A Ramble into Middle Earth

About once a year, I get the urge to watch The Lord of the Rings extended version trilogy the entire way through. This year, it just happened to coincide with the release of The Lord of the Rings in HD on Blu-ray, which I have been trying to convince David that we need to get right away. Unfortunately, he isn’t in agreement (although, seeing what a good price at which it is available on Amazon, I might just go ahead and buy it myself). Anyway, whenever I get the urge to watch The Lord of the Rings once again, it isn’t just the movie. I have this bizarre manic, obsessive tendency with many things that I feel like it isn’t good enough just to do one thing, I have to do everything. And so, when I start to watch it, I inevitably get the urge to begin to read The Silmarillion again because I feel like it is very important to remember the entire history of middle earth (because from there, then I have to read all of the other books again). If I get to the part in the movie when Gandalf is battling with the Balrog in the mines of Moria and I haven’t read in the Silmarillion about where Balrogs originated, then I think, that’s it, I have to go back to the beginning. So, this is how I found myself on Monday, sitting in jury duty, pouring over the Silmarillion and going back and forth between the text and the genealogical charts of prominent elf families in the back.

This is somewhat embarrassing for me, as I don’t consider myself one who loves “fantasy” literature more generally. I have only played Dungeons and Dragons once (in law school) and I did not really enjoy it. The fact that I love The Lord of the Rings so much is a credit to the world that Tolkien created that I can get that obsessed about it. I figure that in order to really understand it, I need to get all of the details right.

When I was in law school, I was dragged to see The Two Towers a total of seven times in the theater by the person I was dating at the time. That is a lot of time spent in the theater watching the Battle of Helms Deep. I was so passionate about what my expectations were for The Return of the King, based on pouring over the book and its details in anticipation for entire year, that I couldn’t help but be disappointed. What disappointed me the most? In my view, Peter Jackson didn’t devote enough attention to Faramir and Eowyn as he should have (they are my two favorite characters). Yes, I love Aragorn too, but seriously, I am not a particular fan of Arwen the Elf, and in general, I wish that whole love story between the two of them would have been left to the appendixes instead of taking up so much screen time. I would have been fine if she would have just showed up in the coronation and that was all the screen time that Liv Tyler got. They could have spent the extra time from taking all of that out and have been more generous to Eowyn and Faramir’s story. I love, love, love Faramir (who actually, as written, most closely resembles Tolkien himself. Furthermore, Jackson screwed up Faramir’s character in The Two Towers pretty well too, in a way to make me annoyed.) and think he is one of the most interesting characters in the whole story. I think Eowyn is pretty dynamic too, and she is definitely the most interesting and complicated of all of the female characters in the books.

Anyway, I don’t know what the point of this post is other than to decide that yes, I want to get the blu-ray because watching the trilogy will probably continue to be an annual event for me.

Never mind…I just read the Amazon reviews and found out that it is just the theatrical versions that have currently been released on Blu-Ray. I am not wasting my money on that. Only when they release the extended version on Blu-Ray will I upgrade. What a waste of time to just release the theatrical versions. It turns out that David’s reluctance just saved me considerable frustration, because if I would have raced out and purchased it, only to discover it wasn’t the extended version, then I would have really been mad. It turns out that Treebeard’s advice to Merry, “Don’t be hasty”, also applies to me.

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