When I was fourteen, I saw the Fellowship of the Ring movie as it premiered and the other Lord of the Rings films as they came out. And I loved them. More than I had loved any non-Disney movie up until then. Even now, 12 years, my sister and I make whoever is with us at Christmas watch all three of the movies, this has ranged from friends, boyfriends, cousins and cats. And every time, I get really excited about how awesome Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli are, and how awful Frodo and Sam are in Return of the King. But I digress.
I found The Hobbit much easier to read than LOTR, if only because there was much less descriptive language and imagery in between action and adventure. In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien spends a lot of time and page space giving the reader a picture of exactly what everything looks like, smells like, and sounds like. In The Hobbit, Tolkien gives enough description for the reader to make a scene in their mind, but does not do it in excess. And I appreciated that, we need to be able to create our own world too.
I really enjoy Bilbo’s easily flustered, yet intelligent and compassionate personality. He was a little like Winnie the Pooh, but smarter. However, he was also a little cunning and secretive which brought a bit of a twist to what I expected he would be. Now, I’m aware that this side of Bilbo was drawn out by the ring but it was still interesting to see him portrayed like this, and to compare him to the post-ring Frodo. I really enjoy Gandalf’s faith in Bilbo and his qualities, as well as the changing opinion of him by the dwarves. The intriguing part for me was that Gandalf had faith in Bilbo’s character before the adventure started, and the dwarves doubted him. The dwarves eventually chang their opinion, but not until after Bilbo acquires the ring. The ring allows him to escape from Gollum, save the dwarves from the wood-elves, etc. I believe Bilbo would have found a way, even without the ring, for Hobbits are extraordinary creatures.
Now that I’ve rambled in a rather disorganized fashion, somewhat resembling the state of my mind right now, I’ll conclude this mess with a last thought. Tolkien seems to have taken all that is good and wonderful in Hobbits, put them into the spirit of Bilbo, and found a way to express Bilbo’s spirit in words, which is always something I’ve struggled with. I came away from The Hobbit feeling like I had made several new friends, and that to me is the mark of a good book. This is one of the reasons why I chose “The Hobbit” as the Fall play for our 2013-2014 theatre season. And I think I chose it because I don’t know what to do with a play I don’t have to rewrite and edit…
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with fairy tales. Damsels in distress, precocious fairies, mysterious elves, evil mermaids, friendly dragons, fierce warriors, and tales of transformation… These have always gotten to me. Maybe we can blame Disney for this fascination, dumbing down and coloring up stories for children. Or maybe we can blame J.R.R. Tolkien for bringing back fantasy to an incredibly practical world. Either way, ever since I could read (so… 20 odd years now?) I’ve always secretly wanted to be an author of fantasy books.
In fact, that’s why partially why I majored in Theatre. Yes, I knew I wanted to be a theatre teacher, but with theatre and teaching comes the writing and editing of plays. in my three year career, I have written one full length play and adapted five scripts to my liking. So why not a fantasy novel? Crazy, huh? But shhh, this is my first time admitting it to anyone. Seriously, no one else knows this.
It gets especially bad when I’m reading a really good fantasy book, but I’ll come up with these super great ideas (or, so I think). However, the problem is that I cannot seem to figure out how these stories are meant to begin. I have the middle and the end all planned out. I can even SEE the characters in my mind’s eye, but I have yet to put anything but a couple of short stories to paper because I just do not know how to do this whole writing thing.
Anyways, I’ll stick to adapting plays and creating my worlds in the live theatre, using the audiences imagination as my readers and my actors as the characters. This summer I will once again be putting the adaptation author cap on, for “The Hobbit,” “The Rose and the Rime,” and “Romeo and Juliet.” All wonderful plays/books, but not quite where I want them to be.
I have been reading lately fantasy. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende and yes, once again, The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien. Books that make me enter in other worlds where the good is good and the evil is evil and the good prevails after a lot of fantastic adventures with a lot of wonderful creatures created by masters’ imagination. This makes me learn, helps me escape from the problems of real life for a while and excite my own imagination in fantastic ways.
The first day of art class in high school, the teacher told us to pay attention to the world around us. And that is exactly what it is I have done. I just don’t look out at the world, I absorb it. Most people look straight ahead and only see what is right in front of them. They go around, living as if they have blinders on. Not me, I am a like the wild Mustang. My eyes rove the countryside. You might just see the road ahead of you, but I see the man carrying the pizza box to the trash.
I can see were the sidewalk ends and the chasm begins. I’m not afraid to jump off that cliff and let my wing take me wherever it is my imagination can lead me. While other live out their mundane life, I am soaring with Pegasuses on my way to dine with the Dragon Princess in her ivory castle on the hilltop just beyond the next horizon.