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  1. #1
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    Would you consider LOTRO part of the middle-earth canon?

    Hello,
    I personally do not think that the happenings and stories in lotro could possibly coexist with the story by tolkien. However, there are a few bits and pieces in this game that surely fit in and there is so much to see in this virtual ME that one might play this and put it right next to tolkiens books in terms of "thats what happened in middle earth". So im asking you people if when you play lotro, do you consider its stories and places part of the lore, or do you stricly seperate them from tolkiens world. And im not asking if tolkien himself would accept lotro as fact, we all know the answer to that. But for you personally?

    Any ideas and thoughts would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Not in the slightest do I consider LOTRO canon. There have been some great quests and stories but since none of this came from JRRT himself, it's all just fanfic. This game gives Tolkien fans the chance to run around in the wonderful world he created but that's where the similarities end.

  3. #3
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    well, of course from an official standpoint, LOTRO couldn't be part of the tolkien universe. I'M asking this more from a personal standpoint.

    Maybe I should rephrase this: To all Tolkien fans, do you play this game and accept it's attempt to tell a story next to the ones of tolkien? Can someone as a real JRRT-Fan play this game and accept its stories on a personal level, immersive himself in it and "feel" like he's rewriting it to some extend? Or do you put this game away as "fanfiction" with no meaning in middle-earth literature

    Thank you for all ideas. I'm really curious how others treat this game in respect to Tolkiens works!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaeyn View Post
    well, of course from an official standpoint, LOTRO couldn't be part of the tolkien universe. I'M asking this more from a personal standpoint.

    Maybe I should rephrase this: To all Tolkien fans, do you play this game and accept it's attempt to tell a story next to the ones of tolkien? Can someone as a real JRRT-Fan play this game and accept its stories on a personal level, immersive himself in it and "feel" like he's rewriting it to some extend? Or do you put this game away as "fanfiction" with no meaning in middle-earth literature

    Thank you for all ideas. I'm really curious how others treat this game in respect to Tolkiens works!
    I look at it this way: All the storylines and aspects of turbines world that match up well , I enjoy and semi-imagine I am in the "real" middle earth ( I'm not much of a roleplayer). When there's something that's slightly a miss I just brush it aside in my mind and just enjoy playing the game. When somethings very wrong , I do a sigh and look away. There's no point getting annoyed really, you can't change it.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaeyn View Post
    Or do you put this game away as "fanfiction" with no meaning in middle-earth literature
    Pretty much invariably, yes.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaeyn View Post
    well, of course from an official standpoint, LOTRO couldn't be part of the tolkien universe. I'M asking this more from a personal standpoint.

    Maybe I should rephrase this: To all Tolkien fans, do you play this game and accept it's attempt to tell a story next to the ones of tolkien? Can someone as a real JRRT-Fan play this game and accept its stories on a personal level, immersive himself in it and "feel" like he's rewriting it to some extend? Or do you put this game away as "fanfiction" with no meaning in middle-earth literature

    Thank you for all ideas. I'm really curious how others treat this game in respect to Tolkiens works!
    To answer your question: I would say yes. IMHO Turbine have done an excellent job (on the whole) of creating landscapes and storylines that feel grounded in the JRRT literature.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrideColossus View Post
    To answer your question: I would say yes. IMHO Turbine have done an excellent job (on the whole) of creating landscapes and storylines that feel grounded in the JRRT literature.
    There's nearly always some thread you can follow back to the literature, however tenuous, but given the vast extent of the creative license involved and how it typically leans heavily towards FRPG conventions and the sword & sorcery sub-genre rather than Tolkien's own style, I don't think 'grounded' is quite the right word. It's more that you can usually see where they got it from.

  8. #8
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    I consider the Mordirith storyline as part of my own personal headcanon because it's actually a good story that ties up a (possible) loose end of what exactly happened to Eärnur, but most of the rest of the stories in LOTRO directly contradict the books (Moria, Lothlorien/Mirkwood, Great River, Lonely Mountain, Helm's Deep, Grey Company) so I do not consider them canon in the slightest.
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  9. #9
    No, LotRO's stories and events are not cannon. They are an interesting parallel story line which weaves in and around the events of LotR, allowing players to immerse themselves in Middle-earth once again. While Turbine has taken great pains to have some basis for the events they depict, and many of these events are quite original, I don't believe that Tolkien would necessarily accept their work as being worthy of wholesale "adoption" into the cannon.

    To me this is a type of fanfiction. To be fair though, I would also place most, if not all, of the other Middle-earth licensed products in the same category.

    Their are a few that I would place in the trash bin, instead.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaeyn View Post
    well, of course from an official standpoint, LOTRO couldn't be part of the tolkien universe. I'M asking this more from a personal standpoint.

    Maybe I should rephrase this: To all Tolkien fans, do you play this game and accept it's attempt to tell a story next to the ones of tolkien? Can someone as a real JRRT-Fan play this game and accept its stories on a personal level, immersive himself in it and "feel" like he's rewriting it to some extend? Or do you put this game away as "fanfiction" with no meaning in middle-earth literature

    Thank you for all ideas. I'm really curious how others treat this game in respect to Tolkiens works!
    Well, it's not fanfiction in the technical sense. It's a licensed adaptation. Furthermore, neither 'licensed adaptation' nor 'fanfiction' are mutually exclusive from 'attempt to tell a story next to the ones of tolkien'.

    LotRO mostly gets the feel of Middle-earth, with a few issues such as Bree(land) overpopulating, and have clearly taken great pains to ensure that the landscape is as accurate as possible.

    As for whether I consider it canon, I know I shouldn't, but Turbine's interpretation of groups like the Lossoth and the Dunlandings has largely formed my opinion of them, due largely to the lack of detail given on them by Tolkien.

    Also I agree with the hobbits being at Fornost, but that at least was presented as contested history in Tolkien's work.

  11. #11
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    I would have to say no. In Turbine's defense, they did try their very best to stay true to the books, but because this is an MMO with technical and gameplay restrictions, too many sacrifices were made to call this canon. So yeah, I agree with the post above that called it fanfic.

    Too many things that just go against the lore, like rune keepers, Beorning class, and disposable LIs.

    But they did give it the "ol' college try" though, and did a good job.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    I would have to say no. In Turbine's defense, they did try their very best to stay true to the books, but because this is an MMO with technical and gameplay restrictions, too many sacrifices were made to call this canon. So yeah, I agree with the post above that called it fanfic.

    Too many things that just go against the lore, like rune keepers, Beorning class, and disposable LIs.

    But they did give it the "ol' college try" though, and did a good job.
    You forgot thousands of adventurous hobbits wandering through the landscape in Moria and riding war horses in Rohan. There just aren't that many Tookish hobbits to go around. More lore-breaking than runekeepers in my opinion. I just cannot bring myself to play a 'combat hobbit' for that reason alone.

    As for chicken bashing for fun. not even remotely 'middle earthy' in my opinion. And certainly not heroic.

    The landscape is middle earthy in many places. The older maps and the art direction feel Tolkien esque. Fangorn's edge is where it feels closest to the wild forest described in the books to me.

    MadeofLions does a good job with most of the quests-especially trying to tie the epic back to the lore. But no, it isn't remotely 'canon'.

    But it's definitely a lot better at following the books' spirit than the alternatives-here's the latest abominat... oops 'adaptation' by Warners in which you get to play an apparently possessed ranger

    http://youtu.be/fpRXiyIvvX4
    Last edited by Calta; May 22 2014 at 10:47 AM.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaeyn View Post
    well, of course from an official standpoint, LOTRO couldn't be part of the tolkien universe. I'M asking this more from a personal standpoint.

    Maybe I should rephrase this: To all Tolkien fans, do you play this game and accept it's attempt to tell a story next to the ones of tolkien? Can someone as a real JRRT-Fan play this game and accept its stories on a personal level, immersive himself in it and "feel" like he's rewriting it to some extend? Or do you put this game away as "fanfiction" with no meaning in middle-earth literature

    Thank you for all ideas. I'm really curious how others treat this game in respect to Tolkiens works!
    I sort of take a "parallel universe" approach. I fell in love with the Professor's writings decades ago and the idea of being able to travel around in ME is what got me playing back in 2007. The world building/landscape teams have always done a stellar job at facilitating the exploration/atmosphere aspect. I consider LOTRO to be more in the realm of a "possible" interpretation of Tolkien's works, much the same as Peter Jackson's movies... So, to answer the OP's question; No, I don't view adaptations or interpretations as "canon". More like parallel "possibilities" of what ME could have been. It's what allows me to enjoy the game and not get too bothered (usually) with the compromises that have been made to facilitate game play and enjoyment for those less familiar with the Professor and his writings.
    “And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge.”
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elflord410 View Post
    I sort of take a "parallel universe" approach. I fell in love with the Professor's writings decades ago and the idea of being able to travel around in ME is what got me playing back in 2007. The world building/landscape teams have always done a stellar job at facilitating the exploration/atmosphere aspect. I consider LOTRO to be more in the realm of a "possible" interpretation of Tolkien's works, much the same as Peter Jackson's movies... So, to answer the OP's question; No, I don't view adaptations or interpretations as "canon". More like parallel "possibilities" of what ME could have been. It's what allows me to enjoy the game and not get too bothered (usually) with the compromises that have been made to facilitate game play and enjoyment for those less familiar with the Professor and his writings.
    I like that. Parallel Universe. That is a great way of describing 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. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaeyn View Post
    Hello,
    I personally do not think that the happenings and stories in lotro could possibly coexist with the story by tolkien. However, there are a few bits and pieces in this game that surely fit in and there is so much to see in this virtual ME that one might play this and put it right next to tolkiens books in terms of "thats what happened in middle earth". So im asking you people if when you play lotro, do you consider its stories and places part of the lore, or do you stricly seperate them from tolkiens world. And im not asking if tolkien himself would accept lotro as fact, we all know the answer to that. But for you personally?

    Any ideas and thoughts would be appreciated!
    Anything is possible, but not all things.

    Any of the additional content inspired by the lore and offered by the game, at first glance, could have happened or actually been written by Tolkien, but not all of it.
    In other words, if you were to isolate any one additional character or subplot and sneak it in, it wouldn't be so noticeable.

    At the end of the day though, this is a game.
    So whether it is strictly canon or fanfiction makes no difference to me.
    Tolkien is dead, but the inspiration he has provided continues to live on through things like Lotro.
    That's a wonderful thing to be celebrated.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breeon View Post
    Anything is possible, but not all things.

    Any of the additional content inspired by the lore and offered by the game, at first glance, could have happened or actually been written by Tolkien, but not all of it.
    In other words, if you were to isolate any one additional character or subplot and sneak it in, it wouldn't be so noticeable.

    At the end of the day though, this is a game.
    So whether it is strictly canon or fanfiction makes no difference to me.
    Tolkien is dead, but the inspiration he has provided continues to live on through things like Lotro.
    That's a wonderful thing to be celebrated.
    Tolkien Lives!

  17. #17
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    I dont even consider it as lotr anymore. Its just loosely based on tolkiens work.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiorEluchil View Post
    I dont even consider it as lotr anymore. Its just loosely based on tolkiens work.

    But hasn't it always been? We've had lore masters from day one. Hobbits leave the Shire on a regular basis. Mine nodes grow back in a matter of minutes. You can cross the Shire in maybe 15 minutes, if that. Rangers are total morons and wimps.
    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

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    But hasn't it always been? We've had lore masters from day one. Hobbits leave the Shire on a regular basis. Mine nodes grow back in a matter of minutes. You can cross the Shire in maybe 15 minutes, if that. Rangers are total morons and wimps.
    The 'looseness' of the adaptation has increased at least a bit over the years. LMs weren't so flashy at launch, for one thing, and I'm pretty sure the Rangers have been made to look worse as the game's gone on. NPCs being made to look bad is all part of how the game tries too hard to make the player-character The Hero - that's part of the 'looseness' too since LOTR wasn't written in that style at all (it's an ensemble piece, in itself).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The 'looseness' of the adaptation has increased at least a bit over the years. LMs weren't so flashy at launch, for one thing, and I'm pretty sure the Rangers have been made to look worse as the game's gone on. NPCs being made to look bad is all part of how the game tries too hard to make the player-character The Hero - that's part of the 'looseness' too since LOTR wasn't written in that style at all (it's an ensemble piece, in itself).


    And I agree with you 100%. The 'looseness' has increased. But even though, it's always been very loose with the lore. I just don't see it as being anything new. But you are correct, it has intensified.
    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

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphonic View Post
    And I agree with you 100%. The 'looseness' has increased. But even though, it's always been very loose with the lore. I just don't see it as being anything new. But you are correct, it has intensified.
    Yeah steadily worse and worse. *cough* Beorning *cough*
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  22. #22
    Just no...

  23. #23
    To me, "cannon" means those things created by the original creator, and sometimes only a subset of them.

    Everything else is on a spectrum of derivative work. Some derivative works are very respectful of the original, trying to stay consistent with it, perhaps trying to wrap up loose ends... other derivative works take serious liberties, perhaps reinterpreting or reimagining characters or aspects of the world... and at the far end of the spectrum, there are wacky things are related to the original, but contain other stuff that can barely be recognized (my-little-pony/lord of the rings crossover fanfic! yes, it exists. No, you probably don't want to read it).

    So... I think I better question is "where on the spectrum does LotRO lie"?

    In general, it is pretty faithful in quest design and in-game text. If you care to pick through the appendicies and such, you can trace the course of the battle at the fords of the isen, and discover that it is fairly reasonably represented in the epic books around level 75; other bits of the lore come out in Forochel about the King's ship trapped in the ice in the bay; Helm's Deep is pretty reasonably represented... and places like Dunland that really have very little info in the books or appendicies are very natural extrapolations of the existing lore (The interesting creatures and names in Dunland are based on Welsh mythology, which feels fairly natural for a place near to places based on a sort of English mythology!)

    Mechanically, the game deviates in a bunch of ways from the lore, however, in ways that are forced by "fun" and "MMO"... we have a lot more hobbits running around the world (and elves and dwarves too!) than seem to be warranted, but people would be sad if you could only play humans... we have the player being a quite epic hero and saving the world an awful lot, but people really want to feel like they are accomplishing something with their quests... you can teleport around the world, or even just ride your horse, from one end to the other, in a stupidly short amount of time, because spending all your time walking places would be boring... Loremasters and runekeepers get flashy magic, because otherwise we wouldn't have flashy lights in combat to show off our graphics engine when people looked at the game to compare it visually to other MMOs... It isn't great, and it is possible it could be done better. On the other hand, I've seen games do it far far worse

    Overall, I've played at least five games that I can think of offhand that are based on lord of the rings; only one other does as good a job of respecting the source material (a boardgame version of Fellowship of the Ring that was published in the early 80s, and has been out of print since then; very interesting, if you like 80s-style hardcore wargames).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyGazebo View Post
    To me, "cannon" means those things created by the original creator, and sometimes only a subset of them.
    To me, "cannon" are big metal things that go 'bang'. Canon, on the other hand...

    ...we have the player being a quite epic hero and saving the world an awful lot, but people really want to feel like they are accomplishing something with their quests
    The 'You Are The Hero' thing is overdone to a quite ridiculous degree, the worst part of that being that even NPCs who are supposed to be intimidatingly professional (most particularly the Rangers of the Grey Company) are made to look like complete muppets just to big up the player-character. If that's really what 'people' want from a game, that's sad. Personally I think most 'people' could happily do with quite a bit less of that; as I reckon Turbine are just trying too hard to keep the kiddies happy.

  25. #25
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    To me, "cannon" are big metal things that go 'bang'. Canon, on the other hand...
    They all laughed at me when I told 'em I was gonna shoot 'em with my Canon!

    They blowed up real good all the same.
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