Happy Tolkien Day 2019!
May your joyful day be full as a hobbit’s belly!
While you might not know it from the weird lack of me posting content about it (hello creative ADHD…), Lord of the Rings is one my most beloved fandoms. Fellowship of the Ring was the foremost influential movie of my life (that and The Matrix. I blame Hugo Weaving). I’ll save my ramblings on that for another blog post, but for now, on this fine remembrance of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s birth, I thought I’d share the smattering assortment of Tolkien-related things I’ve done over the years in lieu of a singular cosplay/geek fashion photoshoot.
MY FIRST COSPLAY
Alright so I fibbed slightly…it came to my attention recently, that I had actually unknowingly cosplayed from Lord of the Rings (this was way back in 2002 before most of us had even heard of cosplay). Here is teenage Briana in her very first elf cosplay. I decided to get up in front of my school’s talent show in that get up and sing May It Be. That poor audience…if there’s a female equivalent of a guy’s voice cracking at puberty, pretty sure I had it and it made its presence know every few notes. Oops.
ATLANTA TOLKIEN SOCIETY
Or as I like to joke – otherwise known around here as The Wert Family. Imagine someone looking akin to your favourite grandparents with hobbity dispositions. There you have Jim and Emily Wert (who frequently cosplay as Samwise Gamgee and Rosie Cotton. So adorable) and their just as Tolkien-loving, cosplaying children. They’re known in town for hosting the most EPIC themed parties, helping run the Tolkien track (now General Fantasy. Boo. Hiss.) at Dragoncon, and the local Atlanta Tolkien Fan meetups with the lovely Rebecca Perry (my former roommate! At this point I’ve realized all of my roommates have been LOTR people. We just find each other.) On various Sundays of the month, we take over a local, appropriately British looking pub, to both fan over Tolkien work and then incesssantly rant over one Tolkien topic or another. Our current favourite is the upcoming Amazon TV series. #givethepeoplewhattheywant #wedontknowhatthatisyet #butwewantsit
NEW YEAR MOVIE MARATHON
Speaking of roommates, my current ones (i.e. The Gluttonous Geek and her handy husband) and I have had a tradition for a few years now of starting the year off RIGHT. Which means a Lord of the Rings marathon while lounging in comfy PJS and gnoshing Hobbit-style on either themed dishes or Mellow Mushroom pizza, depending on the level of Ent-like lethargy we have from the previous night’s festivities.
FEAST OF STARLIGHT
One of the local geek haunts, Battle and Brew used to host themed dinners of multiple courses, paired drinks, and delectable desserts. As a gift, I got to attend one of them – the Tolkien one of course! Although I was clad in elven garments, I brought a hobbit sized appetite with me. Our hosts really did a phenomenal job preparing the menu of dishes such as mead marinated quail leg with rainbow chard and golden beets or rabbit matzo ball stew. (I was obsessed with the Scottish Caramel Pu-erh tea. I’m STILL on the hunt for it!)
You can check out my roommate’s writeup on the entire event from a few year’s ago (complete with pictures of the dishes and derps by yours truly.)
LIVING IN MIDDLE EARTH
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I used to live in Middle Earth (or New Zealand as the mortals call it). I arrived under the guise of a study abroad college student with nefarious plans to break into their film industry. I got SO CLOSE. So close. Alas, ’twas not to be. But I have a year full of stories and memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world (including a LOTR tour in Wellington before I had to board the plane back home and cry for the next 24 hour flight. NO JOKE. My trip was 23 hours and 55 minutes. Thank the Valar for Qantas‘ leg room). Except maybe the chance to go back and take better pictures. ‘Tis a downright pity I was not a photographer back then.
Truly the most magnificent experience of my life. So much so that I tried to get permanent residency there (again, SO CLOSE. Darn you Immigration NZ. I am convinced at this point that when I grow old and leave for the Undying Lands, a ship shall simply deposit me in Auckland where I can dine on pavlova and drink entire too many ginger beers with my mates back at my other home. One day). It truly is a land of utter magic. ALL THE PROPAGANDA IS TRUE. It truly is an unspoilt paradise worthy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic Middle Earth.
Aroha i koe Aotearoa.