I just picked up the extended edition Blu-ray LOTR last night, and I am a very happy woman right now. I first became aware of JRR Tolkien in the 5th grade. My very favorite teacher Mrs. Chandler had us read The Hobbit as a class project, and I was hooked. I then read LOTR in 6th grade along with Frank Herbert’s classic Dune. Heavy reading for an 11 year old, but I really am a bookworm (I could read by the time I was 3).
I remember thinking when I read Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that it would be beyond wicked awesome if these could ever be put on film. But this was beyond the technology available in 1972; so I had to content myself with imagination and at least annual re-reads of the series. As I’m sure many, many of us did. (including Peter Jackson).
I began hearing rumors in 1998 that Jackson had begun production or filming of the trilogy and I was beyond excited. I kept an ear out for any news, and about had a heart attack when the Fellowship trailer came out. I remember sitting in the theater with several hundred others and being speechless with awe at the scope, vision and beautiful sfx of the first movie. People – including me – were standing and clapping at the end. Happy, and sad we had to wait another year, and another still, before seeing the complete series.
Which Peter Jackson got right, every step of the way. I only wish Tom Bombadil could have been included in the first movie. These works speak to me of integrity, sacrifice, selflessness, loyalty, commitment & the unbreakable bonds of friendship. Doing the right things despite the difficulties and the high personal costs. In short – all that is best and brightest about genus homo sapiens. A story that resonates, in any time period.
Sam: It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for. ~ LOTR: The Two Towers
Frodo: We set out to save the Shire, Sam. And it has been saved – but not for me. ~ LOTR Return of the King
I remember going to see the final film, Return of the King, by myself one afternoon in December 2003. Who should be sitting in the row in front of me? If you guessed my 5th grade teacher Mrs Chandler (who I can’t bring myself to call by her first name even though I have her permission to) you’d be correct. I sort of came full circle at that point. It was great to see her, and I mentioned to her that she was responsible for my butt being in the theater seat, and for igniting my lifelong love for and addiction to the sci-fi and high fantasy genres. Thank you Mrs Chandler, for introducing me to some of the greatest stories ever written; and thank you Peter Jackson, for bringing these to life on screen so brilliantly!
- The Lord of the Rings Characters Then and Now (techeblog.com)
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Blu-Ray: $49 (ritholtz.com)
- LORD OF THE RINGS Family Tree (geektyrant.com)
- Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson’s Latest Video Diary From The Hobbit Set (eonline.com)
- Lord of the Rings fans finally get a Hobbit trailer (geek.com)