Now Playing Tracks

The Desolation of Your Social Life

girlwiththelionhair:

Friday, December 13, 2013

    Hello hello hellllllloooooooo. Everybody sit down cuz it’s about to get real. Guess what came out in theaters in the U.S. today? THE HOBBIT: DESOLATION OF SMAUG. *cue wild screeches* So since I can’t talk about the movie with anyone yet because not everyone is as insane as I am and has already seen it, I figured I’d make a Lord of the Rings post. Lord of the Rings can be intricate and complicated and really hard to understand if you have no idea what’s going on. So this is what I wanted to do: give a crash course in understanding the movies so you can understand and enjoy the new Hobbit movies and the perfection that is the original trilogy. I completely understand if you want to stop reading. However, if you have never seen Lord of the Rings, want to see it but are too afraid of all the confusing names, or just like reading anything about LOTR, you should stay and read. (Also, I’ve read the books but in no way does that make me an expert whatsoever, so if you see I made a big mistake let me know!)

   So I’ll start at the beginning. We are going to go basics of the basic. The story takes place in this world called Middle Earth. Here’s a map (and try to familiarize yourself with it. It really, really, helps): 

image

image

Now there are different races of creatures. The main ones are hobbits, elves, dwarves, men, orcs, wizards, and goblins (there are many others but they are not integral to understanding the plot, like everyone knows what a troll is). 

I’ll explain what each one is. Hobbits are 3 feet tall, they have thick curly hair on their heads, giant hairy feet (they don’t have to wear shoes because their feet are like super thick and are basically shoes themselves), they are also called Halflings (it’s sort of a derogatory name in my opinion), they mostly live in the Shire in the land of Eriador (see map) in hobbit holes. They are incredibly peaceful and eat ALL the time. Like seven meals a day and then just hang out with each other all day long. Their version of work is tilling their garden. (I really don’t understand why more people don’t want to be a hobbit.) Here are the most important hobbits you need to know:

Bilbo Baggins aka Bilbo Sassmaster Baggins (as played by Martin Freeman in the Hobbit series since The Hobbit happens 60 years before the start of Lord of the Rings series)

image

And older Bilbo (played by Ian Holm, Bilbo is 111 years old when Lord of the Rings begins, they talk about this a lot in the movie, you won’t miss it!)

image

Frodo Baggins (Bilbo’s great-nephew) 

image

Samwise Gamgee (I could write long essays on this character’s perfection, people know him as the Rudy Hobbit)

image

Merry, aka Meriadoc Brandybuck and Charlie from LOST, and Pippin, aka Peregrin Took (Frodo’s cousins)

image

Moving on….

Dwarves are taller than hobbits but shorter than men, making them typically about 4 feet tall. They are stockier and hairier than hobbits, (female dwarves have beards, like it’s No Shave November their entire lives for the males and females), they typically live in mountains and mines where they mine and deal with precious gems and gold, also they are a very proud race and they’re not overly fond of elves (lots of past grudges). 

Now there’s 13 of them in the Hobbit but only one in LOTR and I know I’ll just confuse you with the names if I try to explain all of them, so I’ll give the two most important ones:

Gimli (from LOTR)

image

And Thorin Oakenshield (he’s very important in the Hobbit movies and very important to me because he’s played by the gorgeous Richard Armitage)

image

Okay now for the elves. Elves are immortal, stunningly beautiful, exceptionally wise, tall and slender, light on their feet, and have heightened senses, such as better eyesight and hearing than others. (Orlando Bloom plays an elf like that’s explanation enough of who they are.) Also, there are 3 different kingdoms of elves, they are all beautiful and heavenly looking, you can see for yourself when watching the movie, they stick out…

The most important elves:

Legolas BetterThanYou Greenleaf (BAMF)

image

Elrond, Lord of Rivendell (Rivendell is one of the Elven Kingdoms)

image

Galadriel (Lady of the Wood, like Queen of the other Elven kingdom, she communicates with people in their minds, ~tr!ppy~*~, a lot of people call her Gandalf’s wise girlfriend)

image

Arwen (Elrond’s daughter and Aragorn’s boo thang)

image

Okay now humans. I don’t think I really need to explain this to you considering the fact that you are a human being if you are reading this…. They are the exact same as we are. And just like all of us, the human characters are all very different. There’s two main kingdoms of Man that you should know. There’s Rohan, they are based on the Vikings and are known as the Horse Lords (they just have a lot of horses and open fields), and Gondor, the most powerful kingdom of men but there has been no king for centuries, just several lines of stewardship (people who hold the throne while the king is away). Also, men seem to be the most corruptible when it comes to the ring, but I’ll explain that later. Now there’s a lot of human characters so I’ll try to narrow it down. 

Aragorn (also known as, Strider, Isildur’s Heir, and the rightful King of Gondor, Arwen’s boo thang)

image

He is basically everything any man wants to be and everything any woman wants in a man.

Boromir (typical Sean Bean role, heir to the stewardship of Gondor, he’s the guy that says “One does not simply walk into Mordor”)

image

Sidenote: a lot of people make him into a villainous character but he’s not, trust me okay shhhhhh

Now there are other important men in the last two Lord of the Rings movies, but I don’t want to overwhelm people with too much information even though I really want to post a picture of Eomer because Karl Urban. Wait, it’s happening…

image

It happened. I’m not sorry. (He’s from the kingdom Rohan, hence the horse helmet)

Last one of confusing characters (seriously just memorize these characters I’ve shown, it will make your life SOOO much easier when you’re watching the movies). 

Wizards. I don’t know as much about wizards as the other races because they have intricate long histories (Gandalf who is a wizard doesn’t even remember two of their names). There are only 5 of them, and according to Gandalf there’s only three that really are super important:

Gandalf the Grey: a lot of people confuse him with Dumbledore from Harry Potter, HE’S NOT DUMBLEDORE THEY ARE VERY VERY DIFFERENT THAT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW, Gandalf is very selective about using his power, he’s very mysterious but wise and thoroughly good to his core. Also, Gandalf is a bro, go see for yourself. He’s the guy that screams: “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

image

Please don’t call him Dumbledore or he’ll show up at your house with 13 dwarves and tell you that you’re coming with him to go kill a dragon. Wait… OMG IS THAT DUMBLEDORE *waits patiently for an adventure*

Saruman the White: in the words of the Grinch, hate, hate, hate, LOATHE ENTIRELY. Not to be trusted, beware the ides of this d-bag. 

image

Radagast the Brown: Original hippie of Middle Earth, super chill, just hangs out with forest creatures all day, he lives in the woods in a house that looks like a Disney princess house before the prince comes, also he literally has bird poop constantly running down his face because birds literally nest in his hair

image

Okay now quick background on orcs and goblins. They are similar because they live in darkness and filth. They are the servants of evil. Orcs were once elves that were twisted and tortured and eventually evolved into the disgusting things you can see below. Basically in these movies, the uglier/scarier the creature, the eviler it is. Here’s a fun look at some orcs and goblins:

image

Azog the Defiler (orc)

image

And the beautiful Goblin King

image

Phew. Done with that. Oh I missed one very, very important character. 

image

Gollum/Smeagol. He was the reason why it took me an extremely long time to watch these movies when I was little. This is the creepy thing that’s always whispering “my precious” and is obsessed with the Ring. Gollum/Smeagol was originally a hobbit.

image

Crazy right? Here’s what happened: Gollum was originally a hobbit named Smeagol. The ring automatically possesses him and warps his mind and later his body. This didn’t happen over night, however, Smeagol is well over 600 years old because the ring prolongs his life. In a truly gut-wrenching montage in the third Lord of the Rings movie, you get to see this happening. With the ring and a new mental disorder in tow, Smeagol slinks off deep into the Misty Mountains. He becomes lost to the world and known only remotely as the creature Gollum because of the horrible coughing sound he makes (his cough makes the sound “gollum”). There he stays alone to obsess over the Ring for centuries until Bilbo Baggins accidentally stumbles upon him during his adventure with the dwarves. During this famous scene, Bilbo picks up the Ring, not knowing what it is, and takes it with him, leaving a crazed and rabid Gollum. 

Now what the heck is the Ring and why is it so important. Let me get back to the real explanation. 

Long, long ago, there lived this bad guy named Sauron. His history is very confusing and intricate, just think of him as this type of disembodied evil spirit that can change his form. Think of him like Satan who can change his form in order to manipulate people. The physical form that we see looks like this:

image

During this “ancient” time, he deceives the elves into making Rings of Power. There were nineteen rings made, three for the Elves, seven for the Dwarf Lords, and nine rings were given to the race of Men. Secretly, Sauron made his own ring, The Ring to control all the others: 

One Ring to rule them all,

One Ring to find them, 

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them... 

The ten rings from the elves and dwarves were lost/stolen, but the nine men succumbed to Sauron and became his immortal man servants, the Ringwraiths (or Nazgul or Black Riders). With the One Ring, Sauron had immeasurable power and began to try to take over all of Middle Earth from his hometown, the land of Mordor. At his disposal was the horrible races of the orcs and goblins and all other foul creatures that literally breed like insects.

Of course all the good guys were like, “uh, no thanks” and fought back. All hope was lost until this man, Isildur, the son of the King of Gondor (which is important because Aragorn, hot scruffy man, is his great, great, great, a bunch of greats descendant), cut off Sauron’s hand in the middle of the great battle. By doing this, Isildur got the ring off the bad guy and took the ring basically making Sauron powerless and he just evaporated, his army’s vanquished. Everyone’s like “Yay! We won!” However, Sauron put almost all of himself into the Ring (think of it sort of like a horcrux from Harry Potter). 

Unfortunately, there’s no sword of Gryffindor to destroy the Ring. The only true way to destroy it is to throw it into the mountain in which it was made, which is Mt. Doom in Mordor (Orodruin if you want to get specific). After the great battle, Elrond (brown-headed elf, see above) attempted to convince Isildur to destroy it there, getting rid of evil once and for all. But already the Ring had begun to possess Isildur. But how can an object possess someone? Think of the ring as something incredibly powerful, but evilly powerful. The ring has bits of Sauron in it, which is like the most evil thing in Middle Earth. The Ring slowly begins to corrupt peoples minds in the same way power corrupts people. The sheer evil power of the Ring is what makes people obsessed with it. It whispers to you. It becomes The Precious. And already, Isildur was like, “My preciousssss” and said “Eff you” to Elrond, and took the Ring for himself.

image

image

(Gif source: http://l-o-t-r.tumblr.com/)

Eventually this leads to Isildur’s death and lots of problems because everyone wants the Ring for themselves, but it becomes lost for centuries and centuries until Smeagol accidentally finds it. 

Now, the Ring is all powerful and self-reliant, and eager to return to it’s true master. Some individuals can withstand the power of the ring, particularly the inwardly good people, like Aragorn and Bilbo. However, the Ring feeds off power, so if Gandalf took the Ring it would probably use his wizardly power to warp Gandalf into this horrible evil wizard. You don’t have to be wearing the ring to be corrupted by it. When wearing the Ring, you become invisible, and in this strange state where your hearing and knowledge is sharpened, but your vision is different. This is how it’s described in the book:

"The world changed, and a single moment of time was filled with an hour of thought. At once he was aware that hearing was sharpened while sight was dimmed… All things about him were not dark but vague; while he himself was there in a grey hazy world,… and the Ring, weighing down his left hand, was like an orb of hot gold. He did not feel invisible at all, but horribly and uniquely visible; and he knew that somewhere an Eye was searching for him." 

Now what’s the deal with the Eye. image

The “Eye of Sauron” is Sauron’s fun little metaphorical way to tell everyone that he is always watching. It’s like the Big Brother poster of Middle Earth. The Eye is situated on this giant tower in Mordor and it becomes symbolic of Sauron himself since he doesn’t take a physical form in any of the movies. Remember, one does not simply walk into Mordor, the great Eye is ever watchful:

image

I think I’m almost done with this long explanation. This has taken me a lot longer than I had planned… 

To understand the Hobbit, you just have to have a brief knowledge of what types of beings there are and what Middle Earth is like. Also, you need to understand the significance of the Ring. The events that occur in the Hobbit set off a chain of events that cause the Lord of the Rings. In the background of Bilbo’s grand adventure with the dwarves, Sauron is gaining power and spreading evil throughout the world again, eager to find his Ring to return himself to his full glory. But no one knows where the Ring is, which causes the irony of Bilbo picking it up. And that’s why I love this series so much because the “smallest” of beings can change the course of the world. 

All you need to understand for the beginning of the Lord of the Rings is that Bilbo is now very old after the Hobbit, past normal elderly ages since the Ring is prolonging his life. His nephew Frodo lives with him in their perfect little hobbit-hole (Hobbit’s homes are holes in the ground) called Bag End in the Shire. Gandalf comes to visit for Bilbo’s birthday and realizes Bilbo has the One Ring. Bilbo gives the Ring to Frodo, still not knowing what it is, and leaves to go off on his last and final adventure. And that’s how the story starts. Now go watch the movies! Yes, they have a lot of information with confusing names and places, but I suggest when you watch it for the first time, just try to understand the story because then your understanding of the names will come next. 

I hope I helped in any way and sorry if this wasn’t a post you wanted to read. I would love some suggestions for new posts since I am home now for winter break and I have more time on my hands than I’m used to! Suggestions and comments can be written here: http://girlwiththelionhair.tumblr.com/ask. And as always, none of the gifs are mine, and all credit go to their makers! 

I hope everyone’s finals went/are going well! AND GO SEE THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG AND GET YOUR MIND BLOWN BY THE BEST DRAGON IN CINEMATIC HISTORY. 

P.S. Lord of the Rings is the reason why the fantasy genre exists today. There would be no Harry Potter or any other fantasy literature and books without LOTR, think about that…. 

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union