André Santiago’s Experience — Tolkien Experience Project (157)

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 André Santiago’s responses:

1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?

My father is a big fan of Middle-earth so I’ve known the books since I was a child. He gave me The Hobbit when I was 9, though I didn’t manage to read through the first time. For LOTR, I knew the basic plot line and wanted to discover who destroyed the ring without reading the book (hated reading at that time), so one day I took the book, went to the last pages and spoiled myself (still hate me for that). One time at school, the teacher wanted us to bring a book to read before each class and I grabbed The Fellowship of the Ring as I was late, and was quickly drawn in (I was 13). For 2-3 years I only read and reread LOTR, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.

2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?

I’d say my favourite part is the creation of the world, the first war against Melkor and the destruction of the Trees (even though I’m usually pretty bad at choosing favourites). These events give me a sense of awe so great that I’ve yet to encounter it elsewhere. An honourable mention is the encounter between the dwarves and Beorn. It is probably one of the most fun scenes I’ve read.

3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?

I love the connection that I have with my father over this world. I remember particularly playing “Battle for Middle-earth” with him a lot (losing most of the time), watching all of the movies that one time until I got an headache, and be able to make him get deeper in the world (I gave him Children of Hurin for Christmas)

4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?

Well, yes and no. It has definitely changed since the times when I exclusively read LOTR again and again. I took a break and haven’t read LOTR for 2 or 3 years now, as I’m more interested in the events prior to the main story (particularly the first age). Now the way I view the world hasn’t particularly changed, only got more deep as my knowledge of all that surrounds Middle-earth got deeper.

5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?

Definitely! The thing is that my friends either are already familiar with the books or don’t like to read. But most of them have at least watched (and enjoyed) the movies!

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