Our Sponsor Sideshow 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

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
“LotR most useless heroic sacrifice still bugs fans”
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

AshNazg
Gondor


Nov 23 2022, 11:51am

Post #1 of 35 (2838 views)
Shortcut
“LotR most useless heroic sacrifice still bugs fans” Can't Post

I came across this article and thought you lovely people might enjoy getting annoyed at it with me…

https://startefacts.com/...still-bugs-fans_a123

Apparently this bugs fans? Or does it just bug this guy?


DGHCaretaker
Lorien

Nov 23 2022, 4:48pm

Post #2 of 35 (2709 views)
Shortcut
Death Becomes Him [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I came across this article and thought you lovely people might enjoy getting annoyed at it with me…

https://startefacts.com/...still-bugs-fans_a123

Apparently this bugs fans? Or does it just bug this guy?


First I've heard. The reasoning is a bit tortured, as it was a great scene, gave Boromir an honorable redemption, and was perhaps the best of Sean Bean's countless death's - certainly better than even Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye. I am not annoyed.

I'm more impressed that Indiana Jones was pointless in Raider's of the Lost Arc.


squire
Half-elven


Nov 23 2022, 9:14pm

Post #3 of 35 (2706 views)
Shortcut
The controversy seems a little made-up, without more supporting information. [In reply to] Can't Post

I wish he was a little clearer on who is speaking for the 'fans' in the italicized arguments he provides.

In the end Bentley himself seems to be arguing back to the italics, giving us the most generally accepted reason for Boromir's sacrifice and death: that it redeems Boromir from the crime of falling to the Ring's temptation, so that he dies without sin. I don't think that comes across as clearly in the film as in the book, and of course in the film Boromir is portrayed more charismatically than he is in the book, so the film character has what I'd call a much larger fan base to complain that he didn't need to die in the story. Bentley doesn't distinguish whether he is discussing fan reaction to the book or to the film.

Bentley also suggests that Boromir's fall (not death) was necessary to separate Frodo and Sam from the Company, thus protecting the Ring from any further attempts on it by the powerful folk in the Company, or those that the Company meets in its later adventures. That's a pretty common take on the plot-twist, I believe.

When I saw the headline I assumed the 'most useless heroic sacrifice' was a reference to the final battle ("a diversion!") at the gates of Mordor!



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.


Eldy
Tol Eressea


Nov 24 2022, 12:19am

Post #4 of 35 (2679 views)
Shortcut
New to me as well [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't recall ever hearing anyone offer these criticisms, whether they consider themselves fans of LOTR or not. I think squire pretty much covered all the bases here. The film version of Boromir's death, in particular, is in my experience one of the most widely beloved scenes in the Jackson trilogy.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Dec 9 2022, 2:17pm

Post #5 of 35 (2223 views)
Shortcut
I don't think that lovely people 'enjoy getting annoyed' [In reply to] Can't Post

 

In Reply To
I came across this article and thought you lovely people might enjoy getting annoyed at it with me…


I imagine there is some tongue in cheek in this line, but it points to a really serious problem on this forum and elsewhere in Tolkien fandom of late.

I don't think that lovely people 'enjoy getting annoyed'.

I think that people who enjoy getting annoyed are far from lovely.

And that would not matter if there hadn't been a far from lovely effect of this behaviour on these boards, and on other parts of online fandom.

In my view, people enjoying outrage, drama, pile-ons and factional fights has made it pretty much impossible to do anything else.

I think the people who indulge in such behaviours are not lovely people, because lovely people would either ignore an article not worth discussing, or discuss it fairly on whatever merits it has or whatever thoughts it stirs.

Lovely people, in my view, are also willing to tollerate differences of opinion, or faults in others' writing. That's because hey, maybe we're not perfect either.

But I think the unlovely people have dirven away a lot of lovely people, because the latter neither enjoy being annoyed nor want to be the target of someone else's self-indulgent outrage.

It is like trying to have a quiet drink in a pub where a lot of folks have turned up for the fights. You get hassled or bottled too.


And, frankly, why should anyone bother to write anything for discussion on these boards if the reaction one is likely to get is people enjoying self-righteous annoyance as a form of entertainment, rather then anyone entering into respectful exchange of views?


That's why I'm unlikely to post anything substantive here at present - if ever again.


At one time the effort required to write something thoughful would have been rewarded by a good discussion, but I have no faith in that now.

So I do see this 'enjoy getting annoyed' as an essentially parasitic and toxic influence on these boards. But aside from that I just don't see why it is necessary (aside from anyone who is addicted to the drama).


Why should anyone get annoyed with this article? Because this article has faults? Because you disagree with the author?

I think the article has faults. I don't disagree with the author, but only because that would be like disagreeing with nothing. I'm not sure what point this collection of anonymous quotations by fans is intended to amount to. It seems to wander around a while and then stop in the middle of nowhere. I felt I learned nothing except that "people have various opinions" (which I knew anyway). But I don't see why it woud be appropriate to be annoyed.

If I had been asked to write an article on this subject I would have done it differently, sure.

I could point out my own views on whether Boromir's death is heroic, useless, a sacrifice and so on.

And I think there are interesting things to say about how book-Boromir contrasts to PJmovie-Boromir.

And perhaps, if there is a shift (by this author or others writing nowadays) to conflating those and other material into a sort of fanon-Boromir, then that could be an interesting subject of discussion too.

....If people would only stop enjoying getting annoyed at each other and sit down and talk civily - remember that?.

Then again, if hired to edit the article, I might have asked the author for changes to address the shortcomings I see. On the other hand, editors work to the publisher's instructions and we don't know what those were. Maybe the author delivered here exactly what was wanted by the editors. Maybe that was a piece of quickly-written and fairly vacuuous copy with a clickbait title to which the article does not live up. Who knows: maybe it's all just to keep the advertisments apart and drive traffic towards them, or maybe there was some other brief that the author has fully delivered. One thing is for sure: the author was not under any contract to you or to me to write something we'd find interesting. So again, I don't see why it woud be appropriate to be annoyed.


And if the annoyance is real, rather than performative, maybe consider the additional traffic you are driving to this article you say is annoying. Aren't you encouraging the writing of more of the same?

Ohhh wait -- I suppose that if someone really does enjoy annoyance they would quite rationally cultivate the creation of the next hit for their addiction, so maybe that does make sense.

Is that what we've come to in fact - an industry writing deliberately annoying articles so that people can enjoy being annoyed by them, and then drive traffic to the article to generate the revenue that gets more annoying copy commissioned?

I suppose somebody is being had for a sucker, or perhaps it's a win-win of mutal exploitation and ever mounting cortisol levels?

All kinds of strange desires can be satisfied on the Internet and it iwould be none of my business -- except that, as I've said, it scuppers other writing, most especially the kind I used to enjoy writing or reading here.

So I'm disapointed, even maybe annoyed about that, but I'm not enjoying it.

~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Dec 9 2022, 2:47pm

Post #6 of 35 (2215 views)
Shortcut
A lovely discussion [In reply to] Can't Post

The last LOTR readthough did The Departure of Boromir in September 2015.

Much of what one could say about Boromir's death came up in a very good discussion, which I recommend to anyone who is actually more interested in Boromir or Tolkien than they are in the self-arousal of getting annoyed.

I think the contrast of September 2015's Reading Room to today's is profound.

Note how people mostly support each other in making points or driving the discussion forward, rather than regarding each other as competitors or targets, or sources of enjoyable outrage.

Note the preponderance of positive interactions.

Note how few of those posters are active now.

~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Dec 9 2022, 3:53pm

Post #7 of 35 (2212 views)
Shortcut
I'd say Boromir's death enables the Return of the King [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the anonymous fans missed several interpretations of interest

For example, I think one could make a good case for Boromir's death being esential in enabling the Return of the King.
Aragorn (in book, and in movie) had proposed to go with Frodo to Mordor. Yet in Tolkien's final plot, Aragorn is the crucial figure to raise the seige of Gondor, and go on to restore the line of kings. So he has NOT to go to Mordor to do that. In my reading Aragorn knows in his heart that Gondor (as per the summons in the prophetic dream) and not Mordor is his path. But he's been struggling with this since Lorien.

Boromir's death is also a key cause of Denethor's insanity. That clears the post of Steward for Faramir, who co-operates wih the Restoration. A "Boromir Lives!" plot would need to deal with a live Boromir and his reluctant to yield the throne father. (Indeed IIRC an earlier plot outline by Tolkien envisaged a Gondorian civil war, with Aragorn against Boromir who was being manipulated by a still-alive Saruman. But I'm a bit hazy about the details.)

So these things, in my view, follow from Boromir's death. They are not what Boromir died trying to achieve, in a more conventional heroic self-sacrifice (such as Gandalf staying to fight the Balrog, so that the rest of theFellowship can escape).

But they are what, unexpectedly, Boromir's death does achieve.

And that's aside from his redemption from his fall (which I suspect he was trying to achieve).
Then I think you've already covered or alluded to:
  • Who else might have tried to seize the Ring, had the Fellowship gone all the way to Mordor?
  • The non-Ringbearer shards of the Fellowship creating a dizzying distraction whereby Saruman and Sauron assume that the Ring is just about anywhere and in the hands of anyone, except for two small hobbits yomping to Mordor.

It seems to me that people having an unwitting part in things, or achieving something they didn't expect or hope to achieve, is a recurring theme or device in LOTR:
  • Gollum being the destroyer of the Ring is another good example.
  • For another example, some time ago someone made an excellent and amusing argument that Saruman did as much to ensure the Ring's destruction as anyone, despite that being the opposite of his goal.
  • Or, one could consider Eowyn, setting out for an honourable warrior's death and unexpectedly becoming the victor of Ye Big Single Combat of the war. That plays a key role in wining the battle and is something that readers used to more conventional fantasy fare might have expected to be done by Gandalf, Aragorn or some other more expected 'Power' figure.
I think that in turn taps into some themes of Tolkien about the group or cumulative effect of character heroism being important, rather than anyone being too Main Characterish and sweeping all before them.

~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 9 2022, 6:22pm

Post #8 of 35 (2201 views)
Shortcut
Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

Couldn't be better put. Thank you!



Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 9 2022, 6:24pm

Post #9 of 35 (2205 views)
Shortcut
Amen. And [In reply to] Can't Post

how sad.
I hope we can turn it around, somehow.



Lissuin
Valinor


Dec 9 2022, 9:19pm

Post #10 of 35 (2194 views)
Shortcut
NoWiz, [In reply to] Can't Post

lovely.




noWizardme
Half-elven


Dec 10 2022, 10:42am

Post #11 of 35 (2142 views)
Shortcut
Perhaps this tangent should be kept short (link to a discussion for it elsewhere).... [In reply to] Can't Post

Now I don't know whether AshNazg was being literal or tongue-in-cheek about inviting people to a Link and Lynch until Locked exercise to replace the one that was libelling Simon Tolkien on RoP until that was stopped.

Assuming good intent requires me to think that it was merely irreponsible. I think it's unwise to sound the charge (or something very like it) when we have a veritable cavalry of hobby-horse riders listening for any such signal.
What I suggest now is that we don't let what could be a pleasant discussion about Boromir's death be dominated by a tangent about user behaviour or the direction of the boards.
So I've posted something over here for people to have any say about those subjects.
And suggest we discuss Boromir here, if anyone wants to.
AshNazg has, I think, hit a nail on the head about rage addicts. But that doesn't mean that their thread will be better if it becomes a pile-on about pile-ons Smile

~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 10 2022, 5:00pm

Post #12 of 35 (2113 views)
Shortcut
Yes, agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think so far it seems like folks to want to discuss Boromir, and I've been reminded of many things about him I hadn't considered in awhile.
Just an idea, since book read-throughs don't seems to spark enough interest right now. What do you think about possibly proposing, in the Reading Room, character discussions, either starting at the beginning of LOTR and taking characters as they are introduced, more or less, or just starting with major stand-outs like Boromir. Or . . .?
I would definitely take part in something like that.

Just a thought.



Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Dec 10 2022, 6:26pm

Post #13 of 35 (2094 views)
Shortcut
I think that is a great idea! // [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't promise that I would participate much, but I might.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 10 2022, 6:47pm

Post #14 of 35 (2097 views)
Shortcut
I hope that you could. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not only the more the merrier, but your focus on Tolkien scholarship would bring things to the table that would not only enrich the discussions, but help create more things to discuss, especially since the problem recently seems to be that Reading Room threads die out way too quickly.



Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 10 2022, 7:21pm

Post #15 of 35 (2096 views)
Shortcut
I don't think we've done character explorations before. [In reply to] Can't Post

Or if we have, it was a damn long time ago. I'm in!

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.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Dec 10 2022, 8:55pm

Post #16 of 35 (2084 views)
Shortcut
Accidental scholarship [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate your kind words but you and many others have as much or more to offer than I do. All of the scholarship that I have been involved with stems directly from message board discussions like this. Much as I appreciate Peter Jackson's LotR films for their own sake, those discussions (here and at other sites) may be for me their greatest lasting legacy.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 10 2022, 11:08pm

Post #17 of 35 (2064 views)
Shortcut
Thank you! But I think [In reply to] Can't Post

all of us here appreciate what you bring to the table. It's pretty exceptional from my point of view.Smile



noWizardme
Half-elven


Dec 11 2022, 5:17pm

Post #18 of 35 (1989 views)
Shortcut
How would it work? [In reply to] Can't Post

Google "Boromir" and the search engine finds Wikipedia, lotr.fandom.com, Tolkien Gateway etc. : a seies of sites offering encyclopedia-like entries. These are 'Lore' - statements that would be factual if the fantasy world were real. Or sometimes they are what the author imagines would be factual if the fantasy world were real. People who think they know often don't check back to the primary sources, or stop to eliminate their own preconceptions or biases.

These accounts often don't differentiate between movie-Boromir and book-Boromir, as if book and movie are just historical sources through which to get at the real character. I think that in some ways these encyclopedia- like articles do literary discussion a disservice, promoting a limited view of what you can do with Tolkien, whcih I'm going to call Lorism*.

But anyway:

What would we do in these character explorations- write more or better encyclopedia entries? No doubt some of us could do that (though it would a lot of work to research some characters - Cirdan or Galadriel for example). But how is the rest of the community to react to make it much of a discussion?

And how do we avoid it becoming a paradise for our pedants and one-uppers to the point where the only comments someone gets back for their efforts are quibbles and copy-edits (Yes, this has happened to me and it is a poor reward for the effort required to produce something to which those people could not find a stronger objection -- I'm sure they tried).

And how are people to prepare for a discussion (if they aren't tasked with writing the essay)? Thinking back to chapter by chapter readthroughs (which may show I'm stuck in an old way of thinking that is not helpful now, but is nonetheless the contribution I can hope to make) we used to say that all you need is a book and opinion And we meant it. We tried to value someone's first-past impressions of a chapter as much as the deeper thoughts of one of our loremasters. But 'read the chapter and be ready to discuss your reactions' is a realistic assignment for most folks. Is everyone to read up on something - and if so, then what?



----

*I think that in some ways these encyclopedia- like articles do literary discussion a disservice, promoting what I'm going to call Lorism - the idea that there is a bunch of correct facts about a character (or place or event) in Middle-earth, and there jolly well should be an answer to any question if you insist enough.

I mean Lorism to be distinct from 'the feigned history approach' which can be a wonder to behold in the hands of folk such as Eldy or Felagund. But they are scrupulous about the treatment of their sources as fallible and incomplete, just as real historical sources are.The Lorist has no such doubts.

Personally I am suspicious of Lorism. Or at least, it is not what I want to do. It elides Tolkien's art as a writer and makes him just a world-builder. It rejects my role as a reader in reacting to a work of art and how it resonates with my imagination, or is applicable to me. It tries to do away with ambiguity and different interpretatons. It is unable to deal with anything that may have been designed as litereary effect or to remain a mystery.

At the extreme I think it contributes to people seeming to regard Tolkien as a sort of scripture, with an unambiguous meaning that is handed down by the fandom equivalents of your Pastor; a meaning to which we must all agree. But I want my Tolkien unPastorised and unhomogenised.
And of course if Tolkien is just the main source for your Lore, you can get rid of his writing completely - just read or watch more user-friendly nuggets of secondary-source explanation. People must do as they wish, of course, but if they do that I feel sorry for them.







.

~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.


sevilodorf
Tol Eressea

Dec 11 2022, 6:03pm

Post #19 of 35 (1982 views)
Shortcut
Theoden: "oft evil will shall evil mar" [In reply to] Can't Post

For another example, some time ago someone made an excellent and amusing argument that Saruman did as much to ensure the Ring's destruction as anyone, despite that being the opposite of his goal.

Ultimately isn't that the whole theme -- that Illuvatar's plan can never truly be sidetracked for even evil is accounted for and will bring about the desired end (eventually).

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com
Home of TheOneRing.net Best FanFic stories of 2005 and 2006 "The Last Grey Ship" and "Ashes, East Wind, Hope That Rises" by Erin Rua

(Found in Mathoms, LOTR Tales Untold)




Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 11 2022, 8:52pm

Post #20 of 35 (1959 views)
Shortcut
Well, I was [In reply to] Can't Post

(possibly naively) thinking book(s)--as in LOTR to start with--and as far as extraneous sources, anything Tolkien wrote including his letters to draw on for ideas and discussion. I'm not a big fan of drawing from, or in this particular instance, the writing of articles, etc., but that's just me.

As to format, I was vaguely thinking of something similar to what was done with book read-throughs, only specifically about the chosen character. I like our old time-worn posing of questions and using those questions in reply and to further the discussions, like here which actually is about a character although it didn't go very far: http://newboards.theonering.net/...cgi?post=31945#31945
But I'm sure there are many ways to go about it.

I've had similar experiences in keeping with your second paragraph after "But anyway:" and even more frequently, simply deafening silence. I suppose what I should have done instead of going silent myself is to keep posting anyway, and I shall try to do that.

I heartily concur with this: " . . . all you need is a book and opinion And we meant it. We tried to value someone's first-past impressions of a chapter as much as the deeper thoughts of one of our loremasters. But 'read the chapter and be ready to discuss your reactions' is a realistic assignment for most folks."
I wonder how many people would like the following: Start at the beginning of LOTR, and pick 1 major and one interlinked major or minor character (yeah, still thinking like a musician hereCrazy), like Bilbo and Lobelia, or Frodo and Sam.

Or, just ask for people to submit their favorite character in no particular book order, and do 1 at a time. I think Boromir would be great, since we've already gotten a start.




Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 11 2022, 9:36pm

Post #21 of 35 (1950 views)
Shortcut
Well, if I lead any of these discussions [In reply to] Can't Post

I can guarantee there won't be an essay involved. All we can do is discuss from our own perceptions/experiences - and my thoughts are in no way as deep or as broad as others on these boards.

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.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


noWizardme
Half-elven


Dec 12 2022, 12:42pm

Post #22 of 35 (1864 views)
Shortcut
DO tempt me, Frodo! [In reply to] Can't Post

Exciting. Perhaps we are ready for another adventure? It's caused me to think of a very related idea (though not perhaps exactly what you were thinking - or is it? - let me know):

I'm imagining that we set up a schedule of discussions, each one about a character from LOTR, in a situation where we learn something about them (some suggestions at the end).

Inevitably, where two or more characters are intereacting, it will sometimes be artficial to do anything other than cover them both/all in this situation. But sometimes it might work to focus most on one character's POV - chapter leader's choice.


Homework before the discussion is for everyone to read a chapter or passage the chapter leader has nominated, in which this character/situation happens.

I imagine we should ask that people really do re-read the text, because by now it is surprisingly easy to get muddled up between the book and movie, fan art, TV series, games, fan fiction and whatnot. We'd ask the chapter leader to keep the required passage short, so that people aren't excluded because it was too much to read.

But what is someone who doesnt' like reading Tolkien doing in the Reading Room? So I dont think that should be an unreasonable ask!

If the passage to read is LOTR only, people also aren't excluded (or percieve they are excluded, no matter how welcome they would really be) because they don't have all the possible texts that you might ideally want plunge into a character in great detail.

I do think it's important to make it as easy as possible to be involved. It's difficult to attract contributors other than the usual suspects anyway, and so the lower we can keep barriers to entry the better.

But people do have to realise that if they want projects to succeed here enough people have to support them, by more than just reading everything and giving nothing back. (Anyone who wants just to broadcast their opinions is probably by now on YouTube, Instagram, SubStack or many other places where the work of writing stuff might give you a personal following or even an income. So I suppose that foks who contriute here are after a pleasant discussion rather than just being read- I certainly am.)

That character/situation combo is the chapter leader's to present in any way they wish (though they should be careful not to pre-empt any other schedulled discussion). But at least part of the job is to open up as broad a discussion as possible. So it is in fact better not to write a comprehensive essay, and to leave connection points for other contributors.

The discussion is of course welcome to broaden out in any fruitful direction.

We'd want to keep it about the book, given that this is the RR. By tradition, movies or other adaptations can be mentioned, e.g. because the adaptation has gone a different way, and this seems to shed some interesting light on Tolkien's own choices. But people should be clear about when they are talking about (say) movie-Boromir, not book- Boromir, and any discussion that is becoming predominantly about a movie, TV series, game, etc. should be taken over to its proper board.

The chapter leader then behaves as chapter leaders always have for their week - we might want to say what that involves if we do some formal instrucitons, but I don't think I have to elaborate on that now?

I'm imaging that we'd say firmly that "All you need is a book and an opinion" and that while we hope to see old friends again, we really do want to hear from people who have not posted much or not at all. The project will quickly run out of steam if once again it is (wrongly) percieved that only an elite can write for it.


One focus will be on how readers interpret a situation and a passage of text. This I think will be essential if chapter leading is to be inclusive.


And Someone's interpretation is their interpretation: at worst it is so personal that is is difficult for anyone else to understand it, or to see how that makes sense.
Obviously points of view should be discussed (and in good discussions in the past I've come in with one point of view and come out with one I like better - no harm in that unless one is too proud to learn).


The discussions will thrive on polite and respectful disagreement. But we need to expect everyone to be tollerant of, and inquisitive about other points of view, rather than anyone trying to browbeat others into their One Reading To Rule Them All. (Perhaps admins could look out for hard tackles on new players?)

Of course if this new formula works well, it could cover other books than LOTR in future, But I'd suggest stick to LOTR for now.


Character/situation combos that I can think of right away:
Death of Boromir we already have - that's over 2 chapters, IIRC. We've already uncovered some themes. If it were going on now I'd want to ask for info about debts of honour in dark ages warrior cultures (soem folk who come here or used to know abotu that stuff). And I'd want to say something about how English people of Tolkien's generation (the old folks as I grew up) regarded heroic or gallant failure (and how that has changed since, in my opinion). I have a feeling that's a cultural thing that is relevant but gets lost nowadays.
Other ideas:
  • Frodo on Amon Hen - he decides to go to Mordor alone. There are some interesting things trying to influence him.
  • Saruman's attempt to persuade Gandalf to appease Sauron, or 'share' the Ring (as reported by Gandalf to Council of Elrond) - I'm tempted by doing that one Crazy
  • Aragorn (as Strider) at Bree - his interview in Frodo's room where he tries to get the party to trust him
  • Galadriel as she either explains to Frodo why she can't take the Ring or comes very close to doing so.

Thise are just to show there are some. I'm sure there are very many more, and it would proabbly be best if people picked their own.
What I like about it is that some of these scenes just don't get covered fully enough in a chapter-a-week readthough, because they appear in chapters where too much else is going on. And that's good, because we aren't then asking people who have done one or many readthoughs simply to rehash their opinion.


Oh the heck with it, I'd be willing to participate and even help run it. t's just that I'm not willing do something on my own.

~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.


Silvered-glass
Rivendell

Dec 12 2022, 7:39pm

Post #23 of 35 (1855 views)
Shortcut
Lorism [In reply to] Can't Post

I've noticed the lorism issue, and I think it has done a great harm to the fandom. I personally think Tolkien was more of a mystery author than many people think, and that kind of approach collides badly with the idea that everything should be taken at face value as "lore" that may not be questioned.

Based on the expected reception here, my big theory (which I haven't abandoned) has been turning into something resembling a master's thesis (still far from finished) simply because I feel like I need to explain everything as clearly as possible, with plentiful quotations, while addressing all the likely counter-arguments right in the opening post, or else be instantly dismissed as obviously wrong and not worth discussing. The problem then becomes assuming that people will read through the whole thing, but I'm trying to make it all digestible with numbered headings and subheadings.

I'm also trying to do a major revision of the Saruman theory to fit the same standard. The original version was far too sloppy, though it had a lot of effort put in for a simple forum post.


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Dec 12 2022, 8:24pm

Post #24 of 35 (1848 views)
Shortcut
Dreadful pun warning: [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes! We could use it to Ring in the New Year (or bring a salutary close to the old?). I am definitely ready for an adventure.

Anyway, I really do like your idea, but I also like the idea of tracing the character all through the books, as far or wherever they may go. Maybe start with your idea, and then alternate a time or 2 and see which people seem to prefer?
I agree with all your points, especially these:"I'm imaging that we'd say firmly that "All you need is a book and an opinion" and that while we hope to see old friends again, we really do want to hear from people who have not posted much or not at all. The project will quickly run out of steam if once again it is (wrongly) percieved that only an elite can write for it.


One focus will be on how readers interpret a situation and a passage of text. This I think will be essential if chapter leading is to be inclusive.


And Someone's interpretation is their interpretation: at worst it is so personal that is is difficult for anyone else to understand it, or to see how that makes sense.
Obviously points of view should be discussed (and in good discussions in the past I've come in with one point of view and come out with one I like better - no harm in that unless one is too proud to learn)."

I understand completely you wouldn't want to run the whole thing. I'm actually a very poor "runner" myself--I once accidentally left my favorite student and 2 of the 3 accompanists off of a recital program I designed (Blush)--but I'm more than happy to help with all the initial "setup" and then as it goes on, be support staff and to help however I can. I don't think I'm one to start off the posting, though, because my take on things seems to be out of sync enough with how people think of the books that I hardly ever get replies--and I'd hate to have us start off like that!
Maybe Ataahua could be our first post-er, if she'd like to be?
And how about "advertising" in places like Main, Off-Topic, the Movie boards, etc, just making clear it's about the books themselves? I'd be happy to write that up and then P.M. it to you for comments and revision, and then do the posting.




noWizardme
Half-elven


Dec 13 2022, 10:55am

Post #25 of 35 (1804 views)
Shortcut
To Rivendell, Master Gamgee! [In reply to] Can't Post

By which I mean I think the next step is to start a thead in which we propose a new Reading Room project, present the ideas we've been discussing and ask for further suggestions, gather the overall level of willingness to do this kind of thing and (essentially) guage how many folks will actually contribute.
Otherwise we risk getting all excited by our ideas only to discover that nobody much really cares.


(I realise that some folks will sincerly cheer a project on, and that will truly be all they can do at present. But if you cannot field a team, it is irelevant how many people would like to see a game.)

It's encouraging to realise that at least some of us would like an alternative to either the boards being very quiet, or the overall tone being of people 'enjoying getting annoyed' (or at least visibly 'getting annoyed' whether they are enjoying it or not).

And I think we have some promising ideas for things we might do collaboratively together.

But I feel we're rather at the Book I party of hobbits stage. And just as some plucky hobbits and their one-off helpers barely make it to Bree, I don't think we yet know that there is enough energy and enthusiasm left in the Reading Room to get something done.

Of course perhaps something we just started might take off, but I am discouraged by my previous attempts.

For a project now to take off, we need to have 'many paths and errands meet' (I like to think that Frodo is versing presciently about the Council of Elrond when he says that).

I would like to have some credible offers of 'my axe' and 'my bow' before deciding that this is the will of the Council, and we may be able to see it done (if you see what I mean!)

And I think those have to include some new folks, not just the names of the dependable contributors we can all promptly come up with (and which might pretty much be the survivors of the roll of honour of the 28 chapter leaders for our 2014-16 LOTR readthrough.)

I do hope that as many as possible of those old hands still have the energy to join in. But if it's just us I think we risk a last hurrah of the pre 2016 Reading Room, rather than doing something positive that appeals to the Reading Room of 2023 onwards.


Lastly, my own participation is going to be limited. So that will be fine if there are many willing hands to do something, or (perhaps best of all) others willing to take the lead.
In many ways it would be best of all if things were led by 'the new generation' of present or soon-to-emerge high-volume posters.

~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.

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.