Top 5 List: Dumbest LOTR/Silmarillion fanfic cliches
Written by Jon Szuhai Thursday, 29 July 2010 14:05
I'm a huge fan of Tolkien's legendarium, which is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and all the other works of J.R.R. Tolkien regarding Middle-earth (i.e. The Children of Hurin, Unfinished Tales, etc.). And thus the name of the "series"/"franchise" is called the Tolkien legendarium, not Lord of the Rings, which is just one story in the collection of Middle-earth related works written by Mr. Tolkien.
Anyway, as a fan of Tolkien's work, I'm extremely sensitive when I see someone tread over the source material and butcher it in an ignorant manner, which i commonly see happen again, again, and again in fanfiction. I'm not saying i have a problem with people writing LOTR fanfiction; I just don't like how most of them do it, though. This is the Top 5 Dumbest Lord of the Rings/Silmarillion (but mostly LOTR) fanfic cliches, where I list the most annoying, putrid, and simply god-awful plot elements and themes that fanfic writers continue to use when writing Lord of the Rings fanfics:
#5: The Tenth Walker
It seems that anyone can join the Fellowship of the Ring nowadays! For god's sake! The Fellowship of the Ring is supposed to be a secret group of hand-picked, professional individuals, each with their own unique skills, who were intended to travel in secrecy from Rivendell to Mordor.
Not only that, but there's supposed to be only nine members, to match against the Nine Riders of Sauron. Either way, Wouldn't you think having a tenth person in the Fellowship would not only defeat the purpose, but draw alot of attention from the Enemy as well?! Not to mention, just because the O.C. knows one of the Nine Walkers doesn't mean he/she should be in the Fellowship; Gandalf, I think, said it best: "This is a serious journey, not a Hobbit walking-party!".
Now, you may argue that Sam, Merry, and Pippin got into the Fellowship because they were companions of Frodo, but two things: They're already established characters, and the limit hadn't exceeded.
If you want a O.C./Fellowship story, then put the O.C. in an "auxilary fellowship" like Berethor's group in the video game The Third Age.
#4: Certain Crossovers
Why the fuck are there so many crossover fanfics with Harry Potter, The Inheritence Cycle, and Narnia? those, with LOTR, are four completely different realities!
Not to mention, why is it automatically the main characters (that is, heroes and villains) of both series that cross over, and never either:
the main characters of one series and the minor characters of another (i.e. Brom from Eragon being a guest at the Prancing Pony Inn), or simply minor characters from both series (i.e. The fox from Narnia meeting the fox in The Lord of the Rings)? And it doesn't have to have a major villain in it. It could either be a minor villain, or an original villain that would fit in with the estabished material.
And why is it always a "portal" that magically bring the characters into the other series for no reason that is considered immediately logical? I know these are all fantasy stories, and thus involve magic, but explain, author! EXPLAIN!!!!!!
#3: Melkor/Sauron returning in the Fourth Age
God-Dammit! Sauron is dead! Tolkien said so himself! And Melkor is in the Void and he won't return to wreak havoc upon Middle-earth until the Dagor Dagorath (Last Battle). Besides, we don't need another damned rehash of The Silmarillion or The Lord of the Rings on our minds! If you wanna be creative, either make Ungoliant from The Silmarillion the next villain (her fate is currently unknown; could still be alive, and she's one of the most evil villains in the entirety of Tolkien's legendarium, close even to those two Dark Lords that people just love to talk about!) or make a villain up yourself. Just make it reasonable and possible by the standards of Tolkien's work.)
#2: Over-used and abused Slash Pairings (and choices in non-slash pairings)
Who'da thought so many fanfic writers would be so interested in slash pairings in fanfics of Tolkien's work? (half-sarcasm)
I'm not saying that slash pairings are a bad idea, but i just think there just done to death sooooooooo much, that it just gets so damn boring! I haven't seen too many fanfics for the established/ implied romances or possible heterosexual pairings. I see Melkor/Sauron, Sauron/Aragorn, Frodo/Sam, Legolas/(take your pick!), but not one fanfic writer has done a certain non-slash I've been dying to see: Melkor/Ungoliant. Why is it in the Sundering Sea of Schlock that is fanfic that I have yet to see a Melkor/Ungoliant pairing in a fanfic that actually goes beyond that common partnership that they had in The Silmarillion?!?!
You may say "they hated each other, and thus it would be difficult for them to love each other.", but how do you explain the slash pairings between the heroes and the villains? You may also think "But Ungoliant is a spider! Wouldn't that be bestiality? that's disgusting!", to which i say: "Ungoliant isn't a fucking spider! She's a demon whose form resembles a spider, which also applies to her daughter, Shelob in LOTR. Plus Melkor's the fucking Devil of this legendarium!"
And Ungoliant is one of the only two female villains that appear in The Silmarillion (the other being the vampire messenger of Sauron, Thuringwethil, but she's a minor character that's barely mentioned), and the only female character that is closely associated with Melkor that isn't allied with/among the Valar. Bottom line: Somebody do that pairing (that, or Sauron/Shelob)! I mean, come on: Spider-demons need love, too!
And now, THE BIG ONE *drumroll*
#1: Mary Sue/Girl in Middle-earth
Stop this shit, goddammit! fanfic writers are raping and butchering the image of the whole legendarium by doing this! Keep the Mary Sues out!
For fuck's sake, there's only room for one "Sue" in the legendarium, and that Sue in question is a Canon Sue: Luthien Tinuviel, the elven wife of the man Beren in The Silmarillion. But that's not just any Canon Sue, because Beren and Luthien are actually the respective Author Avatars of Tolkien and his wife! Hell, the names of those characters even went on their gravestones!
So, fanfic writers, fuck you for trying to put another Sue in the legendarium! You instantly lose all credit for doing this. Also, why are there always these "girl in Middle-earth" fanfics everywhere? why isn't it ever an "adult in Middle-earth" or a "boy in Middle-earth"? I know the saying goes "Most Fanfic Writers are Female" but it doesn't mean the O.C. from the modern world has to be female and a teenager!
And they don't have to be all-fucking-powerful, either! Balance their strengths with their weaknesses, damn you! If Tolkien intended to have such a powerful/beautiful character roam Arda, he would've introduced such an individual himself, and he did! If i wanted to see a Mary Sue-esque character in a Tolkien story, I'd read "The Tale of Tinuviel" in The Silmarillion, thank you very much!
That's the list. And i'll end it with this sentence:
Any idea can be good, if it's done right.