The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
How were you introduced to Tolkien and his writings/the LOTR franchise?

Poll: How were you introduced to Tolkien and his writings/the LOTR franchise?
Through Reading The Hobbit 39 / 23%
Through Reading LOTR 16 / 9%
Through reading The Silmarillion (that was brave) 2 / 1%
Reading some of his other writing 2 / 1%
School/College Project 4 / 2%
Recomendation from friend/family 19 / 11%
Through TORn 1 / 1%
Watching PJ's LOTR Trilogy 23 / 13%
I was introduced as a child/teenager 38 / 22%
I was introduced as a Adult 4 / 2%
I was introduced by my Parents 9 / 5%
Watching The Hobbit: AUJ 0 / 0%
Ralph Bakski's '78 LOTR Film 3 / 2%
One of the Middle Earth Video Games 0 / 0%
Through reading simialr books 3 / 2%
The Rankin-Bass TV movies of The Hobbit and ROTK 4 / 2%
Other adaption of Tolkien's work 0 / 0%
I honestly can't remember 1 / 1%
Other Reason 3 / 2%
171 total votes


Jun 15 2013, 10:29pm

Views: 809
How were you introduced to Tolkien and his writings/the LOTR franchise?

There has been alot of discussion recently about the Merits of The Hobbit film versus the book/ PJ's LOTR films, and whilst I won't go into that debate here, I thought it raised an interesting point-whether more people on This Site discovered the film franchise through the new film or the old trilogy, or were book firsters anyway, and what effect they have on peoples impression of 'Tolkien'. I thought it would be
inresting to discuss how we each found out about Tolkien's writing, and whether the age and circumstances of our first reads of his works have had any lasting effect on our impressions of the story, at the very least It'll make a nice break from the arguments about Azog and CGI...

As for me though I have very vague memories of being read The Hobbit in school (to this day my visualisations of the book lay much closer to The Rankin Bass version, and I maintain the 77 Gollum is much creepier) I'm not entirely sure whether this predated the release of The LOTR trilogy or not. My 'proper' introduction came at Christmas 2002 when I got a VHS of Fellowship (after having to endure a solid year of discussion, taunts and games about a 'really cool best film ever' (I'm paraprasing here, It was a decade ago and I was 10) that I heard all about, but had been refused the chance to see by my parents. Anyway rambling/mushy/boring tory cut short I was blown away, and instantly hooked, watching the film four or five times within the space of five days, later having a similar reaction to the later films (though not AUJ sadly...), buring out several VHS tapes inthe process.

I put off reading the rather large looking book for several years, but eventually took the plunge when I turned 15, needless to say I was hooked again, captivated by the scope and language only hinted at in the films (though I couldn't help but wonder, and still do Who the Heck is This Tom Bombadil bloke anyway?) I have gradually increased my love of all things Tolkien, and although (somewhat ironically) I haven't got quite the love for the trilogy I did have (I sorta turned into a bit of a purist in reverse) they still rank amongt my faves, and whatever my issues they sparked my love of cinema and interest in Reading.

Cheers PJ.

How about you? How and when did it happen? What made you pick up that book about odd little hobbits? More importantly can you be bothered to explain?

This is not a very interesting signature is it?


Jun 15 2013, 11:16pm

Views: 494
I have to vote 'can't remember'

I'm very confident that I read The Hobbit as a teenager but I have no memory of that experience. I have a few strong memories of reading LOTR, however. Since one of my memories involve a particular high school teacher and I had that teacher for two years (junior and senior year advanced math), I can pin the years down from fall 1968 to spring 70.

I also don't know where I got the book. I only had access to the school library and purchasing books through the Scholastic Book Club. I don't know if I bought the book or took it out on loan from the library.

And I can't remember what prompted me to pick it up. I just remember it making a huge impact on me. I remember drawing mountain ranges on the blackboard in my math class during lunch (we were free to roam the halls after eating) and the words: One Ring to Rule Them All and having my math teacher recognize the phrase. I also remember reading some scene with the Black Riders (I'm fairly sure from FOTR) in the middle of the afternoon and being truly scared.

One of the first things I purchased with my first job was The Road Goes Ever On Song Cycles by Tolkien and Donald Swann.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jun 15 2013, 11:26pm

Views: 502
Read LOTR first

In a weekend...stayed up til 5 am to finish ROTK. Then went to Sil, then to TH; a few years later to HoME.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Jun 15 2013, 11:30pm

Views: 482
It would have been

I remember wanting to go see FOTR in theaters but my parents thinking I was too young - 10 years old. So instead I went to get the book from my school library. The librarian said that it wasn't check in at the time, so she directed me to The Hobbit. I checked it out and read it in 10 days (which was fast for me Angelic). Then I moved onto LOTR.

So I'm a book-firster, but I became aware of them because of PJ's films.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel


Jun 15 2013, 11:32pm

Views: 496
A weekend!?

That's incredible! How old were you at the time? I'm not even sure I could do that nowadays, and I'm 22. I'm not one of those speed-readers, though.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel


Jun 15 2013, 11:37pm

Views: 480
Think I was either 20 or 21

Yup, once I picked them up it was no going back!!!! I probably missed a few meals in that weekend! I do read fast though. I was so captured there was no taking a break for me. Good thing I had bought all 3 or I would have been racing out to the bookstore in between. My friends who had read them earlier had told me to just have them all on hand at once. Good advice.Wink

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Jun 15 2013, 11:47pm

Views: 472
This is great advice, lol.

I would have missed every meal and had to spend every single minute reading in order to read it in a weekend Laugh

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel


Jun 15 2013, 11:55pm

Views: 477
I first encounted Tolkien's writings in fourth grade

The "Riddles in the Dark" chapter of The Hobbit was exerpted in our fourth grade reader. I can't recall if it was the original version or if it was the revised one, but I suspect it was the latter.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 15 2013, 11:56pm)


Jun 16 2013, 12:36am

Views: 471
I thought hobbits were insects

When I was little, I looked at the cover of my sister's copy of The Hobbit, and mistook the dragon for some sort of flying insect. Therefore I decided that 'The Hobbit' was an insect, and I didn't want to read a book about an insect. Anyway, I didn't like to read things my sister read, because I thought she read dull books.

My introduction to Lord of the Rings was a compulsory school trip to see the movie version in 1980. I was talking, so I had to sit beside the horrible teacher who wore a sickening amount of aftershave and a blue polyester suit. The only redeeming feature of the experience was a few horses to look at on the screen.


Jun 16 2013, 12:53am

Views: 453
I read The Hobbit when I was nine

Which was about three years before Fellowship came out. So I guess that makes me a book firster?

My Sam Gamgee is indeed a reflexion of the English soldier, of the privates and batmen I knew in the 1914 war, and recognized as so far superior to myself- J.R.R. Tolkien

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 16 2013, 12:53am

Views: 490
It happened in stages.

When I was very young (it must have been late 70s), I watched one or both of the Rankin Bass cartoons on TV. I remember being thoroughly creeped out by Gollum, and I remember the Eowyn reveal on the battlefield, and that's about it. Oh, and the song "Frodo...of the niiiiine fingers and the Ring of Doooooom!" Wink

When I was 14 and on an extended visit to a friend, I had some time to kill while she was somewhere's appt or something, and I raided her bookshelf for reading material. I think I started with The Hobbit and then sped through LOTR in the space of about 4 days. I was desperate to get done before I had to go home; I didn't want to wait to read the end of the story! I later discovered that we actually had a set at home.

When I was in my early 20s, I suffered an extended illness which had me bedridden for about 6 weeks. Reading was about all I could do, and since I read quickly, I needed lots of books and long ones. I read several lengthy classics, but then I turned to Tolkien. I did a whole read-through and was blown away by the depth and scope I simply hadn't noticed before. It's often been said that these books grow as the reader grows and that is what happened to me. As soon as I was finished, I immediately turned back to the beginning and read them again. And again. I found new things each time. First time through (at 14) I was riveted by the plot; what was going to happen next? Next read-through I noticed the world of Middle-earth, its depth and breadth. The time after that I began to notice the little nuances of the characters and how they related to each other. And after that I noticed the vistas of history and all the small allusions to stories behind and beyond the main story.

And then, after discovering that though lots of people I knew had read the books, none of them seemed to see what I did, or were as fascinated by the world-building, it occurred to me that somewhere online there must be a mailing list or newsgroup where people were talking about this, so I did a search and found TORN...and was horrified to discover that Hollywood was about to ruin the book by mangling it into a movie. Noooooooo! But I kept coming back out of horrified fascination to find out just how bad it was going to be, and then some months later I finally ventured into the message boards and found my "tribe". I started lurking every day and little by little I kept hearing things that made me hopeful about the movies. And then, of course, one day I couldn't keep quiet any longer and chose a name and came out of lurkdom. Well, to fast forward to the end of the story, I ended up loving the movies and loving the fellowship of fellow fans every bit as much. It was conversations here that led me to read the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, and several other volumes of the HOME, as well as Roverandom and Father Christmas and Farmer Giles, and a Tolkien biography or two. So though I found and loved Tolkien on my own, it was TORN that made me a geek. Cool


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dûm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."

(This post was edited by Silverlode on Jun 16 2013, 1:15am)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 16 2013, 1:05am

Views: 470
That needs to be a t-shirt:

In Reply To
it was TORN that made me a geek.


Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Jun 16 2013, 1:21am

Views: 445
Mine also went in stages.

"Frodo and the Nine Fingers" ... swirling hobbits in dark vortexes ... spookiness
I had no interest in this particular preview at the time - I was young and blinded by the dazzling enchanted sparkliness of unicorns.

Reading material (TH) on a short domestic flight (Hi Stephen Fry)
It was only 50 cents. There were coffee stains on it. Now here is the bizarre part - there was this old guy there, that I swear was also coffee-stained himself and cashiering. When I picked this copy of TH up, I got in an argument about how to pronounce "Minas Tirith" - actually, it was more like him saying it and me realizing that I was saying it wrong. So now, I must have read LotR - I just can't remember. I did a lot of reading back then!

High School Book Report / Project (surprising comments from a fellow student)
I made character sketches and had to run through the whole plot / characters / etc. in like 15 minutes. I got comments from another student who was listening, actually, and he said that there were some other names for Gandalf that I had missed.

High School friend / fellow fan (there was only one that I knew of among my gamer-geek comic-loving crew)
So surprising - all these people who play fantasy table-top RPGs - and they are not fans of LotR, all except for one. They were more into comic book heroes and worlds. That all changed after PJ's movies came out! I bought one of them "Children of Hurin" for their birthday this year.

In college as a side glance while studying Christian authors (ahem ... Lewis) and the Inklings a bit
Again - very surprised to see that so many fans of Narnia and Lewis weren't automatically fans of Tolkien and ME. But there were a few. I almost took a class but didn't have room in my course load because of how many times I had switched my major. I did talk about what they were learning with some friends of mine in the class, though.

In college, made a friend with all those extended books edited by CT
I have a habit of rummaging through other peoples' books (to the extent that it seems appropriate - browsing, borrowing, making conversation, etc.). She had them all, I think! Her favorite was Gandalf. The one I remember best was "The Lost Road".

Foray into Fan-fiction
I tried it out, and found out why it is not for me.

Separating my own work / creative ideas from all the stuff that has infiltrated my imagination now from ME

When I decided to go ahead and try to make something out of the creative stories that I spin off of almost everything I see, it came to my attention that there were certain things that were "too much like Tolkien's work" for my liking. So I started scouring the appendices of ROTK and "The History of Middle Earth" in order to pin-point what these threads were so that I could eliminate them and / or modify what I had so that it wouldn't suffer from that mistake. I was also trying to see if my suspicions were at all founded. There were parts of what I had that seemed to fit, and other parts that seemed to contradict. So I really looked hard at things to see how much it really was reconcilable with things I had read of Tolkien's. It had been made readily and unquestionably clear, at least to me and for me, that any kind of use of such things without major transformation was just out of the question. But luckily, I had along the way decided to go ahead and study the likely / possible sources for Tolkien's fairy stories and I had had some luck doing that! So I will use that stuff for modelling instead - at least for those parts that I can't just remove easily. But I am taking my sweet time with all of this and may never actually publish anything, which is fine with me.


Jun 16 2013, 2:38am

Views: 453

We wants one! Cool


Jun 16 2013, 5:36am

Views: 462
The Deplorable Cultus, I think.

I lived in Berkeley, CA from 1963-70 (the "golden years"?). I read all the books then, and found them enjoyable. But, frankly, I didn't get hooked until seeing PJ's TTT in the theatre and then FotR-EE. I did see FotR when it came out, but it didn't move me. The extra scenes in the EE did it.

Anyway, I re-read all the books, and was permanently hooked.

Tol Eressea

Jun 16 2013, 8:12am

Views: 455
It would have to have been in the early 1980s . . .

A friend of ours had just bought and read The Hobbit and LOTR and wanted someone to discuss them with. He knew I loved to read and so gave them to me to read. I LOVED them immediately. We started discussing them, but his wife got jealous and made us stop discussing something she and my then husband didn't enjoy. I was certainly an adult when I discovered Tolkien, but I loved fantasy from the 1920s and 30s, so I moved to Tolkien quite easily.

I never saw any of the early film attempts at The Hobbit or LOTR. PJ's were the first LOTR films I saw and loved.


Jun 16 2013, 8:53am

Views: 440
Grammar school

I was about 10-ish saw a kid in the library looking at a fold out map in a hardcover book. (I vaguely recall some illustrations to, but I am not 100%) ...Were there any illustrated harcover versions of the Hobbit? Any ways I asked him about it and he said it was good and I should sign it out when he was done with it. So i did and was hooked ever since.

Take this Brother May it Serve you Well
Vote for Pedro!


Jun 16 2013, 9:04am

Views: 428
I was introduced as a child, through my sister and Mum

I vividly remember a conversation (a good couple of years before the FOTR was released) - my Mum was re-reading the books and my sister had just begun reading them. They were telling me about these characters called Pippin and Merry (specifically the Buckleberry Ferry chapter). I thought they were ridiculous names and thought the whole story was silly (I would've been ~7 years old). How wrong I was. I then picked the book up not long after that, and gave it a go. And haven't put it down since! At that age, I didn't use the internet much, so was pretty much out of the loop about the new films. It wasn't until TTT/ROTK when I really lurked around TORn.

Good old memories. Unfortunately, neither of them can remember that conversation!


Jun 16 2013, 10:39am

Views: 433
I read lots of books when I was very young...

...many of them were picture books, though, because I found them interesting. My older sister would sometimes sketch pictures and make up a book for me. One day, she sat down with me and read 'The Hobbit' out loud. Some of it I cannot recall, except from Bilbo and Thorin and Erebor and Smaug and Bard, but I always remembered the author's name.
When I had only been three years old, the first 'Lord of the Rings' film came out (not that I was ever able to watch it because I was too young) and I saw on the credits that it was inspired by the book by "J.R.R.Tolkein" and I recognised it. Then I realised it was the same person who had written 'The Hobbit'...

I suppose I took interest in the whole idea of Middle-Earth and, when I was nine, decided to buy the books myself. I "borrowed" (though I have yet to give it back to her) 'The Hobbit' from my sister for school time so that (whenever I'm bored) I can flick back to my favourite chapters. And then I begged to see the LOTR films one-by-one so that I could see how PJ had interpreted the books.

To tell you the truth, I had been chatting to my sister a few years ago about 'The Hobbit', saying that it would make a good film if Peter was going to make another Middle-Earth film using J.R.R.Tolkein's books. And then, a few months afterwards, it had been confirmed he was making 'The Hobbit'. Smile I was extremely surprised that I had read his mind, almost.

....."Loyalty, Honor,
......A Willing Heart.
I can ask no more than that."

.... ~ Thorin Oakenshield


Jun 16 2013, 12:46pm

Views: 433
My first taste of Tolkien's world was The Hobbit book...

... back in the 1990s, and after years of resisting recommendations to read LotR, I saw one of PJ's LotR films in cinema (can't recall if it was FotR first or TTT first), and became part of the fandom which I never left since. Cool

I second what you said about turning into a purist after reading more of Tolkien's work, Malickfan. It was the same for me. I still like PJ's LotR movies, but now I place the books first and foremost, and Bakshi's more literal take on LotR right after the books.

"A journalist once asked me what I would like my epitaph to be and I said I think I would like it to be 'He did very little harm'. And that's not easy. Most people seem to me to do a great deal of harm. If I could be remembered as having done very little, that would suit me." ~ Paul Eddington


Jun 16 2013, 5:53pm

Views: 406
by my 9th grade English teacher

who ran a summer camp I went to. He lent me his battered paperbacks of LOTR. And also Dune. What a great summer that was!

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Jun 16 2013, 6:24pm

Views: 416
Why is it I read The Silmarillion aged 16 and got it completely...

...And only last year I couldn't get past the first page of Dune? (I'm normally a sucker for long complicated wordy stories!, but Dune, I don't know why I couldn't connect with it...)

Some very interesting respones-I'm Kinda surprised more people seemed to have read The Hobbit first, and Daniel, I'm Jealous, my family were ignorant of Tolkien before the films (well not ignorant that the books were 'very long and pretty old')...

This is not a very interesting signature is it?


Jun 16 2013, 6:42pm

Views: 400
Same age, same reaction

I read the LOTR when I was about 11 after reading The Hobbit in school, and The Silmarillion when I was 16, and loved them all, but I could never connect with the Dune series either, even though a lot of my friends did. I tried and tried, because I wanted to appreciate it and join in their conversations about it, but never found it as deep or well-written as they did. It was one of those rare cases where I liked the movie and TV adaptations more than the books.


Jun 16 2013, 9:56pm

Views: 393
I'm not sure whether I can really class myself as a book firster because...

When I was around 10/11, I remember the teacher handing my best friend and I the Hobbit to read. We were both advanced readers and had read almost everything else in the small school library. Our reaction was not good and I have to confess getting very bored reading the descriptions of the dwarves' beards and hoods. I think I also thought that I was far too grown up to read fairy stories with wizards and dwarves in them (how things change!Blush) My friend felt the same as I and when we flicked through and realised that there were no female characters in the books, we decided not to bother to read further.

Roll on 20 odd years and the release of FOTR- I was rather underwhelmed because of my previous experience. However, later in 2002 I bought the VHS and a boxed paperback set, but did not touch them until I was ill around Christmas.Lounging around on the sofa, feeling rough, I decided to put on the VHS and within a few minutes of the Prologue starting, I was absolutely hooked. I watched the film several times over the next few days and then embarked on the books, which I read very quickly, so that by the time I saw TT, I knew LOTR and the Hobbit pretty well. Since then I have read the books and watched the movies more times than I can count and have been to NZ twice (only the first time did I visit film locations though). I also read the Silmarillion , UT and some of HOME

Roll on a few more years and I am now embarking on reading more Tolkien related stuff, recommended by my friends here on TORn. Sadly, not one of my RL friends is interested in Tolkien and think I am a bit strange for even seeing the moviesFrown

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Jun 16 2013, 10:01pm

Views: 406
The Hobbit

I got The Hobbit book for Christmas a year before the first LotR movie was set to come out. I read it and loved it, and so immediately went on to read LotR and eventually also The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales etc. Then of course FotR came out and I also got immersed into the movie fandom.

I was about 16 when I first got my hands on The Hobbit, which I suppose is pretty late, but somehow it just never came my way while I was a kid. If I hadn't received the book when I did, I'd probably have gone to see FotR without ever having read any of the books. I can only imagine how different the experience would have been, going in with no expectations, but I'm so glad I had that year to go through the books and get into the whole mythology in my own head before getting to see PJs version of it.

Cuwen Maegmacil

Jun 16 2013, 11:45pm

Views: 227
It seemed like everyone I knew had seen the movies and loved them all.

So I finally went to the store, bought the LOTR trilogy and like that I was hooked. I immediately saw the movies, delved into the history of M-E, I read the Silmarillion when I was 15 and I absolutely loved it(and I understood it quite wellWink). Not too long afterwards I discovered TORn, thus here I am. Smile

I've been incredibly nerdy ever since I read Fellowship of the Ring, and I'm only getting nerdier!Smile

"The Ring is Mine!" ~ Frodo Baggins

(This post was edited by Cuwen Maegmacil on Jun 16 2013, 11:47pm)


Jun 16 2013, 11:59pm

Views: 239
First read the hobbit

First read the hobbit aged 7 years old in 1995, this was recommended to me by my mother. I read it and in parts she read it when i got tired of reading. I then read it again and again by myself for a few years - i loved the maps and the adventure Bilbo went on, to me it seemed like a serious book for grown ups and i thought Bilbo was in real danger lots of times which i think is quite a bit different to how i might have viewed the book if i were older on my first read.

I then went onto LOTR in 2000 and it took me a year to read it as i took ages to read at that time and i think i got stuck on Council of Elrond and almost gave up (now love it!) Once i had finished it i had changed my mind from thinking the hobbit is the best book ever to the LOTR and started reading it again straight away - i then heard about the film (this was around Sept 2001) and decided to read FOTR again before the films release. This time it didn't take me anywhere near as long and i ended up reading it all before FOTR was released and i was basically massively obsessed so i feel FOTR couldn't have come at a better time (13 year old geek, lol).

Then tried to read the Silmarillion but got kinda freaked out by no hobbits or gandalf and the million names of the Valar that kept popping up. Then tried another book - book of lost tales 2 - even harder read so was a bit dismayed and so decided to reread LOTR again, then gave The Sil another go and loved it, then went on to read parts of HoME, COH, Unfinished Tales, Letters etc. Still got some HoME editions to read completely (the LOTR ones) but in no rush.

Been 18 years or 72% of my life i have been a massive Tolkien fan and in a way had a massive influence on my life - the LOTR movies have added to that in a great way offering different visuals to ones i had imagined and i hope DOS and TABA will do the same and i can go on being a Tolkien enthusiast/geek and being gently teased by my family for many more years to come!

'What's the matter with you?' - J.R.R. Tolkien

Grey Havens

Jun 17 2013, 1:18pm

Views: 212
Hobbit, as a young girl

When I was in first grade, my mother pointed"The Hobbit" out to me at the local library as a book that I would enjoy reading when I was older. Being a contrary sort, I promptly checked it out, and read it. I loved it, but held off finishing LotR until I was in third grade, as I did find Tolkien a tough read at that age. Throughout my childhood and early adult years I used to reread these books at least once per year. Heart

Among the other options, after reading the books, I did see the Hobbit animated film, as well as the Bakshi LotR and the Rankin/Bass RotK. And was happy to see them all as a movie of Middle Earth was to me, obviously something to love, even if the technology to bring it fully to the screen was not quite there!

And I was blown away by Jackson's FotR, as I had never believed I would see such an amazing realization of my favorite fictional world.


Jun 17 2013, 2:42pm

Views: 245
Coverless remnants a dime each.

How could one resist such a bargain?

Pippin: "When you guys fall in the forest, does it make a sound?"
Bregalad: "Are you kidding? Scott fell last week and he hasn't shut up about it since!"


Jun 17 2013, 3:00pm

Views: 203

fantasy is about looking back, in a way, and sci-fi looks forward? I loved Dune because it imagined a future for humans that seemed entirely believable to me, number one, and also because of the idea that people finally woke up to the fact that the human mind, if properly trained, would be far more powerful than any computer. The story is full of people who have managed to harness all kinds of abilities - Jessica teaches Paul how to control each separate muscle in his body, for instance - and who have also managed to becoming adept at what we now call extra-sensory powers (Paul has visions, the Truthsayers can just about read minds, and the Guild pilots have taken telekinesis to the limit). I also like that his future humans seem finally to have realized - unlike most of our politicians today - that what we do in the now will have consequences. Although there's still war and violence, there's a code of behavior (no atomic weapons) that people have agreed to because they're not just thinking in terms of themselves right now. In fact, a lot of the political shenanigans take centuries to play out. At the same time, people fight their own battles, mostly (again, a consequence of getting rid of machines).

Also, like Tolkien, Herbert created not just a world but an entire universe with its own extensive history and different cultures - but all based, ultimately, on Earth's cultures. The Atreides are Greek (Atreus was the father of Agamemnon), the Harkonnens follow Roman customs with their bread-and-circuses approach to rule, and the Fremen evoke nomadic Arabs.

I also like that women are as powerful as men for the most part.

Finally, I liked the characters!

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Jun 17 2013, 3:20pm

Views: 204
I liked Dune a lot too.

I read a few of the successive novels but liked each one less and less.

And did not like the Dune movie at all. Oi. For a couple of reasons that was a bad experience.

Annael, I read a story at io9 yesterday that made me think of you, for some reason. Here's the link:
(the rest of you all can check it out, too, if you like!)
How science fiction helped me through my grief

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jun 17 2013, 6:02pm

Views: 190
Add me to the Dune fan list

In Reply To
I read a few of the successive novels but liked each one less and less.

And did not like the Dune movie at all. Oi. For a couple of reasons that was a bad experience.

After JRRT my favorite universe and one I could see living in, particularly with the Fremen. Movies have been mostly a sad disappointment (except for that bit with Sting in the loincloth) and failed to capture either the spirit or the philosophy that drives the tale. The first book lives in a bit of a vacuum for me too, not wild about the successors read once is all. But Dune is a reread every few years.

Not an acting issue - I did enjoy Brad Dourif's Mentat in the first film, and I thought Paul and Jessica were good...just lost too much in the telling!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Jun 17 2013, 6:09pm

Views: 195
Also liked Dune

I liked it for the reasons you gave and also for the detailed environmental / planetary science stuff that I found to be amazing. I have revisited it numerous times.

The movie seemed fine to me, but I didn't read any of the follow-up books since I heard that they take a more dark and twisted turn (a thing I just don't seek out in general). With so many books to choose from, I'd rather try something that sounds like something I'd like or re-read and oldie but goodie that I've read a few times over.


Jun 17 2013, 8:03pm

Views: 181

I was introduced to the films by friends at school when I was a pre-teenager. I liked them much and we were making games about it at school.

Later on I shifted to other interests and only seriously came back to it as an adult when I learned English. I decided to buy all the books Middle-Earth related and read them all.
I was amazed by how rich and deep these tales are. The style of writting is great and never came across something that profound before. As good as the films are, they did not struck me the same way.

So I decided to join TORn and discuss my interest with people around the world.

(This post was edited by sam90 on Jun 17 2013, 8:06pm)

Tol Eressea

Jun 17 2013, 8:19pm

Views: 179
Through PJ

So he has my undying gratitude for that, even though I don't really share all of his cinematic ideas and tastes.

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


Jun 17 2013, 9:00pm

Views: 172
My experience was similar

     I saw the Rankin-Bass version of The Hobbit on TV as a child, and loved it. However, I wasn't aware of Tolkien's works; I simply thought it was a great TV movie. I only saw it once, but I always remembered it. (Especially Gollum and hte Mirkwood Spiders.)
When I was in middle school I stumbled upon Tolkien again. I was deciding what book to read for a class assignment, when a friend suggested The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. He said they were great, and were four books, (we had to read a novel a month,) so it would cover me for a while. When I got to Gullum and the Mirkwood spiders parts of the tale, I realised that I was reading the same story as the cartoon movie that I had loved so much. That is really when my world opened up to Tolkien. I'm pretty sure that I read through The Hobbit and all three books in The Lord of The Rings in a week (quite the feat for middle-school me).

"Happy painting and God bless, my friend." - Bob Ross

Aunt Dora Baggins

Jun 18 2013, 7:54pm

Views: 154
Back in 1969

I had a pen-pal who suggested that I might enjoy "The Hobbit". She was right! I went on to read LotR soon afterward. But since TTT was checked out of the junior high library, I went from FotR to RotK, and then read TTT third. It was kind of confusing, but I pieced it together, and read them in the correct order soon afterward.

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com


Jun 18 2013, 11:54pm

Views: 199
On my vacation in Branson Missouri

When I was eighteen last year, I picked up a paperback copy of The Lord of the Rings. I immediatley got hooked and now I own it in hardcover along with both the theatrical and extended editors of the films :)


Jun 20 2013, 4:23pm

Views: 144
Saw the movie of FotR

Then had to read the books. I was 14 and still leery of bigger books and this was my first step into that world.

Fredeghar Wayfarer

Jun 21 2013, 5:23am

Views: 126
Rankin/Bass Hobbit

My first exposure to Tolkien was the Rankin/Bass Hobbit cartoon, rented from a video store when I was very young. I can't remember if it was the first fantasy I was exposed to or just the first that had a major impact on me. Regardless, I loved it and it was a huge influence on me. Because of that movie, fantasy is my favorite genre, both in terms of reading and my own writing. I saw the Rankin/Bass Return of the King soon after so I knew how the story ended. But I had missed the middle!

I finally read The Hobbit in junior high and The Lord of the Rings in high school. I haven't looked back since. I'm now in my 30s and have read a decent amount of Tolkien's other works (Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Children of Hurin, Book of Lost Tales, Roverandom, etc.).


Jun 21 2013, 5:49am

Views: 129
I started

With the hobbit. I was about 5 my Mom bought a copy for my older sister. I can remember being absolutely fascinated by the cover, which was a picture of Bilbo smoking his pipe in front of bag-end. I was stunned; I had to read it. The only problem was, I hadn't learnt to read yet.

My Mom says TH was what motivated me to learn to read, and it has certainly always been a very special story for this reason. ( when Mom says this, my sister shakes her head and mutters, "typical" Laugh )

I read LotR after a trip to New Zealand; ( about two years ago) everyone was crazy about it there...
Then it was the movies. Then extended. AUJ. TORn. Sil.

BTW, I still don't know what was so amazing about that cover art. Crazy
It isn't that wonderful, when I look at it now.

The Shire

Jun 27 2013, 10:43pm

Views: 92
HS english class project

... for our ISU (independent study unit), the teacher gave us the choice between The Hobbit and another book (can't remember). i did a pop-up book of TH.

then, one day while browsing the bookstore, i stumbled across the LOTR boxset (the beautiful John Howe covers; and i'm still mad at the "friend" who "borrowed" them and never gave them back!). i was so engrossed by the trilogy that i still remember, vividly, the weekday, at 5 am, when Gandalf fell in moria. the closest to a heart attack i've had.

there was a break while schoolwork got in the way. then, the movies came out. i was appalled at the idea, but i decided to see what the fuss was about. loved the scenery, the costumes, the music. re-read LOTR after movie 1. saw the other two movies, of course. really enjoyed some things, abhorred others.

nowadays, i alternate between watching the bonus features of my EE dvds and re-reading my favourite passages of LOTR. also recently re-read Hobbit and Silmarillion (though i can't quite remember when i first read this book... or Unfinished Tales).

in a nutshell. :)

"Alas for us all! And for all that walk the world in these after-days. For such is the way of it: to find and lose, as it seems to those whose boat is on the running stream. But I count you blessed, Gimli son of Glóin: for your loss you suffer of your own free will, and you might have chosen otherwise. But you have not forsaken your companions, and the least reward that you shall have is that the memory of Lothlórien shall remain ever clear and unstained in your heart, and shall neither fade nor grow stale."


Jul 9 2013, 12:54am

Views: 102
In all honesty

the PJ movies.

I had seen the Hobbit cartoon when I was a kid, but wasn't really interested in it. I was more drawn to Watership Down. It wasn't till I heard that the movies were coming out, that I got LoTR and read it. Then I read the Hobbit.

And, again, in all honesty, I only like RoTK. I reread them recently, and enjoyed them more the second time around.