Thursday, January 22, 2015

Battle of the Five Armies // Q&A

Hello, all!
First off, if I have any French readers, please know that I am praying for you for strength and courage and for the hand of God to protect you. He already is protecting you, but it never hurts to pray.
Also, please know that we, the American people, stand with you.

Second, I have been tagged by my dear friend, M.J. McKeel from Rustic Remains (Follow the link to visit her amazing blog!) for a Battle of the Five Armies Question-and-Answer begun by Darrion from Sincerely, Darrion, another fantastic blog which you should definitely check out as well.

The rules for the Q&A are simple:
  1.  You must be tagged to take the Q&A quiz
  2. You must tag (and notify) at least three other bloggers (from any blogging/social media source)
  3. Answer the following questions to the best of your ability
  4. Finally, you must have seen Battle of the Five Armies to be tagged/take the quiz. (You might have a little trouble answering the questions if you haven't...)
WARNING: Spoilers contained below. 
If you have not read The Hobbit shame on you!! Haha, just kidding. But seriously, if you have not read it or at least seen Battle of the Five Armies, do NOT read past this point!!!
Unless, however, you wish to read spoilers, which is basically the equivalent of getting lemon juice or some other unbearable substance squirted in your eyes.

Without further ado...

1. Tell your story of how you came to see the movies , or got into Tolkien in the first place.
I got in our van and my mom drove us to the theater. Haha, I know that's not what the question asked, but I felt like saying that anyway. 
I have always been fascinated by tales of valor, of epic quests, thrilling battles, unforseen peril, and tales of home. Knowing this, my dad recommended that I read a little book simply called "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien. I was around ten years old when I first laid hands on that book, and I must have read it in a week at the most. I remember pouring myself into the story one hot miserable summer, while sitting on my bed in the air conditioning. Needless to say, that summer I fell in love.
After that, I read Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings Trilogy" and watched the movies once I finished reading the books. (It's a rule in my house: you have to read the book before you watch the movie)
So when I heard that Peter Jackson was in the process of filming not one, but three movies based off of "The Hobbit," to say I was excited is an extreme understatement.  

2. Who are your three favorite characters in The Hobbit Trilogy?
Also as a child, I loved archery. Of course, when it was mentioned that Kili was an archer, my ten-year-old heart fell deeper in love, and Kili's name was added to the steadily-growing list of fictional characters (and that was before I ever saw a photograph of the movie version). Fili and Thorin have always been right behind, tying for a close second.
I'll begin with Fili and Kili, saving Thorin Oakenshield for last. 

I greatly admired Fili and Kili's loyal spirits, their eager hearts, and their undying courage. The youngest members of Thorin's Company, they had never laid eyes on the Lonely Mountain and Erebor. They grew up on the storied told to them by their uncle and longed to help him regain a lost home. Even if it would be a home they would never know. Yet they were unafraid. They knew of the danger of Smaug. They knew the devastation he heaped upon their ancestors. They knew the wrath of dragon fire and did not fear its sting. Nor did they fear the sting of death when it came, instead meeting it bravely and fighting to their last breath. Please note that I am referring to their deaths as described in the book, not how they played out in the movie. Also, they never gave up on their family. They loved each other as only brothers can. Their relationship is, I believe, one siblings should strive for. And their love for their uncle goes without question. Fili and Kili were willing to lay down their lives for not only each other, but Thorin. Even if it meant that "Kili and Fili had fallen defending him (Thorin) with shield and body, for he was their mother's elder brother" (The Hobbit," J.R.R. Tolkien).

On to Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thrain, son of Thror, King Under the Mountain. When situations looked bleak, Thorin never gave up. He pushed onward, always looking to Erebor and the hope of a better life for his people. His home destroyed, and witnessing the horrid deaths one's grandfather and younger brother, and afterward the madness and disappearance of one's own father, many would turn away from hope itself. Instead, Thorin used his hardships to rise and better himself. He had seen devastation. He had seen ruin. He had seen fiery death as no other. He never forgot. No one can forget the horrors they have seen. And Thorin did not try. He gazed upon his past and saw that in the darkness there was hope. Hope for him. Hope for his kin. Hope for his people. And hope for his friends. Although at times Thorin was downright disagreeable, and nearly killed a beloved friend due to succumbing to Dragon-Sickness, in the end he repented. He noted his wrongs, humbling himself, a King, and sought forgiveness. However high and proud you are, remember that even kings are brought to their knees. However lost you are, it is never too late to be found.

Those were some of many lessons I learned from the House of Durin. No matter what I say on behalf of these characters, nothing I say will compare to the complexity and depth of the characters you will discover in Tolkien's "The Hobbit."    

3. Did you cry in the Battle of the Five Armies, and if so, in which scenes and what type?
I did not cry. I mostly sat stone-faced and watched as two hours of war waged on before me on a massive screen in a dark room. Honestly, entering the theater I fully expected to shed a tear or two (I'm not a huge crier to begin with). But I did not cry. Thorin's death moved me, yes, and saddened me, but not to the point of actually crying. Call me cold-hearted, but that's usually how I am. 

4. Were the deaths compelling to you, and if so, who's?
The manner of the Durin's deaths disappointed me. Especially Fili and Kili's. In the book, they were fighters. They went down in the thick of the battle, and in my imagination, much like Boromir: pierced by many arrows and swords until they could no longer stand. Instead, one was caught and dangled off a cliff, and the other was distracted by a stupid girl. Seriously? What happened to family loyalty? What happened to "defending him with shield and body for he was their mother's elder brother"? There was none of that. None. 

Thorin Oakenshield's death, on the other hand, was a bit more acceptable. For one, he personally made the decision to die in order to stop Azog and protect and save his people. That, in my opinion, is the sign of a true hero. He laid down his life for his friends. Although I would've preferred he die from his wounds several days after the battle, living long enough to see the hope of a new life for his people and kin as it occurred in the book, I thought his death scene served the character justice. Second, and this did follow the book fairly well, he made peace with Bilbo Baggins, apologizing for turning against him, doubting him and nearly killing him. Thorin's final farewell, his speech, was especially heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. 

5. Over all, were you satisfied with the movie itself?  
To be honest, I was not as satisfied as I hoped I would have been. It was still a great movie, and a fantastic trilogy. But I keep having to remind myself that this is not The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is "The Hobbit Trilogy" by Peter Jackson loosely based off the book by Tolkien. As long as one does not compare it to the book, the movie is just fine. And as I type that sentence, I realize how I completely failed that aspect of the Q&A. Oh well, my point still stands: read the book. 
However, if two hours of solid battle, death, and gore does not sit well with you, it's your call whether you see it or not. I recommend you see it anyway, as cinematically (is that even a word?) it was incredible.

6. Describe the movie in one word. 

Mentally and emotionally, I felt drained when I returned home. It was as though I myself had been fighting Orcs and other monsters for two hours. I was exhausted. So that's the word I am choosing. If you wanted something deeper than that, sorry. 

Now I tag:
Both Hopes from Stitches of Freedom
Lynsi Keye from Pro Ama De Narratus 
Moriah Q. from My Own Little World

Ladies, "I wish you all the luck in the world" with this Q&A!!

The same goes for the rest of you, my dear readers, as well!! That would be, I guess, if I believed in luck. But I don't. I believe in God, who honestly is so much better than luck, but I am rambling and completely off subject. (I do that a lot, don't I?)
I am praying for all of you.
And now, "I bid you all a very fond farewell,"