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Bits'o'Script NZ Exclusives

NZ Exclusive Listing
 NZ Exclusive home
 The Jafas Have Landed
 Tehanu's Second Trip to Hobbiton
 Tehanu Goes to the Auditions!
 Non-Industrial Light and Magic
 Hobbiton in Spring
 WETA Closeup for Technophiles
 Waltzing Around Wellington
 Tehanu’s set visit: Hobbiton
 The Y2000 Mordor Walk
 Last Alliance Set Report
 Looking for Weathertop
 Shadowfax and Other Famous Horses
 One Year of Filming
 Kiwis in Middle-earth
  more coming soon
SPOILER ALERT Minor character appearance spoilers

Moriarty over at ‘ain’t-it-cool-news.com’ has seen the whole script apparently, and he loved it.

I’ve only seen three little bits that are probably used for audition purposes, and I’m glad, because what I’ve seen makes me as happy as anything I’ve seen about this movie, and I would hate to have the surprise spoilt for me when I finally see it.

Because the script bits are audition excerpts, I would guess that they are moments in the movie that sum up a bit of what each actor must be capable of in order to portray that character. Thus they also reveal a bit about how the director sees that character, what he considers important.

Legolas and the paths of the dead

Whoever plays Legolas has a difficult job, because he has to go from being a profound and unearthly creature in one moment to being a friend to Gimli the dwarf in the next, with all the gentle teasing there is between them. The script bit I saw did that.

It condensed the ideas of some incidents during the trek through the Paths of the Dead – that Legolas, being immortal, does not fear the dead. He’s actually quite assertive and it’s as much his words as Aragorn’s courage that impel the company to continue through the passage under the mountain. He quotes the words of Malbeth the Seer about the oath binding the Dead at the stone of Erech. (In the book, Aragorn speaks those words, on P 56 Vol. III of my edition, which is a 30 year old A&U so probably useless to you. It doesn’t matter who speaks the words of the Seer, really, and I’m impressed by the way things seem to be telescoped in a useful fashion, so that if something doesn’t happen at the same place as in the book, it still serves the plot at some point.) The actor playing Legolas will have to be able to sound dramatic, profound, un-prosaic.

The Dead follow the Grey Company. Legolas can see them and he describes them to the others in Tolkien’s own words, or close enough. The script that I’ve seen moves easily and naturally in and out of Tolkien’s words without any ‘bumping’ in the style of the language.

A moment later Legolas gently teases Gimli for his fear of the dead, and the actor will have to change quickly to a much lighter tone. Quite a challenge, I should think. I notice people have more trouble imagining an actor to play Legolas than any other character.

Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard

Ooh, there’s a spoiler! Looks like Treebeard’s in. Sorry if you didn’t want to know yet.

The action is telescoped from their escape from the Uruk-hai to the moment when Treebeard finds them. Hoom, hum, I think when we’ll see the movie we’ll appreciate just how big and scary Treebeard is from their point of view at first.

There’s a bit that happens just before he finds them that isn’t in the book, but which perfectly illustrates something Tolkien says of the hobbits, of their character:

"As they walked they compared notes, talking lightly in hobbit-fashion of the things that had happened since their capture. No listener would have guessed from their words that they had suffered cruelly, and been in dire peril…"

The script bit has a little comic incident, and I laughed out loud reading it and seeing it in my mind’s eye. Merry and Pippin seem to have been given the sort humour people have when they don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s a rather deadpan understated clowning, not the mugging-for-the-camera, ‘look-aren’t-I- funny’ kind of humour.

Looks like they’re going to be quite cute, but not in a revolting sickly way.

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