Day 299: Five Week Middle-Earth Movie Marathon

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Today’s planned first was postponed due to family members battling the flu! I switched gears, on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, enjoying time in the garden and time relaxing with one of my favorite movies. As part of the countdown to the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I joined the 5 Week Middle-Earth Movie Marathon for my first today.

Launched by MiddleEarthNews on Facebook and Twitter, this fun event encourages fans to watch the five available Middle-Earth films, one each week, beginning today with Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. I chose the extended edition version. I’ve watched this film many times however, it’s the first time I’ve watched it as a part of a special event and the first time I’ve watched any movie and tweeted about it and read related tweets on Twitter. We used the hashtag #5wkMMM. That was fun!

Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies have deeply impacted my life. I’ve discovered so many truths about myself within these transformative films, journeying and growing along with the characters. It has been a while since I’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have journeyed since my last viewing and it was interesting to watch today and see with fresh eyes and a slightly different perspective. Here’s what stood out today as I watched FOTR:

• Because of my recent viewings of The Hobbit films, I noticed more acutely the references to Bilbo’s adventure, dragons and characters from The Hobbit, such as Balin, Gloin and Thorin.

• I was aware that Bilbo offered Gandalf tea when he arrived in the afternoon. Pippin also mentions tea time as a customary Hobbit tradition.

• I saw the warrior like qualities more clearly in Gimli, rather than seeing him as playing a more minor role in this adventure. Similarly, I noted how Legolas has settled more fully into who he is.

• Aragorn is one of my favorite characters in the LOTR movies and his transformation from Strider the Ranger, to Aragorn the King is inspiring. The other human in the Fellowship, Boromir, plays well the man who would take the ring from Frodo, by force if necessary. I watched his character closely today, appreciating his transformation as well and the role he plays in calling Aragorn forth. While Boromir does seek the ring, it is not for his own purposes that he desires it. He wishes to protect his city, Gondor, and its people, using the ring as a weapon against the enemy. He would not have been able to control the one ring, yet his intentions are noble. The two men have many strong traits in common. One has tried to hide who he is and fears he doesn’t have what it takes to be king. The other has lived bravely, carrying the many heavy expectations of his demanding father and he has no desire for a king. Boromir resists Aragorn’s destiny and yet, as they journey he begins to share his love of the white city, Gondor, with his companion. He calls Aragorn forth, in an added scene in the extended edition, and I paraphrase, “Stop hiding in the shadows. Stop fearing who you are and what you are.”

• I always get teary eyed over Boromir’s death. This complex man finds redemption as he sacrifices himself in an attempt to save the halflings. The emotional response didn’t change today! What I noticed for the first time though was that it is Boromir who first addresses Aragorn as “my king”. The others in Aragorn’s life encourage him to become who he is destined to be, see the strength in him, refer to him as Isildur’s heir. Boromir, as he lies dying, acknowledges fully who Aragorn is, calling him, “My brother…my captain…my king”. What a far seeing man. Aragorn responds, not with denials and hesitation, but in a quietly confident manner befitting a king. I loved seeing that unfold today. Boromir’s gauntlets that Aragorn wears for the remainder of the journey become a constant reminder of that man’s belief in his king, and his trust that Aragorn would save his people, and Middle-Earth.

I enjoyed watching Fellowship of the Ring today. It reminded me of my own journey and of the moments of realization about myself that I have had. It also brought to mind the people who make up my Fellowship, those brave souls who encourage me and call me out as they need to. They see what’s possible in my life, sometimes long before I do. May I continue to journey well and lend my wisdom and encouragement to others on their adventures!

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