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Thread: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

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    Default In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Thread with pictures, very helpful see here
    http://www.thetolkienforum.com/index...mumakil.23491/


    How big Were the Mumakil?

    The movies portrayed them as massive beasts that resembled historical elephants only in shape, not in size. While Tolkien described them in letters 64 as “A large elephant of prehistoric size.” It appears the largest “prehistoric” elephant kind would have been the Proboscidea. However it is based on little fossil evidence of two thigh bones and unlikely Tolkien would even be aware of these estimates- but estimates say it could have been a massive 16 feet at the shoulder.

    An Ancient Elephant May Have Been Biggest Land Mammal Ever
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    Compared to a modern African elephant of 10-13 feet the shoulder and Asians avg of 9 feet. Below is a comparison of the African elephant with the 17 foot shoulder Proboscidea, a suggested maximum height. Human for scale.

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    However the steppe mammoth is the largest of the woolly mammoth/elephant kind and is based on much better fossil evidence and regularly reached 13.1 at the shoulder with similar weight/size ration as modern elephants. One fossil found could have been 14.8 at the shoulder [max size not average]. Below is the scale of mammoths compared to humans along with modern African elephants, human just under 6 feet.


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    To be lore accurate we are confined by Tolkien's stated “large elephant” and prehistoric size. This is still a massive elephant. People worshiped and thought divine the modern Indian elephant because of its size and strength. The average size of an Asian elephant is 9 feet at the shoulder. The massive African elephant is larger between 10-13 at the shoulder up to 4 feet higher at the shoulder. The Steppe Mammoth even lager at 13.1-14.8 feet at the shoulder. This is why I think the steppe Mammoth size of between 13.1 and 14.8 [max suggested from scant fossils] which would would be 113% as large as a the largest ever modern African elephant and 161% larger than the Asian elephant, is a good height for the mumakils and still within Tolkiens “large elephant” description. I think described with long tusks these beats should more resemble a steepe mamoths in not just size, but its features and have massive tusks. Below is a comparison of a steppe mammoth and a modern African elephant for size and features. The look of the Proboscidea above I think would be good as well just scaled down slightly in size.


    http://www.thetolkienforum.com/index...mumakil.23491/

    http://www.thetolkienforum.com/index...mumakil.23491/


    I think the movies tried as they often do the bigger= better presentation. But I think bigger is not always better and neither did Tolkien. It looses its sense of realism, reality, and its belivabilty in a historic time period that Tolkien so desired.

    “A secondary world which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is “true” it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken, the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the primary world from outside.”
    -J.R.R Tolkien quoted in J.R.R Tolkien a Biography by Humphrey carpenter p 194-195

    “I wanted people simply to get inside this story and take it as actual history.”
    -J R R Tolkien quoted in J.R.R Tolkien The Authorized Biography Humphrey carpenter Houghton Mifflin company NY 2000


    Mumakil Big as a House?


    This came from a hobbit nursery rhyme and was not to be taken as literal as Tolkien said in letters 64. Tolkien also never saw himself as writing and his books need to be understood from the perspective of the character and their observations such as a hobbit seeing a massive elephant.


    “Big as a house, much bigger than a house, it looked to him, a grey-clad moving hill. Fear and wonder, maybe, enlarged him in the hobbit's eyes, but the Mûmak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk.”
    -TTT Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit


    So we can see from the text it is not saying the beast was bigger than a house, only that "it looked to him" and that "fear and wonder" enlarged the beast in the hobbits eyes. But that it was indeed a very large creature. This also brings up the question of the size of a house, we would assume sam would use his typical hobbit hole size house.
    Last edited by total relism; 07-07-2018 at 13:37.
    “Its been said that when human beings stop believing in god they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse, they believe in anything.” Malcolm maggeridge

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    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Genesis 1.1

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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Stop demeaning Legolas' status as a bad-ass in the movies. Thirty-five feet at the shoulder an sporting a platoon of archers!!!! Only way to fly.


    Even if Gimli still only counted it as one.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    When discussing Tolkien's works I don't like any reference to movies. AFAIK, Christopher Tolkien (who was "deep in the counsels" of his father) didn't like them. Movies are an adaptation created with a view to make the book filmable without making the film too bookish. Discussing Tolkien one should solely refer to books, IMO.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Even if Gimli still only counted it as one


    Discussing Tolkien one should solely refer to books, IMO
    But sometimes the movie one-ups the book in a far superior manner without sacrificing the books' intent. The Battle for Helm's Deep having several good examples:

    Which is more dramatic/memorable---Gandalf and 1000 foot soldiers stumping down the hill as a relief force (as per The Two Towers), or Gandalf at the head of the Rohirrim swarming down the hillside at daybreak with the sunrise at their backs (as per Peter Jackson)?

    Or having Aragorn and Eomer fighting together to keep the Uruk-Hai away from the main gate (as per The Two Towers), or Aragorn tossing Gimli onto the bridge before leaping himself ---"just don't tell the elf!"---(as per Peter Jackson)?

    Personally, I love Jackson's takes much better than the book version
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 04-12-2018 at 02:51.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post


    But sometimes the movie one-ups the book in a far superior manner without sacrificing the books' intent. The Battle for Helm's Deep having several good examples:

    Which is more dramatic/memorable---Gandalf and 1000 foot soldiers stumping down the hill as a relief force (as per The Two Towers), or Gandalf at the head of the Rohirrim swarming down the hillside at daybreak with the sunrise at their backs (as per Peter Jackson)?

    Or having Aragorn and Eomer fighting together to keep the Uruk-Hai away from the main gate (as per The Two Towers), or Aragorn tossing Gimli onto the bridge before leaping himself ---"just don't tell the elf!"---(as per Peter Jackson)?

    Personally, I love Jackson's takes much better than the book version
    I didn't say I didn't like the movies. Movies are always more spectacular as they present a visual image while in books you have to construe visions in your mind (unless there are pictures - approved or made by the author). I just don't see a point to drag them into discussing the novels, e.g. speculating on how a Balrog would look.

    As for the fight at the gates of the Hornburg, Gimli WAS on that sortie (in the book):

    'We did not come too soon,' said Aragorn, looking at the gates. Their great hinges and iron bars were wrenched and bent; many of their timbers were cracked.
    'Yet we cannot stay here beyond the walls to defend them,' said Éomer. 'Look!' He pointed to the causeway. Already a great press of Orcs and Men were gathering again beyond the stream. Arrows whined, and skipped on the stones about them. 'Come! We must get back and see what we can do to pile stone and beam across the gates within. Come now!'
    They turned and ran. At that moment some dozen Orcs that had lain motionless among the slain leaped to their feet, and came silently and swiftly behind. Two flung themselves to the ground at Éomer's heels, tripped him, and in a moment they were on top of him. But a small dark figure that none had observed sprang out of the shadows and gave a hoarse shout: Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu! An axe swung and swept back. Two Orcs fell headless. The rest fled.

    Éomer struggled to his feet, even as Aragorn ran back to his aid.

    The postern was closed again, the iron door was barred and piled inside with stones. When all were safe within, Éomer turned: 'I thank you, Gimli son of Glóin!' he said. 'I did not know that you were with us in the sortie. But oft the unbidden guest proves the best company. How came you there?'
    'I followed you to shake off sleep,' said Gimli; 'but I looked on the hillmen and they seemed over large for me, so I sat beside a stone to see your sword-play.'


    Jackson just made his joining the battle more spectalular. As in many other cases in the movie.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post




    But sometimes the movie one-ups the book in a far superior manner without sacrificing the books' intent. The Battle for Helm's Deep having several good examples:

    Which is more dramatic/memorable---Gandalf and 1000 foot soldiers stumping down the hill as a relief force (as per The Two Towers), or Gandalf at the head of the Rohirrim swarming down the hillside at daybreak with the sunrise at their backs (as per Peter Jackson)?

    Or having Aragorn and Eomer fighting together to keep the Uruk-Hai away from the main gate (as per The Two Towers), or Aragorn tossing Gimli onto the bridge before leaping himself ---"just don't tell the elf!"---(as per Peter Jackson)?

    Personally, I love Jackson's takes much better than the book version
    blasphemy. Jackson went over the top to often ignored whole sections of the books that would have been great and added junk that brought the movies down. I did love the elves coming to help at helms deep though.
    “Its been said that when human beings stop believing in god they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse, they believe in anything.” Malcolm maggeridge

    The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. Proverbs -14.15
    The first to present his case seems right,till another comes forward and questions him -Proverbs 18.17

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Genesis 1.1

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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Jackson went over the top to often ignored whole sections of the books that would have been great and added junk that brought the movies down. I did love the elves coming to help at helms deep though
    Cherry-picking, my friend (because we all know there was only a single elf at the Hornburg). To include everything that everyone might have wanted included would have meant a budget far in excess of what was actually spent, and a movie hours longer. My point is that even with Jackson's interpretation(s), the movies conveyed the spirit and intent of the books. I can only speak for myself---I read the LoTR trilogy when the 2d edition was released, re-read it many multiple times, have the entire collection on disc which I listened to while driving, and the movies brought to life, perfectly, what images I had in my mind all those years.

    Jackson just made his joining the battle more spectalular. As in many other cases in the movie
    I rest my case....

    So I don't give a damn about being a purist when it comes to Tolkien and movie-making....
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Cherry-picking, my friend (because we all know there was only a single elf at the Hornburg). To include everything that everyone might have wanted included would have meant a budget far in excess of what was actually spent, and a movie hours longer. My point is that even with Jackson's interpretation(s), the movies conveyed the spirit and intent of the books. I can only speak for myself---I read the LoTR trilogy when the 2d edition was released, re-read it many multiple times, have the entire collection on disc which I listened to while driving, and the movies brought to life, perfectly, what images I had in my mind all those years.



    I rest my case....

    So I don't give a damn about being a purist when it comes to Tolkien and movie-making....
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    I read the LoTR trilogy when the 2d edition was released, re-read it many multiple times, have the entire collection on disc which I listened to while driving, and the movies brought to life, perfectly, what images I had in my mind all those years.
    Again, it's not a trilogy. A trilogy is a series or group of three plays, novels, operas, etc., that, although individually complete, are closely related in theme, sequence, or the like. The three volumes of LOTR are not individually complete, indeed the whole novel was broken into volumes and entitled by the first publisher's (Unwin) son for the sake of convenience for publication. Or, alternatively, since each volume consists of two books, we might as well call it sixtilogy (hexalogy?)?
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Film is not text. Each should be judged on its own and not by the same metric.



    My regrets (though mellowed by the knowledge of the above) included the removal of the barrow downs sequence, since it is the specific nature of that weapon which bests the Witch-king at last in front of the White City.


    On the other hand, the Fellowship film would have taken a rather odd turn if the whole Bombadillo thing had been included. Though all of the West Coast Dead fans would have rejoiced.


    And they needed a force sufficient to wipe out the Uruk Hai in the second movie. Tolkien used and entire ambulatory forest that rather shifted the value of Gandalf's battalions attack. Heck of a force multiplier that.


    And I never understood how the Rohirrim did so well against a shield wall...it reminded me of Rome Total War where cataphracts could charge into a phalanx frontally and win
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    And I never understood how the Rohirrim did so well against a shield wall...it reminded me of Rome Total War where cataphracts could charge into a phalanx frontally and win
    As noted in another thread, in the LOTR movies horse cavalry acts like archetypical mounted elephants, battering aside everything in their path (the riders rarely even use their weapons). So the battle of Minas Tirith was mini-elephants vs. jumbo elephants.

    I assumed this is related to the physical constraints of production.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Or folks who either don't know/don't care about accuracy.

    I was watching the first episode of Troy: Fall of a city on Netflix. I was laughing within moments. A group of Anatolian herders with no bows or slings, short-haired groomed cattle, and stirrup equipped horses....
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    My regrets (though mellowed by the knowledge of the above) included the removal of the barrow downs sequence, since it is the specific nature of that weapon which bests the Witch-king at last in front of the White City
    Mine was the exclusion of the Battle of Bywater. Seeing as how Jackson had already killed off Saruman at Isengard, you can't have him showing up later in the Shire. And from what I've read, it was also felt that after all the epic battles which had taken place, a little scrum in the Shire was too anti-climatic, and would detract from the nice, happy ending of Aragorn restoring the throne of Numenorean kings once again

    I get it.....

    And I never understood how the Rohirrim did so well against a shield wall
    Ah, but that's why the attack at dawn with the sun at their backs which blinded the Uruk-Hai---shrewd tactician that Gandalf

    And I always thoroughly enjoyed the Bombadil character. If I had been created a Maiar (if that's indeed what he was), I'd have been like him

    http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Tom_Bombadil
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Cherry-picking, my friend (because we all know there was only a single elf at the Hornburg). To include everything that everyone might have wanted included would have meant a budget far in excess of what was actually spent, and a movie hours longer. My point is that even with Jackson's interpretation(s), the movies conveyed the spirit and intent of the books. I can only speak for myself---I read the LoTR trilogy when the 2d edition was released, re-read it many multiple times, have the entire collection on disc which I listened to while driving, and the movies brought to life, perfectly, what images I had in my mind all those years.
    Than to agree i loved the portrayal of the world and cultures i think overall the movie did a great job. I also loved the music though Christopher hated it, not sure why.
    “Its been said that when human beings stop believing in god they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse, they believe in anything.” Malcolm maggeridge

    The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. Proverbs -14.15
    The first to present his case seems right,till another comes forward and questions him -Proverbs 18.17

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Again, it's not a trilogy. A trilogy is a series or group of three plays, novels, operas, etc., that, although individually complete, are closely related in theme, sequence, or the like. The three volumes of LOTR are not individually complete, indeed the whole novel was broken into volumes and entitled by the first publisher's (Unwin) son for the sake of convenience for publication. Or, alternatively, since each volume consists of two books, we might as well call it sixtilogy (hexalogy?)?
    Correct, Tolkien saw it as one book and really did not like the "two towers" as it was or its title.
    “Its been said that when human beings stop believing in god they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse, they believe in anything.” Malcolm maggeridge

    The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. Proverbs -14.15
    The first to present his case seems right,till another comes forward and questions him -Proverbs 18.17

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Genesis 1.1

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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Would you guys agree?


    The Time is now for Lord of the Rings Total war
    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/forum...?12-Discussion
    “Its been said that when human beings stop believing in god they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse, they believe in anything.” Malcolm maggeridge

    The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. Proverbs -14.15
    The first to present his case seems right,till another comes forward and questions him -Proverbs 18.17

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Genesis 1.1

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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    I've always associated that setting with D&D, not TW. Still, it has all the requisite quadrupeds, blades, bows etc.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by total relism View Post
    Correct, Tolkien saw it as one book and really did not like the "two towers" as it was or its title.
    Speaking of titles, I think that LOTR is commercially successful, but poor in terms of corressponding to the content of the book. The Lord of the Rings is Sauron who NEVER appears in the book in person, they only talk about him.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    Speaking of titles, I think that LOTR is commercially successful, but poor in terms of corressponding to the content of the book. The Lord of the Rings is Sauron who NEVER appears in the book in person, they only talk about him.
    mods can do wonders. I like the idea of a tw lotr game that would allow the hypothetical return of the ring to sauron.
    “Its been said that when human beings stop believing in god they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse, they believe in anything.” Malcolm maggeridge

    The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. Proverbs -14.15
    The first to present his case seems right,till another comes forward and questions him -Proverbs 18.17

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Genesis 1.1

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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by total relism View Post
    mods can do wonders. I like the idea of a tw lotr game that would allow the hypothetical return of the ring to sauron.
    I didn't mean the title of the GAME. I meant the title of the BOOK.
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    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    I didn't mean the title of the GAME. I meant the title of the BOOK.
    apologies.
    “Its been said that when human beings stop believing in god they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse, they believe in anything.” Malcolm maggeridge

    The simple believes every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. Proverbs -14.15
    The first to present his case seems right,till another comes forward and questions him -Proverbs 18.17

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    Genesis 1.1

  22. #22

    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    Video retrospective on the Hobbit trilogy. Seems like it was even worse than I imagined, especially the context of production.

    And Amazon's going all-in on an LOTR serial.

    Perhaps someday we'll look wistfully upon Christopher Tolkien's iron hold on the copyright.
    Vitiate Man.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  23. #23

    Default Re: In Search of Lore Accurate Size of a Mumakil

    interesting

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