You get a work that spans generations like the Silmarillion and countries like The Hobbit, and you're bound to have some places that can't be filled in to everyone's satisfaction in the main works. Even with the appendices, there were just a few things that Tolkien didn't get a chance to color in.
Into the breach come essayists, fanartists, and fic writers. Some of them may have awesome interpretations on things like Legolas's childhood, or what the Haradrim were really like in their own lands. Others may have cracked-out theories on Beruthiel's cats, or amusing explanations on what was with Amrod and Amras, seriously. Then, of course, there are the bits of fanon that you want to poke with a Mk. III Cluerod because you've seen them so many times and they still don't make a lick of sense, whether just because you don't understand where it comes from, or because it doesn't seem reasonable for the characters as you know them.
So, hit me: what's your favorite twist on Tolkien? What fanon do you think needs to be hung upside down in a scorpion pit over the Void? (Don't suppose I have to mention two of my least favorite fanon creations if you recognize the name and icon, but Balrog Bunny Slippers and Bombadil the Witch-King make for some amusing theories.) Anything you'd like an explanation for, fanonwise, like Schroedinger's Blue Wizards*?
*(Put Alatar and Pallandro into any Fourth Age fic. Nigh on invariably, one will be good; one will be evil. You can't tell until they're out of the box, but until you've observed one and therefore affected the other, you can't tell which is which. Must fight like cats, those two.)
I know most people who have read the book like and/or tolerate the movies (even with certain unpopular changes that Peter Jackson made), but I've met one or two people who absolutely hate them.
So... is there anyone out there who absolutely hates the LotR movies? This is a completely out of the blue question but one I've wondered about before.
I've been hearing about a possible Lord of the Rings prequel movie that would not be The Hobbit in various places across the web. Does anyone know anything about this? I've heard of the nonprofessional (is that the right word? Or would 'unofficial' be a better choice) film involving Arathorn, Gilraen, and Estel, but I'm not sure if that is what I'm hearing about or not. Did that ever even come to pass?
Anyway, maybe I'm just hearing a bunch of unfounded rumors and speculation, but it brought a new thought to mind: if there was to be a LotR prequel that is not The Hobbit, what would it be? Would it be one of the many stories in The Silmarillion? Or would it be about Aragorn's adventures as Thorongil or something similar?
What do you think would make a good prequel, especially considering that a majority of the audience isn't familiar with Tolkien's works as much as PJ's movies. In other words, the general audience might have a hard time relating to Feanor and his sons since Galadriel is pretty much the only character they would recognize in a film version of the Flight of the Noldor as opposed to a prequel about a young Aragorn.
Personally, I'd love to see the Akallabêth with Isildur, Elendil, etc. on film. At the same time, I'd be afraid that a director might make the Numenorians completely feeble and weak-minded like PJ made Denethor in the films. Seriously, who'd want to see a movie!Denethorish Ar-Pharazôn? Not me!
Whether it's a really good fanartist or a professional novelist, what we've seen can have a big impact on what we write, draw, or even just like to see in fandom. It may be as obvious as crossover references or as abstract as characterization style. Did someone hook you on a particular pairing that you never would have thought you would have liked? Did reading a published novel make you think about Tolkien's characters differently?
So, for fanartists and authors, who are your inspirations? For those who love to look at paintings and graphics, is there a particular artist who just captures your inner image of a particular part of Middle-earth? For readers, is there somebody out there who really makes their OCs tie in with Arda? Let's share the goodies! ;)
One doesn't have to have read the reviews for the Eragon movie to know that sometimes, one character seems to be based heavily upon a previous model. Sometimes, even if two characters are not consciously derieved from the same source, they go through such similar turning points or have such similar quirks that the mind cannot help but draw parallels.
As Tolkien has often been described as a founding father of fantasy, there are plenty of people who may have a little bit of Frodo, Aragorn, or Gandalf in them. Of all your other fandoms, is there one that you think was particularly influenced by Tolkien? Any favorite characters that could pass for a "morphic twin*" of an elf, dwarf, hobbit, or man of Arda? What made the connections for you? Does this change your feelings for the characters?
*I take no responsibility for luring people to the
Disc Dark Side other fandoms.