The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-06-2020, 07:51 AM   #1
Huinesoron
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 2,310
Huinesoron is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Huinesoron is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
A military historian on the Siege of Gondor

About a year ago, Bret Devereaux, a historian at UNC, wrote a six-part analysis of the movieverse's Siege of Gondor/Minas Tirith from the perspective of military history. He devotes a fair amount of space to comparing the movie's version to the book, as well, to the universal detriment of the movie (surprise - not).

The analysis starts here, with links to the six parts at the top of the post.

There's some interesting stuff in there! He spends a chunk of time discussing the morale effects of the Witch-King's siege, and highlights just how well Tolkien used his own WWI experiences to write them (in contrast to the movie, the morale battle in the book entirely clears out the gateway for the Witch-King's entry - except for Gandalf). There's also loads of stuff about catapults, and how to capture Osgiliath (Jackson's orcs actually had a decent plan, though Faramovie's response left a lot to be desired), and right now I'm deep into cavalry tactics and why the movie should have ended with a whole lot of dead horses.

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2020, 10:43 PM   #2
R.R.J Tolkien
Wight
 
R.R.J Tolkien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 116
R.R.J Tolkien has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
About a year ago, Bret Devereaux, a historian at UNC, wrote a six-part analysis of the movieverse's Siege of Gondor/Minas Tirith from the perspective of military history. He devotes a fair amount of space to comparing the movie's version to the book, as well, to the universal detriment of the movie (surprise - not).

The analysis starts here, with links to the six parts at the top of the post.

There's some interesting stuff in there! He spends a chunk of time discussing the morale effects of the Witch-King's siege, and highlights just how well Tolkien used his own WWI experiences to write them (in contrast to the movie, the morale battle in the book entirely clears out the gateway for the Witch-King's entry - except for Gandalf). There's also loads of stuff about catapults, and how to capture Osgiliath (Jackson's orcs actually had a decent plan, though Faramovie's response left a lot to be desired), and right now I'm deep into cavalry tactics and why the movie should have ended with a whole lot of dead horses.

hS
Thanks, I shall start digging in tomorrow.
__________________
“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food...I am fond of mushrooms.” -J.R.R Tolkien
R.R.J Tolkien is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2020, 05:46 AM   #3
Zigūr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigūr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 754
Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Very interesting, especially for the insights into pre-modern military science, something I don't know much about. I'm more up to speed with tactics/strategy/logistics in the Napoleonic and World Wars, and am very much a "Clausewitzian" in that regard. I've only scanned through the first couple so far but it's a subject I find quite curious.

I don't suppose anyone knows of any study of military matters specifically as they apply to the books and Professor Tolkien's own writing? I remember once seeing a book in the University of Sydney library called "Warfare in Fantasy Fiction" (or similar) which had nothing in it about Tolkien; he wasn't even mentioned in the index. It was bizarre.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.
Zigūr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2020, 01:20 PM   #4
William Cloud Hicklin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,898
William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.William Cloud Hicklin is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Excellent! Thank you!

Especially significant- and Clausewitzian - were his comments on the "morale battle," and why it is dispositive in warfare*- something that Tolkien knew, and PJ evidently did not.

*Short version- you don't win a battle by killing the enemy, but by making them run away. Killing some is just a means of getting the rest to run.
__________________
“It is good to be both loved and feared; but if one cannot be both, it is better to be feared than loved" --Machiavelli
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 06:47 PM   #5
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 8,683
Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Thank you for sharing this! I was finally able to give this a read, and really enjoyed it. As someone who knows remarkably little of warfare tactics of any age, this wqs both interesting and educational. But I also find that the differences the author highlights - a battle of morale vs a battle of weapons - reflects on my perspective and emotional involvement in the struggle as an audience. Audiences are not emotionally attached to weapons, but we do feel for the characters through their moments of rollercoaster hope and dread. And the army of the dead - don't get me started on this one, it doesn't take a military historian to call cowdung on that stunt. So, thank you Huey! I will go on to read the GOT pages now, see how he (deservedly) bashes the hyped up Winterfel battle sequence.
__________________
"Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself?" - Gandalf
She's Cobbling from beyond the DeadThread! That's next-level cobbling. ~hS, TIG CXV
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:59 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.