Part 6 of my A-Z Challenge. I can see the end! And I already know what I’m doing for X and Z, so HA! Today’s theme is LOTR (and by that I mean anything by or about Tolkien):
April 21: R is for Roverandom
I finally read it! Roverandom is a children’s book that Tolkien wrote for his son Michael when said son’s favorite toy dog went missing. I’ve been wanting to read it forever, and I finally did!
It is clearly a children’s book. Tolkien has two different story-telling styles that I’ve seen: a playful one for children (used in The Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham, and Roverandom), and a more serious, inspired, other-worldly one for every Middle-earth story that wasn’t The Hobbit.
It was really interesting, and really fun (and funny!) to read. I can’t believe it took me this long! But anyway, I recommend it as highly as every single other word Tolkien penned.
April 22: S is for Songs
Based on what I’ve heard about Tolkien, he was kind of scary. He had a short temper, and wanted things done the way he wanted them done. And he was an Oxford professor, so he probably wasn’t the most forgiving person.
And yet there was clearly a child in him, because was infatuated with songs. He loved writing them, and having his characters love to write them, and he insterted one at every chance he could. One of my favorites is the one Sam sings when looking for Frodo in Cirith Ungol:
In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe ’tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.
Though here at journey’s end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the stars farewell.
-J. R. R. Tolkien
And this is why I think he can’t really have been that prickly.
April 23: T is for Treebeard
Since we have kind of an underrated theme going on here, let’s take a minute to appreciate the most underrated-but-still-really-important character of LOTR: Treebeard. I don’t think Ents make an appearance in anything Tolkien outside of this book, and Tolkien leaves so many unanswered questions about them. Like, where did they come from? Did they ever find the Entwives? And did the Entings talk really slowly, too?
But he is just so darn important. He arranged for Saruman to no longer be a threat. Even Gandalf hadn’t figured out how to do that yet. And…that and destroying Isengard were all he did, but it helped so much, because then the palantir came into play, and Isengard was won for Gondor, and as previously metioned Saruman was no longer harmful to our heroes, but could harm himself and his allies if he gave the correct information.
Ents are important, people. And they should be greatly respected. Not like this:
My dad decided it would be a good idea to send this to me and call it Treebeard. Sometimes I think he hates me.
See you next time for Days 21-23!