The Trouble with Tolkien and Me

In short, I am a fraud.

I’ve long considered myself a low-key Tolkien fan. The man’s linguistic prowess and world building are aspirational. So is the legacy of his Oxford-based writing clique, the Inklings, whose membership also included the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis. You should have seen the look of wonder on my face as, on a trip to Oxford last year, I drifted around The Eagle and Child, the pub where those literary giants used to meet to discuss their latest work.

The Eagle and Child, Oxford

Aside from my fascination with the Inklings, I love The Hobbit, and Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings are some of my favourite movies. So when my first-year flatmate tried to peer-pressure me into joining my uni’s Tolkien Society, I didn’t take too much convincing.

Despite feeling out of my depth amongst some hardcore fans who know all the people, places, and histories of Middle Earth by heart, I enjoyed the Society and its members. I’m glad I joined. So what’s the problem?

Well, it started at the end-of-year Committee Elections:

Somehow (*cough* nepotism and a very small turnout) I was elected as the new Vice President of the Tolkien Society. As I returned to my seat after the vote, I should have felt excited. Instead, one thought ran through my head: No one knows I haven’t read the books

Now, I know coming into power with no relevant experience is all the rage in this day and age… Still, call me old-fashioned; I can’t shake the feeling that I ought to do my research.


As Bilbo Baggins says to Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring, “It’s a dangerous business…going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Well, here’s to being swept off into the Fellowship’s journey.


Read my reaction to The Fellowship of the Ring here. 

Are you a Tolkien fan, casual or otherwise? Any favourite moments or characters? Let me know in the comments below! 


7 thoughts on “The Trouble with Tolkien and Me”

  1. I have read Tolkien, and loved both The Hobbit and LOTR. I could never make it all the way through The Silmarillion, though. And I haven’t re-read LOTR since the movies came out, since they did a very respectable job of portraying the books. Not a perfect job, and I won’t go into my opinion on how Jackson messed up Faramir…


    1. Ooh, I haven’t read anything about Faramir yet, so the movie version is the only thing I’m familiar with. What did they mess up? (Unless you really don’t even want to go there…haha!)


      1. (LOL, no it’s fine.) Faramir is not supposed to be tempted by the ring AT ALL. He is supposed to be completely good, even relatively kind to Gollum. The movie made him more fallible – and therefore arguably more human – but in doing so drastically changed his personality.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I kinda struggled getting into the Hobbit… All the songs in the book annoyed me! I adore the films though so I can totally relate! I live in Birmingham, near to The Shire and the Mosley Bogs where Tolkien would write and be inspired, so I feel guilty I’m not more of a fan of the books too. I also keep meaning to go to the Tolkien festival they have there annually… This year maybe I’ll make it! Does your society go?


    1. Eh, in the end, you can’t force it! The main reason I haven’t read them until just now is that I tried when I was 10 or so and thought they were way too dry and dense. I’m glad I gave it another shot, ’cause I’m actually really enjoying it this time around – already being invested in the characters because of the movies really helps. But if you don’t like something, that’s that. You shouldn’t have to feel guilty about it!

      That must be a lovely area! I don’t think the society goes to the festival, but we’ve been talking about organizing a trip this year, and I might have to steal that idea 😀


      1. That is true, it shouldn’t be forced – might try the Lord of the rings trilogy instead of the Hobbit! Haha you totally should, though it’s really quite small considering and surrounded by a residential area, it is still beautiful. I think it will surprise you! You’ll have to let us know on the blog how it goes with the Tolkien society and how you find the books now 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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