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Old 04-28-2002, 05:59 AM   #1
stone of vision
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The Eye Why does this story move so many people so?

Elen sila lumenn omentielvo, Tolkien's wise philosophers,
(thanks Esterella for teaching the greeting [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )

Sorry to bother you, as I'm newly deceased this month and still a little lost in the that big world like Frodo was in the hall of Fire in Elrond's House.

Surfing, lurking I should say,in some Lotr's discussions, forums etc... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] héhéhé
I've realized the universal attraction of The lord of the ring all over countries in the world.

I remember someone asking judiciously:
"Why does this story move so many people so?"

Yes, I'm still haunted ( and thinking of it)by this question since and wanted to submitt it to you.

I would be glad to hear your opinions about it.

Namarié, [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-28-2002, 09:59 AM   #2
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Hmmm. Good question stone of vision. I don't really know. Maybe it has something to do with the moral, that little peoplemcan do big things. I think that a lot of people probebly read the hobbit when they were little, that would encourage them to read LOTR latter on. The name is kind of catchy. Does anyone else have something else?
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Old 04-28-2002, 10:03 AM   #3
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Silmaril

Well, i think it is different depending on who you are. I am moved, and I believe others to be moved so much by it becase of the amazing standard of writing. We are transported into another world where we are presented to characters so believable that we 'fall in love' with them. We go through their pain, their joy, their sadness. I hope I don't sound too soppy here. But the real question to be asked is why does it move you.
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:11 PM   #4
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Nicely said ArwenImladris and Starbreeze. Those are some of the same reasons that it has captured me with.

It also helps to like fantasy. I know some people who weren't moved by it at all. They thought it was boring. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] So, interests do play a part as well as the good writing style and good character development.

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Old 04-28-2002, 03:49 PM   #5
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I think my reply would be just a wee bit too long, as there are many reasons why I am moved not only by LOTR, but by all of Tolkien's work. The man was simply a genius, to be able to create such a vivid world, with many cultures and languages.

Moving? Where? Middle Earth? Did someone finally find it? I'm there! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-28-2002, 04:04 PM   #6
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You want moving [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img], read RotK, the end makes some people cry. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 04-28-2002, 04:21 PM   #7
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Silmaril

Ummm: on the crying aspect: you are looking at the person who, even after reading the books multiple times, still cried both in the movie when Boromir dies and when he is dead in the book. I have seen the movie merely five times (a small number compared to some), and I still cry when Boromir dies. It has something to do with the atonement for his sins by defending his friends, Merry and Pippin, but then, after realizing the folly in his ways, still losing his life.

And: I had read the book and knew everything of the topic (I won't say what "everything" is for those ignorants who read this who have no clue), but I still cried when Gandalf fell. It had something to do with the crying of all those on the screen.

And, of course, I cried when I last read RotK...about 5 times over the course of the book.

And now, to answer the question: I do not believe that there is only one reason why Tolkien causes these reactions from so many people. The best way I can explain it is relating a story:
I was in an assembly watching those who went to the Amazon River over Spring Break tell us of the land. This girl, Sophia, stepped up and began describing the canopy. I was not much listening, for each person's account was roughly the same. Then, I heard her say, "I got to the top of the canopy and it was beautiful...looking like a world that only a JRR Tolkien novel could describe". This caused me to sit up and take notice.

I then began thinking about that. I believe that is what affects us all so much about Tolkien: the time and effort he put into creating this world. One could almost say it seems real, for he created the world of Arda down to the last detail. It is like a world that, if we were to discover a portal to it, we would already have enough knowledge to move around fairly well in the land.

The characters also are nearly flawless, in such a manner that they seem to be true creatures. We would all love, we must admit, to be walking through the woods and come stumbling across a Hobbit or across Imladris/Rivendell. We all love the races and the characters that we find.

And, of course, while it is such a realistic land, it has the right amount of fantasy for it to be a true escape when one reads it after a hard day.

Well: there is the reason that this story moved me to tears of joy and sympathy, both equally, so many times.

[ April 28, 2002: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
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Old 04-28-2002, 07:14 PM   #8
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Silmaril

Well, first of all, I am a big lover of fantasy. That is what got me to read the books in the first place.
I fell in love with the books because the characters are so rich and developed and their relationships are marvelous. The story is deep, but it still manages to find humor within. Tolkien has created characters that everyone can relate to (at least one of them), and at the same time he has given us a place that we can go to when we are sick of the pains and pressures of our own earth.
It is just so "real". I guess that's it. Other books take you away from yourself, but the Lord of the Rings makes you think about yourself and your actions, and the actions of those around you.
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Old 05-01-2002, 08:59 AM   #9
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In the foreword to FOTR in remarking on his dislike of allegory Tolkien wrote:" I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination by the author."

That statement - 'the thought and experience of the readers' - goes to the core of answering your question as to why LOTR has such a universal appeal. It is because the author did not desire to control - and here he is like Tom Bombadil - but gave us freedom via his style of writing to bring to the work our own thought and experience.

Frederick Buechner - reviewing Unfinished Tales for the New York Times wrote of Tolkien:"Perhaps it is a mark of great books as distinct from merely good ones that what strikes us most about them is less how truly they seem to echo the world we live in than how poignantly the world we live in comes to echo them."That is why LOTR is like the Flame Imperishable, whereas Harry Potter is simply a good book.
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Old 05-01-2002, 09:36 AM   #10
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I agree. His works are like the Flame Imperishable. Harry Potter is good, but cannot compare.

Why does Lord of the Rings move me so? There are so many reasons, and all of the people above me here touched upon so many of the reasons why.

I've seen the movie 5 times (and cried every time Boromir died), and I've read the LotR at least 25 times, and every single time, I cry at the end of the book. It does not fail. I actually cry at many different times while I'm reading the book.

This book, when you immerse yourself in it, becomes so real, and the world is so real. If you look into the threads anywhere on barrowdowns, you will find that most, including me, speak of these fictional characters as if they were real people, living right now, as we speak. When we read, we believe. That is one of the great gifts of Tolkien's works. There are a lot of good fantasy books, but none of them have ever made me believe, not like Tolkien.

I have a friend who made a LotR slideshow on his website, and of course he put Boromir's death scene at the end, and every single time I watch it, I cry.
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Old 05-01-2002, 11:27 AM   #11
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Well, I think everyone has said everything about it already (why it moves me..), especially Starbreeze put it very well.
Read the reply´s and you´ll know why it moves me. (at least what can be explained). [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-17-2002, 10:58 AM   #12
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Suilad mellyn,

When i posted this topic, i was a rookie [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
Time has flown a little since... it was necessary i guess befor i can explain what Lotr's world means for me.

As i'm inspired to day i shall try to espress my maze of thoughts:

Tolkien 's creation does speak to the core of my innermost self.
As far as i'm concerned, Lotr's world is a part of me but i'm not a part of it.
It grows in me and i'm growing with it. It's inspiring me and contributes to the being i am.
I keep it within like a light as well as the silmarils keep the light of the ancient time of Valinor.
But it brightens only some pieces of my inner spirit.
To my misfortune, i'm not seeking to be an Elf or other living kinds either in Arda.
I'm just a wanderer, in an awaken dream, whose one greatest joies, is to witness all the wealth of this world,
with everlasting childish amazement! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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Old 09-17-2002, 01:05 PM   #13
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Nicely said Stone of Vision! A beautiful verse you have written! I just want to echo some of the sentiment already expressed here as to why Tolkien moves me. I believe it is because Tolkien created Middle Earth in such a way that it is so close to being real, you almost can't help but believe it is. It is so easy to look at something from our everyday world and see Tolkien's work there. The wind swept prairies of Wyoming elude to Rohan's sweeping grasslands. The gray peaks of the Sangre de Cristos are reminiscent of the Misty Mountains. When the weather gathers on Long's Peak I can see an angry storm on Caradhras. Watching lightening bugs glowing in the trees conjurs visions of Rivendell. I don't have to escape the world I live in, Middle Earth is all around me!
The manner in which Tolkien writes is also a major reason why I am so moved by it. He is beautiful, touching, and emotional without being sappy, trite, or cliché. Some exceptional passages that come to mind are Sam leaving Frodo on Cirith Ungol and Eomer finding Theoden on the Pelennor Fields. There is so much sorrow, but it is portrayed at just the right level. I'm not sure if I can really explain it, but his words can pierce my very soul.
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Old 09-17-2002, 01:27 PM   #14
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Lord of the Rings is just a part of me. It´s kinda hard to explain. I feel, sort of, in this book, Tolkien on side created a world I feel I know- really KNOW, like I´ve been there. On the other hand, the book is just so much everyday life, it suprises me every time. Think about it: you have Sam&Frodo, sharing the plain love of best friends. Gandalf, the ancient symbol of the "wise old man". Merry&Pippin, young and life-loving. Aragorn&Arwen, showing us how hard it can be to wait. Eowyn, hoping and dreaming, like we all do. And finally you have a journey. We journey every day, be it to school or Mount Doom, just a trip to the mall or the journey to the strands of Eldamar.
All I want to say: Middle Earth is not only Tolkien´s World, the world to were I dream myself away to. It is, also and maybe more than that, a mirror of our world. A mirror that shows us- through bent ways,yet astonishingly clear- a clear reflection of our lives.
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Old 09-17-2002, 01:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Well, i think it is different depending on who you are. I am moved, and I believe others to be moved so much by it becase of the amazing standard of writing. We are transported into another world where we are presented to characters so believable that we 'fall in love' with them. We go through their pain, their joy, their sadness. I hope I don't sound too soppy here. But the real question to be asked is why does it move you.
Well said or at least what you said applies to me! I mean when I read these books I was transported to another time, place, and world that was inhabited by characters whose stories, pains, and struggles that touched my heart very deeply.

We go through SO MUCH with these people it is hard not to come to love them all! And it is just as hard not to feel their joys, triumphants, and sorrows!

[ September 17, 2002: Message edited by: Arathiriel ]
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Old 09-17-2002, 01:55 PM   #16
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It is the stuff dreams are made of. Ian McKellen said it best; "Its a fantasy, a fairytale. It never took place, except somewhere in our hearts."

What moves me is the fact that these characters still have faith that they will overcome even in the face of utter destruction. Hope when there is no hope.

In the movie I was moved by Gandalf dying, and Bormir too, but I think in that version the thing that moved me the most was at the end when Frodo is by the river thinking and he thinks "I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had ever happened." And you hear Gandalf "So do all he see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All you can decide is what to do with the time that is given to you." That was it, that is the biggest thing.

I think when you go deep into the story it teaches life lessons on friendship, handling power and responsibility, and never losing hope.
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Old 09-17-2002, 02:22 PM   #17
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Silmaril

It's an archetypal story - the hero's quest appears in every culture, and every story has an element of it.

But Tolkein is different. His characters are at once believable and fantastical, his setting familiar and completely alien. And everybody identifies with Frodo, the little person cursed with a task far too large for him, which he accomplishes.

Plus, it's moral without being allegorical. Tolkein deserves a high seat in Good Writer's Heaven.
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Old 09-17-2002, 08:56 PM   #18
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I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. I can praise the book until your ears fall off, but I would like to quote someone that wrote a response to the book a long time ago. Now he's old, and wise, and this is what he said, "The book is truth, it is struggle, it is triumph, it is all the emotions that exist in humanity. It is magical, it is a world of dreams, it is beauty, it is perfection. But more than all that it is an epic. What does that mean? What is the power in that word? To me an epic is a work that will never die. A work that will live though all the rest of our society may fall. Tolkien has a little bit of immortality by writing this book, because it, unlike him, is ageless. Now, when I list epic authors I always think Shakespeare, Homer, and Tolkien. His book is a part of me; it is a part of all of us." Thanks for listening. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-17-2002, 09:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Lotr's world is a part of me but i'm not a part of it.
It grows in me and i'm growing with it.
That's what's happening to me, too, Stone! I feel the same way, that Middle Earth is expanding in me, and that I am being "colonized" by its myths, legends and people.

I become a part of Middle Earth by believing in it. Like an alliegance to a country.

Well, I guess that's the best thing that can be said about Tolkien's world. Beyond that, I don't know what else to express. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-18-2002, 03:00 AM   #20
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Why? Hum, with me it's probably the otherwordly aspects, such as Elves, which I have long studied, from childhood on up.

Next it's the heroic virtues which attract me. I've always been a bit of a hero at heart. No, strike that, I've acted heroicly twice in my life. Risking life and limb to save another is a thankless task. The only way I can continue to do it is to think of Tolkien's characters. These are men and beings of virtue, achieving impossible tasks and yet, they are rewarded! They are healed in body and mind, at least to a certain extent in LOTR. I did however, like the idea that Frodo was affected adversely. It is often the fate of heroes that they suffer ever after. I feel this way.
When I read Tolkien's works I am moved emotionally, thru every range! From sadness to gladness to joy unbounded. I have never felt that while reading any other books.

[ September 18, 2002: Message edited by: Tirned Tinnu ]
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Old 09-18-2002, 07:50 PM   #21
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Ian McKellen said that "It never happened...except somewhere in our hearts."
Right on.

And check out the threads about Tolkien, Lewis, and/or Theology...seems to attract a lot of very diverse viewpoints.

And what do you mean *some* people cry at the end? I sure did!!! And almost everyone I know that read it (including several macho men) called me in tears because I never warned them that it was so sad!!
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Old 09-19-2002, 02:55 AM   #22
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Sting

Quote:
Tolkien 's creation does speak to the core of my innermost self.
As far as i'm concerned, Lotr's world is a part of me but i'm not a part of it.
It grows in me and i'm growing with it. It's inspiring me and contributes to the being i am.
I keep it within like a light as well as the silmarils keep the light of the ancient time of Valinor.
But it brightens only some pieces of my inner spirit.
To my misfortune, i'm not seeking to be an Elf or other living kinds either in Arda.
I'm just a wanderer, in an awaken dream, whose one greatest joies, is to witness all the wealth of this world,
with everlasting childish amazement!
Stone,this has to be one of the most wonderful things that ever were said in praise of Tolkien, and you were so 'Tolkienite' in saying it! I praise you with great praise!

amyrlis,you're right - it does echo the world we live in, in all its beauty and sorrow. In both worlds, the words of Haldir of Lorien ring true:
Quote:
The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places, but stil there is much that is fair and though in all lands love is mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.
I leave you to reflect on this truth. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:39 AM   #23
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Menheg Hennaid, thousands thanks to everyone for your beautiful thoughts about Tolkien's world and --you!

About "reality" Amyrilis , I would like to share with you the opinion of Elehnil Laiquendo, a magnificent elf soul:
Quote:
You write about the enchantment of Tolkien's world. How much I feel it! It is simply something amazing. Have you ever felt how
real it is? It is almost like it possesses some enormous 'realness' in it, and shares it with anything connected. It makes
the film look incredibly real, so real that this feeling is too strong sometimes... Elehnil Laiquendo
Mithuialyes it's magical would say Sam *wise gamegie [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] and we are enchanted to be under its spell!

NeferchoirwenI hope the imperishable flame of ME will always lighten within you bringing great joy without never burning you [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Tirned Tinnu ,I believe : not only we can't help having feelings for this oeuvre but it is also teaching us to have other better ones

Evisse the Blue,oddly Haldir's quote makes me think of a quote from Mulan:
Quote:
It's in adversity that bloom the most beautiful flowers
And what i 've learned from lotr is :
Even if Things can lapse away, Something can also live from it once again...

Namaarié tenn'
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