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Thread: The Hobbit, vegetarianism, and the cult of inn page 3

  1. #21
    Alex Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithpowers View Post
    From the Grimnismal:
    They [the Einherjar] feast from Shrmnir (here described as a boar), and that this beast is cooked every day and is again whole every night.

    Pork was fed to the chosen warriors... Greedy and Ravenous (Geri and Freki) were fed "Ygg's Barley" which was a poetic kenning for the bodies of the slain.
    Ygg=Odin. Barley=fermentation. I know there is no barley in wine but perhaps Odin is a blood drinker?

    Also Beorn always made me think of Bodvar Bjarki, if only for the bear thing.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

  2. #22
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    Well ... We've all had fun with that.

    Here's something else loosely related and with a seasonal twist.

    Interesting piece on the folkloric roots of Father Christmas.

    What I hadn't known was that Odin was one of the roots. Pre-eminently a god of strife, lord of the slain, father of the valkyrjur, cultic god of berserkers & shape-shifters, untrustworthy & a breaker of promises. Imagine him coming down the chimney!

    Who Is Father Christmas?

    Tolkien apparently preferred to speak of Father Christmas than of Santa Claus. The latter is much newer and far more debased. The red livery seems to go back only to the 1930s and to have been a move by the Coca-Cola company, whose product uses red. He may appear in red before this date, but it's certainly not a given.

    Coca-Cola!! It's enough to disgust any self-respecting primal. Time the iconography of Christmas was reclaimed from the ad-men.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Good View Post
    Ygg=Odin. Barley=fermentation. I know there is no barley in wine but perhaps Odin is a blood drinker?

    Also Beorn always made me think of Bodvar Bjarki, if only for the bear thing.
    If you look at the traditional methods of threshing and gathering the grains, the beating of the sheafs of wheat/barley/oats was usually done on a flat area with a hard floor (packed dirt, stone, etc), and the scattered grains were as bodies on the battlefield, hence "Ygg's barley". Odin drinks mead... not blood. That's a Christian convention.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithpowers View Post
    Odin drinks mead... not blood.
    inn drank the mead of inspiration (and, yes, Alex, that had been made from Kvasir's blood), but I don't know that mead is usually thought of as his drink.

    One poem at least -- it slips my mind which -- has it that he drinks only wine. That would hardly be surprising: wine is what the noble couple drink in the Rgsula.

    Wine is for nobles -- and the "old and wise". Maybe that's why Mark drinks it. LOL.
    Last edited by Lewis; 12-03-2012 at 10:13 AM.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    What I hadn't known was that Odin was one of the roots. Pre-eminently a god of strife, lord of the slain, father of the valkyrjur, cultic god of berserkers & shape-shifters, untrustworthy & a breaker of promises. Imagine him coming down the chimney!
    From what I've read of him most of those chimneys he came down would've been unwilling. Oh and I've read that about the wine as well.

    Keith: I wasn't basing my guess on christian folklore. I was just connecting barley to fermentation and bodies to blood.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

  6. #26
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    From what I've read of him most of those chimneys he came down would've been unwilling.
    I thought he had spells for that.

  7. #27
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    Keith: I wasn't basing my guess on christian folklore.
    Folklore? I assumed he meant the communion wine -- which was, of course, understood to be also blood in some sense.

    But blood understood in some sacramental sense is hardly uniquely Christian. See for example Psalm 50, which is not, of course, originally a Christian document, and in which the psalmist takes a somewhat sceptical view of Yahweh's hunger -- something his contemporaries presumably wouldn't have.

    I think one can pretty much take to the bank that many early peoples saw the blood as a particularly efficacious part of sacrifice, and many may also have believed that the gods drank it.

    Did anyone in Dark Age Scandinavia believe anything of the sort. I don't know, and I think it would be difficult to determine now.

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    I wouldn't be surprised if Beorn the shapeshifter was vegan. After all, if he wasn't, then no matter what meat he ate, he would have been cannibalistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grok View Post
    It wasn't a commentary on anything, Tolkien made it clear that there was no allegory in the LOTR, it's all explained in the forward or introduction or something.
    It is believed that Tolkien was referring to specific analogies dreamed up by the idealistic soul-searching hippies in the 60's, which is when the books became popular. Readers made unrealistic one-on-one comparisons, like the Ring is a nuclear bomb, Sauron is Satan, Saruman is Hitler trying to make a perfect race of Orc. I don't know if they got as far as Frodo being Christ. The Forward was written as an answer to those allegories.

    Tolkien's themes of good vs. evil and destroying of nature are broader, older, were intended.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxide View Post
    It is believed that Tolkien was referring to specific analogies dreamed up by the idealistic soul-searching hippies in the 60's
    "It is believed" !! ROTFL

    Believed by whom? That would be quite difficult. In the first place, he started writing his material decades before that. In the second place, he wasn't a "hippy" but an Oxford University philologist with no interest in avoiding work or taking drugs.

    I think "not an allegory" begs quite a few questions. If that's to mean "isn't meant to be read as though it were some kind of obfuscated equation -- this "stands for" that and so on" ... by all means. But then that isn't what allegory does anyway. If that were what allegory did, there would be no point in it.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    "It is believed" !! ROTFL

    Believed by whom? That would be quite difficult. In the first place, he started writing his material decades before that. In the second place, he wasn't a "hippy" but an Oxford University philologist with no interest in avoiding work or taking drugs.
    If I recall, JRR wrote an introduction for the second edition of LoTR, decades after the books were written. A quote, attributed to that introduction but of unknown providence since my copies are, wait, I don't have a copy...goes: "It is neither allegorical nor topical.... I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence." -- J.R.R. Tolkien

    That seems pretty clear that he was denying any allegory. That doesn't mean someone couldn't read meaning into it, or that he didn't have some subconscious thoughts shaping the story he told - all art contains that, and it isn't necessarily allegory even though it can be interpreted allegorically - but either any 'whom' in answer to your question is wrong or JRR was lying.
    Last edited by Him; 12-04-2012 at 01:32 PM.

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