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Old 03-14-2006, 03:50 PM   #1
Lalwendë
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Ring Tolkien & The Apocalypse

I was reading the other day about how the year 2012 is said by some to be when the world will end, based on the end of the 'long count' of the Mayan calendar. Of course, there have been many such claims that the world will end on 'such-and-such a date', and they always end up not to be true (thankfully). Still, even though I am not alone in finding a bit of dark humour in such claims, they also give me a little thrill of fear, thinking 'what if they are right?!'.

So I decided to look into what was said on the 'net about the year 2012. Strangely enough, there are a few cultural references aside from the esoteric ones. 2012 according to X Files mythology is when the aliens take over the planet. It is also when the lone Dalek is found - as seen in the last series of Doctor Who. But to get to my point, Tolkien too makes a reference to this year, as it is when The Notion Club Papers are found!

I have no knowledge of whether Tolkien would have known of the Mayan prophecies and I suspect he would not have given them that much serious thought if he had, so I found this information merely diverting. Yet, in the Notion Club papers, written at the time he wrote LotR, there is also the strange coincidence that a great storm hits England in 1987, which did indeed happen!

Is there a case for a hidden 'Tolkien Code'? What kinds of conspiracy theory could lurk at the heart of Tolkien's work? I'm sure there are some mad theories out there on the 'net!

Is this all just for fun, or not?
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:52 AM   #2
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Lal, I think you are on to something certainly. For my part, I shall keep these things and ponder them in my heart, for codes are not broken overnight, nor even in the time that most threads live, are posted to, and die.

I have, however, found this mad theory: Land of Oz = Middle=earth.

I wonder, too, if reading LotR backwards might uncover anything? A quick computer search for the number of times Tolkien uses the pronoun them might find an exceptionally high usage of the word, perhaps signifying his prophecy concering the use of crystal meth, the th really reflecting the Old English þ. Or would that be ð? Hence, a single letter not reversed. It would explain why so many readers find themselves succumbing to a Middle earth addiction. One could call this meht-a-conspira-theora.
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:29 AM   #3
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only because i hate the mayan calender...has it ever occurred to anyone maybe the mayans just got bored of writing this calender? i mean they're from what? 4000 years ago? I think the guy making it was like ok Im done we dont need to add anything on for 4000 years we're good


sorry just that particular theory gets under my skin


ummm...sorry about the rant otherwise very interesting points what are these notion club papers?
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:55 AM   #4
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As I still haven't recovered my books, I will attempt to look for encoded relevations in audio form.

Does anyone know how to play a CD backwards?
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Old 03-15-2006, 12:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Morsul the Dark
what are these notion club papers?
The Notion Club Papers
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:48 AM   #6
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thank...again sorry for the rant
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:32 AM   #7
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The more I think about it, the more I'm starting to get concerned. My observation is that the chance of the apocalypse happening is inversely proportional to the number of books touted by the doomsayer. Think about it; if the end were nigh, would you really spend your last days writing books and making appearances?

I'd be either enjoying life or building a really secure hole in which to ride out the storm.

So, as the Mayans aren't with us anymore to collect any royalties, and so far there's been no 're-re-release of the Notion Club papers,' one might want to go out and buy a shovel while they're still available.
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:42 AM   #8
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Well, there could be something in the Lord of the Rings code - but I have not had time to search for myself.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
Think about it; if the end were nigh, would you really spend your last days writing books and making appearances?

I'd be either enjoying life or building a really secure hole in which to ride out the storm.

So, as the Mayans aren't with us anymore to collect any royalties, and so far there's been no 're-re-release of the Notion Club papers,' one might want to go out and buy a shovel while they're still available.
Well, but but but. What if one's way of enjoying life is to write books? And, anyway, I'm sure that there are lots of theories/ideas/ motivations/promptings/urgings/ authorical canonical statements which actually claim that writers write to cheat the gift of death. So, alatar, I'm not sure your inverse proportional theory would hold portent, if not water.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bêthberry
Well, but but but. What if one's way of enjoying life is to write books?
I note that the books are not only written, but sold, and not cheaply (until after Dooms Day passes, then they're quite the bargain...). Must be the enjoyment of capitalism; that and wringing oil from snakes.


Quote:
And, anyway, I'm sure that there are lots of theories/ideas/ motivations/promptings/urgings/ authorical canonical statements which actually claim that writers write to cheat the gift of death.
All of that digging must be affecting my brain - probably radon - not sure what you mean.


Quote:
So, alatar, I'm not sure your inverse proportional theory would hold portent, if not water.
Back in the day, found and read a copy of Hal Lindsey's "Late Great Planet Earth" and some other products of his enjoyment, and, as would seem obvious, his end of the world predictions were all for not. Purportedly his 18 books on the topic have sold 35 million copies. A quick search brings up a bunch of other profiting prophets, but I'll just use the one point to set the trend.

And don't get me started on diluvial days of doom.

By the by, is there any mention of the causal agent and extinction extent of the Big 2012? And where can I get a T-shirt?
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alatar
All of that digging must be affecting my brain - probably radon - not sure what you mean.
eternal fame, assuming there will be others around beyond the circles of this world to recall it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar
By the by, is there any mention of the causal agent and extinction extent of the Big 2012? And where can I get a T-shirt?
I suspect if we ask Mr. H. Goomba very nicely he might be able to produce such a Tolkien/Barrow downs-inspired product. Imagine a Mt. Zoom going boom!

I haven't checked out the Notion Club Papers yet, but looky what a google produced about Mayans. Their calendar is called the Tzolkin, meaning count of days .

And, and, a search on dictionary.com for further elucidation of the word Tzolkin gives this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dictionary.com
No entry found for Tzolkin.
Did you mean Tolkien?
I don't know if there are any harmonic convergences with the Shire Reckoning or the King's Reckoning or the Quenya yén though.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bêthberry

I haven't checked out the Notion Club Papers yet, but looky what a google produced about Mayans. Their calendar is called the Tzolkin, meaning count of days .

And, and, a search on dictionary.com for further elucidation of the word Tzolkin gives this:

I don't know if there are any harmonic convergences with the Shire Reckoning or the King's Reckoning or the Quenya yén though.
That is indeed slightly sinister. And what about the Maya/Maiar linguistic similarity?


I wonder if the fate of Numenor may be brought to pass? What with Tolkien's dreams about the giant wave engulfing the land and the 2012/Notion Club Papers/Numenorean link? Apparently there is a big slice of Gran Canaria just waiting for a moment to slide off into the Atlantic...

If i continue finding strange coincidences like this I shall have to dig out my old "Y2K Survival Manual" - bought for 49p in January 2000, and a most entertaining read.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bêthberry
eternal fame, assuming there will be others around beyond the circles of this world to recall it.
If a computer-generated tree falls in a forest or a prophet's works are wiped out in the apocalypse... Not sure. I guess it would depend on the theology of the prophet. What if Mandos told you that it was your job to get the word out? Being a bit skeptical, to me unless there's some payoff, seemingly if you are motivated enough to spend your last days lettting everyone else know then you're either full of altruism or something else.


Quote:
I haven't checked out the Notion Club Papers yet, but looky what a google produced about Mayans. Their calendar is called the Tzolkin, meaning count of days .
Very nice and interesting observation. I too noted that the Mayan calendar has something to do with the "Sacred Tree." Mayan trees...maize...corn...It's the return of the Ent wives in 2012!

And letters 20 and 12 are 'T' and 'L.' Need I say more?

The T(z)olkien Code.


Quote:
I don't know if there are any harmonic convergences with the Shire Reckoning or the King's Reckoning or the Quenya yén though.
See what you can come up with; I'm going to be productive and spend the rest of the day penning, "The World Won't End in 2012...Unless You're an Ent." It's a mixed bag of end time prophecy and relationship advice.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:45 PM   #14
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Tolkien the end of the world.

i don't give much heed to these apocalyptic writings from ancient times. every civilization went through times of upheaval and strife,we even had religious sects based on prophecies of a messiah coming to save us.no-one likes to think of themselves as being alone and insecure.human beings need to feel safe and comforted,and to know that there may be some-one else to blame for all their misfortune.nostrodamus was famously translated in the wrong.the experts should have translated his transcripts as mediaval french and not in the french language as it's known to-day.as romantic and mystical as it seems, no matter how much i want to believe, no-one can really fortell the future.
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Old 03-17-2006, 09:38 PM   #15
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From ap history thi year, the Mayans had there calendar on 50 or 51 year blacks or something like that. Maybe it was 61. Every 61 years or so the world would come very close to ending (signs were things like political strife, war, nature degradation, etc) and to appease the gods, they sacrificed, and bloodlet. Bloodletting is basically peircing your body, and it does not look like fun. It was done on the extrmities, and if you catch my drift, ANY extremity.
So it was interesting that the year Hernando Cortes and the Spanish conquistidors showed up was one of those years, and it was called the Year of the Reed. Cortes was white, and had a beard, and wore a feather in his helm. The Aztec/Mayan 'main' god was white skinned, wore a feathered headress, and was bearded. So naturally the locals thought the Spanshis were cool stuff. Of course, the conqured, and their king Mountcezuma was killed, and mnative society fell apart. Its a bit......"darkly ironic"...that the calendar, coped with modern atomic time, is only 42 days off.
There is one inconsistincy that many people overlook. Even though the Spanish motto was 'gold, glory. and god,' they werent there long enough (or let the natives stay alive long enough) to convert them to Catholicism. So there really is no relation to whatever Aztecs beleived and Chiristianity. (I cant speak for everybody, but that makes me safe)

So theres some history behind it
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:29 PM   #16
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:30 AM   #17
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Alright I was laughing then, but I'm not laughing quite as much now. I've found more references to 2012.

Crop circle fanatic Reg Presley (who famously invested his earnings from Love Is All Around in investigating the phenomena) mentioned 2012 as 'the year it all changes'. Then today I was innocently reading about psychonaut Terence McKenna's Novelty Theory which, to cut a long and complicated story short, predicts that the 'singularity of novelty', something he had not expected for thousands of years, will happen on 21st December 2012. The exact point at which the Mayan calendar says the world will end -etc, see above posts. There are some odd goings on involving the Sun shifting its magnetic poles and having huge sun spots and a weird, once-in-20,000-years eclipse that year too.

I'm now going to look in The Lost Road again to see what I can find!

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Old 04-09-2007, 12:45 PM   #18
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I expect 2012 to bring about the 57th anniversary edition of LotR, with 350+ corrections & amendments to the text in order to 'bring it into line with what Tolkien really wanted'. I shall make a start on it now, so we can have no more arguments....
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Yet, in the Notion Club papers, written at the time he wrote LotR, there is also the strange coincidence that a great storm hits England in 1987, which did indeed happen!
This is quite disconcerting.
I've not thought too much about the Apocolypse, being a proponent of the Apocalypso, which although is similar to the Apocolypse, is done entirely to steel drum music and is quite festive, actually.
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:10 AM   #20
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Before I start, I want to note my usual disclaimers regarding religion (i.e. I'm hoping not to offend, etc) and that this is not the forum for discussing views that do not have some Tolkien context.

The last book of Christian Bible is called Revelation, or the Revelation to John or the Apocalypse of John. The book contains prophecy that, to me and others, details the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Others see in the text a description of the end times, the end of the world, Armegeddon, the Apocalypse. The book contains interesting descriptions of actors (persons, nations?) such as a dragon, a beast, along with a bunch of calamities and other (to me) metaphorical language. Also, it's been noted by those who study the book that there are many references back to the Old Testament.

Is it then coincidental that Tolkien's 'Notion Club papers' have someone 'dreaming' or having a vision about the destruction of a place, and that the history of that place would lead the reader back to even 'earlier time' tomes?

Hope that that's clear.

Another comparison would be those who see portents in the Notion Club papers and see doom coming in 2012. Some Christians read Revelation in a different light, and with newspaper in hand, see doom like a wave coming over the horizon.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Another comparison would be those who see portents in the Notion Club papers and see doom coming in 2012. Some Christians read Revelation in a different light, and with newspaper in hand, see doom like a wave coming over the horizon.
I, on the other hand, read of the Notion Club papers and, with the CVs and Publications of contemporary scholars in hand, see the doom of 'publish or perish' like a wave coming over the crowd at sporting events.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:54 PM   #22
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I believe in the back of the Redbook of Westmarch there is some backword scribbling attributed to Elanor Gamgee's grandson, Leonardo.

Also, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is sychronized to the Wizard of Oz movie, or so I've heard.

Ummm...what was the question again? And are you going to eat that last brownie?
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:46 AM   #23
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Phew!

Another authority of yore, Sir Isaac Newton, states that the world will not end before 2060, as noted here. I'll sleep a whole lot better in 2012 now (that and the kids will be older).

To quote the article quoting Newton:
Quote:
"It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner," Newton wrote. However, he added, "This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail."
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:21 PM   #24
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"Thus spake the prophecy of Mandos, which he declared in Valmar at the judgement of the Gods, and the rumour of it was whispered among all the Elves of the West: when the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth shall come back through the Door out of the Timeless Night; and he shall destroy the Sun and the Moon, but Earendel shall come upon him as a white flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the last battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Melko, and on his right shall stand Fionwe and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, Conqueror of Fate; and it shall be the black sword of Turin that deals unto Melko his death and final end; and so shall the Children of Hurin and all men be avenged.
"Thereafter shall the Silmarils be recovered out of sea and earth and air; for Earendil shall descend and yield up that flame that he hath had in keeping. Then Feanor shall bear the Three and yield their fire to rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth; and the Mountains of Valinor shall be levelled, so that the light goes out over all the world. In that light the Gods will again grow young, and the Elves awake and all their dead arise, and the purpose of Iluvatar be fulfilled concerning them. But of Men in that day the prophecy speaks not, save of Turin only, and him it names among the Gods." - excert from The Shaping of Middle Earth

As Tolkien envisioned, so do I. That the end of the world will simply be the end of the world as we know it. I believe that sooner or latter things will change. Hopefully for the better, until that time comes it the duty of all good people to continue to "fight the good fight" and "never give give up hope that things will get better"

I do find Tolkien's numerology very intriguing though. I have never read the notion club papers before, but I guess I'll have to now!
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:46 PM   #25
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Something that is very much worth noting is the Lewis-Tolkien connection, especially the whole space travel-time travel spiel they went through. Lewis got his end finished, but Tolkien only started fragments and abandoned them. These stories were supposed to be connected, and this cannot be ignored. Lewis did start a time-travel story called the Dark Tower (look it up on Wikipedia), and this could be the link between the Space Trilogy and The Lost Road/The Notion Club Papers.

It could be that this Dark Tower is meant to bring Morgoth back from beyond the Gates of Time, if one were to connect the story threads; and that would certainly signify the end of times and the commencement of Dagor Dagorath.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:59 AM   #26
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It's back in the news. Seems like some folks in the Netherlands are preparing for a 2012 apocalypse. What was interesting was the line, "Some are optimistic about the apocalypse, saying they no longer want to live in the modern world."

The end of the world, or the end of the person takes us back to Middle Earth?
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:29 PM   #27
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Well, there may be something in these Mayan prohecies. They say that we'll be suffering from a lot of earthquakes around that time, and look what's happening now.
I don't actually believe them, but I find it a bit disconcerting.

I think that Tolkien definitely knew a bit of Mayan mythology.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:43 PM   #28
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Well, there may be something in these Mayan prohecies. They say that we'll be suffering from a lot of earthquakes around that time, and look what's happening now.
I don't actually believe them, but I find it a bit disconcerting.
Life is disconcerting. Tolkien's world provides a mechanism for foretelling, but our world does not. Even the physics mind experiments of time travel (requiring wormholes or black holes and incredible energies) only let you move forward in time...which really isn't true either as, as I understand it, time just kind of passes more slowly for you relative to those you leave behind.

Anyway, this means that information from the future is not available to us. If it were, we would have avoided some of our more blatant stupidity, and I would have purchased Google stock.

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I think that Tolkien definitely knew a bit of Mayan mythology.
It's possible, but did he believe that in 2012 the world would end?
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:04 AM   #29
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It's possible, but did he believe that in 2012 the world would end?
I don't know... any clues from listening to the CDs backwards in your secret underground bunker?


edit: Hm... I really was quite young in those days... (those days being two years ago)
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:19 AM   #30
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I don't know... any clues from listening to the CDs backwards in your secret underground bunker?
I've tried listening to them both clockwise and counterclockwise, and so far nothing's clear, except that now my CD player is broken.

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edit: Hm... I really was quite young in those days... (those days being two years ago)
And yet we're all still here. Can't wait until it's 2013 and I can revisit this thread and use the 'stick out tongue' smiley.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:41 AM   #31
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Having a few friends and relatives who are fascinated by such things, I've been hearing about the End of the World in 2012 for some time now (and I find myself amused by the fact that they have it down to a particular date, that being the winter solstice). Several of these same people were expecting the end of the world in the Y2K hysteria -- one literally spent a fortune preparing for it, and wasted it. I cannot help but wonder why some people who very much believe the world will end at these times also think they can survive the end, if they make adequate preparations (the woman who wasted the fortune had also made plans to have hers sons in law shoot anyone who came looking for food or shelter, as she couldn't bring herself to pull the trigger, especially if the beggars were neighbors or relatives ). I wonder if the doomsayers pay attention to the fact that many such prophecies are only predicting a major change, not a literal end -- or if an end, only an end to the old way, which also means the beginning of something new. But alas, people never do readily embrace change, do they?

I somehow doubt that Tolkien was ever thinking of his work as prophecy, merely that he included versions of those things in which he believed within his own mythos.

For some reason, thinking of this all brought to mind a poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessey:

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:10 PM   #32
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Boots

Don't want you all to wet the bed or anything, but...drumroll...it's now 2012!

So, do you think the Notion Club Papers are about to be located? They were found in a sack of old paper after the Oxford summer exams in 2012. And...the New Bodleian is currently undergoing an extensive refurb and rebuild. What might they find? My hope is that if any old Tolkien papers are found that deal with time travel they will pass them on to Steven Moffat as a massive hint.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #33
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Just a note: these "Mayan prophecies" are more in the nature of urban rather than actual myths...
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #34
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In case my meaning isn't clear: the ancient Mayans did not *really* predict a 2012 apocalypse, and as far as I know the belief they did is of recent date– I think Tolkien would have had to be able to see into the future to know about that in the first place!
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:22 PM   #35
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It is all viewed with a highly cynical mind, you can rest assured I think the only breakdown that's likely to occur this December is when the internet starts to run slow because of geekly ire once they see Tauriel in The Hobbit.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #36
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Cracking the Tolkien Code

The Tolkien book fans will watch the Hobbit movie and so great will be their fury that the world will be rent asunder, and the sea will roar in through many chasms, and there will be confusion and noise; and rivers will perish or find new paths, and the valleys will be upheaved and the hills will be trod down.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:53 PM   #37
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The Tolkien book fans will watch the Hobbit movie and so great will be their fury that the world will be rent asunder, and the sea will roar in through many chasms, and there will be confusion and noise; and rivers will perish or find new paths, and the valleys will be upheaved and the hills will be trod down.
Come to think of it, that one sounds quite plausible...
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