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Thread: Harry Potter and LOTR and Religion

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Harry Potter is Christ!! I'll just say, "Thank God! I'm an atheist!"

Anyways, why does the Church seek to find a parallel or anti-parallel in every book? I mean, I've read at many places that this and this book compares with the theme of Christianity and this one doesn't. This doesn't serve any purpose. Neither does burning of books like "The Da Vinci Code" and "Harry Potter" (though I was very elated to see the picture of a bonfire created of the Harry Potter books) help anyone in any way.

I guess I sould stop before I start typing what I think about reigion and stuff since it will be deleted by the CMs. I have no hopes of seeing this post here too, the next time I log on.
Well, I wouldn't worry if I were you, LA86: it's typical for humans to find parallels even where there's no such case... Wink Smilie After reading Tolkien and Rowling, though I've found some religious similarities, I'd never say those books were written as an allegory to Christian Scripture...

Namarie!
All things considered, one needn't look hard to find influences of Tolkiens Catholic background on Middle Earth, especially when including Silmarillion/HoME stuff. One of the things that annoyed me about the movies was the insertion of "magic" that wasn't in the Trilogy (specifically the possession of Theoden by Saruman that was more manipulation in the books, and the extended wizards duel between Saruman and Gandalf that, in the books, was more a matter of Saruman saying, "When you wanna play ball you can come down off the roof; until then, this is the only way out, and the way is shut.") In the books, all magic I recall was connected to the Rings of Power, and we all know what THEY were about. The only exceptions that come to mind were a) the Phial of Galadriel, sourced in a "holy" Silmaril, and therefore utimately in Valinor, and b) the glowing swords, which, while a product of Gondolin, also included, as I recall, Narsil, which means the technology was available to Telchar on Eressea, which brings us back to Valinor again.

Meanwhile, we have Tolkien translating Valar as "Angelic Powers" (unless Christopher i s responsible, and if he wasn't entirely consistent with his fathers vision, it wasn't for lack of trying.) We have these same Angelic Powers created by a monotheistic Supreme Being, and the greatest of their number falling to darkness when he tries to supplant that Being, then seeking to destroy/enslave the Children of Eru (after failing to do the same to the Valar themselves) when they arrive on the scene, and a prophecied final conflict between the two that will destroy the world. As I've elsewhere noted, the Ring of Morgoth further supports this view with a Tolkienesque explanation for original sin. Then, of course, we have the conversation between Finrod and the Edain wise woman whose name I forget (I wanna say Aethwen???) about how men BECAME mortal through the wiles of Morgoth (ring any bells?) It's very easy to see the Valar as a pantheon if we conveniently forget that Tolkien specifically precludes them being gods (they are revered, NOT worshipped, by the Eldar) and don't take into account the Catholic view of Saints. When that last is considered, it becomes obvious that Varda functions in the capacity of Mary and Manwe in that of Michael. I'll leave associations of the other Valar with respective Saints to those more familiar with the heirarchy of the latter, though I can see an argument for Voronwe=Gabriel.

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Then, of course, we have the conversation between Finrod and the Edain wise woman whose name I forget (I wanna say Aethwen???) about how men BECAME mortal through the wiles of Morgoth (ring any bells?)

That woman was named Andreth.

And men didn't become mortal because of Melkor; death was a gift to them, given by Eru. Nothing more to it.

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I'll leave associations of the other Valar with respective Saints to those more familiar with the heirarchy of the latter, though I can see an argument for Voronwe=Gabriel.

I don't know what you mean, but Voronwë was not a Vala, but an Elf. Anyway, imo Voronwë appears to be more alike to Jonah; God saved Jonah as the only men from a sinking ship and send thim to Nineve (?), just like Ulmo saved Voronwë so he could be used as a messenger to Tuor.

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In the books, all magic I recall was connected to the Rings of Power, and we all know what THEY were about. The only exceptions that come to mind were a) the Phial of Galadriel, sourced in a "holy" Silmaril, and therefore utimately in Valinor, and b) the glowing swords, which, while a product of Gondolin, also included, as I recall, Narsil, which means the technology was available to Telchar on Eressea, which brings us back to Valinor again.

What about the Palantiri then. Or the Elven cloaks, the Elessar, Galadriel's Mirror, even Gandalf lighting his stick at the pass of Caradhras...
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That woman was named Andreth.

And men didn't become mortal because of Melkor; death was a gift to them, given by Eru. Nothing more to it.

That was Finrods position, but Andreths (I'll take your word for it since it's been years since I read it) was that Men were originally immortal like the Eldar but became mortal as a consequence of some business involving Morgoth of whose specifics she was unaware.
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I don't know what you mean, but Voronwë was not a Vala, but an Elf. Anyway, imo Voronwë appears to be more alike to Jonah; God saved Jonah as the only men from a sinking ship and send thim to Nineve (?), just like Ulmo saved Voronwë so he could be used as a messenger to Tuor.

I had in mind Voronwe (perhaps time has dulled my memory on this one, but I recall noting that the character from LT had the same name) from the Silmarillion, the herald of Manwe, though still not a Vala but a Maia. Think cherub not seraph.
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What about the Palantiri then. Or the Elven cloaks, the Elessar, Galadriel's Mirror, even Gandalf lighting his stick at the pass of Caradhras...

The Palantiri were also relics from Valinor, given to the Numenoreans by the Eldar of Eressea. The Elven cloaks could be simple camouflage, though Galadriel was also once a resident of Valinor, and might well have carried away artifacts and knowledge of her own (this applies to the Mirror as well.) Did the Elesar have magical properties I missed? I thought it was just a gemstone. Gandalf lighting his staff, well, Gandalf did a lot of things with fire, didn't he, and that's to expected of the bearer of Narya. Of course, since Olorin was a Maia it's not unreasonable to think his staff might have been Valinorean as well, though until the FotR movie I don't recall Saruman ever doing anything fancy with his.
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I had in mind Voronwe (perhaps time has dulled my memory on this one, but I recall noting that the character from LT had the same name) from the Silmarillion, the herald of Manwe, though still not a Vala but a Maia. Think cherub not seraph.

That's Ëonwë.

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That was Finrods position, but Andreths (I'll take your word for it since it's been years since I read it) was that Men were originally immortal like the Eldar but became mortal as a consequence of some business involving Morgoth of whose specifics she was unaware.

Well apparently Andreth fancied herself a bit too high then. A typical mortal trait. Twas indeed the Gift of Eru that made Men mortal, this had been his plan from the very beginning.

But as Andreth loved Aegnor, an Elf, herself, it's not so surprising for her to think that once Men were immortal.

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Did the Elesar have magical properties I missed? I thought it was just a gemstone.

It was made by Celebrimbor for Galadriel, whom he loved, who was grieved by the fact that everything in ME perished so quickly. Celebrimbor then made the Elessar, which could be used to prevent things of perishing; it had the same use as Nenya, which came in her possession later.

Once she got Nenya in her possession, the Elessar became useless and she gave it to her daugther, who gave it to her daughter, who then gave it to Aragorn through Galadriel.

And all those objects have no magical properties, at least not for the Elves : for them it's just art or craft. Only outsiders and simple minds like Mr Gamgee would regard it as magic, as they don't understand the underlying concepts.

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Gandalf lighting his staff, well, Gandalf did a lot of things with fire, didn't he, and that's to expected of the bearer of Narya.

Narya isn't the source of Gandalf's power, and neither is his staff. Narya is just a tool used by Gandalf to give spirit to the ppls in their strife vs Sauron, whilst his staff is just a symbol, a tool used by any member of the order of the Istari. That's the purpose of the Ring of Fire.

And i really hate gettin logged out all the time.
Of course you're right about Eonwe, apologies, my mistake. What happens when you don't stay in the mix, I guess, and I admit most of my fantasy obsession the last few years has been given to Jordan. I still don't think Finrod would've sought out Andreth, or the story been included, if it was a simple case of delusions of granduer; Tolkien would've been aware of the implications of its details and I think it safe to say that was what he intended, though he leaves the particulars of what actually happened deliberately (I think) vague to encourage exactly this kind of discussion. It would seem odd for Gandalf to be the only bearer of an Elven Ring of Power not to employ it, especially when so uniquely suited to all the fireworks etc. in which he was involved, but an argument could be made that he distrusted its ultimate source whith whom he was well acquanited, and that a Maia might have little need of augmentation. Of course, this brings us back to my claim that the magic occurring in the Trilogy was either sourced in Valinor (good, even holy) or Sauron (bad, even diabolical.)
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I still don't think Finrod would've sought out Andreth, or the story been included, if it was a simple case of delusions of granduer; Tolkien would've been aware of the implications of its details and I think it safe to say that was what he intended, though he leaves the particulars of what actually happened deliberately (I think) vague to encourage exactly this kind of discussion.

That story wasn't included in the Sil, because it contradicts what's in the Sil. I think it is again one of JRRT's later ideas. JRRT was continuously changing, editing, even rewriting his stories. All these stories which have no place in the Sil or UT, and merely show the evolution of various ideas JRRT had about his stories, are bundled in HOME.

I prefer to stay within the context of the Silmarillion.

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Of course, this brings us back to my claim that the magic occurring in the Trilogy was either sourced in Valinor (good, even holy) or Sauron (bad, even diabolical.)

The Rings of Power were forged by Celebrimbor in Eregion, just as the Elessar. The Mirror of Galadriel + the Phial were both made by Galadriel with her own power, in ME and with knowledge she learnt either in Valinor (from Aulë/Yavanna) and/or from Melian in Doriath.

The source of Gandalf's 'magic' is just his Maian spirit which is rebuked by the burden of the flesh.
I think that it mentions in HOME or Tolkien's Letters that he hates when people try to explain things using science, when they know nothing about science, so it's better to simply say something was done by "magic" than to try to explain it in a way people will try to understand and prove impossible. Does anyone recall this? (I have to look it up...later.)
OK then , JRRT about "magic". Please read carefully :

letter 131
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I am afraid I have been far too casual about 'magic' and especially the use of the word; though Galadriel and others show by the criticism of the 'mortal' use of the word, that the thought about it is not altogether casual. But it is a v. large question, and difficult; and a story which, as you so rightly say, is largely about motives (choice, temptations etc.) and the intentions for using whatever is found in the world, could hardly be burdened with a pseudo-philosophic disquisition! I do not intend to involve myself in any debate whether 'magic' in any sense is real or really possible in the world. But I suppose that, for the purposes of the tale, some would say that there is a latent distinction such as once was called the distinction between magia and goeteia.1 Galadriel speaks of the 'deceits of the Enemy'. Well enough, but magia could be, was, held good (per se), and goeteia bad. Neither is, in this tale, good or bad (per se), but only by motive or purpose or use. Both sides use both, but with different motives. The supremely bad motive is (for this tale, since it is specially about it) domination of other 'free' wills. The Enemy's operations are by no means all goetic deceits, but 'magic' that produces real effects in the physical world. But his magia he uses to bulldoze both people and things, and his goeteia to terrify and subjugate. Their magia the Elves and Gandalf use (sparingly): a magia, producing real results (like fire in a wet faggot) for specific beneficent purposes. Their goetic effects are entirely artistic and not intended to deceive: they never deceive Elves (but may deceive or bewilder unaware Men) since the difference is to them as clear as the difference to us between fiction, painting, and sculpture, and 'life'.
Both sides live mainly by 'ordinary' means. The Enemy, or those who have become like him, go in for 'machinery' – with destructive and evil effects — because 'magicians', who have become chiefly concerned to use magia for their own power, would do so (do do so). The basic motive for magia – quite apart from any philosophic consideration of how it would work – is immediacy: speed, reduction of labour, and reduction also to a minimum (or vanishing point) of the gap between the idea or desire and the result or effect. But the magia may not be easy to come by, and at any rate if you have command of abundant slave-labour or machinery (often only the same thing concealed), it may be as quick or quick enough to push mountains over, wreck forests, or build pyramids by such means. Of course another factor then comes in, a moral or pathological one: the tyrants lose sight of objects, become cruel, and like smashing, hurting, and defiling as such. It would no doubt be possible to defend poor Lotho's introduction of more efficient mills; but not of Sharkey and Sandyman's use of them.
Anyway, a difference in the use of 'magic' in this story is that it is not to be come by by 'lore' or spells; but is in an inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such. Aragorn's 'healing' might be regarded as 'magical', or at least a blend of magic with pharmacy and 'hypnotic' processes. But it is (in theory) reported by hobbits who have very little notions of philosophy and science; while A. is not a pure 'Man', but at long remove one of the 'children of Luthien'.2


Letter 155
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I dislike Allegory – the conscious and intentional allegory – yet any attempt to explain the purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language. (And, of course, the more 'life' a story has the more readily will it be susceptible of allegorical interpretations: while the better a deliberate allegory is made the more nearly will it be acceptable just as a story.) Anyway all this stuff is mainly concerned with Fall, Mortality, and the Machine. With Fall inevitably, and that motive occurs in several modes. With Mortality, especially as it affects art and the creative (or as I should say, sub-creative) desire which seems to have no biological function, and to be apart from the satisfactions of plain ordinary biological life, with which, in our world, it is indeed usually at strife. This desire is at once wedded to a passionate love of the real primary world, and hence filled with the sense of mortality, and yet unsatisfied by it. It has various opportunities of 'Fall'. It may become possessive, clinging to the things made as 'its own', the sub-creator wishes to be the Lord and God of his private creation. He will rebel against the laws of the Creator – especially against mortality. Both of these (alone or together) will lead to the desire for Power, for making the will more quickly effective, – and so to the Machine (or Magic). By the last I intend all use of external plans or devices (apparatus) instead of development of the inherent inner powers or talents — or even the use of these talents with the corrupted motive of dominating: bulldozing the real world, or coercing other wills. The Machine is our more obvious modern form though more closely related to Magic than is usually recognised.
I have not used 'magic' consistently, and indeed the Elven-queen Galadriel is obliged to remonstrate with the Hobbits on their confused use of the word both for the devices and operations of the Enemy, and for those of the Elves. I have not, because there is not a word for the latter (since all human stories have suffered the same confusion). But the Elves are there (in my tales) to demonstrate the difference. Their 'magic' is Art, delivered from many of its human limitations: more effortless, more quick, more complete (product, and vision in unflawed correspondence). And its object is Art not Power, sub-creation not domination and tyrannous re-forming of Creation. The 'Elves' are 'immortal', at least as far as this world goes: and hence are concerned rather with the griefs and burdens of deathlessness in time and change, than with death. The Enemy in successive forms is always 'naturally' concerned with sheer Domination, and so the Lord of magic and machines; but the problem : that this frightful evil can and does arise from an apparently good root, the desire to benefit the world and others — speedily and according to the benefactor's own plans — is a recurrent motive.
Reminds me of the Arthur C. Clarke quote about sufficiently advanced technology being perceived as magic, but no, sorry, I don't know the quote of which you're thinking. And, of course, Sauron "had no hand in" the making of the Elven Rings, but since the technology was his Gandalf might have distrusted it on principle. I think Galadriel would've been hard pressed to come up with something like the Mirror or the Phial without utilizing anything she picked up in Valinor from convienience, if not necessity.
Also, I was reading today in Gee's The Science of Middle-Earth that Tolkien uses conventions in LOTR, such as starting many sentences in a row with the word "And," which gives the sentences weight and awe-inspiring importance. (For example, "And it was done...".) I thought that was rather interesting; it's almost like a psychological weight imprinted on our minds.

Also, Gee discusses how Tolkien mentions that the Black Speech dies because it doesn't have history, mythology or religion. Gee believes this comment is self-deprecating to Tolkien, but I, on the other hand, believe that Tolkien created the history, mythology and religions of Middle-Earth, and that's why they will live on for a long time to come.
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I think Galadriel would've been hard pressed to come up with something like the Mirror or the Phial without utilizing anything she picked up in Valinor from convienience, if not necessity.

Why underestimate Galadriel? She was born in the Age of the Trees in Valinor, and taught by the Valar, the greatest of the Noldor, together with Fëanor. Later she was taught by Melian.

Fëanor made the Sils on his own, Galadriel did her stuff on her own.

Besides, she says herself :

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. `I come to you last who are not last in my thoughts. For you I have prepared this.' She held up a small crystal phial: it glittered as she moved it, and rays of white light sprang from her hand. 'In this phial,' she said, `is caught the light of Eärendil's star, set amid the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out. Remember Galadriel and her Mirror! '


And really, how could Galadriel bring the light of Eärendil with her from Valinor, to put it in her phial, when the 3 Silmarils were in Morgoth's crown and Eärendil wasn't even born ?
Thanks, Mir. I think this is one of the parts I was thinking of:
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The basic motive for magia – quite apart from any philosophic consideration of how it would work – is immediacy: speed, reduction of labour, and reduction also to a minimum (or vanishing point) of the gap between the idea or desire and the result or effect.

Basically, when people are writing science fiction, such as stories about time travel, once they attempt to explain how it is done, they lose people. It seems that Tolkien believes they should write to capture the immediacy of the moment.

Also, it seems that Tolkien has a view toward technology and science like that of Bacon -- use science and technology wisely; think about the results. It's a matter of how it's used rather than it simply being judged "good or bad."
The big point is that there is no good or bad 'magic', as both have the same roots, but that the purpose why it is used makes it 'good' or 'bad'.

Elves use it to create something, use it for Art, whilst the Enemy uses it for domination and recreate the Creation to its own will.

And so hereby i declare this discussion as closed, so we can safely return to discussing Mr Potter and his upcoming love affair with Ms Granger. Teacher Smilie
So...just to get back to discuss Harry Potter and religion, I know that my mother would have had a difficult time with me reading Harry Potter when I was a kid, since she is a Christian and believes that sorcery of all kinds stems from the devil. I know...sad, isn't it? She's lightened up a lot though. (Basically, I was an annoying child (think Hermoine) who pointed out all the inconsistencies with her logic, and she finally relented Smile Smilie.)
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(Basically, I was an annoying child (think Hermoine) who pointed out all the inconsistencies with her logic, and she finally relented .)

Well, lucky for you she didn't declare you devil incarnate and called for the nearest exorcist... ;-)

Anyway, it's sad that nowadays ppl still believe in 'the devil' as the personification of evil. And i won't even mention the Creation story of Adam and Eve.

Last time i checked, men and women had an equal amount of ribs.

Nietzsche, or however it was, was right saying that technology goes forward, but civilization has always been the same since the stone age.
Thanks for the quotes, they provide an informative and interesting distinction. One could argue that on the basis cited, the works of the Eldar aren't really "magic" in the traditional sense, not supernatural but a natural use of their own native abilities, merely seeming otherworldly to those lacking those abilities. In that view "magic" would be the exclusive domain of Morgoth, Sauron, and the Men they corrupt to their ends, who distort and pervert their native abilities beyond that for which they were intended to abuse others.

With that in mind, much of Loriens accoutrements are reminiscent of things associated with Yavanna and, in the case of of the Mirror, Mandos as well, and it would be only natural for her to employ in their creation things learned from those Valar in Valinor. The Phial is right of Feanors lab, just a mini-Silmaril derived from an original in the same way it was derived from the Two Trees, so both it's device and contents originate in the Undying Land.

Probably the wizards duel in the movie wouldn't have bothered me if the movie had provided even as much info on the Istaris origins as the books (as much as the Silmarillion woulld have been even better, but not feasible for the films.) Certainly someone acquainted with the films alone would not come away with Tolkiens position that magic was something foreign to Men, since there's no indication that Istari are anything more than Men. Maybe I just don't wanna have to defend Tolkien from fanatical attacks when their should be no quarrel with any church, but then expecting fanatics to respond to reason may be unrealistic, too.
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Well, lucky for you she didn't declare you devil incarnate and called for the nearest exorcist... ;-)

Well, she has called my sister crying before, telling her that she won't meet me in heaven. My sister called me and said, "Come on, can't you just tell mom you will go to church on Sunday?" hehe

Yes, I agree, Mir...(dare I get into this?)

(CMs delete this if you have to...I'm not sure if it's "too" religious.)
Moderator Smilie Grondy got chastised for not doing so yesterday, so today he has had to edit this post as well as a few of the above posts deleting most of the verboten stuff. Moderator Smilie
Wow, Mir, here I am trying to be all diplomatic while sticking to my guns and something like that shows up.

Moderator Smilie Yep, Grondy gutted this post with his trusty delete button. Sorry, it made good sense, but could be considered fodder by someone for hate and discontent which is why we have our rules. The rope just got got too long and causing me to reign/rein in the discussion. Moderator Smilie

Why do I get the feeling this whole discussion may not be here tomorrow?
Yeah...I think it's going away...Vee? Grondy?


(CMs, in this post i only discuss history and not religion, so i will not appreciate it when this post will be deleted)

Moderator Smilie Grondy says sorry, but as Val states below some people will even argue over history from their religous point of view. Moderator Smilie
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... that Tolkien uses conventions in LOTR, such as starting many sentences in a row with the word "And," which gives the sentences weight and awe-inspiring importance.
And it came to pass that I now have been informed why I keep starting many sentences this way; though I usually go back and get rid of them at the end.

Yes magic, like technology, is neither good nor evil by itself. It is the way they are used that makes that determination. And as always, the end does not justify the means; or to paraphrase Pippin, 'Short cuts make ... for a polluted enviroment, which in the long run can lead to ... delays.' Dead Smilie

Anyway...I suppose we should get back to Tolkien...hmmm...how to get back? Any suggestions?
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Anyway...I suppose we should get back to Tolkien...hmmm...how to get back? Any suggestions?


Here, here!

Moderator Smilie Please remember our rules concerning Religion and politics (shame on you Grondy). If you cannot remember them, refer back to your introductory email. Discussions containing religious content are only permitted here if they are conducted within a Tolkien context. At least half a dozen of the last posts have deviated sufficiently away from that theme to warrent being deleted. Being a multi-cultured site, we had very good reasons to ban religious discussions when we did so. Discussing the history of religion is still a discussion about religion, particularly as many of the troubles in the world are due to how different people interpret religious historical decisions.

Can you please keep future posts in this thread on topic or we will be forced to close it. Thank you.
Moderator Smilie
Moderator Smilie I have edited and deleted much that has been written in this thread over the last couple of days. If anyone still feels the need to continue the historical discusion about the Bible and its genesis, I'm sure Morambar can point us to a website where we would be allowed to speak our minds unencumbered by the rules of Planet-Tolkien. Moderator Smilie

Meanwhile as this is a 'Harry-Potter and LOTR and Religion' thread we should confine ourselves to that which is written in those books rather than that which is not.

Morambar: Possibly you might read the Harry Potter series in order to have a better understanding as to the philosophy contained within them rather than having to depend on hearsay. Just a thought. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie And I'll try to find The Wheel of Time series so I can understand what you have been going on about. Happy Elf Smilie
Actually, my online experience has been a very limited one, so unless anyone wants to try some of the CGCS threads frequented my normdoering et al. (that have almost nothing to do with politics) you're on your own (though a little extra incentive to get back wouldn't hurt me, having fallen behind during a month afk and not sure how to go about catching up.)

Does Harry Potter work as adult fiction? I honestly don't know; my second hand impression is of something like the Xanth books that I stick with mainly because I was in the target age group when they started. I pretty much leave that controversy to those willing to engage in it while lamenting the fact that some aren't able to find something more constructive to do with their time than attack people who are no threat to them. Some folks seem to have entirely missed the point, but that's more of a CGCS discussion. I suspect the whole anti-Harry Potter thing is a tempest in a teapot contrived by those who would rather do anything that what they're supposed to be busy doing.

WoT is certainly worth your time, Grondmaster, though you may find it's an addiction all its own, as the various sites for it attest. There are definite Tolkien influences (I doubt I could have waded through the series, especially the middle books, without experience with Tolkien) but a world and style unique to the author. The twist on deja-vu experience is something to behold (I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get the original relationships between Arthur characters straight again) and it's entertaining to think that in some later Age, or one preceding the Age of Legends, there might be room for Tolkien as well (maybe some channelers with too much time on their hands let Morgoth out of the Void.)
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Does Harry Potter work as adult fiction? I honestly don't know; my second hand impression...
That's why I suggested you try the first HP book and decide for yourself. I'm an adult and was in my sixties when I read the first one. I bought both the first and second books just prior to the publication of the third; I liked them and all their sequels. Of course some say I'm undergoing my second childhood.

In my first childhood I got introduced to the Oz books when I was eight or nine and read all of them, but I now know they were quite badly written. Children's books like adult books can be literature if they don't talk down to their audience, if they hang together as a story, if they activate their readers' imaginations, and if fantasy, result in the complete suspension of disbelief all the way past the final words of the book. I found the Harry Potter books do this for me.
Harry Potter is a children's book. The language, the plot, the characters appeal to children. But this doesn't mean it doesn't work for adults as well. Many of my acquaintances love the HP books. I have read them and I quite like the whole idea of a school for wizards and the blending of the two worlds but I don't enjoy them as I do adult literature and I doubt I could be bothered to read them again.

The WoT series which is an adult book does, however, disappoint me. The first 4 books were good and I love the idea but the later books have become something of a soap opera. There is too much irrelevant stuff, too many sighs and glances and straightening of skirts. I feel the last 6 books (at least) could have easily been condensed into 2 or 3 books with little of the plot lost . It is one series that I think PJ could enhance with his scissors if it should ever be made into a film. Each time a new book comes out I feel I have to reread some of the others because I have forgotten so much of it. Maybe that is the plan in such long periods between each one. If the plot and characters were more concise I would remember more.
I have to agree on the WoT series and it is one thing that my dad always complains about. he believes that the whole series could have been 5 or 6 books total and i have to agree with your observation on the last 6 books. I really believe that he tried to make more money off of a good series and that it served the opposite purpose and disuaded many people due to the fact that it got to be that only 200 pages of the book was not extra stuff put in there.
That seems to be the consensus at at least one WoT site, but, personally, I still like FoH best of all, and thought LoC fine, too. I didn't really have a problem until CoS, which was probably exacerbated by the delay in its publication. But since I thought five and six were the right length I don't think it could've been done in less than nine (remember the relative states of the nations, the Seanchan, the Aiel, and the Aes Sedai at the end of FoH.) The Shaido should've been hunted down like the rabid dogs they are long ago, but the introduction of the Travelling Boxes did complicate that job a bit. A hallmark of WoT is that things are never as simple as you expect them to be, but hey, that's more realistic, no? My real complaint along the general line of criticism is that 7-10 could've been two, or even one, book(s.)

The Shaido thread should've been ended long ago, but the Aes Sedai conflict is a bit more complicated (of course.) First off, there's the fact that, even ignoring the Three Oaths, neither side wants it resolved with the One Power, and the dissenters are in no position for a military conflict. Add to that, "there's a doin's transpirin'" in the Tower that could be disastrous if not rectified before their return, and the delay allows exactly that to happen. And, of course, what happened with the Forsaken naturally drags thing out a bit longer, too; there's a solution to that problem that I hope (and expect) will be employed in future. Meanwhile, the Seanchan are at a stalemate, but can hardly be expected to remain nuetral in Tarmon Gaidon. We know how that will be resolved, yet I well remember that my favorite character was totally absent from two whole books, so there we are. Oh, yeah, and the Prophet, who won't listen to anyone but the Dragon, who's far too busy trying to keep the world intact long enough to save it to deal with him.

I've always thought, for reasons I can't go into now, that Jordan intended twelve books, and it seems to me it will take at least two more to end it and possibly three. It's at least possible he dragged his heels a bit to accomplish this (which raises the unwelcome specter of a hastily cobbled together ending) but at the very least it should wrap up by fifteen, and probably long before that (it's also possible thirteen books was the target.) Personally, I think ten books would've been just about right and had a roundness all it's own, but hey, I'm not the author.
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