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 Quincy Wheeler’s responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
When I was 10 years old, I was given a copy of The Hobbit by our dad. (Our dad had received a copy from his oldest brother when he was around that same age). I was immediately hooked and spent days just reading through all of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and talking to my dad about every new event in the books. I then immediately shared it with my siblings, eventually encouraging my 5 younger sisters and 1 younger brother to love them in turn.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
I love the ability of Tolkien to create characters that both delight and inspire, or both horrify and challenge me. His carefully-crafted world-building leads to endless fodder for the imagination, and I deeply appreciate his ability to share wisdom and humor in the midst of telling an epic story.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
From the days I spent devouring every page to first finish The Lord of the Rings in book form, to attending the midnight showing of The Fellowship of the Ring film the night of its release, Tolkien’s work always reminds me of family and a shared adventure to stand up for what is good in this world.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
I have been challenged to see how Tolkien’s work is perceived by people from different cultural, racial and life-experience backgrounds, and I have learned to appreciate deeply the needed efforts by so many talented artists, scholars and fans to make Tolkien more accessible to everyone.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Yes, of course! While not everyone likes the kind of literature Tolkien writes, I want everyone to at least try to engage with his world because it is a place where we have found love, hope, and encouragement – and everyone needs a little more of that in their lives!
If you would enjoy hearing seven siblings talk about Tolkien’s work, you can check out our monthly podcast, “Seven Stars, Seven Siblings, and One White Tree” on whatever podcast service you prefer, and find our Twitter page at @7stars7siblings