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!