat) I subscribe to the other explanation that Gandalf was momentarily relieved and thought that this wasnt The One Ring, but his relief was shortlived.
But what's to prove that there isn't a delay in the letters showing up? The book seems to show that there is indeed a delay:

...and removed the ring to the hearth with the tongs, and at once picket it up. Frodo gasped.

"It is quite cool,' said Gandalf. 'Take it!' Frodo received it on his shringing palm: it seemed to have become thicker and heavier than ever.

Hold it up!' said Gandalf. 'And look closely!'

As Frodo did so, he now saw fine lines, finer than the finest pen-strokes, running along the ring, outside and inside: lines of fire that seemed to form the letters of a flowing script. The shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth"
As you can see, it states 'he now saw' implying that he did not see them until that moment. he did not see the letters as it was taken out of the fire, rather saw them only after the ring was in his hand. I'm not saying you are wrong, just wanted to give you more to think about.

Now granted, that excerpt shows no doubt on the part of Gandalf, but as I stated earlier it may have been added to make up for the self-doubt offered in the book that was omitted from the film.
 

Pops

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Which brings me back to the point I made in another thread. That's the beauty of literature. it leaves a lot of interpretation to the reader.

I like to think of myself as more of a purist than others...same as my father. I believe Tolkien's works are the bible of the fantasy/sci-fi genre. I also however, try to entertain the fact that the film and the literary work are two separate entities, as are the film industry and the literary industry. I don't always suceed in this, but I try. What works in one, may not work in another.

With that being said, I'll focus on the movie and your quote of:

The WTF look is because Gandalf realizes that the logic of Rings in Middle Earth is violated by the delay shown in the movie.
I'm not sure I follow: you're saying that because the director/screenwriter/producer Peter Jackson violates the logic of the Rings of Middle Earth by the delay in the movie, that the character Gandalf gives us the WTF look?

Or are you saying that, in the movie, Gandalf expects the ring to immediately show letters, but doesn't, thus breaking the logic of the rings...so he gives the 'look'. If this second scenario is true, then how is it different from my interpretation of it:

I think a WTF look upon the face of Gandalf is warranted...wouldn't you get that same look after expecting the effect (shiny red words) from the cause (tossed into the fire) and not receiving it immediately?
 

Greymantle

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Lol, looks like someone moved it to the Hall of Fire... though that seems strange to me. Seeing as it's not M-e related, it really should have been put in Stuff and Bother.
Though I can see why you posted it here. There are many members of the Forum who never leave the NLC board.
 

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