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Old December 25th 01, 10:02   #21
Bab5nutz
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

LOTR wasn't an entirely original story either. Tolkien, a philogist, was a specialist in languages, and had a profound knowledge of myths, legends and folklore. The tradition of the Quest tale is an anciet one, going back to Greek times, probably even before that Tolkien used these myths and legends, and his knowledge of Anglo-Saxon folklore to create Middle Earth and it's inhabitants.
That said, LOTR would not exist without Tolkien. The material might have been there, but it takes someone of talent to turn that raw material into something special. And that is what Tolkien did, and the fantasy genre, and literature owe him a huge debt.
Shakespeare was not an original writer either. All the sources from his plays came from classic writers such as Seneca, Platus, folklore - and other plays. There was no copyright as we know it bac in Elizabethan times, and it was quite acceptable for someone to take a play written by someone else, and reshape to your own ideas. And Shakespeare certainly got ideas from at least one other contemporory playwright, such as Christopher Marlowe. Certainly, Shakespeare'w tragedies, especially the early ones were strongly influenced by Marlowe. Anyone ever read or see Titus Andronicus? It is gruesome! Most of the modern splatter movies don't even come close to it in gore! I think that it was Shakespeare's attempt to out-Marlowe Marlowe.
However, Shakespeare soon moved beyond merely copying Marlowe, and started adding his own touch to his plays. King Lear is almost as gruesome as Titus, but thanks to strong characterisation, and the awareness of the horrors in that play, it has survived as a classic, while Titus is mostly regarded as one of Shakespeare's early plays.
And while we're at it, let's consider other possible influences on JMS. Some of them have been said before, but here goes.
Dune
Greek Myths and Legends Ie, Oydessy, Iliad, and the AaenidJason and the Argonauts, definitely a quest tale.
Charles Dickens - there are at least three references to Dickens in the B5 eps. especially a Christmas Carol.
Gilbert and Sullivan. G'Kar's Fishy song, and the song that Marcus sings as he and Franklin head for Mars.
Shakespeare. LOndo and to a lesser extent, G'Kar could be called tragic characters. Macbeth. Macbeth gains a crown and a kingdom, but because of the way he acquires them, can never rest easy, and like Londo, he is haunted by his conscience.
Lovecraft, and his concept of the Great Elder Gods.
JMS mighthave been influenced by these sources - as have countless other writers, composers, and artists down the ages. It is not so much whether something is original that matters, but how the finished product is.

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Old December 25th 01, 13:28   #22
MartinRoth
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ivanova:
Ohh, do you still have the material that proved how B5 was like the Dick Van Dyke Show? I would love to read that.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, a quick Google search comes up with:

B5/Dick Van Dyke

(Actually, there's a lot more to this post than I had recalled. The Dick Van Dyke stuff doesn't start until a few paragraphs in.)

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Old December 25th 01, 14:27   #23
Joseph DeMartino
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Lovecraft, and his concept of the Great Elder Gods.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which was specifically what JMS had in mind when writing Thirdspace, which he has described as a Lovecraft story set in the B5 universe, and which may inform his approach to "The Hand" in Rangers.

Regards,

Joe

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Old December 26th 01, 00:25   #24
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

Wow,

Thanks for the trivia . I am not familiar with 'Lovecraft.' How would that be a base for what Thirdspace was for him, or a starting point?

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Old December 26th 01, 03:03   #25
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> I am not familiar with 'Lovecraft.' How would that be a base for what Thirdspace was for him, or a starting point? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

For many Horror fans, Lovecraft holds a postion similar to Tolkein's in the Fantasy genre.
Lovecraft specialized in the sort of horror that featured "Elder Gods" and/or Demons.
In fact, it was usually difficult to tell the difference between a God and a Demon in Lovecraft's stories.

Also, as might be expected, when the character goes up against a God, he usually loses.
Sometimes, the main characters even Deserved to lose to a demon.



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Old December 29th 01, 06:37   #26
CorwinArgentus
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

You're all missing it big time...

LotR -

Lord of the Rings

Legend of the Rangers

And it's coming out so soon after the first movie of the Tolkien trilogy.

It's all OBVIOUSLY a big CoNsPiRaCy!

Please, you people accusing JMS of being Derivative of Tolkien. You can't have seriously studied even the surface of the major story arcs in B5.

You have to stretch and squeeze so much to shoehorn B5 into Tolkien or vice-versa, that no rational person should buy into the supposed link.

Please enjoy both pieces for what they are - Unique, beautiful works of art that are satisfying to experience because they touch the heart on levels that speak of the nobility of simply doing the right thing when one has to.

The theme is a universal one, but the stories and characters are so different the only possible links are a few references (intentional in a couple cases, coincidental in others I'm sure). The intentional ones may be a passing nod to Tolkien that JMS put in for fun, but if you were JMS, wouldn't you want your work to stand on its own merits?

Tolkien had the same problem in his day. Many claimed that his works were allegorical and that Mordor and the dark lord Sauron represented the industrial revolution or the horrors of war that Great Britain was involved in. Tolkien wrote directly in answer to the assertions that this was not the case.

Likewise, JMS has specifically said 'tain't so.

It's possible to take the Bible, and by using verses out of context, support just about any belief system, no matter how off the wall. You have to read in meanings and symbolisms that don't exist. This is called "spiritualizing" scripture, and is not a good forensic or hermeneutical practice for the serious Bible student.

This rabid desire to see something that isn't there causes people to grab at fleeting references, taking them out of context, and saying, "See! It's in there!"

Don't "spiritualize" Tolkien or B5. Just enjoy 'em!

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Old December 29th 01, 07:20   #27
En'til'zha
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>
Tolkien had the same problem in his day. Many claimed that his works were allegorical and that Mordor and the dark lord Sauron represented the industrial revolution or the horrors of war that Great Britain was involved in. Tolkien wrote directly in answer to the assertions that this was not the case.

Likewise, JMS has specifically said 'tain't so.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Babylon 5 actually has a lot of meaning which was intentionally put there.

As for B5 being a rip off of Lotr, I'm amazed that this thread has lasted so long, it obviously is nothing like it bar a few similar names which may or may not be intentional. Even with the names that are intentional this doesn't mean anything, Bester is named after an author, Sheridan after an American civil war hero. It just adds a nice touch to anyone who notices.

There are two names that do bother me though. The ships the Icarus and the Marie Celest. Who on Earth would give ships such names?!

As for the Marcus/Aragorn, the two characters are worlds apart with the exception of long hair and beards.

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Old December 29th 01, 09:42   #28
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by En'til'zha:
There are two names that do bother me though. The ships the Icarus and the Marie Celest. Who on Earth would give ships such names?!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

People who pick out names that sound "cool", paying no attention to what the names actually represent.

Like the people a few years back who named their new telecommunications company "Shiva".Not a god I'd want to be invoking...


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Old December 29th 01, 14:05   #29
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

That kind of thing happens all the time. One famous case was the Chevy Nova. GM thought it would be a good car to market in Latin America. No one there realized that no va in Spanish means doesn't go.

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Old December 29th 01, 20:07   #30
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Re: Lord of the Rings?

All you need to know about people who say B5 is a rip off of LotR is that one piece of evidence used was that Agamemnon is similar to an elvish word.

I'll give you a second for that to sink in.

They said Agamemnon resembled an elvish word proving it an idea ripped off from LotR.

If it wasn't for my horse...


I don't know, I think naming a ship after the Marie Celeste would be funny. Maybe they could have called it the Bounty instead.

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