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Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

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  • David Bratman
    ... And I see the beginnings of another fallacious meme beginning to make the rounds. No, Jackson didn t just do the same thing that Tolkien did.
    Message 1 of 22 , Jan 3, 2013
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      Jason Fisher" <visualweasel@...> wrote:

      >Jackson wove together material from various sources to make his film? Hmm,
      >that technique sounds strangely familiar ... ;)p

      And I see the beginnings of another fallacious meme beginning to make the
      rounds. No, Jackson didn't just do the same thing that Tolkien did.
    • Jason Fisher
      But David, didn t you see the winky face with the tongue sticking out? :~) ... But David, didn t you see the winky face with the tongue sticking out? :~) From:
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 3, 2013
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        But David, didn't you see the winky face with the tongue sticking out? :~)


        From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:12 PM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

         
        Jason Fisher" visualweasel@...> wrote:

        >Jackson wove together material from various sources to make his film? Hmm,
        >that technique sounds strangely familiar ... ;)p

        And I see the beginnings of another fallacious meme beginning to make the
        rounds. No, Jackson didn't just do the same thing that Tolkien did.



      • Mich
        he did give the culler. from Mich. ... From: Jason Fisher To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 5:32 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc]
        Message 3 of 22 , Jan 3, 2013
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          he did give the culler. from Mich.
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 5:32 PM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

          I think that maybe a Fair Use case could be made for such a trivial point. A lawsuit over this would actually be very interesting, don't you think, Doug?


          From: Doug Kane <dougkane@...>
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 2:29 PM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

           
          Yes, the film mentions the color of the blue wizards, and the book does not.  Technically, that is beyond their reach (and I suspect it may have been one of the things that Janet referred to when she said that they ignored some of her advice).  But I seriously doubt that such a minor thing would be worth suing over.
           
          Doug

          Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 2:25 PM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

          I was just reading the article and thinking a little bit about the question of what Peter Jackson can and cannot use. Here's an excerpt:

          Similarly, while Hugo Weaving’s elf lord of Rivendell, Elrond, recognizes that one of the swords recovered from the troll cave hails back to the goblin wars and once belonged to the king of Gondolin, an Elven city that fell to darkness, he fails to mention the king’s name, Turgon, and does not add that Turgon is actually his own great-grandfather. These details come from The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales (published posthumously, in 1983 and 1984). “Elrond could have quite easily have said, ‘Hey, thanks for bringing that back, we wondered what came of that sword over the last 7,000 years,’ but he doesn’t,” Rateliff said.

          I think Peter Jackson could have said both that Turgon was the king of Gondolin and that Elrond was his great-grandson. This information is made clear in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings. In section I (i), we read that "Idril Celebrindal was the daughter of Turgon, king of the hidden city of Gondolin", with a footnote pointing back to the passage in The Hobbit where the swords from Gondolin are discussed. That seems to give Jackson permission to use the name Turgon. In the same paragraph we learn, again just from The Lord of the Rings, that Turgon -> Idril -> Eärendil. A couple of paragraphs later, we learn that Eärendil -> Elrond. So both issues are perfectly within the film rights of The Lord of the Rings, aren't they?

          On the other hand, another excerpt:

          For instance, the mysterious blue wizards, who Gandalf briefly mentions to Bilbo in the movie, are identified by name only in Unfinished Tales, hence Gandalf conveniently “forgetting their names” to spare Jackson a potential lawsuit.

          Perhaps somebody can refresh my memory, but I'm pretty sure it is never said in The Lord of the Rings that the other two wizards' color is blue. I've only seen the film once. Did Gandalf give the color, or only mention that there were two other wizards? I seem to recall he gave the color too. The number would have been okay (there are a couple references to it in The Lord of the Rings), but the color should have been a bit outside Jackson's reach.

          Best,
          Jason


          From: Doug Kane <dougkane@...>
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:10 PM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

           
          Who is this "Rateliff" character they keep quoting? Winking smile emoticon
           
           

          Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 10:58 AM
          Subject: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

           
          This just went up today, no doubt to celebrate Tolkien Day: a piece at Smithsonian.com about how Jackson wove together material from various sources to make his HOBBIT film. For those interested in such things, here's the link:

          http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Tolkien-Nerds-Guide-to-The-Hobbit--185546102.html?c=y&page=1

          --John R.

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          Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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        • John Rateliff
          ... ... Good catch, Jason; I d forgotten that paragraph naming Turgon. ... Film-Gandalf does mention that there are two wizards in addition to Saruman,
          Message 4 of 22 , Jan 3, 2013
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            On Jan 3, 2013, at 2:25 PM, Jason Fisher wrote:

            I was just reading the article and thinking a little bit about the question of what Peter Jackson can and cannot use. Here's an excerpt:

            <snip>

            I think Peter Jackson could have said both that Turgon was the king of Gondolin and that Elrond was his great-grandson. This information is made clear in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings. In section I (i), we read that "Idril Celebrindal was the daughter of Turgon, king of the hidden city of Gondolin", with a footnote pointing back to the passage in The Hobbit where the swords from Gondolin are discussed. That seems to give Jackson permission to use the name Turgon. In the same paragraph we learn, again just from The Lord of the Rings, that Turgon -> Idril -> Eärendil. A couple of paragraphs later, we learn that Eärendil -> Elrond. So both issues are perfectly within the film rights of The Lord of the Rings, aren't they?


            Good catch, Jason; I'd forgotten that paragraph naming Turgon.



            On the other hand, another excerpt:
            <snip>

            Perhaps somebody can refresh my memory, but I'm pretty sure it is never said in The Lord of the Rings that the other two wizards' color is blue. I've only seen the film once. Did Gandalf give the color, or only mention that there were two other wizards? I seem to recall he gave the color too. The number would have been okay (there are a couple references to it in The Lord of the Rings), but the color should have been a bit outside Jackson's reach.

            Film-Gandalf does mention that there are two wizards in addition to Saruman, Radagast, and himself, and that their color (colour?) is blue. That detail comes from either UNFINISHED TALES or LETTERS, not LotR or HOBBIT.

            However, I have recently become aware (via Wikipedia, Source Of All Knowledge), that there's a Games Workshop miniatures game based on LotR which is said to include the two Blue Wizards sans name. If that's true, then it establishes precedent (one of the annoying things about copyright and trademark violations is that you have to be vigilant and react as soon as they occur; delay weakens yr case against them). If the Estate didn't know about this violation, or decided it was too minor to launch a full-scale challenge against, Jackson might well decide that gave him leeway to do the same. Or so I assume; for all I know, he got permission -- just as Iron Crown did, for their ccg.

            In any case, hope you enjoyed the article.

            --John R.

          • Jason Fisher
            Thanks for the comments, John. You re probably right about the Blue Wizards. And yes, I enjoyed the article very much. Best, Jason ... Thanks for the comments,
            Message 5 of 22 , Jan 3, 2013
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              Thanks for the comments, John. You're probably right about the Blue Wizards. And yes, I enjoyed the article very much.

              Best,
              Jason


              From: John Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:10 PM
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit

               

              On Jan 3, 2013, at 2:25 PM, Jason Fisher wrote:

              I was just reading the article and thinking a little bit about the question of what Peter Jackson can and cannot use. Here's an excerpt:

              <snip>

              I think Peter Jackson could have said both that Turgon was the king of Gondolin and that Elrond was his great-grandson. This information is made clear in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings. In section I (i), we read that "Idril Celebrindal was the daughter of Turgon, king of the hidden city of Gondolin", with a footnote pointing back to the passage in The Hobbit where the swords from Gondolin are discussed. That seems to give Jackson permission to use the name Turgon. In the same paragraph we learn, again just from The Lord of the Rings, that Turgon -> Idril -> Eärendil. A couple of paragraphs later, we learn that Eärendil -> Elrond. So both issues are perfectly within the film rights of The Lord of the Rings, aren't they?


              Good catch, Jason; I'd forgotten that paragraph naming Turgon.



              On the other hand, another excerpt:
              <snip>

              Perhaps somebody can refresh my memory, but I'm pretty sure it is never said in The Lord of the Rings that the other two wizards' color is blue. I've only seen the film once. Did Gandalf give the color, or only mention that there were two other wizards? I seem to recall he gave the color too. The number would have been okay (there are a couple references to it in The Lord of the Rings), but the color should have been a bit outside Jackson's reach.

              Film-Gandalf does mention that there are two wizards in addition to Saruman, Radagast, and himself, and that their color (colour?) is blue. That detail comes from either UNFINISHED TALES or LETTERS, not LotR or HOBBIT.

              However, I have recently become aware (via Wikipedia, Source Of All Knowledge), that there's a Games Workshop miniatures game based on LotR which is said to include the two Blue Wizards sans name. If that's true, then it establishes precedent (one of the annoying things about copyright and trademark violations is that you have to be vigilant and react as soon as they occur; delay weakens yr case against them). If the Estate didn't know about this violation, or decided it was too minor to launch a full-scale challenge against, Jackson might well decide that gave him leeway to do the same. Or so I assume; for all I know, he got permission -- just as Iron Crown did, for their ccg.

              In any case, hope you enjoyed the article.

              --John R.



            • Larry Swain
              Just to confirm for Jason, having just returned from my first viewing of the film, that Gandalf does explicitly give the color. -- Larry Swain
              Message 6 of 22 , Jan 3, 2013
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                Just to confirm for Jason, having just returned from my first viewing of the film, that Gandalf does explicitly give the color.
                 
                --
                Larry Swain
                theswain@...
                 
                 
                On Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 04:25 PM, Jason Fisher wrote:
                I was just reading the article and thinking a little bit about the question of what Peter Jackson can and cannot use. Here's an excerpt:
                 
                Similarly, while Hugo Weaving’s elf lord of Rivendell, Elrond, recognizes that one of the swords recovered from the troll cave hails back to the goblin wars and once belonged to the king of Gondolin, an Elven city that fell to darkness, he fails to mention the king’s name, Turgon, and does not add that Turgon is actually his own great-grandfather. These details come from The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales (published posthumously, in 1983 and 1984). “Elrond could have quite easily have said, ‘Hey, thanks for bringing that back, we wondered what came of that sword over the last 7,000 years,’ but he doesn’t,” Rateliff said.
                 
                I think Peter Jackson could have said both that Turgon was the king of Gondolin and that Elrond was his great-grandson. This information is made clear in Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings. In section I (i), we read that "Idril Celebrindal was the daughter of Turgon, king of the hidden city of Gondolin", with a footnote pointing back to the passage in The Hobbit where the swords from Gondolin are discussed. That seems to give Jackson permission to use the name Turgon. In the same paragraph we learn, again just from The Lord of the Rings, that Turgon -> Idril -> Eärendil. A couple of paragraphs later, we learn that Eärendil -> Elrond. So both issues are perfectly within the film rights of The Lord of the Rings, aren't they?
                 
                On the other hand, another excerpt:
                 
                For instance, the mysterious blue wizards, who Gandalf briefly mentions to Bilbo in the movie, are identified by name only in Unfinished Tales, hence Gandalf conveniently “forgetting their names” to spare Jackson a potential lawsuit.
                 
                Perhaps somebody can refresh my memory, but I'm pretty sure it is never said in The Lord of the Rings that the other two wizards' color is blue. I've only seen the film once. Did Gandalf give the color, or only mention that there were two other wizards? I seem to recall he gave the color too. The number would have been okay (there are a couple references to it in The Lord of the Rings), but the color should have been a bit outside Jackson's reach.
                 
                Best,
                Jason

                From: Doug Kane <dougkane@...>

                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:10 PM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit
                 
                 
                Who is this "Rateliff" character they keep quoting? Winking smile emoticon
                 
                 
                 
                Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 10:58 AM
                Subject: [mythsoc] Smithsonian does The Hobbit
                 
                This just went up today, no doubt to celebrate Tolkien Day: a piece at Smithsonian.com about how Jackson wove together material from various sources to make his HOBBIT film. For those interested in such things, here's the link:
                http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Tolkien-Nerds-Guide-to-The-Hobbit--185546102.html?c=y&page=1
                --John R.

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              • Morgan Thomsen
                ... I ve sporadically tried to follow the Games Workshop releases, and from what I know they haven t released any Blue Wizards figurines. A Games Workshop
                Message 7 of 22 , Jan 4, 2013
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                  However, I have recently become aware (via Wikipedia, Source Of All
                  Knowledge), that there's a Games Workshop miniatures game based on LotR
                  which is said to include the two Blue Wizards sans name. If that's true,
                  then it establishes precedent (one of the annoying things about
                  copyright and trademark violations is that you have to be vigilant and
                  react as soon as they occur; delay weakens yr case against them). 


                  I've sporadically tried to follow the Games Workshop releases, and from what I know they haven't released any Blue Wizards figurines. A Games Workshop supplement, however, mentions and provides gaming statistics for two unnamed Wizards, for which they invented the names Naurandir and Sûlrandir (thus apparently avoiding legal issues).

                  Some Games Workshop fans discuss the two Wizards at the following web page: http://www.one-ring.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=20710

                  /Morgan Thomsen
                • David Bratman
                  I have a genuine question for anyone who considers him or herself a serious Tolkien fan, and who also plays these games that use Tolkien s creation and then
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jan 4, 2013
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                    I have a genuine question for anyone who considers him or herself a serious Tolkien fan, and who also plays these games that use Tolkien's creation and then add things of their own, like their own creation of names for the other two wizards:

                    How do you remember, after playing these games a lot, which names and facts came from Tolkien and which didn't? Are you always pulling out your copies of Foster's Guide to check? Or do you just not care?
                  • Alana Joli Abbott
                    ... I think there are many ways to be a fan -- serious or otherwise -- and not all of them are the same as being scholars. As a non-Tolkien example, I had a
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jan 4, 2013
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                      On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 8:19 AM, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                      I have a genuine question for anyone who considers him or herself a serious Tolkien fan, and who also plays these games that use Tolkien's creation and then add things of their own, like their own creation of names for the other two wizards:

                      How do you remember, after playing these games a lot, which names and facts came from Tolkien and which didn't? Are you always pulling out your copies of Foster's Guide to check? Or do you just not care?

                      I think there are many ways to be a fan -- serious or otherwise -- and not all of them are the same as being scholars. As a non-Tolkien example, I had a friend in college who was a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but she also embraced the spin off "Mary Russell" series by Laurie R. King, which did change some of the original ideas in Conan Doyle's series. Another friend could not take her seriously, because the "Mary Russell" books were not cannon, and thus couldn't count toward her being a Holmes fan. In the world of fandom, I think both ways of being a fan are fine -- but one (the latter) is more scholarly (as in, only including the original works and not the additional meta-text of later spin offs) than the former.

                      I think a lot of fandom has become more participatory with the works -- the rise and popularity of fanfiction being my basis for this guess -- and yes, David, I think that some fans who actively participate in the world, rather than studying it, probably don't mind getting confused about what is cannon and what is invented. I don't think that makes their love of the world (note that I say world, not works, which I think is an important distinction) any less, but I think it makes them less academic about their fandom.

                      -Alana

                      --
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                      Author of interactive novel Choice of Kung Fu http://tinyurl.com/aja-cog 
                      Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror http://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja
                      Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks

                      --
                      For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans
                    • not_thou
                      Just for general reference, this is how I heard the film-dialogue in which the blue wizards are mentioned: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - GANDALF: It is
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jan 4, 2013
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                        Just for general reference, this is how I heard the film-dialogue in which the blue wizards are mentioned:

                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                        GANDALF: It is raining, master dwarf, and it will continue to rain until the rain is done. If you wish to change the weather of the world, you should find yourself another wizard.

                        BILBO: Are there any?

                        GANDALF: What?

                        BILBO: Other wizards?

                        GANDALF: There are five of us. The greatest of our order is Saruman the White. Then there are the two blue wizards. You know, I've quite forgotten their names.

                        BILBO: And who is the fifth?

                        GANDALF: Well, that would be Radagast the Brown.

                        BILBO: Is he a great wizard or is he more like you?

                        GANDALF: I think he is a very great wizard in his own way. He is a gentle soul who prefers the company of animals to others. He keeps a watchful eye over the vast forest-lands to the east, and a good thing too, for always evil will look to find a foothold in this world.
                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                        (Corrections from more careful viewers than myself are welcome.)

                        According to one of Tolkien's letters, it was inappropriate for Saruman to mention that there are five wizards, so Gandalf probably should not be doing so here. Also, given that Frodo had never heard of Saruman at the start of (Tolkien's) THE LORD OF THE RINGS, it may be thought unlikely that Gandalf mentioned even him to Bilbo.


                        I've been wondering about this paragraph from the SMITHSONIAN article:

                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                        At one point, Jackson edges dangerously close to the fine line of intellectual rights. "The Quest of Erebor," a story contained in Unfinished Tales, retells the opening chapter of The Hobbit from Gandalf's point of view. In it, Gandalf justifies his uncanny attraction to Bilbo, a hobbit with "a love of tales" and "eagerness in his bright eyes." In the film, Gandalf chidingly asks when Bilbo became more interested in china and doilies than in adventure, mirroring those lines from Unfinished Tales. "I wonder if the Tolkien estate will sue over it," Drout said. "They are litigious."
                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                        Here are the relevant passages from UNFINISHED TALES:

                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                        He had stayed in my mind ever since, with his eagerness and his bright eyes, and his love of tales, and his questions about the wide world outside the Shire.

                        [...]

                        For Bilbo had changed, of course. At least, he was getting rather greedy and fat, and his old desires had dwindled down to a sort of private dream. Nothing could have been more dismaying than to find it actually in danger of coming true! He was altogether bewildered, and made a complete fool of himself.
                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                        This (again, from my notes), is the equivalent part of the film:

                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                        BILBO: I'll be all right. Just let me sit quietly for a moment.

                        GANDALF: You've been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me, when did doilies and your mother's dishes become so important to you? I remember a young hobbit who was always running off in search of elves and woods, who'd stay out late, come home after dark trailing mud and twigs and fireflies, a young hobbit who would have liked nothing better than to find out what was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there.
                        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                        On this point, the film seems like UNFINISHED TALES only in the very notion of retelling the story from a different point of view--which I would think is a regular feature of adaptations--and in the idea of juvenile Bilbo wanting to know about Middle-earth, which would seem a reasonable extension from THE HOBBIT itself.


                        One sharp-eyed viewer* has spotted another detail that perhaps exceeds the filmmakers' allowance, however. Apparently a line from "Errantry" can be glimpsed among Bilbo's papers in the prologue.

                        *http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=555229#555229


                        Returning to the SMITHSONIAN piece, we read that "in Tolkien's books, Mirkwood forest fell to darkness about 2,000 years before Bilbo's journey, but for dramatic effect Jackson moved those events up to present day." Never mind that "dramatic effect" doesn't really mean anything: was it for that reason or for continuity with the LOTR films that this change was made? The latter, as I recall, makes it seem as if Sauron hadn't been heard from since the Last Alliance.


                        Also in the article, John Rateliff is quoted as saying, "At heart, Jackson and his team did a careful job of scouring The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for more information about events at the time of Bilbo's journey [...] They made good use of these to flesh out events that occur off-stage in Tolkien's original book, like the meeting of the White Council."

                        I'm trying to work out what those events might be, besides the White Council, whose meeting to drive the Necromancer out of Mirkwood requires no scouring by readers of THE HOBBIT to discover, since that's stated quite plainly in the book's final chapter. (As for the idea that the filmmakers "flesh out" that meeting, they do so almost entirely with material that runs contrary to Tolkien's stories.) As far as I can recall, all the film's other additions either aren't from Tolkien or aren't things that happen in Tolkien "at the time of Bilbo's journey". Not what I would call good use of the sources.

                        -Merlin


                        --- Jason Fisher wrote:
                        > I was just reading the article and thinking
                        > a little bit about the question of what Peter
                        > Jackson can and cannot use. Here's an excerpt:
                        >
                        > "Similarly, while Hugo Weaving's elf lord of
                        > Rivendell, Elrond, recognizes that one of the
                        > swords recovered from the troll cave hails back
                        > to the goblin wars and once belonged to the king
                        > of Gondolin, an Elven city that fell to darkness,
                        > he fails to mention the king's name, Turgon ..."
                      • OLUWATOYIN ADEPOJU
                        I need to go on a quest! ... -- Compcros Comparative Cognitive Processes and Systems Exploring Every Corner of the
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jan 4, 2013
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                          I need to go on a quest!

                          On Sat, Jan 5, 2013 at 2:09 AM, not_thou <emptyD@...> wrote:
                           

                          Just for general reference, this is how I heard the film-dialogue in which the blue wizards are mentioned:

                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                          GANDALF: It is raining, master dwarf, and it will continue to rain until the rain is done. If you wish to change the weather of the world, you should find yourself another wizard.

                          BILBO: Are there any?

                          GANDALF: What?

                          BILBO: Other wizards?

                          GANDALF: There are five of us. The greatest of our order is Saruman the White. Then there are the two blue wizards. You know, I've quite forgotten their names.

                          BILBO: And who is the fifth?

                          GANDALF: Well, that would be Radagast the Brown.

                          BILBO: Is he a great wizard or is he more like you?

                          GANDALF: I think he is a very great wizard in his own way. He is a gentle soul who prefers the company of animals to others. He keeps a watchful eye over the vast forest-lands to the east, and a good thing too, for always evil will look to find a foothold in this world.
                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                          (Corrections from more careful viewers than myself are welcome.)

                          According to one of Tolkien's letters, it was inappropriate for Saruman to mention that there are five wizards, so Gandalf probably should not be doing so here. Also, given that Frodo had never heard of Saruman at the start of (Tolkien's) THE LORD OF THE RINGS, it may be thought unlikely that Gandalf mentioned even him to Bilbo.

                          I've been wondering about this paragraph from the SMITHSONIAN article:

                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                          At one point, Jackson edges dangerously close to the fine line of intellectual rights. "The Quest of Erebor," a story contained in Unfinished Tales, retells the opening chapter of The Hobbit from Gandalf's point of view. In it, Gandalf justifies his uncanny attraction to Bilbo, a hobbit with "a love of tales" and "eagerness in his bright eyes." In the film, Gandalf chidingly asks when Bilbo became more interested in china and doilies than in adventure, mirroring those lines from Unfinished Tales. "I wonder if the Tolkien estate will sue over it," Drout said. "They are litigious."
                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                          Here are the relevant passages from UNFINISHED TALES:

                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                          He had stayed in my mind ever since, with his eagerness and his bright eyes, and his love of tales, and his questions about the wide world outside the Shire.

                          [...]

                          For Bilbo had changed, of course. At least, he was getting rather greedy and fat, and his old desires had dwindled down to a sort of private dream. Nothing could have been more dismaying than to find it actually in danger of coming true! He was altogether bewildered, and made a complete fool of himself.
                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                          This (again, from my notes), is the equivalent part of the film:

                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                          BILBO: I'll be all right. Just let me sit quietly for a moment.

                          GANDALF: You've been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me, when did doilies and your mother's dishes become so important to you? I remember a young hobbit who was always running off in search of elves and woods, who'd stay out late, come home after dark trailing mud and twigs and fireflies, a young hobbit who would have liked nothing better than to find out what was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there.
                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                          On this point, the film seems like UNFINISHED TALES only in the very notion of retelling the story from a different point of view--which I would think is a regular feature of adaptations--and in the idea of juvenile Bilbo wanting to know about Middle-earth, which would seem a reasonable extension from THE HOBBIT itself.

                          One sharp-eyed viewer* has spotted another detail that perhaps exceeds the filmmakers' allowance, however. Apparently a line from "Errantry" can be glimpsed among Bilbo's papers in the prologue.

                          *http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=555229#555229

                          Returning to the SMITHSONIAN piece, we read that "in Tolkien's books, Mirkwood forest fell to darkness about 2,000 years before Bilbo's journey, but for dramatic effect Jackson moved those events up to present day." Never mind that "dramatic effect" doesn't really mean anything: was it for that reason or for continuity with the LOTR films that this change was made? The latter, as I recall, makes it seem as if Sauron hadn't been heard from since the Last Alliance.

                          Also in the article, John Rateliff is quoted as saying, "At heart, Jackson and his team did a careful job of scouring The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for more information about events at the time of Bilbo's journey [...] They made good use of these to flesh out events that occur off-stage in Tolkien's original book, like the meeting of the White Council."

                          I'm trying to work out what those events might be, besides the White Council, whose meeting to drive the Necromancer out of Mirkwood requires no scouring by readers of THE HOBBIT to discover, since that's stated quite plainly in the book's final chapter. (As for the idea that the filmmakers "flesh out" that meeting, they do so almost entirely with material that runs contrary to Tolkien's stories.) As far as I can recall, all the film's other additions either aren't from Tolkien or aren't things that happen in Tolkien "at the time of Bilbo's journey". Not what I would call good use of the sources.

                          -Merlin



                          --- Jason Fisher wrote:
                          > I was just reading the article and thinking
                          > a little bit about the question of what Peter
                          > Jackson can and cannot use. Here's an excerpt:
                          >
                          > "Similarly, while Hugo Weaving's elf lord of
                          > Rivendell, Elrond, recognizes that one of the
                          > swords recovered from the troll cave hails back
                          > to the goblin wars and once belonged to the king
                          > of Gondolin, an Elven city that fell to darkness,
                          > he fails to mention the king's name, Turgon ..."




                          --
                          Compcros
                          Comparative Cognitive Processes and Systems
                          "Exploring Every Corner of the Cosmos in Search of Knowledge"


                        • Tony Zbaraschuk
                          ... Well, if you ve steeped yourself deeply enough in Tolkien, it s usually pretty easy to remember where you read something, and what s canonical Tolkien (who
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jan 4, 2013
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                            On Fri, Jan 04, 2013 at 05:19:51AM -0800, David Bratman wrote:
                            > I have a genuine question for anyone who considers him or herself a
                            > serious Tolkien fan, and who also plays these games that use
                            > Tolkien's creation and then add things of their own, like their own
                            > creation of names for the other two wizards:
                            >
                            > How do you remember, after playing these games a lot, which names
                            > and facts came from Tolkien and which didn't? Are you always
                            > pulling out your copies of Foster's Guide to check? Or do you just
                            > not care?

                            Well, if you've steeped yourself deeply enough in Tolkien, it's
                            usually pretty easy to remember where you read something, and
                            what's canonical Tolkien (who was Frodo's mother?), uncanonical
                            Tolkien (what was Celeborn's ancestry?), game-source-Tolkien (how did
                            ICE's supplements describe the Sammath Naur), and fan-Tolkien
                            from other authors (say, Marion Zimmer Bradley's account of
                            how Morgul weapons worked) or scholar-Tolkien (say, Karen Wynn
                            Fonstad's _Atlas of Middle-earth_ and its depiction of areas
                            east of Rhun or south of Harad).

                            If I were running a game set in Middle-earth, I might use any or
                            all of these; if I were writing an article for Mythlore, I'd take
                            some care to distinguish my sources; if someone quoted an ICE
                            supplement on this mailing list as if it were Tolkienian, I'd
                            wince very hard.


                            Tony Z

                            --
                            A picture is worth a thousand words.
                            A map is worth a thousand pictures.
                          • John Rateliff
                            ... For my part, when playing games I m v. much aware of where specific details from source material come from (e.g., in CALL OF CTHULHU I know just which
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jan 4, 2013
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                              On Jan 4, 2013, at 5:19 AM, David Bratman wrote:
                              I have a genuine question for anyone who considers him or herself a serious Tolkien fan, and who also plays these games that use Tolkien's creation and then add things of their own, like their own creation of names for the other two wizards:

                              How do you remember, after playing these games a lot, which names and facts came from Tolkien and which didn't?  Are you always pulling out your copies of Foster's Guide to check?  Or do you just not care?

                              For my part, when playing games I'm v. much aware of where specific details from source material come from (e.g., in CALL OF CTHULHU I know just which monsters derive from Clark Ashton Smith), and also of departures therefrom. But then sources and the creative uses to which they're put is something I'm specially interested in. Also, I've never played a Tolkien-themed game regularly; I much prefer D&D, which is derived from Tolkien but not Tolkienian in mood or flavor. But even there any parts which depart from their Tolkienian roots (like TSR/WotC's misspelling mithril) irk. 

                              --John R.
                            • lord_of_the_teleri
                              Well, having read a book like The Lord of the Rings many more times than I care to remember ;) I still have to look up a few things from time to time. If any
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jan 5, 2013
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                                Well, having read a book like "The Lord of the Rings" many more times than I care to remember ;) I still have to look up a few things from time to time. If any game (and I distinctly remember some of the outstanding work ICE has done on the role-playing games with their background work) is any good they will stay close to the source but be creative at the same time. It is a very non-academic term but getting the 'atmosphere' right would be most essential - if done right digressions are in order.

                                With the ever-growing number of games (and more are to come, obviously) this will probably become ever more difficult. One of my plans for the next few months is to offer one or two services via social media offering quotes and statements from Tolkien-related search with a full bibliography included - the number of quotes,e.g., attributed to Tolkien by now has reached Shakespearian heights.

                                I am with Tony Zbaraschuk on his differentiation but have to say I am very much impressed if he can distinguish flawlessly between all sources :) Do give it a try at World of Warcraft and see what is Tolkien and what not.

                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman wrote:
                                >
                                > I have a genuine question for anyone who considers him or herself a serious Tolkien fan, and who also plays these games that use Tolkien's creation and then add things of their own, like their own creation of names for the other two wizards:
                                >
                                > How do you remember, after playing these games a lot, which names and facts came from Tolkien and which didn't? Are you always pulling out your copies of Foster's Guide to check? Or do you just not care?
                                >

                                Best wishes,


                                Marcel R. Aubron-Bülles

                                marcel@... : www.thetolkienist.com

                                Founding chairman German TS; Co-Founder of Ring*Con;
                                Co-Admin to the International Tolkien Fellowship.
                              • Troels Forchhammer
                                ... I have been playing Turbine s Lord of the Rings On-line , LOTRO for a bit, and find the experience so fundamentally different from the reading of
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jan 6, 2013
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                                  On 4 January 2013 14:19, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                                  I have a genuine question for anyone who considers him or herself a serious Tolkien fan, and who also plays these games that use Tolkien's creation and then add things of their own, like their own creation of names for the other two wizards:

                                  How do you remember, after playing these games a lot, which names and facts came from Tolkien and which didn't?  Are you always pulling out your copies of Foster's Guide to check?  Or do you just not care?


                                  I have been playing Turbine's "Lord of the Rings On-line", LOTRO for a bit, and find the experience so fundamentally different from the reading of Tolkien's book that I have never had any problems keeping the two separate. In the game I control the narrative through the character, I play (in LOTRO these can not be characters from Tolkien's stories), and that creates a very different way to relation to the narrative. I talked with other LOTRO players at The Return of the Ring this summer, and none of them seemed to have any problems separating Tolkien's world from the game world (even though some of them play more often than I). 

                                  In my experience, a film version can be more difficult to separate, if only because there is the same basic narrative structure and the same relation to the narrative: as with a book, the audience to a film are fairly passive recipients of the narrative (actually I think it could be argued that the reader of a book is more active through the use of their imagination to visualise the scenes, whereas the audience to a film are expected to do nothing on their own). 

                                  -- 
                                  Troels Forchhammer

                                      Love while you've got
                                          love to give.
                                      Live while you've got
                                          life to live.
                                   - Piet Hein, /Memento Vivere/
                                • Tony Zbaraschuk
                                  ... Oh, there are lots of changes, and lots of reactions, in the field. Orc in particular seems to have undergone a shift from Tolkien s low-class brute to
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jan 6, 2013
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                                    On Sat, Jan 05, 2013 at 02:28:59PM -0000, lord_of_the_teleri wrote:
                                    > I am with Tony Zbaraschuk on his differentiation but have to say I
                                    > am very much impressed if he can distinguish flawlessly between all
                                    > sources :) Do give it a try at World of Warcraft and see what is
                                    > Tolkien and what not.

                                    Oh, there are lots of changes, and lots of reactions, in the field.

                                    "Orc" in particular seems to have undergone a shift from Tolkien's
                                    "low-class brute" to something more like what tvtropes.org would
                                    call "Proud Warrior Race Guy."

                                    And almost nobody gets Tolkien's elves right -- they tend to look
                                    more like "woods-dweller with bows" than "immortal artist"


                                    Tony Z


                                    --
                                    A picture is worth a thousand words.
                                    A map is worth a thousand pictures.
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