Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 17

By Shamus Posted Wednesday May 12, 2010

Filed under: Column 21 comments

Our days in the Shire are coming to an end. Not yet, but soon.

A long time ago I whined about the problem of trying to advance the plot while also telling jokes. That’s even a bit of a challenge here, although with 2,000 words I still have lots of room to work in some jokes here and there. The main problem I’m facing is that the main plot just isn’t quite as silly as the sidequests (which is usually a good thing) and so making fun of the game is no longer shooting fish in a barrel.


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21 thoughts on “Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 17

  1. Henebry says:

    That walking tree you encounter at the end of the spider quest is probably a reference to the “entwives” that Treebeard speaks of as having abandoned the ents some centuries earlier. He’s considerably chuffed to hear from Merry and Pippin rumors of walking trees in the Shire, since that means he might yet get lucky some time in the next millennium.

    [Edit] If I’m right about this, it means there’s a clever joke at the heart of that sidequest: the walking tree you rescue isn’t an “it” but a “she”: a genuine damsel in distress!

    1. Felis Sapiens says:

      Nice idea!
      At first I thought it was just a huorn (kinda like a much less intelligent, non-speaking, wild Ent). But if it is an Entwife… it may lead to something quite interesting. With Lulzy as a sarcastic go-between for Ents and Entwives :)

    2. NotYetMeasured says:

      I had never really thought about what exactly the walking tree was, but that’s a good explanation!

    3. Mari says:

      Sound thinking and a much better explanation than mine. My line of thinking went, “Well, Ents are described as ‘Shepherds of the Trees’ and stationary objects don’t normally need shepherds ergo it must be perfectly natural for trees to walk in Middle Earth despite the fact that Tolkien never indicated that they could do so.”

    4. Mantergeistmann says:

      I don’t think it would have been an Entwife. According to Tolkien’s letters, “in fact the Entwives had disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance. […] They survived only in the ‘agriculture’ transmitted to Men (and Hobbits).”

      A Huorn seems more likely, or maybe even just like in the Old Forest, where the trees can move around.

      1. Andrew B says:

        Fair enough, except that Turbine can only use stuff from specific sources, the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit if I recall correctly. This leads to odd departures from cannon, especially in higher level areas where a character or place is clearly inspired by some of Tolkien’s work but has a different name to avoid copyright issues. So it might well be intended to be an Entwife as that bit of lore is likely out of their use. (Or it could be a huorn, as they do seem pretty careful with the lore, even the bits they don’t have access to.)

        1. Rosseloh says:

          I’ll concede that it never actually states what the creature is, but I was under the impression that it was always a Huorn.
          – It matches the description of a Huorn quite well. (sentient, non-vocal walking tree)
          – There are many other Huorns in the game, that are actually called “Huorn”, and they are exactly the same creature type (although if you like to nitpick this could be considered just a shared game resource).

          Regardless, I’m pretty sure that it’s not an entwife… It takes a little liberty with canon, but there is a deed line in the Old Forest where you find flowers representing the entwives, and Goldberry references how those flowers mark where they disappeared or something like that.

  2. Yonder says:

    One of the books described Trolls as being to an Ent what an Orc is to an Elf. I took that literally and assumed that all of the Entwives were rounded up to make Trolls (throw in the kids that were with their mothers and you have enough males to continue the species). That was always a very dark interpretation of it that made me sad though, I hope some of them were able to run for the Shire!

    1. wtrmute says:

      It wouldn’t make much sense, as (at least) The Hobbit tells us that Trolls are originally made from stone, and that the light of the Sun can turn them back into that shape. So they couldn’t be corrupted Entwives, as they weren’t made of stone (That’s Aulà«’s schtick, not Yavanna’s).

      1. Steve C says:

        Petrified wood.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I always love seeing those “X doesnt exist”,after youve encountered,and probably slaughtered,dozens of them.

    1. Ramsus says:

      Maybe they’re just incredibly up to date and think you’ve finished them all off? That seems to make more sense than assuming things that are habitually located less than a mile away from them aren’t real.

  4. GM says:

    personally i,d like a picture of the tree.

  5. Ben N. says:

    Oh hey, new category!

  6. SatansBestBuddy says:

    I still hold out hope that this series will last past the mid level grind and survive to become something epic.

    Potentially with fart jokes.

  7. Jarenth says:

    To be fair to the sheriff: if I had any inclination that there was a horrible giant spider lair within walking distance of my town, I’d hole up in the tavern and chuck hapless adventurers at it instead of dealing with them myself as well.

    1. silver Harloe says:

      …not sure many people would re-elect you Sheriff :)

      1. Terran says:

        They might. If the “plan” works and the problem goes away.

        Additionally, he only has to pay the successful adventurer(s), at less than a silver piece, it’s a bargain for the town. It also minimizes risk for the locals. If I were an indolent hobbit, I’d probably think he was the best shirrif the town ever had.

      2. Robert says:

        Are Shire Sheriffs elected? Certainly English sheriffs were appointed rather than elected, and the Shire is based on the rural England of Tolkien’s day…

  8. Joshua says:

    Out of curiousity, is this going to work itself out in a different manner than Star on Chest? Right now, I’m easily seeing a “You people are all crazy…….I’m just going to retire” ending.

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