Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mamaw Reviews The Return of the King

I first started chatting about hobbits with my grandmother a few months ago. After she read The Hobbit, we ended up watching the films. Here's the story:


  1. I've been quiet during your discussions of Tolkien's works because I consciously chose to avoid them. Sure, I'm aware that they contain good universal values. But those are available elsewhere. When I first hear of Lord of the Rings in high school, back in the late 1960s, I was lucky enough to know a kid that was really into it. I saw a room in his home that he and his sister had made showing all the different inhabitants of that world and their own dictionaries of the languages, and collectibles they had acquired and I decided that there is only so much time and space in one's brain, and that I would never want to have to get a PhD in something I would never use in real life, just to enjoy a book (or later, the movies.) Tolkien created a world for his children and their friends from posh families at a time when there was little competition for their attention--no movies or TV, or learning life/job skills that the working classes needed to survive. That isn't the world we live in. I think you could learn dentistry with the amount of time and brain capacity you have to devote to this world. I enjoy your enthusiasm for all of this, though. But I think I'll watch the first two episodes of Agent Carter.

    I came across this, and you and your grandmother might enjoy it--

    1. I think hard-core LOTR fans have probably perpetuated a false idea that one has to have extensively studied Tolkien to understand or appreciate his works. The Lord of the Rings is at heart a very simple story which does occasionally, I'll admit, wander into the complex political backstory Tolkien invented, but that's pretty easily skimmed. Overall, I'd say it's less complicated than Les Miserables (the book), with regard to politics, and far better paced. In addition, I think its reputation as a swords and sorcery tale confuses its true literary significance: it's far more prescient about human nature, politics, and spiritual reality than most modern stories. Those are the things, I think, that stayed with me and which made the story so formative for me imaginatively and morally.

      That said, the internet may skew the idea of the amount of time I spend on it. These videos with my grandmother were recorded some time ago, for instance, and I've just gotten around to editing and releasing them. Thanks for the link! Looking forward to listening to it after finishing up with schoolwork.

      I'm watching Agent Carter right now too - halfway through the first episode, and it's looking good. I suspected that, a la Agents of Shield, it would improve as it got further along, and I'm hoping it does. Character development was pretty weak last season.

  2. … "Fredo" is cute, Aragorn sounds like Armageddon.

    I'm totally on board with Mamaw on this one. For me, by far the most heartbreaking sequence in Tolkien was when Al Pacino kissed Fredo on the mouth and told him, "I know it was you, Fredo," and then, after the daughter of the lead singer of Aerosmith devoted her life to studying the last book of the Bible, Pacino had that kid Mikey from The Goonies take Fredo out on a fishing trip to whack him … ahem … I promised myself I wasn't going to do this … well, not a dry eye in the house, when that happened, I tell you.


WARNING: Blogger sometimes eats comments - copy before you post.