Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hobbits: The end of an era

Ticket in hand, bag of Swedish fish, I entered the darkened theater for yet another journey. Yes, I go to the movies by myself. What's wrong with that? Let me explain. . .

Many years ago, about fifteen to be exact, a movie came out called "The Fellowship of the Ring." I saw previews and thought it looked entertaining, but for me, nothing could replace my Star Wars frenzy. I didn't want to let another movie series into my heart.

After the first credits rolled around, the armies waged war, and then a simple scene in a beautiful glen with a nice-looking young chap and the most delightful storyline, I was hooked on Lord of the Rings. What heart and soul. What a story! Heroes, villains, friendship and excitement. Frodo Baggins and his crew took me by storm and replaced all thoughts of other movies for me for a long, long time.

Through the years, me, my brother and a few great friends would see the different movies from the series together. We never missed an opportunity to view them on the big screen. And I must admit, I dressed a bit for them with my "one ring" on a chain around my neck. I've even go so far as a hobbit costume, ears and furry feet.

A dear friend of ours immersed himself into the movie series. He hadn't seen them until my family introduced them to him. He was smitten and became as enamored as all of us. He passed away a few years ago, right before the new "Hobbit" movie came out. I'd like to think he'd have been equally thrilled with this new series.

For me, Lord of the Rings has been a time for friends and family to get together and share precious memories of just what the movies meant to us. I have since gotten books, memorabilia and a fairly large collection from all of it. I'd like to think, just like Frodo and Sam, our friendships have been forged not out of the fires of Mount Doom, but in a simple way, like the Shire, with laughter, good memories and the imagination of two geniuses: J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson.

Here's to you Mr. Tolkien and Mr. Jackson for giving your fans another world to disappear into, if only for a short while. Here's to you for memorable characters that feel more like good friends.

I've since moved away from my family and it is not as easy for us to get together for an afternoon movie as it once was. I missed them so much as I sat there alone, but I wouldn't have missed the opportunity to see the last Hobbit movie for the world.

As I sat with the credits rolling in the theater today, tears streamed down my cheeks and I felt it was an end of an era. "The end of all things" so to speak. But I know it's only temporary. I have books, pictures, action figures and my memories to remind me of this amazing time in my life when I was transported into elf, dwarf and hobbit. When I learned just how much the power of storytelling took me and many other people by our hearts and gave us one of the greatest movie series of all time.

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