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Old 07-20-2016, 07:00 AM   #29
Inziladun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
Exactly; "the Democratic People's Republic of Mordor" comes to mind, although I doubt Sauron bothered with such pretence. I suppose Professor Tolkien might be arguing that strong political ideologies were essentially indistinguishable from false religions, especially with the implication of Sauron being equivalent to a "Marshal This-or-That" of one of the totalitarian "political religions" of the Twentieth Century.
Mordor seems to be an outright dictatorship, with fear keeping its denizens in line. I could draw RL parallels, but discretion advises against it...

Gondor had a 'strong political ideology', didn't it? No religious bent there. In fact Gondor seems much more secular at the time of the War of the Ring than at earlier times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigûr View Post
(Incidentally, I've been thinking about why Legolas found smoking strange. Even though the Elves made some pipes for Bilbo, is it possible that for Professor Tolkien a pipe meant relaxation and an aid to thinking, which was something Men, Wizards incarnate as Men, Dwarves and Hobbits might need, but Elves did not?)
I can see the Elves of Rivendell merely being aware of the smoking habit, through their interactions with the Dúnedain and Gandalf. They don't seem to have practiced it themselves, though.
It appears that the smoking phenomenon was centered around Bree and the Shire, and thus limited to those who passed though or lived in those areas. The Men of Gondor knew about pipe-weed, but apparently never tried to use it for smoking.
The habit was certainly important to hobbit society, and Gandalf seems a right addict.
Maybe it did indeed help Gandalf to relax and find the strength to keep on. Who needs a Ring when you've got a pipe?
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