Discover more from Jokien with Tolkien
"Help! Precious or TOO Precious?"
Reader Mailbag plus a Hobbit/Beastie Boys Mashup and a Great LOTR/Ted Lasso Thread at the End
Over the past few weeks I’ve received a couple questions from subscribers so I thought I’d take the first portion of today’s newsletter to answer them. If you all enjoy it and want to contribute questions in the future, it might even become a regular or semi-regular feature! Send any future questions either as a reply to a weekly email like this one or to JRRJokien@gmail.com. Alright, let’s get to it.
I texted my wife the Gollum Valentine's Day card below, but due to some TMobile shenanigans, it actually went through 3 times. Then she sent it to our friends in the group chat and accused me of sending it to her multiple times and trying to be 'creepy'.
The group chat was evenly split between hilarious and creepy. While we all know that “Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised," it would be great if you could weigh in as the final word on this controversial incident.
PS I also picked up her favorite pizza for Valentine's, and we watched some of her favorite shows.
Dear Too Precious,
First of all, apologies that one of my creations caused you such trouble! With an evenly divided friend group, your quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Let's see what we can do to sort this out for you and give a final word.
There are two different aspects to the accusations against you. The first is “sending it to her multiple times” and the second is “trying to be 'creepy.'"
On both charges, you appear to be personally innocent. Technically you didn’t send the card three times and you were not trying to be creepy. However, like the One Ring slipping from Isildur’s finger as he attempted to swim across the Anduin, your phone has a will of its own and betrayed you. You did not send the Gollum card to her multiple times, but your phone did. You were not trying to be creepy, and yet the effect was creepy (even if your wife was mostly joking, there’s a bit of truth in every joke). Unintentionally creepy, but creepy nonetheless. So while I believe your intentions were innocent in this situation, you still have to deal with the effect that the messages had when they arrived all three together like that.
I suspect this largely has to do with perspective. After all, tragedy is what happens to me; comedy is what happens to you. So to any onlookers and friends within your friend group who voted hilarious, this is indeed comedic. But for your wife and to those friends in your group and readers who can put themselves in her shoes, it would be at least a tiny bit creepy to get those texts all in a row out of the blue. And in the end, isn’t it her perspective that’s the most important one here?
Your wife’s response to this was, in effect, “I wish these texts had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” So how can I improve upon adapting Gandalf’s reply?
“So do I and so do all who live to see such texts. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the texts that are given us.”
It looks like you’ve made a good start on deciding what to do with the situation. I trust Gandalf’s wise words will encourage both you as your wife as you continue on. Also, maybe print out the Valentine next time if you fear to use the Ring…ing phone.
Given that LOTR books and movies have been around so long, everyone from South Park to Flight of the Conchords to Veggie Tales to Harvard Lampoon have done parodies or tributes. Do you have any favorites?
Dear Tribute Terry,
What a great question! There are of course many parodies and tributes like you mentioned, and though I haven’t seen them all I do have a few favorites that I can share.
I have a soft spot for The Lord of the Beans, the VeggieTales parody that you mentioned. This is in spite of the fact that the lesson they teach is “a lesson in using your gifts” which is…not exactly the point of The Lord of the Rings. It’s silly and a lot of fun to see all the VeggieTales characters doing an homage to Tolkien.
My favorite is probably the SNL skit “Hobbit Office” where Martin Freeman plays Bilbo working at a paper company. It’s an excellent parody of two of his biggest roles and actually having him play a combination of both Bilbo and Jim is perfection.
I found this Sesame Street parody, Lord of the Crumbs, to be silly and sweet, and Stephen Colbert’s visit to New Zealand where he interviewed Peter Jackson and made a fake trailer for Darrylgorn Rising: The Rise of Darrylgorn (Aragorn’s more handsome twin brother played by Stephen) to be uneven but worth it for the cameos and the peek at all the sets Peter Jackson still has.
The Very Secret Diary of Aragorn, Son of Arathorn is short and quite funny. Here’s an excerpt:
Ringwraiths killed: 4. V. good.
Met up with Hobbits. Walked forty miles. Skinned a squirrel and ate it.
Still not King.
Stuck on mountain with Hobbits. Boromir really annoying.
Not King yet.
Finally, Brotherhood Workshop on YouTube has a ton of fun LOTR parodies and alternate scenarios, but the most fun one I’ve seen so far is the visualization of why the Fellowship did not have the eagles fly them to Mount Doom.
What about you, readers? Any of these LOTR parodies or tributes that you agree are hilarious or ones you love that I didn’t mention?
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The Breakfast Boys
The other day Dominic Monaghan shared the below photo with two other familiar faces on his Instagram. It reminded me a bit of of an album cover and inspired a little Tolkien and Beastie Boys mashup (not my first):
Frodo: the road goes ever ever
[BREAKFAST BOYS: ON]
down from the [DOOR]
where it [BEGAN]
now far ahead the road has [GONE]
and I must follow, [IF I CAN]
pursuing it with eager [FEET]
until it joins some [LARGER WAY]
where many [PATHS] and errands [MEET]
and whither then? [I CANNOT SAY]
Recent Funny or Interesting Tweets
Some of the best recent tweets that made me laugh, think, or both!
I linked to this in my essay on wounding, grief, and loss, but it’s worth sharing here too:
I am legit going to start doing this.
very relatable with the Rivendell Lego sets filling my feed this week:
I want to go to there
Major Update to Substack Chats!
Just yesterday Substack announced that Substack Chats, which had until now been limited to the Substack app, is now available on the web as well! Not only that: now subscribers can start chats as well if the author enables it.
So today I’ve opened the ability to create threads to paid subscribers!
To clarify, everyone—paid or free subscriber—can participate in the threads now on the web (in addition to the app). I’ve started one today to discuss today’s newsletter that I’d love any and all of you to contribute to! But if you’re a paid subscriber, you can start a thread about another topic or question too!
Head on over to the Jokien with Tolkien chat to join the conversation (or to start another thread if you’re a paid subscriber)!
Lord of the Rings in Magic: The Gathering
I never really got into Magic: The Gathering (I was more of a Yu-Gi-Oh! player), but that can’t stop me from absolutely loving all the new cards that we’re getting previews of from the newest Lord of the Rings themed set to come out for Magic. The art is simply stunning and I love getting new takes on the familiar characters, places, and events of the story. Here’s a few of my favorites from the cards that have been previewed so far:
In addition, certain variants of cards come together to make a larger scene, such as Frodo, Sam, Gollum, and the Ring in Mount Doom:
Just fantastic! I’m definitely tempted to acquire some of these cards. I could see them becoming…precious…to me.
That’s all for today, friends! Have a wonderful end of the week and weekend. Special shoutout and thank you to David, Redsensation, Alex, Laura, Britt, and Abby for upgrading to a paid subscription this month! And everyone who is currently enjoying a free trial of the paid tier as of the day I’m writing this! This is a reader-supported newsletter so if you enjoy these updates each week, please consider supporting this Substack by upgrading to a paid subscription.
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