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View Poll Results: I've read Tolkien, for I have...
Found him on my own in a bookstore 4 3.77%
Heard about him from a friend/sibling 31 29.25%
Watched the movies 18 16.98%
Read exalted criticism in a paper/book and read his works to look for myself 0 0%
Read spiteful criticism in a paper/book and read his works to look for myself 0 0%
Found the books prohibited in my school/university and decided to have a go 0 0%
Been taught his works in school/university 4 3.77%
Been read his works by my parents as a child/read the books bought for me by my parents 28 26.42%
Enjoyed another artist (poet, writer, etc, please indicate) 3 2.83%
Other 18 16.98%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-25-2006, 01:25 AM   #1
HerenIstarion
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Public Research: How did you become Tolkien-lover?

How did you come to read Tolkien? Was it a long road or short - have you been hesitant or eager to approach the books at all?

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Old 01-25-2006, 02:09 AM   #2
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Silmaril

I'm one of those "late-bloomers" who probably wouldn't have heard of Tolkien if not for Peter Jackson. So I watched the film, got interested, picked up the book nearly a year later, then got hooked.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:08 AM   #3
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I'm one of those "late-bloomers" who probably wouldn't have heard of Tolkien if not for Peter Jackson. So I watched the film, got interested, picked up the book nearly a year later, then got hooked.
Same story, but for 'year later' part . I mean, in my case it was half an year later, the rest the same
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:51 AM   #4
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White Tree

I will be ever indebted to my brother for introducing Tolkien to me...well his books anyway!
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:33 AM   #5
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My original introduction was through school. My introduction to LotR was through my brother. I feel that I should thank him for trying to keep me away from the books. His stubborn refusal to let me read (he wanted to turn me into an experiment as to how reading changes if you've seen the movie first) meant that I went and begged an ancient copy of The Fellowship from a teacher that I barely knew.
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:43 AM   #6
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Other.

There was a brief excerpt from LotR in an extra practice appendix in my grammar textbook in 6th grade - something to do with analyzing sentence structure I think, so not really a section that was teaching about the books - which immediately captured my interest. Thank goodness for grammar class!
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:08 AM   #7
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I'm red in the face saying it but I didn't want a single thing to do with Lord of the Rings before Fellowship came out in the movies. Actually even a little after that...

My father had read Lord of Rings and the Hobbit... even to us as small children apparently... (Not that I can remember that, mind.) And my sisters had each read the Hobbit on their own but being 14 I decided that I was rebellious and just didn't want to.

When the movies aired promos I was utterly confused by it. Hearing "Middle Earth" and seeing that big blue sky... (Up until then I had figured it as some subterrainian world.) which made me even more frustrated so even as the rest of my family got excited I said that I was flat out NOT going to see those DUMB movies.

They seriously (all joking aside) KIDNAPPED me to go see them. Dragged me out to the car. Picked me up and THREW me in! The joke is on them though... By Febuary I was into the Return of the King.. sneaking peaks at the Silmarillion. I have yet to give my twin sister either book and it drives her mad (Then again.. she won't release any Douglas Adams... I guess its a book-hostage situation?)

It's a long road with a short connecting path, I'd say. I was both hesitant (if not violently against) then quite eager to read the books... This doesn't help much at all.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:52 AM   #8
the guy who be short
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I voted other.

I saw my school librarian reading them, vaguely recognised the book, and took it out.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:21 PM   #9
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I saw The Two Towers with a friend, and since I had no idea what was going on, I picked up the books, then read The Hobbit, then the Silm. I basically went backwards.
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Old 01-25-2006, 06:43 PM   #10
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In third grade, my teacher read The Hobbit aloud to the class. I then became an ardent devotee of Tolkien, immediately starting to read the Hobbit myself. Then I moved on to the Lord of the Rings, then the Silmarillion, and so on.
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:34 PM   #11
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That's pretty much the same as my story: elementary teacher read the Hobbit (in fact we did skits acting it out, I remember I was the Elvenking's porter in Barrel's Out Of Bond). I went to the LotR and Silm from there and the rest is history. Then I asked Alcarillo to check 6 Degrees of Separation in the Quiz Room.
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:58 PM   #12
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Other

Alright, let's see.... My mother bought "The Hobbit" for herself, yet she didn't finish it and as I had nothing to read at the time (I was about fourteen I think) I claimed it for myself. It's still sitting on my bookshelf, good luck mom trying to get that one back.

Then I went and bought LoTR (one book at the time... I remember finishing The Two Towers about an hour after the bookstore closed and trying to convince my dad to go check if it was open anyway... I did not succeed and so I could not sleep wondering what had happened to Frodo). After finishing LoTR I read The Sil but it was a big dissapointment. First of all I was quite young to appreciate it fully and second, I read it in Spanish. I have not read them in English (Ive started LoTR though) but I can tell it's MUCH better on its original language. Specially the songs, as they chose to translate them into Spanish rather than leave them in English and well... they just don't sound as good.

But a copule months ago I read all of them again and enjoyed them plenty. Looking forward to getting my hands on Unfinished Tales
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:59 PM   #13
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All of my school was in a Tolkien frenzy, because of the movies of course. (This was some months before the premiere of the first movie) One day a friend of mine starts talking about this book he is reading called Hobbiten, (The Hobbit) I start asking questions about the book and the auther. The whole conversation ends with me beeing very confused, but I desidet that I needed to read these things for my self.
I went down to the book store, but I could not fin anything written by this Hobbiten fellow. You see I had gotten it all mxed up and thought it was a book called Tolkien written by Hobbiten. I ended up borrowing a friends old and dusted copies (bad translating) and finished the last book just around when the first film came out.

The first was kind of difficult to read at starters, but when I made it thru the first 1/3 of the book I was hooked. I had finnished LOTR, the hobbit and Silmarillion, while the movie was still runing in theaters.
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:20 PM   #14
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I' m not exactly surehow it all happened, but if I can remember right I was in the 8th grade and I read the Hobbit for something. Don't reall know why, but I loved that one. Later on my schools book club, o by the way Tolkien is what got me into the whole reading thing, I suggested the Fellowship. Well you all know the story from there. One led to another and so onm and now look at me. I'm a reader of all kinds of books. And that is my vaguely remembered story.
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:12 PM   #15
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Bernard Cribbbens reading "The Hobbit" on Jackanory... that dates me but it was wonderful.............
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Old 01-27-2006, 03:10 PM   #16
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White Tree

I chose other but I was kind of a mix. I bought the books for my dad and when he was done he let me read them . But, that wouldn't really be the moment that I became a "Tolkien-lover." As I read them once and set them in a box to be packed in the basement.

It was when the movies came out when I became a true lover. And for that is where I give Peter Jackson a lot of credit for making such good movies that inspired me to pick up the books again, after some 20 years and read them over...then the rest of the story is pretty self-explanatory and why I'm here.

I actually didn't read The Hobbit or The Silmarillion until about a year ago. The Silmarillion being the more recent. Now I'm reading The Chronicles of Narnia. I've been in this big fantasy mood this passed year...I think it's because of all these movies coming out. Now did you hear they are making Beowulf into a movie?

So, it was kind of a mix of a bunch of the options I guess...
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Old 01-27-2006, 03:56 PM   #17
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White Tree

My mom owned The Hobbit and The Trilogy and The Silm, I'm not sure when maybe before I was born. Anywho, she bought a graphic novel version of The Hobbit (still have it the binding is a little worn though), she began to read it to me at the age of either 3 or 4, because clearly I wouldn't have been able to read it myself, not understanding what some of the more complicated words meant. I fell in love with the story even picking the book up myself and trying to read it myself. But I could only understand the story by merely looking at the well drawn pictures and remembering the words my mom had spoken to me.

The full page illustration of Smaug is by far my favourite.

Me and my brother also roll played the Hobbit as well, with him being Bilbo and me Smaug (I had a red bath robe so it only made sense for me to be Smaug the Magnificent).

But sadly I only read the books until many years later when I noticed them on one of our bookshelves. I started reading shortly before the first movie came out after reading the actual novel of the Hobbit.

Well that's my story.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:01 PM   #18
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I was at my Aunt's hotel room when they were staying here and my cousins were watching it. I got so immersed in it I had to watch the whole movie and the rest of the series. When I found out that they were based on books, me being the reading lover, I had to get them and read them for myself. That's how this obsession started, not that it isn't a good thing.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:23 PM   #19
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I had to read something for my fifth grade book report.

So, logically, I went out to the garage, (psh, like normal people keep books in thier house) and there it sat, bright and yellow in a musty box, surrounded by cheap thriller novels from the late 80's.

One look at The Hobbit, and I havn't been the same since.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:22 AM   #20
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Pipe Blame it on Lhunadawaren.

I was showing my customary interest in the Fellowship film--i.e., not much--, until I pestered my sisters about petty details, like the distance between Rivendell, Mordor, and Isengard. She didn't answer me, so, on 31 December, 2002, in the town of Concepcion--my mum's hometown--, in the province of Tarlac, in the country of the Philippines (*national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, playing in the background*), immediately after reading Volume 2 of a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, I cracked open Fellowship. Haven't left me ever since.

That counts for 'Heard about him from a friend/sibling,' right? (Or rather, 'Didn't hear . . .' )

I got one up on her now, though: I've read HoMEs I-V--and would read VI (that Kath gave me for my birthday) if I wasn't so much obsessed with doing better on my studies this term.
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Old 01-28-2006, 12:45 AM   #21
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Silmaril

Quote:
...until I pestered my sisters about petty details...
Daga. I never knew another sister existed. Duling ka ba?
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Old 01-28-2006, 02:54 AM   #22
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Well, this is rather well known.

I joined the Downs.
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:22 AM   #23
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My dad read the books as a child and still had them from all thos years ago. When I was about 3 or 4 he and my mum read The Hobbit to me and to be honest I think they soon started to regret it as I demanded to be read it every night. This, I believe, is why they didn't tell me about LotR til a few years later! I got into other books for a while and then reread The Hobbit for myself when I was 7 and continued on to LotR (which my parents finally told me about ).

So definitely the parent option!
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Old 01-28-2006, 06:27 PM   #24
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w00t! Five hundredth post!

Heren, you need another category!

I cast my vote as "Watched the movies", because my dad heard about the movies, and decided to read the books to us as a consequence. So, I discovered Tolkien because of the movies, but for me, the books came first.

I suppose I might have chosen "Been read his work by a parent", but I decided the movies deserved some credit.
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Old 01-28-2006, 09:21 PM   #25
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Pipe LotR as tradition

Even though I have loved to hang around here as a non-sex, non-age character, I guess I can't help revealing something for the sake of a story.

It's interesting, that 34% of the people here have come to know Tolkien's works through parents reading them aloud (even though it's not reflected fully in the messages written here). After the Qu'aran, and the Bible, I can't quite imagine, which would be the third most read-aloud book in the world, if it's not the Lord of the Rings (and I even suspect, that if the Qu'aran schools were excluded, LotR would really be number one).

My father started reading LotR to me and my sister during the seventies, when I was less than 10 -years old. That reading never got further than Buckleberry ferry, but I read the rest by myself. Then I read the Silmariillion, Unfinished Tales etc., many times...

But why has no-one talked about the cartoon version by Bakshi? That film was shown in television in my country at 95' or something (I had seen the paper-version of it around 80' and the fil version at cinema a couple of years later). I had two children and took it on video to show them later on. Fortunately they saw that there was a cartoon in dad's VHS, and after a little discussion, we decided to look the film together (my daughters were then something like 5 & 4 years old). After that there was no end in begging: we want more!

So, getting better of my father, I managed to read the LotR to my girls from the beginning to the end. It took about half a year, reading almost every night. Then we read The Silmarillion, and next the Unfinished Tales.

After that, we started roleplaying together. My older daughter has read the LotR about twenty times (of which about one third in English), and is a regular visiter, player and commentator, at the Barrow Downs (she made me come to see this place in the first place).

So that way it also goes. Mothers & fathers passing on stories they like to the younger generation - and by times, themselves getting off the ground by those stories.

So: oldtimer's getting youngsters to get those same oldtimer's to get involved in the things they have made the youngsters to get interested in...

What do you call that?

Living tradition...

PS. Sorry for aggressive-looking avatar: it's here for the "outracing..." RPG, where it fits to my character better than the earlier one...
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:47 AM   #26
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Great question! I was a late child. What I mean is that when I was young, my older brothers were all much older than I was. I remember being embarassed knocking on their bedroom door asking if I could pick out a book to read because they were all teenagers, and I was only ten. (Indeed, when I first read LotR, I my oldest brother had already left for college). They made their own money, and therefore bought their own books, and I was a slave to the assorted book clubs through school, and only those books that Scholastic Book Club considered appropriate for 3rd or 4th graders. That's when I read "Romeo and Juliet." As a result of that embarassment, I tended to choose books that were longer so I wouldn't have to go back as often. I was overjoyed to find three books with a common cover, and I remember choosing that immediately. They were the 60's editions with the mural cover that many sixties readers remember. It was some time later that I discovered "The Hobbit."

I eventually owned those sixties paperback covers, and went to college myself, and bought the seventies editions, with the Tolkien-illustrated covers, because my first copies were literally falling apart. I made the mistake of lending those to a friend at college (who I hope, still has them) and my brother, whose books I borrowed in the first place, bought me a hardcover set, including "The Hobbit" for Christmas one year when I had no money. That's the set I still use. The paper jackets are very tattered, but I still have them.
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:23 PM   #27
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Boots

As I recently posted on the "Which book did you start with" poll thread, my first (and by far kindest) social worker read Roverandom to me when I was a kid in her care. She used to read it to me over the phone at night. She was an amazing person who really cared about her charges, which is hard to come by sometimes in the social justice system. It was this lady who got me into reading fantasy books to try and develop some sort of imagination in my little head, but I never really liked anything she read to me until we she started Roverandom when I was seven. Then I was totally hooked on Tolkien and I read as much by him and about him as I could. Before she was transferred to Nova Scotia she bought me the green hardcover trilogy. I am eighteen now, and on special occaisons she still calls me and we read to each other over the phone.

And that's my sappy Tolkien story. I picked the parent one because she was like a parent to me.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:10 PM   #28
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It looks like brothers have a lot to be thanked for (except in the case of Nilpaurion Felagund, who has a sister to thank ). I of course stole my own brother's copies of the books all those years ago; I saw him reading them and being late for meals because of them and thought they had to be good! Looking back I must have been such a pain, as not only did I pinch his Tolkien books so that he had to come into my room to get his own books back, but I used to pester his friends about them too. As I got older I got even worse as I started nicking his records too.

Brothers always use to have such interesting stuff in their bedrooms though! Good books, noisy records, weird things they'd found like bullet casings and spent grenades and collections of knives and stones and that kind of thing. One of the things I always associate with reading Tolkien is grey walls as my brother had decided to make his room look more 'military' and painted the walls to resemble the innards of a battleship, so if I had been told not to remove his books then I had to go and sit in there to read them and put up with the gloomy atmosphere!

Then my mother bought me my own set of LotR but the nicking didn't really stop as I had the David Day Bestiary and the Carpenter biography while he had the Journeys of Frodo and the Foster Complete Guide. Being the parent of a brace of young Tolkienists must be a nightmare in household discipline terms!
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:17 PM   #29
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Question begging to be asked...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerenIstarion
How did you become Tolkien-lover?
I thought Tolkien was a faithful, monogamous husband. Just how many illicit affairs are you suggesting he had, HI?
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:57 PM   #30
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My introduction to Tolkien was my father reading my the Hobbit when I was very small. My dad is one of those people with an absolutely magical reading voice...I was enthralled. He even did different voices for all of the Dwarves. And he read it from a very old, large book with a bunch of full-color illustrations...beautiful.
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:12 PM   #31
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My mom read Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit as a kid. She pulled from what she grew up reading for stuff for me, and pretty early on she started reading the Hobbit to me. I loved it, and in third grade or so I started reading it myself and was obsessed with it...had it more often than the library we got it from. In 5th grade, I think, my mom found her copy of Lord of the Rings, and gave it to me to read because I loved the Hobbit. This copy now has no front or back covers to any of the three books because of being read so often.

My mom got this copy as a gift from her father because she loved to read. I don't know exactly why this one, but they have the Silmarillian at my grandparents house still, though not as obsessive of Tolkien fans as people here.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:16 AM   #32
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He was, no doubt about it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bb
I thought Tolkien was a faithful, monogamous husband. Just how many illicit affairs are you suggesting he had, HI?
Don't know about 'illicit', but 56 up to know on this very board, millions out there... don't know about 'affair', but call it 'friendship' if 'love' does not suit your palate in the case... Ain't friendship kind of love in itself?
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:29 PM   #33
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I was recruited by Peter Jackson and Orlando Bloom, and am not ashamed to admit it.
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:43 AM   #34
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How did you come to read Tolkien? Was it a long road or short - have you been hesitant or eager to approach the books at all?
I saw the trailer to FOTR, a vague memory popped in my head of a cartoon that had a cute small person, a ring, a volcano and a frog that bit off finger of said cute small person.
Shopped at Wal-mart a couple of days later, saw cheap books- bought The Hobbit and LOTR. Read them in 'bout 2 weeks. Been buying and reading Tolkien's works ever since and hanging around here.

In a way, my journey was long and short. Long because that memory lied dormant in me for so long (oh the wasted years) and short 'cause when it was awakened well, I acted on it quick.
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:57 PM   #35
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:54 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde Bracegirdle
I will be ever indebted to my brother for introducing Tolkien to me...well his books anyway!
Same here, and what better way to put it? Aren't (older) brothers marvelous?

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:40 AM   #37
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I first read about Tolkien in an article about satanism (back then, I was 14, *shiver*).
It was all about some crazy guy (he called his music project "Burzum" and himself "Grishnakh") who was burning churches in Scandinavia and who actually killed another Black Metal-guy.
So at first I thought LOTR had something to do with Satanism and didn't really want to read it.
Some months later I found out that my parents were given it at their marriage. Since we had no one in the family whom I suspected to be into satanism, I decided to read the book, since I always enjoyed reading and wasn't scared of the many pages.
I can remember that I re-read the book twice since I didn't want the story to end. Then I read The Hobbit and The Silm.
Then I joined the Barrow Downs and finally got to know at least a few people (The BD only had 5 members at that time) who shared my enthusiasm for anything connected with Tolkien. In real life, people thought I was a freak. That was, until the movies came out (tah!).
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:14 PM   #38
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1420!

It was a mix of the movies and a friend of mine being a HUGE Tolkien fan and my other friends following her footsteps.
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:06 PM   #39
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I saw the movies, read half of Book I of TTT, put it down for a month, then found a complete set (eee!) in my basement and began FotR. Oh, memories...
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Old 07-04-2006, 05:58 PM   #40
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Brinniel is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Brinniel is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Brinniel is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I was in eighth grade when the first movie came out. At first, I had no interest in seeing it (admittingly, I was a huge HP fan at the time). But as it grew closer to December, a couple of my friends who had already read the book were getting psyched for the movie. By the time my teacher posted a map of Middle-earth in the classroom and played a tape recording from The Hobbit, I decided to give the books a try. The day I first placed my hands on The Hobbit was December 18. Ten days later, I had finished the book and the LOTR trilogy (if it hadn't been for the holidays I would've finished sooner). I didn't see the movie until New Year's Day, and by then I was so obssessed I didn't know what to do with myself. Thanks to Ithaeliel, I discovered the BD five months later, and haven't been the same since.


Quote:
Then I joined the Barrow Downs and finally got to know at least a few people (The BD only had 5 members at that time) who shared my enthusiasm for anything connected with Tolkien.
Wow, it's hard to imagine the BD with only five members.
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