What Tolkien Character Would You Want to Interview?

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What Tolkien Character Would You Want to Interview?

Postby Edmund the Scholar » Wed May 23, 2007 9:12 am

When I was a teenage, the big question was always "Of anybody in history, with whom would you want to spend an hour?"

So, let's change that slightly to: Of all Tolkien's characters, which would you like to talk to for an hour?"

We'll assume that if you select somebody like the Balrog, he wouldn't kill you on the spot.

For me, this is a toughie... so many interesting people... but I'd have to select Treebeard. I suspect that he would have some stories to tell. Unfortunately, few of them would come out in only an hour! So maybe he would be a bad choice.

Your thoughts?
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Postby rowanberry » Wed May 23, 2007 9:23 am

As you said, it would be difficult to get much out of Treebeard in just an hour, and another ancient and knowledgeable character, Tom Bombadil, might get a bit annoying. So, I think I'd choose Elrond; he would have an enormous knowledge of what happened in Middle-earth, all the way from the end of the First Age, up to the end of the Third.

And, he could tell something about the two most reasonable sons of Fëanor. :wink:
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Postby Melilot » Wed May 23, 2007 12:58 pm

hmmmm.... the problem here is that you are stipulating an hour.... if I had several days I'd definitely go for Elrond - amazing thought: he really could tell the stories of whole ages, and the stories of both elves and men (which I find important, and therefore I prefer Elrond to Treebeard, Galadriel or Tom Bombadil).

Gandalf would of course also be a good choice, but I assume that we wouldn;t get the (temporarily) talkative and open Gandalf of the few weeks after Sauron fell, so Iassume it would be fun and thoughtprovoking, but perhaps not as informative as it could be :D

But if it is just an hour I think I might go for someone who one can actually talk to a bit more easily, and who still knows a good deal....
A one hour talk can't be about details of ancient lore - but if you have someone you can talk to fairly easily you can get some overall impressions of a character and his/her background, and ask them a few general things. I simply think that Elrond wouldn't be ideal for this.

I think I'd go for Faramir and just try to have a nice chat with him, getting a better sense of my favourite place/culture in LotR (Gondor and Minas Tirith), and also getting to know a man who seems effortlessly admirable without appearing as condescending. :)
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Postby rwhen » Wed May 23, 2007 2:42 pm

I had to think on this Edmond....for reasons that have already been stated. I guess I would have to go knocking on Frodo's door, though I would hope I would get more than an hour out of him. But there are questions I have of that dude. Now the fact that I could get some cheese, bread, pipe weed and a pint for the effort would not be a bad thing either.
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Postby pippinsqueak » Wed May 23, 2007 3:02 pm

I'd like to interview Frodo, across the sea, just to be reassured that he's okay. :cry:
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Postby noela » Thu May 24, 2007 5:16 am

Wow Edmund, you come up with some great threads.
After careful consideration, I think I would like to interview and spend some time with Merry. Book or Movie, he is such a character, it would prove interesting. Especially if we did the interview in the Green Dragon.
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Postby Diamond of Long Cleeve » Thu May 24, 2007 6:23 am

*popping her head in briefly*

Wow, what a great question! :)

Golly, who to pick, who to PICK???!!!

Not Gandalf. He'd just LOOK at you. And smoke. And say annoying enigmatical things.

Not Pippin. He would talk too much about the wrong thing. No, Pip, I don't want to hear about your upcoming engagement to Diamond. I want to hear some HISTORY, stuff about Gondor, yours and Merry's visits to Rohan and Gondor after the War, etc.

Not Bombadil. Goes off on tangents.

Noela, I agree about Merry, he'd be great. :) So many to choose from!

Here are my runners-up:

1. Frodo :heart:

But an hour would not be enough. :cry2:

Oh, and I too would love to know what his life was like in the Undying Lands. Meep. Wibble.

But it would just be a nice, hobbity chat, not an interview ... le sigh.

2. Faramir :heart:

Only an hour?! Waaaaaah! Oh well, he is a married man. :P

3. Celebrian. The untold story.

4. Gil-galad, last High King of the Noldor. The stuff that guy saw over the millenia ... what stories he would have to tell. Besides, he's kinda hot. :twisted:

5. Glorfindel. I would want to know if he's the same Glorfindel wot tangled with a Balrog in the First Age. :D Besides, he's kinda hot. :twisted:

6. Gildor Inglorion. "So dude, why DIDN'T you offer Frodo and his friends more practical help when you KNEW the Nazgul were pursuing them? Huh? HUH??? And I'm not just talking about giving them some miruvor, mate."

7. Tar-Miriel, last Queen of Numenor. I would love to interview someone from Numenor. And she got a raw deal, poor lady.

8. Earnur, the last King of Gondor before the line was broken. Dude went to Minas Morgul and was never seen again. *shudder*

9. Smeagol/Gollum. Well, yeah, he has quite the story to tell!!!! You'd have to interview him when he was in a good mood, of course. ;)

But my number one choice for an hour long interview IS:

Galadriel. She's awesome. She lived through all three Ages and saw the Light of the Two Trees. I mean, wow. All the HISTORY she has seen ... and she could give me the low-down on Feanor.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu May 24, 2007 6:48 am

noela wrote:Wow Edmund, you come up with some great threads.
After careful consideration, I think I would like to interview and spend some time with Merry. Book or Movie, he is such a character, it would prove interesting. Especially if we did the interview in the Green Dragon.


Thanks Noela. Questions are my life.

I think that I am going to change my selection. I don't think that I would get much out of an hour with Treebeard.

How about talkig to somebody "evil"? I mean, I could guess what Frodo or Elrond would say on most things. But I haven't a clue as to what Smaug would say or Sauron. Did they see themselves as "evil" or simply trying to create an order to the world that was different than what the "rebels" wanted?

Sitting down with them would certainly be interesting!
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Postby rwhen » Thu May 24, 2007 9:00 am

Edmond wrote:I mean, I could guess what Frodo or Elrond would say on most things...


I couldn't guess what Elrond could offer someone. He is so old, I would think there is a wealth of information he could shed light on. Like, why when Isuldur had the ring at Mt. Doom, did Elrond not take it from him and toss it at that time? We of course would not have the LotR's if he would have...but I want to hear that. Regards Frodo, I would want a first hand account of what his life was like after he returned from the adventure, he must have felt isolated and lonely. Also, what is life like with the Elves after he sailed away.

But I also like your idea of interviewing the baddies...get their viewpoint.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu May 24, 2007 2:11 pm

Gil-Galad. So I could ask him (wait for it) ... "Who's your daddy!"

Though perhaps he wouldn't be able to answer in an hour. ;)
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Postby Melilot » Thu May 24, 2007 4:32 pm

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:Gil-Galad. So I could ask him (wait for it) ... "Who's your daddy!"

Though perhaps he wouldn't be able to answer in an hour. ;)



LOL.... That's a great idea! :D



If one thinks along those lines it may be an idea to try to interview the balrog that appears in LotR. Doesn't matter if it doesn't say something - as long you can have a good look at it without being attacked perhaos that would be sufficient to work out the great wings question. :D


Otherwise I am amused by Edmund's idea to interview the baddies....

'Melkor: really evil or merely misunderstood?'

'Smaug says that undersized thieves interrutped mutually beneficial co-operation with Lake Town'

'Feanor: why I did it'


Could be good....
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Postby MithLuin » Thu May 24, 2007 4:42 pm

:lol: Voronwë, there are plenty of questions you can ask Gil-galad! He's a complete enigma... That is a really good choice. (Same with Glorfindel).

Oh, and Rwhen, congrats on 5000 posts.

Hmmm, good guys or bad guys? :angeldevil:
I like the stipulation that they can't harm me during the interview. Maybe it's one of those "talk to Hannibal Lector while he's behind bars" type of interviews....

If so, I'd love to hear from Maedhros :D Prior to the Unnumbered Tears, I don't think he's a bad guy. I mean, yes, he's a Kinslayer, but I think he had plenty of time to think about his actions while hanging out on Thangorodrim. So, in the 450-500 years after that, he's not so bad....

But of course it would be most fun to spend an hour hanging out with some hobbits. Frodo would be first on my list, with Merry a close second. I doubt Sam would let me near post-Quest Frodo, after all. If anyone can keep the press at bay, it would be him. But Merry seems very approachable.
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Postby Elflover » Thu May 24, 2007 5:53 pm

I like the idea of talking to Elrond, since he is so knowledgeable in lore. But an hour just isn't enough time! I would walk away from the interview thinking of all the questions I wish I had asked, but didn't.

How about any of the Valar? I think it could give a really good perspective on the world to spend an hour with each of them, but it is hard to single out just one that I would want to talk to. Still, I doubt anyone who has even just been in their presence would walk away unchanged...
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu May 24, 2007 7:27 pm

Why not go right to the top? We could ask Ilúvatar whether Túrin, Fëanor, or even Melkor really had free will to make the choices they made. ;)
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Postby krawler » Thu May 24, 2007 8:08 pm

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:Why not go right to the top? We could ask Ilúvatar whether Túrin, Fëanor, or even Melkor really had free will to make the choices they made. ;)


Oh, now that's cheating! Ilúvatar's residence is completely outside the Halls of Time, so our concept of an 'hour' would have no meaning in an interview with him. ;) Unless, of course, you brought him to you, but he might just end up making the world flat again or something. :D

For myself, I'd want to talk to an elf. Any elf, I suppose. It's just so hard to decide.
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Postby MithLuin » Thu May 24, 2007 8:09 pm

If I get an hour to interview Eru....

...well, I seriously doubt I'll be able to formulate any questions! The lyrics of "I Can Only Imagine" come to mind:

    o/~ "Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
    Will I sing 'Alleluia!', will I be able to speak at all?" o/~
I'm pretty sure the interview would be about the state of my own soul, though, if I did manage to have a conversation ;).


The Valar are slightly more approachable. I am most curious about Námo, Lord of Mandos, but he's probably one of the most intimidating. I wouldn't volunteer to interview him, that's for sure! I think I would be most eager to hear from Ulmo. I've always liked him, and he's a loner. But, still, he's...overwhelming. I wouldn't be the same afterwards. I'd have to wander around seashores singing, or something, and that would be bad, considering my singing voice ;).

So, yeah, I think I'm going to shy away from the divine beings for the moment. Even the good ones scare me. Or, rather, specifically the good ones scare me!
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Postby Elflover » Thu May 24, 2007 10:49 pm

I get the impression from the Silmarillion that the Valar were really supposed to rule Middle Earth, not move away from it. They created it and left, basically, but lots of problems came from that. I want to talk to them why they did that instead of using all their powers to continue bringing good to the world. :(

They make themselves rather unapproachable, but I don't think it was meant to be that way.
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Postby starlin » Fri May 25, 2007 1:29 am

Melian. And actually, I wouldn't talk to her, just spend that hour looking into her eyes, because the deepest things she knew were not possible to put in words. And the sorrow she had, sensing the doom of her only child... Besides, I've always wanted to know what "ligh of Valinor in her face" really looks like :)
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Fri May 25, 2007 3:57 am

Aragorn. He travelled all over Middle-earth and took part in many events prior to LOTR. Particular stories that would be worth hearing would be his experiences in Moria and the Morgul vale. He might not be too willing to talk though. He never struck me as being much of a guy for small talk.

Whereas Bombadil would talk the hind leg off a donkey. Being the First he would clear up a lot of our misconceptions about the Ancient Days. If you look at his song to dispel the Barrow wight, he has an inkling about the end of time too.
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Postby Erumahtar » Fri May 25, 2007 6:40 am

When I read the question the first name that came in my mind was Eru becasue to him time doesn't matter. So I would have all eternity to talk with him :D
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Fri May 25, 2007 6:53 am

Okay, since we are talking to the head honchos... why not talk to Melkor before all the poop hit the fan? I'd like to hear what his real beef was or his plan for Middle Earth.
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Postby Elflover » Fri May 25, 2007 9:27 am

In a way, I think we already do know more about Melkor's motivations than any other Vala. More time is spent on his deeds, both in the Music and in Middle Earth, than on any of the others.

Even if this is a scenario where he was prevented from doing harm, I doubt you could really walk away unscathed. He is known to be a pretty good liar and smoothtalker. What benefit would really come from spending time with the creator of all evil?
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Postby rowanberry » Fri May 25, 2007 11:34 am

The baddies would definitely be interesting to interview, but there's just the danger that, they'd corrupt you too... :P

Of the Valar, Ulmo might be interesting to meet, because he seemed to be kind of a dissident among his kind; he questioned inviting the elves to Valinor in the first place, and didn't abandon the Noldor in exile.
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Postby Overman » Sun May 27, 2007 1:32 pm

I'd be all over the tragic and fallen figures: Feanor, Saruman, Turin, Hurin.
I think my number one choice would be Denethor.
Mithluin, I agree that Maedhros wasn't a wholly bad guy, but wasn't it him at the end that persuaded Maglor to steal the Silmarils? Not quite cured yet, despite his timeout on Thangorodrim.
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Postby Melilot » Mon May 28, 2007 1:59 pm

hmmmm... the Valar remind me too much of ancient gods - you know, the gods of ancient Norse, Greek and even Mesopotamian mythologies. OK. They are less cheeky than the Greek gods, one has to say that....

Anyway - I always found all those characters good for story-telling but I wouldn't want to talk to any of them. I guess the valar are more remote and perhaps less flippant or in the mood for smiting people, but I'd rather not try, to be honest.

And IF they could be convinced to do an interview I bet they'd speak in enigmas and actually wouldn't say much (a bit like ancient oracles).



I think I'd stick to people closer to our own kind - humans, hobbits, halfelven and perhaps and some of the more openminded elves. I would guess communicating with them would be easiest, so the hour would probably be spent in the most productive way.


Tom Bombadil would be a bit of a problem, I'd guess.... he knows so much, but I would assume that he would easily get sidetracked, and that even the most eager questioning would hardly keep him on topic for long. .... Someone who could be expected to forget something as important as keeping the ring is unlikely to stick to interview questions with any rigour - especially if they stray too much from his self-imposed little territory....
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Postby Morwenna » Mon May 28, 2007 9:17 pm

I'd love to sit down with Sam, Merry, and Pippin all together and hear what they all had to say about the War and their travels, corroborating each other and contrasting, filling in all the details the book leaves out and adding all their feelings and reflections, and learn what their families thought of the whole thing especially since they were gone for over a year (whatever did their families think having their young sons missing all that time?).
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Postby basil » Wed May 30, 2007 11:13 am

Boromir, definitely him. Why?

I just empathize with the tragic characters of stories.

Sauron, ETS?

No, I don't think so. There are enough real world versions of him.

:~..~..~:
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu May 31, 2007 8:50 am

basil wrote:
Sauron, ETS?

No, I don't think so. There are enough real world versions of him.

:~..~..~:


Okay... what about interviewing somebody like Nobb or Butterbur? Somebody who wasn't directly involved with the War, but lived through it.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu May 31, 2007 12:58 pm

I think I would like to talk to Beorn... yes I think so.

My reasoning is that he has lived for a very long time so he knows quite a bit. He is old and experienced enough where he would keep most of the bias out of his history, he is intimately familiar with the history of a race and culture that Tolkien never goes into great detail about, and he is related closely enough to man to, I think, understand that time is finite and if I were to say "I only have an hour" he wouldn't waste any time.

Faramir would be fun as well. He also I think would have more unbiased opinion on history.

Ooooo... but what about Sarumaun? If he could be induced to talk straight, he could probably outline the entire culture of Orcs and Goblins, not to mention all the ring lore he would posses. But I think his chairs are rather uncomfortable.

I'd have to stick with Beorn though :P

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Postby here2fore » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:14 pm

As a former journalist, I would go for the brass ring: Sauron

We know much already from the other characters, but little from Sauron himself.
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