Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Lord of the Rings

Since I am going to go see The Hobbit this weekend (I'm extremely excited!), it seems appropriate that I talk about the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  

I was first introduced to The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring when I was little.  I thought of it as one of the "grown-up movies" I liked to watch.  Some of the other grown-up movies that I enjoyed watching were The Sound of Music, Pride and Prejudice (1995), The 39 Steps, and The Lady Vanishes.  There were two certain scenes in The Fellowship of the Ring that were particularly frightening to me, but all I would have to do was cover my ears and hide behind a pillow.  That would usually do the trick.  Sometimes, if I were ever afraid of a scene in a movie, I would run out of the room, and come back when it was over.  At other times, I would fast forward through it, while closing my eyes, or get someone else to fast forward it for me.  I used to call fast forward "rewind".  I don't know why, perhaps it was because it was easier to say.  I still say rewind instead of fast forward by mistake every now and then.  Whenever I try to say fast forward, I end up saying "rewi - fast forward".  

Anyhow, The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring is one of my top favorite films.  I loved it when I was little, and I love it now.  I love it for the atmosphere, the scenery, the characters, and most of all, the story.  The special effects are also very impressive.  They're still impressive, even though The Fellowship of the Ring came out in 2001.  Gollum still looks real to me.  Peter Jackson did an amazing job of capturing in sweeping shots, New Zealand's grand scenery.  The music is beautiful as well, and seems to hold the spirit and personality of the story by J. R. R. Tolkien.  From the Shire to Rivendell, this film is visually stunning.

The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers are, in my eyes, amazing films, but there is something more profound about The Return of the King.  Towards the end of The Return of the King, the characters reach a heightened emotional state.  The Return of the King is a film that brings me to tears.  The ending is the moment that makes me cry.  It is an extremely emotional and heart-felt ending.  And I'm not someone who cries that easily.  Still, the ending of The Return of the King manages to bring me to tears every time I watch it.

When Frodo turns to smile at Sam as a final goodbye, it's as if we see a glimpse of the innocence he had before everything was changed.  We're reminded of the beginning of the first film, when the characters' lives, at least the hobbits', were more simple and more pure.  To me, it's a heart-wrenching bittersweet ending, yet it doesn't leave me feeling empty.   

I will watch The Lord of the Rings again, again, and again.  And I hope I will love The Hobbit just as much!  I know I will, especially since Richard Armitage, one of my favorite actors, is Thorin Oakenshield!  I can't wait to see it!  That is, if the world doesn't end on Friday.  Hopefully the world will live to see past December 21st. ;)

Oh, and I forgot to mention who my favorite Lord of the Rings character is.  I love nearly all of the characters, but I especially love Samwise Gamgee and of course, Gandalf.  Every moment Gandalf is on screen is memorable, but one of my absolute favorites is when he says, "Is it secret, is it safe?!"  That moment sends chills down my spine.  It's so intense, and immediately it sets the dark mood the film is about to take on.  There is so much atmosphere in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And because atmosphere is my favorite aspect of film, or books, or anything really, it wasn't hard for me to like this trilogy.  Many of my favorite quotes from The Lord of the Rings come from Sam.  He is a very important and lovable character.  He has so much personality.  When I was little, my favorite character was Arwen Undómiel.  I remember thinking she was so cool, and I still think she's pretty cool.  I was always interested in warrior-like female characters as a kid.  That was probably why Mulan was my favorite Disney movie.  I looked up to her and wanted to be able to fight like her.  I would try to imitate her kung fu moves, and act tough.  This inner desire I had to act tough must have lead me to being a tomboy when I was in the third grade.  During third grade, I was only friends with boys, and played sports with them during lunch.  By fourth grade, a group of girls converted me, turning me from a tomboy into a girly girl.  Well, not exactly.  I'm not a tomboy anymore, but I'm not really girly either.  At least not that girly.  When I was nine years old, my family and I went to Ireland to visit my cousins.  I ended up spending more time with my boy cousins than with my girl cousins.  I felt guilty for doing this, though.  My aunts must have told my girl cousins that I was about their age and that we would spend time with each other.  They must have been disappointed, and perhaps a little lonely when I watched Star Wars with the boys rather than play with them.   

My admiration of Arwen was similar to my admiration of Mulan.  I admired her skills at horse back riding, her bravery, her spiritual strength, and her pretty black hair.  She was practically my hero.  I used to rewind and watch the scene in which she's riding away with Frodo, trying to get away from the black riders, over and over again.  

The part where she speaks Elvish always gives me chills!  The elvish language is so cool!  I always found it fascinating that J. R. R. Tolkien made up an entire language for his books.  I once met a Lord of the Rings fan who knew Elvish.  She had taught herself Elvish, and could both read and speak it.  I wish I could know Elvish too!  Perhaps someday I'll teach it to myself, though I must continue learning Gaelic first.  I have a lot to work on.  Gaelic is a beautiful language.  German, Hebrew, and Gaelic are three of my most favorite languages.    

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