3. Lighthearted Tone
Tolkien has been the subject of criticism for his omission of much humour in The Lord Of The Rings, and I think this argument has a fair amount of meat on it. Whereas The Hobbit is much more lighthearted in tone than Tolkien’s subsequent works and in some places it is legitimately funny, in his The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, it seems as though Tolkien has abandoned all endeavors to create genuine comedy and he concentrates very little of his time on seeking to lighten up the tone of the story. In the movies, the main comic relief derives from banter between Gimli and Legolas and Merry & Pippin, but despite valiant attempts by Peter Jackson to try and spawn some much needed humour in the films, this source of comedy can feel rather strained and cheesy at times.
Conversely, J.K Rowling makes a sincere effort to try and generate wit and humour in her novels and for the most part, she actually achieves this to good effect. Characters such as Ron, Fred & George willingly provide that much needed comic relief that really does lighten up the tone of the books. This again is another factor as to the universal success of Potter in that the comedy which Rowling creates, relates to the modern day audience. In the films, these jokes transpire onto the screen with greater effect as the kids get older and as their comic timing improves. Further comedy was initiated when Michael Gambon was hired as Richard Harris’ successor to Dumbledore. From this point, as a result of Gambon’s electrifying performance, the series began to take more of a comic turn. Gambon has that twinkle in his eye and has a real edge to his charm that was really effective in bringing the character of Dumbledore to life.
This article was first posted on February 20, 2013