The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-30-2013, 01:04 PM   #41
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 6,964
Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cellurdur View Post
I It's funny you mention Turin, because your opinion of him is very different from the authors. Previously you had said that your viewpoint is dependent on what the author sets out as good. Here you think that Turin was a bad person. Tolkien on the other considers him as one of the greatest heroes of all time.

Elrond one of the wisest and greatest loremasters ranks him with all the great heroes.

"I will say that your choice is righ; and though all the mighty elf-friends of old, Hador, and Hurin, and Turin, and Beren himself were assembled together, your seat should be among them."

Your opinion of Turin is different from that of Tolkien's. My opinion of Turin also differs from yours. Though he has his flaws I ultimately consider him good and a hero.
Wait, what? That's the exact opposite of what I'm saying and ever said about Turin. He's my favourite tragic hero in the legendarium. Let's begin with his own life. No one can deny that he's done bad deeds and caused a ton of problems through his flawed character. Many people (NOTE: many people, NOT me) see this as a defining factor. I think that his deeds are at least partially justified from his perspective and his intention outweighs the failure. As for what Tolkien's premise of Turin in COH, he presents both sides of the argument, which makes everything so conflicting and complex. Yes, Turin is a great hero and person, but yes he is SO flawed and makes such bad choices, even those he could have avoided had he been a better person. History seems to have accepted him for what he tried to do and praised him for his great effort, forgiving him for his faults. That doesn't mean they weren't there -- as others would say. I say, yes, they were there, but they ARE outweighed once you know his thought process. Elrond's opinion isn't all of Turin that's presented to us.

I am not going to argue about ASOIAF because what's the point, we won't convince each other either way, so I'm willing to agree to disagree. But I'll defend Turin and my thoughts on him if even if it means taking it into a whole different argument.
__________________
- These taxes, they are like sacrifices to tribal gods?
- Well, roughly speaking, but paying taxes is more painful.
Doctor Who: The Sun Makers
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 01:17 PM   #42
cellurdur
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 276
cellurdur has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Wait, what? That's the exact opposite of what I'm saying and ever said about Turin. He's my favourite tragic hero in the legendarium. Let's begin with his own life. No one can deny that he's done bad deeds and caused a ton of problems through his flawed character. Many people (NOTE: many people, NOT me) see this as a defining factor. I think that his deeds are at least partially justified from his perspective and his intention outweighs the failure. As for what Tolkien's premise of Turin in COH, he presents both sides of the argument, which makes everything so conflicting and complex. Yes, Turin is a great hero and person, but yes he is SO flawed and makes such bad choices, even those he could have avoided had he been a better person. History seems to have accepted him for what he tried to do and praised him for his great effort, forgiving him for his faults. That doesn't mean they weren't there -- as others would say. I say, yes, they were there, but they ARE outweighed once you know his thought process. Elrond's opinion isn't all of Turin that's presented to us.

I am not going to argue about ASOIAF because what's the point, we won't convince each other either way, so I'm willing to agree to disagree. But I'll defend Turin and my thoughts on him if even if it means taking it into a whole different argument.
I agree lets agree to disagree on ASOIAF

Turin is one of my favourite characters as well. We see him striving to do the right thing. Yes he does some very bad things, but he usually repents and tries to put them right. In my opinion when we look at the circumstances Turin did more good and accomplished more than most people and that is what makes him a hero.

Morgoth's hatred and desire to crush Turin allows Tuor to reach Gondolin. In the end he defeats "the power too great for you (Mablung and of course Turin too), too great indeed for all now that dwell in Middle-Earth."

However, in the end unlike Morwen he dies a broken man in despair.
cellurdur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2013, 03:01 PM   #43
Galadriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Galadriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion
Posts: 551
Galadriel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cellurdur View Post
Since it is fantasy the magic is not the problem. Rather the super human childen, the super human small person, the unrealistic distances, all characters being too flawed, the incredible plot devices guys like Littlefinger need to succeed.

It's a good book and enjoyable, but you have to constantly suspend your sense of belief chapter after chapter.

Flawed characters are okay, but when Ned and Davos look like saints compared to the rest then there is a problem. The show has actually had to whitewash so many characters to make people care about them.
Interesting that you should say the characters are 'too flawed'. Would you call, for instance, Jon Snow or Danaerys Targaryen 'too flawed'? I think they merely act their age, and for that Danaerys actually shows some incredible backbone. Then again, I do agree that, at some level, the amount of 'nice' or at least 'vaguely kind' people are surprisingly lacking.

'you have to constantly suspend your sense of belief'. I didn't, actually, though I found the last two books somewhat contrived and thinly spread.

'then there is a problem'. Is it necessarily so, though?
__________________
"Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?" – Tom Bombadil
Galadriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 05:27 AM   #44
cellurdur
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 276
cellurdur has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel View Post
Interesting that you should say the characters are 'too flawed'. Would you call, for instance, Jon Snow or Danaerys Targaryen 'too flawed'? I think they merely act their age, and for that Danaerys actually shows some incredible backbone. Then again, I do agree that, at some level, the amount of 'nice' or at least 'vaguely kind' people are surprisingly lacking.

'you have to constantly suspend your sense of belief'. I didn't, actually, though I found the last two books somewhat contrived and thinly spread.

'then there is a problem'. Is it necessarily so, though?
I meant 'too flawed' in terms of moral character not ability. Jon Snow is a fairly good sort, but Dany is slipping.

As for their ability, this is what I mean by super children. Dany is 14, Jon is 15 and they are already leading armies, conquering cities etc. It's just not very plausible. Usually children's stories have younger characters to appeal to children. Even then they usually create some kind of excuse like a magical climate increasing the maturity of kids. Arya, Bran, Dany, Robb, Jon and others just are not believable as children.

Things like the speed characters travel great distances, the climate in the North supporting farming are small things you can ignore. It's the big plot points I struggle with. For instance why does Tyrion not kill Littlefinger? Often in the books intelligent characters have to make stupid and decisions against their established character for the plot to advance.
cellurdur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 07:28 AM   #45
Galadriel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Galadriel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion
Posts: 551
Galadriel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cellurdur View Post
As for their ability, this is what I mean by super children. Dany is 14, Jon is 15 and they are already leading armies, conquering cities etc. It's just not very plausible. Usually children's stories have younger characters to appeal to children. Even then they usually create some kind of excuse like a magical climate increasing the maturity of kids. Arya, Bran, Dany, Robb, Jon and others just are not believable as children.

Things like the speed characters travel great distances, the climate in the North supporting farming are small things you can ignore. It's the big plot points I struggle with. For instance why does Tyrion not kill Littlefinger? Often in the books intelligent characters have to make stupid and decisions against their established character for the plot to advance.
The Mughal emperor Akbar came into power when he was thirteen years old, under the supervision of regent Bairam Khan, who was himself only around sixteen when he entered Babur's service. And Akbar maintained and even expanded his empire pretty well. At first glance I see how such things can be hard to believe, but also I feel one can be surprised as to how one can grow under challenging circumstances, so Jon Snow and Dany don't come as a huge surprise to me. They have several people guiding them or telling them what to do. Having said that, I have some difficulty taking in Arya's survival skills. With the kind of life she led as the daughter of a high lord (athleticism aside), she should have died of starvation on the streets without anyone helping her. Then again, I haven't read the books in a long, long time, so maybe I'm missing something!
__________________
"Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?" – Tom Bombadil
Galadriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 12:01 PM   #46
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 6,964
Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
What bothers me is not how young the children are, but how old they are in the TV series. There is a trend among fantasy novels to make young children do things that are not meant to be done by such young children, and many novels/series are worse than GOT in that respect. At least in GOT its mostly some charisma or character of the children, and that's partially explainable by the fact that you get married at puberty and have to know how to act as a head (or any other notable position) of the household. Noble boys are also taught how to lead people, so by puberty they would have some idea, even if not that much experience. Compare that to children of 9-15 years old who do physically impossible things. My siblings have recently been reading the City of Bones series and Percy Jackson series, both of which I have read, which reminds me once again about how these little children get to rule their world at least in part due to physical feats that are simply not performed by children. And in the Percy Jackson movie, the 12-year-olds look 17. Just like in GOT. 'Nough said.

(If I ranted away without being clear on what I'm saying, it doesn't bother me as much, but I agree that the children are a bit too grown up, but that's not as big of a deal in GOT as it is in some other books. What really bothers me is the movie adaptations.)
__________________
- These taxes, they are like sacrifices to tribal gods?
- Well, roughly speaking, but paying taxes is more painful.
Doctor Who: The Sun Makers
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #47
cellurdur
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 276
cellurdur has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
What bothers me is not how young the children are, but how old they are in the TV series. There is a trend among fantasy novels to make young children do things that are not meant to be done by such young children, and many novels/series are worse than GOT in that respect. At least in GOT its mostly some charisma or character of the children, and that's partially explainable by the fact that you get married at puberty and have to know how to act as a head (or any other notable position) of the household. Noble boys are also taught how to lead people, so by puberty they would have some idea, even if not that much experience. Compare that to children of 9-15 years old who do physically impossible things. My siblings have recently been reading the City of Bones series and Percy Jackson series, both of which I have read, which reminds me once again about how these little children get to rule their world at least in part due to physical feats that are simply not performed by children. And in the Percy Jackson movie, the 12-year-olds look 17. Just like in GOT. 'Nough said.

(If I ranted away without being clear on what I'm saying, it doesn't bother me as much, but I agree that the children are a bit too grown up, but that's not as big of a deal in GOT as it is in some other books. What really bothers me is the movie adaptations.)
They are not the same age in the TV show. Virtually everyone except Sansa has been aged up. Dany, Robb, Jon etc are all 18.

Boys rarely got married at puberty and back then puberty would often start later for girls due to the poor diet. Marriage at 13 was very rare. Girls tended to marry at 16.

I have never read Percy Jackson, but I assume it's designed for children. Children want to read books about people their age so authors have to give a bit of leeway. ASOIAF does not have this problem, though Arya is as super as any of those characters I would imagine.

The very best military minds in history led maybe a battle or two before they were 16. None of them were military genii like Robb or political genii like Dany.

I commend the show for doing a lot better with the ages. Only Joffrey needs to be aged back down to make things fit.
cellurdur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014, 07:24 AM   #48
Lotrelf
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 265
Lotrelf has just left Hobbiton.
Sting

Is there any?? I haven't read much (no fantasy except HP books), but I can't think of any other book giving the same feeling. After finishing the LotR (& before finishing it) I couldn't sleep at night thinking how the story is going to end. While reading the books, I wanted all of it to end very soon; but was sure there're going to be tears too. Shockingly, I didn't cry at all. But, later when I grasped the facts, I felt very bad. I was like, "Why Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo had to leave?" I read few other books, but none of them affected my head so much.
__________________
A short saying oft contains much wisdom.
~Sophocles
Lotrelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014, 09:10 AM   #49
Zigūr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigūr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 652
Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
We could define "feel" a number of ways I suppose but if you want "Fantasy" with similarly-styled language I can recommend the prose romances of William Morris, especially The House of the Wolfings which was an inspiration for Professor Tolkien (by his own admission: see Letter 226) in addition to its sequel The Roots of the Mountains and various others. Morris' The Glittering Plain is about the unsuitability of changeless immortality for mortal people. Unlike the spiritual or moral conflict of Professor Tolkien's narratives, Morris' work often uses a quasi-early-Germanic setting to to explore socialistic themes about ideal communities and social systems.

The adventure novels of H. Rider Haggard, which also incorporate a fair bit of the fantastic, are comparable in some respects in terms of their style. Certainly She has a level of comparability and supposedly was also something Professor Tolkien read in his youth.

While I don't think any other book could give me quite the same "feel" as Professor Tolkien's work, I do think that those seeking out comparable material would be better served looking at this sort of proto-Fantasy of the 19th century as opposed to the 20th and 21st century Fantasy "novel." I think the modern Fantasy novel is actually quite a different beast to, say, The Lord of the Rings, which definitely gave rise to the modern genre but perhaps as a consequence of that is actually, in my opinion, more a part of the tradition that came before.
__________________
"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 07-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #50
jallanite
Shade of Carn Dūm
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
jallanite is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
A difficulty is that I can think of fantasy tales that remind me of Tolkien and fantasy tales that I like, at least at times, as much, but these books are seldom the same.

So I will give two books that are not very like Tolkien but which I feel are magnificent.

The first is Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice, by James Branch Cabell, published in 1919. The name Cabell rhymes with rable. This book I discovered when I found a volume detailing all Arthurian fiction in English and decided I would read it all. Most, of course, proved mediocre. But Jurgen took me by storm.

Cabell, at the time, mostly wrote tales set in medieval Europe or the southern U.S. and the occasional fantasy work. But this work took the world by storm and set Cabell up as the foremost fantasy author of his time. He faked it as a genuine medieval tale and faked it as an obscene tale by removing innocuous paragraphs and replacing them with rows of asterisks.

The book was duly banned by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice but won free after two years when the judge found very little that he felt would even be found by those who were looking for it and was duped into believing that Jurgen was a genuine medieval tale.

The story can be read with illustrations at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/CABELL/title.htm and elsewhere on the web. It is a wondrous tale in which an aging pawnbroker regains his youth and travels through wondrous lands and wins the love of even more wondrous women. The tale is extraordinarily witty and clever and erudite. Jurgen wins again the first woman he ever loved, the young princess Guenevere, a ghost, the Lady of the Lake, fails to win Helen of Troy, wins a dryad, and a vampire in hell. Then he ascendeth unto heaven.

Notes are available at http://home.earthlink.net/~davidrolfe/jurgen.htm .

Cabell later jested that reviewers claimed that his later works were just Jurgen all over again, and apparently in contradiction that they were not Jurgen again. But to my way of thinking both criticisms were equally true. Cabell indeed wrote novel after novel that seemed to be attempts to redo Jurgen but none of them reached its heights. In 1930 he published all his previous eighteen volumes in revised and expanded versions as the Storisende edition of the biography of Dom Manuel. But the tales were often different enough that ones liked by some were disliked by others and Cabell’s career went into decline. In the following 28 years he wrote only eight further books, all fantasies.

But Cabell remains highly esteemed and honored by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

The other work I love is The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918). Hodgson’s work most closely resembles that of his younger contemporary H. P. Lovecraft. For The House on the Borderland see the Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hou...the_Borderland . Two tourists in Ireland discover a partially destroyed journal written by a recluse telling of his battles with the mysterious swine-creatures, journeys through time and space, and hints of an old love affair. No explanations are given, which does not matter.

The book is available on the web at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10002 .

Last edited by jallanite; 07-06-2014 at 03:51 PM.
jallanite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 07:12 AM   #51
FerniesApple
Haunting Spirit
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 92
FerniesApple has just left Hobbiton.
There is nothing that has the 'feel' of Tolkien, thats why I often feel disappointed by books that on the face of it have similar fantasy ingredients. But if I want Faerie, if I want to 'feel' part of a magical world, I have found no one better than Alan Garner. His Elidor, Weirdstone of Brisingamen and Moon of Gomrath have great charm and are thrilling.

I also love Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising series.
and the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
FerniesApple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 08:20 AM   #52
Zigūr
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Zigūr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 652
Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Zigūr is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Hello all,

I wanted to point out something I noticed today while it was fresh in my mind, before I forget. I didn't think it was worth starting a whole new topic for, so I thought I would post it here. I know this thread is notionally about "fantasy" texts but personally I think that if you want to find literature with a similar "feel" to Professor Tolkien's work it can be found, but not in the modern fantasy genre.

As I believe I have mentioned before, I'm a scholar of utopian literature (I'm hopefully submitting a PhD on the topic in about ten days, in fact). As a result I've read a number of significant works by H.G. Wells, and today I was finishing off The Sleeper Awakes, which I began some time ago and was distracted from. This item from the climax of the novel came to my attention.

In the finale the protagonist Graham, the titular Sleeper, now owner of all the world's wealth, is using an aeroplane to hold off airborne attackers who have come to reinstate plutocratic-oligarchial rule after Graham has vowed to bring the working classes out of drudgery. At one point during the fighting, one of the "flying stages" use for launching the aeroplanes is destroyed to stop the enemies using it and it is described as follows:
The eastward stage, the one on Shooter's Hill, appeared to lift; a flash changing to a tall grey shape, a cowled figure of smoke and dust, jerked into the air. For a moment this cowled figure stood motionless, dropping huge masses of metal from its shoulders, and then it began to uncoil a dense head of smoke. The people had blown it up, aeroplane and all!" (Wells, 1910)
As you can probably imagine, this reminded me very much of a comparable passage from The Lord of the Rings:
"'The realm of Sauron is ended!' said Gandalf. 'The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest.' And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush fell." (Tolkien, 1955)
I don't know how much Wells Professor Tolkien read, beyond the fact that he presumably read The Time Machine given his occasional references in lectures and correspondence to Eloi and Morlocks, but I thought this similarity was extremely interesting.

In both cases the image represents a notionally threatening, authoritative figure. The flying stages of The Sleeper Awakes are the heart of air power, the means by which the elite of the year 2100 maintain much of their military and economic control of the world. Sauron is, of course, Sauron. Yet both are also fundamentally very impotent things, brought down by the actions of the humble.

Despite the fact that Wells and Tolkien, I believe, had rather different philosophies - Wells supported a form of socialism and was opposed to a lot of organised religion, for instance - I often find that they often deal in similar ideas and similar imagery.
__________________
"Since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of Tol Brandir."
"On foot?" cried Éomer.

Last edited by Zigūr; 08-27-2015 at 08:25 AM.
Zigūr 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 03:07 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.