love week | fictional guys i’d totally marry.

Hello all!  Welcome to the week of Valentine’s Day, which usually finds me and my single friends eating chocolate and watching sappy movies.  (The same can probably be said of you, too, if you’re single – don’t even try to lie to me.)  This week, I’m going to be indulging in all things romantic, because even if I’m not in a relationship, I can at least enjoy the fictional people who are, right?

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I was going to write a blog post on my favorite fictional couples, but it turns out I already did that (and my post is pretty dang great, so check it out).  I’ve also done post after post after post about being single (going twenty-two years strong, how’s that for a RECORD), so read those, too.

So since my sister is getting flowers from a male non-relative who likes her for the second year in a row, I’m going to think about all the fictional guys I’d totally marry if they existed.

No judgment, guys.  You and I both know that I have Standards and A List, and I probably wouldn’t actually marry half of these guys, but it’s fun to pretend, so… no judgment.

Anne-and-Gil-talking.jpgGilbert Blythe | Anne of Green Gables

Because who the crap could resist those beautiful eyes, that dazzling smile, and just his entire winning personality???  Anne tried, but couldn’t for long.  He’d tease you but he’d also love the heck outta you.  I’m down for that.

“There would never be anyone for me but you. “

Levi Stewart | Fangirl

This one’s obvious – he loves books (even though he can’t read very well), he’s a fanboy, he’s super sweet and super funny, and he works at Starbucks and makes his own unique drinks – which he brings to Cather.  I mean, it’s a win-win-win.

When she opened her door, Levi was sitting in the hallway, his legs bent in front of him, hunched forward on his knees. He looked up when she stepped out.
“I’m such an idiot,” he said.
Cath fell between his knees and hugged him.
“I can’t believe I said that,” he said. “I can’t even go nine hours without seeing you.”

Neville Longbottom | Harry Potter

Nev wasn’t much to look at when he was younger (I blame it on the fake teeth and fatsuits they put Matt in, because he wasn’t that ugly in the book) and he’s a tad forgetful, but he’s got a heart of gold.  Plus, he bailed Harry out more than once.  What’s not to love?

“I’ll join you when Hell freezes over,” said Neville. “Dumbledore’s Army!” he shouted, and there was an answering cheer from the crowd, whom Voldemort’s Silencing Charms seemed unable to hold.

HIS. EYES..pngPeeta Mellark | The Hunger Games

M’KAY, listen UP.  My college/career Bible study got into a heated debate about Gale vs. Peeta and I’m pretty sure Team Peeta won because (1) he saved Katniss’s life more than once, (2) Gale basically killed Prim, and (3) he’s such a strong guy – physically, emotionally, and mentally.  I’ll always be Team Peeta.

“We were five. You had a plaid dress and your hair…it was in two braids instead of one. … So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She put you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, ever bird outside the windows fell silent. And right when your song ended, I knew -just like your mother- I was a goner.”

Faramir | Lord of the Rings

My siblings and I just recently introduced some friends to Lord of the Rings, and watching the extended versions all over again rekindled my love for this man.  He’s selfless, sacrificial, and willing to do anything for those he loves (even his deadbeat dad, who doesn’t love him at all).  Move over, Eowyn – I’d marry this guy so hard.

“Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?” she said. “And would you have your proud folk say of you: ‘There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Numenor to choose?”
“I would,” said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.

Mac Campbell | Rose in Bloom

If you know who this guy is, bless you.  He’s a bookworm, super smart, and just the sweetest little pumpkin that there ever was.  The first time I read Eight Cousins, I knew I loved him, and Rose in Bloom just cemented my adoration for this guy.

“What have you decided to be, Mac?” asked Rose, as they went up the avenue side by side.
“A man first, and a good one if possible; after that, what God pleases.”
Something in the tone, as well as the words, made Rose look up quickly into Mac’s face, to see a new expression there.  It was indescribable; but she felt as if she had often done when watching the mists part suddenly, giving glimpses of some mountaintop, shining serene and high against the blue.
“I think you will be something splendid; for you really look quite glorified, walking under this arch of yellow leaves with the sunshine on your face,” she exclaimed, conscious of a sudden admiration never felt before; for Mac was the plainest of all the cousins.
“I don’t know about that; but I have my dreams and aspirations, and some of them are pretty high ones.  Aim at the best, you know, and keep climbing if you want to get on,” he said, looking at the asters with an inward sort of smile, as if he and they had some sweet secret between them.

dylan-dylan-ox27brien-hot-sexy-beast-Favim.com-1068521.pngStiles Stalinski | Teen Wolf

Here’s where my “no judgment” rule comes in.  Don’t ask how I found this show, why I started watching it, or how far into it I am.  Never mind, I’ll give you one answer – I started watching it because of Dylan O’Brien, whom I love, which is obviously the reason why I love Stiles.  He’s hilarious, loyal, and – as much as he denies it – heroic.

“The ten-year plan for making Lydia fall in love with me may have to stretch to fifteen, but the plan is definitely still in motion.”

Chandler Bing | F.R.I.E.N.D.S

I don’t love Chandler as much as I am him, which is probably why our marriage wouldn’t last a year, but I’d still take him.  I’ve always wanted to marry a funny guy, and Chandler is a million times that, plus he’s got a super-sweet heart and a genuinely caring spirit.  I’ll take it, even if it’d only last a little while.  (But then I’d give him back to Monica because they’re my otp.)

“I thought that it mattered what I said or where I said it. Then I realized the only thing that matters is that you, you make me happier than I ever thought I could be.  And if you’ll let me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the same way.  Monica, will you marry me?”

Shawn Hunter | Boy Meets World

SHAWN IS MY PRECIOUS BABY AND I WILL LOVE HIM ‘TIL THE DAY I DIE.  No kidding, I liked him in the first episode, but I really loved him around Episode 17 – The Fugitive (you know, the episode where he blows up a mailbox).  I just want to love and protect him and give him everything he ever deserved that the world never gave him.  Everything – and I do mean everything – went wrong for him, yet he emerged stronger than anyone thought possible.  GAH.

Cory: Okay, so after the prom, romance in the air, you and Angela, you’re gonna look in each other’s eyes, and…
Shawn: Me and Angela? I don’t know. Maybe. What do you think, we sat down and discussed it? How dorky do you think we are? What about you and Topanga?
Cory: We sat down and discussed it.

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Chris-Evans1.jpgSteve Rogers | Captain America

Chivalric hero from the ’40s with a super hot body?  Heck yes I would.

Peggy: You have no idea how to talk to a woman, do you?
Steve: I think this is the longest conversation I’ve had with one.  Women aren’t exactly lining up to dance with a guy they might step on.
Peggy: You must have danced…
Steve: Well, asking a woman to dance always seemed so terrifying.  And in the past few years, it just didn’t seem to matter that much.  Figured I’d wait.
Peggy: For what?
Steve: Right partner.

Sir Percy Blakeney | The Scarlet Pimpernel

The same exact sentence for the guy above could literally be used for Percy, so… heck yes I would again.  I own four (4) copies of The Scarlet Pimpernel, various paperback copies of the other books, and I think I’ve read ten out of the sixteen books (and El Dorado is the best).  I love this guy.

Had he but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear–a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love and as soon as her light footstep had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade, where her tiny hand had rested last.

George Knightley | Emma

My first reading of this book (don’t hate me; I’m just now going through my classics phase) basically cemented my love for this guy – and also the fact that Jonny Lee Miller will always be the best Knightley fIGHT ME.

“I cannot make speeches, Emma:” he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.”

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Jack Pearson | This is Us

Jess who?  Move over, kid – Milo’s back and this time he’s even better than you.  Jack is literally the best male character on the small screen today.  Dad goals, husband goals, friend goals – just everything goals.  In the words of Rebecca, his oh-so-lucky wife, he’s “freaking Superman.”  I’ve loved gushing over him with my mom friends at the preschool playground and I know that I’ll still be gushing over him over the next few years as the show progresses.

“You know, when I was a little boy, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Adults always ask little kids that.  I never had a good answer – not ’til I was twenty-eight.  Until the day that I met you.  That’s when I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wanted to be the man that made you happy.”

What about you?  Any men you’d totally take?  I claim all of these guys, though… at least ’til I find an actual real-life male non-relative to obsess over.  😉

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the bedtime movie tag.

{Looks like I’m in a season of doing things I “never” do!  I haven’t done a tag in forever… basically because I thank people for tagging me and then I forget to do them.  Whoops.  So I’ve been thinking – is there anything you guys would like to see here that I “never” do, or don’t do enough?  I’m trying to blog more regularly, and any suggestions that you have about what to post would be great.  :)}

As I was drinking a mug of coffee when I read Eva’s tag post, I consider myself tagged.  Booyah.

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relationship goals. (after my husband stops lying about who he is, that is…)

1. A movie that kept you up all night

This one’s tricky…  I’ve done an all-nighter with my sister, if that counts!  We watched Divergent, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Mom’s Night Out.  Another night I stayed up super late watching a movie was when I watched Our Mutual Friend with my uncle and aunt.  We stayed up ’til 4:45 finishing it because we didn’t start it early enough (and it’s like six hours long).  *yawn*  (But, seriously, if you haven’t watched this, what are you doing with your life?!  Watch. It.)

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he’s really not.

2. A movie that made you scared to sleep

I remember feeling really scared to sleep after I watched the first episode of the BBC’s Sherlock.  For some reason, I thought a cabbie would come and murder me.  YIKES.  I also couldn’t sleep very well after my siblings and I marathoned eight episodes of Monk.  Again with the murderous people.  Crazy!

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“and got bi-zay!”

3. A movie that made you go to sleep

I actually don’t fall asleep during movies very often – I’m too excited about them!  I almost fell asleep while watching The Incredibles with a bunch of young adults, though… but that’s because we started it at about one in the morning.  What happens at WITAlive stays there.  XD

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take a wild guess as to whose side i’m on. ; )

4. A movie that left you tossing and turning all night in anticipation of its release

Oh my gosh, SO. MANY. MOVIES.  The ones I’m currently super-duper excited about are Mockingjay Part Two and Captain America: Civil War.  I’d just like to extend my apologies in advance for those who will be in the theater with me when I watch those two.  It’s gonna be so bad.  I’m gonna be such a mess after those two.

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plus they both have super-sad backstories, so they can get over their ptsd together. couple bonding.

5. Your dream boyfriend/girlfriend ship of two separate movies

Hmm…  I don’t really ship characters outside of their movies! … Oh, wait – yes, I do.  I’m a huge Jackelsa shipper.  HUGE.  No shame.  I think they should totally get together.

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and that’s the moment i started crying.

6. A movie that would be your worst nightmare to live in

Probably The Hunger Games, especially if I got reaped.  If I survived the initial shock, the training, and the interviews without any fatal panic attacks, I’d probably jump off the pedestal too soon and get killed by the mines.  Even if I survived all of that, I’d probably hide out until someone killed me.

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hey, look, it’s most of my favorite people in the series!

7. A movie that reminds you of nighttime

This one’s hard because my family typically only watches movies at nighttime, so they all remind me of night!  HA.  I think I’m gonna have to go with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, though, because most of it takes place at night (twice).  That ending will never not throw me though a loop.  I read the book and was like, “Whaaaaaaat is going onnnnnn?” for basically the last thirty pages.  : D

Today

annie, peeta, and joanna. T_T

8. A movie that has a nightmarish cliffhanger

HELLO, MOCKINGJAY PART ONE.  Peeta’s straining against the bonds that tie him down, trying to escape so he can kill Katniss, and she’s just staring at him with this sort of shocked horror on her face.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie with such a horrible cliffhanger.  (Unless one of the Lord of the Rings movies count.  Those have terrible endings.)

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j.k. rowling.

9. A movie you actually dreamed about

This one’s hard because I don’t have very many dreams.  No idea why, but it’s true.  I just sleep too hard, I guess.  XD  Even after wracking my brain for several minutes, I still can’t think of one.  Yikes.  I did have a dream about Armie Hammer yesterday, though.  And it was beautiful.  🙂

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all i need is sam and the light of elendil to keep all of these scary monsters away. 🙂

10. A movie monster you would not want to find under your bed

A dementor!  UGH.  Imagine waking up to those creepy screams and then having your soul sucked out while you’re struggling to think of a memory happy enough to summon your patronus with.  Or maybe Shelob from Return of the King.  Big spiders always freak me out.  (“Why’d it have to be spiders?  Why couldn’t it have been ‘Follow the butterflies’?!”)  Or the Ringwaiths from Lord of the Rings.  “Bagginsssss… Shiiiiiire…”  *shudders*  I watch too many freaky movies.  XD

If you’re wearing white, consider yourself part of the family tagged!  Comment with the link to your answers – or, if you don’t have a blog, just leave your answers in the comments.  (Also, leave your suggestions for posts in the comments.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about my blog and what I can do to make it better!)

review – the lord of the rings: the musical (repost)

I’ve been listening to this music again and it reminded me of how great – and underrated! – this musical is. The new tour will be huge, guys. Trust me. 🙂 (I haven’t had too much time to write posts lately, so this is a repost. Never fear, I’ve got posts in my head, so they’re coming.)

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“There’s a road calling you to stray.” – ‘The Road Goes On,’ The Lord of the Rings: The Musical

When I tell my friends that there’s a LotR musical, nine times out of ten, they say, “Wait, WHAT?! How can you even have a LotR musical?! It’s impossible!”

Actually, no, it’s quite possible. It’s been done. And it’s amazing.

(Note: I’ve only listened to the soundtrack, which is the foundation of this review.)

The Story

Act I

news-graphics-2007-_638437aThe half-Elven maiden Arwen sings the prologue, urging those to whom she sings to trust their instincts (“Prologue” (‘Lasto i lamath’)). In the region of Middle-earth known as the Shire, Bilbo Baggins, an eccentric and wealthy Hobbit, celebrates his one hundred eleventh birthday by vanishing from his birthday party, leaving his greatest treasure, a mysterious magic Ring, to his young relative Frodo Baggins (“Springle Ring”) . The Ring is greatly desired by the Dark Lord Sauron, who could use it to conquer the world, and must be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom in Sauron’s country of Mordor. Frodo and his friends Samwise Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took set out along the road that leads out of the Shire (“The Road Goes On”). Meanwhile, the corrupt wizard Saruman also desires the Ring (“Saruman”).
At the Inn of the Prancing Pony in the village of Bree, Frodo and his friends sing and dance for their fellow guests (“The Cat and the Moon”). With the assistance of the Ranger Strider, the four Hobbits escape pursuit by the Black Riders, servants of Sauron, and safely reach the Ford of Bruinen (“Flight to the Ford”). Awaiting them at the Elven settlement of Rivendell is Arwen, the beloved of Strider, whose true name is Aragorn, heir to the kingship of the Lands of Men (“The Song of Hope”). Arwen’s father, Lord Elrond, calls a Council of Elves, Men and Dwarves at which it is decided that Frodo will carry the Ring to Mordor. The Fellowship of the Ring sets out from Rivendell: Frodo and his three fellow Hobbits, Aragorn, the human warrior Boromir, the Elf Legolas, the Dwarf Gimli, and the great wizard Gandalf the Grey. Arwen and the people of Rivendell invoke the holy power of the star Eärendil to protect and guide the Fellowship on its journey (“Star of Eärendil”). In the ancient, ruined Dwarf-mines of Moria, Gandalf confronts a Balrog, a monstrous creature of evil, and falls into the darkness.

Act II

inside-lord-of-rings_t614The Fellowship takes refuge in Lothlórien, the mystical realm of Galadriel, an Elven lady of great power and wisdom (“The Golden Wood”, “Lothlórien”). As their journey south continues, Boromir attempts to take the Ring from Frodo; Frodo and Sam flee from the rest of the Fellowship, and Boromir falls in battle. Gandalf returns in time to intervene at the Siege of the City of Kings, where the Lands of Men are under attack by the forces of Saruman and the Orcs of Mordor (“The Siege of the City of Kings”). Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam are joined on their journey by Gollum, a twisted creature who long possessed the Ring and desires to have it for his own again. As they approach Mordor, Frodo and Sam sing to each other about the power of stories (“Now and for Always”). Gollum is moved by their song, but the evil side of his personality asserts itself and he plans to betray the Hobbits (“Gollum/Sméagol”).

Act III

elvesIf Aragorn can defeat the forces of evil and reclaim the kingship of Men, he will receive Arwen’s hand in marriage (“The Song of Hope” (Duet)). Galadriel casts spells to protect the forces of good in the final battle (“Wonder”, “The Final Battle”). Frodo, Sam and Gollum reach Mount Doom, where the Ring is destroyed when Gollum takes it from Frodo and falls into the fire with it. Aragorn becomes King and marries Arwen (“City of Kings”), but Frodo, wearied by his quest, and the great Elves must leave Middle-earth forever and sail to the lands of the West (“Epilogue (Farewells)”). Bidding farewell to their friend, Sam, Merry and Pippin resume their lives in the Shire (“Finale”).  (from Wikipedia)

503817976_1904edc655As you can see, LotRM follows the book and, in some cases, is more true to it than the movie trilogy. In some ways, however, it’s a little different. For instance, there is no Eowyn character (or Faramir – and all the Faramir Fans say, “Nooooooo!”), and the roles of Theoden and Denathor have been combined. (I know, right?) However, other than that, the story is the same. It’s really amazing how they pulled it off on stage, in front of a live audience, for 492 performances.

Unfortunately, the musical tanked due to money and budgeting issues and a few minor accidents on set. As one reviewer put it, “Stripping away the beautiful sets, lavish staging, seventeen lifts and three revolves, LotRM was at its base level a confused, plodding, dull selection of scenes from the books – with the occasional moment of brilliance, just as a reminder of how good the show could have been. The challenge of adapting all three books (over nine hours worth of film) into one three hour long stage show (incorporating songs and circus style staging) was simply too great – and the result was plain for all to see.” It was a huge job to undertake, and I think everyone involved should be commended for their efforts.

The Music

I discovered LotRM in early 2008, bought the soundtrack soon afterward, and have been hooked on it ever since. The tunes get stuck in my head – which is delightful – and I’ve been trying to master the many fiddle solos in ‘The Cat and the Moon’ ever since. My sister and I bought several highlights from the album, which I will review below. If you only have a short amount of time to “try out” this musical, I’d recommend these songs.

‘The Road Goes On’ is one of the first songs in the musical. It starts out with Frodo and Sam, then Merry and Pippin join in, then the Elves and Rangers join in, and it just gets bigger and bigger.

‘The Cat and the Moon’ is the song that Frodo and the other hobbits sing at The Prancing Pony, and it’s one of the most toe-tapping songs I’ve ever heard. My siblings and I have done many a jig to this song, and my brother and I have even played it and danced around a fire once. It’s that kind of song.

‘Lothlorien’ is another favorite. Legolas starts it, then he is joined by the other elves. Galadriel (wonderfully played by Laura Michelle Kelly, of Mary Poppins: The Musical fame) comes in for a solo in the beginning of the second verse. (The first day I was able to hit all of her high notes, I nearly jumped for joy!)

‘Now and For Always’ is arguably my favorite song in the entire soundtrack. It depicts the friendship between Frodo and Sam to perfection.

‘Star of Earendil’ is one of my new favorites. It wasn’t among the “highlights” that my sister and I bought, but it definitely should have been. It’s Arwen’s solo and quite beautiful.

‘Wonder’ is the last of my favorites. It’s one of Galadriel’s solos and such a pretty song. (It’s one of my go-to songs when I feel like I need to sing something big and powerful.) ‘Shine forever, beacon of light! Blaze in the air, vanquishing night!’

In Conclusion

LordOfTheRingsMusi_1774259cAlthough the musical didn’t do very well, I commend everyone’s efforts. Ever since I first heard about the musical, I’ve wanted to see it. When it officially closed in 2008, I was heartbroken. However, now that it’s being revived for a world tour, I’m looking forward to seeing it! (WOOT!!)

This musical is highly, highly recommended and I think every true Tolkiendil should see it – or, at the very least, listen to the music.

Movie Review – The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

301882id1_TheHobbit_TDOS_Alt_27x40_1Sheet.indd“What have we done?” – Bilbo, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug  (hereafter referred to as Desolation)

Some of you may know that I’m a Tolkiendil.  (But only the some who have braved the storm of the LotR Blog Party this past week.  [Y’all are awesome!])

Some of you may also know that I saw Desolation yesterday.

Some of you may know further more that I enjoyed it.  MUCHLY.

Behold.  My calm, spoiler-free review, with a very restrained amount of caps lock.  (Yeah, it was hard.)

 

The Story

HBT2-TRL1-008r“”The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way the skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood.  After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all – a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself – The Dragon Smaug.” (from the official website)

Yeah, that’s basically it.  We missed the first fifteen minutes due to traffic on our way to the theater, so I didn’t see Beorn (argh).  The rest of the movie was basically the above, with a lot of fighting, “very important dialogue,” and character-building.  Desolation was most definitely a lot more tense than An Unexpected Journey, with an action level of Two Towers.

 

The Characters and Cast

4Bilbo Baggins is a very likeable little hobbit.  He’s been dragged from his comfortable home and taken on this wild adventure.  When we meet him again in Desolation, he’s changed.  He’s slowly gone from wanting to turn around because he forgot his pocket handkerchief to being able to battle spiders and, hello, talk to a very fierce dragon.  He’s a little dim-witted at times (the beginning of the barrel scene, anyone?), but he is slowly embracing the Took side of himself and becoming more of a persevering warrior and leader, like Thorin.

And there’s not much to say about Martin Freeman… other than the fact that he has done it again.  He’s portrayed Bilbo with perfection and knows his character very well, never going overboard with either Bilbo’s timid side, nor his brave side.  My favorite part was when the gold starts shifting and he realizes that, good gracious, the dragon is alive.  He just sits down in the gold, trying to make himself as small as possible.  So funny!

21Thorin Oakenshield is the leader of the Company and the rightful King under the Mountain.  He’s eager to get back his kingdom and will stop at basically nothing to reclaim his homeland and take back Erebor.

Richard Armitage clearly knows what he’s doing.  I watched an interview where he explained that he had written things about Thorin’s backstory, not for publication or anything, but so that he can understand his character better.  It definitely shows.  He adds so much depth to Thorin’s character, it’s astounding.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUGTauriel comes next, because she’s the new addition to the cast of characters.  And, boy, is she amazing!  A warrior elf, but not without a feminine side.  She is made aware by Thranduil (wonderfully and somewhat creepily portrayed by Lee Pace) that his son, Legolas, loves her.  Kili also loves her.  (For all who are worried and nervous, this is as far as the love triangle goes.)  And, hey, who doesn’t like her?  She’s strong-willed and brave, not to mention a wonderful shot.  Another aspect of her character is made known, but I won’t go into that because, ya know, spoilers.

Evangeline Lily played Tauriel, and did a great job making her fierce, yet gentle and feminine.  I really enjoyed Tauriel and can’t wait to see what happens to her in There and Back Again.  (I’ve already been speculating with friends and family about this….  We shall see.)

9135282_600x338Gandalf is the same old Wizard we’ve known since LotR and Journey.  In Desolation, he guides the Company as far as Mirkwood, then leaves on business.  In the book, we don’t know what his business is and have to be content with that.  In Desolation, Peter Jackson and his League of Awesome People have expounded on the story, explaining where Gandalf has gone and how his “business” ties into the events circling around LotR.

Ian McKellan again portrays Gandalf very well.  (It’s always fun to see him in a different role and say, “Hey, it’s Chauvelin!”)  Without going into much detail, Gandalf has his own action scenes and it’s evident that McKellan worked very hard on making the fighting seem life-like.

SMAUG.  The creepiest part of the entire movie was the last half, during which Smaug was a key character.  He was massive and scary and everything a dragon needs to be!  (And, no, I am not going to put a picture of him because, duuuuh, that’d ruin it for you.  There are a few pictures online if you must see them – look elsewhere.)

Benedict Cumberbatch did a wonderful job voicing Smaug (and the Necromancer), but you couldn’t reeeeeally tell that it was him because his voice was altered slightly to make it deeper and fit Smaug a little more.  Still, it sounded like a jaguar hiding in a cello.  (And it was suuuuper cool to “see” Ben and Martin on the same screen once more.)

Honorable mentions:

25Bard – He’s really cool!  He also doesn’t look a day over twenty-eight, which makes it a little unlikely that he has three kids, but, hey.  I don’t mind.  : )

Kili – He’s got a much bigger role in this movie, which, no doubt, has further endeared him to those who became fans of him during Journey.  Sadly, I can’t say anything other than that without ruining half of the movie.

Balin – I was really glad to see that PJ stayed true to the book and had him encourage Bilbo right before he went to get the Arkenstone.

Legolas – He’s back.  Considering it’s ten years later, post-Pirates and whatever else Orlando Bloom has been in, Legolas is played much better and, at sixty years younger, he’s a much better fighter.  The shield-slide at Helm’s Deep ain’t nothin’ compared to some of the awesome moves he pulls in Desolation.

And all the other dwarves were amazing yet again.  : )

Also, the end credits song is… awesome.

 

Objectionable Content

As I said before, t19his is definitely a ton creepier and more intense than Journey.  I was the only person in my family to watch the whole thing without covering my eyes.  Spiders jump out at you, the orcs are as creepy as ever, and the battle scenes are pretty gory.  There was also one minor crude joke that I thought could have been left out.  For more details, see the PluggedIn review.  (However, there are a lot of spoilers in the review, so only read it if you feel like you need to.)

 

The Bottom Line

I read several reviews that made me a little hesitant to see it, but I thought, “Hey, it’s Tolkien and PJ.  It’s bound to be good.”  I ignored the evil reviewers and saw the movie with friends (which is always the best!).  And I’m really, reeeeeeally glad I saw it.  My siblings and I can’t stop talking about how amazing it was.  Even though, yes, we do talk about the parts we thought were slightly “off-the-book,” we still always end with, “It was sooooo amazing!”  And I’ll definitely be seeing it again in the theater – to watch the first fifteen minutes and for that great feeling of being unable to breathe while certain things happen to a certain character.  And we’re still talking about how insane the cliffhanger at the end is.  *exasperated sigh*  Now we have to wait a “whole ‘nother year” to see There and Back Again.  Argh.

So here’s the bottom line: If you’re even a teeeeny fan of Tolkien and liked Journey and LotR…

GO SEE IT!!!  (Whoops.  There goes that pesky caps lock.  Oh, well.)

It’s Over Now, the Music of the Night!

“A Short-Cut To Mushrooms” is nearly over. *sniffle*  We’ve had such a great time planning this and making our plans a reality, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.  It’s been a marvelous experience for both of us (although we do have a list as long as the road to Mordor of things to do “after NaNo, after the blog party” :P).

But wait!  It’s not quiiiiiite over yet.  It’s now time to unveil the “special surprise” we’ve been telling you about!  You see, we discovered that we have the same music book: a book of violin pieces from the LotR movies, with piano accompaniments (we both play violin, and Eowyn plays piano as well).  So we got this crazy idea of putting one of the pieces together, and, somehow, we managed to work it out.  Eowyn recorded the piano and sent it to Jane, who recorded the violin and sent it back.  Then Eowyn made a video to match it.

So without further ado, may we present “In Dreams” by Miss Jane Bennet and Eowyn!

(At the time of the writing of this post, Eowyn is sick and can’t figure out how to post the video.  So you’ll just have to run on over to Miss Jane’s blog and see it there!  Terribly sorry.)

And now, we really are saying good-bye, so we’ll close this with one of the most gorgeous quotes in the entire trilogy.

“And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air
and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien,  The Return of the King

Personal message from Eowyn to Jane:

Thank you, dearest Jane, for giving me the opportunity to do this – especially the fact that I’ve been able to do this with YOU!  I have had SUCH a blast – as you probably know from all the emails that have passed between us!  I especially can’t believe we did ^THAT^.  Gracious SAKES, it’s been a whirlwind of fun!  We definitely need to do something huge like this in the future – oh, wait.  WE ARE.  😀   Can’t wait to continue our friendship, knowing that, together, we’ve done something as crazy and fun as this.  I also can’t wait to see what God has for your future with your writing, violin-playing, and everything else you’ve got going on!

Congratulations on your new status as Supergirl, Gollum.  You absolutely and most positively deserve it!!!  The video below is for you, girl.

CARRYING THE BANNER!!!

-Eowyn-

At Long Last

Well. Today is the 13th of December, the day which LotR fans, Hobbit geeks, Tolkiendils, and fantasy lovers have been waiting for since…since birth. (Sorry! ;))
Actually, since December 14th, 2012, when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came out.  Yes, today is the day on which The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug is coming out, and we are both tremendously excited. As in, TREMENDOUSLY EXCITED!!!
This is what we’re doing right now.  For a different reason, of course. 😉
 
Neither of us are getting to see it right away (Eowyn has to wait until later today, and Miss Jane has to wait a WEEK ;P), but we’re still celebrating today because that’s when it’s coming out and available to watch. We’ll both be keeping out an eager eye for reviews. We’re enthusiastic about Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug in particular, and about seeing (hearing?) him and Martin Freeman interact, because
we’ve been watching some of
Sherlock recently. And if he demands silence in any way, shape or form, we’re going to be thrilled to tears.  Martin Freeman we KNOW will be good, so we certainly don’t need to worry about him, but we’re super excited (we need a thesaurus ;)) about him as well.
Eowyn loved and was enraptured by the first Hobbit movie; Miss Jane took some persuading, seeing as she wasn’t too interested in LotR (Note from Jane: Don’t kill me!  Please! ;P) when Journey came out. But now, we’re both practically hyperventilating over the awesomeness of it all; this has fulfilled 364 days of waiting, and we’re hoping that it will live up to our expectations (it WILL. It’s just not possible for this movie to not be good.), and we’re already looking forward to the third movie next year… So happy Hobbit-release day!! 🙂
Who’s going to see the premier? What are your thoughts on it?

Giveaway Results

We had seven entries in the giveaway this week, and we have results and a winner! The scores are as follows:

Serena: 17

Carissa Horton: 22

AnElvenPrincess: 22

Kiri Liz: 23

Bea: 16

Arwen: 15

Frankie: 16

And our winner is Kiri Liz! Congratulations, Kiri! Email us at miss.anne.elliot [at] gmail [dot] com within the next week to receive your prize!

Thank you to everyone who participated!