Radagast the Brown in Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’

Okay, so I’ve just watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey again; it being Peter Jackson’s rendition of the book (the first part at least). I just fell to thinking about how it measures up to my preconceptions having read the book, and the LOTR Appendices.

As a film, I like it. It’s pretty good, and I love Martin Freeman as Bilbo, I think he’s a splendid character match.

Right, I can’t wait any longer, I need to rant about the things I don’t agree with!

Thorin: I like the character portrayal, he seems dark and brooding. I just don’t like the way some of the ways he pronounces his words. He has a little bit of an accent I find slightly out of character. For example, he says ‘Gandolf’ instead of ‘Gandalf’. I think it a bit odd how all of the Dwarves are from the same background, yet only Thorin has the accent. Odd.

The Trolls: Okay, I know that The Hobbit’s target audience is a bit younger than LOTR was, it’s meant to entertain children to some extent. However, I find the trolls just a little too comical. The part when the one blows his nose over Bilbo I find very displeasing to my tastes; I should have preferred it more serious. But hey, that’s just my taste and a deep respect for the literature of which it was born.

Azog: I’m sorry. There are no words for my dislike of this plotline. Azog dies in the Battle of Azanulbizar in Third Age year 2799. His son Bolg features much later in the Hobbit.

Radagast: In my mind, Radagast has always been, and will continue to be a wise man. A master of birds and beasts and in tune with the forest. Peter Jackson has painted him as some crackpot with bird droppings down his face and a birds nest under his hat. Absolutely not. I have always imagined Radagast as a tall, silver haired man of green cloak with a raven on his shoulder. I won’t let the film chap cut that from my head. For the role of the crackpot though, the actor does remarkably and I commend him.

So, yes. Little bit of a rant but there you have it.

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Should Books Have Happy Endings?

Let me start off by saying that this post will refer to the fantasy genre, as opposed to other genres. I’m not asking whether tragedies should have a happy ending because – hey – that’s a silly question really isn’t it?

This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. We all know the sort of stories where the knight in shining armour saves the beautiful princess from the dangerous dragon, takes her back to the glorious king who gives him her dainty hand in marriage. Happily ever after (and what a depressing use of adjectives, if I may say so!). Is that how a story whould always be? Should a fantasy author mould himself to the happy ending, giving absolution to whatever hurts the hero has gotten (I couldn’t find a synonym for ‘gotten’ beginning with a ‘h’ to get that alliteration flowing, my apologies [I seem to be waxing prose today!])? Continue reading

Tablets and e-Readers: A Followup

Hi all, I thought some people might be interested in a followup regarding the poll I created on how people read. The post was ‘Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?’ and you can find the poll there; I’d still love for you to vote! I’ve had fourteen votes now, and not many more are coming in, so I thought it high time to reveal all and make a few comments. Obviously it’s an open poll and anybody can read the results, but I expect chances are if you voted you haven’t looked back at it since.

So, here are the results.

Do You Own an e-Reader or Tablet?
Yes! A dedicated e-Reader. (eg Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo etc) 6 votes, 42.86
Yes! A tablet on which I read. (eg iPad, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire 5 votes, 35.71%
Yes! I have both of these things. 2 votes, 14.29%
No! I read solid books and don’t own (or don’t read from) a tablet or e-Reader.
1 vote, 7.14%

So, what I can see from this is as follows; the vast majority of people who voted read on e-Platforms, be that tablet or dedicated device. Currently it seems that it is the dedicated e-Readers that’re taking the cake on this, but it’s very close and the votes seemed to see-saw on this (last time I looked, most people were using their tablets), so to me that’s fairly equal.
A couple lucky fellows have both of these devices, and so assumingly read on the dedicated e-Reader (though not definitely, perhaps I should have split this question into a ‘Yes, both, but I read on X/Y.’. And then there’s that one person whom reads only solid paper books. You know what I say to that? Good for you, dear Sir or Ma’am! If that’s how you like it, don’t feel pressured into making the swap.

On a final note, a shout out of thanks to the two people who tweeted the poll and probably helped garner a few more votes.

Okay, a second final note: The poll is not closed! You can still vote, and I’d really really love for you to do so! Please, tweet, facebook, post links to and share that poll. If there’s a surge of votes I’ll be able to write a more detailed analysis of it, which I’d love to do, but I can’t on only fourteen votes.

Let me just say that this poll is not necessarily wholly reliable. It is a very valid point that people who use the internet and frequent blogs like this may be more in tune with the e-Reading side of life and that those that read normal books may not be in a position to use the poll. Thus, I’ll say this – if you know somebody who only reads solid books, or know somebody that does any of the options, throw in a vote for their sake, will you?

If you’ve got any thoughts on the matter, please comment! I’d love to chat to you.