I’ll never forget my first introduction to Middle-earth. FOTR was in theaters, and my dad wanted to see it. And since seeing movies in the theater is a family affair, we all went with him. It was the first PG-13-rated—also the most intense—movie I’d ever seen at that point, but once the shock wore off, and after a second viewing in the theater (something we never did before or since), it didn’t seem so dark and scary, and I was completely drawn in. Middle-earth became one of my favorite “worlds” to visit—second only to Narnia. I eventually read The Hobbit and the books the LOTR movies were based on (once we dug them out of the attic, and after each movie came out—I didn’t want to “spoil” the movies for myself). But enough history for now; you’re all waiting to find out which of Peter Jackson’s epic film adaptations of Tolkien’s works is my favorite.
I’m going to say…FOTR, with parts of ROTK thrown in. ROTK has some incredible scenes—epic battles and triumphs, “profound” speeches and tender moments—which, in some cases, have directly inspired my own writing (but that’s another story), but I love FOTR a bit more because it’s the lightest-hearted of the trilogy and features my favorite fantasy race EVER—Hobbits—the most.
Bilbo’s Birthday Party scene, even with the added footage in the Extended Editions (EE), is too short for my liking. There’s just something so endearing and nostalgic about the Hobbits’ simple, laid-back lifestyle, their knack with green growing things…and of course their love of food! Sometimes I wish Tolkien had written more about just Hobbits, frankly. They represent an element of innocence and good cheer—something precious that is in danger of being wiped out if the forces of evil go undefeated.
Until next time, Gentle Readers,