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    •  
      CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2010
     

    Sorry for double post, but look

  1.  

    I love xkcd.

  2.  

    Haha, that made me lol!

    •  
      CommentAuthorApep
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2010
     

    Every time I watch the movies, I wonder why there are no guardrails in Moria.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2010
     

    puts on nerd hat
    Technically, that was the whole point of the bridge at the end. It was built to be crossed by only one person at a time to protect against invasion. The design of the bridge would slow down/stop the enemies in several ways: first, only one person could cross at a time. Second, the narrowness meant you had to be very careful, so you’d probably be moving slower than usual. Third, its length would give the defenders more time to pick you off. If Moria had been attacked from that gate, it’s very likely it never would’ve fallen, but it was attacked from inside, where there weren’t the same defenses.
    removes nerd hat

    Why do I know these things?

  3.  

    Found this!

  4.  
    I heard that they're making The Hobbit movie now?
    •  
      CommentAuthorElanor
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2010
     

    Eh, I still think LOTR is pretty spork-worthy. A good editor could cut that tome in half.

    Personally, I thoroughly enjoy the extra descriptions. Sure, a “good editor” could cut lots of them out, but you’d lose a lot in the process. I don’t necessarily have to know what the door to Moria looks like exactly, or what the plantlife is like wherever Sam and Frodo go, but I like knowing all that technically-extraneous information. It makes for slower reading, sure, and it means it’s denser, but to me, at least, it means I can immerse myself in the world even more.

    There’s a difference, after all, between being dense and being purple. Tolkien, while dense, is not purple—if you want to see purple, check out the notorious Swedish translation. That was purple. It was gorgeous, but purple. Tolkien’s just description heavy. I think one reason wordy books tend to be labelled as purple nowadays is that often, they are—the authors mistake having longer words in longer sentences for being Tolkienesque in their turn of phrase, and it comes off as ridiculous instead of graceful. Also, Lord of the Rings was meant to be an epic, in epic style, in the traditional sense of the term. And that doesn’t mean “convey everything in as few words as possible”—it means “tell the story, describe everything, immerse the reader completely”. It’s not a matter of better or worse—they’re different styles and Tolkien wrote in a non-minimalist one, is all.

    To use a more modern example, it’s like Gabriel García Márquez’ writing. Sure, he’s dense, and sure he uses a lot of words, but no one will deny that his prose is beautiful the way it is. His books and the way he writes may not be for everyone, just as the way Tolkien writes may not be to everyone’s personal tastes, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be chopped over. I like the wordiness, and think it would lose a lot if it were cut in half.

  5.  

    Elanor got it so perfectly she deserves a medal.

    (Also, I recently finished Love in the Time of Cholera and enjoyed Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s style immensely, so it’s funny you mentioned that.)

    •  
      CommentAuthorTANSTAAFL
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2010
     

    I still think LOTR is massively overrated. I’ve encountered people who say they hate wordiness in other books at the same time they jump to Tolkien’s defense for his wordiness, which screams irrational double standards IMO. I liked The Hobbit but find LOTR a chore to read. I actually had to force myself to get through it and still can’t remember what I just read after most of the passages.

    Also, there are a few things like Tom Bombadil and wolves that talk in the beginning that made it seem like a spiritual sequel to The Hobbit but then the book changes over time. I still have no idea why they were left included in the book.

    If you’re talking about world building, then, yes, LOTR is an epic book. But if anyone dared narrate the same way these days critics would quickly hound the author or people just wouldn’t read it. The same people who come to the defense of LOTR would be quick to condemn it. Unless it was a “literary” book that English professors like.

    That being said, just like the movie, I liked the ROTK part of the book. When something actually happens it’s exciting. The return to The Shire was a great way to end the book, as it shows how much the characters changed over time. If Tolkien condensed the first two books or included more plot elements instead of so much of just describing stuff it really might have been an epic epic.

    Good epics by Tolkien are in The Silmarillion. Short enough to focus mostly on the tale itself and not grass in the distance, yet long enough to be epics. He can make good stories. But his narration in LOTR is fepic,

    (Yes, I did make up a word.)

    •  
      CommentAuthorJeni
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2010
     

    I’ve encountered people who say they hate wordiness in other books at the same time they jump to Tolkien’s defense for his wordiness, which screams irrational double standards IMO.

    I think you’re missing Elanor’s point. Seeing as it’s a big part of our history, take Eragon. The reason those books are very, very purple is because CP uses words for the sake of using words. In that he goes through the thesaurus and uses obscure words out of context because he can, and he thinks that is what it takes to be epic writing.

    Tolkien, however, being so creative, writes to build the world. Like drawing a map with words.

    You may or may not like that style, but to try to compare it to modern standards is silly.

    •  
      CommentAuthorTANSTAAFL
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2010
     

    I’m not talking about purple prose. I’m talking about a book where you can skip like ten pages and still not miss anything much at all, except maybe a passage on trees, elvin bread, mutton, and walking forward for two or three days. That’s just ridiculous to me.

    I don’t think LOTR is the masterpiece so many people say it is, though the story itself is pretty good once you overcome the writing. I like tales from The Silmarillion, like that epic Turin story, or The Hobbit better. Less focus on trying to describe things and more focus on telling a story.

    Let’s just agree to disagree. Different strokes for different folks and all. :]

  6.  

    I was going to defend my favorite book of all times as well, but it seems I don’t have to anymore. I love this forum :)

    But I wanted to say that I completely agree with Elanor—purple prose and wordiness are two different things. Tolkien is not purple prosy—he doesn’t really use complicated vocabulary, and his language never slows down the action sequences. And his descriptions are important to the story—Middle Earth is as much a character in the novel as Frodo or Sam are.

    •  
      CommentAuthorJeni
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2010
     

    One thing that comes to mind about wordiness is Redwall. The reason that early novels are so descriptive is that Jacques initially wrote them to be read to blind kids. :D

  7.  

    Tolkien, however, being so creative, writes to build the world. Like drawing a map with words.

    Actually, the whole point of Middle Earth was to create a place where his Elvish languages are spoken and muddle out the background and history and so forth. Technically, Tolkien wasn’t as much a storyteller as a worldbuilder, though from all appearances he was highly interested in story as well, and all the details in the story reflected that. Of course, it all puts off a casual reader, but it’s a matter of opinion.

    • CommentAuthorDeborah
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2010 edited
     
    My problem is not with Tolkien being wordy. My problem is people who can't write well trying to write like Tolkien and not pulling it off. (cough *CP* cough.) I don't mind long books or long descriptions, as long as they are done well. I honestly don't care if I read a lot of descriptions of forests and mines and cities and whatnot. It helps me to picture the world in my head.
    Favorite characters are definitely Faramir (BOOK Faramir), because I like sensitive, conflicted guys, Pippin (Because he he's so hilariously funny, like a over-curious teenage kid poking his nose into everything), Gandalf (because he's so funny and serious at the same time, and I love his scenes with Pippin), and of course, Sam (Who is quite honestly one of my favorite characters anywhere.)
    I also liked that conversation with Gandalf in the beginning. I still love this quote:
    "Deserve death? I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too quick to deal out death in justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."
    (Now if you remembered THAT, Eragon, when you dealt with Sloan...)
    And, come on, at least Tolkien didn't stretch out the whole series to twelve books and write doorstoppers worth of filler.
  8.  

    And, come on, at least Tolkien didn’t stretch out the whole series to twelve books and write doorstoppers worth of filler.

    QFT

    Compared with some modern authors, Tolkien almost seems a model of restraint. (now his son on the other hand…)

    (just kidding Chris, we all love ya!)

  9.  

    Well, that’s partly because Tolkien was a slow writer.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2010
     

    How long did it take to write LotR? 11 years? And the Silmarillion, if he’d lived long enough to properly rewrite/edit that, he’d still be alive!

  10.  

    11 years

    My count is 14. And I am so sad that he never finished the Silmarillion. If even its rough form was awesome, what about the finished version?

    • CommentAuthorDeborah
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2010
     
    What I regret is that he never finished the full-book version of Beren and Luthien. Its awesome. LOTR fans would be drawn in by the similarity to Aragorn and Arwen, but others would find this even better because Luthien does more.
    Also the Fall of Gondolin. In one earlier version, Morgoth had the middle-earth equivelant of TANKS.
  11.  

    Was he thinking of writing a full-book version? I would have LOVED that…

    • CommentAuthorDeborah
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2010
     
    I think he wrote part of one, but he never finished it. He had a ton of stuff that he never finished. But I'm not sure.
    There were three main Elder days stories: Beren and Luthien, The fall of Gondolin, and the story of Turin. But the last was the only one that was anywhere close to finished.
    There was a very long poem about Beren and Luthien, but I'm not sure whether he finished that either.
    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2010
     

    Luthien is my hero. Not even joking. I am going to tell my kids bedtime stories about her and Beren, because their story deserves to be a real legend. Some people complain (and I have no idea why, considering Eowyn) that Tolkien’s women are weak because several of the prominent ones (particularly Arwen) appear to be largely passive characters who are content to sit at home while the menfolk go off and fight. But if Eowyn doesn’t convince you, then the Silmarillion certainly should! Melian and Luthien are amazing, and as a direct result of their actions, an awful lot of good is done in the world!

  12.  

    Luthien is my hero.

    Me too!

    About passive women…no one ever points out that Galadriel is massively powerful. Just because she isn’t as active in the Fellowship’s doings as maybe Elrond is, practically everyone admits she’s the most powerful Elf in Middle Earth. I am a Galadriel fangirl, can you tell?

  13.  

    Some people complain (and I have no idea why, considering Eowyn) that Tolkien’s women are weak because several of the prominent ones (particularly Arwen) appear to be largely passive characters who are content to sit at home while the menfolk go off and fight.

    Man, that stuff bugs me.
    1) So do a lot of men stay home as well (see: most hobbits).
    2) Oh no! The women have a survival instinct! Has anyone ever thought of asking them if they want to go out and get stepped on by some huge, smelly troll in the middle of battle?

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2010
     

    And, quite frankly, a woman who makes a choice to stay home and not go off to war, especially in a novel with other women who make a different choice, is not necessarily a subjugated woman being kept down by The Man’s sexist ways. I loathe those horrible fantasy books where every single woman must go out and be a gutsy heroine purely because it would be sexist for her to choose any other way. It’s pretty clear in LotR that all of the heroines who don’t go off to war made that choice of their own free will.

    Yes, the awful portrayal of feminism in a lot of fantasy annoys me! I could rant on this one for days…

  14.  

    Oh swenson, you may get your rant soon…. (unless…. no, that is too horrible!)

    And, quite frankly, a woman who makes a choice to stay home and not go off to war, especially in a novel with other women who make a different choice, is not necessarily a subjugated woman being kept down by The Man’s sexist ways.

    I’ve always wondered, if all the men LEAVE to go off to battle, how are the women left behind oppressed? You may as well say that teenagers who’s parents leave for the weekend are oppressed.

  15.  

    If you think about it, Eowyn was being extremely irresponsible in running off to the battle in the first place. She was the appointed leader of the Rohirrim, what if there was a crisis of some sort? Who was left in charge when she suddenly disappeared? (I love Eowyn, but these things bear thinking about.)

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2010
     

    Yeah, I’ve always noticed that one too. I suppose it is a fair point, then, to say that the only woman actively involved in battle in LotR was one shirking her duties—but still, whichever she did, she was being given a great amount of responsibility and the chance to do something of importance.

  16.  

    Curiously, no one seemed to doubt Eowyn’s capabilities as a leader of her people. Even if she was denied the right to be a footsoldier on the battlefield, it would seem that she has more power at home.

    Although, everyone in Middle Earth is probably glad she went anyways. :)

    • CommentAuthorDeborah
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2010
     
    Also, I think Tolkien is a pretty good example of not putting ALL your worldbuilding in your story--only what was actually related to what is going on. When I read some of his previously unpublished writing, I was amazed by all the worldbuilding he did--everything from measurements to animal species--and then I realized that a lot of that didn't make it into his published work, because it wasn't really necessary.
    It always amazes me how anyone could call Tolkien wordy when there are people like CP. The Inheritance Cycle is now longer than the Lord of the Rings, and still isn't finished, and yet the Lord of the Rings had far more actually HAPPEN in it.
  17.  

    It always amazes me how anyone could call Tolkien wordy when there are people like CP.

    CP is extremely wordy, but that doesn’t mean that Tolkien isn’t. I love Tolkien to death, but his writing is not always the most concise.

    • CommentAuthorRocky
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2010
     
    bq. I love Tolkien to death, but his writing is not always the most concise.

    To his credit, though, Tolkien understood what he was writing _and_ he loved it. It was all set to convey a timeframe where such writings weren't all that digestible. Can't compare that with our buddy CP, who just word-vomits across half a tree's worth of paper for the sake of appearances.
    •  
      CommentAuthorTakuGifian
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2010
     

    Yeah, Tolkien was writing in a time when fiction WAS long-winded and highly detailed. Just look at the work of some of his contemporaries: Within the same decade as LOTR was completed, Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls (before the minimalist thing), Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath, and Buck wrote Dragon Seed.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2010
     

    Although, I do have to say, I’ve read some extremely funny parodies of Tolkien’s writing. He did have a tendency to describe things an awful, awful lot. (but he did it well, which is why I don’t mind so much.)

    Then again, I’m the sort of person who enjoys reading well-done worldbuilding. I can completely understand why there might be some annoyance if you’re approaching LotR from an action-y point of view, because it really does take a while to get going.

  18.  

    ^^ THIS.

    • CommentAuthorRocky
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2010
     
    bq. Yeah, Tolkien was writing in a time when fiction WAS long-winded and highly detailed.

    I actually wasn't talking about Tolkien's time period, but rather that of the books.
  19.  

    They’re releasing the extended edition in theaters! My brother and I bought tickets and we are GOING! It’s going to be awesome.

    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2011
     

    Fo’ reals?! I have to go look this up and see if it’ll be in any theaters near me. My husband is going to be so thrilled (and by “thrilled” I mean “filled with despair at the prospect of what I am about to drag him to”).

    Although this only further proves my point that Hollywood can not come up with something new and original.

  20.  

    Although this only further proves my point that Hollywood can not come up with something new and original.

    And wants money!

    The main reason I’m going is because I never really appreciated the theater experience and completely geeked out over it…but NOW I WILL. I don’t care if I have this movie at home, me and my brother are going to have an amazing experience.

    Yes, I just said that.

    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2011
     

    But can it truly be an amazing experience unless you go in costume?

  21.  

    I think I’ll borrow one of my friends’ costumes.

    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeMay 16th 2011
     

    Good. I approve. :)

    I checked online and am disappointed by my discovery that they are only releasing each movie for one day. I am not sure I’ll be able to go and now I know a great and wretched sadness.

  22.  

    I checked online and am disappointed by my discovery that they are only releasing each movie for one day.

    It’s an exploitative way to cram as many people as possible in the theater.

  23.  

    It’s an exploitative way to cram as many people as possible in the theater.

    That’s true of every movie. ;-) How do you expect the theaters to make money? XD

    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
     

    “That’s true of every movie. ;-) How do you expect the theaters to make money?”

    I suppose Hollywood could start by making good and original movies, not this fly-covered crap on a stick that they’ve been releasing lately. :)

  24.  

    Yeah… if only they would…

    •  
      CommentAuthorJeni
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
     

    And here was me thinking I’d walked in the Lord of the Rings thread.

    I was supposed to have a LotR Extended marathon with Elanor and a friend. We ended up watching numerous episodes of Merlin instead.

    I should re-read the books at some point.

    Hope you enjoy yourself, SWQ!

  25.  

    Hope you enjoy yourself, SWQ!

    I will! I’m hoping to go with some friends from school and my little brother, so we’ll be a pack of nerds. :D

  26.  

    Oh it’s on NOW Jeni!

  27.  

    We ended up watching numerous episodes of Merlin instead.

    :D This pleases me.

    •  
      CommentAuthorSharkonian
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2011
     

    Hey, guys, I have a question.

    You know how in the Fellowship of the Ring Bilbo says “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter spread over too much bread.”? Does he say that in the book? I can’t remember, but I keep thinking that he only says that in the movie.

    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2011
     

    In the book, Bilbo says, “Why, I feel thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.”
    He says it the chapter “A Long-Expected Party” when he meets Gandalf after disappearing during his speech.

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2011
     

    Alternately, “like chocolate pudding scraped across too much ham.” <— from the best LotR parody ever, the VeggieTales one. Lord of the Beans ftw!

    •  
      CommentAuthorSpanman
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2011
     

    My favorite part of that parody was the sporks. ^^

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2011
     

    “Who wants a cookie?”
    “We ain’t had nuthin’ but maggoty bread fer three stinkin’ days!” [all of the Sporks’ eyes turn good instead of evil] “We’d love a cookie!”

    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2011
     

    VeggieTales does a LOTR parody? I shall have to see that post haste. Adds to instant queue Excellent.

    •  
      CommentAuthorTheArmourer
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2011 edited
     

    I asked my baby. My baby elf. XD

    Watch it and you’ll get it.

    EDIT: added link

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2011
     

    It’s amazing. It’s one of my favorite movies ever, and I especially love the Elf song.

    “You’re no elf! You’re an elvish impersonator!

    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2011
     

    Just watched Lord of the Bean (officially, I need a life).

    Randalf, son of Mandalf and Faliminion Tereglith, son of Therebil-Elilithimon made me laugh. Great little parody of Tolkien and his love of made-up words that make me sound like I have a stutter.

    • CommentAuthorMnemone
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2012
     
    The good Doctor's birthday generated some discussion of his work. Perhaps it could be continued here.

    I once knew a little girl whose parents named her Galadriel.
  28.  

    I knew some friends who got Elvish inscriptions on their wedding rings.

  29.  
    bq. VeggieTales does a LOTR parody?


    Yes, yes they did and in a previous incarnation my job was burning people at stake for that sort of thing. ^_^ >: D
    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012
     

    Are you implying you don’t like the Veggietales LotR parody? As previously stated, I love that thing. It’s an amazing parody, because it’s so obvious the people who made it watched and loved the original (and yes, it’s a parody of the movies, not the books).

    Also, if you’ve got the DVD, watch the special features. The “commentary” (all done in-character as Larry, Bob, etc., mind you) is about the funniest thing ever if you’ve watched the real LotR special features.

    cough Anyway.

    @Nate – My brother-in-law has Matthew 19.6 in Elvish script (well, Tengwar, if you want to be pedantic) in his ring. He considered having the whole poem from the One Ring in there, but decided it may not be the best message for a wedding ring.

  30.  

    Wait… swenson, you sure it wasn’t your brother-in-law’s marriage I attended? lol

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012
     

    Fairly certain. :P

    I think he got it engraved after the fact, though.

  31.  
    bq. Are you implying you don’t like the Veggietales LotR parody?

    There was no implication. :P
    •  
      CommentAuthorWulfRitter
    • CommentTimeJan 6th 2012
     

    He considered having the whole poem from the One Ring in there, but decided it may not be the best message for a wedding ring.

    I don’t see why not. ;)

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012 edited
     

    Resurrecting this thread because I just found this thorough and entirely accurate summary of the books, an excellent resource for anyone who needs to write papers on Lord of the Rings (and the Silmarillion!) without wasting time reading them.

    •  
      CommentAuthorApep
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    I was about to point out what a bad idea that is, but then I actually started reading the page. And yes, anyone who uses that rather than reading the books deserves whatever grade they get.

    •  
      CommentAuthorPryotra
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    And yes, anyone who uses that rather than reading the books deserves whatever grade they get.

    I have to second that. I even got some lulz out of it. It’s better than Spark Notes!

    •  
      CommentAuthorFell_Blade
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    HAHA, swenson that is awesome!!! =D

    •  
      CommentAuthorFalling
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    “But Melkor’s brother Morgoth stole the Silmarils”

    Not sure how accurate it can be…
    But it’s pretty funny nonetheless.

  32.  

    Hahaha, Pipsqueak the boot-blacker. This made my day!

    •  
      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    Not sure how accurate it can be…

    That’s the point. It’s only selectively accurate. And that’s awesome.

    I got so manly lulz out of the disoriented wraiths in the shroom patch. The mental images… XD

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    The Silmarillion’s summary is possibly my favorite part, because about half of it is entirely correct.

    •  
      CommentAuthorPryotra
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    about half of it is entirely correct

    That’s what makes it great! After all, a casual reader wouldn’t know which half.

    •  
      CommentAuthorKyllorac
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2012
     

    I also adored all The Hobbit references. So many of them.

    •  
      CommentAuthorFell_Blade
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2012
     

    I would love to see someone write out one of those suggested essays based on this. That has all kinds of potential!

  33.  

    I have found my wife’s wedding dress.

    (now I just have to find my wife)

    •  
      CommentAuthorswenson
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2013
     

    Oh, that is awesome!

    •  
      CommentAuthorPryotra
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2013
     

    So. Much. Want.