Closed Challenges

Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Challenge Details

'For so we reckon Men in our lore, calling them the High, or Men of the West, which were Númenoreans; and the Middle Peoples, Men of the Twilight, such as are the Rohirrim and their kin that dwell still far in the North; and the Wild, the Men of Darkness.'

Faramir speaking to Frodo in "The Window on the West", Chapter 5, Book IV, The Two Towers.

Tolkien frequently offers us this division between "sophisticated" cultures, with "advanced" technology, art and social organisation, and "primitive" peoples who seem to live much simpler lives.

There seems (at first glance) to be an attitude that the sophisticated cultures are superior and it's the natural order for them to dominate and support their more "backwards" distant cousins. Yet are these "primitive" people really so backwards?

The Lossoth have to rescue the beleaguered Arnorians and (quite rightly) warn them not to board the Elven-ship which founders in the ice. The Woses of the Drúadan Forest are clearly superior woodsmen and scouts (yet it seems the so-called "civilised" Gondorians and Rohirrim hunt them to death). The (related?) Drúedain of the First Age who came with the Folk of Haleth appeared to have some strange "magical" powers and were skilled in healing, yet were considered “unlovely”.

I would be very interested in seeing stories in which the assumed "superiority" of the High and Middle Peoples is challenged by the Wild Peoples.

This nuzgûl doesn't only apply to Men; there's a similar division between the Elves (Vanyar/Noldor/Teleri, Sindar and Avari). Hobbits too are divided between the settled folk of the Shire and the Outsiders, such as Sméagol's people. Even the "bad guys" show the division - Saruman's Uruk-Hai clearly consider themselves a cut above the Mordor orcs, and there seems to be a status division between Mordor Uruks and Northern breeds. Perhaps dwarves living in the great cities look down on their wandering and less settled kin?

Challenge closes: 3 November 2005

Entries with Stories

The following authors have entered a story in the Challenge.

Anoriath - Psychodiagnostic Evaluation - Subject: The Lady of Rohan
General Audience
Last Updated: 21 Dec 05
Consultation Request: Patient Name: Eowyn, Lady. DOB: ??/??/2995. Date of Admission: 3/15/3019. Reason for Admission: complex radial/ulnar fracture. Room: the one with the window that fails to open upon the east. Date of Consult Request: 3/23/3019. Requesting physician: Healing, Warden of the Houses of. Reason for Consultation: questionable mood disorder, please advise.
Buchs - Diplomacy
General Audience
Last Updated: 11 Nov 04
Two guys from Gondor have dinner with a bunch of Eorlingas and discuss the Dunlendings. I sure hope Tolkien's Ghost doesn't kick my backside for this.
fliewatuet - Frost and Thaw
General Audience
Last Updated: 10 Mar 05
[...] partly out of pity for the gaunt king and his men, and partly out of fear of their weapons, [the Lossoth] gave them a little food and built for them snow-huts. There Arvedui was forced to wait, hoping for help from the south; for his horses had perished. LotR: RotK, Appendix A (iii) The tale of a brief and tentative friendship. Co-written by Wolfwind and fliewatuet in response to the Tagteam Challenge.
Marnie - Dancing in the Darkness
General Audience
Last Updated: 01 Dec 04
Celeborn tells his grandsons the story of the great hero-king, Denethor son of Denweg, king of the Silvan elves, and about the first great battle of Beleriand. Includes many digressions on dancing, tattoos, and the importance of turning into fish.
Noldo - Envinyanta
General Audience
Last Updated: 03 Dec 04
Aragorn's great-grandson attempts to write a treatise on his legendary ancestor, but first he must separate the fact from the myth.


The following authors have entered a placeholder in the Challenge.

Entry Date: 03 Nov 04
Entry Date: 05 Nov 04
Entry Date: 05 Nov 04

In Challenges

Challenge Info

Open Date: November 03, 2004

Closed: November 03, 2005

Challenge Topic:

Entries: 8

Originator: HASA Challenges

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