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Bored of the Rings (wikipedia.org)
55 points by sgt101 on July 8, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 22 comments

> the paperback cover art for Lord of the Rings prevalent in the 60s, then famous, is now obscure.


It is far and away my favorite artwork for the books, and I had to do some searching to get those particular editions.

While we're on the topic of reinterpreting The Lord of the Rings, someone speculated (based only on the texts of Tolkien, themselves) that Tom Bombadil was a sinister character.

The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil

Original Post: http://km-515.livejournal.com/1042.html

Hacker News discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9982237

Here's an alternate theory by Corey Olsen (The Tolkien Professor) where Tom Bombadil is a Maia.


(Tom Bombadil part starts at 10:58, but the Balrog segment is interesting too)

That's what someone gets for reading just a little.

It is clearly indicated that Bombadil is friends with farmer Maggot (Tolkien states that Bombadil is a Hobbit name). Merry says that Maggot used to go into the Old Forest. If he did so, then meeting Bombadil would be very likely.

Gildor's friends apparently sensed the great urgency, so they would have taken a very direct path which would have led them straight through the Old Forest (after all, Elves have little fear of such things).

The statement that Elrond "has never heard of Tom Bombadil" is clearly wrong given Elrond's comments about Bombadil at the council.

> In those lands I journeyed once, and many things wild and strange I knew. But I had forgotten Bombadil, if indeed this is still the same that walked the woods and hills long ago, and even then was older than the old. That was not then his name. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless. But many another name he has since been given by other folk: Forn by the Dwarves, Orald by Northern Men, and other names beside. He is a strange creature, but maybe I should have summoned him to our Council.’ -- Elrond

Likewise they are wrong about the danger. The Old Forest is not particularly dangerous (as the Hobbits showed by burning part of it down) and while the Barrow Wights (sent by the Nazgul witch king) are dangerous, they seem to hardly compare in danger to caves of dead spirits, haunted pools, orcs, trolls, etc. A war of Gondor against all the evils of Bombadil's domain would be over almost as soon as it started.

I know of no statements that the Withywindle is cursed. Goldberry met Tom there though, so it is likely he sticks around because she cannot leave her river. There is even less evidence that willow trees can appear human (plus the truly bad tree is an "Old Man").

If (like many conjecture) Tom (and perhaps Goldberry) is the physical manifestation of the spirit of Middle Earth itself, then it makes sense for him to withdraw to that area. Arthedain remains relatively undisturbed throughout the third age. The Old Forest and Barrow downs are unoccupied (save for a few Wights) and the Hobbits are a people who prefer the Earth. In fact, almost the entire area of Eriador is unaffected by the War of the Ring save for the Scourging of the Shire (though a big event for Hobbits, it hardly compares to everything else that happened).

"Tim! Tim! Benzedrine! Hash! Boo! Valvoline! Clean! Clean! Clean for Gene!"

There’s also The Last Ringbearer, a Russian novel which attempts to fill in most of the gaps in Tolkien’s worldbuilding.


Read the Wikipedia page and I like the concepts at least.

Recommended by Peter Thiel

"He would have finished Goddam off then and there, but pity stayed his hand. 'It's a pity I've run out of bullets, he thought.'"

There are also text computer games, "Bored of the Rings"[0], and "The Boggit"[1] which were quite funny (and better than e.g. "The Hobbit" adventure game). Surprisingly, Google cannot find any of the game quotes I remember...

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bored_of_the_Rings_%28video_ga...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boggit

The first text a browsing reader is liable to see purports to be a salacious sample from the book, but the episode never happens in the main text, nor does anything else of that tone: the book has no explicit sexual content.

To quote Otto from A Fish Called Wanda, "Disappointed!"

Every few years I have to take this out and reread it (it doesn't take long). I'd say, does wikipedia really need to explain all the puns? But then, I suppose the kids today don't get jokes about the inauguration of Harold Stassen.

Detailed explication, for any work, is also valuable to people who speak English as a second language.

I first read BotR back in high school (late 70's) and even back then I didn't get all the references. The current generation doesn't have a prayer of knowing what they all are.

One of my favorites. The first few opening chapters are comedy gold.

Also, the next chapters. And the ones after that. Until the end, pretty much.

    Two, four, six, eight
       Tiptoe, sneak and infiltrate
    Cha cha cha!

"And what is this ring?" said Frito, eyeing the possible exits from the hole."

Bizarrely, I read this before reading Lord of the Rings, in something approaching fourth grade.

It was still quite funny, even though I didn't understand what the heck it was parodying.

Maybe bizarre, maybe not. I did the exact same thing at the same age.

The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie is a grim satire. Villains who think of themselves as heroes, and vice versa.

I've found BotR an invaluable inspiration for RPG characters of the less-serious sort. I wish all my wizards could have that ancient weapon known to the Elves as a Browning semi-automatic.

Doug Kenney was the best.

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