It would seem there is a tag lurking about the place about Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or rather the films – more specifically, The Battle of the Five Armies. Kayla at Concerning Writing tagged me, for which I must thank her, for now I have an excuse to endlessly ramble about LotR. Are you ready for my
rant –ahem– answers?
There are four rules for this tag:
1) You have to be tagged in order to do it.
2) You have to tag and notify at least three bloggers.
3) Answer the questions!
4) You must have seen The Battle of the Five Armies before taking this quiz.
1) Tell your story of how you came to see the movies or got into Tolkien in the first place.
Oh my. Well, my love for Tolkien began when I was a child. I had not read the LotR books, but I had seen them (and The Hobbit) on the bookshelf, for my mother was a fan, and I remember being especially intrigued by the covers. Though, my mother would not let me touch them because they were India paper Deluxe Editions from the 1970s that my father bought her – which are now worth about £100, would you believe! – and I suppose she did not want mucky child fingers damaging them. Fair enough, I say.
Behold. These are the very books of which I speak: The Hobbit (left) and LotR (right). Though, I highly doubt they’d be worth near 100 quid – look at the state of LotR’s cover! Tut tut, Mother.
She said, “If you want to look at the books, I’ll buy you some others.” And so she did. She bought bog standard LotR books. But I still didn’t read them; I just looked at them.
And then I heard talk of the LotR books currently being adapted into films, and I remember many people were terribly sceptical, claiming it could never be pulled off. And so came 2001! and the much anticipated The Fellowship of the Ring trailer was released about a year before the actual film release date (as movie-makers like to do), and I saw the trailer on TV.
For whatever reason, this trailer captured my heart, and I spent the many months before the release date pestering my mother non-stop if we could see the film at the cinema. I bet she loved me for that 😉 AND SO CAME DECEMBER 2001. And we went to the cinema to see the film. And I fell in love, well and truly. And then I wouldn’t shut up about this eternal love for LotR. And my mother bought LotR everything: film books, chess, Warhammer, Top Trumps, PS2 games (which my brother and I played ALL the time, we loved them so much).
This came out in 2002. On the rare occasion my brother and I are together and have a moment, we still dig this game out and play it. And we still find it as impossible… challenging… as we did then. I swear, they don’t make games as difficultly satisfying as they did in those days. *Rocks backs and forth in rocking chair.*
And she also got me LotR action figures, which I still have to this day.
Firstly, I apologise about the poor quality of this photo. But look! Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf the White, and The Mouth of Sauron. Can anyone notice the disfigured arms of Legolas and Aragorn? Also, Gimli’s head no longer moves. My mum threw my original action figures away (just Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli) because I broke them (due to playing with them so much, you understand), and these are the ‘updated’ ones, if you will, I got slightly later amid the franchise.
But talk of my childhood love for LotR always makes me smile, for there I was playing LotR Warhammer with my brother, and playing LotR PS2 games and playing with my action figures, yet in those days I was also a little girly-girl wearing my flowery headbands and dancing around in my pink bedroom singing down a hairbrush to songs such as this:
‘I’M GONNA TAKE THIS NIGHT AND MAKE IT EVERGREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN’
It is a well-acknowledged fact that you cannot sing that line without the power-ballad-esqe bellow and clenched fist.
Do you know this Westlife song came out in 2001, the same year as The Fellowship? Fun fact for you, there.
This was little girly-girl moi in 2001. I too am questioning why and how I seem to be so tanned, don’t worry. Remember the days when you had to go and get your camera films developed? My dad, once the technology had developed, took all our albums of family photos and scanned them to the computer, putting them on CDs. He was therefore the one who named all the photo files. When I found this one it was entitled, ‘Jenny being a tropical maiden’. A tropical maiden. Hilarious.
Wasn’t it such a joy to receive your developed photos though, in that little pocket envelope they gave you? And you eagerly flicked through them to see how they’d turned out, and to your dismay most of them had a great blur of a finger across the picture. Ahhh, those were the days. *Rocks back and forth in rocking chair. Knits.*
But I digress. What a stark contrast, no? Anyway, have I rambled on enough about LotR? The answer is no, for that is impossible, but I’m supposed to be talking about The Hobbit. So, yes, that is where my love for LotR and Tolkien began, and then I read the books many years later, surprisingly, for you would have thought I’d have read them sooner. And I also read The Hobbit then, and fell in love with that too.
And then, fast forward many a year, came the dreaded Hobbit films… *twitches*
2) Who are your three favourite characters in The Hobbit?
In the books, I presume? Well, I’m going with the books either way. One: Bilbo Baggins, obviously. Isn’t he fabulous? Martin Freeman was the only redeeming factor in the Hobbit films, if you ask me. Two: Probably Gandalf the Grey, Gandalf Greyhame, Mithrandir, Gandalf Stormcrow – whatever you want to call him (Stevick, you think I have many aliases? 😉 ). He is such a wise and powerful wizard, yet so human with his tempers and all! And three: Gollum. What a deep, complex character he is! It’s fascinating.
3) Did you cry at The Battle of the Five Armies, and if so, which scenes and what type?
Did I cry? *scoffs* Of course I didn’t. And I did not cry because I felt no emotional connection to the Hobbit films. Because they ruined the story in every single way imaginable. What was Peter Jackson thinking?! Though, I won’t lie, I found The Battle of the Five Armies more tolerable than the other two.
4) Were the deaths compelling to you, and if so, whose?
As with the previous question, I felt no emotional connection to anything in those films, and so, no, the deaths were not compelling. In fact, I actually had to restrain my laughter at one death scene (which I’m thinking was not the desired reaction), lest I got strange looks from the other people in the cinema. So utterly ridiculous. It was Kili dying in Tauriel’s arms. Ugh, please. What a total joke.
There’s got to be someone else out there who finds that funny… surely? I mean, how long did they want to drag out that moronic stare at each other? So, so stupid.
However, Thorin’s death was acceptable. I would say almost moving. Careful, I might be getting carried away.
5) Overall, were you satisfied with the movie itself?
Of course I wasn’t. It was awful. I hate the entire Hobbit trilogy. Thank you to Peter Jackson for creating the most magnificent tribute to Tolkien’s work ever – The Lord of the Rings – only to then utterly disgrace it with The bloody Hobbit. I’m so cross about it all. What a distasteful, money-grabbing load of hogwash it is. I am never subjecting myself to watching The Hobbit trilogy again – and that fact it is a trilogy is reason enough to begin with.
6) Describe the movie in one word.
And now I am to nominate people to also do this tag. Hmm.
Valourborn! <- I know you will love this one 😉
And I’m thinking The PewPew Diaries might be one for this, too.
I can’t think of a third person…
I apologise about my hatred towards The Hobbit, to those who love it. It’s hard to rein in the passion I have for Tolkien’s work. Still, I know I am not the only one with this opinion, for friends I have who adore LotR also utterly despise The Hobbit. It is a sad ending to what could have be a masterful closure to Middle-Earth. Alas.
I actually watched The Fellowship of the Ring on my birthday, and the other two over the following days. Such love (and, indeed, it reconfirmed my everlasting love for Samwise Gamgee). I become such an emotional wreck at the end of The Return of the King, and it always reminds me of when I first saw it at the cinema, for of course, in those days, we did not know The Hobbit was to be made, and so this truly was the end of Middle-Earth and how the tears fell! even as a child. Isn’t it amazing how stories can grip you so? How FANTASY can grip you so, and never let you go?
Undoubtedly, were it not for Tolkien’s masterpiece that is LotR, I would not have fallen in love with fantasy, and, ergo, ILIMOSKUS never would have been born. Tolkien truly is the King of Fantasy – at least of fantasy as we now know it!
I do not know very many people who like LotR, let alone love it (in person, at least). I can count them on one hand. Isn’t that tragic? Do you remember how Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released at the same time as The Fellowship? I remember all my peers were in love with Harry Potter, not LotR, and I was ever criticised for this. “Harry Potter is better!” they declared. Indeed, Harry Potter was/is certainly the story more appealing to children, but not to me.
Harry Potter’s magic and wonder never reached my heart, I’m afraid.
Perhaps my heart lives for epic adventures, eternal depth, and, most importantly:
What does your heart live for?