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***TTT-EE Appendices Discussion: JRR Tolkien- Origins of Middle Earth**


Jan 24 2011, 10:18am

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***TTT-EE Appendices Discussion: JRR Tolkien- Origins of Middle Earth** Can't Post

Hello! Here is the TTT appendix discussion of JRR Tolkien: Origins of Middle-Earth. Below are highlights and questions to answer should you chose tooTongue.

Of course if you have any other comments please feel free to share them.

Tolkien had a conversation with Lewis in which they both express the frustration that they couldn’t pick up and read the kind of stories they liked to read. Both of them came to the conclusion that they were going to have to write the books if they wanted to read them.

-Has there been a moment in your life were you felt just like them?

Tolkien and Lewis were very different people and it almost seems strange that they became friends. The differences include build, voice, and beliefs.

-If they were so different, why do you think they became friends?

-Was it their mutual love for writing that kept them close?

The Inklings came about because of the mutual friendship of Tolkien and Lewis. The Inklings were an informal club that met at the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford, England. They all enjoyed tobacco, a good ale, and good food. Just like Hobbits. But, they also shared an understanding for language and literature. Roughly twice a week they would get together, read some of the things they had been writing. They would get instant criticism sometimes, very harsh. A uniting experience was the First World War.

Tom Shippey stated how he thought that because they had been through the War and had many terrible things happen to them needed a new definition of the word “Evil” and they hadn‘t got one.

-Do you agree with that statement?

Christopher Lee believes there is no question that the Dead Marshes are an out pouring of what Tolkien had seen of people lying dead all around him in the War. John Rhys-Davies states that you cannot go through those experiences without asking the fundamental questions like “What am I fighting for?” and “Is there a God?”. Tom Shippey called them Traumatized Authors, they are all authors who have been severely traumatized in one way or another and now they are writing about what evil is. And for the most part they can’t do it in a reality. Fantasy is the best explanation.

-What are your personal opinions about these ideas?

Now we delve into how The Lord of the Rings was written. It is not written in the way you’d expect. He didn’t start out writing synopsis on The Lord of the Rings and sending it into a publisher. Tolkien wrote more for himself than he was an audience. If he ran into a problem in his story he would scrap the whole thing and start from the beginning. Instead of writing a book about myth, as would be expected and acceptable in his era, he revived myth and brought it to life by turning it into a complete history of earth and also an adventure that touches the heart. Lewis understood the scope and brilliance of writing Tolkien was reading to them. “It came like lighting out of a clear sky.”- Lewis.

-What do you think it would have been like to be Tolkien’s publisher reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time?

*Here comes the part I don’t care forMad.* Everyone talks about how Tolkien did it all wrong. How they would love to take a blue pen to the Council of Elrond. There are long parts “where nothing really happens” “As a writer it fills me with horror.” “A professional author wouldn’t have done it like that.” *And here’s the part that bugs me the mostFrown* Then they go on to say that it’s better that way because it’s a sense of realism. *It‘s like they can‘t argue with how well it‘s done or what an amazing read it is but, that‘s not how we do it and therefore it‘s “bad” but, it‘s not you see because it has realism. GRRRRRRPirate.*

-What are you thoughts on this section?

-Am I the only one who finds this part contradictory?

At the time when Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings it couldn’t be published as one book because of the paper rations. Therefore it was split up into a trilogy. During the post war era a single Lord of the Rings book would cost to much to make and would therefore have to be priced so high that no one could have afforded it. The Fellowship of the Ring was accepted by Tolkien as a satisfactory name for the book. It seemed natural as that was what it was all about. Return of the King was not accepted by Tolkien because it told the audience what happened but, he was overridden by the publisher. The Two Tower is the most interesting name. For the most part it is unclear what two towers he is referring to. On one occasion he said it was Orthanc and Cirith Ungol. On the other hand it could be Minas Tirith and Barad-Dur or Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul. Or it could be Orthanc and Barad-Dur.

-What are your thoughts on the name titles?

-What Two Towers do you believe are THE Two Towers? Or at least what do you picture when you hear The Two Towers?

Linguistically Tolkien had a lot going for him. He knew his stuff very well and it adds a depth and a sense of culture. He used Beowulf extensively for Rohan. The name came first when writing his stories.

-Tolkien created at least five languages. Do you think that helps make the books more unique?

Tolkien loved trees and thought they were very important. There is a hint that while Tolkien was writing Treebeard he was actually hearing Lewis’ voice and used that as how he was going to make the ancient Ent sound. The interesting thing is, even though Tolkien loved trees so much, he’s pretty ambiguous about them. There are sinister trees like Old Man Willow. But, he also used them to fulfill his desire to have the one scene in Macbeth completed.

There are two world views clashing in a sub plot of The Lord of the Rings. One that is green, organic, alive and one that is of wheels, gears, leavers.

Saruman changes from being Saruman The White to Saruman The Many Colored. For this he is reproached by Gandalf. But, Saruman doesn’t get his power from his genius or knowledge, it’s his voice. He is willing to use people to his advantage and this is the sign of his decline from Saruman The White to Saruman the Tool of Mordor.

The Lord of the Rings is complex in it’s narrative and in it’s style but, it’s heart is the relationship between Frodo and Sam. It’s relationship is equivalent to an Officer and his batman. One of the first things Peter told Sean was that his was a sacred relationship between the batman and the officer which was understood especially by Tolkien. The batman was characterized by their unfailing loyalty to the officer whom they served. But, on the other hand they didn’t want to cast Frodo as a pampered officer. It wasn’t so much that they changed Sam’s roots as they showed the side of Frodo that comes out in the books that needed Sam as well. Frodo needs Sam to lean on but, in the same light Sam needs Frodo because he is his motivation. Out of this comes their true relationship.

-Do you think the decision Peter and Co. made with Frodo and Sam’s relationship was a good one?

In many ways Gollum is the tragic hero of The Lord of the Rings. He started out as a simple Hobbit and by the corruption of The Ring he is now a starved creature.

“It is not his fault that he lost himself to The Ring’s evil influence.”

-What is your opinion of the above quote? Do you agree with it or think there is more to it than that?

After Tolkien finished The Lord of the Rings he realized The Hobbit did not match up with what The Lord of the Rings was saying. So, he had to rewrite the Riddles in the Dark chapter. In the original Gollum just lets Bilbo go after the Riddle Game. Now in the Rewrite Gollum is a threat to Bilbo’s life which in turn lets Bilbo show Gollum pity and mercy. The odd thing is Gollum is slightly hindering in the quest to save Middle-Earth. If Gollum had gotten his way ME would have been destroyed but, even through all that we feel compassion and mercy for Gollum as well.

Tolkien was careful not to make simple evil. That’s one of the reasons why Gollum is such a complex character. Except with Sauron, there is simple evil. But, the interesting thing is that even though Sauron is a very important character, perhaps the most important, we never see him. We see a representation of him only. It is something that “shouldn’t be done”. Don’t write a character that is your main villain and then never bring him out for the audience to “see”. And yet it is the fear of the unknown that drives people the most. An interesting point someone makes is the fact that the One Eye could represent a solid focus. Always intent upon that which it lost.

-Any thoughts on the two paragraphs?

Tolkien hated war but, ultimately he was saying that there are some things worth fighting for and that it is Freedom. The War of the Ring was a battle that needed to be fought. It was important and it was something they couldn’t get out off. It wasn’t as simple and “putting it away and never speaking of it again.”

-Any other comments?

*I just realized how small this post makes my sig look.LaughBlushAngelic*

Roast chicken?!

You're taller. Who? You. Then what? Then me! I've always been taller than you. Pippin, everyone knows you're the short one. I'm the tall one. Please Merry. Your what? Three foot six at the most. Whereas I'm pushing three seven. Three eight! Three foot eight! You did something.

It's Latin. Loosely translated, it means... we cheat.

"Strange treasures in this fair world appear, strange all, and new to me." That is a poem by Thomas Traherne and I have absolutely no idea what it's about. But, when I was small I was made to learn it by heart so I don't see why you shouldn't suffer too.

"Tell me, where is Santa for I much desire to speak with him."

(This post was edited by Gimli'sBox on Jan 24 2011, 10:20am)

Subject User Time
***TTT-EE Appendices Discussion: JRR Tolkien- Origins of Middle Earth** Gimli'sBox Send a private message to Gimli'sBox Jan 24 2011, 10:18am
    So much to pick from! weaver Send a private message to weaver Jan 24 2011, 3:58pm
    a few thoughts... batik Send a private message to batik Jan 25 2011, 1:42am
    I aspire to Tolkien's writing style... One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Jan 25 2011, 2:25am
    Thanks for this! FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jan 25 2011, 1:25pm
        rule breaking Arwen Skywalker Send a private message to Arwen Skywalker Jan 26 2011, 5:53am
            Creative writing courses FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jan 26 2011, 3:26pm
    Good versus Great Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Jan 26 2011, 6:08pm
    back for the main course weaver Send a private message to weaver Jan 28 2011, 5:31am


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