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Old 07-23-2021, 04:32 AM   #9
Itinerant Songster
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,072
littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Alf Prentice should have been Master Cook, and had to wait for old Nokes to retire, even though he was the one prepared for the role, and no doubt would have performed it even better than his own Master.

The people knew Alf was there, and was the one the Master Cook had chosen, but they seemed completely oblivious to the fact, and they also seemed completely oblivious to the fact that they had no business making the decision that they did. And Alf stood by, and let it happen. I suspect that he could have forced the issue had he chosen, but then perhaps that would have made him no better than the people of Wootton.

Tolkien always does this. The trope is that things were supposed to go this way, but due to people being people, it did not; this happened instead. It happens in Giles, Leaf by Niggle, Wootton, The Hobbit, every story he ever told. Repeatedly.

Every time it happens, I recoil and protest and become angry (there are personal reasons), and wonder what if, pointlessly. Because reality is like this. Always. And Tolkien knew it, and apparently was compelled to mirror this fact of human nature back to us.
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