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Off Subject: Lord of the Rings

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Mandalore74, Apr 16, 2001.

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  1. DarthHag

    DarthHag Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2001
    [blockquote]Ok, I just picked up the Return of the King, and I noticed the huge appendix/index in the back. What's the deal with this? What all does it contain, and should I read it first, or last, or just use it for reference? Thanks for any answers.[/blockquote]

    NO!! DON'T READ THE APPENDICES UNTIL AFTER YOU READ ROTK!!

    Phew. Some of the appendices are background descriptions of races, languages, and pronounciations guides. Tolklien was a linguist, of course, and each race of Middle-Earth has its own culture. I usually skip the ones about the language and calendars and such -- I'm not interested in them, but they are worth a skim.

    Other appendices tell you something of the history of particular characters -- just why does it seem important that Aragorn is "Isildur's Heir" and what his relationship is to Minas Tirith and the leaders there -- where much of the action of ROTK goes next. Why are the Mines of Moria so important to Gimli? And so on.

    There is, of all things, a lovely short romantic tale that explains a lot about certain characters in LOTR.

    Of most special importance is the Tale of the Years, in Appendix B. It gives massive spoilers for what you are now reading. While not in LOTR, Sauron is unleashing war all over Middle Earth, not just in places you are reading about. App. B tells you those stories. For those who survive (and I won't tell you who), App. B tells you what happens to them all at the close of ROTK, sort of like an abbreviated NJO after ROTJ. It is not to be missed.

    There are certain things the characters do in ROTK that are merely cool in the book. The Appendices set up the backstory that gives those events additional texture and meaning.

    Enjoy!
     
  2. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Thanks. I took a brief look at the index, but not at the Appedices so as not to get spoiled. I'm about 100 pages into RotK, and it is cool as hell.
     
  3. junio

    junio Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 1999
    And you are a fast reading human being!

    Gosh... I think I'm gonna finish Conquest tonight so that I can resume with my reading of The Fellowship Of The Ring ASAP.
     
  4. Dev_Jannz

    Dev_Jannz Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    May 14, 2001
    The LOTR is my favorite set of books ever. I am a huge Tolkien fan and my friends are amazed (and sometimes repulsed) by how much I know about the world of Middle Earth.

    An excellent site for info and discussion boards is www.tolkienonline.com
     
  5. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    This just in: I'm feeling RotK! Through page 150, it is kickin' a**! I finally know why everyone told me to read these books a long time ago. The characterization is unbelievable! Thoughts?
     
  6. junio

    junio Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 1999
    Thoughts? Well, I finished Conquest earlier today and will go on with The Fellowship of the Ring right now... See ya later.
     
  7. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Ok, I;m wrapping up RotK, and want to read some more about Middle-Earth. Can somebody tell give some info on the Silmarillion? What is it? Where can I get it? Is it like a paperback book? Thanks.
     
  8. junio

    junio Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 1999
    Have you read The Hobbit already? I would think so but I'm not sure... If so, I can't help with you The S..., but if not, then go read The Hobbit. Great book!

    I have a question for you Middle Earth, is the Sirannon a river?
     
  9. DarthHag

    DarthHag Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2001
    What to read next? The appendices!!! Especially Appendices A and B. The last entry in the Tale of the Years makes me choke up every time I read it.

    The Hobbit is the next logical choice, but after the complexity of LOTR, you'll find that the Hobbit is obviously written for a younger audience and before Tolkien has really fleshed out Middle Earth.

    After that, the Silmarillion is the logical choice. The Appendices to ROTK set out a lot of what occurs in the Sil, in a much abbreviated format. The Sil is very mythic. The characters seem to be broad archetyes in that they are very strong characters telling compelling, tragic stories, but without strong characterization or internalization. It's rather like reading the Bible.

    I'm not a big fan of the Sil, but I owe it another re-read. Lots of people love it.

    After that, there are the Unfinished Tales, Tales of Tom Bombadil, and lots and lots of other things. Much of it is based on Tolkien's writings and notes, and are not completed stories -- they've been gathered, edited, compiled, and published by his son, Christopher. At this point, I'm out of my depth, and defer to greater Tolkien scholars.
     
  10. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    I have already read The Hobbit, I read it before the trilogy. Is the Silmarillion a paperback? Can I get it at a bookstore?
     
  11. virtue1st

    virtue1st Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 1998
    Yep, the Silmarillion is in paperback. Just look it up on amazon.com
     
  12. El Kabong

    El Kabong Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 28, 1999
    So, am I doing something wrong?

    See, I've never read these books before, but all my friends are into them, and hype them up and down. Since they are going on to no end about how cool they are, I decided to try one out for myself.

    Well, I'm - oh, about half way through the Hobit, and it's really boring the heck out of me. So far it's been the gang of folks trekking through the winderness, getting jumped by monsters, finding caves, getting jumped by more monsters, ect, ect... It's kind of like a 6 part Doctor Who episode where parts 4 and 5 were really just filler episodes, and they would have been better off leaving it as a 4 parter.

    (I think the last thing that happened was the little guy was trying to outwit the other guy in the dark with these mind games - if it helps to know where in the book I'm at.)

    I was wondering - does it ever get better than this? How far do I have to go before I get to the plot?

    (BTW - I'm not trying to be a troll here or anything. I'm just extremly confused.)
     
  13. junio

    junio Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 1999
    Whoa, not liking The Hobbit? I loved it! They say The Hobbit is more for children. I agree that Hobbit is less epic than Lord. Keep reading, don't give up, the book is short, and you may find some part of it that you may happen to enjoy. Then you can move on to The Lord of the Rings. But I have a question: Don't you like adventures?
     
  14. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    In my opinion, the Hobbit doesn't even compare to how great the trilogy is. I liked the Hobbit, but it is nothing like the trilogy. BTW (SMALL SPOILER)


    Don't forget about that "other guy in the dark" ;-)


    (END SPOILER)
     
  15. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Well, I finally finished RotK today. It took me a month to do it, but I finished the Lord of the Rings saga, and I am very glad I did. The sheer size and scope and history og Middle-Earth has drwawn me into the lre of that world, and I have already begun to read the Silmarillion. Thanks to everyone for answering my questions, and check back often, cause I am sure I will have more about the Silmarillion, it looks daunting.

    -Mandalore
     
  16. Shmi52

    Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 1999
    El Kabong -- It's perfectly OK to start the trilogy without having read THE HOBBIT. I did (in seventh grade) and had no trouble following the story . . . er . . . let me rephrase that. None of my troubles following the story were due to having skipped HOBBIT, but I did get confused. I kept mixing up Merry and Pippin, and I do wish he'd given dissimilar names to the villains instead of "Sauron" and "Saruman"! But that was many years and many readings ago (40, maybe). I still prefer LOTR to HOBBIT.

     
  17. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 1999
    I always make it till the beginning of book six, and then get bored and quit. I've never actually finished that last bit. ;)
     
  18. DarthHag

    DarthHag Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2001
    [blockquote]Well, I finally finished RotK today. It took me a month to do it, but I finished the Lord of the Rings saga, and I am very glad I did. [/blockquote]

    Did you read the last entry in Appendix A and B about what happens to the last members of the Fellowship??!!

    Of the over 1,000 pages in my well worn 1973 edition, those two paragraphs that end Appendices A and B are my favorites.

    And persevere, El Kabong. It is true that LOTR isn't for everyone, and count me as one who enjoys the Hobbit for what it is, but vastly prefers LOTR. Hobbit still reads mostly as a children's book to me, and as a template for better things to come. But, those who haven't read the Hobbit can have a very hard time getting through some of the introductory bits of Book 1 of LOTR. As Mandalore points out, those two guys in the cave, and the ring the one guy has and the other guy takes are rather important to LOTR.
     
  19. junio

    junio Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 1999
    Kathy Tyers!! Pleased to meet you! Long time no see... Your presence had vanished from this Forum. But your presence in the Force will prevail forever.
     
  20. jwkenobi

    jwkenobi Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    May 26, 1999
    I finally read "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" about one year ago...I can't believe it took me that long...my Mom had given me the boxed set in 7th grade (which was, um, awhile ago). I too got a little bogged down and confused at the beginning of it, but I perservered and am SO glad I did. Now I see what all the fuss is about! I have since re-read all the books, read "The Simarillion" twice, have bought and listened to the BBC radio drama twice, read "the Tolkein Reader" and am now starting on "the Unfinished Tales" and "The Book of Lost Tales". Oh yeah, I have also purchased several "Guides" and an atlas of middle earth, a couple art books, and several books about Tolkein which I have thouroughly enjoyed. BTW, used books stores are good places to find these things without going broke!

    Nothing compares to LotR though. Sam Gamgee makes me cry every time. Aragorn is the ultimate hero (and hunk!), and the heroism of all the other characters in their parts just plain gives me chills. Plus, I've never laughed so much at scenes like Smeagol trying to deny his "sneaking" to Sam or felt such joy, like when reading Pippin affectionately calling Merry "my dear ass" after he has safely survived his battle wounds. It's an incredible book. I can't say enough about it.
     
  21. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    DarthHag,
    Forget the last paragraph, the part about (SPOILERS)



    Aragorn and Arwen dying was very sad. At least they went out in style though.


    (END SPOILERS)


    I am still working on the Appendices, but i have already bought my copy of the Silmarillion.

    Thanks to Kathy Tyers for stopping by too, it is so cool to have an actual author posting in my thread.

    -Mandalore
     
  22. El Kabong

    El Kabong Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 28, 1999
    ****
    El Kabong -- It's perfectly OK to start the trilogy without having read THE HOBBIT. I did (in seventh grade) and had no trouble following the story . . . er . . . let me rephrase that. None of my troubles following the story were due to having skipped HOBBIT, but I did get confused.
    ****

    I just might have to knuckle down and stick things out - I hate giving up on a book (any book) half way through.

    ****
    I kept mixing up Merry and Pippin, and I do wish he'd given dissimilar names to the villains instead of "Sauron" and "Saruman"! But that was many years and many readings ago (40, maybe). I still prefer LOTR to HOBBIT.
    ****

    Oh dear - that sounds like I'm in for a fun ride then. I have no end of trouble with close sounding names (Heck - I'm always mixing up Zhan and Thrawn in SW lit discussions, and one of them isnt even a character! :) )


    ****
    But I have a question: Don't you like adventures?
    ****

    Well, yeah - I do, but my reading has mainly been space opera and pulp. I dig the grand story arcs and drama and adventure like nobody's business. I guess I'm just not used to the setting. I've always been a ray gun and Flash Gordon over swords and wizards sort of guy.
     
  23. Darth_Smeagol

    Darth_Smeagol Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2000
    [blockquote]Don't forget about that "other guy in the dark"[/blockquote]

    How could anyone forget him?
     
  24. junio

    junio Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 1999
    LOL! Let him forget about that guy in the dark... He'll be surprised in the future.

    Well, El Kabong, it's always good to have a change. And The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are the best out there in the fantasy genre. Give it a chance, keep reading... I'm sure you'll end up loving the book!

    I had always read sci-fi books, and when I first opened The Hobbit and started reading, I discovered that there's a big big world out there to be read by me. I'm in love with the fantasy genre right now.
     
  25. Mandalore74

    Mandalore74 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 1, 2001
    El Kabong, just have patience. I just finished reading the Lord of the Rings for the first time the other day, and I am absolutely hooked on it. It has become my second hobby. Just stick to it, I'm sure you will enjoy it. When you get to the actual trilogy the sheer magnitude will hit you, and you will find that in many ways it is much like Star Wars, but better in its own ways.
     
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