Let me start off by wishing Tori a very happy 17th birthday <3!!!
Since this is Tori's birthday, and Tori both loves Lord of the Rings, and is the main reason that I came to love Lord of the Rings (it's not that I didn't love the books... it's just that 56 page chapters are really hard to find time for when you refuse to read less than a chapter in a sitting), and because Tori is having us re-watch some of the movies with her because she's re-reading the books, and because we celebrated her birthday today with a dragon theme, and because there was a neat blog party that happened, thrown by The Edge of the Precipice, that I totally knew was coming and totally forgot about while it happened... I decided that this would be an appropriate post to share today, despite it's being too late to be a part of the blog party (if I read my own sister's blog regularly, I wouldn't have missed it... but one fun fact about Tori: she changes blog/addresses frequently, and it means that I AM NEVER SUBSCRIBED TO HER BLOGS, and it's a problem, hahaha). So, without further ado, some of my thoughts on Middle Earth...
1. What's your favorite Middle-earth story/book?
Confession... I have only read one book of the smaller stories. So, I'm not exactly an authority here. Next time I read the series, I want to start with the Silmarillion and go through completely in order, but it is safe to say that I don't see that happening until after Christmas. But thanks to Tori, I have quite a good working knowledge of the other works, because she used to explain to me frequently at night the story line of each new book she read (I managed to stay awake about 50% of the time). But I believe my favorite book will always be "The Return of the King". Faramir, Aragorn, and Samwise all get their (mostly) happy endings, and it's got the death of Theoden, which I do not appreciate at all, because I wanted him to have a happy ending too, but also I do, because it's one of the few book scenes that has ever made me actually cry tears. So most of my favorite characters are taken care of, anyway... Second would be "The Hobbit". Let's face it, the style is wonderfully humorous but careful not to be a real comedy given it's perilous setting.
2. Do you have a favorite subplot?
When the people of Rohan get brought into the story, I feel like everything gets even better. It doesn't hurt that they are known for their horses, the Rohan music is my favorite theme in the movies, and that I love how kind Theoden is to the hobbits in the books. I mean, I love Aragorn's story, and I love the way Sam does everything he does out of loyalty for others, but I often think of Rohan/Rohan people when I think of the parts of the story I like best. But this seems like a main theme to me, so I am not sure it counts as a subplot. I think the smaller subplot that I love the best is Boromir + Faramir, trying to serve their people and please their Father, and both having huge struggles through that... Faramir staying true, no matter what is thrown at him, and Boromir's repentance after he succumbs to his Father's path/the ring.
3. What's your favorite theme in Tolkien's books? (Can be in one specific story, or overall.)
I love that throughout the darkest time Middle Earth has ever faced, they face the future with hope. They fight not for power, but for right; and it's often the small things that bring the biggest change. They refuse to give in to despair, but do just what has been give to them to do, so that other's may know joy.
4. Do you have a favorite weapon from Middle-earth?
I'm partial to the swords, just because they have backstories, and I am all for your possessions having sentimental value. Haha... yeah, I'm not a weapons-loving person at all.It has to have some other purpose as well, haha.
If it had said tool instead of weapon, the answer would have been Sam's rope and herbs ;).
5. Would you like to be a hobbit?
Let us think about this: Hobbits love food, are very social, but love home, but also love to do something new just often enough for you to wonder when it will happen next, love to garden, are short... don't ask if I'd like to be one. Just give me a Hobbit hole, because I already am one ;).
6. Do you have a favorite romance/couple?
Aragorn and Arwen's romance is my favorite. They are so patient and so willing to lay aside their own happiness for those who need them. It's kind of a back story we don't know enough of in the actual book, but we learn more in the appendix (Mama actually went years thinking that that was all elaborated in the movie, haha), and I think it's sweet. But I kind of like elements from them all, haha :). Someone pointed out that one of the biggest theme's in Tolkien's romances is that they all go through a period of waiting before their romance is realized, and that was based off of his own relationship with his wife, and I thought that was a really neat take from that!
7. What's your favorite Middle-earth creature? (Can be "real" or "imaginary.")
??? I mean, by creature, do we mean... everything but the men? I don't want to think that hard, haha. My favorite animal is Bill the Pony. He deserves all the apples Sam was able to give him.
8. What character do you look the most like?
Ah, yes. If you were to ask my sister and her best friend, I am the spitting image of a random elf in the scene where the dwarves first arrive in Rivendale in AUJ, if I would just straighten my hair (the elf who first talks to them, and says Elrond isn't there just to turn around and see him coming). I don't find this very flattering, but... really, there isn't anyone better, because I don't look like anyone, so, I guess you can laugh over that if you know who that is...
9. Are there any books about Middle-earth or Professor Tolkien (but not written by him) you recommend?
Ahem. I've never read any, haha. The closest I came to reading a book about Middle Earth that wasn't the books themselves was also written by Tolkien, but compiled by someone else, "The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien". Seriously, he reminds my sister and I of a gentleman from our VA choir, and he was really quite neat!
10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotations from the Middle-earth books and/or movies.
Sam's quote. Obviously. Who does not find that quote (you know the one)
the best quote and the perfect theme explanation of the story? So I went
with a few "lesser" ones, since it wasn't "top ten" quotes that were supposed to be listed ;). In no particular order, here are ten of my favorites that come to mind/I have previously saved. (But I am thinking of so many other parts that are too long to quote - most of them surrounding the people of Rohan. Or Sam.)
"Deserves it! I daresay he does. 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."
"'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.'"
"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."
"Bilbo knelt on one knee filled with sorrow. 'Farewell, King under the mountain!' he said. 'This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad that I have shared in your perils - that has been more than any Baggins deserves.'
'No!' said Thorin. 'There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!'
Then Bilbo turned away, and he went by himself, and sat alone wrapped in a blanket, and, whether you believe it or not, he wept until his eyes were red and his voice was hoarse. He was a kindly little soul."
"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."
"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark
places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands
love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."
"Praise from the praise-worthy is beyond all rewards."
"Hold your ground, hold your ground. Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my
brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of
me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our
friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An
hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing
down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! By all that you hold
dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"
“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.”
"I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them."