Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: Where the Stars are Strange

Where the Stars are Strange

What, exactly, lies east of Rhûn? Saruman was said to have gone east, waaaay east, but then chose to return. The Blue Wizards went east and never returned. Most of the players in the Ring War went as far as the Sea of Rhûn, but never further. So what lies east of Rhûn? This doesn't need to be epic. In fact, it might be more exciting to give us just a short vignette - a glimpse into this uncharted territory. Something to tantalize us and make us wonder. (Because, as I've always said, Tolkien's genius lies in hinting at much larger, grander things, at making us wonder about all that is unknown.) Here are some things to get your creative juices buzzing: *There are some theories that LOTR is an allegory for World War II. Although Tolkien always denied this, it's interesting to consider the inspirations for his cultures - the Shire as pastoral England, Harad as a North African, perhaps Indian environment. If we continued in that vein, that would mean these unknown eastern cultures resembled Asia. *It was said that Sauron held great sway over the "Men of the East." But how far east did his power go? Does this mean just the Wild Men around Rhûn, the so-called Easterlings, or beyond? As you travel further east, did people even know about the happenings in Middle-earth? *Geographical. Just how big is the continent Middle-earth rests on? Is there a body of water seperating our charted territories from perhaps a much larger landmass (an undiscovered "America")? *Why was there so little contact between the western realms and the east? Was there some sort of limitation to travel or communication? Perhaps, as mentioned above, a body of water, or a desert? *Assuming there was at least some contact, perhaps news of the Ring War and other Epic Events eventually reached these far-off lands. How did the tales change with time and travel? How would these distant realms have interpreted the events? Would they even have believed these stories? Would they have fashioned them into their own moral, folk tales? *Type of cultures. Perhaps there was one dominant culture, such as a powerful realm like Gondor, or perhaps it was a mix of sophisticated cultures and more rural, maybe even aboriginal, societies. It could go either way. *Elves, dwarves, hobbits. Did they go east? So yeah. Tell me about the Far East of Middle-earth. Aeneid P.S. I tried looking through the old challenges to see if this had ever been done, and I saw one somewhat similar nuzgûl regarding Harad and Rhûn, but it seems to be gathering dust.

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

A fascinating topic, Aeneid! I've seen a fair number of fics featuring Harad, but I don't recall seeing any on the Rhun/Far East area. You've come up with some phenomenal prompts for such a challenge (and the title is a wonderful tie). Any takers? ~Allie

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

OK, that certainly bit me. I can't promise that I'll write something on the matter any time soon, but it's worth considering. Love the title, BTW. Werecat

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

*loud swearing and thumping of head against keyboard* With prompts like that, how could I -not- try? Count me in, Aeneid.

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Nice idea, Aeneid! I know Elena Tiriel (Barabara) mentioned over in a Resources thread that she has some notes on Easterlings she's gathering together for a bio entry. So you may want to go and smile sweetly at her and see if she'll move putting that entry together a little higher up the long list of entries she's contributing to the site. (All the researchers deserve our praise and thanks, of course, but Barabara's level of industry continues to amaze and delight me. HASA is very lucky to have her!) Edit: Oops, correction. I've just reread the thread and E.T. said she was thinking about doing an Easterlings entry. The notes were for something else. Sorry. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Great idea, Aeneid! I have been bitten, so you can count me in. CLF

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Ah, wonderful! So we've got Werecat, Noldo and CLF. Also, Allie: can I count myself in the number of pledges? Aeneid

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

I'm pretty sure you can. I've done that before, and it seems like it's all right.

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Indeed you can, Aeneid! You have every right to be bitten by your own nuzgul! One more, just one more brave victi-- volunteer needed... Anyone? ~Allie [edit: Aeneid- SSP this one on HA. I'm sure you can garner one more volunteer from there!]

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

All right Aeneid! You have my pledge!! (Hey - just goes to show that "shameless self-promotion" works!! ;)) I'm not at all sure if my own fits the guidelines (considering I've yet to submit it... ), but I'd love to see what comes out of this!! ~ Elwen

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

*cheers* Go, Aeneid, go! You've got five: yourself, Werecat, Noldo, CLF, and Elwen. Set up a time limit (with such a broad topic, I'd go for 6 months or a year), post it here, and either I or RiverOtter will come through and set it up for you! Always, Allie

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

*cheers* Go, Aeneid, go! You've got five: yourself, Werecat, Noldo, CLF, and Elwen. whimper - six - count me in too! You go into this caravan bar and see that Aragorn is wokring as the bouncer.... you know, the big guy, good with a sword... Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Huzzah! Am entirely pleased! I suppose we should set up a year for this one, as I'd like to give people's imaginations time to ferment. Lahk a fahn wahn, as French!Faramir would say. So, a year sounds good to everyone? Aeneid

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Challenge Manager here - A year so November 30th 2005 sound good? Public or for Members only? Adult or General? RiverOtter

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Yeah, November 30, 2005 sounds fine. Re: Public/Members, Adult/General, isn't that up to each individual author? Either way, I'd say everything should be included - both published and general fics, as well as adult fics. Aeneid

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Tenative wording. Modify if you want. I will post this tomorrow. Where the Stars are Strange What, exactly, lies east of Rhûn? Saruman was said to have gone east, waaaay east, but then chose to return. The Blue Wizards went east and never returned. Most of the players in the Ring War went as far as the Sea of Rhûn, but never further. So what lies east of Rhûn? This doesn't need to be epic. In fact, it might be more exciting to give us just a short vignette - a glimpse into this uncharted territory. Something to tantalize us and make us wonder. (Because, as I've always said, Tolkien's genius lies in hinting at much larger, grander things, at making us wonder about all that is unknown.) Here are some things to get your creative juices buzzing: *There are some theories that LOTR is an allegory for World War II. Although Tolkien always denied this, it's interesting to consider the inspirations for his cultures - the Shire as pastoral England, Harad as a North African, perhaps Indian environment. If we continued in that vein, that would mean these unknown eastern cultures resembled Asia. *It was said that Sauron held great sway over the "Men of the East." But how far east did his power go? Does this mean just the Wild Men around Rhûn, the so-called Easterlings, or beyond? As you travel further east, did people even know about the happenings in Middle-earth? *Geographical. Just how big is the continent Middle-earth rests on? Is there a body of water seperating our charted territories from perhaps a much larger landmass (an undiscovered "America")? *Why was there so little contact between the western realms and the east? Was there some sort of limitation to travel or communication? Perhaps, as mentioned above, a body of water, or a desert? *Assuming there was at least some contact, perhaps news of the Ring War and other Epic Events eventually reached these far-off lands. How did the tales change with time and travel? How would these distant realms have interpreted the events? Would they even have believed these stories? Would they have fashioned them into their own moral, folk tales? *Type of cultures. Perhaps there was one dominant culture, such as a powerful realm like Gondor, or perhaps it was a mix of sophisticated cultures and more rural, maybe even aboriginal, societies. It could go either way. *Elves, dwarves, hobbits. Did they go east? So yeah. Tell me about the Far East of Middle-earth. Ending date is November 30 2005 RiverOtter

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

RiverOtter, That sounds great! I can't wait to see it up. Aeneid

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Added to Challenges River Otter

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

View the challenge here! Aeneid, you can go ahead and create a thread in the Challenges: Story Discussions forum for this one! Always, Allie

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

I know Elena Tiriel (Barbara) mentioned over in a Resources thread that she has some notes on Easterlings she's gathering together for a bio entry. Sorry it took so long, but the Easterlings entry is finally done. (As is a small one for the Variags of Khand.) - Barbara

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Hello, Aeneid! : Like I said, that's one interesting challenge; but there is something I would like to ask, if it's all right with you. I had mentioned to you a story where Rhun would be among the places talked about when I first came to Henneth Annun. Well, I started working on it at last, and Rhun is talked about extensively from the prospective of an Easterling, but only in one, maybe two (depends how it will work out), chapters. What I meant to ask is, is it possible that I can place just those particular chapters up, or does it have to be the whole story? And if it has to be the whole story, will it still qualify for the challenge? I just want to see how the challenge thing works... one of the things that I obviously need to learn fast around here... *eek* Thanks in advance!

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Hey, Beregond! Yes, you may enter an excerpt from a story in a challenge. It must be it's own separate story (technically: your long story is one, and the excerpt is another), and it should stand well on its own. If it doesn't stand well by itself, include a brief synopsis at the beginning, and a link at the end directing the reader to the full story (this could be difficult since the long story might not be public, whereas the excerpt will be once the challenge closes, so if the story is posted publicly elsewhere, ie, ff.net or Stories of Arda, make that the destination of the link). Allie

 

 

Re: Where the Stars are Strange

Hey, Allie! Thank you very much for the clarification, that was quite helpful! Cheers!

 

 

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