Confessions time. I have risen to a new height of nerd-dom. I never really saw it coming, and I can say with assurance that the ascension brings with it a sense of pride. I've finished the Silmarillion and I loved every minute of it.
I tried to read it years ago when I was still in high school and just couldn't do it. I had just finished The Lord of the Rings and was looking for some more Middle Earth action. I told my dad that I was going to give it a shot, and I remember him making this strange face. A kind of "why would you do that to yourself?" look. He had tried to read it when he was younger and just couldn't get into it. I was soon to understand why.
It was wordy to be nigh incomprehensible. Places and names constantly being fired at the reader. It felt like Tolkien was using a sort of sink or swim methodology in his writing. I didn't get far. I was expecting a more coherent experience like from LotR or The Hobbit. The timing just wasn't right.
About a year ago the Tolkien empire released the latest story entitled The Children of Hurin. Erin and I picked it up, being huge fans of LotR (book and film series). I was the one to read it first. I found it a bit hard to follow, the writing being much like what I remember from The Silmarillion, but there was something engaging enough to keep me going. Most importantly though, it proved to me that I could get over the hump of Tolkien's writing.
Last month I suddenly became very interested in reading/learning about the origins of Middle Earth and what is referred to as "The First Age." I realized that one of the reasons Children of Hurin may have been so difficult to read was because I had no context about the world in which the tale took place. What if I gave acquiring that context a shot?
So I did.
I was enthralled. Yes it's difficult to follow. Yes Tolkien throws out landmarks, cities and names like used Kleenex, but if you can just get past all that you ascend into a rich world filled with detail. A truly epic completely fleshed out history of the world from it's inception to creation to rise to fall to rise again and so on. I never imagined I would like it as much as I did. I'm considering re-reading Children of Hurin to see what else I can get from that tale.
Yes, I am a huge nerd. I guess I'm ok with that.
On a completely different note, I stumbled upon a series of youtube videos by a group called Lasagna Cat. I'm not going to explain it, because the revelation is part of the joy, so just watch the video below and if you want more then all I can say is "Google is your friend."