10 Years Ago Today, Geekness Kindled

It was a cold Christmas. Not freaky cold, just normal 40-50 degree range so we were able to wear light sweaters and it felt like Christmas.

The world was somber and cautious. Unlike any other Christmas before in the United States, we were all still grieving and in shock, recovering from the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Dean, Evangeline and I opened gifts in the morning at home and then headed over to Karen's mothers house, like we often did on Christmas. We spent the day eating, laughing, napping, all the usual Christmas activities.

And of course, going to the movies was on the docket.

"We're going to see Fellowship of the Ring this evening, Carole" Karen had told me. "Oh, cool. I've been putting off watching it, I can't imagine Elijah Woods as Frodo. I mean, how is that sweet little kid from The War and The Good Son going to be Frodo Baggins?" I replied.

My stuffed dog Frodo today. The kids know not to touch him.
Karen was well aware of my deep love for Middle Earth. She had been my roommate for a couple years back in the 80's when we were single and she had been my friend even longer. She also knew Frodo the stuffed dog that I had slept with since I was 13 years old.

My mother had given me Frodo for my 13th birthday. I had just read The Lord of The Rings for the first time so that 's why I named him Frodo. I slept with that stuffed dog until I got married in 1994. One time, as a joke at church youth camp, Karen and Ammye hung Frodo up by a noose from the rafters of our cabin.

So, Karen knew how serious I took my Lord of the Rings. I think she understood my apprehension. We all felt it really. How could anyone make a good, not cheeky, not Hollywood, movie of Lord of the Rings?

As we arrived at the theater and walked in, I saw the movie poster. It stopped me in my tracks. I looked at it in complete bewilderment, for there he was, Frodo Baggins holding the ring and looking at me. Elijah Woods WAS Frodo! I even marveled aloud, "Wow. I would never have believed it could be possible, but he really is Frodo! This is gonna be good."

When I saw this poster, I knew that Peter Jackson had done Middle Earth right.

Suddenly I was filled with excitement. And as we sat down and the movie started to play, I knew this was cinematic history being made.

That was 10 years ago today.

After that day I set out on quest to devour all things Tolkien and Lewis. A quest that lasted over six years. (I had read the Narnia series several times over the years and was already as much of a CS Lewis fan as I was a Tolkien fan). I became a Tolkien and Lewis Scholar. My free time consisted of reading, studying, filling binders with notes. I attended a lecture series by Ralph C Woods, author of The Gospel According to Tolkien, and other Tolkien experts. I visited theonering.net daily, I was at every first showing of each of the remaining two LOTR movies, at Walmart at midnight when each was released on DVD, and we watched the DVD's weekly for years. I started collecting as many Tolkien and Lewis books, action figures, decor, and trinkets, that I could afford. My sister came into town for Trilogy Tuesday and her and I arrived at the theater at 4am, sat in line until 11am and then watched all three movies, back to back! Yes, that's over 10 hours of movie watching in one day!

"Feather Iron" in Elvish
And I got an Elvish tattoo. (The tattoo story is pretty funny actually, you can read it HERE.)

Now, we await the arrival of The Hobbit Movie next December. Evangeline and I are planning a trip to New Zealand for the premiere.

Evangeline now carries my Lord of the Rings back pack to school...

I'm passing on the Geekness.

All because of that Christmas Day, 10 years ago when Karen said "Hey, we're going to see Fellowship of the Ring tonight".

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