Another convention. Another article. This time is was Westercon 54, a science fiction convention in Portland, Oregon, where I was accosted by a group of rabid Tolkien fans.
After driving three hours from Seattle to Portland and settling in my hotel room overlooking the parking lot, I was too restless to sit still, deciding instead to check out the Con's evening offerings. Sorry to say, pickings were slim, but I found something interesting for a film buff: "Will Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' Films Be Any Good." Now that sounded interesting!
As a fan of fantasy, and having read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, I obviously thought it would be fun to go and hear some news, or at the least the latest 'gossip' about the upcoming film. But instead of finding other films buffs or writers, I stumbled upon a group of Tolkien fans who had gathered to discuss (or should I say, worship) their beloved fantasy. These people were more than fans, they were Tolkien devotees who could quote chapter and verse and exclaimed loudly "after reading The Lord of the Rings fifteen times, I finally understood . . ." They reminded me of a group of Star Wars fans who once told me about Boba Fett's family life. Sorry, but I didn't even know my favorite bounty hunter was married.
Anyway, after listening quietly to discussions about which characters might be left out of the film, and pledges of suicide if certain characters were changed or combined, I raised my hand and asked: "Knowing that almost all films take a 3-Act Structure, and knowing the novel as well as you all seem to, how do you think Jackson will adapt the novel to fit three acts?"
First, there was a beat of dead silence and then shouts of "It will never happen! Jackson said he would be true...