Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"Good Morning!" (Tolkien Blog Party)

"Good morning!" he said at last. "We don't want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over the Hill or across The Water."

Good morning, fellow Tolkien-fans! (I'm fully aware that by the time you read this it won't be morning, but it's morning here while I'm typing this, so I couldn't pass up the reference.)

I'm participating in A Tolkien Blog Party of Special Magnificence hosted by Hamlette. I'm quite excited about this!! To start, she posted a list of questions, and I have answered them below :D

Oh, as usual, being a rather new blogger and all that, I still haven't figured out the switching font sizes, so please bear with me.



~Warning: Unmarked Spoilers~

1.  What draws you to Tolkien's stories?  (The characters, the quests, the themes, the worlds, etc.) Hmmm, this is hard. It's so difficult to narrow down; there's memorable characters, exciting action, deep and likable characters, beautiful writing style, Christian themes, original creatures, surprisingly funny lines, . . .

Okay, the Christian themes. :D 

2.  What was the first Middle Earth book you read and/or movie you saw?  What did you think of it?

Book: The Hobbit It was summer reading my mom suggested in preparation for reading it again in 4th grade. I've read it three times since and am once more following Bilbo's adventures while sharing it out-loud with my younger sister.

What did I think of it? *chuckles* I remember thinking I was reading something far ahead of my age reading level. Who knows where I got that idea from; maybe because I knew it was the prequel to LotR? But, yes, I did enjoy it( and no, it wasn't that difficult).

And I'm getting really off topic here, but I started it at a baseball game. That has always stood out in my memory as a weird place to first experience Tolkien. *shrugs*

Movie: Fellowship of the Ring Since we practice a read-the-book-before-the-movie rule at my house, my Dad had told me when I was reading The Hobbit I was old enough to watch LotR if I read the books first. I tried it the summer after reading The Hobbit(or maybe the same summer, I really can't remember these things. . .) and only made it to somewhere around Tom Bombadil's entrance.

I tried again later that school year and only made it half-way through RotK.

Anyways, long answer short, I watched The Fellowship of the Ring a few days after finishing the book, loved it, but still failed to finish reading the whole series until the end of 6th grade. It's sad, really.

(Sorry-- that answer went on much longer than it needed to.)

3.  Name three of your favorite characters and tell us why you like them.

1. Samwise Gamgee 

Chased by armies of orcs, toiling through the middle of Mordor, and bidding goodbye to Frodo, Sam still manages to maintain a cheerful attitude, sense of practicality, and deep hope. And when he marries at the end, THE FEELS!! ;)

2.  Eowyn

I don't know exactly. For one thing, she's a well-done female character. She also the only main female character who's also human(Galadriel, Arwen, and Goldberry are elves and Shelob is a spider), which makes her more relatable.

3. Gandalf

Although, Gloin, Bilbo, and Gollum all make it into bits and pieces of Lord of the Rings, Gandalf is the only character who plays a core role in both LotR and The Hobbit. Of course, part of my liking him is due to Ian McKellen's portrayal, but it's more than just that.


4.  Are there any secondary characters you think deserve more attention?

King Theoden


Saruman(he's high on my favorite-villains list)

Beregond

Tom Bombadil

Eomer

5.  What Middle Earth character do you relate to the most?

Despite my Aragorn quiz-results, possibly Eowyn. Or maybe Frodo. 

6.  If you could ask Professor Tolkien one Middle Earth-related question, what would you like to ask him?

Did you ever consider not killing off Gollum, and if so what would his ending be? The first time I read the book, that was the most heartbreaking death(it's ridiculous, I know).  

7.  Are there any pieces of Middle Earth merchandise you would particularly like to own, but don't?

I already own the Lord of the Rings books/movies, The Hobbit, AUJ, tBoFA, Lord of the Rings trivial pursuit, a LotR movie poster, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide, The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide, a replica of the ring, and a LotR piano music book, so there isn't too much left I don't have! ;)

I would like another poster maybe(although my room is a little maxed out with six posters). Arwen's necklace is pretty, too. 

8.  What battle would you absolutely not want to be part of?

The Battle of Pelennor Fields. 

9.  Would you rather eat a meal at the Rivendell or Bag End?

Rivendell. 

10.  List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.


Book Quotes-

*consults Goodreads
There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for. -Sam

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo."So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. -Bilbo

“I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” (I actually don't remember who said this, does anyone else know?)

“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” -Bilbo

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Movie Quotes: 

*consults Pinterest*

Gimli: Never thought I'd die side by side with an Elf.
Legolas: What about side by side with a friend?
Gimli: Aye, I could do that.

Merry: Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this journey, quest, thing.
Pippin: Well, that rules you out, Pip.
Elrond: You shall be the fellowship of the ring.
Pippin: Great! Where are we going

Thorin: I want to know - why did you come back?
Bilbo: Look, I know you doubt me, I know you always have. And you're right. . . I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden. See, that's where I belong, that's home. That's why I came back. . . 'cause you don't have one, a home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can. 

And last, but not least-- 

Legolas: They're taking the hobbits to Isengard! 

(Mostly just because of the over-dramatic way he says it.) *grins*

~~~

That was fun! :D 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Wisdom from Dr. Seuss

A few months ago while digging about for an appropriate quote to conclude my review of The Hobbit trilogy, I chose a line from America's favorite picture book writer. Or, one of the favorites anyways:)

I'd usually settle on some profound quote from Gandalf or maybe from one of the actors. Instead, the most applicable helpful concluding words were:

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." -Dr. Seuss
This post is already sounding cheesy.

Anywho, I pasted it into the bottom of my post, because that is what The Hobbit fans need to hear. Maybe it was just me, but my two main reactions to The Battle of Five Armies previews, quotes, pictures, and eventually opening-day tickets were 1). excitement(like crazy fangirling, irrational excitement), 2). sadness(like crazy, fangirling, irrational sadness!).

My reaction during the first viewing was something like "Whoa, what just happened?"

My reaction during the second viewing-- sadness. (This is still sounding cheesy, but bear with me!)

I was sad *Spoilers* Thorin died, sad Fili and Kili died, sad when Bilbo said goodbye to the dwarves, *End of Spoilers* and mostly just sad it was all over.

There's nothing wrong with feeling sad or crying over a story(especially sad stories), but looking back I wish I'd given more to savoring the story rather than getting all worked up because it was all over.

Little Women

Don't take this the wrong way: it's good to be touched by a story. It's good to enjoy it so much you moan a little when it ends. Just don't let yourself forget how much you love it in mourning that it's done.

So next time I watch The Battle of Five Armies or Return of the King or read The Last Battle I'm going to give effort into really enjoying it rather than pulling a classic fangirl move and crying tragically at the last scene/chapter(although that very well may happen, too!).

After all, aren't all good stories only echoes of the one, ultimate story which continues forever?

"All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before." -C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Movie Loving(Any Ideas??)

A few months ago(okay, okay 9 months ago) I published 20 Clues You Might Be A Bookworm on that other blog you may hear me reference occasionally. I asked a number of my book-loving friends for suggestions and ended up with a much longer list than what I would've come up with on my own.

I'm planning on also writing a similar 20 Clues You Might Be A Movie-Nerd list here(or at the other blog, we'll see), so if you have an idea would you pretty, pretty please send me a comment? I may not choose everything, but I'd really appreciate any ideas.

So tell me if you have anything! :D

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Wingfeather Saga(Books 3&4)

Well, I've finished the series(*flings confetti*), so here are my reviews:

The Monster in the Hollows(4 stars)-

I didn't actually *cough* write anything for this*cough*, but I wrote on Goodreads that my favorite character was Sara Cobbler.

The Warden and the Wolf King(4 stars)-


The Wingfeather family is up against all the trouble they managed to dodge in the previous three books and the trouble is serious. Bat fangs are swarming the Hollows, Green Fangs are up to their usual tricks, THE Grey Fang(a.k.a. Kalmar) is slipping slowly into wolfish-ness, and all-color Fangs are mass-produced everyday.

Either evil or good is going to win. Gnag or the Wingfeathers.

The finality and suspense would've been stronger with a few less pages, but Andrew Peterson had lots to work out, so I can't complain.

A beginning page of tWatWK reads, "This one's for you, Dear Reader. You're almost home." Isn't that so awesome?? Although this is nothing compared to what the characters went through, the quartet is 1488 pages(for me that's a commitment!) so it was comforting to hear, "You're almost home," as if I were fighting alongside Janner and Kalmar(which in my mind, of course, I was!).

I enjoyed almost everything about this series, so I won't go to the trouble of listing it all. I will say:

1). I was glad that. . .

*Spoiler* Podo actually died! *ignores nasty glares* Okay, okay, I was sad he died. Really. It's just that I'm tired of authors avoiding character deaths and instead showering their readers with spectacular escapes. Those are fun to read too, but I stopped taking deaths seriously after all the miraculous revivals. Also, of all the main characters, Podo was my least favorite, so. . . *End of spoiler*

2). The heroism and sacrifice at the end was beautiful.

~~~~~~

There were a few criticisms floating around my mind I didn't want to mention, chalking them up to my over-criticizing of books. However, a few other Goodreads reviewers shared some of my concerns so I'll just put them out there.

1). Leeli does nothing. She's helpful in the first book, but kind of just sits there in the first book. Part of that was due to her weak leg, but it's still a valid point.

2). Andrew Peterson will switch the perspective from one character to another in the middle of a chapter. (It's one thing to do that from chapter to chapter or with clear breaks between chapters, but not from paragraph to paragraph.)

That's all I guess. . .

Overall, I loved The Wingfeather Saga, and would certainly recommend it to my fantasy-loving friends.

Favorite Character: Janner

Favorite Book in the Series: The Monster in the Hollows

~~~~~~~

So have you read this series? What did you think? 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The End of Summer Tag

Hello, readers! Fall is upon is(or at least for me it is, if you still believe it's summer more power to you!). To celebrate, I decided to fill out the End of Summer Tag that AbigailChloe, and Alicia have nominated me for. Thank you, girls!! 


Rules

1. Thank the blogger who tagged you, and link back to them.
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag as many people as you can, we want this tag to get around, so we can hear about each other's summers!

Alright, then! 


1. How was your summer?

Overall it was fun! I wish I'd spent more time on reading, writing, photography, piano and less on browsing the internet/other unproductive activities. But that's how it goes every summer, no? 

2. What was a highlight for you?

Reading. Also from right about the beginning of the summer till now I've been spending lots of time reading/writing blogs and met lots of blogging buddies. Blogs are the best:) 

3. What was the best thing you did?

Probably hanging out with some friends to watch the extended edition of Return of the King. It doesn't get much better than that! 

4. What was the worst thing about the summer?

I love our new puppy, but not all the work she requires. So probably that. 

5. What was one of the craziest things you did this summer?

Although this didn't stick(I wonder why?), the first month or so of the summer I woke up at 6 many mornings which was actually earlier than my schedule from the previous school year required(now it's 5:30, crazy, I know). Sleeping in is not my thing! And that probably separates me from every other teenager alive;) 

This isn't crazy exactly, but making fireweed ice cream out of fireweed we picked from our neighborhood was awesome. 




6. What books were you reading?

Lots! The most memorable are The Wingfeather Saga, Breadcrumbs, and Inkheart. The complete list is here

7. Are you going to school, or staying at home?

 Both! I'm involved in a homeschool program called Classical Conversations, so I "go" to school
(or something like that) once a week. 

8. Are you excited about school?

Yep! Not so much at first, but I'm enjoying it now. Particularly the Shakespeare study(which involves reading The Taming of the Shrew), Latin, and Literature/Writing. 


^^Yeah, I took that picture. 

9. What was a highlight of last year's school year?

The mock trial was. . .interesting. Honestly, I was a tad too nervous to enjoy the experience as much as I should've. I'm still glad I did it, though. 

10. Are you looking forward to fall weather, and winter?

Yesh! Living in Alaska, I divide weather variations into two seasons: winter and summer. So fall isn't really a "thing". We're full on into winter, for example, by the time Thanksgiving rolls along. But I like winter, too(it's my favorite season, in fact!), so yes, yes, I am ready! 

Well, that was fun! How about you? How was your summer? 

I nominate Morgan.  


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Sub-Favorite Movies

I was reflecting just now on the fact that I'd devote whole posts to Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia, but only throw out passing comments on my sub-favorite movies. You see there's this hierarchy I have of my favorite movies. The top five favorite-favorite movies(with 1 being the best) are:

1. Return of the King
2. Fellowship of the Ring
3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
4. Voyage of the Dawn Treader
5. The Two Towers

*cough* Yes, I'm a fantasy fangirl(hey, alliteration!), but I can boast a tad more variety in the other favorites. And so, these, in countdown format, are my sub-favorites:

*drumroll* 

10. Prince Caspian 

Really, this shouldn't get a place on my list. Really, it shouldn't. But. . . it's close enough to the book I love that I still enjoy watching it. I always chuckle/roll my eyes at the end of the movie(why do they think movies need romance?) and then forget my sarcastic remarks once The Call starts playing. I love that song. And the quotes, though! It's one of the most quotable movies, ever

By the way, while I have you here, have I mentioned the parallelisms between The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit trilogies? The first movie starts out faithful to the book, the second one strays rather far from the book and introduces a couple face-palm love scenes, then the third is crazy bittersweet and action-packed and more faithful than the second, though not as faithful as the first. But, I digress. . .  

Miraz: "This is not a question of bravery."

Edmund: "So you're bravely refusing to fight a swordsman half your age?"

~~~

Caspian: "If we're taking a vote, I'm with him."

9. Captain America: The First Avenger 

It has the action, the WWII setting, the british accent, Elrond, I mean, uh, Hugo Weaving. :)

"If you have something to say, now's the best time to keep it to yourself!" (Or something along those lines)

8. The Sound of Music 

I love this movie sooooo much. The music, the characters, the setting, the length(yes, yes, I'm a sucker for long movies), and the history. 


"The hills are alive with the sound of music!"

7. Mr. Holmes 

My review is over at my Wordpress blog.

"If I ever write a story myself it will be to correct the millions of misconceptions created by his[Watson's] creative license." 

6. It's A Wonderful Life 

This movie may be the movie I've seen the most times-- about 9 viewings and counting. It's a family tradition to watch it every Christmas season and so each time progressively understand and appreciate it better. If you haven't seen this, you should. It's the bestest. *grins*

"Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings!"

5. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 

You can read my review of the trilogy here. Watching the trailers or clips of the actors and going to see it opening day(or the day after, I honestly can't remember) then discussing it with my friends and listening to The Last Goodbye are some of the best memories in my life. Or something like that. ;)  

4. The Giver 

You've probably heard me mention this movie before. It's hard to explain why I like it so much, but it's nostalgic and just. . .good.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

Do I really need to say more? :D

"Good morning!"

2. The Princess Bride 

Although I mentioned Prince Caspian as being quotable, Princess Bride takes the cake. I can't go five minutes in that movie without laughing, much to the annoyance of my poor friends agreeing to watch it with me! 

Buttercup: "You mock my pain."

Wesley: "Life is pain highness, anyone who says differently is selling something."

~~~

Miracle Max: "Have fun storming the castle!"

~~~

"Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!" 

~~~ 

"Stop rhyming now! I mean it!"


"Anybody want a peanut?"

1. Pride and Prejudice(2005)




This picture explains everything. It has an incredible soundtrack, beautiful videography, hilarious quotes, I could go on. . . (: I wrote a P&P comparison-review-thing over here.

"I have a high respect for your nerves, they have been my friends these 20 long years."

So how 'bout you? Which movies are on your sub-favorites list?