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Old 04-06-2006, 03:18 PM   #1
Sardy
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Question "Lord of the Rings" sequel!

(Forgive me if the has been discussed before, but I looked and could find nothing...)

This is a thread for discussion of sequel(s) to The Lord of the Rings. What epic history do you think Tolkien might've envisioned for the Fourth (and Fifth, etc.) Age(s)? What writer might be capable of carrying on Tolkien's tradition and adding to Middle-earth? (Tolkien himself has stated that he always envisioned Middle-earth as an organic writing that could and should be added to...).

And also, what plans (had he lived long and not abandondoned it) might Tolkien have had for The New Shadow, his unfinished (barely started) sequel? True, he had his doubts about the project from the outset (but what writer doesn't?). Surely, the genius imagination that could grow The Lord of the Rings from the humble tale of The Hobbit, given time, would have made a remarkable piece from The New Shadow...!

You can read the beginnings of Tolkien's lost sequel here: http://www.btinternet.com/~fountain/tolkien/index.html
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:08 PM   #2
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Although Tolkien stated that he wanted the story to continue and grow, Christopher 'Gollum' Tolkien doesn't, and guards the legacy with zeal. Hopefully the next generations of Tolkiens will either pick up the standard, or let someone else. To continue a story into The Fourth Age is not beyond the skill of a good writer, what is though, is to do it like Tolkien, who in my view was unique.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:04 PM   #3
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Although I think Tolkien knew what he was doing and new material would be beyond excitement, I like how everything ended fictionally speaking. Now I dont have a problem with Star Wars, but Im going to use it as an example. The six movies about Star Wars is can be seen in analogy to LotR structurally. The Fisrt three are the Silm and second age, and the last three the Hobbit, LotR, and all the stuff inbetween is, well, all the stuff inbetween. SO you see boundaries at Eru and the Death of Elassar compared to the beginning of Episode I, and the end of XI. But more books are made (referred to as Extened Universe) that are offshoots of the movie history and are kind of "off" as far as literature. Although the Death of the Emperor and Vader can be the End of the Conflict or climax, the books after wards mess that up. Because in one book the Emperor's spirit inhabits a clone of his physical self, and that really destroys the whole concept of Plot. Its very interesting and enjoyable, really! But....if something like The New Shadow came out, and it had an antagonist that was affecting something more than local, it would severly damage the Plot. Something talking about a rebellion in Rhun or something by unspecified character wouldnt damage the Plot, only the cannocality and "pureness." (I swear Im not a Nazi )

Somehow that isnt Tolkien-like. Sure you can argue that Lucas is still alive and Tolkien is not, but there isnt any new material that isnt purely made by Lucas anymore. So it is not "pure", if i may say. Tolkien is the real Eru, anything not made or justified by him is just....Not. Like some of the video games. In Battle for MIddle Earth 2, you get to play with Glorfindel and Gloin to name a few. The big example is Tom Bombadil. We all know him...but what if i told you this: In that game, you can "create" him, and he skips and turns when he moves across the map. He can attack! He does a "sonic sing" and it blasts through hordes of orcs! Now thats cool, but its not Tolkien obviously. So really, the way Tolkien "stopped" (whether by his death or feint, I dont know), it really was "perfect" literature. Everthing cannocal is straight from hiim and unspecific influence on him. So Im going to be an orthodox conservative; nobody touches Tolkien's books.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardy
(Forgive me if the has been discussed before, but I looked and could find nothing...)

This is a thread for discussion of sequel(s) to The Lord of the Rings. What epic history do you think Tolkien might've envisioned for the Fourth (and Fifth, etc.) Age(s)? What writer might be capable of carrying on Tolkien's tradition and adding to Middle-earth? (Tolkien himself has stated that he always envisioned Middle-earth as an organic writing that could and should be added to...).

And also, what plans (had he lived long and not abandondoned it) might Tolkien have had for The New Shadow, his unfinished (barely started) sequel? True, he had his doubts about the project from the outset (but what writer doesn't?). Surely, the genius imagination that could grow The Lord of the Rings from the humble tale of The Hobbit, given time, would have made a remarkable piece from The New Shadow...!

You can read the beginnings of Tolkien's lost sequel here: http://www.btinternet.com/~fountain/tolkien/index.html
I think the sequel would be how the Reunited Kingdom began to blossom, the cleansing and capitulation of Rhun and the Easterlings by Aragorn and Eomer. What ewent on with the remaining elves and the Shire. Basically everything that's mentioned in the Appendices, I suppose only in greater detail. We'd get to know the King's sons and learn about some of those lands on the edge of the map.

Another good story line would be about those lands on the edges of the maps that are we don't know much about (like the far far east).
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by narfforc View Post
Although Tolkien stated that he wanted the story to continue and grow, Christopher 'Gollum' Tolkien doesn't, and guards the legacy with zeal. Hopefully the next generations of Tolkiens will either pick up the standard, or let someone else. To continue a story into The Fourth Age is not beyond the skill of a good writer, what is though, is to do it like Tolkien, who in my view was unique.
Do you have a source about Christopher Tolkien not wanted anymore Middle Earth stories written? I am interested because I have some ideas for such a story, taking place in the Fourth Age. After working on the ideas, I was surprised to find that Tolkien's notes supported some of my plot ideas.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:04 AM   #6
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Well... Fanfics are fine as long as they stay fanfics, but if you are asking what I think you are asking, there's a thing called a 'copyright' in the USA. Of course you can't write a story based on Tolkien's universe and expect it to get published, Radagast. If you really wanted to do so and believe that your genius could match that of Tolkien's, then you *could* contact the Tolkien Estates and see if Christopher Tolkien would allow you to write a book based on the Tolkienesque universe. The Asimov Estates did, (though I reserve my judgment on whether it was a good call). But I think you need to be a pretty famous writer for C. Tolkien to even consider the request.

PS. By the way, you could try out this idea of yours at our RPG forums. It would be fun to have another roleplayer around, especially someone who writes well.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:09 AM   #7
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I believe that in one of the HoME books -- in the chapter dealing with "The New Shadow," JRRT's own abandoned start to a sequel -- it is said that the reason he gave it up was because he felt it would not really add to the mythical/legendary aspect of his body of work. As I recall, he felt it would be just another adventure story, derivative of what had already been written and therefore redundant and superfluous. It would have been writing more just to write more, to satisfy his publishers and readers but not his own designs in creating and writing about his world.

I tend to agree with him. More adventures are things for the fan writers. A true sequel should be something more mythological in nature, bringing the cycle -- which Tolkien created to be a mythology for England -- another significant step closer to the historical world. The "new shadow" would probably not be another incarnation of Sauron, since Tolkien was clear that in the destruction of the Ring, so much of him was expended, he would never rise again. It could, however, be another fallen Maia -- or more likely, I think, fallen Men attempting to emulate the Dark Lords of previous ages. Inevitably, the dynasty of Aragorn and his heirs will fall. It did not survive into historical times. But why not? What happened that so totally obliterated evidence of that Golden Age in the distant past? Wars, pestilence, nature -- all of the above?
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:21 AM   #8
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Inevitably, the dynasty of Aragorn and his heirs will fall. It did not survive into historical times. But why not? What happened that so totally obliterated evidence of that Golden Age in the distant past? Wars, pestilence, nature -- all of the above?
The loss of the Sea of Faith, perhaps. Let me quote Matthew Arnold:

"The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world."

We no longer believe in the Firstborn or the sons of Ainu, and as they faded from the hearts of men, they have, perhaps, faded from Middle Earth as well.
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:26 PM   #9
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"Although Tolkien stated that he wanted the story to continue and grow, Christopher 'Gollum' Tolkien doesn't, and guards the legacy with zeal."

He didn't you know. Neither is Christopher in any way Gollum- like.

If Tolkien really had wanted others to write stories set in his world, he could have forgone copyrighting his books; made them 'public domain'. He did not. What's more, it was Tolkien himself who set up his Estate, whose purpose is to carry out Tolkien's wishes as set out in his will. (this is the function of anyone's estate; including yours and mine, if we so wish). One of Tolkien's wishes was for copyright to remain with his family.

What Tolkien wrote was that he left all of his unpublished works - his 'literary assets' - to his trustees, requesting them to allow Christopher full access, "in order that he may act as my Literary Executor with full powers to publish edit alter rewrite or complete any work of mine which may be unpublished at my death or to destroy the whole or any part..." etc.

If Christopher were Gollum-like, we would not have Tolkien's translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo (1975). Nor The Silmarillion (1977), nor any other of Tolkien's posthumously published works. Nor would Christopher have given permission for other scholars to edit his father's works; such as Beowulf and the Critics (Michael Drout) nor Roverandom (Hammond and Scull), nor create such a visually stunning work as 'JRR Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator'. (ditto)

Name-calling is not very constructive, don't you think? - and hardly helps an already tottery claim.

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:27 PM   #10
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Name-calling is not very constructive, don't you think? - and hardly helps an already tottery claim.
I think he was joking, Garm. I mean, who could dislike C. Tolkien when he gave us "The Children of Hurin"? +drools all over the pages+
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:22 AM   #11
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Did Tolkien ever discuss whether the Blue Wizards departed Middle Earth? One or both could have arisen as a serious threat on the level of Sauron, or at least Sauruman.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:59 AM   #12
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Did Tolkien ever discuss whether the Blue Wizards departed Middle Earth? One or both could have arisen as a serious threat on the level of Sauron, or at least Sauruman.
T. wrote in a 1958 letter that he really didn't know what happened to them, since they weren't involved with affairs in the west of ME. However, he surmised:

Quote:
....they went as emissaries to distant regions, East and Sounth (far out of Nśmenórean range): missionaries to 'enemy-occupied' lands, as it were. What success they had I do not know; but I fear they failed, as Saruman did, though doubtless in different ways; and I suspect they were founders or beginners of secret cults and 'magic' traditions that outlasted the fall of Sauron.
Letter # 211

From that, it appears that whatever works they did where they were apparently lasted a long time, but they didn't found anything that would threaten peace in the west. Since their failure is said to be different from Saruman's, I would think that another indication that whatever they were up to they had no designs on conquering ME.

As for their departing into the West, my opinion would be 'no'. I think there's a reason we see only Gandalf of the Istari taking ship at the end of ROTK; he was the only one who had remained faithful to his task. As Gandalf said, the Third Age was his age; he was sent to be Sauron's enemy. After Sauron was defeated, he had no more business in Middle-earth and knew it was time for him to leave.
Those of the Istari who didn't fall on the level on Saruman, but instead merely became 'distracted' (the Blue Wizards and Radagast) had still failed their mission, and thus miss the ship that was to take them home.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:49 PM   #13
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There is also the partial poem mentioned in the Istari chapter of Unfinished Tales:

Quote:
Wilt thou learn the lore that was long secret
Of five who went to a far country?
Only one returned, others never again
Since we know for a fact that Gandalf returned, it's safe to say that for whatever reason, the Blue Wizards never went back to Valinor. Tolkien also says that only Gandalf was successful in carrying out his mission (letter 156, "Gandalf alone fully passes the tests, on a moral plane, anyway."). That's pretty clearly stating that the downfall of the other four wizards somehow involved a moral choice and thus a moral failure, to which Gandalf alone did not succumb. The Blue Wizards didn't simply get into a fight with Sauron on his minions and die. They did something wrong that led to their fall, that was somehow a deliberate choice to abandon their mission so that they did not return to Valinor, physically or as disincarnate Maiar. I seem to recall reading somewhere (probably one of the HoME books) that they were led astray by the worship of Men in the east, but I may be misremembering.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by garm View Post
"Although Tolkien stated that he wanted the story to continue and grow, Christopher 'Gollum' Tolkien doesn't, and guards the legacy with zeal."

He didn't you know. Neither is Christopher in any way Gollum- like.

If Tolkien really had wanted others to write stories set in his world, he could have forgone copyrighting his books; made them 'public domain'. He did not. What's more, it was Tolkien himself who set up his Estate, whose purpose is to carry out Tolkien's wishes as set out in his will. (this is the function of anyone's estate; including yours and mine, if we so wish). One of Tolkien's wishes was for copyright to remain with his family.

What Tolkien wrote was that he left all of his unpublished works - his 'literary assets' - to his trustees, requesting them to allow Christopher full access, "in order that he may act as my Literary Executor with full powers to publish edit alter rewrite or complete any work of mine which may be unpublished at my death or to destroy the whole or any part..." etc.

If Christopher were Gollum-like, we would not have Tolkien's translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo (1975). Nor The Silmarillion (1977), nor any other of Tolkien's posthumously published works. Nor would Christopher have given permission for other scholars to edit his father's works; such as Beowulf and the Critics (Michael Drout) nor Roverandom (Hammond and Scull), nor create such a visually stunning work as 'JRR Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator'. (ditto)

Name-calling is not very constructive, don't you think? - and hardly helps an already tottery claim.
Do not copyrights pertain only to published works? There have been other fantasies that have mentioned the word "hobbit" for instance. The copyrights should pertain only to all of Tolkien's works.

And in regards to what could be written, after I started writing down my ideas, I found that several aspects had already been mentioned by Tolkien. Copyrights are not for an infinite length of time either.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:42 PM   #15
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Did Tolkien ever discuss whether the Blue Wizards departed Middle Earth? One or both could have arisen as a serious threat on the level of Sauron, or at least Sauruman.
hmmmm...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
T. wrote in a 1958 letter that he really didn't know what happened to them, since they weren't involved with affairs in the west of ME. However, he surmised:



Letter # 211

From that, it appears that whatever works they did where they were apparently lasted a long time, but they didn't found anything that would threaten peace in the west. Since their failure is said to be different from Saruman's, I would think that another indication that whatever they were up to they had no designs on conquering ME.

As for their departing into the West, my opinion would be 'no'. I think there's a reason we see only Gandalf of the Istari taking ship at the end of ROTK; he was the only one who had remained faithful to his task. As Gandalf said, the Third Age was his age; he was sent to be Sauron's enemy. After Sauron was defeated, he had no more business in Middle-earth and knew it was time for him to leave.
Those of the Istari who didn't fall on the level on Saruman, but instead merely became 'distracted' (the Blue Wizards and Radagast) had still failed their mission, and thus miss the ship that was to take them home.

Other writings of Tolkien indicate that the Blue Wizards' mission took them into the East and that they did not fail.

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Old 05-23-2010, 09:12 PM   #16
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Other writings of Tolkien indicate that the Blue Wizards' mission took them into the East and that they did not fail.
As fate would have it, I went and looked things up this afternoon. This particular version of things is from the Last Writings section of The Peoples of Middle-earth. In it, Tolkien puts forward the notion that the Blue Wizards came during the Second Age and apparently succeeded in their efforts to keep many Men of the east from siding with Sauron. However, CT points out that his father didn't seem to remember that he had already given the BW names. Moreover, this is the only time Tolkien says the BW were successful. There are many other references to the fact that only Gandalf succeeded. Perhaps Tolkien had it in mind to eventually change this, but for myself, I would tend to go with his "majority opinion," so to speak.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:08 PM   #17
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Do not copyrights pertain only to published works? There have been other fantasies that have mentioned the word "hobbit" for instance. The copyrights should pertain only to all of Tolkien's works.
I'm clearly being a little dense today, but I don't quite get the connection between those two sentences.

For the first: what are you trying to say? If you mean you can always write fan fiction as long as you don't try to publish it or make money from it, well, yes. What's the problem?

For the second– are you sure about that? D&D has "halflings", but I can't recall "hobbit" being used anywhere but Tolkien. Certainly not in novels.


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And in regards to what could be written, after I started writing down my ideas, I found that several aspects had already been mentioned by Tolkien. Copyrights are not for an infinite length of time either.
No, but they have a fairly long shelf-life.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:32 PM   #18
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For the second– are you sure about that? D&D has "halflings", but I can't recall "hobbit" being used anywhere but Tolkien. Certainly not in novels.
Being older than the hills has its advantages. The earliest version of D&D did indeed use "hobbits," and there was legal wrangling over it. Tolkien invented the word, and he had rights to it and its use in profit-making materials. There was also discussion about "Orc," but it was determined that there were legendary uses of the term that long predated LotR, so the game still uses it. "Halfling" was, I believe, a compromise.

Copyright in the US is guaranteed by law, but there is no fixed limit set in the original legislature, so the term keeps getting changed. There is also the matter of trademark involved, since I believe many of the names associated with LotR were trademarked by Tolkien Enterprises (which, if I recall correctly, is part of how they remain involved with movie and licensing revenues no matter what studio makes the films). Trademark laws do not work in quite the same way as copyright laws. While it would be hard to win a fair use case of copyright infringement over a piece of fan fiction, trademark infringement could be quite easily proven. It's just not worth the effort when no profit is involved. But there are distinct limits to the term of trademark, and it must be defended or it lapses. The Refrigerator Corporation discovered that (they lost theirs), and there have been close calls with the Kleenex and Jell-o trademarks as well.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrīnišilpathānezel
(...) However, CT points out that his father didn't seem to remember that he had already given the BW names. Moreover, this is the only time Tolkien says the BW were successful. There are many other references to the fact that only Gandalf succeeded. Perhaps Tolkien had it in mind to eventually change this, but for myself, I would tend to go with his "majority opinion," so to speak.
Also, even though this version is late (as you note in your full post), in my opinion one cannot tell if it's the latest version. A look at some of the texts, in the best chronological order I can figure out here...


'... others of the Istari who went into the east of Middle-earth, and do not come into these tales' Of the Rings of Power

1954 Istari essay (Unfinished Tales): number of order unknown -- two wizards came clad in Sea-blue, little known of them -- no names in the West save Ithryn Luin 'the Blue Wizards' -- passed into East with Saurman but never returned -- whether remained in the East pursuing their purpose, or perished, or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants, is not known.

In a hard to date, brief and hasty sketch: Quenya names appear, Alatar and Pallando -- this dates from sometime after the completion of The Lord of the Rings. An alliterative verse mentions: of the five that that came from a far country, only one retuned.

1958 (letter 211): Tolkien doesn't know colours (doubts they had distinctive colours) -- doesn't know anything clearly about the 'other two' -- thinks they went to distant land, fears they failed, and suspects they were founders or beginners or secret cults and magic traditions outlasting Sauron's fall.

In The Lord of the Rings the Istari were said to have appeared in Middle-earth when maybe a thousand years of the Third Age had passed. They need not have arrived all together, on the same exact ship of course; but a late text on the success of the Wizards reads...

'The 'other two' came much earlier, at the same time probably as Glorfindel, when matters became very dangerous in the Second Age' [and it was said that the reincarnated Glorfindel probably came to Middle-earth in SA 1600]. And '... must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East ... who would both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have ... outnumbered the West.' (citation from The Peoples of Middle-Earth).

According to this late note their names are Morinehtar and Romestamo (or Rome(n)star). But compare that with yet another passage, similarly dated very late (probably 1972)...

'Saruman is said (e.g. by Gandalf himself) to have been the chief of the Istari -- that is, higher in Valinórean stature than the others. Gandalf was evidently the next in order. Radagast is presented as a person of much less power and wisdom. Of the other two nothing is said in published work save the reference to the five wizards in the altercation between Gandalf and Saruman. Now these Maiar were sent by the Valar at a crucial moment in the history of Middle-earth to enhance the resistance of the Elves of the West, waning in power, and of the uncorrupted Men of the West, greatly outnumbered by those of the East and South.' Unfinished Tales

It is difficult to know if this note came before, or after, the one above it (in this post), but I note this one seems (to me) to state that all the Istari in question came at generally the same time (at a crucial moment), rather than (the other late text) the Blue Wizards coming in SA 1600 -- well before Gandalf! Again, keeping in mind, in any case, what was published in The Lord of the Rings. For me, the late text published in Unfinished Tales is more in accord with The Lord of the Rings than the late text published in The Peoples of Middle-Earth

I am also wondering if Tolkien ever mentioned these wizards as blue (or any colour) after 1958. If not (emphasis on if) the famous 'Blue Wizards' notion itself may have been abandoned.
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