Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

        Where do I start? I was thinking about waiting to write this until everything has sunk in a bit more, but then realized there was no way I could put it off. Guys, I saw the Hobbit on Saturday night. And I can't explain it with just one word. I'm sure I couldn't with five thousand. It was exhilarating. Scary. Tear-jerking. Heart-wrenching. Fulfilling. I saw the Hobbit on Saturday, and I am having major emotion management issues. Be understanding.
        This isn't going to be a full on review where I go through every little thing that happened. If you want a synopsis, look one up on Google (or there's a splendid one written by Aspen over at The Heirs of Durin). This is going to be my thoughts on the movie; probably not ones you can make full sense of, nor a well-planned sharing-of-thoughts, but if you want fangirl, it's here. En mass. 
        So let's start out on Wednesday, the day of the premiere. I had been invited to go with my friend on Tuesday at 9:00, but then my mom decided she didn't want to stay up that late to take me, so that didn't work out. I wasn't very pleased about that, to say the least. Last year I didn't get to see DOS until the very end of December (or was it the beginning of January?) so I figured it would be a while. But I kept seeing posts on blogs I follow with reviews and ramblings and the like, and I started to get very, well, anxious. That's not the right word. I don't know what is. To give you some information about moi, usually I adore spoilers. I mean, you can't escape them on Pinterest, and to tell the truth, I know a ton about movies I haven't ever seen and fandoms I'm not even in. I don't try to avoid them. When I first started seeing spoiler-ridden posts (thank goodness they had warnings!), I didn't read them. In fact, I did avoid them as much as I could. I didn't even go read Plugged In's review and content warnings. On Wednesday afternoon, when I was at home alone, I watched The Last Goodbye music video again. If you haven't seen it yet, do so directly, but have a box of tissues handy. It's almost as bad as the trailer. I don't want to get too far off track now, but the way they used clips from the original trilogy and the new Hobbit movies just made it all the more sad. Because this isn't just the end of the Hobbit - it's the end of Middle Earth. Forever *sobs*. I knew I should study for my Calculus final at 7:00, but I couldn't. I could not physically sit down and do anything. I needed to see that movie NOW. Well, of course I couldn't, so I paced around the house for about forty-five minutes thinking about the movie I hadn't seen yet and, yes, crying a bit. I'm surprised I was even able to focus for my exam, but I pulled it together somehow. (It was surprisingly easy, so that was a blessing). Anyway, Wednesday was probably the worst for me emotionally, but on Thursday we got tickets for Saturday, so then I had that to look forward to. 
        We got to the theater really early, since we allowed extra time to stop somewhere before and that went quickly. It was awful. It would have been bad enough having to just sit and wait, but there was a previous showing in a room close to the one where we were waiting to go in, so I was cringing every time I heard something from inside. I didn't want to know ANYTHING previous to watching it for myself. I had brought The Shaping of Middle Earth to read, but I could hardly even remember anything I read. Goodness, I couldn't even remember if it was Molke or Melko or, for all I knew, Marco. I hadn't been able to eat since breakfast, and, surprisingly for me, wasn't the slightest bit hungry at 5:00. I took several trips to the bathroom to get all the excited shudders out in private, and finally, we got to go in. I'm sure it's not just me that hates all the nonsense before the movie starts, but it really irritated me this time. There was all this Save The Planet stuff (sorry, inside joke that would take too long to explain) and I just wanted to slap the movie screen. I didn't actually get that violent, don't worry. ;)
        I love how with the Hobbit movies, you can always tell exactly when they start by how the music changes to the distinct Middle Earth sound, even if you're not looking at the screen to see the Warner Bro.s logo. I'm pretty sure I was doing some amount of hyperventilating. It was all going through my head - this is it, the last movie, I'm not ready, they're going to die and I am in no way ready to watch that, why didn't they just postpone the movie? I could wait. No I couldn't, never mind. And then it started for real. (SPOILERS AHEAD)
       The Battle of the Five Armies picked up pretty much where The Desolation of Smaug left off. Sure, we had a gigantic cliffhanger last year, but we get a fitting conclusion to what we were left to wonder about. Again, what struck me the most was the utter destruction that Smaug causes, and the sadness of the dwarves as they watch from Erebor what they, in effect, have caused. And what I didn't get until the others finally reached the Lonely Mountain too, is that they all thought that Fili, Kili, and Bofur were all dead, burned up by Smaug's fire. That made me really sad, because you see Thorin off by himself while all the others watch together. I'm sure he's thinking that if he had let Kili come with them, his nephews might still be alive. So first major feels here.

        One thing I really liked throughout the movie, especially near the beginning, was Tauriel's kind of motherly protection of Bard's children.

         She's so young and we only saw her before as the Mirkwood Captain of the Guard, a warrior and a killer. We see a very gentle side of Tauriel in these few scenes, and I think you can really see her sorrow when Bain jumps out and she knows they won't be able to save him.
        Okay, that scene where Bard kills the dragon was so good! Even though I completely knew what was going to happen, it was full of suspense and excitement. Although when he just had the normal arrows and used them all up without hitting the right spot, that was definitely an 'Oh no!' moment. You can just see the sorrow and disappointment in Bard's eyes, the realization that he failed, and that was very well done.

        Then Bain climbs up to the tower with the black arrow he retrieved from the boat, and although you can tell that there is nothing Bard wants to do more than to get his son to safety, he realizes that the only way he can do that is if the dragon is dead, and the only way that will happen is if he kills it. Here's where we begin to see just how strong of a character Bard really is. He was able to keep his head in a terrifying situation where his instinct must have been to protect his son, and see that just getting Bain off the tower is going to do nothing for his safety. He was able to think quickly and stay in immediate danger to accomplish his goal. I've heard some people say that Bard's kids were badly acted, but I have to disagree, about Bain at least. He was completely believable, the way he looked terrified and yet trusting in his father as he stood with his back to the dragon was amazing. I couldn't find a picture of that moment so here is a different one of them.

          And Smaug, well, there's really no need to relate just how awesome he is. You almost hope he doesn't die because of his amazing voice and all-around epicness. He does, though, and crashes into the lake and practically boils the whole thing (actually not so much in the movie, which was a disappointment - in the book there was all this steam and stuffses). This also kills the Master of Laketown, which, as much as I know I shouldn't be celebrating someone's death (fake death, is that better), was a relief. No, not the right word. Anyway, I can't say I was in the least bit sad. He was so greedy and selfish, and yet pretended to be sad that he 'couldn't' save the people of his town. Nasty Fat Master. He even dumped Alfrid out of the boat before he would lose one precious spot of his treasure.
        Following the destruction of the Esgaroth and the demise of Smaug, the people flee to the shores of the lake. Fili, Kili and Bofur get ready to head to the Lonely Mountain to join up with the rest of teh company, and Kili asks Tauriel to come with them.
        Okay, lets just say that there was WAY too much Kiliel in this movie. I don't ship it, although for some reason it doesn't bother me quite as much as it used to. Maybe there was just so much that I got used to it. Yes, it's sweet that two 'people' would love each other so much that they would be willing to defy their kings' orders to do the right think, I get it. I just don't think the director should have taken the liberty to write in an interracial romance. It's too big a change. I understand that these movies are, of course, not a direct adaptation of the book, and are only based (rather loosely) on it, but it's enough to just create a new character. Or pull one from the Appendices and change up who kills him (Azog). To have one of the completely made up characters then fall in love with one of the main characters is a no-no. But I'm not going to hate on the Kiliel shippers just the same because, it's just another book inaccuracy. I'm done with my rant now.
        I feel like an underlying theme throughout the whole movie is the destruction and and evil that comes out of a love for money, and we certainly see it again here. So many people have died, and it is all because the dwarves wanted to take back Erebor. But Thorin promised Bard and the people of Laketown a share in the treasure of the mountain, so there should be no problem, right? Uh...
        Meanwhile, Thorin and the rest of the dwarves have (figuratively) boarded themselves into Erebor and are, at Thorin's command, conducting a search for the Arkenstone. Bilbo has it, but he doesn't tell anyone, since he noticed such a change in Thorin once he saw all the gold. The part where Fili and Kili and Bofur first come made me so sad. I'm pretty sure this is where I first started crying. Fili and Kili are so eager to see Thorin after all that happened (remember, for all they knew, the dragon could have killed him), and yet he is not the loving uncle that he used to be. Instead, he prowls around in his gold, brooding, while it infects his soul. His 'Welcome, my sister's sons', though, was spectacular. Sad too, because it's obvious that he is already affected by the dragon sickness, and Fili is so concerned for him.

         It was so sad that we never really got to see Thorin as himself until the battle. He just sort of spirals into insanity while the rest of the company watches, helpless. Balin is the first to sense it, I think, and his conversation with Bilbo about how the Arkenstone would only worsen Thorin's condition was heartbreaking. He went from 'There was one I could call King' to just dreading what was happening, and Bilbo could see it too.

          It just goes to show how remarkable hobbits really are. The rest of the dwarves sadly resign Thorin to insanity, supposing there is nothing to be done, but Bilbo takes action. He hides the Arkenstone while the others search the halls of Erebor for it at Thorin's command. Thorin becomes suspicious of everyone, even doubting the loyalty of his family and friends, and when he sees Bilbo sitting down by himself holding something in his hands, he assumes momentarily that it is the king's jewel. This was major feels. It's the only time in this movie we get to see real Thorin in his reclaimed home. The real king. He remembers that Bilbo came on this journey to help the dwarves take back their home because he valued his own so much.

"I know you doubt me, I know you always have, and you're right. I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my arm chair, and my garden. See, that's where I belong. That's home, and that's why I came cause you don't have one - a home. It was taken from you, but I will help you take it back if I can."

        Thorin is back in his home, and it really touches him that Bilbo would want to take back to his home such a small thing. An acorn - that will one day grow in to a sprawling beautiful oak tree just like the one next to the pond in the Shire. Not gold, not jewels, but an acorn. Just a foreshadowing of the "the world would be a merrier place" quote (not putting the whole thing in yet), and, needless to say, a heartbreaking one.

*HIS SMILE!* A real smile from Thorin!

        "One day I'll remember. Remember everything that happened: the good, the bad, those who survived... and those that did not." 

        I actually don't remember at what point in the movie the whole White Council/Sauron thing happened, but I'll talk about it here. First, Elrond is awesome. Especially after seeing the Hobbit, I love him even more. In the original trilogy he was very much the wise counselor who is usually observing everything that's going on, and we really only get to see his emotional side when it comes down to his daughter Arwen. He loses pretty much his whole family and all his friends and never gets bitter and I just love him so much. And *this* moment... Oh, I cry every time.

        Anyway, back to the Hobbit. Elrond is so sweet and caring towards Bilbo in An Unexpected Journey, and then is super-awesome-elf-warrior in Battle of the Five Armies. Like, how is this not awesome?!?!

        The rest of the part, well... I have to give my honest opinion and say that I wasn't a huge fan of it. *GASP* The movie isn't perfect! I didn't hate it, I just feel like they could have written it a bit better. I'll tell you a secret now. I think Galadriel is pretty creepy in LOTR. I liked her a whole lot better in the other Hobbit movies, but in this last one she was more like an 'elf-witch'. You know what I mean? And not just in the scary-Galadriel part, in the whole thing. Tolkien made a very clear distinction between the magic of elves (which was really just their nature), and the black magic of sorcery, and they weren't able to get that across with this screenplay. The way the wraiths were floating around Sauron looked fake, although the way they did the necromancer's shadow and the eye was amazing. Loved that. So just my thoughts on this part (I would love to hear what other people thought of it).

        Meanwhile, Thranduil's army arrives in Dale, where the people from Laketown have fled. The elves bring dearly needed food and other supplies for the refugees, and Thranduil reveals that it is not pity that brought him, but white elvish jewels that he wants backs in Erebor. Remember the ones that he was looking at in AUJ when the dwarf snapped the box closed on him? Yeah, those same jewels. At this point, Thranduil is very much the same selfish beast (but that does change later). He and Bard form an alliance, and although the elvenking would rather just storm the mountain and take the treasure by force, Bard convinces him to try to reason with Thorin. Bard has seen too much death already and would like to avoid any more conflict. Bard is not at all corrupted by power, as pretty much everyone else is who gains it, showing his strong character and love for his people.
        Speaking of corruption... More feels! Again, because the gold really has taken over Thorin's mind and he will not honor his promise to Bard and the people of Esgaroth. You can see just how far he has gone when he will not even keep his word and let the people partake in the riches of the mountain, only to save themselves!

        And then he turns around and sees those who have followed him this far, standing before him. They are not in defiance, but it is obvious that they do not 'agree' with his decision. They are standing there, expectantly, and you can almost see rebellion in their eyes. They know what Thorin is doing is wrong, yet, as I said before, they seem to think that they are helpless to do anything about it.

        After Legolas and Tauriel left the shores of the lake, they traveled to the fortress of Gundabad, which is near Angmar in the northern part of the Misty Mountains. You wouldn't get this from its brief appearance in the movies, but Gundabad actually has a special significance to the dwarves, who were its original inhabitants before orcs and other servants of Sauron took it over. It was the place of the awakening of Durin the Deathless as well, which, obviously, lends it more importance. I thought this whole part was especially neat. Now, I know they weren't in the book, but I'm glad they didn't mix Legolas and Tauriel in with the others during what was going on while they were gone (that's a mouthful). It was also nice to have a break from the intensity of the scenes with Thorin. And, Angmar is a pretty cool looking place, just saying.

         I'm not quite sure what I think of Alfrid. Yes, he's a scumbag, and very disgusting, but I'm almost tempted to like him. He was so funny in this movie! And I died laughing through my tears when Bard said, "Alfrid, your slip is showing." Bahahahahahaha! But no, I'm not putting a picture of him on my blog.
        I've heard a lot of people saying how they love Legolas and Tauriel in this movie because they refuse to do the wrong thing just because Thranduil tells them to. I agree with this. However, there is an element of, for lack of a better term, 'adolescent rebellion' that I don't like the feel of. The script writers didn't emphasize enough that what Legolas and Tauriel were doing was not just disobeying the king's order, but disobeying an order to do the wrong thing. I got a bad vibe when I first watched it, but then after I thought about it some more I realize where they're coming from.
        One of the biggest questions I had going in to this movie was 'What is Dain Ironfoot going to be like?' And right now, I don't quite know if I can even answer my own question. Dain was pretty epic, that's for sure, and I have to admit that he's pretty funny. Gandalf's words about him certainly ring true; 'I have always found Thorin to be the more reasonable of the two'. He came down from the Iron Hills when he got word that Thorin had reached Erebor, but by the time he got there the elves were attacking and the Gundabad orcs were on the way. I loved how he just got down to business and fought whoever needed fighting. And that battleaxe? I need one.

        Then Dain and Thranduil and Bard and all their people were fighting against all the orcs and those weird worm creatures (yeah, what's up with those?), and Thorin and the rest of the company were still up in Erebor. Except Bilbo. I forgot to talk about this before. There's this part where Bilbo sneaks out and takes the Arkenstone to Thranduil in hopes that Thorin will want it back enough to trade for the things that the Laketown people need. And the white jewels that Thranduil is planning to attack the mountain to reclaim. That part, although pretty exciting and suspenseful, was also funny.

Thranduil - "This is the halfling who stole the keys to my dungeons from under the nose of my guards?"

Bilbo - "Yes... Sorry about that."

        Anyway, instead of reasoning with the elvenking and his armies, Thorin, being the unreasonable dwarf he has become, just gets mad. Very mad. Then, Bilbo, who returned against Gandalf's recommendation, pipes up and admits it was him. Not a a good idea, if you ask me. Thorin almost dumps him off the cliff in his rage, but Gandalf prevents him. If you don't like my burglar, please don't damage him! Thorin is so blinded by the dragon sickness that he is, well, pretty much blind. *SOBS* Where did my Thorin go? Dwalin confronts him about the changes he has observed in a very emotional and powerful scene. "You do not know what you have become".

         Thorin finally realizes the truth of what everyone has been telling him after he has a vision (a hallucination of sorts) where he sees himself consumed by greed and a lust for gold as Smaug was. He throws off his crown (which is some amazing symbolism), and returns to the others, only to be confronted by Kili. This part was so sad because you imagine Kili, the youngest, who not only looks up to Thorin as a king, but also as his uncle, preparing himself for this speech. Rehearsing it over and over in his head. Second-guessing himself. Is this the right thing? Uncle will be so angry. What should I do? And then he just blurts it out, with all the emotion and conviction he has in him. "I will not hide while others fight our battles for us! It is not in my blood." And then Thorin, who has recovered from the dragon sickness and is himself again, reassures Kili. "No, it is not." He asks the other dwarves to, essentially, forgive him for what he did, and to fight with him one last time. One Last Time. The 'catchphrase' used to promote this movie and one that has so much meaning to us. The last movie. The last journey to Middle Earth. The last time all of us fans get together for a cause. Also, Thorin and Kili have a really sweet, very emotional moment of reconciliation before they all go charging into battle to join Dain.

        I have to say that the battle scenes were a bit prolonged. I wasn't expecting any different (the movie is called The Battle of the Five Armies, after all), but I still thought I'd mention it. I know they could have gotten done what needed to be done in less battle time, and I certainly didn't appreciate the added deaths. Especially *ahem* the mass decapitation by Thranduil of several orcs hanging on to his elk's antlers. Some things are just unnecessary. Legolas and Tauriel meanwhile have returned from the fortress of Gundabad to warn Gandalf of the coming attack. After fighting on the plain between Erebor and Dale, Thorin decides to take Dwalin and Fili and Kili to Ravenhill to try and take out the orcs' command station, where Azog is directing them. By this point in the movie, I knew they were going to die pretty soon, so every little emotion on their faces made my heart break. Fili and Kili just looked so scared, and I was pretty much sobbing. My babies!

        So Fili and Kili go, and I'm pretty sure everyone in the theater knew what was going to happen. There were no people digging noisily into their popcorn, no one whispering. It was as if everyone was holding their breath, waiting for what they knew was coming. Fili goes up the hill to search, and Kili stays on the lower levels. Right at that moment, Thorin realizes why Ravenhill is so suddenly deserted. It's a trap. And then suddenly Azog has Fili. Drags him to the edge of the cliff and holds him up where the others can see him. "First this one, then the brother". Stabs him in the back and then drops him off the edge. And Kili just has this NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! moment before he goes tearing up the hill to avenge his brother. (Oh, that NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! moment? Yeah, I'm pretty sure mine was bigger. More tears and shaking and sobbing, at least).

        After battling with the orcs by himself, Kili sees Tauriel on a different cliff fighting with Bolg. Despite her quick fighting skills, Bolg's sheer size is overpowering her, and Kili rushes to her rescue. We all know how it ends. Kili gets pinned down and stabbed, and his death was so heartbreaking I CAN'T. You can see just how much he loved her and this one tear just trickles down his cheek as he dies and it's SO SAD. There just isn't any describing it. Kili went from laughing and jokes to serious fighting, and now to death. This quest changed him so much, and he's never going back. That runestone from his mother, that he gave to Tauriel when she went off to Legolas, the one that says Return To Me? He won't be able to. He's this little boy (if you're relating his age to human years he's not even 20 yet), yet his life is already over.

        It was almost like, in giving the runestone to the one he loved, he was transferring the promise to her. Before, he had promised that he would try to stay alive and come back, and when he gave that promise to Tauriel, his goal was no longer to save himself, but her. The important thing was that SHE come back alive.

        After Kili dies, though, she doesn't have anything to live for any more. We see here how young and naive she really is. She had this armor on as the Captain of the Guard in Mirkwood, yet really, she is just as much a child as Kili. She has no experience with love, no experience with anything other than the life she knew back home. "If this is love, I do not want it." And Thranduil, who had earlier written her feelings off as fake, answers her anguished question "Then why does it hurt so?" with "Because it was real". We are reminded once again how Thranduil lost his wife, and for the first time see the elvenking soften. He is not just the hard ruler of Mirkwood, sicken with the forest. He has a heart.

        The battle between Thorin and Azog was, well, tense. Every time he swung that huge mace at Thorin, who all of the sudden you could see was just a little dwarf, it looked like it was going to smash him. Again and again they tried to kill each other for the last time, cracking the ice of the frozen river all around them. And then finally, we can breath. Thorin dumps Azog off the edge along with his mace, and they sink. Bloody and battered, Thorin breathes a sigh of relief. He did it. He took back his homeland and avenged his father and grandfather. Azog floats to the surface, just below the ice, and the current carries him along. His dead blue eyes stare up at the dwarf king, who walks along after him. I was like BAD IDEA THORIN BAD IDEA HE'S NOT DEAD 'CAUSE YOU'RE NOT DEAD YET. But he just kept floating along, and at last his eyes closed. And I wondered how this was all going to work out. Just when the whole theater let their guard down, Azog stabs up through the ice and into Thorin's foot. He climbs out of the water and they battle once more, only now Thorin is at the disadvantage. Azog pins him down, and he struggle to keep the sword from piercing his chest. You know those puppy-dog eyes Thorin pulls sometimes? They bit into everyone's hearts as we saw Thorin at the end. Terrified. Yet still strong. Finally, he can't hold it up any longer, and Azog pushes the blade into him. And the final NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! as the last of the Durins die. Not yet, though, Thorin rolls over and kills Azog (for real this time) before stumbling off to fall near where the river goes over. And that's where Bilbo finds him, almost unconscious.
        This was THE MOST HEARTBREAKING SCENE IN ALL THE MOVIES. Thorin asks Bilbo's forgiveness for how he acted, and Bilbo accepts his apology since he knows it was all because of the dragon sickness. Thorin wants to be reconciled to the hobbit before he dies, but Bilbo tries to reassure him he will live. "Look, Thorin, the eagles are here!" He tries to keep him alive, but he can't do anything. Thorin thanks Bilbo for all that he did.

Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books, your fireplace. Plant your trees, watch them grow. If more of us valued home above gold, it would be a merrier world.

        Now, this scene where Bilbo comes to Thorin as he dies is in the book, but the movie is tribute to how a film can make a book come alive. Tolkien write emotion into his book; it is there. But you have to use your imagination to really feel it. To relive the whole journey in a few seconds as it all comes to an end. To see how Bilbo really wept at the death of the King Under The Mountain. Yes, LOTR is 'darker'. There is a greater sense of peril and foreboding danger. But the Hobbit is gritty. It's sad. It's one of those quests that both succeeds and fails, and that is always miserable. And as I saw Bilbo crying as he held Thorin one last time, I was sobbing. Not just a few tears, but trying with all my strength to not wildly and vocally wail and spoil the movie for everyone else. I was shaking and my face was all contorted and everyone around me was just like *____*. They don't get it.
        To tell the truth, I don't remember a whole lot about what happened after that. I couldn't see real well and all I remember is the rest of the dwarves gathering around Thorin's body and then Gandalf and Bilbo and the return journey home. And then when Bilbo comes home and they don't believe who he is and ask for written proof and he pulls out the contract and the person asks WHO THORIN OAKENSHIELD IS. Bilbo could have explained that Thorin was son of Thrain son of Thror, King Under The Mountain. The dwarf prince who went to reclaim his homeland. Who took back Erebor and then died avenging his family. But he just says "He was my friend". Because that's who Thorin Oakenshield really was. And I started sobbing all over again. You know, I'm pretty sure I actually never stopped.
        Then it links to all the other movies with the older Bilbo once more. And you remember really everything he went through and experienced before LOTR. And then it's over.
        I'm going to do a whole post on The Last Goodbye because such a song warrants special treatment, and I don't want to make this one any longer. Yeah, it's late. I've been really busy and working on it in my spare time so it's about two weeks late. Oh well. If you made it to the end, thank you. We can fangirl together. So many feels. Such a great and terrible ending.
        Thank you Peter Jackson. You directed great movies, even if they're not book-accurate. Thank you Martin Freeman. You're Bilbo and that's all I have to say. Richard Armitage... I love that you're a Tolkien nerd and you played Thorin to a T. You're performance had nothing lacking and the movies would not have been the same without you. Thank you Ian McKellan. You were a wonderful Chauvelin all those years ago, and Gandalf means you. Dean O'Gorman and Aidan Turner, you brought Fili and Kili to life. And, y'all are so stinkin' cute as dwarves! Thank you Lee Pace, for being Thranduil. Cold and hard, yet soft under all that. Evangeline Lilly, I don't mind Tauriel so much as I used to. She's a good character. Orlando Bloom, no one could be Legolas but you, but *whispers* I liked you much better in the original trilogy. And thank you to all the rest of the cast, all the dwarves, hobbits, men, and yes, orcs too, who supported the main characters. I love all of you too. And everyone else who worked on the movie who gets no credit, YOU ARE AMAZING. Oh, and Howard Shore, thanks for another great score. I have all of the music now. Thank you fellow fans. This is our last movie, and it would not be the same without getting to talk to y'all about it.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

One Day More!

        Is anybody else as excited for The Battle of the Five Armies as I am? Because I'm practically going crazy right now! I've waited so long for this, and yet at the same time I am terribly sad that this is the last Middle Earth movie. Evah. *sobs in corner*. There are going to be lots of feels (guys, I even cried more for the trailer than pretty much any other movie), and lots of fighting. And those 3 hours are going to fly by. Then the screen will go black and we'll hear this:

        I can't really say much more. I feel like I've raved enough about it already and I don't want to just repeat myself. But I do. I can't even think right now. I can't even anything. 
        It's here. One last time.


Sunday, December 14, 2014


        I'm a fangirl. Y'all probably knew that already, but to be honest, most of the people I see every day don't. Not withstanding my family of course. See, my first experience with fandoms was when the Les Mis movie came out in 2012. No, that was not my first experience with the musical (and I hold very strongly that the stage musical is FAR better than the movie), but we had just gotten a new computer and I started using it a lot. Our old one took about forty five minutes just to turn on and then ten minutes every time you wanted to change pages or do anything else. It just wasn't worth it. Anyway, I got really into Les Mis at that point - I already knew the musical by heart - but I learned all about previous casts and actors and everything else there is to know about it. I saw references to the Les Miserables 'fandom', but I had no idea what that meant. When people talked about 'joining the fandom' I thought you had to go sign up, I don't know, on some website or something. 

Bilbo is the fandom wishing I had never figured it out.

        I found the blog that inspired my own through my searches for Les Mis info, which was a very good thing, let me tell you. Soon after, I got really into everything Tolkien. I read the books again, and my brother and I watched the movies (for his first time). I was obsessed. Still am. Everyone who reads this blog probably knows that. I since have 'joined' a bunch of other fandoms.

        There are feels. FEELS, PEOPLES!!!! Just to think that a couple of years ago this word would have bewildered me.


        And there's that gooey feeling you get when your favorite character talks or does anything.

        And then there's it all mixed together when you just have SO MANY FEELINGS OF ALL SORTS. Basically most of the time.

        Fandoms are awesome. There are some nasty people, but there are nasty people everywhere. They're easy to avoid. Fandoms are amazing. Fandoms are crazy.

        It's amazing when you meet people in 'real life' that are in the same fandoms as you and you have that little moment of squealing and jumping up and down together. And hopefully many more in the future.

        So that's me.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

74 Acres

        A little over a year ago, my mom inherited, shall we say, a large sum of money when my grandfather passed away. We have always dreamed of having more land than our little postage stamp in the suburbs 5000 square feet - including the house and detached garage - so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. See, here in the SF Bay Area, everything costs more, including the land. Yeah, it stinks. But after looking around for a couple months, we came across a parcel of land MUCH bigger than any we had seen for sale before, and for actually less than the smaller ones. I fell in love with it just from the pictures online, although my family had their doubts. When we all went to go see it, though, they found it to be perfect. Long story short, we got it. After months of dealing with misbehaving banks, the sale closed and we are now the grateful owners of 74 acres of gorgeous land. Yes, it's a bit dry because of the lack of rain, but with some grazing animals and rainfall, it will soon be lush and beautiful. We have a lot of work to do what with fencing and everything to keep predators out, but we're moving right along and hope to get some alpacas shortly. It's nice because we no longer have to go to a range for target practice, and we have a plethora of deer and turkeys to hunt as well. Last time we were out there (it's about 20 minutes from our house), I brought my camera and took a bunch of pictures for y'all. 

        Okay, this is my favorite place. It's a path bordered with trees and carpeted with tiny green sprouts and dried leaves. It's gorgeous. Also, the creek is right off to the side.

         There are a ton of deer around! I'm looking forward to finally having a place to hunt. It's just really a shame when the deer population is so large and they get hit by cars and wasted every day.

        From the very top, you can see both the bay and the nearest mountain. Although I haven't yet seen it myself, our new neighbor says that on a very clear day, you can even see Mount Lassen and the Sierras!!!! For those of you not familiar with California geography, I have a map. Sorry for the bad quality, but I think you get the picture! The circle is about where we are, and then the arrows show where the mountains are.

        I almost can't believe we own this land! It's amazing, and a great responsibility as well. I can't thank God enough for this huge blessing and answer to prayer.