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Tolkien's sense of humour is very subtle. Some miss it all together.

Agagorn is even funny sometimes, like when he is chasing the orcs in Rohan. At one stage he throws himself on the ground and sleeps flat on his back with mouth open I think...quite a funny image for the austere ranger.

I thought some of Merry's chatter with Theoden was quite amusing. Especially whan Gandalf warns the king of "his peril.." that Hobbits can talk people to death...or almost.

I loved Tolkien's sense of humour. Delightlfully refreshing.
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I thought I loved Tolkien's sense of humour. Delightlfully refreshing.


If you like "subtle" humor.. (Which I find appeals to many Europeans). I found the humor in LOTR to be seriously lacking. I prefer the Stephen Wright type of humor "I returned to my apartment to find that everything had been stolen and replaced with an exact dulpicate..."
When I need humor in my fantasy literature, I read Diskworld novels. Terry Pratchett is anything, but subtle. Pratchett's humor usually results in a full fledged guffaw, while Tolkien's only draws the occasional smile. Smile Smilie
If you like "subtle" humor.. (Which I find appeals to many Europeans).


Swampfaye, I am not European. Quite a long way from it actually.....[Edited on 1/2/2002 by Allyssa]
I didn't say subtle humor *only* appealed to Europeans... but in any case maybe you would like "The Colour of Magic" quite funny, but you have to be an adult to really appreciate most of the humor (in sewer ants) .
I like my humour as subtle as a rusty chainsaw, so Tolk rarely makes me laugh out loud, perhaps a smirk here and there, but rarely where it's supposed to be. Wink Smilie
I like Tolkien's humour as well. Refreshing, as sb said, it is indeed. It's there when you need it... Smile Smilie
Oh yeah..again late... Big Smile Smilie

I like Tolkienīs humour too...itīs very refreshing.

Yes...and Iīm not an European...Iīm from Finland and I canīt compare a Finn and European...itīs impossible. We are so different from other Europeans in here Finland and other Northern countries...Our culture is so different, our kitchen and "drink"-culture..(or what it is?) Everything is different here...our language isnīt german...(but it is german in other northern countries...) And donīt forget SAUNA...have you ever been in sauna?? THAT is very refreshing...you must test it once..come here to Finland....This is The Land Of Lakes... Smile Smilie
rrrrrrrrrrr ok if we are going to say things like that no one really is a European except for the germans? Coz I'm dutch and you cant (well actually you can it's quite easy to see the difference) compare me with Germans Smile Smilie

and the brits aren't europeans baceause they are on an island and think they are driving on the right side of the road Smile Smilie

and the french aren't european because they only know how to speak french and for gods sake they eat snails..... yuk...

etc etc....

But htere's actually humor in tolkien? wow must have missed it or forgotten Smile Smilie

but for terry pratchet It's great Smile Smilie but I think I would like it even more when my english is better, which- i hope- it will be someday
as for "in sewer ants" thats wasn't a hard one was it?


[Edited on 25/7/2002 by Boring]
You're quite right we brits definitely aren't european and we DO drive on the right side of the road!!!! Mad Smilie.... Wink Smilie It's just the rest of the world who drive on the wrong side

Anyway... I love Tolkiens humour especially in the hobbit, if yuo read the books out loud Bilbo really is the most amusing character and the interaction with him and Gandalf is delightful.
"to think I'd live to be greeted by Belladnna Took's son as if I was selling buttons at the door" (or something like that) but that's definitely where the humour is in Tolkien.
Oh yeah I'd forgotten about that line! Big Laugh Smilie

And there's more: when Gandalf says to Frodo: "If you don't let me in, Frodo" and the curdled milk and stuff. And there are other great lines which I forgot just now.
I also think there are a lot of parts in LotR that are funny. Like the whole orc-slaughtering competition with Legolas and Gimli, and when Sam bursts in on the Council of Elrond, as well as many comments by Merry and Pippin
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some of Merry's chatter with Theoden
, love that! And the interaction between Gandalf and Pippin in the 3rd book. Big Laugh Smilie
Moderator Smilie I deleted Amarië and my last posts as they were too political in nature and had nothing to do with the topic which has to do with humour in Lord of the Rings the movie and our hopes that PJ keeps Sam's funny lines in Return of the King. Moderator Smilie
Maybe the humor in LotR is too subtile for me, but I didn't find it that humorous. Ok, an occasional smile. Maybe the jokes didn't come quite well through the translation. I've read them in dutch because I have not yet been able to lay my hands on an english version (for free, since I borrowed a second print of Lord of the Rings (dutch) from my granddad).

As for Terry Pratchett's DiscWorld Novels. I have laughed out loud because of some of those jokes.
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Maybe the humor in LotR is too subtile for me, but I didn't find it that humorous. Ok, an occasional smile. Maybe the jokes didn't come quite well through the translation. I've read them in dutch because I have not yet been able to lay my hands on an english version (for free, since I borrowed a second print of Lord of the Rings (dutch) from my granddad).

As for Terry Pratchett's DiscWorld Novels. I have laughed out loud because of some of those jokes.
Okay, the humor isn't plentiful but once in a while it is there, and that humor can not be compared with TP's DiscWorld books where there is usually a laugh per page.
Except for Monstrous Regiment, where you get sa couple of smiles in the whole book, BOOO!!!!
This morning on Seattle's NPR station, KUOW-FM 94.9Mhz, (www.KUOW.org )Weekday call-in program, they talked about the Academy Award Nominations and those who should have received them, but didn't. Sean Astin's Sam received the most votes out of any catagory for Best Supporting Actor with 11 votes and with Andy Serkis' Gollum not too far back with about 3. Of course this was just the sense of listeners who called in or emailed during the one hour show, but it means there are a lot of fans out there in radio land too.
I think Sean Astin did a wonderful job with Sam. Sam is a very emotional and simple character and it must be difficult trying to show this and not make the character foolish or turn it into a joke. (if Plastic ever reads this, I can guess his reply Ha Ha Ha Smilie )
Would it go something like this Gnamps?

Sam is both simple and foolish, and PJ has managed to make him look like the Oaf he is, good one Pete! Thanks a lot.
If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, Plastic, "Stop disrupting the class!" Wink Smilie

Nice to see you're still around, mate. I take it life is treating you well?
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Sam is both simple and foolish, and PJ has managed to make him look like the Oaf he is, good one Pete! Thanks a lot.

But PJ made him 5 times as fat as in the books. Even in the end at Mount Bloom he's as fat as in the beginning of the movies.
I think you guys are crazy to start an argument with the big V!! He always wins!! and if he doesn't he keeps going!! Just kidding!! I like watching people talk to virumor about the movies!! haha!! no offense virumor!! I'm still on your good side right?

I have to go to school now bye!!
Not too shabby Val, could be worse mate.

And I haven't argued with Vir in a while, but it's a hard habit to break....
ARGUMENTS ROCK! lol jk jk
Tell me if anybody shares my opinion... Sam is probably the real hero in the books. There were many times that Sam was an encouragement to Frodo, or gave up his food for Frodo, or did something else that was really kind. I think that without Sam, Frodo would've been captured by the wraiths, given the ring to Gollum (or had it stolen by him), or just plain died out there by himself.
Sam was no fat oaf and I think he isn't given the respect he deserves, but i respect you pplz opinions if you disagree.
Peace, ya'll>>> Tigger Smilie

I think I laughed more on serious scenes than the subtle humor.

Some subtle humor i laughed at:

Sean Bean: So they have a cave troll.

Not Subtle but funny: Legolas getting Drunk. : I think there is a tingle in my fingers.

Gimli: You could of picked a better spot

Sam: Don't go where i can't follow

Frodo: Oh, My dead Sam

-Oh, my dead Sam Don't seem to remember that. :P

I remember Frodo saying 'my dear Sam," but not what you said.

I think the trauma and hardships that JRR experienced during the war, and all the mental and emotional stress as well affected his writing and outlook. There was humour in the wartime but such that there was always an undercurrent of tenseness, of sorrow. I see any humour I came across much like that in the books.

Much before the movies released,I first read about Tolkien in Roald Dahl's "Matilda" in which the super-genius child says that Mr.Tolkien has no humor at all or something to that effect.

Later when I read Professor Tolkien's books,I found them to be quite funny.It's not subtle too all the time,infact the hobbits are at times very in your face.

I'm a huge Roald Dahl fan but this is something I don't understand.

I must agree with you Odette, and please find some time to come and be with us, you are a brilliant rainbow of thought and humour. I think the more one contemplates some of the things that are said or described in the books, the funnier and funnier they become. Just like in real life when someone, upset or angry or just touchy says something and ten minutes later a couple of people who listened will start laughing and laugh again just about anytime they think about it. But honestly it is hard to be hysterically funny in the midst of grief and horror, and even for those in the Shire, they were relaxed into a certain way of life and perhaps did not see humour in things that others watching them live their lives did. Of course under the influence of spirits their tongues loosened no doubt and they were funny and saw one another as funny.  They did not seem to have a gift for separating annoyance and selfishness that caused them to focus on themselves and their wants from humour being given by the one annoying them. Else the whole assembly at dear Bilbo Baggins"s party would have laughed themselves silly at his words. Because they were funny. The story of Farmer Giles is to me so silly I laughed and laughed despite my annoyance. And the scene where Gandalf is first in Beorn/s grand house trying to get all the dwarves and the hobbit allowed inside without infuriating the skin changer is genius.

I think the Orcs are hilarious, some of their lines in the books are loaded with humor, especially when they are arguing amongst themselves. 

I hate and dread the humour of the orcs, for the very matter of fact way that they say things and the humour with it, though unknown to them, underlines the fact that they are wicked murderous and it is all in a day's work to steal, kill and destroy, it makes me feel ill actually. It reminds me of some of the humorous things said by gang members while doing the most evil despicable things. Tolkien is genius at this sort of thing.