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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Does anyone else wish we had Tolkien's six titles?!
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Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 5:10pm

Post #26 of 43 (117 views)
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Something vague [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't like the idea of something vague any more than I like the idea of The Two Towers. I think the movie handled it well, but then they also dropped Saruman's betrayal of Sauron. I guess there's just not a really good title. Perhaps it just goes to show that publishing these two books together makes for a very artificial novel?

I agree, Minas Tirith absolutely does not make sense as one of the two towers.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 5:16pm

Post #27 of 43 (110 views)
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What do you think of Frodo's title? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not that it could have been used on the published books, but does it make more sense than just "The Lord of the Rings?"

"The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King"

I suppose for me, LOTR works because the whole book revolves around what Sauron is up to and how to stop him. I like that fact that we never see much of him--it makes him much scarier that way.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Apr 23 2013, 5:16pm

Post #28 of 43 (119 views)
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Tolkien's own cover illustration features Minas Morgul and Orthanc. [In reply to] Can't Post

This is what was published in 1954.

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Arannir
Valinor

Apr 23 2013, 5:19pm

Post #29 of 43 (111 views)
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Yes, as I said above. [In reply to] Can't Post

But he still also wrote that it could be left ambigious.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 23 2013, 5:24pm

Post #30 of 43 (101 views)
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"The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King"- ooh. I wonder how that strory's going to end ? ;) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 5:36pm

Post #31 of 43 (89 views)
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It's *the journey* that matters, not the ending! :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Apr 23 2013, 5:36pm

Post #32 of 43 (100 views)
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So you did. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
For me, it will remain Orthanc and Barad-dur, as it nicely describes the attack from two sides, plus the fact that for one of our storylines, Saruman is the main antagonist, for the other one Sauron. The book cover by Tolkien that indicates Minas Morgul and Orthanc... well, I really do not see how MM is really that important for the storyline to justify it basically being featured in the title.

Sorry to have overlooked that. However, I think there is a case to be made that Minas Morgul is more important than Barad-dur to the plot of Book IV. (Here's just one previous discussion of this question.) And by the time The Fellowship of the Ring was published, Tolkien had written this in an endnote to that volume:

"The second part is called THE TWO TOWERS, since the events recounted in it are dominated by ORTHANC, the citadel of Saruman, and the fortress of MINAS MORGUL that guards the secret entrance to Mordor; it tells of the deeds and perils of all the members of the now sundered fellowship, until the coming of the Great Darkness."

So the actual text in The Lord of the Rings agrees with the second volume's cover, no matter Tolkien's earlier misgivings on the subject. (More comments on these notes Tolkien wrote for publication in the three-volume editions of the text can be read here.) Still, just as Darkstone has suggested that the very title "Lord of the Rings" may have more than one meaning, I don't automatically discount the ambiguity you identify!

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geordie
Tol Eressea

Apr 23 2013, 5:41pm

Post #33 of 43 (98 views)
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Actually, that isn't the original cover [In reply to] Can't Post

- they didn't use it. Instead they used this, which is also Tolkien's design.

http://www.tolkienbooks.net/php/details.php?reference=41110

.


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 23 2013, 5:45pm

Post #34 of 43 (92 views)
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My problem with MM is... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that although posing a problem for Frodo an Sam for a while, they get by it rather quickly. Arguably the Morannon and Shelob's Lair and even the Emyn Muil and Death Marshes play a much bigger role and much bigger challenges on their journey.

Not even most of the foes they encounter come from Minas Morgul, but either Mordor or the South.


This is why I like to imagine (for myself) towers as synonyms for the two main antagonists that influence both storylines.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 5:51pm

Post #35 of 43 (85 views)
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The Downfall of... [In reply to] Can't Post

Dumb me, I can't believe I forgot about this longer title. It makes so much more sense and once again I'm happy with the official title! Blush Like you said, the longer title obviously can't be used for the published book, but I do like the idea that when I (or someone else) say "The Lord of the Rings", I really mean "The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King".

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


squire
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 6:04pm

Post #36 of 43 (82 views)
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The Tower of the Moon [In reply to] Can't Post

Minas Morgul, formerly Minas Ithil, symbolically dominates the entire landscape of Ithilien, between the mountains of Mordor and the Anduin. That landscape is where Book IV takes place. Although as you say the hobbits have little direct contact with the city itself and its tower, I think Tolkien was pretty comfortable with the power of Morgul being the primary obstacle to Frodo's quest in Book IV. This even after he had removed the action that takes place in Cirith Ungol from its original setting, the City of Living Death itself; in the drafts found in HoME, a reader discovers that Tolkien first wrote of Frodo being captured by, held in, and rescued from the fortress in the valley, not the minor guard tower at the top of the pass!

As to the hobbits' "getting by it rather quickly" - arguably the same could be said about Orthanc in Book III. Again, Saruman's influence dominates Rohan from the Emyn Muil to Helm's Deep, hindering the three companions and Gandalf. But they never come close to the Tower itself until after its destruction, which takes place quickly and in flashback (so to speak).

I like to think of these Two Towers introducing a whole series. The Third Tower is the focus of Book V, the White Tower of Minas Tirith. Which leaves the Fourth Tower for Book VI: Barad-dur, the mightiest of them all, makes its appearance at last.



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 (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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imin
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 6:04pm

Post #37 of 43 (84 views)
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That is how i see it as well. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I suppose for me, LOTR works because the whole book revolves around what Sauron is up to and how to stop him. I like that fact that we never see much of him--it makes him much scarier that way.


As others have said i do really like the longer title but could not be used for the published books!

And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 6:17pm

Post #38 of 43 (79 views)
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Two towers [In reply to] Can't Post

I love your explanation, squire. I feel like a wishy-washy teenager, but I'm satisfied with the title now. I had been thinking similarly to Arranir in that the tower itself is only seen for a very short time during the journey. But I think now that your explanation has convinced me otherwise. It makes sense that the tower and it's influence are the main obstacles during this part of the journey. I did originally think that Isengard plays a similarly minor role because we only go there for a few chapters, but I now think the parallels between the two towers are greater than I had thought. Thank you for your excellent insights.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 23 2013, 9:37pm

Post #39 of 43 (74 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd go with:

I. Hobbits Ahoy

II. Big Folk, Small Folk, Dwarf Folk, Elf Folk.

III. Saruman the Wienie

IV. The Devil’s Triangle

V. Where It All Hits the Fan!

VI. The Long, Long, Really Long Goodbye

VII. Stuff to Make Your Eyes Glaze Over

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



CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 23 2013, 10:31pm

Post #40 of 43 (57 views)
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An Appendix troll, caught in our trap! :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Apr 24 2013, 4:21am

Post #41 of 43 (66 views)
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$#@*&^ [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I knew that. Sort of. From the Descriptive Bibliography and Artist & Illustrator. But I forgot. I've never seen a first edition in person, I don't think. Thanks for catching my error.

Interestingly, in an earlier design for The Two Towers cover, Tolkien drew the towers as Barad-dur and Minas Tirith!

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Arannir
Valinor

Apr 24 2013, 6:45am

Post #42 of 43 (47 views)
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This is a good way to look at it... [In reply to] Can't Post

... And it kind of was my reasoning above why I like Orthanc: as a representative of Saruman, his influence and his doings. Although your explanation surrounding MM helps, it still does not work as well for me compared to Orthanc, since so much that Frodo encounters does come from Mordor directly or the South (or is not affiliated to any of those). However, I do like the idea of a four tower series :)


geordie
Tol Eressea

Apr 24 2013, 12:24pm

Post #43 of 43 (61 views)
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I like the front cover wich was published in 1954 [In reply to] Can't Post

- I like the (apparent) simplicity. Note that the writing is printed in red on the front cover, and in black on the other two volumes. I've seen drafts of the tengwar script, in an exhibition at the Bodleian. Breathtaking!
.

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