The Lord of the Rings Fanfiction
Both the original books and the new films have inspired much fanfiction about The Lord of the Rings. Because of the strong bonds of friendship and devotion between the male characters, the lack of developed female characters in the source text, and the gorgeousness of the actors in the films, slash and gen are more prevalent in this fandom than het and femslash. The stories may be set in the bookverse or movieverse, or perhaps somewhere in between, or in alternate universes.
An enormous variety of pairings have been written, but the most common are probably Aragorn/Boromir, Aragorn/Legolas, Legolas/Gimli, Frodo/Sam and Merry/Pippin in slash, and Aragorn/Arwen, Faramir/Éowyn and Legolas/ofc in het.
Bookverse vs. Movieverse
The term verse, is used in fandom to refer to a fictional universe. Since there are significant differences between the stories told in the books and the movies, some fans label their fics as "book-verse" or "movie-verse", and some explain that they write a blend of book- and movieverse.
Some who had been fans of Tolkien's (written) works for many years were disdainful of newbies who came to the fandom only after the success of the movies, especially if their fics showed a lack of knowledge of book canon. Even in fics labeled as bookverse, the influence of the movies is often present, especially in the characters physical appearance (Frodo's large blue eyes, Legolas's long blond hair) but also in plot, characterization, etc. Some book fans blame a weak-willed or "girly" Frodo, a clownish Pippin, or a violent, aggressive Faramir in fics on movie characterization.
Like the chapters about hobbits in the books, fanfic about hobbits tends to have a more casual style than fic about Men and Elves. Much hobbit fanfic takes place in the hobbits' home, the Shire, in the years before the main events of canon. Hobbit fans also write about the Quest and include characters of other races in their stories, but their contact with fans who are principally interested in those other characters is somewhat limited. Hobbit fans have had their own mailing lists, story archives, LiveJournal communities, and fic writing challenges.
Attitudes about slash and sexuality
Some fans take hobbits' famous enjoyment of food and other earthly comforts, together with the main characters' clear affection for each other from canon, as evidence that hobbits would also probably enjoy many different kinds of sex very much. Such fans sometimes wrote about cheerfully bisexual hobbits who would engage in threesomes and foursomes, known as hobbitpiles. The hobbitfic archive West of the Moon used to give out an award for "Best Hobbit Origami".
On the other hand, some fans point to the Family Trees in the Appendices and other evidence from canon to argue that hobbits were monogamous. Some hobbit fans accept slash between Frodo and Sam or between Merry and Pippin but not other combinations.Still other fans do not approve of slash at all. Stories of Arda is a large and active hobbitfic archive that allows het stories rated up to R but no slash or femslash. Their submission guidelines contain the following paragraph about sexuality:
Authors who wish to use sexuality as a theme should bear in mind Tolkien's own beliefs and values and the place of such a topic in his work. Sex as a subject must be treated within the limits of Tolkien's canon and clearly expressed views. Stories using sexual themes, including sexual violence and gratuitous discussion of sexual preferences, as the sole basis of the story or that do not reflect the society or characters as Tolkien wrote them will be removed.
"Interspecies slash" refers to a subgenre beloved by some hobbit fans and reviled by others, which involves pairing hobbits (especially Frodo) with other races of Men (especially Aragorn, Faramir, and Boromir).
Many archives, mailing lists, and communities required writers to warn for "interspecies", if they accepted it at all. Some fans felt that given the hobbits' slighter stature, most hobbit/man pairings were a form of chan masquerading as slash between adults. Others felt that bookverse Frodo is a fifty-year-old adult, and that interspecies slash pairings were no different from any other form of slash. (Also insert charge of writing romance novels/feminizing Frodo, defense of Interspecies.)
Controversies among fans
Invite-only archives and communities
Changes since move from mailing lists to LJ
Acceptability of RPF
For an extensive list of LotR communities and websites, see lotr_directory.
- Éomer Slash Archive
- Faramir Fiction Archive
- Henneth Annûn Story Archive
- Library of Moria (Slash)
- Stories of Arda (canon-friendly)
- West of the Moon (mostly hobbit slash and gen)
- Mirrormere (Slash)
- VOLA (Legolas/Aragorn, also Viggo/Orlando)
- Of Elves and Men (Slash)
- Lord of the Rings Fanfiction
- Tolkien Fan Fiction
- The Last Ship (multifandom but mainly LotR FPF)
- Many Paths to Tread (Tolkien FPF, no graphic violence or sex allowed)
- For example, in her 2003 essay On the Films, Aratlithiel argued that the films took away from Frodo's importance as a character who made his own decisions. The casting of an eighteen-year-old actor in the role of fifty-year-old Frodo Baggins made his character seem more childlike and less strong.(Need more references/examples here)
- hobbitpile LiveJournal community fic and discussion community. Some fans also use the word hobbitpile to refer to threesomes and foursomes of hobbit actors in Lord of the Rings Real Person Slash. The hobbitpile rec challenge at lotr_fic_recs in June, 2004, included both.
- http://west-of-the-moon.net/gma.htm Accessed Oct. 26, 2008
- http://storiesofarda.com/guidelines.asp Accessed Oct. 26, 2008.
- The livejournal community waymeet still does not accept "stories which involve interspecies, hobbitpiles, hobbit actor piles, or het pairings" Community profile, (accessed 23 October, 28)