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Topic: Perception of characters changing as we change

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Dec 23, 2009
Perception of characters changing as we change

Hump de bump

I'm now a grumpy middle aged man.

In my youth I adored th Elves for their vigour, their beuty and strength.

Now they seem a bit tiresome , always looking backwards, never at where they are or going. Aloof

Anyway, now I adore men....hmmmm as a race. The death of Boromir seems to affect me more. He done his best, not enough, he was just a man. Dragons, Goblins, Orcs, Maiar, Rings and such. He was just a man.

Do you percieve the characters that you love, differently as you march along the years ?



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Dec 23, 2009
Filli,
I am a chunk past middle age.  I'm not ancient, but my children are adults, and I'm retired.
Your question struck a note with me. 
Yes!  I look at Boromir differently now than twenty years ago.  And Théoden of Rohan carries more of my heart than before.  A lost son, lost virility, and close to losing his kingdom.
Yet, despite the burdens of age, he reaches out to save his kingdom and lend aid in what seems a hopeless quest to Gondor.
But what is really telling about the vulnerability and nobility of men comes in a few paragraphs penned by Tolkien in The Two Towers.
Trapped in Helms Deep, surrounded by the evils of Isengard, without hope, King Theoden vows to  make a valiant end.

'I fret in this prison,' said Theoden. 'If I could have set a spear in rest, riding before my men upon the field, maybe I could have felt again the joy of battle, and so ended.  But I serve little purpose here.'
'Here at least you are guarded in the strongest fastness of the Mark,' said Aragorn. 'More hope we have to defend you in the Hornburg than in Edoras, or even at Dunharrow in the mountains.'
'It is said that the Hornburg has never fallen to assault,' said Theoden; 'but now my heart is doubtful.  The world changes, and all that once was strong now proves unsure.  How shall any tower withstand such numbers and such reckless hate?  Had I known that the strength of Isengard was grown so great, maybe I should not so rashly have ridden forth to meet it, for all the arts of Gandalf.  His counsel seems not now so good as it did under the morning sun.'
'Do not judge the counsel of Gandalf, until all is over, lord,' said Aragorn.
'The end will not be long,' said the king. 'But I will not end here, taken like an old badger in a trap.  Snowmane and Hasufel and the horses of my guard are in the inner court.  When dawn comes, I will bid men sound Helm's horn, and I will ride forth.  Will you ride with me then, son of Arathorn?  Maybe we shall cleave a road, or make such an end as will be worth a song - if any be left to sing of us hereafter.'
'I will ride with you,' said Aragorn.
(The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapter VII - "Helm's Deep", pg 539)
Vulnerable by his fear and pride, but ennobled by his courage, Theoden holds much of the same qualities you ascribe to Boromir; "He done his best, not enough, he was just a man. Dragons, Goblins, Orcs, Maiar, Rings and such. He was just a man."
In the end Theoden is killed by his own steed, driven mad by the breath of the Nagul Witchking.  He done his best...but not enough...yet Gondor and Rohan survive.
In my youth these observations may have been beyond my capacity or my youthful insight.

But now..."Do you perceive the characters that you love, differently as you march along the years ?"
Yes!


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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Date: Dec 24, 2009
If the discussion centers the characters of Tolkien's being "just men" then may I say that even Elrond, Gandolf and Galadriel had to place what hoped remain in that bloodline. Frodo and Sam destroyed the ring. Aaragorn, Faramir and Boromir rallied the troops and against the odds and time and time again overcame. Then again, my perception of the characters will fall in line with the two previously stated as the glamour of youth has faded for me also. lol

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Dec 25, 2009
Nay

Nay say's I

When I close my eyes....aye.the very universe pauses.

People said to me..."you think the world spins around you....."

It does ......it really does!

When I sleep, it stops...when I wake it starts...

My heart beats, so we can all continue.

Love light and peace

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Date: Jan 4, 2010

My first loves in Tolkien's works were Gandalf and Elrond. Though Bilbo and Frodo and Sam I found fun but valiant. I came to like Boromir through the movies. I have yet the read the LOTR since then, but I am on the verge of beginning it anew, once again. Have my perspective of these characters changed since my first introduction? Perhaps. I can now appreciate the nobility of Theoden and Eomer. But for all the strife, grief, and greed men can inflict on the world and each other, I can now see how men will also do what is right especially when the hour is darkest and all seems to be lost.

And dearest Filli, if the universe revolves around you, you had best keep breathing for if you don't we are all lost. I know what country you live in, you don't want me hunting you down for a major pimpslap because you forget to wake up some morning!

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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On a similar note: does your perception of characters change when you hear what other people think of them? I remember Gollum being a subject of much discussion about this here.

Many people perceive him at first as an evil twisted runt that deserved to die. But when they delve a little deeper into this subject they often change opinion.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Jan 11, 2010
Mr. Baggins,
I have read that thread on Gollum and indeed people did revise their harsh criticism and hope (or project) that the Smeagol persona of Gollum could have been saved...but that is not the way Tolkien finished his story.  But I take your point that people's opinions changed.

If Filli will forgive this intrusion I think there is more here than just a change of opinion.
It has to do with the concept of evolution or de-evolution brought about by our own maturation.
This has so much more than just changing opinion...it has to do with each of us as individuals taking the measure of our life experience and using our personal insights measuring and then explaining our changed perspectives.

So how about it Mr.Baggins?
Has your opinions of Tolkien's work changed as you have grown older?  And if so please give us an example of how!

Out of my cave,
Bear


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Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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Date: Sep 16, 2011
I have to say, I love the entire idea behind this thread. My opinions on every matter, every character, evey event in the lord of the rings has changed over the years. I of course am young still but from pre-teens I read the books, then my ideas came alive through the motion pictures. I always thought so highly of every creature and every spell cast that I missed some of the great characters in the tale. Alas my thought strays to Boromir, always being very strong of body and weak of mind myself. I find it easy to compare myself to the man that simply could not resist. The fact that he redeemed himself if you will though dying in the prosess always brings a tear to my eye. Whether it be read in the book or watched on the movie screen. How great he was, and how far he still fell. Yet hope remains, he came back to his senses and fought with all of his heart to save his friends in their time of need. A great man he was. Yet most remember him as the one who fell. The one who tryed to take the ring. A sad tale is his. And it is on my mind often.

Omong other things my respect for both Gandalf and Aragorn grows with every page I read and read again. Their courage and steadfastness will always inspire me

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But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom,nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor;
Tom Bombadil
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Date: Sep 17, 2011
I have only been a citizen of Middle-earth for a few years. I had a copy of The Hobbit, one a Gold Sleeve a 30 year Anniversary Edition.
My dear husband, who had no clue of its value, sold it at our moving sale in 1994 for $5.00 I paid $25 for the book when I bought it. I never got to read it. But I got to Middle-earth as fast as I could. Right after the first movie. What really impacted me the most, was The Two Towers. Our car had just been busted and I had to take the bus everywhere. I went to see the TT over 100 times taking the bus great distances to get there. So I really caught on fire, and as they say, the rest is history.
My favorite is Legolas, because he is smart and witty and looks as though he just stepped out of a salon after getting his nail done and facial. I used to think that the must have been a lake of Oil of Olay in Mirkwood where he would go on a weekly basis before he went on the quest of the Ring. The other reason for Leggy, is his RL side. Did you know that Orlando Bloom fell out of either a third or fifth story window while celebrating with friends and broke nearly every bone in his body? And that was right after he graduated from Actor's Guild. He is my get up and go power. I have a SIX foot tall Legolas Standee in my living room. I also have osteoarthritis in my back and knees and degenerative Bone Disease. Every day that I look at him, I remember how he overcame tremendous odds, and how he could run through the woods and up and down hills. It gives me daily strength.
I also like Lord Elrond because like him, I am an Herbalist. Lord Elrond had a vast arsenal of herbs and other healing sources. He also had a vast library. I also like to read and study and have several large sections of my apartment filled wit book cases.

The other person for me would be Aragorn. In the beginning I really didn't understand him, but as time went by and after several dozens of times of watching the movies, and reading the books, he has become three dimensional to me.

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Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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That's an amazing story about Bloom, I have never heard it before. The things that inspire us come from every which corner of our world it would seem :)

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But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom,nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor;
Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Sep 22, 2011

Talking about evolution alongside of characters, great topic by the way...

I would say in my youth I shared a lot in common with our gentle hobbits or course (I think most of us can say the same): Caring little for the world of the Big Folk. But it was in the years before "Coming of Age" (age 33 by shire reckoning), that I began to exhibit more Boromir-ish attributes; Bold, Brash, Brave and Headstrong. In those years I seemed to place the Sword before good council and wisdom thinking those things contrite and reactive, wherein Evil would gain the higher ground over Good if nothing was done. Since then I think life has humbled me, for I too sought to obtain the Ring, (In my universe the Ring was fame. I was an aspiring actor and musician and began to act very aloof which began to take hold of me in perilous ways).

It was after a few of life's proverbial beatdowns that I began to acquiesce to wisdom as well as being less hasty, and now I find myself heeding the tale of Faramir more than his brother. He looked up to Gandalf in his youth and remembered many of his teachings and philosophies, despite Denethor's disapproval, which changed the outcome of many a thing in his work in Gondor and especially in Ithilien when he encountered the Ring bearer. My Gandalf is an Uncle of mine who never really gave up on me. A devout man of faith he seemed to cut through the BS and teach regardless of life's, sometimes, harsh realities.

These days I find myself looking ahead and using all my experiences from the past to make some sense of the future in people like my sons. I find myself brought around to Aragorn's nature; Still hale and battle-worthy but road weary and calm. I try to use a balance of wisdom and strength to govern my existence more effectively now-a-days. I read about the benefits of being Aragorn-esque in Book III of The Two Towers, The Riders of Rohan. Upon meeting with Eomer in Rohan the Three Runners use a measure of both threats and fine speech to identify themselves in a very tense situation. Had it not been for the subtle strength and wisdom of Aragorn things could have gone awry for everyone there.

I hope in the future I can count myself amongst the wise but I don't have enough XP right now. So I will have to keep my alignment, (Neutral Good) diminish, stay in the West and remain Jaidoprism7! Cheers!



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Jaidoprism7,

What a wonderful and insight filled post.

Thank you for your courage and willingness to share this very personal and thoughtful piece and for using Tolkien's world as a metaphor for your own.

I too have had a Gandalf ... lost him last year due to brain cancer. Now I try to be as "Gandalf" as I can ... more shepherd than hunter, more lion than fox.

And as I grow older I find the values of the Shire folk much more important to me and I ponder how in the world could I have embraced some attitudes and values so different.

I feel very much like Sam ... with Rosie and his little ones, and in using whatever wisdom and gifts I got from my Galadriels (and Elronds) to help others.

Jaidoprism7 I really must commend your post.



-- Edited by Bear on Friday 23rd of September 2011 10:47:48 PM

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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Sep 23, 2011
And there's the Xp I am speaking of...thank you Bear and my condolences for the loss of your Gandalf.

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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I was given the book, The Hobbit, when I was 12. The same year that the Professor died. At twelve, Frodo was important. I saw through his eyes for the most part, and men where somewhat mysterious. Some creepy, some noble. Most somewhat scary.

This discussion has me rethinking what you all are saying. Orcs were immortal, yes? And there were lots of them. Nazgul were immortal. The enemy was immortal. And the people of Gondor would indeed see themselves alone, close neighbors to the vilest of enemies. And perhaps Aragorn in the movie at the counsel was wrong in his gesture that borderlined eye-rolling and disgust when Boromir spoke. A little like Obama's reaction to Joe Biden at public functions.

As a teenage girl, frankly, Faramir was a bit of a heart-throb, and I was never one to be boy crazy. But I thought him smart, noble and sadly something of a tragic figure.

Boromir, on the other hand, was uni-dimentional. But a trait that could stand the stress. Farimer, had he become Steward, might have been a softy. Boromir would have been a good steward.

As far as the subject of men goes, isn't it an odd thing that Aragorn, though in love with Arwen, didn't ensure the line would continue? Who was he to determine that this was the end of his line? It's not just that he was growing old, but that he put his life in danger, often. If he died, that would be it. Fini. He was the only one in line to be king with no known cousins or illigitimate half-brothers.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Oct 10, 2011

Imagineer,

It struck me with three very interesting points ...

Although I have never felt for a male "heart-throb" I do have a daughter who provided me with some insight about what makes a young girl's heart flutter.

Your observations;

Faramir ~ "smart, noble and sadly something of a tragic figure... and a softy."
You are right on the money ... but I would rather fight with Faramir than Boromir any day. I think he needed that softy-side to win Lady Eowyn's heart ... and Aragorn did make him his Steward.

Boromir ~ " uni-dimentional ... would have been a good steward."
I think I would agree with you more if Tolkien had provided us with more examples of Boromir leading men.  After all he does end up playing second fiddle to Gandalf and Aragorn until he "bites the big one" defending the two hobbits. I think I need to learn more about that uni-dimentional thing. His daddy, Denethor, sure would have preferred Boromir over Faramir as Gondor's Steward!!!

Aragorn ~  "isn't it an odd thing that Aragorn, though in love with Arwen, didn't ensure the line would continue?"
Fulfilling his role to provide an heir ... would have blown the heroic nobility thing right out the window ... and presents the possibility that he may have been tripped by the amorous feelings of the beautiful Eowyn.
I like that he played it straight the whole book ... it made him more "kingly."


An interesting post!  ... nice post! ... set up some interesting comparisons and hypothesis..



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Date: Oct 13, 2011

Aragorn indeed "shows his quality"


Through Eowyn's actions in the dramatic scene where Aragorn is going to depart from King Theoden's forces to follow the Paths of the Dead, she is both looking after her country and relinquishing herself unto the Lord of the Dunadain.

She sees Aragorn's arrival at Meduseld was a deliverence from evil; One.

Two: She is a shield-maiden and a warrior at heart, as we all come to learn. She cleaves the head from a Fell-beast.

She admires Aragorn, plain and simple, although a lithe and hearty warrior. While other men in her country quail, Aragorn fights full force.

It's no wonder why she wants him as her King....


Now to address the points that Imagineer proposed:


     1. Faramir- Faramir was written as a tragic character in one way... his brother failed the test. It reminded the reader that only the King and his lineage could survive the draw of the Ring. Faramir and Boromir's lineage was of Stewards.  At that point it was about prophecy; a powerful tool in story writing. 

    Gandalf frequented Minas Tirith in Faramir's youth and that might have given him (Faramir) a measure of temperance which made him more resilient of the One Ring or more wary of its wiles. Maybe Gandalf's tutoledge in Faramir's youth made him aware of the joy within meager wants and/or desires. Therefore taking away the want for wealth and desire of conquest...and Faramir passes the test of the Ring in Ithillien...making him more Hobbit-like for in the end he only desired peace, as do we all.


2. Boromir- He would have supplanted his father in all aspects. His pride was made too apparent when he tried to wrest the Ring from Frodo. I wish I can give you a thread link where I denote the very thing we're discussing... but Boromir would have reduced a warring kingdom into a mockery. No better than the Haradrim...in time.


3. THen there's the plight of Aragorn-

     Who says he did not beget fine Sons and re-occupy all of Arthedain and other territories? In the movies we have the inkling of one Son,; a starry eyed youngster that runs across screen in Arwen's vision.  He ends up running into the arms of his father Lord Aragorn (played by Viggo) and this child looks like the embodiment of all of Numenor (Grey eyes, the whole nine...). I'd like to think that Barahir's bloodline is dominant throughout the 4th age and continues to flourish even if it has diminished.      

     But with the blood of Arwen Undomiel, I have a feeling that the fourth age was full of wonder like the first 3...

     Perhaps the other two Blue Wizards came back seeking The West and healed everything in their wake or do they dominate and control a weakened state?

     Imagineer, Orcs aren't immortal, they're expendable. They are reproduced at a high rate making them low quality fighters which just gives us the insight of a manipulating imperialist (Such as Saurons') desires to dominate without planning.

Tolkien decided to scribe the host as hasty, which always afforded the "good guys" a little grace...



-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Thursday 13th of October 2011 08:10:39 AM

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Gold seller amongst us!

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Tom Bombadil
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Okay MoS. What do you mean by "Gold Seller" amongst us?

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Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

 
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