Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Extra Sci Fi - #1

  • Published on Jan 23, 2019
  • J. R. R. Tolkien wasn't *just* a fantasy author--he was a mythology master. As a result, he ended up inventing some of the most popular genre tropes that science fiction heavily draws upon. Fellowship of the Ring introduces the theme of the "lessening of the world" and the decay of humanity.
    Subscribe for more episodes every Tuesday! bit.ly/SubToEC
    Get the Extra Sci Fi Reading List! bit.ly/ESF_List
    Learn all about our shows at becausegamesmatter.com
    Thanks for participating in this week's discussion! We want you to be aware of our community posting guidelines so that we can have high-quality conversations: goo.gl/HkzwQh
    Contribute community subtitles to Extra Sci Fi: tvclip.biz/user/timedtext_cs_panel?c=UCCODtTcd5M1JavPCOr_Uydg&tab=2
    Talk to us on Twitter (@ExtraCreditz): bit.ly/ECTweet
    Follow us on Facebook: bit.ly/ECFBPage
    Would you like James Portnow to speak at your school or organization? james-portnow.com/
    ♪ Music: "Hypothetical" by Surasshu

Comments • 640

  • Extra Credits
    Extra Credits  9 months ago +334

    Do you think that the Peter Jackson film trilogy captures and presents these themes as well as the books do (if you've read them)? Why, or why not?

    • twobit21
      twobit21 8 months ago

      Much is always lost in the translation from text to moving pictures. In particular I would have loved to see Tom Bombadil on the silver screen. I would have to admit though, that taken as movies, the LOTR trilogy is brilliant. Perhaps trying to compare the two is like trying to compare apples to oranges. They are, after all, two completely different mediums. How do you cram a whole Middle Earth's (and others besides) worth of lore and beauty into just 3 movies? Perhaps this debate of Books vs. Movies should stop (Avada Kedavra!). Perhaps we could be grateful that the movies, by bringing LOTR into the mainstream, has drawn that many more people into reading the original books that they were based on, thereby increasing the number of people who appreciate the beauty of Tolkien's world. Perhaps we could learn to enjoy the books and the movies both, and smile when we do.
      (Caveat - That disgrace that was the Hobbit trilogy is utter crap though. I stand by that.)

    • Jan Park
      Jan Park 9 months ago

      I think Peter Jackson's implementation is very good, of course, you can only say so much with a movie compared with a very long and extremely detailed book. But in what's "essential" I think Mr. Jackson and the team behind the film did a great job.

    • Jim Luebke
      Jim Luebke 9 months ago

      It doesn't present the theme of "passing the torch" because that isn't really a theme in Tolkien. Passing and fading to a lesser generation, is the general theme. Gandalf isn't there to apologize for anything, he's there to stamp out the last scraps of an ancient evil, that in itself is far less than the evil of previous generations.

    • 10,000 subs, no videos challenge
      10,000 subs, no videos challenge 9 months ago

      Not reeeaaalllly.

    • Adrián Llana
      Adrián Llana 9 months ago

      They are great movies, but they miss way top many points from the books

  • Richard Tang
    Richard Tang 6 days ago

    4:41 UWU

  • Za warudo Requiem
    Za warudo Requiem 19 days ago

    The great lord Sauron sends his regards.

  • Angus Johnson
    Angus Johnson Month ago

    On the verge of 2020, this lesson is insanely relevant, and that scares me a lot.

  • Zephan Mayeda
    Zephan Mayeda Month ago

    Kinda like climate change

  • Gordon Stewart
    Gordon Stewart 2 months ago

    In keeping with this video, wasn't the theme also about the lack of the past generation in realizing the power of evil?

  • Gordon Stewart
    Gordon Stewart 2 months ago +1

    The Power of Fiction tvclip.biz/video/WoAE15gtEzg/video.html

  • sketch it
    sketch it 2 months ago

    Lord of the rings is my favourite sci-fi stories

  • Operation Aviation
    Operation Aviation 3 months ago

    Fhgjhg ihjophfd&hj hjhghf J.M. jog
    Hggggghgbb hhhikb
    Ghhbhhhh kknknjb
    Gybhbghjhhh hhhbnbb

  • Omgitsjoetime T
    Omgitsjoetime T 4 months ago


  • Mark Rosacay
    Mark Rosacay 4 months ago

    My fav author

  • Williem Herbert
    Williem Herbert 5 months ago +1

    "FLY, YOU FOOLS!" -- Gandalf The Grey

  • wynny
    wynny 5 months ago

    vut? this aint scifi

  • Li
    Li 5 months ago

    4:22 "There are things worth fighting for"

  • Li
    Li 5 months ago


  • Erik Unger
    Erik Unger 6 months ago

    Yes please dive deeper

  • fs dds
    fs dds 6 months ago

    Now we see a lot of spaceship packed with elves, dwarfs and dragons, lot of office demons and halflings going to be elected as president of United States of Middle Earth, **the old days**

  • SuperGamersGames
    SuperGamersGames 6 months ago

    While this is a great examination of Tolkien, you must keep in mind also that he was a Christian and there will also be times where he references to certain aspects of this.

  • Gary Brown
    Gary Brown 7 months ago

    Wait I just got something about bilbo’s 111st birthday. Is that possibly a reference to ww1 ending? Anyone have any ideas?

  • Gabriel Brennan
    Gabriel Brennan 7 months ago

    Shoutout to Methusaleh!

  • Jonkeu Viuhc
    Jonkeu Viuhc 8 months ago

    This ain't sci fi!

  • Francesco Manuguerra
    Francesco Manuguerra 8 months ago

    0:15 wtf was that laugh

  • Mark Siefert
    Mark Siefert 8 months ago

    But what if the “wisdom” and “traditions“ of the previous times are too bigoted and corrupt to pass along, and preserve?
    If anything, the liberation from the filthy barbarisms of theism, spirituality, and belief in the afterlife and the supernatural are to be wished for rather than wept over.

  • Thyandyr
    Thyandyr 8 months ago

    Very conveniently left out that Tolkien was mostly just a charletan

  • Ka Ben
    Ka Ben 8 months ago


  • The Limburgian Revolutionary

    You forgot to mention Tolkien warming us for illeagal immigration and our people being replaced.

  • olstar18
    olstar18 8 months ago

    Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
    Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

  • Saiphas Cain
    Saiphas Cain 8 months ago

    The concept of "the lessening of generations" reeks of both the hubris of "the greatest generation" ( self named ) and the concept that "these damned kids" always have it so easy that pervades nearly every generation of humanity since the dawn of storytelling. There are stories of folks lamenting the newspaper back in the day the same exact way people lament smart phones today but if you read and absorb enough you realize both that it's both impossible for humanity to be on a downward slide every generation without having hit rock bottom centuries ago, and obvious that humanity has always been this way ( I'll point to the "Complaint tablet to Ea-nasir" ) and "the olds" just like to have something to kvetch about in anything younger than them they don't understand. Being middle aged gives you the interesting crossroads insight of understanding both why older people complain about new technology ( like non-intuitive interfaces. Why did you change it? The start button worked fine and more importantly I KNEW WHERE EVERYTHING WAS! STOP HIDING THE REAL CONTROLS BEHIND APPS! ) and why younger people don't trust the old and think they're idiots ( surely they were never actually children themselves and can't know what we're going through, they must be too old to hear or notice me sneaking about. Surely it isn't because they know exactly what I'm up to and just don't care )

  • Seth Witte
    Seth Witte 9 months ago

    It’s probably not good that I haven’t seen any of the lord of the rings movies

  • BigFire
    BigFire 9 months ago +1

    Now do it in the original Black Speech.

  • thinbox dictator
    thinbox dictator 9 months ago +1

    I never got Tolkien.
    it may be that I have read Herbert as a kid and didn't hear about Tolkien until movie destroyed it for me.
    I do not claim,that Dune movies are better, just that from my subjective biased perspective I never got need to read LOTR and never liked it's movies.
    (I have never read / seen Harry Potter either.. not that it could compare to these,just that I apparently am not common case in these things)

  • Elijah Bachrach
    Elijah Bachrach 9 months ago

    Did I miss the episode where they explained their decision to categorize Tolkien as science fiction?

  • Attichan The Skyentist
    Attichan The Skyentist 9 months ago

    5:49 the last thing anyone should want to do. Disgusting

  • Kathryne Scott
    Kathryne Scott 9 months ago

    Lois McMaster Bujold is also a wonderful author ❤️😁

  • Complexeon
    Complexeon 9 months ago

    Can we just take a minute and acknowledge the amazing graphics? Holy dayum boi

  • Jose Angel C
    Jose Angel C 9 months ago +6

    Lol passing of the torch in Star Wars from Luke to Rey as if that's what Ryan Johnson wanted. Loved your video guys!
    I hope this becomes an excuse for a new Extra Fantasy show soon

  • Shane Stevens
    Shane Stevens 9 months ago

    So starts the greatest story ever told

  • Overhazard
    Overhazard 9 months ago

    Interesting to see the concept of the passing of generations. For the kids of today, Naruto would probably be the most popular series to have that theme, though it doesn't have the "diminishing with time" aspect that Lord of the Rings has. Rather, it's way more direct: it argues that the people of the older generations are actively holding back the newer generations by enforcing their rules on the younger folk, rules that don't necessarily apply anymore. In addition, the older generations hold grudges against things that happened prior (the Uchiha genocide, the previous Great Ninja Wars, the feud between the two sons of the Sage of Six Paths, etc.) that the younger ones, have forgiven the other sides for. The inheriting of the Tailed Beasts is a good example, as the people who watched their hometowns get destroyed by them and sealed them into human vessels bear a grudge so strong that they show a similar contempt for the vessels themselves despite the vessels having had no say over the whole thing, and even after Naruto discovers their sentience and is able to communicate with them. (That is, the one "gift" left from one generation to the next is a set of WMDs that the next generation doesn't even want but gets hated on for taking it anyway.) The final battle in the original series is against the oldest generation of all and hates the modern world the most. This antagonist can only be defeated when all other generations learn to forgive one another, setting aside their differences to combine their power.
    Going into Boruto, with these differences set aside, the world enters into a much better age. Living standards and technology have improved greatly, as does overall understanding of the world, and for the first time in the Naruto universe, there is total peace between the major powers. (Of course, this causes the series to be noticeably worse than the first one, narratively speaking, as the world being at peace means all they fight now are small criminal sydicates and terrorist cells. There's not much at stake.)
    I'm not a Naruto fan, mind you. I just pay attention to these series when they become popular. I consume a lot of media in general, as I love to broaden my horizons. I'm the sort to watch Jeopardy! every day, for instance.
    Also, I know this would receive a lot of hate, but I LOVE the fact that you guys used the elderly Luke Skywalker handing the light saber to Rey. I think this one works better than Obi Wan to Luke because the former is relatively quick, with most of the resistance coming from Luke, whereas Luke is incredibly reluctant to do the same for Rey, and he has to make peace with himself first. Also, I know the Sequel Trilogy is a love-it-or-hate-it thing, and I am firmly on the side of Love It. So I just wanted to put my two cents on that side because I know plenty of others will have already on the Hate It side.

  • Siva Pingali
    Siva Pingali 9 months ago

    Those opening lines always give me goosebumps. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

  • תומר פלח
    תומר פלח 9 months ago

    That's odd, the title and the whatever under the video were translated

  • Greg Wiens
    Greg Wiens 9 months ago

    One of the greatest sins of the 20th century (and now too) is what Tolkien's good friend CS Lewis called "Chronological Snoppery"
    That is thinking that those who came before us were fools

  • Phoenix Dawn
    Phoenix Dawn 9 months ago

    I hadn't thought about the passing on the torch aspect before!

  • MrAwsomenoob
    MrAwsomenoob 9 months ago

    Watching this I cant help but to forlornly ask myself what are we leaving for the future, and what was left for us by the past?

  • Frank Upton
    Frank Upton 9 months ago

    I don't think hobbits have pointed ears, as they are drawn here. There is nothing in LOTR to indicate that they do and, since they are much closer to Men than Elves, it seems very unlikely.

  • Joshy Boy
    Joshy Boy 9 months ago

    Great, now I want to read LOTR. Also: I'm getting a Dark Souls vibe from the decay of man.

  • notablegoat
    notablegoat 9 months ago

    If Lord of the Rings were about Climate Change then Gandalf would just rant about how it's a hoax created by the evil men from the east

  • Diego Lamanya
    Diego Lamanya 9 months ago

    Also ghibli does this of the diminishing of the world and the ancient spiritual ways. Specially in mononoke no hime

  • WolfGr33d
    WolfGr33d 9 months ago

    I read somewhere that Tolkien viewed the concept of history as one massive spanning defeat. Kind of pessimistic, but I'd argue Tolkien wasn't saying the future is hopeless. He seemed to treat the 'defeat' with a kind of bittersweet attitude.

  • Bob
    Bob 9 months ago +1

    *Fighting Gold!*

  • Sam King
    Sam King 9 months ago

    Hard to mention Tolkien without also mentioning Dungeons and Dragons and the spawning of an entire new genre of games - the role playing game. While a number of game designers had attempted similar concepts, it was Tolkien-influenced D&D that capture the imagination of generations afterward.

  • Boa of the Boaians
    Boa of the Boaians 9 months ago


  • Yiffox
    Yiffox 9 months ago

    Funny thing, the ages of people in the Bible was generally consistently around 900 years. If you accept that 1 day is 1000 years to god (and we are nearing the end of the 6th day of the week in 2030, days exactly after christ died - 7th "day" will be day of rest, the millenium) it fulfills the promise that Adam will surely die that day for eating the fruit. Also interesting is that ages after the flood fall along a perfect geometric curve to modern levels, something not discovered till the 1500s.

  • dnvdk
    dnvdk 9 months ago

    this is the sh*t that should be trending! -- cheers!

  • James Tucker
    James Tucker 9 months ago

    I have a feeling this particular series is going to have a tremendous impact further down the road.

  • Bobby Jones
    Bobby Jones 9 months ago

    I hope you plan on discussing Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy.

  • DamienZshadow
    DamienZshadow 9 months ago

    Out of all of the things I appreciate out of Tolkien's work and his worldbuilding, this is my least favorite and how it has impacted science fiction. Sure, the moral decay of dystopian futures make for great conflict and plot but it also paints an unnecessarily darker view of the future. More importantly than the limiting variety of sci-fi tones out there in fiction is public perception of the future due impart to their layman understanding of these works.
    How often must I roll my eyes over the gut reactions people have to the idea of alien civilizations, artificial intelligence and virtual realities? It's always War of the Worlds, iRobot, or The Matrix respectively to each topic. Don't get me wrong, I love these titles and value the caution they force us to face but there is a severe bias to the perspective of future degradation being inevitable in this light. Rarely are works like Star Trek or Ready Player One featured that celebrate the future while still maintaining a strong conflict. The latter option was a dubious example that was first of modern work to pop into my head but the lack of examples is very telling of what I am trying to get at. Wish there was more like that. Our society needs it.

  • Philipp Lyanguzov
    Philipp Lyanguzov 9 months ago

    could you do an episode on the strugatsky brothers and some of the important works written in other languages such as Valerian and Laureline as well as Karel Kapek's Rossums Universal Robots

  • E M
    E M 9 months ago

    This was my issue with dbz. That it set up for a passing onto a new generation, only to fall back from it and let its world become more and more stagnant.

  • Frank Harr
    Frank Harr 9 months ago

    That makes sense. And given his own history and what was going on around him, it would make sense.
    I wonder if that's part of why I like Decomposing Composers.

  • Akram Safirul
    Akram Safirul 9 months ago

    To this day i still question Sauron motives to get the ring
    What he gonna use the power for?