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Old 01-28-2018, 04:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Balfrog View Post

"The fact that 'thirty pieces of silver' is such an obvious source for the 30 silver pennies led me to start looking for other possible explanations (what can I say? I'm contrary)."

Yes – now the author points it out – it sounds obvious. But I haven't see any published books by the so called 'experts' that have mentioned it before. Nor do I see anything much on the forums out there. Indeed, hardly anything at all. So maybe not so obvious???

By the way - love the way you think. Except Aragorn was referred to as “crownless” not 'half-a-crownless'. Which would lead me to deduce that Tolkien thought the matter was binary – i.e either fully a King or fully not.


" I will take your version H!

The gospel reference just doesn't fit."

Really - that seems so definitive!
Love to see an explanation.


"Seems to me either too far-fetched, or mistaking the things of common life for specifically Christian allusions."

I must say that first sentence puts me off reading the rest of your post – even though by its length – I know you put some decent effort in.
Sorry, not understood.

So really???
Thirty silver pennies and its connection biblically – is something Tolkien would have been unaware of???
I can’t see anything in my post that means that.

How's about a mixture of subtle and not so subtle symbolic embedments?
Is that beyond belief - or do we all know Tolkien so well that we can definitively say one way or the other?

When it comes to:

“… the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”
– The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #142

Then the 30 silver pennies it's either a logical fit or not.
I'm not a rocket-scientist – but I don't think I need to be one to arrive at a rational conclusion.
STM the thirty silver pennies owe their description to the needs of the story, and to nothing beyond that. They fit logically where they are found, but that is no reason to see any deeper significance in them. If, OTOH, Tolkien himself said they had some further significance, that would change matters entirely. But I have never heard of any such utterance by him.

That they are thirty, and silver, and pennies, is explicable by the needs of the story, without need of any far-fetched allegorising. Tolkien’s distaste for allegory is a matter of record, and the allegory suggested would not work properly - given Tolkien’s “artistic tact”, I can’t believe he would perpetrate such a clumsy and inexpert allegory. IMHO, looking for Christ-figures, Passion-analogies, analogies to the Eucharist, and that sort of thing, is misguided and back to front, and turns what was an endlessly impressive story into a clumsy, heavy-handed, and dishonest attempt at proselytising. Mount Doom is not Calvary - it is a live volcano, and as such, of practical use to Sauron. As for “way-bread” being viaticum, it resembles in name, but hardly in use.

Such faults are best left to products - stories, is too complimentary - like the Left Behind series. One need be no expert or mind-reader to know that Tolkien wrote far better than that.

lindil is right: the Gospel reference doesn’t fit. As for Balfrog’s suggestions - well spotted, and very amusing

lindil, Huinesoron, Saurondil

I think its worthwhile reading Ms. Seth's post again - and carefully. The insertion of specific amounts of coinage along with type - is extremely rare in TLotR. Just on that basis one can reasonably deduce there was something behind it.
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