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  1. R

    The Orc Problem

    Personally I see frightening numbers of people and groups these days who show a good deal of Orcishness, and they show it by extreme Othering of everything that disagrees with them. Could we learn about Orcs by studying them? Actually, when I first read LOTR in my teens, back in the dark ages, I...
  2. R

    The Orc Problem

    Oh yes - I like Legolas and Gimli and their relationship, and the counting game is part of that. Also, as you point out, it's not really the counting, but the killing that is the real issue. Maybe that's why they never bothered me much. The numbers killed would have been the same whether they...
  3. R

    The Orc Problem

    What about their lives in the world? Do they have families? Do they love their mothers? Their wives? Their children? Do they bring up their children to be good Orcs, even if that means being evil? Do they reproduce in some other way? (Probably not, since Saruman can institute a breeding...
  4. R

    The Orc Problem

    Tolkien left the Orcs unfinished, in his own mind as well as in his writings. What we are left with is several concepts along the way. How would he have finished them? Who knows? Do we want anyone else to finish them? Some probably do, but some don't. The point is, we can't with any authority...
  5. R

    What are the powers of the Ring?

    One thing you forget, Flammifer: this is first and foremost Faramir's dream. It was Faramir who thought he should go find Imladris and the answer to the dream. Boromir insisted on going instead. He thought his gifts - strength and heartiness - would be better suited to it. Yes, he had the dream...
  6. R

    What are the powers of the Ring?

    Jim, I think Boromir is leery of "magic" or anything uncanny. I would guess that he trusts more in human strength and grittiness. He fits the Ring in his mind with this, seeing it as a weapon (of course) that should be used to aid Gondor's efforts against Mordor. He sees the war in those terms...
  7. R

    The Orc Problem

    Do they really value the vulgar - do they prefer what to us sounds ugly, or is it what they grow up with and learn so that other ways of talking sound uncouth to them, rather like Gollum spitting out the lembas?
  8. R

    Wise groups

    I don't understand how fanstasy fiction (not a genre I read, as a rule) can exist without readers having to use their imaginations. What's the point of fantasy if you don't get to fantasize?
  9. R

    The Orc Problem

    What the orcses were doing was the kind of thing they were doing in The Hobbit - haunting caves, bothering travellers, raiding villages - the usual stuff that thugs do.
  10. R

    Is Boromir losing faith in the Council of Elrond?

    Flammifer, where do you see that? I just reread the end of the Council and the next chapter until the Company sets out, and I don't see Boromir feeling any different than when he says "So be it." Can you quote the passage that convinces you? I see his courage and strength later on, but his doubt...
  11. R

    The Orc Problem

    The Dwarfs are not children of Iluvatar either. How would your theory deal with them?
  12. R

    The Problem with Boromir's Argument

    So you go on. Gandalf, Elrond - all these folk have taught you to say so. For themselves they may be right. These elves and half-elves and wizards, they would come to grief perhaps. Yet often I doubt if they are wise and not merely timid. True-hearted Men, they will not be corrupted. We of Minas...
  13. R

    Authorship and editors of the Red Book - re Findegil

    “Hobbits delighted in such things, if they were accurate; they liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions.” Or were the younger generations more flexible?
  14. R

    Back to episode 104

    B-b--b--but I saw it on the internet!!!! :)
  15. R

    Why does the Council of Elrond become Story Time with Gandalf?

    I don't think anyone in the room has another important meeting at 11:30. But Gandalf's purpose isn't to convey urgent news. He conveyed it to Elrond days ago, so the urgency is gone. In the Council he has another purpose. He is bringing his audience into his experience so that they can...
  16. R

    Wise groups

    I heard a lecture about Jane Austen, which looked at how she re-created the novel form by creating her world with characters who are named but never seen, who become the collected "everybody," and people who have nieces and parents and toothaches but never are part of the story. That doesn't...
  17. R

    What are the powers of the Ring?

    What Boromir knows about the Ring is what we have spent the past year of this class on. That's all he knows, other than the ancient history that Sauron had made such a Ring and it had disappeared, which apparently is part of the lore he learned in Minas Tirith. No more, no less. No specific...
  18. R

    What are the powers of the Ring?

    I love this.
  19. R

    What are the powers of the Ring?

    You know, Rob, I wonder sometimes what the authors I read over and over again (and lately also join groups to discuss in more depth) they seem to have very little in common - Tolkien, Jane Austen, George Eliot, the Brontes (mostly Charlotte), Dorothy Sayers, Dickens, Trollope, Gaskell, some...
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