Disappointment of the Rings Online and the UEAG

So, Lord of the Rings Online has some pretty cool things going for it. You can gossip with Hobbits. You can explore the depths of Moria. You can fight hordes of orcs. But there is one thing LOTRO seriously lacks that in my opinion makes the game a gigantic disappointment.

You can’t punch Legolas in the face.

Now, don’t get all self-righteous and say I’m awful for wanting this. I mean, aside from fifteen-year-old fangirls, who HASN’T wanted to? But beyond that, I assert that he represents a classic character archetype in classic “epics.” The useful-but-extraordinarily annoying guy (Point of clarification: ‘guy’ does not necessarily mean ‘male’ in this context).

Talk about any archetypes you want; the orphan, the zero-to hero, or the overthrow of an existing governmental system despite overwhelming odds. To me, none of these grasp my attention, whether from awe, enjoyment, or frustration, quite as much as the useful-but-extraordinarily annoying guy. This guy is present anywhere you look. For instance, Star Wars is always compared to Lord of the Rings for a plethora of different reasons. In Episodes I, II, and III of Star Wars, you have Jar Jar Binks. In episode I, when he gets his tongue stuck in the pod-racer, who actually thought to themselves, “Oh, I hope he gets out!” Uh, hardly anyone.

In episodes IV, V, and VI, the UEAG is hidden by the fact that he’s actually Luke Skywalker. I dare you, the reader, to go back to the movies, watch them, and compare the amount of whining Luke does to the amount of profound, jedi-esque statements present in his dialogue. It’s pretty astounding.

Well, Jar Jar managed to save the day once or twice, and Luke is technically the protagonist of episodes IV-VI. And Legolas… killed a bunch of orcs. Still useful, but not quite to the extent of Jar Jar or Luke (yes, I’m saying Jar Jar played a bigger role in the success of his mention than did Legolas).

Legolas’ dialogue deviates between self-righteous “I’m an elf and therefore better than you” babble and immature distractions (Counting kills when the livelihood of the entire world is on the line? Really?). I could have dealt with this, but the movie made it worse. Orlando Bloom.

Omg how cute! And annoying!
Omg how cute! And annoying!

The dialogue ontop of the now very visual “girlyboy” features and exquisite hair just makes one furious (or at least it should). And LOTRO, my last beacon of hope to rectify my frustration, failed me.


Edit: I decided to include a small list of other UEAGs from various different mediums, in order to provide a frame of reference for my criteria.

Dobby – Harry Potter Series (Novels/Film)

Gurgi  – The Chronicles of Prydain (Book of Three, Black Cauldron, etc. novels)

Cyclops/Scott Summers – X-Men (Comic/Film)

Polonius – Hamlet (Play)

Nearly the Entire Cast – Final Fantasy X (PS2 game)

Eli Manning – 2007 New York Giants (NFL Team)

The Decision is Yours..

By Evan Schrager

In LOTRO, the creation of a character with different races and different classes leaves the player with a wide selection for a number of different possibilties. How accurate their character is to one of Tolkien’s characters can somewhat change the game experience. For example, if one chooses to play a Dwarf Minstrel, they are going against the natural abilities of a dwarf according to Middle Earth standards. Gimli and the dwarves are known to be fervourous warriors! However, making a decision to play as a Dwarf Minstrel can entertain a player if he/she likes to play a Dwarf as a healer. Heck, a hobbit lover could play a hobbit Champion for fun. Who wouldn’t want to watch a cute little hobbit slice-n-dice ugly monsters? If the player wishes to represent their favorite character, such as Legolas, they can select an Elf Hunter. Then, the player can happily sprint around shooting arrows at orcs as they wish-how fun! It all depends on the players personal preference.

The narrative is certainly enriched by these classes in concordance with race. Immediacy is achieved in battle scenes as well as interesting quests-the player is immersed in the action using battle techniques and items, etc. When you do the missions for Book 1, protecting several others NPCs can be fun as a minstrel, healing the NPC, and as a Champion helping on the front lines.

It all depends on how you want your experience on Middle Earth to unfold. Heal the wonded….or wound the healed? The decision is yours- don’t mess it up.