It’s Not James Richard Randall

It’s John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. And he was born January 3, 1892.

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1916

Quick: how many years ago was that? Right, 121. (Okay, so I used my calculator to double-check my math. It’s not exactly my strong point.)

At the beginning of the school year, the kids and I read The Hobbit and loved it. My husband took us all to see the movie. It was great, except he didn’t tell me what everybody else in that theater already knew.

What? I thought, as the scene at the eagle’s aerie faded and the credits rolled. Is this a joke? I looked around me and saw moviegoers beginning to stand. I looked at my husband and said, “Where’s the end?”

“It’s the first part.”

“The first part!? Of how many?”

“Three.”

I sat there dazed, arguing, “But The Hobbit is only one book!”

Then I understood why the dwarf-gathering at Bilbo’s house took up nearly half the movie, and why I had to sit through Richard Armitage’s sonorous crooning that—I admit this—I questioned to be his own voice. There were a good many additions in the movie. Would Tolkien have approved? Who knows? I think Peter Jackson made the plot much more dramatic. And that’s good.

I’m celebrating Tolkien’s birthday by posting the link to my one and only attempt at writing Tolkien-style. It’s a one-shot called, “The Fate of the Ents.” If you’re curious and love Middle-earth tales, take a look.

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