Lord of the Bloat

A common (and quite fair) criticism of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth films is they are expanded and bloated. They often are incredibly busy and sometimes overwhelming in their additions.

And yet, it seems almost ironic. I read The Lord of the Rings books in my late thirties. Truth is, I find them bloated with needless story diversions, such as a 100 page excursion about a guy who proves the threat of the One Ring might be a bit overstated. It goes on and on and on.

Tolkien certainly loved world building (and really, language creation)…almost to the detriment of the story… He wanders on endlessly about the minutia of various languages. He also will spend pages telling us about historical myths and legends of Middle Earth that supposedly give us insight into the world, except they tend to drag the actual story down.

Really, I find the Jackson films are completely in spirit with Tolkien’s works. Entertaining, but bloated with needless detours and an obsession with minute details.

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3 thoughts on “Lord of the Bloat

  1. Reblogged this on Ramble On and commented:
    An interesting perspective and something I usually forget in my Jackson rants. Although, to be fair, my love and admiration for Tolkien is rooted in that kind of “irrelevant minutiae.” Is there anything better than a prologue that explains the history of race of people that didn’t even exist? Down to the gossip between families and the desperate love of food, I think Jackson would do well to include a few more of these “useless” details and less of these convoluted love stories.

    • And I don’t think people should not enjoy those things…but some folks act like they are the epitome of the greatest feats of storytelling ever, even though when Jackson commits similar acts of bloated storytelling, it is claimed that he is bloating with good reason.

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