Skip to comments.JRR Tolkien advised by WH Auden to drop romance
Posted on 02/16/2014 6:26:21 PM PST by Perdogg
WH Auden attempted to persuade JRR Tolkien to drop the romance between Aragorn and Arwen from the storyline of The Lord of the Rings, describing it as "unnecessary and perfunctory", an unpublished letter by the author has revealed.
The 1955 letter sees Tolkien writing to his publisher about the difficulties of completing The Return of the King, the third and final part of his magnum opus, in which Aragorn and his men face a final battle with Sauron's troops, as the hobbits Frodo and Sam continue on their journey to destroy the One Ring. At the end, Aragorn is crowned king of Gondor, and marries Arwen, the daughter of Elrond, "Evenstar of her people".
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
I got the Lord Of The Rings trilogy for Christmas (as well as Hunger Games trilogy).
I have just finished the Hobbit, on to the first of the LOTR.
It would have been easier if the Fellowship of the Ring had flown over Mt. Doom with Eagles and airdropped the Ring into the volcano. That would save a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
Chuck Norris would have done it up right, skipped all that poetry!
Auden, the very essence of “unnecessary and perfunctory.” TR was wise enough to understand the human heart, and especially the essence of romantic love.
Oh yeah, well I have completed the LOTR, Hobbit, Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and 11/12 History of Middle Earth volumes as well as few other obscure JRRT Middle Earth literature.
BEAT THAT (Of course I only mean this in a friendly, and not antagonistic way, my friends ;))!
I got LOTR too!
But it wasn’t the extended versions. dammit.
He should have dropped it since they were two separate species. Which is creepy.
What about the Children of Hurin?
He called that a romance? I mean they got together in the end but I’m not sure it qualifies as a romance, they don’t even talk hardly.
As someone who has read the complete Lord of the Rings several times (please note it is not a trilogy but a LARGE narrative simply broken into three parts) I must disagree with the conclusion the story would be better by removing the romance. This romantic layer within the Elves actually gives them some humanistic characteristics. That are not without “good” emotions and this proves it. They are not simply logical beings, ala, Spock. Rather they also have the more elevated feelings which makes them even more admirable.
If Auden couldn’t have an Elven chick then no one should.
What do mean? Elven women are hot.
Auden seems to have missed the other man/elf-maiden romance in LOTR, that being the union between Beren and Lúthien.
Yes that as well.
I do hope that sometime in the future Christopher Tolkien or the estate release separate books like that one on The Fall of Gondolin, and The Tale of Beren and Luthien.
Those would be great (and possibly set up for Peter Jackson to make more ME movies!?).
You got the Tolkien Reader, right?
Aragorn is on a seemingly hopeless quest -- to defeat Sauron, and restore the kingship of both the southern kingdom of Gondor, and the northern kingdom of Arnor. If he achieves these amazing feats, he will be allowed to wed Arwen. He takes on the hopeless task because of his great love for her.
This is an echo of the story of Beren and Luthien (who are ancestors of both Aragorn and Arwen). Beren is a man, Luthien is an elf. They can marry only if Beren can take a great jewel (a silmaril) from the crown of Morgoth and brings it to Luthien's father (Thingol). This is a hopeless task. But Beren never hesitates -- because of his great love for Luthien.
Tolkien was very big on the idea that men can do impossible things because of the love they feel for a woman.
Racist movie :/
Elven women ARE hot.
Yes I have. Very Little on Middle Earth in that though..
“Oh yeah, well I have completed the LOTR, Hobbit, Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and 11/12 History of Middle Earth volumes as well as few other obscure JRRT Middle Earth literature.
BEAT THAT (Of course I only mean this in a friendly, and not antagonistic way, my friends ;))!”
The question is: how many times have you read each one? :^)
When I was a kid I found the Hobbit & Lord of the Rings in one big volume. I read it all, of course.
All of these races descended from human I think
but did you read it in the original Klingon??
So, did you like reading them all? Which was your favorite?
Ya, we could of turned 9 hours or so of movie into about 5 mins heh.
Not to mention how Baren gets the Silmaril. He and sneak into Morgoth’s fortress, and Lúthien puts at sleeping spell on Morgoth. Beren prys the jewel from Morgoth’s crown and they flee. A giant wolf, Carcharoth, was guarding the gate. He attacked and bit the off Beren’s hand, with the silmaril inside. The wolf went crazy and ran off. Beren went back to Doriath and reported that the silmaril was in his hand inside the wolf. It was tracked down and killed by an Elven warrior, who gave Beren the honor of cutting it out.
My wife and I have been together 21 1/2 years. We hardly talk. Maybe that’s why......
Air power was vastly under-appreciated in Middle Earth.
The course of TRUE LOVE is never easy!
Auden wasn’t into chicks of any persuasion IIRC
My daughter read the books in the first grade. She also read the appendices. She thought Arwen & Aragorn made no sense:
“What would someone who was over 2500 years old see in a 50 year old human?”
Hmmmm...just how serious would someone born in 700 BC feel about a human being born in 1960? What would they talk about? Auden, and my daughter, were right!
It was the very fact Frodo & Sam were such small, humble, harmless, incapable figures that allowed them be overlooked while Sauron was distracted by the frontal assault by a formidable army.
They could have approached Mt Doom from the side opposite Sauron’s eye. Landed and snuck into the Sammath Naur. Tossed it into the lava and it’s adone deal. Then they would be home in time for mead/cornflakes.
Sure the wizard had thousands of years but he would have gotten complacent. By the time he would have noticed anything amiss, the ring would be melted.
Listening to the Silmarillion now. Besides the booka listed, I have The Road Goes Ever On and On, the songbook, and the Caemon record on it with Tolkien himself reading poems from the Tolkien Reader. I also still have my 1965 First america printing paperbacks, but they are a bit worn out.
The books I read at least once a year until my thirties. Now I read it every several years,
Chuck Norris melted the ring with his own blood and then roundhouse kicked all of Sauron’s Army into Mount Doom.
He knew it had been found. His minions missed nabbing it at Bilbo’s hole by a matter of hours. He wanted his friggin’ ring back BAD, and a few millennia wasn’t gonna slow him down.
Yeah, saw that one not long after the LotR movies came out. Hysterical and thought-provoking.
I have not read them more than once. I would say that my favorites are probably The Silmarillion, Return of The King (the siege of Minas Tirith was so much more grand than the movie, as well contained the scouring of the Shire), as well as the first few History books, and Morgoth’s Ring (for references to Christ’s redemption of humanity).
Definitely recommend all Tolkien materiel!
I think your daughter put her finger on the crux of the matter, and it's central to Tolkien's overall case for Middle Earth - how, indeed, could a society that ancient have any regard for the ephemerals to come? The Third Age was, after all, the time of the humans, such as they are. The ancients must board their ships and sail to another place. Very few of their companions could contemplate coming with them: Bilbo, Frodo, of course, who made a similar sacrifice themselves, Gimli, Elf-friend, Gandalf, and the list is short or unknown from there. Frodo in particular, who gave up everything to keep it safe for someone else, is perhaps Arwen's counterpart in sacrifice. And it is her place on the ships that he took IIRC.
What then of her? What of a love that would have her give up immortality for a few brief years of companionship with the beloved? It is not inexplicable, I think, it is Tolkien's very deepest commentary on human relationships, deep enough to have it carven on his and his wife's gravestones in the terms of Beren and Luthien. It is, among the many mysteries of Middle Earth, the deepest of them all. I can imagine a Lord Of The Rings without it, but it would be a lesser work. Just my $0.02.
You’re assuming that the Dark Tower was shorter (or at least lower on the lay of the land) than Mount Doom here. Sauron could see past the mountains on all sides of Mordor, remember, due to the tower being located on the volcanic plateau of Gorgoroth. The Eagles still had to fly past the big Orc strongholds in Durthang, Minas Morgul and Cirith Ungol tower, too; and by the Sea of Núrnen there were colonies of enslaved men and lower-ranking orcs that were working Mordor’s only arable land.
Seriously? I’d knock the bottom out of an elf chick given the opportunity.
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