Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Semiotic Analysis of a Media Text the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring/ANALYSE SÉMIOTIQUE D'UN MÉDIA TEXTE LE SEIGNEUR DES ANNEAUX: LA COMMUNAUTÉ DE L'ANNEAU

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Semiotic Analysis of a Media Text the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring/ANALYSE SÉMIOTIQUE D'UN MÉDIA TEXTE LE SEIGNEUR DES ANNEAUX: LA COMMUNAUTÉ DE L'ANNEAU

Article excerpt


The Lord of the Rings movie by Peter Jackson was an interesting genre for semiotic analysis. This brief analysis was looking at the manner of intertextuality, style and form, as well as a syntagmatic analysis. It also discussed the aspect of signs and the signified. The signs employed by filmmaker Peter Jackson in constructing this media text can be categorized into social codes, technical codes and representational codes.

Key words: Semiotic; Analysis; Lord of the Rings; Fellowship

Résumé: Le film Le Seigneur des Anneaux de Peter Jackson est un cas intéressant pour l'analyse sémiotique. Cette analyse brève se penche sur la manière de l'intertextualité, le style et la forme, ainsi qu'une analyse syntagmatique. Elle a aussi examiné l'aspect de la signalisation et des signifiés. Les signes employés par le cinéaste Peter Jackson dans la construction de ce média texte peuvent être classés dans les codes sociaux, les codes techniques et les codes de représentation.

Mots-Clés: sémiotique; analyses; Le Seigneur des Anneaux; communauté


This movie is chosen for analysis because it is timeless in its appeal. It is a highly acclaimed movie and most theaters were always full house with people, regardless of age and from all walks of lives, were queuing to watch the movie. It was a blockbuster movie and grossed US$860 million in theaters worldwide. J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" novels are dense epics that many felt could never be turned into a motion picture. Yet that is what New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson is doing. It would be interesting to have a semiotics analysis on this magnificent movie.


The Lord of the Rings is based on the book written by J.R.R Tolkien. It was voted as the greatest book of the 20th century by British readers. This is a groundbreaking epic of good versus evil, extraordinary heroes, wondrous creatures and dark armies of terror. The movie is the first of three adaptations of J.R.R Tolkien's fantasy. It cost £190 million and was directed by Peter Jackson.


3.1 Synopsis

The film follows the struggle of hobbit Frodo, played by Elijah Wood, to destroy a ring that makes its users invisible and have other dark powers. Set in mythic pre-historic times, this is a story of a desperate battle against encroaching evil. Frodo, has inherited a magic ring from his uncle, Bilbo. He and the other Fellowship of the Ring, must go against the Dark Lord Sauron, who desperately wants all the rings because it will enable him to enslave the people of Middle Earth. Frodo and a fellowship of friends and wizard, elf, dwarf and others are on a mission to destroy the ring by casting it into the volcanic fire in the Crack of Doom, although the ring unleashes its own power in the struggle.

3.2 The cast

The characters of Frodo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, Aragon, Boromir, Sam, Pippin, Merry, Lególas and Gimli, (just to mention the cast that made appearance in the part chosen for analysis), are brilliantly represented by Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Bean, Sir Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen and Sean Astin. Their performances are brilliant and realistic. This of course contributes to the realism of the movie.

Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf, testified to this by saying, "we've had designers Alan Lee and John Howe come in and visualize a much more wonderful world than anything I had in my head." His statement was supported by Peter Jackson, who happily declared, "The actors brought the characters to life in ways I hadn't imagined. So the vision of the film in my head was always changing."

It might also be helpful for the readers to know that in order to provide a more realistic presentation, the producers and directors went all length to make sure that the pronunciations and accents of the characters are compatible with the era portrayed. …

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