Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – Extra Sci Fi – #1

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – Extra Sci Fi – #1


The journey begins One ring to rule them all one ring to find them One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them Wouhouhouhou !
I always wanted to say that ! If we take this next step to talk about
Lord of the Rings in a series on science fiction Is it really the furthest from our thematic home? We’ve ever been I’m not so sure Mainly because of how it influenced
the later science fiction authors. Not only would you be hard-pressed
to find a sci-fi author That hasn’t read it, but there are so many conventions that have become
staples of the genre that first worked their way into
our minds with Lord of the Rings that sometimes we forget
about them and And one of these conventions
comes right at the beginning Okay Not at the very beginning
with the song of Ainur but at the beginning
of Lord of the Rings itself at a long-expected party The opening chapter of the book sees Bilbo preparing for a grand party
for his eleventy first birthday at the end of which
he’ll disappear both literally and figuratively
from the Shire But before he leaves he passes the one ring along to Frodo this is a symbolic and thematic act that not only
determines the course of the book but helps us understand something
Tolkien wants to explore the passing of Generations the handing of the world
from one generation to the next All of the Lord of the Rings
has a melancholy to it a sad wistful feel and this theme of passing on is one of the principal reasons as we see here and as we see a few chapters Later with the elves heading west and leaving middle-earth for good in the schema of Lord of the Rings for the next Generation to come into its own and take its turn helming the world The previous generation has to leave has to bow out of the story But before passing that torch they need to present what gifts they have What they’ve acquired along the way to help those who come after them? some of those gifts are actually burdens like the ring some are earnest gifts like a coat of mithril or the elfstones and Some are keepsakes like the box of soil that will grow the last Malorne tree but in passing along these gifts the previous generation is also trying to pass on a piece of their world a world that can’t exist anymore a world that has to crumble and be reshaped by the next generation so they can make it their own And in truth The whole tale is about one generation of the world Struggling to put right the errors of the past that they inherited but rather than making it quite so black and white Tolkien also gives us the last remnants of the previous Generation and show some of them coming to realize how much harm their complacency has caused and using their parting days trying to help correct This theme of passing the baton of the change of generations was really first brought to the fore in genre fiction by Tolkien Before him and perhaps the shattered time. He lived through this didn’t come up in sci-fi or fantasy but as Tolkien and brought it to us he brought with him another theme which has become a staple of science fiction the diminishing of generations Being a great scholar of mythology Tolkien latched on to a theme common in many myths cycles and especially prevalent in greek myth the lessening of the world The idea that the world goes through ages and as these ages pass a certain vitality passes out of the world that lives become shorter Heroes become less powerful and people become more focused on the material world rather than whatever spiritual or magical world may surround it We see this with the elves. We see this with the lessening of the lives of the númenórean kings We see this in a realm where the dark powers were once thrown back by great armies But now all hope rests on one from the least of the sentient races and in exploring this idea He borrows heavily.
Not only from the Greek ages of man But, especially with the númenóreans From his own Old Testament background where lifespans fall from Methuselah venerable hundred and sixty-nine years down to a normal human lifespan over the course of generations But even in the borrowing of this lessening of the world idea Tolkien is intentional it’s more powerful and Tolkien’s work than in some of the later works that derive from Lord of the Rings because Tolkien isn’t just using it because it’s a cool idea But rather because of how it interweaves with some of his other themes in this book greatness is leaving the world and we’re supposed to feel a sorrow for what’s being lost and yet we have that central theme of Generational passing and a world where the greater generations left their problems for the lesser generations to solve In doing this he points out the lie to this idea of a great age, or in a more modern parlance, the good old days But at the same time makes the reader realize that there is something being lost with the passing of this generation That there are things worth preserving worth fighting for that those who came before us have built qualities and ideals that we may lose if we don’t consciously remember and try to preserve them as Token meanders through this first section, which he totally didn’t have planned out when he began to write by the way It’s clear that while he may not have had the plot down These are the themes he wanted to explore from the passing of the ring to the legacy of the Dark Riders From Tom Bombadil to the Barrow downs from the introduction of Striders quest for Rivendell and the last homely house these themes of the passing of generations and the diminishing of the world are ever-present in the first book of Lord of the Rings and And this theme this decay of humanity will see pervade in a lot of the dystopic and Post-apocalyptic science fiction that we’ll explore next season but even when we talk about Dune in a few episodes we’ll have that sense of the things that were lost and humanity’s struggling to become what it mythically once was We’ll also have the passing of generations come to the forefront in everything from Star Wars to the Red Mars series but these are just a few of the themes that Tolkien gives us so join us next week my PRECIOUSES uh… oh… wow… As we march on to the two towers and discuss what sweeping ideas await us there

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Do you think that the Peter Jackson film trilogy captures and presents these themes as well as the books do (if you've read them)? Why, or why not?

  2. I was (and still am) fascinated by the works of Tolkien because no matter how many times I read it, no matter how many videos of explanations, fan theories, etc. I see, there is always something new I didn't know or didn't think of in the next video/read. It would be great if you did a video series on the world and mythology behind it… or anything from Tolkien's work, really.

  3. Warhammer 40k does the same. The golden age of humanity, then the fall to the men of iron, then the rebirth and unification of terra under the man emperor of mankind and the great crusade, then the horus heresy and the fall of the emperor and the empire into an age of dark where noone even understands the technology of previous generations to the point that it's magic to them. Many many books do this

  4. Roads go ever ever on,

    Over rock and under tree,

    By caves where never sun has shone,

    By streams that never find the sea;

    Over snow by winter sown,

    And through the merry flowers of June,

    Over grass and over stone,

    And under mountains in the moon.

    Roads go ever ever on,

    Under cloud and under star.

    Yet feet that wandering have gone

    Turn at last to home afar.

    Eyes that fire and sword have seen,

    And horror in the halls of stone

    Look at last on meadows green,

    And trees and hills they long have known.

    The Road goes ever on and on

    Down from the door where it began.

    Now far ahead the Road has gone,

    And I must follow, if I can,

    Pursuing it with eager feet,

    Until it joins some larger way,

    Where many paths and errands meet.

    The Road goes ever on and on

    Down from the door where it began.

    Now far ahead the Road has gone,

    And I must follow, if I can,

    Pursuing it with weary feet,

    Until it joins some larger way,

    Where many paths and errands meet.

    And whither then? I cannot say.

    The Road goes ever on and on

    Out from the door where it began.

    Now far ahead the Road has gone.

    Let others follow, if they can!

    Let them a journey new begin.

    But I at last with weary feet

    Will turn towards the lighted inn,

    My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

    Still 'round the corner there may wait

    A new road or secret gate;

    And though I oft have passed them by,

    A day will come at last when I

    Shall take the hidden paths that run

    West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

  5. Something that was clarified in the Hobbit movies is The Eye Of Sauron. Was it a big spiritual eye of magic? That's what we were led to believe as fans for a long time. The black slit in the middle of the eye is actually Sauron, surrounded by his power. More than likely, the Great Eye seen at the top of Barad-Dur is Sauron using the Palantir to keep a watch over what he can throughout Middle Earth.

  6. That image of passing the sword to the girl in pigtails looks so familiar to me! Am I crazy? Am I stupid? CAN ANYBODY TELL ME WHO THAT GIRL IS?!

  7. can you guys do a segment about books?
    like extra books and if you do can you do things like the outsiders harry potter etc

  8. Three rings for the Turkics under the sky. Seven for the Baltics in their halls of snow. Nine for the mortal Slavs doomed to drink, one for the president in his Krasnyy Kremlin; in the land of Russia where Soviets lie.

    One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring to bring them all and in the union bind them; in the land of Russia where Soviets lie.

  9. This disappoints me. For a better understanding of Tolkien/The Lord of the Ring's stance on the passing of generations, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GqBTyXYCJE EC didn't do a bad job here, but too little time is spent on the issue, and even a citation or two helps a great deal.

    Tolkien absolutely believed in a Golden Age, both in the past and yet to come.

  10. "I always wanted to say that!"
    Sauron: Please sign here. Join me and you'll get the chance to say it.
    Extra Credit: But… Will this end badly for me?
    Sauron: No, no, no, no. (Probably)

  11. This sort of ties in with your previous video about world building. The scale of the whole mythos back through the silmarillion emphasizes these themes, and the world building that comes through in the Lord of the Rings organically adds to that melancholic sense of the passing of time.

    Really I'd love to hear you talk about things like the Lay of Lethian and the Song of Durin or ideas like the Doom of the Noldor and the Gift of Illuvatar, which pretty well illustrate what you're talking about

  12. About the Old Testament longevity, a possible explanation is measuring age in Lunar months, rather than season cycles. Divide the Genesis ages by 12, and you get some reasonable numbers.

  13. Robert E. Howard >>>>>>>>> J. R. R Tolkien. Imo

    And the older generation in Lotr fought Sauron and thought they beat him but he came back

  14. I can't like this enough! I will never see LOTR again in the same way after all these aspects you brought up… This was a well deserved thumb up

  15. I feel like the cat was behind you guys arms out with a look of "This is my creation and doing." as you guys said that xD. Who is in control the feeder or the fed?

  16. Extra credit scifi videos are getting shorter and seemingly less eye opening then when compared to everything before this season…[ not because the information but how you all are chopping up the episodes now.]

    Did yall lose to many good writers or are yall just trying to get more revenue by breaking them up.
    Either way, it might work in the beginning but if the quality continues to down hill. Newer videos will be less likely viewed then those before.

    Extra Credit History still seems to be doing decent, but we will see…

    Still liked the original voice person more, but matt is acceptable I suppose. [ He just does grab my attention or emphasis things as much in my opinion.]

  17. Hey! This is relatively unrelated to the video but I would like to talk about it.
    So, I I鈥檓 wondering if you guys will ever plan on doing alternate history or horror. I can just imagine great episodes on Stephen King or Harry turtledove!

  18. That makes sense. And given his own history and what was going on around him, it would make sense.

    I wonder if that's part of why I like Decomposing Composers.

  19. This was my issue with dbz. That it set up for a passing onto a new generation, only to fall back from it and let its world become more and more stagnant.

  20. could you do an episode on the strugatsky brothers and some of the important works written in other languages such as Valerian and Laureline as well as Karel Kapek's Rossums Universal Robots

  21. Out of all of the things I appreciate out of Tolkien's work and his worldbuilding, this is my least favorite and how it has impacted science fiction. Sure, the moral decay of dystopian futures make for great conflict and plot but it also paints an unnecessarily darker view of the future. More importantly than the limiting variety of sci-fi tones out there in fiction is public perception of the future due impart to their layman understanding of these works.

    How often must I roll my eyes over the gut reactions people have to the idea of alien civilizations, artificial intelligence and virtual realities? It's always War of the Worlds, iRobot, or The Matrix respectively to each topic. Don't get me wrong, I love these titles and value the caution they force us to face but there is a severe bias to the perspective of future degradation being inevitable in this light. Rarely are works like Star Trek or Ready Player One featured that celebrate the future while still maintaining a strong conflict. The latter option was a dubious example that was first of modern work to pop into my head but the lack of examples is very telling of what I am trying to get at. Wish there was more like that. Our society needs it.

  22. Funny thing, the ages of people in the Bible was generally consistently around 900 years. If you accept that 1 day is 1000 years to god (and we are nearing the end of the 6th day of the week in 2030, days exactly after christ died – 7th "day" will be day of rest, the millenium) it fulfills the promise that Adam will surely die that day for eating the fruit. Also interesting is that ages after the flood fall along a perfect geometric curve to modern levels, something not discovered till the 1500s.

  23. Hard to mention Tolkien without also mentioning Dungeons and Dragons and the spawning of an entire new genre of games – the role playing game. While a number of game designers had attempted similar concepts, it was Tolkien-influenced D&D that capture the imagination of generations afterward.

  24. I read somewhere that Tolkien viewed the concept of history as one massive spanning defeat. Kind of pessimistic, but I'd argue Tolkien wasn't saying the future is hopeless. He seemed to treat the 'defeat' with a kind of bittersweet attitude.

  25. Also ghibli does this of the diminishing of the world and the ancient spiritual ways. Specially in mononoke no hime

  26. If Lord of the Rings were about Climate Change then Gandalf would just rant about how it's a hoax created by the evil men from the east

  27. I don't think hobbits have pointed ears, as they are drawn here.聽 There is nothing in LOTR to indicate that they do and, since they are much closer to Men than Elves, it seems very unlikely.

  28. Watching this I cant help but to forlornly ask myself what are we leaving for the future, and what was left for us by the past?

  29. One of the greatest sins of the 20th century (and now too) is what Tolkien's good friend CS Lewis called "Chronological Snoppery"
    That is thinking that those who came before us were fools

  30. Interesting to see the concept of the passing of generations. For the kids of today, Naruto would probably be the most popular series to have that theme, though it doesn't have the "diminishing with time" aspect that Lord of the Rings has. Rather, it's way more direct: it argues that the people of the older generations are actively holding back the newer generations by enforcing their rules on the younger folk, rules that don't necessarily apply anymore. In addition, the older generations hold grudges against things that happened prior (the Uchiha genocide, the previous Great Ninja Wars, the feud between the two sons of the Sage of Six Paths, etc.) that the younger ones, have forgiven the other sides for. The inheriting of the Tailed Beasts is a good example, as the people who watched their hometowns get destroyed by them and sealed them into human vessels bear a grudge so strong that they show a similar contempt for the vessels themselves despite the vessels having had no say over the whole thing, and even after Naruto discovers their sentience and is able to communicate with them. (That is, the one "gift" left from one generation to the next is a set of WMDs that the next generation doesn't even want but gets hated on for taking it anyway.) The final battle in the original series is against the oldest generation of all and hates the modern world the most. This antagonist can only be defeated when all other generations learn to forgive one another, setting aside their differences to combine their power.

    Going into Boruto, with these differences set aside, the world enters into a much better age. Living standards and technology have improved greatly, as does overall understanding of the world, and for the first time in the Naruto universe, there is total peace between the major powers. (Of course, this causes the series to be noticeably worse than the first one, narratively speaking, as the world being at peace means all they fight now are small criminal sydicates and terrorist cells. There's not much at stake.)

    I'm not a Naruto fan, mind you. I just pay attention to these series when they become popular. I consume a lot of media in general, as I love to broaden my horizons. I'm the sort to watch Jeopardy! every day, for instance.

    Also, I know this would receive a lot of hate, but I LOVE the fact that you guys used the elderly Luke Skywalker handing the light saber to Rey. I think this one works better than Obi Wan to Luke because the former is relatively quick, with most of the resistance coming from Luke, whereas Luke is incredibly reluctant to do the same for Rey, and he has to make peace with himself first. Also, I know the Sequel Trilogy is a love-it-or-hate-it thing, and I am firmly on the side of Love It. So I just wanted to put my two cents on that side because I know plenty of others will have already on the Hate It side.

  31. Lol passing of the torch in Star Wars from Luke to Rey as if that's what Ryan Johnson wanted. Loved your video guys!聽
    I hope this becomes an excuse for a new Extra Fantasy show soon

  32. I never got Tolkien.
    it may be that I have read Herbert as a kid and didn't hear about Tolkien until movie destroyed it for me.
    I do not claim,that Dune movies are better, just that from my subjective biased perspective I never got need to read LOTR and never liked it's movies.
    (I have never read / seen Harry Potter either.. not that it could compare to these,just that I apparently am not common case in these things)

  33. The concept of "the lessening of generations" reeks of both the hubris of "the greatest generation" ( self named ) and the concept that "these damned kids" always have it so easy that pervades nearly every generation of humanity since the dawn of storytelling. There are stories of folks lamenting the newspaper back in the day the same exact way people lament smart phones today but if you read and absorb enough you realize both that it's both impossible for humanity to be on a downward slide every generation without having hit rock bottom centuries ago, and obvious that humanity has always been this way ( I'll point to the "Complaint tablet to Ea-nasir" ) and "the olds" just like to have something to kvetch about in anything younger than them they don't understand. Being middle aged gives you the interesting crossroads insight of understanding both why older people complain about new technology ( like non-intuitive interfaces. Why did you change it? The start button worked fine and more importantly I KNEW WHERE EVERYTHING WAS! STOP HIDING THE REAL CONTROLS BEHIND APPS! ) and why younger people don't trust the old and think they're idiots ( surely they were never actually children themselves and can't know what we're going through, they must be too old to hear or notice me sneaking about. Surely it isn't because they know exactly what I'm up to and just don't care )

  34. But what if the 鈥渨isdom鈥 and 鈥渢raditions鈥 of the previous times are too bigoted and corrupt to pass along, and preserve?

    If anything, the liberation from the filthy barbarisms of theism, spirituality, and belief in the afterlife and the supernatural are to be wished for rather than wept over.

  35. Wait I just got something about bilbo鈥檚 111st birthday. Is that possibly a reference to ww1 ending? Anyone have any ideas?

  36. While this is a great examination of Tolkien, you must keep in mind also that he was a Christian and there will also be times where he references to certain aspects of this.

  37. Now we see a lot of spaceship packed with elves, dwarfs and dragons, lot of office demons and halflings going to be elected as president of United States of Middle Earth, *the old days*

  38. In keeping with this video, wasn't the theme also about the lack of the past generation in realizing the power of evil?

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