Mae Govannen once again, my Middle-earth-ish friends!
Today, July 29th, marks the 62nd anniversary of The Lord of the Rings (specifically The Fellowship of the Ring) being published for the first time in 1954!
So I am here today, following the wrap-up of the first ever Silmarillion Awards, to celebrate all things Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, and Middle-earth, as I wish “Happy Birthday!!” to my favorite book of all time. ❤
I don’t have any actual cake, but virtual cake in the form of Bilbo’s 111th birthday cake will do nicely in its place.
I celebrated today by pulling out all my Tolkien books and photographing them, and I’m typing this while listening to the gorgeous soundtracks of The Lord of the Rings films…
Turns out I have a lot more Tolkien books than I thought. I . . . may have a small obsession. *cough*
What can I say — I go to a lot of library sales and I’ve been getting Tolkien-related things every year for birthdays and Christmases for the last ten years… So apparently that can add up. 😉
There are also the films, soundtracks, and audiobook versions floating around the house somewhere, also much beloved.
Me & Middle-earth
I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I first read The Hobbit, but I know I greatly enjoyed it at that young age . . . But I do remember, some time later, first reading The Lord of the Rings. I was 10, and we were listening to the audiobook versions. That was the first time I remember really entering Middle-earth . . . and I think a little part of me (okay, at times a much larger part) has been living there ever since.
After that, I reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings from time to time, I devoured The Silmarillion a few times, and started collecting and reading all the other Tolkien books I could get my hands on (as I said, my birthday/Christmas wishlists were usually full of them, as were the paper bags I carted home from library book sales). I still have many Tolkien books (for instance the rest of the History of Middle-earth series that Christopher Tolkien put together) that I haven’t finished reading yet, but that only makes me happy to think of more in store to discover.
To call myself addicted to Middle-earth would be a large understatement . . . For a few years there when I had just gotten really into Lord of the Rings, I was a Tolkien hobbyist, and still am to some extent. I did lots of Elvish calligraphy in Tengwar (the Elvish alphabets Tolkien developed), memorized poetry from the books and wrote them out in journals, made large posters of the complicated genealogies of Elves and Men from the First to Third Ages . . . Yep, I was a little addicted, you could say.
I also vividly remember the first time I saw the Lord of the Rings movies, specifically The Fellowship of the Ring. I was visiting relatives, not so long after having read the books for the first time, which I was already in love with. I vaguely knew there were films but hadn’t seen them yet. I remember the excitement of gathering late at night with cousins and staying up to watch The Fellowship of the Ring. I came in after the movie had already started, so I incidentally missed out on the prologue and the quiet green Shire parts, coming in right when Gandalf has just ridden off to find answers and the camera pans past Sauron’s tower of Barad-dur in the dark with scary epic music — naturally nervous ten-year-old me would come in at a terrifying part. 😉 The movie fascinated me, and I remember the next day I got to go back and watch the beginning, which I had missed, all by myself, with the Shire and the prologue and everything, and it was delicious.
I have a few quibbles with the movies which I will not forgive them for (Faramir; Frodo sending Sam away; the general de-noble-ifying of many characters like Aragorn… a few things like that) but on the whole I still love them. Especially the music, which captures the feel of Middle-earth marvelously, I think.
But nothing can ever touch the original books as Tolkien penned them. ❤ The Lord of the Rings is one of those things at the core of my being. It has been an enormous part of my life so far (and will certainly continue to be!), and I can’t imagine life without it. I’m so grateful to J. R. R. Tolkien for giving us that glimpse into Middle-earth which I will always treasure.
Happy 62nd birthday to The Lord of the Rings!
*cue chorus of hobbit “happy birthday’s!” from Bilbo’s party*
(Editions with the covers drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien, and maps from “The Maps Tolkien’s of Middle-earth” drawn by John Howe)
And here, with this birthday post for my favorite book, I’d also like to look back at the last several weeks of the first ever Silmarillion Awards, because I don’t know about you, but I definitely had a blast with them!
Many thanks to DJ Edwardson and Jenelle Schmidt for creating and organizing this fun event, and to all the other hosts for your splendid posts, and everyone who participated through nominating, voting, or commenting — you are all awesome! I had such a good time celebrating fantasy, beloved characters, and Tolkien’s works. 🙂
If you haven’t seen all the award ceremony posts — where ten of Tolkien’s characters present the awards to the top-voted contestants of this year’s awards — do hurry and check them out because they’re all so much fun! 🙂
Awards and their presenters:
Best Fantasy Weapon (presented by Arwen) | Most Epic Hero (pres. by Aragorn) | Most Nefarious Villain (pres. by Saruman, Gollum, & Sauron) | Best Redemption Story (pres. by Boromir) | Best Fantasy Mount (pres. by Eomer) | Riddling and Poetry (pres. by Bilbo) | Wisest Councellor (pres. by Gandalf) | Strangest Character (pres. by Tom Bombadil) | Most Faithful Friend (pres. by Sam Gamgee) | Most Heart Wrenching Death Scene (pres. by Thorin)
LOTR party posts
And don’t forget — you can post your own celebratory post for The Lord of the Rings’ birthday today (or through the weekend) and share the link in the link-up at the end of this post of Jenelle’s so we can all see it! (And if you post on social media, use the hashtag #SilmAwards2016 for this LOTR birthday celebration wrapup!)
Be sure to check out the other LOTR celebration posts listed there because they’re all fantastic! (No pun intended. ;))
Happy Lord of the Rings Day to you all!
P.S. (Because Gandalf made them notorious with his multiple post-scripts.) Aaand now I’m tempted to leave my Tolkien books stacked in the corner of my room like that because they look nice there. Who needs a nightstand anyway — pfft. ;))
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began . . .