well cast: from book to film and back again


Sean is trying to finish J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings for our evening reading with Natalya. Yes, she is 10. No, we have not decided when it will be too old for “story time.”

We had started the book a while back. Sean had read her The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again by Tolkien so it was natural to continue on. Then Sean had a job away. Natalya and I decided to let him finish their read at a later date. (Sean is a great audio-version.)

When we finish the book, we decided that Natalya could probably handle Peter Jackson’s Film version The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

We’ve just finished Chapter XI: “A Knife in the Dark” last night, so we’ve met Strider/Aragorn a few chapters ago.

Anticipating watching the film with her and having read about Strider and hearing Tolkien’s description, Sean and I commented and agreed that Viggo Mortensen was an excellent casting choice for the part of Strider/Aragorn.

As Frodo drew near [Strider] threw back his hood, showing a shaggy head of dark hair flecked with grey, and in a pale stern face a pair of keen grey eyes. (153)

Often there is a difficulty in watching a film version of an already published work first, and when reading, the actor is now superimposed, even if the description is hardly match. And yet, there is the problem of reading a work first and seeing the film version with the hardly matching imprinted from the reel the reader had already run themselves. It is nice to experience the occasion when the film’s actor and the book’s character find their match.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Melanie Winters says:

    I completely agree! Viggo Mortensen was perfect for the role. He didn’t get in the way of the character. Don’t worry about Natalya being too old for story time. Glen still enjoys it. Mostly, we end up reading long passages about books we’re into at the moment, but last summer, Dale read aloud to Glen every night. The love of reading is one of the most important things to share with a child.
    I miss you!

    1. L says:

      I miss you too, Mel! and I love that image of Dale reading aloud to your Glen. I love your family!
      Sean and I will read passages aloud to each other, and Nate has taken to talking about what she is reading, then pause to find a passage that is particularly poignant…which leads to her decision to read us more than a chapter or two. She is now reading the whole of Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game to us.

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