Coheed and Cambria
First Lord of the Rings reading experience:
I was really young and home sick - my Dad was reading it himself (he read it almost yearly and was a big fan - especially of The Hobbit) and just kept me company as I was sick and read me excerpts. I remember being surprised that Merry wasn't a girl.
I read it myself in 11th Grade and was so moved during the battle of Pelennor Fields when Aragorn and Eomer meet mid battle and lean on each other swords that I teared up. I didn't know that books could make you do that.
My dad passed away in 2005. He lived long enough to watch and appreciate Peter Jacksons adaptation. Fortunately and unfortunately he didn't live to see the mess that is the attempted production of the book he cared most about. The Hobbit.
He would be tearing his hair out right now.
Although - he'd be excited about the idea of Martin Freeman in the role.
Favorite Tolkien character:
Hmmmm.... this is too hard.
I'm a sucker for Sam and Gollum. I could say why but I'd just write and write. But they are easily my favorite LOtR characters.
As for Tolkien's whole cannon - I love Fingolfin. His final moments are some of the most amazing, beautiful, and powerful that I've ever read.
God help them if they try to adapt The Silmarillion. I say send it to HBO for a series.