Rediscovered video about and with J.R.R. Tolkien

A friend of mine sent a link to this interesting video about J.R.R. Tolkien and some offcuts from a documentary recorded in Oxford in 1968, material that didn’t make it into the final show. There are also some great comments about literature.

Tolkien’s writings were stupendously influential in my life’s path. They provided interior formation that eventually contributed to my conversion and vocation and they opened doors to meeting people who remain in my life today.

I’m both impressed and profoundly disappointed with the Peter Jackson movies. The newest “Rings” thing… some great CGI, seeing Numenor was fun… but the episodes competed in my mind between, “Is this going to end soon?” and “How stupid do they think we are?” and “What else is there to watch?”

I also want to thank some readers who sent Tolkien writings that I had on my wish list. Especially, CG who sent a set of LotR when I expressed a desire to re-read it with real books when mine were still locked away in storage half a continent away.

BTW… in the video I link, above, we learn that Sauron survived the destruction of the Ring!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. scaron says:

    I guess I always believed Sauron survived the destruction of the Ring. Sauron is a Maia – Tolkien-speak for “Angel” and is immortal. He could have been “banished to the void” as was done with his old boss, the Vala Melkor. This would have required the positive intervention of the Valar (Seraphim? archangels? Tolkien’s legendarium does not line up exactly like revelation). But that intervention is not seen in the LoTR – I always assumed he was a lost, wandering spirit – without power to influence the world of the living. Ditto for Saruman.

  2. Sue in soCal says:

    I love Tolkien! I have many of his writings and his translation of Beowulf. Such a genius! Such a Catholic! Thank you for posting this video.

  3. Macarius says:

    I watched some episodes of the new Amazon production. It is just lame. I didn’t finish it. Poor plot, writing, etc. Woke Middle-earth. Fail.

  4. iamlucky13 says:

    I was in particularly struck by the comment in this rediscovered content about Sam’s mistrust of Gollum causing him to lose the battle of his conscience being the most tragic part of the stories.

    I haven’t gotten around to reading The Silmarillion yet, nor any of the works published by his son, and I generally like to read books first before films adapted from them, so I have not given The Rings of Power any attention so far.

    “I’m both impressed and profoundly disappointed with the Peter Jackson movies.”

    My view of The Lord of the Rings falls almost entirely in the impressed category. There were some changes I didn’t like, but on the whole, I would rank them as perhaps the best film adaptations ever, which is so fitting for such incredible source material. With The Hobbit on the other hand…I watched the first movie, and that was all I could handle.

    There is a very detailed video review – an autopsy even – of The Hobbit films that really helped explain what went wrong. It’s three parts, each 30 minutes long, and the style is a bit unconventional, but I think Tolkien fans, especially those who enjoyed The Lord of the Rings films but couldn’t stand The Hobbit films will find it very interesting. I felt like the world made sense again after watching it. Here’s the URL for the first part:

  5. Fr Richard Duncan CO says:

    Just before Christmas last year, I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time. I was hooked from the moment I started to read. I finished LOTR in about 10 days and had the curious sensation that I had always known it, and that Frodo, Sam and Aragorn were old friends, even though I was encountering them for the first time. Since then, I have read LOTR, The Hobbit and the Silmarillion twice, have listened to the BBC Radio adaptation once, watched the Peter Jackson films twice, and have listened to Martin Shaw reading the Silmarillion and Andy Serkis reading the Hobbit and LOTR. Shaw and Serkis are superb; the BBC and Jackson adaptations are a disappointment. In particular, Jackson’s decision not to include The Scouring of the Shire was a mistake, as was his decision to concentrate too much time on the battles of Helm’s Deep and the Pelennor Fields. Spending less time on the former would have enabled him to put Shelob’s Lair at the end of the second film and freed up time for putting the The Scouring of the Shire at the end of the third film. Having said that, I realise that it is not possible to include everything that is in the books and think that Jackson’s films are infinitely more faithful to Tolkien than Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power, which was almost unwatchable.

    There are many You Tube videos which attempt to explain the philosophy that underlies LOTR. This is one of the best that I have found. Enjoy!

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