If something is included that we absolutely know did not happen (say, Angmar rising again) then that is most definitely a contradiction. What else can it be?
What do you mean by that? If you mean something that Tolkien obviously never intentionally left room for in his narrative, the majority of LotRO's side stories would be "contradictions," but a "contradiction" is some event or detail that could not logically exist in the books, like Aragorn being a handicapped person without arms and being unable to regain those arms by some contrived means before his arms are again logically required for the story's events to take place. Unless the book specifically remarks on Frodo's legs being hairy, we don't know 100% that he did not shave his legs every night. We'd be hard-pressed to think of why he'd do such a thing, but if he shaved his legs every night in the game's lore and the book does not remark on his hairy legs, that's not a contradiction.
The Men who'd dwelt there had been entirely wiped out, we're told, so who are those guys supposed to be? That's a contradiction.
What if some of the Men of Angmar left that place previously, then all who remained in Angmar were wiped out, but then those men who went far away eventually returned to Angmar? Highly improbable. Not impossible. Not a contradiction.
And it's also one that doesn't really make much sense:
Not making much sense is something I agree with, and I appreciate your details that interpret the situation. Being contradictory, however, is another story.
This is waffle. Strength, weight and reach are very significant in fighting at close quarters, and Hobbits would be sadly lacking in all three. Being so much shorter than their opponents would not be an advantage in a straight fight. Let's have some common sense, here: how did David beat Goliath? Not by fighting him on even terms, that's for sure. Your would-be picture of hobbits shimmying about, dodging like they're in the Matrix is farcical.
I agree that it's "farcical" in the sense that it is highly unlikely. However, "farcical" in that sense does not mean impossible, and you need an impossibility to establish a logical contradiction. Perhaps the detail about the opponent being used to swinging toward like-heighted opponents would not be an advantage in even the remotest situations, and I was wrong to choose it. It's also certain that the hobbit would have numerous disadvantages in their role as a guardian. However, despite being severely impractical, it has to be "impossible" to create a contradiction. It might have a 0.0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000005% chance of ever being remotely feasible, but if that chance remains, you still don't have a contradiction.
Oh, and do remember that mithril mail wouldn't prevent its wearer from being injured altogether. You could still suffer blunt force trauma and have the mail forced into your flesh, both of which happened to Frodo in the book. If it had been a Troll that had speared him, as in the movie, then he'd have been very badly hurt, quite likely killed outright by having his internal organs ruptured by the force of such a blow. It happened very differently in the book, and the detail Tolkien provides is wholly plausible.
That's a good point, and it's true. A hobbit could be killed if they were struck directly by a troll if they were wearing mithril, however, I think that there is some possibility that it wouldn't kill them outright, just injure them, even if it were minimal, which you allowed for yourself also.
I suppose you could say that hobbit guardians are just as likely as player characters taking damage from a Blackwold by being hit with an arrow 50 times, but never dying. The entire system by which the game registers damage makes everything that happens completely improbable, however, one could just say every single arrow barely nicked the player's armor on the side. That's farcical in the sense that it would be totally improbable, but it is not logically impossible.
The only word for that is FAIL. Of course it'd be contradictory to have a sci-fi invasion in the middle of a traditionally-minded fantasy.
For something to be contradictory, there needs to be a detail for it to contradict. Would it be "contradictory" to reality for a unicorn to tear my door down this instant? No; the only thing it would contradict is my idea of reality. The only way it would "contradict" reality would be if there were a specific, inalienable law of the universe which said that unicorns cannot under any circumstances exist.
Genre is implied, not stated. The fact that Tolkien never applies those elements of science fiction to his universe heavily implies that no such elements could happen in his universe, but unless Tolkien logically ruled out the possibility with a statement like "Middle-earth is not a land where flying saucers can ever exist," a flying saucer flying over Middle-earth would not produce a contradiction. It would make no sense whatsoever, but we would not use a word that describes an objective concept, such as "contradiction." Rather, we would use a word which describes a subjective concept, like "stupid."
Whether something is "stupid" or not, as with any subjective label, would vary from person to person, even though everyone might happen to think something is "stupid." However, you can 100% absolutely tell whether something is "contradictory." A "contradiction" is just like saying 2+4 equals 8; it's one of the few claims against something being possible that is 100% provable. A "contradiction" is saying that your father IS human, and also saying that your father IS NOT human. A "contradiction" is not a completely ridiculous, farcical tale that happens outside the narration of the Lord of the Rings stories but does not specifically contradict details given by Tolkien. A "contradiction" is Saruman never changing his robes' colors, or more specifically, Saruman still having his white robes in situations where he was specifically mentioned as wearing his new robes.
The description of Bree's situation in the book leaves no room for somewhere like Trestlebridge.
You could very well be correct, but I'll have to find that part of the book and re-read it to see what you're talking about, and whether it allows any possibility of Man-made settlements outside Bree, Combe and Archet. My current understanding (based on the wiki article I read before I made my last post) was that it also allowed for some scattered settlements, but of course the only important thing is what Tolkien himself wrote.
Last edited by SeaofGlass; May 09 2012 at 04:11 AM.