THROWBACK THURSDAY: It’s Always Good to Go Back to Middle Earth

I still think The Lord of the Rings is the greatest literary achievement in my lifetime. Like so many other people, I couldn’t wait for the second and then the third book. Nothing like it had ever been written.

English actor, Sir Christopher Lee, was born on this day in 1922 (died 2015).

I can’t imagine being around to wait for the next book in The Lord of the Rings series.

I wrote recently about how I waited some forty years to complete the Shanarra series. I enjoyed them, and they follow many of the themes of LOTR. But they’re not just the same.

It was hard enough to wait for THE MOVIES when they came out in a three-year time span.

I spent much of that time seeing THE MOVIES multiple times, and chatting online with friends who were as anxious as I to see the next installment.

So much so that when The Return of the King came out, we rented a beach house in Florida and watched all three of THE MOVIES. I told some of our story when one friend sailed into the west.

I was first introduced to Tolkien in high school. I can’t recall whether it was a teacher or a classmate who first told me about t him. But, I was hooked.

Almost fifty years later, I’m still hooked.

This design and more available in The Write Side Shop (click the pic).

Also, I need to read more of Tolkien’s works.

I can’t imagine anyone other than Christopher Lee for the role of Saruman in THE MOVIES. He was an amazing actor.

I mean, how many actors have a resume that includes The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

A few. Very few.

I used to think that I wanted to write fantasy or science fiction. I’ve started numerous pieces over the years, but they’ve never really taken off.

I’m much better at things like historical fiction, or heart-warming Hallmarkesque family pieces.

Or snark.

I excel at snark.

But I have to agree with Sir Christopher. I am not aware of another such outstanding work written in my lifetime.

I admit that I get emotional over THE MOVIES. They came at a significant time.

Significant for our country in that The Fellowship of the Ring hit the theaters just a few short months after the attacks of 9/11.  We needed a story of hope.

Significant for me for many other reasons that I may, or may not include in some heartwarming piece of historical fiction one day.

Maybe it will be one of the great tales that people remember.

‘I don’t like anything here at all,’ said Frodo, ‘step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.’

‘Yes, that’s so,’ said Sam. ‘And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on – and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same – like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?’

The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien

What tale will you fall into today?






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The British History Podcast

Chopped Bard




The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

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