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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by azriel on Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:14 pm

Setting aside the fact of the 'truth' of who serves whom & whether it is correct or canon or not, it does look visually stunning. I guess its good for folks who cant leave Middle Earth, in whatever format, & that I can understand. IF Middle Earth were true I wanna be there & NOT here ! I'm feeling, that, if you want a game as true to book as possible then, shouldn't we have had a FILM as true to book as possible ? We didn't get it, we got Peejers adaptation. And as offscew as this game maybe it just looks like another delve into a world we wanted, cant have & can only visit by this route, like Narnia ??

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:01 am

But then again, this video game has very, very little of the world of Tolkien that we love. It doesn't care two hoots about the Shire, or Tuckborough, or Rivendell. This game is concerned with the violence, horror, and death that surrounds the realm of Mordor and in the hero of the story exacting revenge upon Sauron or whatever by using the dark lord's own forces against him. 

So, sure, it's kiiiindof Middle-earth, but it's certainly not Tolkien. At least not the good parts of Tolkien, the parts that matter.

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Eldorion on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:03 am

I mean, it's essentially a AU (alternate universe) fanfic story. Any pretensions that Shadow of Mordor may have had about being true to the lore (and I dunno how much that angle was really pushed though I vaguely recall it coming up in some of the interviews with the creators at the time) are clearly out the window now, and that's actually preferable in my book. I don't think the story looks super interesting myself but it's a video game so whaddaya expect. Razz

Forest Shepherd wrote:Oh and hey, black people in Gondor. In-ter-est-ing.  Rolling Eyes

I'm not sure what you mean here so I don't want to jump to conclusions but I don't see the issue with having black people in Gondor even if one wants to be a stickler for lore. Tolkien's unfortunate descriptor aside, we know that there were black people in Far Harad because some of them showed up at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields alongside other human nations under Sauron's dominion/influence (ROTK, V 6). We know very little about Harad but it's not hard to imagine that there was immigration and intermarriage between the peoples of Near and Far Harad, as there have been in analogous real world situations. When Gondor was suzerain over Near Harad in the mid-Third Age, they took Haradrim princes to live in the capital as hostages (Appendix A.I.iv) and it's a very modest leap to suppose that Haradrim merchants, diplomats, and soldiers (whether in the service of Gondor directly or of vassals) also visited and in some cases settled in Gondor proper.

EDIT: and of course Umbar was considered an integral part of Gondor during the periods when it was controlled by the Kings, and most of its inhabitants were likely to have at least partial Haradric ancestry.


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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Eldorion on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:05 am

Simul with Forest's latest.

Forest Shepherd wrote:But then again, this video game has very, very little of the world of Tolkien that we love. It doesn't care two hoots about the Shire, or Tuckborough, or Rivendell. This game is concerned with the violence, horror, and death that surrounds the realm of Mordor and in the hero of the story exacting revenge upon Sauron or whatever by using the dark lord's own forces against him. 

So, sure, it's kiiiindof Middle-earth, but it's certainly not Tolkien. At least not the good parts of Tolkien, the parts that matter.

Pretty much agree, though I think that a not insignificant percentage of Tolkien's readership (and especially the movie audience) has always been more interested in the action and war elements of the story.
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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:08 am

Eldorion wrote:Simul with Forest's latest.

Forest Shepherd wrote:But then again, this video game has very, very little of the world of Tolkien that we love. It doesn't care two hoots about the Shire, or Tuckborough, or Rivendell. This game is concerned with the violence, horror, and death that surrounds the realm of Mordor and in the hero of the story exacting revenge upon Sauron or whatever by using the dark lord's own forces against him. 

So, sure, it's kiiiindof Middle-earth, but it's certainly not Tolkien. At least not the good parts of Tolkien, the parts that matter.

Pretty much agree, though I think that a not insignificant percentage of Tolkien's readership (and especially the movie audience) has always been more interested in the action and war elements of the story.
Well, for every few of those wishy-washy LotR-as-war-movie-fans there's a Mrs. Figgs, who I consider to be a proper Tolkien fan. Smile

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:22 am

Eldorion wrote:I mean, it's essentially a AU (alternate universe) fanfic story. Any pretensions that Shadow of Mordor may have had about being true to the lore (and I dunno how much that angle was really pushed though I vaguely recall it coming up in some of the interviews with the creators at the time) are clearly out the window now, and that's actually preferable in my book. I don't think the story looks super interesting myself but it's a video game so whaddaya expect. Razz

Forest Shepherd wrote:Oh and hey, black people in Gondor. In-ter-est-ing.  Rolling Eyes

I'm not sure what you mean here so I don't want to jump to conclusions but I don't see the issue with having black people in Gondor even if one wants to be a stickler for lore. Tolkien's unfortunate descriptor aside, we know that there were black people in Far Harad because some of them showed up at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields alongside other human nations under Sauron's dominion/influence (ROTK, V 6). We know very little about Harad but it's not hard to imagine that there was immigration and intermarriage between the peoples of Near and Far Harad, as there have been in analogous real world situations. When Gondor was suzerain over Near Harad in the mid-Third Age, they took Haradrim princes to live in the capital as hostages (Appendix A.I.iv) and it's a very modest leap to suppose that Haradrim merchants, diplomats, and soldiers (whether in the service of Gondor directly or of vassals) also visited and in some cases settled in Gondor proper.

EDIT: and of course Umbar was considered an integral part of Gondor during the periods when it was controlled by the Kings, and most of its inhabitants were likely to have at least partial Haradric ancestry.
Hm. Good point about Umbar and the historical links between Gondor and Harad. That could be a possible explanation for the presence of a dark-skinned soldier in Gondor. I'm not sure the creators of the video game trailer bothered with lore justifications, but perhaps somebody involved had a similar thought. 

My initial thought was that the presence of a black Gondorian is a modern insertion brought about for the sake of inclusion and to shine a positive light upon the game designers' decisions as opposed to those made by the creator of a certain film trilogy that came out a decade and a half ago. I'm tired of hearing that it is our duty to "balance out" all-white or all-female casts, especially after recent statements made about a certain time-traveling physician in a Thread  That Need Not Be Named. Take that way whichever way you like.

Edit: Ultimately, the portrayal of the Gondorians as more racially diverse is as acceptable to me as any other in a video game like this one. So perhaps it's not in-ter-est-ing so much as, "Oh hey, well alright sure."

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Eldorion on Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:51 am

I'm reluctant to argue that art (or entertainment) has a duty to advocate for any specific social cause, but I do think that greater representation of diversity is a good thing. I think it's worthwhile for a piece of media in the fantasy genre especially to push back in some small way against the idea that white is the default and everyone/everything has to be white unless it's a story specifically about racial issues. Especially since neither the real Medieval Europe nor Tolkien's secondary world were ethnically homogenous places, but both are commonly depicted as exclusively inhabited by white people in modern visual media.

NB I hope this doesn't come off as lecture-y or anything ... just where I'm currently at in the midst of my continually evolving (and hopefully expanding) views on stuff.
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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:34 am

In other words, Tolkien conservative need not imply social conservative....

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:44 am

Any pretensions that Shadow of Mordor may have had about being true to the lore (and I dunno how much that angle was really pushed though I vaguely recall it coming up in some of the interviews with the creators at the time) are clearly out the window now- Eldo


{{On the contrary Eldo, they are still claiming lore based- this game, incredibly, is set between the events of TH and LotR's according to the developers! (Though presumably if you are successful in the game then LotR's wouldnt need to happen? scratch }}

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Eldorion on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:34 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:On the contrary Eldo, they are still claiming lore based- this game, incredibly, is set between the events of TH and LotR's according to the developers!  (Though presumably if you are successful in the game then LotR's wouldnt need to happen?  scratch

Well yeah, that's when the game is set. Shrugging Maybe I'm missing something but I haven't seen it claimed anywhere that the game is an adaptation of one of Tolkien's stories or that it's something that "could have happened" in between the original stories. So long as they're not trying to pass off their own stuff as genuinely Tolkienian I don't really give a shit what they do -- and I don't see how even the noobiest of noobs could watch this trailer and come away with the impression that the game was presenting a "true" version of Middle-earth.

{{{Edit: okay, maybe if you knew literally nothing about LOTR/Middle-earth and this game was your first exposure to it, but even the slightest further investigation would reveal that Shadow of War is its own AU thing.}}}
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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:54 pm

I don't think you've met enough noobs. Remember how many people gushed about The Hobbit movie?

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:34 pm

I can see some fans of the movies seeing this trailer and thinking that it was only taking minor liberties.

Eldorion wrote:Well yeah, that's when the game is set.  Maybe I'm missing something but I haven't seen it claimed anywhere that the game is an adaptation of one of Tolkien's stories or that it's something that "could have happened" in between the original stories...
Doesn't having the story set in between The Hobbit and the LotR inherently imply that the events could have happened in between the original stories?

Edit: At least for most fans of the movies.
By the by, around :20 in the video, you can see Gollum in the bottom left corner of the screen.  :facepalm:


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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Eldorion on Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:35 pm

halfwise wrote:I don't think you've met enough noobs.  Remember how many people gushed about The Hobbit movie?

I don't think a film series that was presented as both an authoritative adaptation of one of Tolkien's novels (even though I'd dispute that description) and the official follow-up to PJ's first trilogy is comparable to a video game that is obviously set in an alternate continuity with a story of its own devising and largely original characters.

Forest Shepherd wrote:I can see some fans of the movies seeing this trailer and thinking that it was only taking minor liberties.

Why? It's no more compatible with the movie continuity than it is with the books.

Doesn't having the story set in between The Hobbit and the LotR inherently imply that the events could have happened in between the original stories?

I don't think so, no. Not every licensed spin-off is intended to be in the same internally-consistent version of the setting and video games are a medium ready-made to explore alternate continuities. There have been previous LOTR games where you can lead the forces of Sauron to victory in the War of the Ring, and I don't think anyone was under the illusion that those events were in any way "canon".

That said, a game with a narrative of its own and a place in the timeline probably has more potential for confusion than, say, a battle arena game like Guardians of Middle-earth, so I think I can see where you guys are coming from.


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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:45 pm

It's no more compatible with the movie continuity than it is with the books. Eldo

{{No, but it does borrow all its visuals from PJ's films and direction style, and sets it between two of PJ's films. It is not therefore unthinkable that some might see it, with no other knowledge, as adapting events that happened inbetween the two- Galadriel is obviously in it even if only as narrator, and though they clearly dont have the likeness rights there they do have the slow voice et and a close approximation of her movie voice to add to the sense its somewhere in the film continuity.

My own main issue with it, and this is speaking as someone who has played the first game, though not to completion, it was way to repetitive for that- but it is a solid enough game with some novel game ideas for that genre, and lovely graphics- is that it only has anything to do with Tolkien or LotR's to sell off the name.
There is not a single thing about the game that could not be its own creation set on plantet Zog.
It has nothing of Tolkien in spirit, deed, or design. It just has place names, steals lore names, and visually recreates places in ME based on their film counterparts.
None of which has anything to do with the gameplay- none of which are required for the gameplay.
This is its own game and as such it would be fine, a decent game. But hitching it to Tolkien is just a cash grab nothing more. And I hate to see Tolkiens work and name being used in such a crass manner for cash.}}}

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:34 pm

I did a little reading about, and although I have found several examples of Tolkien fans discrediting the game as non-canonical, there is some argument about parts of the game being acceptable in terms of the canon.

One individual wrote here about how Tolkien himself wished for other writers to expand upon his vision of Middle Earth.

 I seem to recall this point being brought up elsewhere on here, but can't recall the details... Except that I believe Tolkien expressed a desire to create a mythos that would be to England what traditional stories like Beowulf are to other cultures. As usual, the exact details escape me!

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:59 pm

"Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic to the level of romantic fairy-story--the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths--which I could dedicate simply: to England; to my country. It should assess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our 'air' (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe; not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty which some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be 'high', purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd."

From a letter to Milton Waldman, an editor at Collins who Tolkien hoped would print the Silmarillion after Allen and Unwin passed on it. It never happened of course, but Waldman was so fascinated by the letter that he converted it to a typed copy.

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:32 pm

the fair elusive beauty which some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things)- Tolkien

{{He was wrong about that but of his times. Celtic culture, art and poetry were little understood, little studied and generally not favoured. Its why it took so long to find the massive neolithic 'cathedral' in the Orkneys, predating Stone Henge and greater in scale, despite there being two stone circles known about for thousands of years and Skara Brae and Maes Howe nearby- but it wasn't in the heart of England.
Fortunately we are now coming to appreciate much more the scale of the Celtic nations in terms of reach and influence, and their achievements. }}}




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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Eldorion on Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:33 am

@Petty, I can't really disagree about the game looking crass and I totally get why that bothers people, but I guess I just look at it as a species of fanfiction. And I had a ton of fun playing the hack-and-slash LOTR movie tie-in games as a kid (which as I've mentioned before sparked my interest in reading the books) so I may be somewhat biased here.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:the fair elusive beauty which some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things)- Tolkien

{{He was wrong about that but of his times. Celtic culture, art and poetry were little understood, little studied and generally not favoured. Its why it took so long to find the massive neolithic 'cathedral' in the Orkneys, predating Stone Henge and greater in scale, despite there being two stone circles known about for thousands of years and Skara Brae and Maes Howe nearby- but it wasn't in the heart of England.
Fortunately we are now coming to appreciate much more the scale of the Celtic nations in terms of reach and influence, and their achievements. }}}

Reading The Book of Lost Tales, Tolkien comes across as rather jealous of the better-preserved mythologies of the Celtic nations (IMO), and I have long wondered how much that may have colored some of his views and comments (though he was still fairly young at the time so IDK).

BOLT II wrote:Thus it is that through Eriol and his sons the Engle (i.e. the English) have the true tradition of the fairies, of whom the Íras and the Wéalas (the Irish and Welsh) tell garbled things.
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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Eldorion on Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:27 am

halfwise wrote:
"Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic to the level of romantic fairy-story--the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths--which I could dedicate simply: to England; to my country. It should assess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our 'air' (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe; not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty which some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be 'high', purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd."

From a letter to Milton Waldman, an editor at Collins who Tolkien hoped would print the Silmarillion after Allen and Unwin passed on it.  It never happened of course, but Waldman was so fascinated by the letter that he converted it to a typed copy.

I think the most important parts of this famous quote are "once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen)" and "absurd". Tolkien could be self-effacing and at times highly critical of his own work, so one can argue that we shouldn't take his retrospectively disparaging comments at face value, but his opposition in later life to "other hands" interfering in Middle-earth, especially those "wielding drama", was consistent and well-documented. He was highly critical of the 1955 BBC radio adaptation of LOTR (Letters 175 & 177) and the 1958 film proposal from Zimmerman et al (Letter 210). He also received and rejected multiple proposals from fans for a sequel to LOTR. Regarding one such instance, he wrote: "I send you the enclosed impertinent contribution to my troubles. I do not know what the legal position is, I suppose that since one cannot claim property in inventing proper names, that there is no legal obstacle to this young ass publishing his sequel, if he could find any publisher, either respectable or disreputable, who would accept such tripe." (Letter 292)
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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by chris63 on Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:38 am


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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by chris63 on Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:41 am


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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by chris63 on Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:42 am


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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:14 pm

Colossal looks like a great vehicle for Anne Hathaway!

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by azriel on Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:39 pm

They all look fun but, I have my reservations about Alien Covenant. To me, the Alien films are a classic, stand alone films. There were some humdingers, Alien 3 comes to mind, tho I'm hoping Ridley Scott has got his head screwed on & rounds the circle with a dam good film.

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"There are far, far, better things ahead than any we can leave behind"
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got



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azriel
Grumpy cat, rub my tummy, hear me purr

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Age : 57
Location : in a galaxy, far,far away, deep in my own imagination.

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Re: Future releases [2]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:45 pm

Who knows.  Shrugging



Tolkien demonstrated some fine crabbit in that letter, goodness!

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Boar is badger, named after wood,
Not after forest but trees.
Where did you play on a rainy day?
Where did I eat bread and cheese?
Search inside, stay indoors,
Look up and find the secret is yours.
Your castle your fort,
Or so you thought.
The way is in four trees.
The way is in Boar in Brockhall
Under ale, under bread, under cheese.

-Mossflower, by Brian Jacques.
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Forest Shepherd
Adventurer

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Location : Northern California

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