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Tim M.





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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: the realisticness of The Lord of the Rings         Reply with quote

I just wanted to see what people thought about the Lord of the Rings concerning the realisticness of weapons, armor, seige battles, etc. For example, would the elven sword be an effective weapon or would it be just clumsy and useless to use?
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Garrett Hazen




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, the best answer i can give is, I dont think an elven sword would be considered "useless". It seems to me they would be pretty fatal to me, but the style of fighting to use with it? I wouldnt know, but it seems it would come from more of a japanese culture of fighting over european, at least for the way they look.

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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Tim,

Can you be more specific about which Lord of the Rings you are referring to? Are you referring to the movie interpretation of it, or Tolkien's original literary vision? I think the movie was influenced by different factors than Tolkien's original; I believe Tolkien was more influenced by Anglo-Saxon times than what you see in the movie.

In the movie, the strange two-handed swords used by the elves in the opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring do have some historical counterparts. They remind me a little of fancy versions of some of the glaive-like "choppers" in the Maciejowski Bible.

I liked that they used trebuchets in the siege sequences in The Return of the King. Some of the stuff may have had a bit too many "fantasy elements" (like Grond), but it was nice to see the feared trebuchet.

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Bryce Felperin




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: the realisticness of The Lord of the Rings         Reply with quote

Tim M. wrote:
I just wanted to see what people thought about the Lord of the Rings concerning the realisticness of weapons, armor, seige battles, etc. For example, would the elven sword be an effective weapon or would it be just clumsy and useless to use?


Well first of all, and no offense to you, but I must correct your subject title. "Realisticness" is not a word. You would be better served using "Reality" instead, which is a word. Sorry but I couldn't let that one pass. :-)

As for the reality of the movie weapons...well I think in many cases they could of used other real historical pole-arms or swords instead just as easily, but in general for the "fantasy look" and subject I guess they looked just fine for the story.

I think the Uruk-Hai swords could of been designed better, but that would be my main personal quip if there is one.
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Amanda B.




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: the realisticness of The Lord of the Rings         Reply with quote

Bryce Felperin wrote:

I think the Uruk-Hai swords could of been designed better, but that would be my main personal quip if there is one.


I wasn't sure what the purpose could even be on the weird projection those swords had. It wasn't a spike, as far as I remember...
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: the realisticness of The Lord of the Rings         Reply with quote

Amanda B. wrote:
Bryce Felperin wrote:

I think the Uruk-Hai swords could of been designed better, but that would be my main personal quip if there is one.


I wasn't sure what the purpose could even be on the weird projection those swords had. It wasn't a spike, as far as I remember...


Well the strange spike at the top of the machete like swords could if stout and the sword is reversed serve an armour piercing function like a " Bec de Corbin " but thinner or for hooking the edge of a shield or dragging a horseman from his horse ? The film's weapons designer might have had some of this in mind or just thought it gave a unique and savage look to the weapon.

Anyway, that is the sense I make of the spike. Big Grin

( Note: If we are talking of the same sword it has a squared off tip with a long pointy triangular projection at 90° to the rest of the blade. )

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Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Tue 23 Jan, 2007 7:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Cooksey




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I rather enjoyed the "realisticness" of the arms and armor of the LoTR movies.
I really enjoy the Two Towers and Return of the King, because of the equipment of the Rohirrim, which is a lovely representation of the arms and armor of our own European "Dark Ages".

One thing that I did not appreciate was the cavalry charge by the Rohirrim at the end of the siege of Helm's Deep.
It doesn't seem to me like a charge by a few thousand mail armed horsemen against more than 10,000 orcish pikemen would be a rather grand idea, but that is just me. :-)
Of course they had the White Wizard to help them. (grin)

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I really enjoy the Two Towers and Return of the King, because of the equipment of the Rohirrim, which is a lovely representation of the arms and armor of our own European "Dark Ages".


Yes, they did the Rohirrim quite well. The orc gear, on the other hand, was pretty awful, especially the armor.
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Ben C.





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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Fay wrote:

In the movie, the strange two-handed swords used by the elves in the opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring do have some historical counterparts. They remind me a little of fancy versions of some of the glaive-like "choppers" in the Maciejowski Bible.


The elvish swords appear to be heavily stylised versions of the Japanese nagamaki which was a type of shortened naginata. The weapon length and blades are basically the same and the only real difference is the nagamaki had a straight handle where as the LOTR weapons had a more curved one to match the curve on the blade.
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D. Bell




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben Condon wrote:
Richard Fay wrote:

In the movie, the strange two-handed swords used by the elves in the opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring do have some historical counterparts. They remind me a little of fancy versions of some of the glaive-like "choppers" in the Maciejowski Bible.


The elvish swords appear to be heavily stylised versions of the Japanese nagamaki which was a type of shortened naginata. The weapon length and blades are basically the same and the only real difference is the nagamaki had a straight handle where as the LOTR weapons had a more curved one to match the curve on the blade.


Personally I'd be more inclined to compare them to a dha than to a nagamaki.

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Sean Belair
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 9:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i watched the special features on that stuff. one of their concept artists was john howe (co author of the medieval soldier).
the back of the machete was supposed to be an armor piercing spike. when they were designing the elvan sword they started out short and single handed but the bigger they made them the more they liked swinging it around so it ended up as a that sort of thing.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jan, 2007 10:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually I strongly disliked the movie interpretation of the Rohirrim armor, since the book only mentioned mail--and mail alone would have done a great deal better at presenting a "Dark Ages" feel. The folk of Gondor, too, had armors quite different from what I imagined they would have had. In the book, even Imrahil--the most heavily armored character ever in Tolkien's works that is not a Dwarf--wore only mail reinforced with vambraces, and presumably (though they are not mentioned in the books) greaves and a coat of plates.

But then I heard a mention that the movie designers tweaked the armors a bit to emphasize the differences between the "good" and the "evil" sides. They did that quite well, I must admit, although I'm not sure I like the idea of seeing the characters in the book in anything heavier than mail. (Except Gimli, whose "corselet" might have been plate--I'll check back with the books tonight.)

Mind that neither Theoden's charge at Helm's Deep nor his other charge at the Pelennor Fields were presented the way they were in the book. In the first occasion, the book has it that the Orcs and Isengarders were already greatly demoralized by the unexpected appearance of the wood of Huorns in their rear, while in the movie they won only because Eomer made a crazy charge down a slope that in the real world would have broken the necks of half the horses in his troop before they even reached the enemy lines. In the second, the book made the Rohirrim win because they struck the Morgul-host unawares, not barrelling through a prepared pike formation like in the movie. In that way, I can say that the book is a great deal more realistic than the movie--although the movies themselves are fairly decent work if only I hadn't been so deeply steeped in the books to notice every divergence they made.
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Michal Plezia
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 1:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the apperance of arms and armour in the movie.I think it is a n intresting idea to put Vikinga on horses and let them be calvary of Rohan Big Grin I like also heavy armoured men of Gondor-but In my opinion their plate armour is too weak in the movie-pierced by cuts and arrows very easily.
Orks armour and weapon sholud be dark and inperfekt!Thats why they are orks! Laughing Out Loud
I've read in a album of arms and armour ade for the movie that those spikes on Orks' sabers were made to pierce the armours.And those spikes on the lower part of their helmets were designed to be put in the oponent's eyes Happy

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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 3:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
(Except Gimli, whose "corselet" might have been plate--I'll check back with the books tonight.)


Gimli wore mail. In Fellowship it is noted that he wore it openly, as opposed to Aragorn and Boromir, who both wore their mail under a layer of clothing.

The LOTR movies were, IMHO, about as good as they could have been, although I object to Peter Jackson's habit of cutting out rather important plot points just to stick in his own stuff—like Faramir trying to take the Ring and Aragorn and Arwen's breakup—which didn't work nearly as well in the storytelling sense. Cutting plot points in order to better focus on other plot points is often a necessity to transfer a book to the big screen (so I didn't mind going sans Bombadil), but if you just want to make stuff up, go and write your own damn stories.

I was surprised to see so much plate armor in the movies. I don't remember Tolkien ever putting anyone in the stuff. I think Jackson did that because the shape of plate armor is easier to manipulate than the shape of a hauberk when you're creating a character's visual appearance. However, I personally would rather have had him remain true to how Tolkien described them.

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Sam Barris

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Patrick Brown




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One possibility is that it's easier (or cheaper) to make realistic looking plate than it is mail. Mail looks, moves and hangs in a very characteristic way, which I should think is difficult to replicate convincingly for so many extras. This is all just guesswork, but there you are.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Assuming we're talking about the movie and not the book, the best I can say is that the arms and armour [for the most part] fit realistic standards. But if we were to overanalyze the movie (and let's remember that it IS just a movie Happy ), they don't make sense to coincide all side by side. Borimir, in the first movie, had much more of a 10th century Anglo Saxon feel to him, and yet in the second movie he has more of a 15th century knight appearance (during Farimir's flashback, which is in the extended version DVD). And the elves wore plate, yet the dwarves wore mail, etc. The arms and armour of the world have all evolved to fit certain needs which were dependent on technology of the time and culture, and what the LOTR movies did was mix and match throughout these different needs. So, if I were to be super nitpicky, I'd say, no, the arms and armour wasn't believable for that reason.

On the other hand, as far as a movie goes, they did a good job on making believable weapons that could have functioned quite well in certain circumstances, and even more importantly they helped to reflect the characters that they represented.

The fight choreography was only so-so (and good lord, I hated the cheesiness they did with Legolas), but when it comes down to it, I don't really mind that much. The sword fighting is just a story-telling vehicle, and so long as it isn't over the top (which LOTR did sometimes, but not all the time) then I really don't mind.

Quote:
Cutting plot points in order to better focus on other plot points is often a necessity to transfer a book to the big screen (so I didn't mind going sans Bombadil), but if you just want to make stuff up, go and write your own damn stories.


Amen to that!

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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a few disapointments watching the films but not as many as I feared before I saw them. One thing that disturbed me alot was the unrealistic weakness of the fullplate armor of the Gondorians. There Is no way the crude weapons of the orcs would chop through the plate of the Gondor boys armor. A thrust in a weak spot yes but not chops.

I also agree with Bill on the mix issue. The armors would if they where realistic look much more like eachother and the technology level would have been more even.

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Richard Wynne





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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got the impression that the development of technology in Middle Earth would be different than from our own mundane development today. There are however arguments for Elves with plate ala Roman Legionnaires in Lorica Segmentata and the men of Rohan in Dark Ages mail, albeit with leather additions for aesthetic reasons if nothing else. Bearing in mind ofcourse that I am not fully familiar with my Tolkien but arent the men of Gondor Numenoreans rather than the more common men of Rohan? Perhaps explaining the lost technology of their plate? If nothing else there seemed to be a strong xenophonbic nationalism between the nations of men that would prevent the cross over of military technology. In addition, given that they were not at war with each other there was not even the opportunity to import ideas that way either.

All that said, I rather like the arms and armour of Jackson's film...but cringe at the very idea of cavalry charging fixed pikes, in depth. The third film at least has the orcs in disarray and with shorter, lighter spears but the Uruk Hai of the second film are a whole different matter.
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow. So many points of view as to what should have been.... Interesting reading! Fiction like beauty, is really in the eye of the beholder. Cool

I had the pleasure of seeing the actual articles of arms and armour used in the movie at the two exhibits here in Toronto after LOTR movies one and two opened. The craftsmenship of the Rohirrem (sp?) armour was outstanding. It really was harness stitched leather with metal appliques. The UrakHai armour and weapons were roughly beaten steel. (at least on the harnesses intended for closeups.) The designers and craftsmen at WETA and whereever else did an awesome job interpreting the outfits for Jackson. Some of it didn't sit well with my preconceptions but overall it was light years beyond what other movies have attempted in fantasy film making.

Sure Tolkien was a professor of medieval literature and probably had a good clue about arms and armour. However, he loosely inspired so much of his work off AngloSaxon, Scandinavian and other western European cultures from several ages. The Elves are like characters in Finnish legend, dwarves like the Norse, et cetera. So what? Was it a blast to watch each the movies? That's what is important. They're just entertainment. That some of it was inspired by history is irrelevant.
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John Cooksey




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jan, 2007 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find it totally acceptable that different cultures would have different armor, especially cultures that were rarely (or never) at war with each other.
Developed Plate armor and maille certainly coexisted in our own world's history. Compare, say, 15th century European armor with that 15th century Turkey or Iran.

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