February 24, 2021, 06:06:28 PM

Author Topic: Move over game of thrones and lotr  (Read 1416 times)

Offline eclipse

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According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline cupiscent

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 06:53:52 AM »
That's a really good piece, full of great thoughts - and great authors! I particularly enjoyed reading:
Quote
This new generation of authors isn’t trying to demolish fantasy and raise up something else in its place, it is worth pointing out. They adore fantasy. They just feel there is space for a wider range of stories and protagonists.

Yes!

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2020, 08:58:48 AM »
I think it must be the first time I read an article about fantasy in a main-stream newspaper and not cringe!

(since it's the time of the year when they're all doing the 'best books' feature, and even the SFF chapter is 99.9% SF)
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Offline Rostum

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2020, 08:06:02 PM »
HMM lets take a bunch of not overly established writers and give them great big boots to fill. I am not a great fan of the set em up to fail school of journalism.

Offline Skip

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2020, 08:22:10 PM »
The message I took away from the article is that readers are far more varied and more open to new things than are publishers. Having only a handful of gateways, all controlled by white males, gave a narrow stream of work to a wide and diverse audience. That is changing.

How that gets recognized and reported in mainstream press says more about mainstream press than it does about writers or readers.
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Offline Skip

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2020, 08:30:26 PM »
This quote bothered me, though.

"Seeing Arwen confront the Nazgul was such an inspiring moment for me – the first time I had seen a woman do something so powerful in fantasy – but when I went to read that scene in the book, I found a man filling her place.

“That was the first time I realised that fantasy wasn’t always going to love me back, and it put me off reading it for years,..."

At first I thought she had got her facts wrong. Surely she meant Eowyn. But Eowyn *does* confront the Nazgul. Their chief, in fact.  So, she celebrates the one but ignores the other? To the point it put her off reading fantasy for years? Presumably she never actually read LotR, but only looked up that one scene. Or else she had read it, but somehow forgot one of the most memorable scenes in the novel?

Any way I turn that, it comes out screwy. I'm going to blame the reporter and editor, and call it quoting out of context.
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Offline Peat

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2020, 10:35:51 PM »
This quote bothered me, though.

"Seeing Arwen confront the Nazgul was such an inspiring moment for me – the first time I had seen a woman do something so powerful in fantasy – but when I went to read that scene in the book, I found a man filling her place.

“That was the first time I realised that fantasy wasn’t always going to love me back, and it put me off reading it for years,..."

At first I thought she had got her facts wrong. Surely she meant Eowyn. But Eowyn *does* confront the Nazgul. Their chief, in fact.  So, she celebrates the one but ignores the other? To the point it put her off reading fantasy for years? Presumably she never actually read LotR, but only looked up that one scene. Or else she had read it, but somehow forgot one of the most memorable scenes in the novel?

Any way I turn that, it comes out screwy. I'm going to blame the reporter and editor, and call it quoting out of context.

Arwen confronts the Nazgul in the LotR movie, but not in the book, iirc.
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Offline cupiscent

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2020, 01:43:24 AM »
Arwen confronts the Nazgul in the LotR movie, but not in the book, iirc.

Yep. So there's the bit, at the end of that first flight from the Shire to Rivendell, when they reach the river at the Ford of Bruinen and the Black Riders are closing in. In the books, it's... Elrond? Elrond's son? Gandalf?? who calls the river and washes them away. (Killing their horses, only to have them return airborne. They fly now!) In the movie, Arwen makes that desperate dash to the Ford with Frodo on her horse, and calls the river to sweep away the Black Riders.

Offline Neveesandeh

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2020, 10:06:53 AM »
Arwen confronts the Nazgul in the LotR movie, but not in the book, iirc.

Yep. So there's the bit, at the end of that first flight from the Shire to Rivendell, when they reach the river at the Ford of Bruinen and the Black Riders are closing in. In the books, it's... Elrond? Elrond's son? Gandalf?? who calls the river and washes them away. (Killing their horses, only to have them return airborne. They fly now!) In the movie, Arwen makes that desperate dash to the Ford with Frodo on her horse, and calls the river to sweep away the Black Riders.

I think his name was Glorfindel. I'm not sure if he shows up much again.

Offline Skip

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2020, 05:01:56 PM »
I do know about Glorfindel. While he doesn't have many scenes in the novel, he's rather an important and powerful elf. My point was that the person interviewed completely overlooks Eowyn. I'd argue her courage was far greater and more admirable. Arwen was an elf, with all sorts of magical powers. Arwen didn't even actually do anything, except to conjure up Rivendell's natural defenses.

Eowyn, otoh, was a mortal who went toe-to-toe with the Lord of the Nine. She did so not really knowing she had any chance of surviving. All she had was her courage and her determination to protect one small hobbit. Not because he was particularly important, certainly not the bearer of the One Ring, but simply because she had brought him and she had promised to take care of him.

How could anyone looking for female role models in fantasy fail to consider Eowyn? And fail to the extent that she is mortally offended by the gender switch in the movie (how dare the novel not follow the movie!) and was put off reading all fantasy for several years?

Yeesh.

I well realize Eowyn is a trope. Tolkien knew it too; much of his novel is about resurrecting long-lost tropes. But her protrayal is nevertheless deeply moving and not at all superfluous. She deserves better. I can't take seriously an author who, taking a stance as critic of the genre, neglects her.
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Offline Peat

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2020, 05:41:34 PM »
Well I think there's two things here.

One is that Arwen's scene and non-scene take place in Fellowship. If the person in question put down LotR as a result of this disappointment, they won't have got to Eowyn's in-book heroism, so it would kinda have been irrelevant. Which seems to be what happened.

Two is that this isn't an author giving their considered scholarly criticism about the genre and the books. This is an author recounting their (presumably youthful) kneejerk disappointment as a fan and what that encounter says about how people have interacted with the genre. Embellishing on that moment, or including qualifiers, would be dishonest.

And while I'll admit I'm a bit "Well couldn't you have just gone online/to a library and discover Alanna and Jill and Susan Sto Helit and Talia" and so on, it would be very hypocritical of me to say someone's emotional sense of being discouraged and wanting nothing more to do with something is a controllable mistake. So I won't. I wish people weren't like this, but we are.
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Offline Rostum

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2020, 07:20:15 PM »
Colour me cynical but this smacks of the buoyed up enthusiasm of someone with no real interest and a deadline to meet.

Offline Neveesandeh

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2020, 05:23:42 PM »
I do know about Glorfindel. While he doesn't have many scenes in the novel, he's rather an important and powerful elf. My point was that the person interviewed completely overlooks Eowyn. I'd argue her courage was far greater and more admirable. Arwen was an elf, with all sorts of magical powers. Arwen didn't even actually do anything, except to conjure up Rivendell's natural defenses.

Eowyn, otoh, was a mortal who went toe-to-toe with the Lord of the Nine. She did so not really knowing she had any chance of surviving. All she had was her courage and her determination to protect one small hobbit. Not because he was particularly important, certainly not the bearer of the One Ring, but simply because she had brought him and she had promised to take care of him.

How could anyone looking for female role models in fantasy fail to consider Eowyn? And fail to the extent that she is mortally offended by the gender switch in the movie (how dare the novel not follow the movie!) and was put off reading all fantasy for several years?

Yeesh.

I well realize Eowyn is a trope. Tolkien knew it too; much of his novel is about resurrecting long-lost tropes. But her protrayal is nevertheless deeply moving and not at all superfluous. She deserves better. I can't take seriously an author who, taking a stance as critic of the genre, neglects her.

Actually, that is a fair point.

Offline cupiscent

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2020, 10:10:21 PM »
I agree with @Peat here. A reader is allowed to be disappointed because something that resonated wildly with her in the movie isn't there at all in the books. Yes, Eowyn is a fantastic character. Yes, I always loved her, from the first time I read the books at thirteen right up through my absolute fave Miranda Otto doing so wonderfully in the role. But for Samantha Shannon, Arwen resonated - a different sort of female character, doing a different sort of thing. Maybe, for her, what was amazing wasn't the "woman standing up and doing the male job" but the idea of a woman being in command of amazing forces of magic. That's FINE. That's her own thing.

She wasn't "looking for female role models in Lord of the Rings". She was having an emotional reaction to experiencing the story. She's allowed to do that. It's the entire point of stories.

Also, none of that changes the mildly outrageous fact that there are a couple dozen named male characters doing different things in different ways in the Lord of the Rings, but we're saying, "Why is she complaining about that woman not doing stuff? There's A WHOLE OTHER WOMAN DOING STUFF." Seriously? Don't complain, there's another one? Gosh.

Sorry, I'm really not wanting to jump down anyone's throat here, but this entire thing is exactly why Shannon went, "I want to write fantasy fiction with lots of women." And more power to her. I love Eowyn, but I still want to write (and read!) fantasy fiction with lots of women.

Offline Bender

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Re: Move over game of thrones and lotr
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2020, 04:22:56 AM »
Leaving obvious sexism in industry aside, is racism really an equally big of an issue? There was an article about Sanderson in papers recently where he mentions how he got depressed with failures to get published and pushed through it before landing a deal.

Even in SPFBO I recall Mark making posts on how women authors are getting featured more prominently in later rounds, but I don't recall anything on authors of color.

Note: I'm not denying racism, but just saying I don't recall much on that aspect.
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