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12 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Bear in mind that Hobbit society was fairly class-conscious by US standards.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Merry and Pippin are both "upper class" individuals, so their coming of age is more relevant than that of a manual laborer such as Sam.

Well yes, but that's only taking into account the Hobbits' perspective.  I was thinking of it more from the author's perspective.  Merry and Pippin's youthfulness is mentioned by many other characters throughout the books (who would know little to nothing of the Hobbits' class structure), and very often by Gandalf.  I don't think Sam's is ever mentioned.  He's never grouped in with them when the subject arises, and in fact I think even he himself makes a comment about the trouble caused by their immaturity at some point.  That tells me that Tolkien wanted us to regard Merry and Pippin as youths (Pippin most of all), but not so much Sam.

It's also worth noting that while yes, Merry and Pippin's coming of age might arouse more interest due to their social status, in context their youth is more often referred to in a disparaging manner, as if problematic.

12 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

By current standards, Sam is the equivalent of a 23-year-old.

Weeeeell, it's debatable, because their aging timeline doesn't match up with our human timeline.  We have stages of life fairly neatly divided into sections of about 20 years; but apparently Hobbits have an adolescence of 33 years, and then only 17 more years until middle age.  It’s like adjusting for inflation, lol.  You have to do some wonky calculations to figure out how Hobbit years match up with human years, which many people have attempted to do.  And I think there is a general consensus.  What I've seen most often is that, in human years, Frodo is about 40; Sam is in his early 30's; Merry is in his mid-to-late 20's; and Pippin is in his early 20's or late teens.  And to me that makes sense, because that's about how old they each act in the books.  But again, it's debatable.

Edit: I forgot to mention, if the above age translation is accurate (and I don’t know how they arrived at that, I’m no mathematician), it could explain why Merry and Sam are treated as being at different stages of maturity despite their age difference of only 2 Hobbit years.  If Sam is, say, between 30-33, and Merry is between 25-28, it would makes sense that Merry would be viewed as more of a young adult than Sam.  Even humans treat people in their 30’s differently than those in their 20’s.  Sometimes even when the difference is only a 30-year-old and a 28-year-old.  There’s something about crossing that 30 threshhold that just changes how people think of you.  So anyway, there could be something like at at play here.

In any case, while I applaud those who have tried, I don’t think the age thing is necessarily worth figuring out.  It doesn’t seem to follow very strict rules, and I don’t think it has to.  That’s more of a silly human construct.  :P 

Personally, I think that the coming of age at 33 is taken a bit too literally.  Tolkien was a Christian, and 33 is an important number in Christianity.  In Jesus' day, in traditional Judaism (and maybe even still, I'm not sure), age 30 was a kind of coming of age.  Obviously people were long grown before the age of 30, but 30 was considered the age at which one finally achieved their full strength, full maturity, and truly became their own person, able to care for themselves.  Jesus began his ministry at age 30, which ended when he died at age 33.  33 then in Christianity became a number symbolic of fully coming into one's own.  I think Tolkien took that idea and applied it to his Hobbits, intending it to be taken in the same vein more as a symbolic coming of age.  Less "you are a legal adult now", and more "you are fully mature now".

12 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

The tables are basically turned, and I wonder if this was deliberate, so as to emphasize Frodo's vulnerability.

That's an interesting thought.  Maybe!  I shall have to consider that some more.

For some reason, to me, Frodo and Sam seem about the same age in the movies.  I mean, Frodo's actor *is* very young-looking (because he *was* very young, lol), and if I think about it hard then yeah, he definitely looks quite a bit younger than Sam's actor.  But when I'm watching the movie, somehow I don't notice the difference and I totally buy that they're the same age.

Also consider that this could technically be explained away.  Frodo came into possession of the Ring on his 33rd birthday (there's that 33 again), and it slowed his aging as it had done for Bilbo.  Over the following 17 years the Hobbits began noticing and gossiping amongst themselves about how "queer" it was that he appeared to have not aged at all since then, as if time had stopped for him, just like Bilbo.  So theoretically, at the time they leave the Shire, Frodo could look 5 years younger than 38-year-old Sam, give or take.  Oddly, Sam could very well be the oldest-looking Hobbit of the bunch, lol.

 

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13 hours ago, Artemis said:

Frodo came into possession of the Ring on his 33rd birthday (there's that 33 again), and it slowed his aging as it had done for Bilbo.

Hadn't thought of that, but of course it did.  Even so, if Sam's 38, then Frodo should look only about five years younger, and to me he looks -- well, he looks more like 20 than 33.  Even remembering that 33 in hobbit years is probably younger than 33 in human years, I don't think it would equate to our 20.

13 hours ago, Artemis said:

33 then in Christianity became a number symbolic of fully coming into one's own.  I think Tolkien took that idea and applied it to his Hobbits, intending it to be taken in the same vein more as a symbolic coming of age.  Less "you are a legal adult now", and more "you are fully mature now".

It may not have been a legal thing in our sense (hobbits didn't seem to have much of a legal system, just a lot of customs), but it did seem to be a very significant age.  In the first chapter of FotR, Tolkien refers to the "tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three."  So in practical terms, their 33 may have been even more significant than our 18.

23 hours ago, Artemis said:

Sam is from Hobbiton and practically the embodiment of a respectable Hobbit.  [....]  And being a typical Hobbit, with the experience of a typical Hobbit, he has the attitudes of a typical Hobbit, which include a distaste and strong suspicion towards outsiders or anything different.

Good point (though I would amend that to "respectable working-class hobbit").  He does seem to have a rather un-hobbitish curiosity and enthusiasm about what lies beyond the Shire, however, although I have no idea whether that's innate, or perhaps learned from Bilbo's tales of elves and dwarves.  He tells Frodo (at end of Chapter 2), "Elves, sir!  I woul dearly love to see them."

15 hours ago, Artemis said:

If it were me, I wouldn't even bother trying to make [fanfic] consistent with the movies.  Just follow the original source!

I agree as regards chronology and character traits.  But I do like (most of) the visual aspects of Jackson's movies, as well as some of his invented scenes (e.g., the acorn), and even a few of his changed scenes (did not miss Beorn's magic sheep at all!).

15 hours ago, Artemis said:

In any case, that scene [where Frodo offers The Ring to the Nazgul] bugs me.  And I was already annoyed that they were in Gondor in the first place, lol.

That scene bugs me big-time, and I wasn't even aware that they shouldn't have been in Gondor!

 

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On 4/13/2022 at 1:58 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Even so, if Sam's 38, then Frodo should look only about five years younger, and to me he looks -- well, he looks more like 20 than 33.

Oh yeah, I agree!  I only meant that there could be an explanation for Sam looking older than Frodo, not for how very young Frodo looks in the movies, lol.  Elijah Wood could never pass for 33.  Maybe 23.  I don't think Sean Astin looks as old to me as he does to you though.  To me he could pass for as young as 25 but looks about 28, which I think was his actual age when filming began.  Elijah Wood was 18.

Hmmm... So if Sam looks 28 (to me), and Frodo could pass for 23 (to me), that is ironically a 5-year age difference, lol.  Maybe that's why it doesn't bother me much.

On 4/13/2022 at 1:58 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

He does seem to have a rather un-hobbitish curiosity and enthusiasm about what lies beyond the Shire, however, although I have no idea whether that's innate, or perhaps learned from Bilbo's tales of elves and dwarves.  He tells Frodo (at end of Chapter 2), "Elves, sir!  I would dearly love to see them."

I was just about to bring that up!  I'm pretty sure it says in there somewhere that his fascination with Elves is attributed to his love of Bilbo's stories as a youth.  Such was true of many young Hobbits who grew up hearing Bilbo's stories, but most of them "grew out of it".  Sam held on to that starry-eyed dream even into adulthood, which I think says a lot about him.  :happy:  Even in the movie it's said that Sam wanted to see the Elves "more than anything".  And then he wants to go immediately back home, lol.  Not that I blame him!

On 4/13/2022 at 1:58 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

(though I would amend that to "respectable working-class hobbit")

Yes, working-class.  :happy:  Although one's respectability in the Shire is not necessarily dependent on one's social class.  Frodo and Bilbo (after he returned from his adventure to the Lonely Mountain) were not so highly esteemed, in spite of their class (unless they were throwing parties or giving out gifts, lol).  Sam, on the other hand, went on to become the mayor of Hobbiton, re-elected for 7 consecutive terms until his retirement.  One certainly cannot say his social status hindered him from being admired and well-liked!

On 4/13/2022 at 1:58 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

It may not have been a legal thing in our sense (hobbits didn't seem to have much of a legal system, just a lot of customs), but it did seem to be a very significant age.  In the first chapter of FotR, Tolkien refers to the "tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three."  So in practical terms, their 33 may have been even more significant than our 18.

It could be!  It's hard to say really, I don't know that Tolkien ever got all that specific about its significance.  When I said that their coming of age may be more symbolic than literal, I didn't mean to imply that it is somehow less significant as such.  What I was ultimately trying to suggest was that the Hobbits' "tweens" may actually be another stage of adulthood, rather than a stage of prolonged adolescence as it is popularly interpreted; much like the ancient Jews became adults well before the age of 30, but were not considered fully mature until then.  It's not even all that hard to put into modern human terms, really.  We basically have the "tweens" stage ourselves; Tolkien just gave it a name.  Our 20's are considered our unstable, "adventurous" stage of life, before we settle down.  It seems very similar an idea to the Hobbits' "tweens", and covers *at least* ages 18-25, though I would say it's applied to everyone under 30.  It's even pretty common to use the word "kids" to describe this group, even though they are in fact adults.  "College kids" is a phrase I hear frequently, though I've heard the word "kid" applied to all 20-somethings, not just those in their early 20's.  At 30, however, nobody calls you a "kid".

People take the term "coming of age" so literally, they seem to think Tolkien meant that Hobbits are still children prior to age 33; when I think what he really meant was that they haven't settled down yet.  Basically, "coming of age" means "reaching maturity", not "reaching adulthood".  There's a difference.

Anyway, applying this logic to our Hobbits: Sam is far enough out of his tweens to not be grouped in with Merry and Pippin as "kids", so in human terms I'd say he's roughly in his early 30's somewhere.  Merry is "barely out of his tweens", so in human terms I'd place him around 27 or 28 years old.  Old enough to be considered a more mature 20-something nearing 30, but young enough to still be called a kid sometimes.  Half those times probably just because he spends so much time getting into mischief with a 22(ish)-year-old, lol.

On 4/13/2022 at 1:58 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

as well as some of his invented scenes (e.g., the acorn)

What is the acorn scene?  I forget.  :bemused: 

 

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13 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

That scene bugs me big-time, and I wasn't even aware that they shouldn't have been in Gondor!

And on that subject!  That's my second most disliked scene/character change in the movie (second to the scene where Frodo sends Sam away).  Faramir never takes the Ring to Gondor.  He is helpful to Frodo and Sam.  He also doesn't and never would have had Gollum beaten in order to learn about the Ring.  It's actually Sam who lets it slip that Frodo is carrying the Ring.  Luckily, he let it slip to the best person possible.  Faramir has no interest in the Ring, because he has no interest in attaining power.  I'm disappointed that they did not maintain this important detail as it was in the books, because Tolkien was trying to teach us something through Faramir's character.

Frodo and Faramir are alike in a lot of ways.  Both have wisdom, compassion, gentleness, and strength of mind.  Both are intellectual and studious, preferring what you might call "higher pursuits" to the pursuit of glory, power, or gain.  In contrast to Boromir, Faramir was a reluctant soldier.  Denethor disapprovingly calls him a "wizard's pupil", criticizing him for his eagerness to learn and take instruction from Gandalf over the years.  Boromir was known for his bravery, but Faramir was known for his nobility.

Several times Tolkien draws a connection between warriors and the temptation of power.  Boromir is first to fall to the Ring in large part because he is a warrior.  That doesn't make him a bad person; warriors like Boromir seek greater power because they yearn to protect what they love.  But that's what so deceptive and enticing about it.

Frodo and Faramir are the least inclined towards fighting, and thus the least inclined to seek power to aid them.  You could argue that even the other Hobbits have stronger fighting instincts.  Sam is always ready to throw hands, and Merry and Pippin both go to war and end up offering their service to Rohan and Gondor, respectively.

There's a lesson here, but it was ignored and changed in the films.  There are moral messages littered throughout Tolkien's work, and they're relayed through the actions of the characters.  When you change the character, you change the message.  Maybe they thought they were making Faramir more interesting or complex or something, but I wish they wouldn't have.  Everything Tolkien wrote had a purpose, just the way it was written.

Anyway, if I had to pick another character besides Frodo to bear the Ring to Mount Doom, I'd probably pick Faramir first.  Not that it really matters, because as Tolkien said in one of his letters, everyone would have failed at the end.  Frodo got it closer than anyone else would have been able to, but no one would have been able to throw it in the fire willingly.  As a second choice, though, I'd place my bet on Faramir.

 

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4 hours ago, Artemis said:

What is the acorn scene?  I forget.

It takes place inside the Lonely Mountain.  Thorin comes upon Bilbo, who is fingering something that neither Thorin nor we can see, and Thorin demands to know what he's got there.  But it's neither The Ring nor the Arkenstone, it's a simple acorn that he had picked up at Beorn's place as a souvenir.

I wrote a (very) short story about that, called "Mr. Bilbo's Acorn" [link], which was a major challenge to make (more or less) consistent with both the books AND the movies (thus my earlier comment about Jackson's "originality" making fanfic difficult).  Even so, I'm not sure how much sense it would make to anyone who wasn't already familiar with both versions.

2 hours ago, Artemis said:

There are moral messages littered throughout Tolkien's work, and they're relayed through the actions of the characters.  When you change the character, you change the message.  Maybe they thought they were making Faramir more interesting or complex or something....

Probably.  Just as they apparently thought The Hobbit would be more exciting with more orcs and more elves.  *sigh*

 

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3 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Thorin demands to know what he's got there.  But it's neither The Ring nor the Arkenstone, it's a simple acorn that he had picked up at Beorn's place as a souvenir.

Ah yes, I remember that now.  That scene was a nice addition.

I still have to read your fanfic!  I'm pretty sure you gave me a link a long while ago, and I totally forgot all about it.  I'm sorry!  I'm gonna make myself a note so I don't forget again.

3 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Probably.  Just as they apparently thought The Hobbit would be more exciting with more orcs and more elves.  *sigh*

"Sigh" indeed.  My number one gripe with the 'Hobbit' films (and I have very, very, very many) is the addition of characters that weren't in the book, particularly Tauriel and her shoehorned love triangle.  No thank you.

I'm not sure whether they added so much extra stuff because they thought it would be more exciting, or because PJ was forced to fill the span of three 3-hour films.  They thought they could make another 'Lord of the Rings' with a book that is only a quarter of the size, and they were wrong.  I've read rumors that PJ nearly had a mental breakdown struggling to figure out how to stretch the 'Hobbit' films so long.

I don't think one movie would have done it though, even a 3-hour movie.  It would have been too rushed.  But I think two 2-hour movies might have been about right.

 

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9 hours ago, Artemis said:

My number one gripe with the 'Hobbit' films (and I have very, very, very many) is the addition of characters that weren't in the book, particularly Tauriel and her shoehorned love triangle.

I don't so much mind the inclusion of Tauriel and Legolas.  Even though he wasn't mentioned in the book, he was presumably present in Thranduil's palace and at the Battle.  So I was expecting to see him in those scenes, which would have been nice.  But they had him (instead of Bilbo!) rescue the dwarves from the spiders.  They added a scene so he could rescue the dwarves from orcs along the river.   But the last straw was when he showed up in Laketown, for pete's sake!

My main beef about Tauriel's scenes with umm, whichever dwarf that was, is that they weren't filmed very convincingly.  They did it mostly on the cheap, using perspective, and didn't even bother with that sometimes.  In my opinion, they totally failed to convey the impression that she was about twice his height, which would have made their scenes all the more poignant.  Well, actually I have two main beefs -- she didn't belong in Laketown any more than Legolas did.

9 hours ago, Artemis said:

They thought they could make another 'Lord of the Rings' with a book that is only a quarter of the size, and they were wrong.

They might have come closer if they'd used more scenes that were actually in the book!!!

But I agree, they should have stuck with the announced two movies and/or made each one shorter.

 

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19 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I don't so much mind the inclusion of Tauriel and Legolas.  Even though he wasn't mentioned in the book, he was presumably present in Thranduil's palace and at the Battle.  So I was expecting to see him in those scenes, which would have been nice.

I don't mind that Legolas was included either, for the reasons you already mentioned.  What I object to is the *extent* to which he was included.  He should have been given a brief cameo or two at most, not an entire storyline.  Maybe a shot of him at his home in Mirkwood, and a cool combat scene in the Battle of Five Armies... but no more than that.  Maybe for the Mirkwood cameo, they could have left in (or done a variation of) the scene where he asks Gloin about his picture of Gimli.  It's not my favorite scene, but it does serve the dual purpose of reminding the audience that Gloin is Gimli's father and Legolas is from Mirkwood.

I *do* mind that Tauriel was included, lol.  She's not a character Tolkien created, she doesn't belong in the story.  I don't think there was a single character with a speaking line in the LotR films who wasn't in the books in some capacity.  (Though I could be mistaken; it has been many many years since I've seen the films.)  Tauriel is completely made up for the film and an entirely unnecessary character.  If she had only had one small scene, maybe as a guard to the imprisoned Dwarves or something, I could have lived with it.  But she should never have been given a subplot.

19 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

They did it mostly on the cheap, using perspective, and didn't even bother with that sometimes.  In my opinion, they totally failed to convey the impression that she was about twice his height, which would have made their scenes all the more poignant.

I must admit I never noticed.  I was too busy rolling my eyes and being extremely irritated by her existence.

19 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

But they had him (instead of Bilbo!) rescue the dwarves from the spiders.

That's exactly what drives me so crazy about the changes made to characters, both here and in the LotR films.  Bilbo's rescue of the Dwarves from the spiders showcased his courage and cleverness.  When you take that action away from him, you take away the character traits demonstrated by him through that action.  And it's especially frustrating when that action and those traits are then redistributed to a different character, just to make that character look better or cooler or whatever.  Now you've diminished the character who originally took that action, and then you have to listen to everyone else shouting, "Wow, Legolas!  The true hero!  So brave and smart!  Good thing he was there to save that helpless Hobbit!"

The Mirkwood chapter is probably my favorite from the 'Hobbit' book, so I was annoyed about the Elves' involvement in the spider scene; but it didn't bother me as much as it could have, because at least they showed Bilbo confusing the spiders and cutting the Dwarves free of their webs before the Elves interfered.  This will probably sound silly, but the change that actually bothered me more was the scene where Bilbo noticed Smaug's missing scale.  In the film, it was just that: He *happened* to notice.  (And he wasn't even the first to notice, because he'd heard the rumor in Laketown that Smaug was missing a scale after his last "visit" to Laketown, when Bard's ancestor knocked it off with a black arrow.)  In the book, it was quick thinking and an intelligent play.  He used flattery and feigned ignorance to trick Smaug into showing off his underbelly, so he could look for weak spots.  When he found one, he told the Dwarves, and word got back to Bard, who was able to use the information to eventually take Smaug down.  So not only was Bilbo proven to be clever (again), we also have him to thank for Smaug's destruction.  But in the film, it was just a passing observation, and Bard just happened to notice the same thing later when Smaug was near, without Bilbo’s help.  Bilbo had no effect on Smaug's outcome at all.  I don't know, it just bugged me.

19 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

They might have come closer if they'd used more scenes that were actually in the book!!!

Couldn't agree with you more!  100%.

 

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Lookit the nifty new pin I'm sporting on my gray scarf!  I'm so proud of it, lol.


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24 minutes ago, Artemis said:

Lookit the nifty new pin I'm sporting

Sorry, but I'm on my phone and can't quite make out what it's supposed to be -- or what the writing says.  Please enlighten me!

 

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45 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Sorry, but I'm on my phone and can't quite make out what it's supposed to be -- or what the writing says.  Please enlighten me!

It's Gandalf the Grey smoking a pipe and in the smoke it says " Disturber of the Peace".

 

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Frodo and Sam were in my dreams last night, lol.  Been thinking about this too much lately, apparently.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://antidepressantsortolkien.vercel.app/

This is tougher than it looks - got only 19/24, which is a bit embarrassing considering I was really into the Silmarillion as a teen. :blush:

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I'd never have thought of making a quiz where you have to say whether each item is the name of a Tolkien character or an antidepressant drug, but it's amazingly not easy.

I got only 14 of 24, but then I've never read the Silmarillion.   :P   So I got Bilbo correct (duh!), and figured that another one was so close to a real drug name that I doubt it would have been allowed and so it had to be Tolkien, which it was.  Other than those two, I got 50/50, so at least I didn't embarrass myself by doing worse than a coin toss.

Alex is currently re-reading the Silmarillion -- will see if he's interested in testing his memory.  OK, he says he'll check it out in a few days, after the NFL draft is over (for those who are, like me, not into American pro football, this is how the teams divvy up the new players who are graduating from college this year).

 

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Alex just took the quiz and got 17.

I suspect a person would need to pretty much memorize all the Tolkien characters and/or all the antidepressants to do really well on it.  To me at least they sound too much alike for guesswork to succeed.

 

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You're making me feel better about my 19 already. :lol:

The question is, though, why they sound so much alike. Generally medications used to be named with Latin or Greek words behind it in my experience, but apparently antidepressants follow a different pattern - maybe someone found Tolkien soothing and it developed from there? :smile:

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5 hours ago, Caya said:

The question is, though, why they sound so much alike. Generally medications used to be named with Latin or Greek words behind it in my experience, but apparently antidepressants follow a different pattern - maybe someone found Tolkien soothing and it developed from there?

Dunno how it is in Europe, but here in the US they've started advertising many prescription drugs to the consumer (e.g., on television: "Ask your doctor about Galadriel!"), so the Latin and Greek names aren't so appropriate.  In fact, most drugs have two or more names: the "real" name that's on the patent (which may be fairly unwieldy because they're trying to sound scientific), and one or more brand names (depending on how many companies are marketing the same thing).  I think it's the brand names that sound Tolkien-ish.

There are so darn many new drugs that they're probably running out of unique names that actually mean something, and are now using nice-sounding semi-gibberish.  It's not just antidepressants, either.  How about Mirataz?  That's an appetite stimulant for cats.

I suspect it's not so much that they're intentionally modeling the names on Tolkien as that they're wanting antidepressant names that meet the same criteria that he used for inventing (especially elf) names -- sort of ethereal?

 

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On 5/2/2022 at 1:12 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

"Ask your doctor about Galadriel!"

:rofl:

I showed it to a friend (who only got 14/24 but only was into the films so it makes sense) and I noticed that decucing something is *not* Tolkien is a lot easier than the other way round. Some names just didn't sound Tolkien-ish. Any of the Tolkien names could conceivably have been medications, though (I mean there was one tricyclic antidepressant called Elronon).

Sidenote: The two-names situation is the same here. There's the substance name (say, Diclofenac) and the brand name (Voltaren, Deflamat and a couple generics too, I think). Advertising medications is only allowed if they're over the counter though, afaik, and far fewer are such than in the US. So you can see ads for Voltaren gel but not for the pills (but they can put ads for prescription stuff in magazines aimed at doctors, I think).

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5 hours ago, Caya said:

Advertising medications is only allowed if they're over the counter

Used to be that way here, I think -- at least they never used to advertise prescription drugs on TV or in magazines, whereas nowadays they're all over the place.  The ads are apparently increasing sales, or they'd stop running them -- but increased sales requires the doctors to be prescribing the stuff, so why advertise to the general public?

Admittedly, there are a number of doctors who'll give a patient whatever treatment they ask for.  I know, I've met some.  I just ask what they think about a particular treatment and they start writing a prescription for it.  I guess that answers my question.

5 hours ago, Caya said:

Some names just didn't sound Tolkien-ish

I started out with that assumption, but it didn't always work for me.  I think some of the actual Tolkien names that I ruled out were the names of orcs or something.  Of course those don't sound pleasant enough to be drug names either.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/29/2022 at 6:56 PM, Caya said:

https://antidepressantsortolkien.vercel.app/

This is tougher than it looks - got only 19/24, which is a bit embarrassing considering I was really into the Silmarillion as a teen. :blush:

Well, I probably shouldn't admit this, but I got 22 correct. Not from guessing, but because I actually remembered most of the names. Yes, I am THAT geeky.

On 5/3/2022 at 9:13 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

  I think some of the actual Tolkien names that I ruled out were the names of orcs or something. 

Nope, no orcs were mentioned in the making of this quiz. :-) Most were elves, a few were kings of Gondor (and therefore derived, if I am remembering correctly, from Elvish) and the others were an assortment of hobbits, dwarves, and Bergil of Gondor. Who I remember because that was one of my favorite Gondor scenes.

Also, I take anti-depressants, so maybe that's familiarized me with how their names sound?

One I missed was Nardil. I realize now because it's so similar to Narsil, the name of Aragorn's sword before it was reforged. Which brings up the question; why can I remember that bit of very trivial trivia, but have to struggle to think of the word for "brick" or "library." Gah!

Enjoyed the discussion of the difference between characters in the books and in the movies, sorry I wasn't around to participate. But basically I'm annoyed by that same things y'all are. :smile:  If I had to guess, I'd say one reason for the changes is that movies have to impart information in a very short amount of time compared to a novel, so scriptwriters think they have to do away with subtlety in favor of clarity. Or not. :P 

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56 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

movies have to impart information in a very short amount of time compared to a novel, so scriptwriters think they have to do away with subtlety in favor of clarity.

With "clarity" being defined (in part) as "obvious enough that even Carol can remember which guy with long dark hair is which"?

Suggestion for future filmmakers:  Consider name tags.

 

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Alternate suggestion: maybe consider casting actors not of the "Hollywood Type A" variant? I know, horribile dictu, but I never seem to have that kind of confusion with British productions, for instance. 

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52 minutes ago, Caya said:

Alternate suggestion: maybe consider casting actors not of the "Hollywood Type A" variant? I know, horribile dictu, but I never seem to have that kind of confusion with British productions, for instance. 

Good point!  American productions used to have a lot of real people in them -- not often in starring roles, but frequently in highly visible supporting roles.

Admittedly, if I'd been casting the elves I'd have picked terminally attractive people.  And admittedly they did cast "character actors" as (some of) the dwarves and hobbits.  But the actors playing the (non-evil) humans were uniformly pretty, weren't they?  And those were the characters I had the most trouble telling apart.

In the casting people's defense, though, Tolkien seemed to view physical attractiveness as an inherent quality of good people, especially if they were descended from royalty.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/18/2022 at 3:37 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

But the actors playing the (non-evil) humans were uniformly pretty, weren't they?  And those were the characters I had the most trouble telling apart.

Now you've got me scratching my head, because there weren't that many humans to choose from, were there? (And is it appropriate to resume a conversation a month later as if time never passed? :D )

In the Hobbit, there was Bard, and, um ... a lot of extras whose names and appearance are, er, irrelevant (sorry, bit players!) Oh, the weasly guy, who was far from pretty. Ditto the mayor. Everyone else in the movie was an Orc, I believe. Ooops, wait, there were a few dwarves, a hobbit, a wizard, and a Beorn. And far too many elves, but we all agree they are required to be beautiful and therefore indistinguishable.

And in LOTR, there's Aragorn and Boromir, who have different hair color so should be easy to tell apart. And three Rohirrim, who should be hard to tell apart because they're all blond ... except that one's a woman, and one's old, so by default the third one must be Eomer.

Faramir and Boromir could be mistaken for each other, maybe, but Boromir's dead at the end of the first movie, so logic would dictate that his lookalike must be someone else. Denethor's old, so that sets him apart from his sons. He could be mistaken for Theoden, I suppose. Denethor is the one without the beard, if that helps. Also, personally, I didn't find him very pretty, but tastes vary.

Now, telling the Dwarves apart ... that is hard! Bombur's the fat one, Fili's the pretty one, Thorin's the one on screen the most. ...  after that, you got me. Oh, Balin's the white-haired one. And Gimli's the only one.

On 5/18/2022 at 3:37 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

In the casting people's defense, though, Tolkien seemed to view physical attractiveness as an inherent quality of good people

And in Tolkien's defense, he's not the only one!

 

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