Laughter and books make life a little easier

Posts tagged “lord of the rings

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Quote Saturday: Do what you can. Build a better world.

Do what is in your power

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Books read in October

October

A return to old-fashioned fantasy after the bleak reality of war, nightmares and dystopia of the last couple of months.

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Random vlog

In which I talk for 7 and a half minutes about nerdy obsessions, hobbits, NaNoWriMo, get distracted by absolutely everything flying past and look everywhere except at the camera.

I know I sound weird to most of the world. Sorry if it’s annoying! Also, I seemed to have developed an allergy to breathing lately, so my nose is all stuffy and… yeah.

Why does my voice sound so weird?

I look like a school kid doing a speech.

Just look at the camera, will you?

Bad quality, ergh. Glare. Ergh. Why does it lag there. Hate lag…

Why am I doing this?

Why am I such a boring conversationalist?! I only ever use one tone of voice!

 

Doubts and random pointless videos aside, there’ll be a new cartoon on Monday!


Urgh. Recently.

Hi guys.

So I’m sorry for the lack of blogging. I didn’t have time to blog last week and I don’t have time to blog this week. It was one of those weeks last week and it still is, which is probably making the those in that statement illogical…

I have three assignments (long essays) due this week and I have to a novel read for this week and I have another longer, huger and more important assignment plus a novel to read due for next week. Everything of course happens at once. The phenomenon of spreading work out over several weeks is unheard of at all universities all over the universe, I think.*

Now if only I could keep myself off the internet and in particular off Pinterest and Tumblr that would be a big help… but I just can’t. Every few minutes I am back on. So what I am going to do is finish typing this and then shut off my wi-fi connection. It’s the only thing that helps. 😛 Then I am also going to forbade myself using Inkscape or Photoshop until this assignment is done.

 

So this wasn’t a real blog post. This was just a heads up to let everyone who doesn’t care know what is going on. I’m not quite sure why I am doing this, but it is probably because when someone whose blog I am following suddenly stops posting I always wonder if they suddenly died. Wow, that sounds really creepy to admit… Well, I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m dead, so this post exists. I probably won’t be back next week either, but after that it is the mid-term break, so I will definitely be back then! 🙂

 

To make it up to you, here are some photos and images from recently:

 

 

 

Yes, I am indeed now making crossover graphics, using lyrics from the LotR musical and images from the movie trilogy. This is indeed getting weird. 😛

I’m sorry for putting my watermark in the middle, but this is the internet after all. I usually don’t put any of these graphics on the internet. I have a whole stack of them, but I don’t want them stolen. I’m fine with redistribution by the way, as long as people link back here.

 

This is probably the most complicated graphic I’ve ever made. I love these lyrics and they mean so much to me. I named this graphic “This too shall pass“.

I meant to say something about Suicide Prevention Day last week, but it totally slipped my mind. This is of course I feel something that I feel very strongly about and I meant to use this picture as illustration to my point, but oh well.

 

I also meant to say something about 9/11 last week, but so totally forgot that I only remembered that evening when it was on the news. Well, here is this year’s image, like the one I made last year.

 

I was ashamed for forgetting it. I’m not American, but I still hold a moment of silence every year. I know one or two people directly affected by this and it just feels right to hold a moment of remembrance.

 

Okay, bye. 😉

*When I start spewing nonsense like this, you can know I am panicky, tired (and/or ill) and cynical, or most likely all three (and/or four) at once.


Day 30 – Your favourite book of all time

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This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

* This post contains some spoilers! And I’m not whiting them out again, or I’ll have to do it to whole paragraphs.
You have been warned! 😉 *

This post is way too long – my apologies! Also, sorry it is so late. I left it without queuing it up so I could post it manually (and savour its writing longer) and then obviously I only got to it now. You’ll have to get used to this again! 😛

Did all you guess yet what I am going to write about today? Yes? No? Wasn’t it that obvious? Did I gush about too many different things? Or did you always know where all of this was leading up to? Here we go… the last day of the challenge.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I am certain that this is my favourite book of all time… most of the time. Sometimes, then I start to wonder of this is really the book that I love most of all. However, this is never for long. I always return to Tolkien. It doesn’t take much. A quote… a picture… I’ve shown you before some of the Lord of the Rings graphics that I make. It’s one of my favourite things to do and it always gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Sometimes I just decorate quotes, but more often I focus on a single subject, character or scene. I’m working on a collection of graphics – one for each one of the Fellowship. I usually take different scenes from the movies and then merge then together for a single graphic, add texture and a quote or two. It’s probably not the best graphics, but I love making them. Then, sometimes the unexpected happens…

Recently I was going through screencaps of The Return of the King movie. I was looking for the scene where Merry and Pippin are separated because I wanted to make a graphic detailing that scene. I couldn’t find it because I wasn’t sure how far into the movie it was. I was jumping around; looking for any scenes close to it that could give me a clue. Finally, I got closer and started going page for page. Eventually, I was a bit annoyed because the characters didn’t want to stop talking and just get on the horse and I didn’t dare skip a page of screenies in case I missed it. Suddenly, it hit me: it was as if the full pain of Merry and Pippin’s separation just hit me full in the face. Watching it happen frame by frame brought the truth home to me. It was not an aspect of the book or movies that I had ever paid much attention to (well, in the book it’s hardly there), but I finally understood how painful this was for both of them, but especially to Pippin, who’ve always had Merry to look out for him and now he was suddenly a child, alone in a strange country. Suddenly I couldn’t even imagine losing my best friend whom I’ve been friends with since we were little kids, much like Merry and Pippin, and especially not like this: not knowing if you’d ever see them again and not even if they are alive or dead. I started to tear up – and this is not a scene where I’ve ever been sad before. At the Grey Havens scene yes (I just can’t stand Sam’s face without tearing up) and sometimes at the scene when the Black Gate opens, I get such an icy thrill. But I’ve never cried with Merry and Pippin before.

And that is what I love about Lord of the Rings. There is always a new discovery, a new truth brought home to me, a new connection spotted. I know I analyse lots of LotR in terms of Christian allegory and no-one else has to see it that way if they don’t want to, but to me, The Lord of the Rings is a story of endurance when all hope seems gone (but it never truly is), which is especially precious to someone like me who sometimes still struggles with the darkness inside me, and the receiving of grace when you don’t deserve it at all. There was redemption even for Gollum in the end and so we learned that the pity of Bilbo indeed ruled the fate of many.

Also… oh Frodo… he never deserved any of the horrible things that happened to him. Seriously, he lost everything: his home, most of his friends, his dreams, his health and the Shire that he loved so much. Eventually, in Mordor he also lost hope, but he still found a way of going on. Mostly, this way was Sam, of course. Frodo certainly wouldn’t have got far without Sam and that is probably why some people say that Sam is the real hero of LotR, not Frodo. I think they are both heroes. Both did incredible deeds bigger than them. It wasn’t one or the other, but together they pushed on to hope’s ending and heart’s breaking.

Then Frodo failed. He failed the Quest, he failed his duty and broke under the influence of the Eye. Yet, he still received grace. He was not too far gone, because you never are. You cannot be. He may have lost everything in Middle-earth, but he gained Valinor and that is truly something to look up to.

I’ve heard many people say that there are so many books these days with plots similar to Lord of the Rings. I totally agree with that. What I do not agree with is when people say that LotR may have been the first, or one of the first fantasies of its type, but there are now so many others resembling it that LotR is not interesting anymore and has no distinguishing features to make it better than the others. There I disagree. It has distinguishing features: how many other fantasies of its type have you read where the author eventually has the hero fail in his epic quest? How many others have you seen where the saviour (unintentional maybe) is Gollum, not Frodo? Not many, if any, would be my guess. Beyond  that, it is the sheer scale of Lord of the Rings that makes it the best, to me. Beyond this one stories, we also have an entire legendarium and more, for the great tales never end. Also, Tolkien was a master of the English language and he has a way of putting things and describing things that is so wonderful and unique…

Because of the epic size of this story, I also have to admit that I have read LotR cover to cover only once. It’s simply too big for regular rereads. It has 1,030 pages plus the appendices in my edition (The one pictured up there. It’s the 50th anniversary edition!). There are some chapters that I have read several times. I regularly pick it up and just read some part. I often catch myself just reading and reading when I was really only scanning for a quote to use in a graphic. On top of LotR, I of course also love The Hobbit and I am super excited for the upcoming movie. I also own The Children of Húrin, but I never quite seem to get to reading it. Anyway, I think I should probably read The Silmarillion first, before attempting that one. I’ve read parts of The Silmarillion before, but not all. It’s not an easy read for me because I always get confused with the names of all the Elves, because they sound so similar to me and then I have to page backwards and forwards to remember who’s who. However, I’ve read the part about the forging of the Silmarils and I’ve read about the Valar and the creation of Middle-earth. I’ve also read about the first murder and the Curse of Galadriel, but there is still much to go. I think this would be my next step into the Tolkien legendarium.

 

And with a complete change of topic I would declare that I love hobbits. Hobbits never fail to make me smile. I think if you just saw my graphics folder you would be able to deduce that already from the amount of graphics featuring hobbits that I make, compared to graphics featuring any of the other characters or races. It used to the be the Elves that I loved that much… and while I still love them and all the descriptions of their homes, lately I have come to realise the attraction of the hobbits’ simple lives… and the great deeds done by small hands to save Middle-earth.

And my OTP (one true pairing) also comes from LotR. I don’t know why it matters, because I don’t even write fanfiction. Not really, anyway. *cough* Definitely not romantic fanfiction, though! 😉

 

And here at last, dear friends, we come to the end of our journey through the 30 Day Book Challenge! *

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

  • 35 posts (counting the introductory one),
  • About 40 books,
  • Some 26,000 words (that’s over half a NaNoWriMo-novel, eep!)

And hereby, by the power vested in me (because I hold the password to the blog), I declare this challenge over! Normal “Cartoons & Creative Writing” posting will resume in a few days!

 

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*With apologies to Professor Tolkien for mangling his quote.


Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie

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This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

Ahaha! An easy one at last! I knew as soon as I saw the topic. My favourite book turned into a movie is Lord of the Rings. (x3!) I’d watch those movies constantly, only they are a bit long for that. 😛 I think that Peter Jackson and his team really did a great job on this story and they told it on-screen as close as it would have been possible to portray it. Obviously, they changed some things, but I really cannot say that any changes really detracts from the storyline. Like most fans, I’m disappointed that Tom Bombadil’s piece was cut, but really… when you start to think about it, his entire story would have been irrelevant and a waste of screen-time if you do not include the whole story of Valinor, the Eldar, the Maiar coming to Middle-earth… and so on and so on. Tom Bombadil is mostly interesting for speculation about who he really is, if he was the First and for the dream that Frodo had while in his house. He is a hugely entertaining character as well, of course, but without his backstory, he would simply have been reduced to a rather interesting and intelligent fool. I’m not angry that he was not included.

I did read the book before I saw the movies. I know I got the three DVDs for my 18th birthday, which was one of best presents ever. I read the book sometime before that. Actually, I don’t really know when I first read it, not only because I can’t remember, but because I read it across a period of months. So when I started and when I finished, that was quite far apart. I’m not one of those people who managed to stroll through it at age 12 and loved it ever since. I don’t think I’d have been able to read it at that young age. I was still reading Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl at that stage!

In my opinion, there are some of the pieces of the story that is better in the movies than in the book. The chief is example is, of course, the King of the Golden Hall piece. Théodred’s funeral and everything surrounding it was absolutely lovely in the film and it is of course missing in the book. Oh, it’s there, but not nearly in the emotional detail that the film gives to it. Always now, I feel as if the book is a bit lacking there, because of the piece that the movie added in there. I always feel that part was masterfully executed on the part of Bernard Hill.

Another improvement that the movies made was cutting Sam and Frodo’s hike through Mordor shorter. People tend to always comment that Tolkien’s style is too long-winded, but I have never minded that. The only time that I really felt that now he is getting too long-winded was after Cirith Ungol when the two hobbits were creeping across the plain and Tolkien started describing every rock and depression and blade of grass. Then I felt it was getting a bit much. The movie balanced that out much better, with lots of cuts to the other characters, so that the plains of Mordor don’t get so boring.

The three Lord of the Rings movies have made the story accessible to people who would never in their lives have read such a thick book. Both my parents never have and never will read the book. But they watch the movies with me. My mother loves Sam and she actually recognises him when I’m working on LotR graphics. I was quite surprised, because usually she doesn’t recognise these things. I’m not sure how much my father understands of the story, because he keeps asking me and switching the characters up, but he also know what a hobbit is and he refers to people he describes as hobbit-like. Anybody who looks vaguely hobbit-like gets referred to as a hobbit in our house, and everyone understands that, even though only one of us has read Lord of the Rings. That really is something that we have to thank the movies for.

The score to the movies is definitely another masterpiece. I think Howard Shore really outdid himself in that score. The full 10-hour version is something I play when I do assignments. It really helps and I can really imagine Middle-earth playing in my ears. It is very recognisable as well and I caught myself singing the main theme the other day. That is another thing that we have to thank the movies for.

All in all, I love The Lord of the Rings-film trilogy. It’s the whole combination of score, storyline and scenery rolled into one. It’s just wonderful. 😀

Tomorrow’s post is about my favourite romance book… oh dear… 😉

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