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Topic: More of an intermediate that a beginner

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 15
Date: Oct 13, 2011
More of an intermediate that a beginner


I'm not really a beginner, but nowhere near the knowledge some have acquired. Aside from the primary texts, what is the best way to increase one's knowledge of Tolkien?

I find that with each reading of LOTR and The Silmarillion, and to a lesser extent, The Hobbit, I discover some new meaning, or pathway to interpreting the work, that I hadn't before. While this keeps me coming back, I find that it also makes me somewhat unfocused -- maybe not a bad thing. But the layers of meaning I find are what make Tolkien so thrilling to me -- his world seems to have endless meaning. I'm curious about others experience in this regard.

Rick Nagy
Tower Guard of Minas Tirith - Rank 4
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Posts: 377
Date: Oct 13, 2011
Welcome Btownhobbit! Its good to have you here. I'd say joining this site is a good step in learning more Tolkien lore with the great minds around, though I don't include myself it that note. I enjoy the Unfinished Tales. It is very informative and easy to read.

But no wizardry nor spell, neither fang nor venom,nor devil's art nor beast-strength, could overthrow Huan of Valinor;
Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 1109
Date: Oct 13, 2011
That's right btownhobbit-each time the books are read you pick up new meanings and more details that you missed before, particularly with regards to The Silmarillion.

You want it for Yourself!
Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 395
Date: Oct 16, 2011
Well met, Btownhobbit! I agree that in the first few reads of any of Tolkien's books, one could find themselves a bit "unfocused" or even, in my case, overwhelmed by the diversity and depth of his work. I also believe that as we, the readers, evolve through our lives our points of view change and the lessons we take from the text are different depending on our individual circumstance. It's almost like reading a new book each time. I hope you find yourself feeling at home on this site. I know I did. The depth of knowledge and the willingness to help those of us less "learned" is staggering, even now, to me. I will be looking forward to more of your threads! If you need anything just PM me.

The winds of heaven do not blow gentle.
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Oct 17, 2011



I think you may meet a few of your old friends here. And I'm sure if you choose some new friends too.

I have found them to be kind and patient as well as imbued with an enthusiasm for everything Tolkien.  Love of Tolkien is the binder ... respect, kindness, friendship, knowledge, and understanding are the fruits.

We have been very fortunate in attracting some knowledge folks who, after joining The Tolkien Forums, are more than willing to share their ideas and energy.
I know I have learned from these folks and hope to learn more.
Not only are the works explored but also the process of the work as well as personal insights of Tolkien and his life.


As for your question; "Aside from the primary texts, what is the best way to increase one's knowledge of Tolkien?"
I have found a few ways on the Forums that have helped me.


1) Two threads that have helped  Middle-earth from A to Z Fifth Edition and the
Quote Game. These are mini games which welcome participation at all levels and prompt learning directly from Tolkien's works.  There are also several "Trivia" mini-games that are topic specific.


2) Discussion threads in which opinions and individual research has led to increased knowledge such as; Does Gandalf have foresight?  or  what happened to Shadowfax? These are wonderful discussions in which Forum members share both their knowledge and opinions backed up with facts from the texts, letters, and scholarly publications.


3) Threads that are strictly opinions and insights from our members. These are usually thought provoking and sometimes strike a chord that takes us into the different levels of Tolkien's works. Archetypal, sociological, psychological, and even the meta-physical levels are sometimes involved. For example;Perception of characters changing as we change or What would you bring from Tolkien's world into ours? 


4) One more type of thread is present that I have found does go a long way in terms of building cohesion and intimacy among Forum members ... sort of a way to acknowledge each other and incourage friendly interaction on the whole Forums ... one is called Person above you


These threads and so many more have captured the interst of many ... threads from years ago are re-activated and become current topics with lots of members participation.  There is room for creativity and humor.  There is room for passion and reflection.

But most of all it is the fun and the learning more and more about Tolkien's works and worlds that makes this worth it!


So again, "Welcome!"

I am only a member here but if I can help in any way please don't hesitate to ask; through thread, chat-box, or PM (private message).

Bear an Elf-Friend






Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

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