View Poll Results: Worth reading the books if you have seen the films?

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  • Yes

    81 86.17%
  • No

    13 13.83%
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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkforCalde View Post
    Eragon is, hands down, the worst book I've ever read. I found it to be absolutely laughable. A farce. A mockery of a fantasy book. The most poorly written drivel of all time.
    I disagree. It was better than Twilight. Then again what isn't?
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  2. #62
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    Eragorn compared to Twilight is forgiven considering the fact it was writen when the author was 15. Still not a reason to publish a horrible piece of litterature.

  3. #63
    The movies are great, but you get so much more detail from the books. The thoughts/ feelings/ descriptions all add to the impact.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karteli View Post
    Ahh but someone out there liked Tolkien. The books got a second glance some many years after they were written and it inspired sort of a cult following of people who loved this new type of work -- fantasy!

    Some of those people who were inspired later went on to create TSR's Dungeons and Dragons, which later inspired many books, early computer games, console games, more books, and MMO's!

    Early creations shouldn't be so easily pushed aside. Think of something around you and how it first started .. a car, a mainframe, a home computer, a lawnmover, a washing machine .. the first time one came out was clunky as hell. But without someones early vision (as well as supporters who say "I think this person has something there!"), we wouldn't have the newer versions we enjoy today.
    Tolkien wasn't a major inspiration for D&D at all. Gary Gygax said that he had almost zero influence from Tolkien when he created the game, he said that he used races like hobbits, ents, and balrogs simply for marketing: that is, people would see their favorite LotR elements in the game and purchase it. The magic system in D&D was lifted from the Jack Vance book "The Dying Earth" where magicians would read a spell in the morning and once they used it, they'd have to relearn it and the stronger a magician was, the most spells he could hold in his head. They even took the names of spells from that book like prismatic spray. The alignment system was taken from Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson, and so on. Tolkien was only a marketing influence for D&D. Nothing more.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-10 at 03:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JonTargaryen View Post
    I disagree. It was better than Twilight. Then again what isn't?
    No, it really wasn't. I'd say Twilight was better actually, and that's saying a lot.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-10 at 03:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by ElAmigo View Post
    Ah, ok. Is your criticism aimed only at the first installment of the series or to the series as a whole?
    If I hated the first book so much, why would I read the sequels?

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkforCalde View Post
    Tolkien wasn't a major inspiration for D&D at all. Gary Gygax said that he had almost zero influence from Tolkien when he created the game, he said that he used races like hobbits, ents, and balrogs simply for marketing: that is, people would see their favorite LotR elements in the game and purchase it. The magic system in D&D was lifted from the Jack Vance book "The Dying Earth" where magicians would read a spell in the morning and once they used it, they'd have to relearn it and the stronger a magician was, the most spells he could hold in his head. They even took the names of spells from that book like prismatic spray. The alignment system was taken from Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson, and so on. Tolkien was only a marketing influence for D&D. Nothing more.
    Interview with Gary Gygax:
    http://archives.theonering.net/featu...ary_gygax.html

    1. Do you enjoy the works of JRR Tolkien? If so, How did he influence your work?

    Oh-oh! I am going to be in trouble from the get-go! I loved THE HOBBIT, read it once to myself, then about three or four times aloud to my children.

    As a Swords & Sorcery novel fan from way back–I read my first Conan yarn about 1948, was a fan and collector of the pulp SF and fantasy magazines since 1950, I was not as enamored of The Trilogy as were most of my contemporaries. While I loved Bombadil, the Nazgul too, the story was too slow-paced for me.

    How did it influence the D&D game? Whoa, plenty, of course. Just about all the players were huge JRRT fans, and so they insisted that I put as much Tolkien-influence material into the game as possible. Anyone reading this that recalls the original D&D game will know that there were Balrogs, Ents, and Hobbits in it. Later those were removed, and new, non-JRRT things substituted–Balor demons, Treants, and Halflings.

    Indeed, who can doubt the excellence of Tolkien’s writing? So of course it had a strong impact on A/D&D games. A look at my recommended fantasy books reading list in the back of the original DUNGEON MASTERS GUILD will show a long list of other influential fantasy authors, though.
    There is a distinct relation between Tolkien and DnD / ADnD. I'm not sure where you got the "zero influence" and the sole use of Tolkien for marketing - if he injects material from Tolkien into DnD for marketing, isn't that influencing the final product of DnD? Perhaps you derived this from Gary's molding of the game into what his players wanted: Tolkien. In any event, he loved the Hobbit, and though he thought the LotR stories were a bit slow paced, he still liked the content of those works, from his quote "Indeed, who can doubt the excellence of Tolkien’s writing?"

    Even if he didn't like the trilogy at all, that is irrelevant, because he used the content anyways, and ended up influencing DnD. [which later influenced books, computer game authors & players, many enthusiasts, and eventually MUD's/MMORPG's, leading us to a website based on an MMORPG that was derived from Tolkien fantasy - whee]

    He has other influences also, but for fantasy literature, JRR Tolkien is known as "the greatest influence within the fantasy genre" (The Oxford companion to English Literature), thanks to his contributions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (1930's).

    Other fantasy influences to Gary Gygax & DnD were works created after JRR Tolkien had already published the Hobbit / LotR, and thus already biased to being influenced directly or indirectly by JRR Tolkien.

    Now the other influential works of literature were definitely high quality writings (even though not all were fantasy), but really, you Can't have a Porsche or a Ferrari if the automobile engine was never invented.

    Thanks Mr. Tolkien, wherever you are.
    Last edited by Karteli; 2011-09-11 at 11:09 AM. Reason: grammar / spacing

  6. #66
    Amazing books and the basis for a lot of modern fantasy, as well as the modern fantasy epic. That being said many books since then are much better as the genre has grown on the legacy jrr left.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-11 at 10:44 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Proxeneta View Post
    There is no debate, buy the books and hail king Tolkien, they are the best books ever written... period

    edit: also buy The Hobbit, very very nice aswell
    Most influential in the genre yes but robert jordan and grr martin have definitely outstripped him, just as herbert and asimov were such sci fi icons yet someone like card's and gibsons books tend to be better. Almost never will the pioneers of something be the best in the end as everyone builds from their shoulders.

    AND AS A PRETTY GENERAL RULE WITH ONLY A FEW EXCEPTIONS IF IT IS A GREAT MOVIE THE BOOK WAS EVEN BETTER!!!!
    And it wouldn't be a great author thread without me recommending enders game and speaker for the dead trilogy as they are imo the best 4 books ever written.

    And eragon is a mediocre fantasy book(as twilight is mediocre in regards to anne rice) but give the guy slack he started the series as a freshman in highschool, where were your major works of literature at that point. And the twilight books are not that bad, it is just the movies that are a tragedy to literature and cinema.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-11 at 10:52 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkforCalde View Post
    I wouldn't suggest The Wheel of Time. It started off strong but OH BOY does it get tedious about halfway through.
    It does and it will end up being around 13,000 pages of print spanning almost 25 years of total writing but Robert jordan pioneered the "organic fantasy" that has a beginning and end in mind and the writing is the journey. They are also probably the most layered and complicated books in the genre as you catch new twists and meanings the 2nd 3rd and 4th time through(even sanderson has and he has the source notes and the ending). He pioneered the way for grrm to do a song of fire and ice which is being considered by many one of the best works in fiction in the past 200 years.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/139248...-fantasy-books

    Is a pretty decent list to go from although many are a single book in a series and unfortunately they clumped sci fi and fantasy together but that is almost all great literature of the past 100 years.

    AND AS A GENERAL RULE WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS IF THE MOVIE WAS GREAT THE BOOK WAS MUCH BETTER!!!
    Last edited by bigjenk; 2011-09-11 at 10:56 AM.

  7. #67
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    I liked both. the films were good, actiony, orc-killing fun; the books were the better overall story.
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karteli View Post
    Interview with Gary Gygax:
    http://archives.theonering.net/featu...ary_gygax.html



    There is a distinct relation between Tolkien and DnD / ADnD. I'm not sure where you got the "zero influence" and the sole use of Tolkien for marketing - if he injects material from Tolkien into DnD for marketing, isn't that influencing the final product of DnD? Perhaps you derived this from Gary's molding of the game into what his players wanted: Tolkien. In any event, he loved the Hobbit, and though he thought the LotR stories were a bit slow paced, he still liked the content of those works, from his quote "Indeed, who can doubt the excellence of Tolkien’s writing?"

    Even if he didn't like the trilogy at all, that is irrelevant, because he used the content anyways, and ended up influencing DnD. [which later influenced books, computer game authors & players, many enthusiasts, and eventually MUD's/MMORPG's, leading us to a website based on an MMORPG that was derived from Tolkien fantasy - whee]

    He has other influences also, but for fantasy literature, JRR Tolkien is known as "the greatest influence within the fantasy genre" (The Oxford companion to English Literature), thanks to his contributions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (1930's).

    Other fantasy influences to Gary Gygax & DnD were works created after JRR Tolkien had already published the Hobbit / LotR, and thus already biased to being influenced directly or indirectly by JRR Tolkien.

    Now the other influential works of literature were definitely high quality writings (even though not all were fantasy), but really, you Can't have a Porsche or a Ferrari if the automobile engine was never invented.

    Thanks Mr. Tolkien, wherever you are.
    Read this:

    http://dnd.ezael.net/~olep/Drmg095.pdf

    That's a PDF version of Dragon #95 which has an article about Gary Gygax on the influence of LotR in AD&D.

    Two paragraphs:

    A careful examination of the games will quickly reveal that the major influences are Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, Fritz Leiber, Poul Anderson, A. Merritt, and H.P. Lovecraft. Only slightly lesser influence came from Roger Zelazny, E. R. Burroughs, Michael Moorcock, Philip Jose Farmer, and many others. Though I thoroughly enjoyed The Hobbit, I found the “Ring ‘Trilogy”… well, tedious. The action dragged, and it smacked of an allegory of the struggle of the little common working folk of England against the threat of Hitler’s Nazi evil. At the risk of incurring the wrath of the Professor’s dedicated readers, I must say that I was so bored with his tomes that I took nearly three weeks to finish them.

    Considered in the light of fantasy action adventure, Tolkien is not dynamic. Gandalf is quite ineffectual, plying a sword at times and casting spells which are quite low-powered (in terms of the D&D game). Obviously, neither he nor his magic had any influence on the games. The Professor drops Tom Bombadil, my personal favorite, like the proverbial hot potato; had he been allowed to enter the action of the books, no fuzzy-footed manling would have been needed to undergo the trials and tribulations of the quest to destroy the Ring. Unfortunately, no character of Bombadil’s power can enter the games, either – for the selfsame reason! The wicked Sauron is poorly developed, virtually depersonalized, and at the end blows up in a cloud of evil smoke… poof! Nothing usable there. The mighty ring is nothing more than a standard ring of invisibility, found in the myths and legends of most cultures (albeit with a nasty curse upon it). No influence here, either…

    Edit: I shouldn't have said "almost zero" influence, I should've used Gygax's words which were "a minimal influence."

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-11 at 11:10 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by bigjenk View Post
    Amazing books and the basis for a lot of modern fantasy, as well as the modern fantasy epic. That being said many books since then are much better as the genre has grown on the legacy jrr left.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-11 at 10:44 AM ----------



    Most influential in the genre yes but robert jordan and grr martin have definitely outstripped him, just as herbert and asimov were such sci fi icons yet someone like card's and gibsons books tend to be better. Almost never will the pioneers of something be the best in the end as everyone builds from their shoulders.

    AND AS A PRETTY GENERAL RULE WITH ONLY A FEW EXCEPTIONS IF IT IS A GREAT MOVIE THE BOOK WAS EVEN BETTER!!!!
    And it wouldn't be a great author thread without me recommending enders game and speaker for the dead trilogy as they are imo the best 4 books ever written.

    And eragon is a mediocre fantasy book(as twilight is mediocre in regards to anne rice) but give the guy slack he started the series as a freshman in highschool, where were your major works of literature at that point. And the twilight books are not that bad, it is just the movies that are a tragedy to literature and cinema.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-11 at 10:52 AM ----------



    It does and it will end up being around 13,000 pages of print spanning almost 25 years of total writing but Robert jordan pioneered the "organic fantasy" that has a beginning and end in mind and the writing is the journey. They are also probably the most layered and complicated books in the genre as you catch new twists and meanings the 2nd 3rd and 4th time through(even sanderson has and he has the source notes and the ending). He pioneered the way for grrm to do a song of fire and ice which is being considered by many one of the best works in fiction in the past 200 years.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/139248...-fantasy-books

    Is a pretty decent list to go from although many are a single book in a series and unfortunately they clumped sci fi and fantasy together but that is almost all great literature of the past 100 years.

    AND AS A GENERAL RULE WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS IF THE MOVIE WAS GREAT THE BOOK WAS MUCH BETTER!!!
    Orson Scott Card is a terrible author, a terrible person, and absolutely not even remotely a viable influence on sci fi.
    Last edited by SilkforCalde; 2011-09-12 at 03:06 AM.

  9. #69
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    I've started to liken Tolkien to World of Warcraft...everyone with a barely passable knowledge of sword and sorcery fiction hails him as the creator, the all powerful all father of the genre who everyone since was influenced by and is ripping off...when in reality he was merely the latest (at the time) in a long line and had taken his stories from others and applied his very rigid style to them. To the OP, I'd say read the books, if just to say that you have read them.

  10. #70
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    Historically I've been a huge reader of fantasy...over the years have tried many times to get in to these books.

    I mean, this the mothership for fantasy fans right?

    I just found them *so* tedious.

    I was really happy that the films came along in this case, because I wanted to absorb the story but not the execution.

    My advice...try them, sure, why not - but, don't beat yourself up if you can't complete...many people have tried and failed. On the other hand though, if you do manage to...fantastic, because it's my feeling that there could possibly be a rare and special reward hidden within the books that I've often wished I could penetrate.

  11. #71
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    I mean yeah the books have a lot of detail that is not in the movies, unless you have an overwhelming desire to spend a week or two reading all of the books I don' suggest it. You really only miss out on a few things from the books. I also hate reading a book after a movie because I tend to play the movie in my head while reading which doesn't account for the details that are in the books and not in the movies.
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  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Zkeya View Post
    Even if you've seen the movies, reading the book is a whole different thing. There are many things mentioned in the books that didn't appear on screen.
    You may find them a bit boring if you imagine all the characters and events they way they were depicted on the movies. "Forget" the movies and read the books they you'd read a book you knew nothing about!
    i have to agree with this completely. the books are amazing, though there are some parts that can be hard to get through. also if your a serious Tolkien fan try the silmarilian (sp?)

  13. #73
    The Lightbringer Firebane's Avatar
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    Read the Hobbit instead, for me it was a much better book. LOTR is one of those marmite books IMO, you either love it, or hate it. (Still worth the read though. Always better than Twilight or shit like eat pray love).

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-12 at 03:33 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkforCalde View Post

    No, it really wasn't. I'd say Twilight was better actually, and that's saying a lot.[COLOR="red"]
    Lol. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...-With-Twilight
    Quote Originally Posted by Boubouille View Post
    I'm just being a smart ass at this point.

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Ecwfrk View Post
    Agree. They're best quality is how they influenced the genre. On their own, meh. Like others said though, the Hobbit is worth a read and is even better with the movies to complement it.

    There's much better reads out there. Wheel of Time. Black Company. The Renshai trilogies (fun reads). A Song of Ice and Fire (can also be dry and long winded at times, but much more intense). Mistborne. The Death Gate Cycle. Discworld... So many good choices.
    Even Steven King's Dark Tower series is great (although it's much more interesting if you're a Stephen King fan as it pulls many of his novels together). Just skip the last few chapters of the last book. Stephen King writes amazing stories but he seriously sucks at endings.
    I am not sure how someone can agree about LOTR being slow moving and poorly written and then suggest Wheel of Time. I love Wheel of Time... but man if there was ever an example of a long winded and often very slowly moving series, that would be it.

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkforCalde View Post
    Tolkien wasn't a major inspiration for D&D at all. Gary Gygax said that he had almost zero influence from Tolkien when he created the game, he said that he used races like hobbits, ents, and balrogs simply for marketing: that is, people would see their favorite LotR elements in the game and purchase it. The magic system in D&D was lifted from the Jack Vance book "The Dying Earth" where magicians would read a spell in the morning and once they used it, they'd have to relearn it and the stronger a magician was, the most spells he could hold in his head. They even took the names of spells from that book like prismatic spray. The alignment system was taken from Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson, and so on. Tolkien was only a marketing influence for D&D. Nothing more.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-10 at 03:21 PM ----------



    No, it really wasn't. I'd say Twilight was better actually, and that's saying a lot.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-10 at 03:21 PM ----------



    If I hated the first book so much, why would I read the sequels?
    I have read three hearts and three lions, and didn't know this! That said, Vance and Anderson are two of my favorite authors. I believe there is a spell somewhere in early d&d that referred to either vance or one of his characters directly as a tribute, don't recall now.

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkforCalde View Post
    Read this:
    <SNIP>
    I have to side with an interview when Gary Gygax was living, as opposed to (unknown) literary critics.

    He said Tolkien influenced him in making DnD / ADnD. I got to go with that.
    Last edited by Karteli; 2011-09-23 at 02:38 AM.

  17. #77
    Three words.

    Tom fucking Bombadil

    He was apparently too awesome to be confined to a movie script
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  18. #78
    Dreadlord Sofii's Avatar
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    I would say yes. I recently finished them, after seeing the movies all in cinema. I prefer the books, although they start SO FUCKING SLOW.

  19. #79
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    Definitely read them.

    To people who find them tedious keep in mind Tolkien was a medievalist first and foremost. When writing LOTR most of his inspiration came from Beowulf and the other classics of Anglo Saxxon and medieval literature, which quite frankly, are exhaustively detailed. And that's not everyone's thing and that's okay.

    At the very least, please read The Hobbit! It's a fast, fun read and it lays down a lot of the history for LOTR that Jackson skipped over. And it begins with a bunch of dwarves crashing and throwing a aprty!
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