TolkienERA |OT| Renewed shall be the blade that was broken

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Loxley

Loxley

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Oct 25, 2017
4,071
To Kill a Mockingbird is a fantastic choice for #1. It's just as relevant now as it was when it was first published, sadly. The film adaption holds equally as well. Outlander really seems like the oddball on that list, or at least its placement does. I guess the popularity of the show recently must be giving it a boost?

Also, Atlas Shrugged and The Da Vinci Code beat The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? That's it, I'm leaving this planet.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
With just two months left in 2018, it doesn't look likely that Tolkien biopic will be released this year, unless it gets a Christmas release.

Or it may just be given a quiet home release without a theatrical run.
 

Eldy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,103
Maryland
Oh man, I'd completely forgotten about that and had to turn to Google to try to remember which project was which. Apparently they wrapped up filming last December? I can't say I was chomping at the bit to see this but it'd be a shame for it to disappear entirely.
 

Sub Boss

Banned
Nov 14, 2017
11,606
im reading the books for the first time, its much more lighthearted than the movies so far but its fun, sometimes i get lost and forget the page i was on and read something else :S

Im imagining a new trilogy/series and it would be quite a bit different than the Jackson films, though nobody is going to beat those on music or battles
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
im reading the books for the first time, its much more lighthearted than the movies so far but its fun, sometimes i get lost and forget the page i was on and read something else :S

Im imagining a new trilogy/series and it would be quite a bit different than the Jackson films, though nobody is going to beat those on music or battles
I envy you very much. Reading the books for the first time is quite the experience.

Enjoy your reading and if you have any lore questions, feel free to ask.
 
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Loxley

Loxley

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Oct 25, 2017
4,071
With just two months left in 2018, it doesn't look likely that Tolkien biopic will be released this year, unless it gets a Christmas release.

Or it may just be given a quiet home release without a theatrical run.
Oh man, I'd completely forgotten about that and had to turn to Google to try to remember which project was which. Apparently they wrapped up filming last December? I can't say I was chomping at the bit to see this but it'd be a shame for it to disappear entirely.
Yeah I'd completely forgotten about this too. I'm really curious to see it, but at this point I'm wondering if it'll be a straight-to-VOD release (maybe Netflix or Amazon will pick it up).
 

Sub Boss

Banned
Nov 14, 2017
11,606
I envy you very much. Reading the books for the first time is quite the experience.

Enjoy your reading and if you have any lore questions, feel free to ask.
Thanks! i read up lore years ago when the movies released but its rusty now heh i hope it won't be that hard to follow.

Loved the 'new' introduction explaining the Hobbits, wish it had one for every race
 

Anoregon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,611
One of my best friends growing up was into Tolkien from a really young age and one year for his birthday I got him the Bakshi movie on VHS. This was probably a solid 25ish years ago.
 

Eldy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,103
Maryland
That was a really good read. I appreciated all the context-setting and comparisons with other works of the time. I've never listened to the NPR or BBC radio adaptations, though I still think maybe I'll give the BBC one a try someday.

THR had another recent interesting article about Bakshi's film, focusing specifically on its troubled production: How the Battle for 'Lord of the Rings' Nearly Broke a Director
 

ctcatsby

Member
Oct 27, 2017
569
USA
I'm curious how the biopic will handle Tolkien's faith. He was an ardent Roman Catholic, and that heavily informed everything he wrote. However, a lot of people today don't understand the relevance of faith or find it a uncomfortable topic to explore, so that sort of thing gets swept under the rug. That was the main criticism I heard about the recent Oxford exhibition.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
I'm curious how the biopic will handle Tolkien's faith. He was an ardent Roman Catholic, and that heavily informed everything he wrote. However, a lot of people today don't understand the relevance of faith or find it a uncomfortable topic to explore, so that sort of thing gets swept under the rug. That was the main criticism I heard about the recent Oxford exhibition.
It certainly will be interesting to see just how they approach that particular and important aspect of his life.

The info we have thus far doesn't really fill me with much confidence though.

For example:

“...explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a fellow group of outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the ‘fellowship’ apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth [sic] novels.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
Peter admits he'll probably never top The Lord of the Rings:

"I will probably never make a movie that successful in my life again, and I'm okay with that," says Jackson. "The continual pressure is always just to simply to make a good movie. But I'm not ever thinking I've got to top Lord Of the Rings. It was a bit of a one-off, I suspect. A three-off."


https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=12162516
 
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Loxley

Loxley

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Oct 25, 2017
4,071
The Lord of the Rings was a lightning-in-a-bottle miracle of cinema that couldn't be replicated by anybody, much less Jackson. Sometimes the planets just align right and you get something truly amazing.

It's like asking Lucas to top the original Star Wars trilogy or Coppola to top The Godfather Parts 1 & 2. You can do your best to recapture the magic all you want, but it will feel like you're just chasing yourself.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
The Lord of the Rings was a lightning-in-a-bottle miracle of cinema that couldn't be replicated by anybody, much less Jackson. Sometimes the planets just align right and you get something truly amazing.

It's like asking Lucas to top the original Star Wars trilogy or Coppola to top The Godfather Parts 1 & 2. You can do your best to recapture the magic all you want, but it will feel like you're just chasing yourself.
Yeah, some directors have just one masterpiece in them, something they can never replicate again. Others are more fortunate and have a few in them, but even then, there is one stand out film that towers above the rest.
 

Eldy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,103
Maryland
That was a good read. I like that she placed LOTR in the context of Modernist literature of the time. Although Tolkien was not a Modernist writer by any stretch of the imagination, he wrote in response to a lot of the same issues that prompted that movement.
 
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Loxley

Loxley

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Oct 25, 2017
4,071
That thread you started about racism and Tolkien is bumming me out Dantès. There is some good discussion happening, but it's disappointing to see so many folks hand-wave the whole issue away like it's not even worth talking about because they just don't want to accept that it's a, well, troubling part of the Legendarium to put it lightly. I don't quite agree with the way the author words some of his arguments in the article you shared, but broadly speaking it's not a topic that that can or should just be swept under the rug like it isn't there. Especially when you look at the bigger picture of how many authors to this day take queues from Tolkien and make their fantasy universes lily white and only introduce POC as half-developed side characters or villains.

Yes, The Lord of the Rings is a story that is about people of different races putting aside their differences and preconceived notions about each other to defeat a common enemy and becoming friends, the trouble is all of said races (men, elves, dwarves and hobbits) are often depicted (or described) as light-skinned. In a day and age where The Lord of the Rings is the best-selling book of all time outside of religious texts and is more popular now than ever, it's critical we look back at old classics with a 21st century lens when it comes to their depictions of race and recognize what they got right and especially what they wrong. Otherwise modern authors just repeat the same mistakes and keep perpetuating the same problems.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
That thread you started about racism and Tolkien is bumming me out Dantès. There is some good discussion happening, but it's disappointing to see so many folks hand-wave the whole issue away like it's not even worth talking about because they just don't want to accept that it's a, well, troubling part of the Legendarium to put it lightly. I don't quite agree with the way the author words some of his arguments in the article you shared, but broadly speaking it's not a topic that that can or should just be swept under the rug like it isn't there. Especially when you look at the bigger picture of how many authors to this day take queues from Tolkien and make their fantasy universes lily white and only introduce POC as half-developed side characters or villains.

Yes, The Lord of the Rings is a story that is about people of different races putting aside their differences and preconceived notions about each other to defeat a common enemy and becoming friends, the trouble is all of said races (men, elves, dwarves and hobbits) are often depicted (or described) as light-skinned. In a day and age where The Lord of the Rings is the best-selling book of all time outside of religious texts and is more popular now than ever, it's critical we look back at old classics with a 21st century lens when it comes to their depictions of race and recognize what they got right and especially what they wrong. Otherwise modern authors just repeat the same mistakes and keep perpetuating the same problems.
Yes, I was hoping for the discussion to be a lot more reasoned and sensible as this is a very important discussion to be had, especially in light of Amazon's upcoming project and the casting choices and the potential for a diverse range of characters.

The critical eye will once again be cast on Tolkien's legendarium and it will be a real chance for all those involved, including the Estate to tackle any lingering doubts about Tolkien and his writings. As you say, better to analyse the rights and wrongs, rather the wholesale brushing aside of the issue.

Inevitably, I expect a backlash from certain quarters if persons of colour are cast in major roles in the TV show, but it's the kind of progress I'd like to see.
 
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Loxley

Loxley

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Oct 25, 2017
4,071
Added a cover image to the thread :)

Oh, and after watching too much QI and being reminded of how great Brian Blessed is, I've decided he would be the perfect Tom Bombadil.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
BBC Radio Drama 'Tolkien in Love' now available to listen to:
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and Edith Mary Bratt first met in 1908. They were both orphans living in a boarding house in Birmingham. Despite the difference in their ages and religions - she was 19 and Protestant, he was 16 and Catholic - they fell in love.

When Ronald's guardian, Father Francis Xavier Morgan, found out, he forbade him to see Edith again until he came of age at 21. Ronald reluctantly obeyed and later left the city after winning an exhibition to Oxford. Edith went to live in Cheltenham. At midnight on the night he turned 21, Ronald wrote to Edith declaring his undying feelings. Unfortunately, in the intervening years, she had got engaged to someone else. He raced to her in Cheltenham, they walked through the countryside and Ronald had one chance to win Edith's heart.

Their love was the inspiration for the Beren and Luthien story at the heart of Tolkien's novel The Silmarillion.

Starring Will Merrick (Skins, The Rack Pack) as Ronald and Claudia Jessie (Line Of Duty, Their Finest) as Edith. Tolkien In Love is based on real events and written by Sean Grundy, whose previous work for Radio 4 has been Sony and Tinniswood Award nominated.

A CPL production for BBC Radio 4.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b091s20g

Length: 57 minutes
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
Interesting, I'll definitely check it out later. I love that the BBC is still producing radio dramas, they're basically non-existent here in the US. You have to turn to podcasts to find them.

Also, Jerry Vanderstelt's newest piece featuring Thranduil:

Radio dramas are certainly something the BBC does well.

That artwork is superb and highlights one of the positives of The Hobbit Trilogy: Lee Pace's Thranduil.
 

Bombadil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
261
Near the Withywindle river
Is anyone in here playing The Lord of the Rings Online? I'd highly recommend it if you're into MMOs or just Tolkien's work. The expanded world is wonderful to explore and well-written. I only hope the new LotR MMO coming out will be half as good.
 
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Loxley

Loxley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,071
Is anyone in here playing The Lord of the Rings Online? I'd highly recommend it if you're into MMOs or just Tolkien's work. The expanded world is wonderful to explore and well-written. I only hope the new LotR MMO coming out will be half as good.
I love MMOs and I've tried to get into LOTRO a number of times over the years, but it just never clicks with me. It's a fantastic realization of Middle-earth, easily the best of any video game to date, but I just find the gameplay to be incredibly dull and, at this point, very dated. It really feels like a relic from the WoW-clone MMO boom of the mid-late 2000s.

I'm definitely looking forward to that new MMO for those reasons though. Give me LOTRO's world but with updated visuals and gameplay and I will be all over it.
 
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Loxley

Loxley

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Oct 25, 2017
4,071
A new LOTR MMO is coming? Damn, had no idea. Hope it comes to console.
Yep! And apparently it will be coming to consoles.

There's a new free-to-play "AAA" Lord of the Rings MMO in the works
Athlon Games - a subsidiary of Chinese publisher Leyou Technologies, owner of Warframe developer Digital Extremes and Splash Damage - has announced that it's partnering with Middle-earth Enterprises to create a new free-to-play MMO based on Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Information on the project is currently limited, but we do know that it's set on Middle-earth prior to the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and that it's coming to PC and consoles at some undisclosed future-date. Additionally, it's being pitched as an "AAA experience", and will enable players to encounter "lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans".

Notably, Athlon, which is based in Los Angeles, isn't creating the game itself, but will instead work with a partner developer - although there's currently no word on who that might be.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,511
I'm hype as fuck for a new LOTR MMO

I used to play LOTRO when it was fairly new with my brother and dad and loved everything about it, it really captures the size and grandeur and variety in the locations of Middle Earth

Me and my friend made hobbits and tried to run all the way to Mordor for fun once, we kept getting massacred by level 20 orc mobs shortly after we exited the Breelands lol

I'm very excited at the prospect and the wait for more info is killing me
 

Eldy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,103
Maryland
Major news in the world of Tolkien studies: the Mythopoeic Society has made the entire Proceedings of the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, 1992 available online for free. It was originally published jointly as issue number 80 of Mythlore and issue number 30 of Mallorn (the Tolkien Society's journal), but it's been out of print for ages. You could get it on Amazon for the low, low price of $200 in paperback or $425 in hardback, but when I needed to read some of its articles for a major Tolkien research project a couple years ago I opted to make the trek to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC instead, since that was the closest library to me that had a copy.

https://dc.swosu.edu/mythlore/vol21/iss2/

This is a landmark work including contributions from a veritable who's who of big name Tolkien scholars, as well as a lot of great stuff from less famous folks as well. A personal favorite is "Historical Bias in the Making of The Silmarillion", which was one of the first (possibly the first) published pieces to examine the legendarium from the perspective of in-universe historiography--a major focus in my own studies and writing, including stuff I've shared in this thread. Both of the papers about the "mythology for England" are really good, too, and were among the reasons I was interested in the collection to begin with. I have photocopies of all these and several other papers stored on a shelf in my old room at my mom's house, but it's really nice to have those and everything else available at the click of a mouse. I was late getting to the LOC that day so there was only so much I could get through.

There are a lot more issues of Mythlore available for free on the same site (which is also a new thing), but if you only ever read one issue of any academic journal in the field of Tolkien studies, make it this one.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
Major news in the world of Tolkien studies: the Mythopoeic Society has made the entire Proceedings of the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, 1992 available online for free. It was originally published jointly as issue number 80 of Mythlore and issue number 30 of Mallorn (the Tolkien Society's journal), but it's been out of print for ages. You could get it on Amazon for the low, low price of $200 in paperback or $425 in hardback, but when I needed to read some of its articles for a major Tolkien research project a couple years ago I opted to make the trek to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC instead, since that was the closest library to me that had a copy.

https://dc.swosu.edu/mythlore/vol21/iss2/

This is a landmark work including contributions from a veritable who's who of big name Tolkien scholars, as well as a lot of great stuff from less famous folks as well. A personal favorite is "Historical Bias in the Making of The Silmarillion", which was one of the first (possibly the first) published pieces to examine the legendarium from the perspective of in-universe historiography--a major focus in my own studies and writing, including stuff I've shared in this thread. Both of the papers about the "mythology for England" are really good, too, and were among the reasons I was interested in the collection to begin with. I have photocopies of all these and several other papers stored on a shelf in my old room at my mom's house, but it's really nice to have those and everything else available at the click of a mouse. I was late getting to the LOC that day so there was only so much I could get through.

There are a lot more issues of Mythlore available for free on the same site (which is also a new thing), but if you only ever read one issue of any academic journal in the field of Tolkien studies, make it this one.
It's fantastic to see such excellent scholarly work freely available for anyone to delve into.
Happy Birthday, Tolkien!
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
Fog on the Barrow-Downs - A new fan made Tolkien inspired film
Tolkien’s mysterious, haunted barrow-downs appear in the Fellowship of the Ring and they are explored further in the appendices. We learn a little of the history of the barrow-downs, and how it was once a great city of Arnor, but was attacked by the Witch King of Angmar and came to be a haunted and dangerous place. This film is set against Tolkien’s mythology but is an original story. We will follow a company of adventurers as they venture into the barrow-downs, in an attempt to rob the ancient tombs of their treasures. However they will face many dangers and difficulties and become swept up in the ancient war between the forces of good and evil.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duvwJfKaIiY

https://fogonthebarrowdowns.wordpress.com/about/
 

Barahir_mjh

Member
Feb 18, 2018
66
Hi everyone, big Tolkien fan (just watched FotR EE with friends), thought I'd join this topic. I guess I'll wade into a contentious subject with my first post...

Yes, The Lord of the Rings is a story that is about people of different races putting aside their differences and preconceived notions about each other to defeat a common enemy and becoming friends, the trouble is all of said races (men, elves, dwarves and hobbits) are often depicted (or described) as light-skinned. In a day and age where The Lord of the Rings is the best-selling book of all time outside of religious texts and is more popular now than ever, it's critical we look back at old classics with a 21st century lens when it comes to their depictions of race and recognize what they got right and especially what they wrong. Otherwise modern authors just repeat the same mistakes and keep perpetuating the same problems.
One thing worth noting is that Tolkien himself had some regrets about the Orcs. First thing I'll say is that it seems that his primary frame of reference for the orcs was dehumanization of modern military/industrial societies - for example, in one letter he worries that WWII is "slowly turn[ing] men and elves into orcs" and that is not an isolated one-off statement. His statement about the Mongol resemblance is unfortunate but I don't think it's the primary way he thought of the orcs.

However, that being said, I'm not trying to completely let him off the hook: it's all well and good for the orcs to be corrupted elves, but it becomes a problem when they are also depicted as a race. And ironically, the moment in TTT where Shagrat and Gorbag seem semi-sympathetic actually makes the problem worse!

Tolkien eventually came see this as a problem. He thought about it in a different and more directly theological way than many modern people would, but it still has a lot of overlap. Only Eru can create beings with will and reason, so if the Orcs have free will (which in LotR they do at times) they have to be corruptions of something pre-existing, but rational beings can be "saved" at least in theory. And even if someone is completely corrupted it's another thing entirely to transfer it to an entire race.
History of Middle-Earth X said:
though Melkor could utterly corrupt and ruin individuals, it is not possible to contemplate his absolute perversion of a whole people, or group of peoples, and his making that state heritable." (Myths Transformed, Section VIII, emphasis Tolkien's)
It was in the mistake in the legendarium he couldn't quite find a way out of, since LotR was already fixed canon. He experimented with and discarded various origin stories for the Orcs, it's all pretty jumbled and contradictory. The last one was that they were corrupted humans, but it was just an idea and he even admitted that it still didn't really work - it had "difficulties with the chronology...men may take comfort in it [ie, said difficulties]." (Section X of the above)

I think that if more people would acknowledge this fact (or were just aware of it) that Tolkien knew there was a mistake with the orcs, it would take some heat out of discussions of this topic. An interesting feature of Tolkien's later writing is that he becomes more self-critical. He overdoes it some with nitpicking the sun and moon story, but some very interesting work comes out of it too.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
2,237
United Kingdom
Hi everyone, big Tolkien fan (just watched FotR EE with friends), thought I'd join this topic. I guess I'll wade into this contentious topic on my first post...


One thing worth noting is that Tolkien himself had some regrets about the Orcs. First thing I'll say is that it seems that his primary frame of reference for the orcs was dehumanization of modern military/industrial societies - for example, in one letter he worries that WWII is "slowly turn[ing] men and elves into orcs" and that is not an isolated one-off statement. His statement about the Mongol resemblance is unfortunate but I don't think it's the primary way he thought of the orcs.

However, that being said, I'm not trying to completely let him off the hook: it's all well and good for the orcs to be corrupted elves, but it becomes a problem when they are also depicted as a race. And ironically, the moment in TTT where Shagrat and Gorbag seem semi-sympathetic actually makes the problem worse!

Tolkien eventually came see this as a problem. He thought about it in a different and more directly theological way than many modern people would, but it still has a lot of overlap. Only Eru can create beings with will and reason, so if the Orcs have free will (which in LotR they do at times) they have to be corruptions of something pre-existing, but rational beings can be "saved" at least in theory. And even if someone is completely corrupted it's another thing entirely to transfer it to an entire race.

It was in the mistake in the legendarium he couldn't quite find a way out of, since LotR was already fixed canon. He experimented with and discarded various origin stories for the Orcs, it's all pretty jumbled and contradictory. The last one was that they were corrupted humans, but it was just an idea and he even admitted that it still didn't really work - it had "difficulties with the chronology...men may take comfort in it [ie, said difficulties]." (Section X of the above)

I think that if more people would acknowledge this fact (or were just aware of it) that Tolkien knew there was a mistake with the orcs, it would take some heat out of discussions of this topic. An interesting feature of Tolkien's later writing is that he becomes more self-critical. He overdoes it some with nitpicking the sun and moon story, but some very interesting work comes out of it too.
Welcome aboard Barahir_mjh.

That's an excellent analysis on what is a very controversial Tolkien debate. It does tend to get a bit quiet in here sometimes, and some Tolkien news is posted on the main board.