View Full Version : Homages to Tolkien and Middle-Earth

02-08-2001, 02:31 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
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Tolkien brought the fantasy novel beyond just fairy-tales. A lot of writers have since paid their respects to him in their own stories, sometimes obliquely, like kingsfoil in A Wizard of Earthsea, and sometimes more directly. Terry Brooks' first novel, The Sword of Shannara, is practically copyright infringement. (I better tone that down before I get sued for libel. OK, it uncannily echoes LoTR in many places. My brother disagrees, but really, it's obvious.) One allusion that I discovered is the existence of a Lake Evendim and Pelagir Hills in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series.

So, what about you guys? Know of any good references to LoTR in other stories?

The days are fated to be filled with marvels.</p>

02-08-2001, 02:59 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hidden Spirit
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Homages to Tolkien and Middle-Earth

I live about 12 miles from Rivendell.

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

02-08-2001, 04:20 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Homages to Tolkien and Middle-Earth

Several Stephen King books make passing references to LoTR. And in one of the short stories there was a guy with the last name Tooklander. Almost certainly Tolkien inspired.

Those who will defend authority against rebellion must not themselves rebel. </p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000125>Inziladun</A> at: 2/9/01 12:01:14 am

Mister Underhill
02-09-2001, 01:56 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dūm
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Homages to Tolkien and Middle-Earth

SK is definitely a fan. In his non-fic book &quot;On Writing&quot; he pays homage to the prof by saying that he doesn't &quot;play in Tolkien's league&quot; or something to that effect.

There's a pretty funny extended Middle-earth metaphor used by Neil Stephenson in his most recent book, &quot;Cryptonomicon&quot; (sp?), which is a very funny, smart, and interesting read and is worth a look even beyond the Tolkien ref.


02-09-2001, 04:54 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
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Although I doubt most here would have read them (I had to for English a few years ago) the entire Redwall series, by Brian Jacques. Corsairs, big battles, fortresses, the basic ideas of one large sanctuary that cannot be defeated (Minas Tirith - Redwall) etc. The only difference; no people. Just animals. Hmm. The same settings (England, countrysides) and basic themes (battle, revenge, evil v. good etc.) and although that may be over-simplification I can't go into details since I haven't read them in a bit. There you go <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

- enep</p>

The Barrow-Wight
02-09-2001, 07:26 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wraith of Angmar
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Re: Redwall

I think it would be a big stretch to call the Redwall books (at least the first) as having many similarities to Middle-Earth other than the basic fantasy fiction good vs. evil theme. But all books in this genre can be traced back to JRRT if you try hard enough.

The Barrow-Wight (RKittle)
<font size="2">I usually haunt http://www.barrowdowns.comThe Barrow-Downs</a> and The Barrow-Downs http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgiMiddle-Earth Discussion Board</a>.</p>

02-09-2001, 09:34 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Animated Skeleton
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Homages to Tolkien and Middle-Earth

How about the modern musicians who's song-writing has been influenced by Tolkien's works. For instance, Led Zeppelin's 'Misty Mountain Hop' and Toad the Wet Sprocket's 'Hobbit on the Rocks'. I think it emphasizes how far reaching and influential his writing is.


02-10-2001, 07:27 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Far-reaching, indeed

I've even read a Sherlock Holmes story that takes place in the twenties, where the heroine mentions having a conversation at Oxford with a man named Tolkien &quot;with an interest in runes.&quot;

The days are fated to be filled with marvels.</p>

the Lorien wanderer
02-10-2001, 08:52 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Far-reaching, indeed

And then there's that episode of 'Friends' where a friend nicknamed Gandalf is coming over and Joey doesn't know who he is so Ross says, &quot;Didn't you read LoTR in high school?&quot; I will always remember that episode. <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

Not all those who wander are lost.</p>

02-10-2001, 12:05 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Far-reaching, indeed

Dang I watch Friends all the time and I have never seen that one.


02-10-2001, 02:43 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hungry Ghoul
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/vilya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Far-reaching, indeed

The nurse at the Southpark school is named Gollum by the way...

...and I just found something which put a little smile on my face: when you use the FTP-program 'WS-FTP pro' and try to log in with your server, the program prompts you with 'Speak friend, and enter!' <img src=smile.gif ALT=":)">

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000003>Sharku</A>&nbsp; <IMG SRC=http://www.tolkiens-legacy.de/hand.GIF BORDER=0 WIDTH=10 HEIGHT=10> at: 2/10/01 4:49:12 pm

02-10-2001, 04:30 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Shade of Carn Dūm
Posts: 274</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: Redwall

True; I can't think of all the similarities now but there are definitely a lot more than just the normal 'evil v. good' theme in Redwall. Aside from that...is the nurse really Gollum? I could never catch the name <img src=tongue.gif ALT=":b">

- enep</p>

02-10-2001, 06:06 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hidden Spirit
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Re: Redwall


What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

02-10-2001, 06:08 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
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Re: Redwall

Starwars...Obi wan kenobi is Gandalf with a light-sword.
in... star wars one i think

Behold the King of Moria!</p>

02-13-2001, 09:39 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Newly Deceased
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Re: Star Wars

Yeah Balin, Lucas confessed that he was inspired by LotR in his making the SW trilogy. Beyond that, I believe that the great majority of fantasy books and series that have come out since LotR were inspired by Tolkien's works.
Draggonklaw (fka Eledhgil)


The Dagda
02-13-2001, 11:05 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Pile o' Bones
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Re: Star Wars

Many were ripping off, though, as opposed to paying homage.

Star Wars was most closely inspired by Akira Kurasawa's &quot;Hidden Fortress&quot;. It's uncanny how close the two films are while being of two quite different genres.

I'd like to forget all that Tolkien inspired Rock music including Led Zeppelin (although I do have an embarrassingly soft spot for &quot;The Battle Of Evermore&quot;); and most of you have probably never heard of the band Gandalf. Ysssh! Or Bo Hanssen's &quot;Lord Of The Rings&quot;, another one I'd like to forget.


03-08-2002, 11:40 AM
Must I mention *gulp* "Willow"? smilies/eek.gif

03-09-2002, 12:22 AM
I don't know if you would call these "homages" or not. (Well, actually, I do. They're not.), but I've noticed lately that journalists and op-ed columnists have been using lots of Lord of the Rings references as metaphors in their writings.

More likely this is due to the movie, but it does show that Tolkien's work is being absorbed into the popular culture.

I'm deleting all references to countries or people in these quotes. Don't want to start any raging politcal debates by having someone's fav politician called an "orc".

From Maureen Dowd, New York Times:

"Now Mr. (XXXXXX) is Lord of the Rings, ruling over his very own Moria, an underground kingdom of bureaucratic hobbits and orcs."

From Christopher Dickey, in this week's Newsweek magazine:

"Since September 11, many Americans have come to see (XXXXXXXX) as a sort of modern-day Mordor..."

Unfortunately, I have yet to see any countries compared to Rivendell, or any politicians compared to Gandalf. smilies/frown.gif

03-09-2002, 09:26 AM
Here's (http://www.ucomics.com/foxtrot/viewft.cfm?uc_full_date=20020308&uc_comic=ft&uc_daction=X) a LOTR tribute in another form of popular culture - the funny papers!

Eh, OK, so I haven't found any author tributes yet...but I'm looking!

03-09-2002, 09:29 AM
Led Zepplin songs are a good example. There are many that are dedicaded or about MiddleEarth.
And I believe that in Dungeons and Dragon are many words (names) that are taken from Tolkiens lenguages. For example mithril, that also exists in the Frogotten Realms; Dryaden, who live in the forests and sound like druadan (or druedain) (but they have nothing to do with the druedain, exept that they live in the forests).
And thers also ELminster who lives in the STARhills (don“t know if it is the original name)...
But I think I“m maybe just a bit crazy and I almost see everywehere some things that could be inspiered by LOTR. smilies/rolleyes.gif smilies/tongue.gif

03-09-2002, 09:39 AM
...And the whole fantasy genre has been inspiered be Tolkien. The different races and the way they are and all the creatures and special abilitys that warrior, rangers, wizards... have are all more or less invented by Tolkien.
In D&D for example, they also have Elves (who leave the lands of men after a time of 1200 and go somewhere else), hobbits (who are like.. hobbits! smilies/smile.gif ), drawfs (who are really drawf-like), men and half-elves.
There are also driffrent kind of hobbit-races, like in LOTR.
BtW: Nothing against drawves, I really like them (although I“m elven smilies/smile.gif )

P.S. Didn“t want to double-post.. sorry smilies/smile.gif

03-09-2002, 09:46 AM
I did a presentation in English class about similarities between Willow and LotR. And in Star Wars, the forest Moon Endor's name is another name for ME. Cool,eh!

Keeper of Dol Guldur
03-09-2002, 10:28 AM
The Death Gate Cycle has a particularly humerous reference, when a cookie wizard named Zifnab argues that "Gandalf, what did he have that I don't have" and his dragon responds in butler like tone, "well he did defeat a Balrog!" The dragon hurt the wizards feelings with that remark.

03-09-2002, 11:35 AM
Although Peter S. Beagle has claimed that "It never occurred to me to ape Tolkien" (which makes me wonder whether the earlier claim in this thread about how all fantasy can be traced back to Tolkien is true), there is a moment in The Last Unicorn where Schmendrick tells Jack Jingly
I am Schmendrick the Magician, and I make a bad enemy. I am older than I look, and less amiable.
...and doesn't Gandalf say at one point that he's older than he looks?
....poor Shmendrick...

03-09-2002, 12:33 PM

"Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, the Evil One, crept up and slipped away with her-er her-er, yeah."

Ramble On. I always hated that one. The Battle of Evermore I can tolerate, and I like No Quarter. Although there are no direct allusions to LoTR, I always think about about the Fellowship setting out from Rivendell with that song.

King has used references to Tolkien in the Gunslinger books, and, I think, in The Talisman. Possibly a few others as well, such as 'It.' I think he wants to make the Gunslinger series his magnum opus although I get the idea that he really doesn't know where he is going to go with it. However, the title of the first book, 'The Dark Tower' is not very subtle, eh? And Roland is Aragorn with six shooters.

03-09-2002, 12:43 PM
I think the Dragonlance series are alot like Lotr's. Not a masterpiece , but it has the same kind of landscapes and also personalites that the characters acquire.

[ March 09, 2002: Message edited by: Telpėlondiel ]

03-11-2002, 09:54 AM
I read somewhere about an artical that is about simliarities of LOTR and the X-Files, but that“s sometime ago.

03-26-2002, 03:06 AM
However much it pains me to say this and bring up a sordid piece of my past, Sony's MMORPG Everquest just screams The Lord of the Rings. Well The Lord of the Rings if it's tails and lanscapes were taken on by a pack of retarded ninja fingerpaintests. Yes, I do know how far from a word that is, but I think it does the "Epic Adventure" that is Everquest justice. Considering how crappily it steals 90% of it's content from The Lord of the Rings and the world of Middle-Earth.

03-29-2002, 06:40 PM
Proficuus! I read that is your first post! Welcome! I hope you enjoy the Barrow Downs as much as I do (in other words, kiss your life "bye-bye", you'll be on here more than anywhere else...except reading LotR or seeing the movies)!

And, yes, I saw that F*R*I*E*N*D*S episode!

Well: I was mainly welcoming Proficuus to the conversations of the board!

04-05-2002, 07:53 PM
and doesn't Gandalf say at one point that he's older than he looks?
Actually, I think Aragorn said that, when the hobbits first met him in Bree.

04-06-2002, 05:29 AM
Led Zeppelin: battle of evermore mentions ringwraiths, misty mountain hop, and i personally like to think that stairway in heaven is tolkien inspired also;
"There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving."

i have heard of heavy metal bands called Burzum(darkness in the dark tounge), Gorgoroth and evem Mordor.

blind guardian.

my favourite refrences to LOTR are in the (super-refrence-filled) Discworld Series - by Terry Pratchet. they are absolutely hilarious, and i would advise everyone to read them. the tolkien related stuff is really funny.

04-06-2002, 03:51 PM
You're right, Nevfeniel,(thanks) and actually that may make more sense... but Shmendrick still comes out the worse for the comparison... sigh

Susan Delgado
04-11-2002, 02:39 PM
Another from The Last Unicorn: Mommy Fortuna has nine black wagon in her Midnight Carnival.

Susan Delgado
04-12-2002, 09:13 AM
Also, one can find something like the Palantir in Barbara Hambly's Silent Tower series.
And, this isn't literature, but I think it still counts, I have a horse named Shadowfax, my dad used to have a dog named Frodo, and I know someone else with a pedigreed standard poodle, part of whose registered name is Aragorn. She calls him Strider. How cool is that? smilies/smile.gif

04-12-2002, 05:23 PM
Talking of animal tributes, Professor Tolkien was very kind to Mrs. Meriel Thurston, who wrote asking if she could name her herd of cattle Rivendell. (Letters 342, 345)
I am honoured by your letter, and quite willing that you should use the name of Rivendell as a herd prefix, though in my ignorance I don't think the actual valley of Rivendell would have been suitable for herd breeding.
I should be interested to hear what names you eventually choose for your bulls ... The elvish word for 'bull' doesn't appear in any published work; it was MUNDO ...
After gently discouraging her from naming her bulls Elrond or Glorfindel, he continued
I recently played with the notion of using the word for bull I gave you, ... and adding a few Elvish prefixes, producing names like Aramund ('Kingly bull'), Tarmund ('Noble bull'), Rasmund ('Horned bull') Turcomund ('Cief of bulls') ... I wonder what you think of these? Trying to talk her out of naming her cows Arwen, Galadriel, Celebrian or Nimrodel, he goes on
But I shouldn't really like these names to be given to heifers or cows. ... I could invent a few female names. But though it is made on classical models rather than elvish, wouldn't the name of Farmer Giles' favourite cow - Galathea (in Farmer Giles of Ham) -be useful? which as it stands might be interpreted 'Goddess of milk'.

04-12-2002, 11:12 PM
Oh so true, Keeper of Dol Goldur. smilies/smile.gif

"'Don't meddle in the affairs of wizards,'" he said in lofty tones, 'for they are subtle and quick to anger.' A fellow sorcerer said that. Good at his job, knew a lot about jewelry. Not bad at fireworks, either. Wasn't the snappy dresser Merlin was, though. Let's see, what was his name? Raist--no, that was that irritating young chap, kept hacking and spitting up blood all the time. Disgusting. The other's name was Gand-something or other...." - Zifnab

[ April 13, 2002: Message edited by: zifnab ]

Tigerlily Gamgee
04-13-2002, 12:40 AM
Perethil -
I never thought about that, with "Stairway to Heaven". Who knows, it could be possible.

I can't think of any right now, but I am sure I will. I know of the song titled "Lothlorien" by Enya, and the song titled "The Two Trees" by Loreena McKennit (though I believe she states in her liner notes that that song is of Celtic myth).
Those two aren't too creative of me to come up with, though. I am sure I will come up with something a little more profound.

04-13-2002, 01:35 PM
Nar, loved your story about Tolkien and the lady with the cattle farm. Gently discouraging her from naming a heifer "Arwen"! smilies/biggrin.gif, My, the letters that man must have gotten.

I just went on a nostalgia trip and rented Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal". Now you could argue that an archtype is an archtype, so we can ignore most of the similarities, such as the Gelflings.

But "Podlings"? I'd say that was a tip o' the hat to "Halflings", wouldn't you? (Thank the One that halflings don't bounce when they run, though.)

Sadly, Henson's marvelous creatures just don't seem to hold up in the face of CGI technology. But that doesn't bother me as much as the script. AIIIIIIII, the script! How did I ever think that movie was good?

Tigerlily Gamgee
04-13-2002, 02:39 PM
Wow, "The Dark Crystal", now there's a trip down memory lane. That movie scared the begeesus out of me when I was little! It has been a while since I have seen it, though, my roommate has it so I may watch it again and see what you describe.

Nazgūl Queen
04-13-2002, 07:07 PM
<center><font colour="red">One good author, Raymond E Feist, pays homage to Tolkien through races and languages despite a quite different story.

His dwraves are like tolkiens, and their mine are like Moria (except still in use on the upper levels)

His elves live in Eldamar, a place much like Lothlorien and protected by natural magic. They take names in elven (The Queen is Aglaranna: Birliiant Gift) and the four separate races are named in Quenya: Eledhel (Star-Elves), Moredhel (Dark-Elves), Glamredhel (Mad? Tree? - Elves) and the Eldar, which is one of the words for High Elves.

09-15-2002, 11:25 PM
I had read a book a while back called "Edge of Eternity" by Randy Alcorn. It is a Christian allegory, much like Pilgram's Progess. In the acknoldgements he gives a note of thanks to Tolkien and to Lewis for his inspiration for that book.

Also, in another book by the same author, called Lord Foulgrin's Letter, remincent of Lewis's Screwtape Letters, he us a language silmilar to Tolkien's Black Speech for the demons. Also, once a demon used the "Ancient" language, that of Heaven, which was similar to Sindarin.

Here is one example: Black Speech Baal jezeb ashnar mordol nuhl-keez gimbus molech nargul dazg.
and here is one more: Sindarin
Elyon miriel o aeron galad--chara domina beth charis o aleathes celebron.

I emailed their office to see if someone could tell me the interpretation, as it is not stated in the book.

[ September 16, 2002: Message edited by: Joy ]

09-19-2002, 04:23 PM
Dunno if you can call this homage to LOTR... but I've reieved via e-mail this errrrmm... politcal cartoon, I suppose. It was labelled as something like "this explains it all, he is back." I was just a pic of George W Bush... exept that there was a zoom to his wedding ring and it clearly had writing in feanorian runes smilies/biggrin.gif


[ September 19, 2002: Message edited by: bombur ]

Estelyn Telcontar
09-19-2002, 10:33 PM
That is quite funny, bombur, and there is a thread devoted to it:
Tom Bombadil in the White House (http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=17&t=000130)

09-20-2002, 01:01 AM
I know this is going back right to the top of this thread - and your probably not talking about it any more - but also in A Wizard of Earthsea they use the name 'Lebbinin' for one of the characters (lebbinin is lotr is somewhere in Gondor)

09-20-2002, 04:16 AM
Thanks estelyn... I had thought it had less of circulation. The name of the thread is perhaps slightly deceptive though...