Message Board | Rules

Thread: what would you tell Tolkien

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Author > what would you tell Tolkien   [1] [2] >>
What would you tell Tolkien if you had the chance to talk to him?I would ask about some chapters of Silmarilion wich I can't fully understand.The family trees are vast!anyway,what would you ask him about?
I would probably gush out a whole lot of compliments and then totally forget every question I've ever had about his works.

Maybe I would ask him what inspired or influenced much of his writing - if it was all based on folklore and myth or if there were any personal and fondly remembered life events that took form in the lives of his characters.

I would also like to know which are his favourite characters/stories and why; who would he most identify himself with. (Apart from the story of Beren and Luthien)
I would ask him to right down the fact that Morgoth was eviler than Sauron and then show it to everyone on the plaza so they'd beleive me...
What do you mean "eviler that Sauron"? How do you measure evil? In a teaspoon's?
What were there abitions? How far would they go to achieve them? What were there final ultimate goals if they had been victorious? That kind of thing.
I'm sure Morgoth was as evil as Sauron,but I do not think Morgoth's ambitions were stronger than his servant'sThey could both destroy Ea if it prevented from ruling,couldn't they?
Sauron could not destroy Ea as much as Morgoth, for he is far more powerful, but even Morgoth himself could not destroy the world utterly, only level it to a formless chaoas which would still always be a world of potential in the eyes of thre Valar:

"Hence his endeavour always to break wills and subordinate them to or absorb them into his own will and being, before destroying their bodies. This was sheer nihilism, and negation its one ultimate object: Morgoth would no doubt, if he had been victorious, have ultimately destroyed even his own 'creatures', such as the Orcs, when they had served his sole purpose in using them: the destruction of Elves and Men. Melkor's final impotence and despair lay in this: that whereas the Valar (and in their degree Elves and Men) could still love 'Arda Marred', that is Arda with a Melkor-ingredient, and could still heal this or that hurt, or produce from its very marring, from its state as it was, things beautiful and lovely, Melkor could do nothing with Arda, which was not from his own mind and was interwoven with the work and thoughts of others: even left alone he could only have gone raging on till all was levelled again into a formless chaos. And yet even so he would have been defeated, because it would still have 'existed', independent of his own mind, and a world in potential." (Morgoths ring)

Another quote about sauron's evil:

"Sauron had never reached this stage of nihilistic madness. He did not object to the existence of the world, so long as he could do what he liked with it. He still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and co- ordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction. (It was the apparent will and power of Melkor to effect his designs quickly and masterfully that had first attracted Sauron to him.)"

As we can see Saurons desire was not as evil as Morgoth's.

Sorry to get a bit off topic, but it wasn't me who asked the question.
thanks a lot for the corection you have proved i was wrong.I learrn somethig new everyday!
What would I ask Tolkien? Probably I would ask him why he didn't keep writing, even when he thought the Fourth Age tale wouldn't work. I probably would have pointed out to him that, although he never sought popularity, he's got it now. People would not care if the Fourth Age didn't have all the same depth of treatment he had used in LOTR. But they certainly would have appreciated getting to read it, whatever it was.

But I think I would also thank him for what he did write, which was itself enormous in its scope and impact. I would thank him for providing me with the best work of prose that a teacher can use with a class, and that a dramatic reader can use with an audience. Just today, at commencement for our school, the valedictorian--a student of mine--made a lengthy comparitive reference to Tolkien (paying me a great compliment as well). So I believe I would definitely thank Tolkien for that.
Isn't Tolkien said to be the only one who has created proper (as in could be real) languages as you can read, write and speak them?
No, that was Dr Zamenhof.
ellWay, omeonesay reatedcay Igpay Atlinlay andhay athay ancay ebay usedhay orfay itingwray, eadingray, anday okenpay, utbay Ihay on'tday oknay ifhay ithay usway reatedcay riorpay otay olkienTay. I apologize for any mistakes in the preceeding, I have had no formal training in the language of Igpay Atinlay
Are you OK Grondmaster??

That could hardly be compared to Sindarin, ever word pretty much ends with 'ay'.
Ondygray ustjay avegay anway exampleway ofyay ethay anguagelay ofyay Ipgay Atinlay, ichwhay earlyclay owsshay atthay otnoy onlyyay Olkientay evelopedday ewnay anguageslay. Eallyray, evenway ethay allestsmay ildchay ancay oday uchsay away ingthay.
So what did you say then?
That Grondy gave you examples of the languageSmile Smiliemade by Tolkien , read it backwards..
I'm confused...
how can you not know the wonderful laguage of pig latin?

take the word bill
now take all the constanonts and move them to the end of the word untill you get to a vowel
now add "ay"

for something like "its" which starts in a vowel, either add "hay" or "way"

eesay? itshay eryvay easyway otay oday!

iop wopupld aopsk toplkiopeopn iopf heop neopw op lopnguopgope Smile Smilie
that is harder to read and say and understand than pig latin, just ad "op" after every vowel.
i dont like it.
Well that is not a complete language then. It transfigures the English language in a set way to form another. But its not a language entirely unto itself.

The Script on the Ring of Power and other Elvish is however.
You are right of course LoA, but we had fun pulling your leg with our childhood language. I remember the first time it was used on me: I was about five and and away from home visiting at my grandmothers. I could almost understand the kids in her neighborhood, but not quite. It took me two weeks to figure it out on my own.
I hate to be the person to point this out, but isn't this long discourse on Pig Latin aside from the purpose of this thread? What would you say to Tolkien? I was kind of waiting for someone to pick up on what I had said earlier and go on with it.
Well I had to admit you fooled me very slightly there. So I guess Tolkien was the only one to create a complete language.
I'd tell Tolkien to read the follow Wikipedia article on constructed languages :
Constructed languages

Eryvay interestingay!

Not to mention, to check out this list :
List of constructed languages

Ymay ordway!
sadly, if tolkien and I were alive at the same time and happened to be passing by each other on the street, I would probably have avoided him if I could..... comes of living most of my life in a smoke-free environment. I'm fairly sure he would have stunk of tobacco and smoke....

but supposing I could get past those prejudices -- I'd try to get him to give me an oral re-telling of the Lord of the Rings, with all of my younger cousin's questions inserted at appropriate places (you can read about how I got myself into a re-telling obligation in my last journal entry).
I would list the points that I have most argued with other fans and ask him to write clear answers to all of them.
what kind of subjects would you ask about?
Ouyay uysgay arehay unnyfay! Wink Smilie

Let's see...I would ask Tolkien what he thought of Peter Jackson's films. He, he. I would probably also ask him if he had any idea that what he was writing would have such a profound impact on the psyche of the world.
I would probably also ask Tolkien what he thought of the films and the changes that were made to the stories. But I would also ask him who his favourite authors were and what and who inspired him. Also i would ask him to do some readings from the Silmarillion to me and a few friends! Orc Grinning Smilie
I would like to , if given the honor, tell JRR Tolkien, whom I think of as a father almost, hard to explain, I would like to tell him that I am so sorry I did not read anything by him until a few years ago and when I did the entire course of my life was changed and I found the courage to do something so very hard like Frodo did and had I not read that book I doubt I could have endured.
Thank you all for saying what you think.Knowing what other fans believe you can form your own opinion dont you think?
I would tell Tolkien "When it comes to writing fantasy you are the best there was, best there is and the best there ever will be!"

My favourite author is Wilbur Smith though, but he writes historical fiction. Tolkien is a very close 2nd.
I guess i would ask Tolkien the full and complete version (as he envisaged it) of Dagor Dagorath. I still have only hazy ideas about it .. sigh. and i would also tell him that he was a genius, and in no other work can i find language like the one he used in the silmarillion. even in the old greek tragedies on which some of his work is based .. the language is archaic at best. he was, is and always will be the Master of Lore !!

And Turin, i was glad to know you like Wilbur Smith too .. though i have to admit i havent read all his books .. but of the ones i have read .. my favorite is undeniably River God. Taita roooooles !!! *whoop whoop whoop
And Turin, i was glad to know you like Wilbur Smith too .. though i have to admit i havent read all his books .. but of the ones i have read .. my favorite is undeniably River God. Taita roooooles !!! *whoop whoop whoop

Yeeaaaahhhh! I have about 20 Wilbur books and i love them all! My favourite are the Courtney novels. I like his Egyption series too though i have all 3 of the novels in that series, River God, Warlock, and The Seventh Scroll.

It's hard for me to pick a favourite Wilbur novel because everytime i read a new one it feels like it is my favourite. If my life depended on it and i had to choose i might say Blue Horizon. Either that or Cry Wolf.
Moderator Smilie Please take your Wilbur Smith discussion to the bottom of Wilbur Smith which is found under Books under Non-Tolkien Books and Literature. - Thanks

If I have time today, I'll cut and paste the above Wilbur Smith discussion to that thread.
oops sorry once again Grondy. I'm good at making your life harder, eh? It's honestly not intention, and hope you figured that. When topics turns tangent like this one did and others have and if it's a topic i'm really interested such as Wilbur Smith, or if the topic turns into a debate (which they can sometimes go off topic) and i feel strongly about it, i guess i can't help myself and put in my 2 cents, even though i realize it's off topic at the time.

I know i should probably pm the person instead, but I either forget or I would like a few other people read it, to see my opinion on the subject and give their input.

I'll try real hard to control myself from now on!

....starting after this post, cuz i probably should have just PMed it to ya instead. Dunce Smilie
Grondy, you should just challenge loA to single combat sometime. Seriously, he's been making your life SOOO hard.

But anywas, if I could talk to Tolkien, I'd ask him which angel talked to him and inspired him to write all this mythology. Tolkien's works are like a religion to me!
Grondy, you should just challenge loA to single combat sometime. Seriously, he's been making your life SOOO hard.

Nah, we'd just ban him in a jiffy. No big deal.
Hmmm...Not sure where I come up in this thread. I haven't posted here for months. Seems to me that that little incident a few months ago (and it was trivial) was the most exciting thing that has happened here for a while.

And as for me making Grondmaster's life hard I believe that is a bit of an exaggeration.

And Vir - please have mercy on me! I could not bear to withstand such a punishment...

But besides aren't you going a bit Off topic????
But besides aren't you going a bit Off topic????

We sure are. Quick, go notify a Council Member!

Back on topic :
What would you tell Tolkien?
That is very interesting queston, I would like to hear from Tolkien himself something about Morgoth, I never understanded that character, I don't know why or how but I just don't remember him at all, would be damn curious to find out Orc Smiling Smilie
What would you tell Tolkien?

I would tell him that I'm forever thankful for sharing his work with us (the readers) and also thank him for the pleasure he has given me and my son of reading and use our imagination to "fly away "into his wonderful stories.
hmmmmm, little incident? I have a bag of mithral, I'd give it to find out this mysterious story.
I have to agree with Cloveress about his work being a religion of sorts.And I am sure he did have help just as Frodo did.
I would also tell him he is very very funny. The two lines i loved and that made me shriek with laughter in Farmer Giles of Ham, for instance were:1. The parson(dread that words, sounds like parsnip which I am not fond of) told him to take a rope on his forced quest to confront the dragon. He answers by saying:"For what, to h ang myself?" aaah that was great.
2. When Giles comes back triumphantly with both dragon and a veritable hoard of jewels and money and such, the king is furious and comes to order him to come and apologize in front of him and hand over the loot. He just won't and when the king is in a lathered fury the farmer simply tells him to go and cool himself. It is priceless. What an inflated ego.
So I cannot help but imagine that when this jolly big Hobbit was in a silly mood he tried even the patience of darling Edith when he would tease the children and talk nonsense. Honestly I think I am the only person I know or will ever know that thinks Tom Bombadil needed a good shaking when he said those annoying fol de rol ditties. I know some have hinted that he was actually talking in some language and saying important things. My reply is anyone that goes about dressed like that when his wife looks a princess is just having a great laugh at the whole world.
My favourite author is Wilbur Smith though, but he writes historical fiction. Tolkien is a very close 2nd.

BAN HIM! bAN hIM! *thorin shouts jumping up and down & shakes his fist at turin*

Please take your Wilbur Smith discussion to the bottom of Wilbur Smith which is found under Books under Non-Tolkien Books and Literature. - Thanks

*well done grondy*
Dunce Smilie Very Evil Smilie Very Evil Smilie Very Evil Smilie
What would I telll JRRT? I would tell him that my wife and I would like to have dinner (or supper) with him and Edith. At the restaraunt, whichever they chose, we would chat about our gardens, which flowers, bird baths and such. Swap stories of child rearing and relatives. Ask Edith how she felt about a husband who sat up nights scribbling about a make-believe world and mumbling in a made-up language. Then, moving on to other important matters, ask what libations the Inklings preferred and about the discipline of putting words on paper in a systematic way. I would also profoundly thank him and her for the time and effort it cost to bring the work to publishable print.
Ask Edith how she felt about a husband who sat up nights scribbling about a make-believe world and mumbling in a made-up language.

You had me laughing there HalbardBig Laugh SmilieBut what a wonderful thought have dinner with that special couple..I'm sure that could have told us all a bit about love to..
I would have told Tolkien to quit his day job! Then he could have dedicated even more time to his writting hobby.

His "little" hobby turned out to overall have a far greater impact on the shaping of our world, when compared to the job he was paid to do did.
You can't be so sure of that, Turin. The books merely have a more obvious, flashier effect. Tolkien was an English professor. I would be immensly curious to know, who did he teach? Who did he inspire? What minds did he start thinking, that might even yet shape the world? Teachers have immense effects on the future, even if it is never traced directly back to them- an english teacher starts the thought process, and gives the student the means to portray ideas. A history or philosophy teacher gives them the ideas and concepts to use, and so on. I wouldn't discount Tolkien's "dayjob". He did a good thing.
Woohoo! *ramblerant* Sorry about that. I'm avoiding a paper...oi. I personally would like to ask Tolkien, well, I have a few questions about life in general, but I'd also like to know what brought up the Entwives, and where he hid them away...
I just finished the Tolkien Letters for the second time yesterday and I felt so incredibly sad.
All that he went through, all that slaving away for a pitence and all the regrets he had. When Edith died he wrote someone the same day and the emptiness, Beren without his Luthien was numbing, I felt ill. And his last letter, four days before h is death, he was living in modern times now and was so very out of place and lost and lonely.
If I could tell h im something I would tell him that I deeply admire and honor how he took all the shattering things , the mundane and dreary things, the anxious days and nights and did not let them go to waste. What we write is really no matter how h ard we try a part of a blue print of who we really are. He channeled all those things in to words of exquisite aching beauty and worked h is fingers to the limit typing typing typing the manuscripts. He did not give up and the result is a whole world for each of us to walk into and having come out, never be quite the same again.
Ya i know Tolkien was a professor for Oxford University, but i'm sticking with my previous point and believe he should have quit his day job! I'm sure there were a few people he's taught to do some 'great' things, but I haven't heard of any of them. I'm just stating Tolkien had a bigger impact on the world with his writing hobby compared to his day job, doesn't necessarily mean it was more of a positive impact on the world, but it's quite obvious it was a much bigger impact on our world and the people within it.
Good points Turin. I think the 'great' things he taught people at Oxford and the other universities was to look beyond themselves, to think,to consider goodness and nobleness and learning as beauty in a world cold, dark and cynical.
While it is true that his literary works have impacted the world in a great way, he was after all first and foremost a Christian, a Catholic man who so loved the Blessed Sacrament that all that it stood for permeated every ounce of his life. Therefore he was also a man that liked to impact people personally as well as in print, just the way the father(priest) from h is childhood sort of adopted he and Hilary and impacted them greatly for the future.
So really the sort of person he was had to include both types of influence, don't you think?
  [1] [2] >>