1. Have you read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit? If so, how many times?
Yes, I've read The Lord of the Rings only once (it's a slightly daunting commitment, but I want to give them another go soon!) and The Hobbit, maybe three times. (Bonus, I've also read "Farmer Giles of Ham" and "Smith of Wooton Major," two short stories by Tolkien!)
2. Have you seen any movies based on them?
Yes! I saw Peter Jackson's trilogy before I read the books, (but after I'd read The Hobbit) and I credit them with being the movies that made me love movies as much as I do now. I've watched them (extended editions of course!) more times than I can count. My only regret is that I was a bit too young to see them when they were in theaters. I've also seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but only twice so far on that one.
3. Who first introduced you to Middle Earth?
My dad, he saw LotR in theaters, and then wanted to show them to us kids, but made us read The Hobbit first, so we'd understand the world and such. He almost made us read the whole Lord of the Rings series, but then decided it'd take too long. Turns out, I loved the movies so much I read the books willingly.
4. Who are your three favorite characters? (Feel free to elaborate on whys.)
This is the hardest question I've ever had to answer. Only three?? Okay... from the LotR movies only...
1. Would be Sam. He's absolutely the best, and the true hero of the story, and I love his bravery and loyalty. Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam!
2. Boromir. I love him, he such a meaty, real character, has his moments as a bad guy, but is a hero in the end. Sean Bean plays him so well, and as per usual, has an amazing death scene. One of the best on-screen deaths I've ever seen. But even being dead, he still gets to be in the next two movies! That's how awesome he is.
3. Now is when I have to leave everyone else out, and it's a close call between the siblings, but I have to say Éomer. He's just so epic and cool. And Karl Urban. I wish he had a bigger part like I remember from the books! He and Aragorn were supposed to be good friends, and Karl and Viggo were actually friends, so it would have been neat to give them more time to develop that.
I feel so bad about leaving such great characters out though, so here's my runner-ups: Éowyn, Aragorn, Merry, Pippin, Faramir, Haldir... and Figwit!!
5. What's your favorite Middle Earth location?
That would have to be the Shire. It's just so perfect there. I would move there in a heartbeat. I have to mention Edoras too though, because it's so breath-taking. But really, any location that shows off New Zealand is breath-taking, isn't it? Oh, Minas Tirith is incredible too.
6. If you could belong to one of the races of Free Folk (Men, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents), which would you choose?
It would be a toss-up between Elves and Men, either an Elf of Rivendell, or an Man (woman) of Rohan. I have the hair for either, but the hard part would be deciding if I wanted to be immortal or not. Probably not... but then again I love the Elvish language. But then again, the Rohan theme is my favorite.
7. Would you rather eat lembas or taters?
I'd love to try lembas bread, but I love taters already, so I guess it'd depend on if Sam had cooked them or not!
8. If you lived in Middle Earth, what weapon would you prefer wielding?
I think a bow would be my preferred choice. I'm a decent shot, and don't have any sword training, and a sword would be my second choice, because it's just so classic.
9. What draws you to Tolkien's stories? (The characters, the quests, the themes, the worlds, etc.)
The characters, the world, the fantasy, and themes, yes... but I think most importantly, the heart. It's a rare, and incredible thing.
10. List up to five of your favorite lines/quotes from the books or movies.
1. Sam's speech at the end of The Two Towers: "It's like in the old stories Mr Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness, and danger they were, and sometimes, you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was after so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those are the stories that stayed with you, that meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr Frodo, I do understand, I know now; folk in those stories has lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. They kept going, because they were holding on to something. ... That there's some good left in this world, and it's worth fighting for."
2. Aragorn's speech at the black gate: "Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see it in your eyes, the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come, when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves, and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bit you, stand, men of the west!" And then, "For Frodo."
3. Galadriel opening the first film: "I amar prestar an. The world has changed. Han mathon ne nen. I feel it in the water. Han mathon ne chae. I feel it in the earth. A han noston ned gwillith. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
4. Boromir and the Ring: "It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing..."
5. Yeah, I like the long/dramatic ones, and the oh-so-quoteable ones are great, and I'll end with a funny one:
Pippin: "What about breakfast?"
Aragorn: "You've already had it."
Pippin: "We had one, yes. What about second breakfast?"
Merry: "Don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip."
Pippin: "What about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he"
Merry: "I wouldn't count on it."