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Which is the hottest and the busiest thread in the forums at present???
The Tavern Threads I would think.
Not this one, though, by the look of it. Wink Smilie
It will be a short lived thread if that is the only question being wondered about. How about questions you want to ask but never did? Or anything you wonder about in general?
Thinking........

Hang on for a few days. I'll come up with something explosive
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Which is the hottest and the busiest thread in the forums at present???
Deal Smilie As of today: Who's Next has 2588 posts, closely followed by Wheel Of Tolkien with 2524.

IMHO the former has no socially redeeming value, while the second is fun to play. But as P-T accepts a diverse membership; both have been left available for your participation. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Hola!! Found something to wonder about at last!!!

I'm wondering about the Dwarf females.....

How were they????

Someone's bound to answer this. And the one who does it first, get a nice Ice-cream Falooda from me Wink Smilie
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I'm wondering about the Dwarf females.....

They had beards.

Vir just about summed it all up for you, Floyd. Dwarven females aren't mentioned much at all in Tolkien's works.
I found the following two paragraphs, three pages before the end of Appendix A to The Lord of the Rings:
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Dis was the daughter of Thrain II. She is the only dwarf-woman named in these histories. It was said by Gimli that there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole people. They seldom walk abroad except at great need. They are in voice and appearance, and in garb if they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart. This has given rise to the foolish opinion among Men that there are no dwarf-women, and that the Dwarves 'grow out of stone'.

It is because of the fewness of women among them that the kind of the Dwarves increases slowly, and is in peril when they have no secure dwellings. For Dwarves take only one wife or husband each in their lives, and are jealous, as in all matters of their rights. The number of dwarf-men that marry is actually less than one-third. For not all the women take husbands: some desire none; some desire one that they can not get, and so will have no other. As for the men, very many also do not desire marriage, being engrossed in their crafts.
Vir, congratulations, you won the ice-cream. Now, go out and buy it yourself to enjoy it!!!
Ok. I'm wondering again.... BEWARNED!! Oh well. Wink Smilie

I was looking at the weather forecast on PT and began to wonder. Any thoughts about how the weather on ME might have been? I wonder if Tolkien has given any thought to it in a scientific manner? Dunno. This could be a "Tolkieno-scientific" question. But any mention about the weather in general on ME?

And, oh, that reminds me. Why is it dark in Mordor?
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Why is it dark in Mordor?


Do you KNOW how many orcs it takes to change a lightbulb!!!!!!?
A thousand. nine hundred and ninety nine to fight over who's to change it and get the reward, and one to go and change it. And of course he changes it wrong, and it breaks.

But anyway...

A passage of TLOTR comes to mind. How about the bit in tLOTR when it said Sauron was looking around Mordor (I think someone put on the Ring) and was urgently trying to pierce the veils he had made for his own defense. Does that help?
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Why is it dark in Mordor?
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... far off like a dark standing shadow, loomed the Mountain (Orodruin, Mt. Doom). Smokes were pouring from it, and while those that rose into the upper air trailed away eastward, great rolling clouds floated down its sides and spread over the land. - from first page of 'Mt. Doom', Chapter 3, Book VI, RotK.
That too, that too.... any other takers?
I'm reading The Hobbit right now. And I found the following description worth wondering about :

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So to the cave they dragged Thorin - not too gently, for they did not love dwarves, and thought he was an enemy. In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay. If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of old.


I began to think, at this point, why an Elf Lord would be greedy for wealth. Then the same para continues as follow :

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His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.


This was from the chapter "Flies And Spiders". The following part is from the next chapter, "Barrels Out Of Bond" :

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In a great hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone sat the Elvenking on a chair of carven wood. On his head was a crown of berries and red leaves, for the autumn was come again. In the spring he wore a crown of woodland flowers. In his hand he held a carven staff of oak.


Now this description is much nearer to the image of the Elves I have in my mind. But then it contradicts with the very first one I've quoted. Any comments on this?
Another thing. Any idea about the order in which JRRT actually wrote all the stuff? Did he write the Silm first and then The Hobbit and LOTR? or did he write The Hobbit before the Silm?

I have a slight, should I say, doubt, in my mind, because he never talks about the blurring of sight and the extra keenness of ears after wearing the ring in Hobbit. I've also read that he had to change the strory around about how Bilbo got the ring from Gollum because he got in trouble with it when he was writing LOTR.
Tolkien wrote the Hobbit first (officially). He had always had the Silmarillion in his head, working it all out, but wrote it down late. In the first edition of the Hobbit, there are much changes in Riddles in the DArk. Gollum is nice. He was actually going to give Bilbo the ring, except Bilbo had already found it in the tunnel when BIlbo won. So he showed him the way out instead. At least I think that'show it goes. Then he wrote TLOTR. And he never really finished the SIlmarillion. Christopher Tolkien put all his drafts and that together and published it anyway. Same with Unfinished Tales.
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In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.
I believe this refers to the Nauglamir, the 'Necklace of the Dwarves' and the bloody contention between the Dwarves and Elves over its ownership, especially after the addition of the only remaining Silmaril to the beauty of this hunk o' jewelry. The full tale of this contention is written in 'Of the Ruin of Doriath', Chapter 22 of The Silmarillion.
I was watching TFOTR earlier today and this something about the Wizard's staff that made me wonder a little. How does Gandalf get his staff after escaping from Saruman? And speaking of staffs, what use are they exactly? What exactly do they do? I remember of the following from the chapter Over Hill And Under Hill from The Hobbit :

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Out jumped the goblins, big goblins, great ugly-looking goblins, lots of goblins, before you could say rocks and blocks. There were six to each dwarf, at least, and two even for Bilbo; and they were all grabbed and carried through the crack, before you could say tinder and flint. But not Gandalf. Bilbo's yell had done that much good. It had wakened him up wide in a splintered second, and when goblins came to grab him, there was a terrible flash like lightning in the cave, a smell like gunpowder, and several of them fell dead.


Gunpowder? Someone said gunpowder?
I don't know about the staff but gunpowder is mentioned in Helm's Deep -

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The orcs have brought adevilry from Orthanc, said Aragorn. They have a blasting fire and with it they took the Wall....


It may be that what Saruman knew, so did Gandalf.
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Now this description is much nearer to the image of the Elves I have in my mind. But then it contradicts with the very first one I've quoted. Any comments on this?


Hello Floyd. Well, Túrin turambar and I were discussing this in another forum actually. I kind of liked the image of the elves from The Hobbit, the fact that they weren’t so stuffy in a sense. Túrin had a good point and stated that perhaps Tolkien didn’t quite have the clear image of elves that he had in LOTR, which makes a certain amount of sense, especially since Legolas is Thranduil’s son, and he is nothing like the elves described in The Hobbit.

Regarding the following quote:
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His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.


Upon close reading, perhaps Thranduil, since he didn’t mine or work metals or jewels, horded everything that he could get his hands on. He was fascinated with it because it was something they didn’t and couldn’t do (pure speculation of course). Also, since he didn’t “bother much with trade,” perhaps he didn’t actually know the appropriate rules of trading, which is why he wouldn't give the dwarves what they thought to be their due. However it is, Legolas definitely seems to be of a higher character than his father…more like the elves of other regions, except for the green outfit of course Winking Smilie .
Oh, and the Mirkwood elves obviously indulged in drink, and treasure is another type of indulgence, I suppose.
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Gunpowder? Someone said gunpowder?


I think this is because THeHobbit is told in a 'storytelling' style, as if Tolkien was telling it himself (I did an English essay on this) and of course who he would be telling it to would have heard of gunpowder. Have you noticed in the Hobbit is sounds like a storyteller is telling a little kid a story? It's not like any of the characters mention gunpowder. So yeah. Am I making sense?
I was going through the LOTR's appendices the other day and there in the timeline of events, I found mentioning of the attacks on Lorien and on Dale. I just wanted to know if there is anymore information available regarding those incidents.
Unfinished Tales.
Ah ok, thanks Vir
Yup, Unfinished Tales would work. But maybe HOME would too? (I haven't read them, I wouldn't know). Anyone who's read them know?
I believe H.O.M.E. only covers history preceding The Lord of the Rings.
No, books 6-9 are all about the creation of Lord of the Rings, Grondy. I just cannot get on with the idea of Aragorn's earliest form being a Hobbit called Trotter, though. I'm pleased JRR saw better judgement before publishing.
So why would Christopher subject us with this outdated nonsense? Money?
Trotter...*shudders* glad that bit was changed.

I think it is kind of interesting to read the many versions that JRRT went through. But I think that there is really no reason to publish them, I wouldn't want rough drafts that I wrote to be published. I guess that anything with Tolkien's name on the cover sells.

Maybe so we can laugh and laugh at what used to be!!!
I'm not entirely sure why Christopher did it, Grondy. The money cow is an obvious conclussion, but sales of HOME must be insignificant compared to LotR and the Silmarillion. I think it was a labour of love... trying to organise all those old manuscripts into some sort of order. Maybe something in the blood? JRR never appeared willing to end the Silmarillion. It took Christopher to put it into it's final form, and maybe he then got the bug. Maybe he wanted to show the world just how extensive his father's work really went, for without these later books, few people would really know.

For the likes of myself, it does give an interesting challenge unique among authors to Tolkien. There is enough depth in there to be a literary archeologist. With painstaking work you can research stories behind stories, and see the evolution over time of the finished product. Due to this depth, LotR and the Silmarillion become so much more than just fiction. The depth behind them makes them feel real. Tolkien wanted from the outset for the Silmarillion to be a British folklore or mythology. With this depth he achieves it.
I was talking to Haldir_lorienwarrior, who also appears as Gil-Galad, in the chat room yesterday about Ungoliant and a question came up - Any explainations on how Shelob reached Ephel Duath?
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Any explainations on how Shelob reached Ephel Duath?
No, all I could find was that when Beleriand sank beneath the waves, some of Morgoth's minions escaped east. Shelob would have fled from her home in the Ered Gorgoroth, the Mountains of Terror to Cirith Ungol. The route and number of layovers she took on her journey can only be speculated. One map (pg 41) showing all the relocation good and evil alike in Karen Wynn Fonstad's Revised Edition of The Atlas of Middle-earth also shows Shelob's suspected route. That is all I could find.
Spiders... they get everywhere.

I imagine with their climbing abilities, crossing mountain ranges would pose no difficulty. The forests were far more extensive in the early ages too, before the Numenorians began felling them all for their ships. I believe the spiders in Mirkwood were descended from the same line as Shelob, so it is possible her original route passed through Mirkwood.
Why was HoME published? Just my opinion, but 1) for the developmental reasons stated (the Silmarillion was begun in the teens, while Tolkien said he stopped work on LotR temporarily due to distractions from a little thing called the Blitz, and had no more idea of what happened after Bree than we,) and 2) for folks like me (and him) that like the Silmarilliion sooooo much more (it's just so epic) but lament the lack of detail. In the Quote something... thread from which I just came I list "Great is the Fall of Gondolin." True, but in the Silmarillion it just states that the Doom of Mandos was uttered; no specifics (and in fact the above is the only one of which I'm aware extant.)

Now to stir controversy (heh, heh: )

Staves, aye, well, Gandalf bore Narya (the Ring of Fire) the whole time he was in Middle-Earth. Does anyone recall him doing anything unquestionably magical IN THE BOOKS (in which the wizards duel in the movie never occurred) that didn't relate to fire or light? How did he get his staff back when captured by Saruman? He never lost it, and carried it with him when Gwaihir rescued him. Gandalf did all sorts of things with fire in the books, from fireworks to wargkabobs, but he bore Narya. Twain said "the difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." "Like gunpowder" is not gunpowder. On that note....

The implication I get is that the Orcs used gunpowder at Helms Deep, but Tolkien leaves this mysteriously ambiguous (deliberately, I think.) I'd bet on gunpowder if he was here to ask (a question for a later day, I suppose) but it could've been Greek fire, too. Heck C4's not that hard to make; it COULD have been that, but I wouldn't bet on it. Methane would work, and I suspect Orcs have plenty of that. Hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg odor) would work wonderfully, too (and why do they give gas an odor with explosive hydrogen sulfide? Aren't gas leaks dangerous enough?)

Gunpowder's my bet at Helms Deep, but when Gandalf zapped stuff/lit his staff, IMHO it was Narya. Others dispute this. There's no way to be certain of what happened in either case based on the text alone. The books are relatively skimpy on magic that's not a) from the holy West or b) a product (the Rings of Power) either derived from or themselves (the One Ring) essentially evil. As I'm flashing back to a discussion of whether Galadriel COULD or WOULD make her Mirror without using Valinorean knowledge (I concede the former but am dubious of the latter) I'll stop now.
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Gunpowder's my bet at Helms Deep, but when Gandalf zapped stuff/lit his staff, IMHO it was Narya. Others dispute this.

Or maybe a defender at Helm's Deep lit his pipe, unaware of the fact that Helm's Deep was built on one of the biggest sources of natural gas in Middle-Earth...

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Staves, aye, well, Gandalf bore Narya (the Ring of Fire) the whole time he was in Middle-Earth. Does anyone recall him doing anything unquestionably magical IN THE BOOKS (in which the wizards duel in the movie never occurred) that didn't relate to fire or light?

Darkening the Hall in Meduseld ? Of course after that he let the sun shine through, but i'm talking about what he did before that.

Or maybe it wasn't magic at all, and Gandalf only timed his arrival in Edoras so that it would fall together with a solar eclipse.

Ah Gandalf, the David Copperfield (not the Dickens one) of Middle-Earth.
I'm embarrassed to confess I'll have to take your word for it, as my TT is in shreds; every time I open it more pages come lose, and I'm too tired to remember. Their (ugh) paperbacks I received for Christmas in '87, and its cover completely detached before I got through Book III. That was the first of nine passes, and while I do need to read it again, I think I'm getting a new set first. I might be able to remember if I hadn't been up a solar day after a thirty plus hour stint broken by... hmm... four hours of sleep, I think. Maybe three.

All of that said, I do now recall Gandalf expecting the newly reforged Sword of Elendil to the first thane that asked for it, but he got all upset when asked for his staff. "Would you deprive an old man of his only support?" or something like that wasn't it? Think he meekly handed over Glamdring, too. The question now becomes whence his staff came, but it does seem like, while the verdict remains "inconclusive" the burden of proof has shifted to me.

*Morambar casts Unsummon* Dunce Smilie
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The question now becomes whence his staff came,
Naw it was something more elementary, like:

"Accio staff."
What's with Tolkien's fascination with names? Gosh, so many characters have so many different names, its confusing!
Well, he couldn't call them all 'John' and 'Mary' now, could he?
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What's with Tolkien's fascination with names? Gosh, so many characters have so many different names, its confusing!

Tolkien invented different languages for the different races he used in his writing as well as Common Westron which they used in when conversing between them. Thus an individual could have a different name in each of these languages. For example ie:
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Olórin - by Valar
Mithrandir - by Elves
Tharkûn - by Dwarves
Incánus - in the North
Grey Pilgrim - by Gondorians
Gandalf - by hobbits
Stormcrow - by Grima Wormtongue
Làthspell - also by Grima W.
Answering the question at the first page I think the busiest thread is either Current games or The Ivy bush Smile Smilie I enjoy them both very muchSmile Smilie
Somebody should post in some Tolkien threads or create new Tolkien threads. I'm weary of all those trivial tavern threads.
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Somebody should post in some Tolkien threads or create new Tolkien threads.

Moderator Smilie Goest thou thither and so doest. Moderator Smilie
Elk Grinning Smilie
I'm afraid I can't do that. It gives me the uncanny feeling that only I am interested in delving deeply into Tolkien's writings.
that's irony.....
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