How the Lord of the Rings movies influenced me

vi asked about formative movies.

There are three movies I can think of, and they are (surprise, surprise) the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I read the book when I was 12 – I distinctly remember it because it was in the joyous days after UPSR, and a classmate put me onto it. (I wonder who she was? I can’t remember her at all now.) And half a lifetime later, it seemed at the time – but only three years in actual fact! – the movies started coming out, reigniting my enthusiasm for the book.

The movies aren’t my Lord of the Rings – they’re too OTT and focused on fight/battle scenes, and the elves are too pretty, and the dwarves are not taken seriously enough (at least something The Hobbit movies are remedying, though The Hobbit movies are still not really worth it), and I will hold a grudge against Sean Astin for his overacting on the slopes of Mount Doom forever. But I like the movies for what they are, and they played a big role in my life.

LOTR movie fannishness was the motivating factor for my starting to blog after years of lurking, lo these many years ago on Diaryland. I was sending excitable 15-year-old emails to my poor cousin on practically a daily basis about Legolas! And Gimli! And all my ideas about LOTR! If Tumblr had been in existence at the time I would’ve had all the feels. I eventually started feeling bad for overwhelming my cousin with these feels, so I set up a blog as a harmless vent for all that fannish energy. And I have been blogging ever since, under various different names and guises on various platforms.

I sort of hesitate to say I wouldn’t have started writing in the absence of online fandom, because I’ve always scribbled bits and pieces, but this is how I started writing and completing finished fiction read by other people: I started this blog, and I made friends through it, and they said, “You should write fic!” so I did. I am naturally quite lazy and took a long time to build up any self-confidence about writing, so who knows when I would’ve got into it seriously if not for fandom?

So yes! I guess the influence I’ve been talking about has been more about all the stuff that is associated with the movies for me, rather than about the movies themselves. But that’s sort of the way I think of them. When I think about the book I think about my personal experience of it, the many encounters I have had with it over the years, but when I think about the movies I think about community – a community that shaped me.

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