I had a post about Sherlock’s Irene Adler all written up and ready to go for today—it’ll go up sometime in January, while I’m out of the country. But I’ve been having an emotional past few days. You see, I’ve been floating on a cloud of nostalgia, made keener by the fact that I was a lone Ringer at the time. I am, of course, referring to the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which occurred ten years ago tomorrow in the United States. The differing release dates between the UK and the US has meant it’s basically been a week of photos, quotes, and videos pouring into my RSS Feed from various sources, topped with the TORn party threads over at the forums, where I’ve been learning about the fandom before I ever stumbled into it. In short, it’s been glorious, and this is a The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring appreciation post.
I’m not sure at what point I was aware of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings. I remember reading The Hobbit for school in fifth grade, which was the same year The Fellowship of the Ring came out, and I think I made my first attempt at reading The Lord of the Rings that year (with this edition!). So I think the film may have actually come first for me, which I went to go see with my brother and my dad, if I recall correctly. (I assume, since I went to go see the rest of the films with them. They told me The Two Towers was going to be Maid in Manhattan, but that’s for next year, I suppose!) I don’t recall a trailer (although I do remember the old logo) or anything like that. My brother and I bonded over The Legend of Zelda (well, he played, I watched), so he probably thought it was a good way for all three of us to enjoy ourselves at the movies. Essentially, I went in blind.
And came out with my eyes wide open. Obviously, I didn’t appreciate everything about it immediately—I was ten, and it would be another four or five years before I grew out of being a spiteful little gremlin. But I remember sitting there in the theater, squashed low into my seat, and being awestruck to my core by the Moria sequence. Then, I didn’t know why; today, I do—the sheer scope of the hallways (I love high ceilings), Howard Shore’s beautiful score, and the sheer attention to detail that pervaded the entire project. But even then, I could tell this was different, even as I marveled at Legolas’ resemblance to Link. For a lot of kids at the time and definitely the girls who made up the majority of my friends at the time, it captured our imaginations utterly. We tried to learn Elvish, we swooned over Legolas, and were introduced to fandom (if we hadn’t been already introduced to it by Harry Potter). For some, it was a preteen fandom, abandoned after the films stopped and returned to from time to time. For others and definitely for me, it was the beginning of a lifelong love for an amazing story.
So thanks, Peter Jackson, for introducing me with a bang to one of my touchstones and bringing Tolkien’s masterpiece to the silver screen with the attention and care it deserved. (Not that they’re completely perfect, mind you, but they’re pretty close.) And happy tenth anniversary to the film that started it all.
I’m home for the holidays this week! My finals went well, and I’ve been settling in and purging my wardrobe. I’ll worry about packing for Ireland next—I only have a week and a half before we go! Eek! I’ve immediately rented several books from the local library at home—I’ve currently got Songs of Love and Death (which I finished yesterday), The History of White People, The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Poker Bride, Far from Xanadu, and Under the Poppy. I somehow believe I’ll knock them all out in a week and a half. I’m funny like that. I’m also going to try and see Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows today, but we’ll see how that goes…
Tor.com is giving away three A Wrinkle in Time tote bags until Tuesday. Orbit Books is giving away five bundles of advanced review copies until January 12th. The Baen Free Library is full of free downloads, including The Shadow of the Lion and On Basilisk Station. Night Shade Books is offering Butcher Bird and Grey as free downloads at the moment. Vertigo Comics is offering free downloads of the first issue of several series, including Fables, The Unwritten, and Y: The Last Man. (And you will go download The Unwritten.) Small Beer Press offers several of their books as free downloads, including Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners. If I’ve missed your giveaway or freebie, drop me a line!
Did you see The Fellowship of the Ring when it came out in theaters?