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Old 01-05-2003, 11:49 AM   #1
LePetitChoux
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Tolkien Stolen Dumbledore

Well humph!

I always loved the word Dumbledore, it had such a nice ring to it. Guess why?

BECAUSE TOLKIEN INVENTED IT

In one of Bilbo's poems (I forget which) he talks about imaginary insects called Dumbledors. It doesn't take a genius to work out where J.K. Rowling got the word from.
I rest my case.
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Old 01-05-2003, 12:05 PM   #2
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Shield

I noticed that too! I also read in a magazine or something that she "stole" a lot of words and ideas from Tolkien and other authors.
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Old 01-05-2003, 12:12 PM   #3
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No offence to JK Rowling but she steals loads of other people's ideas: parts of Dumbledore the character are very likely to have been taken from Gandalf in my opinion, and Aragog is so just Shelob but male! I think she got the Grim in book 3 from someone else as well but I can't quite remember what it is...
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Old 01-05-2003, 01:33 PM   #4
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Also, not that it has to do with stealing words, did u know athat mandrake has been said to scream like that by others such as shakespeare b4 J. K Rowling wrote the book?! And i had no idea that she stole those words, though i thought i had heard or read the word dumbledore b4 [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 01-05-2003, 01:39 PM   #5
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There are too many Fantasy things at there that take from Tolkien. We should accept it as a form of flattery to Tolkien. Look at the characters, stories, names etc. closely in all the fantasy books you read, you'll find tons of similarities and "stolen" ideas. Games Workshop has a paint called mithril silver. My brother claims Tolkien did not invent mithril, but he doesn't hve proof. Does anyone? (Sorry to ask another question, but it is closely related with the topic) [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 01-05-2003, 02:52 PM   #6
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Errm... Sorry but I HAVE to defend J.K Rowling here. I know I shouldn“t be doing this,afterall, this is a Tolkien Forum, but I“m not gonna let you diss Harry Potter. I know it“s not as great and detailed and everything as Tolkien“s creations, but I love it(note my sig), maybe also because it doesn“t go as deep as LOtR and stuff. So, here I go.

Yeah, It maybe so that "Dumbledore" can be found in the Hobbit- but how would you now she got it there. And even if she did, I wouldn“t say she didn“t use it intenionally. It happens really often that you read something and, years later use the word and think you "made it up" yourself-especially, when your concentrating on what you want to say, rather than saying it. That“s why little kids, sometimes use wierd language when their tired. Sometimes they use really fancy words like "overall acceptence" or something, without knowing what it means.

Dumbledore has a lot of character parts from Gandalf. Yes. And Gandalf has a lot of character parts from Merlin. And Merlin has a lot of character parts from... I don“t know... some wise dude from greek Mythology. Get my póint. In nearly every fantastic story/epic/tale you“ll find "the wise old man" that gives advice and helps. You need that. J.K Rowling knew that when she made up Dumbledore. I don“t think you can blame her for using that symbol of wisdom. You can always re-invent old symbols, even Tolkien did. (Dwarfs, Wizards, Ents etc)

Quote:
And Aragog is Shelob, only male.
Um, actually no. Shelob is plain evil. All she ever does is attack and eat human flesh. She wouldn“t have let herself been strocked, petted, or fed by a human. No way. Besides she can“t even talk. And, Aragog says:
Quote:
Out of respect of Hagrid, I never attacked a human.
Aragog is not plain evil, he has a family to think of. Giant spiders are ancient monsters, not an all- Tolkien invention. (see above)

OK, I think you got my point. J.K Rowling never stole anything. She and Tolkien both used mythology as an inspiration. She and Tolikien both created a world that is loved by people all over the world. So why can“you like both? Because I do. And whatver you say I will remain liking both. OK?
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:09 PM   #7
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Silmaril

Ok, J.K rowling stole. most new fantasy books do. you know what. Tolkien re-invented the kind of mythology he used, and mixed it up with new things he invented by himself. the giant spiders came from many things, but the thing that made him use them so frequently was the big toxic spider that bit him when he was a boy. only as an example. and the ents are from some shakespear story where the trees rises and fight. The fact that tolkien loved trees more than some people made him invent the new mix he called the ents.
tolkien "stole" all the dwarven names too. they all came from the dwarves of the icelandic edda, including gandalf.
So.
So, did the oak steal from the flower when it invented its leaves?
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Old 01-05-2003, 04:01 PM   #8
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If she did? what good taste she demonstrated in doing so. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 01-05-2003, 04:02 PM   #9
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You know, so much fantasy stuff has been written that it's probably almost impossible not to write something now without being accused of stealing something from somebody else.
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:38 PM   #10
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In all honesty, I am both a fan of HP and LotR. I have to admit, however, That Rowling did, it seems, gather many ideas from Tolkien. a point no-one has addressed yet, is Dobby, of the second book. He reminds me a lot of Gollum, in his nice stages. I must also defend her, because the word dumbledore is old english for bumblebee, And she said in some interview, I believe, that he reminds her of one. so, in truth, I think Tolkien did the same thing, he used old english. Although I do believe Rowling took the idea of humans that can change into animals from Tolkien. Beorn, Animagi...
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:39 PM   #11
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Silmaril

Check out this thread. It got way out of hand, as this thread probably will, too. Also, if you post on this thread, it's probably already been said on the one I've put the link to.
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Old 01-05-2003, 11:01 PM   #12
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Tolkien

J.K. Rowling didn't steal Tolkien or anyone else's ideas. So much has been written in the world, you could say pretty much anyone could be stealing from anyone. It's hard to come up with new ideas, especially in fantasy that hasn't already been done before. I mean, Gandalf was not the first wizard. There are some such as Merlin in the legends of King Arthur that came before him. Just because something is similar to something else, doesn't mean it was stolen. J.K. Rowling probably was trying to think of a big huge monster and thought of spider and decided to make Aragog one. Just because two authors happen to use the same idea does not necessarily mean it was taken from the other one.
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Old 01-06-2003, 01:45 AM   #13
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Um, no offense to anyone but Tolkien didn't invent the word "dumbledore" either; it's an early-medieval word for a bumblebee. And as for mandrakes, the legend of the mandrake has been common koine for at least six hundred years and probably longer; lots of poets referred to it besides Shakespeare (Donne and Spenser, for starters); who knows who actually dreamed the idea up? Saying that Rowling "stole" dumbledore and the mandrake is like saying that I'm "stealing" from D'Aulaire's Greek Myths if I write a story where someone is referred to as a gadfly. And giant insects have been a staple of the icky-creepy genre for a while; if you want proof, check out any number of subpar B flicks from the 1940s and 1950s, such as "Them!" or those movies where giant lizards and insects are taking over Tokyo. I doubt these guys were inspired by the Professor, either.

Not knocking Tolkien at all [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. Just wanted to point out that if Rowling is a thief, then so is anyone who ever drew from a mythological idea or a legend, which would be about 99.99% of us.
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Old 01-06-2003, 04:19 AM   #14
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Silmaril

Ok first of all to make it clear..I enjoy Tolkien and HP and I think they are totally different to each other but....
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Longbottom Leaf.....Longbottom...dosen't that sound familiar....
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Old 01-06-2003, 05:33 AM   #15
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Um, I was kind of just hoping for opinions on the Dumbledore issue. For discussions of Harry Potter vs. LotR there are countless threads (accessible via the search function).
I'm not attacking HP, or claiming it to be bad, etc. etc., merely pointing the Dumbledore-Dumbledor connexion out.
Also, If anyone knows, does J.K.R. claim that word to be an invention of her own, or does she give JRRT full credit for it (adding an -e doesn't mean you completely revolutionised it).
If anyone has a snippet of interview or something like that where she talks about the origins of Dumbledore (the word), please post/PM me/email me.
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 01-06-2003, 07:13 AM   #16
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Sleeping Beauty, scroll up a bit- I said exactly that a few posts ago [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 01-06-2003, 11:15 AM   #17
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1420!

PetitChoux, she doesn't have to credit Tolkien for "Dumbledore" because he didn't invent it. It's a Middle-English word for bumblebee. Tolkien often raided Old and Middle English for words (*ahem*Rohirric*ahem*) and she's doing the same thing, that's all. And I've never seen any interviews where she claims to have invented the word; on the contrary, most FAQs will explain the origin of "Dumbledore."
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:37 PM   #18
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Sting

Ooops.
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:51 PM   #19
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Tolkien

lol..Sorry Merri ^_^
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Old 01-06-2003, 08:23 PM   #20
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You know, the only way to resolve this issue would be to take it to the top and ask Ms. Rowling herself. It's possible that she had read that poem when she was younger and the word had been in the back of her mind for years, and it came to her when she was writing Harry Potter. I say this because when I began my own fantasy, the major city for one of my cultures I had called "Halbarad." Hm. Sound familiar? You can only imagine my distress--and amusement--when I realized that I had heard that somewhere before. Just call it "Aragorn" and have done with it, Orual. It was a bit of a blow--I had thought myself so clever--but I found another name and now it's all good.

So don't rule out any possibilities. She might have "stolen" it from Tolkien. She might have taken it from studies of Old English. She might have made it up off the top of her head. Who knows?

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Old 01-07-2003, 04:08 PM   #21
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This is a very interesting thread, I must say. I like LotR and HP, but I'll have to defend Tolkien more. (just 'cause he was there first) The thing that always leaps to my mind is the similarity between the Nazgul in LotR and the dementors in HP.

And everyone, quit mentioning the Dumbledore/bumblebee thing. We get the point. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 01-09-2003, 05:49 AM   #22
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.... I thought this thread was about your fav char in LOTR, and not wheter JK Rowling has ripped of a few things from Tolkien. My fav's are Legolas and Gollum.
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Old 01-11-2003, 03:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
and the ents are from some shakespear story where the trees rises and fight.
If that's true, then the Ents are based around Birnam Wood in Macbeth...There is a distinctive point in that play that says that when Birnam Wood walks Macbeth's reign will end (does anyone else see similarities between that and the Ents' attack on Orthanc?)

Orual, I've had that problem as well! I unintentionally gave one of my characters in a fantasy novel the name of Rowena Ravenclaw, thinking I'd come up with it off the top of my head, but then this summer when I was rereading Harry Potter I came upon the name again! I was devastated, but ended up changing it...it's resolved now.

[ January 11, 2003: Message edited by: Airerūthiel ]
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Old 01-11-2003, 04:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
.... I thought this thread was about your fav char in LOTR, and not wheter JK Rowling has ripped of a few things from Tolkien.
No, it isn't. It is about whether certain words were "borrowed" by certain authors from others and whether this can be called stealing. The thread name is in my opinion not at all suggestive of the idea that this is a favourite characters thread.

About Birnam Wood (that's B-I-R-N-A-M, Airerūthiel [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ), well in Mac-I mean the Scottish Play the trees didn't actually move. It was soldiers with a few branches over their heads, for camouflage. Like in films where people go under bushes which then move. This, in my opinon, is not where Ents come from, it is in no way similar! The flms with moving bushes, well that is another story.
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Old 01-11-2003, 08:34 AM   #25
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Actually, I thought the analogy between Birnham Wood in Macbeth and the Ents attack on Isengard to be quite a good one. It had not occured to me before.

Macbeth is told that he will not be deafeated until Birnham Wood comes to his catle, so he thinks he cannot be defeated because woods don't move. But the wood does move in the sense of each man in the army advancing on his castle carrying a branch - this fulfills the prophecy paving the way for Macbeth to be defeated.

I was always struck by the similar nature of the prophecies concerning the deaths of Macbeth and the Witch King. The Witch King could be killed by no man, and so he was killed by a woman, Eowyn. Macbeth was told that he would not be killed by "man of woman born". But Macduff, who kills him, was not born as such, but removed from his mother's womb by Caesarian.

I am sure, however, that Shakespeare, like Tolkien, drew on older sources for these kinds of themes.

[ January 11, 2003: Message edited by: The Saucepan Man ]
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Old 01-11-2003, 08:46 AM   #26
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There have been previous discussions on the topic of Macbeth and LotR on the Books forum - I remember Glamis? Cawdor? well and found more references by searching for Macbeth. Enjoy!
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Old 01-11-2003, 09:21 AM   #27
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GANDALF IS SUPERIOR AND WITH MORE CHARACTER [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 01-11-2003, 09:24 AM   #28
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No ideas are new any more. J K Rolling gets all her ideas from old legends (and Tolkien). Good books, but no new ideas. Except Quidich, that's great!!!
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Old 01-11-2003, 09:41 AM   #29
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I apologise for my Birnham Wood mistake...now corrected (see my previous post on this board).

But I agree with Elentari...there aren't really any new ideas any more. For instance (am I'm not ashamed to admit to this), when compiling 'Lost Tales of Nanudor' (a book of legends of that imaginary country of mind that I have been considering writing to accompany my main fantasy novel of the moment), a lot of the stories I borrowed for legends of the kings and rulers came from either Irish legends or a book of Ukranian folk-tales I was given as a present once.

Love your new sig quote by the way, Elentari! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 01-11-2003, 09:54 AM   #30
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Sting

thanks!

When I try to write books my ideas are always so similar to other books. Luckily, my first, unfinsihed, book named "Diamond Stone" is completely original! It's the extended version of one I wrote for English at school two years ago!
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Old 01-13-2003, 02:06 AM   #31
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I think some things can still be original Quidditch is a great example. Other things can be original in the way their told. I mean 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' is basically a rewriting of the Bible.
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Old 01-15-2003, 03:41 PM   #32
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Niblinlondwen, tolkein, got his ent idea from the wizard of oz books. and alsolosen up guys, tolkein was a geniuos, comparable to einstein (in my opinion) so just lay back and laugh at all the stuff. exept the thing about LOTR being racist that was just plain *@^#$#^!$^&!$^%&!^!^%$!%&%*%*&^*^^!#^%*&@!%&
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:37 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Sindafalathiel
In all honesty, I am both a fan of HP and LotR. I have to admit, however, That Rowling did, it seems, gather many ideas from Tolkien. a point no-one has addressed yet, is Dobby, of the second book. He reminds me a lot of Gollum, in his nice stages. I must also defend her, because the word dumbledore is old english for bumblebee, And she said in some interview, I believe, that he reminds her of one. so, in truth, I think Tolkien did the same thing, he used old english. Although I do believe Rowling took the idea of humans that can change into animals from Tolkien. Beorn, Animagi...

Consulting my Magic for Muggles book here it says:

The ability to transform into an animal is as old as legend. In Celtic mythology, transformation into stags, boars,sawans, eagles, and ravens is common. Shamans in Native American cultures often transform into animals, usually birds.

The chpater goes on to say that animagi have been mentioned in the legend of King Arthur as well as other ancient myths.
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:21 AM   #34
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Lots of what Rowling uses is just from old mythlogy that she changed to make her own. That isn't a bad thing. Its not like Tolkien came up with everything in his books, he took ideas from other stories and myths and made them his own. Its almost impossible to right a good book and not have something in it thats from another story.

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similarity between the Nazgul in LotR and the dementors in HP
The only similarity is that they're hooded black figures. What they do is completely different.

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Old 07-21-2005, 11:25 AM   #35
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Although Ms. Rowling did nick "Cockroach Clusters" from Monty Python
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:07 PM   #36
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This may be off topic - actually, I don't even know what this thread is about anymore, but I'm going to say this nonetheless.

Originally there was a question if Rowling had stolen the word "Dumbledore" from Tolkien. It was cleared that it's Old English and means a bumblebee. Fine. But I don't think there's need to accuse any writer so eagerly about lending words from others' works (especially with the attitude that Tolkien invented everything first).

I'm not going to repeat all the things about Tolkien getting inspiration from Beowulf and Kalevala. But just as a trivial question: did you know that In the Bible (Old Testament) there's a mountain called Moria and a man whose name is Eleasar? I don't know about you but I have this funny feeling that I've heard those names somewhere else... and I believe that the Bible was there first.
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:43 PM   #37
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But Tolkien never made any secret of his influences whether they were from the old legends or the Bible.
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:10 PM   #38
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Nor did Rowling. Many of her references are all but too obvious.

The werewolf named Remus (who, sadly, has no twin Romulus).

The werewolf Fenrir. Does that sound familiar?

Sirius Black who turns into a dog.

Her playful use of words and names is no crime. Did you know that Dumbledore's name was chosen because she imagines him walking down the halls humming? The humming reminded her of bumblebees.

That said, you cannot have a fantasy story without ripping off something that's already done. How many times have we seen the underdog become the hero (don't forget he's got dad issues), learn that he's got some sort of interesting abilities, and go on to attempt to vanquish his greatest enemy? Want me to name some of these heros? Harry Potter. Luke Skywalker. Frodo Baggins. Jesus. Are any of their stories less wonderful, just because you've seen the theme repeated over and over? No. So J.K. Rowling taking a few words or concepts from Tolkien (that he'd taken before) shouldn't bother people the way it does.
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:47 AM   #39
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JKR would not have to dig into Middle English or Tolkien's work for Dumbledore=bumblebee.
The word is still in common use in some parts of England.
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Old 07-22-2005, 11:02 PM   #40
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Tolkien Can't resist.

Yet another prime example of how there really is nothing new under the sun.
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