potatoes

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potatoes

Postby redrobot » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:41 pm

the women of helms deep are sorting thro baskets of potatoes. the presence of this vegetable is inconsistent with any claim that the LOTR is an ancient english mythology (something that seems unworkable anyhow) as ancient english did not have potatoes.

continuity error number 2 for me?
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Re: potatoes

Postby heliona » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:36 am

Well, it is a film. An adaptation of the books. You could pull up lots of things. What about tomatoes, for instance? They shouldn't be there, either.

Regarding it being a English mythology, that is what Tolkien wanted it to be. Think of that what you will, but please stop thinking about the films, and thinking that they are what Tolkien imagined. Read the books and the world mythology that he created.

If you're looking for continuity errors, then there are lists and lists of them.

(Incidentally, having potatoes in something where they perhaps shouldn't be is not a continuity error, it is an inaccuracy. A continuity error is where there is something inconsistent throughout a film, such as the level of a drink in someone's glass varying.)
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Re: potatoes

Postby redrobot » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:02 pm

You could pull up lots of things


let's do that.

youre right, i shd stop confusing tolkien with jackson's interpretation.

inaccuracies / continuity errors... once you start looking, it's difficult to stop
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Re: potatoes

Postby Frelga » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:34 am

You can't blame potatoes on PJ.

'... Sméagol won't grub for roots and carrotses and - taters. What's taters, precious, eh, what's taters?'

'Po-ta-toes,' said Sam. 'The Gaffer's delight, and rare good ballast for an empty belly. But you won't find any, so you needn't look. But be good Sméagol and fetch me some herbs, and I'll think better of you. What's more, if you turn over a new leaf, and keep it turned, I'll cook you some taters one of these days. I will: fried fish and chips served by S. Gamgee. You couldn't say no to that.'

'Yes, yes we could. Spoiling nice fish, scorching it. Give me fish now, and keep nassty chips!'

'Oh, you're hopeless,' said Sam. 'Go to sleep!
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Re: potatoes

Postby redrobot » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:52 am

what can men do against such reckless hate of animals
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Re: potatoes

Postby BillBo » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:59 am

Tolkien included potatoes in his book so it's reasonable for them to be included in the film.
Perhaps Tolkien used the the familiar word potato to describe a similar root vegetable that is unique to Middle Earth.

By the way, Tolkien did not write Lord of the Rings as a mythology for England.
He wrote that he had set out to write such a mythology but what seems to have been forgotten is that, in the same sentence,
he said that he had quickly dropped the idea, calling it "nonsense".
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Re: potatoes

Postby redrobot » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:27 pm

Perhaps Tolkien used the the familiar word potato to describe a similar root vegetable


so much for JRRT being a language expert. did he call bears 'catfish' as well?
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Re: potatoes

Postby Frelga » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:14 pm

redrobot wrote:
Perhaps Tolkien used the the familiar word potato to describe a similar root vegetable


so much for JRRT being a language expert. did he call bears 'catfish' as well?


* gets a flashback of that dude on Twitter who told the Pope to read the bible *

Tolkien wrote the books in a way that was meant to represent a translation from the original text of the Red Book of Westmarch from a fictional language referred to in the books as Westron. Because the Red Book is meant to have been written by a Hobbit, the terms used by Hobbits are most likely to be "translated" with commonplace English words, while terms that are strange to the Hobbits are often left untranslated. So the super-strong metal is mithril but whatever root Sam is cooking is just a potato.

Similarly, Hobbit names are "translated" to sound familiar. Tolkien notes that the Westron form of Sam's name is Banazîr Galbasi, where Banazîr translates into "halfwise" or "simple". That comes out as Samwise in English, and allows Tolkien to use a familiar (to English readers) name of Sam.
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Re: potatoes

Postby redrobot » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:45 pm

bear / catfish / catfish / bear... when does a word not describe the thing it refers to..? in hobbit land of course. the vegetables in question are not refrerred to as potatoes in the scene i mentioned (helm's deep) they just look like potatoes. the naming is mine. i say potatoes wd not have been present in a society / mythology based on pre elizabethan england as has been claimed elsewhere on this forum.
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Re: potatoes

Postby wilko185 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:12 pm

This is really the wrong forum to discuss the books. But as pointed out above, potatoes are mentioned throught the book, and seem in every respect to be the vegetable with which we are familiar. The first edition of The Hobbit also included the New World import tomatoes, though I think Tolkien later edited that to "pickles", presumably because he felt either the word or the thing had just too much the wrong flavour for his setting. Then we have "pipe-weed", also sometimes called "tobacco" in the text, which the LOTR Prologue refers to as a "variety probably of Nicotiana", thus nailing it down as the New World plant.

If Middle-earth was meant to be explicitly set in a pre-Elizabethan world then yes, these New World intrusions would be out of place. But then, what are we to make of the Victorian manners of the hobbits (clocks on mantelpieces!). Really, the whole thing is a smorgasbord of influences. We've recently referred in other threads to the "medieval" setting, but at the same time it is also evidently pre-Christian. And also modern.

[And I ask you, what about the giant spiders? I tend to think that giant spiders eating the local populace would have raised more eyebrows in pre-Elizabethan England than would some unusual vegetables, but no one ever seems to call them out for being "out of place". I mean, how inauthentic ... Tolkien might as well just descend into outright "fantasy" when he starts writing about giant spiders *grumble*.]
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Re: potatoes

Postby redrobot » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:24 pm

at the same time it is also evidently pre-Christian


no. that assumes that in the






at the same time it is also evidently pre-Christian


not sure this is true. in the mythology timeline there is no suggestion that christianity wd happen subsequent to what we know. in the writing of the text timeline it obviously has happened not least given that JRRT was a staunch catholic.
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Re: potatoes

Postby wilko185 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:39 am

To put it simply, if a "deeply" Christian author writes about a historical time which contains no overt Christianity, might we not assume it is a pre-Christian setting? Just regarding the setting, I am going to quote the author:
In Letter #211 (1958), Tolkien wrote:May I say that all this is 'mythical', and not any kind of new religion or vision. As far as I know it is merely an imaginative invention, to express, in the only way I can, some of my (dim) apprehensions of the world. All I can say is that, if it were 'history', it would be difficult to fit the lands and events (or 'cultures') into such evidence as we possess, archaeological or geological, concerning the nearer or remoter part of what is now called Europe; though the Shire, for instance, is expressly stated to have been in this region (I p. 12). I could have fitted things in with greater versimilitude, if the story had not become too far developed, before the question ever occurred to me. I doubt if there would have been much gain; and I hope the, evidently long but undefined, gap* in time between the Fall of Barad-dûr and our Days is sufficient for 'literary credibility', even for readers acquainted with what is known or surmised of 'pre-history'.

I have, I suppose, constructed an imaginary time, but kept my feet on my own mother-earth for place. I prefer that to the contemporary mode of seeking remote globes in 'space'. [...]

* I imagine the gap to be about 6000 years : that is we are now at the end of the Fifth Age, if the Ages were of about the same length as S.A. and T.A. But they have, I think, quickened; and I imagine we are actually at the end of the Sixth Age, or in the Seventh.

Of course, this was written after the fact, and isn't obvious from the text of the book, never mind the film.
redrobot wrote:in the mythology timeline there is no suggestion that christianity wd happen subsequent to what we know

Many readers do detect a prefiguring of Christianity in the story, which is an effect Tolkien was aiming for (one little essay at random to illustrate).
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Re: potatoes

Postby White Shadow » Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:53 am

This topic has become much more of a book topic than a movies one, so I am moving into the Books (Tolkien) forum.

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Re: potatoes

Postby Denethor » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:48 pm

The potatoes (and pipe-weed) thing can be explained via some clever footwork. Namely that the Middle-earth strains died out at some point between the story and recorded history, and had to be reintroduced via the New World.

But yes, complaining about that particular anachronism when you've got umbrellas is a bit silly.

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