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!