Sunday, December 16, 2012

Nerd Problems

I'm not, in the strictest sense, a nerd because I don't wear glasses, I'm not tech savvy, and I've never been that successful at mathematics. But I am most definitely a nerd in that I love LOTR! So this boils down to the fact that I'm a nerd with no real skill set. Hm. Well, it could be worse.

If you're not a nerd, you probably don't even know what LOTR stands for. Let me help you (perhaps you could help me with my fashion sense?). It stands for Lord of the Rings. I'm a big fan. I'm also a big fan of the Hobbit and I've been eagerly anticipating the its opening.  I didn't realize until yesterday that the Hobbit is also being made into a trilogy (like LOTR) which will include not only the Hobbit, but some of Tolkien's other works that pertain to Middle Earth. The Hobbit, though, is not a trilogy. It's just one book, and now I'm concerned. So concerned! I fear that the film makers will take liberties that will diminish or change all the things that make it a well-loved, classic novel! Nerd problems- not to be confused with actual problems.

I reread the Hobbit this month in preparation for the movie coming out. I have to say, I just love it. The best books- and desserts- always have layers, and each reading will reveal something new to chew on. The Hobbit, at it's simplest, is a great fantasy adventure story. But you can go much deeper than that. I'm not  talking about going to Comic Con dressed as an elf. I mean that I find Tolkein's writing to be so illuminating regarding human nature. One thing that I love most about it is his characterization of the various races that inhabit Middle Earth. In those characterizations, you almost have a parable of the Proverbs- the wisdom literature of the Bible. You see various traits, positive and negative, playing against each other and coming to fruition in arcs of wisdom and folly.

Dwarves, for example, are highly industrious and able to produce things of great usefulness and extraordinary beauty. But they are rather rude and they love gold, which figures prominently into the book's premise: A group of Dwarves trek to an ancient homeland to reclaim their stolen treasure from a dragon. They little concern themselves with considering the possible consequences of waking a dragon that has long been dormant in his mountain, guarding his mountain of treasure.

On the other hand, you have Hobbits. I just love Hobbits. They might tend towards laziness, but they do not have the same weakness for riches. They have little penchant for adventures and are provincial in their thinking, but they are mild-mannered and, Bilbo in particular, is not blinded by greed.

In once scene that I love, there are three trolls that are so fond of arguing that they argue themselves into oblivion. They would have done well to remember that "a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1 (Wouldn't we all do well to remember that?!)

I love the way that the races interact. Each has strengths and weaknesses and various quirks that, together, weave a rich tapestry. Like with real people in real life.

I cannot wait until my children are old enough to read stories like this aloud. Unless, by that time, they've come out with a Hobbit video game,  then I'll just let them play that. (No, I won't!)


Melissa said...

Hahaha, love this post. I too am concerned about the trilogizing of The Hobbit, it's my favorite of all those books...have you seen it yet? I plan to next week with my family.

Leslie said...

Melissa, I have not yet seen it. I'm hoping to go sometime next week as well. We'll have to discuss it when you get back in town. Have a good trip!