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The Works of JRR Tolkien

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All of them, because while I haven't read them all, I've enjoyed everything I have read.

 

So I've been listening to Corey Olsen's seminars on the Silmarillion. Very interesting. But in episode six, there's an interesting duscussion about subcreation, and why creators go bad. To one extent or another, Melkor, Aulë, Feanor. It's a pattern. And there was a moment when it suddenly sounded not just familiar, but personal.

 

I'm a writer myself. Nothing of mine is in publishable shape, let alone anywhere near the quality of Tolkien. But I spend a lot of time thinking about creation and implication. So it struck me as a bit of metacommentary on the craft. You can create something awesome, like the Lord of the Rings. Or, what's the other significant book written in the 20th century? Yes, I'm going to Godwin myself, Mein Kampf. From a certain point of view, Hitler was a creator gone bad.

 

Am I overthinking it, or do I have something approaching a valid point?

 

On a possibly equally controversial topic, I like Tom Bombadil. He gets cut out of adaptations for a perfectly good reason, he wanders around singing about his own clothes. He's immune to the power of the ring. He was shoehorned in because Tolkien liked him. But he does have one interesting trait. He demonstrates that not everything is known, not everything is classifiable. The David Day book and MERP both call him a Maia, but that's not right. If neither Tolkien or Christopher put a label on him, it's not right for anyone else to do so either. And that mystery, that sense of the unknown, is why I like him and his brief appearance.

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I like him because his creation allows me to watch Stephen Colbert spout lines of poetry like nobody's business. But I sometimes find myself skimming over him when I'm reading.

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The cartoon movie of Lord of the Rings was on the other night on TCM. Does that get a bad rap? I feel like I heard that. I don't know why, it seems like a truncated version of the movie. But I only saw it halfway through, maybe it gets horrible at the end.

Edited by ulkis

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On 9/3/2015 at 4:43 PM, ulkis said:

The cartoon movie of Lord of the Rings was on the other night on TCM. Does that get a bad rap? I feel like I heard that. I don't know why, it seems like a truncated version of the movie. But I only saw it halfway through, maybe it gets horrible at the end.

It ends before the third book even starts. I heard they ran out of money. Other than that it's really not bad. They don't sugar coat the violence or the terror.

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The Bakshi film is why I was really surprised when Sean Bean was cast as Boromir by Jackson. In that film, Boromir is a hulking Viking type warrior, not the Sean Bean I knew best at that time as Richard Sharpe.

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5 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

The chapter in Two Towers about Shelob is great horror writing by Tolkien. 

It really is. Cirith Ungol is one of those places I'd love to know more about, or even visit if the conditions were right. Which, being both fictional and destroyed, they'd never be. Ah well.

My love goes back to a review of some power metal album or another. The reviewer was a bit snarky. Talked about 'another trip through Cirith Ungol.' And it just kind of stuck with me.

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19 hours ago, Anduin said:

It really is. Cirith Ungol is one of those places I'd love to know more about, or even visit if the conditions were right. Which, being both fictional and destroyed, they'd never be. Ah well.

My love goes back to a review of some power metal album or another. The reviewer was a bit snarky. Talked about 'another trip through Cirith Ungol.' And it just kind of stuck with me.

I always wanted to know more about the Witch King of Angmar. IIRC they do touch on him a bit in the Silmarillion.

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1 hour ago, peacheslatour said:

I always wanted to know more about the Witch King of Angmar. IIRC they do touch on him a bit in the Silmarillion.

I think everyone loves some weird bit of the universe. Yeah, the Witch King of Angmar is another great one, because he's got such a great title. The Witch King of Angmar! It's one of the best scary names out there!

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4 minutes ago, Anduin said:

I think everyone loves some weird bit of the universe. Yeah, the Witch King of Angmar is another great one, because he's got such a great title. The Witch King of Angmar! It's one of the best scary names out there!

It really tickles the imagination!

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On 8/28/2020 at 2:47 PM, VCRTracking said:

The chapter in Two Towers about Shelob is great horror writing by Tolkien. 

He apparently had a real phobia about spiders.  Just about every book he wrote had giant menacing spiders.

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52 minutes ago, Haleth said:

He apparently had a real phobia about spiders.  Just about every book he wrote had giant menacing spiders.

He was bitten by a spider when he was really young. While he claimed he didn't remember it, sometimes you have to be skeptical.

OTOH, spiders are one of the most common phobias. It's easy just to do a regular scary thing but bigger and meaner.

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On 8/29/2020 at 5:46 PM, Anduin said:

I think everyone loves some weird bit of the universe. Yeah, the Witch King of Angmar is another great one, because he's got such a great title. The Witch King of Angmar! It's one of the best scary names out there!

I remember reading something from Harry Turtledove and he mentioned his theory that the Witch King didn't die in LOTR. I then reread the relative scenes and he might be correct. I forget the exact language, but the two relative parts are his 'death' and when the other Nazgul died. For the first it didn't say that he died. It said that he wasn't seen again in that age of the world. For the second part it said that all of the Nazgul present when the ring was destroyed died. (All of the Nazgul other than the Witch King were present. Why use that wording if he was dead)?

This would also make sense given given Tolkien's themes of everything (good and bad) diminishing. For evil overlords we go from Morgoth to Sauron to the Witch King.

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45 minutes ago, Captain Carrot said:

I remember reading something from Harry Turtledove and he mentioned his theory that the Witch King didn't die in LOTR. I then reread the relative scenes and he might be correct. I forget the exact language, but the two relative parts are his 'death' and when the other Nazgul died. For the first it didn't say that he died. It said that he wasn't seen again in that age of the world. For the second part it said that all of the Nazgul present when the ring was destroyed died. (All of the Nazgul other than the Witch King were present. Why use that wording if he was dead)?

This would also make sense given given Tolkien's themes of everything (good and bad) diminishing. For evil overlords we go from Morgoth to Sauron to the Witch King.

Interesting idea. So he could have been resurrected back in Mordor, like when Bruinen wiped him out previously? That could match up with the prophecy. Not by the hand of man will he fall. It could have been by the teeth of a twisted river hobbit instead.

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On 11/14/2020 at 12:12 AM, Anduin said:

Interesting idea. So he could have been resurrected back in Mordor, like when Bruinen wiped him out previously? That could match up with the prophecy. Not by the hand of man will he fall. It could have been by the teeth of a twisted river hobbit instead.

More like he reformed after the events of LOTR (similar to how Sauron reformed a few thousand years after losing to Isildur) and became the next dark lord. Basically he wasn't around when the ring was destroyed, so he didn't die.

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26 minutes ago, Captain Carrot said:

More like he reformed after the events of LOTR (similar to how Sauron reformed a few thousand years after losing to Isildur) and became the next dark lord. Basically he wasn't around when the ring was destroyed, so he didn't die.

That's a depressing thought. As much as I like him, I'm glad he was gone. Though if he did reform, and Middle-earth is supposed to be our mythical prehistory, it could explain a lot about our modern world.

Naah, I think him surviving to take over again would run counter to what Tolkien intended. More like, since the Ring was destroyed, he couldn't reform and stayed gone.

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The next book he began to write was about the rise of a cult of Sauron.  Maybe his intention was to have Angmar behind that?

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On 11/17/2020 at 7:59 PM, Haleth said:

The next book he began to write was about the rise of a cult of Sauron.  Maybe his intention was to have Angmar behind that?

I can see that. But ultimately, I just prefer the Witch-King dead.

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Hey, Anduin, did you see there's a new book coming out next year with some of the Professor's previously unpublished papers?  I'm sure it's a rehash of things we've already read in the volumes of The History of Middle Earth, but it's still something to look forward to.  For the cover alone. 😊

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10 hours ago, Haleth said:

Hey, Anduin, did you see there's a new book coming out next year with some of the Professor's previously unpublished papers?  I'm sure it's a rehash of things we've already read in the volumes of The History of Middle Earth, but it's still something to look forward to.  For the cover alone. 😊

Yep, looks interesting. But how many more Tolkien books are there in the works? When do we get the shopping and to-do lists? I suppose that as long as the books keep selling, the books will keep being published.

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Anyone a fan of Babylon 5? I was listening to the latest Exploring LOTR installment. Corey Olsen was talking about how the ring offers people what they desire. And I got an image of Morden fronting up to Tom Bombadil. I wonder how many of Bombadil's nonsense rhymes Morden would put up with before giving up in disgust.

Similarly, Bombadil vs Kosh as to who can be most enigmatic.

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