: fantasy monarchies

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 3 15:30:40 EST 2003


--- Margaret Ball <margaret at onr.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >Even in the
> >middle ages monarchs weren't really absolute -
> think
> >of the fun Sauron would have had if the Parliament
> of
> >Orcs had refused to allow him to raise an army or
> if
> >the Council of Nazgul had said that they wouldn't
> go
> >off unless he signed a Great Charter guaranteeing
> the
> >autonomy of their own rings.
> >
> I like that. Would've made a different but possibly
> more interesting book!
> 
> To be fair, though, I've always believed Tolkien had
> the events of WWII 
> in mind when he was writing these books (he denied
> this, but how could 
> he NOT be thinking about it, for heaven's sake) and
> I don't believe the 
> Reichstag ever voted down anything Hitler wanted.

I fully accept that LOTR has to be way it is to work,
and that it reflects JRRT's beliefs on the nature of
Good and Evil, but those books appeared almost 50
years ago!! Why is everyone still doing the same
thing? Tad Williams in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn
deliberately used the structure of LOTR to explore a
different take on Evil, but he still has monarchies
everywhere and a Hidden Heir who Rights Wrongs and
Heals the Land (all OMTs). DWJ is well aware of the
problems but even she hasn't had a serious attempt at
solving them. Where fantasy books have governments
that aren't absolute monarchies they tend to be set in
worlds that are close analogies of our own (eg the
world of the Chrestomanci)
Got to go to work now, more later - perhaps- if i get
this train of thought back.

Jon


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