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💎 Tolkien Treasures #006: April 2023
Tolkien on Screen, Page, and Canvas, plus Notes on a Twitter Break
April Tolkien Treasures
Hello all! As I do at the end of every month, today I’m sharing five things—some Tolkien-related and others not—that I’ve been enjoying this month. Here they are:
The Return of the King Returns to Theaters—
For its 20th anniversary, The Return of the King returned to theaters for a limited engagement. I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of the screenings and it was an absolute delight! Like I shared when I recounted a hilarious incident from the screening, it did make me feel a bit thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread when I thought about it already being twenty years since I saw it originally in theaters, but that was a minor detail in an overwhelmingly positive experience that was a highlight of April.
(As an aside, in the past few weeks TikTok has shown me multiple clips of the Ride of the Rohirrim and every time my thought is “yes, this is the way this scene was meant to be experienced: displayed on a screen 2 inches by 3 inches on my portable pocket screen in disjointed, out of order clips 1 to 2 minutes in length.” Do I still watch every second of every single one? Yes. Do I still get chills every time. Yes. But the contrast with experiencing it again in the theater couldn’t be more stark.)
“Tolkien’s Faith and Middle-earth: The Many-Layered Meaning of March 25”—Dr. Holly Ordway, Word on Fire
Tolkien Reading Day is every year on March 25th. I briefly mentioned the significance of March 25th in my Tolkien Reading Day Giveaway post (“Why March 25th? Because that is the day that the One Ring was destroyed and the Dark Lord Sauron was defeated”), but the very next day Dr. Holly Ordway released an excellent article exploring the full significance of the date at great length. It’s an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Tolkien’s Faith: A Spiritual Biography, which you can preorder on Amazon now. Here’s an excerpt from her conclusion:
Choosing March 25 as the date for the fulfillment of the Quest is an example of Tolkien’s masterfully subtle handling of his material. The date fits perfectly in the internal chronology of the story, which he worked out with astonishing attention to detail; its importance in the events of The Lord of the Rings is so great that it requires no outside information to make it meaningful to the reader. But—for those who are interested, who have noticed the significance of the date—it also points to a further layer of meaning for the story, one that is grounded in the faith that Tolkien himself professed.
The Elven City by Serena Malyon—“Nine Companions. So be it.”
I absolutely love this depiction of the Last Homely House! It’s a fresh, elegant, magical take on Rivendell and I particularly enjoy the sense of scale that depicting the Fellowship crossing the bridge evokes.
Single Parents—While I have been enjoying The Mandalorian, Ted Lasso, and Abbott Elementary over the past month, I’d have to say that there’s another show I’ve enjoyed even more than any of those others: Single Parents. High praise, I know! But it’s been just what I wanted and needed out of a TV show in this current season.
A sitcom that only got two seasons on ABC before being cancelled in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect, Single Parents follows the eponymous group of single parents who band together to help raise each other’s 7-year-olds. It’s entertaining, funny, and lighthearted but also genuine and warm. The group is really a found family that care about each other and have great chemistry. You can find it streaming on Hulu.
Being Off Twitter and On Notes—as much as I loved the chaos that was Elon vs. dril, the constant changes, chaos, animosity towards Substack, and overall atmosphere of Twitter over the past few months had all contributed towards making me angry or upset recently any time I opened or even just thought about the app. So this week I decided I needed a holiday. It’s been refreshing so far and though I’m sure I’ll be back on there next week sometime, I also am considering longer hiatuses from the bird app as a regular practice.
Since I’ve not been on twitter this week, I’ve been spending a lot more of my time on Substack Notes, and would love for you to join me there if you haven’t yet!
If you encounter any issues, you can always refer to the Notes FAQ for assistance. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Question for the comments: what is something you’ve been enjoying this month?
There we have it, my Five Faves for April. Farewell, friends. Go towards goodness!
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