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Old 02-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #781
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
I imagine that turning of the ages as a process by which the poetically imagined history of Middle Earth in the Fourth Age merges with the known history of our world, and also with the scientifically imagined prehistory.
If I hopped in a time machine and set it for X number of millennia in the past, I’d never find Gondor or Mordor under what’s now the Mediterranean. But if my machine let me travel though the collective unconscious, into stories, I could find those realms in that part of the world.
Yeah, but that's not what JRRT had in mind. For the purposes of his story, ME is the actual, physical past of the real world, in that world your time machine would take you back to Mordor and Gondor. Yes, it's fiction, but it's not fiction set in any sort of imaginary plane. It's as 'real' on its own terms as the starship Enterprise or the Morlocks/Eloi.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:49 PM   #782
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

In contrast, Robert E Howard's Hyborian Age has the order of relationships to realms of the past stands nearly reversed.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:57 PM   #783
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Yeah, but that's not what JRRT had in mind. For the purposes of his story, ME is the actual, physical past of the real world, in that world your time machine would take you back to Mordor and Gondor. Yes, it's fiction, but it's not fiction set in any sort of imaginary plane. It's as 'real' on its own terms as the starship Enterprise or the Morlocks/Eloi.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle-earth


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Tolkien wrote many times that Middle-earth is located on our Earth.[1] He described it as an imaginary period in Earth's past, not only in The Lord of the Rings,[2] but also in several letters.[3] He put the end of the Third Age at about 6,000 years before his own time,[4] and the environs of the Shire in what is now northwestern Europe (Hobbiton for example was set at the same latitude as Oxford),[5] though in replies to letters he would also describe elements of the stories as a "... secondary or sub-creational reality" or "Secondary belief".[6] During an interview in January 1971, when asked whether the stories take place in a different era, he stated, "No ... at a different stage of imagination, yes."[1][7] However, he did nod to the stories' setting on Earth; speaking of Midgard and Middle-earth, he said: "Oh yes, they're the same word. Most people have made this mistake of thinking Middle-earth is a particular kind of earth or is another planet of the science fiction sort but it's just an old fashioned word for this world we live in, as imagined surrounded by the Ocean."[1] He continued to make references to its being "... a brief episode of History" of Earth as late as Autumn 1971.[8]
If this article is correct, he sometimes he described more or less the way you describe it and sometimes he described more as I see it.

Like the moral nature of the Orcs, or even their origins, this may be something he saw differently at different stages in his writing and afterward.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:44 PM   #784
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Yeah, but that's not what JRRT had in mind. For the purposes of his story, ME is the actual, physical past of the real world, in that world your time machine would take you back to Mordor and Gondor. Yes, it's fiction, but it's not fiction set in any sort of imaginary plane. It's as 'real' on its own terms as the starship Enterprise or the Morlocks/Eloi.
It's worth noting that Tolkien did start to write two different time travel stories, both of which involved modern Men encountering, not so much Middle-Earth as Numenor: The Lost Road and The Notion Club Papers. In both, time travel is not achieved through a machine but through a form of psychic contact. In The Notion Club Papers, that contact is not merely observation; there are suggestions that it reawakens ancient forces in the modern world and indeed threatens it was catastrophe.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #785
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle-earth




If this article is correct, he sometimes he described more or less the way you describe it and sometimes he described more as I see it.

Like the moral nature of the Orcs, or even their origins, this may be something he saw differently at different stages in his writing and afterward.
When JRRT talks about 'secondary or sub-creational reality', he's talking about 'fiction'. It's his particular trope of speaking, he believed that fictional creations had a reality to them because they are created by people who are themselves creations of God, thus the fiction itself has a certain validity or 'reality' at second-hand from God. This applied both to explicit fiction like LOTR and pagan mythology and heroic legends. It did not mean that the ficitional world of Middle-earth is not set in the physical world of reality, it's an 'imaginary past' in the same sense that James T. Kirk lives in an 'imaginary future' of the real world.

It's a complicated concept, he seemed to have some trouble finding the words for what he meant, but ME is 'subcreational secondary reality' in the same sense that most fiction is.

He also used the subcreational concept to refer to any case where any being 'creates' something. Morgoth, for ex, was acting 'subcreatively' when he invented evil, and Feanor was acting subcreatively when he made the Silmarils.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:59 PM   #786
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
It's worth noting that Tolkien did start to write two different time travel stories, both of which involved modern Men encountering, not so much Middle-Earth as Numenor: The Lost Road and The Notion Club Papers. In both, time travel is not achieved through a machine but through a form of psychic contact. In The Notion Club Papers, that contact is not merely observation; there are suggestions that it reawakens ancient forces in the modern world and indeed threatens it was catastrophe.

Bill Stoddard
IIRC the Numenor stories started out separately from the Middle-earth canon, as part of an 'Atlantis challenge' among the Inklings. Later, as he assembled his overall story-world, he incorporated Numenor.

Apparently, both JRRT and his son Christopher were haunted by a dream of a land being drowned under an immense wave, which they both had independently of each other. This seems to have been a root of the Numenor stories, too.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #787
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Apparently, both JRRT and his son Christopher were haunted by a dream of a land being drowned under an immense wave, which they both had independently of each other. This seems to have been a root of the Numenor stories, too.
I borrowed that, years ago, for my Gods and Monsters covert supers campaign—only I called the Tolkienian philologist Ransom. In fact I planted several Tolkienian elements there: Ransom getting an ancient Near Eastern book with pictures of sailing ships more advanced than anything the ancient world had; Adolf Hitler being taken on a ghostly U-boat to sunken Atlantis to retrieve a gold ring that would give him power over others' minds; one of the PCs, exposed to the One Ring, taking on the appearance of her demonic rider, the spirit of a First Age noldo—but a noldo interpreted by Weta, along the lines of their mermaids for Peter Pan, somewhat. Tolkien has a lot of potential as a horror writer, as Lovecraft has potential as a mythopoeic writer.

Bill Stoddard
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