The Universe and Everything

An Indictment of Education Systems all over the World: They Don’t Know what Middle Earth is Anymore!


There are ignorant people, and then there are ignorant people. Stupidity is a virtue a plethora of mortals possess and you can’t really do anything about it. A stupid person is like the Venus Flytrap: touch him and he’ll bite! But otherwise, he’ll remain harmless and let you go on about your daily routine. No, what really gets me incensed is the increasing number of people who go on about life without a clue as to what the Lord of the Rings is. Sure, they know it’s a movie and on further prodding may even reluctantly concede to the existence of the books but ask them about the author or the world he created and BAM! It’s Flytrap time. “ERMYGAWD you’re unbelievable, such a nerd!”, “Haha, the hell does Ent mean? Rhymes with Kent. Hey I didn’t know Superman was in the Lord of the Rings!”

… Jesus.

Another example is taken directly from the Big Bang Theory where they address the very same issue. Here’s how the dialogue goes:

Kurt: What are you supposed to be, an elf?

Leonard: No I’m a hobbit.

Kurt: What’s the difference?

Leonard: A hobbit is a mortal Halfling inhabiting Middle Earth while an elf is an immortal tall warrior.

Kurt: So why the hell would you want to be a hobbit?!

… Kill me.

A lot of people think that the Lord of the Rings is only a tale of short people just walking into Mordor and throwing the One Ring into Mount Doom. Yes, because it is that easy to just saunter into Mordor, cross the stairs of Cirith Ungol, casually fart in the general direction of Sauron and his Nazgul and fling the Ring into the abyss while chatting with Gollum about the battle for Helm’s Deep and whether it’ll be a good year for beer or not in the Shire. Nobody appreciates fantasy in literature any more, the great journey that the four hobbits undertake along with Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir and of course, Gandalf the Gray is ridiculed for being too primitive and simplistic (Yes, I can kill these people as well). All the events that befall them are simplified into one sentence by crude people who don’t know what they’re talking about; “But it’s a three part movie about people going from place A to place B!”

… Please kill me. NOW.

And it goes on. Sometimes I do pity such creatures. But then I invoke Bertie Wooster’s incredibly wise words that some people are put in this world to make us more spiritual and I calm down. I think about living in a place like Lothlorien, in Cerin Amroth where “ever bloom the winter flowers in the unfading grass: the yellow elanor and the pale niphredil…” I smile and I forgive. Forgive the world for ridiculing people like me who have fallen in love with fantastical worlds such as Middle Earth, Westeros and a few years back, even Alagaesia. For falling in love with mythical creatures, battles that take place on every alternate page and intrigues and plots to cause the downfall of kings. It’s only human nature and that is all…

6 thoughts on “An Indictment of Education Systems all over the World: They Don’t Know what Middle Earth is Anymore!

  1. I LOVE the Monty Python reference! Further, I can empathize with you on this. I, too, deeply appreciate fantasy in writing, and it irks me when I talk about Game of Thrones (for example) and individuals bombard me with “how good” the show is. I have not seen the show. I do not want to see the show until I finish the books. There is a certain element of imagination one feels in reading the words, and a minute level of detail that is most often missed on screen. And Lord of the Rings??? I cannot have conversations with most people about Lord of the Rings. Unless they are fellow fantasy book lovers, I always seem to wear the same bemused expression on my face and I always feel the need to say to them, “Dude, do you even know who J.R.R. Tolkien is?”

    On an amusing note: if you go to Google maps, click on directions and then click on walking. In A, type in “The Shire” (just The Shire). In B, type in Mordor (just Mordor). Underneath, a little yellow box will come up that says “Use Caution-One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

      Game of Thrones… Where do I even begin? Yes, please read the books before you watch the show (I’ve done both so I know). I’m so glad they made it a show and not a movie or we’d just have ended up with the same disastrous results as, say, Harry Potter. All the minute detailing, which is so intrinsic to G.R.R. Martin’s writing, would’ve been annihilated in one fell swoop.
      The whole problem with today’s world is that nobody reads. Everybody knows about the movies or the TV shows but they have no idea of what the actual author wrote. It’s maddening. I’ve tried to get so many people hooked to Lord of the Rings but honestly, no one gives a damn. They all just look at the size of the book and chicken out. That’s why I now try to give them the three-part version instead of the huge one-part volume. I’ve had better luck with the Hobbit though. But now, because of Peter Jackson’s movies, nobody’s reading that either. So I’ve given up.
      But I’m glad you know what it feels like. Thanks for commenting! Also, I LOVE your blog. You see, I have a penchant for smart-people blogs. 😛

  2. So blessedly true! Somebody once told me that LOTR was too slow and with too many details! I am sure you have heard that too and probably undergone an immediate apoplexy because the very line itself is so fundamentaly wrong! The daft person never realised that Tolkien created an entire universe and that is no small feat! 🙂

  3. I’m glad you understand. I usually don’t take radical stands on issues but this… LOTR is really close to my heart, having read it multiple times to remember all the details, and nowhere did I find it too ‘slow’. Some people just have no patience. But then, it’s all a matter of taste. I literally revere Tolkien as a god for what he’s created. And yes, it is no small feat. To quote the Sunday Times (I think), “The English speaking world is divided into those who have read the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, and those who are going to read them.”

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