Touring the Two Towers

by Jody Godoy '05

The Two Towers<, titled "Tolkien and the Two Towers: Does Peter Jackson have a Clue?" Diana Glyer, Ph.D., professor of English, and Tolkien scholar at APU, led the discussion.

Glyer began by stating basic assumptions and important distinctions necessary in comparing any director's film adaptation of a textual work. One of the most important of these distinctions is that personal taste and inherent quality are different things and should engender separate kinds of criticism. Throughout the conversational lecture, students and faculty shared their own opinions on Jackson's The Two Towers.

Glyer also introduced examples of what Jackson had done right. "One of the things Jackson does right is that he pays very close attention to detail," said Glyer "and [detail] was something that mattered a lot to Tolkien." Other things that were praised by Glyer were Jackson's casting and use of landscape, both of which helped recreate the epic feel of Tolkien's fiction.

What Glyer regretted most about the film adaptation of The Two Towers was Jackson's inadequate depictions of goodness, which created a lack of balance in the film. This is one of the reasons she endorses continued reading of Tolkien along side the viewing of Jackson's film. "It is difficult to make goodness compelling for mere mortals. I think that is one of Tolkien's greatest achievements."