the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘JRR Tolkien’ Category

It’s Ok.  I saw the movie first too.

How many times have you said:

That movie was awesome! what? you say there’s a book? Dude, I can’t wait to read it!

So many times have I seen a movie, loved it to pieces, learned there was a book, loved *that* to pieces,  and went on to have a simply lovely time.  This has been going on my entire life. I give movies and TV all the credit for getting me into science fiction. A child of the 80s, I knew who Han Solo was before I knew who Isaac Asimov was,  I thought Carl Sagan was just that guy who did the cool outer space PBS show, I knew David Lynch had something to do with this weird epic scifi movie that made no sense but looked and sounded really neat, and I stayed up late to watch reruns of Star Trek (back then it was just Star Trek).

The best thing about seeing the movie first? Since you don’t know what you’re missing, you’re probably not going to walk out of the theater saying “that movie sucked”.  Well, maybe you will, but it won’t be because they didn’t follow the book.

Here’s just a few recent examples of movies that got me to finally pick up the book:

Howl's.Moving.Castle.full.151358

Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones’s famous children’s book gets the Miyazaki treatment. I admit it, I’m shallow.  A few minutes into the movie I was madly in love with Howl’s voice. An hour and a half later I was in love with the entire movie Sure, Miyazaki played fast and loose with the characters and put his own spin on the ending and on Howl’s “secret”, but it’s such a pretty movie, and certainly one of my favorites from Studio Ghibli.  After watching the movie a few times, I read the book, and greatly enjoyed it.

john carter of mars

Disney’s John Carter of Mars/A Princess of Mars – panned by critics, I actually really liked this movie. It was well paced, the CGI martians were cool, I liked the premise, I liked the opening. Other than a plot that didn’t make much sense, it was a fun adventure movie. (also, I’m shallow. I have no idea what color his eyes were. My attention was umm, elsewhere.) I downloaded an audio version of A Princess of Mars, and it’s awesome! I don’t agree with all the changes they made when adapting the book to a screenplay, I do understand them. Had I seen this movie after experiencing the book, I probably would have panned it too.

lord of the rings movie poster

Lord of the Rings trilogy – yes, I suck, I’d never read these until about a year ago. But I liked the movies! Nice visuals, great music, excellent cinematography, great acting, what wasn’t to like? After ten years of my other half (who loves The Lord of the Rings almost as much as he loves me) nagging me to read them, and me giving him lame excuse after lame excuse, it was my enjoyment of the films that finally got me to read the books. Doing it as part of a read along with some other bloggers didn’t hurt either.

hunger games

The Hunger Games – that was one damn good movie. my family loved the book and have been bugging me to read it for a while. I will. . .  eventually. It’s going to get me addicted to this super trendy YA post apocalyptic stuff, isn’t it?

Dune 1984

Dune (1984) – yes, that one, and you had to know this was coming, and okay, this isn’t so recent.  I was ten or eleven years old the first time I saw this on T.V., and it was love at first sight. Mind you, I had absolutely no idea what was going on, or why it was important, but I was fascinated by the imagery and the epic music.  I read the book as a teenager, and took my first step in a life long love affair with science fiction. And yes, the book is a zillion times better than the movie. But I had to start somewhere, didn’t I?

now it’s your turn.  What movies or tv shows got YOU to finally pick up the book?

Final battles, eagles, and a final trip to Rivendell. The story of the Lord of the Rings is at a close with the final chapters of The Return of the King. Middle Earth will never be the same again, and a bittersweet ending for our characters.

(By the way, want more hobbitses, more Middle Earth, more epic mythology?  Look for discussion posts of The Children of Hurin during the month of December. Posts won’t be as formal as these, but Geeky Daddy and Stainless Steel Droppings and I look forward to your comments!)

To lighten the mood, I can’t help but post the original How Lord of the Rings should have ended:

now that you’re laughing, here’s this week’s discussion questions.

What do you think Gandalf was going to speak with Tom Bombadil about?

What did you think of the two weddings? Do you think Eowyn will eventually find happiness with Faramir?

What did you think of their meeting with Saruman on the road home?  I was half expecting someone to just kill Saruman.

Holy Cow I was not expecting the scouring of the shire.  If this is your first time reading, were you surprised? And if this isn’t your first time reading, does the shock get a little easier to swallow on re-read?

What did you think of the very end, of the departure of the Havens?

Characters are supposed to change and develop during a story, right?  Who changed more, Sam or Frodo?

other blog disussions:
All Booked Up
The Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Lynn’s Book Blog
Book Den
Geeky Daddy
Stainless Steel Droppings

and my answers after the jump!

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Hi Everyone,  welcome back to our Lord of the Rings read along! This week we’re getting through The Return of the King.  Sauron’s forces have been properly distracted by the siege on Gondor, the troublesome Rohirrim and Aragorn’s forces of old.  The eye of Sauron would never even notice too people meandering through his backyard, would he?

This week’s questions were provided by Carl of Stainless Droppings.  It just goes to show, Tolkien and Skyrim aren’t mutually exclusive. ;)

here we go!

1.  After witnessing the events of Denethor’s demise, what are your thoughts on him as a father and as a ruler, especially when compared to what happened with Boromir and the Ring.

2.  Instead of riding into the city with pomp and circumstance, Tolkien pens the king’s return as a clandestine act in which he demonstrates his rightful place through the act of healing the wounded.  Your thoughts?

3.  For one chapter Sam got to be rescuer and ring-bearer.  What are your thoughts about Sam’s brief time as a ring-bearer in comparison to the others who have born the ring, or wished to?

4.  In a twist unexpected in many hero tales, Tolkien ends the journey into Mount Doom with Frodo ultimately failing at his task.  How did you feel about this and ultimately how does it make you feel about both Frodo and Gollum?

5.  Given that The Lord of the Rings is largely about an all male cast, what are your thoughts about Tolkien’s portrayal of Eowyn now that we’ve seen the course of her journey through these culminating chapters of her story?

6.  Much of this section of our reading has been filled with desperate acts with little hope of success.  How do you feel about the mood Tolkien created in the build up both to the battle and the final push into Mount Doom and what are your thoughts on how these sections ended?

7.  The “assigned” sections for part 3 only take us to the end of the actual story. Will you be reading the appendices?

my answers after the jump!

Other blog discussions:
Lynn’s Book Blog
Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Geeky Daddy

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Happy Saturday everyone!  do you have snow?  How about annoying Christmas ads on tv?

Let’s get to some fun stuff, shall we?  This week we’re talking about the first section of The Return of The King.  This is the book where it all happens, where everything ends, where all the cards are on the table and the time for bluffing has come to an end. In this first section, we jump back and forth between Merry and Gandalf who are in Minas Tirith,  Pippin who is in Rohan, and Aragorn who is on the way to the land of the Dead. Sounds a little dramatic, no?  Well, yes, and verily.  ;)

This weeks questions were provided by Clint over at Geeky Daddy, and they are some good ones!  As always, leave your link in the comments or tweet it to me at @redhead5318 with #LOTRreadalong .

1.With the company that went with Aragorn through the Paths of Death. Would you have volunteered knowing it may be curse and ghosts haunting the paths?

2.What were your thoughts of Merry and Pippin in the preparation to the Battle of Gondor. It seemed that each ruler just thought that each hobbit could not be a contribution to the battle.

3.Did you think that the preparations to the Battle sparked your interest and all or did you find that the flow was bogged down a bit?

4. I thought that it was great that both Eowyn and Merry made it to the Battlefield. Yet against orders of the King and made a huge contributions. What did you think both of them doing this and would you have done this if it was you?

5. What do you think of Denethor’s rash decision to send Faramir to hold Western Osgiliath against the hosts of the Enemy that outnumbered their own greatly?

Check out these other discussions!
Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Geeky Daddy
Lynn’s Book Blog
Polishing Mud Balls
Book Den
Stainless Steel Droppings

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Hi Everyone, welcome to our last discussion of the epic middle book in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. (click for parts One and Two) Focusing on the end of the book, our adventures center around Frodo and Sam, who with Gollum’s help, are looking for a way into Mordor.

and as they say, one does not simply occupy Mordor. Or wait, have I got it wrong? ;)

Anyway, after running into a very suspicious but mostly friendly Faramir, they decide to take Gollum’s advice regarding the only other way into Mordor. Up many, many stairs. Into a dark, dark cave.  I still can’t watch those particular scenes in the movie, I usually cover my eyes and have someone tell me when it’s over. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean.

I got to come up with questions/discussion starters for the end of The Two Towers, and I invited everyone to add and subtract, get creative, go whichever direction they wanted. Here’s what we started with:

Faramir strikes me as a noble, intelligent fellow, especially concerning powers beyond his control.  Had he gone to Elrond’s Council instead of Boromir, how might the story have changed?

What did you think of Shelob and her lair? Would you willingly go in there?  Yes, I know Gollum says “this is the only way”, but Frodo could have demanded they explore and attempt to find another way.

When Sam saves Frodo from Shelob, he finds himself in the vision he saw in Galadriel’s mirror.  Knowing the future isn’t always as helpful as one would think, is it?

Having always been a sidekick/helper of sorts, Sam reluctantly realizes he may have to become the Ringbearer. What do you think Sam will do with the Ring of Power? If you were the sidekick of the hero, and suddenly had the opportunity to become the hero, to finish the quest, what would you do with the Ring of Power?

The conversation between the two Orcs at the end was highly amusing for me.  Yes, it serves to educate Sam on Frodo’s condition, and Tolkien could have just left it at that, but he didn’t. The Orc’s commiserating could have been any soldiers in any war.  To me, it felt like Tolkien was humanizing the enemy, instead of the traditional dehumanizing of the enemy that you usually see in war stories. What do you think?

The book ends on a cliffhanger. Are you excited to finish up the trilogy and see how it all turns out?

The answers, after the jump!

Other blog conversations:
Geeky Daddy
Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Stainless Steel Droppings
Lynn’s Book Blog
All Booked Up
The Written World

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one's ring ON the one ring

Happy Saturday everyone!  If it’s an autumnal Saturday, that means it’s time for a Lord of the Rings discussion.  We’re in the middle part of The Two Towers, and this week’s questions were provided by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings.

At this point in the story, our Fellowship has been split, with Sam and Frodo heading towards Mordor and everyone else heading towards Isengard.

1.  The Glittering Caves of Aglarond; Fangorn Forest:  Which of the two would you be most excited to visit once the war was over?

2.  How did you like the reunion of at least part of the fellowship at Isengard?  Did any part of it stand out to you?

3.  What are your thoughts about Galdalf’s confrontation with Saruman?

4.  We learn a great deal about the Palantir in this section.  How do you feel about Saruman given Gandalf’s speech about the use of the Palantir?  Would you, like Pippen, be tempted to look in to see what you could see?

5.  What are your thoughts about Smeagol/Gollum in this first part of his journey leading Frodo and Sam?  For those of you who’ve seen the film, are you hearing Andy Serkis in your head when you read Gollum’s lines?

6.  Sam and Frodo are not traveling in the most picturesque part of Middle-earth.  Which would you find worse, the seemingly impossible to leave mountains or the Dead Marshes?

7.  Tolkien introduces us to a lot of places in this section of The Two Towers, many just getting a mention in passing.  What do you think of Tolkien’s place names (Minas Morgul, Isengard, the Emyn Muil, and on and on)?  Do any stand out to you?  Are there any that you don’t care for?

on twitter? use #LOTRreadalong
Link your post in the comments, or tweet it to me.  Once again, thank you for joining us on our journey to Middle Earth!

Other blog conversations can be found at:
Geeky Daddy
Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
All Booked Up
Stainless Steel Droppings
Lynn’s Book Blog
Book Den
Passages of the Pen

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Welcome to our read along for J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. Most of us just started reading The Two Towers (some of us, who messed up the dates, started reading it 2 weeks ago, and finished the section yesterday).  This week’s questions were supplied by Clint of Geeky Daddy, and he came up with some great ones!

What is your favorite part of The Two Towers, thus far into the book?
What were your thoughts of Boromir trying to defend Merry and Pippin from Orc archers?
Would thoughts would have been going through your mind if you were approached by Treebeard?
What were your thoughts and reactions of the battle at the Hornburg?
Do you like it that Tolkien has split the Company into three mini-quests? Do you wonder if the company will be together throughout the quest again?

Answers and discussion after the jump!

Other Blog discussions:
(post your link in the comments, or tweet it with #LOTRreadalong, and I’ll add your link)
Geeky Daddy
Stainless Steel Droppings
The Written World
The Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Lynn’s book blog
Book Den

Read the rest of this entry »

where we going again?

Welcome to our final discussion on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.

Over the last 3 weeks, we met Frodo and watched as he discovered the power of the Ring. We witnessed his fleeing of the shire, how his friends made it clear they would help him and go with him every step the way. The further Frodo got from the home, the more dire his quest began to look.  At Elrond’s council it was decided that the Ring must be destroyed before its creator can find it.  Past Rivendell was the mines of Moria, something deep and dark and dangerous and the loss of Gandalf.  And then to Lothlorien, elven city and home of Galadriel.  But even the safety of Lothlorien must be left behind if the Ring of power is to be destroyed.

This story started out so bright and happy. Happy little hobbits leading happy little lives enjoy happy little birthday parties. Could Frodo have ever imagined his uncle’s magic ring would take him so far? It’s suddenly become much bigger than the shire, much bigger than Hobbits or Dwarves or Men or Elves. Everything is at stake.

It was my job to come up with discussion questions this week and I ended up just sending out “starters”-  thoughts that popped into my head, or parts in the story where I had an emotional reaction.  If you got the e-mail, you can pick and choose what to talk about, that way everyone’s posts are a little different.

other discussions:
Stainless Steel Droppings
Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Geeky Daddy
The Written World
Book Den
Lynn’s Books

We’ll be starting the second book in the series in a week or so, so stay tuned!

For my post, I’d like to talk about the two characters who kept getting my attention: Galadriel and Boromir.

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Hi Everyone, it’s an autumnal feeling Saturday, which means it’s time for a Lord of the Rings discussion! This weeks discussion covered the middle part of The Fellowship of the Ring. This week’s questions were supplied by Geeky Daddy.

Join in anytime by expressing interesting in the comments of this post, or tweeting myself or Geeky Daddy.

Our story so far: Frodo knows what he has, his friends won’t leave his side, they travel to Rivendell to meet with Elrond. Along the way, they meet a mysterious man named Strider, who tells them that he is a friend of Gandalf.

At Rivendell, it’s decided the only way to stop the power of the ring is to destroy it. The only fires hot enough to melt it are those in which it was forged. The ring-bearer must travel to Mount Doom, behind the eyes of the enemy, to destroy the single ring of power.

And on to the discussion questions!

1. What was your initial thoughts of Strider/Aragorn when Hobbits met up with him in The Prancing Pony? Did you think that he was linked with the Riders?
2.What was the biggest surprised to you during this section of the Fellowship of the Ring?
3.Do you like that Tolkien goes in depth and tells the readers of the history events of the war that is upon the Fellowship?
4. How far do you think you would have lasted if you were Frodo and nearly becoming a Rider?
5. As dangerous quest unfold to become, the other hobbits want to stick by Frodo til the end. Would you sacrifice yourself and stick with Frodo til the end?

Read everyone else’s discussions:
Geeky Daddy
Stainless Steel Droppings
The Written World
All Booked Up
My Rammblings
The Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Mithril Wisdom

New discussions:
Lynn’s Book Blog

(leave your link in the comments, or tweet it to me and I’ll add you)

my answers after the jump!

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Welcome to our Lord of The Rings read along!  This discussion follows the first 8 chapters of The Fellowship the Ring.  Post your answers in the comments below and/or leave a link to your blog.

on twitter? use #LOTRreadalong

It’s not too late to join in!  leave a comment or tweet me or Geeky Daddy.

This is my first time reading Lord of the Rings, my only experience being the films, and being married to a LOTR super-fan. So I’ve gotten little bits and pieces here and there about what to expect, but I’m new to everything else.  I’d been warned that the first portions of The Fellowship of the Ring are on the slow side. Sure, it felt a little episodic, but not slow by any means.  So far I’m really enjoying the book!

Other blog discussions:
Geeky Daddy
Stainless Steel Droppings
All Booked Up
The Written World
Blue Fairy’s Bookshelf
Mithril Wisdom

Newly added discussions
A Lonely Quiet Concert

and on to the discussion starters. . .

1. Hobbits seem to have songs for everything!  I didn’t realize this was a musical. . . . how are you liking all the songs?

2. I love that we learn about Gollum and his past so early on. It gives a dark and foreboding (dare I say, perilous?) feeling to the whole thing. Were you surprised that the story took a dive towards the dark and scary so quickly?

3. Tom Bombadil!  what and who is he???  If you met him in a forest, would you trust him?

4. What did you think when Pippin, Merry and Sam told Frodo about their “conspiracy”, and that they pretty much knew what he was planning from the beginning?

5. What’s your favorite part of the book so far?

my answers, after the jump!

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About this redhead, etc.

Redhead is a snarky, non-politically correct 30-something who reviews mostly science fiction and fantasy and talks about all sorts of other fun scifi and fantasy geekery. She once wrote a haiku that included the word triskaidekaphobia.

This blog contains adult language and strong opinions. The best way to contact her outside of this blog is twitter, where she is @redhead5318 .

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