Recent content by michael dennis

  1. M

    Future study of Tolkien's books

    I was wondering that, too. My copy of The Nature of Middle-Earth should be here tomorrow, but I haven't seen official announcement of when it will begin. I haven't been doing the current course because it didn't fit my summer schedule - but I checked the announcements section in the latest...
  2. M

    Session 5-27: Elves vs Men

    Thanks! I didn’t realize the old one was dead until I just tried to log in.
  3. M

    GoToWebinar tech help

    I'm having an issue with the iOS app on my iPad and iPhone. GoToWebinar refuses to use any of my blutooth speakers or headphones as an output. All of my other apps connect to them just fine, so I know there's no issue with the devices or headphones/speakers. Does anybody know why GoToWebinar is...
  4. M

    Session 5-17: Season 5 Frame Story

    I always get auto-links in my email for each session on the day before, but nothing came for tonight. Is it still on, and do I need to re-register to get the link?
  5. M

    We are not making a Documentary

    I've heard this brought up occasionally in the podcasts so I know that's sometimes what's happening. Maybe it's not always clear to me what 'makes the cut' for on-screen presentation because it is a lot to follow... it just feels like the project sometimes has an undercurrent of "tell them more...
  6. M

    We are not making a Documentary

    My only concern with fleshing everything out to "get buy-in" is that it can't be EVERYTHING. The best stories leave some important information unseen and unsaid, and expect the reader/audience to make some inferences. I worry sometimes that we get too in the weeds and risk losing the magic...
  7. M

    Session 5-10: Elves

    Since the Professor said he sees this season as being about worldviews more than about politics (which I think are inextricably linked, but that's another thread....) I think we need to take a higher-level view of the Elves' stories for a moment, and consider their worldview vis-a-vis men. We...
  8. M

    Ring transfers

    A couple of follow-up thoughts - I don't have the text handy to look up locations, sadly. I'm pretty sure the "Shadow of the Past" chapter isn't the only place Gandalf talks about Bilbo's gift as a singular event. Even in that chapter, when although he mentions mortals often, his statement is...
  9. M

    Ring transfers

    I've just become intrigued by the question of ring-transfers in a whole new way. It is repeatedly said that nobody ever gave up a ring of power willingly, except Bilbo. This cannot be true: 1. The One Ring, yes, this appears to be the case 2. For the nine, we might presume this to be the case...
  10. M

    For Isildur's Bane shall waken

    Reading a little more closely in the daytime, I want to take a slightly different tack. We are all discussing the concept of "agency" in two potentially flawed ways: 1. Many people seem to think it's all or nothing, with no possibility of shades in between. 2. We are failing, at times, to...
  11. M

    For Isildur's Bane shall waken

    I know this has been debated for decades. I’ll just say that the idea that the ring was actively trying isn’t original - it’s stated directly by some of the most authoritative characters in the text. The exact mechanism is unclear, because nobody could know but Sauron, but the assumption is...
  12. M

    Morgoth's Ring forum

    I don't see a forum yet for the new Mythgard Academy class on Morgoth's Ring. Am I missing it somewhere?
  13. M

    For Isildur's Bane shall waken

    Another way to say this is: Perhaps the ring has a kind of limited agency which is activated (awoken) by a person’s knowledge of its nature. It must have something to have betrayed Isildur and abandoned Gollum, both of which are attributed to the ring itself. Gandalf for one explicitly...
  14. M

    For Isildur's Bane shall waken

    I think you misunderstand me. I’m not talking about the Ring’s own agency. I’m talking about the knowledge and intent of the bearer and the agency that person brings to it. Key difference. One data point that supports my view is this: when Sauron first put on the ring, Celebrimbor and his...
  15. M

    Why does Boromir not stop in Isengard on his journey north to find Imladris?

    My printing of the Ballantine (after copyright was renewed in 1982) still has "and". I can't check my later edition as it's loaned out at the moment. We're narrowing down the dates. I bought this brand-new in about 1985/6. Is it possible that this was simply an exact reprinting of the old...