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Inspirational Reads

The Towers Twain

June 22, 2011

I went and saw the one-night-only special release of the Two Towers last night. It's the extended version that was reformatted for Blue Ray release, so it had all of the good stuff in it that was left out in previous theater releases. And, I learned a couple of things from the movie last night.

1) My bladder just isn't cut out for an extended-cut version of a movie. Toward the end, I was like "Yes, okay, Sam. We get it. Songs and saving the world. Now shut the fuck up and get your chubby little Hobbit ass into Illien. I've gotta piss!"

2) Miranda Otto has some very fine freckles across the bridge of her nose, upping her "DAWWWWWWW" factor by about ten million.

3) Aragorn, as portrayed in the movie, is a shitty general and commander. Why anyone would follow him into battle is beyond me. I guess it's a sense of duty to the aged houses of Numenor, but that doesn't make sense, either. Your kingdom is crushed and you spent most of your life hiding out in Rivendell? Well, sure, I'll blindly follow your instructions and get myself killed. How noble of us all!

I'm speaking of the battle for Helm's Deep. Or Helm's Derp, as I dubbed it last night while the movie was running. I realize that the whole thing is set up for Gandalf to sweep in at the dawn and ride down the orcs and break their ranks and send them scurrying off into the forest where they get crushed. I get that. But, Aragorn was seriously Herping the Derp during that whole battle.

"I see a force of ten thousand coming!" he tells Theoden. Then he just hangs out and broods. He doesn't actually fucking prepare for battle. No one was out digging trenches to keep the orcs away from the walls. No one was pounding stakes into the ground to herd the orcs into smaller gaps.

We don't have enough men to guard the walls! Well, here's an idea: don't allow the orcs to attack across the entire face of the wall! Take away their access! Walls are supposed to keep people out. Use them like they should be used. Dig some trenches. Pound some wooden stakes into the ground before the wall. Hoardings, man! Build some fucking hoardings! Throw some caltrops on the ground: the fucking orcs don't wear boots! Take advantage of that!

And, for an impregnable fortress where the people of Rohan flee when under attack, Helm's Deep was sorely lacking in defensive weapons. We have a horn! That will scare them! Much better than any trebuchet or catapult or ballista to frighten off the bad guys! It's a horn! Scary! *trembles*

The whole Elf thing bothered me, too. I mean, aside from the fact that the Elves were all about unassing Middle Earth and leaving it to men to sort out, how the hell did they get to Helm's Deep all the way from Lorien (or even Rivendell)? It took Gandalf five days to find Eomer and bring him down to Helm's Deep, and Lothlorien is even further away than that.

When they get there, our buddy Aragorn commands the archers on top of the walls. Instead of barking out quick orders, he gives out long commands in strings of Elvish. "Draw your arrows! Fire your arrows! Have a cup of tea! Does this cloak make my ass look big?" This is war, Aragorn. You need to kill more of them faster than they can kill you. Quick, short commands are best. "Knock! Draw! Fire! Knock! Draw! Fire!" The beauty of the longbow is that it can fire about twenty arrows a minute, and that's if you're slow and taking aim. You're supposed to flood the air with arrows, dude, not wait for the attackers to start scaling the walls.

Anyway, they made a big deal about the one culvert in the wall that could be breached. If Wormtongue knew about it, how did Theoden overlook it? Why weren't there a couple of guys down there with crossbows defending the culvert? Oh no, scary rats! Aiee! Better yet, why wasn't the drainage diverted into a moat? For a dude who wrote this while fighting in the trenches of World War I, Tolkien was kind of fucking clueless about siege warfare.

And then the real kicker comes after they blow up the bombs under the wall. The wall has been breached, which should have sounded an immediate retreat to the keep, but instead the Elves just stand there with their thumbs in their asses. Orcs are pounding through the hole in the wall, and yet they stand there dumbly staring at them. No wonder their race is failing; it's Middle Earth Darwinism at its finest.

Aragorn finally comes to and sees that the shit has hit the fan. He commands the Elves to fire one volley into the onslaught of orcs, and then, rather than sound a retreat, he gives the archers a command to charge!


Dude, archers are there to support your ground team. They aren't the ground team.

It's a great movie, and the battle is visually stunning, I just had a hard time swallowing why anyone would willingly fight for Aragorn other than trying to curry favor with him if he ever did manage to find his way to Gondor and claim his inheritance. You'll notice Gandalf took control of the defense of Minas Tirith, and now I think we can see why.

At least Miranda Otto is fucking cute. I still wouldn't dump Liv Tyler for her, to be sure, but a little Ned Stark by-blow wouldn't have been a bad thing. Amiright?


DEZMOND said...

is that doggy possessed by some unholy powers?