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 “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…