• Samantha Cross

Archivist Spotlight: Archivist of Minas Tirith

By popular demand, I guess, here is the last article of the year! I get suggestions or requests to do articles of this particular character more than anyone else on my master list; probably due to the fact that the character is often shown at the Society of American Archivist's annual Archives in the Movies montage. Or because there are a lot of archivists who are geeks, which isn't surprising at all.


So, okay, what can I say about the Archivist of Minas Tirith? What deep truths can I unearth from watching this Man of Gondor? How about the fact that he's a terrible archivist and we're all better off forgetting he exists? Does that work?


Seriously, he's on screen for, like, thirty seconds! Gandalf shows up, he gets led to the prerequisite fantasy "archives" in the gloomy basement, the archivist leaves, and Gandalf proceeds to smoke and drink and shuffle papers around like he owns the place! Maybe he does! It's hard to say what Gandalf does or knows or owns until he tells you when the exposition is necessary to the plot.


That's it! That's the sum total of archival usage in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Gandalf gets the information he needs about Isildur's ring, then pops off to Hobbiton to send another generation of Baggins off on a dangerous, life-threatening quest that the tall people and seasoned fighters are ill-suited to carry out. So, if we're looking for silver linings, the archivist of Minas Tirith was very good at providing direction in regards to reference materials. And isn't that the true meaning of the holidays?


Happy New Year when POP Archives will be back in 2020!

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