Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Tolkien Week!

"There is nothign like looking if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after."
--J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

I was just informed that is is Tolkien week! Tomorrow is Hobbit Day. September 22nd marks the birthdays of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. There's a whole article on the celebrations here.

As I was given such notice as of the event, I will probably have to do something more spectacular next year (such as dressing up in an elvin cloak and putting together a feast and probably exchaning gifts of some sort! If only I could get Gandalf to come and shoot off some of his famous fireworks...). I'll probably have a bit of a quieter celebration this year. Perhaps I'll have a "Lord of the Rings" marathon or I'll read Roverandem which is currently sitting in my room begging to be read or perhaps I'll watch the cartoon of The Hobbit while I drift off into sweet dreams of elves, dwarfs, and dragons. That last one's always good for a few laughs.

"It's the dragon Smaug, or I'm a fool!" Classic line. That's more towards the end though. You'll have to watch the whole movie fore that treasure.

Another Hobbit connection you might get a kick out of is the music video to Leonard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins."

There are countless other Tolkien inspired videos that you can watch on youtube.

Now, perhaps on a little more serious note, let me share some of my experience with Tolkien. The Hobbit is actually one of my favorite books of all time, but it didn't start out that way. I first read it in middle school for an assignment. My first impression? I thought it was dull. I hated Tolkien's style. One thing specific that I remember bugging me was how the narration would elude to things that wouldn't happen until the end of the book. It would say something like "This would inevitably lead to Bilbo dressing up like Barbie to trick the dragon, Smaug, into not eating him or his dwarf friends."

Okay, that's me being a little facetious again. Hopefully you know what I mean. But as I read The Hobbit for the second and even third time, I began to love all those things that annoyed me at first. The Hobbit is one of the books that taught me that sometimes you've got to give things a second chance. Sometimes we aren't ready for certain books the first time we set upon to read them.

I've met some people who are a bit intimidated by Tolkien as his style of writing is much different than what we are used to today. And I'll admit, his writing style is difficult to get through sometimes. With some of his work, I find that you have to read it once for the general idea and then you read it again for enjoyment (you don't have to try so hard the second time!).

I really do enjoy his stories. If you'd like to pick up The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I suggst reading The Hobbit first. Bilbo's adventure is a little more fun, not so dark, and the language isn't quite so hard to get through. That will help you warm up to The Lord of the Rings. Another suggestion I have is to watch Peter Jackson's films of the trilogy. Though different in some aspects, being familiar with the films will help you keep track of important names and characters when you read the books.

Another couple short stories I've read and would recommend are Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major.

So however you choose to celebrate Tolkien week/Hobbit day, make sure that you take time to read some of Tolkien's work. Take some time to read up on Tolkien himself or some of the numerous papers and articles focusing on his Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Thanks J.R.R. Tolkien for sharing your talents with the world! You were a great story teller.

Time to go dig up all my random Tolkien related items :)

Have a great Tolkien week!

No comments:

Post a Comment