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Posts tagged “The Hobbit

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Quote Saturday: Materialism leads to grief

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Random and really long-winded rambling on The Hobbit movie [vlog]

I finally recorded my opinions on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but instead of writing, I recorded a vlog, because, trust me, you don’t want to read the amount that I would gush write on this topic and you probably don’t want to watch this long video either, but it is probably less torturous than the writing would be.

And yes, this totally counts as this month’s book review! I didn’t post one last month anyway, so I’m declaring that this movie review counts! 😉 I wanted to write a review on either A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin or American Gods by Neil Gaiman, but I’ll leave those for a later stage when I have a shortage of time to read new books to review!

So, here’s the video! It’s really, really long, but it’s the shortest I could cut it to. There were just so many things I wanted to talk about! The original video I recorded was 30 minutes long (8 minutes of which was really long pauses during which I wondered what I meant to say next), so I’m quite proud of getting it to under 16 minutes.

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Your brain on writing

Well, hello. Merry Chris─ No wait, that’s not yet. I’m still muddled over the days. In November I’m always acutely aware what the date is and how many days there are left to the end of the month, but in December… well, let’s just say you’re lucky if I know what day of the week it is, nevermind what the actual date is.

However! I may have an explanation why I’m so muddle-headed. A word of warning: I drew this last night while watching Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal in one corner of the screen and drawing in what was left over of the space. If it sounds weird, blame the movie.

Cover (more…)


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!


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 05 – A book that makes you happy

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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 topic was more difficult for me to write about than it would look at first glance. I was looking at the topic, thinking “A book that makes me happy? What do you mean? BOOKS make me happy! I am happy with a good book. It does not have to be a certain book.” So I was wondering what to write about. What can I write about now that I have not already written about. I’ve already talked about rereading, I’ve already talked about favourite series and favourite books. What can I write about now?

And so I went on Tumblr like I always do when I’m procrastinating and I’m not sure what to do (which is usually why I’m procrastinating with writing in the first place) and read my dashboard. Then the answer came to me: not in a dream or revelation, but on a humble Tumblr dash. The Hobbit makes me happy. I am super excited for the first movie coming out and just reading about it on Tumblr makes me happy. The graphics, the quotes, the GIFs… I love this sense of excitement and all of it is rooted in the book for me.

I love hobbits, which is probably why I am so fond of this book. It lacks the shadow that hangs over Lord of the Rings. It’s a children’s book after all, and it shows in the happy innocence displayed by Bilbo Baggins. He is not interested in adventure, or so he thinks. But it sweeps him up and carries him to a faraway land in the company of thirteen dwarves (I just wrote “drawers”. That could’ve made a great story too! Smile with tongue out) and, of course, Gandalf the Grey. There, Bilbo must learn what he is really made of: he is not just a hobbit looking for his tea, but also brave and righteous. What he undergoes is a foreshadowing for what his nephew Frodo will have to undergo in Lord of the Rings.

Bilbo Baggins goes There and Back Again and so returns a changed hobbit. The quest has marked him (again, a foreshadowing for Lord of the Rings) and he will always stand slightly apart from the other inhabitants of Hobbiton and Bywater. He is the subject of many a story and song, but hobbits still stand a little in awe of him. It is hard to know how to handle someone who has so much more experiences of strange and wonderful things than you could ever imagine.

 

I’m very fond of Bilbo and I am fond of all the hobbits in Lord of the Rings, but especially of Sam and Pippin. There is something about this race that completely sets them apart from the other races in Middle Earth. They are not just Little Folk – they have completely different characteristics and approaches than Men or Dwarves or Elves. The descriptions of their simple way of life make me happy and inspired.

In a hole in the ground

* And then I make things like this. I want more Hobbit-graphics to work on! *

I’m excited about every developer’s blog released by the production team of the movie and I’ve watched each several times. It is just fascinating to watch this wonderful world of the book come to life on screen. I’m happy just to think about the upcoming movies and I am convinced that it will be as great as Lord of the Rings. It will be a chance for a new generation to discover Tolkien’s work and it will be chance for people like me, who were too young to see the first trilogy in theatres, to see Middle Earth on the big screen for the first time. I’m counting the days! Winking smile

With that said, I can happily come to the conclusion that The Hobbit is a book that makes me happy. Everything that it has grown into makes me happy. It started off as bedtime stories for the Tolkien-kids and became a book and a will be a movie and it is becoming a culture. I love how the anticipation for the movie can bring people from different countries and cultures together in their enthusiasm for everything Tolkien. It is so nice that it is giving the fandom a chance to revive, after the original trilogy of movies has died out a little.

 

Yet, it all begins with a book. All of this. A lovely book, a sweet book, but also an epic adventure. Oh, I just love everything about this book. I plan to reread it before the movie comes out and I am excited just to think of it. I don’t want to read it too early, in case I forget some, but… actually the anticipation is lovely. Winking smile

 

Tomorrow I will talk about the opposite: a book that makes me sad.

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