I’ve been comparing The Fellowship of the Ring, the novel, to The Fellowship of the Ring, the movie.
One thing I noticed is that Movie-Elrond is actually at fault for the events of the The Fellowship of the Ring Movie.
Movie-Elrond blames Men for the failure to destroy the Ring.
But this scene is more complicated than Movie-Elrond makes it seem. Three thousand years ago, Movie-Elrond led Movie-Isildur, who carried the Ring, to Mount Doom to destroy it. At the pivotal moment, as Movie-Elrond called on Movie-Isildur to cast the Ring into the fires, Movie-Isildur succumbed to the temptation of the Ring while Movie-Elrond stood impotently, yelling Movie-Isildur’s name.
Here’s my first problem with Movie-Elrond: Movie-Elrond seems to understand the nature of the Ring, and how to destroy it. He therefore most likely understands the effect is has on people’s minds and the danger it represents. In this moment, clearly Movie-Isildur is under the sway of the Ring.
As we can see from this scene with Movie-Boromir, Movie-Boromir immediately regrets his actions once separated from the Ring:
My point? Clearly the Ring can basically mind control people near it. Movie-Isildur is drunk and shouldn’t drive. Movie-Elrond lets him walk out under the influence of the Ring, he willingly let an ally basically get possessed by the Ring.
What Movie-Elrond should have done was either kill Isildur and take the Ring, obviously the most dangerous option to Elrond because the way you get the Ring affects how it effects you. Still, Elrond, actually knowing something about the Ring, has a better chance of resisting it for the 60 seconds required to destroy it than Isildur. Or Movie-Elrond should have pulled a Sam Gamgee and thrown Isildur and the Ring into the fire.
This second option has some obvious dire consequences, especially in Middle Earth. First, killing Isildur probably qualifies as kinslaying (Elrond and Isildur are distantly related) which probably have severe consequences for Elrond. Second, it would probably cause a war to break out between the Elves and Isildur’s followers.
Still, all of these consequences pale before the threat the Ring represents. Elrond, being the one who knows what’s going on, should have stepped up and actually saved the world instead of letting Isildur walk.
Which leads to what I think is an extra complication that comes from reading the book. Elrond, in the book, is often called Elrond Halfelven, a term that becomes relevant when you realize that Elrond is half human. So perhaps when he talks about the day that the strength of Men failed, he’s not talking about Isildur at all, he’s talking about the day the humanity in him failed to destroy the Ring.
Which would mean Elrond has some serious self-loathing issues, but it stands to reason given what we know about Novel-Elrond, because Elrond had a brother, Elros, and both were given the choice between being immortal or mortal. Elros chose to become a Man, and Elrond chose to become an Elf. Elrond abandoned his humanity, it would stand to reason that he looked down on humanity and their frailties, and to one day fail the entire world so egregiously, it seems likely that he would transfer his blame to his human and half, and by extension all of humanity.
Movie-Elrond never steps up to admit the blame of what he did, though he’s very frank with Gandalf about what happened at Mount Doom. It kind of makes his character a much bigger dick than he is in the novel.