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Old 04-23-2007, 01:58 AM   #4
A Mere Boggart
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendė is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Well my thought is that this shows us yet again the two contradictory sides of Tolkien - he is at one moment a believer in Hope and at the next a believer in Fate. On Fairy-Stories was written in 1939, after the publication of the Hobbit, and as Tolkien said in the newly released BBC interview seen on Newsnight last week, some of the thought behind On Fairy-Stories sprang from the reactions of his own children to stories he told them. Lord of the Rings also sprang up at the same time in his life. Children of Hurin however sprang from an earlier, darker phase of Tolkien's life, from the 'war years'.

A person of course, is allowed to take differing views, not to fix upon one way of looking at life! We do get ourselves in knots trying to pin poor Tolkien down to being either Northern or Catholic - when he was both! That's why it's best not to fix on something and then go looking for it, but to read what he says and then see what flows from that...

And what does flow for one is that these periods of Middle-earth's history are quite different. Both are without any visible presensce of Eru or the 'good' Valar, both have Dark Lords - but in the earlier period that Dark Lord is a very real, very physical presence involved with the tangible world whereas later on, Sauron is very distant and remote. The Third Age is more 'modern' in that the Gods are more remote, less 'real', more like true legends. The First Age however is much more like the 'Pagan' age in that the Gods are very real, so real that you can be killed by one in battle, or taken captive by one, that you can try to find them and plead with them. The former would give you a sense of control of your own destiny and hence, a belief in things like hope, which you could bring into being yourself; the latter would leave you feeling subject to Fate and to Wyrd.
Gordon's alive!
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