Concerning Hobbits, Love, and Movie Adaptations

So the other day a friend forwarded me a link to the very first-ever film adaptation of the Hobbit.

It’s only about 10 minutes long, and worth your time. I’m embedding it here as an example of why I’m extremely leery of anyone ever making a movie out of The Name of the Wind.

Isn’t that an absolute trip? They added a princess to the story and everything.

Now it turns out there are good reasons for why this adaptation was bizarrely short and startlingly off-script. But rather than summarize them, I’ll just link over to a post where the guy that made the film explained why it turned out as it did. It’s actually a really interesting story.

After watching it on youtube, I saw a link and followed it over to watch the trailer for the Hobbit movie.

I won’t deny that I got a bit of a tingle watching it. But honestly, my response was half-tingle, half anticipatory dread.

A dread-tingle. Or dringle, if you prefer.

You see, the first video I posted up there was bad enough to be good in a funny train-wreck sort of way.

But the trailer makes me think that the Hobbit movie is going to be good enough that big pieces of it will make me want to vomit pure bile.

“But Pat,” I hear you say, “Why the concern? The Lord of the Rings Movies were good!”

Yeah. They were good movies. I won’t argue that. They were also moderately okay adaptation of the books.

And yes, I’m aware that referring to something as ‘moderately okay’ is the very definition of damming with faint praise.

Without going into it in any detail, (that would be a whole separate blog’s worth of post) my main problem with the Jackson adaptations is that they lose the subtlety of the original stories.

It’s like this: Tolkien’s books were full of subtle tension, drama, action, good characters, and a world of startling and immersive richness.

Jackson’s adaptations had some brilliant action scenes, great special effects, some pointless action scenes, drama, melodrama, a lot of panoramic cinematography, good casting, and an inexplicably Scottish dwarf with all the character depth of a Disney animal sidekick.

So I’ll say it again. Good movies. Ah hell. I’ll even admit that they were great movies just for that fight scene with the rock troll in Moria.  But only moderately okay adaptations.

In the Hobbit trailer, I see the same thing happening. The Hobbit was a lighthearted story about a slightly bumbling average-Joe who goes off on an adventure and discovers hidden resources inside himself. (Spoiler alert.) It was fun. If the book came out today, it publishers would probably market it as YA.

While it had action and drama, it was not an action-packed Hollywood-style dramapalooza where Gandalf and Galadriel have emo makeouts.

I can tell in my bones that the movie is going to be chock full of scenes that were never in the original story. I’m not talking about a little extra dialogue here and there. I’m talking about completely invented cutaway scenes that stuff more action in, and subplots that were only barely alluded to in the book. My off-the-cuff prediction? At least 20 minutes worth.

It will be a good movie. Maybe even a great movie. But it will also be, at best, a moderately okay adaptation of the subtle, sweet book that I grew up loving.

You know that it’s going to be like? It’s going to be like wandering onto an internet porn site and seeing a video of a girl I had a crush on in high school. You probably knew someone like her. The smart girl. The shy girl. The one who wore glasses and was a little socially awkward. The one who screwed up the curve in chemistry so you got an A- instead of an A.

She was a geek girl before anybody knew what a geek girl was. And that was kinda awesome, because you were a geek boy before being a geek was culturally acceptable.

You liked her because she was funny. And she was smart. And you could actually talk to her. And she read books.

And sure, she was girl-shaped, and that was cool. And she was cute, in an understated, freckly way. And sometimes you’d stare at her breasts when you were supposed to be paying attention in biology. But you were 16. You stared at everyone’s breasts back then.

And yeah, you had some fantasies about her, because, again, you were 16. But they were fairly modest fantasies about making out in the back of a car. Maybe you’d get to second base. Maybe you could steal third if you were lucky.

And maybe, just maybe, something delightful and terrifying might  happen. And yeah, it would probably be awkward and fumbling at times, but that’s okay because she’d be doing half the fumbling too. Because the only experience either one of you had was from books. And afterwards, if you make a Star Wars joke, you know she’ll get it, and she’ll laugh….

That’s the girl you fell in love with in high school. You didn’t have a crush on her because she was some simmering pool of molten sex. You loved her because she was subtle and sweet and smart and special.

So you stroll onto this porn site, and there she is. Except now she’s wearing a thong and a black leather halter top. She’s wearing fuck-me red lipstick and a lot of dark eye makeup. Her breasts are amazing now, proud and perfectly round.

Someone’s taught her to dance, and she does it well. She’s flexible and tan. She has a flat midriff and walks like a high-class Vegas stripper. Her eyes are dark and smouldering. She has a riding crop, and she likes to be tied up, and her too-red mouth forms a perfect circle as she sighs and moans, and tosses her head in a performance designed to win any number of academy awards….

And what’s the problem with this? Well… in some ways, nothing. What you’ve found is perfectly good porn. Maybe even great porn.

But in other ways the problem is blindingly obvious. This girl has nothing in common with your high-school crush except for her social security number. Everything you loved about her is gone.

We loved the sweet, shy, freckly girl. We still remember her name, and after all these years she lives close to our heart. Seeing her in lipstick and stiletto heels dancing on a pole is like watching Winnie the Pooh do heroin and then glass someone in a bar fight.

It just isn’t something that I look forward to seeing….

And that’s how I’m going to feel when I watch the Hobbit.

I’ll be one part entertained, two parts nostalgic, two parts irritated, three parts outraged, and one part oddly titillated.

And I’ll watch it, and I’ll enjoy it, and afterwards I’ll go home and feel more than slightly sad….

pat

This entry was posted in Being a Curmudgeon, boding, Consistent Verb Tense Is For Bitches, movie talk, My High Horse, things I shouldn't talk about. By Pat171 Responses

171 Comments

  1. nazarith7
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    I personally would adore being able to make ‘The Name of the Wind’ into film, however I would be seriously doubting myself the whole time, as I personally hate it when a good book is ruined by it’s movie.
    If I were to be involved into making your book into a film, I would be corresponding with you, so as to make it right, cause I would hate to have to take action against myself if I ruined it.
    Long live Kvothe <3

  2. arch2ngel
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Is it bad that I now want to see a story where Winnie the Pooh does heroin and then glasses someone in a bar fight?

  3. Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    I so want to pin that illustration to Pinterest. In doing so, however, I would lose the subtletly of the humor. Oh, what am I talking about? It’s a freaking hobbit pole dancing for Patrick Rothfuss! That baby is getting pinned!

    • kharrisbob
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

      And someone will take out the Hobbit parts and it becomes a NAMBLA post…

  4. zacharybosch
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    That’s always going to be the way with movie adaptations. Can’t be helped, unless you make the adaption yourself. Sometimes it goes well, like the adaption of Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim, which stayed very true to the book and which hit me in the face the same way that the book did.
    And of course, then there are things like The Golden Compass. I love the trilogy with all my heart (so much so that I got one of the chapter illustrations tattooed on my arm), but the adaption was just abysmal, and they didn’t bother adapting the second or third ones at all.

    But there will always be the original book, so in the end, none of the adaptions that may come about even matter at all; they’re just pieces of fanfiction by fans who don’t necessarily agree with you.

    • Filipa
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

      I think they tried to smash the whole triology into one movie, idk it failed so horribly it made me cringe.. even the actors were poorly chosen

    • Liam
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 3:22 AM | Permalink

      http://youtu.be/2FBXOrb6loQ?t=1m21s

      This scene alone made the movie worth watching. I agree though, it had none of the heart that the book did.

  5. Jack Lancaster
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    You are correct in every regard, Mr. Rothfuss.

    I haven’t seen the trailer in weeks but the Gandalf/Galadriel thing is still grinding away in my brain like sand on tile.

  6. Gorewolf
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    The Hobbit Porn rule (as i shall now refer to it when arguing with friends) is the best i’ve ever heard that argument put forward! And i whole heartedly agree that it applies to the Lord of the Rings and any number of other books turned into movies (with the exception of Fight Club). I had a similar experiance that makes the rule just that little bit more real for me, i skipped ahead a couple of grades in some subjects in highschool and had a massive crush on an older girl in English Studies who closely matches your discription. Skip ahead a few years to 18, the first of my mates had moved out, and to a location less than a Km away from Adelaide’s Night Club district. Waaaay to many beers, a 3am tattoo and our first trip to a strip club later; the first main stage full nude stripper is English Studies girl, stripping to “Centerfold” by the J. Geils Band.

  7. Feathers McGraw
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    I like the metaphor about that girl but to me there is two ways in which i falls flat, somehow:

    The geek girl will be forever in your memory, and there is no way to go back to it. The porn version of the girl has taken the place of the geek girl, that’s depressing. But in reality, your book will still be there after the movie. The pure, complex, nuanced version will still be waiting for me in my bookshelf after I come home. In fact, people will go back to the book because of the movie and find out more about that world.

    Secondly, to me a movie puts an extra layer of intensity over the source material. This is what it is like with Game of Thrones for me (maybe a better model for you to emulate anyway than Lord of the Rings): The characters look different to me than they do on the TV show (except obviously Tyrion and maybe Arya) and they still look like I imagined them when I read the book. I have spent so much more time with the characters in my head that the TV show can’t simply override that.

    I’m doing a bad job explaining this but I hope you get my drift. I’ll try explaining it two ways, with a bad metaphor and a game of thrones example.

    Bad explanation a:
    This is why people want to see celebrities naked (not everyone, obviously). Because, while they know they could never actually see them naked in real life, it makes fantasizing about them more thrilling and more realistic. I can fool myself more effectively into believing that I would have a shot.

    bad metaphor b:
    When I read the Song of Ice and Fire books now, after having seen the TV show, the characters are still the same than when I read them before. But I can take the stuff that I didn’t imagine in as much detail from the show now. The music and the architecture and the mood and the sounds and the clothes – whatever I didn’t imagine before I can now just fill in from memory of the show. And that makes reading the same pages as before so much more evocative.

    The bottom line is: movies are great in helping making the experience of the books richer for the imaginationally challanged. I don’t actually think of myself that way (or I wouldn’t like books so much in general) but seeing and hearing everything lets my imagination focus on the important stuff! So I would love to see a movie or better a TV show from your book. not because it would be a good representation of the story, but because it will make rereading the books funner!

    • fallenangel
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

      bad metaphor b – is exactly how I felt when I watched LOTR particularly when it came to elf architecture, it filled in the gaps of how I imaged it would look after reading the book.

    • chironbasileus
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

      I agree. I am one of those ” imaginationally challenged” individuals of which you speak. I cannot conjure images in my mind, (a horrible problem for a would be writer). Description is utterly lost on me. I try, I really do. I even close my eyes sometimes and go over what I’ve just read… nada. Have the same problem with action scenes… Audio books help a little, but overall its near impossible for me to imagine what things look like. I need films to fill in the gaps for me. Otherwise I’m unconsciously relying on the cover art, which aint always much better, eh. :D

    • Beth
      Posted September 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

      That is pretty much the gist of what I was going to say, Feathers. I had a hard time finding interest in fantasy series’ until I watched the movie first, then I couldn’t help but read the whole set of books before the next movie came out (i.e. Harry Potter). I was anti-potter from start to 17 (I believe I am the same age as Harry…) until I said fnck it one day and just watched the first movie on ABC family. Little did I know that it was adorable! So I forced my friend to loan me her book and read it in one sitting and went out into the world to find the rest and watch the other movies, too, and got to see how much better the books were than the movies! I don’t know if I ever would have read them if it weren’t for movie exposure.

      Now, I sometimes wait until a movie airs before reading the book, just so that the movie will be good, and I can read the book next and it will also be good (better, obviously) as opposed to reading the book, loving it, and then watching the movie and judging it the whole time. (Twilight. enough said. Though I did judge the books quite a lot, too).

      I read Game of Thrones while the first season aired, but my husband read it at least a year before hand, and luckily it was so good that we both were like, “It’s practically the same thing!”

      So point- Pat, you should see about HBO making NOTW into a TV show instead. Movie adaptations have to cut so much out, but TV shows have a lot more screen time. Unless, well obviously-probably, you had them chop your books even farther to make the movies. NOTW part 1, 2, 3, and 4 1/2…that doesn’t sound as good as NOTW season one… :D If GOT parts up into episodes, NOTW does better.

      NOTW does everything better. Except compared to WMF……I have a bit of a crush on WMF….probably because it’s long….giggity.

  8. Knightrous
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Why do I get a horrible feeling that your comparison about the high-school crush/porn star is not entirely made up? There really does sound like the tinge of true regret in describing what you wished you’d done and the horror of finding what has become of them.

  9. LionsRampant
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    And then the debate of the allowing NOTW to be produced into a TV series ala “Game of Thrones” style. When I first heard that there would be a television series based on ASOIAF, I was very skeptic to the idea of character development and pacing but I felt that they approached the story rather well.

    After Season 1/Book 1, I am pleased with the series and character portrayals and I am very curious to how The Kingkiller Chronicles would translate to television (R rating required).

  10. thistlepong
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    I understand your point, of course, but I’m shocked to see the “Centerfold” argument on your blog. Comparing a work of popular art meant solely for your gaze, in both versions, to a woman is bilious.

    • Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

      Hmmm…

      Nope. I stand by it.

      I’m not comparing a woman to a book, I’m comparing two different types of infatuation.

      The crush you feel for a girl you don’t really know and the attachment you feel toward a book you read in high school fall pretty firmly into the same category. They’re both intensely personal, one-sided experiences.

      • Luke
        Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

        I’ve heard Pat claim a healthy “avoidance” of books that purport to teach writing. And I think he is the better for it. However, his comments got me to thinking about some of the most interesting things I have read about fiction. Perhaps because he might have unknowingly hit on an analogy already explored by some very intelligent writers. Hopefully the following texts can add something to Pat’s comparisons.

        In reference to his comment about the melodrama that will undoubtedly influence the adaptations:

        Melodrama is also puzzling because of the grip it sometimes applies, like sensationalism or pornography, to the imagination. Liking it makes people feel guilty. Because melodrama is about, among other things, the failure of explanations, it calls forth the imagination in compensation. For this reason, the lyric arts don’t have to worry about melodrama in the same way that the narrative arts do… All the same, general and polite agreement exists among intelligent readers that melodrama—whatever it is—is deplorable. Children might enjoy it, but a healthy adult mind should be able to resist it. (Charles Baxter Burning Down the House 128)

        And in reference to his geek-girl analogy:

        Pornography is not merely steeped in the graphic, it is defined by it: porn is generally defined as “sexually explicit materials.” No porn that I’ve ever seen or heard about has any legitimate interest in character development or most of the other literary aspects of narrative. And the difference between hard-core and soft-core porn is the visual guarantee that the actors are literally having sex and not pretending; in other words, they assure the viewer this really happened. And that, as I see it, is what’s most offensive about pornography—the “lie” of this really happened. (Robert Boswell The Half-known World: On Writing Fiction 106)

        So, in my opinion, we have two reasons why the adaptation will be inferior: the idea that movie viewers love them some melodrama (which will take the form of excessive action instead of subtle storytelling); and the lie that makes The Hobbit pornographic—that the visual effects themselves will decry Tolkien’s careful building of the fantastic. It is my belief that we want to believe in the fantasy of the geek-girl (or geek-boy) and of Middle Earth. We do not want to see them adulterated and made real, especially in the form of a lie. The lie being the visual effect of cosmetology and special effects in place of our imagination. And (if I am over-stepping I apologize) I think Pat means that the wonder of the story lies in the telling… not the melodramatic showing, which will be lost in the adaptation.

        • Luke
          Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

          This is not to say that film can’t engage in storytelling. The best ones do: Firefly being perhaps one of the best examples. Though that wasn’t an adaptation, so it is free of the burden of comparison. And well… Nathan Fillion.

          It’s just very difficult for studios to eschew inferior storytelling techniques that will undoubtedly make millions. 3D anyone? There’s a reason no studio has yet achieved Cameron’s success with Avatar. That was a marriage of effect and storytelling (albeit a flawed story in parts…unobtanium? Really? Even great stories can fail when they reach too far).

          Stardust is a good one. Yet another marriage of effect and telling.

  11. hobbsthegreat
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Pat, have you thought about HBO or that type of format to tell your story? The first thing I thought of when I read your books were that there was no way a two or three hour movie could do it justice. As a 13-20 episode season and maybe more creative control over it or even input as GRRM has with Thrones, I personally think it could be done.

    • Alex
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

      Personally, I think The Name of the Wind is more a la Harry Potter than GoT in terms of adaptability.
      The storyline, though immense, is capable of becoming a 140 min movie – a lot of great stuff would have to be cut, but then again, adaptations are always interpretations, not clones, therefore i believe it could never really ruin the books if it went amiss. Just like the Eragon movie-flop never altered my perception of the book. It would just be one more way of looking at it.

      The Name of the Wind would make a great series, but, i think, an ever better big-screen, big-budget movie – if done properly, mind. You just don’t get the same feelings of grandness and awesomeness on the 30 inch TV in your living room as you do on a giant screen, big-ass surround sound speakers, and a room-full of enthusiastic fans.
      But that’s just my opinion ;)

      • Beth
        Posted September 18, 2012 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

        Lets canvas to have all NOTW episodes be also released in mega-theaters with Cos-Play events :D

  12. anmatcoburn
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    I’m rereading the Wise Man’s Fear right now and I’m a filmmaker. (I love both books and movies, is what I’m saying.) And the thing is, you can have a book–and when you adapt a book into a movie, you then have a wildly different experience in a totally different medium with different narrative needs and goals. And the aims and goals of the filmmaker and the author are not always going to overlap to a high degree. But that’s okay! Because when you say that yes, I will take a certain amount of cash to let you adapt this piece of material, you’re letting other creative people play in your world without your control. You’re also letting executives think about how to get the most cash out of the property, which will lead to odd behaviors as they try to game the audience. (So you need a lot of leverage–think of JK Rowling–to assure that you have input into that. Otherwise…not so much.)

    Personally, I think that Name of the Wind would be a crap movie but an amazing TV show. It’s too big for a medium that is in essence designed for novella or short story. Simplicity is best. But TV, now–TV is where the most interesting risks are being taken, and where creators are thinking of their shows like novels. Think of Game of Thrones on HBO. Multiple narrative strands! Many locations! Lots of characters! A riveting central hero! It would be soooo cool.

    • Beth
      Posted September 18, 2012 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

      Not to mention all the ups and downs of the story, where every time something sorta great happens to Kvothe, something 10 times worse than last time happens. That’s timed out well for a edge-of-the-couch-seat set of episodes. I’d be late for work for some of that!

  13. anmatcoburn
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    Stupid HTML.

  14. gabrielthebright
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Please excuse the melodrama, but that was kind of hauntingly beautiful.

    Now all we need is the high budget action blockbuster where the guy must save his high school sweetheart from the evil porn producers.

  15. Flarinator
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    Well, I disagree with you, Mr. Rothfuss. :) I dont think of the PJ-Movies as adaptions. I think they are interpretations!! As it is every adapted movie, books etc. where the original creator couldn´t participate. The movies are interpretations of PJ´s unterstanding of Tolkies work´s

    But first, and I´m sure you know this: Tolkien himself extended the story of The Hobbit not only by revising it after LOTR was released. He added Stuff related to The Hobbit into the appendencies of LOTR.

    And second: PJ and his team will add things to the story, no doubt. But I think that he has been very good at adding things to Tolkiens universe! Example: It´s my personal opinion but the Aragorn in the movies is worked out really well. In the books he´s very flat. PJ gave him a bit more drama and depth and I always felt that makes him and his fate more interesting.

    Sorry for my not so perfect english ;)

    • Filipa
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

      Then it shouldn’t be called an adaptation, it should be called fan-art and there are entire forums dedicated to it. Only they don’t often mess with the main plot, instead they take the liberty to play within the scenario and with the characters, without screwing the story up… But that’s just my take on it.

    • Tyelkormo
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

      See, the Aragorn example is precisely where I think the book has been butchered. You call Aragorn in the book “flat”, but what he actually is is an archetype. He is “the King” and precisely because he is “the King”, he becomes king. He is accepted by the Gondorians not on the basis of his lineage (which was rejected as a basis for a claim to the crown quite a while earlier), but because he acts as “the King” would. The Hobbits are the characters presented for us to identify with. Aragorn is an ideal, just like Gandalf and Elrond are. Elrond, as Tolkien states verbatim in one of his letters, stands for wisdom. Jackson threw that out as well. Gandalf, Olorin, also presented as one of the wisest among the Maia, learned from Nienna compassion and mercy, and shows them to be of strength, rather than of weakness. Yet Jackson has him quivering before the Witch King even as the White.
      Tolkien wrote mythology – as such he heavily used archetypes. Jackson, in an extra to the first DVD, called it a “fantasy adventure story”. That is essentially what he has brought to the screen.
      There was a great article on this issue ages ago in the Internet Review of Science Fiction, called “Peter Jackson and the Denial of the Hero”. It can still be found at http://www.irosf.com/q/zine/article/10018

      • domdib
        Posted February 22, 2012 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

        Indeed. Aragorn has always struck me as an archetype of nobility. Because Peter Jackson was making a film in a time which does not really understand the concept, and also perhaps because he wanted a wider audience, he (and his co-writer Fran Walsh) made him a figure with conflicted, impure motives, more accessible to the modern mind.

        • domdib
          Posted February 22, 2012 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

          Apologies. I forgot to credit Philippa Boyens as Jackson’s other co-writer.

  16. Filipa
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    As I see it a movie adaptation of a great book is always doomed to fail horribly in some way because, well most of these great books are rich in detail that is to this day only possible for human imagination and nature itself to reproduce.
    How can a computer-made movie embody such emotion, rich detail and subtle plot developments? A good movie adaptation of great books (like anything Tolkien wrote, Harry Potter and other great sagas) had to be 4 hours long and so expensive that half of its budget would be enough to take Portugal out of the gutter and make its economy thrive…
    Ask a movie fan that doesn’t like to read: they don’t want to watch 4 hours of going up hill and having lunch with elfs… they want only fight scenes and deeply emotional scenes in a movie that takes at most 2 hours of their lives.
    I felt my soul being raped when I saw, well, basically half of the Harry Potter movies because they completely ruined it for me. When watching the movie Eragon, which I followed and waited for patiently, I actually CRIED! I do not cry easily, but to spoil a book so dearly loved by so many was, at least, cruel…
    Anyway, geeks all over the world feel your pain. Good day to you sir!
    Geek greetings from Portugal!

  17. freakphill
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    Trouble with us fans, or only followers, of Tolkien, Ende, Gigax, Weiss, and even Rothfuss ;), is that we really don´t want to see an adaptation of our loved books, we want to see them word by word. And even then we will not like some things, cause these don´t look like the picture we have in our minds.
    I mean, its imposible to know how do we all hear the music that kvothe plays, p.e., so we probably have to assume that it would be different.
    I always thought in adaptated movies like a history told by different ppl. Ur mother tells u not to smoke, cause is bad, ur father tells he could hurt u if he see u doing it, in school they speak about the health damage if u do it, and friends offer u one, like a “being adult” requirement… All tell u the same thing but changed to their own view, wich comes of more different views…
    About LOTR, i didn´t liked the 2 and 3, cause they killed my fav character, Gimly, making him look like a jester, and cause they changed the only complete “human” victory (Helms Deep) adding a few elven, (no more than 20 or 30) like they alone could stop Saruman´s army, and humans just were… well something that just have to be there.

  18. adam.gemmer
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    And this is why I’ve been arguing for years that epic fantasy should be done as mini-series instead of movies. CGI is advanced enough that you don’t need a huge movie budget to make things look good, and you have much more time to include the subtlety. Can you imagine LotR as a six season HBO miniseries, each with 12 one hour episodes? This is why I’m hoping for Game of Thrones to be a smash hit.

    NotW would probably be a horrible movie. There’s just too much dialogue and not enough action to make Hollywood happy. Give it to Shotime or HBO, and I think it’s a very different thing entirely.

    • zifnab25
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

      :-p I honestly thought HBO kinda butchered the first GoT book. It was fun seeing characters you recognize from a story rendered in the flesh, but [SPOILERS] there’s no way to really appreciate Bran’s desire to be a knight smashed inside the first half of the book [SPOILERS], from the way the show just tossed him out there. The presentation was gorgeous, but the guts of the plot just weren’t there.

      That’s actually one reason I’d have more hope for NotW than GoT. Focusing on one or two characters and telling their story on camera seems a lot easier than building up a cast that (in my opinion) even Martin wasn’t able to tend properly in his books.

  19. He without a clever name
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Boy, do I possibly have bad news for you.

    You’re aware that after this movie, there’s another one coming out next Christmas to bridge the gap between The Hobbit and LotR? Basically two and a half hours of completely made up hollywood stuff?

    I very much enjoyed this blog. Getting to read such a well thought out opinion on the LotR movies by one of fantasy’s big names and someone who clearly holds the originals close to the heart made for a good read.

    For me, adaptations and re imaginings are always a mixed bag. Some stuff they’ll get so right it could become my favorite part of the entire property. Then something will happen twenty minutes later that makes me want to yell so loud in the movie theater that the director and studio will hear my anguish 3,000 miles away.

    There are two things I never want movies of. The Dark Tower books and The Name of the Wind.

    • Johannes
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

      “You’re aware that after this movie, there’s another one coming out next Christmas to bridge the gap between The Hobbit and LotR? Basically two and a half hours of completely made up hollywood stuff?”

      Ehrm.. This is not true.. They discarded that plan a long time ago. I think the idea was to make the first movie “bridging”-movie between LOTR and The Hobbit and the second The Hobbit itself. But they decided to make split the adaptation of The Hobbit in two. The movie coming out in 2013 is “The Hobbit: There and back again”, the second half of The Hobbit.

      But I guess that they will include alot of the things they planned for the “bridge”-film in The Hobbit, all the stuff with the White Council etc. from the LOTR appendices. Which means that Patrick should brace himself for ALOT more than 20 minutes of stuff not found in the book.

      I’m excited about it. Frankly, if someone made a “faithfull” adaptation (whatever that is), from only the stuff found in the books, it wouldn’t have been a very good movie..

  20. nictare
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Not to detract from the sad thoughts of hobbit porn, but have you heard “Pooh Goes Ape-shit”?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEmp69aOZ5M

  21. Erzberger
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    I think a lot of what I love about The Name Of The Wind is almost untranslatable to movies (maybe not only almost). The biggest one being the language itself (you couldn´t have constant voice over in this type of film… well, maybe Scorsese could), but other, smaller things as well, like the singing of The Lay of Sir Savien or the Adem handtalk or many of the subleties in the realtionship between Denna and Kvothe. Their slow back and forth. Felurian and anything about the atmosphere in the Fae. Veeery difficult. And yet, I would like to see someone try it, who is talented and dedicated to the book. But I´d be afraid to watch it.

    • zifnab25
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

      Are you kidding? I was writing the screenplay in my head inside the first chapter.

      Because the story is so long, and a lot of the plot lingers on a specific setting, I could see this adapted to a multi-episode HBO mini-series easier than a feature film. But the cadence of the plot – a back and forth between excited action and slower character development – could make a damn good video performance. Hell, I could see it getting written up as a live-production play.

      But a clever director could do some fun things with subtitles as Kvothe tries to pick up the language. And get some Inception/Vanilla Sky surrealism guy to do Fae. And, honestly, I’d just do the Lay of Sir Savien in bits in the actual show, then throw up a proper full production online for the more hardcore fans to enjoy.

      I honestly don’t understand the distaste for the Hobbit movie, or for that matter for the kiddy rendition Pat opened with. At a certain point, its like Pat said – this is a totally different girl than you knew in high school. I don’t know if I’d compare it to porn. More like running into a really enthusiastic cosplayer at Comic Con. But so long as the story is entertaining and the performance hits all the cords you expect, what’s wrong with a little creative freedom? Apocolypse Now was better than Heart of Darkness (in my opinion, anyway) and Blade Runner was more fun than Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep, so there’s as much room for improvement and imperfection. :-p That’s my two cents anyway.

      • Filipa
        Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

        Just out of curiosity, how would you include the whole chapters of Kvothe working in the Fishery or lurking the Archives?

        • zifnab25
          Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

          A lot of the Fishery and Archive chapters were descriptions. And pictures being 1000 words and all that, you can give a lot of details about these places and the people in them without spending an entire chapter painting it out.

          I’d focus on the story on friendships/rivals with the various students and masters, and just use the Archive and the Fishery as backdrop settings. Kvothe did a lot of sneaking/experimenting/dashing-about-amid-explosions in both these settings, so its not like an episode surrounding any one of these places would get boring.

  22. wingodzilla73
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    I would HATE your book to be a movie. The process of trying to do a first person narrative is mindboggling at best. Never mind all that would be lost in the process. Pat wrote at the beginning of The Name of the Wind that his father told him if something was going to be done then take your time and do it right. Could that be done with his book. Not unless it was a least a 3 movie deal! I am always a fan of good books being made into movies. But for every LOTR there is four The Dark is Rising. :(

  23. Anna
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    I understand where you’re coming from, Pat, but at the same time, as much as I loved the stories that Tolkien was telling I thought he was a terrible writer. His style was so awful that by the time I finished Two Towers I forced myself to keep slogging through and finish Return of the King.

    For that reason, I thought the Jackson movies were amazing because from my perspective they took an amazing story/world/characters and made them shine. Took a diamond and allowed it to sparkle. Did the the movie Gimli make me cringe a few times? Sure, but that in no way stops me from seeing those movies as some of best I’ve ever seen while I still hate the books just as much as I ever did.

    Having said that, I don’t deny that I loved reading The Hobbit and I do hope that Jackson doesn’t ruin it. As always, I will watch it while reminding myself that book never adapts well to a movie. You have to view them both as separate and not always equal.

    • Luke
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

      In regards to, “[Tolkien's] style was so awful that by the time I finished Two Towers I forced myself to keep slogging through and finish Return of the King.”

      While everone is entitled to their opinion, I think it important to note that time influences style. Because Tokien forged the path into fantasy it is understandable that it is his ideas that stuck and not necessarily his style. His style is writing of another time–before Carver and the legions of minimalists who’ve eradicated the dense sentences that modern day readers call “sluggish.”

      It is unfair to judge him by such modern criteria, especially when it is his imaginative detail which has given rise to an entire genre. A closer description might be to call him old testament. Full of fire? Yes. Sexy in its delivery? Maybe not quite as compelling as the book of revelation.

      • chironbasileus
        Posted February 20, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

        I don’t think that it is unfair to compare him to modern standards. A good story will be a good story no matter when it is told. I read The Time Machine, which has almost no dialogue and I am engrossed and enthralled every page, and H.G. Wells’ work is a little older than Tolkien’s. I read Jane Austin and feel a sense of tension, while she uses lots of needless details… and her books are kinda just about people visiting each other, and are far older than Tolkien. Tolkien published in the 50s. Hemingway was well famous by then; writing was already looking very different than the stuff Tolkien was writing.

        Tolkien never spoke to me. Everything about his world was very flat. I read The Hobbit and Fellowship as a teenager, couldn’t get any further. As an adult (just to be sure) I reread them, making it all the way through the Two Towers. I have to agree with Anna, and I think Jackson did breathe a lot of life into Tolkien’s work for a lot of people.

        • Tyelkormo
          Posted February 20, 2012 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

          Wrong timeframe. All the stories you list are modern – compared to Tolkien was emulating. He was a specialist in early mediaeval storytelling, and it shows. He lifted scenes almost verbatim out of Beowulf and adapted plenty of other motifs from mediaeval and ancients legendaria. There’s a reason plenty of Tolkien admirers are found among his fellow specialists in mediaeval studies.
          H.G. Wells’ work is older than Tolkien’s, but compared to his inspirations, it’s a baby.

          • chironbasileus
            Posted February 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

            You’re misunderstanding my point there. It has nothing to do with concept. It was a comparison on the writing itself with examples where far less went on, eventwise, but the writng was strong enough to still feel epic and compelling to a modern reader.

        • Anna
          Posted February 22, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

          @ chironbasileus – you’ve nailed it exactly for me, thank you. I can love a book from almost any time period and as long as it’s written in English I can get into the story and immerse myself in the wording from whatever time period it was written in. As long as it was good writing to begin with.

          LoTR was just so ponderous and obtuse and why, WHY DEAR GOD?!?, did he include pages of horrible poetry that completely derailed the story itself? Of course, that’s my opinion and I don’t expect others to feel that way. Tyelkormo, you say he was a specialist in medieval storytelling, but I don’t think he was a good storyteller.

  24. Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    Despite the hardly recognizable plot of that first adaptation, the illustrations are adorable. It was worth watching just for Bilbo’s hairy hobbit feet!!

  25. moonrise
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    Interesting points. Truely.

    Personally, I liked the LOTR movies just for what they were. Long, unwieldy, yet certainly enjoyable. (I saw them before I read the books, not the wisest decision, but at the time, I could hardly read English. Maybe that was a factor.)

    The Hobbit will also be a good adpatation, even if it is in TWO parts…

  26. Filipa
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    I would personally be very sad to the see the kingkiller chronicle made into movie, to see all it’s wonderful subtleties chewed up and spit into the mouth of those too lazy to pick up the books… Idk I think most of the fans would feel horrible about it.
    Even making a video game of the world created by Mr. Rothfuss would be really tricky… but oh well.

  27. nfitzgerald
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    I’ve always found it a little strange that people seem to think that film adaptations need to be completely faithful renditions of the book. Adapting popular stories and putting one’s own specific spin/changes to it have been part of story telling culture for as long as it existed. After all, nobody on reading Homer’s Odyssey considers how perfectly it tallies with previous renditions of Odysseus’ tale. And given that one of Tolkein’s stated goals was to create a body of myth for a culture which largely lacked it, I’m not so sure he would be upset that other storytellers have chosen to put their own spin on the tales he told.

    But, then again, I rage-quit the Game of Thrones TV series after two episodes, so clearly I haven’t entirely internalized my own argument…

    • Tyelkormo
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

      Tolkien completely shredded a script that was presented to him while he lived. Second, you are right that his goal was to create a body of myth – that is precisely what Jackson did not do. Jackson’s storytelling is not in the line of mythology, but more in the line of pulp and modern fantasy adventure storytelling.
      And as for being “completely” faithful, that’s the strawman usually presented in such discussions: Any criticism is slammed aside with the claim that one would accept nothing but a “completely” faithful adaptation. That’s a nice and easy way out, because it saves you from having to address actual arguments – you simply deny there is even the possibility of valid criticism. But precisely for that reason, it’s not a very convincing argument.

  28. farleykj
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    There’s a scale I like to use for the quality of a book adaptation to film, the TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ratio. That particular adaptation was so excellent it may be used as a unit of measure (much like Pat’s internet Wheaton/Gaiman scale). For example, the awesome film Let the Right One In, original, was maybe 0.7. Very good, but not true to the author’s vision.
    Of course, one could choose to take the Douglas Adams viewpoint. He realized that one medium does not easily translate to another, so just changed things from version to version.

  29. chaelek
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    Consistent Verb Tense Is For Bitches. Great blog category, or greatest blog category?

  30. jonzes
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Wow I didn’t know that version of The Hobbit existed. I can see where you are coming from but to torture your ‘Angel is the Centerfold’ simile further there is no reason the stripper version of your crush has to be awful to talk to or doesn’t still like Star Wars jokes. The LoTR movies didn’t bother me much (and I read the books many, many times) because I couldn’t envision a better movie being made of the source material.

    For me the difference between a good adaptation and a bad adaptation is not which is a bettor mirror of the book but which is a better movie that also maintains some essence of the book. But then I am not an Author, I’m just someone that likes a good book and a good movie. I do share some hesitancy about the Hobbit movie, the source material was not nearly as concrete or gritty as LoTR but I am willing to give it a try.

    As for your work, it seems kinda long and character driven to be made into a movie with a nice beginning middle and end. The framing device of the story being told at the tavern is very cinematic but there is a lot of people hanging around chatting about day to day stuff that would all be cut leaving some of the less satisfying parts of the story. The recent successes in fantasy novel movie crossbreeds (LoTR, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter) all mirror the organization of the books in structure. GoT was written as episodes, HP as years etc. I think if you really wanted to cash in with a blockbuster (hey why not? Like the guy who wrote Transformers deserves all that money) writing the books ‘cinematic’ from the start OR giving up any pretense that the movie will be anything but inspired-by seems to be the only way to end up happy with the adaptation.

  31. Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    High production-valued TV series with creative control to edit all scripts…directed by Joss Whedon.

    • Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

      Agreed. I wouldn’t even need script approval. I trust him.

      • Constance
        Posted February 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

        Oh squee. This means we’d get Nathan Fillion as Stanchion and NPH as Bast FOR SURE!

  32. Em Walker
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    BBC could probably do a good job, simply because they take the time to do it right. Their adaptation of Pride & Prejudice is outstanding, I’ve heard Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy is really good too. If given enough time and resources, they could probably put together something decent IF: there was any living man awesome enough to accurately portray Kvothe. IMO, that’s the heart of the issue. And Denna? Come on, now. I always try to think of actors who would do a great job in certain roles, and came up blank more often than not. In a good way.

    P.S., I haven’t read The Hobbit in eons, but wasn’t there a rather large role given to the dragon Smaug? It’s worrying that the first teaser trailers aren’t making a big deal about a massive fire-breathing beast of destruction.

    P.P.S, there’s a rather good documentary about LOTR from NatGeo that goes in-depth in how Tolkien developed the Elvish language, where he got the ideas for Orcs, etc. It’s really interesting.

    • Alex
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

      Smaug wouldn’t be in this trailer, since he doesn’t appear till the second half of the book, and this is the trailer for The Hobbit Part 1/2.

    • Filipa
      Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

      Saying that Doctor Who is a BBC series would probably suffice to convince most of the people here that they could make a series out of the Kingkiller Chronicle.

  33. Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    The way I survived the LOTR adaptions was to just think of them as long commercials for the books. Of course they lacked much of the subtly, and I rolled my eyes more often than I can count. I’ll be seeing The Hobbit with a pound of salt.

  34. Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    That was awesome!

  35. tinker99
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    Pat:

    Being closely involved with the Hollywood adaptation of another major fantasy franchise, I feel compelled to chime in.

    First off: I love your books. They are perhaps harder to adapt than other fantasy (because so much of the experience comes from your lyrical writing style), but I think it’s only a matter of time before someone gives it a shot. Kvothe is an irresistible character and he will shine on screen.

    Second: I love the LotR films. And I think it’s unfair to classify them as Hollywood action films. They smashed the international box office AND swept the Oscars — a testament to their extraordinary quality, on many levels!

    Third: Adaptation is not translation. Some works (e.g. Game of Thrones) do prove well-suited to a (fairly) straightforward adaptation — but in most cases, filmmakers *must* take creative license because film is simply its own beast. What works beautifully in a novel, often fails on screen.

    The key to a great adaptation, from my point of view — is not to perfectly match the movie to the original book. It’s to perfectly embody the essence of the story, characters, and world — and to deftly re-express that essence within the unique constraints of the visual medium.

    This is why some of the best adaptations come from an experienced screenwriter working directly with the novelist. In the best of cases, there’s a push-and-pull between the “liberal” needs of the screenwriter, and the “conservative” instincts of the original creator.

    Anyway, I do hope we eventually see “The Name of the Wind” on the big screen — and while the movie might not match the book to the letter, I bet that the right screenwriter could do something really incredible with your wonderful, magical novels.

  36. Daniel Goldberg
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    What movies, in your opinion, do the best job of staying true to the book? I’d be interested to see what you liked. I agree with your assessment of LOTR.

  37. Gaius Maximus
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pat! As a Tolkien lover going back to early childhood, I’ve been amazed ever since the movies came out at the near universal love for them. I can see why someone who never read the books or who didn’t care much for them would love the movies, but I’ve never been able to understand their popularity among hardcore Tolkien fans. To me, they were beautiful to look at but at best shallow and at worst infuriating, the treatment of Faramir being a prime example of the latter. It seems obvious to me that the writers and director either didn’t understand or didn’t care about the emotional heart of the story.

    I’m sure the Hobbit movie will get rapturous reviews and everyone who sees it will love it, but I will not be one of them. I shudder to think how many dwarf-tossing jokes Jackson will cram in with 13 dwarves available.

    • resemblelife
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

      ‘. . . didn’t understand or didn’t care about the emotional heart of the story.’

      GaiusMax, thank you for expressing this so well. I have often wondered at the popularity of the LOTR movies myself. In spite of the cinematic loveliness of PJ’s Middle Earth, I will never be able to watch the LOTR movies again. True about Faramir, but the real knife to my heart was the sloppy and soulless depiction of Frodo.
      In the books, Frodo’s quiet strength and terrible struggle against the looming darkness. . . heartbreakingly beautiful throughout. In what Tolkien universe could the Ring Bearer, who crosses the hells of Moria and Mordor to destroy the One Ring, be so helpless, whiny and snivelly? Weathertop is a perfect example. The 1978 animated version did a far better job at capturing the gloomy charisma and intensity of Frodo.
      And as if that weren’t bad enough, they made the ancient and fathomless wisdom of Treebeard completely clueless as to what was going on at the edge of his own forest! To botch such things is, to my way of thinking, unforgivable.

      Infuriating indeed. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to vent.

      • chironbasileus
        Posted February 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

        If I’m not mistaken Wood hadn’t read the books before he got the part. You’re not the first to complain that he totally misssed the mark. I don’t think I would cast him simply cuz he doesnt have all that much range. I do find it interesting though that he did pull off the most compelling scene in the trilogy, for me. In Fellowship when they are all meeting and arguing about who will take the ring and he steps up. When he says he’ll take it, but he doesnt know the way. I dunno why but that scene is iconic to me.

  38. Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    There is a delicate intimacy in reading that simply lacks in film. When I read Tolkien or Rothfuss, or any great writer, they are assisting in “my” imaginings. They are the dewy foxglove lips of your lover gently whispering in your ear as the story takes root. Film leaves nothing to the imagination and what you see, “everyone” else sees as well. Watching a movie is like having a trumpet blasting in your ear, there’s no way to imagine that what you hear is different from the person next to you. Film takes the relativity of reading and mashes it into the shared universality.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some great movies out there. But none of them possess the solo deep-sea diving intimacy of reading.

  39. ssw166
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Does this mean you’re not going to let anyone make a movie out of Name of the Wind?
    Please say yes.
    Your books are too perfect the way they are that any small modification would alter the entire flow of the books.
    I have a friend who “sees” the action play out as he reads books, and when we discuss Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear, I find that his idea of what the books are about aren’t as deep as they could be. His characters are too concrete and set in stone, and that makes them too melodramatic and not real at all.
    So please, no movie.

  40. Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    I had a similar experience with The Lord of the Rings. I followed the movie from the beginning, since I work for the German Tolkien (and Hobbit) Website Tolkiens-Welt.de. Right now, I am reading this book to my kids, which means I am reading it for the 20th time or so. But since the movie, its like in my mind Frodo wears a horrible mask of Elijah Wood that he must not take off. Can’t do anything about it …

    Martin Freemans mask (he plays Bilbo in the ) is already in the locker back there in my mind.

    I am sure the movie will be great, but with all this masks the real faces one has in his mind will just vanish…

  41. xespum
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat! I usually agree with you, but I think you are basically full of the Proverbial Shit(tm) here. Your argument basically says that success for you is that things stay the way they were when you first loved them. It forgets the lesson that we all grow up and that “them not busy being born are busy dying” – there is wonder and joy in change, not in stagnation. I think a much better analogy is going to your 20th reunion and seeing the same girl you were in love with before. But now she’s married, has 2 kids. And she’s fun, and happy, and turned into a person you could never imagine. And it’s all good.

    I know you get this – I read your books! :P

    I think there is a deep and rational fear that instead of growing up to be healthy, vibrant, and happy the girl is going to grow up to be a segment of Dateline NBC about how she killed her kids. But please don’t let this fear drive you! Yes, the Hobbit movie will be different. Those of that read it 5 times before 5th grade will argue about the choices they made to change it. And those of us that understand change happens or your die will take the opportunity to enjoy a pretty damn good movie….and then we’ll go read the book again.

  42. mikemartel
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

    I have to disagree in a very strong way here. I understand the fear of being disappointed with the adaptation of a book we love, but we have to understand that what we saw with LoTR was the adaptation of one group of fan. And I have to say that it was brilliantly done, I mean how can you possibly make a book like LoTR in a movie and keep it’s essence without killing the audience? If they would have done the movie exactly like the books each movie would have been 20 hours long. It was very effective and they managed to keep the core of tolkien’s work. I think that both the books and the movies are separate entities that work beautifully together. Of course, no movie will ever equal a book, you have a very limited canvas to work with in movies while you can really take your time with a book.

    I don’t worry too much about The Hobbit because the book was significantly smaller than LoTR and they will be two movies, so I have faith in Peter Jackson’s team.

  43. rjleduc
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    A few points:

    1) Loved the Hobbit Porn angle and I can appreciate and agree to some extent. In LOTR, there are things missing that I wished were there, and things present that I wished missing.

    But I really enjoyed the movies! That is the important thing. Imperfect they were, but wondrous as well in their own right.
    I would not want to lose them.

    2) A book and a movie based on the book (operative word here “based”) are two different things. They will never be the same and we should not expect them to. They are a reinterpretation of the story and a creation in their own right, in a different media.

    I believe they should be enjoyed or not on their own merit. As a distinct creation. By putting expectations on them we are unfair to ourselves by creating reasons to limit our enjoyment.

    They key is to find a talented artists to do the adaptation but understand that some things must change.

    3) If Tolkien wrote LOTR today, it would be a very different story I think. I might be a significantly better one. But it will be different.

    4) I hope you will not say no to an adaption to NOTW because you are worried that it will change to much. It will be different.

    I hope you will wait for the right form and people to do the adaption and retain enough control to make sure it was done right.

    But remember that the movie will be the child of the book, and children are always different than the parent.

    But with caring, loving parents, they can grow up to be something wonderful in their own right.

  44. phiredrops
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    YA? Pat, you’re too kind.

    If it doesn’t involve a school, secret agents, vampires, werewolves, awkward sexual advances and a protagonist that is determined and inexplicably plucky even though everything that could go wrong for them has and continues to do so for no other reason than to add drama – its not YA.

    The publishers would send an email back to Tolkien asking him to edited it down so they could market it as a kids chapter book and to make Bilbo a pig-keeper. It worked well the in the past and its been awhile, nobody remembers, so its time to bring pig keeping back, amirite?

    Bitter over the dumbing down of YA? Just a bit, yes.

  45. LionsRampant
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Mr. Rothfuss, if the movies/television series is something in your heart and mind that you feel would benefit The Kingkiller Chronicles, does that have more weight than your opinion (or anyone’s) of past attempts at literature to film? You have already ruined (in a good way) the way I can read any other author’s work with your brilliant writing so what’s to stop you from making a beautiful translation to film. Though some of my favorite moments in reading NoTW and WMF is catching onto something and having to flip back and forth between both books while devishly smiling and shaking my head. Remote controls everywhere are going to need the “Patrick Rothfuss-Let me just check back on that-Yep, he said right here-No, that wouldn’t make sense-Okay this has to be in the third book” button.

  46. gespenst
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    It’s not like tolkien is doing the films.
    The story gets told. (maybe even to a vaster audience)
    Even if its not as subtle as the original storyteller intended it to be, it is the story.

    A movie isn’t the book. And the book will always stay the book it wont get burned with ‘Only watch the movie from now on, its better!’

    I might have another point of view for that one because the first time i encountered the hobbit is was by spoken tale.
    Well bedtime story but… i think its cool, okay.

    And i admit: i was quite taken in by the song in the trailer.

  47. Feathers McGraw
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Basically it’s just yet another translation, with the basic argument for and against translations to be made: They can be either beuatiful or faithful. Peter Jackson opted for beautiful, and so LOTR are beautiful films – perticularly faithful they are not.

    Picking up the girl metaphor again: The girl can be beautiful in both contexts, and they can exist simultaneously. She can be an intensely crush-worthy geek girl 1-on-1 and a skilled performer in porn. She’d be different, but its two sides of the same person. I can personally handle both sides of the coin for many many other books, and I’d love to see your books made into porn.

    Uh, I mean, metaphorically. Or something.

    • NoirRosaleen
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:28 AM | Permalink

      Having read this post, blanched, and thought, “Man, if boys would have even TALKED to me back in high school that girl would be an almost dead-on description of me” (except I do fetish, not full-on porn), I’m really glad to hear that being that girl doesn’t make me, well, dirty, or not still a geek. I get where Pat was going with the comparison, but being a fetish model and kinky in my personal life to boot, and KNOWING a bunch of geeky porn stars, that analogy made me sad. Porn stars can be geeks, too…

  48. sortova
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Okay, so this is a long comment that almost every will ignore (and should ignore). While I really enjoyed Jackson’s LOTR films, I can remember being terribly disappointed after seeing the first one. I am one of those people who tends to read the books about once a year, and I’d just finished reading Fellowship before seeing the movie. When I left the theatre I felt let down.

    Many of my friends loved the movie, and would say things like “well, you can’t expect the Shire to look the same in a film as in your imagination” to which I would reply, no, you’re wrong – it looked *exactly* like it did in my imagination. Jackson did an amazing job. The only part I hated was that he portrayed Saruman as being on the bat-Palantir with Sauron whereas in the books it was a way more subtle interaction and control.

    In thinking about it, I realized that large parts of the books were, for lack of a better word, boring. It’s a lot of slogging through unpleasant places and waiting, punctuated with moments of sheer terror. That’s not something that makes for a blockbuster movie. One does not simply walk into Mordor – one walks and walks and climbs and limps and starves and walks and falls down and limps into Mordor.

    So for the next two years I didn’t read the books and quite enjoyed the movies.

    I once took a course in college called “Film and the Novel”. I thought we would read a book and then see a film adaptation and talk about it. Instead, we just watched films, but I learned that films have a language and conventions in much the same way books do, and that by learning them you can get a lot more out of a movie.

    For example, one can write “My love is a red, red rose” and impart meaning, while it is almost impossible to get the same meaning across in film. Sure, you could have a picture of “my love” and then fade into a picture of a red rose, but that doesn’t get it (and the repeated “red” is important as well).

    However, in the movie “Parenthood” there is a seen where Keenu Reeves, playing his default stoner character, says “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car – hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.” Right after delivering that line, he does this little shake, as if to clear his head, and gets right back into his slacker persona, but to this day I can’t think of a way to write the exact emotion I got when I saw that scene.

    So – I won’t read “The Hobbit” again until I’ve seen both films, and I’ll try to enjoy it as a novel in its own right. Jackson’s stories are good stories, they just aren’t the same stories, and I’m okay with that.

  49. T-Al
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    I loved the hobbit too, but I can’t say that I’ll be sad to see it turned into a movie. I’m excited, and December, in my opinion, can’t come soon enough. Whenever a book I love is turned into a movie I’m thrilled to see what they do with the storyline. The books are always better than the movies (well 99% of the time) and if they change things up a bit I don’t care because I know what really happened. In my mind I always keep the book and it’s movie adaptation separate. A bad movie can’t change my opinion of a great book. Only thing that’s sad is all the people out there who will never read the book because they’ve already seen the movie. Let’s face it, they’re the only ones missing out.

  50. vana naine
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Lotr: loved the books.
    I’m really passionate about them.

    I also loved FotR as a movie. Rather liked TTT, especially EE version.
    I despised The Return of the King.
    It was so bad that even EE version could not soften my heart. After seeing an orc leading the battle against Minas Tirith instead of Witch King, Gandalf the White trembling before the same Witch King, and the walls of Minas Tirith breaking down like glass, I was still on board. I mean, there was some awesomeness too, like Grond and Eowyn!
    I was troubled, but told myself “the movie is different medium” and I was ready to like it in spite of those very weird choices.
    But seeing Aragorn killing an ambassador – killing an official ambassador, whose message he didn’t like – like a common thug would have done: this broke me.
    I could not understand it or excuse it, couldn’t find any way, how this movie-Aragorn-guy would still be worth all this mess around him and how he would really be better ruler than… well, Denethor for example.

    I also couldn’t find any reason, why should anyone, who got the point and heart of this character, make him do something so sensless and unworthy.
    It was a terrible moment and after seeing this I could no longer close my eyes before other weird choices that was made when making this movie.
    ***
    Now, I happen to ADORE “the Hobbit”.
    I’m more passionate about it than about LotR.

    So I wait the movie and dread it, kind of like Patrick the Bloody Good Writer does.

    But I’m willing to accept a lot. I mean, the White Council was mentionned in the Hobbit, yes? So seeing Galadriel, who was a member of it, is fine by me.
    I don’t mind a supid elven love-story or over-the-top heroism of dwarves. I can take it, because I have the book in my heart (and hand) and I can just make those thing look alright inside of my head.

    But if they show me Thorin gallantly saving some pretty elven lady and having a little flirt after that, or Bilbo single-handedly killing 34 giant spiders, I quit.
    I can take a lot of “adapting” but I can’t accept them fundamentally changing the main characters of the story.
    Because the characters are the core of this story. For me, I mean.

  51. Carmen
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    It’s easy to understand what you say just reading Kvothe (or you) telling the scribe not to change a word in his story. I’d like to watch The name of the wind in cinema, but I recognize it won’t be that easy to “leave your child” in stranger’s hands – I’m also worried about what they can do with that treasure.

    P.S.: I love your books. I’ve been later 4.00 a.m. reading them everyday until I’ve finished them all. Now I’m in cold turkey. I just pray for you to have a long life :P

    Best wishes from Spain

  52. Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    The thing that most people don’t understand is that there *need* to be differences between the book and movie. No movie has ever promised to be exactly like the book. Why? Because it’s a completely different person making the movie. Unless the author is the one directing the movie or series, the visual adaption wouldn’t, and probably shouldn’t, be exactly like the book. It’s the vision of another person. Rowling had a big hand in the HP films, but even they weren’t exactly like her books. She simply sanctioned the changes.

    The LotR films do have major changes, but they still stay true to the overall feel. You want to see a completely screwed up version of a book? Take Ella Enchanted. Read the book then watch Disney’s move of it. There IS no inspiration. Instead of making it a fun elaboration of a true fairy tale, they make it some sad, modernized “movie” where the acting is poor and add modern day elements with comedy that didn’t fit the book at all. Ella Enchanted had action, drama, and a witty, sarcastic, willful girl who in a few short years became a real woman, worthy of a humble prince. Instead, I’m disappointed by Disney making simply a movie nothing like the book, but just happened to have a girl cursed with the “gift of obedience” and characters who happen to have the same names as people in that book.

    Because of that kind of disappointment, I can handle LotR not being exactly like the books. Truth is, I don’t want them to be. Some things might get misrepresented, but it keeps the books in a separate slot for me. The movies don’t spoil the books for me at all. They’re well done inspiration. I think that somehow there are actual rules that keep any movie from being like the books, also. I’m not sure if it’s true, but if Rowling has a hand in her books becoming movies and they get changed, than something must be up. But in the end, as much as I would love to see a literal visual translation of my favorite books, some part of me wants the movies to be different, that way my own visions of the books aren’t tainted. And maybe that’s the rule many of them follow. I believe it’s all about perspective. Nothing will be truly perfect to our liking. As long as The Hobbit doesn’t get the same treatment as Ella Enchanted, I’m fine.

  53. Gareth Marklew
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Interesting thoughts. If you don’t mind, please can I just be a little pedantic? It’s not an inexplicably Scottish dwarf, it’s an inexplicably Welsh dwarf. There’s a big difference…

    Thinking about it, I suppose Gimli had to have some sort of an accent. Why is Welsh any less acceptable than English/American/German/Polish/Swahili?

  54. IrisSue
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Great post! I understand your leeriness; however, if The Name of the Wind is made into an HBO/Showtime series directed by Joss Whedon, then please consider or suggest Damian Lewis for the role of Kote/Kvothe. As stated in previous blog posts, Neil Patrick Harris would make the perfect Bast.

  55. Tristania
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Maybe if you geeky guys just talked to your high school crushes, and showed some appreciation for their brainy charm, fewer of them would end up in porn.

    Just putting that out there… ;)

  56. RiWKirby
    Posted February 19, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    I was personally looking forward to the Gulliermo Del Toro adaptation of The Hobbit. It isn’t the same setting as Lord of the Rings and I don’t think Jackson is the man to do a true adaptation. That’s why I’m very happy to see that that’s not really what he’s doing. It’s called “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” but it’s not really The Hobbit, Peter Jackson is doing a prelude to his LotR trilogy. That’s why it’s including a lot of the same characters and actors. While it may not end up being the best adaptation of book to film, I still think it will be a great story and a great precursor to the film trilogy I love.
    There are so many things that happen during the timeline of The Hobbit that aren’t in the book that I would love to see in film. So excited.

    As a small end note, there have been numerous adaptations of books that suck and it doesn’t detract from the book at all, the only real downside I can see is that the original creator of the material might be really upset to see his vision come to life in a manner that they didn’t want. There might be other issues but I can’t think of any at the moment.

  57. kluah
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter how awful or excellent the movie turns out, it has nothing to do with the book. No one will start burning or banning The HObbitt becasue a movie was created.

    The whole translating a book to movie issue is similar to the Gay marriage one. Gay people getting married will have no effect on your marriage. The hobbit will never change becasue of some flick.

  58. Posted February 20, 2012 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    If I wrote a book, and it was adapted into something like that first thing… I think I’d cry.

  59. Toxis
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    Oh man, thank you! Thank you for sharing this, now I know that I’m not the only one thinking like that, and especially thank you for the analogy, I saw that girl.. while reading your text I saw that girl in my memory/imagination part of brain which shows me pictures while reading books:) and I felt that lusty-shameful-awful feeling that leaves you empty inside when ‘i saw’ the porn version of her.. And this is the way I felt after seeing lotr… lotr was my first true fantasy book that i have read in school (ok, i read hobit earlier, but I still classify it as ‘fairy-tale’ in my head, together with Ronja, robber’s daughter (lindgren’s book – oh I still see the harpies when I think of it.. mm.. ), rather than fantasy), and it did a huuuge impact on me (all notebooks full of badly drawn swords and daggers are the least of it:), and to these days I read mostly fantasy.. until Tolkien I was a SF guy. And yes all three of them were OK, but I have never watched them again… ever. If I would have to rate them – I would give a 8/10 or even 9/10, but they did something to me, to the memories I held for the books.. something that I could only describe by pointing to the doll at the court…=)
    And to be honest, I would not like to watch Name of the Wind the movie… I would go (the same as I would watch the porn with this girl:) but I know that I would be devastated, because name of the wind made a huge impact on me (I can’t read fantasy books as I have read before, because all of them look shallow, and meh-ish after name of the wind/wise man’s fear… btw, screw you Pat!:)… Maaybe tv series, good TV series (like Game of Thrones), but I rather re-read the books for the n-th time;)

  60. chironbasileus
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    I am inclined to disagree with you almost entirely. A film is meant to capture the spirit of a book, it is never meant to be the book. They are two different art forms entirely. By nit picking at subtitles the films lack vs the book you kinda remind me of the close minded prototypical writer who is afraid of technology and is certain ebooks are going to destroy the world (which I never believed you to be). It also suggests, to me, that you believe another artist couldn’t understand your art well enough to represent the spirit of it on film.(Which, again is not what I suspect you meant, but was my knee-jerk reaction.)

    That said, had this post been 15 years ago I would have nodded and agreed all the way. You would have been right. No one would have given the proper budget and respect to any work of fantasy. However, Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the Lord of the Rings changed all of that. He proved that fantasy can be done tastefully, artfully and can be meant for adults. I don’t think the Game of Thrones would have been made without Jackson’s work. Yes it is a genre that still needs a lot of work, in film. More awful comes out than good, yes. But there are enough good representations of books, where the spirit if not the exact story, has been preserved, I don’t think a stigma needs to exist any more than it would for any other genre.

    On a side note I also dislike Tolkien’s works, and think that those following him tried so hard to be him that they produced an overwhelming amount of garbage. In some ways I blame his worshipers for it taking so long for fantasy to be taken seriously as a genre by the mainstream. All of that is neither here nor there.

    • Tyelkormo
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      “I am inclined to disagree with you almost entirely. A film is meant to capture the spirit of a book, it is never meant to be the book.”

      And no one demanded that. But when it fails to capture the spirit of the book, then it fails as an adaptation – as Jackson does.

      “He proved that fantasy can be done tastefully, artfully and can be meant for adults. ”

      The only problem being that “The Lord of the Rings” was not meant to be “fantasy” in the modern sense any more than the Völsungasaga is “fantasy” or the Iliad.

      Incidentally, I don’t consider Jackson’s movies particularly artful. Its visuals are sledgehammers, designed to overawe you, so you don’t realize that beneath the veneer, there’s precious little substance. Jackson reveled in the physical, were Tolkien was concerned with the meta-physical, to the point where he compared the climatic scene at Mt. Doom with the lines on temptation and evil in the “Our Father”. The issues of free will and doing the right thing out of your own free will, of mercy and compassion and their being strength, not weakness were plowed under by the feet of huge monsters and huge armies and the desire to make a mass market cash-cow movie that wouldn’t demand too much thought of people. Already in the first movie and book, Gandalf says “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” I’ve seen people in Texas sit through that line unflinching. If any evidence was needed that to them, the movie was plain popcorn cinema without any connection to themselves and their lives, it can hardly come any better.

      • chironbasileus
        Posted February 20, 2012 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

        I had a great post lined up for this, but alas I typed on my phone and my Dolphin died… damn andriod. Anywho, I’ll do the best I can.

        Firstly, you and I are going to disagree as well because we clearly have a different understanding of Tolkien’s work. Yay the open interpretation of writing! I also think that there’s a difference of opinion on Jackson himself. We’ll start with the first.

        Your argument against Tolkien being interested in the physical doesn’t work, because Tolkien goes to exhausting lengths to make sure the reader knows exactly where they are, physically. This amount of detail is not a simple product of the time. There were many authors who didn’t use half that much. Jackson’s amazing sets were, as I understood him to believe, a representation of a vital element of the story. I got the impression that he believed the setting was as much a living breathing part of the story as the people in it, which is not an uncommon way to feel about fantasy. Keep in mind also that Jackson was pretty well unknown before the films. He wasn’t a Bruckheimer who set out every summer to make a buck, and he hasn’t done a whole lot of ground breaking work since. So to suggest that an unknown director working with a genre that was known only to produce, for lack of a better word, shit set out to make a financially record breaking film, is flawed, especially given that Harry Potter was being released at the same time.

        Filmmaking itself is, to my mind, the ultimate art of storytelling, marrying images, music and writing in a way that evokes emotion far easier than any of the three can do alone. If all you see when you watch the films are the massive expensive sets, and the giant armies than you are missing the subtlety of the music, for which it had an amazing and iconic score, or the genuine hurt and or conflict in an actor, and writing that brings flat characters to life. (as for the melodrama in that… well Tolkien himself was riddled with it). I am by no means saying the films are flawless, or that the editing couldn’t use some work, but I do think they are absolutely more than Tolkien could have dreamed of. At the very least they felt sincere, I believe that Jackson is creating what he loves, not for the simple sake of money. Gormenghast got a shitty miniseries with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. How much more insulting can you get?

        As for the type of fantasy Tolkien is, you cannot compare it to the Iliad. The Iliad is as much a history as it was a part of a religion. You can’t say it started out anymore a fantasy than you can the Old Testament. The Lord of the Rings is an allegoric retelling of WWII which borrows heavily from Norse Myth, it is not, in itself a piece of work meant to be believed in as truth. Thus, it is fantasy in the modern sense. It is a made up world, with made up events, and made up people. And if you don’t want to compare it to modern works than it can still easily fall short (to my mind) compared to Edwardian sci-fi that came before and even to his peers, like Peak.

        /rant

        • chironbasileus
          Posted February 20, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

          Peake* Damn the lack of an edit button!

        • Tyelkormo
          Posted February 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

          You say
          “Your argument against Tolkien being interested in the physical doesn’t work, because Tolkien goes to exhausting lengths to make sure the reader knows exactly where they are, physically.”

          But I didn’t say at all he was not interested in it. I said his focus was on a different level, and it was. As for the “flat characters” and “melodrama” – sorry, you again miss the difference between a JRR Tolkien and an RA Salvatore. Tolkien was NOT a writer of modern fantasy stories, and for the same reason, your statement about a genre that produced “shit” falls flat. Incidentally, I don’t even believe that to be true, but rather that a lot of people have knee-jerk reactions to the fantastic of the same kind that Tolkien already argued against professionally during his lifetime.

          You say
          “As for the type of fantasy Tolkien is, you cannot compare it to the Iliad. The Iliad is as much a history as it was a part of a religion.”
          See, and that’s precisely where you overlook that that’s exactly what Tolkien had in mind. Your statement that LotR was an “allegorical retelling of WWII” doesn’t get any more credible through repetition. In fact, it suggests knowing precious little about Tolkien’s own ideas about WWII – a simple look into the letters he wrote during the time demonstrates that this doesn’t fit – otherwise, orcs would be fighting on the side of the free people as well, just as you’d find noble characters fighting on the side of Sauron out of a sense of duty to their country. This totally aside from the fact that Tolkien explicitly and repeatedly rejects using allegory as bluntly, and specifically in the context of WWII. Second, you state that it is not supposed to be taken as truth, but Tolkien himself created the legend of him being merely a “translator”. Not the least, you tear LotR out of the context it was written in – namely that the background of Middle-Earth, its history and powers had been around since WWI, and that LotR was never meant to be Tolkien’s “opus magnum” in it. It began as a commissioned work, “more stories about Hobbits”, and for him was a hope to convince his publisher to pick up what his own chief interest was in: The legendarium that was later compiled by his son into the Silmarillion. A legendarium that he originally started out as a “mythology for England” and in which LotR is one piece of the puzzle.

          To call Peake one of Tolkien’s “peers” is stretching the meaning quite a bit. Peake was an illustrator who dabbled into writing and was successful there as well. Tolkien was a scholar, an expert on Germanic and especially anglo-saxon writing and legends. And it is precisely in that tradition he wanted to write. The analysis of such texts was his daily job and in fact, he has emulated them on other occasions (such as his text “The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son”). He wanted to show that this kind of story still is capable of touching people, and the success of LotR shows that quite well – even if a lot of people don’t understand just what type of story they are dealing with.

          • chironbasileus
            Posted February 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

            Well, we do agree o Salvator. One of those was enough to last a lifetime! As for my argument about the genre producing shit, I wonder which medium you’re referring to. If it’s film then I am gonna need examples of not shit before Jackson’s work, aside from the Princess Bride, which had mass appeal and brought in lots of cash. If it was referring to books, I’ll confess that my kneejerk reaction to dragons is to roll my eyes.

            I am going to admit your knowledge on the subject of Tolkien may be greater than mine. However,it is clear that your understanding of the Iliad stems from a literary base. You’re missing the greater cultural context of the epic. If you are suggesting that Tolkien wanted to create such an epic, then you are putting him in a class with Virgil, which I think i dangerous and not the direction you want to go. Perhaps you could explain again, not using that example because iit confuses the point you’re trying to make. My understanding of what you’re arguing is that he wanted to create a new mythology in some ways, rather, than a complex, living breathing world that could explain exist in great detail in the mind of the reader.

            As published writers Peake and Tolkien are peers in the sae way Martin and Rothfuss are peers. The story and background of the individual may be different, but the realm they are publishing in is close enough to classify them together.

          • chironbasileus
            Posted February 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

            Sorry for so much misspelling. Phone typing!

          • Tyelkormo
            Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

            If you refer to film fantasy, “Dragonslayer”, while a commercial flop, clocks in at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Excalibur” at 79%. Though both cases are far closer to Tolkien in creating “myth”, the end of an age. Both heavily favour the use of archetypes instead characters. As for for conventional fare, consequentially more commercially successful, with its Knights-and-Princess plot, Star Wars is simply a fantasy tale set in a sci-fi background.

            As for your contrast of a mythology vs. a complex, living breathing world, that is precisely a contrast vehemently disputed by Tolkien himself. To him, a living language and mythology are inseparably connected, noting “Volapük, Esperanto, Ido, Novial, &c, &c, are dead, far deader than ancient unused languages, because their authors never invented any Esperanto legends”.

            As I noted, at some time point, Tolkien explicitly wanted to create a “mythology for England”, as he perceived it lacking one, as contrasted with its “celtic” neighbours, which shared a vivid mythology. As such, there were times where he saw Middle Earth (not coincidentally quite close to the Norse Midgardr or Old English Middangeard in name) as an actual past of our world. However, he moved away from that as a literal past. A quick overview can actually be found on Wikipedia, in the introduction to the Middle Earth article:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle-earth

          • chironbasileus
            Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

            King Arthur is a wonderful thing to bring into this. An Arthur film is going to do well, people haveand always loveddbeen Arthur. Books about him can often times be classified as literature rather than fantasy because he has become a genuine myth/legend. Myth is not construced by a single individual. It is organically grown from an entire culture. It is often meant to be thought of as a literal part of our world and is accepted as such. The reason Arthur is not part of fantasy, nor the Iliad, is because people actually believed in these people and events. Alexander the Great claimed Achilles as his ansestor, there are history books that include Arthur as a king. What Tolkienn did was nothing like create myth, no matter what he intended. There is a difference between world building for a story and myth building, which is why he will forever be relegated to fantasy.

  61. SotL
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    I think you capture something here in a way I would never quite describe it, but at the same time it feels true to me.

    My first experience with any given story defines my later experiences and perceptions.

    It doesn’t matter if the other version is good on its own when I can never quite bring myself to let go of what I love about the first. It’s like I wish I could put those moments of first experience in little time capsules to open up and re-experience them, exactly as they were. Even imperfect, even without fully understanding or comprehending, they are precious things.

  62. HotMuffins
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Has everyone seen the real life version of the Draccus? Poor thing.

  63. Jutmoost
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    I’m not a good word smith, so what I’m going to try and say may sound crude but the feeling I want it to come across as is a sense of euphoria: I remember vividly when I first laid my eyes on your prose I knew that you and I shared a lot of common tastes. For the second time in my life I could read fantasy without cringing at every single page. The first one being Lord of the rings, of course. You established a connection with me with this blog post, on a much deeper level than most of my friends will ever get. I’ve been trying to convince this point of view to many people, many authors, many creative people, yet all of them dismiss me as a unappreciative lunatic while I’m trying to tell them “But I’m not, I love the films they are just not how I experienced the world”. You are the first one ever to re-affirm my own thoughts on the movies so, thank you, thank you. I may still be crazy but at least I know someone out there share my point of view.

  64. Posted February 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Three things:

    1. That’s about the best way I’ve heard all of that put. Adaptations seem to be the art of capturing theme and tone. It’s debatable whether Jackson did that in the first three, but I guarantee The Hobbit won’t have that honeyed bedtime story charm.

    2. Watched Firefly for the first time ever Saturday. Ever. By “watched Firefly” I mean I got so sick of my friends hounding me about it over the last seven years that I borrowed it, put it in at 7:45 am and watched all of it straight until 9 pm. I’d talk about it until you’d reject this comment due to sheer volume, but I think the only way to sum up the experience is “now I understand.”

    3. In light of #2, did you base any of the romance between Kvothe and Denna on Malcolm and Inara? I don’t ask that out of accusation or disgust or anything, I just noticed a lot of delightful similarities.

    Cheers.

  65. mishellbaker
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    I agree with the above comments about movies doing nothing to harm the books, which still exist in their original form and can be enjoyed separately, unlike the girl in the metaphor.

    Novels and films are two completely different forms of entertainment/art. Novels and other prose are made of words. Films are made of images. They will not have the same feel, any more than food made of wheat will have the same feel as food made of tomatoes. If a film happens to match the way one individual other than the director “imagined” the book it is sheer coincidence, as no two people get the same images/feelings from the same book anyhow.

    Books must be altered, must have parts deleted and added in order to make them work as films, just as you must alter a recipe if you base it on potatoes instead of rice. Because something that works when it is constructed of words does not work when it is constructed of images.

    Also, a book can be put down and picked back up at one’s leisure, which adds both challenges and opportunities for structure. A film must be watched in one sitting, and must be structured in a certain way to make that experience satisfying when it is presented as one unified flow of time by every person who watches it. Films are at their best when they contain spectacle, movement, and visual impact, because they are designed for the eyes. Books are at their best when they contain subtlety and suggestiveness, because they are designed for the imagination.

    A film that sedately sits and contemplates and takes its time may be faithful to the book, but it is most likely ineffective as a film, and will therefore lose money and get people fired from their jobs.

    Because novels and films are entirely different in composition and intent, the quality of the two has nothing to do with one another. One can make a good book into a bad movie, and one can even make a bad book into a good movie (Gone With the Wind, or so I’ve heard). You can even make a good book into a good movie that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the book and is in fact an entirely different genre, while both are well-crafted examples of what they were intended to be (Jurassic Park).

    When a Hollywood executive asks for the rights to adapt a novel, the thought is not “this would make a good movie” but “I could make this into a good movie.” Seems like a subtle difference, but it isn’t. Your book is a pile of materials which Hollywood intends to construct into something called a film, which may or may not conjure up the same feelings as the text version at all. If you’re not okay with that, then no, don’t sell the rights.

    As an author, the only reason to allow your book to be made into a film is if you would like the (usually significant) money and the additional exposure. Often people read a book only after the movie has caught their attention, and this is why film adaptations are good for authors. Do not hope to see your inner world projected onto a screen. Movies are the director’s inner world, not yours. If you want your own vision to be faithfully represented, go back to where it originated: your mind, via your pages.

  66. Han
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    If you are not upset enough in the abstract, Orlando Bloom is expected to reprise the role of Legolas for the new Hobbit movie. GASP?! But Legolas was not a character in the Hobbit! you ask in horror. I know me too.

  67. Kvon
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    I used to get bent out of shape because movies weren’t just the same as the books. Then Harry Potter 1 showed me that this isn’t necessarily a good goal. I had to watch FotR three times to separate screen Aragon from page Aragon, and then I had a blast with the next couple movies. I remember the example of Douglas Adams too–the radio show and the tv show and the book can all be awesome in different ways. Although that doesn’t mean the movie will also be good.

    “One part entertained, two parts nostalgic, two parts irritated, three parts outraged, and one part oddly titillated.” As an aside, that’s exactly how I felt about The Magicians.

    • Little My
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

      . . .whose pilot did not get green lighted, and I’m one part sad for Lev Grossman, and one part delighted that no one will be bastardizing the spirit of the the book for anyone else.

  68. AlanAdams23
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    I’m sure someone has already covered these points in much greater eloquence and detail that I will, but I’m being absurdly lazy today and have not read all of them. If it has been covered, then “+1 likey-like upvote karma” to those charming analytical geniuses.

    The key word for the book-to-movie stuff is “adaptation”. If movies could translate all the subtlety of the written word to the big screen then we’d never read again. Books do what only they can do, and movies do what only they can do. I hated seeing the changes until I separate the two mediums and weigh them on their own merit. I like Jurassic Park the book, and I like Jurassic Park the movie, but they are not the same but in premise and title. I can accept that and move on. If watching the movie makes me wistful and nostalgic for the book, I can pick it up right then and read it without affecting my feelings towards either one.

    For the…uh…girl reference, it’s a different nostalgia. What you built her to be in your head rarely holds form later in life. I apply the same logic to the Saturday morning cartoons of my childhood, which shows just how lame I was as a kid AND now since I’m referencing cartoons in my metaphor and you have hot geeky sex goddesses in yours. I would say there is room for a new view though….naughty librarian maybe? Um…I think I’ve said to much.

  69. ktrammel
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    It’s an interesting point, even though these perceptions can vary quite a bit from person to person, for individual reasons. Although I very much enjoyed the movies when they were released, I find that I cannot enjoy watching and re-watching them the way I can enjoy reading and re-reading the books. To me, the books are mainly a quiet pleasure, with subtle movement that varies with time and individual insight, while the movies are loud and primarily monotone in nature, though fascinating and often brilliant (I really love the whole Mines of Moria section at the end of the first film). The movies tend to “snap shot” a lot of imagery that may be better left to the individual imagination. Treebeard, for example.

  70. Rahl
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Pat. How do you feel about the Terry Pratchett adaptations of recent years?
    I know that Terry was concerned and refused many approaches before the current lot convinced him. I certainly think that they have gotten better as the company have made more with Making Money being one that you could easily get away with showing to a non Pratchett fan.

    If you did your own film, i think you would need to have a certain amount of control and say over things like scripts ect so that your world would be fully brought to life. I’d hope that they would do a much better job than they did with the Sword of Truth series that was on TV.

    As for LoTR, you summed it up perfectly, great films that left me sad because of something missing. (Such as the Scourge of the shire, Dam you Jackson, DAM YOUUUUU!)

  71. avidreadergirl
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    I have argued about this for years with friends and family (including yesterday, about the Hobbit movies) and the thing that has crystallized for me after all the shouting and arm waving.

    No matter how good the movie is, I can do it better in my head reading the book.

  72. chaoticfeather
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    I kinda feel like I’m looking at a story I love being raped when they turn a book into a movie, there’s always something strongly wrong with then, if not all.

    But I love to see those characters I spent so much time with and came to love and hate getting motion, seeing the places is even better, since I always have difficulty imagining some places or others.

  73. kalbear
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Pat,

    This is the first time I’ve written to your blog. I really do like your books and your writing is great to read here.

    I keep having a problem with your analogy here. It really bothers me. Others obviously don’t have the problem, so I make no argument that it’s a univeral feel – but I also think it might be worth it.

    I think your analogy of an infatuation with someone you don’t know turning into a porn star (and apparently disappointing you) with a book turning into a movie that you don’t feel is particularly worthy is very apt, but for all the wrong reasons. Both show a massive amount of entitlement and me-first view for something that isn’t theirs to possess; both show a fair amount of possession. Both come across to me as being very stalkerish. And above all, both seem to shame. That innocent gal that you think would like star wars but now disappoints you because she’s into porn – why does that disappoint you? It certainly isn’t because of her viewpoint or her opinions – those weren’t ever received. It’s because how she lives her life (or rather how you perceive her life to have been led) did not measure up to what you decided she was. For all we know this gal is happy with her choices. That she always dreamed of doing S&M and hated her nerdy, awkward ways. Not that the person watching her would know, since he never bothered to talk to her; she was just a thing to be desired and fantasized about.

    Same thing with the movies. The estate is the final arbiter of Tolkien’s viewpoint. This was the movie they wanted to make, or at least were willing to. They may have regrets about decisions or directorial choices, but they ultimately decided that this was worth it. And you are shaming that. They’re not making it the way you want them to, so clearly it’s not correct.

    That you’d also compare this to a porn star with some slut shaming thrown in there is pretty bad too.

    It’s a great analogy because in both cases someone who has no stake in something, has not even any input into it other than seeing it – is bothered because it’s not doing what they want it to do. The sense of entitlement is perfect. But it’s also perfectly creepy. It reminds me of fans of the ASOIAF series complaining that the show is not a literal depiction of the books, despite GRRM being one of the producers and by all accounts massively thrilled by the way things are going. As if they have the right to tell Martin that their vision of the story is better than his. It’s even better because it’s so amazingly creepy.

    Sorry if this crosses lines on your blog that you do not want; while I saw negative posts I do not know perfectly the etiquette here, and if this is out of bounds I’ll accept that.

    • totheshoreline
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      Thank you for saying this; you put it very well. Pat, I normally love your posts, but this analogy came across as creepy and made me really, really uncomfortable.

    • thistlepong
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

      Thank you for articulating this, kalbear. The graphic privileged objectification blindsided me.

    • Tyelkormo
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

      “The estate is the final arbiter of Tolkien’s viewpoint. This was the movie they wanted to make, or at least were willing to. ”

      Um, no. Sorry to say, but you couldn’t even be further from the truth. The estate had no say whatsoever in the making of the film, since Tolkien sold the rights during his lifetime. If anything, Christopher Tolkien considers the books unfilmable, and ceased to be on speaking terms with his own son at least temporarily when the latter supported the movies.

      So unfortunately, your entire argument is based on a fantasy and the illusion that the estate would not agree with Pat. Sorry to shatter your illusions – you’re plain and simply wrong. If anything, Pat is just as entitled to his view as Peter Jackson is, whose views are decidedly NOT those of the Estate.

      • kalbear
        Posted February 21, 2012 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

        The estate is shorthand for ‘whoever has the rights to film the movie’. Ultimately it doesn’t matter, and ultimately that wasn’t my point; the objectification of the woman and comparing how he feels about a woman he doesn’t know to how he feels about a book was the point.

        I’m happy to be wrong about the estate. It doesn’t matter as far as the creepiness of the analogy one bit.

    • Little My
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

      Hmmm. I didn’t get the slut shaming bit from his description. I just got that the projection of her that was in his head, that was cherished and innocent, clashed with the later reality of her less innocent activity. And he’s dismayed about its clashing with the construction in his mind. I don’t get judgment, about the later activity. I mean, the selling of the literary pinup calendar made me roll my eyes, but not this blog post.

    • Little My
      Posted February 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

      I’m also not sure I understand about the “me-first view”. Don’t we all, in the process of absorbing and interacting with anybody or anything, create a relationship with that person, or thing, in our minds? And isn’t that okay? Everybody is disappointed when the thing she is fondly nostalgic about develops or changes, I think.

      • kalbear
        Posted February 20, 2012 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

        To me the thing that bothered me was not the relationship in his minds – it’s that the relationship was entirely one-sided and fictional. He depicted this fantasy with this woman he doesn’t talk to and barely knows, projected values onto her that she may not have for the purpose of improving that geek fantasy – and then is saddened when she turns out to not be such a nice, innocent woman after all. And in this case, he’s not saddened because he didn’t talk to her before or anything like that – it’s because his specific fantasy woman has now been replaced by another fantasy woman, and he doesn’t like his fantasy changing. It struck me as really paternalistic, stalkerish and very creepy. Perhaps another example wouldn’t have bothered me, but it was the entitlement – the feeling that she shouldn’t have done this, why would you change when you were so good the way you were, the feeling that she had no say, no regard. This crush is a person with real feelings and thoughts and agency, and this view takes that all away.

        Basically, comparing a book to a woman was apt because in both cases he objectified them both while staking some kind of ownership on both.

        He also compared this to winnie the pooh doing heroin and getting into bar fights; the object of his fantasy does something sexual that isn’t involving him and he compares that to doing hard drugs and violence. That also bugs a bit.

        But anyway, that’s my take on it; I don’t believe it is the only take.

        • Tyelkormo
          Posted February 21, 2012 at 12:52 AM | Permalink

          Funny. “The object of his fantasy does something sexual that isn’t involving him” strikes me as still quite a bit away from doing porn. It does include it, of course. But it also includes plenty of other things. And if you argue in this way, you’d have to be just as upset about his being disturbed by what he sees if she had been forced into prostitution.

          You don’t agree with his take on the movies – that’s fine. But scandalizing his comparisons even though they are just that – mental constructions – on the basis of your own specific ones is highly questionable behaviour in itself.

          • kalbear
            Posted February 21, 2012 at 1:04 AM | Permalink

            Actually I quite agree with his general take on the movies, though I don’t think he (or any fan) has a specific right to claim malfeasance. His review of LotR is spot on; it loses a ton of the nuance of the book, misses entirely on the destruction of the Shire and the thematic feel of that and spends way too much time using scenic vistas as ways to develop Middle Earth. I think that this is largely needed to make a movie that makes any sense or money, but at the same time the LotR movies were not the books in many very large ways, and I could understand someone really liking the books not liking the movies.

            Also, the undead tsunami was asstastic.

            “strikes me as still quite a bit away from doing porn. It does include it, of course. But it also includes plenty of other things. And if you argue in this way, you’d have to be just as upset about his being disturbed by what he sees if she had been forced into prostitution. ”
            I didn’t think that in that example he’s all that upset that she’s doing porn. The implication I got is that insstead of this bookish nerd who was inept you got this really beautiful woman who is having fairly experienced sex, and it was the loss of innocence that was a problem. Regardless, it’s creepy either way. Is he bothered because the innocent gal he wanted to have sex with is now having sex? Is he bothered because the innocent gal he fantasized about is doing something EVIL, like porn? Is he bothered because the fantasy of some woman he doesn’t know is now ruptured by reality? The important point in either case is that he has no way of knowing about that innocent woman or what she wants, and point of fact what she wants and what her choices are are completely and utterly immaterial. In this case, both him seeing her in the innocent light and him seeing her as a porn star are equally bad; they both objectify her, they both reduce her to something he’d like to have sex with without her actual personhood coming into play at all, and the whole thing compares how he sees some woman as how he sees a book – ie, an object.

          • vana naine
            Posted February 21, 2012 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

            I can’t see the problem of the analogy as the loss on innocence. I see it as “what used to be natural is now fake and professional”.
            Of course, that may be somehow “wrong” problem too. My personal opinion is, that planned “today I’m going to have sex, so I shave myself extra and wear sexy bra and high heels and this special perfume” is so much less sexy than “Oh, I have those cotton panties on today, and damn, maybe I smell little bit of sweat after this long day, but hell, I really feel like it now, so let’s have some fun, love!”-totally spontaneous sex.

            But I understand that this is not so for everybody, so maybe the loss of natural sexiness in favor of planned and at least partially fake sexiness is not good reason for grieving either?

          • Tyelkormo
            Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

            kalbear, did it ever occur to you that YOU introduced the issue of actual sex with that woman? Pat only talked about her sex appeal. You say him seeing her in the innocent light is “equally bad”. You are constructing stalking out of having an unrequited high school crush. By that notion, there’s legions of stalkers in the school system of just about every nation out there. You seriously want to say that’s aberrant behaviour?

            No, as vana naive says, the issue is one of being natural on the one hand and buried under make-up and professional routines in the other. Your suggestion that the porn star is actual reality and the high school crush a fad is, sorry, naive. Porn is entertainment business. It’s mean to create money, and lots of it. It’s pure and utter make-believe. It’s you, not Pat, who gets reality and fantasy mixed up. He doesn’t condemn what she does. He merely mourns for the fuzzy feeling of the high school crush.

    • annafdd
      Posted February 21, 2012 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

      Thank you. Every time I encounter the equivalence porn=degrading victimisation of women without agency I squeeze my eyes shut and moan. “It’s not that simple” doesn’t make for a good retort. Thank you for articulating what I could not.

      BTW, the first book that gave me back the idea that sex workers (a different category) are not necessarily stupid, evil or victims was the aptly titled “the wisdom of whores”, written not coincidentally maybe by a self-confessed nerd (albeit epidemiology nerd) woman, Elizabeth Pisani.

    • NoirRosaleen
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

      As I posted above, sorta fitting the description of that girl (and knowing others who probably fit it closer), and having actually grown up to discover that hey, I like BDSM and even sometimes dress-up and makeup, I felt pretty ashamed after reading this post. I mean at the end of the day, I identify these things as who I am ALONG WITH my video games and my fandoms and my bibliophilia. Nothing can make this less of who I am and who I’m happy being, but I always tend to cringe a bit when people I respect judge what I love as something to be ashamed of.

      Also, this: “why would you change when you were so good the way you were,” I’ve heard similar things. Speaking for the girl (NOT the book), I don’t really feel like *I* changed, I feel like I figured out the rest of who I am, where I fit, and what I like aside from stuff I knew I liked in high school, and it makes me equal parts sad and angry when somebody expresses that thought that we should have frozen who we were back in the day rather than evolving into who we are now. :P

  74. Kay
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    I’m not even sure if your going to have time to read all your comments but I hope you see this one! I know you don’t want a film version on T.N.O.T.W but never let anyone talk you round. It’ll be wrong, so badly wrong, it wont encourage people to read your book and it will turn people away from the brilliance that is your work. When I am asked what my favorite books are and I say Eragon, all the slack jaw yokels (who have never seen a book in their life) say “oh, the film? bit rubbish wasn’t it?” and I die a little inside. I get so embarrassed when I see that movie in my local video store, I haven’t actually watched it. A friend told me a tiny bit about it and I was nearly sick. So please stay awesome and don’t ever sell out.

  75. mbagley
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    http://i.imgur.com/vSx3f.jpg

    There, casting done. Let’s make this thing!

    …but seriously, movie adaptations of your books would be effectively impossible. Maybe HBO could work with it (the “present-day” interludes would provide perfect bookend structure to each episode), but the amount of cutting to the plot and minor characters and the subtle details that create a compelling world that a movie would entail would be intolerable to me.

  76. annafdd
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    Thing is, plenty of my geek nerd women friends were that girl and graduated seamlessly to happy corseted BDSM. Women have a sex drive, one of the reasons I sadly got over Tolkien at around age 14. The saddest part of my love story with Tolkien was re-reading it when I was 18 and starting to develop some political awareness. If anything, the movies gave him back to me.

    One of the things that soured my re-read at 18 was the general feeling that the past was such a better time; that innocence is so much better than worldliness; that women are either ethereal or earthy and alway an object of somebody else’s desire, at best getting to choose between love and death and generally getting both.

    So, yeah, like the previous responder said, your post reads incredibly creepy to me. I’ve known people in the porn industry – I actually dated one of them – and I know a few were that geeky girl. The point is, THEY STILL ARE THAT GEEKY GIRL. (Or boy, for that matter).

    What they never were is the popular charming boy who once told a friend of mine that he had never done with his girlfriend the kinky things he’d done with her because the girlfriend was “normal”. I was never interested in him and doubt he’d have made a good writer, or a good person,for that.

    Jackson’s movies are magical and escapist. But they are honest about that. I guess I am selling Tolkien short, but when I have to choose between porn and “erotica” I always choose porn: it’s not ashamed of itself.

  77. Jackary
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

    Aw man, I probably shouldn’t have been checking this at work. Stronger content than expected. ;-;

  78. Tempurity
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    I heard Jaspar Ffprde say once, when asked whether or not we could expect to see a movie adaptation of The Eyre Affair, that he thought “movies are all well and good, but not every good book is just a movie in training. Books are for readers. Books for readers, readers for books.” The assemblage actually broke into cheers, because that is so true.

  79. Kashiraja
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    the work done by WETA (the people who did the crafts in LOTR) was amazing, i’d say the best work ever done of that kind. they handcrafted thousands of items, armor, weapons, creatures…
    the ‘making of” is as much fun as the movies.

    it is true that the story isn’t always very subtle , and that your books are often very subtle, but it is not a tragedy like a human being having sex for money. the way you write about sex is not very subtle – i still enjoy the rest of the book.

    maybe the story they write is not the best, but the crafting of the movie is so great i just enjoy that on its own, and forget about the rest.

  80. rmcphail
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    i I think people are reading a vaule statement that is not there when he is comparing the porn girl and the geek girl. When you read the Tolkien books what you experience is the subtlety and the characterization with some scenes that are exciting because of the action. (from Pat’s POV. I think in terms of actual story craft Tolkien is a little on the weak side. Great world-building, un-nuanced characters). When you watch the movies what you mostly get is great scenery and good action but it overshadows the subtle stuff. Both are good experiences but the movie does not repeat or enhance the experience of the books with its advantage of being more visual. With the girl, the difference is presentation and what you are shown. The interaction with the nerd girl from high school resulted in an experience of shared spirit and common interests with some subtle occasional sexual aspects blended in. Seeing her in a venue that amps up the sex side of things on a more explicit level does not enhance the subtle stuff. The amped up sex overshadows the shared spirit that might still be there, its just tough to access over all the sex. Cool action scenes good. Sexy girl doing sexy things good. It’s just not what was originally appealing.
    I don’t usually soapbox on message boards or blogs but this has been happening to a lot of my favorite authors lately. They post something meaning one thing, someone with an axe to grind reads it, adds their feminism or racism or whatever -ism issues to it, and goes off. Someone a while back got on Jim Butcher’s case for implying the south side of Chicago had a lot of crime and accused him of racism. Text should be read with a lens, not a mirror.

    • kalbear
      Posted February 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

      “The interaction with the nerd girl from high school resulted in an experience of shared spirit and common interests with some subtle occasional sexual aspects blended in.”

      Except…that’s not what happened. That’s what the guy fantasized about. He didn’t talk to her. He assumed shared experiences. He knows next to nothing about her, assumed certain things he wanted about her – and then assumed other things about her later. What’s especially depressing is that he can’t think about that porn star wanting to watch star wars or read a book. There’s a lot of creep in that small package.

      I suspect that Pat’s intent wasn’t to write a quick parable about a skeezy nerd stalker and throw a bit of slut shaming in there for good measure, but it’s not that hard to see it. And I’m certainly not the only one, much less the only one who commented on it.

      • rmcphail
        Posted February 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

        Okay so the imagined interaction resulted in an imagined connection. Its an even better analogy then, because he is talking about a fantastical story and his personal interaction with it.

        Mr. Rothfuss is not personally interacting with characters in the LoTR books or movies either. If he was, and has a secret door to Middle-Earth its a far better explanation for what took Book 2 so damned long and I fully expect a blog from Mr. Rothfuss about his experiences in Middle-Earth. Secret adventures in alternate realities is a well-known exception to Gaiman’s Law.

        Just like Mr. Rothfuss is presumably not personally interacting with Gandalf and Frodo, everyone has the experience of random people you see in the day to day routine but never really talk to. Its not creepy or abnormal to wonder about that person or imagine a connection in idle moments. Its natural for someone who has a healthy imagination.

        Accusing Mr. Rothfuss of creepy stalkerism or objectifying women based on a hypothetical analogy to illustrate a point about a movie adaptation of a well known fantasy series is silly. That would be like accusing him of animal cruelty if he talked about his habit of clubbing baby basilisks each spring.

        The fact that multiple people have had an issue is probably due to this trend of blurring the line between the author and the text. Authors are making themselves and their process more and more available to the public. The upside is we get more insight into the writing process. the downside is its easy to start mistaking author’s personal values and beliefs for we find in the text. Some of them do it themselves (ahem Goodkind) but until its really club you over the head obvious you have to keep them seperate.

        For a personal blog its probably a less necessary distinction, but assuming a story-telling tool (in this case an analogy) is wrought from personal beliefs or experiences in a one to one ratio is a mistake. I suspect when people attribute intentions and motivations that are outside what is actually there in the text, its a case of bringing that in with you. Sort of like Yoda’s cave. That creepy nerd stalking-porn watching darth vader you saw? Yeah you brought that in with you.

        • kalbear
          Posted February 21, 2012 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

          So would it be better if instead of saying ‘this is creepy’ I was specific and said ‘this thing you specifically wrote is creepy?’

          Because that thing that Pat wrote? Was pretty creepy.

          I didn’t bring Pat’s views into it at all nor did I cast aspersions on him. To use a scheme you prefer, that’s all on you as a reader. I don’t know if Pat’s like that and it doesn’t matter. All I know is that what he wrote creeped me out.

          “Its not creepy or abnormal to wonder about that person or imagine a connection in idle moments. Its natural for someone who has a healthy imagination.”
          It’s natural for you to fantasize about women you barely know and create some dialog about what your first time would be like with them, and then be disappointed when it turns out that that fantasy can’t happen because they’re a lot more complicated than your fantasy? That doesn’t seem natural to me at all.

          And natural as an excuse is pretty weaksauce. There are many things that are natural that most people would be disgusted by if presented with.

          In any case, I don’t think there’s been any personal attacks or telling Pat that he personally is a creep. I’ll be very clear in this specific statement: the text that Pat wrote creeped me out. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • thistlepong
          Posted February 21, 2012 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

          I think that’s an important distinction. It’s unlikely anyone’s gonna come round here and make a point of casting aspersions on Patrick Rothfuss. On the other hand, stripped of all value judgments, there are four objects in the post; two of which are actually a single subject.

          In the text of the post, the woman, in both cases, is the textbook definition of sexually objectified. That it might be an apt analogy or whether it’s experienced by many men young and old is irrelevant to that fact. That the analogy tends to creep out even a segment of folks already invested enough read the blog seems significant.

          We’re all fans here. The concerns regard the text, not the author.

          • Kaethe
            Posted February 22, 2012 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

            You know, I understand the point of the post. At one point of another every author agonizes about the filmed adaptation possibility. Some choose to take the money and hope for the best, others don’t. Likewise, some readers are going to enjoy films based on books they love, knowing that they’re totally different things, and some readers will never be able to get beyond those differences. At some time or another, with various texts, I expect every reader has both reactions. That’s all fair.

            But that Centerfold analogy is vile.

            Wandering?

            The analogy is offensive as hell, because it blames the girl for not being (always and forever) the shy and sweet girl of sixteen. It’s offensive because the guy in the analogy was just out strolling through a porn site where he watches enough to have a good memory of her costume, her dancing skills, her walk, her head tosses, her moans, etc. (it’s a really vivid description, well written). She’s good at what she’s doing, we’re told, it’s great porn. The only problem with the whole setup is that this fantasy with the BDSM and the black leather and the dancing clashes with his old fantasy of “maybe you could steal third if you were lucky.”

            The reader is supposed to take the guy’s point of view here, and more, to feel his loss. It’s a bad analogy because many readers can’t take the guy’s POV here, and many can’t sympathize with a situation where we’re supposed to feel sorrow for him losing the fantasy of stealing third base from a teenage girl, which is supplanted by an accomplished grown-up woman telling him what to do.

            Go see the Hobbit, don’t go; surf for porn, don’t surf. Do whatever you want, that’s fine.

  81. King Nothing
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    Just wanted to say that i had thought about this same thing happening. I loved the Lord of the Rings movies but i havent read the books, i did however ask a friend of mine how well he thought they had made the adaption. He basically said the same things that you have. I dont truly know how to explain how worried i am… I dont think that anyone can play Kvothe. I mean, he is the book, he is the heart and soul of every page, sure i love the other characters but how could there ever be a good adaption with out someone who could really play kvothe that well.

  82. lilbeth
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    I have to say that I’m not that much of a movie person (. . . give me a book anyday!) But I know soooo many of my friends would love/adore/worship your story within a story…! Kvothe (how do you pronounce that anyway? It’s like a jumble of sounds in my head and each time I try to pronounce it, it comes out differently!) is an amazing creation and I know that I cried, laughed and lost goodness knows how long to the amazing world – and here I am doing it again for the sake of your second book :) – the one thing that made me pick up your book off the shelf of the library wasn’t the cover (yes, I admit it, I’m a bad person, I judge books by their covers..) it was the size and the fact that the font was sooo small! You hardly ever find books like that! It was also the prologue/first chapter? that sucked me straight in along with the map (I like books with maps – even if I suck at reading them..) and when I finally put the book down I said ‘WOW! Is there another book? What about a movie?’
    So after a roundabout tangent… I have to say that I don’t think a movie adaption would ruin the story (as long as they don’t cast Robert Pattinson – no offense to Twilight fans) and you don’t sell your rights to helping with the script writing!!! EVER!! plus you find your Kvothe not them!
    And please.. whatever you do with your books DO NOT do a J.K.Rowling – she is amazing but she didn’t refine her books for long enough and she lost the spark that they started with – so as a last comment and completely new tangent;
    I DON’T CARE how long it takes for each book to come out, it had better be terrific and make me laugh, cry and completely forget the fact that I’m supposed to be doing my coursework… :)

  83. Posted February 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    I admit that while I was happy with how the Lord of the Rings movies turned out in general (considering how bad they could have been, think what Michael Bay would have done) I was disappointed with the portrayal of Gimli. I’ve had a soft spot for dwarves since I used to play them back in my D&D days, mostly because ALL of my friends LOVED elves with maxed out bonuses and I enjoyed making them bring a dwarf along.

    I had high hopes because Peter Jackson said in an interview that he always considered himself part dwarf, but Gimli ended up the comic relief anyway. I hoped they’d include Gimli showing Frodo Mirrormere or his telling Legolas of Glittering Caves of Aglarond to flush out his character a little, at least in the bonus material, but no luck. They even truncated his interaction with Galadriel. BTW I think Rhys-Davies did a good job with what he had, but he didn’t have much.

    I am liking what I’m seeing for The Hobbit, with the dwarves in the trailer and the production videos. I mean they’re characters, sure, but that’s the way… OMG what happened to Thorin’s beard!!?!?!? Did it catch on fire? Did someone cut it off? He looks like the lead man for some prog-metal band. Come on, he’s Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain! He should look like a beard with an axe sticking out of it.

    Or like this

    Maybe if it’s explained he’s cutting his beard until he regains his thrown… but my confidence has taken a blow.

  84. Posted February 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, I can’t spell “Mirrormere” but not the right “throne”. Ack. Curse you un-editable comments!

  85. MattDoyle
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    Pat, long-time reader, first time commenter(I think), and a big fan.

    While on a mechanical level that analogy works for me, I have to chime in to part of what Kalbear said, and note that your “Angel Is The Centerfold” analogy has some distressing and problematic undertones. Especially given that the comparison seems apt in other ways, I’m assuming this wasn’t your intent, but it does come off as possessive and objectifying, which is fine when it comes to a book you wrote (which is, after all, an object you possess), but less fine when it comes to even a metaphorical person.

    As this post and this metaphor were recently linked to in another blog, I suspect you may be getting more traffic expressing this sentiment shortly, much of it angrier, less patient, and more accusing. I thought you should have a warning and a chance to compose your thoughts and responses in advance of being yelled at by many people to whom that analogy was creepy, offensive, and hurtful.

  86. msilliman77
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    I think it would make more sense to do a TV show on HBO ( game of thrones) than a movie. There was so much needed information in Name of the Wind that a movie would only screw it up. I grow tired of these arrogant directors and producers who change books to make them more “hollywood”

    If I could pick any 2 series out right now to be made into movie/tv shows…..Kingkiller Chronicles and Mistborn

  87. Posted February 22, 2012 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    That image alone justifies the existence of this blog, the modern world, and possibly the universe itself. Screw the Higgs Boson… Hobbit pron is the God Particle of the Internet.

    I’m not a big fan of LotR or the Hobbit: my first experience of the books was reading them to my kids when they were younger, and Tolkein’s prose is, well, prosaic. There’s nothing wrong with that, but apart from a few absolutely gorgeous paragraphs around the Battle of Helm’s Deep I found the language didn’t live up to the promise of the world it described (I’m a poet, OK? We’re neurotic–or possibly psychotic–about these things.)

    So I didn’t experience the movies as a disappointment. They actually helped me understand what others were seeing in the books.

    On the other hand, two of my favourite films–”Ordinary People” and “The Stunt Man”–are based on books that are pretty pedestrian compared to the films, which are imbued with a thematic integrity that was pretty much lacking in the literary original.

    So this process can go both ways, and for those of us who don’t really appreciate Tolkien the way his TrueFans do the films are way more fun than “purist” adaptations would be. There is a simply hideous audiobook/radio-play of “The Hobbit” out there that attempts a purist interpretation, and it isn’t pretty.

    So like your delightful stripper example, Pat, people like me are the lowest common denominator that is driving the economics of adulteration. We don’t have the nuanced appreciation of a young geek girl’s virginal sensuality that you do: we just wanna see boobs. And because of us, you get to see boobs too.

  88. melwriting
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    Or…

    This moderately okay Hobbit adaptation may be like discovering that this nice, quiet geek boy you went to high school with has appointed himself Chief Justice Judgy McJudgington and is disappointed in/offended by your life choices. It’s as though he has some sort of claim on your real identity because he fantasized about your personality and your possible future together, and also stared at your boobs sometimes. Now he is making more assumptions about your personality and how it is completely different from the former personality he’d constructed for you–and comparing this to a supposedly mediocre movie adaptation he hasn’t even seen yet.

    Unfortunately, being “subtle and sweet and smart and special” doesn’t get many asses in the movie seats, just as it didn’t get the subtle, sweet, smart, and special girls any dates in high school. (And please, don’t take this to mean that she’s doing the porn to get attention. Many people, male and female, just enjoy porn.)

    Nor would it have attracted so very many new readers/lovers of Tolkien. That said, this metaphor isn’t very strong anyway because movies and books have totally DIFFERENT ways of storytelling (a movie adaptation that moves at the pace of LotR, or Harry Potter, or some other lengthy book, would probably bore the pants off almost everybody), while this girl is the SAME girl. And, just as you didn’t know who she really was in high school, you don’t know who she really is now and therefore can’t say whether or not she’s totally different now.

    Pat, you seem really cool. I know you said above that you’re not comparing a woman to a book, you’re comparing two different types of infatuation. It’s mainly the possessive, judgmental attitude toward this woman in your post that is disturbing. Please pay more attention to above commentors kalbear, annafdd, and others who have expressed my feelings more eloquently, than to me. I’m just a little worked up; it’s 2012, so why is it still so frustrating and difficult to be female?

  89. Dyn
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to it – mostly because no matter what Jackson does to it, it will never be this bad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bHdzTUNw-4

  90. sparkslikedynamite
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    It’s always fascinating to see what will cause a lot of ‘hoopla’ these days.

  91. gothchiq
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Hmm! You’re quite sure, are you? ;) Relax, wait and see. Or choose not to see, if you think it’s going to be all that bad.

    Like others, I find the comparison you made a bit troubling, but eh. You’re conveying a feeling of loss of innocence, tinged with regret. I can’t relate to it that well. One can cherish memories without having to be shocked and disappointed by the normal type of changes that happen over time, or even less normal ones. The book-to-movie changes? Normal, whether we like it or not.

    I suppose I could go on a big rant extrapolating things about your thoughts on women, but why bother, you’re not my boyfriend. *shrugs*

  92. Kull
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    I have to strongly disagree with the argument made in the blog. “The Lord of The Rings” as a work of writing is not subtle in characterization or tension at all. In fact, it is well known for those who care to learn about such things that Tolkien was a linguist, and the story itself was quite secondary to his expositing the history behind the languages he had painstakingly created.
    I don’t mean that to be taken that I don’t think it’s a fine work on its own merits—but it is a disservice to Peter Jackson and his crew to intimate that they somehow didn’t live up to the “story”. In most ways, they made the story better.
    Let us consider: In the books, Aragorn announces his intention to claim the throne right in “Fellowship”, has the sword remade and off he goes. There is no character development at all to Aragorn in the book. In the movies, an arc is provided whereby he despairs of the strength of his blood in the face of the inevitable challenges, and we get quite a lot of characterization and tension as a result throughout the story, until he finally accepts the mantle placed before him—(and doesn’t get the sword until the third act). The Aragorn of the book is completely static as compared to this.
    Gollum—Gollum is evil as soon as he is introduced in the books, and he remains that way. There is no tension as far as Frodo feeling any kind of kinship with him, or the subsequent tension that develops between Frodo and Samwise as the result of this. The tension that results in the movies as far as Frodo telling Sam to leave, and falling for Gollum’s treachery makes the Ring mean more, makes Samwise’s devotion mean more when he comes back, and makes things more tense as far as just how much the Ring has screwed with Frodo’s mind. The movie provides this and so makes all three characters more interesting.
    Gollum himself has no crisis of conscience in the books, and we get none of the sympathy for his character that we get in the movies where Smeagol and Gollum battle for control, and where we feel a pang of regret and sadness that the machinations and ill intentions of others help Gollum to win, through Smeagol feeling he has been betrayed just as he was starting to trust again.
    —Faramir has a crisis in the movies as far as handing Frodo over to his father to prove that he is as worthy as his brother. He agonizes over doing this or instead letting Frodo go and doing what his heart tells him is the right thing. This expands and characterizes not only Faramir, but also Boromir and Denethor, as well as adding to the crisis of Aragorn, where we see why he despairs of there being any hope if he were to claim his kingship over such people. Faramir of the book is like Aragorn of the book. He has no questions, and no development, and as soon as finds out what Frodo is up to, he gives him some food and equipment and sends him on his way. Which is the function of a great many “characters” in the book.
    We could go on and on, from the relationship of Aragorn and Arwen, (the movie also glosses this, admittedly, but there is considerable more detail in the movie than in the book), to Legolas and Gimli, to even Merry and Pippin and Gandalf. Gimli may be Scottish and sort of one-dimensional in the movie, but he barely exists at all except as a half-formed lump of clay in the books. Name me one piece of characterization for Gimli in the books, besides seeing Galadriel, deciding he likes elves, and then trading tourist stops with Legolas. It’s debatable that this can properly be called characterization in the first place.
    All apologies to Mr. Rothfuss, but he is dead wrong. I am left to wonder if it has been some time since he has read “The Lord of The Rings”, as his being a writer himself, and a writer who has produced works of astounding characterization and depth, would seem to indicate that the essential shallowness of Tolkien’s characters and their interactions should be grossly apparent to him. If not, I am left to wonder if his editions differ dramatically from the rest of us. “The Lord of The Rings” is influential and great in its own right for what it is, but there is another way in which it is exactly what China Mieville has referred to it as—”a wen on the arse of fantasy literature.”
    Not the least of the reasons for this is the horde of clones that it has inspired as far as taking a group of one-dimensional, essentially Nordic-archetypical characters and throwing them at a goal that it is quite clear by the attendant lack of tension and characterization that they will achieve.
    What is interesting about the books is Tolkien’s exploration of the meanings of language, and how such meanings form and change. There is very little “story” there, except where it is incidental, or lifted directly from scenes from Northern European myth—(which he was almost required to do, as his languages were based upon a Northern European foundation—he said himself that Rohan represents his dream of what the Anglos and Saxons may have become had they never been “Frenchified” by the Normans). Gandalf and the Balrog and the bridge of Kazad dum is simply Heimdall and Surtur and the Rainbow Bridge. Etcetera. Everyone has to base their works on existing myth—but none but the worst of us just steal the scene and change the names. It’s not Tolkien’s fault—he was telling the history of language–not writing a consistent and engaging story. It was left to later generations to falsely believe that he was doing the latter as opposed to the former—and to permanently poison for many what fantasy can mean and do.
    Anyway—I enjoy the works of Mr. Rothfuss. I think that he is a writer of very vivid, emotionally-engaging, and complex stories. In fact, everything that Tolkien was not. I think that he may be in some way remembering the books as he remembers that long-ago crush—-through perceptions formed by not having seen her in a long time, and having forgotten about her negative aspects while exaggerating her virtues to himself, even inventing ones that never existed in the first place.
    The movies are better STORIES than the books. Period—-and any good writer knows that. I think Mr. Rothfuss would too if he would go back and read them again.
    As for “The Hobbit”—-it was a one off work that Tolkien only later expanded “The Lord of The Rings” from. He, in an amateur way, explained its inconsistencies as compared to the larger work by saying after the fact that it was the book that Bilbo writes and passes down to Frodo. Therefore its goofiness and innocence and mistakes as compared to the larger narrative are “explained” by the fact that it came through Bilbo’s skewed and sometimes good-natured yet self-serving lens. In that way, I really can’t see where it is already an improvement even apparent from the trailer that “The Hobbit” movie will more firmly place this work into a more integrated context with the larger story. If we’re to take Tolkien’s word—what actually happened was a good deal more serious than Bilbo recounted it as anyway, (he claimed that Bilbo was telling the story of the book speaking of himself in the third-person)–and so the movie will be the more accurate interpretation. Except for the Gandalf/Galadriel thing—-if a romance is indeed what that short snippet suggests—then a point for Mr. Rothfuss—but in the overall game his score is none too high.
    Imagine if Kvothe said in the beginning of “The Name of The Wind”, “I will become a Namer and in the end I will win”. And then he did. And his wandering in the wilderness and his living homeless and his struggles in the University, and his struggles abroad and his relationship with Denna, and everything else—simply didn’t exist. He just said, metaphorically, “Yeah, I’m the King. Put the sword back together. Let’s go…”, like Tolkien’s Aragorn does. That wouldn’t be a story, would it? It could be a BOOK, if the intention of the book was other than telling a STORY. It could even be a successful book if it fulfilled those intentions. But it ain’t a story, and never will be.
    A good story-teller, like Mr. Rothfuss, should know that.
    This isn’t to say that movie adaptations aren’t usually crap. Yet, they’re not ALL crap. Sometimes, they end up being better stories than they started off as in written form. Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” as compared to Peter Benchley’s frankly awful book that has characters drawn right from the stock-forms of romance novels comes immediately to mind. There are a few others.
    Anyway—I hope that Mr. Rothfuss doesn’t let his cap get so big now that he’s broken out that it slips down over his eyes. Sometimes you have to cede a point.

  93. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

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  94. AJF312
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    Wow. . . . Those are some long comments.

    Book:Awesome
    Movie: Somewhere between Awesome and less Awesome

    Women are not objects . . . .

    People need to read less into metaphors…..

    QED

  95. Johnw2468
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    You know, I loved The Lord of the Rings. I first read it when I was 9, and 7 years (and thousands of books later) it is still among my favorites. But I actually like the movies more. To me, you can’t look at the two forms of media as flipsides of the same coin. They’re each a unique and incredibly enjoyable product. I mean, the books have this fantastic, flowing prose, and an unbelievably deep and complex story that’s even better if you’ve read the Silmarillion. But the movies showcase the personal relationships. They stirred, at least in me, much more emotion. Plus, let’s face it, they feature the absolute best fight scenes of any swords and sorcery movie ever made.
    Fighting for the honor of a film adaptation of a book (verbally at least).
    I feel a little silly.

  96. aaaaaron
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    What about a tv series? Game of Thrones the tv series is a good adaptation of the books, better than if it was a movie. George R. R. Martin even wrote some of the episodes.

  97. themantheycalled mikeal stanne
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    you made me get in trouble at school for reading this lol.

  98. Posted March 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    While I must say that this series would be an amazing book to film series I fear that it (like all others done in such a fashion) would be butchered and defecated upon by some Hollywood executive seeking profit than any real semblance of veneration towards the original work. I’d prefer seeing a graphic novel adaptation than a big name movie with a dyed, red headed Ryan Gosling as the adult Kvothe. The thought sickens me.

  99. Rob
    Posted September 2, 2012 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    There’s never going to be a movie based on a book thats going to please everybody. Some people would prefer the movie, others the books.
    I haven’t read lord of the rings. I’ve read half of the hobbit and it gave me a headache. But then again, it is a childrens book, it’s probably why I couldn’t let myself enjoy it, strange I know. But the movies had to appeal for the people who didn’t read LOTR too.
    If it wasn’t for the movies I probably wouldn’t be ordering the books.

    As for the kingkiller discussion, I’ve thought long and hard about this, it should be (if anything) a series. A movie wouldn’t do it justice, how would the director/company/whoever go about making a film and keep it’s roots? They wouldn’t. In actuality they would give it a ‘hollywood makeover’ because lets face it. The books are epic. But we as fans are a minority, and the filmakers want to make money, a lot of money. I suppose if they’d made a movie about Kvothe I would be exactly the same as readers of LOTR. Poking holes in it, this didnt happen. Thats not how he done it in the book etc. To be honest I wouldn’t want anyone making a series or film, for fear it would be ruined.

    But that’s just me.

  100. Themrys
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    That metaphor does not work. At all. And you have, again, compared a thing to a woman. Which you have done (the other way round) in your novels already. I would have attributed that to the main character being himself, but it seems that you hold the same views.

    You write you loved the hypothetical girl for being smart. Does being a porn star make her less smart? Does it make her forget all the books she has read? Does it even stop her from reading more books?
    Or did you really only love her shyness and the fact that she was not attractive to other boys?
    (Also, you shouldn’t look at porn if you don’t want your highschool crush to become a porn star. If you look at porn, someone has to be a porn star, obviously. )

    You, Mr. Rothfuss, need to think about the way you think about women. I grant you that you aren’t sexist on purpose, but still.

    And no, it does not matter how high your esteem for the thing you compare to a woman is. A woman is a person, a thing is a thing. Keep that in mind.

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