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 Post subject: Tolkien's views about War
PostPosted: June 25th, 2012, 4:58 pm 
Istari
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People in LotR take war very seriously, just as Tolkien did, as he himself fought in a World War. Any war causes mass desctuction and is felt by people everywhere. Even the peaceful Shire feels its effects at the end of RotK, after the big war is technically over.

But is war "good" or "bad" or a bit of both? Tolkien presents both sides, with some very interesting ideas, especially in "The Last Debate." Gandalf seems to take the view that many war-time leaders take today, the view that it is our duty to root out the current evil in the world so that our children can have a better life. There is also the exchange between Eowyn and the healer in Minas Tirith... the healer seems to be playing the role of a pacifist, saying something like "there are too many hurts in the world without war to multiply them," while Eowyn says that "those without swords can still die by them."

So, what do you think about this big theme in the trilogy?

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien's views about War
PostPosted: July 20th, 2012, 12:05 am 
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Wow, this is such an interesting topic; I can't believe nobody's replied to it yet! :blink:

I don't think Tolkien's works could ever be called "pro-war," since he's very careful to point out the various horrors of battle and the losses it creates. But I do agree with your point about war sometimes being necessary. It's kind of a strange balance, really.

In the end, I think what Tolkien is disapproving of is modern warfare, like he saw in WWI. All the heroes are fighting an old fashioned war, with swords and bows; it's the enemies that have machines and explosives and trenches, the ones that are destroying the landscape and killing huge numbers of people at a time.

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 Post subject: Re: Tolkien's views about War
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2012, 6:48 am 
Dunadan
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I think Tolkien despised war and everything and everyone who starts it. It's like fight of god and evil in his books: Sauron and Saruman failed and they were the reason the war started. But Tolkien was also fascinated by something being a hero of the war, necessary sacrifices and courage on heart. Describing wars not only by those who like fighting and battles. I mean, I also love reading about wars in medievals and fantasy, they always lead to happy end after all.

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