December 9, 2001 - Visualization on Film and of MUME

The Fellowship of the Ring is a movie that is one interpretation of Tolkien. MUME is also merely an interpretation of Tolkien. So has MUME and the movie interpreted things the same? That really depends on your imagination doesn't it! So much of MUME depends on how you visualize it. Do you see the snow when you close your eyes on the Redhorn pass? You do you have brief mode on and spam past. Everyone plays MUME differently, but if you did try to visualize where you are in Tolkien would you see similar to the movie? It is a big question and the success of the movie to Tolkien fans depends on it.

I am sure non-Tolkien fans will probably like the movie. However, if elves don't look right or orcs aren't as you picture your legend that just returned from raiding Bree, then the movie might make you cringe. I know my wife (pEinalem) strongly dislikes the movie's interpretation of orcs. Each person will make up their own individual mind as to whether each race is depicted correctly or not. This week's column is more based on its images. I have wanted to provide a visualization (in the movie's opinion) of what things around Middle-earth look like (and therefore, maybe, what you see MUME as in your head).

Have you ever trudged through the mighty Redhorn Pass in the middle of winter? The snow is thick and your moves are sapped with every step. You are a sitting duck if anything arrives, running is hard work. Hobbits and dwarves are literally snowed under. Well to all you dwarves out there who have been there, here is Gimli, Gloin's son, under to his beard in snow. His moves are weak and he really needs a "BOB"!

Something we don't see too often in MUME, a good old fashion hobbit party! I can recall one, but it ended in 15 level one hobbits running into a Bree raid. The corpses were a page long in one room. Hobbits are fun loving, all-singing, all-dancing people (halflings). It is easy to see why hard-core player killers avoid such mirth and fun. Safe for newbies, but they might get the wrong idea about MUME....

In LOTR most of the elves are reclusive. There isn't many images, in the third age that is, of an elven warrior in full power. The exception is Glorfindel against the Nazgul (why did they cut him from the movie??).

So what do all those elven warriors in MUME look like according to the movie? Well here is the half-elf Elrond at the Battle of the Last Alliance, when elves were still running around in full strength. (Legolas is a great archer but he wasn't an elf lord of old in my opinion.)

Even in MUME there isn't too many elven warriors. Most warriors are dwarves and human. Elves in MUME tend to be casters and scouts. Elves are great archers, and most times when I think "elf" I think yew bows and ash arrows. Legolas is the image the movie will give us of elven archers, and what I have seen his archery is truly stunning in the movie. Maybe some of the new breed of MUME-ers will have Legolas as their role model. There is a completely new generation coming to MUME over the next few months. I have met a heap of newbies recently that were drawn to MUME since they had re-read the books prior to the movie's release. It will be interesting to see how they change the balance of characters. There is something WRONG with Legolas in this image compared to the books. Can anyone see it? MUME mail me with your answer. You have until friday!! Good luck!!

Probably no race is open to more interpretation than orcs (goblins). I guess I haven't thought as much about what they look like since I have only one active orc in MUME. Maybe some of you orkish legends out there can let me know what you think you look like! Or at least have it in your description so when whities examine you they can have an idea what they are being killed by looks like! There seems to be much difference between the different tribes in appearance in the movies. Moria orcs are vastly different to Isengard orcs.

Finally, how many MUME-ers have examined the sign of the Prancing Pony Inn? I believe (since it was a little before I started to MUME) there was a competition to design that sign. I think it was Gwaywffon who won the competition and now his sign is in place (this happened in 1998/9??).

All you Bree legends spend lots of time at the SPPI, so what do you think it looks like? Did Gwaywffon do well? Did the movie capture what you see as your "home" away from reality?

Well that concludes this comparison of images. Next week it will be back to the "normal" column. In the mean time ponder where you travel in MUME. What does it look like? Or is it all black and white text (ok so maybe I am the only one using telnet without colour.....).