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06:59

thecheshirecass:

violent-darts:

wufflesvetinari:

karstaag-reborn:

wufflesvetinari:

the thing about lotr that the movies don’t convey so fully is how the story is set in an age heavily overshadowed by all the ages before. they’re constantly traveling through ruins, discussing the glory of days gone by, the empires of men are much diminished, the elves (especially galadriel) are described as seeming incongruent, frozen in time….some of the imagery is even near-apocalyptic, like the ruins of moria and of course the landscape surrounding mordor

this is a strange thought to me, somehow: that the archetypal “high fantasy” story is set at the point where the…fantasy…used to be much higher? this is not the golden age; this is a remnant

LotR is Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome of the elves.

i want to emphasize that people have added excerpts of their theses in reply to this post but this is still my favorite reblog

Honestly I’d take it further than that: it’s Fury Road. And that’s part of what makes Galadriel’s choice so fucking central, and so amazing, and so heartbreaking. 

Because she was there. She was there from the BEGINNING. She grew up in the Undying Lands in the light of the Two Trees. She even LEFT the Undying Lands because she could pretty plainly see there was no chance to build great kingdoms or new things there. 

She helped lead her people across the grinding ice after Fëanor and his sons abandoned them. She lived in Doriath at its height, her brother created Nargothrond at its height, the peak of cooperation between Khazâd and Quendi, her cousin built Gondolin. 

And she watched all of it die. 

She lost her brothers, two to war and one to torture and then being half-eaten by a demon-wolf in the depths of Sauron’s first stronghold. She saw Thingol murdered and Melian wrecked. She saw her brother’s shining Nargothrond fall to Glaurung and become a desecrated pit of hell. She saw her cousins die, one by one; then she saw her cousins turn on her own people (again) and murder over half of them. 

She saw all of the lands she’d known wrecked and destroyed: some polluted and destroyed by Morgoth, some destroyed in the War of Wrath. She saw Khazad-dûm polluted and destroyed by the Balrog. She saw Númenor - whose royal line were also her kin, via Turgon and Idril - polluted, turned into a brutal hideous empire and tyranny, and then sunk. 

She saw Celebrimbor, her young cousin, try to make the rings as tools to make the world better - and saw Sauron use and betray him, and then come back and utterly destroy his kingdom, slaughtering his people, who fled to her, to Thranduil, and to Elrond. She saw Gil-galad’s last kingdom and the very Pyrrhic victory in Mordor, followed by the slow but unstoppable decay of what she in Lorien, Thranduil in Greenwood or Elrond in Imladris could actually protect. 

Then she saw her only child captured by orcs and held captive and tortured and gods know what else until Celebrien was incapable of staying in Middle Earth - not for her children, or her husband, or her parents. She saw the rise of the Necromancer and his unmasking. 

She has bled and lost and grieved for thousands of years. Not a single person she came to Middle-Earth with still survives. Celeborn is the only person she loved she has ever got to keep with her, and she met him there. She couldn’t even keep her own child safe. 

And now she’s being offered the One Ring, the source of more power than even Melian had (and Melian was strong enough for the Girdle to protect Doriath from Melkor). She’s being offered the one thing that exists that could even possibly let her change that, make that not so. The only thing that exists that could keep the final end of all of that being the death of Lorien, the loss of Imladris, the loss of everything she ever wanted or worked for. 

Without the Ring, she was strong enough to hold Sauron off. With the Ring she could have erased him. She would have been stronger than Lúthien, who enchanted even Melkor. She could make the whole world like Lothlorien. And Frodo is offering it to her. 

More than that, he’s asking her to take it. He’s saying “I’m too weak, I’m too small, I’m tired, I’m scared, it hurts, I don’t want it. Please say you want it and I will give it to you.” 

And she says no. She doesn’t take it. She doesn’t ask for it. 

She accepts that everything she has ever done is going to die. That she will be forgotten, that her people’s home will decay and disintegrate, that nothing she made or anyone she ever loved made will endure. 

She fights the war that comes afterwards (and the movies ALSO mislead like fuck on that: Lothlorien and Rivendell were both under MAJOR siege during the war and a LOT of people died, and that should be even scarier: that Sauron fully felt he had the power to attack not JUST Gondor, but at the same time the Golden Wood, Imladris, the Lonely Mountain … and in all of them come so close to winning that it’s only the Ring’s destruction that saves the world; that’s how strong he was) in order to make sure that this will happen. That exactly the thing that will be the final nail in the coffin - the destruction of the Ring - will come to pass. 

And then goes back to the Undying Lands as an exile returning on sufferance, alone, because Celeborn can’t bring himself to leave yet. 

Elrond’s story is just about as tragic, and the thing is, this is the context of their last acts: throwing themselves at the war, at death, at the destruction of everything they love, because it’s the only chance that the people who come after them will get anything better than brutal slavery to the Enemy. They don’t get to keep shit. Elrond even loses his daughter - permanently, because her soul goes wherever human souls go. He’s already lost his twin brother like that. 

And despite what everyone draws as parallels, Aman isn’t “Heaven”. There’s no guarantee of healing or happiness there. It’s more likely than in Middle-Earth, but Fëanor’s mother effectively died of exhaustion, and even Nienna, one of the Valier herself, lives in permanent shattered mourning for the desecration and suffering of the world. Even as Frodo’s offered the right to go there the wording is always may. 

His wounds and weariness may be healed. Not will be. But may be. 

There’s no guarantee that Celebrien is there waiting for her mother or her husband when they get there: she may still be the wreck she was when she left Middle Earth. There’s no guarantee of anything. 

So it has a lot more in common with Fury Road, and the end of Fury Road - Max having given his all to help someone else win their victory and freedom, and then walking away because he can’t stay - than anything. And that’s pretty heartbreaking. 

@soothseay
Reposted fromlordminx lordminx viaFiriath Firiath

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