Have you ever wondered when your favorite star from Lord of the Rings will be on TV? Now you can know! The CoE TV Guide will list almost all of the shows featuring actors and actresses from Lord of the Rings, and what channel their show will be on (US only). All times EST.
Folks, I know some of you are having problems with the site, but please stop PMing myself and the other staff members with complaints or issues. If something is not working for you, please report it here.
My apologies for things being broken. We could have just taken the site down for two or three days while we worked on it, and then you wouldn’t have had any CoE at all during that time period. Instead, we chose to put the site back up, despite some minor malfunctions. Veaglarwen and I spent 12 hours yesterday working on the site, and we’ll likely spend the same amount of time today doing the same thing; things will be fixed soon. So please, have a little patience.
Two LotR conventions are being held in Canberra, Australia on 10th July and 19-21st November 2004. The July event features a comedy cabaret evening with Craig Parker (Haldir), Mark Ferguson (Gil Galad) and Joel Tobeck (Orc Lieutenant). Guests at the November convention include John Howe (conceptual artist) and Bruce Hopkins (Gamling). There are further details go to bobw.com.
With special permission from Christopher Tolkien and Tolkien Estate, unpublished material that could help in the study of Elvish will now be published in PARMA ELDALAMBERON No.12. Click here for more details.
At the 2004 Classical Brit Awards, Renée Fleming, the American soprano who sang on a number of the RotK tracks including The End Of All Things, was honoured with an award for her Outstanding Contribution to Music. For further details of the award winners go to Scotsman.com.
An “old fashioned” Lord of the Rings Convention is being held on the 25th-28th March 2005 at the Thistle Hotel, Bristol, England. There’s further information at nadobra.com.
The industrial revolution was a time of dramatic change, from hand tools and handmade items, to products which were mass produced by machinery. This revolution, which took place predominately in England, changed the world forever. Machines took over many jobs and created a fast paced industry and society at the time. The rise of industry led to the destruction of many forests and beautiful places, to feed the increasing demand of fuel to run the machinery in this modern age. The effects of England’s industrial revolution can be seen through the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings. The rise of evil power in the story also leads to the rise in industry and destruction and shows how industrialism is the purest form of evil. Industrialism is shown in The Lord of the Rings through the destruction of forests, the mass production from evil forces and the scouring of the Shire.
In The Lord of the Rings, the rise of industry becomes a threat to the ecology of Middle Earth. The main portrayal of the powers of evil and their industrialism is the destruction of the environment, where the trees must give way to industry. Throughout the story, the deeds of Saruman and his orcs diminish the forests surrounding Orthanc to supply fuel for the furnaces in the caverns of Isengard. The mass destruction caused by Saruman is evident when Treebeard states “he and his foul folk are making havoc now. Down on the borders they are felling trees – good trees. Some of the trees they just cut down and leave to rot – orc-mischief that; but most are hewn up and carried off to feed the fires of Orthanc. There is always a smoke rising from Isengard these days” (IV, 85). Ever since Saruman succumbed to the evil will of Sauron, he has been hewing down the forests around Isengard to create an industry of his own. In the caverns of Isengard, Saruman is breeding an army of Uruk-Hai orc soldiers.
Treebeard is a character who is most affected by this action of industrialization. The Ents, who are giant, treelike people, act as shepherds of the forests and whose purpose is to protect these areas of Middle Earth. His residence in Fangorn Forest lies on the border of Isengard where Saruman is constantly destroying the trees. Treebeard’s strong hate for the destruction of these trees is shown when he tells Merry and Pippin “many of those trees were my friends, creatures I have known from nut and acorn; many had voices of their own that are lost forever now. And there are wastes of stump and bramble where once there were singing groves” (IV, 85). The trees in The Lord of the Rings are treated almost as human beings and were believed to be ‘alive’, as they were able to move and speak to one another, while also representing wisdom. By having the trees of Middle Earth possess these human-like qualities, it makes it even more emotional and mournful when they are destroyed. The trees destroyed for the uses of evil, help to create the mass production of armour and weaponry for the orcs who are also being massively produced in the burning caverns of Mordor and Isengard.
Unlike the evil forces of Middle Earth, the free races take pride in the beauty of their world, and each race values the earth in different ways. Sauron and Saruman are the head forces of evil, who breed mass armies of orcs and other fell beasts in the caverns of their dark lands. Like the mass industries of the industrial revolution, Sauron and Saruman create in mass production instead of with care and quality. In the furnaces underneath Isengard, Saruman has created a new species of orcs called the Uruk-Hai. He breeds these orcs constantly, producing some ten thousand to march against the people of Rohan at Helm’s Deep. The Uruk-Hai at the Battle of Helm’s Deep were so many, that the battle grounds were described as “boiling and crawling with black shapes, some squat and broad, some tall and grim, with high helms and sable shields. Hundreds and hundreds were pouring over the Dike and through the breach” (IV, 163).
The thousands of Uruk-Hai soldiers are all the same, and armed and shielded with the armour that was also mass produced at Isengard. As opposed to the Elves or Men of Middle Earth, the orcs take no pride in their armour or weaponry, for their only purpose in life is to go to battle and kill. Since the orcs and Uruk-Hai are so many, their armour and arms must also be made in mass quantities. The roaring furnaces of Isengard are used to produce the weaponry of the enemy. No beauty or care is put into the making of these weapons because as long as it will slay their enemy, the orcs take no heed to beauty or quality. Tolkien is therefore suggesting that the uprising of industrialism brought the world in which he lived to a state of mass production with lack of beauty. Behind all of these productions is the corrupted wizard Saruman. His personality is revealed by Treebeard as he says Saruman “has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things, except as far as they serve him for the moment” (IV, 84). Saruman’s industrial mind and mass production of orcs and weapons leads to his uprising of evil power. Industrialism can be seen easily from the war front, but it also reaches to the free lands beyond.
Industrialism can also be seen when the quest for the Ring was completed, and the four Hobbits returned to their homeland, the Shire. As they made their way closer to home, they realized that even in the far lands away from Mordor and from war, the enemy had not been idle. While the Hobbits were on their quest, the rural paradise and peaceful lands of the Shire had been badly affected by Saruman’s industrialization. This is a heartbreaking realization for Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, but after fighting in the War of the Ring, the hobbits decide to fight for the freedom of their people one last time. When they come to the meeting of their fellow hobbits, Farmer Cotton explains to Sam that “since Sharkey came they don’t grind no more corn at all. They’re always a-hammering and a-letting out smoke and a stench, and there isn’t no peace even at night in Hobbiton. And they pour out filth a purpose; they’ve fouled all the lower Water and it’s getting down into the Brandywine. If they want to make the Shire into a desert, they’re going the right way about it” (VI, 354).
The Hobbits were a very rural race of beings that farmed their lands and were at one with their surroundings. With the rise of Saruman’s evil in the Shire, the Hobbit’s old ways of doing things were replaced with industry. As industry began to rise, so did the pollution from the constant burning of fuels to feed the machines, turning the Hobbiton sky black with smoke. The unappealing environment that had been created by Saruman is evident when Tolkien describes the Shire and how “there seemed an unusual amount of burning going on, and smoke rose from many points round about” (VI, 337). This suggests that industrialization cannot be contained as it affects other areas that welcome it or not. This new setting that is introduced is a very unusual environment for the Hobbits, for their simple and peaceful lifestyles have been taken away from them to produce products for a higher power. Since the Hobbits love the outdoors and their green pastures and fields, it is very devastating for Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin to witness their home looking this way, and as they walk on, they realize that “many of the houses that they had known were missing. Some seemed to have been burned down. The pleasant row of old Hobbit- holes in the band on the north side of the Pool were deserted and their little gardens that used to run down bright to the water’s edge were rank with weed. Worse, there was a while line of the ugly new houses all along Pool Side. An avenue of trees had stood there. They were all gone. And looking with dismay up the road towards Bag End they saw a tall chimney of brick in the distance it was pouring out black smoke into the evening air” (VI, 342).
The words Tolkien uses to describe industrialization, such as rank, ugly, dismay, and black smoke are all proof that industry is an evil entity in the author’s mind. The Hobbit’s dreams of what the Shire looked like before are now shattered, and the bitterness of reality had set in, realizing just how far evil can spread, even in the most peaceful places of the world. Beautiful Hobbit-holes were dug up to create a mass production of unappealing Shirriff-houses and gates, consisting of only a small portion of the devastation that the Shire had to face. It is only until the evil powers in the Shire are overthrown, that the lands can be re-sewn, and homes rebuilt, washing away the corruption of industry that had stained the lands of the Shire over the past year.
Though industry has helped evolve the world that exists today, there are many drawbacks to the industrial revolution as well. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the negative aspect of industrialism is shown throughout the story especially through the rise of forestry, the mass production of evil forces and through the scouring of the Shire. These points in the story can be paralleled to England’s own industrial revolution and times of war, which heavily affected J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing. It is evident that Tolkien uses industrialization to represent evil in his story, suggesting also that is has no redeeming qualities. In the end, the industrialization that is being presented throughout the story is ultimately overthrown and the free peoples of Middle Earth, after years of recovery, are able to return to their peaceful lives once more.
An Elf was riding swiftly through the plain on his faithful horse, eagerly trying to reach his destination. He had a very important message for his master and he knew the foes were closing in on him. He turned around and noticed the warg riders. His face became pale with comprehension and he urged his animal forward. Soon they were close enough for the Elf to hear the foul breaths of the beasts. He looked around once more and realized they were about to throw a spear at him. He maneuvered sideways and the weapon hit the ground inches away. You grab for your bow and…
A phone rings and you look up from the computer screen. You mumble something underneath your breath about inconsiderate people that disturb you during writing and you go to pick it up. After few moments on the phone with your mother and explaining to her that you are extremely busy, you hang up and you go back to writing your next post for this wonderful thread in RPG Forum on CoE you are involved in. You faintly recognize that you may be a little addicted to the whole thing but you just continue.
Yes, RPG forum is one of the most popular on the Council of Elrond and draws a great number of people daily. There are three sub-forums where everybody can find something for themselves. In Totally Tolkien, more widely known as TT, consist of all the stories that are based strictly on J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. There are to be no dragons, vampires, werewolves and other magical mambo-jumbo. All the places that are mentioned need to be correct with the Middle-earth locations. Another sub-forum that we have is Tolkien Related, known as TR. This is where you can have Middle-earth locations and people, but enhance the powers a little. Do not go overboard with it though, as there are limits to how far you can go. If you think you have something that won’t fit in either of these sub-forums, there is always Non-Tolkien sub-forum, known as NT. Here you can find Harry Potter hanging around with his classmates, Final Fantasy characters, Yu-Gi-Oh and many others. There is no limit to what you can play here, as long as you stick to the rules.
What is RPG to begin with? It stands for Role-Playing Games, an activity that has been going on way before the Internet itself. It’s normally played with dice, pencil and paper, but with the coming of the computers, many had switched to the new medium. The RPG as we know on CoE is pretty much story telling from few different points of view. Each person involved in a thread/story takes on a character and guides him/her through the adventures that people involved create. There is also an unspoken rule that you do not take other person’s character without permission.
There are also different ways of role-playing: scripted and unscripted. The first one usually includes a certain level of planning and if you want to join such thread, you need to contact the originator about how you could fit in. The latter kind is a lot more lenient about things and most of the time you can just jump in as long you make yourself fit in with the situation at hand. Both types are equally fun, but sometimes it takes a lot more guts and deduction when you have a planned story and you still want to have your own input into the plot.
Now, as I am a RPG Moderator, I could probably share a few insights into the job from a point of view many may not know of. A lot of people see staff of that forum as bossing around and forbidding a good fun. Let me just say that it is not true, as we all work tirelessly to make this place as pleasant as possible. Each and every RPG moderator has to read through a lot of threads each day, making sure that all participants are abiding the rules. We do that objectively, trying not to judge anybody. Even if we notice some minor rule breaking, we will first nudge the person in the right direction before we go into any more drastic measures.
When I check the forums that are assigned to me, I usually start with the ones that have very short posts. They go by much quicker and I can move on to the threads that have a lot more evolved posts. That way I can just kick back and enjoy usually a good piece of writing that takes me to an enchanted place of Tolkien-like magic. At the moments like that I am actually grateful I am RPG moderator and have an opportunity to look over such great threads.
No matter in how much detail I try to describe to you the wonders and drawbacks of role-playing, there is nothing better than actually experiencing. Even if you are not a great writer, it may be great to go and check out the forum. You may find yourself drawn into a world you never knew existed. And when you join in and start roaming the plains of Middle-earth yourself you will realize that you don’t really need to be a literature major to create a world that will take your breath away. I hope to see you around!