|HAL-DEAR - THE IT-ELF|
|"Ok, ok, I won't call you "Barbie" again, Rumil - now move that arrow away from my butt - PLEASE!"|
|Does the following scene sound familiar?
You're at your local cinema, watching "Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers".
Shortly after Legolas enthusiastically announces from the screen that this was "not an orcish horn" and the elven archers march up the ramp to Helm's Deep with the precision of the Prussian army, people go "awww" when Haldir turns up and delivers his little "old alliances" speech.
Then they go "awww ... awww!" when Aragorn hugs him. "He's so cuddly!"
Inevitably, somebody whispers: "The poor lad ... it's so tragic, isn't it, dear!"
And that's just for starters.
This is telling us three things:
1. the audience remembers this character
(barely 3 sentences in Lord of the Rings:
2. they already know that this battle will NOT
end well for poor Haldir, and
3. they like him.
|"Are you really sure you will need all these toothpicks, Haldir?"|
|Actor Craig Parker is transformed into Haldir - lotsa work and a very stressful process for all involved.|
|The audience is a fickle beast - one day completely ignoring some top star's new movie, the next taking a character who was seen on screen for a minute and had one or two lines into its heart.
What is it that inspires people to go out and create websites or write fan fic?
Makes them fight each other on Ebay over autographs?
Awakens their interest in the actor who portrays the character?
It's something no promotion department can influence or manipulate, and thanks the gods for this. Studios can make stars - but it's the audience which makes heroes out of those who got "IT".
Haldir sure has got "IT". Otherwise people wouldn't cry when he dies. He's on a suicide mission, and he's there because he was ordered to, dying fighting for "the good cause". A classic hero.
Haldir's death-scene, no matter how short it might be, is pivotal, for it's the only time during the whole battle where you actually see the full horror of war - Haldir looks at the bodies of fallen Elves and Orcs before he dies, not knowing if his dead will be in vain, which is even more touching because, as an elf, he's not supposed to die.
The immortal facing mortality - how tragic can it get.
|We highly recommend the following links
(you will find lotsa "Haldir" links on both sites):
|THE AUDIENCE MAKES ITS OWN HEROES|
|If the Elves in "Lord of the Rings" were somewhat like the Spice Girls, we'd have
Posh Elf Celeborn
Scary Elf Elrond
Sporty Elf Legolas
Baby Elf Rumil and
(ten weeks number #17 in the Lothlorien top one hundred with "Who wants to live for ever")
|Last year, Kiwi actor Craig Parker (who, you guessed it, is the guy who plays Haldir) attended the "Ring Con(vention)" in Bonn/Germany.
According to Corinna, who has been there as well and who survived to report about it, the female part of the audience worshipped the ground he walked on:
"He was a real darling, totally adorable. He looks nothing like Haldir, but we all fell in love with him right from the start. He was funny, charming and completely natural. One of the most hugeable and likeable guys I ever met. Nothing at all like some of the Star Trek actors you see at conventions. He sure won me over - Haldir rules! Did I mention he's adorable?
Later we saw him playing with this Haldir-tin-collectors-figure, and my friend said to her boyfriend: 'I'm sorry darling, but I think I really have to go over now and ask him to marry me."
(No. We don't know if she did it. We also don't know the reaction of her boyfriend.)
|How did he prepare for his role as Haldir?
"I sat in the woods for 6 weeks and ate nothing but lembas ..."
Imagine if he'd played an Orc instead ...
|WHAT'S THE CRYSTAL BALL TELLING US?|
|Currently, Craig Parker can be seen in the TV serie "Mercy Peak", he had a couple of stunts on "Xena - Warrior Princess", you can buy Haldir-earrings on Ebay, and if the man thinks he can spend his days now hiding somewhere in New Zealand, he's wrong. The audience likes him, the audience wants him, and as it's the audience which buys the tickets at the box office (and the Haldir-earrings on Ebay), it is very likely he'll find himself in front of a camera again very soon. Hopefully for something with more lines, more screen time and not wearing Haldir-earrings. And we'd really welcome it if his character could live to see the end of the movie, thank you very much!
All those who left the cinema red-nosed and -eyed, swearing down a blue streak on Peter Jackson's head plus wishing him the taxman out of hell for killing off Haldir: according to the book, Haldir never was at Helm's Deep (nor was any other elf but Legolas - no party without the Sk8ter Elf!).
So we can leave you with the comfort to know that
|As mentioned somewhere else in this special, the casting for the LOTR trilogy borders the genial. Even the smallest role in this movies is casted with actors/actresses who have so much charisma that you will remember them, no matter how small their roles were. They don't only portray a character, they are characters themselves.|
|"A REAL DARLING, TOTALLY ADORABLE"|
|picture: WoWe Feb. 2003|
|Couple of minutes later, to the left and right of yours tissues are fumbled out of handbags and jacket pockets, you hear repressed sobs and aforementioned one behind you whispers with a chocked voice: "oh my god - but he did die beautifully, didn't he!"|
|I've written this article originally for the "Lord of the Rings" special in issue #5 of "PKWebzine", March 2003. We knew we had to do this special when all those Daniel Jackson and Jack O'Neill admirers among the editors started to get all moo-eyed over Haldir. It was either the special or prozac.|