FILM: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Fantasy Film ReflectionsI feel a great energy growing within. If only I could harness it and inject it when I need it most such in the dark days of despair. ~ Diane Tibert

Is my memory fading or was life too busy a few years ago when I first watched Fellowship of the Ring? I remembered the basic story, but I had forgotten much of the details. A significant amount of it was scattered in the winds of time. Names had escaped me, and certain scenes such as the hobbits meeting up with Aragorn in the Prancing Pony tavern were white-washed from my mind.

I didn’t remember the human fighter’s name, but after reading a little about the character played by Viggo Mortensen, is there any wonder? He was officially known as Aragorn II, son of Arathorn, but he also went by the names Strider (in and surrounding areas of Bree), Dúnadan (Man of the West), Wingfoot, Estel (his name when he was young to hide his true identity), Thorongil and several others.

It was as if Tolkien couldn’t decide on a true name for the character, the descendant of a king.

With so many characters to keep track of (some with more than one name), it’s no wonder I couldn’t remember all the unusual titles that sometimes were spoken sparsely. Bilbo, Sam and Gandalf were the only ones I recalled with certainty. Oh! And Precious, but I had learned that back in my teens and had no idea of its connection with this movie.

Aragorn was the reason I had to change the name of one of my main characters in Shadows in the Stone. Bronwyn, the dwarf fighter, was originally named Argon around 1980. At this time I had not heard of Tolkien or his Lord of the Rings novel(s). I also did not know one of his main characters was Aragorn, very similar to Argon.

I had grown quite attached to Argon for many reasons. He was an honourable dwarf who risked his life for others. Since I had met him with this name, I knew him by no other. In my love of science I knew Argon (Ar) was a chemical element, in the group 18 in the periodic table and the third most common gas in Earth’s atmosphere. In its own right, Argon was a noble gas.

A few months before Shadows in the Stone was published, I discovered Aragorn, which at that time came to me to be Aragon, which turned out to be an autonomous community in Spain where it coextensive with the mediaeval Kingdom of Aragon. My fantasy novel is no Lord of the Rings by any means, still, I tossed and turned this dilemma in my mind for weeks before finally deciding in the public eye, Argon would be…not Argon.

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Change is Excruciating

I met Argon when I was thirteen. Back then I was a naive thief, a wee hauflin traipsing through the forest acting like I knew how to pick a lock faster than any other thief. I was pretty handy with a sword, better with a dagger, and possessed a silver tongue that could talk me out of a fickle.

While lost in the Caverns of Confusion with my travel-mates, we stumbled upon a young dwarf who turned out to be an explorer from Aruam Castle. He was fairly handsome and I thought, if only he was fifty years younger, I’d give him a whirl. But then again, he was an honourable man and wouldn’t be interested in a common thief.

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Deep in the Heart of an Island Forest Lived a Hauflin

Imagine stepping between enormous ferns and entering a world filled with horse-size elephants, rats the size of dogs and ten-foot-long dragons. As you make your way through the gigantic flora, you stumble upon a massive turtle basking in a ray of sunshine. To your left, a strange, colourful bird cries out and takes flight. It sails over a small pool fed by a crystal clear spring and surrounded by blue and pink hydrangea and wild flowers of vibrant colours.

In the distance, you see a caldera atop an inactive volcano. You imagine it is filled with water. High peeks on the horizon sharply contrast the deep valley in which you stand. Sniffing the air, you smell the unmistakable odour of sulfur. There must be a hot spring nearby.

Movement to the right catches your eye, but what had caused the leaves to shake has gone deeper into the shadows. You approach cautiously. What was it? A child?

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