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The Marquis de Leech

Tolkien 2.0

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On 11/30/2017 at 11:27 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

I imagine taking the Ring in such a manner would have a hugely corrupting influence on the person who took it though. We see another who takes the Ring via murder after all and he ends up incredibly wretched...and he does not have incredible innate power like Elrond and Cirdan.

Not to mention how this would play amongst the remnants of the Last Alliance. They see two Elf Lords murder the man who is now their King? That can’t possibly play well

Well I was joking with that particular post, I just think that the lack of inherent ingenuity in the Elves was on display that not only did Elrond and Cirwan allow Isildur to go, but they didn't make somehow destroying the Ring a priority. They had 3,000 years to think of *something* and in that time they didn't seem to do anything about it.

They didn't have to murder Isildur, but surely a decent gust of wind or whack with a stick to knock him out? And then just ask some weak minion to pick it up on the end of a long pole?

It's worth a shot, but Elves wouldn't think in these ways. :P 

On 11/30/2017 at 11:46 AM, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah I think we are getting film LotR and book LotR mixed up.

Hey! :P Cirwan isn't even in the film, is he?

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11 hours ago, Yukle said:

Well I was joking with that particular post, I just think that the lack of inherent ingenuity in the Elves was on display that not only did Elrond and Cirwan allow Isildur to go, but they didn't make somehow destroying the Ring a priority. They had 3,000 years to think of *something* and in that time they didn't seem to do anything about it.

They didn't have to murder Isildur, but surely a decent gust of wind or whack with a stick to knock him out? And then just ask some weak minion to pick it up on the end of a long pole?

It's worth a shot, but Elves wouldn't think in these ways. :P 

I think it's a common misconception among Tolkien readers (and viewers) that all the "good guys" have a clear and uniform view of what is best for Middle-Earth as a whole. It may be because Tolkien doesn't really concentrate on depicting the conflicts of interest, differences in mindset and dissensions between Human, Elvish and Dwarvish kingdoms other than in the Appendices. But there is no alliance of good that absolutely knows what is to be done with the ring. Elrond cannot possibly take that harsh a decision at that point in time.

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3 hours ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

That's a good piece. I don't know whether you're going to touch on it in the second part, but I always thought the inclusion of an elvish strain in orcs (regardless of whatever their origin was originally, and I think Tolkien moved away from them simply being corrupted elves) was proof that elves don't simply die if faced with rape. Otherwise there would have to be dark elves that fell so low that they served Melkor willingly even in this. 

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29 minutes ago, Fall Bass said:

That's a good piece. I don't know whether you're going to touch on it in the second part, but I always thought the inclusion of an elvish strain in orcs (regardless of whatever their origin was originally, and I think Tolkien moved away from them simply being corrupted elves) was proof that elves don't simply die if faced with rape. Otherwise there would have to be dark elves that fell so low that they served Melkor willingly even in this. 

The origin of the Orcs is a bit too messy and unknowable. I'm actually going to go with the (related) issue of the Uruk-hai: the implied use of Dunlending women to create genetically engineered Orcs, since we know Saruman actually did that (Jackson's pod-people idea is significantly less dark than Tolkien's).

I've also got another couple of examples up my sleeve to attack Laws and Customs, an essay that always struck me as Tolkien trying to fit a square-peg story into a round-hole Catholicism. 

Edited by Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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8 hours ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

On a lighter note, my review of the very first Tolkien film adaption, from 1966:

https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2018/03/04/the-first-film-hobbit-1966/

Well I had never known of this before today, very interesting! Thanks for sharing that...

Out of curiousity, have you ever reviewed the Jackson films? I share your opinions on them by and large but I always like seeing your perspective so I’m curious 

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1 hour ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Well I had never known of this before today, very interesting! Thanks for sharing that...

Out of curiousity, have you ever reviewed the Jackson films? I share your opinions on them by and large but I always like seeing your perspective so I’m curious 

No, I haven't. I haven't done Rankin-Bass (1977 Hobbit and 1980 Return of the King) or Bakshi (1978 Lord of the Rings) either. Basically, my reasoning is that the Jackson films are so well known, and have been so thoroughly reviewed, that there is really little to add. I mean I watched the original Jackson trilogy again over Christmas 2016, and the result was a rant about his treatment of war, but that's really it.

Along those lines, reviewing Bakshi means you live in the shadow of the old Tolkien Sarcasm Page: http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/bakshi/bakshi.htm

That's why I like to review the truly obscure stuff. It feels like I'm doing the world a service.

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11 hours ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

No, I haven't. I haven't done Rankin-Bass (1977 Hobbit and 1980 Return of the King) or Bakshi (1978 Lord of the Rings) either. Basically, my reasoning is that the Jackson films are so well known, and have been so thoroughly reviewed, that there is really little to add. I mean I watched the original Jackson trilogy again over Christmas 2016, and the result was a rant about his treatment of war, but that's really it.

Along those lines, reviewing Bakshi means you live in the shadow of the old Tolkien Sarcasm Page: http://flyingmoose.org/tolksarc/bakshi/bakshi.htm

That's why I like to review the truly obscure stuff. It feels like I'm doing the world a service.

Thanks.  I missed that essay and it's a good one.  One feature of the Just War doctrine (which Tolkien would surely have adhered to) is that before you fight, you must have a reasonable prospect of success.  That means not throwing your life away in the pursuit of glory, or out of despair, but rather, if you risk your life in battle, it should be in obedience to orders, and in pursuit of some worthwhile objective (like saving comrades, or holding or capturing a key position on the battlefield).  So, while Tolkien plainly has great admiration for Eowyn, she's fighting for the wrong reason, and in the wrong way. **

As it happens, in the books, Denethor, Gandalf, Theoden, Aragorn etc. are all shown as being competent commanders, who know what they're doing on the battlefield, unlike their counterparts in the films.  Elves on the other hand, do seem to place individual honour above reason.

**no doubt if Livy had written the story, Eowyn would have been praised for her courage, and then executed for disobeying orders.

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@SeanF: I think there is a difference between Rohirrim (and other northmen) versus Dunedain; the former have that tribal sense of warrior honour, and the later not. Or rather, some of them (like Boromir) do, which is one thing that Faramir laments. Among the elves, the Noldor seem more obsessed with honour than the rest of the elves (and Feanor and sons most of all).

Edited by Nabarg

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On 03/03/2018 at 5:12 AM, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

I think Tolkien would certainly have viewed Aerin's treatment as rape, given that Canon Law allows the annulment of forcible marriages.  As you say, there's no sign that Brodda viewed her as anything other than a spoil of war.

Celebrian's fate will forever be a mystery.  Plainly, she must have suffered something much more unpleasant than a whipping or beating, to make her lose the will to live with her family in Middle Earth.  If her kidnapping was purely opportunistic, then I expect the orcs were just indulging their natural cruelty.  I think rape would have been a likely outcome in that case.  If, on the other hand, she was kidnapped by orcs acting under orders, she would no doubt have been tortured for information, but rape might be less likely.  I do wonder if the reference to a "poisoned wound" means that a Morgul-blade was used on her, in order to reduce to the status of a wraith.  Sauron would have thus gained a powerful slave, and taken a delightful revenge on both Galadriel and Elrond.

 

Edited by SeanF

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On 3/3/2018 at 7:41 AM, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

On a lighter note, my review of the very first Tolkien film adaption, from 1966:

https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2018/03/04/the-first-film-hobbit-1966/

I had never heard of this film before.

I showed it to my wife and child, who were properly horrified.  Personally, the trippy-sixites static animation were fine for me, but even I had to shudder at some of that story line.  Come on, man, you had the rights to use the names - why not just use the correct names?

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Completing my look at Rape in Tolkien:

https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/rape-in-tolkiens-middle-earth-part-ii/

(The two parts ended up as something like 5700 words in total. It's one of those subjects where you think there isn't that much ground to cover, and then things develop from there...).

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7 hours ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

Completing my look at Rape in Tolkien:

https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/rape-in-tolkiens-middle-earth-part-ii/

(The two parts ended up as something like 5700 words in total. It's one of those subjects where you think there isn't that much ground to cover, and then things develop from there...).

I'd never thought of Maeglin as Littlefinger, but it fits.

WRT Saruman's cross-breeding programme, the text tells us that Saruman kept slaves, and he seems to have had plenty of money.  I expect he just bought women and girls on a large scale, from the Dunlendings for his purposes.  That would also have strengthened his influence over their chieftans.

Edited by SeanF

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There don't seem to be that many Dunlendings - how many could he actually requisition and/or buy to build an Uruk-Hai army? 

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5 hours ago, Fall Bass said:

There don't seem to be that many Dunlendings - how many could he actually requisition and/or buy to build an Uruk-Hai army? 

What makes you say that there aren’t many Dunlendings?

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7 hours ago, Fall Bass said:

There don't seem to be that many Dunlendings - how many could he actually requisition and/or buy to build an Uruk-Hai army? 

Although Tolkien is rarely specific about numbers, I expect there were quite a lot of Dunlendings.  There were thousands of them serving in Saruman's armies. It seems to me quite possible that they would have sold large numbers of women to Saruman. Suppose two tribes or clans fought each other, the winners would have made a handsome profit by selling the losers.  Or they might have sold condemned criminals and their families.

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I also suspect Saruman didn't need that many humans for his experiments. Once he had obtained a few half-orcs with sunlight resistance, he could set those to breed with the existing orcs, and discard the original captives.

Saruman (among other things) comes across as Tolkien's commentary on science. The line "he who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom" could only have been written by a humanities major.

(Which gives me another idea for a write-up. Saruman and Feanor: Tolkien's two great scientists). 

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