Most of the Collective crew and I consider ourselves devout Tolkienites, and when a panel and a screening of the Tolkien film was announced at WonderCon, we made sure to wear our finest Elf attire to the event. We were fortunate enough to speak with director Dome Karukoski after the screening (during which he complimented our cosplays, but that’s neither nor there). Shortly after WonderCon, we were invited via a friend to attend the Los Angeles premiere on May 8.
Seeing the film for a second time proved that it is just as heartwarming and tender as it was when we first saw it last month. Tolkien is a film meant for his fans: it paints a picture of a young man whose imagination was strengthened and nurtured by the fellowship and love of the people surrounding him in his youth.
As you read this, I am on my way to New Zealand, completing the most sacred of my nerd pilgrimages: a journey to Middle-Earth. J.R.R. Tolkien’s creations are the closest to my heart, and since I am visiting the land of Elves and Hobbits, I thought I’d share with you some of the most striking scenes from the films, so that you can share my adventure with me in a small way. So, without ado, forth Eorlingas!
Perhaps it’s because I just booked my trip to New Zealand, or because the soundtrack is on repeat all day while I work, or maybe because my friend Lacey was part of the most epic LotR cosplay group ever, but Samwise Gamgee has been on my mind lately. In particular, Sam’s earnest goodness and unrelenting sense of hope has been a beacon in my life, and pretty much the reason I finally caved and decided to go to Middle-earth with the option of never returning.
Samwise Gamgee has always been my most favoritest of hobbits, and I think it’s about time I did a shout out to all the wonderful things he accomplished in the story that maybe don’t get as much appreciation as he deserves. So, without ado, here are three things we should all love Sam for doing.
Although a majority of our writing focuses on comics, television, and film, the fandom that is nearest and dearest to my heart is Middle-earth. Today, we celebrate what is widely known as Hobbit Day, called such because it is the birthday for Tolkien’s two most famous protagonists: Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. If you’re secretly a Hobbit, or just really really really wish that Middle-earth was real, here’s a few ways to celebrate your favorite Bagginses in style.
This year, I’m still thankful that Peter Jackson cast Martin Freeman as the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and with the new retrospective trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I’m just really filled with Middle-earth feels.
I recently rewatch the two Hobbit films and The Fellowship of the Ring while on a Air New Zealand flight to Los Angeles for BurCon, and, well, I’ve put a lot of thought into what my favourite moments from the Middle-earth films might be. So without any ado, here are my top 5 moments.
Riddles in the Dark
This is the most important moment in the Third Age of Middle-earth. Who knows long Gollum would have kept the One Ring hidden in his cave if Bilbo hadn’t been shoved out the door on an adventure and ended up lost in the Misty Mountains. Everything that follows from this point is because Bilbo has the One Ring. This is my favourite scene in book and it translated perfectly to film. Also, Andy Serkis’ Gollum is creepily perfect.
I hate the term “BFF” but how the fuck else do you describe the pals that stick around you, even when you have a nervous breakdown over something as stupid as not being able to find your favorite pair of shoes (I’m not speaking from experience or anything). The past few weeks have shown me that I have exactly the right friends in my life, and I’d be lost (like, literally, wandering around some borough of London) without them.
My friends and I are serious cinephiles, and here are my five favorite films to watch with my BFFs about BFFs.
To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar
This film is quintessential for me and my closest friends from high school. Even though we’ve spread to various parts of the globe, whenever I pop in the DVD I send a text to them all saying “I’ve got more legs than a bucket of chicken.”
You either get that reference or you need to watch the film.
I’m enjoying a vacation from work (sometimes I really love the academic calendar) and like any good Tolkienite, I’m marathoning the films once more before I go back to work on Monday. This time, as I work my way back through Middle-earth in the books and on screen, I am noticing things I never noticed before. Perhaps I should blame my graduate-level education for being unable to enjoy a book for its own sake any more, but the intricacies enrich the world and make the story so much richer for me.
Throughout my re-reading of The Lord of the Rings, it is repeatedly seen that Frodo, and other Fellowship members, have thoughts in their heads that are not their own–a narrative tactic that I wish I could duplicate in my own work. Oftentimes these characters will make exclamations in languages in which they are not fluent, usually Elvish, and have visions of things that may or may not have already happened. These foreign thoughts can be good or evil, and are influential in the actions of the main characters (particularly the hobbits), especially Frodo in his dealings with the One Ring. I mention Frodo specifically, because of the burden of his Quest. Any influences on the hobbit could make or break Middle-earth. Could Frodo be hallucinating and delirious under the effects of the Ring, or is there a Higher Power playing in the turn of events in Middle-earth?
Sometimes, I like to answer my own questions, and so I took a look at the origins of Middle-earth (my obsession has led me to have my own Tolkien library). If you’ve never read The Silmarillion (and I think that everyone should), Middle-earth was created by Eru, or Ilúvatar with the help of the song of the Ainur, but after the creation of Eä, or the world, the Creator is conspicuously silent and absent from the cycle of events that unfold in his creation. He places select Ainur in the role of the Valar (think of them as deific beings who watch over Middle-earth, like the Norse gods and goddesses); they are the protectors of Eru’s creation. In TheSilmarillion, the reader repeatedly sees the intervention of the Valar in the course of the history of Tolkien’s secondary world, particularly in the battles against Melkor, AKA Morgoth (the first Dark Lord, and Sauron’s master). The Valar actively go to battle with Melkor, restrain him for three ages, and then later cast him out into the Void.