Amph The Land of Middle Earth: Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit.

Discussion in 'Community' started by JediTrilobite, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    There was no ?pure conversational boredom? in Lord of the Rings. The conversations might be long, but they?re not boring. What gave you the impression that they were?

    These questions may have been answered which I overlooked amongst the endless and and more talking?

    Well, I don?t see anything wrong with talking, but here are the answers to your questions.

    Why was Aragorn rangering around and not on the throne?

    Aragorn?s heritage was revealed to him when he turned 20. Elrond gave him the shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir, but withheld the Sceptre of Annúminas until he earned it. The Sceptre was one of the major symbols of kingship, so Aragorn might have felt that Elrond did not want him to become king yet or that he didn?t deserve to be king yet. Aragorn also knew that there was a very low chance that he would become king if he just showed up with the heirlooms. The royal line was lost for centuries and the Stewards would be reluctant to put an impostor on the throne.

    Why does Tolkien take a page or even more just to show Gandalf explaining how he escaped Saruman's hospitality?

    Why not? It furthers the story and I like the detailed description.

    Why do dwarves hate elves?

    The racial enmity began in the Silmarillion. It started with a dispute over the Nauglamír that eventually lead to the fall of Doriath.

    Why the citizens weren't breeding enough these past thousands of years since Sauron's death, that their numbers are so horrifically low?

    It?s not that they weren?t breeding enough. People get the mistaken impression that after Sauron was defeated it was peaceful until his return. It wasn?t. Arnor fell apart a few generations after the battle and Gondor had to face all sorts of problems. A few major ones were the Kin-strife, the plague, and the invasion of the Wainriders. They also had to defeat a lot of other enemies. And yet they still managed to beat back the forces of Sauron. (with help from Rohan, of course, which was actually a part of Gondor to begin with)

    But I knew nothing about these idiot heroes I was reading, no background at all. They were just there, and badly characterised I might add.

    No background? Those heroes were up to their ears in background! In the Silmarillion it talks about the ancestors of these heroes and their doings. Go look at the appendix in the back of RotK. It has the list of kings from Elendil and Isildur right on down to Aragorn in both Arnor and Gondor. It describes the events that took place during the main part of the Third Age in detail. They had lots and lots of background. I also didn?t think that they were poorly characterized.

    Edit:

    If you did not like the books so much what are you doing here?

    Raja, Excellence has a right to express his opinions just like everyone else.
  2. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    If you did not like the books so much what are you doing here?

    Did I missed the signage permitting only the proponents, eh? It's often hard to digest any dissent other than hypnotic approval for Lord of the Rings, Raja_Io, and I thank you for evidencing again why I seldom engage in LOTR discussions. Fortunately, dontlookatmethatway was willing to look. :D



    Okay then, what right did Elrond have to decide the worthiness of Gondor's ascendancy? You've given me the impression Aragorn needed to prove himself. Sauron's employment dismissal was 3000yrs ago. Was the Gondorish throne vacant that long too?

    Secondly, I brought the point of Gandalf rambling for over a page just to describe his Saruman escape to Baggins, which you said furthered the story. Yet that passage did what books like Icarus Hunt and Shatterpoint did: make a point on an event, then overelaborate even more when you've already said enough. Gandalf was taking a long time to say what he said, meandering his way to the essence instead of a straight road; I've looked at that section carefully, and it didn't look to me like "furthering the story," rather a tedious pace bereft of precision. And that's a key issue with his prose: it's damn long and heavy on conversation.

    And conversation is pretty much all you get, there's hardly an action scene. For example, the Moria bridge was barely a page, and textually, a lot of one-line sentences at that. The conversations aer very heavy on exposition, overdosing the reader on as much geographical and demographic data as you can fit it. Often, you're naming the forest road you're walking down, and then he chucks a "James Luceno" and feels compelled to inform you what other topographical locales are all around. None or little of which has relevance to that road you're walking.

    And that's just one example of scores I can cite with the LOTR trilogy. Anyway, thirdly, in regards to the lack of human population, the endless singing and serenading made it hard to spot historical tidbits prevalent as it was. Were these post-Sauron conflicts mentioned in the trilogy? That's what I don't remember.

    Fourthly, I've gotten this Silmarillion to many of my questions, and I don't like it. I'm reading this very long trilogy, this very long "single" book broken up into thousands of pages, and it doesn't explain even in the briefest of words why there's elf-dwarf tension and who these main characters are? Why must I read this Silmarillion to find out, that a thick-paged Fellowship should have taken care of?

    The earliest drafts of Silmarillion are dated in 1917, as Google informs me, this 1st Age; Hobbit in 1937. That would mean the main books were published long before the Silmarillion, yes? Even today, if you were unaware of the Silmarillion, you'd be reading the books uninformed in several key areas, I suppose as I was. This is not good.

    Lastly, interconnected with my prior point, I really did have a problem with the characterisation: there was none. Everyone was black and white, there was no grey. The heroes are brave and strong (and babble ceaselessly), the villains nasty, ugly and bad. I was reading this Aragorn lad without the slightest scrap of background, and what I knew left me with all those questions. Why was he scorned from the throne; who the hell this Leggy and Gimli duo are; where were all the female dwarfs, for males was all I was seeing. The elf's from Mirkwood like spidery Shelob, some princeling, but I wasn't reading much of anything else, no character, deeper substance.

    We've got this pilot light atop a tower I know nothing about. I want to know Sauron's background; who he is, where he came from, what made him stereotypically naughty. More importantly, I need to know how he got so strong. I'm a not a trusting soul; I need to see things, not just be told "he is." How does a burning eye make his orclings obey him into developing an empire? In the movies, in the books, he's "just there." Did the trilogy answer any of these?

    I heaps other issues, but Raja,
  3. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Dwarves and elves hate eachother because of what happened in the first age - One of the elvenkings, Elu Thingol - who is Elronds great-great grandfather - was slain by a group of dwarves who were forging together a Silmaril and the Nauglamir (which was made by the dwarves) because the king refused to yield the Dwarves the jewels. When the Dwarves escaped they got together their kin and assaulted the Kings palace and killed all the Elves and took the silmaril. The Dwarves were then killed by the daughter of the King and her husband and the elves they had gathered to them and reclaimed the silmaril, which they had taken from the crown of the Dark Lord Morgoth in the first place.

  4. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Mighty long grudge. How long between the 1st and 3rd Ages?
  5. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I think anyone who likes LOTR and the Hobbit should read the Silmarillion. It was a neat book, showing the whole backstory to the books. It covers all the ages before the Sun/Mankind, then focuse on tales from the First Age, some of the Second Age, and a summary of the Third Age.

    And I think each age is around 3000 years, so probably around 6000 years between the Dwarves-Elves fight and LOTR. But they are all long-lived too. I think there is a timeline in the back of Return of the King.
  6. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    It?s entirely possible that when Elrond refused to give Aragorn the Sceptre for the reason that he had yet to earn it, Aragorn accepted that he shouldn?t try to become king just yet. As for the throne, after there were no more royal butts to sit on it, it was handed to the Stewards of Gondor until one with a rightful claim to it appeared. The Stewards reigned for many generations until Aragorn assumed the throne.

    Well, first of all, the only one who had heard his tale before was Elrond, so Gandalf was telling it to almost the entire council. This was a rather important story; Saruman had been counted among one of their powerful allies and his turning to evil was a crucial piece of information. The people seated there would have wanted a lot of detail; I don?t think Gandalf could have gotten away with a one-sentence response. So why shouldn?t Gandalf tell the whole story? Isn?t this council the place where everyone gets an update on what?s going on? It also helps develop the character of Saruman.

    Using the Moria bridge action scene as an example isn?t really fair. There was an action scene right before that at Balin?s tomb. Despite it?s shortness, however, it is still one of the greatest fantasy action scenes I have ever read. I thought you, of all people, would favor quality over quantity. Can you give me an example of what you think of as an overdose of data from LotR? I don?t feel that he does this, so an example would help.

    Hey! I liked the singing! Several of the mid-Third Age conflicts were mentioned, though Tolkien mostly mentioned the ones pertaining to the rise of Sauron.

    The readers weren?t uninformed in key areas. They had everything they needed to follow the story, if not the wealth of detail included in the Silmarillion. The reason you don?t get all the background you want on the racial enmity betw
  7. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Nice, Dontlook- and, yes, nice icon ;) (self described hobbit jedi!). I think the thing is, Tolkien had such a large mythology outlined that it wouldn't even fit in something as hefty as LOTR, and that's why so many things are unsaid-- they're unnecessary to the actual plot, and would bog it down. LOTR, wordy as it is, is meant to be read for pleasure. The Silmarillion is not, I would argue.
  8. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    I disagree. When Tolkien moves from a descriptive mode to a more Narrative structre in basically the chapters from the Tale of Beren and Luthien on to the Fall of Gondolin the book becomes extremely enjoyable (I don't include the tale of Earendil - that doesn't have enough extrapolation for my taste).

    In any case, it would not have been published if it was not enjiyable to read
  9. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    You were right: I found the timeline in ROTK. It's very detailed; maybe I can work things out from there. From my earlier question of Age durations, it didn't look like each Age had a fixed numbers of years, but was tied in to trilogy events. It's not a simple timeline, will take time to assimilate . . .
  10. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    The thing is though, the timeline in ROTK (at least in my version, doesn't have anything concerning the events of the first age. That's something that should be added to future versions IMO
  11. Raja_Io Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 4
    Well, I don't think so. This would mean adding kinda synopsis of Silmarillion to it, which wouldn't make much sense to me, since the whole book is vastly available. And anyone who would like to investigate the story further, could easily get it.
  12. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Yes but ROTK has a timeline of the Second Age as well, not as detailed as what is described in both the Akallabeth, of the Rings of Power and in Unfinsihed tales but it still would be good for casual Lord of the Rings readers to just have a look in the back of ROTK and see what happened in teh first age to connect the two parts of the story
  13. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    How much of it has direct pertinence to the immediate story, and is just filler, something to read?
  14. Kyptastic VIP

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    It would fill in a lot that is mentioned in the story - ie. Sauron's servitude of evil, explain Elronds heritage , show why there is a dispute between elves and dwarves.

    Not exactly necessary information, but it would be useful to expand the experience of the read.
  15. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    Writing Style of the Silmarillion - Both Kyptastic and Shrunken_Jedi are right. There are parts of the Silmarillion that read like a history book and there are parts that read like a novel. The writing style changes.

    First Age Timeline in Return of the King - Bad idea. If you haven't read the Silmarillion, you would have no idea who someone like Morgoth is. The timeline wouldn't have a whole ton of significance because you know nothing or very little about the events listed there.

    Silmarillion Pertinence to Lord of the Rings - Hard to say. The relevance depends on how much you want to know. It is basically a history of the LotR world from the creation up to the time of the LotR trilogy.
  16. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    In the space of an afternoon, I've read ROTK. [:D]

    I thought to myself there was no better moment, having just finished Destiny, a masterpiece of rubbish the likes of which I've never encountered before. My armour was battered but still intact, so I took the risk.

    Now I finally have a full view of the trilogy. Considering how Tolky overloads you with irrelevant geo- and demographical trivia, I thought the book was actually light as fluff, with fast paced scenes and brevity of depth to match. The Havens' farewell was rushed, which took me by surprise. I was expecting a lot kissing and prose to match.

    Speaking of which, I also was reading a lot of hugging and kissing and professions of love between the cast. I found that . . . disturbing and perhaps even a reflection of his own life. Some emotional support moments just went too far. And what stood out most interestingly was the complete lack of finale, a climax, a suspense within the volcanic sanctum. If I had read the thing back to back, I'd have felt like I'd been slapped across the face, to have waded through so much rambling just for a lightspeed moment that lacked any tension in any sense of the word.

    Still, I now have the full holo.
  17. CyberFaust FanForce CR FF Romania

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2005
    star 4
    hey guys in Faust i am a verry big fantasy fan (lotr, witchblade, and more)i hope I'l post a lot here lately
  18. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    You might guess by my nick here that I'm a fan... I've read LotR about twice a year since Christmas 2001. I saw FotR before reading the book, but the others I read before the movies. I read The Hobbit in a Swedish translation as a kid, but I must admit I don't remember much of it.

    I've been wanting to get my hands on The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, though.

    I love the way Tolkien uses language, a true wordsmith if there ever was one.
  19. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I actually took a Tolkien Studies course at my University, taught by a published Tolkien scholar. That was amazing.
  20. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Interesting, tell us about it. How objective was the lecturer? Was dissent to LOTR tolerated? I find many teachers don't favour disagreement to their opinions, strangley.
  21. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    In a lecture based course, there's not a lot of room for dissent. And what type of disagreement would you be having? I thought the professor was fantastic. She knew so much more than just LOTR or Tolkien. She knew about languages, she knew about mythology in both Celtic and Norse circles, she knew philology and of course knew the Tolkien material extremely well. There was some discussion that did happen and I thought it was all very interesting, multi-faceted and open to other opinions.
  22. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    You're lucky in that case. I had some Jedi Masters who thought their opinion was the law, based in their seemingly insurmountable life and academic experience. We had some great times, when I refused to rule by a confined process of thinking. In simple words: I frowned their snouts with a diverse view. Still, I got the score I wanted, so all's well that ends well.
  23. Alcareru Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    I love the world Tolkien created. I've read half of the Silmarillion, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I find the world of Middle Earth, the history of the peoples, the languages and the stories themselves to be the most compelling thing about the whole Tolkien thing. As an author I think his style can be a bit troublesome at times. But overall I think the man was quite talented and really created something interesting and unique out of the collective mythological past of mankind.
  24. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    Discerning fans and literary scholars seem to love " The Silmarillion " more than anything else about Middle Earth and for the most part I agree. At the very least I think the most pivotal character in the entire hisrory of Tolkiens' world is Feanor - not Frodo or Aragorn.
  25. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think that the stories in the Silmarillion are fascinating... the writing style is a bit... not fascinating. That makes it a tough read. But the creativity of the whole world and its history is really quite the accomplishment from Tolkien.