Saturday, April 23, 2011


In King Arthur, many friendships end in wars between friends or with one friend killing another friend. Lancelot kills Sir Gareth (unknowingly) and Sir Gawain (indirectly). Lancelot and Arthur must fight. Round Table knights must fight Round Table knights. Most of these friendships are broken because of feelings of revenge (Gawain avenging Gareth), losing reputation (Arthur cannot let Lancelot get away with sleeping with his queen after a big scene has been made), or just plain stupidity (overreacting to situations because the characters have no common sense). I feel like friendship is much more meaningful in Tolkien’s works. Turin accidentally kills his best friend Beleg, but it is not like Beleg was provoking him as Sir Gawain was to Lancelot. True friendship examples: Frodo and Sam, Legolas and Gimli (and Aragorn), Merry and Pippin, etc. Unlike in King Arthur, most friendships actually stick in Tolkien’s works. Revenge, a lack of reasonability, and reputation are not as important as friendship in Tolkien’s works. Take Legolas and Gimli for example: 1. Legolas doesn’t try to kill Gimli to avenge the Elves because dwarves (in general) woke up the Balrog. 2. They make reasonable decisions obviously 3. They don’t care what other elves or dwarves, trees, etc think about their friendship (reputation is irrelevant).

These three things that break friendships in King Arthur (can you think of more friendship breakers?) are viewed as irrelevant in Tolkien’s works. Tolkien is refuting what is important in King Arthur and suggesting importance in the exact opposite (friendship).

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