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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    It's not a conspiracy it's complicity with the paradigm. Conspiracies are conscious actions, reinforcing a problematic paradigm a is usually unconscious.
    It strikes me that your paradigm is flawed. This is fantasy we're talking about, not real history or real anything else. Western Middle-earth is not like Europe in the Middle Ages (yes, Europe was a far more complex and diverse place - although a lot more in some parts than others), nor is it like classical antiquity (same again), nor does it bear comparison with more complex fantasy settings which borrow from Europe like Westeros in Game of Thrones. As I said before, LOTR's setting represents a dark age where there's little trade, little movement of people or exchange of knowledge, and most of all it's got Sauron - and he's taught the folks in Harad and the East to hate the West and everything it stands for. I don't know about you, but I rather think that having an immortal and immensely powerful supervillain about the place makes for something of an artificial situation which thus makes comparisons with history (or less polarised fantasy situations) quite pointless. That takes care of pretty much everything you posted about that - it simply lacks applicability.

    Who are unnecessarily placed in a whites only paradigm.
    Who are *correctly* placed in the position of happening to be pale-skinned because Germanic people invented them and imagined them that way, and Tolkien borrowed that as it was because he had absolutely no reason to do otherwise. And I might add that as far as the story goes, the Elves were destined to be wholly replaced by Men. Elves are wholly imaginary supernatural beings and represent no race, tit's not as if they're a proxy for Aryan supermen or anything creepy like that. (That would be the Numenoreans after they turned nasty, but then we all know what happened to Numenor).

    This is a rather complicated issue with a lot of parts. It's not a rabbit hole I'm particularily interested to go down atm. Although I would say that the difference lies in the power dynamic. A point that video made is that white actors are routinely cast as characters that were originally non-white and with rare exception have faced very little backlash for it. Good POC characters are often erased from the narrative and made white. On the other hand when an actor of color is cast in a traditionally white role or placed in certain science fiction or fantasy settings there is massive backlash.
    I'm pretty sure that we've all cottoned on to the whitewashing thing and it no longer passes unnoticed or unremarked. Regardless, that's no excuse for denying European folklore its own native character. Hollywood runs off with our stuff and mangles it too, you know, and less of that all round would be a blessing.
    Last edited by Radhruin_EU; Aug 13 2019 at 03:54 PM.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    This is fantasy we're talking about, not real history or real anything else. Western Middle-earth is not like Europe in the Middle Ages (yes, Europe was a far more complex and diverse place - although a lot more in some parts than others), nor is it like classical antiquity (same again), nor does it bear comparison with more complex fantasy settings which borrow from Europe like Westeros in Game of Thrones. As I said before, LOTR's setting represents a dark age where there's little trade, little movement of people or exchange of knowledge, and most of all it's got Sauron - and he's taught the folks in Harad and the East to hate the West and everything it stands for. I don't know about you, but I rather think that having an immortal and immensely powerful supervillain about the place makes for something of an artificial situation which thus makes comparisons with history (or less polarised fantasy situations) quite pointless. That takes care of pretty much everything you posted about that - it simply lacks applicability.
    This is the same thing I was describing in my reply to gripply. I'll repost here: "There is also something kind of frustrating about this response. Particularly, this part "LOTRO isn't about recreating the ancient world of anyplace on Earth" because it seems as though some of you arguing against me are trying to have things both ways. On the one hand when I speak to the fact that the world is fictional and the text doesn't deny dark skinned elves (and that even if it did that type of artistic/inclusive liberty would be okay) I'm met with the critique that I'm ignoring the historical context of LOTR and the source material that inspired it. Then when I discuss my suggestion through the historical context inspiring the LOTR I'm told that the historical context doesn't matter because the setting is fictional. The defense against what I'm suggesting is frustratingly circular."

    You specifically said that western Middle-Earth is a proxy Europe and by arguing for a more diverse population of Western Europe is ignoring the cultural context. Here is your quote.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    No, you're just trying to pretend as if it were somehow really always meant to be diverse (with no evidence whatsoever on your part for that), and then expecting us to prove a negative. That's fallacious. You're wilfully ignoring the cultural context in which these things were created, and you're also ignoring the context in which Tolkien's telling his tale: the west of Middle-earth is a proxy for Europe.
    In response I gave a number of resources that directly question that assertion and now suddenly the historical context of the source material lacks applicability. Whose ignoring the, "cultural context in which these things were created," now? There is quote by William James that I think applies here, "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." In a way that's what you're doing. The historical context no longer supports your position so you're reinforcing your preconceived ideas with the fictional setting. A fictional setting that does not specifically endorse those preconceptions. If it's a fantasy (that has already taken big liberties with the OG IP) or not real then why is it so important that we maintain the paradigm there can't be dark skinned elves? Especially considering that the historical context now, "lacks applicability."


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Who are *correctly* placed in the position of happening to be pale-skinned because Germanic people invented them and imagined them that way, and Tolkien borrowed that as it was because he had absolutely no reason to do otherwise. And I might add that as far as the story goes, the Elves were destined to be wholly replaced by Men. Elves are wholly imaginary supernatural beings and represent no race, tit's not as if they're a proxy for Aryan supermen or anything creepy like that. (That would be the Numenoreans after they turned nasty, but then we all know what happened to Numenor).
    Okay, if elves represent no race why can you only create Caucasian elves? You're saying elves represent no race while simultaneously claiming they can only be white. Those are contradictory ideas. Plus here you are claiming the historical context of the people who invented them matters while earlier in this post claim that it doesn't. You don't get to have it both ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    I'm pretty sure that we've all cottoned on to the whitewashing thing and it no longer passes unnoticed or unremarked. Regardless, that's no excuse for denying European folklore its own native character. Hollywood runs off with our stuff and mangles it too, you know, and less of that all round would be a blessing.
    How would giving players the ability to make darker skinned avatars deny European folklore their native characters? It doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    As I said before, LOTR's setting represents a dark age where there's little trade, little movement of people or exchange of knowledge, and most of all it's got Sauron - and he's taught the folks in Harad and the East to hate the West and everything it stands for. I don't know about you, but I rather think that having an immortal and immensely powerful supervillain about the place makes for something of an artificial situation which thus makes comparisons with history (or less polarised fantasy situations) quite pointless.
    I pulled this out and put it at the end because I want to deal with a specific part of it and what I'm saying here isn't particularly relevant to my argument and is more fun loosely lore based conjecture. I mainly wanted to deal with this " it's got Sauron - and he's taught the folks in Harad and the East to hate the West and everything it stands for." recall also that there are two Blue wizards who wander the east tasked with disrupting Sauron and spreading light. While in general yes the armies of the east are with Sauron that does not mean that all of the people necessarily are. It isn't exactly inconceivable that there are traders and explorers who don't hate the west and everything it stands for. I would also add that these people could have been forced out of places like Umbar, Harad, and Rhun and move to places like Pelagir,Dale, or even as far as Bree and married into local populations. In the Fellowship when the Hobbits arrive at the Prancing Pony they are specifically told that there are more and more people coming up from the South seeking to live peaceful lives. Whose to say some don't come from Harad? I would also add that Dale is specifically renowned for profitable trade (i.e. the toy market) and ships them all the way to the Inland Sea of Rhun in the East to the Shire in the West for Bilbo's birthday party. Who's to say that people from those places are doing the opposite. That's why I really like this quote from one of the Articles I linked, "Europeans traveled to Africa; the reverse should be expected." The same thing applies for people in the East of Middle Earth. People in the west of Middle Earth are noted to have traveled through the East like Aragorn the reverse should also be expected and okay.

    As a completely unrelated side note I quite like the idea of one of the Blue Wizards being inspired by a figure like Zoroaster or Omar Khayyam.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echoweaver View Post
    And good grief, folks. The responses to any call for diversity really make this community look bad. Tolkien's work is not going to be destroyed if we got a few more character options.
    I agree with you here, it won't be destroyed, I don't mind it for other races, but i say no to dark skinned elves, cause it doesn't fit, it starts to make it feel like another world than Middle-earth if our elf players start looking different then they should be and i wouldn't want to see that.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris91 View Post
    Please try to read more correctly and answer what was said.
    I'm trying to genuinely answer you all as best I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris91 View Post
    I didn't say Tolkien described all Elves as white, I said every single description of an Elven skin tone was some variation of white. Which is something completely different. You act as if I said "all Elves are white" but what I said was "most Elves skin tone isn't mentioned. Whenever it is mentioned it is white". Hence why I accused you of strawmanning, because you implied that I said something completely different from what I actually said.
    Except in a way you are saying that all elves are white because you're denying that an elf (in the context of LOTR) can have dark skin. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying that because the few times Tolkien describes the skin tone of specific elves as white, therefore we should assume that all elves are white unless the text explicitly states otherwise. I'm taking issue with that on two points. First, that it is an unnecessary assumption/generalization that just because the few times Tolkien describes elves as white does not necessarily mean that all elves are white. It's a bit like the idea that when it's pouring it's raining, but when it's raining it's not necessarily pouring. I will give you credit though because I understand why you're making that generalization because as you say:
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris91 View Post
    Tolkien rarely mentions skin tone overall. However he does somewhat regularly mention non-white skin tone with characters like the Southrons and Easterlings, the newcomers in Bree, Isengard. If Tolkien did in fact think that non-white Elves existed within his world, why would he never describe a single one. Even though he does it somewhat regularly with non-white men."
    What I'm saying is we should embrace that the author does not generalize about elves like that so as the reader we don't need to either.
    Second, even if he did extend those generalizations to elves I think we can easily justify allowing the creation of darker skinned elves saying that this is an adaptation of a fantasy world created by people living in an (ideally) more tolerant and inclusive time. Also that adding the option to create darker skinned elves wouldn't detract from the essence or impact of the story nor particularly thwart the authors vision.




    Quote Originally Posted by Chris91 View Post
    As far as the last sentence is concerned. I simply reject the idea that anything is in accordance with the lore as long as the author didn't explicitely deny it. I don't think it's a practical standard for interpretation if we want to capture the author's vision. Elven chariots aren't explicitely denied, Elven crossbows aren't explicitely denied, all Elves favorite color being purple isn't explicitely denied. For me to accept something as "according to the lore" I'd need positive hints pointing towards it being intended by Tolkien. The absence of denial isn't enough for me
    Except here is the thing about LOTRO, by it's nature as an MMORPG it is not what the author intended, it is what the author inspired. There comes a point when an artistic creation grows beyond the original intentions of the author. What LOTRO does is adapts the spirit of Tolkien's works into things like it's epic quest, landscape, and characters. Amartheil for example is the product of artistic liberty taken by the developers in the spirit of the authors work, but not his intention. Like the addition characters like Amartheil, the addition of dark skinned elves doesn't seem as though it would violate the spirit or essence of the story. At least not in the same way as introducing airplanes would because the text doesn't deny them.

    I would also add that in this game you can create an elven character whose favorite color is purple and dyes all their armor as such and run around equipped with an elven looking crossbow. Those are liberties the developers allow you as a player to take already and there doesn't appear to be any objection to it. Darker skin color is not a liberty you are allowed to take and there is objection to it. I also have a feeling that in general there would be less objection to elven chariots than dark skinned elves.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    This is the same thing I was describing in my reply to gripply. I'll repost here: "There is also something kind of frustrating about this response. Particularly, this part "LOTRO isn't about recreating the ancient world of anyplace on Earth" because it seems as though some of you arguing against me are trying to have things both ways. On the one hand when I speak to the fact that the world is fictional and the text doesn't deny dark skinned elves (and that even if it did that type of artistic/inclusive liberty would be okay) I'm met with the critique that I'm ignoring the historical context of LOTR and the source material that inspired it. Then when I discuss my suggestion through the historical context inspiring the LOTR I'm told that the historical context doesn't matter because the setting is fictional. The defense against what I'm suggesting is frustratingly circular."
    How many more times? This "does not deny" line of yours will not stand because there are no end of things the text does not deny, and that alone is nowhere near enough. What the text doesn't do is support it, not one iota, and nor does the origin of (Light) Elves in the first place. That isn't a circular defence, just you having nothing to support this. In the original context, the dark-skinned Elves were the 'blacker than pitch' malevolent ones, and in the context of Tolkien's work their place is taken by the Orcs. There is no room for nice dark-skinned Elves within either concept. The differentiation among Tolkien's Elves is an essentially spiritual one, instead; there's an accompanying loose correspondence between that and their hair and eye colour and that's it.

    You specifically said that western Middle-Earth is a proxy Europe and by arguing for a more diverse population of Western Europe is ignoring the cultural context.
    Which you misunderstood. It's supposed to have the 'air' of Europe, northern Europe in particular. It isn't supposed to be literally Europe, nor reflect all the complexities of the real thing, simply to be reminiscent of it. That provides enough of a framework on which to hang Tolkien's constructed myth and legend, which borrows heavily from that of northern Europe. There are things within it that are obvious and immediate references, like the way the Rohirrim are plainly intended to represent a Germanic people, with assorted trimmings familiar to anyone who knows the culture. But they don't represent a specific Germanic people, just the idea of such people at some imaginary time during the Germanic Heroic Age (5th-6th century CE), which is why they have that air of something out of the Dark Ages. They feel authentic because they echo the past and its stories, epic sagas in particular. The familiarity engendered by such cultural references lends Tolkien's work deep roots.

    This is where your notions fall down. They don't have the same air of the past and its stories, they reek of modernity instead and that feels forced and fake. You should consider why the game has gone so long without the appearance of Elves being an issue and indeed why the devs made things the way they are to begin with.

    Okay, if elves represent no race why can you only create Caucasian elves? You're saying elves represent no race while simultaneously claiming they can only be white. Those are contradictory ideas. Plus here you are claiming the historical context of the people who invented them matters while earlier in this post claim that it doesn't. You don't get to have it both ways.
    They don't *represent* white Europeans, they're supernatural entities *imagined* by white Europeans who (as people tend to) pictured them as an idealised version of themselves. No contradiction. They were imagined as magically gifted higher beings intermediate between men and the gods.

    I pulled this out and put it at the end because I want to deal with a specific part of it and what I'm saying here isn't particularly relevant to my argument and is more fun loosely lore based conjecture. I mainly wanted to deal with this " it's got Sauron - and he's taught the folks in Harad and the East to hate the West and everything it stands for." recall also that there are two Blue wizards who wander the east tasked with disrupting Sauron and spreading light. While in general yes the armies of the east are with Sauron that does not mean that all of the people necessarily are. It isn't exactly inconceivable that there are traders and explorers who don't hate the west and everything it stands for. I would also add that these people could have been forced out of places like Umbar, Harad, and Rhun and move to places like Pelagir,Dale, or even as far as Bree and married into local populations. In the Fellowship when the Hobbits arrive at the Prancing Pony they are specifically told that there are more and more people coming up from the South seeking to live peaceful lives. Whose to say some don't come from Harad? I would also add that Dale is specifically renowned for profitable trade (i.e. the toy market) and ships them all the way to the Inland Sea of Rhun in the East to the Shire in the West for Bilbo's birthday party. Who's to say that people from those places are doing the opposite. That's why I really like this quote from one of the Articles I linked, "Europeans traveled to Africa; the reverse should be expected." The same thing applies for people in the East of Middle Earth. People in the west of Middle Earth are noted to have traveled through the East like Aragorn the reverse should also be expected and okay.
    Sauron had won the leaders of the peoples of the East and South to his cause, along with a considerable number of fanatical followers who absolutely hated the West. Those are the guys who chose to go down fighting after the Black Gate rather than surrendering or fleeing. The people didn't get a choice in the matter while Sauron was around, they weren't free and you can bet that anyone who stepped out of line would have been treated harshly. As the line goes, "To them Sauron was both king and god, and they feared him exceedingly" and so they'd have been terrified of angering him. Significant trade couldn't happen under such circumstances, just small-scale smuggling at most. I already pointed out to you that Sauron's presence meant that it was in no way a normal situation, but you keep going back to trying to present it as one.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    How many more times? This "does not deny" line of yours will not stand because there are no end of things the text does not deny, and that alone is nowhere near enough. What the text doesn't do is support it, not one iota, and nor does the origin of (Light) Elves in the first place. That isn't a circular defence, just you having nothing to support this. In the original context, the dark-skinned Elves were the 'blacker than pitch' malevolent ones, and in the context of Tolkien's work their place is taken by the Orcs. There is no room for nice dark-skinned Elves within either concept. The differentiation among Tolkien's Elves is an essentially spiritual one, instead; there's an accompanying loose correspondence between that and their hair and eye colour and that's it.
    What I replied to Chris91 should answer this so I'll quote myself, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying that because the few times Tolkien describes the skin tone of specific elves as white, therefore we should assume that all elves are white unless the text explicitly states otherwise. I'm taking issue with that on two points. First, that it is an unnecessary assumption/generalization that just because the few times Tolkien describes elves as white does not necessarily mean that all elves are white. It's a bit like the idea that when it's pouring it's raining, but when it's raining it's not necessarily pouring. I will give you credit though because I understand why you're making that generalization because as you say:
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris91 View Post
    Tolkien rarely mentions skin tone overall. However he does somewhat regularly mention non-white skin tone with characters like the Southrons and Easterlings, the newcomers in Bree, Isengard. If Tolkien did in fact think that non-white Elves existed within his world, why would he never describe a single one. Even though he does it somewhat regularly with non-white men."
    What I'm saying is we should embrace that the author does not generalize about elves like that so as the reader we don't need to either.
    Second, even if he did extend those generalizations to elves I think we can easily justify allowing the creation of darker skinned elves saying that this is an adaptation of a fantasy world created by people living in an (ideally) more tolerant and inclusive time. Also that adding the option to create darker skinned elves wouldn't detract from the essence or impact of the story nor particularly thwart the authors vision."


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Which you misunderstood. It's supposed to have the 'air' of Europe, northern Europe in particular. It isn't supposed to be literally Europe, nor reflect all the complexities of the real thing, simply to be reminiscent of it. That provides enough of a framework on which to hang Tolkien's constructed myth and legend, which borrows heavily from that of northern Europe. There are things within it that are obvious and immediate references, like the way the Rohirrim are plainly intended to represent a Germanic people, with assorted trimmings familiar to anyone who knows the culture. But they don't represent a specific Germanic people, just the idea of such people at some imaginary time during the Germanic Heroic Age (5th-6th century CE), which is why they have that air of something out of the Dark Ages. They feel authentic because they echo the past and its stories, epic sagas in particular. The familiarity engendered by such cultural references lends Tolkien's work deep roots.

    This is where your notions fall down. They don't have the same air of the past and its stories, they reek of modernity instead and that feels forced and fake. You should consider why the game has gone so long without the appearance of Elves being an issue and indeed why the devs made things the way they are to begin with.
    The problem is this "air of Europe" and "authenticity" you're talking about is a construct that tends to mean exclusively white. The problem with that construct is that it's flawed. Northern Europe has never been exclusively white. The idea that it was is a false narrative we are socialized into believing by over a hundred years of really bad science, history, and archaeology. Modern historiography, ethnography, and archaeology now show us that the deep roots feeding the tree of Tolkien pre-date any modern concepts of whiteness. The authentic echo of the past you think you're seeing is not authentic at all.
    The presence of POC characters in medieval narratives might, "reek of modernity or feel forced and fake," but that's because they have been specifically erased from the narrative. In truth their presence is often a more accurate portrayal of the past. The idea that their presence isn't authentic is a deeply ingrained problematic notion that should be done away with.


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    They don't *represent* white Europeans, they're supernatural entities *imagined* by white Europeans who (as people tend to) pictured them as an idealised version of themselves. No contradiction. They were imagined as magically gifted higher beings intermediate between men and the gods.
    Except they are supernatural entities created by Europeans who routinely intermixed/exchanged with other peoples and had no concept of race or whiteness. Yet for some reason elves can only be represented by Caucasians or have Caucasian skin tones. The idea that these ancients could only picture people who had white skin as, "magically gifted higher beings," is investing them with baggage they weren't carrying.

    I would also add that they are all dead now. Why should they get to decide that an elf can only appear as an idealized version of a white person? (which they didn't do in the first place)


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Sauron had won the leaders of the peoples of the East and South to his cause, along with a considerable number of fanatical followers who absolutely hated the West. Those are the guys who chose to go down fighting after the Black Gate rather than surrendering or fleeing. The people didn't get a choice in the matter while Sauron was around, they weren't free and you can bet that anyone who stepped out of line would have been treated harshly. As the line goes, "To them Sauron was both king and god, and they feared him exceedingly" and so they'd have been terrified of angering him. Significant trade couldn't happen under such circumstances, just small-scale smuggling at most. I already pointed out to you that Sauron's presence meant that it was in no way a normal situation, but you keep going back to trying to present it as one.
    Yes, but Sauron isn't an omni-present barrier or figure for the Easterlings/Haradrim. THey serve Sauron during the war of the last Alliance, but then he doesn't reappear for 1000 years (TA 1000) and when he finally does, it isn't in the east it's in Dol Guldur. That's also the same year that the Blue Wizards take up residence in the East and start doing good works. Sauron then isn't driven from Dol Guldur until TA 2941 1041 years later. It's only ten years after that he declares his return and starts gathering his armies. So that's like a long time that Sauron isn't involved with the men of the East. 3018 is the year everything goes down so that's only 67 years of Sauron compared to almost 3000 years without him.

    As a side note, I also think it's fun to think about the blue wizards finding allies and working to resist him in the East. That would be a cool story.

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    I didn't read the whole thread so I may just be repeating stuff that's already been said, but I'm definitely on board with more diverse elves. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there a number of elves still in the east and possibly elsewhere? Being so spread out I don't see any reason they shouldn't be as diverse as the other races.

    I'll try and check out the rest of the thread when I have some time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echoweaver View Post
    So, I agree with Lunhut that things that are not disallowed by lore that make the game more inclusive should be available if people want them. It's not the same as a three-legged Elf. There are not 3-legged people in the world who want to play someone like themselves. I overall think that more varied appearances should be available, especially for Men and Hobbits.

    OTOH, I think it actually is written that Elves have unnaturally pale skin. I suppose you can disprove me. Have we established that Tolkien *didn't* just flat-out say that someplace? Elves are the least "human-like" of the PC races.

    I think you could get away with having a bit more variability than we do have. As it is, it's kind of pointless to have a skintone picker for Elves at all. There's almost no variance available. Skin tone options interest me, and I've tried to create Elves with different-looking skin. It's close to impossible. But I also think the lore case for overall pale skin is pretty solid.

    And good grief, folks. The responses to any call for diversity really make this community look bad. Tolkien's work is not going to be destroyed if we got a few more character options.
    yes its great to have more character variations!
    if that means wider weight variations, height, faces, beards, haircuts, but not dark skin elves or dwarves!
    lotr enthousiast since 1996, 12 years lotro player, lifetimer, Loyal member of the Spartans Kinship, now in Evernight imigrants from Eldar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    P.S. try googling some fanart of dark skinned elves it definitely does exist and a lot of it is very cool looking.
    after ridiculus pressure and the race card now the google card appears............. soooo lollllllllllll
    well ofc there are !
    maybe in wow , ddo, maybe in many asian mmos, but this is LotR!
    lotr enthousiast since 1996, 12 years lotro player, lifetimer, Loyal member of the Spartans Kinship, now in Evernight imigrants from Eldar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    .............................. ........ If you call that a crusade then yes, I am crusading.

    Honestly, I wrote this post knowing what the reaction was going to be. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone, or in this case several someones, claimed what I was asking for was "breaking the lore" I imagine that some of the SSG developers probably agree with that assessment. My hope in taking the time to respond to these particular critiques is first and foremost to possibly change their minds. My secondary goal is to communicate with the players and SSG affiliated people that agree with me. I like to think I'm at least slightly eloquent, and might be able to provide for those readers some small tools for them to better confront the notion that non-white people shouldn't be able to see themselves in this fantasy universe. Those are my lofty idealized justifications anyway. It also helps that at present I have nothing better to do.

    Again a slippery slope. Also if dark skinned elves are against the license then the license is racist and as a company SSG shouldn't promote that.
    .............................. .........
    its so funny to see what people are doing to pass their time ...........
    some are writting endless argument on the same thing with thousands words.
    some others are starting crusades over a game that someone else owns and someone else thought about it........
    others are giving virual fights in chat rooms, or maybe everything above.
    while some others working, walking their pets, having relationships, maybe playing a bit their favorite games..........
    and many others fighting for their rights in the REAL WORLD!

    so some people really have nothing better to do and time to spend like this?
    anyone to teach me how i can do it too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gripply View Post
    LOTRO isn't about recreating the ancient world of anyplace on Earth. It's about recreating Middle Earth, as written by Tolkien. I hope that clears up a lot of confusion.
    i see only one confused here, the OP, ok maybe one more.........
    i have an other suggestion,(going directly to LUNHUT), why dont you create some other fantasy mmo and have your skins as dark as you like
    you seem to be a smart person after all this, since you can translate so well the author, the owners, the creators, of this game.
    in the end, behind the words you call all of them and us(community/players) racists, after all.........
    Last edited by Valakircka; Aug 14 2019 at 06:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valakircka View Post
    in the end, behind the words you call all of them and us(community/players) racists, after all.........
    Then report me.

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    latelly i see so many people getting mad when their suggestion is not accepted by the rest of the community..........
    some calling names, others calling the rest of us racists.......
    writing endless posts trying to make a rope out of a hair..............
    so sad..........
    they are so many games out there, i m pretty sure there is one to fit someone's expectations!
    Last edited by Valakircka; Aug 14 2019 at 06:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valakircka View Post
    latelly i see so many people getting mad when their suggestion is not accepted by the rest of the community..........
    some calling names, others calling the rest of us racists.......
    witting endless posts trying to make a rope out of a hair..............
    so sad..........
    they are so many games out there, i m pretty sure there is one to fit someone's expectations!

    I was wondering about that too. There has been a rash of threads made by people lately that just lash out and insult anyone that doesn't agree with them. I've been called a racist and a homophobe in the last 3 days, and I'm neither.

    I mean yeah, I can understand someone wanting something placed in a game, but lately some of the people making these suggestions are kinda some rabid fanatic that goes into denial if someone doesn't see things the way they do. It's been coming up in the general forums too. Just plain mean people with really low post counts too.

    I am not talking about the suggestions, I'm talking about how someone wants something in a game and rams their idea down everyone's throat and uses words like "racist" which is used here, and "homophobe", which was used in a thread someone made yesterday. Just plain mean people that don't care what other people think.

    Forcing your beliefs on other people is wrong, no matter what the subject is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    What I'm saying is we should embrace that the author does not generalize about elves like that so as the reader we don't need to either.
    Second, even if he did extend those generalizations to elves I think we can easily justify allowing the creation of darker skinned elves saying that this is an adaptation of a fantasy world created by people living in an (ideally) more tolerant and inclusive time. Also that adding the option to create darker skinned elves wouldn't detract from the essence or impact of the story nor particularly thwart the authors vision."
    And there you go, proving the point I made later in my post about how your ideas come across as too obviously modern. There is no internal logic for dark-skinned Elves (they weren't ever intended to be permanent inhabitants of the world, nor all of it, so why would the Valar and Iluvatar make a variety of them as if they were to be so?) and so you want to impose it for an external reason (ideology) instead, while trying to spin that clumsily forced addition as something all right-thinking people should support. It does detract from the author's vision because not only does it not make sense internally, but it clashes with the European folklore the work is based on. That is no more welcome than forcing diversity on anybody else's folklore in adapting it.

    The problem is this "air of Europe" and "authenticity" you're talking about is a construct that tends to mean exclusively white. The problem with that construct is that it's flawed. Northern Europe has never been exclusively white. The idea that it was is a false narrative we are socialized into believing by over a hundred years of really bad science, history, and archaeology. Modern historiography, ethnography, and archaeology now show us that the deep roots feeding the tree of Tolkien pre-date any modern concepts of whiteness. The authentic echo of the past you think you're seeing is not authentic at all.
    The presence of POC characters in medieval narratives might, "reek of modernity or feel forced and fake," but that's because they have been specifically erased from the narrative. In truth their presence is often a more accurate portrayal of the past. The idea that their presence isn't authentic is a deeply ingrained problematic notion that should be done away with.
    The intention for the work to have the 'air' of northern Europe was conscious and deliberate on the author's part, and the construct of relating the work to a particular audience is inherent to the piece. You're also trying to damn it as if it were a purposeful construct to extol "whiteness" rather than simply a consequence of what northern Europe's native inhabitants happen to look like. Their stories are self-referential because they imagined people like themselves in them. You've presented no evidence that what you say is true in regard to the ancient times in which such stories had their origin.

    Elves were apparently originally imagined as fertility spirits (this is where the idea of them having close ties to nature comes from). In Norse myth their realm was ruled by the fertility god Freyr. And well, you might also want to look at the etymology of the word 'Elf':

    "From Middle English elf, elfe, from Old English ælf (“incubus, elf”), from Proto-Germanic *albiz, from Proto-Indo-European *h?elb?ós (“white”)."

    There would appear to be some deep roots on that, then. Likely by virtue of their association with light, air and life (as opposed to the earth and darkness of their 'dark' opposite numbers).

    Except they are supernatural entities created by Europeans who routinely intermixed/exchanged with other peoples and had no concept of race or whiteness. Yet for some reason elves can only be represented by Caucasians or have Caucasian skin tones. The idea that these ancients could only picture people who had white skin as, "magically gifted higher beings," is investing them with baggage they weren't carrying.
    Which part of imagining people who look like themselves do you not get? You don't have to have an internalised concept of whiteness or any other ethnic identity to know what you and your community look like.

    I would also add that they are all dead now. Why should they get to decide that an elf can only appear as an idealized version of a white person? (which they didn't do in the first place)
    That amounts to "They're all dead so we can appropriate their culture all we like". Except not, because that culture didn't just go away, did it?

    Yes, but Sauron isn't an omni-present barrier or figure for the Easterlings/Haradrim. THey serve Sauron during the war of the last Alliance, but then he doesn't reappear for 1000 years (TA 1000) and when he finally does, it isn't in the east it's in Dol Guldur. That's also the same year that the Blue Wizards take up residence in the East and start doing good works. Sauron then isn't driven from Dol Guldur until TA 2941 1041 years later. It's only ten years after that he declares his return and starts gathering his armies. So that's like a long time that Sauron isn't involved with the men of the East. 3018 is the year everything goes down so that's only 67 years of Sauron compared to almost 3000 years without him.
    He doesn't have to be omnipresent to exert power over them because he'd co-opted their society via their rulers. In the book we're told that the Haradrim had never been friendly and that with Sauron's return they'd become implacably hostile. Sauron was especially skilled at getting Men to do his bidding, with the results we see in the book. Sixty-seven years is nearly three generations in human terms, plenty of time to consolidate his hold over them.
    Last edited by Radhruin_EU; Aug 14 2019 at 03:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    Then report me.
    was expecting a bigger answer ........ lol
    i dont intend to report you or anyone else......
    the posts are here for anyone to see, aprove or disaprove!
    you have your beliefs and have said your points,
    but you cant force me change what i believe!
    (wont talk for others, everyone has his/her own mind)
    Last edited by Valakircka; Aug 14 2019 at 06:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    . And there you go, proving the point I made later in my post about how your ideas come across as too obviously modern. There is no internal logic for dark-skinned Elves (they weren't ever intended to be permanent inhabitants of the world, nor all of it, so why would the Valar and Iluvatar make a variety of them as if they were to be so?) and so you want to impose it for an external reason (ideology) instead, while trying to spin that clumsily forced addition as something all right-thinking people should support. It does detract from the author's vision because not only does it not make sense internally, but it clashes with the European folklore the work is based on. That is no more welcome than forcing diversity on anybody else's folklore in adapting it.
    A number of questions. Why the need to be so antiquated about ideas of race in a fantasy setting? Why wouldn't the ineffable and omniscient Iluvatar make elves with dark skin? Would the presence of a dark skinned elf in a world of dragons and balrogs destroy the essence or themes of the story specifically because of their skin color? How is it that dark skinned elves are contrary to the authors vision but Gertheryg, wood trolls, or Grodbog are more "realistic" to it?

    Also how is suggesting they give players the OPTION to create a dark skinned avatar forcing diversity on anybody? Would it be that offensive to see one in the setting? Would you quit playing in response?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The intention for the work to have the 'air' of northern Europe was conscious and deliberate on the author's part, so that construct is inherent to the piece. You're also trying to damn it as if it were a purposeful construct to extol "whiteness" rather than simply a consequence of what northern Europe's native inhabitants happen to look like. Their stories are self-referential because they imagined people like themselves in them. You've presented no evidence that what you say is true in regard to the ancient times in which such stories had their origin.
    I'm pretty sure I specifically said that it was not intentional and doesn't need to be in order to be problematic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    It's not a conspiracy it's complicity with the paradigm. Conspiracies are conscious actions, reinforcing a problematic paradigm is usually unconscious.
    I'm pretty sure I have a load of links from well cited historical essays that are meant to challenge what you seem to think all Northern European inhabitants of the period looked like and by proxy their characters looked like or had to look like. You seem to be claiming historical accuracy when you in fact aren't all that accurate. Here is another resource to challenge that: https://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/search/pre-1000s this is an awesome collection of art from all over Europe in the pre-Medieval period from pre-1000 to the early modern 1700s. The pre-1000 is particularly relevant here. Also this: https://www.caitlingreen.org/2016/05...-migrants.html lovely piece of work that depicts just how many ancient Northern Europeans (primarily Britain) had African origins.


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Which part of imagining people who look like themselves do you not get? You don't have to have an internalised concept of whiteness or any other ethnic identity to know what you and your community look like.
    Which part of their community contained more than just white people do you not get? Also isn't it kind of ironic that you're defending these people imagining people who looked like themselves while simultaneously saying that an entire group of people shouldn't be allowed to do exactly that? The community of LOTRO is multi-racial yet the in game community isn't allowed to reflect that. That is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    That amounts to "They're all dead so we can appropriate their culture all we like".
    I mean yeah basically. If people didn't appropriate culture from dead people we wouldn't have LOTR.


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    He doesn't have to be omnipresent to exert power over them because he'd co-opted their society via their rulers. In the book we're told that the Haradrim had never been friendly and that with Sauron's return they'd become implacably hostile. Sauron was especially skilled at getting Men to do his bidding, with the results we see in the book. Sixty-seven years is nearly three generations in human terms, plenty of time to consolidate his hold over them.
    67 years is well within the lifespan of a single individual. It's a blip when compared to nearly 3000 years of basically non interference from Sauron during a period with a lot of unexplained/undetailed history.
    Also the idea that all men of the east did Sauron's bidding isn't necessarily correct especially when you consider the possible impact the blue wizards could have had in fermenting resistance.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    A number of questions. Why the need to be so antiquated about ideas of race in a fantasy setting? Why wouldn't the ineffable and omniscient Iluvatar make elves with dark skin? Would the presence of a dark skinned elf in a world of dragons and balrogs destroy the essence or themes of the story specifically because of their skin color? How is it that dark skinned elves are contrary to the authors vision but Gertheryg, wood trolls, or Grodbog are more "realistic" to it?
    I've answered these already. First off, it's a very traditionally-minded fantasy, unlike typical gaming fare. Second, as I've already pointed out there's no reason in the story for him to have done so - Men were destined to inherit the world as a whole and Elves weren't. Thirdly, Light Elves were symbolically pale-skinned by concept, not just 'white'. Fourthly, I have, in fact, said in the past that I don't care for mobs like Gredbyg because they're out of place.

    I'm pretty sure I specifically said that it was not intentional and doesn't need to be in order to be problematic.
    So let me see, one minute you're saying that those ancient Germanic folks were supposrdly really diverse and totally oblivious to how people looked, the next you're all "REEEE! PROBLEMATIC!" because they imagined pale-skinned supernatural beings. Which is it, please?

    I'm pretty sure I have a load of links from well cited historical essays that are meant to challenge what you seem to think all Northern European inhabitants of the period looked like and by proxy their characters looked like or had to look like. You seem to be claiming historical accuracy when you in fact aren't all that accurate. Here is another resource to challenge that: https://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/search/pre-1000s this is an awesome collection of art from all over Europe in the pre-Medieval period from pre-1000 to the early modern 1700s. The pre-1000 is particularly relevant here. Also this: https://www.caitlingreen.org/2016/05...-migrants.html lovely piece of work that depicts just how many ancient Northern Europeans (primarily Britain) had African origins.
    I've had a look and I can't see anything relevant to this there as far as art goes. And as for that study, people coming to Britain from North Africa in ancient times is hardly news (the Phoenicians being the classic example), no surprise at all that Roman Britain was diverse, but look at what happens in the Early Medieval period (that being the relevant one), it drops right off and doesn't go back up until later medieval times. What we're really looking for, though, is what the majority culture was in ancient Germany and Scandinavia, because that's where the idea of Elves etc. came from. I think we can guess.

    Which part of their community contained more than just white people do you not get? Also isn't it kind of ironic that you're defending these people imagining people who looked like themselves while simultaneously saying that an entire group of people shouldn't be allowed to do exactly that? The community of LOTRO is multi-racial yet the in game community isn't allowed to reflect that. That is wrong.
    How many, what was their status, and did they sway the collective imagination of that culture or its sense of identity? What if the concept of Elves goes back to a time when there was only marginal diversity, where would that leave your argument? And besides that, despite there being diversity in medieval times supernatural figures such as angels were routinely depicted as white. So were Jesus and the Apostles, plus various saints who were really from North Africa or the Near East. The mere existence of diversity doesn't instantly change how the majority culture sees itself or how they imagine supernatural or religious figures.

    Characters don't represent players; they aren't avatars. They represent themselves, the imaginary people we're playing as. Your argument about the in-game community not being represented is wrong-headed given that this is an RPG.

    I mean yeah basically. If people didn't appropriate culture from dead people we wouldn't have LOTR.
    It's legacy European culture, seemingly the only one that can be appropriated nowadays without a fuss. You can post sophistry about 'power dynamics' all you like, but really that;'s just deliberate bias.

    67 years is well within the lifespan of a single individual. It's a blip when compared to nearly 3000 years of basically non interference from Sauron during a period with a lot of unexplained/undetailed history.
    Also the idea that all men of the east did Sauron's bidding isn't necessarily correct especially when you consider the possible impact the blue wizards could have had in fermenting resistance.
    Oh right, so now Sauron's just a blip. When it comes to brutal dictators, Joseph Stalin (for one) seemed to make quite an impression in rather less time, and he was just some guy rather than an immortal being with vast magical powers. Downplaying Sauron's ability to dominate Men really doesn't work.

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    I'm pretty pasty so I don't want to insert myself too much in this discussion, but here's some really neat artwork I've seen of (I believe) Fëanor. While I don't actually suspect his character specifically was dark-skinned, these are pretty near how I imagine POC Tolkien Elves looking and I like them quite a lot.
    https://66.media.tumblr.com/0479dff1...9eh9o1_500.png
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/27/70...23ccf35190.png

    Gonna try and reiterate here, I don't think it's a stretch that some of the Avari (ie non-Eldar) might look a little different from the Elves we're used to, or that they could've spread out and further diversified in the ages since the Eldar went west. Especially not compared to some of the other "stretches" SSG has made. For what it's worth, even if it was a bit of a reach, I'd still feel the same about it. Representation for the underrepresented is more important than strict adherence to canon (especially when the canon is a: dated, & b: doesn't specifically exclude it).

    Anyway, I don't think it'll be too long before we're headed further east, so maybe that would be a good time to show us some POC Avari. They could even make them playable; we're getting Stout-axes after all. I'll go ahead and /sign that suggestion right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Echoweaver View Post
    And good grief, folks. The responses to any call for diversity really make this community look bad. Tolkien's work is not going to be destroyed if we got a few more character options.
    Yup.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    I've answered these already. First off, it's a very traditionally-minded fantasy, unlike typical gaming fare. Second, as I've already pointed out there's no reason in the story for him to have done so - Men were destined to inherit the world as a whole and Elves weren't. Thirdly, Light Elves were symbolically pale-skinned by concept, not just 'white'. Fourthly, I have, in fact, said in the past that I don't care for mobs like Gredbyg because they're out of place.
    What I am saying is that being a "traditionally-minded fantasy" doesn't mean that it has to be entirely white.
    While maybe the fictional Iluvatar didn't have a reason to create dark skinned elves, can you say with certainty that the ineffable Eru had a reason not to? Of all the strange and magnificent wonders of Middle Earth is dark skin really that aberrant of an addition especially considering you've already tolerated other liberties taken in this adaptation?


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    So let me see, one minute you're saying that those ancient Germanic folks were supposrdly really diverse and totally oblivious to how people looked, the next you're all "REEEE! PROBLEMATIC!" because they imagined pale-skinned supernatural beings. Which is it, please?
    The construct in question is not a creation of those ancient Germanic folks.
    What I am saying is those ancient Germanic folks (who were more diverse then you're giving them credit for) while not totally oblivious to how people looked did not use skin color in order to discriminate or specifically "other" people. In that time period someone with dark skin or light skin has an equal chance of being a slave or a king. There are no legal rules against or ills associated with miscegenation. Nobody is barred from a culture because of their skin color. During the later 1700's onward that changes dramatically. Dark skin becomes THE BASIS for discrimination. As such interpretations of ancient and Medieval European history change to suit a narrative of racial purity and exclusion. That is the construct we are dealing with.

    This quote from one of the articles is relevant: "But before we begin in earnest—a note about racism and white supremacy. This series is intended to challenge some deeply-held beliefs. Racist and white supremacist ideas about the past have lingered in our culture. They are not limited to dyed-in-the-wool racists or card-carrying members of the Klan. They can seem natural and normal. That makes them a fundamental part of institutionalized racism as it exists today, since the past forms and informs the foundations of the present."

    What we are dealing with is the "natural and normal" aspect that maintains a depiction of "traditional" or "authentic" Europe and it's folklore as meaning white only.

    This is another relevant piece: Race in A Song of Ice and Fire: Medievalism Posing as Authenticity https://www.publicmedievalist.com/race-in-asoif/
    While it deals mainly with Martin, a lot of what he says applies to this discussion, primarily its conclusion:
    "Westeros, of course, is a fantasy world. Like Tolkien’s Middle Earth, you can argue that it does not owe anything to any real, historical period on Earth. But it is the continuous insistence, on the part of Martin and many fans, that Westeros is a relatively accurate representation of the Middle Ages that makes this discussion necessary. You can’t have it both ways.

    Many people get their ideas of what the Middle Ages were like from fantasy works like A Song of Ice and Fire. As such, it is important for medievalists to point out that the kind of historical accuracy that Martin strives for is ultimately impossible; works like Game of Thrones are, fundamentally, fantasies. This is especially true now, with the renewed attempt by white supremacists to co-opt the Middle Ages. The myth of a “whites-only Middle Ages” that is perpetuated through the fantasy genre in general (and through massively popular shows like Game of Thrones in particular), is indeed a myth. The past is much more complicated, and inclusive, than many give it credit for."


    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Characters don't represent players; they aren't avatars. They represent themselves, the imaginary people we're playing as. Your argument about the in-game community not being represented is wrong-headed given that this is an RPG.
    And people should be able to see themselves represented in those heroic characters and imaginary peoples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Oh right, so now Sauron's just a blip. When it comes to brutal dictators, Joseph Stalin (for one) seemed to make quite an impression in rather less time, and he was just some guy rather than an immortal being with vast magical powers. Downplaying Sauron's ability to dominate Men really doesn't work.
    If you want to continue this particular discussion, we should move it elsewhere because it isn't particularly relevant here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady_Lethargy View Post
    I'm pretty pasty so I don't want to insert myself too much in this discussion, but here's some really neat artwork I've seen of (I believe) Fëanor. While I don't actually suspect his character specifically was dark-skinned, these are pretty near how I imagine POC Tolkien Elves looking and I like them quite a lot.
    https://66.media.tumblr.com/0479dff1...9eh9o1_500.png
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/27/70...23ccf35190.png
    Cool pics. Thanks for adding them. You might enjoy these as well:
    https://nerdygirlart.tumblr.com/post...-being-poc-and (Glorfindel)

    This design challenge is also really neat. https://middle-earthpocdc.tumblr.com/ (mainpage) https://middle-earthpocdc.tumblr.com/archive (archive)

    Enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady_Lethargy View Post
    I'm pretty pasty so I don't want to insert myself too much in this discussion, but here's some really neat artwork I've seen of (I believe) Fëanor. While I don't actually suspect his character specifically was dark-skinned, these are pretty near how I imagine POC Tolkien Elves looking and I like them quite a lot.
    https://66.media.tumblr.com/0479dff1...9eh9o1_500.png
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/27/70...23ccf35190.png

    Gonna try and reiterate here, I don't think it's a stretch that some of the Avari (ie non-Eldar) might look a little different from the Elves we're used to, or that they could've spread out and further diversified in the ages since the Eldar went west. Especially not compared to some of the other "stretches" SSG has made. For what it's worth, even if it was a bit of a reach, I'd still feel the same about it. Representation for the underrepresented is more important than strict adherence to canon (especially when the canon is a: dated, & b: doesn't specifically exclude it).

    Anyway, I don't think it'll be too long before we're headed further east, so maybe that would be a good time to show us some POC Avari. They could even make them playable; we're getting Stout-axes after all. I'll go ahead and /sign that suggestion right now.



    Yup.
    that pictures a just funfic.....
    anyone can make what ever likes
    this can be seen only in asian mmos
    not in lotro!
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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    Cool pics. Thanks for adding them. You might enjoy these as well:
    https://nerdygirlart.tumblr.com/post...-being-poc-and (Glorfindel)

    This design challenge is also really neat. https://middle-earthpocdc.tumblr.com/ (mainpage) https://middle-earthpocdc.tumblr.com/archive (archive)

    Enjoy!
    ungly pics no point adding them
    these are not from lotro!
    reminds me of the other person who asked orcs in the free people side..........
    indeed your elves look like orcs or sauron and melkor!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunhut View Post
    What I am saying is that being a "traditionally-minded fantasy" doesn't mean that it has to be entirely white.
    While maybe the fictional Iluvatar didn't have a reason to create dark skinned elves, can you say with certainty that the ineffable Eru had a reason not to? Of all the strange and magnificent wonders of Middle Earth is dark skin really that aberrant of an addition especially considering you've already tolerated other liberties taken in this adaptation?
    Sorry, what? Eru and Iluvatar are different names for the same being and that sort of waffle is meaningless. Also, have you seen the movies? Damn strange all the Elves were pale-skinned, if there were the least real reason for any of them to be otherwise then in a major Hollywood movie you can be sure some of them would have been. But no.

    The construct in question is not a creation of those ancient Germanic folks.
    What I am saying is those ancient Germanic folks (who were more diverse then you're giving them credit for) while not totally oblivious to how people looked did not use skin color in order to discriminate or specifically "other" people. In that time period someone with dark skin or light skin has an equal chance of being a slave or a king. There are no legal rules against or ills associated with miscegenation. Nobody is barred from a culture because of their skin color. During the later 1700's onward that changes dramatically. Dark skin becomes THE BASIS for discrimination. As such interpretations of ancient and Medieval European history change to suit a narrative of racial purity and exclusion. That is the construct we are dealing with.
    Oh look, no evidence of any relevance yet again. Let's see what someone who was actually around in the ancient world had to say, shall we?

    "As to the Germans themselves, I think it probable that they are indigenous and that very little foreign blood has been introduced either by invasions or by friendly dealings with neighbouring peoples. For in former times it was not by land but on shipboard that would-be immigrants arrived; and the limitless ocean that lies beyond the coasts of Germany, and as it were defies intruders, is seldom visited by ships from our part of the world. And to say nothing of the perils of that wild and unknown sea, who would have been likely to leave Asia Minor, North Africa, or Italy, to go to Germany with its forbidding landscapes and unpleasant climate - a country that is thankless to till and dismal to behold for anyone who was not born and bred there?"

    - Tacitus, 'Germania'

    And further, from the same source:

    'For myself, I accept the view that the peoples of Germany have never contaminated themselves by intermarriage with foreigners but remain of pure blood, distinct and unlike any other nation. One result of this is that their physical characteristics, in so far as one can generalize about such a large population, are always the same: fierce-looking blue eyes, reddish hair, and big frames - which, however, can exert their strength only by means of violent effort. They are less able to endure toil or fatiguing tasks and cannot bear thirst or heat, though their climate has inured them to cold spells and the poverty of their soil to hunger.'

    So, you were saying?

    And people should be able to see themselves represented in those heroic characters and imaginary peoples.
    What part of characters not being avatars do you not get? They don't represent the player. The only meaningful thing you could say there is whether they identify with the character and that is not the same thing. You can identify with a character if they're of a different gender, ethnicity, something other than strictly human or even if they're profoundly non-human (like WoW's Tauren, Pandaren, etc.) and so what you said there is far too simplistic.

  25. #75
    I'm a tall, dark skinned man, but for some reason I self identify as a hobbit. Therefore I demand that the character creation options be changed to include tall hobbits!

    Thank you.

 

 
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