Monday, September 19, 2016

Tolkien Blog Party 2016 Tag

Yes, it's time once again for my annual Tolkien Blog Party -- this post on my book blog has the tag and lots of info, and the giveaway is here.  Come join the fun!

Speaking of the tag, here are my answers:

1. How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read?

Five.  I've read The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, and The Silmarillion.

2. Have you seen any movies based on them? 

Indeed!  I've seen all 6 of Peter Jackson's films in the theater, and many times on DVD.

3. Are there any scenes/moments that make you cry? 

So many!  I think my #1 cry spot is when Sam picks Frodo up and says, "I can't carry it, Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you."  Oh, the tears fall thick and fast there, both for book and film.

4. Are there any scenes/moments that make you laugh? 

Also many!  I think one of the spots I laugh the most is the bit during The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies where Bilbo goes sneeeeeeeeeaking past the guards in Dale.  It's a moment of pure physical comedy that delights me.

5. Have you ever chosen a Middle Earth name for yourself? If so, what is it?

I've chosen a couple, actually.  The one that means anything at all interesting is Taulaes -- in some Elvish language, it means "lamb."  My real name, Rachel, also means "lamb," so that's why I chose that one.

6. Who would you want to party with/marry/fight to the death? (pick three characters) 

I want to party with Samwise Gamgee (because he's so sensible and I know we wouldn't get in trouble), marry Bard the Bowman (for all these reasons), and fight Grima Wormtongue to the death (because I despise him and I'd probably be able to take him down).

7. When was the last time you visited Middle Earth, via books or movies? 

Ummmmm, it would be when I last watched The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies, so sometime around February, I think.

8. Do you consider Gollum to be a villain? Why or why not? 

Kind of?  He does work against our heroes, so is a definite antagonist, but of course, not all antagonists are villains.  He does fit the definition of villain, in that his evil actions are important to the plot, and he's malicious, sometimes cruel.  I guess I view him as a tragic villain, one who lacked the moral strength to resist temptation, and who could not overcome his addiction to his Precious.  In the end, his need for it overwhelmed his ability and desire to do good.  Kind of a great picture of how sinful people cannot, by their own reason or strength, believe in Jesus as the Savior -- no matter how much they want to.  Good intentions and desires are not enough.

9. How would you sum up what Tolkien's stories mean to you in one word?


10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.

(I'm going to repeat some favorites from previous years because I am not currently in the same place as my heavily underlined and annotated books.)

"Go where you must go, and hope!" -- Gandalf

"Now there's an eye opener, and no mistake." -- Sam

"The Men of the Mark do not lie, and therefore they are not easily deceived." -- Eomer

"However it may prove, one must tread the path that need chooses!" -- Gandalf

"What new devilry is this?" -- Boromir

"Will you have peace, or war?" -- Bard

In the dark at the rear, grim and silent, walked Aragorn. (Fellowship of the Ring)

"Look, I know you doubt me. I know you always have. And you're right, I often think of Bag End. I miss my books. And my armchair. And my garden. See, that's where I belong. That's home. And that's why I came back. Because... you don't have one. A home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back, if I can." -- Bilbo

(That last one is long, so I'm only doing 8 this year.)

Please join me at the party!


  1. Bard is a great choice, he's also a good father :)) I like how you say you'd choose to battle Grima because you'd get a chance with him)) It's true, he's not very tough))

    1. Thanks, Ekaterina -- I think so too. I would happily marry Bard and help raise his kids.

      I'm not very tough either, but I'm determined, so I figure that would give me the edge.

  2. I picked Wormtongue too; in the book at the end, there are really ugly stories about him, and he is probably the only one I COULD kill. He's just sneaking, slinking, opportunistic poison.

    One of my sisters has loved Bard since the books, although we all fangirled over Thranduil, Kili, and Fili. Bard in the movie was awesome, and yes, I loved the familial interactions.

    1. Livia Rachelle -- yes, he is nasty and creepy and I would gladly dispatch him. Away with him.

      I didn't pay much attention to Bard in the book, and honestly, he's a bit dull there. I mean, he didn't even get a name for a couple chapters -- he was just "the grim-faced man." In the books, Boromir is still my dearest love, but Movie Bard -- can't beat him. (I do fangirl a bit over Thranduil and Kili. Legolas too.)


      (Sorry for butting in. I just love that phrase so much I couldn't help but speak up.)

    3. Jessica, yeah, it is a cool title, but... Bard the Bowman and Lord of Dale are too. I like knowing people's names AND their titles. I suspect that, since Tolkien was a pantser, he didn't actually name Bard until he'd been around for like 3 chapters because he didn't realize he was going to be important, and for some reason, that bothers me.

      (I love the phrase "grey-eyed man of Gondor" too, but if he hadn't given Boromir a name for like 2 chapters, I would be miffed about that too.)

    4. Haha, yes, I do see your point :-)

      I guess it just depends on your tastes. Like, the hero in the novel that I'm writing doesn't actually get "named" for two or three chapters--that is, it takes a while for the narrator (the heroine) to FIND OUT his real name--and so for a while, she just calls him "the man with the gray eyes" or variations on that title. Which was a lot of fun for me to write, because it felt all mysterious and anonymous . . . but I can see how some readers might be like, "JUST TELL ME HIS DARN NAME ALREADY." ;-)

    5. Jessica, yeah, depending on how that was written, that might annoy me. I always try to get characters' names established post-haste because I know that when I read a book where it starts to feel like either the author hasn't gotten around to naming a character (lazy) or is just trying to make things more suspenseful by not revealing their name (also lazy), I get annoyed and sometimes stop reading.

    6. You'll just hafta read it and tell me what you think ;-)

      I will tell you, though, that I actually revealed his name as quickly as I could, given the circumstances. If I had told it any sooner, it wouldn't have been been realistic . . . Undercover work and all that, dontcha know :-)

  3. Hehe, I loved this, and I agree with pretty much EVERY answer. ;) And BARD!!!! <3 (I think it's gonna be weird seeing that same actor play Gaston in the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out. :P)

    ~Miss Meg

    1. Miss Meg, it took me about six months to get over being furious with Luke Evans for taking the role of Gaston. I cannot stand Gaston, and I'm quite fond of Luke Evans, and... yeah.

  4. I'm impressed with your sci fi and fantasy knowledge. Tolkien is classic for sure. Not a big fan of the various movies but I did think Martin Freeman was brilliant as Bilbo :-) I'm mainly stopping by to let you know I finally posted my 'Liebster award' post and answered your questions. Check it out! Thanks again :-)

    1. Jocelyn, hee, thanks! I really don't have a great and vast knowledge about fantasy and sci-fi, I just love a few things like Tolkien's books and Star Wars.

      I'll check out your Liebster when I get a chance!

  5. That moment Sam carries Frodo...ah my heart! I love Sam. SO, so much! I still haven't watched The Hobbit movies, but I know how much you love Bard, so I clearly need to meet him ASAP. :D

    'Tragic villain', that's a great way to describe Gollum. I like your answer better than mine.

    Great answers as always, Hamlette! Thanks so much for this fun tag. :)

    1. Kara, I know! It's possibly the single greatest moment in LOTR.

      When you do meet Bard, you will understand :-)

      Thanks for joining in! I'm still running behind on reading people's posts, but later today I hope to catch up a bunch :-)

  6. Hee, this made me grin. And the "will you have peace, or war" quote just makes me want to watch Battle like right now.

    Knew Bard would have to be your answer there, but surprised at just Sam. I love your Wormtongue answer too. (I wouldn't want to fight him, but I sure would want to string him up from the nearest tree.)

    1. DKoren, yeah, this whole week I've just been like, "I NEED to watch TBOTFA." Since we're synced, maybe we should watch it this week?

      Sam and I would likely have very similar partying styles. Sit with a warm drink and talk quietly, or go plant something in a garden, etc.

  7. Loved your answers. :) And oh, the last quote you included is SO sweet. Definitely one of my favorite movie lines.

    1. Thanks, Natalie! Cowboy quoted that last one to me when I got home from vacation yesterday and I kept making little comments like, "I love using my own washing machine and laundry detergent again!" and "Oh, it's so nice to know where the silverware is without having to ask." Hee.

    2. Haha! I definitely hope my future husband quotes movie lines to me like yours does. ;)

    3. The trick is to date a guy who quotes movies...


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