Tuesday the 7 of December 2009, I pour my third cup of strong coffee. Its 3am, and with four others in my university’s halls of residence we have just started The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, directed by Peter Jackson, it’s our first of many Lord-of-the-Rings-athons.
Today, much has changed; I’m older, I’ve finished university and am now considerably poorer. But one thing has stayed the same; I am still in love with J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Middle-earth’. I am obsessed with trolls, wizards and Hobbits. On a regular basis I stare at myself in the mirror and ask: “Frodo, do you have the ring?” then I realize that I am not Gandalf the grey, I am not Sir Ian McKellen, and I am most certainly not, a Hobbit of the Shire. I love the stories surrounding Middle-earth, its rich and detailed history, its beginning, and its end.
Since that faithful evening leagues ago, farther than of old, and before the darkness had fell upon Isengard. I made it my duty along with my Fellowship to watch all three Peter Jackson films in one evening – back-to-back. Each occasion more glorious than the last, and with it came great stories of old and tales of the passing. We drank ales, feasted upon nibbles of such liking no man had seen before. But mainly, in times of great peril and darkness, we watched, in glorious Technicolor, eleven hours’ worth of Middle-earth.
Because of this deed, I often dream about what it would be like to ride the great horse Shadofax side by side with King Théoden’s Snowmane and the Riders of Rohan, make haste into Minas Tirith and take my place at the Council of Elrond. But until that day, the day I sit on a bank at the Brandywine River smoking pipe-weed with Meriadoc, son of Saradoc, and Peregrin, son of Paladin, of the house of Took. I will carry on as usual, imagining it.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King were released after the turn of the century and became instant successes at the box-office. The three films really do J.R.R. Tolkien’s literal texts justice; Jackson manages to bring the characters and locations to life in great detail. The original books themselves, released in the 1950s are fantastic and truly well-written.
This year however, this December, saw my dream of being immersed into Tolkien’s literal world become even more visual, and the eleven hours of back-to-back Middle-earth with my Company become far greater. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, directed by Peter Jacksonwas released in cinemas all over the country and I, have my ticket booked. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tells the story of a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, un-ambitious way of life until Gandalf the Grey tricks poor Bilbo into going on an adventure. This is sure to keep me imagining life in Middle-earth more vividly and often for the next three years with the release of two more films.
My love for Middle-earth is staying put, and until I enter that world, my ongoing fantasy will continue…