Lord of the Rings

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Convince me it isnt a silly adventure novel and that it was worth giving up a great philogy career .

anthony, Friday, 16 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Hobbit Motherfucker

RickyT, Friday, 16 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I wonder what the Dwarves cocks are like

Mike Hanle y, Friday, 16 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

^all dwarven women have beards^

This fact scarred me as a child - gimme Legolas anyday

or indeed a LEGOlass

, Friday, 16 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I liked that Jenny Turner piece that mark s mentioned in the thread spoke of above by RickyT.

And I've never read the books.

Cryosmurf, Friday, 16 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

whos more fuckable ; legolass or elron?

Mike Hanle y, Friday, 16 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

haha sean bean (= boromir) was on the frank skinner show promo-ing LoTR:
fs (who plainly thinks the book = hippy toss): "So, tell us abt Boromir"
sb: "Well, er, he's good"
fs: "You haven't read it, have you!"
[interview shifts into zne where fs embarrasses sb into talking rubbish about dwarves]

mark s, Sunday, 25 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

That's Boromir in a nutshell, innit? Nice on the casting. Maybe I should see. Though no CG will ever = the REAL Balrog. etc etc

After seeing the trailer, I am getting nervous. Not about the execution of the film, which looks pretty good, but I am realizing that the PRONUNCIATION of all those odd names is inchoate in my head and I like it that way. "Sauron" for instance is wonderfully slippery the way my mind says it. I'm not sure that I want the Webster's versh. And before you all say "well jrrt was a philologist and he had very precise rules about things" it's a bluddy BOOK, but one whose fuzzynesses I treasure. I'm willing to give this up visually but those NAMES, those impossible names...

Tracer Hand, Sunday, 25 November 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

eleven years pass...

Have the bbc radio drama on my phone atm, it's magical. Tracer otm about pronunciation too.

darraghmac, Tuesday, 13 August 2013 23:41 (seven years ago) link

Loved the radio version as a kid, we had it in a big box of about twenty cassettes.

I wish to incorporate disco into my small business (chap), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:33 (seven years ago) link

i had this weird bbc adaptation of the hobbit when i was a kid, i remember all the pronunciations seemed kind of off ('gan-DALF,' 'gol-LOOM,' etc). otherwise it was pretty awesome.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:36 (seven years ago) link

Yeah the Hobbit and LOTR BBC productions were made with a different team each, I think.

Do very much love the LOTR BBC version for sure. It's a nice blend of classically stage-y radio drama -- lots of overexplaining what the characters are seeing when a visual version wouldn't need it and all -- and good atmosphere and detail. Easily the most accurate adaptation done in terms of the actual book itself. IIRC there was a late fifties adaptation for BBC Radio as well -- wonder what that was like?

There were also American radio versions done of both the Hobbit and LOTR -- The Hobbit was passable but LOTR, ack.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:45 (seven years ago) link

What's killin me is that it's v clear that jackson had the actors take pointers from this, then the cunt goes and writes his own dialogue/scenes.

darraghmac, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:48 (seven years ago) link

what;s killing me is Aragornth lithp come on admit it it's fucken hilarious

failed skirty tropes (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 01:00 (seven years ago) link

Im not getting it tbh? Its weird his talkin all country lord like tho

darraghmac, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 01:01 (seven years ago) link

is this the OG adaptation from the 80s? i swear when i re-listened years later that lisp was all i cd hear

failed skirty tropes (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 01:03 (seven years ago) link

Check yr tape heads maybe

darraghmac, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 01:04 (seven years ago) link

has anyone heard the bbc adaptation of asimov's 'foundation'?

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 01:47 (seven years ago) link

i had the american "the mind's eye" dramatization of the hobbit that aired on npr in 1980, listened to it approx a zillion times

one yankee sympathizer masquerading as a historian (difficult listening hour), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 06:15 (seven years ago) link

nv u sonbitch i can hear nothing but lithp now

darraghmac, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 10:41 (seven years ago) link

soz dude, thought it was obvious

http://valawyersweekly.com/files/2009/12/important-ops-logo.jpg (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 10:45 (seven years ago) link

you've given me a yen to hear it again if that's any consolation, altho this Foundation adaptation sounds pretty cool

http://valawyersweekly.com/files/2009/12/important-ops-logo.jpg (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 10:46 (seven years ago) link

i had the american "the mind's eye" dramatization of the hobbit that aired on npr in 1980, listened to it approx a zillion times

Yeah that was the clusterfuck I mentioned. The elves sounded like they were squeaky toy dolls on helium, except for Elrond, so sounded like an old bloated Santa Claus reject.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 11:57 (seven years ago) link

I struggle to imagine a worse elrond than weaving tbrr

darraghmac, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 11:58 (seven years ago) link

I don't think Weaving was that bad (he's pretty good at conveying the Elvish holier-than-thou attitude towards the other races), but IMO it wasn't very wise to cast an obviously balding guy to play a character who's supposed to be eternally young.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 12:02 (seven years ago) link

He was, tho, that bad. He was woeful. He looked like the mekon. He looked like the dudes from mars attacks. He talked like he had challenges. He played it one dimensional frosty headmaster rubbish. Jackson ballsed up every elf, goes without saying, but his treatment of elrond and galadriel are gross incompetencies of the highest order may he shit needles forevermore.

darraghmac, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 12:06 (seven years ago) link

I struggle to imagine a worse elrond than weaving tbrr

Arnie or Stallone would have been worse.

not_goodwin, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 12:10 (seven years ago) link

I struggle to imagine a worse elrond than weaving tbrr

Trust me. It IS that bad. A little backstory:

It was produced by “The Mind’s Eye” theatre company, who at the time were responsible for numerous adaptations of classic literature for radio. The script, written by Bernard Mayes, was an abridged version of the book. Its eleven hour running time focused significantly on the dialogue, with much of the back history and expositionary narration removed.

The production was very low budget, drawing upon local amateur actors and friends of the producer. There was extensive use of library music and home made sound effects. Due to scheduling issues the cast often recorded their dialogue separately which leads to some somewhat stilted exchanges of dialogue in key scenes. The actors also had to provide multiple voices and their own accents are at times apparent. It is also clear that the production was not driven by a Tolkien scholar. The pronunciation of many names and places is often incorrect and some aspects of the plot have been reduced so excessively it leaves many questions unanswered to those unfamiliar with the story.

Oh and you get Tom Bombadil too. Rather too much.

It's all on YouTube! You've been warned, but if you want to start somewhere...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTledKaqoJ4

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 12:14 (seven years ago) link

Oh man, so much love for these adaptations! The LOTR one in particular I've just listened to death since I was a lad. Remember being astonished years after the fact to discover that it was really Bill Nighy playing Sam Gamgee in it.

Peter Woodthorpe (aka Del Boy's dad) as Gollum is absolutely 100% spectacular the whole way through this, he walks the line between creeping villain and pitiful wretch perfectly, makes your skin crawl. And he does it in a way that rarely if ever descends into the kind of comedy space that Serkis' version sometimes ended up occupying. Special mention for Gandalf too - I love Ian Mac, but Michael Hordern is just another level, when he gets angry in this I get chills.

The atmosphere and production throughout is wonderful, I love how frequently they bring the music in, although tbf some of the soprano little-boy opera grates at times (Boromir's prophecy etc). But the circling strings --> staccato stabs --> mournful theme of the main title music haunted my childhood.

Is the BBC Hobbit version mentioned further up-thread the one with Heron Carvic (also briefly of Dick Barton Special Agent) as Gandalf? Guy's voice fascinates me, it's so soft and oily. The music in this is also quite fun, slightly odd little medieval motif that plays at the start and end of each section. And the song that the goblins sing as the dwarves and Bilbo are taken down to Goblin Town used to give me nightmares, honest to god. TERRIFYING!

Third Rate Zoo Keepers With Tenth Rate Minds (Windsor Davies), Wednesday, 14 August 2013 16:27 (seven years ago) link

nine months pass...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/10826867/Viggo-Mortensen-interview-Peter-Jackson-sacrificed-subtlety-for-CGI.html

“Anybody who says they knew it was going to be the success it was, I don’t think it’s really true,” he says. “They didn’t have an inkling until they showed 20 minutes in Cannes, in May of 2001. They were in a lot of trouble, and Peter had spent a lot. Officially, he could say that he was finished in December 2000 – he’d shot all three films in the trilogy – but really the second and third ones were a mess. It was very sloppy – it just wasn’t done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year. But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn’t been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video.

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:12 (six years ago) link

Mortensen thinks – rightly – that The Fellowship of the Ring turned out the best of the three, perhaps largely because it was shot in one go. “It was very confusing, we were going at such a pace, and they had so many units shooting, it was really insane. But it’s true that the first script was better organised,” he says. “Also, Peter was always a geek in terms of technology but, once he had the means to do it, and the evolution of the technology really took off, he never looked back. In the first movie, yes, there’s Rivendell, and Mordor, but there’s sort of an organic quality to it, actors acting with each other, and real landscapes; it’s grittier. The second movie already started ballooning, for my taste, and then by the third one, there were a lot of special effects. It was grandiose, and all that, but whatever was subtle, in the first movie, gradually got lost in the second and third. Now with The Hobbit, one and two, it’s like that to the power of 10.

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:13 (six years ago) link

Sounds right enough from here.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:24 (six years ago) link

too easy on the clown by far obv but at least he has achieved clarity with time

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:29 (six years ago) link

Hey, smart enough to recognize a fluke was a fluke. I'm still very fond of the original three films but I'm kinda glad I kept my expectations for the new ones at the level of 'just give me a good Smaug.' Which they did, so.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:34 (six years ago) link

nb the clown there is jackson, i dig viggo

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:41 (six years ago) link

Ha, I got that, trust me.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:42 (six years ago) link

Zeal of a convert---from ILB's Speculative etc thread:
I finally read The Lord of the Rings--finally, that is, after putting it down in early high school--thee appointed tyme of maximum susceptibility--upon realizing that I was expected to go epically Questing with a hero who had furry toes. Apparently a lot of detractors don't get past the first forty pages, or the first sentence, about Bilbo's elevetny-first birthday, but the whole point is the pull from light to dark and back again, and the way they get mingled---leaders on all levels, incl. drafted patrol leader Frodo, are subject to temptation, corruption (in the sense of physical and psychic wounds, some of them permanent/recurring--plus of course effects on Middle-earth, "the circles of the world," as mentioned briefly, in an end in one of the Appendices of this 1990s one-vol edition: circles, like the Ring, which must have their own kind of end, limits, be something, some thing, however elusively so, 'til the reader can peer through them, as Tom Bombadil does, and see something beyond. He does it and laughs, it's all nonsense to him, seeing his unchanged turf, but he knows it's real enough to others, with real enough, inescapable consequences for all, even a victorious Quest/Anti-Quest means the Grail/Anti-Grail will both save the world and destroy it, in terms of sucking the magic out of it (no spoiler, Gandalf tells Frodo that right off, when he drafts him for the destruction of the precious, corrupting Ring, cos magic's gone as far as it can go; time for the cycles continue by secular means, and slow down the death spiral, anyway)
One limitation: we're told the significance of most things as they happen---which is better than being swamped by codes, as can happen with Gene Wolfe--but an enjoyable exception is being allowed to ponder the fate of Sauron. I think (aside from his own obsessive psycylcling through Ages) seeing though his stone has intensified his focus on the Ring---stones don't lie, but their views, the contexts they create/intensify, given the viewer's own anxieties, antagonisms, hopes and dreads, have a lasting and sometimes entrapping affect on several characters. So yeah, I disagree with those who claim Tolkien doesn't do psychology--and the effect of the stone is not so far from science fictional concerns (note also the networking of stones).
And when the ship sails, it sails, buddy. Not that it doesn't leave some real nice (and not-at-all nice) stuff behind. "There's a feeling I get/When I look the West." Eh, guess I better go listen to some more of those folk-death-or-doom-metal promos (in recent years, Wino's way ahead of the pack). Also, now I need to check out the ancient albums of Cirith Ungol. But book-wise, should I read more Tolkien, beyond The Hobbit?
PS: search "Tolkien" on The New Yorker site, get lots of good results, especially Auden, Gopnik, and Anthony Lane.

― dow, Sunday, May 4, 2014 10:54 AM (1 week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Also the stress of leadership on all levels is a big part of the fateful psychology.

― dow, Sunday, May 4, 2014 11:05 AM (1 week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

dow, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:00 (six years ago) link

Still awaiting advice on other Tolkien books.

dow, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:03 (six years ago) link

But it’s true that the first script was better organised

To be fair, it was also a simpler story. One party is easier to follow than three parties. But I completely agree that it was the best of the movies.

jmm, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:09 (six years ago) link

Dow: well that's a lot to unpack! Mark S is the one who I think would lock into your read most readily and would be able to advise, so take what I'm about to say with grains of salt: If you want to read the Silmarillion as the book that some characters in LOTR would read themselves (which is how it's intended) then that'll help. If anything it'll play up the idea of cycles -- Tolkien himself went through some major revisions of Middle-earth as conceit in the last ten years of his life so if anything the final three manuscript collections -- Morgoth's Ring, The War of the Jewels and to a degree The Peoples of Middle Earth -- might be of particular interest, though I'd say you'd want to read them only after having read The Silmarillion first. The Children of Hurin expands one key tale from there in full.

Beyond that: Unfinished Tales has some of my favorite writing of his, especially 'Aldarion and Erendis,' which is as close as he ever got to a domestic drama. And of the many shorter works, Farmer Giles of Ham is a goofy-ass lark, but Smith of Wootton Major and Leaf by Niggle are complementary tales on the same idea of creativity and its worth, the latter story in an explicitly Catholic context.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:38 (six years ago) link

what Ned said.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:54 (six years ago) link

Silmarillion = tolkein's Kalevala basically

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:59 (six years ago) link

Great, thanks so much, guys! All those appendices in the edition I read were helpful too. Extended entries in the online Science Fiction Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia of Fantasy were what convinced me to try again: knowing what would happen just whetted my appetite for seeing how he would manage all that.
My local library has a lot of Tolkien and related material, like the mostly excellent Tales Before Tolkien, in which Douglas Anderson rounds up stories by authors JRR praised, and/or was evidently influenced by, others he might well have read, plus some cool ringers. Will indeed consult with Mark.

dow, Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:07 (six years ago) link

Yeah, the appendices were Tolkien's way of getting the then-unpublished Silmarillion material out there a bit, but even then it was only a very swift redaction. Definitely piqued my interest for sure first time through! Anyway, enjoy the further reading!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:15 (six years ago) link

lots of great arcane lore to enjoy in 'the simarillion' and 'unfinished tales', like about gandalf and the istari etc. wish there were ten times as much

http://s5775.p9.sites.pressdns.com/istari-2/

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:03 (six years ago) link

Everyone otm nice post dow

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:07 (six years ago) link

Thanks. Wondering about his recently published version of Beowulf too.

dow, Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:15 (six years ago) link

Not quite out yet, I think! A few more weeks? Been meaning to catch up with that and the other translations/scattered efforts that Christopher T. has overseen.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:27 (six years ago) link

dow otm. reminds me that i started rereading LOTR last year then got distracted by a move, need to get back on that.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Thursday, 15 May 2014 17:38 (six years ago) link

Yeah that’s a really good point. It feels a little bit like playing make-believe.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:10 (three weeks ago) link

The various RPGs have tried to flesh things out by imagining all sorts of scattered towns and cities and things that just aren't on the map. But, those are RPGs, so.

Still, there is the comment about people 'coming up the Greenway' in Bree and the like, there is the sense that people are moving INTO the area precisely because it's so apparently empty. But set against the various comments about all the darker forces that would menace the Shire without the Rangers' protection and how Bree is similarly protected and the like, kinda have my doubts that it's the best of worlds there.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:17 (three weeks ago) link

The intro is strong on setting this up iirc (i do i read it a week ago)

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:33 (three weeks ago) link

In this analysis we will look at the case for the lord of the rings as a story about gentrification vs gatekeeping in rural middleclass districts

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 00:34 (three weeks ago) link

I think the feel of the land as the remnants of an historical overstretch works perfectly with the narrative of a dwindling colonial overrace retreating to its last few defensible positions tbh

This^^^ Nearly everything in LOTR is a faded remnant of a former glory, King-less Gondor, Osgiliath, Minas Morgul, Arnor/Barrow Downs, Moria, even Lothlorien.

i bought biden some thin mints with my stimmy (PBKR), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 01:29 (three weeks ago) link

i get all that, for sure. but like.... post-Roman Europe still had tons of people in it, right? just retreated to more local territories and fiefs, local lords claiming to offer protection in this increasingly wild and scary world, feudalism as a political economy uniting this structure of devolved, decentralized power with a certain agricultural and trade network... idk i think i just wished the company passed through one more Bree-esque town somewhere along the way. not that i know where that goes in the narrative mind you but it's just odd how much the map consists of mountains, forests and wastelands, and how few dots there are labeled with the name of a settlement. oh well - not what he was going for, and the world he created is quite memorable and vivid as this more primal and perhaps special place for it.

sgt. pepper's one-and-only bobo honkin' band (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 03:09 (three weeks ago) link

Well at the same time we have to remember we're dealing with something that has a patina of reality only. The closest equivalent to Gondor in real world terms -- a geopolitical entity that survives over three thousand years with only one relatively quickly resolved civil war of note and, that interruption aside, one dynasty of kings and another dynasty of stewards -- is *maybe* China, and said country has not exactly had that path over any randomly selected three thousand years of its own history.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 03:18 (three weeks ago) link

It's a bit Death Stranding, tbh. Nature has largely taken back over and what's left are ghosts, ruins.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 08:45 (three weeks ago) link

Probably a thread germ here but i have an irrational (pls note i freely lead with the admission) reaction to criticism (accepting that the good drs is mild as can be and not exactly the perfect application of what im talking about) that criticises a new or purely creative attempt for what it *isnt*

No doubt this is already thoroughly explored in some course or module ive missed

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 08:54 (three weeks ago) link

xpost but with the caveat that some fell machinery (and good) remains, lurking, activateable

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 09:00 (three weeks ago) link

nb growing up amidst medieval and earlier ruins and an infrastructure overgrown and crumbling compared to its heyday left little imaginative work required in this area for me perhaps

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 09:07 (three weeks ago) link

dmac, yknow, fair point! easy to riff and take potshots. i would generally take the stance that the criticism i'm most interested in is getting me to love/appreciate something i didn't before.

lemme say that i didn't really intend my remarks here *as* criticisms of the books... more turning over in my head things i've gotten out of them over the years. my mind since childhood has been rich with the concept and image of places like moria, bree, shelob's lair, minas tirith, mirkwood, and on and on. the short version of my long posts is: and i realize that some of these other places don't have that stickiness for me; i have pictures in my head but they don't link up with the lore in a way that "clicks." so this is 39-year-old Casino thinking about 12-year-old Casino's imagination and trying to put some specifics on why that might be.

sgt. pepper's one-and-only bobo honkin' band (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:03 (three weeks ago) link

Nope, i thought it was a good post and raising at interesting point and as i said the allergy i have to the /handwave/ type of thing /handwave/ was merely a mild itch from your example

We have had posters who will remain anonymuos who filled every thread they could on "what i would have done" and yrs wasnt, tbf, that

tbh those between-spaces in the book often feel like a blurry/dream quality travelogue vs the type of clarity and detail tolkien lavishes on his hobbywalking as discussed above so there's definitely *something* going on there

If we think that tolkien is as aware of how and why he/his characters are travelling, the trudge of a campaign through foreign and somewhat already defeated lands is going to have the sort of fug and lack of detail youve spotted, the same way that the orc-driven/orc chasing nightmare of the third book has an intensity despite being unpleasant, or the amble through the first few miles out of the shire has quite the opposite

it is, after all, a book about walking

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:21 (three weeks ago) link

Alan Lees most evocative illustrations are, for me, the landscapes and scenarios i dont see vividly from the book, which maybe does chime with what you're saying there too

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:22 (three weeks ago) link

and we go on such walks, maybe, to *not* be in town and making conversation with the various Farmers Maggot. to be one of the great writers of wilderness perhaps *makes* it unlikely you would also be a great novelist of the town or the city. they are different beasts...

and trying to write halfway in the voice of legend seems relevant too. the greeks - at least, the townish ones - wrote great plays about townish problems of people and their failings. but their legends and myths (passed down from the pastoral days?) didn't really linger there. odysseus certainly stops in some towns, but i think in the same way that aragorn stops in edoras. and i don't think the odyssey would be improved if the human world around the wine-dark sea made more "sense."

sgt. pepper's one-and-only bobo honkin' band (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:29 (three weeks ago) link

youve to balance that with the random battles that occur outside towns, and the lack of save points

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:31 (three weeks ago) link

so irritating that iirc tolkien NEVER stops to tell us how much gold the Fellowship takes off any of the orcs they kill! ned can back me up on this, but i believe an early draft of the Lothlorien section did include them paying for training in various walking and climbing skills --- tbh that would help the later books make a lot more sense to me

sgt. pepper's one-and-only bobo honkin' band (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:53 (three weeks ago) link

Gold can't buy doughtiness

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:56 (three weeks ago) link

circling back to my above comments: i think perhaps what i'm rubbing up against is the difference between legend and history. and the books happen in a legendary world, admittedly with a novel's worth of detail such that the vague bits could be sort of noticed, maybe.... whereas the appendices and the maps are a lot closer to history, and maybe they'll never really completely be one thing in my head.

also forget Jackson replacing my imaginary pictures: i wonder how much differently i'd picture Middle Earth, what's close to what, how far apart things are, if i'd never had those maps!

sgt. pepper's one-and-only bobo honkin' band (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 11:57 (three weeks ago) link

re agriculture: i think there is (very) passing mention of south gondor as the market garden of minas tirith while mordor is fed by the slave-tilled fields of núrn on the sorrowful shores of the bitter sea of núrnen. the heady wine in the hobbit (which gets the wood elves drunk and sleepy) is from dorwinion by the sea of rhûn, which suggests that trade exists between easterlings and our guys

mark s, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:03 (three weeks ago) link

and don't forget the contraband pipeweed that winds up in orthanc

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:07 (three weeks ago) link

yes but saruman is very much a would-be indie hipster in this regard (early adopter and influencer gandalf: "oh so you like pipeweed? name three of their leafs") and -- as noted above -- even the best-informed in rohan and minas tirith and edoras are fully ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ abt the tobacco industry

mark s, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:12 (three weeks ago) link

lmao yes

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:13 (three weeks ago) link

maybe they'll never really completely be one thing in my head.

Cant let one thing rule em all tbf

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:13 (three weeks ago) link

hahaha

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:16 (three weeks ago) link

Gold can't buy doughtiness

It could in 1st ed AD&D iirc.

i bought biden some thin mints with my stimmy (PBKR), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 12:59 (three weeks ago) link

i wonder how much differently i'd picture Middle Earth, what's close to what, how far apart things are, if i'd never had those maps!

i know people say tolkien wrote these stories to build a world for his languages, but i kinda think he also wrote these stories to serve his maps haha

voodoo chili, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 13:22 (three weeks ago) link

He said as much in his own way. I am glad both he and Christopher had the mania for them.

ned can back me up on this, but i believe an early draft of the Lothlorien section did include them paying for training in various walking and climbing skills

Hm, I don't immediately recall this but I'll have to think about it and do some digging in the relevant volumes. Monetary systems in general, like organized religion, are one of those things notable in LOTR for their absence. There's that exchange between Aragorn and Frodo in Bree where the former, still in Strider mode, says he has his 'price' and Frodo momentarily worries in that he didn't bring much money with him, for instance, and that itself builds on the fact that Frodo specifically sold Bag-End to Lobelia and then bought Crickhollow, which of course he stayed in one night and never again, making him the original flipper. Next on 'House Hunters: Buckland'...

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 16:14 (three weeks ago) link

haha I was definitely 100% kidding, but this is a great subject to open up! i'm pretty glad there's no exposition laying out what the currency of middle earth is and how many Ranger shillings go into a dwarf-dollar. tho i'm sure rpgs have done this many times over...

kind of funny that our plucky underdog heroes are also mostly landed gentry and men of leisure, plus one of their butlers.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 16:17 (three weeks ago) link

but also this is part of the "how much has changed in our heroes" aspect of the Scouring of the Shire --- the dispute with the wretched undeserving branch of the Baggins family would have been such a big deal for them at the start, and is now very easily resolved and indeed the Sackville-Bagginses (iirc) are now just sort of pitiful and handled with a much lighter touch. a very different Frodo than the one who wished Bilbo had killed Gollum when he had the chance.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 16:23 (three weeks ago) link

Right -- and that'll doubtless feed into our next episode: we're talking about the Scouring of the Shire.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 16:30 (three weeks ago) link

Meantime, speaking of episodes, another podcast on our network, The Spouter-Inn (a general literature podcast, cohosted by our network founder and one-time ILX board vet Chris Piuma), has a new episode up specifically on Fellowship:

We conclude our cluster on Land with a look at the many lands in The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of J.R.R. Tolkien's foundational fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. #Tolkien #LOTR

Listen on your podcast app or at https://t.co/xbeSYwzfOD pic.twitter.com/pcU1ueQPdQ

— The Spouter-Inn (@TheSpouter) April 20, 2021

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 16:37 (three weeks ago) link

oooo sounds very relevant! downloading. and looking forward to the Scouring episode - easily one of my favorite parts of the entire series; i definitely align with those who see it as really really really crucial to everything.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 17:52 (three weeks ago) link

Big fan of Merry bringing low the enemy's hated, hitherto-invincible captain with a one-in-a-million sword he plundered from a place of great danger and carried south for many miles, preventing Eowyn from being splattered into paste in the process, and then goes up to a dying Theoden and immediately apologises for not doing anything useful while in his service

hiroyoshi tins in (Sgt. Biscuits), Monday, 26 April 2021 17:45 (two weeks ago) link

lol

"oh, no, no, that was just beginner's luck, really"

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Monday, 26 April 2021 18:05 (two weeks ago) link

You gotta underplay, you see.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 26 April 2021 18:19 (two weeks ago) link

I still picture that whole scene with the fairly corny Nazgul from Rankin Bass, with the floating eyes/crown and metallic echo Skeletor laugh. Not exactly as effective as their Gollum or Smaug, but striking in its way.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Monday, 26 April 2021 18:31 (two weeks ago) link

The translation of how to do the eyes visually has always been a bit of a trick. Rankin Bass did that while the rest of their Nazgul were more withered skeletal types, Bakshi did the red eyes in the hood deal from the start but of course never did that scene, and Jackson used the helmet/crown as a bit of a visual trick for their version.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 26 April 2021 18:53 (two weeks ago) link

Meanwhile at Rivendell, Glorfindel spits his drink out

hiroyoshi tins in (Sgt. Biscuits), Monday, 26 April 2021 18:54 (two weeks ago) link

Our new episode next week but another Spouter-Inn episode on Tolkien with my cohost Oriana so check it out!

But we're not totally done talking Tolkien! Oriana Schwindt (@Schwindter) from Tolkien podcast @BytheBywater joins us for a bonus episode, where we discuss rivers, stars, and, OK, a little bit more about Tom Bombadil.

Listen at https://t.co/64cg3Yo00f

— The Spouter-Inn (@TheSpouter) April 30, 2021

Ned Raggett, Friday, 30 April 2021 17:22 (one week ago) link

Christine Kelley at Eruditorum Press (Elizabeth Sandifer's mob) has a psychogeography of Middle Earth going on as well, not as far as I can tell linked itt yet: https://www.eruditorumpress.com/blog/category/nowhere-and-back-again

Andrew Farrell, Friday, 30 April 2021 17:55 (one week ago) link

Oh that looks good!

Ned Raggett, Friday, 30 April 2021 18:31 (one week ago) link

Just reread the bit in Sam and Frodo's initial scouting of Gorgoroth where the diminutive, big-nosed tracker orc tells the big mean orc to fuck off with his criticism because it's his own fault for being slow and shit at his job, and furthermore he hopes the Witch King really is dead because he's a twat, and then shoots him in the eye and runs off when he tries to attack him, and let me tell you that guy has main event charisma

That guy is your billion dollar Amazon show right there

hiroyoshi tins in (Sgt. Biscuits), Saturday, 1 May 2021 15:03 (one week ago) link

I'd be down with that.

Anyway, our new episode is up!

https://www.megaphonic.fm/bythebywater/26

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 4 May 2021 15:21 (one week ago) link

oh boy! just listened to the Denethor family showcase and working on the Ent one today. :) relevant to my above comments on legend/chronicle/lore: i like your observation that maybe Denethor's attachment to the traditions, politics and details of the office sort of marks him apart from the way others in the universe relate to the past. and so perhaps me reaching for more concrete, graspable history is a bit Denethor-ish, and not really encouraged by the text.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 15:39 (one week ago) link

Denethor is a civil service

The only other character we see attached to such a position is the guardsman showing ?pippin? around Gondor's barracks

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 15:46 (one week ago) link

Denethor is also that most overplayed archetype, the cautious governance that has kept the place running in between would-be inspirational leaders actually getting it right as opposed to wrecking the fucking gaff

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 15:47 (one week ago) link

Big fan of Merry bringing low the enemy's hated, hitherto-invincible captain with a one-in-a-million sword he plundered from a place of great danger and carried south for many miles, preventing Eowyn from being splattered into paste in the process, and then goes up to a dying Theoden and immediately apologises for not doing anything useful while in his service

― hiroyoshi tins in (Sgt. Biscuits)

Merry Sue nest pas

flagpost fucking (darraghmac), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 01:59 (one week ago) link

Just listened to the latest episode of By-The-Bywater, on the scouring of the shire. Cracking ep, one of the best yet!

"The Pus/Worm" by The Smiths (hardcore dilettante), Tuesday, 11 May 2021 13:40 (yesterday) link

Thanks kindly! We do our best.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 May 2021 14:41 (yesterday) link


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