2018 Tolkien Blog Party Tag

It's that time again, guys!  Hamlette's annual Tolkien party has begun; she posted the tag a couple of days ago.  And thank goodness, because at random times over the past week I'd started getting antsy for the party to start; and wondering about the questions like,

But anyway. ;)  Here are my answers!

1. What's your favorite Middle-earth story/book?
I thiiiiink it's Return of the King.  But I also really really love The Fellowship of the Ring, so it's difficult.  Also, the Valaquenta and the Ainulindale from The Silmarillion make me feel things™.

2. Do you have a favorite subplot?
Oooh, tough one.  I love the subplots of the various romances.  I like the subplot (in the movie) of Pippin's and Gandalf's relationship development.  But, if this counts, I guess I'll go with Tom Bombadil and especially Goldberry in the Withywindle Valley?  I LOVE that part of the Fellowship book now (even though I skimmed it the first time I read the books because I'm one of those infidels who watched the movies before reading the books and still doesn't really mind the changes they make in the movies).  Mostly, that's due to Craig Bernthal's very thorough treatment of it in his book (I'll talk about that book in a moment) and to a more thorough reread on my own part, which allowed me to really soak in all the gorgeous beauty and refreshment and depth in that passage.

3. What's your favorite theme in Tolkien's books? (Can be in one specific story, or overall.)
Reading Craig Bernthal's Tolkien's Sacramental Vision really educated me about the pervading theme of eucatastrophe in The Lord of the Rings.  People say that Tolkien himself admitted that the story is ultimately about death.  That's true in a way, but only insofar as death serves to make the resolution that much brighter and more glorious.  (The crucifixion is the primary, fullest example of eucatastrophe.)  I can't explain the whole concept very well, but Bernthal does.

So, that.  Yes, the story is about death, but ultimately I believe that the hope it delivers is far more central and significant.

4. Do you have a favorite weapon from Middle-earth?
Not really.  I don't pay much attention to the weapons.

If you don't love this man you are objectively wrong as a person.

(KIDDIIIIIIING, I'm kidding.)  (Mostly.)

5. Would you like to be a hobbit?
I think so, because the Shire is basically the most idyllic place in the world, and the little community seems to be, too.  (Though honestly I'm probably imagining some sort of unrealistically vegetarian farming community, hehe.)

6. Do you have a favorite romance/couple?
I do, and they are

on many deep levels.  Buuuuuut, that said, I've already gushed about them so much that people are probably getting a little tired of it. :-P  (If any of you are new here and don't know to which couple I'm referring, you can click here to find out.)

7. What's your favorite Middle-earth creature? (Can be "real" or "imaginary.")
I mean, elves (or one of the higher orders introduced in The Silmarillion) or hobbits are probably my favorite races, but as for a creature . . .  I guess the Ents?   They're creaturely.

8. What character do you look the most like?
Oh, gracious, I don't know.  I really don't know?

This might make me laugh a little too much.

9. Are there any books about Middle-earth or Professor Tolkien (but not written by him) you recommend?
Like I mentioned earlier, Tolkien's Sacramental Vision is an excellent read, even if you're not Catholic.  I also highly, highly recommend A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18.  It's written by Joseph Loconte, and I learned so much from it--both about literature and history.

10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotations from the Middle-earth books and/or movies.
*rubs hands together*  If you insist. ;)

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.  (from The Hobbit)

. . . the music began all at once, so sudden and sweet that Bilbo forgot everything else, and was swept away into dark lands under strange moons, far over The Water and very far from his hobbit-hole under The Hill.  (from The Hobbit)

Este the gentle, healer of hurts and of weariness, is [Irmo's] spouse.  Grey is her raiment; and rest is her gift.  (from The Silmarillion)

"Many that live deserve death.  And some that die deserve life.  Can you give it to them?  Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment." (from The Fellowship of the Ring)

A star was bound upon her brows,
A light was on her hair
As sun upon the golden boughs
In Lorien the fair.  (from The Fellowship of the Ring)

"What d'you want to go and find a dragon for, at this time of the year, and me with my hands full?"  (from Farmer Giles of Ham)

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."  (from The Fellowship of the Ring)

. . . when [Pippin] saw the pale face of Faramir he caught his breath.  It was the face of one who has been assailed by a great fear or anguish, but has mastered it and now is quiet. . . . Yet suddenly for Faramir his heart was strangely moved with a feeling he had not known before.  Here was one with an air of high nobility such as Aragorn at times revealed, less high perhaps, yet also less incalculable and remote: one of the Kings of Men born into a later time, but touched with the wisdom and sadness of the Elder Race.  He knew now why Beregond spoke his name with love.  He was a captain that men would follow, that he would follow, even under the shadow of the black wings.  (from The Return of the King)

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while.  The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him.  For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.   (from The Return of the King)

Well.  "That's done [me], it 'as"--all this LotR nostalgia has got me good and bittersweet.  Rereads and rewatches are in order, for sure. ;)

Head over to Hamlette's blog The Edge of the Precipice for all the party fun, and definitely be sure to check out THE GIVEAWAY, which is awesome, as per usual.




    1. Thanks, Ceci! Oh, Pinterest! Most all of my pictures are always from Pinterest. :)

  2. Oh, how Gollum changes so quickly from nice to mad.
    I loved the answers, and they're far more wide(if you know what I mean)(with what, if you don't know, I meant that they are more various) than mine.
    Also, I agree with Ceci that those pictures are MARVELOUS?
    How on earth do you get so many and so beautiful pictures on Pinterest? I never seem to find the right pictures for anything(though I try)

    1. Heehee ;)

      Aww, thank you! But no, yours were great!

      Daaaawwww. *blushes* I usually just type in whatever movie I'm looking for and then a little bit of digging should get you there! It does take a little while sometimes, and sometimes I can't find what I want either. :-/

  3. Yaysies! T'was a great post, m'dear. :D

    I agree about so many things - it's so hard to decide which book is the best (I MUST HAVE THEM ALLLL), Faramir and Eowyn forever and ever, Gandalf and Pippin together in the movie warms my heart and the stories are totally about eucatastophe (a word so fancy my computer doesn't even recognize it!).

    I love the snippets you included! (He's such a good writer...!)
    I'm trying to find time to re-watch the extended edition with my sisters... hopefully we can get back into it soon!

    (Also A++ on the picture choices!)

    1. Thanks, love! :D

      "(I MUST HAVE THEM ALLLL)"<< I feel. xD FARAWYYYYYNNNN, yes, yes, everything you said. Haha, my computer doesn't recognize eucatastrophe either ;)

      Isn't he though?!?! Like how.

      YES! One simply must rewatch the extended editions on at least a yearly basis. :-P

      (Awwww, thank you! :))


  4. This post makes me super nostalgic for back when I first started following your blog and reading all your gushings about Faramir and Boromir and such <3 <3 <3 Good times.

    1. Awwwwwwwwwwwww, YESSSS <3 <3 <3 VERY good times. :) <3

  5. Ohmigosh, I love Faramir and Boromir tooooooooo! I love how Faramir is so sweet! He's on my fave list, anyways! Great answers! :D

    1. Lacy, high five! They're amazing and anyone who wants to say different will have ME to deal with. ;) (Terrifying prospect that that would be . . . heh.) Same here!! Aww, thanks!

  6. Hahaha! Your Gollum GIF is cracking me up. I know I usually run this during "Tolkien Week," but this year life kinda intervened, so I pushed it back a bit. Sorry you had to wait!

    (I'm an infidel too. Fistbump to fellow infidel.)

    I love the idea of eucatastrope! That right at the moment when everything catastrophically fails, divine grace reverses the failure and brings about a glorious victory.

    I'm not actually kidding about the fact that people who don't at least appreciate Boromir as a majestic warrior have dire problems.

    (I also may have watched that GIF for two minutes straight.)

    I think there would be room for vegetarians in the Shire.

    Thanks for the lovely addition to the party! Always a pleasure to hang out with you, even virtually :-)

    1. Haha, I was excited when I realized I could use it. ;) Oh, no, you're good! Just me being silly and unreasonable. ;D

      (Thank goodness. We're not such a very bad sort, after all, are we?)

      Yes! So good. <3

      Yeahhhhhh . . . I have my concerns, too. :-P

      (Haha, understandable. ;))

      Aww, really? I hope so. I'd probably just be looked at a little askance (kind of like the Bagginses, come to think of it). So basically just like real life, heh. ;-P

      Thank YOU for a lovely party! Awwwww, thanks! You, too. :)

  7. Great answers, Olivia! I can't wait to do this tag myself. :)

    I love all the pictures and gifs you shared, and all the quotes are perfect.

    I've really been wanting to read "A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War." It sounds so intereting!

    1. Thanks, Molly! Your answers were so good!

      Thank you! <3

      It's a great book. I think you'd enjoy it!

  8. This is a great post! Gosh every time Hamlette hosts these parties I just want to go and rewatch and reread everything! I'm with you there, Olivia. :D

    "Do you remember the shire, Mr. Frodo?" Got me right in the feels. You have to give a girl some warning!

    Really?! I loved the Tom Bombadil part but almost ended up skipping the Ents because they were the boring ones in my mind. But now I love it all, so it's all good, right?

    Your comments on Boromir!! XD But SO TRUE! Hehehe.

    Denethor, no truer words were every placed on a picture. Ick!

    "I do not think this darkness will endure." There you go again with the feels. Sheesh!!

    Great post, Olivia!! <3

    1. Ooooops, I meant *ever*. My bad. :)

    2. Thank you! Ahh, saaaamme. <3

      Heehee, sorry! ;-P

      I mean, I sometimes still skim the Ents because their parts CAN get a little long and boring. But in terms of the creatures themselves I think they're pretty cool. :) And haha, yes, now it's all good!

      Hehehehe. ;)

      Right?! But it makes me giggle inside, too. xD

      I knoooowww, ahhh!

      Thanks so much, Cordy! :) <3


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