Gold and Its Contents

Sorry the title is misleading. Looking Longingly Into Dwarven Eyes wasn't cool enough. I guess Peter Jackson had the same problem; his movie gleams with gold, but its contribution, its exchange if you will, is the elf-dwarf love triangle-cum-unfinished-circle. The racial problems of Middle Earth are somewhat different from the United States: It's all overt, nothing underneath heaps of denial. If there's anyone in denial, though, it's the Elves. It seems limitless life drains all complection and sentiment right out. It takes a dwarf to incite the ardor of an elf. But then Tauriel's braids were already a not at all subtle shift red from Legolas and Thranduil's lank, bleached tresses. Dead giveaway. Omen of death.

Dead Giveaway

The disgust and ridicule for Stephen Fry floating out of town on a boat full of gold is as subtle as a mountainful of treasure, a dragon falling out of the sky (onto Stephen Fry), Jackson's direction, or this sentence. The dwarven king, Thorin's riches vs honor meltdown is staged as getting sucked into a molten vortex of gold.

The dragon's dead, gold's free, everyone's come to get their share, and Tolkien to smack them with a huge fleshy hand of morality. It's otherworldly, to see today a blockbuster whose moral crucible is kinghood (not celebrity or marriage), and that tries to send up greed by having the greedy man wear women's clothes to get out of fighting (dying) for king and country. There seems to be nothing Tolkien hates more than the right-hand man of a corrupt monarch. He, we are to understand, does not have the balls to stand by evil deeds. Of course his costume's a bust.

Baggins returns to Bag End to an auction of his estate. Nobody recognizes him; he has to show his signiture to stop the sale of his belongings. I can't blame them for thinking Bilbo dead--most of the rest of his life is a fade cut.

The Tolkienists Ragequitted and Legolas Had Interiority for Five Minutes

Legolas loves Tauriel, who does not love Legolas but Kili, who loves her back. Kili dies. Not sure what happens to Tauriel, but within a human generation Legolas falls in love with Gimli, whom he tosses, compares kills with, and frolicks accross the countryside orc-hunting, Gimli somehow keeping up despite small legs, heavy armor, and an unwieldy disparity in grace.

Smaller creatures, generally, engender passion here. Has anyone seen such a loving gaze as Gandalf has for Bilbo? Thorin, too, is moved nearly to tears by Bilbo's hobbit ways. Bilbo would carry an acorn all the way home just to plant it as a keepsake? Awww!

Heteroracial Melancholy

Certainly, there is no eros lost between races. Thranduil shows up with a whole army just to heckle some dwarves about family jewels. Thorin's cousin comes for the gold, I guess, but mostly to project his brogue at Thranduil. Everyone loves to hate orcs, and orcs' tendency to linger over every hero they kill seems to be their downfall, poor things. They get their rich desserts in one sense only. I mean honestly, what's the problem? That orcs are into body piercings?

As they queue around the mountain, it appears everyone's lost something. Orcs lost their elfness. Dwarves lost their stone(s?). Elves lost their jewels. Men lost their gold, and both of their homes. Getting these things back will unite each with themselves(and possibly even each other), but paradoxically they wo3n't get anything back because dwarves gonna be dwarves, elves gonna be elves, men gonna be men, and orcs gonna be orcs.

Because this is the last of Jackson's Tolkien movies but the prologue to the nearly fifteen year old Lord of the Rings movies, there's an odd sense of chronology. One does not so much imagine the good times of Gimli and Legolas, but remembers them. It is as if Legolas has hardened (those lines around his mouth!), rather than will soften to a dwarf.

1 February 2015