Tolkien Week Questionnaire

Now that was a bit of an unexpected blogging hiatus. So many things happened. Most of all I became super lethargic and did a lot of sleeping in, watching Star Trek, and of course, playing the new Metal Gear.

However, it is Tolkien Week, and there is a nice questionnaire going around, and that is just the thing to get me to this here text box and type things. Many thanks to Alice for making me aware!

Here we go:

Hamlette’s Tolkien Blog Party of Special Magnificence 2015

1. What draws you to Tolkien’s stories? (The characters, the quests, the themes, the worlds, etc.)

The world and its form. Not only is Tolkien’s Middle-earth a very rich world, it is also one of the very few worlds that is not presented through any of the classical forms of the literary narrator, but features a simulated process of the passing down of a written record that still carries the marks of the culture that birthed it, but also already carries traces of myth.

2. What was the first Middle-earth book you read and/or movie you saw? What did you think of it?

That was The Hobbit, given to my by my father because it’s the first book of the story and I was to be started early in this. I really liked it as a kid, and still do.

A few very-young-me glimpses at the Bakshi film aside, the first film was The Fellowship of the Ring, a bit after it came out on DVD.

3. Name three of your favourite characters and tell us why you like them.

Galadriel because she is a freaking badass.

Gandalf because he manages to be all virtue, yet not be boring. He has humour, the occasional temper, and gleefully indulges in the vices that bring him joy.

Balin because he oozes dwarvishness.

4. Are there any secondary characters you think deserve more attention?

Many! Treebeard, Ghan-Buri-Ghan, Galadriel, Farmer Maggot, Goldberry, Nienor, …

5. What Middle-earth character do you relate to the most?

Oh. probably Bilbo, because he is so damn relatable in how common he is, enjoying the good life, liking not to be bothered, dabbling in lore.

I also have to admit to totally understanding where Fëanor’s rage at some stupid bum stealing his stuff comes from.

6. If you could ask Professor Tolkien one Middle-earth-related question, what would you like to ask him?

Probably the relation of Middle-earth to his understanding of the nature of myth.

7. Are there any pieces of Middle-earth merchandise you would particularly like to own, but don’t?

Hmm, merchandise in the sense of commercially produced items, probably not. The films’ merchandise doesn’t exert a particularly strong pull on me, but I’d sure love having Belthronding, a stash of dwarven pole weapons, the Helm of Dor-lómin, Anguirel, Nenya, and some other assorted items.

8. What battle would you absolutely not want to be part of?

Tolkien is pretty good at battles that are wholly unsavoury affairs. The Nirnaeth Arnoediad obviously ranks pretty high, but being holed in at Helm’s Deep with people who only properly function in the open fields on horseback, with a host of orcs and Uruk-Hai, perfectly equipped for besieging an enemy, outside is no fun, too. The amount of nerve you’d have to retain at Pelennor Fields would be a monumental task as well.

Can I just stay at home for these?

9. Would you rather eat a meal at Rivendell or Bag End?

Bag End. Next.

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

I am not good at remembering passages, but I really like Thorin’s

‘If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.’

Tolkien Selfie

Maria asked for Tolkien-themed selfies for Tolkien Week, and 1) my selfie game isn’t developped very much to begin with, 2) when she did, I was already unkempt, in comfortable-but-unpresentable relaxing clothes, and hadn’t done my eyebrows in ages, so they looked like someone applied a 15px gaussian blur to them. What to do?

My lousy photography skills came to the rescue: I completely underexposed a photo, which turned out not only to be the best-looking of the bunch, with its accidental fancy lighting, but the only one non-blurry enough to even consider using.

So here it goes, behold me mug aside a stash of Tolkien books: