Recent content by Forodan

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    Catching up: Seven Stars of Arnor

    How about simple rhythm of the verse? It sounds good to re-use 'seven' twice in the line. That said, the stars did become the standard emblem of the House of Elendil. So the stars as something separate would simply refer to the 'house' itself, the 'nation' or 'people' that Elendil and his...
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    Why speculate about disembodied Nazgul occluding the stars when a Nazgul on a Fell Beast is a better supposition?

    Who's to say he did not send them out when Gandalf escaped? Was anyone in Eregion to see them? No one we meet in the narrative, anyway. This seems unlikely to be a one-off event. He is probably sending them out at regular intervals. Depending on how long it takes them to cover the assigned area...
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    What might be the answer to Gandalf's question which Strider did not answer?

    Do we have any reason to think that the crebain, or the wargs, are directly controlled by Sauron? Seems a bit of a stretch to think that he has that level of detailed control of his slaves, even if they are slaves. More likely he sends word out by some means to 'officers' who manage his lesser...
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    references about elven hair being long from Tolkien's works

    Yes, Elvish Hair magic. She deliberately grew her hair out so she could weave that cloak, and then cut it off. Why couldn't she grow more? And also, don't forget that she is not a 'typical' Elf. She is 1/2 Maiar and that must mean something for her ability to control her own physical form.
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    Bilbo mirroring Odin...

    But is this the only example of such cheating in the Norse sagas? If it's something that multiple characters did, it hardly merits attributing Odin as the person being imitated. It's then merely a common trick that Tolkien borrowed. But even if this is something unique to Odin, it's not the...
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    Is Boromir on-board with the strategy when the company leaves Rivendell?

    I was just focusing on the three 'major' couples on the stories. And then there is Earendil himself and Elwing. They are both 'genetically' half-elven, but Earendil would have chosen mortality except for Elwing choosing to be Eldar. There is an interesting twist on the traditional visit to the...
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    Is Boromir on-board with the strategy when the company leaves Rivendell?

    Reversing the 'traditional fairy tale' is his favored technique. The human/elf romances of his Legendarium turn the usual 'fairy child' story upside down, for example. Usually, a 'fairy' of some sort comes to the mortal world, bears child(ren) and then one day leaves to return to the 'fairy'...
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    Stick-at-naught Strider

    The first interpretation seems more likely to me. As far as Breelanders have seen, 'Strider' is a lazy bum who does nothing in particular for very long. And he disappears for long periods of time, too. Ne'er-do-well is the modern term. But we don't really know what rumors could have been...
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    Did Sauron have a body during the events of 'The Lord of the Rings'

    There are clear implications in the text that the Istari are somehow restricted. Probably this was a deliberate strategy by the Valar to prevent more rogue 'Dark Lords' from being created. Notice how there is some sort of vague popular awareness that a staff in the hands of a 'wizard' is...
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    Did Sauron have a body during the events of 'The Lord of the Rings'

    Yes, Gollum met him in person while being 'interrogated' and says he only has nine fingers.
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    The One Ring, Sin, and Tolkien's Catholic Imaginative Influence

    I think I know what map you are referring to, but I cannot find it online right now. It's oriented facing east instead of north, so that Jerusalem is at the 'top' of the Mediterranean with Europe on the left, Africa on the right, and Asia (what Medieval Europeans knew of it) at the top... (BTW...
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    NoME - houseless fear, uncomfortable hroar, and Theseus' ship

    This is a very strange idea anyway. Our bodies are not static. They are changing all the time. The "Ship of Theseus" riddle is a good example. Think: You are constantly breathing. That is because your body is burning fuel (glucose) to produce energy. And of course, the fuel has to come from...
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    Broad-bladed axe and long white knife – #219

    But... the Roman gladius did not have cross-guard. Neither did the larger spatha. In fact, the whole idea of a cross-guard is a medieval invention. All ancient swords in the Mediterranean area were plain straight blades, though the top of the hilts of some might be slightly larger than the...
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    Alternatives to "criticism"

    A very interesting observation... Critical thinking is indeed about making distinctions ('splitting' ideas into clearer segments) and so quite applicable. The problem is that we tend to assume this is always negative, the effort to find what is wrong with whatever is being examined. This does...
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    Broad-bladed axe and long white knife – #219

    A very real possible material for a white blade is a ceramic. Most people are familiar with ceramic blades in the kitchen, I think. The problem with using such blades in combat is that they are usually more brittle than metal blades and might break. Even metal blades can break in combat, of...