Happy Birthday LOTR

 

Lord of the Rings is 62 years old today!

It is perhaps not as auspicious or prestigious as eleventy-one, but it is definitely a respectable age.

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.

– Ernest Hemingway

LOTR Books
It is very possible that I may have a problem.

Especially since this picture doesn’t even include all of it – I know I own the movies in at least one other format, and I couldn’t find the audio versions of The Hobbit, Fellowship, or Two Towers… but rest assured, I do own them (I think I also have them on cassette tape somewhere, as well)!

For me, I’m not even sure how old I was when my Daddy first read The Hobbit out loud to me and my brothers. I’m sure I was less than ten years old. I remember the excitement of reading a new segment of the story each night, of waiting expectantly to find out what would happen to Bilbo and the Dwarves next. I remember laughing as my dad read the chapter with the trolls — and did all the voices… which is why, while I will forgive a lot of things in the movie adaptations (which I love dearly, don’t get me wrong), I cannot refrain from flinching when the trolls get the “what’s a burra-hobbit?” line wrong… as well as completely skipping over the “lots and none at all” bit… which always had us laughing uproariously when we got to it.

When I was a bit older, I remember going to Borders with my dad and he found a boxed set of books sitting on a table near the checkout desk. I think they were on sale. I have this vivid memory of him picking them up and saying, “I remember reading these in college,” and then buying them. We got started reading them that night…. They quickly became a new favorite as Middle-Earth opened up and expanded before us and the new characters within soon grew as beloved as Bilbo and Gandalf and Thorin ever were.

In college, when the Fellowship of the Ring came to theaters… my family and I went to see it seven times. Yes, you read that right. Seven times. In theaters. Because it was our favorite story, and we finally got to see it come to life… full-sized… and with Sean Bean to boot!

I go back and re-read these books once every couple of years, and every time I am transported by the writing into a story that grasps my imagination and tugs me off on a new adventure. This deep love of Tolkien’s beautiful story has lasted with me. It is a comfortable friend to return to when I need encouragement, or inspiration, or simply to be transported into a world of adventure.

27 Signs You Might Be an Irreversible Tolkien Nerd

1. You have read all the books (including the Silmarillion and all the Lost Tales)

2. You re-read the books before seeing the movies – just so you would be sure to spot every discrepancy

3. You read the books for the first time upon seeing the movies – and got quite put out by all the discrepancies

4. Despite the discrepancies, you love the movies dearly, if only because you can now share your love of Middle Earth with people who were never going to travel there via book

5. You know how to read/write/speak Elven

6. You can read Dwarvish runes

7. You own at least one LOTR movie-prop replica (weapon, outfit, piece of jewelry, etc)

8. You’ve watched all the special features on every extended edition film (LOTR and The Hobbit)

9. You’re outraged and devastated by how Faramir was portrayed in the movies

10. You went to see the movies multiple times in the theaters

11. When waking up on a rainy Saturday morning one of your first groggy thoughts is, “Yay! LOTR Movie Marathon Weather!”

12. You’ve started with An Unexpected Journey and watched all six films back-to-back-to-back-to… you get the idea in a single… yikes, how long would that even take??!?! You don’t care, even if you haven’t done it, the idea sounds like fun!

13. Why would anyone ever watch the theatrical versions again once the extended editions are released?

14. Your only serious complaint about the LOTR/Hobbit movies is that “They aren’t quite long enough.”

15. Tom Bombadil is dear to your heart, and it pains you that the movie-only people will never understand why

16. You and your friends have staged recreations of the Battle at Helm’s Deep

17. Whenever you’re about to do something awesome, exciting, or difficult you shout, “Now for wrath! Now for ruin and the red dawn!” Or at the very least, you think it

18. At times, upon seeing something you’d really like to have, you have been known to say, “We wants it” or call it “My Precioussssss” in a very hissing sort of voice

19. You own multiple copies of the books/movies/etc

20. Instead of teaching your kids knock-knock jokes, you teach them all the riddles between Gollum and Bilbo

21. You have memorized at least one poem from the books

22. You can’t resist an internet quiz that will tell you which Middle Earth race you belong amongst

23. You’ve dreamed about having your front door be round and green

24. You understand why Beren and Luthien… and not Romeo and Juliet… is the greatest love story ever written

25. You named your children after Lord of the Rings characters

26. You’ve traveled to New Zealand… simply to visit Hobbiton

27. You spend inordinate amounts of time perusing the Encyclopedia of Arda, tracing genealogies, reading about obscure bits of lore, and just basking in all the searchable wonder of Middle-Earth

Pretty sure I am an incurable Tolkien Nerd. How about you? Anything you want to add to the list?

Don’t forget to join the link-up from yesterday’s post so we can come see how you’re celebrating the birthday of the story that gave rise to the modern fantasy genre!

 

~ jenelle

20 Comments

DJ Edwardson

Ah, loved hearing your memories of how you found and grew to love Middle-Earth. How wonderful that your father read it to you.

I guess I’m not quite as diehard Tolkien as some because I did not qualify for all the items on the list. However, I will say that not only did I understand the Dwarvish runes in The Hobbit, but I translated the Dwarves’ map!

As for memorabilia I own, that would include a replica of the ring which I wear on a chain around my neck (in case Gandalf ever comes calling), dozens of miniatures, and a framed movie poster which includes the quote, “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

From one fan to another, thanks for posting this. Happy LotR anniversary!

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jenelle

:) Well, I made up the list, but I can’t honestly say that all of them apply to me.

I own a letter opener “Sting” – but it was forged for me by one of my students after I directed The Hobbit at the school where I taught, so it’s more precious to me than if I’d just bought a movie-replica. I also have a plastic replica One Ring… but it came with a pack of bookmarks and isn’t very exciting. I really want Arwen’s necklace… and a Tauriel costume. And her bow. Because…. awesome.

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Tracey Dyck

A Tauriel costume, yessss! And her bow! Wow, that would be fabulous. I would probably go around in public wearing a costume like that. XD
According to this list, I’m not a very serious fan. The only ones I’ve done are…
4. I’m one of those weird people who sometimes loves the book AND its corresponding movie equally, even if they’re different.
15. Tom Bombadil is wonderful! I dearly wish he’d been included in the movies.
18. All the time, precioussss…
21. Bits and pieces of poems, anyway.
22. *points to my own Tolkien party post* XD
23. Can I just live in a Hobbit hole, please and thanks?
And I really want to do 26, traveling to New Zealand!
Okay, so there’s a few more than I thought. Regardless, I adore LOTR, and this post was completely awesome!

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jenelle

Her costume is the BEST!

Six things? I think that qualifies you for “serious fan” at the very least. And if you WANT to do the ones you haven’t done… well, then… here’s your incurable nerd card! ;)

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E. E. Rawls

Yes to all of this! Great post, Jenelle! LOTR were the only movies I ever went to see more than once in theater; they were too epic not to see again and again. :)
Love the 25 list! I, um, I’m pretty sure I am an Irreversible Tolkien Fan. :D Except I don’t know Dwarvish runes yet…hmm, I need to fix that!

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The Princess of Dol Amroth

Happy Birthday to The Lord of the Rings! :) Really nice post Jenelle!

Heehee, my family has The Two Towers and The Return of the King on cassette tape too. XD (Fellowship we have on CD though.) That’s actually the only way I’ve “consumed” LotR. I’ve listened to those tapes over and over again, and never actually “read” the books with my eyeballs so to speak. XD

I can’t say I’ve done all the things in that list, but quite a few. I guess it shows I’m a pretty big fan since my email address/user name is The Princess of Dol Amroth… Which is me being some relation to Imrahil, the prince of Dol Amroth, who is my favorite character in the Lord of the Rings. Who no one remembers because he’s not in the movies.

“Why would anyone ever watch the theatrical versions again once the extended editions are released?”
THIS. Exactly. Like a month ago I didn’t even REMEMBER what parts were original and which were extended, but then we marathoned the non extended (on VHS :P) and I was super surprised at how much wasn’t in them! And also how much was in the “original” that ISN’T in the extended. Like different angles and shots that aren’t in the extended.

“You’re outraged and devastated by how Faramir was portrayed in the movies”
Yup.

“You went to see the movies multiple times in the theaters”
If I hadn’t been little-bitty when the Lord of the Rings ones had come out, probably. But the Hobbits, yes. Multiple times.

If I had a blog I’d join in the fun, but since I don’t, I’ll just party in everyone’s comments. :D

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jenelle

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I haven’t done all the things on this list either… but I’m working on it. :) From one LOTR fan to another, “mae govannen!”

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Abbey

Lovely post! I think I read somewhere that if you watched The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies back to back (to back to back to back to back) it would take 23 hours. I’m impressed that you saw The Fellowship of the Ring seven times in the theater!
I think one more item can be added to your list… 26. You’re a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan (and a Christian) if you’ve seen “Lord of the Beans” more than twice. (That was actually how I was introduced to LotRs, haha).

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jenelle

Heheh, I have seen Lord of the Beans… but only once.

23 hours… wow. Very cool. I need to do that someday, because it would be fun. I’ve watched the movies back-to-back-to-back three nights in a row (but never all six yet).

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Christine

I loved reading about how you come to know these stories! How sweet your dad read them to you as a child. ^_^ AND YOUR LIST. Oh man, I relate to so many of these!
#4: YES. I complain a TON over the movies, and yet the LotR movies are my top favorite movies of all time. Such a contradiction I am. XD
#9: I WILL COMPLAIN TO THE END OF TIME HOW OUR DEAR FARAMIR WAS PORTRAYED IN THE MOVIES. *growls*
#11: Totally been there!
#14: Hahaha! It’s true!
#15: Yes! *sniffles*
#18: I’m honestly not sure a day goes by without me talking like Gollum at least once…
#19: So many copies.
ALL THESE ARE ACCURATE OKAY. I just loved this. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOTR!!!! *cheers*

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Deborah O'Carroll

Happy birthday to LOTR! I LOVED this post! Your collection is awesome. :D What a gorgeous pic! Those are amazing editions. O_O I adored hearing how you came to LOTR, and… wait… 7 TIMES in theaters??? :O Call me impressed. XD All the movies were out on VHS by the time I read/saw them, soo… yep. ;)

I’m going to restrain myself from talking about every point on your list, but those are all great. XD I LOVE IT. I’m totally an irreversible Tolkien nerd. :P

YES TO #9 THOUGH. *outrage* (Faramir’s the best. <3)

I haven't done a Hobbit AND Lord of the Rings marathon yet… but a couple years back I had a LOTR extended edition marathon which took all day long, from noon to midnight. XD It was SO. FUN.

I hardly ever see the theatrical versions anymore but I'm mixed because there are things I love more about both versions, so I can't decide which is best. :P

AWESOME post, Jenelle! Thanks for sharing! ^_^ *frolics in all the LOTR posts*

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jenelle

Hehehe, thanks, Deborah! So glad you enjoyed the post and the event and the party! Wish I could have been here more yesterday… but I was stuck in the car all day… which was fun, but not as much fun as an LOTR party!

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jenelle

Hahaha! Exactly!
1 (haven’t read the Lost Tales), 3 (because I’d already read them), 5, 12, and 26 are the only ones I haven’t done. Definitely need to correct that… ASAP!

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Zachary Totah

Great post, Jenelle. As I read through your list of items, I realized how hard-core it was. The only one I can think of distinctly applying to me is disliking how Faramir was portrayed in the movies. Oh, and saying “preciouss.” I do that on A LOT.

One thing I’d add to the list: going back numerous times and rereading favorite chapters or sections in the book. One of my go-to places was Moria and the Bridge of Khazad-dum.

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