I’m unashamed to admit that I’ve been a Lord of the Rings fangirl since The Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters in 2001 and proceeded to blow my eleven-year-old mind. Although I hadn’t read the books yet, I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with the The Lord of the Rings universe — my mother had read J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel to prequel to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, aloud to me more than once as a kid. But after seeing that first installment of the epic fantasy trilogy, I went all in and read the entire series before I began my teen years. And so grew my dorkish love for Middle Earth.
The Lord of the Rings was huge amongst my siblings and I, as well as the entirety of my nerdy little homeschool friend group (bless our hearts, right?) And, if I’m being honest, I got borderline obsessed with it. But it was easy to become obsessed. It was something we all enjoyed talking about, reading about, and learning about. In fact, when I read the last page of The Return of the King it was out in the Mark Twain National Forest with my buddy Chelsea. We just went out there, perched on a log, and momentously finished the series. It was pretty awesome (and just proves that us nerds really know how to bond).
I’m not as crazy into The Lord of the Rings as I used to be, but I’m still a big fan, and I’ll always cherish my somewhat embarrassing Lord of the Rings phase. If you went through the same phase growing up, you know what I’m talking about. Here are 13 things only true Lord of the Rings fans will understand.
1. The Movies Are Awesome (Even If The Books Are Better)
The books are always better — if you ask me, no matter what the book-to-film adaptation is, the book is going to be better. But as someone who has read all of The Lord of the Rings books and still loves the movies, I think it’s fair to say Peter Jackson killed it. Because the films are epic, visually pleasing, and emotionally compelling. Even though they don’t stick to the books 100 percent, they’re still so much fun.
2. Tom Bombadil Should Have Been in The Fellowship of the Ring
I will never understand why this amazing character wasn’t in the film. Worse yet, he’s not even in the extended version! It would have taken maybe 20-30 extra minutes, tops, to give this guy a cameo and it would have been worth it. In the books, he not only rescues Sam and Frodo, he lives in a magical forest, uses singing as a weapon and the one ring has zero power over him. He’s super cool and he should have been in the film. I mean, the movies were always going to be long AF — would 30 more minutes really matter?
3. Hobbits Are Probably Stoners
I know there’s been some debate on this topic — but I don’t care what anyone says, hobbits are stoners (as is Gandalf for that matter — he’s always got his pipe with him and is actually pretty fantastic at smoke tricks.) Hobbits are notorious for smoking the “halfling’s leaf” then eating six meals a day, giggling as much as they breathe, soaking up as much nature as they possibly can, and basically being the most peaceful, chill race in all of Middle Earth. Say what you will, but I firmly believe that hobbits are potheads, and I like them even more for it.
4. LOTR Midnight Showings Were Glorious..
I saw The Two Towers and The Return of the King at midnight showings and it was amazing. Of course, it was also exhausting since the movies last literally forever — but it was worth all the yawning and caffeine ingesting just to be able to watch the newest installments of the trilogy with fellow die-hard fans.
5. ...And You Attended Them in Costume
As all true LOTR fans know, if you didn't go to at least one midnight showing in costume, then you didn't do it right. For this nerd, that meant donning a white dress and attempting to perfect the enchanting, all-powerful, resting bitch-face the "Lady of Light" is famous for. That's right, Galadriel ALL DAY.
6. LOTR Posters Covered Your Bedroom
From the age of 12-18, I had a variety of LOTR posters, calendars, and maps hanging in my room. So much Legolas, so much Frodo, and so much Arwin and Eowyn graced the walls of my preteen/teen bedroom, it’s kind of ridiculous.
7. You Have at Least One LOTR Board Game
Every true LOTR fan knows it wasn’t enough to just love the movies and read the books — you had to live the LOTR life. The Lord of the Rings kind of seeped into most areas of my teendom. I just liked Middle Earth so much, and I wanted to put all that knowledge to use. So LOTR trivia games, LOTR themed Risk, LOTR puzzles, and an LOTR card game that I never actually learned how to play all graced my bookshelves.
8. You Want to Travel to New Zealand Someday Just Because Of LOTR
I’ve always loved travel, and eventually, I'd like to travel to pretty much everywhere. But despite its obvious beauty and general awesomeness, I hadn’t seriously thought about traveling to New Zealand until after I saw The Lord of the Rings. Those films opened my eyes to how stunning and rugged that place is, and I’m not going to lie — I really want to take one of The Lord of the Rings tours that New Zealand’s tourism industry offers.
9. You Own All Three Extended Version Box Sets
Growing up, I took my LOTR collection pretty seriously. While other girls my age were buying clothes and makeup at every opportunity, I was spending most of my money on LOTR extended version box sets and the like. I have all three, and although I haven’t watched any of them in close to ten years, I have no intention of giving them up. They’re just too good, and I’m weirdly attached to them.
10. You Kind of Want to Live In A Hobbit Hole
The Shire is honestly my favorite corner of Middle Earth. All the woods, and rolling hills, and lush, green farmland really reminds me of my beautiful home state of Missouri. But even more than the scenery of the place, I positively adore hobbit holes. They’re so damn cozy and tidy (and surprisingly well-lit). Plus, Bilbo and Frodo’s hobbit hole is constantly stocked with food and books, which means it’s essentially heaven.
11. You Love LOTR References
Even though my LOTR fangirl status has dropped a few notches since my teen years (and thank god for that), I still grin like an idiot anytime I hear an LOTR reference in a show, a movie, or a stranger’s conversation at Starbucks. It’s just nice to know other people dig the series as much as I do and also get a sentimental kick out of referring to it. It's nice to be reminded that you're not alone in your obsession.