First of all a big thank you to Hamlette for doing another Tolkien Blog Party!
1. Who introduced you to Tolkien's stories?
Erm... myself? Or Tolkien? I suppose I must have heard about Tolkien's stories from someone but I can't remember who. I can remember reading The Hobbit when I was still at primary school though so I suppose one of my teachers could have mentioned it or I could have seen it in the school library. I read The Lord of the Rings when I was at secondary school when I was about 11 or 12. Then The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out a year later.
2. How old were you when you first ventured into Middle Earth?
I would have been about 11 or 12 when I read The Lord of the Rings. I'm not too sure about The Hobbit but I'm going to say... 9 or 10. It's funny because even though I'm not too clear on my age when I read the books I know exactly what the covers were!
3. Did you read the books first, or see the movie versions first?
The books first.
4. A dragon or a balrog - which would you rather fight?
This is a bit like the "Would you rather lose an arm or a leg?" question isn't it? But I'd go for a dragon. I think only a wizard or Glorfindel could take on a balrog and live to tell the tale.
5. Who are three of your favorite characters? (Feel free to elaborate on why.)
Last year I cheated and talked about four (Aragorn, Sam, Legolas and Faramir) but this year I'm actually going to stick to three.
He's probably my number one favourite. He's very mysterious (at first). He's self-confident but humble. He spent decades protecting the people of Bree without taking any credit for it. He took on Sauron with the palantir. He's brave. He's loyal. He's compassionate. He assumes the mantle of leadership after Moria. He kicks ass. He's definitely on my "Characters You'd Want To Be With If You Were Stranded on an Island" list. One of my favourite parts of both the book and the films is the scene where Aragorn makes his entrance in the Prancing Pony. At first he seems shady and not to be trusted and it's all very film noir :) And my favourite quote in the book is about him.
One of the things that Tolkien is often criticised for is his lack of female characters which is a terrible shame because the few women that are in this books are awesome! I love Eowyn. She's passionate, she wants adventure, she can fight, she follows her heart and she goes after what she wants. And I love her romance with Faramir. I don't love Eowyn in the movies sadly. I don't think Miranda Otto looked the part and her Eowyn is much too weepy and fragile for my liking. I much prefer the steely dignified Eowyn of the book and in my head she looks more like Rosamund Pike.
Gandalf is funny and extremely wise. He can be grumpy and irritable but he's still very warm and kind-hearted towards all of the peoples of Middle-earth. He wouldn't let the balrog pass. And if it wasn't for him choosing Bilbo to be the dwarves' burglar then The Hobbit and by extension The Lord of the Rings would never have happened! So yeah, go Gandalf! :D
No, I've never done cosplay. I do have a piece of Tolkien inspired jewellery though! I found it on Etsy via Pinterest :)
7. If someone asks you to go on adventure, how do you respond?
Before 10 am? No chance! After that, yes! Hehe.. I've always been able to relate to Bilbo in that I love the thought of travel and adventure but also really love the thought of staying in my cosy home and not doing anything.
8. Have you read any of the "history of Middle Earth" books?
No and to be honest I don't want to. I'm interested in The Children of Húrin and I've read The Silmarillion but that book was one of the most challenging I've ever read. It's brilliant but it can be so overwhelming. I have a feeling that the History of Middle Earth books are for the truly hardcore fans. You know, those fans who actually speak Quenya and Silmaril. Or Stephen Colbert.
He is truly our king! :D
9. Would you rather drink a bowl of Ent Draught or a glass of Old Winyards?
I hate beer but love wine so a glass of Old Winyards it is!
10. List up to ten of your favourite lines/quotes from the books or movies.
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.
And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many. And many indeed saw them and the light that shone about them as they came down from the walls and went hand in hand to the Houses of Healing.
“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
“I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”
"One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. The great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire, and ash, and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly."
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”
But no living man am I! You look upon a woman.