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Old 11-30-2008, 01:36 PM   #1
Peregrin Took
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Tolkien All Serious Tolkien Fans Read - The Lord of the Rings Favorite Character Study

Greetings to all! Long time no see.

Today my good Tolkien friends, I am embarking on an adventure. I have expressed before here on the Barrow-Downs my interest in knowing people's favorite character(s) in Tolkien's world - in specific the characters in The Lord of the Rings. Meaning, why people choose their favorite character and what draws them to a certain identity.

I have decided to conduct a study on this exact question -

Who is your favorite character in The Lord of the Rings, and why?

Yet I'm not looking to start just another favorites thread - I'm not looking to briefly discuss in a post why you are drawn to a certain character. This is to be a grand project of online Tolkien fans, and I have set up two external links for the study. This study will be conducted over a long range of time, with no specific stop date (as of now). Here is what I expect from this study as well as what I am aiming to do:

Being of a "MySpace" era, I have decided to create the official page of my study through a MySpace page. Here is the link -

The Lord of the Rings Favorite Character Study

If you would like to read the rest of what I am going to say, feel free to visit the official page. If not, read on, for I will take exactly what is written on my MySpace page and post it here.

The first step of this study is a simple poll. I have created, through "PollDaddy.com" (quite the funny name, I know, but they have a neat system!) a poll listing 33 characters in The Lord of the Rings. This part is simple - Who Is Your Favorite Character? - vote for whoever your favorite character is.

The next step is what I call the "post-vote" process - this is where the heart of this study truly lies. For every serious fan of Tolkien who would like to get involved, I am requesting that after you cast your vote you send me a 3 page minimum essay describing why the character you picked is your favorite. You must cite examples from the text of LotR and, if you see fit, other Tolkien works in explaining your choice. These submissions should be typed in a Microsoft Word document with a font-size of 12. They must be double-spaced and sent to my e-mail deedsofpippin@yahoo.com as an attachment. Your name, e-mail address, and location (not your exact address) should be typed at the top of your submission as well as in your e-mail. I'm sorry about the strict regulations, but like I stated prior - serious Tolkien fans only.

Your writing should be clear and coherent, with proper spelling and punctuation. I apologize to non-English speaking fans, but only submissions in English are accepted.

My goal - When all is said and done, I will compile the best essays together in one volume and, having a better understanding of why different people choose different characters as their favorite, show them to the world. I would like to have at least one essay for each character that received a vote. If your favorite character happens to be a popular one - try your hardest to develop the best essay to ensure that your words make the cut. For example, if I receive fifty essays on why Frodo is your favorite character, five to ten at the most on Frodo will be included in the final work.

Have fun with this. Really dive into yourself and explain why you love the character that you have chosen. Do not hold back. You might discover a lot about yourself just by explaining why you enjoy a certain character! Let's show the world why the power of Tolkien is so great - why his world and his characters touch us so deeply and affect our daily lives.

I am sure Tolkien fans everywhere will find the results very interesting when all is said and done.

If you are interested in this study, please participate! I am going to be going all over the web to various Tolkien forums and sharing the same thing that I have shared with you. Admins, If the study is received with open arms, perhaps you can even help me promote this study?

I feel like this will create a chance for all those who want to express how much they love Tolkien to really get heard.

Thank you all so much for reading my extremely long post and I really hope you choose to take part of my study. If you are interested in this...start writing!



Sincerely,
Matthew
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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Pipe A 3-page essay!?

You’re not asking for much, are you?

Since the Barrow-Downs already exists as a compendium of what people think of various Middle-earth topics, I would hope that any Downs member ambitious enough to write a minimum of three properly spaced and referenced pages would feel they already have a place to share their thoughts with the world – The Barrow-Downs.

Of course, everyone is free to participate in whatever endeavors they please, and I wish you luck, but I don’t see what would motivate anyone to write a lengthy essay for you under such strict guidelines. After all, we study Middle-earth every day here in the barrow, and there are already thousands of pages of material available for your study.

We had an essay contest on the Downs once, but we had prizes! Your request seems too much like homework to me.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:27 PM   #3
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You’re not asking for much, are you?

We had an essay contest on the Downs once, but we had prizes! Your request seems too much like homework to me.
I will have to concur with the esteemed Barrow-Wight in this instance; a three page essay regarding a character or characters we have already written about ad nauseum here or on other Middle-earth websites is...well...rather nauseating. This is particularly true in my case as I've gotten rather lazy over the years, and have neglected my own self-inflicted writing assignments in lieu of languid web-surfing, staring slack-jawed at the TV, or merely reading what interests me but is not too taxing on my diminishing mental capacity.

Now, what were we talking about? Ummm....hmmm...it'll come to me, just a moment. Nope, I seems my train of thought has once again derailed. Good luck on whatever it was we were discussing!
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:37 PM   #4
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Alrighty, perhaps I'll lower the limit...one must have guidelines in order to conduct an organized study. I want this to be a current, post-movie study, therefore past writings on this would be not keeping with the point of the whole thing. Three pages isn't really a lot when it is double-spaced, and when you consider how much people post on message boards. Oh well. But thanks for the luck!
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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And by the way, if you don't want to go through with the study that is fine - but you can at least vote on the poll! Surely that is not asking too much!
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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And by the way, if you don't want to go through with the study that is fine - but you can at least vote on the poll! Surely that is not asking too much!
I really wouldn't mind doing the whole thing, but I always have trouble determining who my favourite character is for certain. I can generally narrow it down to two, but beyond that I run into trouble. If I can get it worked out, I'll be happy to help.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:50 PM   #8
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Prizes? Reward? What...? Must you receive a gift to do something?

Pick your favorite character and put together 3 or so pages on him/her and why...If it suits your fancy take what you've already painstackingly written over the months and years here.

Yeesh you're acting like Peregrin just asked you to take The One onion ring of Heartburn and embark on a laborious, painful, quest to destroy it in the Mountain of Pepto Bismol.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:49 PM   #9
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Indeed! Thank you good Boromir!
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:19 AM   #10
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Peregrin, if this thing is still up by mid-December, I would love to do this, because for years I've been reading and writing papers on things I am obliged to read and write about, not necessarily those works that I like. But not anytime soon; college and my little Christmas bazaar is taxing me too much right now. By mid-December or later, it's gonna be Christmas break, and for a really decent paper on something I've always loved I can do it within a day or two or three.

But personally, my favorite characters by Tolkien come from The Silmarillion. Morgoth and Feanor included.
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:00 AM   #11
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What???? Peregrin, you don't have the Witch-King in your list? *appalled*
Not a single nazgul?

Not fair, precioussss!

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Old 12-09-2008, 12:12 PM   #12
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Lindale - thanks for the interest! It will definitely still be up and running in December - in fact, I'm picking up so little enthusiasm in general for this that you can expect it to be around at least until spring or summer of next year...really whenever it picks up and I start getting a lot of responses I'll decide an end date. Right now...there is none in sight!

But rest assured, even if I never get a lot of essays, I will definitely create a space via the web where I compile all of the essays received. Either way, people who are interested with see these.

Gordis - I knew I forgot an important character! Forgive me, precious. If you wish to join in, feel free to write about the Witch-King under "Other"!
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:59 AM   #13
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You didn't quite answer my question--may I do Feanor for the essay? Otherwise I'll have to settle for maybe Eowyn or Elrond.
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:31 PM   #14
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Lindale, please choose a character from LotR. Thank you!
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:58 PM   #15
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Peregrin, I admire your effort and hope you have a good outcome.

I may write an essay eventually. After Christmas and before school starts again in January, perhaps? We shall see.

-- Folwren
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