Believe/disbelieve in ME

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Endril 20/Dec/2006 at 08:53 AM
Healer of Imladris Points: 9193 Posts: 9362 Joined: 15/Jan/2006
I have a subject that concerns me a lot. As all of you saw arround some of us believe in the past existence of ME and others just say that it’s a fantasy work and even consider the believers crazy. I wonder why do you all think about this?

Tolkien created a world that seems indeed real like it would have existed in the past. I also read that one of the past writings of Tolkien was about traveling in time in the time when ME existed. And there was a character to which memories from ME were revealed to him. Do you think that Tolkien believed that things from the past were revealed to him?

I like to believe that the existence of ME might have been true, I belived it for the sake of the fantasy that I love so much, I’m not a fanatic crazy believer.   

So, what do you think?
Fern Leaf 20/Dec/2006 at 09:09 AM
Hasty Ent of Fangorn Points: 2772 Posts: 3303 Joined: 18/May/2004
No, I don’t think that Tolkien received a revelation. I love Middle-earth very much, but I do not believe that it ever existed. Tolkien’s world does seem very real, but is that enough to make us believe that it existed in the past? I think not. By the way, I don’t think anyone would call you a fanatic crazy believer. Oh, and if Middle-earth did exist, then it’s not fantasy anymore, is it?
geordie 20/Dec/2006 at 10:19 AM
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Do you think that Tolkien believed that things from the past were revealed to him?

No. It’s make-believe; art.
Nieliqui Vaneyar 20/Dec/2006 at 11:34 AM
Bowmaster of Lothlorien Points: 8191 Posts: 8480 Joined: 14/Feb/2003
LegolasFireblade, I belived it for the sake of the fantasy that I love so much  that, I think, is a major part of the reason that his stories appeal to us.  He makes it so believeable that we can almost imagine ourselves in it.  And much of that is the realism he is able to depict.  Rather then over the top fantasy, the world he created has all to normal and what we would consider mundane events that take place all around our heroes - the little common day experiences that we take for granted but recognize in the story. (like the debate of Proudfoot vs. Proudfeet, that Merry and Fatty took a wagon the long way to CrickHollow, and lots of other little things).
Endril 20/Dec/2006 at 12:03 PM
Healer of Imladris Points: 9193 Posts: 9362 Joined: 15/Jan/2006
Nieliqui: Can almost imagine? I usually do that when I’m posting around and tell me that is very interesting to imagine that. To me it’s easy too, or at least I believe that way. Whatever you are right about that, it’s interesting and very possible to imagine yourself there.
Jaz 20/Dec/2006 at 01:58 PM
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Whilst I don’t think that it was an actual real place, it still doesn’t stop alot/some/most being totally based on what Tolkien saw around him everyday. The fact that he then just put it in a different place shows his skill to me. I think that’s why I can believe it so much, because, to a certain extent, it was based on reality.
Battlehamster 20/Dec/2006 at 02:59 PM
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I don’t think that it actually happened (as cool as that would be), but I think he made an incredible job of making Middle-earth seem like it could be a real place.  All the cultures, there’s not so much magic that it’s unbelievable ("miles are miles") that it just seems so real.  And it would be nice to think that there are still Wood-elves in the depths of the forests, and dwarves living in the caves...
Morgil 20/Dec/2006 at 05:18 PM
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Considering that Tolkien himself considered Middle-earth his own fictional invention, it would be pretty silly or even sad to believe it actually existed. Not to mention that there is absolutely no historical evidence supporting ME’s existence.  

The serious note aside, it is such a fabulous creation that it does inspire great love and a depth of study that often surpasses the interest shown in factual subjects. The sheer scope of Tolkien’s creative genius is worthy of all praise and acclaim. And even though ME has gotten more mundane by the Third Age, it is still a beautiful place to visit in our dreams and imaginations.

merrypip03 20/Dec/2006 at 05:33 PM
Farmer of the Shire Points: 322 Posts: 141 Joined: 13/Jan/2004
What I find wonderful about LOTR is that one of Tolkien’s motivations for writing it was to create a sort of mythology for England. As a mythology, I believe that ME could have existed.

Off topic... Morgil I love your little sig, "Gimme some sugar, baby! Ash" I love those movies...in fact...Bruce Campbell is one of my favorite actors of all time.
Morgil 20/Dec/2006 at 05:40 PM
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merrypip03...Groovy!

Jinniver Thynne 21/Dec/2006 at 02:08 AM
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No, what Tolkien created was all made up. It was stuff in books. That’s a fact.

However, I’m not quite that harsh as I know as well as anyone just how ’real’ it all does seem, and along with a mere handful of other stories, it’s one of the few books which I do not have to make an effort to become fully immersed in. Most other fantasy is in many ways quite ’jarring’ for me. For example, I could never enjoy works such as Narnia half as much as I enjoy Tolkien’s work and I think its that there is too much of the real world in them, there is a stepping off point before the secondary world is entered. There isn’t that stepping off point in Tolkien’s work (unless you count the Shire, which is slightly like that for me), it’s an entirely separate place. This just reinforces the ’reality’ of Middle-earth to me.

The other thing Tolkien did was construct elaborate conceits of having the Red Book translated, as though this is a real story he found somewhere. Of course, all the histories, genealogies and other assorted ’factual’ documents to be found in the appendices and elsewhere only add to this sensation of it all being ’something found’.

So, really its all smoke and mirrors.

However, you may find personal ’spiritual’ realities in Tolkien’s work (I know it awakened in me an interest in History and myth of the UK), but that’s something different entirely.
Brandywine74 21/Dec/2006 at 05:06 AM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1291 Posts: 562 Joined: 20/Apr/2006
Tolkien definetly made up LOTR and in fact got quite upset when people took it too literaly. I have heard that in the 60s when the books first became popular people would write to him to conduct their marriage celebrations etc. in Elvish and Tolkien wonder what was going on. 
Andune Silimaur 21/Dec/2006 at 09:40 AM
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Middle Earth has elements that were present in older times; a medieval theme, belief in magic, weaponery, styles...it’s all there.  The historical value of the locale is, I think, what makes it so real.  Although the elements were most certainly based on reality, Middle Earth itself does not, nor ever did, exist.  Like many fantasy novels, this world is based in the historical mixture of the Middle Ages and ancient values.  The difference between those worlds and Middle Earth, however, is the deft crafting of language and description of the very culture that brought it all to life in the reader’s mind.
Battlehamster 21/Dec/2006 at 11:57 AM
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Here is another question: Is anyone who really truly believes that Middle-earth and the events of LotR and TH and Sil actually going to admit it? I mean, I realize the internet is the place of anonymity, but still. Anyone willing to ’fess up?
Arvellas 21/Dec/2006 at 01:22 PM
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My theory: all books are in some way a sort of alternate reality, even if only in your imagination.  So, in a sector of my mind, it is as real as anything.  In the realm of imagination, that place which we usually only truly visit in dreams, it’s real; we just don’t have the ability to physically travel there.  I will admit that my thinking on this subject was influenced by the book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, because in that story it was possible to travel into books.  My answer, plain and simple, is that it is its own separate reality---literally the stuff that dreams are made of.
Miriath 21/Dec/2006 at 02:18 PM
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Ok, this is coming from the kid who believed that she would get a letter to Hogwarts when she turned 11. I love reading and I love thinking about all these mystical worlds and some of them are so well developed that it’s so real to the readers that they believe it to be true. Middle Earth is a work by a pure genius - it’s so well developed that we want it to be true. But, in my beliefs, I don’t believe it to have actually exsited - except in our minds.
Ankala Teaweed 22/Dec/2006 at 05:14 PM
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Well put, Miriath! We want it to be true. Peter Beagle said something to the effect of: "I myself would like a chance to go there.

KingODuckingham 22/Dec/2006 at 10:09 PM
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Although the elements were most certainly based on reality, Middle Earth itself does not, nor ever did, exist. If it wasn’t based in reality, who in the world would want to or even be able to read it? Instead of order, chaos? An incoherent world? It would lead to an incoherent book. Being able to relate to a book is what makes you love it and brings you back to it, so obviously Middle Earth had a strong basis in reality. For those whose role-playing goes a bit too far, though....well, let’s just say No, I don’t think ME exists.
Magradhaid 23/Dec/2006 at 03:56 AM
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It does not really matter to me that Middle-earth did not ever physically exist: C.S. Lewis once said to Tolkien that "myths were lies, and therefore worthless, even though breathed through silver". Tolkien replied with a poem, Mythopoeia (link), which I think might be the best one he ever wrote!
Endril 23/Dec/2006 at 05:29 AM
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Every legend and myth begins with just a small bit of true. So we could say that the stories written by Tolkien are inspired from different myths of different cultures and also by his wide imagination. So, as the myths contain a small bit of reality we could extend and say that LOTR contains a small bit of reality.    Hope It’s understandable.
Sulvitari 23/Dec/2006 at 01:47 PM
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I’d say that the problems of Middle Earth are very real of course, but Middle Earth itself is not real. The characters of the books are somewhat real if you let them affect you and how you think. Like any beautiful story, lotr inspires us and the effect it has on you and your love for the story is real, but it is just a story. I would love for it to be real, though
Beregond Abell 24/Dec/2006 at 10:23 AM
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come on you guys and gals, of coarse it is a real place. it exitsts in every one of our hearts. in mine anyways. it is a place that i think most want to go. a bunch of friend and i are going to start gondor up in Canada. We will have horses and live just like they did. it will be awsome. so one day Gondor will will be real.  Ok maybe i am a little crazy, but oh well
Endril 24/Dec/2006 at 02:54 PM
Healer of Imladris Points: 9193 Posts: 9362 Joined: 15/Jan/2006
Beregond, interesting idea. I’d like to try such thing once. Sounds very good. Call me when you will try with Rivendell, hehe.
Beregond Abell 24/Dec/2006 at 08:35 PM
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I dont know Legolas, I think building the White city will be hard enough. But building Rivendell, umm, that would be rather hard. But I’ll try  it would be awesome though. to build Rivendell. a small home in the mists of a waterfall, and in a valley like it was. I will definantly give you a call though haha
Anarríma 25/Dec/2006 at 09:16 AM
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Beregond - Ah, that was so wonderfully put. it exitsts in every one of our hearts. in mine anyways.

That is how I believe as well, and I might just agree with many of the other people writing here: Tolkien had truly an amazing gift - to write in such a way that we all actually can see ourselves in his worlds. Both by making it sort of ’realistic’, giving the characters so much real ’flesh and blood’ and by creating a beautiful world where it’s simple to seperate good from evil. Actually, I think that’s what everyone wants - the world to be only ’black and white’. This is good. That is evil. Wouldn’t everything be so much easier then? No difficult grey zones, no hard decisions.
I believe we all want ME to exist, but I dare say it’s nothing but a wonderful fairytale from Tolkien’s imagination.

Aragonia Dunami 26/Dec/2006 at 08:11 PM
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Well, we could also say that Middle Earth exists here on the Plaza, can’t we? Nice thought.
Endril 27/Dec/2006 at 09:17 AM
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aragonia: it does. In his own virtual way but it does and a lot. In the RP’s mostly of each activity here. Also in the organizing of the Plaza.

Beregond: The location would be a bit hard to find but not impossible. Maybe where they made the movies.
Beregond Abell 27/Dec/2006 at 09:22 PM
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Legolas. New Zealand! That would be sweet. Ive always wanted to go there some day.

aragonia. your right

Endril 28/Dec/2006 at 07:17 AM
Healer of Imladris Points: 9193 Posts: 9362 Joined: 15/Jan/2006
Yep, New Zealand it was the place. I think it’ll look nice and I’d like at least to live on those fields where it was Rohan, the endless terrain without any houses or anything around. That place would be suited for a long journey , armed with weapons and warrior equipment. It would be quite exciting to pass the immense fields like that.

I’m not crazy am I?
Narmaethor 29/Dec/2006 at 10:33 AM
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Middle Earth definiteley never really existed it is a nice thought for would much like to visit the shire, or the golden wood, or the Grey Havens, or.....*continues wishful thinking*. Although in the movie New Zealand made a very very good Middle Earth I should very much like to visit New Zealand. 
Eltara 01/Jan/2007 at 04:39 PM
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Middle Earth never existed, Tolkien invented it. Yet like all wonderful well written books, there’s always ( for most people) a part of your mind that believes it could be real. Somewhat like believing in the tooth fairy or Santa when you’ve learned their not real. Your imagination wants them to be real but the rational, realistic side says they never were. I for one like to believe in M.E. as I read any of Tolkiens works and get transported there even as I know that it’s all just the work of a great mind.