The Tolkien Blog Week Tag

HAPPY HOBBIT DAY EVERYBODY! *dances in circles* *twirls* And happy birthday to Bilbo & Frodo! In honor of this felicitous occasion, I'm here with my answers to Hamlette's tag for her Tolkien Blog Party!!

1. Aragorn: Favorite Tolkien hero/heroine
Question: what counts as a hero or heroine? Does it have to be a central character who gets their own arc/quest? Because it that case, the only characters who would qualify for the hero/heroine title would be Gandalf, Aragorn, Faramir, Frodo, and Eowyn. Oh, and maybe Treebeard, come to think of it.
Which I don't mind! You know who I would choose if the question was "Favorite Tolkien character"...that would be Sam. There's perhaps an argument to be made that Sam is a hero, saying that his quest is either getting Frodo to the mountain, or rejuvenating the Shire. However, I would say that he's an accessory helper in Frodo's quest, and rejuvenating the Shire was a group effort.
ANYWAY. Among those six, my favorite is...
Oh dear.
I have to choose between Aragorn and Faramir?? 
But I WUV them. Both of them. Very, very much.
Ahhh but I have to say Faramir. At least, at this very moment. This surprises me as much as it does you, I promise. 
I mean to say. The way he treats Frodo! And his attitude to war ("I do not love the arrow for its swiftness...")! And the fact that he loves his brother so much even though his father is always comparing them! And his sheer epic awesomeness! And the moment where he's coming back to Gondor and fighting off the attackers, and!!!! Also how much Beregond loves (philia-s) him! And his loyalty to Aragorn! And then his injury and slow healing process, and his arc, and the romance with Eowyn...<3 <3 <3 I wuv him. I wuv Aragorn, too, but I wuv Faramir more, I do believe. At least, at this moment. Idk. Aragorn is...higher. Faramir is more relatable in many ways, I think. And also has more of a visible arc. I dunno, that's just my opinion at the moment. I'm feeling rebellious today.

But also how can I resist a character of whom Tolkien says this: 

“A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him, though I like him, but there he came walking into the woods of Ithilien): Faramir, the brother of Boromir.” --Letter 66

2. Boromir: Favorite Tolkien character arc
Eowyn. Eowyn Eowyn Eowyn. 
Literally. Love her arc. So. Much.

I mean, she goes from pining after one man who is already taken in a very warrior-maiden-angst-y way to wishing for death and thus going out to fight the enemy disguised as a man, not wanting to see the next day's light, to being happily married to the man who is PERFECT FOR HER (literally it is so cute guyyyyyys I am never going to stop squealing about those two) and the in-between parts are so perfect, and she is so sassy, but also literally tamed by Faramir in many ways, and GAH. This arc, y'all. So good.

(um, also the moment where she asks Aragorn if she can with him on the paths of the dead, and points out that other people are going, dude, and he says "they're going with me because they love me", and she's like: "....yes. Your point?" Is one of my very favorite LOTR things. XD)

3. Frodo: Favorite song or poem by Tolkien
All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is good does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken
A light from the shadows shall spring
Renewed shall be blade that was broken
The crownless again shall be king.

'Nuff said.

Image credit: Tea With Tolkien
4. Gandalf: Favorite wise Tolkien quotation

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament....There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: Death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man's heart desires." 

Or perhaps even more my favorite:

"The only cure for sagging or fainting faith is Communion. Though always Itself, perfect and complete and inviolate, the Blessed Sacrament does not operate completely and once for all in any of us. Like the act of Faith it must be continuous and grow my exercise. Frequency is of the highest effect. Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals."

5. Gimli: A Middle-earth location you'd like to visit
Gon. Dor. GONDOR. Specifically Minas Tirith. Always and with all my heart do I want to visit that city which would obviously be basically the fulfillment of everything we want European cities to be, but which they never completely are, with the added benefit of being IN MIDDLE-EARTH and ARAGORN BEING THERE. 
(Rivendell second, though. XD)
(Oh but I forgot about the Shire! Dang! I don't know, between Minas Tirith and the Shire...gah. Probably still Minas Tirith, but JUST BARELY. And that might change, like, in the next five minutes.)

6. Legolas: Favorite Middle-earth Weapon
Anduril, the Flame of the West, that was Broken and Reforged! Obviously. ;)

Fr. DD has this edition of LOTR on a shelf in his office, and I drool over it every time I go in.
7. Merry: Favorite way to celebrate Tolkien's stories
Reading them? Ranting about them in a group setting? Is this a trick question? 

But if reading them is not an acceptable answer for this, I'll have to say...I got a Tolkien cookbook out of the library this spring and did a day where I made all the hobbit meals, and it was GREAT fun, and very delicious also. That was a fun way to celebrate his stories, for sure. 10/10 would recommend.

8. Pippin: Favorite funny Tolkien quotation
I'm not entirely sure I can pick a favorite, since there are many, and also, I don't think about *funny* Tolkien quotes all that often, but I do like this one:

“The minor imp of Slubgob’s brood who specially attends to preventing C.S.L. and myself from meeting provided a special attraction in the morning with the leaking of the scullery tap coinciding with the blocking of the sink!” --Letter 96

It references The Screwtape Letters while also retaining a sense of humor about friendship, household misfortunes, and the difficulties of doing the good. Idk, I find it amusing!

Or maybe:

“[At the Inklings was read] some excerpts from C. S. L.’s ‘Who Goes Home?’ – a book on Hell, which I suggested should have been called rather ‘Hugo’s Home’.” --Letter 72

(This refers to Hugo Dyson, who, I believe, is the Inkling who took a persistent dislike to LOTR.)

9. Samwise: A Middle-earth food you'd like to try
I mean, the obvious food I'd like to try is Lembas. But if you're looking at LOTR from a Catholic perspective (which you really should be), I already have tried Lembas. (And found it sweet. :)) 
So, instead I think I'll say I'd like to try Sam's rabbit stew. (With--you guessed it--potatoes, of course!) It sounds like it would be a delicious autumnal meal. 

Who do you think fits in the category of hero/heroine? Have you ever read Tolkien's collected letters? Had you ever heard of the Tolkien quotes I included?


  1. Man I need to read LotR again. I miss it DEARLY.

    I think I would define "hero" very broadly in this context as "good character." ("Good" as in "virtuous," not "well-written.") Which would make it a lot harder to--oh what am I saying, it would NOT be hard to choose, Sam's my favorite and always has been. XD But, like, Faramir and Aragorn. How, exactly, is one supposed to pick between those two? At one point Faramir was DEFINITELY my favorite man, but now that I've come to realize (very recently) how awesome Aragorn is....I just don't know. I need a reread, is what it boils down to.

    I have not read Tolkien's collected letters but the quotes you included are making me Very Much Want To. Both those quotes on the Blessed Sacrament are just wonderful. And the funny quotes are lovely, too. :)

    1. Lemme just say...rereading LOTR is a Highly Recommended Activity in my book. ;)

      Okay, fair. "Hero" as "good character" makes sense, and I would absolutely choose Sam also. But I like to be hard on myself apparently? I mean, I LOVE Aragorn SO MUCH, but...for some reason...this day, I wanted to say Faramir. And maybe I need a reread, too, even though I Just Reread it Two Months Ago. XD

      AHHHH you NEED TO! (Even though Humphrey Carpenter cut stuff out in a really irritating fashion.) They're Really Really GOOD, Megan, you would LOVE them.

  2. Oh my word, this post put such a HUGE smile on my face.

    I basically never see anyone talking about how Faramir treats Frodo (in the book!) or Beregond at all, and I just LOVED seeing you talk about both! Faramir and Aragorn are both such amazing guys, but Faramir is my favorite of the two. <3 (Just by a little though!) HIS ROMANCE WITH EOWYN. AND EOWYN'S CHARACTER ARC. YES YES YES.

    And I don't think I've ever seen anyone say they would live in Gondor, but ME TOO. Specifically Minas Tirith! (With Rivendell as my second as well.) Are we twins?? =)

    Anyway, this was such a fun post. <333

    1. I'm so glad!

      Faramir is the best, and so courteous, to Frodo, and to others as well (hellooooo Eowyn! That relationship is the BEST!) Glad to meet another Beregond fan, as well!

      YAY! (We basically are the same person, I guess. XD)

      I'm so happy you enjoyed it! :)

  3. Great post, Sam!! Besides Sam and Frodo, Faramir is the best character. Actually, I didn't pay much attention to his qualities and greatness until I watched the movies a couple months ago. Where was he when I read the books?! I think I need a reread because HE IS AWESOME!

    We have similar tastes in Tolkien's words. ;) I still have to read his letters, but I've always loved his quotes on Catholicism.

    Cooking hobbit meals sounds like a TON of fun. Do you remember the name of that cookbook? And yes to Rabbit Stew! Ever since my brothers saw that scene of Sam saying "Poy-tay-toes", we can't have one dinner without one of them mentioning it. XD

    1. Thank you!! I dunno, I think Aragorn might be the best character after Frodo and Sam, but Faramir is more my favorite. At the moment, at least! He's SO GOOD in the books, way better than in the movies, so I'd definitely recommend a reread!

      We sure do. :) I'd definitely recommend his letters!

      It was a lot of fun! It was called An Unexpected Cookbook. :) Oh my goodness, that's funny! Brothers are the best.

  4. That is just how I feel about Faramir!! I love him so much. He is my favourite Tolkien character.
    (And yes he and Eowyn are perfect together:-)
    My cousin got that edition of LOTR for her birthday and I am really jealous.jk
    Ah yes that quote of Tolkien's! It is so beautiful!

    1. And yes, I love Aragorn too, but I love Faramir a tiny bit more.

    2. He's so great! Sam is my favorite character overall, but Faramir is excellent. :) I relate--Aragorn and Faramir are so hard to choose between!
      (They totally are.)
      Oh nice! Maybe you can borrow it from her...forever. XD jk, jk.
      It's lovely!

    3. Sam is great too:-)
      Well she's in America and I am in Scotland... so not going to happen. Besides I am sure she is jealous of her book, I would be!

    4. Well, that would make it harder, for sure! :D

  5. 1 - Faramir - I guess he's okay.
    2 - Same here. Since I think most of the female characters seems to be magical and Eowyn is magicless and she can fight in a battle.
    3 - I just read this in another blogger's blog - seems to say a whole of things
    4 - The first quote, I sort of know, the same quote, not quite familiar with that one.
    5- I guess if its' good enough for Aragorn, it's good enough for the rest of us.
    6 - Is there anything that cannot be reforged in this magical land?
    7 - I don't know about the cooking part, but I can do the eating part
    8 - Good quotes, I find the second one funny
    9 - Everyone seems to mention Lembas but I have no idea what that is, too lazy to look it up. I'll pass on the stew but I like potatoes.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. 3 does say a whole lot of things!
      4--I'm glad I could introduce you to a new quote!
      7--lol, the eating part is good, too! ;)
      8--I like that one, too!

      You have a lovely day as well, Lissa!

  6. Okay, the Aragorn/Faramir dilemna is interesting, because while I'd far and away pick Faramir (WHAT a character), I just realized that Aragorn would be much the more comfortable and fun of the two to hang out with. XD It's weird how sometimes one's favorite characters are not the ones who'd be your favorite in real life.
    (I would totally have considered Sam a hero - i mean. tolkien literally called him one. - but I actually totally see your point for disqualifying him. Interesting.)

    Okay, that quote about the minor imp of Slubgob's brood (not to mention Hugo's Home) is hilarious. XD I love it.

    1. Interesting! While I waffle between them much more, I think I'd be more comfortable hanging out with Faramir...he seems more approachable. Perhaps more human. Idk. It is weird how favorite characters might not be real life favorites!
      (I mean, Tolkien did call Sam a hero, but I wanted a more interesting answer than my perennial. XD)

      I know, aren't those quotes fantastic??

  7. Aww, I missed this. (Seriously, where did September GO?) I might have to snag it later even if it's not during Tolkien week.

    I love your answers! Ahhh Faramir. And that quote about him! I hadn't heard that one before. So cool.

    Hmmm... definition of a hero/heroine.... yeah, that's tough. It's kind of like asking "Who is the main character of the Lord of the Rings?" Because: complicated. I like your definition though: a central character with their own quest. But I'd add Merry and Pippin to that definition. They are pretty central, and they each have their own beautiful parallel quest arcs and are really the "heroes of the shire" along with Sam and Frodo... all four hobbits really grow up and become heroes through their experiences.

    We are currently reading LOTR out loud to the kiddos and we are a little more than halfway through Return of the King and I am SO EXCITED to finish and then watch the movies with them. They are loving the books (mostly because my husband does great voices for Smeagol and the Orcs, HA!) (He can almost out-Andy Sirkus Andy Sirkus when it comes to Gollum/Smeagol, it's uncanny) anyway, the kids get a kick out of it. I think they're going to be all huffy about anything in the movies that's different than in the books though, but that's okay, it's how I'm raising them. hahaha. Also, listening to them out loud I was reminded of how much I truly love Faramir. (I might have gotten a little misty eyed when he talks about turning down the ring). Awwww. Love him forever. And Eowyn. And ALL OF THEM.

    Okay... yeah, I'm gonna have to take this tag and go all rebel with it later.

    1. That's can always, as you say, steal it and go rebel with it later! It's a fun tag!

      Faramir. <3 That quote about him is actually one of the reasons I love him--you know how when you love someone, you love the people they love? Yeah, that's me with Tolkien, and thus, by extension, Faramir. :)

      I think you're right that Merry and Pippin are each heroes as well. They may not be the *most* central heroes, but they each do a lot and have their own beautiful arcs, as you say, and become heroes of the Shire. (Side note: it's interesting how much more respect they get in the Shire than Frodo and Sam, given that Frodo and Sam do most of the work. XD)

      Oh, that is SO FUN! I LOVE reading aloud books I love with kids, especially for the first time! And great voices just make the whole thing way better. (I'm ok at voices, but my sister is STELLAR, and it's always so fun to listen to her read.) (Wow, a good Gollum voice is impressive, especially sustaining one for all of Two Towers/Return of the King! I did Gollum for my siblings in The Hobbit, and lost my voice after Riddles in the Dark. XD) Haha, would you want them to not be huffy about the movies being different? I think not.


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