• Ryanne Harper

Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien


It's Tolkien's birthday which means we get to celebrate with breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, at least four more meals, cake, and questionable tobacco. I'm still under the weather, so I'll be celebrating with tea and all the medications.

Though everyone knows him for his Lord of the Rings trilogy, my favorite is, hands down, The Hobbit. I have memories of my mom reading me an illustrated version when I was little. I remember thinking Gollum was really cute. He wasn't. Not really. Sad, but definitely not cute. I have since read it a few times on my own. I like LOTR just fine, but there's something about Bilbo I can relate to. It's probably his extreme anxiety when he finds his house full of uninvited guests. I get anxious when one uninvited person comes over. I just love the story. Bilbo is my favorite. Always.

Tolkien, an educator first, was somewhat surprised by his success as a writer. For him, writing was a hobby, not much else. I wish I was accidentally brilliant at one of my hobbies. Though, to be fair, Tolkien's success was not an accident; he was his own worst critic, often rewriting and shredding his work because it wasn't good enough.

Whether you're a fan or not, you can't escape Tolkien's influence. He's everywhere. He brought high fantasy to the masses, influenced music, Led Zeppelin comes to mind, and he made me feel okay about eating every ninety minutes.


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