Historical Genre Patterns in the Fantasy World of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

We know that "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit" trilogy are considered "fantasy" in terms of genre. be. From the point of view of film studies, the fantasy genre refers to films that attempt to create a completely different world from our real world; Where the rules and logic of this world do not exist and even scientific imaginations cannot fulfill that logic. If it was so and scientific justifications could be found for the events in that world, that movie would belong to the science-fiction genre, not the fantasy genre.

BingMag.com Historical Genre Patterns in the Fantasy World of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

We know that "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit" trilogy are considered "fantasy" in terms of genre. be. From the point of view of film studies, the fantasy genre refers to films that attempt to create a completely different world from our real world; Where the rules and logic of this world do not exist and even scientific imaginations cannot fulfill that logic. If it was so and scientific justifications could be found for the events in that world, that movie would belong to the science-fiction genre, not the fantasy genre.

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Or a part of the fantasy film originates entirely from imagination and dreams, and there are events that do not have a logical and realistic justification, but since each film creates its own world, a fantasy film is successful when it can create this strange world for We believe it. When we accept the logic of that world and go along with it, those events and creatures will not only not be strange to us, but also seem completely obvious.

For example, in dealing with the movie "Lord of the Rings". Due to the correct construction of the work, the existence of strange creatures such as orcs or elves and witches and sahangu trees are not only not strange, but seem to be the natural coordinates of such a world. We never ask ourselves why a ring should have such power and why a creature nests in a giant eye and has only one concern and that is to get that ring. It goes back to ancient and even older stories of cavemen, and this is exactly where critics and audiences who believe in the superficiality of this genre do not understand it. Legends and myths, such as the multiple gods of ancient Greece, such as Zeus and others, were necessary to express a truth that could not be expressed in everyday Elkann language; They were the reflection of a culture and while the presence of legends and mind-boggling events originated from that pure truth. Therefore, understanding them is not only not harmful for understanding a culture and a history, but understanding their structure is considered a very basic matter. Or our own Shahnameh, which, while having fantasy elements, is full of history and culture, and is the most important book for knowing Iranian people.

So the fantasy genre, like those myths, has elements that one of them can be He knew the eternal opposition of good and evil. In those legendary worlds, there is always a clear line drawn between the good pole of the story and the pole of evil, and it is the reach of evil to get something and the hero's confrontation with him that drives the drama forward; A theme that can be clearly seen in "The Lord of the Rings".

But the fantasy genre itself is divided into different subgenres, one of which is the "high fantasy" subgenre. In this subgenre, the entire world in question has its own logic, and it is not like the "superhero fantasy" subgenre, where only a few people have supernatural powers and the rest are as you and I know in this ordinary world. In Faradast's fantasies, the creator tries to create a complete world and a different end, which usually takes place in a world with old appearances and in an uncertain history, and epic battles between good and evil take place in it. For a better understanding of this subgenre, examples such as "Harry Potter" or "The Chronicles of Narnia" can be mentioned.

But why are the "Lord of the Rings" films so popular? They were successful and raised the products of this genre to the level of original works of art. For many years, a director like Tim Burton had made credit for the fantasy genre by making films under the "contemporary fantasy" subgenre, which refers to films like "Edward Scissorhands" or David Fincher's good work, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", but this It was the movie "The Lord of the Rings" that gave such credibility to a world completely imaginary and torn from reality.

One of the diverse reasons is due to the correct use of historical genre clichs by the director in the heart of a fantasy drama. Historical films refer to works whose story takes place in a period of history and the technologies of that time as well as its iconography are related to the same historical period. For example, if a movie takes place during the era of Queen Victoria and in England at that time, but the main character traveled to that era with a time machine, it is not only not historical, but it is considered a completely fantasy work that feeds on the history of certain events in order to advance its story. take away So a historical film is a work whose events originate from the realities of its time.

Peter Jackson does something completely opposite and takes the stereotypes of the historical genre and uses them in a fantasy world. For example, in various historical films, we have seen the battles of the armies, which clash from one side to the other. The director also tries to impress the audience by making these battles as attractive as possible and creating action sequences. Now, Peter Jackson took all those achievements and, for example, at the end of the second part of this collection, he put people like Adamizad on one side of the battle and put bloodthirsty orcs on the other side of the battle. Otherwise, both the camera is the same as the camera of historical films and the way of fighting reminds us of that type of cinema; A castle is surrounded by the enemy and the good people are waiting for the help that is going to come.

Another topic is the clothes and the mood of the heroes of the drama, which is deeply familiar to us. In films such as "The Adventures of Narnia" and even "Harry Potter", the audience does not feel this close to the characters. The reason for this closeness is the similarity of the clothes of the people in the frame of the filmmaker with the clothes of the historical characters in the historical films, and since one of the principles of genreology is the iconography of the characters and the clothes are also a part of the iconography, it can be concluded that the clothes, especially The costumes of the positive characters of "The Lord of the Rings" have made their way directly from the historical cinema to the film. And the tools that people use come back, and by the way, here Peter Jackson clearly refers to the "sword and sandal" subgenre. Sword and sandal is also a genre whose story takes place in the past and generally refers to the struggle of the hero or heroes with the enemy. In this cinema, heroes and anti-heroes generally wear ancient sandals and use bows and arrows or swords in their battles. All the movies of "Robin Hood" or "Gladiator" or "Troy" are such movies.

Now pay attention to "Lord of the Rings"; Aragon played by Viggo Mortensen and Legolas played by Orlando Bloom are exactly characters belonging to this type of movies. Not only do they use the iconography of historical cinema, but their relationship with their weapon is like the relationship between the heroes of sword and sandal dramas with their weapons. It is in such a framework that Peter Jackson uses the familiar and real elements that we have seen in historical films for a long time to depict a fantasy world that has nothing to do with our real world; In fact, he borrows from reality to create his unique world.

But there is another point in the middle that sometimes exists in the form of a clich in historical cinema: that is the "hero's journey" model, which of course This one is straight from the world of Tolkien's books into these movies. Joseph Campbell, the great American mythologist, has spoken in detail about this pattern in the world of mythology; A pattern that also exists in historical films. In these movies, the main character must first go through a dark world to find the strength to face his enemy; He has to suffer, endure hunger, be homeless and alone, suffer from cold and heat, etc., so that he can finally overcome his main enemy. For example, the hero of the movie "Gladiator" played by Russell Crowe endures such an era, or the hero of the classic movie "Ben Hur" played by Charlton Heston, who suffers all kinds of things to be called a hero.

Of course, it should be noted that the genre History has received this model from ancient mythology, but the older audience of cinema, due to being more familiar with the historical genre, has seen such stories more in the stories of that type of cinema than in fantasy cinema; In addition, in the last two decades, fantasy cinema has only opened its doors to annual studio products, and before that, so many fantasy films were not made; So this clich has been more present in historical cinema than in fantasy cinema. In order to find the strength that can overcome this greatest power in the world, he faces all the hardships and problems imaginable. The path he takes seems to come from the very heart of the hero's journey myth to finally give Frodo Baggins the power to make the world a safe place in light of his actions. It is also the way that Aragon goes to gain the worthiness of the kingdom or the way that the good-hearted wizard of the story, played by Ian McLean, goes to help humans and reach the highest level of the wizarding world.

A century after Tolkien and years after the movie "The Lord of the Rings", the same patterns can be repeated in a book called "A Song of Ice and Fire" and the series based on it, "Game of Thrones". (game of thrones) saw.

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