So there are many things that I take issue with the time compression. One of the main reasons was that the entire time was representative of the downfall of Númenor...
So I was looking at the Vanity Fair Article , and it seemed...I didn't really care about who was playing who or what they looked like. After all, I'd be excited for whomever they decide to cast. All seemed okay. There was this one quote that stook out like a sore thumb. But other than that, I kind of understood and tried to sort of viewed the books and adaptations as separate entities.
I knew it wouldn't meet my expectations - after all, this is also one person's perspective. Maybe it's just a speculation, and we don't really know what would actually happen until the time comes. I also don't expect a word-for-word commentary from Tolkien. Obviously there has to be some changes. After all, Peter Jackson's LOTR Movie Adaptations had changes but I still thought it was overall well done.
But I could see how Tolkien's son Christopher would have issues with it though. Not only that, but he didn't like it -citing that Jackson made it too much of an action movie. Most likely it would be due to him working so closely with his father, and knows about the thought processes and the work that came into the books that we may not know about. So I definitely can understand his opinion here.
However, when I heard they were doing a time compression, I had a lot of thoughts and just had to mull it over for a while. It just didn't seem right to me. It made me question how much the main producers knew - well, I'm not denying that the editors of LOTRon Prime, there could be some nice, honest, Tolkien scholars...but how much of a say do they have? Yeah before you ask, there was a time leap, but I think there is something more than just skipping 17 years, maybe it was - in the LOTR movies.
It might not always be bad - after all, that happened in LOTR movies. But sometimes I wonder what would've happened if it didn't happen and a time leap occurred instead in order to skip over the 17 years. Maybe it just wouldn't change much. Or maybe it would.
Or maybe it's just the more one reads Tolkien, the more protective one gets. And in a way, running Elf-friend has helped me grow in deeper understanding.
So here are three major problems I have with the time compression - and I'd be happy to hear if you agree, disagree, etc. have something I haven't thought about yet...
We can see in works such as Unfinished Tales and Nature of Middle-earth, that the downfall of Numenor was a huge part of what occurred. Without that, there will be no Lord of the Rings. Surely most of us as readers decide to go through the Lord of the Rings first, and then we may or may not go back to see where it came to be. But it didn't seem to me that they would be willing to consider that via time leap instead.
It would be like saying that whomever is ruling in the Renaissance, for example, is ruling now - and that things will be the exact same as they were during the Renaissance era, when it is not the case.
For example, in Nature of Middle-earth, this downfall was marked by a "clinging to life," and the shrinking of the natural lifespan. A few chapters later, it also highlights the Days of Bliss in Númenor as well. And I don't see how that could be overlooked.
There are also other ways to not show everything that happened. I am by no means advocating for everything that was written, after all, Tolkien himself licensed some innovation. But maybe there could be a time jump, or a time leap perhaps as shown in the Lord of the Rings movies. Even in the movies, there were a lot of misunderstandings about the point of the story.
See, when asked who is the real hero in Lord of the Rings, most would say that Sam was the real hero, and not Frodo. For example, in a recent poll, almost three quarters pegged Sam as the real hero, not Frodo.
But I never viewed it that way. I'm not really trying to downplay Sam's role - after all, he was a great character, and even Tolkien held him to high esteem. But in the linked article above, I remember not really knowing whether he actually called Sam the chief hero - but he had trouble understanding what he was getting into in the beginning, and only really started to understand when Frodo got caught by Shelob and Sam had to carry the ring for a day - a few chapters before that - which was mentioned in Letter #246.
We know that everyone in some way is helping Frodo as well, like you have Merry out on Pelenor Fields with Eowyn, Sam out with Frodo directly, Gandalf's colors, etc. But my personal opinion is that we've kind of lost sight of what it means to be the ring-bearer in this respect - which leads me to my third point.
Seeing as they only have the rights to certain stories, such as the LOTR Appendices - I wonder if it's also that and they could spend a lot of time, money and hype on just that one section because of it. I don't want to be like everyone else and reference Game of Thrones tho - anyways.
In our lives, we're always rushing to get to the next thing, purely "fo sho" - and I can see it play out directly in the production of the series. As what I mentioned just in the last point - we kind of lost sight of what it means to be the ring-bearer, and it's sad to me, because as a student, I can sort of understand the struggles he had to go through that few understand. But then again, I did mention that it was portrayed in a way that probably just can't be portrayed in film...
My point is, Amazon is a very big entity, and they have the power to create something good. It's a little upsetting when we know they have the means to it, but decide not to use it for good. Or maybe it's just based on what we've heard - we don't really know what will eventually happen.
See, I'm not hoping it is bad. There still are good things to come on LOTRon Prime - it can be viewed positively that LOTR is going to get more exposure.
But it was mainly the overall tone of Vanity Fair's piece and the trailer - just trying to sort of guarantee that you'll feel like you know everything about Tolkien, without getting much input on his own work.
Or maybe it's also like - one of my favorite things about reading and understanding Tolkien is that you (a collective you) don't, and probably will never, fully know everything. You sort of dive deep into what he could be talking about, and there are a lot of other drafts and things - but there wasn't a sense of pressure in that you have to know everything TODAY to truly admire his works. So it kind of just ruined that essence for me - both the reactions and the promises, that sort of gets everyone into this temporary wave of "knowing everything" for a day or two...and then running from it after that.
It's like saying "oh you'll know everything..." just by watching the shows and not really looking at the meaning of it. I don't know. We'll see.
To learn more HTML/CSS, check out these tutorials!