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 J.C.D.’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
I was initially introduced to Tolkien through the Lord of the Rings movies in the early 2000s. When I got older, late college years, I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time. It brought me to a different world; a world a bit simpler yet not one of a utopian quality. I was sucked in from there.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
There are two things in a broad sense that I truly love about Tolkien’s works. One is that they take me to a simpler time and place. The agrarian world of the Shire and of Rohan, the ancient grandeur of Gondor, the craft and lore of the elves all make me long for simpler times in our own world. In our world that, to me, seems more chaotic, more isolated, and more downcast as technology and man-made structures take more and more control of our everyday lives, these stories represent the antithesis to that. Secondly, the images of redemption that span the story are beautiful. The redemption of people and places throughout the tales never get old. I’ll add one more very tangible thing I love. My favorite part of any of his books is when Gandalf confronts the Lord of the Nazgul at the City Gate. Chills every time!
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
I think my fondest experience of his works is simply the resonance it leaves with me. The thoughts it produces, the people it introduces me to, the other books it leads me to, the imagining of what it would have been like to be part of the Fellowship or in Rivendell. It’s that continued experience and enjoyment in various forms that is really something I love.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
My approach has certainly matured as I have. I think more about the peace and homeliness of the Shire than I once did. I think more about the destruction of the Shire than I once did. Also, my approach has led me deeper into Tolkien scholarship just for fun!
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Of course I would! Jump right in! Don’t wait any longer!
You can read more from J.C.D. on Twitter!