Caitlin’s Experience — Tolkien Experience Project (203)

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 Caitlin’s responses:

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

My mother started reading me the books when I was 4.

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

Oh, gosh. Well, Lord of the Rings is my favorite, though I certainly enjoy The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. What I really appreciate is how decent and nonviolent, even though they are good at it when absolutely necessary, the charaters are and also the enduring friendships. Lord of the Rings is basically a master class in non-toxic masculinity. I think I picked up on that even when I was small and that’s why it is a story that sticks.

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

Excellent question. The Andy-Serkis-narrated audiobooks have been a joy in these times, Mom reading to me in the old four poster when I was a kid, seeing The Fellowship of the Ring movie with my mom and brother.

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

Yes. My frequent re-reads and re-visits (via the movies and audiobooks) of the stories give me a different or deeper understanding each time. I understand the themes and lessons more explicitly now, at almost 50, than I did when I was a child.

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

Absolutely. There are a lot of very important life lessons in those stories about what is important and how to be a decent person.

You can find more from Caitlin on Twitter!

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