TORn Amateur Symposium
Nov 9 2013, 6:01pm
Welcome all to the Abstract Presentation for the November 2013 TORn Amateur Symposium!
TORn Amateur Symposium: Abstracts for November 2013 TAS
In the spirit of enjoyable inquiry, we present these abstracts for your persual. We have once again, in the second Symposium, received a wide, creative and wonderfully written range of ideas from our membership.
For this Symposium, we have elected to provide readers with abstracts of the pieces to be featured. The dates when these pieces will be featured is included along with the abstract. We hope that a preview of the varied and fascinating topics to be covered in this Symposium, along with an extended spacing of the pieces will help promote your reading and discussion pleasure.
We are very excited and proud to offer these to you! Enjoy this preview, and we hope to see you in the discussion threads as the writings are posted.
Galadriel, political animal of Middle-earth
Elves of Middle-earth in the Third Age are commonly held to be beings of magic and mystery, above human concerns and "petty" politicking. Especially so for Galadriel, regarded as some feminine aspect of the divine. However, evidence indicates that she accumulated, and wielded, political power in a most practical and pragmatic fashion.
Run date: Sunday, November 10th, 2013
The Often Maligned God of Arda: How Eru is the Ultimate Hero of Middle Earth
In this paper I will explore the complex topic of Eru's providence and sovereignty in Arda. I have often run into Tolkien fans who either misunderstand Eru or some who even suggest that he is a terrible God. I believe they think this way because they are frustrated not with Eru but with God in the real world. This of course is a testament to how Tolkien's work is so excellently crafted that it naturally connects to our world. The misconceptions of fans stem from a failing to realize that how Tolkien conceived of God (from a Christian and Catholic perspective) greatly impacts how he portrays Eru. Any analysis of Eru must start with this reality This paper is not about rehashing the same tired arguments about Christianity and Tolkien, rather, this paper will look specifically at the providence of Eru in light of Tolkien's views and how, ultimately, Eru is the true hero of Middle Earth. Without Eru, evil would have never been defeated and we would have been robbed of the immense joy of reading the many chapters of Middle Earth history. I will examine several instances, starting with the creation account, showing that Eru is not detached but is working out his perfect plan as found in the Great Music of the Ainulindale.
Run date: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
The Physics of The Hobbit: Barrels out of Bond
This essay presents an analysis of one of the most iconic scenes in The Hobbit, the escape from the dungeons of the Woodland Realm. Bilbo Baggins, using his magic ring, is able to steal the keys to the dungeon cells and free the Dwarves. The company then escape by being packed into wooden wine casks and floating down the river toward Laketown.
In Tolkienfs book, Bilbo packs each Dwarf into a wine barrel and seals the barrel with a lid. In The Desolation of Smaug, however, we know from previews that the barrels will be without lids, allowing us to see each of our characters as they negotiate the river and the rapids. This will undoubtedly produce a more visually exciting sequence than in the novel, but is it physically possible? Several members of TORn have criticized this scene on the basis of the physics. If the barrels have no lids, they argue, wonft they fill with water, causing them to sink and thus possibly drowning most of our main characters?
In Part One and Part Two of The Physics of The Hobbit I explained the basic physics of free fall, with and without air resistance. In this essay I will explain the basic physics of floating in water, including what happens to hollow objects when they fill with water. The concepts will then be applied to Barrels Out Of Bond.
Run date: Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Music and race in Howard Shore's score for "The Lord of The Rings" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey".
In this essay, I aim to find out how Howard Shore approached the task of writing music for the different races in Middle Earth. In order to do this, I have analysed the music used in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" relating to the races of Elves, Men, Dwarves and Hobbits. I have done so from a musicological perspective, looking at (amongst other things) pitch; tempo; use of instruments; and what this says about the cultures and the associations they evoke in the listener. The essay will also focus briefly on what we might expect to hear in the upcoming "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug".
Run date: Sunday, November 17th, 2013
Revealed in his Wrath: The Matter of Glorfindel
The "Matter of Glorfindel" is an issue raised by many fans, and even Tolkien himself: a careful wordsmith uses the same name for two different instances of remarkably similar characters, why? Glorfindel becomes the victim of editing and accidental omission, a single character pulled apart. This paper attempts to rectify the two instances of Glorfindel back into a single character, as well as address why his wholeness is important and its effect on the legendarium at large.
Run date: Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
"Which voices tell the story?" is a fundamental decision for a writer to make. Looking at The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I discuss examples of the various solutions Tolkien uses, and the effects these have. These include his first-person "storyteller" narrator in The Hobbit, and the long and complex eye-witness accounts of Lord of the Rings. The predominant choice in either book is third-person, but that does not mean using the same voice throughout - I discuss Tolkienfs ability to narrate different characters in a style which combines distanced observation with a flavour of how that character sees the world.
Run date: Thursday, November 21st, 2013
On the Formation of Fog on the Barrow-downs
In this essay I describe the physical processes responsible for the formation of fog on the Barrow-downs in The Fellowship of the Ring. Using knowledge on the formation of fog in the real-world, I explain how and why the fog formed (and ceased), through Tolkiens excellent descriptions of the weather through September 3018 Third Age. Though Tolkiens descriptions represent the formation of fog in the real-world entirely, some discrepancies may indicate an unnatural factor in its formation. I, therefore, conclude that although the fog is entirely possible in nature, it may also have been the work of the Barrow-wights, Goldberry and/or Tom Bombadil (either intentionally, or unintentionally).
Run date: Sunday, November 24th, 2013
Bilbo - All That is Gold
by Dame Ioreth
As a linguist and historian, Ifve often wondered if J.R.R.Tolkien saw something of himself in Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit turned adventurer turned historian he created. Certainly, his writing of these tales and the creation of Middle Earth was a major part of his lifefs work. Originally, he presented it as a prehistory of his own native land - legends and stories written by Bilbo and other historians, translated by Tolkien.
It is very easy to find individuals here on TORn who have read The Hobbit and LOTR and immersed themselves in the world of Middle Earth, finding new and wonderful sights and sounds to share with their fellow travelers. We sit around virtual campfires telling stories, spinning tales, and retelling that same prehistory. Dates and times, places and events become the building blocks of conversations. Some gravitate towards the more concrete, some towards the more ethereal. I would like to focus on one individual and attempt to determine his motivations for writing a particular piece, the All that is Gold poem written by Bilbo Baggins through the lens of his character.
Run date: Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
The Sea Longing
Elves, gulls, snorkels, kayaks and barrier islands... Tolkien and the potent archetypal imagery of water, and why Legolas' sea song can be used to row a Viking Longship.
Run date: Friday, November 29th, 2013
Thanks to all of our authors for submitting, and we cannot wait to feature these pieces and host the discussion. Hope to see you there!
The TAS Team
Elaen32, DanielLB and Brethil
(This post was edited by TORn Amateur Symposium on Nov 9 2013, 6:07pm)