Eddings/High Fantasy (was RE: Wilkins' Tooth (was Re: Introductions))

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 25 00:38:31 EDT 2003

--- minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
Tolkien.... never does provide any explanation as to
how> *anyone* is fed, most of the
> time, and both Sauron and Saruman create places
> where nothing edible could
> grow, and then fill them with slave-armies of hungry
> orcs and half-orcs....

I'd always sort of assumed that the Orcs and whatever
just ate whatever was passing by, or else whoever was
smallest (or perhaps fattest) (I always recall a line
from Sellars & Yeatman [not 1066 possibly in "and now
al this"] to the effect that polar explorers should
choose fat companions as they may have to eat them).
It is possible to find food sources for the hordes in
LOTR it just seems unlikely that there was anyone
there to actually raise the crops or tend the herds.

I once wrote a piece on the ecology of Dungeons and
Dragons. That was a task, with the number of top
predators around, I think I ended up coming to the
conclusion that the stuff subterranean dungeons
existed in was actually edible down to a depth of
about 2 km to provide sufficient biomass for the
bottom of the food pyramid that had so many large
predators at its peak. We also invented some rather
disgusting food habits for trolls, to explain the lack
of excrement.


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