B5TV.COM. Babylon 5 forums Babylon 5 message for the fans from Claudia Christian Babylon 5
Old October 4th 17, 22:15   #1
puzzle
Telepath
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 725
LotR (not the one :P )

Apparently, I'm going around in circles. But this time I took a detour and went off the previous track.

I'd tried reading the Lord of the Rings a while back, and it never clicked... as for the Hobbit, it's a children's book and it never clicked already way back in Soviet times (in primary school, no idea really, maybe 1987 or something)...

...but for some reason, I grew bored and tried again. And this time, it clicked. I still cannot read The Hobbit (that's what movies are for - it diverges quite far from the book apparently ) but I can read LotR and the story "works" for me... and in fact, I was able to steal the time for reading it through.

Can't say that I'm any bit wiser, but it was interesting to experience that fictional world... and to settle for myself the question of whether a certain JMS was "doing LotR with the serial numbers filed off" or not. Nope, for me he wasn't... in fact, myself subjectively... I could not "recognize" anyone from B5 except in Gandalf, and in him I could recognize many characters, so there it goes.

The movies suffered from a common problem, though... the lack of perspective into antagonist characters. Mass after mass of one-dimensional orc are boring and make me want to cover my eyes with both hands, or press the fast forward button. :P OK, Smaug the big wyrm has a personality and is talkative, but the orcs of the movies are bloody damn gapfillers. :P

In books, the going gets somewhat better, up to the point where at the end of The Two Towers, some Mordor orcs are seriously talking of taking a hike and finding a land with less nasty and demanding overlords. :P

On the other hand, I think the myths within the myth that LotR contains are a nice touch. In contrast with the orc business, these do give the world a real and inviting depth.

As for the matter of whether stuff exists in the real world that has the properties of the One Ring, I think that almost.. I think it is at least to certain extent a tale of caution, about not wearing any magic rings you find, and maybe also about not making any that you'll be forever seeking to control. But of course, everyone can read the story in their own way...


...either way it was a worthwhile detour for me. And now I'm considering whether to name one of my competition robots Eärendil and the other "ash nazg" just to troll other teams. :P

Last edited by puzzle; October 4th 17 at 22:20.
puzzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 6th 17, 04:21   #2
KoshFan
Soul Hunter
 
KoshFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: The upper left-hand corner of the US
Posts: 10,542
Re: LotR (not the one :P )

For me, having read the books many times at many points in my life, the real grandeur of the writing is in the level of investment Tolkien put in -- mapping out the position of at least four different groups of viewpoint characters not only on a X/Y plane but also in time. The real grandeur of the story is in facing despair. It is easy, reading books with tidy endings, to forget that there's the possibility of failure. But the characters don't know that and have to manage, step by step.

As for the Hobbit, you might not want to dismiss it entirely. Yes, it's a children's book -- but as the protagonist grows, so grows the story, and by the climax it's an almost-entirely different tone. (On the other hand, maybe you wouldn't like that tone either.)

B5 is definitely not LotR, but it probably helped JMS to have people think so, since it makes the Vorlons' true colors all the more nasty a surprise.
__________________
Know what you do.

The Generous Grasp
KoshFan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 6th 17, 21:46   #3
puzzle
Telepath
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 725
Re: LotR (not the one :P )

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshFan View Post
For me, having read the books many times at many points in my life, the real grandeur of the writing is in the level of investment Tolkien put in -- mapping out the position of at least four different groups of viewpoint characters not only on a X/Y plane but also in time.
Not only positions, mind you. He bothered to build an almost usable Elvish language (and broad swathes of history to accompany it)... just to support the books, and then used only tiny bits. Must have been quite a pass-time. I guess he needed a distraction and found a good one in this form.


As for the matter of how characters face overwhelming odds of failure and still continue... and what motivates them to continue... yes, I neglected it, it's a theme which pops up often in these stories.

Also, the inability of great lords (no matter whether fiery and dark or meek and medium-roasted) to retire, seems borrowed straight out of real life. Ability to figure out the time to quit... is something which seems to abandon people when power accompanies them.

Quote:
B5 is definitely not LotR, but it probably helped JMS to have people think so, since it makes the Vorlons' true colors all the more nasty a surprise.
Well, Tolkien pulled a similar one with Saruman...

...and ironically, in Saruman's persistence of attempting to rule, to rule the Shire of all things after failure of building an empire... it has mirrors in B5 but it's also a repeating pattern in history. It is often easier to regroup and battle on (sometimes for no reason, sometimes for a lost cause, sometimes for a cause that never was justified)... than to rethink and find reasons to transform...

Last edited by puzzle; October 6th 17 at 22:00.
puzzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 16:08.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
©2001 - 2008 B5TV.COM