How did you get hooked on Lord of the Rings?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by catriona88, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. catriona88

    catriona88 Registered User

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    I love it now, but I didn't always. I never even heard of it when the films were released (the books I mean).
    But I can remember there was a great buzz about it (I was 12 or 13) all over the TV and town, and I remember my dad asking me did I want to go see it, I said no. I was into girly films and disney films. I still am but....I'll carry on. Didn't have a clue as to what it was about.
    I remember my dad buying the DVD and we watched it the night it was first released (the Fellowship) and I was falling asleep. However I was interested in Frodo mainly because I had a crush on Elijah Wood. However I couldn't stick it and went to bed at the council of elrond. I liked Frodo as I said, he was the only character I wanted to see, but I was not so obsessed that I could sit through the whole film.
    Weeks later me and my older brother were watching TV and he started talking about LOTR.
    I remember saying sarcastically to my older brother who loved it, "I already know how its going to end! Them sort of films always end with the good winning. He obviously destroys the ring and they all live happily ever after".
    Then he said (and this is what got me) "actually your wrong, Frodo turns bad and wants to keep the ring for himself".
    As soon as he said that I was hooked but I didn't let him know. I remember being shocked and I asked "why, how. Isn't he the hero"?
    You see to me Frodo was the ultimate hero and he still is. But after I heard that I was thinking about how someone so kind, gentle and loving turn bad, and I was determined to watch ever inch of the next films just to see the change.

    Its funny how we think. I got into the story, I fell in love with all the characters and the films.
    I then started reading the books. I'm 22 now and I have read the books at least four times.
    I really shocked my family. I was the original "I don't like fantasy, action films sci fi bla bla"
    Has anyone else got a story simular to mine. I would like to know other people got hooked on the LOTR.
     
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  2. Starbrow

    Starbrow Tolkien Fan

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    I first read The Hobbit for a book report in junior high school (many years ago now). I chose it because it was such a big book that it was worth 2 book reports. I didn't really care for it then. I had to read The Hobbit again as a freshman in high school for my English class. For some reason I fell in love with it that time and have since devoured and reread everything by Tolkien.
     

  3. Ray Patterson

    Ray Patterson Registered User

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    My mother read the Lord of the Rings to me when I was around 10 years old. I absolutely loved it, it was the best story I ever heard. Soon enough I found out that the Lord of the Rings existed, but it was a grown up book and I was a bit daunted by the idea of reading it. I did try when I was 13 or so... but gave up by the end of the Fellowship. Yes, when the Fellowship dissolved so did my desire to continue reading the book.

    Around that time my friends and me started to get into Magic The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. It wasn't too long until I obviously went back to the book that started it all. I still found it a tough read I think, at least the first part. In fact I still do. The Fellowship is like a barrier that is put up before the much easier to read two later parts. But to put it in perspective (and reveal my age), I must have finished reading the book in 1996. Somewhat later it wasn't the film that came out, but the collectible card game Middle Earth: The Wizards. And collect it I did, even though in my town there were just a handful of other players. I must have played less than 50 games of it, but I still collected the cards like mad. And then rumors about a film started to circulate. Keep in mind, all we knew about it back then was that Sean Connery was going to be Gandalf :*D
     
  4. Sulimo

    Sulimo Registered User

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    I grew up watching the Ranikin Bass animated films, and when I was still in elementary school my dad read the Hobbit to my brothers and I. He began reading the Fellowship, but stopped around a Shortcut to Mushrooms because my brothers were losing interest.

    I tried re-reading the Hobbit on my own around 6th grade, but was still daunted by 40pg chapters. I decided to read the Fellowship in about 7th grade, and skipped the prologue. I loved it though and devoured the next 2 books, and quickly re-watched The Rankin Bass Return of the King. Over the Summer of 8th grade to 9th, I read the Hobbit and the trilogy again. Then an older friend told me about the Silmarillion. I read it, and then I was truly hooked.
     

  5. Sir Gawain d'Orchany

    Sir Gawain d'Orchany To Rivendell where elves yet dwell

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    When I was really young, I lived with my father full time. I had been reading his Marvel and DC Comics for a while when I happened to come across my dad's copies of unfinished tales and Untold tales. From page one I was enthralled by JRR Tolkien's world. I eventually read my dad's copy of the Hobbit (which I still own) and a single volume set of LOTR. I identify with Faramir more than anyone else in the series because he & I are both pacifists and share similar morals. I was outraged when Denethor tried to unknowingly kill his last living son.
     
  6. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    Hmm.... It was a warm July evening in Seattle the Summer of 1975. I was walking about with my neighbor one night, and as we stopped on the footbridge over the Duwamish River in Allentown, we shared some Colombian pipeweed all rolled up in a ZigZag. It was there when he told me about this book he just read and enjoyed very much called The Hobbit. I asked what a Hobbit was, and he told me they were a fantasy care-free folk who like eating, drinking, & smoking! He loaned me his paperback when we got back to his house, and showed me the Fellowship of the Ring paperback he had started reading.

    I read through through The Hobbit and loved it (though it was the one and only time I read it). I then borrowed the Fellowship Of The Ring and read it, then I borrowed The Two Towers as he had finished it. By this time I was eating the tale up, and I finished Two Towers while he had stalled a third of the way into Return of the King. After a couple weeks of bugging him about whether he finished it yet and he getting annoyed at me, I went to the library and checked out an old 1957 copyright hardback. Loved the big fold-out map that was in the back of that hardback edition, so when I returned it I checked out Fellowship and Two Towers and started reading the Trilogy all over again! When I checked out Return of the King the second time and finished it, I delved into the appendices and all they had to offer. Started learning the Cirith and Tengwar from Appendix E and F and becane respectable at writing it with a ball-point pen. This was early 1976 when I was a senior in high school. It was per chance that I met girl who was as big of a Tolkien geek as I was. We started hanging out together and we would practice our scripting and pass notes to each other and telling tales to each other while we sat by the flag pole at lunch.

    When they started doing some renovation work on the bus-loading zone near the flag pole, we saw they had just poured fresh curbing, so we decided to cut the class after lunch and imprint 'Friends' in Tengwar. We made a couple mistakes, but it remained in that curb until 2005 when they totally re-worked the school and dug up the curbs and flagpole.

    So yeah, I was a Tolkien geek since the summer of 1975. When word got out that the Silmarillion was going to be published, we geeks were overjoyed! Went to a midnight book release line party at the local mall and got my copy! Tried to read it, and couldn't get into it at all. I finally skipped the biblic creation beginning and got into the meat of the book. It never did that much for me, and tends to get used as a reference book. I enjoyed Unfinished Tales and Children of Hurin more, but I will always come back to read the Trilogy every now and again. I think I'm up to 13 readings in 42 years.
     
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  7. Elora

    Elora Dreamweaver

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    I lived near a tiny country town, on a farm. There was no email or internet. There was no public transport. There were, however, school libraries and I had become a voracious reader.

    At the wise old age of 10, I was perusing library shelves that I already knew like the back of my hand in my lunch break. I was on the look out for a nice thick book. One that would keep me occupied for longer than a couple of hours. My searching settled on one of the fattest books on the shelves. I drew it out, thumbed through it and read the blurb on the back. With a shrug, I checked it out of the library and dropped it into my school bag for the trip home to the farm at the end of the day.

    By the next day, I told my small circle of friends about this amazing book. Only one catch, though, they had to wait until I was done with it. We each of us learned alphabets contained in the appendices so that we could write notes to each other than the teachers would not understand. That they were coded was enough to land us in trouble, where there is smoke there is fire, but still we did not stop.

    Once I finished LotR, I delved into the "back catalogue" and checked out The Hobbit. I didn't like it nearly as much. It felt childish, even though I was a child, and it wouldn't be until much later that I realised just how remarkable it is as example of the modern novel format.

    Somewhat disheartened by The Hobbit (how could an author be so awesome and then so not, I wondered then), I started on the Silmarilion. This was the first example of High Fantasy that I read and I loved it. It also spoiled me, as there are few High Fantasty writers that can live up to it the scope and grandeur of world building. That was all back in the early 80's.

    I've never been one to pick over the bones of Tolkien's work. I pick and choose out of Unfinished Tales but I quite enjoyed Children of Hurin and Beren & Luthien. Various drafts and iterations don't interest me. I like to sink into the vast tapestry of Tolkien's vision without picking at the individual threads that comprise it. The whole is far greater to me than the sum of its parts. So now, some 35 years on from my first Tolkien experience, I'm still swimming around in his vision.
     
  8. Rána

    Rána Wayward

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    When I was in school I spent a lot of time making prints in a darkroom. I was always looking for things to listen to while I was working and my local library had a copy of the Rob Inglis Lord of the Rings audiobook. I’m certain I had at least read The Hobbit, but listening to LotR repeatedly is what really sent me tumbling down the hobbit-hole. I’ve heard it a lot more than I’ve read it, I guess it’s more of an oral tradition for me in that regard. Actually, now that I’m thinking about, I’ve read all of The Silmarillion but I don’t think I’ve read it like a book as a cover to cover. However, I’ve heard Martin Shaw try to pronounce all the names a whole lot.
     
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  9. Elostirion

    Elostirion Registered User

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    In 1973 when I was 11 another boy in my class at school told me about The Hobbit but I wasn't interested. About a year later I picked up a three volume copy of TLotR with a view to reading my first "really big book". I was utterly enthralled. Strangely I never looked at the Prologue or the Appendices for several more years; this proved to be a wonderful discovery of course and was soon followed by The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. I've totally lost count of the number of times I've read all of Professor Tolkien's histories of Arda over the years.
     
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  10. Culaeron

    Culaeron New Member

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    Like several of the others have mentioned, I discovered the books many years ago. My dad was in the Army, and we were stationed in Germany. Europe has a magic about it already, with it's ancient histories that Americans just don't get to live in the middle of. So being there had sparked a love of fantasy. I had just finished reading the Sword of Shannara, and one of my parents' friends saw the book on the table when she came to visit. Next time she came over, she had the Hobbit, the Trilogy, and the original three books of the Dragonriders of Pern. I devoured the Pern books, and then dove into the Hobbit. I think I was maybe 13 years old? 14?

    After finishing the Hobbit, I read about half of the Fellowship and then put it down, and didn't pick it back up for a few years. Around this time, my dad found a copy of Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, and I watched it over and over and over again until I knew every scene.

    During high school, the year before I left Germany (1984) I was a library aide at the school library, and discovered the Unfinished Tales, and found a copy of the 1965 editions of the trilogy (black hard cover with the eye and ring inscription in a different color on each volume). The last week of school, they had a clearing of old books and Lo and Behold! the Trilogy sat there on the shelf. Since I worked there, I had first choice before they went out on the front shelf for sale, and I grabbed them all three up. I think I paid a buck 50 for all three. The Fellowship had its fold out map, but the other two were missing theirs.

    I finished the trilogy a couple of years later and then read the Unfinished Tales in the late 80's, and that led me to attempt the Silmarillion a few years later. I made it through it, but it was a bit of a slog. Since then I've returned countless times to the Silmarillion and devoured everything I can find online about the histories, places and characters of all the books. And of course, I own the movies, although I'll admit I rarely watch them.

    Now years later, I've read them until they are falling apart, found copies of the paperbacks with the watercolor covers, worn those out long since, and now also have the special edition three volume in the black cover that has the original eye and inscription. All three sets sit proudly on a special shelf in my library, along with Unfinished Tales, Silmarillion, and the History of Middle Earth series. Also on the shelf are copies of books on the languages of Middle Earth, National Lampoon's Bored of the Rings, and more books about the Professor and his creation than I care to count (or consider the amount spent acquiring).

    I've carried it even further by spending the past eight years enjoying running around Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings Online.

    Now I'm a grandfather. My oldest grandson and his dad join me occasionally in Lord of the Rings Online, and I've bought him his own copy of the Hobbit. Who knows...maybe I'll create yet another lifelong fan in him....
     
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