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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Last of the FotR Extras caps ~ Swordplay

Posted on 2005.12.01 at 10:47
Tags: , ,
O.K. fans, this set of caps of Elijah Wood learning swordplay along with his fellow hobbit actors is the last I have made from the FotR Extras. I really, really love them.

Many of us were saddened (disappointed? grieved? furious?) that film-Frodo never got to do much on screen with his sword. *sniffle* In Rivendell, he got our hopes up, holding Sting aloft when Bilbo presented it to him, turning it about to admire it for the fine weapon it was. But, subsequently he only managed to acquit himself with a sword in Moria, stabbing the cave troll.

Well, no, that's not precisely true....

Film-Frodo did threaten both Gollum and Sam with Sting, holding them at swordpoint. But, since they were unarmed, I could not count that as brave use of a sword. Film-Frodo used Sting to hack through Shelob's web, but I could not count that as "swordplay," either. He might as well have been using a machete to clear undergrowth. To me, these were not truly satisfying examples of wielding a sword as such.

What I wanted was to see Frodo use his sword with valour. There was no rescue of his friends from the Barrow wight, of course, since that section was cut out. But there was no brandishing of his sword at the ford. No brave advance upon Shelob. On Weathertop, Frodo did manage to draw and hold his sword briefly, but he dropped it almost at once, stumbling and falling before the Ringwraiths.


Did I miss any other lost sword opportunities?

Even though these caps are of Elijah, not even in costume or in character, I love these frames for letting me indulge in what I missed. When I look at these caps, I imagine Elijah as a vibrant, energetic Frodo, rising joyously to the challenge of learning to handle a sword.

The actors seem to be having a wonderful time in this sequence, Mr. Wood not excepted. Even if just to watch plain old Elijah (as if Elijah could be called "plain" or "old"), this sequence of screencaps, in my opinion, is well worth looking at.

~ From the FotR TE DVD Extras, from the FOX channel's TV special, Quest for Middle Earth:

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There. He even gets to smite Dom. Neener neener neener.

Click HERE for table of Frodo and Elijah Wood Screencaps.

~ Mechtild


abby_normal at 2005-12-01 17:57 (UTC) (Link)
What I wanted was to see Frodo use his sword with valour. There was no rescue of his friends from the Barrow wight, of course, since that section was cut out. But there was no brandishing of his sword at the ford. No brave advance upon Shelob. On Weathertop, Frodo did manage to draw and hold his sword briefly, but he dropped it almost at once, stumbling and falling before the Ringwraiths.

I'll see your *sob* and raise you several *weeping and flailing*. Yes, this right here is exactly what I missed from Frodo's characterization in the movies -- this and everything it exemplifies. Not only did they take that physical strength and presence from him but they took it emotionally and spiritually as well.

And I am stopping right now because seriously - I could go on. In fact, I have; I did an essay on this way back when, which is on my site, should you care to commiserate.
lame_pegasus at 2005-12-01 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and how I know that essay!. The fact that my Frodo in BIGS is someone who's able to rise above his pain and show the strength he does is due to it and the professor as well.
mechtild at 2005-12-01 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
So, it must be famous, this essay! Both you and Mariole know it. That's high praise.
mechtild at 2005-12-01 21:01 (UTC) (Link)
I read your post and thought, "Who the heck is 'abby normal'?" I did click the link and saw that it is none other than ARATLITHIEL, ta da! If you have an essay, where would you be keeping it? I guess I should go open your site and find out.

I should come forward at once and say that I actually enjoy watching all those "weak Frodo" scenes (Weathertop, Shelob's cave, Osgiliath) as acting, and as opportunities for film-Frodo to look gorgeous in the midst of suffering. But, stepping back, it clearly diminished Frodo as a character who was worthy of admiration and respect.

Some of you know this story, but last year, when my non-fan brother learned I had a crush on one of the LotR film characters, he tried to guess which it was. He went down the whole list of featured male characters, starting with Aragorn. He even went through the hobbits, but he left out Frodo. (Sam was high on his list.) When I said "no" to every name mentioned, he began again. I gave him a clue, saying, I loved a character who could suffer well. "Then it is Aragorn," he insisted.

"Aragorn is runner-up," I admitted. "He did some great suffering in The Two Towers. But, in The Return of the King, he got out-suffered."

My brother was aghast. "Not Frodo???" I nodded, yes. My brother could not contain his apalled amazement. "But ... Frodo was such a wimp! Why they didn't give that Ring to Sam, I'll never know!"


Why did I love him, even though the films took away so much of Frodo's valour and fortitude and sheer good judgement? I think, being so steeped in the depiction in the book, I could watch the films and, mentally -- unconsciously -- "fill in" all the facets of the story that were missing. It wasn't until I would hear remarks like my brother's that I began to realise how much these qualities had been diminished in the film portrayal.

I want to stress that I really do love what Elijah Wood did in the role. I wouldn't be here if I hadn't. His Frodo made me really "fall in love" in a way I never had before, because of his otherworldly beauty, yes, but mostly because of his intense, highly accessible emotionality, on screen. But that does not mean I don't deeply regret the loss of Frodo's "steel".
taerie at 2005-12-02 01:21 (UTC) (Link)
This is something that anybody who didn't read the books would miss. Frodo really got robbed in the movie when it comes to displaying that sort of valor. And he is INCREDIBLY brave in the books. Facing down Shelob was particularly hair raising and impressive.. but my impression is that the whole reason the Witch King missed his heart in the book was because he was diving in on the bastard with his sword trying to GET him when it struck. It was sad they robbed him of that.. I think Frodo would be VERY dissatisfied at the way his balls were depicted on Weathertop especially.
At least he got to strike at the Cave Troll.. even though it was more in self defense. He was also trying to defend Aragorn. At least also there is that moment in Moria when all of the hobbits give a battle cry and charge.. Frodo too. His face is wonderfully fierce.
mechtild at 2005-12-02 01:47 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he did join that group battle cry, didn't he!

mariole at 2005-12-01 17:59 (UTC) (Link)
I love this series as well.

Even if just to watch plain old Elijah (as if Elijah could be called "plain" or "old"),

Er... no. :-D
mariole at 2005-12-01 18:00 (UTC) (Link)
Simulposted-- I enjoyed Aratlithiel's essay tremendously. I recommend it!
mechtild at 2005-12-01 20:55 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Mariole, he is just beyond delicious in these pics. I got EW's 1999 film, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (it's not quite as dumb as its title) from inter-library loan, you know. It's nothing worth seeing except to stare at Elijah Wood's face. He's almost as old as he is in his earliest LotR shoots.

What a face, what a face.

lembas_junkie at 2005-12-02 01:53 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, I saw that movie, too! :) I like his nick-name "Ice Man". ;) One of my favorite lines was one EW spoke: "Billy the Kidney, the Ice Man just got you a phone!". And later on, when they show Burto (spell?) the suprise they made, he says sarcastically: "In that? Talk about your blaze of glory!".

lembas_junkie at 2005-12-02 03:10 (UTC) (Link)
Me again! :) Mech, I have a quick question: I want to get posts from the Middle Earth News community like you do in your 'friends' list; how do I get that?

mechtild at 2005-12-02 04:22 (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Billy the Kidney! You must have the movie memorized. I forgot everyone's names almost right away.

I've been watching a TV program, or I would have responded earlier.

To get on the list at Middle-Earth News, I just went to their "User Info" page, clicked the "to join this community click here" thingy up at the top, and that was that. Here's a link to that page:


I hope it works!

(P.S. I love your Christmas Frodo icon!)

lembas_junkie at 2005-12-02 12:24 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! :D You know me and Christmas, as soon as December is here, I'm in full swing - including my on-line shinnanigans! :D I know what some of your favorite Frodo piccies are...be on the look-out! :D

Thanks for the info, I'll get to that later today. For now, I'm finishing a paper. My very *LAST* paper of the year, that is!

Yeeee-ya-HOOOOOO! :D

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the memorized lines. :) I don't have the *whole* movie memorized, hee hee! How I knew those particular lines is because starting about 8 years ago I began making tapes of favorite movie clips. Whenever I rented a movie and there was something memorable/funny in it, I'd take it upstairs to my stereo (hooked up to my vcr and dvd player) and record it! :) So I have three tapes (and I started a forth not long ago) of a really wide range of movie quotes, complete with music, background, and the full feeling of what had drawn me to the quote in the first place. :) When I play the tapes for family and friends, they get a good laugh/have a nice moment as they listen. :)

I recorded ROTK onto tape so I could listen to it like those "books on tape" whenever I felt like it, and I really enjoy it. There are moments which moved me so much when I saw the movie, but then moved me in a different way as I sat and listened to them. :) The Charge of the Rohirrum (spell?), the coronation, Frodo and Sam on the Slopes, and Frodo Takes the Ring are great highlights to listen to. The Rohan Charge almost had me in tears the first time I heard it, and I have shivers! :D

mechtild at 2005-12-02 14:33 (UTC) (Link)
That sounds like a very cool thing to do, Lembas. How does one do that? I wonder, can one record a CD from a DVD on the computer? I listen to the soundtrack recordings all the time, but listening to the whole films would be great, since I have the visuals nearly memorized *sheepish grin*. You know, Howard Shore's LotR music is supposed to be coming out in a much fuller edition. Perhaps it is already out and I don't know it. I would love to have that, too. But just listening to the actual films would give me all that music, wouldn't it? Yeah!
lembas_junkie at 2005-12-02 17:29 (UTC) (Link)
In fact, the new LOTR: Fellowship ccd is already out! It's on my wish-list, heh heh. :D I can't wait to see it, to hear it! The Passing of the Elves is what I'm looking forward to most. :)

Here's a link to the drool-worthy cd!

mechtild at 2005-12-02 21:32 (UTC) (Link)
That's fantastic! But I thought it was a set of ALL the films. This looks like it's just for Fellowship? Perhaps they plan to put out a separate set for each film, one per year. That'll milk it nicely.
ms_banazira at 2005-12-02 06:21 (UTC) (Link)
Mechtild, hi! It's me, honeyelf from KD! I came to look at your pretty pictures!

I must agree with you about Elijah's able to portray emotionality in the LoTR films. Sam is my favorite book character, but Frodo is my favorite movie character because I could really see what he was going through in the films.

And Elijah's face is part of that. He just shows everything on that amazing face. Even in the pictures above, I can't help feel immediate joy looking at it expressed on his face!

Mind if I 'friend' you? I'd love to be friended back, too!

ms_banazira at 2005-12-02 06:22 (UTC) (Link)
grrr! That was supposed to be "ability to portray..." Can you tell I'm at the end of a long day?
lembas_junkie at 2005-12-02 12:28 (UTC) (Link)
Honey! :D

I don't know if you remember seeing my username over at KD at all (I'm mostly a lurker there) but I check out the Harem thread as well as the Faculty thread, and I always check out your posts because you have great pictures and info every time! :D *AND* You've see The Eyes. :D

I'm going to friend you too, if that is okay! :D
mechtild at 2005-12-02 14:45 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, she has seen The Eyes -- twice, or, is it thrice, honey? Two conventions and then the NYC opening, no?
ms_banazira at 2005-12-02 18:41 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, Lembas_Junkie! Nice to see you here! Yes, please friend me! I'll friend you back!
mechtild at 2005-12-02 14:44 (UTC) (Link)
I knew what you meant, honey. Thanks for telling me who you are, since I would not have known from your user name. Does "banazira? mean something, generally, or is it a personal reference?

Of course, please friend me. I don't post except in spurts, and it's almost always about Frodo. I have posted some family stuff during some emergencies, when I'd be going away, but otherwise I think of my LJ as an extension of messageboards, without the censorship. Although, I don't say anything much racier than I say in the Harem. But, when we had a talk about, say, language usage in LotR fanfic erotica, it meant we could say the actual words rather than the euphemisms.

And Elijah's face is part of that. He just shows everything on that amazing face.

Yes, his face is quite a medium for showing expression. His features are very distinct (chiselled nose, distinct underlying bone structure, finely delineated lips - hey - I'm not swooning), besides his giant eyes, and they all work to register emotion to a high degree. I am sure you have read reviewers who said that watching him act in RotK was like watching silent film acting. That could be seen as a slur, but I don't think they meant it that way. When EW does an extreme emotion, his face becomes so ... vivid ... it's as though he were wearing a Greek mask, like those "tragedy" and "comedy" masks, the features become almost iconic of the emotion. That is why he has to be sparing of letting himself play intense emotions full out. Just slight facial work on his part gives away so much -- when he uses his face full out, it's almost excessive. I think it worked fabulously in LotR, though, since the films were almost operatic in style. They always flirted with being "over the top."

I wish EW had a stronger voice, actually. His face is the sort that is almost wasted on the screen since close-ups can wring emotion from the most dead-pan, inexpressive face. His face should be on the stage, it projects emotion so vividly and strongly. He would need to take speech, though, even with the use of body mikes. If he had the vocal power to match his facial/body power, there'd be no stopping him.
ms_banazira at 2005-12-02 18:54 (UTC) (Link)
Mech, you're the first person to have ever asked me about my LJ name. It comes from the Appendices, and is Samwise' real hobbit name. I did say he's my favorite book character, didn't I? :D

I don't post much either, but what I post is likely to be about pratically anything. And just in advance, please don't be offended if I don't comment on any of your more Haremesque reflections! I might, but then again I might not. Just sayin'. o_O

I was rewatching the recent Leno interview with Elijah just this week, and thinking about his voice. (And there's a gauranteed smile for me; just watching him in an interview. But then I own up to being a fan.) He's such small guy, and his voice (lovely and expressive as it is, especially coupled with that exquisite diction) is probably determined by his size. But I'd love to see him live on stage, so I hope he'll work on it. Hey, it might even have the added bonus of forcing him to quit smoking!
mechtild at 2005-12-02 21:30 (UTC) (Link)
Mech, you're the first person to have ever asked me about my LJ name.

That's because everybody else already knew. *grin*

Yes, EW is a small guy, but so is Danny Devito. A lot of little guys have "regular size" voices. EW's got a big head, which is good. Ian Holm is a pipsqueak, too, and is not a basso profundo in terms of his range, but he learned to project the voice he has. He's had a wonderful career as a stage actor. (Hamlet, Romeo, Richard III, you name it.) You don't need a huge voice to do stage work well, only the vocal training to project the voice without tiring it. What a stage actor does need in quantity, EW has a lot of: the ability to project his emotions. And, he's got a ton of in-person charisma, from what I hear. I haven't seen him, but you have. His first talent spotter was wowed not by little-boy Elijah's screen test, but by his work right there in front of him, in person, on the convention stage. If he's got all that, plus a great face for projecting character from a stage, I'll be sorry if he never uses it to act in that medium.
maewyn_2 at 2005-12-02 15:09 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Elijah looks like he's having so much fun in this sequence of shots. He looks to be especially enjoying himself "skewering" Dom, doesn't he?

I agree that it's a pity he didn't get to display what he learned in the movie.

I had written more, but I realised I was just preaching to the converted, so I deleted it. (Besides, it was a bit convoluted because I'm very tired!)
mechtild at 2005-12-02 15:36 (UTC) (Link)
Good evening, Maewyn. Is it evening there? Perhaps it is the middle of the night at this point, so I should say, "Good morning."

Yes, we are "the converted." But he really does look terribly happy in these shots. Yes, I love how much fun he and Dom are having killing each other.

Especially when I am feeling depressed, I love to look at his face and whole body attitude in these shots. It has a salutary effect, like watching children tear around a parlour with limitless energy, when I myself feel ready to keel over from fatigue or general "fed-up-ness".
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2005-12-03 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
It sounds as though you have plenty of company with which to sob over the losses Frodo experienced in his translation from book to films. Not just in the posts above, but on many, many messageboard threads I have witnessed wailing and gnashing of teeth over so many brave moments for Frodo that, in the films, were minimized, given to another character, or cut out entirely.
(Anonymous) at 2005-12-03 18:23 (UTC) (Link)
It was frustrating. The films depicted Frodo so wonderfully in so many ways, I almost feel guilty complaining, but, Frodo was a hero through and through, and it's hard to see that diminished even slightly.

mechtild at 2005-12-03 20:18 (UTC) (Link)
I am sure you have already read it, being a fan of the writing of both Ariel and Aratlithiel, but if not, read the essay Aratlithiel and Belegcuthalion was talking about. I have it linked in my latest LJ entry, the one called "two essays." It's a doozy.
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