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 Carissa Jones’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
My first introduction to Tolkien was seeing previews for the LOTR movies when I was in high school. I had never heard of LOTR previously, and the movies looked rather unappealing to me. Fast forward a few months, and a friend invited me over to watch movies. We had a standard agreement for our movie nights that we each got to pick one movie (back when renting them from the store was still a thing). She picked The Fellowship of the Ring, and I was a bit annoyed. Now, however, I am SO GLAD she did. I ended up loving the movie and bought myself the trilogy before I even watched the next two.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
This is a tough one. I have a hard time choosing favorites of anything, and there are so many great options for this! I’ll have to settle for my top three: 1) the character of Strider/Aragorn, 2) Tolkien’s definition and description of eucatastrophe, and 3) the way he draws out the extraordinary from the common.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
Watching The Fellowship of the Ring with that friend in high school and entering the world of Middle-earth for the first time.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
Yes. I am preparing to begin my dissertation and will be writing on the Inklings, so I currently approach Tolkien from a more scholarly perspective, but I still enjoy getting lost in the narratives when I can.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Absolutely! Tolkien is a very engaging writer and has a remarkable way of presenting timeless themes that allows the reader/viewer to learn from the characters while also recognizing his or her own capacity for greatness. As a Christian, I also appreciate his theological insight and ability to weave biblical themes into his work.
You can read more from Carissa Jones on her blog!