May 19, 2019 - 2:00 pm EDT
May 19, 2019 - 3:00 pm EDT
Thesis Theater Recording
Join us on Sunday, May 19, at 2 pm ET for a Thesis Theater with Trish Lambert, who will be joined by Dr. Sara Brown to facilitate the discussion.
The Reach of the White Hand: Literary Analysis of Stories of Dunland and Rohan in The Lord of the Rings Online
First released in 2007, The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) is a Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplay Game that allows the player/protagonist to follow in the footsteps of Tolkien’s characters through and beyond the destruction of the One Ring. Its enduring popularity is due in large part to the strong commitment of the game’s developers to remain true to Tolkien’s subcreation, and the result of this commitment is a player population that is as much Tolkien-oriented as game-oriented. Engaging these players requires deft storytelling with the depth and texture of Tolkien’s own work. Whether intentionally or not, the developers have created a new form of literature that resonates with the player in new ways. This is accomplished partly through literary archetypes that tie not only to Tolkien but to other classic and popular works of fiction. This is clearly demonstrated in Rohan and Dunland, simply sketched by Tolkien and fully detailed in LOTRO. The stories encountered in these two regions draw from familiar and resonating archetypes. These include those related to forms of betrayal (a reflection of the influence of Saruman) that are well-described in Dante’s Inferno as well as other recognizable archetypes like “Star-crossed Lovers” and “Manmade Monster.” When compared to established classic and modern works, selections from LOTRO’s Rohan and Dunland demonstrate the literary aspects of this new form of storytelling.
About the Presenter
A professional marketer and writer, Trish Lambert has been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works for most of her life. Her academic interest focuses on the impacts of these works on current generations of fans, and more particularly on how expansion into other forms of media and the social phenomenon of a robust fanbase affect the original stories.