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Re: Lord of the Rings - the Informative, the Cute & Trivial

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:58 pm
by shireling

I really hate to side with Gollum on this, but “what’s in my pocket” is not a riddle and should not have counted.

(via flange5) - fyrichardiii

For a long time I just figured that it was late, he was tired and had run out of riddles, so the Don just thought 'What the hell. Why not?'

Re: Lord of the Rings - the Informative, the Cute & Trivial

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:43 am
by shireling


John was a soldier huddled in the trenches facing No Man’s Land, feeling the most wretched he had ever been. He was cold and hungry, overwhelmed with the stench of unwashed bodies and infected wounds, the nearly endless rounds of gunfire and grenade explosions, the screams of the dying.

Sometimes he felt as if he would never again know the taste of bread and a proper cuppa tea, to breathe in air that was not foully tainted by the Enemy’s noxious poisons. Sometimes he felt that they were all under the pitiless gaze of some great Eye, naked in the Dark.

And then he heard an American voice say, “Don’t you understand? This is No Man’s Land. That means no man may cross it.”

And thus, John’s attention was captured by the hooded figure the American was speaking to. She dropped the cloak to reveal armor, that her hands carried a sword and a shield, and she ascended the ladder with steps swift and sure. John would always remember these words, though she herself had never said them aloud, but her actions spoke clear as day:

“I am no man.”

There she stood, a shining figure in the middle of No Man’s Land, facing the Enemy and drawing their fire, beautiful as the dawn, terrible as the sea, stronger than all the foundations of the Earth.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien does not remember how he scrambled up the ladder to follow after her, only that he and his fellow soldiers followed in Her wake, to fight by her side and onwards to victory.


Originally posted by timeladv

Tags: OH MY GOD it's everything i never knew i wanted - fyrichardiii

Re: Lord of the Rings - the Informative, the Cute & Trivial

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:44 pm
by shireling


It puzzles me when people cite LOTR as the standard of “simple” or “predictable” or “black and white” fantasy. Because in my copy, the hero fails. Frodo chooses the Ring, and it’s only Gollum’s own desperation for it that inadvertently saves the day. The fate of the world, this whole blood-soaked war, all the millennia-old machinations of elves and gods, comes down to two addicts squabbling over their Precious, and that is precisely and powerfully Tolkien’s point.

And then the hero goes home, and finds home a smoking desolation, his neighbors turned on one another, that secondary villain no one finished off having destroyed Frodo’s last oasis not even out of evil so much as spite, and then that villain dies pointlessly, and then his killer dies pointlessly. The hero is left not with a cathartic homecoming, the story come full circle in another party; he is left to pick up the pieces of what was and what shall never be again.

And it’s not enough. The hero cannot heal, and so departs for the fabled western shores in what remains a blunt and bracing metaphor for death (especially given his aged companions). When Sam tells his family, “Well, I’m back” at the very end, it is an earned triumph, but the very fact that someone making it back qualifies as a triumph tells you what kind of story this is: one that is too honest to allow its characters to claim a clean victory over entropy, let alone evil.

“I can’t recall the taste of food, nor the sound of water, nor the touch of grass. I’m naked in the dark.
There’s nothing–no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I can see him with my waking eyes.”

So where’s this silly shallow hippie fever-dream I’ve heard so much about? It sounds like a much lesser story than the one that actually exists.


You know how Frodo leaves Sam with the legacy of the quest - the job of bearing witness to what happened - and the duty to finish and protect his writings?

Tolkien lost all but one of his friends in WW1. He was founder member of a literary club at school - the TCBS. There was a larger group and a core of four. They all stayed friends, they kept writing and sharing their work with each other. And they were almost all killed. One of them, Geoffrey Smith, wrote this to Tolkien in 1916.

My chief consolation is that if I am scuppered tonight – I am off on duty in a few minutes – there will still be left a member of the great T.C.B.S. to voice what I dreamed and what we all agreed upon. […] May God bless you my dear John Ronald and may you say things I have tried to say long after I am not there to say them if such be my lot.

And that was his last letter. There’s something eerie about the way he seems to have pegged Tolkien as an eventual survivor.

Sam’s survival (and his emergence as the true hero of the book) are beautiful because they’re suffused with loss, because they’re not the grand conquering heroic narrative that on some level was “supposed” to happen.

(via reyns456)

Re: Lord of the Rings - the Informative, the Cute & Trivial

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:37 pm
by shireling

don’t judge a person by their looks, judge them by their opinion on boromir

(Source: lordoftheelves, via theotherodinson)