Wanderers in Middle-Earth

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A hierarchical comparison between the structure of the Lord of the Rings fan phenomenon and the academic world.

MORÁN IGLESIAS, Laura 09/01/2012 Narrativa Inglesa 5º Filología Inglesa

<<I think in his heart, Frodo’s still in love with the Shire. The woods, the fields. Little rivers>> says Bilbo Baggins to his old friend Gandalf, in one of the opening scenes of The Lord of the Rings adaptation by Peter Jackson (Jackson, 2001). Replace Frodo’s name for any other, and you will have a perfect description of what a fan feels towards the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Thousands of readers have fallen in love with Middle-Earth, page by page, completely captivated by its magic. In this essay, we will analyze the impact that The Lord of the Rings has in its fans, and how these fans have answered to the calling of the Fellowship of the Ring. When, in 1937 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien published The Hobbit, he could not imagine how little Bilbo’s adventures would affect the world. Bilbo’s quest with the darwes was just the beginning of something bigger, something that became a reality with the publication of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 1954, almost twenty years after the release of The Hobbit. Soon after the publication of The Fellowship the Ringer phenomenon became global. Tolkien had as many defenders as critics; amongst the latters, Edmund Wilson was one of his most bitter detractors. He defined The Lord of the Rings as “juvenile trash” (Wilson, 1956) and many critics were by his side. Nevertheless, the growing phenomenon for Tolkien’s work was unstoppable. In no time, the books became number one bestsellers and occupied the first position in the list of the hundred greatest novels of the 20 th century in England; The Hobbit, the one who started it all, was number nineteen. Since that day on, The Lord of the Rings has captivated as many readers as it did before; and, even though it still has many critics, its supporters are even more. The most impressive thing about The Lord of the Rings is not, however, the number of lovers or haters it has. For its fans, Tolkien’s work is more than a piece of literary fiction: it is something alive that accompanies them through every step of their lives, which inhabits their dreams and fills their minds with a great deal of creativity. Lord of the Rings fan phenomenon can only be described using the fan’s own words. <<We are servers of the Secret Fire. We are one generation of readers followed by another... and another. From every walk of life, from the four corners of the world, we are wanderers in Middle-Earth. We have truly gone there and back again. Yet the world of J.R.R.Tolkien beckons us to return. [...] We write Rock&Roll songs. We make visionary films. We fight for the environment. We stand in line for weeks. We are hobbits and we are wizened wizards. We are the global following of The Lord of the Rings. We are Ringers.>> Ringers: Lord of the Fans, 2005

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Many pieces of fanworks1 are mentioned in this extract, but many others have been left out. Shorts, animations, music videos, comic books, illustrations, web pages, essays and graphics amongst others; and one of the most popular fanwork in fandom 2, the one that will be thoroughly analyzed in this essay, is fan fiction. In the course of this essay, it will be explained what fan fiction consist of, and it will be analyzed taking into account genre and popularity. There will also be a comparison between fan fiction and academic writings, and we will see where they differ and where they don’t. We will also analyze a phenomenon that only takes place in The Lord of the Rings fandom and which divides written works, fan made or academic, into works “socially acceptable” or “minor works”. Firstly, we will see what fan fiction is. Fan fiction, also called fanfiction or fanfic, could be seen as just one kind of fanwork. Its definition is very simple: “Fanfiction is a work of fiction written by fans for other fans, taking a source text or a famous person as a point of departure. It is most commonly produced within the context of a fannish community [fandom] and can be shared online such as in archives or in print such as in zines3.” (Fanlore, 2008) Why is it, then, more relevant than other fanworks? Because it is the most widespread fanactivity. There is fanfiction for any fandom, but you may not find fanarts 4 for all of them. Or you may find them, but in a minor number. There are extremely skilled fanartists for The Lord of the Rings fandom who not only draw, but also modify captions from the movies and make graphics, icons and parodies with them – now that the technology allows us to do so. Nevertheless, fanficiton is the predominant fanwork for every fandom and The Lord of the Rings is not an exception. Fanfiction.net, one of the major online archives for uploading and sharing fanfiction of any kind, proofs the popularity of the LOTR5 fandom. There are, at this very moment [January 2012], 45.944 fanfics uploaded in the webpage for The Lord of the Rings, divided into many languages, genres and ratings. Tolkien’s work is the third one in the list of fanfiction.net, only exceeded by Twilight, with 194.614 fanfics and Harry Potter, with 572.174. The number of fanfiction for all of them grows every day – not a week ago, The Lord of the Rings had twenty eight fanfics less than today, and Harry Potter has today 1.310 fanfics more than a week ago. Though it is impossible to compare Tolkien and Rowling’s work in terms of content, it is also
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Fanwork: Fanworks are the creative products of fannish endeavor. In other words, fanworks are works created by fans, generally intended for other fans. [...] Some element of a canon work -- the source text or event -- is taken and incorporated into a new creative piece. (Fanlore, 2008) 2 Fandom: community of people with similar interests, participating in fanactivities and interacting in some way, whether through discussions or creative works. The interaction may be face-to-face at gatherings such as conventions, or written communication, either off- or on-line. (Fanlore, 2008) 3 Zine: The word zine is short for 'magazine' (...). It has been used for several types of amateur periodical from different communities. (Fanlore, 2008) 4 Fanart: any amateur art for a specific TV show, movie, book, or other media event not owned or created by the artist. 5 Abreviation for The Lord of the Rings.

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unbelievable to compare them in terms of fandom – Harry Potter cannot be compared with any other fandom; it surpasses its most competent rival for 377.560 fanfics just in one archive. Moreover, we have to bear in mind that The Lord of the Rings fandom was born long before the Internet and the fandom boom, reboosted by the released of Peter Jackson’s movie versions, and Harry Potter is a fandom born with the generation of online communities.

We have more data that supports the predominance of fanfiction over other fanworks, and that shows how alive The Lord of the Rings fandom is. We should not forget that fandom is also divided into several different languages, and within fanfiction.net the English language for this fandom has no rival. It occupies the first place in the ranking with more than 41.500 fanfics in fanfiction.net. German is the second language more used to write LOTR fanfiction, with 1.457 fanfics; in third place is French, with 1.232 and in fourth place is Spanish, with 647. The difference is enormous, though it does not mean that Spanish fandom is minor than the English one: it is a fact that many writers, independently of their mother tongue, usually decide to write and read in English. Regarding genres, we should also make an exception with one of them: the crossovers. Crossovers themselves may not be considered a genre, but here we will treat them as one. Crossovers are, in a few words, fanworks that mix two different source materials. For example, in fanfiction.net there are 1.184 crossovers of the Lord of the Rings with other materials, such as Harry Potter (with 422 crossovers), The Chronicles of Narnia (with 63) or things as unexpected as Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (with 54) or Naruto (with 44). As I have said, crossovers are not a genre in itself because each crossover has its own genre; they can be comedies, romances or adventure fanfiction. But as we shall not deal further with the subject I will not go in detail with it; we will see now, therefore, the question of genres. Applied to fanfiction, genre is a tricky label. Fanfics are divided into traditional genres as any other kind of fiction: you can find romance, adventure, humour, tragedy or comedy. But there are three other labels that apply to fanfiction and that are independent from traditional genres as they can coexist together in the same fanfic. These labels are slash, femslash and gen. Slash fanworks are those dealing with male/male relationships that go beyond friendship. They are not about two male friends but about two male lovers, or two male friends that become lovers. There are many kinds of slash relationships, and a slash fanfic can be romantic, humorous or tragic, but the main protagonists will be two males involved in a romantic situation or with romantic inclination towards each other. Femslash is, therefore, easily defined once you know the meaning of slash: femslash fanworks are those treating female/female relationships. This is usually less popular than its counterpart and, also, more romantic and less sexual. Slash is usually, if not always, rated NC-17, whereas you can find a lot of femslash with no sexual connotations at all. However, as this is not the topic of the essay, we will deal now with the

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third label: gen. Gen, or general, includes heterosexual relationships or fanfiction dealing with no relationships at all. In a recent survey done in latierramedia.livejournal.com, a Spanish Livejournal community for The Lord of the Rings fans, the results found were that gen and slash were the most read kind of fanfic, whereas no one read femslash at all. We will analyze the implications of these results in the following parts of the essay, as we will move now to the other topic we shall deal with: academic writing. Many things have been written about The Lord of the Rings in the world. From short articles to longer essays and books, treatises of Middle-Earth and Tolkien’s legendarium, uncountable writes have devoted themselves to explain and understand his world. In order to analyze it, we will divide this enormous amount of works into two types: highbrow and lowbrow. This decision is not arbitrary: though many critics considered Tolkien a minor writer, due to the genre to which he devoted himself to, the growing trend is to consider him a highclass artist. Despite being denied the Nobel prize in literature fifty years ago because it “has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality” (Österling, 1961), literary critics have grown fond of Tolkien. And not only critics, but many other writers as well, became more interested in his work after the release of the movies. Therefore, the traditional division of writings for or against Tolkien’s masterpiece was transformed into what we have called highbrow and lowbrow works. Literary criticism, whether it is praising Tolkien or trying to demystify it, will be considered highbrow; and, on the other hand, lowbrow works will be all those so-called lower articles, such as magazine reviews, minor essays and literary critics made by non-academics. But, why does this division exist? What makes a work – relating The Lord of the Rings – highbrow? In order to answer this question we will use two different parameters: the audience towards which a particular work is directed, and the perception of that very audience of said work. To clarify both aspects, we will look at some examples. One is A Question of Time: j.R.R. Tolkien’s Road to Faërie by Verlyn Flieger. In this book, the author investigates the question of time and the importance of dreams in Tolkien’s fiction, and the main proof that it is not directed towards a common audience is how many Tolkien’s works the book covers. An average reader, fond of fantasy, will sure have read The Lord of the Rings. A Tolkien fan will also have read The Hobbit and, at least, tried his hand with the Silmarillion. Hardcore fans will also be aware, if they have not read them yet, with the existance of books such as The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Sons of Húrin, the Unfinished Tales and The Book of Lost Tales. Nevertheless, only scholars will have had the chance to work with Songs for the Philologists, Tree and Leaf, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, articles in The Oxford Magazine, The Lost Road and Other Writings, Morgoth’s Ring, his essays, The Return of the Shadow, Sauron

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Defeated: The End of the Third Age, Smith of Wootton Major, The Treason of Isengard or The War of the Ring. This list of works, all written by Tolkien, is part of the bibliography of A Question of Time; apart from many other references to writers of which an average reader would have not read. As Flieger does, many scholars writing about Tolkien will use cross-references with the rest of his works – not just those dealing with Middle-Earth but also those which Tolkien wrote as a scholar himself, such as the edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and his essay on Beowulf. It is difficult to read such an essay and not get lost in the different names and references made by the author, thus creating clear boundaries for his audience. We find similar examples in Jane Chance’s Tolkien’s Art, defined as “a serious critical study of Tolkien’s works” by the Choice. Chance makes reference to 45 works written by Tolkien in a book 228 pages long – notes included. She also metions, at least, twice the number of works written by other people regarding Tolkien; and we could go on with many other works. The audience towards these works are clarely oriented is an academic one – they are not meant for fans, but for scholars. The limited number of readers is one of the main factors that make a work “highbrow”. Nowadays we do not measure the quality of a book for the number of readers; on the contrary, best-sellers are usually treated as cheap novels ment for enterteinment. As it has always happened in literature. Therefore, this kind of books dealing with Tolkien are not meant to be bestsellers: they are meant for a small audience. And this deliberate characteristic has another consequence that helps in the creation of the “highbrow” label: a common fan approaching, for example, A Question of Time, will reject it because he will not understand it. Not because it is under his knowledge but because it is over. Therefore, a fan who is able to read and understand it may consider himself in a higher position that one who rejected it – creating the illusion of highbrow. On the other hand we have lowbrow. If highbrow works are those directed towards a reduced public, lowbrow works are the rest. An essay directed towards fans? Lowbrow. A literary critic made by a common journalist? Lowbrow. A magazine review? An article in a newspaper? Summaries of Tolkien’s works in a webpage? All of them are regarded as lowbrow. They are directed to everyone: you can understand them by having very little knowledge of Middle-Earth. If you have read the books and enjoyed them it is enough. Some will not even need that: just by having seen the films a reader will be able to go through the article; are they are intended that way. Theyr functionality is to entertein and give information; and, in some cases, to invite the reader to go to the original work and enjoy it himself. We are not implying that lowbrow works are actually low – this label is used here to divide works as society does. Some scholar works have avoided the highbrow label an actual statement that their audience are

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common fans themselves. Patrick Curry starts his book Defending Middle-Earth. Tolkien: Myth and Modernity stating that “this book will undoubtedly make more sense if you have already read The Lord of the Rings; but if you have not, or need reminding, here is a very brief synopsis” (Curry, 1997). The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth: From The Hobbit to The Silmarillion (Foster, 1978), a reference book compiling all the terms Tolkien uses in his Middle-Earth works, is also a good example. It is a very exhaustive piece of research, carefully designed; yet, devoted to fans. The question of what makes a work high or low belongs to a different essay – here we will use the term as it has been given; and that the differences exist cannot be denied. Now that we have analyzed the differences between higbrow and lowbrow works in the academic – or rather in the out-of-fandom world, we will apply that division to the fandom. Do highbrow fanworks exist? Are there any lowbrow fanfic? What we will see now is that yes, they exist. Though fandom and fanfiction have their own divisions, which cannot be applied to an academic essay, they can be measured with the same barometer as outer works. Fandom has its highbrow –or lowbrow– fanfics, works that share some of the characteristics of their academic counterparts; but, as always, they also have some peculiarities that make them worth an analysis. In previous parts of this essay, we have seen that LOTR fandom has a great number of writers; and, therefore, of readers. But what do they like to read? Now that we know what slash, femslahs and gen are, we can answer this question easily. After a survey in latierramedia.livejournal.com –mentioned previously– and a careful analysis of the content of webpages, we have to conclude that what readers most do is slash and gen. Heterosexual or femslash fanfics are not very usual in LOTR fandom; whether it is because of the lack of women in the source material or for any other reason, we do not know. I will use the results of the survey, which was done to a limited number of people (eighteen women, varying in age from adolescents to adults) to exemplify patterns found at a larger level. This brief analysis will help us comprehend how LOTR fandom works and to divide it, afterwards, into highbrow and lowbrow. Firsy of all, we have to bear in mind that even though there are a great deal of fanfic readers, not every fan involved in other fanactivities read fanfic. In Latierramedia, seventen out of eighteen read fanfic for any other fandom; but just eight read it for The Lord of the Rings. The reasons were many: some did not know good fics, some other had no interest, some would not mind if they were recommended one, but would not look one for themselves. But the most

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common answer was that they respected and enjoyed the canon 6 too much. This answer rises many questions. The first one is why. Why they have in such esteem Tolkien’s words? The answer could be that they consider LOTR a classic, something of high culture, unchangeable and sacred. The other question is why it is, therefore, allowed to write about other source materials except this one. The answer could be the same. Other work’s canon, such as the canon of Harry Potter, does not have the same treatment as The Lord of the Rings. This attitude towards fanfiction is a hint of what is considered highbrow in fandom, and we will come back to it later on. Amongst those who read, the favourite genre is gen over slash. LOTR fandom is divided mainly into those branches, and all slash fiction usually involves the two main male figures: Legolas and Aragorn. There are also fanfics involving Legolas and Haldir and, also very often, fanfics protraying an incestuous7 relationship between Elladan and Elrohir. Slash fanfiction in The Lord of the Rings, mostly those fics Aragorn/Legolas, protray Arwen as dead or as an elvish witch who has enchanted Aragorn; Boromir as in love with either Legolas or Aragorn, and thus having to die for the sake of the plot; and take place during the Fourth Age, when Aragorn and Legolas reign Gondor happily with their children8. On the other hand, gen fic conveys every other kind of non-slash fiction. Some heterosexual relationships, hobbit-related fiction, frienship-related issues and so on. A very widespread and usually accepted in fandom are parodies. Parodies of the books and the movies can be seen through the whole net, and fanfiction parodies are not an exception. One example of a parody made into a comic book can be found on the Spanish zine SupeinGO! It is divided in three parts and the author’s nickname is Kaoru Okino A very popular genre (though no one read about it in the survey done in Latierramedia) for The Lord of the Rings fandom are the rewritings of the story. Most of them involve one or more Original Characters (OC) that will become the 10th Walker of the Fellowship and thus change the fate of the Ring. These OCs are usually young girls, and they can enter the story in
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Canon: Canon (in the context of fandom) is a source, or sources, considered authoritative by the fannish community. In other words, canon is what fans agree "actually" happened in a film, television show, novel, comic book, or concert tour. The term derives from the theological concept of canon, the foundational texts of a religion. Specific sources considered canon may vary even within a specific fandom. (Fanlore, 2008) In The Lord of the Rings, canon may be the book-canon, the movie-canon or a mixture of both. 7 Incest and slash fandom deserves an essay on its own. I want to clarify, nevertheless, that it is not strange at all to find brother/brother relationships in fanworks. To say even more, twincest (twin/twin incest) is even more popular amongst its followers than common incest. Two famous examples of incest: Fred/George, the twin Weasley brothers in Harry Potter; and Wincest, Sam/Dean Winchester brothers, protagonists of Supernatural. 8 Children of their own. M-Preg, or male pregnancy, is a usual component of some slash fanfiction. Fans want their ships (pairings, comes from relationship) to have their own children; and thus mpreg is given. They usually pay no attention to tha laws of nature or science, and invent magical explanations – or give no explanations at all.

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two different ways: by being a person existing in Middle-Earth, most usually an elf, or by magically appearing in Tolkien’s world, usually before the Council takes place. The latter kind of retelling has resemblances with other fantasy novels in which a person of the “normal world” appears in another and gets involved in many adventures, having to save said world of a fatal destiny. Two well-known series novels The Chronicles of Narnia, written by one of Tolkien’s best friends C.S. Lewis. Another characteristic of this kind of fanfiction is that the female protagonist tends to fall in love with one of the male protagonists –usually Legolas, as he is not “taken” like Aragorn, will not die like Boromir, is neither a hobbit, a dwarf nor and old wizard and is, moreover, beautiful and inmortal. It exists the possibility that another man –Boromir or Eomer– will fall in love with said OC as well as the OC’s love interest, but they will soon understand that they have nothing to do –or, in the case of Boromir, will die in repentance. The phenomenon of the 10th Walker is, nevertheless, curiuous in itself because, even though it superpoblates the fandom, the main characters are usually Mary Sues9 and the great majority of fandom tends to hate them. Why are these fictions so abundant, then? We have seen now the preferences of fandom regarding LOTR fanfiction. There are, nevertheless, some contradictions, or at least strange cases, that could be explained if we divided written fanworks as we divide academic ones: not because of their genre but because their status. As we have previously stated, we are going to apply the distinction between highbrow and lowbrow to fanfiction, and classify all the subtypes we have analyzed into one of these two groups. We will also explain why some kind of fanfiction belongs to one group and not to the other. We shall start with highbrow fanfiction. First of all, it is needed to be reminded that highbrow works are those directed to a limited audience. This is also true for fanfiction, and a very important characteristic. Fanfic writers –or fanfickers– who belong to the highbrow fiction write their stories for fans that are very aware of the canon of the books. They do not write for fans of the films or for those who do no relate as much as them to the canon of the books. Therefore, highbrow fiction will be specific, full of references to minor places and characters; references that a “true” fan will surely understand, but that a “mediocre” fan will fail to perceive. A fanfic that illustrates this very well is the well-known “The Captain and the King” by plasticChevy. It narrates the story of the

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Mary Sue: A Mary Sue is an original character in fan fiction, usually but not always female, who for one reason or another is deemed unrealistic by readers. The usual rationale behind labeling a character a Mary Sue is that she is "too perfect" or excels in one or more ways. She is often considered a mere "selfinsert" of the author. The main difficulty with true Mary Sues in fan fiction is that they warp the characterization and even the established story lines of the canon characters and settings. The male version of a Mary Sue is a Gary Stu .

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Fellowship from the moment when Merry and Pippin are taken hostages of the orcs. It is an AU10 about Aragorn and Boromir, and how Boromir helps his King gain the throne of Gondor. Another example, written in Spanish, is the one by the livejournal user inesika8. She confesses herself a not very asiduous reader of LOTR fanfiction, and never planned to write one to begin with. It is called “Razones para quedarse” –Reasons to stay– and tells the story of how Bilbo decided to adopt Frodo. She even mentions characters that appear but once in the book, such as Dudo Baggins, younger brother of Drogo Baggins, father of Frodo. The second characteristic that a highbrow fic must posses lays in its genre. One piece of fiction can be extremely well written, with as many details as possible, and still not be considered highbrow because of its very genre. Curiously enough, this of fanfic suffers the same treatment that Tolkien’s work itself suffered fifty years ago: it was disminished because of its very genre, fantasy. One example of this is a fanfiction written by Azalais called “Amid the Powers and Chances of this World”. With 49 chapters plus appendix and acknowledgements, it narrates the story of Rowanna, a girl from Rohan who ends up in Rivendell. Though her story interacts with the one of the Fellowship, she does not become the 10th Walker and follows her own path. The writer clearly shows her manage of Middle-Earth in a style very similar –though they are not up to comparison– to Tolkien’s. Nevertheless, she is still an original character and, even worse, she and Legolas fall in love wihin the little intercourse they have. Slash and femslash are also clearly left out from the highbrow labels, because of reasons we will later see. This leaves us with the conclusion that highbrow fanworks are those made by “real fans” for “real fans”, dealing with familiar settings and treating topics such as friendship, courage and the value of family and love. Very close, indeed, to the topics Tolkien itself dealt within his books; and that may be the final and most important characteristic for a fanwork to be highbrow: its closeness with the original canon, the perfect management of characters and places portraying them as they actually behave, as Tolkien would have done. Lowbrow works are the rest: slash fiction, fics with OCs and those written following the movie-canon or with the canon mixed. But it is not only the genre what makes a fanfiction lowbrow. Bad spelling and grammar, poor writing, wrong characterization of characters and places, cheap plotes, Mary Sues and M-Preg are, amongst others, the principal causes for a fanfic to be considered lowbrow. These are, moreover, the more usual kind of fiction: not portraying them all, but every having one kind of “defect”. A Spanish forum, Los Malos Fics, dedicates itself to correct such fics and clean the fandom, as an Ivory Tower for High Culture in
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Alternative Universe, in which elements of the main plot are changed or completely removed, such as Boromir’s death.

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Fandom. We will take the first fanfic that appears in the thread forum as an example of what a fanfiction should not have and makes it, therefore, lowbrow. Said fic is called Secretos del Pasado –Secrets from the Past– and was written by Lost Souls of Destruction. It tells the story of two Elvish princesses that appear in the middle of the Council and become themselves the 10th and 11th Walkers of the Fellowship. In the forum, they point out the author’s many mistakes –the major one not having read the book– hoping that she will correct them, improve her fic and consequently to improve the fandom. Those mistakes are, as said before, bad spelling and writing, poor characterization, misspelling of some names –Guimli instead of Gimli, Légolas instead of Legolas, and so on–; and that the two main characters, her original characters, are considered Mary Sues. To further exemplify what a lowbrow fic is I will quote two different works. Both are in Spanish, belong to the slash genre and one of them has hints of incest and deals with the issue of M-Preg. Both can be found in a Spanish archive for slash fiction, Amor-Yaoi. The first one is called Inmortalidad –Inmortality, by Lady Baelish. Its summary states very clear what kind of fic the reader will find: Boromir, under the negative influence of the Ring, rapes Legolas. This rape breaks the Mirkwood’s prince mind; and, at the same time he is trying to recover, Aragorn is trying to seduce him. The second one is called La Salvación –The Salvation, written by La Oscura Reina Angel. Here is the summary, as it was written in Spanish: <<A cambio de salvar su vida y la de Elladan, Elrohir asedio a acostarse con un desconosido. El principe de Rivendel jamas se imagino quien era en realidad el hombre con quien se acosto y de quien quedo embarasado, pero ese hombre queria vengarse del intrepido principe y pronto Elrohir sabria quien fue el importante hombre de quien estaba embarasado.>>11 These two extracts clearly exemplify what fanfic writers should not do if they wanted to be labelled as highbrow. As we have seen through this essay, written works inspired by The Lord of the Rings are two different worlds sharing one common structure. Even though it may seem that fan phenomenon is just one obscure, uncomprehensible mass as seen from the outside, it structurates itself with the same social hierarchy as academic works do. There are fanworks more accepted than others, genres more popular or devoted than others, and pieces of writing better considered than others. The only differences that exist in reality between academic works
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It is imposible to translate this extract into English and not lose meaning in the process, that is why it is left in the original Spanish. I have not changed anything of it.

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and fanworks, is that fans pour all the love from their hearts in their works expecting nothing: not publication, not financial remuneration, no social recognition. They just have the hope that, trhough their words, they may make feel, live, vibrate another person as the source material made themselves feel. They want to inspire because they were inspired, in this case, by J.R.R. Tolkien’s words. That is why they will always be Ringers, wanderers in Middle-Earth.

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REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY Alicexz. Elessar. In http://alicexz.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4fkx9l Azalais. Amid the Powers and Chances of this World. In http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6582878/1/bAmid_b_the_bPowers_b_and_Chances_of_the _World Broadway, C. & Cordova, C. (2005). Ringers: Lord of the Fans. United States: Sony Pictures Home Enterteinment. Chance, J. (2001). Tolkien’s Art. Kentucky: Kentucky U.P. Curry, P. (1998). Defending Middle-Earth. Tolkien: Myth and Modernity. London: Harper Collins. Flieger, V. (1997). A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Road to Faërië. Kent, Ohio: Kent U.P. Foster, R. (1999). Guía Completa de la Tierra Media. Barcelona: Minotauro. Inesika8 (Mdnight Juliet). Razones para quedarse. In http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7020782/1/ Jackson, P. (2001). The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand: New Line Cinema. Kishimoto, M. (1997). Naruto. Japan: Shueisha. LadyBaelish. Inmortalidad. In http://amor-yaoi.com/fanfic/viewstory.php? sid=59110&warning=5 La Oscura Reina Angel. La Salvación. In http://amor-yaoi.com/fanfic/viewstory.php?sid=20341 Lewis, C.S. (1950-56). The Chronicles of Narnia. United Kingdom: Harper Collins. Meyer, S. (2005-2008). Twilight. United States: Little, Bronw and Company. Okino, K. The Lord of the Ruin. SupeinGO! In http://supeingofanzine.deviantart.com/ Österling, A. In The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/05/jrr-tolkien-nobel-prize plasticChevy. The Captain and the King. In http://h.t.ioki.tripod.com/lotr/Captain1.htm Rowling, J.K. (1997-2007). Harry Potter. United Kingdom: Bloomsbury. Tolkien, J.R.R. (1937). The Hobbit. London: George Allen and Unwin.  (1954). The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. London: George Allen and Unwin.  et al. (1936). Songs for the philologists. London: University College.  (1962). The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. London: George Allen and Unwin.  (1984). The Book of Lost Tales. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1981). The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Ed. Humphrey Carpenter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1965). Tree and Leaf. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1988). The Return of the Shadow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1993). Morgoth’s Ring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

 (1992). Sauron Defeated. The End of the Third Age. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1977). The Silmarillion. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1978). Smith of Wootton Major. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1989). The Treason of Isengard. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1980). Unfinished Tales. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  (1990). The War of the Ring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Whedon, J. (1997). Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. United States: The WB.

Webpages: All definitions at http://fanlore.org/wiki/Main_Page Fanfiction.net www.fanfiction.net Latierramedia http://latierramedia.livejournal.com Amor-Yaoi www.amor-yaoi.com

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SPECIAL THANKS Special thanks to Ada Ross, the best beta that ever existed; And to the whole community of latierramedia, who patiently fulfilled my survey and answered my questions in detail. Thank you for helping me out and sharing with me your ringer experience.

Elessar by Alicexz.

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