Tolkien Nerd Thread

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Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#1
Just a thread for general Tolkien discussion! A lot of Christians enjoy his work, so I figured "Why not?"

Let's talk about the texts, characters, creatures, symbols, themes, lore, movie and film adaptations, etc.

Everything is fair game. I'll post some new articles and videos from time to time to keep things fresh.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#2
My first contribution is Yoysten's (sp?) channel, Men of the West.

He's probably the world's foremost Tolkien nerd and, more importantly, knows how to make a video. He's succinct, has a good voice, isn't afraid to sing his interpretation of Tolkien songs (it can get awkward), and brings a strong grasp of literature to the table.

Below I posted this week's entry. It's one of his "what if" videos. Cool stuff.

[video=youtube;iIoJptYWu6o]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIoJptYWu6o&t=627s[/video]
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
18,073
754
113
#3
i recently started reading George MacDonald's "There and Back" thinking it was a prequel to the hobbit's "There and Back Again"

. . it appears that it is not.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#4
Tolkien admired MacDonald if memory serves me right. Close enough :p

i recently started reading George MacDonald's "There and Back" thinking it was a prequel to the hobbit's "There and Back Again"

. . it appears that it is not.
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
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#5
i recently started reading George MacDonald's "There and Back" thinking it was a prequel to the hobbit's "There and Back Again"

. . it appears that it is not.
Good story, but nothing to do with the Hobbit, sad to say :D.

Tolkien admired MacDonald if memory serves me right. Close enough :p
Their literary relationship was...complicated. As a young boy he did admire him very much, and MacDonald influenced some of Tolkien's writing. But some of MacDonald's work sort of annoyed Tolkien later in life.
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
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#6
I have loved Tolkien's works and have studied different aspects of his writing etc. on and off for almost a decade.

I'm a pretty average fan I guess, except for one distinguishing feature: I haven't watched the movies. They're just...too dark, or something. And I wasn't happy with some of the character changes they made, or some of the casting decisions. Technically though, I have nothing but respect for them. If I was more of a movie person I am sure I would watch them.

I am officially subscribed to this thread.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#7
I may have to retract my claim that Yoyston is the world's foremost Tolkien nerd. :p

Good story, but nothing to do with the Hobbit, sad to say :D.



Their literary relationship was...complicated. As a young boy he did admire him very much, and MacDonald influenced some of Tolkien's writing. But some of MacDonald's work sort of annoyed Tolkien later in life.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
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#8
CS Lewis admired Macdonald more than Tolkien did.

Also, Chesterton. Lewis loved much of his work. I'm not sure about Tolkien though. Is that something you can chime in on, Tinuviel?
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
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#9
That's good. Savor his actual work and hold onto the movies for a night you literally have nothing to do.

They are great in their own right, but nowhere close to the book. Especially in the context of his other works. Tolkien was a remarkably deep and consistent world-builder.

I have loved Tolkien's works and have studied different aspects of his writing etc. on and off for almost a decade.

I'm a pretty average fan I guess, except for one distinguishing feature: I haven't watched the movies. They're just...too dark, or something. And I wasn't happy with some of the character changes they made, or some of the casting decisions. Technically though, I have nothing but respect for them. If I was more of a movie person I am sure I would watch them.

I am officially subscribed to this thread.
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
63
#10
CS Lewis admired Macdonald more than Tolkien did.

Also, Chesterton. Lewis loved much of his work. I'm not sure about Tolkien though. Is that something you can chime in on, Tinuviel?
Chesterton (if I'm correctly remembering), was very adamant that myths and fairy-stories didn't have to be nonsense and lies. That really resonated with Tolkien. Beyond that, I've not ever looked into it. (The Yoyston nerd claim is fitly bestowed :p).

My sisters and I are doing a chapter-by-chapter read through and write up on the LotR books. I came across some cool questions about favorite chapter, book, movie character, etc. that I might have to type up and share for people to fill out if they want :)
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#11
Yes. In fact, we should make it an official rite of passage in the Tolkien Nerd Thread!

Like a Hobbit's 33rd birthday :p






Chesterton (if I'm correctly remembering), was very adamant that myths and fairy-stories didn't have to be nonsense and lies. That really resonated with Tolkien. Beyond that, I've not ever looked into it. (The Yoyston nerd claim is fitly bestowed :p).

My sisters and I are doing a chapter-by-chapter read through and write up on the LotR books. I came across some cool questions about favorite chapter, book, movie character, etc. that I might have to type up and share for people to fill out if they want :)
 

Laish

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2016
1,341
152
63
52
#12
One of the most unexpected things I found out about Tolkien was that he worked on a translation of the Jerusalem Bible.
I was reading a book on the history of the English translations of the scriptures and wammo there was Tolkien’s name .
I really enjoyed his ring books still I had no idea about this until a few years ago.
here I a copy and paste of some of the information

The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic translation of the Old Testament of the Bible. Its sources were the original Hebrew and Greek texts, with some contribution from later Greek and Latin translations.
J.R.R. Tolkien was among its contributors, as translator and lexicographer. The extent of Tolkien's contribution to the translation of this book is uncertain, but he is thought to have worked on the book of Jonah, and possibly the book of Job as well.[SUP][1][/SUP]
In Letter 294 to Charlotte and Denis Plimmer Tolkien stated:
Naming me among the 'principal collaborators' was an undeserved courtesy on the part of the editor of theJerusalem Bible. I was consulted on one or two points of style, and criticized some contributions of others. I was originally assigned a large amount of text to translate, but after doing some necessary preliminary work I was obliged to resign owing to pressure of other work, and only completed 'Jonah', one of the shortest books.
Blessings
Bill
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
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#13
One of the most unexpected things I found out about Tolkien was that he worked on a translation of the Jerusalem Bible.
I was reading a book on the history of the English translations of the scriptures and wammo there was Tolkien’s name .
I really enjoyed his ring books still I had no idea about this until a few years ago.
here I a copy and paste of some of the information

The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic translation of the Old Testament of the Bible. Its sources were the original Hebrew and Greek texts, with some contribution from later Greek and Latin translations.
J.R.R. Tolkien was among its contributors, as translator and lexicographer. The extent of Tolkien's contribution to the translation of this book is uncertain, but he is thought to have worked on the book of Jonah, and possibly the book of Job as well.[SUP][1][/SUP]
In Letter 294 to Charlotte and Denis Plimmer Tolkien stated:
Naming me among the 'principal collaborators' was an undeserved courtesy on the part of the editor of theJerusalem Bible. I was consulted on one or two points of style, and criticized some contributions of others. I was originally assigned a large amount of text to translate, but after doing some necessary preliminary work I was obliged to resign owing to pressure of other work, and only completed 'Jonah', one of the shortest books.
Blessings
Bill
That's cool :). I knew that at one point, but I'd forgotten. He also helped to compile one of the sections of the OED, I believe. The world knows him as an author, creator of a mythical world known as Middle Earth. But primarily he was always a scholar. Which I think is one of the reasons his works are so rich. Languages, history, culture etc. etc.
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
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#14
So here are the questions I mentioned :). Anyone is welcome to answer any of them they choose to stimulate discussions, or maybe they'll inspire you to come up with some of your own that you'd like to ask people.

1. How were you introduced to J. R. R. Tolkien, who introduced you, and when did it happen?

2. Who is your favorite character in the books? In the movies?

3. What is your favorite non-LotR Tolkien work?

4. What is your favorite fact about Tolkien's life?

5. Do you play LotR/Tolkien inspired games or take quizzes based on his works?
(AKA just exactly how nerdy are you? ;)).

6. What is your favorite book in the trilogy? Favorite chapter?

7. What is your favorite inner story/subplot?
(not exclusively LotR).

8. Is there a passage/passages in Tolkien's works that holds Christian meaning for you?
(I know, they're not allegories, but hey! The guy had a Christian worldview and it showed). 9. If J. R. R. were alive today, what question(s) would you like to ask him?

10. Who is your favorite actor from the movies?

11. Favorite scene in the films?

12. What are some of Tolkien's themes you would have liked to see more of in the films?

13. What is your favorite favorite Tolkien resource?
(book, blog, YouTube channel, etc).

14. Is there a part in the books that really, really irritates you? In the movies?

15. How far have you looked into J. R. R.'s translations/academic work?

16. When you read through LotR, do you feel a need to read the appendices every time? Have you ever read them? Which do you frequent the most?

17. Saddest part in the books/movies?

18. Funniest part in the books/movies?

19 Most satisfying part in the books/movies?

20. Leaving Peter Jackson and similar visual interpretations out of this, in your estimation, do Balrogs have wings? :p


That's all of them I can remember. I don't currently have the list in front of me but that at least looks like a balanced representation. Enjoy, folks!
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#15
It's interesting how many poets and literary figures either did translations of the Bible or had their writings greatly impacted by a translation.

One of the most unexpected things I found out about Tolkien was that he worked on a translation of the Jerusalem Bible.
I was reading a book on the history of the English translations of the scriptures and wammo there was Tolkien’s name .
I really enjoyed his ring books still I had no idea about this until a few years ago.
here I a copy and paste of some of the information

The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic translation of the Old Testament of the Bible. Its sources were the original Hebrew and Greek texts, with some contribution from later Greek and Latin translations.
J.R.R. Tolkien was among its contributors, as translator and lexicographer. The extent of Tolkien's contribution to the translation of this book is uncertain, but he is thought to have worked on the book of Jonah, and possibly the book of Job as well.[SUP][1][/SUP]
In Letter 294 to Charlotte and Denis Plimmer Tolkien stated:
Naming me among the 'principal collaborators' was an undeserved courtesy on the part of the editor of theJerusalem Bible. I was consulted on one or two points of style, and criticized some contributions of others. I was originally assigned a large amount of text to translate, but after doing some necessary preliminary work I was obliged to resign owing to pressure of other work, and only completed 'Jonah', one of the shortest books.
Blessings
Bill
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#16
Okay. I rescind my suggestion. Answering all of these could be a thread-killer, so I'll narrow it down to...4. The rest we can just use as a reference point for discussion as intended by Tinuviel.

Answer them and you are an official member of this thread! :p


1. How were you introduced to J. R. R. Tolkien, who introduced you, and when did it happen?

2. Who is your favorite character in the books? In the movies?

3. Do you play LotR/Tolkien inspired games or take quizzes based on his works?

4. Leaving Peter Jackson and similar visual interpretations out of this, in your estimation, do Balrogs have wings?

So here are the questions I mentioned :). Anyone is welcome to answer any of them they choose to stimulate discussions, or maybe they'll inspire you to come up with some of your own that you'd like to ask people.

1. How were you introduced to J. R. R. Tolkien, who introduced you, and when did it happen?

2. Who is your favorite character in the books? In the movies?

3. What is your favorite non-LotR Tolkien work?

4. What is your favorite fact about Tolkien's life?

5. Do you play LotR/Tolkien inspired games or take quizzes based on his works?
(AKA just exactly how nerdy are you? ;)).

6. What is your favorite book in the trilogy? Favorite chapter?

7. What is your favorite inner story/subplot?
(not exclusively LotR).

8. Is there a passage/passages in Tolkien's works that holds Christian meaning for you?
(I know, they're not allegories, but hey! The guy had a Christian worldview and it showed). 9. If J. R. R. were alive today, what question(s) would you like to ask him?

10. Who is your favorite actor from the movies?

11. Favorite scene in the films?

12. What are some of Tolkien's themes you would have liked to see more of in the films?

13. What is your favorite favorite Tolkien resource?
(book, blog, YouTube channel, etc).

14. Is there a part in the books that really, really irritates you? In the movies?

15. How far have you looked into J. R. R.'s translations/academic work?

16. When you read through LotR, do you feel a need to read the appendices every time? Have you ever read them? Which do you frequent the most?

17. Saddest part in the books/movies?

18. Funniest part in the books/movies?

19 Most satisfying part in the books/movies?

20. Leaving Peter Jackson and similar visual interpretations out of this, in your estimation, do Balrogs have wings? :p


That's all of them I can remember. I don't currently have the list in front of me but that at least looks like a balanced representation. Enjoy, folks!
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
62,353
1,300
113
#17
I read the title as "toilet nerd thread"... LOL Laughing.png
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#18
1. How were you introduced to J. R. R. Tolkien, who introduced you, and when did it happen?

I was in the first grade. This kid named Ben brought in a copy of The Hobbit and this GIGANTIC Smaug figurine. Leaving the gaudy figurine aside, I could tell there was something deeply legendary about what he presented. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the name of the bo ok, Ben was kind of a jerk, and we didn't have Google, so I couldn't just search "little dude with a dragon."

So, some years later I figured out what it was while thumbing through one of those kids magazines. I was hooked from that point on.

2. Who is your favorite character in the books? In the movies?

Boromir in the books and movies. I've always liked his story arc.

Of the unabashedly good characters, Gandalf. Nobody is cooler than Gandalf.

3. Do you play LotR/Tolkien inspired games or take quizzes based on his works?

Yyyyyyyes. When I was a kid, I owned five or six LOTR games.

When I busted my elbows, I bought Middle Earth Shadow of War for the PS4. It really messes with the lore, but it's super fun.

4. Leaving Peter Jackson and similar visual interpretations out of this, in your estimation, do Balrogs have wings?

As corrupted Maiar, they are essentially fallen angels/demigods. Many types of angels have wings, so it stands to reason many demons do as well. So a demon of Middle Earth having wings isn't all too far-fetched unless Tolkien lore explicitly states otherwise.

Sorry about the bold. It's stuck that way, so I italicized and underlined the questions themselves. :p
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#19
Come to think of it, I wouldn't search "little dude with a dragon" today either. For other reasons entirely :p
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
63
#20
My first contribution is Yoysten's (sp?) channel, Men of the West.

He's probably the world's foremost Tolkien nerd and, more importantly, knows how to make a video. He's succinct, has a good voice, isn't afraid to sing his interpretation of Tolkien songs (it can get awkward), and brings a strong grasp of literature to the table.

Below I posted this week's entry. It's one of his "what if" videos. Cool stuff.

[video=youtube;iIoJptYWu6o]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIoJptYWu6o&t=627s[/video]
There are really quite a few points where if something would have gone just a little differently for the good guys something would have snapped and Sauron would have taken over the world. I am trying to figure out how Tolkien does that without making it either wildly improbable and/or hopelessly dark. It dances dangerously close to both of these, but never over the edge, I think.