I am not going to lie. I am a Middle Earth Geek. Author J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of The Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit are arguably the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. My fascination with the enchanting, spirited, adventuresome realm of Middle Earth began after I had rented the Fellowship of the Ring movie on DVD. I was well aware of Tolkien's books but for as avid a reader as I was, I had never taken any interest to reading them. I find that very ironic in hindsight since they are so beloved to me now.
The movie completely enthralled me to say the least. I fell in love with the beauty of the Shire and the free spirited nature of the Hobbits. I was envious of their journeys through the forests and the mountains. I loved the little cottages they lived in with all the cute little rooms. I wanted my own Hobbit Cottage.
I wanted to be a Ranger just like Strider aka Aragorn. He was so knowledgeable and worldly. I wanted to swim in the waterfalls of Rivendell and lie beneath the stars on lustrous marbled balconies. I was eager to help Gandalf battle the Balrog in Moria. I wanted to ride a horse like Arwen and learn Elvish spells. I saw the goodness in Boromir as he battled his inner demons concerning the "one" ring and his father's wishes to bring it to Gondor. I was 29. Seriously? WTF? I was obviously feeling very caged in my life back then.
In fact, at that time in my life, The Lord Of The Rings sort of saved me in a sense. It was just what the doctor ordered. It opened my eyes to wanting more adventure, experiences and fun in my life....a life that had grown so very stale. Change was on the horizon. I wanted to read the books. That Christmas back in 2002, I received a beautiful box set of all four books. It was a very thoughtful gift, one of my favorites to this day.
I began reading The Hobbit on Christmas day. I finished The Return of The King on December 30th. For five days I was completely submerged in the world of Middle Earth. I barely slept. I was too entranced. I occasionally moved from my reading spot to get something to drink, use the bathroom and make sure the children were still alive but otherwise, I was burrowed under my blanket on my big grey comfy couch reading Tolkien's masterpiece.
I was so crushed to come back to reality after I finished reading the books. Within days I went to the movies to see The Two Towers since it was released right before Christmas. The anticipation of waiting a whole year to see Return of The King killed me. I must say, Peter Jackson's take on the Tolkien classics were true to the book in many aspects, not all, but many. He had to cut parts out, change the story-lines of a few other parts and move some parts around because the movies were already lengthy.
The parts he did include were so cinematically breath taking and heartfelt that you could not help but become completely lost in it all just as Tolkien had done with the written word. I do wish he would have gone a little more in depth about the beautiful romance between Eowyn and Faramir in the movies. In the movies they were more like supporting characters taking a backstage to the romance between Aragorn and Arwen. Below is a somewhat modest description of Eowyn and Faramir's romance and eventual marriage since it was only touched upon briefly but moved me so deeply.
Eowyn of Rohan was a strong, beautiful, spirited, enduring character. She had fallen in love with Aragorn, the heir of Isildur. He was very fond of Eowyn but his heart belonged to Arwen. Eowyn was an accomplished shield maiden as were many Rohanian women. She wanted to fight in the battles alongside the men she loved to defend Middle Earth. Against the wishes of her uncle, the king of Rohan, her brother Eomer, the third Marshal of Rohan and Aragorn, she disguised herself as a man and went into The Battle of Pelennor Fields. She killed the witch king defending her dying uncle. It was a feat in which no man had ever been able to do. Faramir, the second son of the Steward of Gondor and Boromir's younger brother, first saw Eowyn in the House of Healing while both were recovering from their injuries.
“And she looked at him and saw the grave tenderness in his eyes, and yet knew, for she was bred among men of war, that here was one whom no Rider of the Mark would outmatch in battle.” -Eowyn upon meeting Faramir
He was very taken with her. He began his bid to sweep her off her feet in such a beautiful, subtle, admirable way. As for Faramir, he was strong but gentle, intelligent but unconceited. He was romantic, patient, and adoring, but also perceptive and intuitive. He was a man whom people looked up to, respected and admired just as they did his older brother Boromir. He was a true alpha male, understated but commanding. People were naturally drawn to Faramir. Unlike his brother, he was able to resist the powers of the "one" ring. He was the one man that did not pale in comparison to his close friend Aragorn. In fact, in some ways, Aragorn paled in comparison to Faramir. It is why Aragorn held him in such high regard.
“For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back.” – Faramir to Eowyn
I guess it is obvious that I was completely smitten with Faramir in the book. My dream guy! Eventually Eowyn's obsession with Aragorn subsided when she unknowingly found herself falling for Faramir, the man whom remained close to her yet also kept a distance, allowing her to work through her emotions. She realized he was the true love of her life. They had both endured such troubles in their lives.
Only he could tame her wild spirit and open her eyes to all she was truly capable of. Only he could truly understand the depth of her soul and she his. In other words, they really got each other. They married and she became his queen. So sweet, I know. David Wenham, plays Faramir in the movies. I became even more smitten with him because not only was he handsome but he played the part so true to Tokien's written character. I decided I wanted to leave my husband for Faramir. He found that amusing. I was dead serious. Too bad he wasn't real.
Anyway, my daughter was the one that eventually took the bait when one night, two years ago, she sat and watched the movies on TNT while I was in the room. Not always a good idea to watch LOTR for the first time when I am in the room since my goofball commentary is also present in the room. I made her laugh a lot but I could also tell how drawn to the movies she was as well.
She had become a LOTR junkie just like her mother. In fact, I even offered to let her read "my precious" books. It angers me a little that she has not read the books yet. I understand she is a college student and has to read a lot for school but in order to be accepted into" the fellowship" which is currently only one member strong (that would be me), she must read the books. (Hey, it's my fellowship, my rules.)
I do not have much money so try I be creative and fun with my kids birthdays. Day trips to NYC and other places are a big thing. Trying new things is also something fun and creative to do. Quality time with my kids having little adventures are the stuff great birthday memories are made of in this family. They are older so the whole traditional party thing has been over since junior high anyway.
Neither one of us had ever been to a midnight premiere before. This could be something fun and different to do for her birthday. I have witnessed so many people incredibly excited for the release of a movie that they were willing to forgo sleep just to see it at midnight. I admit, for the first time ever I shared this same excitement for The Hobbit. I knew going to work the next day was going to be tough but I felt up to the task. I purchased two tickets for the 3D version of The Hobbit a week before the premiere. My daughter is a night owl so her being awake was not an issue. My getting sleep before the movie was going to be the real issue because I too am a night owl, although reluctantly, in my old age.
The day of the midnight showing I went home from work and immediately fell asleep which was not hard to do because work drains me now a days. It is so incredibly busy. I had hoped to sleep until eight or nine since I did not have to take my daughter to school at 5:30. Yea, that didn't happen. I was up and wide awake at 6 PM. I just laid there hoping to fall back to sleep. It's funny how the more you hope for something the less attainable it becomes. Sleep eluded me for the rest of the evening. Finally around 11:20 PM we headed out into the cold night air. Middle Earth was beckoning us.
We arrived at the theater expecting it to be really busy. Surprisingly it wasn't. We were 30 minutes early though. We walked briskly through the chilly night air into the theater. Inside we saw people wearing LOTR costumes in the lobby. I noticed the giant Gandalf man right away. He was wearing a T-Shirt under his robe. Gandalf doesn't wear T-Shirts I think to myself.
I started cracking up when I saw the Hobbit man with hairy feet. I thought people only played dress up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Guess I was wrong. We got our kiddie packs of popcorn complete with a mini fruit snack and little soda and proceeded to walk right past the theater. This is mostly because I was so proud I made it ten feet from the counter without dropping one piece of popcorn. The things that amuse me.... so strange sometimes.
My daughter diverted my focus and directed me to the correct theater. It was sort of crowded but there were still great seats to be had. We sat in the middle of the theater on the right hand side. All of a sudden I became horrified. I had been limited to only wearing my glasses since I scratched my cornea when removing my contact the Saturday before. That resulted in my having to go to the ER. It was my first trip to the ER in almost ten years. My eye was still healing. I bought tickets to the 3D movie. How am I going to wear the 3D glasses and see the movie? My daughter senses my distress and asked what had me so perplexed.
Finally she said, "Mom, just put them on." As soon as she said it I became even more disturbed. Oh my god! I have become my father. And my daughter sounds just like me when I am talking to my father. Not good! I shut up and put the glasses on. They did fit over my glasses just like she said they would.
I was so happy when the movie started. I loved the deafening surround sound and the gargantuan movie screen. Too bad movies are so much money anymore. I need to go more often. Watching them on TV just doesn't compare, especially action movies.
I am not going to spoil too much of The Hobbit for those who want to see it. Let's just say it was pretty awesome. I am glad the glasses fit because it was incredible to watch it in 3D. I loved seeing Radagast (the brown wizard) in the movie. He is a nature wizard, a lover of plants and animals. His bunny sled of Rhosgobel Rabbits are freakin awesome and watching him nurse a little hedgehog back to life is one of my favorite parts of the movie. So cute!
I am not going to lie though, as excited as I was to see the movie, 150 minutes into the movie, I found myself nodding off. My eyes were starting to hurt from lack of sleep. I had originally planned to drop my daughter off at home and go straight to work to get some overtime but it became evident that if I did not try to squeeze in an hour's sleep, the day was going to be very agonizing for me.
I was thankful when the movie ended at 3:00 AM. That gave me a chance to get 60-90 minutes of sleep. As we walked to the car I felt somewhat confused by then ending. At the time I was not aware there would be three films and I was a little pissed by the ending. It wasn't until I was at work that a co-worker informed me there were going to be three parts just like LOTR.
"Good." I tell him. I would be so mad if that was how they ended it. I began to wonder if Peter Jackson may take some parts he originally omitted from LOTR and figure out a way to incorporate them into The Hobbit. That would be sweet! Guess we will have to wait and see.
Surprisingly the work day goes well for me. I don't eat too heavy because I know it will make me want to collapse in a pile under a random desk and take a nap. That would be frowned upon by the establishment. It also helps that I only worked partly in the dock office, then broke up the rest of the day by also doing scheduling and safety training.
In fact, I felt so good when I go home that I stayed awake. No nap. Crazy right? My son always says if I got paid for napping we would be rich. Back in the day this would be a walk in the park for me. I've done it a hundred times. Not anymore. However, it was a lot of fun going to a midnight premiere with my daughter. Think I just may see the other two parts of The Hobbit at midnight too. I can't wait!!