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John Constantine

The Long Arm of Mordor (SPOILERS)

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Yep, the way I see it, I'm pretty sure you do NOT want side quests in Escape from Umbar. And looking at our next cycle here, I see yet another case of FFG giveth, FFG taketh away. (Similar to encouraging low character counts in the Sailing cycle.) FFG is confusing at times.

I'm a bit confused about how sailing encourages low character counts?  Surely the opposite?  You need sailors as well as questers and for sailing only the body count matters?

Strider encouraged low character count, and was released in the same cycle as the Sailing quests which as you note did not. That's the giveth/taketh away he's talking about.

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Like the concept although i am not a fan of the "good" Haradrims ... i prefer them as enemies

 

 

Can't agree less on this one.

I'm very happy they chose to add "good" Haradrim to the player card pool.

A country is never just good or bad. People are people, and they have different views.

Like you and me on this subject  ;)

Sauron had agents/sympathizers in the West no?

Giving us "rebellious" Haradrim is a great opportunity to explore the culture besides just fighting them.

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Yep, the way I see it, I'm pretty sure you do NOT want side quests in Escape from Umbar. And looking at our next cycle here, I see yet another case of FFG giveth, FFG taketh away. (Similar to encouraging low character counts in the Sailing cycle.) FFG is confusing at times.

I'm a bit confused about how sailing encourages low character counts?  Surely the opposite?  You need sailors as well as questers and for sailing only the body count matters?

That's what I meant. FFG giveth (eg. new Faramir hero, encouraging few but big characters, new side quest support), FFG taketh away (quest right after uses objective Faramir, focus on sailing and thus ally swarms, new quest were you don't want side quests, respectively). I'm sure there are other examples of the, as Mitch said once, schizophrenic design of this game.

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Given the discard from hand mechanic on hero, I wonder if they're going to have some way to come back from the discard pile either into play, or to your hand.

 

Or, as they've been doing with Ranger of Cardolan and Galadhrim Weaver, shuffling them back into your deck.

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Like the concept although i am not a fan of the "good" Haradrims ... i prefer them as enemies

 

Can't agree less on this one.

I'm very happy they chose to add "good" Haradrim to the player card pool.

A country is never just good or bad. People are people, and they have different views.

Like you and me on this subject  ;)

Sauron had agents/sympathizers in the West no?

Giving us "rebellious" Haradrim is a great opportunity to explore the culture besides just fighting them.

I get your point and it makes sense, i am very stuck with the book plot thats all (i try to have thematic decks only for the same reason). I know that my point of view is not the right one, but still ... :)

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I just hate the idea that among "good guys" there are plenty of betrayal and treachery, while among the "bad guys" there is 100% unshakabale loyalty. If even the mighty Istari sent to aid free peoples against Sauron can fall to darkness - why can't anyone from the other side fall to lightness? You might get that feeling from the actual works, but I think the main reason for that is that we never got to actually see the other side by eyes other than those of a hostile free folk supporter.

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I like the idea of seeing allies among Southrons and Easterlings (though the sympathetic treatment of Dunlendings in the Isengard cycle didn't produce any allies or heroes).  Men (and elves and dwarves and hobbits) are capable of evil, but they are not determined to evil.  I would not like to see ally versions of any creature created by Morgoth.  I don't think there's any hint in the Lore that such are redeemable.

 

Where does that leave the half-orc, such as bred by Saruman?  My assumption would be that they are children of Eru and not determined to evil, but that's only my opinion.  The ones we see referred to in the text are uniformly evil, but they seem to be men with orcish features, not orcs with mannish features.

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I just hate the idea that among "good guys" there are plenty of betrayal and treachery, while among the "bad guys" there is 100% unshakabale loyalty. If even the mighty Istari sent to aid free peoples against Sauron can fall to darkness - why can't anyone from the other side fall to lightness? You might get that feeling from the actual works, but I think the main reason for that is that we never got to actually see the other side by eyes other than those of a hostile free folk supporter.

 

Never read it, but there is a non canon book written by a Russian author that tells of the other side in the aftermath of the war of the ring I believe.

It's said to be good. You might like it John:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer

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I just hate the idea that among "good guys" there are plenty of betrayal and treachery, while among the "bad guys" there is 100% unshakabale loyalty. If even the mighty Istari sent to aid free peoples against Sauron can fall to darkness - why can't anyone from the other side fall to lightness? You might get that feeling from the actual works, but I think the main reason for that is that we never got to actually see the other side by eyes other than those of a hostile free folk supporter.

 

Never read it, but there is a non canon book written by a Russian author that tells of the other side in the aftermath of the war of the ring I believe.

It's said to be good. You might like it John:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer

I've read the russian wikipedia article, and the book seems to be not just the other side of the story an aftermath, it's a sort of re-imagination. It takes as the basis a theory that original Lotr of the Rings is a "history written by the victor", and all these orcs, trolls, and etc. are purposely demonized humans of other nation, hobbits don't exist at all, etc. Not something I'd want to read, to be honest.

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I just hate the idea that among "good guys" there are plenty of betrayal and treachery, while among the "bad guys" there is 100% unshakabale loyalty. If even the mighty Istari sent to aid free peoples against Sauron can fall to darkness - why can't anyone from the other side fall to lightness? You might get that feeling from the actual works, but I think the main reason for that is that we never got to actually see the other side by eyes other than those of a hostile free folk supporter.

 

Never read it, but there is a non canon book written by a Russian author that tells of the other side in the aftermath of the war of the ring I believe.

It's said to be good. You might like it John:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer

I've read the russian wikipedia article, and the book seems to be not just the other side of the story an aftermath, it's a sort of re-imagination. It takes as the basis a theory that original Lotr of the Rings is a "history written by the victor", and all these orcs, trolls, and etc. are purposely demonized humans of other nation, hobbits don't exist at all, etc. Not something I'd want to read, to be honest.

 

 

That's ok mate. I didn't even read the wikipedia about it as I know it's not for me eighter.

Just remembered I read about it years ago when I read you post and thought you might like it because of it.

I think what I read about it back then was a positive review tho....but no hobbits? really?  :blink:

Edited by Noccus

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Direct Quote Translation:

"Many of the fairy-tale and mythologial elements of the world were sacrificed by author: orcs (in this adaptation - orcwans, prarie and desert nomads) and trolls (mountain tribes) appear to be just other nationalities, not something inhuman like in original. Appearance of legends about them involves the desire of people of Gondor to demonize their enemies in the eyes of future generations. Hobbits also declared to be just a myth."

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And I suppose the emissaries of Sauron were actually telling the truth when they said he just wanted the Ring for its sentimental value...

well the point of the novel is that the history we see in Tolkien's novels is as it was written by the winners of the war of the ring, as walter benjamin said: 'history is written by the victors', and not the true account, or at the very least, not the only account Edited by dr00

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You'd think those Gondorian propagandists would've left out Sauron's reasonable demand.  "...But a trifle that Sauron fancies, and an earnest of your good will."

 

Ironically, the "history told by the victors" explicitly shows up in LOTR, as an explanation for the retconning of Bilbo's acquisition of the ring -- Bilbo told an untrue story to the dwarves about his acquisition, and apparently initially recorded that version in the Red Book.  Still, given the Red Book as the source for Hobbit/LOTR text, a Gondorian whitewash for future generations, creating mythological enemies and allies, is itself a rewriting of "history" of appalling scale.  The book is neither kept by Gondorians nor intended for their descendants, it was recorded by the supposedly mythological hobbits, it has first-hand accounts of supposedly mythological orcs and trolls, nor does it devote substantial space to "demonize" them as a race.

 

Further, as mentioned above, it frequently makes the "good guys" look bad.  Even in the Hobbit, none of the principal races come off as pure as the driven snow, and had the goblins not attacked the Battle of Three Armies may have been a bloody monument to greed and distrust amongst the "Free Peoples".  In TLOTR we find treachery even at the highest level.  Aragorn does look good, but the problem exists because of the folly of his ancestor, and even the very self-sacrificing Frodo Baggins ultimately is corrupted and fails....

 

If we expand beyond that text into the appendices and the material not published in Tolkien's lifetime, we very much do not find history written by the victors.  The "free peoples" combine their nobility and boldness with venality, pride, corruption and ultimately defeat.  It takes the intervention of the Valar to save the defeated elves and men from Morgoth.  It takes the intervention of Eru to save the world from a Sauron-corrupted Numenor.  It takes a miraculous coincidence to put the Ring in the hands of Bilbo, and another miraculous coincidence to wrest the ring from the hands of Frodo.  Recasting the history of middle earth as a cynical historical manipulation to boost the victors and demonize the losers ignores the repeated theme in Middle Earth -- the "good guys" are fallen, and their cause is hopeless.  Only an intervention beyond all hope can save and redeem them.  This is the polar opposite of the jingoism sometimes seen in the history of triumphant nations.

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you have a lot of points here, and i won't go over any of it cos it's kind of missing the point.

except i'll comment on this:

Ironically, the "history told by the victors" explicitly shows up in LOTR,

this isn't exactly irony

anyway, i'll attempt to clear up my original point to state that i was using 'history written by the victors' as an example to explain the revisionist history of the novel and why it's such a departure from the original and a possible motivation, but not the absolute sole purpose for its existence, nor is it some attempt to make up for some perceived fallacies or plotholes in Tolkien's works. it attempted to treat Tolkien's novels not as source materials but rather as similar secondhand accounts of the same events. re-telling of stories is quite common, such as in Wicked, by Winnie Holzman, or Till We Have Faces, written by another inkling, C.S. Lewis (coincidentally, Tolkien's favourite novel of Lewis')

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dr00, you wrote that "the point of the novel is that the history we see in Tolkien's novels is as it is written by the winners of the war of the ring, as walter benjamin said, 'history is written by the victors'."  This seems inconsistent with your latest post, where the example is yours "to explain the revisionist history of the novel and why it's such a departure from the original and a possible motivation, but not the absolute sole purpose for its existence".  It simply can't be "the point of the novel" and also just "a possible motivation" -- however, taking your latest statement as the most accurate, it still leaves a "re-telling" that seems to remove everything I find compelling about the original, while benefiting from association with an extremely popular source material.

 

I confess I have not read all of Wicked, and have not read Till We Have Faces.  However, my impression of wicked is that while it provides a different point of view and a sympathetic look at the Wicked West of the West, it is written not to contradict the Wizard of Oz's account of events or peoples and gains impact from doing so.  (I myself have written an alternate version of a classic science fiction short story, but I did it as a Star Trek parody rather than a way of making people think differently about the original -- still, it was vitally important that the re-telling remain *consistent* with the original.)  A LOTR re-telling giving the POV of a sympathetic Saruman may be well worth reading if skillfully told.

 

In the realm of actual history, the problem of "history being told by the victors" is a real thing, and I have read and enjoyed historical works essentially based on history as told by the losers (for example, Toland's excellent _The_Rising_Sun_.)  LOTR's in-novel backstory is that it is a history translated from the Red Book of Westmarch.  The POV of the history is explicit, it is written by hobbits to be read by future hobbits.  I would not expect a history that suffers from POV-based manipulation to *explicitly call attention* to POV-based manipulation, so I found the explanation for the Hobbit's revision ironic in that context.  YMMV.

 

John Constantine had a direct quote from the translation: "Appearance of legends about them involves the desire of people of Gondor to demonize their enemies in the eyes of future generations. Hobbits also declared to be just a myth."  This premise relies on continuity with the events in LOTR to some extent -- the War of the Ring and Gondor are real things, and this novel is to be understood as alternate-POV history.  However, it also requires that the dominant-POV history be understood in the light of a Gondor-POV account -- which doesn't work at all as an explanation for LOTR.

Edited by dalestephenson

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Right, I have no problem with someone writing an alternate perspective of Lord of the Rings where, say, Saruman is recast as a tragic hero, or the people of Dunland are defending a futile yet noble cause. The problem I have is, when you're outright claiming that orcs and hobbits and trolls are just propagandistic inventions, what does your story have to do with Lord of the Rings in the first place? Take Wicked, for instance: Yes, everything about The Wizard of Oz gets turned upside-down, but the events of the MGM movie still happen exactly as depicted; it doesn't declare that the flying monkeys were all made up and that Dorothy was actually a seven-foot-tall Viking berserker named "Steinar."

 

If you want to portray LotR as unreliable, you need to do it carefully. You can't just claim massive parts of it were made up from whole cloth, because, ultimately, the entire saga was made up from whole cloth by a twentieth-century British philologist, so you're not actually saying anything interesting. You need to pick at least one perspective from which the books actually make sense. For instance, the saga is ostensibly a history written by the hobbits, so you could cast suspicions on anything they learned second-hand. Maybe Gandalf wasn't entirely honest when he told the Council of Elrond about his confrontation with Saruman; or maybe the orcs are constantly at each other's throats not because they're inherently evil, but because Sauron is a terrible manager.

 

When you change someone else's story, you still have to maintain the story's consistency. If Aragorn is really a power-mad usurper, then why didn't he ever succumb to the Ring's corruption? If the Ring couldn't corrupt him, then why wouldn't it be safer in his possession anyway? If the Ring isn't really that important, then why would Gandalf risk his own life and Aragorn's on the quest? If you start cutting large chunks out of the story to fit your own "reinterpretation" in, then you're not really saying anything about the story at all; you're just telling your own story with a few stolen names.

Edited by rsdockery

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ultimately, the entire saga was made up from whole cloth by a twentieth-century British philologist

This quote makes me very happy. Provides some very nice perspective on in-universe debates.

Edited by Network57

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Agree. Still waiting for some Orc allies. Like this guy. 

 

ratbagtrailer1-1.jpg

I personally find this trickier. I think many people would consider Orcs as "biological machines" programmed to evil. They don't have free will in the matter. Thus you can't really have them as allies.

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Agree. Still waiting for some Orc allies. Like this guy. 

 

ratbagtrailer1-1.jpg

I personally find this trickier. I think many people would consider Orcs as "biological machines" programmed to evil. They don't have free will in the matter. Thus you can't really have them as allies.

 

Do you know how much fiction about a machine that goes against it's programming is out there?  :lol:

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