We found a ring this Tuesday geek girls guide (GGG)! This week we are to talk about Lord of the Rings (LOTR) and the Hobbit, and all things Tolkien! Welcome to the world of Tolkienites, Tolkiendils and Ringers! Get ready because we’re going to enter one of the most amazing Fantasy worlds that have ever existed. We’re going to encounter Hobbits, Elves and the One Ring!
Let’s have second breakfast!
Prepare your stomach to have more than one breakfast, take a comfortable spot on your couch, and start reading what might become one of your most beloved fandoms. Don’t be fooled, though: it can be a very demanding one! JRR Tolkien created one of the most thrilling fantasy Universes in existence today. Not only he created a great story, its myths, and many of the languages that the inhabitants of Middle Earth speak; he also was the man who inspired people like Peter Jackson to create incredible movies.
A fan who has seen all the movies of LOTR + the Hobbit made by Peter Jackson, has read the core books by Tolkien (the Hobbit, LOTR, the Silmarillion and maybe other books about the History of Middle Earth), and has extensive knowledge about them all; is called Tolkienite.
Tolkiendils are fans who seem more interested in the books created by Tolkien, and also the languages that are spoken in the Middle Earth, in particular Quenya and Sindarin, the languages of the Elves.
Ringer is a recent word that refers to fans of LOTR. However, this new word has created some controversy. Not all fans like to be called Ringers. Ringers might be fans who are fans of LOTR books and movies, but not of all the extended work that Tolkien created.
But behold! There are more! Those fans who study JRR Tolkien are called Tolkienists! These fans usually study Elvish languages, or create research about Tolkien’s work and even the movies.
So, as you can see, there are many words that LOTR + the Hobbit + Tolkien use to identify themselves as fans. This fandom is a diverse trope in which you can find all types of people interested in different aspects of the Middle Earth. You only need to find your perfect spot, and use the words you feel more comfortable with.
So, if you’re interested in joining this fantasy fandom, you might start with one or many of the following options:
1. Watching all the movies!
Though this can be challenging, it is a good way to schedule several weekends for the fun, or do a moviethon of epic proportions. We have:
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
You can watch the movies in this order, as Peter Jackson did it, or you can watch first the Hobbit and then LOTR. I prefer to do it following Peter Jackson’s releases. But, you can choose the order you like the most.
2. Read the books.
To start easy, you can do it with the Hobbit. This is the easiest of the books. So, starting with this one, actually makes sense. Then you can continue reading the three volumes of LOTR. You can find all the 4 books at a great prize in Amazon, by the way.
If you are still inspired, and want to go hard on Tolkien, you can read the Silmarillion. This book is hard to read, but not impossible as many fans point out. I have read it several times myself, and I always find something new in it. I personally consider it part of the other 4 books (Hobbit + LOTR), since it adds info to the cosmology. I won’t lie to you, though: prepare yourself to start re-reading some parts because sometimes it can be confusing.
As you can see, there’s plenty to read!
3. Learn Quenya and Sindarin!
You can also learn the languages of the Elves. The common language is called Sindarin, and the old one (like Latin) is called Quenya. You can teach yourself using A Gateway to Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
I studied them when I was younger, and I had loads of fun doing it. If you like to learn languages, give it a go! It is amazing what Tolkien did. Think about it: create new languages for some of the peoples of the Middle Earth.
4. Learn the Orc-speech of Tumblr.
Though sometimes it does feel like Orc-speech, fanspeak used in Tumblr comes in handy. Many fans hang out in Turmblr, and other platforms like Facebook, and use all types of expressions that are only useful if you get what they mean. You can find some of the standard ones here.
Fans will say that their bodies are ready, that they’re having all the feels on the world, or that they’re incredibly fabulous (like Thandruil). If you don’t know what some of the expressions mean, just take a look at the Urban Dictionary. You’ll find a lot of them there. However, be aware that many of the expressions might have a Tolkienite touch. For example:
In Tumblr you can find memes with the expression ‘ovaries explode,’ meaning that someone is extremely attractive. However, in the case of LOTR and the Hobbit, you might find memes like this one containing the word ‘desolation of ovaries’ instead. It comes from the Hobbit Desolation of Smaug.
5. Let Elves thrill you.
Elves are almost like Gods themselves. When you have seen the movies you’ll understand why some Elves are seen as the peak of perfection. Thandruil, in special, is so fabulous that he can do whatever he wants (basically). His son, Legolas, is also a peak of future perfection, but, obviously, Thandruil wins.
Not only the Elves in the Hobbit sparkle magic all over, those in the LOTR are incredibly astonishing too. Let them captivate you and engage in endless meme conversations in your social media. You won’t regret it!
6. Familiarize yourself with ships.
And yes, ships, the relationships that fans make with canon (official) couples and fan fiction ones that I told you about in the previous post, are here as well. And combinations can be astonishing sometimes. Frodo and Sam from LOTR are an obvious one, but you can explore the rest of fanfic ships available online.
Ships you can find, apart from Frodo/Sam: Legolas/Gimli, Aragorn/Eowyn, Merry/Pippin, Faramir/Eowyn, Aragorn/Arwen, Sam/Rose, Bagginshield (Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield), Thilbo (Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield), Legolas/Thandruil, Smaug/Bilbo, Fili/Kili, Bofur/Bilbo, Kili/Bilbo, Ori/Fili, etc.
Some of this ships are canon, others from slash, bromance and cute couples. Not everything out there is slash. However, be prepared to find… interesting things.
7. Start following and taking part in fan pages (and groups if you want) in Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
There are tons of pages dedicated to LOTR and the Hobbit. Explore them first before joining them. You can also join forums. Since this is a very extensive fandom, you can find any type of group and page you wish. So, the first thing to do here is to research and take a look which ones tune with you.
Once you’ve found out your tribe, say hello and try to enjoy your time with them. You’ll love it!
8. Wear some cool Hobbit or Elven fashion on you!
It can be tricky, but there are some pages out there like Think Geek which are offering a selection of jewelry and tees. However, you can find indie items in Etsy. There are funny tees, tons of jewelry, and even scarfs.
There is just on item that you will obviously need: the One Ring. I do have it and it’s awesome. Along with Arwen’s pendant, and also lots of other stuff that I can wear sometimes. Collecting these items can get addictive.
9. Get a tattoo in Elvish!
One of the coolest things is to get a tattoo written in Elvish. However, be careful and check out if you’re using the correct wording. You can also get as a tattoo, quotes from the book, like: ‘not all those who wander are lost,’ or the Ring’s biding quote.
Go here to get an idea of what to tattoo on your skin. Research as much as possible before getting inked!
10. Get yourself a LOTR toy!
Get yourself some LOTR/Hobbit toys! I love Funko Pop figurines because they’re so cute! You can find Funko hobbits, elves and more on Popcultcha. Some of the figurines are hard to find though, so you might find some in Ebay.
11. Join the Cosplay club, and go to some Comic Cons!
Though I admit that Cosplaying characters of LOTR and the Hobbit might be expensive, I also say that it’s a pleasure! It’s like living a dream! Besides, you can also engage into LARPING! (Live- action role playing). Middle Earth offers you one of the best LARPING and Cosplaying opportunities out there. You can be an incredible Elf lady or a humble Hobbit. Whatever your choice might be, take into mind that you’ll be joining a great Universe!
You don’t need to create a character that appears in Middle Earth. You can create your own based on the movies or the books. This is cool, because you can create your own character. You can also use Elvish names for him/her, and enjoy a wonderful journey, much like Bilbo. Go to Armstreet and take a look at their medieval clothing. You might find there some cool starting points for your gorgeous Middle Earth personalized Cosplay.
12. Write fan fiction or draw some fan art!
If you like writing or drawing, you can enter into a wonderful fantasy world and explore the different ships that Middle Earth provides, or get inspiration to write your own unique story. You can also use slash to create wonderful fan art. Choose your favorite characters and start drawing and writing right away!
13. Engage in hot feminist and Tolkienite discussions.
Beware because this can be tricky. Are there enough women in the movies? Don’t you think that there are really few ladies in LOTR? Are they portrayed correctly? Did we need Tauriel and her romance? Is really Tauriel important? Why do we have Tauriel in the movies, if she is not in the books? These are hot topics that you might encounter. Discussions of the sort are heated and can be challenging, but, IMHO: we need them.
You can also engage in some other hot debates like: did the Hobbit really needed to be done in three movies? Or most importantly: couldn’t just Gandalf give the ring to those huge eagles and make them get rid of it on Mount Doom instead of having two tiny hobbits wander around the whole Middle Earth?
14. Make an unforgetable trip to NZ, aka Middle Earth!
Yes! I made it to Middle Earth! I went to New Zealand when LOTR was a hot potato. And I had loads of fun! I won’t lie to you: it is expensive. But, if you are in a low budget as I was, backpacking is a great option to visit Rivendell.
Trying to visit all the locations of the movies can be madness, so, choose the ones that tune more with you. You can choose among lots of them! Plus, you can also choose to get your Elvish tattoo by a Maori artist. If you can: give this a go!
Enjoy the Journey!
This fandom is great! However, be advised: once you start your way on this journey you won’t be the same! Very much like Bilbo, you’ll come back wiser and more experienced. Once you dig into the Tolkien Universe, you cannot go back just exactly the same.
Are you ready for this unexpected journey?