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Author Topic: Future Topics List and Brainstorming
Roll of Honor Thorin
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Some of the regular Literary posters have discussed a “Future Topics” thread for the Literary Threads much as WGW has one for the Library here. The purpose of this thread is to list ideas for future topics and to brainstorm about them. What follows is my list of disjointed thoughts and jottings and notes to myself. Some of these may have been already answered, or may not be interesting enough to merit a thread. Some of them may be great ideas, but I haven’t gotten around to developing them because of time constraints or other reasons. If you see something in this list (or any of the other lists that are in the process of being posted by others) that you like, please feel free to take it and run with it. Anyone is free to take an idea from here and make it their own. If you have your own list of possible ideas, feel free to post them here as well.

Many dark undercurrents in the Hobbit that are barely noticed: Moria, the (R)ing, goblins, Dwarves allying themselves with goblins, goblin explosions, sack of Gondolin. When did Dwarves ally with goblins? Referring to First Age, perhaps? Did Dwarves fight for Morgoth in any form? I can’t recall anything, but this statement was not taken out of revised Hobbit. Perhaps Last Alliance, but don’t know if this idea was present at writing of The Hobbit. Check The Lost Road time frame.

Lust for the Ring: see what happened to Saruman and Boromir. But what about Merry and the conspirators? Merry knew about the Ring for years, and there is no hint of desiring it. Was Merry inherently good? What if Lotho had been the one to discover it? Fatty Bolger knew.

Fall of Gondolin. I would like to see a confederation of all of the stories in a lineal format. Has Maerbenn done this yet?

Trade in Wilderland. Did they have a common currency, or did they have exchange rates? Wonder if Dwarf gold was common medium of exchange and store of value.

Did Dain keep Lordship over the Iron Hills when he took up the crown as King of the House of Durin? Or did someone else take it sovereign? If not, he had a large Kingdom – were Dwarves of the Iron Hills present at siege of Lonely Mountain by Sauron in War of the Ring? Did Sauron’s Northern Army ignore Iron Hills? STARTED

Burial customs – northern Edain used barrows, as did kings of Rohhirim. Gondor used tombs of stone, as did dwarves. What of elves and hobbits? No description of hobbit burial customs. Cremation used by anyone besides heathen kings? Burial customs tell a great deal about a people’s ideas of afterlife. Influence of Valar or Noldor?

Greenwood vs. Mirkwood. Where great spiders wiped out after fall of Dol Guldur and Barad-dur?

Ancient Edain democracy in Wanderings of Hurin. Wonderful description of culture. Why were women enfranchised then disenfranchised in the Professor’s thought progression? Christopher strangely silent regarding this. Only other democracy was Lake Town. Did women vote there? Why was democracy abandoned by Edain? King Elros; first tyrant in Grecian sense; monarchy a better form?

Rules of succession – King Fili if Thorin had fallen but sister-sons had survived Battle of Five Armies. What of King Gloin if Dain had fallen with no issue. What about Thain? Any female Thains or Mistresses of Buckland?

What powers did non-ruling Queens have? “As decreed by Queen Arwen”?

Reincarnation of Durin. Were the Dwarves right? This thought precede engagement with Elves and knowledge from them? Other reincarnation among Dwarves, or only Durin? Other Fathers in other Lines? Could be a gold mine of discussion. Did Aule have anything to do with this, knowing of reincarnation of Elves in future?

Should the Hobbit have been revised? I kind of like the idea of the “story of Bilbo” in his words, even if what he put in his book (and hence what we read in The Hobbit) is not correct.

Transmission of stories: The Hobbit from Bilbo, post-Council of Elrond LOTR from Frodo, Silmarillion traditions from Pengaloo. This was never abandoned. Did Pengaloo get The Hobbit and LOTR in Eressea? Wonderful ideas here. Aelfwine. STARTED

Can the migration of Hobbits be traced linguistically? Like Europe – studying changes in Indo-European languages: Franks, Anglo-Saxons, or even Finno-Ugric (example: when Finns split with Hungarians, when Estonians split from Finns). Who knows enough about Tolkien’s languages to do this? Could Lord Anduril do it? Nimruzir’s hints about Drugs in late HoME, Dunharrow Pukel-Men and Merry. Tolkien liked to talk about Drug – Hobbit similarities. Maerbenn and I discussions regarding Rohirric languages and time frames – doesn’t work in time frame. Only works if Eothed and Hobbits met somewhere besides Vale of Anduin? Long wanderings. This could be great, but extremely complicated.

The Road song. Identical from Bilbo to Frodo, except “eager feet” and “weary feet.” Bilbo’s song in the Hobbit. Travelling, adventure, the psycholical power of The Road and wandering.

Gandalf’s hint of Command in Moria. Capital “C.” What was this? The idea of Magic. Spells. The Will and the Word as explained by David Eddings. Dungeons & Dragons idea of individual spells. Use of magic seen by others, as Gandalf says after catching branch on fire on Caradhras.

“My precious.” Gollum talking to himself, the Ring, or both? Merging of consciousnesses.

Where did Elrond get money to run his household? Who did he tax? What economic activity were they involved in? Size of Household. Elves in the Shire under Elrond’s rule?

Strategic value of Pelennor Walls. Any? STARTED

Expansion of Gondor and Rohan in Fourth Age. Didn’t Rohan expand through Gap to the Sea? Only mentioned once. Wasn’t this traditionally land of the Exiles? Rohan splitting Gondor and Arnor.

What was Southern Gondor like? Lebennin, Dol Amroth.

Orcs in White Mountains. Fled Dwarves in Misty Mountains. Hunted by Rohirrim. Any left or come back by end of Third Age?

Idiots at New Line said Rivendell was attacked in War of the Ring. Two Towers extended DVD interviews. Liv Tyler cried because of “Xena Arwen.” Orlando Bloom said Tolkien “rolling in his grave” regarding Legolas BS.

Narrative. Mistake in Storming of Isengard and Aragorn’s trip through Lebennin with Dead narrated by characters after-the-fact. Wonderful genius or mistake of non-professional author?

Feanorians. The Oath. Was it null and void by Kinslaying or not? Were Sons doomed just by taking the Oath? Should they have “bided their time” and accept judgement of Valar, or were they forced to try to take Silmarils? Justified in their claims of possession? Fionwe herald/son of Manwe claimed them for Valar. What right had Valar to claim Silmarils? What about Eru?

Portions of Beleriand surviving. Maedrhos’s hill - Hill of Himring. Grave of Turin. Portions west of Blue Mountains. Why did Valar spare Grave of Turin? Geography or coincidence, or will of Valar to spare these areas?

The Summoning. Why did Valar do this? What right had they of asking / demanding Elves to dwell in Valinor? Mandos didn’t agree, and he’s no slouch. Why are those refusing portrayed as not as good as those who accepted? Evil Elves? Forced possession of bodies by the Houseless Elves. Valar mistakes. Morgoth influences – Arda Marred hence refusal? Valar spite in refusing to help people of Middle-earth: spoiled brats. Ulmo helped, but Manwe pouts. How correct was Morgoth? Ten topics here.

The Fall of Man. Hints in Finrod – Wise woman Andreth discussions. What happened? What Shadow lies on Man from those earliest beginnings?

Was there hope in redemption of Gollum? Was he redeemed? Frodo Fall (literally and figuratively) instead of Gollum at Crack of Doom.

Gunpowder. Saruman’s Uruk-hai at Helm’s Deep. Firearms? Goblins in Hobbit have gunpowder? Did they invent, or did Saruman? Explosions discussed in The Hobbit. Bilbo had matches, but “dwarves had not taken to matches even yet”. Could this be because of a dislike of a goblin invention? Sulfur? STARTED

List of “Most Influential” like Michael H. Hart’s book. Could be fun. Not too difficult for casual fans. STARTED

Two Watchers. Stone monsters at Cirith Ungol, or spirits trapped in stone statues?

Watcher in the Water. Why did it grab at Frodo first? Gandalf noted. Was it driven by Sauron? Was it able to feel the Ring?

Snowstorm on Caradhras. Did Sauron do this? Saruman, like the movie? Caradhras itself, or coincidence?

Who were the crebian spying for? Radagast? Saruman? Sauron? Perhaps Radagast sent them, as requested by Gandalf, and there was no need to fear. Perhaps it was a good omen, not a bad one.

Did Radagast send Eagles to battle before Black Gates? STARTED

Where did name of Gandalf come from? In published book prior to Hobbit. Can’t remember which one. Tolkien Enterprises lawsuit against “Gandalf the Wizard Clown” children entertainer. Don’t recall what happened. Who won, or was it settled out of court?

Cannibalism. Goblins. Gollum. Inherently evil.

Inanimate objects and their qualities. Elf rope hurts Gollum. Avoided touch of elf cloaks, and couldn’t eat lembas. Didn’t like smell of elf-trees. Uruk-hai seemingly unconcerned about Merry and Pippin’s elf cloaks. Glorfindel shudders at Morgul-knife. Did the Ring “hurt” when it was put on? Why or why not? Did it hurt Gandalf when he picked it up after Bilbo dropped it?

Inanimate objects continue. Glowing swords from Gondolin – Sting, Beater, and Biter. Talking Black Sword. Voice from Wheel of Fire to Gollum. Was this the Ring speaking? Frodo? Sauron?

Were the Elves Buddhists? Reincarnation, life, “mindfulness”, meditation as sleep – Legolas in Three Hunters.

Praying to Valar. Little or no information. Praying to Eru done by peoples of Middle-earth? Sacrifices to Melkor? Human, or benign, like “first fruits” or sheep like Old Testament? Numenorian temples.

How did Dwarves of Moria get food after fall of Eregion? Trade with Lorien? Did they farm?

Mithril native to Numenor. Was it a metal? “… make of it a metal… “ Galvorn and it’s relationship to mithril.

Unions of Elves and Men. Dol Amroth – Men with Elvish blood in their veins, as Prince Imrahil. Story of Legolas regarding Nimrodel. Unfinished Tales. Where was this story going? What was the Professor thinking of in the big picture?

Tomatoes withdrawn from The Hobbit, but coffee was not; neither was tobacco. Native to The Old World vs. native to the New Wold. What about all the flowers mentioned in The Hobbit?

Narration in LOTR. View of Frodo changed to view of Sam. Subtle changes to whose eyes the reader sees things through. Why? Merry vs. Pippin. Never see things through eyes of Legolas or Gimli. Written by Hobbits. Accident, or purposeful by the Professor.

Are oliphants mammoths?

How intelligent were Wargs? Like goblins, or like the dull-witted trolls?

Recipes. It would be fun to try what Middle-earth foods tasted like: lembas, miruvoir? of Imladris, cram, Beorn’s honey cakes, “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit,” Fish & Chips by S. Gamgee. Look on Net? Who has cooking skill? Was it Miz Lobelia I talked about this with? What the hell is mead? Ask a European – I bet Laur knows.

Going into the West. America. Tolkien’s words regarding “across the Water” in Ballentine paperback edition published in America. Valinor. Was he hinting at something, or just being sly for business reasons?

Why did Christopher and Baillie move to France? English laws on taxes on royalities? French have longer copyright periods after death of author than rest of EU. Has this been changed yet, or is it still advantageous to have French domicile for a copyright holder?

Dislike of the Sun – trolls, orcs, but not Uruk-hai. Things that came in the Great Darkness. Bats cover goblins in Battle of Five Armies. Sauron’s smoke for War of the Ring.

Where did Saruman’s orcs come from? Not Mordor – too difficult to cross Gondor and / or Rohan. Moria? Only real option, I suppose. Down behind Lorien or through Gap of Rohan and Dunlendings. Did Radagast and his birds see migrations of orcs? The different tribes in the company that captured Merry and Pippin. Some are very specifically stated as coming from Moria. Did Saruman control Moria orcs? Did Saruman go to Moria? Perhaps he was trying to get his orcs while Balin was there. Did Balin interfere with Saruman’s supply of orcs? Good stuff here. STARTED

Brilliance of not giving a description of Sauron in narrative. Who knows what the Devil looks like? Different approach taken in Silm tradition – we “see” Morgoth in narrative, but never “see” Eru.

Isengard when originally built. What/who was it guarding the Gap of Rohan from? Celebrimbor? Pre-Akabelleth Men? Dunlandings? Arnor? When was it built? Were Elves still in Eregion? Doesn’t make a great deal of strategic sense. Need to find out time-line. Perhaps guarding Gap from the West in 2nd Age – perhaps from Wild Men in what would later become Rohan.

Trees are special to Tolkien. Ents. Did the Elves talk to and “wake up” any other plants? Yavanna’s special relationship with plants. Talking rutabega not quite as romantic. Tomatowives? Ugh. Whole process interesting: trees to Ents, Ents “tree-ish”, Old Man Willow, the trees in the Old Forest. STARTED

Talking about Ents, did Treebeard help Beren in attack on Dwarf army? Wonderfully interesting story that no one has talked about. Check Letters for information. Tolkien said Ents were in Beren’s army.

Mim and the Petty-dwarves. Was he wronged?

Was Thingol jealous of Noldor? Why was he so unfriendly to them? Feanorians kick his ass.

Men and Elves could marry and have children. Bodies virtually identical. What of Dwarves and Men? Dwarves and Elves? Gimli’s love of Galadriel. Offspring of such a union: Dwelves? Earves?

[ 08-03-2006, 07:15 AM: Message edited by: Thorin ]

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Thingol of Doriath
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Nice Thorin... are these all your brainstorms?

*fights urge not to answer questions in this thread* []

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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There is always a storm in my brain. So some ideas are always falling in and out of favor with me regarding their worthiness as topics of discussion. The real list will be posted later by Herendil, but I needed to post some of my own as well.
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Yes, his post there was kind of the germ of this idea. He has edited it and added to it, evidently. He'll let us know when he gets here.
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Roll of Honor Aranel Charis
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quote:
The Road song. Identical from Bilbo to Frodo, except “eager feet” and “weary feet.” Bilbo’s song in the Hobbit. Travelling, adventure, the psycholical power of The Road and wandering.
quote:
Tolkien seems to like the sea
I particularly like these.

*must refrain like Singy from answering them*

Very good lists-I wish I was as organized. Then again, maybe I don't []

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Thingol of Doriath
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quote:
Tolkien seems to like the sea.
Actually, I started a thread on this here! So we can cross that one off the list... [] []

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Roll of Honor Aranel Charis
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Ah, but I looked at both from my Old English literature perspective....(for example, how does the role and aspects of the sea in Tolkien's works borrow from the views expused by The Wanderer and The Seafarer...)
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Roll of Honor Gna
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Thorin, you truly are, as WT said, our Finest Northern Citizen! [] I think many of your brainstorming ideas, along with Herendil's, could be combined to create fascinating new topics.

I was thinking that some of the ideas about birds and beasts in Tolkien's mythos could be combined-for example, comparing them with what we know of animal behavior and characteristics in the real world. Black swans, oliphaunts, wargs, mearas horses, crebain, the Watcher, ravens, etc. Another topic, which has already been started with the "Gandalf understanding the Wargs" thread, is communication with birds and beasts in Middle-earth. Lots of interesting interactions there: Númenóreans and their horses, Farmer Maggot and his dogs, Elves and their horses, bird languages, goblins and wargs, etc.

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Such great ideas, Thorin, that I forgive you for giving away my LotR trivia question. []
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Roll of Honor Herendil
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Had Aragorn (and Boromir) not seen Argonath before?
Legolas' hair colour (I am surprised that MT has no thread for this classic topic)
Sam's hair colour
Who was mightier: Elrond, Galadriel or Denethor?
The 'dark forests of the South'
The Shire as a place of lore
The life-span of Durin the Deathless
The ancestry of Glorfindel
Did Galadriel, Celeborn and Glorfindel partake in the Last Alliance?
The Hobbit is the only story where Dwarves have major parts
Did Thranduil's realm have a name?
The part of Círdan
What became of all the heirlooms of the Kings of Númenor?
Did it have any significance that Lúthien saw Gondolin from above?
What became of all the Rings of Power after the destruction of the One?
Miruvor
Did Tolkien have a point in naming both the pony and Ferny Bill?
The Mirror of Galadriel
The black swans
What became of Saruman's body?
Beleg and Mablung
Why 'the Grey company'?
The Lost Road and the father-son concept
The Forsaken Inn
The slaves of Saruman
Did Tar-Palantir have a Palantír?

[ 07-27-2004, 05:49 AM: Message edited by: Herendil ]

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Roll of Honor Herendil
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Was Celebrían a pupil of Galadriel, and did she have a similar role in Imladris as Melian and Galadriel had in Doriath and Lórien respectively?
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Thanks for the bump and new topics, Herendil. I had forgotten about some of these questions. []
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Roll of Honor Herendil
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The relation between Nienor and Finduilas
Why did Aragorn and Arwen plight their troth upon Cerin Amroth?
Pauline Baynes' map of Middle-earth
The meetings of Elwë and Melian, Beren and Lúthien, and Aragorn and Arwen

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Roll of Honor Herendil
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'he [Aragorn] left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as living man' - started

[ 01-20-2005, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: Herendil ]

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Halion
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Some (obscure?) topics that perhaps could generate some speculation and discussion:

Is there any connection between the mountain named Foen in Dorthonion and the Meneltarma on Númenor?

Christopher in HoMe V: “I cannot explain the mountain blacked-in to the west of Ivrin (square D5), nor the large mound, if that is what it is, between Sirion and Mindeb (E8), nor again the curious circular bay on the coast below Drengist (C3).”

The island (?) in the Sea of Rhûn

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