Friday, September 25, 2015

The Grand Tolkien Tag of Special Magnificence

It’s that jolly time of year again… the week of Hamlette’s splendiferous Tolkien Blog Party of Special Magnificence! Do hop over and visit her blog at The Edge of the Precipice for all sorts of games and giveaways and general excitement! :) And here are my tag answers:

1. What draws you to Tolkien's stories? (The characters, the quests, the themes, the worlds, etc.) ~ Since my father’s periodically read them aloud ever since I was little they’ve always been a part of me (hence, I don’t tend to think hard on it that often), but when reading them myself again last year I connected on a whole new level with Tolkien’s mastery of both character and language.

2. What was the first Middle Earth book you read and/or movie you saw? What did you think of it? ~ Honestly, I don’t remember. I know the first I read aloud myself was The Hobbit and I liked it quite well that first time (and still do), but never quite as much as the LOTR. :)

3. Name three of your favorite characters and tell us why you like them. ~ Noting that this is very kindly three of my favorites (thank you, Hamlette!), I’ll say Faramir, Merry, and Pippin. I highlighted quite a few of the reasons about Faramir in a post here. As for Merry and Pippin… in all the pain and uncertainties and wild adventures and joys of their quest, they grow to full maturity—becoming, really, ‘more of themselves’—their wit growing keen and their hearts readied for kings service. Such a breathtaking picture! (Not to mention that they’re excellent company. ;))

4. Are there any secondary characters you think deserve more attention? ~ Maybe Celeborn? At least in the LOTR, we’re given so few details and I always wonder about him.

5. What Middle Earth character do you relate to the most? ~ Oh, this is a hard one! This last time I was closely identifying with Pippin, I think, particularly near the end, and also Merry. And—actually—Aragorn, which was completely and entirely unexpected and thoroughly wonderful.

6. If you could ask Professor Tolkien one Middle Earth-related question, what would you like to ask him? ~ I’d like to know if (for him) things were ever not working out and lining up. Was he ever frustrated during the writing process? I know he must have been at some time or other… When and where did he get stuck? It would be so fascinating to hear firsthand how the characters developed in his own mind as he went along. :)

7. Are there any pieces of Middle Earth merchandise you would particularly like to own, but don't? ~ Mixing in with the gorgeous landscape pictures, I’ve also been illustrating this post with paintings from a talented artist I found via Pinterest (who sells his work on Etsy) and, seriously...

It’s the first one I found and it’s on my Christmas wish list (for any of you out there who might be interested in such information ;)).

And also a dark green, handcrafted mug with gold lettering twining up and round it with this quote (highlighted also below as #7): “…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.”

Or this one: 

8. What battle would you absolutely not want to be part of? ~ The battles in ROTK have such an epic feel—darkness and despair and the coming of light—that I would actually rather experience them if called upon to live through to the glory and joy on the other side. Perhaps because it’s described in such detail—or just because it’s the first I remember hearing about—I’ve always thought The Battle of Five Armies in The Hobbit particularly disagreeable.

9. Would you rather eat a meal at Rivendell or Bag End? ~ Since I’m feeling like eggs and bacon and Suchlike Substantial Fare at the moment… Bag End. Truthfully, though, I’ve always wished I could be in on the supper at Farmer Maggot’s. :) And also, it's not because elvish food would be insubstantial. Far from it. It would be a feast of flowing wines and graciously rich dishes. (Incidentally, somehow I can’t imagine feeling overfull after having eaten of elven food. Satisfied and thoughtful, perhaps, but no indigestion.)

10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.

#1: “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.” – FOTR

#2: “Their farewells had been said in the great hall by the fire, and they were only waiting now for Gandalf, who had not yet come out of the house. A gleam of firelight came from the open doors, and soft lights were glowing in many windows. Bilbo huddled in a cloak stood silent on the doorstep beside Frodo. Aragorn sat with his head bowed to his knees; only Elrond knew fully what this hour meant to him. The others could only be seen as grey shapes in the darkness. Sam was standing by the pony, sucking his teeth, and staring moodily into the gloom where the river roared stonily below; his desire for adventure was at its lowest ebb.” – FOTR

#3: “Then came the voice of Faramir close behind. ‘Let them see!’ he said. The scarves were removed and their hoods thrown back, and they blinked and gasped. 

“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.” – TTT

#4: “…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.” – TTT

#5: “It’s saying a lot too much,” said Frodo, and he laughed, a long clear laugh from his heart. Such a sound had not been heard in those places since Sauron came to Middle-earth. To Sam suddenly it seemed as if all the stones were listening and the tall rocks leaning over them. But Frodo did not heed them; he laughed again. “Why, Sam,” he said, “to hear you somehow makes me as merry as if the story was already written. But you’ve left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. ‘I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn’t they put in more of his talk, dad? That what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam, would he, dad?’”

“Now, Mr. Frodo,” said Sam, “you shouldn’t make fun. I was serious.” 

“So was I,” said Frodo, “and so I am. We’re going on a bit too fast. You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: ‘Shut the book now, dad; we don’t want to read any more.’” 

“Maybe,” said Sam, “but I wouldn’t be one to say that. Things done and over and made into part of the great tales are different. Why, even Gollum might be good in a tale, better than he is to have by you, anyway.” – TTT

#6: Even as Pippin gazed in wonder the walls passed from looming grey to white, blushing faintly in the dawn; and suddenly the sun climbed over the eastern shadow and sent forth a shaft that smote the face of the City. Then Pippin cried aloud, for the Tower of Ecthelion, standing high within the topmost wall, shone out against the sky, glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver, tall and fair and shapely, and its pinnacle glittered as if it were wrought of crystals; and white banners broke and fluttered from the battlements in the morning breeze, and high and far he heard a clear ringing as of silver trumpets.” - ROTK

#7: “You did indeed!” said Gandalf, laughing suddenly; and he came and stood beside Pippin, putting his arm about the hobbit’s shoulders, and gazing out the window. 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.” – ROTK

#8: “But Aragorn smiled. ‘It will serve,’ he said. ‘The worst is now over. Stay and be comforted!’ Then taking two leaves, he laid them on his hands and breathed on them, and then he crushed them, and straightway a living freshness filled the room, as if the air itself awoke and tingled, sparkling with joy. And then he cast the leaves into the bowls of steaming water that were brought to him, and at once all hearts were lightened. …But Aragorn stood up as one refreshed, and his eyes smiled as he held a bowl before Faramir’s dreaming face.

“…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?’ 

‘Walk no more in the shadows, but awake!’ said Aragorn. ‘You are weary. Rest a while, and take food, and be ready when I return.’” – ROTK 

Thank you for the excellent questions, Hamlette! ;) 

And everyone, be sure to join in the festivities. I'd love to see your tag answers!

Tell me! What is one of your favorite characters and do we have any answers in common?


  1. Ohhhhhhh, I got all tingly reading all your quotes. That "clear ringing of silver trumpets" moment always makes me both glad and sorrowful because in the movies, Boromir tells Aragorn of Minas Tirith and asks, "Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?" He's so wistful and hopeful there, and... yeah. Many feelings.

    And the curtain-waterfall is such an amazing moment, isn't it? Unexpected beauty in an unlikely place.

    (And ooooooh, Christmas present ideas! Always welcome, heh heh heh.)

    I'm so glad you've been able to join the party :-D

    1. Hamlette,
      I gave you tingles?? Yay! ;) And I can tell just off your description that that movie scene must be emotion packed.... Hmmm. I still haven't made up my mind yet (so can't promise anything), but my brother's really been wanting me to watch the movies of late so maybe -- just maybe -- I might see them come early December, after all our various travel schedules are finished and we can sit down together. We shall see....

      And hee -- I do love Christmas hints and surprises! ;)

    2. Oh, wow, really? Well, I will be eager to hear what you think of them if/when you watch them :-)

  2. I love those prints too! Gorgeous! And the quotes you chose!!!!! I love that conversation between Frodo and Sam. It's so beautifully touching.

    1. Lois,
      Aren't they beautiful? And I'm so glad you love the quotes, too. ;D

  3. (That first picture of Arwen and Aragorn, though...)

    I went and read your post on Faramir, and IT MADE ME HAPPY. You highlighted his greatness wonderfully:) And I like how you mentioned that we might almost like him more if there had been some struggle before giving up the Ring--since that is what is portrayed in the movies. Anyway, Faramir spiel over;)

    Wonderful answers! Ah, yes, Celeborn definitely needs some development!!!

    1. Olivia,
      That silver... and her lavender gown... and her hair... Funny -- I hadn't noticed how much her gown matches the wild lupines on my background! :)

      And I'm so glad you were able to read over the Faramir post! I'm still so happy about that one. ;D Honestly, I love him so much in the books that that's one of the reasons I'm rather dreading watching the movies, but I think I have it set strongly enough in my head that I can think of them separately (i.e. enjoy one as a story and the other as a movie in its own right if I like it).

      And yes! I always wonder about him... Maybe we learn more about him in The Silmarillion? I haven't read that yet...

    2. Yes! It's gorgeous *sigh*

      Faramir is my favoritest of favorites:D Yep, they do change it a LITTLE in the movies; mainly with the temptation of the Ring. BUT I watched the movies before I read the books, and they're what caused me to start loving Faramir in the first place, so...yeah:)

      Exactly...he is mentioned in The Silmarillion, but as far as I can remember he isn't really developed much at all, which is a bit disappointing, 'cause don't we all want to know how he won the fair Galadriel??;)

  4. Wonderful answers!! And oh... those quotes!!!!! Especially #6. Love love LOVE!!!!

    Characters are so hard for me,... from the books I would have to say Legolas, or Arwen, or Sam,.... and the list goes on :)
    I definitely agree about Celeborn. I'm quite curious now to find out more now.


    1. Jacqueline,
      I'm so glad you love all the quotes, too, and thanks so much for commenting!

      I know. Picking a favorite character is so hard. This time, in the end, I just had to kind of mentally stab with a pin, picking the first ones that immediately came to mind and that I had identified with most during my last reading. :) There are so many wonderful choices it's near impossible!

  5. Eek, that picture of Aragorn and Arwen! It's so pretty. :)
    Aww, I love Merry and Pippin, I can't wait to see how their characters grow throughout the last book! I identify with Pippin as well.
    Oh! Your question for Tolkien was PERFECT. Really. I need to hear the answer to that!
    Wow. That print is really cool! You're definitely giving me ideas for Christmas. ;)
    Awwww, Sam..."his desire for adventure was at its lowest ebb."
    Oh my word, quote #5!!! I haven't read that part yet and it is SO SWEET.

    1. Natalie,
      Isn't it lovely?? I'm so glad you like both of them! Yes, Merry and Pippin... you know, I think Tolkien had a lot of fun with them too. ;)

      Oh, and quote #5! That one was super hard as (no spoilers), but there's about three fantastic pages (of which that is a shorter excerpt) and it's extremely challenging to decide which part to put on. ;D How far along are you? Have you been able to read any more in the last few weeks?

    2. Well, I paused on reading The Two Towers because I have some library books check out right now and because I wanted to catch up on the literature work pages I had to do for it. But I'm hoping to pick it up again soon! I'm very near the end. :)

  6. Replies
    1. Sarah,
      Thank you so much for the sweet encouragement! :)

  7. Hello, Lady of Anorien,

    First up...I just want to say congrats on running a terrific blog! As a fellow Christian female author and lover of literature, period movies, history, and fantasy, this has a lot to offer!

    On the subject of all things Tolkien, I am the editor of an online magazine called "The Fellowship of The King", which focuses extensively on his works! Our latest fantasy/sci-fi themed issue release can be found here:

    While you're there, feel free to peruse the rest of the site and other themes we explore there! Further, if you or anyone else reading this would ever like to send in any submissions of your writing to us, please do so! The editorial email is:

    Pearl of Tyburn/Rosaria Marie

    1. Pearl of Tyburn,
      Thank you! And also for sharing your link. I was able to look at your site very briefly and it looks most intriguing. :)

      Thank you too for the invitation -- it's much appreciated and I'll keep it in mind!


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