Friday, January 16, 2015

"I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil."

I got tagged with this over at A Free Mind, and I was only too happy to comply!  (To be truthful, I volunteered to be tagged, cuz I'm all about the Middle Earth love right now.)


1. You Must Be Tagged to take the Q&A quiz
2. You must tag (notify) at least three other bloggers (or whatever they are on) for this Q&A
3. You must answer the following questions to the best of your ability
4. You must have seen The Battle of the Five Armies to be tagged/take the quiz

WARNING!  There's going to be spoilage.  If you haven't seen the movie or read the book yet, go do so forthwith.


1. Tell your story of how you came to see the movie(s) or got into Tolkien in the first place.

I read The Hobbit in high school and didn't care much for it, so I never read The Lord of the Rings, because why spend a thousand more pages reading stuff just like the book I already didn't like?  Then I went to college, and even though my best friend there and my boyfriend (aka Cowboy) were Tolkien fans, I still wasn't interested.  And then The Fellowship of the Ring came out just before Christmas of my senior year.  Because my friends and boyfriend wanted to go see it, I agreed to go with them (it's not hard to get me to go see a movie, honestly).  I loooooooooved the movie, and promptly bought a paperback copy of the trilogy on the way to my parents' house for Christmas.  I still have -- and read -- that same copy, which I posted about here.

2. Who are your three favorite characters in The Hobbit Trilogy?

#1 = Bard the Bowman
He gets two pictures cuz I loves him sooooooooooo muchly.
#2 = Gandalf
#3 = Bilbo Baggins

3. Did you cry during The Battle of the Five Armies, and if so, which scene(s) and what type (sniffling, sobbing, choke-crying)?

The first time I saw it, I got to Fili and Kili's deaths, and I was like, "Huh, I thought I would cry here. I'm just not as emotionally invested in this as I thought I'd be." And then Thorin died, and I was like, "I'm still not crying. Huh." And then Bilbo arrived at Thorin's side, and I teared up a little. And then Tauriel got to Kili, and I was a little moved. And then the camera panned around to Legolas, and... something about him seeing the woman he loved mourn the man she loved... that's what did it. And then I was okay again until it got to the very very very end, and when Gandalf outside of Bag End said, "And what about very old friends?" I was a goner.  Cried through the whole ending song and everything.

My second viewing, I was filled with sunny joy through the entire movie.  Only teared up a little during Bilbo's farewell to the dwarves.

4. Were the deaths compelling to you, and if so, whose?

Yes, they were.  Even Smaug's!  Kili's, Fili's, and Thorin's -- I found them very touching, much more so than in the book.  In the book, Fili and Kili's deaths are almost an afterthought, like "Oh, and by the way, these two guys died defending Thorin."  Much more emotionally engaging here.

5. Overall, were you satisfied with the movie itself?

Indeed!  In fact, it made me really enjoy the Hobbit trilogy as a whole, whereas before I'd just liked it okay.  I'm going to be rewatching the first two movies over the next couple of weeks, and I think that when I see how this final chapter pulled everything together, completed character arcs and so on, that I will probably love the trilogy as a whole like I now love The Battle of the Five Armies.

6. Describe the movie in one word.


And then there's this guy!

Okay, so now I'm supposed to tag 3 other bloggers.  I tag DKoren, Joanna, and Ruby Danderfluff.  If anyone else wants to be tagged, either comment here saying so, and I'll add your name, or you can consider yourself tagged and just do the meme :-)


  1. Hopefully us non-bloggers can answer. :)

    1) First encountered Tolkien in either 4th or 5th grade in elementary school when it was one of the stories our teacher read during story time. Also got into C.S. Lewis that way too.

    As for the movies, what Tolkien fan wouldn't go to see them? And until halfway through Two Towers I was tolerating them. But just so many things went off kilter in that movie that my hatred of Jackson's work began.

    2) 3 favorites in the book or movie? Book: Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin. Movies: Bilbo, Smaug, and possibly Gollum.

    3) Well, not really. I've gotten beyond weeping at Jackson's movies. I will admit I did get teary-eyed when Thorin and Company burst out of the mountain into the attack.

    4) Not really. I was sad when Smaug died, because he was really the best of the movie and he was gone after twenty minutes.

    5) Define "satisfied?" I was satisfied I went and saw it. I was satisfied it didn't annoy me too much. I was satisfied it was a decent action movie.

    6) Tolerable.

    So, I guess I'm the antithesis of your experience. :)

    1. Of course non-bloggers can answer :-)

      The first time I saw this, I missed ALL of Smaug :-( Thanks to hordes of last-minute Christmas shoppers who used all the parking, and to whoever decided having a movie theater attached to a shopping mall was a good idea. And even without those first brilliant 20 minutes, I still loved it.

      I'm sorry you don't like the movies, in that I regret you don't get to enjoy them the way I do, but... nobody can like everything :-)

  2. I can completely related to your answer for number 5; I liked The Hobbit Trilogy more after watching this one. :D


    1. It really brought all the storytelling together magnificently, didn't it? I know that, as a writer, I really appreciated how all those little threads that ran through the first movie that seemed kind of a tangled mess got woven into a beautiful tapestry here.

  3. One of my favorite things about this tag is reading what parts made different people teary-eyed. I'd forgotten - how could I?! - about that part at the end when you hear Gandalf's voice, And what about very old friends? I love that part. :)


    1. It's true! I tend not to cry over the fact that a character has died, but I will absolutely cry over peoples' reactions to death. Like when Boromir dies -- I don't cry because I'm sad that he's dying, even though he's my favorite character. I cry because of how he died, trying to right his wrongs and coming to accept Aragorn as his king. And I cry over Aragorn telling him to be at peace and giving him the traditional Gondorian farewell kiss on the forehead, and then Legolas gets this look of wonderment as he processes Boromir being dead, and all that makes me cry.

      And I will randomly note here that one of my 3 favorite moments in BOFA is when Thranduil sees all the dead elves and manages to wear pretty exactly the same expression that Legolas had when Boromir died. Lovely work.

  4. I love these movies. I feel sorry for those that don't.

    1. Tell your story of how you came to see the movie(s) or got into Tolkien in the first place.

    Some guy I barely knew invited me to the first movie, which I had never even heard of, so I went with my dad and him to the biggest screen in the state and it blew my mind. I was hooked after that.

    2. Who are your three favorite characters in The Hobbit Trilogy?

    1. Thranduil
    2. Gandalf
    3. Legolas

    3. Did you cry during The Battle of the Five Armies, and if so, which scene(s) and what type (sniffling, sobbing, choke-crying)?

    I cried when Bilbo cried over Thorin, and when Thranduil "made up" with Legolas and Tauriel.

    4. Were the deaths compelling to you, and if so, whose?

    I always hate a stupid death, and Thorin just walking along the ice staring at the orc -- who I knew would rise up and stab him, come on, is that obvious or what? -- was just stupid. But I was sorry to lose him and glad he redeemed himself first. The others ... didn't make much of a dent.

    5. Overall, were you satisfied with the movie itself?

    YES. I think it's my favorite out of this trilogy.

    6. Describe the movie in one word.


    1. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't enjoy something that I do. They probably feel the same way when I say I don't enjoy football, or potatoes, or whatever.

      High-five for being another person who fell in love with Middle Earth thru the movies!

      Yes, Thorin's death was pretty dumb of him. Dork. Still, I really love how he redeemed himself because, to be honest, I really don't like him thru 95% of the story. He's stuck-up and selfish and greedy and racist. But in the end, I do like him at last. Moreso in the movies, really, because he tried to go save/avenge Fili and Kili.

      I'm going to see this again tonight. One last time. So excited! :-D

    2. I like Thorin at the beginning, and then not for awhile until the end.

      Enjoy! I've tragically only seen it once and I don't know that I'll get another chance to go, so that might be it until the EE comes out in November.

      Also? Elrond is awesome. I've always adored him.

    3. NOVEMBER???? I... don't think I can wait that long. I might have to buy the regular version and watch it to pieces and then get the extended. But I hope you can find a way to quick go again before it disappears, because that second viewing is so splendid, so far above the first. It's almost always the second viewing of a movie that either makes or breaks whether I love something or only like it. Like the first time, I have to just be along for the ride, and the second time I can actually think through it and understand it, or something.

      Anyway, Elrond IS awesome. He's always been my favorite elf, right from the first time I watched FOTR. He's a big reason why Rivendell is my favorite Middle Earth place.

      He reminds me a lot of Cowboy, actually. Except I think Cowboy's battle style would be much more dwarvish than elvish, alas. But personality-wise, very Elrond.

    4. I don't buy the normal versions anymore, but I'll probably be able to get it from the library when it's out on DVD.

      I COULD just hop in the car and go see it but it's less fun alone. None of my family is interested and I don't have very many friends who live close by who care about it, so ...

      Elrond was always my favorite elf. I was his side in the whole Aragorn/Arwen debate. He was the sensible one and I completely understood his reservations about allowing his daughter to forsake her immortal life for a traveling ranger. He was the motivating force (in the movies) that made Aragorn embrace his true destiny, and I admire him for that. Perfect father-figure. I suppose I'm superimposing my dad on top of him and that always made me love him more, but ... Elrond is great.

    5. I tend to have more fun at a movie without other people around. I was watching this last night going, "I'm not going to react this way when I watch this with Larry. I'm not going to be making these little happy squeaks when Bard shows up -- I'm too self-conscious with another person around." Too often, with another person there, even my husband or my mom or my best friend, I spend time thinking about them and their reactions and can't immerse like I can when I'm alone. It's fun to see movies with people too, but a lot of times, if I really liked the movie, I'll go again alone too, just for that singular experience.

      But I also have a great need for Alone Time, and going to a movie is one of the few ways I can get that.

      And yes, Elrond was very sensible -- I understood his stance on the Aragorn/Arwen issue too. Doesn't mean I agreed with him totally, but he was being a good dad.

    6. I live to DISCUSS things, so if I like something, I want others to experience it with me so I can see their reactions and discuss it in-depth afterward. I was kind of bummed when this first came out, because I didn't to discuss it much with the people I saw it with and most of my friends either didn't write posts about it or showed no real interest in talking about it in depth with me. And now a month has passed and I've seen a dozen things since, and it's fading in my mind. Sad.

      Movies are often how I interact socially with people, because I don't get to see people all that much. Live alone. In the country. An hour from a movie theater. Movies are an excuse for me to go with someone, to have lunch afterward, and to talk. So for me, movie = social interaction.

    7. Aha! That does make sense. I do enjoy discussing things, but I'm also perfectly content to hug my appreciation of something to myself and enjoy it singularly. Or write a blog post about it and be done with it. I see now that because I never posted about this movie, you didn't know I'd seen and loved it. Which is simply because DKoren and I have been sending each other passionate emails about it ever since I saw it, and so I just... never blogged about it, I guess. Also, I've read lots of blog reviews of it, and sometimes I feel like my corner of the blogging world doesn't need another review of something everyone is reviewing. I'm sorry. If you should quick run out and see it in the theater again, I will merrily discuss it with you via email or blog for as long as you like!

      And yes, I understand how moviegoing can be a great socializing opportunity. I do like going to see a movie with a friend now and then, especially when it gives me an excuse to see a movie I might not get to see (or see again) otherwise. I didn't start going to movies alone until after I'd gotten married to a man who only wants to see maybe one movie a year in the theater, lol. But for me, who has 3 little humans with me every waking moment (okay, except for an hour before bed, when I have one other human around me, and he and I are so tired of People that we sit quietly in the same room, doing our own things and decompressing), movies are a time to Not Talk. I very much need times where I do not talk, where I can just be in my own head. Back in college, I would quite often stay in the dorm for long weekends like President's Day when everyone else went home or on trips. I'd have three days of solitude and be so refreshed by that.

    8. True. I often don't blog about things because everyone does it. But I still feel that need for awhile to share it and talk about it. The bloom fades after a couple of days as I find new distractions, but ... discussion. Discussion makes my world go around.

      Glad movies allow you time to recharge. :)

  5. All right, yes, Elrond is amazing. It took these movies to make me an Elrond fan, and so that sort of helps redeem them. I can't believe I never liked him in The Lord of the Rings. So weird!

    Like you, I didn't cry at the deaths. Actually, I didn't cry at all, not a smidgeon of a tear. I just wasn't invested in them, and like Charity said, I hate stupid deaths, and I just knew that Azog wasn't dead under the ice. Good grief, Thorin!

    I blogged the tag from DKoren and it'll publish in the morning. Just be forewarned that I really didn't like this last movie, at least not with my first viewing, and so the post sort of reflects that. At least I do feel bad that I didn't like it.

    1. I was an Elrond fan already, but I wasn't attracted to him until this movie. Now, holy hotness, Batman! Not to mention, dude, watching elves fight is one of my favorite things ever. They're so beautiful and so deadly! All swooshes and swirls and yeah...

      But anyway, I'm sorry you didn't like this last one :-( I hope to have a chance to read your post soon!

  6. I had to challenge the comments regarding Thorin being stupid, cuz I just don't see it. I feel there's some crossover between what we, as audience members and movie goers have come to expect, and what a dwarf lord in Middle-Earth would expect.

    Most people in the audience know Azog isn't dead because we've learned from a hundred previous movies that the big bad isn't dead until he's truly breathed his last in front of us. We've been taught not to trust a bad guy is dead the first time around.

    But Thorin's never seen a movie. He doesn't know the bad guy can't be dead yet because movie conventions demand it. All he knows is he's exhausted and he has never been able to beat Azog in physical combat. So, he finds a way to let nature do the job for him. When he plunges Azog into the freezing river water and the orc disappears, Thorin has no reason to think Azog won't drown under there. And when the orc comes sliding past under the ice, all peaceful, not struggling to breathe, Thorin's experience with things falling in water and not emerging would tell him Azog has to be drowned. He'd walk along and keep an eye on the orc to make sure, but he really has no logical reason to expect Azog not to be drowned.

    So, I think what's really being called stupid are the filmmaker's choices, which is perfectly cool and fine. But I find it a bit unfair to call the character of Thorin himself stupid and to expect him to have anticipated Azog busting out of the ice. To me, his behavior stays firmly within his Middle-Earth experiences. If he'd done anything else, it wouldn't have made contextual sense, if that makes sense, LOL!

    1. That makes complete sense! I recant -- Thorin wasn't being stupid.

      But I felt like he was, you're right. Because a hundred times, I've chanted John Wayne's line from El Dorado: "Don't go near a man until you're sure he's dead." How would John Wayne's character know that? Because he's shot enough men to know one bullet doesn't always kill them. (And he totally doesn't follow his own advice with Johnny Crawford's character, but that's okay.)

      And a line from Angel comes to mind too: "Oh come on! I'm holding your head!" Things we think ought to be dead aren't always. Angel himself, being undead, knows this. He thinks the monster ought to be dead cuz it's been beheaded (that would do it for a vampire, after all), but he also knows that what kills one creature doesn't kill others.

      Remember Cowboy's thing about the orcs being cold-blooded? If that is true, then falling into freezing cold water wouldn't harm an orc the way it would a dwarf/hobbit/elf/human. Azog would get super cold, but he was already cold from fighting on a frozen lake with pretty much zero clothes on, so his body temperature was already low anyway. He would really just have to hold his breath under there and wait for the opportune moment to reemerge.

      Of course, Thorin wouldn't know Azog was cold-blooded, so he'd assume that the combo of freezing water and no air would do Azog in. So yes, I agree, he wasn't being stupid, we're just thinking that if that were us in that situation, knowing what we know about never going near an enemy until we're sure it's dead (even if we've cut its head off), we would be really stupid to do what he did.

  7. Aw, the wonders of Middle Earth. I am eagerly awaiting the extended editon of The Battle of the Five Armies so I can have a six movie Middle Earth marathon.

    1. I'm eagerly awaiting the day when all my kids are old enough to see them (somewhere around 2025, I think) and we can watch all 6 together with them! That'll probably be my first opportunity.


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