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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
''wizard' as a general term?


Nov 20 2012, 9:32am

Views: 1014
''wizard' as a general term? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think it works:

In Reply To
It is true that for ever after he remained an elf-friend, and had the honour of dwarves, wizards, and all such folk as ever passed that way.

However, it is clear that "wizards" are not just the Istari. As a matter of fact, even in The Lord of the Rings they aren't - weren't the Nine Rings given to "kings and wizards" of Men?

In Reply To
I'm not sure numbers really come into this. I think it's more about the "greatness" of the members than the size of the council.

Ooh, that's a neat explanation!
(and I agree with your previous answer, regarding OFS)

In Reply To

Gandalf is telling the whole tale, to a large audience ("there were many eager ears that evening to hear the tale of their adventures"), so he may well repeat things that are known to some of his audience, since others will want to hear it. I imagine Gandalf doesn't name the White Council members, but I can easily imagine a situation where one or more members of the Council are actually present at the telling of the tale.

Another good idea. It runs counter to my intuitive reading (and to squire's), but it might work. Thank you!

In Reply To
I always like the sense in Tolkien's writing that other versions of every story could be told, in another style, another context, by another witness. Bilbo's own story is a fairytale, but it can also be seen as part of a great myth - it's all in the telling of the tale.


In Reply To
Not a good idea if you want a children's fairytale, that's for sure. But of course, The Hobbit really is "subordinated" in the film world. It is only being made because of its "prequel" status.

I agree. Which is pretty much what happened with the book, isn't it? The book itslef is pleasant and charming, interesting and even wise at times - but it wouldn't be read as often or as thoroughly had it not been subordinated to its greater sequel.
Just think of the lovely Farmer Giles of Ham. It might be a masterpiece in its own limited sphere, but not being remotely connected to Middle-earth, and offering little in terms of understanding Tolkien's attitude and creative process (which Leaf by Niggle and Smith of Wootton Major do), it is not read that much - and possibly not less than it deserves. Frown


I read this as meaning that the new Master serves under the King, not that Lake-town is independent. It would be similar to the Steward of Gondor serving under the King, or of course client kings like Eomer being subject to the King of Gondor. That's how medieval feudalism would have worked, with towns like Lake-town (or indeed the Shire) having their own Mayor or Master, but still acknowledging the sovereignty of the King.

Really? I see no hint that the Master acknowledges Bard as king. Once Aragorn becomes King, he might claim overlordship over both - but not at the present.

And regarding medieval city-states - would they even formally acknowledge the Emperor had he not been preceived as Holy, i.e. deriving his power directly from God? And even in Italy there were the Guelphs opposing the Ghibellines (with Papal active support!), and the town of Flanders also withstood attempted conquests by foreign monarchs.

In Reply To
It sounds a bit too much like what happened to the property developers who had such a great time with their megalomaniacal plans here in Ireland before they crashed back to earth a few years ago!

Please. I am doing my utmost to avoid drawing any contemporary connections...

In Reply To

Well, first of all I think this sentence reflects Bilbo's own self-deprecating assessment of himself. We shouldn't take at face value that the young relatives only liked Bilbo for the presents, although as we hear in A Long-expected Party, hobbits do enjoy getting them.

Point taken.

In Reply To
There's tobacco in the first chapter too, and in fact it comes up a number of times. It's not so much an anachronism as a "different translation".

I'll make myself clearer: in the 1960 rewrite of the first two chapters, Tolkien did indeed change "tobacco" to "pipe-weed" in all occurances, even having Bilbo offer Gandalf some Old Toby.
But this suggests that had the re-write gone all the way through, the very last sentence of the book, its coda, would need to have been changed. I think this is far too heavy a price to pay for expunging one anachronism.

As an aside, having tobacco come originally from Numenor (as Merry suggests in his Herblore of the Shire) might have solved the seeming "anachronism" - why not have this a relic of a once-existing trade? This might have made sense of your "different translation" - I don't know if Tolkien ever considered this idea seriously, and why he rejected it.

"As all things come to an end, even this story..."

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?
- N.E. Brigand

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Subject User Time
The Last Stage, part IV - Politics and Property sador Send a private message to sador Nov 18 2012, 4:44pm
    Thoughts Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Nov 18 2012, 9:13pm
        I'm not so sure sador Send a private message to sador Nov 20 2012, 8:43am
            For the most part, I agree... Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Nov 20 2012, 1:02pm
    Tales and terminology FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 18 2012, 9:40pm
        ''wizard' as a general term? sador Send a private message to sador Nov 20 2012, 9:32am
            Hope you don't mind.... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 20 2012, 11:07am
                Not at all, but also yes sador Send a private message to sador Nov 20 2012, 2:21pm
                    His arm has grown long CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Nov 20 2012, 2:50pm
                    *embarrassed* FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 21 2012, 8:45am
    The magic of politics CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Nov 20 2012, 12:58pm
        Answering without explaining sador Send a private message to sador Nov 22 2012, 3:48pm


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