Discovering Middle-earth: Part IV

The long”-ish” tale of how I began to admire and enjoy Tolkien

me

My first experience of reading ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (or anything related to Tolkien), was actually a weird one.

Since I was young, I wasn’t into reading – at all. Paragraphs longer than a few lines would send my mind drifting off to something completely different. I just couldn’t manage to concentrate on the descriptions and the wordings for longer than a few minutes.

It was such a twist for me, then, when I decided to read ‘The Silmarillion’. Naively enough, after having seen ‘The Lord of the lotr booksRings’ trilogy, I thought I knew most (if not everything) that had to do with those stories of the Third Age. So I thought that a book exclusively on events in the First Age would be fascinating to go through – again, very naive.

(On my reading experiences of ‘The Silmarillion’, you can read my earlier post here: Where to start? )

So after having gone through the first reading “hurdle” I decided to revert to the more familiar and popular stories. I managed to get a copy of ‘The Two Towers’ and decided to start reading that. I have no idea why I didn’t start with ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, but probably (as I’ve stated many times), I was looking forward mostly to read the chapter on the battle of Helm’s Deep.

THE-TWO-TOWERS-portThe writing style was significantly different from ‘The Silmarillion’ and (having quite a number of mental visuals from the film), I could easily follow what was going on.

However, the book went much deeper – weaving together the level of detail of that world together with the actions and complex motives of the characters. It felt like I was reading (and mentally imagining) a much extended (and truer) version of the film.

My interests became more intricate than the previous “battle-oriented” ones. Here was a story (at least, a third of it) with rich characters and a believable world with a sense of historical authenticity to it (one already experienced with ‘The Silmarillion’).

Naturally, I drifted back to ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, re-read ‘The Two Towers’ and finished off with ‘The Return of the King’.

By the end of it all, I felt overwhelmed (positively) at the scope of the entire book and left me wanting for more …

The rest is history (to me, of course), but I eventually got around reading ‘The Silmarillion’ a second and third time, along with ‘The Hobbit’ and various other books by and on Tolkien himself – including biographies, companion books, etc, etc …

And without initially realizing it, I had developed a passion for reading and writing – read books in general and not just fantasy oriented.lotr trilogy

Tolkien purists may or may not agree with the films, however, apart from appreciating what they are and what they tried (and managed) to achieve, they are the reason why I find myself talking about Tolkien in the first place.

And that’s as philosophical as I get!

(Book cover illustration to ‘The Two Towers’ by John Howe)

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4 thoughts on “Discovering Middle-earth: Part IV

    • I’ll admit that I can’t choose between the two – primarily since they represent two distinct types of media.

      On the one hand, the films “simplified” (in terms of their understanding) many concepts I found difficult to grasp from the books.

      But at the same time, they lacked certain important aspects which were crucial to the narrative in the books.

      So ultimately, it has to be a tie for me – I simply can’t choose! 🙂

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