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Old 12-20-2015, 08:06 PM   #11
Morthoron
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
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Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
Both of your points about population are well made. Pitchwife's remarks about "centuries of war, civil-war and general decline" are an interesting point as well, suggesting the kind of attrition and depopulation modern warfare caused. That being said, the idea of continuous warfare is arguably something that could be attributed to the Middle Ages and the early Modern period, particularly of course obvious examples like the Hundred Years' War and the disastrous Thirty Years' War.

In the book, it is argued of the battles in The Lord of the Rings that "One side, led by Aragorn and advised by Gandalf, fights a 'medieval' war of named volunteers and pledged faith, while the bad side is 'modern,' with its nameless conscripts, machines, slaves and creatures of Sauron." (Andrew Lynch, "Archaism, Nostalgia and Tennysonian War in The Lord of the Rings")

This is an interesting way of looking at it, and not an uncommon one: that rather than showing a war of evil vs evil, Professor Tolkien throws the evil of the modern world into focus by concentrating it into one "side" of the war. And yet I think calling it the other side "medieval" is a little inaccurate. Why are the wars in The Lord of the Rings' backstory so long? It is because, I would argue, of the relentlessness of Sauron.
I would suggest the importance and mystique of Aragorn assuming the role of a found king to be a very medieval concept, almost Arthurian. The idea of medieval fealty goes beyond the Prince of Dol Amroth and various other vassals like Hirluin and Forlong the Fat bringing their men to fight for their overlord, it is intrinsic in the very journey down the Paths of the Dead where the Men of the Mountains, the oath-breakers cursed by Isildur, are called upon by the one true king, Isildur's Heir, to fulfill their oaths of fealty and regain the honor they had lost. So too, Théoden answering the call of Gondor is yet another instance of medieval oaths being fulfilled.

It is also interesting that, in renewing their vow, the Men of the Mountains' targets turned out to be the Corsairs of Umbar, descendants of the rebels engaged in the Kin-strife, and thus oath-breakers against the rightful king themselves.
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