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Thread: Harry Potter v/s Lord of the Rings

  1. #46
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Which is better, a Big Mac or Whopper?

    Like minds? I almost posted the exact same question.
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  2. #47
    Moderator Logos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Which is better, a Big Mac or Whopper? Keep in mind, the Big Mac came first, whereas the Whopper is a rip off of it, but on the other hand, the Whopper has different topics, yet a similar flavor, and is thicker (perhaps about 7 to its 3) in terms of patty size.
    Oh man! the Whopper to be sure. It doesn't have all that oily "tartar sauce" goo with green chunks of what the ?? in it, and yeah it's bigger and tastes better, but you musts have the poutine with it too to round out the ultimate carbo coma effect
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  3. #48
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    Okay...Harry Potter does not even come near being Lord of the Rings, not at all!

  4. #49
    L'artiste est morte crisaor's Avatar
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    You're comparing books and hamburguers here, but yes, the Whopper is also much better.
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  5. #50
    Registered User Equality72521's Avatar
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    Lord of the Rings. Hands down. Harry Potter is overrated, in my personal opinion. They're okay at best. But Lord of the Rings...One of the greatest series I've ever read in my life.
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  6. #51
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    Generally, The Lord of the Rings passes the basic criteria for literature: we still read it after all this time, scholars still write about it, and it still gets taught in the classroom.

    Not only does it get taught in specialty classes (I took one during undergrad, specifically on LOTR), but many professors who normally loathe fantasy and teach more traditional classes make a special exception for LOTRs (again anecdotal evidence).

    Most of the scholarship, as I had to read quite a bit for my undergrad class that I took, seems pretty sharp and shows just how rich the work can be at times.

    On the other hand, part of me agrees with JBI in some of his more specific criticisms. Tolkien goes on way too much about the damn trees and the writing can be a little flat. He certainly is no Shakespeare.

    It also proves my point about sub-Canons. As long as a genre called "fantasy" exists, LOTR ain't going anywhere since it's a seminal work of that genre, and I don't think too many people would disagree with that.

    Thus far it's stood the test of time.

    As for Harry Potter's literary status, I think it's still too early to say. I personally really enjoyed the Harry Potter books, they were a lot of fun, the writing was enjoyable and more complex than a great deal of other children's lit being written these days, they were written in a way that both children and adults could appreciate, they have interesting themes dealing with contemporary/eternal issues like racism, friendship, love, fascism, coming-of-age, dealing with power, fame and popularity, and terrorism. They mix traditional mythological/fantastical elements and tropes, with traditional features of the boarding school genre, with World War II allegory, with modern political commentary. The characters felt real and developed with their own particular personalities and issues.

    I think it's hard to compare Potter with Rings. They are very different novels. They might both be fantasy, but they are technically in different sub-genres. Rings is more typical second-world fantasy, while one piece of criticism I read placed Potter in the wainscott genre (basically a sub-genre of fantasy where the events happen in the real world and there is a secret underground society of fantastical creatures that exist alongside and unseen in the real world). They read very different, thematically they are doing very different things, structurally they are very different, the characters are very different (there is a lot more life and vitality, I think, to Potter's characters), and the entire reading experience is pretty much different.
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  7. #52
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Very different kinds of fantasy, though I think one truth carries for both: If you don't immediately love the mythology, you're probably not going to like the books. Tolkien's fantasy never did appeal to me. Some were immediately drawn to the concept of Hobbits and Middle-Earth. To me, LotR seemed like a watered-down bastard of the legitimate ancient myths. Tolkien's writing style also bores me. It's the same pattern: Long descriptions of landscape, long descriptions of historical facts, dialogue/narrative, rinse, repeat. At best his style comes off as Dickens-lite.

    I might simply say that HP's mythology intrigues me more. It's probably because of how differently it's handled. In LotR Tolkien seems constantly weighed down with the gravity that is his fictional world. Rowling, contrarily, seems mystified by her characters, world, and narrative happenings. Everything she writes is written with a kind of wide-eyed sense of wonder and discovery. It also extends to such a wide range of audiences reading them who picks up on her wonder and enjoyment. This extends to the characters, where I think those in HP, as the above poster noted, has more life and vitality. There's almost nothing in LotR, other than race, to distinguish one character from another, and they seem to be merely shadows to advance the plot.

    Tolkien gets the attention of scholars because no one person has ever crafted such an intricate and thorough mythology before. Rowling is ignored because she's simply trying to tell entertaining fantasy stories. Ironically, Tolkien said he was trying to do the same without a hint of allegory or complex themes (which doesn't prevent people from finding what isn't there, of course).

    If pressed, I might could admit that Tolkien's achievement is so extraordinary that, by default, I have to declare LotR the better books. But if allowed to view them subjectively then I enjoy HP much, much more than I do LotR.
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 08-17-2008 at 08:00 PM.
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  8. #53
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalot View Post
    I saw a lot of similarities between the two (keep in mind that I saw both sets of movies)

    Both had weird, hooded, evil creatures (LOTR - Ring Wraiths and HP - Dementors)

    Both had white-haired, wise elders (Gandalf - LOTR and HP - Dumbledore)

    Both had the somewhat unrelunctant hero who just sort of inherited the burden/honor - (LOTR - Frodo and HP - Harry Potter)

    Both had dark lords (LOTR - Sauron and HP - Voldemart)

    Personally, I like LOTR better but I do like Harry Potter
    I haven't followed the Harry Potter series at all, but I did notice some strong similarities between LOTR and the Star Wars franchise:

    Star Wars = Lord of the Rings
    Obi-Wan Kenobi = Gandalf the Grey
    Luke Skywalker = Frodo Baggins
    Han Solo = Strider aka Aragorn
    R2D2 + C3P0 = Merry + Pippin
    Princess Leia Organa = Princess Arwen Undomiel
    Chewbacca = Boromir/Gimli
    Darth Vader = Saruman the White
    The Emperor Palpatine = Sauron
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  9. #54
    trying fiction again
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    Is this thread for real?

    Why do I feel like I'm at Comicon...yet...I'm not. I'm on a McForum.

    My failed commitment to quit forums due to pretentious pointless debates has been long standing, but I think this thread might have driven the final nail in the coffin.

    My advice...forget Big Macs and Whoppers...go eat a Gardenburger. It's more tasty, and better for your soul. Just like real literature.

  10. #55
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mortalterror View Post
    I haven't followed the Harry Potter series at all, but I did notice some strong similarities between LOTR and the Star Wars franchise:

    Star Wars = Lord of the Rings
    Obi-Wan Kenobi = Gandalf the Grey
    Luke Skywalker = Frodo Baggins
    Han Solo = Strider aka Aragorn
    R2D2 + C3P0 = Merry + Pippin
    Princess Leia Organa = Princess Arwen Undomiel
    Chewbacca = Boromir/Gimli
    Darth Vader = Saruman the White
    The Emperor Palpatine = Sauron
    Try doing that with The Nibelungenlied and Lord of The Rings. Or with Virgil and the Homer.

    Either way though, neither Star Wars nor Lord of the Rings are very good literature. This is judging on the first 3 Star Wars movies, if I were to go with the books it would be laughable.

  11. #56
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    Why does one have to be better than the other?
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  12. #57
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Try doing that with The Nibelungenlied and Lord of The Rings. Or with Virgil and the Homer.

    Either way though, neither Star Wars nor Lord of the Rings are very good literature. This is judging on the first 3 Star Wars movies, if I were to go with the books it would be laughable.
    You do realize the Original Star Wars film is considered to be one of the top 100 American films as chosen by both AFI and professional critics from Times Magazine, plus was nominated for an Academy Award in Best Picture.
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  13. #58
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drkshadow03 View Post
    You do realize the Original Star Wars film is considered to be one of the top 100 American films as chosen by both AFI and professional critics from Times Magazine, plus was nominated for an Academy Award in Best Picture.
    Yes, it they are great movies. Did I say they weren't? And Puccini wrote great operas, but his librettos are terrible.

  14. #59
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Yes, it they are great movies. Did I say they weren't?
    Judging films based on literary value is rather pointless. Even Stanley Kubrick noted that the best films tend to have the lightest screenplays because the visual aspect tends not to be written down as in actual literature.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

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  15. #60
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Judging films based on literary value is rather pointless. Even Stanley Kubrick noted that the best films tend to have the lightest screenplays because the visual aspect tends not to be written down as in actual literature.
    Still though, one cannot deny the flimsiness of the writing in Star Wars.

    Either way however, I can agree that Star Wars has some value as a movie, and I think the Lord of the Rings movies have transcended their mediocre book, but the Potter movies, in comparison are complete rubbish, and I have seen a few of them, so I am not judging based on other's opinions.

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