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Old 07-04-2016, 07:20 PM   #1
Marwhini
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Did not know where to Ask: Other Tolkien Forums

I was just wondering:

I have only run across a few other forums, and they seem to have various "issues."

There is The One Ring Forums.

The members there seem to worship those horrific movies.

And I have found a site called "Telperion and Laurelin."

Yet it seems to be largely inactive, and I get the feeling that the members have another bias that tends to occlude any study of Tolkien's works in an objective fashion (I've been lost in a few threads where suddenly they began discussing Hebrew for some reason).

Are there any other Tolkien Forums/Sites that are worth the time?

MB
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:14 AM   #2
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I think the "The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza" is okay; just make sure to submit any topics about the books to the "Basic Lore" forum first because the "Advanced Lore" section is by moderator approval only. I haven't made this mistake myself, but I've seen others do it, and oh how embarrassing for them.

http://lotrplaza.com/forum.php

That being said, the only time I ever submitted anything especially rigorous there (an essay outlining what I think the deal was with Sauron's attitude to Morgoth after the First Age, as it happens), no one really cared and only one person replied to it. So I think the amount of discussion there might be a bit inconsistent.

They have no problem with people criticising the films either, as far as I can tell.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion.

Finding Tolkien forums that don't worship the films as Gospel is difficult.

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Old 07-06-2016, 06:59 AM   #4
Faramir Jones
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White Tree Minas Tirith Forums?

May I suggest the Minas Tirith Forums as a possibility?

www.minastirith.com

I am a member, and can state categorically that it does not 'worship the films as Gospel'.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
That being said, the only time I ever submitted anything especially rigorous there (an essay outlining what I think the deal was with Sauron's attitude to Morgoth after the First Age, as it happens) . . .
/offtopic... This one? http://lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?...es-and-Methods Did you post a discussion here as well in any form?
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the link to the MT forums.

The content looks pretty good, but their registration is currently closed due to what looks like an attempted Bot Attack.

MB
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:37 AM   #7
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/offtopic... This one? http://lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?...es-and-Methods Did you post a discussion here as well in any form?
Yes it was actually. Funnily enough, I used that quote from Wells's The Island of Doctor Moreau, that appears in the one reply, in my PhD thesis.

I think I didn't post the discussion here because I thought people here might be sick of hearing me go on about Sauron.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:07 AM   #8
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Several years ago, Tolkien message boards were as thick on the ground as leaves in autumn. I have a favorites folder of boards and other sites that I now have to clean up periodically as they go off line.

When I first joined here a long time ago, I was considering several different message boards and chose this one because it was the most serious and least deluged in chatter about the movies. While there are still a very few decent options, my allegiance remains here.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
Several years ago, Tolkien message boards were as thick on the ground as leaves in autumn. I have a favorites folder of boards and other sites that I now have to clean up periodically as they go off line.

When I first joined here a long time ago, I was considering several different message boards and chose this one because it was the most serious and least deluged in chatter about the movies. While there are still a very few decent options, my allegiance remains here.
In going through the others....

I have found two basic types:

1) Boards/Forums where the movies are the Gospel, and the books are a tiresome bore.

2) Boards/Forums where most of the participants are Evangelical Christians who have attempted to co-opt Tolkien to some end that I cannot even fathom (and usually try to support various Social-Conservative Political Causes). That makes for some very twisted analysis of Tolkien's works.

Corey Olsen's (THE Tolkien Professor) discussions that I have been in often tended to have the latter flavor. I have mixed feelings about his works, as he has this tendency to overly use the movies in too many discussions. He clearly has a deep knowledge of Tolkien's works, but I cannot escape feeling that his religious biases tend to dominate.


This forum seems to have a pretty decent mix of people who have a very deep knowledge of Tolkien's work, and do not seem to have overt biases working in their examinations of his works.

I might be the closest to having one such bias, but that bias is toward establishing an objective coherence to Tolkien's works - which I should beware of, having studied Mythology with Joseph Campbell when I was younger, who would warn me against seeking objectivity in Myth. Although with Tolkien's Middle-earth, it is not just Mythology, but a Mythological History; which complicates things, and is a "Thing" that Campbell's work does not really cover, exactly.

Although his work covering Christianity does apply, it is problematic, because of what the application of Historical Literacy did to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in relation to the Power of the Myths themselves.

But overall... I appreciate that people seem to be willing to textually support their claims and arguments.

As primarily being an academic (currently convalescing, due to a disability to became aggravated just as I was about to start looking at Graduate Schools - although this will be my second time through a University, the first being in the 1980s) I tend to value that kind of thing.

But I do know what you mean about Tolkien forums proliferating over the last decade.

The films really brought about a lot of excitement for Tolkien's works. But it seems to have been transitory for most. Which is, to me, very sad.


MB
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
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1420!

I just checked my Tolkien favorites folder. It includes six sites that had message boards. Two no longer have message boards. One has only a handful of posts made this year. This leaves three moderately active boards (including The Barrow-Downs). Somehow, this seems more "normal" that the way things were ten years ago, when there were dozens of message boards, most deluged with movie-based chatter, and all competing for membership.

Marwhini, I too suffer from the vice (you term it a bias) of seeking consistence in Tolkien's Middle Earth writings. If an inconsistency or a possible error is noticed, I tend to explain it within my views of the history (or more accurately mythos) of Arda. Thus, for me, Bombadil is not anomalous and undefined. Orcs are corrupted Elves, not Men or apes. I don't care whether or not Balrogs had wings, but if they did, that was explainable. The stone giants are either hyperbole on the part of Bilbo, or his misunderstanding of what he saw. I enjoy making things fit, rather than hunting for errors.

I chose The Barrow-Downs for the quality of its members and general lack of a fixation on the Movies. This is not to say that we didn't have several difficult years after the fist film came out. Nor will I say that our members lack biases. Rather, most are open minded, if sometimes argumentative. Considering that I am one of the few who were here at the start (or even the middle) that still remain, I am astonished and gratified at the quality of the members we have.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:45 PM   #11
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I doubt I can put it better than Mithadan, but....

This is the only Tolkien forum (or any forum) that I post on. Really, and especially all those years ago when I found this place, being an active part of such a community was contrary to my generally private, quiet nature. I found the Downs when it was part of the EZ Board family. I think there was one other Tolkien site I joined at the same time, but the fact that I can't recall the name indicates its importance to me now.

I was highly impressed by the breadth of Tolkien knowledge on rampant display here, not to mention the general civility of tone that was rigidly enforced, and was hooked from the start. I never had any desire to visit other Tolkien forums later, even when the movie-hype reached its zenith, and I found myself in the decided minority opposed to the movies.

Today, when the number of forums is fewer, I feel even less need to shop around.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:30 PM   #12
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Yes, this was the only one that suited me. And I know I have been treeish but until the last ailment ridden and bookless year I have been fairly constant. I dabbled a bit at the Plaza but only made one post that was acknowledged. I may have been unlucky but it seemed dominated by a couple of strong personalities who seemed to regard others' posts in two categories: - correct but unoriginal (ie they had already said it in such a thread whenever , - just plain wrong. I didn't last long.

So welcome. And I hope you fine a little to interest you here. I may even go and start a thread.
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
Yes, this was the only one that suited me. And I know I have been treeish but until the last ailment ridden and bookless year I have been fairly constant. I dabbled a bit at the Plaza but only made one post that was acknowledged. I may have been unlucky but it seemed dominated by a couple of strong personalities who seemed to regard others' posts in two categories: - correct but unoriginal (ie they had already said it in such a thread whenever , - just plain wrong. I didn't last long.

So welcome. And I hope you fine a little to interest you here. I may even go and start a thread.
I have noticed that about the Plaza as well. There seems to be one character who has a rather significant bias that he pushes against all evidence to the contrary.

I noticed he was denigrating other members for trying to explain the various characters, objects, or events in Middle-earth in some Operational fashion by constantly denigrating Tolkien's work itself as "Just Fiction" or "It's MAGIC" (as if that is an explanation).

He seems to not understand at all Tolkien's motivations or beliefs involved in the building of Middle-earth.

And the "evidence" he usually offers to support his opinions aren't from either Primary or Secondary Sources (Tolkien directly, or The History of Middle-earth), or even from Tertiary Sources of Tolkien Experts and Authorities.... But rather from a lot of Fan-Fic Blogs with hair-brained conspiracy theories regarding Middle-earth.

I see a few reasonable, and rather dedicated fans and scholars of Tolkien there.... But the couple of dominant personalities, coupled with the "point" system, and the "Experts" forum tends to create a poorly-considered dynamic where some people dominate the Forum at the expense of valid or sound opinions of others.

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Old 07-09-2016, 02:14 PM   #14
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I have noticed that about the Plaza as well. There seems to be one character who has a rather significant bias that he pushes against all evidence to the contrary.
I have not visited the Plaza. But the first message board that I joined, about a year or two before the Downs came to be, was very similar. I made a series of posts that were entirely ignored or summarily dismissed. There were a handful of posters, including the board's moderator, who dominated all conversation. I then went looking for a more friendly, open-minded board...
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I doubt I can put it better than Mithadan, but....

This is the only Tolkien forum (or any forum) that I post on. Really, and especially all those years ago when I found this place, being an active part of such a community was contrary to my generally private, quiet nature. I found the Downs when it was part of the EZ Board family. I think there was one other Tolkien site I joined at the same time, but the fact that I can't recall the name indicates its importance to me now.

I was highly impressed by the breadth of Tolkien knowledge on rampant display here, not to mention the general civility of tone that was rigidly enforced, and was hooked from the start. I never had any desire to visit other Tolkien forums later, even when the movie-hype reached its zenith, and I found myself in the decided minority opposed to the movies.

Today, when the number of forums is fewer, I feel even less need to shop around.
I would tend to agree with you. The MEO forums (prior to Turbine changing MEO to LOTRO and bastardizing the game into a WoWish clone) were vibrant and a lot of fun. I even moderated the Roleplaying Forum there for a considerable amount of time. Once the developers jettisoned anything that approached canonicity and decided to Jacksonize Middle-earth Online and transmogrified it into Lord of the Rings Online (as you can see, even the title was a none too subtle change to take advantage of the movies), I came here in 2007. I do not regret the move one jot or tittle.

I keep a foot in the door at TheOneRing.net and post in the Reading Room occassionally, where there are some really good textual read-throughs and accompanying commentary, but outside that, the interest there is more in the way Thorin's coal black hair glistens and his fiery eyes cast derision with a sizzling glare. One expects the discussion to turn to beribboned pink ponies at any moment.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:51 PM   #16
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The Plaza has more than a few Tolkien "Fan-fic Girls" in it.

I tend to be leery of Tolkien "Fan-Fic" as I have only seen two that were at all readable.

I will admit that I am an insufferable snob when it comes to Tolkien. I think the canon is sacrosanct, and that ultimately anything written to "fill in holes" needs to abide by a Metaphysical system that is at least coherent (although that presents huge problems, as few people even have that cross their minds when thinking of Tolkien).

But it's literally all I can think about now with Tolkien:

How did Middle-earth WORK?

And I have found that to be a Blasphemy to many Tolkien fans, who seem to want to ignore the very words in HoM-e that I seem to hear the loudest.

MB
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:53 PM   #17
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. . . the interest there is more in the way Thorin's coal black hair glistens and his fiery eyes cast derision with a sizzling glare. One expects the discussion to turn to beribboned pink ponies at any moment.
EEEEWWWWWWW!!!!



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Old 07-14-2016, 10:27 AM   #18
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Yes it was actually. Funnily enough, I used that quote from Wells's The Island of Doctor Moreau, that appears in the one reply, in my PhD thesis.

I think I didn't post the discussion here because I thought people here might be sick of hearing me go on about Sauron.
I'm not sure I'll post anything coherent in one, but I will lurk the heck out of any Zigūr-going-on-about-Sauron threads.
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