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Remembering Reverend
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Elizabeth
Half-elven


Feb 21, 1:13am

Post #1 of 26 (7375 views)
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Remembering Reverend Can't Post

A recent thread on Balrogs summoned from the depths of grammaboodawg's archives the memorable 2003 commentary on this subject by beloved First-Ager Reverend, who died untimely in July, 2003: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=956757#956757

Sadly most of his posts were lost in the wreckage of TORn's earlier server.However, I was inspired to go searching, and found some memorable remnants. Here are a few short ones, and I will post a longer one separately.

[2002, on which Elves can sail West]

Quote
Tolkien unambiguously stated that ONLY the High Elves - which excludes even the Sindar - were eligible to sail. He also unambiguouly stated that any Elf who didn't leave when Elrond did had made an irrevocable choice.

The trouble is that he unambiguously violated these unambiguous declarations. And then, just to score the trifecta, he let Celeborn, then Nandor, sail too. THEN he redefined Celeborn as Sindar. THEN as Teleri, which qualifies him as a High Elf anyway. THEN we find Lorien, which had to be mostly Nandor, deserted when Arwen returns there, presumably because the whole population has sailed. And in UT Elves from Lorien, mostly Nandor, are already sailing in the time of Prince Amroth. There is no question that Nimrodel, explicitly Nandor, is elegible to sail. If she can go, why not Thranduil's (Nandor) folk? (just to confuse things, she might be eligible as Amroth's wife, as the marriage bond counts for a lot...except in the original concept Celeborn was unable to follow Galadriel).

It is my opinion that once you add up all the exceptions any Elf can sail except the Avari, whom we never see anyway. Or at least, it would take some careful editing and rewriting to impose any tighter rule.


[On Frodo, confronting the massive army pouring out of Mines Morgul and despairing: "I am too late. All is lost. I tarried on the way. All is lost. Even if my errand is performed, no one will ever know. There will be no one I can tell. It will be in vain.’ Overcome with weakness he wept. And still the host of Morgul crossed the bridge." Reverend invokes the movie TTT where Sam articulates what keeps him going.]


Quote
Here I must sharply criticize the movie (which I generally endorse) for Just Not Getting It. Frodo and Sam carry on because carrying on is itself the right thing to do, NOT because there was some good worth fighting for. Frodo isn't holding on to anything; his despair has NOT lifted, and he is sure that there will be nothing good to come home to. But he has been given a duty, and will keep faith with those who entrusted it to him, even should they and he perish. Again, I think it a philosophy particularly relevant to the Trenches of the Somme, and not a bad one for life in general.


From 2002, Morgoth's Taint explained:

Quote
I find it very helpful to think of Morgoth's corruption of the earth in terms of radioactivity; there's a little bit of it everywhere (background Morgoth), and it can be concentrated and/or used as a power source.


Finally, here's an amazing document that he posted, a gift from a friend of his who's an evolutionary biologist. Fortunately, I have a link to it: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=629964#629964.


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Feb 21, 1:22am

Post #2 of 26 (7279 views)
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The Greatest Fighting Elf [In reply to] Can't Post

Reverend's response to Entmaiden's question, "Is Legolas the greatest fighting Elf?"

Not nearly. He's not even in the top ten. My ranking:

1. Feanor; held off several Balrogs for some unspecified, but prolonged, time in single combat. And besides, he's just #1 in everything.

2. Fingolfin. Feanor's brother. Fought Morgoth one-on-one before the gates of Angband. Sure, he died, but would YOU mess with the guy who is the reason the Devil is lame?

3. Ecthelion. This one could be argued, but the Lord of the Fountain of Gondolin took down Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs WITH TWO BROKEN ARMS.

4. Finrod Felagund. Took on Sauron in magical combat. He lost, but made it respectable. Then when a werewolf came to eat Beren while they were chained to a wall, Finrod broke his chains and killed the thing barehanded. I don't see Leggy-poo even trying that trick.

5. Maedhros. Son of Feanor, we don't have many records of his great deeds, but he's got to go in here somewhere. The greatest warrior of the Sons of Feanor, he lost his right hand, but became equally dangerous with his left.

6. Gil-Galad. With his Spear Agilos, with Elendil and Narsil at his side, the High King was 'invincible.' Together, those two took down Sauron WITH THE RING.

7. Mablung of the Heavy Hand; could easily be swapped with #8 below, Mablung was Thingol Greycloak's enforcer for about fifteen thousand years.

8. Beleg Strongbow. The greatest tracker of all time, the most loyal friend, and the hair-tearing death scene. Thingol's left-hand man.

9. Glorfindel. Anybody who kills a Balrog deserves a spot. And dying doesn't disqualify, since EVERYBODY who fights a Balrog dies. Besides, he got better.

10. Turgon. For his heroics at the fall of Gondolin.

Below these ten you have the rest of the Sons of Feanor, and a truckload of other High Elves of the First Age (Including everybody whose name begins with 'Fin'). Gwindor of Nargothrond, led an ill-advised charge at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears that cut clean through the host of Morgoth, and BROKE THROUGH THE GATES OF ANGBAND. Cut off, captured, tortured, and enslaved, Gwindor survived, escaped, and made it cross-country back home. As Princes of the Noldor go, he's got to be considered a third-rater.

THEN you can start to think about Third Age folk. Gildor and his troop are Exiles. Do you realize what that means? It means they marched out of the Undying Lands and fought through the whole War of the Great Jewels AND EVERY WAR SINCE. And I am sure that High-Elven spear-carriers like Erestor in the House of Elrond wouldn't have to break stride to whomp a late-born Sinda like Legolas. Elrond himself is no doubt a heavy hitter, what with the blood of Beren and Tuor in the mix.

No, Legolas may be at the high end of the rankings among a rustic folk of a degenerate age, but he, like us all, can't hold a candle to the heroes of old.


squire
Half-elven


Feb 21, 1:37am

Post #3 of 26 (7289 views)
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I have always cherished his takedown of the "Something worth fighting for" speech [In reply to] Can't Post

It captured for me the difference between the films and the books. Like the Reverend, I admire the movies for what they are, but it is idle to assert or imagine that they didn't, in many ways, distort the messages of the books. The films continually projected a more more Modern, or perhaps more Commercial or Sentimental, sensibility that would appeal to a broader segment of today's film audiences.



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.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 21, 1:55am

Post #4 of 26 (7277 views)
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This reminds me of a discussion way back in the mists of time. [In reply to] Can't Post

There was a question along the lines of, 'What would you bring into battle in Middle-earth', and someone answered, "An Elf whose name starts with 'Fin'".


In Reply To
Below these ten you have the rest of the Sons of Feanor, and a truckload of other High Elves of the First Age (Including everybody whose name begins with 'Fin').


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.


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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 21, 2:03pm

Post #5 of 26 (7221 views)
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What a great idea, Elizabeth :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll bring my posts here as I find them. You're a wonderful Steward :)




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noWizardme
Valinor


Feb 21, 4:17pm

Post #6 of 26 (7211 views)
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I'd be pleased to see The One About The Wizard's Staff [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard about it (and indeed have been a post impressionist about it - see below). But I don't recall that I've actually read it.


Quote
I like an idea that (I think) originally came from one of the Reading Room greats from before my time - The Reverend. His idea was that the staff was the complement to the human body of the wizard: it contained the non-human aspects of the original maiar. I don't recall whether The Reverend went on to speculate about the results of that in terms of the powers a staff might have - but perhaps someone remembers, or can find that old discussion?

NoWiz http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=911486#911486


~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Feb 21, 10:56pm

Post #7 of 26 (7193 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

very, very much. Before my time, so a window into those days is priceless.



kzer_za
Lorien

Feb 22, 3:24pm

Post #8 of 26 (7146 views)
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Is Sam's speech the movies' definitive philosophical statement, though? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or is it merely a perspective that, while true, is incomplete? I think it is helpful to contrast the ending of The Two Towers with the other two movies, which are very different. Fellowship ends with everything having fallen apart: Gandalf is dead, Boromir succumbs to corruption and only redeems himself by a heroic death, Merry and Pippin are captured, and Frodo is emotionally shattered.

Note that Boromir's death does not even succeed in saving Merry and Pippin as intended, but there is no doubt it was the right thing to do. Only Frodo and Aragorn's resolve and Sam's friendship give us any reason for hope. Very importantly, what gives Frodo the strength and will to go to Mordor is not the goodness in the world - not even his friendship with Sam - but Gandalf's words that "all we/you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us/you."

Return of the King ends with Frodo, despite his success, somewhat broken by his journey and unable to hold onto the goodness in the world. He that finds that "we saved the Shire...but not for me" and that he has been wounded too deeply, both psychologically and physically, to find any peace in this world. Despite the Scouring's omission, this is hardly a modern Hollywood ending.

Also note Frodo's vision of Galadriel after Shelob's Lair that inspires him to keep going: "This task was entrusted to you, Frodo Baggins..."

It is true that Sam's speech takes a more optimistic note than the "stories" passage in LotR. But Tolkien had a more optimistic side too, and Sam's speech is also a composite with the hopeful passage where he sees a star in Mordor. And I still think the movies overall preserve the more tragic side, even if not to the same degree.


(This post was edited by kzer_za on Feb 22, 3:38pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Feb 22, 5:55pm

Post #9 of 26 (7106 views)
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Agreed that the movies, like the books, can't be easily pinned to one statement [In reply to] Can't Post

that neatly summarizes everything. Both are complex.

Your post made me think of the movies where Gandalf and Pippin are in Minas Tirith after the main gate has been broken down and a troll is beating on the next gate. Gandalf tries to console Pippin with a story about "the afterlife" (describing sailing West), or so it seems from the movie-verse. Then they are yanked back to the reality of what seems like dying a heroic but futile death (like Boromir's, and like Frodo's against-all-odds quest) as the city is overrun and evil wins. Then the miraculous scrubbing bubbles arrive and save the day, but no one foresaw them coming, and Gandalf was preparing for death, not rescue.

(Gandalf: "Death is just another path that we must all take.")


noWizardme
Valinor


Feb 22, 7:10pm

Post #10 of 26 (7112 views)
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'definitive' or not, we can still discuss the "Something worth fighting for" speech, & whether it captures something of Tolkien's intent [In reply to] Can't Post

Do I sense a possible rabbit hole? A discussion about what, if anything the movies' definitive statements were could be interesting -- but I wonder if we're in danger of getting it mixed up with what would best be a different discussion about Reverend's point? The "Something worth fighting for" speech sticks in the memory, and I think it was cleverly designed and achieved to do just that. So whether or not it is the definitive philosophical statement, it does seem to be designed as a big statement - an effective way to wind up Film II on a high note. Maybe it doesn't matter, for the purposes of that discussion whether Sam gives the primary, secondary, or enthery statement the movies make?

I recently found a transcript of a talk given by Prof Tom Shippey, which is interesting in the subject of how Tolkien's themes were changed for the movies. So here I'm adding to a discussion of Reverend's point, but it's not particularly relevant to whether Sam's speech is to be taken as the movies' key manifesto.

[My attempted summary of the long quotations below] I think Prof Shippey's points are that changes had to be made for the movies, both for the needs of the new format and an age (or at least an audience) with a more sentimental and less harsh view of people and duty and events. So far that seems to me at least to chime with the late Reverend's thoughts. There's also a point about bewilderment - in the book the characters mostly have to cope without knowing what is going on, and we readers often don't know any more than they do. That perhaps (neither Shippey nor I am sure) just wouldn't work when the book was turned into 3 movies, released with a year's break between each. Perhaps the plots just had to be simplified and the heroes given 'something worth fighting for' that was easy for audiences to understand and remember, rather than faithfuly following Tolkien's theme of carrying on doing your own task, in the faith that it's the right thing to do.

Please note the following is a transcript, and so has the usual untidiness of these things, plus some trivial transcription errors (such as 'Mary' for 'Merry') that can very easily be corrected mentally as one reads.


Quote
“...they [PJ & team] felt that every character had to have a journey. Journey was the word they used. And so Faramir had to be given a journey of development and change. So he had to think one thing one time and then change his mind and come to a better realization. And it was Sam that made him do it. They did the same thing just to mention it with Pippin. Pippin is actually given responsibility for changing Treebeard's mind. So actually they liked to build in scenes in which people change their minds because that made them have a journey. And they liked to build in scenes in which apparently minor characters were responsible for major plot changes. So they're kind of equalizing the roles of the characters you might say.”

Part of a transcript of a talk given by Prof Tom Shippey, titled “Tolkien Book to Jackson Script: the Medium and the Message”.
Venue: Swathmore College, PA, USA.
https://www.swarthmore.edu/...t-medium-and-message


So that's one reason for having movie-Faramir march his hobbit captives around in a circle, and giving the keynote TT speech to Sam. As regards what big Tolkien themes might be available for Sam to address, Shippey discusses a bunch of other movie/book changes and then says:


Quote

Well, underlying all this, I feel is a different attitude to people. I would say that Jackson attitude, which is also the one of our time. Is really a more sentimental one than Tolkien's. Tolkien in some ways, was a rather harder person emotionally I would say than Jackson is. And also, that was what people were more used to in the 1950's. One thing I just mentioned on passant is that, never forget ... Never forget that the inklings were effectively a veterans organization. After World War II when Britain were still on rations. Some of Tolkien's ... Some of Louis's [CS Lewis's, I think] admirers would send him things like a ham from America. Then they would cook the ham and have a dinner for the inklings and then they'd write a little letter of thanks. They usually wrote it on the back of the menu. Yeah, one of these menu's survived. They all would write down their names, and their jobs and their regiments. So they put down Lancashire fusileers, Somerset light infantry.

Christopher Tolkien put down Royal Air Force volunteer reserve. Everybody put down what they could, if they couldn't do anything else, they'd say "Oh well I was an air raid warden." But just the same, everybody did their best to indicate some kind of military connection. That perhaps has something to do with the different beliefs about people. However, now I've come to a hard topic. I think there's also a different belief about events. About the nature of events. This is where I wonder whether this is an accident of the change of medium, or deliberate decision. I'll tell you what I think about it, but I have to say this rather summarily. Because if I try to say it fully, I think the point will get lost. So I'm actually trying to summarize this as briefly as I can. I would say this, first a major feature of Tolkien's books is a sense of bewilderment.

The characters are often bewildered and they're bewildered in two senses. They're bewildered because they're lost in wilder land, they don't know where they are. Sometimes of course, they discuss where they are. Mary and Pippin are particularly lost because they're too idle ever to look at a map. But even Aragorn has a good idea where everything is, he is often lost in the sense of not being sure what to do. So they're bewildered in being lost in wilder land, but they're also bewildered in they don't know what to do. Aragorn in particular feels this strongly I think at the start of book two, because he has to make a string of decisions. Okay, Mary and Pippin have been carried off. Frodo and Sam have gone off in the other direction. Who's he gonna follow? ...

[Tolkien's book timelines] leap frog all the time. You follow some characters up to a certain date, then you go back and then you follow another group of characters to a bit past that date. Then you go back and they keep zig-zagging past each other. So that actually, the characters never quite know what is going on elsewhere. You get these strange scenes of flashback. So what I'd say, is that in the movie that has all gone. You get a sense of much more of things happening simultaneously at the same time and you're switching from one scene to another. Which are thought to be taking place effectively simultaneously. In other words, what has been a complex zig-zag has actually turned into two straight lines, which are nevertheless broken up. But not broken up ever for very long.

Well first question, was that inevitable? I don't know. I've never had to make a film. I think it probably was actually. But it's a question of attention span. You can't actually expect the movie audience to stay fixed on one thing and wondering every now and then about what's goin on elsewhere....

...My general conclusion though is it seems to me, and I hope that the film fans will not turn on me here. That movies are less subtle mode of communication than books. I also think that Tolkien's book anyway, is harsher and more pessimistic than the movie. It has a much stronger sense of loss, however I'm not too concerned about that. I just think it's a case of things being different. One last point I'd make, I really did appreciate some of the things that Jackson did. ...

ibid


~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Feb 22, 7:30pm

Post #11 of 26 (7111 views)
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It's not just Reverend. [In reply to] Can't Post

There were a lot of brilliant contributors on TORn pre-2007 (when we switched to the new servers). A lot of the first-look discussions of the films were worth saving, for example, as well as other brilliant Reading Room discussions, which tended to be much more detailed than later ones.


sador
Half-elven


Feb 24, 7:12am

Post #12 of 26 (7061 views)
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Thank you very much, for both posts! [In reply to] Can't Post

I would say Fingon should definitely make it to the top ten; but any one who remembers Gwindor when making such lists deserves a full endosement.


sador
Half-elven


Feb 24, 7:12am

Post #13 of 26 (7056 views)
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And thank you, too! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 24, 4:17pm

Post #14 of 26 (7043 views)
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So true! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's important to find as much as we can of everything to re-map our history. So many brilliant conversations, fun and insight are sleeping just waiting for us to find them :D




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Annael
Immortal


Feb 24, 5:02pm

Post #15 of 26 (7039 views)
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I miss Idril Celebrindal [In reply to] Can't Post

before her, our discussions were fairly unfocused. She was the first to provide links that shed light on specific passages and to structure the discussion using focused questions. She elevated the conversation considerably.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 24, 6:13pm

Post #16 of 26 (7033 views)
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She also had a wicked sense of humour. [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember her wonderful Top Ten Reasons Why Balrogs Don't Fly. I'll have a hunt to see if I saved it anywhere.

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.


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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 24, 7:20pm

Post #17 of 26 (7039 views)
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Thanks to Aerlinn [In reply to] Can't Post

She harvested many posts between 2002 and 2005 and had them gathered into some very long files. I apparently snagged a few and have been breaking them up into individual posts. Thankfully, there are a few of Reverends' that I'll add here... and will keep adding if/when I find them... warts and all :)




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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Feb 24, 7:34pm)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 24, 7:33pm

Post #18 of 26 (7024 views)
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Reverend Naming Names 5-24-03 & 5-25-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

Nick:Reverend (Registered User)
Date:Sat, 5/24/2003
Subject:Naming Names (Very Long)

Message:

The thing that fascinates me most about J.R.R. Tolkien's writing process is his endless efforts to get everyone's names 'right.' Characters exchange names with one another, their parents, or minor characters constantly, and for no obvious reason. When this happens among First Age Elves one can blame the evolution of the invented languages, but among Hobbits, whose names mean nothing, it must be some search for existential union of character and acoustics.

For an example I set out to chart the changes involved in getting the main characters of LotR to their final names. This proved to be a HUGE example, and everything below has to be considered a radically simplified account of the process - which occupies most of HoME volumes VI and VII (The Return of the Shadow and the Treason of Isengard).

In the first two drafts of chapter one Bilbo was the hero. But 'The Hobbit' had declared that he lived happily ever after, so in the third try the job was fobbed off on his son Bingo. The name Bingo seems to have come from a toy Koala Bear in the Tolkien household (Tolkien, like A.A. Milne, told his children bedtime stories about their stuffed animals. But this was not Pooh Corner; Christopher Tolkien recall Bingo as "a monomaniacal religious despot with a lust for destruction by high explosive." One wonders what Disney would do with THAT). Bingo's mother, Primula Brandybuck, vanished along with Bilbo on his 111th birthday - but that was 33 years before THE birthday party that starts the book.

In the 3rd draft Marmaduke Brandybuck - destined to become Merry - appears. But the story still hadn't got past chapter 2. It was the 4th draft where Bingo became a nephew instead of a son of Bilbo (poor Primula was passed off to Roolo Bolger, whom event he text dismisses as unimportant). For a while the names and characters of the back-up Hobbits were entirely fluid, swapping at random. Names like Drogo and Vigo were floated, but by the end of chapter 3 we had Odo Took, Frodo Took, and Marmaduke Brandybuck. These jockeyed for position as the story progressed. Drogo bumped Frodo, who temporarily replaced Maramaduke before triumphantly knocking Drogo out for good.

Then, during a night at Bombadil's, Marmaduke suddenly transformed into Meriadoc, quickly called Merry, the very first name across the finish line. As a firm character he tended to be given responsibility, while his two or three contemporaries divided up the comic relief. It was Bingo, Merry, Frodo Took and Odo Took that first made it to Rivendell. Along the way they picked up Trotter, a mysterious hobbit in wooden shoes.

Then another new draft was begun and, like Athena bursting from the head of Zeus, Sam Gamgee appeared full-grown (the Gaffer actually predated Bingo). Neither Sam's name nor his character ever wavered, putting pressure on the redundant Tooks.

Odo shattered into three. A good bit of him merged with Frodo Took and evolved towards Pippin. Another piece of him stayed in Crickhollow and put on weight. But still a character called Odo (or, briefly, Olo) struggled for his own place in the plot. Gandalf, riding through Crickhollow in pursuit of Dark Riders (on his great steed Narothal- 'Firefoot') picked up this Odo and carried him along.

This draft also made it to Rivendell (if you don't like Aragorn routing five wraiths, how do you like the hobbit Trotter doing the exact same thing?). But another draft was soon begun, in late 1938 (about a year after the whole project had begun). Bingo lost his pocketwatch. The gossip about how the Master of Buckland dealt with his table-dancing niece (or vice versa) vanished. But at last the name Frodo, having been tried on every other member of the party, displaced Bingo and the true Frodo Bagins was born. Frodo Took became Folco. Barnabus Butterbur (nee Timothy Titus) became a man, but Trotter stayed a Hobbit. Gandalf carelessly misplaced Odo during a night on Weathertop, but with typical Hobbit toughness Odo was nevertheless in Rivendell to greet Frodo when he awoke. But he was losing steam; his presumed lone adventure was never told.

Here Tolkien paused for eight or nine months; having made it to We have exhausted the 497 pages of 'The Return of the Shadow', and must move onto the 'Treason of Isengard'. And I've run out of time and will have to finish this tomorrow.


[It's Tomorrow!]


Nick:Reverend (Registered User)
Date:Sun, 5/25/2003
Subject:Naming a few more names

Message:

Hidden right there in your copy of FotR is a key scene in the final cast of characters. It's page 77 of the hardbound version. about two thirds of the way down is a mysterious note that we've commented on before, since it seems pointless; After Frodo's helpers had lunch, Folco Boffin went home - never to be heard from again. Why did Tolkien make such a note? Because it took one name and one surname out of contention, allowing everything else to fall into place.

You see, once most of the current Book one in hand, Tolkien had to tackle just what had delayed Gandalf. After all, he once confessed to W.H. Auden that he was a surprised as Frodo when the wizard didn't show up in Bree. HoME VII (The Treason of Isengard) begins with all of the plot options that Tolkien considered to fill this gap. To someone used to the final product, the choices sound horrible, but they didn't affect the names. They did, however, take a long time to work out. Yet another whole new draft was begun; it varied little from what had gone before until it reached Bree, where Trotter was discovered to be a tall man instead of an eccentric Hobbit. He also had a broken sword, plus hints of a regal ancestry. It only took Tolkien about three years to discover this.

The humanization of Trotter (still Trotter) had one monumental result; it left the name Peregrin Boffin (which had belonged to Trotter) orphaned. The disembodied name, seeking sustenance, moved in on Folco Took, who was already half-conquered by the free-ranging name Faramond. For a time Frodo's companions were Faramond Took, Peregrin Boffin, and Hamilcar (Ham) Bolger, with good old Merry as his best friend. To quote Christopher Tolkien: "In the drafts (A) the names Folco, Faramond, Peregrin, shift and replace each other at every occurrence, and it is scarcely possible to say whether characters or merely names are in question" (HoME VII, p21). But the fact is, the author knew that he had too many hobbits here, and was sizing them up for a kill.

But he was soft hearted about it, and could not just DELETE a character. They had to exit under their own power. Hence the long walk after lunch. First, it was Peregrin Boffin, who after all was a newcomer, who made the trip. But he had that certain something special and was called back. Then Faramond walked the walk, but in the end, as you can see, it was Falco who faced that High Afternoon. And at last the job was done.

This allowed major adjustments. For one thing, the story needed a Took, so Falco exited as a Boffin. This allowed Peregrin, deprived of a surname, to seize the Took role, and Pippin was at last born. As the rewrite continued he executed a rolling takeover of most of Odo, Folco, and Faramond's lines. The "irrepressible young hobbit" slot had been filled by Odo, Frodo, Folco, Faramond, Peregrin, Hamilcar, Fredegar, and (very briefly) Olo - with almost every possible combination of Took, Boffin, and Bolger as a surname. What made Peregrin/Pippin win out I don't know, although I would guess that it was lingering sentiment about the you hobbit led astray by Bilbo's influence. Tolkien had probably invested a lot of emotion into Peregrin Boffin's torture by Sauron, which had led to his being forced to...to...WEAR SHOES. That emotion, I feign, gave Pippin the power to defeat his many rivals.

Fatty Bolger was still Hamilcar as the party left Crickhollow, and under that name he was kidnapped by Black Riders, who were pursued by Gandalf. Trotter, reading the ground around Weathertop, knew that they had a hobbit with them.

On Paper that can be dated after Aug 1940 (due to wartime paper shortages, Tolkien used the back of overseas student's exam papers) we have the story of how Gandalf rescued Ham; the same paper carries a new version of the trip from Rivendell to Lorien, and how Gandalf was delayed by the fallen wizard Saramond, rather than the evil giant Tree Beard.

In this draft Trotter, at the Council of Elrond, is revealed as of Numenorean race, and is given the immortal name Aragorn son of Celegorm (I assume that his grandfather was Feanor). As the draft continues the names Elfstone, Erkenbrand, and Ingold were tried out on him (and yes, it is startling to read of Galadriel presenting Ingold with a sheath for his great sword Branding). Fortunately, it was the right name that stuck.

In the fourth draft of the Council of Elrond the strange Elf from Mirkwood finally got a name - Galdor. It was the fifth draft that discovered that his name was really Legolas. In that same fifth draft Hamilcar Bolger was at last
discovered to be surplus to the plot's requirements and left in Crickhollow. It was further years of idleness that made him so fat that he had to become Fatty, and thus Fredegar.

A Ring company of nine was at last proposed to represent all of the Free Peoples: Frodo and Sam for the hobbits, Gandalf for the wizards, Legolas for the Elves, Gimli for the Dwarves, Aragorn and Boromir for the men - and Erestor for the half-elves. This left only one place for a young Hobbit. Merry was the obvious choice, but then there would be no silly young Hobbit. After a bit of pen-chewing Tolkien decided that half-elves didn't count as a people, and that Erestor wasn't a half-elf anyway, so that both young hobbits could go.

That takes us to late 1941 - four years after the process had begun. It would be additional years before Aragorn became Strider, and before his ancestry was fully clarified, but I'll call that sufficient illustration of Tolkien's creative style.

Again, all of the above, and all of my previous post on this subject, should be considered a CONDENSED AND SIMPLIFIED version of a mind-bendingly complex process, which Christopher Tolkien documents in enough detail to convince me that he needs to get out more. But if you want the full story, HoME has it. Enjoy.




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Post #19 of 26 (7020 views)
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Reverend to NZS can you explain motorized barstool 2-21-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

Original post
Nick: Reverend (Registered User)
Date:
Fri, 2/21/2003
Subject: NZ Strider, can you explain please?


Message:
A New Zealand man ended up in court after he was seen speeding semi-naked down a road on a motorised barstool with his backside on fire.
Sullivan, of Tauranga, confessed to having "had a few" and said he shouldn't have been on the road on the motorized barstool, which he claimed could reach 50mph.




• Well, it could be worse... (No Text) — PoppyB—
• I must have been in Lothlorien - is it April 1 already? (No Text)— Carregiel
• Now THAT I'd like to see! (No Text) — tosaanne
• That's a picture — grammaboodawg — I really needed in my mind! *ponders vision* omgoodness! That's hilarious! *snert*
• I wondered where NZ Strider was last week! — Curious — Here's the link to the original article. Link
• Join NOBRA here. (No Text - Link Inside) — Foe-Hammer_of_Gondolin
...• *choke* *gasp* *cough* WHAT? (No Text) — Carnimírië
...• I'd join, but that acronym... — JewelTook — *sigh* It wouldn't be pretty.
...• This makes riding lawn mower racing — Ginger — look reasonable.
...• "I'm getting one!" — Pukel-man — You reckon they can fit a whole bar to it as well?
...• Oh man... I... can't... breathe... *tears* (No Text) — DiamondTook
...• Oh dear... (No Text) — Shadowfaxrules
...• Nunc dimittis -- now I *have* seen everything... (No Text) — NZ Strider
...• I should have known. (No Text) — Reverend
• Isn't this the same country where the police — Jennie
came rushing to the house of a guy who was found to have a severed leg dangling from his porch? Only to find out that his was his own leg, which he'd recently had amputated, and that he'd just decided to hang it there?
No wonder most of the films (with obvious exceptions) that come out of that place are very very strange.
...• Oh... the horror... *disbelief* (No Text) — DiamondTook
• Perhaps it will become the new National sport. — Mar — Sounds rather fun, except for the being on fire part.
• I notice he didn't mention — JewelTook — that he shouldn't have set his backside on fire, though.
• Certain things are beyond explanation. (No Text) — NZ Strider
• *blink blink* — DiamondTook — Did i really just read that?
• He can't, he's in court. (No Text) — Pukel-man
...• One more smart remark like that out of you, young man, and — NZ Strider — it's going to be your backside that's on fire.
... ...• Fine, 'Sullivan', but remember . . — Pukel-man —. . . as Varda points out, I'm a regular breaker of the Flaming Motorised Bar Furniture Act (1734), so you might be wise to be nice to me. My advice; sleep with the judge. Worked for me the first three times, though I was held in Contempt the fourth.
... ... ...• *snert* My real question is, — NZ Strider — if he had a motorised bar-stool and was drunk and drove his bar-stool onto the road, how did his rear catch fire?
... ... ... ...• MY question is — DiamondTook — Is this a driving while intoxicated rap? What *exactly* is he being charged with?
... ... ... ......• Driving a FMBS without due insurance. — Pukel-man — Flaming Motorised Bar Seating. Class 0 Vehicle, just below a moped. Cheap to run, but the premiums can be high, as you can imagine.
• Took me about 5 minutes to get that one, but... — Varda Elentari — Bwaaaaaahahahahaha!!
I'm sure you've been in a similar situation yourself, Puke, so maybe you could give him some pointers? ;-)
...• *giggle* — DiamondTook — Yeah, it took me a minute, too... I refer to those kind of jokes as boomerangs... Over the head at first, but it comes back to hit you later...
... ...• Especially.... — Varda Elentari — us fair-haired folk. ;-)
... ... ...• Hey... I don't know why M&M's/Mars fired me... — DiamondTook — They looked like "w's" to me....
• *snert* (No Text) — Annael

• Now honestly, isn’t a kiwi allowed to do what he wants in the privacy of his own public highway? (No Text) — Pipe to Nul




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Feb 24, 8:38pm

Post #20 of 26 (7017 views)
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Reverend NZS Choices of Master Samwise 7-17-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

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Nick: Reverend (Registered User)
Date: Thu, 7/17/2003
— In Reply To: The Choices of Master Samwise #16: The Social Construction of Sam — notlost, 7/17/2003
Subject: We are enemies, you and I.

Message:

It happens that I am a student of Ontology, and we have been arguing about these things for twenty-odd centuries without Johnny-come-lately jargon like 'social construction of knowledge' (although I was recently horified to see Ontology defined as the "specification of a conceptualization.").

But in short, I would insist that there is such a thing as absolute truth, and that our conventions and communications are useful only insofar as they approximate that truth. A social construct that conforms badly with the underlying reality simply will not work very well (the Marxist theory of human nature makes an excellent example). It does not matter how thoroughly agreed upon or well disseminated an idea is; pigs don't fly, and any construct based on that concept will fail. I would argue that that social construct theory does not 'become' relativistic, but that it is inevitably relativistic, and that pretty much is the point; to sever philosophy and ethics from their historic roots in authoritative truth. I would further argue that such a process is inevitably too subjective to be more than personally useful, which brings philosophy as communal enterprise to a grinding halt; there's no sense searching for truth if you begin by denying its existance. Nyah nyah nyah.

That said, Sam is the true everyman and the true hero of the book, who will, more than any other, live happily ever after. He is in fact most 'constructed' after the pattern of Tolkien's WWI batman, and peasant Yorkshire Sergeant, a true son of the soil. He is stubbornly fixed in both his virtues and his vices, because he has been raised in an environment where the "social construction of knowledge" disseminated in his community is absolute; there is a Right and a Wrong, and the way we have always done things is Right, period. I hate to think what the Gaffer would have said about the fads on campus these days.

There is one specific that I would take issue with above; although Sam has been raised with a rather oppressive sense of his place, and that he will never be good enough to leave his place, within that place he is fully competent, self confident, and even a bit smug. He does not feel oppressed, because he fully accepts the rightness of the social order of the Shire, which tells him that however low his place may be in the Hobbiton, he still has plenty of people to look down upon (Bywater rabble, Breelanders, Big folk, etc. I've read a convincing theory that holds that the British lower classes never revolted because they could always feel superior to lots of subject peoples).

But the big answer to the question is the same one that can be given of almost everyone; he is the way he is because it has worked for him so far. It is very rare for anyone, ever, not to stick with what works - after all, if something works at all it must contain a fair measure of actual truth.


Nick: NZ Strider (Registered User)
Date: Thu, 7/17/2003
— In Reply To: We are enemies, you and I. — Reverend, 7/17/2003
Subject: Sicut erat in principio,
Message: et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.
Subject: It's the second line


Message:
of the liturgical chant, the "Gloria Patri":
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and evermore shall be, world without end.
(The traditional "world without end" is an infelicitous stab, by a certain fellow called Henry Tudor, at "in saecula saeculorum," lit. "for ages of ages," i.e. "forever and ever." "World" is used in the old sense of "eon, era, age" [e.g. Mt. XXVIII 20: "I am with you alway even unto the end of the world"; the more modern translations there set "close of the age"]. "World without end" means "for an endless age.")




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Post #21 of 26 (7008 views)
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Reverend on Sam's Speech Stairs of Cirith Ungol 7-2-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

Reverend on Sam's Speech Stairs of Cirith Ungol 7-2-03
With drogo, Curious, NZS, etc.

http://archives.theonering.net/...F0332990001421C.html


Message Thread:
• “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol” 7: Sam’s Speech, or There and Back Again <drogo_drogo> [7/2/2003 @ 12:35] (7/15)


...• the last question and the missing sense of scale <hatster> [7/2/2003 @ 22:46] (1/2)
... ...• playing devil's (err...PJ's) advocate <Fisher> [7/3/2003 @ 10:05] (1/1)
...... ... • which is a fault not a defense <hatster> [7/3/2003 @ 17:12] (0/0)
• my thoughts... <wajeff> [7/2/2003 @ 20:36] (0/0)
• Sam is a hero, but he realizes <Curious> [7/2/2003 @ 20:05] (0/0)
• A hero despite himself <Kimi> [7/2/2003 @ 19:27] (0/0)
• My comments <Altaira> [7/2/2003 @ 16:39] (0/0)
• Some thoughts... <NZ Strider> [7/2/2003 @ 16:08] (1/1)
... • Another relocated idea <Merryk> [7/3/2003 @ 0:18] (0/0)
&#61607; Note that the movie version misses the point entirely. <Reverend> [7/2/2003 @ 15:29] (3/5)
... • I detect a melding of the "northern spirit" <Curious> [7/8/2003 @ 11:08] (0/0)
... • Very minor addition. <Atlas> [7/3/2003 @ 3:46] (0/0)
... • agree, plus <spencer> [7/2/2003 @ 16:09] (1/2)
...... • The quote of the week: <Merryk> [7/3/2003 @ 0:46] (1/1)
...... ... • keeping faith <spencer> [7/3/2003 @ 8:23] (0/0)
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Nick: Reverend (Registered User)

Date/Time: Wed, 7/2/2003 at 15:29 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows NT 5.1
In Reply To: “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol” 7: Sam’s Speech, or There and Back Again <drogo_drogo> [7/2/2003 @ 12:35] (7/15)

Subject: Note that the movie version misses the point entirely.
Message:

1. How would you summarize Sam’s philosophy about being landed in adventures here? Is Sam being a hero, a reluctant hero, a realist, or what? Is Sam’s theory that the best tales to find yourself in are the “There and Back Again” typical of the other hobbits’ reactions to the epic events of Middle-earth that they unwittingly find themselves participating in (I’m thinking of Bilbo being dragged away from cleaning the dishes to fight a dragon—he too never expected to be in an adventure)?
a. Sam's philosopy is that heroes are merely the fraction of the population that landed in trouble and just kept going. And a fine philosphy it is. Note that this is the dead opposite of Connan the Barbarian or Aryan Superman type heroes. But I have to agree that the best tales are those of ordinary people who do heroic things and then go home for supper.
Note that this happens to be a particularly apt philosophy for Tolkien's own WWI generation, and the WWII generation that first read the book.
2. What does this speech say about how well equipped Sam is to cope with situations that would be beyond the ability of most hobbits to endure? Looking at this speech, how do you rate Sam’s coping skills alongside Frodo’s? Which one do you think is really better able to endure the psychological and spiritual horrors they are to encounter and come back sane? This does jump ahead a bit, but the ending of the novel does come into play here, and yes, Sam does really write his own ending!
a. Sam has a very different coping style than Frodo, but one cannot say if his is better or worse. One might say that Frodo rises above troubles that pass clean over Sam's head.
3. So, what do you see as the difference between the messages of movie Sam and book Sam as seen in their speeches? Movie Sam has been criticized by some, praised by others, for his Hollywood-ish statement of his moral convictions and his determination to struggle on for a cause. Does the book Sam have that same faith in holding onto something and fighting for good, or is that degree of high idealism foreign to a practical hobbit like him (at least expressed in such an abstract way)?
a. Here I must sharply criticize the movie (which I generally endorse) for Just Not Getting It. Frodo and Sam carry on because carrying on is itself the right thing to do, NOT because there was some good worth fighting for. Frodo isn't holding on to anything; his despair has NOT lifted, and he is sure that there will be nothing good to come home to. But he has been given a duty, and will keep faith with those who entrusted it to him, even should they and he perish. Again, I think it a philosophy particularly relevant to the Trenches of the Somme, and not a bad one for life in general.
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Nick: spencer (Registered User)

Date/Time: Wed, 7/2/2003 at 16:09 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows NT 5.0
In Reply To: Note that the movie version misses the point entirely. <Reverend> [7/2/2003 @ 15:29] (3/5)

Subject: agree, plus
Message: Reverend makes some wonderful points
:
"a. Sam has a very different coping style than Frodo, but one cannot say if his is better or worse. One might say that Frodo rises above troubles that pass clean over Sam's head."
I like this analysis. I need to add here that Frodo's suffering is very different from Sam's. Frodo is going through the same physical depravations as Sam but also has the added burden of the weight of the ring both physically and psychologically. I also felt that, without the ring to cope with, Frodo would have been able to come back sane. So, comparing their coping ability is a little like apples and oranges in my most humble opinion.
"But he has been given a duty, and will keep faith with those who entrusted it to him, even should they and he perish."
Here, here! This, is why I was so disappointed with TTT. I could deal with all but the last 15 minutes or so as I felt it missed Frodo's unceasing struggle not to give in and Sam's purpose for the journey.
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Nick: Atlas (Registered User)

Date/Time: Thu, 7/3/2003 at 3:46 EDT (Thu, 7/3/2003 at 0:46 PDT)
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 5.0
In Reply To: Note that the movie version misses the point entirely. <Reverend> [7/2/2003 @ 15:29] (3/5)

Subject: Very minor addition.
Message:

The movie also misses the idea that the darkness may not be lifted for a long, long time. At least, that's what I understand it to say. The idea that things will just keep getting better and that this is only one of those occasional setbacks is not at all how Tolkien envisioned history. Rather it was one long defeat with glimpses of eventual victory. Though we as readers can be reasonably confident that this book will have a happy ending, the characters within the tale recognize that it is a distinct possibility that they may fail, Sauron will triumph and the world will be plunged into an evil darkness for thousands of years. The movie Sam seems to think that if they push on and keep struggling, everything will have to come right in the end. And the book Sam knows that's just not the case, but (as Reverend points out) they have to keep going anyway.
(In the interests of full disclosure, I liked the FOTR movie and thought TTT movie was dreck.)
--------
"Marxism has led to Facism and National Socialism, because, in all essentials, it is Facsism and National Socialism."
F.A. Voight
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Nick: Curious (Registered User)

Date/Time: Tue, 7/8/2003 at 11:08 EDT (Tue, 7/8/2003 at 9:08 CST)
Browser/OS: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Windows 95
In Reply To: Note that the movie version misses the point entirely. <Reverend> [7/2/2003 @ 15:29] (3/5)

Subject: I detect a melding of the "northern spirit"
Message:

Tolkien so admired -- which was fundamentally pessimistic in nature -- and Christian optimism that hope survives. We see several different characters deal differently with despair. The Rohirrim turn to battle. Denethor commits suicide. Aragorn and Frodo have no more hope of survival than the rest, but they do hope that someone, somewhere, will benefit from their desparate actions. As Gandalf says, "I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower in days to come."
________________________________________

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"‘I think he was a silly little man,' said Councillor Tompkins. ‘Worthless, in fact; no use to Society at all.'
"‘Oh, I don't know,' said Atkins, who was nobody of importance, just a schoolmaster. ‘I am not so sure: it depends on what you mean by use .'
"‘No practical or economic use,' said Tompkins. . . .
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http://archives.theonering.net/...0309BF0001420FC.html

• “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol” 7: Sam’s Speech, or There and Back Again <drogo_drogo> [7/2/2003 @ 12:35] (7/15)
• the last question and the missing sense of scale <hatster> [7/2/2003 @ 22:46] (1/2)
• playing devil's (err...PJ's) advocate <Fisher> [7/3/2003 @ 10:05] (1/1)
• which is a fault not a defense <hatster> [7/3/2003 @ 17:12] (0/0)
• my thoughts... <wajeff> [7/2/2003 @ 20:36] (0/0)
• Sam is a hero, but he realizes <Curious> [7/2/2003 @ 20:05] (0/0)
• A hero despite himself <Kimi> [7/2/2003 @ 19:27] (0/0)
• My comments <Altaira> [7/2/2003 @ 16:39] (0/0)
• Some thoughts... <NZ Strider> [7/2/2003 @ 16:08] (1/1)
• Another relocated idea <Merryk> [7/3/2003 @ 0:18] (0/0)
&#61607; Note that the movie version misses the point entirely. <Reverend> [7/2/2003 @ 15:29] (3/5)
• I detect a melding of the "northern spirit" <Curious> [7/8/2003 @ 11:08] (0/0)
• Very minor addition. <Atlas> [7/3/2003 @ 3:46] (0/0)
• agree, plus <spencer> [7/2/2003 @ 16:09] (1/2)
• The quote of the week: <Merryk> [7/3/2003 @ 0:46] (1/1)
• keeping faith <spencer> [7/3/2003 @ 8:23] (0/0)
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Nick: drogo_drogo (Registered User)

Date/Time: Wed, 7/2/2003 at 12:35 EDT (Wed, 7/2/2003 at 10:35 CST)
Browser/OS: Netscape Navigator V4.0 Custom using R1 1.1)
Subject: “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol” 7: Sam’s Speech, or There and Back Again
Message:

As Sam and Frodo rest on their hike, they begin to discuss matters near and dear to Professor Tolkien’s heart, namely storytelling and the role of legends in the here-and-now of everyday life. The exchange that follows is really some of Tolkien’s most interesting statements about the relationship between the hobbits and their “fairy tale” world to the world of the great epic Legendarium Tolkien spent a lifetime shaping.
Sam begins by waxing poetical on the subject of “adventures,” something we know that hobbits, as Bilbo’s history taught us, traditionally have mixed feelings about:
’And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of sport, ad you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually—their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on—and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same—like Old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of tale we’ve fallen into?’

Questions:

1. How would you summarize Sam’s philosophy about being landed in adventures here? Is Sam being a hero, a reluctant hero, a realist, or what? Is Sam’s theory that the best tales to find yourself in are the “There and Back Again” typical of the other hobbits’ reactions to the epic events of Middle-earth that they unwittingly find themselves participating in (I’m thinking of Bilbo being dragged away from cleaning the dishes to fight a dragon—he too never expected to be in an adventure)?
2. What does this speech say about how well equipped Sam is to cope with situations that would be beyond the ability of most hobbits to endure? Looking at this speech, how do you rate Sam’s coping skills alongside Frodo’s? Which one do you think is really better able to endure the psychological and spiritual horrors they are to encounter and come back sane? This does jump ahead a bit, but the ending of the novel does come into play here, and yes, Sam does really write his own ending!
Okay, don’t throw rotten tomatoes, taters, or other anachronistic hobbit foodstuffs at me, but I believe a quick comparison between the movie version of this speech and the original from the book is warranted here. The movie Sam’s speech is the moral center of the film, but the changes Jackson and Co. have introduced make it very different from the speech in the book. Here’s a transcript of the movie version of Sam’s speech:
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turnin' back, only they didn't. They kept goin', because they were holdin' on to somethin'.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fightin' for.
Here’s the question:
3. So, what do you see as the difference between the messages of movie Sam and book Sam as seen in their speeches? Movie Sam has been criticized by some, praised by others, for his Hollywood-ish statement of his moral convictions and his determination to struggle on for a cause. Does the book Sam have that same faith in holding onto something and fighting for good, or is that degree of high idealism foreign to a practical hobbit like him (at least expressed in such an abstract way)?
Tomorrow we continue with Sam’s musings on the Beren and Luthien story and its connection to the ongoing Frodo and Sam story in which they are currently living.
************************
"All wizards should have a hobbit or two in their care..."
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Nick: Reverend (Registered User)

Date/Time: Wed, 7/2/2003 at 15:29 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows NT 5.1
In Reply To: “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol” 7: Sam’s Speech, or There and Back Again <drogo_drogo> [7/2/2003 @ 12:35] (7/15)

Subject: Note that the movie version misses the point entirely.
Message:

1. How would you summarize Sam’s philosophy about being landed in adventures here? Is Sam being a hero, a reluctant hero, a realist, or what? Is Sam’s theory that the best tales to find yourself in are the “There and Back Again” typical of the other hobbits’ reactions to the epic events of Middle-earth that they unwittingly find themselves participating in (I’m thinking of Bilbo being dragged away from cleaning the dishes to fight a dragon—he too never expected to be in an adventure)?
a. Sam's philosopy is that heroes are merely the fraction of the population that landed in trouble and just kept going. And a fine philosphy it is. Note that this is the dead opposite of Connan the Barbarian or Aryan Superman type heroes. But I have to agree that the best tales are those of ordinary people who do heroic things and then go home for supper.
Note that this happens to be a particularly apt philosophy for Tolkien's own WWI generation, and the WWII generation that first read the book.
2. What does this speech say about how well equipped Sam is to cope with situations that would be beyond the ability of most hobbits to endure? Looking at this speech, how do you rate Sam’s coping skills alongside Frodo’s? Which one do you think is really better able to endure the psychological and spiritual horrors they are to encounter and come back sane? This does jump ahead a bit, but the ending of the novel does come into play here, and yes, Sam does really write his own ending!
a. Sam has a very different coping style than Frodo, but one cannot say if his is better or worse. One might say that Frodo rises above troubles that pass clean over Sam's head.
3. So, what do you see as the difference between the messages of movie Sam and book Sam as seen in their speeches? Movie Sam has been criticized by some, praised by others, for his Hollywood-ish statement of his moral convictions and his determination to struggle on for a cause. Does the book Sam have that same faith in holding onto something and fighting for good, or is that degree of high idealism foreign to a practical hobbit like him (at least expressed in such an abstract way)?
a. Here I must sharply criticize the movie (which I generally endorse) for Just Not Getting It. Frodo and Sam carry on because carrying on is itself the right thing to do, NOT because there was some good worth fighting for. Frodo isn't holding on to anything; his despair has NOT lifted, and he is sure that there will be nothing good to come home to. But he has been given a duty, and will keep faith with those who entrusted it to him, even should they and he perish. Again, I think it a philosophy particularly relevant to the Trenches of the Somme, and not a bad one for life in general.
________________________________________
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Feb 24, 10:06pm

Post #22 of 26 (7005 views)
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Reverend Bridge Khazad dum-dwarven engineering 1-16-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

http://archives.theonering.net/...E2642960000EA09.html

Nick: Reverend (Registered User)

Date/Time: Thu, 1/16/2003 at 1:26 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 95
Subject: The Bridge of Khazad-Dum #25: Notes on Dwarven Engineering


Message:

In the course of this chapter we have encountered a number of examples of outstanding or peculiar feats of Dwarvish engineering. Let us take this opportunity to comment on them.
1. How do the Dwarves keep water from coming down their light-shafts? For that matter, how do they arrainge drainage throughout the whole of Moria? It’s a major concern in human mines of any serious depth.
2. How high ARE the risers of Dwarvish steps? I had assumed 2/3 of a normal human step, since Dwarves are about 2/3 of normal human size. But Gandalf sits in presumed comfort of the FIRST step of the last staircase. And some readers insist that the Dwarves LIKE climbing stairs.
3. By the way, since I havn’t said it already, I need to point out that Balin obviously chose the twenty-first hall for a residence not only because it had light, but because it is the extreme corner of Moria, and therefore the most defensible. Comment?
4. Is it really feasable to have such a large city with only two rather constricted exits? Should we not presume many dwarf-doors, secret and now forgotten?
5. What could that bridge be made of ? A single slender arch of fifty feet that has stood unmaintained for over a thousand years?

CHALLENGE
As the Dwarves hollowed out these truly vast works extending for miles under three mountains, what did they do with the tailings?
________________________________________
Message Thread:
• The Bridge of Khazad-Dum #25: Notes on Dwarven Engineering <Reverend> [1/16/2003 @ 1:26] (14/19)

• Engineers <Entmaiden> [1/17/2003 @ 0:30] (0/0)
• Challenge? They like money. For Sale. <thsmar> [1/16/2003 @ 22:34] (0/0)
• can i just jump in? <just meagain> [1/16/2003 @ 21:59] (1/1)
... • Windows, that's too easy! (No Text) <thsmar> [1/16/2003 @ 22:34] (0/0)
• Dwarvish technology speculations <Kiskadee> [1/16/2003 @ 18:16] (0/0)
• theoretical and applied dwarvish mechanics <summertime> [1/16/2003 @ 15:09] (1/2)
... • on escape <summertime> [1/16/2003 @ 21:42] (1/1)
... ... • Year to evac fully, or die. <thsmar> [1/16/2003 @ 22:47] (0/0)
• Let the Fraggles play...! <RurouniKJS> [1/16/2003 @ 14:41] (1/1)
... • Argh, I missed #5... <RurouniKJS> [1/16/2003 @ 17:19] (0/0)
• Some thoughts... <Idril Celebrindal> [1/16/2003 @ 12:05] (0/0)
• Better than most D&D creations! <Matthew/Ugluk> [1/16/2003 @ 11:38] (1/1)
... • in response to... <thsmar> [1/16/2003 @ 22:42] (0/0)
• thinking about sewage <Froda> [1/16/2003 @ 11:17] (0/0)
• *puts on hard mithril hat* <PhantomS> [1/16/2003 @ 8:10] (0/0)
• Help! <gullygilly> [1/16/2003 @ 6:57] (0/0)
• Some answers <NZ Strider> [1/16/2003 @ 3:18] (0/0)
• looks over at other people's papers <Lothirienne> [1/16/2003 @ 2:56] (0/0)
• Drainage question <Golfimbul> [1/16/2003 @ 2:52] (0/0)




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Feb 24, 10:14pm

Post #23 of 26 (7006 views)
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Reverend on Morgoths Taint Explained by Curious 7-28-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

http://archives.theonering.net/...F25918A00014B51.html

Nick: Curious (Registered User)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/28/2003 at 17:11 EDT (Mon, 7/28/2003 at 15:11 CST)
Browser/OS: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Windows 95
Message:
Cross-post from Main:

________________________________________

Morgoth personally was cast into the void beyond the walls of the world, not to return until the end of time. But he had infused so much of his personal power into the fabric of Middle-Earth that the whole place is more or less hot with evil radiation (he was particularly fond of gold, and hence it tends to be a special focus of evil). I find it very helpful to think of Morgoth's corruption of the earth in terms of radioactivity; there's a little bit of it everywhere (background Morgoth), and it can be concentrated and/or used as a power source.
Sauron no doubt employs the power of Morgoth routinely, and may have special access to it through Mt Doom (most of Morgoth's power, after all, went deep into the earth). He may have some way to commune with the spirit of Morgoth, although Morgoth is outside the world and technically dead.

The key thing to understand, though, is that Morgoth was a vastly greater power than Sauron. As Sauron's One Ring radiates temptation and corruption, because it hold the greater part of Sauron's power, so too does the fabric of the earth, the vessel of Morgoth's power, do the same thing; all the world is Morgoth's Ring. This means that we are constantly under assault from evil impulses, and our perceptions are under the Shadow (so, for instance, we may even find fault with the Valar's governance of the world!). In effect, the essence of Morgoth becomes an external cause of what theologians call the Depravity of Man.

Because of the corruption of all matter, Elves' bodies will not last forever, as intended. This is a problem for their souls, which WILL last forever. Hence, elves in Middle-Earth will eventually 'fade' into something very like a wraith. Apparently the Elven-Rings can hold this effect at bay over a limited area. This is what it means when Elrond says that they have great power to preserve all things unstained - they can exclude the Morgoth-taint, so that places like Rivendell and Lorien give us a glimpse of what Arda Unstained should have been like. The failure of the Elven-Rings after the War of the Ring is why all the Elves who could HAD to sail west; to avoid fading.

And that should hold you for now.

-- Reverend's explanation of Morgoth's taint. R.I.P., Reverend.
Link: http://www.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/main/3F257D2300095ECA.html




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Feb 24, 10:34pm

Post #24 of 26 (7004 views)
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Reverend Mysterious Mail Shirt 7-14-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

From Altaira in response to a 2010 thread 11-25-10:

Subject line: Lol! (and.. calling N.E.B)

Maybe Legolas didn't recognize it because it was stolen by his evil twin.

MHO is also that it was way too old to be Legolas' shirt. Then again, Tolkien doesn't give us much to go by, so all we can do is speculate.

One of our (unfortunately late) members, Reverend, once wrote a very stirring post speculating that it could have been made for the young Earendil (yes, yes.. ELF-prince, I know - speculation again, but stirring). It's really worth a read, but it was on the old boards. I wonder if N.E. Brigand either already has it bookmarked, or could find it?

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

http://archives.theonering.net/...F12C1120001451E.html

Nick: Reverend (Registered User)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 10:41 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows NT 5.1
Subject: The mysterious mail shirt.

Message:
A question that occasionally comes up around here is what Elven-princeling Bilbo's mithril coat could have been made for. The most natural assumption is that it was finished and awaiting delivery when the dragon came. But we know of no young elf-lords at the end of the Third Age. Another possibility is that it was made earlier, perhaps for Legolas, but that the Dwarves demanded such a price for the thing that Thranduil (or whomever) refused to pay. That is dull, and without even a whisper of supporting evidence.
A more intriguing possibility is found in 'The Fall of Gondolin:'

"...Idril arrays herself in mail, and seeks Earendil. And that child was in tears for the strange lights of red that played about the walls of the chamber where he slept...But his mother coming set about him a tiny coat of mail that she had let fashion in secret, and at that time he was glad and exceedingly proud, and he shouted for pleasure."

You never pictured Idril fleeing Gondolin in armor, did you? And the little mail-shirt was a good idea, for (in the Book of Lost Tales, anyway) Maeglin tried to stab Earendil when Tuor showed up as he attempted to drag Idril away.

I'm gong to propose that Tolkien, who thought that Gondolin would never see print, borrowed that mail-shirt just as he borrowed Orcrist and Glamdring. It may not be easy to see how Earendil's childhood armor got to Smaug's treasure-heap, but it's actually harder to understand how the swords got to the Troll's lair. The swords, after all, were lost with Gondolin, but Earendil's mail escaped the city with him.

My Utterly Unsupported Theory is that Earendil, when grown, sold the shirt to the Dwarves in exchange for some service; it would be easy to imagine some smith-work needed by the Haven of Sirion. Since it is a major treasure, the Dwarves would have carried it to Khazad-Dum at the end of the First Age, when Nogrod was ruined by earthquakes. Likewise, the House of Durin would have carried it along when they fled to Erebor, where it would have been treasured for the skill of its crafting as much as its monetary worth.

So the mithril shirt adds to the count of the surviving relics of the First Age, and Frodo was protected not only by Earendil's light, but his armor. Tada!
_______________________________________
Message Thread:

• The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

• But wait... <infidel> [7/15/2003 @ 8:25] (1/2)
... • Tolkien is not consistant... <Reverend> [7/16/2003 @ 10:17] (1/1)
... ... • Wouldn't go so far as that <Alveric> [7/17/2003 @ 4:33] (0/0)
• Something old, <Merryk> [7/15/2003 @ 2:02] (0/0)
• Oh, very nice! <Kimi> [7/14/2003 @ 17:19] (0/0)
• You know <notlost> [7/14/2003 @ 17:10] (0/0)
• Great UUT <gullygilly> [7/14/2003 @ 14:28] (1/1)
... • That was Blue Wizard's UUT. <Curious> [7/14/2003 @ 18:31] (0/0)
• What fun. Bravo, y'all. (No Text) <Princess of Geekland> [7/14/2003 @ 14:13] (0/0)
• Some great UUTs in this thread! <NZ Strider> [7/14/2003 @ 13:52] (0/0)
• Nice idea, but <Alveric> [7/14/2003 @ 11:58] (2/4)
... • bladorthin etymology <eldarheru> [7/14/2003 @ 17:08] (1/1)
... ... ... • Going further with Bladorthin etymology <Alveric> [7/15/2003 @ 8:49] (0/0)
... • The problem... <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 14:20] (1/1)
... ... • True <Alveric> [7/14/2003 @ 15:21] (0/0)
• Bravo! Nice UUT... <Ossë> [7/14/2003 @ 11:09] (0/0)
• nicely done <KT the ceiling fan> [7/14/2003 @ 10:57] (1/1)
... • Legolas <kodax> [7/14/2003 @ 21:28] (0/0)
Nick: KT the ceiling fan (Registered User)


Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 10:57 EDT (Mon, 7/14/2003 at 8:57 CST)
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: nicely done


Message:

I still however like the UUT that the mail was orginally made by the dwarves for a young Legolas. I read an article recently that researched the actual age of Legolas, based on what Legolas says in lotr and where he is from, and his family, and so on. The mithril vest theory fit quite well. It might be dull comparatively, but it just seems kinda cool to me that a mithril vest intended for Legolas ended up with Bilbo, who passed it to Frodo, who was in Fellowship with Legolas. That's kinda weird.
________________________________________


Nick: Ossë (Forum Member)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 11:09 EDT (Mon, 7/14/2003 at 16:09 CET)
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.02 using Windows 98
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: Bravo! Nice UUT...


Message:

I actually came up with one for Sting and Glamdring last week in Main - that they were taken by the 'troll-guard of Gothmog' (mentioned near the end of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad when Húrin was taken), when Gondolin was destroyed, and who moved east to the Ettenmoors in search of a bit of darkness when Gothmog was thrown down in Gondolin and Morgoth defeated, sooner or later becoming more dull-witted and lacking purpose without their former masters...?
Not as good as yours, but as good as I've got these days. :)
What do you think?
________________________________________


Nick: Alveric (Registered User)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 11:58 EDT (Mon, 7/14/2003 at 16:58 GB)
Browser/OS: Mozilla Browser V5.0-rv:1.2.1 (12/17/2002 build) using X for en-US; rv:1.2.1
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: Nice idea, but


Message:

You would have to imagine a mithril mine near or in Gondolin as well. The only attested sources of mithril are in Tolkien's writings are in Khazad-dûm and possibly Númenor and Amman, but it's always possible.
My personal preference is it was made for the mysterious King Bladorthin. In The Hobbit it says that the Dwarves made spears
".. for the armies of the great King Bladorthin (long since dead), each had a thrice-forged head and their shafts were inlaid with cunning gold, but they were never delivered or paid for"
The mithril shirt may have been part of the same order he placed with the Dwarves of Erebor for one of his sons. Not much is known about King Bladorthin, though he may have been a King of the equally shadowy Kingdom of Dorwinion, on the shores of the Sea of Rhûn, and famous for its wines. I've read elsewhere that the name Bladorthin means "grey one from the land of the Valar" in Sindar, (though I'm no expert on the languages). If so this may suggest a Noldor prince ruling Sindar or Nandor subjects.
________________________________________


Nick: NZ Strider (Registered User)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 13:52 EDT (Tue, 7/15/2003 at 6:52 NZDT)
Browser/OS: Mozilla Browser V5.0-rv:1.0.1 (08/23/2002 build) using Macintosh PowerPC
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: Some great UUTs in this thread!


Message:
Sorry, don't have one to add at the moment; all UUT-ed out.
__________________________________
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
________________________________________
• What fun. Bravo, y'all. (No Text) <Princess of Geekland> [7/14/2003 @ 14:13] (10/18)
________________________________________


Nick: gullygilly (Registered User)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 14:28 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows 98
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: Great UUT


Message:
there was one during a chapter discussion (I wish I could remember who-- maybe Drogo) had a UTT that is was made for an adult elve but that over time because mithril was so valuable they shortened it one row at a time thinking no one would notice just one row--until it came to be in the state it is now in...
Reminds me of the song by Weazer "Undone"
If you want to destroy my sweater,
Pull this thread as I walk away.
Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked.
Lying on the floor, I've come undone.
________________________________________
When heart and heat at last have died
And days' last memories reside
Inside a hidden well helpless
Falls--
Down on knees, Oh one!
Soiled through shin and bone
Done with-- all alone
Calls--
Oh Soul go on and does
Find inside hope for the hopeless.
-- C.A. Jolin

Boromir's Betrayal by Gullygilly
class web site
Anti-Clown Alliance of America

________________________________________


Nick: notlost (Registered User)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 17:10 EDT (Mon, 7/14/2003 at 16:10 CDT)
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows ME
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: You know

Message:
When I finally DO read the Sil, I'll have so much background now. Thanks, Rev; this sounds like it makes sense, given the little I know.
Not all those who wander are lost.
________________________________________


Nick: Kimi (Forum Admin)

Date/Time: Mon, 7/14/2003 at 17:19 EDT (Tue, 7/15/2003 at 10:19 NZDT)
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 5.0
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: Oh, very nice!

Message:
That's the sort of story that should be true!
Given that Tolkien recycled parts of his Silmarillion material for LOTR, I think it's fair to say that Frodo inherited Earendil's shirt in the literary sense, whether or not he did in the historical sense.
_____________________________________________
Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?
- A Room With a View
________________________________________


Nick: Merryk (Registered User)

Date/Time: Tue, 7/15/2003 at 2:02 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: Something old,

Message:
something new, something "borrowed..." and something blue? Does this proverb fit Ringbearers?
Nice, tidy UUT!
"Well, I'm back," he said. The End.
________________________________________


Nick: infidel (Registered User)

Date/Time: Tue, 7/15/2003 at 8:25 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows NT 5.1
In Reply To: The mysterious mail shirt. <Reverend> [7/14/2003 @ 10:41] (10/18)

Subject: But wait...

Message:
Fascinating theory, but...when was mithril discovered?
The Encyclopedia of Arda says in its 'mithril' entry that the Dwarves' discovery of mithril is what led to the founding of Eregion. Now Eregion was founded approximately 750SA. So if mithril was not discovered until the Second Age, it could ruin your theory. But I'm not sure....
________________________________________infidel was formerly Daddy Twofoot




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Feb 24, 10:55pm

Post #25 of 26 (7007 views)
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Reverend on psychic roaming charges when Frodo calls from Ithilien 6-16-03 [In reply to] Can't Post

  http://archives.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/readingroom/3F25918A00013B11.html
Reverend is responding to drogo_drogo's post

Nick: Reverend (Registered User)

Date/Time: Mon, 6/16/2003 at 10:18 EDT
Browser/OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows NT 5.1
In Reply To: Are the psychic roaming charges when Frodo makes calls from Ithilien? <drogo_drogo> [6/16/2003 @ 7:32] (3/24)
Subject: Pendantic note.


Message:
'Enormity' means 'extraordinary wickness,' not 'Enormousness'. I know that this is a lost cause, but I have been giggling about the misuse of this word ever since, in the 70's, I head an Exxon exec say 'People do not understand the enormity of our search for new oil.'




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