Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[The Hobbit] The Longest Post in History, pg 48

1171820222371

Posts

  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    Every fan of the Lord of the Rings should at least flip through Return of the Shadow, the sixth volume of The History of Middle Earth, where Christopher documents at excruciating length the writing of The Fellowship of the Ring. The uneven nature of the book -- especially compared to The Two Towers and The Return of the King -- is much more evident but also much more explicable when you realize that Tolkien got his merry band of hobbits (led by the terribly named "Bingo Baggins") all the way to Rivendell before he decided that the magic ring Bilbo found was Sauron's ring, and that this wasn't going to be a happy little bedtime story for his children the way that The Hobbit was.

    Oh, wow. I never got that far because, frankly, I was exhausted just from reading the three or four The History of Middle Earth books that I did read. Especially since eventually the unfinished, draft versions of The Silmarillion started bleeding into my memories of the published version, and that gets REALLY confusing REALLY quickly (the Noldor are called "Gnomes"! Beren and Luthien fight Tevildo, the giant, monstrous king of cats! Numenor was literally Atlantis and Arda is literally Earth! A Middle-Ages Englishman named Ælfwine visited Tol Eressëa!).

    Man, so how was Fellowship of the Ring supposed to even work if the ring wasn't Sauron's ring? Like, what was the endgame? Was it just "Hobbits bring a dinky magical ring to Rivendell, eat pie, go home"?

    weapon_rex.jpg
  • HedgethornHedgethorn Associate Professor of Historical Hobby Horses In the Lions' DenRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Delduwath wrote: »
    Hedgethorn wrote: »
    Every fan of the Lord of the Rings should at least flip through Return of the Shadow, the sixth volume of The History of Middle Earth, where Christopher documents at excruciating length the writing of The Fellowship of the Ring. The uneven nature of the book -- especially compared to The Two Towers and The Return of the King -- is much more evident but also much more explicable when you realize that Tolkien got his merry band of hobbits (led by the terribly named "Bingo Baggins") all the way to Rivendell before he decided that the magic ring Bilbo found was Sauron's ring, and that this wasn't going to be a happy little bedtime story for his children the way that The Hobbit was.

    Oh, wow. I never got that far because, frankly, I was exhausted just from reading the three or four The History of Middle Earth books that I did read. Especially since eventually the unfinished, draft versions of The Silmarillion started bleeding into my memories of the published version, and that gets REALLY confusing REALLY quickly (the Noldor are called "Gnomes"! Beren and Luthien fight Tevildo, the giant, monstrous king of cats! Numenor was literally Atlantis and Arda is literally Earth! A Middle-Ages Englishman named Ælfwine visited Tol Eressëa!).

    Man, so how was Fellowship of the Ring supposed to even work if the ring wasn't Sauron's ring? Like, what was the endgame? Was it just "Hobbits bring a dinky magical ring to Rivendell, eat pie, go home"?

    Unwin & Allen asked Tolkien to write a sequel to The Hobbit. So that's what he started doing.

    It's been a long time since I looked at The Return of the Shadow, but IIRC Tolkien began with Bilbo's birthday and going away party, and then he wrote a bunch of little episodes of Bilbo's nephew "Bingo" getting lost in the Old Forest, meeting Tom Bombadil, finding the statues of Bilbo's trolls, and so on, all the way until they got to Rivendell. There was no "Shadow of the Past" chapter involving Gandalf revealing what he knew about Gollum and the Ring, not even any hints that the ring was a big deal at all. But there was a mysterious hobbit named "Trotter" that they meet in the inn at Bree, as well as a Black Rider who chases them out of the Shire. But there's no hint that this Black Rider is anything more than just a faceless antagonist. It's just a bunch of unconnected vignettes, and it's crystal clear that Tolkien had no overarching plot in mind beyond "it's got to have hobbits in it."

    The following quote sums it up:
    I squandered so much on the original ‘Hobbit’ (which was not meant to have a sequel) that it is difficult to find anything new in that world.

    There's more information here, but for the whole experience, you really should find and flip through a copy of The Return of the Shadow.

    Hedgethorn on
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    I'll admit that I'm a little intimidated by The History of Middle-Earth, based on how difficult and, frankly, bland of a read the first couple of books were. At the same time, I read them over a decade ago, when I was in high school. My tastes and tolerances have certainly changed. Maybe I'd do better with them now.

    Hedgethorn, does knowing how shaky a framework LotR was built on dispel some of its magic for you, or does it actually make things more interesting?

    weapon_rex.jpg
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    For those that have studied more in depth on Tolkien, I've always heard that he would basically write, then if he came across an insurmountable part, scrap it and write everything over from the beginning, eventually leading to him just plowing through regardless which is how we got things like Gandalf's death and resurrection, why there's a tonal shift in Fellowship, etc. Any truth to this?

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    That seems broadly accurate. For example, the confusion of Gandalf for Saruman when he firsts reappears to Arragon etc. all is because originally it was Saruman.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    For those that have studied more in depth on Tolkien, I've always heard that he would basically write, then if he came across an insurmountable part, scrap it and write everything over from the beginning, eventually leading to him just plowing through regardless which is how we got things like Gandalf's death and resurrection, why there's a tonal shift in Fellowship, etc. Any truth to this?

    Yes, he would write a draft up to a certain point. In review of said draft if he didn't like something he'd scrap it and start again from scratch. Chris also points this out in Children of Hurin (the tragedy of Turin Tarembar), thus why I pointed it out. From what I have book-wise I think I've read 3 different accounts of the tale.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    And yet he never decided to scrap Tom Bombadil...

    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
    http://goofybeast.wordpress.com
  • MvrckMvrck Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    And yet he never decided to scrap Tom Bombadil...

    Because he is the best.

    mvrck.png
  • iguanacusiguanacus Registered User regular
    Mvrck wrote: »
    Thirith wrote: »
    And yet he never decided to scrap Tom Bombadil...

    Because he is the best.

    He's a happy dude and a pretty snazzy dresser. What's not to love?

    I dunno, I take you seriously on some topics and dick rider is your profession
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Tom Bombadil is Middle Earth's cheeriest asshole.

    "Hey, little dudes, yeah, I know this ring has no effect on me, but I really really can't help you because I'm, like, forgetful and stuff and might lose it and then where would we be? So long now, don't get eaten by ghosts or trees."

  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    Yellow boots man. Badass

    (Tom and Goldberry are the only characters that Tolkien left the readers with no real idea of "what" they are. Their backgrounds/origins are a complete mystery.)

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    Yellow boots man. Badass

    (Tom and Goldberry are the only characters that Tolkien left the readers with no real idea of "what" they are. Their backgrounds/origins are a complete mystery.)

    I always assumed they were basically Father and Mother nature, or some such equivalent.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    They're two hippies in God mode.

    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
    http://goofybeast.wordpress.com
  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    Actually Tom didn't refuse to take the ring, Gandalf and Elrond ruled that he would probably forget about it and thus was not reliable.

  • MvrckMvrck Registered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    Actually Tom didn't refuse to take the ring, Gandalf and Elrond ruled that he would probably forget about it and thus was not reliable.

    I see a Robot Chicken skit where they give the Ring to Tom, and Sauron just follows him around waiting for him to set it down for a hundred years.

    mvrck.png
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    Actually Tom didn't refuse to take the ring, Gandalf and Elrond ruled that he would probably forget about it and thus was not reliable.

    They also mention that course of action was pretty much just delaying the inevitable anyway. Tom's little patch of forest might be the last bit of the world to be conquered but when all else had fallen he would most likely be overrun as well.

    What you think "makes sense" has nothing to do with reality. It just has to do with your life experience. And your life experience may only be a small smidgen of reality. Possibly even a distorted account of reality at that. So what this means is that, beginning in the 20th century as our means of decoding nature became more and more powerful, we started realizing our common sense is no longer a tool to pass judgment on whether or not a scientific theory is correct. - Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • valhalla130valhalla130 Od's blood Sailing a longshipRegistered User regular
    Wait, there are at least 12 volumes of The History of Middle Earth accroding to Amazon? That's a lot of writing post-deceasing.

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Wait, there are at least 12 volumes of The History of Middle Earth accroding to Amazon? That's a lot of writing post-deceasing.

    indeed. Christopher has done a freaking huge amount of work on that set.

    What you think "makes sense" has nothing to do with reality. It just has to do with your life experience. And your life experience may only be a small smidgen of reality. Possibly even a distorted account of reality at that. So what this means is that, beginning in the 20th century as our means of decoding nature became more and more powerful, we started realizing our common sense is no longer a tool to pass judgment on whether or not a scientific theory is correct. - Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Registered User regular
    Wait, there are at least 12 volumes of The History of Middle Earth accroding to Amazon? That's a lot of writing post-deceasing.

    It's all pre-deceasing. The History of Middle-Earth books are shitloads of JRRT's notes and drafts that have been collected, edited, and feature a lot of commentary added by Christopher Tolkien.

    You have to remember that JRRT had been writing at least sketches of his Middle-Earth stories since being in the trenches of WWI back in 1916. He died in 1973, that's 57 years of writing. He concentrated on his legendarium so much that it reduced his academic output to a mere fraction of what his contemporaries at Oxford did, so there is whole lot there.

    steam_sig.png
  • valhalla130valhalla130 Od's blood Sailing a longshipRegistered User regular
    I'm so glad he put his personal stuff ahead of his academic stuff. I mean... how many Oxford professors and their papers and books do we still talk about? Outside of narrow academic circles.

  • RozRoz Let the Storm follow Nap TimeRegistered User regular
    I'm so glad he put his personal stuff ahead of his academic stuff. I mean... how many Oxford professors and their papers and books do we still talk about? Outside of narrow academic circles.


    C.S. Lewis would like to have a word with you.

  • valhalla130valhalla130 Od's blood Sailing a longshipRegistered User regular
    Well, sure, but we know him for the same reason. It ain't the academic stuff he worked on that we remember.

  • RozRoz Let the Storm follow Nap TimeRegistered User regular
    Well, sure, but we know him for the same reason. It ain't the academic stuff he worked on that we remember.

    You are right, I am just being smug :P

    Also, Harold Bloom's criticism (another Oxford professor) is one of the few academics whose work I see read outside of the academic field. There's nothing wrong with this though; these works are created for vastly different audiences, and much of the intellectual effort they put forth in their academic writing can pay dividends in their popular prose. So, it's not like it's wasted or anything (not that you are saying it is), but that different audiences will be more receptive to one over the other.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Kruite wrote: »
    Yellow boots man. Badass

    (Tom and Goldberry are the only characters that Tolkien left the readers with no real idea of "what" they are. Their backgrounds/origins are a complete mystery.)

    I always assumed they were basically Father and Mother nature, or some such equivalent.

    It's actually not a complete mystery. There are a lot of little clues and hints that point to Tom Bombadil being the physical manifestation of Aulë, The Smith. He makes mention a couple of times of him being the earth, and the earth being him. Since there was no concept of "mother and father nature" in Middle Earth, those conceptual mantles are worn by the Vala, and to a lesser extent the Maiar. Aulë is certainly the closest thing to a "nature god" you're going to find, since JRRT was very clear that only Eru Ilúvatar was an actual deity. The Vala and Maiar were much more like arch-angels and angels, respectively.

    It would also be a strong reason that he couldn't take the ring. The Vala were expressly forbidden from medling with the affairs of mortals directly. Eru Ilúvatar passed down that decree after the binding of Melkor. Only through their Maiar were the Vala allowed to interfere. Since Gandalf was a Maiar, and Elrond was aware of this and in tune with the Ainur himself, they would have needed a reason Tom Bombadil couldn't keep the ring when asked.

    It's all complete speculation of course, because as Kruite says, JRRT himself was never specific...but it's the best thesis I've seen on the subject so far.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, D3: Brainling#1998, NintendoID: Brainling
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    One could argue that the writing of the story is itself an academic exercise for english professors

    Edit: This is in response to @valhalla130

    Veevee on
    steam_sig.png
  • valhalla130valhalla130 Od's blood Sailing a longshipRegistered User regular
    Hell, the reading of some it seems to be an academic exercise. Have you tried reading the Silmarilion?

  • ShockwaveShockwave Registered User regular
    I liked Tom, because the barrow adventure showed how ancient he really was; him finding the brooch and mourning a princess who died millenia ago before giving it to Goldberry in her memory. I also liked that he was an example of powerful beings that didn't have an interest in the war one way or the other. Shelob herself as far as I can recall was older than Sauron, and made the perfect watchdog to Mordor. I'm intrigued by lost histories and origins in real life and in literature. Back on topic, I'm really looking forward to the Hobbit, I thought the trilogy was fantastic.

    shockwavesig.jpg
  • shrykeshryke Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Or, because we've made a distinction between the two for whatever reason (its tenuous at best) and the internet has made people incredibly entitled when it comes to IPs.

    OMG, learn what IP is for fuck's sake.

    The difference between IP and regular property is not tenuous at all. It's fucking HUGE. IP is itself so hugely different from normal property they aren't even the same kind of law.

    If you don't get this, you have no business even talking about this. Jesus christ...

    We weren't talking about LOTR, which has already been made into films and other adaptations several times, we were talking about all the extra shit like The Silmarillion and Children of Hurin and such, which was released by Chris Tolkien from his father's uncompleted manuscripts.

    Maybe learn what you're talking about before you start strutting and honking about public domain.

    Christopher Tolkien also owns LOTR and The Hobbit and the only reason we got adaptations of those is because JRRT sold the rights to those before he died when he needed some cash. His son has always said he wished he could take it back.

    Also, the Silmarillion officially credits JRRT as the author and was mostly just compiled by his son. (although he did fill in some gaps)

    shryke on
  • shrykeshryke Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Xaquin wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    JRRT has been dead for 40 years. He owns nothing. Christopher Tolkien did not write the Lord of the Rings. I don't think you get this.

    Why should his estate still own it? This is the same bullshit argument Disney makes for why nothing ever enters the public domain anymore.

    There is nothing "entitled" about suggesting that the work of a guy who's been fucking dead for 4 decades should be public domain and you are a silly goose for trotting that bullshit argument out.

    Why (out of curiosity) wouldn't it go to him? (no being snarky, but seriously want to know)

    If Tolkien had built him a real nice house or something, it wouldn't belong to the public in 40 years would it?

    Because IP is not property. It's intellectual property. These are completely different.

    Intellectual Property, at it's most basic, is exclusive rights to the distribution/publication/etc of a specific intangible thing for a set period of time based on specific factors. It is limited, subject to many conditions and often only temporary. And it is also distinct from actual property laws.

    In this specific case, since it's a book, you are talking about copyright which is explicitly limited in duration. Of course, Disney uses a literal fleet of lawyers to extend that duration over and over and over again because, you know, fuck the public.

    It's also important to understand that copyright is expressly supposed to be limited. It only exists to encourage the production of more art and such by allowing artists to derive profits from intangible creations. This right is only temporary because it is balanced against the public good in distributing art to the public. This is the foundation of copyright law.

    shryke on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I think you're confusing disagreeing with how IP works for misunderstanding how it works.

    But that's cool.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    Shockwave wrote: »
    I liked Tom, because the barrow adventure showed how ancient he really was; him finding the brooch and mourning a princess who died millenia ago before giving it to Goldberry in her memory. I also liked that he was an example of powerful beings that didn't have an interest in the war one way or the other. Shelob herself as far as I can recall was older than Sauron, and made the perfect watchdog to Mordor. I'm intrigued by lost histories and origins in real life and in literature. Back on topic, I'm really looking forward to the Hobbit, I thought the trilogy was fantastic.

    Shelob, the last daughter of Ungoliant. Basically makes her older than Galadriel (I believe), who happens to be the oldest elf in all Middle earth. (wait...Cirdan MAY be older...but that's it)

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    Shockwave wrote: »
    I liked Tom, because the barrow adventure showed how ancient he really was; him finding the brooch and mourning a princess who died millenia ago before giving it to Goldberry in her memory. I also liked that he was an example of powerful beings that didn't have an interest in the war one way or the other. Shelob herself as far as I can recall was older than Sauron, and made the perfect watchdog to Mordor. I'm intrigued by lost histories and origins in real life and in literature. Back on topic, I'm really looking forward to the Hobbit, I thought the trilogy was fantastic.

    Shelob, the last daughter of Ungoliant. Basically makes her older than Galadriel (I believe), who happens to be the oldest elf in all Middle earth. (wait...Cirdan MAY be older...but that's it)

    Yeah, Shelob is crazy old.

    I haven't read the Silmarillion in a few years, I should track down a copy.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    My eyes glaze over when I try to make sense of the first age and the creation mythologies. I spent most of my reading time on the Major war of the Second age (Fall of Gondolin), Children of Hurin, the rise and fall of Numenor, Beren and Luthien. Time to track down the book myself and a copy of the History and the Lost Tales. I must be able to out nerd Colbert!

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    My eyes glaze over when I try to make sense of the first age and the creation mythologies.

    Well, they're essentially the elven version of Genesis.

  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    My eyes glaze over when I try to make sense of the first age and the creation mythologies.

    Well, they're essentially the elven version of Genesis.

    Not sure if I agree, Genesis is relatively easy to read through. It's Deuteronomy that's a nightmare to read.

    But given your analogy, 1st age is to Genesis and the ravings of Ezekiel is to the entirety of the Tom Bombadil chapters of FotR

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Kruite wrote: »
    Kruite wrote: »
    My eyes glaze over when I try to make sense of the first age and the creation mythologies.

    Well, they're essentially the elven version of Genesis.

    Not sure if I agree, Genesis is relatively easy to read through. It's Deuteronomy that's a nightmare to read.

    But given your analogy, 1st age is to Genesis and the ravings of Ezekiel is to the entirety of the Tom Bombadil chapters of FotR

    I was just going by the whole ,"The angel guys sing creation, then one dude, Morgoth, is dissonant and wants to be the chief, then he gets cast out..."

    Mad King George on
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    Kruite wrote: »
    My eyes glaze over when I try to make sense of the first age and the creation mythologies.

    Well, they're essentially the elven version of Genesis.

    Not sure if I agree, Genesis is relatively easy to read through. It's Deuteronomy that's a nightmare to read.

    But given your analogy, 1st age is to Genesis and the ravings of Ezekiel is to the entirety of the Tom Bombadil chapters of FotR

    I was just going by the whole ,"The angel guys sing creation, then one dude, Morgoth, is dissonant and wants to be the chief, then he gets cast out..."

    Which isn't in Genesis.

    It's more an Elven Paradise Lost.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Kruite wrote: »
    Kruite wrote: »
    My eyes glaze over when I try to make sense of the first age and the creation mythologies.

    Well, they're essentially the elven version of Genesis.

    Not sure if I agree, Genesis is relatively easy to read through. It's Deuteronomy that's a nightmare to read.

    But given your analogy, 1st age is to Genesis and the ravings of Ezekiel is to the entirety of the Tom Bombadil chapters of FotR

    I was just going by the whole ,"The angel guys sing creation, then one dude, Morgoth, is dissonant and wants to be the chief, then he gets cast out..."

    Which isn't in Genesis.

    It's more an Elven Paradise Lost.

    Revelation, too, then.

    I'm using Genesis as a synonym for creation story/myth. Maybe that wasn't specific.

    Mad King George on
  • KruiteKruite Registered User regular
    Actually there IS a book that contains all of the angel and fall of Lucifer mythology that was ultimately rejected from canon, but I cannot remember for the life of me what the book was called.
    Paradise Lost is awesome though

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Kruite wrote: »
    Kruite wrote: »
    My eyes glaze over when I try to make sense of the first age and the creation mythologies.

    Well, they're essentially the elven version of Genesis.

    Not sure if I agree, Genesis is relatively easy to read through. It's Deuteronomy that's a nightmare to read.

    But given your analogy, 1st age is to Genesis and the ravings of Ezekiel is to the entirety of the Tom Bombadil chapters of FotR

    I was just going by the whole ,"The angel guys sing creation, then one dude, Morgoth, is dissonant and wants to be the chief, then he gets cast out..."

    Which isn't in Genesis.

    It's more an Elven Paradise Lost.

    Revelation, too, then.

    I'm using Genesis as a synonym for creation story/myth. Maybe that wasn't specific.

    I got it, but I can't give up a chance to be pedantic on the internet. :D

    I still want to see a fantasia style adaptation of the book, that'd be sweet.

    Lh96QHG.png
Sign In or Register to comment.