Friday, July 29, 2016

What Tolkien Means to Me

One day, when I was a wee thing of 10 years old, my mom and brother were settling in to watch a new movie called Fellowship of the Ring. I asked if I may join, and they decided it would be all right as long as I closed my eyes during a few parts. Happily, I flopped next to them, ready to watch. And thus began the journey of my life.

I had always liked fantasy-esque things. Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland and fairytale Disney movies were my loves. But as a story full of battles and magic rings and gruesome creatures and beautiful elves and brave heroes and good vs. evil played before my eyes, that little bloom of enjoyment for the fantastical blossomed. That one movie brought out my greatest love: Fantasy.

As the credits rolled, I sat stunned. Never had I seen something so amazing. So deep and wondrous.

Immediately, I took up The Hobbit book. Oh! The magic inside that little story. A single tale of a little hobbit befriending a group of dwarves and exploring the big world and looking upon the face of a dragon changed my own world forever.

Our first and much loved copy of The Hobbit.

Just a year previously, when I was 9, I started writing my first book. I had never written before, but I loved reading and stories, and it occurred to me I should try my hand at creating my own tales. This first, 9-year-old story was about a girl in modern times who befriends a horse and. . .well, there wasn’t much plot. (Yep, a girl and her horse story. Haven’t we all written one of those when we were little? XD)

Then I was introduced to Tolkien’s stories.

That girl-and-her-horse story was the first and last contemporary I ever wrote.

My next story was about a girl who fell through a mirror into a fantasy world. And I’ve been writing fantasy stories, in some form or fashion, ever since.

After gobbling up The Hobbit as fast as possible, I read Lord of the Rings. I saw the next two movies in theaters, and proceeded to watch all three of them 29348739434 times once they were out on DVD. I read The Hobbit over and over and over again, and Lord of the Rings a few times more as well. I screeched when they announced they were making movies for The Hobbit. I wrote more fantasy stories, and searched the world over for more fantasy books to read, and pretended I was an elf (okay, still do that *cough*), and dragons replaced horses as my favorite animal (also still claim that). Out of the 400+ books on my bookshelves, almost every single one could be placed under the fantasy genre. I’ve only ever written 2 non-fantasy stories that I can think of. (One being my first story when I was 9, the other a weird dystopian.)

Most of my Tolkien paraphernalia.

It wasn’t just an obsession, it became life.

Had I not discovered Tolkien’s stories, I might have decided writing was boring and never wrote anything beyond my girl-and-horse story. My shelves might not be filled with dozens and dozens of fantastical books. My entire world might be utterly different.

If it wasn’t for Tolkien, I might never have discovered my love for fantasy.

If it wasn’t for Tolkien, I might never have discovered me.

Because fantasy stories aren’t just a hobby. They’re a part of me. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings—those stories shaped me into who I am. For some, they’re just entertainment. And that’s okay. But for me, they’re so, so much more.

Now, I’m not the studious type. My memory may as well be non-existent for all the good it does me. I can’t say I’m extremely knowledgeable about all that goes on in Tolkien’s vast world. I can’t claim to be a Middle Earth history professor. Sheesh, I can’t remember what all happens in my own stories. So I might not know all there is to know about these stories and the world they’re set in, but that doesn’t mean I love them any less.

They were a springboard to the life I lead. To shaping Christine into the fantasy-loving, dragon-wanting, elf-crazed, avid reader, ridiculous blogger, crazy writer that she is.

God used Tolkien to shape me into me. And that’s what Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien means to me.

Are there any stories that have helped shape your life?
Any fellow Tolkienites out there? (I KNOW there are.)
Which Tolkien story is your favorite? What about favorite
Middle Earth movie? COME. FANGIRL WITH ME.

Note: To close The Silmarillion Awards that has been sweeping across the blogsphere this month, the host, Jenelle Schmidt, is inviting everyone to celebrate Lord of the Rings’ 62nd birthday today on their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, anywhere and everywhere! Be sure to use the hashtag #SilmAwards2016. And once you’ve posted, stop by Jenelle’s post to add your link on the linkup widget!


  1. THIS post! This POST! THIS POST!!! Sufferin' cats, it's amazing how close our stories are. But it's true! It's all true!! Tolkien originally brought me to fantasy. It's his fault, really, but not in a bad way at all.

    Ahhhh!!! Your pictures!! :D *loves loves loves* Those are just the bestest!! And you have the RING!! Unfinished Tales! Silmarillion!!! HAVE YOU READ ALL OF THOSE?!?!? Ahh, so jealous now. I wish my collection looked like that. Unfortunately, all the book stores around here have a limited and sorry number of Tolkien books. *pouts*

    IS THAT AN ILLUSTRATED HOBBIT?!?! Or am I seeing the picture wrong?? The one where you're holding the book open there at the end of the post. THAT IS GLORIOUS!

    And what's that book in the top left corner of the overhead, all-book shot? It's slightly orange-ish, but I can't make out the words all that well. "Tolkien Something"... Sure looks like a delicious hardback. :)

    But yes, yes, Tolkien shaped me. Tolkien, very muchly, and then also a little bit of C.S. Lewis and Donita K. Paul. But it was Tolkien who started me down this road, and it's probably Tolkien's fault I'm now writing my Dragon Tamer trilogy. Although... I cannot decide if Smaug or Eustace inspired me more... hmm.

    BUT DO NOT ASK ME TO PICK A FAVORITE FROM AMONG ALL THE AWESOME TOLKIEN THINGS!! There is something amazing and endearing in each one of his works, and I feel I would betray the rest if I were to choose one to promote above the others. The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings, Roverandom, etc. etc. etc. AND THE MOVIES! Granted, I have a few harsh words for Peter Jackson, but truth be told, he captured in film one of the greatest stories ever told in fiction and portrayed it absolutely amazingly! I loves them so muchly, I just can't even.

    Hmm. :) :D This post makes me want to go back and re-read every one of those books and begin Middle-Earth film marathon. And wear my Evenstar, Hobbit door lockets, and Leaf of Lorien all at the same time. :D *all the huggles and loves*


    1. I can't stop grinning over your comment, just so you know!!!

      Tolkien is to blame for everything. *nods* And I wouldn't have it any other way.

      *blushes* Thank you!!! I had too much fun photographing my children. ;D AND I DO HAVE THE RING. Some friends ordered it for me on my 16th birthday. One of the best gifts I've ever gotten!

      Okay, I'm going to admit something horrible and shameful and embarrassing. I...have only ever read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. *ducks and hides* I KNOW. I haven't even read The Simarillion yet! D: And I have TWO copies. I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME. When I go to thrift stories and things, I pick up ANYTHING that has Tolkien's name on it. But have I read all these glorious stories? Nooope! And I don't even know WHY. I MUST. At least I HAVE read The Hobbit and LotR (multiple times), unlike some who claim to be LotR fans and have only seen the movies. So maybe I can be forgiven, at least a little? I WILL READ THESE THINGS THOUGH. many books, so little time. *collapses*

      IT IS AN ILLUSTRATED COPY. And literally my favorite book I own. It's big with gorgeous illustrations and the cover is this beautiful soft green. AND I JUST LOVE IT.

      That one is called "A Tolkien Miscellany" and has a collection of some of Tolkien's rarer stories I think. And the cover is sooo pwetty! This is it:

      I just love what a powerful impact Tolkien made on the world. It's astounding. And wonderful! Also, I'd like to think him personally for driving you to write your dragon stories. :D Because DRAGONS.

      I'M SORRY. I'm cruel, I know! I have QUITE a few words for Peter Jackson myself. >.> And yet the LotR movies are my utmost favorite movies of all time. XD

      :O Those lockets sound amaaaazing! And I know what you mean. I'm in a constant state of wanting to indulge myself in all the Tolkien things!

      YESH!!! *fistpump*

  2. We have some of the same editions!!! (Sorry, I geek out over them because I collect them.) And is that the There And Back Again journal? :)

    I think Tolkien was definitely one of the reasons I really fell in love with fantasy stories. His stories have so much hope in them, and I think that's why they are so loved and enduring.

    I was nine when I first watched Fellowship of the Ring and have been in love with Middle-earth ever since. (My mom says I used to watch the animated version of The Hobbit all the time when I was little, but unfortunately, I can't remember this. I do own that version on DVD now though.) The stories definitely were a huge part of my life and still are. :)

    I think my favorite Tolkien books are The Hobbit and The Two Towers. I also like The Children of Hurin, though it is rather dark. As for the movies, An Unexpected Journey and The Two Towers would be my top two. :)

    Lovely post, Christine! :)

    1. DO NOT APOLOGIZE. I'm the same way! I literally buy EVERYTHING I find that says Tolkien on it. That is so fun we have same editions! :D And YES. It is a journal! Do you have that one?? It's my most favorite journal EVER.

      I think you pinpointed it! These days there's so much darkness and hopelessness. In the world AND fiction. It's so beautiful to go to Tolkien's stories and see light triumph over the darkness.

      It sounds like we had similar experiences!
      I've seen the animated version of The Hobbit! It's...interesting. XD

      The Hobbit is probably my favorite of the books as well! And The Two Towers is my favorite of the movies!! :D You can't beat the Battle of Helm's Deep.

      D'awww, thank you! <3

  3. Tolkien was my introduction to fantasy too, Basically my childhood obsession. Oh, wait it still it.

    1. Mine toooo! Obviously. XD But you just can't beat Middle Earth!

  4. Ah, such lovely musings. Then again, you probably could have just cut and pasted, "Tolkien," "Tolkien," "Tolkien," "Tolkien," over and over again and I would have been happy. Seriously though, I'm so glad you discovered the world of fantasy literature and like so many of us, there is no better ambassador for such stories as Tolkien.

    By the way, I LOVE that illustrated edition of the Hobbit you have. Oh my.

    And though it's not really Middle-Earthy, have you read "On Fairy Stories" by Tolkien. As a writer (and reader) of fantasy, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Sure it's just an essay (taken from a talk, I believe), but you will find yourself underlining every other sentence and high-fiving the pages, I promise, going "Ah, so that is why fantasy stories are so amazing!" Seriously, it's insider knowledge from the master himself.

    Thanks so much for this wonderful post and Happy Lord of the Rings Day!

    1. Lol! Same here! I will flail at ANY mention of Tolkien. I'm just so grateful to him and the impact he made on this world.

      Thank you! I'm gonna be honest, it's my favorite book I have on my shelves. My parents got it for me for Christmas a couple years back and saying I was excited is an understatement.

      I have not! But oh my, that sounds amazing! If I ever come across a copy I will absolutely be snatching it up. Thank you for telling me about it! (And high-fiving the pages. XD I love books like that!)

      Thank YOU for co-hosting The Silmarillion Awards. I had such a fantastic time.
      Happy Lord of the Rings Day (well, a day late now, whoops) to you too!

  5. CHRISTINE DID A LOTR POST!!! *devours happily* I knew you would XD.

    Oh my goodness, I LOVED this whole entire wonderful thing :D. And GUESS WHAT my first story was a girl and horse story too! Except, it was a fantasy girl and horse story. I'm one odd cookie XD.

    OH GRACIOUS ALL THAT GLORIOUS TOLKIEN PARAPHERNALIA. Those copies of LOTR in the upper right are absolutely GORGEOUS!

    OOOOH don't make me choose a favorite book AND movie! That's just MEAN! ... I suppose I should at least TRY to answer. Okay then, I'll just say that it depends on what mood I'm in. 'Cause it does. The end XD.

    *hugs all the fellow Tolkienites* HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LOTR!!! *gives you cake*

    1. ^____^ I couldn't pass up an excuse to write a Tolkien post!

      You first wrote a girl and horse story too? I LOVE IT! But you were ahead of the curve diving into fantasy right away!

      I loveth all my Tolkien things. *huggles them*
      Do you mean the one in the far, FAR right corner? Because those are the extended editions of the movies. They come in such pretty boxes. *pets them* Or did you mean the copy of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers beside those? It doesn't even matter. All the pretty LotR things!

      *cackles* I'm evilll! XD
      Hahaha! Good answer. I totally get ya there.

      Cake! :D *throws confetti* Happy birthday, LotR!!!


    I was introduced to Tolkien through my father - one night, he asked me, "have you ever heard of a hobbit?" And I replied with something along the lines of "No dad what the heck is a hobbit that sounds like a type of potato". I was Quite Small at this time, so he decided to read The Hobbit out loud to me every night as a bedtime story - and then The Fellowship of the Ring, and then TTT, and then by the time we'd gotten to ROTK I could read them myself.

    Right after I finished ROTK, I ran down to the basement and found our Fellowship of the Ring movie video tapes, and I would play them 24/7, all day, every day. We didn't have TTT or ROTK movies, so for a while it was just me and FOTR - I think that's why it's the book I have the biggest bond with to this day.

    The only Middle-earth books I have left to read are the final three volumes in The History of Middle-earth series. My favorite might have to be The Shaping of Middle-earth, although Unfinished Tales was amazing too! And in terms of my favorite story, the Fall of Gondolin has always enchanted me. Tuor is such a bean.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality


      Type of a potato! *CHOKES* That is the best Tolkien-discovery story I've ever heard. XDD And give your father an award for introducing you to those wonderful books!

      I watched FotR sooooo much before the other two movies came out. It's what first brought my awareness of these stories to light, and will always be special to me too. ^_^

      Oh wow, so you've read almost all of them? THAT IS AWESOME. Total respect. I really need to read more. I keep collecting all these Tolkien stories and yet not read them. IT'S SHAMEFUL.

  7. THIS POST MAKES ME SO EXTRAORDINARILY HAPPY!!! ^_^ All the Tolkien things and just GAAH. <3 I loooove your pics and all your Tolkien stuff!

    Ooh, you have The Tolkien Miscellany? That's one I don't have and have been curious what it is! For some reason I thought it was like a really small book... NOW I'M CURIOUS ABOUT IT. XD (I positively adore pics of books, and Tolkien books are even better. <3)

    I also love how Tolkien brought you to fantasy and writing seriously, because that's the best. ^_^ I had met fantasy before him, through Lloyd Alexander and George MacDonald, but LOTR may have cemented it in me, who knows. ;) AND AND AND YOUR STORIES OF WHIMSICAL MARVELOUS DEEP FANTASY ARE SO WONDERFUL SO I'M SOOOO GLAD THAT YOU MET LOTR AND SO BEGAN WRITING THOSE THINGS!!!!! <3 You're one of the most wonderful people I know and it's so awesome that you are who you are, and I'm very grateful to LOTR for having a hand in that. God can work through anything! :) And you're STILL such an elf, you. ;) *hugs you*

    I just love getting to read these LOTR posts today, and getting to write one up myself and pull out all my Tolkien books... I'm just feeling so happy/nostalgic/Middle-earth-y right now it almost physically hurts. ^_^ *hugs all the Middle-earth things forever*

    ANYWAYS I LOVE THIS POST TO BITS AND I JUST KEEP LOOKING AT IT AGAIN AND I WANNA HUG IIIIT! ^_^ Happiest of birthdays to my favorite book of all! <333333333

    1. And your comment makes ME extraordinarily happy!!! THANK YOU.

      I do! And...haven't read it. ACK. What is wrong with me??? It's got a super gorgeous cover though, and is actually pretty thick. It's got 5 full stories in there I believe.

      CELTI. STAHP. I...I have no words! YOU ARE THE NICEST THANK YOU!!!!!
      I'm super, super, SUPER grateful to Tolkien not only because he introduced me to my passion for fantasy, but because it's his stories that first brought us together! If I wasn't a LotR fan I might not have ever befriended my Celti WHICH WOULD BE A TRAGEDY BEYOND COMPREHENSION. Tolkien has just shaped my entire world so much! <3333

      I know what you mean! I was at work yesterday, so couldn't be too active with all the LotR stuff. But today I'm now catching up and just on a LotR high. It's so fun!

      *FLAILS* Thank you!!! Your comment has made my so happy. ALL THE HAPPY THINGS. <3333

    2. YES Tolkien brought us together toooo and my life would be so much less wonderful without my Lauri! <3 ^_^

      Ohhh, it's a collection of his stories? *looks it up* OKAY I SEE. *facepalm* I don't know why I didn't know this. XD Apparently I own the stories in it, just in different collections. But OH! You totally must read it, then! :D Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham are WONDERFUL and you must totally read them! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! <3 They're like mini fairy tales that Tolkien wrote, like The Hobbit, but not set in Middle-earth, and sooo whimsical and fun and delightful! ^_^ Also, I saw your above comment in reply to DJ, and Tolkien's Essay on fairy stories is actually apparently in your Tolkien Miscellany book! It's part of a collection called "Tree and Leaf" with an essay and a short story. *nods* But you MUST read that essay because it's wonderful! :D And The Adventures of Tom Bombadil has poems about Bombadil and other poetry, so it's fuuun. And I haven't read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight yet... I must do that. I think it's a translation he did of an Arthurian poem. *nods* ANYWAYS I'M SUDDENLY SO EXCITED! I had no idea those stories were in that collection or that you had it! :D I'm so silly, I get excited about the weirdest things. XD But Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham and Tolkien's Essay on Fairy Stories are like CLASSICS and I loveth them so much! When you read them someday you'll have to let me know what you think of them! ^_^ *now wants to read them again so bad* (Not to mention Pauline Baynes' precious illustrations. <3)

      *creeps away from enormous rambly comment I just left as if nothing happened* AHEM. >.>

    3. THAT'S OKAY. It's hard keeping up with all this Tolkien stuff. All these books of his I have I hardly even know what are... It's so bad. BUT TOLKIEN BOOKS. I must buy them all when I find them!

      That's awesome you have all the stories in the Miscellany though! :D AND TOLKIEN FARYTALES. MUST READ.

      Wait...WAIT. I HAVE those essays DJ was talking about? Now it is my turn to facepalm! Like I said, I hardly know what all this Tolkien stuff is. XD BUT THIS IS AWESOME. I MUST READ ALL THESE THINGS.

      Being excited about these things is NOT weird. BECAUSE TOLKIEN. I'M EXCITED TOO.

  8. Love this post, Christine! Tolkien is what brought me into the world of fantasy and encouraged me to create my own stories; it changed my life. I am thankful God used that in both of our lives. <3 I like your pics! I had no idea there were that many different prints of LOTR and TH. The ones with artwork inside are so pretty!

    1. Aww, thank you! ^_^

      Oh, how wonderful! Isn't it amazing what a massive impact Tolkien made on this world? The world of literature would be entirely different if he had not written his beautiful tales. And it's so awesome how God has used Tolkien to shape us.

      Thank you! I probably had TOO much fun taking pictures of all my babies. XD
      It blows my mind how many copies of those books there are! There are so very many. But I won't complain one little bit. ;)

  9. I love one of the last statements you made... Even if you don't know everything about a series, you can still love it. I agree. Lovely post! I liked your pictures, too. I've never seen the copy of The Hobbit that is in your second picture. It's a beautiful edition!

    1. Thank you! That makes me happy to hear. I feel like fandoms are a bit too hard on each other. If we don't know like every single quote and history, etc., etc. about our fandom, we're not TRUE fans. But that's silly. I can't help not having a good memory. I've read The Hobbit over 10 times and I STILL often forget things in it. I just...don't have a good memory. But I love deeply!

      Thank you so much! I had a blast pulling out my Tolkien things and photographing them. You've never seen that edition? Huh. It was our first copy, so it's such a huge part of my world I've never thought about if it's a rare edition or not. When I think of The Hobbit I think of that specific book. I do love it so. *huggles it*

  10. "Because fantasy stories aren’t just a hobby. They’re a part of me. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings—those stories shaped me into who I am." YES! Just.... yes. Me too.

    I absolutely LOVED all your pictures! AhhhH!!! flails

    My favorite Middle Earth movie??!?!?! Um.. All of them. But seriously, I think probably... um... oh... Fellowship of the Ring. Because it was the first. Because it was magical. Because we went to see it seven times as a family... (my whole family consists of Tolkien-fans).

    Favorite Tolkien story... either The Hobbit or the Two Towers. They were the ones I read and reread the most growing up... and sometimes I'd just read it by itself. I loved following Sam and Frodo and Smeagol/Gollum through their adventures (my husband is confused by this, because he views that as the most boring part of the trilogy) but I don't know, it was compelling how they persevered when it would have been so much easier to just give up and go home. Take the Ring back to the Shire and let the world go to pieces. I also loved the Rohirrim, and the Battle at Helm's Deep. :)

    But then there's The Hobbit... and it is so intertwined with my childhood that it feels disloyal to name any other story as "favorite." :)

    1. Oh, and my first story was about a girl and her horse, as well. Two girls... orphans... ran away from evil orphan keeper... ended up in the woods. Built a cabin (yes, by themselves... there was a handy-dandy hardware store nearby and the owner let them take "leftover" pieces of wood and things... conveniently for them) they found a wild horse in the woods... tamed him... and won the Kentucky Derby (followed by the Preakness and the Belmont) with him and became so rich and famous they never had to live in an orphanage again. The end. :)


    2. I just love how important these stories are to all of us. What would life be without them? I shudder to think!

      *blushes* Thank you!!! I'll take any excuse to pull out all my Tolkien things. ;)

      Hahaha! I love them all too! I'm constantly changing which one is my favorite. Currently The Two Towers is my fave, namely because of the Battle at Helm's Deep. But used to FotR was my top favorite. As you said, it was the first and holds so very many fond memories.

      Oh, but I LOVE the scenes with Sam, Frodo, and Gollum as well! I never found them boring. Like you said, it was inspiring watching them persevere like that. :')

      I'm the same way about The Hobbit! You put it perfectly. It's the most special book to me because it's the first one I read, and have continued to reread over and over and over again. But out of the LotR books I think RotK is my favorite. There was just so much epicness going on!

      You too? LOLZY. Hey, that sounds waaay more logical than my story. No joke. XD Mine didn't even have a plot. It was pretty much just random scenes between my girl and her horse that came out of NOWHERE. *shakes head* (And I love the girls building a cabin by themselves. XD)

  11. While I definitely can't call myself a Tolkienite, having struggled about 9 years to finish the LOTR books, I do adore the films. The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite movie of all time. These stories possess such power and such beauty that I can't help but be floored no matter how many times I watch them. So I can't relate entirely to your experience, Christine, but it's awesome to hear about how Tolkien's stories helped shape you into who you are. That's beautiful. :D That's what Harry Potter was for me. Maybe I'll do a post on that sometime!

    Oh, and I thought you'd enjoy this video! I may or may not have welled up a couple of times.

    1. As much as I love LotR, I will admit it CAN be a heavy read sometimes. Tolkien enjoyed describing things in great details. XD

      But yes, the movies are simply amazing, and my favorites as well! Power and beauty--a perfect way to describe them. And you should absolutely do a post on what HP means to you. That'd be awesome!

      OH MY WORD DAT VIDEO. o.o Nope, I'm not crying. Definitely not, uh-huh.
      BUT WOW. I knew Howard Shore was an utter genius. But...but...WOW. That is astounding. Thank you so much for linking me to that. Just fascinating!

    2. Indeed. Gotta do another marathon of them before summer is over! And I think I will write one -- I'm kind of surprised I haven't already, lol.

      I'm glad you liked the video! Here's one more... know about The Piano Guys?

    3. Sounds likes a plan! :D

      YES, YES, YES. I've seen that one many, many times. I'm OBSESSED with The Piano Guys. They're amaziiiing!!!

      Have you ever watched Lindsey Stirling? She's this epic, geeky violinist. This is a Zelda medley she did: All her videos are just awesome!

    4. I have indeed! She's fantastic. I haven't seen as much of her as I have The Piano Guys, though, so I'll check out more of her stuff. :D (sorry for the late reply, lolz)

    5. I thought you might have, but I just wanted to make sure. She's so cool! (Lol, no prob!)

  12. My parents read The Hobbit to me when I was very little, before I could read, and it was one of the first things I read when I could handle it (at the ripe old age of four). Then about two or three years later I asked Dad for something new to read, and he handed me the Fellowship of the Ring, and I read the rest of the book that same year. When I was ten we found the Silmarillion at Half Price Books on a Friday night (odd family customs --- every fortnight or so on Friday evenings we'd go to the bookstore, instead of watching movies or anything like normal people). The next day was the seminary's annual picnic we had to go to, and I brought the Silmarillion along and read it under a tree at the park (someone took a picture of me reading it, and Dad's still got it on his desk). After that it was just a step to getting my own copies, and then reading the Lost Tales and the Lays of Beleriand. . . and last year my college's bookstore had his translation of Beowulf, and I happened to have a Barnes and Noble gift card. . . so now that one's on my shelf too (and well worth the price).
    I've never seen the movies and I don't care to, though that's not really saying much, considering that of the few movies I have seen, which number in the single digits, the only ones I've really liked are the Princess Bride and Disney's Robin Hood (and we quote those constantly. I grew up with lines like "have fun storming the castle" before I knew they were quotations).
    Anyway, don't ask me to pick a favourite story. It's impossible.

    1. Oh wow, you were so young when you were first introduced to it. How precious!! A+ to you parents. And A+++ for a family tradition of going to a book store on Friday nights. I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS IDEA. That is so awesome how Tolkien's stories have been a part of your entire life!

      Oh man, The Princess Bride! That movie is the BEST. XD One of the most quotable movies ever. Also Disney's Robin Hood is amazing. You can never go wrong with that movie.

      Okay, I'll be nice and won't force you to choose. ;) I know it's hard!

    2. Yay, Princess Bride!! That's my all-time-forever favorite movie! :)

    3. You can NEVER go wrong with The Princess Bride!!!

  13. Love this post!!! For me, it was Chronicles of Narnia that introduced me to fantasy as a youngster, but LOTR introduced me to...darker fantasy? The heavier kind that deals with huge themes within a sweeping scope, with greater peril and darkness in the hero's way. So both series have really impacted me. <3

    Some of my first stories were about girls and horses too. Also talking pets, and mysteries with entirely illogical clues. XD

    I love how said that just because you may not know alllll the details and histories of Middle Earth, the series is still part of you! I sometimes feel like "less of a fan" with things like this because I can't quote long segments of the book, don't know all the family trees, and can't spout trivia about the plot and characters. But you're right, it doesn't mean that LOTR had any less of an impact on me!

    Anyway, love this! It's been so much fun to see how everyone first discovered LOTR, and to bask in all the Tolkien amazingness. :D

    1. Thank you! ^_^

      Sadly, I wasn't introduced to Narnia until I was a bit older (around 15 or 16 maybe? I can't remember exactly), but when I DID discover it I instantly became a rabid fan. But I totally get what you're saying about LotR bringing you to heavier fantasy. It was kind of that way for me too. Because I was OBSESSED with things like Peter Pan and stuff, but LotR opened up a whole new world of fantasy I never knew existed. And the rest is history. ;)

      That's awesome! XD Gotta love the girl and horse stories. And I also love the illogical plots of children's first stories. It's so great! XD

      Thank you! I think we fans can be too hard on each other. I mean, I can't help not having a good memory, or just not being much into studying things. But LotR is SO important to me regardless. And you are certainly not "less of a fan"! Like you said, it has made an impact on you and I know you love it, and that's what's important. Love is more important than knowledge. *nods*

      It has been a BLAST. I've just loved this whole thing!

      (Also, all the new Tracey comments today have made my day. ^_^)

  14. Tolkien means to me the same way it means to you. It isn't just a hobbit. It's part of me. Tolkien's books and the movies were formative to who I am now. Love this post. <3

    1. That's wonderful!!! YES. You put it into words! Formative to who we are now. Precisely! Thanks so much. It's great finding so many others who feel about Tolkien the same way I do. ^_^


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