Twenty years ago today…

…The premiere of the first film in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, took place. To mark the occasion, I’ve spent part (a lot) of my day reading some interesting writing on and about Middle Earth and J. R. R. Tolkien, and the academic scholarship that has grown up around it. Fascinating stuff! Lots of tea has been drunk, I can tell you.

a random photo…or a shortcut to mushrooms

Like many people, Tolkien’s work means a lot to me, and has shaped my reading, my imagination, my interests, and my own writing. Yes, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to Middle Earth. Anything which contained two of my most favourite things in all the world – landscape and mythology – and is accompanied by beautiful languages and fascinating maps was sure to hook me from my first encounter with them. And it did! I have lost count of the number of times I’ve read them, but I clearly remember the first time I picked up a copy…Simply Magic.

I love exploring those places where myth and landscape meet…

I am actually planning my own 20th anniversary celebrations for later in the month, – after all, I went to the cinema to see the film (multiple times), not the premiere πŸ˜‰ There will be movie watching, biscuit-baking, and any celebration wouldn’t be complete without going back to where it all began…the books!

another random photo…though it could be The Shire, couldn’t it?

I’m thinking of documenting my journey through the books on this re-read, discussing aspects of them which are important to me, or that I find inspirational. The plan is to read it slowly, savouring the detail, and pausing every now and then to admire the view. I’m naturally a quick reader, and am easily swept along with the story, with an in-built desperate need to read what happens next. So a little bit of mindful exploration of Middle Earth, and even a wander or two off the beaten track into essays and other writings that tie-in with the chapters I will be reading, will be a new, intentional reading experience for me, and no doubt an enriching one.

Anyone else want to come along? Just let me know πŸ™‚

21 thoughts on “Twenty years ago today…

  1. Sounds like a plan! I love middle earth. I used to read LOTR every year from when I first read it when I was in year 7 (so 12 or 13) for years. I enjoyed the movies and want to use long weekends or holidays to watch them with my family but they don’t like them. I’m about to get some downtime so I might be able yo do this with you.

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    • Me too! I used to read LOTR every year, before branching out into some of the other books on / in Middle Earth so it became every other year. It’s hard when those around us aren’t into the things we love.
      That will be fantastic, E! πŸ˜€

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  2. I’m looking forward to reading about your journey. I’m far too impatient to read the story slowly and with reflection. The memory about my first reading of the books (was hooked by The Hobbit) never fades, I listened to Queen’s live at Wembley album while I read it and Brighton Rock is always associated with the journey into Mordor. I admit, I watch the LOTR movies once a year, around Christmas (did so last week) and now want to listen to the audiobooks once again. It’s a world I’ll never tire of.

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    • I fear, impatience may be my downfall, but I will try to read it slowly because I like the *idea* of reading it slowly. I’m a naturally fast reader so I’m going to have to think about how I can combat this.
      I agree, it’s a world I’ll never tire off, and with every re-reading, I come across something new to me, which is fantastic πŸ™‚

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      • I’ve started listening to an audiobook again and find that this way I’m forced to listen to all the details I usually rush over when reading. Like the poems and songs…

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    • I love the books and the films, though I understand why not everyone likes the latter. I have a few very minor gripes myself, but I can’t fault the casting or the stunning locations used in the films – Middle Earth is depicted exactly how I imagined it, and so it resonated with me πŸ™‚

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  3. I read the books in the early years of my illness. And I confess, my head wasn’t grasping anything. And so it was a delight to see PJs movies. And oh, did I see them. Over & over. Peter & his crew kept me company during the long years of illness and also, through the commentaries, helped me improve my writing.

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    • Interesting that you mention the commentaries and how it helped improve your writing. I must confess, I have deliberately steered clear of the commentaries (a few years prior to LOTR being released, I was (and still am) a really big fan of the film “The Mummy” and I watched a-how-it-was-made documentary…and realised I wished I hadn’t because I didn’t want to know the secrets behind the movie magic). But you saying this makes me wonder whether I should rethink this… πŸ™‚

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      • I am a commentary fan. Some are as good or even better than the movie! The commentary on Hoodwinked (it’s an animated reworking of Red Riding Hood with Glen Close & Anne Hathaway, very good) the commentary is really funny. I can listen to it time & again

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  4. Pingback: Tolkien Tuesday #1 | Sammi Cox

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