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#61 of 412 Old 02-13-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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Tolkein was close friend's with C.S.Lewis, who's alagorical Christian writing was clearly more obvious. Tolkein was Roman Catholic, and there's lots written about the Lady Gladriel being a Mary alagory. But I vaguely remember reading somewhere that Tolkein himself stated that his religious beliefs didn't make it into his writing. Except to say that Christianity is a powerful, moving story of arch-types and he was steeped in those stories.

The difference, the way I see it, is that Lewis was promoting a Christian philosophy, and the stories were merely the method to do so. Tolkein's spirituality and cultural religious back-ground was part of the frame work or method for him to promote his story, which was his agenda.

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#62 of 412 Old 02-13-2005, 07:33 PM
 
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Yes, I would say that's true of Tolkien -- I see him very much as a Christian writer, and see Sam's servitude in the larger, Christian ethics category. That's why I find that to be so philosophically hard for me to agree with. I understand it (I'm a PK -- preacher's kid) but I personally don't agree, which is why I left Christianty. (I'm Jewish now. But I did spend a few years as a Pagan in my teens/ early twenties).

Not to get into the religious argument, tho... I love Tolkien, it's just sometimes I don't agree with his take on things.
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#63 of 412 Old 02-13-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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It's funny, I've never thought of Tolkien as a Christian author. An author who's Christian but I never noticed evidence of that in his work. I probably just glazed right over it. I know he's denied Catholic allegory in his work but as a lifelong devout Catholic I wouldn't be too surprised if some of that was reflected in his writing. Although "The Silmarillion" always read as quite Pagan to me.

So, my enquiring mind wants to know, how big a geek are you? Which books have you read and how many times? How many times have you seen the movies? Do you own all the extended DVDs? Have you actually watched all of them? :LOL

I've read "The Silmarillion" 4 or 5 times, the whole LOTR trilogy at least twice that, and The Hobbit 3 or 4 times. TS and the trilogy are my favorites with the Hobbit coming in third. I own all the extended DVDs and have watched them several times. I watch the movie on it's own once, then I watch the cast commentary, followed by the directors/writers commentary. I also watch most of the extras. Overall I'd say an average Tolkien geek.
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#64 of 412 Old 02-13-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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I'm an "Aspiring Tolkien Geek"

I have read The Hobbit twice, LOTR 5 times but I have yet to read The Silmarillion (even though I own it ) I have the extended version of the movies but I have only watched them once (except for FOTR twice) and haven't watched much of the extras or any of the commentary.

I am inspired by this thread to delve into the deeper meanings of his books
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#65 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 01:49 AM
 
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I'd consider myself an aspiring geek, too

I read the Hobbit when I was maybe 12 and hated it. Had the LotR in my possession for a few years before I actually read it (I got it from a book of the month type deal and just kept pushing it off saying "I'll read it someday.") Then in my mid-twenties, I read the trilogy and suddenly saw where all the Fantasy writer's I'd always loved were getting their ideas! Oh! Wow. Light bulb goes off in my head... I loved the trilogy, and read it two or three times before the movie came out. Then everytime the new movie was going to be released, I re-read them. So, I think I've read the books 5 or 6 times.

We own all the extended editions. We watched FotR multiple times in the theater, and on DVD, and watched both commentaries. We saw TT once in the theaters and then got a bootleg copy (did I say that?) and watched it once before the DVDs were released, then bought the ee, and watched it a few more times. I forget whether we saw the commentaries or not (I think we did... but I don't recall!)

Then we saw RotK once in theaters, waited to buy the ee and watched it once. Haven't watched any of the extras yet. I will, I'm just holding out, trying to make it last! :LOL

I am quite ashamed to admit I never read The Silmarillion I'm putting it on my hold request at the library right now!

By far the geekiest part of me is that I have these crazy, philosophical, religious, textural ect... discussions about the books/ movies with my very geeky friends. My dh's former office mate is about the biggest Tolkien geek I know and he and I can talk about LotR for *hours.* (My dh joins in, but he's not as impassioned as we are.) We cut the first movie apart over a three hour dinner after we saw it the second time... then we laughed and said, "Well, I love it anyway!"

(BTW, I do feel there are definite Pagan underpinings to Tolkien. But I have a friend who's Irish Catholic who's Pagan-Catholic and she says that's fairly common amongst Gaelic scholars.)
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#66 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 01:55 AM
 
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Although "The Silmarillion" always read as quite Pagan to me
Actually, I found the Silmarillion be be very similar to Gnosticism. (well..of course there are less differences between Gnostics beliefs and Pagan as between mainstream Christianity and Pagans)

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#67 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just gonna answer these, tho I have more to add.....

So, my enquiring mind wants to know, how big a geek are you?

Pretty huge (and with more than just Tolkien)

Which books have you read and how many times?

Hobbit and LOTR just once years ago...I am rereading LOTR now, will follow with the Hobbit and Silmarillion afterwards. It takes me a while to get through his stuff, I have to read it when I am totally awake and alert. I read with references at my side because I am trying to stay on point and get any refernces he makes. I desperately want to read his letters and the other books he wrote.

How many times have you seen the movies? FOTR 2, TT 1, ROTK 2

Do you own all the extended DVDs?

We own all of the EE

Have you actually watched all of them?

I have watched all of them, plus all the extras and the extra special discs that came with them

My daughter's rabbits are Merry and Pippin.
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#68 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 12:13 PM
 
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I'm lame, came to this through the movies, not the books (which is odd, as I read and re-read fantasy books as a child, not sure why I didn't pick these up, although they showed us that cartoon version of the hobbit a ton in school, and I never got into it...), but I've seen FOTR 3x (DVD, DVDEE, DVDEE cast commentary), TT 3x DVD, DVDEE, DVD cast commentary), and ROTK 6.5x (3 in theatre, DVDx2, DVDEE, and I'm 1/2 way through the DVDEE cast commentary (Billy and Dom are so hilarious! I love when Orlando first comes on the screen, and they say "oh, look at him, he is so beautiful...")).

Having only read LOTR once, do you recommend I re-read it before reading the Silmarillion, or does it matter?
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#69 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 12:49 PM
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I really don't know how many times I've read LOTR. At least once a year for the last 22 or 23 years, sometimes more often, so I'm guessing in the vicinity of 30 times. I've read The Hobbit fewer times, but still quite a lot. I read The Silmarillion only once, I think, and that was a while ago (can't find my copy now, I guess I'll have to get a new one). I've seen each of the movies, including the extended editions, an uncountable number of times. Actually sitting down and watching them from beginning to end probably something like 5 times each, but my son loves the movies as well, so he will often choose to put one on if we're having a "TV day", and of course I see and hear most of it while I'm doing stuff around the house. I've watched the extras a bunch, as well, but not quite as much.

I'm reading LOTR right now, and last night as I was reading it at bedtime, I was thinking how all this analysis like we've been doing in this thread is fine and dandy, interesting and all that, but the reason I read it so often and enjoy the movies is because I simply love to be immersed in Middle Earth, to experience the cultures and personalities. I can almost project myself into it, not as a character, but like I'm experiencing the story, not just reading about it. It has a unique combination, IMO, of mythology and personal stories.

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#70 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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I read the silmarillion years ago and really liked it once I got into it. It was slow starting, if I remember correctly. Now I want to read it again-I don't remember the pagan/gnostic themes. Actually when I read it, I had no idea what those were. (Actually still a little scetchy on the gnostic idea. What is that exactly?)

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#71 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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Having only read LOTR once, do you recommend I re-read it before reading the Silmarillion, or does it matter?
Nope, you don't need to re-read LOTR before you dive into the Silmarillion. The Silmarillion is a prequel of sorts. From Amazon.com: "The tales of The Silmarillion were the underlying inspiration and source of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing; he worked on the book throughout his life but never brought it to a final form." I guess that means Christopher Tolkein had it published after his father died.

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#72 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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Gnostics:

Gnosticism-ancient and modern

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#73 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 06:53 PM
 
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http://www.gnosis.org/welcome.html


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#74 of 412 Old 02-14-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom
...I guess that means Christopher Tolkein had it published after his father died.
With a little help from my favorite author, Guy Gavriel Kay Which is why I'm surprised I still haven't read the Silmarillion!
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#75 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 02:39 AM
 
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I have to admit that I am very new to LOTR, having read the books only once through. I did that just before the 1st movie came out as I wanted to have my own idea of things.

I've seen the movies a number of times each as we own the extended dvd's. I haven't watched them with the commentaries though - I can just imagine the sorts of comments Billy & Dominic would make (off topic: anyone else enjoying Dominic's performance as Charlie in LOST?).

My DH has the books on his night stand at the moment and I think if I tried to rip them off to read there'd be strife! Maybe I should get the Hobbit out of the library....
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#76 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 07:25 AM
 
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Okay, before I start, I just want to be upfront: We are all SICK, as well as GEEKS. There, got that out of my system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexisyael
I was actually quite disapointed with the casting of Frodo, for much the same reason. I know they compressed time in the movie (needed to do so for cinematic reasons) but in my head, Frodo should be older. While I like Elijah Wood a lot as an actor, he's just so young!

(Hobbits age differently than humans -- in the book, Frodo also turns 33 at Bilbo's 111th birthday party. That's the hobbit "coming of age, so similar to turning 18 in human years. The problem, tho is that in the book, Frodo doesn't leave the shire for for 17 more years! )

I always imagined Frodo to be around 30-40ish throughout the book. Obviously, he ages as the book goes along (that's a HUGE amount of time) but I hate that in the movie he is 19-20 the entire time. I think if you're going to compress the time, you should at least make Frodo closer to the age he ends up in the book. Just my opinion, of course, but it's one of my biggest nit-pics of the movie.

I disagree that this is a problem. Frodo was the human equivalent of 18 when he came into possession of the ring; therefore his external aging stops. He *should* still look the same as when he turned 18, even if he is in his 30s-40s (though the movie didn't stay true to this timeline anyhow). Just as Bilbo did not age outwardly, he remained unchanged in looks, remember; so too would Frodo not look any older than the day he obtained the ring.

God, I can't believe I am even discussing this. I love the internet!

I think Sam, Boromir, Gandalf, and Aragorn have translated best from book to screen. Aragorn as Stridor is strong, dirty (hey, I *like* the greasy hair....), a loner, and also not ready to take up his role. This is more apparent in the movies, I think, and perhaps one of the few improvements. Aragorn in the book carries the broken sword with him; how then is he reluctant to take up his role?

Boromir is exactly how I would picture him. A good man, a warrior, and so human. I love in the movie how he redeems himself.

Gandalf; Ian McKellan *is* Gandalf. His delivery of the lines, his facial expressions; he exudes this noble wizard. I love it!

Sam, Sam. Why didn't I have a boy to name after you!?!?!? Sam is a perfect hobbit. Noble, down to earth, with a love of the simple most meaningful things in life. I think he, too, is played well.

I love the books and I love the movies, but as very separate entities. I am rereading the books (for the fifth time), and I, too, love the emersion that occurs. Tolkien just is so thorough; you know exactly how everything should look, taste, and feel. He was amazing.

But I also feel, especially from watching the appendices of the DVDs, that everyone who worked on the project had a huge amount of love and respect for Tolkien. I find it amazing that that John Howe and Alan Lee were so involved; that the people who made the armour wore off their fingerprints after three years of making chain mail; all the thought that went into the script. I know there are some impurities (Frodo's weaknesses, for one), yet I also realize that they could not have made these movies, sold it to a studio, and had the budget for the incredible special effects if they had stayed completely true to the story.

And look how many people the movie drew in to the Middle Earth world! I had read the books twice before the movie came out; but I know many who weren't interested in them at all until after they viewed the films.

Oh, I own all the EEDVDs, I've seen everything (including the appendices) probably 10+ times, I've read the books five times (once when I was 12, then once again when I heard rumor that they were being made into a movie, twice aloud to my kids, once myself, and now I'm reading the four again). My favorite book and movie is the Fellowship. I've read the Silmarillion once; it was difficult to get into at first, and yet the creation story was amazing. My 9 year old is working her way through it right now; she can only read a couple of pages at a time; I think I'll read it aloud to her, instead. It helps to have some sort of reference book to consult alongside it; We have the Bestiary, and it helps emensely.

I haven't read anything else, but would like to. How about some recommendations?

Lori
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#77 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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I don't agree Frodo should look older. Frodo, while still in his 40's, in the books was still just a young adult. He wouldn't have been older than 18-20 in human years.

Legolas, in the books, is over 1000 years old so yeah...different life spans are refelcted in the different races.

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#78 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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How old is Arwen?
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#79 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 12:14 PM
 
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Correct me if I am mistaken (the Timeline confuses me) but I am pretty certain Arwen is over 2500 by the time the books take place.

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#80 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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Correct me if I am mistaken (the Timeline confuses me) but I am pretty certain Arwen is over 2500 by the time the books take place.
Heavens! That's a lot of Age Defying wrinkle cream.

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#81 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 02:17 PM
 
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I've read the Hobbit once and the Lord of the Rings 3 times...twice by myself and once aloud with dh. I've seen the Extended edition movies about 5 times each and the extras a few times each. I was ready to read the Silmarillion but then I found out Harry Potter book 6 is coming out in mere months so I am re reading those books to prepare for book 6. so probably after that I will get to the silmarillion.
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#82 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 03:08 PM
 
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I found out Harry Potter book 6 is coming out in mere months so I am re reading those books to prepare for book 6.
Good idea! Especially since book 6 has hints in it that Rowling couldn't fit into book 1. I'll have to re-read book 1.

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#83 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wheeee!!! I have never had a thread I started get to 2 pages, let alone 3!!!! How exciting.

Is anyone intersted in doing a LOTR chat anytime?
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#84 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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I, actually, found that more stuff in LOTR made sense after reading "The Silmarillion". And I had to read TS twice before really enjoying it. The first time was so complicated for me with all the names and places being tossed about. I had to keep a Tolkien encyclopedia next to me while reading for all those "now WHO is that again?" moments that popped up.

Chatting is pretty much out for me. I could only do so while dd naps and after the kids go to bed and both of those times are pretty booked for the next 2 or 3 years. :LOL
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#85 of 412 Old 02-15-2005, 11:05 PM
 
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Yeah, I just hit the computer in 5 minute increments when I get a chance...
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#86 of 412 Old 02-16-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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I finally made it back! This is the only thread I have subscribed to ever!

Okay, I used to read The Hobbit, then the LOTR's every May or June. I did this for YEARS...then got so busy being a mom...when ds#1 was in k-garten, I read The Hobbit aloud to him...and then the LOTR's also. He immediately wanted to "have" them. We have worn out a few paperback sets, we both have copies of The Hobbit in hardback...

I am still trying to read The Simarillion ( I can't spell.)

And my memory stinks these days.

BUT...I have painted several of my front doors (we move alot) green, in honor of Bilbo's house.

Ds#1 drew me a beautiful map of the Middle Earth which I promptly had framed and it is hanging in the living room.

I was SO worried about the movies...nervous and afraid they would butcher the books. I am mostly okay with the movies...realizing they really tried to be respectful and were so careful about details in many ways. The scene my brother calls The Flaming Denethor is the one I just can't deal with.

My brother and my ds#1 are really geeky about this, too. This is good as ds#2 is "tired of hobbits" (*gasp*) and my dh just doesn't get it at all.

My favorite characters have always been Sam...and Merry and Pippen.

In the movie, I have decided the hunkiest guy is Eomer. Ooooooooohhhhh!

Own all three of the EE versions and HAD to buy the regular version of ROTK because it was too much to WAIT for the third movie to be released on DVD. I've watched them way too many times.

Told my ds's that if it weren't for their dad's intervention, they would be named Pippen and Merry. :LOL!

I haven't watched any of the extra stuff on the DVD's yet...I just want to bask in the magic awhile longer.

I own a few pieces of jewelry from the movie...

I am pretty embarrassed now. But of course, you all understand.

My people!

So what do you think lembas tastes like? Shortbread, strawberry poptarts ( without icing) cherry poptarts, or other?

Oh, when he was a kid, my brother used to mix Bisquick with water, bake it in the oven, stuff his pockets full of it...it was cram. :LOL

Okay, we need help.

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#87 of 412 Old 02-16-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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#88 of 412 Old 02-16-2005, 03:51 PM
 
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According to the writers'/director's commentary, TB, the lambas they used in the movie tasted like soggy pastry. I always imagined it tasting more like shortbread, myself (hard on the outside, but buttery and soft inside). Maybe that's the Scottish side of me coming out... I'll ask my Irish friend if she thinks it tastes more like scones :LOL
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#89 of 412 Old 02-16-2005, 04:09 PM
 
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:LOL OK, tinybutterfly, you win. You and your brother win the prize for being the most dedicated fans. At least so far.

I guess I imagined lembas kind of like extra thick American crackers (not UK cookies). Kind of like Saltines without the salt. Like extra thick communion wafers! I like the scones and shortbread idea Much better...

Oh, I bet I could inspire dd to go on her own trek around the house and in the back yard if I made some short bread or scones. Heh! Heh! Bisquick would be easier, though. She could make it herself...

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#90 of 412 Old 02-16-2005, 04:11 PM
 
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Tinybutterfly, any chance you could post pictures of your movie jewelry? That would be totally cool, though I'd completely understand if you'd rather not.

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