Re: Tolkienisms; WestQuest

From: Nick Brooke <>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 04:19:58 -0500

Allen Wallace writes:

> About -Tolkeinisms-

> I think it is rude and innapropriate to trash on Tolkein's work
> because of the pathetic way a game designer who did a bad and
> unauthorized job of portraying them. Tolkein did an amazing job
> at creating an internally consistant and rich world. Most of
> modern high fantasy, including Glorantha, have at least had some
> inspiration from Middle Earth.

The objection is to the "isms", not to the source, in my case at least. Good ol' J.R.R.T. worked wonders to build *his own* "internally consistent  and rich world"; lesser lights (including all too many authors of "modern high fantasy") have ripped bleeding chunks out of it to slap into their own cobbled-together creations. While this is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn't convey much respect for the original author. (NB: I write as a co-founder of the Oxford Tolkien Society, and have plenty of time for Tolkien's work in his own world. I hate finding it cropping up everywhere else, is all!).

Lonely Dryads

Non-Gloranthan: the Altar Yggo in "Snow King's Bride" (SoloQuest 3). Too good to lose, IMO.

Joerg on my Nameless Western HeroQuest Entities:

> This approach may as well be a reaction to the concourse with demons
> (deities) the Jrusteli inherited from the Arkati. Sort of a return to
> the Return of Rightness which gave the early Jrusteli crusaders their
> moral superiority over the Arkati.

Yep, that's so. And a further distancing of modern, monotheist mainstream  Malkionism from the henotheism, pantheism, stygian aberrations, etc. of the past. Nowadays, a Good Malkioni doesn't know the names of any "gods" or "demons" or "unclean spirits" -- where a good Malkioni of the First or Second Ages would have known loads of them, IMO.

>> The intent is that modern western HGing takes on a rather Arthurian
>> model, full of mysterious women at forks in the road, strange beasts,
>> mysterious castles ruled by knight referred to only by their appear-
>> ance (the Red Knight), etc.

> And why is this necessarily a post-God Learner attitude only?

The God Learners demonstrated the danger of naming, identifying and reinforcing the power of otherworldly entities. The post-God Learner reaction, therefore, is consciously to eschew doing so. The relevant article, "Western HeroQuesting", is on my homepage:



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