By: Lynne M.
The movie, obviously, integrates the Green Dragon conversation into one that occurs at The Prancing Pony. The reason for this was to keep out any extra scenes and still get in the important dialogue. However, it seems to lose a little of its effect. The Prancing Pony is loud and boisterous, while The Green Dragon seemed more calm (especially in LOTRO — There was barely a soul there.) and allowed for the conversation to flow more freely, rather than trying to talk over others.
Also, the journey to The Green Dragon from the novel takes up more time passing, which was not shown in the movie. In LOTRO, it is easy to see (if you look at a map and don’t consider your character’s blazing fast speed) the distance they walked and how long it would take them to do that. Thus, movement within the imagined world varies according to which interpretation of the story is being examined.
Also, the passing of time within the novel seems more like time manipulation to me. Tolkien subtly adds in that 12 years have passed, all while describing a currently happening scene of Sam walking home from The Green Dragon that causes the reader to be drawn back in to a current scene, possibly not even realizing that 12 years have passed. I, honestly, didn’t really think about how odd it was that those 12 years just slipped by until our conversation in class. Tolkien did a wonderful job of glazing over what seems like a long passage of time by adding in only a few paragraphs of detail related to that time.
By: Sam Fisher
The level of bustle in the bar varies from the movie and book to the game. In the game, the level of activity is extremely minimal (excluding our class meeting in front of the barkeep). On the other hand, the book and movie depict a packed bar that creates a different mood for the viewer and reader. The bar becomes a culture in itself evoking a particular mood. The Green Dragon serves more as a place to be rowdy and converse while inebriated. In game, it appears more as a ghost bar, with the sole purpose of offering the gamer quests. It is strange as well that there are a few NPC’s in the bar, which shows that there was an option to add these characters and the game designer chose not to.
Perhaps there was a reason for keeping NPC’s out of the Green Dragon. Did the designer expect the bar to get to its normal level of bustle from characters “filling the seats” by loitering there. Clearly after game sales peaked, the designers could determine that there would be no further increases in activity in the bar. It makes one wonder what the purpose of keeping the Green Dragon so empty in game really is…
By Justin G
When I heard that we were going to visit the Green Dragon in LOTRO, I (along with everyone else in the class, it seems) had this image of hobbits dancing, drinking, and generally being their merry selves. The scene in the book (and movie, though in a different pub) led us to believe that The Green Dragon is a popular place, and that hobbits are there every day after working the fields. We even went there after nightfall, so I was expecting the place to be packed. To my dismay, though, our large group of adventurers was the only presence in the tavern. The only other character in the entire place was the barkeep! My first thought was, of course, “what a letdown!” I wanted to see a rowdy group of hobbits dancing on tables and drinking.
I have some experience with an online “game” (game goes in quotes because there is no point to it whatsoever) in which you create a simple avatar and walk around talking to people. Now I will not go into my motives for playing this other than to say that I was kind of a troll. But the reason I bring it up is that there are quite a few computer-generated characters that sit around and answer questions. The first thing I thought of upon entering The Green Dragon in LOTRO was, “why aren’t there any of those? It would be really easy to have people to talk to.” But then I realized that it wouldn’t really be that easy. Unlike that other “game,” talking to these would have to serve some kind of purpose. Gamers don’t usually talk to random characters, only the ones they have to talk to in order to complete their quest. It would’ve been an unnecessary burden to put other computer-generated characters into the tavern.
However, that fact really takes away from the charm of the environment. In the book and movie (though the movie portrays the wrong pub), there are cheery hobbits drunkenly prancing about and celebrating. When seeing (or imagining) this happening I feel a desire to join the hobbits. It seems like they are just having so much fun that I want to see if I can do that. But in LOTRO, the one medium that offers the option of possibly joining in with the merry-making, there are no hobbits to be found. It makes for one disappointing Green Dragon experience.
By: Max Mam
While they share many similar aspects, the movie, book, and video game version of The Fellowship of the Ring each carry vastly different characteristics. One of the main discrepancies among the three media is the way space is presented. In LOTRO your character can easily travel from The Shire to The Green Dragon in Bywater in a matter of minutes. If your character isn’t already a high level, there is the possibility that you might run into a few animals that you have to kill on your short journey to Bywater. Nevertheless the run is relatively painless compared to the many many miles of road between the two locales as presented in the Fellowship novel.
The expanded distance seen in the novel is fine since the reader is able to jump through long periods of time between sentences. Large distances, however, don’t cut it in video games like LOTRO where players don’t want to spend hours merely running from town to town. To achieve a shorter travel time for players the designers of the game merely compressed the Middle-Earth map to a smaller scale so that everything is much closer and more accessible to players.
The movie handles The Green Dragon scene in an altogether different way. Instead of incorporating the actual scene in Bywater, the producers saved film time by inserting the Green Dragon conversation in the group’s visit to The Prancing Pony. It just wouldn’t have been practical for the movie to include every single scene.
By Justin “JCov” Covington
The remediations of Tolkien’s Green Dragon that we have explored are two very different takes on the scene. On one hand, you have the masterful movie version: full of life, excitement, and intrigue. And on the other hand you have the LOTRO version: full of bland unimportant characters, dead, and tiny.
In the novel, Tolkien paints a picture of building worry slowly seeping into the land of the Hobbits. The bar scene is still cheery and lively, but there is an air mystery and dread. Sam, however, seems to be one of the only ones taking this morbid feeling seriously. The others brush it off as mere rumor mongering, as if anything could really come and take away their peaceful shire.
Jumping to the movie we have an air of excitement and jolly good times. There is discussion of unsightly fellows and danger, but for the most part everyone, even Sam, brushes it off and continues with a good mood. Here we have the condensed version of Tolkien’s Green Dragon. It is not necessary to weigh heavily on the Green Dragon scene because it’s purpose is just to add to the growing suspense and fear that there is something great and evil going on in the outside world. A movie director only has so much time to work with. Tolkien, however, had all the words in the world at his disposal to masterfully paint a picture of distrust and gloom. I must say that Jackson did do a great job of appeasing the audiences interests in seeing Sam’s budding romance and the Green Dragon come to life. He could have just left the scene out of the movie entirely.
Last we have the failure. The LOTRO version. It didn’t surprise me to see the abysmal job the programmers have done to replicate Tolkien’s masterful bar, but it did sadden me. The place was empty. It felt unimportant. There was no mystery, no intrigue, nothing! Can these programmers honestly tell me they could not have added more ambiet sound, hobbits dancing, and a few more lively quest givers? Seriously! Hobbits are fun! They dance and sing and get drunk! There was lame, soft music and nobody was even moving around. I know these are NPCs, but they could have automated the pathways and added a few more of them or something! The scene was drab and lifeless. It might have been better to just have passed it up than to have felt the agony of disappointment.
(Sigh) To end was has turned into a rant I will close noting that the movie rendition really enthralled me and I enjoyed it quite a lot. And I suppose that moving around in the Green Dragon is pretty cool…I guess. Maybe I will go kill one of those rabbits running through the shire to ease my frustration…
By Uhyeok Bang
Both the extended version of the movie the Lord of the Rings and the novel itself describe the atmosphere of the Green Dragon as bright and cheerful. Drinks, songs, dances and carefree discussions emphasize the optimistic nature of hobbits.
When we arrived at the Green Dragon in the LOTRO game many of us may have expected to see the same cheerful scene full of songs and dances. This was not the case, however, as the atmosphere in the game is not as cheerful as in the movie and doesn’t have as much discussion as in the novel. We see an empty bar with a few people sitting in the corners somewhat intimidated by the strangers. What has happened?
The reason for this emptiness, I think, is an emphasis on the first person experience in the game. In the LOTRO game everything revolves around us. We make decisions as what we will do and how the story will progress. If a person has chosen a path of hero, he will go along the same route as the main heroes of the novel did and complete all the quests he might face playing the game. If a person has chosen to create his own way like being a craftsman, he may not go through all the experiences the game provides and probably skip some of them. As a result, depending on personal preferences, players may not even visit the Green Dragon and just pass it.
I think there is also a practical reason for making the Green Dragon the way it appears in the LOTRO game. Many gamers simply will not pay attention to the mood of the bar and notice the difference between the game and the movie of the novel. They are too busy with the quests! If the majority of people will not even care about it, then why should the creators of the game spend extra time and memory on a hard disc to create a scene that will not be appreciated enough?
I still think that the Turbine Company has done an excellent job, even when they did not convey the mood of the Green Dragon as it appeared in the movie and the novel. After all, they make decisions of how the game should be, not us.
By – Kyle Osborne
Maybe it is appropriate that the inn and pub in the Shire is named The Green Dragon. Dragons in and outside of Tolkien’s world are often represented in different ways. In a similar fashion, I felt that the Green Dragon was treated differently across the three forms of media used to portray The Fellowship of the Ring.
The movie version of The Green Dragon is probably the most well remembered of all of the representations. A fun and invigorating scene full of laughter, ale, and tipsy hobbits. It all starts with a great drinking song by two of my favorite hobbits and manages to keep this light mood throughout the scene. Even as the conversation turns to darker topics the characters treat it lightly and manage to throw in some hobbit wisdom. The Green Dragon catches your attention and holds it as tales of strange things and Sam’s possible love interest are introduced. Although this portrayal is a lot of fun, it draws a stark contrast to The Green Dragon in the novel and game.
The novel treats this conversation in a more somber and serious manner. Sam, who is the focus of this passage, has a conversation concerning the “strange happenings” around the Shire. While the argument itself is not necessarily dark, the passage seems dark. First of all there weren’t any dancing hobbits, but the reader also knows that foul things are afoot in Middle Earth and can’t help worrying as these hobbits ignore sign of danger. Sam’s demeanor also plays a large role in the mood of the passage. Sam is contemplative and quiet after his discussion, which also seems to dampen any of the drinking song feeling that might have been present in the passage.
While the novel’s portrayal is dark, the game’s is boring. All of the life and vitality that is present in the movie was sucked out for the game. I understand that you can’t have a whole house of hammered hobbits, but they can at least be moving around. Not only are the NPC’s uninteresting, there are also very few of them. Instead of the fun and engaging setting of the movie, I walk into the lifeless area in the game and feel sad. The way the inn is presented in the game, it fails to draw me in or make me want to see it again. In a sad, but ironic realization, I found that the Forsaken inn is much livelier than the Green Dragon. At the Forsaken Inn at least I can sit around and listen to the sarcastic waitress tell customers to get their own drinks or speak with many of the people who inhabit the space.
In these completely different portrayals of the same place, it was interesting to see how the different media caught or failed to catch the interest of the audience.
Honestly, I just wanted to be able to walk into the Green Dragon and see drunken hobbits dancing.