Why do you hate the movies?
To be honest, I have never understood why so many people automatically assume that I dislike the movies just because I think they were poor adaptations. I don’t hate the movies; in fact, I think they are among the best I have ever seen even though some parts bug me. That doesn’t mean I can’t be critical though.
Why do you hate PJ?
Again, I don’t. It is fully possible to be critical of certain actions or decisions by a person without hating them.
Isn’t this a silly a topic?
Yeah, so what? We don’t have to be serious all the time, and debating silly topics can be fun.
What about the great visual effects, music, etc.?
Impressive as much of this is, they are irrelevant to the issue of adaptation, which is concerned with the story proper.
It’s a huge book, why can’t you cut PJ a break?
This is a classic red herring. Cuts and some small changes are understandable, but you don’t have to make radical changes to a story just because the original book was long.
Don’t you realize that a film can never be exactly like the original book?
Yes, I do, and as common as this question is I’ve never claimed that PJ should have made an exact carbon copy of the book. That would be quite ludicrous. However, just because they can’t be the same doesn’t mean they have to be as different as PJ made them.
Don’t you realize that the films were better than most adaptations?
I simply haven’t seen most of the cinematic adaptations of books that are out there, but of those that I have seen I think several of them are worse than PJ’s films. However, just because other directors and writers managed to do even worse doesn’t make PJ’s job any better or worse. PJ stands or falls on his own.
Why did you write these essays?
First, because I feel that PJ did not do a very good job of adapting The Lord of the Rings to film, and I want to respond to the numerous claims I see on the internet that PJ did a good job with it. Second, because in my experience debating purism on the web I’ve encountered a number of stereotypes and misconceptions about it. I’ve also encountered a number of arguments from both sides that I think are flawed. These essays are largely a response.
Why do you care so much?
Depending on how you define “so much”, I don’t. I have a life and interests outside of the Purism debate. However; I like Tolkien, I like the movies, and I like debating things; so this is an interest of mine. If it doesn’t interest you that’s perfectly fine, just remember that no one is forcing you to view this site.
What’s this “Letter 210” you reference?
It is the 210th letter in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), edited by Humphrey Carpenter. It contains Tolkien’s comments on a proposed film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings written by Morton Grady Zimmerman that Tolkien disliked quite strongly. Many of Tolkien’s criticisms are relevant to PJ’s films.