The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
I’m really excited about this because I get to talk about one of my favorite movie series, The Lord of the Rings! I’m only going to discuss the first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring, and while it’s not my favorite in the trilogy, it is still mucho importante because it’s where everything started (not counting The Hobbit, which I know we’re all excited for this December!).
In this first chapter of the trilogy, we get a history lesson that leads up to the primary conflict that will change the lives of the main characters forever. There were many rings of power created, but there was one created to rule over all of them, and it would do so with cruelty, torment, devastation, and utter misery. Its rule would change the very face of the earth. This ring falls into the hands of a hobbit, and he must hide and protect it as he seeks its destruction with the help of several others, including 3 of his kinsmen. Loyalty, betrayal, loss, and the loneliness that comes with the burden of responsibility are among the experiences that lie ahead for Frodo and his companions, making for a spectacular beginning to a truly epic adventure.
We’re introduced to a multitude of races that include men, a halfling breed called hobbits, dwarves, and elves. Then you have the villainous breeds of orcs, goblins, and uruk-hai. There are also a few others for both sides, as well as some random beasties, but they appear in later movies for the most part, so I’ll ignore them at this juncture. Just for this post though, we’re going to mostly ignore everyone anyway, and focus on the elves, because they’re fun, majestic, and just plain pretty.
From other lore, we know that elves are generally immortal, magical, craftsmen, heart-stoppingly beautiful, and have such heightened senses that they’re precise and nearly infallible. In the film we’re forced to rely largely on what we’re shown to discern different traits about the elves, as there’s little exposition about the race itself as a whole. Sure in the beginning we’re given a long speech on the history of the rings of power and the first war with Sauron, and in that speech we’re told that the elves are the oldest and wisest. However, you can also tell those things from the way they speak and present themselves. They talk of times gone by which implies they’re very old, and they give council to others that can change the course of lives implying their wisdom. You can tell their craftsmanship in the elite swords they create for the king and the weapons they craft for themselves.
Their senses, abilities, and power are best exemplified in scenes such as the mountain pass when Legolas walks atop the snow as if light as a feather, any battle scene where Legolas shoots his bow and never misses, and one of my personal favorites, the scene where Arwen gets across the river onto her lands with a fading Frodo and calls upon the power of her people to come raging to their rescue and protect them from the wraiths hot on their heels. Perhaps the most important detail about elves is how beautiful they ought to be. Their homes show their splendor, but it’s really the people themselves that are the kicker. Orlando Bloom as an elf might just be the only way I like him, and thankfully I now associate Hugo Weaving with LotR instead of the Matrix whenever I see him. They are both attractive and Hugo Weaving embodies the regal stature of Lord Elrond quite nicely.
Naturally though, it’s the females that drive this point home. In my honest opinion, Liv Tyler is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and Cate Blanchett ranks right up there too. Add the long flowy costumes, the other-worldly elven glow, and they represent the resplendence associated with elves exquisitely.
On the flip side, it is from elves that the orcs evolved. I believe I’d have to read The Silmarillion (the story of the First Age of Middle Earth) to see how such an ugly and twisted creature could come from such beauty and intellect. It is the orcs that wage Sauron’s war, so it’s the orcs that we see most in the battle sequences. You definitely never have to wonder who your bad guys are, for the orcs are the stuff of children’s nightmares. I suppose there are two sides to every race, so it would stand to reason that the orcs and elves are mirror images and flip sides to the same coin. For every gorgeous bit the elves harbor, the orcs embrace asymmetry, filth, and grim horror.
Overall the elves play a large part in the movie, as well as the two sequels, and if you never knew anything about them or didn’t like them prior to seeing it, you will know quite a bit and fall in love with them by the end, if for no other reason than the timeless majestic atmosphere that surrounds them. The movie as a whole will capture your imagination and leave you wanting to take a day and just have a Lord of the Rings marathon (which by the way requires approximately 12 hours with no long breaks if you’re watching the extended versions…not that I’ve ever done that or anything…repeatedly…ok so I do this at least twice a year actually).
I will close this elven ramble with a few random notes. The cinematography is second to none, and equaled by few (despite the few editing errors you find in any movie – or book for that matter), and the scenery (filmed in New Zealand) is absolutely stunning across all three films. The costumes and casting were spot on as I don’t see the characters as actors in a role, but as the characters like they’re real people, and I can’t imagine any other actors in place of any of those characters. While I enjoyed Ian McKellan as Magneto in X-Men, I will forever see him as Gandalf. The same can be said for Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Sean Bean (*spoiler alert* this is one of the MANY films in which he dies, but hey, he dies valiantly!) as Boromir and Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. Finally, I must admit that while I love the elves, and the way in which they were portrayed throughout the movie and the entire trilogy, my heart belongs to Aragorn as my biggest reason for loving the movies. My heart breaks for them every time I watch them walk their separate paths, but to me, he and Arwen make a perfect couple!
I’m a stay home wife working on writing a book (or three). I have a passion for reading, especially romances, so I always have a book or e-reader with me. When I’m not working on writing my own books, I’m writing reviews on many of the books I read, and I do so for several blogs. I got started from a friend’s nudge in the right direction as a way to improve my writing, find new books, and meet people. It’s worked wonders on all fronts! Anyway, the bottom line about me is that I have a wicked sweet tooth, an obsession with books in general, a music addiction, and a dream to join the ranks of published authors. –Buffy Kennedy