My sister and I spent the afternoon on Thursday in Middle Earth. We were viewing The Hobbit, the 1st of 3 planned representations by Peter Jackson of J. R. R. Tolkien‘s epic fantasy. It was fabulous. It didn’t seem three hours long. We were so enthralled it was a surprise when the credits rolled to realize we were again two women over 50 who had been sitting too long and now had to rise and walk. (Those creaky, bone popping moments aside…) There were times when I would have preferred less of the Orc-goblin-gore on the screen.
My sister Sherri, and I, both know the story well enough, even a decade or two since we’ve last read it, that we noticed the slight cinematic variations from the original text written in 1937. But we were okay with them as they enhanced the movie and connections to the continuing epic. We really were transported through time and space to an amazing journey. We were within the story.
My favorite part was seeing Rivendell. It was exactly like, yet so much better than, my memories as imagined by the text. I had read the whole set – from The Hobbit through The Return of the King – at least seven times before the first movie was made.
I read it from page one – through the Silmarilian – during the last trimester of pregnancy for all four of my girls. Ha. Now they know what their mom did prior to their birth. I went to Middle Earth! Galadriel is/was the female role model of grace, wisdom, patience, and power, that I focused on prior to the birth of my daughters. Maybe that’s why my girls are all such awesome women.
J. R. R. Tolkien did not have a lot of women in his stories but the few he portrayed were fascinating; Galadriel, Lady Arwen, Goldberry, Eowyn, and Belladonna Took.
Yet, there is the unknown fate of The Entwives who were rumored to be part of the crotchety Old Forest bordering The Shire. Smeagol’s grandmother wasn’t a nurturing woman, and Shelob was female, so Tolkien did portray another side of feminine wiles.
Hmmm, I may be facing a marathon of reading Tolkien’s works. Some stories really survive the test of time.