Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 15 Jeopardy!

For our last week this semester, we played Lord of the Rings Jeopardy!

We missed the Claridges, Corbin and Jared.

The teams were:
Team 1 Adam vs
Team 2 Noah, Emmalyn, Elliot and Katie.

They were pretty well matched, at 6600 and 6700 when we went into final Jeopardy.   My final Jeopardy question could have accepted Adam's answer, but we were pretty much out of time. Team 1 Adam wagered 6000, and Team 2 wagered 100.

It was this:

Answer:  It is what Tolkien says that this tale is mainly concerned with.

Question:  What is death and immortality?

I got it from this quote:  
                                "But I should say, if asked, the tale is not really about Power and Dominion: that only sets the wheels going; it is about Death and the desire for deathlessness. Which is hardly more than to say it is a tale written by a Man!" “It is mainly concerned with Death, and Immortality; and the 'escapes': serial longevity, and hoarding memory." 

Adam gave the answer of "What is the Catholic Bible?" Based on the earlier quote I've posted twice before about the LOTR being a Catholic work, unconsciously at first, and consciously in the revision. .  
Team 2 gave "Good vs Evil" 
Good answer, that is a huge theme of the series.  

At the end of class, I called the game a tie because I felt I could accept Adam's answer. But if I really accepted it, Adam would win with 12,600...  I wouldn't correct him if he said he won.  ;)   

Friday, January 13, 2017

Week 12, 13 and 14

I was gone for week 12, but Teacher Lisa lead the discussion on The Return of the King.  They talked about how Aragorn grew as a leader, and why Tolkien had the Scourging of the Shire at the end.  (Very different from the movie ending.)

I have been looking forward to week 13 all semester!  I was so excited to cover the Christian archetypes and symbolism in the LOTR. While Tolkien said he hated allegory, he filled the books with Catholic, and also universal Christian themes, motifs, symbols and archetypes.  Remember this quote from an earlier post?

"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism."
There are 4 or 5 Christ archetypes.  Three in the Prophet, Priest and King, Gandalf, Frodo and Aragorn respectively. They all sacrifice everything, walk through a valley of shadow and death, and go through a symbolic death and resurrection.  All three are known by more than one name.

Gandalf, like a prophet, warns, mentors and helps. Frodo dedicates his life to service.  Aragorn is the long looked for king that returns with incredible powers of healing.  They are all compassionate and merciful.

Frodo receives a wound in is side on Weathertop.

Tom Bombidil isn't a significant Christ archetype, but breaks down the walls and sets prisoner free twice with song.

Sam is Christ as a faithful and loyal servant. He is also like Simon who carried the cross when Christ stumbled and fell.   Sam is the meek that inherits the earth (Shire).

There are three Satan archetypes, the balrog, the Witch King and Sauron. Gollum and Saruman play a Judas Iscariot archetype.  Smeagol is also a Cain archetype and also represents mankind enslaved to sin.  The Mouth of Sauron is an Anti-Christ archetype.

Lembas bread and Ent drafts are like communion, or the sacrament.

Arwen, as the bride of Aragorn is like the Church at the second coming. Eowyn is like the Church, victoriously fighting against the powers of Satan.

Boromir is like Sampson.  He was the hope of a nation, who won many battle and then falls hard.  He is redeemed in the end before he dies.

Faramir is like John the Baptist.  He is the Steward that prepares the way for the King to enter His city.

Theoden is mankind who serves humbly and faithful to the end.

Denethor is mankind deceived through Pride and fails in the end.

Elves are like angel and orcs, as fallen elves, are like fallen angels or demons.

The Nazgul and the Army of the Dead are inbetween life and death and in a kind of Purgatory.

Galadriel and Celeborn are like Mary and Joseph.  She is kind, helpful and full of life giving advice.  Her husband isn't as notable as she is.

The water in Lothlorien is like the Living Water.

Lothlorien is like a Garden of Eden

Numenor is like a Tower of Babel or Old Jerusalem.

Minis Tirith is Jerusalem and then the new Jerusalem.

The battle of Pelanor Fields is like Armageddon and the battle at the Black Gate is like the final battle.

Sailing out of the Gray Havens is like translation.

Last of all, the ring represents sin.  Frodo carried it to the fires of Mt Doom to destroyed it on a significant day in the Catholic faith, March 25, the Feast of Annunciation.

For Week 14 we had an awesome simulation.  I was impressed at the leadership that was shown and the insight that these students showed about the ploys the Adversary uses.  Great job everyone!

Our last week we will be playing Jeopardy, so brush up on your Lord of the Rings trivia!!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Week 11

We started discussing Return of the King this week.  

We talked about the theme of sacrifice and all the characters that either are sacrificed or make significant sacrifices.  We also talked about and how many times oaths are made, and what point, if any, Tolkien was trying to make. Whenever an author repeats something, they are usually trying to add to their overall message.  

I shared Tolkien's thoughts on writing a sequel and why he abandoned the project.  I also shared, here and there, the changes he made in the story, like having Aragorn and Eowyn get married. 

I mentioned little tidbits of info, like how Rosie and Sam are third cousins and that Aragorn is 88 at the end of the story.  I mistakenly said he died at 210, instead, he died at 198.  Numenoreans are given up to 210 years to live.  

I left them with research topics.  One is to look up Aragorn's family tree to see how he is related to Elrond, and if he does indeed have elf in him.  From what I remember, he does, and is a descendant of Beren and Luthien. 

Another was to look up what exactly the other rings did, and who made them.  

Researching something at home is one of the requirements for the award.  All the students have a requirement page, I hoped it was pretty easy to do.  Just showing a little effort is enough to pass off several of the things.  The 3 papers they need to write don't have to be lengthy.  A few sentences or one paragraph is enough.  Contact me with any questions on what is passable. 

I am going to be gone this week and the first week back from Christmas.  Teacher Lisa can pass things off. 

Merry Christmas and see you all on the 12th!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tolkien Society

For those die hard Tolkein fans, did you know that there is such thing as joining The Tolkien Society?
Just in case you are interested... 


Maille is the correct spelling for chain mail.  "Chain" wasn't even a part of its name way back when.  Trey did a fabulous job demonstrating how to make maille and let everyone have a chance putting some rings on the little square Trey had already completed.  He had already spent 5 hrs making the square you see in the pictures.  Amazing!

We all saw how time consuming it is to make maille and were amazed at how heavy a little square piece of copper is.  Steele is even heavier!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 8 and 9

Week 8
How could we not go to an archery range when studying Lord of the Rings?  As appropriate, I brought along the red eye of Sauron for our bulls eye.  :D. But alas, I didn't take pictures!  I know!!  I did take this one from the Port Orchard group.

Week 9
We finished discussing the Two Towers.
I shared my new favorite quote.  I challenged everyone to use it next time they were at a buffet or during Thanksgiving dinner when great Aunt Martha placed something on the table they didn't recognize.

"What is it Precious?  Is it crumchable, is it tasty?"
We talked about the meaning of names, a couple more opposites I neglect to mention: 9 fellowship and 9 ring wraiths (duh) and putting Old Man Willow to sleep and waking up the ents.

I passed out discussion questions, choices for a paper writing assignment, and reminded them to have The Return of the King read by Dec 8.

This week Trey is going to have an awesome demo for us.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Opposites, Motifs and Themes

We started off seeing if anyone had any quotes he/she liked and wanted to share or even vocabulary words he/she noted.  I shared several quotes and words that I learned the meaning to.

I also shared a few Tolkien insults, my favorite is:

"The land must groan under their hated feet." 

We talked about how The Two Towers has a resurrection/ awakening theme.  Gandolf goes through a kind of resurrection, The Ents are awakened to fight, Theodon is released from his captive spell and Frodo awakens Smeagol to compete with Gollum.  The second book in a series like this is all about awakening armies and preparing to fight.  Catching Fire from The Hunger Games is a good example of this.

I asked if anyone noticed a motif that Tolkien gave to Gollum that is also foreshadowing.  I should have also hinted that this happens at the end of Two Towers, not the end of the series.  No one noticed, or wasn't there in the reading yet, so I asked them to watch for it.   A few days later, I noticed that Smeagol is given a different motif, and the combined personalities have another one.

Tolkien uses a lot of opposites in his series.
Birthday presents of the ring- Deagol to Smeagol/ Bilbo to Frodo
orc draft/ent draft

I forgot to mention Old Man Willow/ Treebeard and the most obvious one of the 9 Fellowship/9 Ringwraiths

There are also opposites in the themes of the series.

This week we are going to an archery range!  If you have a bow and arrow, please send it with your student.  We will be leaving at the beginning of lunch and returning in time for 4th hour so please have a lunch ready.  The sooner we get out the door, the more time the students will have on the range.

They have another week to finish The Two Towers as we will discuss it the following week.  If they have finished Two Towers, get started on Return of the King. We will start discussing it on Dec 8th.