“That’s right. When I was your age, television was called books, and this is a special book.” – The Princess Bride

I’m talking about the series that changed the course of fiction history. The books that laid the groundwork for authors to come. That set the tone for fantasy novels down through the generations. From Harry Potter to Eragon, from Ranger’s Apprentice to 100 Cupboards. It influenced authors “great and small” as they say, diverse and alike, even to genres outside of strictly fantasy, and probably to movies too I don’t doubt. Some claim it is THE definitive fantasy series.

I’m talking, of course, about The Lord of the Rings.

It just so happens that I’m listening to this series again right now. No, watching the movies does not count. They are completely different, and while so might dispute that they are “wonderful/very good/must watch”, they don’t count toward the real thing. Read. The. Books. Then we can talk. πŸ˜› Thank you!

Okay, off soap box. πŸ™‚ I could go on and on about various things about these books (parts/phrases that inspired me and sparked creativity, quotes I love and are SOO true, favorites scenes, my 2 cents on all the age-old debates…), but right now I’m just going to share a few random things from it/on it/about it or whatever. πŸ˜‰

Actually, I’m listening to The Lord of the Rings myself (<3 Robert Inglis’Β voice!!! THE one and only narrator for Tolkien’s books! His voice is so deep and rolling and he does all the voices perfectly and just IS Lord of the Rings. It’s a perfect match), and simultaneously my siblings and I are listening to (read by Robert Inglis, of course πŸ˜› ) The Hobbit. If you don’t think that would be disorienting, think again. I’ve listened to them both, multiple times, and even still, knowing the plots and everything, it was hard! At one point, we had only gotten in The Hobbit as far as Mirkwood, and in The Lord of the Rings in referenced in the same paragraph the dwarves passage through the Misty Mountains (fresh in my memory) and the Battle of Five Armies (which we hadn’t gotten to and was vague and distant). It is not a little disconcerting. πŸ˜€

Oh gosh, I’ve been rambling and ranting on and I haven’t even come close to saying everything I want to say. I should have made this be a Thinking Out Loud Thursday post!

This quote from The Hobbit. Oh my. I laugh so hard every time I hear this. I love it!

Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They can tunnel and mine as well as any but the mostΒ skilled dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely that they invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and engines and explosions always delighted them, and also not working with their hands more than they could help; but in those days and those wild parts they had not advanced (as it is called) so far.

It’s one of those, you know, one of those potshots you’d like to take but never would dare? Tolkien does. And I enjoy his potshots so much because they’re soooo like things I would say. My family and friends can testify to all my soap boxes I climb onto, like ugly skyscrapers ruining the view, coldhearted concrete marring the beautiful growing things, and magic is (at least) a possibility. Oh, and the Wish Fairy is real and takes care of all the wishes you make with wishbones and stars. Maybe more on that a different post. πŸ˜‰

On a different note, has anyone else noticed how, like, all of Tolkien’s characters navigate/operate off of sheer instinct? Not that I have a problem with that… actually, I myself tend to rely more on instinct than cold facts and direct perception, and hence most of my characters follow suit. But he takes it to such an extreme it’s hilarious, though to tell the truth I’ve read it at least 4 times and only just really noticed it.

For example: (just one, though there are many good ones πŸ˜‰ ) Gandalf in Moria (probably enough said right there πŸ˜› , but a quote to illustrate): “I do not like the feel of the middle way; and I do not like the smell of the left-hand way: there is foul air down there, or I am no guide.” So yeah. I just thought it was interesting, and it’s even funnier once you’ve realized, because then all the other times it just kind of jumps out at you. πŸ™‚

One more thing before I end this rambling Lord of the Rings centered post: I love the way the Lord of the Rings and music… well, LOTR=music. His descriptions of it, the lyrical feel of the way he cunningly strings words together, the rhythm and poetry, and the way music flows through the whole book, rising more to the forefront sometimes and then receding before rising again for greater appreciation. At times it is like, in the words of the book itself, “a dream of music that turned into running water”.

Like this description: “At first the beauty of the melodies and of the interwoven words in elven-tongues, even though he understood them little, held him in a spell, as soon as he began to attend to them. Almost it seemed that the words took shape, and visions of far lands and bright things he had never yet imagined opened out before him; and the firelit hall became like a golden mist above the seas of foam that sighed upon the margins of the world. Then the enchantment became more and more dreamlike, until he felt that an endless river of swelling gold and silver was flowing over him too multitudinous for its pattern to be comprehended; it became part of the throbbing air around him, and it drenched and drowned him.”

I ❀ it, despite what my siblings might say about it. πŸ˜› I thought I’d gotten too literature-picky for the long, very description/narrative intense, rather slow at times, very powerful series. Turns out I still LOVE it! But my siblings don’t. Don’t know what they’re missing out on, right?? πŸ˜€

Oh, one last note: I just realized this weird thing. Several years ago, I had a Word document called Dreamcatcher that was my “blog”. I wrote “posts” that nobody read, one of which was a soapbox on the Lord of the Rings movies versus the books. A little ironic, I thought.

Thanks for reading through, folks! πŸ˜‰

~ Kat

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