4/12/2012

Aragorn's Black Gate Speech... As Great As It Sounds?

The Actual Speech
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails! But it is not this day! A day may come when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship! But it is not this day! An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand! Men of the West!


My Idea of a Parody
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of Mordor fails, but it is not this day! A day may come when we forsake our flatscreens and forge new bonds with barbell racks! But it is not this day! An hour of looters and shattered dreams, when Walmart comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we debate! By all that you hold dear on this barren and blasted earth that we're standing on at this moment, I bid you stand! Men of the West!


The Speech, Translated Into Plain English
Don't worry! If I were a middle-class guy like you I'd be scared too! But it just so happens that I'm your king! A day may come when everyone would rather hide in their basement, but (luckily for me) It is not this day! A day may come when everyone turns out to be a selfish jerk! But it hasn't come yet! (whew!) An hour of scavengers and shattered shields when some alien race subjugates us like that! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you've ever cared about,  I bid you stand (but you haven't got any place to go, have you?)! Men of the West (as if you've forgotten where you're from...)!


My Thoughts
Inspiring? Maybe the first time... But I don't see why. In even plainer English it just says "Remember, Our stand here is supposed to be hopeless!" Having figured it out, it really bothers me, because it actually negates the courage and nobility of Aragorn and the men of Gondor the book described. In the text, Aragorn made no speech because no speech was needed, added to the fact that all the scared guys had already been given the pass to bail out a hundred miles back. The men who followed Aragorn all the way knew exactly what they were getting into and followed him because simply knowing he was alive was inspiring. Verdict: yet another stupid addition to a story that would be great without it anyway. Give me a break! Since when is it inspiring to yell "Everything we do here is going to be futile!"

10 comments:

  1. Hilarious translations! :D
    I do agree that it was not really inspiring this past time I watched it. It seemed more like a failed "pep talk" than an inspirational speech like Braveheart, which I think is inspiring. Very insightful post.

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  2. I just saw this because I haven't been on your blog for awhile.
    The Parody I actaually found very funny and also the transaltion into plain english.
    I've actaually always thought of this speech as inspiring though not as inspiring as Sam's speech.
    What are your thoughts on Sam's speech?

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    1. My thoughts are that there's no way I could parody Sam's speech. That one is really inspiring.

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  3. Yes, I have to agree with you. No way a parody can be made which can beat the actual speech.

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  4. why would you ruin something so beautiful and powerful?!

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    1. I haven't ruined it. It's still there. All I did was state my opinion, which the others seem to agree with, that it's not as great as it sounds the first time. That's if you're referring to the black gate. In reference to Sam's speech, I think that one is great and cry foul on anyone trying to mock it.

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  5. I have to disagree. The speech is still as powerful as it was back when I first heard it. "Remember, our stand here is supposed to be hopeless!". That's the point. Same with when Rohan fought in the war before this one. Everyone knows that they're not fighting to win, but give Frodo a chance. They're riding to their death. The parody was pretty funny.

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    1. Thanks. However, my opinion of it is based on the fact that the inclusion of a rallying speech in the first place is directly contradictory to the original. I've read the books plenty of times. No one has to explain the point to me. I appreciate your opinion of my parody. I'll admit it sounds inspiring the first couple of times, but to me it just didn't stay that way, especially after hearing Mortensen's voice crack under the strain.

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  6. it's still powerful to me. if you've ever been scared out of your wits for good reason, ain't no flowery speech appealing to your sense of duty, or religion, or king, going to work. or speeches like that promising you glory or eternal life or riches or honor, or hope for your children, visions bathed in sunlight. what do those visions mean when you're parched on the scorched dirt in the shadow of the black gate, staring at a troll in chainmail with a sword the width of your head. the contrast of those flowery speeches to your screwed up reality --- some of us lesser mortals, we cant stomach it, our bodies reject the possibility of a much brighter world when were stuck so hopelessly and really in a dark one. so to me in this speech, aragorn understands this, even though he's strong enough to not be subject to it. he knows theyll reject the flowery when they are at their lowest point. he shows them he knows how they feel and the hopelessness of it, he communicates that he knows exactly how they feel by giving them images of the worst case scenario. by putting into images the deep fear in their hearts. thats how you know someone understands something, when they can verbalize that clearly. he goes further, he suggests these images are almost inevitable, that one day, their worst fears will come true "a day may come...": he says, your fears those of complete annhilation are completely real and warranted. but even though that fear is as real and deep in him as it is in them, he is defiant against it. who is more strong than that? someone who actually understands the risks of what is ahead of him, has not had them watered down by stupidity inattention or nationalism or ambition, whatever it is? he has courage in its purest form, understanding fully how awful the risks are and how much the odds are against you but still being defiant...you cant beat that. something similar happens a couple of seconds later in the movie, when aragorn looks in fear, maybe not fear, but doubt maybe, whatever it is, maybe its concern, when he looks towards mordor and saurons voice is calling out to him---at that point he seems to know exactly how impossible and awful his situation is. but he raises his swords and runs at the army of mordor (alone, all by himself, him vs. all the crap in front of him, until the rest catch up)----that sequence, are you telling me you dont like that part!?!?!?!? have you no soul?!?!? im just joking this is just a movie. i dont give a crap and i like your parodies. but that part, that part is in images what aragorns speech is in words. the same thing. it also reminds me of dark knight rises - the idea in that movie that its not enough for bruce wayne to fight for what he believes not fearing death ----it is so much more powerful to know death and to fear it and still battle against it, you know what i mean, not just know it, but know it in your bones, as the jgl says, that's a great expression, how many things do people know, but not in their bones? aragorn with this speech, he shows he knows the fear and impossibility of it all in his bones, but he still fights. that is true courage. its bat shit insane and irrational but thats what humans are and thats why we rock. and, you keep it short and simple. kstati, write out most of your favorite speeches, the ones youve only listened too, i guarantee many will lose a lot on the page.

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    1. Thank you for that long non-spam comment. I have never been able to listen to it thinking like that. I have pointed out what I hear when it starts. I also tried to point out that I think the description in the book conveys a lot of what you said, which is why I am bashing it so badly b/c if they had done the sequence from the book w/o any speech it would also have been an epic moment that way. (At the time I wrote this post I was a much more ardent book purist who was willing to bash just about everything I caught different...) Speeches are great moments. This one just doesn't do it for me, partly b/c to my ears the actor sounds hoarse from the yelling.

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