Monday, June 11, 2012

Where I was 10 years ago


What comes to mind when you think of yourself 10 years ago? How old were you? What were your interests?

I almost never think of the 18-year-old version of me. But then I watch a trailer or a production video for The Hobbit and it all comes flooding back. 10 years ago I was so embroiled in everything Tolkien that it felt like I actually lived in Hobbiton. Posters on my walls, actions figures on my shelves, costumes in my closet, Lembas bread recipes in my kitchen. I wrote Lord of the Rings fanfiction and developed a simple little website called Christian Hobbit. That was my life. That was me!

And I don't regret one moment of it.

The Hobbit will be different. I'm older now than I was then and my perceptions have changed. My interests have broadened. But you know something? I still get that tingle at the base of my spine when I hear the theme for The Lord of the Rings. I bring up images and scenes from the movies in my head and I love them all over again. And when I look at the trailers and production videos for The Hobbit that same tingle puts in an appearance.

I don't expect this to be another Lord of the Rings because it won't be. Nothing will ever be like that incredible 3-year-span of my life where I lived, ate, and breathed Tolkien. But I have not been this excited or this eager for a movie since The Return of the King hit theaters. That was the last one. Oh, I've loved many movies since then, The Avengers for example is awesome, but there was nothing where I had an internal clock counting down the days.

Peter Jackson found a way to uncork my bottle of Tolkien memories and make them vivid again. These are different actors but it's the same world and the same genius originally created it. When I was 15, the first Tolkien book I ever read was The Hobbit. In the words of Gollum, it is precious to me. And in the best way possible. This is before the Ring was evil and everything was dark in Middle Earth, before the Shadow came. This was the simple story of a Hobbit, going on an adventure, something he had never imagined himself doing.

I'm excited! Something I never imagined happening again is happening. Only this time I'm able to share in the filming and creating by watching the production videos off PJ's website. It's like he's making me and all the other fans a part of the family. I'm involved in the making of The Hobbit simply because he's letting me be involved. It's the most amazing sensation!

The Lord of the Rings will always be #1 in my heart. Nothing will ever top it, ever. But having Peter Jackson take one of my favorite books and put it on the big screen, after so many years of waiting, it's a euphoria I can't even begin to describe. This is re-awakening the reasons why I love Tolkien's work so much. His stories of strength and honor and loyalty and romance and adventure and sacrifice and loss. Nothing else will ever touch him and his mastery.

Now to wait for December 14th, 2012. A day of untold magic.

6 comments:

  1. What is the tagline for Phantom? You never forget your first time.

    Tolkien was in many ways my first "grown up" love affair with something. It was so spectacular that nothing can ever compare to it. I hope "The Hobbit" lives up to it -- and I think it will. Why? Tolkien wrote it. You can't get much better than that.

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    1. I remember that Dad was the one who went to Fellowship with me. Caitlin wasn't 13 yet so she and Mom stayed home and watched The Princess Diaries. My entire world expanded during that movie. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before which is why Fellowship remains my favorite. I watch it and that 1st sense of awe I experienced comes back.

      Isn't it awesome remembering the best parts of our late teen and early twenties years? Tolkien is what brought us together, that's another blessing. I know this set of films will be amazing because, as you said, Tolkien wrote it and Peter Jackson really respects that. It will be brilliant!

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    2. Both of us will be seeing it opening weekend, obviously (even tho I have to work), but we ought to see it together at some point, just for the memories.

      My dad went with me too. He loved it. His love of it, made me love it more, because all the way home he was blathering on about the religious symbolism. It is thanks to him -- and Tolkien -- that "that side of my personality" woke up, and I started searching for meaning in fantasy.

      FotR is my favorite as well. I also think it is the film that most "deserved" Best Picture. It has so much more humor, pacing, and cleverness than the later films, however much I love them.

      Seeing them make The Hobbit more "grown up" is going to be fascinating. I can't wait to see Gandalf take on the Necromauncer.

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  2. Would it be okay if I said I "don't remember" in response to this post title? :-)

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    1. *laughs* Ordinarily I wouldn't remember either. It's just that Rings was kind of a maturing point in my life. Hard to forget that kind of thing.

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    2. What, you mean neither of you are one of those people who can pull out a notebook, lick their finger, flip to the date and say, "AHA! On this day, ten years ago..."?

      ...the sad thing is, up until I deleted my livejournal, I could have told you what I was doing, and where I was, ten years ago. =P

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