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The World's Shortest Seminar: Tolkien and Diversity
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Sure, Tolkien devoted careful attention to cultural and racial diversity, but mostly that of the Northern European variety. As I wrote for UPI in 2001:

A century ago, fueled by Richard Wagner’s operas, Northern European mythology was world conquering in high culture. Then, Germany literally tried to conquer the world. Following Hitler’s Gotterdammerung, Teutonic and Nordic themes slowly disappeared from contemporary prestige culture.

Yet, these time-tested Northern myths still appeal broadly, especially to shy and obsessive young men. So, they’ve kept popping up in what were for decades the hinterlands of entertainment, but are now becoming the mainstream of popular culture: comic books, computer gaming, electric guitar rock, and, most of all, in Oxford scholar J.R.R. Tolkien’s extraordinary “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. …

Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien works well as a paranoid allegory about how Northern European man has so often been tempted to use his mastery of technology for conquest. …

Some of the popularity of this version is due to Jackson stripping away much of Tolkien’s gentle proto-hippie side — back in 1976 I used to buy organic sprout sandwiches at a ramshackle restaurant in Houston called the “Hobbit Hole” — leaving merely the fights and adventures.

Hippies are vastly out of fashion these days, but the movie covers up Tolkien’s large influence on the ’60s. “After reading Tolkien, I knew I had to move to the country,” said Robert Plant, singer and lyricist for Led Zeppelin.

Indeed, Zeppelin’s overtly Tolkien-influenced 1969 tune “Ramble On” — the song with the references to “Gollum” and “the darkest depth of Mordor” — seems more true to Tolkien with its alteration of medieval English folk verses and slashing heavy metal guitar choruses.

In contrast, Jackson’s heart doesn’t seem to be in the pastoral opening in the Shire. The movie never really gets going until it turns ferocious.

But these days, nobody cares about diversity among Northern Europeans. They are all just the Bad Guys.

 
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  1. I haven’t read Tolkien, but from what I know, Tolkien’s mythology is a stew. Sure, he used Anglo-Saxon & Norse themes, but the dominant approach (not a cultural face) has, I’d say, more to do with Hindu Indian way of thinking than indigenous European, any part considered.

    Tolkien was big with hippies. The countercultural 60’s popularized him, Hesse’s Siddharta Hesse’s worst novel) & Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince. Probably some other fictions.

  2. Altai says:

    It’s goes even further, Tolkien was such an Anglo-Saxon nationalist that he lamented that the English had no ancient myths of their own people and land and was generally insulted when anyone tried to suggest any Celtic influence in his works.

    That’s why he wrote what he wrote, he was such an English nationalist he couldn’t bring himself to enjoy any of Britain’s Celtic mythology as population replacement was the dominant narrative at the time. Of course, we now know that the Germanic replacement of the population was far less than imagined and the spread of English happened through social and cultural pressures rather than the killing of native Celtic speaking Britons.

  3. Gordo says:

    Diversity is overrated. We’de do better without it.

  4. Lot says:

    Hippies are disproportionately ashkenazi, celts, and germanics, in that order. Southern and Eastern euros far less, excepting celtic northern spain and slavic areas that are partly germanized like poland and czechia.

  5. @Altai

    This is one of the things I’ve found rather fascinating from modern genome sequencing studies, that the modern English are actually more closely related to the Celtic inhabitants of Roman Britain (and the thus the modern Scottish, Welsh and Irish) than previously believed. It really turns a lot of narratives on their heads to say that the English are a Celtic people (granted with a very strong Germanic admixture.)

    • Replies: @John Up North
    , @S. Anonyia
  6. Muggles says:

    Isn’t Lord of the Rings as diverse as its cinematic homeland, New Zealand?

    Of course they have Maoris. They are nonwhite. Very fierce warriors too. Nothing like Orcs though. But they were the Anzac troops most feared by the Germans on the Italian front during WWII.

    Actual characters in LOR series were quite diverse. Some human, many not. Hobbits were somewhat runty humans. The Shire was ‘Hobbits only.’

  7. John Wayne was a huge fan of Lord of the Rings Trilogy book.

    • Replies: @BB753
  8. Steve, are you suggesting Tolkien proffered a sort of proto-San Fernando valley diversity? Where only those observant of the nuance could tell? Why, that reduces the races of middle earth to a box of chocolates.

    Rather, I’d look at Tolkien a highly diverse race realist. His middle earth is vibrant with elves (of multiple sorts), humans, dwarves, hobbits, goblins, orcs, and the ghastly goblin orc hybrids. Each have their specific strengths and weakensses that manifest spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
    This is more than box of chocolate level diversity, but an examination of the profound differences among the races of that mythic past.
    Indeed, the Fellowship required a uniting of the races to succeed.
    Moreover, the stale white guys were always flawed, and the slayer of Angmar was a woman and the destroyer of the one Ring was a midget only in stature.

    Don’t worry about what Tolkien meant, this must be mined for it’s vibrancy.

  9. @Altai

    Of course, we now know that the Germanic replacement of the population was far less than imagined and the spread of English happened through social and cultural pressures rather than the killing of native Celtic speaking Britons.

    Does anyone actually claim the Anglo-Saxons killed large numbers of Celtic Britons? You’re leaving out Anglo-Saxons breeding more Anglo-Saxons in England.

    Commenter SimpleSong made similarly misleading assertions as you in 2019:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/what-are-examples-of-debunked-folk-taxonomies-of-race/#comment-3371640 (#49)

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @SimpleSong
    , @SimpleSong
  10. @SimpleSong

    I would say people of the British Isles are an assimilation of people going back several thousand years. Celts, Roman Legionnaires, Anglo-Saxons,
    and Scandinavians.

    • Replies: @John Up North
  11. @Bardon Kaldian

    I haven’t read Tolkien, but from what I know, Tolkien’s mythology is a stew.

    Thanks for sharing the voice of ignorance. I’ll bet your knowledge-free opinions on differential equations, computational linguistics, neuroscience, and civil engineering are equally compelling.

    There is nothing in Tolkien that has anything to do with Indians or Hindus. Tolkien’s mythology has a remarkable degree of consistency, but consistency is not what we seek from mythology. Tolkien has everything to do with the the true, the just, and the beautiful. Not that those aspects of existence would appeal to your ignorant perspective.

    In the English language, Tolkien captured more of humanity’s essence than anyone since Shakespeare. I’ll bet you have an opinion about Shakespeare ‘s works that you have not read too.

    What would we do without Sailer’s proclivity to post the ignorant, the vicious, and the defective voices that we all know and love? What would we do?

    • Thanks: TWS
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  12. off topic
    @Steve Sailer
    I don’t want to reward the click-bait so think you can check this on all our behalves?

    https://www.thecut.com/2021/02/swallowing-the-bitterness-of-asian-american-racism.html?

    Subtitle: “The burden of swallowing anti-Asian racism is making me sick”

  13. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I haven’t read Tolkien,

    It shows.

    I’d say, more to do with Hindu Indian way of thinking than indigenous European, any part considered.

    You’d say wrong.

    • Agree: 3g4me
  14. Bud Light says:

    I ate at the Hobbit Hole as a child in 1975-76, and as adult in my late 40s. The food is the same and so is the dank interior. The vegetarian emo males eating there now — with their bird bone frames — are the opposite of the macho hippie males of my youth with their numerous girlfriends, overalls, and back-to- the-earth ethic.

  15. Anon 2 says:

    Going back to the early Middle Ages, the original hippies were
    the Bohemians, roughly today’s Czechs. Instead of fighting, they would
    rather sit down, have a beer (or perhaps ingest a mind-altering
    substance), and talk till the early morning light. In other words,
    they subscribed to the idea of “make love, not war.” The Germanics
    were too enthralled with the idea of war, perhaps because of
    their bloody mythology, as Carl Jung suggested, and with the
    bloody eastern expansion (Drang nach Osten) to be regarded as early hippies.

    Central Europe, and especially the ancient capitals of Prague
    and Krakow, has for centuries been the European center of
    hippiedom. To this day there are thousands of alchemical
    manuscripts in Prague that have never been translated
    from the original Latin. It’s not an accident that Stanislav
    Grof, an early LSD researcher and transpersonal theorist,
    is Czech.

    The idea of pacifism has always been integral to hippiedom.
    Centuries ago the pacifists in Bohemia and southern Poland
    were wont to interpret the Christian concept of “turning the
    other cheek” as calling us to nonviolence. While the Western
    Europeans were engaging in violent colonialism and slave trade,
    the proto-hippies of Slavic Central Europe were developing
    theologies of nonviolence, worship of immanent
    divinity rather than the wrathful transcendent divinity,
    and exploring altered states of consciousness. The
    high status of women in Slavic societies, and its
    connection to nature worship, definitely helped.

    • Thanks: Grahamsno(G64)
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    , @anonymous
  16. Mr. Anon says:

    Tolkien and Diversity.
    😭😭😭😭😭😭https://t.co/JKUjdX97Br

    — James Lindsay, increasingly relevant (@ConceptualJames)

    Nothing will be left to us as our own.

    Tolkien’s accomplishment was remarkable: a synthetic mythology that actually works – as myth, as literature, and as entertainment. It’s too bad that the only live-action treatment it got on the screen was Peter Jackson’s self-indulgent video-game filmed in swoopy-vision and and cast with emo hobbits and a queer wizard. I much preferred Ralph Bakshi’s aborted animated version.

    • Agree: TWS
    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  17. In the book, the men known as “Easterlings” and “Southrons” both allied with Sauron against the men of the Wesr. In Peter Jackson’s films, the Easterlings were distinctly Mongoloid in appearance with armor similar to that of the Mongols or Japanese Samurai. The Southrons were swarthy and Middle Eastern / South Asian in appearance. And the Orcs were mostly played by Maoris. My point of this is, hang on to your special edition DVDs and Blu-rays, because it’s only a matter of time before these films go the way of “Song of the South”.

  18. @John Up North

    They’ve even found a great deal Gaelic DNA in modern Icelanders. They think the Vikings brought their Irish and Scottish wives with them to Iceland.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @John Up North
  19. George says:

    Germania, the personification of Germany, depicted as a black woman.

    Rammstein – Deutschland (Official Video)

    Deutschland by Rammstein: An Analysis

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  20. Wilkey says:

    Tolkien wrote in his foreword to LOTR that his was meant to be a specifically British mythology. For some reason he didn’t think that the Arthurian legends were enough. Yes, he was inspired by non-British sources – the Finnish “Kalevala” (iirc) and the Ring of the Niebelungun. But it was still supposed to be British. The various “races” – men, elves, dwarves, hobbits, and perhaps even orcs – were various types of *British* peoples. The hobbits were the simple folk who were invisible to most of the elite, and were generally looked down upon – self-sufficient (unlike our ghetto dwellers) but whose lack of greed and ambition was more virtuous and useful to society than the elite wanted to admit to.

    Kind of a useful allegory for America’s present day situation, except that Tolkien specifically stated that he despised allegory. Nevertheless, Tolkien’s tale was set in ancient Britain, meaning that all of his characters were, yes, appallingly, horrifically WHITE.

    Peter Jackson, to his credit, managed to keep his LOTR Trilogy believably British. Not a single character appears in the LOTR movies who couldn’t pass for British. There was some kerfuffle during the filming of The Hobbit Trilogy, however, when some very, well, not-British types showed up for auditions for extras and someone in casting managed to say they needed white people. The would-be extras apparently didn’t take that too well. So at some point Jackson was forced to squeeze in a few extras (all in the scenes at Lake-town, iirc) who looked like they had just arrived from deepest, darkest Middle Africa. It looked utterly ridiculous and unbelievable, and totally jolted you back to reality and the insane politics of our time. But to his credit he did manage to keep their total screen time down to less than about ten seconds.

    No word on what Amazon is going to do with Tolkien’s work, but I’m guessing we won’t be as lucky as we were with Jackson. Stuffed to the gills with die-versity, I’m certain.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  21. Anonymous[194] • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile, Golden Globes host and hobbit-hooker-lookalike Amy Poehler is in the news again, thanks to biracial employee’s being secretly and arbitrarily stricken from using the “N” word when singing along to lyrics in a popular black song. Apparently, wee Ms. Poehler don’ play dat shit:

    “The firing of a makeup artist from the buzzy new Amy Poehler project is causing ruptions in the TV world, we’re told.

    Earlier this month, Page Six reported that the artist in question was canned from the “Untitled Tracy Oliver Project” — the new show from the “Girls Trip” creator dubbed the “Black Sex and the City” — for allegedly saying the N-word repeatedly in front of one of the show’s lead actresses, while singing along with a rap song. (We know both the name of the actress and the makeup artist, but we aren’t going to print them due to the sensitivity of the situation. The makeup artist is a veteran of many major TV shows and movies.)

    Now Page Six is told that her peers are outraged that the artist was fired for using the word — especially, we’re told, because the makeup artist is biracial.”

    I guess “cancel culture” has more manners when it’s a female being seemingly racist?
    Hopefully, it won’t take long for Twitterverse cadets to name names…

    https://pagesix.com/2021/02/21/outrage-over-makeup-artist-fired-from-amy-poehler-project/?_ga=2.48418854.1435719218.1613954252-1959675321.1613954252

    • Replies: @Dan Smith
  22. 1. I have also patronized the Houston Hobbit Hole. I looked them up.

    a. changed name to Hobbit Cafe
    b. they now serve killed animals

    In 1972, we started on the road making fare that honored Tolkien’s hobbit tradition. For the first 10 years Hobbit Cafe was open, our menu was vegetarian. Today’s menu is made of small-batch, fresh dishes including stacked burgers; huge, hobbit-sized sandwiches; nachos; seafood, like shrimp and fish; and a variety of stellar breakfast and brunch options. Our large wooden deck our our giant oak tree is one of the best places in Houston to enjoy a brew. We pride ourselves on our ever-changing list of Hobbit-approved beers and wines, and you’re guaranteed to find something you’ll love. If food, friends, wine, and good times are what you’re looking for, The Hobbit is ready to deliver — come and experience Tolkien’s Shire for yourself.

    2. Even in the movies the Orcs are black.

    Nachos?

    Apparently they paid some ignoramus to write their yelp copy. A spell check is not a proofread!

  23. Alden says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    You never read Tolkien but you believe that Tolkien’s approach was more Hindu than European. How can you write that?

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
  24. Alden says:
    @Lot

    Hippies? It’s 2021.

  25. @Bardon Kaldian

    He was also influenced by standard Atlantis myths and the Finnish Kalevala.

  26. Wilkey says:

    Oh, and if anyone is interested, the Cinemark chain is currently showing the full Lord of the Rings Trilogy – at least in my city, but probably everywhere else as well.

  27. syonredux says:

    Hey, Tolkien was plenty diverse. For example, he was so fascinated by Finnish myth that he actually learned Finnish, which is not exactly an easy language for Anglophones to acquire. Of course, that’s the wrong kind of diversity….

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Gordo
  28. syonredux says:
    @Wilkey

    For some reason he didn’t think that the Arthurian legends were enough.

    Too Celtic.

    • Replies: @HunInTheSun
  29. syonredux says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Tolkien was big with hippies. The countercultural 60’s popularized him, Hesse’s Siddharta Hesse’s worst novel) & Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince. Probably some other fictions.

    In the Anglosphere, the ’60s Countercultural Big Three were LORD OF THE RINGS, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, and DUNE.

    Interestingly enough, all three are not exactly Woke…..

  30. Ian Smith says:
    @Lot

    The hippies who were into nature, Tolkien, organic food, taking the hippie trail to India tended to be white. The Jewish hippies were more into the violent, ugly side of things (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, most of the Weathermen, Ira Einhorn, etc.) There are things I can admire about the white hippies. The Jewish hippies were just Bolsheviks with worse hygiene.

    • Agree: Alden, Pheasant
    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @James O'Meara
  31. Stogumber says:

    But Tolkien must have known that the fairies and their homeland on an island beyond the sea are Celtic lore, mustn’t he? (Much more than other parts of the Arthurian legends.)
    Contrary to Jackson, I have always felt that the best part of the story (as a work of literature) is the first part where the protagonists learn, but only step by step, that they are involved in a world-wide drama.
    And sorry that I have to tell you, but Germany never tried to “conquer the world”.

    • Agree: JMcG
  32. Twinkie says:
    @syonredux

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finns#Origins

    Finns show very little if any Mediterranean and African genes but on the other hand almost 10% of Finnish genes seem to be shared with Siberian populations. Nevertheless, more than 80% of Finnish genes are from a single ancient Northeastern European population, while most Europeans are a mixture of 3 or more principal components.[70] Most male Finns belong to the Y-DNA Haplogroup N (M231). It is generally considered that N-M231 arose in East Asia approximately 19,400 (±4,800) years ago and re-populated northern Eurasia after the Last Glacial Maximum. Males carrying the marker apparently moved northwards as the climate warmed in the Holocene, migrating in a counter-clockwise path (through modern China and Mongolia), to eventually become concentrated in areas as far away as Fennoscandia and the Baltic.[71] The apparent death of haplogroup N-M231 amongst Native American peoples indicates that it spread after Beringia was submerged,[72] about 11,000 years ago. Most samples from the Liao civilization in northeast China and northern Korea belonged to y-DNA N. N has been found in many samples of Neolithic human remains exhumed from northeastern China and the circum-Baikal area of southern Siberia. It is thus suggested that the ancestors of the Uralic-peoples and of the Turkic-Yakut peoples may have originated in this region about 8000–6000 years ago.[73]

  33. @syonredux

    Probably, because the Anglospheroid 60’s were about “imaginary worlds and beings”, while in other parts of the Western world it was about “the meaning of life of human beings”, with fantasy/sci fi element being of secondary importance.

  34. @SimpleSong

    There is a theory that the Belgae (remnants of the Nordwestblock?) tribe which lived on either side of the English channel brought Germanic languages to Britain long before any Anglo-Saxon incursions. They lived alongside the Celtic tribes but their language dominated England for whatever reason, maybe superior iron-making techniques, wealth etc.

    Also how can geneticists tell the difference between the genetic impact of the Anglo Saxons, who were from the Southern Denmark area, versus the Vikings, who came just a few hundred years later from slightly further North? The Viking invasions are far more well-documented. I wonder if during the later Middle Ages the two migration events got somewhat conflated and muddled?

    • Replies: @Altai
  35. pirelli says:

    There’s a Hobbit Cafe in Houston now. Did it used to be called the Hobbit Hole? Hobbit Hole is definitely a better name.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  36. Dan Hayes says:

    Because of his Roman Catholicism, did Tolkien have to prove his Englishness by supporting the antithesis of Celtism, i.e. Anglo Saxonism?

  37. Twinkie says:
    @Altai

    That’s why he wrote what he wrote, he was such an English nationalist he couldn’t bring himself to enjoy any of Britain’s Celtic mythology as population replacement was the dominant narrative at the time. Of course, we now know that the Germanic replacement of the population was far less than imagined and the spread of English happened through social and cultural pressures rather than the killing of native Celtic speaking Britons.

    On average the English are about 50% Brythonic and 50% Germanic in ancestry, with a rather high degree of variation from region to region. What’s increasingly clear is that the original Saxon migration was considerably smaller in number than previously imagined and Saxonization was highly culturally diffused, i.e. local grandees imitating, in custom, manners, and dress, the intrusive, now elite, Saxon chieftains and warlords.* Of note is that even the earliest kings of Wessex (West Saxons) had Brythonic names, strongly suggesting that it was founded by local warlords and went through Saxonization culturally.

    *A very similar process occurred in Gaul and Italy after the Germanic migrations and invasions.

    Tolkien famously (or infamously) disparaged “Celtic culture,” finding it dark and dull while extolling the English Midlands yeomanry as the archetype of the humblest, most honest, yet most rugged and humblest people. Despite his disavowal of allegory, the LoR is a paean to the people he lionized as the bestest in the world. I do wonder what his thinking would have been had he known the actual genetic history of these “English” farmers.

  38. Twinkie says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Tolkien wasn’t just a Catholic convert, his ancestors were relatively recent (late 18th century) immigrants from Prussia. His paternal ancestry was thus likely German-Slavic.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    , @Anon
    , @sayless
  39. Stogumber says:

    Tolkien, by the way, had a counterpart in Germany – Hans Friedrich Blunck, who was as ambitious as a mythologizer, but who hadn’t the same gifts as an author; he was at his best in his short stories.

    The common feature of both seems to me the tendency to define man by positing him between superhuman beings (mostly taller, more far-sighted and noble/heroic) and subhuman beings (shorter, more short-sighted, more egotist). Tolkien’s preeminence shows up in his invention of a tribe who is rather petty bourgeois (the Hobbits), just below the ordinary humans, and making just them the unexpected protagonists and partly heroes of his romance who in a way are surpassing themselves (even if we must take into account that Frodo and his two companions have been somewhat above the ordinary Hobbit from the beginning).

    • Agree: Abe, sayless
  40. Orcs, Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, etc. It seems pretty diverse to me. What’s the beef?

    • Replies: @John Up North
  41. @Dan Hayes

    I thought Oxford dons at that time were supposed to be nominal C of E members. And whatever Tolkien identified as, I don’t think he was truly religious at all. He politely thought that C.S. Lewis was a bit of a nut for actually believing in Christianity.

  42. @syonredux

    The Arthurian stories (not “legends”) aren’t even Celtic in that their provenance dates to Pre-Anglo-Saxon Britain, they are Norman propaganda promulgated by Norman institutions (in this case the monasteries) in order to quell Saxon nationalism post-1066.

    • Replies: @Welshman
  43. Allen says:

    Some of the popularity of this version is due to Jackson stripping away much of Tolkien’s gentle proto-hippie side

    I must object here Steve, Tolkien was nowhere close to being a “proto-hippie.” He was a devout Catholic who looked back positively on medieval society while being deeply suspicious of the industrial revolution (much like G.K. Chesterton). Tolkien’s positive view of small, agrarian farming communities and negative view of mass industrialization did intersect with some hippie ideas (and some hippies naively tried to claim Tolkien as one of their own), but I think you’d be hard pressed to find a hippie who wanted a return to medieval townships.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  44. @Bardon Kaldian

    Tolkien referred to his hippie fans as his “deplorable cultus”

    He was ultra conservative and a religious chauvinist

    The consensus is that his work needs to get the lovecraft treatment

    • Replies: @Bies Podkrakowski
  45. Icy Blast says:
    @Dan Hayes

    The English were Catholic until the Tudors made a Faustian pact with Gog and Magog or some mysterious group or other…

    • Agree: Dan Hayes, Pheasant
  46. @Twinkie

    Interesting, because Finns have the highest incidence of blond hair in the world. This trait would have not come from haplogroup NM-231, or so one would think. So the gene for blond hair must have come from the female side, which would have been from a more local, European origin.

    • Replies: @Anon
  47. Hunsdon says:

    I loved The Hobbit Hole! (Quick math.) It is just barely possible that we crossed paths there. Probably not, but possible.

  48. Wilkey says:
    @Twinkie

    Tolkien wasn’t just a Catholic convert, his ancestors were relatively recent (late 18th century) immigrants from Prussia. His paternal ancestry was thus likely German-Slavic.

    You’re talking about a German great-grandfather or great-great-grandfather. The rest of his ancestors seem to have basically been English. Three of his four grandparents had typical English surnames.

  49. @Hypnotoad666

    And whatever Tolkien identified as, I don’t think he was truly religious at all. He politely thought that C.S. Lewis was a bit of a nut for actually believing in Christianity.

    Sorry, Hypnotoad, but this is mistaken. Tolkien was a devout, practicing Roman Catholic throughout his adult life. His faith permeates his work.

    His differences with Lewis were sometimes theological, but turned out to be more artistic/aesthetic in many cases. Tolkien also did not think much of Lewis’s marriage to Joy Davidman.

  50. Anon[369] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    Tolkien wasn’t just a Catholic convert

    Tolkien was baptized Catholic by his Catholic convert mother.

    J.R.R. Tolkien: The Story of a “Cradle Convert”

    “J.R.R. Tolkien was neither a cradle Catholic nor a full-blown convert, but a charming mixture of the two – a cradle convert,” began [biographer Joseph] Pearce. He was referring to the fact that Tolkien was baptized a Catholic by his convert mother when he was eight years old. “Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Tolkien’s conversion was crucial to both the making of the man and the shaping of the myth he created.”

    Tolkien preserved his mother’s legacy and kept the faith, not only in his life but also in his work. In particular, and crucially, Tolkien’s encounter with the depths of Christian mysticism and his understanding of the Truths of orthodox Theology enabled him to unravel the philosophy of myth that inspired not only the “magic” of his books but also the conversion of his friend C.S. Lewis to Christianity.

    https://catholicexchange.com/jrr-tolkien-the-story-of-a-cradle-convert

    Funny tidbit from Wikipedia:

    In the last years of his life, Tolkien resisted some of the liturgical changes implemented after the Second Vatican Council, especially the use of English for the liturgy; he continued to make the responses in Latin, ignoring the rest of the congregation.

    We’ve got a few of these types in our parish in Boston. They should go to the Mass in Spanish, as Spanish evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin and has the smallest degree of difference from it of any Romance language.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
  51. Lot says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    “ Does anyone actually claim the Anglo-Saxons killed large numbers of Celtic Britons?”

    I so claim.

    They extinguished Late Latin in Britain, and for a while nearly all literacy, which suggests greater violence than the Franks in France and Lombards in Italy, whose conquests were more a partial displacement of elites. That they fled to France also shows they feared for their lives.

  52. J.Ross says:

    I’ve been getting into Clark Ashton Smith and I have yet to come across less than perfect writing. Smith is a fascinating fantasist. He was a dictionary-memorizing autodidact born to farm hands in a shack without plumbing or electricity. He taught himself French to be able to read Baudelaire (this is technically not as impressive as Tolkein teaching himself the far more difficult Finnish to read the Kalevala). Once he started writing his own poetry he achieved mainstream success and appeared at events with Ezra Pound. Abruptly, he fell from fashion, and this withdrawal of favor shows up in many of his stories, some darkly indulging in revenge. Later in life CAS refused to return to pulp work, despite editorial begging, and make sculptures of monster heads at his not rich but comfortable wife’s house in Southern California. HP Lovecraft thought that CA Smith was the best contemporary fantasist, which is really saying something, and a clue to sorting out actual Lovecraft fans from plebbitors with a plush ctul in their car rear view. Smith, contra Lovecraft’s despair and Howard’s severity, is often very satirical. Unless fantasy is just not for you consider some Smith.

    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Peter D. Bredon
  53. niceland says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I disagree.

    I haven’t read Tolkien but seen all the movies made by Peter Jackson. There isn’t much doubt in my mind where Tolkien got so many of his ideas. Norse mythology, preserved in the Icelandic sagas. No need to look further.

    Here is decent summary:
    https://theculturetrip.com/europe/iceland/articles/how-icelandic-norse-mythology-influenced-tolkien/

    The famed author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and other subsequent novels about the same fantasy world, J. R. R. Tolkien, was very much inspired by Iceland. Aspects of the landscape, the language, folk tales, and Norse mythology were influential in shaping the legendary fantasy world of Middle Earth. Tolkien had an Icelandic nanny from the West Fjords who lived with the author and his family in the early 1930s in Oxford, England. It was through the nanny that the author became further acquainted with Icelandic folk tales and mythology and was able to practice Icelandic. The author began writing The Hobbit during this time.

    Heavily influenced by Norse mythology, Tolkien had been a reader of the Icelandic sagas since childhood. In the Völsunga saga – the text that also inspired Richard Wagner’s opera, Der Ring des Nibelungen – an all-powerful ring and a broken sword that is reforged are both main features of the story, similar key elements in Tolkien’s novels.

    Rings and swords are both very prevalent in the Prose and Poetic Edda. The most magical rings were the Ring of Odin and the Rings of the Niflungs, both forged by dwarves. The rings were often used as a metaphor for power in Norse poems. To own rings was to have power and to share a ring is to share a property with someone – a sentiment that is carried into present day marriage ceremonies. All famous swords in Norse mythology have names which tell about their history, very similar to the swords belonging to many of the main characters of Middle Earth.

    Other parts of Tolkien’s universe, the elves, and dwarves especially, were based largely on the Norse mythological sources, the Poetic and the Prose Edda. Tolkien’s Gandalf is particularly reminiscent of the Norse god Odin, who is described as having a long white beard, wide brimmed hat, staff, and cloak. Similar to Odin, Gandalf spreads wisdom, truth, and knowledge.

    The geography of Middle Earth, the fantasy world in which the stories take place, greatly resemble aspects of geography in Norse mythology. The name itself is significant; in Norse mythology, ‘Midgard’ is one of three worlds that compose the universe where men, dwarves, elves, and giants live. Another location in Tolkien’s universe that shares aspects to Norse mythological locations is Valinor. In Norse mythology, Asgard is the home of the Gods and the highest world, situated above Midgard as a place of peace and joy, very similar to how Valinor is a described.

    Here is another article with several more examples:
    https://www.yourfriendinreykjavik.com/norse-mythology-and-icelandic-folktales-inspired-tolkien/

    And:

    […]
    Old Norse and an Icelandic Nanny

    During his education he read and translated from old Norse (the parent language of Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Icelandic). It became his secondary subject. Later in the early 1930´s, his children had a nanny. A woman from Iceland. She loved telling the children, and sometimes Tolkien, some interesting icelandic Folklore before bedtime and also taught them all some icelandic. He was fascinated by what he heard and decided to get to know all this even better. He learned Icelandic and immersed himself into all kinds of old books and manuscripts about the Icelandic sagas and did a lot of research on them.

    C.S. Lewis was also influenced by the Sagas

    Tolkien even founded a club that focused on the Icelandic sagas along with his friend C.S. Lewis, the writer of The chronicles of Narnia. They encouraged the reading, translations and discussion of Icelandic sagas in the original language. This club was originally called Kolbítur (Icelandic for the person who stays so close to the hearth or fire in winter that they bite on the coals) but when Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and more started writing their own Sagas they changed the name of the bookclub to The Inklings.

    Tolkien was therefore always in contact with Icelandic literature and he used what he had learned as an inspiration for his writings. […]

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  54. Some of the popularity of this version is due to Jackson stripping away much of Tolkien’s gentle proto-hippie side — back in 1976 I used to buy organic sprout sandwiches at a ramshackle restaurant in Houston called the “Hobbit Hole” — leaving merely the fights and adventures.

    Houston or West U?

    There are places I remember . . . . And one of them is The Ginger Man in West U, though that was after your time. What a memorable first date — I told her that, if I threw a bullseye, she would have to kiss me. I threw a double bull. I’m not even good at darts. That was an omen. Perhaps I should have heeded it.

  55. J.Ross says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Tolkein was the guy that got Lewis to get deeper into Christianity. Lewis observed the similarity across cultures of moral codes and Tolkein essentially turned that into an argument for Christianity; Lewis refined it into his own second career apologizing for non-denominational Christianity, and especially the excellent book The Abolition of Man. Y’know who Tolkein disliked for reasons of mental stuckness is Frank Herbert. Herbert’s publishers hoped for a nice plurb from JRRT on a certain gloriously turgidly-cranked-out and concept-heavy novel which played fast and loose with the sort of medieval vocabulary Tolkein actually knew the meanings of. Tolkein kept politely putting it off and privately wrote that he couldn’t stand it.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  56. @Bardon Kaldian

    Jimmy Page used to talk about the “CIA connection” in Led Zeppelin’s music: Celtic, Indian, and Arabic.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  57. Anonymous[182] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    His differences with Lewis were sometimes theological, but turned out to be more artistic/aesthetic in many cases. Tolkien also did not think much of Lewis’s marriage to Joy Davidman.

    As philosopher and C.S. Lewis scholar Peter Kreeft (Catholic former Dutch Calvinist) points out, Lewis has been instrumental in drawing more people to the Catholic Church than probably any other writer.

  58. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Here is the paper, in Nature:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10408.pdf

    From the summary:

    “By analysing shared rare variants with hundreds of modern samples from Britain and Europe, we estimate that on average the contemporary East English population derives 38% of its ancestry from Anglo-Saxon migrations.”

    The East English population, which presumably has the greatest Anglo Saxon admixture, is less than 50% Anglo-Saxon. As you get out towards Wales it is presumably less.

    It appears that while King Arthur lost, King Arthur’s peasants did just fine.

    • Agree: Twinkie
  59. Dan Hayes says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Tolkien was a daily Mass attendee. Tolkien was bitter that his widowed mother was denied family assistance for converting to Catholicism. Tolkien, like Waugh, was opposed to and upset by Vatican II changes.

  60. @Twinkie

    I’ve lived in Finland, and they always struck me as shorter Swedes, with a science-fiction language.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  61. J.Ross says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Guy thought that Kashmir was a desert, so …

    • LOL: Paul Jolliffe
  62. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Multiple people on this thread are making that claim because it appears to be true, based on multiple published studies in reputable journals. The modern English are only part Anglo-Saxon, in fact likely not even 50%. Can I ask–this appears to bug you–are you a Celtic person who doesn’t want to be related to the English or an English person who doesn’t want to think of himself as Celtic?

    Can you show me a paper that contradicts the one published in Nature? I really don’t have a dog in this fight, and I certainly could be persuaded either way. I just find it fascinating that for so long we assumed that the Anglo-Saxons managed to completely impose themselves on the British Isles–true for the language, but not other things.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
  63. OT, @Steve: a nondescript German studies major, Otto Köbl, presently a doctoral student in Switzerland, penned an alarmist scenario about how to deal with Covid-19, recommending the repressive Chinese way. He’s been an ardent Maoist and supporter of the present regime for years, he also has had a stint as a language teacher in China. Since 2007, he has been researching these topics, among others: Western media coverage of China, Western academic discourse on China, and Western academic and media discourse on human rights. He used his Swiss university email address to make it known, for which he got rebuked. When a German Ministry contacted the university on his behalf, the university initially took this to be a joke.

    In March 2020, Kölbl was appointed to the German government’s Council of
    Experts, with prominent people such as Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert
    Koch Institute (RKI). His scenario became the basis of an confidential internal strategy paper. Journalists from Die Welt think this is highly suspicious and not according to established practice.

    English translation using deepl.com:
    https://www.docdroid.net/DMGznTj/wie-das-innenministerium-einen-germanisten-als-corona-experten-adelte-die-welt-en-pdf

    Die Welt is a (mildly) conservative German paper of record, one of the last to be critical of the government, at least occasionally. They still publish progressive loonies, though.

    • Troll: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  64. Twinkie says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    I should have written that the English are on average 50% Germanic in the Saxon Shore areas, with the Germanic admixture declining away from these areas.

  65. Twinkie says:
    @SimpleSong

    It appears that while King Arthur lost, King Arthur’s peasants did just fine.

    Elite replacement.

  66. @Dan Hayes

    Indeed.

    I should also have noted above that Tolkien was sufficiently RC to disapprove of Lewis’s choice of wife not least because she had been previously married and divorced.

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
  67. Twinkie says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    His differences with Lewis were sometimes theological

    Supposedly Tolkien did much to convince Lewis to become a believer again, but then was a bit miffed when Lewis chose CoE instead of his own Catholicism.

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    , @Dan Hayes
  68. @Lot

    Hippies are disproportionately ashkenazi, celts, and germanics, in that order. Southern and Eastern euros far less, excepting celtic northern spain and slavic areas that are partly germanized like poland and czech[ Republic].

    ALL CAPS may be the biggest faux pas online, but ⁿᵒ ᶜᵃᵖˢ can be just as annoying.

    • Replies: @Lot
  69. gcochran says:
    @Altai

    No we don’t.

    • Thanks: TWS
  70. All medieval, or medievalistic movies like LOR, employ the characterization by ethnic group strategy. Of course, Tokien’s are made-up ethnic groups. But the basic pattern still holds.

    Star Wars, Star Trek, same thing: characterization by made-up ethnic group.

    This can occasionallyl cause interesting cognitive dissonance.

    For instance, I love how, in one type movie, say Robin Hood or Ivanhoe, the Saxons are the good guys. But in King Arthur movies, they’re the bad guys.

    • Replies: @SFG
  71. @Twinkie

    On average the English are about 50% Brythonic and 50% Germanic in ancestry, with a rather high degree of variation from region to region. What’s increasingly clear is that the original Saxon migration was considerably smaller in number than previously imagined and Saxonization was highly culturally diffused, i.e. local grandees imitating, in custom, manners, and dress, the intrusive, now elite, Saxon chieftains and warlords.

    *A very similar process occurred in Gaul and Italy after the Germanic migrations and invasions.

    I do wonder what his thinking would have been had he known the actual genetic history of these “English” farmers.

    The lack of English (Saxon) lore is not in small part due to the violent, murderous dismantlement of their society post William.

    The meek actually do inherit the earth because there is no benefit to destroying them in a manual-labor society. Its the first sign of any organized military resistance that gets the hatchet – i.e. Harrying of the North.

    If you attribute pre-industrial revolution U-106 to Saxons and Danes, and I1a to Norwegians, which is largely accurate based on Scots Isle isolate comparisons, the U-106 – Saxon / Dane component (which cant be differentiated) is no more than 25% of English ancestry in modern populations.

    Spoken as a U-152 with no skin in the game either way.

    • Replies: @Alden
  72. @Bardon Kaldian

    ‘I haven’t read Tolkien, but from what I know, Tolkien’s mythology is a stew. Sure, he used Anglo-Saxon & Norse themes, but the dominant approach (not a cultural face) has, I’d say, more to do with Hindu Indian way of thinking than indigenous European, any part considered…’

    He hasn’t read Tolkien — and then proceeds to pontificate about Tolkien.

    Shall I share with the readership my views on Ibsen?

  73. @Twinkie

    > A very similar process occurred in Gaul and Italy after the Germanic migrations and invasions.

    Which raises the question, has anybody every done a similar study for those countries? That is, when the Roman empire collapsed and each region got their very own Germanic tribe as an overlord, how much of the modern population reflects that? That is, how much of the Franks is in the modern French, how much of the Visigoths are in the modern Spanish, how much of the Lombards are in the modern Italians, etc.

    It seems like in the past historians assumed language was a proxy for the degree of genetic admixture, and because Spain, France, Italy kept Latin-derived languages it was assumed that the admixture was slight or nonexistent, whereas the adoption of a Germanic language in England led people to assume that the old population had been displaced. Genetic studies could give a much more nuanced picture.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  74. Dan Hayes says:
    @Twinkie

    Lewis could never completely overcome his Northern Ireland presbyterian background. Witness his fear that Catholic nursing nuns would convert his convalescing brother.

  75. I’m sure all the multi-volume written epics of Sub-Saharan Africa have White characters, right?

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  76. Dan Hayes says:
    @Twinkie

    Lewis could never completely overcome his Northern Ireland presbyterian background. Witness his fear that Catholic nursing nuns would convert his convalescing brother.

    • Replies: @FPD72
  77. @Twinkie

    50% one, 50% another

    And 10-15% Huguenot

    Just sayin’ — statistics am fun!

  78. @Altai

    ‘…Of course, we now know that the Germanic replacement of the population was far less than imagined and the spread of English happened through social and cultural pressures rather than the killing of native Celtic speaking Britons.’

    Well, we don’t know that. Science isn’t revealed truth, and in particular, genetics in its current state generates some results that amount to non sequiturs.

    So I’d say genetics gives us ample grounds to be suspicious of the notion of wholesale replacement. However, it’s not like we’ve stumbled upon absolute certainty at last.

  79. Going back a few years now, but I once read somewhere that Italians from the Lombardy Region of Italy have the most Neanderthal DNA of all Europeans?

    • Replies: @John Up North
  80. Lewis could never completely overcome his Northern Ireland presbyterian background.

    The “ulsterior motive”.

    (H/T Joseph Pearce– whose poor daughter is denied a birthday this year)

    • LOL: Twinkie
  81. Abe says:

    Ironically Tolkien’s last great successor- George RR Martin- writing over half a century later and quite self-consciously smugly liberal in outlook- is even more problematic when it comes to issues of diversity and representation. George Lucas supposedly sneered at the director of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK as to why he had to make his flick so damn good, raising expectations of quality for the rest of the franchise Lucas, who envisioned STAR WARS as a sort of homage to the swashbuckling B-grade popcorn adventure matinee flicks of his youth, had originally no intention of fulfilling. Martin’s fate was similar, as what began as nothing more than a fun fantasy pastiche- GAME OF THRONE’S founding vision was literally a hot chick riding around naked on the back of a dragon- got away from him when he made the third book just too damn good. And so the biggest fantasy phenom since the LORD OF THE RINGS movies and HARRY POTTER, maybe the next best thing in fantasy ever to LORD OF THE RINGS, met an ignominious end as Martin simply cramped up and refused to finish his series, leaving it to his hack HBO showrunners to jury-rig a rickety finale to what once promised to be the most exciting thing in fantasy since Tolkien himself.

    GAME OF THRONES (technically A SONG OF FIRE & ICE) was significantly Blacked in its port to cable, which ironically obscured its quite unwoke- more explicitly so than Tolkien’s in fact- views on culture and ethnicity. The paragons of Martin’s world are white, Western European-style (as evinced by their blue eyes and frequently auburn hair) Northerners, the more Northern the better. Sure they can be cruel and ferocious at times, but in the overall scheme of things the Northmen are the most beautiful, the most admirable, the most honorable of all human cultures. Southerners by contrast, in what I take to be the Italy-equivalent of Martin’s world, are devious, disgusting, and corrupt, with their corpulence, their effeminacy, their literal oiliness, leaving no doubt as to their low-worth and despicableness in Martin’s eyes. And just so you don’t miss the point Martin piles it on even thicker as the story heads East and South, depicting the people there as so many disgusting, perverted, sadistic landwhales whose abused slaves must literally wipe their a$$es for them.

    Northerners are good, and the more Northern they are, the more they have a special connection to ice and snow and winter and the austere purity these represent the better. In Martin’s world heat and sun and ripeness represent corrupting sensuality and are therefore bad. The Wogs begin in King’s Landing.

  82. syonredux says:

    The World’s Shortest Seminar: Tolkien and Diversity

    To the contrary. As someone in the trenches, I can safely assert that there is a wealth of material for the Woke to mine. For example, absence is grist to the academic mill. Hence, Tolkien’s lack of POC can generate a few dozen papers ( “a single strand of your hair, which surpasses the gold of the earth as the stars surpass the gems of the mine”: Galadriel’s Hair and the Erasure of Blackness in Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS). And don’t get me started on what the Woke can do with the actual POC who appear in Tolkien’s work (“black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues”: Blackness and Monstrosity in Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS)…..

    Then we have Jackson’s films….. “united again in common defense of their Aryan birthright”: White Supremacy in Griffith’s BIRTH OF A NATION and Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS:

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  83. @pirelli

    The Hobbit Hole was on the west side of inner Houston about a couple of miles north of Rice U.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    , @pirelli
  84. BB753 says:

    “In contrast, Jackson’s heart doesn’t seem to be in the pastoral opening in the Shire. The movie never really gets going until it turns ferocious.”

    Jackson was naturally attracted to the dark side of Tolkien’s fictional world, and could never grasp the Christian content of his book.
    It appears Jackson is drawn to the occult, as shown by his defense of the West Memphis Three, by shooting his Paradise Lost series of documentaries, and is best friends with Damian Echols, convicted murderer of three children in a ritual murder.

    • Thanks: sayless
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Anon
  85. SFG says:
    @J.Ross

    Smith was one of the big 3 of Weird Tales with Lovecraft and Howard, but didn’t manage to hit the big time in pop culture later, lacking a hero teenage boys wanted to be (Conan) or a popularizer to invent a roleplaying game (Lovecraft). There’s quite a bit of sex (making him too risque until the 60s or so) and sorcery (ditto), not to mention a lot of sesquipedalian words. The complete works are also hard to find for reasons I am not quite clear but I am guessing are copyright related.

    It’s a pity.

  86. Wilkey says:
    @Charles St. Charles

    Last I checked Wakanda was 100% black – so 100% diverse.

  87. SFG says:
    @obwandiyag

    I remember the switchover from Robin Hood to King Arthur and was quite confused as a kid. Of course it makes sense when you realize they’re the stories of different groups of people living on the British Isles at different times.

  88. SFG says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Tolkien’s probably the best-known example of Christian fantasy, although not as obvious about it as Lewis. I kind of wonder if the greater didacticism in Lewis reflects the Protestant-Catholic divide between them, though I’m sure someone more learned than me has written a book about this already!

    • Replies: @dimples
  89. Lagertha says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    But, you all, many of you, hated Trump so you will never understand Tolkien – Tolkien foresaw Trump, foresaw it all, the whole MAGA, because he lived to see the evil Cabal destroy Europe (WW1 failed to destroy the spirit of humans, so, they went for WW2) but did not know if generations of men (and women) could fight the Cabal – the Bankers that caused the wars since Napolean.

    Wake the fuck up! – you idiots who think you are so fucking smart! You men have no balls! You are useless, impotent, pontificating pieces of shit. The child SRA and trafficking is fuckin’ real – wake up!

  90. Alden says:
    @John Up North

    It’s well documented in both Irish and Iceland history that the wives were captured as slaves in pirate raids on the way to Iceland. Or later when the supply of women was low.

    • Replies: @John Up North
  91. @Bardon Kaldian

    Siddharta Hesse’s worst novel

    For the purported know it all and particularly the literary critic on this site you have terrible taste. And pray tell me what books have you written which have survived a generation. You have not read Tolkien’s Epic but you have strange opinions about it, where does Hinduism come into it? If you are talking about Devas and Asuras that’s an eons old archetype not restricted to Hinduism.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  92. Mike Tre says:
    @Alden

    Because he’s a woman hating man of Unz?

  93. It is only a rumor that Queen Latifah has been offered the role of Thor in future Marvel movies.

  94. Alden says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Oxford allowed non Church of England religion during the 1866s. Partly pressure from Rothschilds and other Jews and partly a romantic historical return to Rome popular at the time.

  95. Anon[157] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    No, blond hair is from Siberia, rather than Europe. What source says Finns are the blondest?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blond#Evolution_of_blond_hair

    Ancient DNA analysis (ADNA) has revealed that the oldest fossil known to carry the derived KITLG allele, which is responsible for blond hair in modern Europeans, is a 17,000 year old Ancient North Eurasian specimen from eastern Siberia.[30][a 1]

    Geneticist David Reich said that the hundreds of millions of copies of this SNPs, the classic European blond hair mutation, entered continental Europe by way of a massive population migration from the Eurasian steppe, by a people who had substantial Ancient North Eurasian ancestry.[31][a 2]

    Ancient North Eurasian admixture is present in mesolithic fossils from Northern Europe, and is linked to the prediction of blond hair in stone-age Scandinavians by ancient DNA analysis.[32]

    Gavin Evans analyzed several years of research on the origin of European blond hair, and concluded that the widespread presence of blond hair in Europe is largely due to the territorial expansions of the “all-conquering” Western Steppe Herders; who carried the genes for blond hair.[30][a 3]

    A review article published in 2020 analyzes fossil data from a wide variety of published sources. The authors affirm the previous statements, nothing that Ancient North Eurasian-derived populations carried the derived blond hair allele to Europe, and that the “massive spread” of Yamnaya steppe pastoralists likely caused the “rapid selective sweep in European populations toward light skin and hair.”[33]

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  96. @Hypnotoad666

    Those blood red clusters nicely confirm the invasion/migration routes below:

    And just to Russell some Jimmies:

    • Thanks: Mike Tre
  97. Welshman says:
    @HunInTheSun

    But pre-Anglo-Saxon Britain was Celtic so the idea that the Arthurian stories aren’t (originally) Celtic is palpably and demonstrably untrue – references to Arthur and Merlin first appear in the (1250?) Black Book of Carmarthen, for example, which was written in Welsh.

  98. Alden says:
    @Trial by Wombat

    My siblings did the 23&me. Came out 40% Scandinavian. That was a shock. Because no one had ever heard of any Scandinavians. But then we realized they invaded Britain and Ireland.

  99. @Twinkie

    I do wonder what his thinking would have been had he known the actual genetic history of these “English” farmers.

    My thinking is he still would have preferred them to, say, “Koreans.”

    • Thanks: 3g4me
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  100. Lagertha says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Truth; what Tolkien always talked about and feared; loathed about them because we free people were unaware, because Tolkien was just a man with a gift of writing stories.

    Here is a man who puts stories further: https://youtu.be/WuxpBvayOSY

  101. @Abe

    George Lucas supposedly sneered at the director of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK as to why he had to make his flick so damn good

    Irvin Kershner? I don’t think that happened. Didn’t Lucas ask him to direct the next one, but Kershner turned him down?

    • Replies: @Abe
    , @MEH 0910
  102. @SimpleSong

    The modern English are only part Anglo-Saxon, in fact likely not even 50%.

    But possibly 50% in some areas? And at least 25% baseline? That’s huge. If the modern English were almost 50% Somali, mixed with 50% Celtic, would you consider them basically Celtic? What about ‘only’ 35% Somali? Still “Celtic”?

    Can you show me a paper that contradicts the one published in Nature?

    I don’t need to—your own source, not to mention maps and links in this thread, contradict your simple song below:

    I just find it fascinating that for so long we assumed that the Anglo-Saxons managed to completely impose themselves on the British Isles–true for the language, but not other things. [emphasis added]

    You write:

    Can I ask–this appears to bug you–are you a Celtic person who doesn’t want to be related to the English or an English person who doesn’t want to think of himself as Celtic?

    I’m not choosing a ‘side’ (i.e. Celts vs Teutons), but I take exception to your overheated (straw man?) past and present suggestion that it’s some amazing revelation that England, specifically, has both Celt and Teuton admixture. (Perhaps you’re aware of the anthem “Rule, Britannia!” and the line “Britons shall never be slaves” ?)

    My position is that England’s very nature and destiny was significantly altered by the massive infusion of Anglo-Saxon blood, not mere “elite replacement”, as some falsely claim here (Perhaps mistaking Normans for Saxons?—lotta “motte-and-bailey” rhetoric being deployed against my argument).

    It appears some non-Whites, particularly, are allergic to various global “Aryan invasion” theories and by analogy, for Britain (uber-Aryan vs. lesser?), resist the idea of a significantly Germanic/Nordic and subsequent historically ascendant England owing much of its real and romantic origin to the Anglo-Saxon invasion/migration/amalgamation.

  103. El Dato says:

    OT In the real world:

    Greens keep playing their assigned Grima Wormtongue role and are the perverse enemy of all that is good and decent:

    https://www.rt.com/news/516242-germany-ministry-social-cohesion-diversity/

    Germany should fight all forms of discrimination by amending its basic law to provide guarantees to minorities and creating a special “social cohesion” ministry, a group of MPs said in a manifesto that sparked controversy online.

    “All forms of group-related enmity should be outlawed,” a manifesto, supported among others by the German Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth and other prominent Green MPs and MEPs, reads as its authors called for the state to be given a special mandate to “protect” the rights of minorities.

    The fact that most top positions in politics, business and science are occupied by people, who “hardly represent” the vibrant diversity of the modern German society also does not help the matter, the document says. Its authors suggest amending the constitution to make the government “guarantee protection” against any group-related discrimination and oblige it to “work towards eliminating existing disadvantages.”

    Additionally, any new legislation or government regulation passed in Germany in the future should also get a “diversity impact analysis,” similar to a regulatory impact analysis, to see what impact it could have on diversity before it comes into force.

    “Instead of individual measures, we finally need an overall concept in order to achieve equality… for all people,” said the Greens former spokeswoman for women’s politics, Gesine Agena. “That is a central task for the next federal government

    That is not a task for a “central government” at all, at least not one that you would like to see.

    A pillowfight is coming: “If you want to survive the night, better bring many pillows to this fight.”

  104. Altai says:
    @S. Anonyia

    They involved much the same areas with regards England. In reality in both cases as is often the case with such invasions, a foothold of settlement occurred in cities or cities were established as trading nodes with little to no migration away from these nodes or ones developed by geography such as rivers.

    Over time the originally already admixed population would just endure more and more migration from the hinterlands anyway and be subject to repopulation events from diseases and famines which would have impacted urban centres more. Throughout history cities have been population sinks, not sources of population replacement of surrounding areas.

    The fact that England itself had a massive language shift from the Norman influence which had small demographic but huge cultural and social imprint and examples such as Scotland or Ireland which were recorded and seen, where a similar process occurred you would think would have made this obvious but there was a hunger at the time for a narrative as eternal conquerors who even conquered their native land with Scotland and Wales being remnants of inferior people.

    Of course, such narratives are now weaponised against the English (‘Britain has always been a nation of immigrants’, albeit having to settle for violent invasions) who would be wise to read the current genomic research for their own sake.

    The Germanic genetic influence of North East England today pales in comparison to even the migration events of the last 10 years.

    • Agree: SimpleSong, S. Anonyia
    • Replies: @SimpleSong
  105. @Reg Cæsar

    I’ve lived in Finland, and they always struck me as shorter Swedes, with a science-fiction language

    Don’t let Lagertha hear you say that or there’s going to be trouble.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Lagertha
  106. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Correction— “Britons never shall be slaves” in the Victorian-era version.

  107. J.Ross says:
    @SFG

    I have not yet found the sex in Klarkash-Ton, but the sex from Two Gun Bob shocked me in both in psychological authenticity (the old witch demanding that the hero bed her so she can feel young again; this is not what you write if you’re just trying to titillate teens) and distance from Aych Pee’el.

  108. El Dato says:

    Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien works well as a paranoid allegory about how Northern European man has so often been tempted to use his mastery of technology for conquest. …

    But what about Assyrian war wagons?

  109. Lagertha says:

    wtf. Child SAR is on your record forever, loser!

  110. Lagertha says:
    @kaganovitch

    you are probably a short dick guy or you would not be wasting time here.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  111. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Others have pointed out the obvious.

    I’ve read Tolkien, TLOTR, Hobbit, Silmarillion. Tolkien was deeply Catholic, part of the not-much-publicized Oxford movement. It clearly shows in his work. He highlights thèmes such as: fellowship, the fight of good vs. evil, the importance of individual human acts, temptation and its overcoming, sacrifice for a higher cause, the role of providence, and salvation. To name those that come inmediately to mind.

    The very best stories have an element of this good vs evil theme that echoes within the most blasé of readers. It is certainly central to the enduring charm of Tolkien’s work. Would write more about the subcultures, and the almost biblical hints of bygone eras, his flair for names.. but off to sleep I go.

  112. TGGP says: • Website

    If you go to https://www.unz.com/isteve/ it results in:
    We’re sorry. That page could not be found.

  113. ES says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Because of his Roman Catholicism, did Tolkien have to prove his Englishness by supporting the antithesis of Celtism, i.e. Anglo Saxonism?

    Hard to imagine someone who served in the British army at the battle of the Somme would feel compelled to “prove his Englishness”. And wouldn’t the antithesis of Celtism be Romanism? It was Julius Caesar who conquered the Gauls and Claudius who conquered the Britons.

    I’m not sure about the idea that Tolkien was popular with 1960s hippies. I never heard of Tolkien until 1972, when a classmate suggested The Hobbit as something to read while we we were killing time in the school library at the start of tenth grade. I quite liked the book, but it seemed to me from a different era and not at all fashionable. Even after I became aware of Tolkien, I did not encounter many others who were. That only changed after the Jackson movies were released and became blockbusters.

  114. Rahan says:
    @syonredux

    In the Anglosphere, the ’60s Countercultural Big Three were LORD OF THE RINGS, STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, and DUNE.

    Interestingly enough, all three are not exactly Woke…..

    Also Michael Moorcock and Philip K Dick as distant but also very influential seconds.

    For the generic counter-culture reader, LOTR’s main plus was pre-modernity romanticism; STRANGER’s plus was the non-traditional family and sexual relations; and DUNE–the central psychedelic element.

    Of course, by today’s standards, all three books are to the right of the Daily Wire and somewhere in the Amren/Counter Currents zone. I.e. “total fascism”.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  115. Lagertha says:

    You are all too late. You have all been cynical shits with no great life to show us for yourself. The worst part: you hate it when more talented people win. You do not like people who are more creative/talented than you – hahhahahhaaaaa! Your weakness will take you to the grave either fast or slow – your choice! hahhahaaga

    I am done with negative men (mostly men – you all know that) and, because I am so doubly angry at Steve – he hates MJ: I will play this MJ song bc I hate you all who hate MJ. And, you are living in a really bad movie, hahhahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Gotta be starting something!

  116. syonredux says:
    @Welshman

    There’s also the Historia Brittonum, which dates back to the 9th Century AD:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historia_Brittonum

  117. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    >But possibly 50% in some areas? And at least 25% baseline? That’s huge.

    Actually, no, it is not huge. Considering that historically the English have thought of themselves as “Anglo-Saxons”, and the word England literally means, “Land of the Angles”, it’s kind of the opposite. It is shockingly tiny. England is not, in fact, the land of the Angles. It is the land of people who have some Anglo Saxon ancestry but are mostly other stuff. The name of the country is biologically inaccurate. The English self image has historically been that they were primarily a Germanic people; certainly with a degree of admixture from Brythonic peoples, but mostly Germanic. That’s why they called themselves themselves Anglo-Saxons and not something else. It turns out that was backwards and they are mostly Brythonic with a sizeable minority Germanic.

    > If the modern English were almost 50% Somali, mixed with 50% Celtic, would you consider them basically Celtic? What about ‘only’ 35% Somali? Still “Celtic”?

    It’s rather rude to compare the Anglo-Saxons to Somalis, but if the modern English thought they were primarily Somali and it turned out they were only 35% Somali, yes I would find that pretty surprising. If they were 65% Celtic and 35% Somali and you asked me ‘who are they most closely related to’ I would say ‘the Celts’ and not ‘the Somalis’. This is because 65% > 35%.

    >I take exception to your overheated (straw man?) past and present suggestion that it’s some amazing revelation that England, specifically, has both Celt and Teuton admixture.

    It’s not really amazing that there is admixture, everyone has always assumed that, but it is quite surprising that the Anglo-Saxon admixture turned out to be so small. Again, they call themselves “Anglo-Saxons”, which kinda implies that they thought they were Anglo-Saxons. Or at least mostly Anglo-Saxons. 50%, at least? But they mostly aren’t. You don’t find that kinda interesting? It’s like non-paternity on a countrywide scale. It’s like a very nerdy version of one of Jerry Springer’s ‘who’s the daddy?’ episodes. The editors of various newspapers and major scientific journals sure thought it was interesting.

    I have an old Encyclopedia Brittanica from the twenties on my shelf, and I just looked at the article on England, and in the article they take it as a given that the English are descended from the Anglo-Saxons, and actually go out of their way to mention that there might, possibly be some significant admixture from pre-invasion Britain.

    > Perhaps you’re aware of the anthem “Rule, Britannia!” and the line “Britons shall never be slaves” ?)

    Rule Britannia is a British Patriotic song and was written well after the Acts of Union in 1707, it is not an English Patriotic song. Great Britain and England are different political and social entities.
    Since there were plenty of Scots in the British Army and Royal Navy by 1740 it wouldn’t be so wise to try to puff up the troops with a song called Rule England (or alternatively Rule Scotland), now would it? The point was to de-emphasize the differences between different ethnic groups in the Royal Navy/British Army. Maybe today they would just give them this Nature article.

    >My position is that England’s very nature and destiny was significantly altered by the massive infusion of Anglo-Saxon blood, not mere “elite replacement”, as some falsely claim here

    Well, OK, but that can be said about most major historical events, and it’s not really what we were talking about. Can you flesh this idea out a little more? Sounds like it could be interesting. Are you saying that the Anglo-Saxon invasions are the most important thing to happen in the history of England? If so, why? Are you saying that England would have been a backwater without the Anglo Saxon invasions? I could maybe see that, but I’m not entirely convinced. Certainly the English have been extremely prominent in science and engineering, but per capita the Scots have done equally well or possibly better; likewise German gentiles have done quite well, but again per capita they have probably done a bit worse than either the Scots or the English; so the idea that the English are what they are primarily because of an infusion of Germanic blood seems like a stretch to me. And as others have pointed out, pretty much every European country got invaded by Germanic barbarians at the fall of the Roman Empire, so this isn’t really something unique to England (although the degree is likely different.)

  118. @Rahan

    “Stranger in a Strange Land” has drug overtones: it sounds like guys on cocaine lecturing people on marijuana.

    • LOL: Twinkie, Rahan
    • Replies: @anon
  119. @ES

    “Ramble On” is from “Led Zeppelin II” in 1969.

    • Replies: @John Up North
  120. @Alden

    Yes, but were not their children legitimate?

  121. @Hypnotoad666

    You made me laugh out loud. Well done!

  122. @Altai

    Thank you, this is a really interesting comment. I don’t really have much insight into the English psyche as I am an American (I’m hoping you are English and not some guy in Kansas City), but the point about wanting to think of themselves as eternal conquerors, rather than the conquered who nonetheless persevered, seems to ring true. As well as the need to see yourself as apart from your immediate neighbors. Placing the Anglo-Saxon invasions at the center of English history seems to fulfill both of these psychological needs.

  123. J.Ross says:
    @ES

    Tolkein was popular with hippies, in part because the ideology of hobbits is William Morris’s nature worship and small scale craftsmanship (Mordor is implied to be all but industrial). Quenya showed up in grafitti, at least around here. In their confused desire to cash in, publishers released newer editions, supplememtary books, a Leonard Nimoy pop song with a goofy music video, and with cover art by the same artist as the newer Tolkein books they re-released The Worm Ouroboros (which was praised by George MacDonald Fraser as comparable to Tolkein, but which is very different, and which suffers wierd handicaps like anachronous language, deliberately misused terms, and an unnecessary and convoluted introduction).

  124. Neoconned says:

    I read the Hobbit back in high school and enjoyed Jackson’s trilogy….and i even liked the newer hobbit films that came out a few years ago…..but…..people actually get paid hard cash to write papers about this sh-t?

    I mean if it’s a hobbyist thing whatever…..but are these goldbrickers actually on the public dime writing treatises on Tolkein and intersectional nonsense…..AND GETTING A SALARY PLUS BENEFITS for it?

  125. Neoconned says:

    I read the Hobbit back in high school and enjoyed Jackson’s trilogy….and i even liked the newer hobbit films that came out a few years ago…..but…..people actually get paid hard cash to write papers about this sh-t?

    I mean if it’s a hobbyist thing whatever…..but are these goldbrickers actually on the public dime writing treatises on Tolkein and intersectional nonsense…..AND GETTING A SALARY PLUS BENEFITS for it?

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    , @Pericles
  126. @John Up North

    Alden, I was in Ireland in the late 1960s visiting a relative in Western Ireland. At the time university students were excavating a Viking fort 100 yards from my relative’s cottage. My original point being that the people in Ireland and Britain are an assimilation of people. I believe the Norse influence in Ireland shouldn’t be understated.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Alden
  127. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    IDK broseph, english overuses capitals IMO. Also,

    “ In 2013, Czech president Miloš Zeman recommended the wider official use of Czechia, and on 14 April 2016, the government agreed to make Czechia the official short name.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  128. @ES

    My father’s older brothers were LSD-taking late 60s/early 70s hippies and they were really into Tolkien. They introduced it to him, but I don’t think it was considered as cool by the late 70s.

  129. @Steve Sailer

    Those first four Led Zeppelin records were awesome, but after those great records it seems like the boys just coasted and toured on their laurels. I remember the production quality of Led Zeppelin’s records really dropped off after Led Zeppelin 4.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  130. Mr. Anon says:
    @syonredux

    As I recall (it’s been a long while since I’ve read Tolkien), the Orcs were degenerated Elves – the result of some fell breeding program conducted by Sauron or Morgoth. Orcs, as the willing soldiers of evil forces, were not stand-ins for Blacks – a woke interpretation of the supposed racism of Tolkien – but rather a warning about the evils of scientism and industrialism in it’s modern incarnations: social darwinism and genetic engineering. Tolkien was a catholic reactionary, not an alt-right s**t-lord.

  131. Twinkie says:
    @silviosilver

    My thinking is he still would have preferred them to, say, “Koreans.”

    No, he’d have preferred Jews:

    Tolkien vocally opposed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party before the Second World War, and despised Nazi racist and anti-semitic ideology. In 1938, the publishing house Rütten & Loening, preparing to release The Hobbit in Nazi Germany, outraged Tolkien by asking him whether he was of Aryan origin. In a letter to his British publisher Stanley Unwin, he condemned Nazi “race-doctrine” as “wholly pernicious and unscientific”. He added that he had many Jewish friends and was considering “letting a German translation go hang”.[119] He provided two letters to Rütten & Loening and instructed Unwin to send whichever he preferred. The more tactful letter was sent but is now lost. In the unsent letter, Tolkien made the point that “Aryan” was a linguistic term, denoting speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, and stated that “if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.“[120] In a 1941 letter to his son Michael, he expressed his resentment at the distortion of Germanic history in “Nordicism”, referring to “that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler … Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.”[121] In 1968, he objected to a description of Middle-earth as “Nordic” for a similar reason.[122][Boldfaces mine.]

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Pericles
  132. Altai says:
    @SimpleSong

    I’d argue the Norman invasion had a much bigger impact. As late as the 14th century the Oxford student riots almost all of them at this stage still have French surnames.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Scholastica_Day_riot

    In many ways this disconnect with it’s deeper history feeds into the exceptional contempt of the elites for the lower classes which reigns in Britain. Steve Sailer might also argue that Britain having never been invaded and it’s power structures dismantled is important too.

    If nothing else it informs the importance of ethnicity. Hundreds of years later the echos of Anglo-Saxon and Norman invasion and sense of alienation and even contempt for the natives still persists in Britain and may even inform the attitudes of the upper classes who assimilated to that power structure. (Not unlike India in a way)

    The likes of this guy simply don’t exist in large numbers in France or Germany. I don’t think a populist political realignment is likely within the Conservative Party in Britain somehow.

    You see a really deep identification with conquest in the national identities of Azerbaijan and Turkey which makes any in England pale in comparison.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @Twinkie
  133. Twinkie says:
    @Anon

    What source says Finns are the blondest?

    I think the blondest people are in the Baltic region.

  134. @Mr. Anon

    So the Orcs were kind of like the Morlocks of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine?

  135. @Twinkie

    Uh, Twinkie, your map says that Finns are the blondest at 80%, unless the numbers are meant to be read in some other way. The Baltic states trail Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

    I find it interesting that the incidence of blondness is so low in Ireland.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
  136. @Steve Sailer

    So the Orcs were kind of like the Morlocks of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine?

    Not really. IIRC, the Morlocks were the products of evolution. Tolkien’s Orcs are not. They’re twisted, broken Elves, i.e. they were intentionally deformed by intelligent malevolence.

    Even Tolkien himself had inconsistent views on the origin of the Orcs, though; the above is just the most common take on the subject.

    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  137. @SFG

    I just heard of him today and tried to buy his complete works on Kindle it is ridiculously expensive.

  138. Twinkie says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Uh, Twinkie, your map says that Finns are the blondest at 80%, unless the numbers are meant to be read in some other way. The Baltic states trail Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

    When I wrote “the Baltic region,” I meant the shores surrounding the Baltic Sea, not the political boundaries of the modern Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia.

  139. @Twinkie

    Okay, I see what you mean; fair enough.

  140. @niceland

    It is about what you mean by “mythology”. Evidently, Tolkien’s work is steeped in Nordic, how to call it, folklore. But folklore is not mythology.

    Deep roots of all Indo-European mythology are simple & can be found in the Vedas & among Romans. This mythology has a few recurrent motifs & is relatively simple (divine twins, horse, killing the serpent, sun and moon,…). It is an underdeveloped structure of thought, compared to, say, Egyptian or Mesopotamian mythologies. Tolkien’s real mythology can be found in “Silmarillion”, which is a mixture of many sources, but also his original creation. For instance, real Indo-Europeans (including Nordics) did not have a creation myth of any significance; Tolkien, on the other hand, had absorbed Egyptian and Hindu (not Aryan Vedic) creation myths by word or sound (in central Memphis theology, if I remember correctly, Ptah creates the world by uttering the word- a concept utterly alien to European peoples). It is similar with Hindus & their Om and whatever.

    All mythologies have supernatural beings, fights of gods, various classes of beings differing in shape & size & their eventual destinies- so Tolkien is here somehow universal (plus his originality)- but, this is more the realm of folklore (elves etc.) than mythology proper; or, better, “high mythology” & archetypal themes. Having read Kalevala & some, not all, Icelandic sagas, I can say that central Tolkien’s view, as I’ve seen from secondary sources, has more to do with Iranian, Hindu Indian, Egyptian and Christian archetypal myths than with proper European, let alone Nordic. It is true that these stories frequently overlap, but the significance of the archetypal motifs, their stresses- differ enormously. Kalevala, for instance, is a rather messy reading (and not European stricto sensu, because Finns are members of a different ethno-linguistic group), while Icelandic sagas are more prominent because of their realism & psychological insight- they are not rich in “mythology”, but in “reality”.

    What you seem to stress is Tolkien’s, so to speak, “mythic geography”. But all mythologies, east & west, have the triple world (perhaps a legacy of the most primitive forms of shamanism), mixing & struggle of beings from various realms and some soap operatic plots & twists. So, as I’ve said- Tolkien’s mythology is a stew.

    What he seems to be lacking- and I may be wrong because my knowledge of his work is received only via his fans- is something truly archetypal in a modern sense. Even his Nordic themes are diluted- Wotan was supposed to be both terrible & “good”; more, he is a shaman-god, characterized by ecstatic frenzy & moral ambiguity. Tolkien seems to be lacking in emotional energy invested in authentic mythic figures, east and west, whose partial appeal resides in their coincidentio oppositorum, in their excesses of being. In Tolkien- everything is hierarchically structured &, with some exceptions, nicely cut & dried in black & white. In his world, there is no room for the true existential terror, nor for terrible inspiring deities like Dionysus, Shiva or Yahweh at his most psychotic.

    But this is a value judgement. Let’s go to the basics.

    As far as I know, 5-10 Indo-European recurrent motifs are either absent or present at the folklore level. Tolkien’s mythic universe owes more to Greeks & Iranians & Hindu Indians, than to Nordics or Anglo Saxons (Greeks are not “pure” Europeans in their varying mythologies, unlike Romans & Vedic Indians). He does have universal stuff (3 worlds, fights among various creatures, …), but his creation myths have absorbed more from Egypt & Hind India (sound, word) than from any part of Europe; his mythic geography is a mixture; he does not have- here, I may be wrong- the element of sacrifice, human & non-human, so characteristic of Northern archaics, as well as self-inflicted violence. On the other hand, his cosmic struggles between good & evil are more Zoroastrian-Christian, and his figure of the Great Evil One is not to be found among Northern mythology.

    So, as I’ve said- a stew.

    • Replies: @Pheasant
    , @HA
  141. @Altai

    “Britain having never been invaded and it’s power structures dismantled”

    LOL.

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime

    In early 70s UK, many a student bookshelf (not mine) had LOTR, Hesse’s “Siddartha” and Peake’s “Titus Groan” and “Gormenghast”. Still not read the last three.

    Tolkein specifically said that the Shire was based on the North Worcestershire of his youth. In those days a lot of what’s now Birmingham was still rural. Here’s the Hobbiton mill.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarehole_Mill

    What it was like in 1883.

    J.Ross – “the old witch demanding that the hero bed her so she can feel young again” is a story that has its own folk genre.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loathly_lady

  142. Twinkie says:
    @Altai

    The likes of this guy simply don’t exist in large numbers in France or Germany.

    That’s because France (and to a lesser extent Germany) went through a rather ruthless linguistic centralization and in the case of France also political centralization in an effort to “modernize” the French state. France was once home to many interesting dialects (including Occitan that was spoken widely in my favorite French city of Carcassone) that either have died out or are dying out right before our eyes.

    Such efforts at centralization was rather muted in the Great Britain and hence the regional dialects not only survived, but sometimes were encouraged as a sign of local pride, especially among the working classes.

    That’s a pretty cheeky bastard in that video. British parliamentary debates are always very entertaining (so are East Asian legislatures, but for different reasons, i.e. actual physical, yet comedic, combat). Our American legislative discussions are almost always mind-numbingly boring. Tuning into C-SPAN is a surefire way to fall asleep.

    By the way, that kind of politically-enforced linguistic centralization is ongoing in China today, apparently. Many Chinese seem to think that this is good for “modernization” as well, but I suspect one day, once their belly is really full, they might yet rue the loss of the varied and rich regional and historical linguistic traditions.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
  143. @Grahamsno(G64)

    Hesse’s Siddharta is a misfire on his part. While writing it, he conceived it as the hymn to Jungian individuation, i.e. a process which culminates in the deification of the individual without the loss of individuality. Hesse was at that time, and later, under Jung’s influence; also, he never- judging from his major works (Steppenwolf, Narcissus and Goldmund, Glass Beads Game) accepted the world view characteristic of unitary monism (Advaita, Cha’n/Zen, ..). Individuation is, at its highest, initiation by & fusion with the Self (basically, it is described in the 2nd chapter of Henry Corbin’s Man of Light in Iranian Sufism).

    What Jung- and Hesse- abhorred is the loss of selfhood in any sense (it is instructive to read Jung’s Septem Sermones ad Mortuos) which they, correctly, associated with Advaita Vedanta (also, it is Zen, but they did not know the Madhyamika school Zen is, “ideologically”, founded upon). Jung was very conscious of it & strongly rejected all Advaitist agitprop, as well as they proponents like Ramana Maharshi & various other Indians, including Vivekananda. For Jung, as for all Westerners (and many religious Hindus & authentic Chinese) – the loss of selfhood is either impossible or- and this is where the real fun starts- if possible, absolutely undesirable. To cease to be an individual to become the Being, Advaita’s Nirguna Brahman, Chan’s/Zen’s Shunyata- it is horrible, even if possible.

    Hesse was, as is the case with most writers, muddled. His hero in Siddharta was imagined to go through various phases of individuation (basically, a somehow down-to-earth, more schematic & less dramatic Campbell’s hero’s journey) to arrive at the individuation peak, fusion with the Self. Just, Hesse had failed monumentally. At the end of the novel, his hero, sitting by the river, has lost the sense of selfhood & when another spiritual seeker arrives, he “sees” in our hero the entire cosmos, physical & supra-physical- which has many resemblances to Krishna’s self-revelation to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, but has nothing to do with the Western way, as was Hesse’s original intention.

    The ending is not Jungian individuation, but something like gospel according to Jiddu Krishnamurti, which is a completely different, even contrary thing. Or, to put it shortly: the Western way of Gnosis is to become Godlike deified Self; the extreme eastern (Advaita, Zen – unlike most religious south & east Asians) way of unitary monism is to recognize that you have always been Godhead/Absolute & that your individuality, any level of it, was the central illusion which must be destroyed. Technically, it is not just that ego/ahamkara must go; even more, Atman or individual Higher Self is completely & absolutely identical to Brahman, the undifferentiated source of all, or in Western terms, Absolute.

    And that’s why Hesse in Siddharta flunked.

    • Replies: @Bies Podkrakowski
  144. Twinkie says:
    @SimpleSong

    I think some commenters are rather young and didn’t undergo the same historical education (carried over from the 19th century until the emergence of genetic studies quite recently) that I certainly did, in which the English people were said to be the descendants of the “Anglo-Saxon” (Jutes are sadly neglected) conquerors who displaced the native Brythonic peoples (while the Scots and the Welsh were said to be the remnants of the “Celts” who resisted the Saxons-and later the English).

    We now understand from genetic studies that even the English-est of the English people are only about half Germanic in ancestry while the majority of the ancestry for the British people as a whole is Brythonic. In other words, there was no wholesale displacement of the natives by the conquerors. In other words, much of Saxonization was cultural diffusion, not slaughter/displacement/replacement, and the native Britons pre-Saxons left plenty of heirs.

    This is a rather surprising and notable revelation for those of us who learned the traditional historical narrative (simply put, “the Britons were pushed out to the fringes or killed, the Anglo-Saxons took over”) in school. Apparently this new knowledge is quite unpalatable to those who hold Nordicist beliefs.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @RSDB
    , @Jack D
  145. @Charles Erwin Wilson

    In the English language, Tolkien captured more of humanity’s essence than anyone since Shakespeare.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  146. @Anon 2

    My Saxon ancestors ruthlessly seized Transylvania…….after it was conveniently depopulated by Steppe raiders.

  147. Twinkie says:
    @SimpleSong

    Which raises the question, has anybody every done a similar study for those countries?

    Yes! It turns out that genetic studies of Italians show Italians to be quite Italic with all their glorious intra-Italic variety. Those studies show a tremendous amount of genetic continuity (and isolation – Italy is quite mountainous).

    Apparently, during the height of the Roman Empire, the genetics of the inhabitants of the city of Rome was shifted modestly toward the Middle East, but this reversed once the Empire crumbled and long-distance trade disappeared. Then the population of Rome was largely re-constituted from its countryside, which always had higher fertility (large urban areas are always demographic sinks).

    I am ignorant of any French study, but I suspect the result would be similar. Die Völkerwanduring was likely highly male-mediated and was necessarily limited in number. Their genetic imprint is considerably smaller than was considered earlier.

    It seems like in the past historians assumed language was a proxy for the degree of genetic admixture

    A lot of historical assumptions has been demolished by genetic evidence, both ways, e.g. “pots, not people.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  148. @SimpleSong

    Actually, no, it is not huge.

    It is shockingly tiny.

    Is that what she said

    England is not, in fact, the land of the Angles. It is the land of people who have some Anglo Saxon ancestry but are mostly other stuff. The name of the country is biologically inaccurate.

    And you’d think they speak English there, at the very least! And why are the Netherlands often called Holland? News flash: There are other provinces. Outrageous!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metonymy

    but if the modern English thought they were primarily Somali and it turned out they were only 35% Somali

    We would call them Black.

    Again, they call themselves “Anglo-Saxons”

    Yes, presumably the ones with the most Anglo-Saxon heritage. “Brit” is an even more common self-descriptor, no matter the (White native) background or region. And as you’ve said, the closer one gets to Wales, for example, the less Anglo-Saxon: The Welsh are already called Welsh, Cornish Cornish, etc.

    and actually go out of their way to mention that there might, possibly be some significant admixture from pre-invasion Britain

    Okay, supporting my argument, thanks

    The point was to de-emphasize the differences between different ethnic groups in the Royal Navy/British Army. Maybe today they would just give them this Nature article.

    The rousing line “Britons never shall be slaves” presumably includes the English, who were running the show. Again supporting my argument—it’s unlikely supposed hard-core Anglo-Saxon chauvinists would proudly sing the word “Briton” to describe themselves.

    Are you saying that the Anglo-Saxon invasions are the most important thing to happen in the history of England?

    I’m saying they were essential to the makeup of the English people (and their worldwide descendants) as we know them, both culturally and in the flesh.

    so the idea that the English are what they are primarily because of an infusion of Germanic blood seems like a stretch to me

    The blood is there. The language and history is there. Maybe if you could run the simulation again without them, there wouldn’t be much difference, but you’ll never know.

    Relax, bro. As the saying goes, “You could do worsa than Hengist and Horsa.”

  149. dimples says:
    @SFG

    As I’ve said on this blog before, Tolkein’s two protagonists Frodo and Sam symbolise the Two Witnesses, but going in reverse. Was Tolkein aware of this I don’t know. The principal Christ figure is said to be Gandalf. It’s unfortunate that in the film version of the book this character is played by a really revolting homo, and an excruciatingly bad actor as well.

    • Replies: @dimples
  150. IHTG says:
    @Abe

    You’re talking about a series where the blonde noble house are the bad guys.

    • Replies: @Abe
  151. @Allen

    Yeah, be Steve thought- well, I think so- that hippies all too eagerly adopted Tolkien.

    Why?

    Not because of his medievalism or Catholic theology, but because of his imaginary universe & a bunch of good stories as if he was stoned when writing. Tolkien is Dante for hippies.

  152. @Twinkie

    “Apparently this new knowledge is quite unpalatable to those who hold Nordicist beliefs.”

    It’s also unpalatable to those who wonder why Britons fled, not only to Brittany, but as far as Galicia in Spain.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britonia

  153. Twinkie says:
    @Twinkie

    Die Völkerwanduring

    Yikes. I meant, die Völkerwanderung. Don’t know what happened there. Verzeihung!

  154. @Altai

    It’s goes even further, Tolkien was such an Anglo-Saxon nationalist that he lamented that the English had no ancient myths of their own people and land and was generally insulted when anyone tried to suggest any Celtic influence in his works.

    Great. Let’s make him spin in the grave, then!

    You’ve been told Barad-dûr means “dark tower”? Well, it’s in fact Welsh phrase bara a dŵr meaning “bread and water” – probably an euphemism for “prison”.

    Tolkien himself was a polyglot (and reportedly knew Welsh) but his fans lag far behind – I estimate they know 0.93 languages on average which would explain why such Easter eggs elude their attention. (I also suspect the real reason many of them learn Sindarin is that it carries no risk of embarrassment when meeting native speakers.)

    • LOL: JMcG
  155. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Incidentally, the Baltic languages (Lithuanian and Latvian) are believed by linguists to be the closest languages to the Proto-Indo-European language of the Yamnaya invaders. This would be consistent with the region having more blond-haired people.

  156. Alright, putting aside all genealogy, religion & literary value – let’s talk about Tolkien & diversity.
    I haven’t read him, and I’ve seen, in 3 sittings, only the 1st movie- I find him dull, childish & insipid even on screen. Basically, I don’t care.

    A friend of mine is a huge fan of Tolkien, has read I don’t know how many times his works etc. etc., so I was curious why. So we talked and talked and talked ….

    I’ve long since come to the conclusion that Tolkien’s success has not much to do with literary criteria, and his critics – like Edmund Wilson- who maligned him got everything wrong. They treated him as if he belonged to the tradition of canonical literature, while he was, extras added, brothers Grimm expanded into novels. His work is a monumental fairy tale & he invented a completely new genre – high fantasy for young adults. So, it is a grave mistake to measure him up to the canonical writers. Because he was something new, he also cannot be squeezed into Grimm-Andersen company he has affinities with (fairy tales); also, young adults (male) have always been reading mostly real adventure stories & Tolkien gave birth to something so new in imaginative literature that most literary people either undervalued or overestimated him.

    So, it was a misunderstanding, from the get-go.

    What, then, about diversity?

    As I’ve said- and don’t mean to repeat it- it is rather easy to disentangle Tolkien’s motifs & see that he had absorbed virtually all the mythologies of the world, creatively transformed them & put an inescapable white English & Northern face on it. Both Anglo-Saxon & Celtic mythologies are present in his work, but they are too rudimentary & lacking in archetypal stories to fill volumes with them. Tolkien was creative in palefacing a stew & tricking his readership into thinking he had been writing about some “Nordics”- which he did, but not by going to real “Nordic” mythology sources. His major themes are Egyptian, Iranian, Hindu Indian & Greek in origin, all absorbed into Christian mythologems.

    Diversity?

    Judging by books & movies, he is palatable, but not too attractive to, still traditional in many aspects, cultures like Hindu Indian, Muslim, Chinese & Buddhist. They have their own fantasy stories & are not accustomed to a free play with folklore & mythology, which is Tolkien’s trademark. They, statistically, find it strange to dabble into highly structured universes as a part of creative imaginative literature.

    And, apart from that barrier- Tolkien is inescapably white. W-H-I-T-E.

    As regards Hispanic Mestizos, I don’t know.

    With blacks, both in the Americas & Africa, things are all too clear- Tolkien is both alien & somehow racially repulsive (at least, his good guys). Africa has their own package of mythologies, most of them rudimentary & Tolkien’s sensibility and iconography must look to them as something straight out from Mars; re blacks or African-Americans, they – here, I am speculating – are frequently irrational, but don’t possess, statistically, enough developed psychological function of imagination that would make Tolkien appealing. Their myths, like that of Black Muslims’, are rudimentary & are fulfilling the purpose of racial self-healing.

    And, of course, Tolkien is absolutely white.

    So Tolkien’s aficionados are mostly restricted to North-Central Europe, while, I’d say, the rest of Europe finds him simply not interesting enough; other high traditional civilizations possess their own stories which are not too susceptible to literary reshaping; blacks are …. well, they don’t care for it all.

    Tolkien remains too huwhite.

  157. JMcG says:
    @Abe

    I got about a third of the way through the first of the G of T novels and dropped it in the garbage can. I may be missing something, but I can tell for certain that George Martin is an evil, twisted person.

    • Replies: @Abe
  158. JMcG says:
    @John Up North

    My parents were from different parts of Ireland, my father a few hundred yards from the west coast. There’s not a drop of Scandinavian blood in me, at least according to the popular DNA companies. That’s anecdotal I know, but the bulk of the Norse settlements were in the east and southeast.
    I’m curious as to what county that Viking fort was in, do you happen to recall?

    • Replies: @John Up North
  159. FPD72 says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Lewis could never completely overcome his Northern Ireland presbyterian background.

    Lewis was baptized as a baby and raised in his youth as a member of the Church of Ireland, which is part of the Anglican community, not Presbyterian. The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  160. @Twinkie

    Such efforts at centralization was rather muted in the Great Britain and hence the regional dialects not only survived, but sometimes were encouraged as a sign of local pride, especially among the working classes.

    When the Commissioners of what was to become the 1842 Report on conditions etc. were interrogating various child (male and female) and adult female underground mineworkers in the north-east of England they fully expected not to be able to make head nor tail of the Geordie dialect.
    What these men, from a class which thoroughly approved of being in charge of a worldwide polyglot Empire were not prepared for was the benighted, completely uneducated, coal-grubbing near-serfs being consistently unable to understand them, despite these latter being more English than the new Queen. Completely baffled by the civil servants’ Received Pronunciation-type accent and indeed “dialect” (funny words for common stuff).

  161. njguy73 says:
    @J.Ross

    I thought it was GK Chesterton who got CS Lewis to become Catholic.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  162. Dan Smith says:
    @Anonymous

    Don McNeil could not be reached for comment.

  163. Anon7 says:
    @ES

    “I’m not sure about the idea that Tolkien was popular with 1960s hippies.”

    I’m inclined to agree; it depends on who you call a “hippie”. I read Tolkien when I was thirteen in 1967 because the older brothers and sisters of my friends, who were all in college, were raving about it. It takes a modest amount of effort and a pretty good vocabulary to read LOTR, and I think it mostly attracted bright kids.

    Everyone in college at that time looked like a hippie (unless they were in ROTC), but all of the older siblings of my friends became doctors, STEM PhDs or lawyers, so they weren’t hard-core organic commune, dope-smoking, leftist, yogurt-eating, Earth Shoes-wearing tree huggers.

  164. Tolkien may have said he dislike Celtic mythology, nevertheless there is a strong Celtic strain in his own mythos. Tolkien’s elves are clearly derived from the Celtic Sidhe; a noble elder race who are now fading. Likewise the blessed land lying in the far west.

    The dwarves are entirely Germanic but not the elves.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  165. @Twinkie

    Complete non sequitur, but anyway, I’ve long been aware of that statement of his. It’s the main reason I believe that if Tolkien were alive today, he’d be very much the kind of conservative halfwit that would be cucking so hard he’d trip over in the rush to declare himself “not racist,” completely blind to the long-term damage his words are doing to his own kind. These people have generally never given the slightest fuck about, say, Africa or Africans, but the minute they hear someone say something they believe is too harsh – ie more “racist” than they are personally comfortable with – the cucking begins in earnest. If it wasn’t as noticeable a few decades ago, it’s because the issue wasn’t played up as much as it is nowadays, but the tendency itself has always been there.

  166. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Orcs, mostly present in Lord of the Rings, were simply evil creatures, with the corresponding ugliness to match. (The three attributes of God are the good, the true and the beautiful, they go hand in hand). Not much was known about them, probably twisted fallen elves (one must smile, since elves were the most luminous and gifted beings in the Middle Earth hierarchy). Orcs were brutish cannibals, their speech was coarse and grating, they acted on fear and were the minions of the Dark Lord in his Dark Tower.

    Tolkien had a genius for making the reader “know” about the different Middle Earth races (elves, men, dwarves, hobbits, River-people, orc) without actually writing much about them. Tolkien does not shine a light, so to speak, on the evil characters, probably a deliberate decision. For the Uruk-hai, for example, there was only a fleeting mention about their background, but it sticks in the reader’s mind. Uruk-hai were the horrible product of Saruman’s magic: transmogrified half-men and half-orc who were hardier fighters and could travel by day, as orcs could not. It was not surprising when they got some prominence in the Jackson movie.
    The Balrog that “killed” Gandalf was a line in the book, an ancient evil from the bowels of the earth. About the whence and wherefore of Shelob the gigantic spider, we know nothing. Just some of her more unsavory habits, and her ability to cloud her prey’s mind. Evil in Tolkien is a concrete reality, while at the same time remaining a mystery. The mysterium iniquitatis.

    The first time I saw the Lord of the Rings movie I was disappointed. In part by the aesthetics, since the hobbits and men were pretty unkempt and scruffy looking, and with the elves it was even worse. A preponderance of the ugly and gore which Tolkien would hardly have appreciated. But the second time around, more recently, went better. Where Jackson strayed from the book it was to afford the viewer some needed background (well, but for the Aragorn-Arwen love story, which was pandering to the audience and weakened the male character, imo). But Jackson did manage to convey the enduring “good fight” rather well, with the need for deep friendship, for heroic perseverance, for fallen heroes and ultimate triumph through a twist of fate: wicked, depraved Gollum immolates himself in the fires of Mount Doom and saves the day. The mystery of Divine Grace.

    And not to harp on any feminist theme, but Tolkien also affords his women characters —all very secondary— a depth and benevolence to be pondered. Arwen’s love is inspiration for Aragorn, her marriage to him both joy and deep sacrifice. Galadriel’s memory and gift is hope and right reason for Sam in the darkest moments of the fight against Shelob. And who but a maiden, out of love for her uncle, can crush evil itself? Here’s Eowyn:

  167. Regarding Tolkien and the 1960’s hippies.

    I think the counterculture movement of the sixties has so far not been properly understood. They are usually thought of as leftists and precursors to today’s progressives. This is at best only slightly true. There was a strong traditionalist even reactionary strain among them. They were the heirs of the 19th c. romantics in the rejection of modern industrial society. Perhaps less directly, they resembled the vandervogel of early 20th c. Germany who are often seen as precursors of the national socialists.

    In their “back to nature” ideal they had nothing in common with today’s “greens” of the AOC and Al Gore ilk. The hippies wanted Tolkien’s shire, not the green new deal which means living in pods and eating bugs.

    Most of the literary and other cultural icons of the 60’s would be considered politically toxic to today’s woke progressive authoritarians. Not only Tolkien but Ken Kesey, Tom Robbins, Robert Crumb (especially Robert Crumb.)

    The two scenes in LOTR that Jackson omitted – Tom Bombadil and the scouring of the shire – most exemplify the natural world ideal, the first magically and the second politically. Tolkien himself described his own politics as “anarcho-monarchism.”

    • Replies: @Alden
  168. Ffrreddie says:

    No Steve Hitler did not want to conquer the world. Myths about the Nazis have overtaken all others. They are mostly exaggerated and distorted versions of something that was said or written, or more likely downright lies. If I could afford it I would place a copy of Mein Kampf in every hotel room. Please everyone before you make another assertion about Adolf Hitler read it.

  169. Abe says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Irvin Kershner? I don’t think that happened. Didn’t Lucas ask him to direct the next one, but Kershner turned him down?

    I can’t say if this happened in real life. But I am positive 20 years ago, when critics were slagging the STAR WARS prequels and George Lucas himself as a man who’d never made a great movie, who wouldn’t know a great movie if it hit him in the nose with $10 million of his own production money, that this anecdote appeared in major online magazine- Salon or Slate or something like that.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
  170. Anonymous[116] • Disclaimer says:

    Thank you, Steve, for not employing the hate term “WASP” to describe Northern Europeans.

  171. Jack D says:
    @Ian Smith

    The hippies were more Germanic than Jewish. Germans (including Nazis) were always into the back to nature, vegetarian, swimming and sunbathing in the nude, going back to ancient folk roots, etc. thing.

    Personally I never “got” Tolkien. The whole thing did not resonate with me at all.

    There were a few Jewish hippies but for the most part as they aged they left their hippy roots behind and became the successful professionals and entrepreneurs they were destined to be. They often used their interest in naturals food or whatever to jump start businesses like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream or political careers like Bernie Sanders.

  172. Mr. Anon says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I think “The Last Real Calvinist” describes it well. The Orcs were not the product of evolution but of evil tinkering. Although in The Hobbit the Goblins, which seemed the same as Orcs, were introduced sui generis. They were just the awful bad guys that the story required. Perhaps Tolkiens back-story for them evolved later.

  173. Pheasant says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Have you ever considered going to live in Israel… permanently?

  174. @Neoconned

    Goebbels got a salary too. You just have to contextualize the academy and think about what they’re paid to do, and then… oh, yeah, that makes sense….

  175. Pericles says:
    @Abe

    ASOIAF was sold as a trilogy (with second volume A Dance With Dragons) and then presumably elongated by commercial pressures. I think it’s safe to say Martin ran out of writerly gas before the year 2000.

    https://www.hypable.com/george-r-r-martin-game-of-thrones-pitch-letter/

  176. sayless says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Tolkien said that he created the Elvish language before he wrote the trilogy; he wanted to project a world in which that language could exist.

    Inspiration on that level, no, it doesn’t seem plausible that it came from any need to prove anything to anyone.

    Someone wrote, can’t remember who, that he grieved the Norman Invasion as deeply as if it had happened two weeks ago.

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
  177. RSDB says:
    @Twinkie

    Belloc and Churchill, writing about the history of England at about the same time, had very different interpretations of the “Saxonization” of the English people. It now seems Churchill’s interpretation was wildly overblown, but apparently that was once the more standard view.

    Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?

  178. sayless says:
    @Twinkie

    Tolkien’s mother was the Catholic convert and was disowned by her own family on account of that. She died when he was quite young.

    A friend said of the trilogy, “That is a very Catholic book”, and I think he was right.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  179. sayless says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    During World War II Tolkien counselled his son who was at the front to memorize the canon of the mass: “And you will never lack words for joy.”

    How did you get the impression he was not a sincere practicing Catholic?

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  180. Pericles says:
    @Twinkie

    “that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler … Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.”

    Somewhat ironically, these days it’s the jews who portray us as nazis.

  181. Anon[157] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    What’s the source of this map? It could be something somebody in their basement made up. Gotta see the source. The link itself goes back to a blog that (again) does not offer a source for the map.

  182. @Jack D

    Germans (including Nazis) were always into the back to nature, vegetarian, swimming and sunbathing in the nude, going back to ancient folk roots, etc. thing.

    True, but this is not the archetypal hippiedom. What you’re writing about is a healthy life-style, a sort of urban modern way of staying healthy & happy. New Age, possibly without much “spirituality”. In the extreme, these are health-freaks.

    Hippies were mostly punks, their trademarks being drugs, eastern mysticism, free love, frequently some cult communes, ideological pacifism, irrationalism & antipathy toward traditional authority etc.

    https://www.jweekly.com/2017/06/29/how-the-summer-of-love-changed-american-judaism-in-the-bay-area-and-beyond/

    https://jewlicious.com/2005/06/dirty-israeli-hippies-are-hot/

  183. @The Holly King of Hernystir

    lovecraft treatment

    Hernystir, eh? It shows.

  184. @Bardon Kaldian

    Yes, yes, but what about second breakfast?

  185. HA says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    “Tolkien’s work is steeped in Nordic, how to call it, folklore. But folklore is not mythology.”

    Apart from utterly bizarre classification schemes — e.g. pretending there’s some clear cut line between folklore and mythology — I suspect this weird mish-mash (I mean, you really want to accuse Tokien of making a “stew” of things?) comes from some blind spot on your part to pretend that the Bible and/or Christianity doesn’t exist.

    “real Indo-Europeans (including Nordics) did not have a creation myth of any significance;”

    First of all, that’s just wrong. Norse cosmology is fairly detailed. Or do you get to ignore that as being simply folklore and not really mythology? It wouldn’t surprise me. Secondly, there’s this book called Genesis you might want to at least acknowledge (again, it’s part of that Bible thing you seem to have trouble with) regardless of whether it’s really “European” or not.

    “if I remember correctly, Ptah creates the world by uttering the word- a concept utterly alien to European peoples).”

    There’s actually another book out there where creation begins with the uttering a word of phrase that, as noted, you might want to at least acknowledge. If you do that, you’ll see it’s not nearly as alien a concept to European peoples as you would us think.

    “On the other hand, his cosmic struggles between good & evil are more Zoroastrian-Christian…”

    Ah, finally, with that last word, a glimmer of common sense, as to what might be essential to Tolkien’s world-building. It’s more of a Christian thing, you say? Wow, whoever would have guessed?

    Again, you can get all Humpty-Dumpty with weird classification schemes as to what is and isn’t “real Indo-European (including Nordics)”, and use that to justify just about anything, but if you do that, then you’re the one making a stew of things. If this is the kind of thing Jungians like to pass around as genuine insight — I’m guessing you’ve huffed on that pipe way too much — I’m reminded of that pseudo-Chesterton quip about how when someone stops believing in God he’ll believe in just about anything.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @TWS
  186. Jack D says:
    @Twinkie

    In the end (and Twinkie might understand this), at least when dealing with populations with similar native intelligence, what is important is not whose RACE prevails but whose culture prevails. It’s sort of like the ship of Theseus – if 100 years from now the players and audience of the NY Philharmonic are all Asian but they are still playing Beethoven and Mozart, will it still be the NY Philharmonic? Since the Anglo-Saxons were not totally genocidal (BTW, are the Brythonic genes mostly on the female side, like Indio genes in Mexico?) there were still some remnants of the Brythonic races but very little of their culture or language left in England.

    In Ireland outside of the English Pale the opposite happened between the 12th and the 15th century – there were a number of Norman settlers but not enough to create a critical mass of Norman culture and language so that the few that there were ended up “going native” – they disappeared into the Irish masses sort of the way that the Dutch or the Swedes disappeared into America.

    Language is a pretty good shorthand for this – if the invader’s language ends up prevailing, that means that the invaders “won” but if the invaders end up speaking the native’s language then the natives prevailed in the end.

  187. @SimpleSong

    Given that a quarter of English people have Irish grandparents, how much of the Celtic mix is actually due to demographic changes in the last 200 years though?

  188. @SimpleSong

    “Thank you, this is a really interesting comment. I don’t really have much insight into the English psyche”

    I think the English have quite conflicted feelings towards the Welsh and the Celtic fringe. On the one hand, there is the sense of superiority as conquerers. But also, perhaps, a discomfort at living close to people who have a prior, better claim on the land than we do.

    I recently had a revelation about the name of my home town, Lincoln, which most locals will tell you was named by the Romans as ‘Lindum Colonia’.

    But this isn’t the whole truth. Before the Romans arrived it had been a Celtic settlement simply called ‘Lindon’ meaning ‘pool’ (this is the same root as ‘Dublin’ in Ireland which means ‘Black Pool).

    It struck me recently that us English locals have probably chosen to believe that Lincoln was founded by Romans before becoming Anglo Saxon for two reasons. Firstly, deep in our psyche we are quite uncomfortable with the idea of the Celts (the Welsh, effectively) having occupied the land before us, as this gives them a prior claim. And secondly, there is still the lingering sense of superiority as conquerers which mean we wouldn’t really want to think of them as having been the founders of our cities.

    I think most English (non Celtic) people would much rather think of the origins of their home town as being Roman rather than Welsh.

  189. @SimpleSong

    “Thank you, this is a really interesting comment. I don’t really have much insight into the English psyche”

    I recently had a revelation about the name of my home town, Lincoln, which most locals will tell you was named by the Romans as ‘Lindum Colonia’.

    But this isn’t the whole truth. Before the Romans arrived it had been a Celtic settlement simply called ‘Lindon’ meaning ‘pool’ (this is the same root as ‘Dublin’ in Ireland which means ‘Black Pool).

    It struck me recently that us English locals have probably chosen to believe that Lincoln was founded by Romans before becoming Anglo Saxon for two reasons. Firstly, deep in our psyche we are quite uncomfortable with the idea of the Celts (the Welsh, effectively) having occupied the land before us, as this gives them a prior claim. And secondly, there is still the lingering sense of superiority as conquerers which mean we wouldn’t really want to think of them as having been the founders of our cities.

    I think most English (non Celtic) people would much rather think of the origins of their home town as being Roman rather than Welsh.

    • Replies: @SimpleSong
  190. @HA

    Take it easy. And take your meds.

    Nordic mythology does not have a God, or anything similar that would have created the empirical universe. It is all about heat, cold, mists,… and then gods arise. With Tolkien, things are different. He has a creator God, similar to Ptah during the Memphite theology period (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Memphite-Theology), ca. 2200 BC (dates are fuzzy & Eliade is still the most interesting source, at least to me, as a preeminent comparatist scholar:

    Christians, and later Muslims, also used the mythic image of the Supreme Being creating the world through the word, while Hindus preferred the sound Aum/Om in the Upanishads & earlier in some Brahmanas. Tolkien belongs to that tradition, from Egypt to India, and not to the Nordic myths where there is no Supreme creator Being, even less operating through words & sounds.

    One can have a highly accomplished world-view without worrying about “creation”.

    For instance, Aristotle is usually categorized among “theists”. He explicitly says that God exists & it is the prime mover of everything. In a celebrated passage, Aristotle defines God as thought that thinks itself. His version of God is not that of a creator; his God does not concern itself with human, or any type of beings; has nothing to do with morality; in Aristotle’s views, there is no “immortality of the soul”.

    So, for Aristotle, “God” is simply an answer he could accept why the empirical world is in motion & everything happens, motion & life goes on. Beyond the imagined Prime Mover- Aristotle’s God has no function, “history” or significance at all.

    According to all textbooks, Aristotle is a theist; but, if one looks closely, he is basically an atheist who affirmed God’s existence only to solve, using concepts & knowledge of his times, the riddle why the world is in motion. Nothing beyond that. For Aristotle, all empirical world does not possess some hidden or higher purpose, nor was it created- it has always existed. God only “pushed” it into motion.

    So – Tolkien’s all-encompassing mythology is essentially neither Anglo-Saxon not Celtic; it is basically Christian with other, more ancient creation myths absorbed. And Christian myth is Intertestamental Judaism modified, basically a rejuvenated psychedelic Zoroastrianism.

    Strip a Christian & you’ll find a stoned Zoroastrian.

    • Replies: @HA
  191. @Jack D

    Personally I never “got” Tolkien. The whole thing did not resonate with me at all.

    No, I’m sure it didn’t.

    • Agree: 3g4me
  192. “They are all just the Bad Guys.”

    We unreconstructed Nordics should revel in our cultural villainy. The bad guys are the most interesting and charismatic characters in this story. The Babylonians have refined their instruments of genocide for our disposal because we refuse to bend the knee. Because we value freedom and individuality. Because we have no interest in melding into the brown blob that will comprise the serf population for their new feudal system.

  193. @The Last Real Calvinist

    “Even Tolkien himself had inconsistent views on the origin of the Orcs…”

    Yes, W.H. Auden, an Anglican, called him out on grounds of Christian doctrine for having created a race that was beyond the bounds of salvation. Isn’t that contrary to the teaching of the church and actually heretical, he asked the Catholic Tolkien?

    The somewhat unconvincing (or at least hard-to-understand) line about deformed elves was Tolkien’s response to Auden.

  194. anon[384] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753

    Jackson was naturally attracted to the dark side of Tolkien’s fictional world, and could never grasp the Christian content of his book.

    Jackson also apparently didn’t really understand who the actual hero is, and thus why the Scouring of the Shire is the true climax of the entire series of books. The film series lacks that capstone.

  195. @Jack D

    An interesting philosophical question.

    Aside from the paternal/maternal split it would also be interesting to see if there are residual differences by social class (however that might be quantified.)

    • Replies: @Jack D
  196. TWS says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Sure, you haven’t read it, but then opine on it.

    Yup, you’re wrong. I’m not even going to bother telling you how or why.

  197. @Mr. Anon

    “not an alt-right s**t-lord.”

    Agreed. Tolkien lays it out in The Silmarillion: the Orcs are products of black magic and genetic engineering. Which makes Tolkien prescient; or maybe that’s how he viewed man-god Hitler: a golem created by rabbis of the Babylonian ilk.

  198. anon[384] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    At some point in the writing of “Stranger”, Robert A. Heinlein put it to one side and energetically, even furiously, wrote “Starship Troopers”. Once done with that, he turned back to “Stranger” and finished it. In an interview I once read he claimed that no one had ever been able to detect the break point in “Stranger”, he was obviously proud of that and saw no contradiction in any of it.

    As an officer in the US Navy, Heinlein chose to keep his quarters in Greenwich Village.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
  199. @Jack D

    Language is a pretty good shorthand for this – if the invader’s language ends up prevailing, that means that the invaders “won” but if the invaders end up speaking the native’s language then the natives prevailed in the end.

    I see your point, but is this always the case? I imagine that it is probably more the case that the language is usually passed down from mother to child where the invaders don’t bring their own women with them and mixed with the local women instead.

    The Scandinavian invaders in France adopted the local Frankish/Latinate dialect and customs, having intermarried widely with local women, but went on to conquer England as “the Normans” shortly thereafter. It’s most likely that the Norse men’s children were taught their own mothers’ tongues at the breast and in the crib, accounting for the Normans quickly becoming francophone half-breed Vikings who perpetuated the Viking penchant for conquest. Which side “prevailed?”

    And, of course, the time worn joke is that the English are subject to the longest foreign occupation in history (the English aristocracy and its titles is largely descended from the Norman ruling class). But there again, the ruling Normans now speak English, rather than Norse or French. The reasons for the language drift here are probably different.

    As for the Normans in Ireland and Scotland, their surnames and place names endure (i.e., all of the “Fitz-” prefixed names are Norman in origin, as are remaining francophone names like “de Burgh” though many have been Anglicized as with de Burgh becoming “Burke” and of course place names like “Waterford” also endure). Since the language of the Normans in England drifted towards English, perhaps the same thing occurred in Ireland and Scotland – the Norman francophone language having given way to the local tongue even at the seat of the Norman Crown in England, what benefit would remain from keeping it in the further reaches of the Normans’ conquest of the home isles?

    • Replies: @Alden
  200. TWS says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Now this is an interesting question one the Tolkien society should be asking.

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
  201. @Welshman

    The most important character in the Arthurian mythos is Merlin who was a Druid; a Celtic magi. The history of the Celtic civilization remains patchy and somewhat mysterious. Which means it is ripe for exploitation by the most hackish of pulp fictionists like Danny O’ Day.

  202. @sayless

    How did you get the impression he was not a sincere practicing Catholic?

    My bad. I read a biography of CS Lewis a long time ago and apparently I misremembered some of the religious disagreements they had. I was going to post a follow-up, but Unz blocked me for “too much posting.”

  203. BenKenobi says:
    @John Up North

    Houses of the Holy – their 5th album – ranks with the first four, IMO.

  204. @George

    Germania, the personification of Germany, depicted as a black woman.

    Sick and demented stuff. Germans are one of the great peoples of the world. (Broadly taken–encompassing all the Germanics–at the top of human accomplishment.) Why piss all over yourself?

    I suspect some of this is the outgrowth of growing up psychologically abused by the continual apologia for the Nazis. And some flows from the minoritarian filth spewed out by the American cultural hegemon.

    But then i–and i like lots of genres of music–don’t know why anyone would want to listen this sort of noxious noise. (It seems to be a thing that appeals to some sub-group of poorly formed, sub-developed males. I can’t see many females being naturally interested.) And from Germans with a terrific musical traditional.

    Something has gone deeply wrong in Germany, Europe, the West.

    To turn it around, we need to dump–actually destroy–every last vestige of minoritarianism. Reclaim pride in our cultures. Toss out the invaders. Start having babies.

    Tall order, but without it there is only darkness, extinction.

  205. MEH 0910 says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Didn’t Lucas ask him to direct the next one, but Kershner turned him down?

    Yes.

    The Shadow’s Journey Part 7 (Star Wars History)

    -starting at 5:17 minutes in.

    Continuing the video, Lucas then wanted Steven Spielberg to direct the third Star Wars film, but Lucas parting ways with the DGA scotched that deal. Ah, what could have been.

  206. @Lot

    IDK broseph, english overuses capitals IMO. Also,

    English capitalizes not only proper nouns, but all proper parts of speech. England, English, Anglican, Anglicize, even adverbs if you can find one. That’s properly logical of our tongue. As well as the ban on double negatives, which sure doesn’t hold in Russian.

    “…the government agreed to make Czechia the official short name.”

    Not in their own language. That tells you something right there. In fact, that tells you several things, and not just about them.

    • Replies: @Lot
  207. @AnotherDad

    I suspect some of this is the outgrowth of growing up psychologically abused by the continual apologia for the Nazis. And some flows from the minoritarian filth spewed out by the American cultural hegemon.

    This is certainly a large part of it, but had the various German peoples ever been thoroughly conquered by an outside, foreign force before WWII? The Romans never really conquered and subjugated the area, and I can’t recall that it had ever really happened until the Allies and Soviets invaded Germany during WWII. Perhaps being figuratively (and, in the case of the Soviets, literally) cucked breaks a people in a way that nothing else can.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @SimpleSong
  208. @Lagertha

    you are probably a short [mulkku] guy or you would not be wasting time here.

    God Bless America!

    (Written by the short-fingered Irving Berlin, in B or F#, the small-handed player’s keys.)

  209. @Mr. Anon

    As I recall (it’s been a long while since I’ve read Tolkien), the Orcs were degenerated Elves – the result of some fell breeding program conducted by Sauron or Morgoth. Orcs, as the willing soldiers of evil forces, were not stand-ins for Blacks – a woke interpretation of the supposed racism of Tolkien – but rather a warning about the evils of scientism and industrialism in it’s modern incarnations: social darwinism and genetic engineering. Tolkien was a catholic reactionary, not an alt-right s**t-lord.

    Is it really profitable to pretend that someone of Tolkien’s time and background wouldn’t have committed heresies against 2021’s woke religion? I think it’s the better course to defend Tolkien’s works as culturally significant even if they’re not woke, and to tell the wreckers to go suck a lemon. Whether the Orcs were stand ins for blacks or anything else, do you not doubt that Tolkien held views of blacks common among his class of his time which would be cause for cancellation now? Could the Orcs have been Turks or Moors or some generic archetype of brown skinned foreign invaders? Certainly I think so. How much of a difference do you think there would be in the views on race between an “alt-right s**t-lord” in 2021 and a reactionary Catholic a hundred years ago?

    It’s better to fight the book burners rather than pettifogging over which books are OK for them to burn today.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Daniel Chieh
    , @Mr. Anon
  210. TWS says:
    @HA

    Bardon is deeply insecure and arrogant. A damn wall of text to say, ‘I’ve never read this but here’s where you’re all wrong. Aren’t I a clever boy?’

    Tells me he has serious issues.

    • Replies: @HA
  211. JMcG says:
    @njguy73

    Lewis never converted. I was surprised by that, as several of his books were assigned at my Catholic High School.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
  212. JMcG says:
    @Toronto Mike

    Tír na nÓg – The Land of Eternal Youth in Irish mythology.

  213. @SimpleSong

    That’s the past. What about the future?

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/20/uk/uk-hong-kong-bno-scheme-intl-gbr-hkr/index.html

    Why Britain’s anti-immigration politicians are opening the doors to thousands of Hong Kongers
    …………………

    It’s also remarkable for another reason: it has been pioneered by the same British politicians who engineered the UK’s break from the European Union, in part, to curb immigration.

    It sets a markedly different tone for the Conservative government, and its cheerleaders in the British press, who have spent the past decade pushing anti-immigrant policies. And critics say it is predicated on a flawed idea of Hong Kongers as a “model minority” who will need no support to settle into a new life in the UK.
    ………………………………………

    The UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016 following a campaign dominated by anti-immigration rhetoric — much of it emanating from the same politicians who are now running the government.
    In one campaign missive, pro-Brexit lawmakers Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, and Michael Gove stoked fears that rising numbers of southern European immigrants would “put further strain on schools and hospitals,” and that “class sizes will rise and waiting lists will lengthen if we don’t tackle free movement.”

    Yet last June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the visa pathway for millions of Hong Kongers, describing the offer as being “one of the biggest changes in our visa system in history.” The same politicians and media houses that warned darkly of an influx of foreigners during the Brexit campaign raised few objections this time around.

  214. HA says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    “So – Tolkien’s all-encompassing mythology…is basically Christian…”

    And there it is, finally. As it turns out, seven or eight words was all you had to say. Was it really so difficult? I mean, as opposed to spewing out so much bandwidth just to arrive in the end at something that was already obvious to just about everyone? Everyone, that is, who actually bothered to read the books in question before choosing to drone on and on about them. Next time, why not try that approach?

    And as for the rest, yes, I get it — Christianity has Persian/Egyptian influences, you say? Is that supposed to blow my mind, too? If so, then there’s another book you might want to actually get acquainted with at some point once you’re done avoiding Tolkien, and here’s a spoiler alert: both Egypt and Persia are what might be called recurring characters there.

  215. Dan Hayes says:
    @FPD72

    At that time Northern Ireland’s culture was proto-presbyterian, whereas southern Irish protestant culture was relatively easygoing CoI.

  216. Abe says:
    @IHTG

    You’re talking about a series where the blonde noble house are the bad guys.

    And the scions of the “good” dragon-rider house have eyes that are lilac-colored and hair that is platinum (i.e. more blonde than blonde). Po-tat-toe, po-tat-to .

    Note also that Martin has beaucoup respect for said “bad” house of blondies. Tywin Lannister may be brutal and untrustworthy, but it is undeniable Martin recognizes him as a sort of great, maybe even indispensable, “hard man” necessary to suppress chaos and bring about the greater social good. If I recall correctly a character calls him one of the greatest men of the last couple of centuries. He is basically the Dick Cheney of Westeros.

  217. @Abe

    The paragons of Martin’s world are white, Western European-style (as evinced by their blue eyes and frequently auburn hair) Northerners, the more Northern the better.

    While there is some truth to this rant, the auburn hair /blue eyes are a Riverlands (Catherine Tully specifically) import to the North. True Northerners are grey eyed like Lord Eddard.

  218. Abe says:
    @JMcG

    I got about a third of the way through the first of the G of T novels and dropped it in the garbage can. I may be missing somethin

    I started to read the first book after enjoying a couple seasons of the HBO TV show. It took me several tries too to get through GoT’s beginning as it is just too heavy with the story’s silly fantasy elements. GoT/SONG OF FIRE & ICE was really a schizophrenic concoction. Martin I think started with the fantasy story as a fun lark, then watched in amazement and growing dread as the realistic-ish medieval-historical side of the plot took over and because the best part, with no good way of reconciling the two. Hence his inability to ever finish.

  219. @syonredux

    Wasn’t Castaneda’s Journey to Ixtlan on that reading list?

  220. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753

    Thanks for linking to Jackson’s occult interest. It clarifies directorial choices that were puzzling. One should pay enough attention to the director’s world view. It’s funny because Mel Gibson comes to mind, with his almost loving depiction of torture and human cruelty. Think not only Braveheart, but Apocalypto and particularly The Passion of the Christ. Yet I have on good authority that he directed The Passion after having read Anne Catherine Emmerich`s visions and prophecies. That’s a book that has helped many deepen their faith, and is curiously descriptive, minutely descriptive, but never dark or gory. (Emmerich has been beatified by the Church which is quite an acknoledgment. Some archeologist found the Virgin’s house in Ephesus from those writings.) Emmerich’s vision encompasses pagan evil –recurring child sacrifice and all– without ever becoming morbid as Jackson and Gibson seem to do.

    Oh well, God writes straight along crooked lines, and the storyline itself weighs in favor of the luminous. Thus the Jackson movies give testimony of good fighting evil for the ultimate prize: salvation. Look at Jackson’s depiction of the Last Ride of Thèoden King. The old King had survived Wormtongue’s attack on his psyche, his desolation and despair, and chosen generously to come to the aid of Gondor:

    When Eowyn cries, “I wanted to save you” he answers, “You already have.” Those lines were not written by Tolkien, if memory serves.

    There is no Christ figure in TLOTR (dimples comment #153), because there is not one sacrificial figure (Christ) that saves the others. Tolkien lays forth a very Catholic worldview: each individual must save himself through his acts, in accordance to his talents and overcoming specific temptations while carrying individual crosses. But in order for an individual to save himself, a life of communion (common union, fellowship), a life of hope and the bonds of love between characters are supremely important.

    • Agree: BB753
  221. pirelli says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Yeah that’s the same location as Hobbit Cafe, which has been around since 1972. Probably the same place you’re thinking of.

  222. syonredux says:
    @Mr. Anon

    As I recall (it’s been a long while since I’ve read Tolkien), the Orcs were degenerated Elves – the result of some fell breeding program conducted by Sauron or Morgoth. Orcs, as the willing soldiers of evil forces, were not stand-ins for Blacks – a woke interpretation of the supposed racism of Tolkien – but rather a warning about the evils of scientism and industrialism in it’s modern incarnations: social darwinism and genetic engineering. Tolkien was a catholic reactionary, not an alt-right s**t-lord.

    Tolkien’s language regarding the Orcs is racially charged:

    “squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes; in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types”

    Then there are the problems with the Haradrim and the men of Far Harad, non-Whites who serve the Dark Lord:

    “…out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues.”

    The Return of the King

    Really, it’s best to avoid such an Un-Woke writer; you might be poisoned by his toxic ideas….

  223. syonredux says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Perhaps the Tolkien Estate, in the interests of Wokeness, should revise his works, make the folk of the West non-White (Preferably Black, with a sprinkling of lesser varieties of BIPOC) and the Orcs Blond Nordics. If the Orcs all looked like this

    We could all sleep easy at night….

  224. anonymous[327] • Disclaimer says:
    @Welshman

    But pre-Anglo-Saxon Britain was Celtic so the idea that the Arthurian stories aren’t (originally) Celtic

    It was Breton, not Celtic.

  225. HA says:
    @TWS

    “wall of text to say, ‘I’ve never read this but here’s where you’re all wrong. Aren’t I a clever boy?’”

    Yeah. To be fair, the number of Eastern/Central European eggheads who think that life’s answers are mostly to be found in Vedas/ashrams/yogis/yoga/chakras/Sri-so-and-so/HareKrisnhas/ayurvedic-cow-urine and stuff like that (and also aikido for some bizarre reason, not that it particularly belongs in that group) is strangely high. Go to any street-side book seller in that part of the world and you’ll see what I mean. Seriously, what is up with that? (I suppose the same could be said for people on the West Coast falling for Buddhist-flavored quackery but I’ll let someone else discuss that.)

    Regardless, it would help if they first actually tried reading whatever it is that they’re debunking before trying to dazzle us. In this case (unlike, say, Schopenhauer, or Hesse), I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Wall-of-text never bothered cracking open the Vedas, either. And at least Nietzsche admitted that his own Zarathustra was just some name-dropping that allowed him to ride the trend of all the other eggheads trying to look cool by spouting off about the East.

    • Thanks: TWS
  226. @AnotherDad

    Sick and demented stuff. Germans are one of the great peoples of the world. (Broadly taken–encompassing all the Germanics–at the top of human accomplishment.) Why piss all over yourself?

    LOL. If you understand the Rammstein oeuvre and attitude, you’ll know they’re on balance lyrically and visually humble bragging rather than slagging the legendary/notorious aggro nature of their tribe. They cleverly cast a haughty Afrikanische Königin who perfectly personifies the Volksgeist they want to commemorate. As for the music itself, it’s great. (Maybe you only like softer stuff, NTTAWWT 😉 )

    My past takes on the video:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/can-i-play-that/#comment-3121967 (#31)

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/kim-in-time-vikings-were-multiracial/#comment-3150767 (#106)

  227. anonymous[327] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon 2

    While the Western
    Europeans were engaging in violent colonialism and slave trade

    So called “slavery” in the United States was not violent.

  228. @Bardon Kaldian

    There’s a lot of competition for “Hesse’s worst novel” but Siddharta is a good candidate. It’s bad, but mostly just boring. I’d pick Narcissus and Goldmund, which is bad precisely because all he does is alternate between the two titular stereotypes, so it becomes bad precisely because it’s a reductio ad absurdum of the standard Hesse template; the good books go beyond it in some way or another. Arguably the best is The Glass Bead Game where he finally integrates all his themes; it makes the others unnecessary. (Read Ziokowski’s intro to see how it all fits in; as he says, another who just reads one or more of the other books will misread Hesse altogether, as did the hippies).

    I am reminded of the blurb on the back of the Noonday paperback of N&G: “In Hesse’s best books, and N&G is the very best….” by John Simon, no less. Of all the books to take your stand on, John.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  229. @Ian Smith

    The “white hippies” were the progeny of the German youth and nature movements. Literally. A guy named Bill Pester immigrated to California and started the “Nature Boys”.

    https://arthurmag.com/2007/08/08/children-of-the-sun-german-and-california-proto-hippies/

    Oddly enough, he wrote a song, “Nature Boy”, which was a hit for Nat King Cole.

    • Thanks: Ian Smith
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  230. @Hypnotoad666

    They weren’t expected to be interesting or even competent:

    At Oxford in the nineteen-forties, Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was generally considered the most boring lecturer around, teaching the most boring subject known to man, Anglo-Saxon philology and literature, in the most boring way imaginable. “Incoherent and often inaudible” was Kingsley Amis’s verdict on his teacher. Tolkien, he reported, would write long lists of words on the blackboard, obscuring them with his body as he droned on, then would absent-mindedly erase them without turning around. “I can just about stand learning the filthy lingo it’s written in,” Philip Larkin, another Tolkien student, complained about the old man’s lectures on “Beowulf.” “What gets me down is being expected to admire the bloody stuff.”

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/12/05/the-dragons-egg

    • Replies: @anonymous
  231. Jack D says:
    @SimpleSong

    The English upper classes to this day disproportionately have Norman last names.

  232. @Anon

    “In the last years of his life, Tolkien resisted some of the liturgical changes implemented after the Second Vatican Council, especially the use of English for the liturgy; he continued to make the responses in Latin, ignoring the rest of the congregation.”

    Sounds like one of those “tradition because it’s tradition” types, who misses the whole point. As Clare Booth Luce said, the change to the vernacular meant you couldn’t just sit there and indulge in contemplative prayer; you weren’t supposed to be engaged in a thrilling conversation with God or the priest.

    On a related point, the idea that “no one understood the Mass in Latin” is bunk. Having been confirmed before VCII, I can attest that anyone who wanted to pay attention knew what the Latin phrase meant, that’s what you were taught in confirmation classes; just like any educated person can say “ipso facto” or “reductio ad absurdum” etc. with full knowledge of their meaning. Gary Wills said that the argument was a blind for the real motive, displacing the prestige of Latin in the seminaries, so that the young punks there could study the likes of Heidegger and Sartre rather than St. Thomas.

  233. @SFG

    Joshi (of course) has a nice collection of tales in Penguins.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  234. @J.Ross

    “Smith, contra Lovecraft’s despair and Howard’s severity, is often very satirical. ”

    Interesting point. He seems like a lot of American writers of that time, like James Branch Cabell, H L Mencken, Dos Passos, etc. , with a sort of disenchanted, “wise guy” approach to the world. Perhaps goes back to Bierce and even Poe. Not really found in the Euro fantasy guys, like M R James or Le Fanu, and of course Tolkien or Lewis.

  235. Lot says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    “ Anglicize”

    M-W has it lower case with upper case as the variant.

    Less capitalization is the only superior aspect of British English. I like Nato over NATO in particular.

    “Not in their own language.”

    I’ll say Česko when I’m in Czechia.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  236. @Anon

    The first time I saw the Lord of the Rings movie I was disappointed. In part by the aesthetics, since the hobbits and men were pretty unkempt and scruffy looking, and with the elves it was even worse.

    I know what you mean on this one. A synecdoche for this misapprehension appears in the opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring, when Frodo jumps into the wagon Gandalf is driving into The Shire. There is a close-up of Frodo’s hand — for some reason I can’t recall — that reveals Frodo’s ground-down nails and filthy cuticles. This is not right at all; Frodo is a hobbit gentleman, and would not have had dirty hands, nor would he have dressed in the coarse garb in which he’s consistently clothed in the films.

    Jackson, likely impelled by his 21st-century egalitarian impulses, elides the class distinctions amongst the hobbits that are unmistakable in even a cursory reading of the LoTR. Frodo, Merry, and Pippen are all gentry; Sam decidedly is not. In Jackson’s envisaging, they’re all peasant yokels.

    This isn’t a serious detraction from the overall quality of the films, which I generally like, but it’s typical of the kind of ‘improvement’ one almost inevitably must endure in adaptations of literary works in our Great Woke Age.

  237. @Mr. Anon

    Perhaps Tolkiens back-story for them evolved later.

    This sentence is a fairly accurate summary of Tolkien’s entire artistic endeavor. He started with some foundational stories and images, and then wrote, and re-wrote, and re-re-wrote them. And as he did so, he kept finding the need to build in more depth and backstory.

    In his lifetime Tolkien published only The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The rest of his vast output, starting with The Silmarillion, remained a disorganized mass of drafts in various stages of re-write when he died. His son Christopher then spent much of his own long life sorting out and editing his father’s work, eventually publishing a substantial series of posthumous anthologies.

    For those who have enjoyed Tolkien’s mainstream works, The Silmarillion is a good bet, although it’s much harder to read, as it’s composed in a self-consciously ‘mythic’ or ‘epic’ style that is very dense and allusive.

    Beyond The Silmarillion, however, the going gets much harder, as many of the works are incomplete, or are alternative drafts of previously-published stories.

  238. Lot says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    I agree that Germanics do a lot more conquest than the reverse. The biggest exception was Roman Germania. This is a good map showing what parts of modern Germany were conquered by Romans. Even larger areas were subject to Roman influence and punitive raiding. Basically they normally paid off all the Germans on their border and would frequently pick the winners and interfere in internal tribal matters to ensure a friendly ruler.

    Basically about 40% of modern Germany/Austria/Swiss-Germania, and more like half if you go by population.

    Other times Germany was partially conquered was by Sweden, France, and Spain during the 30 years war, Holstein by Denmark for quite a while, and all of Germany by France during the Napoleonic wars.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  239. @Lot

    To Anglicize (Anglicise) is to make something English. To anglicize is to make something english. It can stay in the billiards hall.

    I’ll say Česko when I’m in Czechia.

    While you’re at it, practice Spojené státy americké. Stress on initial syllables.

    I’ll say “Czechia” when I’m in Bir Tawil.

  240. @Abe

    Kershner? Meh. I would think the quality of TESB comes from the screenplay, by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. Brackett was the “Queen of Space Operas” but had never written a sci/fi screenplay; instead, she wrote screenplays for The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo (and a bunch of other John Waynes) and The Long Goodbye. Kasdan would use his Lucas bucks to finance The Big Chill.

    “Hollywood director Howard Hawks was so impressed by her novel No Good from a Corpse that he had his secretary call in “this guy Brackett” to help William Faulkner write the script for The Big Sleep (1946).” — Wikipedia

  241. @Jack D

    “Personally I never “got” Tolkien. The whole thing did not resonate with me at all.”

    You may not like to hear it, but same here.

  242. @Anon

    There is no Christ figure in TLOTR (dimples comment #153), because there is not one sacrificial figure (Christ) that saves the others. Tolkien lays forth a very Catholic worldview: each individual must save himself through his acts, in accordance to his talents and overcoming specific temptations while carrying individual crosses. But in order for an individual to save himself, a life of communion (common union, fellowship), a life of hope and the bonds of love between characters are supremely important.

    Well, I can hear the whirring right this minute as Tolkien does the old rotisserie deep within his Rohirrim-style burial mound.

    In no Christian theology, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, can any individual ‘save himself through his acts’. This is heresy 101, i.e. Pelagianism.

    The question of a Christ-figure in LoTR is an interesting one. I believe Tolkien embedded ‘Christlikeness’ in the roles and actions of several leading characters, including Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, and Sam.

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Peter D. Bredon
    , @Anon
  243. Alden says:
    @John Up North

    Well, my supposedly British family’s DNA came back 40% Scandinavian. My Dad’s surname is more common in Scandinavia than England or Ireland and lot’s of blonde hair and almost all blue eyes. Dublin was founded by Vikings.

    I think the Anglo Saxon thing is much more American than English. I have English relatives and they aren’t at all Anglo Saxon chauvinist. Nor are any of their friends and other relatives.

    Reason I stopped reading amren is the ignorant Anglo Saxonism in that site. Amren’s base is southerners. Strange that descendants of indentured servants forced to sell themselves or starve, deported convicts, deported Scots and Irish rebels or victims of the clearances should be so worshipful of Great Britain and contemptuous of the rest of Europe. When a commentor claimed that the French DNA is 25% percent black African was when I quit amren after years of its ignorant Anglo Saxonism

    Might be wrong, but I believe there must have been some kind of Anglo Saxon revival in the 19th century. For instance Scott’s book Ivanhoe and the whole romantic movement; back to our roots and early medieval times.

  244. anonymous[350] • Disclaimer says:
    @James O'Meara

    I can just about stand learning the filthy lingo it’s written in,” Philip Larkin, another Tolkien student, complained about the old man’s lectures on “Beowulf.” “What gets me down is being expected to admire the bloody stuff.”

    Is he referring to admiring Tolkien’s lectures or Beowulf?

  245. Alden says:
    @ES

    I read LOTR in 1965. Everyone was reading it Read it again and again. I like the books better than the Jackson trilogy. Because the Jackson movies are movies not books. I liked the Rohan movie best. It was just our blonde White people ranging free in the plains. Or American Indians ranging free on the plains.

    And Aragorn, his introduction sitting in shadows of the inn with his hood over his face.

  246. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    The Napoleonic conquests, and the 30 years war spring to mind, although the 30 years war was a catastrophic war of all-against-all, with enemies both foreign and domestic. Arguably they have been conquered as much or more than they have conquered. Louis XIV also caused a lot of trouble in the western parts of what is now Germany. The most clear, lasting victory I can think of in an offensive war (outside of antiquity) would be the decisive rout of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian war.

  247. Alden says:

    When William of Normandy invaded England 5,000 of his 10,000 men were Bretons from Brittany reconquering the land they fled from 500 years before. One of the few successful revanchisms in history. William was a descendant of a son of Queen Emma and her first husband Aethelred Saxon king of S England. Queen Emma was the daughter of a Duke of Normandy. When Dane Canute invaded, she sent her 2 sons by Aethelred to her brother the Duke of Normandy for safety.

    So William had a dynastic right to be King of England being a descendant of Saxon King Aethelred and his wife Emma. Of course Saxon King Edward and others had a dynastic right to be King of England.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  248. KPConchy says:
    @Lot

    The Italians were never hippies cause the food sucked.

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
  249. enochian says:

    Tolkien’s dwarves are actually jews – and he discussed this in an interview once – short, bearded, speaking an invented semitic language, wanderers who have lost their homeland and seek to regain it, and, unacceptable to modern audiences, greedy for gold.

    • Replies: @Lot
  250. anon[365] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Could the Orcs have been Turks or Moors or some generic archetype of brown skinned foreign invaders?

    Turks. The Austrians and Poles had forged an agreement of mutual aid against the Ottoman Empire in the 1680’s, just as Gondor and Rohan in Tolkhein’s saga.

    The relief of Minas Tirith by the host of Rohan, even as the Orcs continue to smash their way into the city, is very, very reminiscent of the relief of Vienna in 1683. Troops of the Holy Roman Empire followed the Polish horsemen commanded by King John III Sobieski. Ottoman Turks were still trying to drive into the city of Vienna as the largest cavalry charge in history came down off of the Kahlenberg right towards them, with the Winged Hussars leading the way….and Sobieski leading them.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  251. Twinkie says:
    @Lot

    all of Germany by France during the Napoleonic wars.

    By the time of the French Revolution, the Prussians developed a highly martial reputation, largely because of the Seven Years’ War (which Prussia “won” largely through luck), but the soldiery from other German regions didn’t enjoy such a high esteem.

    Napoleon crushed the Prussians and conquered all of Germany, and Prussia didn’t recover from the shock until Gneisenau and Scharnhorst carefully rebuilt and modernized the Prussian army. It is really their work that enhanced the military effectiveness of the Germans all the way to World War II.

    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  252. @anon

    “As an officer in the US Navy, Heinlein chose to keep his quarters in Greenwich Village.”

    Sounds like a spook, just like Elron Hubbard.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @J.Ross
  253. @JMcG

    So, according to the largest Catholic denom, he’s burning in Hell right now. What a loser; he might as well have had a fun time while he was here.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Anonymous
  254. Alden says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    The Catholic thing is that you go to heaven by doing good or at least not harming others. Comes from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. There’s a gate keeper to heaven who weighs good and bad deeds.

    The Puritan Calvinist thing is that you get to heaven by the strength of your belief alone no matter what you do.

    Old New England joke. A Puritan family runs a general store. It’s after closing. Father speaks.

    “Ezekiel, have you out the acorns in the oven to toast overnight to be ground up for coffee?” “ Yes Father”

    “ Naomi have you crumbled the oak tree leaves we sell for tea?” “ Yes father”

    “ Nathaniel, have you smashed up all the gravel and mixed into the dried beans?” “Yes father”

    “ Then come upstairs for evening prayers”

  255. @Anon

    “I have on good authority that he directed The Passion after having read Anne Catherine Emmerich`s visions and prophecies. That’s a book that has helped many deepen their faith, and is curiously descriptive, minutely descriptive, but never dark or gory. (Emmerich has been beatified by the Church which is quite an acknoledgment. Some archeologist found the Virgin’s house in Ephesus from those writings.)”

    Whenever I start to think the Right isn’t a bunch of Cro-Magnons, I run into stuff like this. “Never dark or gory”. “found the Virgin’s house.” Jesus wept.

    • Replies: @Anon
  256. @al gore rhythms

    >It struck me recently that us English locals have probably chosen to believe that Lincoln was founded by Romans before becoming Anglo Saxon for two reasons. Firstly, deep in our psyche we are quite uncomfortable with the idea of the Celts (the Welsh, effectively) having occupied the land before us, as this gives them a prior claim. And secondly, there is still the lingering sense of superiority as conquerers which mean we wouldn’t really want to think of them as having been the founders of our cities.

    Curious, what is your reaction to the genetic studies, are they comforting or dispiriting? It seems like if you are a glass-half-full type of person, they would be quite comforting, because your claim on the land goes back much longer than 600 AD, basically to the beginning, and you now clearly have more claim than anyone on earth. And you could still say that you are a conquerer, at least partly (about 35%). So I would think that it would make you feel good. On the other hand, if it important to feel distinct from the Welsh, Irish, and Scots, it might be dispiriting to realize that you are quite a bit more similar than different.

    To American eyes, when we think of racial differences, we think about the vast differences between a Sub-Saharan African and a European, or a Native American and a European, since there is a long history of those three groups elbowing up against each other in North America and for the most part not mixing (at least compared to Latin America). The differences between a Scotsman and an Englishman or an Irishman and a German seem comically petty by comparison and intermarriage within European groups was not even worth remarking upon. This has resulted in Americans being pan-Europeanists, both genetically but also in terms of cultural outlook. (Or at least pan-northwestern Europe, like the English they are probably most accurately described as a Germano-Celtic hybrid.) They are often surprised by the lack of enthusiasm for pan-Europeanism seen in actual Europeans, but then again, actual Europeans haven’t had to live along side black people for 400 years. We’ll see how things shake out. I predict that if this keeps up for another 100 years the English proles and the Irish proles and the Scottish proles will either be best buds or not exist at all.

    My personal reaction to the study, being of colonial German and English (but not Scottish or Irish) descent was, “Great, this means I can plausibly put J.C. Maxwell, Adam Smith, David Hume, James Watt, and Yeats as slightly closer cousins, up the deep depths of prehistory to the still relatively deep but not quite as deep depths of history. Add them to Newton and Shakespeare and Gauss. Maybe also the guys from U2. (maybe not)” But that’s clearly a pan-European mindset.

  257. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I love how “Christianity will save the West” folks start heresy hunting in 1…2…3. Everyone loves to LAPR as a “Christian” when in reality “Christianity” doesn’t exist; it’s just bunches of fanatics itching to gain power and torture the others as “heretics”.

    The religion of Love. Like all Semitic concoctions, the truth is the reverse. They always accuse YOU of what THEY want to do.

  258. Alden says:
    @Toronto Mike

    Hippie dom was a romantic back to the golden olden days. Especially women’s fashions, the long hair braids and buns ankle length dresses pierced instead of clip on earrings. The men’s jeans and long hair were cowboys.

    There was an old Irish custom for engaged couples. But a pair of simple stud earrings. And each would wear one. Nice

    It was a carefully engineered phenomenon mostly to keep the just out of school boomers from realizing that baby booms mean not enough jobs 20 years later. And that guy, Owsley? from some very wealthy important old WASP family manufacturing and distributing LSD all over the country

  259. @James O'Meara

    The Navy sent Heinlein to New York City for 3 months to learn how to operate mechanical proto-computer around 1930. He rented an apartment in Greenwich Village and took painting-from-life classes with nude models. Heinlein always had what The Onion calls a “naked lady fetish.”

  260. Alden says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Kennedy Disney all those Irish names ending in ey are Norman

  261. Lot says:
    @enochian

    “ greedy for gold”

    To be fair, gold is pretty nice.

  262. sb says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    The amazing thing here is that you would comment on a topic with so little knowledge ( make that zero knowledge )
    Mind you this is not so uncommon around here

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  263. @Peter D. Bredon

    ‘Heresy’ is just a technical term for a system of belief that breaks the boundaries of orthodoxy. Tolkien himself, like C S Lewis, would have been familiar with G K Chesterton’s books titled Orthodoxy and Heretics. None of them, nor I, have any interest in the torture chambers.

    Resistance often intensifies as God draws near. It’s clear you’ve devoted a lot of mental energy to these questions. Please let me know if you’d like to hear more about what God really offers.

  264. J.Ross says:
    @James O'Meara

    At one point they lived together (and their landlord was a NASA satanist).

  265. @James O'Meara

    Hesse is hard to classify. I think he was a seeker after truth with a writing problem. And definitely, he was a novelty. No “serious” imaginative author before him had tried, creatively, his hands on the Alluring East.

    Sure, various specialists (ethnographers, philologists, philosophers,…) did, but Hesse was the first author to strike gold with the Hindu-Chinese east & psychoanalysis, and to reshape Romantic medievalism in Freudian-Jungian mold.

  266. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    It would be irrelevant to Tolkien who as a religious person wanted to judge people by their goodness rather than by biological notions of metrics of performance. His thoughts on the “evil foreign invader” are encapsulated in his writing: not so much evil but misguided by the forces of evil.

    It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace-all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind.

  267. J.Ross says:
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Joshi is so awesome and a true gentleman. For years the best Lovecrafts were his Annotateds (I think they still are: crucially, they have architecture pix, eg, the Dutch House, which you pretty much have to see). Then some Englishman did a one-volume New Annotated (worth buying if you know what Xoth is, a definite maybe if you just want one Lovecraft book: anything else = seek Joshi). Joshi’s response was to endorse it and give it a blurb. What a guy. Must be torture growing up an Indian atheist.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
  268. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Charitably, if you can, add faith and God’s grace as necessary to Salvation on this Earth. Not by faith alone, but by faith accompanied by acts which include things like prayer, fasting, almsgiving, GOOD DEEDS and the sacraments.

    In Middle Earth, as far as I can remember, nowhere does Tolkien write about the “faith” part. He does construct a fellowship of different “races” to destroy the One Ring for the common good. This common good would mean the (temporary) salvation of Middle Earth from the greatest menace. The emphasis, during the long pilgrimage from Elrond’s House to Mount Doom, is on the outward aspects: the adventure, their travails and individual actions. The overarching theme of LOTR is the fight of Good vs. Evil. The underlying constant are the choices to be made during the journey by each character.

    It is Boromir, with his greed for the ring, that will finally break up the fellowship. His virtue fails. He succumbs to temptation. It’s interesting to draw parallels between Judas-Boromir and Mateo-Faramir, don’t you think? Tolkien then disperses the members in little groups that will disband and unite providentially to defeat Saruman and hold Sauron at bay until Frodo arrives at Mount Doom.

    There is no Christ figure, imo. Rather the characters are all Christians, in the sense that they are willing to fight evil, to deny themselves and help others. They are pilgrims not devoid of sin. Well, except perhaps for angelic Legolas. None of them die, and they are even well-rewarded. Gandalf is more a hero than a Christ, imo. We simply do not know enough to say he was wholly self-sacrificing in the the way that say, Jean Valjean was. Frodo, after the long Lent through Mordor, succumbs when the Ring tempts him with the world, does he not? The ring itself is demonic, preying in his mind. Only the timely intervention of Gollum saves the day, providing –to me at least—food for meditation on grace, providence and the role of evil in human life. But then again, perhaps we should start by defining what would be a Christic figure in literature, and what would be a Christian figure in fantasy literature.

    Anyway, one of the joys of literature is sharing our insights with others who enjoy the story. The tip about Jackson’s dark leanings lent a new understanding to this little movie clip about evil, not contained in the original Tolkien:

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  269. JMcG says:
    @anon

    That’s one of my favorite historical events of all time. What a spectacle that must have been. Imagine having been besieged in Vienna and witnessing that charge!

  270. JMcG says:
    @James O'Meara

    That’s not really Catholic teaching. Aquinas worked out a way for some of his heroes among the Greek philosophers to have earned salvation despite never having been baptized. I’m no theologian, but I believe that to be correct.

  271. Gordo says:
    @syonredux

    For example, he was so fascinated by Finnish myth that he actually learned Finnish, which is not exactly an easy language for Anglophones to acquire.

    I think Tolkien and C.S.Lewis sat down and learned Icelandic together in a few weeks so they could read the Sagas.

  272. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Here’s a live link in place of the dead link, contained within your piece, for the article “Hippie Roots & The Perennial Subculture”:

    https://www.hipplanet.com/hip/activism/hippie-roots-the-perennial-subculture/

  273. @J.Ross

    That Englishman is Leslie Klinger, who did a similar good, but ridiculously priced, 3 volume Sherlock Holmes set.

    https://counter-currents.com/2019/09/new-notes-on-the-new-annotated-h-p-lovecraft/

    Klinger’s annotations are good but also it’s interesting that like AHX, he often (unconsciously?) subverts his Woke intentions.

  274. @Bardon Kaldian

    You know how it is, agree with me or you suck.

  275. dimples says:
    @dimples

    Actually, since the second book is titled “The Two Towers”, I’m sure he was aware. I would suggest that the Christian symbolism in the book is more about Christian eschatology rather than Christianity per se. Surely Tolkien’s spirit imbued faerie world is his imagining, and perhaps a prophecy, of the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s certainly better than hordes of mindless angels bowing before God, although it’s got these too.

    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  276. @Mr. Anon

    It’s too bad that the only live-action treatment it got on the screen was Peter Jackson’s self-indulgent video-game filmed in swoopy-vision and and cast with emo hobbits and a queer wizard. I much preferred Ralph Bakshi’s aborted animated version.

    Some things are better left un-filmed.

    I have stayed away from all the films except the last one of the three Hobbit movies. I was at the Metropolitan Opera in HD movie-theater-presentation of Die Meistersinger when Hobbit 3 came out. It was the last time for the long-standard production of Meistersinger. The Old Nuremburg scenery for Act 2 took a long time to erect and dismantle so there were two intermissions each lasting almost an hour.

    Went across the corridor and saw a chunk of Hobbit 3 near the beginning and then another near the end. Terrible. Absurd battle on the ice out of the Marvel Universe and an embarrassing Elf-Dwarf romance a la Romeo and Juliet. Glad I stayed away from everything else, though I’ve been told repeatedly that the LOTR movies were better than the Hobbit ones.

    Again, some things are better left un-filmed.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  277. @Anon

    There is no Christ figure, imo.

    Maybe not. But Tolkien was certainly getting at something with Gandalf’s last stand, fall and then his rescue/resurrection and his grey-to-white transfiguration. Something happened there. Maybe not Christ, but informed by Him.

    Frodo is the everyman who fights to the end of his strength, which is insufficient, the difference being made up, as you suggest, by God’s grace.

    Anyway, one of the joys of literature is sharing our insights with others who enjoy the story.

    Yes, I certainly agree.

    • Replies: @Anon
  278. @Twinkie

    the Seven Years’ War (which Prussia “won” largely through luck),

    There is always some luck involved, but Frederick wasn’t called the Great merely because he was a lucky guy.

    Frederick’s army was highly disciplined. With enemies on all sides–France, Austria, Russia, Sweden–it had to be. Otherwise, Prussia would have gone the way of Poland.

    But the lackluster leadership of the early Napoleonic years failed to integrate the organizational changes and mobility that N. mastered. Once the Prussians had combined the two, they became the dominant European land power and consistently most successful land force in the world for close to a century. Never could fuse that military power with the needed strategic nuance in the post-Bismarck era though.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  279. Twinkie says:
    @Oscar Peterson

    There is always some luck involved, but Frederick wasn’t called the Great merely because he was a lucky guy.

    Frederick’s army was highly disciplined. With enemies on all sides–France, Austria, Russia, Sweden–it had to be. Otherwise, Prussia would have gone the way of Poland.

    Frederick the Great was highly overrated and extremely lucky. He started a war that he had no chance of winning, but for a miracle.

    Tell me what would have happened to him and Prussia in the Seven Years’ War, had Empress Elizabeth not suddenly died when she did. Prussia was bankrupt (the currency had been devalued numerous times), its army was ground down to virtually nothing, and its population and territory had been devastated repeatedly. And once the British defeated the French in North America, it withdrew its subsidy to Prussia that was its last lifeline. As 1762 began, Prussia was about to be conquered by Russian forces and Frederick was desperately trying to gain some sort of an “honorable” surrender and salvage some small patrimony for his successor.

    It was pure, dumb luck that anti-Prussian Empress Elizabeth suddenly died and was replaced by an extreme Prussia/Frederick fanboy (a German-born who didn’t even speak Russian) who not only gave back all Russian conquests to him, but also gave him Russian forces to use against his enemies! (Of course, Peter the Prussian-fanboy paid for that by being deposed by his soldiers in favor of Catherine).

    It’s not for nothing that the episode is called the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg. The man was extremely lucky.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    , @Oscar Peterson
  280. @dimples

    When the accusation of some sort of communications link between Trump in his eponymous tower and Putin–the Dark Lord–in the Kremlin was being made before and after the 2016 election, I was reminded of “The Two Towers.”

  281. @Oscar Peterson

    though I’ve been told repeatedly that the LOTR movies were better than the Hobbit ones.

    Incomparably better.

  282. Mr. Anon says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Is it really profitable to pretend that someone of Tolkien’s time and background wouldn’t have committed heresies against 2021’s woke religion? I think it’s the better course to defend Tolkien’s works as culturally significant even if they’re not woke, and to tell the wreckers to go suck a lemon.

    I entirely agree with you. I was merely pointing out what I believe to be a correct interpretationo of Tolkien’s work.

  283. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @Oscar Peterson

    @ “But Tolkien was certainly getting at something with Gandalf’s last stand, fall and then his rescue/resurrection and his grey-to-white transfiguration”

    A descent aux enfers, after battling the Evil One, you mean? It’s a good point. The transfiguration also. When I first read LOTR as a teen I was enchanted by Gandalf. And very put-off by his movie persona, perhaps that has influenced my current perception of the character.

    Agreed as to Frodo, and with Sam, Tolkien redeems the immense dignity and value of the common man. While Aragorn reigns in splendor in Gondor, the Hobbits go back to their unimportant corner of the world only to find the battle is not over. There is food for meditation there also.

    PD.- The Hobbit movie… unbearable. Turned off the tv.

    • Agree: Oscar Peterson
  284. Anon[280] • Disclaimer says:
    @James O'Meara

    So you think Jesus would weep at an aversion to gore, ugliness and darkness in art? Ok.

    It is very difficult to contemplate evil at not be changed by it. Even more difficult to dabble in evil and not have it show in the fruits of your work, whether it is actual crime or a movie about crime or a movie about good and evil. Emmerich can describe evil in an historical context without inspiring undue curiosity or morbid fascination or darker desires in the reader. It is no mean feat, imo.

    I guess if an archeologist can attempt to discover Troy by reading Homer, another can discover a particular house by reading Emmerich?
    http://www.catholictradition.org/Assumption/ephesus1.htm

    “Archbishop Timoni of Izmir convened a commission to investigate the discovery in the late nineteenth century. He composed a lengthy document that was signed by every member of the commission. It listed in detail the priests’ findings and showed how they conformed exactly to the descriptions of Catherine Emmerich’s. The document concluded, “The ruins are truly the remains of the House inhabited by the Virgin Mary.”

    Of course believing her visions/prophecies, in all or in part, is not mandated. But they are interesting. The HBDers would even find an eugenic take in how the lineage of the Virgin strove to be virtuous in their daily life AND marriages in order to bring about Salvation. The Christ could not come into the world in a family of child-sacrificing orcs, after all.

  285. nebulafox says:
    @Twinkie

    Frederick also owed the ability to start his wars at all entirely to his much maligned father, who preferred to accumulate substance as opposed to shine.

    >(Of course, Peter the Prussian-fanboy paid for that by being deposed by his soldiers in favor of Catherine).

    More significantly, Peter III also posed a threat to the traditional status and privileges of the Russian aristocracy, economically and socially. Catherine would keep some of his ideas, such as secularizing church property, but would quietly discard others, especially the ones related to serfdom. There’s a reason that Pugachev identified himself with Peter: the dead Tsar had clearly been indicating major changes in the legal rights and status of serfs in his brief time on the throne.

    The popular image of Peter III had been traditionally dominated by Catherine’s propaganda, which needs to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt: for example, Catherine heavily implied that Peter was not the biological father of Paul I, despite the striking physical resemblance between the two men. That’s not to say the weird little Holsteiner was shaping up to be the best Tsar Russia ever had-I think he was bound to be assassinated sooner or later given his complete lack of tact combined with his policies alienating every major structure in Russian society-but he probably wasn’t a drunken toy-obsessed half-wit, either.

    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  286. nebulafox says:
    @Alden

    The Normans understood the value of political legitimacy pretty well in general. Robert Guiscard and his son would use the various relatives of toppled Byzantine emperors (or at least people who claimed to be them) to give their wars against Constantinople a legal gloss.

    From Guiscard’s POV, his daughter was meant to be empress, and when the father of his to-be son-in-law was toppled, he had a reason to press his claim. Far from being a cynical land grab, there probably was a real cultural gap in understanding here. To Western Europeans, revolting against your feudal lord was unthinkable, in Byzantium, regime change was a mundane reality of life. 1204 really put this on display when Alexios IV was jeered from the walls. By all accounts, the Crusaders were genuinely baffled.

  287. @Twinkie

    I don’t agree that Frederick was highly overrated, although I guess anyone who has been given the appellation “Great” is bound to be subject to re-assessment along those lines.

    His project to transform Brandenburg Prussia into something beyond a second-tier collection of non-contiguous land parcels was ultimately successful and in large part to his efforts. He needs to be seen as part of a chain running from FW the Great Elector through him and the post-Jena military reformers to Bismarck. His acquisition of Silesia was a major step forward in growing Prussian economic and strategic potential, and his later acquisition of West Prussia crowned his efforts, connecting East Prussia and Pomerania/Brandenburg. Of course, this earned him enemies, which came close to doing him in, and yes, luck played a role in avoiding the worst consequences.

    Prussia/Germany has always been a vulnerable place, as Poland has also been sitting defenseless on the Northern European plain. But look at the different outcomes between little Brandenburg from c. 1600 and the massive, powerful Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of that time (up until 1914 anyway.) If Frederick had not taken risks, Brandenburg Prussia would have been a slightly more powerful version of Saxony or Bavaria. And Elizabeth’s health was known to be weak, so that may have played into his calculations. If you want the prize, you gotta play the game. Contrast his calculated risk-taking with the insatiable and therefore self-destructive outcome of Napoleon for example. France had a much more favorably geo-strategic foundation to work on than Prussia, but Frederick’s outcome was obviously incalculably better.

    And although his reforms did not prevent the calcification of the Prussian military establishment after his death, they laid the foundation for Prussia’s rebound and its award of large tracts of the Rhineland at the Congress of Vienna and also helped to create the educational and institutional foundation that made Germany the premier intellectual and industrial power in Europe by 1900.

    One shouldn’t look at the Frederick question though too narrow a lense.

  288. @nebulafox

    And it’s useful, if not directly relevant to your and Twinkie’s points, to recall that Catherine never actually reverted to the anti-Prussian policies of Elizabeth and Bestuzhev.

  289. Anonymous[411] • Disclaimer says:
    @James O'Meara

    This is Feenyism.

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