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BS: Tolkien Trivia

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GUEST,D-Rail 12 Sep 02 - 09:19 PM
Venthony 13 Sep 02 - 12:55 AM
John P 13 Sep 02 - 08:46 AM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Sep 02 - 11:07 AM
Raedwulf 13 Sep 02 - 11:54 AM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Sep 02 - 03:27 PM
Raedwulf 13 Sep 02 - 07:12 PM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Sep 02 - 10:42 AM
Clinton Hammond 14 Sep 02 - 11:05 AM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Sep 02 - 01:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 14 Sep 02 - 01:18 PM
GUEST 16 Sep 02 - 10:33 AM
HuwG 16 Sep 02 - 01:52 PM
Raedwulf 16 Sep 02 - 06:01 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST,D-Rail
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 09:19 PM

Snowmains Mother was Lightfoot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Venthony
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 12:55 AM

Do you all realize (you do of course) that Dr. Tolkien kept all these plot threads and "historical" details in his HEAD as more or less a second job while teaching Chaucer, etc., to undergrads?

What can ya say? Even Wystan Auden was impressed, and that's saying quite a lot. After 30 years of reading this stuff over and over, I'm still humbled.

Tony


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: John P
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 08:46 AM

The information about Glorfindal and the prophesy must have been in one of the appendices. I'm pretty sure it's not in the main book and it would have been too late period for The Silmarillion.

I think another name for Saruman was Curunir.

What was the name of Aragorn's heir?

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 11:07 AM

Curunir was the other name for Saruman that I had in mind.

Perhaps only having one other name is because he seems not to have circulated throughout Middle Earth as did Gandalf. And of course there's the fact that he's not the central character that Gandalf is.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 11:54 AM

The original prediction from Glorfindel is indeed mentioned in Appendix A. It concerns the fall of Arthedain, & the rather belated relief force despatched by Earnil, King (who shouldn't have been) of Gondor, under the command of his son Earnur.

Having destroyed the Witch-King's army, Earnur's horse fails to withstand the charge of the Witch King himself and flees. When Earnur manages to master the horse & would set off in pursuit, Glorfindel advises him not to & makes the prediction. It is this incident, above all others, that the Morgul Lord (the only other name by which he is referred to in LOT or the Silmarillion, apart from LOTNazgul) uses to taunt Earnur with, thus drawing him out to his eventual death.

The other two named Nazgul are Gothmog (the #2), and Khamul who is named in the UT. Khamul is actually almost as powerful as Morgul himself by night, but weakens more than any of the others by daytime.

The 3 Istari named in LOTR are Saruman the White (a Maia of Aule, as was Sauron), Gandalf the Grey (in the service of Lorien & Nienna), & Radagast the Brown (from Yavanna), if I've remembered their Valar correctly. The other two are the Istryn Luin, the Blue Wizards, named in UT, Pallando & Alatar. I don't remember that they were ever assigned Valar, & without checking, all that was said was that they went to the East. Nothing was heard of them & they were presumed to have fallen away from their allotted task.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 03:27 PM

Thank you, Raedwulf, for the extra names. I've read the Unfinished Tales a couple times, and remembered that the others had gone east and were no longer heard from, but I had forgotten the "Blue Wizards" and the names.

I've been musing on the nature of "magic" in Tolkien's writing. The elves at Lothlorien (and maybe at Rivendell too, I forget) were puzzled by the term, I speculate perhaps because such influences were not separable from their ordinary understanding of the world.

But with few exceptions the magic in LOTR and the other works seems seldom to deal with the sort of physical magic that one might think of, like changing an object or being into another object or being, or a command destroying or creating an object, and so on. More often, there are spells of warding, of guidance, et cetera.

Now we come to the trivia quiz part:
1. How many instances can you list of what might be called physical, objective magic in LOTR? and
2. I've given two examples of non-physical spells. How many more can be listed?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 07:12 PM

You're welcome DaveO. I'm not going to attempt *your* little posers, though. It's actually been the best part of ten years since I sat down & read the book. I can think of plenty of magic items, such as rings, palantir, the battering ram Grond, swords, blah, but actual spellcasting (which I assume is what you mean)?

Off the top of my head (alright *BG* I will have a go!), Gandalf's fireworks (although that's, strictly, enchanted items again), Gandalf's wizard light in Moria, the breaking of the bridge in Moria, Galadriel's Mirror, the sight granted by the High Seat at Henneth Annun (if I've remembered the name right - the Falls of Rauros, if I haven't!), the breaking of Saruman's staff, Saruman's voice (& charm spells, which this effectively is, are non-physical), Treebeard doing his Ent-draught thing, the blasting of the culvert at Helm's Deep, the Black Breath, & the unnatural darkness at the Siege of Gondor.

They're all the instances of overt magic that come immediately to mind, but they're not necessarily all 'physical, objective magic'. Take yer pick.

Incidentally, after the last reply, I actually checked the Istari chapter in UT. Alatar was a Maia of Orome, & Pallando (who Alatar took 'out of friendship') was originally assigned by Tolkien to Mandos/Lorien & Nienna (& not Gandalf!), though that was at seem point crossed out by the Prof & he was also made a Maia of Orome. Gandalf himself was a Maia of Manwe, the Chief of the Valar. I'm bloody sure hr had some kind of association with Mandos & Nienna, it's where he got his deep compassion from, but I can't remember where I read it...

The actual quote on the Blue Wizards, interestingly, is along the lines of "they went to the East with Curunir, but they never returned with him". Strike another one for Saruman! Lastly, the number of Istari is "at least 5" - only those who came to the North West of Middle Earth & therefore have some kind of connection with LOTR ever get mentioned, but it seems deliberatly vague. There may have been others sent elsewhere...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 10:42 AM

By "objective physical magic" I did refer to such things as the breaking of the bridge or the breaking of Saruman's staff. Also, making light from the tip of Gandalf's staff, in Moria, or the fire from the same source earlier, when the fellowship desperately needed fire.

By the non-physical I meant such things as the words of ward and guidance spoken by Gandalf to Bill, the pony, at the west entrance to Moria, so that he could safely return unaccompanied whence he came. Also I meant to include the workings of Galadriel's mirror here, because, although it was visible, what was seen might or might not be present facts, past facts, or even mere possibilities.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 11:05 AM

"Dr. Tolkien kept all these plot threads and "historical" details in his HEAD"

Then explain the piles and piles of notes and bits that Chris Tolkien has raped and pillaged to crank out crap like The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales and all that other garbage that never should have been published...

JRR kept notes just like any other author... actually, probably more than most...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 01:04 PM

Oh, oh! Here comes the fight, kiddies!

I've spent hundreds of hours reading and rereading the Silmarillion, the Unfinished Tales, and the Lost Tales. As well as being great reading, there's a lot of insights to the Tolkien cosmos, by way of history, cosmology, and religion.

One of the reasons I consider Tolkien a "Great Name" in the arts (others being such fellas as Michelangelo, Bach, and Shakespeare) is his having invented a world, in breadth and depth. I believe I can say he invented this approach to writing. I'm not aware of any writer before him who provided that sort of depth and richness. Since LOTR and Silmarillion there have been a few writers who made a pass at something similar, but only as a pale and only slightly effective reflection of Tolkien.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 01:18 PM

"I'm not aware of any writer before him who provided that sort of depth and richness... Since LOTR and Silmarillion there have been a few writers who made a pass at something similar"

And most who came after realised that it's mostly just a waste of time...

World building especially on that scale is only really important to one person... the author...

And well, I'll fight ya tooth and nail Dave, over The Sil... it is NOT great reading... I've read cereal boxes that were better written... and I'm even a HUGE Guy Gavriel Kay fan...

Nahh... ya know what... I'm not fighitng with ya... It's not worth it, even for the sport... you read and enjoy what you want, and I'll read and enjoy what I want...

"I've spent hundreds of hours reading and rereading the Silmarillion, the Unfinished Tales, and the Lost Tales."

What ever blows your hair back mate... I think when an artits dies, his art should go with him... or rather no one should try to continue his art after him... it's insulting...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 10:33 AM

Correct...the 2nd named Nazgul was Khamul the Black, lieutenant of Dul Guldur after The Necromancer took shape as Sauron again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: HuwG
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 01:52 PM

Raedwulf and Uncle DaveO, another feat which falls (IMO) into the category of "physical magic" also occurs in Moria. Gandalf says at one point:

"I could think of nothing but to try and put a shutting spell on the door. To do this sort of thing rightly requires time, and even then the door can be broken by force"

In the event, Gandalf's and (I assume) the Balrog's contest for control of the door brought down the roof of the entire chamber.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tolkien Trivia
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 06:01 PM

HuwG - Yup, missed that one, but I'm not doing bad for 'from memory'!

Clinton - I'm at a loose end, have a fight! *BG*

The Silmarillion isn't crap & wets on anything GG Kay (notable for an awful integration of Arthurian myth into a pulp story, IMO) will ever achieve. I'll partly agree - once you get past UT, it is rather a cash cow, but 'rape & pillage' is unfair. CJJ hasn't produced this market out of nothing. I suspect, as the inheritor of his father's writings, he's spent a lot of time writing letters in response to requests for more information (as his father did before him) & therefore came to the conclusion that it would make more sense to methodically work through the inherited notes for the benefit of those that were interested. No-one forced you to read the stuff.

The Silmarillion only reads badly if you expect it to be a story like TH or LOTR. It was never intended to be that. UT is useful as a source of further, more fragmented, background information. After that, granted, it starts getting a bit silly.

Whatever else you may care to say about him, Tolkien never set out to write multiple books, a charge that most modern Fantasy authors cannot deny, since they do it quite deliberately (GGK - guilty!). Nor did he spend all that time on the background info with a view to nothing else but getting it published. The fact that it has been is testament not only to the quality of the original work, but to the depth of the supporting mythology he produced. No modern author has ever matched the achievement, no matter how many pulp novels set in a single world they've managed to churn out.

Alright, not much of a fight really, but hey, you're the man that thinks the film was better than the book, so what can I say?! :p ;)


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