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Thread: what's the relationship between Lord of the rings and medieval legends?

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Hello there Spock and welcome to Planet-Tolkien! I hope your stay will be as fun and as nice as mine. Big Smile Smilie

Hum.. yes, I've been thinking about this for quite some time now.... let's see, the first story about knights and stuff must be the one aboutTristan and Isolde, right?
And from Tristan and Isolde some bright man developed the story about King Arthur. An yes, and from King Arthur, sprung the whole story about Avalon and its magic, written by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Ok, so maybe these wasn't exactly the first. Hehe. Tongue Smilie
Ah, I'm just babbling.

Anyway, perhaps Galadriel could in some way be a look-a-like to Guinewere? I mean.. Galadriel and Guinewere, both names you can hardly pronounce Wink Smilie And then they're both very important persons, queens and very respected. Physically they're both tall, blond, slim, very beautiful and keeps dressing in white. Well, there's a certain similarity, even if Guinewere is completely lost in her religion while Galadriel seems more openminded, even if still ever so mysterious.

And perhaps King Arthur could in smoe way relate to Aragorn? Once again: Arthur and Aragorn, very similar names. Pyshically they look very different, Arthur is blonde and very fair while Aragorn looks tough and and is rather dark. They're both important kings who will unite people and heal the country. The differences would be that Arthur becomes king when he's 19 while Aragorn is like.. what, 82? Tongue Smilie

Hum.. Are there more? Perhaps Legolas and Lancelot? Once AGAIN, the names.. And Lancelot means Elven arrow. Though they look completely different, Lancelot is not that tall and very dark while Legolas is tall, very fair and light and slim. Then again, Legolas is prince and if Guinewere and Arthur couldn't conceive a child, the oldest son of Lancelot would take over the throne.

Hum.. ok, that's all from me right now, I might be back with more. But for now: Over and out.
Hum.. or wait.. perhaps this wasn't at all what you were looking for?
Well this was definetely a good start. Big Smile Smilie I was also thinking of the similarities between Merlin and Gandalf, both famous and powerful wizards. So we have a connection concerning the characters, but what about the themes and all the other details of Tolkin, such as the fight between good and evil or even less important things that could be similar, as the way they fight, the weapons they use the structure of their society etc.... still a long way to go but never give up!!! Wiggle Smilie Wink Smilie
Thanks for the help!
I cant wait for more.....
http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/booksellers/press_release/shippey/

maybe that link will help you out Spock. Big Smile Smilie
Yes, just don't plagiarize it, as you don't wish to lose your credulity nor your grade were you to be caught. Hopefully you aren't one to even consider this, but there are some out there that have no qualms in doing so. Teacher Smilie

Welcome to our forum and come back again when you've a mind to it. Happy Elf Smilie
Well, I know JRR drew heavily on the Arthurian legends, but I don't know them well enough to draw any conclusions for you, I just got a new copy of Morte D'Arthur not so long ago, and am reading it again for the first time in over 10 years, and cheating (as in reading a lot of other stuff inbetween chapters) but when I'm done I may be able to help more.

Anyhow, welcome Spock, live long and prosper....
There are also relationships between Tolikien's works and true medieval history. I just watched on Discovery Civilisation channel a program telling about Brian, High King of Ireland, and his war agaiinst the Vikings and I was astonished by many resemblances between that story and LOTR and Silmarillion stories. Brian was the son of the King, the youngest of 12 or 13 brothers, and finally he became the High King of Ireland who united all Ireland but first he was an outlaw fighting Vikings in a guerilla way until at last he was alone with only 15 men... Almost like Aragorn and his Rangers, or Barahir and his faithful companions!
I love the subject of midevil times! In both there is sword fighting, arrows,kings, emperrors, heroes, and ect. Everything u can think about in the middevil times is in lotr! Big Laugh Smilie I wish that we can use sword figh=ting again. I shows real skill in how to fight besides shooting someone without even challenging their skill
It's odd that the above comparisons never occurred to me before. I would caution against accepting the Mists of Avalon version of Arthur as definitive. While I enjoyed the book a great deal, rejecting Mallory for it would be like rejecting Homer for The Firebrand (also a good book if you haven't read it; Marion Zimmer Bradley does for the Illiad what she did for Arthur.) Besides, Arthur is so late in the game that Morgan le Fey passed for an Elf with some because she was small.

If you're interested in playing this kind of comparison game (or not, really) I recommend Robert Jordans Wheel of Time series in which all the Arthurian characters have their "canonical" relationships turned on their head (except Galad is still an a-----e, and that would be true without the White Cloaks.) Excalibur is there thinly disguised, but it doesn't belong to Artur Hawkwing (though he has another famous sword of his own.) In fact, the nouveau Excalibur could probably be lost or destroyed without changing the outcome of the story (all things considered, it might even help.)