My 10 year relationship with… The Lord of the Rings

This post was originally written to coincide with Hobbit Day, which is 22nd September. However, I though it’d make the perfect conclusion to my special The Lord of the Rings celebration. Happy reading, everyone! I hoped you enjoyed this mini series all about my beloved trilogy.

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Happy Hobbit Day, everyone! As many Tolkienites know, 22nd September is Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday, though quite a few years apart, of course. With this in mind, I thought it was the perfect time to write a post on my 10 year relationship with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, after reading Nick’s fantastic post, My 25 year relationship with Top Gun, over at Anomalous Material.

Just to put this post in to context a bit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is my absolute favourite franchise. It beats out Star Wars and Harry Potter – two of my other favourites – put together… As I said in my post about the Harry Potter franchise, Harry was forgotten as soon as Frodo entered the scene.

Yours truly, as an elf, with my mum at my 15th birthday party.

2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is released in cinemas across the UK in December. I would have been 13 at the time and I remember going to see it a good three, possibly four, times with my school friends.

Sometime in December/January, my mum and I went to Disneyland Paris. Disneyland is another big love of mine, and in the past 10 years I’ve been to Disneyland Paris four times. What can I say, I’m a big kid! We went on a coach trip and all the way there, and all the way back, I was reading The Lord of the Rings – I had to find out what happened next.

2002 – In between The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers being released, I started collecting the associated memorabilia. In my collection I had the books, the original soundtrack CDs, a replica One Ring, an Elven leaf brooch and, the most prized of all, Arwen Undómiel’s necklace. I’m not sure where the books or CDs are, but I still have the brooch and necklace plus a rather fantastic pewter ‘Aragorn’ goblet by Royal Selangor.

When The Two Towers came out, it was pretty much a repeat of the previous year. I must have seen it about three or four times.

My fantastic Royal Selangor goblet.

2003 – Going to the cinema every December to see the latest The Lord of the Rings film certainly became a tradition. Again, I went to the cinema numerous times to catch The Return of the King, and it certainly was a bittersweet finale. I remember that the world premiere for The Return of the King was held in Wellington, which was very fitting. It must have been a strange experience for the actors to finally hold the premiere for it seeing as how principal photography took place October 1999-December 2000!

Gandalf the White and Frodo, also known as my grandparents.

For my 15th birthday – which I realise now is actually quite old to be having a themed party! – my family and I had a The Lord of the Rings party. My mum and I were elves, my dad was a man of Gondor, my brother was one of the Nazgul, my grandad was Gandalf the White and my nanna was Frodo. My other nan didn’t come as a character but looked very nice nonetheless.

Sometime towards the end of 2003-early 2004, my family and I went to see The Lord of the Rings exhibition held at the London Science Museum. Though I can’t remember everything that was on display, I do remember the dummy Boromir lying in his funeral boat. Being a lifelong Sean Bean fan, walking past such a lifelike copy of him was very upsetting!

2004 – When, aged 16, I went to sixth form, the obsession dwindled as I got intereted in other things. The cardboard DVD display in the shape of the Argoath that my mum had pinched from WHSmith plus my Legolas cardboard cut out were dismantled.

2006 – It wasn’t until I went to university that I started getting back into the films. One of my housemates loved the trilogy, too, and we watched one after the over a few days. We then started working our way through the Pirates of the Caribbean films as well. We were English graduates, six/eight hours of lectures a week, so quite a lot of spare time for ‘reading’!

2009-present – I started this blog in September 2009 as it was a requirement for my magazine journalism diploma. I carried it on as it’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing. It also made me realise just how much I love films.

It’s also given me an outlet to track the progress of The Hobbit, or rather The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The films are planned to premiere on 14th December 2012 and 13th December 2013 respectively, and I am very excited to head back to Middle-earth.

The total shoot is expected to last 254 days – just 12 days short of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Weta Workshop and Weta Digital will, once again, be putting the magic together.

On the Weta website there is this extraordinary snippet of information about the amount of work that went into creating the trilogy: “Over the course of the entire trilogy, Weta made over 48,000 individual items in all, among them 10,000 prosthetic facial appliances, over 3,500 pairs of Hobbit feet, 2,500 foam body suits, 1,200 suits of armour, 2,000 weapons and 10,000 arrows. 72 miniatures were built to visualise the epic scaled environments and cities of Middle-earth.”

The Lord of the Rings trilogy truly was an epic, in more ways than one.

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30 thoughts on “My 10 year relationship with… The Lord of the Rings”

  1. Several years ago 4 friends, my wife and I had a hobbit day and watched all three extended editions! That was a lot of LOTR in one day. Of course in between we had breakfast, and second breakfast, and elevenses etc…
    They are fabulous books and fabulous films, and it’s far too long since I watched them.

    1. Sounds like you had a great time, Russ! Next year the 22nd September is on a Saturday so I might hold my own Hobbit Day 🙂

      I try to watch the films over a few days every year. Bearing in mind Fellowship is 10 this year, I don’t think the trilogy has aged at all.

  2. Ah, this is awesome. So glad you did this. I’m always happy to see other people who are just as passionate about their favorite films. Makes me know I’m not alone in the world.

    On New Year’s Day several years ago a bunch of my friends and I had the ENTIRE course of hobbit meals spread out over the whole day. It was so much fun.

  3. This is awesome.

    I never had the chance to dress up, because people in rural farm communities simply don’t do that, but I still have plenty of Halloweens to make up for it.

    I do have the ring of Barahir waiting for me when I get home in a month, as well as a necklace that was inspired by the tale of Beren and Luthien.

    1. Hey Red. I was hoping you’d read this 🙂

      Who did you dress up as at Halloween? There are lots of great characters you could go as!

      The ring of Barahir eh? I’m sure it’ll look great. You’ll have to tweet a picture of the necklace, I’m intrigued!

      1. I hear Red is planning to dress as Gollum and will go door to door in the streets of Iraq, traumatizing the local kids for the rest of their lives.

  4. Wow, this is an awesome post, LOTR is my fave fantasy franchise as well. What a cool family you have, thanks for sharing their pics, love your grandparents as Gandalf. I envy you for the Arwen necklace, it’s so beautiful, I always drool every time I see it in a catalog 😀

  5. Lord of the Rings beats out Star Wars for me too. There’s just something so very perfect about the whole trilogy. I enjoyed reading your experiences over the years because in 2001 I was 15 myself. It seems crazy it was that long ago.

    Too bad the recent Blu-ray releases of LOTR can’t seem to get everything right. Anything it sadly has in common with Star Wards. 😦

    1. Have you read the books, Max? PJ and co were very lucky in that they had such a wonderful book to work from. Tolkien’s imagination was incredible.

      I can’t believe it was that long ago either! 😀

  6. I bet your excitement about The Hobbit films reached fever pitch while reminiscing when writing this post. And what a great story it is. You’ve got a very good memory! I can’t imagine getting my Dad or grandparents dressing up as Lord of the Rings characters but good on you, looked like a lot of fun. I bet that coach journey to Disneyland Paris was a bit of an adventure too!

    One of the things I love about these franchises is back-to-back viewing at home (I’ve done it a couple of times with Lord of the Rings but I especially like a back-to-back viewing of the Back To The Future trilogy – my personal favourite).

    1. Haha, I had the Fellowship soundtrack on while I was writing it! 😀

      Back-to-back viewing is a must. Good call with the Back To The Future trilogy. I don’t think I’ve seen all of them so a back-to-back viewing is on my to do list!

  7. I live in New Zealand, and I have never seen the Lord of the Rings movies. I know! I am a shocker! Considering how much love it has from so many people, I will have to watch it soon. I know, I am a disgrace as a film lover.

  8. I bloody love this.

    I never grew up so infatuated with anything. I think I am way too fickle for that, this months man crush will be next months cast off.

    Love the party images. You are a true star…:-)

  9. Wow, you have totally insipred me to write up my 10 years with LOTR. When it started in 2001 I was 17 in the UK by the end of 2003 I had travelled to NZ met the cast and then met my now husband. LOTR certainly changed my life!

    1. Hi Emmabelle, thanks for your comment 🙂

      You should definitely write something up – it sounds like you’ve got a fantastic story! If you don’t have a blog I’d love to host it for you.

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