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Old December 18, 2015, 01:06   #6
Bowman
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Bowman is on a distinguished road
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Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
I reread the Silmarillion because of Angband. I read it when I was much younger and I couldn't really follow anything. It was a lot easier when I had references to a lot of the characters from Angband.
Knowing about the characters from Angband has definitely been helpful, even if some of the information doesn't quite match up (e.g. the Angband description for Gorlim says he fell to the forces of Morgoth, which is technically true, but it's misleading since he really fell to Sauron). Also, I won't deny getting amped up whenever I come across a name that I recognize from Angband, even if it's just something like the passing references to Thuringwethil. Really looking forward to reading about Ar-Pharazon in the next parts, since he's easily my favorite of the Saruman/Ar-Pharazon/Mouth of Sauron trio of 50-60ish p caster uniques.

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I also felt that some creatures (like Ancalagon) could have gotten more "screen-time" but Tolkien was very good in making the world seem bigger than the text portrays. So there are lots of things that he obliquely refers to but never describes fully, and you're left to fill in the gaps yourself. That's really what makes LoTR's world so much better than many other fantasy worlds.

In a way it's kind of like roguelikes.
It does give it a sense of being part of a bigger world, though I personally prefer the way that Lovecraft does that. I'm probably too harsh on Tolkien's works in general, but I just always found LotR to feel really hollow and formulaic, even before falling in love with the works of Lovecraft and Poe (both of whom also more or less started their own genres, so I'm not going to cut Tolkien any slack on that behalf). The Silmarillion has been worthy of the high praise that it gets, though.

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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
I found Turin unbelievably frustrating - just when you thought he was going to get his life in order, he'd go and do another dumb thing. Which was kind of the point, but still.
Turin was hot-headed and easy to manipulate, sure, but I felt like most of his "bad" choices were more the result of being exposed to the awesomeness of Eol's sword (still wrecking fools from beyond the grave, too awesome ) and Glaurung. Even looking just at the dumb choices that he made for himself, they still felt more reasonable than some of the actions of Feanor/his sons (especially how Celegorm and Curufin acted in "Of Beren and Luthien") and Thingol (again, especially how he acted in "Of Beren and Luthien").

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Once you're done with the Silmarillion, I'd recommend Unfinished Tales, and if you're still interested there's a bunch of additional material spread through Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle Earth series.
Thanks for the tips! The Silmarillion is so much better than LotR, I really don't understand why is doesn't get more publicity.
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