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Tsaedje
May 11, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT BEING A JOYLESS CURMUDGEON WHO CANNOT ENJOY LIFE'S SIMPLY PLEASURES LIKE EATING AN ICE CREAM WHILST HAVING A SHIT


Tolkien handwaving contradictions away with 'an unreliable narrator did it' is honestly a very clever way to enjoy exploring worldbuilding without worrying about if you have every detail consistent at all times.

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Tsaedje
May 11, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT BEING A JOYLESS CURMUDGEON WHO CANNOT ENJOY LIFE'S SIMPLY PLEASURES LIKE EATING AN ICE CREAM WHILST HAVING A SHIT


sweet geek swag posted:

A lot of older novels had this obsession with documenting how the story came down to the audience, so it was a fairly well established trope even at the time. Modern writers usually don't go that direction because modern readers are completely willing to accept that the novel just exists. It's hard to have an unreliable narrator in a book that isn't narrated though.

There's also inspiration from real world mythologies where there are different versions that don't line up perfectly because oral history + passage of time. How many balrogs were there? Thousands, a handful? He could change his mind to suit whatever story he wanted to tell. Unreliable narrator is probably the wrong term, but if you have the framing device that you're just recording a history/mythology that's been passed down you can get around any times you've changed your mind along the way with 'some accounts say this, others say that' and be done with it without any of it being 'wrong'.

Then decades later people can make a career out of clickbaity youtube videos debating what the correct number of balrogs is.

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