So, yesterday’s ranting aside, a number of totally random thoughts on world-building and detail stay with me on this read of The Silmarillion.
I have loved The Silmarillion for far too long to be able to write a candid review, so I’m not going to try. Reading it adds texture and delight to reading The Lord of the Rings. And while it can be both turgid and erratic, it still makes me cry. However, I couldn’t get through it this time without gritting my teeth in a few places. Today I’m going to indulge some of my pet peeves.
Tolkien is at least partly responsible for my ongoing love affair with detailed world-building. I’m the irritating beta reader who says things like ‘I love the characters, but how does the economy work?’. Middle-Earth is saturated in detail, its history embedded into its landscape; the stories studded with songs and legends. But I still have a few questions…
One of the many great joys of re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring is re-setting my memories from the films to the original text. Don’t get me wrong – I love the film (and Fellowship is by far my favourite), but there’s an awful lot of re-interpretation of character for cinematic purposes. Today I shall flail happily about spending time with some old friends.
The delightful Rinn proposed a month-long love-in for all things Middle-Earth (and designed the banner – thank you Rinn!). As I haven’t read The Lord of the Rings since that Jackson fellow made it easy not to, I decided to join her. And oh my. Yes, that’s right, this was my favourite world for years.