jrrtolkien

If for no other reason than the pipe.

March 25th is Tolkien Reading Day!

In case you needed a refresher, I. Love. Tolkien.  There's way too much to appreciate it all at once, so for today, let's talk about the insanely good dialogue in Tolkien's work.  This is especially salient because the excuse that most people use when they talk about how they can't get through LotR is that it's too dry and has too much description.  If that were true (which it decidedly is not), it would only be because Tolkien's dialogue is too good and any more of it would make ordinary mortals cower in fear.  Here's a passage from The Two Towers that happens during the meeting of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli with the Rohirrim led by Eomer.

"'Strider is too poor a name, son of Arathorn,' he said. 'Wingfoot I name you. This deed of the three friends should be sung in many a hall. Forty leagues and five you have measured ere the fourth day is ended! Hardy is the race of Elendil!'"

That's what Eomer says to Aragorn when he finds out how far/fast they traveled.  Also, it includes an epithet and epithets are the best thing ever.

Then there's this little scrap of verse that Aragorn recites when he glimpses his country from afar.  Not dialogue, exactly, since it's said to himself, but a good example of the poetry pervasive in the text.

"Gondor! Gondor, between the Mountains and the Sea!
West Wind blew there; the light upon the Silver Tree
Fell like bright rain in gardens of the Kings of old.
O proud walls! White towers! O winged crown and throne of gold!
O Gondor, Gondor! Shall Men behold the Silver Tree,
Or West Wind blow again between the Mountains and the Sea?"

There are people who are all, "I don't like Tolkien.  I couldn't get through it," and there are people who are all, "Tolkien's over done and played out.  Fantasy has moved beyond him and his tropes," and there are people who are all, "Tolkien's sexist."  All of these people are idiots.  I say this unapologetically.

Now certainly there are people for whom the fantasy genre simply holds no allure.  These people have my profound pity.  For everyone else, though, Tolkien Reading Day is extremely exciting.

So if you're new to Tolkien, crack open The Hobbit today!

Hobbit_cover

Usually not a fan of dustcovers, but damn, son.

If you're a well-established Tolkien fan, (re)read LotR!  (Christopher Lee, who plays Saruman in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien's books, rereads it every year.)

lotr covers

Mmmmmm, leather-bound.

If you're a big Tolkien nerd, read The Silmarillion.  (Also, if you're into High Fantasy, read it because it will show you what goes into the creation of an entire universe from scratch.)  You could also read The Book of Unfinished Tales or The Book(s) of Lost Tales.  Again, super nerd-dom.

silmarillion

Seriously, read it. No nerd is complete without having read this book.

Finally, if you're just too nerdy for words to accurately encapsulate, you should probably read Hobbitus Ille.  Yeah.  The Hobbit in Latin.  Because dorks.

hobbitus ille

I can't even.

Basically what I'm saying is that there's a Tolkien book for all seasons and every walk of life.

 

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So, what do you think?