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Old 01-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
Galadriel
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Question LOTR: what did you NOT like in the books?

The title says it all.

I for one would have been a lot happier with fuller descriptions of the characters
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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Humph! What a question!

/kidding.


The first few times I've read it I have been peeved by the Gollum chapters (eg: Passage Through the Marshes) and the Shire chapters (eg: Three is Company). Now - not so much. There are certain priceless moments in every chapter.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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I wish they'd been longer.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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Tom Bombadil. I know the arguments about the function he serves but the poetry is sub vogon and I find perky irritating.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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It's a very minor issue, but the way Bill Ferny just ran off into the night without being heard from again always seemed to me like unfinished business. Maybe he could have turned up as a stowaway on Frodo's ship to the West and been thrown overboard by Galadriel.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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It's a very minor issue, but the way Bill Ferny just ran off into the night without being heard from again always seemed to me like unfinished business.
No, no, precious! We need some mystery, some enigma! You don't have to have an explanation for everything in literature!
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:06 PM   #7
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Inzil, I have excavated this from my early days on the downs. Nice to see I have at least been consistent in my dislike of Bombadil.

http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showthread.php?t=11169
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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P.s.

You know, Ferny's fate could be made into a smashing fanfic!
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:30 AM   #9
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Maybe he could have turned up as a stowaway on Frodo's ship to the West and been thrown overboard by Galadriel.


I always felt bad about Saruman's fate. Not only that Wormtongue killed him, but that he turned beggar and found satisfaction in destroying the Shire. He would have deserved better.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:49 AM   #10
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I wish they'd been longer.
Stressing...what?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:08 PM   #11
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I have always found it difficult to read Sam's battle with Shelob without a smirk or two.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #12
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I have always found it difficult to read Sam's battle with Shelob without a smirk or two.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:07 PM   #13
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I have always found it difficult to read Sam's battle with Shelob without a smirk or two.
Oh, I don't know. Thinking about how much Sam loved Frodo, I could see him getting into a berserkers rage easily enough. Or are you referring to something else.

I've been thinking back about things that bothered me, and I remembered the scene in Fellowship, when the Hobbits are captured by the Barrow Wights and upon being freed, Tom extols them to run around naked.

Excuse me?

You lads go ahead if you want, I'll just stand behind this shrubbery with my eyes averted until someone comes along with a change of clothes, thank you very much.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:02 PM   #14
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Excuse me?
You heard right
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:58 PM   #15
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You heard right
Yeah, well the running around outside naked portion of my life is WAAAAAAYYYYYYY behind me.

There are time I fear good old Tom would not have passed a drug test.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:15 PM   #16
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There are time I fear good old Tom would not have passed a drug test.
You aren't the first to have had that thought.

At times I've thought some of the Elves, mainly the Silvan variety such as Haldir of Lórien, came off as rather sanctimonious.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:33 PM   #17
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Ah, yes... the Natl. Lampoon version. I giggled myself to sleep many times with that when I was a wee nipper back in college.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:31 PM   #18
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Ah, yes... the Natl. Lampoon version. I giggled myself to sleep many times with that when I was a wee nipper back in college.
Harvard lampoon, not National. BTW this is what the older version looked like (look familiar?)
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:28 AM   #19
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Ah, yes. That's the one. My mistake.

Something Aganzir said, I wanted to touch upon; the fate of Saruman. What finally happened to him didn't bother me at all, and as far as I'm concerned he got what was coming to him.
By his actions, he gave up the right for a "noble death" and by being stabbed in the back by Wormtongue (just as he had stabbed everyone in the back whom he had dealt with before), it proved to be a classic example of "what goes round...".
In a literary sense, what he did to the Shire had to be done to show that even someplace as safe and idyllic as the Shire wasn't immune to what had happened in the great wide world. And it was the final tempering for the Hobbits of the Fellowship.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:39 AM   #20
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I have always found it difficult to read Sam's battle with Shelob without a smirk or two.
Bęthberry you naughty lady! You ruined my innocence!

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I've been thinking back about things that bothered me, and I remembered the scene in Fellowship, when the Hobbits are captured by the Barrow Wights and upon being freed, Tom extols them to run around naked.
All cultures aren't as gymnophobic as the Anglo-American. I mean, that isn't something I couldn't do with my friends.

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Something Aganzir said, I wanted to touch upon; the fate of Saruman. What finally happened to him didn't bother me at all, and as far as I'm concerned he got what was coming to him.
I know. It was fair and made perfect sense. I'm just something of a sentimentalist when it comes to Saruman.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:30 AM   #21
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Agreed with Agan concerning running naked, that is very Finnish of us though. Could be questioned why the Nordic people, who definitely should keep their clothes on in order to stay warm, are the ones who are the most comfortable in taking them off. Hmm...

As for me, I've more than once just skipped the fourth book (shame on me), I never found that storyline (/characters I think) interesting enough to hold me for the length of the whole book. It's been a while, though, so maybe if I read it now (which I can't do, my copy is in Finland :/) I'd like it better.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:48 AM   #22
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Bęthberry you naughty lady! You ruined my innocence!
moi?

Actually, I think it was Freud who ruined a lot of things.

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Oh, I don't know. Thinking about how much Sam loved Frodo, I could see him getting into a berserkers rage easily enough.
Oh, it isn't the rage that makes me smirk, not at all. That's perfectly understandable. (My comment to Agan probably answers your other question--and Galadriel's EEK!)

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I know. It was fair and made perfect sense. I'm just something of a sentimentalist when it comes to Saruman.
Do you mean you feel pity for him and wish he had had someone to hold back his killer, as Gandalf had discussed with Frodo about Gollem? Or . . . mawkish emotion for a dude you thought was cool for challenging the hegemony?

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I've been thinking back about things that bothered me, and I remembered the scene in Fellowship, when the Hobbits are captured by the Barrow Wights and upon being freed, Tom extols them to run around naked.
By Jove, you've got it! The real reason PJ omitted Tom and the Barrow Wight from the movie! Scandalous nekkidness and the Hollywood ratings code.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #23
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Agreed with Agan concerning running naked, that is very Finnish of us though. Could be questioned why the Nordic people, who definitely should keep their clothes on in order to stay warm, are the ones who are the most comfortable in taking them off. Hmm...
And the English aren't as bad as the Americans. I thought the communal bathroom at Crickhollow was a bit odd but there were communal showers at school even in my day.. and nude bathing is an Oxford tradition
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parson's_Pleasure

There is a story of a group of dons who rushed to cover their err embarassment when a boat party of ladies appeared. Most wrapped their towels around their waists but one took the swifter action of throwing his towel over his head. When his companions asked him what he was doing he replied "I don't know about you chaps, but in this town I am known by my face..".
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:42 PM   #24
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Wow, we Yanks are taking some hits here (Not really, I know). We have communal showers in gyms and swimming pools and schools (Unless they've changed the layouts in college dorms, that is). BUT! Unlike some Hobbits, for the most part, if a person were to tell a group of grown men to run around outside, nekkid... chances are they'd demure.
And I don't believe we Americans are alone in this.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:06 PM   #25
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Well you guys do seem particularly hung up on nudity. Though I agree the Brits are more reticent than the continentals. And I don't disagree but privacy is a relatively modern notion. I just think it probably wasn't so weird then as it seems now. Maybe it was some skyclad ritual ; ) . But I think it was probably a bit parky in October for such shenanigans.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:41 PM   #26
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Well you guys do seem particularly hung up on nudity. Though I agree the Brits are more reticent than the continentals. And I don't disagree but privacy is a relatively modern notion. I just think it probably wasn't so weird then as it seems now. Maybe it was some skyclad ritual ; ) . But I think it was probably a bit parky in October for such shenanigans.
To be fair, it is nude hobbits we're talking. Three feet high, hairy feet...and my fear is that there could be attributes other then stature and feet where they might differ anatomically from Men.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #27
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You don't mean *gulp* the...the...pointy ears?
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #28
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You don't mean *gulp* the...the...pointy ears?
Not exactly....er, I mean, yes, that's exactly what I meant.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #29
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Agreed with Agan concerning running naked, that is very Finnish of us though. Could be questioned why the Nordic people, who definitely should keep their clothes on in order to stay warm, are the ones who are the most comfortable in taking them off. Hmm...
I agree about that too. Back in Russia it was no big deal for a group of friends (of the same gender ) to go swimming, suntanning, taking a shower, sauna, you name it, naked.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:28 PM   #30
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I wish they'd been longer.
This.

From an immersion angle, I always wanted more characterization, especially conversation; for instance, by way of seemingly irrelevant banter among the Fellowship, or full accounts of meetings between the White Council and private meetings between Gandalf and Radagast/Saruman, or transcripts of all that Bilbo heard from the elves during his stays at Rivendell.

With all that walking about by the Fellowship throughout the months of the main plot, there was so much time to fill. Even with their grave task constantly confronting them, there had to be some joking and storytelling when they stopped to rest.

Which finds me agreeing with the original poster:

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I for one would have been a lot happier with fuller descriptions of the characters
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:34 AM   #31
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Corny time, but...

The end. As in, the blank space after you've read the last word.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #32
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The end. As in, the blank space after you've read the last word.
Good one.

I also didn't like the way ents speak. Have you ever tried pronouncing some of those? You run out of breath before you can get to the second half!

The language itself gives us insight into the Ents, but reading individual words is a pain. It's much easier to skip to the next English text.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #33
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(My comment to Agan probably answers your other question--and Galadriel's EEK!)
Oh my...
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:17 PM   #34
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Good one.

I also didn't like the way ents speak. Have you ever tried pronouncing some of those? You run out of breath before you can get to the second half!

The language itself gives us insight into the Ents, but reading individual words is a pain. It's much easier to skip to the next English text.
I kind of like the way Ents speak. It's like me trying to answer a call at work while eating my dinner

The books are entirely faultless to me though.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:26 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
I kind of like the way Ents speak. It's like me trying to answer a call at work while eating my dinner
It's just me. I have an issue with spelling and pronunciation, as some people already learned from the Mordor thread.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #36
AbercrombieOfRohan
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Tolkien

Nothing. The books are flawless.

(Actually, some of the Two Towers chapters with Sam and Frodo are a little bit too long for my taste, but as Rayner Unwin says, "You don't edit Tolkien!")

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #37
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Nothing. The books are flawless.
You wouldn't even have liked a slightly more elaborate description of Frodo? Or Sam, or Merry, or Pippin, or Legolas

It just amazed me that Tolkien described every part of the landscapes in his books to a T, but gave us such a vague idea of what his characters looked like.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:23 PM   #38
Galadriel55
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It just amazed me that Tolkien described every part of the landscapes in his books to a T, but gave us such a vague idea of what his characters looked like.
But that makes the descriptions even more meaningful when they are there. Whenever there is a character's physical appearance, it gives us greater insight than just how s/he looks. That's one thing. Another is that the reader has freedom to imagine the finer details. Or possibly Tolkien himself didn't see his characters in great detail in his mind's eye; personally I almost never "see" their faces, or even see them fully. I can imagine how they move and some general looks, but anything more specific is really hard to imagine.

So, in other words, I would not put this on my short list of things I don't like.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #39
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personally I almost never "see" their faces, or even see them fully. I can imagine how they move and some general looks, but anything more specific is really hard to imagine.

So, in other words, I would not put this on my short list of things I don't like.
It is generally quite hard to imagine characters' faces, whether you have a description of them or not (or maybe that's just me?), but when it comes the Hobbits and Legolas, I barely have a sense of even their colouring. They're basically different sized blobs moving about. I have a childish notion of: 'It's your story! So you describe the characters! *pouts dramatically*'
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #40
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'It's your story! So you describe the characters! *pouts dramatically*'
"You're the reader! You imagine them!"

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