I’ve liked fantasy for as long as I can remember. In my late teens, I frequented a shop that was named after a Middle Earth location. It was a shop that sold roleplaying games, figurines, card games, and other stuff along those lines. It also tables where you could play games. It was a hangout and meeting place for my friend group for many years. I knew (and know) a lot of people who really like fantasy. So, it’s no surprise that when Peter Jackson’s LOTR movies came out, I was interested. Not SUPER into following all the news, but into it. And, naturally, I went to see Fellowship of the Ring on opening night with a group of friends. There were enough of us to fill a whole row in the theater, but in addition to the friends I came with, I kept spotting other friends in the audience all around us. The energy in that theater was amazing, and it’s a really fun memory!

The movie poster for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It features several of the characters: Frodo is the largest image in the center, behind him are Aragon and Gandalf, and next to them Galadriel, Arwen, Boromir, Gimli, Legolas, Sam, Pippin, and Merry. The ring script is superimposed over Frodo's cloack, and fades out, along with his body, towards the bottom of the image. Below that is in image of the Nazgul on horses, and below that, the title of the movie and all the movie details in smaller print.

However, despite all that, I wasn’t really expecting anything. I just expected… a movie. But then it started playing, and it immediately grabbed me. I went back and saw it 14 more times in a theater (over the next 6 months or so), countless times on TV, and a few more time when it was put back in theaters for anniversaries. I joined a fan forum (those were the days 😛 ) as soon as I got home from the theater. I met some of my best friends there, and they are still my friends to this day.

Still from Fellowship of the Ring: closeup of the One Ring on Sauron's armored finger.

Some of my favorite things are all the details fitting the different styles, the dirty fingernails and clothes, and the soundtrack, which continues to be my most played bit of music (I often put it on when I’m working).

In short, LOTR and its fandom has been hugely influential in my life. I may have a thing or two to say about it.