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Topic: Book Discussion on the "The Children of Hurin"

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Oct 27, 2012
Book Discussion on the "The Children of Hurin"

Several of us are reading "The Tale of the Children of Hurin" please use this thread for discussing anything pertaining to the book.



-- Edited by ArwenLegolas on Saturday 27th of October 2012 05:40:01 PM

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Oct 28, 2012
I finally broke down and re-read what I didn't remember reading before. I had gotten further then I thought. Last night I started again and this morning I picked up where I left off. I am now at the Point were Turin and his men have spent their first night at the abode of the Dwarf. I am going to start a Trivia Thread for The Children of Hurin

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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Very nice!

Just read through that part of the Silmarillion. Amon Rudh was a unique location as was Amon Obel. I dig scanning over the maps of old Arda while I read. Good Times

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Tom Bombadil
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Did you read my PM yet?

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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RE: Book Discussion on the

When I first read The Silmarillion I hated The Children of Hurin. I'd get excited because something good was about to happen and then BOOM something overpowering tragic takes place instead. However, since then I've found that if I've had a horrible day at school I can always come back to The Children of Hurin and be glad that none of that happened to me.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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RE: Book Discussion on the "The Children of Hurin"

Amrun,
The same thing happened to me. The Children of Hurin seemed so dark and tragic.
But I came around to see that it was so much about Tolkien looking for a way to tell the story ... It is sometimes hard to believe that the same guy who wrote "The Children of Hurin" could also write "The Hobbit".



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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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As a piece of literature, I love the Children of Hurin. I've really only read what's in the Sil, but also have gotten half way through the real book. However, I too find it so sad and depressing that I can only do it in small chunks.

Bear, I can't say it surprises me that JRRT could write such different books. I guess because each of us has so many sides to our selves it makes sense that he had the darker side to him. Perhaps I should rephrase that. I feel that he had such an understanding of how evil can be at work in the world and therefore was able to write this book.



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Tom Bombadil
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I am at the Part where Turin, unbeknown to him, married his sister Nienor. But WHY does Nienor commit suicide by throwing herself down the Cabed Naeramarth? It's tragic, yes, but if I had written the story, I would have tried for for Niniel to just persevere. Find a new life for myself, perhaps with Thingol and Melian, who would surely have pity on one such as her, and maybe even find love again.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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I think the time period of the actual writing of the book played heavily on Nienor's reaction to the news that she had married her brother and was going to have his child (if I remember correctly). We have become a lot more nonpluss about moral indiscretions, even accidental ones, in the last few decades. I definitely would have liked some one to find happiness never ending. It was a very sad book. I do love it though and now find myself wanting to dig it out and re-read it!


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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Even if they ever acquired the rights to The Silmarillion I don't think the Children of Hurin could really be made into a film as there is virtually nothing happy in it.

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Tom Bombadil
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I definitely agree with Bilbo.

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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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I think it could be made into a film if the right people got a hold of it. Shakespeare's tragedies have little happiness in them, same with the Greek tragedies. If someone did do it, it would have have to be 1. someone with more respect for the work than PJ has and 2. probably be done in a series somehow. I wonder if Masterpiece Theatre or something like it, wouldn't be a proper outlet?



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Tom Bombadil
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Now that's a good idea Laurelin. How would they go about it with the Tolkien Estate though?

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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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That I have no answer for, Arwen. I don't understand who has what rightss, why, etc. It's one of those times I wish I was a gazillionaire so I could buy them.



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Friends,

I agree with Laurelin that "Children of Hurin" is a classic tragedy with all the sex and violence of Shakespeare ... and far away from the melodrama/ fantasy action-adventure of the current films.
Perhaps if Christopher Tolkien was willing to work with current play-write who has skills toward the classical view (comfortable with Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, Euripides,etc) a Stage play followed by (based on the play's success) a theatrical script there may be a chance it may be done.
Tolkien's works have been converted to play upon the stage ... but the "Children Of Hurin" is so dark and so deeply interwoven with the Silmarillion there would be an enormous amount of expositional background required to bring all the pieces to center stage.
I do believe the final product would be worth the money it would take to stage it.

 

As this is a discussion perhaps Arwen and Bilbo Baggins could elucidate why they think Children of Hurin wouldn't work as far as stage or screen is concerned ... I for one would value these opinions ...



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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     I suggest a parallel which changes the names of the participants for their own fictional protection!....Just kidding...I know THAT has been done before to the great disappointment of us all... I think we (as Tolkien fans) aren't far off from that book becoming something we will see on the big screen soon.

"Things become improved with love, not embellishment"-------Me. 

     Consider this:  Ralph Bakshi did the first visual of the LOTR thing we saw in the 70's. A friend of mine who is much older than me by 20 years says: "That (Bakshi's LOTR) was the only thing we had and it was awesome!" I disagreed, having seen Rankin/Bass' version of The Hobbit first. I was born in 73 and didn't have proper cognition until Star Wars in 79....just saying...

     Anyway, we haven't seen LOTR until Jackson did it in 2000-2002...not since BBC versions or other unincorperated presentation like radio or small company's re-enactments have been attempted.
    The Purists' did not love Jackson's version but they were nailed to the floor by it (in awe)...because we have been starved for the visuals. We've all decided what J.R.R.'s words revealed to us in their written form; we have already painted our landscapes and constructed the scenes, and Jackson's interpretation was all we had... which was remarkably what we expected, and we lost our minds....just like my friend with Bakshi's version.

      Jackson did a great job on LOTR. I, personally will never take that from him,  there's no way I can.  And I'm apprecative...but we learn from our mistakes and only through his efforts can we say how we would've done it differently...funny...how human nature works.  Hind-sight---20-20!

  But, now, that a trail has been blazed; have not movie studios seen the lucrative side to these, nerdy endeavors?  I don't have the stats but Jackson no longer needs to worry about money...
    Now only two things can be the outcome of any future movies: Either someone's spirit is awakened from the shortcoming of the recent Hobbit movie and they realize that things could have been done to compliment the
work as it was written, without the comprimise of the ultra-fine nuances which Prof. Tolkien took; which will give them the backing of the Tolkien estate...assuredly.  

     Jackson's Western approach to a classic (let's face it, the US has long held the command over movie-making and Jackson, Kiwi-man of New Zealand is not free from the movie-bug that US cinema delivered to his country like the enchanting peoples of the Bollywood movement, they could've done it without throwing the Hollywood reference into it or would they know any different?  Makes me think; what would their style of movie-making be without the influence of Hollywood's grandeur.)

... Anyway Christopher Tolkien has shut his doors...Jackson was shifting around plot points and deliberately pumping up tension...example: The Elves turning their backs on the Dwarfs while Smaug struck...Thurandui astride a Moose!...Preposterous! Christopher knows what we all know...that wasn't the case and was unnecessary...we all know that the hatred between Dwarf and Elf goes much further back and didn't have to be announced. By now there is enough of a following of the books for the movies to be done as they were written...which happens to be perfect!

     Damned be the time-constraints!

     Time constraints can be dealt with by 'Narration' or 'Film Techniques' like 'The Montage' and what have you... movies like Conan the Barbarian and Mad Max have been done like this...no worries....

Let those who do not know the stories fall in love with them first...they will ask questions and seek out the meaning of their plots....just like we did. The following will be just as it always has been. "Don't placate people and they will delve into a story...."--------Me....tee hee.

I know I said that there would be two things that happened but I spent myself on the first thing...so add something if you will.....my friends....



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Jaidoprism7,

I liked the big type in the post ... guess big ideas need a big setting! ;)

And I also appreciate the historical perspective of past cinematic/audio/television interpretations and why they were both rejected and embraced ... my mom put it well; "You eat what is on your plate and be grateful!"

I think it is important for us to remember that the order of the published works and the films were not presented or offered to us in the order that Tolkien wrote them ... nor were they critically embraced by the same populations ... nor were the reasons they were embraced universal.  And I think Jaidoprism has done well and I strongly agree with his post; "Let those who do not know the stories fall in love with them first...they will ask questions and seek out the meaning of their plots....just like we did. The following will be just as it always has been."

When we focus our attention on the "Children of Hurin" we must consider where Tolkien was in his life personally, academically,  as well as the social climate in which those works were released.  Certainly his life was filled with the pain and terror of war. There were real life personifications of Morgoth. The loss of young men from his classrooms and community must have had a traumatic shadow that he was forced to embrace. There was the danger that you might not wake up in the morning.
Another piece of this discussion is the current climate surrounding us as we read and share our observations and insights.  We see the world instantly in so many media.  Our networks and other sources are controlled and manipulated.  We are like Hurin chained to the chair only seeing those things that Morgoth knows will drive us to despair.

One last point ... that is that we tolerate and even embrace the various perspectives presented in the discussion, especially those with whom we differ ... having faith that it is with benign purpose that those perspectives have been presented.

One of the larger media conglomerates, Scripps-Howard, has a motto that says this insightfully. That is "Give the people light.  They will find their own way."



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Haldir of Lorien - Rank 6
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I, for one, would like to hear (read) Jaido's second point.

And the idea of Let[ting] those who do not know the stories fall in love with them first...they will ask questions and seek out the meaning of their plots....just like we did. The following will be just as it always has been. "Don't placate people and they will delve into a story...."--------Me....tee hee. is generally a wise course in many respects. I think part of the problem for me is that I have so little faith in people's desire to dig deeper. I think of articles I read about the movie Lincoln and how many things were changed for dramatic effect. Or even worse, with this new series The BIble. How many just assume that what was presented is fact ? But we will always be loving and enjoying JRRT's stories for sure. And yes, as Bear's mom said, we take what's on our plate and eat it up happy there's something to eat.Bear spoke about how we are like Hurin stuck in a chair seeing only what the media (Morgoth) want us to see. I don't think this is just a modern problem. I think of Hearst and his empire and others before and after him who have controlled/manipulated information for propaganda or for monetary gain. Things haven't changed, there's just more Hearsts around. The key for all of us is to "delve into the story."

And this is one of my new favorite quotes: "Things become improved with love, not embellishment"-------Me. 

I keep thinking about Arwen's post about the fate of Nienor. Somehow I just can't see things ending in a happier way for her once she discovered the truth. 



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Good Stuff from everyone;

      Bear said: "...we must consider where Tolkien was in his life personally, academically, as well as the social climate in which those works were released." I have not considered that. I am always afforded a broader understanding by each of your perspectives. I truly appreciate this site and its members.


      Tolkien had an amazing way of weaving our world and his private experiences and observations into these tales but putting such a romantic spin on them that we are transported to a place that seems to be real and tangible...I guess in a way, we've made Middle-earth real and it lives on in all of us...powerful stuff! And that's why I believe that we aren't far off from seeing these other tales come to the big screen.

      I know The Silmarillion would be nearly impossible to make...as a whole! But not so daunting if you dice them up into the books that make up the Sil. "The Lay of Luthien" or "The Fall of Gondolin" just to name a few, would be awesome to see. Both of those stories are pretty much contained unto themselves, with pretty definitive beginnings and endings.  The Simarillion, cover to cover would be a terrifying undertaking for screen adaptation, I would assume. But "divide and conquer" and I feel that these stories within the pages of the Silmarillion can work well. So to stay on topic..."The Children of Hurin" could be done, since it is cover to cover awesome and certainly not as expansive as the Silmarillion.

     One of the main problems is that Movie Studios don't believe that Tolkien has a fan-base large enough to be worthy of the financing but since Jackson's LOTR all that has changed drastically. I meet young people all the time who love those movies and are thrilled to hear that "they were books first????" And when I start spurting some of the histories behind some of the artifacts or characters in the books I feel like an academic! I get a tickle out of it, but the real reward is to hear these youths say they're going to start reading it for themselves. My sons are some of these...it's really opened up communication between us!

       Jackson didn't do horribly but I think that he could've pulled back the reigns of main-stream cheeky antics in "The Hobbit" but I'm sure the studio didn't want to stray from a formula that worked so well previously.

       And I echo Laurelin's words: "I think part of the problem for me is that I have so little faith in people's desire to dig deeper." A lot of these studio heads are those people that put us in Hurin's figurative chair over the years. They have studies, and demographics from the 80's. Heck, I think I have seen the exact same movies with different titles, more than a few times it seems! Time to play it straight, Hollywood! Take the pages from the book and tell it raw...I think Movie-makers would be surprised about how sophisticated their audience has become.....they need to update their pie-charts!

P.S.  To the film-maker:  Stop making our Knights and Medievel characters say things like:  "Hurts don't it?" and "Come n' get some!"   just stop...



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Just want to support and confirm Jaidoprism7's comment:
"Good Stuff from everyone;"

 

and a side note ... Hollywood does pay attention to literature ... best sellers ... with their own adage ...

"Follow The Money!"



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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RE: Book Discussion on the

Been quite a long while since I've been on here but my love for Tolkiens work has not sundered. On the note about movie adaptations my feelings are they have to make these movies for the general public which is why they galavan around with all the Hollywood charades because let's face it not everyone is a Tolkien fan as us (much to my chagrin). They have to "dumb down" the movies strictly for public approval and don't really care what we as Tolkien fans feel (Cutting Tom Bombadil from fellowship). I think Hollywood is lying on deaf ears and just hear the cash register sounds. On the note of the difficulties of making this into a screenplay it would be very tedious and long and quite frankly Hollywood hot shots arent prone to waiting on a project with this much grandeur and complexity though it would be the shining jewel in all of book adaptions considering the material. Children of Hurin is very dear to me in that this is the man who will bring an end to Melkor Morgoth Bauglir and yet he is a man such as you and I. I think Tolkien wrote this as a tragedy to coincide with the wrath Feanor being conveyed through our eyes. Instead of an Eldar who we can never really relate further too we have a man, greatest of men in the first age (Earendil being counted as an Eldar that is :)) that goes through the same flaws we experience in ourselves. Thank you for reading all and it is good too be back.

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