Grace Notes: The end of an era

*Apologies for the slight change in topic for this post… Middle Earth has been with me almost as long as music has, so please indulge me this once*

*SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t seen the final Hobbit film yet, stop reading now, and please come back after!*

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my Dad first read Lord of the Rings to me when I was about 6 or 7. Ever since then, I’ve read both LotR and the Hobbit for myself (for my 18th birthday my grandparents got me a beautiful 50th anniversary edition of LotR) countless times. I remember the Fellowship of the Ring coming out in cinemas (in 2001, so I was 7) and I wasn’t allowed to go and see it in case I got scared. I was very disappointed and cross that I wasn’t allowed in. I knew what happened after all! My brother and I were allowed to go and see The Two Towers the following year and from then on, we were hooked. Middle Earth dominated our fancy dress (I made my mum give me Legolas hair for parties a few times and my brother and I had Black Rider costumes…), room decorations (posters, and my brother has a beautiful map of Middle Earth on his wall), games (both computer – battle for Middle Earth was great, and board games- we may or may not have LotR Monopoly….), music (we own the soundtracks, some of the sheet music and I have played orchestral suites for the films) and tv. I am very into fantasy films and TV and I blame Tolkein entirely.

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My Dad’s copy of The Hobbit, and my copy of The Lord of the Rings

Today marks the end of an era. After enjoying all of the LotR films (extended versions are mandatory in our house) and the releases of the Hobbit films, I have just got back from watching ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ at the cinema.

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I don’t own this image

Part of me was dreading it, not because I wasn’t going to like it, but because as soon as the end credits rolled, that was the last brand new film set in Middle Earth I was going to get to see. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I particularly liked Smaug (the dragon) and the way he grew fire in his belly and was a truly horrifying monster, but still showed emotion being voiced wonderfully by Benedict Cumberbatch. The battle scenes, as always, were terrific and there were some great moments aimed at people who had seen the Lord of the Rings a few times. I particularly liked the scene where Legolas FINALLY ran out of arrows! There were some very poignant moments, and I may or may not have shed a tear… The final song by Billy Boyd was lovely and a great full stop at the end of the tale. I’ve written a post about that here.

I’m turning 21 on Friday, and so finally have no excuse to call myself a ‘child’. This has been nicely marked by the end of the Hobbit. As Middle Earth no longer offers new adventures, I have to grow up, and what better age than 21 to do it (although I’m sure Father Christmas will bring the extended DVD of the third Hobbit for Christmas next year…).

If you haven’t ever seen any of the films then I envy you. A small part of me wishes I could watch from the beginning of the Hobbit trilogy all the way through to the Return of the King as a new viewer. What an epic saga that would be! I’d totally recommend going to see these films, and reading the books. It’s one of the things that evolved with me through a large portion of my life and I have become a huge fan. If you’ve never visited the world of Middle Earth, then please do! It has brought me almost endless enjoyment, and you never know, it may do the same for you too.

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