Friday, March 11, 2011


Why did Tolkien create the multiple-step ending? Perhaps Tolkien wanted to show how drastic the hobbits transformed relative to the hobbits who remain in the Shire. Maybe Tolkien decided to do this multiple step ending for its novelty (or both). Tolkien creates novelty by adding maps, portraying uncommon endings with multiple climaxes and resolutions, switching the outcomes of the epic and fairy tale characters, and essentially creating his own fantasy writing rules in the process. Did Tolkien write the multiple-step ending for the same reason (novelty) that he does in these instances?

When people read about “sub-created” worlds, some people (like me) tend to think that many of these fictions only piggy back off of a great work like Lord of the Rings; thus, they are just not as good. Even though many works are similar to LOTR, it just lacks that novelty (we have already seen it before). Did Tolkien do so many unique things just for the novelty of it? Is that why LOTR rose in popularity to achieve greatness? Or did Tolkien just do this simply because he wanted too (no additional reasoning)?

Secondly, why did Tolkien make the ending so long? Did he also do this because it was new and innovative?

Many great works are great because they are the first of the kind and have never been seen much before. Is novelty Tolkien’s motivation beyond the multiple-step (and long) endings and other unique Tolkien additions? Are the benefits like exaggerating transformations and the fear of ending too quickly just bonuses?

1 comment:

Luthien said...

I'm more inclined to believe that Tolkien wrote LOTR as part of a larger history - the history of Middle-earth - and so wrote a longer, multi-step ending to suit that historical genre (like, it's a story that keeps on going - history never stops, does it?). His writings (of course) ended up being original, but I don't think that was necessarily his conscious intention. Tolkien says that he wrote LOTR and other stories out of his invented languages (as seen in the group presentation on languages), so I feel like he kind of just kept going with the story and languages and ended up creating something new and original without consciously meaning to.