Saturday, July 29, 2017

To the Lord of the Rings, Happy Birthday!

Hello all!

Today is the 63rd birthday of the granddaddy of all fantasy stories currently on the market.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Honestly, this is a pretty big deal to me - Tolkien being one of my literary heroes.

I first got introduced to Tolkien's work in middle school, when I had to read the Hobbit for school. His style of wording is definitely something that I could get lost in for hours. When I read Tolkien, I literally have to immerse myself in the story in order to fully enjoy it because it is super super rich in detail.

As a beginning fantasy writer myself, I've also taken a lot of lessons from Tolkien and his works.

The first was how to use my natural talent for metaphors to be the most effective in my stories.
You see, Tolkien was a very devoted Catholic, and a lot of his metaphors and partial allegories that ended up in the books were of Catholic origin. But he veiled them so well that unless you truly analyzed it on a deeper level, you wouldn't notice them as such. That's one of my favorite things about Tolkien as a writer. I've noticed that other Catholic writers - G.K. Chesterton and Flannery O'Connor especially - do the same thing. I'm always using metaphors in and out of my writing, Tolkien definitely helped me refine that.

(Note: For those who would love to explore the Catholic metaphors/allegories present in LOTR, check out these lectures by Joseph Pearce, as well as his other works on Tolkien. While the price may be a bit high, I can personally guarantee that these lectures are extremely high quality.)

The second was how to use mythology through a Catholic lens in my stories. Besides having Catholic metaphors, Tolkien was also a huge fan of Germanic and Norse culture, and used a lot of that in his works too!

The third was how to play with languages. Tolkien was a linguist - the man created languages for goodness sakes! Building languages is an often forgotten part of world-building - adding one often deepens the world and makes it much more realistic.

Indirectly, I also thank Tolkien for inspiring me to put much more effort into naming my characters. Instead of plain names, I'm now looking at names that mean something about or for the character, which I think deepen the story much more.

Speaking of characters....Tolkien has some of the best range of unique and distinct characters in a fantasy series.  

My favorite characters in Middle Earth are Eowyn, Arwen, and Aragorn (though Faramir is definitely growing on me).

Eowyn is definitely my favorite, though. I LOVE the concept of a shield-maiden so much! (so much so that I'm putting them in Caoimhe). I don't think that femininity is equal to 100% girly - I love love love strong female characters that can stand if needed to. I love heroines such as Joan of Arc, who fought for a greater good instead of just proving that they could do it.

Which is why I was shocked when I saw my results from the "Which LOTR Character are You?" test from Zimbio.

I took it twice - there were some questions that I was half and half on.



The results of the first test. Honestly, I don't know how much of a wild free spirit I really am, but everything else is spot on. I keep my family and friends very close - it always kills me when I know that they need help and I can't give it to them. And stubborn? Darn-tooting I am! I've been forging my own career path because it's what I love to do - and it's not a career that is known for stability or for making lots of money. But I do it anyway.



The results of the second test. This one is super spot on for me. As my little sister knows, I have a very soft spot for romance. I'm still waiting for my prince to come and take me to his castle. But that being said, I'm not one for lazing away in a tower (my growing student debt wouldn't allow that anyway!).


What about you guys? What lessons have you taken from Tolkien, if any? What LOTR character are you most like? 

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine


30 comments:

  1. I'm going to say a dangerous thing and tell you that I've never read these books. *backs away slowly to avoid angry mob*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IVIE, GO READ THEM!!!!! THAT IS DESPICABLE!!!!!!!!!!!! XD

      Delete
    2. *Sees Gray leading angry mob and runs*
      They've just never interested me. My brother's advising me not to speak anymore about this so I'm going to go run from the angry mob now.
      In all seriousness, I'm not sure if I'll ever read them, but if I do, I'll let you know so you maybe won't kill me.
      *nervous laughter*
      <3 <3

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

      Delete
    3. Haha, but seriously go read them Ivie. They are fabulous.

      Catherine

      Delete
    4. I heard the movies were terrible. (Please don't hate me, peeps.) They just aren't my type of genre. Are the books better than the movies? I mean, obviously in most cases that is the truth, but in comparison, what's your opinion. And Gray's if she comes back. She might still be getting that mob together. (Jk jk. I'm terrible at jokes.)

      Delete
    5. *Gathers mob of LOTR's fans* THE MOVIES ARE EPIC, BUT THE BOOKS ARE BETTER!!!! At least watch the movies, they're hard to get into BUT IT'S WORTH IT!!!!!!!! READ 'EM, WATCH 'EM, or else I'll get a mob with pitchforks!!!!!!!! XD

      Delete
    6. But, Gray!!!! I don't want to read em right now. Or watch them. I heard they were slow, long movies. *flails*
      Come on. I thought we were peeps.

      In all seriousness, please call off the mob. I won't disrespect the books if it makes you feel better.
      *begins to panic*
      *curls up in fetal position*
      *Dragon comes to save me*
      *Laughing and crying*

      Delete
    7. For pity sakes, no bloodshed during this birthday celebration!

      I haven't watched the movies either - with the exception of the first Hobbit movie. Honestly, I'm a book purist, and these movies have a bad rap with the Tolkien purists (including my parents), so I've been sticking to the books.

      Delete
    8. Lol. This was fun. I think its great y'all have books to be passionate about. Its a good feeling to have that. I don't know if I'll ever read these books, but still, I'm happy for you guys and this was fun conversation. :D

      I was laughing the whole time. <3

      Delete
  2. My favorite character is either Arwen of Pippin. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just took the quiz I'm half Merry and I'm half Pippin, figures... :P

      Delete
    2. Hee hee, that's awesome Gray! They are the most fun characters!

      Catherine

      Delete
  3. Awesome post!:) I took the quiz awhile ago and I took it twice, the first time I got Frodo Baggins and The second time I got Legolas Greenleaf

    -Quinley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Huh... interesting combo! Thanks, Quinley!

      Catherine

      Delete
  4. I got Eowyn, although I'm probably more Pippin XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh cool! Did you take it twice?

      Catherine

      Delete
  5. This is so cool! I wish I could take the quiz but somehow it malfunctions and doesn't work for me :( I'll try later and see what I get :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :( there are ads attached, could that be the problem? You'll have to tell me, I'm curious now!

      Catherine

      Delete
  6. Ivie you are not alone!!! I haven't read the books either!
    (Gray, please don't come for me with your angry mob)

    I have watched the second and the third Hobbit movie, which I did enjoy. (except for the third one. *still crying*)

    I might borrow them from my sister so we will see how that goes!

    I got Arwen. (in case you wanted to know)

    -Lia
    catholicgirlstuff.blogspot.com
    lilahsmusicals.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been telling you, you gotta read them Lia! Do it, seriously!

      Catherine

      Delete
    2. *whispers* i'm coming for you Lia and Ivie... *holds up pitchfork* XD

      Delete
    3. *sets up a secret stockade and stashes it full of Tolkien*

      Delete
    4. Lol!!
      You gotta watch out for Gray. She takes this very seriously. Glad I'm not alone. Its just not my preferred genre. Reliable sources told me the movies were long and boring. We all have different tastes and preferences.

      I did try the quiz, btw, to maybe appease the crowd. I didn't like my answer as I was hopping for a female, but I believe I got someone named Pippin. Idk who that is. (Please don't kill me, Gray.)

      I did my brother, too, but I forget who he got. He didn't like it, though. It was funny to see his face when he saw who he was.

      Anyway, hopefully Gray's angry mob has calmed. I will offer cookies to them. And maybe some cake. XD

      Delete
    5. Pippin is a fun guy! It makes sense you got him!!

      I will accept your cookies and cake...maybe. ;)

      Delete
    6. *Hides in stockade with Catherine* I'll make the cake!!

      -Lia

      Delete
  7. HOW DID I MISS THIS?!?!?!?!?! LOTR is my favorite book series and movie EVER!!!!!!! XD Thanks for posting this!
    I almost always get Gandalf. :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to put in the cabin chat (and the post) till now....
      You know the Simillarion Awards that have been going on? As a wrap up, there is a link up for a LOTR birthday celebration. The link is here: http://jenelleschmidt.com/tolkien-celebration/

      Delete
  8. This was a lovely post! Thanks for participating in the birthday party *accidentally sets off one of Gandalf's fireworks and gets a bit distracted running from a disgruntled wizard*

    Ahem. I'm back, sorry about that.

    I've taken those tests before. I think I got Eowyn and Frodo the two times I took it. Which is pretty spot on. :)

    So many beautiful lessons in LOTR, it's hard to pick just one. But loyalty and friendship have always been themes that stood out to me whenever I read the books/watch the movies.

    *runs off to join the mob in earlier comments... but only to take cake to those being chased... it's okay if they don't love fantasy... even if that does make them slightly incomprehensible to me* :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jenelle! I loved participating in the link-up!
      (s'ok, disgruntled wizards are not easy beings to ignore)

      So cool! I love Eowyn to death and Frodo is such a complex character :)

      I know...Tolkien was such a deep writer!! I concentrated on more of the Catholic stuff since a lot of people don't know that about him (I certainly didn't know about that either until a few years ago).

      Heehee, the cake is appreciated by those being chased, I assure you :).

      Catherine

      Delete

How are you, dear friend? Come closer to the fire, and make yourself comfortable! I'd love to hear what you've been thinking about, even if it's an old post! I only ask that proper decorum be observed.

I always try to reply to my correspondence! Have a blessed day!
~ Catherine