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Old 07-17-2016, 05:28 PM   #9
Animated Skeleton
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 46
skytree has just left Hobbiton.
Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
1) GRR Martin's desire to explore a "More Realistic" Middle-earth did not really work. Discovering a "More Realistic" Middle-earth is possible, but it needs to be approached on Tolkien's terms, where the various mechanisms that drive it differ slightly from our world.

GRR Martin rejected a great many things in Middle-earth that rather significantly affect the operation of the societies and peoples within Middle-earth. He did not look for what Tolkien described as the 'underlying postulates,' or a 'coherent theological and metaphysical system' that formed a foundation of Middle-earth (Morgoth's Ring p. x). Rather, he assumed an identity with our world's Foundational Sciences and Knowledge, and then forced them on Middle-earth, rejecting those parts of Middle-earth that did not fit our Sciences. When he should have been looking for a function of our Sciences as they apply to Middle-earth: What do we know about the relationships of Matter-Energy in our world, and in Middle-earth, and what would be True within Middle-earth for it to be how it is given what we know.

So his works don't show a "More Realistic" Middle-earth at all. What they show is his own cynicism regarding other's beliefs about the world.

I do not believe what Tolkien believed about the world, Catholicism, Good/Evil, God, etc.

But I can LEARN what Tolkien believed well enough to be able to give as good an account of it as any Catholic, and thus understand the many WHYS of Middle-earth (although my primary interest is in the HOWS and WHATS of Middle-earth). GRR Martin missed that distinction. He totally dismissed the possibility that Middle-earth operated the way it did because of those "Hows" and "Whats," and thus he rejected that Middle-earth could be the way that it was, and instead showed something with really no relation to Middle-earth save for some Dragons (which are closer to Pern's or Moorcock's Melnibonéan Dragons than they are to the Morgoth-made Dragons of Middle-earth), and some Zombies for which we have no real parallel in Middle-earth (unless it has to do with an unexplored feature of Sauron as "Necromancer").

He has made a very compelling Fantasy World. But it is more "Our world with some Fantasy Elements welded onto it" than it is a "More realistic Middle-earth."

2) The New Shadow was a worthy effort. But as Tolkien observed, it would ultimately have been nothing but a Thriller, unmasking a Satanic Cult that had sprung up within Middle-earth (Morgothism arising again).

And ultimately, it would probably have been someone like Shagrat behind the whole thing (A surviving, long-lived Orc, who tried to set up their own little petty-kingdom in imitation of the Greater Dark-Lords of Old). Or perhaps it was one of the Blue Wizards, who had wandered off into the East, and been captured by Sauron, long ago, and perverted to his ends.

We simply don't know (and the lines of speculation toward that end are endless).

I was greatly intrigued by it, but more solely from the respects of revealing more of the typical life within Gondor.

And it is sad that Tolkien abandoned it as not being worthwhile. It was a worthwhile exploration of the lives of the ordinary people within Middle-earth.

But Tolkien seems to have been a little fearful of approaching the ordinary people of Middle-earth too closely.

I agree with your analysis and the differences between Tolkien's myths and the writings of GRRM.

This is a clip from a documentary and reenacts one of the great philosophical debates between Tolkien and Lewis and fairly well encapsulates Tolkien view on the origin and truth of myths and their relation to the metaphysical world.

I imagine this is quite different from how GRRM creates his stories and places them within the world.
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