About Me

Gi suilon!  Let me introduce myself, my name is Andrew.  I'm currently a high-school student with a love for Tolkien and his wonderful world of Middle-earth.  On this blog I try to post at least once a few times a month about something from Tolkien's life or works that I find interesting.  Occasionally some bits of fandom news or events is sprinkled in every now and then too.


The Professor

Tolkien isn't my entire life though, after being inspired by Tolkien's stories and Peter Jackson's interpretation on screen I've been getting involved in filmmaking the past few years and am currently pursuing that as a profession.  I'm also an avid musician who has been playing violin since the age of 4.  As a soloist, I'm currently working on Lalo's Symphonie espagnol, but I also participate in a number of ensembles including the Lindalë String Quartet and two full orchestras.

Some of my earliest readers might have known me from Animato Studios where I used to make stop-motion videos with my siblings (often involving Middle-earth).  While I haven't had much time to snap plastic bricks together lately I can still be found playing with them every now and then.

After all that the rest of my time is mostly consumed with the never-quenched monster of school.  Well, it's not really quite that bad.  I enjoy history and most of the other subjects aren't horrible.  I especially like reading about the Middle-ages, Reformation period, Colonial era, and the World Wars.

    


My Journey to Middle-earth

Every Tolkien fan has their story about how they discovered Middle-earth began.  Mine began several years ago when I was flipping through our family’s colossal collection of DVDs.  I stumbled upon several discs titled, “The Two Towers, Special Extended Edition”.  Immediately they stuck me as set apart from all the rest.

don't know exactly why they caught my attention.  Perhaps it was because of the design, the penciled sketches of what I later found out to be the Black Gate and Edoras set on a beautiful, tan colored background.  Intrigued, I asked my Mom for an explanation.  This all was quite a long time ago so I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I gathered that it was one of the three “Lord of the Rings” films based on a book of the same title written by a man named J.R.R. Tolkien.  I also learned from her that since I was (and still am) a big fan of C.S. Lewis and his land of Narnia that I would probably find it quite enjoyable, but I would have to wait a few years since I still couldn't read on quite that level yet (even though I was quite advanced for my age) and would probably have to wait even longer to see the movies since they were too scary. 


     At that point my thirst for more information regarding the topic was quenched and I forgot about them for several more years until again, when I was about ten or eleven, I was searching for DVDs to take on a long car trip.  Again, I saw the discs.  By this point my parents thought it would be OK for me the watch it. I packed it along for the car ride but never got a chance to see it.  Afterwards I kept thinking about the films and almost sat down to watch them numerous times, almost.  Thankfully, something held me back.  Up until this point The Lord of the Rings was really just a name on a DVD to me.  Then the Christmas after I turned 12 I received a book called The Hobbit from an Aunt and Uncle.  I opened up the cover and was immediately drawn into the fantastical and wonderful world of Middle-earth.  Almost a year later I received a copy of The Lord of the Rings for my birthday.  I immediately dove into it and closed the last page of the Appendices 2 months later.  Each time I finished one of the books I watched the corresponding film. 



     The next Spring I checked out a copy of The Silmarillion from my local library.  Besides getting terribly confused by some of the names and family trees I loved it.  A little over a year later I had gone through it twice more.  During this period I discovered that my favorite toy company, LEGO, would be making a line of sets based on The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.  I instantly jumped on board and started saving my pennies.  After my second pass at The Silmarillion I read The Children of Hurin and got a copy of the Unfinished Tales.  By now I was fully engrossed.  My newfound love for Middle-earth also led to an interest in its creator.  I read through Sir Gwain and the Green Knight; Pearl; and Sir Orfeo as well as The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun.  Then I was finally able to lay my hands on Humphrey Carpenter’s wonderful biography. 




     4 years since looking into a Hobbit hole for the first time my collection and interest is still growing at a rapid rate.  Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one happy about this progression.  My family thinks the constant barrage of Tolkien trivia, news, stories, and random musings have gone on too long, 3 1/2 years too long in fact!  This blog is an attempt to alleviate my family (which will probably be futile) by trying to keep at least part of my constant bubbling contained somewhere else.  Hopefully by doing so someone out there will find  my posts interesting or enjoyable to some degree.





     I tend to consider myself more of a purist when it comes to Tolkien's works, but I really enjoy the Middle-earth movies made by PJ & Co and have them to thank for inspiring me to pursue film.  Movies are a very different medium for telling stories and changes will have to take place in an adaptation.  Regardless, I'll often argue against (discuss really, I try not to get too worked up about it) certain deviations or elaborations with other fans.  My opinions on some of these changes will sometimes appear in posts.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Andrew! I really enjoy reading yours blogs and watching your LEGO videos. I wanted to let you know that someone loves to read your posts, since I am a huge Tolkien fan (having read the books and seen the movies many times). Because I have three older siblings who all read and watched LotR, I got to see that movies at quite the early age of 6 (and I'm 13 now). They have been my absolute favorite books and movies since then (though the Narnia book series for a close second).
    I hope you continue to write awesome posts on this blog :)

    Caleb W.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement Caleb!

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  2. Hey Andrew, I was wondering if you've seen the book "The Lord of the Rings Weapons and Warfare"? It is a book that describes the armor and weapons for all the people and characters from the "Last Alliance" to the "Black Gate". It also lists the strategies and tactics of both sides in the main battles: Helm's Deep etc. It definitely would be a valuable addition to your Lord of the Rings library.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion Nathan! As a matter of fact I have seen that book, but I don't own it (yet!). Our local library system carries it and I've been able to check it out numerous times. It's a really great resource and I hope to actually get my own copy. But being a high school student grade student with no employment means money isn't a readily available resource. :-( I especially like the chart that shows the firing rage of various weapons and the maps of different battlefields.

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    2. Hey, I was wondering if you could do a post about the differences between "The Return of the King" and the book. I have seen the first two movies, but not the third. Also, I'm curious about which Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Lego sets you have. I have: Helm's Deep, Uruk-Hai Army, Mirkwood Elf Army, and Dul Guldur Ambush. I think your blog is awesome!

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    3. Thanks for the compliment! That's an interesting post idea, it would certainly be quite long!

      We (me and my siblings) actually have all the LotR and Hobbit LEGO sets except for a few polybags and promotional items. We often use many of them to make brickfilms and MOCs under the title, "Animato Studios" (http://www.animatostudios.blogspot.com/).

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  3. Greetings mellon! I found your site via the Tolkienist's Perspective. I have also added you to the Blogroll on my own site. (http://www.tolkienphilia.blogspot.com/) Always great to meet another Tolkien fan!

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    1. Gi suilon! Thanks for the kind comment and link to your own blog E.J. DAgrosa. It is nice to find other like-minded Tolkien fans, even if it is only through the internet. :-) It looks like your own blog has taken off to a great start. I'm looking forward to seeing it grow!

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  4. hi andrew! i am a student at your class for the hobbit and i have been browsing your blog for a wile. i read the were worm article and find it intriguing! thanks for taking the time to set this up.-michael

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  5. I'd like to to see a post or two about the history of some of the places in the timelines in the back of the Return of the King. (Fornost, Umbar, Annuminas, north and south Ithilien, etc...)

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions Nathan! Great ideas. I took note of a few of them and added them to my "To write about" list.

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