1) Faramir - covered, very negative role
It was somewhat different, paralleling his brother Boromir, but whereas Boromir did fall to greed for the Ring, Faramir still did not, book or movie. The part about Faramir attacking Osgiliath hopelessly was not negative.2) gandolf - presented as a desperate drug abuser for some time
WHAT?? Can you defend that?? I saw no drugs of any kind!! Galdalf was surely the strongest male figure in the movie. Substantially stronger than in the book!3) glorfindel - removed
Well, so was the hospital in Minas Tirith. And that was a woman's part.4) the steward of minas tirith - presented as downright evil
I thought that was fair and like the book. "Thus passes Denethor." He was certainly not a heroic figure; he was a villain because of corruption and serious character weakness. Not to mention madness.5) aragorn - present as a broken man, who makes good only because of a women. Also presented only as a warrior/king, not as a healer...
The healer stuff was completely dispensible; Tolkien himself only put it in for historical reasons of validating Aragorn's kingship. Much politics about that point --- remember the care they took about Aragorn coming into the city as the missing King? It was, of course, a coup d'etat given Aragorn's very dubious and unproven lineage. Peter Jackson deals with this interesting issue of legitimacy by simply using the sword that was broken (fair enough!). He dispenses with all the other supporting reasons such as the healing powers of a King's Touch. Tolkien could not dispense with these, because of the centuries of pretenders and coups that troubled England and Scotland's thrones; the issue of legitimacy is huge in British history. But it isn't in moviemaking! We were glad to accept Aragorn as the king without further ado. Nobody remembers the healing of a King's Touch here. It would have to be explained! But in Britain, it would not need explaining in Tolkien's time --- it was an obvious legitimitizer.
Your other point is interesting, but I can't see all of what you mean? In what way does Aragorn only make good because of a woman? Arwen MAY save him when the warg plunges him over a cliff in Two Towers; the provenance of that dream is not at all clear.
Elrond brings him the sword, reforged, and that is Arwen's doing indeed, and is essential for winning over the Army of the Dead. And that is not at all Tolkien --- IIRC, the sword was reforged without fuss at the nine's very first stay in Rivendell. You have a point there.6)elrond - pesimistic, untrusting (out of charactor)
Brilliant, though. Hugo Black is a dream. He is hands-down my favorite character in the movies. He has a fey and gallant quality that just really works. Incredibly sexy.6) Arwen - given an expanded, positive role, that silly thing with HER being able to help in any way at all with the fragment of the morgul knife.
Yes, many agree with you: she had basically no role at all in Tolkien's books. The romance was very mysterious and Arwen appears only once, at a ceremonial occasion, IIRC. Still, I think it was a reasonably good decision. There is no use in this great work (I refer to the movies) being all-male ---- they did need women in it. And Jackson DID keep the central issue, her immortality given up for a mortal, a mortal who was in danger of going down with all humanity.7) Eowyn - covered, more positive role
I didn't think it was more positive at all. Mostly she mopes around over Aragorn, more than in the book even. And her courtship and marriage to Faramir is totally eliminated, which as a woman I hate: you definitely want that settled, and it isn't; she is pretty much abandoned by the plot on the field with her dead father. Other than her role being restricted
, I thought it was pretty close to the book. The father thing when he is bewitched, leading her people into the mountain, riding to war in disguise with Merry, and as you know, I thought there was little difference between the book and the movie in the battle scene --- I think they even quoted the book lines, right? galadrial - unchanged from her position of power.
No, wrong, power is exactly what Galadriel does NOT have --- she gave that up in my all-time favorite scene. "I have passed the test. I will fade, and go into the West --------- and remain Galadriel." She never has power; like them all, she only has hope. Elrond has much more saliency in the movies than Galadriel. Though I think Tolkien meant her to be more powerful than Elrond; she had a Ring of Power. The movie did put in an extra scene where she encourages Frodo after he uses the Light of Elbereth, in a sort of magic transport fantasy. I didn't like that; in general, messing with Tolkien is to depreciate the dramatic unities.So yes, I thing it's clear that the film had certain....alterations to please people, mainly dragging down the male human side.
Building up the women's side, a little, which Tolkien neglected, I would say! Women buy movie tickets too, you know.
-- Eowyn and faramir get together, and are given the princedom of ithillien , because he was a friend, ally, political, to maintain a guard on the morgul vale etc. to say it was political.....is to ignore most of the story.
No, no, go back and look ---------- I am interested in politics and so I noticed this especially because of Tolkien's serious issues with the legitimacy of Aragorn's kingship. The book makes it plain that the heir to the Stewards of Gondor, who long held the city, basically had to be banished to secure Aragorn's rule. The two were not unfriendly, and we assume an alliance of these kingdoms in the future, but Faramir played no part in the Conquest of Sauron because of being near death the whole time, and he was
a potential political rival to Aragorn. Again, Tolkien's deep feeling for British history necessitated clearing the two of them out of the way of the throne of Gondor. Powerful dukes of York and Lancaster lurking about the throne has never really worked well in Britain. Tolkien knew that, so he helped out Aragorn by getting rid of the woman who loved him and his challenger at once, by marrying them and sending them to a distant princedom.
Another Tolkien junkie! Bravo.