Monday, March 21, 2011

Changes to LOTR

This is in response to Dr. Donovan's prompt...

The first choice I chose to analyze was the possibility of Aragorn marrying Eowyn instead of Arwen. For a lot of us, I think this marriage would have been more satisfying since by the end of the series, we feel pretty attached to Aragorn, and then he marries this elf that we really know nothing about. In contrast we've been with Eowyn and gotten to know her as she struggles with her place in life and how she can serve her country. But I feel as if Aragorn marrying a human would've been somewhat anticlimactic (no offense, Eowyn). Elessar grew up in Rivendell, he's the long lost King of Gondor, he's wielding Anduril...this guy's pretty special. And so it's fitting for him to marry Arwen, the Evenstar of her people. It's almost like the Elves' last gift to Middle-earth, and Arwen staying somewhat softens the blow of the departure of all of the immortal.

The second choice I chose was swapping the places of Theoden and Eomer at the battle of the Pelennor Fields. This would've undermined Tolkien's theme of "out with the old, in with the new" (that sounds kind of horrible talking about Theoden that way, I know). After the War of the Ring, power in Middle-earth has completely shifted to this new generation. Aragorn is King of Gondor, Faramir is the Steward, Eomer is King of Rohan, and overall power has shifted from the Elves to Men. Also, if Eomer had died and Theoden had lived, I'm not sure how well he would've taken it. Theodred is already dead and now Eomer, his beloved nephew? I feel like Theoden may have been overcome with guilt and grief, as strong as he may be.

The last choice I thought about was what would've happened if Saruman was killed by Wormtongue in Orthanc and never went to the Shire. This would've changed so much! The scouring of the Shire really shows how much the hobbits learned and changed throughout their adventures. I also think it plays an important part in redeeming Frodo in a way. In some ways coming back to an unchanged Shire would've been refreshing as a reader to see that evil doesn't penetrate everywhere. But Tolkien knew that was wishful thinking. The worth of the hobbits of the Shire shines so clearly as they deal with Saruman. It also goes to show the utter demise of the formerly great wizard that his power is completely broken by worthless (in his mind) hobbits.

1 comment:

Luthien said...

I don't really have anything to add to what you wrote, but I just wanted to say that I agree with everything you did write! You've really covered all the bases well, and your post has helped me see how crucial the choices were that Tolkien made in writing LOTR (and how much, for example, Peter Jackson took away from the narrative in leaving out the scouring of the Shire! :/).