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Old 07-04-2016, 11:56 AM   #41
Marwhini
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Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
I disagree with this. Tolkien may have been heavily inspired by medieval sources, but he lived for almost his entire life in the twentieth century and was influenced by his context. Tolkien was not a "Modernist" but I believe he was "Modern".
The term "Modern" isn't referring to the time-and-place in which they were written.

It is referring to the philosophical themes and Beliefs held by Tolkien, and depicted within the works.

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are "modern" only in that they are novels, a Post-Enlightenment product.

Tolkien, though, was not a fan of much of the products of Modernity, and the novels both tend to be Romantic Epics ("Romantic" in the sense of a "Chivalric Romance" and not in the terms of a Modern "Romance" Novel, where the theme is involving women and men seeking personal love, and/or lust) which highlight his distaste for Modernity.

Tom Shippey, in The Road to Middle-earth covers this relationship to "Modernity."

And he isn't the only one to point out the decidedly non-Modern aspects of the world and works.

Only the Hobbits, within Middle-earth are a narrative link to Modernity, as the Hobbits represent a narrative connection between an archaic world, and that of a Pastoral Victorian England of the Shire (This is Tom Shippey's Thesis, I just happen to agree with it, as it is well-supported - others seem to share that Thesis).

MB

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Old 07-04-2016, 12:01 PM   #42
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My own view is that you can call J. R. R. Tolkien 'Modern' in terms of dealing with, not just the issues of industrialisation and urbanisation, which he was familiar with, having grown up close to and in the city of Birmingham, but also the impact of the two World Wars of the twentieth century, in particular the First. He did so, however, in a different way from those who have been called 'Modernists'.

I think of him as 'modern' in his treatment of at least the following three things:

1. Bilbo and Frodo looking after themselves: It appears that Bilbo, and later Frodo Baggins, do their own cooking, baking, cleaning and washing up. The only people shown as employees are the gardeners, including the Gamgees. While it was presumably intended not to show them as heartless employers, who went off leaving the status of their employees so uncertain, the effect is to show them as quite 'modern', not needing the help of even a single manservant. (Sam does look after Frodo in terms of the Fellowship, but this is in the context of the War of the Ring, and like an officer's batman.)
2. Aragorn II and Faramir: Both are looking to save their own people, even at the cost of their own lives, not looking for personal glory, and are fully aware of the devastation of war, even when fought in a just cause.
3. How Sam and Rose are treated: After Sam returns with Frodo, not only are he and his wife Rose allowed to live in Bag-end with their increasing family; Frodo makes Sam his heir. Sam and Rose also appear to inherit his social position, he being Master Samwise, and his wife Mistress Rose. There appears to be not the slightest criticism of their new status by other hobbits, including perhaps how 'vulgar' and 'jumped up' they are. Indeed, one of their daughters, Goldilocks, marries into the Took family, Pippin's son Faramir.
With the exception of 2 (which I think is equally archaic, as that is a common theme of the Chivalric Romance), this is what Tom Shippey means when he points out that the Hobbits, and The Shire are a link between an Archaic World, and our Modern World (which Tolkien arrests at an idealized Pastoral Victorian England).

But outside The Shire, Middle-earth is a pre-industrial, Feudal, Pagan world.

MB
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:14 PM   #43
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I would recommend a couple of "modern" takes on Professor Tolkien's work if anyone is interested.

One is "Tolkien and Modernism" by Patchen Mortimer, published in Tolkien Studies volume 2 in 2005, pages 113 to 129.

Another is Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon by Brian Rosebury, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2003.

Rosebury argues "The modernity of Tolkien's work, from the point of view of its content, lies not in coded references to specific contemporary events or phenomena, but in the absorption into the invented world – no doubt a partly unconscious absorption – of experiences and attitudes which Tolkien would scarcely have acquired had he not been a man of the twentieth century."

Neither Mortimer or Rosebury argue that Professor Tolkien is a modernist, mind you, just that his work is "modern" (and has some crossover with modernism).

I also don't mean to dogmatically argue that Professor Tolkien is "modern" in some very hard, specific sense. I'm probably being too binary, and imagining that an argument saying Tolkien is not modern means he must be medieval, which I don't agree with, but which I realise no one is actually proposing. I'm getting ahead of myself.

There are chapters in Stuart D. Lee's 2014 A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien which also discuss modernity in his works, particularly the 24th chapter, "Modernity: Tolkien and his Contemporaries" by Anna Vaninskaya.

I might argue that a useful comparison would be with one of Professor Tolkien's most clear non-medieval influences, William Morris, who drew heavily on medieval ideas and forms, but engaged with modernity through them; Morris's work is much more political and much less "spiritual" than Professor Tolkien's, but operates in a very comparable "modern through the medieval" kind of approach.

Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, of course, are "modern" in a different sense, as they have been produced according to the consumerist concerns of the modern Hollywood film industry with the primary motive of making money, which explains things like the invention of the character Evangeline Lily plays – a character not even used in a very "modern" or progressive way, even, because she largely exists to be a love interest to motivate male characters.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:13 AM   #44
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I have read the Stuart Lee work.

And I have notes to read the others you have listed (I tend to shy away from such types of criticism and analysis of Tolkien as often verging on the Post-Modernist; a feature I detest - Post-Modernism. Post-Modernism is a pathology that often becomes toxic).

But, yes... I get the point that it is not a binary issue, where the choices are absolutes.

Literary Analysis of Tolkien's work is something that I have not delved too deeply into, being concerned primarily with the investigation into the Archetypes used (something that it is a great Pity Campbell did not take Tolkien's works more seriously - Campbell tended to look down on Tolkien as a Religious Reactionary, and his works as not being "serious" Myth), and in sorting out a coherent Metaphysics for Middle-earth that would explain it (which, as I have pointed out elsewhere, I think I have done... I would just need to formalize it to a greater degree).

But the whole issue of Tolkien "Hating women" or being a "Racist" (because of his use of Early/Mid-20th Century Tropes and Stereotypes of non-Europeans tends to be claimed to be "racist" by modern Identity Politics and Theorists) is one I find to be overblown and tiring.

While I suspect that he was not an explicit racist, or Misogynist, I understand he was a product of his time, and that this presents attitudes that do not align with a Modern, Progressive Values we find in Liberal Western Democracies.

But Middle-earth ISN'T supposed to be reflective of a Modern, Liberal, Western Democracy.

So why would we hold it to those standards?

This reminds me of the outrage caused over people wanting to remove the a certain word for Blacks used by Mark Twain in his works Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. I.e. the word "Nigger" (pardon my explicit use of the term. It isn't reflective of any attitude, merely pointing out that Mark Twain intentionally used the word to call attention to the pervasive racism that remained in society, even among those who considered themselves the "Friends" of Black Americans). Removing that aspect of Twain's work would diminish it.

The same is true of Tolkien's works. Trying to make them conform to our present attitudes regarding Women, or the Non-Christian World would diminish them. And this does not make one a misogynist, bigot, or racist to wish to preserve his works as they were intended.



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Old 07-05-2016, 02:51 AM   #45
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I tend to shy away from such types of criticism and analysis of Tolkien as often verging on the Post-Modernist; a feature I detest - Post-Modernism.
I've gained that impression, yes.
Personally, literary analysis is my area. I'm no advocate of or expert in postmodernism but I don't especially object to it either. I'm not fond of postmodernism as a conscious element in texts as I find that, in the hands of some authors or writers, the whole thing tends to devolve into self-referential self-parody and meaninglessness.
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While I suspect that he was not an explicit racist, or Misogynist, I understand he was a product of his time, and that this presents attitudes that do not align with a Modern, Progressive Values we find in Liberal Western Democracies.

But Middle-earth ISN'T supposed to be reflective of a Modern, Liberal, Western Democracy.
Personally on reflection I find the lack of female characters in The Hobbit a little odd, I suppose, but nothing else. But that's purely my position; I don't have a particularly strong opinion either way.
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The same is true of Tolkien's works. Trying to make them conform to our present attitudes regarding Women, or the Non-Christian World would diminish them. And this does not make one a misogynist, bigot, or racist to wish to preserve his works as they were intended.
I would be more concerned if anyone was seriously advocating censoring Professor Tolkien's works or something to that effect. I fear that many people who may have gained a mistaken impression of The Hobbit by watching the film adaptations would be unlikely to read the book in any case. In the other thread you mentioned "rewriting the canon". This bothers me as well, but at least we can take some solace in the fact that, unlike the films of The Lord of the Rings, the adaptations of The Hobbit do not appear to have achieved very much, if any, purchase in the popular consciousness apart from a common sentiment that they weren't very good.

My primary issue with the addition of the character is that they didn't do it well. Even if they were trying to make the story more in-tune with "modern values" or what have you (which I don't think they actually really were), they did it very incompetently. But the whole project was a bit of a mess.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:19 AM   #46
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My primary issue with the addition of the character is that they didn't do it well. Even if they were trying to make the story more in-tune with "modern values" or what have you (which I don't think they actually really were), they did it very incompetently. But the whole project was a bit of a mess.
That is essentially my attitude with any "additions" to Tolkien's canon.

I did have a philosophical objection to a Woman being the Captain of Thranduil's Guard, as I think that she is as out of place as Thranduil's "Captain" as is Thranduil's Moose (Irish Elk)... For whatever that Moose was supposed to be (Wrong Mythology - mixing Celtic Mythology in the wrong place within Tolkien's Cosmology).

But the character ultimately did not alter the Canon, as she was effectively non-existent in that regard, being a clumsy Love-Interest for a Dwarf.

Tuariel would be an example of a Post-Modernist alteration of Tolkien's works. She is a forced character that pretends that Tolkien's defined female roles simply do not exist.

While Éowyn was seen as having martial capabilities, she is not represented as an officer in the Riddermark. She has a role that is separate from that of the official Military Establishment, even if she can take-up Arms.

We see the same thing in the First Age, with the Bëornings and Haladim. We see Women taking up Arms in defense of Dor-Lomin, Mithrim, Dorthonion, and Brethil, but it is not as a structural part of a military apparatus for those communities; rather it is in response to a direct and final need.

And I don't think we have any examples of female Elves taking up arms. This doesn't mean they do not exist, but the Archetypes for the Elves in Earthly Myths don't tend to match up with having Elven Women as officials within the Elves' Militaries.

It was egregious pandering to Commercialism.

There could have been any number of strong female characters they could have included that would not have disturbed the Canon, yet would have lent something to the story for commercial interests (even as a Love Interest).

Anyway.... I think "Egregious Pandering" about sums up the character of Tauriel (and the many other changes in those train-wrecks).

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Old 07-06-2016, 03:46 AM   #47
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That is essentially my attitude with any "additions" to Tolkien's canon.

I did have a philosophical objection to a Woman being the Captain of Thranduil's Guard, as I think that she is as out of place as Thranduil's "Captain" as is Thranduil's Moose (Irish Elk)... For whatever that Moose was supposed to be (Wrong Mythology - mixing Celtic Mythology in the wrong place within Tolkien's Cosmology).

But the character ultimately did not alter the Canon, as she was effectively non-existent in that regard, being a clumsy Love-Interest for a Dwarf.

Tuariel would be an example of a Post-Modernist alteration of Tolkien's works. She is a forced character that pretends that Tolkien's defined female roles simply do not exist.

While Éowyn was seen as having martial capabilities, she is not represented as an officer in the Riddermark. She has a role that is separate from that of the official Military Establishment, even if she can take-up Arms.

We see the same thing in the First Age, with the Bëornings and Haladim. We see Women taking up Arms in defense of Dor-Lomin, Mithrim, Dorthonion, and Brethil, but it is not as a structural part of a military apparatus for those communities; rather it is in response to a direct and final need.

And I don't think we have any examples of female Elves taking up arms. This doesn't mean they do not exist, but the Archetypes for the Elves in Earthly Myths don't tend to match up with having Elven Women as officials within the Elves' Militaries.

It was egregious pandering to Commercialism.

There could have been any number of strong female characters they could have included that would not have disturbed the Canon, yet would have lent something to the story for commercial interests (even as a Love Interest).

Anyway.... I think "Egregious Pandering" about sums up the character of Tauriel (and the many other changes in those train-wrecks).

MB
Marwhini, forgive me if I'm being rude, but I feel you're a little over-rigid and dogmatic here in your interpretation of "Canon" (with a capital C!). For my part I'd say Tolkien leaves enough ambiguity on the issue that the films can add a female guard in Mirkwood without instantly shattering the universe. Really, I'd have been fine with Tauriel as a bit part with a couple of lines. The problem is that she's elevated into a major, recurring character- who nonetheless has little actual function in the story. Really pointless and more reminiscent of a fan-fic "original character" than anything.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:24 AM   #48
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Boots Quiet lads and lasses

At the start of The Hobbit, Bilbo asked if Gandalf was 'responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures?' (My emphasis) Tolkien therefore allowed for female as well as male hobbits to go off on adventures.

When I saw what Jackson and others had done in their adaptation of The Hobbit, I wondered why they bothered with Tauriel, when they could have put in a female hobbit instead, and then claimed some authorial support for this.

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Old 07-06-2016, 06:52 AM   #49
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Middle-earth a pre-industrial, Feudal, Pagan world?

Marwhini, you said that outside the Shire, Middle-earth was a 'pre-industrial, Feudal, Pagan world'. I would disagree with this description in the last 2 parts:

1. Lake-town: This appears to be a republic, headed by an elected Master. While we don't know how large the electorate is, and how long a term of office the Master serves, the Master we see in The Hobbit is recognisable as a more 'modern' leader, whose main business is dealing with the town's economy, and who has been elected on his supposed ability to manage that economy. While I feel Lake-town can be compared to medieval Venice, with its Doge having more power, it certainly isn't 'feudal'.

2. Monotheism: When you use the term 'Pagan', do you mean adherents to polytheistic, pantheistic or animistic beliefs? It appears that the beings we meet are monotheistic in their beliefs, including those who worship Sauron as a God-king. The issue is that Tolkien did not represent religion in LotR in a way that many of us readers would recognise, either from our own times, or from what we've read of previous times.

If we try and make comparisons with Medieval Christian Europe, things are still very different. Satan (i.e. Sauron) actually exists, and has a mighty stronghold in a land with huge numbers of followers and allies, many worshipping him. Also there are beings (Elves) who can remember having dealings with other beings (the Valar) who have had dealings with God. This would be the equivalent of an Elf telling a Pope that not only did he remember that man's predecessors; he also remembered Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:53 AM   #50
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If we try and make comparisons with Medieval Christian Europe, things are still very different. Satan (i.e. Sauron) actually exists, and has a mighty stronghold in a land with huge numbers of followers and allies, many worshipping him. Also there are beings (Elves) who can remember having dealings with other beings (the Valar) who have had dealings with God. This would be the equivalent of an Elf telling a Pope that not only did he remember that man's predecessors; he also remembered Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.
Yes, it's a bit like if, in the Middle Ages, the Devil had a castle somewhere and a country he ruled, from which he directed armies of slaves.

As "incarnate evils" I think Professor Tolkien's use of demonic tyrants tends to blend a more traditional idea of "spiritual struggle" with a more modern concept of the illegitimate conqueror or dictator who seeks to bring nations under his deeply undesirable "rule" - not a specific ideological system, but a a total revolutionising of the social order with the complete eradication of liberty; only the tyrant's will matters.

I actually find that what Professor Tolkien achieved with such a representation is quite unique.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:08 AM   #51
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Marwhini, you said that outside the Shire, Middle-earth was a 'pre-industrial, Feudal, Pagan world'. I would disagree with this description in the last 2 parts:

1. Lake-town: This appears to be a republic, headed by an elected Master. While we don't know how large the electorate is, and how long a term of office the Master serves, the Master we see in The Hobbit is recognisable as a more 'modern' leader, whose main business is dealing with the town's economy, and who has been elected on his supposed ability to manage that economy. While I feel Lake-town can be compared to medieval Venice, with its Doge having more power, it certainly isn't 'feudal'.
Lake-Town remains both Pre-Industrial, and essentially "Feudal." The occupants are the displaced inhabitants of Dale, a former Kingdom of the Northmen of Rhovanion (or, from HoM-e, more likely one of the Principalities of the Northmen of Rhovanion).

Lake-Town itself is a caricature, or critique of Modernity, where we can clearly see that Lake-Town is in a "Fallen" state, failing to attain the rightful Glory of the prior Incarnation of the Realm of Dale due to its clinging to "Modern Ideals."

I think the Tolkien Scholar Patrick Curry made a similar observation.


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2. Monotheism: When you use the term 'Pagan', do you mean adherents to polytheistic, pantheistic or animistic beliefs? It appears that the beings we meet are monotheistic in their beliefs, including those who worship Sauron as a God-king. The issue is that Tolkien did not represent religion in LotR in a way that many of us readers would recognise, either from our own times, or from what we've read of previous times.
Heathen would be a more precise word, but Pagan applies as well (Pagan, derives from Paganus, which is Latin for Heawhen, from which is derived "Heathen" - both mean "rural Dwellers").

In the Religious sense, though, the inhabitants of Middle-earth are ALL "Heathens," or Pagans.

This is because NONE are Christians.

They might have a Monotheistic (of sorts) Spiritual Belief, but in Christian Mythology salvation only occurs because of the Sacrifice of Jesus upon the Cross.

Tom Shippey elaborates on this at great length in The Road to Middle-earth. Beginning at p. 196 of this book is the section titled "Middle-earth and Limbo" where Shippey details at great length. And on pp. 198 - 199 we have the following:

Quote:
Above all, to Tolkien's mind, there must have been present the problem of Beowulf. This is certainly the work of a Christian writing after the conversion of England. However, the author got through 3182 lines without mentioning Christ, or salvation, and yet without saying specifically that his heroes, including the kind and honest figure of Beowulf himself, were damned – though he must have known that historically and in reality they were all pagans, ignorant even of the name of Christ. Could the Christian author have thought his pagan heroes were saved? He had the opinion of the Church against him if he did. Could he on the other hand have borne to consign them all to Hell for ever, like Alcuin, the deacon of York, in a now notorious letter to the abbot of Lindisfarne, written about A.D> 797: 'What has Ingeld to do with Christ?' he asked scornfully – Ingeld being a minor character in Beowulf. 'The King of Heaven wishes to have no fellowship with lost or pagan so-called Kings; for the eternal King reigns in Heaven, and the lost pagan laments in Hell.' The Beowulf-poets dilemma was also Tolkien's.
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The Lord of the Rings is quite clearly, then, a story of virtuous pagans in the darkest of dark pasts, before all but the faintest premonitions of dawn and revelation.
The ellipsis omits a section that explains that Tolkien's knowledge of Norse, Germanic, Greek, and Gothic myth would have acquainted him with this dilemma and given him the understanding that was revealed in Danté: That Christian Mythology includes a Metaphysical solution for the Virtuous Pagan, such that the Heroes of Tolkien's works were not damned to Hell.

And Tom shippey is not alone in his examination of Middle-earth as a Pagan/Heathen world. Almost every published Tolkien scholar has made this observation at one time or another.

I believe that another such Scholar, a Matthew Dickinson, wrote a paper that was published in the JRR Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment edited by Michael Drout, titled Heathenism and Paganism that explores the link between the two words, and looks at its application to Middle-earth, and the etymology of the words "heathen" and "pagan."

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If we try and make comparisons with Medieval Christian Europe, things are still very different. Satan (i.e. Sauron) actually exists, and has a mighty stronghold in a land with huge numbers of followers and allies, many worshipping him. Also there are beings (Elves) who can remember having dealings with other beings (the Valar) who have had dealings with God. This would be the equivalent of an Elf telling a Pope that not only did he remember that man's predecessors; he also remembered Jesus and the Twelve Apostles.
Satan isn't Sauron.

Satan is Morgoth.

Tolkien even calls Morgoth "Satan" and "The Devil" in several of his only known film appearances.

Sauron would be the equivalent of one of the fiends of the Pit from Danté's Inferno, or an Arch-demon from with the Khabbalistic or Gnostic accounts of Hell, from which Danté no doubt drew upon for the Mythology of Hell and the Diabolos.


But that is beside the point.

That the Elves have had direct dealings with Angels, who have told them that the world was created by Eru Ilúvatar still leaves the world in a Fallen State, with the population "Unsaved" (indeed, the Elves themselves will never enter into "Heaven" as the Mythology now stands - they are bound to the Circles of the World for as long as it lasts). So we can't say that the Elves are "Saved," how then does one define that? Simply stating that they are "Pagan" or "Heathen" remains the most appropriate label.

Indeed, since they venerate the Valar, primarily, and not Eru Ilúvatar himself (who, interestingly, IS a "He"), this makes them even more "Pagan."

We have various Quendi songs to Varda/Elbereth, Manwë, suggestions of Songs to Oromë, and Lórien... It would not be unlikely that they had other songs to other Valar.

Yet, as Tom Shippey points out in The Road to Middle-earth, Tolkien was wary of verging into outright Blasphemy, so he would likely have avoided having the Elves sing to Eru Ilúvatar, worship him in any way... Or indeed set up Religious Worship of any kind.

The ONLY instance we find of the veneration of Eru is on Númenóre, with the twice yearly ascent to the top of Meneltarma. But, again, this doesn't mean that they are not Heathens, since not all Heathens/Pagans were polytheists

Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God, vols. 1 - 4: Primitive Mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology & Creative Mythology offer a panoply of different Pagan Religions that are of any variety you can imaging, including Pagan Religions that have NO GOD (Not all Pagan Religions were/are Polytheistic: Atenism, Manicheanism, Zoroastrianism, Some of the Asian Steppe Religions, etc.). .

If the inhabitants of Middle-earth are not worshipping a God who incarnated as Jesus Christ, and then was Sacrificed to atone for the Fallen state of the World.... Then they are not "Christians" and thus they are Pagan/Heathen (of some variety), even if they remain Monotheistic.

The issue of the world being "Pagan" is the whole point of Arda Marred.

MB.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:24 AM   #52
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Satan isn't Sauron.

Satan is Morgoth.

Tolkien even calls Morgoth "Satan" and "The Devil" in several of his only known film appearances.
To be fair, in Letter 175 Professor Tolkien does refer to Sauron, at least indirectly, as "the Devil":
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I think the book quite unsuitable for 'dramatization', and have not enjoyed the broadcasts – though they have improved. I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!). Cannot people imagine things hostile to men and hobbits who prey on them without being in league with the Devil!
Sauron was, after all, "a reincarnation of Evil" (Letter 131). I think there is potential in considering "Melkor" and "Morgoth" to, in effect, be two different people (just in a sense; don't take me too literally).
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:40 AM   #53
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I am not sure that the reference here to "The Devil" is indeed directly to Sauron.

I need to go dig up the video interview of Tolkien, but in it he tends to refer to anything associated with Morgoth as being "in league with the Devil."

Thus when referencing Mordor, he is addressing its allegiance to Morgoth.

I tend to side with Tom Shippey in that regard.


Here is the First video where he refers to "The Devil" (at 3:40 - 4:00):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFcjBzP7H-E


And here, where Sauron is a "Petty-Lieutenant" of the "Prime Evil, Morgoth" (between 5:50 - 5:60):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFexwNCYenI


I cannot find the other two (One of them might be Christopher Tolkien, and not JRR). I shall continue looking over the next few days, as I know that there is an explicit discussion of "Satan" and "The Devil" in the interviews or documentaries.

But as for "Sauron being the Devil..."

It would be strange for Tolkien to be referring to Sauron as "The Devil" and a "Petty-Lieutenant of the Devil" simultaneously.

As I said before.... I think that the reference in Letter 175 is referring to "Servants of the Great Evil" when it says "in League with The Devil."

This is often a feature of Khabbalistic and Occult writings as well:

When they discuss "Evil" they tend to refer to the Ultimate Evil, as it is the Origin of All Evil.

And, Mordor remains in League with Morgoth, even if ruled by Sauron.

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Old 07-07-2016, 08:23 AM   #54
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Thus when referencing Mordor, he is addressing its allegiance to Morgoth.
[...]
And, Mordor remains in League with Morgoth, even if ruled by Sauron.
I find that to be a bit of a stretch, personally, but each to their own.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:39 AM   #55
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Then did Arda have two "Devils?"

Because Tolkien clearly uses the word in the two videos I posted in reference to Morgoth.

Morgoth still existed in the Second Age and Third Age. He was just thrust, bound, into the Void.

And his evil still penetrated Arda/Middle-earth (not just through the Morgoth Element present in Arda, but in that his Malice and Spite seemed past the Walls of Night to continue to work its evil).

Even in Christian Mythology, The Devil is the Devil, even if he is trapped, frozen into the Ninth Circle of Hell, which exists "outside the Circles of the World" (by Christian and Khabbalistic Myth). And like God, there is only One "The Devil."

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Old 07-07-2016, 11:02 PM   #56
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I agree that technically Sauron is "a" devil rather than "the" Devil (that being Morgoth)- but how does that change the basic point made by Faramir and Zigur
at #49 and #50?

By the way, I gather that for you "pagan" and "heathen" are just synonyms for "non-Christian"? (c.f. #51). I believe this needs to be clarified as, not being standard, it's liable to lead to confusion at some point. I don't think anyone has been claiming the inhabitants of Middle-earth practise Christianity- as you say, it wouldn't make sense.
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:43 AM   #57
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Marwhini, you said that outside the Shire, Middle-earth was a 'pre-industrial, Feudal, Pagan world'. I would disagree with this description in the last 2 parts:

1. Lake-town: This appears to be a republic, headed by an elected Master. While we don't know how large the electorate is, and how long a term of office the Master serves, the Master we see in The Hobbit is recognisable as a more 'modern' leader, whose main business is dealing with the town's economy, and who has been elected on his supposed ability to manage that economy. While I feel Lake-town can be compared to medieval Venice, with its Doge having more power, it certainly isn't 'feudal'.
Lake-Town remains both Pre-Industrial, and essentially "Feudal." The occupants are the displaced inhabitants of Dale, a former Kingdom of the Northmen of Rhovanion (or, from HoM-e, more likely one of the Principalities of the Northmen of Rhovanion).
I don't understand this. You're saying that a place cannot be a republic if the ancestors of some of its inhabitants lived in a kingdom?

Quote:
Lake-Town itself is a caricature, or critique of Modernity, where we can clearly see that Lake-Town is in a "Fallen" state, failing to attain the rightful Glory of the prior Incarnation of the Realm of Dale due to its clinging to "Modern Ideals."
But you just said it was "essentially Feudal"...
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:46 AM   #58
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I agree that technically Sauron is "a" devil rather than "the" Devil (that being Morgoth)- but how does that change the basic point made by Faramir and Zigur
at #49 and #50?
Personally, I think that in Letter 175 the reference to "the Devil" is a figure of speech; Sauron is, after all, "a reincarnation of evil". Hence, for all intents and purposes, at the time of The Lord of the Rings he, not Morgoth, is "the Devil" - but specifically in that context.

I would say that, most literally, "the Devil" is Melkor, specifically Melkor - not Morgoth (although Morgoth is still "the Devil", as he is referred to in Letter 294 for instance, but bear with me); Melkor is the originator of evil. Morgoth is only part of Melkor - Melkor after he has spent much of his power trying to dominate Arda. Morgoth is Melkor's mind and personality, but with much of the potency and substance of his fëa split, separated from himself and attached to other things, like Orcs, Balrogs, dragons and the "matter" of Arda in general. Morgoth thinks of himself as Melkor; we know from his conversation with Húrin that he still referred to himself by that name, but as Húrin says, "you have spent your strength upon yourself and wasted it in your own emptiness. No more are you now than an escaped thrall of the Valar." There is continuity between his experience as Melkor and as Morgoth, but he is not really Melkor anymore.

Thus both Morgoth and Sauron are "incarnations of evil"; thus they are "the Devil" in the sense that they are "incarnations" of evil (ie of the malevolence of Melkor at work in the world).

Morgoth is still more directly "the Devil" than Sauron is, naturally. He is some of Melkor, while Sauron is a different being. But Sauron in the Second and Third Ages is the "incarnation of evil", evil as a physically present demonic tyrant trying to take over the world. After the defeat and explusion of Morgoth and the final defeat of Sauron (the destruction of the Ring), "the Devil" now exists solely in the more Biblical or Christian sense - not an incarnate presence, but an insidious, invisible permeation of the world drawing and tempting people towards evil (ie, the spirit of Melkor infused throughout all Matter, which cannot be eradicated without the destruction of Arda itself).

That might be a bit figurative for some but that's one way in which I think it might be interpreted, possibly.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:35 AM   #59
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I agree that technically Sauron is "a" devil rather than "the" Devil (that being Morgoth)- but how does that change the basic point made by Faramir and Zigur
at #49 and #50?

By the way, I gather that for you "pagan" and "heathen" are just synonyms for "non-Christian"? (c.f. #51). I believe this needs to be clarified as, not being standard, it's liable to lead to confusion at some point. I don't think anyone has been claiming the inhabitants of Middle-earth practise Christianity- as you say, it wouldn't make sense.
Pagan, and Heathen mean basically the same things.

One of the words is Latin, the other Saxon/Goth (or, rather Goth/Saxon, since the Saxons are an offshoot of the original people who are the Goths).

As I explained, both mean "rural bumpkins" to the Latins, or the Anglo-Saxons of Sub-Roman Britain.

But to the Early Church, "Heathen" (In England) or "Pagan" (In Rome - whether that is Latin Rome or Byzantine Rome) Heathen/Pagan meant "Any non-Christian."

Toward the Renaissance, the meanings of the words bifurcated, and the word "Heathen" was used to mean "Any non-Christian" and the word "Pagan" was then used to refer specifically to Classical Antiquity Polytheism (2000 BCE to 400CE), or to European Polytheism of the same period. Heathen tended to refer more to the Polytheists found in Northern Europe among the Germanics and Nordics (500CE to 1100CE).

After the Renaissance, the words were used to refer to anyone "un-saved," but "Heathen" tended to dominate by the 1700s, as the English by then had begun their ascendency to Global Empire, and the English term pervaded the New World.

But in terms of Middle-earth... The Occupants are "Heathen" in the sense of "un-saved."

As Tom Shippey Points out, they are the "Virtuous Pagans" (where we return to Pagan and Heathen having the same meaning) that one finds in the Beowulf Myth.


Unlike C.S. Lewis' Narnia, which is an Explicit Allegory (and Tolkien spoke very derisively of it as a result) of Christianity, very poorly disguised, in fact, Middle-earth has had Religion very nearly completely excised from it.

In Tolkien's criticism of his own writing in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, he scorns himself for such a transparent Christ-Myth in the dialog/narrative of Andreth regarding the human incarnation of Eru (and utterly rejects it - his wording was very strong for a person who never cursed/cussed).

And, as I pointed out, Europe, The Levant, Eurasia (Anatolia and the Crimea - basically the Black Sea Regions), and much of the Middle East ALL contained Monotheistic Religions that were NOT Christianity (including the many Christian Heresies).

Middle-earth contains no real "Religion" (that word has a very specific meaning, involving having an organized structure - even if having no fixed churches, an official dogma - statement of belief like the Catholic Credo, and recognizes rites/rituals).

The Occupants of Middle-earth are not "saved" (they are explicitly Non-Christian).

Thus the terms "Heathen" or "Pagan" not only directly apply, but are the only terms we have to apply.

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Old 07-08-2016, 11:48 AM   #60
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Also-

I don't understand this. You're saying that a place cannot be a republic if the ancestors of some of its inhabitants lived in a kingdom?
No, I am saying that to Tolkien, the place represented a corruption of the Natural Order, where the population was cursed because they rejected the Natural Authority of the King of that Realm.

If you go up to the post I made where I linked to two YouTube videos, the second of which is just an audio-interview of Tolkien, and listen to the second one....

In it, Tolkien is asked directly about his Political Views, Monarchy, and Feudalism.

He is VERY CLEAR in that he considers Democracy to be a bad way to run a country, or government, and that Kings present the rightful means of "doing business" (with government).

This is an aspect of Tolkien that most people today have a hard time accepting, as it is a Reactionary Conservative view that is totally at odds with Modernity (as was Tolkien - He rejects the Enlightenment as well).

I even struggle with accepting that view. But in as far as I love Middle-earth, I wish to understand its creator (or, as Tolkien would say "Subcreator" - look more deeply into what he means by that, and you might find some pretty disturbing things out about Tolkien), and thus I need to understand both what he believes and why, as they are manifested in his works.

I even need to find those things I disagree with (although currently I am beginning to suspect he may be correct about Democracy, as much as it pains me to think that).

That the world is Feudal is not negated by the existence within it of a Democratic City-State. All this means is that there exists an exception to The Rule, and one that was fairly short-lived, and immediately corrected upon the destruction of Smaug, when Bard again took up the Crown of Dale, and his rightful place in Society.


Quote:
But you just said it was "essentially Feudal"...
Again. it being Feudal isn't contradicted by the existence of a small, isolated realm that was momentarily (and disastrously) flirting with Democracy.

This is akin to saying that a person isn't "Essentially biological" if they happen to wear False-Teeth, or have a Prosthetic Limb.

Especially in a case where that same person re-grows their teeth or missing limb (Dale again becoming a Monarchy that ruled even the re-established Lake-Town).

That is misunderstanding how Falsification or Counter-Examples work.


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Personally, I think that in Letter 175 the reference to "the Devil" is a figure of speech; Sauron is, after all, "a reincarnation of evil". Hence, for all intents and purposes, at the time of The Lord of the Rings he, not Morgoth, is "the Devil" - but specifically in that context.

I would say that, most literally, "the Devil" is Melkor, specifically Melkor - not Morgoth (although Morgoth is still "the Devil", as he is referred to in Letter 294 for instance, but bear with me); Melkor is the originator of evil. Morgoth is only part of Melkor - Melkor after he has spent much of his power trying to dominate Arda. Morgoth is Melkor's mind and personality, but with much of the potency and substance of his fëa split, separated from himself and attached to other things, like Orcs, Balrogs, dragons and the "matter" of Arda in general. Morgoth thinks of himself as Melkor; we know from his conversation with Húrin that he still referred to himself by that name, but as Húrin says, "you have spent your strength upon yourself and wasted it in your own emptiness. No more are you now than an escaped thrall of the Valar." There is continuity between his experience as Melkor and as Morgoth, but he is not really Melkor anymore.

Thus both Morgoth and Sauron are "incarnations of evil"; thus they are "the Devil" in the sense that they are "incarnations" of evil (ie of the malevolence of Melkor at work in the world).

Morgoth is still more directly "the Devil" than Sauron is, naturally. He is some of Melkor, while Sauron is a different being. But Sauron in the Second and Third Ages is the "incarnation of evil", evil as a physically present demonic tyrant trying to take over the world. After the defeat and explusion of Morgoth and the final defeat of Sauron (the destruction of the Ring), "the Devil" now exists solely in the more Biblical or Christian sense - not an incarnate presence, but an insidious, invisible permeation of the world drawing and tempting people towards evil (ie, the spirit of Melkor infused throughout all Matter, which cannot be eradicated without the destruction of Arda itself).

That might be a bit figurative for some but that's one way in which I think it might be interpreted, possibly.
Isn't this kind of equivocating on the meaning of the word "The Devil?"





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Old 07-08-2016, 05:21 PM   #61
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Isn't this kind of equivocating on the meaning of the word "The Devil?"
Perhaps. Allow me, if you will, to approach it from another direction.

In Letter 175, Professor Tolkien says that Willowman is not "an ally of Mordor" and is not "in league with the Devil".

Now if we argue that Mordor is "in league with the Devil", ie Morgoth, surely that can only really be true in a fairly abstract sense; Morgoth was expelled into the Void over a thousand years before Sauron founded his realm in Mordor, so surely Mordor cannot really be "in league" with Morgoth in a personal sense. It might be "in league with the Devil", meaning in this case Morgoth, in the sense that it is the primary stronghold of evil at the time Professor Tolkien is talking about, and Melkor-Morgoth is the originator of evil.

Surely by that logic, Willowman is also "in league with the Devil" because he is an evil being as well, or at least a malevolent and malicious one, "hostile to men and hobbits", and as Melkor-Morgoth is the originator of evil, Willowman is just as much "in league with the Devil" as Mordor is; ie, only rather indirectly.

But if Willowman is neither "an ally of Mordor" nor "in league with the Devil", surely then "the Devil" cannot mean Morgoth.

Then again, maybe I'm making Willowman out to be more evil than he actually was, and thus he is not "in league with the Devil" while Mordor is. But to me I feel the implication is that if being "an ally of Mordor" means being "in league with the Devil", in the context of that letter "the Devil" is a figure of speech referring to Sauron as the "incarnation of evil" of that time, or at least more generally referring to "the chief evil of that time" (which at that time happened to be Sauron).

At any rate, this thread has spiralled wildly off topic, and it's partly my fault, for which I apologise.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:38 PM   #62
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At any rate, this thread has spiralled wildly off topic, and it's partly my fault, for which I apologise.
Not really, Zig. Peter Jackson is "the chief evil of our time" (and if we consider the malign nature of Warner Brothers he is "in league with the Devil"). He has a Ring and with it meant to do good, but through him the Ring wielded a sophomoric and asinine power that completely corrupted Middle-earth with far more precision than either Morgoth and Sauron combined. Jackson enfeebled Elrond (having him mope about opining that "Arwen is dying"), stripped Denethor of any nobility, almost made Faramir a carbon copy of failed Boromir, stoned Radagast on mushrooms, made dwarves pretty, caused Sam to abandon Frodo, made Thranduil a constipated and dyspeptic moose-rider, and he even caused Aragorn to french his horse! Sauron could not do that.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:00 PM   #63
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Not really, Zig. Peter Jackson is "the chief evil of our time" (and if we consider the malign nature of Warner Brothers he is "in league with the Devil"). He has a Ring and with it meant to do good, but through him the Ring wielded a sophomoric and asinine power that completely corrupted Middle-earth with far more precision than either Morgoth and Sauron combined. Jackson enfeebled Elrond (having him mope about opining that "Arwen is dying"), stripped Denethor of any nobility, almost made Faramir a carbon copy of failed Boromir, stoned Radagast on mushrooms, made dwarves pretty, caused Sam to abandon Frodo, made Thranduil a constipated and dyspeptic moose-rider, and he even caused Aragorn to french his horse! Sauron could not do that.
I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to hear those words spoken about Peter Jackson regarding what he did to Middle-earth (even if you are joking, which would make me a little sad).

But to my mind, Jackson did no less than Rape the works of Tolkien.

He debased them, and defiled them, as Morgoth did to Ard-Galen and the Springs and Pool of Ivrin in Beleriand, or as Sauron, through the Nazgûl did to Minas Ithil. Or as the Orcs did to Celebrían or Finduilas.

I realize that is giving him too much in the way of Intentionality, as Jackson's goal wasn't to rape the works. But that was the result, regardless of his intent.

Did you know that there is Thranduil/Moose fan-fiction? That is something that the world could do without, and it exists because of that insipid man from New Zealand, his wife, and that faery-F***er Boyens, who cannot tell the difference between Celtic, British, and English, much less between Nordic, Swede, Dane, or Fin.

Jacksons! We HATES it forever!!!

To be fair... I don't "hate" Peter Jackson, precisely. He is one of those people whom I admire personally (for many things he stands for). Yet I DETEST their "Art."

At least I can sit through a Bruce Springsteen or Jon Von Jovi song.

But I cannot stand to see anything of that man's movies. He has a LOT to atone for.

And what he, New Line, and Warner Bros. did to the Tolkien's was deplorable.

I am not very religious, but I hope they burn in hell for that alone.


Oh! And you missed something in your critique that many people overlook:

Elves with Crooked Swords.

There is a reason (several reasons) that Tolkien used words like "crooked" and "bent" for the Swords of the various Evil Men or creatures (Orcs), instead of the more obvious word: "curved".

For one, it was an English word (words: Both "crooked" and "bent" have Saxon and Goth roots, whereas Curved is from the Latin).

But the biggest reason is that Tolkien's works contain a sizable influence of what is called "Physiognomy" (from the roots "Physio" - the Body - and "Gnomon" - To Know).

Physiognomy is the Philosophy that "The Appearance" (body) reveals the "Mind/Spirit/Quality."

Thus something that is Beautiful will be "Good" and something that is Ugly will be "Evil."

Obviously there are exceptions to this, but in a world where forms of Property Dualism are True, then the inverted aspects of Physiognomy (such as Gil-Gilad, Círdan, Elrond, and Galadriel seeing through Sauron's guise as Annatar). Those who possess a keen sense of "Spiritual Insight" and "Spiritual Beauty" will "know" those whose Body does not match their Soul.

But back to "Crooked Swords."

Here is an example of Physiognomy: The Sword reflects the Soul of the bearer. It is "Bent" and "Crooked" or "Corrupted" from the Straight, Honest, and True Sword.

Remember Tolkien rarely did not deeply consider the words he was using to describe things.

And Jackson giving the Elves "Crooked Swords" is akin to having Catholic Priests pray using a Rosary with a Pentagram rather than a Crucifix.

Chivalric Romances also use this depiction of a Sword to show the Nature of a Wielder.

Those who bear a Straight, Unblemished, Double-edged, Cruciform sword will be Faithful, Righteous, and Good.... Incorruptible.

Yet those whose swords are Tarnished, Bent, or Curved will be Unfaithful, Wicked, and Evil.

Jackson could be forgiven for missing something so subtle if he did not screw-up so much else.

And... It is likely that if he hadn't screwed-up so much else, he would have noticed some of the more subtle things.

MB

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Old 07-08-2016, 09:26 PM   #64
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Marwhini,


1. Faramir's example of Laketown was to show that you are over-generalizing. You've responded with a string of non sequiturs (as I pointed out) followed by a blanket statement that his argument doesn't count anyway, followed in turn by the assertion that he, or I (not sure which) suffer from "a misunderstanding of how Falsification or Counter-examples work". And this is a general problem I'm having with your posting- to me it appears- perhaps incorrectly- to arise from a basic assumption of absolute rightness, such that you often feel the need merely to declare your beliefs and interpretations right and others' wrong, rather than actually addressing their arguments or considering their points of view.

Now, by saying what I've just said I'm breaking a forum rule against criticising other's posting style. Okay, well, I still stand by it- you've been a very active poster and have some interesting things to say, but I believe you need to work on the "discussion" aspect.

2. Re: "heathen" and "pagan". Yes, I do understand that's what the words mean to you, but please consult a dictionary for current standard usage(s). It just helps if we're all on the same page, no? (NB even historically, they were used, so far as I'm aware, more often to mean non-Abrahamic rather than non-Christian.)

Here are some sources for "pagan".
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pagan

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de.../english/pagan

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pagan

http://www.patheos.com/Library/Answe...-not-Christian

Edit: x'd with Marhwini's last. Um. Look... in the end, they're just movies...
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:50 PM   #65
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At any rate, this thread has spiralled wildly off topic, and it's partly my fault, for which I apologise.
Zig,, the fair Elven vessel "On-topic" departed from the Havens long ago. I don't think you did any more to see it off than the rest of us...
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:19 PM   #66
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Not really, Zig. Peter Jackson is "the chief evil of our time" (and if we consider the malign nature of Warner Brothers he is "in league with the Devil"). He has a Ring and with it meant to do good, but through him the Ring wielded a sophomoric and asinine power that completely corrupted Middle-earth with far more precision than either Morgoth and Sauron combined. Jackson enfeebled Elrond (having him mope about opining that "Arwen is dying"), stripped Denethor of any nobility, almost made Faramir a carbon copy of failed Boromir, stoned Radagast on mushrooms, made dwarves pretty, caused Sam to abandon Frodo, made Thranduil a constipated and dyspeptic moose-rider, and he even caused Aragorn to french his horse! Sauron could not do that.
Blasphemy! "The Tale of Aragorn and Brego the Horse" is one of the great love stories of Middle-earth!
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:36 PM   #67
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Perhaps. Allow me, if you will, to approach it from another direction.

In Letter 175, Professor Tolkien says that Willowman is not "an ally of Mordor" and is not "in league with the Devil".

Now if we argue that Mordor is "in league with the Devil", ie Morgoth, surely that can only really be true in a fairly abstract sense; Morgoth was expelled into the Void over a thousand years before Sauron founded his realm in Mordor, so surely Mordor cannot really be "in league" with Morgoth in a personal sense. It might be "in league with the Devil", meaning in this case Morgoth, in the sense that it is the primary stronghold of evil at the time Professor Tolkien is talking about, and Melkor-Morgoth is the originator of evil.

Surely by that logic, Willowman is also "in league with the Devil" because he is an evil being as well, or at least a malevolent and malicious one, "hostile to men and hobbits", and as Melkor-Morgoth is the originator of evil, Willowman is just as much "in league with the Devil" as Mordor is; ie, only rather indirectly.

But if Willowman is neither "an ally of Mordor" nor "in league with the Devil", surely then "the Devil" cannot mean Morgoth.

Then again, maybe I'm making Willowman out to be more evil than he actually was, and thus he is not "in league with the Devil" while Mordor is. But to me I feel the implication is that if being "an ally of Mordor" means being "in league with the Devil", in the context of that letter "the Devil" is a figure of speech referring to Sauron as the "incarnation of evil" of that time, or at least more generally referring to "the chief evil of that time" (which at that time happened to be Sauron).

At any rate, this thread has spiralled wildly off topic, and it's partly my fault, for which I apologise.
I guess my question would be:

Can there be TWO "Devils" in a world which is supposed to be somewhat representational of an Idealized (And I don't mean "Ideal" as in "perfect," I mean "Idealized" as in "someone's romanticized") Mythological Christian Universe?

But I suppose this tangent has run as far as it needs.

I understand the basic inference, but have lost track of where the original thread was going at this point...

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Old 07-09-2016, 02:24 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Marhwini
Can there be TWO "Devils" in a world which is supposed to be somewhat representational of an Idealized (And I don't mean "Ideal" as in "perfect," I mean "Idealized" as in "someone's romanticized") Mythological Christian Universe?

But I suppose this tangent has run as far as it needs.

I understand the basic inference, but have lost track of where the original thread was going at this point...

MB
Well, if you mean the Great Devil Debate, it started at #49 and has now seemingly come full circle. As for the original original thread topic, I fear it has passed into the West and left us.

(Seriously, is there anything left to say about Tauriel now? So much discussion of such a pointless character...)
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:55 PM   #69
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Well, if you mean the Great Devil Debate, it started at #49 and has now seemingly come full circle. As for the original original thread topic, I fear it has passed into the West and left us.

(Seriously, is there anything left to say about Tauriel now? So much discussion of such a pointless character...)
In true Tolkien fashion, Tauriel is a Tragic character.

It is a tragedy that she was included simply for the sake of pandering to "diversity," where so many other possibilities existed for Female Characters that were not pandering.

But my personal preference would for the Movie to have been shot without altering Tolkien's canon.

They had PLENTY to make a Trilogy out of The Hobbit without including anything from the associated materials for the period. You reasonably could have made six movies out of The Hobbit, and nine out of The Lord of the Rings.

And as for "inserting" female Characters....

If they were going to include the Assault upon Dol Guldur... Is not Galadriel enough?

I just wish that someone were able to make a movie of it that was just the book.... As written.... Songs and all. No additional characters. No diverting to Dol Guldur.

Those scenes could easily have been included as additional productions in their own right if we are going to go there.

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Old 07-09-2016, 06:55 PM   #70
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They had PLENTY to make a Trilogy out of The Hobbit without including anything from the associated materials for the period. You reasonably could have made six movies out of The Hobbit
Beg to differ- I don't think they should ever have been trying to make it into a trilogy in the first place.
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:20 PM   #71
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Beg to differ- I don't think they should ever have been trying to make it into a trilogy in the first place.
Agreed. Two films tops. One film, even with a three hour length, may not have encompassed the whole tale appropriately.
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:01 AM   #72
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The Hobbit has 19 chapters.

At 20 minutes, average, a chapter that is 380 minutes.

Or 6.33 hours.

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Old 07-10-2016, 08:07 AM   #73
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The Hobbit has 19 chapters.

At 20 minutes, average, a chapter that is 380 minutes.

Or 6.33 hours.

MB
They made three movies already. It was unnecessarily long and full of extraneous flummery. A concise two-film set would've been more than adequate to detail all the important sequences from a relatively short book.
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:39 PM   #74
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They made three movies already. It was unnecessarily long and full of extraneous flummery. A concise two-film set would've been more than adequate to detail all the important sequences from a relatively short book.
The way they produced it... Yes, it was full of all manner of extraneous junk that needn't have been in it.

But as I pointed out, 20 minutes (on Average) a chapter is trimming things pretty much to the bone as it is, to include the entire book.

Some chapters would need considerably more than 20 minutes (An unexpected Party and the Mirkwood chapters, to say nothing of the BoFA). While some might need only 10 to 15 minutes.

But why must anything be cut from the story? If we are going to make Tolkien's works as Films, or as a Mini-Series on Cable, then why must anything be left out of the Novel Proper (I am not talking about adding extraneous material from the Appendices, nor from Unfinished Tales, nor NoM-e. But solely the content of The Hobbit)?

There are no reasons, in terms of Production necessities, that demand that material be cut out of the Novel other than simply to reduce the total running time of the production.

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Old 07-12-2016, 06:38 AM   #75
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White-Hand Some of us went off-topic

I agree completely with Zigûr that some of us (including myself) went off-topic with this thread. It started out with Evangeline Lilly, and an interview in which she showed she didn't have a clue about Tolkien, his attitudes towards women, and his portrayal of female characters in his works.

I like the new topics that have emerged, and with others have participated in them. But I suggest we consider ending this thread, and continuing these new topics on new threads.
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