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Old 01-03-2004, 08:04 AM   #1
Athaniel
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Question LOTR as consolation and encouragement

Have you ever experienced that LOTR could provide consolation and encouragement in difficult or sad situations?
To me this happened twice, once when someone dear to me fell ill, and once when I was doing my M. A. Degree in college.
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Old 01-03-2004, 08:13 AM   #2
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Yes, LotR definately does that to me. Every time I think i'm not going to be able to do something LotR encourages me to at least try. Like, lets say i've got some extremely hard homework and I realy dont want to do it. LotR helps me to try, and, sometimes, get through it.
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Old 01-03-2004, 09:46 AM   #3
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I find that LotR contains good quotes to cheer you up. Gimli says, for instance, "faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens," and sometimes they feel very relevant, if you know what I mean.
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Old 01-03-2004, 10:03 AM   #4
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I've spent a lot of time in the doctor's office (and waiting room!) in the past few months, and I bring a Tolkien book quite frequently. If I want light stuff, I'll bring "The Hobbit", if not, the Silmarillion, if in between, one of the LOTR books. As others have said, you can always find something new in them - furthermore, they're a nice jolt of perspective in case I become too mired in self-pity [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img].
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Old 01-03-2004, 03:34 PM   #5
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My history teacher (there was an article in the Guardian or something about the lack of women in LotR, and it was on his desk when he came in (late), so out of nowhere (we knew nothing of his ficiton tastes) he begins to moan about the article and how people should read LotR before saying that etc. THEN he compared us all to a bunch of Orks for not doing any work. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ) says that whenever he's ill he gets out his copy of LotR to get through.

Myself...there are so many inspirational things, it really just notches up quality of life.
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Old 01-03-2004, 06:59 PM   #6
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I find the Hobbit to be somewhat more encouraging, although I am inspired by the moments of light in LOTR the overall tone seems a bit too bittersweet to read primarily for inspiration. Maybe more like something I can relate to.
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Old 01-03-2004, 09:39 PM   #7
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Silmaril

My consolation comes not so much from remembering quotes or from drawing inspiration from the characters. I have a terrible habit where whenever I have a bad day or I'm angry with someone, I bury myself in a good book. If I don't feel very well, it's a light reading book (ie: The Hobbit or something along those lines), but if I'm just really depressed or ticked off, I go straight into whatever book is nearest; usually LotR. Or I write or draw, but that's another story.

Today for example... I was really mad at my oldest brother so I hid in my room and read for awhile. When I was calm, I came back out and talked. Reading is the easiest way for me to relax. Meditating comes close, but with reading I don't worry so much about clearing my thoughts. Rather, I concentrate them and block the rest out until I can rationally think about them. Works well: I recommend it to everyone.

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Old 01-04-2004, 03:32 PM   #8
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Silmaril

Whenever I'm feeling down or bored--or really anytime at all--I read RotK. I mean, it really is an inspiring story. If the Wise can place their hopes in two small, insignificant hobbits, I feel like I must at least have hope for the future [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 01-04-2004, 07:29 PM   #9
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There are certain books that I read when I'm lonely, certain ones I read when I'm sad, but LOTR is the only book I can read and enjoy in any mood.

When I'm hopeful, when I'm depressed, and even when I'm angry, picking up a copy of one of the books and reading the words makes everything better.

I can say the same for the movies.

The Hobbit is especially a picker-upper. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] It's more light-hearted, in a way. Cheers me up.
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:36 PM   #10
Iris Alantiel
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Silmaril

Absolutely! LotR and The Hobbit are the books that I read when I'm upset about something - anything. It never fails that I'll find something somewhere in there that will encourage me and help me to keep hope and strength.

Example: Last week I was really upset about something and couldn't sleep, so I crawled out of bed and picked up The Hobbit, thinking "Well, I'll just read one chapter and maybe I can read myself to sleep." So I read 'Riddles In The Dark' (fave chapter), and stumbled upon this quote:

Quote:
"Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!"
And somehow that quote happened to be exactly what I needed to hear to make me feel better about what was going on. For some reason this happens to me all the time with Tolkien; the books always manage to tell me exactly what I need to hear.
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:04 PM   #11
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I usually get the classic case of feeling that my problems are much too big for me. For example, my cousin, who was like a brother to me, died last autumn. I'm still suffering severe emotional trauma from that. My parents aren't supportive at all about it, and they seem to resist my efforts to go see a psychiatrist. They seem to think that it' "normal" teenage angst. They stopped listening to my problems a while ago. To make things worse, I've become an alcoholic, I'm contemplating starting smoking again, and I'm becoming suicidal. If things couldn't get worse, my best friend, Evan, who kept me alive for the month or two after my cousin's death, has been extremely sick lately. His ulcers are getting worse, and he's been joking about having a tumor in his back. It's bad enough that I'm scared that I'll lose one of my best friends, but it's worse that he's a habitual liar. I keep asking him if he's all right, or if he's joking about all this, but he keeps insisting that they're just "phases." More than the knowledge that I might lose him, is the knowledge that I'm utterly helpless. I can't do anything to stop him from leaving me. It is that feeling of helplessness that drags my heart down like this.

During times like that, reading about Sam's situation helps me out. Sam was pretty much in the same position as I am, having to watch his best friend in the entire world slowly succumb to darkness, knowing that he was completely helpless. Just reading about how Sam got that sudden burst of strength on the slopes of Mt. Doom helps me get through each day. Knowing that this Hobbit could overcome his fears, his tribulations, and his worries, helps me to start getting the strength to overcome mine.
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Old 02-02-2004, 07:23 PM   #12
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*bump*
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But Melkor also was there, and he came to the house of Fanor, and there he slew Finw King of the Noldor before his doors, and spilled the first blood in the Blessed Realm; for Finw alone had not fled from the horror of the Dark.
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:00 AM   #13
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Sting

I always thought that Sam was so encouraging, and having a portable Sam chip embedded into the back of my neck so I can stay happy...I was reading this Scifi short story entitled Alphas by Gregory Benford, and the main character has a microship programmed to the memroy and intellect of a dead smart guy's brain, and the "Advisor," or the chip guides the main guy through a dangerous space mission (the main guy actually converses

I can only imagine what it's like to have Sam's encouraging thoughts heard at the back of your head. Although the thought of having someone's brain wired to the back of your head has ethical concerns, it would be something to wonder about.

I never thought about it, but I WILL read LotR when a certain mood comes out, happy or depressed. I'm in a happy state of being right now, and I guess I'll have to turn to The Hobbit.
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Old 02-04-2004, 05:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
It is that feeling of helplessness that drags my heart down like this.
That has happened quite a bit to me through the past 2 months or so, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of. I frequently have sleepless nights, but by reading the Silmarillion it gives me an unexplainable feeling of comfort. I could be close to tears but by reading a good Tolkien book it makes me feel like even though it seems as if the world is coming to an end, life moves on and there really IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that a good friend (thanks, Thulorongil!) and Tolkien will always be there is kind of what keeps me going from day to day.
Finwe: I'm so sorry about your cousin. I hope everything works out alright.
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Old 02-04-2004, 08:45 PM   #15
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Well whenever I go on a trip I take a copy of LOTR with me. When I went to Europe (on a group trip) I had a very hard time, and when I was feeling especially bad, I would get out the book and read. Like when I was on a Greek Ferry Boat and I was especially scared, because it just didn't feel safe to me. I remember being on the bottom bunk, in almost complete darkness, with the engine being very loud, being kind of scared, just reading to get my mind off of where I was and what was happening (Additionally I was also not exactly getting along with everyone else). It actually did help a lot, because whatever is happening to me, is never as bad as what is happening to poor Frodo and Sam [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:51 AM   #16
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I feel like I just have read my own thoughts about LOTR influence on people. I agree with everyone here. As for me, I have some moments when remembering a quote from the book or a scene hepls to despatch the problem or bad feeling. once, when I was ill and felt very broken (hmm), I was refreshing my memory about the Shire's landscapes and hospitable hobbits. and I got better feelings then.
I have learned from the book one thing - never give up! Always when I have a trouble doing smth, I compare my problem with the Frodo's and Sam's problem, for ex., when they went to Mordor... After that I realize how insignificant my problem is.
LOTR has a great positive energy, and it comes to everyone who dares to open and read the book.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 1:55 AM February 05, 2004: Message edited by: Sangal ]

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 4:28 AM February 05, 2004: Message edited by: Sangal ]
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:02 PM   #17
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Sting

It seemed peculiar to me at the time, but when I was re-reading The Lord of the Rings in the midst of the mess that my life was freshman year of college, I started to really like Sam.

My first reading left me apathetic to him, but the second time around, in circumstances slightly darker and slightly lonelier, reading about Sam cheered me up a bit (and to tell you the truth, at one point, I was beginning to forget how to laugh).

So I feel ya, Finwe, and everyone else on this thread.

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 5:03 PM February 06, 2004: Message edited by: Lush ]

<font size=1 color=339966>[ 5:05 PM February 06, 2004: Message edited by: Lush ]
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Old 02-11-2004, 05:04 AM   #18
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LOTR is a great consolation to me at times. I always bring my LOTR copy with me to school, which I just can't stand. It's just that some Ferny-like Korean students think I read books in English just to spite them, and... Well, the parts about people that would stand for the freedom and the good of Middle Earth against the great forces of evil cheer me up, becuase that's what I'm facing in school.

I remember the time they *shudder* cornered me in a school alley and threatened to torture me with cigarette stubs. I was VERY tempted to give up and do their English homework for them and then I suddenly remembered Hurin, who never gave in. I mean, Morgoth must be more scary then some classmates with lighted cigarette stubs, right? They didn't actually do anything, though, to which I am thankful.
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