Saturday, October 8, 2022

Easter Eggs Will Not Replicate a Style

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: Easter Eggs Will Not Replicate a Style · Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: A Tintin Fan who cannot accept Hergé's work was admired by Degrelle

There is a video channel that offers breakdowns of the Episodes.

What Episodes? Well, those of The Rings of Power of course.

There is more than one, but the one I am right now looking at, (no, not watching) gives on the caption a count of how many "easter eggs" there are in an episode. 91 for episode 7, it seems.

Even so, quite a lot of fans are claiming "this is so not Tolkien" - and admitted, from what I have seen (not on Netflix itself), the writing is pretty different, way eerier.

Those who, like myself, enjoy both Tolkien's Middle-earth and Narnia will know that these while closer to each other than either is to Netflix, in style, they are pretty different.

Tom Bombadil could make company with Bacchus and Silenus, at a pinch, but the Ring-Bearer and his hobbit friends could not do so with the Pevensies of Prince Caspian.

There is a big difference in moral universe between being involved in a deal with the devil and trying to escape it (like the ring-bearer and like Krabat) and having a vocation to save a king from an usurper (like St. Joan).

Middle-earth is so much closer to That Hideous Strength, if you want a moral or style-wise parallel in C. S. Lewis. I am not speaking of style of prose (that's lost anyway in a film adaptation or TV series except for dialogue), but style of action.

And nevertheless, on a day back in Malmö, when I had re-read LotR (much easier in an apartment with less noise) and Narnia (I have managed even here in the streets of Paris), I could drew up a list of 40 "easter eggs" between the two, not deciding which ones were original to the author and which ones were borrowed from the other.

Ettinsmoor and Etten Moors is one of the examples, the quiet of Fangorn and of the Wood between the Worlds another, and I think that back then I missed the one that Jadis is basically a hypothesis on "Galadriel took the ring" ... I think even her hight matches that of the elves. But her morals doesn't. Galadriel refused to see subjects as just tools for her own enhancement, refused to do anything like saying the Deplorable word and so on. And if Jadis is Galadriel as a baddy, Puddleglum is Gollum as a goody.

The idea that a fan fic (and the Netflix franchise is one, only one contracted with the rights holder of the author) should totally replicate the style of the original is not really realistic. Write a sequel or a prequel to a story, that someone else wrote - you are bound to differ. My (incomplete) Chronicle of Susan Pevensie is different from anything in the Seven Chronicles of Narnia, and it should be. Jean de Meung did not continue Guillaume de Lorris as same style, and George Chapman did not write Christopher Marlowe - at least as far as C. S. Lewis' views on Roman de la Rose and Hero and Leander are concerned.

So, why would writing a prequel be different? The question is, for each who decides to view The Rings of Power - is the gain worth the shock of seeing Tolkien material treated in a non-Tolkien way?

Hans Georg Lundahl
St. Bridget of Vadstena

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