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Old 02-14-2005, 09:48 AM   #1
Thinlómien
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The two types of LotR fans

I've noticed that there are two different kinds of LotR-fans; those who love the story and those who love the world.
This actually is also for those who have become fans because of the movies; what in the movies fascinated them most?

My aunt is a perfect example of a story-lover LotR-fan. She reads it always again and again (as she does with a few other books). Once I asked her, has she read The Silmarillion. "I started it, but it was so boring, that I couldn't read it any further", she answered.
So story-lovers love just the story, and the characters maybe. They usually don't read The Sil, or HoMEs.

The others, world-lovers, love Middle-Earth. Its places, cultures, peoples and languages. They may end up with playing RPGs in ME.

Of course people can't be divided so roughly; I don't say that the story-lovers wouldn't love Middle-Earth as a place, or the world-lovers wouldn't love LotR as a story.

Have you ever noticed this distinction? Which group do you belong in?
I myself belong to the world-lovers, I suppose, though I love the story too...
I'm interested to hear your answers...

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Old 02-14-2005, 10:46 AM   #2
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World.

Although, when it all began, I was Story.

Perhaps my interest is further clarified when I say, 'holiness'; it is the holiness that intrigues me and draws me in, and I was drawn first by the virtue in LOTR. It took a different way of looking, to find that virtue in the Sil.
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:32 PM   #3
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For me I'd have to be contrary and say both. But sometimes I think the thrill of the story wears off after many readings, as it doesn't necessarily surprise as much - though with Tolkien I always notice something new each time I read his work. If the World did not have the story then I don't think I could have enjoyed it in the first place, as its story which draws in the majority of people. Without story then it might just be a gazeteer or a travel book with some wonderful descriptions. But then because the World is so immersive, it keeps me reading even long after I have learned the plot. And sometimes, when I have 'lost the plot'.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:16 PM   #4
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White Tree Nice thread topic

I'll have to agree with what Lalwende said about not being introduced to the world without first knowing the story, but after that point, I'm certainly in the "World" camp.

I think it's the complexity of Tolkien's world that makes it able to stand up to so much analysis without losing the joy of the story. Some stories, even great literature, wear out under too much scrutiny (is it just me, or has Jane Eyre been analyzed to death?), Tolkien's world doesn't wear out like that, at least for me. And I suspect that this is because of the great detail he included and the vast amount of background material we have to put the story in context.

I've thought about this often, actually, and although I can't say why, I've definitely made the distinction between Story-lovers and World-lovers. It reminds me of the distinction CS Lewis made between two types of readers in his book "An Experiment in Criticism"--only I suspect that both kinds of readers of Tolkien would probably fit his "literary" category.

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Old 02-14-2005, 05:09 PM   #5
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Silmaril

I would have to say that in the beginning it was The Story.
When I first read The Hobbit, I was entranced. These were not the pale representations of Elves and Dwarves in the children's stories I was used to and I delighted in the difference.
On reading the trilogy a few years later, as well as appreciating the epic, I fell headlong into the world, its people and its history; and there I have remained, devouring The Silm and Unfinished Tales and of late, HoME.
I find my fascination difficult to explain sometimes. My family are used to finding me with my nose perpetually in a book and yet they can't understand why I would wish to read and re-read the same stories. I know that each time I 'visit' I will find something new.
To cut a long explanation short. I would say that for me, the world is the story.
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:40 AM   #6
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I'll have to say both. When I first read the story, I loved it, and after the second time, I started noticing the subtleties of the symbolism, but I've always liked to think about what it would be like to live there. In fact, Tolkien has inspired me to try to create my own world.
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Old 02-15-2005, 07:50 AM   #7
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I'd say both.... I can choose between the world and the story!!!! But there's one thing that make story good: characters.
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Old 02-15-2005, 07:57 AM   #8
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the World is the Story and the Story is the World. one must first fall in love with the story to fully appreciate and love the world. I read the Hobbit and loved it as a story. then i read the Trilogy and loved it as both. Tolkien understands that you must first love the story by making it exhilerating and exciting and he understands that one can love the world by having such detailed discriptions of the world. its all great and I love it all as i am sure so many of you others do too.
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:02 PM   #9
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Silmaril

Oh, which one am I? I would have to say both. I fell in love with the story at first and still love it. As I read the trilogy and the Silm I began to love the world. I can't decide which I love more.
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:09 AM   #10
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I agree with most of you guys: you love the story first but then you love both the world and the story. There is no story without the world, but without the story the world wouldn't be 'in context'. You wouldn't really understand the way it works, how it's people live, what happened to make everything the way it is.

I think I'm both. How could you be one without the other. Ok, I can maybe see how you could love the story without loving the world( I now realise that some of my friends are story lovers), but could you truly love the world without loving the story?
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:56 AM   #11
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Well maybe some Middle-Earth roleplayers don't love the story, only the world...? I don't know; I've never met anybody who doesn't love the story, but loves the world.
Maybe we should only say that there are world-and-story-lovers and story-lovers. Does that sound better?
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinlómien
Maybe we should only say that there are world-and-story-lovers and story-lovers. Does that sound better?
i would have to agree with what you said there. i dont see how any one could love the world without loving the story, because how would they come to understand and appreciate the world if they dont even like the story. i must say that as you read it over again you find new things and fall in love with it all over again.
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:05 AM   #13
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That's true...
And it's weird how you find whole new, small happenings and details everytime you read it.... I love that book.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:18 AM   #14
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I can't decide, really!
I think everybody gets to love the Tolkien's World through the Story first. But I can see what you mean, Thinlómien.
I know several people who love Middle-earth and are fond of Elves and Hobbits in a general way, without caring (or even remembering) too much about Tolkien's actual characters. (Those are mainly people who came to know Tolkien via the movies)
For me, there are many things I love in Tolkien's works. The world, the story and (very much) the characters who are kind of real and alive for me. (That's why I can't enjoy the changed movie-characters...).
One thing that affects me very much , and which is quite unique, is Tolkien's beautiful language - his different styles that make the different races and characters feel real and historical. (Or does that belong to "world"?)
And the more I read, the more I become entranced by Tolkien's worldview, by the timeless truths in his works and this special mixture of humour,melancholy and hope .
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:21 AM   #15
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For myself, I'm a world lover or a History of Middle Earth lover. The Sil is my favorite book ever and I can't stop reading it. Every time I pick up another book to read I get board and re-read the Sil. The Sil establishes everything that the LotR is based on. All of the cities have a rich history and it's hard to appreciate the LotR until you know what Elves and Men had been through to get to that point. In order to appreciate Sauron's evil you have to meet his mentor, Melkor.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:05 PM   #16
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I would have to say that i am a world fanboy. I just love the epic scale in which tolkien has produced. The lush greens hills of Hobbiton to the mirky caves of moria. The gargantuan Minis Tirith to the River Anduin. I am mesmerised by the depth tolkien went into creating this fantasy world of such richness and beauty. It contains all the areas we have in our own world but tolkien gives it the spark of a true fantasy setting.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:32 PM   #17
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i started out by loving the story, but i love the world now. its so pretty! and all the creatures! i want to move there!
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:58 PM   #18
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Hi bookworm, enjoying being dead?
I think I'm a world lover but like everyone else through the story to begin with. I read it when I was quite young and in my mind I made the setting of Lord of the Rings into such a real place that I see it as just as realistic as the one we live in. It is so intense and detailed, and later when I read the Silmarillion I was amazed at the way Tolkien had created an entire world with histories and languages. I love the world but it is the genius behind it that truly enthralls me.
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Old 02-21-2005, 11:28 PM   #19
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The first time I read the book I was so upset that Frodo had to leave ME. I was really angry at Tolkien.So needless to say I fell in love with the world at first. However the second time I read LOTR I fell in love with the story as well. So now I would say that I love both.
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:19 PM   #20
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i am enjoying being dead v. much, thanx, Kath

i love all the differant languages too, its so interesting to see wut some of the names mean! and they all tell something about the person/thing that they name, not like our names
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Old 02-22-2005, 08:14 PM   #21
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fan profiling

So okay, now I want to know how we determine this. How do we 'profile' a downer to determine whether they favor world over story, or story over world? Is there a way? Is there one of those quizzes that would work?

1. When asked where you most want to live, you answer:
--any one of ten places in Middle-Earth
--Nowhere, I would be tracking the Fellowship
--my reading-chair at home is fine, thanks

2. Your favorite culture is:
--Elves. No, Dwarves. No, Numenoreans. Nah- Hobbits!
--I'll live in Rivendell where they all live together anyway.
--Yogurt.

3. Your favorite age is:
--Third age, with the Hobbits.
--Age of the Trees-- elves, baby, give me elves.
--Twenty-one.

4. You wish Tolkien had written more about:
--Languages.
--Food and clothing.
--Whether Frodo got healed.

5. If you could have anyone visit you:
--Bombadil, for the World History lesson.
--Elrond, for the prose version.
--The pizza delivery guy.
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Old 03-01-2005, 06:13 AM   #22
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World-lovers and story-lovers...hmmm, interesting.
This sounds a little like the distinction I used to make between people who get completely immersed in a book and those that can enjoy the book in a more detached manner. Am I right in saying that those who value the story more are the more detached readers, those who can step back and analyse characters and situations? And the world-lovers are completely swept away and all they want is to learn more and more about this world? Based on this, you can say you'are likely to find the story-lovers lurking more in the Books and Novices sections of the forum and the world-lovers more in the Quiz Room and Quotes section, not to mention of course the RPG section, like Thinlómien already suggested.
But of course, since most of us are mixtures of both, this theory can't really be tested.

Nice quiz, mark12_30! Maybe you could post it on quizilla! Then we'll see which each of us is.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:01 AM   #23
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Well, making a distinction always creates opposition and critic People cannot be so roughly into two categories, but sometimes the distinction is easy to see. And sometimes not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evisse the Blue
Based on this, you can say you'are likely to find the story-lovers lurking more in the Books and Novices sections of the forum and the world-lovers more in the Quiz Room and Quotes section, not to mention of course the RPG section, like Thinlómien already suggested.
That doesn't work, really. I'm a-world-oriented-both-story-and-world-fan (a lovely new wordmonster, what may describe many fans), but I still "lurk" more in here novices&newcomers and books -sections. Never even visited the RPG-sections...
And really, this is not so serious... Capable probably to the Middle-Earth Mirth -section...

P.S. mark 12_30 - the quiz was great!
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:04 AM   #24
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I think the best way to identify a world fan would be to ask in what world they would rather have been born in: the real one or the "real" one. Myself? Edain in the First Age.

Story fans are ones that love the characters, and the ones that don't wonder how long Bilbo lived for on Tol Eressea.
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:06 AM   #25
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Had I but World enough and time, this Story, Thinlómien, would then be mine.

Cute quizz, Helen.
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Old 03-02-2005, 08:26 AM   #26
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Marvellous

We would write down and script which way
To tell, and pass our long day's tale;
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Quoting mark12_30’s quiz

--my reading-chair at home is fine, thanks
I suppose that I am a proper puddle…a mix of both, really. As it been mentioned already, it seems that if you love the world, it is hard not to love the story/stories as well. All that being said, I am a hobbit and do prefer to sit in my reading chair mulling over ME than going out in the rain and battling Morgoth’s creatures du jour (as much as I love the First Age).

After many years, I too have found that the value placed nobility and virtue as well as the stunning examples of true “civilized” behavior are what appeal to me and keep me hooked. I’m not sure where this fits in here, but I suggest that Tolkien has a bit of a philosophical draw as well! Whether that is a subcatagory of story vs story/world vs world I will leave up to those with more subtle brains than I.

Ooh...and as for RPG’s…I vividly recall the days when I was mainly in Books or on the Walk to Rivendell…it lasted for about a year. After that I broke down and heeded the call of Bird and disappeared to the RPGs hardly ever to show myself outside that forum! So I suppose that though I love a good inspiring tale by the fireside, I have had a furry foot on the path outside my front door for some time!

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Old 03-03-2005, 08:58 AM   #28
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Boots coy interpretations

Some by the roaring Anduin's tide
Should simarils find; others by the side
of Brandywine devise Hobbit plaints.
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Old 03-03-2005, 02:42 PM   #29
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Tolkien The world and the word

For me it started with the story. It took me a long time to realize the massive scope of the world, which will never be rivaled again by any author, I think. My final conclusion about Tolkien, however, is that I love most the word. The language of Tolkien (not necessarily the languages, which are themselves a work of unfathomable genius) is what really gets me. Word order, use of words, descriptions, etc.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:03 AM   #30
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Tolkien

Nice point Makar. I totally agree. That makes me a lover of the World and the Word. There are so many different ways to enjoy Tolkien that we could probabily talk about trying to classify fans for years. People probabily have. I think that it doesn't really matter if you love the Story, the World, the Word, or the Languages; we all love Tolkien, or part of what he created and I don't think we need to group ourselves any more than that. I'm happy just being a plain old Tolkien fan (if such a thing exists), even if it is interesting talking about the different ways that everybody loves and interprets Tolkien.
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:15 PM   #31
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When I started out, I loved the story, but, as time went on, I began to wonder about the world, and my wondering lead me to research. Now, I can't say that I am a lover of the world or of the story more. I am equally both. I love everything about LOTR, the characters, the place, the languages, the weaponry. I don't fit completley into either category. I am both.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:56 PM   #32
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Actualy,the story and the world go together.You can't enjoy the story if you don't love the world where it happens,and vice versa.
There are many who love LOTR just because of the movies,but I think there are not many of them there,altough there are some....
I love LOTR because of the magic Tolkien created by mixing a great storx,excelent characters,and the great world where it all happens.
BTW:I also think that the characters play an impornant role in loving this book because they're so good.
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:57 PM   #33
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I have to say that I fit more in the world category. At first I was all about the story, but then I satrted to read the Sil and The Unfinished Tales and after re-reading every book(alot of times), learining the history and a bit of Sindarin, I started to be more world type. I can tell my mom's story type, though. She read the books and all and loved them but if I ask her some history of ME questions she goes all confused about the ages and stuff. To her(unlike me)it,s more about the characters than the events.
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Old 04-12-2005, 03:38 AM   #34
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Very very hard to decide, I think I'm 60% story, 40% world.
I started the Sil, took notes and made timelines to remmember everything, but never finished it because I was to busy with school. I love the story on how middle earth came to exist, but I lost interest when I came to all the different elf-races. Most lord of the rings fans disagree with me, but I don't find elves that interesting. Its the stories of other races that interest me, humans, drawfs, hobbits, elves often seem so... perfect.

You forgot one type of lotr of the rings fans: the hate-the-story, hate-the-world, movie-with-cute-actors-lovers.
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Old 04-13-2005, 02:18 AM   #35
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elves often seem so... perfect.
I'm afraid I have to disagree: If Elve's were perfect then they wouldn't have statred to kill each other over the silmarils. They can still be corrupted and used by evil.

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You forgot one type of lotr of the rings fans: the hate-the-story, hate-the-world, movie-with-cute-actors-lovers.
Well, good point, but can you really class them as LotR fans? If they only like the movie for the cute actors surely we shouldn't call them LotR fans?
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Old 04-13-2005, 03:14 AM   #36
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You have a good point that elves can be corrupted, that's one thing that's interetsing about them. but most of their actions and motions are, shall I say, 'better then human'. I like races with lots of weaknesses to fight. Dwarfs interest me because of their greed, stubbornness etc, Humans because of their weakness to lust, power, etc, and hobbits... well, they're just adorable

I think its debatable wether the film-lovers and cute-actors lovers are lord of the rings fans, they do call theirself lotr-fans. They seach the internet for pictures and snapshots of the films, collect the posters and objects from the movie, and so on, ut they have no connection with the book. Its hard to say if they are fans of the Lord of the rings since the book and the movie have the same title.
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Old 04-13-2005, 04:27 AM   #37
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I s'pose movie fans would have to be classed as LotR fans as they must love the story even if it's the somewhat watered down version in the films. They still appreiciate the basic parts of the narrative.

However I don't think you can class the actor-fans as LotR fans. They will go and watch every other film with that actor/actress and buy all of the merchandise to go with it. Although there's no deniying that some of the actors are cleary very attractive you can't be a fan of something like LotR just because you think someone looks good in elven robes or with hairy hobbit feet(?).

I like all the characters from LotR. However, I do feel a certain attachment to the Elves. I think this is becuse of all the sadness they endure and all the knowledge that burdens them at times. I understand where you're comming from though, Eowyntje. I s'pose each race has it's lovable little quirks and that their different characteristics and idiosyncrasies appeal to, and touch different people.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:38 PM   #38
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I love the world, especially the characters and languages. I always loved the world more than the story.
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:20 AM   #39
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For me , I lean more towards the story. However, I have read Silm and most of the HoME's because I love history. Where my heart truly lies is with the hobbits. I am so a kindred spirit in looks, personality, and eating habits it's not even funny! That's who I relate to the most. And since there are no history of hobbits in Silm and HoME's I'm not into them as much. I like to read The Lost Tales and the Appendices in LOTR for more hobbit lore.
Then again, it is traveling with the Fellowship throughout Middle-Earth that I have come to love the different lands, peoples and cultures.
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Old 06-06-2005, 02:59 PM   #40
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I'm definatly a World, at least by that definition. I love reading the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales (although, it took me a while to get through them the first time!) The story is good, but really, it's just your basic good-vs-evil epic story. For me, it's the way that the story has so much depth to it. That the world is so real. It's the same thing that appeals to me about Star Wars and Harry Potter. The world is carefully drawn out, you can peel back the layers and find more layers. You can read the story again and again and each time pick up something new.
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