This is one in a series of posts where the content is provided by a guest who has graciously answered five questions about their experience as a Tolkien reader. I am very humbled that anyone volunteers to spend time in this busy world to answer questions for my blog, and so I give my sincerest thanks to Dimitrios Kolovos and the other participants for this.
To see the idea behind this project, check out this page
I want to thank Donato Giancola for allowing me to use his stunning portrait of J.R.R Tolkien as the featured image for this project. If you would like to purchase a print of this painting, they are available on his website!
If you would like to contribute your own experience, you can do so by using the form on the contact page, or by emailing me directly.
Now, on to Dimitrios Kolovos’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
My first true introduction to Tolkien’s work came through an uncommon channel, the music of the Blind Guardian metal band. It was Christmas. I was 10 years old. Family and friends were gathered. I wanted to listen to music, and I asked my cousin for his Mp3 player. There I found a song called “Lord of the Rings”. The damage was done. A few days later I saw him reading The Fellowship of the Ring. A while later it fell into my hands. Thus, it began.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
I’m not sure I can choose one aspect of Tolkien’s work. The first that comes to mind is his invented languages. The second one would be the creation of the Tolkienian universe, which is vast, full of variety but the same time open to interpretations of our fantasy. There are a lot of things for the readers to imagine and create, many small gaps to fill.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
My fondest experience of Tolkien’s work would be my participation in Tolkien2019. A 5-day event with academic presentations, workshops, art and a lot of fun with fellow Tolkien-lovers. I met a lot of great people, and it felt like a very friendly and inspired community. Secondly, I would mention my trip to the Forodrim celebration in 2017. Dressed in Tolkien-inspired clothing we had a great time singing, watching theatrical plays. Both events will never fade from memory.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
It has. It differs when you read the books at the age of 10, 15, 20 and 25. I loved the way I used to perceive them when I was 10. It was a true journey, an amazing adventure. Innocent mind. Slowly the experience changed. I started looking for things, focusing on his languages, his approach on matters such as immortality, death, war, peace. Ι began reading about Tolkien’s background and how he was influenced by it. Nowadays, I’m trying to study different aspects of his work. It’s very enjoyable to try to read between the lines but at the same time I take effort to read it through the eyes of the 10-year-old boy I remember.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
I would definitely recommend Tolkien’s work. It would be a great adventure for readers starting their journey into fantasy literature. It is a great way to experience a big adventurous journey. There is a lot in the background. There are two ways to address the matter. Try to understand Tolkien’s work as a whole. Read about his life, the experiences that shaped who he was, his languages or just sit back and enjoy reading his books.