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For exactly the same reason i used to like Tintin so much, cos they travel all over the place and see loads of new things at the drop of a hat. I like books that travel a lot and don't stay in one place, that's why FOtr is my personal favourite of the Trilogy.
I've always been a fantasy fan. I loved all the RPG's on video game consoles and i love the cosmology that comes from it. I think i might've been a dwarf and/or elf in a previous plane of existence. anyway, i just love the idea of a world of such richness and beauty. it brings back the desires of things like Medieval Times and Renaissance Fairs. Plus i'm a big dork with interests in knights and swords and stuff of the like.
The world of the LotR is a place for me to escape from this world in which I have found myself. Every time I read it, I learn something new. Every time I read these discussions I find something new. The story has stories within stories and the adventure is high, the relationships are grand, though sometimes bitter-sweet, and it all fits together without requiring too much suspension of belief. Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie
I like to escape into the story as well, because the feeling of friendship is so strong. Relationships in our world seem much more superficial, cold. It seems people are afraid to show emotion. My favourite chapter is where Merry, Pepin and Sam reveal there 'conspiracy' to Frodo.There's so much warmth in it.
Each time I read the book, I have this contradictory feeling. On one hand I want to keep on reading and travel in that imaginary world, but on the other hand, the more I read, the closer I get to the end and the sooner I will have to leave that world. Each time I finish the story, I need some time to 'recover' from it, to get into the reality of this world again.

I remember when I read it for the first time, I was always waiting for a member of the fellowship to betray the others. I was most suspicious about Aragorn and Sam. It was only when starting in ROTK, I realised there wouldn't be a betray like that and the emotions those characters showed were for real, not meant to deceive. From that moment, the story became even more beautiful to me.
I am one of those people who needs a mental home in which to anchor my soul, and for 27 years, more even than Narnia, or ancient Egypt, or the U.S.S. Enterprise, or the TARDIS, or the Liberator, or Babylon 5, Middle-Earth has been that place. I have been reading Tolkien all that time, and so it is more familiar than any of the places I have lived.

So my first answer is: a home for the heart.

My second answer is what so many people say: it is huge. It encompasses so much, and every time I get to the "end" I discover more. Once it was The Hobbit and those very difficult books LOTR my mother had to help me read. Then LOTR became the main world, The Hobbit, a fun memory of my childhood. Then I started into the Appendices, some of which I confess I still haven't read through completely (the language parts), and embarked on the vast sea of the Silmarillion, which after ten years I have not mastered. And now, in the last six months, I have finally discovered that I was standing on the tip of the iceberg, and there is HOME and Letters and UT and so much more to explore. The world has opened out. I am sure it will take me the rest of my life for those places to become as familiar as the Last Homely House of the Hobbit, or Bag-end, or the names of Aragorn, or how many pennies it cost Barliaman Butterbur to buy Bill the Pony. Oh brave new world that has such wonders in it!

And it is a beautiful and amazing and intricate and complex world, with many wondrous and fascinating things, places, events, histories, words, names, ideas, characters.

So my second answer is: exploration.

My next answer stems from the fact that it is great epic, mythology, poetry, and literature. I love the layers and levels of symbolism, the archetypes, the ring cycles of Beren and Lúthien, Aragorn and Arwen. I love the themes of the fading elves, of temptation, of the Wise, of the little simple people becoming heroes (the hobbits), of magical things fading or becoming scarce in the world of men, of the powers of trees and light and swords, of loyalty and devotion, of obsession and arrogance, of Kings and Builders, Sages and Swordswomen, the Fallen Great, the Noble Servant, the Innkeeper and the Wild Man (Beorn and Bombadil), of eagles and swans, of tea and pipes and the everyday forced to deal with huge events. There is so much history. There is so much of true tales here. There is so much of every type of adventure, tragedy, love story, monster, kind words, eloquent speeches, terrible choices, non-happy-endings, things to think about and contemplate and believe in. Tolkien set about to make a mythology for Britain. He succeeded. I am a lover and student of mythology and ancient epic, and here are both in great bounty.

So my third answer is: mythology.

And then we come to the characters themselves, and the geographical locations, which in some ways are also characters with their own histories, personalities, names. Frodo and Sam are old friends, and I delight in watching them look after each other, lean on each other's strengths. Aragorn is a complex hero, the great king, and yet those gentle ways he treats the hobbits, protecting the Shire from the shadows, or bantering words with Merry in the houses of Healing, or showing his strength against Sauron, or lamenting when all he does goes amiss-- he is still a man, albeit a great man, and the world is not full enough of heroes for us to love. Ditto for Faramir, whose nobility and beautiful manner of speaking are marvellous. There are the elves whom we all love, and the singing archer of Mirkwood whom I adored as a kid and adore now because the screen has made him beautiful, lethal, and more intense than the laughing elf I remember. There are the hobbits like Bilbo and Rosie and Maggot that we love for being themselves, not remarkable, but believable. There's Gandalf, the old fun conjuror of fireworks to the hobbits, who is really something quite fantastic, yet never puts on airs: a guardian spirit, willing to sacrifice everything to take care of a world that does not know his greatness. There's Smaug, who has more personality than a hundred D&D monsters put together; when's the last time a monster had such great lines? There's the wise and stately Elrond of the books, Galadriel who most certainly is worshipful and gives gifts of such understanding to those who are in her care for so short a time, Celeborn the wise whose part is brief but whose wisdom I did notice. There's Théoden, the frail old man who comes out of his despair to do great things, a lovable old king, and his brave sister-son and sister-daughter. How many of these characters are also beautiful? Nothing wrong with that; it makes us love them too.
And then there are the more conflicted characters like Sméagol-Gollum, whom you must pity as well as loathe, or Denethor, a great man felled by his own need to protect his realm and his patriotism which blinds him to the needs of others; ditto for his son Boromir in a different way, ditto for Saruman who was once great and fell. And to a lesser extent there's Otho and Grima. They are fascinating, even if we fear them and in some cases are very glad they got what they deserved.

I could wax eloquent about the beauty of Rivendell and the sadness of Lórien, the wondrous dark fearful wood of Mirkwood where yet elves dwell, and all the other great locations that are fixed in our minds like treasured possessions, but it'd take too long: and the films, whatever else one can say about them, did fair justice to bringing those stunning locations to life. We believe in those places. We love them, as much as their inhabitants.

So my fourth answer is: very old friends.


Then there are the moments and adventures and stories. Now I have Bilbo hopping and singing Attercop and pegging spiders. Now there's Frodo defying the Wraiths at the fords, and the waters rising. Now there is Galadriel holding up her hand in a gesture of defiance against Sauron and Dol Guldur. Now there's Gandalf on the bridge at Khazad-dum, breaking the stone beneath him, or Frodo on the brink of the Cracks of Doom, finally succombing to a power greater than his will, Sauron turning to see the truth at last, the Ringwraiths speeding towards Orodruin, too late, too late... Thorin on his deathbed. Gandalf Tea Wednesday, and Bilbo's unexpected visitors singing "over the Misty Mountains cold" with all their instruments. Beren putting his hand in the mouth of that dreadful hound. Saruman's ghost rising up, reaching for the west, and being blown away. Sam by his master's side after the battle with Shelob. Gollum's moment of love for Frodo, asleep, when he almost turns away from his path. Gandalf about to leap out of the burning tree onto the goblins and wargs in The Hobbit. Aragorn drawing the broken sword on Sam. The Paths of the Dead. On and on and on. How many of these magical adventures have won our hearts? I never get tired of reliving them, and with these new books, I have more adventures to experience, discover.

So my fifth answer is: memorable moments.

And finally there's the words themselves. I love Tolkien's use of language in each of his different periods of writing style. I am a scholar of ancient things. I love the bardic art. I rejoice every time I read these books again, even though many of these lines I know by heart: "if doom denies this to me, then I will have naught: neither life diminished, nor love halved, nor honour abated." What a way with words! And the British spellings and punctuations also make me smile, which is a silly reason, but nevertheless it's there-- I'm one of those poor Anglophile Americans who can never get enough of listening to Patrick Stewart and Diana Rigg and even the least Dr. Who or Blake's 7 bit part because they have British accents which I find superior to my own. Back to Tolkien, there's also his love of poetry. Oh, I like poetry, and how many postAuthorIDs dare throw poems into their stories as freely as he does? It's not customary anymore, so they're rare treats. Finally, and more recently, of course, there's the names and the created languages. And for that I have Peter Jackson to thank. Not knowing HOME, I didn't realize there was actually enough Elvish floating about to learn and study it. That Helen Keller moment in the Two Towers, when Legolas whispered, "Hiro hîdh hyn ab 'wanath," and suddenly I understood it -- not simply mentally translating it into English, but understanding the Elvish straight into my brain -- made me start crying right in the theater. And now I'm going back into Tolkien, as time allows, delving ever more deeply into the beauty of Sindarin, drinking it in like fine mead, seeing the depths of the tales augmented by the meanings of place and character names, noting where Silvan or Sindarin or Quenya come into play -- yet another layer of richness has come into these books for me. Sindarin it is for now, and someday, no doubt, I'll begin to soak up Quenya too. Words! Words are treasures beyond price for a writer and a poet and a bard! I am only a novice on the ladder where Tolkien has climbed far closer to heaven, but he lets me look up!

So my final answer is: Words, words to treasure.

For these reasons Tolkien is and always will be the greatest force and source of delight in my mind, my thoughts, besides my own Muse, and in many ways, greater.




(and someday, I'm going to startle you all by writing a brief post.)

[Edited on 5/8/03 by sepdet]
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(and someday, I'm going to startle you all by writing a brief post.)
And someday I will hold my breath. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie

However, long posts are okay if you have something that needs to get out of your heart or head, via your fingers tips through your keyboard, and on to our screens. You do this with out stammering or repeating yourself and your posts are well worth the effort of reading. IMHO Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie
I love Tolkien because he is showing us the real meaning of OUR existence and our world which can be as full of friendship, love, romance, magic and beauty as his world if we only try to remain true to our dreams... He shows us the way how to save this world, the real world... and believe me, if you will behave like Aragorn or Faramir or Frodo, sooner or later you will find wonderful friends and all possible romance you may need!
I love Tolkien 'cause he spent so much time on the books and the results can be seen so clearly. The books are so deep and mysterious there is always something more to find. I cant describe it ,but i can say, it is more a book than any other fiction i have read. Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie
I like lotr so much because I love the excitment of pure fantasy. Lotr is all about fantasy, it is really exciting if u get into it. The battle scenes and the writing in the book is amazing. The best out of anything ever made
There are many reasons why I like LotR.
First of all, I was drawn into the immensely-detailed landscapes and well thought-out lands, countries, and diverse cultures. Secondly, the different languages attracted me; I became obsessed with speaking in Black Speech (matizinashûk!), and Sindarin. That was when I first became a lingual person.

In addition, I like the vocabulary Tolkien used. It's so... different, archaic, hinting of an old, leather-bound book, buried in dust and cobwebs, slowly being picked up. Most of the words I'd never used, or seldom, and I had certainly never even heard of some, like 'ere,' or 'aught.' But I got the meanings from context.

Furthermore, I liked the characters and their relationships with others in LotR. I really liked your post, gnampie, and I'd agree that people are more distant... 'cold' in this place and time. The friendships in Middle-Earth seemed to be more real; more... sincere. Not lies and deceit, or treachery and ruin, though there was certainly no lack of that, either.

I also liked the underlying themes, like Frodo, a mere Hobbit, overcoming great odds with the aid of friendship, and helping Middle-Earth. It made me wish I was there... I'd be content with lack of modern technology that has... oh, I can't write it. Also, the book played on my emotions; I felt fear, pain, hope, joy, and grief. When Gandalf fell into the abyss, I grieved with the Fellowship. It's almost like I was a tenth member of the Walkers, hiding in the background. When Pippin looked into the palantír, I felt shock, and relief when the Enemy's folly was shown.

In a way, I've read this book both as an outsider looking in, and as different characters, particularly Frodo. In addition, Sméagol brought out my pity, and i felt hatred, or at least animosity, towards Sam, when Sméagol almost repented and Sam stopped him. The characters' personalities and conflicts kept my eye riveted on the book.

Furthermore, I enjoyed the vast level of DETAIL put into the book; every movement was carefully plotted; Tolkien had wind charts and moon phases, maps of their wanderings and time charts on who would intersect and when. He spent years and years creating Middle-Earth and its cultures; then evolving them into the Third Age; drawing up an intricate history, and writing songs, and poems.

[Edited on 11/7/2003 by Arcormacolindóva]
The reason I like LotR so much isn't just because of the adventure, the magic or the cool charicters. Infact the reason I like it is kinda hard to pin down. I think it has to do with the fact that if it wasn't for LotR (and The Hobbit) I wouldn't be interested in fantasy at all. LotR pulled me in from the very first sentence, I was drawn to it like a small, unfortunate bug is drawn to one of those electric bug zapping things. Also its hard to find good fantasy like that anymore. I've found a few postAuthorIDs I like, such as Michael Moorcock (Elric, I love you and want to have your babys, you poor, tradgic, fluffy bunny of a man Melnibonian), but quite a lot of the time I find that a lot of modern fantasy novels are...well...a bit over dramatic. For example, one book I read (something about a black lotus) used the word smite at least four times in one sentence. You don't get that with LotR, never once has Aragorn smited the same person five times!
I suppose those are my reasons for liking LotR.

[Edited on 7/10pm03/1984 by Halo_Black]
I like LotR because of the feeling you get when you finish, and think about the beginning, the feeling of time having passed. You can see how far the story has gone in terms of distance, how the characters have changed, how ME has changed. It makes me think about RL, how the world changes so quickly, how it changes other people, and how far everyone goes in their lifetime.
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and I'd agree that people are more distant... 'cold' in this place and time. The friendships in Middle-Earth seemed to be more real; more... sincere. Not lies and deceit, or treachery and ruin, though there was certainly no lack of that, either. I also liked the underlying themes, like Frodo, a mere Hobbit, overcoming great odds with the aid of friendship, and helping Middle-Earth. It made me wish I was there... I'd be content with lack of modern technology that has... oh, I can't write it. Also, the book played on my emotions; I felt fear, pain, hope, joy, and grief. When Gandalf fell into the abyss, I grieved with the Fellowship. It's almost like I was a tenth member of the Walkers, hiding in the background. When Pippin looked into the palantír, I felt shock, and relief when the Enemy's folly was shown. In a way, I've read this book both as an outsider looking in, and as different characters, particularly Frodo.

I completely agree with you!

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In addition, Sméagol brought out my pity, and i felt hatred, or at least animosity, towards Sam, when Sméagol almost repented and Sam stopped him.

I also regretted Sam reacted that way, because Sméagol was about to get the better hand on Gollum, and then things could have turned out very different for Frodo. But I could understand Sam's reaction very well. He was tired and under a lot of pressure, trying to be as strong as possible for Frodo. He also realises he overreacted.
I like LOTR because i am an escapist and mostly hate the world i live in, so i like to lose myself in the world JRRT and some other postAuthorIDs created just to forget how lousy everything really is.
Well I guess this sounds kinda repitive after virumor´s post but I am an escapist too....that´s why I love LoTR....because I dream away into that world and imagine how life would be so much different.....that´s why I love Tolkiens work....not only LoTR but the rest of them.....David Eddings is quite good too....I loved The Belgariad....or whatever it´s named.....
Yep, I'm definetly with Vir and Aule on this one: Middle-earth and fictional/SF worlds in general are a lot better than the real world we live in! Alcoholic Smilie

Namarie!
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Middle-earth and fictional/SF worlds in general are a lot better than the real world we live in!
Well, I really don't think so! Smile Smilie Both in ME and in this world all depends on your status and your condition! Would it be so very nice to be a helpless prisoner in the hands of Morgoth, like Maedhros or Hurin? Or to toil in his mines, liek Gwindor?Or to be a thrall of Easterlings, like young Tuor? He, at least, was well fed, and managed to escape, but many other Edain boys were hunted to death by Easterlings who made them run in the forest, just for sport! Would it be so nice to be a wife of an Easterling, like Aerin? Or, like Beren, to lose his homeland and his kin, and to become a prisoner of Sauron, rotting in his dungeon while nobody cared for him, save Felagund and Luthien only? Or to be a slave of Numenoreans during the period of their downfall, rowing under the lash on one of their galley man-of-wars? Or to be sacrified by them and burned as a human victim? Or to fall into the hands of Sauron when he was inhabiting Dol Guldur?...
There was so much woe and misery in ME, how can we be insensible to that? There is no real difference between ME and this world! Both these worlds have very dark sides. But, luckiliyy, in both these worlds there exist such things like heroism, friendship, love. To finish by a quote,
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good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves, and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house
OK Eryan, there was a lot of pain and misery in ME, too, but at least friends were friends, true friends who didn't betray you or stabbed you in the back. Their friendship and loyalty towards each other remained, no matter what. It's hard to find friends like that in this world. Sooner or later jealousy tears it all apart. But there are exeptions, luckily.
Yes, Gnampie, this is true! Why so many of us are unable to find good friends, and - more importantly - to BE themselves such friends for others? I think that Grondy hit the mark in the recent discussion taking place in the thread on Aragorn in "Characters". If I remember well, he wrote that whereas the heroes of the PJ movie seem to be atteint with modern psychoses, the heroes of Tolkien book seem to be much more level-headed. And yes, they are level-headed! They are mature. And so many people in our world are so hopelessly immature!
Well, everyone of us needs friends. My advice is, seek them in the real world, and don't be too upset when some of them will prove weak and/or unloyal. These things happen. They hurt, but this is not the end of the world. And ME will certainly help us to believe in friendship and all other old good old-fashioned virtues when we are alone in the darkness, an this happens to everybody on some days. Being there is like that drink of Ents, refreshing and bringing new hope and vigour!

[Edited on 3/11/2003 by Eryan]
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but at least friends were friends, true friends who didn't betray you or stabbed you in the back. Their friendship and loyalty towards each other remained, no matter what.
I think here you have to bear in mind that the books give us insight to what is occuring behind the scenes. No doubt when you wrote this you were thinking of friendships within the fellowship, or those which developed between the other "good" characters... Eomer etc.

As readers we know Saruman was betraying the White Council, we know he was corrupted. I'd imagine Gandalf felt rather stabbed in the back, however, when he turned up at Isengard for advice only to be taken prisoner. The same could be said for Theoden and Grima. Theoden must have trusted him deeply for Grima to have gained the position of power he eventually held over him. When that hold was broken, I'd imagine he felt rather betrayed too.

Foolishly, Celebrimbor trusted Annatar. Again, Id imagine he felt pretty stabbed in the back too.

These are cases of major back stabbings, and it is easy to sit back and say, "well, they should have seen that coming." For the individuals concerned, however, if you place yourselves in their positions without having the hindsight of having read the book, you'd feel rather distressed.

What I am getting at is when comparing fiction with the real world, you often lose sight of how thngs which seem obvious to the reader would really feel to the victim. I've mentioned a few obvious ones, but LotR and the Silmarillion (in particular) are full of such examples.

Possibly what is missing in the real world is that lack of self-sacrifice members of the fellowship would make for each other. Thankfully most of us in the western world have not had to make similar sacrifices because our world is reletively safe. I think if you lived in troubled times, however, you'd be amazed at the sacrifices those around you would actually be willing to make.
A great post Val! Some more examples of "stabbing in the back", this time from "Silmarillion":
(1) Celegorm and Curufin. First they turned against Finrod Felagund who offered them hospitality in their own kingdom, then they betrayed the trust of Luthien.
(2) Maeglin - no need to explain this case I think!
(3) Gorlim, who betrayed Barahir and his companions. It's true that his story was tragic, but, nevertheless, he was a traitor!
(4) Mim who betrayed Turin who grew to be really fond of him and to trust him.
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Possibly what is missing in the real world is that lack of self-sacrifice members of the fellowship would make for each other. Thankfully most of us in the western world have not had to make similar sacrifices because our world is reletively safe. I think if you lived in troubled times, however, you'd be amazed at the sacrifices those around you would actually be willing to make.

It is sufficient to read some source texts from history to realise how many incredible feats of heroism and self-sacrifice have occured in this here world. Only we do not know about so many of them. We should really take more pains to learn more about our real heroes! This is so sad that so many of them are so utterly fiorgotten!
Some interesting posts there; yet I would still love to live in ME! I guess I love its dark side as much as the brighter one! hehe

Namarie!
At least in Middle-Earth, not everyone is stabbing in everyone's back like in our world. And nature is still pure there, too. Only Sauron is the big polluter with his black clouds but this is only a minor annoyance.
Val, you're right! And to be honest, I never saw it like that before. But it's true, Gandalf must have felt stabbed in the back as Theoden, too.
When I first read LOTR, Aragorn and the four Hobbits made a real deep impression on me. Aragorn was such a nobel man, honest, fair, loyal, protective, someone who makes you feel save. And the friendship between the Hobbits was so strong! I was very moved by this. Still, I remember when I first read the story, I was expecting one of the fellowship to betray the others. Until a certain point I had doubts about all of them. In a way you can say Boromir betrayed them when trying to take the ring from Frodo, but it's not that what I mean. I expected one of them to be pretending to be a loyal friend, while he really was planning to take the ring and have them all killed. But it didn't happen. I know I suspected Sam for a long time. It was so wonderful when I discovered none of them was wearing a mask and they all simply were very loyal friends. Maybe this made me somewhat blind for all the other betrayal that did occure.

As what this world concerns, maybe we have too much luxury and wealth and we started caring for the wrong things. Maybe if we would live in worse times, there would indeed be more friendship or friendship would become more clear. As for myself, I have too much bad experiences with so called friends and got hurt a few times too often. People use you for the time they need you, and when they stop needing you, they turn their back. If they would just walk away then, but no, they have to make a complete fool of you first. Some memories are still very painful. I even stopped believing in friendship as I see it, until about two years ago. I think I now met a real friend, at least I hope I did.
Is there anyone onn this Earth who has never been stabbed in the back? Perhaps some little baby in a cradle! Smile Smilie The nastiest thing about it is that usually the traitor is a person whom we do not suspect until the very end. Even more funnily, when I am betrayed by someone, I often have guilty feelings and my self-esteem is shattered, I feel that it's me who failed because I am not liked well enough! On such occasions I keep to tell myself, well, it's much more shameful to be a traitor than to be betrayed!
Another funny thing, even those who betray us on one occasion may yet prove extremely helpful on another occasion. Exactly like Gollum in LOTR!
About caring too much for unimportant things... yes, this is very true and very sad. So many problems would disappear if we could look on them from a more level-headed perspective!
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As for myself, I have too much bad experiences with so called friends and got hurt a few times too often. People use you for the time they need you, and when they stop needing you, they turn their back.
I'm sorry that you have been hurt in this way, gnampie. Like Eryan pointed out, though, this is the way things are in this world (and Middle Earth).

In my opinion, its how you deal with such experiences that is important. As most of the upset comes from that feeling of betrayal rather than the actual inconvenience of being let down, I think it is best to deal with such feelings phylosophically. I'm not a pessimistic person by any measure, but when it comes to other people (and that is everyone), I expect to be let down. I am in this world alone, and the only person I can truely trust is myself. I suppose it's a defense mechanism built from having been let down a time or two, but I find it works. If I don't expect too much from someone, if they do let me down it's just the inconvenience I then have to handle.

I feel the people who get most hurt on such occasions that they are betrayed are the ones who are the most generous themselves. Those people often give freely and are then hurt when they don't receive the same measure of consideration in return.

In a way I'm suggesting the old saying of, "treat others as you would have them treat you," needs a disclaimer of, "but don't expect having done this, to get the same consideration in return."

Back to LotR though. When I first read it, I too believed Sam was going to be a traitor. Aragorn I thought was a thief, but one of those noble thieves who only steals off the bad guys.

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And nature is still pure there, too. Only Sauron is the big polluter with his black clouds but this is only a minor annoyance.
Don't forget Saruman, Virumor. One of the main themes I saw as an underlying issue of LotR was not just the fight between good and evil, but the fight between nature and industrialisation.

We live in this post industrial age where pollution and urbanisation is a major concern. To us the of idea of the world prior to industrialisation conjures delightful, romantic images. All the time you hear people say they would rather live in the pre-industrial world, but to me this is a view of the world through rose-tinted glasses. For the average human, the world pre-industrialisation was not a pleasant place to live. How we take electricity, transport, clean running water, supermarkets, fresh food, education, pain killers, innoculations, etc etc for granted. I find the biggest problem facing the average person in the Western world now is boredom. Now that people do not have to work from dawn to dusk to survive, they are dissatisfied because they do not know what to do with their spare time.

Admitedly, a holiday in Rivendell would be really nice, but it didn't happen for the average Joe Bloggs in Middle Earth either. They didn't get to take a walk with the future king, but had to work his fields day in day out in order to survive. The real magic contained within Tolkien's writings is that he allows us to forget such burdens for a while. He threatens us with the horrors of life under Sauron, but he allows us to escape from our own problem of mundane boredom.

[Edited on 4/11/2003 by Valedhelgwath]
Very true Val!
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"treat others as you would have them treat you," needs a disclaimer of, "but don't expect having done this, to get the same consideration in return."
. Another useful thing, it's a good and practical thing to have many friendly persons around you, in such a way it is easier to be less demanding! Even the best friend may have a bad day and to hurt you!
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I find the biggest problem facing the average person in the Western world now is boredom.
Isn't this really tragic? I am so thankful that I am living in this marvellous period permitting me to profit from the existence of the Internet to communicate and to make friends with people from all over the planet, to read all sorts of texts, to see pictures of virtually every country, every culture, every form of art, every animal species... Each day I am discovering new marvels, new eye-openers, and the only sad thing is that the days are too short to enjoy all that extraordinary richness, and that my lifespan is limited and one day I will have to go... And yet so many of us do not enjoy these incredible opportunities, our world seems to them gloomy and boring. How very very sad!
But, well, in that respect, too, ME was very similar to our world, at least the Shire! Frodo and Sam were the curious ones; but many hobbits were not so open-minded, to say the least! Frodo was as disgusted with his boring and dull fellow countrymen as we are disgusted with our dull modern life in our dull modern countries!
Well, after what u've said, come to think of it, I'd say I would prefer living in Tirion or somewhere else in Valinor! Middle-earth seems a bit too dangerous! Yet my dark alter-ego would've really loved living in the First Age, somewhere close to Angband, so I can feel the pressure! Bwaahahahahaha!

*trying to reach for that shiny thing ... what was his name again? oh, well, somebody beat me to the Silm again!*

Namarie!
Eryan you gave me the example of being Húrin in the grasp of Morgoth....well...if I see Morgoth then I know that the Valar are for real which also means that Eru is real....that means that I am not afraid since I know that I will travel to the Halls of Eru when I die..Tongue Smilie
Well said Aule! Yes I also am sometimes thinking that the heroes of Tolkien with their certainty of afterlife had a somewhat easier task to keep high moral standards than we...
Exactly....you see my point and understand it well Eryan....goodWink Smilie
Dunno, some ppl in real life have great belief in afterlife too and can do things that way other ppl wouldn't be able to do, just by using the power of their faith.
Right Vir, but, as Aule very rightly pointed out, if you fall into the hands of Morgoth and you can see him, one of the Ainur, with your own eyes, it is no more the question of a belief, but of a fact. However, it's true that seeing Morgoth is one thing not equivalent to the certainty that Eru exists, too, and that Eru's gift for the Secondborn, death, is really a gift. Morgoth tried hard to convince everybody that he is the only Master of the World, that he made it, and that beyond the Circles of the World there is nothing. Only look at that conversation between Morgoth and Hurin:
Quote:
"This last then will I say to you, thrall Morgoth" said Hurin "and it comes not from the lore of the Eldar, but is put into my heart at this hour. You are not the Lord of Men, and shall not be, though all Arda and Menel fall in your dominion. Beyond the Circles of the World you shall not pursue those who refuse you".
"Beyond the Circles of the World I will not pursue them," said Morgoth. "for beyond the Circles of the World there is Nothing" (Narn i Hin Hurin, Unfinished Tales)

Even Aragorn must have mastered his courage to die!
Quote:
Even Aragorn must have mastered his courage to die!


I don't understand what you mean with this line, Eryan. Aragorn was the last great King of the Numenorans who accepted death when it came, instead of trying to hold on to it. As soon as he felt the old age come, off he was.

I'm not sure whether or not Aragorn feared death, but i don't think so since he accepted his fate like he did.
I mean that he considered his willingness to die as a final difficult and painful test of faith, courage and self-denial, and not as an easy, obvious thing to be done lightly and joyously:
Quote:
"Lady Undomiel" said Aragorn "The hour is indeed hard. [...] I speak no comfort to you, for there is no comfort for such pain within the circles of the world [...] But let us not be overthrown at the final test, who of old renounced the Shadow and the Ring. In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory. Farewell!


[Edited on 7/11/2003 by Eryan]
I've always loved medieval things, castles, swords etc
So the great fortresses and battles in Lord of the Rings are fantastic, though the 'powers' i.e Valar and Maiar are also very appealing, Gandalf in particular, the commander and protector, also the corruption of Saruman i could go on all day
I also have a love of history, so for me this is great

[Edited on 7/12/2003 by Isildur]