When I was a teenager The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books were very popular with many of my fellow students. But I don't remember ever talking about Tolkien in English Lit class here in the US, or even being assigned either book in school. But Tolkien's ideas certainly resonated with the tone of the times.
Also at the time there were several restaurants and coffee shops in my area that were named after characters in Tolkien's books. I remember they mostly served vegetarian meals or sandwiches with lots of alfalfa sprouts. Though I often frequented places like this with friends, and knew generally what the name "Bilbo Baggins" on the front of the menu referred to, I was still not inspired to read any of Tolkien's work. I was more of a Bronte Sisters - Jane Austen type of reader. Fantasy was really not my genre.
Fast forward quite a few years and this comes across my radar one day:
By this time I had been a fan of Sean Bean's for several years. Though I liked other actors, Bean's career was the only one I really followed in great detail. I was thrilled that Sean was cast in this film, especially since he seemed so happy to get the part of Boromir. I knew about Tolkien from my teenage years, and now I really had an incentive to find out more. So I followed the progress of The Fellowship of the Ring, and Sean's work as Boromir, and what was happening in New Zealand as much as I could in the time before Twitter and Facebook. For me this was mainly through The Compleat Sean Bean website.
It was a thrilling time reading all of the LOTR press and all the interviews with Sean talking about working with Peter Jackson, and Viggo Mortensen, and the rest of the cast. I well remember an excellent interview on Charlie Rose (a US Public Television program), maybe a two night interview I think, with many of the LOTR cast. Sadly Sean was not there, but Peter Jackson and Viggo Mortensen I remember very well.
From The Charlie Rose Show
I started out being interested in the films because of my love for Sean Bean, but after watching the first film and all the interviews with the rest of the cast, and with Peter Jackson, I fell in love with the LOTR films and the entire cast.
I remember going to see the first LOTR film, The Fellowship of the Ring, with a friend. To this day she has no idea who Sean Bean is, but I talked her into watching this new action/adventure fantasy film with me.
We're in the darkened theater watching the movie and suddenly there on screen is Boromir. He walks towards the Shards of Narsil, picks up part of the broken sword, pricks his finger and says
I must have made some strange, loud, strangling, noise at that moment, a gasp maybe, a shout, because my friend leans over to me and in a very worried tone says "Are you OK?"
Even so, I was still not interested enough in the genre to read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.
Premiere time for the Lord of the Rings cast
So what finally lead me to read one of Tolkien's books - The Hobbit?
It seems all my men are destined for
So this concludes the LOTR 30 Day Challenge
Thank you to Sir Doctor of Tardis for the terrific challenge - it has been a fun 30 days
A special "Gracias" to my friend Cassia on FB for keeping the faith, following every day, and sharing my posts on her FB Timeline.
A small musical "Thank you" treat for Cassia from The Tolkien Ensemble: Song of Durin
For all who visited and read and commented along the way- Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
Thanks to The Compleat Sean Bean, The Mighty Bean, RichardArmitageNet.com, YouTube