The Countdown Has Started . . .

HOBBIT 2I don’t know about you, but I get excited every time I see the ads for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I might not make it to opening night, but for sure I’ll be seeing the movie right after it comes out in December. Seriously, the only thing I didn’t like about the first installment in The Hobbit was knowing I had to wait a year for Part Two.

I love the way Peter Jackson brought J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth to life in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it, especially the second movie, which was my favorite. I own the deluxe set, but also a couple in the theater cuts because there were some different scenes in them that I liked.

One of the reasons I’ve loved this series is that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were my first introduction to the wonderful world of fantasy books. There have been many others that I’ve loved, but these will always be special for being my first. In my experience, I’ve found that when I read a book that has such a powerful impact, I don’t just remember the title or the characters or why I liked it. I also remember where I was when I held that book in my hands and lost myself in the story.

GaladrielI was introduced Tolkien’s books when I was in college—and in the middle of finals! My then-boyfriend, now husband of many years, mentioned that he thought a picture of Mary Travers (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame) looked like he’d always imagined Galadriel to look. When I didn’t know who Galadriel was, he gave me his copy of The Hobbit to read. I immediately immersed myself in Middle Earth and didn’t resurface until I’d read all four books in less than two weeks.

And did I mention finals?

Seriously, I can remember sitting on the floor outside of my Asian Civilization class surrounded by people cramming like crazy for the test, which was less than an hour away. Our grade for the semester was based solely on the midterm and that final exam. The importance of the test was reflected in the high level of tension running through the people scattered up and down the hallway as they muttered to themselves and pored over their notes.

Yet, as everybody else was doing their best to memorize the names of dynasties and regions in China and Japan, there I sat, reading like crazy to make sure Frodo and company escaped the clutches of Old Man Willow. It’s one of my favorite memories from college. (And for what it’s worth, I still managed a B in that class.)

But more importantly, I had the true joy of experiencing a world created solely with words on a page (well, and a few maps). What an amazing gift in my life! To this day, I try to keep those special moments in mind as I choose the words and images I use when I tell my own stories. If I do it all right, maybe someone will not only remember the Warriors of the Mist, but where she was when she first lost herself in Agathia and fell a little bit in love with Gideon and his men.

And in the meantime, I’m counting down the days.

Alexis Morgan


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13 Responses to The Countdown Has Started . . .

  1. Ms Mahler says:

    You know, I’d forgotten that the Hobbit was actually my first introduction to fantasy. My first ‘boyfriend’ pressed it on me when I was 11 years old (there’s a reason I but boyfriend in quotes! We must have been horribly sweet though.) It…didn’t grab me. It was a good read,and I enjoyed it, but I put it down and pretty much forgot about it. It was a year or two later, when an English teacher introduced The Dragon Boy, by Anne McCaffery, that fantasy grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go.

    I didn’t read LOTR until college. I pretty much read it because the movies were coming out, and I hate seeing the movies before the books. I really enjoyed them, I salute Tolkien as a master storyteller. But I’ve never been able to read them through a second time. Just end up petering out somewhere in the middle.

    I think it’s fascinating the way everyone responds differently to even the great books.

  2. I thought The Hobbit was a lot lighter than the LOTR, so I didn’t enjoy rereading it as much. The first fantasies I gave my daughter to read were Patricia Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons (loved that whole series), Robin McKinley’s Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, and then Mercedes Lackey’s Hero and the Crown.


  3. Amy Raby says:

    I saw the trailer in the theater this weekend — it looks fantastic!

    • I’ve seen the ones on television, too. Peter Jackson has done such an amazing job of bringing the world to the screen. I love Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Well, and Adain Turner as Killi. (Filli isn’t bad, either) 🙂

  4. julie says:

    im crazy on Richard Armitage, so i cant wait to see him and hear his sexy voice

  5. Is it sad that I am eager for Hobbit because of the elves? LOL.

  6. Like many a fantasy fan, these books have long been a favorite of mine. I adore that they sang Tolkien’s songs in the movie, and yes, Richard Armitage makes a great Thorin! 😉 I can’t wait for Desolation of Smaug!

  7. Linda Thum says:

    Hi Alexis! I grew up reading fantasy thanks mainly to my dad’s influence (I gravitated more to fantasy romance & historical romance as I grew older). I read The Hobbit as a child but somehow never got into LOTR. Then I was totally floored by Peter Jackson’s LOTR & The Hobbit. I don’t watch many movies – the joke in my family is that I have a quota of 1 movie a year but DoS has been the 1 movie I’ve been waiting for this whole year. Peter Jackson is amazing & the casting of all the actors perfect. I admit I’m totally in love with Richard Armitage’s Thorin; an amazing actor & person.

    • I’ve thought that part of the genius of these films has been the casting. I think he picked people who became the characters, not actors who always play themselves, if that makes sense. I really enjoyed watching the “extras” that came with the LOTR DVDs. I learned a lot about the costuming, staging, etc. It was amazing to see the care that went into making sure the clothing defined each character.

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