Tolkien Celebration

Well, dear Reader, the month-long SilmAwards is over and today we close out the celebrations with an online celebration of the Lord of the Rings’ 63rd Birthday!

(Though Tolkien began working on the larger epic to accompany the Hobbit as early as 1917… so this year marks 100 years since the very beginning of this epic adventure tale that would usher in a new era of fantasy fiction for the modern age!)

Before we get started, however, I would like to take a moment to announce the WINNER of the ONE GRAND PRIZE TO RULE THEM ALL!

1 Grand Prize To Rule Them All (1)

Congratulations, korty365@gmail.com! *throws confetti and serves cupcakes* You should be receiving an email from me shortly to get your mailing address so that we can send you your prizes!

Some of you may remember that last year I posted about my Tolkien collection and the 27 signs that you might be an incurable Tolkien nerd

This year, I thought I would do a “Greatest Hits” compilation of my favorite moments from the books and the movies. In no particular order:

“…For you have come, and that was all the purpose of my message. And here you will stay., Gandalf the Grey, and rest from journeys. For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!”

I looked then and saw that his robes, which ahd seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered.

“I liked white better,” I said.

~The Fellowship of the Ring, The Council of Elrond

I wish that line had made it into the movie. It was always one of my favorites, because I just love Gandalf’s dry sarcasm. It’s so perfectly Gandalf.

At last Frodo spoke with hesitation. “I believed that you were a friend before the letter came,” he said, “or at least I wished to. you have frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way that servants of the Enemy would, or so I imagine. I think one of his spies would — well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand.”

“I see,” laughed Strider. “I look foul and feel fair. Is that it?”

~The Fellowship of the Ring, Strider

Another of my favorite lines that somehow got left out of the movie… I know they referenced it, but in the book it is a little light-hearted moment between Frodo and Strider, and the beginning of their great friendship, as well as a moment that shows the absolute humility of Aragorn as he easily acknowledges that he isn’t much to look at. Something of that subtlety got lost in translation from page to screen.

“Here, my lad, I’ll take that! I did not ask you to handle it,” he cried, turning sharply and seeing Pippin coming up the steps, slowly, as if he were bearing a great weight. He went down to meet him and hastily took the dark globe from the hobbit, wrapping it in folds of his cloak. “I will take care of this,” he said. “It is not a thing, I guess, that Saruman would have chosen to cast away.”

~Gandalf, The Two Towers, The Voice of Saruman

Of course, this scene is very different in the movie… as they decided to insert the end of Saruman here, as well. But I enjoyed, again, Gandalf’s dry sense of humor shining through.

I know many will disagree with me, but The Two Towers was always my favorite of the trilogy. I would read it over and over again. Often I would pick it up and read it all by itself, without starting at Fellowship of the Ring or continuing on to Return of the King. I loved the rescue of Merry and Pippin, the Ents, the Battle at Helm’s Deep, and the daunting quest undertaken by Sam and Frodo… I loved their determination in the face of unimaginable odds, and the unsought-for help they found along the way in the form of Faramir.

The dear friendship between Merry and King Theoden… which was glossed over in the movie, but beautiful in the books.

Possibly my favorite moment from Return of the King – I remember the first time I saw the movie and just being completely overwhelmed by this unexpected moment of beauty juxtaposed with the darkness of the battle and Denethor’s rising despair.

The first half of the chapter “The Steward and the King” in The Return of the King, where we get to watch the beautiful love story blossom between Eowyn and Faramir… a love that heals both their hearts. I wish they had spent more time on them in the movie.

“I wished to be loved by another,” she answered. “But I desire no man’s pity.”

“That I know,” he said. “You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn. Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth. And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admiarable. For so he is, a lord among men, the greatest that now is. But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Eowyn!”

And Eowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: “Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Eowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you.”

This moment.

 

I always thought Peter Jackson got it right, ending the action of the movie here and skipping ahead to Frodo going to the Grey Havens. Growing up, I never cared for The Scouring of the Shire. To me it seemed like an unnecessary bit of drama at the end of an epic quest. I wanted the Hobbits to simply go home and enjoy the fact that they saved the Shire from all the hardship they endured on its behalf. I hated the fact that Tolkien forced them to go home and discover that all their efforts had not kept evil from touching their home, as had been their goal from the beginning. And the fact that Saruman and Wormtongue showed up again just… annoyed me.

However, I recently re-read the Lord of the Rings, and when I reached that part, I discovered that I was not so bothered by it as I had been when I was younger. I appreciated how that chapter illustrated in a poignant and powerful way all the growing up that these four hobbits had done. For them to be able to sweep in like champion knights, defeat a wizard of Saruman’s caliber, and free their people allowed the rest of the Hobbits to grow up a little, as well, and to really see the difference the journey had made… in a way that they never realized with Bilbo, who had just been “that odd hobbit who went off on an adventure and then spoiled his own funeral by coming home and demanding that we return all his things.”

But I did appreciate the way the movies ended, as well. For the big screen, I think they showed all the important subtexts in this moment better than they would have had they tried to follow the book through the Scouring.

I could go on, and on, and on… in fact, I think — now that I’ve started reminiscing — that it’s about time I rewatched the movies and reread the books again. It’s been a while. So, I’ll go do that.

In the meantime, what are some of your favorite quotes and moments from the books and/or movies, dear Reader?

And if you want to join the link-up, just post the URL of your own Tolkien-themed blog post in the linky list below!

 

~ jenelle

24 Comments

kandijwyatt

My youngest son would watch the extended version of Two Towers over and over again. I don’t know how often I saw Gimly and Eowyn walking down the hill. However, he hated Shelob and would fast forward through those places.

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DJ Edwardson

A great walk down memory lane. There are so many moments, aren’t there? I love that scene with Faramir and Eowyn in the book as well. It’s so poignant.

Someone actually made a video a while back entitled “The Lord of the Rings Top 5 Scenes” that blew me away. Because they were the exact same 5 I would have picked. And in the *exact same order*!

Here’s the link if you care to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOqyF27uM44

I won’t spoil the video for you, but you don’t be surprised if you find Sam featured in several of those scenes. :)

Thanks for a wonderful Silmarillion Awards 2017! Look forward to doing it again next year!

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E.F.B.

*cries through the entire video* Yep, that captures my favorites too. *bawls*

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jenelle

Oh man! That was awesome! Such good memories….. and now I must go have a LOTR marathon.

Sometime soon, I think I’ll have to do a “favorite moments” post exclusively focused on The Hobbit (books and movies).

I think I would have switched moment 2 and 1, though. And… oh! I forgot the moment where Gandalf says, “BILBO BAGGINS! I AM NOT TRYING TO ROB YOU! … I’m trying to help you.” And Bilbo reels back in fear and then runs to Gandalf for comfort… AHHHH Shivers, every single time. Such a poignant illustration of how we can fear/revere God and yet love Him and run to Him for comfort at the same time.

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Savannah Grace

Loved this so much, Jenelle! It was so much fun to read through all of your favorite parts of LotR (which are, admittedly, some of MY favorite parts as well! :D ) I really wanted to have time to contribute a post to Tolkien’s beautiful LotR today, but just didn’t have time to write something that would have been “quality” enough to satisfy me. But I certainly will have fun looking through all the other posts written for today!

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jenelle

Thank you! I am looking forward to reading all the posts, myself! I was traveling all weekend and did not get a chance to, but I am so glad to see that there are other posts to read!

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Abbey Stellingwerff

I love the way that you and Nathalie and Leiana (*hopes she spelled their names right*) presented the winner for the prize! Congratulations, koryt365!
And I really enjoyed reading your post. I’d forgotten how dry Gandalf’s humor is in the books. XD Looks like I need to re-read them again, too. I was going to read them last fall, but then school got in the way. Maybe I can read them over Christmas break.

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E.F.B.

Aw, what cuties you have there! Thanks for helping choose the winner, girls! ;) And congrats to the winner!

I do love me some LOTR, both books and movies. I agree with you on the ending of ROTK. On one hand, I appreciate Tolkien’s reason for including the scouring of the Shire, but I also understand and think it’s best they didn’t try to keep it in the movie.

So far, I’ve read the entire LOTR trilogy through once, and FOTR and TTT twice. I’ll tackle my second read of ROTK once I’ve made a dent in the pile of books on my bookcase. It takes me so long to read LOTR that, after the first read (back in 2013-2014) took me nearly half a year, I’ve gotten so I only re-read one part of the trilogy a year. Maybe one day I’ll be fast enough to read the whole thing back to back again, but reading one part a year isn’t too bad. Spreads out the enjoyment longer. :) I enjoy so much of the books, I don’t know that I can say my favorite parts…

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Christine

AGH, JENELLE. I’ve been sooo in the mood for another reread of LotR (it’s been tooooo long) and this post just made me want to even MORE. You chose some of the BEST lines. Gandalf’s sarcasm gets me every time. xD And I loved Frodo and Aragorn’s friendship in the book. It does seem like in the movie it wasn’t highlighted as much. All the relationships in the book were so meaningful. I felt like a lot of that got left out in the movies. Like Merry and Theoden, like you said. AND FARAMIR AND EOWYN. Only one of the best couples in fictional HISTORY. I was soooo sad it didn’t get much focus at all in the movies. I mean, I know they could only fit so much in the movies, but still. I felt like they deserved more time. Especially since they DID focus on Eowyn’s love for Aragorn. It seemed wrong to not then turn it around and show how happy she and Faramir were.

I REALLY loved seeing your thoughts on the Scouring of the Shire. Because, see, my book purist mind always felt gypped that it didn’t make it in the movies. Buuuut another big part of me was kinda glad? Because, like you, I was never real pleased with that part of the book. After all we went through, I hated to see right at the end the Shire turn out into such a state. But thinking these things always made me feel disloyal to Tolkien’s decision. Heh. SO. It makes me feel better that I’m not the only one who was kinda glad Peter Jackson skipped over it. But I also LOVE your perception on how it helped the hobbits to grow up, to see what heroes Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin had become. You’re right! Your thoughts on this has made me feel better about it all around!

ANYWAYS. This comment is becoming a monster. I just really, really loved your post!!!

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Christine

P.P.S I added the link to my fantasy post from my phone (because I was at work at the time) and I just realized it now links to a weird mobile version of my blog. Oooops. Well, now I know that doesn’t work. XD #Fail

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jenelle

Gandalf’s sarcasm = awesomesauce!

Aww, I’m glad my post made you feel better about the Scouring.

And all the relationships. I know it would have been impossible to see them all as deeply in the movies as in the books, but I did feel like the movie relationships were somewhat lacking overall. The deep friendship between Theoden and Aragorn, for example, or even between Boromir and Aragorn… in the movies it made it out as though everyone was suspicious of Boromir from the get-go… but that was not the case in the books.

Thanks for reading and commenting! (aww, thanks! I think they’re pretty adorable, as well!)

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Nick Wilford

I’ve only read LOTR once, and I forgot how there are some great one-liners because the overall descriptions and story immersion are so fantastic. Really enjoyed this post! BTW, I nomimated you for the Liebster Award. Congrats! You can find the details at my blog if you want to play along.

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jenelle

Thanks, Nick!

Ooh, I will have to stop by and check that out. I love tags – they help me out when I don’t know what else to post about! :)

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Deborah O'Carroll

Loved this! :D Excellent scenes. ^_^ (Faramir and Eowyn though!!) I look forward to reading the other posts etc. when I have time… unfortunately I have a LOT of writing to do for Camp NaNo right now because I’m very behind and running out of time. O_O HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LOTR!! HUZZAH! I need to reread it again myself! :) Great post, thanks for sharing!

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