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.
The movies are great, but you get so much more detail from the books. The thoughts/ feelings/ descriptions all add to the impact.
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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?"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.
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
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.
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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.
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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.
I liked both. the films were good, actiony, orc-killing fun; the books were the better overall story.
22 miles of hard road
33 years of tough luck
44 skulls buried in the ground
Crawling down through the muck
That's a PDF version of Dragon #95 which has an article about Gary Gygax on the influence of LotR in AD&D.
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."
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Last edited by SilkforCalde; 2011-09-12 at 03:06 AM.
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.
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.
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.
I believe in the use of hard drugs if only for the sole purpose of natural selection.
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).
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Tom fucking Bombadil
He was apparently too awesome to be confined to a movie script
Signature not acceptable (e.g. too large), read http://www.mmo-champion.com/general-discussions-22/important-signatures/ - Regards, Olison
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.
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!
That fabric softener teddy bear...oooh I'm 'a hunt that little bitch down.