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Minas Tirith Forums » Library Council of Minas Tirith » Concerning "Pipe-weed" (Page 1)
Author Topic: Concerning "Pipe-weed"
Feuyaino the Cynic
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I was curious about this topic, because I had heard a few people refer to this as a form of marijuana, actually one of the exact quotes was "LOL did u know there was pot in lord of the rings!!" (sic).

Personally, I think it's a form of tobacco, since it said in the prologue of FOTR that "it was a variety, probably of Nicotiana." Which sounded similar to Nicotine to me, but then again similarities don't always mean that they're the same.

Comments?

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Madomir
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I don't have my books handy to retrieve the actual quote, but in the begining of The Hobbit when Gandalf approaches Bilbo, Bilbo specifically refers to his pipe weed as tobacco.
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Feuyaino the Cynic
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Thanks Madomir, I'm thinking I should pick up a copy of The Hobbit, I haven't read it for 6 (!) years.
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Madomir
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Feuyaino, there's likely alot more to consider than just that. People today smoke tobacco too, but not exclusively. There are plenty of substances one could use if told to "put that in your pipe and smoke it", the same was prob'ly true of hobbits as well. However, clearly some variety of tobacco was used at times, if not always.

[ 04-11-2003, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: Madomir ]

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Durin's Bane
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I doubt that pipeweed is tobacco or mary jane. I is probably a relative of both. It would probably be found only on middle earth, just like tobacco and pot are found in the Americas. []

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Wetwang
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No I believe pipeweed is a form of tobacco. The latin for the genus from which tobacco comes from is indeed Nicotiana. The tobacco plant and cannabis are not related and bear no resembalence to each other either.
Hope this helps []

[ 04-11-2003, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: Wetwang ]

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Tuor
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I've posted this quote from the Peoples of Middle-earth a number of times at MT. This seems to be a fairly popular subject.
quote:
There is one thing more about these hobbits of old that must be mentioned: they smoked tobacco through pipes of clay or wood. A great deal of mystery surrounds the origin of this peculiar custom...


[ 04-11-2003, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: Tuor ]

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Feuyaino the Cynic
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I was wondering where that quote came from, that was in my copy of FOTR and it was labeled as a prologue, but I didn't recall seeing it before in other copies.

That was the part which started off my curiosity about the subject.

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Thalion
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The very last sentance in the Hobbit
quote:
"Thank Goodness!" said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tabacco-jar.

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Snöwdog
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You should try smoking Athelas....
[]

Yeah, I knew of that line in the Hobbit, but the subject is fun to discuss.

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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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Apparently licorice is added to tobacco in the US. It expands the lung capacity, which enables the user to inhale more. Can this be a good thing? []

Like a certain American President, I never inhale. Which gives rise to the question: why do I bother in that case?

Answers on a postcard to SSA, c/o The Dark Tower...

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Sírëlen
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If you notice how Merry and Pippin act after having smoked it, they definately seem..altered. Not to mention, who do you know would be excited to find two barrels of tobacco so much? (Not to mension in an imperfect world, Tobacco stored in barrels would eventually dry out and become stale which is the reason for all the deadly chemicals in it today. However, unaltered weed could be stored and it's effect will never be dominished even if it is dried.) I know I would be far more likely to react in their manner if it were weed in that barrel. And it's like, in our age, there are some differences in tobacco qualities but not that much.
Long Bottom leaf was known as the finest pipe weed in the South Farthing. But in this world, sure we have different brands but it's all sorted by preference of taste. When it comes to weed, there are severe differences in quality more-so by it's effect. (ex. Shwag, Dro, KB, P Haze) I don't know, perhaps it's wishfull thinking to believe that Merry, Pip and others of my favorite charactors are stoners like me....(did I say that out loud?) lol.. I mean uhh...enjoy that stuff they call marijuana, terrible terrible (cough) thing.. but, all in all, I guess it depends on how you look at it. And I mean, sure they say tobacco, or call it tobacco, but what is tobacco to them? Just like what is Lembas to us? We've never had it, but we know what it is and can relate it to like, pound cake or something. So why couldn't what we call weed/mary Jane/dope/trese/pot etc. be called tobacco by them. They have leaves they call tobacco, or pipeweed and brands such as (Old Toby/Longbottom Leaf & so on. We have tobacco and weed and different brands of each. Which is it to them? Who knows?
The best way to figure it out I think is, ask yourself, was it only Tobacco in Tolkien's pipe? Or did he occasionally pack some happy green leaf up in there before getting creative? I think if he never touched the stuff, he wouldn't write about it. If he did, than it's likely he made it a part of the story in some nonchalant way that wouldn't be obvious to the typical non-smoker. The time period when these stories were being written were the prime time for the concentration of Marijuana smoking to be known and performed openly. I mean, look at the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floydd, and numbers of other British super stars back then. They were in drug heaven in those days. He lived in England to boot. Back then, it was common place to smoke weed. It was the Late 50's and into the 60's. So accounting for the History involved in the theory, it is quite possible. And Marijuana isn't the only drug reference in the story. Think of the Orc draught. It sounded similar to the effects of Cocain or worse even, heroine. A sort of energy that comes from seemingly no where, and can sustain your life even for weeks without food. But once again, this is all mere theory. And the sad fact is, we'll never really know.

-Snowdog, Athelas is probably the stuff Hobbits smoke when they wake up after a big party. That relaxing, healing feeling of King's Foil. It's the perfect Anti-Hangover. lol
(Hangover before Athelas [] )
(Hangover after Athelas [] )

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"Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, yeah." - Led Zeppelin 'Ramble On'

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
The time period when these stories were being written were the prime time for the concentration of Marijuana smoking to be known and performed openly. I mean, look at the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floydd, and numbers of other British super stars back then.
Tolkien wrote his stories during the time period of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floydd?

I beg your pardon?

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Roll of Honor Belegurth
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Sírëlen,

I don't get where you are coming from. As has been pointed out, the stories were written before even The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley met the public eye - and this was long before drugs and intoxication became a popular issue.
As for the Orc draught, I don't see how Heroin would have the described effects, as for Cocaine, Merry and Pippin didn't seem to become more confident in their strength by an altered self-perception as well.

Mere speculation, indeed.

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Talan
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quote:
The best way to figure it out I think is, ask yourself, was it only Tobacco in Tolkien's pipe? Or did he occasionally pack some happy green leaf up in there before getting creative?
I've seen papers and stories written by people who were high. Let's just say, they didn't turn out well. At any rate, no, Tolkien did not smoke marijuana. And you're a few decades off, regarding when the series was written. The interpretation of "pipe-weed" as marijuana was the work of the hippie generation, not of Tolkien.

As a person who smokes TOBACCO in his pipe, I can say that there are very different, very distinct flavors/aromas in various types of pipe tobacco; and to someone who smokes for recreation and relaxation (and for whom the sudden appearance of good tobacco incites memories of home and happier times), it's perfectly understandable to react the way Merry and Pippin did.

As for the orc-draught, I'd liken it more to a very fiery liquor. I think that's what Tolkien basically had in mind (after all, the stuff burned like heck on the way down).

[ 11-10-2004, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: Talan ]

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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Yep.

Pipeweed = tobacco
Miruvor = cognac
Orc draught = hooch, moonshine, bathtub whiskey

(This is off-topic, but I'm surprised that the films got away with showing the romance of pipe smoking, especially when you consider the number of minors in the audience. Pippin especially waxes rhapsodic about it in Fangorn.)

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Wetwang
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quote:
Miruvor = cognac
Orc draught = hooch, moonshine, bathtub whiskey

Where does this come from? []
Or is it merely speculation on your part Silm? []

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Hidalgo
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quote:
Orc draught = hooch, moonshine, bathtub whiskey
Surely not. Orc draught was healing.
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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Oh, no it's my speculation. AFAIK, Miruvor is referred to, however, as a cordial.

Hidalgo, Orc draught was more like "Dutch courage" than medicine... []

[ 11-12-2004, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: Silmahtar ]

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Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas
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Ent Draught=120 prof vodka
pipeweed= what the Good Professor smoked out of his famous pipe []

[ 09-02-2005, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas ]

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Snöwdog
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Orc-Draught = badly made tequela?
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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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No, it's probably Romanian "tuica" (plum alcohol -- wretched stuff...)
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Snöwdog
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Or maybe cheap Mezcal... [] []

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins

"These Lord of the Rings movies must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence they came."

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Balin Lord of Moria
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I think people are getting a bit carried away with the whole weed thing. Just b/c its so prevelent in our culture doesnt mean Tolkien was a stoner. I mean the man was a professor and a pure genious. Trying to create the vast web of history, events, and cultures that makes up ME would not be possible for someone burned out on mary jane. If you want to see what lotr on weed looks like go watch the Lotr cartoon from the 70's.
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Snöwdog
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Of course Tolkien wasn't a stoner.\
He did like smoking a pipe of tobacco.

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins

"These Lord of the Rings movies must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence they came."

Middle Earth Angling Guide

Avatar: Shadow Ranger
Artwork by Jonathon Earl Bowser

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