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A. Catherine Noon: Happy New Year, Dwarf Style
Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Happy New Year, Dwarf Style

The new Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug, has hit theaters and caused a sensation.  All of a sudden, it’s all about the dwarves – and I can see why!  Richard Armitage is every inch (if short) a king, and the antics of his merry band are heartwarming and, at times, romantic.

I saw an interview with Irish actor Aidan Turner, where he was asked about the relationship between his character, the Dwarf Kili, and the Elven warrior Tauriel.  The romance never took place in the book, so why the movie?  He makes the point that it adds depth to the characters and it’s an important aspect of the overall story.  I couldn’t agree more!  I was rooting for his character and for Tauriel to catch up to him when he was wounded, and there’s even the potential for a love triangle because our favorite elf Legolas fancies Tauriel.  Oh nos!

What do you think when directors change a classic story in order to tell a modern tale?  Not that romance is modern, in any particular; it’s a story as old as time itself.  But should a director add an element that isn’t there in the books, in order to please modern viewers?  Some fans of Robert Ludlum lament that the immensely popular Jason Bourne movie franchise aren’t true to the books.  But the movies are good movies, enjoyable and fast-paced.  I would argue that Peter Jackson has done the same with the Hobbit and deepened the tale, enriching it and telling more of the story as it could have been.

What’s your opinion?  Change away, or leave it the way it is thankyouverymuch?  I’d love to know in the comments!

9 comments to “A. Catherine Noon: Happy New Year, Dwarf Style”

  1. Charlotte Copper
    · January 3rd, 2014 at 7:11 am · Link

    There is almost always the need to edit a book for the big screen or t.v. In many cases, a big screen adaptation means removing scenes from a book. There should be nothing wrong with the addition/change of a scene either. A movie is the director’s interpretation of a book (well, a whole STAFF of interpretations)…but you would hope that these people know best what is going to work on screen. If someone is a die-hard fanatic of the book, then the should just avoid the movie altogether as there is bound to be something “wrong”. (I’m sure we’ve all watched a movie and said – but that is NOT what fill-in-the-blank looks like!)

  2. Delilah
    · January 3rd, 2014 at 11:11 am · Link

    I do hate it when they completely change the ending of a story. Anyone remember how they mucked up The Horse Whisperer?

  3. Rachelle Lerner
    · January 3rd, 2014 at 3:29 pm · Link

    I must admit that I liked the Original Sound of Music movie but also liked the TV version because it included songs from the Broadway show that were not in the Julie Andrews movie.

    I think that sometimes you have to make a movie more interesting than a book to get people to come to see what you created. But, the ending should not be changed.

  4. Michelle Willms
    · January 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 pm · Link

    There is enough material omitted from the books that SHOULD be left intact to create a more interesting story without altering a writer’s work. It annoys the almighty crap out of me when an author’s work is distorted into something else to “please” the almighty public. If the director is at all decent, he or she can create a wonderful movie without rewriting a book that was well loved. To me, the implication is that the general public is too stupid to “get” the book in its original form. It has to be dumbed down, diluted, fortified with action, sex, etc., to have general appeal. If that is truly the case, there is no hope for the future. I believe the books can stand on their own merit. If the movie fails, it’s due to the lack of true creativity and REAL acting.

  5. A. Catherine Noon
    · January 5th, 2014 at 10:16 am · Link

    Hi, Charlotte! I totally agree with you. I was talking with my husband yesterday about that, and whether I’d want to sell one of my books for a movie (yes, I know, but I like to dream big). That is one of the down-sides, to me, of doing so. I’d have to relinquish control and trust that the director’s vision would work for my project and I just don’t know if I could do that.

  6. A. Catherine Noon
    · January 5th, 2014 at 10:17 am · Link

    Hi, Delilah! Thank you for hosting me again; it’s great to be here.

    I didn’t see Horse Whisperer, but I do have other movies where they were adaptations of books I like and didn’t really do the original justice. I will say, though, that I am absolutely pleased by what Jackson has done with Tolkien’s work; I think the movies to justice to the original vision of the story and am really excited about the final Hobbit movie.

  7. A. Catherine Noon
    · January 5th, 2014 at 10:20 am · Link

    Hi, Rachelle! I saw Scott Turow speak a couple years ago and someone in the audience asked him about that, because one of his bestselling novels had been made into a blockbuster movie. He made the point that while his book sold X million copies, the movie had to appeal to X*2 audience members and for that reason, the director had to change things and move things around. I thought it was an interesting point to make and Turow added that the author had to stay out of that process, because the director knows the audience of the movies, whereas we as authors know the audience for our books and they’re two different animals.

  8. A. Catherine Noon
    · January 5th, 2014 at 10:22 am · Link

    Hi, Michelle! I agree, I don’t like it when movies get dumbed down – or even books. I think that’s not good for anyone, because over time people become accustomed to not having to work intellectually to understand something.

    Thanks for taking the time to post comments!

  9. ronnie c
    · January 9th, 2014 at 6:53 pm · Link

    I wondered why I wasn’t getting e-mails from you Delilah…they put you in my g mail spam folder!!! 🙁 🙄

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