Is it just me … or are you like me? Speak Out!

Doodle 4

I’ve been writing on this blog for a while now, blabbing and rambling about everything Tolkien and anything that comes close in connection.

But now I’m wondering whether you’re like me …Β Is anyone else (dare I use the word) “obsessive” about Tolkien?

Do you find yourself (on a daily basis) thinking of particular quotes, pieces of dialogue from the films, a visual image of Middle-earth, singing a snippet of a song … ?

I do all those things. Daily. It’s just the sort of thing that helps me along through the day.

But then sometimes, I end up having entire discussions with myself about a particular aspect from one of Tolkien’sDoodle 2 stories. An internal debate ensues which sees me trying to understand why I liked or didn’t like a particular scene from The Hobbit … or simply wishing that The Silmarillion was much broader and detailed than it already is (creating a mental “fan-fiction” with all sorts of what ifs).

Not to mention the many times I’ve tried to reason out ever-popular Tolkien issues such as: Are orcs immortal? Do Balrogs have wings? Who is Tom Bombadil? Was Smaug a deserter from Angband? Are goblins and orcs really the same thing? … etc … etc

Doodle 1

**I also wonder why I keep doing these atrocious stick figures to accompany my descriptions …**

I find myself constantly going through quotes and passages in my head about a specific subject, not to mention day-dreaming.

Doodle 3Sounds crazy I know. But somehow, it feels really stimulating – all the more when those thoughts transform themselves into words and end up as a post on this blog.

In summary, this post is directed to you dear readers (as all posts are in the end, but this is a special case). Am I the only one in this current state of mind?

I’m sure there are many Tolkien fanatics and Ringers, but to this level?

And if you’re one of these, I’d really much like to hear about your own experiences; plus, any specific topics you’d like to see discussed here and most certainly if you’d like to contribute an article of your own! πŸ™‚

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48 thoughts on “Is it just me … or are you like me? Speak Out!

  1. I’m not a Ringer to your caliber, but I do have a large fondness for the old prof. One issue I’d love to see discussed is Galadriel and Celeborn’s daughter – Celebrian. I wish there was more information on her. I don’t know why, but she’s always fascinated me.

    • *jots down the words “Topic: Celebrian” on his notepad* – that really is a fascinating topic.

      Indeed, sometimes, the more mysterious the place/character/event, the more intriguing it is to write something about it πŸ™‚ Many thanks!

  2. You’re definitely not alone. I, too, obsess over Tolkien daily. I loved reading this post, makes me feel like there is a Fellowship of the Blogosphere. Or something. Anyhow, keep on Tolkienizing. πŸ™‚

  3. No James you are absolutely NOT alone in this. I remember a few years back I told one of my friends that i self-diagnosed myself with OTS (Obsessive Tolkien Syndrome) to which he was not amused. For example it took me over an hour last night to fall asleep because I was trying to think of why Tolkien used the word “Legion” to describe Orc army units rather than another word. Legion is traditionally used to describe Roman army units of about 4800-5000 men.

    Today during class, when I should have been paying attention. I was wondering how long it took orcs/Sauron to forge his armour and if it was poured into a mould or if it was hammer forged and what type of metal, carbon steel, titanium alloy. Really weird thoughts.

    My original intention of my blog was not to constantly talk about Tolkien related ideas but it seems more difficult as time passes to think of anything but these ideas.

    • Hmmm … Obsessive Tolkien Syndrome – I’m liking the sound of that!

      Indeed, I also wasn’t sure whether I’d find much to say on the blog after a while, but stuff just keeps popping in my head!

      • it seems this OTS is synonymous with inspiration. perhaps the prognosis is more posts and more followers. I am actually happy you posted this, I have never knew anyone who actually contemplates Tolkien semantics and hypotheticals on a daily basis. I am grateful to know that I am not alone in this. I must say however that it is a real irritant at night, especially when I have to get up early the next morning. But it seems my mind wont let me rest until I have reached some sort of semblance of an answer.

  4. Reblogged this on The Leather Library and commented:
    WordPresses official Tolkienist has finally provided us with the doctors note to describe how all us Tolkienist’s feel yet are not willing to talk about in public very often. I have tried to douse my thoughts with other topics however somehow my mind melds those topics together to create a super-Tolkien topic in my mind. I guess you and me both will have to live with OTS for the rest of our lives. πŸ™‚

  5. No, you are not alone. I do most of the same things, usually daily (Maybe I need to stop wearing my replica of the One Ring?)… πŸ˜‰

    I’m thankful for your blog, as I’m the biggest “Ringer” / OTS victim (I love it!) I know personally. I love the sense of community here.

    As far as future topics, I have a few to consider (and would be happy to help research!):
    1. Why is so little written (comparatively) about the stories of Numenor in the Second Age (specifically, part 2 of Unfinished Tales)? I think it’s one of the most interesting stories Tolkien ever told, especially as it relates to understanding Aragorn’s motivations and back story.
    2. How did Tolkien’s Roman Catholic faith inform his cosmology of Middle Earth (i.e., Dwarves, Hobbits, etc. do not have immortal souls as men do); and conversely, what aspects of Tolkien’s cosmology are in contrast to his faith?
    3. Is there any Tolkien fan fiction out there that’s actually worth reading?

    • Hello Casey! Many thanks for your lovely comments … Brilliant topic suggestions as well! Will be in contact soon to discuss possible articles for the blog based on your ideas (unless you’ve already got a written article at hand πŸ˜‰ ) … Again, many thanks!

      • Cool, thanks! I don’t have any articles ready to hand, though I’d happy to write one (though, not until after Easter – I’m a pastor with a crazy speaking schedule until then). That said, I just thought of another interesting Tolkien thread to pull on a few days ago. I’ve been simultaneously rereading LOTR (I’ve lost count how many times) and The Complete Tolkien Companion by J. E. A. Tyler and Kevin Reilly. I happened to read the article on Cirdan the Shipwright about the same time that I read the Council of Elrond in the Fellowship of the Ring. Here’s my question: WHY does Elrond get all the mad props, and not Cirdan? He’s WAY, WAY “older” than Elrond, and in terms of what he’s experienced, ranks right up there with Galadriel. Yet, Elrond is nearly always described as one of the wisest, most venerable lords of Middle-Earth (moreso than Cirdan, certainly). I realize Tolkien must have seen a more central role for Elrond (being descended from Beren and Luthien certainly matters), but it is fascinating to me why Cirdan always seems to be a character in the periphery. Just thought it might trigger an OTS outbreak for you too. πŸ˜‰

      • Hey Casey! Many thanks for your input once again πŸ™‚

        Keep me informed if you have anything to offer as an article.

        Re: Cirdan, there was actually a very, very long article (some 20,000 words) written about this character – delving into his history and how ultimately, he was the most important elf during the First, Second and Third Ages.

        A truly wonderful article written and posted by another blogger – but unfortunately, the page seems to have been deleted.

        If I manage to find out its whereabouts, I’ll definitely share it here πŸ™‚

    • Definitely. I think it would be quite difficult to attempt to write as Tolkien did – but I’m sure his inspiration provides “fuel” to many aspiring writers πŸ™‚

  6. Actually, yes. I don’t do the stick figures very often, but when I do, I draw little clouds of them all dancing and playing stick-musical instruments. I am ever bit the Tolkien fanatic you are, I even joined a Facebook reading group just so I could have more people to talk about Tolkien with.

    This is in all seriousness – I would like to find as many Tolkienists as possible and get to know them. I am willing to work together on this if you like, so, don’t be bashful about dropping links to them on my comments threads as you find them.

    @All you other fanatics on this thread, I’ll come back and check out your blogs from the links here next time I have an hour to browse. If you’d like to get my attention, just drop a link to your blog on one of my threads and say “Hi, fellow Tolkienist!” Any thread will do, I don’t mind and neither will anyone else who contributes to my blog, but this one seems particularly appropriate, because the only comments on it are pingbacks to my Tolkien posts http://sourcererblog.wordpress.com/geneo-the-blogger/tolkien-bibliography/

  7. In regards to the text – on a daily basis, I’m not sure. I read The Hobbit again just last year, prior to the films’ release. But in the visual and aural, yes. Any Tolkien reference seen or heard makes me happy. In reference to the movies, a piece of Shore’s music can still send me emotionally reeling. Quotes/quoting still brings a smile (or starts a conversation), especially when repeated by someone much younger than me who is very new to it. And I am extremely fond of listening to Tolkien read passages himself – very much! And then there are certain…um…actor’s voices that may never transcend that of a Tolkien character they have played, even as they move on to other characters as actors. So I guess I am pretty smitten with Tolkien. I am certainly not at your level – I’m not scholarly in the least – but the love is there and has been for a very long time.

  8. No, you’re not alone. I often feel the exact same way! Reading this post is actually quite comforting, now I know I’m not the only one with the so called “OTS”. πŸ™‚

  9. I am exactly the same. I walk around thinking about middle earth all day, I think of scenes from the movies and get chills, I sing songs from the book or the movies all the time, haha!
    I have a Tolkien tattoo and I plan on getting a portrait of Tolkien either on my leg or arm.
    So, you are not alone! πŸ˜€

  10. Once I was so uninterested in what was going on in my English class, I recreated an entire battle between Orcs and Elves on the floor in front of me. I think it may have been a part of the Nirnaeth. That bloodshed was more engaging than the dead talking that was going on!

  11. Oh, I am very much like that. I spend a lot of time thinking about LOTR and re-reading the books. I even have a LOTR Pandora station . . . it’s that scary. Glad I’m not the only one.

    Please keep up the blog. I like how you find obscure works to discuss. Most of us are familiar with the same information so your research is informative to say the least.

  12. You’re definitely not alone! I’m from Portugal and I’m also a Tolkien addicted. Not with a collection like yours but it’s growing (last one was The Children of HΓΊrin – since I have now the original and the translated to Portuguese).
    I would love to see more “insides” of some editions – for exemple, The Maps of Middle Earth from Sibley and Howe or The Road Goes Ever On by Tolkien and Swann!
    Just one last remark: do you know the documentary “J.R.R.T.: A Film Portrait of J.R.R. Tolkien”? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0297196/ That’s were CT and other sons are interviewed with other amazing material!

    • Hey Roger, many thanks for the comment! Sorry for the late reply, only just realised I was missing a reply (since I try to answer to everyone).

      As to the documentary, yes I have seen it. I too believe it is an extraordinary insight into how JRR Tolkien approached his mythology. Absolutely wonderful stuff! πŸ™‚

  13. Uh, heck yes. I collect everything Tolkien I can find! I get biographies, short stories, letters, and poems and pretty much anything else that comes through my used bookstore feeds. I read the Silmarillion occasionally (once every two or three months-ish) and I love all the subtleties of the stories. Definitely there should be more pondering of Tolkienese. After watching the Fellowship of the Ring last night, I wondered what EXACTLY could make a breed of Uruk-Hai so strong and intelligent, why it hadn’t been tried before, and what other possible combinations could be made, as well as the intricacies of Nazgul regeneration. (How the heck do they come back and where do they appear? In their tombs? In a respawn point? ((lol)) I dunno.) But yes. I love Tolkien.

    • Hey kkrider, thanks for the comment.

      I was immediately struck by your statement when you said that you “read the Silmarillion occasionally” … every two or three months-ish is quite frequent! But I agree, it’s still wonderful no matter how many times you read it – and you still end up discovering new things. The beauty of Tolkien.

      It’s good to know there are others who share the same thoughts on this author as I do πŸ™‚

  14. I am obsessive about Tolkien in heart and mind – though not in action! I have actually been having a bad consciousnce over the fact that I put to little of my time towards engaging myself in all things Tolkien. Oh, and that has been going on for 10 years.

    I am slightly embarassed to only have read LOTR three times in 15 years. Once every fifth year isn’t very often. The Silmarillion I have only read twice, once when I was 11 and once when I was 20 or 21. The Hobbit I might have read three or four times. The rest of the Tolkien literature I own I’ve read once (except for the History of Middle Earth and Beowulf, which I obtained this january).

    There is a reason why I have not engaged more, that is because I find so much else enjoyable as well. have not been able to balance is out, I am still struggling with this. The past 4,5 years I have read mainly academic literature (though, since I’m studying archaeology I hope that have valuable insight into the historical sources and myths that Tolkien have drawn inspiration from).

    I do not think about quotes (I’m terrible at remembering exact lines anyway), creatures and Arda-contexts on a daily basis. However, I do have the LOTR films and extras as being so grown into my mind that they pose like a basis of reflection on a lot of things I suppose. I’m more of a visual person so a lot of the images of the films come into head on a regular basis! πŸ™‚

    • Hello Lisa! Thanks so much for your comments and welcome to the blog πŸ™‚

      It’s always great to meet other like-minded people who love Tolkien (and the films!).

      There’s nothing to be embarrassed about your lack of reading. Ever since I started a new job – almost a year ago – my life pattern seems to have changed drastically and I haven’t picked up a Tolkien book to read in quite a while.

      It’s certainly nothing to do with lack of interest: the passion and the desire to read is always there! Time, time is the problem!

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us; and I see you have a blog of your own πŸ˜‰ Fantastic work! **presses the ‘Follow’ button**

      I have limited experience in blogging myself, but if you ever require any help be sure to give me a heads up πŸ˜€

      • Thank you very much! I saw that you also mentioned my blog in twitter, which is very welcome since the most difficult part is to “get it out there” and actually draw people to it in the first period. πŸ™‚

      • You’re welcome! It is somewhat challenging to introduce something new to people and get their attention. I set out this blog with the primary intention to please myself. But lo and behold, others seemed to gain interest – yet, it took a while. Patience is everything πŸ™‚

      • Exactly! I mainly write for myself and to enhance my reading experience but it is a lot of fun if others join in as well. πŸ™‚

  15. i’ve been told i’m part Hobbit (sans the hairiness and girth), and have Elvish features. so i am definitely one of you guys. πŸ™‚

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