Remembering Tolkien


It was no coincidence that Tolkien Reading Day was launched in 2003.

J.R.R. Tolkien was remembered, one more time, when "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" was released in 2001. "The Return of the King", the third and final installment in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was scheduled for showing on the last quarter of 2003. There have been many adaptations of the books, both in film and television, but it was Peter Jackson's version that fans would most remember. His was reminiscent of Arthurian romance, with a musical score like Richard Wagner's, an epic that the author would approve.

"The Lord of the Rings" revealed Tolkien's creativity, as the saga of Middle-earth was an imaginative version of his own life. He was a keen student, having been taught a great deal in biology, languages being his favorite. The British adventure stories would influence his writing; Shelob could be the giant baboon spider that bit him when he was a lad. Misty Mountains could be the Alps, where he had a holiday. The battles of Middle-earth could be his reflection of his experience during the Great War. The 25th of March was the day when Sauron died. He was the great foe of the elves, dwarfs, and other inhabitants of Middle-earth. So it was no surprise that the Tolkien Society chose that date as Tolkien Reading Day.

Formed in 1969, the Tolkien Society made it a mission to further interest in the life and works of Tolkien. "The Lord of the Rings" was the tip of the iceberg, as other related works included The Hobbit (or There and Back Again), the prequel to the trilogy. Then there was "The History of Middle-earth", compiled and edited by Tolkien's son, Christopher. Those who can't get enough of Frodo Baggins's sallies might be overwhelmed by twelve volumes of this particular work by Tolkien; "The Lord of the Rings" didn't provide some background on Shelob, whose ancestors played a role in the major events on Middle-earth. Their stories would be found there. In this age, young readers might not have the patience to go through the series. It doesn't matter, as this is the task of the Tolkien Society. Peter Jackson did them a big favor too.

Last year, the theme of the celebration was "Tolkien's Landscapes", aimed at appreciating the author's vision of the land, sea, and sky. Fans would recall the Wilderland in Wales, but for those who have seen the movie only, they would excitedly remember New Zealand, where Jackson and his crew spent eighteen months filming the trilogy. They couldn't be blamed, as Matamata, the location for the Hobbiton set, looked like a page from a fairy-tale book. Then there was the stunning landscape of Tongariro, which was turned into Mordor during production.

It will be a different theme this year, which is something to look forward to. If Tolkien isn't your cup of tea, then you might like to find out more about the National Lobster Newburg Day, which is also celebrated on the 25th of March. Protection Status

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