Earthsea - The saga of Earth Sea

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German title Earthsea - The saga of Earth Sea
Original title Legend of Earthsea
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2004
length 180 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Robert Lieberman
script Gavin Scott
Story: Ursula K. Le Guin
production Matthew O'Connor ,
Michael O'Connor ,
Dianna Oliva-Day
music Jeff Rona
camera Steve Danyluk
cut Allan Lee

Earthsea - The saga of Earthsea (Original title: Legend of Earthsea ) is a two-part American Fantasy - miniseries of the SciFi Channel from the year 2004. The main roles are Shawn Ashmore , Kristin Kreuk , Isabella Rossellini and Danny Glover to see.

The miniseries is based on the books "The Magician of the Earth Sea" and "The Graves of Atuan" of the Earth Sea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin . Due to the lack of content-related fidelity to the original book and in particular because of the almost continuous cast of white actors, although many characters in the novel have darker skin tones, the author distanced herself from the film adaptation.


The young Ged lives with his father, a bronze smith, in a village. His mother died early. Ged has a friendship with an old woman who was once rescued from the sea by his mother after a storm, with no memory of her previous life. Now and then she teaches him some magical tricks that she has mastered. She also gives him an old amulet that she wore around her neck when she was found. When barren warriors attack the village, he confuses the attackers with a fog spell and thus saves the village. This arouses the interest of the barren king Tygath, who is now looking for that young magician. Ged meanwhile begins an apprenticeship with the magician Ogion and learns his real name "Buntfalke". However, because Ogion's methods do not suit him, he goes to the magic school of Rok. As a very talented magician, he soon attracts attention there. Former star of the school, Jasper, grudges him success for obvious reasons and provokes him to summon a ghost. Ged accepts and accidentally frees a shadow creature, one of the Nameless, when summoned. This soul eater won't rest until it kills Ged. But then his body and his not inconsiderable magical power would be at his disposal. Ged has to leave Rok and flee from the nameless who will soon become a prayer. Pursued by him, he flees to Ogion, who advises him no longer to play the hunted, but to hunt the Gebbeth himself and to “reconcile” with him.

Meanwhile, King Tygath tries to free the Nameless from their tomb in order to learn from them the secret of immortality. But the only one who knows how to open the tomb is Thar, the high priestess of Atuan, in whose monastery the nameless rest. Tygath tries to get hold of the secret through the priestess Kossil, who, after she has been appointed successor of Thar and has learned the secrets, is said to poison them. The plan fails, Tenar is appointed the next high priestess instead of Kossil. Through intrigue, Kossil succeeds in locking Tenar in dungeon and taking her place as his successor.

Ged has now set out to search for the Gebbeth with Vetch, an old mage friend from the Academy, and finally arrives at Atuan after the riddle of a dragon has shown him there. In the meantime he has also realized that the amulet he is carrying is a fragment of the long-lost "Amulet of Peace". Now he is looking for the other half in order to banish the prayer by joining the amulet.

The power of faith in the monastery, however, weakens the magical power of Ged and Vetch, and so only Vetch as a rat can get into the underground maze in which the crypt of the nameless is located. Ged is captured.

In the dungeon he learns from Tenar how to get through the labyrinth before she is taken to the high priestess. He can escape the cell himself, but he cannot enter the maze.

Thar was strangled in anger by Kossil for refusing to tell Kossil the secret of opening the tomb. Now she tries to find out from Tenar, but when she refuses to tell her, even in the face of death, Kossil is stabbed by King Tygath, angry about her failure.

Now Tygath forces Tenar to show him the way through the maze. After Tenar has opened the maze with the high priestess's keys, Ged can also get into the maze behind the barren. He takes the keys left on the outside of the door with him. Tenar tries to confuse Tygath when Ged shows up and tries to save her. In battle he is inferior to Tygath, flees and leads Tygath precisely to the crypt of the Nameless. While Tygath is breaking open the door with his ax, Ged meets Vetch again in the chamber adjoining the tomb. In truth, however, it is the Gebbeth that took Vetch's form after he killed him. Now he wants to finish his hunt for Ged. However, Ged has now understood and accepted that Gebbeth is not his enemy but the personification of his own dark side. He banishes the Gebbeth by calling it by its real name: the Great Falcon, his own name. The Gebbeth returns to Ged's body and makes him stronger so that he can easily defeat Tygath. But he threatens to kill Tenar if she doesn't open the gate to the crypt. Ged orders Tenar to obey Tygath.

Tenar opens the gate and the freed Nameless kill Tygath and his men. Ged finds Vetch's body and brings his soul back from the realm between death and life. In order to destroy the nameless, the amulet of peace has to be put back together, one half of which Ged carries with him. The other half is in the handle of the maze key. Tenar and Ged put the amulet back together by the power of the priestesses and the magicians and order the nameless people to disappear forever from the earth sea.

Awards and nominations

Earthsea won six Leo Awards in 2005 in the categories of costume, make-up, male supporting actor ( Chris Gauthier ), visual effects, image editing and production design.

Earthsea was awarded a 2005 Emmy Award in the special effects category; nominated for the Leo Award in the categories of best female actress ( Kristin Kreuk ), best male supporting actor ( Mark Hildreth ) and in two categories for sound and for the Visual Effects Society Award for mini-series effects.


Deviations from the novel

  • King Tygath, who longs for immortality and power and wants to rule the earth sea completely, does not exist in the novel.
  • The figures in the original are dark-skinned. The only exception are the barren warriors.
  • In the novel, Tenar is not the successor of the high priestess, but the reborn high priestess. The high priestess is not secretly poisoned, but suffers a natural death.
  • Ged's fight against the dragon is shown completely differently in the film adaptation, the children of the dragon do not appear.
  • In the novel, the archmage dies while releasing the Gebbeth. In the film, however, he survived his attempt to save Ged.
  • In the novel, Ged does not have to leave Rok to be safe from the shadow, but instead finishes his training as a magician there to fight the shadow.
  • The Gebbeth is shown in the novel as a shadow, in the film it is strongly reminiscent of a demon from the series Buffy - The Vampire Slayer .
  • Jasper is not evil in the novel and does not betray Rok. He's just arrogant.
  • Even Kossil is not clearly angry in the novel.
  • In the novel, Ged's nickname is Sparrowhawk and his real name is Ged. In the film, his nickname is Ged and his secret name is Cunt Falcon.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin: A Whitewashed Earthsea - How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books. Slate , December 16, 2004, accessed October 30, 2016 .