October 19th, 2000, 10:42 AM
Guarded by the Moon
I post reply to contribute my thoughts. If you ask for the purpose, than the answer is none. I just like doing useless things.
October 19th, 2000, 11:50 AM
A servant of Lord Arioch
Heh, to say a discussion is pointless is a part of the discussion too.
October 19th, 2000, 01:46 PM
After reading all these posts, and seeing the same things repeated. I have decided to throw my proverbial hat in the ring and say that I wrote a 23 page thesis in college on LOTR. As all the LOTR fans begin to smile, let me just say that it was not in support of this work. Lit wise it was brilliantly composed, the like of which we see Jordan in the modern era ( I can't believe that I just gave Jordan credit, ouch). But in the overall schematic it falls short. It is an age old tale of the little engine that could, thrown in a new and never before ventured locale at the time. Yes, he was the high fantasy pioneer, and a master of mythology, but was his story something groundbreaking? We have heard the same tale many different times, just with varying characters and settings. It is every blue collar man's fantasy. So I do give him credit for his "world-building" as people are like to call it, and for his literary skill. But in my own opinion, the best ever is a stretch. I know that many people feel different, but feel free to e-mail me and i will send you a copy of my thesis.
October 19th, 2000, 05:57 PM
*sigh* For the umpteenth time let me repeat: I am a Tolkien fan, not a LOTR fan. Why is that difference so difficult to convey? I do not think LOTR was the greatest work he did. The Silmarillion is a level above anything else I've read in the genre.
I too could argue that the basic outline of Shakesperean plots and themes have been repeated ad nauseum since the time of Homer but I fail to see the worth of the argument. For a story to catch at people's heartstrings it must encapsulate all the well-recognised elements of good story telling. That Tolkien's work does this also makes him a good author IMO. I too could write a thesis casting shakespeare as a literary hack but I'd still be wrong.
Tolkien invented the modern fantasy genre through his works. How you can claim this lacks originality is quite beyond me. I suppose the Wright brothers flying machine was unoriginal because butterflies were already flying too...
October 19th, 2000, 06:15 PM
Well Giarc for the upteenth time no ever is argueing whether Tokien is the best fantasy writer . This discussion is based on LoTRS and LOTRs only. Tolkiens other works should not come into effect. I never said Weis and/or Hickman were better authors but just that the story of Death gate cycle was better in my opionion. It seems that anyone who critizes LoTRs is some how "discrediting" tolkien as an author. My main arguement with LoTRs is itz basically a child's fairy tale with sophisticated language so its targeted for adults. Yes the party goes through hardships but how they overcome there hardships is simply unbelievable. The most harmless, smallest, unwarrior like creatures should not be able to waltz into some overpowered "bad guy's" backyard and toss the ring. Someone clue me in but why would Sauron need the ring anyway? I thought all it did was make you invisible and change your personality a little.. Tolkien scholars feel me in please cuz I didnt dwell into the book heavenly. I heard from some that Sauron wasn't even an actual "entity". Only difference between the Hobbit and LoTRs was writting style and background...
October 20th, 2000, 01:47 AM
Guarded by the Moon
Well, I read LOTR long time ago, but as long as I remember Sauron needed the ring to get power over all the other rings he already had and link them together, then it would have power much more than just disappearing.
October 20th, 2000, 02:50 AM
Well your question about the ring just demonstrates what we have been saying all along in this discussion...you just don't get it. How anyone can say that they have read LotR and not know the significance of The Ring is beyond my comprehension. The whole series is based on the ring! The ring was a focal point for evil. It could control all the other rings "and in the darkness bind them." It was far more than invisiblity or any other physical manifestation. The Ring in the hands of Evil Incarnate would control Middle Earth and everyone/everything who lived there. It was made for that purpose.
October 20th, 2000, 05:49 AM
Lady Fox is dead on here, the ring was made by Sauron, who is a demi-god, a servant of Morgoth who was THE great evil god in ages past (before he was cast out of the world- all part of Silmarillion). Elves originally made the rings of power, and Sauron saw that he could control those who wielded such power, so he helped them create more- the seven dwarf rings, the nione for men, etc- then he created the One Ring which bound them all together- see he helped make all but the three elven rings, and some of his power was used IN them to create them, then he allowed a GREAT part of his natural power to enter his One Ring- this ring gave him dominion over the lesser rings, which were wielded by powerful people. Without the ring, a great part of his natural 'power', that which made him a god, is lost to him. With it, he is easily the most powerful creature in Middle Earth. Essentially, the ring IS Sauron, or at least a great deal of that which amde him a god.
All in all, I'd say it's tough to criticise a work when you missed an important point like this in the first place. Now, I've read Death Gate Cycle, and thought it was pretty good, not fantastic, but head and sholders above such terrible works as Dragonlance (which is basically a role-playing game in book form). I'm not goign to criticise DGC, I can understand why som many people like it. But the plot is not overly intricate, and the world is interesting, though hardly revolutionary. Still, remember that Weiss and Hickmann wrote quite a few books BEFORE DGC, and had a lot of practice, and built upon Tolkien's influence in the process.
tolkien created Middle Earth as a tool for using the languages he had created years before. As a professor of language, he wanted to study the mechanics of alanguage and how it developed within a society, so he then created a society through a series of essays and stories, which became the Silmarillion, which led to LotR. In all honesty, the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and the LotR ARE a series, since LotR is actually one book puclished in 3 parts for convenience (it's in the publisher's notes in the front of the books). It's hard to single out one part of the series without discussing the others.
October 20th, 2000, 08:35 AM
Geez ok I FORGOT what the ring was intended for.. I've only read the series once two years ago. I didnt miss that concept in the book because now I remember... just a relapse. But having a "mythical" ring with history doesn't mean the book is head and shoulders over everything else. I give me two years and the amount of books I will read since then and I will barely remember the history of the Sword of Truth and I love that series.
October 20th, 2000, 09:43 PM
High Priest of Cainism
OK people, time to cool down a bit here. I must say that this thread has been inviting some of the most heated discussion I've seen on this forum. However, it is a pointless discussion. The same thing keeps on happening: "I think LoTR has a better story." "No, I think that Deathgate Cycle has a better story." Personal opinions aside, I certainly believe that the Tolkien side has certainly made a more convincing argument (but then I could be biased).
See there's more to proving an argument than personal opinions. IMHOs have their place, but when we're discussing the literary merit of a work, or the merit of an author, facts have certainly got more place. Please, stick to logical discussions in the future, otherwise this topic is leading nowhere.
October 21st, 2000, 12:21 AM
A servant of Lord Arioch
What facts are you talking about shehzad?
All i've seen are opinions...
October 21st, 2000, 10:26 AM
Well, the title of this thread rather conveys a critcism of tolkien not LOTR specifically so I believe I'm justified in discussing the Silmarillion as an example of why I believe Tolkien is the standard by which all other fantasy authors are judged. I won't repeat what Wastra has already stated but, for the record, I agree completely. LOTR is a small fraction of the history of middle earth. You cannot discuss it meaningfully without referring to the silmarillion.
Anyways, as for LOTR being a fairy tale for grown ups....so what? Isn't that true of the entire genre at one level or another? I thought that was rather the point of fantasy.
As for the little guy dealing to the saurons of the world; that was the reason Frodo could get so close. No one takes the little guys seriously. It's not like he made the trip alone though. There were some pretty tough dudes that helped out along the way. Gandalf, for example, was one of the maiar (sp?)...a pocket-sized, lower demi-god himself...but then, if you've read the silmarillion you're already aware of that.
Finally, this is a discussion board. Discussions sometimes get heated because people with different opinions disagree. So long as the broadsides are restricted to the topic at hand, and don't target people personally, there's nothing wrong with it.
October 21st, 2000, 11:36 AM
"This is a thread that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Somebody, put their point across
Not knowing what it does
And know we're stuck debating this
Forever just because
This is a thread that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends..."
(sung to the tune of 'This is the song that never ends')
[This message has been edited by Sojourn (edited October 23, 2000).]
October 22nd, 2000, 06:57 PM
Shezhad and I suppose the arguements "Look how many books Tolkien sold" or "Look at how the critics loved the series" are good arguements? The only arguement we have in this topic is our personal opionions because to me the facts are irrelevant. I KNOW i dont speak for everyone but I don't care for how much literary work or greek mythology research was put into the book.. as long as the final product is good. When I play a great video game I dont care for a detailed history on how the game as made as long as the design team makes a good game. Thats the way I view books.. Unless I'm reading a history book I dont care how the research was done or other facts put into the book. To what makes a fantasy book enjoyable is being able to escape from everyday life and becoming apart of something paranormal. World building is not as important to me because althought it is imporant I don't think it should be the most involved concept in the book. Plot is what keeps most readers interested. I guess the reason why I like Death Gate, Sword of truth, Song of Ice and fire so much is it is told through more than one-view point. In all those books you see the world through both the "bad guys" and "good guys". LoTRs you only see the world the eyes of the main party. You never really get to "know" the antagonist in LoTRs which is something I think is very important because it shows a sense of balance. I truely believe only on this board will I be the minority on this issue. If you asked most people in my peer group what fantasy they liked best having read a number of the top books and not knowing the authors.. LoTRs would not come out on top. The reason why I say my peer group is because I can't speak for the older fans because they were readig fantasy when Tolkien literally was the only good writer.. but since people my age are exposed to more authors and a different generation in fantasy we probably are more unbiased in our judgements in which fantasy are more enjoyable.
October 23rd, 2000, 12:41 AM
A servant of Lord Arioch
Oops Saruman, you said greek mythology instead of nordic mythology, now they won't take what you said seriously.