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Review: Tolkien's World

JonKatz posted more than 12 years ago | from the prepping-for-the-movies dept.

News 218

After World War II, the family of J.R.R. Tolkien, who was teaching philology at Oxford at the time, encouraged him to use his intense imagination for mythology to deal with more wordly topics. Having already written The Silmarillion, at their prodding Tolkien produced The Hobbit, then The Lord of The Rings. This year, partly in preparation for the trilogy of films to be released over the next two years, Tolkien lovers and discoverers are visiting and re-visiting Middle Earth, thanks to a flood of new books. From time to time, in advance of the movies, I'll present some of them here. Tolkien's World is one of the best so far.

Tolkien's World, The Paintings of Middle Earth, coincides with the centenary of his birth. More than a dozen artists, already famous for their interpretations of Tolkien landscapes, some newcomers to the trilogy, have created more than 50 paintings published therein ($15 from Harper Collins).

The full-page images are all illustrated with text from Tolkien's works, and they bring the stories to life in a way that is sometimes dark, sometimes lively, usually haunting. The book is clearly organized -- text on the left, painting on the right.

At the end, the artists -- they are from all over the world -- explain their interpretations and drawings and where applicable, their personal experiences with the trilogy. For a Tolkien afficionado, it's immensely satisfying to match your own imagination against those of artists like Michael Hague and Roger Garland. John Howe's "The Great Goblin" is amazing, and Inger Edelfelt has painted a stark, strange and simplistic "Gollum." As the Hobbit himself put it, "deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum, a small slimy creature. I don't know where he came from, nor who or what he was. He was Gollum -- as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes in his thin face." There is more good writing in that paragraph than in plenty of fictional and mythological tales.

"Thorin, Prisoner of the Elves," "The Arkenstone," "Frodo and Gandalf." "The Haven of Morionde," "The Brandywine River " -- the collection will intrigue readers who want to prep for the movie, or newcomers who want a sense of what Tolkien's worlds might look like. It would also work beautifully for kids.

The art is uneven -- certain painters' images might not square with your own. But some, like Ted Nasmith's "Glittering Caves of Aglarond," or John Howe's "Gandalf," will make you want to frame them and hang them up. Tolkien's World is a first-rate creative achievement.

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218 comments

fp - mev (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298678)

Prayers go out to a nation

Re:fp - mev (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298711)

Wow, only 3 comments and I'm already modded down to offtopic...

(MEV Kicks Ass)

Oh the humanity! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298805)

STFU Katz!

Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

thor (3901) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298685)

i submitted this to "Ask Slashdot" but was sumarily rejected...

i wonder why?

---

Sixty years ago, our nation was playing only a supporting role in the fight against evil which was spreading over Europe like the plagues of past and would have reluctantly joined the fight had push come to shove. At the time, our nation had no stomach for a war much less one an ocean away.

On the morning of December 7th, 1941, our nation was attacked without notice and without provocation by a nation with whom we had been conducting diplomatic relations. The horror of this event was reported around the world by radio, by newspaper and by word of mouth.

Our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents did not have pictures, nor graphic simulations, nor television, nor videotape, nor cable, nor the internet and yet they understood that innocent lives were taken without notice and without provocation. There were no graphic images of death etched in their minds but they understood that our nation and way of life was attacked and they went to war. They fought that war and won and we owe them a debt of gratitude we can never repay. After much sacrifice they conquered the evil in Europe and eventually, they righted that terrible wrong.

Since then our nation has had to weather the humiliation and embarrassment of fighting in wars we were not directly involved and not willing as a nation to fight. The evil was no less menacing but without a clear understanding of who and what we were fighting for, the resolve of the nation was not there.

On the morning of 11 September, 2001, our nation was attacked, without notice and without provocation, not by any one nation but by an evil which has plagued our world for much too long.

The horrors of this terrible event unfolded for many on live television and in countless replays of video tape.

So my question is for the men and women of the misnamed X and Y generations, of which I am one:

Are you willing to defend your nation and way of life at all cost and right a very terrible wrong?

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (0, Offtopic)

Rademir (168324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298712)

I am willing to defend my way of life.

My way of life is to not retaliate when attacked. My way is to find out why i am being attacked and try to help the situation that has produced such pain, including changing my behavior if it is a part of the problem.

It's not clear to me what i can do in this situation to defend my way of life.

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298760)

That's because your way of life is wrong.

These people (that is, the terrorists) cannot be reasoned with. No amount of changing behavior will appease them, save conversion to Islam and slavish devotion to their cause.

Really, the only way we're going to keep them from doing things like this is killing them to a man.

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298778)

Not 1% of the followers of Mohammed agree with these fundamentlists- Is it acceptable to wipe out Christianity and Christians for Waco or the Crusades?

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (0, Offtopic)

darkonc (47285) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298862)

Not just Waco and the Crusades...
Hitler was a Christian too. He actually studied to be a priest, and used the Jews' persecution of Christ as part of his justificatin for the holocaust (ignoring the fact that Jesus lived and died a Jew).

People have, and will continue to, use religion as a justification for their excesses. Let's not use it as an excuse to justify our own persecution of even more innocents.

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298947)

Hitler may have said he was a Christian, but I don't think you'll find any rational person who agrees that he practices Christ's actual teachings.

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2299028)

You also won't find any rational muslem who...

get the picture?

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298955)

Is it acceptable to wipe out Christianity and Christians for Waco or the Crusades?

Yes. Any other questions?

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298715)

Are you willing to defend your nation and way of life at all cost and right a very terrible wrong?


You can't right this wrong, dead is dead those people can not be brought back however many innocent arabs you kill.

I would like to make it clear that I abhor tuesday's act, but there is no enemy to make a war upon- killing the people of Afganistan, Iraq or wherever would only stoop us to the level of tuesday's murderers.

Re:Are you willing to defend your way of life? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298719)

Nah.

There was a battle between the US and Japan... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298738)

There was a battle between the US and Japan the morning that the attack took place on Pearl Harbor. This battle took place Before the bombing. But to draw greater support from the nation, it was not mentioned.

Yes, I'm American.

Re:There was a battle between the US and Japan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298750)

I hope you can substantiate that claim...

Tokien.....Terrorists? (0, Offtopic)

acidboy (242735) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298791)

Tolkien != WTC

They probably rejected it because it's dull. And you're really obnoxious to get your voice heard. Maybe you should go to kuro5hin.org if that's what you want.

acidboy

I'd fly a 1000 miles to smoke a camel. (-1, Flamebait)

glrotate (300695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298816)

Start your whooping to Allah you fucking ragheads. You will pay.

I agree (1)

skwog (101252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298687)

I've had this book for a while, it's a nice supplement to any Tolkien collection. Forget D&D artwork, this book breathes a Tolkienesque feel.

FIRE JON KATZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298691)

Fire this idiot.

Who the hell cares about this?!?

Get a damn clue!!

FIRE JON KATZ!!!!!

n+1th prost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298698)

nuff said

I'm torn... (3, Funny)

rkischuk (463111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298701)

I don't know whether to be glad that Tolkien is finally being given proper attention in the mainstream or concerned about the wave of commercialism that is about to engulf his work.

It's going to be disturbing when kids start getting nine-fingered Frodo action figures in their happy meals...

Poor Geek (0, Flamebait)

Win-Developer (316016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298751)

Poor Geek...You can't be part of an exclusive club anymore.

As far as "proper attention in the mainstream" it has always existed, but probably not enough for your liking. My school had us read the book as summer reading. I feel the more exposure to reading and writing of this caliber for kids the better.

I would get concerned if Disney made a Hobbit cartoon for their Saturday morning block.

Re:Poor Geek (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298854)

insightful...

Re:Poor Geek (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298880)

Mod this parent up! Win-Developer is right on!

Re:Poor Geek (0, Flamebait)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298930)

flaimebait? get real! this deserves +X insightful and it's parent deserves -Y sad-navel-gazer. To many geeks jealously hold onto 'their' 'culture', we should be happy such a great book is being brought to a wider audience- with everything that entails (it's damn hard to get kids to read at times, as any parent will tell you)

Philology (3, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298703)

Philology = the scientific study of languages and their development.

I had to look it up in the dictionary ;) Please don't mod me up... I'm not karma whoring.

Re:Philology (2, Insightful)

Evan927 (15553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298827)

#1 way to get modded up: say "Mod me down if you want, but..." or "Don't mad me for this, it's just simple info."

Don't mod me up for this.

Re:Philology (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298997)

Ahhh, you're such a cynic ;) If I hadn't put that comment, I would have had comments about trying to be a karma whore (I'm talking from experience). I can't win :(. As you can see, I have plenty of karma as I posted at +1. I don't think that the post needs to be any higher than that, hence another reason for my comment.

Re:Philology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2299015)

I wish I had the points to give you +1 insightful...

Re:Philology (3, Funny)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298877)

doh...I thought it was the scientific study of guys named 'Phil'

Re:Philology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298958)

It's a natural outgrowth of Philphilia.

Re:Philology (1)

Wiggin (97119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2299017)

I thought it was just another slashdot misspelling and he had meant to say philosophy.

Isn't it.. (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298705)

The order of the books:

1) The Hobbit
2) The Silmarillion (uncompleted)
3) The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Not counting Farmer Geils of Ham and other stories. Doubtless the slashbots will correct me if I am wrong.

Correct Order (5, Informative)

Frey (14600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298761)

1) Started: Silmarillion
2) Started and completed: Hobbit
3) Started and completed: LOTR
4) Tolkien Died
5) Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay compile Silmarillion

The Silmarillion was first (after a fashion) (1)

tomknight (190939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298776)

Really, JRRT started the Silmarillion very early on - remember that it's essentially the early mythology of Middle Earth. The reason it was never finished is that he was never happy with it.


In a way, however, you're right, in that the majority of the work on the Silmarillion was produced between The Hobbit and LOTR.


Tom.

Re:Isn't it.. (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298780)

No.

1) Hobbit.

2) The Lord of the Rings.

3) The Simarillion (published after his death by Guy Gavrel Kay and Christopher Tolken)

4) The Unfinished Tales (20 volumes??) make up what the Sim was edited down from.

Re:Isn't it.. (0, Troll)

darkonc (47285) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298802)

My question is:
In the light of this week's tragedy, is some PR goon gonna try and get them to rename The Two Towers?

Re:Isn't it.. (5, Informative)

Curien (267780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298814)

The Silmarillion (or, rather, Quenta Silmarillion[1]) was a work that was never definably "started" and never really "finished" in the sense of most books. Tolkien began writing the stories that *eventually became* the Quenta Silmarillion long before The Hobbit. There are several references in The Hobbit to places or events in Quenta Silmarillion (eg: Gondolin, Glamdring), but he didn't, at first, consider the two works as sharing the same "universe". Later, in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien merged the worlds of The Hobbit with that of Quenta Silmarillion. There are still some remaining inaccuracties/contradictions, though.

[1] While Quenta Silmarillion consists of the vast majority of the published work The Silmarillion, the book is actually a collection of several inependent works: The Ainulindale, The Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, and Akallabeth.

Re:Isn't it.. (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298989)

You sound like you know what you're talking about.

IMDB says that "Mark Ferguson (I) .... Gil-Galad"

Gil-Galad was an eleven king
of him the harpers sadly sing...

...but long ago he went away
and where he dweleth none can say
for into darkness fell his star
in the land of mordor where the shadows are.

Flash back?

F34nor

I just can't believe it! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298718)

goatse.cx [goatse.cx] has changed their
home page. The guy isn't featured on the front page
anymore!

Re:I just can't believe it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298783)

Oh oh! Lemmie check!


Anyone that falls for that should be forced to look at that...

Re:I just can't believe it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298934)

Actually, it's true, the following is displayed:

We, at Goatse.cx, mourn the unprecedented loss of life on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Let it be known terrorists, YOUR ASS IS NEXT!
[ the receiver ] [ the giver ] [ feedback ] [ contrib ]

I find it heartening that even the trolls are coming together with the rest of society over this tragedy.

The Silmarillion was never finished (1, Informative)

AndmaN (96849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298720)

Why, oh why, can't JonKatz do some very basic research? The Silmarillion was never finished; Tolkien worked on it for many decades (even on the month he died), before and after the other books. After his death 1973 his son Christopher edited and published the material.

FIRE JON KATZ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298722)

Jon Katz is the most worthless writer in the world.

He is able to do two things: write about The Lord of the Rings and put himself into stories.

Like we care what he thinks.

The time has come.

Fire this Idiot. Get his crap off of slashdot forever. Let him set up his stupid blog somewhere else.

WORTHLESS!!

"I'll present some ... here" #@ +1; Informative @# (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298730)

Please don't. Alternatively, please seek LSD
therapy to help you return to reality.

Thanks and have a Jon_Katz-free weekend.

P.S.: Jon, do you have any marijuana to share?

Tolkien was a practicing Catholic (-1, Flamebait)

Binx Bolling (60970) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298739)

which disqualifies him from any consideration as a serious artist or thinker.

Binx is a practicing bigot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298757)

which disqualifies him from any consideration as a serious poster or thinker.

Re:Tolkien was a practicing Catholic (1)

WickedClean (230550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298835)

You only say that because he uses a lot of big words that you don't understand, jackass.

FIRE JON KATZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298747)

Fire Jon Katz!!

Fire him now!

Tolkiens world (2, Insightful)

gwizah (236406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298753)

I own this amazing book myself and I am also an artist. It's a wonderful thing to see paintings of the most beloved scenes of middle earth rendered by some of Tolkiens biggest fans. I remember painting a scene (for a high school art course)from the hobbit where Bilbo is in the cavern holding the elven blade. I wondered if there was a repository of artwork pertaining to Tolkien and almost 10 years later I discovered this book. When I opened it up to see Sting and the look of Bilbo inside I was floored. I especially enjoy the work of Alan Lee. He is truly a master of fantasy art. If you have a chance see more of his work with Brian Froud in books like Faeries, and Gnomes. Amazing work!

What They Really Look Like (4, Insightful)

bill.sheehan (93856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298758)

The trouble with art like this is that those of us who read the books in our impressionable childhood already know exactly what each character and location looks like. They're vividly imprinted on our imaginations, thanks to the clarity of Tolkein's writing. These artists just have them all wrong!


IMHO, the closest anyone has come is the Brothers Hildebrand, and even there they've got the wrong Aragorn. (The Hildebrand version of Aragorn looks more like a plumber than the descendant of the Kings of Westernesse.)


By the bye, is anyone else as dismayed as I that every bar napkin Tolkien ever scribbled a note on is now being published? It's getting worse than the prolific undead pen of L. Ron! Does every word the man wrote have to be mined for posthumous publication?


This ring, no other, was made by the Elves.

Who'd pawn their own mother to grab it themselves...

Re:What They Really Look Like (1)

PineHall (206441) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298999)

Brothers Hildebrand definitely came the closest to what I imagine the Middle Earth to look like. They IMHO are the best.

I wonder about the movies. I may not like them because their visual images may be very different from my imagination. Though I loved the BBC radio drama. They did a good job.

Hobbits (2, Interesting)

halftrack (454203) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298767)

I'm not a Tolkien fanatic, nor a know-all, but I'm a great fan of his books. What I've reacted to reading his books is the drawings of the hobbits and also the way the upcoming movies present them. In my imagination I've made up a picture of creatures closer to dwarfs than to human children. If I don't recall much wrong dwarfs are in fact taller than hobbits.

In the movie Frodo looks like a human child, but wasn't he rather old (40 years or so.) In the paintings in the books and in the movie he looks too young. Although hobbits don't have beards one would expect a more rugged face. In addition hobbits are normally fat - in a jovial sense.

One thing I'm sertain about are their feet and toes. They should be hairy, but I've never seen drawings of their feet.

What do other people think. Are the pictures of hobbits correct, as the book presents them.

Re:Hobbits (1)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298841)

Isn't he young for a hobbit though? (I could be wrong, its 15 years since I last read the books)

Re:Hobbits (1)

halftrack (454203) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298861)

Bilbo left middle-Earth at an age of 100 (I think) and he was then the oldes hobbit ever to live.

Re:Hobbits (1)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298896)

What about that old family- was it the Tooks? I'm sure that Bilbo wasn't the first to celebrate 1 gross- 144 years, and he certainly wasn't the oldest ever hobbit at the time of the Hobbit- do you mean when he went to the elven land (at 144)

Re:Hobbits (3, Informative)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298973)

Frodo was indeed young, the Lord Of the Rings starts out with him at 33 (and Bilbo at "eleventy-one", or 111). 33 was considered to be just "coming of age," so it would equate with about 18 or 21 in human years (emotionally speaking), but of course hobbits are small, so a youngish hobbit would look like a young child.

from goatse.cx (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298770)

We, at Goatse.cx, mourn the unprecedented loss of life on Tuesday,
September 11, 2001.



Let it be known terrorists, YOUR ASS IS NEXT!



________________________________________________ __ _______________


[ the receiver ] [ the giver ] [ feedback ] [ contrib ]



________________________________________________ __ _______________

LOTR not all that they're cracked to be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298777)

...am rereading the books at a friends suggestion. "...They're pretty boring at times, and the characters are shallow..." was the gist of what my friend said.

He's right. The language in the books is stilted "I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, blah blah, and this is the sword that was Broken!" (cave men were undoubtely more eloquent at times), the characters lack depth (hell, you don't even know what they look like - except they're often clad in gray).

At least the general story is good. Sauron is pretty cool, but that's cause he's faceless.

Worst, the characters are either Evil or Good. The Good always taking Aragorn, or whoever else, at their word. Why? This is total crap, especially in Time of War.

The Hobbit lacked all the forma English priggishness of the LOTR. A better book.

Re:LOTR not all that they're cracked to be (1)

gwizah (236406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298823)

Is this comment for or against the LOTR?

He's right. The language in the books is stilted "I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, blah blah, and this is the sword that was Broken!" (cave men were undoubtely more eloquent at times), the characters lack depth (hell, you don't even know what they look like - except they're often clad in gray).

If you mean "The Hobbit" you are partially right. While the language of Men in the story seems crude and coarse, notice how the Hobbits themselves are more apt to offer some sense of proper english. I belive Tolkien was trying to show man (humans) as a brutish race when compared to Hobbits and Elves.

On the other hand, If you are reffering to LOTR, dont forget the eloquent musings of Tom Bombadill or Treebeard Hoom Hoom!

Re:LOTR not all that they're cracked to be (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298832)

Its an epic you twit. It follows rules within the english language. Read Beowolf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and some of the other classics of English Lit. All flat as a friken pancake. You might see what genre he was working from and understand what he created. Also don't forget that all of this was made up to explain the nuances of a created language. All of the books are just to explaine why its pronouced this way instead of that way. That and to shut his kids up.

F34nor

Re:LOTR not all that they're cracked to be (1)

beanerspace (443710) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298836)

Speaking as an old fart, yes, these books are about as entertaining as other of their ilk.

Ah, but if you had asked me when I was 15, I would have spoke of such such grand images, inspired lofty thoughts and inspiration to engage in great causes.

From what I understand (and I could be wrong on this one) the stories were originally for his children and were published with some prodding. If that's the case, what a legacy !

where's my new Tolkein game? (1)

zama (244613) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298806)

Kinda OT but the artwork got me thinking about how I liked the artwork done by (now defunct) Iron Crown Enterprises in the Middle-Earth Role-Playing game. I used to love that game but we died a lot - stupid critical charts... ("Strike through ears. Big lummux dies immediately. Any earwax is removed").

Any word on whether a new game is going to be released? Hopefully with better game mechanics? Hopefully not by WOTC using d20?

I'm afraid of crass commercialization too but I'd rather people collecting Frodo stuff and reading Tolkein's books than say, Garfield...

Re:where's my new Tolkein game? (1)

gwizah (236406) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298845)

Go forth!... [gamesworkshop.co.uk]


Details are here [theonering.net] for the uninitiated.

Re:where's my new Tolkein game? (1)

zama (244613) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298898)

Oh no... And here I was afraid it would be WOTC who got the license. Little could I imagine that GW would get their grubby little hands on it. Should've realised it though - hasn't their stock and earnings been in the gutter for a while?

Also, the link should be http://www.games-workshop.com/

Re:where's my new Tolkein game? (1)

sben (71467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298924)

A new Lord of the Rings RPG is being published by Decipher, which is also working on new Star Trek stuff. Ken Hite (a name RPG geeks might recognize) will be working on it; early previews suggest that the new game will have a more Tolkeinesque feel than the Iron Crown version.

IIRC, an introductory game is supposed to be on sale in time for Christmas and the first movie, with the full game released 1Q2002 or so.

Links I should've included (1)

sben (71467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298962)

Damn, should've included these in the first message. Here are links to the publisher [decipher.com], and the publisher's previews of the introductory game [decipher.com] and the full RPG [decipher.com]. Having skimmed these, it's not clear to me now that the introductory game has an automatic upgrade path to the RPG.

The publisher will not be Games Workshop.

Elementary error (3, Informative)

dazed-n-confused (140724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298809)

Katz writes:

after World War II,

"The Hobbit" was published in 1937. World War II ended in 1945.

Re:Elementary error (1)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298882)

Indeed, although he wrote LOTR for his son- who was away in the army- sending him chapters on a monthly or so basis and then published afterwards.

Re:Elementary error (1)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298891)

Also, the Silmarillon wasn't a coherent work meant to be published. Rather, it was a scattered mass of writings which he created as background information for his other books. After he died, the writings were collected into the "book" we now know.

This month's Wired mag (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298812)

This month's Wired magazine has a whole cover story on Tolkein's works. I don't like them talking about it as a 'virtual world,' it sounds too much like one of Jon's articles. :)

The scariest thing, as usual, are the obsessed fanboys and geeks who take it *way* too seriously. I mean, I'm a big music fan, but going after rare CD bootlegs where John Lennon farts halfway through a demo of "Imagine" just does not interest me in the least.
Nobody will be able to appease the hardcore geeks 100%, because even they diagree on things, and will argue over minutiae that regular people simply couldn't care less about. If you can't get a suitable distance from the material, IMHO you have serious problems.

Re:This month's Wired mag (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298974)

The scariest thing, as usual, are the obsessed fanboys and geeks who take it *way* too seriously. I mean, I'm a big music fan, but going after rare CD bootlegs where John Lennon farts halfway through a demo of "Imagine" just does not interest me in the least.

there are people who do look for that sort of thing in the music world. What to do mean "big music fan"? did you spend a year travelling with your favorite band? or do you just like to listen to lots of music?

ecerybody wants to see there favorite part done right. The best we can hope for is that they did the parts everybody likes well.

Silmarillion (1)

Corvar (20297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298815)

To the best of my knowledge, the Silmarillion was nothing more than a collection of notes until after J.R.R. Tolkien's death. Afterwards, Christopher Tolkien collected those notes and assembled the Silmarillion.

It is also my belief that the Hobbit literally started it all, that Tolkien started delving into Middle Earth, creating it, to entertain his children. I.e. he did not start off attempting to create a world, a history, and multiple languages, but instead that they are a by-product of the story he constructed to entertain his children.

You may also want to check out The Marvelous Land of Snergs by E.A. Wyke-Smith. This book is considered to be the source Tolkien pulled the concept of Hobbit's from. ISBN: 1882968042

Tolkien passage (0, Offtopic)

Chundra (189402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298817)

"Do you like what you doth see . . . ?" said the voluptuous elf-maiden as she provocatively parted the folds of her robe to reveal the rounded, shadowy glories within. Frito's throat was dry, though his head reeled with desire and ale.

She slipped off the flimsy garment and strode toward the fascinated boggie unashamed of her nakedness. She ran a perfect hand along his hairy toes, and he helplessly watched them curl with the fierce insistent wanting of her.

"Let me make thee more comfortable," she whispered hoarsely, fiddling with the clasps of his jerkin, loosening his sword belt with a laugh. "Touch me, oh touch me," she crooned.

Frito's hand, as though of its own will, reached out and traced the delicate swelling of her elf-breast, while the other slowly crept around her tiny, flawless waist, crushing her to his barrel chest.

"Toes, I love hairy toes," she moaned, forcing him down on the silvered carpet. Her tiny, pink toes caressed the luxuriant fur of his instep while Frito's nose sought out the warmth of her precious elf- navel.

"But I'm so small and hairy, and . . . and you're so beautiful," Frito whimpered, slipping clumsily out of his crossed garters.

The elf-maiden said nothing, but only sighed deep in her throat and held him more firmly to her faunlike body. "There is one thing you must do for me first," she whispered into one tufted ear.

"Anything," sobbed Frito, growing frantic with his need. "Anything!"

She closed her eyes and then opened them to the ceiling. "The Ring," she said. "I must have your Ring."

Frito's whole body tensed. "Oh no," he cried, "not that! Anything but . . . that."

"I must have it," she said both tenderly and fiercely. "I must have the Ring!"

Frito's eyes blurred with tears and confusion. "I can't," he said. "I mustn't!"

But he knew resolve was no longer strong in him. Slowly, the elf- maiden's hand inched toward the chain in his vest pocket, closer and closer it came to the Ring Frito had guarded so faithfully . . .

Re:Tolkien passage - National Lampoon more like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298883)

National Lampoon's "Bored of the Rings".

Try to be original, ok?

Re:Tolkien passage - National Lampoon more like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298906)

Harvard Lampoon more like it. And I didn't claim it was written by me. feh!

Bored of the Rings (1)

cfriesen (256918) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298901)

Yep, straight out of the Tolkein parody "Bored of the Rings". Can't remember who published it though.

Re:Bored of the Rings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298969)

I'm almost certain that Bored of the Rings was a creation of the Harvard Lampoon.

JRRT's Work On Language (2, Informative)

tomknight (190939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298820)

If there's anyone out there with an interest in languages, they really should look at JRRT's work (in that area). http://www.elvish.org [elvish.org] is a good place to start.
There's a very good book "An Introduction To Elvish" (Ed. Jim Allen), that I used to borrow from my University library....


Tom.

Tolkien and Mythology (2, Informative)

fiver (9307) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298829)

I don't believe that Tolkien would have agreed that his family convinced him to write about more worldly events. Tolkien and the other Inklings (esp Lewis and Williams) were quick to say that they were using man's ability as a sub-creator (below God) and not corrolating any of their mythology to wordly events. Especially denied were any connections between The Lord of the Rings and any wars during the 20th century.

The Inklings (or, recommended reading) (4, Insightful)

namespan (225296) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298842)

There's a book I've been reading by Humphrey Carpenter called The Inklings [amazon.com]... it's about the association between Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams andd others. Fascinating stuff... sort
of a quasi-biography of all three and the confluence of their lives. Carpenter also wrote
a whole bio of Tolkein and collected a book of
his personal letters, both of which I've read bits of and are pretty good.

Warning: it's a different experience than reading
Tolkein's fiction. Tolkein spins grand myths; these are biographical.

Enjoy.

LOTR icon on Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298847)

C'mon Taco... high time for a LOTR/Tolkien icon on slashdot methinks...

Tolkien's works (3, Interesting)

weakethics (99716) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298857)

I thought I was the only one revisiting Middle-Earth. I made a commitment earlier this year to complete the LOTR+H before the movie came out. I started reading the Hobbit in July. I will likely complete RotK this weekend. I thought I had given myself sufficient time to finish the books before Dec, but I didn't count on how much I would be sucked in, again, to Tolkien's wonderful prose and terrific setting. At night, instead of reading Maisy's Next $6 Throwaway, I have been reading Tolkien to my 4-year-old son. The language is too difficult for him to understand, but he recognizes the names of the Hobbits and Gollum. In troubled times, I hope, hearing his father's voice as he fades to sleep help calm his fears. I had not anticipated these books bringing me closer to my son, but I should have known that Tolkien's magic, like Hobbits, is always more powerful than you expect.

I will pass (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298873)

blatant flamebait:

You assume I care.

Nice piece of fiction written here. (1)

spineless monkey (211108) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298897)

If you are going to create a sales promotion, at least get your facts correct. Is there any truth to any of this? Bill J. Clinton, are you reading this?

Besides that, I'm so glad that he took this advice and applied his imagination to "wordly" things.

What I don't understand... (0, Offtopic)

elefantstn (195873) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298911)

Why is George W. Bush not mentioned in this article? What kind of Katz screed is this? Here are a number of ways I figured Jon could work him into future revisions:


  • Why can't GWB be more like Gandalf in times of crisis? Gandalf always inspired confidence in his followers and was a tremendous public speaker; Bush has none of those qualities.
  • Bush has - in nearly 8 months of governing - made no mention whatsoever on his stance on Tolkien's work! Does he think by just ignoring the issue, it will go away?
  • I'm a petty child who likes to make arrogant, baseless statements about leaders I disagree with in order to make myself seem worldly.

Ok, well the third one isn't really Tolkien-related. I guess it's more of an all-purpose disclaimer he can tack on to the bottom of everything he posts instead.

Re:What I don't understand... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2299020)

FIRE ELEFANTSTN!

His bullshit doesn't belong on Slashdot.

Fire ELEFANTSTN!

AND FIRE JON KATZ!!!

Original Manuscripts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298914)

If anyone is interested, J.R.R. Tolkien's original manuscripts are kept at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.

i think i failed this geek test (-1, Troll)

eadint (156250) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298915)

Im sorry but i just never got into the lord of the rings. i kinda thought that it was a scientific copout and found the series redundant and droning. maybe i failed this geek test but i cant stand fantasy. if its not scientifically possible i really dont enjoy reading it. but then again i think all of the star treks are a joke too an i never watch them . hey heres a planet of horney virgins with little or no inteligence sitting on a planet full of dilithium crystals. lets leave them alone. mankind dosent behave that way. i think the only really good scifi was space above and beond ather c clarks 2001 and the remake of dune. hobbits are just stupid

Hobbits worship Allah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298933)

Burn those hairy-toes fuckers boefore they crash a flying carpet into our barrows!

Nothing to do with the war (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2298945)

First of all, katz needs to spend a little time doing a thing called RESEARCH!

Second I hate when people imply or say that LOTR had anything to do with WWII. Tolkien said on MANY occasion that it had nothing to do with it. In fact he even gave an example of how the books would have been, and what the charaters would of done differently if it had been based on the evens in WWII. Of course some of it being written before WWII should clue people in.

...Floop went the tar pit...

Written DURRING WWII (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2298979)

The LOTR was written _durring_ WWII not after, and was sent in installments to who son who was fighting in the war. Also, Tolkien insisted that the books where not an anology for modern times. There is a great quote from him that says he detested anology from the first time he detected it.
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