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Old 11-08-2005, 01:50 PM   #1
Boromir88
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White Tree Are you Satisfied?

I really didn't know what to name this, but basically the title says it all (and I'm sure there's been threads like this, but I haven't seen one in a while)...Are you satisfied with the stories The Master (plus his son) gave us on Middle-earth and it's history? Would you have liked to have seen more, perhaps more stories after the War of the Ring (maybe The New Shadow Tolkien started writing then abandoned because he wasn't happy with it?) Or are you satisfied with what we got?

Me, personally, I'm pretty fine with the stories we got. Sure, I would like to probably see more, maybe learn more after the The War of the Ring, but I'm pretty happy with what we got.

The reason is, I saw a thread on another forum talking about this new book that should be written based of LOTR called Return of the Ring, or something. It was pretty much a bad idea and from what I read from this person it would have major plotholes, plus I'm sure a sueing from the Tolkien Estate would occur. But anyway, I got to thinking, I don't want to see LOTR (or Tolkien's other books) and the Histories of Middle-earth turn into another Star Wars dilemma. What I mean is, with all these spin off books that are made up, that are junk, and create big plot holes. That's been the biggest dilemma with Star Wars and all the spin-off novels. I would hate to see LOTR and Middle-earth become a Star Wars. So...I guess I'm pleased with what Tolkien has given us. Though sometimes I wish there to be more, it's fine not to have more....

(P.S. Hope I'm not talking in circles )
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:04 PM   #2
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My first reaction is that I don't think I could cope with more!

However, I do think that unless Tolkien himself had written some more tales, then it's just something we will never be able to grasp. He always wrote just enough tales. Perhaps it is familiarity which makes me feel comfortable with what there already is. And I bet that explanation was like talking in circles a bit?

Besides, there is so much other stuff available, and the more you read it, the more you realise how it can be read in different ways; the level of detail I'm sure is one of the most important things for keeping the Tolkienist hooked. Everyone here seems to have their own 'area of interest', for example we have those into learning the Elven languages, people interested in delving in HoME, those who like to create their own tales leading off from what Tolkien wrote.

I completely agree about those spin-off books though. I had the pleasure of sitting back and watching the almighty row of two Star Wars fans a few weeks ago while they argued about whether the spin-offs were 'trash'. I think that's what you get when the film comes first. Thankfully, it's al the other way about with Tolkien!
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:35 PM   #3
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No way, no way am I satisfied. Ah, to anticipate the release of a new Middle-earth novel, to read the Professor's slyly humorous foreword while I stand in line to buy it, to promise myself to savor it -- only a chapter, two at most, a day -- then greedily devour it over a lazy weekend, these are joys most devoutly to be wished. Rereading Tolkien for the fiftieth time and appreciating all his nuance is all well and good, but there's nothing like being swept off your feet and ravished for the first time by a book like LotR. That's where it's really at. I could definitely wish that Tolkien had had a little bit more Stephen King in his makeup.

But I guess it's a bit of a catch-22. His obsessive working and reworking of a relatively small number of core stories is what made them great. I for one wouldn't mind seeing pros take cracks at new Middle-earth stories, as I mentioned in a thread on copyright somewhere around here. Poor efforts could be safely ignored without tarnishing Tolkien's core legendarium, while good ones would be like a welcome new visit with a cherished old friend.

I wish there were more stories.
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:58 PM   #4
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1420!

I wish there were more stories . . .

Me, too! I long for the announcement that in a battered old trunk, hidden away in some dusty attic, old manuscripts will be found.

Shameless plug here for a favored Barrow-Downs writer:

Having enjoyed Mithadan's "Tales from Tol Eressëa" (the first of which is HERE ), I'd like to see him lend his skills to reworking/completing the unfinished Fourth Age story - The New Shadow.

Just a wish . . .
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:14 PM   #5
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My, some people are greedy indeed. More stories? I’m only just starting the Silmarillion and thus have many stories to enjoy still. I’m feeling a bit lost as it is.

Honestly, I don’t think more is really necessary. Tolkien provided me at least with ample material to muse over for a very long time. If there were more, I would fear to lose myself completely in his already complex and elaborate world. Partly, I agree with Mr. Underhill, there is nothing like reading a book for the very first time (especially Lord of the Rings and this is for me an only too recent memory) and discussing and analyzing will never be as wonderful as just sitting down with a book and allowing yourself to be drawn into a whole new world. On the other hand, there is nothing quite so disappointing as quantity over quality in literature. It’s good to leave some things to imagination.

Besides, if another secret and hidden manuscript does turn up, you would still be in the same position after finishing that. All things must come to an end eventually.

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(maybe The New Shadow Tolkien started writing then abandoned because he wasn't happy with it?)
Well, if he was not happy with it, we probably would not be either. Maybe someone else will continue writing the history of Middle Earth in the future. Though I normally dislike comparisons, if you consider that Tolkien was really an historian (okay, so he invented a whole world and history, but the old Irish monks basically did the same), it is only natural someone would take over at a certain point. Of course, it would never be the same. But it would certainly be interesting. ^^
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:33 PM   #6
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There are still some unpublished stories/poems by Tolkien. We haven't yet seen The Fall of Arthur, The New Volsungasaga, or his translation of Beowulf. The recently published Smith Essay contains a wonderful backstory about Smith's grandfather, Rider.
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His name was Rider, indicating that he was not a member or practiser of one of the chief'crafts'. The Riders were interested in horses and their livelihood was obtained, in addition to the training of horses and horse-doctoring, by acting as the equivalents of a local post and carrier service. They would take messages or letters of urgency and sometimes convey packages to other villages and homesteads, especially those at a distance, often returning with similar errands. This part of their work especially suited Rob, his father's youngest son. He took largely after his mother, a Piper of Wootton Minor, and was restless and adventurous. He began errand-riding when he was little more than fifteen. He soon became known for the speed and accuracy with which he would take messages or perform errands, and for his reluctance to return and report. After a time he ceased to live in Wootton Major, and only returned there at irregular intervals as suited him; he became a 'traveller', a man of no fixed abode or livelihood. During this time though there were many rumours current nothing was really known about his journeys and adventures, until one day he came back, apparently provided with money and certainly with a wife. She was a young and beautiful woman called Rose, one of the Sangsters of Walton a distant village beyond Wootton Minor. She was much his junior, for by that time he must have been at least thirty-five....
And if you want to know what happened next you'll have to buy the book...
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Old 11-08-2005, 07:47 PM   #7
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There is a great longing to see some form of continuation of the main plot lines in LotR that comes over me on a regular basis. Some of these characters seem like good friends after all this time. And who could resist another adventure with friends?

These feelings are not born of any rational assessment of Tolkien's works, however, which makes me think that what I'm really longing for is that time I first sat down and read the book; how overwhelmed and excited I was, both by the events in the narrative and events going on around me, what a happy and confusing time it was for me, what great fun I had along the way.

Perhaps satisfaction is the wrong word for what I'm seeking. It's something more along the lines of reassurance; the idea that all things I love will continue to live on in one form or another.
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Old 11-09-2005, 12:44 AM   #8
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I'm perfectly satisfied. In fact, I'm happy that Tolkien stopped writing the New Shadow.
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:05 AM   #9
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Humans are never content...

hehe...

I've reread the Sil, and I just saw something like the Great End wherein Melkor would be released and Turin would sorta avenge himself... ooh, I'd give a lot to have a dose of that one....

i dunno, whatever story I read, I just can't seem to get enough!
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:09 AM   #10
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Well, Boromir, this is something of a tough question, you know?

Am I satisfied? No. . .but I never am at the end of a good book. However, should he have written more? I don't think so. If he had, wouldn't we have run up into the same problems? Eventually, we'd have read everything that he wrote, and then, once again, we wouldn't be satisfied. A chap can only write so much in his life time and no more. Middle-Earth has enough history in it to take up the writing of two lifetimes.

We should take what the master writer wrote as a gift and cherrish what it is - not what it is not.

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Old 11-09-2005, 09:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lush
These feelings are not born of any rational assessment of Tolkien's works, however, which makes me think that what I'm really longing for is that time I first sat down and read the book; how overwhelmed and excited I was, both by the events in the narrative and events going on around me, what a happy and confusing time it was for me, what great fun I had along the way.

Perhaps satisfaction is the wrong word for what I'm seeking. It's something more along the lines of reassurance; the idea that all things I love will continue to live on in one form or another.
I think Lush, as so often, is on to something important here, that Tolkien has tapped into an essential element of the reading experience. Reading helps children, teens, adults, experience things which need to be experienced, but often cannot in our world. We need for our psychic development/health situations of abandonment, solitude, fear, to negotiate our way. We need the forest, the Tardis, the Quest, something bigger on the inside than the outside.

Tolkien gives us preeminently the experience of story and it is that experience which is essential to the human condition.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folwren
Am I satisfied? No. . .but I never am at the end of a good book. However, should he have written more? I don't think so.
I pretty much echo Folwren's thoughts here, but let me expand a little.

As you read the book(especially for the first time) you have a very good feeling. You're excited about it, you're into it, you can't wait to get to the next part. But at the end, when it's all over, you feel almost empty(or at least I did).

No, I'm not saying I felt like the end wasn't enough. The end was thouroghly complete and I did like the end. But that doesn't make any difference to the way I felt. It's hard to put into words, but it was almost like 'what do I do now'. I was on the Quest with them, I did an amazing thing, but now that it's over, how can you ever go back to normal? I guess I felt almost like Frodo did. There just seems to be this void that the book left in me, kind of like the Ring left in him.

I have an analogy for this; the books are like addictive drugs. When you're reading them, you're on a high. It's like you're in another world. But when it's over, you feel like you want more. Going back and reading them again will still get you that high, but not nearly as much. You feel like you need something newer to satisfy your 'fix'. And since there is nothing new, it's almost like a withdrawl. (I guess I'm addicted to LotR! )

But really, it was a bitter-sweet ending for me. I was happy with the ending, but sad that it was the end.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurthang
I have an analogy for this; the books are like addictive drugs. When you're reading them, you're on a high. It's like you're in another world. But when it's over, you feel like you want more. Going back and reading them again will still get you that high, but not nearly as much. You feel like you need something newer to satisfy your 'fix'. And since there is nothing new, it's almost like a withdrawl. (I guess I'm addicted to LotR! )
In his introduction to 'The Road Goes Ever On' (the book he 'co-wrote' with Tolkien) Donald Swann wrote:

Quote:
...I used to feel that the Tolkien dimension was almost a danger. I then went against this, & decided I would enter it at any time I chose, but with this golden rule (with this phial glowing on my desk?) that I must be able to emerge, to shut the book, & get up from my chair. If I can't. I will earn the disapproval of the author. He was an upright man in the real world, & had no intention of casting a spell on anyone. I told him once of a young man who thought he was Frodo. 'I've ruined their lives,' he said disconsolately.
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Old 11-09-2005, 05:13 PM   #14
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The books aren't like drugs to me. What they are like, is comfort food for my mind, but comfort food which is different in a little way every time. Like my grandmother's roast beef dinners. Sometimes the joint (heh - the beef ) would be a diferent cut, but it was always good.

I don't need there to be any more, because I always find nourishment in what is already there. I like finding a passage I have read many times over and discovering that it leads me down a new path, whether about new ideas or about what other stories may lay behind it. I wonder if this is all part of the 'experience of story' as Bethberry has called it?
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:28 PM   #15
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White Tree

Good thoughts everyone. I'm just trying to delve into the minds of my fellow downers.

Quote:
If he had, wouldn't we have run up into the same problems? Eventually, we'd have read everything that he wrote, and then, once again, we wouldn't be satisfied.
Couldn't have said it better myself. He could only write so much, and going back to some earlier comments, I wouldn't want anything more unless it came from Tolkien.

Quote:
I don't need there to be any more, because I always find nourishment in what is already there.
Interesting, and I guess I feel the same too, or atleast with LOTR and The Hobbit. For me, I am about half way through the Silmarillion (first time reading it) and I'm thinking I got UT definitely that I want to get into and probably the HoME series and all this other stuff! At the rate I'm going in my life I'll probably never in my life time get to finish all this, so I guess I haven't experiences the "want for more," yet because I still have more.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:23 AM   #16
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I wouldn't want anything more unless it came from Tolkien
Me neither. I still want more, but I haven't yet laid my fingers on HoME, so maybe that'll be enough for me. (At least for a while .)
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:41 PM   #17
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I don't want new stories .. I just would like a little more on the ones he left uncompleted ... I would dearly know more of Belfalas and the Lords of Dol Amroth. I think from the scraps revealed in UT and HoME, that they are things JRRT would have investigated further given the chance. I would also like to know what Tolkien decided was the back story of Amroth, more about Elladan and Elrohir and Celebrian...... just little details
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:09 PM   #18
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So desperate am I for more stories of Middle-Earth that I actively participate in the next best thing to something penned by the professor: the RPG forums!

It would also be nice if he wrote something entitled: "How Legolas, the Round-Eared, Black-Haired Elf, Felt When He Saw the Winged and Capable-of-Flight Balrog."
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:44 AM   #19
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It would also be nice if he wrote something entitled: "How Legolas, the Round-Eared, Black-Haired Elf, Felt When He Saw the Winged and Capable-of-Flight Balrog."
Look, that was just never going to happen. What do you think he was writing? Fantasy?
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:48 AM   #20
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I could never be satisfied

I personally really would not want new books, because especially LOTR is quite complete and is a masterpiece, but as others have said additional details about events and characters in the current books would be nice

Of course there is that ever present "Do Balrogs have Wings?" question which we will never truely know the answer too
It would be lovely to have a definite answer on that topic, so we could finally put that debate to rest (which will never happen)
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:33 AM   #21
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Silmaril

no. absolutely not.

me and my brother always talk of how we wish we could totally forget everthing we ever knew about Middle-Earth and Tolkien, and then rediscover the magic all over again.

oh well, i guess that is part of the magic, according to teh Professor himself. something about "unatained vistas opeinign befor you" or somthing like that.

i hope when we get to heaven, he will have spent his time in a worthwhile fasion.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:29 AM   #22
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True myth?

At the risk of taking taking this discussion a bit off track.....

Boromir - Great question!

Quote:
So desperate am I for more stories of Middle-Earth that I actively participate in the next best thing to something penned by the professor: the RPG forums!
Fordim, I think you've made an incredibly important point. It seems to me that this thread has a certain tension running through it because we are coming at this problem from two different angles. We are interpreting this question in different ways. There are those folks who focus quite strictly on the author and either are content with what we have, or would simply like to see a story or two penned, but only from Tolkien's own hand. Then there are others who have something else in the back of their minds. Though admittedly a smaller group, they focus on Middle-earth itself. Part of their sorrow lies in the fact that Middle-earth is such a fragmentary and shifting world. I am unable to read HoMe or UT or even Silm without lamenting that more of the hints we have from the author's own hand never came to fruition.

As much as I love Tolkien, I am in the group of those who fix on the world rather than the author, although it's taken me a long time to get there. When I first read Tolkien in the mid to early sixties, there was no "separate" Middle-earth. There was only a book called the Hobbit and one called the Lord of the Rings. All that changed with the subsequent publications. Frankly, I found them mind boggling. Suddenly, I realized that Tolkien had indeed been crafting not simply a series of books, but a true mythology.

Let me clarify one point. I am not saying that there is a strict division between the two camps of 'author versus world'. We can all heartily agree that anything penned by Tolkien is clearly superior to that which is written by anyone else (even PJ ). But, for some of us, the desire to "fill in the holes" is strong and we are willing to contemplate the holes being filled in by other, if lesser, hands. Sometimes I even wonder if our differing attitudes about the movie is partially conditioned by our answer to this question. In any case, when I read what Mithadan or Gil or Pio has written (also check out Dreamdear's story via Google), there are some pretty talented folk out there who seem to be equally obsessed with filling in the picture.

Why else would some of us spend so much of our time on RPG's or fanfiction? Surely some of the RPG writers on this site are capable of coming up with worlds of our own, yet we stubbornly continue to come back to Middle-earth. Is it just Tolkien that pulls us in or the world that he has created? Surely it must be a little bit of both. When I say these things, I know I take my life in my hands, since I risk the possibility of being bombed out of the forum by those hurling tomatoes at hearing such heresy.

But before you throw up your hands in exasperation, think about this.... If Tolkien really wanted to pen a mythology, how could be be content with his world becoming "static and dead", subject only to the back and forth dialogue of critics? I use the word "critics" in a positive way here. I am not just talking about dunderheads like Bloom but insightful folk like Shippey and Flieger. Still there are limits to what these individuals are dong. At heart, they are scholars; what I really want are storytellers.

In my heart of heart, I believe this. If Tolkien's writing is true myth, then it can and will be treated as such. The most comparable example would be the Arthurian legend. Just as a thousand different authors through the centuries have interpreted and re-interpreted the Arthurian legend, so too will writers in ages to come tred softly in Middle-earth and tell their own tales. Are Malory's wonderful stories or those of the Gawaine author in any way lessened by the fact that a talented writer like T.H. White gave us such a beautiful and gently humorous portrait of Arthur in The Once and Future King? I think not.

The bald truth is there will be no more tales from the author's pen unless those retellings happen in the world beyond (one can only hope!) But eventually copyright will go away. If Tolkien's books are just novels and no more than that, they will remain closed and dead and a little dusty. But if Tolkien has truly written a myth, one that can stand with the other great myths of mankind, then it is inevitable that others will follow the road to Middle-earth just as they have followed into other worlds and ages. Everyone on this forum will likely be dead and gone by the time this actually happens, but my guess is that we are seeing the tiny beginnings of that, especially with the essentially "folk" nature of the internet that has encouraged such a proliferation of tales, both the good and the bad. I wish I could be alive to see it happen.

Now, let the tomatoes come....

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Old 11-11-2005, 11:32 AM   #23
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Why God, why couldn't someone ask Tolkien if balrogs had wings or not?!
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Old 11-11-2005, 11:37 AM   #24
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Why God, why couldn't someone ask Tolkien if balrogs had wings or not?!
For the same reason no-one asked him if Hobbits had wings...
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Child
If Tolkien really wanted to pen a mythology, how could be be content with his world becoming "static and dead", subject only to the back and forth dialogue of critics?... At heart, they are scholars; what I really want are storytellers.
I think in Tolkien's more generous moments, he himself would have encouraged such an attitude. I always think of several choice Letters quotes:
Quote:
A few years ago I was visited in Oxford by a man whose name I have forgotten (though I believe he was well-known). He had been much struck by the curious way in which many old pictures seemed to him to have been designed to illustrate The Lord of the Rings long before its time. He brought one or two reproductions. I think he wanted at first simply to discover whether my imagination had fed on pictures, as it clearly had been by certain kinds of literature and languages. When it became obvious that, unless I was a liar, I had never seen the pictures before and was not well acquainted with pictorial Art, he fell silent. I became aware that he was looking fixedly at me. Suddenly he said: 'Of course you don't suppose, do you, that you wrote all that book yourself?'

Pure Gandalf! I was too well acquainted with G. to expose myself rashly, or to ask what he meant. I think I said: 'No, I don't suppose so any longer.' I have never since been able to suppose so.

[...]

Of course The L.R. does not belong to me. It has been brought forth and must now go its appointed way in the world...

--Letter 328


I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.

--Letter 131
Tolkien seems to have adopted the attitude that if there was anything transcendent in his creation, then it came through him rather than from him. I don't think that last -- "other minds and hands" -- was an idle wish, and to me it seems kind of sad that Christopher, who was such an intimate of his father's in the creation of Middle-earth, became his father's archivist rather than wielding the pen as a storyteller in his own right.
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:39 PM   #26
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Am I satisfied? Yes, but more so no.

Yes, because from his own hand, Tolkien gave so much.

No, because I like hobbits best and since Tolkien thought different, there aren't enough stories and written histories of them.

I understand what is being said about Tolkien's work not being turned into a "Star Wars' spin-off dilemma, but I am willing to give an author a chance to get me back to "Middle-Earth". Hopefully, it is with the best intent to write something worthwile and not just to sell a book.
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:30 PM   #27
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was an idle wish, and to me it seems kind of sad that Christopher, who was such an intimate of his father's in the creation of Middle-earth, became his father's archivist rather than wielding the pen as a storyteller in his own right.~Mr. Underhill
That's also always something I've wondered about. I think there are different views than this, but the way I view it is, Christopher loved his father's writings (and I think The Hobbit even was a bedtime story), he went through great amounts of notes and scribblings to try to conclude whatever could be...concluded. And I find Christopher as probably as high of an authority as his father when it comes to his writings and would accept anything he would have added to the story (perhaps making some new ones). Knowing full well that he had the best interests of his fathers and sort of took on what his father left behind.
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Old 11-12-2005, 05:48 AM   #28
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The books aren't like drugs to me. What they are like, is comfort food for my mind, but comfort food which is different in a little way every time. Like my grandmother's roast beef dinners. Sometimes the joint (heh - the beef ) would be a diferent cut, but it was always good.
Oh, my goodness, Lal! You make Tokien sound like a certain candy that a young wizard discovered once he learned there was more to the world than muggles!

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Originally Posted by Lal
I don't need there to be any more, because I always find nourishment in what is already there. I like finding a passage I have read many times over and discovering that it leads me down a new path, whether about new ideas or about what other stories may lay behind it. I wonder if this is all part of the 'experience of story' as Bethberry has called it?
Possibly, for I think a good story first of all reaches out to give us experience about things we don't necessarily have or haven't faced directly in real life but which are nevertheless vital to our imaginative life. Like forests, lovely, dark and deep but usually we have miles to go before ....

And what is particularly attractive about the Professor's work is, as you say, that the river can ripple in so many different ways as it polishes our stoney minds. The Legendarium is not a closed system, as Mr. Underhill points out with his quotations from Tolkien's letters and Child with her very apt comparison to the Arthurian legends--although I'm not sure it is necessarily necessary to call Middle-earth 'true myth' for this to be so.

But isn't it the mark of the really astute performer to leave his audience always already wanting more? Or the fan dancer for that matter!
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Old 11-12-2005, 07:14 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bêthberry
The Legendarium is not a closed system, as Mr. Underhill points out with his quotations from Tolkien's letters and Child with her very apt comparison to the Arthurian legends--although I'm not sure it is necessarily necessary to call Middle-earth 'true myth' for this to be so.
Yes, in a way I'm happy that Tokien wasn't able to write more or 'finish' the legendarium as that would have closed off too many holes. Particularly as it's pretty clear that he sought to make M-E more and more orthodoxly 'Catholic' (with his formulations of Eru etc) as he grew older. LotR may express Catholic morality but it is not overtly or wholly Catholic -- it is very easy to read it as expressing an almost animist view. Had he written a companion piece to LotR in his later life, I daresay it would have been more overtly Catholic and we wouldn't have the wonderful ambiguities of the moment, for example, of Gollum's fall into the Cracks of Doom.

Something else that occurs to me is that both TH and LotR were written for Tolkien's children -- he had a specific audience in mind. Any later works would not have been so directly addressed and perhaps would have suffered.

Still want to have confirmation of the winged Balrog though...
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Old 11-12-2005, 07:24 PM   #30
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Ah, to be satisfied with such wonderful stories... A part of me will always crave more and more information, and that cannot be helped. I do, however, think Tolkien stopped in a good place. There may be loopholes, and unanswered questions, and so many more stories that could have happened... but that's what forums and fanfiction are for.

Besides, there are moe than enough stories to read and re-read, because if you think you got it all the first ten times, you are very, very wrong. He wrote in such a way that the story only becomes more complex and intriguing with each time. Read them all fifty times? I'm willing to bet you missed something.
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Old 11-12-2005, 11:59 PM   #31
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Ah, it's been a long time since I've last contributed to the Downs. Anyway...

For me, I'm satisfied with the stories- oh yes, most definitely. However, I too would have liked to have read more about Middle-Earth and it's Peoples, because I'm one of those people who love depth and detail; something rich and abundant throughout all Tolkien's writings.

The way Tolkien covered practically every little thing that he could about Middle-Earth (I mean, come on, he created a world here) was very satisfying for me, yet inevitably there was always going to be some things that could not be explained in such depth or in one lifetime. For example, I would've liked to hear more about Oropher, but since he isn't really relevant to the plot of LoTR (though his death does explain some things about Thranduil and the Silvan Elves), I wasn't too dismayed and insisting on a novel-length back story of his life. I would, however, have liked to read more about Gil-Galad, whom I thought was not given as much emphasis as other 'important' characters (important in terms of his position as High King of the Noldor- not the same importance as, for instance, Sam, in terms of the actual story).

Anyway, I fear I diverge. When reading HoME, I was particularly struck by the Prophecy of Mandos, where Turin kills Morgoth with Gurthang and Feanor yields the Silmarils to Yavanna. I was satisfied in terms of 'closure' and knowing how the ultimate story ends, yet I was also dissatisfied - I know, weird - at how it ended and felt that if it was included, despite being poetically just and a good ending, it would just take away from The Sil's story just that little bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boromir88
Would you have liked to have seen more, perhaps more stories after the War of the Ring (maybe The New Shadow Tolkien started writing then abandoned because he wasn't happy with it?) Or are you satisfied with what we got?
I would have liked to have seen more stories after the War of the Ring, yet I must also admit that I don't know if there would be much more to write about, and whether another story about other heroes would have such an impact as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion did. It's sort of like a movie- the sequel is rarely as good as the original, especially when the directors keep making movies and drag out a brilliant movie into not-as-good sequels. This is definitely not the case with LoTR and The Hobbit- the flow is brilliant. I'm simply questioning whether it would have as 'brilliant' if Tolkien persisted with finishing The New Shadow and it was published. I read a few pages (of what exists) and was excited at allusions to previous happenings in the War of the Ring and the two boys' discussion of Morgoth, yet it didn't strike the same chord with me as I thought it might have. In fact, it almost seemed to undermine his other works with a story that Tolkien coined as nothing more than a 'thriller'. He didn't want to stray down that path and finish the book, saying that it 'wouldn't be worth it'. That quote just about sums up my (long-winded) opinion on this issue. Good topic, Boro!
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Old 11-13-2005, 04:23 AM   #32
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But how can we make a judgment on The New Shadow as it now stands? The one thing we know is that Tolkien's work generally underwent a myriad of changes. The "original" LotR with its hobbit guide in boots (Trotter) and a character like Bingo is light years away from what eventually emerged.

Given the way Tolkien approached writing, I don't honestly think we can make any realistic judgment on the shadow . If it underwent as many changes as the early chapters of LotR, it might have turned out very differently, with a much "higher" tone. I just wish I knew what the author had in the back of his mind when he began to write those pages.

Fordim - I'm not in total agreement with your assessment of the later Tolkien. I find the character of Andreth amazing as well as her discussion with Finrod. What I would give for the tale of Andreth the Wise Woman's failed relationship with her beloved Elf! She is potentially the strongest female character that Tolkien developed. I would love to have more.....
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Old 11-13-2005, 12:49 PM   #33
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I am satisfied with the stories as they stand.

What I would like is more information...

I must confess, I am an Appendices fan. I love encyclopaedic collections of information and scholarly articles and geneaologies and timelines....

It is stuff like this that really makes me like the HoME, and its stuff like this that I would wish to have more of.
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Old 11-13-2005, 01:25 PM   #34
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I am satisfied with the stories as they stand.

What I would like is more information...

I must confess, I am an Appendices fan. I love encyclopaedic collections of information and scholarly articles and geneaologies and timelines....

It is stuff like this that really makes me like the HoME, and its stuff like this that I would wish to have more of.
This is pretty much what I think too. I like all the extra information as it allows you to put things together and find out what else may have happened, or even to formulate theories or new tales of your own. As it is, the stories we did get are of superb quality, and I'd much rather Tolkien was the perfectionist that he was and spent so long in perfecting these at the expense of other unwritten tales.

I thought the The New Shadow was interesting, but was only a curiosity; I got the sense from it that Tolkien really did not have his heart in the writing of Fourth Age stories and that he found the prospect quite depressing. After all, what could they be about? New evils arising? After LotR, such new evils might seem like a huge let down. They could not be as evil as those deeds wrought by Morgoth and Sauron, as it might make the central tale of LotR seem a bit pointless and the deeds less heroic, and if the evildoings in such tales were less evil, then likewise these tales would not be quite so thrilling.

The Fourth Age was the age of Men. Elves and Dwarves were diminishing, and Men were forbidden from entering The Shire. The Istari had gone. The Orcs were being hunted down. As far as we know, the Oliphaunts were all wiped out. No, I'm sorry to say that the Fourth Age just couldn't cut it in comparison to those Ages which had gone before.

There are a lot of books, films, comedy series and so on where I feel like I would love to see more, but in many cases being saturated with more and more 'product' just results in diminishing quality. If they had made more episodes of Fawlty Towers, Father Ted and The Royle Family then I think each series would have got less and less amusing. You only have to look at soap operas or series such as The Wheel of Time, which all seem interminable with the same plots being revised in the case of soaps (how many times have Ken and Deirdre split up?) to see why more is not necessarily A Good Thing.
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:55 AM   #35
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More,more,more!!!
The more Tolkien and Middle Earth stories i get,the more I want!!!
I would have loved it if the "Lord of the Rings" hadn`t been a trilogy but a thirteenology!!!
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:02 PM   #36
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Silmaril

Of course I would love to see more.
I want to know more about the Haradrim, the Variags, the Khandish men, the Easterlings, the peoples of Aman, and the lifestyles of the orcs of Mordor.
I wish I could have seen in more detail the City of the Corsairs, Dol Amroth, Pelargir, the inside of Barad Dur, the inside of Minas Morgul, and the great strongholds and sights of Aman and the rest of Arda.
There was so much left unexplained...
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:22 AM   #37
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I would have liked a book on the Fourth Age, etc. Though I will say I am satisfied with the books we have now.
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:25 PM   #38
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As this thread asks for opinions, not actual discussion of the books, I'm moving it to the Novices and Newcomers forum, where similar topics have found their home. Please continue reading and posting there - thanks!
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:14 PM   #39
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I am completely satisfied with the stories that Tolkien and his son have given us, and no I don't think there needs to be anymore Lord of the Rings books.
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:14 PM   #40
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I know exactly what you meanBoromir.
That's what sets Tolkien apart from the 'trashy fantasy' as I dub it that emerged after his works and into the present. The problem is is when in the plot, more complications keep arising. Like consider just the six Star Wars movies. Historically and plotwise, you could be satisfied, because Tolkien didnt go back and give more and more history that eventually might have explained some civil war in Rhun, and speculation is what we are used to. I would love to have more information on the other Dwarven Lines, but that will never happen, because even if C Tolien made some it wouldnt feel right, If you get me. It would have had to have been done in the original. Going back to SW, you would think after the dissolution of the Empire and destruction of the Emperor and Darth Vader would have been it. That equals the Downfall of Barad-dur. Now look what happens when you add more information that are too anticlimatic after the sixth movie. Consider if that had happened to Tolien. Luckily Tolkien wasnt as bough out as he might have been in corporate America. (and movies in general have more media)
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