Happy Hobbit Day, free people of Middle-Earth! I’m so glad that it falls on a Saturday so I can marathon the movies and fulfil my goal of watching the movies every year. I wanted to write a post about how to throw the perfect Hobbit Day party, but I’m not much of a party person and realised I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to write a post like that. If you’re a fan just like I am, you’re probably nodding along enthusiastically as I outline my plans. But how far does your obsession go? Are you a book purist or do you brag about how you’ve watched the Oscar award-winning movies? I’ve put together a list of book-related and movie-related points to help you quantify your love for all things Tolkien. It mostly centres on The Lord of the Rings series, Tolkien’s most famous work. For every one ‘yes’ you get one point and at the end you can tally up your scores to see measure your fandom score! Please note that this is just for fun and I’m not trying to imply anyone is a lesser fan if they haven’t done any of these.
1. You’ve read the appendices
Anyone who has reached the end of the story in The Return of the King knows that the book doesn’t truly end there. The appendices have a ton of background material to explore – lineages, histories, bonus Arwen-Aragorn content, languages, songs and so on. A true fan knows all the little obscure facts found only in the appendices.
2. You’ve re-read the books entirely at least once
I try to re-read the trilogy at least once a year, but I also want to read new content set in Middle-Earth and I struggle to find a balance. However, I’ve definitely read it cover-to-cover thrice but even then tend to forget the finer details. Every re-read is special as I take away something different each time and lose myself in those pages.
3. You’ve recommended Tolkien to friends and family
I’ve literally gifted people The Hobbit in the hopes they will read it and go on to The Lord of the Rings. I don’t recommend the books to everyone because I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea. However, I never stop talking about it though in the hopes that someone I know will be encouraged to pick it up!
4. You’re constantly looking for Tolkien merch
If you’re a part of the bookish social media community, you know that there are quite a lot of merchandise like candles, bookmarks, book sleeves and such based off of books. However, any fantasy fan knows that the majority of the attention goes to Harry Potter or Sarah J. Maas’s books. I really wish there would be more variety, especially with respect to The Lord of the Rings, which is considered a classic. Here are a few shops I love (but haven’t been able to buy from due to international shipping) in case you’re having the same feeling –
5. You know your Elvish name
A good way to spend time online is to take fun quizzes about your personality or whatever pop culture thing is trending at the moment. A good fan has probably already done that and remembers their Elvish name fondly, secretly wishing they could change their name and move to Rivendell. If you’re one of those who are still in the dark, here’s a fun one by Pages Unbound – The Elf Name Generator.
6. You’ve watched the extended editions of the movies
Once you do, it’s so hard to watch the normal ones because of all the missing bonus content. It really does fill out some gaps in the storyline and adds humour, fleshing out the characters and the world a bit more. The next level would be to watch the cast commentary and one of these days I’m going to get my hands on that!
7. You want to visit New Zealand
If you’ve noticed the incredible setting of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, chances are it’s on your travel bucket list (unless you happen to live there, in which case I envy you). The Hobbiton set is on the top of the list for me, but I’d also love to look at the snow-capped peaks of the White Mountains, wander through the fields of Rohan and walk through the forests of Lothlorien.
8. Your go-to GIFs on social media are from The Lord of the Rings
I think the fact that I can represent any reaction I want to with a Lord of the Rings GIF speaks to the versatility of the story. I have to consciously stop myself and use different GIFs each time so that my friends online don’t think I have an unhealthy obsession.
9. You have a ‘Precious’
It maybe your favourite person in the world or your phone or whatever is the cool thing to have these days, but let’s not pretend you didn’t get influenced by Andy Serkis’s creepy voice of Gollum and try to call someone/something your Precious at least once in your life. I can’t quite get it to sound like how it is in the movies but I do draw out the s’s in my speech if I’m in a particularly ‘Gollum mood’ just for the fun of it.
10. You know Middle-Earth geography better than that of the real world
This is an embarrassing fact, but a fact nonetheless. My excuse is that world geography is vast and confusing. At one point in my childhood I did have every country’s name, capital and flag memorized but then I grew up and realised I had to put in much less effort to remember the Elvish names of the rivers of Middle-Earth.
What is your nerd score? Which is your all-time favourite fandom? What’s the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done? Let me know in the comments section below.