With Hobbit Day (Sep 22nd) rapidly approaching, I was excited to see that Hamlette is again hosting a Tolkien Blog Party this year! This will be my first time participating. Though I haven’t often mentioned J. R. R. Tolkien here, I am a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. There is so much to unpack in Tolkien’s universe of Middle Earth, and I find I discover something new every time.
The Tolkien Tag 2017
1. How long have you been a Tolkien fan?
Oh wow… it must be something like 9 or 10 years ago now! I played violin in a community orchestra, and we were learning music from The Two Towers. The conductor, Mr. D., tried to select a wide variety of music, including film scores from newer movies like LOTR and Pirates of the Caribbean. I am forever indebted to his open-mindedness, because some of the other musicians were not too keen on Rohan’s theme or the March of the Ents. 😉 For me, it was a turning point.
I had heard of LOTR but knew basically nothing about it. Inspired by our music, I picked up this one-volume book at the thrift store and embarked on a multi-month adventure, watching each film after reading each book (to my poor parents’ suspense!!). Though the books were difficult for me, it was an incredible experience as a whole. To this day, The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite film, because seeing it all come to life on the screen was that light-bulb moment, when you realize you’ve discovered something beautiful and unique.
2. Has your love of Middle-earth affected your life?
Yes, absolutely. These are just few of the ways:
- Community – The Lord of the Rings is one of my few mainstream fandoms (along with Star Trek). LOTR was the first time I felt a big connection with other people over a book/film. I eagerly anticipated the Hobbit trilogy as well, and – from the pre-production news to the final release at the theater – followed the excitement with family members, coworkers, and others online. I think the story, themes, characters, and setting make the War of the Ring a universal tale almost everyone can relate to.
- Poetry – I did not much like poetry before reading LOTR. During that time, however, I came to love it and appreciate the part it played in the story. One of my favorite poems is “The Sea-Bell.” Tolkien led me to poetry, and I’ve since read and written a lot of poetry…it’s become an important thing in my life.
- Sewing – Watching LOTR reminded me how much I love costumes! I had fun sewing hobbit, elf, and Gondorian clothes some years ago. Sadly, I only have a few pictures of those projects left.
3. If you had to take the One Ring to Mordor, which character would you choose for your sole companion?
Well, I think Tolkien proved that Sam is the best choice. 🙂 However, if I didn’t know that already, then I’d have to say either:
- Gandalf. He knows the way, he knows the languages, and he has superpowers! (Oh, and he has The Hobbit on his resume.)
- Elrond. I always felt Elrond should’ve volunteered.
4. Which is scarier, Shelob or the Balrog?
The Balrog is extremely terrifying, but I think I could face it. I don’t think I could fight Shelob – the sight of her would make me faint.
5. Which two towers do you think Tolkien was referring to in the title The Two Towers? (i.e. Orthanc, Barad-dûr, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, or Minas Tirith)
Barad-dûr, for sure. The movie implies Orthanc is the second one, but when I was reading the book, I felt like it was one of the other ones. I’m going to say Minas Tirith for the second Tower.
6. Whose wardrobe would you like to have?
I would say Eowyn, except I don’t care for billowy sleeves. So I’d have to say Thranduil, king of woodland elves and woodland fashion.
7. What do you think an Ent Draught would taste like?
A delicious iced tea.
8. Where in Middle-earth would you like to live?
Always the Shire. What can I say…I like being safe and snug and cozy!
9. Do you have any Tolkien-related opinions that surprise other people?
I think Viggo Mortensen was miscast as Aragorn. *ducks tomatoes*
10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotations from the books or movies.
“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” (Gandalf)
“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.”
BOROMIR: My father is a noble man, but his rule is failing, and our people lose faith. He looks to me to make things right and I would do it. I would see the glory of Gondor restored. Have you ever seen it, Aragorn? The White Tower of Ecthelion, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver, its banners caught high in the morning breeze. Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?
ARAGORN: I have seen the White City, long ago.
BOROMIR: One day, our paths will lead us there. And the tower guard shall take up the call: “The Lords of Gondor have returned.”
THEODEN: Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. How did it come to this?
I’m afraid most of my favorite quotes are the mournful ones…however, nobody writes sad stuff as well as Tolkien.
That was a fun tag. Thanks to Hamlette for putting this together!
Ooh, great answer post!Ahhhh, reading and watching the books and movies for the first time (though I did the movies first) . . . Love what you said about the themes being so universal as to bring people together over the story. :)I LOVE the poetry in the books! It's . . . so flawless. I don't understand. XDOh, that's so cool that you sewed costumes! Love those pictures. :)\”A delicious iced tea\” — ooh, good one! That could indeed be an Ent Draught.*gasp* You think Viggo Mortensen was miscast as Aragorn?! *is duly shocked* Do tell! ;)Ohhhhh, those quotes are so gorgeous. *clutches heart* You're right, no one does sad stuff like Tolkien. Love all four of those quotes!!
Thanks, Olivia! Re: Aragorn, I'm probably just picky, but I feel like Aragorn should have a thick British accent. =)
I have that exact same copy of the trilogy! It is literally sitting next to my laptop as I type this. I love it so much, I bought a second copy at a library book sale a while back so I could have a back-up copy just in case.Thranduil has some seriously awesome costumes. Also, nobody else gets to ride a giant elk thing. He's probably the most stylin' person in all 6 films.OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!! You are just about the only person I've ever run into who also thinks that Viggo Mortensen was miscast! I just… I mean, I like him pretty well as Strider, but I just can't quite accept him as Aragorn and never have. Do you have someone else in mind for the role? I've always wished Oded Fehr had been cast instead.
Yay, I'm not alone! 🙂 I haven't seen Fehr in anything, but by his picture, he definitely has that ranger/tough-guy vibe.For kicks, I found an article talking about others who could have got the role: https://www.tor.com/2015/02/10/the-king-that-might-have-returned-five-actors-who-almost-played-aragorn-in-lord-of-the-rings/They say Liam Neeson was almost Boromir, but I could actually see him as Aragorn (and that would've been a fun crossover with the Narnia films :)).
I love the Theoden quote! That poem is one of my all-time favorites. One of these days, I'm going to sit down and memorize it in its entirety.
It always gets me! I love how they filmed that whole scene, too.
Oh, help! Liam Neeson as Boromir? Perish the thought! No no no. No one but Sean Bean must be Boromir. End, full stop. Hee.I knew that Stuart Townsend had been originally cast as Aragorn, and I have to say that Viggo was a HUGE improvement there. I didn't know about the others they'd mentioned, though I could kinda see Daniel Day-Lewis in the role. But Sean Connery as Gandalf? Oh, what a kick-butt Gandalf he would have been! Balrog would've run away.
That scene gives me chills every time. Definitely some great cinematic work.