Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
Tolkien Fandom Prior to the Films
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea


Oct 22 2017, 1:48am

Post #1 of 27 (1379 views)
Shortcut
Tolkien Fandom Prior to the Films Can't Post

My mind goes this thought occasionally. Our fandom, no doubt, exploded with the release of FotR in December of 2001. I only had a taste of the pre-film fandom, reading The Hobbit a year and a half or so before, and the LotR books in early to mid 2001. But 2 memories linger in my mind that remind me of the fact that Tolkien was more of a secret handshake than the full blown pop culture phenomenon the franchise would become.

The first took place in my Television Production class in high school. My time was spent editing video projects, and when I had spare moments, using one of the computers to surf the internet (which had the rare virtue of having a fast connection). On this particular occasion, I was watching one of the LotR trailers (as many of us were prone to do in those days leading up to the films Tongue). I distinctly remember hearing, while watching the video, two fellow students off to my right talking. One girl asked the other what I was watching. The other responded (with more than a hint of derision) - "Some Elijah Wood movie..."

The second memory I recall much more fondly. I may have even told it here before. It was probably a month or two before the film came out (the "avalanche" had not yet began). I was working at my job at the local FOX news station, running the teleprompter out in the studio for the anchors to read. That day I had brought my one volume movie tie-in edition of Lord of the Rings (it was my first reread). It was sitting on the desk just off to the side of the teleprompter.

As it happened, one of my co-workers had their grandfather visiting the station to sit in during the newscast. He was seated next to me. During one of the commercial breaks, I sat there in silence waiting for us to come back on the air. Suddenly, the older gentleman glanced over at me, pointed his finger in the direction of my copy of LotR and, smiling warmly, whispered "That's a very special book."

I smiled back at him, nodding, and said "I know." The commercial break ended, and I went back to work. I don't recall if we shared any more words, but I remember the instant, wonderful connection I felt with this man I had never met before.

Such experiences (both pleasant and non-pleasant) ceased to be possible in the wake of what followed on December 19, 2001 and beyond. Or, at least if they happened, they didn't have the same meaning.

For those of you who had journeyed into Tolkien's world long before the thought of mass popularity was even conceivable, what was it like? Do you sometimes miss the quaintness of knowing that not just anybody recognized the words "My Precious..."? Or do you prefer the fandom in its current form (which has certainly yielded some absolutely wonderful things)?

"The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that."
- Viggo Mortensen

(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Oct 22 2017, 1:52am)


noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 22 2017, 10:24am

Post #2 of 27 (1270 views)
Shortcut
a very different age, and I missed out on a lot [In reply to] Can't Post

My own memories are probably not very helpful to you. I read first The Hobbit and then LOTR (repeatedly) between the mid 1970s and 1983. I discussed it with a few school friends who also liked it.
read Carpenter's biography of Tolkien and some other works about him and Middle-earth, which I borrowed from the public library. A teacher who also liked it lent me Bo Hansson's album 'Lord of the Rings' and some recordings of Tolkien reading things. I also heard (but did not like very much) Donald Swann's settings of Tolkien songs.

Hansson's music is rather charmingly of it's time (which I don' mean as a criticism). It is 'inspired by' rather than being 'a sound-track for' LOTR. It's currently available on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/...i3TGR0EopcQO2wokWFyn

But mostly it was a solitary pleasure, and perhaps the word 'fandom wouldn't be right for that experience at all.
Then I put the whole thing down, until the period early in parenthood when one can spend many,many hours being a presence in or near a darkened bedroom while an nervous child settles down to sleep. I got an eBook version of LOTR to pass the time - this would have been some time round about 2000 +/- a few years. Evenually, in 2012 I had some queries and googled this site - And, here I still am.

Clearly I was missing out on a lot of communal activity throughout all this time - this site has a timeline of Tolkien fandom https://fanlore.org/...ne_of_Tolkien_Fandom including soem edited highlinghts with my commentary:

Tolkien-inspired costumes at Worldcon by 1958

The poem 'The Passing of the Elven-kind' by Ted Johnstone, a lament for Elves gone to the West, was published in the zine All Mimsy; it's first known Tolkien fan poetry, 1959.

So 'zines' were obvioulsy already going and accepting Tolkien-inspired material by 1959 then
(a 'zine' was newsletter or magazine produced by amateurs. It's hard to remember now but right up to the advent of popular desktop publishing and the Internet, circulating stuff would mean either professional printing - probably too expensive- or duplication by 'Roneo' (http://www.woorillacaught.com/roneo-machines/) with the finished items being circulated by post to a list of subscribers. Finding out about these zines would in itself have been a challenge).
Zines specifically to cover Tolkien were going in the early 1960s, and so was fanfiction

As the 1960s progresses there were more zines, some filkmusic, and Tolkien Societies were organised. These things carried on and grew in the 1970s, but were unknown to me at the time.

The 1980s saw animated films released by Rankin-Bass, a BBC radio adaptation (with Ian Holm as Frodo). They also saw many publications about Tolkien (including of curse HoME and other works by the two Tolkiens JRR & C)

1990 gives us the first computer game and RPG (in Russia and possible LARP ?- but I can't tell for sure). The alt.fan.tolkien newsgroup founded in 1992, with other online discussion groups also appearing. At that item the Internet was barely more accessible than Mordor - <0.4% of the population was online. connections were dial-up, the first graphics-based browser did not appear until 1994, and search engines were in their infancy making it very difficult to find anything (Google launched in 1998). Online activity grew with the general use of the Internet, with our own favourite site TORN.net appearing in its first form in 2000 (I think)

That brings us up to the first Peter Jackson film - 2001

What was it like? Well, I recall the 'secret handshake' feeling you mention of discovering someone else who liked the same stuff. It's still like that on a wider scale, I think - quote a line fro the books or film and some people might get it, but most of the world is oblivious.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 22 2017, 10:53am

Post #3 of 27 (1260 views)
Shortcut
Hobbitskie Igrisha, anyone? [In reply to] Can't Post

I just did a bit more research about Hobbitskie Igrisha (Russian: Hobbit Games), an early 1990s Tolkien fan activity which I mentioned in my previous post.
Not much to find on Google in English but from this https://issuu.com/...h_fall_2016_issuu/43 it appears that people would dress in Middle-earth inspired costume, go to locations such as woods and do re-enactments of sword fights, battles etc.

Perhaps someone here knows all about it?

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 22 2017, 1:37pm

Post #4 of 27 (1258 views)
Shortcut
It was like having your own little secret society. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was part of a small (less than a dozen of us) group of Tolkien aficionados at my high school (we were each class of '71 or '72). We had our own Tolkien names, or Tolkien-ish names (yes, that's when I became "dernwyn"), and would write to each other in the Tengwar as laid out in the Appendices.

Then we graduated, and went our separate ways, and for years I'd read The Hobbit and LotR and the Sil with no peers for fellowship; work and raising a family took precedence (although I sufficiently steeped my kids in Tokien and C.S.Lewis and other appropriate fantasy works). On rare occasions I'd see a reference to Tolkien somewhere.

In those pre-Internet days finding fellow "geeks" was not easy, unless you had the fortune to read about a local group forming.

"Some Elijah Wood movie..." LOL! I wonder what they thought, a few months later! Cool


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 22 2017, 2:17pm

Post #5 of 27 (1254 views)
Shortcut
Animated Hobbitses [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The 1980s saw animated films released by Rankin-Bass, a BBC radio adaptation (with Ian Holm as Frodo). They also saw many publications about Tolkien (including of curse HoME and other works by the two Tolkiens JRR & C)


Well, technically all three animated Middle-earth movies (Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings, Part 1 and the two Rankin-Bass specials) came out in the 1970s, though the Return of the King made-for-television movie aired in 1980 (which should be reckoned as the last year of the previous decade).

The Mind's Eye audio dramas of TH and LotR were also produced in the '70s, airing on National Public Radio.

"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 22 2017, 2:21pm)


squire
Half-elven


Oct 22 2017, 3:06pm

Post #6 of 27 (1245 views)
Shortcut
Decades of solitary fandom, and Decades of calendric nomenclature [In reply to] Can't Post

On the original question, like others here, I was a Tolkien fan since the early 1960s almost entirely in context of my family. My mother read the books to me and my brothers, and had all the Tolkien books in the house in paperback or hardback, including the Ace edition of LotR and the Tolkien Reader, my first hint that his imaginary world was larger than just Middle-earth, so-called. I eagerly awaited the Silmarillion, collected the Pauline Bayles poster map, laughed myself sick over Bored of the Rings, and devoured the early Calendars with their tantalizing (and sometimes disappointing - Tim & Dim) illustrations. None of my friends in school were particularly into Tolkien, and I really don't remember experiencing those magic moments at cocktail parties that Peter Beagle so memorably referred to in his introduction to the Ace paperbacks, when you meet and bond with a total stranger with thrilling memories of the Bridge of Khazad-dum.

And, aside from my long and intense involvement with TORn and some spin-off semi-scholarly activities from it, I still don't feel part of any real-life (as in friends from work and life) fan community. Most people I meet who I mention my Tolkien interest to, respond vaguely with the comment that they really liked the movie but never tried or never got into the books.

I loved NoWiz's link to the Fan Activity wiki timeline. Amazing amounts of interest and activity out there, the entire time I was reading the books by myself and gradually losing focus in the decades leading up to the New Line films!

Now for a little pedantry. "Technically" is a loaded word, of course. I have to respectfully disagree with your mild correction to NoWiz's post.

The first year of the 1970s is 1970. The last year of the 1970s is 1979. Of course, the last year of the seventh decade (not the "previous decade") is 1980, but that wasn't the term used in the post. I believe it's very rare to refer to decades ordinally, because third decade begs the question of which century is being referred to and 1930s does not.

It's the opposite with the centuries. We often refer to them by ordinal number, i.e., the 17th, 19th, 20th, or 21st Century. In that case, to everyone's annoyance, the last year of the century is the 100th year (because we do not imagine there was ever a Year 0). Each century begins at 1, so 1901 was the first year of the 20th century, and 2000 was - technically and counter-intuitively - the last year of the 20th century. Boy, did that cause a lot of arguments at New Years parties in 1999 and 2000!

These days, following our more relaxed usage in referring to the decades numerically rather than ordinally, we do occasionally refer to centuries as the 1800s, or the 1900s, just as we do to the 1960s or the 1970s. And then the last year is just what it ought to be: 1999 was the last year of the 1900s by definition of the term, in the same way that 1979 was the last year of the 1970s.

Sorry for all that, but I found myself intrigued by your correction and tried to figure out why it seemed a little off!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 22 2017, 3:48pm

Post #7 of 27 (1230 views)
Shortcut
My own involvement with fandom(s) [In reply to] Can't Post

I should have added in my previous post that I wasn't actively involved in any Tolkien/Middle-earth fandom until after the Peter Jackson films started to appear. Even then it was a gradual thing.

Before that, I was a lettercol contributor to a number of comic books in the 1970s and '80s, and I became involved in anime fandom in the 1980s.


In Reply To
Now for a little pedantry. "Technically" is a loaded word, of course. I have to respectfully disagree with your mild correction to NoWiz's post.

The first year of the 1970s is 1970. The last year of the 1970s is 1979. Of course, the last year of the seventh decade (not the "previous decade") is 1980, but that wasn't the term used in the post. I believe it's very rare to refer to decades ordinally, because third decade begs the question of which century is being referred to and 1930s does not.


You will, I hope, forgive me if I must disagree with your disagreement. Angelic

If we are speaking of decades in a formal manner then the first decade of the Common Era was Year One through Year Ten; the second decade was Year Eleven through Year Twenty; etc. The term 1970s is simply shorthand for the eighth decade of the twentieth century and should properly be reckoned from 1971 through 1980. To do otherwise is sloppy or just plain lazy. Of course, all of this is very pedantic, academic and boring. Wink

And, yes, the twenty-first century began in the year 2001, not 2000.

"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Oct 22 2017, 4:02pm)


squire
Half-elven


Oct 22 2017, 4:20pm

Post #8 of 27 (1218 views)
Shortcut
My mistake [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course the years 1971-80 are the eighth decade, not the seventh as I wrote.

We'll leave it as a disagreement about whether the term 1970s is "simply shorthand" for the eighth decade, and so must agree with the ordinal system of starting in the 1 year and ending at the 0 year, as you say; or a term of colloquial language in its own right, with a one-year shift of reckoning that agrees with natural sense and so goes from the 0 year to the 9 year, as I believe.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 22 2017, 5:43pm

Post #9 of 27 (1197 views)
Shortcut
Anyway...'The Rankin-Bass animated films came out round about then...' :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 22 2017, 6:34pm

Post #10 of 27 (1206 views)
Shortcut
I wonder how much the films expanded the 'fandom' [In reply to] Can't Post

(I'm not sure want one has to do to be 'in the fandom' - care enough about Tolkien works to want to discuss them, I suppose, but various definitions are probably available, which will lead if we're not careful to Definition Wars)
Anyway...

It seems that about 150,000 copies of LOTR have been sold (detail here http://www.statisticbrain.com/...al-franchise-revenue and here http://www.statisticbrain.com/...ok-sales-statistics/

About 77,000 copies of FOTR had already been printed by the end of 1966. http://www.tolkienbooks.net/...nt-runs.php#sum-date
Printings are not sales are not fans, but clearly there was a large base of readers long before the films appeared.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Oct 22 2017, 6:35pm)


Greenwood Hobbit
Grey Havens


Oct 22 2017, 8:47pm

Post #11 of 27 (1193 views)
Shortcut
I discovered LOTR in the mid 70s [In reply to] Can't Post

just after the Professor had died, sadly. I devoured the trilogy - still have the disintegrating paperback somewhere - and became instantly entranced by Middle Earth. I had a poster on my living room wall, first a general group one where they all look like they need a good night's sleep, then one of Treebeard when the first one faded. I called our uninspiring little house Rivendell (my best friend called hers Lorien) and we'd refer to towering clouds and approaching bad weather as 'the claw of Mordor' and stuff like that. I found the Bakshi adaptation very intriguing with its blend of animation and live action, but was gutted when it stopped short at Helm's Deep! Apart from my friend, there wasn't really anyone with whom to share anything like a fandom. The more recent love of the amazing imagery of the films has overlaid those old experiences, and its been wonderful to be able to share so much, but I do remember the early days fondly.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Oct 22 2017, 9:13pm

Post #12 of 27 (1190 views)
Shortcut
Isolated. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was 18 and bored in a library when I thought I'd try 'that Rings book', and fell into Middle-earth. I didn't know anyone else who had read it so I had no one to discuss this great book with. In fact, one day I saw a car zooming away from me that had HOBBIT as its number plate and an insane urge hit me to run after it, just so I could to talk to another person who knew Middle-earth! Sly

Then news broke that Peter Jackson was making The Lord of the Rings movies and the two-year build-up was painful with anticipation. However no one came out of of the woodwork as fellow Rings fans so it wasn't until I came across TORN, a few months shy of FOTR being released, that I finally found 'my people'. Wink The relief and delight in being able to mention Hobbits and Silmarils and have people know what I was referring to was a giddy experience for a wee while. And boy did I learn a lot from many board members who knew a hell of a lot more about Middle-earth than I had gleaned from my readings.

This, I think, is one of the beauties of the internet: connection, across countries and across ages. It's a gift to be able to chat with 16-year-olds and 70-year-olds alike about this wonderful world created by an Oxford don.
Smile

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Loresilme
Valinor


Oct 22 2017, 9:36pm

Post #13 of 27 (1184 views)
Shortcut
I *still* don't know anyone, personally, IRL, who is a fan [In reply to] Can't Post

Aside from our wonderful community here and other online forums, and going to events like Comic Con or the like... that's it. My family is generally politely receptive to my interest in Tolkien, but that's about it. Nowhere in my real-life wanderings or among acquaintances, work, personal, etc., do I find fellow fans. It's strange, because obviously there are so many millions of very dedicated fans everywhere. Everywhere but where I live, apparently :).

I don't think the above was an answer to your original question, Aragorn :). To address that - I love the description of it as the 'secret handshake society', and I wish I had been part of it back then, but I wasn't a fan before the films. Even afterwards, I recall mentioning the films at work one day and got rather blank stares, except for one co-worker who said she fell asleep during ROTK :D.

So despite all the success of the books and the films and the fandom, etc., and even though some parts of it have become part of the collective awareness (like Gollum, e.g.) I still feel like it's a bit of a secret handshake society :).

It's a big world out there, after all :).


Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea


Oct 22 2017, 10:16pm

Post #14 of 27 (1181 views)
Shortcut
Oh yeah, I definitely don't know anyone in my personal life... [In reply to] Can't Post

...outside of one very old friend (who doesn't live near me) who is into Tolkien. But you feel it permeating society through the internet, merchandising (I still see LotR Pez dispensers around LOL), TV references (thank you Stephen Colbert), etc.

That disconnect used to bother me (you can only take so many eye rolls from family members for loving something so near and dear to your heart). But got over it and began embracing our online communities (TORn, specifically) all the more strongly.

"The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that."
- Viggo Mortensen


squire
Half-elven


Oct 22 2017, 10:19pm

Post #15 of 27 (1184 views)
Shortcut
Point of order of magnitude, Mr. Chairman [In reply to] Can't Post

The site you referred to says the Lord of the Rings book has sold 150 million copies, not 150 thousand. So that would be the figure to compare 77 thousand printed copies to, from 1966.
1966: 77,000 printed
2016: 150,000,000 sold
I wish I had more confidence in that site's database. The citation for LotR sales is weird ("Source: Statistic Brain Research Institute (Online / Direct Response Mail)"), and the publication date given is 1937, eerily similar to The Hobbit's publication date (for which by the way sales to 2016 = 100 million).

But if the numbers are even remotely correct, we could conclude that Tolkien's popularity as an author after 1966 really skyrocketed. The really interesting number, I suppose, would be sales up to 2000, compared to sales since the films were released. And then there's the question of sales= reading?= fan?, as you say.

And I agree about the dubious concept of being 'in the fandom'. The fan activity wiki you found seems to emphasize cosplay, con attendance, zine reading, and fan fiction as markers of being a real fan. I have never done any of that (except of course that TORn is kind of an updated zine!); on the other hand, there's nothing there about making papier-mache topographical maps of Middle-earth in Cub Scouts, which was how I expressed my fan qualities back in the day - had I even known I was a 'fan', which I didn't. I thought I just really liked the books and the world they conjured up.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea


Oct 22 2017, 10:27pm

Post #16 of 27 (1180 views)
Shortcut
I don't know if I could have endured that. [In reply to] Can't Post

You guys have my admiration for carrying the torch, so to speak, during the years without the internet. Smile I often talk myself these days about the toxic effect of people constantly being online, social media, etc. But there can be no doubt that a lot of good has come about as well. As you say, the fact that we can all connect, regardless of age, location, etc., to talk about our shared love of the Professor's works, is an absolute gift.

It makes you realize that as big a shift in the "fandom" as the release of the films were, the beginning of online message boards were probably just as big (if not bigger) of a paradigm shift. It's something I'm admittedly ignorant of, having been online since my early teens (around '97).

"The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that."
- Viggo Mortensen


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Oct 22 2017, 11:50pm

Post #17 of 27 (1177 views)
Shortcut
You make it sound like the Dark Ages! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
You guys have my admiration for carrying the torch, so to speak, during the years without the internet. Smile


Laugh

I'm kidding with you. It was certainly more difficult to connect, and often more expensive (especially from far-flung and low-population countries like NZ). I remember subscribing to LOCUS magazine just to have news from the fantasy/SF world, which was fairly pricey and arrived a month late. Now it's available immediately on my computer. Almost like magic. Smile

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 23 2017, 6:58am

Post #18 of 27 (1131 views)
Shortcut
Oops- thanks for catching that mistake // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 23 2017, 9:56am

Post #19 of 27 (1131 views)
Shortcut
Perhaps the Internet has made the biggest difference? [In reply to] Can't Post

That site I linked to earlier suggests that most of what goes on now - cosplay, fan fiction, games, fan art, fan music, critical discussion - was already happening in the 1960s and 1970s. There might not be many ways of engaging with Middle-earth that weren't available then in the same or similar form (e.g. squire's idea that this forum is effectively a speeded-up free zine).

It seems that I'm not untypical in that I had no idea that these things were going on.

If I had known, there was probably little prospect of me, a child or teenager in Greater London subscribing to (say) a zine that was a bit like the TORn Reading Room being produced in America - the cost of transatlantic postage and the problems of buying something in dollars would most likely have been too much.

The Internet has helped enormously with both those problems - discovery and easy access to what one's discovered.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Oct 23 2017, 6:23pm

Post #20 of 27 (1097 views)
Shortcut
It was a dark and empty world [In reply to] Can't Post

before I found Tolkien. I've got a bit of my story here from a 2008 post. I had never heard of Tolkien or hobbits, and the only person I knew that had any history with them was my then husband. Then again, it was before anything like the internet or open discussions about anything fantastical. It was during the Vietnam War, so the only possible candidates for discussion were freaks or hippies. Not a social set I had much of an opportunity to hang out with. ;)

Also, not having any funds to play with, I didn't get to stores very much. There were some things out there. Calendars and small pewter characters. I did get a few of those pewter characters from a nearby hobby shop. I also would stumble on posters through the years. I still have all of those things I found :)

I got lost in the books we'd found. I developed strong images of each character in my mind, and sometimes would use actors who fit those strong images. The only one that survives is Ned Beatty as Sam.

When Bakshi's film of The Lord of the Rings came out, I was so excited! Finally, something serious and huge and at the movies! There are several characters and moments in that adaptation that still mean so much to me. An island in a wide ocean! Some also still makes me cringe ;) But whenever they used lines straight from the text, I'd sigh in happiness. While I enjoy some of the Rankin/Bass animated films, they didn't have as much of an impact on me because I'm not a big fan of Rankin/Bass. Their stuff was all over the place for many years. I didn't like my characters to become overdone caricatures. BUT I still embrace them as part of the evolution of Tolkien's World... and mine ;)

Then, in the summer of 2001, I heard that they were making the films. I immediately got very territorial and indignant. "Don't bother making them if you can't do it right." I hadn't really ever been on the internet much let alone fan sites. I found the "Official" website and clicked on the images and descriptions of the characters. I gasped and started to cry. They were all exactly as I had imagined them all those years!! Then I began to learn more about Peter Jackson and their filming process... and everything is going to be ok. And it has been. :) I also knew so many more people who knew about Tolkien if not as fans themselves. Goodness, my family became great enablers for me, even if they never saw the films let alone read the books.

So since I found the internet, the attention to Tolkien and Middle-earth has blasted wide open from the arid desert there had been for the 30 years before. Between the internet and Jackson's films, there really is no way to compare then and now, imho. I'm just so happy that the films broadly introduced Tolkien's World to so many generations. Not just watching the films, but for the millions who have picked up the books and love a good read. I think that would make the Good Professor very happy :)




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit

(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Oct 23 2017, 6:25pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 24 2017, 5:22pm

Post #21 of 27 (1056 views)
Shortcut
Wonderful! [In reply to] Can't Post

We few, we narfy few, we band of brothers (and sisters);
For he (and she) that reads LOTR
Shall be my brother (or sister); be he (or she) ne'er so vile,
This shall gentle his (or her) condition.


Back in the sixties I considered anyone who’d read LOTR to be a friend I hadn’t met yet. You’d see somebody carrying around the book, it’d give you an excuse to say hello, and next thing you know you’d be in a long conversation like you’d known them for years. That changed a bit when the Sil came out because sometimes you’d end up locking horns with somebody who absolutely hated it. And then the movies came out and I was really disappointed with the vicious hate filled rants by “Real Fans”, “Purists”, and "Tolkien Scholars". I learned then that my fellow LOTR fans were nothing special. They were just regular human beings like everyone else. And you know what stinkers they can be.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”




noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 26 2017, 9:54am

Post #22 of 27 (954 views)
Shortcut
'But it's *my* fandom; my precious...' [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And then the movies came out and I was really disappointed with the vicious hate filled rants by “Real Fans”, “Purists”, and "Tolkien Scholars".


Maybe that factionalism pre-dates the movies a long way, too:


Quote
November 1969: The Tolkien Society was founded in the UK as a "response to the appropriation of Tolkien's works by the wilder fringes of the hippie movement"

https://fanlore.org/...ne_of_Tolkien_Fandom


~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 26 2017, 1:37pm

Post #23 of 27 (951 views)
Shortcut
Tolkien appropriation [In reply to] Can't Post

I recall reading that some English fans considered LOTR so essentially English that you had to be raised in England to really understand it so Americans shouldn't even bother.

Tolkien seemed to have a more tolerant view:

In America, especially, Tolkien words are creeping into everyday usage; for example, mathom, meaning an article one saves but doesn't use. A senior girl at the Bronx High School of Science says: "I wrote my notes in Elvish. Even now, I doodle in Elvish. It's my means of expression."

What does Tolkien think of that? Does he like Americans? "I don't like anyone very much in that sense. I'm against generalizations." One persists. Does he like Americans? "Art moves them and they don't know what they've been moved by and they get quite drunk on it," Tolkien says. "Many young Americans are involved in the stories in a way that I am not."

"But they do use this sometimes as a means against some abomination. There was one campus, I forget which, where the council of the university pulled down a very pleasant little grove of trees to make way for what they called a 'Culture Center' out of some sort of concrete blocks. The students were outraged. They wrote 'another bit of Mordor' on it."

-Interview with Tolkien by Philip Norman of The Sunday Times, London, as published in the NYTimes, January 15, 1967


But yeah, English fans felt the need to act against the American appropriation of Tolkien:

In late 1968 various people began talking about forming a British Tolkien Society (there was already one in America) in part to counter the use of Tolkien's works by the extremes of hippiedom and the author Vera Chapman advertised in December 1969's issue of New Statesman the conception of The Tolkien Society, thus it is now in its fortieth year.
-Ian Collier, Festival in the Shire, Issue #2.

Even my own high school in South Oak Cliff, a rough part of Dallas, had a Tolkien Club where we tried to learn to talk and write in Sindarin.

Disappointingly enough, when I finally got to England in the 1970s, unlike the USA I never saw anyone there with a copy of LOTR. And I looked.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”




(This post was edited by Darkstone on Oct 26 2017, 1:42pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 26 2017, 2:14pm

Post #24 of 27 (946 views)
Shortcut
However [In reply to] Can't Post

When I later got to France I did see someone carrying around a copy of Le Hobbit in Paris' Left Bank. She and her friend were nice. They were big Tolkien fans.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”




(This post was edited by Darkstone on Oct 26 2017, 2:20pm)


noWizardme
Valinor


Oct 26 2017, 5:24pm

Post #25 of 27 (929 views)
Shortcut
'Extractor fans' [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I recall reading that some English fans considered LOTR so essentially English that you had to be raised in England to really understand it so Americans shouldn't even bother.


What a silly idea!!!

I suppose it's inevitable, people being involved, that a special interest doesn't only stir up positive emotions such as fellowship; it also stirs up negative ones such as competitiveness, possessiveness, prejudice and snobbery.

It must be a general problem - the stand-up comedian Dave Gorman has a very funny sketch about what he calls 'Extractor fans' - fans who seem only able to be fans in a way that extracts the joy of it from other people. It seems familiar (though not from these boards). For example, the extractor fan expresses surprise that someone claims to be a fan and yet does not know some extremely obscure fact. Or their computer has more RAM and a better graphics card than yours Their collection is larger or more original, their motorcycle more powerful, their hi-fi has more fidelity. Their tastes are edgier, and yours are too mainstream. Their understanding is deeper and loftier (in some indefinable way, of course). They have shaken hands with more celebrities; their cosplay or re-enactment costume is more accurate. Tolkien would prefer a pint with them to one with me. Only their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard...

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.