Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ring Around the Rose ~ Week 1: Fantasy Worlds

The authors of Five Enchanted Roses are doing a blog hop event, answering different questions over the next couple weeks on their own blogs. They’ve opened it up for anyone else who wants to post their answers as well and when I saw this week’s question it was too splendid to resist!

Question for Week #1: If you could live in any fantasy world, which one would you choose (and why)?

My selection falls between those two overarching favorites: Narnia and Middle Earth.

To me, Narnia always seems very…transitory. A marvelous adventure ground, but hard to find a concrete place or time in which to settle down in (which is partly why I love The Horse and His Boy so tremendously… you get to stay). 

So when it comes to an absolute choice I waver—especially when I think of Shasta and Aravis plunging into that cascading waterfall with its mysterious, invisible scent of massing rhododendrons, and then of Shasta’s drink of the crystal stream running over the fresh grass and his first breakfast with the dwarves in their delightfully homey kitchen—but all in all (if it was a life choice and I had to choose), I think Middle Earth. 

I particularly love both Anórien and Ithilien.

From The Return of the King

“(Merry) could not see them, but he knew that all round him were the companies of the Rohirrim. He could smell the horses in the dark, and could hear their shiftings and their soft stamping on the needle-covered ground. The host was bivouacked in the pine-woods that clustered about Eilenach Beacon, a tall hill standing up from the long ridges of the Druadan Forest that lay beside the great road in East Anórien.” (Wonder of splendid wonders—there are pine trees in Anórien!)

And this earlier quote from The Two Towers:

“Day was opening in the sky, and they saw that the mountains were now much further off, receding eastward in a long curve that was lost in the distance. Before them, as they turned west, gentle slopes ran down into dim hazes far below. All about them were small woods of resinous trees, fir and cedar and cypress, and other kinds unknown in the Shire, with wide glades among them; and everywhere there was a wealth of sweet-smelling herbs and shrubs. …fronds pierced moss and mould, larches were green-fingered, small flowers were opening in the turf, birds were singing. Ithilien, the garden of Gondor now desolate kept still a disheveled dryad loveliness.

“South and west it looked towards the warm lower vales of Anduin, shielded from the east by the Ephel Dúath and yet not under the mountain-shadow, protected from the north by the Emyn Muil, open to the southern airs and the moist winds from the Sea far away. Many great trees grew there, planted long ago, falling into untended age amid a riot of careless descendents; and groves and thickets there were of tamarisk and pungent terebinth, of olive and of bay; and there were junipers and myrtles; and thymes that grew in bushes, or with their woody creeping stems mantled in deep tapestries the hidden stones; sages of many kinds putting forth blue flowers, or red, or pale green; and marjorams and new-sprouting parsleys, and many herbs of forms and scents beyond the garden-lore of Sam…

“The travelers turned their backs on the road and went downhill. As they walked, brushing their way through bush and herbs, sweet odours rose about them. Gollum coughed and retched; but the hobbits breathed deep, and suddenly Sam laughed, for heart’s ease not for jest.”

In the end, a place to put roots down deep into the brown-turned earth, a land of wide running leagues between one place and another, with fire wrought story at the turnings—hugeness and depth and darkness and the joy beyond words.

How about you? Where would you choose?


  1. I'm not sure I could choose between Narnia and Middle-Earth. Those were the two choices actually that leaped to mind when I saw the title of your post.

    Certainly there's more going on in Middle-Earth and more wide ranging types of lands and peoples. But there's a certain coziness that's appealing about Narnia, especially the older I get.

    I'm also overjoyed to find another lover of The Horse and His Boy. :)

    1. George,
      Yes, it's a tough decision!

      And I totally agree. Some parts about Narnia are the very epitome of coziness.... Such as Shasta's breakfast with the dwarves in The Horse and His Boy? Or Eustace and Jill waking up in the cave and having piping hot drinks at the end of The Silver Chair? And King Lune's castle.... I could go on and on. :) Yes, there's so much to love in Narnia.

      And I'm always thrilled to find a fellow TH&HB lover as well!

  2. Lovely choices! I love how you mentioned Horse and His Boy and how you get to STAY in Narnia with them.

    Love the LOTR quotes you chose. Ahhh, Middle Earth! I have to admit, I didn't choose Middle Earth mainly because I assumed everyone else would choose it, and I wanted to be different :)

    Thanks for playing!

    1. Jenelle,
      Thank you! Yes, I LOVE The Horse and His Boy. Also, I'm laughing about the "different" business and Middle Earth.... it's so funny how that happens sometimes. ;D

      And oh, thank you all so much for hosting and letting me join in! ;)

  3. Lovely answer Heidi! And the pictures, for a moment, took me back to Middle-Earth; your description so vivid, I could almost smell the green woods. :)

    As for where I would choose...

    It would have to be the Land of Narnia.

    Why? Simply because it has been on my mind since I was a young child. Hearing those books read to me (then going back and reading it myself) opened up my mind to many wonders that caused me to long for something, or rather, Someone. I wanted to lay on the lush green moss and learn the starts with Lucy (Prince Caspian); ride the Dawn Treader and taste the sweet waters while quietly humming "Where the waves grow sweet, doubt not Reepicheep..." There was just so much great adventure in each book that called for exploring! The vast hills, the low rivers, even the small, damp caves waited for someone to clam them as their own. And I wanted to do that. Part of me still wants to do that...

    These two quotes happen to be my just a couple of favorites.

    “It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?"
    "But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan.
    "Are -are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund.
    "I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

    “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mill so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.” (The Horse and His Boy)

    1. Sarah,
      Wow.... what can I say? ;) Thank you!!! And yes, yes indeed! Narnia would be such an absolute paradise for exploring.... I know exactly what you mean. ;)

      And your quotes! Honestly, that last one *cough, cough* from TH&HB (naturally) gives me tingles every. single. time. ;D Thank you so much for sharing, Sarah!

  4. What a beautiful post! I absolutely love Middle-Earth. Thanks for sharing! ^_^

    1. Kaycee,
      Thank you! And you're most welcome.... Thank you so much for hosting this fun event -- I'm really enjoying it! ;)

  5. J. R. R. Tolkein's writing is soooo incredibly gorgeous. I can't wait to finish reading the LOTR books! ( I bought them but am saving them to coincidence with next year's literature for school ;) But that's all right because I have tons of books I need to read first)
    And I love all the pictures you included. I wish I could step right into them!

    1. Natalie,
      He's amazing, isn't he? Yes, that makes sense.... *sigh* I shall then wait with what patience I can till you're at leisure to give them your full and undivided attention. ;P (And I'm teasing, of course, but I really am looking forward to it! :))

      And so glad you liked the pictures!

    2. Heehee, I'm looking forward to it too! I'm sure it will be best having time to delve completely into the rest of the books without any other books as distractions! I already can tell I love LOTR, though. :)

  6. Rohan, with the horse-lords. How I would love to live there :-)

    1. Hamlette,
      Yes, Rohan, too! The mountain strongholds.... and all that free running grassland to the horizon? Not to mention the horse-lords themselves. ;)

  7. Oh, I love The Horse and His Boy! It's my favorite of the Narnia series :)

    1. Hayden,
      It's definitely my favorite and I'm so glad you love it, too!!

      Also, thanks so much for the follow -- I was so thrilled to pop on and see your happy face! ;)

  8. Middle-Earth for me! Or, more specifically, the Shire!


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