A honest question about Tolkien

I've been reading up on Tolien's writing of the Middle Earth books, and I have a serious question for all Tolkien fans: did he make up a lot of this as he was going along?

I read, for example that when he wrote that the hobbits met Strider he had no idea who Strider was. Similarly, I've reread the Hobbit and it really seems that Tolkien didnt intend for the ring to be anything other than a magical ring that allowed Bilbo to be invisible at opportune times.

Some have defended the insertion of extra material in the movies by saying that Tolkien started Yhe Silmarillion long before the Hobbit. but I suspect that the Silmarillion he started.in 1915 bore little resemblance to the finished book.

What do you think?
D P.
D P
01-8-2013 04:57 AM

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Babadook Nyland

Babadook Nyland

He was also very very high lol.

Jan 8 - 09:42 AM

D P.

D P

No, he wasn't.

Jan 8 - 09:45 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

He most definitely made things up as he went along. The Middle-Earth of The Hobbit is a primitive form of the world he expanded upon while writing The Lord of the Rings. He initially intended LOTR as a similarly light-hearted book, like The Hobbit, but it became increasingly sombre, dark and elaborate as he went on. In fact, after writing LOTR, he revised parts of The Hobbit to better match the sequel.

As for the Silmarillion, I might be wrong on this, but didn't he write most of that after he had written LOTR? It's true that he first wrote of the Fall of Gondolin during WWI, but I don't think it was the final form of that story.

Jan 8 - 05:06 AM

D P.

D P

According to wiki (yeah, I know) the Silmarillion started as a sort f alternate history of Britain.

I definitely don't think he intended all this with the Hobbit. What strikes me is that in the hobbit the ring is more r less a tool, no more sinister than a lightsaber.

As well, Gandalf's didappearances are an opportunity for the dwarfs and .Bilbo to face a challenge on their own.

Jan 8 - 06:30 AM

Tim de Wit

Tim de Wit

Yes, initially there was nothing sinister about the Ring, but that has been changed in later editions of The Hobbit by Tolkien himself. Now there are references to 'a master who controls the rings' in Riddles in the Dark.

However, many commenters have referred to an story (which I personally have never read about in any book, but I suppose it's in one of Christopher Tolkien's works) about Tolkien completely rewriting The Hobbit in order to encompass everything concerning the White Council and other elements that would appear in LOTR. However, he gave up on this project, because he felt that the tone was completely off and that the new work was 'no longer The Hobbit.' Instead, he decided to consign these elements to the appendices of LOTR, where they remained.

The Hobbit was always meant as Bilbo's account of what happened, and nothing else. At least, that's what I think that Tolkien went for. Someone else may correct me if I'm wrong.

Jan 8 - 06:51 AM

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