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  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Witch0King View Post
    His extreme passion for elves. I mean comon, do they even have any faults in his works?
    lolwut

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witch0King View Post
    His extreme passion for elves. I mean comon, do they even have any faults in his works?
    Are you serious? Nobody could read even part-way into The Silmarillion without it being obvious that the Elves had their flaws. It's just that Men are even more flawed than the Elves are.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Are you serious? Nobody could read even part-way into The Silmarillion without it being obvious that the Elves had their flaws. It's just that Men are even more flawed than the Elves are.
    Hear, hear! Well said Rad', in fact, outstanding! I would have added to your rep but the forum will not allow me to enhance anybody's rep if I have ever enhanced it in the past.
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." -C. S. Lewis-

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frieja View Post
    He said it in his very first post.
    Didn't see that...

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Coruven View Post
    I am going to jump on the Tom Bombadil dogpile. I can't stand that whole section.

    The point about character depth is well made, also. Still, it's Tom that makes me ill.
    HA! I knew that everyone hated Tom Bombadil. I think I can sort of understand why - especially since I live with a particularly ferocious Bombadil-hater who has explained to me repeatedly, at length and in great detail why that was - but it will always be my favorite bit.

    But enough with stuff I like

    Quote Originally Posted by Geindir View Post
    So what does everyone "dislike" about the books (no film discussion here.)? It doesn't have to be that you dislike it at lot, just....doesn't quite appeal as much as the rest of the book.
    Every other sentence starting with "And." The Silmarillion is particularly guilty of that.

    And I think the general stiffness of the style. I know it's supposed to be an anglo-saxon epic after Beowulf and all but sometimes the dated language and formulas are just too much.

    Could be that I'm just bitter because LotR was the first book I read entirely in english. On hindsight that was probably a terrible idea in the first place and it's miracle I wasn't turned off anglo-saxon literature altogether.
    I spent more time looking up all the synonyms for glade and bog and other such words that I never ever used again in the dictionary than actually reading the book.
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taravith View Post
    HA! I knew that everyone hated Tom Bombadil. {NOT I.}


    I spent more time looking up all the synonyms for glade and bog and other such words that I never ever used again in the dictionary than actually reading the book.
    I learned to read when I was three and by first grade books that were considered age appropriate for me were pedestrian and I delighted in books that required me to look up words and never minded if I would use them myself. I enjoy possessing an expansive vocabulary.
    What do I not like about the writings of Professor T? The essays. What do I not like about the LotR and the Silmarillion? Too short.
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." -C. S. Lewis-

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Theofryth View Post
    For the Two Towers and Return of the King, I found it hard to read about Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli and their journey in the first half where just about all of the action is, and then go on to Frodo and Sam for the second half. That part just seemed to have dragged on, and on, and on.
    I agree! The three amigos give you the heart-pounding action of pursuing orcs to Helm's Deep to anticipating the larger battle to come in Gondor, and then to switch gears entirely to the slow, prodding, and growing foreboding in the story of Frodo and Sam seemed painful on my first read through. I wanted to skip ahead to get back into the action!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bethup View Post
    I really can't stand Aragorn becoming king. It's just not the same as Aragorn the Ranger.
    I also agree with this statement. It is hard to reconcile Strider: the one looked down upon by the men of Bree, used to sleeping on the ground, highly skilled tracker, and likely spending a lot of time alone in his wanderings (almost seeming to be a hermit); with King Elessar: admired by all races, ruling in the majestic halls of Minas Tirith, and greatest King of Men since Elendil. I mean, I really like the ideas that you shouldn’t judge a book (or a ranger) by its cover, and that being looked down upon doesn’t mean you are incapable of great things. But the radical transformation that Aragorn undertakes is a bit hard to swallow.
    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Are you serious? Nobody could read even part-way into The Silmarillion without it being obvious that the Elves had their flaws. It's just that Men are even more flawed than the Elves are.
    No, I am more of a Lord of the Rings fan, I don't see that big a connection between the Silmarillion and LOTR. I'll read it when I feel for it, but for the moment it doesn't really draw me in. I'm not stupid, I know it tells a lot about the background of the elves, Sauron and possibly the Numenor (?). However, in LOTR the elves seem almost perfect in any way except when they let Gollum escape.
    Nerf healing in PvMP and just maybe it will be worth it again.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Witch0King View Post
    No, I am more of a Lord of the Rings fan, I don't see that big a connection between the Silmarillion and LOTR. I'll read it when I feel for it, but for the moment it doesn't really draw me in. I'm not stupid, I know it tells a lot about the background of the elves, Sauron and possibly the Numenor (?). However, in LOTR the elves seem almost perfect in any way except when they let Gollum escape.
    tolkien letter 154:

    "But the Elves are not wholly good or in the right. Not so much because they had flirted with Sauron; as because with or without his assistance they were 'embalmers'. They wanted to have their cake and eat it: to live in the mortal historical Middle-earth because they had become fond of it (and perhaps because they there had the advantages of a superior caste),
    and so tried to stop its change and history, stop its growth, keep it as a pleasaunce, even largely a desert, where they
    could be 'artists' – and they were overburdened with sadness and nostalgic regret."

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by newwwwb View Post
    tolkien letter 154:

    "But the Elves are not wholly good or in the right. Not so much because they had flirted with Sauron; as because with or without his assistance they were 'embalmers'. They wanted to have their cake and eat it: to live in the mortal historical Middle-earth because they had become fond of it (and perhaps because they there had the advantages of a superior caste),
    and so tried to stop its change and history, stop its growth, keep it as a pleasaunce, even largely a desert, where they
    could be 'artists' – and they were overburdened with sadness and nostalgic regret."







    And murder. Don't forget the murder.
    Last edited by BirdofHermes; Jul 25 2013 at 11:56 PM.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  11. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    I don't care for the Tom Bombadil part. Nothing against it at all, my eyes just glaze over when I get to that part. Sometimes I skip to the part where he drops them off just before Bree.
    It's the 'ring a dol dillo's' isn't it? Tom's bouncing around and 'hey dol merry dol' singing always left me a bit cold too....
    If in danger from Red, Call Glod.....

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Frieja View Post
    The Silmarillion was a missed opportunity.
    Think JRR Tolkien would agree too - by not finishing it in his own lifetime.....
    Last edited by Cjdobs; Sep 26 2013 at 10:39 AM.
    If in danger from Red, Call Glod.....

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cjdobs View Post
    It's the 'ring a dol dillo's' isn't it? Tom's bouncing around and 'hey dol merry dol' singing always left me a bit cold too....

    You know, you may be right about that. It's not that I dislike that part of the book, it's just that my mind starts going to other things when trying to read it.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cjdobs View Post
    Think JRR Tolkien would agree too - by not finishing it in his own lifetime.....

    I was not aware that he passed away before it was completed. Did Chris finish it?
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
    Continuing the never ending battle to keep Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in check

  15. #40

    Thumbs up

    Yes, Chris Tolkien edited his father's writings and compiled them into "The Silmarillion."

    I agree that the Sil is hard to get into at first because of all of the names, etc. That being said, I like the Sil now even more than lotr- because, contrary to what I've read on here, those characters have far more depth than meets the eye. The trouble with understanding this fact is the style- the fact that only the -most important- elements of the plot are told, whereas with lotr, we get to read a little bit in the moment, with details, landscape descriptions, or in other words, we are there, observing the characters, trying in our minds to see what they see in our heads- which I think is the greatness of lotr.

    And as for 2-dimensional characters in lotr- its not quite so simple. Your complex characters are often bad guys, or side-switchers. Boromir is complex- he struggles between his duty to the Fellowship and to what he perceives as his duty to his people- Gondor, and to his father Denethor. We add a third contender- himself. Boromir also wants glory for his own sake. We only see the direct consequences of this, and the existence of the complexity is often only hinted at.

    Denethor is complex- he is a man who is inherently against any kind of change, attached to the nostalgia of maintaining all that is, creating an illusion of timelessness. The first strike against this illusion is the tidings of his son's death. Boromir was Denethor's favored child, the one whom he saw as his heir, and the one who would continue to preserve what he preserved, and what Ecthelion and all his forefathers preserved, since the loss of King Earnur at Minas Morgul. The second strike was that of Denethor's vision in the Palantir of Minas Anor, which is only hinted at in the books, and revealed after the fact. Sauron toyed with his mind, distorting his vision of things, and Denethor came to believe that his entire world was coming to an end. Even worse- there was a facet of truth- this Aragorn, Ranger of the North who was lying in ditches and dirty, was going to take away Denethor's power, his ability to rule, to end the duties of the House of Stewards, or so he perceived. Finally, Denethor could not see the value in his own son, Faramir.

    Faramir, also, is complex. It doesn't look like it on the surface. No, he seems pretty clean, this "if it were lying by a highway I would not take it (the Ring)" type, if we can call him a type of person. But believe it or not- he is psychologically damaged in his own way. This is a man who has been disowned by his father in all but name, title, and possession. After all, Denethor cannot disown him outright- but even still, his father will not acknowledge him, and will only chastise him. So who becomes his 'father'? His country. His true loyalty turns to that of the "City of the Men of Numenor." Gollum and Saruman, and even Grima, can be described as complex characters. Galadriel is far more complex when you know the Sil, and what her character represents.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that Tolkien was good at saying a lot with little words involved- all we need to know of Faramir's internal condition is from his line, "If I should return, think better of me father." All we need, unless we are incapable of imagining in our minds what it must feel like to have a parent who won't acknowledge you. Do I take issue with Tolkien's brevity? Yes- I will say that his world was not fleshed-out enough. I wish he dared to answer Sam's question regarding the fallen Haradrim, "I wonder where he came from, who his name was, and if he really was evil at heart?" I would have loved for Umbar, Harad, Rhun, Khand, all of those Eastern places, to be explored more, and to have some ambiguity, rather than to simply have all of the Men of the East be merely Sauron's lackeys, without any turn-coats or resistance.

    But the Sil has a lot of good complicated stuff- poor Turin Turambar fell in love with his sister without knowing he had a sister, and when he defeated his dragon-foe Glaurung, Glaurung who could talk like Smaug told the truth- so the sister leaps off the waterfall to her death, Turin sees this and slays a guy who thought he killed his sister, and then he ends his own life in despair. That is complex- take a look at the Children of Hurin story. It was Game of Thrones-level tragedy before GoT existed.

    And the House of Feanor is another complex tragedy. Basically Feanor was a super-genius Elf who fell in love with the Jewels he crafted- the Silmarils. He refused to yield them over to the Valar. Morgoth killed his father, the High King Finwe. Feanor made not only himself, but his seven innocent sons, swear an oath to basically kill anyone who possessed a Silmaril, Elvish, Men-as-of-then-unborn, Orcs, even the Valar (an impossible task), with no escape clause. And if they fail to fulfill their seemingly unfulfillable oath- they are to be cast into the Everlasting Darkness- the Void where all the baddies go after they die. Wow- two-dimensional? Think again! This was tragic. Elves who decide to forfeit a peaceful immortal existence out of mad passion and anger and grief for a lost loved one- and they kill. They slay Elves at one Haven in the Uttermost West itself. For this, they are cursed never to return to the West, at least until the Valar grant their Pardon at the ending of the Age. But sadly- these Elves who fought to regain the Silmarils from Morgoth, what became of them? Aragorn's ancestors- Beren and Luthien- took one of them. And they had a child named Dior after Luthien lost her immortality. And what does Dior do? He becomes King of Doriath, and wears the Silmaril in his crown. Second Kinslaying happens. Only Dior's daughter survives- she falls in love with Earendil, of another great heroic line of heroes, and Third Kinslaying happens. Five of the seven sons of Feanor die trying to fulfill what is in their circumstances unfulfillable, and against their own kin- which is a far bigger deal for Elves than for Men. Its abnormal for Elves, these were the only times this ever happened- and that made the Kinslayings a hundred times worse for them.

    Fortunately for the rest of the world, Earendil and Elwing sailed to Aman, pleaded with the Valar, and a huge army destroyed Morgoth- some Balrogs (the Moria one) escaped, and so did Sauron. Earendil and Elwing have two sons- Elrond (Yes! THAT Elrond!) and Elros. They are raised by the remaining sons of Feanor and are later sent back to Cirdan. What became of Elros? He was half-Elven, and chose mortality. He had a long life- 400 years, as the First King of Numenor. He was the progenitor of Gondor, Arnor, and the Dunedain. And his line goes all the way through to Elendil and Isildur, and beyond to Aragorn- making Elrond into Aragorn's great-great-great-great-etc. etc. etc. grand uncle, not to mention Arwen becomes his first cousin by a long extension.


    The last two sons of Feanor- one of them wanted to repent the oath, the other convinced him not to. They robbed the Valar, and the Silmarils burned in their hands. One jumped into a flaming abyss, and the other tossed his into the sea, and supposedly he wanders the shores.... poor Elves. Its hard to think you are doing the right thing- only for it to fall-in on your face when you realize that what you saw was 'good' was actually very bad- and then to be unable to take it back and make things good again by yourself. The pride of Feanor remained in his followers- one of the seven sons had a son named Celebrimbor. Whose he? Well, the forger of the Rings of Power! The one who Sauron deceived into making the Seven and the Nine! He hid the Three, fortunately. Then Sauron, servant of Morgoth, became the New Morgoth, after his master was cast out, the new Dark Lord. Star of Feanor on the Doors of Durin. Remember that- its a sign of ill-omen, since the Valar cursed his House. And Feanor was killed by all seven Balrogs. Balrog in Moria, Star of Feanor on the Doors of Durin, Gandalf as the one who will help the world correct the errors of the Elves, make sense?

    And about that Earendil. He got a ship of crystalline glass called Vingolant. He wore the Silmaril, his grandfather Beren had retrieved, on his head. He became immortal. His task was to sail across the Stars. Galadriel, in Lothlorien, will reflect the Light of the Silmaril, and encase the reflected Light in water in a small Phial. Frodo Baggins will take it, and he will ward off the spider Shelob with it. The Light of the Silmaril was the Light of the Two Trees, which the Sun and Moon would later replace as light-sources in the lore. Morgoth infiltrated Aman with Ungoliant, a giant spider, the progenitor of Shelob, and Ungoliant sucked the sap out of the Two Trees, and Morgoth chopped them down. That Frodo is using this Light to repel Shelob should be staggering to we readers if we know our stuff.

    In short- lotr is filled with references to the Sil, and things started in the Sil, that are fulfilled in lotr. I'd be happy to write-up a summary of the Sil in another thread if anyone wants me to.
    Phantion no longer has a character named Phantion in-game. He is now Auruiron on Landroval.

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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    I'd be happy to write-up a summary of the Sil in another thread if anyone wants me to.

    Oh Hell yeah! I would love that! Yes, I have read Tolkien's works, but the truth is I understand them a lot better when people like you write the contents in your own words. There have been so many times over the last 6 years in the Tolkien sub forum that I've read a post by someone and said to myself "Now I get it!"
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    Yes, Chris Tolkien edited his father's writings and compiled them into "The Silmarillion."

    I agree that the Sil is hard to get into at first because of all of the names, etc. That being said, I like the Sil now even more than lotr- because, contrary to what I've read on here, those characters have far more depth than meets the eye. The trouble with understanding this fact is the style- the fact that only the -most important- elements of the plot are told, whereas with lotr, we get to read a little bit in the moment, with details, landscape descriptions, or in other words, we are there, observing the characters, trying in our minds to see what they see in our heads- which I think is the greatness of lotr.

    And as for 2-dimensional characters in lotr- its not quite so simple. Your complex characters are often bad guys, or side-switchers. Boromir is complex- he struggles between his duty to the Fellowship and to what he perceives as his duty to his people- Gondor, and to his father Denethor. We add a third contender- himself. Boromir also wants glory for his own sake. We only see the direct consequences of this, and the existence of the complexity is often only hinted at.

    Denethor is complex- he is a man who is inherently against any kind of change, attached to the nostalgia of maintaining all that is, creating an illusion of timelessness. The first strike against this illusion is the tidings of his son's death. Boromir was Denethor's favored child, the one whom he saw as his heir, and the one who would continue to preserve what he preserved, and what Ecthelion and all his forefathers preserved, since the loss of King Earnur at Minas Morgul. The second strike was that of Denethor's vision in the Palantir of Minas Anor, which is only hinted at in the books, and revealed after the fact. Sauron toyed with his mind, distorting his vision of things, and Denethor came to believe that his entire world was coming to an end. Even worse- there was a facet of truth- this Aragorn, Ranger of the North who was lying in ditches and dirty, was going to take away Denethor's power, his ability to rule, to end the duties of the House of Stewards, or so he perceived. Finally, Denethor could not see the value in his own son, Faramir.

    Faramir, also, is complex. It doesn't look like it on the surface. No, he seems pretty clean, this "if it were lying by a highway I would not take it (the Ring)" type, if we can call him a type of person. But believe it or not- he is psychologically damaged in his own way. This is a man who has been disowned by his father in all but name, title, and possession. After all, Denethor cannot disown him outright- but even still, his father will not acknowledge him, and will only chastise him. So who becomes his 'father'? His country. His true loyalty turns to that of the "City of the Men of Numenor." Gollum and Saruman, and even Grima, can be described as complex characters. Galadriel is far more complex when you know the Sil, and what her character represents.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that Tolkien was good at saying a lot with little words involved- all we need to know of Faramir's internal condition is from his line, "If I should return, think better of me father." All we need, unless we are incapable of imagining in our minds what it must feel like to have a parent who won't acknowledge you. Do I take issue with Tolkien's brevity? Yes- I will say that his world was not fleshed-out enough. I wish he dared to answer Sam's question regarding the fallen Haradrim, "I wonder where he came from, who his name was, and if he really was evil at heart?" I would have loved for Umbar, Harad, Rhun, Khand, all of those Eastern places, to be explored more, and to have some ambiguity, rather than to simply have all of the Men of the East be merely Sauron's lackeys, without any turn-coats or resistance.

    But the Sil has a lot of good complicated stuff- poor Turin Turambar fell in love with his sister without knowing he had a sister, and when he defeated his dragon-foe Glaurung, Glaurung who could talk like Smaug told the truth- so the sister leaps off the waterfall to her death, Turin sees this and slays a guy who thought he killed his sister, and then he ends his own life in despair. That is complex- take a look at the Children of Hurin story. It was Game of Thrones-level tragedy before GoT existed.

    And the House of Feanor is another complex tragedy. Basically Feanor was a super-genius Elf who fell in love with the Jewels he crafted- the Silmarils. He refused to yield them over to the Valar. Morgoth killed his father, the High King Finwe. Feanor made not only himself, but his seven innocent sons, swear an oath to basically kill anyone who possessed a Silmaril, Elvish, Men-as-of-then-unborn, Orcs, even the Valar (an impossible task), with no escape clause. And if they fail to fulfill their seemingly unfulfillable oath- they are to be cast into the Everlasting Darkness- the Void where all the baddies go after they die. Wow- two-dimensional? Think again! This was tragic. Elves who decide to forfeit a peaceful immortal existence out of mad passion and anger and grief for a lost loved one- and they kill. They slay Elves at one Haven in the Uttermost West itself. For this, they are cursed never to return to the West, at least until the Valar grant their Pardon at the ending of the Age. But sadly- these Elves who fought to regain the Silmarils from Morgoth, what became of them? Aragorn's ancestors- Beren and Luthien- took one of them. And they had a child named Dior after Luthien lost her immortality. And what does Dior do? He becomes King of Doriath, and wears the Silmaril in his crown. Second Kinslaying happens. Only Dior's daughter survives- she falls in love with Earendil, of another great heroic line of heroes, and Third Kinslaying happens. Five of the seven sons of Feanor die trying to fulfill what is in their circumstances unfulfillable, and against their own kin- which is a far bigger deal for Elves than for Men. Its abnormal for Elves, these were the only times this ever happened- and that made the Kinslayings a hundred times worse for them.

    Fortunately for the rest of the world, Earendil and Elwing sailed to Aman, pleaded with the Valar, and a huge army destroyed Morgoth- some Balrogs (the Moria one) escaped, and so did Sauron. Earendil and Elwing have two sons- Elrond (Yes! THAT Elrond!) and Elros. They are raised by the remaining sons of Feanor and are later sent back to Cirdan. What became of Elros? He was half-Elven, and chose mortality. He had a long life- 400 years, as the First King of Numenor. He was the progenitor of Gondor, Arnor, and the Dunedain. And his line goes all the way through to Elendil and Isildur, and beyond to Aragorn- making Elrond into Aragorn's great-great-great-great-etc. etc. etc. grand uncle, not to mention Arwen becomes his first cousin by a long extension.


    The last two sons of Feanor- one of them wanted to repent the oath, the other convinced him not to. They robbed the Valar, and the Silmarils burned in their hands. One jumped into a flaming abyss, and the other tossed his into the sea, and supposedly he wanders the shores.... poor Elves. Its hard to think you are doing the right thing- only for it to fall-in on your face when you realize that what you saw was 'good' was actually very bad- and then to be unable to take it back and make things good again by yourself. The pride of Feanor remained in his followers- one of the seven sons had a son named Celebrimbor. Whose he? Well, the forger of the Rings of Power! The one who Sauron deceived into making the Seven and the Nine! He hid the Three, fortunately. Then Sauron, servant of Morgoth, became the New Morgoth, after his master was cast out, the new Dark Lord. Star of Feanor on the Doors of Durin. Remember that- its a sign of ill-omen, since the Valar cursed his House. And Feanor was killed by all seven Balrogs. Balrog in Moria, Star of Feanor on the Doors of Durin, Gandalf as the one who will help the world correct the errors of the Elves, make sense?

    And about that Earendil. He got a ship of crystalline glass called Vingolant. He wore the Silmaril, his grandfather Beren had retrieved, on his head. He became immortal. His task was to sail across the Stars. Galadriel, in Lothlorien, will reflect the Light of the Silmaril, and encase the reflected Light in water in a small Phial. Frodo Baggins will take it, and he will ward off the spider Shelob with it. The Light of the Silmaril was the Light of the Two Trees, which the Sun and Moon would later replace as light-sources in the lore. Morgoth infiltrated Aman with Ungoliant, a giant spider, the progenitor of Shelob, and Ungoliant sucked the sap out of the Two Trees, and Morgoth chopped them down. That Frodo is using this Light to repel Shelob should be staggering to we readers if we know our stuff.

    In short- lotr is filled with references to the Sil, and things started in the Sil, that are fulfilled in lotr. I'd be happy to write-up a summary of the Sil in another thread if anyone wants me to.

    I will help.
    I don't see why people think the characters are one dimensional. Those characters are more real than any other characters I ever found (with the possible exception of Dante, Virgil, and the people they meet in the Divine Comedy). If what you mean is that they know what is right and what is wrong, then I can't help you. Might I suggest you look into some philosophy, then come back to me(I suggest the Philosophy of Tolkien by Peter Kreeft).

    As for what I don't like, can't really think of anything. Before my last reading I would have said The Old Forest and Book Four, but I love them as well now. The poems are amazing, the plot has no flaw, the characters are more real than many people I meet in real life, the locations are more beautiful, the cultures are deep, and the philosophy and worldview is the most true I have ever come across in a novel. In short, it has no flaws I can think of.
    Lore-Monkey(not a Lore Guardian) and proud of it.

    .

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellonbeleg View Post
    I will help.
    I don't see why people think the characters are one dimensional. Those characters are more real than any other characters I ever found (with the possible exception of Dante, Virgil, and the people they meet in the Divine Comedy).
    Sorry, what? While Tolkien's characters certainly aren't one-dimensional, neither are they masterpieces of characterisation. I can readily think of better-drawn characters just in fantasy, never mind mainstream literature. One example: Severian the Torturer in Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. (And I shall apply the excruciation known as 'two apricots' to anyone who dares disagree )

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Sorry, what? While Tolkien's characters certainly aren't one-dimensional, neither are they masterpieces of characterisation. I can readily think of better-drawn characters just in fantasy, never mind mainstream literature. One example: Severian the Torturer in Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. (And I shall apply the excruciation known as 'two apricots' to anyone who dares disagree )
    Really Tolkien gave enough characterization, we really don't want to know how many grey hairs aragorn had.

    Enough is enough, I hate too descriptive literature usually strays out thin from important things.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Sorry, what? While Tolkien's characters certainly aren't one-dimensional, neither are they masterpieces of characterisation. I can readily think of better-drawn characters just in fantasy, never mind mainstream literature. One example: Severian the Torturer in Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. (And I shall apply the excruciation known as 'two apricots' to anyone who dares disagree )
    Lol - Not the apricots! I agree to some extent as those books focus heavily on Severian as the central moving character throughout, it is mostly seen through his eyes. I struggled a bit to stick with the story early on as it is very dreary (obvious really given the content) but I did enjoy them once I got going and would highly recommend them as 'high fantasy'....a nicer bunch of torturers you could not hope to meet
    If in danger from Red, Call Glod.....

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Nyrion View Post
    Tom Bombadil in his entirety. He made no sense, his section of the books halted the main plot and was mind-numbingly dull. Also, he's just really annoying.
    Why all that hate for poor old Tom? I found him one of the most fascinating characters. The eldest to walk Arda. Can he really be?

    I disliked the part with Treebeard in Fangorn. Too repetitive and dull.
    Feailuve - Aeviternus - Vesanus
    Brandywine

    The important thing about life is the struggle, not the triumph... Said no winner ever.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giliodor View Post
    Why all that hate for poor old Tom? I found him one of the most fascinating characters. The eldest to walk Arda. Can he really be?

    I disliked the part with Treebeard in Fangorn. Too repetitive and dull.
    Yes my same sentiment.

    Tom Bombadil was a great addition in the books, really slowed the pace made everything match and he was key for vanishing the Witch King Indirectly.

    Fangorn and tree beard, dam I hated that part even more about the "honey water" of tree beard too much fooling around.

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Taravith View Post
    Every other sentence starting with "And." The Silmarillion is particularly guilty of that.

    And I think the general stiffness of the style. I know it's supposed to be an anglo-saxon epic after Beowulf and all but sometimes the dated language and formulas are just too much.

    Could be that I'm just bitter because LotR was the first book I read entirely in english. On hindsight that was probably a terrible idea in the first place and it's miracle I wasn't turned off anglo-saxon literature altogether.
    I spent more time looking up all the synonyms for glade and bog and other such words that I never ever used again in the dictionary than actually reading the book.
    Did no one catch this?? Gave me a good chuckle. Whether intended or not, thanks Taravith.

  24. #49
    In regard to the characterization, I will give you this- Aragorn is no Tyrion Lannister. That being said, it really all depends on what type of reader you are (I am using 'you' generally, not specific)- if you want characters who have their complexity elaborated upon, not directly by the author or by telling you everything, but by simply having a lot of content with layers of understanding- "The Song of Ice and Fire" by Martin tends to do that pretty well, in my view. But if you are like me, and don't mind -imagining- the complexity of characters who have considerably far less written about them, but who -are capable- of having great depth- then Tolkien is by far the best choice, in my view.

    Let me explain it in this way. I would have a hard time writing GoT-based fan fiction. The reason why is simple: Too much information. We know all of the noble houses, entire lineages, and a great many characters are elaborated upon in-depth, their stories articulated in varying and complex ways, some things brought to the surface, and other things hidden beneath the surface. If this is our measure of prowess in regard to characterization, then sure, Tolkien is not a master at it- although he did write great lineages in appendices and so on and so forth- they were secondary elements of the plot, not the primary- there, present if you want to know about them and read them into the text- but reading lotr without knowledge of Beren and Luthien or their role in Aragorn's lineage, etc., can be done, and the story still has great value (perhaps that is something I can quibble at for this thread- I did not like those things being less-apparent and secondary, and I believe Tolkien could have simply had Elrond drop a line 'Aragorn is a descendant of Beren and Luthien Tinuviel. He is my great-nephew by many lifetimes through my brother. He is of a line of Kings, both Elven and of the race of Men, and should he seek the Throne of Gondor and Arnor, he should not be barred' or something along those lines. Anyway-

    But there are different ways to look at characterization. If its all about how well the characters are fleshed-out, and their complexity exposed by the author to the eyes of the reader, then enough said. But Iceberg theory might help us reveal another way of looking at the process of revealing characters- generally, Iceberg theory is saying that the words you see on the page are only the tip of the iceberg in this metaphor. The tip of an iceberg is the smallest part of an iceberg. It has the least amount of content. But if you look beneath the waves of the sea, you'll see that iceberg grows larger and more vast, and as you swim deeper and deeper, so much is hidden beneath the surface of the ocean. Now here is where the metaphor comes in as the reader- the tip is the text, the meaning is constituted by the layers of vast meaning that exist beneath the text.

    I did not delve deeply in my other post on Denethor and Faramir. But I did delve. To find the complexity in Tolkien's characters, one must know the actor's skill- how to imagine yourself as the character in that situation, to think his thoughts, leading up to the performance of his deeds. Then one can understand. And if this is the method of characterization- then Tolkien -is- a master of it, the ability to communicate a vastly complex character in the least number of words necessary. I think that, generally, Tolkien wants his readers to 'be lost in the realm of faerie,' or rather, to connect with the text. I know I have.

    In regard to the philosophy, I have read many philosophers before, and am familiar with Kreeft's work on Tolkien. I would say the big philosophical contribution of Tolkien is that of his coining of the term 'eucatastrophe.' The opposite of 'catastrophe'- and most of us probably know what that means. Everything falls to pieces in seconds. But Tolkien wondered, why on earth there isn't a word for the opposite of catastrophe- where instead, everything is bad and negative, outright depressing, there seems to be no hope- and all of a sudden, boom! Something changes, the negativity is gone, and everything has turned to good. Of course, Frodo losing the Ring to Gollum, creates this phenomenon in the text- the Ring is destroyed randomly and unpredictably by Gollum accidentally dancing off the cliff. Sad for Gollum, but a eucatastrophe for the rest of Middle-Earth. Sauron is suddenly gone and his tower collapsed.

    Sometimes characters who know what is right and what is wrong are still complicated. Saruman and Feanor both fell for the old 'I know what is right- I'll be in charge!' trap.

    Aragorn is called by his -destiny- or circumstances, or however you want to phrase it, into following his path to be crowned as King- he did not seek it like Saruman did, but he did not doubt it like the film adaptation did- he merely accepted his role as it was -given- to him by forces beyond his control. But in that Nen Hithoel area, starting with the Argonath down, the complexity emerges. Aragorn is confronted with doubt. He does not know what to do. Follow Boromir or follow Frodo, he cannot figure it out, and in his postulating, events slip out of his circumstances. He says outside of the East Gate of Moria, 'We must go on without hope,' or something along those lines in reaction to Gandalf's fall. It plagues him- but the plot moves forward. Its our job as the readers to reflect on those moments. He is confronted with a grave uncertainty that is slowing building, somewhat delayed in Lothlorien, but returns in full colors as the Fellowship journeys down the Anduin. To decide to follow the Uruk-hai was not easy for him- only his practical senses are left. Boromir has died, Frodo and Sam are gone, Gandalf 'fell,' Merry and Pippin are captured, and there he is with an Elf and a Dwarf in a shattered Fellowship (let's forget the film interpretation for now- it seemed too easy for him to conform to his circumstances there). As they turn toward the Entwash Vale direction, Aragorn gazes south and sees the White Mountains, and reflects on how sad he is to not be going to Gondor- the pathway to the certainty of his destiny He keeps on going through the uncertainty of events far beyond his control in the vast plains of Rohan, and we get hints at his dissatisfaction- the scene with Hama in Edoras is intense. Aragorn wants some measure of control, and the only thing he -can- control, is his lineage- the ability for himself to place his own sword against the wall, and to take it up again after the Theoden - Wormtongue scene. But hope is growing again in the heart of Aragorn- Gandalf's return helped. It is furthered by Theoden's redemption. By the time he reaches Helm's Deep, he has hope that he will see the dawn. And finally, the icing on the cake- the Grey Company has come south to be under his command again. Only now can he muster the courage to pass the Door of the Dead, and to summon them at Erech. He does not confront uncertainty again until after the Battle at Pelennor Fields. He takes the only option left- to march on the Black Gate and fight on to the death. Aragorn's complexities are finally resolved once he is crowned King. Only then is he at peace in himself.

    All of that I found hidden in the lower-levels of the ice-berg- the tip of which is merely the seemingly one-dimensional character we read as 'Aragorn, son of Arathorn.'
    Phantion no longer has a character named Phantion in-game. He is now Auruiron on Landroval.

    .

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giliodor View Post
    Why all that hate for poor old Tom? I found him one of the most fascinating characters. The eldest to walk Arda. Can he really be?

    I disliked the part with Treebeard in Fangorn. Too repetitive and dull.

    I liked the part where Treebeard let Merry and Pippin know that they had not told him everything, not by a "long shot".


    I also did not like the songs and poetry. Ugh.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
    Continuing the never ending battle to keep Lobelia Sackville-Baggins in check

 

 
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