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Thread: Poll: Missunderstood Character

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In our Forum Poll of 01 April 2007:
'Which character in Tolkien's legendarium is the most misunderstood by readers' found over there to the right, who did you choose and why?

This poll was suggested by Tyrhael - Thanks Tyrhael.
I thought of Gollum first with his complicated mind and how everyone usually misunderstands him but then I thought of Tom..... people dont know at first who or what Tom Bombadil is and make assumptions of their own, whereas we all know what Gollum was/is, he was a decendant of the Stoor-kind who got hold of a ring and it made him go crazy for it but resent it too, twisted his mind to do awful things. But overall, I think that Tom is most misunderstood as no-one really knows who or what he is Elf Confused Smilie
Is no-one going to discuss this??? Or have ye all just missed it???
First time i see it loss.

Feanor - no one seems to understand his grief for the loss of his peerless work and his grief for the cold-bloded murder of this father. (no matter what you guys say i always think that the doom of the noldor was predestined and nothing could have changed it).
This is an excellent subject and I've been turning it over in my mind since first reading it but was just too tired yesterday to respond.

I really love and admire how Tolkien was able to make so many characters so complex, there are really a lot that qualify for being misunderstood and I haven't voted because I just can't pick between them. I thought of Gollum first but I think if you read in depth about his past he was a bit of a baddie to begin with and the ring just brought that out more and more. He killed Deagol to get the ring before it had had any influence on him and I guess I'm harsh but I have little sympathy for him.

Tom Bombadil was kind of a surprise entry to me. He's so unlike anyone else I think I'll put him as the front runner.

Sauron isn't on the list but he's one Isure don't understand. I know he was one of Morgoth's minions but I wonder why...
I cannot answer this poll question as I cannot know what "most" readers "mis"understand. Not to mention, I honestly do not want to judge what others think for I lack the authority for that. Strictly only the Professor would be only to do this.

It's also a fact that 'mis'understanding is merely in the eye of the beholder; one's judgement of an event or character of LOTR might be different from somebody else, which might prompt somebody else to label this as "mis"understanding, which it is not always. Sometimes it's a mere different opinion.
I chose Tom Bombadil for he is the one that we have the least information about and Tolkien himself hadn't figured out what old Tom was other than an enigma. Besides that, other than Sauron who has had a lot of misunderstood discussion due to you know who's posts, we have had a lot of subjective guesses about Tom.

Of course were "misunderstood" in the poll meant by his contemporary characters instead of readers, then I suppose it might be F’anor whose character was quite complex. Turin only misunderstood himself, if I've read him rightly.
Oh dear, I remember voting, but I don't remember who I voted for. I think it was a hard choice, and for the first time, I must say that I agree with Vir that I felt unable to vote. How am I supposed to know who readers misinterpret? How do I even know that my interpretation is the right one?

But I voted for Gollum, I think. This is beacuase I have about five or six friends who have all read the LOTR, and whenever we talk about Gollum, he is always a villain, a sort of force that acts to hinder the destruction of the Ring, and they rarely speak of him as a victim (which he is). Maybe they didn't read the book carefully enough, or maybe they simply didn't pay as much attention to a character that was neither cute nor handsome nor heroic (they know all the Aragorn and Arwen details well enough). I personally don't see why Gollum may be misunderstood, for anyone who has read the trilogy would feel at least a little dint of pity for him, or at least acknowledge his part in the destruction of the Ring, yet most of the readers who are not overly fanatic about LOTR seem to undervalue Gollum.

Just my real-life observations. The other characters are less misunderstood. I mean, everyone knows how complex Feanor is, and how blinded Boromir was by the Ring, and how Tom Bambadil is an enigma, and how Frodo suffered and eventually gave into the temptation of the Ring.

But yes, I voted for Gollum.