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!

    • 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 🙂

    • 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 😉

    • 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!

      • 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.

    • 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 ^_^)

    • 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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