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Minas Tirith Forums » The Ivy Bush » The Movie's Influence on MT (Page 1)
Author Topic: The Movie's Influence on MT
Tuor
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This thread can only be relevant for older members like myself who have actually experienced the pre-movies, movies, now post movies MT.

How do you believe the movies have changed MT?

From my perspective, MT used to be a place of discussing Tolkien. The Pony and the Green Dragon were two places to go discuss general topics, but the literary forums got about as much action as the non-literary. The movies forum was as dead as the other forums around it.


During the time of the movies we got a huge upswing in numbers, most of the new people were kids who wanted to use the Pony as a chat room. The Pony had become the chat room while the Green Dragon had become the place to read and write stories.

One side note on the separation of the stories and the 'talk' is that while the Pony and the Green Dragon were pretty much used for the same purposes, I'd actually read the stories from time to time. They'd be in the forums that I was looking through and I would open them to see what was going on. Now I never read them because I never open the Green Dragon. They were always a spur of the moment thing. Now it seems the 'writers' are more segregated from people like me.

Back to the movie period:

As I said, a great influx of people. Some interest in the books, but for the most part it was either movies or chat.

Now that the movies are over, there appear to be fewer people actually interested in discussing Tolkien. Perhaps the movies made it a fad. It was the craze and now it is old news. Everyone knows everything about the stories because they've seen the films. Most of the new arrivals are gone, but some of them still remain.

What remains? How has MT changed? The community is not as Tolkien dedicated as it used to be. It is much more of a place to come and chat. New arrivals actually interested in Tolkien are becoming few and far between.

So in essence it appears MT has changed from a place where Tolkien fans came to discuss his stories and interact to a gathering place for people to talk, with a Middle-earth backdrop.


That's the way I see it. I'd be interested in knowing how others see it.

From: Oklahoma | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
This thread can only be relevant for older members like myself who have actually experienced the pre-movies, movies, now post movies MT.
But it's still interesting for some of the slightly-less-old ones, who experienced at least the last part of the movies MT. I joined in the week when RotK was released in the theatres.
quote:
As I said, a great influx of people. Some interest in the books, but for the most part it was either movies or chat.

Now that the movies are over, there appear to be fewer people actually interested in discussing Tolkien.

But the great influx of new people who want to chat seems to have stopped as well. I think the percentage of new members who post in the literary fora could well be higher now than in my first year here, because the total of new members who post at all is so much lower.

Unfortunately, some of the older members, really dedicated on discussing Tolkien, have stopped coming. (Not all, which is a good thing, we need their Tolkien knowledge.) Did the movie talks and chats disgust them and make them prefer other sites?

Have any of the posters up North of old, stopped posting there and gone over to just chatting? Or would the chatters be mostly the people who joined to discuss the movies?

To your side note:
Look out for Green Dragon entries in Today's Active Topics. Although, as they say, not as many as in its highday, there are still some good stories running, both Tolkien-based and other fantasies.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Thorin
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Basically, I agree with every word that Tuor just posted.
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Tuor
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quote:
But the great influx of new people who want to chat seems to have stopped as well. I think the percentage of new members who post in the literary fora could well be higher now than in my first year here, because the total of new members who post at all is so much lower.

I would agree with this. It isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. Yet has the movie itself (or the backlash from one time being a hot topic and now yesterday's news) been a major factor in the fact that so few people are joining the site? Or more importantly so few people who are really into Tolkien specifically. I'm talking about those who conentrate on Tolkien's writings of Middle-earth, not just a person who likes to read and likes Tolkien's stories too.
quote:
Unfortunately, some of the older members, really dedicated on discussing Tolkien, have stopped coming. (Not all, which is a good thing, we need their Tolkien knowledge.)
The knowledge is in the books. []

quote:
Have any of the posters up North of old, stopped posting there and gone over to just chatting?
I did that for a time, and there are a few who like Tolkien discussion who end up posting more down south for periods of time. For the most part, even the ones who still post down south, many simply don't come around much.

If they are like me, they post at more than one Tolkien board. Interest in any given board is determined by the topic being discussed at the time.

quote:
Or would the chatters be mostly the people who joined to discuss the movies?

I haven't seen many of the people who post in the Pony in serious discussions up north.

Edit:

There's one pre-movie voice. Thanks for chiming in Thorin. []

[ 07-07-2007, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Miz Lobelia
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I think that the main problem is simply the age of the site. Many of the new topics (well, the serious ones) are peripheral or require a detailed knowledge of HOME. The questions we excitely discussed in the dorms in my youth - balrog wings, Bombadil, even the contents of those hobbit pipes - have been examined in such excrutiating detail that it is hard to come up with a new angle on them. Also, it is difficult to start any threads without being directed to six existing ones and that's discouraging to folks who have only read LOTR a time or two, even though they may be excited about the books and want to participate.

As for the movies, they came and went - I don't think anyone but WIKI really thinks that much about them anymore.

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
I don't think anyone but WIKI really thinks that much about them anymore.
He tries to make sure that they won't be forgotten, though. []
quote:
The questions we excitely discussed in the dorms in my youth
... were discussed by people who are not in dorms any more. Many of them have finished their studies and don't have as much time for Internet message boards any more. This could be one reason why so many of the older citizens aren't around much any more.
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Tuor
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quote:
Many of the new topics (well, the serious ones) are peripheral or require a detailed knowledge of HOME. The questions we excitely discussed in the dorms in my youth - balrog wings, Bombadil, even the contents of those hobbit pipes - have been examined in such excrutiating detail that it is hard to come up with a new angle on them.
My wife made a similar comment to this yesterday. There's only so much to discuss. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Especially if one really isn't interested in reading HoME.


Perhaps the very purpose of this site, to become the best source of Tolkien information on the Web, is the very undoing of discussion. Why have a discussion if the info is already there for you to read?

Perhaps that is one ingredient as to why there aren't as many threads going, but the number of discussions goes up and down over time. I think it is better to have quality information and quality discussion than to have a bunch of unread people discussing the implications of their unread points of view. They might as well be discussing the movies, which half the time they will being doing unwittingly.


As far as the movie goes, I don't think you really understood what I was getting at. Perhaps the title of the thread is a bit misleading and needs to be changed. I was not attempting to discuss the movie itself, simply the changes to MT as a result of the movie. In other words, the stages of MT. What MT was and what MT has become and the driving forces behind the change.

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Eluchil
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If you allow an MT newbie []

I'm an oldbie on other boards (mainly French-speaking ones), and I noticed the same evolution as described by Tuor there ...

quote:
If they are like me, they post at more than one Tolkien board. Interest in any given board is determined by the topic being discussed at the time.
That's exactly what I was doing till quite recently. Due to something else, I reduced the number of these boards. And I feel much better []

Just my 2 cents []

From: Menegroth, deep under the sea | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tuor
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It is interesting to see that the effect is not limited to MT. I guess it would be better called "The Movie's Effect on Tolkien Boards".

At my 'other sites' I don't go into the discussion forums, so I don't know about the kind of changes at those places. MT is a smaller site and my first Tolkien board, so I know it the best.

Thanks for your 2 cents.

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Eluchil
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Sorry, I was ready to write something quite long, and then I realised it would exhibit too much about me - I'm ready to share a lot, but not like that []
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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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quote:
I think that the main problem is simply the age of the site. Many of the new topics (well, the serious ones) are peripheral or require a detailed knowledge of HOME. The questions we excitely discussed in the dorms in my youth - balrog wings, Bombadil, even the contents of those hobbit pipes - have been examined in such excrutiating detail that it is hard to come up with a new angle on them. Also, it is difficult to start any threads without being directed to six existing ones and that's discouraging to folks who have only read LOTR a time or two, even though they may be excited about the books and want to participate.

Took the words out of my mouth.
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Tuor
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That's OK Eluchil.

Ney,

Try reading HoME!

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Roll of Honor Miz Lobelia
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Actually, Tuor, I did know what you were getting at with the movies and I do think they hastened MT's march to where it is today in some odd ways. At the time I joined MT I had been a fan of the books for pretty much 30 years (so, Eluchil, in my dorm days computers had their own rooms and punch cards [] ). Naturally, when I saw references to the movies in news sites I was curious. In one article there was a reference to Tolkien websites and to what I think was called 25 Hobbits or something of that ilk that linked to Tolkien boards. It had never occurred to me that there would be Tolkien discussion boards! But I was thrilled to find that there were and checked several out. I liked MT best and joined. I'm sure I wasn't the only "book person" to find it that way. But of course, that rapid influx of citizens, even those of us who had repeatedly read and loved the books, by necessity changed the character of the site if only by getting us through all that discussion sooner.

Interestingly, the "chat" aspect of the Pony seems to me to postdate the movies. For a while even in the movie era there was an attempt to stay somewhat Tolkien based. I certainly tried with the Hobbiton Garden Club to occasionally reference the books and certainly Hobbiton's most famous gardener.

Most purely movie people tended to stay out of the lits back in the day (there were a few exceptions, but their notority needs no boost from me [] ). And although many book people enjoyed speculating about the movies and how they thought PJ could best handle certain scenes, we loved the literary discussion.

But now: Well, when I was a kid I loved the Odyssey. Then, when I got to college and had to labor not only through the Greek but analytical paper after analytical paper, it put me off Homer for quite a few years. I am finding it hard to read The Lord of the Rings, my all- time favorite book, without constantly analyzing it. I need to give it some distance. Plus, work is sucking up any brain cells it would take to re-read much of HOME (and I own and have read all the volumes). I am sure that I am not the only one.

You have managed to elicit the longest post I have made here in some time, though!

[ 07-09-2007, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: Miz Lobelia ]

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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The movies brought in a great deal of younger citizens, who seemed to be more interested in chatting. Remember all those inns? Everyone and his brother had one, it seemed.

Actually, now I think that the discussion up North is very serious and mature, to the most part. We don't see the daily "Who's your favorite character?" threads anymore. Those were a cliche in the movie days.

I have also been a member of just about every Tolkien forum out there, but I just didn't (and don't) have the time to keep up on them. I've concentrated on MT because it was the first one I joined and I have always felt comfortable here.

And again we come to the issue of previously discussed topics. I joke with my wife that men communicate to give or receive information while women communicate to communicate. [] For my part, if I think of a topic and do a search and discover the information, I'm happy. No need to post a new topic, because I found what I wanted. Others may simply like to talk about Tolkien, and they feel left out if a specific topic has already been discussed. I just want the information, for instance, while my wife wants to talk about the information, or just communicate for the sake of communicating.

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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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Tuor: I have [] College always gets in the way. Plus for me, HoME doesn't have the same magic as LotR and The Hobbit and even the Sil.
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Madomir
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quote:
Plus for me, HoME doesn't have the same magic as LotR and The Hobbit and even the Sil.
You're not alone Neytari, the HoME books read much like a textbook as often as not. There's alot of great information in them but there's no flow in a narrative sense. I absolutely love the subject matter but even so, HoME can be a real struggle at times. The way the story flows in BoLT 1 & 2 and UT is much smoother than the rest, thus they are considerably easier to read. Although I don't know if those books are considered part of the HoME series or if they stand apart.
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Eluchil
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"BoLT 1 & 2" are HoMes I and II []
From: Menegroth, deep under the sea | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
White Gold Wielder
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Most of what could be said here has already been discussed in The Official "MT is going downhill" Thread and The Official "MT is going uphill" Thread .

Honestly, everything is really how it should be in terms of Literary traffic. Site begins... long upswing of traffic and interest... long downswing of traffic and interest... marking time as a library of information, always available for individual purposes, but never again en vogue.

Any time I have ever thought about closing Minas Tirith (and it hasn't happened in a long time), I have always come to the same conclusion. I started MT to have a certain type of environment to for Tolkien discussion, and nothing existed to satisfy me at the time. If MT was gone, I would be in the same boat today as then. To have a permanent haven for serious Tolkien discussion, either archived or fresh, is very much worth it to me, and the world seems a better place with Minas Tirith in it (to the Tolkien scholar anyway)!

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Hear hear!
[]
And please don't allow such heinous thoughts as the closing of MT to enter your brain again. [] We loves our precious, yessss..... []

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Roll of Honor Adulithien
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quote:
I just want the information, for instance, while my wife wants to talk about the information, or just communicate for the sake of communicating.
I don't see what a gender breakdown of attitudes toward communication has to do with anything. While Thorin may be contented to simply read information instead of "communicating for the sake of communicating," (and while that may make MT very useful to him) that does not make him a participant. Which is what Miz Lobelia was talking about. If you arrive at a site where everything has been said already, you cannot necessarily participate. Thorin as we know him is a participant because he does not completley limit his activities to reading without comment.

I don't believe anyone would dispute that MT is useful, but it is a forum, and by its nature that makes a certain amount of participation necessary.

So when does one decide when literally everything has been said? When does MT become an archive instead of a forum? Does it ever? If not, it is logical to conclude that someday it might be solely a place to come and talk with a very informative Middle Earth backdrop (what then?). This is perhaps what we are experiencing a taste of right now.

[ 07-11-2007, 03:18 PM: Message edited by: Adulithien ]

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Tuor
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Neytari,

HoME is not like LotR, it is not a series which should be read in any order. If I tried to read through the entire group of books, I would have never made it to Morgoth's Ring or the People of Middle earth.

Again, when you read the books, it is not like other books. Just because it comes first, doesn't mean it needs to be read first (or at all). If you don't care about Chris' commentaries, then just read the stories. Read the stories you are interested in. I haven't read the entire series. I concentrate on Morgoth's Ring, Peoples of Middle-earth and The War of the Jewels. I really like Bolt's version of the fall of Gondolin.


Adulithien,
quote:
If you arrive at a site where everything has been said already, you cannot necessarily participate.
That's the thing. Everything hasn't bee discussed. Perhaps all of the basic stuff, but not many of the things from HoME. It all depends on how deep you are willing to look. The fact that most people around here believe everything that can be said has been said just goes to show how deeply people around here are willing to look.
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Eluchil
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quote:
Perhaps all of the basic stuff,
Depends of what is "basic" []
quote:
The fact that most people around here believe everything that can be said has been said just goes to show how deeply people around here are willing to look.
Congrats, you very probably came to the same point I came to - unless I'm wrong. Tolkien's boards are somehow so rich, and somehow so desperatly poor ...
From: Menegroth, deep under the sea | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Adulithien
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quote:
It all depends on how deep you are willing to look. The fact that most people around here believe everything that can be said has been said just goes to show how deeply people around here are willing to look.
Apparently the hypothetical nature of my post has been missed.

P.S. not everyone wants to read reference material, and that doesn't make them shallow.

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Tuor
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quote:
P.S. not everyone wants to read reference material, and that doesn't make them shallow.
I did not mean to imply that unless you read HoME you are a shallow person. If you have not read certain sections of HoME then you are simply unread when it comes to JRR's version of the Legendarium. If you simply want a version, then I suppose Chris' version will do.

Every volume of HoME is not equal. Some volumes are more important than others. Hopefully there is at least one volume that is of interest to a person with an interest in Tolkien's stories about Middle-earth.

If one does not like HoME, then there is the study of Nordic and Celtic myth for areas of study. I have gained a greater understanding of Tolkien's view of his own work through Letters. There are many different areas in which a person can study.

Sure, the interest in studying Tolkien's works isn't always the highest priority, but the bug does strike me from time to time. But to study, one must do just that, study. It seems to me that most people simply are not interested enough to study. Just ask the question and let someone with 'alot of Tolkien knowledge' answer it.


Eluchil,

quote:
Congrats, you very probably came to the same point I came to - unless I'm wrong. Tolkien's boards are somehow so rich, and somehow so desperatly poor ...
There's a knife that cuts both ways. Minas Tirith as been very successful in avoiding one of those slices.

[ 07-12-2007, 02:36 AM: Message edited by: Tuor ]

From: Oklahoma | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Adulithien
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quote:
It seems to me that most people simply are not interested enough to study.
I definitely agree with that. Which is exactly why I don't post often in the Lit Forums anymnore. Had I more time to devote to reading I might have a decent question to ask. []
From: Austin | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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