It is currently Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:12 am
Change font size
Forum Home Public Lore

Lore

Marriage

A place to discuss Middle-Earth Lore, for all you canon-lovers.

Moderator: Elder Staff

Marriage

Postby Eru » Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:02 am

I've done my own searching and can't seem to find any real definitive information on how Tolkein perceived marriage in his world. As many married characters as we have in-game, what are your thoughts?


In The Letters of J.R.R Tolkein he writes:
Only a very wise man at the end of his life could make a sound judgement concerning whom, amongst the total possible chances, he ought most profitably to have married! Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates. But the 'real soul-mate' is the one you are actually married to. You really do very little choosing: life and circumstances do most of it...Only the rarest good fortune brings together the man and woman who are really as it were 'destined' for one another, and capable of a very great and splendid love. The idea still dazzles us, catches us by the throat: poems and stories in multitudes have been written on the theme, more, probably, than the total of such loves in real life (yet the greatest of these tales do not tell of the happy marriage of such great lovers, but of their tragic separation; as if even in this sphere the truly great and splendid in this fallen world is more nearly achieved by 'failure' and suffering). In such great inevitable love, often love at first sight, we catch a vision, I suppose, of marriage as it should have been in an unfallen world. In this fallen world we have as our only guides, prudence, wisdom (rare in youth, too late in age), a clean heart, and fidelity of will..."
User avatar
Eru
Guide
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby tehkory » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:01 pm

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/201 ... right.html

http://www.ansereg.com/what_tolkien_off ... id_abo.htm

TL;DR?
Sex=marriage, at least in Tolkien's world(at least for Elves and ancient Men).
tehkory
Master Ent
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:21 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Rishte » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:27 pm

Middle-Earth is not Game of Thrones. What's cool in Game of Thrones, probably isn't cool in Middle-Earth, just saying.

You're not likely to find divorce or it to be socially acceptable for either gender to be sexing it up before or outside of their marriage and if found out, likely going to be the butt-end of alot of scorn, jokes and ridicule in society. Reputation in any society is pretty important, especially small town-mentalities like Utterby and Laketown. Reputations are what are going to make or break your future plans, whatever they be in towns like these.

Marriage is important in Middle-Earth because of one very key (in my opinion) element to the world; honor. Take it as seriously as people did back in the day. Don't look at marriage today as the clay to work with. Our society has greatly evolved in the way marriage is handled or mis-handled depending on your views. So look at marriage beliefs in both canon and medieval societies (with exceptions!!!). Your safest bet is to remember that pre-marrital sex is frowned upon and can greatly ruin people's lives on a variety of formats, that divorce isn't going to likely happen and if it did, there would be some serious ramifications to it, and things like adultery, cuckolding and being promiscuous all have consequences. Marriage has consequences too, but great benefits depending on how you want to look at things.

Its also important to separate real world marriage concepts from canon. If you have any specific questions about specific situations in game or plot ideas I would suggest opening up a conversation with staff in a support ticket.
User avatar
Rishte
The Shadow
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: In your shadow.

Re: Marriage

Postby Mavinero » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:17 pm

An interesting post and topic. What brought this on?
A small, shell-grey-eyed male begins to flicker and flash, turning to a red color as such happens. Without warning, a slim, silver-hilted lightsaber hilt ignites with a ruby-hued length. "Incorrect. I am programmed for queries, not pleasure."
Mavinero
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Daeoine » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:44 pm

I think we all know what brought it on. So many assumptions are made, so many fingers pointed. Utterby doesn't have any more important closed door issues to worry about?
Daeoine
Unverified User
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:54 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Marriage

Postby Mavinero » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:45 pm

Ok, I'll refrain from playing dumb. There isn't much Game of Thrones going on here, that I can see. No divorce has been had, aside from one or two people just running off from a marriage. There is quite a bit that is not being said here that some folks should likely get out of their bleepity-bleepin' heads.

Houses of ill-repute, loose men and women, all things in every setting ever known from Middle-Earth, to a galaxy far, far away. Yes, perhaps it is naughty, risque and unseemly, but such is life. Life is ugly, misshapen, unseemly, naughty, but can also be good - Such things can breed and create a deeper connection between a man and a woman (or any relationship, for that matter), so long as it is roleplayed, or effort is put into it. Not all roleplay falls within the confines of felling bad guys, doing backstrokes in your money vault because you're a coin-hoarding scrooge that sucks the pbase dry of their hard-earned coin, or even political intrigue.
A small, shell-grey-eyed male begins to flicker and flash, turning to a red color as such happens. Without warning, a slim, silver-hilted lightsaber hilt ignites with a ruby-hued length. "Incorrect. I am programmed for queries, not pleasure."
Mavinero
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:34 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Eru » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:48 pm

Curiosity. I figured if we're expected to portray our characters in a certain light, to best reflect the world that Tolkien created, then there may be someone more knowledgeable than I in all things middle-earth within the community to share their thoughts/opinions.

Edited to add: The reason for my post wasn't to bring up IG plots/issues. I had hoped to have some clear and concise information to refer to since there's no documentation on the subject - the rites, vows, divorce or anything like that to consider as 'socially-acceptable' in Utterby. I had assumed that, as I'm sure many would, it would be the right of the player to decide how he or she wanted to go about it.
User avatar
Eru
Guide
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Songweaver » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:59 pm

Just because Tolkien didn't write about pre-marital sex, most likely to due his Christian values, doesn't mean that we should ever dare assume that it wouldn't happen.

In every society, from every time in the world that we know of, pre-marital sex and extra-marital sex existed in a rampant manner. Sure, it may have been behind closed doors and secret, because society would have frowned upon it, but to say that prostitutes, affairs, and pre-marital sex wouldn't exist in Tolkien's world is absurd. Maybe it wouldn't have made it from his pen onto the page, but neither would the story of a little logging town.

This game is about filling in the 'greys' of Tolkien's world, and we should not allow our own moral sensibilities, or a narrow-minded view of what is-and-isn't possible in Middle-Earth socially, get in the way of good, honest storytelling.
User avatar
Songweaver
Ent Sapling
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:21 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Marriage

Postby Gobbo » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:04 pm

Yeah there is absolutely no way that there isn't whores and brothels in the world. Pre-marital sex probably happens all the time in middle-earth.

If we were going for accuracy a couple whores would be the average sight around Utterby to keep the drunkards happy.
Gobbo
Honored Dwarf
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:01 am

Re: Marriage

Postby Rishte » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:30 pm

Marriage is not just about the act of getting married so I covered the 50 shades of 'grey' that can come with it especially where we have a somewhat vast difference in Middle-Earth verses our Earth in terms of social norms. Was I talking about anything particular in game? No.

Choices, like getting it on before the ring's put on, as it goes, comes with consequences. Will I define those consequences? Nope. They're all wholly situational.

Were there brothels? Oh yeah, sure. That would be silly to say there was not just because they were not immediately in the books. BUT that said, that doesn't mean in any capacity those pink-cheeked molls didn't suffer some social suicide in their roles or the men who got 'caught' visiting them.
User avatar
Rishte
The Shadow
 
Posts: 646
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: In your shadow.

Re: Marriage

Postby tehkory » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:33 pm

Songweaver wrote:Just because Tolkien didn't write about pre-marital sex, most likely to due his Christian values, doesn't mean that we should ever dare assume that it wouldn't happen.

In every society, from every time in the world that we know of, pre-marital sex and extra-marital sex existed in a rampant manner. Sure, it may have been behind closed doors and secret, because society would have frowned upon it, but to say that prostitutes, affairs, and pre-marital sex wouldn't exist in Tolkien's world is absurd. Maybe it wouldn't have made it from his pen onto the page, but neither would the story of a little logging town.

This game is about filling in the 'greys' of Tolkien's world, and we should not allow our own moral sensibilities, or a narrow-minded view of what is-and-isn't possible in Middle-Earth socially, get in the way of good, honest storytelling.

Now that there's been more than a handful of posts, this is my general view, too. But there's something to be said that, certainly, Men in the First Age and Elves forever were very different, and that ought to be represented, particularly among, let's say, old-fashioned folk. While nobody should be surprised at liberal behavior, neither should they act surprised at conservative opinions.

Some people in Middle Earth are going to behave far more old-fashionedly than you'd ever believe, and it's pretty poor roleplay to act like that's not how the cultural mores lean. They just aren't universal, unbreakable laws of behavior.

ETA:

Tolkien describes elvish marriage in detail in the LACE essay. What he states about sex and marriage...well, I can't do any better than to quote him directly. He notes that, among his fantasy people in Middle-Earth, "Marriage is chiefly of the body, for it is achieved by bodily union, and its first operation is the begetting of the bodies of children, even though it endures beyond this and has other operations. And the union of bodies in marriage is unique, and no other union resembles it."
It follows from this that, among the Elves, "It was the act of bodily union that achieved marriage...it was at all times lawful for any of the Eldar, both being unwed, to marry thus of free consent one to the other without ceremony or witness…in flight and exile and wandering, such marriages were often made." Tolkien then proceeds immediately to a discussion of begetting of children. So, "marrying thus of free consent" means that the elf-man and elf-woman involved agree to be life partners, and that there is no excuse for elf casual sex.


The first tribes of Men also followed this pretty extensively, since nobody seemed to read it. It's less that 'Tolkien didn't write about it and we're filling in the blanks,' and more that this was the cultural more. While some chose not to follow it, that doesn't mean that it's not what it was. I'm poking around in the Silmarillion for the story where Men show they follow this(it involves a Morgoth-influenced/following Chieftain taking one of the true, heroic women as his wife), but I haven't found it yet.

To quote the article, which seems to refer to this story itself:
Men in Tolkien's backstory seem to "wive by force" a lot more. Rape and forced marriage are plot points in several stories of Men.


ETA:
Turns out the relevant passages are in Children of Hurin, and refer to Brodda the Easterling and Aerin, Lady of Dor-Lomin, kin to Hurin. I can't find the book, but it's generally implied that she was taken by force. Given how closely the first of Men modeled themselves after Elves, it's not surprising that there'd still be echoes of this in some Men today.
tehkory
Master Ent
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:21 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Songweaver » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:10 pm

Sidenote: Children of Hurin was the closest Tolkien ever got to Game of Thrones.

I absolutely think that there are social mores and consequences to consider here. I also absolutely think that there should be documentation for this and other social issues to better explain Utterby's cultural point-of-view.
User avatar
Songweaver
Ent Sapling
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:21 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Marriage

Postby Eru » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:20 pm

Agreed
User avatar
Eru
Guide
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Hawkwind » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:29 pm

I would say there are bigger issues than policing this (not from players but from staff) with warg armor, people leaving human bodies to rot in public areas (not the infirmary, they are good about that), leaving of wild game all over tbe Mirk, the hilarious corruption in the lodge.

Staff have reached out IG and OOC (not through official channels) asking several people what they intend to do, breaking up rp for fear of what might happen. It is getting old and will drive away your players.
JESUS CHRIST, THE HELIUM!
PS4 Handle - Roadhawkes
Tags Taken: Eru I, Mavinero I.
User avatar
Hawkwind
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:46 am
Location: Volga Matushka

Re: Marriage

Postby Songweaver » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:23 pm

One very determined person could write all of the cultural documentation that Utterby's been lacking in one single, devoted day.
User avatar
Songweaver
Ent Sapling
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:21 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Marriage

Postby Icarus » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:17 pm

Mawage. It's what bwings ut togewah, today.

We'll be looking into the concerns posted here going forward.
[Petition: Player] I am ready to begin my interdimensional adventure.

A mutilated little orc murmurs, nodding as he mutters,
"I fought good today. Yuh. Fought good, 'specially for bein' the kitchen-snaga. Yuh, I did."
User avatar
Icarus
Staffer Emeritus
 
Posts: 2837
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:45 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Frigga » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:56 pm

I could indeed (and might) write a long canon-based post on this topic, but I feel like we need to cover some things ...

In every society, from every time in the world that we know of, pre-marital sex and extra-marital sex existed in a rampant manner. Sure, it may have been behind closed doors and secret, because society would have frowned upon it, but to say that prostitutes, affairs, and pre-marital sex wouldn't exist in Tolkien's world is absurd.


No one is saying these things don't exist. Indeed, if anyone has ever watched RP with at least one admin run NPC, it's quite obvious they do exist. And staff isn't saying they don't. It's simply pointing what was already stated that society (IE - vNPC/NPC opinion) in large frowns on certain behaviors. Murder is a viable RP option, and happens a lot, doesn't mean they don't have an opinion on that too.

This game is about filling in the 'greys' of Tolkien's world, and we should not allow our own moral sensibilities, or a narrow-minded view of what is-and-isn't possible in Middle-Earth socially, get in the way of good, honest storytelling.


There seems to be a common misconception that staff's interpretation of canon and thus expectations of IC culture and behavior differing at times from what players (or some players) want and expect means that staff is "narrow-minded" and is "getting in the way of good, honest storytelling." That sets up a dichotomy of ... allow anything or be labeled as "narrow." Or that people with some sense of morality are somehow more inferior RPers, which - is also frankly not true.

Also, a lot of things that happen IRL or even arguably in our game world aren't really neccessarily always appropriate to pursue. Whether or not it is good, honest storytelling.

Good, honest storytelling is also recognizing that sometimes decisions have consequences ... bad ones.

I absolutely think that there are social mores and consequences to consider here. I also absolutely think that there should be documentation for this and other social issues to better explain Utterby's cultural point-of-view.


What happens however, when that documentation and social mores and player desire clashes?

One very determined person could write all of the cultural documentation that Utterby's been lacking in one single, devoted day.


You could feel free to submit some of you like. ;)
User avatar
Frigga
The Ice Queen
 
Posts: 2571
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:51 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Nimrod » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:16 am

We shouldn't need documentation for what marriage is. Every culture in the world understands the concept. We don't allow polygamy, incest, rape, underage sex, sexual torture or extreme physical torture. It's pretty simple.

On the flip side of it, what goes on behind closed doors is your business. It's not our charge to make sure you're being faithful to in-game (or out of game) relationships.

I would also like to point out that 'repercussions' as mentioned by Frigga does NOT mean punishment, and it may not be swift or harsh. It could be something subtle that you may not even notice right away, but if you're doing something that you know you should not be doing, and it is seen by an npc or vnpc, it's possible that they're talking about it to someone.
The greatest enemy to propaganda or even counter-propaganda is open, unadulterated channels of free opinion.
User avatar
Nimrod
Game Lead
 
Posts: 5425
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Songweaver » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:59 am

I wasn't pointing any fingers with my rant about marriage, because I don't know the specific situation that's being talked about. Mine, was a cautionary tale. :p

However!

What happens however, when that documentation and social mores and player desire clashes?


I don't think that fear of conflict is a reason to not write it.

One very determined person could write all of the cultural documentation that Utterby's been lacking in one single, devoted day.



You could feel free to submit some of you like. ;)


I mean, I have. Like, most of what's out there. But, s'not my job, and my vision for what SOI should be (in terms of lore and tone) would most likely differ from yours. :p

We shouldn't need documentation for what marriage is.


What about documentation on how marriage happens? What the actual ceremony entails? What part do the families take in the engagement? Is it always by free will, or is it typically arranged? How does divorce work, and what are its consequences? Etc, etc.

There are a whole lot of things about marriage that could lead to interesting roleplay with proper documentation.

Not just marriage, either: funerals, birth, birthdays, other holidays, a culture's specific superstitions, and so on. All of these things, documented, could be great tools for both players and staff, and paint a better picture of what makes Utterby unique and interesting.
User avatar
Songweaver
Ent Sapling
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:21 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Re: Marriage

Postby Frigga » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:22 am

It's not a "fear of conflict" - it's knowing that it is a two fold path, both having documentation, but also, people buying into following it. Or at least recognizing that playing a rebel need something to revel against to help define that choice. If anything, it's wanting that conflict to be seen as an IC obstacle to get around or trip over, however it works out.

But, IMHO, documentation and culture that expects order and decorum sits at odds with seeing those things as anathema to a good story. But if the concensus is that only stories that "go against the grain" are worth telling, the imposition of said grain seems to lead to resentment.

That doesn't mean I don't agree some things like holidays or ceremonies would be fun and helpful to define.

I'm just asking, perhaps poorly, that when they are, people indeed embrace them or make going against them a purposeful IC choice with everything that means.
User avatar
Frigga
The Ice Queen
 
Posts: 2571
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:51 pm

Re: Marriage

Postby Songweaver » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:27 am

But, IMHO, documentation and culture that expects order and decorum sits at odds with seeing those things as anathema to a good story. But if the concensus is that only stories that "go against the grain" are worth telling, the imposition of said grain seems to lead to resentment.


That's not really what we're talking about here. I think that there's value in a wide variety of stories.

I'm just asking, perhaps poorly, that when they are, people indeed embrace them or make going against them a purposeful IC choice with everything that means.


I don't think this is going to be a problem. I'm sure that most players would love to know more about social boundaries and expectations.
User avatar
Songweaver
Ent Sapling
 
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:21 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio


Return to Lore

cron

Connect

FacebookTwitter

Login

Who is online

Very smart users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

Login