How were you introduced to Tolkien?

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How were you introduced to Tolkien?

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Post by malickfan on Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:34 pm

Something I wrote in the Script writing thread just now got me a little curious, I was introduced to Tolkien via the LOTR films, and I'm wondering whether I'm alone in this on the forum.

Not a very interesting poll admittedly, just me being nosy...

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Post by Bluebottle on Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:40 pm

I came across Tolkien through the books. LotRs was a big deal in my elementary school, as was reading it as many times as possible. I think I did like 6 or something. Razz

So, yeah, it had a profound effect on me at an early age. And with time I've come to think that was deserved, which isn't necessarily true for a lot of things you like in your childhood outside the limits of nostalgia.


Last edited by Bluebottle on Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : p or P, that is the question..)

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Post by bungobaggins on Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:43 pm

In sixth grade a classmate gave a really bad oral book report on The Hobbit. It made me want to find out what the book actually was about.

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Post by malickfan on Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:51 pm

bungobaggins wrote:In sixth grade a classmate gave a really bad oral book report on The Hobbit. It made me want to find out what the book actually was about.

I have rather vague memories of a school teacher reading The Hobbit (or some of it at least) to our class when I was about 9 or 10, but I'm not sure if that would predate the films or not, I have to confess I had never actually heard of Tolkien until the films come out, no one in my family has ever read the book, so much for it being the book of the century...

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:55 pm

I read the Hobbit as a kid and LOTR as an adult. that seemed to work well. I think I needed to be an adult to really appreciate the Epic Romance side of things which may have gone over my head if I had been too young.

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Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:30 pm

My dad bought me a paperback box set of the The Hobbit and LOTR for my birthday during the time the films were coming out.  He had tried to get me interested in Tolkien before but I was ambivalent and the books sat on my shelf for the next few months.  Then my dad's then-girlfriend's son started playing the ROTK video game a lot (I saw him when our visitation schedules overlapped since we each had a parent living with each other) and I kept bugging him and my brother (who knew the kid better than I did) to tell me more about the game and the setting.  I remember being unsatisfied with the explanation that orcs were "men made of mud" and decided to read the books myself to find out more.  I loved them from that first read-through and that was the beginning of my obsession with Tolkien, which grew even greater in fits and spurts over the years after that.

(Milestones in my subsequent history of Tolkienmania include borrowing The Silmarillion from a friend who I played D&D with, buying Unfinished Tales while waiting at a bookstore for the midnight release of HP7, and getting shown up by a stranger about LOTR knowledge at a party, which inspired me to learn more and was the catalyst for my delving into HoME.  Then of course becoming active in online discussions kicked things into overdrive until I eventually started to tone down my involvement in Tolkien things in favor of other interests.)

At the time that I first read the books, I wasn't allowed to see the films because I was about 9 and they were rated PG-13.  My dad eventually relented and let us watch FOTR and most of ROTK (he fast-forwarded through Smeagol strangling Deagol and the head catapult scene), but not TTT, because Helm's Deep was "too violent".  About three years later I watched most of ROTK-EE at a friend's birthday party with a bunch of guys and really dug it.  My parents had relented on the PG-13 thing by then so I got all three EEs on Netflix (back when they were still primarily a DVD mailing service) and watched them over the summer.  Then I asked for and got the full EE DVD collection for my birthday that year.
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Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:21 am

If I didn't know how well you turned out, Eldo, I'd be rather depressed at hearing your introduction to Tolkien was through a video game. That's just wrong on so many levels.... Razz

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:18 am

I used to be really embarrassed by that and kept it a secret for a long while. Laughing Real talk though: the LOTR movie tie-in games are a shitload of fun.

I like to think that I would have eventually given LOTR a try even without the video games, but there's no way of knowing for sure. Razz
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Post by azriel on Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:11 pm

I learnt of Tolkien from school. I know I was younger than 12yrs old as at that age we just read books but were not set homework about the books. I started with The Hobbit & then, when I reached Secondary school we read The lord of The rings, it was always addressed as "The". we had homework set & discussions about it, which, I coped with untill some bright spark pulled out The Silmarillion. It was then I turned away as it felt to heavy. Smile

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Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:26 pm

Everybody reads the Hobbit as a child, I was maybe 8 or 9 and my brother and I had finished it. Our dad suggested we were ready for The Lord of the Rings.

At that young age, the only rings I knew about were around saturn, and I visualized this king figure on a throne mounted on one of Saturn's rings, spinning around like a carnival ride. it was a ridiculous image that kept me away from it for years.

Eventually around age 13 or 14 I got around to reading it, and that was that.

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Post by Sinister71 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:29 pm

started in first grade by watching the 77 R&B cartoon and one month later being given the book by my mom for Christmas. I've watched the cartoon probably a hundred times since and read the book once to 3 times a year depending on what other material I can find to read. If I can't find something else the Hobbit and LOTR are my go to books

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:41 pm

I read TH when I was about 7 or 8. From th school library. I was loaned a copy of Fellowship of the Ring when I was about 12. An American friend from one of the Navy families, so it was the US version I first read.
I had it for a while and read it three times back to back. But he didnt have the rest.
Then several months later at the Cowal Games Highland Gathering I saw the one volume paperback edition, it had Barad-Dur on the front cover (I copied and painted that picture about fifty times over the years!).
I badgered and annoyed my parents (who lucky like everyone else for a twenty mile radius had drunk a few buckies) until they gave me the money to go buy it. I got it just as the shop was closing.
And whilst people lined the pavement on the High Street to shout and cheer as the bands marched passed, pipes skirling and drums hammering, I sat in a shop doorway and worried about Merry and Pippin at the hands of the orcs, totally lost in Tolkien.

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Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:58 pm

As far as I know the only difference between the American and British versions would be Tolkien's introduction. Perhaps some spelling was changed? But I think it would be worth it for the introduction alone.

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:37 pm

That's a really evocative image, Petty. Though I have trouble imagining a child you.Razz
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Post by malickfan on Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:57 pm

Eldorion wrote:I used to be really embarrassed by that and kept it a secret for a long while. Laughing Real talk though: the LOTR movie tie-in games are a shitload of fun.

I like to think that I would have eventually given LOTR a try even without the video games, but there's no way of knowing for sure. Razz

I still have ROTK, TT and The Third Age PS2 games lying around somewhere and play them once in a while, they are really fun (if generic) games and better than most tie ins.

Apparently I'm alone in discovering Tolkien through the films then, probably explains why am slighty more forgiving of Jackson then most of you guys...

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:01 pm

Perhaps some spelling was changed?- Halfwise

Yeah as in I still dont understand what you lot have against the letter 'u'. Color spells something that would sound like col-or. Why cant you see that?!!!!  Mad

'Though I have trouble imagining a child you.'- Eldo

Well I did have my can of Tennants, with its lovely lady on the side with me. Nod It was the Highland Games after all, and like Hogmanay it was a time when Scottish parents let you have 'a wee drink tae celebrate, it'll no dae onae harm'. Happy days of Tolkien and alcohol. drunken

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Post by Bluebottle on Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:05 pm

malickfan wrote:Apparently I'm alone in discovering Tolkien through the films then, probably explains why am slighty more forgiving of Jackson then most of you guys...

I used to be a lot worse to be honest. I was such a book snob when the movies came out I think I kind of ruined them for myself.

My friend was like "You know these are pretty good."
And I just went "No no, they removed Glorfindel for Arwen. Forget it."

Razz

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Post by malickfan on Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:12 pm

Bluebottle wrote:
malickfan wrote:Apparently I'm alone in discovering Tolkien through the films then, probably explains why am slighty more forgiving of Jackson then most of you guys...

I used to be a lot worse to be honest. I was such a book snob when the movies came out I think I kind of ruined them for myself.

My friend was like "You know these are pretty good."
And I just went "No no, they removed Glorfindel for Arwen. Forget it."

Razz


I've never understood the complaints about Glorfindel.
I do like him, but he's basically a glorified cameo (Ha!) in the books, as they didn't have time to reference his role in The Sil and the War against Angmar it wouldn't make any dramatic sense to introduce him for 20 minutes...then see him bugger off for the rest of the trilogy, when an important character could be introduced at the same time (admittedly since they dropped the Xena Arwen stuff her chase with the Ringwraiths seems totally out of character....).

Maybe they should have had him lead the Elves and Helms Depp, that would please Purists, right? Laughing

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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by Bluebottle on Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:19 pm

I did put it down as a booksnobbish thing to think. Razz And I don't really mind that change so much now. The way it was done a bit perhaps. But, hey, I was 14 and this was my book, damn it. Laughing

malickfan wrote:Maybe they should have had him lead the Elves and Helms Depp, that would please Purists, right? Laughing

The objections to that part aren't really purist though. You have a crack regiment of elves turn up and then have to have them all die in short order, for if else the story wouldn't make any sense. It's basically the text book example of bad adaptive writing. Shrugging

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Post by malickfan on Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:35 pm

Bluebottle wrote:

The objections to that part aren't really purist though. You have a crack regiment of elves turn up and then have to have them all die in short order, for if else the story wouldn't make any sense. It's basically the text book example of bad adaptive writing. Shrugging

True, and they must have marched very quickly yet stealthily not to be spotted...

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:08 pm

well Haldir was pretty Glorfindelish I guess. Sofa

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:23 pm

That's right Figg you stay back there!
Haldir is nothing like Glorfindel!


As for me, I was introduced to Tolkien via two sets of audio-cassettes, one of the Mind's Eye's Hobbit adaptation, and one of the BBC's dramatized Lord of the Rings. I didn't really care for the latter, because there was too much singing in it and I often couldn't understand what all these strange noises were in the background. (The fight with the Watcher in the Water was a complete mystery to me.) This was when I was about 7, so that's understandable.
But I really liked the Hobbit tapes: they were one of my go-tos for when I was sick.

But then my niece brought over a VHS of the Fellowship of the Ring one evening. We only watched the first half as it was so long, but I was amazed by it. It was so immersive! The opening shots of the transplanted and made-up battle on the slopes of Mt. Doom gave me shivers with how awesome they looked. I read the Lord of the Rings in full shortly after.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:45 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:That's right Figg you stay back there!
Haldir is nothing like Glorfindel!


As for me, I was introduced to Tolkien via two sets of audio-cassettes, one of the Mind's Eye's Hobbit adaptation, and one of the BBC's dramatized Lord of the Rings. I didn't really care for the latter, because there was too much singing in it and I often couldn't understand what all these strange noises were in the background. (The fight with the Watcher in the Water was a complete mystery to me.) This was when I was about 7, so that's understandable.
But I really liked the Hobbit tapes: they were one of my go-tos for when I was sick.

But then my niece brought over a VHS of the Fellowship of the Ring one evening. We only watched the first half as it was so long, but I was amazed by it. It was so immersive! The opening shots of the transplanted and made-up battle on the slopes of Mt. Doom gave me shivers with how awesome they looked. I read the Lord of the Rings in full shortly after.

well Haldir is a blonde Very Happy

that's funny you should say that. I always read the Hobbit when I am sick too. Nod Its comforting.

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Post by Ringdrotten on Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:17 am

If it's any comfort, Eldo, I loved those video games as well Very Happy They were so much fun. I myself was introduced to Tolkien when I read The Hobbit as a kid (can't remember how old I was). I've probably reread it once a year since then Very Happy

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Post by RA on Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:33 am

I first read the Hobbit a long time ago. That got me hooked on the writing style Very Happy

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