Today’s post was supposed to be a review of one of the very many Tolkien nonfiction books that I’ve received recently. I’m particularly excited about Tolkien and the Great War, and I hope to get to it soon, but with everything going on this month, it’s just not looking feasible. Admittedly, that means I’m probably also cutting out next week’s review of the second volume of The Book of Lost Tales, which I’m sad about, but it is what it is. I started a new job a couple weeks ago, and my time has just been eaten up. My whole routine has been flipped on its head, and I’m still working on figuring out what works for me. This month has been exhausting because of all the changes, though, and I’ve barely had time to read YA books, which I fly through, never mind Tolkien books, which usually take double the time and leave me feeling a bit stretched too thin, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I’m trying to take it easy, so though you’re not getting a review today, you are still getting a Tolkien post!
I found this tag over @ Bookwormmuse, and I literally just found it via Googling “Tolkien book tag”. It looks like it was originally created by Andrea Heckler on Youtube. I was surprised by how many tags there were, too! I genuinely thought that there would be none, though I guess that’s because my mom keeps telling me that my love affair with Middle-earth it’s too niche. (It’s not, mom!)
Also, I recognize that I’ve 100% answered all of these at one point or another, but it’s usually buried beneath a lot of rambling, so this is the clean cut version. (There will still be rambling, just not of the usual lore-specific sort, haha.) Anyway, onto the tag!
How did your Middle-earth journey begin?
Oh gosh, what a fateful day. I was a big reader from early on. I absolutely adored stories, and so, my dad used to read to me, everything and anything that he could get his hands on. We have a long-standing relationship of this kind of consumption, too. When I was a wee babe, he would put on Godzilla or M*A*S*H* or whatever he was into at the time, and that’s what I would watch while he took care of me. My mom worked as a waitress for much of my childhood, so we ended up spending a lot of time together. I still remember how he put all his action figures on his tool wall rather than tools.
As I got older, I started writing my own stories, and it was somewhere around middle school when he finally had enough sense to take Fellowship of the Ring off of his shelves. He’d read the first four Harry Potter books to me until I ended up asking to finish the series on my own, and I would always get the books first because he was a slow reader. And so, I was fresh off of the Hogwarts Express and in need of a grand adventure when my dad introduced me to Middle-earth, and I’ve never looked back since. I was definitely too young the first time I read them, too, and though my love of Tolkien grew through the movies, I’ve had an absolute blast (as is obviously evident by my blog) rereading them after probably almost 20 years away.
What is your favorite Middle-earth book?
I’m gonna get so much flack for this, but it’s The Silmarillion. My dad is infamous for throwing his copy away in the trash because he hated it so much, but it was honestly mind-blowing when I read it for the first time two years ago, and rereading the trilogy over this past year has only proved that it’s my favorite. In books where Morgoth literally doesn’t exist even in passing mention, I still manage to scream about him. I’m constantly daydreaming of being back with the Feanorians and Gondolin and Luthien, so I think it’s safe to say that, though my love for the trilogy knows no bounds, The Silmarillion is where my heart lies.
What is your favorite movie?
I love all of them for a lot of reasons. Beginnings are always my favorite part of anything, and the first book of a series is usually my favorite. The LOTR finale, in particular, just destroys me every damn time. But that second movie? Oh damn.
I know I’ve linked this video more times than should be allowed on this blog, but come on! I also know that I’ve talked a lot about how sad it is that these movies glorified war when that’s not at all what Tolkien’s story was about, but Helm’s Deep is literally the coolest thing in the world.
Movies or books?
Honestly? Movies. I know that I’m supposed to say that they each have their own merits and exist as separate entities so that I can love them both equally, and all of that is true, but if someone said I could only take the books OR the movies into the afterlife with me, I’d take the movies.
Who are your favorite characters?
What Middle-earth race would you be?
I’m really caught between a dwarf and a hobbit. For the longest time, I thought hobbit was most fitting, mostly due to all the food and tea, but over the course of rereading the trilogy, I realized how similar I was to Gimli and how much he made me cackle because I just got him, so I think maybe dwarf? But, honestly, at the end of the day, I couldn’t stand living in the dark of the inside of a mountain, and a hobbit hole just appeals to me so much, so it’d be a hobbit for me.
Best actor/character casting match?
I was about to say Sean Astin & Samwise Gamgee because duh, but I think it’s John Rhys-Davies with Gimli.
He’s just literally the perfect Gimli. Everyone else has a lot in their favor, but Viggo Mortensen kind of doesn’t fit the typical Aragorn character, none of the elves are just right according to all the insanely exaggerated beautiful descriptions–except Liv Tyler as Arwen, she’s the other perfect fit–though the hobbits are pretty excellent, and I do love Gandalf (though he’s not right at all, which is so hard for me to say because Ian McKellen will always be the perfect Gandalf of my heart). So it’s got to go to John.
What is your favorite place in Middle-earth?
Oh, Rohan, in a heartbeat. I’d want to live in the Shire, but Edoras will always be my favorite place in the whole world. So much so that I’ve got a tattoo of the map of Rohan on my thigh.
What is your favorite quote from the books or movies?
Well, I did just write an entire post about this, and I’ve definitely linked this Instagram post several times in the last couple of weeks, but here you go: