For me, Lord of the Rings can be more commonly referred to as The One That Started It All. Before that, books meant little to me. Mostly because I was reading Babysitter’s Club at the time (and the Amish books that my mother sanctioned for me). But when the movie of Fellowship of the Ring came out, my dad fanboyed enough that he convinced my sister to go see it with him, first. And then he took me. It was love at first scene.
So, my daddy got me to read the books, and I had them all finished by the same time the next year, when Two Towers came out.
Lord of the Rings was my first obsession. I drew it, I acted it with my stuffed animals, I wrote it all over my dresser. Why? Unlike Harry Potter, which I got into shortly after, my sister and my mother didn’t like it. It was a Me And Daddy thing. It opened up a huge door for my imagination. A gateway to a new, previously inconceivable world of magic and adventure. It was dreaming about Lord of the Rings characters that got me to start writing in the first place.
Through my love of Lord of the Rings, I started to eventually expand my horizons. Other fantasy. Dragonlance. The Belgariad. Turning anywhere for a new source of this fantasy world my mother was so certain was evil.
Eventually, I developed other obsessions. Harry Potter. The Belgariad and Dragonlance. Dean Koontz. And Lord of the Rings—the original—faded into the background. My obsession with it was too much—too intense. For, when it came to Lord of the Rings, I would have to sit and watch the movies without allowing anything to interrupt. And after it was over, I’d be lost in the thought of it. Maybe because I was reminded of my original, childish obsession with it. Or maybe because it’s still–and will always be–the One Fandom To Rule Them All.
So, I usually studiously avoid it, lest I once more be pulled into that black hole of fandom worship. But it’s hard, sometimes. Like with the Hobbit movies being in theaters. After watching An Unexpected Journey (midnight showing, of course), I spent the entire next day moping around in an obsessive haze. The same with Desolation of Smaug, just a few weeks ago. And now, here I am, watching Fellowship of the Ring again with my roommate who’s never seen them. And what am I doing? Not working on my own writing. Just writing about my deep and abiding love of Lord of the Rings.
And I’m falling in love all over again.