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Old 11-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
Hamlet53
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Should the Lord of the Rings films been set in Iceland?

So I listened to this broadcast on NPR yesterday:

Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths by Nancy Marie Brown


I did not know that JRR Tolkien was so inspired by the collection of Old Norse tales and legends compiled and written in the 13th Century by Icelander Snorri Sturluson, from overall themes right down to many of the character names found in Tolkien's works.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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Tolkien was pretty open about his influences.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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Tolkien was pretty open about his influences.
I was not being critical of Tolkien, or by any means accusing him of plagiarism. He created a unique and complicated (perhaps overly complicated) fantasy world. I just had never been aware of how much he drew on the Old Norse legends described in that program. Unlike the original legends where the Norse Gods went into the battle at the end of the world knowing that they would lose, in Tolkien the good guys won. I like a happy ending.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting the link. I'm listening to the program now and the book being discussed sounds quite interesting.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:47 AM   #5
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If you are interested in the some of the sources for LOTR, there are several good books that talk about it. Tolkien was an Oxford Don of English Lit and had a translation of Beowulf to his credit.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:52 AM   #6
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If you are interested in the some of the sources for LOTR, there are several good books that talk about it. Tolkien was an Oxford Don of English Lit and had a translation of Beowulf to his credit.
Anglo-Saxon was actually his main field of study. He held the Rawlinson and Bosworth chair of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and the Merton chair of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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The problem with the movie was not the location but the coloring and the decision not to include the early portion of the Fellowship. Tolkien's best work was done in the 30's. Some day, someone will make a set of movies that ignores how the book was divided into three parts and uses logical ending places. The first movie will end when Frodo wakes in Rivendale and should incorporate some backdrop from the Second Age. The second, as the survivors prepare to leave the Misty Mountains after the elegy for Gandalf. The third will be more complicated as they will have to follow both story lines in the second half of the movie, but the end should come after the Three Hunters meet the men of Rohan. That way, the next movie will follow the Ents, the Rohan segment, and Frodo stabbing by Shelob. The last movie will wrap it up.
Getting the colors right, greens, golds, and blues will be extremely important, especially the Shire, and in Lothlorien. They have to be vivid and not washed out.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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I was in Iceland in the 1970s, and I can tell you that Tolkein was the first thing that came to my mind. The crumpled mossy lava flows would have made for marvellous trench-warfare scenes with orcs coming up out of the ground, and the more barren areas were completely Mordor. You can see some of the results in my own story The Huldra over on my blog. That said, logistics for the film crew would have been more challenging than NZ and the filming periods probably shorter. And you couldn't have got the supersaturated Hobbiton so well in Iceland - hardly a tree in sight, never mind the gentle groves of the Shire.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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I suppose a movie must be shot somewhere but anywhere is not good enough because New Zealand or Iceland is here, in the real world, it's not and can never be middle earth.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:02 PM   #10
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Middle Earth is the real world, but in the past.

And Iceland was just one of the many places colonized/conquered by the Norse. So was much of Western Europe, particularly England.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:25 AM   #11
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Middle Earth is the real world, but in the past.

And Iceland was just one of the many places colonized/conquered by the Norse. So was much of Western Europe, particularly England.
Yep though their influence in England was done by 1300 A.D. I understand. Also the Romans, Franks, etc. all played their part. The name England is actually a corruption of Angle Land = 'land of the Angles' for that matter. Tolkien was a prof. of Languages and wrote not of of Beowulf but of Sir Gwain and the Green Knight among other papers. He also wrote some short fictions like "Leaf by Niggle."
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