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PLACE AND SPACE IN J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S AND PETER JACKSON'S THE LORD OF THE RINGS BY CHELSEA E. CORARITO A THESIS Submitted to the division of Humanities New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Nova Myhill Sarasota, Florida May 2013
! ii Dedication/ Acknowledgements Between the wrinkles and grey hair that we ha ve acquired through this, I think we all know that none of us just "end up" at the thesis process. First, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Professor Nova Myhill, who stuck through this process with me even though I originally came to her, having never met before, rambling on about doing my thesis on The Lord of the Rings But through this process I have learned another four year's worth of knowledge from her. And I will probably never use the passive tense or dangling modifiers ever again. I woul d like to thank my first year roommates, who I can still b oldly state are my best friends: Tessa Robin Grasel and Rosanna Boss Tavarez. Considering we were shoved into a dorm room no bigger than some people's closets and told to get along for an entire year I'd say we didn't do that bad. N ot that bad at all. I would also like to thank my housemates of this year. There's a reason why thesis students are said to live in "thesis caves." To Stephanie Cadaval and Laura Libby, thanks for making our thesis cavern bearable despite the extenuating circumstances that thr ee people each writing a thesis could and should have devolved into. Out of necessity I will thank my parents, who although not understanding the thesis process, did not hold it against me for not going home to visit nearly as often as I should have, if mainly for the proper nutrition of a home cooked meal and remembering there is, in fact, a world outside "the bubble I would like to give a shout out to the weekly Dungeons and Dragons group I ha ve been a part of since my third year. As horrendously cl ich as it sounds, s ometimes the most real moments of my week were when we destroyed legions of the unde ad, vanquished dragons, and conquered foreign lands on our "good" days As for a dedication, th is thesis is dedicated to any "geeky" and/or nerdy students of all kinds of pursuits. The advice normally given is not to choose a topic you love because supposedly you will hate it by the time you finish. Maybe I am just an exception to the rule, but if I did not love my thesis topic the way that I do, and that I still do, none of the work put into it would not have been nearly as worthwhile. Just as Dwayne from Little Miss Sunshine (2006) tells Frank, "You do what you love and fuck the rest." Finally, to my closest friend and partner, Casey Look, you are in my acknowledgements page, just like you asked!
! iii Table of Contents ii. Dedication and Acknowledgements iii. Table of Contents iv. Abstract 1. Introduction 14 Chapter One: Moria 15 "Who will lead us now in this deadly dark?": The Unde rground Landscape 27 "This is a foe beyond any of you": A Balrog of Morgoth 37 Chapter Two: Lothlrien 38 "Not idly do the leaves of Lrien fall": The Landscape of Lrien 49 "They say that you breathe so loud that t hey could shoot you in the dark : The Elves as the Supernatural 58 "For the time comes of the Dominion of M en, and the Elder Kindred shall fade or depart": Aragorn, the Age of Men, and the Passing of the Elves 68 Conclusion 71 Bibliography
! iv PLACE AND SPACE IN J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S AND PETER JACKSON'S THE LORD OF THE RINGS Chelsea E. Corarito New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT My thesis argues that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings develops "space" and "place" through character while Peter Jackson's adaptations of the novels craft character through landscapes. I use Michel de Certeau's philoso phies on "space" and "place" to discuss the transitory nature of liminal landscapes by comparing the different notions of place created by the Fellowship with those by the supernatural entities. The quest structure and the relationship between character and lan dscape can be seen in both medieval literature and Tolkien's work. This demonstrates how Tolkien is progressing and advancing the genre of fantasy literature through medieval literary practices. In my first chapter, I look at the mines of Moria and discuss the formation of "place" and "space" in Khazad dm. This involves how the dwarves, the Balrog, and the Fellowship impact the location, in both the literature, and the films. The multiple notions of place in the literature are developed by the characters a nd demonstrate how the films can only achieve a single notion of place because of the attention on the landscape in building identity. In my second chapter, I discuss Lothlrien and the Elves. I compare how the
! v Elves and the Fellowship affect the location, as well as the transience of the notion of place of the Elves, and the beginning of the Age of Men, signaling the end of liminality. Nova Myhill Division of Humanities
1 Introductio n The struggle between fans and critics over the literary leg itimacy of J.R.R. Tolkien's six volume fantasy masterpiece The Lord of the Rings has been a heated battle since the initial publication. After the moderate success of his previous book for children, The Hobbit (1937), Tolkien followed up with a "sequel" nearly twenty years later. He turned to the journey of the One Ring that Bilbo found in The Hobbit. The first two volumes were published as The Fellowship of the Ring in 1954, with unprecedented success. Although some naysayers argue that the story is just an exceedingly large book to add to the heap of pop culture fodder, no one can disagree with the commercial success of the books. The book s have been in print since the ir first publication on July 29 th 1954 1 and the films directed by Peter Jackson, are equally as successful. The Return of the King conquered the 2004 Academy Awards by winning eleven of the coveted statuettes including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay 2 W hen choosing my thesis topic, I was drawn to the characters and their relationship with the landscapes. The story is filled with many different races of creatures that occupy vastly contrasting locations ; each is given an extensive myt hology and background Eventually, I narrowed my focus down to only two locations and two specific creatures : Moria and Lothlrien. Each location offers both the present state of its location but also information on its existence in the past and its transition in the future. My thesis will use the philosophies of Michel de Certeau within the quest structure of early medieval literature that may have influenced Tolkien. This will lead into the definition of liminality with regard to the landscape and characters and how liminality
2 affects the supernatural I will be showing how the characters define the landscape in the literature whereas in the film adaptations the landscape defines the characters In both mediums, th is is done by outlining each location in terms of its relationship with the place and space cultural notions In my first chapter, I look closely at the M ines of Moria, an underground location with a rich history that the Fellowship passes through. I discuss the formation of "place" and "space" of the dwarven occupation of Khazad dm, as Moria was named before the Balrog a gigantic fire demon, destroyed the civilization. This involves looking at how the dwarves, the Balrog, and the Fellowship impact the location, in both the literature and the films. In my second chapter, I move to the mystical forest of Lothlrien, a great and secret elvish stronghold and home to a powerful group of Elves. I compare how the Elves in contrast to the Fell owship a ffect the location, but also analyze the loss of the notion of place as it is determined by the emigration of the Elves. It may initially seem odd to consider the Balrog and the Elves as comparable, even on the shallowest level of both being supernatural non h umanoid beings. This is even stranger considering the Balrog and the Elves do not have any narrative similarities. Most noticeably, the fun ction of the Balrog in the film is to up the stakes" during the sequence of the Fellowship escaping the M in es of Mor ia. The Balrog is the final confrontation and with the tension high, Gandalf must sacrifice himself for the success of the quest. In opposition, the Elves of Lrien appear in the scenes immediately after Moria, aiding the Fellowship in their quest and prov iding sanctuary. However, the similarity b ot h the Elves and the Balrog as the catalyst for the transition between "place" and "space" is the factor that makes the comparison function The Balrog represents the
3 shift when it destroys the society of Khazad dm, creating a new notion of "place" to replace the old. The Elves depict the opposite shift in liminality. The departure of the Elves from Lothlrien and Middle earth represents the greater problem of the slipping notion o f "place." Therefore, as the Elves migrate across the sea to the Undying Lands, Lothlrien falls deeper into the notion of "space ." Interpreting the notions of place for each location is dependent upon knowing about the races that live or pass through the se landscapes. Therefore, at least a brief synopsis of the plot is necessary for comprehending the forthcoming analysis. The plot of The Lord of the Rings follows Frodo, a young hobbit, as he carries the Ring of Power from The Shire, the home of the Hobbit s, to the Ring's place of origin, Mt. Doom. Once there, he can cast it into the lava, the only thing that can destroy the Ring. This may seem like a simple premise, but as the 1,200 page behemoth that is the entirety of LOTR can attest, the action an d desc riptive prose quickly add up. The Ring's forger is Sauron, a maleficent force that can only be visualized in the form of a lidless, fiery eye. He uses creatures under his control to wage war on the free races of Middle earth in his quest for dominion and r eturn of his Ring. Frodo is not alone on his quest. He is joined in Fellowship by both old and new friends: Sam, his gardener, and Pippin and Merry, his hobbit cousins of various degrees; an old friend and even older wizard, Gandalf; the elvish prince, L egolas; the dwarf warrior Gimli; the ranger and future king of men, Aragorn; and finally, the son of the steward of Gondor, Boromir. These eight companions aid Frodo in his destiny to destroy the Ring of Power, acting as guides and protectors of the ringbe arer. They travel across
4 Middle earth, through elvish lands, under and over mountains, into enchanted forests, and finally encounter the fires of Mt. Doom itself. 3 Tolkien's work is considered one of the first full immersion fantasy novels with his inven tion of Middle earth, a world similar to medieval England but existing separately and without reference to our notion of reality. This allows the reader to recognize and connect with the landscape without it feeling too familiar. C.S. Lewis's The Chronicle s of Narnia 4 and LOTR is the pinnacle example of fantasy literature, with its use of the fully immersive fantasy world. The "quest narrative" as I have mentioned quite frequently, refers to the type of journey the heroes make through the plot and what causes conflict and resolution. The quest narrative is what forces the characters to encounter the vast and various landscapes. Several medieval sources that I have found useful use this quest structure. In The Faerie Queene a British text from 1590 each of Edmund Spenser's six books follows a different knight on his own quest given by the Faerie Queen In the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a late fourtee nth century English alliterative romance, Sir Gawain takes on the quest of reengaging with the Green Knight a year and a day after first meeting, when Sir Gawain must fight the Green Knight to defend King Arthur's honor. These texts, and others, are used i n my thesis chapters as well. LOTR is the prime example of fantasy literature and film because it contains the imperative characteristics of what is considered "fantasy": the immersive world, supernatural qualities, and the reader's sensation of escapism. These qualities seem to have been adopted by Tolkien because of his interest in medieval literature. F antasy studies have the problem of defining such a broad genre of literature and film. Despite the
5 variances, t here are some generally reoccurring ideas across these definitions with the main characteristic involving a lost sense of reality : a break between what the audience agrees is reality' and the fantastic phenomena that define the narrative world." 5 The loss of the accepted rules of reality is the goal of a successful fantasy story. The reader must be invested in the story to not question the fantastic or supernatural elements. T he reader must align himself with the protagonist and believe the character's primary space as the accepted realit y Edward James explains how revolutionary Tolkien's approach was at t he time : Tolkien's greatest achievement however, in retrospect, was in normalizing the idea of a secondary world. Although he retains the hint that the action of LOTR takes place in the prehistory of our own world, that is not sustained, and to all intents and purposes Middle earth is a separate creation, operating totally outside the world of our experience. That has become so standard in modern fantasy that it is not easy to realize how unusual it was before Tolkien 6 Middle earth as a believable "other" world was one of the first of its t ime, as James explains. The narrative follows Frodo from the Shire on his quest far away from home Despite Frodo being a hobbit and not a human, the reader identifies with him as the protagonist. And even though The Shire is not in the reader's accepted reality, it is presented with qualities that the reader can recognize mainly that of the English countryside The immersive fantasy and the creation of a new reality is an extremely important idea to the philosophies of de Certeau because the emphasis of the believable "other" reality is on the function of landscape, and the liminality between place and space, reality and the supernat ural. The q uest is a common trope in fantasy literature written after Tolkien's publication of LOTR but the quest was most common in literature during the medieval era, as I will discuss shortly.
6 In 1950's Britain, when Tolkien was writing LOTR the domi nant literary model was the farthest thing from fantasy literature. Nick Bentley, in his book about "radical fiction" of the decade, defines that the majority of literature was fixated on one thing : a return' to conventional realistic modes 7 In a singl e sentence, Bentley summarizes that the majority of the literature of this time was focused on realistically writing about reality 8 In the midst of the conventional and the realistic, Tolkien's fantasy epic was unlike the other popular literature. Tolkien devised an entirely new set of conventions, which we now recognize as tropes in fantasy literature, which worked against the literature of the 1950's, particularly in relation to character and landscape. This popular liter ature used place to define character, as each location was given its own identity separate from the characters occupying it. In contrast, Tolkien developed LOTR as a story that uses its characters to develop the location's identity, so that the locations a re dependent upon the characters. Whereas the popular literature was looking forward to the changes happening in the social sphere of Britain, Tolkien was demonstrating nostalgia for a time when there was a relationship between person and place. In LOTR this manifests itself as nostalgia for the valor of the individual. As Tolkien himself was writing from a post World War II standpoint, the battles and heroic deeds of individuals in the past and the cloistered world of Middle earth are presented in a posi tive light in comparison to the mechanized warfare of WWII. This is exhibited in how the characters define the place in The Lord of the Rings The significance of these locations with regard to the Fellowship is often through a valorous deed done by one of the members of the Fellowships. The Balin's Tomb in
7 Moria, for example, Frodo's marvelous survival from the cave troll attack is a well remembered moment in that place. The ideas of the fantasy world and characters developing the landscape are applied in this thesis to Michel de Certeau's theorie s of place and space, urban space and everyday living. Although his theories were not originally applied to literature this has not prevented literary theorists and critics from doing so. With that said, the app lication of these theories provides a useful way of working with a text. The original intent may be different, but the vocabulary of de Certeau's philosophies is indispensible when analyzing how the characters maneuver through the quest space and their effect on the notions of place for the landscape For de Certeau, "place" implies that there are cultural and anthropological markers for a given location. The setting has a purpose, a context, or preconceived notions: The event cannot be diss ociated from the options to which it gave place ; it is that space constituted by often surprising choices that have modified customary divisions, groups, parties, and communities, following an unforeseen division. A new topography has transformed (at least let's say, a moment), as a function of this place surging up like an island, the official map of ideological, political, or religious constituencies 9 A "place" is any location that a person can ascribe importance to. In contrast, "space" refers to a t ransitional geographic space. It does not have cultural significance attached to it. De C erteau describes space as, To walk is to lack a site It is the indeterminate process of being both absent and in search of the proper, of one's own. 10 In the quest s tory, the space that the protagonist travels through is given a purpose because of his travel through such space The quest relies upon movement through space in order to reach its end. Therefore, it is inherently defying de Certeau's definition. Questing is unlike walking
8 because it has a purpose. Questing through space temporarily produces a site in a way that walking does not. This is important to my thesis because questing through the space impacts and maps every location that a member of the Fellowship travels through. This impact develops into a notion of place specific to the Fellowship for each location on their quest. Tolkien would have been well aware of the quest structure and how it functioned within the medieval narrative. He was one of the leading experts on medieval literature during his working years as a professor, being well versed in early Germanic tales, Old Norse verse such as The Poetic Edda and even the Finnish Kalevala During his life, Tolkien was a Pre Modern Literature professor at two separate colleges at Oxford University in England: Pembroke and Merton. It is not hard to see these medieval influences in his work, especially LOTR However, the medieval literature that Tolkien studied did not influence his work in the form of shallow p lot similarities Tolkien effectively utilizes elements of the medieval tale, including the quest and the hero's journ ey through the Romance space. 11 LOTR bridges the gap between the fantasy and medieval literature that share the characteristic of the quest structure, but also the relationship between character and landscape as seen most often in medieval literature Beca use LOTR uses the same conventions of quest and relationship between the characters and landscape, when Tolkien wrote his story in the 1950's, he used a style unlike the majority of literature being written at the time. The landscape character style of the medieval era and Tolkien's writing fell out of fas hion in the midst of the 1800's, where it evolved into a new dynamic.
9 After the mid nineteenth century, this relationship bet ween character and space evolved into a more detached partnership than that in the medieval literature Deir dre David uses the views of the author Henry James to explain the shift in the defining value of the landscape: [Henry] James also passionately advocated and superbly displayed in his own work the essential presence of an "air of reality" in the novel. He defined this "air of reality" as "solidity of specification" and declared that it was for him "the supreme virtue of a novel the merit in which all its other merits helplessly and submissively depend. If it be not there, they are all as nothing, and if these were there, they owe their effect to the success with which the author has produced the illusion of life. 12 The Victorian novel in the 1800's was dependent upon social statuses and geographical placement as an extension of social importance. The landscape in the novels of the nineteenth century developed an identity that was just as important, if not more so, than the status of the characters themselves. As such, because location and social status were inextr icably connected, characters b ecame defined by their location, in contrast to the medieval literature and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings which emulated the much earlier literary model This kind of example is most evident in Jane Austen's Pride and Preju dice 13 Mr. Darcy's estate still holds on the importance of his lineage and the aristocracy, even when Jane visits and Darcy is away on business. Another quality from the medieval stories that was adapted by Tolkien is "liminality." Liminality acts as an a ll inclusive term for describing shifts and ambiguity: The attributes of liminality or of liminal personae (" threshold people") are necessarily ambiguous, since this condition and these persons elude or slip through the network of classifications that normally locate states and positions in cultural space. Liminal entities are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial Thus, liminality is frequently likened to death to being in the womb, to invisibility, to darkness, to bisexuality, to the wilderness, and to an eclipse of the sun or moon. 14
10 The author of this quote, Victor W. Turner emphasizes the extremes of the unknown in his examples, highlighting "the wilderne ss" as one of them. But more importantly, he brings up the importance of transitional nature of cultural aspects as being a sign of liminality. The people of the medieval era were constantly trying to define that which they found liminal, particularly wi thin the spectrum of what was considered human, monstrous, or n aturally occurring. Thirteenth century medieval Christian modes of monstrosity included five basic principles: physical deformity, lack of language/incomprehensible language, aberrant dietary a nd sexual practices, cannibalism, and godlessness. 15 T he people of the medieval era basically t hought that anything unknown/ abnormal with regard to their own culture were monstrous. Karl Steel explains the spectrum with regard to the hierarchy of man: Medie val Christianity numbers among many systems of thought that classify humans as the only worldly life to be treated as an end in itself; everything else God created for the sake of human In this anthropocentric system, monsters judged to be unclassifiable might be eradicated as unnatural scandals. Those judged to be animals could be treated as unmournable, "nonlife", objects available for human use. 16 Although the textual documents from that time explicitly document and describe these creatures, such as cy nocephali or centaurs, even people from Africa were considered monstrous based on the ir supposed descent from Ham ( son of Noah ) their unknown social customs, and unrecognizable language. However, these ideas were formed in the past, when the people writi ng them truly believed that these creatures existed. For a more contemporary definition of the
11 monstrous, Asa Mittman provid es a usable characterization through the lens of literary monster studies: By definition, the monster is outside of such definitions; it defies the human desire to subjugate through categorization. This is the source, in many ways, of their power. Instead, then, I would look to the impact(s) of the monstrous. This might be manifest in the horror of excessive violence, but is rooted in the vertigo of redefining one's understanding of the world. 17 The monster cannot be defined within the bounds of society. Its liminality transposes attempts to relegate the monstrous into definitions of the supernatural. It is this quality of b eing outside the possibility of definition that makes the monstrous so terrifying, particular in medieval literature. One can assume that as an academic, Tolkien was not thinking about his monstrous creatures in terms of their literal existence. But as an academic of medieval literature, he would have been highly aware of the effect that the monstrous would have in a piece of literature of that type The supernatural and the u nnatural are considered functionally similar in my thesis, a lthough this may not be true in all te xts. For example, in The Silmarillion Tolkien's extensive list of legends of the old Middle earth, the orcs (evil creatures like goblins ) are said to be elves that were tortured by Morgoth 18 until they became so corrupted that their physi cal shape resembled their inner twisted souls. In such an example, the orcs are both unnatural and supernatural. They are not naturally occurring, as having been crafted by Morgoth, but they are inherently supern atural, because they were once E lves. 19 The Elves are the subject of my second chapter, not just because they live in Lothlrien but also because they have innate supernatural abilities. The Balrog I discuss in my first chapter is an evil creature that also functions both supernaturally and unna turally. My purpose will not be to prove that either the Balrog or the Elves are
12 monstrous or supernatural, but to examine how those qualities impact the reader or audience's perception of the landscape. In December of 2001, The Fellowship of the Ring was released in theaters worldwide. For generations of fans of Tolkien's text, the film presented the first serious attempt of a live action, filmic format. Although all three films were shot simultaneously, The Two Towers was released the year after in 2002 and The Return of the King finally in 2003. Not only have the films been commercially successful, with the movies generating approximately $3,000,000 in profits globally 20 but the trilogy also accumulated a total of seventeen Academy Award wins. With a st ory like LOTR the epic scale of events and locations is perfect for the visual nature of the film medium. But the filmmakers were faced with a tough job editing and presenting the movie in a consumable fashion. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Peter Jackson's films is that they truly are an adaptation not a literal translation of the written word to the visual medium. As Jackson himself says in the Appendices of the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring (2002), the goal in making the films was to take Tolkien's ideas and find alternatives, while staying true to the original work: We really wanted to be as accurate as possible to the descriptions. We felt even though we were taking liberties sometimes with characters, and with dialogue, and w ith the way that the story unfolded, we didn't ever really want to take liberties with the world that the story was in. We were always very strictly accurate, as much as possible anyway, to the places so that at least fans of the book would feel they were seeing Middle earth come to life. 21 Jackson is putting a clear prioritization of landscape over character when he says that his attempt at accuracy was based on "the descriptions." This is in direct support of my claim that the film constructs identities for the landscapes that are then used to develop the characters. The world of Middle earth is the emphasis of the films, and the landscapes are
13 the visual center of this world. The landscape constructs the identity of Middle earth as an entity recognizable from Tolkien's story. Despite the various concepts I am using in my thesis to talk about Tolkien's story, I do not claim to be making any grandiose or new claims about The Lord of the Rings By using the concepts of liminality, "place" and "space", and landscape and character, I am exploring roads less travelled, but still traversed A s the reader of this thesis, remember the words of Bilbo before Frodo undertakes his quest: "The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say." 22
14 Chapter One: The Mines of Moria The Fellowship flees from Balin's Tomb, running away from the growing crowd of orcs following in their wake. As the darkness of the mines glows brighter with the light and heat of an immense fire, the orcs begin chanting the word gh sh ", or "fi re." From out of the darkness, a menacing creature composed of fire and shadow overwhelms the Fellowship, as the fear emanating out from its center impacts the group. Legolas, who is normally well composed, yells out in fear at the monster's approach. "A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. Now I understand.' He faltered and leaned heavily on his staff. What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.'" 23 The Mines of Moria work well within the discussion of "place" and "space" because it is a location with a rich a nd deep history. There is the ancient city of Khazad dm, a great but lost civilization. There is also the Balrog, the cause of the society's destruction. Moria is a location of great importance on the Fellowship's journey, as it is one of the most difficu lt challenges the Fellowship must face. These three aspects of cultural significance create distinct notions of place. The Balrog acts as the connecting thread between Khazad dm and the Fellowship's quest as the liaison for the supernatural and the limina l space. This first chapter argues that the artistic medium of film results in the characters being defined by the landscape, in opposition to the literature that crafts the landscape through the characters. This discussion relies on the physicality and geography of the mines, as it is conveyed through Tolkien's writing and the visuals of Jackson's film. However, through deeper analysis, it becomes apparent that the novel allows and requires
15 multiple perspectives so the location does not have an identity separate from the characters that occupy it. That is why the Mines of Moria have three notions of place in the book. This is not the case in the film. A single notion of place exists because the location has its own dominant and separate identity from the characters who live or pass through it. This will become apparent through a more thorough examination between the two artistic mediums. "Who will lead us now in this deadly dark?" 24 : The Underground Landscape One of the first obstacles that the Fellowship must face is the journey through the Mines of Moria, a series of underground mines and tunnels built early in the beginning of Middle earth. The lost city of Moria was known as Khazad dm in Khuzdul, the language of the dwarves Khazad dm was t he largest and most successful of the dwarven cities. However, after mining too deep ly during the Third Age, the dwarves awoke a Balrog of Morgoth, a demonic monster made of shadow and flame. Its power brought great destruction to Khazad dm, killing or ch asing away all of its inhabitants 25 When the Fellowship passes through the deserted mines in LOTR Moria is occupied only by darkness The Fellowship moves through Moria as a means of bypassing the Misty Mountains The original plan of going over the mo untain range is made impossible by unnaturally foul weather. After avoiding attacks by wargs ( a beast similar to a wolf) and nearly freezing to death Frodo finally agrees with Gandalf to attempt travel ling through the Mines of Moria The company becomes t rapped inside the mountain after a mysterious aquatic creature in the pool outside the Gate to Moria blockades the entrance.
16 After finding their way through most of the mines, the Fellowship is ambushed by orcs. The Fellowship escapes that battle only to realize that the Balrog has been awakened as well. Gandalf defeats the Balrog, but is dragged down into an abyss with the monster. In this part of the story, Tolkien presents three main notions of place: 1) the Fellowship's passage through the mines, 2) t he lost city of Khazad dm, and 3) the Balrog's occupancy. For the first notion, although the Fellowship as a whole impacts the mines, each member of the Fellowship has different preconceived notions of Moria. The most varying examples can be seen between Legolas, Gimli, and Samwise For Legolas, venturing underground is not typical for a member of his race. When Gandalf asks for Legolas's choice in choosing the path through Moria as opposed to continuing over the Misty Mountains, his response is, "I do n ot wish to go to Moria." 26 He is one of the few members adamantly against passing under the mountains. This is even after Gandalf agrees that no one wants to go but that there is no other alternative. The Elves put a high emphasis on the natural environment, specifically trees. To go underground is to forsake the vegetation of the forest. Moria epitomizes the absence of nature, especially in its association with mining. The dwarves are greedy and abhor the natural world, in the eyes of the elvish princeling. These are Legolas's considerations when he declares that he will not go through the mines. From a different perspective, Samwise likens the dwarf city to "darksome holes" but is quickly rebuked by Gimli. The dwarf informs him that, "These are not holes This is the great realm and city of the Dwarrowdelf. And of old it was not darksome, but full of light and splendor, as i s still remembered in our songs. 27 Although hobbits and dwarves may be similar in their domestic spaces being underground, t here are distinct
17 variances. Hobbit holes are dug close to the surface of the earth, are comfort based with food, fireplaces, and light being of the utmost importance. With Moria, remaining underground is not the largest concern of the hobbits. Rather thei r fear is of the lack of light and the unknown danger lurking in the dark. This exchange between the two characters highlights how the city still maintains its significance in Gimli's mind. Since the city is uninhabited by any dwarves when the Fellowship passes through, Moria is presented as a liminal space. The orcs are occupying the space, but as they are malevolent creatures, they are not constructing a notion of place recognizable to other races For Gimli, walking through the glorious halls of his anc estors is a great honor. However, after experiencing the mines first hand, he is dismayed and concludes that Khazad dm truly is lost forever: "I have looked on Moria, and it is very great, but it has become dark and dreadful; and we h ave found no sign of my kindred. 28 Gimli's acceptance shows his transition from the naivety about the "place" aspects of Moria the successful mining and the fame of the richness of the city, to the realization that what once made Khazad dm great is long gone. This realizat ion is important for understanding why the notion of Khazad dm lives on with the dwarves. They consistently return to Moria in search of Khazad dm, their lost home, as it is the "place" to which they belong. However, the dwarves fail to recognize that th e fall of Khazad dm is more permanent than they can fathom. Even Balin, a dwarf made famous by the adventures in Tolkien's The Hobbit could not retake Moria from the orcs who overrun its abandoned halls. As Glin explains at the council of Elrond, "But n ow we spoke of it again with longing, and yet with dread; for no dwarf has dare d to pass the doors of Khazad d m for many lives of kings, save Thrr only, and he
18 perished. At last, however, Balin listened to t he whispers, and resolved to go. 29 The reconcil iation of the past and present does not occur until Gimli and company travel through Moria in LOTR This concept of lost civilizations can be found in the earliest literature, and definitively as far back as the medieval era. The "disappearing society" mo tif appears in one story amongst several in The Mabinogi a collection of Welsh tales from sometime between the eleventh and thirtee n th centuries Although The Mabinogi is a collection of tales, only two will be referred to in my thesis : "Manawydan son of Llyr" and "Pwyll prince of Dyfed ," Their focus is on the permeability of liminal space between magic and reality within the structure of the quest Tolkien's construction of the Mines of Moria reflects the medieval attitudes towards liminality of spaces, e specially with regard to the elements. In "Manawydan son of Llyr," the story follows Pryderi, his wife Cigfa, Manawydan, and his wife and Pryderi's mother, Rhiannon. They have a feast and great celebration for the marriage of the first couple. However whe n a mysterious fog appears, the entire civilization of Arberth (the settlement) mysteriously vanishes: As they were sitting, there was a tumultuous clatter, and concurrent with the sound, a mist falling, so that not one of them could see the other. After t he mist, then, it brightened e verywhere. And when they looked in the places where they had seen flocks and cattle and habitations before then, no one could see anything whatsoever neither house, nor animal, nor smoke, nor fire, nor dwellings, only the cour t buildings, and those empty, deserted, desolate, without men or animals in them, their own companions lost without their knowing anything of their whereab outs; only they four remained. 30 At the end of the story, the mist is revealed to be a spell cast by Llwyd son of Cil Coed a character seeking revenge for public embarrassment caused by Pryderi's father in the previous story, "Pwyll Prince of Dyfed." The sorcerer's magic affects the entire
19 landscape through the weather causing the civilization of Arbe rth to disappear. T he peop le and animals have disappeared but also fires that had moment s before been roaring vanish entirely For the people who lived during the medieval era, non civilized spaces posed a real threat. In particular, places that existe d betw een two elements were suspected to be supernatural perfect breeding grounds for monsters. Asa Mittman discusses this fear of liminality in her book Maps and Monsters in Medieval England : In particular, medieval British culture focused its fears on t hose zones which were deemed liminal owing to either their substance or location. As Hrafnhildur Bodvarsdottir writes, more than anything else, the Anglo Saxon loathed darkness and fog, and imagined that all evil things could and would appear during the d ark and in the mist. Boundary zones ( nomansland ) were set off for battles and hanging of criminals in the Middle ages In addition to those places located between two territories, places which seemed to be located between two elements were particularly frightful. The mists blend air and water. 31 In The Mabinogi the mist is the supernatural product of the sorcerer, who uses this to make the civilization of Arberth instantly disappear. Fear of the mist stems mainly from a lack of human qualities in the space once the markers of civilization are lost. The mist in The Mabinogi confirms this medieval fear of the unknown and the non human in its elemental combination of water and air, but pa rticularly in the clear visual loss of civilization. The unknown existed outside the civilized space, and the unknown could have been supernatural and monstrous. T he disappearance of s ociety in The Mabinogi is parallel to the ancient loss of Khazad dm. T he d isconnect between the Moria that the Fellowship experiences and the city of Khazad dm that once existed is physically apparent Although the degradation of the Mines of Moria is over a much longer period of time it, like the disappearing civilization in A r berth in The Mabinogi experiences misfortune via the combination of
20 two elements and the susceptibility to the supernatural. The two elements in The Mabinogi are the mist (water and air) and in LOTR it is the Balrog (air/smoke and fire ). Despite the difference in time between the Khazad dm of the past and the Moria of the present, the Balrog and Khazad dm both blend the two elements together. W hen Khazad dm existed as a succes sful mining location and home, it was a blend of the earth and fire. The dwarves would shape the mountains to fit their needs. The fires were necessary to craft the mined, raw materials. In addition, the "fire" element references the Balrog. As a part of the landscape, the fire that is half of the Balrog's constitution is a pa rt of the earth that the dwarves were digging into. In order to maintain a burgeoning society and the increase of population, the city of Khazad dm needed to keep expanding for the purpose of living space and to promote their economy to provide for their people. Mining in the case of Tolkien's dwarves is not an environmentally destructive activity it is a means of survival. Expanding the society deeper and farther into the mountains is a productive example of making "p lace." The dwarves manipulated the environment in socially beneficial ways. However, once they had gone so far as to awaken the Balrog, the dwarves could no longer transform the environment. The Balrog is an unchangeable manifestation of the environment; i t eliminates the ability to make "place" because the Balrog has its own notion of place separate from Khazad dm. The monster represents the end of liminality: the destruction of the culture of Khazad dm. Its effect is the decline of the civilization and a change in notion of place. The loss of society can be seen conceptually in the dwarves' mining economy. Their society functions only through a group dynamic and is socially beneficial because
21 the work of a single individual is important for the group. This is evidenced more effectively when put in contrast to Book II Canto VII of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene Mammon is a greedy devil that tempts Sir Guyon the protagonist, with his underground treasure hoard Mammon's anti social aspects contrast greatly with t he mining culture of Khazad dm and through this contrast, more effectively displays the social benefits of Khazad dm. In Book II Canto VII, Sir Guyon comes to a dark hidden glade while travelling through the Romance landscape when he enc ounters Mammon, a dirty and savage looking man surrounded by heaps of gold. After spying Guyon eyeing his treasure he pushes a ll the gold into a hole in the ground where it can no longer be seen. Introductions and temptation follow as Mammon offers to sho w the knight of temperance the underground lair where his riches are housed. Guyon is not interested in the weal th but is curious about a location that can house all of the things that Mammon boasts about. From a physical perspective the location is descr ibed very much as one might expect underground treasure caverns to look : Like an huge cave, hewne out of rocky clift, From whose rough vaut the ragged breaches hong, Embost with massy gold of glorious gift, And with rich metal loaded every rift, That heav y ruine they did seem to threat; Both roofe, and floore, and wals were all of gold, But overgrown with dust and old decay, And hid in darkenesse, that none could behold The hew thereof: for vew of chearefull day Did never in that house it selfe display, But a f aint shadow of uncertain light 32 The floors may be covered in gold but the general ambiance of the location is not written in a pleasing fashion. T he moral of the story can be seen here as all the gold in the world
22 means nothing if it sits collecting dust, "overgrown with dust and old decay/And hid in darkeness." Mammon's greed is what forces him below the Earth's surface. He fears that if the gold and valuables are visible to other people that they will covet them for themselves. His selfish motivation constructs the anti social nature of Mammon's lair. These qualities are apparent in the physicality of the cave itself: underground, entrapping, and with a single entrance. On the most bas ic level, although the terrain is similar, the way each society functions is not. Unlike the functional and beneficial society of Khazad dm, Mammon's underground treasure trove is filled with monsters and beasts that are under Mammon's control Mammon's l air is not a beneficial society; it is the result of an autocratic rule. The raw materials are not being divided between the workers in the way that the dwarven society operated. B oth Mammon and Khazad dm's "communities" are written to explore the relatio nship betwee n gold and the importance it play s in society For Tolkien's dwarves, mining is socially beneficial because mi ning has a constructive purpose: expanding the civilization and society. This social distinction between the mining that happens in Ma mmon's underground lair in comparison to the Mines of Moria is an important co nsideration when reflecting on the downfall of the dwarven society. These same questions about the formation of place out of civilization can be explored in the film adaptation of Tolkien's work. The same arguments about place and character cannot be made when the medium of storytelling changes to film. The development of character becomes based on the visual nature of film itself, with the landscapes as the basis of tone and ch aracter progression. Equally, the construction of
23 notions of place cannot rely on the same method of storytelling and mythology when the visuals of the film are the primary sensory experience. In accordance with this emphasis on the visual, the film opens with the lush greens and warm tones of The Shire. However, when the Fellowship is formed and begins their quest, the rolling hills and leafy forests alter into harsh plains and jagged, mountainous peaks. This is when the party encounters the supernatural snowstorm that Saruman conjures. In the face of such unwavering and hostile natural elements, the party solemnly makes their way to the Gate of Moria. The change in color mood, and natural beauty is another abrupt shift. Replacing the white crisp peak of Caradhas, the deep grays, browns, and blacks of the Earth are brought forth in muted prominence. When the party enters the mines, the landscape solely consists of rocks and natural elements. Anything of value has been pillaged by goblins or orcs. Until the arrival of the Balrog, the color palette of the film is claustrophobic A s ense of oppression hangs over the geography and through the color of the mines Even the moment of illumination with Gandalf's staff shows the depths of the Dwarrowdelf and how muc h darkness there truly is within the mines. Analogous to the color palette, t he types of ca mera shots and angles with t he aid of the soundtrack combine into a sensory guide for the audience directing how the Mines of Moria should be experienced as a lo cation T he films utilize the ir ability to use both visual and auditory cues to affect the audience's r eaction to the scene on screen. When the party enters the mines, the enclosing danger is insinuated through the shots of the skeletons piled on the ground and how the camera switches from panoramic wide angles to close up hand held shots. Such shaky camera shots physicalize the "shakiness" of the
24 situation and the Fellowship's wavering courage. When the camera is not hand held, it is zooming in o n the skeleton's faces caught in the agony of death. The shots place the skeletons in the foreground with the various char acters in the background. Specifically at minute 0: 16:57, the camera tracks towards the left, following a skeleton lying prone on the ground. Such a shot highlights several important facets. First, the perspective of the camera aligns the audience with the various skeletons on the floor of the mines. As the skeletons are now an integral part of Moria the audience is v iewing the Fellowship from the perspective of Moria Secondly, the tracking of the shot from the inside of the mine s towards the entrance incites the Fellowship 's immediate reaction to escape The tracking ca mera gives a sense of movement while the low ang le shot with the skeleton in the foreground conveys anxiety. In addition, the direction of th e tracking is foreboding. A s the camera slowly tracks towards the entrance of the mines, the hobbits back out through the Gate of Moria. Once the path through th e mines becomes the only option of moving forward the close ups and shaky camera shots expand into a n apprecia tive sense of Moria's beauty. Specifically, in the hall of the Dwarrowdelf a seemingly infinite cavern with pillars expanding in every direction the camera conveys a sense of grandeur through its wide angle shots At minute 0: 24:24, the entire image on screen is digitally crafted. A s the camera moves through the landscape, it manages to express the remarkab le nature of the sheer size of the hall without ap pearing fake. Although the wide angle shots are comprised of an entirely CGI version of the hall, including the characters, the sense of wonder is not lost on the audience. Because the dwarves crafted the hall, the sweeping shots of the landscape characterize Moria with a quiet reverence for this ancient era The
25 camera angles induce this nostalgia, even if the audience is unaware of the specifics of Moria's past. Because of the camera angles that the filmmakers chose, Moria as a location has a de finitive identity that is perceptible by the audience that masks any other notion of place that the Fellowship could attempt to create by passing through the mines However, potentially more powerful than the visual cues is the auditory emotional guidan ce of the soundtrack. Howard Shore's original score for the film utilizes the powerful method of audio cues in conjunction with the action on screen. His music for Moria tra nslates the tone of the visual into orchestral form. Shore uses a Wagnerian method of cre ating thematic melodies called leitmotifs for characters, locations, and events that can be repeated throughout the film to trigger specific emotional responses in the audience. At minute 0: 18:54, the Moria theme begins. O ne pri ncipal component of the theme is the use of a male choir. Although initially singing indistinguishable vocal tones, the use of Khuzdul does appear after Gandalf identifies the Balrog as the approaching foe. When it becomes clear that the Fellowship faces a new threat beyond that of the Moria orcs, the music reflects this increased threat through the singing in Khuzdul. The harsh guttural vocabulary is mimicked in the instrumental use of loud, booming percussive beats, blaring brass, and the underlying reso nating string instruments. C reating an individualized theme for Moria aids the visual medium in ch aracterizing Moria as a location, with an identity greater and separate from the Fellowship This moment shows how the music and the visuals craft a particu lar version of Moria and its notion of place separately from the Fellowship's actions. The location dominates how the Fellowship experiences the mines, not vice versa. T he use of the
26 dwarven language and the all male choir evokes the tone of Tolkien's text while t he soundtrack suggests what travelling throu gh Moria with the Fellowship might have felt like had the audience been a part of the quest This brings to life the audience's perception of Moria through multiple sensory mediums while constructing the location's identity and notion of place for the audience Even with all this attention to detail in crafting the finely tuned aura of Moria, the location is portrayed without providing much previous cultural knowledge of the dwarves or of Khazad dm. The film constructs an ominous tone surrounding the de cision to travel through Moria. It consciously chooses visually to present Moria in its curren t condition, as a disintegrated mine, without showing flashbacks to the glory of its past There is a single mo ment in the extended edition of the film that explain s the legend of Khazad dm through the discovery of mithril. At minute 0: 19:50, Gandalf points out the mithril in the mine walls. He says to the Fellowship behind him, "The wealth of Moria was not in gol d or jewels but mithril 33 The camera then travels above the Fellowship looking down, as Gandalf's staff illuminates the various dangling pieces of mining equipment and the impressively deep mine shaft below them. The faces of the Fellowship are full of wonder and awe. This is one of the few moments where the past in the form of the cultural magnificence of Khazad dm eclipses the curre nt gloom of contemporary Moria. But the camera does not use a flashback to show the visual nature of the once great Mines of Moria. Instead, the legend behind Khazad dm is diminished to nothing more than a few sentences said by Gandalf. Thus, the current identity of Moria is the dominant notion of place.
27 Fewer competing notions of place exist in the filmic version of Moria, with the movie relying mainly on the Fellows hip's passage through the mines instead of Khazad dm or the Balrog. However, in the novel, these references occur early and frequently enough to build anticipation around the Bal rog and Moria. Such few moments give Moria, although a throughway, a cultural significance that the film centers on enough to make it a place that the Fellowship travels "to," not just "through." The film demonstrates its emphasis on location development r ather than character through the various elements discussed, from the visual to the auditory identity markers. The notions of place for Moria in the films construct the location's identity because unlike the text, the movie uses location to develop charact er rather than vice versa. The film is conscious of its presentation of Middle earth, especially the locations, as Peter Jackson makes clear in the director's commentary. Because of the pressure of the fans of the novel, the filmmakers were exceedingly c onscious of audience perception. T he tone of Moria from both a visual and auditory standpoint is crafted with Tolkien's imagery in mind. The movie gives the locatio n an identity and associates it with the grandeur that the text describes, without the same level of detail and background through mythology The same ideas involving place and space used with regard to the landscape will be used in the analysis of the monstrous occupant of the mines: the Balrog. "This is a foe beyond any of you : 34 A Balrog of Morgoth Tolkien's text is dependent on its quality of deep narrative and an even deeper mythology. The role of the Balrog can only exist through this development of character, as the doom it caused in the past is what builds the terror leading up to its a ppearance.
28 Gandalf's subtle remarks about older and more dangerous monsters lurking in the dark would not be as effective foreshadowing if the power and danger of the Balrog had not been alluded to previously in the narrative. The liminal and elemental qua lities of the Balrog reflect its symbolic purpose in Tolkien's story as the personified manife station of Moria as it existed after the coming of the Balrog: dark and dangerous. T he Fellowship encounters this creature of the olden days just as they have al most passed through the mines without incident. The Balrog of Morgoth 35 is a monster of shadow and flame that could easily destroy the company if not for Gandalf's sacrifice. Like much of what comprises Tolkien's Middle earth, Balrogs are not something that can be found in the reader's reality Fortunately for this analysis, Tolkien describ es not just the unnatural look of the Balrog but the fear it evokes as well, constructing a well developed monster. T he LOTR text says that a Balrog is a creature of shado w and darkness: What it was could not be seen: it was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man shape maybe, yet greater; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and to go before it Its streaming mane kindled, and blazed behind it. In its right hand was a blade like a stabbing tongue of fire; in its left it held a whip of many thongs. 36 The Balrog is a demonic figure, human in stature which exudes both power and fear. Long before the threat of the Balrog becomes apparent, Ganda lf warns the company "there are older and fouler things than Orcs i n the deep places of the world. 37 The Balrog is awakened by the Fellowship's trespassing through these deep places. The awakening of the fearsome Balrog rightfully terrifies the Fellowshi p. Its monstrosity stems from two things: its supernatural capabilities and its evil tendencies. It is a creature comprised of the elements: shadow and flame. T he Balrog offers an
29 excellent example of the people in the medieval era's fear of the combination of two elements. Th e fire and shadow that comprise the Balrog make it supernatural. It also reflects the qualities of Moria itself : darkness and fire The Balrog echoes the sense of terror of being trapped in the mines, while t he f ire can be related back to the dwarves' mining efforts in Khazad dm before the Balrog was first awoken. The dwarves, for mining and forging purposes, would have harnessed fire. The Balrog also utilizes the power of the flame but in a way that cannot be co ntrolled or bent by the dwarves' will. This exercise of free will is important within the moral spectrum. T he Balrog's actions against th e Fellowship's mission can be seen as existing on the evil side of such a spectrum. The Balrog causes destruction for the sake of violence but also to protect its space against intruders It is also of importance that the Balrog is not an agent of Sauron and has not been summoned t o stop the party from succeeding. The Balrog and Sauron's malevolence is a product of sweari ng allegiance to Morgoth the Dark Ene my The Balrog that the Fellowship encounter s is not subservient to Sauron instead acting on its own monstrous impulses, though it is also drawn to the power of the Ring that Frodo carries. The Balrog's impulses show how it is the physical manifestation of Moria. Because Moria i s a transitory space, the location is not aggressive and cannot attack It does have pockets of hot air, labyrinthine mazes, and deep ravines, but these are immobile dangers. The introduction o f the Balrog changes this however. The Balrog has the unique ability to unite the passive aspects of the landscape (the hot air pockets, maze of tunnels, crags and abysses) with the creatures that aggressively attack the Fellowship. The combination of the elements and monster combines the natural and the supernatural.
30 For example, the fire and smoke of the Balrog mimics the hot air coming up from cracks in the mountain and the darkness of the mines: The air grew hot and stifling, but it was not foulThere were not only many roads to choose from, there were also in many places holes and pitfalls, and dark wells beside the path in which their passing feet echoed. There were fissures and chasms in the walls and floor, and every now and then a crack would open right before their feet. 38 The Balrog's arrival is signaled by the orcs chanting "ghsh," an orc word for fire. The growing sensation of heat is a harbinger of the Balrog's arrival. The fire demon leads the orcs in attacking the Fellowship when the company is crossing the Bridge of Khazad dm. By personifying the violent characteristics of the landscape, the Balrog's malevolent nature can be combined into a single entity that has control over the elements and evil creatures. The Balrog gives Moria agency. The qualities of the Balrog are similar to a common mythological beast: the dragon. One of the earlier Anglo Saxon mentions of such a creature comes from the Beowulf text. Beowulf has not been definitely dated but scholars agree that it was written sometime between the eighth and tenth centuries. Tolkien studied the epic and in 1936 he gave his famous lectur e "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics," 39 attacking opponents who underplay ed the fantastic and literar y value of the heroic epic. Tolkien's views on Beowulf and reverence for the text make it a good complementary piece to Tolkien's own LOTR, with the relation between the monstrous beasts, as their interaction with the landscape is particularly similar. Th e epic poem Beowulf recalls the glory of the protagonist, the Geat hero Beowulf, as he solves the Dane's problem of Grendel, a son of Cain and constant assailant of the hall of Heorot. Beowulf eliminates Grendel and then his mother, who
31 becomes a secondary problem after Grendel's demise. Beowulf returns to his home country where he reigns as king. His final battle is against a dragon that attacks his hall after a servant attempts to steal a cup from the dragon's hoard. Beowulf attacks the dragon in its lair and slays the monster, but he is fatally wounded in the process. The story ends after Beowulf is laid to rest with the newfound treasure in a burial mound. The morality of the creature is one of the key similarities between the functions of the dragon of Beowulf and the Balrog. Dragons are dire threats because they are not brute killing machines. They most often have an un rooted sense of moral agency. The Beowulf dragon craves gold often at the expense of men. The gold is not necessary for it to survive but drives its profound sense of greed. The dragon may kill men who encroach upon its home, as the Balrog does to the Fellowship, but its main purpose is to pillage and steal, not cause collateral damage Therefore, the dragon has a sense of morality and moti vation outside of pure survival just as the Balrog does. Another similarity between the Balrog and the Beowulf dragon is the connection to its corresponding landscape. Beowulf has to travel to the dragon, engaging with the monster on its home location The dragon occupies this space and gives it a notion of place, and the people in society recognize that location is associated with the dragon, which is why Beowulf knows where to go to attack the dragon directly. This type of definition works for Beowul f as well. Beowulf's "place" is his hall because the hall is the symbolic representation of his domain. The attack from the dragon on the hall is an affront to Beowulf as the leader because, as was demonstrated in the Grendel section of the story, a bad le ader is one that cannot protect his hall and thus his society.
32 Beowulf 's dragon occupies an underground space that only houses the dragon and its hoard Like the Balrog, the dragon usurped the location, assumed the treasure hoard as its own, and eliminate d the previous inhabitants' notion of place. Through its occupation of the location, the dragon has given the place a new cultural importance This happens again after the fatal battle between the dragon and Beowulf. After he dies, Beowulf is buried with the gold. The place is given a new connotation when that happens: Beowulf's burial mound. But this is the outcome because of the dragon's presence th ere initially, as the motivation behind Beowulf encountering the gold hoard initially is because of the dra gon inhabiting it. Therefore, there are two notions of place: the dragon's lair and Beowulf's burial mound. At the end of the epic, Beowulf's burial mound usurps the dragon's lair in importance because the epic is an elegy for Beowulf's life. The most imp ortant connection that can be made between the Balrog and the dragon are their shared tendencies to attack societies. The Balrog is the single handed cause of the destruction of Khazad dm. Its awakening signaled the end of the dwarven civilization. The dr agon acts in this fashion as well. After being awakened and enraged at the disappearance of one of its gold cups, the dragon goes forth and wreaks havoc on the countryside: The dragon began to belch out flames and burn bright homesteads; there was a hot gl ow that scarred everyone, for the vile sky winger would leave nothing alive in his wake. Everywhere the havoc he wrought was in evidence Then Beowulf was given bad news, the hard truth; his own home, the best of buildings, had been burned to a cinder, the throne room of the Geats. It threw the hero into deep anguish and darkened his mood 40
33 Beowulf's reaction to the dragon's destruction is not just that of a worried ruler, but of a personally affronted victim. The phrasing "the best of buildings" calls at tention to the importance of the hall as the symbol of Beowulf's rule. The dragon's fire breathing abilities demonstrate its power, similarly to the Balrog's attacks on the Fellowship. Beowulf's reaction is anger, which drives his desire to face the dragon directly in battle, to conquer it once and for all. Doing so would conquer the dragon's "place" just as the dragon decimated Beowulf's "place." The Balrog and the landscape may come alive on the page, but the film adaptation has its challenges in creati ng Moria and the Balrog in a way that echoes Tolkien's description. Given what I presented as Jackson's filmic representation of the locatio n of Moria, many of the visual and auditory markers hold true for the Balrog. However, the Balrog is presented as a n aggressive opponent to the Fellowship in a way that Moria is not. I will now describe how the filmmakers constructed the Balrog, and how the audience is pushed into perceiving the creature as an enemy destined for destruction The most noticeable visual aspect is the limited perspective of the Balrog. W hen the Balrog first app ears on screen in corporal form at minute mark 0:39:52, until its demise at minute mark 0: 41:30, the perspective given to the audience is never from the point of view of the Balrog itself. The confrontation between Gandalf and the Balrog consists of separate shots of each entity's face, and w ide shots from behind Gandalf that fill the frame with the monster's giga ntic presence. A lthough there are shots of the Balrog that could be fro m the Gandalf's perspective, there are n one that could be from the Balrog's perspective. The close ups of the Balrog's face are from an angle slightly below its height, creating the dual effect of emphasizing the Balrog's size and intimidating
34 demeanor, bu t also giving the i llusion that from such an angle they could be from the wizard's view. Even the wide shots of Gandalf, miniscule in front of the f lame skinned monster, appear from the Fellowship's standpoint as they stand across the bridge V isual agen cy is not given to the Balrog no over the shoulder shots looking down on Gandalf in addition to its lack of voice. Considering the amount of screen time for the monster is less than two minutes total, it is simple to treat the creatur e as an obstacle The film explains little in terms of the motivations of the Balrog. Whether the monster's awakening is due to Pippin's clumsiness or the battle with the cave troll or an other stimulus entirely is not disclosed Jackson's film take s all of these stimuli into co nsideration without giving a clear answer These camera angles, lack of voice, and unclear motivations fashion the Balrog as a creature the audience cannot have empathy towards. In her essay, "It's Alive!: T olkien's Monster on the Screen," Sharin Schroede r focuses on Jackson's adaptation of the creatures from the page to the screen, particularly on whether the monsters can be Frankensteinian or are purely expendable: Have we created a creature we accept? Should we kill our creation as soon as we meet it? Like Shelley's original monster, Jackson's monsters present themselves to the viewer and then must suffer our judgment. Are they like us, or not like us? Do we, as Jackson did create monsters with the set purpose of destroying them? When we watch Jackso n's film, do we see and hear it from the monster's point of vi ew, or do we see only our own? 41 The term "Frankensteinian" refers to a monster that the reader can both pity and reject, stemming from Mary Shelley's story, Frankenstein !" Shroeder brings atten tion to the importance of the monster's perspective in creating a creature that exists for more than destruction. The cave troll that appears in the Balin's Tomb fight sequence is introduced as a plot device to introduce Frodo's mithril shirt. The cave tro ll attempts to kill Frodo,
35 and then is finally shot to death by several of Legolas's arrows. For the Balrog, t he camera never shows the aud ience its perspective. When Gandalf defeats the Balrog, the audience feels no sense of pity. Sympathy arises for Gand alf when moments later the Balrog's whip drags Gandalf down into the abyss as well, inciting one of the most dramatic moments of loss in the trilogy However, no tears are shed for the Balrog. The visual and auditory characterization of Moria gives the l ocation a more developed identity than the Balrog. Moria has a claustrophobic haunting aura to it when the Fellowship first enters that transforms into awe and veneration. Jackson presents Moria in context of the Fellowship o nly, focusing on constructing a dangerous geography with a quietly chilling aura. In comparison, the Balrog is rather one dimensional. The monster represents the danger and liminality of Moria. Because of the limited characterization, I would argue that the Balrog in the films is less of a personified version of the landscape and instead acts as an extension of it. There is not enough characterization or visual use of the Balrog for it to define Moria The audience never sees Khazad dm in all its glory so it cannot exist as a notion of place. Gandalf may allude to it, but the past exists only in the form of words, not the visual. Contrastingly, in the book, all the notions of place are formulated through words, so they can be equally considered. Moria is portrayed as both a location an d a character, with an individualized tone that separates it from the other locations in the films. The Balrog is a visually impressive digital creation, with its flaming whip and smoke pouring forth at its arrival. The monster may lack the depth that it h as in the literary text, but in presenting it more flatly as an adversary, the film raises the drama and suspense. Its appearance is surprising to an
36 audience that would not anticipate its inclusion. The general adaptation dilemma of deconstructing an epic novel and reconstructing from it a plausible, theatrical filmic version unfortunately necessitates that some aspects of the text must be downsized. However, as Peter Jackson said in the Director's Commentary, focusing on the tone of the landscape allowed for a freer interpretation of the events and the characters. Many of these ideas will carry over into my next chapter, a discussion of the elf society in Lothlrien, and how the text develops the Elves as a way of manifesting the location.
37 Chapter Two: L othlrien As the Fellowship flees the shadow of the Misty Mountains, abandoning the Mines of Moria behind them, the group cautiously enters a dense forest of trees with silver boughs and golden leaves. The surreal power of the Elves surrounds the Fellow ship as they venture further into the tree growth. Boromir wonders aloud about the power hidden in the woods and those who dwell there, having heard many tales as a child about travellers who rarely leave the woods unscathed. When the company prepares to s leep in the trees for the night, an elf scout, Haldir, surprises them by saying they breathe so loud that they could be shot at in the dark. The elf scouts echo the supernatural essence of the forest; and things only become more mysterious the deeper the F ellowship journeys into the woods. The Fellowship is brought to the city of Laurelindrenan or Lothlrien, and meets the mystical Elves that inhabit it The societal nature of the Elves' effect on Lothlrien dates back to one of the earliest ages of Middle earth. The Elves have occupied the landscape for a long time, resulting in an interesting, symbiotic relationship between the inhabitants and their space Galadriel, the Lady of the Wood, has supernatural abilities that affect both the Lothlrien fo rest and the Fellowship as their quest takes them through her domain. This connection between her and the Fellowship crafts the different notions of place that exist for Lothlrien. These notions of place are of particular importance when discussing the tr ansitional nature of the Elves' position in Middle earth. Their emigration to the Undying Lands across the sea leads to a loss of "place" for Lothlrien. When the last of the Elves finally leave Middle earth, Lothlrien
38 will descend into nothing more than another part of the Romance space. The Elves are important to the entirety of Middle earth. With the Elves' inevitable departure to the Undying Lands, Middle earth shifts from liminality to the stability of the Age of Men. "Not idly do the leaves of Lrie n fall" 42 : The Landscape of Lrien In order to understand the magic of Lothlrien, one must understand the extraordinary power of its leaders, Celeborn and Galadriel. Galadriel is one of the Elves who traveled from Valinor, in the Undying Lands. Her knowl edge of the supernatural realm comes from the Valar, in addition to thousands of years of experience from living in Middle earth. At the time the Fellowship passes through the forest, she is the oldest and highest noble of the elf lords still remaining in Middle earth. The power that she exudes affects the forest with its ethereal, timeless quality. This is consistent with The Silmarillion as the messengers of the Valar told the early Nmenoreans that, "For it is not the land of Manw that makes its people deathless, but the Deathless that dwell therein have hallowed the land; and there you would but wither and grow weary the sooner, as moths in a light too strong and steadfast." 43 Manw, the lord of the Valar, rules the city of Valinor, just as Galadr iel is the Lady of the Wood. The Silmarillion is stating that the Undying Lands as a location are not the direct cause of immortality, but that the supernatural abilities of Manw and the other Valar are so powerful that the land reflects their supernatura l stature. The landscape is acting as an extension of the characters that occupy it. Galadriel's placement in Lothlrien is the equivalent of the Valar being in the Undying Lands. In both cases, extremely powerful beings are exerting their influence on
39 t he space they occupy, giving it a corresponding notion of place. That notion shapes the landscape to reflect their character. Thus, if the case of the Undying Lands is a direct example of the influence the inhabitant has upon the space, then this also hold s true in the context of Galadriel and Lothlrien. I t is the Elves n ot the landscape itself that gives Lothlrien its supernatural tinge. The main notion of place for Lothlrien is based upon the Elves. Elvish society dominates the cultural markers of th e location. Even when the Fellowship begins travelling through the forest, the group notes the ways that the Elves interact with their environment. Sam tries to put it in to words by connecting the Elves in Lothlrien to the hobbits and the Shire: Now thes e folk aren't wanderers or homeless, and seem a bit nearer to the likes of us: they seem to belong here, more even than Hobbits do in the Shire. Whether they've made the land, or the land's made them, it's hard to say, if you take my meaning. 44 Sam is ques tioning the same issue that was posed in The Silmarillion. He cannot tell if the land is affecting the Elves or if the Elves are affecting the land. Both the landscape and the characters benefit from the close relationship. The loss of one half of the relationship has a deep effect on the other half, as can be seen with the loss of the Elves to the Undying Lands. The notion of place with regard to the Elves is the most important. However, during the events of LOTR, the landscape is transitioning from place" to "space." W ithout the Elves Lothlrien will join the natural w orld as only remnants of previous habitation. When Celeborn and Galadriel depart for the Undying Lands at the end of the story, t he y take the history and culture of Lothlrien with the m. Additionally, Lothlrien will cease to have any of the same supernatural qualities due to the presence of the Elves.
40 Without them, the forest will fall into "space," joining the rest of the unmarked Middle earth landscape. The landscape will exist as Ro mance space does within the quest structure. This is the final phase in eliminating the liminality of the "place" to "space" transition. Lothlrien's society exists as a small section of forest hidden from malignant forces. This is due to the power of Gal adriel's ring, Nenya, the Ring of Adamant. Her ring provides magical protection and preservation for Lothlrien. Lothlrien is paradisiac in its appearance and aura to outside travelers. Simple things like colors and shapes seem otherworldly: Frodo stood awhile still lost in wonder. It seemed to him that he had stepped through a high window that looked on a vanished world. A light was upon it for which his language had no name. All that he saw was shapely, but the shapes seemed at once clear cut, as if the y had been first conceived and drawn at the uncovering of his eyes, and ancient as if they had endured for ever. He saw no colour but those he knew, gold and white and blue and green, but they were fresh and poignant, as if he had at that moment first perc eived them and made for them names new and wonderful. In winter here no heart could mourn for summer or for spring. 45 Because of the power of the ring and the leaders of the woodland realm, Lothlrien has the atmosphere of the old world, when the Maiar and Valar were more prominent. Nenya keeps this magic alive in the Elves, who affect the ethereal nature of the landscape. The tight relationship between Nenya, Galadriel, and Lothlrien makes it nearly impossible to determine who are the benefactors and re cipients of the benefits of their relationship. Nenya effectively only exists with Galadriel, its keeper. No indication is given to the reader of how much of Galadriel's supernatural power is hers alone or are amplified by the ring's abilities. Both the ri ng and Galadriel impact the landscape, as the environment is a direct representation of its inhabitants. But as Galadriel always bears her
41 ring, it cannot be known what effects of the landscape are due to the elf queen or the ring specifically. This can be seen most effectively in how Galadriel and Nenya protect Lothlrien from the eye of Sauron, keeping the Elves and the ring safe. As Frodo gazes down from the hill of Cerin Amroth to the forest below, he thinks that, "No blemish or sickness or deformity could be seen in anything that grew upon the earth. On the land of Lrien there was no stain." 46 Despite the evil crawling forth from Mordor every day, the woods of Lrien have not yet been impacted. While the Fellowship stays within the lands of Galadriel and Celeborn, they have no reason to fear the agents of evil, as the landscape cannot be attacked because it is too powerfully concealed. This again is due mainly to the power of the ring, Nenya, but not less importantly to Galadriel and the power of the w oodland realm, because of these two entities and their effects on the landscape. Therefore, the land, its leader, and Nenya are dependent upon one another in creating the notion of place for Lothlrien that the reader experiences. Lothlorien's notions of place come from the Elves that live there but also the Fellowship's interactions within the landscape. Galadriel and Celeborn take charge of most of their interactions in the woods. However, another less obvious way of defining "place" that comes from medi eval tradition is called "the custom of the castle." As I will show shortly, the Fellowship's interactions with Galadriel and Celeborn, particularly with regard to the Lady's telepathic communication, can be seen as a type of "custom of the castle" in that the "ritual" defines the Lothlrien landscape for the reader. The concept of the custom of the castle refers to a specific act that is particular to that castle or place. It could be something as simple as the removal of the left shoe before
42 the right or a ritual that poses more ethical problems. In his book, Custom of the Castle: From Malory to Macbeth Charles Ross explains that it is these moments of moral quandary that shed negative light on the custom : In purely rational terms, the danger posed by s uch a notion of custom is that, in providing a virtually automatic justification for behavior, it seems to take away all other grounds on which an action might be judged right or wrong: from parric ide to torture to ritual murder. 47 Ross states that the cus tom of the castle is a way of discussing the kind of anxiety that surrounds ethical behaviors, and whether those ethics exist with regard to absolute or relative standards. Additionally, the various customs define what is considered correct behavior with in that particular "place." As such, it is not a cultural tradition without purpose. What make a notion of place unique are the qualities that separate it from other locations. The custom allows for the maintenance of the landscape's notion of place by imp osing its own cultural expectations on visitors. This is a method of preventing cultural contamination. Most notably, this is seen in the custom of Lord Bertilak's castle in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (SGGK) The castle and its corresponding custom ar e important because the custom acts as the first social behavior/notion of place to induct the wandering stranger. This shifts Sir Gawain into "place" from the wilderness "space." Accepting the custom and participating in it defines the castle as a civil s pace precisely because it has this civil custom. In the SGGK text, the custom of Bertilak's castle is a game with specific rules After Gawain travels through the wilderness, defeating animals and surviving cruel weather conditions, he arrives at Bertilak's castle and i s welcomed by the Lord and Lady. When he dines at their table, Bertilak proposes a game of sorts with Sir Gawain:
43 et firre,' quo e freke, a forwarde we make: Quat so euer I wynne in e wod hit wor e to youre And quat chek so e acheue change me erforne. Swete, swap we so, sware with traw e, Que er, leude, so lymp lere o er better.' Bi God,' quo Gawayne e gode, I grant ertylle, And at yow lyst for to layke, lef hit me ynkes.' Who brynge vus is beuerage, is bargayne is maked': So sayde e lorde of at lede; pay la ed vchone, # ay drunken and daylyeden and dalten vnty tel 48 The custom of the castle is a wager game that relies on the swapping of goods that both the host and guest acquire throughout the day. As the read er discovers, the goods that a re swapped are quite different Whereas Lord Bertilak spends the day hunting in the forest and returns home with fresh game, Sir Gawain passes his time with Lord Berti lak's l ady, who coaxes him with persuasive arguments and wi tty language into giving her a kiss. A t the dinner table that evening, Bertilak trades his hunting spoils for the kiss given to Gawain. This happens again on the second day. O n the third day, Gawain is giv en a magical girdle by the lady that prevents its w earer from dying when wounded. But he does not give the girdle to Bertilak that night because he is too enamored with the garment. He is fearful of his future encounter with the Green Knight and a magical garment that can guarantee his safety is too precio us a commodity to give up. This failure to fulfill the custom of the castle a dversely impacts Gawain when he travels on ward to meet the Green Knight. The ethical issue with this custom is that it leads to the ethical acceptance of Gawain spending time in his bed with t he lady of the court and accepting her kisses. Gawain is rewarded for this behavior a s long as he follows the rules and trades the kisses that he was given from the Lady to Bertilak for the hunting prizes. When Gawain is puzzled by the l ord' s enjoyment of the trade on the first day, espe cially after Gawain
44 kisses the l ord with the same emotion as the l ady gave to Gawain, Lord Bertilak says, at wat not forward,' quo # he, frayst me no more For e haf tan # at yow tyde trawe e o # er e mowe ." 49 Thus, the ethical implications of Gawain having physical relations with another man's w ife are unimportant, as long as the rules of the custom of the castle are fo llowed. As Charles Ross explain s, this c an prove problematic when considering the knight 's code of honor and the terms of the quest, which require the vagrant knight to comply by these customs: For the crucial point, posed now in terms of quest and combat and chivalric honor, will always be that moral duty presents itself as a problem of adeq uate knowledge, of adjudicating among the competing and very often bewildering claims of nature and reason and custom. This is the context in which the "custom of the castle," the rituals and traditions of the community of strangers into which the knight e rrant is received at one or another stage of his chivalric quest, comes to operate as an archetype of the problem of moral uncertainty 50 The situation with Gawain trying verbally to navigate his way out of not denying the lady of the castle anything whil e also remaining loyal to the lord of the house may be difficult for the knight, but as Lord Bertilak has shown, what is most important in this society is the adherence to the rules of the game and following the custom. Gawain is the paradigm of courtesy because he does follow the custom of the castle, even when it clashes with his own ethical views. The narrator demonstrates how by adhering to the custom, Gawain is able to successfully navigate this foreign place, Lord Bertilak's castle. My analysis of the custom of the castle is not concerned with the literal details of the custom but its function within the location; I will use the comparable example found in the LOTR text, of the telepathic conversations that Galadr iel has with each member of the Fellowship during their first audience with the Lord and Lady of the Wood in Caras Galadhon. This section meets the same criteria as Bertilak's game in SGGK : defines
45 place, allows the place to maintain its notion of culture, permits the outsider to navigate the foreign place, acts as an induction into place from the wilderness space, and classifies Lothlrien as civil because it has a "custom." After the Fellowship meets with the leaders of the forest, Celeborn and Galadriel dismiss the party in order to rest. However, Galadriel has her own private telepathic interaction with each before they depart: And with that word she held them with her eyes, and in silence looked searchingly at each of them in turn. None save Legolas an d Aragorn could long endure her glance. Sam quickly blushed and hung his head. At length the Lady Galadriel released them from her eyes, and she smiled Then they sighed and felt suddenly weary, as those who have been questioned long and deeply, though no words had been spoken. 51 When Galadriel uses her telepathic powers on each member of the Fellowship, she is affecting their experience in the location. Functionally, Galadriel's telepathic conversations keep Lothlrien's notion of place as this moment fun ctions like a custom of the castle does. The great hall where this discussion is held thus now has this definition of place as well for the Fellowship. When the Fellowship talks after these conversations each is left with the same impression of their te lepathic conversation with the Lady: All of them, it seemed, had fared alike: each had felt that he was offered a choice between a shadow full of fear that lay ahead, and something that he greatly desired. Clear before his mind it lay, and to get it he ha d only to turn aside from the road and leave the Quest and the war against Sauron to others. 52 The telepathic conversations with Galadriel have led the Fellowship to the same general question: to move forward and continue the quest, or turn away and leave the heroism to someone else? This question leads each to consider the role each has in the quest while also demonstrating how Galadriel has created a "custom" that marks a civilized space.
46 The custom fosters the cultural connotation of the Elves having su pernatural abilities. No one in the Fellowship questions how he was able to have the one on one conversations with Galadriel without speaking. It is accepted as a "custom" of the place, thus defining it as such. The custom of the castle and the notions o f place created by the Elves and the Fellowship are present in the film adaptations as well. However, because their construction is done through the visual medium instead of by textual means, the cultural depth of the notions of place are shallower than th ose in the book. What manifests instead is an interpretation of Tolkien's Lothlrien and his Elves, saturated with the essence of the text. The construction of the landscape creates a stronger notion of place that shapes how the Elves are perceived by the Fellowship. The natural elements of the environment are the main focus in the portrayal of Lothlrien and in crafting the location's identity. The film shows the Fellowship's journey into and through the forest of Lrien, developing the supernatural and the mysterious ambiance. Although Aragorn and Legolas are unworried about travelling through the dense and magical woods, Gimli is quick to inform the hobbits of why they should be on their guard. Travelling in between the giant trunks of the mallorn trees specific to Lrien, Gimli ushers the hobbits after him, saying that, "They say that a great sorceress lives in these woods: an elf witch of terrible power. All who look upon her fall under her spell and are never seen again." 53 Gimli's story creates an ee rie mood surrounding the Fellowship's entrance to the new location. This is only elevated when Galadriel begins to telepathically communicate with Frodo.
47 The mystifying ambiance of Lrien from the music builds on the mysterious tone that Gimli creates wi th his story. The music of Lothlrien is a stark contrast to the sounds of Khazad dm, as Howard Shore did an excellent job composing contrasting leitmotifs for each location. As the Fellowship runs into the woods, the atmosphere is permeated with the soun ds of low string instruments and the quiet voices of a female chorus. The wind chimes and female voices add a level of auditory depth to Galadriel's voiceover. These qualities better emphasize the aspects of Lrien that are juxtaposed with the dwarf landsc ape. The combination of Gimli's exposition with the music and Galadriel's telepathic entrance create a multi sensory ambiance for the entrance into the enchanted woods. The landscape is presented as otherworldly but remains recognizable as "the natural." For example, in the behind the scenes footage in the extended edition of the film, the set designers and concept artists discuss how the mallorn trees that the Fellowship witnesses were actually sixteen feet wide, forty feet tall set pieces built on sound stages. The construction of the trees was vital because something as giant could not be found in the natural New Zealand landscape. Although the construction is not noticeable in the final version of the movie, it is important to note the different techni ques required for the manifestation of the Lothlrien landscape. The "Paradise Forest" that was used for on location shooting was one, the sound stage models for the giant mallorn trees was a second method, and the CGI elvish structures act as the third el ement. These various methods for constructing the landscape build tension in the understanding of what is conceivably "natural" to the audience in a film, which in itself builds an imaginary, unnatural world.
48 The music and visual construction of Lothlrien succeeds in part because of the difference in color palette. Whereas the Mines of Moria consist of the greys and browns of the underground rock landscape, Lothlrien instead uses two cohesive color schemes. The forest consists of earthy greens a nd golden tones, beginning at 0:44:09, generating a very natural feeling. However, in the scenes that are shot at night and when the Elves are present, the film uses blue and silver overtones. In each case, there is a natural color and a supernatural highl ight. The golden tone in the forest suggests a timeless quality. The falling golden leaves imply that it is summer and autumn, permanently and simultaneously, in the forest of Lrien. In opposition, the blue and silver colors emphasize the ethereal qualiti es of the Elves. As the Fellowships climbs the lengthy stairs circling upwards to speak with Celeborn and Galadriel at 0:47:58, the light of the elvish architecture is lit with an unearthly silver glow. The silver has a coldness that mimics the demeanor of the Elves themselves. The natural and supernatural colors blend together in the film to subtly echo the qualities of the Elves themselves. As was discussed in my analysis of Moria, Jackson's films follow the structure of landscape creating character, instead of the method that the literature follows (character creating landscape). In the case of Lothlrien, a symbiotic relationship exists bet ween the landscape and the Elves. Lrien is sustained by the Elves, specifically Galadriel and her ring, and the Elves are depicted on screen only in the context of their locations. Therefore, they exist only in the context of the forest, just as the Balro g was only seen in the Moria space. The landscape and the Elves sustain each other. However, because the film does not provide an extensive background on Lothlrien and the Elves, the
49 landscape is the element that develops the race of Elves, but not to the same extent as the books. Without more historical context or time devoted to the emigration of the Elves, Lothlrien cannot be established as anything more than a one dimensional location. The attention to the presentation of the location as more than n atural is apparent in the final presentation of the film. However, it generates only one interpretation of the tone of Lothlrien. This tone is such that the landscape is constructed first and it then defines the Elves. Since the Elves are secondary to the "place" they are dependent on, they can only be as developed as the notion of place that Lothlrien develops as a location. "They say that you breathe so loud that t hey could shoot you in the dark 54 : The Elves as the Supernatural The Elves were the fir st race awakened in the land of Middle earth. They have the most knowledge and wisdom of the old world. Although few of the oldest Elves are alive during the Fellowship's journey, the Fellowship comes in contact with Elrond (lord of Rivendell), Celeborn, a nd Galadriel. As discussed previously, Galadriel is the oldest of elven kind to remain in Middle earth (before the three elven ringbearers depart for the Undying Lands). She is able to protect Lothlrien from the ever mounting threat of Sauron, but also be ars a ring of power that aids in her constant vigilance against the agents of evil. The factors that differentiate the Elves from the other races are those that constitute them as the supernatural. For example, the race of Elves cannot become ill and the y are immortal. However, Elves still can be fatally wounded. This explains the dwindling number of Elves in Middle earth, a shrinking number also impacted by the
50 exodus to the Undying Lands during the Fellowship's quest. Their extensive life span is on dis play at the council of Elrond in Rivendell, when Lord Elrond himself tells much of the tale of the Ring of Power directly from memory. When Frodo marvels at this, Elrond says that, "I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats, and man y fruitless victories." 55 What is ancient history to the members of the council is but a distant memory to the great elf lord. The superior physicality that the Elves have to the other races explains how the Elves interact with those outside of their race. Galadriel is one of the few elves that use her power and agency to aid the Fellowship on their quest. The gifts that she presents the Fellowship with prove useful, some in extraordinary ways. For example, the phial of Erendil's light that she bestows upon Frodo aids his escape from Shelob's cave in The Return of the King Her prophetic abilities and access to the secrets of the Mirror of Galadriel helped select the gifts for the members of the Fellowship. She chooses to use her supernatural abilities to help the destruction of the greatest agent of evil, Sauron. The Elves' style of living and method of helping the Fellowship is similar to the medieval tradition of the religious hermit. Although hermits were common in medieval literature, they were oft en not the main character. Instead, hermits play the role of the wise man, offering civility in the surrounding wilderness. Often, when a knight needs advice or healing most desperately, a hermit appears in the Romance space to assist the protagonist. This is the general trope of the hermit. The story "The Hermit and the Outlaw," a medieval English tale from the fifteenth century, focuses on two main characters who are brothers. One is an outlaw searching for penance and the other is a hermit that guides his brother in the way to
51 Heaven. The story is unique in its focus on the hermit brother. Despite its brevity, the short tale devotes a brief amount of time to explaining the role that the hermit plays. The description for the hermit is as follows: That ot hyr was a gode ermyte: Off grey clothyng was hys abyte And dwellyd by wylde wode schawe, And ede barfote and nout yschod; The heyr he weryd for loue of God Hys flesche to byte and gnawe. He wolde comen in no towne Wt man or womman for to rowne To bryngene hem into synne, As othyr ermytys done no we aday; They rekkene neuer what they say Ne howe that they bygynne World and whethyr ensampyl schewes How man and womman kepen wl dewes Off synne that wylle not blynne. 56 The hermit is presented as a figure removed from society through his reclusive lifestyle freeing him from the sin caused by human interaction and gossip. It is as though the only way to ensure sinning does not happen is to live on one's own. As such, the hermit's abode in the wilderness is a small island of society in the midst of the wilderness of the Romance space. Although the Elves do not live solitary lives, the Elves tend to have a reclusive nature as a race. Secluding themselves in the forest, away from the societies of Men, Dwarves, Hobbits, and the evil races, the Elves are displaced from the mortality of the other races. Although fifty years may be a long lifetime for men this is not the same for the Elves. The Elves are not focused on the materiality of wealth or the continuation of their race because of their extended life spans. As the authors of Ents, Elves, and Eriador
52 discuss, because of their immortality, the Elves are nature oriented and operate withi n a distinctive concept of time: For Tolkien, nature (when uncorrupted) is alive and manifests the goodness of Eru, or the One. It has deep, spiritual significance, reflective of Tolkien's own deeply spiritual nature. Legolas, the elves, and Lothlrien all seem to live in a constant contemplative awareness of nature, all time, an d space. 57 The Elves are most interested in the earth, and the plants and animals that occupy it. Dickerson and Evans explain that because of the Elves' immortality, the affairs of the other races see m insubstantial when compared to the infinite possibili ties of nature and time Therefo re, it is easier for the Elves to isolate themselves with their own race in the natural world The similarities between the Elves and the hermit are mainly related to the focus on isolation, as both characters act as an is land of society in a sea of incivility. In addition to this common attribute, both offer wisdom, rest, and healing to the protagonists they aid. Both are also not the main characters of the stories they are a part of, but have important supporting roles th at save the protagonist in moments of peril. This can also be found in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Bertilak's castle offers shelter and a place to hear mass for Sir Gawain, who has been fending off the elements while travelling in search of the Green Knight. Through interaction s with other courteous people, the promise of a safe place to sleep at night, and the c ivilizing factor that religion brings to the castle, Gawain is able to assimilate back into society, even though Lord Bertilak's castle is not the same as his King Arthur's. Caras Galadhon the heart of Lothlrien and the center of the civilization, matches this same function. The wilderness in the expanse of space between the mines and the forest expose the Fellowship to various dangers. T he most pressing fear is the Moria orcs
53 that would have pursued the Fellowship out of the mines if not for the daylight hindering th em. As nocturnal creatures, the orcs would have no trouble following the Fellowship over the expansive space when not faced wit h the blinding sun. Being protected by Haldir and his scouts saves the Fellowship that night, when high up in the flets Frodo awakens to the sound of the Moria orcs pas sing across the forest floor. R efuge in the city of Elves provides civility a mongst the danger of the forest and of the quest itself. The greatest difficulty in adapting the mystical nature of the Elves to the big screen was depicting the supernatural Galadriel while using human actors. It is simpler to read a passage in a book and imagine w hat the Elves would look like than having an actor portray their ethereal appearance. Peter Jackson says in the director's commentary of the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring "showing Elves on the film was always very difficult and Galadriel more so than most." 58 Because Tolkien describes the Elves as being so otherworldly, it was difficult to achieve this ethereal quality without digital effect interference. However, through strong acting performances, the "Elves" convey the same general aura that Tolkien writes about in the text. The primary elvish character within the Lothlrien space is Galadriel, as she most embodies the "place" of Lothlrien. Cate Blanchett's embodiment of Galadriel is first visible when she communicates telepathically w ith Frodo soon after the Fellowship enters Lothlrien. However, her voice is initially heard, without the audience knowing the identity of the vocalist as the voiceover during the exposition of the beginning of the film: "The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it." 59 Her voice carries over the black of the title sequence until at the end of those lines, the "The Lord of the Rings"
54 title graphic fa des in. This connects Galadriel's voice to the universal idea of a "Mother Earth" figure, the canonical female that is wise, beautiful, and giving. Peter Jackson gives Galadriel this role by having her voice act as the supreme and primary authority at the beginning of the film. Elves are the first race to populate Middle earth, and as one of the oldest left by the time of the Fellowship, Galadriel best represents the oldest and fairest of her kind. The voiceover has another significance as well. Through th e exposition of the entire history of the Ruling Ring in relation to Middle earth, as narrated by one of the most powerful Elves outside of the Undying Lands, Galadriel's voice is implied to have omnipotence over Middle Earth as a whole. Her telepathic com munication within the bounds of Lothlrien emphasizes her powerful role within her "place," but the introductory voiceover takes the Elves as the elite race and applies it to the whole of Middle earth. The main focus of the exposition of the voiceover intr oduction is to explain and introduce the world of Middle earth to those that are not familiar with it. Because her voice is not identified with her character until much later in the film, Galadriel's voiceover acts as a manifestation of the landscape, voca lizing Middle earth through the voice of an elf woman. Although her voice may permeate the darkness of the opening of the film, she is not identified until the Fellowship enters the forest of Lrien. She telepathically communicates with Frodo while Gimli shares the rumors of a sorceress in the forest. Not only is her method of communication of the supernatural variety, unsettling Frodo in the process, but the tone of her voice, the extreme close up on her eyes with the "Galadriel Eye Light," and the subjec t matter of her dialogue convey a sense of doom that is at odds
55 with the golden landscape. She accuses Frodo of bringing great evil to the forest, alluding to the Ring that he carries around his neck. Through this short cinematic moment, both her power and supernatural abilities are showcased for Frodo and the audience. Galadriel's power and mysticism is conveyed through a clever move by the filmmaking team. In the extreme close ups that are used frequently during the moment when the Fellowship meets Celeb orn and Galadriel, her eyes appear as filled with stars. This is due to an effect that tinkered with the eye light 60 used during these close ups. For the close up shots of Galadriel, instead of a single eye light, a string of Christmas tree lights was used. It mimics a collection of stars, imitating a bokeh effect. In the director's commentary of The Fellowship of the Ring Peter Jackson explains the origin of this light manipulation: We call it the Galadriel Light. It was a device that Andrew Lesnie, our D P designedbut every time we shot close ups with Cate, we didn't just have one light. We had like a Christmas tree, Christmas tree lights all in a big circle so there'd be stars reflecting in her eyes, [as] multiple light sources. 61 As she is the only act or given this treatment, it distinguishes her character. It may not be an effect that is noticeable to the casual observer, but once it is noticed, it is hard to ignore. This physicalizes Galadriel's supernatural qualities in comparison to the other Elves. As soon as they enter the forest, the Fellowship's actions are under the scrutiny and direction of the Elves, particularly Galadriel. Within the first few minutes of entering the forest, Galadriel enters the mind of Frodo to tell him that she is aware of the doom he brings in. Seconds afterwards, the group is surrounded by Haldir and his scouts. Every movement of the company through the forest space has been watched and now controlled by the Elves. When the Fellowship meets the Lord Celeborn and Lady Gala driel in Caras
56 Galadhon, they are both reassured and scolded by the elvish leaders. Galadriel's supernatural abilities play a large part in how she interacts with the Fellowship. A large proportion of the Fellowship's interactions with Galadriel occur not through the physical act of speaking but via her telepathic summons. When the Fellowship has an audience with Celeborn and Galadriel, this is explicitly evident. Blinding light from an upward angle highlights the elvish leaders' descent from an ambiguous blue tinged destination. This is a subtle technique to emphasize the power they hold. They also stand slightly above the Fellowship, two steps from the bottom of the staircase. The two elf leaders visually dominate the screen with their ethereal aura and m ajestic stature. However, the visual elements are secondary to the auditory control they hold over the Fellowship. Celeborn addresses the group as a collective. His tone is elevated and unemotional in the style of the Elves, but blame underlies his word s as he reveals that, "The enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone." 62 Although his face is passive, the information and tone of his words cause a pained look on Aragorn's face as the camera cuts to a close up. Celeborn d ominates the conversation, but also the experience that the Fellowship has upon entering Caras Galadhon. As much as Celeborn may control the conversation with the group as a whole, Galadriel manipulates the experiences of each individual member of the Fe llowship. Galadriel gazes intently at each person of the Fellowship, implying a telepathic communication. The audience, however, only hears the telepathic exchange between Galadriel and Frodo. As the company prepares for sleep, Boromir explains to Aragorn that, "I heard her voice inside my head. She spoke of my father and the fall of Gondor.
57 And she said to me even now there is hope left. But I cannot see it." 63 The mental exchange between Boromir and Galadriel demonstrates that she can greatly affect Boromi r's emotions. He cannot believe hope is left for Minas Tirith, though this hope is something he greatly desires. Since the film emphasizes Galadriel's hold on the Fellowship and Boromir's subsequent reaction, the function of the custom of the castle define s the place as a civil society and acts as a method of instructing outsiders how to maneuver in the foreign space. One of the more interesting exchanges in the movie between Frodo and Galadriel happens after Frodo looks into the Mirror of Galadriel. Thi s scene highlights the interactions between Frodo as the bearer of the One Ring and Galadriel as the keeper of Nenya, the Ring of Adamant. After Frodo witnesses a potential future with the burning of the Shire (a large section of the end of the text that w as completely ignored in the films), Galadriel threatens that this horror will come to pass if the Ring falls into the hands of Sauron. In response, Frodo offers Galadriel the One Ring, in recognition of her inspiring power and abilities to foresee the fut ure. She is one of the most powerful characters that the Fellowship has/will ever come in contact with, and within the realm of Frodo's rationale, it seems logical for someone of her stature to have the all important quest of bearing and destroying the Rul ing Ring. The camera employs mainly close ups during this exchange, particularly on Frodo's face as he offers her the Ring, but the most important are those on the Ring itself. It shimmers in the moonlight of Lothlrien while resting upon Frodo's outstretc hed palm, looking desirable while threatening. 64 When Galadriel explores the hypothetical situation of bearing the One Ring, her physical appearance alters drastically. Her elegant, elvish apparel takes on the destructive
58 quality of ripped and ruined clot h, and she has a corset of armor. The tears in the clothing and her long hair whip outward from her at the center of the camera shots. The result mimics undulations like waves in a storm. As Nenya is the Ring of Adamant and associated with the element of w ater, this visual characteristic is consistent with the mythology. The light of Galadriel is polarizing and starkly contrasted against the background while her voice is given the dualistic quality of a menacing, lower octave and her higher speaking voice In this brief moment, Frodo and the audience see what would happen if anyone other than him were to carry the One Ring. Galadriel visually embodies both her powers from Nenya and those that would be given to her by the Ring of Power. This is shown via th e intercutting between Frodo's frightened face in close up, the extreme close ups on the Ring still outstretched in Frodo's hand, and Galadriel herself, "not dark but beautiful and terrible as the dawn." 65 It is a clear example of the entwined relationship between Galadriel and Nenya, and Frodo and the One Ring. It also secures the fate of the Ring's destruction, and the subsequent diminishing of the Elves into the western Undying Lands. The Elves are depicted in the film as elite and having supernatural ab ilities because of the characteristics of their race that differentiates them from the dwarves, hobbits, and men. These manifest themselves physically in technical ways in the films, as in the case of Galadriel's eye light. However, their characterization as a race is dependent upon the development of the landscape as the main notion of place. In the next section, the transition from place to space will be examined in the text, as it is dependent upon the Elves and their wavering permanence in Lothlrien.
59 "For the time comes of the Dominion of Men, and the Elder Kindred shall fade or depart" 66 : Aragorn, the Age of Men, and the Passing of the Elves The time of the Elves is recognized as over when the Fourth Age, the Age of Men, begins at Aragorn's coronatio n as king of both Gondor and Arnor. However, the destruction of the Ruling Ring occurs a whole month earlier, meaning the power of the Elves has diminished through that time, as it will continue to exponentially. The transition from place to space due to t he loss of the Elves and their power offers an interesting juxtaposition to Aragorn's role as a ranger turned king and as the catalyst that changes a space into a place. Aragorn has a complicated relationship with the Elves since he was jointly raised in t he manner of both the Elves and the rangers This puts Aragorn culturally at a distance from the men of Gondor Both the elvish and ranger mentality are ingrained in Aragorn, but in order to assume his role as the King of Gondor and Arnor, he must put asid e his elvish identity. By representing the realm of men, he politically unites Gondor and Arnor together. He bonds a space filled with different people and makes it a place with a single cultural identity. Political barriers become less important since th e places occupied by men are given the associated notion of place Although this role as a political figurehead may seem particular to Aragorn as a character, the role King Arthur has with Camelot shows that in the medieval era, this role was of the u tmost importance. I n Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur the role of a single person being the icon of a place's culture and the subsequent loss of that person is defined by Arthur's relationship to Camelot Malory's text is an extensive compilation of Arthurian legend s first published in 1485. Towards the end, Arthur leaves Camelot to battle Lancelot because of his adulterous relationship with Guinevere. In his absence,
60 Arthur's illegitimate son Mordred commandeers C amelot Arthur returns to Camelot and in the Battle of Camlann kills the traitorous Mordred but is fatally wounded in the process. The d ying k ing bids farewell to his Round Table knights and is taken to the sea by hi s marshal, Sir Bedevere. There, a barge full of beautiful women, hooded and clad in black, come to take Arthur to the Vale of Avalon. Malory's text includes an addition to the story, describing the existence of an empty tomb built after his departure that has written on it "HIC IACET ARTHURUS REX QUONDAM REXQUE FUTURUS 67 transla ted as "Here lies Art hur, the once and future king." Malory's text continues even after the death of King Arthur, acting on the inconclusive n ature of Arthur's death itself. This continues the theme o f life after death and how one day Arthur may return as king. In the text, little description of Avalon is given. Arthur only states the name of the place a single time to Bedevere. It is not spoken of directly by the narrator or by the women on the barge. Arthur says to Bedevere, "For I muste into the vale o f Avylyon to hele me of my grievous wounde. And if thou here nevermore of me, pray for my soule!" 68 S upernatural foresight takes hold of Arthur for he knows his fate is to go to Avalon to heal and return one day as king. The king is taken by the wom en and passes out of sight over the sea. This particular tale of Arthur works well with the transience of place with regard to the Elves. T he Elves are what give the location of Lothlrien its identit y and arguably supernatural qualities. When they leave for th e Undying Lands, the forest of Lrien loses its cultural significance and transitions into space. Arthur too holds this power over Camelot. Camelot may refer to a specific location, but the ideas and mythology of "Camelot" as an identity are intrinsically connect ed to Arthur. With his loss Camelot
61 falls apart without a figure like Arthur to rule and uphold the identity of the "place." Lancelot and Guinevere have been lost as well, devoting themselves to obscurity and religious devotion in their guilt. The key characters in the Camelot saga have been killed or exited the narrative. W ithout Arthur to bind them together, Camelot loses its identity and m ake s its own decline from place to space. The comparison between Arthur and Aragorn extends further when l ikening the Vale of Avalon to the Undying Lands. Both function as the "other realm Both locations are across the sea in an unidentified location t hat cannot be reached by mortal men Even the hobbits that are chosen to set sail from the Grey Havens Bilb o and Frodo, have been affected by the supernatural qualities of the Ring, making them something more than just the average hobbit (or man) For Arthur, his character is legendary, his strength unmatchable, and his kingly reign unconquerable. Even his birt h, the source of differing legends, often has a central supernatural element to it. This sense of superiority as both a person and a ruler is what grants him passage to Avalon. The addition of the supernatural extends to the healing qualities of these ot herworldly locations Morgan le Fay promises to heal Arthur of his fatal wound, but only in Avalon. Therefore, only by going to Avalon can Arthur return to England and reclaim his right as king. T he Undying Lands offer a sense of salvation for Frodo as wel l. N ot only has the Ring taken a toll on Frodo's health but the lingering effects of the stab wound by the Witch King of Angmar's blade continue to plague him, even years after the incident. Every year to the day of the incident, Frodo experiences the sam e kind of horrible pain and symptoms as the original encounter:
62 Also in the autumn there appeared a shadow of old troubles. One evening Sam came into the study and found his master looking very strange. He was very pale and his eyes seemed to see things f ar away. What's the matter, Mr. Frodo?' said Sam. I am wounded,' he answered, wounded; it will never really heal.' 69 T he wound exists both in the material world and the shadow realm of the ring wraiths. That is w hy Frodo sees "things far away." While he remains in Middle earth where the wound was inflicted he is plagued by residual pain Only the promise of lands outside of Middle earth and the supernatural powers of the Valar and the Elves can alleviate his s ymptoms. T ime and injury can be undone in the Undying Lands because of their association with the Eldar, the group of high Elves in the Valar's favor Avalon's supernatural healing abilities are also based o n a kind of magic deriving from Morgan le Fay The healing promised to Arthur comes from M organ, insinuating that magic and sorcery will be used to keep him from dying. Despite the similarities, the one main difference between the two is that the Vale of Avalon offers the hope of return one day. Arthur will not die of his fatal wound and may sail back to England to reclaim the throne. However, for Lothlrien, the Elves will never return from the Undying Lands to repopulate their old home. The time of the Elves has ended and their emigration is permanent. Lothlrien will not shift fr om place to space back to place Just as Frodo knows he will never return to the Shire the Elves cannot return to Lothlrien This is an import ant distinction because the finality of the loss of the Elves and the places they inhabit does not occur with the "death" of Arthur. As was discussed previously, with the ruin of the One Ring comes the diminishment of the race of Elves. In the movies, this fact lacks the degree of articulation that the books have. The only strong example is of Arwen, who must give up her e lvish
63 immortality if she wishes to stay in Middle earth and wed Aragorn Being a daughter of Elrond allows her to live eternal ly but only if she follows Elrond to the Undying Lands. The necessary loss of elvish qualities and inevitably of the elvish spac e must occur in order to make room for the new occupying place of men. The physical loss of Arwen's supernatural qualities represents this. She displays the loss of the cultural markers of the Elves, represents the subsequent dominion of men and the tran sitions between space and place. Her loss of immortality shows the loss of liminality in Middle earth: one can either be an elf in the Undying Lands or become assimilated into the race of men. Although the film implies that the Elv es in Rivendell will lea ve Middle earth for the Undying Lands across the sea, the same level of discussion does not occur with the Elves of Lothlrien T he film insinuates that only the Elves of Rivendell are leaving for the Grey Havens. When the Fellowship visits Lothlrien the focus is on the Fellowship and how Galadriel and Celeborn are able to aid them on their quest, whether it is with physical gifts or knowledge. The briefest of mentions of the impermanence of Galadriel is mentioned, but not the loss of Lothlrien or her pe ople as a group. The f irst mention of their departure comes after Frodo tempts Galadriel by offering her the Ring : "I pass the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel." 70 This is a subtle reference to the Undying Lands, prophesizing the inevitability of all the Ringbearers' departure from Middle earth. She knows she can refuse the Ring and Sauron's will but cannot escape her fate to return to the Undying Lands. For the vie wer who has not read the literature beforehand, this is a remark that would certainly not be recognized as a reference to the Undying Lands because of its lack of context.
64 The second mention occurs when Galadriel is dispersing her gifts to the members of the Fellowship when she speaks with Aragorn. The moment is absent from the theatrical cut but is included in the extended edition. It is fairly extensive, with both characters conversing in elvish, but just as she says farewell to the future king, she has another moment of foresight: "Farewell. There is much you have yet to do. We shall not meet again, Elessar." 71 Galadriel is not only foretelling the various valorous deeds that Aragorn will accomplish in the future, but also that with her departure to the Undying Lands occurring soon after the fall of Sauron, they will not meet again. Her prediction is dependent upon her departure from the forest of Lrien. But nothing is said about the forest itself, or Lrien. The entire phenomenon of Lothlrien's transit ion from "place" to "space" is ignored, from both the standpoint of the landscape itself and the Elves as its occupying race. The Elves' departure for the Undying Lands is eerily similar to the situation involving Arthur's departure to the Vale of Avalon in the King Arthur legends. The Grey Havens are visually crafted for the last scene of the movie The Return of the King with Elrond, Celeborn, Galadriel, Gandalf, Bilbo, and finally Frodo departing for Valinor across the sea. Galadriel gives the broadest and most simple explanation for their departure: "The power of the three rings is ended. The time has come for the dominion of men." 72 As each person has either bore a ring of power or holds within themselves the dwindling power of the Elves, they must sai l from Middle earth forever. However, what is not made clear is that since the power of the elven rings is gone, the power of the Elves within Middle earth is fading away. Anything that is supernatural or liminal no longer has a place on that side of the o cean.
65 This scene serves another purpose. Just as Arthur can be saved from his fatal wound by being taken to the Vale of Avalon, the magic of the Elves in the land beyond the sea offers salvation for Frodo. He tells Samwise that, "We set out to save the Sh ire, Sam. And it has been saved. But not for me." 73 The Undying Lands promise the healing and happiness of Frodo, who despite destroying the Ruling Ring and surviving the journey back to see the coronation of Aragorn as king, returns to the Shire unable to fully recover from the effects of the Morgul blade wounds inflicted on Weathertop. The supernatural and celestial quality given to the Undying Lands is the only remedy to Frodo's cursed wound. This connection is not made through any dialogue said by the ch aracters on screen, but rather through the effort of the audience. Frodo says nothing about his wound in his explanation to Samwise. Neither the elf lords nor Gandalf discuss any of the particulars about the Undying Lands. The beginning of the Age of Men signals the end of liminality and thus, the supernatural. The ringbearers and the Elves are the representations of these qualities, which is why their passage into the west to the Undying Lands is the symbolic end of Middle earth's transition away from li minality. With Aragorn as king of Gondor, men are the most populous and powerful race remaining in Middle earth and are united under a single political figurehead. Evil has been defeated and the Age of Men can move forward without fear of being usurped by a new enemy. Aragorn functions as a partly supernatural (through his Nmenrean ancestry that contains elvish blood) version of King Arthur. The novel and the film both make this push towards the Age of Men, though the novel is focused on the transition as the end of the supernatural, whereas the film presents the dawn of a golden age when the landscape and its inhabitants can exist freely again. The
66 multiple notions of place in the book allows for this more complex transition whereas the landscape and its identity in the film are the most apparent in the perception of the audience.
67 Conclusion The Age of Men is an effective conclusion to the story, liminality, and my argument. The medieval texts bolster how these transitions work, while showing that the methods that Tolkien uses in his writing have existed since medieval times. The complex and s ymbiotic relationships between a landscape and its inhabitants prove too specific to each particular incident to make sweeping conclusions. Both the Balrog and the Elves create specific notions of place for their corresponding landscapes. Additionally, by the end of the story, both the Balrog and the Elves no longer exist in Middle earth. What Middle earth is left with is a loss of the supernatural and the keepers of the notion of place for their once liminal landscapes. I have also argued the central ide a that with the question of landscape and character development, the film cannot function in the same manner as the text with the characters developing the landscape. Because of the limited screen time of any average running length film, a film cannot conv ey the same verbal density that the text has, especially since The Lord of the Rings is not known for its brevity. Though Peter Jackson's films make a valiant effort in adapting Tolkien's story, pragmatism dictated cutting the plot points, myth, lore, and songs that make Tolkien's story come to life. As was discussed in the first chapter, the episode with the Balrog in the movie is perceived as a monstrous way of upping the ante with regard to the Fellowship's challenge of navigating through the mines. Very little background about Khazad dm and the dwarves is given, whereas that kind of detail is paramount in the book because it provides a sense of anticipation and suspense as the Fellowship travels underground. The Elves of Lrien
68 are simplified to the rol e of gift givers in the movies and the most important factor, their emigration away from Middle earth, is made only with connection to Arwen. It is only alluded to once by Galadriel after Frodo offers her the One Ring. As I was formulating my arguments, several important issues and questions did arise. With more time and research, my thesis could explore more of the understanding of primarily visual versus textual narrative. What can be gained from the film version of LOTR given its access to the visual m edium that the text does not have? Is there something to be said about the ability of the visual medium to easily prompt an emotional reaction? Or is that something to compare to the style of Tolkien's writing, which is more often said to be overly descrip tive than emotive? My thesis in its current state explores some of these ideas but not enough to make any definitive claims. Another problem that arose was whether or not to analyze another landscape and its inhabitant. Initially, I was going to include a chapter on the Ephel Dath mountain range and the giant, venomous spider Shelob who lives in the mountains. The Shire and Fangorn Forest would have also been interesting to look at in more depth. However, besides the concern of length, the other matter of how "place" and "space" work in that location also became problematic. Whereas in Moria and Lothlrien the discussion of the transition between "place" and "space" was fairly simple, with the Ephel Dath that liminality is far less prominent. The mountain range only has the cultural relativity to Mordor (if including the Glens of Morgai, a lifeless plateau on the inner side of the range). Within the narrative of LOTR, Frodo and Sam are the only members of the Fellowship to travel through it, and the most i mportant interactions they have are with Shelob and surviving the desolation of the landscape. With so little text to work with, my
69 argument would have felt less developed than the two chapters seen here in the final product of my thesis. The final quest ion for my thesis is where it lies in relation with the rest of the academic work being done on The Lord of the Rings Given that Peter Jackson's films have only been released for a little more than a decade at the time of writing, the work being done most recently seems to have shifted largely to the analysis of the films instead of Tolkien's original text. I imagine this is not only because of the novelty of the films but the interdisciplinary nature of working with both literature and film. Comparing the movies with the books shows not just the importance of the text as the ultimate authority on the legendarium of Middle earth, but also that the films cannot convey the same depth of relationships between landscape and character that the text can. It also shows that there is a way to analyze the films separate from the text, as the film adaptations are an adaptation, not a direct transferal of the text to the screen. Therefore, my thesis is not contributing to the ancient battle of whether books are better than films but rather, what can the film show that the text cannot, and vice versa. And this is not just with regard to the narrative, but also the landscape, its inhabitants, and the mythology of the entire Middle earth universe. On a last note, if I cou ld introduce additional concepts into my thesis, I would look at the religious elements in associate with the Valar, Galadriel, and Lothlrien. The sacred quality of the Lrien forest is hard to ignore, and when taking the Valar's effect on Galadriel into consideration, the religious quality of the Undying Lands and its function as a version of "Heaven" would need to be taken into consideration. I would also be interested in looking at the function of gender within the spaces of Moria and Lothlrien.
70 Thinki ng about how the dwarves and the elves are gendered in their textual descriptions and the visual presentations has an effect on their associated location. Although it was not something I looked at in my thesis, I think it is an argument that would strength en my overall arguments. Through the combination of various studies and theories that separately may have already been applied to Tolkien's story or Peter Jackson's film adaptation, and instead combining them in a more complex argument, this thesis has fo und a way to incorporate what has already been said about The Lord of the Rings in order to say something new. Just as Frodo brought the Ring of Power to Mt. Doom, and Tolkien finished the entire 1,200 page text of The Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson adapted it into an award winning fantasy film series, not all difficult things are impossible.
71 Notes 1 "Tolkien fandom," Tolkien Gateway a ccessed March 16, 2013. 2 Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission. 3 As Tolkien's legendarium is so extensive and LOTR references knowledge outside of the primary text, information in The Silmarillion will be discussed. The Silmaril lion chronicles the beginning of the universe of Middle earth through the arrival of the Valar (deities), establishing the creation of light and darkness and the never ending battle between the two, the molding of the Elves and Dwarves, the emergence of th e race of Men, and up through the creation and the war of the Rings. 4 C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia (New York City, New York; Harper Trophy, 1994). 5 Katherine Fowkes The Fantasy Film (Chichester UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2010), 5 6 Edward James, "Tolkien, Lewis, and the Explosion of Genre Fantasy," in Rhetorics of Fantasy ed. Farah Mendelsohn, (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2008), 65 7 Nick Bentley, Radical Fictions: The English Novel in the 1950's (Bern, Oxford: Pete r Lang, 2007), 15. 8 Immediately after using this definition for popular literature in Britain, Bentley goes on to explain why this characterization of literature is incorrect. However, this sweeping characterization is beneficial for understanding the gen eral state of literature during the decade that Tolkien published The Lord of the Rings 9 Michel de Certeau, "A Symbolic Revolution," in The Certeau Reader ed. Graham Ward (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), 61. Author's italics. 10 Mi chel de Certeau, "Walking in the City in The Certeau Reader ed. Graham Ward (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), 110. 11 "Romance" here refers to a type of narrative with characteristics such as the quest, large travelling spaces withi n the wilderness, loyalty to a lord or king. It is not "romantic" as in relation to amorous feelings. For more information, please see The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance (2000), edited by Roberta Krueger. 12 I ntroduction to The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel ed. Deirdre David (Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press, 2000), 3. 13 Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (New York City, New York; New American Library, 1980). 14 Victor W. Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti Structu re (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977), 95. 15 These ideas are introduced in Karl Steel's essay, "Centaurs, Satyrs, and Cynocephali: Medieval Scholarly Teratology and the Question of the Human." Karl Steel, "Centaurs, Satyrs, and Cynocephali: Medie val Scholarly Teratology and the Question of the Human," in The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous ed. Asa Simon Mittman, (Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2012). 16 Karl Steel, Centaurs, Satyrs, and Cynocephali: Medieval Scholarly Teratolo gy and the Question of the Human ," in The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous 265. 17 Asa Simon Mittman, introduction to The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous ed. Asa Simon Mittman (Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2012), 7 8.
72 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! 18 In The Silmarillion Melkor, one of the Maiar, is considered a malevolent force because of his desire to corrupt and rule over the free races: "[Melkor] desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men, envy ing the gifts with which Ilvatar promised to endow them; and he wished himself to have subjects and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be a master over other wills (Tolkien, The Silmarillion, 18) After the discovery of his evil intentions, he is re named "Morgoth" by the Elves. 19 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1977), 50. 20 Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission. 21 Transcription of Peter Jackson's quote is my own from the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring Disc Two, Director's Commentary; Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson, "Scene 35: Balin's Tomb," The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring directed by Peter Jackson (United States: New Line Home Entertainment, 200 2), DVD. 22 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (New York, NY: Mariner Books, 2012), 35. 23 Ibid 330. 24 Ibid 309. 25 For a more extensive history of the events in Middle earth prior to those that occur in LOTR please see Tolkien's The Silmarillion (1985) 26 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 297. 27 Ibid 315. 28 Ibid 318. 29 Ibid 240 241. 30 Patrick K. Ford, The Mabinogi: And Other M edi eval Welsh T ales (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977), 77. 31 Asa Simon Mittman Maps and Monsters in Medieval England ( New York City, New York: Routledge, 2006 ), 133 134. 32 Edmund Spenser, "The Faerie Queene" in Edmund Spenser's Poetry: authoritative texts, criticism ed. Hugh Maclean and Anne Lake Prescott, 3 rd edition (New York, NY: Norton, 1993), Book II, Canto VII, Stanzas 28 29. 33 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Fellowship of the Ring, d ir ected by Peter Jackson (2001; United States: New Line Home Entertainment, 2002 ), DVD. Disc 2. 0:19:50. 34 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 330. 35 A quick note for readers unfamiliar with the origin of the Balrog: Within the LOTR text, there is no reason to believe that there are any other Balrogs that will play a role in the story, nor is there any reason to assume that this Balrog would le ave Moria to pursue the group. Within the Tolkien universe, when the events in LOTR take place, the Balrog in Moria is the last of its kind acknowledged in existence. With such an intricate intertwining of the landscape and its monstrous inhabitant, it wou ld be difficult to analyze the Balrog while ignoring the space it occupies. But it should be considered the last of its kind in reference to Moria, and Middle earth as a whole. 36 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 329. 37 Ibid, 309. 38 Ibid, 310 311. 39 J.R.R. T olkien, Beowulf : the Monsters and the C ritics (Darby, Pennsylvania: Arden Library, 1978).
73 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! 40 "Beowulf trans. Seamus Heaney in The Norton Anthology of English Literature volume A, ed. M.H Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt (New York, NY: WW Norton & Co, 2006) Lines 2312 2316, 2324 2328. 41 Sh arin Schroeder, "It's alive!': Tolkien's monster on the screen' in Picturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy ed. Janice M Bogstad and Phillip E. Kaveny (Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Co, 2011), 123. 42 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Two Towers, d ir ected by Peter Jackson (2002; United States: N ew Line Home Entertainment, 2003), DVD. 0:18:06. 43 Tolkien, The Silmarillion 264. 44 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 361. 45 Ibid 350 351. 46 Ibid 351. 47 Charles Stanley Ross, The Custom of the Castle (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997), 4. 48 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ed. Norman Davis, trans. J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon, 2 nd edition ( Oxf ord, England: Clarendon P, 1968), Lin es 1105 1114. Modern t ranslation provided by Simon Armitage "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume A, ed. M.H Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt (New York, NY: WW Norton & Co, 2006 ) : "Furthermore," said the mas ter [Bertilak], "let's make a pact. Here's a wager: what I win in the woods will be yours, And what you gain while I'm gone you will give to me. Young sir, let's swap, and strike a bond, Let a bargain be a bargain, for better or worse." "By God," said Gawain, "I agree to the terms, and I find it pleasing that you favor such fun." "Let drink be served and we'll seal the deal," the lord cried loudly, and everyone laughed. 49 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight trans. Tolkien and Gordon, Lines 1395 1396. Modern t ranslation by Simon Armitage: "That wasn't our pactSo don't pry./You'll be given nothing greater, the agreement we have holds good!" 50 Ross, The Custom of the Castle 5. 51 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 357. 52 Ibid 358. 53 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Fellowship of the Ring Peter Jackson, Disc 2. 0:44:32. 54 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 342. 55 Ibid 243. 56 The Eremyte and the Outelawe ," trans. M. Kaluza in Englische Studien no. 14 ( 1890 ): 165 182; Translation provided by Alexander L. Kaufman, "The Hermit and the Outlaw" in Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern English Translation ed. Thomas H. Ohlgre (Anderson, SC: Parlor Press LLC, 2005), 347 : The other brother was a good hermit. Wearing a gray habit he lived in the thicket of the wild w ood. He went barefoot and not with shoes. For the love of God he wore a hair shirt to bite and gnaw his skin. As other hermits do nowadays, he wouldn't go into any town in order to gossip with a man or woman that would drive them into
74 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! sin. They never consi der what they say nor how they should begin. In this world there are many examples showing how men and women continue with unceasing sinful habits. 57 Matthew Dickerson and Johnson Evans, Ents, Elves, and Eriador: the Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien (Lexington, KY: University of Press Kentucky, 2006), 109. 58 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson, Disc 2. 0:49:47. 59 Ibid Disc 1. 0:00:15. 60 An eye light is a single light used to give a small spot of white brilliance in an ac tor's eyes for close shots. It helps make the actor's eyes look illuminated because without it, the color of the eye appears too flat on screen. 61 Fran Walsh, Philippa Boye ns, and Peter Jackson, "Scene 38: Caras Galadhon ," The Lord of the Rings: The Fellow ship of the Ring directed by Peter Jackson (United States: New Line Home Entertainment, 2002), DVD. 0:51:00. 62 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Fellowship of the Ring Peter Jackson, Disc 2. 0:49:03. 63 Ibid 0:53:00. 64 Ibi d 0:58:13. 65 Ibid 0:58:38. 66 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 971. 67 Sir Thomas Malory, Works of Malory ed. Eugne Vin aver (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1977), 226. 68 Malory, Works of Malory 225. 69 Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 1025. 70 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson, Disc 2. 0:59:12. 71 Ibid 1:05:58. 72 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Return of the King, d ir ected by Peter Jackson (2003; United States: N ew Line Home Entertainment, 2004), DVD. Disc 2. 1:46:30. 73 The Lord of the Ri ngs: The Return of the King, Peter Jackson, Disc 2. 1:48:38.
! 75 Bibliography Austen, Jane Pride and Prejudice. New York City, New York; New American Library, 1 980 Bentley, Nick Radical Fictions: The English Novel in the 1950's Bern, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007 "Beowulf ." Translated by Seamus Heaney. I n The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume A, edited by M.H Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt, 36 108. New York, NY: WW Norton & Co, 20 06. The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance. Edited by Roberta L Krueger. Cambridge, England; Cambridge Unive rsity Press, 2000. David, Deirdre Introduction to The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel ed ited by Deirdre David, 1 16. Cambridge, UK: Univ ersity of Cambridge Press, 2000. D e Certeau, Michel. "A Symbolic Revolution." In The Certeau Reader. E dited by Graham Ward. 61 68. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1998. -------"Walking in the City." In The Certeau Reader. Edited by Graham Ward. 101 118. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1998. Dickerson, Matthew and Johnson Evans Ents, Elves, and Eriador: the Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. Lexington, KY: University of Press Kentucky, 2006. The Eremyte and the Outelawe. Translated by M. Kaluza, Englische Studien no. 14 ( 1890 ): 165 182. Ford, Patrick K. The Mabinogi: And Other Medieval Welsh T ales Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977. Fowkes, Katherine. The Fantasy Film. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2010. "The Hermit and the Outlaw" in Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tale s in Modern English Tran slation. E dited by Thomas H. Ohlgren. Translated by Alexander L. Kaufman. 338 353. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press LLC, 2005.
! 76 James, Edward. "Tolkien, Lewis, and th e Explosion of Genre Fantasy." I n Rhetorics of Fantasy E dited by Farah Mendelsohn, 62 78. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2008. Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia New York City New York; Harper Trophy, 1994 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Dir ected by Peter Jackson. 2001. United States: New Line Home Entertainment, 2002. DVD. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," Box Office Mojo Accessed March 16, 2013. http://boxofficemojo.com/oscar/movies/?id=returnoftheking.htm. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the K ing. Dir ected by Peter Jackson. 2003. United States: N ew Line Home Entertainment, 2004 DVD. Malory, Sir Thomas. Works of Malory edited by Eugne Vin aver. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1977. Mittman, Asa Simon. Introduction to The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous Edited by Asa Simon Mittman Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2012. -------Maps and Monsters in Medieval England. New York City, New York: Routledge, 2006. Ross, Charles Stanley. The Custom of the Castle Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997. Schroeder, Sharin. "It's alive!': Tolkien's monster on the screen I n Picturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy e dited by Janice M. Bogstad and Phillip E. Kaveny. 116 138. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Co, 2011. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Edited by Norman Davis. Translated by J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon, 2 nd edition. Oxford, England: Clarendon P, 1968. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." Translated by Simon Armitage. In The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume A, edited by M.H Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt, 186 238 New York, NY: WW Norton & Co, 2006. Spenser, Edmund. "The Faerie Queene ." I n Edmund Spenser's Poetry: authoritative texts, criticism edited by Hugh Maclean and Anne Lake Prescott, 1 499. 3 rd edition. New York, NY: Norton, 1993.
! 77 Tolkien Gateway, "Tolkien fa ndom." Accessed March 16, 2013. http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tolkien_fandom. Tolkien, J.R.R. Beowulf: the Monsters and the C ritics. Darby Pennsylvania: Arden Library, 1978 -------The Lord of the Rings New York, NY: Mariner Books, 2012. -------The Silmarillion Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1977. Turner, Victor W. The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti Structure Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977.