I know I said I was doing Unscripted today, but I woke up too late to exercise and shower this morning, and then I had a bad hair day, and things just happened and I’m not going to burden you with my face today. I’ll do it tomorrow. I promise. So instead of a vlog, today I’m listening to Lorde and answering the second set of tags from the blog chain happening at Fullness of Joy.
1. Taken from a Christian perspective, what are your thoughts and feelings on the fantasy genre in general? Do you hold to any convictions or guidelines on things like magic, sorcery, fantastical elements or allegory in fantasy books? This is an interesting topic for me, and I’ve discussed it before. To put it simply, I believe evil is evil and good is good, no matter what label you put on it. A lot of people I know don’t read things with ‘good’ witches or wizards in them, even if the ‘witches’ and ‘wizards’ are, in fact, behaving in a Biblical manner and I don’t agree with this, since those words are modern substitutes – the words weren’t even around when Jesus was alive. He was speaking in terms of necromancy and contacting the dead. It’s a big subject for me, but generally speaking, I don’t have a problem with magic.
2. Who are some of your favourite fantasy/fairy-tale authors? (you can name up to three.) Ohh, this is difficult. Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, and Robin Hobb would have to be in the top 3, but then I have to leave out Tolkien and Charles deLint and Madeline L’Engle…
3. Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia books, or watched any of the movies? Which, if so, are your three favourite books? In order, my three favorite books are The Silver Chair, The Magician’s Nephew, and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
4. How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read and enjoyed so far? Can you choose a favourite book (The Lord of the Rings can be considered one book ;)? I’ve read all of them. My favorite is The Hobbit, as I’ve read it more than any of the others, but The Silmarillion would tie closely. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is fantastic, the tales of Numenor are great…picking is painful. Choices, precious. Choices.
5. Uhm. . . since, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends, I will not risk causing further estrangement to the history of their friendship by pitting them against each other! However, being the mastermind of mischief that I am, I will toss this question your way: which of the two are you most fond of in sense of storytelling, characters, themes and what personally touches/inspires you the most: The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia? I’m going to respond with Tolkien if we’re talking fiction (I adore C. S. Lewis’s non-fiction books, they’re some of my favorite literature ever written) because while his greatest pitfall was an excess of description, his characters and stories were far-reaching, beautiful, flawed, wild and unpredictable, sometimes fun-loving and sometimes tragic and more often than not a mix of both. Narnia is dear to my heart, but Middle-Earth has done a better job of following me into adulthood.
6. Are there other books and movies of the fantasy/fairy-tale/legend genre that have you read and loved, especially from modern authors? Please tell us a little bit about them. There are many, as fantasy is the genre I usually read. Robin Hobb is a brilliant author, as is Patricia McKillip (why is there no Riddle-Master movie trilogy yet? Probably because casting would be a deuce. Still, it should happen) and Robin McKinley and Orson Scott Card and Charles de Lint and Stephen Lawhead…I love fantasy with beautiful prose, colorful characters, vivid images and well thought-out, far-flung worlds, and these authors satisfy those cravings.
7. Have you read any Christian allegories, such as Pilgrim’s Progress, Holy War or Hinds Feet on High Places? I’ve read all of those, and they have all had a positive impact on my life. In fact, I’m nearing ready to re-read Hind’s Feet.
8. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from fantasy tales in literature (books, movies, modern and classics), and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to have yourself? I’m always fond of Beauty in any Beauty and the Beast tale. I also quite love Raederle from the Riddle-Master Trilogy, and the Moorchild. I love heroines with strong curiosity, kind hearts, and spitfire personalities. I particularly love them if they’re willing to look past cultural conventions, ask questions, and seek out answers.
9. Which land would you rather go, dwell in, or be a part of: Middle-Earth, or Narnia? (or maybe some other fantasy-land, you share!) This is a nearly impossible question. I would choose Middle-Earth over Narnia, but as for other options – there are so many, I really couldn’t tell you. Perhaps I’ll just visit all of them.
10. What kind of fantasy are you most fond of? Fantastical and “fairy-tale-ish” like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, or rather the mythological, high-epic-fantasies such as Tolkien’s? My love for fairy-tales is a solid fact, but I would have to say that epic high fantasy is my favorite, by just a bit. Any genre with more rules to break and less boundaries to stay inside will capture my attention.
11. Which is your favourite fairy-tale? It’s a tie between Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
12. List some of your most well-loved movie adaptions of fantasy tales (this does not include Disney fairy-tale animations). I’m very fond of the 1990’s Beauty and the Beast tv show, and I’m also very excited for the new French Beauty and the Beast coming out later this year. I don’t believe Willow counts, but if it did, I would include Willow as well. Why isn’t there a good East of the Sun, West of the Moon retelling? Why?
13. Who are your favourite heroes from fantasy books? (you may list as many as you like!) Tell us a little bit about why you love them so much :). Fortunately there’s no limit to this list, or I would have problems. Beleg Cuthalion and Gwindor from Children of Hurin. Maedhros from The Silmarillion. Dustfinger from the Inkworld Trilogy. The Fool from the Tawny Man series. Blodgharm and Murtagh from the Inheritance Cycle. Deth and Astrin from the Riddle-Master trilogy. Lewis and Tegid from Stephen Lawhead’s Albion trilogy. Jared from the Incarceron duo. Madmartigan from Willow. Eomer from the Lord of the Rings. I’m only scratching the surface here, but these are some of my literary smooshes.
14. Saddest moment in any fantasy tale you’ve either watched or read? SPOILERS: Beleg and Gwindor’s deaths. Dustfinger’s death. Deth’s betrayal of Morgan. When Maedhros is taken and tortured. The list goes on.
15. How did you get into The Lord of the Rings and Middle-Earth books/movies? (If you’re not into LOTR than you can talk about how you got into Narnia instead). I grew up in a family that really reads; when I was seven/eight my mom read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe aloud, and then the rest of the series. I had seen her read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings my entire childhood and I finally read them when I was twelve. These, plus being raised on hero stories, fairy tales and ancient mythology, kindled my love of fantasy at an early age.
16. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite fantasy/medieval costumes/armour/gowns and from which movie/character they come from. I’m going to take the easy way out (because really? Seriously? You would be here all day if I did this) I’m going to just say, while I don’t advocate the series, the dresses in Game of Thrones are swoon-worthy. Also, most of the costumes in Legend of the Seeker are stunning.
17. Which fantasy/fairy-tale has inspired and influenced you the most? There’s definitely a strain of Beauty and the Beast in everything I write.
18. Favourite character in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings/Hobbit universe? Favourite character in The Chronicles of Narnia? (Choose 1 each) Eomer, Puddleglum.
19. Favourite friendship in a fantasy book/movie/series? I love the relationship between The Fool and Tom Badgerlock in the Tawny Man series. I also love the friendship between Legolas and Gimli, and the love between Morgan and Deth in the Riddle-Master trilogy.
20. Which villain of fantasy strikes the most dread and loathing in you? Which foe strikes the most pity? Hmm. This is difficult, as ‘dread and loathing’ aren’t two emotions I generally feel. Ever. I really do despise the trolls in East of the Sun, West of the Moon because they’re downright annoying. Grima Wormtonge, I just feel sorry for.
21. Share some of your most well-loved quotes from fantasy books/movies :). My all-time favorite, I have on a pendant I wear around my neck.
“All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you.”
22. Favourite battle in a fantasy book or movie? The Battle of Helm’s Deep, thus far, is my favorite. There are several battles I like in the Albion trilogy as well.
23. Tell us which romance couple you love best in any of the fantasy stories you know about. Morgan and Raederle from the Riddle-Master trilogy, or Beauty and the Beast, or Girl and the Polar Bear.
24. Elves or dwarves? Gondor or Rohan? Aragorn or King Tirian? Elves. Rohan. Aragorn. This was not even a contest.
25. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in books/movies of this genre? (you are welcome to choose more than one ;). Aii! Let me list a few – Gwindor, Diaval, Blodgharm, The Black Prince, Astrin…
26. List five fantasy novels you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future. The Ill-Made Mute by Celia Dart-Thornton, Moonblood by Ann Elizabeth Stengl, Taliesin by Stephen Lawhead, Dragon’s Winter by Elizabeth Lynn, and Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip.
27. Which fantasy work struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author’s perception of morality, ethics, the distinction and battle between good and evil, and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it? I’ve read so many…I’m probably going to go with the obvious choice and say the Lord of the Rings. Because I’m old-school like that.
28. What was the first fantasy novel you ever read and how did it strike you? The first fantasy /novel/ I ever read, as opposed to a story (I grew up on fantasy stories) was probably The Borrowers…which may explain some of my hardcore love for The Secret World of Arrietty.
29. What would inspire you to pick up a work of fantasy literature or watch a fantasy film? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of enjoying this genre? Honestly, an intriguing cover would make me pick up a piece of fantasy literature. The summary would be the second decider, because often (especially with fantasy) the cover has nothing to do with the story. As for a movie, it would probably be the title and how it sounded that would spark my initial interest. I believe reading fantasy will expand your mind and the way you think and perceive the world around you, as well as brighten and stretch your imagination. It teaches you to think outside the lines. As for negative effects, I think they are the same for every genre – you don’t want to read junk. It’s as simple as that.