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Krishtotter

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  1. Krishtotter

    Upcoming TV Series of 2019/2020 - Your most anticipated shows

    The Dark Crystal trailer looks quite interesting in terms of it's visuals/CGI. I never saw the original 1982 film but I might give this a look-in. Not normally a fan of anything involving puppetry (hate it usually) but this might be my exception.
  2. Yeah, with a bunch of "SJW, forced diversity & woke" slurs thrown in there for good measure. I was grinding my teeth so much reading through those Reddit threads, I suspect I now need an urgent trip to the dentist.
  3. Well, they are certainly a good looking group of young actors (not that that's anything to go by). I've never heard of any of them before but having done a quick perusal online, it looks like most of them have eminently decent acting skills. It would appear that, as with GoT, they are casting relative unknowns for the younger leads and reserving more A-list or famous 'stars' (i.e. Rosamund Pike) for the maturer roles. The choice for Matt Cauthon seems an ideal fit for the character described in the novels. One to watch, I think. Nynaeve actress - very beautiful, could see her embodying 'wisdom' in spite of her youthfulness. Her past body of work indicates that she's got acting chops. Rand - looks like a male model, shows promise. Perrin - good fit, maybe needs to bulk up a little with protein shakes. Egwene - another beauty, easy on the eyes, quite different from how character is described but based on the little I've seen of her online, appears to be a talented young actress. Already, I'm seeing the expected fanfare of people bewailing "wheel of diversity" with all the usual political slurs - 'forced diversity', 'SJW, 'wokeness'......it's The Witcher casting for Yennifer and the Black Elves all over again, and I find myself tired already with the contingent of fans obsessed with the skin colour of the actors as opposed to the question of how capable they might be (or not) of embodying the role....
  4. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    I do find it a fascinating read and 'intellectual exercise' on Tolkien's part. The whole idea of 'pre-incarnation' and characters having lucid dreams that are really visions about past lives which reach all the way back (through a series of previous incarnations) to the tsunami that sinks Númenor-Atlantis, with the protagonist Lowdham discovering he is really the latest incarnation of Elendil himself...its a unique take on Tolkien's world-building. In the midst of this rather engrossing 'frame' narrative, we learn a great deal from these 'visions' about Númenor and its language (Adûnaic). I also like the earlier work from which it was re-written, The Lost Road. There is an excellent set of chapters from this unfinished novel, known as The Númenórean Chapters, which provide us with Tolkien's only LoTR-style prose treatment (as opposed to the more chronicle-like, annalistic style of the Akallabeth) complete with extensive dialogue sections, of Elendil and his experiences under the rule of Sauron in Númenor as the preparations are being made for Ar-Pharazon, the Usurper King, to launch his fleet against the Valar and at the same time secret attempts at rebellion and the plan to flee into exile on the part of the Faithful. There are some really insightful interactions between Elendil and one of his sons here i.e.
  5. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    We really can't say for sure, other than speculative theorising (as with much regarding this uber-secretive, multi-party deal between Amazon, the Tolkien Estate, New Line, Harper Collins and Warner Bros). But what we do know is that the deal negotiated was for a "five-season commitment with the potential of a spin-off series". Some have speculated that Amazon is keeping the Silmarillion off-limits for now but potentially could hand over rights for a spin-off involving the First Age if Amazon does well by this Second Age show and brings the Estate rich dividends. While JRR Tolkien himself was largely pro-adaption of his work (he sold exclusive worldwide rights for The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings to United Artists in 1969 and in a letter to the publisher Milton Waldman, 1951, expressed his openness to the idea of other artists embellishing the parts of his legendarium that he had only sketched: "I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for OTHER MINDS and hands, wielding paint and music and drama."), his son Christopher famously wasn't. And not without justification, after all just consider the lacklustre and disappointing affair that was the Hobbit trilogy and the way Warner Bros effectively used corporate power to coerce a sovereign nation, New Zealand, into changing its labour laws (basically blackmailing them with the threat of the Middle-earth franchise being removed). But, the point being, Christopher Tolkien resigned as director of the Tolkien Estate in 2017 and the Estate is now led by younger family members who are thought to be much more favourable to "adaptions". So, I think this does open up an avenue for future rights being siphoned off if Amazon makes a success of this Second Age show.
  6. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    Yeah, no one I spoke to at the time was enthused by the prospect either, myself included! I remember thinking, "no way has Amazon paid $250 million up front for the rights and committed to a $1 billion five-season run and a possible spin-off show, which Bezos hopes will be the next GoT, for a story about Young Aragorn's travels before the exciting, epic action of the War of the Ring actually takes place". It has since turned out that the early "young Aragorn" rumours were nothing but spurious gossip emanating from fansite TORN (The One Ring.Net), a website that has since been woefully inacurate and misleading on every bit of rumour about this show (how the mighty have fallen, back in it's heyday it had been a reliable source of insider Intel on New Line). Shippey's recent interview seems to imply that the deal the Tolkien Estate shopped around in 2017 to different networks including Amazon, HBO, Netflix and others had always been for a specifically "Second Age" TV adaption. By that logic, it never could have been "Young Aragorn", even fleetingly, to start out with.
  7. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    Oh not 'might', it is definitely set during the Second Age and this has been confirmed on multiple occasions by Amazon (including by the director of the first two episodes). What we don't know with certainty is what material (other than the Second Age lore in the appendices and LoTR itself) they have the rights to adapt but the SA setting is 100% confirmed (multiply).
  8. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    Yeah, I think it just betrays the journalist's lack of research into the setting of the show. They are likely unaware that 'Second Age' means that the late Third Age narrative in LoTR itself is redundant for the purposes of this new series' plot - which will be set somewhere between 3,500 - 6,000 years before the events of the trilogy. There are only a handful of relevant monologues pertaining to the Second Age in LoTR itself (i.e. Gandalf's relaying of the history of the forging of the rings in Eregion to Frodo, the House of Elrond chapter in FotR which goes into some detail about the forging and the War of the Last Alliance etc.) outside the appendices & the extraneous material in Unfinished Tales, Akallabeth etc. As to your second point, precisely what the Estate understands by "Tolkienian" is going to be absolutely critical here, I agree - in terms of the writers' remit. I think it's good, in the sense that we don't need to fear so much a Hobbit trilogy situation. Two questions when it comes to the 'tone' of this up-coming series: A) Is the narrative decision in question 'Tolkienesque', in the sense of being congruent with the tone and spirit of the Second Age as Tolkien envisioned it? & Does the narrative decision serve a real purpose to the plot such that, if it were absent this would impact the overall story and its themes? Or, is it just a case of being included to invoke shock or titillation in the audience? The Second Age material which we have from Tolkien has a distinct tonal quality from the style in which LoTR was written, even while sharing many of the same themes. Discussing the 'older legends', Tolkien said: There's a chance they might surprise (pleasantly or unpleasantly) both fans of the original books/trilogy and GoT, because the 'tone', as I understand it, is neither 'fish nor fowl' in that respect. Not as 'gritty' as ASoIAF but darker and grimmer than LoTR. To be perfectly 'Tolkienian' for a Second Age show, a balance would need to be struck. Unlike with LoTR, in which the Shire is 'saved', Rohan is 'saved', Gondor is 'saved' - Eregion is not 'saved' but sacked, ruined and utterly depopulated; Númenor is not 'saved' but becomes an isle of human-sacrificing Morgoth-worshippers and is sunken beneath a tidal wave....and whereas most of the characters in the Fellowship (save 'Boromir') survive the War of the Ring - Celebrimbor (dies, badly after torture and impalement), Elendil, Gil-galad, Isildur, Anarion and more all perish in their attempt to defeat Sauron, whether during the fact or immediately afterwards in tragedies like the Disaster of the Gladden Fields. Only Elrond, Galadriel and Celeborn survive (really) of the presumably "main" cast. Thus, we have a bleaker picture here. As Elrond himself explains as he reminisces about the Second Age in FotR: Númenor was literally the product of Tolkien's lifelong, recurring childhood nightmare ,which was so psychologically embedded in him that he actually named it his, "Atlantis-complex": The Downfall of Númenor is, quite literally, a 'nightmare' in its conception by the author - I mean, it leads up to the drowning of an entire island-continent under a colossal deluge at the behest of a human-sacrificing high priest (actually a fallen-divine-being in a fair guise) who convinces the population to become, effectively, devil-worshippers and subjugate the entire world, including the abode of the Valar themselves in a vain attempt to gain earthly immortality. We have also: Celebrimbor's torture and impalement on a pole for use as a battle-standard by Sauron; people being burned alive en masse as human sacrifices to Morgoth; Ar-Pharazôn taking a woman to wife by force so that he can usurp her throne (marital rape); that same abused woman drowning to death as she tries to flee from a tidal wave sent (ostensibly) by the deity she worshipped; Númenóreans who "hunted the men of Middle-earth and took their goods and enslaved them, and slew many cruelly upon their altars" which bears eerie similarities to the Mayans imho (think Mel Gibson's Apocalypto) and to more recent genocidal policies in 20th century history (with the 'ubermensch' mentality of the Númenóreans).... That is some disturbing stuff right there, to say the least. So I for one am not expecting to see exactly the same tone as LoTR, although there should be more than sufficient commonality to satisfy fans that we are back to a new, epic adventure in Middle-earth, albeit with a fresh approach that is 'Tolkienian' so far as he envisaged the Second Age - with none of D&D's "bad pussy" language or shock/titillation just for shock/titillation value. Consider this passage from The Akallabêth about the latter-days of Númenor after Sauron's corrupting influence has become endemic on the island:
  9. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    Indeed, a key passage for that idea is where Erendis in Unfinished Tales states that even by her time - very early in the history of Númenor and at the beginning of Aldarion's deforestation of Enedwaith and Minhiriath, which provoked bitter opposition from the anti-colonial faction in Númenórean politics that would develop into the Faithful of Andunie - the men of Númenor failed to accept that, "there are other wills in the world beside their own" and would therefore "be as ruthless as the seawind if anything dare to withstand them", such as the lesser men of Middle-Earth. It is for this reason that Erendis instructs her daughter that she, too, must have a 'will' of her own to withstand them: This can even be traced back in Tolkien's in-world 'theology' to the creation myth, The Ainulindale. As we both know, Tolkien conceived of creation as being the "Music of the Ainur", like a great symphony or orchestral piece with every distinct voice singing in harmony. Melkor was a disrupter of this music from the beginning, looking to sow discord. Sauron didn't join in this 'discord' because his great virtue was that he loved order and perfecting things. His later decision to join Melkor had to do with his reasoning that Melkor would get reconstruction achieved more quickly. Sauron's fall from grace was not the nihilistic desire for destruction, ruin and disorder represented by Morgoth. Rather, it stemmed from his great virtue itself and was its logical conclusion, if warped into becoming an end in itself. Tolkien's overriding moral being that the very things which make us great can be our undoing, if we lose sense of the fact that to "love" (in Catholic Thomist theology) is to 'will the good of the other'. Likewise, for Sauron according to Tolkien: "like all minds of this cast, Sauron's love (originally) or (later) mere understanding of other individual intelligences was correspondingly weaker; and though the only real good in, or rational motive for, all this ordering and planning and organization was the good of all inhabitants of Arda (even admitting Sauron's right to be their supreme lord), his 'plans', the idea coming from his own isolated mind, became the sole object of his will, and an end, the End, in itself." Unlike the great Music of the Ainur, with all its diversity, in which each of the divine beings was permitted by Eru to "weave their own thoughts and ideas into this Music" without breaking the unity, Sauron wanted everyone to sing his song and could not envision any other notion of "the Good" or "Perfect" outside of it. His original intention was pure but the absolutization of it as the "thee only" song, and the exclusion of all other 'songs' that might be equally valid and part of Eru's grand design, completely corrupted him.
  10. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    To be fair though, Númenor is not technically Middle-Earth but rather an entirely separate island-continent settled by tribes of Edain who had, along with all mankind, (according to the primary chronology in the Grey Annals) 'awakened' east of the Orocarni mountains in a distant land of Middle-Earth called Hildórien, a mere 600 years before they sailed over the sea to settle in the Isle of Elenna. Tolkien explains, in my quotation above from HoME, that these tribes of Edain were of 'different races', languages, dialects, cultures, skin colourings and so forth, and that they had all been admixed with other 'races of Men' in the past. And this is consistent, btw, with real-life European history - even in the more limited understanding of early-to-mid 20th century, as a philologist aware of Indo-European root words, Tolkien surely knew that caucasian Europeans didn't 'pop' into being but were originally descendants of divergent peoples with different skin colours who migrated in waves over time, from the Levant and Africa etc. Why else did Tolkien even have the Edain 'migrating' from their awakening Hildórien in the Far East in the first place, in the first years of the Sun? Its a reflection of the real-life itinerant and hunter-gatherer movement of early, admixed human populations out of Africa and through the Levant, before they 'settled' in certain places and adopted agriculture and civilization (in Tolkien's legendarium, learning it first from Avari Elves and Dwarves in the East, and then becoming more enlightened under Noldor Elvish culture in Beleriand). By the Third Age, we are dealing with populations that have been settled and acclimatised for millennia. At the start of the Second Age, and with longer Númenórean lifespans, we really aren't that far away in time from the original Hildórien 'awakening' of mankind in the East. Tolkien was also undoubtedly aware, and noted himself, that the 'cradle of human civilization' was in Mesopotamia. I think we can see a vestige of this reflected in the semitic flavouring of Adûnaic (the native Númenórean tongue) and in Tolkien's description of Númenórean religion as 'hebraic' in character, while their culture had much in common with Pharanoic Egypt (in its monumentality, megaliths, preoccupation with death, entombment, embalming, mummification etc.) i.e. we find Tolkien describing in HoME IX (Sauron Defeated) that "Adunaic" has a "faintly Semitic flavour" and this was due to the fact that Khuzdul the language of the Dwarves, "had some features in common with Adunaic, the ancient 'native' language of Numenor", leading Tolkien to opine as a 'probable' theory that "in the unrecorded past some of the languages of Men - including the language of the dominant element in the Atani from which Adunaic was derived - had been influenced by Khuzdul". Now, Khuzdul is structured, as in all the ancient Semitic languages (Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew etc.), around triconsonantal roots, such as kh-z-d, b-n-d, and z-g-l and Tolkien indeed admitted that he had desired Dwarves to have cultural/linguistic affinities to the ancient Jews. And just like they had a 'faintly Semitic' (rather than European) native language (as befits the origin of all the Edain, no matter skin colour, in the 'East' where they came under Dwarvish influence), the Númenóreans also had cultural affinities with ancient Egypt and the ancient Hebrews (in religion): And this Egyptian-style drawing of Númenórean headgear accompanied the letter: https://sweatingtomordor.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/20140424_160412.jpg This was noted by a scholar called Martha W. Driver (among many others) in the following study: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CB6hBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA32&dq=numenor+semitic&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAmIWvnPPjAhXtQRUIHQ1dCpcQ6AEIKjAA#v=onepage&q=numenor semitic&f=false Consider just one Adunaic word - the Adunaic name for Sauron is Zigûr which sounds like a name straight out of the ancient Sumerian-Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh. This must have been a deliberate linguistic decision by Tolkien, to give Numenor this 'air' of being the ancient, parent civilization much like Sumeria, Babylon and Egypt where in our real world ancient history. The ancient Greek legend of Atlantis in Plato's Critias, let us remember, was derived Plato tells us from Egyptian lore. In other words, while not denying the Eurocentric focus of much of the Middle-Earth corpus and the fact that I do see the majority of Númenóreans as having been white-skinned - I don't think we can be too reductionist in this respect.
  11. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    With all due respect, I never once so much as implied or stated that I was. I am obviously aware that many of us here are familiar with all these texts, hence why I am debating their meaning with you at all in the first place. And I will note that, frequently throughout my above post, I said things like '...as you noted before me...as you said above and I agree...' It seems you may have missed these remarks on my part and have formed the unfounded assumption that I am "lecturing" you when, in fact, I am merely giving my opinion (as you are and everyone else on this forum is) and nothing more. My opinion is my right to hold based upon my understanding of the source material Tolkien was inspired by (philology, historic etc.) as is your own obviously very informed but different reading. And I fully respect that. I'm not setting myself up as some kind of authority! (To try and evidence any opinion, after all, a person has to show their working and reference points, and that's all I'm doing.) To be clear, I'm not saying that your interpretation is 'wrong', merely explaining why I don't personally read things in the same way.
  12. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    The operative phrase, of course, being "by today's standards..." My grandfather is 90 years old and courtesy of his generational biases, I cringe whenever he refers to Chinese people as 'coolies' and many others turns of phrase that today would rightly be condemned as absolutely unacceptable. But he doesn't deem himself to be racist and in fact he harbours absolutely no prejudice towards people of other races (his own family includes mixed race individuals), it is simply the way his generation spoke, as horrid as it sounds to a millennial like me. The counterpoint to the mongol quotation you referenced above (and indeed the worse statement in LoTR about "half-trolls" from Far Harad) are the following from Tolkien's personal letters, which evidence his private views on race and one could describe them as progressive for a man born in 1892 in South Africa (as you also note above). Consider Tolkien's own words to his son stationed in South Africa (where Tolkien was born) as a soldier during WW2: At a time in history, the 1930s, when anti-Semitism was rife in Britain and throughout Europe and pseudo-scientific racial theory had widespread currency, Tolkien labelled it a pernicious myth. At a time in history when black people suffered segregation, Jim Crow laws and apartheid in the United States, South Africa and other regions of the world, Tolkien condemned the 'treatment of colour' in such countries as horrific to civilised sensibility. At a time when the British Empire was still in its heyday and most Brits proudly celebrated 'Empire Day', and the US had colonies in the Philippines and Guam, Tolkien took the highly unusual (and to many, unpatriotic) stance of avowedly expressing his "disgust" at both British and American imperialism in the Far East. Even as a much younger man, during WW1 when imperial nostalgia was high, Tolkien (again uncharacteristically for an Englishman) expressed in a letter dated 6 November 1914, his support for autonomy or home rule for Ireland 'as an ambition . . .' (Boas and Herford (eds.), The Year's Work in English Studies, 1925, 59–60). John Garth's, Tolkien and the Great War p.22 and 230 (indeed, on p.51 of the book, notes: "To Tolkien, the nation's greatest goal was cultural self-realisation; not power over others...By his own admission, Tolkien was both an English patriot and a supporter of Home Rule for the Irish" At a time in history when, following German genocide against other ethnic groups and war crimes, many people in Britain regarded them as akin to an eternally cursed people and thus defended the mass aerial bombing of German civilians, Tolkien (again uncharacteristically) denounced this: “The Germans have just as much a right to declare the Poles and Jews exterminable...as we have to select the Germans: in other words, no right, whatever they have done” (Tolkien 1981, p. 93). While he initially started out with the intention of creating a mythology for England, Tolkien was an opponent of nordicism and reacted with cold fury to any nordicist readings of his work. If Tolkien was obsessed with anything, it was the idea of "the West...". The far 'north' in his legendarium, Thangorodrim, was the seat of the devil incarnate - Morgoth. The greatest kingdom of man, by contrast, Númenor, was located further south even than most of Far Harad (Sub-Saharan Africa) and lay on the equator (Girdle of Arda), while its successor realm of Gondor was identified by Tolkien as having a capital (Osgiliath) analogous in latitude to Rome or Constantinople, Southern Europe/Asia Minor. If he had an obsession with the 'northern spirit', then one has to explain why Southern Europe (a crossroads between Europe to the north and Africa/Middle-East, as reflected in the 'swarthy' Gondorians to the south of Minas Tirith (Florence) and Osgiliath (Rome/Constantinople) who are akin to North Africans) was for him the pinnacle of human civilization, while the 'West' was the location of the Blessed Realm. Pelargir and the Mouths of Anduin are situated analogous to 'Troy', that is Asia Minor/Turkey/Anatolia (the Near East). Thus, Tolkien wrote in Letter 294 is a reply to an interview done for the Daily Telegraph Magazine, which was run in 1968: Yes, he is again eclectic politically. He was a monarchist Tory who sympathised with anarchism and whose cosy idyll (the Shire) was basically a libertarian, agrarian republic (until it becomes a Free Province of Aragorn's Reunited Kingdom) with an elected official in the Mayor of Michel Delving i.e. Anarchism had a certain popularity among left-leaning but orthodox Catholics of Tolkien's generation - as one can see from Dorothy Day in America (a contemporary of Tolkien and a devout Catholic). He also exhibited uncommon environmental instincts that could be described as ahead of his time. His entire legendarium is based around the myth of the Two Trees of Valinor and then the White Tree (Nimloth) of Númenor and its sapling in Gondor. In Tolkien's works, people who harm trees or fell them are always on the wrong side. In Aldarion and Erendis, for example, we are meant to sympathise with Erendis initially over Aldarion because she is so fond of trees and can't bear to see them cut down, whereas Aldarion is a mass-tree-feller and therefore the prototype of an imperialist-in-the-making (foreshadowing Númenor's downfall, which begins with mass deforestation of the Minhiriath and Enedwaith, decimating the natural habit of the native peoples). As he wrote in a letter late in his life, “In all my works I take the part of trees as against all their enemies”. He even once described The Lord of the Rings as “my own internal Tree”. This too, of course, has roots in the nature-loving side of Catholic tradition - St. Francis of Assisi and his hymn to creation. With Tolkien, nothing is simple. But that, surely, is reading modern sensibilities into a narrative that is supposed to imitate the genre of an ancient epic. I am not aware of 'colour' being a decisive factor in Númenórean assessments in the Second Age of other peoples and decisions to levy heavy tribute from them/enslave or later sacrifice them. The Númenórean imperial regime and its social stratification was not 'racial' in the sense of being predominantly based upon human skin colour, like the transatlantic slave trade of the 15th-19th century. The Roman Empire was an ancient slave state but did not enslave people of one skin colour or exhibit characteristics of modern racism or racial theory, based on colour or physiognomy. Númenórean xenophobia and ranking of "lesser" men (as they deemed others) had far more to do with their inherited long-life, wisdom, perceived civilisational, technical superiority and descent from the Edain. It could thus be described as 'genetic' in the sense of their being a strong heritable dimension to the prejudice, but skin 'colour' is not the focus here. Tolkien would appear to have had the ancient Roman, Egyptian etc. examples of imperialism in mind, chiefly, given the antiquity of Númenor i.e. in one of his letters, Tolkien confesses that he belongs ideological to the losers' side and talks about his dislike of the Roman Empire: That principle - sympathising with the Gauls, or natives like those throughout Middle-Earth, oppressed by the Númenóreans/Romans - is not prefixed upon the skin 'colour' of the oppressors and the oppressed.
  13. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    Haha, yeah. Tolkien toyed with the idea of Galadriel having been an unrequited love interest of Celebrimbor's and this is stated twice in Unfinished Tales accounts in the History of Galadriel and Celeborn. The other reference: But poor Celebrimbor.....incestuous or not (by Elvish standards, the Silmarillion suggests in the Maeglin chapter that High Elves did not marry close kin, considering it illicit) rather than someone of her high class and royal lineage, Galadriel chose to marry a more lowly Sindarin Elf over one of her fellow Noldor. Guy just couldn't catch a break, could he? What with the whole duped by "Annatar" into forging the Rings of Power shenaginan, spurned by the Morning Star of the Elves herself the Lady Galadriel and then tortured for information by Sauron, executed and having his corpse hung from a pole to be used as a battle standard... Rough.
  14. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    Just to add, on the Edainic or Númenórean race/skin colour point... With the early Edain not long migrated out of Hildórien in the Far East, we are dealing with 'skin colour' differences that are physically observable enough to distinguish them from other Edain i.e. Tolkien's 1960s essay ‘Of Dwarves and Men’ from HoME XII The Peoples of Middle-Earth ( II. The Atani and their Languages): Note: he actually describes the Edain here as comprised of different "races". How more explicit could he be? Such differences in language (the Beorian words referred to as 'alien' sounding to the Hadorians), physique, eye colour and culture are exactly the same differences that are used to distinguish the natives of Tal-Elmar from Elmar himself and his white northern people of origin/white Númenórean raiding party. The descriptions are consist with ethnic/racial differences. We are dealing here with a very heterogeneous group of early humans (albeit somewhat admixed with different races from their origin place in the Far East, in Hildórien). When you have language barriers, skin colour differences, evidence of heavy admixture with "Men of other kinds" in the past in the Far East, independent tribal government structures, distinguishable bodily features, cultural distinctions.......What more evidence does one need of these being distinct ethnic groups/races that are mingling with one another? This racially diverse group of people, with the majority seemingly being white-skinned but some having dark-skin and a lesser minority (Drúedain) being markedly different in phenotype from all the others, all settled Númenor in the Second Age.
  15. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    While the Second Age material is certainly very limited in scope, and in other respects unfinished or incomplete (outside the broad narrative arcs), I would have to disagree with you here that it suffers (if we are talking here about all the SA material whether in LoTR itself, Appendices A, B & F, Unfinished Tales and HoME XII & IV) from a lack of 'tantalizing story' or 'interesting character' content. Quality should not be synonymized with absence of quantity. The Preface of the 2nd edition of The Silmarillion, page xii, quotes a Letter by J.R.R. Tolkien to Milton Waldman, 1951: The Second Age is the exemplar of this par excellence and I feel that it provides the perfect fodder for a creative team with a desire to keep their story grounded within certain defined narrative parameters/plot-points straight from Tolkien, whilst also having a relatively free-hand to come up with their own material that doesn't contradict the canonical outline. To my mind, there is a lot of compelling stuff in there practically waiting to be further embellished by some skilled dramatists. We have potential for the show - in addition to Númenórean court intrigue, as for instance between Ancalime and her rival cousin-claimant to the throne Soronto, for which reason (to cement her accession to the throne) she has a political marriage with Hallacar which proves disastrous - to explore intra-Elvish politics in Eregion, in the form of the rebellion and coup by Celebrimbor's Mírdain (Brotherhood of Jewel Smiths), as outlined in plot-points in Unfinished Tales: Tolkien writes: If they decided to follow the UT outline in The History of Galadriel and Celeborn that you alluded to in the above, then they'd have the chance to further develop and explore the past relationship 'hints' that are woven throughout the following dialogue (which could be adapted pretty much verbatim): Likewise, they can further explore Tolkien's idea that Rings of Power were originally a utopian solution intended to rectify the marring of Arda in the preceding wars against Morgoth in the First Age, which had left much of the continent scarred, desolate and a shadow of its former bliss. Tolkien has explained that Sauron's "frightful evil arose from a good root, the desire to benefit the world and others – speedily and according to the benefactor’s own plans" (Tolkien, Letter to Milton Waldman in 1951). The Elves become his (unwitting) accomplices, due to the fact that his arguments strike a chord with their deepest yearnings: namely, the perception (partly justified) that the Valar were neglecting Middle-Earth and Annatar's own compelling, radical vision of a perfected world no longer subject to decay (as in Aman), where the exiled Eldar could escape their own nature (bound to fade as the natural order ages). But like most utopias, in practice the grim reality never quite measures up to the beautiful theory. I am reminded here of the sad words French Revolutionary Camille Desmoulins wrote to his wife on April 10, 1792, just before his death by guillotine: “I dreamt of a republic that the world would have adored; I could never have believed that men could be so ferocious and so unjust." Instead of his longed for republic of justice and universal fraternity, the reality was closer to a pyramid of severed heads and broken lives. This is how I imagine Celebrimbor is likely to have felt before his torture-death at the hands of Sauron, as he reflected upon the grave and terrible evil that the weapons he created have unleashed upon the world. And in this respect, the Akallabeth has some excellent lines of dialogue where Sauron (in the guise of Annatar) makes his pitch to the Noldor of Eregion, which I particularly love: Aldarion and Erendis has plenty of potential for expansion. It is already, in its unfinished form, a very character-driven domestic, court drama with the shadow of a supernatural evil in the distance/background beyond the undisturbed peace of Númenor. As one scholar I've read explains, it relays the tale of how the island kingdom "first became involved in the affairs of mainland Middle-earth through the exploratory voyages of Aldarion" setting in motion a corrosive "pattern of pride and desire for conquest in the actions of Aldarion that will lead to Númenor’s downfall thousands of years later" and where the focus is overwhelmingly prefixed around the "moral corruption of the colonizer". This is achieved by investigating these themes through the literary device of a failed marriage: "by taking opposing positions towards imperialism, [Aldarion and Erendis] present a debate in the form of a lover’s quarrel [in which] Erendis challenges Aldarion’s explorations and land annexations as a morally sound expression of patriotism". Aldarion and Erendis is not only a literary gem amid Tolkien's wider legendarium, in light of the mature themes it explores and it's strong female lead, but it is also important to the subsequent narrative course of the Second Age. In Aldarion's story, we have the first case of Numenorian expansionism, naval voyages and deforestation, along with the first rumours from Gil-galad of a "shadow" creeping over the men of Middle-Earth. All of this is simply more pronounced by the time of the Eregion war under Tar-Minastir but it begins in this tale. And that's long before one gets to Downfall period, where the Akallabeth has some very long and poignant monologue discussions between Amandil and his son Elendil, which are given even more meat in the Númenórean Chapters of The Lost Road in which Elendil wrestles philosophically with his son Herendil (Isildur), as Christopher Tolkien explains: That's a ton of potentially rich plot-points, dialogue, themes and more to expand upon... If, of course, they have access to more than the Appendices (as seems highly probable for Unfinished Tales at the very least).
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