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 fan.
To see the idea behind this project, or if you are interested in sharing your own, visit the project homepage. If you enjoy this series, please consider helping us fund the project using the support page.
I want to thank Donato Giancola for allowing me to use his artwork for this project. Prints are available on his website!
Now, on to Manuel’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
My first contact with Tolkien´s work was through the movies at age 7. I was visiting my Uncle (who later found out was a huge Tolkien fan) and he was watching The Fellowship of the Ring on TV. Sadly, I can´t exactly remember what it was that hooked me, but by next year I was watching The Two Towers in the cinema with my parents (they both fell asleep), and The Return of the King the year after that, this time with some of my closest friends.
After re-watching the movies several times, I decided, on my Uncle´s advice, to buy the books and start this never ending, but equally amazing journey, of discovering Middle-earth and Tolkien´s work.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
My favorite part must be the depth of his work. As a curious individual at heart, once I´m interested in something, I try to delve deeper into whatever it is that has my attention, often to be disappointed as there just seems to be nothing more than what is presented in the surface. With Tolkien this is never a problem.
I quickly became amazed and fascinated at how almost every single place, every single character (be it a main one or not) has a background or a backstory and that this is covered deeply in his other works, how everything is so deeply interconnected and beautifully imagined and written that you almost feel Middle-earth is real and you can learn about it in your History class in school.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
Probably sharing time with my friends. After watching the LoTR movies together many times, we decided to recreate the plot on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
The number of hours we spent recreating the maps, laughing, eating, not sleeping and playing are very close to my heart and something we will always remember.
Looking back, I was very fortunate to have such good friends to share this passion with.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
It certainly has. At a young age, when my strongest approach to his work was the movie adaptations, I was more interested in action and dialogues than anything else. As I’ve “matured”, reading the descriptions of the landscapes, the cultures, history, etc. are what interest me the most and what keeps me always hooked and marveled.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Every time I get the chance! Whenever someone asks me who my favorite author is or what my favorite books are. Tolkien created a whole new genre of fantasy literature and world creation. Most of the people I know enjoy some sort of similar novels or movies / series, so I always recommend them to read the one who got it all started.
You can read more from Manuel on Twitter!