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Tolkien

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by AlexanderKira, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. AlexanderKira

    AlexanderKira Minstrel

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    (I'm really not quite sure where this goes.)

    Tolkien...many call him the master of fantasy. He who created the genre, he who was so original. I have to disagree. I cannot stand to read The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, etc. I hate the concept of Orcs being evil...just because their Orcs. It shows no reason other than that their evil, the same of the other evil creatures..they're just evil. Sauromon and Sauron(However you spell them) both have the same sounding name, and are both evil. That's hardly creative. The fact that a race, Elves, could be perfect in every way irks me. Everyone has their flaws, ohhh but not elves.

    The giant eagles are only supposed to help in dire times of need, for the good of the world, then why not carry Frodo over the volcano and have him drop the ring? If they're only supposed to come in dire need of all mankind, then why pick Frodo and Sam up at the base of the volcano after they destroy the ring? They don't help mankind after that, people would be fine if they died.

    The Ghost Army can hit people, but people can't hit the ghost army? If the Ghost army was waiting for the king, couldn't they just kill the orcs and sauron and find the king in peace? Since obviously nothing can stop them?

    These are just things that bother me, I hate how people always, ALWAYS, compare other writers to Tolkien(Unless they deserve it, PAOLINI). This sounds a lot like a hate thread, but I am just voicing my opinion.
     
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Hello AlexanderKira.

    This is the research forum, so did you have a question that you wanted help with?
     
  3. AlexanderKira

    AlexanderKira Minstrel

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    If you look at the very first words I put, and I quote "I'm not quite sure where this goes". :D
     
  4. It should go in the "Novels & Stories" forum of the "Fantasy Media" forum section.
     
  5. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    Moved the posts.

    Personally, I haven't been able to read Tolkien.

    Harry Potter is something people also often compare books to, and that series has just as many inconsistencies, if not more. It's still an enjoyable read and it's the favourite of many despite these mistakes/problems/issues. So maybe it's just a mark of how fantastic both series actually are, that they can be loved by so many, change/develop the genre so far, inspire millions of people and so on, despite these issues.

    And a reminder to please keep an eye on spelling and grammar. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  6. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    I love Tolkien and HP. I love the stories and if you don't give credit to Tolkien as being the godfatather of fantasy then who do you give it to?
     
  7. AlexanderKira

    AlexanderKira Minstrel

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    The true godfather of fantasy? I believe there is none. Without Tolkien, fantasy would have still flourished. People will always have imagination, Tolkien just did it first. People still would have done it. I think C.S. Lewis actually wrote "The Chronicles of Narnia" before "The Lord of the Rings", but I'm not sure.
     
  8. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    I think that a lot of credit has to be given to both of those men. Without them, fantasy might very well have evolved, but it would certainly be greatly changed. Their fingerprints are all over the modern fantasy genre, so they had to be doing something right.
     
  9. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I believe Tolkien started Lord of the Rings a few years before C.S. Lewis started The Chronicles of Narnia, but the latter was published earlier, though the Hobbit was published earlier than that. At least, according to Wikipedia.

    The Lord of the Rings is certainly dated; it's hard to compare it to more contemporary works because we are all slaves to context. The genre was primitive, but without those earlier steps in fantasy writing history, the genre certainly wouldn't be as it is today. That is why he is so respected as the father (or godfather, grand-father, et cetera) of modern fantasy, and that's essentially all that the term means - that he helped dictate the course of modern fantasy. And he did.

    And you are right, perhaps 'people still would have done it', but why don't we say that about great philosophers or scientists? Someone else would have realised that there was a force called gravity if Newton didn't, or someone else would have told us that E=MC^2 if Einstein didn't, or someone else would have proposed evolution if Darwin didn't. True, but someone else didn't and these guys did.

    Sure, the whole idea of good versus evil, dark lords, and perfect elves is a bit straight-forward and cliche by todays standards, but that's irrelevant. I'm sure that if he was alive now, his writing would be entirely different, but that goes without saying.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  10. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Thank you Johnny for saying what I was trying to say with an eloquence I couldn't manage.
     
  11. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I think you hit on the most important point anyway. Fantasy wouldn't be the same without Tolkien, end of, and he deserves respect just because of that.
     
  12. mirrorrorrim

    mirrorrorrim Minstrel

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    I'm sorry to do this, but I have to disagree. I hope you'll forgive me. :(

    You point out that one of Tolkien's races, the Orcs, is unoriginal because they're pure evil, and another, the elves, is unoriginal because they're completely perfect. In pointing out the flaws of some of his races, I feel you're missing an important point–before Tolkien, there weren't different races of creatures, other than the ones we have in real life. So, every author who uses imagined races deserves to be compared to Tolkien, because the concept originated with him. This comparison would be fitting for any sort of race that an author might create. It becomes even more appropriate, however, when (as is the case with almost every single fantasy author since Tolkien) they use the exact same races Tolkien invented. Prior to Tolkein, there were no "elves." The proper spelling was "elfs," and they bore little, if any resemblance to the characters Tolkien envisioned. The same is true of dwarves, orcs, and, while you might call them halflings today, hobbits.

    I feel by criticizing the details, you miss story's true genius.

    Since Tolkien (and Lewis, who, while not the grandfather of fantasy, is definitely a great-uncle), what author, before Rowling, was there that every fantasy author has borrowed heavily from? I cannot think of one.

    I agree with you that Tolkien's works weren't perfect. If they were, then there wouldn't be anything for all the rest of us to write! Since him, though, fantasy writing has been an evolution of what he started, slow and gradual. Tolkien's work was entirely revolutionary, and it's because of that that so many of us afford him such great respect.

    At least, that's how I feel. It's just my personal opinion. Again, sorry to disagree.
     
  13. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I do see your point, but the concept for these creatures didn't originate with Tolkien, and I don't agree that his races had little to no resemblance to the elves, dwarves, and orcs (as goblins or trolls, or something similar) of Norse mythology. On the contrary, I think their roots are obvious.

    But yes, he deserves the credit for being the first to use them in the way he did, and for setting the standard for fantasy.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Tolkien was a fan of Lord Dunsany, who also used mythical or fictional races (before Tolkien did).
     
  15. mirrorrorrim

    mirrorrorrim Minstrel

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    I'm not very familiar with Norse mythology, so thank you for correcting me. I know all (or most) of his terms spring from such mythology, but I was under the impression that he altered them substantially in bringing them into his world. Elfs, in particular, I thought were little mischievous little creatures, not the grand, wise, and proud race Tolkien created. But, as I said, I'm not super-familiar with Norse myths, so I may be mistaken.

    Wow, looks like I was way off base with everything in my first post! I guess I should do my research a little better... Or a LOT better. I'm very sorry about that.

    *goes off to learn more about Lord Dunsany and Norse mythology*
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I hear the thing about the eagles flying the Hobbits to Mount Doom with the ring. Of course, it is a fictional world, but my recollection is that Sauron would have seen them coming miles and miles away and could have devoted all of his powers to stopping them and acquiring the ring. Part of the reason things worked out is Sauron was unable to concentrate all of his efforts on the ring, and in fact often did not know exactly where it was. Thus the attempt to stay secret and hidden all the way to the mountain. Flying in on eagles, they might as well have carried a huge, lit banner saying "Here we come! And guess what we have!"
     
  17. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Personally, if I was Sauron, I would have had a bunch of trolls, orcs, and probably a nazgul standing outside the only damn opening to the only place in the world where the ring could be destroyed. Still, you can nitpick any story, why not just enjoy it?
     
  18. mirrorrorrim

    mirrorrorrim Minstrel

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    Looks like I was wrong about even the elves. According to Wikipedia, Norse mythology had the Ljósálfar, which are essentially light elves, and which are very, very similar to Tolkien's treatment of elves in his story (interestingly, they also had Dökkálfar, who were dark elves). It seems the impish elves of later mythologies were a corrupt derivation of these original beings.

    I guess I gave Tolkien way too much credit for originality.

    Again, my deepest apologies.

    *slinks out of thread in shame*
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  19. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    I regard Tolkien as the father of 'modern' fantasy because the vast majority of what we get these days has his imprint on it. DnD, countless movies, books, and games, all have some element that you can trace to Tolkien. Did Tolkien come up with it all? Of course not - as has been said in this thread and others, he drew upon those who came before, both other authors and mythology. As does everyone.

    The difference is that he did it better. :)

    Also, to the premise that Tolkien's elves are perfect and without flaws - we see many examples of arrogance, selfishness, impulsive acts, etc etc. They have plenty of flaws. The elves we see a lot of tend to be pretty awesome, but we're seeing the best of the bunch.
     
  20. Phoenix

    Phoenix Troubadour

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    I'm going to clear up the C.S Lewis thing real quick. Lewis and Tolkien met in a book club in college. Now Lewis might have gone on to be an author if he hadn't of met Tolkien, but he might not have been a Christian author. Which he is the most known for.

    Now about Tolkien. If he hadn't of written the Lord of the Rings, what would of happened? Someone else would have created something original. Fantasy might not have been the same as it is today. So what? The point is Tolkien did write it. So, he deserves the credit.

    As for the Elves didn't they refuse to fight with the Humans? (Well most of them) Instead choosing to sail away on ships? Is that not a flaw?
     
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