Hooray!! Hosted by Hamlette (at her exciting and hospitable blog The Edge of the Precipice) the magnificent and eagerly-looked-forward-to Tolkien blog party has arrived!
Here are my answers to her fun tag:
1. Who introduced you to Tolkien's stories? ~ My parents! Daddy read them when he was growing up, and he’s since read The Hobbit and the LOTR aloud regularly every three or four years. (We’re due for another one soon!)
2. How old were you when you first ventured into Middle Earth? ~ Hmmmm. My next sister was born and named Éowyn exactly one week after my eighth birthday, so that’s probably my first cognitive memory associated with it. :-)
3. Did you read the books first, or see movie versions first? ~ The books. (I actually haven’t yet seen the movies—but I’m more open to the idea than I used to be, so maybe sometime in the near future.)
4. A dragon or a balrog -- which would you rather fight? ~ A dragon. Highly unpleasant, of course…but a balrog is about the most horrible thing I can imagine.
5. Who are three of your favorite characters? (Feel free to elaborate on why.) ~ Faramir (and here’s a bit of why ;-)). Aragorn (who actually always used to seem a bit more “unapproachable” to me—till the last time I read it, when I started vividly realizing how incredibly amazing and relatable he is)! And then—Gandalf? Merry…Pippin…Eomer?? Oh, no Sam—definitely Sam!
6. Have you ever dressed up like a Tolkien character? ~ No, I haven’t.
7. If someone asks you to go on adventure, how do you respond? ~ I’m actually probably a bit hobbit-like in my approach to adventures, but when it comes to falling water and fountains and trees, I go quite elvish. :-)
8. Have you read any of the "history of Middle Earth" books? ~ No, but The Silmarillion is on my “to read soon” list.
9. Would you rather drink a bowl of Ent Draught or a glass of Old Winyards? ~ A bowl of Ent Draught! At times hearty and sustaining, at others like liquid sunlight—an almost unimaginable fullness and refreshment.
10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies. ~ Oh, my Hamlette…ten??? Ah, yes... Well, (refraining from transcribing all of "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit" and "A Window on the West" :-)) here’s for an initial selection:
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
PPPS. I hope Butterbur sends this promptly. A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried. If he forgets, I shall roast him. Fare well!”
“‘I had forgotten that,’ said Éomer. ‘It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?’
‘As he ever has judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.’
“The old man was too quick for him. He sprang to his feet and leaped to the top of a large rock. There he stood, grown suddenly tall, towering above them. His hood and his grey rags were flung away. His white garments shone. He lifted up his staff, and Gimli’s axe leaped from his grasp and fell ringing on the ground. The sword of Aragorn, stiff in his motionless hand, blazed with a sudden fire. Legolas gave a great shout and shot an arrow high into the air: it vanished in a flash of flame.
‘Mithrandir!’ he cried. ‘Mithrandir!’
‘Well met, I say to you again, Legolas!’ said the old man.
They all gazed at him. His hair was white as snow in the sunshine; and gleaming white was his robe; the eyes under his deep brows were bright, piercing as the rays of the sun; power was in his hand. Between wonder, joy, and fear they stood and found no words to say.”
“They stood on a wet floor of polished stone, the doorstep, as it were, of a rough-hewn gate of rock opening dark behind them. But in front a thin veil of water was hung, so near that Frodo could have put an outstretched arm into it. It faced westward. The level shafts of the setting sun behind beat upon it, and the red light was broken into many flickering beams of ever-changing colour. It was as if they stood at the window of some elven-tower, curtained with threaded jewels of silver and gold, and ruby, sapphire and amethyst, all kindled with an unconsuming fire.” (And later): “As he went by the cave-mouth he saw that the Curtain was now become a dazzling veil of silk and pearls and silver thread: melting icicles of moonlight.”
“Pippin glanced in some wonder at the face now close beside his own, for the sound of that laugh had been gay and merry. Yet in the wizard’s face he saw at first only lines of care and sorrow; though as he looked more intently he perceived that under all there was a great joy: a fountain of mirth enough to set a kingdom laughing, were it to gush forth.”
“He sat for a moment half dreaming, listening to the noise of water, the whisper of dark trees, the crack of stone, and the vast waiting silence that brooded behind all sound.”
“Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.”
“Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he spoke softly. ‘My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?’”
“And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.”
“He looked at her, and being a man whom pity deeply stirred, it seemed to him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart. And she looked at him and saw the grave tenderness in his eyes, and yet knew, for she was bred among men of war, that here was one whom no Rider of the mark would outmatch in battle.”