Top Posts in 2019, #8: “Shawn E. Marchese’s Experience”

This holiday season, I am closing out the year with a countdown of my top ten posts of the year!

For 2019, the number eight post was: Shawn E. Marchese’s Experience–Tolkien Experience Project (27)

This was the second-most popular entry from the Tolkien Experience Project this year!

In this entry, I loved it when Shawn talked about his favorite part of Tolkien’s work! Shawn said:

I’m quite fond of the myth of Eärendil, as anyone who’s heard me talk about The Silmarillion for more than about seven minutes probably knows. Maybe it’s because Eärendil’s name was the start of it all for Tolkien, when he read that famous line of Old English poetry: “Eala earendel engla beorhtast.” Maybe it’s because of Eärendil’s central position in the legendarium, a nexus point between the Elder Days and the later stories. Maybe I just think flying star-boats are cool (who doesn’t?). But I think the real reason is because the myth of Eärendil allows me to connect the stories in the legendarium to my own life. Every time I see the evening star in the sky (I rarely wake up early enough to see it when it appears in the east as the morning star), I feel hope and wonder, as I imagine the people in Middle-earth did when they first saw the Star of High Hope rise in the sky. I feel a part of the story, and I sense my own birthright to the lessons it offers us.

And there’s so much there to learn: The importance of language and story, and their effect on how we view the world. The appreciation of nature. The need for enchantment and Faërie in our lives. The strength, hope, wisdom — and sometimes defiance — of Tolkien’s characters. And that’s what really keeps me coming back, more than the languages and history. It’s the strength of Éowyn, the wisdom of Faramir, the warmth of Gandalf, the insight of Samwise; the valor of Tuor, the loyalty of Beleg, the love of Beren and Lúthien, that makes me want to read it all again and again.

Be sure to go see the whole post and read the rest of Shawn’s wonderful comments if you haven’t already!

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