Magpie’s Top Races of Middle Earth

Have just finished watching all three extended version Lord of the rings films, so as you would expect I desperately wanted to write a blog post on them. But you see I work better with a central focus to nit pick, even something as this is disgustingly stupid.

I have nothing to nit pick with these films, there just that good. Beautifully acted, magnificently written, gloriously directed.. my knowledge of good adverbs had failed me at this point but my main point still stands. If you can name it The Lord of the Rings did it well.

And then it dawned on me, the movies might be unpick-able but the world they’re situated is far from. *Well it wouldn’t be having a war if it was* I’ve spoken before of my preference for certain middle earth races over others, so I thought why not go all out and do them all. Oh Side note: This isn’t going to be like my other lists, this will start with my favorites and then work it’s way down to the ones I loath.

1. Hobbits. Yes I think this a surprise to no one who’s read my blog before. Or even glanced at the tags. Too much sense to do something daft like start a war, these hairy toed fellows instead spend their time more productively.

Their list of accomplishments is: buttons, stoves, pocket watches, clocks in general and indoor plumbing! Hobbits might never have invent the canon but I’d bet my life they’d have been the first to invent the computer.

2. Dwarves. Lets face it the dwarves have had it ruff, from the line of Durin getting kicked out of their home by a fire breathing dragon to the gentle Petty dwarves who were slaughtered for game by the elves. Despite that they still end up being one of the most bad-ass races in Arda! Come on people we need some more dwarf love all round.

3. Ents:

I am on no one’s side, because no one is on my side little Orc

Do I really need to say anymore?

4. Goblins: Here’s another species I feel have gotten a bum rap. They’re allergic to sunlight so they have to live underground which makes ‘em stunted and deformed. Plus to top all that off everyone seems out to kill them! Poor things no wonder they were angry at the dwarves dropping in.

5.Easterlings: Yeah…em give me some proof that they’re actually evil and I’ll show you an elf that’s actually immortal.

6. Rohiriins: Oh my god, these guys are awesome! Not pretentious or thinking their better then others just flat out bad-asses! This is what the race of men should be!

7. Wargs: Aww…come on they’re cute…you know when they’re not trying to eat you.

8. Orcs: If we’re going to talk about creatures who’ve had it ruff orcs came into being because they were tortured. They’re as much victims as anyone else here.

9. Gondorians: What’s all this about being the last free kingdom of men? And their king ruling over everyone Else’s? God no wonder Rohan hates them.

10. Elves: Rather like hobbits I’ve said all I really have to say about these people in other posts. So  to put it bluntly  I don’t like them, or rather I don’t like how they’re often portrayed. Like they can do no wrong, people… who made the rings of power in the first place?

11. Eagles: Because they could have easily fixed everything.

My god how do Hobbits do it?!

Sunday 22nd was Hobbit Day, for those of you who aren’t aware hobbit day is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, the main characters of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings respectively. It’s apparently a much larger thing in America then it is in Britain “odd since Tolkien himself was British”

I’d already planned on having a second breakfast, but then an idea accorded to me…why  stop there? Why not do the whole bang and spandooldle and have all seven !

1st Breakfast

dool 007 (500x281) Okay so this first course of the day may have been inhaled before I had the bright idea to eat seven hobbit meals…but I can assure you it was Delicious. Well cornflakes with chopped bananas always is.

 

2nd Breakfast

dool 012 (500x281)dool 013 (500x281) Ah now that’s more like it my dear Hobbits!  A *I think* double Decker sandwich, first lair made of mustard and tomatoes, second lair made of humus and tomatoes and third and final laird of vegetable pate. You wouldn’t think those things would go together but they really really do. *So long as you don’t mind getting a little pate on your nose.*

 

Elevenses

dool 014 (500x281) Okay so maybe a smoothy  isn’t that hobbity per say, but it tasted delicious and besides with all the things from our garden in it, it has to count as a meal on some level.

 

Luncheon

dool 023

Leak, potato and carrot soap *I think, it was a couple of days ago and I didn’t really ask.* accompanied by bread and vegetable pate.

Afternoon Tea

dool 025 dool 027A bushel of freshly picked right from our very own tree plums were next on the menu.

 

Dinner

dool 028 We’re almost finished our day of let’s face it over eating, with meal number six cleared with a Chinese take out *And yes it was just as delicious as it looked*

Supper

dool 033dool 032 You may be wandering why such a small *I struggle to even call it a meal* snack is my choice of super? Well I shall answer you with another question… Have you actually tried eating seven meals in one day? No? Well then you really don’t have much to say on the matter do you?

 

 

 

Flying the Red Flag…Sir

Lately I’ve taken it into my head to make my way surely and steadily through all the Jeeves and Wooster episodes. Not the books sadly, although those will undoubtedly be on my extra long Christmas list this year.

After watching several in a row I have come to an astounding conclusion; Jeeves hates Wooster. Think about it before you through those quite frankly ridiculously  oversized * I don’t know how you’re still standing up right* rocks at my head. When has one of Jeeves’ many schemes not ended up with Wooster somehow be it often only temporally humiliated?

In fact I just watched one episode where Bertie was sent out on a bike, in the rain, to fetch the key to his aunt’s backdoor. Only for Jeeves moments after his master departure to reveal that he had the key all along.

Then again, who could really blame him. I’ve only been watching the buffoon for a day and a half and I already want to strangle him until he’s nothing but a lifeless corpse. Just image having to actually live with him, not just that but actually take his orders.

To quote Aunt Agatha the man is a complete wastrel, for fucks sake he can’t even make a cup of tea for himself. Why do women keep flocking to hitch themselves to his mule wagon for all eternity? It’s not for the intellectual conversation let me tell you! Sometimes he doesn’t even say real words, just the beginning letters!  Oh god, Oh God, *sob*  I can’t even understand him enough to mock him.

It’s odd to think of the way they talk about communists on that show, because if there’s any better motivation on flying the red flag then seeing a mind as great and mighty as Reginald Jeeves’ cow to a complete and utter fool like Bertie Wooster then I don’t know what is.

Designation of a Hero

Main Characters, they are by far and away the most important characters in books, well obviously. Even if the book isn’t in first person we’re still basically seeing the world through their eyes. Their opinions of other people and the villain will influence our opinions of said characters, even if we disagree with them.

However there is a downside to this, something I like to call  BellaSwan Disease, a step up from simply being a designated Hero. Where our Protagonist really should be the Villain rather then the hero. No this takes it a step further,  the world it’s  book/film/whatever would be a far more interesting if someone else was telling the story. In a manner of speaking they commit the greatest atrocity that any fictional character can, they’re boring.

For instance I bring your attention to the namesake herself Bella Swan; she is with out a doubt a waist of space, we all know the reasons why she’s such a horrible character so I won’t rehash them. So let’s just say she’s the girl that manages to make werewolves and vampires boring.

So who would? Certainly not Edward, who’s just as bland as his other half, so instead turn your attention to the true hero of the story, and yes this probably won’t shock you…Bella’s Dad Charlie. By making it about someone who is actually doing something Turning a stupid supernatural romance into a chilling paranormal mystery and crime thriller akin to the Anita Blake novels

. Or rather what they are trying to be, yes here is the part where we move on to the worst case I’ve seen to date. That’s right, Bella from Twilight ,  the namesake is not the worst case, that honour belongs to our own Anita Blake.

You can say what you want about Bella, ooh she’s abusive, co dependent, she’s a horrible role model, yeah that’s all true but at the very least her mear existence  in the story did serve a purpose. She was the link between the mortal world and the well the immortal world, even if her father where the main character she would still serve as that purpose as a reason for him to get more involved with that world then he would have if she didn’t existed.

Anita on the other hand, at least in the later books, only has the purpose of stopping the narrative. She’s gotten so powerful that anyone who apposes her instantly gets obliterated,  impressive perhaps but it does rather remove the drama from the stories. Of course Bella would eventfully turn into this as well, but at least she had the common decently to do it in the last book.

So, who would be a suitable candidate to take over from our dear Necromancer? Well, truthfully… any of them! Any one of the other people in those abhorrent books would make a better protagonist then little miss legs apart! We’ve got her best friend Ronny who’s a tough private eye who’s dating a were rat, Richard the tortured Ulfric of the werewolf pack, Asher the scared and heartbroken bisexual vampire,  Jean Claude the manipulative master of the city,, Jason the also bisexual werewolf or heck even characters that annoy the living hell out of me like Nathanial would be a better protagonist.

But personally I like the idea of Rudolf Storr, Head of the RPIT we would get to see some preternatural crime, which is what the books originally promised. There’d also be bigger conflict on the main character getting over his prejudices and realising that not all vampires and Weres are bad. Since their actually is a realistic reason , he’s going to lose his son to them.

Anita’s prejudices just seem to come out of no where and while that makes a good commentary on today’s prejudice, it makes less of an impact because there’s no real struggle. Take Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country , Kirk’s over coming his hatred of Klingons meant more because they’d killed his son. If he just hated them for the sake of the plot or rather the message the plot was trying to convey then it wouldn’t have made such a big impact.

There’d also be higher number of strong women in the books since we’d no longer be seeing them through the smoke screen of Anita’s bigotry. And the most important change of all, we’ll finally get a decent antagonist at last! No longer will we have to suffer through anticlimactic endings,  or bad guys with off screen demises and finally Jean Claude will be seen for what he really is, a manipulative and destructive VILLIAN!!

I can’t stop myself, I may have a problem

I keep telling myself I’m going to stop with each one, yet here we are again. Suffering the post traumatic stress that comes from reading the Anita Blake books. In this case the travesty simply known as Bullet and… it wasn’t awfull

Okay maybe that’s going a bit far, by normal standards it was still an insult to the written word it’s self, but as far as Hamilton’s works go it wasn’t the worst. Certainly a far cry from the plot swallowing monster that was Kiss the Dead.

It manged to keep the general creepiness of the story with out going too far off track. Where there unbelievable boring bits, oh my yes, but then again its a  Vampire Hunter Novel. And again to be fair it didn’t have that many…well it certainly didn’t have as much as it’s successor.

I think it’s pointless to mention Anita herself, if you’ve read my blog before you know how much I really loath this character in general and if you haven’t well here it is now I generally just all around hate her and she certainly doesn’t improve in this installment.

Richard: I never really bought into the whole Pod Richard debated. Probably because I’ve never, nor do I intend to read Circus of the Damned
the book he was first introduced in.

From what I saw he was a strong character who’s been put through hell. He generally loved Anita, though couldn’t forgive for cheating on him with her bloody stalker! He actually put the needs of his people before Anita and generally didn’t take any of her crap.

So what happened to make me so angry? They made him homophobic!  Yeah I know that we’re supposed to already think that and this was him getting past it, but still… I didn’t see him as that to begin with.

He hated vampires, he apparently hated his beast, and he wouldn’t let Anita feed the Ardure off him. But from what I read there’s nothing specific that could make Richard seem  Homophobic   Other then he’s not attracted to other men. Are we suppose to take that as Homophobia when up till this book Anita was the same way with woman.

But whatever Hamilton has no problem rewriting other history to make her point so why should this one be any different! Like that bit where they’re talking about when Anita cheated on him. He admits to manipulating her so she would hate his beast as much as he did.

Except again that’s not what happened, all he did was do what she’s been badgering to do for the entire of The Killing Dance , kill the Ulfric. He did that, she got freaked out because he then ate him but that’s how werewolves bury their dead. Granted he did change into a wolf on top of her but only to stop her from killing one of his pack, be it an evil one but she was still part of the pack nether the less!

You know what, I could on about this all day and we’d still end up in the same place. It’s done, it’s happened I’ll just have to lump it.

Besides even at his most warped Richard is nearly as annoying as the unwanted hell spawn of Satan himself; Micah

Remember him, shows up rapes are main protagonist and then is cast as her main love intrist. Yeah well he’s still here and apparently a great leader despite the fact that he’s not physically that strong.

Okay…you know what I could buy that idea. I could swallow it, if there’d been any indication that it was true.But all Micah’s done for the last severely books is tell Anita how great she is. Yet we’re suppose to believe that he’s a better leader then Richard and Rafael?

Fine, fine show me! Show me him being a good king, for that matter show being something more then a wuss who hides behind Anita’s legs at the first sign of trouble.

But hey, maybe I could even have gotten use to that as well, it’s no worse then expecting us  to like him without reason.That was until he started to get uppity with the other leaders, like he actually believes  he’s someone to be respected. and they just take it, like arguing back would make them the devil. What am I saying , it’s a Laurel K. Hamilton novel of course it is.

Haven: He dies, I  don’t really care because I didn’t like him anyway, but just before the big battle where our heroine shoots him between the eyes he says this.

You shouldn’t have let me come, you shouldn’t have let me kill the old Rex

Anita agrees and then kills them, this isn’t a bit I  hated it’s just nice to see even her author sometimes sees how stupid and short sighted Anita can be.

So as you can see there’s a lot I don’t like in this…book, but i think i took the most umbridge with was when they deiced they have to make a Vampire council in America. And if the other Master’s of the cities don’t agree to join and give up some of their power to Jean Claude then they’ll be mind raped.

Our Heroes explain away this act of evil by saying they have to, to ward off the Mother of all Darkness. People will think they’re monsters just like the first Vampire council  but they’ll know that they’re just trying to protect themselves

I want to say I”m surprise at this new low but really I don’t think I have it in me anymore, This is just what we’ve come to expect from this writer

Practice makes perfect

I hate Elves. Okay has everyone got their pitchforks? Yes, yes good, you in the back with two give one to your friend, he’s only got a torch.

Maybe I should reword that, I don’t think elves are all they’re cracked up to be. Put those things down, just think about it.

Who made the Silmarillions? Who did the Kinslaying? Who hunted dwarves for sport until they found out they were actually a people? In fact, who invented rings of power, which caused all this debacle in the first place?

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying they’re evil, just a bit hypocritical. They’re all like

There is no strength in the hearts of men anymore

Hey they’re trying, we can’t all be blessed Firstborn.

That just solidifies my point doesn’t it, just because they were the first race to wake in middle-earth, does that make them automatically the best? No, but try telling them that.

If anything, judging by the fact that we gradually get better at whatever we’re doing, it would be Hobbits, not Elves who are the best of Eru’s children.

Literature vs Film: Hunger Games

We’ve all witnessed it, a good film comes from a good book, or more often then not a bad film comes from a good book. Even sometimes, a good film comes from a bad book, I couldn’t name one off the too of my head, but I’m sure it happens

Ah The Hunger Games , the book series that gave me joy, grief,excitement, tears and the occasional panic attack.

It’s an awesome set of books but by far my favrioute is the first. You can imaging my joy upon hearing they’d made a film of it. So did The Hunger Games live up to the book, well I’ll let you decide.

Herione
In the book,we have Katniss Evergreen; she’s a hunter, a provider, basically the main care giver to her sister when their mother checked out of reality.

But she can also be overly mean to people who are just trying to help, blind to how others see her, basically mildly annoying. Which is realistic we’re all annoying to someone.

In the film… She’s annoying. Okay so she’s a hunter and provider to, but god is she annoying. I know I said that Katniss was as well, but not to this extent.

Love interest/s
Where would our heroine be with out love, well dead for one. There are two love interests in the book; Gale , a hunter, a fighter, tall dark and handsome. And Peta, a baker, a lover, small blond and strong. We all had our favroute, some people got what we want and the rest…feel dead inside. But did they mange to pull them off in the film?

Yes, you know they really did. Gale was perfect completely how I imagined him. And while the actor for Peta didn’t entirely have the look down, his acting was superb.

Supporting cast
Haymitch is my favriote character, but he wasn’t before the film. I know it’s weird but there’s juju just something about Woody Harlson playing him that sold me.

Let’s see what about the others… Well the mother and Prim were perfect, I liked that hard of the mother. Very realistic. Didn’t Effie have pink hair in the book? Doesn’t matter, Elizabeth Banks still kicked ass as her.

Rue’s death went by too quickly, I mean I was upset but I wasn’t sobbing like with the book. And don’t even get me started on Cato’s death. Shooting the arrow strait away, they waited hours! They almost got frostbite!

Story

Which. I think leads us to my biggest problem with this film. It was a 12, which don’t get me wrong I can see why they did that. But you just lose so because of it.

It was like watching it in the Capital, none of the realism. You don’t see Katniss nearly die of thirst, or the true horror of Peta’s Leg injury.

So was it a good film? I suppose so. What you should be asking is wether it was a good film to watch right after you finished the book.