With the release of a new Narnia film, discussions of screenwriters' license arise with it and the bitterness of past releases inspires me to look back.
Return of the King... Just one example but a sad one. An example of arrogance. The arrogance of one Kiwi who felt that he was a great enough director to literally rewrite a great book in his own image. This blog could take days to write if I were to cover every travesty of dialog so I will force myself to post only one example.
Here is Peter Jackson's version of one memorable scene in the story... the gaps are filled in with CGI:
- WITCH-KING: "Feast on his flesh!"
- EOWYN: "I will kill you if you touch him!"
- WITCH-KING: "Do not come between the Nazgul and his prey!"
- WITCH KING: "No man can kill me . . . Die!"
- EOWYN: "I am no man!"
Here is J.R.R. Tolkien's lovingly crafted prose from the same scene in the book:
'Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!'
A cold voice answered: 'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.'
A sword rang as it was drawn. 'Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.'
'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!'
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. 'But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.'
You be the judge.