The new year has dawned and the world did not end. I was hoping for a mini-apocalypse - a few alien sightings, maybe a few abductions. Nothing serious, you know. But that failed, and the apocalypse party my dad threw rocked.
At any rate, the lack of the world's ending meant that there was time for me to read The Silmarillion and start on The Lord of the Rings again. With The Hobbit movie being released, I've been on something of a Middle Earth kick recently. I even managed to get my entire family to sit down and rewatch all the extended edition LOTR movies again (though not all in one day).
We ate bag after bag of potato chips while my brother played on his DS. My dad tried to get my sister to stop flashing her phone light every time she texted her boyfriend by flashing his own phone light in her face every time she tried. My mom, at least, wasn't multitasking. And I served as the trusty Tolkien encyclopedia that attempted to answer every question that came randomly springing into their heads in a never ending stream during all the most intense and emotional scenes of the movies. Some of them were easy to answer. Some of them have no answer. See if you could have kept up with them:
Galadriel's daughter, Celebrian.
Is she dead?
No, but she's left for the Undying Lands already.
Why didn't Elrond push Isildur into the Cracks of Doom?
He didn't want to be mean.
How old is Legolas?
A case can be made for anything between 500 to about 3000.
How old is Gimli?
How old is Gollum?
Between 500 and 600.
How old is Aragorn?
Regarding Elrond, is he older than her son?
Yes. Yes, he is older than his grandson.
Why don't they just catch a ride to Mt. Doom on the eagles?
Because Tolkien only appears to use the eagles when he can think of no other way to solve something.
Doesn't Gandalf die now?
Not quite yet.
How does Gandalf come back to life?
God resurrected him.
Who are the gods of Middle Earth?
Eru/Iluvatar is God. He made the Ainur, which are the Valar and Maiar, or demi-gods, that oversee things in Middle Earth.
Isn't Gandalf a Maia? Wait, so Gandalf is a god?
Yes, in a manner of speaking. So is the Balrog and Saruman and Sauron.
they're all Maia, who would win in a fight between Gandalf, the Balrog,
Not the balrog, as you well saw.
Why doesn't Gandalf fight Sauron personally?
Gandalf is supposed to be a guide. He's not really allowed to fight Sauron personally.
Can elves read minds?
Galadriel sort of can.
How do uruk-hai spawn?
Do you actually want to know?
Why doesn't Arwen just stay immortal and leave Middle Earth after Aragorn dies?
Because that would let her have the best of both worlds.
To what towers do the two towers in The Two Towers refer?
Barad-Dur and Orthanc/Isenguard.
Did Faramir actually see Boromir in the river?
Probably not. He gets prophetic dreams sometimes.
Is Aragorn actually dreaming about Arwen?
They probably have a telepathic link.
Why doesn't Wormtongue have eyebrows?
Because he's creepier that way.
What happens to elves when they die?
They're reincarnated in the Halls of Mandos in the Undying Lands, where
they wander around for a few thousand years before eventually being
released to rejoin their kin. Nobody knows what will happen to them when the world ends.
What about men?
They disappear for a while and nobody knows what happens in the interim period, but after the world ends, they go to hang out with Eru.
What about dwarves?
They probably share the fate of humans, but the creatures of Middle Earth argue about that.
What about hobbits?
Probably the same as humans.
Since Arwen becomes the species of whoever has her necklace, if Aragorn
really died and Legolas kept it, would she accidentally stay an elf?
No. Her necklace represents her choice, it's not the vehicle of it.
Why don't they let the women fight?
They're waiting for a more desperate situation.
How can they all hear what Saruman is saying?
I think he has a Wizard Project-a-Voice™
Who is the king in Return of the King?
Can you even have real freedom under an ultimate monarch?
Aragorn can manage just about anything.
In comparison to our earth, what cultures would the various Middle Earth nations represent?
Please just watch the movie.
Why is Arwen's fate tied to the Ring?
It's not really. Elrond just said that to Aragorn so that he'd try harder to kill Sauron.
Is Aragorn hedging his bets with Arwen and Eowyn?
Actually, that IS a good question. He doesn't outright tell Eowyn no until after Elrond shows up to tell him that Arwen is staying in Middle Earth for him, so I'm going to have to go with, "yes".
Why doesn't Aragorn curse all his army so they all become unkillable?
The Dead opened themselves up to being cursed by being faithless. All the people currently fighting are the exact opposite of faithless.
Where do the Rohirrim get all their horses?
They breed them.
Where are the dwarves in all this?
Why doesn't Gandalf do that zap-the-light thing again during the battle at Minas Tirith?
I don't know. But while we're on the topic, why don't Merry and Pippin just go on drinking the ent-water forever until they're the size of a mountain, and then go stomp on Sauron's armies?
The Houses of Healing.
Is Faramir there too?
He should be.
Are they falling in love?
Indeed they are.
Do Faramir and Eowyn get married?
Did Aragorn's necklace actually break?
Why didn't Aragorn and the others stay on their horses to fight the orcs?
Because this is a suicide attack. If they stayed on their horses they might actually have a dim chance of surviving.
Why doesn't Cirdan have a beard?
I don't know; he's supposed to have one.
If hobbits go to the Undying Lands, do they still die?
Who's that? (x17) Eomer. It's always Eomer.
Is that in the book? (x26) Yes. No. More or less. I don't remember.
What'd he say? (x53) IF YOU STOPPED ASKING QUESTIONS AND WATCHED THE STINKING MOVIE YOU MIGHT KNOW!
I did preempt a few of their questions, though.
Me, in anticipation of the next scene, where Frodo is mysteriously teletransported from Shelob's lair to Lothlorien: I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENING AND I DON'T KNOW HOW.
My brother: Whoa! What just happened? How did he get there?
Me: I refer you to my previous statement.
Me, as the Eye of Sauron comes crashing to the ground: BECAUSE THE FOUNDATIONS OF BARAD-DUR WERE BUILT WITH THE POWER OF THE RING!
My brother: Oh.
My dad: Is that in the book?
Yet, despite the barrage of questions, I would do it all again happily. Time well spent.
Gimli: What's happening out there?
Legolas: Shall I describe it to you, or would you like me to find you a box?