Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lord of the Rings Quotes

“I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air, I am he that walks unseen.

I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number.

I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me.

I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider.”

Newline Cinema

An Interview with Aragorn

King Elessar of Gondor has graciously agreed to offer Lover of Lembas in interview!  Thank you for being with us, your Highness.

Please, call me Aragorn.


Of course, your Highness.  How are things in the realm of Gondor?

Things are continuing very similar to how they were at the beginning of my reign--peaceful, stable, and most of all, simple.  The people here are very kind and receptive--I couldn't have asked for better subjects.  Our agriculture industry is doing very well; many farms are producing above quota for the season.  Faramir says it's because "all things will grow with joy" if Eowyn is in the area, so maybe that's why...

How is your family, King?

Please, just call me Aragorn.  Arwen is doing well--radiant as always--and our son is growing up very quickly.  Arwen seems to be a favorite in the kingdom.  The Numenorians have always had a special relationship with elves, and I suppose that's why they love her so much.  And the fact she is pretty much perfect in every way.  At least in my opinion.  She misses her family, understandably, and I always tease her it's better this way: neither of us have to deal with in-laws.  I should probably stop saying that.

Erm, yes I would be inclined to agree with you, Aragorn.  You probably should stop saying that.  Anyway, have you spoken to any of the other members of the fellowship recently?

Yes.  I was just on a business trip in Arnor and saw Frodo and the others briefly.  That area is very beautiful and the Hobbits seem to be doing well.  Pippin was happy to see me and says he wants to come visit Gondor as soon as he can.  There are lots of tiny Hobbit kids running all over the place--Sam, Pippin, and Merry all have little hobbitings that are delightful--though they kept pulling on my hair.  

Sounds wonderful.  What is the greatest challenge you've confronted since ascending to the throne?

Oh it is definitively sewing new standards for all the flag poles.  We can't use the old ones which were only for the Stewards, so I've been meeting every week to talk designs to finalize how we want the new flag of the kings to look.  I talked with Arwen about the one standard she made me, but we both agree it may be too expensive to make all of the flags out of gems.  We're heading back to the drawing board, again.

That's the biggest challenge?  So things must be going pretty well, I'm guessing.

I suppose you could say that, but I think the fact we can't decide on a standard is pretty major.

Riiight....What are you going to do with what was formerly known as Mordor?  Will you assimilate that into your own land?

No.  Sauron may be vanquished, but the evil seeds he has sewn and Morgoth before him still linger, poisoning the earth.  I hired Treebeard to look after some of the land in that area and see what he can do to heal its hurts.  I haven't talked to Legolas and Gimli for awhile, but that is what they were planning on doing, I believe.

Let's go back to your years in the War of the Ring.  Tell us a bit about your life as a Ranger of the North?

It was very difficult to have all my work go unnoticed and unappreciated.  A fat Hobbit in Bree called me "Strider"...little did he know what I--and my people--have done to protect them all from horrors they couldn't even imagine.  It was a humble and dangerous existence, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I have gained so much from those years: I learned how to practice self-denial, discipline, patience, and I've honed my leadership and battle skills.  

More than the difficulty of life on the road with no permanent home was seeing my noble people reduced to the life of a peasant.  I resolved that I would do whatever I could to restore them to their proper place, even if I wouldn't be around long enough to reap the benefits.

What was your life like in Imladris?

Lord Elrond, Arwen, and the twins were of course very hospitable, and I wouldn't trade my time learning from their elvish wisdom for anything.  Elrond taught me many invaluable lessons about being a benevolent leader and a good father.  I tease Arwen about her family being gone, but the truth is, I miss them a lot too.

Tell us about your relationship with Arwen.

Arwen has honestly been the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I know it sounds cliche, but it's true.  Without her, nothing--not the kingship, not even the vanquish of Sauron--would be worth it to me.  I would still do it, to save my friends, but there would always be something missing.

And tell us about your son?

Eldarion is growing into a fine young man.  He is only eight years old, but he is already very interested in swordplay and archery.  The other kids treat him like one of their own and I try hard to keep him grounded.  But he reminds me of Faramir; he is very studious as well as battle savvy.  

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Lover of Lembas?

"All that is gold does not glitter."  The outlook may be bleak, but never give up hope.

Thank you so much for being here, your highness.

May the West wind always be at your back, Lover of Lembas.

How to Grow Long Elvish Hair

I am no expert with cosmetics, but I do have a reputation for long, thick hair.  Here are some tips for anyone aspiring to grow out their elvish locks.

First, I should acknowledge that I can't take much of the credit for the hair I was born with.  I think the Scottish blood in me is to blame for my thick, unruly, curly, red hair.  But there are lots of ways you can help your hair to be how you like it.  With that in mind, don't try and force your hair to do things it resists--chances are it probably looks best how it was intended to look.

Disney
The most important step is to take care of your hair.  This is something I have not been good at historically, but I've made concrete steps to change.  When I was little, I hated, and I mean absolutely hated getting my hair combed.  It was the worst part of my day, and I used to scream and kick whenever my mom would attempt to take a brush to my mass of curls.  I specifically remember one instance when I was about six years old when a brush was actually caught in my hair and it would not come out.  I have had to cut more ponytails out of my hair than I would care to mention.

Subsequently, I mostly just pushed my hair into a ponytail or braid so I didn't have to deal it.  Or else, if I had to comb it, I would be very rough with it in order to get the snarls out.  After years and years of that, I realized that rough treatment probably had something to do with the split ends that gradually accumulated and made the bottom of my hair that much more frizzy.


I've now changed my ways.  In order to prevent split ends, I get a hair cut every eight to twelve weeks.  At first I was reluctant to implement this strategy because I thought my hair would be too short if I kept getting it cut.  But if you cut it very often, you will find that only a couple centimeters will need to come off each time.  In the long run, you're hair will be longer (was that redundant?)--as opposed to having to cut off the inches and inches of split ends you've accrued over time.

My other objection to frequent hair cuts was the cost.  However, if you invest in a pair of quality shears (blunt ones will give you more split ends) you can give yourself a haircut in your own home.  I don't have any layers or bangs, so I don't know how to handle those, but if you just have a regular haircut, just cut straight across.

After routine hair cuts, the next step is to properly clean your hair.  I have very dry hair, and my neighbor who is a hair dresser, says that people with dry hair should not shampoo every day, or, in many cases, even every other day.  I had been in the routine of shampooing and conditioning my hair every single day, so this was a big change.  But for dry hair, continuously shampooing will strip the hair of its oils and only add to the frizzles.  I play tennis every day in the fall, so washing my hair during those times is a must.  On a normal day, if my hair is not subjected to sweat and I keep it up and out of the way of things that could potentially dirty it, I wash it probably three times a week--the full treatment, and not just a rinse.

That brings me to my recommended hair care products for growing long hair:

I use Not Your Mother's Way to Grow: Long and Strong Shampoo and Conditioner.  This can help your hair grow faster and prevent damage.  When handling your wet hair, (this is another mistake I have made) be extra careful with it.  Use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush so you don't damage it.  If you can possibly avoid it, don't use a hair dryer and let your hair dry naturally instead.  The heat is not good for your hair, so it is also best to stay away from straightening and curling irons.  Because my hair is dry, I also use Clairol Leave in Balm which is safe on color hair and helps provide moisture for your hair.  

You can change things in your diet to help not only your hair, but your skin and nails as well.  Drinking plenty of water and eating lots of foods with Vitamin C, such as oranges, can help give your hair a glossy look as well as keep it protected from damage.

So that is how I cut and clean my hair, but what about styling?

If you're looking to be extra careful with your hair, try and keep it in an up-do, particularly when it is windy.  However, I understand if you want to wear it down--and you certainly can.  I would recommend wearing a headband to keep it relatively in place, or even better, a half-ponytail.  These are particularly elvish and my favorite way to wear my hair.  

I would recommend the fishtail braid and double braids if you're looking for extra special do's.  
Fishtail.  allaboutmedayspa.com
For the former, split your hair into two sections.  Take a small strand from the far side of one of the sections and pull it into the opposite section.  Do the same but inversely, starting with one strand from the other section and pulling it to meet the opposite section.  Incorporate it into that section.  Continue this process until you have reached the end of your hair, and secure.

Concerning the latter, braid three equal sections of your hair.  Secure them each and then braid those sections together.

If you follow these simple steps (keeping your hair healthy and clean and styling it properly) you are sure to achieve beautiful locks even Luthien the Fair would envy.  Good luck and let me know how it goes!
AniHime

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stuff Elves Say

Does this robe make me look like a dwarf?

What's the lineage of your sword?
New Line Cinema
Do remember that one time--I think it was maybe three thousand years ago--when...

Look at this rope I wove out of my own enchanted hair!  Cool, right?

I'm pretty sure the kids are playing in the river...probably summoning some water horses or something.  Should be fine.
Newline Cinema
Do you need someone to council you?  I'm on the job.

Do you think I'm ready to upgrade to a stronger bow?

Biggest dream in life?  To be as great as Finrod.

This harper is really good--we should have them play at every feast.

Hey, it's the Gates of Summer!  Let's go wait on the ramparts for the sun to rise!
Ted Nasmith.  Word of advice--don't wait on the ramparts.  Your city will fall if you do.  Just saying.
You're related to Galadriel?  Well I'm part Maiar so there.

Let's go look at the stars.

Are you tired?  Just sing a bit--it's very relaxing.

What's your favorite time of day: morning or evening?

Gah, my lute strings broke!

I'm worried about your brother.  He's spending too much time in the forge.  Nothing good happens in the forge.

Black hair, grey eyes and blue mantle?  That's so last Age.

Do you think if I stand in the woods long enough I will magically fall in love?
Pinterest
I heard they plighted their troth last Tuesday.

Can you come to the feast?  No, I'm busy--I have to engrave my heraldry on my shield.

Goodbye--we'll meet again in the West, mellon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Strange Places in The Hobbit

Prompt from The Tolkien Society:  Carefully read the book you want to work from if you have not already done this. Note down and think about all the strange places. What makes them seem strange? Does anyone live in or near them? Are they like anything in our world? How do they add to the 'feeling' or atmosphere of the story?

Let's work through The Hobbit chronologically, shall we?

We start of in The Shire, obviously.  I suppose in 1933 when The Hobbit was first published, the idea of diminutive versions of human beings living in holes carved into hills might have seemed a bit strange.  Over the course of my Lord of the Rings experience, I have become quite immune to its quirks and it has become as natural as pumpkins in the fall to me.  Tolkien spends a fair amount of time describing it, and even begins his story with a Hobbit hole, so it must be important:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
Tumblr
First off, what makes Hobbit holes strange?  Hobbits act very similar to humans so we would--understandably--expect them to have homes or some kind of dwelling like ours.  As for the second question posed, people to live in this strange place and have in fact built it up.  As for them being like something in our world, that is interesting.  Certainly there are no Hobbits living in holes--as far as I know--but there are many other creatures that live in "a hole in the ground" such as gophers (the bane of golf courses), bunnies, (the bane of my garden), and all sorts of mice, shrews, and moles.

Was Tolkien trying to create a parallel between Hobbits and those animals?  I think it might be too much of a stretch to identify Hobbits with one specific animal, but rather I would suggest that Tolkien is saying something about the Hobbits in a different way.  We know that bunnies, gophers, mice, etc. like to live in holes for warmth and protection and it is particularly a favorite spot for their hibernation.  Is this meant to suggest that Hobbits are similarly fond of curling up with food and staying relatively stable?  Perhaps.

The next particularly odd location is the goblin tunnels.  Again, we get an underground living space.  Only, this is much different from Hobbiton.  Rather than orderly little homes, the goblins live underground the way ants live in their hill.  There seems to be little system and it is a very messy and complicated place.  I believe this serves to draw a parallel between Bilbo's calm way of living and the evil, hectic ways of the goblins.

Mirkwood is perhaps the strangest place of them all.  It is strange because a) if you stray from the path you face ultimate doom b) if you drink from the water (or fall into it) you face ultimate doom c) creepy eyes stare at you in the night, threatening ultimate doom d) there are giant spiders which try and bring you to your ultimate doom and finally, e) you are likely not to make it out alive...or unchanged.

Newline Cinema
Do people live in Mirkwood?  I suppose the Wood Elves live there, but more importantly, Sauron lives there.  In the south, Sauron opened up Dol Guldur once again which poisoned the entire wood.  Woods in many faery stories are often treacherous and confusing.  The added necromancy surely didn't help Mirkwood's case anyway.  There is no where in the world like Mirkwood, but there are plenty of places in other stores like it: the Wood of Error, the "Dark Wood" in Dante's Divine Comedy, and the woods that Gawain has to travel through in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  All of these forests add a certain sense of uncertainty and bewilderment to the stories they are in.

Laketown is also interesting.  Who would have ever thought of an entire city built atop a lake (besides the Aztecs whose city was right on top of  Lake Texcoco)?  I think one of the best things about Laketown being on an actual lake is the contrast between it and Smaug's fire, which is pointed out in the chapter title, Fire and Water.  Smaug came with his fire, but Laketown fought back--with Bard ultimately killing the dragon.  If Smaug is the fire, then Bard is the water that quenches it.

Additionally, Laketown is centered right on its source of profit, as I mentioned in another post which highlights the importance of this for the people of Laketown.

Newline Cinema
In summary, there are many strange places in The Hobbit with different meanings and important aspects.  The Shire creates a parallel between the (at first) unrelatable characters of The Hobbit and familiar creatures we see every day.  The Goblin tunnels emphasize the difference between Bilbo's peaceful life and the hectic way of Goblins.  Mirkwood is another example of the forest motif in literature--a place to get lost and confused in.  Laketown's location creates further contrast between the people there and the fire breathing dragon who destroys it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Family Life in The Lord of the Rings

Prompt from The Tolkien Society:  Carefully read the book you want to work from if you have not already done this. Note down and think about the way Tolkien writes about families. Does everyone in the story have a family? Are there any unusual families? Are the families happy or sad? What are the parents like? How do the children behave?

The first families we are introduced to are the Hobbit families.  Bilbo is an old man, so there is not much about his family to go off of.  We know that his father was the builder of Bag End and that he worked hard to build it for Bilbo's mother, Belladonna (mostly using her own money, we're told).
Belladonna Took and Bungo Baggins, as portrayed in the movies.  The paintings were actually based of director
Peter Jackson and his wife, Fran.  Photo from Pinterest.
We also get to know Frodo's parents via some shifty gossip from the Gaffer and Ted Sandyman early on in The Fellowship of the Ring.
"You see: Mr. Drogo, he married poor Miss Primula Brandybuck. She was our Mr. Bilbo's first cousin on the mother's side (her mother being the youngest of the Old Took's daughters); and Mr. Drogo was his second cousin. So Mr. Frodo is his first and second cousin, once removed either way, as the saying is, if you follow me.

And Mr. Drogo was staying at Brandy Hall with his father-in-law, old Master Gorbadoc, as he often did after his marriage (him being partial to his vittles, and old Gorbadoc keeping a mighty generous table); and he wount out boating on the Brandywine river; and he and his wife were drownded, and poor Mr. Frodo only a child and all." 
Frodo's parents both died tragically, leaving him an orphan.  Since Frodo was Bilbo's favorite nephew, he went to go live among "sensible folk" in the Shire.  Bilbo was very hospitable towards Frodo by making him his heir and it seems like Bilbo and Frodo got along very well, and were very happy.

We also learn a bit about Samwise and his family, especially in The Return of the King.  His father apparently calls him names often, but it is clear that the Gaffer does care about Sam when he says he "hopes no harm will come of it" concerning Sam learning his letters.

The Sackville-Baggins are very hostile towards Bilbo and Frodo which shows a bit of the dysfunctional side of Hobbit familial relations.  They show irritation with Bilbo living so long and wish he was dead so they could get Bag End.
Middle-earth on Pinterest.
The Hobbits show interest for mapping out their family relations and take great pride in their family names.  Overall, it seems that--as with most things in the Shire--family life is generally very simple and pleasurable.

Moving towards Bree, we meet Aragorn.  Aragorn's father died when he was very young and his mother also passed away, making him an orphan, just like Frodo.  Aragorn lived in Rivendell with Elrond (his very distant uncle) as his foster-father, just as Frodo went to live with his uncle, Bilbo.  We can see some parallels between two of our heroes right there.

Elrond was very close to both his daughter and his wife.  His relationship with his sons is not detailed very specifically, but I think it is safe to assume they were close.  Celebrian, Elrond's wife, departed early into the West following her torture in the caves of the orcs.  Elrond tried to heal her but she was mentally and emotionally scarred and needed rest.  This leaves not only Elrond a widower, but Arwen and her brothers half-orphaned.  Both Arwen and Celebrian prior to her death, made the long trip to Lothlorien on occasion to visit their grandparents and parents, respectively, Galadriel and Celeborn.  This demonstrates how close they all were.

Arwen chooses to leave her family in order to start a new one with Aragorn at the end of the story.  This shows that she values change and of course, Aragorn.  From what we see in The Lord of the Rings (and partially in spite of what we see in The Silmarillion) the Elves have good family relationships.
... and Arwen Evenstar remained also, and she said farewell to her brethren. None saw her last parting with Elrond her father, for they went up into the hills and there spoke long together, and bitter was their parting that should endure beyond the ends of the world.
 
We meet Boromir, also in Rivendell who has an...interesting family life.  His mother, Finduilas, died young partially because she was unhappy in the city and missed the seashore, where she grew up.  This apparently left a deep impression on Denethor.  We also know that Boromir is directly and outwardly favored by his father, while Faramir is marginalized.  From what we see about Men in this area, they seem to have certain family problems.

The next major family we meet is that of Eowyn, Eomer, Theoden, and Theodred.  Eowyn and Eomer are Theoden's niece and nephew.  Their mother and Theoden's sister, Theodwyn died early (similar to Finduilas) which devastated Theoden.  Theoden's own wife also died an early death.  Theoden took in Eowyn and Eomer (again, similar to Bilbo/Frodo and Elrond/Aragorn) and treated them like family.  They were raised together with Theoden's son, Theodred which created a unique yet loving family.  Theodred died at the Crossing of the Isen.

Thoeden, following the burial of his only son.  New Line Cinema.
Theoden himself died soon after at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, leaving Eowyn to go get married to Faramir and live in Ithilien and Eomer to become the king of the Mark and marry Prince Imrahil's daughter.  Despite all the tragedy this family of Men went through, they still were loving and made it through.  This flies in the face of Denethor and his dysfunctional family.

Eowyn shows how much she cares about Theoden in this passage from The Return of the King:
"But no living man am I! You are looking upon a woman. Eowyn am I, Eomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him." (emphasis mine)
We get a taste of all kinds of families throughout The Lord of the Rings.  We get a clear sense that a family doesn't have to be perfectly nuclear in order to be happy and loving as well as are able to draw some parallels between some characters based on their family lives.

---

Another debate update: Unfortunately, my friend has not completed his part of the debate (grrr...) so it's not going to be up for awhile.  So sorry!  We did watch An Unexpected Journey yesterday, but since the debate question concerns The Hobbit vs. The Lord of the Rings movies, we have to watch them all (apparently my friend forgot a lot about LOTR movies).  Apologies!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Under Construction

Hello!

You may notice some things are changing around here.  My friend Adamson from Northern Lights Studios has been helping me do some remodels around the site.  Things are not quite cleaned up yet, and it hasn't been that easy, but I am hoping to make the website more interactive and easier to navigate.

A couple changes I want to let you know about.

To the right you will see two new gadgets: one is an update on what book I am currently reading.  I love having good book conversations, so if you're interested, I'd love to discuss it with you!  Also I have gone through every single post and organized them into categories according to the books I based them off of, upon the request of one of my friends.  If you're looking for something specific to a book, you can find all of the posts I have on that topic by clicking on the link.

I am pretty excited about the updates, however they have not been without consequences.  As I went through and updated posts with new tags in order to categorize them, Blogger randomly picked certain posts to "republish".  You will see some of my older posts have been moved to the top of the thread and it says that they were published today.  That is not the case and I have no idea how to fix it.  I am pretty angry at Blogger for doing that, since I had all my posts set up in year and month accordingly.  All the content is still there, however, and maybe some older posts getting boosted to the top will cause them to be rediscovered.

Please be patient with me as I try to get the site working properly.  If you have any tips or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

mannersmentor.com

30 Day Challenge Day XXV

Epic Actors' Saying

I'm not quite sure what this category means, to be quite honest.  Are we looking for a quote that one of the LOTR actors said?  Or maybe just a quote from the movies?  I'm not sure...

So I'm just going to change the category to "Epic Actors", and here is my run down of the actors in the movies.

Elijah Wood- The front man of the series, I imagine that Elijah Wood felt the pressure when he was cast as the main character of the most beloved story of the twentieth century.  While there are some blatant physical differences between book and movie Frodo (book Frodo is plumper and older and movie Frodo is well...young and handsome), I think that Elijah Wood pulled off the character swimmingly.  He is very good at portraying pain and regret.

Sean Astin- If you don't already know it, I am a big fan of Sean Astin.  I think that he had one of the best performances in the entire series of films.  Sam is a favorite character of mine and there are so many ways the movie could have butchered it, but I am so relieved that Sean Astin pulled it off.

Dominic Monaghan-  Dom is my least favorite character in the fellowship of actors.  Something about his cadence is sort of unsettling and I just don't see him fitting in with the other hobbits.

Billy Boyd-  Billy Boyd is great!  I especially love his acting in The Return of the King.  He has some great moments of transition and development and of course Edge of Night is stunning.

Orlando Bloom-  Peter Jackson really pulled this one out of his hat.  The Fellowship of the Ring was the first movie Orlando ever appeared in, and I think he did okay.  Of course he is fun to watch shoot and fight, but overall I feel like his actual dialogue delivery and facial expressions are sub-par and not necessarily the best of the fellowship.

Ian McKellan-  I can't really say anything bad about this actor, though I am not as die-hard a fan as many people are.

John Rhys-Davies- I think that he did wonderfully!  The movie didn't really give much time for explaining dwarves, and yet, coming away from the movies you can still tell exactly what dwarves (or at least what the dwarves in the movies) are like, due to the great acting of John Rhys-Davies.

Viggo Mortensen- Viggo Mortensen is my favorite actor out of all the movies.  Not only is he a great actor, but he also seems like an all around down to earth, good person.  He takes on his challenging role and owns the character.  I like his character better than the book Aragorn to be quite honest.  When he says "For Frodo" in The Return of the King, my heart melts.

Bernard Hill- Bernard Hill plays King Theoden in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.  I cannot say enough about his acting.  He portrays the desperation and firm resolve of the character perfectly.  He was also in the movie Titanic, and my sister always jokes that he is always between a rock and a hard place, whether it's an iceberg or the impending armies of Mordor.

Miranda Otto- Miranda Otto plays Eowyn.  Her character is much more fragile and frail than what it sounds like Eowyn is like in the books.  I think all around she does alright, although the "I am no man" does sort of fall flat compared to the book.  For me, I really liked Eowyn's laugh before this moment and I wish that it had been included.

Hugo Weaving- While much different from book Elrond (who seems more royal), Hugo Weaving has a great voice and screen presence which is important for his character.  I think he did a great job.

Liv Tyler- I think Liv Tyler does a good job with what she was given.  As I've said before in other posts, she does a particulary outstanding job in the scene when Aragorn is crowned king.

The Lord of the Rings has the best collection of actors I have ever seen, and I wouldn't change any casting choices.  Five stars, all around.

My Book Shelf

My favorite part of my entire room is my book shelf.  I just changed out some of my older books (by older I mean to me, not in publishing date) for some brand new (to me) books I got from my older sister.  Apparently she had an entire box of books just sitting in her closet I was unaware of!  I decided they needed a place of honor in my room and my other books went to the downstairs bookshelf.  I am very proud of how my shelf is looking now, and decided it needed a photo shoot.  Also, I am currently engaged in a vigorous re-read-every-book-on-your-shelf-athon so it seemed like the perfect time.  So without further ado, my bookshelf.
































My old teacher gave me some string lights she had in her classroom, so now my books have spotlights to emphasize their beauty.  One of my copies of The Hobbit is missing in the following photos because, well, I was reading it.

Deep breath.

The top shelf is dedicated to my favorite books.  I have two copies of The Silmarillion.  The larger one (blue and black) I use for annotating and taking notes.  It's a lot easier for me to read that one because it has larger font and bigger pages.  I have another mini paperback which I haven't actually used for reading as of yet.  

I have The Children of Hurin, The Hobbit, (two copies, one with the Ted Nasmith cover and another from the Ballantine Books set) The Lord of the Rings (one hard cover copy of The Fellowship, one movie paperback cover of The Two Towers, and one Ballantine Books edition copy of The Return of the King) and then The Philosophy of Tolkien by the amazing Peter Kreeft which I have just been dying to read.  Of course I have my brand new hard cover never before read fifthtieth  anniversary single volume copy of The Lord of the Rings.  

I also have my wooden box set of the Hobbit audiobook.  I have to say that audiobook saved my sanity a couple times.  My nephew--amazing as he is--would not go to bed for anything.  He was just so excited to be at his aunt's house, I suppose.  As it came up on midnight, I finally cracked.  I turned on the audiobook and set him in his sleeping bag.  He listened pretty closely and eventually--to my joy!--fell asleep.  

I figured my (dismally sad) collection of medieval lit (a lot of my other books, Le Mort d'Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lancelot Knight of the Cart, etc. is on my iPad).  I have Roger Lancelyn Green's compilation of the King Arthur tales called King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and a compendium of Middle Ages lit.  Of course I have the glorious edition of Beowulf which is just the most beautiful book and (of course) Tolkien's translation.  Finally, I have The Art of The Lord of the Rings book with radiant color pictures by Tolkien himself.

Here is my C.S. Lewis collection.  I have my completely beat-up Chronicles of Narnia section followed by The Four Loves, Perelandra and the Screwtape Letters.  I have another Inkling author right next door, with G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man (which I have not read yet!).  I have Sir Thomas More's Utopia also on my TBR list.

I also have my religious stack which has the most elegant prayer missal I got at a lock in awhile ago.  I of course have the Bible and Devotional Stories for Little Folks and DSLF Too, two great volumes of family friendly stories of love and family.  My sister's book which I am keeping on my shelf, 57 Stories of Saints and the Catholic Faith Handbook are also featured.

I've read a few Redwall books.  I remember them being dense and hard to read, but then again the last time I tried was probably fourth grade.  So I have four of what my sister claims are the best in the series and I'm going to try to read them all soon.  

Then I have what I call my classical section: mythology, Shakespeare, Euripedes, Homer, Theban plays, Metamorphisis of Ovid, etc.  I have very limited knowledge of each of these (I've read some Shakespeare at least...) and I am really eager to read them. I'm not sure how closely they are related, but I figured they seem like the type of books you would read in an English class, so I put them all together.

Ah, finally, books "regular" people read!  This is my "contemporary" section with my small number of mainstream books: Divergent, The Hunger Games, Life of Pi, etc.  Also I have Regina Doman's series of fairy tale retellings (Black as Night, Waking Rose, and The Midnight Dancers) which I would strongly recommend as books with well developed characters combined with mystery and the perfect touch of fairy tale.

Here are my real classics: The Jungle Book, The Swiss Family Robinson, Animal Farm, Great Expectations, Emily Dickinson's poems, Alice in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, Mansfield Park, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and Little Women as well as the Rhyming Dictionary perfect for poetry.  Also tucked in there on the side are some world history flash cards.

Well, there you have it folks.  My book shelf of special magnificence! 

My Book Shelf

My favorite part of my entire room is my book shelf.  I just changed out some of my older books (by older I mean to me, not in publishing date) for some brand new (to me) books I got from my older sister.  Apparently she had an entire box of books just sitting in her closet I was unaware of!  I decided they needed a place of honor in my room and my other books went to the downstairs bookshelf.  I am very proud of how my shelf is looking now, and decided it needed a photo shoot.  Also, I am currently engaged in a vigorous re-read-every-book-on-your-shelf-athon so it seemed like the perfect time.  So without further ado, my bookshelf.
































My old teacher gave me some string lights she had in her classroom, so now my books have spotlights to emphasize their beauty.  One of my copies of The Hobbit is missing in the following photos because, well, I was reading it.

Deep breath.

The top shelf is dedicated to my favorite books.  I have two copies of The Silmarillion.  The larger one (blue and black) I use for annotating and taking notes.  It's a lot easier for me to read that one because it has larger font and bigger pages.  I have another mini paperback which I haven't actually used for reading as of yet.  

I have The Children of Hurin, The Hobbit, (two copies, one with the Ted Nasmith cover and another from the Ballantine Books set) The Lord of the Rings (one hard cover copy of The Fellowship, one movie paperback cover of The Two Towers, and one Ballantine Books edition copy of The Return of the King) and then The Philosophy of Tolkien by the amazing Peter Kreeft which I have just been dying to read.  Of course I have my brand new hard cover never before read fifthtieth  anniversary single volume copy of The Lord of the Rings.  

I also have my wooden box set of the Hobbit audiobook.  I have to say that audiobook saved my sanity a couple times.  My nephew--amazing as he is--would not go to bed for anything.  He was just so excited to be at his aunt's house, I suppose.  As it came up on midnight, I finally cracked.  I turned on the audiobook and set him in his sleeping bag.  He listened pretty closely and eventually--to my joy!--fell asleep.  

I figured my (dismally sad) collection of medieval lit (a lot of my other books, Le Mort d'Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lancelot Knight of the Cart, etc. is on my iPad).  I have Roger Lancelyn Green's compilation of the King Arthur tales called King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and a compendium of Middle Ages lit.  Of course I have the glorious edition of Beowulf which is just the most beautiful book and (of course) Tolkien's translation.  Finally, I have The Art of The Lord of the Rings book with radiant color pictures by Tolkien himself.

Here is my C.S. Lewis collection.  I have my completely beat-up Chronicles of Narnia section followed by The Four Loves, Perelandra and the Screwtape Letters.  I have another Inkling author right next door, with G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man (which I have not read yet!).  I have Sir Thomas More's Utopia also on my TBR list.

I also have my religious stack which has the most elegant prayer missal I got at a lock in awhile ago.  I of course have the Bible and Devotional Stories for Little Folks and DSLF Too, two great volumes of family friendly stories of love and family.  My sister's book which I am keeping on my shelf, 57 Stories of Saints and the Catholic Faith Handbook are also featured.

I've read a few Redwall books.  I remember them being dense and hard to read, but then again the last time I tried was probably fourth grade.  So I have four of what my sister claims are the best in the series and I'm going to try to read them all soon.  

Then I have what I call my classical section: mythology, Shakespeare, Euripedes, Homer, Theban plays, Metamorphisis of Ovid, etc.  I have very limited knowledge of each of these (I've read some Shakespeare at least...) and I am really eager to read them. I'm not sure how closely they are related, but I figured they seem like the type of books you would read in an English class, so I put them all together.

Ah, finally, books "regular" people read!  This is my "contemporary" section with my small number of mainstream books: Divergent, The Hunger Games, Life of Pi, etc.  Also I have Regina Doman's series of fairy tale retellings (Black as Night, Waking Rose, and The Midnight Dancers) which I would strongly recommend as books with well developed characters combined with mystery and the perfect touch of fairy tale.

Here are my real classics: The Jungle Book, The Swiss Family Robinson, Animal Farm, Great Expectations, Emily Dickinson's poems, Alice in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, Mansfield Park, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and Little Women as well as the Rhyming Dictionary perfect for poetry.  Also tucked in there on the side are some world history flash cards.

Well, there you have it folks.  My book shelf of special magnificence! 

My Book Shelf

My favorite part of my entire room is my book shelf.  I just changed out some of my older books (by older I mean to me, not in publishing date) for some brand new (to me) books I got from my older sister.  Apparently she had an entire box of books just sitting in her closet I was unaware of!  I decided they needed a place of honor in my room and my other books went to the downstairs bookshelf.  I am very proud of how my shelf is looking now, and decided it needed a photo shoot.  Also, I am currently engaged in a vigorous re-read-every-book-on-your-shelf-athon so it seemed like the perfect time.  So without further ado, my bookshelf.
































My old teacher gave me some string lights she had in her classroom, so now my books have spotlights to emphasize their beauty.  One of my copies of The Hobbit is missing in the following photos because, well, I was reading it.

Deep breath.

The top shelf is dedicated to my favorite books.  I have two copies of The Silmarillion.  The larger one (blue and black) I use for annotating and taking notes.  It's a lot easier for me to read that one because it has larger font and bigger pages.  I have another mini paperback which I haven't actually used for reading as of yet.  

I have The Children of Hurin, The Hobbit, (two copies, one with the Ted Nasmith cover and another from the Ballantine Books set) The Lord of the Rings (one hard cover copy of The Fellowship, one movie paperback cover of The Two Towers, and one Ballantine Books edition copy of The Return of the King) and then The Philosophy of Tolkien by the amazing Peter Kreeft which I have just been dying to read.  Of course I have my brand new hard cover never before read fifthtieth  anniversary single volume copy of The Lord of the Rings.  

I also have my wooden box set of the Hobbit audiobook.  I have to say that audiobook saved my sanity a couple times.  My nephew--amazing as he is--would not go to bed for anything.  He was just so excited to be at his aunt's house, I suppose.  As it came up on midnight, I finally cracked.  I turned on the audiobook and set him in his sleeping bag.  He listened pretty closely and eventually--to my joy!--fell asleep.  

I figured my (dismally sad) collection of medieval lit (a lot of my other books, Le Mort d'Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lancelot Knight of the Cart, etc. is on my iPad).  I have Roger Lancelyn Green's compilation of the King Arthur tales called King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and a compendium of Middle Ages lit.  Of course I have the glorious edition of Beowulf which is just the most beautiful book and (of course) Tolkien's translation.  Finally, I have The Art of The Lord of the Rings book with radiant color pictures by Tolkien himself.

Here is my C.S. Lewis collection.  I have my completely beat-up Chronicles of Narnia section followed by The Four Loves, Perelandra and the Screwtape Letters.  I have another Inkling author right next door, with G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man (which I have not read yet!).  I have Sir Thomas More's Utopia also on my TBR list.

I also have my religious stack which has the most elegant prayer missal I got at a lock in awhile ago.  I of course have the Bible and Devotional Stories for Little Folks and DSLF Too, two great volumes of family friendly stories of love and family.  My sister's book which I am keeping on my shelf, 57 Stories of Saints and the Catholic Faith Handbook are also featured.

I've read a few Redwall books.  I remember them being dense and hard to read, but then again the last time I tried was probably fourth grade.  So I have four of what my sister claims are the best in the series and I'm going to try to read them all soon.  

Then I have what I call my classical section: mythology, Shakespeare, Euripedes, Homer, Theban plays, Metamorphisis of Ovid, etc.  I have very limited knowledge of each of these (I've read some Shakespeare at least...) and I am really eager to read them. I'm not sure how closely they are related, but I figured they seem like the type of books you would read in an English class, so I put them all together.

Ah, finally, books "regular" people read!  This is my "contemporary" section with my small number of mainstream books: Divergent, The Hunger Games, Life of Pi, etc.  Also I have Regina Doman's series of fairy tale retellings (Black as Night, Waking Rose, and The Midnight Dancers) which I would strongly recommend as books with well developed characters combined with mystery and the perfect touch of fairy tale.

Here are my real classics: The Jungle Book, The Swiss Family Robinson, Animal Farm, Great Expectations, Emily Dickinson's poems, Alice in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, Mansfield Park, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and Little Women as well as the Rhyming Dictionary perfect for poetry.  Also tucked in there on the side are some world history flash cards.

Well, there you have it folks.  My book shelf of special magnificence! 

LOTR Bass Cover

Whoopsie-daisy, I forgot to post yesterday!  Sorry, friends!


To make up for it, I've found  an awesome video you HAVE to watch.  Unfortunately Blogger won't let me embed the video because it feels like being obsitinate today (-__-) so I am just giving you the link.  Enjoy!  -https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4ps6tuO--Bc

Compare and Contrast: Isildur and Boromir

Similarities 

  • Both were royalty with Numenorian blood
  • Both were involved in the Downfall of Sauron
  • Both fell to the lure of the Ring
  • Both were killed by orc arrows (see Of the Rings of Power and The Departure of Boromir)
  • Both were from Gondor
  • Both were considered great warriors
  • Both had prominent brothers (Anarion and Faramir)
  • Both of their fathers ruled over Gondor (Elendil and Denethor)
  • Both traveled from Gondor to Rivendell (Isildur was killed en route while Boromir had to venture there to be at the council of Elrond)
  • Both are assumed to have fought with a sword (Boromir's sword is mentioned in The Ring Goes South, and though Isildur's weapon is not mentioned, seeing as he "cut" the Ring from Sauron's hand, it is logical to assume he used a sword although it is possible he had a dagger or other small utility weapon)
  • Both were next in line to become the ruler of Gondor but didn't make it (Isildur was technically the ruler though he never made it back to the capital city and Boromir died before he could succeed to the Steward's seat, and Aragorn reclaimed the throne as king anyway)
  • Both take the Ring out of pride (Isildur wants it because to him it seems like Sauron owes him it, and Boromir wants it because he thinks he is strong enough to wield it)

Differences
  • Isildur saved the White Tree of Numenor and replanted it in Minas Anor while in Boromir's time, the White Tree was dead
  • Boromir died a hero's death protecting Pippin and Merry while Isildur died as a coward floundering in a stream searching for the Ring
  • Isildur was of direct royal lineage while Boromir was the second choice for the Gondorian rulership
  • Isildur came directly from Numenor and Boromir never knew Numenor
  • Isildur was married and had children but Boromir was single
  • Isildur wanted the Ring as "weregild" or compensation for his father and brother's deaths but Boromir wanted the Ring to defeat Sauron and save his city
  • Isildur actually vanquished Sauron directly--temporarily--while Boromir played an integral role in Sauron's defeat, but was not actually around for the destruction of Sauron a second time
  • Isildur was around in the time of glory of Gondor while Boromir was living during it's slow decay
  • They both seem to prefer "fighting on the front lines" (Isildur's city is Minas Ithil, on the very border of Mordor, and Boromir's main conquest is in Osgiliath, ground zero in terms of the battles of his time)
So what does this mean?

Clearly these two characters are similar in many ways, but they also have their differences.  The fact they are so similar makes them fun and easy to compare, but also highlights the ways they differ.

First off, we know they are both high and considered noble men.  They are prominent people in Gondor and are respected by the people.  They are both warriors and "royalty" of sorts which points out a bit of what we might expect the people of Gondor to value--that is, they show great respect to their warriors.  

They are around in very different times in history.  Isildur comes as Gondor is being built and Arnor and Gondor are still united.  Boromir is on the stage as the realm is falling into a slow decay which culminates in his father's suicide.  The glory of Gondor is symbolized by the White Tree.  Isildur brings it to Middle-earth where it flowers, but in Boromir's time it is dead in the square.  This points out the very opposite ends of history they represent.  

I think in some ways, Boromir represents the way Isildur could have been, if he had not fallen to the Ring.  Yes Boromir does get corrupted temporarily by the Ring, but he repents at the end and dies a hero's death instead of Isildur's cowardly attempts to locate the Ring.

Debate: The Hobbit Lifestyle

Greetings, fellow lembas lovers! Today you’re in for a special treat--my sister Emily and I are going to debate one of the burning questions among LOTR fans: Is the hobbit lifestyle negative, (focused on sensory pleasure and isolationism) or positive (focused on appreciating nature and the little things in life)?

For the purposes of this debate, Emily will be taking the positive stance and I will be taking the negative stance. Please note this does not necessarily represent our position on the issue.

Emily’s comments will be in green and mine will be in black.

Before we start, I just want to mention that I started this document a while ago and Emily and I were discussing the questions we might choose. Emily just yesterday suggested a question that shocked me:

Is this one of the Rings of Power or Emily’s engagement ring?


That’s right, Emily is engaged and just told my family yesterday via a sneaky debate question! Isn’t her ring gorgeous? Maybe it really is an elven ring...

Also, funny story.

I’ve always said that one day I would end up reading so much my vision would blur...and sure enough, 400 pages into War and Peace, I ended up in an optometrist's chair getting a prescription for glasses. Right now my eyes are super dilated and I can barely see the screen, but we’ll see what happens.

Without further ado, let’s go right into opening statements. Emily, you go first since you are positive.

---

Positive Opening Statement
Hello! Hobbits, the peace-loving halflings from the Shire, are undoubtedly one of the most content species in all Middle-earth. Their lives revolve around simple pleasures and living without the worries that occupy the minds of Men, Elves, and Orcs. By maintaining simple lifestyles, the Hobbits are able to live happy, productive lives whilst avoiding the conflict and turmoil most other species endure. In short, the lifestyle of the Hobbit race is extremely beneficial.




Negative Opening Statement
Hobbits may live a peaceful life, but it is not necessarily to their benefit. Often, Hobbits become apathetic towards the plight of others and worry more about their own problems rather than helping out. The Hobbits are “blissfully ignorant” of the problems of the real world--and, while that might seem perfect for them, it is unhelpful to the world at large. As Frodo said, “I should like to save the Shire, if I could — though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words, and have felt that an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them.” (The Fellowship of the Ring 71)


Positive Point #1
While we all know those exceptional Hobbits; Bilbo, Frodo and Company, Bandobras Took, and the other rare characters who exhibit affinity for adventure, most Hobbits are really not suited for military duty, politics, or exploration. Given their small stature and demanding eating schedule, it is simply inherent that Hobbits are not fit for the enterprising activity at which the other species excel. While some may claim the Hobbits are standoffish to the events of the world outside the Shire, the truth is that their presence in great wars or missions of exploration is simply not necessary. There is no great army hiding in the Shire and no great leaders refusing to help the rest of Middle Earth, instead, there is a civilization of simple creatures who, if they were to inject themselves into conflict or debate with the larger races, would simply be rebuked and sent back to the Shire.

Rebuttal #1
The argument that Hobbits are unnecessary and unhelpful, falls flat when you consider it in conjunction with the remarkable feats achieved by just two little Hobbits, namely Frodo and Sam. If two Hobbits can do that much, imagine what a whole gang of them could do! True, Hobbits may not have a strong military presence, but their concept of self-sacrifice and duty would make them helpful counselors and teachers.

Redirect
I concede that Frodo and Sam were an exceptional pair of characters, but we must consider the entire Hobbit race. I also concede Hobbits would make wonderful teachers and counselors.


Positive Point #2
While Hobbits do not contribute significant military presence to the turbulent environment in Middle-earth, they do contribute other things which many races appreciate. The Hobbits, as gifted farmers and brewers, grow some of the best tobacco and brew some of the best beer available. Consider Bree, a small town where Hobbits and Men cross paths and share stories and trade products. While it may be true that Hobbits do not make extraordinary efforts to become an economic power, their relaxed approach to business results in quality products and an enjoyable lifestyle that allows them to treat work as a hobby.

Rebuttal #2
It is true that Hobbits help Men in certain ways by sharing reservedly, however they are capable of so much more. Hobbits clearly have economic and farming skills which they could pass on to others. The Mountain Men, for instance “scratch a living off rocks”, but with the help of Hobbits, they could learn to cultivate their own food and have a more prosperous society. The Hobbits prefer to stay in their own land and ignore the troubles of others instead of aiding them.

Redirect
The statement “scratch a living off rocks,” was uttered not by a hard-working, impoverished Man seeking help from the Hobbits, but by Saruman, in an effort to goad the Mountain Men into war. One would be hard pressed to portray the Mountain Men as a people that desire help from the Hobbits. Rather, they are themselves a law-breaking, selfish sect that are only treated as outcasts because they have collectively preyed on the weak around them.

Positive Point #3
From a storyline standpoint, it’s important that the Hobbits embody a peace-loving, slow-moving lifestyle. Frodo and Sam’s respective character arcs center around their ability to grow and overcome fears. From the very beginning, our two favorite Hobbits were chosen to take the Ring to Mordor because of their inherent lack of ambition and love for peace. If the Hobbit race valued ambition like Men or Elves, there would be no reason to send Frodo as Ring-bearer. Rather, watching the docile Hobbits develop into brave, steadfast heroes is a central theme in the Lord of the Rings trilogy; the Shire lifestyle then is vital is establishing the character arcs of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and, for that matter, Bilbo.


Rebuttal #3
The Hobbits may be peace-loving, but that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to others. The Dunedain of the North have to put their lives on the line every day in order to protect the Hobbits. If the Hobbits could put forth their own effort to protect their own land, it would be more fair. I think the Hobbits would be more worldly and wiser if they began to look around themselves instead of being turned in on and focusing only on themselves.

Redirect I maintain that the Hobbits, no matter how willing, are not physically capable of the same actions as Men, or Elves for that matter. And again, if Hobbits were as bodily capable as other races, the story of Frodo and Sam’s epic journey would lose its significance as an underdog story.
 

Negative Point #1
Because Hobbits have such an ignorant view of the world, they are often unable to recognize evil when they see it. Think of the Ringwraiths riding into the Shire asking around for “Baggins”--and the neighborhood Hobbits just let them in and lead them straight to Bag End. Their lack of knowledge could have easily led to the Ring being reclaimed by Sauron and the destruction of all they--and others--hold dear, if it were not for the vigilance and wisdom of Gandalf.

Rebuttal #1
I personally cannot blame the Hobbits for releasing Frodo’s location to the Ringwraiths; it is hard to imagine any other race reacting any differently. Certainly the Hobbits were frightened and had no way to defend themselves, and I believe they reacted in the manner of any race when confronted with such a threatening presence.

Redirect
I am not so sure it is true that any race would react this way--Aragorn fights the Ringwraiths head on, as does Glorfindel and the Men of Gondor at Osgiliath. The Hobbits did not necessarily have to combat the Wraiths directly, but they could have merely told them the wrong location, led them astray, or done practically anything besides pointing the menacing villains in the direction of one of their vulnerable neighbors.


Negative Point #2
The isolation from the rest of the world dulls the Hobbit’s senses so much. “‘Well here we are, just the four of us that started out together,’ said Merry. ‘We have left all the rest behind, one after another. It seems almost like a dream that has slowly faded.'  ‘Not to me,’ said Frodo. ‘To me it feels more like falling asleep again.’” (LOTR 997). Frodo emphasizes in this passage that the Shire is an insensitive and “blissfully unaware” place where important things are often abandoned in favor of good food and drink.

Rebuttal #2
There is no denying that Shire life revolves around food and drink, but this is definitely not detrimental to the Hobbits. By finding joy in the little things, they are able to avoid the capitalistic stresses, violent squabbles, and hateful disputes that the other races endure. Rather, the Hobbits live simple, fulfilling lives without the waste and violence associated with more aggressive societies.


Redirect
I concede that the Hobbits do show a large capacity for appreciation and relaxation. But everything in moderation! Too much relaxation is just sloth in disguise. The Hobbits need to wake up and smell the coffee, so to speak. They need to realize there is more to the world than their own pleasures and desires.


Negative Point #3
The Hobbit lifestyle is borderline gluttonous. The definition of gluttony from Thomas Aquinas is “an immoderate or unreasonable pleasure in food or drink”. Certainly the Hobbits can fall into this trap often, what with their demanding eating schedule and preference of food over people. Upon witnessing Bilbo’s disappearance at his birthday party, Rory Brandybuck clearly displays more concern for the food than the Hobbit who just vanished before his very eyes, saying, “‘There’s something fishy in this, my dear! I believe that mad Baggins is off again. Silly old fool. But why worry? He hasn’t taken the vittles with him.’ He called loudly to Frodo to send the wine round again.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, A Long Expected Party)

Rebuttal #3
Certainly, Hobbits love food. There can be no dispute there. But their affinity for food motivates them in being productive and busy beings who harm no one in their efforts to fill their happy little laughing bellies and farm the beautiful land of which they take such good care.

Redirect
My point is simply that Hobbits overemphasize their own pleasure with little to no care for the others around them.
8 Piece of Carrot on Brown Chopping Board

Positive Closing Argument
In the end, the simple, slow-moving lives of Hobbits are a fresh take on life compared to the hustle and bustle of the other races in Middle Earth. The Hobbits, while unable to compete or contribute to the rest of the world in military terms, live quiet lives and trade peacefully with their immediate neighbors. While they do not strive to build a large economic empire or explore the far reaches of the world, with exception, of course, their love of the little joys serve them well and do not harm any other parties. The Hobbits, in short, are not selfish isolationists, but rather they are content with their lot and happy to live within their means.

Negative Closing Argument
St. Augustine described sin as incurvatus in se, meaning “caved in around oneself”. This perfectly describes the Hobbit’s lifestyle of self-centeredness and disregard for others. The Hobbits are of course not doing this to be malicious, but it is rather a lack of attentiveness which led to their isolationist ways. It would benefit not only Hobbits themselves if they went out into the world (as we can see clearly through the growth demonstrated in Merry, Pippin, Frodo and Sam) but also the rest of Middle-earth at large to gain from their skills in farming and in appreciating little things. All in all, Hobbits would benefit immensely from looking outside themselves and their society.

---

Thank you so much to Emily for debating with me!  It was really fun!

Let me know if you would like more debates or if you have any more questions to debate over.  Some questions I've come up with are:
  • Do Balrog’s have wings?
  • Movies or books?
  • Was it a good idea for the Valar to bring the elves to Valinor?
  • Was destiny or bad choices more to blame in the story of Turin Turambar?
  • Is Sauron or Melkor the “better” bad guy?
  • Who is the best character?
  • Was Sam or Frodo right about the way they handled Gollum?
  • Was the quest for the treasure in The Hobbit more beneficial for the dwarves or for Bilbo?
  • Is the hobbit lifestyle negative (focused on sensory pleasure and isolationism) or positive (appreciating nature and the little things in life)?
  • Was Gandalf’s idea to send the hobbits without knowledge of Mordor prudent or misleading?
  • Is Thorin Oakenshield a hero or a repentant trespasser?
  • Should more female characters have been included in The Hobbit?
  • Does Gandalf always do the right thing?
  • Is Bard or Thorin Oakenshield right in the argument about the distribution of treasure?
  • Are the Teleri or the Noldor right about their access to land (Teleri claim the land of Middle-earth is theirs, the Noldor claim that they deserve it since they fought the orcs off for the Teleri)?
  • Should The Silmarillion be made into a movie?
  • Who was more to blame in the country flick over the Nauglamir, Thingol or the dwarves?

What are your thoughts on this topic?

My friend and I will be debating about the merits of The Hobbit movies soon, so keep checking back for that.  Let me know if you're interested in having a debate--I'm always up for collaboration posts!

Navaer!