Discussion Masterpieces to Touch the Heart, Stir the Soul - Tolkien-centered Thread

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Nyota's Heart, Jul 6, 2014.

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  1. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    @Cael-Fenton

    That was wonderfully put! =D=

    I find my views echoing yours to a great degree - I do not think that Tom was Maia, particularly because of his disinterest in the Ring. I also attributed to the nature spirit theory, with Tom being a personification of Tolkien's much loved English country side, and Goldberry the seasonal changes. (There was a snippet in Tolkien's letters attributing to this, but I would have to dig up where!) Together, as husband and wife, they do a great job of personifying the 'nature' beliefs in early Norse/Germanic lore, and I always thought them a great way to work in Tolkien's love for the land with an older myth and legend type of feel. :) There are a few creatures who live outside of the 'peoples' of Arda, and I fully believe these two to be amongst that list - there is no way to really say 'what' they are, so just enjoy 'who' they are.

    Whoever Tom truly was, my favourite thing is the extremes of his character - going from commanding ancient and massive power one moment, to being gentle and singing silly songs the next. Meeting them was a great way for Frodo to become introduced to the 'bigger world' and the forces therein upon leaving on his quest. [face_love]
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  2. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I love this! And totally agree :D

    I agree with this; I wish this part had been done better. Honestly, it was a bit confusing the first several times I watched it.


    I would be an elf! They're absolutely badass (and it doesn't hurt that they're gorgeous :p and so are Rivendell and Lothlorien). That being said, I'm not usually a pick-the-immortals person; living forever really freaks me out.


    I am completely different than (it appears) all of you. I fell head over heels in love with the movies and was actually not really into the books much. There are things I would change about the movies -- some of Arwen's plot, as mentioned, and I would prefer Faramir to be book-awesome (though I know it amped up the drama to have him originally take Frodo prisoner -- and I would have loved to see more of him and Eowyn than a quick lovey glance at Aragorn's coronation). On the whole, though, I am a movies girl.

    For instance (and I realize this was blasphemy!), I couldn't care less that Tom Bombadil was cut from the movies. IIRC he was in one chapter of Fellowship and then mentioned briefly after that, but he didn't seem to be hugely important to the plot. More, he was a huge part of the world-building, which I am less interested in.
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Aug 4, 2014
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  3. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

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    Thanks for the kind words. I'd read that too, but can't remember where either. Probably some of the articles cited on the Tolkien Gateway entry on Tom will have references...? You put it well: as much fun as speculating on Tom is, enjoying who he is is even better.

    @NYCitygurl I'd agree that the movies worked better as dramatic narrative. Pacier, punchier, more economical in theme, scope and dramatis personae. I guess which one is primarily a fan of depends on what one is looking for, because dramatic narrative was probably relatively far down the list of Tolkien's priorities while writing LotR (and the earlier material which was posthumously published as The Silmarillion). Contrast those two 'serious' works with things like (for example) The Hobbit (which is a better dramatic narrative than the PJ adaptations of it IMO) and all the Tales From the Perilous Realm. I think dramatic narrative and tight storytelling weren't even secondary purposes in the serious works --- more like tertiary!

    The primary purpose was his invented languages and their linguistic/morphological relationships with each other. The secondary purpose was, as you say, the worldbuilding of the history and culture of the peoples who spoke those languages, the physical and psychosocial environment which shaped those languages, their evolution etc. And the tertiary purpose was the mythology and stories which nurtured the languages and by means of which the language was transmitted. And dramatic narrative is just a small subset of that tertiary purpose. The storytelling of Tolkien's world has much more in common with epic narrative, which isn't something that performs well against modern criteria of good drama. It would definitely fail the "Chekhov's gun" test, for example!
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Aug 5, 2014
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  4. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Do love Tolkien's worldbuilding. It is amazing and never been touched by other authors who might deign to attempt it. :D And as for book-Faramir -- [face_sigh] I loved reading about him just for the balance and contrast he provided for Boromir. :cool: Plus the E/F scenes. :) It was wonderful seeing Eowyn's growth into a reciprocated love and a lady content with what came to her instead of 'kicking against the goads.' [face_thinking]
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  5. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I completely agree! And it's this tertoary purpose that I'm more a fan of.

    @Nyota's Heart I definily love book!Faramir! One of my faves (well, in the movies, too).
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  6. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    @Cael-Fenton That was perfectly said, I do not think that I could have put it better. =D=

    The massive scope of story and span of characters, with an emphasis on the ever evolving people/places/languages therein is honestly my favourite part about Tolkien's work - and the reason that I prefer the books to the movies. And yet, I do admit that that can be nigh impossible to capture in a trilogy of three to four hour movies - so, I do appreciate Peter Jackson's adaptations for what they are, and enjoy them even with my grumbling. :p [face_love]

    Actually, I think that this is why I enjoy writing for Tolkien's world so much - I get to take his massive, beautiful tapestry, and focus more on characters and individual scenes where Tolkien himself could not for the sheer scope of the world he was creating. I have enjoyed writing for many fandoms over the years, but this one has struck near and dear to me just for that reason. [face_love]

    And book!Faramir! What isn't there to love? [face_love] Heck - Faramir period is just a great character. :p [face_batting]
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  7. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

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    Lucky for us!

    Faramir's like the LotR version of Obi-Wan: they're both the faithful ones who keep trying to do the right thing and get rejected by those dearest to them, poor woobies. Except Faramir arguably gets a happier ending :p

    I quite enjoyed David Wenham's portrayal, as much as I enjoy any aspect of the films. Two tiny quibbles:
    I wish he'd been a teensy bit more stoic and not looked quite so close to tears at "If I should return, think better of me, Father."
    His hair should be dark! (Boromir's too.) That's something so very easy to get right, would have cost almost nothing and taken up no extra screentime.
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Aug 6, 2014
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  8. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Natch on the dark hair. I find dark haired dudes most ... delicious LOL Even on the SW side, they are up! there! =P~

    New focus:

    Saruman versus Gandalf Did they come with similar motives and what precisely kept Gandalf strong and untainted and what exactly turned Saruman into a Sauron echo? :p

    :cool:
  9. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

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    My first exposure was the 2001 film however it caused me to purchase the all inclusive book version and a book on the linguistical and etymology of names in Middle Earth. JRRT is the first major author that showed me that building believable languages and immersive worlds was possible. A major inspiration to attempt fashioning my own universe. I am newly restarting given my rocky path of the last few years. :)

    I find the wizards the most interesting.

    On Gandalf and Saruman, I have the impression that Galdalf was much more interested in being a guide for the other Races whereas Saruman became corrupted by power and pride. I think motive and intent plays a huge part in the decisions they made.
    Last edited by Cushing's Admirer, Aug 8, 2014
  10. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Welcome Cushing's Admirer. I agree on that insight on Gandalf/Saruman. [face_thinking]
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  11. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Yes, welcome! [:D]

    I was so excited to see this question up, thanks again for the great topic, Deb! [:D]

    The concept of Wizards in Tolkien's world was a fascinating point, even when just watching the movies. Gandalf was a show stealer from the beginning, and then I read about the Istari and their purpose, and they just fascinated me even more as a result. [face_love]

    Now, what I find interesting on Gandalf and Saruman is that they were both sent to Middle-earth with the exact same purpose: to inspire others to fight against Shadow with the light of their own actions and words. I think that the difference between them, at the start, was a matter of pride (the bad kind) and the arrogance that came as a result of that. Saruman was confident as his place as the head of the Maiar sent to Middle-earth - and I think that a part of him viewed his appointment as proof of others seeing his own worth and talents and 'finally' recognizing them for what he always thought them to be. (A part of my head-canon for him thinks that maybe, as a Maia of Aulë, he smarted underneath the favor that Sauron was given before his fall, and later viewed his actions in Middle-earth as his triumphing over a rival he always viewed himself as superior to. Even his aligning himself with Sauron, I think, was only done with Saruman thinking that he could eventually triumph over him completely. But, that is a lot of personal theorizing on his character, and not precisely said in canon. ;)) Either way, even before his fall, Saruman did have confidence and pride, and it was that confidence and pride that led to his ruin, even when he started out with good intentions. That pride lead to him to 'researching' and studying Sauron and his arts to the point where he 'developed a mind of metal and wheels' and started thinking in mechanical ways contrary to nature - or so Tolkien used his character to once again portray his idea of good with more natural ways, over the 'evils of industrialization'. [face_thinking]

    Interestingly enough, Sauron's own downfall was through his wanting to do 'good' through embracing the ways of the enemy, the same as Saruman, so the parallels between the two are interesting. In both characters, they thinking too much of their own strengths and then deciding that they knew better than their creator led to their downfall - while the exact opposite is the case with Gandalf.

    Now, what I liked about Gandalf, is that even as a Maia, he was looking for belonging and purpose. He was a Maia of Manwë, but he served in Lórien, and studied with Nienna as a disciple - where he learned pity and compassion through understanding. For all of his power, he was humble in his sense of self-worth and talents - he was so humble, that he actually asked Manwë to send someone else in his place, saying that there had to be another Maia stronger than him, and deserved this privilege more. He did not rely on his own insights, but he instead found his own courage and 'belonging' through embracing his task as he accomplished it - and, in turn, he inspired that same courage and fire in others. Since Gandalf was humble about himself, he was able to see worth in the smallest of beings - such as Hobbits, who were easily overlooked by such 'great thinkers' such as Saruman. But it was Gandalf's courage and fire that let him believe that his fight wasn't hopeless - as Saruman eventually did - and his courage held out for him to complete his task. And, as a great bonus, he was a treat of a character while doing so! Quick to laughter and anger both - like @Cael-Fenton mentioned earlier in the thread as part of her great summation of Gandalf's character - so there is a human element in Gandalf that I always appreciated, and really identified with while reading. [face_love]

    So, basically, humility and a serving nature will always triumph over great strength and the bad ego that results from being overly prideful. I think that is what we can take away from these two characters at the core. :)
    Last edited by Mira_Jade, Aug 9, 2014
  12. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    So, basically, humility and a serving nature will always triumph over great strength and the bad ego that results from being overly prideful. I think that is what we can take away from these two characters at the core.

    =D= =D= That gave me happy chills. That timeless truth resonates in our time and place as well. Humility and a compassionate, serving nature brings blessings and the love and loyalty of those who follow such a leader. [face_love]
  13. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    The one thing that will always amaze me about Arda is that it is at its core a story of the etymology of languages, with the richness of the story merely being a side effect of Tolkien's literary expertise.

    I have become infinitely more interested in the Dwarves in recent years, primarily because of The Dwarf Holds mod for The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth, which also does a splendid job of enhancing Gondor, Rohan, Mordor, and Isengard from the base game. The Dwarves actually speak and name their units in Khuzdul in The Dwarf Holds.

    People like to overlook The Battle for Middle-earth due to its simplicity and having a lot of similarities with Command & Conquer: Generals (which is at least partly because they both use the SAGE engine). Of course, its easy to not have much faith in Tolkien-based games with stuff like the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor out there.
  14. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

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    I'm still sort of undecided as to whether Curumo started out with the 'right' motives. I mean, I don't doubt that his motives were 'good' in the sense of being directed to the wellbeing of the peoples of Endore, but I'm uncertain whether he ever really understood their task as I understand it. What I think the Valar wanted the Istari to do was be friends and companions to those fighting "the long defeat", not to fight for them; to bring the Peoples some of the spiritual light of the Blessed Realm when all seems lost, not to set themselves directly against Sauron.

    I think Olórin understood that very well. And maybe Curumo did understand it on a cerebral level, but lost sight of it in his desire to overthrow Sauron by power. To be fair though, I think Olórin was perhaps better predisposed to really succeeding in that mission because of his long association with Nienna, and also because he wasn't one of the really 'great' and powerful Maiar like Eonwe, Ilmare, Mairon or even Osse.

    Yes I certainly agree. I'd say though, that the 'industrialisation' of Isengard and reference to his "mind of metal and wheels" is more than Tolkien railing against industrialisation per se. It's also imagery for power and domination over others. Power is 'bad', in Tolkien's cosmology. It's noteworthy that the ultimate victory in LotR is achieved by the most powerless creatures (as is also pointed out repeatedly throughout the book), and even at the last moment, their inner strength failed them...it was the downstream effects of an earlier moment of 'weakness' (Bilbo's pity) that won the day.

    It's easy to talk about it and point out how Curumo failed, but I think it's the hardest lesson of all: not to take more power, when it seems like so many bad things (whether on a personal, domestic or political level) could be put right if only you had the power to make it so. I think the task of the Istari was very very difficult: to aid the Free Peoples, but never setting forth their divine powers directly against Sauron. It must have been a fine and difficult line to walk, being constantly tempted to have and use greater power so as to do more. I think Olórin's success is testament more to his credit than to Curumo's weakness.

    Gandalf was always interested in being with people, just being their companion through their struggles (even the seemingly petty ones, like annoying relatives!), especially the weak and the overlooked; that was what his previous experiences with Nienna had inclined him to. Whereas Saruman, maybe because his skill as a craftsman inclined him to seeing events and persons as things to be controlled, shaped, manipulated to give effect to desirable outcomes, was much more into making plans against Sauron, gathering information and fortifying his own power.

    It's very noticeable that prior to his re-incarnation, Gandalf only ever uses his 'wizardry' to do very simple, homely things (as far as we are actually 'shown' in the books, though he probably used his angelic powers in the battle of Dol Guldur): to entertain/cheer hobbits with his silly fireworks, to warm them up when they're freezing on the slopes of Caradhras, etc. He isn't the one who saves Frodo from the Nazgul with his powers in the Unseen World, for example. (I mean, okay, he does kick the Balrog's ass, but I figure that meeting one hadn't been foreseen when the Istari set out since they were thought to be gone or near-permanently dormant by the end of the War of Wrath, so on that bridge he wasn't on his mission - he was Olórin again :p ) And I always got the impression that for those 'little' things, he was really using Narya's fire at least as much his 'native' divinity. Gandalf wasn't interested in fighting Sauron with power. He perceived that power was not going to defeat him, and he saw his role as guiding people to that truth....and helping them find it within themselves to face down evil with courage, hope, faith and mercy instead of power.

    gosh, I'm sorry, I just have so many Gandalf feelings :p

    I should say too, since I know I've been pretty harsh on the movies, that Ian's portrayal of Gandalf remains probably my favourite bit of them. He got the gruff impatience, the worn/tattered humanity-interspersed-with-flashes-of-awe-inspiring-angel-ness, the sense of humour and, most importantly of all, the compassion and kindness, down so brilliantly. Christopher Lee was very good too: he conveyed the fallen angel feel well with relatively little material (in terms of screentime/lines) to work with (I kind of hated movie Saruman's death though).
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Aug 10, 2014
  15. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    =D= @Cael-Fenton - if I could double or triple like that insightful post, [face_laugh] I would. Succinct and eloquent both. :cool: I think many leaders or nation builders have to walk that fine line between how much and what facets of power they should and that it is safe to wield. [face_thinking] Even with the best of intents, a person who set out merely to 'guide' and 'mentor' could find themselves crossing the line into usurpation, especially if they have the literal power to do so.



    New Focus

    Something mentioned about the Eldar's experiences in other posts made me wonder -- what y'all think would've happened if the threat from Morgoth had never occurred or the Trees been lost? The word naivete has and/or could be used to describe such blissful and untainted times ... knowing nothing of sorrow or grief. Could or would the Eldar have 'grown' to wisdom some other way, on some other path? [face_thinking] Yikes, what does it say if any of us think the only way they could have learned strength and courage and ... even loving sacrifice was through such travails? @};- @};-
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Aug 10, 2014
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  16. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    I have to agree with that – and your words – a hundred percent. =D=

    I also wanted to second your insight on Gandalf being all things to all peoples. I love how every race/character in Middle-earth views Gandalf as their particular friend. Frodo and Bilbo had that bond with him, which went back to Bilbo's own parents, even. Aragorn had that bond. The Dwarves of Erebor most certainly had that bond. Elrond, Círdan – and Galadriel in particular amongst the Elves, whom we could assume knew him as a Maia in Aman - had that bond with him. Even the harsher Elves in Mirkwood viewed him as a friend for his constantly fighting Sauron away from their forests over the years. (Book canon, not PJ canon, that is. ;)) Even the Men had their names and titles for Gandalf, and they respected him. And I would bet that each one of those people/races felt like they were Gandalf's best friend - so warm and eager was he just to simply know and aid people. Which is something that I find just beautiful about his character! [face_love]



    Now for this conversation! Because this is a great question, and one that I had to stop and think about to properly express an answer to. (And I know just where this topic stemmed from, so it's already a thought on the mind. ;) [:D])

    First, I think that I would say that the Elves in particular are children of Arda, moreso than any other of the peoples Eru created. Whereas Men, and even Dwarves, (and maybe Hobbits? Did Tolkien ever figure that part of his world-building out? [face_thinking]) have a hope and a purpose beyond death, the Elves are Arda, and they know their long years for how they are tied to that world, more so than a true immortality. While that connection to the natural world can be a beautiful thing, that bond does encompass all that is good and bad. So long as Arda is marred, a part of them suffers and endures through that taint, as well.

    I think that, in some ways, the Elves who never left Aman can be called naïve for their views on the world (at least, those who were born in Aman, and didn't come through the Great Journey – who had an entirely different reason for not wanting to return to Middle-earth than their parents and grand-parents), simply because they are purposefully ignoring and choosing to live separate from the darker parts of the world. It's not a bad choice to willfully remain in such light and 'perfect' conditions, per say, only I think that it can be called its own sort of denial.

    And yet, if Melkor had played his original purpose in creation, and the world was formed without his taint, then the Elves themselves would be different in creation – as would each one of the races be. It certainly is possible that that same wisdom and understanding would have been found, only through different ways. Honestly, a perfect, peaceful world like that is something I can't start to comprehend past a sort of dream-like 'what if', but I certainly like to think that such a world – such perfection – would result in even deeper understandings without having to know of pain and strife. Hardships certainly are not the only way to learn and grow, nor should 'trial under fire' and 'the school of hard knocks' ever be the sole way for developing wisdom and understanding.

    That said, for everyone living underneath the Shadow – in their world or ours – there is a beauty to be found in choosing to embrace the good over the bad. It says something about an indomitable spirit when we do not blissfully ignore the taint, but rather, live our own lives to the full regardless of all that is 'marred' about the world around us. There is definitely a wisdom and insight to be found in learning to live with the good alongside the bad – even if it is a form of learning we would all rather not have to deal with at all.

    . . . just to give a few words on a rather weighty and philosophical question, that is. :p :)
  17. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    That was just perfectly expressed. @Mira_Jade I couldn't have put it better myself. You have a talent for articulating deep truths with clarity. :cool:

    I agree about varied paths to wisdom and growth and also about choosing to be stronger and compassionate based on your experiences instead of fearful or insecure in yourself. I love also the thought of a perfect peaceful world where folks can arise each morning with fearless joy and not even a hint of anxiety or uncertainty about a looming threat. :)

    ~~~

    @Cael-Fenton -- a Gandalf fic-thread would be really, really superb. [face_batting] [face_dancing]
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Aug 11, 2014
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  18. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I'm going to echo this wholeheartedly :D
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  19. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    I am going to third that, just saying. ;) (Really, any Tolkien fic period would be awesome to see! :D [face_mischief] [:D])
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  20. Cael-Fenton Force Ghost

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    Well said. The Fate of the Elves was tied to that of Arda. I think the Marring was at the root of the Elves' melancholy and malaise that seemed to only deepen as the Ages passed, and which is hinted at throughout LotR.

    (As for the Hobbits, I like the fanon theory --- eg in Morwen Tindomerel's The Return --- that they branched off from Men, and are really of the same race and ultimate fate; I think that fits the maddeningly few hints Tolkien dropped on the subject, as far as I'm aware...)

    You put it really well --- it's hard to even imagine, in any sort of realistic level of coherent detail, what an untainted world would be like. We fantasise about such a world all the time, but I think we can't really picture it because it's so fundamentally inconsistent with our instinctive grasp of the laws of nature, and of human nature especially. Likewise, Tolkien deliberately wrote his creation story such that the Marring preceded the existence of Arda (evil was, in a sense, dyed-in-the-wool from which the world's fabric was woven), which is on a literal level contrary to the Judeo-Christian view, but which I think leads to some extraordinary insights and pathos in his world, as was hinted at in the Athrabeth.

    Personally I have some antipathy toward theories which explain evil by reference to its necessity for developing "secondary virtues" like courage, fortitude etc. So I agree that hardships aren't necessary to moral development. And I don't think Tolkien was implying such a theory with his account of Iluvatar's response to Melkor's rebellion (that it would ultimately be woven into the glory of the Music, in the fullness of Eru's wisdom and vision); rather, I think he was simply trying to square the presence of evil, as arising from free will, with his belief in a benevolent God. (With Tolkien's being such good friends with Lewis, they probably shared some views on the nature of evil and its inevitability in a world where humans (and "angels") have free will.)

    As you say, evil may not be necessary for the flourishing of certain virtues, but we can choose to turn it to account anyway, to draw beauty out of ugliness. And I think that was totally what Tolkien was getting at with his portrayal of evil and its broader cosmological ramifications. Though his views on this were certainly Christian, I think anyone can appreciate the hope and beauty of his conviction that: Evil labours with vast power and perpetual success, but in vain, preparing always only the soil for unexpected good to sprout in. I venture to say he would have considered that while to err is human, to find beauty in error and evil is an important way in which the Children participate in the divine (in Tolkien's view) act of redemption. (Again, this was hinted at in the Athrabeth.)

    ...So, to put it in tl;dr terms, I think it's possible that the Elves would have attained the wisdom and greatness of spirit that Galadriel (for example) achieves after millenia of loss, heartbreak and bitter "long defeat". But it would have been less of a story!

    awww, that's awfully kind and flattering [face_blush] Honestly though, I'm in too much awe of Gandalf to write him; I feel like I couldn't possibly do him justice! But I love reading others' work. :)
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Aug 17, 2014
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  21. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Aww I bet you could! And we'd all love to read more LOTR fic :D
  22. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Hey, guys! Just found this thread–ironically, just after finishing An Unexpected Journey. :p

    I'm going to bed for tonight (after reading through almost the entire thread) but I'll try to show my opinions around here a bit! :)
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  23. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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  24. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Well, given that I just watched An Unexpected Journey last night, I guess it seems appropriate that I start out with The Hobbit.

    I actually just reread The Hobbit about a month and a half ago. I was surprised by how much of the movies actually were parts of the book, and I didn't remember them at all because they seemed so unimportant at the time. The Arkenstone, for example–I actually did not remember that it was in the book, let alone that it did play such an important role. When I watched AUJ for the first time, I thought the Arkenstone had been created for the movie. I think, between the book and the movie, that there are some differences that are unnecessary, some that are necessary, and some that fall in between.

    One thing is the action. In the novel, the Dwarves are depicted as fairly cowardly, jittery beings. They don't even carry weapons that I recall until Thorin finds Orcrist. Most of the book is spent avoiding trouble, whereas in the movies they confront it with relish. This, I think, was a necessary change. The cowardly Dwarves wouldn't have fit in with the Jackson-verse, especially after the movie depiction of Gimli. But I also think it's an appropriate change and one that makes the Dwarves more fun and gives the chance for individuality (by giving them all different weapons). In the book, the Dwarves, except for Thorin, and perhaps Balin and Bombur, were basically interchangeable. They all complained all the time and let Bilbo do all the heavy lifting. In the movies, the Dwarves do push Bilbo ahead several times (see the Troll scene) but they aren't afraid to come to his rescue, either.

    Actually, the Troll rescue scene is one of my favorite parts of the movie, because it's the first time we get to see the Dwarves all in action in the modern day (Thorin had his Azog-battle flashback). It differentiates them by fighting style–Dwalin's the heavy-hitter with the hammer, Kili is agile and all over the place, etc.–and shows them work as a cohesive unit, using their allies' advantages and disadvantages to their own benefit (such as when Thorin jumps on Dwalin's back and then uses him as a step-ladder to reach one Troll's face). But this doesn't mean the book's characterizations are lost, either, because when they're trussed up and about to be eaten, they still fall back on blaming Bilbo and arguing like children (Kili: "I don't have parasites, you have parasites!").

    I also love the Goblin Town escape scene. For one thing, they all switch weapons–awkward little Ori has Dwalin's hammer, Bifur wields Ori's slingshot, Balin has Kili's sword, Oin has Bifur's spear–and for another, they're all fighting while simultaneously running away. Kili gets this lightsaber-esque "deflecting arrows with his sword" scene, which is pretty cool. Thorin and Balin are just war machines when you give them a sword, man. This is at odds with the book, where only Thorin and Gandalf remained behind to fight while the other's ran (as a consequence of them being the only two with weapons). The only thing I disliked about the Goblin Town scene was the part where Gandalf slashed one goblin, the goblin looked down at his neck, and then Gandalf knocked his head off with his staff. It was unnecessarily silly, IMO. On the other hand, while silly, I thought the Goblin King's death was played up perfectly.

    The second change I believe was necessary was character development. In the book, the only characters who develop are Bilbo and Thorin (the former for the better, the latter for the worse, although he too changed for the better by the end). In the movie, we get to see all these characters grow, but I especially liked how much more development they gave Thorin. In the book he's consistently a jerk until the end. Here, we get one of my favorite emotional movie scenes ever–the scene where the eagles set them down on the rock, and Thorin says to Bilbo "I've never been so wrong in my entire life!" It's a touching, awesome moment that gives me goosebumps-of-awesome every time I watch it. I also enjoy Bofur–he did practically nothing in the book, but here we see him initially teasing Bilbo, but then becoming fast friends with him by the beginning of the Goblin Town sequence–he was ready to let Bilbo go back to Hobbiton because he was homesick. And Fili and Kili, of course, are breakout stars.

    I'll be watching Desolation of Smaug tonight, hopefully, so I'll try to continue on with this line of thought later on! :)
    Mira_Jade and Nyota's Heart like this.
  25. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    New Focus

    What do you think overall of the Numenorians and their role(s) in the great conflicts?

    How do you think their actions/inactions spilled over and influenced those of Gondor/Rohan, if at all? :cool:
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