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Dragonlance based on Mormonism?!?

Krieg

Villager
Joshua Dyal said:
Krieg; yes I do, as a matter of fact. Just renewed it a month or two ago in time for my brother's wedding, as it had just expired.
Thanks Josh.

talinthas said:
Dragonlance, at its core, is very heavily christian, and as a subset, leans pretty LDS in theology.

Only reason i care? Dragonlance is responsible for making me a devout and pretty orthodox Hindu, so i've spent a lot of time thinking about and analysing the religious aspect of DL. maybe too much time =)
I know it wouldn't be apropriate for the board, but there is a very interesting story lurking in there somewhere. :)
 

talinthas

Villager
well, i started hindu, and had some rough times, and then read a lot of DL, and felt better.

It certainly impressed James Wyatt when we spoke about it =) You're right though, it is kinda interesting, and certainly not for these boards, but definatly why i'm a DL fan to the core =)
 

Dimwhit

Explorer
Wow, didn't know there were so many Mormons hanging around here (myself included).

I never saw any strong Mormon doctrine in Dragonlance, so I wouldn't doubt there is influence there.

Of course, there are Mormons out there who think Star Wars is totally based in Mormonism. And that Steve Martin is Mormon. And...never mind. :)
 

Dark Jezter

Villager
Dimwhit said:
Of course, there are Mormons out there who think Star Wars is totally based in Mormonism. And that Steve Martin is Mormon. And...never mind. :)
Every few years, rumors begin circulating among Mormons that a famous celebrity has converted to mormonism. I remember that for a while, there was a rumor going around that Harrison Ford converted (it was false, of course). :p

A few famous Mormons out there who really are Mormons include Don Bluth, Steve Young, Ken Jennings (the all-time Jeopardy champion), Gladys Knight, Sandy Peterson (game designer who wrote the original Call of Cthulhu RPG back in the early 1980s, and also helped design the classic PC game Doom), the late J. Willard Marriot (who founded the Marriot hotel chain), Orson Scott Card, and, of course, Tracy Hickman.

Additionally, Eliza Dushku and Matthew Modine were both raised Mormon, but are not currently active.
 

qstor

Adventurer
BiggusGeekus said:
Other than Tanis wanting Laurana and Kitiara, I really don't see it either.
That's probably cause the guy can't make up this mind :) Not that he wants more than one wife...

Mike
 
That's probably cause the guy can't make up this mind :) Not that he wants more than one wife...

Mike
As if any husband, LDS or otherwise, would want more than one woman to tell him to pick up after himself!

(Old thread, but it's OK since this is an old joke.) :lol:
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
There are various levels of this sort of thing. Narnia is Christian allegory. This is pretty easy to spot, as one thing in the story represents something else; Edmund=Judas. The reason Tolkien would reject this for Lord of the Rings is because there are none of these correspondences.
Yes, but then Tolkien was a linguist, and would be careful about his word choice.

The Lord of the Rings proper is not Christian/Catholic allegory, for the reasons you state - there aren't too many elements in the trilogy that are direct analogs to what is found in common Christian mythology.

The Silmarillion, however, is (thinly veiled) Christian/Catholic allegory, and if it had been published in his lifetime, Tolkien would have a hard time denying it.

That means that LotR isn't allegory, but is instead a story set in a world that runs on Christian metaphysics.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
I've been told by a number of folks raised in the Mormon tradition that the South Park episode is actually pretty accurate, for all it's slanted reporting.
Despite my uncle having converted to the Mormon faith, I have to admit that the bulk of my knowledge about Mormonism comes from that South Park episode, couple of programs on the History channel about Brigham Young and the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and the posthumous baptism of jews. I have to admit that the skeptic in me has some of the same problems with the Joseph Smith story that the episode raises, but that's hardly unique to Mormonism; each religion has its own aspects that when looked at skeptically doesn't smell right.
 
Tolkien did attempt to avoid allegories, for he felt allegories are too easily misinterpreted. He did write the following:

"T[HI]he Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work,[/HI]" he wrote, "[HI]unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism[/HI]" (Letter 142).

Despite his intent, it remains for the reader to accept or reject the "behind the curtain" reality of Middle Earth and its stories.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
As if any husband, LDS or otherwise, would want more than one woman to tell him to pick up after himself!

(Old thread, but it's OK since this is an old joke.) :lol:
That is some impressive thread necromancy.

As for the original topic of the thread: there's a difference between "influenced by" and "based on." It's fair to say that both Dragonlance and Battlestar Galactica falls in the first category.
 

AmazingCurtis

Villager
Yes, Dragonlance has very clear allusions and parallels to what Latter-day Saints call "The Restoration". It was done very deliberately as designed by Tracy and Laura when they drove from Utah to work in Wisconsin (at TSR.) I was a toddler at the time, but I've heard the story often.

It's not an attempt to inject "Mormon" philosophy into fantasy, but to act as a great foundation for an epic story. That being said, I know Tracy loves to hear when people say that these books have drawn them closer to their faith, whatever faith they hold.

In the end, Margret and Tracy wrote these stories to inspire good in people (and to support their families in the process). I love and am grateful to both of them for that lasting example and those wonderful books.

-Curtis Hickman
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
A 15 year old thread twice brought back to life from thread necromancy!

Anyway, I always thought the Mormon themes in Dragonlance were about as subtle as the one's in Battlestar. Inspired the source mythology but not a retelling of events like Orson Scott Card's Homecoming and Tales of Alvin Maker series.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Give the identity of the most recent necromancer, I think this is certainly one of the few examples of good death magic. :)
Indeed.

I'm not anti thread necromancy anyway. Some topics are just evergreen.

I do point it out to try and stave off someone quoting a years old post and expecting to get a coherent response.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
Just reading through the Dragonlance books (and I've really only read the original trilogy) I don't see anything that I'd point to and say, "yup, there's a Mormon doctrine right there" or anything like that.

The ethics and theology seem reasonably generic midwest American to me.
well considering that Mormon ethics are pretty much generic midwest American ethics, thats not at all suprising and indeed DL reads as 'very American" to me.


Mostly nonsense, I'd say. They borrowed a few titles (High Council) but they are generic enough and not used in the same sense, so it's merely swiping an appropriate handy name. A better correllation would be between the denizens of the battlestars and the wanderings of the Children of Israel.
The connections go a lot further than that

BSG is the story of the 13 tribes which left Kobol ("The Lost Planet of Ancient Gods) and formed the 12 colonies. The thirteenth tribe having been 'lost' and is believed to have gone to the Earth. Furthermore the colonies and LDS are both governed by a president and a council or quorum of twelve. The two words "council" and "quorum" are used synonymously. Also BSG colonists use the word "seal" in preference to marriage, and a couple is sealed "not only for now but for all the eternities." (Adama in Lost Planet of Ancient Gods.) - this is directly for LDS doctrine

Commander Adama stated in one episode "Our recorded history tells us we descended from a mother colony, a race that went out into space to establish colonies. Those of us assembled here now represent the only known surviving Colonists, save one. A sister world, far out in the universe, remembered to us only through ancient writings...".
Those ancient writings are called The Book of The Word and describe the journey of man and his tribe away from Kobol to a place called Earth.

Names are also pretty relevant most notably of course Commander Adama but there is also Commander
Cain, father of Sheeba; Lucifer, the Cylon aide to Baltar and the 'alien' charmer Iblis

Iblis is encountered in "War of the Gods". Iblis uses charm to gain control of those who choose to follow him and attempts to wrest control of the fleet from Adama. At the end of "War of the Gods, Part 2", the colonies meet with superior life forms (angels) who tell the colonist "As you are now, we once were; as we are now, you may become" to explain the relationship between them and man which echoes LDS doctrine "As man is now, God once was; as God now is, man may become."







 
Dragonlance (which I quite like, maybe even love) is glaringly, clearly, self-evidently based directly upon Mormonism. I have riffed on it several times (I even rewrote the lyrics to a song from "The Book of Mormon" to fit Dragonlance) and will probably riff on it some more in the future. But Ellistan is very obviously Joseph Smith, and Goldmoon is very clearly (a sexy lady version of) Brigham Young, and Paladine is VERY LITERALLY Crystal Dragon Jesus.

The obviousness of the allegory for me only added charm to the setting: my ex and I played around a lot in Krynn, but we never took it entirely seriously, because of the whole Mormon angle. My campaigns tend to be heavy, my War of the Lance campaign as much as any other, so it was good to be able to take a break every so often to horse laugh at the obvious parallels to Mormonism. Also, I like Mormons.

Almost every Mormon I've ever met or had dealings with has been extraordinarily polite and decent. I will admit that the number one Mormon I'm thinking here of is the guy who fired me from Shadowrun. If I'm describing the person who fired me from my dream job as "extraordinarily polite and decent", I think you know he's a good guy. Tracy and Laura Hickman were also super nice, but I only interacted them very briefly and in the context of being a fanboy. To quote the musical I mentioned above, "LET'S BE REALLY FUCKING POLITE TO EVERYONE" is the LDS PR strategy and they are astonishingly good at it and to a degree it's working very well.

That said unfortunately I do have to mention that the religion of Mormonism is a hoax invented by Joseph Smith so he could have a cult of sheeple to callously exploit, and a really, painfully obvious hoax at that. "The Book of Mormon" (the musical about the hoax, not the founding document of the hoax) explains that in much more amusing terms than I ever could so watch it/listen to it if you're curious about why I would say that, unless you're already in the know.

(I was lucky enough to see it on Broadway with the original cast. When we were exiting through the lobby, there were Mormons there, handing out leaflets. "You've seen the play! Now read the book!"...something like that. They were completely unfazed that we had all just laughed at the complete evisceration of their religion for two hours straight. They were all smiles and were genuinely nice. I honestly don't know how they do it.)

I have actually never once heard of Tolkien's work being influenced by Roman Catholicism before. Based on my (limited) understanding of the Tolkien cosmology/metaphysics, it seemed more influenced by Paganism than anything else.

The Chronicles of Narnia are essentially Christian propaganda aimed at children. But they're also great stories that are really important to a lot of people and their childhood memories. So I can easily forgive them their evangelical intentions because frankly, speaking as an agnostic, there are far worse memes to spread than Christianity.

Oh, and since someone mentioned the hilaribad Draygunlance (THEY ACTUALLY MISPRONOUNCE THE WORD DRAGON IN THE TRAILER GUYS I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING LOOK THAT SHIT UP) Movie, George Strayton isn't just a laughably incompetent writer and game designer with the mierdas touch. He's also a very bad person. I first became aware of his existence at a con, where my ex and I gave him a ride back to his hotel, listening to his Hollywood stories. When I was just a newb in the industry, he convinced me to write basically the entire monster manual for his game The Secret Fire...for just $150...in just two days...on the firm promise of steady work that would eventually pay "better than WotC", "starting at seven cents per word".

I was young enough and naive enough and hungry enough to fall for it. He successfully exploited his monster manual out of me. When I started asking about the additional work that would pay very well that he'd promised, he suddenly disappeared. At least I got a credit in his terribad game's rulebook.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
Dragonlance (which I quite like, maybe even love) is glaringly, clearly, self-evidently based directly upon Mormonism. I have riffed on it several times (I even rewrote the lyrics to a song from "The Book of Mormon" to fit Dragonlance) and will probably riff on it some more in the future. But Ellistan is very obviously Joseph Smith, and Goldmoon is very clearly (a sexy lady version of) Brigham Young, and Paladine is VERY LITERALLY Crystal Dragon Jesus.

The obviousness of the allegory for me only added charm to the setting: my ex and I played around a lot in Krynn, but we never took it entirely seriously, because of the whole Mormon angle. My campaigns tend to be heavy, my War of the Lance campaign as much as any other, so it was good to be able to take a break every so often to horse laugh at the obvious parallels to Mormonism. Also, I like Mormons.

Almost every Mormon I've ever met or had dealings with has been extraordinarily polite and decent. I will admit that the number one Mormon I'm thinking here of is the guy who fired me from Shadowrun. If I'm describing the person who fired me from my dream job as "extraordinarily polite and decent", I think you know he's a good guy. Tracy and Laura Hickman were also super nice, but I only interacted them very briefly and in the context of being a fanboy. To quote the musical I mentioned above, "LET'S BE REALLY FUCKING POLITE TO EVERYONE" is the LDS PR strategy and they are astonishingly good at it and to a degree it's working very well.

That said unfortunately I do have to mention that the religion of Mormonism is a hoax invented by Joseph Smith so he could have a cult of sheeple to callously exploit, and a really, painfully obvious hoax at that. "The Book of Mormon" (the musical about the hoax, not the founding document of the hoax) explains that in much more amusing terms than I ever could so watch it/listen to it if you're curious about why I would say that, unless you're already in the know.

(I was lucky enough to see it on Broadway with the original cast. When we were exiting through the lobby, there were Mormons there, handing out leaflets. "You've seen the play! Now read the book!"...something like that. They were completely unfazed that we had all just laughed at the complete evisceration of their religion for two hours straight. They were all smiles and were genuinely nice. I honestly don't know how they do it.)

I have actually never once heard of Tolkien's work being influenced by Roman Catholicism before. Based on my (limited) understanding of the Tolkien cosmology/metaphysics, it seemed more influenced by Paganism than anything else.

The Chronicles of Narnia are essentially Christian propaganda aimed at children. But they're also great stories that are really important to a lot of people and their childhood memories. So I can easily forgive them their evangelical intentions because frankly, speaking as an agnostic, there are far worse memes to spread than Christianity.
Tolkien's work is Neo-Platonist, via St. Augustine. Hence, Catholic.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The only thing I know about Mormonism is because I saw The Book of Mormon in London with my dad last year. Any DL connection with it passed me by completely. It's my favourite D&D setting, and I associated Fizban with Merlin/Gandalf.
 
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