So last weekend I was playing LOTRO and made the journey to Rivendell, on foot. As I crossed the Fords of Bruinen I stopped to look around, and said to Angela “Check this out. Remember when Arwen drove back the Nazgul here?”

And I stopped, appalled.  Because that’s how it happened in the movies, but not in the books.

And I realized it had been far too long since my last read-through of The Lord of the Rings.

So I dug out a copy — Angela’s copy, (despite the face that it has Elijah Wood on the cover), since the pages of my copy are falling out — and started reading. This has been rather a hellish week, work wise, and I’ve only managed a few pages each evening before falling asleep, but already I’m finding it really interesting to read the book after playing the game. Places referenced casually, like The Chetwood, mean something to me now.

I do find myself wondering why the hobbits chose the path they did, given the fine road from The Shire to Bree (in the game) but maybe that will become more clear as I re-familiarize myself with the true story.

If you’ve been playing LOTRO and haven’t read the books in a while, I highly recommend doing so! The two complement each other really nicely.

The Conquest of Middle Earth

So there’s a new Lord of the Rings game coming out from EA, Lord of the Rings: Conquest. In it, you first play through as the good guys, but the second half of the game has you playing for the other side, postulating a version of the story where Sauron got The Ring and ended up taking over all of Middle Earth. Along the way, you get to kill Gandalf, Aragorn, Frodo, Elrond… basically all of the ‘good’ heroes.

I guess I’m just hopelessly out of date, because I really have no interest in playing a game where I kill all the characters that were my heroes growing up. Nor do I have much interest in playing a game that has the audacity to re-write Tolkien’s history of Middle Earth. (I’m already in a high state of alert over Peter Jackson’s 2nd Hobbit movie, which will span the 40-odd years between when Bilbo returns to Bag End and the Expected Party of his one-hundred and eleventy-ith birthday celebration.) I’m surprised and a bit disappointed that the Tolkien estate gave this title the thumbs up.

I think this might be generational. If someone did a game where you killed off The Justice League, I wonder if that would be seen as ‘cool’ by your typical gamer? What about a game where Luke ended up lured to the dark side and ran around murdering Leia, Han Solo and the rest of the good guys?

I truly, honestly hope that the game flops and that developer Pandemic and EA lose boatloads of money on it.