POLL: Why I Love Tolkien

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Why Do I Love Tolkien? (If you had to pick just ONE reason)

His hero characters are truly heroic.
0
No votes
His heroes are honorable.
1
10%
His writing creates superb imagery.
0
No votes
He makes me want to live in Middle-earth even though there are terrors and bad characters.
3
30%
His writings are a study in ethics.
1
10%
His writings translate so well to our times.
1
10%
His stories are timeless.
0
No votes
His characters have faults, but remain endearing.
1
10%
His stories of Middle-earth are written as a long narrative history.
0
No votes
His stories are all bittersweet.
0
No votes
His creature and race creations are the most credible in narrative fiction.
1
10%
I love Elves.
0
No votes
I love Hobbits.
0
No votes
I enjoy his depictions of human frailty.
0
No votes
I am intrigued by Tolkien's concept of eucatastrophe.
0
No votes
I come back to Tolkien all the time because his poetry is magnificent.
2
20%
 
Total votes: 10

Riv Res
Manwë
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POLL: Why I Love Tolkien

Post by Riv Res » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:06 pm

Why I Love Tolkien


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We all come back to Tolkien time after time and for different reasons. Why? Here is our effort to collect your thoughts on why Tolkien continues to have such a hold on so many people. What is it about his writings that holds us captive; stays in our daily thoughts; makes us love to read his tales over and over again?

Please take time to fill out the accompanying poll and if we haven't hit the nail on the head ... please post and tell us your thoughts on our shared Tolkien obsession.

What do YOU love Tolkien?

© Images: Iolanthe/marbretherese/Riv Res


marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:42 pm

hey Riv, we're supposed to pick just one? how on earth am I going to choose? :lol: :?
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Riv Res
Manwë
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Post by Riv Res » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:17 pm

You can pick one and then post and tell us about ALL the other reasons. :wink: :lol:

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:37 pm

It was REALLLLLLY hard to pick just one reason, especially since my primary reason was missing -- Greatest and most charismatic hero figure ever created in all of literature, Aragorn, son of Arathorn.

I chose "makes me want to live in Middle-earth." I have read the entire core canon (Silmarillion, Hobbit, LOTR) all the way through at least once per year since I first discovered the books at age 15. There simply is this need in me to "live" in Middle-earth, to steep myself in this wonderful story, on a regular basis. From my point of view at least, The Professor completely succeeded in achieving his goal of creating a mythology for England. In fact, I would argue that he created a legitimate mythology for the entire Western world. In a sense, Middle-earth has very much become my distant ancestral past, and I MUST touch base with it from time to time. And it ALWAYS feels like coming home!
Last edited by Lindariel on Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lindariel Image

“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:41 pm

OK, I picked "his characters have faults but are still endearing" because it was Tolkien's characters that first drew me in to LOTR. Not all Tolkien's charcters are endearing of course - but I do find them convincing. Given that his cast of characters includes elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs, and goodness-knows-what, I reckon it's no mean feat to draw the reader in so thoroughly. And one of the reasons they are so convincing is that so many of them do have faults, make mistakes, and learn and grow from them, mostly. Apart from Turin, of course :D . But he's beautifully depicted as somebody who's their own worst enemy.

If I could have voted for more than one I would have picked everything in the list up to and including this category. Tolkien's imagery is superb - he's given me so much inspiration to paint - I thrilled to the heroism and ethics in LOTR when I first read it.

But I could only pick one :wink:
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:10 pm

I still haven't been able to pick :lol: . I love him because there is a great truth at the heart of everything he writes - like a great, big, shining light. And because he understands what it really means to have and to be a friend.
And... and.... and....

I would, of course, have gone for the 'I love Orcs' option if I could :twisted: :P .
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:15 pm

I, too, could have checked every item in the poll, and I probably would have checked different prime reasons at different times in the 45 years since I first read LOTR. When I was ten years old, it was probably love for Aragorn, not as a romantic figure, but as a hero and King. (I think we all want to love our Kings--it's something deep down in human nature--which makes life difficult for our real, very flawed political leaders!)

But today I'm very interested in the moral lessons in the story as embodied in the heroes. Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Aragorn, Faramir: following their leads, one could lead a very fine ethical life. Maybe this is because, as Lindariel wrote above, LOTR is the distilled collective wisdom of Western culture. Maybe it's even wider: it could be that it is the distilled collective wisdom of humanity! (I'd love to know how Eastern cultures read LOTR--but that's another thread!)
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:57 pm

I'm still undecided, but I'm leaning towards 'His writing creates superb imagery'. This barely covers why I love Tolkien, but no other writer that I have EVER read has filled my head with so many people and places that are so real I keep forgetting they don't exist. Saying they don't exist is almost like sacrilege. There HAS to be an Aragorn, doesn't there? And how can there not be Hobbits? I believe in the Shire!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merri
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Post by Merri » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:07 am

The poetry of his words comes to mind throughout my day. Somehow they manage to spin a web inside my head and make me feel as if they are tangible, even when they are not.

I will often have a line or two rumbling around in the back of my head for days, sometimes even using it as a mantra when I meditate. There is a truth and integrity about his writing, as well as imagination and heart.

hope
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Post by hope » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:42 pm

I too would live in Middle Earth :D

The Sil invokes in me a belief that the Valar exist, that there is a place for men etc even though my Christian beliefs have been shaken on many occasions over the past decades.

My heart desires that :
good will defeat evil , that humility and respect for all will occur, that true love and sacrifice are real and that all will be revealed at the end of the world.

How I wish Middle Earth was real!! :)
What have I got in my pocket?

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:02 am

Beautifully expressed, hope. I actually believe the heart of all those things are true. The Professor really does awaken all those beliefs.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Post by Iolanthe » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:15 pm

I'll second that. I think both Merri and Hope express the essence of it for me. Merri - I think that a lot of Tolkien would make a very good Mantra, I'm not surprised that you use his words sometimes!

We have a thread for favourite LotR phrases in our Lord of the Rings forum, that you might enjoy adding to!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:23 pm

I chose "His creature and race creations are the most credible in narrative fiction." because many of what the other choices that were posed depend on it. If the characters and creatures weren't credible you wouldn't have the passion to live in middle-earth. The faults and troubles of the players wouldn't seem real if he writing didn't bring them to life.

For me it's the whole experience of losing myself in someone elses world. Of finding myself in deep dark Moria or basking in the fading glory of Cerin Amroth or even feeling the fear in the White City.
Iolanthe wrote:I love him because there is a great truth at the heart of everything he writes - like a great, big, shining light. And because he understands what it really means to have and to be a friend.
So true, so true....
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Merri
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Location: In my pajamas writing!

Post by Merri » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:05 pm

I definitely need to visit that thread and add some of my favorites, as well as read the ones posted. It's always fascinating to see which passages speak to people and why. Thanks, Iolanthe.
"It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit."
— J.R.R. Tolkien

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:15 pm

We'll really enjoy reading them, Merri :D .

I still haven't voted. My mouse keeps hovering between the power of the poetry of his writing, and his suberb imagery. I just can't get it to click.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

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