I absolutely couldn’t resist getting in one more Tolkien-related post before the end of September! I saw this tag written by Rose Marie @Only a Dream and thought to myself, “Why not?” Because you can never get too much Tolkien, right?
1. How did you first get into Tolkien? You can tell the whole story: was it through the books or movies? Both are perfectly acceptable by the way. What made you become a fan?
As many of you already know, I first got into Tolkien through my dad reading us The Hobbit when I was pretty young. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but I’m guessing I was 6 or 7 years old. I know he read this to us multiple times before he read us The Lord of the Rings, which might have been when I was about 12. We watched the cartoon version of The Hobbit. The weird mash-up of cartoon/motion-capture-before-motion-capture-was-a-thing called The Lord of the Rings, which, as I recall, ends after the Battle of Helm’s Deep… and they never made the second part.
Then we also watched the Return of the King cartoon… and my brothers and I kind of mocked it mercilessly because all the characters had abnormally large noses, and the songs were a bit… goofy/cheesy… even for us. Ahem. But… we watched it multiple times anyway, because… look… it was all we had, okay?
So you can imagine our excitement when the live-action movies came out! My whole family went to see Fellowship of the Ring SEVEN times in theaters. That’s a record of epic proportions for us. I remember after the first time we saw it, my dad leaned forward, looked at us all with a huge grin on his face and said, “And that was the ‘BORING’ book!!!” (disclaimer: we do not believe Fellowship of the Ring is “boring” this statement was simply an acknowledgement that there is more action in the second and third books)
2. What do you like the most about Tolkien’s work and why? It can be anything from specific books and characters, to themes and particular chapters of the stories to Middle-earth locations. Feel free to tell all about it.
I love the archaic style of writing, the older-feeling language used, the depth of the characters, the complexity of the subplots, the epic scope of the world-building, and the deep moral lessons woven seamlessly throughout the fabric of the story.
3. Who’s your favorite Tolkien character and why? If you’re like me and find it hard to choose just one, you can choose up to three.
Oh goodness. I don’t know if I can limit it to just three!
But if I had to choose… just three…
Samwise, Boromir, Eomer
followed suuuper closely by Eowyn, Aragorn, and Thorin… and Bilbo… and Frodo (I do love Frodo, poor guy often gets left out of my top favorites lists, but I do love him dearly).
4. What’s your favorite Tolkien location and why? Same about characters, you can choose three.
It’s always been Rivendell for me. I love many places in Middle-Earth. I’d love to see the halls of Erebor, hang out under the party tree in the Shire, explore Lothlorien… but my heart yearns most for Rivendell.
5. What Middle-earth race do you feel you would belong to and why? Also, what race is your favorite? They might not be the same.
I love Hobbits and Elves and Dwarves… and Hobbits are probably my favorite, followed closely by elves (though Peter Jackson made me fall in love with the dwarven race when he portrayed them as epic rather than silly and for that I owe him thanks).
But the race I feel I most belong to? Humans. Specifically the Rohirrim.
6. What’s your favorite Peter Jackson Middle-earth movie (including both his trilogies: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) and why? If you happen to have not seen them yet, why is that?
I have to pick just one?
Fellowship of the Ring. It’s the movie that took the least license with the script (even if he did leave out Tom Bombadill) and for me… watching that movie was kind of like the first time Lucy steps through the wardrobe and sees Narnia on the other side of the fur coats. It’s hard to recapture that sense of wonder and brilliance and beauty, no matter how much I love the other five movies… that one is just slightly dearer to my heart. It’s special and irreplaceable.
7. Alternatively, which one is your least favorite and why?
I don’t really have a least favorite. Before the extended editions came out I would have said “Two Towers” because of how badly they messed up Faramir’s character in the theatrical release, but the extended edition helped mollify me a bit. I love them all.
8. Tell us about your Tolkien merch collection. If you have none, tell us about which Tolkien merch you’d like to own (you can do this one even if you do have a merch collection too).
I have a replica One Ring.
A student of mine forged me a replica Sting letter-opener that I love to pieces.
We have a Fellowship silhouette placard my brother and his wife got us for Christmas that we need to hang up in our new house (I’ll get around to decorating one of these days)
I have a clock that looks like the door to Bag End.
We have a key-holder with the silhouette of the Fellowship on it.
And that’s about it… unless you count multiple copies of the books. But we have plans to get more decorations, particularly once the basement is finished….
9. Would you like to learn and be able to speak fluently in one of Tolkien’s languages, like Quenya and Sindarin or even the Black Speech of Mordor?
I’d love to learn how to speak Elvish. I never learned to write in Elvish and I suppose that means I can’t be an official card-carrying Tolkien nerd…
10. What are your thoughts on The Silmarillion?
I love it! It’s high time for a re-read.
11. What’s your favorite battle? Helm’s Deep? Pelennor Fields? Moria? Amon Hen?
Helm’s Deep has always been my favorite. I just love all the nuances of the storyline at that point. I know it’s not the ultimate culmination of the story the way Pelennor Fields is, but there are just SO many moving parts and it’s kind of the turning point of the whole story where despair reigns for a moment and then hope springs forth and men begin to see a glimmer of a chance that perhaps the forces of darkness are not completely unbeatable.
12. What’s the moment (it can be in the books or movies or both) that made you cry the hardest? Or if you don’t cry easily, that was the most heartbreaking or heartwarming or both to you.
Thorin’s death. I cry easily in books and movies in general, usually more for the beautiful moments than the actual sad ones…. but Thorin’s death is both, and it gets me every single time, even though I’ve read the books/watched the movies more times than I can even count at this point.
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the Tolkien-related fun this month! The Silmaril Hosts and I are already getting some ideas thrown around for next year as it will be the epic FIVE YEAR anniversary of the Silmaril Awards!!! We’ll have to do something special for it, for sure.
If you missed any of the award ceremonies or are wondering who the winners this year were, you can find all the links HERE. And if you’re new to the party and are scratching your head wondering, “What in the deep world are SILMARIL AWARDS?!” You can find all the information about this awesome annual blogging event on OUR OFFICIAL WEBSITE
And now it’s your turn! If you are a fan of Tolkien, consider yourself tagged! You can write your own blog post, or just answer whichever of the questions appeals to you most in the comments below!
And keep an eye out next week, because my Children’s Picture Book is releasing! And while it’s neither Tolkien nor fantasy-related *GASP!!* I am incredibly excited about sharing it with you!
Mae govannen, dear Reader.