Does Gender Matter?: 3. The Tolkien Online Fanfiction Community: Motivation

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3. The Tolkien Online Fanfiction Community: Motivation

To get a sense of the motivation of the writers within the Tolkien online fanfiction community, I asked “Have you asked yourself what it is about Tolkien’s works that have inspired you to write your own stories? If so, what is your inspiration?” The replies broke down into three main categories: those who loved the depth and complexity of Tolkien’s world, including geography, languages, and the feeling that they were taking active part within a grand mythology; those wanting to write about the “what ifs” and fill in the gaps of time and untold stories of characters, both canon and original; and those others who included having an affinity for a particular race (hobbits and Elves were most often mentioned) or resonating to the transcendent and moral themes of the stories. There was some overlap in response, but in essence the replies were as follows: Of the 62 replies, 22 (36%) were in the Tolkien’s world group, five (8%) were a combination of Tolkien’s world/”what if,” 17 (27%) were “what if”/gap-filling and 18 (29%) were other. The overwhelming reason to write appears to be the sheer density of material contained within Tolkien’s Middle-earth, even to the point that the characters themselves are inspiration for creation of these stories.

    “No doubt it’s the incredible depth and richness of Tolkien’s world - his books span thousands of years and tell so many stories, and hint and allude at so many more. I’d have to say it’s a mix of what he wrote and what he *didn’t* write: there are so many tales only told in brief, asides not fully explained, fascinating characters only “onscreen” for a short time, etcetera - yet he provides enough background information for various time period and cultures that backstories *can* be plausibly developed by enterprising writers.” Vulgarweed

    “I’ve wanted to go to Middle-earth since I first read about it at age 12; by writing stories, I can live there, at least for a while. Tolkien’s work is so rich and complex that it provides a satisfying and believable universe. .. Not ‘real’? Frodo and Sam and all the rest are as real as if they live and breathe beside us.” Nienna Calaquendi

    “I love the high ideals that Tolkien’s characters stand for. It reminds me somewhat of the stereotypical Old West (I am a big cowboy fan). The personalities are so noble and intriguing, I want to explore them and experiment with what Tolkien has given us. Also, as I want to be a professional author myself someday, there is no better way to learn than by imitating the greats!” Ciryatare


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Thevina Finduilas

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/04/04

Original Post: 03/19/03

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