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  #51  
Old 12-26-2018, 07:48 AM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
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I recall a scene (post-destruction of the ring) where Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf are communicating telepathically. So I'd say there is no doubt that the loftiest elves knew exactly who Gandalf was.
That was Jackson, not Tolkien.
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:02 AM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is offline
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In case someone brings up the Eagles again -- they were not transportation devices, they were divine intervention. They were not available for planning purposes. They showed up when Manwe decided they should. The only person they ever show up for is Gandalf, and he never calls them. Leaving The Hobbit, an earlier work for children, to one side.

I also think that Tom Bombadil is someone who doesn't fit anywhere and is an example of how Tolkien wrote LOTR, which was not very planned out. He more or less just started writing at one end and wrote until he got to the other. Bombadil is a plot device to get the hobbits out of the Shire, and also illustrating that at that point they were incapable of avoiding fatal danger on their own. He appeared in a long poem much earlier and I guess Tolkien liked him so much he put him into the novel.

Looking at LOTR as Christian allegory (despite what Tolkien explicitly said about how it wasn't one), is a lot more useful to understanding the plot than the application of any psuedo-practical fantasy rules.
  #53  
Old 12-26-2018, 08:44 AM
Rocky from Plano Rocky from Plano is offline
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I was under the impression that Tom Bombadil was a Maia. Although the fact the ring had no effect on Tom, but Gandalf was afraid to touch, it might indicate Tom was something else.
Shelob was also not affected by and had no interest in the ring and I assume Ungoliant (primeval spirit of night) would not have been either.

Maybe Tom was a primeval spirit of light?
  #54  
Old 12-26-2018, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ulfreida View Post
That was Jackson, not Tolkien.
No, it's Tolkien:

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Originally Posted by The Return of the King-Many Partings
Often long after the hobbits were wrapped in sleep they* would sit together under the stars, recalling the ages that were gone and all their joys and labours in the world, or holding council, concerning the days to come. If any wanderer had chanced to pass, little would he have seen or heard, and it would have seemed to him only that he saw gray figures, carved in stone, memorials of forgotten things now lost in unpeopled lands. For they did not move or speak with mouth, looking from mind to mind; and only their shining eyes stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro.
*Gandalf, Elrond, Celeborn, and Galadriel are specifically mentioned.

Last edited by Zakalwe; 12-26-2018 at 09:29 AM.
  #55  
Old 12-26-2018, 09:33 AM
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RE: Gandalf's nature. Are we entirely sure that Gandalf himself knew what he was until after his 'death' at the hands of the Balrog and subsequent resurrection?
  #56  
Old 12-26-2018, 10:44 AM
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RE: Gandalf's nature. Are we entirely sure that Gandalf himself knew what he was until after his 'death' at the hands of the Balrog and subsequent resurrection?
I suppose he could have had his pre-Middle Earth memories wiped away, but why assume so? And what purpose would it serve?
  #57  
Old 12-26-2018, 10:51 AM
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Harrumph, I say!
"I didn't get a 'Harrumph' out of that guy!"
  #58  
Old 12-26-2018, 11:00 AM
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I like Albino Head orc with the fucked up hand
Whereas I fucking hate him - and all the cheap B-grade schlock details Jackson added. Don't get me started on the Dead...
  #59  
Old 12-26-2018, 11:06 AM
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I think the idea isn't that his memories were "wiped", so much as that he couldn't fit all of them in that mortal frame. Certainly, when he comes back as the White, he seems briefly mentally muddled while he tries to make sense of who he is and was.
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:25 AM
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But that assumes there is a limited set of beings.
Also, none but the wise would know what the available classes of being might be. Gandalf, Sauron, and the Balrog of Moria were all Maiar, but no one without deep knowledge would necessarily consider them to be the same "kind" of being.

The nature of some of the other beings in Middle Earth is also unclear or debatable, including Tom Bombadil and the Great Eagles (even perhaps to Tolkein). They might have been Maiar, they might have been something else. Also, what exactly was Beorn? He seems to have been more than an ordinary man (although he was certainly mortal since it is mentioned he was succeeded by his son after his death.).

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  #61  
Old 12-26-2018, 12:46 PM
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I think the idea isn't that his memories were "wiped", so much as that he couldn't fit all of them in that mortal frame. Certainly, when he comes back as the White, he seems briefly mentally muddled while he tries to make sense of who he is and was.
It's one of those things that Tolkien leaves deliberately vague, which is one of his charms. The transition from a being of pure spirit and boundless power, to a powerful but temporal being in a physical body (Olorin to Gandalf the Grey back to Olorin and then to Gandalf the White) undoubtedly has lots of rules and ramifications that Tolkien declines to spell out in detail.
  #62  
Old 12-26-2018, 01:34 PM
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It's one of those things that Tolkien leaves deliberately vague, which is one of his charms. The transition from a being of pure spirit and boundless power, to a powerful but temporal being in a physical body (Olorin to Gandalf the Grey back to Olorin and then to Gandalf the White) undoubtedly has lots of rules and ramifications that Tolkien declines to spell out in detail.
Yes, apparently being truly embodied sounds like a real drag.

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For it is said indeed that being embodied the Istari had needs to learn much anew by slow experience, and though they knew whence they came the memory of the Blessed Realm was to them a vision from afar off, for which (so long as they remained true to their mission) they yearned exceedingly.
  #63  
Old 12-26-2018, 05:11 PM
caligulathegod caligulathegod is offline
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The world was changing and the time of the Elves was nearing its end. Defeating Sauron was actually a test to see if Man was worthy of inheriting the world. Just as a parent might guide a child riding a bike for the first time, eventually the child is on his own. The Wizards were sent to guide, but not do much more. The Elves, as well, could assist, but it was ultimately up to Man to take on the mantle of caretaker of Arda. This was why the Eagles stayed clear.

As for the plan, one has to consider the nature of the Rings of Power. They all work by amplifying innate tendencies of the bearers. The 9 for Men amplified their lust for power, the 7 for Dwarves amplified their desire for riches, the 3 for Elves amplified their desire for stasis and preservation, and the One Ring would amplify whatever its bearer already was. This was why Gandalf believed the Hobbits might be useful. He had studied them and their nature for years and generations. They were generally without ambition. Their biggest concerns were food, drink, gardening, and their own genealogy. There's a running gag in LOTR that most people, if they've even heard of "halflings" they have no stories of them. Some of that was their generally insular nature and some was that even when out in the world, they had a talent for not being noticed (as Gandalf discovered when hiring Bilbo as a burglar). Gandalf was hoping that the effect of the Ring on a hobbit would be minimal due to their modest nature. He followed one particular family that was somewhat adventurous, as he needed one that would at least leave the Shire, but was still "hobbity" enough to not let the Ring affect him so much.

So, the hope was to somehow take advantage of the Hobbits' natural tendencies and abilities. They had no full plan, but Gandalf hoped that by putting things in motion, giving the Ring to a Hobbit and moving Aragorn to take on his Kingly destiny, that "fate" would do what it would do.
  #64  
Old 12-26-2018, 05:33 PM
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This was why Gandalf believed the Hobbits might be useful. He had studied them and their nature for years and generations. They were generally without ambition. Their biggest concerns were food, drink, gardening, and their own genealogy.
and no interest in machines more complicated than a garrotte or a Luger.
  #65  
Old 12-26-2018, 07:46 PM
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The actual truth about Bombadil, of course, is that he doesn't fit the theology as described. But if you need to fit him in, he's a minor god, not a demigod or angel, like Gandalf.
  #66  
Old 12-26-2018, 08:58 PM
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The actual truth about Tom Bombadil is that he's a pair of Balrog wings in a trenchcoat. *nods sagely*
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Old 12-26-2018, 09:07 PM
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and no interest in machines more complicated than a garrotte or a Luger.
Luger?!

Methinks you were watching the wrong Ralph Bakshi Wizard.


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  #68  
Old 12-26-2018, 11:07 PM
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Luger?!

Methinks you were watching the wrong Ralph Bakshi Wizard.


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Peace be with you....
From Bored of the Rings:
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Concerning Boggies
Boggies are an unattractive but annoying people whose numbers have decreased rather precipitously since the bottom fell out of the fairy-tale market. Slow and sullen, and yet dull, they prefer to lead simple lives of pastoral squalor. They don't like machines more complicated than a garrote, a blackjack, or a luger, and they have always been shy of the "Big Folk" or "Biggers", as they call us. As a rule they now avoid us, except on rare occasions when a hundred or so will get together to dry-gulch a lone farmer or hunter.

Last edited by Colibri; 12-26-2018 at 11:09 PM.
  #69  
Old 12-27-2018, 10:23 AM
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I was under the impression that Tom Bombadil was a Maia. Although the fact the ring had no effect on Tom, but Gandalf was afraid to touch, it might indicate Tom was something else.
...
Maybe Tom was a primeval spirit of light?
I think that last is right. He definitely was above the Maier. It was movie-Gandalf that was afraid to handle the ring; book-Gandalf had no problems touching it, but did not wear it. I'd bet if he'd had, he would have gone invisible -- unlike TB who did not -- but we'll never know for sure.
  #70  
Old 12-27-2018, 11:42 AM
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I think that the category that Bombadil fits into is "those beings who are Tom Bombadil". He's his own unique sort of thing, and there aren't any other beings who are fundamentally like him.

But if you insist on putting him in a category with other beings, I suppose that he could be a fey, like Goldberry or Ungoliant. Though it's not a category that Tolkien goes into much detail about, in the finished works.
  #71  
Old 12-27-2018, 02:02 PM
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So, the hope was to somehow take advantage of the Hobbits' natural tendencies and abilities. They had no full plan, but Gandalf hoped that by putting things in motion, giving the Ring to a Hobbit and moving Aragorn to take on his Kingly destiny, that "fate" would do what it would do.
Your full post was ingenious, but Gandalf didn't give the ring to a Hobbit. (Long after Isuldir was killed Déagol found it in the Anduin River; Smeagol / Gollum killed Deagol for it; Bilbo discovered it in Gollum's cave and later reluctantly left it to Frodo.)
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  #72  
Old 12-27-2018, 04:00 PM
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When thinking about the Fellowship's plan, what was Boromir's plan?

Boromir: "It is a gift, let us use it against the enemy"
Elrond & Gandalf: "Not a good idea, but we're curious: How do you plan to use it?"
Boromir: "We'll ___________."

Boromir (and Faramir) want to use the Ring against Sauron's forces. What does he plan to do with it?

Yes, I know the answer is "greed would overcome him and he'll turn into a new Dark Lord". Let's set that aside, since they didn't know that. They genuinely believed they could make a use out of it to defend their homeland. They appeared sincere, neither was thinking "Heh-heh, those fools, the ring will be mine." How did they think would it help Gondor? What would they have done with it?
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  #73  
Old 12-27-2018, 04:06 PM
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Boromir wears the Ring and marches at the head of the armies of Gondor. It enhances his abilities as a leader, and his enhanced abilities as a leader further enhance the fighting ability of his troops, and so on. That's really more the Ring's primary use than the whole invisibility thing (which won't work against serious enemies anyway): The invisibility is just a fluke side effect.
  #74  
Old 12-27-2018, 04:23 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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When thinking about the Fellowship's plan, what was Boromir's plan?

Boromir: "It is a gift, let us use it against the enemy"
Elrond & Gandalf: "Not a good idea, but we're curious: How do you plan to use it?"
Boromir: "We'll ___________."

Boromir (and Faramir) want to use the Ring against Sauron's forces. What does he plan to do with it?

Yes, I know the answer is "greed would overcome him and he'll turn into a new Dark Lord". Let's set that aside, since they didn't know that. They genuinely believed they could make a use out of it to defend their homeland. They appeared sincere, neither was thinking "Heh-heh, those fools, the ring will be mine." How did they think would it help Gondor? What would they have done with it?
"It's magic, right? Big magic, or we wouldn't all be pissing our pants over it. I'm sure there must be some way to use this amazing scary superweapon to amazingly scare the other guy."
  #75  
Old 12-27-2018, 05:25 PM
caligulathegod caligulathegod is offline
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Your full post was ingenious, but Gandalf didn't give the ring to a Hobbit. (Long after Isuldir was killed Déagol found it in the Anduin River; Smeagol / Gollum killed Deagol for it; Bilbo discovered it in Gollum's cave and later reluctantly left it to Frodo.)
Thanks. Yeah, I kind of yadda yadda'd that. He trusted fate had made the correct decision for Frodo to have it. I suspect he even primed the pump a bit to encourage Frodo to do the job for the reasons already mentioned.

Last edited by caligulathegod; 12-27-2018 at 05:26 PM.
  #76  
Old 12-27-2018, 06:52 PM
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Had events gone a little differently:

Aragorn: We've defeated Saurons forces in the North and have him bottled up beyond the wall. What of your mission to find The Ring and its bearer?

Gandalf:....

Gimli: Aye. We found the ringbearer. The new ringbearer.

Aragorn: No.

Gimli: Aye Sam has it. And he's used it for that which wanted the most.

Aragorn: He used it to marry Rosie didn't he??

Gimli: Aye....ten kids. And they own five bars in Hobbitton and Bree....

Aragorn: Don't tell me...

Gimli: I couldn't help it. I bought a franchise. And a time share.
  #77  
Old 12-27-2018, 09:45 PM
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I believe the Fellowship's plan was to conduct an impromptu incursion into Mordor to dispose of the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo sort of serving as a "mission specialist" as "ring bearer" due to hobbits humble nature being less susceptible to the corrupting influence of the ring. Presumably Gandalf (strategy), Aragorn (recon), Legolas (sniper), Gimli (sapper/combat engineer) and Baromir (assault) collectively bringing enough combat experience and knowledge of local geography to navigate and either evade or neutralize any threats they may encounter along the way. The entourage of additional hobbits mostly serving as support and comic relief.

But, as Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. This particular one-two mouth punch being Gandalf's fall and the Uruk Hai killing Baromir and scattering the rest. But that didn't change the overall objectives, so Frodo and Sam continued on, making their way to the objective and utilizing whatever resources they found at their disposal.




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Boromir wears the Ring and marches at the head of the armies of Gondor. It enhances his abilities as a leader, and his enhanced abilities as a leader further enhance the fighting ability of his troops, and so on. That's really more the Ring's primary use than the whole invisibility thing (which won't work against serious enemies anyway): The invisibility is just a fluke side effect.
Right. And as Gandalf pointed out, he would attempt to use the ring from a desire to do "good". But it would "wield a power too great and terrible to imagine." IOW, it would corrupt Baromir's intentions and he would probably soon find himself at odds with Rohan and every other nation within marching distance.
  #78  
Old 12-27-2018, 10:01 PM
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One interesting issue is this: If Sauron gets the Ring, it's game over, man. If the Ring is out of play, and Sauron overwhelms Middle-Earth, it's also all over (and Gondor, the last major bulwark against Sauron, is in trouble). But those are not the only bad endings possible. If Sauron is overthrown by a powerful entity in control of the Ring, Middle-Earth is still screwed - it will be ruled by a dark lord or lady with a different name but no major difference in ruling strategy. It's an open question of who could bear the Ring and use it offensively without being enslaved by Sauron - Saruman and Gandalf both could (but would become dark lords) and Galadriel believed that she could (and would thus become a dark lady). I'm pretty sure that Boromir would become another Nazgul, though, while Aragorn might very well be strong enough to ... just become a different dark lord.

The good guys have a really narrow path to victory - keep Sauron's armies from winning long enough for the Ring to be destroyed by someone strong enough to resist the temptation to use it aggressively - and in fact, there is apparently no such person (Frodo couldn't do it, after all).
  #79  
Old 12-28-2018, 12:55 AM
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Sam is the person who could do it.
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Old 12-28-2018, 03:05 AM
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There is nobody at all who can resist the ring, because of the fallen nature of creation. Only the intervention of 'grace' allowed the ring to be destroyed.

See Tolkien Letters #181:

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The final scene of the Quest was so shaped simply because having regard to the situation, and to the 'characters' of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, those events seemed to me mechanically, morally, and psychologically credible. But, of course, if you wish for more reflection, I should say that within the mode of the story the 'catastrophe' exemplifies (an aspect of) the familiar words: 'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'

'Lead us not into temptation &c' is the harder and the less often considered petition. The view, in the terms of my story, is that though every event or situation has (at least) two aspects: the history and development of the individual (it is something out of which he can get good, ultimate good, for himself, or fail to do so), and the history of the world (which depends on his action for its own sake) – still there are abnormal situations in which one may be placed. 'Sacrificial' situations, I should call them: sc. positions in which the 'good' of the world depends on the behaviour of an individual in circumstances which demand of him suffering and endurance far beyond the normal – even, it may happen (or seem, humanly speaking), demand a strength of body and mind which he does not possess: he is in a sense doomed to failure, doomed to fall to temptation or be broken by pressure against his 'will': that is against any choice he could make or would make unfettered, not under the duress.

Frodo was in such a position: an apparently complete trap: a person of greater native power could probably never have resisted the Ring's lure to power so long; a person of less power could not hope to resist it in the final decision. (Already Frodo had been unwilling to harm the Ring before he set out, and was incapable of surrendering it to Sam.) The Quest was bound to fail as a piece of world-plan, and also was bound to end in disaster as the story of humble Frodo's development to the 'noble', his sanctification. Fail it would and did as far as Frodo considered alone was concerned. ...

But at this point the 'salvation' of the world and Frodo's own 'salvation' is achieved by his previous pity and forgiveness of injury. At any point any prudent person would have told Frodo that Gollum would certainly betray him, and could rob him in the end. To 'pity' him, to forbear to kill him, was a piece of folly, or a mystical belief in the ultimate value-in-itself of pity and generosity even if disastrous in the world of time. He did rob him and injure him in the end – but by a 'grace', that last betrayal was at a precise juncture when the final evil deed was the most beneficial thing any one cd. have done for Frodo! By a situation created by his 'forgiveness', he was saved himself, and relieved of his burden. He was very justly accorded the highest honours – since it is clear that he & Sam never concealed the precise course of events. Into the ultimate judgement upon Gollum I would not care to enquire. This would be to investigate 'Goddes privitee', as the Medievals said. Gollum was pitiable, but he ended in persistent wickedness, and the fact that this worked good was no credit to him. His marvellous courage and endurance, as great as Frodo and Sam's or greater, being devoted to evil was portentous, but not honourable. I am afraid, whatever our beliefs, we have to face the fact that there are persons who yield to temptation, reject their chances of nobility or salvation, and appear to be 'damnable'. Their 'damnability' is not measurable in the terms of the macrocosm (where it may work good). But we who are all 'in the same boat' must not usurp the Judge.
  #81  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:03 AM
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Sauron may have been a bad egg (or was he?), but the Fellowship's real master plan was to jinx the development of industrialization, urbanization, and democracy.
In a world with magic, immortals, and lines of power that actually follow genealogical lineage, such objections to development actually make a bit of sense.
Only if you're a member of the feudal ruling class (like Aragorn, Elrond, or Frodo) with a vested interest in maintaining your privileged position in society. For pretty much everyone else, keeping things as they are means a lifetime of tedious manual labour with virtually no prospect of social betterment.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:08 AM
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Sam is the person who could do it.
Sam was strongly tempted to become the great gardener; he was able to return the Ring to Frodo, but actually destroying it is a different story.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:10 AM
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For the Ringbearer, a frigging Istari, the Rightful King of Gondor WITH A REFORGED NARSIL, the son of the steward of Gondor, an elf and a dwarf along with their three minions to surreptitiously sneak into Mordor and throw the ring into Mount Doom? Real inconspicuous bunch there. They couldn't even sneak through a dungeon without bringing the entire mountain and a frigging balrog down on them. What are they going to do in the open? This has "Party goes off the DM rails and throws together a shitty plan" written all over it.
Your post reminds me of a hilarious book review I read on Usenet, where the author believed (or pretended to believe) that Tolkien was some hack writer hired to novelize an existing RPG. Here's a sample:
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Originally Posted by Craig Clark
Tolkien just doesn't seem to understand how characters generated by a role-playing game system work, particularly wizards. Gandalf has at his disposal precious few of the spells detailed in the Realms of Middle-earth 'Thaumaturge's Tome'. Count them: he has two First-Level Wizard spells - a Make Magic Fire spell, and a Strike Evil Forces With White Lightning spell (both of which he uses twice - the only time spells are used more than once); and two Second-Level Wizard spells: a Reveal Secret Doors spell, and a Bind Great Horses To Your Service spell. That's it: the sole sum of his magic, it would appear. In particular, just about anyone who's ever played a Realms of Middle-earth game will hope that Gandalf has an Immunity From Corruption By Evil Magic Items spell, particularly since that would make the plot so much simpler. The story-line concerns the discovery that the magic ring found by Bilbo in The Hobbit, and now belonging to his cousin Frodo, is actually incredibly corrupt, and that it must be destroyed before the Dark Lord Sauron gets hold of it. If only Tolkien had read through the list of spells contained in the 'Thaumaturge's Tome', he could have given the ring to Gandalf to destroy then and there, and thus spared us much of the interminable plot which follows.
  #84  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:13 AM
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Boromir wears the Ring and marches at the head of the armies of Gondor.
But how would they know where to follow him? And even if they did, wouldn't they be constantly bumping into him whenever he stopped to rest?
  #85  
Old 12-28-2018, 10:52 AM
ebb ebb is offline
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I think that the category that Bombadil fits into is "those beings who are Tom Bombadil". He's his own unique sort of thing, and there aren't any other beings who are fundamentally like him.
So Tigger then, basically.
  #86  
Old 12-28-2018, 12:11 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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Your post reminds me of a hilarious book review I read on Usenet, where the author believed (or pretended to believe) that Tolkien was some hack writer hired to novelize an existing RPG.
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Originally Posted by Craig Clark's review
Unfortunately, this kind of silliness is compelled by
Tolkien's plot, which has been plagiarised, almost incident by
incident, from that masterpiece of modern fantasy, _The Blade
of Bannara_ by Jerry Crookes
Yeah, I'm gonna go with "joke post" here.
  #87  
Old 12-28-2018, 12:19 PM
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"It's magic, right? Big magic, or we wouldn't all be pissing our pants over it. I'm sure there must be some way to use this amazing scary superweapon to amazingly scare the other guy."

I suppose you'd get command of the Nine?
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:29 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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One interesting issue is this: If Sauron gets the Ring, it's game over, man. ...
The good guys have a really narrow path to victory - keep Sauron's armies from winning long enough for the Ring to be destroyed by someone strong enough to resist the temptation to use it aggressively - and in fact, there is apparently no such person (Frodo couldn't do it, after all).
Not necessarily, after all Sauron had the One Ring for quite some time (1640 years) and was defeated while wearing it.

And Bilbo gave up the Ring, possibly Frodo would have been able to do it if he hadnt been so weakened.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:52 PM
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Not necessarily, after all Sauron had the One Ring for quite some time (1640 years) and was defeated while wearing it.
The humans are completely outmatched this time with almost no Elf support.

Quote:
And Bilbo gave up the Ring, possibly Frodo would have been able to do it if he hadnt been so weakened.
I always assumed that the closer the ring was to Sauron/Mount Doom, the stronger it's hold was. Also, if the ring is somewhat sentient, it would want to jump from Bilbo to Frodo, to get itself back to Sauron.

Last edited by enalzi; 12-28-2018 at 12:52 PM.
  #90  
Old 12-28-2018, 01:05 PM
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"Before you let us pass into Mordor, you must answer these questions three."

"Very well, if I must... hey, wait a minute!"




"What is your favorite color?"

"Grey...NO!, White!"


But it was too late, and he was cast off the Bridge of Khazad-dûm with a Balrog.
__________________
"Blue, Navy Blue, he's as blue as he can be;
'Cause my steady boy said "Avatar!" and joined the Na'avi."
  #91  
Old 12-28-2018, 01:23 PM
Andy L Andy L is offline
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Not necessarily, after all Sauron had the One Ring for quite some time (1640 years) and was defeated while wearing it.

And Bilbo gave up the Ring, possibly Frodo would have been able to do it if he hadnt been so weakened.
Sauron was faced then by a continent wide alliance with many times the current might and population of Gondor.

After years of persuasion Bilbo gave the Ring to his favorite person - but he didn't try to destroy it.
  #92  
Old 12-28-2018, 02:18 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Only if you're a member of the feudal ruling class (like Aragorn, Elrond, or Frodo) with a vested interest in maintaining your privileged position in society. For pretty much everyone else, keeping things as they are means a lifetime of tedious manual labour with virtually no prospect of social betterment.
The world itself seems to reward the feudal class. In this world, the aristocrats actually do have powers, and their life and health seems to be tied to that of the land. Only people from these bloodlines can use certain objects of power.

Or, that could all be propaganda to keep the proles in line.

My understanding is that Tolkien claims that the books were not about the horrors of industrialization and urbanization, but he also claims that they are not religiously motivated or inspired.
  #93  
Old 12-28-2018, 02:50 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Only if you're a member of the feudal ruling class (like Aragorn, Elrond, or Frodo) with a vested interest in maintaining your privileged position in society. For pretty much everyone else, keeping things as they are means a lifetime of tedious manual labour with virtually no prospect of social betterment.
Laketown and the Shire were democracies of a sort. I suspect others areas were as well.

The life of a shire farmer (the only ones we see in detail) seems to be fairly comfortable and even fun, with lots of presents, feasting, boozing and smoking.

And Frodo wasnt a member of the ruling class. He happened to be fairly rich, but that's about it.
  #94  
Old 12-28-2018, 02:59 PM
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Well, he (and Bilbo) was part Took, and the Tooks were the closest thing the Shire had to a noble family.

But I do get the impression that the Mayor held more practical power than the Thain.
  #95  
Old 12-28-2018, 03:05 PM
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Well, he (and Bilbo) was part Took, and the Tooks were the closest thing the Shire had to a noble family.

But I do get the impression that the Mayor held more practical power than the Thain.
Yes, I'd call Bilbo "landed gentry" not nobility.
  #96  
Old 12-28-2018, 03:19 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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Laketown and the Shire were democracies of a sort. I suspect others areas were as well.
I would think their government would resemble rural England of 1910.
  #97  
Old 12-28-2018, 03:41 PM
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Laketown and the Shire were democracies of a sort. I suspect others areas were as well.
....

And Frodo wasnt a member of the ruling class. He happened to be fairly rich, but that's about it.
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Well, he (and Bilbo) was part Took, and the Tooks were the closest thing the Shire had to a noble family.

But I do get the impression that the Mayor held more practical power than the Thain.
The only elected official in the Shire was the Mayor. The Thain, technically the representative of the (absent) King, was a hereditary office. By the time of the War of the Ring it was largely ceremonial. But the most important authority on an daily basis was probably that of the (hereditary) heads of the most important families like the Tooks and Bradybucks. The Shire effectively was an oligarchy. But Tolkien set it up as a kind of Utopia where almost everyone followed the rules because they were just and good, and conflict was minimal.

Lake-town however was a republic with a democratically elected Master.
  #98  
Old 12-28-2018, 03:49 PM
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And Frodo wasnt a member of the ruling class. He happened to be fairly rich
Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Frodo might best be described as landed gentry, a class that supported itself through property ownership rather than labour. You don't need to be a nobleman or a politician to be part of the ruling class.
  #99  
Old 12-28-2018, 04:23 PM
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It's difficult to say how the practical governance of the Shire worked, because there seems to be so little of it. The Thain was largely ceremonial, yes, but then the same seems to be true of the Mayor. And the heads of the important families seemed to have authority mostly only over their own families. The only "government employees" we seem to see are the Shirrifs, who by and large do nothing.

I think there might have been some mention of courts, in regards to Lobelia tying up the resolution of Bilbo's estate. But we know nothing about how the judges are chosen.
  #100  
Old 12-28-2018, 05:42 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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I was thinking its kinda weird Aragorn wasnt there to see everyone off at the end (When they leave for Valinor) . And i dont think he is in the book either. Then I thought it was weird Arwen wasn't but I remembered she wasn't as elevated in the book. And decided that visually its a mess if so many people are there saying goodbye. So I wonder if thats the same reason Tolkein kept it to those leaving and the Hobbits.
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