*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 22, 2022, 07:08:22 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Donate

We Appreciate Your Support

Recent

Author Topic: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)  (Read 2076 times)

Offline mazk7130

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 45
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2021, 09:01:15 PM »
Does anyone have/know a good resource for analysis of the magic used in Tolkien's works (not derivatives)?
That's hard to say...
I have my own theories that are not really compatible to wargaming, but...

In the beginning Arda started as a song. The valar sang the world and entered it by taking physical form. Inside the world they created thing and the more they created the weaker they became. I think this is the idea behind magic. Magic users give away a piece of their power to create something special. Great works like the lanterns, the trees, the silmaril, the rings of power  or even the ships of the teleri could only be created once. Sauron gave away half its power to create the master ring. The works of the valar or elves became lesser and lesser over the time and the more someone uses magic, the less power he has.
One very important link to the "music of the ainur" (singing of arda) ist the way, Tom Bombadil uses "magic" - he sings songs - I interprete him as one of the valar, who can switch into the "sourcecode" of the world to change the things...

Offline robh

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3162
  • Spanish offworld colonies
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2021, 09:54:28 PM »
Thanks for keeping the discussion going, great to see new ideas (and sources) coming out.

I have been going round this for some weeks now, but over the last few days decided to change tack and start with the game rules for movement and combat rather than the magic itself.
An attempt  to work out what (if any) magic is stated or implied as affecting the way military units behave in the stories and trying to deduce how that effect could be brought about by the different characters/races.
Archon has several options on how game effects can be applied; stat lines, card decks, special events and stratagems so there is a lot of leeway on having different strands/degrees of magic without having to find a single overarching rule mechanism to include everything (which I was struggling with).

Offline Porsenna

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 35
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2021, 03:06:54 PM »
I feel like this video might be of use:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG3xX6QTwGE

Offline Cubs

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4603
  • "I simply cannot survive without beauty ..."
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2021, 03:48:00 PM »
That was a really interesting video. I do think we overthink Tolkein's works sometimes, imbuing him with an overarching plan that ties everything in perfectly, rather than accepting he was a writer who sometimes changed stuff or forgot details as he built the stories. Having said that, it's all good fun to endlessly discuss such things, maybe because it all still seems so ambiguous.

I don't have a lot to add to the conversation, except to say that something that always struck me, was how there was obviously an undefined and unseen element to magic (as opposed to fireballs and lightning bolts and the like) that remained hidden to those outside of the magical battlefields. There was obviously a literal battle of wills going on between the 'magical' characters that didn't manifest itself in the physical plane, but which could sometimes be sensed as a pressure or an extreme emotion by other characters. Whether it's Gandalf battling the Balrog, the Witch King, Saruman ... or Aragorn pitching his will against Sauron through the palantir ... or even when the Mouth of Sauron suddenly screams and claims Aragorn is attacking him outside the gates of Mordor, even though no physical assault has happened - when such folk come up against each other, those who use magic always go for a mystical arm-wrestle to see who can gain the upper hand, sometimes to the point of utter physical exhaustion.

It seems that the spiritual or mystical plane is a parallel battlefield that is accessed by mystical creatures such as wizards, elves or those of similar lineage, but not by more earthbound ones like 'normal' humans, dwarves and hobbits. They might still feel spiritual influences, such as the pull of the ring (ring-pull if you will), but aren't really 'in the game' as it were. Does this mean they are safer? Or just less able to defend themselves?  Maybe it's down to the willpower of the individual - hobbits (and maybe dwarves) seem less vulnerable to such things than orcs and humans.
'Sir John ejaculated explosively, sitting up in his chair.' ... 'The Black Gang'.

Paul Cubbin Miniature Painter

Offline FramFramson

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 10208
  • But maybe everything that dies, someday comes back
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2021, 07:11:33 PM »
imbuing him with an overarching plan that ties everything in perfectly

To be fair, that was certainly his intention!


I joined my gun with pirate swords, and sailed the seas of cyberspace.

Offline Cubs

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4603
  • "I simply cannot survive without beauty ..."
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2021, 07:19:27 PM »
To be fair, that was certainly his intention!

Yeah, but he also changed a load of stuff with various revisions of previous works, presumably because he changed his mind, or had to adjust stuff to fit into the new pattern. I also think there's an over-examination of every tiny word and sentence he wrote, looking for hidden meaning. But like I say, it is fun and is the gift that keeps on giving for discussions such as this.

Offline Blackwolf

  • Potato Cup 3 winner
  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Galactic Brain
  • *
  • Posts: 6045
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2021, 08:18:33 PM »
Cubs ,your above statement is pretty much spot, on in my opinion anyway (for all that it’s worth). Tolkien’s ‘thing’ was early medieval Europe,the Dark Ages if you like. An important part of Viking/Saxon heroic writing was  reputation,whether a sword or a man,or indeed an elf,haha . And by extension the power of will becomes a synonym for magic.
Of course there is other kinds of magic in Middle Earth; such as the genii loci (sic) ,where a place generates magic intrinsically, is Fangorn magical or  is it Treebeard and vice versa.


May the Wolf  Walk With You
http://greywolf1066.blogspot.com.au/

Painting Clubs Joined: APC,MPC, PPC,PAPC,LPC.

Offline FramFramson

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 10208
  • But maybe everything that dies, someday comes back
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2021, 07:51:10 PM »
Exactly. There's loads of parallels to old Germanic & Gothic fiction and the way the stuff works in those books. Dietrich, Gudrun, etc.

(incidentally, one of the funniest things about early medieval  literature is the way nearly every story features a comedy cameo by Attila)

Offline robh

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3162
  • Spanish offworld colonies
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2021, 02:57:21 PM »
In the spirit of collating thoughts and ideas about "magic" in LotR I found this essay interesting:

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2013/05/24/71864-tolkien-and-magic-the-power-of-individuality/

Offline FramFramson

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 10208
  • But maybe everything that dies, someday comes back
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2021, 08:59:03 PM »
See, but what I really want to know about now is magical sources of canons in Middle-Earth.  lol

Offline Blackwolf

  • Potato Cup 3 winner
  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Galactic Brain
  • *
  • Posts: 6045
Re: Magic in Lord of the Rings? (canon sources)
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2021, 09:18:12 PM »
 lol

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
51 Replies
15534 Views
Last post March 22, 2008, 08:39:49 PM
by Gluteus Maximus
16 Replies
4712 Views
Last post January 30, 2014, 02:08:51 PM
by sukhe_bator
20 Replies
5051 Views
Last post April 19, 2015, 07:28:58 PM
by Hobgoblin
1 Replies
799 Views
Last post April 30, 2016, 09:42:39 PM
by Harwood Hobbies
12 Replies
2574 Views
Last post February 11, 2018, 01:44:00 PM
by armchairgeneral