Discussing The Hobbit

Discussion of The Hobbit: a good place for Tolkien beginners to start
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Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:24 pm

Merry, do you remember the solution to that problem that I envisioned in the Group Story? Remember Kemendur and his underground gardens?
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Merry
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Post by Merry » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:28 pm

You know, I had to stop reading the group story because, at the time, I was swamped with other things. But it sounds fascinating! Do you want to reproduce it here? I'd like that and it might be good for our artists in their attempts to visualize the scenes.
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.

Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:51 am

As you wish, Merry. Here it is:
After parting with Pansi, Joren, and Dominolon on the training grounds, Fëandra wanted to visit Master Kemendur’s magnificent gardens to see the many improvements the gifted horticulturist had implemented during the years of her absence, and to show Elrohir the beautiful koi pond that had been one of her favorite places within the perimeter of the fortress. Once they stepped into the gardener’s magical domain, it seemed to Elrohir that the years fell away from Fëandra as she darted from place to place in Kemendur’s lush paradise, exclaiming with almost childlike enthusiasm over the beautiful and unusual new specimens the Master had acquired and reveling in the bounty of flowers of all shapes and sizes and colors, the aromatic fragrance of the large herb garden, and the profusion of fruits and vegetables of every description.

As always, the juxtaposition of Fëandra’s imposing physique and warrior’s ferocity with her whole-hearted appreciation for the beauties of the natural world and the astonishing gentleness that lit her from within delighted and amazed her husband. While Elrohir reveled in Fëandra’s strength and boldness, what thrilled him even more was the unexpected tenderness she could evoke from his heart, which he had long thought completely hardened to love. Watching her unabashed pleasure in the beauty of the gardens was every bit as electrifying to his senses as watching her prowess in battle.

Suddenly, Fëandra dashed up to take the dark-haired warrior’s hand and pull him eagerly toward the back corner of the garden, where the koi pond was sheltered by a tall stand of ferns and rare succulents. She completely ignored the little bench that had been provided for visitors and sank to her knees at the edge of the pond, closing her eyes and gently touching the surface of the water with her fingers. Almost immediately, the exotic ornamental fish with their magnificent lacy fins swam to the surface to flit beneath her fingers like giant aquatic butterflies, and Elrohir drew in his breath at the beauty and endless variety of colors and patterns on display.

Fëandra was surprised to see the wonder on his face and asked, “Have you never visited the pond on one of your journeys to the Woodland Realm?” He grinned and replied, “Oh, yes, many times. But ordinarily the fish are very shy, unless you happen by at the time Master Kemendur feeds them, and even then they will only flit to the surface long enough to snap at a bit of food and then disappear back under the lily pads. You will have to bring Madë and Lindariel and Joren here to see this, my love. They will be entranced . . . as I am.”
I do note that I never really went into HOW all of this would work "underground," but here's what I had in mind for Kemendur's gardens. I imagined an upper level to Thranduil's caverns that included a section partially exposed to air and light, but protected all about by sheer cliffs and only accessible from within the cavern fortress. Here, Master Kemendur was able to establish his magnificent gardens, glass houses, raised beds, horticultural experiments, hanging planters, etc., and, of course, the koi pond. There are other portions of the cavern that enjoy significant natural light through a series of sheer shafts. All of these areas are carefully exploited to their maximum capacity for supporting vegetation.

In addition, I have imagined that Thranduil's people also maintain gardens external to the fortress that have to be abandoned from time to time because of orc and spider incursions, and that they also are expert hunter/gatherers, availing themselves of the natural foodstuffs provided by the forest -- nuts, berries, mushrooms, etc. They don't stay locked up in the cavern fortress all the time, but it is no longer safe to live in their beloved trees.

Does that suffice?
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“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.”

Merry
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Post by Merry » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:52 pm

Ha! I enjoyed that, Lindariel--thanks! It sort of reminds me of going through one of those agricultural exhibits at Epcot Center. :wink: The issue, of course, would be natural light, and your fertile imagination has supplied enough of that.

I suppose I've always assumed that these elves got what they required to eat from hunting/gathering and from trade. We know, at least, that this is how they got their wine.
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.

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Post by Iolanthe » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:02 pm

There are extensive descriptions of the magnificence of Menegroth, though I can't remember off hand whether they are in the Sil, in the Lay of Lethian or in both. But they were mysteriously lit by thousands of glittering crystals and were sumptious, though I can't imagine Thrandruil's caves living up to that!

I've always thought that the elves in caves thing was wierd too, and I have a very dim memory that Christopher Tolkien has something to say on it in The History of Middle-earth. If only I could remember what and where! I feel some digging coming on..... :lol:
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Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:33 pm

Glad you liked it, Merry! Thranduil has always impressed me as an extremely resourceful fellow. When faced with the necessity of moving his people underground for their protection, I would think he would want to find a cave that not only had a good water source, but also an opportunity for them to continue raising their own food during siege-times when it would be impossible to garden or gather outside the fortress. Hence, Master Kemendur's "underground" gardens and the deep shafts to bring in as much natural light as possible.
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“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.”

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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Merry » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:40 am

Seems like I'm always copying something from TOR.n here, but this was too fun to pass up:

http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelnoer/201 ... gon-worth/
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.

Lindariel
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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Lindariel » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:32 am

Oh Merry, you MUST post this over in The Hobbit thread at Viggo-Works as well! This is WONDERFULLY funny!!!
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“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.”

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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Philipa » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:11 pm

I particularly thought he was wise to consult the Advanced Dungeon and Dragons site. lol
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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Merry » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:33 pm

TOR.n reports that some columnist I've never heard of is claiming that women don't like The Hobbit. I remember discussing this around the LOTR movies, which everyone assumed would appeal only to young men and it was marketed as such. We do have to admit, though, that The Hobbit is even less romantic than LOTR. So are women interested only in romance?

I have loved movies that have no romance but some great men!
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.

Riv Res
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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Riv Res » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:43 am

Here we go again. :wink:

How could they have ever discounted Aragorn's effect on women? :lol:

Who knows what new handsome character will surface in The Hobbit. :wink: :wink:

Merry
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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Merry » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:15 pm

As I've said before, I hope there will be many!

Even so, there is no romance, in the modern sense of the word, in the book. I guess that's why there is all this speculation about this Irish girl and whom she will play. But there is romance in the traditional sense of the word: adventure and honor and quest. I love this kind of stuff, even if there is no love story. Am I the only one, or are there many women like me, or even a few?
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.

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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by marbretherese » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:19 pm

Merry wrote: Am I the only one, or are there many women like me, or even a few?
Merry, you're not alone! I love a cracking good story but it doesn't have to be a romance. My favourite short novel is To Kill A Mockingbird, written from the point of view of a young girl - no romance in that, but plenty of noble ideas.

Besides, as Tolkien originally conceived The Hobbit as a children's story, romance would have been entirely out of place.

I don't like it when movie producers add in a romance to a story to make the film appeal to women. It's as though they're saying women can't appreciate a story without it. One of the reasons I love LOTR is that it's the tale of triumph over adversity. My favourite Tom Hanks movie is Apollo 13 :D . Perhaps I'm just weird . . . .
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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Merry » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:37 pm

I love 'Apollo 13'! and also To Kill a Mockingbird.

I remember learning in high school that the real meaning of 'romance' in literature had less to do with a love story and more to do with heroes and a quest. But I can't remember much more. Does anyone else know a proper definition?
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.

Riv Res
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Re: Discussing The Hobbit

Post by Riv Res » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:10 pm

I love a great adventure and a battle of wits. Master and Commander, I think, is especially well done in that respect. Therefore, I loved both of Brown's books, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code as great who-dunits ... but the movies, alas, fell short of the mark despite the efforts of Mr Hanks. Tolkien's adventure, however, top them all. :D

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