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 Rebecca Davis’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
I got the The Hobbit as assigned reading from my homeschool curriculum when I was 8 and didn’t make it through the first chapter before setting it aside- I found the names silly and confusing. I was reintroduced to Tolkien when I did a study abroad in Oxford my junior year of college and that was when I really became a fan.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
The characters and the richness of the story. There is a reality to his work, as if I’m getting a peak into a world that once was.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
My first extended edition marathon. 7 pm to 7 am. The jokes got sillier as the night got later- I may have said “Wheeeeeeeee!” when Denethor jumped off of the Pier.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
Very much. I have found the story richer the older I get. I used to consider Faramir a consolation prize for Eowyn before I really came to understand his character and outlook. I have also been able to have some really great discussions with other fans over different concepts that I wouldn’t have had when I first re-discovered him.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
I do to all my students 🙂 There is a quality to his stories that more modern fantasy stories lack. Take Beren and Luthien for example- Luthien is a wonderful example of a subversion of the fairytale princess. I also need my students to be able to get my references and jokes, especially when I tell them their paper is as awesome as Fingolfin’s charge to the gates of Morgoth.
You can read more from Rebecca Davis on Twitter!