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life stages and LOTR


Aug 9 2013, 11:00am

Post #1 of 11 (472 views)
life stages and LOTR Can't Post

I've posted something along these lines a couple of times over the years and the answers are always interesting.

I was interested in the way our response to LOTR changes over time. It's a different book for me 40 years on and my reaction to the films has even changed over the (relatively) short time they've been out.

As an example, at difficult times in recent years I find myself thinking of the (movie-only) scene just after the death of Boromir. It seems to me that Aragorn is thinking something like, "Whatever I've done wrong or failed to do, this is not over." The Fellowship theme comes up in the musical score but with a twist. The technical term for the change is "suspension and resolution". The rest we know.


Aug 9 2013, 11:10am

Post #2 of 11 (264 views)
I first read [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in my teens. I read them four times (twice aloud) into my early twenties. I didn't read them again until I heard they were making the LOTR movies. I was in my late thirties then and it was the best read of them all. I had forgotten a lot of the details and with my maturity I found them so wonderful and moving. I cried so much during the reading and at the end because I didn't want the story to be over.


Aug 9 2013, 12:47pm

Post #3 of 11 (255 views)
In my experience... [In reply to] Can't Post

It changes every time you read it. I first read the Lord of the Rings as an 8 year old. Needless to say I did not exactly understand everything I was reading but I loved it anyway. I have read it every year since and something always gets me each time that I never seemed to notice before. It is almost like it grows with you and affects you in a different way each time, depending on your outlook on life, maturity, ect.

Faithful servant yet master's bane,
Lightfoot's foal, swift Snowmane


Aug 9 2013, 4:57pm

Post #4 of 11 (239 views)
A Book the Keeps On Giving [In reply to] Can't Post

High School is an awful place or can be, but the LOTR helped me through that. I stumbled upon a classmate who was reading it for the first time like me. We were sort of a secret club. We would meet every morning to discuss where we were in the books and what we thought would happen. I reached the Bridge at Khazad Dum before he did and had an awful time not spilling the beans. It was magical. After that LOTR became my comfort zone. When anything bad was about to happen or had happened I'd be back in the books and out of this world. In my older age I began reading LOTR and The Silmarillion each summer, again as a respite from the hustle and bustle of the world. These books are very precious. I find something new in them every time I read them.


Aug 9 2013, 7:09pm

Post #5 of 11 (220 views)
A book that grows with you [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I would say LOTR resonates so much more with me now that I'm older (well, 23) than it ever did when I was a teenager. In fact, when I was a teen the things I appreciated most where the adventure elements. Now, I realize that it is a serious and deeply felt book that grapples with many elements of the human condition.

"In the beginning the Universe was created.This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Aug 9 2013, 7:16pm

Post #6 of 11 (234 views)
The Book has always spoken to me [In reply to] Can't Post

through all the seasons of my life. Hard time, good time, growing times... and it's nothing that I've looked for; it's just there... as the best gifts usually are :)

When I first found LotR, we were homeless living out of a van travelling the country... so the Hobbits' missing home and hearth as they travelled into unknown and often scary lands really captured me! AND that you can also find friends along the way.

Even the simple celebrations or achievements that the Fellowship... Hobbits especially,.. never failed to notice and cherish.

Loss. The Fellowship breaking, Boromir, Théoden, Gandalf.... and the times, like Sam and Frodo, when it was an effort to put one foot in front of the other and keep going when lying down and giving up seemed inevitable.

It's family, friendships and loyalty that really sing throughout the story... and the faith that keeps it strong.

I still read that same set of books I picked up in 1971. They're my respite and lifeline. I'm never alone :)

4th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - May 1, 2013


"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!

TIME Google Calendar
TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)


Aug 10 2013, 10:56am

Post #7 of 11 (197 views)
that's just it... [In reply to] Can't Post

A good story takes you someplace. A great story (I was going to say, "...like this one...", but there aren't any quite like this) takes you different places at different times in your life.

At first we get the sense of wonder and discovery. Later, we may get a deeper appreciation for values like community, friendship and loyalty. Later still, we may confront the ideas of sacrifice and loss more fully.


Aug 11 2013, 4:15pm

Post #8 of 11 (182 views)
I don't know what you're all talking about [In reply to] Can't Post

I read it first at 15 and I go right back to being 15 each time I read it - full of wonder & delight at this world I wish I could live in.

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


Aug 12 2013, 11:34am

Post #9 of 11 (142 views)
hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't remember at this point but I have a hunch that my second reading was probably already different from the first. Lots of things are still there, of course - the original sense of wonder, etc. - but even that takes on a different cast with time. As far as the story itself, different scenes and characters come to the fore every time.


Aug 14 2013, 5:09pm

Post #10 of 11 (109 views)
I feel that the books does grow with us [In reply to] Can't Post

I am re-reading it now and am just to the chapter of a Knife in the Dark and already I have noticed a difference from when I read it last August. I like to think that the book is "Like Hobbits. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month and yet after a hundred years, they can still surprise you." I feel that way every time I pick it up. Each time is something different, something never seen or felt and the feeling of even more adventures ahead. My kids will know LotR if I have to duct tape them to the chair to hear it or watch it!!! Cool

Grey Havens

Aug 15 2013, 12:07am

Post #11 of 11 (131 views)
Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

There are many levels to LOTR and you understand or respond to them at different points in your life.

This is not true for The Hobbit in my opinion, nor for the Narnia books... though I love Narnia... I don't feel it grew with me.

And I think Lewis realized his books were not going to appeal to all ages...

"I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales."

Tolkien's fairy tale I think does appeal to multiple ages.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com


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