Homosexuality and LotR

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:31 am

Now I was reading elsewhere the old argument that the releationship between Frodo and Sam is a gay one. I am sure you have all heard the arguments, read the quotes used, and sensibly come to the conclusion the people spouting the theory don't know what they are talking about. So this isnt about that, its about something else that occurred to me whilst readin g it, what if there is a gay releationship, just not the one everyone tends to point to.
What about Legolas and GImli? It follows the pattern of Tolkien love stories. One is mortal one immortal. There are social obstacles, Elves and dwarves don't get on. There is an impossible task to complete, the downfall of Sauron, and in the end they are allowed to sail away together to the Undying lands- and thats the real big clue I think. Few mortals get that allowance. What exactly did Gimli get his for? He never bore the Ring. As far as Tolkien seems to say he was allowed to go with Legolas because their friendship was so close. Well lots of close friends in ME histroy were parted in the end because one was mortal the other not, the Gods didnt make allowances for them.
Toliens love stories have a habit of ending with some grace granted- Beren and Tinuviel were allowed time to walk again in the world before deaprting it forever for example.
So is LotR gay couple really an elf and a dwarf? What do you think?

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Post by Ringdrotten on Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:14 pm

"What about Legolas and GImli?" - WOooooow, stopped reading there! Shocked

Well, no, I didn't, but it gave me some rather disturbing images No

Never thought of Gimli and Legolas as gay, though. Your reasoning makes (somewhat disturbing) sense, but I cannot imagine that Tolkien intended them to be gay. I'd say he meant to show that even the most unlikliest persons could become friends, given the right time and place.

Edit: Something just came to me - wasn't it in Lorien that Legolas and Gimli became friends (or "friends) in the book? Didn't they go for walks alone, and made the rest of the Fellowship wonder what had happened during those "walks"? Disturbing thoughts, disturbing!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:35 pm

Legolas to Gimli, at Helms Deep TT- 'I am glad to have you standing by, with your stout legs and hard axe.'

Double meaning in there? Would you use such words to describe a mate?

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Post by Ringdrotten on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:07 pm

Laughing

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Post by odo banks on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:47 pm

I refuse to believe it! Shocked Nor do I believe is spreading gossip, Mr Tyrant! Mad

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Post by Tinuviel on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:54 pm

O sweet Iluvatar! Petty, I think you need to go to the saloon. You've gone BONKERS!!!!!!!!
Sure, it makes disturbing sense, but the key word is DISTURBING!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:01 am

I'm being quite serious Odo! It does seem odd to me that Gimli should be given passage with Legolas to the Undying Lands, I simply cannot think of a reason why he should be.
But as I say above it does make sense in a certain light if they were lovers. Now Tolkien was a Christian, but he was also an academic and went to boarding school. It is highly likely he knew of men who were gay and whatever his personal viewpoint on it (which I don't know) it seems unlikely he would despise something for being unknown to him- his writing seems to indicate a predlection to do the opposite. So is it so beyond the pale that he may have, very subtly, included a gay realtionship?
The very hidden nature of it, Legolas and Gimli off together in Lothlorien pending time together but apart from the others, and after the War visiting the Glittering Caves and Fangorn together, the fact its all 'off page' is very much how homosexual releationships in Britain were conducted during Tolkien's lifetime. It was never open, you could get arrested and sent to prison for it after all. In that sense Legolas and Gimli are a good description, nothing overt but the signs are there if you look. for them.
Even Giml's 'love' for Galadriel is within the ations of a gay man, after all gay men often follow or idlolize female icons. Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, and many others have a large following of gay men. And asking for a lock of her hair to put in a jewel is a little bit gay. Wink

Not sure Tin I have gone bonkers, pretty sure that happened years ago! But this is an new thought for me, it had never occured to me before but now that it has it does seem to make a certain amount of sense of some things. Sorry if thats distrubing to you. Each to their own I say. Life is often short, brutal and very unfair. If you can find someone you love and they love you too then thats probably enough I reckon, seems a bit silly to worry about what sex they are really. And even sillier to worry about other people and what sex they are attracted to.

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Post by Kafria on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:09 pm

Saw this before my weekend away, but wanted to let my ideas percolate before replying.

I think in terms of Gimli being allowed to travel to the undying lands I thing you have a point. If, as I think most do, you accept the Sam Frodo relationship as a platonic one it suggests that simply being the closest of friends, then the fact that Sam does not automatically go, but is told it may happen later due to his burden of carrying the ring then there has to be something different here. There is also to my knowledge no mention of either Legolas or Gimli having family(wife and Kids to be clear). So to me in essence this rings true.

The issue to me is would Tolkien have written a gay couple into his books. I contest that it may have not been delibrate for the reason you yourself give

It is highly likely he knew of men who were gay ...

...the fact its all 'off page' is very much how homosexual releationships in Britain were conducted during Tolkien's lifetime. It was never open, you could get arrested and sent to prison for it after all. In that sense Legolas and Gimli are a good description, nothing overt but the signs are there if you look. for them.

Yes he may well of known gay men who shared what was seen as a close friendship and been lifelong companions and it is this friendship that he wrote as opposed to a gay couple. Would he have conciously written a gay couple?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:58 pm

An interesting question. My Gran had a gay couple for neighbours for many years, she just thought they were two bachelors who house shared- after all when she was growing up sharing rooms or houses for financial reasons was common- it never actually occured to her they were gay. Tolkien may have had a similar view.
Either way I think for Tolkien the important bit of all his love stories is the love bit. sex doesn't come into it. We know for example human elf releationshps produced children- yet if you read the stories not only is there no mention of sex there often isn't really time for it to happen within the narrative.
It does not seem odd therefore that there is no hint of a sexual releationshp between Gimli and legolas, but as I say there are, if not clues, then oddities in their story, particuraly its ending, which are hard to explain in any other way than they were in love and not the platonic sort.

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Post by odo banks on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:37 pm

Mmm.... so was their choice psychological or genetic?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:09 am

'Whats that Odo old chap? Youve taken the lid off what? Oh, a can of worms'.
I think whether or not hommosexuality is genetic, a choice or due to social pressure is a topic more suited to the BBST.

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Post by Tinuviel on Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:08 am

This is all hypothetically speaking, right? Because I think the core meaning behind Legolas and Gimli's relationship was rather simple; you can find a (best) friend in the most unlikely people. Taking it beyound that is kind of giving me a bitter taste in my mind. It just doesn't seem likely to me. The only truly plausible thing to me is that Gimli was allowed into Valinor. Now I'm thinking differently on that point. If they were gay, perhaps then they were being rewarded for it? To overcome all differences and find love?
But that to me sounds like we're over thinking it too much.

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Post by Ringdrotten on Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:32 am

Tinuviel speaks words of wisdom, and I agree with her Wink

Frodo and Sam on the other hand, well... I'm not so sure:

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:46 pm

Nice day for it at least!!


Tin I think you are generally right about Tolkiens core message but love comes in different flavours (chocolate, vanilla and lemon Very Happy )
And if they were lovers, which would explain the Valinor exception, is it really a change to Tolkiens core message that love and respect for each other, especially those who seem different from us, is a worthwhile ambition?

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Post by odo banks on Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:03 pm

Oh Ringdrotten - you did make me laugh! Very Happy (Not in an unrespectable way though! Shocked )

And it did seem a nice day, Mr Tyrant --- maybe the sunshine, the flowers --- well, friendship and... well.... errr... something other might happen (just once!) between close friends - I mean, on a nice day like that and all ---! Embarassed

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Post by Ally on Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:45 am

Yeah...way to go crew, for ruining my fantasy's... Mad (And no one dare post a picture of Aragorn and Faramir doing it- I may literally explode!!)
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Post by odo banks on Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:54 am

I don't want to start rumours.... but... Shocked


(Err... for the record... my fantasies usually involve Arwen... Embarassed Please tell me she was a girl...)

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:50 pm

A girl yes...but obviously lesbian! (Not sure thats a problem regards fantasies mind you Shocked )

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Post by odo banks on Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:16 pm

Oh my goodness... does that mean I'm a Lesbian? Shocked

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:15 am

The answer to that has put me in mind of a snippet of a play from the 1970's by Alan Bennet that I saw the other nght in a tribute to the career of the actress Thora Hird. It is a conversation between an elderly mother and her adult son.

Mother: I'm a lesbian.
Son: You are not a lesbian mam.
Mother: Well I was.
Son: When?
Mother: When I was younger.
Son: Rubbish. When exactly?
Mother: During the blitz it was. You remember I told you, our Sarah's lot street got bombed, well we all had to bunk up. I shared a bed with your Aunty May.
Son: That doesn't you make you a lesbian mam.
Mother: Ahh be she might have been.

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Post by odo banks on Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:51 am

Oh youuuu... Wink

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Post by Saradoc on Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:54 pm

Oh daaarling, it's sooo true!

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Post by springstar on Thu May 12, 2011 11:18 am

If J R R Tolkien knew what the topic of conversation was on this thread, he would roll over in his grave. Some of the posts made me laugh. The Lord of the Rings will obviously receive astute attention especially concerning close friendships and I mean in a clean way, as there seems to be more pears in this book than in The Hobbit.

Merry and Pippin, Frodo and Sam, Legolas and Gimli. Aragorn and Boromir, Gandalf and Saruman. I think the word for this is bromance(brotherly love) and to me that makes sense. Very Happy

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Post by Ringdrotten on Thu May 12, 2011 2:26 pm

Bromance! Very Happy That's it, problem solved Very Happy

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 12, 2011 3:00 pm

Strangely enough thats a possibility. There is good evidence from writing and letters from the Middle Ages that men expressed affection for one another in a non sexual manner, but one which i so emotionally open in comparison to today that to a modern eye they read like love letters. One fine example I remeber seeing had the sentiments roughly of; 'It is but two days since you left my side and already the loss to my heart is paining me. You are constently in my thought and my love goes with you.'
Its hard to imagine to male friends today comminicating in similar fashion, but the evidence seems to support that these wer enot isolated secret gay couplings but how men commonly spoke of other men to whom they were best friends.
Not to hard to conceive of really as I think men still have those sentiments towards their closest male companions, just not normally expressed in such a manner. Women often underestimate I think the ties and bonds that can form between men and the depth of them, I think its probably a consequence of early men having to balance competing with each other for position (and therefore women) and having to collaborate for the good of the whole (taking down a mammoth for the tribe). If the person standing next to you might be required to save your life and vice versa that requires some quite deep bonds. And over time how those bonds have been expressed has changed.
Perhaps in the 3rd Age of ME it was how men spoke and acted with other men whom they had a close friendship and nothing out of the ordinary- still doesn't explain why Gimli got to go with Legolas at the end though.

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