Cinematic Middle-earth Syndrome

– or the CMeS issue …

It’s a quiet Saturday evening and instead of heading out, you decide to stay in and watch a good film.

Admit it. We’ve all been there; me, more often than most people. 🙂

For us Middle-earth enthusiasts, “watching a good film” means reaching towards our The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings DVD sets and simply “picking up a thread” from any part of that wonderful story.

But is it really that simple?

That is what I am currently faced with today. Right here, right now.

I had in mind to continue my The Lord of the Rings Trilogy run by proceeding forward with The Two Towers. But upon further thought, I realized I have a total of 5 Middle-earth films at my Collection DVDsdisposal.

A choice between them seems impossible.

Now when There and Back... uhm, sry – I mean, when The Battle of the Five Armies comes out, it’ll be an even bigger problem! 😉

With six films to choose from, it’ll make decisions that much harder to carry out …

Thus, though no doubt experienced by thousands of fans worldwide, no one has every identified the cause with a name.

So henceforth, let it here be stated that in 2014, A Tolkienist’s Perspective coined the term CMeS (or Cinematic Middle-earth Syndrome) for such circumstances.

Definite cure for it? A simple TV/DVD set, and a dose of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Making a choice is the hardest stage. Just go for it and pick one. To avoid this, a back-to-back marathon is strongly suggested (if you have the time and energy to do so).

As for me, I’m off to see An Unexpected Journey … no wait, I think I’ll re-watch The Desolation of Smaug … but, but I also feel like re-visiting Ithilien … and, and, Gondor … aaah!

17 thoughts on “Cinematic Middle-earth Syndrome

  1. I am happy to admit that I too suffer from CMeS. Between the movies themselves plus all the additional footage in the appendices adds to the burden of those suffering form CMeS.

    Love the term!

    1. I’m delighted to see someone else with CMeS 🙂 and yes, the appendices and behind the scenes features are a whole new problem in themselves!

  2. I can see why you have a hard time. However I have never faced this personally. I have to watch everything from the beginning. I have Middle-Earth OCD. Everything has to be done in order or I will feel rebellious. I have never watched a Middle-Earth film out of order, and I dont really plan to.

    However I do know many friends who enjoy watching only particulars. For example they always like to watch either the TT or the RotK and skip the first all together. I consider that blasphemy. But this is because since I was younger I always considered the films/books to be one large book/movie and It never made sense to me to start a book/movie half way through.

    But this is just the compulsive side of me 🙂

    1. Steven, I have to agree with you here. I’m also slightly OCD-ish in that respect.

      I actually do try to follow chronologically. If I decide to watch the whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy, then I’d say to myself: “Okay, today I’ll watch FOTR, next week TTT and the following weekend ROTK.”

      But sometimes, I feel like a TTT viewing experience and simply jump forward to that film – without worrying about having skipped FOTR. After all I know what happens 😉

    2. It’s the same with me. Right now, though I want to skip to the LotR books, I’m reading through chronologically with the Silmarillion, History of M-E books, The Hobbit, and finally Lord of the Rings. I just can’t skip around!

      1. Hey Anaria 🙂 – yes, when it comes to the books, I admit I have a strict sense of chronology … so you are definitely not alone!

  3. I am not ashamed to only watch the bits I consider especially worthwhile. This applies to all movies. Why not fast forward to the epic battle or nice landscape shot. I guess it is especially true when confronted with good 10 hours of material.

    1. Heh, whilst I’ve occasionally popped in one of the dvds to watch a particular scene, once I decide to watch the whole film, I just let it play and simply let my mind wander through scene after scene 🙂

  4. I never have this problem. When I think of Middle- Earth, I’ll always go for LOTR. Always!! The LOTR trilogy is in a class of its own, and will be for the next 50, 100, 500 etc years. Speaking of which, I think it’s time to embark on my 2nd LOTR marathon this year.

  5. Actually pretty simple: I’ll watch them all ^_^ In a chronological order, that way I can really appreciate story development. Also marathon gives you a total immersion and a flow experience. I only do it once a year though, because you’ll need a whole free day for a trip through Middle Earth. Even better way, go for an extended version LOTR marathon in a cinema – I went once, it was magical. As for appendixes, I watch them at random, while cooking dinner or doing anything else I have to do at home ( because why would I waste my time on TV program, when I can get inspired by Tolkien, PJ and the cast ^_^)

    1. Heya! 🙂 Watching them at once would really be the best idea, if I had the time!

      I’ve been wanting to see the LoTR EEs at the cinema, but unfortunately, I was nowhere near the places/countries when they had organized them (some 2 years ago?).

      And you’re perfectly right; I’m realizing how very few interesting programmes there are on TV. When that happens, I switch to “Middle-earth mode”! 😀

      Thanks for sharing!

  6. I only pick between LOTR and Hobbit! If I go for LOTR I watch Fellowship first, then the next evening I continue with Towers and the day after I go for Return of the King.

    I know that next time I sit down to a Middle Earth film it will be DOS EE, because I have only seen the EE once so far (trying to get my mum tto watch it with me, because she has only seen the first Hobbit film yet),

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