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Tolkien and ballet

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An afterhours thought: Now, if Gaynor Minden wanted to really fix its hi-tech shoes, they should get in touch with WETA, the effects and production shop for the LotR movies. Some of the things they did can't be did!;)

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Mr. Johnson, I am most likely mistaken on this one, because I plowed through The Hobbit , as I could not put it down, but... when Bilbo and company come across those elf parties in the forest of Mirkwood and then all the lights go out and all, did it say the elves were dancing? Or only feasting and talking? You do seem to know all about LOTR- it is truly excellent, isn't it?

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I had to pull out my copy of The Hobbit and check pp. 132-134, where the Company invades the dinners of the Wood-Elves, but it only mentions eating, laughing, drinking, singing, and playing harps. But even JRRT goes so far as to say that the Wood-Elves were not as cultured as the High-Elves.

I picked up all four books in 1966, and I haven't put them down since. When the new materials came out, I acquired them and now have this weird library of Tolkien draft material that never made it to final form before he died.

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Ah, 'tis truly an excellent collection to have! Now I am a new-comer to this series, I became interested after I saw the Fellowship of the Ring the movie. I purchased the set of books recently, and I am on the Fellowship. I love LOTR now!!! Those stories you mentioned earlier about an Elf dancing and someone falling in love with her... which book was this in? Or was it in one of the Appendices? And what exactly are the Appendices and what are in them?

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Hi Balletstar811!

If you go to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (or Alibris.com, if you want autographed or rare editions) ... and enter "Tolkien" as the author (most people mis-spell it, so be careful!!), you'll find books by J.R.R. Tolkien (author of LOTR) and also his son Christopher. You can also find the full list at the Tolkien Society webpage, which IvyDancer posted in an earlier message.

The original texts are The Hobbit and LOTR, but JRR also wrote the Silmarillion, Tales of Tom Bombadil and a number of other Middle Earth texts (He was a professor of medeival language at Oxford and also has published professional works, such as a translation and commentary on the Beowulf epic, but we'll skip those). Christopher, once the Hobbit and LOTR really took off, edited many of the notes, alternate tales, drafts, background materials, etc., his father left into another series of books, including his master work, The History of Middle Earth. That amounts to about 12 volumes (in softcover, that's about $230) and covers all the Ages and has a tremendous amount of detail and background for LOTR ... As you might imagine, most people stop after The Hobbit and LOTR, some get to Silmarillion, and very few get to The History ...

Hope that helps!!

Regards,

BB

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But the "Tale of Beren and Luthien" is in The Silmarillion. When the Tolkiens passed away, they were buried side-by-side, with JRRT's grave marked "Beren" and Edith's marked "Luthien". Isn't that beautiful?

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Thank you very much Bilbo! Is this what the Appendices are? The History of Middle Earth? I heard that the tale of Arwen and Aragorn is in onw of them.... and my friend said everything that happened to each of the characters after Return of the King as well. Mr. Johnson, I would still likt to know about that Elvish tale... where was it located?

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Whoops, sorry about that, you answered before I did! Why, indeed, I agree- how very touching!

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What are commonly referred to as "The Appendices" are in the back of the "Return of the King" volume of LotR. More background and drafts are given in the other volumes of the History of Middle-Earth, but the finished form of "Beren and Luthien" is in The Silmarillion. Part of the History contains the drafts for this "prequel" that was finished by JRRT's son Christopher, whose writing is nowhere near as graceful as the Professor's. Incidentally, reading the drafts for LotR is a real hoot! Frodo was originally going to be Bingo! (Sounded like he hung around the parish hall on Wednesday nights or something!;) ) Eventually Bingo Baggins became a great-uncle.

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The appendices has a story about what happens to the characters after LOTR. It tells of Aragorn and Arwen, Legolas and Gimli, Sam, Merry and Pippen. I never read it the first time around but read it this time after I picked it up again. I found it to be very interesting to see, albiet briefly, what happens to them in the years after The Return of the King.

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Tolkien wrote on and on after where the book ends now, but his publishers told him the book was already too long, and could he cut it somewhere earlier, please. So he ends it with Sam coming home after he's been to the Havens. He actually carried it on until Sam went West, as last of the Ringbearers. The Appendices also contain the love scene that got shoehorned into the FotR film, much to the rage of some Tolkien purists, who are much meaner than Harry Potter purists, because their vocabularies are larger.

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I'm just coming from the pun thread and had a really awful idea for a new production: "The Lord of the Ring Cycle"

Just imagine the possibilities.

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Now I really MUST go buy the third book. they are all out at the local library, as they where with the FOTR and TTT, so I wound up going to wal mart and buying them, I have a strong feeling that will also happen with ROTK... hopefully soon, I need my fix :) I happen to like the little bridge scene, I think it adds a lot of depth to the movie. Aragorn was determined to proove himself so he could marry her, and I think with that scene it explains WHY he is so determined, because not a lot of people know this. Because of my massive Aragorn crush, I am really jealous of Liv Tyler. Really, how lucky do you get? a year and a half in New Zealand, living amongst such talented people, then getting to be Arwen, the Elf Princess, and getting screen time with Aragorn... heck, I'd do it for free, she got paid. I'm actually trying to convince my best friend (who is a guy) to go as Aragorn for halloween, and I'll be Arwen. We'll answer the door to trick or treaters and make them watch an reenactment of the entire bridge scene to get candy. The bonus is that how many kids would sit and watch much past the "you said you'd bind yourself to me" line? We'd get all the candy. GO US! lol

I think the names on their (the Tolkiens') graves is really really sweet... honestly, I'm getting way too many ideas from this thread...

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That's really the purpose of these "Other Arts" threads - to provoke thought and action!:) Talking about the æsthetics of other media besides ballet can have a beneficial effect on the ballet. Hans, I agree with you that a Lord of the Rings Ballet Cycle would be a horror even worse than the opera cycle about that OTHER ring!;) Fourteen hours of not funny - enough.

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I did a little searching on line for "Tolkien" and "ballet," and I came across this:

http://www.tolkienonline.com/docs/5282.html

Unfortunately, there were some difficulties getting permissions from the Tolkien estate, so it's not going to happen. Instead, Butler will present this, which might be fun, but I'd really rather see Beren and Luthien.

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When it comes to Christopher Tolkien (aka The Tolkien Estate), "difficulties" is like saying the Titanic "had a little accident". The Professor was a little bit peeved at American publishers who used a loophole in copyright laws to publish "pirate" editions of the Trilogy before Ballantine Books received the rights to publish in the US. But Christopher has been exceedingly chary (to put it mildly) of yielding even a tiny bit of Tolkienia without prior approval, editorial input and royalties.

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(Moderator: If these have to be removed for copyright reasons -- although I acknowledged the sources -- can I replace them with URL's? I can't post attachments yet ...)

Just in case you'd like to see the scholarship that people have put into this (not to mention Tolkien's genius in creating a consistent detailed history across thousands of years), here is the chronology of Aragorn and Arwen, viewed from slightly different perspectives ...

From the entry "Aragorn" in the Middle Earth Encylopedia, on the Barrow-Downs Website:

Man, Dúnedain. (T.A. 1 March 2931 – F.A. 1 March 120)

Son of Arathorn II and Gilraen. Husband of Arwen Undómiel. Father of Eldarion and many daughters. Last Chieftain of the Dúndedain and King of the Reunited Kingdom. Ranger of Eriador and member of The Company of the Ring.

Aragorn was born on March 1st in the year T.A. 2931, the son of Arathorn II and Gilraen the Fair. When he was only two years old his father was slain by orcs and he became the Lord of the Dúndedain and the last Heir of Isildur. He and his mother were taken into the care of Elrond in Rivendell.

To hide his heritage from the enemies of the Dúnedain, Aragorn was known in Rivendell by the name Estel, which means ‘Hope’. Not until he was twenty years of age (T.A. 2951)was he told his true lineage and name. At that time, Elrond gave to him the heirlooms of the Heirs of Isildur - the Ring of Barahir and the shards of Narsil, Elendil’s sword. But he withheld the Sceptre of Annúminas until ‘he had earned it’.

The next day Aragorn met Arwen while walking in the gardens of Rivendell, and he soon fell in love with her beauty and wisdom. But his love for Arwen went unrequitted for many years because she was an Elf already many centuries old and he was still quite young and but a mortal. He then took leave of Rivendell and journied out into the wild of Middle-Earth for thirty long years, laboring for the cause against Sauron.

During these years he befriended Gandalf the wizard (T.A. 2956) and served in disguise the lords of Rohan and Gondor where he was known as Thorongil (T.A. 2957-80). His services brought him into the far East and the deep South where he learned the ways of the servants of Sauron. While in Gondor he led a small fleet to Umbar where he burned most of the ships of the Corsairs and personally overthrew the Captain of the Havens.

When he was forty-nine years old Aragorn sought a rest from his journeys in the Elven realm of Lothlórien (T.A. 2980). Unknown to him, Arwen was staying for there for a time, and they met again. During his long years Aragorn had grown into a man of great stature and power so that he appeared almost as an Elf-lord. Arwen at last returned his love and on Midsummer’s Eve they plighted their troth on the hill of Cerin Amroth. As a token of his love he gave to her the Ring of Barahir.

Though it saddened Elrond greatly, he was silent when he heard of the promise between his daughter and Aragorn. Being Half-Elven and having lost his brother to mortality in the Second Age, he knew only too well the sorrow that loving a mortal could cause. He refused to allow his daughter to marry a Man, even one as great as Aragorn, unless he be no less than the King of both Gondor and Arnor. He would not allow her to sacrifice her immortality for anything less.

So Aragorn returned to the wild more determined than ever to regain the kingdom lost so long ago by the Dúndedain. He wandered again for many years until Gandalf came to him in T.A. 3001 and asked for his aid in seeking and capturing Gollum. The hunt proved long and seemingly hopeless, for he lost the trail of Gollum. It was not until T.A. 3009 that he once again searched for Gollum, this time in the vales of Anduin, Mirkwood and Rhovanion, finally seeking all the way to the borders of Mordor. finally in T.A. 3017 he found and captured him in the Dead Marshes and took him to Thranduil in Mirkwood where Gandalf questioned him.

He then spent more years as a Ranger in the wilds of Eriador where he was known as Strider. He became a rugged, woodcrafty man, the most skilled huntsman of his day, and also skilled at avoiding the traps of the enemy. He knew all of the lands for hundreds of miles and all of the peoples living in them. In the last years before the the War of the Ring he spent much of his time patrolling the borders of the Shire.

Told by Gandalf of Frodo’s journey and warned by Gildor that the hobbits were leaving the Shire, Aragorn was waiting for them when they arrived at Bree He helped them avoid the attack of the Black Riders and later used his knowledge of the land to avoid the Riders for the many miles between Bree and the Weather Hills.

At Weathertop he drove of the attacking Black Riders and used his extensive knowledge of ancient healing techniques to find and use athelas on Frodo’s wound. His Ranger skills once again proved invaluable in the journey through the hard lands between Waethertop and Rivendell.

At Rivendell he participated in the Council of Elrond and was chosen as a member of the Company of the Ring. But while the other members of the company rested and prepared for the Quest, Aragorn accompanied the sons of Elrond on a scouting mission down the Greyflood River as far south as Tharbad. When he returned, the broken shards of Narsil, the Sword of Elendil, were reforged as Andúril.

When the passage over the Redhorn Gate proved impossible, Aragorn counseled against the mines of Moria, having once entered the mines himeself, long ago.. But he submitted to the leadership of Gandalf. When the wizard fell at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, Aragorn became the de facto leader of the Company and led them quickly into the safety of Lothlórien.

Unsure of Gandalf’s intentions for the Quest beyond Lórien, Aragorn took them by boat to the lawn of Parth Galen beneath Amon Hen, the Hill of Sight. There, while he pondered the future of the Company in the Seat of Seeing, a force of orcs attacked. Frodo and Sam escaped but Merry and Pippin were taken prisoner, but Boromir was slain. Aragorn came too late from the high seat to save the man of Gondor, and he greatly rued his decision to climb Amon Hen.

After giving Boromir’s body to the Anduin, Aragorn led the chase across the Wold of Rohan to rescue the captured hobbits. The Three Hunters raced for days but were unable to overtake the orcs that were running towards Isengard. Instead they met Eomer, who lent them horses, and finally Gandalf returned as ‘The White’. The wizard told them that the two young hobbits were safe with Treebeard and urged them to accompany him to Edoras in Rohan.

Aragorn proved a valiant warrior at the Battle of Helm’s Deep, facing the enemy army alone atop the Deeping Wall and slaying many orcs. After recieving the palantir or Orthanc he returned to the Hornburg Tower and there, as the rightful user of the stone, wrenched it to his will and revealed himself to Sauron. He also used the palantir to look far into the South where he saw a fleet of Corsairs approaching the southern coasts of Gondor. It was this vision that convinced him to travel the Paths of the Dead.

He fearlessly led the way through the Paths, calling the Oathbreaking Dead to him at the Stone of Erech. The army of ghosts followed him to Pelargir, passing him at the last and overwhelming the ships of Umbar. Aragorn and the people of the harbors then manned the ships and, with a sudden change in the winds, sailed quickly up the Anduin to Harlond.

Aragorn thus arrived at the last moment at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, turning the tide of the battle and meeting Éomor in the midst of the field. From there he proceeded to Minas Tirith still dressed as a Ranger for he refused to enter the city as a King until he had the leave of the Steward. Once inside the walled city he went quickly to the Houses of Healing where he skills saved the lives of Éowyn, Faramir and Merry.

At the Black Gate of Mordor Aragorn parleyed with the Mouth of Sauron, defeating the sorcerer in a short battle of wills. As the Mouth retreated and the armies of Sauron sallied forth from the Morannon, Aragon ordered the armies through the battle and, with the aid of the Eagles and the destruction of the Ring, the war was won.

So it finally came to pass that Sauron was destroyed and the King was returned. Aragorn and the triumphant armies returned to Minas Tirith where he was crowned by Gandalf as King Elessar, taking the surname of Telcontar which was Elvish for ‘Strider’. Then Arwen arrived with Elrond who now gave his blessing. And on Midsummer’s Eve of the year 3019 of the Third Age Arwen and Aragorn were wed.

As Elessar he ruled the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor for many years. And Arwen bore him a son, Eldarion, and several daughters. But at last, though his lifespan was three times that or normal Men, Aragorn grew tired and knew that his time had come. On the 1st of March of the year 120 of the Fourth Age he laid himself down on a bed of stone prepared for him in the House of Kings in the Silent Street. There he said farewell to Eldarion, passing the crown and the Sceptre to him. And there he said his last good-byes to Arwen, at last falling into a deep sleep from which he never awoke.

Aragorn had many names including Elfstone by Arwen, Strider by the people of Bree, the Renewer by the healers of Minas Tirith, The Dunadan by Bilbo, Longshanks by Bill Ferny, and Wingfoot by Éomer.

REF:-84, 212, 213,214,215, [iI]297, 298, 302, 304, 305, 327, 334, 340, 349, 419, 442;[iII] -20, 34, 39, 48, 58, 59 150 ; [V]-52, 55, 56, 64, 68, 135, 136, 150, 152, 158, 168, 180, 181, [VI]274 ; [A]382:390; 421:433; [F]469

Abbreviations:

b. = born d. = died F.A = Fourth Age fl. = flourished

T.A. = Third Age WoR = War of the Ring S. = Sindarin C.S. = Common Speech

From the entry "Arwen" in the Middle Earth Encyclopedia, on the Barrow-Downs Website (I excerpted only the final portion -- note the slight differences and additional details):

After the fall of Sauron, she married Aragorn in Minas Tirith with her father's blessing now that he was the ruler of the renewed kingdom of Elendil. The parting with Elrond her father was grievious for her, for she was now a mortal woman by her own will. But in her stead, she gave Frodo the Ring-Bearer a white gem, and told him to sail into the West.

120 years of a life together was granted to the King and his Queen, and on his dying day Aragorn prompted Arwen for the last time with her crucial choice; but although he offered her to 'repent' and sail west to her Elven kin, she accepted the Doom of Men. And there she said she finally understood the Gift of Men from Eru, and how bitter it was to receive.

Then Arwen took leave of her people in Minas Tirith and returned to Lórien one last time for a few months alone. Before the new Spring had come to the silent woods, she laid down upon Cerin Amroth and passed away.

(end of quotation)

120 years together ... coincedentally (perhaps not -- Tolkien was said to be a religious man) the life span of Moses ... and dying within a few months of one another ...

BB

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Isn't that sad? I almost cry every time (all 5 times in the last 2 weeks already) I read it. It's so sad! very sweet, but so sad!

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120 years of peace, marital bliss, raising a family ... blink of an eye for an elf, but a true gift of precious time for mortals ...

... and given true love, how much beyond the death of your beloved would you want to live?

It's sad, but I could see alternatives that are much sadder ...

BB

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Given the size of the site, and the amount quoted, I'd say we're in the clear, as "fair use" includes the quotation of passages for review or criticism.

(PS. It's possible there's a parallel to Moses; Tolkien was exceedingly devout in his Roman Catholicism, and knew his Bible better than most people. Did you know he was the translator for the Book of Job in the Jerusalem Bible?)

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I also can think of worse things that what happened to the pair, still, it's sad.

I had no idea though, about the connection to Moses, let alone what religion Tolkien was. I suppose I wouldn't- as I am Wiccan :)

I really must go get the Return of the King, I know basically the whole plot now... I just haven't read it lol

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I knew he was a devout Catholic, but didn't know his biblical translation role, although given the quality of his prose, it's not a surprise.

There are so many passages that just scream "good vs. evil", as well as the whole passing of the Age of Elves, rise of the Age of Men themes ... several texts have looked at the LOTR as a biblical analogy.

BB

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Right, JRRT's writings were informed by many different sources, from the Prose Edda of Iceland through various pre-Chaucerian English sources, Finnish language, and medieval Christian patristics and scripture. The Professor himself would probably deny that he consciously wrote with parallels to any one source, and he would practically faint at the idea of the Trilogy being an allegory, which he "cordially loathed".

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It seems to me that many people associate literature with biblical references. Perhaps the author wanted this to be noticed, and perhaps not. If JRRT would "practically faint" at the idea, then I doubt he meant it to be related to the Bible! :D Mr. Johnson, what exactly is an allegory?

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*whee!* I just bought The Return of the King. FINALLY! I have been looking for a few days now, but it's been sold out everywhere. we finally checked out a used bookstore and they had ONE copy (new) left. I bought it, of course, and am very happy, as it has a nice big picture of Aragorn on the front *swoons*

The first thing I did when I got home was looked in the appendix (could it be any longer?!) and read Arwen and Aragorn's story *sighs* it was so sad. I cried, really. I mean I suppose this way was the only way but it upsets me how Aragorn had been the last of the Numenoreans, *sighs*... I already knew it, but I still had to read it.

I also read various parts of exactly how Aragorn is related to Elrond and Arwen. It makes much more sense now. Basically, the Numenoreans where directly related to the Elves, as Elros was Half-Elven- correct?

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