Some may say that I’m coming into this party late. I’m not of that inclination. I believe that timing is everything and that the providential hand of God is never off since He created time. Now, what exactly am I talking about? My journey into the world of Middle-Earth, specifically with a hobbit named Bilbo. Yes, for the first time in my life, I’m reading The Hobbit.
It’s not that I’ve never heard of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings before embarking on this journey. Quite the contrary. I had heard so much about it in my early years that I knew most of the foundational concepts of the world itself. You couldn’t play a table top roleplaying game and not hear about J.R.R. Tolkien in some way. But you must remember, my road took me to where my heart was and always has been, which is comic book superheroes. I knew about fantasy. Even read the Dragonlance series. It was good. I enjoyed the read. But it never captured me like superheroes did.
For example, as soon as I heard about the Marvel Superheroes roleplaying game, I dropped fantasy like a hot potato and pretty much never looked back. For years I ran campaigns (my longest being three years) in the universe of my choosing and creation. It has always been the genre that has captured my attention the most.
However, when I saw the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I was more than intrigued. There were moments that arrested my heart so much that it has imprinted into my psyche (I’ll talk about this in another post). I started playing Lord of the Rings Online and have been playing it for years now. That got me interested in the world and that is how I decided that it was time to get the straight skinny from the horse’s mouth, from J.R.R. Tolkien himself.
I was given The Silmarillion and read about 40 pages in until I realized that it was not a novel but a chronicle of the beginnings of Middle-Earth and how it developed. I use it mostly as a reference. I proceeded to get the Lord of the Rings but I didn’t want to read it just yet because I knew that really wasn’t the beginning of the tales. The Hobbit was. So I went to my local used bookstore and what do you know; not only did it have the The Hobbit but the first and second Book of Lost Tales. I grabbed them all and begin to read The Hobbit.
That brings me to now. I just finished reading The Hobbit and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have seen both movies and I have observed several incidents that were not in either. The old adage still rings true: the book is always better than the movie and it’s no different in this case. I say that as one that enjoyed the movie but I’m enjoying the book more. A review is forth coming.
Does this mean that I will drop superheroes as my true love? Uh…no. Not by a longshot. However, it does give me an appreciation for the genre that I did not have before.
Now, to get back to my reading (new book by Ted Dekker. Eyes Wide Open). Don’t forget to drop a comment about what your experience has been with The Hobbit and all things Tolkien. Love to hear from you. God bless.