That is the cover from my first copy of Lord of the Rings, bought at the bookstore in the mall, way back in 7th grade, a.k.a. 1978. Crazy as it seems, I still have that dog eared copy. Even crazier, I say the first copy because I have two other paperback versions and a swanky leather bound hardcover of all three books in one.
I also saw all three movies in the theater and have the swanky extended version book case DVD's. I guess that qualifies as a fan. I have miniatures, action figures, all kinds of stuff from the Hobbit as well as all the other writings. I have passed on that fascination to the older boys and now it is the techno-kid's turn.
The other day I was wanting to watch the second part of Return of the King because, well, I love the scene where the Riders of Rohan charge down on to the Fields of Pellinor. Awesome scene right there with an awesome performance from the actors. Go Eowyn! Well I was watching and the t-k wandered into the bedroom and stayed and watched it with me.
Now, he has seen parts of the trilogy before, but he never really seemed to get into it, until that day. So we started the series from the begining and, over the weekend, watched it all. He even made me watch the end, you know, the part where all lovers of Hobbits get all teary eyed. Yeah well, he turns to me and with big crocodile tears says, 'Dad, that is so sad Frodo has to leave.'
Not to miss an opportunity to discuss the literary merits of one of my favorite stories, I asked him if he knew why Frodo was leaving. He says 'Well, Frodo had the ring and it was bad and it still hurts him, so if he goes with the Elves, he will get better. He can't stay with his friends, but thats ok, they are safe now.'
The t-k is six years old and of course, has not read the books, but he gets it. I can not wait until he is older and reads the books, and he can read the scouring of the Shire. Then he will really get it. He'll probably start spitting fire, especially when the beloved Party Tree gets chopped down. I admit, I look forward to that day because we then can discuss it all in detail.
But, he gets the gist of it already, and that is truly amazing. It is a powerful story, and the movies, albeit not perfect, do a good job of telling the story. I have read a bit of the Fellowship of the Ring to him, but I think he is much like me, impatient when someone reads to them. Soon though, very soon he will be able to tackle ye olde tome on his own. The Red Book! There and Back Again!
I can hardly wait. I remember the older bros enjoying the story a great deal, both in book and movie form. To say I am excited about the upcoming Hobbit movie is an understatement. We shall all enjoy the continuing stories of the beloved Hobbits and the good guys and bad guys of fair Middle Earth. As a wee lad I was enthralled, still am as an adult. The beauty of it all is, the kiddos are just as enamored as I am.
That, is cool.
Happy Hobbit Trails