Well, I've been re-reading LOTR and have found a few bones to pick, but not
being acquainted with the history of Tolkien criticism, do not know which
have been picked long before (Troll-style).
And an inconsistency I did =not= spot is mentioned by Christopher Tolkien
early in his volume on the making of the books (History of Middle Earth, Vol.
VIII, THE WAR OF THE RING) which I purchased in a fit of madness the other
day (I say madness since I can hardly afford to buy or peruse the whole
series, or even only the parts dealing with LOTR). Gimli says at the
Hornburg that his axe has tasted nothing but wood since leaving Moria. Yet
in that interim, he and Legolas had fought and killed a good number of Orcs,
and we can be sure Legolas didn't do all the work.
One thing which struck me was the duplication of effects. Different kinds of
Orcs quarrel among themselves, to the great aid of Merry and Pippin; later,
different kinds of Orcs quarrel among themselves, to the great aid of Sam and
Frodo. The Company finds its way at a desperate moment by taking a
subterranean route through Moria; Aragorn and his company find their way at
a desperate moment by taking the subterranean Paths of the Dead. And of
course, the opportune arrival of Eagles saves the day twice at critical
points - first for Gandalf, then for Frodo and Sam. "When does the next
By the way, where do Orcs come from? The Dark Lord is so free with Orc lives
that he must have a near-inexhaustible source of new ones. Are they
"manufactured," or hatched? Where do lady Orcs (if any) live, and what would
they be like? Would a =baby= Orc be sweet and innocent? The mind quails at
imagining the love-passages of Orcs. :)
I have another question to bring up and it is a sizeable one. For another
I assume all these subjects can be further, and lovingly, pursued over
mealtables and snacks (six meals a day, if we can get them) at Mythcon.