Friday, August 24, 2012

So the legend foretold - LOTRO edition

Ok, see, overblown dramaticism is such an old foible of bad fiction that it feels as though there's nothing i can even say about it. Still, an example from one of Lord of the Rings Online's many meaningless NPC dialogues is sticking with me because of the obvious contrast in quality between Tolkien's writing and Turbine's.

I'm doing some quest, doesn't particularly matter which, fetching this-and-that for a dwarf blacksmith to make me a magic key. I get him the metal and the magic eye-of-newt or whatnot, and then he sends me on another errand, because, to quote:

''Tales tell that a special shaping hammer is needed for such fine work as a key.''

Of all the idiotic nonsense. This dwarf has been a smith for a couple of centuries at least and he needs tales to tell him he needs a small hammer to hammer out a small object? There isn't a single ball-peen hammer in the entire dwarven city of Thorin's Hall? This crap sounds worse than the fan fiction i wrote back when i was playing Diablo.

Except i was sixteen. Who the hell are these morons at Turbine paying to write this garbage, the pizza delivery boy?

Much of the charm of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is Tolkien's ability to place magic in an otherwise believably mundane world. Contrast is necessary. Nothing's special if everything's special.

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