Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums
JamesHackerMP

Lord of the Rings

Recommended Posts

Been reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Anyone else read this? I'm at the beginning of book 6 (vol. III, The Return of the King) where Sam is trying to rescue Frodo.

I have also been reading Bored of the Rings by Harvard Lampoon.  It is hilarious as long as you've read LOTR.

(I hope I didn't start this thread earlier, but I checked and it doesn't look like I did.  I've been meaning to start a discussion about this.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JamesHackerMP said:

Been reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Anyone else read this?

Nope... no one else has ever read it. What's it about? :)

Edited by Bonam
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read the books and seen the movies.  The bad guys are clearly bad, the good guys are clearly good and the littlest guy saves the world in the end.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel a bit like Frodo myself (little guy but ballsy), except that I didn't live with a dirty old uncle who likes to celebrate joint "birthday parties".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, JamesHackerMP said:

LOL

They're on a quest to throw a magic ring into a volcano to destroy it.  (It is actually a lot better than I make it sound.)

Way to start a discussion of a book - by tossing out spoilers.

Tolkien is basically the father of modern fantasy. So many books and series of books are derivative of LOTR

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live in what feels like the Old Forest. With the cottonwoods and willows...insects buzzing...sunlight filtered through leaves.

Just sit down by this big fella overlooking the river...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it fascinating how Tolkien includes so many features in his fantasy world that are really like old England.  He was after all a professor of Anglo-Saxon language at Oxford.  He actually published a translation of Beowulf (I think it was Beowulf).  After all, that part with Bilbo and the dragon in The Hobbit was right out of Beowulf.  (In modern day literature they call that plagiarism, but if you do it with old literature it's considered ingenious, just ask Shakespeare). 

LOTR was actually extremely popular on American college campuses in the 60s, especially due to its anti-industrialization and environmentalist aspects.  My father said it was the in thing to read it in college back then; a pretty remarkable thing for 1950s English literature to end up being popular with American college kids, then or now, especially as highbrow and anglo-saxony (to invent a word) his English is.  We normally have to be forced to read things like Dickens in American high schools.  I myself took a course in British literature in high school; but that was optional (I very much enjoyed it).  It was so popular that, I think I mentioned above, Harvard Lampoon came out with a parody that is still in print.

Speaking of Tolkien's style of prose, his characters tend to talk like each other--with the exception of Sam, since he's akin to being what they would call in the British army a "batman" for Frodo.  He has the sort-of "cockney" English, whereas almost everyone else is upper-middle class or even aristocratic in their speech.  Yet, it's still somehow egalitarian.  After Uncle Bilbo goes away, it mentions something about "the poorer hobbits of Bagshot Row" making out well.  So some subjects of the Shire are apparently less rich, but there isn't any actual poverty, per se.  There's a social caste system, evident in their speech, but it's not oppressive.  As the prologue explains, there is very little "government" in the Shire: a mayor of Michel Delving, and a nominal Thain to hold the "authority" of the King (who was only nominally their king, anyway) who was long gone.  Obviously, Tolkien has great respect for non-absolute monarchy (not exactly constitutional, just not absolute).  After all, when the last King of Gondor went missing centuries ago, it is said, no one seizes his throne, but holds its authority as a "steward". 

In the Shire, most of peoples' time is spent growing food and eating it.  And smoking pipe weed.  (perhaps that's another reason it was popular on our campuses in the 60s and 70s? lol)

I was going to mention something about where Tolkien would fit on the political spectrum here, but my roommate just got in with some longbottom leaf.  this may take a while.

Edited by JamesHackerMP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lord of the Rings is a modernized take on "Der Ring des Nibelungen", an old Norse legend made popular through a series of operas by Richard Wagner. It was Wagner's life mission to bring about a German nation by raising awareness of uniquely Teutonic (anti-Christian) mythology into German culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I saw this facebook meme of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien texting each other.  There was something about Lewis accusing him of being anti-semitic (speaking of the German/Wagner connection).  He says "cough-cough-dwarves-cough-cough-Jews-cough-cough" after Tolkien's insistent denial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found that I had started this thread all this time ago. I recently (like last year) finished the book once and for all.

Now I'm re-reading it. Anyone else love it to death?

I also found Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings. Hilarious. Have any of you seen that one? It's a funny as **** parody of LOTR written in the late 60s or early 70s. In the beginning it says "He would finished off Goddam [Gollum] right there, but pity stayed his hand....yes, said Dildo, it's a pity I've run out of bullets."

Tolkien obviously borrowed heavily from other sources. They all do that in literature. In the Hobbit, the thing about the dragon guarding the treasure; that's straight out of Beowulf. Heck, look at all the crap Shakespeare more or less shamelessly plagiarized from other sources. Nothing wrong with that! There are other brilliant works of literature that are influenced by others.

As I hinted above, Tolkien's Shire is non-cosmopolitan, agricultural, and most of their lives is spent making food and eating it, making ale and drinking it, growing pipe weed and smoking it (and, likely, going to the outhouse and throwing up from eating, drinking and smoking too much). The king is gone, so there's no real government as such, except for the post office and a small, informal security force that mostly makes sure that outsiders don't make a nuisance of themselves. The mayor of Michel Delving mostly presides at banquets, and little more. People govern themselves in peace and agricultural prosperity. Family values and very little government. What more could a Republican (or Libertarian) of Middle Earth ask for?

Edited by JamesHackerMP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, JamesHackerMP said:

I found that I had started this thread all this time ago. I recently (like last year) finished the book once and for all.

Now I'm re-reading it. Anyone else love it to death?

I also found Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings. Hilarious. Have any of you seen that one? It's a funny as **** parody of LOTR written in the late 60s or early 70s. In the beginning it says "He would finished off Goddam [Gollum] right there, but pity stayed his hand....yes, said Dildo, it's a pity I've run out of bullets."

Tolkien obviously borrowed heavily from other sources. They all do that in literature. In the Hobbit, the thing about the dragon guarding the treasure; that's straight out of Beowulf. Heck, look at all the crap Shakespeare more or less shamelessly plagiarized from other sources. Nothing wrong with that! There are other brilliant works of literature that are influenced by others.

As I hinted above, Tolkien's Shire is non-cosmopolitan, agricultural, and most of their lives is spent making food and eating it, making ale and drinking it, growing pipe weed and smoking it (and, likely, going to the outhouse and throwing up from eating, drinking and smoking too much). The king is gone, so there's no real government as such, except for the post office and a small, informal security force that mostly makes sure that outsiders don't make a nuisance of themselves. The mayor of Michel Delving mostly presides at banquets, and little more. People govern themselves in peace and agricultural prosperity. Family values and very little government. What more could a Republican (or Libertarian) of Middle Earth ask for?

 

Bored of the Rings is awesome. Freeto...Dildo...Pepsi and Moxy....Legolamb...Goodgulf...etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/26/2017 at 1:27 PM, JamesHackerMP said:

Been reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Anyone else read this? I'm at the beginning of book 6 (vol. III, The Return of the King) where Sam is trying to rescue Frodo.

I have also been reading Bored of the Rings by Harvard Lampoon.  It is hilarious as long as you've read LOTR.

(I hope I didn't start this thread earlier, but I checked and it doesn't look like I did.  I've been meaning to start a discussion about this.)

I watched and enjoyed all the Lord of the Rings movies that were played on TV. I cannot wait for the next new series of LOTR movies to be shown on TV. I would recommend the LOTR to anyone who is interested in movies like the LOTR. Very entertaining. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite lines is how the Sty (Shire) was divided into "farthings, half-farthings, and Indian-head nickels." (Nickel is the American word for 5-cent piece for those that aren't familiar; and they used to have an Indian guy on the obverse.) I also love "to the last battle at Ribroast [Fornost] with the Slumlord of Borax [witch King of Angmar], they sent some snipers, but whom they sided with is unclear."  :lol:  Love it! There's a recent reprinting of Bored of the Rings with a new "forward" by Frito Bugger.

LOTR is also on Le Monde's list of 100 most influential books of the 20th century.

I think the main theme of the Ring is power. Listen to how Tolkien describes the "addiction" people get by wearing a great ring for too long. At first, they toy with the idea of giving it up to someone else, early on. After a while, it grows on their mind. Then they cannot give it up. It's just like Tolkien is speaking of the addictive characteristics of POWER.

Edited by JamesHackerMP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/26/2017 at 7:09 PM, Bonam said:

Nope... no one else has ever read it. What's it about? :)

The triumph of good over evil... just another in a long LONG line of hopelessly naive progressive claptrap.

Hey look there goes mbs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mbs?

I very much doubt that a devout Catholic would have engaged in "progressive claptrap". Also, other than the conservationist bent in Tolkien, there isn't too much that I see as progressive. Or really reactionary for that matter. It's not meant to be political. I was just musing about the Shire's government above; not because I thought it was his intent in writing it, but because it just reminded me of that. Geeze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyhoo, right now I'm at the "Council of Elrond" (Book II, Ch. 2) and I wish they'd just give me the bloody minutes of the meeting. Long chapter. Some of that material seems repeated from Book I, Ch. 2, "The Shadow of the Past".

I also love the part where they're at Galadriel's mirror and it says that it showed Frito Bugger successfully completing the mission. They walk away, then the mirror shows "the safe arrival of Titanic at New York harbor, the inaugural ball of Harold Stassen (nine times unsuccessful seeker of the GOP nomination for president in the 60s) and the repayment of the French War debt." ROFL

Edited by JamesHackerMP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry Brooks infuriated Tolkies by taking the LOTR story and greatly simplifying it - and removing the halflngs. I actually read Sword of Shanara before reading LOTR. Loved them both.

SM Stirling wrote a long post-apocalyptic (with magic) series called the Emberverse in which a couple of the younger characters were obsessed with LOTR, and they wind up forming a society they called the Dunedain Rangers, who use Tolkien's books as their bible, believing it is literal history, live in trees and speak elvish.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Argus said:

Terry Brooks infuriated Tolkies by taking the LOTR story and greatly simplifying it - and removing the halflngs. I actually read Sword of Shanara before reading LOTR. Loved them both.

SM Stirling wrote a long post-apocalyptic (with magic) series called the Emberverse in which a couple of the younger characters were obsessed with LOTR, and they wind up forming a society they called the Dunedain Rangers, who use Tolkien's books as their bible, believing it is literal history, live in trees and speak elvish.

 

 

Back in those days, everybody was releasing a fantasy trilogy...or longer. 

Like this one...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Thomas_Covenant

...which was typical...and pretty darn good!

Shannara was one of the first of the new wave, though. Pen and paper D&D was popular, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like GAme of Thrones, I guess? Probably no coincidence that the author is George R.R. Martin (like Tolkien's full name). Competition follows success as surely as night follows day, I've heard an economist say. Seems it works in literature too.

I understand that Tolkien was very popular on college campuses in the 1960s thanks to an unauthorized paperback version that began to circulate in the United States at the time.

The only complaint I have with LOTR is that it begins so damn SLOW. The movie cut out the part with Bombadil, the old forest and the barrow-downs. Good idea, in my opinion. Even the director's cut of the movies, which I have, move faster than the book in the beginning. Speaking of which, i think the movies were pretty faithful to the novel. (I hate it when it's called a "trilogy"; it isn't.)

Anyone know why Dwarves and Elves hate each others' guts in the novel (and movie)? How can you piss off an elf anyway?

Edited by JamesHackerMP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, DogOnPorch said:

 

Back in those days, everybody was releasing a fantasy trilogy...or longer. 

Like this one...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Thomas_Covenant

...which was typical...and pretty darn good!

Shannara was one of the first of the new wave, though. Pen and paper D&D was popular, too.

Thomas Covanant was darker. And whoever heard of a main character who had leprosy?! I can't imagine how he sold that to the editor, but yes, that series worked really, really well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...