One last time

I’ve been home less than ten minutes. We went to the midnight showing of the Battle of the Five Armies. The last installment. It’s one-thirty in the morning and I’m overflowing with so many thoughts and feelings and emotions I can’t put into words that I need to write them out.

It was so much more than a movie.

Through his Middle-Earth, John Tolkien reached through time and shaped my life. When I was very small, I would see my mother’s battered paperback copies of The Hobbit or The Return of the King lying around, although when I picked them up, I didn’t understand what was happening. I could tell, just from paragraphs, that something grand and dark and magnificent was taking place, but I didn’t know what. When I had just turned twelve (I believe, in fact, it was on my birthday), my mother told me I could read The Hobbit. Twelve being a very mature and adult age, I couldn’t fathom why she made me wait so long. Wasn’t it a children’s book? She said, “I don’t want you to read it until you understand it.” And so, at twelve, I picked up that old, old copy of Bilbo’s first adventure, and I read it cover to cover.

I went on to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy in three days. Then I re-read it the week after. I searched out the Silmarillion, the Unfinished Tales. I was obsessed with Middle-Earth, but it was an obsession that went beyond the usual. I wasn’t just obsessed with the adventure or the characters or the prose – I had fallen in love with the heart of the story. A heart that drums out a beat of valor and honor and sacrifice, of virtue and courage and holding out one moment longer. These books did something that no fiction book had or has ever done to me.

They changed my life.

My desire to write words like Tolkien, to create that kind of story, grew into my first novel. My desire to re-create the artwork and the visuals broadened my art skills. The stories became entangled with me, and in me. Bilbo and Legolas and Gandalf and Aragorn became my friends. The Shire and Mirkwood became my home. The movies brought the books to life, gave faces to the characters. The imaginations of Peter Jackson and John Howe and Alan Lee did more to spark my creativity than any art has since.

Tonight, reaching across my sympathetic sister and holding my mother’s hand as tears ran in rivulets down my face and my heartbeat faded to a dim nothing, I said farewell, namarië, to Middle-Earth. Or at least the new Middle-Earth. The Middle-Earth re-forged. Of course, I can visit it again, and again, as many times as I like…but it isn’t the same. It’s looking at a memorial for a lost friend.

I want to say thank you. Thank you to the author who created Middle-Earth, thank you to the artists and directors and actors who did not bring it to life, but raised it from the page in a way no one else ever could have.

And to my mother, who made me wait until I could really understand.

Thank you for the great stories.

The ones that really matter.


15 thoughts on “One last time”

  1. I just love this <3 :')
    *sniffles* Tolkien's works did the same thing to me. One of the most life-changing works of literature I've ever read/seen. The past three years have been so molded with what I learnt from my times in Middle-Earth, it is very emotional and encouraging to me as a person and as a writer, and in my walk with God.

    The only difference to you really, was when I first read and watched The Lord of the Rings, and then the Hobbit (and the Silmarillion, and Tales from the Perilous Realm) I was 16 – I am 19 now (or a week from being so anyway!). I think your mum made a great choice in letting you wait till you were old enough to understand and appreciate the story. The older I get, the richer it gets for me ;).

    I can't wait for the 26th of Dec. #OneLastTime #TheHobbit
    <3 <3 <3


  2. I was thirteen when dad was like: ‘hey, I read these books. We should watch the first two movies…’ It was a month before The Return of the King came out. At the time, I hated fantasy and writing passionately…

    Tolkien changed my mind. And because of people like John Howe, I’m now an illustration major in school because I want to work and do the same sorts of things they did in The Lord of the Rings.

    What you watch/read matters, because it affects you. Tolkien affected me deeply. His morals are sound and Biblical (mostly because he was a Christian… a SOLID Christian); and I hold a lot of standards because Tolkien helped me realise those morals.

    That’s what it means to never give up, to be a friend, to fight for a good cause (even if you do die for it), to be pure, to be brave even when you’re scared, to be simple, to be small, to be unnoticed (and it’s okay), and to do the right thing even when it’s hard.

    I hate the crap going around in modern writing that says people with a strong moral compass die. You only survive if you become brutal, violent, and sacrifice your morals. It’s so wrong, and Tolkien/Jackson prove that. Their stories are so VERY moral and black and white; and the good guys win and live… and have a ‘bittersweet’ ending.

    We need more writers like Tolkien who value justice and morals. It’s beautiful. Tolkien is priceless, and Jackson is the only director who could have pulled off this adaptation. Any other director would have gotten lost and overrun the story with needless action.

    There is action in the movies; but only after hours of character growth and world building. The characters make these stories <3

    I've obsessed over Tolkien eleven years now. It's eleven years TO THE DAY since I saw The Return of the King for the first time; but it's not the silly, whim obsession that goes away. My mum told me: 'you know, in a year, you'll be over this…' I AM a whimsical person, but I'm not a person of whim… or wishy-washy. If I like something, I like it…
    …and eleven years later I'm still dedicated to Tolkien and still so in love with Middle-Earth.

    This was beautifully written, Mirriam. So bitter sweet. It almost made me cry.


    I cried when Bilbo pulled out the acorn; I cried when Fili died; I cried with Kili died; I cried when Thorin died; I cried when Bilbo cried; and I cried again when Tauriel held Kili in her arms… I cried when Bilbo said goodbye to the company.

    And this made me tear up again <3

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m very amused and honoured because apparently my Tolkien nerd is strong enough to rank me up there with John Howe :) XD


  4. This is so accurate!!! And you do have such a wonderful way of telling stories. Thank God for Tolkien and those who made the films possible. They weren’t like the books, but they were still phenomenal. It’s like being able to see Middle earth from a different angle – being able to see things Tolkien didn’t spell out on the page.

    Tolkien changed my life too and I’m so, so thankful.

    Also, don’t cry too much just yet. It’s possible that there’s going to be a t.v. show on the Sil (*shrieks in the background because it was one of Tolkien’s best works*). I’m thinking it’s slight because I know the Tolkien family had a problem with the films and didn’t want there to be anymore…



  5. My daughter, it is a thing beyond words when something that inspires you, also inspires your child. To share the stories that really matter, and have you see them and take that inspiration and absorb it and share it is such a blessing. You are deep and dark and bright and shining – I love you to Middle Earth and back – Naneth

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This almost brought tears to my eyes!

    I was 10 when I first stepped into Middle Earth and I’ve never been the same since. I basically write BECAUSE of Tolkien. I wouldn’t be the Christine I am today without his beautiful stories. So I completely understand where you’re coming from. *huggles*


  7. As the tears ran down my face in the theater, I thought, “I need to talk to Mirriam.”
    So here I am.
    The movie was perfect. It was beautiful. I miss Middle-earth already.
    These are the stories that will last.


  8. Beautiful post Mirri!!! <3

    The ones that really matter… I love Tolkien and Middle-earth more than I can say.

    And although they did make some messes, I still loved this movie too. And I cried. Kind of a lot.

    YOU GET TO SEE IT AGAIN??? AAAH HOW AWESOME. I want to see it again already… o.o


  9. Everything you said.

    EVERYTHING you said!!!!!!!!!

    Best books and movies every. <3

    First movie ever to make me really cry. And I don't mind.

    One Last Time.

    And now it's over.

    Perfect post Mirri!! ^_^


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