Pán prsteňov (2001-2003 Slovak radio series)
Pán prsteňov (Slovak: The Lord of the Rings) was a Slovak radio series based on The Lord of the Rings which aired in three series (seasons) in 2001, 2002 and 2003 for a total of 18 episodes on Slovenský rozhlas and Rádio Twist. This radio series with a full cast of characters was a rare co-production between Slovakia's public radio broadcaster and a Slovak private radio. On a legal level, the adaptation was fully approved by the Tolkien Estate.
The series was written and adapted for radio by playwright and author Viliam Klimáček and directed by Jaro Rihák. The soundtrack for the series was composed by Peter Mankovecký. The Pán prsteňov radio series consisted of eighteen episodes of 50+ minutes runtime, divided into six episodes per annual series. The three series first aired in the late autumn of 2001, the autumn of 2002 and the summer and autumn of 2003. Slovak public radio broadcast a rerun of the series in the autumn and winter of 2016.
Episodes[edit | edit source]
The series aired in three annual series (seasons), each consisting of six episodes.
Series 1: Spoločenstvo prsteňa ("The Fellowship of the Ring", 2001)[edit | edit source]
- Frodo a prsteň ("Frodo and the Ring")
- Nože čiernych jazdcov ("Knives of the Black Riders")
- Spoločenstvo prsteňa ("The Fellowship of the ring")
- Krutý Caradhras ("Cruel Caradhras")
- V podzemí Morie ("In the Moria Underground")
- V krajine elfov ("In the Land of the Elves")
Series 2: Dve veže ("The Two Towers", 2002)[edit | edit source]
- Prenasledovanie skirtov ("Pursuit of the Orcs")
- Gandalfov návrat ("Gandalf's Return")
- Rohanský kráľ ("The King of Rohan")
- Sarumanov pád ("Saruman's Fall")
- V Železnom páse ("In Isengard")
- Tunel do Mordoru ("A Tunnel Into Mordor")
Series 3: Návrat kráľa ("The Return of the King", 2003)[edit | edit source]
- Vojsko mŕtvych ("The Host of the Dead")
- Príchod temnoty ("The Coming of Darkness")
- Boj o Minas Tirith ("The Fight for Minas Tirith")
- Pred bránami Mordoru ("At the Gates of Mordor")
- Hora Osudu ("Mount Doom")
- Koniec Tretieho veku ("The End of the Third Age")
Plot[edit | edit source]
The series follows the storyline of The Lord of the Rings very closely and in a very faithful manner. Notably, this is one of the few adaptations of the novel in a different medium - be it radio or film - that omits very little of the original storyline, preserving even many of the minor and frequently omitted characters.
The first volume's prologue concerning hobbits and the events of Bilbo's 111th birthday from the first chapter are briefly summarized by Bilbo (the narrator) at the start of the first episode. Then the action shifts towards Frodo and Gandalf, and subsequently to Frodo and his three hobbit companions. From then on, roughly from the first third or middle of the first episode onward, very little is left out of the novel's story.
The events of the War of the Ring raging in Rohan and Gondor are captured in a format that alternates between the Frodo, Sam and Gollum part of the storyline and the other members of the Fellowship of the Ring. Though this alternating might occur in a single episode, most episodes before the reuniting of the Fellowship focus predominantly on one or the other. The eighteenth episode of the series covers the return of the four hobbits to The Shire and the events of the Scouring of the Shire and its aftermath (including Bilbo's and Frodo's departure from Middle-earth).
Minor characters adapted from the novel include Gildor, Tom Bombadil, Harry Goatleaf, Barliman Butterbur, Glorfindel, Radagast the Brown, Ori, Háma, Ghân-buri-Ghân, Bergil, Hirgon and Ioreth.
Cast[edit | edit source]
|Bilbo Baggins||Marián Labuda Sr.|
|Frodo Baggins||Dušan Cinkota (FOTR) |
Ľuboš Kostelný (TTT, ROTK)
|Samwise Gamgee||Stano Dančiak|
|Peregrin Took||Robert Roth|
|Meriadoc Brandybuck||Miroslav Noga|
|Gimli||Vladimír "Ady" Hajdu|
|Witch-king of Angmar||Jozef Švoňavský|
|Tom Bombadil||Milan Lasica|
|Barliman Butterbur||Július Satinský|
|Harry Goatleaf||uncredited actor|
|Gríma Wormtongue||Ivan Gogál|
|The Mouth of Sauron||Juraj Slezáček|
|Mordor orc||Jozef Šimonovič|
|Hobbit shirriff||Viliam Polónyi|
|Hobbit bounder||Karol Čálik|
|Ruffian bandit||Martin Vitek|
|Ruffian thug||Ivan Laca|
and background voices
|Martin Nahálka |
In addition, Szidónia "Szidi" Tobias provided a second voice for Galadriel during the temptation scene in Lothlórien (in the last episode of the first series), and Zuzana Fialová appeared as a voice that represented the darker side of Smeágol's ego as Gollum (in an episode of the second series). The voice of the deceased dwarf Ori is heard while Gandalf immerses himself in reading the Book of Mazarbul.
Marián Labuda's Bilbo Baggins serves as the overarching narrator of the storyline. This is portrayed as Bilbo commenting on the War of the Ring while writing new chapters in the Red Book of Westmarch, from which he reads. There is a slightly metafictional tone to Bilbo's narration, as he occasionally breaks the fourth wall and addresses his nephew Frodo (and sometimes other characters from the Fellowship) directly, with Frodo or the other characters sometimes equally breaking the fourth wall and briefly responding to Bilbo. Bilbo spends most of the story (up to his journey to the Gray Havens) already retired in Rivendell, from where he narrates, and continues writing the Red Book and the notes for it.
Jozef Vajda had a double-role, portraying the voices of both Boromir and Faramir. (An approach similar to that of the 1955 BBC radio series.)
Goldberry is present in this adaptation, singing at Tom Bombadil's house, but has no spoken lines. Her briefly heard singing vocals seem to be portrayed by Soňa Norisová, but are uncredited.
The only major cast change in the course of the series was Frodo, Dušan Cinkota being unavailable for the second and third series and replaced in the role by Ľuboš Kostelný.
Credits[edit | edit source]
- Based on the works by: J.R.R. Tolkien
- Written and adapted by: Viliam Klimáček
- Dramaturge: Ľuboš Machaj, Katarína Revalová, Ján Uličiansky
- Directed by: Jaro Rihák
- Music: Peter Mankovecký (composer), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
- Music direction: Roman Žiaran
- Theme song: Soňa Norisová
- Sound engineer: Ľubica Olšovská (FOTR series), Peter Daniška (TTT, ROTK series)
- Technical assistance: Lucia Tarbajovská, Andrej Kubík, Mária Paderová (FOTR series titles/credits only)
- Technical assistance: Samuel Rihák, Mária Paderová (TTT series titles/credits only)
- Script: Samuel Rihák (ROTK series titles/credits only)
- Assistent director: Mária Paderová (TTT series titles/credits only)
- Titles narration: Ján Galovič
Opening titles introduction: "Slovak Radio, in co-production with Radio Twist, presents..."
Poems and songs[edit | edit source]
Most of the songs in the series were sung by Soňa Norisová, the portrayer of Galadriel. Other cast members also showcased their singing in certain episodes (see "feat." notes in overview below).
Adapted[edit | edit source]
- Ring Verse (feat. Soňa Norisová; main theme, opening and closing titles) 
- A Elbereth Gilthoniel (feat. Soňa Norisová) 
- Song of Durin (feat. Vladimír Hajdu) 
- Namárië (feat. Soňa Norisová) 
- Lament for Boromir (feat. Richard Stanke, Boris Farkaš and Vladimír Hajdu) 
- The Cold Hard Lands (feat. Ibrahim Maiga) 
- The Ents' Marching Song (feat. Slovak Radio Symphonic Orchestra choir) 
Newly written[edit | edit source]
- "The Two Stone Towers" (feat. Soňa Norisová and the Slovak Radio Symphonic Orchestra choir) - includes the series' Minas Tirith Theme elements 
- "A Hobbit Song" (feat. Ľuboš Kostelný and Stano Dančiak) - includes the series' Hobbit Theme elements 
- "End of the Third Age" (feat. Soňa Norisová) - finale, closing song of the radio series 
Musical themes and leitmotifs[edit | edit source]
Some of the recognisable themes and leitmotifs in the radio series.
- Main Theme / The One Ring Theme
- Hobbit Theme
- Orc/Evil Theme
- Lothlórien Theme
- Minas Tirith Theme
Translation and terms[edit | edit source]
Though a Slovak radio production, it was in development already months before the Slovak book translation of The Lord of the Rings by Otakar Kořínek (2001-2002) was first published by Slovart Publishing. This necessitated an inability to use the translated Slovak terminology from Kořínek's not-yet-published translation, and the need to borrow and appropriately slovakize terminology from the slightly earlier Czech translation of the novel by Stanislava Pošustová (first published in the 1990s). It is important to note that the radio series' terminology is thus similar to that of the Czech translation, but not following it verbatim and often altered to varying degrees.
This creates a certain level of disparity with the (as of the early 2010s, near-complete) Slovak translations of Tolkien's Legendarium, but the different terminology used by the radio series is not hard to identify with the Slovak translations' own consistent terminology.     
Many of the Czech translations for geographic terms in the Legendarium that were adopted for the radio series differ only slightly from the Slovak translations. For example, the Czech translation's Kraj ("County"), Hůrka ("Little-hill") and Roklinka ("Little Ravine") compared to the Slovak translation's Grófstvo ("Shire", "County", in the British sense), Svažiny ("Hillside" or "Slopings") and Vododol ("Water-cloven Dell") for The Shire, Bree and Rivendell, respectively.  Kraj and Roklinka were borrowed directly for the Slovak radio series, and Hůrka was modified to Hôrka to fit with Slovak grammar and pronunciation rules.
One of the more excessive and controversial elements of the Czech translation's terminology carried over into the Slovak radio series was the consistent use of Železný pás (in Czech, Železný pas, "Iron Girdle") to refer to Isengard. The Czech translation refers to Isengard as "Iron Girdle", despite Tolkien's own insistence that this is one of the many geographic terms that shouldn't be translated.
In the Czech translation, Meriadoc, Merry for short, is known by the more slavicized name Smělmír (roughly, "Laughric") and its nickname form Smíšek ("Laughy"). Kořínek's Slovak translation avoided slavicization and rendered the name as the more Frankish-sounding Chicholm and Chicho (derived from chichot, the noun for "merry giggling"), in an effort to retain consistency with the rest of the Frankish-sounding hobbit male names. The translated name is similar to historical names such as Chlodovic, in a manner comparable to how Meriadoc is similar to Celtic names such as Caradoc. (Arguably, a more Celtic-sounding form would have been even more appropriate in the translation, though it is less nativised than in the Czech translation.) The Slovak radio series used the Czech translation of Merry's name, but altered appropriately to fit Slovak grammar and pronunciation - Smiešok. Merry is never referred to by his full name in the radio series, only by his nickname.
Finally, possibly the greatest terminological difference occurs with the terms "orc" and "orcs".
Pošustová's Czech translations render orcs as skřeti ("goblins", "dread-goblins", singular skřet), whereas Kořínek's Slovak translations use the term ohyzdi (derived from the words ohyzdnosť and ohyzdný, "foulness" and "foul-looking", singular ohyzd, with the "o-" initial as in "orc"). Viktor Krupa's older Slovak translation of the The Hobbit (1970s) and Kořínek's newer Slovak translation of The Hobbit both use škriatok and škriatkovia ("goblin" and "goblins") when referring to goblins (as the original novel also essentially never uses the term "orc"). The Czech translation and Slovak translation also altered the term uruk-hai, to skurut-hai and uhyz-hai. 
Due to the then-inavailability of Kořínek's Slovak translation, the radio series opted to adopt an invented term, skirt (pron. roughly "skeert" in English), derived from an altered form of the Czech translation's skrět. The plural became, accordingly, skirti. This is reflected even in the title of the first episode of the second series, Prenasledovanie skirtov ("The Pursuit of the Skeerts", i.e. "The Pursuit of the Orcs").
The hobbits' family names are hardly ever referred to, possibly never. The Witch-king of Angmar never seems to be referred to by that title, and his position as the leader of the Ringwraiths is simply referred to as Pán nazgúlov ("The Lord of the Nazgûl"). Kořínek's Slovak book translation renders the epithet of the Witch-king as kráľ-strigôň (roughly "king-warlock", striga meaning "witch" (feminine grammatical gender only) and strigôň being the masculine grammatical gender equivalent).
Though the Slovak radio series took great care to be as accurate as possible to the pronunciations of Tolkien's invented languages and names, a tiny handful are incorrect. The most prominent example of these very rare errors is referring to Cirith Ungol as "Tsirith Ungol" (a Slovak pronunciation of the letter c), rather than the correct pronunciation of "Kirith Ungol" (with a "hard c", e.g. as in the Welsh pronunciation of c).
Other notes[edit | edit source]
A few of the actors who were part of the cast in the 1989 Slovak Hobbit radio miniseries also appeared in the 2001-2003 Slovak radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, albeit all in different roles. These actors include Boriš Farkaš, Ivan Gogál, Vlado Černý, Marián Zednikovič, Pavol Topoľský and Karol Čálik.
Some of the actors from the Slovak The Lord of the Rings radio series also appeared in the Slovak television dubs of Peter Jackson's two film trilogies.
Jozef Vajda was the only one to reprise the same role, as Boromir.
For both the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, Marián Geišberg dubbed Bilbo Baggins, and Ivan Gogál dubbed Elrond. Boris Farkaš dubbed Gimli in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Radagast the Brown (in a different voice) in The Hobbit film trilogy. Leopold Haverl provided the voice of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Marián Slovák dubbed Gandalf in The Hobbit film trilogy. Slovák also voiced Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and František Kovár voiced Saruman in The Hobbit film trilogy. Milan Bahúl appeared as Dwalin, Karol Čálik as Glóin, Ivan Laca as the Great Goblin, Matej Landl as Bert the troll and Jozef Švoňavský as the Master of Lake-town in the dub of The Hobbit film trilogy.      
- "The Lord of the Rings - Worldwide radio premiere", sk.radiotv.cz. RadioTV.sk. Dated 10 November 2001. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- "Marián Labuda as the hobbit Bilbo". www.radioservis-as.cz Týdenník Rozhlas (online archives). Dated 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- "The Lord of the Rings: Behind the scenes". devin.rtvs.sk. Rádio Devín, Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska (online archives). Dated 25 November 2016. Archived from the original via the Wayback Machine (Archive.org) on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (Radio play)". devin.rtvs.sk. Rádio Devín, Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska (online archives). Dated 24 November 2016. Archived from the original via the Wayback Machine (Archive.org) on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "Cultural phenomenna: The Lord of the Rings" (article) and here (audio). devin.rtvs.sk. Rádio Devín, Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska (online archives). Episode of a ten-part retrospective on influential literary and film works. The episode includes an interview with The Lord of the Rings Slovak radio series adapter, Viliam Klimáček. Dated 24 August 2017 (announcement) and 27 August 2017 (broadcast, at 10 AM). Retrieved 28 April 2021. Archived from the original via the Wayback Machine (Archive.org) on 26 April and 28 April 2021
- An entire universe of possibilities. Transmedia Case: The Lord of the Rings. The article's section on "Radio" adaptations names the German, Danish and Slovak radio adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. storyfloat.de. Dated 27 June 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2021. Archived from the original via the Wayback Machine (Archive.org) on 19 January 2021
- Sample of the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series main theme and closing theme (Ring Verse leitmotif)
- Sample of the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series' version of the Hymn to Elbereth
- Sample of the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series' version of the Song of Durin (asides by Stano Dančiak as Samwise, admiring the halls of Khazad-dum)
- Sample of the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series' version of Namárië
- Sample of the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series' version of Lament for Boromir (lines of dialogue by Boris Farkaš and Vladimír Hajdu during Boromir's funeral at Rauros)
- Sample of the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series' version of Gollum's ditty "The Cold Hard Lands" (singing by Ibrahim Maiga as Gollum, lines of dialogue by Ľuboš Kostelný as Frodo, Stano Dančiak as Sam and Ibrahim Maiga as Gollum)
- Sample of the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series' version of the Ents' marching song (dialogue by Leopold Haverl as Treebeard, Robert Roth as Pippin and Miroslav Noga as Merry)
- Sample of this new song in the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series (the "two towers" in this song are the previously sister cities of Minas Morgul and Minas Tirith)
- Sample of this new song in the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series (a "Courage of Hobbits"-themed song, set during Frodo's and Sam's conversation in The Two Towers ("Journey to the Crossroads") about whether they'll end up as characters in stories)
- Sample of this new song in the 2001-2003 Slovak radio series (the concluding song of the entire radio series, with a medley)
- Ramgad.Tolkien.sk - "Tolkien's works in Slovak". Overview of Tolkien's works published in the Slovak language to date. Retrieved 30 May 2021. Archived via the WaybackMachine of Archive.org on 8 August 2016.
- DatabazeKnih.cz - J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (transl. Stanislava Pošustová-Menšíková), Mladá fronta 1993. - J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (transl. Stanislava Pošustová-Menšíková), illustrated edition, Argo 2012.
- Elrond's Library.fr - Published Slovak translations of Tolkien's works (not entirely up to date). Retrieved 30 May 2021.
- DatabazeKnih.cz - J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (transl. Stanislava Pošustová-Menšíková), Mladá fronta 1993
- Elrond's Library.fr - Published Czech translations of Tolkien's works (not entirely up to date). Retrieved 30 May 2021.
- A common popular misconception about Kořínek's Slovak translation is that it misunderstood Riven- as "river", but this is actually incorrect. The Vodo- half of the invented term only refers to the waters of the river flowing through Rivendell, the water that cloved the dell into a canyon-like space over the millennia. The -dol suffix is a poetic word derived from dolina ("valley", "dell"), directly equivalent to English "dell" or "dale". Similarly, the city and kingdom of Dale in Kořínek's translation of The Hobbit is Údol, from údolie, "valley", "dale".
- Czech and Slovak are the only two European languages with translations of the Legendarium that also translate the term for orcs, rather than merely phonetize it.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Film dub overview at Dabingforum.sk (Slovak dubbing discussion forum). Date: 26 December 2010. Retrieved: 30 May 2021.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Film dub overview at Dabingforum.sk (Slovak dubbing discussion forum). Date: 25 February 2011. Retrieved: 30 May 2021.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Film dub overview at Dabingforum.sk (Slovak dubbing discussion forum). Date: 21 December 2013. Retrieved: 30 May 2021.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Film dub overview at Dabingforum.sk (Slovak dubbing discussion forum). Date: 19 November 2014. Retrieved: 30 May 2021.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Film dub overview at Dabingforum.sk (Slovak dubbing discussion forum). Date: 8 February 2016. Retrieved: 30 May 2021.
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Film dub overview at Dabingforum.sk (Slovak dubbing discussion forum). Date: 5 November 2016. Retrieved: 30 May 2021.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Hobit (1989 Slovak radio series) - A 1989 Slovak two-part radio miniseries adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, by the Slovak division of now-defunct Czechoslovak Radio.