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View Full Version : Pipeweed is NOT "weed" in LOTR!


Rusalka
12-18-2003, 12:19 AM
I am somewhat irritated by the snickering implication in the movie and from the audiences that the "pipeweed" in the Lord of the Rings is something other than tobacco. Tolkien makes it quite clear that pipeweed is tobacco, and even calls it "tobacco" at times.

I saw the first showing of "Return of the King" - and again, the audience should have known better than snicker at the appearance of "pipeweed". Is it assuming too much that someone who goes to see a 4 hour movie at 12 midnight on a weeknight is a die hard fan?

I think that Tolkien would probably be dismayed if he knew that hobbits were smoking something other than his beloved tobacco.

Why do people assume pipeweed is marijuana or something similar? Am I mistaken that many people are assuming this?

Tremmie
12-18-2003, 12:23 AM
I didn't until i saw Saruman basically call Gandalf a stoner in the FOTR. I believe his exact words where "your love of the halflings leaf must have clouded your mind" i don't think tobacco clouds your mind all that much... maybe the lungs :P

Master Wang-Ka
12-18-2003, 12:28 AM
Just because someone was up all night at the midnight showing doesn't mean they have ever opened one of the books.

They're good movies. But some of the scenes -- particularly one of the final scenes in the Two Towers Extended Edition DVD set -- could easily be misinterpreted to indicate that Merry and Pippin were getting stonkered out of their minds on hallucinogenic smokeables...

(especially when you consider the hobbit obsession with food and getting six or eight meals a day... SERIOUS munchies...)

kaylasdad99
12-18-2003, 12:43 AM
Is this the right poace topoint out that in the appendices to The Lord of the Ring, Tolkien identified pipeweed as being in the botanical class nicotiana? Or would that constitute lecturing to the already knowledgeable?

GIGObuster
12-18-2003, 01:06 AM
I seem to remember ages ago a poster of The Hobbit as the “The Habit”

Goes on a quest....

Found it!

http://cheap-poster.com/Humor/Party-Humor/PID-334199/The-Habit/

Another reason for the smoke coming from Smaug! ;)

Of course, I think references to exotic weeds the hobbits could be smoking, are based on misunderstandings or parodies.

Doomtrain
12-18-2003, 01:17 AM
I'd say The Shire's pretty much a kind of stoner community. Lots of sitting around eating, giggling, fairly peaceful. If they had the tech, I could see hobbits forming jam bands, playing hacky sack, and listening to lots of Phish.

Diogenes the Cynic
12-18-2003, 01:24 AM
Tolkien wrote the books during and after WWII. Marijuana was not exactly a hip drug yet, so it's doubtful that he would have intended any such association.

I like to think that PJ changed it from tobacco to ganga for the movies and it's one of the better changes...

At least I like to imagine it that way, so please don't ruin it for me. ;)

astro
12-18-2003, 01:55 AM
It does explain why Hobbits are always hungry, though.

Doomtrain
12-18-2003, 02:01 AM
Originally posted by Diogenes the Cynic
Tolkien wrote the books during and after WWII. Marijuana was not exactly a hip drug yet, so it's doubtful that he would have intended any such association.

Maybe not to *you*, but I have evidence it dated back to Roman times, as seen in that famous documentary
History of the World part 1...

Askance
12-18-2003, 02:02 AM
Why do people assume pipeweed is marijuana or something similar?

Because the only weed that people know that gets smoked is marijuana.

The Tooth
12-18-2003, 02:05 AM
Sadly, the casks that Merry and Pippin breach in Orthanc are clearly filled with something other than Jah.

Miller
12-18-2003, 03:16 AM
Originally posted by Rusalka
Pipeweed is NOT "weed" in LOTR!

It is when I watch it.

Larry Mudd
12-18-2003, 04:04 AM
Tremmie: I didn't until i saw Saruman basically call Gandalf a stoner in the FOTR. I believe his exact words where "your love of the halflings leaf must have clouded your mind" i don't think tobacco clouds your mind all that much... maybe the lungs :P I love the herb as much as the next guy, but it's plain that Tolkien did not have cannabis in mind when he spoke of pipeweed.

Calling it "leaf" should make that clear. Cannabis leaves are not suitable for smoking -- the plant is cultivated for its flowers. As far as tobacco "slowing your mind," it certainly does have a psychoactive effect, which is much more soporific than you would expect, what with nicotine being a stimulant and all. You will notice this to a greater degree if you smoke fine tobacco. El Rey del Mundo is aptly-named. Any time you read the scribblings of someone influenced by real tobacco, you might easily confuse it with those of a hash-head. Like J.S. Bach's Edifying Thoughts of a Tobacco Smoker (http://home.att.net/~waeshael/edifying.htm), f'rinstance.

Oh, and what kaylasdad99 said.

Engywook
12-18-2003, 04:06 AM
Tolkien might have had a different idea, but I do believe that Jackson wanted us to see the pipeweed as being something rather better than plain ole nicotine...

In the first hour of ROTK (the new movie, not the RB animated thing or the book)


Merry and Pippin were toking up when Aragorn, Legolas, Gandalf, and Gimli showed up. They definitely seemed to be high on something, and it didn't seem to me like a pure booze buzz.
And Pippin, the frankly not-so-with-it hobbit, is lectured by Merry for smoking too much. Merry is telling Pippin off for being foolish... but is the excessive smoking because Pippin is foolish, or the reason why Pippin is foolish?


In any case, mothers all over the world would rather their children smoked pot these days than tobacco cigarettes. At least that seems to be how my mom feels. If pot's more pardonable, I don't blame Jackson at all for taking this liberty with the books.

Mama Tiger
12-18-2003, 08:16 AM
You know, after all the hobbit love of good food, good drink, and good pipeweed in the books, I saw Merry and Pippin's discovery of the food and pipeweed in the wreckage of Orthanc and their joy about it as just a moment's return for them to a simpler, happier time, and just a few minutes of simple pleasure again in the midst of all the strife and turmoil. Merry and Pippin were goofy, fun-loving young guys in a totally harmless way before the whole thing started, and for a few moments they get to go back to being the "irrepressible hobbits" they had been just a few months earlier.

Thinking otherwise is kind of an insult to Tolkien, IMHO.

Jonathan Chance
12-18-2003, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Miller
It is when I watch it.

That's because you're hopped up on goofballs!

Trunk
12-18-2003, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Rusalka
Is it assuming too much that someone who goes to see a 4 hour movie at 12 midnight on a weeknight is a die hard fan?

I'm astounded that someone went to a 4 hour movie at midnight on a weeknight without being stoned.

Fiver
12-18-2003, 08:51 AM
I think it's the use of the word "weed" to describe it that leads to the misapprehension, since "weed" is a common nickname for marijuana.

In the scene before the "long-expected party" in Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf and Bilbo are having a smoke together, Bilbo even says "This is some good weed!" which is a phrase you could hear at any college party.

I've read the books many times. I saw the first movie with spoke-, who hadn't read them, and after we left the cinema he asked, "Did Tolkien have all those drug references in the books?"

I was bewildered by the question. Going in as a reader of the books, "This is good weed!" and the other pipe-weed scenes never struck me as drug references, and I wouldn't have thought Jackson was trying to imply such if spoke- hadn't asked me that.

If that is what Jackson's trying to imply, then I consider it evidence, along with the dwarf-tossing jokes, that Jackson doesn't have the proper respect for the source material.

Dangerosa
12-18-2003, 08:57 AM
Oh come on, be a deconstructionist. Sometimes what an author intends and what he writes is interpreted are two very different things. I doubt Tolkein meant for pipeweed to be anything other than tobacco in actuality. But he may have intended for the subtext to be there. It isn't exactly a stretch to interpret it that way. When you write, you throw your words out to the masses, and people will interpret them differently. Thank God they do, or English professors the world over would be unemployed because they wouldn't be able to argue about James Joyce.

Interpreting pipeweed as weed makes for a much more interesting read. It DOES explain a lot about Hobbits, makes a couple of the scenes much funnier. It you don't want to interpret that way and argue "author's intent" go for it. In which case I will say that if Tolkein never intended it to be interpreted as such, he was either a poor writer or very naive. Pot was certainly in common use post WWI, and was certainly referred to as weed and smoked in pipes.

Master Wang-Ka
12-18-2003, 09:26 AM
Well, first of all, Tolkien was a pipe smoker. He smoked tobacco on occasion. Given his time frame and the nature of the fellow, it's a pretty safe bet he wasn't a dope smoker, for all that college freshmen would remark why Bilbo's last name was Baggins... as in "nickel bag... get it?"

As one who came to the movies via the books, it never occurred to me that the hobbits were getting conked. Hobbits are fond of life's little pleasures, remember? Dancing, drinking, six meals a day when they can get them... and a good smoke. I quit smoking years ago, but I still like a good cigar on Christmas. I have no doubt also that they really like to screw like mad minks, too, although Tolkien was too genteel to remark on this. "Simple pleasures," indeed.

To the best of my knowledge, marijuana was not among the simple pleasures commonly available to early twentieth century Englishmen. Maybe the good Prof. T knew about it. Maybe he didn't. At any rate, I'm pretty sure he never meant it to be part of the book.

Pippin is an idiot because Pippin is an idiot, not because he smoked a ton of weed. "You smoke too much," used to be a common admonition, back before cigarettes became the most common form of tobacco use. Used to be, tobacco use was considered something like alcohol use -- something you did occasionally, or in the evening, NOT straight through the day! Hence "smoking jackets" and "smoking rooms". This is something Tolkien was familiar with.

I can't speak for Peter Jackson, though, who, judging from his looks, may well smoke a pound a day (although I doubt it; potheads generally aren't as productive as Jackson has been). Jackson may well have intended the "weed" references to appeal to potheads... or not.

Already in Use
12-18-2003, 10:09 AM
Perhaps if Tolkien had been more into the wacky tobacky, he would have given the Beatles permission to do their version (http://edition.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/28/rings.beatles/index.html) of LOTR. Man, that would have ruled.

Spoons
12-18-2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by Fiver
I think it's the use of the word "weed" to describe it that leads to the misapprehension, since "weed" is a common nickname for marijuana."Is," yes. Nowadays, "weed" is indeed a slang term for marijuana. But in the past, it also (and perhaps exclusively, though I can't say for sure) meant "tobacco."

I seem to recall that even in The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton (and didn't we all read that when we were adolescents?), the characters use the word "weed" to refer to plain old tobacco cigarettes. Ponyboy and Johnny and Dallas and the others were always smoking those weeds, weren't they? Somehow, I don't think our parents and teachers would have encouraged us to read a book that so often referred to "weed" if it meant marijuana.

The Outsiders was published in 1967. Tolkien's books were published years before that, so if a reference to "weed" meant "tobacco" as late as 1967, it stands to reason that it likely also did earlier in the twentieth century, when Tolkien was writing his trilogy.

Tolkien was a pipe smoker himself, and his characters smoke pipes. I see no reason to believe that his characters were smoking anything other than Tolkien's favourite blend of pipe tobacco--and that he did not intend his use of "weed" to mean anything other than tobacco.

Kizarvexius
12-18-2003, 10:43 AM
I read somewhere (sorry, can't find cite as it was many years ago) that Tolkien was horrified when hippies mistook his "pipeweed" references for pot. The old man was not amused in the least.

Spoke
12-18-2003, 01:23 PM
I don't doubt that Tolkien did not intend drug references.

However, I believe drug references by Jackson are quite intentional. (Not only with "weed," but I thought I detected some sniggering fascination with mushroom references as well.)

I disagree with Fiver's view that this shows a disrespect for the material. Nothing wrong, in my view, with a knowing wink to the hippies who embraced the books. Just a little good fun.

vibrotronica
12-18-2003, 04:33 PM
If it hadn't been for the stoner hippies in the 60's, these books wouldn't have been nearly as popular as they were. I think Mr. Jackson's weed subtext is quite intentional. I disagree with those that say he is being disrespectful to the material. It's a freakin JOKE fer chrissakes. Lighten up.

(or light up, if that's your preference...)

Lemur866
12-18-2003, 04:38 PM
I think people today tend to overlook the psychoactive properties of tobacco, especially when you don't smoke all day every day and become strongly habituated. You can definately get stoned off of tobacco. And older writers don't tend to have our current artificial distinction between "drugs" and "not-drugs" that we have. Sherlock Holmes for instance didn't seem to see much difference between taking tobacco and taking cocaine. Nicotine, caffiene, and alcohol aren't fundamentally different from cocaine, THC, or opium, they are all psychoactive drugs of various strengths.

Guinastasia
12-18-2003, 04:39 PM
Plus, how many people nowadays smoke tobacco in pipes? Not as many as there used to be.

I think the snickering could be like how everyone jokes that Obi-Wan is a drunk.

Larry Mudd
12-18-2003, 05:07 PM
Another (superfluous) argument that pipeweed = tobacco is that "Old Toby" is a favoured blend.

"Toby" has (unsurprisingly) a long assocation with tobacco. Apart from "Toby" being a diminutive form of the word "tobacco," Cheapish cigars were called "Tobies," (similar to the American "'Stogies",) and the common denominator of traditional Toby Jugs was the three-cornered hat associated with colonial Virginia, and a pipe.

Some may object that "Old Toby" refers to Tobold Hornblower, who introduced pipeweed to the Shire. Based on the order that the material is presented in, I think it's nearly certain that Tolkien made up the history of pipeweed after naming Old Toby.

Further, the men of Gondor called pipeweed westmansweed, since it was introduced from a far-off land west of Middle Earth, across the great sea. Sort of like... you know.

Anyway, I don't doubt that Jackson is being playful-- I just object to folks who try to put it across that Tolkien was a head. There will always be potheads who try to argue for decriminalization by resorting to dubious appeals to authority/popularity (http://cannabisculture.com/backissues/cc11/christ.html), and I think it's not only unecessary, but reflects poorly on cannabis users in general.

BMalion
12-18-2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by Jonathan Chance
That's because you're hopped up on goofballs!


Please tell me you meant this in a Joe Friday voice! Because that's how I heard it in my head and I laughed at the image of Jack Webb confronting a bunch of elves and lecturing them on their wasteful and dissolute lifestyle.

paperbackwriter
12-18-2003, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by spoke-
I don't doubt that Tolkien did not intend drug references.

However, I believe drug references by Jackson are quite intentional. (Not only with "weed," but I thought I detected some sniggering fascination with mushroom references as well.)

I disagree with Fiver's view that this shows a disrespect for the material. Nothing wrong, in my view, with a knowing wink to the hippies who embraced the books. Just a little good fun.

The mushroom thing is in the book, too. Hobbitts consider mushrooms a delicacy, and Frodo used to sneak from Buckland to Farmer Maggot's farm to steal mushrooms. Think of how we prize shitakes and truffles, after all.

Johnny Ecks
12-18-2003, 06:12 PM
I seem to remember reading somewhere that pipeweed was called tobacco in early drafts, but later changed because it was too mundane- he wanted to be clear that middle-earth was not earth, and including something like tobacco may have confused that.

Spoke
12-18-2003, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by paperbackwriter
The mushroom thing is in the book, too. Hobbitts consider mushrooms a delicacy, and Frodo used to sneak from Buckland to Farmer Maggot's farm to steal mushrooms. Think of how we prize shitakes and truffles, after all.

Yes, I know. But I think Jackson used the mushroom references as another playful wink to hippie fans.

kaylasdad99
12-18-2003, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by Johnny Ecks
I seem to remember reading somewhere that pipeweed was called tobacco in early drafts, but later changed because it was too mundane- he wanted to be clear that middle-earth was not earth, and including something like tobacco may have confused that. I do hope you're not imputing to the professor an intention to have placed Middle Earth anywhere other than on the third rock from our sun.

Middle-Earth is Earth. It just happens to be in a prior geologic age.

Doomtrain
12-18-2003, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by BMalion
Please tell me you meant this in a Joe Friday voice! Because that's how I heard it in my head and I laughed at the image of Jack Webb confronting a bunch of elves and lecturing them on their wasteful and dissolute lifestyle.

"Legolas served 30 years for Murder at the battle of Helm's Deep..." BUM buh BUM BUM!

Qadgop the Mercotan
12-18-2003, 08:42 PM
I just had to post in this thread! That's because my very first post ever on the old Arpanet was back about 1980, in a JRRT discussion group. I asked what the hell was in pipeweed anyway?

I got replies chastising me for even bringing it up as it was certainly tobacco; mixed with replies that it was a wonderful blend of Acapulco Gold and Primo Cuban leaf.

Speaker for the Dead
12-18-2003, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by kaylasdad99
I do hope you're not imputing to the professor an intention to have placed Middle Earth anywhere other than on the third rock from our sun.

Middle-Earth is Earth. It just happens to be in a prior geologic age.

I'm in no position to argue this, so please don't rag me on it, but I have heard both sides. Some people argue that Tolkien considered this to be simliar to, but completely seperate from, our Earth.

NoCoolUserName
12-18-2003, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by Fiver
In the scene before the "long-expected party" in Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf and Bilbo are having a smoke together, Bilbo even says "This is some good weed!" which is a phrase you could hear at any college party.
"Old Tobey, the finest weed in the South Farthing," to be exact. Not exactly a party remark (unless you're in Hobbiton).

But I agree with several of the others: Tolkien meant tobacco. PJ...might have been winking.

tracer
12-19-2003, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by AndrewT
Because the only weed that people know that gets smoked is marijuana.
When I was in Junior High School, our chorus sang a song called "The Weed."

The words to this song were a 17th or 18th century poem. A 17th or 18th century poem. About. Tobacco.

HoldenCaulfield
12-19-2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by Rusalka
Is it assuming too much that someone who goes to see a 4 hour movie at 12 midnight on a weeknight is a die hard fan?

Much too much to assume.

In fact, my friend and I were first in line at 3:00 PM on the day before the premeire, and we waited all that time in the cold without food, blankets, chairs, or anything like that.

Neither of us are very big LOTR fans. We both casually enjoy the movies, have never read the books, and wouldn't mind not seeing the movies in the theaters. I didn't see the second one in the theaters, and I didn't see the first one until its second run.

We waited in line for so long mainly because our friends are pretty big fans, and they had finals so they couldn't wait in line. Also, it was a fun experience and I had never waited in line like that for a big movie premiere. And I got free dinner from my friends. Also I went crazy listening to the AMC Movie Tunes "radio station"...

So, yeah, anyway, unforgettable experience and all that, but am not that big of a LOTR fan.

Epimetheus
12-19-2003, 01:40 PM
For those interested, they had a program in NPR yesterday about Tolkien. It is a very interesting program, and has Ursula Le Guin as a guest speaker! It goes into some detail about Tolkiens past and possible intentions. Here is the link- http://npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1553102

c_carol
12-19-2003, 09:11 PM
Some people argue that Tolkien considered this to be simliar to, but completely seperate from, our Earth.
Yes, but some people are wrong. Cite (http://suite101.com/article.cfm/tolkien/104920).

Ross Wittenham
02-25-2014, 04:58 PM
Damn, got here 10 years too late. Anyway, you are correct in thinking that Tolkein was talking about tobacco.

All the same, LOTR is set in a prior age of our Earth. Tobacco wasn't introduced to Europe until the middle ages, cannabis plants have been here from prehistory. If the wizards were smoking anything, it was more likely to have been pot.

mlees
02-25-2014, 05:27 PM
Generally, how do people find these ten year old threads?

Google search?

Kobal2
02-25-2014, 05:30 PM
When you're determined to pimp your blog, you make the effort to go to that 21th page of search results I suppose.

Lemur866
02-25-2014, 05:47 PM
Pipeweed was, according to Tolkein, introduced to Middle Earth by the Numenoreans who brought it from over the sea.

Does this remind you of anything? Like, the demon weed of the Nicotiana family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_tobacco)?

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
02-25-2014, 05:51 PM
When you're determined to pimp your blog, you make the effort to go to that 21th page of search results I suppose.

21th? Is that anything like eleventy-first?

ThisUsernameIsForbidden
02-25-2014, 05:56 PM
Are there other tobaccos in the books?

DigitalC
02-25-2014, 05:56 PM
I am somewhat irritated by the snickering implication in the movie and from the audiences that the "pipeweed" in the Lord of the Rings is something other than tobacco. Tolkien makes it quite clear that pipeweed is tobacco, and even calls it "tobacco" at times.

I saw the first showing of "Return of the King" - and again, the audience should have known better than snicker at the appearance of "pipeweed". Is it assuming too much that someone who goes to see a 4 hour movie at 12 midnight on a weeknight is a die hard fan?

I think that Tolkien would probably be dismayed if he knew that hobbits were smoking something other than his beloved tobacco.

Why do people assume pipeweed is marijuana or something similar? Am I mistaken that many people are assuming this?

Because the movie is not the book. Gandalf and Bilbo were clearly high, and Saruman also implies Gandalf has been smoking weed.

Chronos
02-25-2014, 06:42 PM
And potatoes aren't an Old World crop, either, but Tolkien put them in Middle Earth, too.

Kobal2
02-25-2014, 06:47 PM
21th? Is that anything like eleventy-first?

Well, how would you say it ? Real question, since I'm not a native English speaker. Twenty-first ? Twenty-oneth ?

Chronos
02-25-2014, 06:51 PM
Twenty-first, or 21st.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
02-25-2014, 07:06 PM
Well, how would you say it ? Real question, since I'm not a native English speaker. Twenty-first ? Twenty-oneth ?

Yes, it is twenty-first or 21st. And Tolkien's use of "eleventy-one" for 111 was a joke, as eleventy is not a real word in English. It's something a child might say.

Kobal2
02-25-2014, 07:14 PM
... well then that's OBVIOUSLY what I meant, then. Irony, people ? GAWD.

buddha_david
02-25-2014, 07:26 PM
Does this remind you of anything? Like, the demon weed of the Nicotiana family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_tobacco)?
Hmm, from your link:
At high doses, tobacco can become hallucinogenic; accordingly, Native Americans did not always use the drug recreationally. Instead, it was often consumed as an entheogen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entheogen); among some tribes, this was done only by experienced shamans or medicine men.
And I can attest to the fact that quickly smoking several cigarettes in a row can indeed get you high, albeit briefly.

levdrakon
02-25-2014, 07:38 PM
I don't get it. Pipeweed is made up. It's like Luke Skywalker drinking blue milk. It's like Dune spice is what, oil? Pot? Something else? It just is what it is in the story. People (and they are all people, dwarves, Hobbits, elves and talking dragons included) in middle earth use lots of herbs for various purposes and they aren't meant to be exactly the same herbs we're familiar with. They can be whatever the author makes up. Tobacco and pot aren't the only things that can be smoked, so why does pipeweed have to be either or? It's just something you smoke and its effects are this this and this.

ThisUsernameIsForbidden
02-25-2014, 07:53 PM
And potatoes aren't an Old World crop, either, but Tolkien put them in Middle Earth, too.

Bacon!

The Hamster King
02-25-2014, 08:16 PM
O slender as a speeding freak! Spaced-out groovy tripper!
O mush-brained maid whose mind decays with every pill I slip her!
O mind-blown fair farina-head, friend of birds and beetles!
O skinny wraith whose fingernails are hypodermic needles!
O tangled locks and painted bod! Pupils big as eggs!
O flower-maid who never bathes or even shaves her legs!
O softened mind that wanders wherever moon above leads!
O how I dig thee, Hashberry, from nose to sleazy love-beads!

cjepson
02-25-2014, 08:46 PM
As others have said, I'm sure Tolkien intended pipe-weed to be tobacco or something analogous... but he certainly did not consider it to be devoid of psychoactive properties. In the piece called "The Hunt for the Ring" in Unfinished Tales, Tolkien goes into some detail regarding the use of pipe-weed by Gandalf and Saruman. At first, Saruman was contemptuous of Gandalf's use of the weed. At the meeting of the White Council in 2851, Saruman spoke against Gandalf's advice to attack Dol Guldur; Gandalf sat and smoked in silence, which irritated Saruman, and he later said, "I wonder a little that you should play with your toys of fire and smoke, while others are in earnest speech." Gandalf replied, "You would not wonder, if you used this herb yourself. You might find that smoke blown out cleared your mind of shadows within. Anyway, it gives patience, to listen to error without anger." As we know, Saruman later became a regular user, but he attempted to keep this fact secret from Gandalf.

twickster
02-25-2014, 10:46 PM
Sorry, Ross Wittenham, we're not here to drive traffic to your blog -- I've removed that link.

cjepson
02-26-2014, 11:52 AM
Pipeweed was, according to Tolkein, introduced to Middle Earth by the Numenoreans who brought it from over the sea.

Does this remind you of anything? Like, the demon weed of the Nicotiana family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_tobacco)?

Brought to Middle-Earth by Cirvaltaralė...?

Lemur866
02-26-2014, 04:03 PM
Hmm, from your link:

And I can attest to the fact that quickly smoking several cigarettes in a row can indeed get you high, albeit briefly.

Yep. Tobacco has psychoactive properties that people nowadays don't appreciate due to changing patterns of tobacco use.

As I said back in 2003.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
02-26-2014, 04:08 PM
Brought to Middle-Earth by Cirvaltaralė...?

No, it was the Riders of Roi-Tan.

misterv
02-26-2014, 09:50 PM
Stoners have an amazing ability to relate anything to weed. The word 'pipeweed' is simply too easy.

ThisUsernameIsForbidden
02-26-2014, 09:56 PM
As others have said, I'm sure Tolkien intended pipe-weed to be tobacco or something analogous... but he certainly did not consider it to be devoid of psychoactive properties. In the piece called "The Hunt for the Ring" in Unfinished Tales, Tolkien goes into some detail regarding the use of pipe-weed by Gandalf and Saruman. At first, Saruman was contemptuous of Gandalf's use of the weed. At the meeting of the White Council in 2851, Saruman spoke against Gandalf's advice to attack Dol Guldur; Gandalf sat and smoked in silence, which irritated Saruman, and he later said, "I wonder a little that you should play with your toys of fire and smoke, while others are in earnest speech." Gandalf replied, "You would not wonder, if you used this herb yourself. You might find that smoke blown out cleared your mind of shadows within. Anyway, it gives patience, to listen to error without anger." As we know, Saruman later became a regular user, but he attempted to keep this fact secret from Gandalf.

Thanks for the reference, great post.

Pretty much confirming my inclinations; this is not a reference to pot. Herbalism was/is a fairly wide practice and many plants have psychoactive properties.

vontsira
02-27-2014, 05:04 AM
Stoners have an amazing ability to relate anything to weed. The word 'pipeweed' is simply too easy.

A way in which super-keen enthusiasts for any pursuit or subject, tend to act...

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