Saturday, February 2, 2013

Continuing on with a LotR theme....

Yes, we've all thought it:

And, yes, I've heard the arguments against it:

  • "What about the Ringwraiths? They have flying mounts!"
    Sure, but there was a window of opportunity after they were flushed away at the fords that they became a non-issue. They had to make their way back to Mordor, assume new forms, and take up mounts. That would have taken time.
  • "Gandalf couldn't just summon the Eagles whenever he pleased. Gwaihir tended to intervene when it suited him."
    True. Although the films depict Gandalf summoning Gwaihir via moth (once in The Hobbit and once in The Fellowship of the Ring), the books depict Gwaihir and his fellow Eagles spotting a situation they didn't like and intervening of their own accord.  Could Gandalf have convinced him to help? Maybe.
  • "Flying to Mordor would be too far."
    True enough. After Gwaihir plucks Gandalf from the top of Orthanc, it is mentioned that he cannot carry Gandalf very far, so he takes him only as far as Edoras. But, the journey to Mordor could have been conducted in stages.
  • "The book would have been far too short then, and the characters wouldn't have had opportunity for full development."
    There we go. The real answer.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Genealogy + Tolkien = Far Too Much Time Burned

This is what happens when a genealogy enthusiast spends time reading Tolkien.

While on a binge of re-reading The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings, and The Silmarillion, not to mention finally getting around to reading The Children of Húrin and Unfinished Tales (with the first five volumes of The Histories of Middle-earth still waiting in the wings), I grew a bit weary of constantly looking up characters to remind myself of their relationships to other characters. Sure, Tolkien threw in plenty of genealogical charts, but they are segmented in such a way that masked their interrelationships. I wanted to remedy that. And, well, here is the result. (Be sure to click to Argonathenate.)
[Now updated to include Galathil, brother of Celeborn and father of Nimloth.]

I alway knew that Aragorn's ancestry was rich and complex, but I had never before noticed just how many wreaths there were in his family tree.