Happy Hobbit Day!

Note: Not Elijah Wood

Note: Not Elijah Woods

Happy Hobbit Day folks! What? You didn’t know? Of course you didn’t – because the date is wrong.

Both Bilbo and Frodo were born on Sept 22, on the Shire Calendar and not Gregorian. So their birthday would probably be closer to around Sept 14 or thereabouts. Nevertheless, most of us celebrate this holiday on the 22nd because it’s easier that way.

So how are you going to celebrate? Are you going to re-read one of the books? Re-watch one of the movies? Play a game of METW? Let me know in the comments. Also, is anyone here playing the LOTR MMO? Are the doing anything special today? I’m curious.

Btw, since we are talking about LOTR stuff, let me throw this out there: LOTR fandom was way better before the movies came out. Seriously. Back in the day, Tolkien fans were mostly interested in discussing Middle Earth history, obscure details of the world, exchange insights into Tolkien’s writing and etc… It was all about intelligent, insightful discussion. Nowadays there is a vast number of LOTR fans who have never actually read any of the books, and have a vague idea who Tolkien is, and spend most of their time online fawning over one of the characters (usually Legolas or Elijah Wood) and writing slash fanfics. Ugh…

Back in the day, if you said “anyone into LOTR here?” you knew you would probably get a response from some kindred spirits. These days it’s a craphsoot. I mean, seriously. Do you know how long it took me to find a hobbit picture that was not Elijah Wood? Google Images was pretty much useless at this. I’m pretty sure Google is convinced that the word hobbit is a fucking synonym for “voice of Spyro the Dragon” by now.

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4 Responses to Happy Hobbit Day!

  1. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Do you know how long it took me to find a hobbit picture that was not Elijah Wood?

    I don’t know how long it took you, but I do see the image you used on page 2 of a Google Image search for “hobbit”. In amongst some from the earlier animated films, some of the hominid species that’s been called a hobbit, some from the video game and yes… plenty of Elijah Wood and friends.

    Whilst I’m nitpicking, did you mean slash fanatics, or slash fanfics? (Looking at the spellcheck replacement options for fanfics, I think I see how that one happened)

    Aside from the above, I know the films aren’t perfect, but they are good films. If they get more people into Tolkien then I think it’s a net benefit, even if a lot less of them actually read the book than we might like. Personally I’ve never been that enamoured with the extended history that Tolkien created for LOTR, it feels like it pushed past the sensible limit on fictional words and, whilst I’m sure it’s a well thought out mythos, I just don’t find it compelling as a story.

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  2. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Matt`:

    The stupid image must have moved up the ranks. I could swear that when I was looking for it two weeks ago it was on like page 8 and I had to do a search for hobbit -“elijah woods” or something like that. :P Sigh…

    And yes – it was supposed to be slash fanfics.

    I do agree that the movies were good. They were very well made, and relatively faithful to the books which was something quite rare when the first movie came out. I enjoyed them thoroughly.

    However, personally, I think I liked Middle Earth as a fantasy universe more than I actually liked the Trilogy. I’m drawn to fiction with well established “fluff” – I’m the kind of person who will gleefully sit through a lengthy lesson of the taxonomy of some alien species, intricate descriptions of alien customs, social behaviors, history. I’m the guy who gets annoyed when characters interrupt it with the canonical “just get to the point already”. I’m the kind of person who watches a show/movie and then hits up the wiki pages to learn more about the stuff that was merely hinted at on screen.

    I felt the same way about Star Wars universe – the actual setting is actually way more awesome than the movies themselves.

    I like character driven stories that are set in meticulously designed universes that seem to have realistic depth. I hate when the authors hand wave explanations away, and make stuff on the spot.

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  3. While I think the LOTR movies were good, they definitely did water down the LOTR fandom. The movies created a smaller common denominator that allowed much more people in, too many people. (I read the books before the movies were even announced, so I’m not one of those! :-D) Like Usenet, for various fandoms to survive, there needs to be difficult barriers in place to filter out the posers. Otherwise it’s eternal September.

    I feel the same thing happened, to a lesser degree, with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy after the movie. I see “42” jokes used way too much.

    Now, considering all this, imagine what Linux distributions would look like if it ever caught on mainstream. This is one reason why I don’t promote it to non-geeks :-P.

    Now, to go celebrate Hobbit Day …

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Chris Wellons wrote:

    I feel the same thing happened, to a lesser degree, with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy after the movie. I see “42″ jokes used way too much.

    Yes! Thank you! And I’m not even that big of a fan of the books. I think I casually scanned through the first one when I was a kid, so most of the jokes flew over my head, but I did enjoy the occasional references to 42, vogon poetry or not panicking.

    Now… Eh…

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