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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Fire and Water -- the story of Bard.
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Jun 29 2009, 7:17am

Post #76 of 82 (115 views)
Yes, many people don't realize [In reply to] Can't Post

that "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God" were products of the Cold War and the fight against "Godless Communism," and not a part of America's founding. The real "god" of democracy is the Will of the People, with some respect for the Rights of the Minority. Of course, often that can lead a democracy astray -- although few politicians will admit it, the People are not always right.


Jun 29 2009, 7:25am

Post #77 of 82 (100 views)
Are they? The things I learn here! // [In reply to] Can't Post


"We may not understand him, but that old bird understands us, I am sure." - Balin.


Jun 29 2009, 10:44am

Post #78 of 82 (110 views)
In God we trust / All others pay cash [In reply to] Can't Post

"In God we trust" has been on some US coinage by law since the Civil War and is directly attributable to the nation's heightened sense of national fate and religious destiny during that struggle. It is true that it only became the "national motto" in the years of the Cold War, almost a hundred years later.

The Pledge of Allegiance used the phrase "One Nation" from its beginning at the turn of the century, again in reference to the Civil War and the desire to strengthen national unity afterwards. As you say, "Under God" was added during the Cold War.

It is as dangerous to underplay the role of the Christian religion in U.S. political history as it is to overplay it. Few Americans, I think, would go along with calling the concept of popular sovereignty a "god", much less the "real god" of our democratic system.

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'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


Jun 29 2009, 1:18pm

Post #79 of 82 (101 views)
That's why I didn't capitalize it. [In reply to] Can't Post

To put it in less provocative terms, I think quite a few people might agree that politicians are more interested in polls than in God's Will. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Eowyn of Penns Woods

Jun 29 2009, 4:01pm

Post #80 of 82 (93 views)
My t-shirt says: "In God we trust. All others we polygraph." // [In reply to] Can't Post


Jul 4 2009, 2:37am

Post #81 of 82 (90 views)
I like how Tolkien would introduce [In reply to] Can't Post

a character major to an event out of nowhere. Like Faramir in TT. In the case of Lake-town, you'd think that the Master of Lake-town would become the central character and not the almost one-liner moody dude we hear from when the Company first arrives.

When the story breaks away from the dwarves and Bilbo to follow Smaug to Lake-town reminds me of Tolkien's tendency to shift gears like he does in LotR. A sort of... "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" moment. He doesn't feel like we need to be spoon-fed a completely linear story. I enjoy the many layered story-telling :)


Why didn't Bard ever consider going after the dragon before he was forced to do so?

Bard was a good little townie. He was used to not being taken seriously... a doom-sayer or, at least, very serious. I think that he never forgot the danger of living in the shadow of the mountain and the dragon within. He didn't go after the treasure until it became apparent that the survivors of Smaug's attack were in for some major suffering now that they were homeless.

would you agree with me that Tolkien does a masterful job within the chapter? Aren't you eager to see this on the movie screen?

Oh yeah... uh-huh! Considering Tolkien sometimes uses many words to put us in a head-space... he also needs very few to create an episode. Masterful, fersher!


monarchy versus democracy when he made Bard the hero and the Master a scheming coward?

We see this theme with Denethor, Saruman, and even Thorin once he claims the treasure. Some leaders think they've become like gods to their realms. The great leaders seem to be the ones who are brought into those roles through fate. Not because they seek it, but because they're sacrificing themselves for the good of the many. The great leaders in Tolkien's stories also seem to be the ones who are not self-serving... like Elrond and Thorin.

Geez, I can't wait to see this on the screen!!!! *twitch*


"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."
~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

TORn's Observations Lists


Jul 5 2009, 12:07pm

Post #82 of 82 (145 views)
The problem is not so much the new character [In reply to] Can't Post

As the new concept. Dain is also new, but we do know Thorin has cousins, friends and relatives somewhere.
On the other hand, we have heard a lot of Girion and Dale, and hear Smaug boast about his destroying it, and we hear about it in Esgaroth with no mention of survivors - and all of a sudden, it goes like: "Gee, you know, we forgot to tell you Girion's wife and daughter did escape, and actually some of Smaug's treasure is rightfully theirs".

Now seen from Bilbo's point of view, this seems reasonable enough, as he might not know about this - however, he does say later he knew Bard well, which he would't if Bard was just an attendant; so this does seem a but like cheating the reader.
So it goes against storytelling conventions, which I don't mind much; but it leaves a taste of 'Shouldn't we have been told of this before?'

"We may not understand him, but that old bird understands us, I am sure." - Balin.

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