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Lord of the Rings (Because Dave hates Twitter conversations and happiness)

edited April 2012 in Go Away Spammers
So as to not annoy Dave and go to prison, I make this thread for anything having to do with LotR.

I'll break in this thread with the question I had that started this. Melkor can't create life, only twist it to his own designs. Some examples being making ents into trolls, and elves into orcs. My question is, from where did he make dragons? I can find nothing about their origins other than Glaurung being the first. I suppose they could have been Maiar originally, but that's only speculation on my part.
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Comments

  • if ents are trolls does the mean that trolls are really flammable?
  • No, but they do turn to stone when exposed to sunlight.
  • Why does Tom Bombadil exist? I don't feel like his chapters add much.
  • He was created before the books as stories he would tell his kids about a doll they had. It's not really known what he is, not even by Tolkien. Maybe some sort of avatar for Eru Ilúvatar?
  • I don't mean why he exists in the real world or in the fiction I mean why do Frodo and crew meet him. His chapters are basically fluff.
  • Even the best fantasy story in the western world has filler material. :/
  • There doesn't seem to be a reason other than he liked the character.
  • edited April 2012
    Tom Bombadil: Pretty much, yeah. It's a shout-out for his kids.

    Dragons: I think they just kind of appeared, and were bastards right from the get-go. I don't believe they were created by or specifically aligned to Melkor, they're just all "fuck bitches, get money", and Melkor was all "hey yo I hear those elf bitches got money".
  • Yayyyyyyy lotr thread.

    Looking into dragons being maiar is probably a good line of inquiry
    Also re: our earlier conversation, it seems like Glorfindel did get resurrected? I have not researched it or anything. I can look at my tolkien letters to see if he answered anyone's questions about the mechanics of elf existence/death because he probably got a lot of questions about it.

    Also - HOW BOUT DEM BLUE WIZARDS GUISE!!
  • I've read conflicting things on their arrival in Middle-Earth. I remember one saying that they were the first Istari and came with Glorfindel around the same time as the forging of the One Ring. Another said they arrived at the same time as the other three during the Third Age.
  • It does seem that pretty much anyone who's a Powerful Being in Tolkein's world (and isn't clearly an elf) turns out to be a Maiar.
  • edited April 2012
    They are supposed to be pretty numerous, so they're always the most likely candidates. The only other options I can think of are Valar other than Melkor, Ainur that never left the Timeless Halls, or I suppose something could have come out of the Void like Eru Ilúvatar did.

    Now that I think about, why the hell do so many Maiar seem to serve Melkor compared to other Valar? Apart from the Istari and Great Eagles, evil creatures that were Maiar seem to be far more numerous. Balrogs, Ungoliant, probably dragons. Couldn't fellbeasts also be Maiar since they were Melkor's version of the Great Eagles?
  • Ungoliant was explicitly not a Maiar though, if I remember correctly; she's basically the Arda equivalent of a Great Old One, and Tolkien intended her to be in the mold of Lovecraft's cosmic horror beings and the like.
  • All I know about the Blue Wizards is that there were a couple of wizards, and they were blue, and they went east. Or south, maybe.
  • East, nobody cares about Harad.
  • so off topic but is there regular magic in LotR and by regular magic I mean like fireball and magic missile type magic?
  • All I know about the Blue Wizards is that there were a couple of wizards, and they were blue, and they went east. Or south, maybe.
    Thats all you know because that is literally all there is about them, but people are always like BLUE WIZARDS WUT
  • so off topic but is there regular magic in LotR and by regular magic I mean like fireball and magic missile type magic?
    I'm pretty sure I remember a bit in the book where they get attacked by wargs, and Gandalf basically lights an entire forest on fire. It's been a while, though.
  • That happens, its right outside moria, theres also radegast who can shapeshift (im pretty sure). The subject of magic is kinda subtle, gandalf seems really reticent to full on use it, he does describe using a 'word of command' to seal a door in moria when hes basically in a battle of wills with the balrog. But full on big flashy magic is more a tool of the enemy, whereas the elf stuff which is pretty magic seeming, really to them is more like a craft. But i mean the rings of power are pretty magic-y and stuff so yeah its a mixed bag
  • The warg attack happened in the hobbit, and - unless my memory of the book is incorrect - he took individual pine cones, magically lit them on fire, and then tossed them at the wargs.
  • Magic as we understand it in D&D terms - with "fire & forget it" style spell casting - was lifted basically whole cloth from Jack Vance's Dying Earth novels. They didn't even bother to change the names of some of the spells, e.g. prismatic spray.

    As for Lord of the Rings, I felt a perverse urge to rewatch the trilogy the other day, even though it's only been a few months since last I did that. Then I remembered those movies are like a million hours long, and I wondered what was wrong with me.
  • edited April 2012
    It's only like eleven hours. I tried watching the theatrical cuts once and was sickened.
  • It's only like eleven hours.
    Eleven hours of people fucking walking. Snoozeville
  • Why do you enjoy being wrong?
  • Because its better than watching movies about people walking. (For eleven hours)
  • Because its better than watching movies about people walking. (For eleven hours)
    OH SNAP!
    (and I didn't even need the chart this time)
  • The warg attack happened in the hobbit, and - unless my memory of the book is incorrect - he took individual pine cones, magically lit them on fire, and then tossed them at the wargs.
    I dont remember the hobbit very well because i havent re-read it since I was a kid, I was talking about the warg attack outside of moria where gandalf yells some shit in evlish and all the trees catch on fire
  • So we can safely assume that Gandalf hates trees.
  • I didn't remember that part.
  • edited April 2012
    I remember someone telling me that "the Necromancer" mentioned in The Hobbit is not the same dude as Sauron in The Lord of the Rings. But when I went to the LotR wiki, they claimed that Sauron and the Necromancer were in fact one and the same. What's up with this?
  • There's a necromancer in the hobbit???
  • There's a necromancer in the hobbit???
    Clearly you fell asleep during that part.
  • edited April 2012
    There's a necromancer in the hobbit???
    Sort of. Midway through the book Gandalf leaves to go deal with him, but I think it's all "off-camera" and mostly just serves as an excuse to get Gandalf away from the group.

    EDIT: Also, apparently they're going to depict it on-camera in order to flesh out the Hobbit movies, since I guess the book has too much material for 1 movie but not enough for 2?
  • That's why I don't remember it.

    One thing I do kind of remember is that the dwarves are captured by wood elves (different from the high elves I believe), but they were kind of evil, almost like goblins.
  • I think there's enough evidence now to suggest wizards in LOTR are racist against trees.
  • All you need remember about The Hobbit.


  • Remember that Tolkein didn't come up with the whole Sauron thing until after he'd actually written The Hobbit. He did go back and retcon it so that "The Necromancer" was actually Sauron (I think they even say as much in the text of LotR.)

    On the other hand, who knows what Peter Jackson's going to do, so maybe they'll be two different characters in the movies now. I am rather worried that they're going to find an excuse to put goddamn zombies into Lord of the Rings.
  • Nah, Jackson's too much of a fan to pull something like that (most likely). Besides, they already kind of did with their interpretation of the oath-breaker army in ROTK. And yeah, the Necromancer was retconned into being Sauron, I believe.

    Speaking of Sauron, has anyone read Morogth's Ring, one of the books in the History Of Middle Earth series put together by Tolkien's son? It's mostly dedicated to the evil-related aspects of the mythos in detail, including Tolkien's ruminations on the nature of the orcs and such. Fascinating reading, there's some really good stuff in there.
  • Theyre going to show the white council going after the necromancer and figuring out that he's sauron is probably going to be an important plot point, I would guess.
  • Rbx5 I read Morgoth's Ring a long time ago, I think the one I own is Sauron Defeated though, for some random Elvish language lore.
    Sort of. Midway through the book Gandalf leaves to go deal with him, but I think it's all "off-camera" and mostly just serves as an excuse to get Gandalf away from the group.

    EDIT: Also, apparently they're going to depict it on-camera in order to flesh out the Hobbit movies, since I guess the book has too much material for 1 movie but not enough for 2?
    Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite of the trilogy, and I remember having a lot of arguments with my book-nerd friends about the directing. If the first rule of film is "show, don't tell," then you need to amend basically all the silly plot devices where Gandalf has to leave "for some reason" leaving the far less capable main characters to fend for themselves. You can't get away with Gandalf turning up and saying, "Oh yeah, I fought Saruman and escaped on a huge bird" or "I beat the shit out of a Balrog in a lake and then we fought up a mountain and I was like BA-KOW and smote his ruin, etc." but we're not going to show any of it.
  • Was Saruman the White ever Saruman the Grey, and by extension was Gandalf the Grey ever Gandalf the Black?
  • edited October 2012
    Nah, I think the Istari came to Middle Earth as we saw them, and were always thus; I think Gandalf assuming the role of the White was due to a) Saruman having cast it aside, and b) because he had, with Saruman's corruption, become the wisest and most learned of his kind. Saruman's position I think was more of a "first among equals" he got by way of seniority and learning. Also, way to thread necro :D

    So, what do people think of the Hobbit being split into a trilogy? I think it's overkill, personally, but I have faith Jackson can make it work, and am psyched that they'll be drawing so heavily on the Appendices. Silmarillion movie(s) down the line? A man can dream.
  • Probably overkill, but I'll look forward to it anyway. My understanding is that they went "Hmm, The Hobbit is too much for 1 movie and too little for 2 movies, so let's pad it out with extra stuff. Okay, we filmed all of the extra stuff, aaaand we don't want to cut any of it, and there's 3 movies' worth. OH WELL"
  • The book has a three act feel: Misty Mountains, Mirkwood, and The Lonely Mountain. Part of me sees it as a cynical way to maximize the profit from a piece of intellectual property but the other part of me is excited that something I really do enjoy is being offered up in a new format with few omissions.
  • Re-read The Hobbit on the way to WasabiCon. Currently re-reading Fellowship of the Rings.

    I know Tolkien was anti-racist in real life, but the second time reading these things, the colonialism is really prominent. I can see why white supremacists have grafted their interpretations on top of Tolkien's work. :-\
  • I have faith Jackson can make it work, and am psyched that they'll be drawing so heavily on the Appendices. Silmarillion movie(s) down the line? A man can dream.
    The direction of the Aragorn/Arwen thing sorta got lost at the end of the movies (She's dying... for some reason!), but including the appendix with Aragorn's death and bringing in the parallels from the Silmarillion with Aragorn singing the Lay of Luthien was a great touch. Sometimes I think Jackson made too many concessions to the "fantasy action movie" genre, but stuff like that puts a smile on my face.
  • Re-read The Hobbit on the way to WasabiCon. Currently re-reading Fellowship of the Rings.

    I know Tolkien was anti-racist in real life, but the second time reading these things, the colonialism is really prominent. I can see why white supremacists have grafted their interpretations on top of Tolkien's work. :-\
    Tolkein's affinity for pre-christian Germanic lore and it's influence on his writing are probably more to blame for that. Just look at the rise of Asatru for an analog.

  • edited November 2012

    So, what do people think of the Hobbit being split into a trilogy?
    I'm a little wary, but The Lord of the Rings movies ended up being a solid net positive to me, despite a few missteps. I'm hoping for the same with the Hobbit.

    I feel like they could have alleviated any concerns about too much padding by just making the movies shorter than the LotR movies, but I heard the first hobbit movie is clocking in at close to three hours.
  • edited November 2012
    Yeah, and as I mentioned in a post earlier in this thread, Morgoth's Ring is full of material of Tolkien ruminating on the problems of his portrayal of the Orcs, and potential solutions that he never really fully sussed out.

    Incidentally, are those two more recent books of material that got put out (The Children of Hurin, and I seem to recall another Numenor related one too) any good?
  • The Children of Hurin is pretty rad. Its got the whole bleak as hell unavoidable tragedy aspect, and also the history of how humans came to eat potatoes. So something for everyone. It can be a little dry, like a lot of his mythology/lore stuff, but I dont mind that.
    Re: wizard judo belt colors-
    I just read one of tolkien's letters that touched on Gandalf becoming the white, essentially it was that he just came back better, he was sent back with increased wisdom and power to accomplish his task. None of the other Istari went through that kind of rebirth, so its not like you just progressively upgrade. Although I guess when saruman went to technicolor, that might actually be in the ballpark. Tolkien was saying that with increased wisdom and power naturally comes an increase in the temptation to just turn others to your will by force to accomplish your task, since it can be insane making trying to unite and motivate a bunch of self interested beings with free will. But in the end seizing power and just doing it yourself is falling from the path of wisdom entirely so maybe that fall always makes you all rainbow colored. I havent read all the letters but he admits that theres a lot that he doesnt know about wizard logistics and that some of it is muddled.

    Also medium relevant, re: Gandalf's role in world saving - whenever I read or think of this passage it kinda chokes me up:
    "The rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?"
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