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The Mad Hatter

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Most folks skip the songs the first time through - though there's quite a few hidden jokes there - Tolkien layered the book with inside references that only an Oxford scholar would find funny

When I was 9/10 years old my mom read The Hobbit and LotR to me before bedtime. That included the songs/poems. Don't remember how I felt about them then. Then I first read the books myself, I also read them. Now I must admit, I skip them every time.
 

David Johansen

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I think I saw Willow more times and dragged more people to it, but it'd be pretty close and Willow came out when I was young and single. Dragging my wife and kids weights the score a bit.

I suppose if I wanted to troll people a bit I'd assert that Willow is the better Lord of the Rings movie...
 

Sosthenes

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Yeah, the turn of the century went quite well. Matrix '99, D&D movie '00, LotR '01...
 

Brock Savage

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Howard is the more naturally talented plotter but also benefits from the shorter forms he wrote in. His one novel, Hour of the Dragon, I found too picturesque and rambling for instance. Whereas his long stories like 'Red Nails,' 'Vultures of Whapeton' and 'Queen of the Black Coast' are among his best.
Dude, Howard is the better storyteller. It isn't even close. I've read all of Tolkien including The Silmarillion and it can be a slog at times. Howard's tight, punchy prose hits like a bullet to the head. Don't get me wrong, Tolkien's written some gems but you gotta sift for it like you're panning for gold.
 
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Voros

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Willow is pretty good, but its no Fellowship. Despite a perhaps career performance by Val Kilmer.

Kilmer's best performance imo is as the pathetic John Holmes in Wonderland. An underrated movie with an excellent performance by Lisa Kudrow, who I think has proven to have the most substanial career (artistically) post-Friends.


Kilmer's performance as Morrison in The Doors and in the Salton Sea are also top notch I think.

I do need to revisit Willow, saw it a number of times as a kid although it never became a sentimental favourite.
 

Fenris-77

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Kilmer's best performance imo is as the pathetic John Holmes in Wonderland. An underrated movie with an excellent performance by Lisa Kudrow, who I think has proven to have the most substanial career (artistically) post-Friends.


Kilmer's performance as Morrison in The Doors and in the Salton Sea are also top notch I think.

I do need to revisit Willow, saw it a number of times as a kid although it never became a sentimental favourite.
I was kind of kidding about Kilmers performance.
 

Séadna

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From my understanding Tom was there before the Valar even showed up in Middle-earth?
What he actually is is purposefully left ambiguous but he was present from the creation of the physical world.

I usually like to think about him as the embodiment of the Music of the Ainur. Just because of how closely linked to song and music he comes across in his appearance, more so than exactly nature itself, how he causes others to sing without knowing it etc and how it's quite difficult to line him up with any of the known types of being. This is just a way to think about him though, there's no true answer.

Dude, Howard is the better storyteller. It isn't even close. I've read all of Tolkien including The Silmarillion and it can be a slog at times. Howard's tight, punchy prose hits like a bullet to the head. Don't get me wrong, Tolkien's written some gems but you gotta sift for it like you're panning for gold.
I actually like when Howard does Lovecraft more than Lovecraft, like at the start of "The Slithering Shadow".
 

Fenris-77

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From a letter by JJR Tolkien to Milton Waldman, 1951

I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought, and found (as an ingredient) in legends of other lands. There was Greek, and Celtic, and Romance, Germanic, Scandinavian, and Finnish (which greatly affected me); but nothing English, save impoverished chap-book stuff. Of course there was and is all the Arthurian world, but powerful as it is, it is imperfectly naturalized, associated with the soil of Britain but not with English; and does not replace what I felt to be missing. For one thing its ‘faerie’ is too lavish, and fantastical, incoherent and repetitive. For another and more important thing: it is involved in, and explicitly contains the Christian religion.

For reasons which I will not elaborate, that seems to me fatal. Myth and fairy-story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary ‘real’ world. (I am speaking, of course, of our present situation, not of ancient pagan, pre-Christian days. And I will not repeat what I tried to say in my essay, which you read.)

Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story – the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our ‘air’ (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be ‘high’, purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.

Of course, such an overweening purpose did not develop all at once. The mere stories were the thing. They arose in my mind as ‘given’ things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. An absorbing, though continually interrupted labour (especially since, even apart from the necessities of life, the mind would wing to the other pole and spend itself on the linguistics): yet always I had the sense of recording what was already ‘there’, somewhere: not of ‘inventing’.


I always liked that bit.
 

Séadna

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Actually since the thinking fox came up and if anybody finds it interesting, I'd suspect this is a linguistic thing from Tolkien. All Indo-European languages show evidence of foxes once being thought of as being sentient, with names like "the Wise One", "the Clever" and so on. The original word for Fox is lost as the word in all modern languages was originally an avoidance word so as not to summon it.
There's a few places in Lord of the Rings where Tolkien puts in known bits of Proto-Germanic or earlier culture like this.
 

Lofgeornost

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Actually since the thinking fox came up and if anybody finds it interesting, I'd suspect this is a linguistic thing from Tolkien. All Indo-European languages show evidence of foxes once being thought of as being sentient, with names like "the Wise One", "the Clever" and so on. The original word for Fox is lost as the word in all modern languages was originally an avoidance word so as not to summon it.
There's a few places in Lord of the Rings where Tolkien puts in known bits of Proto-Germanic or earlier culture like this.

Thinking foxes? Why would anybody find that weird?

More seriously, I wonder if the medieval Reynard fables may have played a role here as well.
 
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