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Old 04-01-2004, 08:18 PM   #1
Imladris
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Tolkien Proof that LotR is bordering on a true mythology

I was reading Firestarter by Stephen King and came across this most excellent sentence:

Quote:
Rainbird was a troll, an orc, a balrog of a man.
Also, in King's book entitled, On Writing he makes several mention of Tolkien.

So my question is this, where else have you encountered Tolkien in your reading? I do hope this topic isn't a repeat...I did a search but...you never know if I was stupid and missed an obvious keyword.

Note: please don't make this thread a rant about rip offs of LotR. Thanks.

Cheers,
Imladris
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Old 04-01-2004, 08:25 PM   #2
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Well I have seen the backs of plently of Fantasy books where critics would say things along the line of "The best book since LOTR", or something like "An amazing writer in the true spirit of Tolkien", but that is about it. But I do find comments like that really cool
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Old 04-01-2004, 08:47 PM   #3
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Not necessarily a mythological reference to support your view but...

-There is an experimental project in the works of the U.S. Military that has devised the plans for a Prototype Hovercraft known as Project Shadowfax. Makes sense, don't it?
-There is also a small chain of jewelery stores called Gimli's. Again, sensible.
-There is a prominent archery training association known as Bows of Greenleaf

That sort of contributes to the point of Tolkein's strories becoming household words, bordering actual mythology in their fame and acclaim. An interesting thought, indeed.
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Old 04-01-2004, 08:59 PM   #4
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I read this book called "Lord of the rings" Man, that author is a great one, he may be named after the tolkien you are talking about. You should all try reading it sometime. IT ROCKS!!!!
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:15 AM   #5
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'bored of the rings' is a must read...completely hilarious
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Old 04-02-2004, 03:07 PM   #6
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This isn't exactly what you were talking about, but we were reading a short story in Literature (which was quite boring) until I read that the main character's favorite books were LotR and the Hobbit. Made my day.
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Old 04-02-2004, 04:55 PM   #7
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Silmaril

I don't think Tolkien started out to make a piece of literature that was intergrated into our culture, to become part of our collective memory, but that seems to be happening. The moives were a monster success, and a lot of people began to read the books, just to see if they really were any good. Of course, its not just that or the books he's mentioned in (I did notice that in King's On Writing, too, Imladris) its that the books are being taught in classrooms, discussed over lunch, and spawning web sites (like this one!!) where people from around the globe meet daily (some of us hourly it seems) just to discuss something we love. Tolkien did something wonderful, that maybe he didn't even mean to do; he opened people's minds to a new wonderful world and gave a large group of diverse people something to hold on to, to talk about, and maybe even overcome our differences. Its a beautiful thing!
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:02 PM   #8
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Boots an oxymoron

I don't know, Imladris.

To be a mythology, would that not have to be a belief system that is no longer believed? Like the Greek and Roman mythologies were once believed in as true religions but no one today worships Jupiter, Jove, Hera, Athena, etc etc.

So, that would make LOTR something no one really believes in any more, ie, something passing away into the mists of history, ignored and discredited. Like the elves?



Doesn't sound like it to me.
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:27 PM   #9
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The Eye the misty mountain hop

it's not exactly a book, but i've heard led zepplin mention lotr a few times. i thought that was interesting.
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Old 04-04-2004, 12:55 AM   #10
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Tolkien

Quote:
To be a mythology, would that not have to be a belief system that is no longer believed? Like the Greek and Roman mythologies were once believed in as true religions but no one today worships Jupiter, Jove, Hera, Athena, etc etc.
Ah, in that you are correct and I quite frankly forgot about that (stupid memory). But But Greek and Roman mythology pervades our very lives. Like the heart pierced with the arrow that lovers sign their cards with. It comes from Cupid of course. Even though we no longer believe in Cupid, it's still there in our lives. It has become a part of everyday lives. That's what I meant by Tolkien. It is becoming a part of our society. I remember in the magazine Credenda Agenda that the writers took the word Mordor and changed it into an adjective (but I'm too tired to remember it just now). That's what I meant.

But I think that I'm taking you too seriously, considerring your smilies.
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Old 04-05-2004, 12:05 AM   #11
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Actually, Professor Tolkien's specific intent was to create a mythology. He even consistently referred to it as such. (Read the Letters regarding it.)
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:15 AM   #12
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Since there is practically no new thing under the standing stone, there was a similar topic already: Middle-Earth references in the Modern World. There's nothing wrong with continuin the discussion here, but I recommend you read all the references already posted to the older thread.
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:25 AM   #13
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The most recent issue of Forbes magazine features a lead story "Lord of the Rigs" with the logo emblazoned in bold letters across the cover.

OK, I admit. I took a look at it while standing in line at the grocery....

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Old 04-05-2004, 07:04 AM   #14
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Boots Intertextuality

I wonder if all references are equally valid. Are there qualitative differences? Does motivation count?

I would think that such a headline in Forbes magazine represents a marketing strategy, to jump on a bandwagon in order to increase sales: is this, too, how mythologies spread? Is this fundamentally different from Imladris's Stephen King reference?

This raises the question of whether there are differences between cultural production and marketplace production. If Tolkien can manufacture one, why can't corporations.
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Old 04-05-2004, 04:25 PM   #15
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1420! Sad but true ...

Apparently, in a poll of 2,000 people conducted in the UK recently, 3% of people thought that the Battle of Helm's Deep really happened!

Unfortunately, this does not speak so much of LotR becoming a mythology, but more of people becoming confused between historical fact and the fiction presented in films and television.

In the same poll William Wallace, Adolph Hitler and William Wallace were thought to be fictional by some of the respondents (42%, 11% and 9% respectively), while Conan the Barabrian, Edmund Blackadder and Xena Warrior Princess were all thought by some to be real historical characters (5%, 1% and 1%).

Approximately half of the respondents thought that the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Little Big Horn were fictional events (52% and 48% respectively), while 15% thought the same of the Battle of Hastings. On the other side of the coin, 6% thought that the Martian Invasion in War of the Worlds actually happened, while 2% thought that the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi was a real historical event.

So much for history lessons!

What is not clear is whether the 3% who thought that the Battle of Helm's Deep actually occurred believe that Orcs really once existed, or whether they just missed the facts that the bad guys were Orcs and simply thought them to be rather strange looking and barbarous men!!??
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Old 04-06-2004, 11:07 PM   #16
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well, i have been reading through a book by leslie ellen jones that my sister has, & it compares the old celtic, norse & some roman mythology to the stories that tolkien wrote. it's pretty interesting.
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Old 04-07-2004, 04:41 PM   #17
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hmm... the comics in the newspaper mention LotR once in a while.
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Old 04-08-2004, 08:15 AM   #18
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Sting

Yeah, "Foxtrot" is the best. Peter David's second book in the series "Sir Apropos of Nothing" starts out with a parody of LotR; it's similar to the style of "Bored of the Rings." Robert Asprin's twelfth book in the series "The Myth-Adventures of Aahz (pronounced as 'Oz;' no relation) and Skeeve" has a good running parody of LotR throughout the book. That's all I can think of for right now, I'll post more later.
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Old 04-08-2004, 06:17 PM   #19
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1420! Lembas Bread?

Quote:
hmm... the comics in the newspaper mention LotR once in a while.
Speaking of newspapers...

Check this out...

(ignore the bluriness..you see nothing!)
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Old 04-17-2004, 01:31 PM   #20
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Silmaril

Have any of you read any of the Discworld series? There's another thead (but me having the memory of a small guppy has forgotten it) here which has a *load* of quotes from him which *were* Tolkien, eg.

Quote:
See their swords? They glow blue in the precense of lawyers
And every time I write that out it gets worse...

But anyway, as I was saying, Pratchett normally just uses legends, and really well known stuff in his work. Like, there's one story which is based on Shakespear's Macbeth, "Equal rites" (Not to be read while doing Macbeth in school. . .) And then he uses bits from legends, like million in one chances always working, and gods playing games with people. He also uses bits and peices from real life or history, like the egyptians.

I think that just Pratchett using Tolkien makes Lord of the Rings a mythology... But I'm strange.
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Old 04-17-2004, 10:05 PM   #21
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As for references to LotR, I saw a road sign with a silohuet of a wizard and the words "You shall not pass!" It was a no passing zone.
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Old 04-18-2004, 03:46 AM   #22
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Here in Sweden we have a floorball team in the highest division calling themselves Balrog...

By the way, you could almost refer to LotR as a true mythology. Tolkien borrowed some ingredients in the story from real mythology and folklore. Some celtic stories and a lot of norse folklore interested him. For example: Gandalf is the name of a dwarf in Snorres edda, an old poetic Icelandic tale and Frodo exists in an other story too (can´t remember were tough).

Of course, most of Middle Earth comes from Tolkien´s own excellent fantasy, but some parts are based on "true" stories.
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Old 04-18-2004, 02:04 PM   #23
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In Salman Rushdie's novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet, he quotes TOlkien as follows:

Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatuluk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

I don't remember the exact context, and as I lent my copy of the book to a friend (and don't really expect to have it back) I can't look it up. It's a wonderful book, though: a modern reworking of the Orpheus myth.
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Old 04-18-2004, 09:20 PM   #24
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If any one has read the Green Rider series, it has several items that are very Tolkien-ish. The word wight is even used, and it is obvious that author assumes that evryone is familiar with this term, just as we are with griffin or siren.
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:07 PM   #25
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Tolkien

Actually, I did come across the word "wight" in Sleepy Hollow or Rip Van Winkle, I believe, by Washington Irving. In fact, the definintion of wight is "a living being, a creature."

At least I think it was one of those two...I do know the book preceded Tolkien. I haven't read the Green Rider series, so I don't know the context...
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:06 AM   #26
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Eye

Not just Misty Mountain Hop, either, warrnerd. Lots of others.

And has anyone ever read "The Sword of Shannara?"
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Old 05-19-2004, 11:27 AM   #27
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Silmaril

Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks is actually not that bad of a book, if you don't mind that most of the plot is a rip-off of LOTR. (Just my oppinion.) I believe I read somewhere on a forum, that he was comissioned by the publisher to write a LOTR type book, but then again I could have been dreaming.
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Old 05-19-2004, 11:59 AM   #28
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Tolkien

My main purpose of this thread was to see where other Tolkien references have been found in literature or other things (such as my Stephen King example), not if a certain book was a copy/very similiar to LotR..
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Old 06-14-2004, 11:03 AM   #29
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Boots LOTR's in music too (not just the soundtracks, either)

I'll help get it started again, Imladris!

I've listened to some Led Zeppelin songs that have had bits of LOTR referances in them. Just read the lyrics or really listen to those old rock songs from the 60's; you'll see what I mean.

Bob Dylan also makes references to Tolkien in one of his songs:

The times will be changing the infinate plotting,
The people in power must finally fail,
Like bloodthirsty orcs today they are strutting,
It can't last forever,
Hope will prevail...
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:57 AM   #30
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Tolkien

Thank you Silent Sam....I never noticed those before.

I just read That Hideous Strength some weeks ago. It is constantly referring to Numenor and the True West. Very awesome.
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Old 07-11-2004, 06:06 PM   #31
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i remember hearing on one of those behind the scenes shows that tolkien himself based the Rohirrim on the Vikings. think about it, master of horses the Rohirrim are, masters of ships the Vikings were.
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