Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

question regarding killing of the witch king

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

question regarding killing of the witch king

Old 12-30-03, 01:01 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: the space between
Posts: 546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
question regarding killing of the witch king

Sorry if this has already been discussed.

I just saw ROTK and boy was it awesome. However, I thought the movie treated the killing of the Nazgul king more lightly than the boojk did. Unless I missed something, the hobbit (Merry or Pippen- I get them confused) stabbed him in the back, and Eowyn stabbed him in the head. Didn't the book discuss the fact that the sword that he was stabbed with was forged for the specific purpose of killing the Nazgul king, and that was why it did damage? Otherwise, the movie just made it seem like they killed him like an ordinary man. I know that they did the whole "I am no man" bit. So was that it? Because the hobbit and the woman weren't men, they could kill him? I bring this up, because I remember the book explaining it quite well, whereas the movie kind of left questions as to exactly why he died when stabbed. It seems to me the explananation could have been made in like 10 seconds by Gandalf and made it quite clear. Once again, sorry if this has been discussed, and I'm even sorrier if I am hallucinating and thereis no issue about it. Thanks
Old 12-30-03, 01:16 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 23,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No.. that was it. I thought it was played out well, but I'm sure the expliantion of the sword may be a part of the EE version.
Old 12-30-03, 03:48 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: behind the eight ball
Posts: 19,403
Likes: 0
Received 69 Likes on 45 Posts
Originally posted by PixyJunket
No.. that was it. I thought it was played out well, but I'm sure the expliantion of the sword may be a part of the EE version.
I doubt it. Merry's sword in the book was taken from the Barrow Downs, and his sword in the movie was given to him by Strider. In fact, Merry probably had a new sword made in Rohan because the Uruks took all their stuff when they captured M&P.

Speaking of that, how did Merry keep get his Barrow Downs sword back in the books?
Old 12-30-03, 05:39 PM
  #4  
sdk
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: norway
Posts: 218
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are you sure he diden't stab him with on of those nice shiny daggers wich galadriel gave him. That might explain how he was able to harm the witch king.
Old 12-30-03, 06:00 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: behind the eight ball
Posts: 19,403
Likes: 0
Received 69 Likes on 45 Posts
Originally posted by sdk
Are you sure he diden't stab him with on of those nice shiny daggers wich galadriel gave him. That might explain how he was able to harm the witch king.
The Orcs got those. Remember the scabbard that was in the pile of burned orcs?
Old 12-30-03, 10:35 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,789
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Like there wasn't enough extraneous detail in there already. Now, I love the books as much as anybody, but there really is no need to include every possible detail. The idea was to simplify things if they could. There's so much depth and detail in the books that to put it all in would be impossible and extremely tedious. I think what the fans really wanted was something like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where they would stop the action every 10 minutes to have a sidebar about the fish you put in your ear. If someone really needs questions like this answered, the place to go is the book.
Old 12-31-03, 12:16 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
gcribbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Sacramento,Ca,USA member #2634
Posts: 11,970
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Jason


Speaking of that, how did Merry keep get his Barrow Downs sword back in the books?
Merry and Pippin's swords were left behind by the orcs when they were captured. Aragorn returned them to the hobbits when the met up again with them in Isengard.
Old 12-31-03, 12:40 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The City of Angels
Posts: 789
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: question regarding killing of the witch king

I just finished reading that part of the book.
Originally posted by lysander
Unless I missed something, the hobbit (Merry or Pippen- I get them confused) stabbed him in the back, and Eowyn stabbed him in the head.
"Merry's sword had stabbed him from behind...and...had pierced the sinew behind his mighty knee."
Didn't the book discuss the fact that the sword that he was stabbed with was forged for the specific purpose of killing the Nazgul king, and that was why it did damage?
Yes. "So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dunedain were young, and chief among the foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will."

From that, it sounds like Eowyn's blow would not have been as effective, had not Merry damaged him first and broke the spell.
I know that they did the whole "I am no man" bit. So was that it? Because the hobbit and the woman weren't men, they could kill him?
Earlier, Gandalf says, "And if words spoken of old be true, not by the hand of man shall he fall, and hidden from the Wise is the doom that awaits him."

So it was actually a prophecy that the Witchking wouldn't be killed by a man -- not that he couldn't be. The movie makes the "I am no man" bit sound more like a magical loophole and not the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.
Old 12-31-03, 12:51 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Gateway Cities/Harbor Region
Posts: 59,815
Received 539 Likes on 349 Posts
Originally posted by caligulathegod
Like there wasn't enough extraneous detail in there already. Now, I love the books as much as anybody, but there really is no need to include every possible detail. The idea was to simplify things if they could. There's so much depth and detail in the books that to put it all in would be impossible and extremely tedious. I think what the fans really wanted was something like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where they would stop the action every 10 minutes to have a sidebar about the fish you put in your ear. If someone really needs questions like this answered, the place to go is the book.

You know Calig, I truly respect your knowledge of the books but sometimes you really do come across rather arrogant in your posts.

Take it down a notch Bro. Just be happy that a whole new generation of fans have been introduced to this wonderful story. And you know what? You have to face the fact that many will still never read the books, others will read them and hate them, while far more with read and enjoy the books.

But then again, I have heard of some Original Fans who're hating the fact that "The Unwashed Masses" are suddenly into Elves, Hobbits, and Wizards....

Last edited by Giantrobo; 12-31-03 at 12:57 AM.
Old 12-31-03, 01:09 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 36,445
Received 807 Likes on 592 Posts
Re: Re: question regarding killing of the witch king

Originally posted by Skorp


So it was actually a prophecy that the Witchking wouldn't be killed by a man -- not that he couldn't be. The movie makes the "I am no man" bit sound more like a magical loophole and not the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.
Or something out of Macbeth.
Old 12-31-03, 01:41 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,733
Received 143 Likes on 106 Posts
Oh sure, now you spoiled the damn movie for me.

(stomps out of LOTR Forum...)
Old 12-31-03, 01:48 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,789
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Yeah, you're right. Tone is really hard to convey in print. I didn't think I was too harsh, but if I was I am indeed sorry. I ignore 99% of the nitpicks but occasionally I have to get it out of my system. They are great films and worthy adaptations. For nearly any question a person could have there's an answer somewhere in Tolkien (except that no one bothered to ask him about pointy ears or Balrog wings in his lifetime?). There's just such an incredible attention to detail in Tolkien that there's no way it could all be addressed in the films. Even a seemingly throwaway line could confuse a lot of people. "So he just happened to have been given the specific weapon to kill the lead Nazgul?" I think the details are what make Tolkien so facinating. I just think it's better to simplify things a bit for the films and then discuss details like this as extra info from the books rather than worry about why it wasn't in the films.

I will tone it down. It's really hard to discuss Tolkien without sounding pedantic, though. I reserve the right to comment on aggregious errors or the "occasional" response to a nitpick.
Old 12-31-03, 01:54 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Independent of the book, it's a valid question (not a "movie's diffferent from the book" nitpick). They talked up his badass power quite a bit during the film and then sidestepped it come kill time. I have very little problem with any of the creative decisions necessary to bring this vision to the big screen, but just looking at it as a film, they could have handled that scene better. Either don't promote him so much, or give a little reasoning for how they took him out. As it is now, it's just disjointed. Perhaps they address it better in the EE. I found the other two EE's to do an excellent job clarifying the more underdeveloped parts of the TE's, so hopefully that's the case here. In a year's time, the existence of the TE's will fade from my memory anyway.

das
Old 12-31-03, 01:57 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Quoth caligulathegod
I reserve the right to comment on aggregious errors or the "occasional" response to a nitpick.
Spoiler:
egregious


das
Old 12-31-03, 02:23 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 1,558
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, since Aragorn, the chief of the Dunedain, gave the hobbits their swords, it is possible that the swords had the same properties, albeit unlikely.
Old 12-31-03, 04:25 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Gateway Cities/Harbor Region
Posts: 59,815
Received 539 Likes on 349 Posts
Originally posted by caligulathegod
Yeah, you're right. Tone is really hard to convey in print. I didn't think I was too harsh, but if I was I am indeed sorry. I ignore 99% of the nitpicks but occasionally I have to get it out of my system. They are great films and worthy adaptations. For nearly any question a person could have there's an answer somewhere in Tolkien (except that no one bothered to ask him about pointy ears or Balrog wings in his lifetime?). There's just such an incredible attention to detail in Tolkien that there's no way it could all be addressed in the films. Even a seemingly throwaway line could confuse a lot of people. "So he just happened to have been given the specific weapon to kill the lead Nazgul?" I think the details are what make Tolkien so facinating. I just think it's better to simplify things a bit for the films and then discuss details like this as extra info from the books rather than worry about why it wasn't in the films.

I will tone it down. It's really hard to discuss Tolkien without sounding pedantic, though. I reserve the right to comment on aggregious errors or the "occasional" response to a nitpick.




Peace Brother
Old 12-31-03, 09:43 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,789
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Originally posted by das Monkey


das
haha, I knew that. too lazy to look it up.

Anyway, I disagree. I didn't think they'd built him up too much. Aragorn dispatched them with a torch. Elrond just opened the flood gates to get rid of them for a while. Even that Hobbit stab was just a quick setup for Eowyn's kill stroke. Maybe it's not exactly accurate to the books but it plays out well enough in the movie without introducing yet another "magical amulet" kind of thing. The Ring of Frodo and the Sword of Isildur should be the only items of significance the audience needs to know. Well, Sting is a great device for building tension (it glows when Orcs are near-They would have had to invent something that cinematic). Any more and it becomes confusing and just another AD&D show with tons of magic trinkets. If you were to setup something like Merry had a special sword then why bother to have Eowyn stab him and with such a great flourish? "I am NO MAN!" Yeah, but she needed a dude with a special sword to "really" kill him. That line got the biggest cheer at Trilogy Tuesday. Well, it was in a higher key than most of the cheers but it was the most lusty cheer (there are precious few female characters anyway, and they backed out on having Arwen more proactive). Also, if you set up Merry having a special sword, then you have to setup some drama with it. Will he be able to get to the Witchking in time, kind of stuff. Think The Omen with those special blades. The way the film plays out, it was a spontaneous act of bravery on his part that helped Eowyn actually kill the WK. Obviously, there was a bit of a trim to be restored with their arms going numb but we'll get that in November.
Old 12-31-03, 11:25 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: the space between
Posts: 546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the comments. Das hit it on the head. I wasn't trying to nitpick the book to movie as much as point out a story point in the movie that was a little confusing. After the movie my wife (who has not read the books)asked me why they could kill him if he was supposed to be not human. While he was disptached by fire and water earlier, he never "died". The sword stroke appeared to have ended him. If he was supposed to be the right hand man of Sauron, he was certainly done in easy enough.

I posted the question, because it was the first question that a person who didn't read the book asked me, and I remembered it not being a loose end in the book.
Old 12-31-03, 12:51 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,789
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Yeah, I suppose they were hoping to get away with it just being a woman to kill him. I thought him pointing out that "No man can kill me." and her saying she was no man was pretty straight forward. Of course then that opens up that Arwen could have taken them all out at the fords if she'd known.
Old 12-31-03, 03:59 PM
  #20  
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,220
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I dont know...but it sure was cool as hell!
Old 01-01-04, 04:22 AM
  #21  
TCG
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Philly
Posts: 1,408
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just read this part in this book, and it seems that it's really both Merry and Eowyn that killed him. When the WK realized he was facing a woman, he got scared, perhaps realizing the subtlety of the prophecy regarding his death. He would never be killed by a MAN. "No mortal man shall hinder me" he says. Then Eowyn says "no mortal man am I", and she's not afraid. this terrifies the WK. is this what the prophecy means? everyone else is scared, so why not her? this allows Merry (and his special sword) to sneak up on him. Nowhere did it say he was invincible.

In the movie, Merry's blow stuns him enough to let Eowyn kill him. Also in the book, Eowyn brakes her arm from the mace, and is knocked out when she stabs him.
Old 01-01-04, 11:26 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
GatorDeb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The "Real" Vice City
Posts: 16,554
Received 21 Likes on 18 Posts
I didn't think about this at all. I spent the whole sequence thinking "Why the heck doesn't anybody take the dead horse from on top of Theoden?!"
Old 01-02-04, 01:35 AM
  #23  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,150
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally posted by GatorDeb
I didn't think about this at all. I spent the whole sequence thinking "Why the heck doesn't anybody take the dead horse from on top of Theoden?!"
Well, you see, Theoden's actually got this "crushed by a horse" fetish...
Old 01-02-04, 03:38 AM
  #24  
TCG
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Philly
Posts: 1,408
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by GatorDeb
I didn't think about this at all. I spent the whole sequence thinking "Why the heck doesn't anybody take the dead horse from on top of Theoden?!"
maybe bc it weighs 1000 lbs.

and the only peps around are a woman (no offense) and a hobbit (also, no offense).
Old 01-02-04, 12:42 PM
  #25  
Retired
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 27,449
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by TCG

and the only peps around are a woman (no offense) and a hobbit (also, no offense).
And the woman has a broken arm and the hobbit was unconscious.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.