Happy Hobbit Day, y’all and happy birthday to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
I meant to post something yesterday, but I was feeling way too sick to do anything else but watching Twitch streams and Netflix. It doesn’t really matter though, as now I can write something about one of my favourite fantasy worlds of all time and share it on Hobbit Day. The highlighted picture is recycled from the instagram I share with my boyfriend, as I am still not well enough to go outside and take pictures.
So well, what is Hobbit Day really? Hobbit Day is the joint birthday of Bilbo Baggins, born in the year 2890, and Frodo Baggins, born in 2968. The American Tolkien Society first celebrated Hobbit Day in 1978 and also deemed the calendar week Hobbit Day falls in as Tolkien Week. Not to be confused with the Tolkien Reading Day, which is celebrated on March 25, the day of the Fall of Sauron.
What I really like is that Hobbit Day is one day after the release anniversary of the book The Hobbit. Can you imagine, that book was published 81 years ago! It is incredible how old the story is already, it was written after the First World War and published during the Second. 81 years later and there are still kids falling in love with the story for the first time, either through the book, an animated movie or the movies. The same goes for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and all the other books and short stories set in the same universe. The guy is a legend and I am glad Tolkien’s son Christopher was the one taking care of the unplublished work, as it stayed in the family and he knew the best what his father would have wanted with it.
The first time I experienced the story of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings was through the movies. I had friends who were surprised someone like me hadn’t watched or read anything from Tolkien yet. I watched the first two movies with a friend and I was supposed to watch the third part in the cinema. Sadly, my guinea pig died that day and we never rescheduled. I kinda made up for it a couple of years later (this year) by watching the whole trilogy with my boyfriend. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, however, I have watched several times and parts of them when the movies are on TV nearly every Christmas.
I have to admit, I never read the books. It is a shame really, but I somehow always prioritised new releases, gifts and books from book boxes and never got to buy them. I do have plans to read them ASAP, but I promised myself to refrain from buying too much books or start new series for a while as I have enough unread books and several unfinished series on my shelves. I think it is going to be early 2019 for reading some Tolkien.
But in my defense, I have a Dutch copy of the first book. I bought it when I was twelve years old I think. It was very cheap at a summer sale in the local drugstore and at first, I thought it was some side story of LOTR as the book was called ‘In De Ban Van De Ring” (It translates to something like ”Under the spell of/enthralled by the ring,”), which was nothing like Lord of the Rings or the Fellowship of the Ring translated in my language. I tried reading it, but as I said, I was twelve. It isn’t an easy book and I felt that. Plus, it was a translation. The Dutch language needs so many more words to say the same, the sentences just got dreadfully long. I got to a page or 50 and basically gave up. That was six years ago and I am planning on reading the originals, so I am sure it must go a lot better when I try next.
In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter how you have experienced the story, all is right. I know there are differences between the books and the movies and we all now it is really hard to squeeze an entire book into a movie, and the extended versions are already doing an impressive job, and movies can’t always follow the book for more than one reason, but the story overall stays the same. And that is what it is about. The story. Nothing else.
But why do I like this universe so much? I really love old-school fantasy. I absolutely love it. I love elves, dragons, wizards, magic, all that. I love to see elves running through the woods shooting arrows, I love reading about dwarves doing everything dwarfs do in every fantasy and seriously, the longer the beard of the wizard the better. I can get lost in these stories again and again, even when I just see 10 minutes of the movies. But my favourites from the Middle-Earth universe the Hobbits. The once careless, lazy, always hungry little creatures that just get dragged into the adventure of their life and they are just doing it, they are just being badass and still being their funny selves. It is impressive and I adore them for it.
Once again, happy birtday Bilbo and Frodo! I am toasting for you tonight. And to you Tolkien, for giving us such an amazing world. May you rest in peace.