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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM Day One - "Interlacing the War of the Ring" by noWizardMe
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TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Apr 13 2014, 8:37am

Post #1 of 40 (464 views)
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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM Day One - "Interlacing the War of the Ring" by noWizardMe Can't Post

Welcome to April 2014 TORn Amateur Symposium, the third TAS! Please come in, find a comfy chair, take a drink, and enjoy the beginning of TAS3!

To kick things off, we are very pleased to present the very first essay for TAS3:

Click here to read "Interlacing the War of the Ring" by noWizardMe

Abstract

At the end of The Fellowship of The Ring, the Fellowship breaks into groups, and is never fully re-united until after the destruction of the Ring. The action of the story is reported in a fashion called 'interlace'; following one group for a while and then weaving back in time to catch up with what the others have been doing. It is a system which Tolkien exploits for a variety of effects, and this paper offers a commentary on some of these.

To view an essay, please click on the link above.

Our authors have written essays and analyses that are concerned, in some way, with the legendarium of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. These essays may be philosophic opinions, scientific theories, or analytical approaches to understanding or highlighting some facet of Tolkien's writings and world. These pieces are written with the goal of amateur scholarship at their core - thus inspiring our Symposium title. Authors may choose to include citations or footnotes, but they are by no means required. Keeping in mind the dual spirit of enjoyment and inquiry that we believe in (as much as we value cheer and song), and which is of paramount important to both the TAS team and our authors, we fully encourage discussion of the essays presented. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy posting it. The TAS is open for discussion, and any comments, questions or thought you wish to share about this essay can be posted in this response to this thread.

We have quite a full schedule of essays - essays will posted every other day. The schedule can be found here.

So please, go forth and enjoy all of the works we have posted for this 2014 April Session. The entire TAS Team, (Elaen32, Brethil and DanielLB), is both delighted and proud to present the essays our TAS members have crafted, relating their interests and skills to the world of JRRT that we all love; a world most intricately crafted, and one that "takes hold of us, and never let's go."

Smile


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Apr 13 2014, 8:25pm)


elaen32
Gondor


Apr 13 2014, 8:07pm

Post #2 of 40 (291 views)
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A good analysis NoWiz [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it is the interlacing of the storylines which really make LOTR the " page turner" that it is. It hadn't occurred to me that the interlacing allowed for suspense, without pushing the credulity of the reader, but now it seems obvious! Yet another example of Tolkien's mastery of storytellingSmile


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in April. Happy writing!



BlackFox
Valinor


Apr 13 2014, 8:29pm

Post #3 of 40 (286 views)
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My thoughts exactly! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think it is the interlacing of the storylines which really make LOTR the " page turner" that it is. It hadn't occurred to me that the interlacing allowed for suspense, without pushing the credulity of the reader, but now it seems obvious!

This paper really makes me wish I had read the books before I saw the films, so I would have experienced the suspense at its max during my first reading.

Nice job, noWizardme! Smile


"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." - Henry David Thoreau


demnation
Rohan

Apr 13 2014, 9:39pm

Post #4 of 40 (269 views)
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Fantastic stuff, noWizardMe! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." Gandalf, "The Last Debate."


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 13 2014, 9:42pm

Post #5 of 40 (280 views)
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The films have a Different interlace, and wisely so [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for these comments!

Personally, I think the New Line team scriptwriters did a good job of setting up their own interlace. They had different needs from a book-writer. Firstly, a cinematic audience can't cope with more than a certain length of film ( not least because if bladder capacity). And release schedules may dictate that the next instalment is a whole year away. So it wouldn't have worked for the film to follow the books exactly: that would require them to spend the first half of the film on one Fellowship shard (Frodo and Sam say) before dropping them for the rest of the film to follow the other shards.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 14 2014, 12:39am

Post #6 of 40 (261 views)
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Inspired writing, NoWiz! [In reply to] Can't Post

Love the concepts here! Thanks for letting us feature this Furincurinir!Cool

First, one point jumps out at me right away when I read this, related to this section:

"This kind of heroism is a pattern in the story that the characters are aware of. It is a crucial constant when, on a smaller scale, almost nothing goes according to plan."

The way you expressed this, gives me the sense that for the story to work on the deo-philosophic level (since this plays such a deeply significant but background theme) of Eru and the watching Valar, and the bits that are 'meant' to happen, that it may be crucial for these characters to behave as a constant - once they have been selected for a noble task by Eru, outside of Time - to maintain the flow of time as foreseen. To behave in a consistent way, so that what has been foreseen may happen. Not predestination - they have the choice to act differently - but to follow the path that leads to the dreams and hopes of Eru?

Its a stretch maybe to relate that to interlacing; but what you say about obstacles becoming vital points later on could connect the dots. The unseen goal - unseen by that characters and even us but 'seen' by the powers that be (and the author) are perhaps the largest interweave?

I agree that Gandalf's resurrection is arguably the largest surprise; even Dernhelm is perhaps hinted at (by Dernhelm's early response to Merry) but I don't think that the return of Gandalf ever is. Appropriate perhaps, with the return being the direct hand of Eru into the drama: a singular event! Worthy of shock, surprise and joy.

The Third TORn Amateur Symposium kicks off this Sunday, April 13th, in the Reading Room. Come and join us for Tolkien-inspired writings!





**And Rem, you are doing that CoH chapter. Don't forget. **


(This post was edited by Brethil on Apr 14 2014, 12:39am)


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 14 2014, 1:02am

Post #7 of 40 (261 views)
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Great essay, Wiz! [In reply to] Can't Post

And this may not be a fair question, but you got me thinking: how could Tolkien have done this differently? Would it have been at all possible to follow Frodo throughout and cover the other events across the Anduin in a Legolas-recounts-the-Dead style? (Somehow, that last part would make a good rock group.) That sounds dreadful. What if Tolkien had broken it up more and we had nine stories to follow, or possibly five or six? How many different strands could a reader follow? But even so, he pulls a fast one on readers by shifting from Frodo's point-of-view to Sam's after they cross the Anduin, then swings back to Frodo after the Ring is gone, so that's a shift of another kind.

I appreciate the points you made about how Tolkien teases us to in this structure to build suspense. I suppose there are times when we know better. On first read, I couldn't imagine the good guys losing Helm's Deep and all dying. I'm not sure what I originally thought of the siege of Minas Tirith. Things did looks so bad that when that wonderful "Horns, horns, horn...Rohan had come at last." appeared, I thought, "So what? It's too late." But I was a little easier to fool as a kid than I am now. When Pippin had his last thought at the Morannon, I genuinely wondered if he'd died, not thinking Tolkien would play the same trick twice of bonking the hobbit on the head so they miss the end of the battle, and it was a long wait to find out otherwise.

I certainly DID wonder how they'd all come together again.

Do you see any flaws with the interlacing? One aspect of the story that I wished I'd experienced "live" was the whole Passes of the Dead/Arriving at the Pelennor sequence, maybe because I'm not satisfied with the way Legolas told it, and because it would expose us to more of Gondor. One thing I don't quite like about the movie is that it makes it seem like Gondor is just Minas Tirith and some ruins by the river, but I can't blame the movie, because we don't see much more than that in the book, and it seems that beside the tourism involved, Aragorn's story is as worthy of retelling as Theoden's. Maybe if I ask the Tolkien Estate nicely, they'll rewrite this to my taste.Tongue


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 14 2014, 1:11am

Post #8 of 40 (260 views)
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Gandalf's return [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't see Gandalf coming back to life at all on first read, but I was a kid then. Someone I saw the movies with who knew nothing of the story said after he died in Moria, "He comes back, right?" I remember thinking, "How did I miss it if it's so obvious to a newcomer?!?" I'm not sure there are any hints in the movies, other than an audience expectation that since we didn't actually see Gandalf die and he is a wizard, and it's Hollywood, there must be a way for him to come back. I don't think the book provides any clues.


Mikah
Lorien

Apr 14 2014, 3:54am

Post #9 of 40 (261 views)
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Seriously well done! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have always loved the way that "The Lord of the Rings" was written, but never really gave it much thought as to why it was so appealing to me. You hit the nail on the head here. Great analysis on Tolkien's writing style in this book. Very, very, well done! Now I wish I had time to read it again!!!


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 14 2014, 6:55am

Post #10 of 40 (242 views)
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Yes, this is what I was thinking as well. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
how could Tolkien have done this differently?


As well as "how does Tolkien do it so well?" I can't imagine there are many authors (or stories) that could pull it off. Are there any other examples of popular stories that are interlaced (I can't think of any off the top of my head)? It's certainly what keeps me turning the pages!

I imagine that there are some people that don't like this aspect of Tolkien's writing. There a bit like mini cliff-hangers each time the story switches to another group.

I don't really want to make the comparison, but it does have the quality of being like a modern day soap opera. It gives sufficient time to see what was going on in each party and develop the story better on both sides. Had the narrative been done differently, there's no way all of the characters would have been as developed as they are.


DanielLB
Immortal


Apr 14 2014, 7:42am

Post #11 of 40 (238 views)
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A nice bell-shaped curve ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a figure I quickly threw together depicting the interlacing of The Fellowship (Heresy! I did use movie images.) I'd like to have added Gollum et al. but ran out of time. I've tried to depict all major "splits".



Did Tolkien keep something like this as well, so he didn';t forget who was where and who with?


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 14 2014, 8:39am

Post #12 of 40 (236 views)
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But who does up the laces? Philosophical and Theological concerns [In reply to] Can't Post

 

In Reply To
First, one point jumps out at me right away when I read this, related to this section:

"This kind of heroism is a pattern in the story that the characters are aware of. It is a crucial constant when, on a smaller scale, almost nothing goes according to plan."

The way you expressed this, gives me the sense that for the story to work on the deo-philosophic level (since this plays such a deeply significant but background theme) of Eru and the watching Valar, and the bits that are 'meant' to happen, that it may be crucial for these characters to behave as a constant - once they have been selected for a noble task by Eru, outside of Time - to maintain the flow of time as foreseen. To behave in a consistent way, so that what has been foreseen may happen. Not predestination - they have the choice to act differently - but to follow the path that leads to the dreams and hopes of Eru?

Its a stretch maybe to relate that to interlacing; but what you say about obstacles becoming vital points later on could connect the dots. The unseen goal - unseen by that characters and even us but 'seen' by the powers that be (and the author) are perhaps the largest interweave?


Well that would be a whole new essay ('don't ...tempt me, Frodo...') Wink

I don't think there is A Correct Answer (and I like that very much). I'll try to explain:

I think you can read the story so that the interlace is a very well-constructed piece of plotting and no further: the author does not impose upon the readers that there must be some Grand Divine Plan at work (at best there are hints that some characters - e.g. Gandalf, Elrond - think that this might be so, but cannot be sure). This avoids something that would be fatal to the fiction - It seems to me at least that the characters must have choices about their perils for the novel to remain interesting. To me, it would be harder to be interested in life in Middle-earth as a sort of Rail Shooter [1] in which all the big decisions are made by gods or fate, and the characters can't really deviate much from that script.

Conversely, I definitely can see how the interlace could be seen as an analogy of the limited mortal perspective in a world which does have wider patters. I don't think This Is What The Story Means, though I thin it is certainly what is can mean, if you like. That perhaps requires a bit of elaboration - I think a nice thing about fiction of Tolkien's calibre is that it can mean many things - 'all of them at once' or none of them, depending on the reaction of the reader. Tolkien's dismissal of the theory that The Ring IS The Bomb (in his Foreword to 2e LOTR) shows us his impatience with turning his story into a simple cypher. ('Bilno Baggins! Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap fantasy worlds...' Smile ) But, if you like, then yes, each character perceives the War of the Ring as a muddle in which they do their best as they see it (or fail to do their best). They cannot really see the overall pattern as the the Valar and Eru do. The Shippey quote in my essay says that well, I think.

This leads me to an essay by Verlyn Flieger's essay entitled The Music and the Task: Fate and Free Will in Middle-earth (which appears in her excellent book Green Suns and Faerie, Essays on Tolkien). Dr Flieger argues that Middle-earth is designed to be a world where two forces co-exist: pre-destination ('The Music' played at the beginning by Eru et al. and marred by Melkor's excessive electric guitar soloing) and free will ('The Task' of the Children of Iluvitar to correct this problem) can co-exist. It's an essay I think I need to read again & think about some more - I don't feel I've 'got it' yet - But Dr. Flieger sums up her argument in her final paragraph thus:


Quote
The struggles undergone by the characters who inhabit Tolkien's fictive world require both order and spontaneity to justify them, to give them their meaning, and above all to create that uncertainty of outcome which is a hall-mark of effective fiction. The story needs its readers awareness of both the Music and the Task. Thus , we as readers must recognize that the original great theme, proposed by Iluvatar and spoiled in the making by Melkor, is embedded first in the ensuing Music and then in the world created through that Music. We must see that the spoiled Music goes uncorrected by the godhead, who instead assigns that task to one race of his created beings. We must honor the decision (not really Eru's but Tolkien's) to introduce into this unhappy, unfinished world the two unanticipated races of Elves and Men; and the further decision to give one race, men, the freedom to change their lives and through those lives to change the Music and thus the fate of Middle-earth and its inhabitants.


[1] Rail Shooter - a genre of video game in which the player's point of view advances along a set track. You might literally be on rails, or there is some other conceit to prevent you choosing which way to go. All we have to decide, in such a game, is how to rack up the maximum points in the time that is given us before the game moves on.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 14 2014, 8:59am

Post #13 of 40 (229 views)
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One could have fun 'doing a Mondrian' [In reply to] Can't Post

...try arranging the elements of the story in a different order, see what you get. I've suggested a few such experiments in my essay (e.g. what if we hear Faramir reporting to Denethor before we see him meeting with Frodo, Sam and Gollum?). I kept tripping over my laces (that is, putting the story in that order wasn't nearly as good, to introduced some problem), and so found it a good game for appreciating the writing more.

'Doing a Mondrian' is a family phrase I should explain. One day NoWizardme Jr. brought home some homework requiring him to make a picture in the style of Mondrian. I decided to have a go too, with some misguided comments about 'these things don't look too hard'. It's amazing what you learn about something from trying to do it....even if (perhaps 'especially when' ) you fail.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 14 2014, 9:08am

Post #14 of 40 (229 views)
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Phwoar,nice curves :0 [In reply to] Can't Post

It must indeed be pretty difficult to keep track of your sub-creation as author. I expect that there's a problem of mis-remembering now rejected bits and alternate plot lines and getting muddled. It's why authors traditionally need a good editor, to point out that if the character enters an 'upstairs room' he can't exit via the French Windows.

Another problem must be not being able to see the wood for the trees and the trees for the wood.

Your graph reminded me of an anecdote about P G Woodhouse. As he wrote pages of his stories, he would fix them to the walls of his room in a line. The better he thought a given page was, the higher up the wall he would fix it, thus giving him a sort of graph of the current quality of his writing, and enabling him to re-locate pages with which he wasn't yet satisfied. His aim was to get it all 'up to the dado rail' before submitting.

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 14 2014, 9:44am

Post #15 of 40 (237 views)
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knots in the laces? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Do you see any flaws with the interlacing?


I think it's a bit creaky that Gandalf doesn't tell Theoden et al. that they are 'going to a parley' at the ruins of Isengard, and that they have won not just a battle but a campaign, because unknown to them Saruman's power has been broken by the Ents. I'm not sure why he wouldn't want to tell them that (but Tolkien, of course really doesn't want Gandalf to spoil a surprise). As I mention in the essay, it just about works, because of what we've established about Gandalf's character.

Looking at the wider structure, I've sometimes found too much contrast between the fast-flowing events of the War of the Ring on the one hand, and the slow creeping of two and a half hobbits to Mordor on the other. But I'm not sure whether more cutting back-and-forth would work any better. And the creeping -so frustrating to a speed reader and plot-gobbler like me on his initial reads- is a deliberate and necessary effect (just as it is when the Black Riders pursue the wounded Frodo towards the Ford, or when the Fellowship exhaust all options but the route through Moria).

I think that's a general risk with this as a story-telling device. There's a bit of a jolt for me as a reader when the story drops one set of characters and picks up another. Maybe I want to know more about the old set, and grumble about being forced to read about he new set - until I get engrossed in their part of the tale. It's a problem I've had with Games of Thrones (a.k.a Songs of Ice and Fire) - George RR Martin's epic - which also switches between different, geographically separated characters. Reading that, I'd have a brief sulk about now being asked to read about, say, Daenerys, because I don't want to stop reading about Bran (or vica versa, or any other combination of Martin's characters).

Martin, you might say, has taken the interlace structure further than Tolkien, at least in complexity - his epic has from the start two 'laces' (Daenerrys, and the Stark clan) and then rapidly splits into many more as the Starks separate. Martin also has the controversial habit of killing off some of his protagonists, and then introducing another point-of-view character. Sometimes this new character is one we have already 'seen' though other protagonists' eyes, and sometimes (the most difficult transition for the reader) a new 'lace' of the story suddenly starts up again elsewhere with a new point-of-view character. This isn't, of course the place for a detailed analysis, even if I could do it (which I almost certainly couldn't). But you asked for suggestions of other fantasy stories using a similar device...

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 14 2014, 11:56am

Post #16 of 40 (227 views)
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The appearance of sophistication [In reply to] Can't Post

There are stories like Martin's where interlacing is a necessity, but one reason I don't read much fantasy anymore is because authors with a single plot line will sometimes force an interlacing structure on it in what I assume is a desire to appear sophisticated, or maybe they're think they need to tell the story the way Tolkien does. I notice bad movies do it too.

I feel the same jolt that you do in LOTR when switching to what's going on east of the Anduin. While it's a slower pace and more psychological instead of event-driven, it's a jolt all the same. I sometimes wonder if the slower Frodo story should be told first in TTT (of course in ROTK, there is no choice). I may read it that way on my next read-thru to see how it goes.


Khim
The Shire


Apr 14 2014, 12:42pm

Post #17 of 40 (225 views)
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Tighter Laces [In reply to] Can't Post

An enjoyable paper, Mr Wiz. I agree with your analysis and will simply add a few thoughts that occur to me. The conceit that the LOTR is a translation of tales from The Red Book, explains why the hobbits provide the crucial POVs. It is their parts in the great deeds of the day that drive the narrative. This coincides with a central Tolkien theme, the notion that seemingly insignificant individuals may significantly alter the course of major events, and it also helps focus the telling of an epic story. It started out as a sequel to The Hobbit after all, and their world and world views were closer to Tolkien’s own. So LOTR is a large tale told using limits set by it’s “smallest” characters.

Both the scale of the tale and the separation of it’s tellers demanded interlacing, particularly after the Breaking of The Fellowship. You covered the variety of nuanced ways Tolkien weaves the plot very well. We get an early taste of this even before Frodo leaves the Shire, when the hobbits split up on the way to Crickhollow. Note that one of the few episodes given detail outside the major hobbit characters is Fatty Bolger’s ordeal with the Black Riders. He was a hobbit who had a part to play, a member of The Conspiracy, and arguably a founding member of The Fellowship, simply the first to make a break.

Also present in Tolkien’s interlaced story are connections made to characters and events taking place in parallel narratives. The lights Aragorn sees on Weathertop, that we discover are Gandalf in battle, when characters wonder aloud about missing companions, when Frodo has visions upon Amon Hen, for example. Tolkien created something huge, but with focus, and a sense of connection, even when the protagonists were separated.

I would suggest that Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” is an example of interlacing without the limits I have been alluding to. I enjoy reading Martin’s saga, but it seems more episodic, less connected than LOTR. I admit I have a Tolkien bias. I like Martin, but I love Tolkien.

P.S. I noticed someone mentioned the slower Frodo narrative. I have read LOTR many times over many years, and my experience has been this. As a teenager I thought the Mordor storyline slowed things to a crawl so to speak, but as an old man I think this part is among the most powerful part of the book. Cheers.

I am Khim akin to Mim.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 14 2014, 12:45pm

Post #18 of 40 (213 views)
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Tolkien, like Mondrian, is much harder to do than it looks :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 14 2014, 1:03pm

Post #19 of 40 (217 views)
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Welcome to the Reading Room Khim! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad you liked the essay, and have joined the Fellowship of the Room.

I think that's a very good point - the choice of point-of-view character is also a concern for the author during the storytelling: usually we get a hobbit embedded in the party, and I'm sure you're right that they are 'more like us' and so make better points of view than if we followed Gandalf, say or even Aragorn.

I liked your description 'out of focus' for the view the different shards of the Fellowship get of each other. I think that's a great way to put it. Some of those are subtle - e.g. I think I'm right in saying that the Nazgul which appears to be hunting Frodo in the Dead Marshes is probably actually on its mission to go find out what the heck is going on in Orthanc, now that palantir communications with Mordor are down.

I also admit to reading the book through for a period by skipping the 'Ringbearer' books and just reading the War of the Ring parts - I found the trudge to Mordor to bleak and too slow. Similarly, I used to find Book I a bit too wandering. But like you, I've come to like those chapters once more

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 14 2014, 1:25pm

Post #20 of 40 (214 views)
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Book 4 before Book 3? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I sometimes wonder if the slower Frodo story should be told first in TTT (of course in ROTK, there is no choice). I may read it that way on my next read-thru to see how it goes.


I see - in your proposed reading order, The Breaking of the Fellowship would be followed by Taming of Smeagol up to Choices of Master Samwise. With Frodo captured by the Enemy, we then turn to Aragorn speeding up the hill, and then TTT ends with Gandalf, Pippin and palantir galloping off to Minas Tirith on Shadowfax. ROTK stays in its published order.

Let us know how it reads! I can't think of any major problems it would cause, off the top of my head. It would mean turning to the events of the War of the Ring (Book 3) whilst knowing that it could all be futile, if Sauron has nabbed the Ring from Frodo. I wonder whether that would be too much suspense? Or would it add (could it have been used to add) some pathos - highlighting still further that the Captains of the West mean to get on with fighting Saruman and Sauron, and this is still worth doing whether or not victory is already hopeless?

It makes me think - I haven't tried, in this essay, to add any insights from Tolkien's various drafts as now published in HoME. (That's for the simple reason that I haven't read enough of HoME to know this stuff. Oh..and 'it would have made the essay too long': yes, that's the reason of course Wink ). Maybe HoME would produce some further insights into how the Interlacing ended up as published?

Maybe we have some HoME scholars here who can answer that? Or maybe it would be a good subject for a further symposium piece (what is that twisting feeling in my arm? Laugh )

So I don't know to what extent your Books 2 - 4- 3- 5- 6 reading order would be repeating an experiment JRRT tried himself - did he think of doing it this way & decided it wasn't so good, or was it always clear to him what the sequence of 'Books would be?

( By 'Books' I mean Book 1 - Book 6, not the 3 'volumes' - FOTR, TTT, ROTK - in which the story was published: I believe that Tolkien was not altogether happy with the need to do that).

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Khim
The Shire


Apr 14 2014, 9:50pm

Post #21 of 40 (206 views)
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History of Middle-earth [In reply to] Can't Post

I have read all the material edited by Christopher, but frankly I was more intrigued by the Eldar Days, even the Lays. What I remember of the creation of LOTR, was that Tolkien's decisions always improved it. P.S. I have been meaning to revisit the History for some time.

I am Khim akin to Mim.


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 15 2014, 3:49pm

Post #22 of 40 (183 views)
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We will have the pleasure of reading Khim's TAS piece on the 21st [In reply to] Can't Post

"The Lessons of Prometheus in Tolkien's Legendarium" (As Khim is also Mim. Sounds like a Sil rebodying mystery, doesn't it?)
Looking forward to the presentation and discussion! And extending another Welcome. Cool

The Third TORn Amateur Symposium kicks off this Sunday, April 13th, in the Reading Room. Come and join us for Tolkien-inspired writings!





**And Rem, you are doing that CoH chapter. Don't forget. **


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 15 2014, 4:49pm

Post #23 of 40 (169 views)
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Does Mim become Khim because of getting a new SIM? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Apr 15 2014, 5:18pm

Post #24 of 40 (169 views)
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No... The way I heard it, Mim became Khim.....on a WHIM!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 15 2014, 9:03pm

Post #25 of 40 (159 views)
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But wait: was the whim that made Mim begin agin as Khim a whim of Mim, or a whim of Khim? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's enough to make my head hurt, anyone got any gin?

~~~~~~

"… ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.”
Arthur Martine

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

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