Film Corner: Lord of the Rings (Two Towers)

Apparently there's a sequel to the movie I watched last night.

I don't have this one as memorized as the other, and I forgot to say last night how relieved I was that Bombadil wasn't in the movie and how confused I was that people wanted him to be. Being on the outside of fan communities always brings these little surprises like "people care about Tom Bombadil???" and "who the fuck is Boba Fett??"

Gandalf and the winged Balrog fall into a cavern I've been to in LOTRO and it is BEAUTIFUL.

I love how Sam is sick of the lembas bread. The fanbase is sick with mighty need for the stuff and Sam legit wants some variety in his diet.

God, poor Gollum.

I feel so sorry for all of them, really. Sam's frustration is so understandable. Frodo's pain. Gollum's agony. They've all been hurt in ways they shouldn't have been. We've all been Sam and had to watch a loved one put up with a toxic asshole who is trying to drive a wedge between us.

Poor Gimli, having to do all that running in all that ARMOR. Legolas isn't over-encumbered, of course he can run more!

Oof, the mom sending her kids to safety. I forgot how GRIM the Two Towers are, even by "second act of a trilogy" standards.

I actually really like the Sauron eye effect in the movie; the "lidless eye wreathed in flame" thing in the book never made any sense to me and then the movie came out and I was like "oh obviously, of course". Picture worth a thousand words.

Eomer! I actually squeaked "Eros!!!!" in theaters.

I really hated the way they treated the Rohan king as demon possessed by Saruman, but I guess we'll get there.

The cutting of this sequence is confusing and I wish they'd done better.
It's like
Hobbits with the orcs
Saruman raising an orc army
Saruman sending the humans after Rohan
But it's orcs sacking the town
Eomer is banished
Aragorn is still running

The Aragorn/Hobbit timeline is happening over days, but the "orcs and possibly some humans going to two separate wars against Rohan" feels like a timeline of weeks. I don't really know how to have done it better; maybe start the movie with Eomer being banished and then cut to the hobbits?? Idk.

Hahaha, omg, I forgot that what sets Legolas off is that Eomer threatened his boyfriend Gimli. LEGOPISSED. Like, Gimli is just kinda droll and Eomer threatens him and Legolas scowls and shoves an arrow in his face like DON'T THREATEN MY BOYFY and it's so good.

I love how the nose guard on Eomer's helmet is a horse's head because living in Rohan means never saying "Is this too much? It's probably too much isn't it." The toilet seats are probably also shaped like horses. The houses are shaped like horses. The chess boards only have horses. ROHAN.

Eomer is just, like, spilling state secrets all over the place. It's kinda inept and lonely all at once and I love it. HE JUST WANTS SOMEONE TO VENT AT. I do love how horses are their babies but Eomer just gives two to these total strangers who might not be able to care for them.

Aragorn playing crime scene detective is kinda cute because I'm 99% sure that's in the book. Then they're just like "oh they went into Fangorn forest, never mind then, we're not going in THERE."

"Don't talk to the tree, Merry! Don't encourage it!!"

I dooooooon't really like how they made the Ents easily manipulated fools, but they needed comic relief I guess.

Dropping the hobbits at the white wizard's feet and slam cutting away was a nice touch.

The Dead Swamp is fucking terrifying.

But yeah, Two Towers feels like where they started diverting from canon in bigger ways that made the movie and less Tolkien-y. Like making the Ents fools and that love triangle-y thing they sorta tried with Arwen and Eowyn.

God, when Gandalf is safe again and his face is so soft and *cries*

Where'd they leave the horses?? Shadowfax!!

Gimli is riding with Legolas, just pointing that out.

Rohan always felt a little small to me, physically, but I know they didn't have a totally unlimited budget.

Extremely complicated feels about the scene in which Gandalf keeps his staff. Yes, it's awesome; no, it hasn't made life easier for people who actually need their al mobility devices, lolsob. I do love how the ENTIRE PARTY is doing that Thing where they're all armed to the teeth and it takes five whole minutes to take everything off.

I just really think it was a mistake to replace Theoden's depression with a Christian-esque demonic possession. I just do. I guess "shaking off decades of depression with one really good pep talk" wouldn't have been great either but.

Ack, I can barely keep my eyes open. Pausing here. Love you, dears.


There are People in my House (asdjahdkdh) so who wants a thread about how I completely misread Lord of the Rings as a child, at least until I can get back to live-tweeting the movie?

Ok, so first of all you have to remember that I was raised in a fundie christian cult atmosphere, so I was basically allowed to read:
- Classics
- Christian Books (Narnia, L'Engle, etc.)
- .....the Xanth series because the library had it and my mom thought the covers were cute.

I had a rudimentary understanding of D&D/LOTR concepts through video games: Sierra's Quest for Glory had a Fighter/Mage/Thief class system, my Sega Genesis games were class-based, I'd absorbed the idea of a Fighter-Wizard-Rogue party class as a Thing.

An uncle--the one who bought me "I donated a Bible in your name" cards for my birthday--sent me the complete Hobbit-LOTR boxset while assuring my parents that Tolkien was a very christian.

I'm pretty sure I was.... seven?

Coming to LOTR through the lens of LOTR-knockoffs was wild because I completely misinterpreted so much. I can't remember if I read the Hobbit first but I think I must've. By the time I got to Fellowship, I was convinced that the story was about weak "everyday" people doing great things.

"Well, yes, Ana, Frodo--" NO. ALL OF THEM.

I thought Gandalf was a Level 1 wizard.

I thought Aragorn was a Level 1 ranger who, yeah, apparently had some kind of ancestral right to a throne but that his ancestry had zero impact on his life thus far because he was poor and his lineage broken.

I thought Legolas and Gimli were low-level ambassador mooks who got stuck with this shitty mission because the important people didn't want it.

I really spent three whole books *somehow* thinking all these people were utterly normal nobodies who changed the world because someone had to. I felt so betrayed when I grew up and learned Gandalf is a goddamn angel and Aragorn has been shitting into silk toilet paper.

I also, somehow, completely misunderstood and thought Legolas was a girl? Her name is Lego-LASS, she's the Bow Chick of the group, she's so light she runs over snow without leaving footprints, do I need to draw you a MAP, Tolkien????

ANYWAY, I was also very pure and didn't know about "no body, no death" tropes. I 100% believed Gandalf died with the Balrog and it WRECKED me. Two Towers ends with Frodo *dead* by Shelob and I locked myself in the bathroom crying uncontrollably and my Mom didn't know what to do. I really don't know if she was the one who weakly tried "maybe the next book is better" or if I just couldn't stand not finishing something, but I was so relieved and angry when Frodo was okay, lol.


Anyway, every time someone is like "I'm tired of stories about KINGS, I want a story about a nobody changing the world", I think about how I genuinely thought Aragorn was this poor homeless guy who ended up king against all expectations, helped by his Level 1 Wizard friend.

Gandalf was a level 1 wizard because he did low level wizardry like fireworks to sell--practical application of magic!--and he was only level 1 because he'd come to wizard school late in life, I CRAFTED A COMPLICATED BACKSTORY FOR HIM. He'd realized one day that he was tired of being a traveling salesman, and it's never too late to switch careers, so he went to wizard school and-- look, nevermind.

(I've met SO MANY PEOPLE who thought Merry, Pippin, or Legolas were girls. It's like our minds refused to accept a 9-man party.)

It's actually interesting to thread about this after we've been talking about Spoiler Discourse, because honestly I would've enjoyed the books SO MUCH MORE if I'd known Gandalf and Frodo don't die. I was gutted when Gandalf died and the relief I felt when he was ok wasn't, like, a "worth it" relief? If that makes sense? But that's always been true for me and my anxiety. Relief doesn't make it "worth it" because relief isn't pleasurable for me; it's just a brief reprieve. "Relief is merely a minor pause between episodes of crushing anxiety" is basically how the emotion works for me.

I actually very much wanted the Hobbit movie to be brave enough to cast half the dwarves with actresses and just never mention it.


ok, the people have left my house!

"Your fingers would remember their old strength better if they grasped your sword." lol.

"Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not."

I must've listened to the "those without swords can still die upon them" line a dozen times before I understood what she meant, lol. The inflection of that line feels off. But I love how hostile she is to him (she feels she has to prove herself) and I understand the burgeoning crush when he accepts and compliments her. It's so easy to confuse "gratitude that this guy isn't a sexist monster" with "want to bang him". Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Poor Sam. God. He wants to help, but Frodo won't let him carry the ring.

Gollum: "You don't have any friends. Nobody likes you." Oh look, it's my inner monologue.

Sam and his stew. Sam and his awe at seeing the elephants. "No one back home will believe this!"

Ugh, I haaaaate what they did with Faramir, he would NEVER and also it derails EVERYTHING, and HE WOULD NEVER. I don't like the cynicism that Faramir isn't "realistic" because no one would behave honorably in the presence of the ring, like, shut up. Like, the Faramir casting is PERFECT, too, and then they ruin it. David Wenham could've perfectly pulled off canon Faramir's humility.

Faramir is the guy who has grown up close enough to power to see the trade offs. He's made the decision that family and friends are more important than grasping onto a seat you're constantly afraid of losing.
and I want to send an apology note to David Wenham because he deserved a better script. Imagine the excitement of being cast as Faramir only to learn that a cynical director was demanding a total rewrite of his character????

It's so sad but also realistic that Eowyn wants to bang Aragorn because he's nice to her, but also SO SAD. Be nice to Eowyn, Rohan people!! I hate the attempted love triangle, though. I get it; it makes sense that Aragorn might reasonably dwell on Eowyn being a good political match and Arwen being complicated because of the elf math involved, but STILL. He's loved her for forever.

Gimli is explaining that humans can't tell the difference between dwarf men and women and AGAIN I wish they'd cast all dwarves as 50% actors and 50% actresses. It's not right or fair that they only use men.

It's ugly paternalism that thinks Aragorn and Elrond know what's best for her, ignoring her consent. I DISLIKE. Tolkien was not great at female rep, but the women he does include (a) KNOW WHAT THEY WANT, and (b) the men don't try to talk over them like they're little foolish ladies.

It is vexing that Gandalf told them to get a move on and yet they're strolling to Helms Deep. There's no sense of urgency in this scene. (Maybe they thought the viewer needed a break? But we haven't been going at a breakneck pace so far! The pacing is....odd.)

Two wargs attack because the goblins don't believe in effective sneak attack tactics. It's more honorable to send in two guys to be slaughtered as an advance warning that you're coming. This is a meaningful inside look at goblin culture and their notions of fair play. (It's not, but there's no other way to explain this scene.)

Three dozen horses to climb on, and Legolas beelines for Gimli's.

Oh my GOD, you guys, yes I know the Rohan group has kids and elderly, I'm not a fool. They're still strolling at a "meander through the mall on a Sunday afternoon" pace rather than putting the kids on a tethered horse and SHAKING A LEG. Some of you people think I'm too ignorant to breathe and honestly it shows in your replies.

Oh, look, they're moving faster now that wargs have shown up.

It's really funny how I'm so much more queer than when I watched these movies. I really did see Legolas as, like, grudging respect and unlikely friends. Now it's, those two are so obviously in love and not even trying to hide it. I was absolutely that Straight (TM) girl who would see stories about a girl marrying her best friend and giving her one of her kidneys and I'd be like "aww, friendship goals!!!!"

I mean, it's still goals, but uhh.


My favorite thing about live-tweeting a movie is that for every tweet like "Now Sam has entered a building", you'll get someone going "admittedly I haven't seen the movie in 50 years, but I'm pretty sure there's no buildings nor anyone named Sam in this movie." Like, you're live-tweeting it, you're watching it UNFOLD IN REAL TIME, and people are so convinced that their hazy memories are right and you're just hallucinating shit.

I've straight up been "corrected" during live tweets by people who never even saw the movie ONCE. That has happened. One time I quoted the movie and someone angrily told me "it doesn't say that!!" and I took a fucking picture of the screen and the captions and they did not even apologize, it was amazing.

Ok where were we!

Oh, yes, Legolas was swinging onto Gimli's horse and I was having feels. My sweet good boys.

Is he seriously the only archer, what the FUCK, Rohan? Wait, there's one more. Geez.

Aww, Legolas kills the one running at Gimli and Gims is all flustered.

Oh my god, they only included the second archer so he could get mauled, why.

We get the contrived thing with Aragorn being separated from the group and it is so contrived?? He tries to mount a warg (why), gets tangled in the tacking (WHY), and the warg runs over a cliff like an angry lemming (W H Y). ....and in all that confusion, the goblin rider stole Arwen's jewel (WHYYY) and taunted them so Legolas could recover it.

Orlando Bloom is being pretty at me and this is a personal attack.

Wormtongue is like "my lord there is no force big enough to take Helms Deep" and they walk out onto a parapet and boom there it is did he not notice the army on the way in?? Like oh THAT army, yeah I saw them on the way in but I thought they were Mary Kay sellers.

Aragorn gets his trippy dream sequence and I remember being so confused and upset about this in the theaters lol. THIS IS NOT CANON.

God, Liz is such a good Arwen, though.

Galadriel is talking and Elrond looks more and more annoyed like "woman, I have ASKED that you stop collect-calling just to monologue at me, I wanted to watch my STORIES."

Unnnnnngh, Faramir forcing Frodo to betray Gollum.

Sam oh Sam.

UGH and he walks then back to Gondor which undoes all their progress and makes NO SENSE.

The Ent-Meet!! The Ent meeting needs a casserole dish.

There's, like, this tense fighting about how doomed they are and it feels so weird because yes, they're doomed? No sense in bickering about it. Very doomed.

The elves!!!! I love their elfy chorus music.

I never really understood why Galadriel's man bears a message from Elrond?? But ok.

Someone desperately needed to say "I hope you brought plenty of arrows" but it tragically went unsaid.
Gimli standing next to Legolas even if it means not being able to see what happens. Legolas and Gimli and their cute counting game. The stakes aren't explained but I'm assuming it's for kisses.

I so very much dislike that the Ents have to be tricked into war. I do like Legolas's shield surfing, shut up.

Aragorn is staying alive through sheer plot armor, it's amazing.

They've breached the wall so honestly it's confusing to me why they keep trying to tear down other parts of the wall. Like, they blow a fucking hole in the middle of the wall and instead of swarming in they......try to battering ram the door??? Ok???

Points to Pippin, at least, for figuring out the way to trick the Ents. Even though I don't like that change.

The Ents going to war is beautiful, even if I hate the way they were reduced to fools so Merry and Pippin could be the instigators.

The OTHER problem with the character assassination of Faramir, is that the smash cuts to Gondor break up the Helms Deep tension. FARAMIR WOULD NEVER.

Helms Deep is now down to 5 plot relevant folks, and I think all the elves died. So that's sad.

Somehow the keep has war horses in it, don't ask I guess.

The Rohirrim show up and that's nice but this is very grim and I remember now WHY I rewatch Fellowship often but rarely this one.

Towers isn't.....bad? But the cuts decrease tension rather than build it, the additions aren't good (Faramir would NEVER), and now I'm informed that we almost had Arwen fighting at Helms Deep with Aragorn but that the fanboys threw a fit. Which would explain why they kept building up the love triangle that goes nowhere: Arwen was supposed to show up and fight beside him.

And they changed the Ents so Pippin and Merry would have more impact, but it removes a lot of agency. And: Faramir would NEVER. Plus, I don't know how they're supposed to get into Gondor AGAIN, do they have to cross that damn marsh again?? Somehow Gandalf and Eomer killed ten thousand orcs, so I guess that's cool too.

Amazing. [Link:]

I'm not sure how to feel about the Arwen news; Liv is amazing, but the Hobbit lady elf sequences were TERRIBLE and she ended up being To Blame for several canon deaths, so I'm not convinced they wouldn't have fucked Arwen up. Knowing how the Hobbit went down, they might've made the fall of Helms Deep all Arwen's fault somehow, I'm just saying. lolsob.


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