Sunnyskywalker (sunnyskywalker) wrote,

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Appreciating the battles in The Lord of the Rings on a new level

I stumbled upon a blog by a military historian who analyzes pop culture, and his series on the Battle of Helm's Deep and the Siege of Gondor are fascinating. He analyzes both the book and movie versions of the battles (which have some crucial differences). And is fair enough to note that while the movie versions usually make far less sense and have everyone being worse at their jobs, there were often (not always) practical reasons for doing it that way.

The analyses of Saruman's leadership is especially interesting, because he makes some major mistakes in both the books and movies--in exactly the ways you would expect him to, given his character and lack of military command experience. For example, it makes sense for Saruman to see his Uruk-hai as basically fighting machines and plug them into his plan accordingly, without accounting for things like, "Do they have the training to react effectively when something doesn't go according to plan, or when a bunch of guys with spears charge at them on big scary horses?" and "Do they have any reason whatsoever not to break and run when that happens?" Seeing exactly how flawed Saruman's plan and execution were and comparing it to the Witch King's much better performance in the next book makes it clear just how arrogant it was for Saruman to think he could challenge Team Sauron as an equal.

Anyway, these are very long reads, but worth the time!
Tags: books, links, lord of the rings, movies

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