Yesterday, on the 21st of September 2017, J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ celebrated its 80th anniversary. Although I didn’t grow up with the story like many others did, I fell in love with it a few years ago. Thus I decided to take a moment to appreciate Tolkien’s story and the things it teaches each and every one of us.
I have to admit that I didn’t really like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ when I was younger. While my dad had read the books in his youth and liked the movies when they came out, I wasn’t really into it. And somehow I didn’t even give it a real chance. My brother on the other hand watched the movies and liked them probably as much as my dad did or still does. So, when the first movie of ‘The Hobbit’ came out in 2012, it wasn’t actually surprising that the two of them watched it together.
And yet, I still didn’t give it a chance then.
But a few months later, when the DVD/Blu-ray of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ was released, I decided to give it a go and to watch it with my dad. Although I wouldn’t give the whole story, wouldn’t give Middle-earth a chance for quite a long time, I suddenly realised how much I loved the world which Tolkien had created all those decades ago – and not only in relation to ‘The Hobbit’.
I bought the three ‘The Lord of the Rings’ books as well as the ‘The Hobbit’ and I watched the movies as well. And while I enjoyed ‘The Lord of the Rings’ quite a lot, I fell in love with ‘The Hobbit’ immediately. Somehow I thought the story was even more enjoyable and somewhat more relatable and I still think so today – of course, opinions differ and you personally might think otherwise. So when the second and the third movie came out, I watched them with my dad and bought the DVDs/Blu-rays as soon as I could.
But enough about how I came to love the stories of Tolkien and Middle-earth. Let’s talk about what ‘The Hobbit’ teaches each and every one of us, if we decide to listen and learn.
Well, first of all it teaches us to step out of our comfort zone and do things we would normally never think of. It teaches us to be adventurous and to be brave. And it teaches us that, if we stop thinking about something too much and stop worrying about it or its possible consequences, we can find our true self and the things we truly love even in the most unusual places – even far away from our comfortable hobbit-holes.
And the story of Bilbo Baggins and Thorin’s company also teaches us that you can find friends even when you do not expect to do so. No matter where you are or what you do, you can find people who support and understand you without even truly looking for them. All it takes is for you to be your true self.
In the end Tolkien wrote a story which is not only enjoyable but can also help us enjoy life itself a little more. If only one remembers that
‘Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.’ (~ J.R.R. Tolkien)
On that note, ‘may the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks’ (~ J.R.R. Tolkien).
And happy – slightly belated – 80th anniversary to ‘The Hobbit’!