Every year – on the first day of the year – I watch the Lord of the Rings. I watch the whole thing, the extended edition, all the way through, start to finish. I totally immerse myself in Middle Earth, and I think about if The Lord of the Rings was real and true, and if I was an actual person in that real and true story – who would I be? who have I been? and most importantly who do I want to be?
I’ve blogged this before (Gandalf Changed My Life) – but last year I didn’t talk about it at all. Which I find interesting. And because of that, I’m not entirely sure what my thoughts were – I do remember that I was pretty damn sure that I was a miserable failure at “being Aragorn.” And since I’d failed time and again in my quest to personify the coolest character in the trilogy, I decided to try something totally different.
I decided that I’d give “being Frodo” a go. I had this idea that I would spend the year “taking the ring to Mordor.” The ring being a metaphor for my sugar and crap food addiction. The idea being that how could I ever hope to achieve Aragorn if I couldn’t even defeat the craving for a cookie.
My daughter helped out by giving me a ring… which was really interesting because it did periodically just fall off my finger and try to get itself lost. And I came to really love it… and now that it’s the last day of the year I had to give it back – and I’m missing it quite a bit… my precious…
And no! I did not succeed with Frodo either. Which I think has got to be Sam’s fault and not mine – because we all know that Frodo would never have made it all the way to Mount Doom without Sam – and I didn’t have a Sam, or a Merry or a Pippin. I didn’t have Aragorn, Elrond, Arwyn, or even Gandalph… I was all alone in the dark woods with Grima Wormtongue and Gollum! Both of whom stuck to me like glue for the entire year. So, you can see that my failure to get the ring to Mordor was totally NOT MY FAULT.
Which brought me to the conclusion that it also wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t produce a credible Aragorn persona. Who would Aragorn be if he didn’t have Arwyn, Elrond, and Gandalf? What would he do if he didn’t have a fellowship to lead? Or a destiny to fulfill? I think he’d be sitting around eating cookies and talking to Grima Wormtongue… that’s what I think.
Ok… maybe not… but I’m just saying…
So, this year, I’m going to try something a little more practical. Unless I change my mind after my LOTR marathon tomorrow, my plan is this:
I’m going to be a Ranger. More like Strider than Aragorn. Lurking in the shadows, looking dark and dangerous, protecting the shire – but doing it alone.
Who are the hobbits I protect? My kids… What is the shire? My property… my little piece of the planet. Is there an Arwyn? No, sadly she’s gone to the Grey Havens, hence the lurking about in shadows, and long bouts of alone time. Is there a Frodo and a One Ring? Not my problem. That’s for Aragorn aka Strider to worry about … Me? I’m just a mysterious, unknown Ranger. Instead of taking Frodo and the gang to Rivendale – I take James to MMA practice and Whisky Tango. What about Orcs and Trolls? Some of the dogs I bathe at work fit the bill and some of the people too… And the Nazgul? well, Bank of America comes to mind, they’re probably going to try to sue me – so there’s that looming in the horizon…
Anyway I like it. Self sufficient. Capable. Strong. Dependable in a pinch but not necessarily nice about it. Definitely I’ve got your back. Not afraid of the dark, or dark places, graveyards, dark magick, or difficult questions. That’s who I’m going to strive to be in the new year.
And a ring…
I need a ring…
I miss my precious…
But wait! Maybe I did succeed after all… because if I remember correctly, Frodo did NOT throw the ring into the fires of Mount Doom. He changed his mind at the last minute – and it was Gollum who actually (and inadvertantly) saved middle earth. Had it been up to Frodo, the outcome would have been way different…. So… clearly last year’s self improvement project was doomed from the start!
By the way: This post was migrated from my blogger blog (shirleytwofeathers.blogspot.com) and was first published on 12/31/11.
Over on the Prosperity Project, back in Jan of 2010, I uploaded a thing about Buffy, a sort of introductory story and I was talking about how interesting and informative it might be if we each wrote our own introductory story. Initially, I had the idea of also uploading a blurb about Aragorn, but it was too much. So I said to myself, I’ll just put that part of it here:
Here are the two descriptive paragraphs I found:
“In the Third Age, another tale may be heard, that of Aragorn son of Arathorn, the nine and thirtieth heir in the right line from Isildur. Descended from the faithful of Númenor and whose destiny it was to reclaim the kingship of the fractured realms of Arnor and Gondor.”
“His ways were hard and long, and he became somewhat grim to look upon, unless he chanced to smile; and yet he seemed to Men worthy of honour, as a king that is in exile, when he did not hide his true shape. . . Thus he became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they, for he was elven-wise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, from which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.”
They sound a little intimidating, don’t they? But I thought, what the heck, I wonder what would happen if I made them into a sort of fill in the blanks template. And, VOILA! Here it is:
“In the _________, another tale may be heard, that of _______ (daughter) son of _________, the _____ and _____ heir in the right line from _____ . Descended from the faithful of ______ and whose destiny it was to _______ the _______ of the fractured realms of _____ and _______.”
“(Her) His ways were _____ and ______, and (she) he became somewhat _____ to look upon, unless (she) he chanced to _____ ; and yet (she) he seemed to _____ worthy of _____ , as a _______ that is in exile, when (she) he did not hide his true shape. . . Thus (she) he became at last the most ______ of living _____ , skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they, for (she) he was _______ , and there was a light in (her) his eyes that when they were kindled few could _____ .
(Her) His face was _____ and ______ because of the ______ that was laid on (her) him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of (her) his heart, from which _____ would arise at times like a spring from the rock.”
Now I need to get to work filling in the blanks and seeing what I come up with. When I get it finished, I’ll post it. If you make a similar one, I’d love to see it!
By the way: This post was migrated from my blogger blog (shirleytwofeathers.blogspot.com) and was first published on 1/20/10. I never did fill the form out… maybe I should do that sometime soon!
Ok… I stumbled onto something very cool and hilarious. It’s the very secret diary of Aragorn… something I definitely need if I’m going to be him, don’t you think?
The Very Secret Diary of Aragorn, Son of Arathorn
Ringwraiths killed: 4. V. good.
Met up with Hobbits. Walked forty miles. Skinned a squirrel and ate it.
Still not King.
Stuck on mountain with Hobbits. Boromir really annoying.
Not King yet.
Orcs killed: none. Disappointing.
Stubble update: I look rugged and manly. Yes!
Keep wanting to drop-kick Gimli. Holding myself back.
Still not King.
Sorry no entries lately. V. dark in Mines of Moria. Big Baelrog.
Not King today either.
Orcs killed: 7. V. good.
Stubble update: Looking mangy.
Legolas may be hotter than me.
I wonder if he would like me if I was King?
Beginning to find Frodo disturbingly attractive. Have a feeling if I make a move, Sam would kill me. Also, hairy feet kind of a turn-off.
Still not King.
In Lothlorien. Think Galadriel was hitting on me. Saucy wench.
Nice chat with Boromir. He’s not so bad.
Took a shower. Yay!
But still not King.
Orcs killed: none.
Stubble update: subtly hairy.
Legolas told me that a shadow and a threat had been growing in his mind.
I think Legolas might be kinda gay.
Nope, not King.
Orcs killed: Countless thousands. V. good.
Boromir killed by Orcs. Bummer. Though he died bravely in my arms, am now quite sure that he was very definitely gay.
Not so sure about Gimli either.
Still not King, but at least Boromir seemed to think I was. Might however have been blood loss.
Frodo went to Mordor. Said he was going alone, but took Sam with him. Why?
My God, is everyone in this movie gay but me?
Not so sure about me either.
Still not King, goddammit.
By: Cassandra Claire
Ok… so I just posted a bunch of stuff about Ents. As a matter of fact, you now have access, on this site, to just about everything you might ever want to know about Treebeard and the Entmoot. I have quotes, a list, and fresh from wikipedia – a history. Why?
Well, I’m getting to that. Don’t be hasty, little human.
I watched the Lord of the Rings, as I always do this time of the year. And while I’ve already blogged about how once again, I’m going for the gold and will be trying to “be” Aragorn, what I haven’t talked endlessly about, at least not yet, but I will… soon enough, is who I have actually succeeded at “being” for the past year. And yes, you’ve probably guessed it already. I’m pretty sure that I’ve spent most of last year being about as Entish as a person can get.
And yes, there were those interludes of insanity where I was absolutely “The Wrestler,” it seems that I did manage mostly to pull myself up by my bootstrings, and I’ve been hiding out in Fanghorn Forest ever since.
Being an Ent isn’t all that bad, they are at least stable, private, and basically good. The problem is that an Ent is not what I aspire to be, and in my heart, I am only a little bit Entish. On the other hand, maybe it would be a good idea to aspire to be the best possible Ent in the coming year… what if the following description (from the book, The Two Towers) was true for me as well as Treebeard?
“One felt as if there was an enormous well behind them, filled up with ages of memory and long, slow, steady thinking; but their surface was sparkling with the present: like sun shimmering on the outer leaves of a vast tree, or on the ripples of a very deep lake. I don’t know but it felt as if something that grew in the ground — asleep, you might say, or just feeling itself as something between root-tip and leaf-tip, between deep earth and sky had suddenly waked up, and was considering you with the same slow care that it had given to its own inside affairs for endless years.”
Yes, I would like that. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it. Magical even. Altogether self absorbed – something I have a real talent for! And yet, it doesn’t fill me with the enthusiasm or the deep yearning I feel when I think about if I could only be Aragorn….
So… there you have it! Clearly, no one has been chomping at the bit to find out who I think I was in the “real” world of 2009. But it feels good to have it posted at last. I’m not sure why, but I get a sense of having “finished” it once it’s posted.
Oh, and by the way, it took me several hours to get this posted…. I guess because “it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.”