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introducing me. and books. and life.

Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.

-Lemony Snicket

Never trust anyone who never reads.

-Me.

And to be quite honest, in my mind, there are only three kinds of people in the world: those who can’t read, those who won’t read, and those that do. Welcome, readers, to my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

My name’s Abbie, mocha-drinker, horse-rider, sesquipedalianist and all round book-lover; and together we’re going to delve into the magical world of reading, writing, culture and everything else in between. Care to join me?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this wild adventure we’re starting on. Gettin’ excited yet?

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, suggest post ideas or even just have a chat. Until next time… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It Ends

Now, if none of you want to read this, then…

So, you poor old readers who have been left behind thought my Tolkien rants were over? Sadly, they’re not. At least, not quite. Because just yesterday, I watched The Hobbit.

AND The Lord of the Rings.

In one week.

Yaaass, it set me on FIYAAAAAH!

So don’t be mad. It might just make me slip my elvish boots on and grab me arrows… buckle on your Mithril and get ready for an action-packed adventure!

*Me*
My favourite bit about this? How he CONTEMPLATES the bow

Okay, so you know last week was a bit of a short post…I’ll admit it.

So, this week I want to do a very very long post on a collection of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movesss (whooops, beginning to sound like Gollum!); it’s gonna be basically what I think makes every one of these films just so absolutely incredible, but also my favourite characters and why they may be different to how I think of them in the books. And for YOU, my little halflings, you can post comments on what makes these good to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Don’t worry if not all my jokes make sense to you – it’s a fandom after all, what do you expect?!*

Gandalf’s embarassment – teeheeheee!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Return of the King and The Battle of the Five Armies|

True courage is about knowing not when to take a life but when to spare one.

Gandalf the Grey.

I think this whole movie series could be summed up by this one quote. Now, I’m not saying that the entire movie is flowers and roses, they all lived happily ever after, etc…

It’s the fact that each character VALUES THE LIVES OF THEIR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES. Bilbo does his best to save Thorin by keeping back the cursed Arkenstone. Kili tries to save his brother. Tauriel saves Kili from an Orc raid in Mirkwood. Legolas saves Tauriel from his own grouchy father. And Legolas…is not saved by anyone.

#Icanfightbymyself

But you get my point, right?? The Characters deeply and eternally care about each other. They are not willing, even when all hope seems lost, to give up or give in. Their strong morals of steadfast friendship and courage ring true throughout these films, and bring me to tears.

Every.

Single.

Time.

I hate to break it to you, but though Legolas has something of a standing in this series since he is in The Lord of the Rings, Tauriel is not actually in the books at all. I know, right?! And she’s the best character EVVVEEEEER!!

*Me reading The Hobbit*

So, without further ado, let us get on with my character ratings for The Hobbit movies… Name translations are in front of the characters real name.

Tauriel | Daughter of the Forest

Okay, so we were talkin’ bout her, weren’t we? Weeell, let’s give this wonderful she-elf a good looking at.

She’s obvioulsy enrolled at Thranduil’s palace in Mirkwood as Head of the Elven Guard, and is known for her amazingly swift and tactical movements while fighting (like many of the Elves).

But what is so amazing about this Elf is her thirst for adventure, justice, and her love for Kili, a dwarf in Thorin’s company. Even Legolas’ creepy father, Thranduil, King of Mirkwood, won’t stop her relentless courage.

She can dress wounds, fight, and just about give ole Legolas a right telling off at times (which, my friends, is certainly not a simple task).

Unfortunately for Tauriel, Legolas is in love with her too.

Legolas giving Tauriel the death stare after she talks to Kili (!)

And only in the last movie does he realise his mistake and decide to do some good elsewhere and train up Aragorn, Isildur’s heir (if you were wondering, Isildur is the guy who cut The Ring from Sauron’s hand), where you will find him again in The Lord of the Rings; Tauriel quietly slips out of the story.

Because, after Kili’s awful death, you can see she is heartbroken, and Legolas finally recognises that she could not ever love him, because no matter what her heart would stay with her loved one. So he did the best thing an Elf can do – leave and help someone else who needs it.

Tauriel also shows her wit and determination to do right by protecting the remnant of dwarves left behind and Bard’s family when Smaug the dragon soars over Rivendell and sets it aflame, then goes with Legolas to spy out the orcs. She truly is a remarkable, honest character.

Legolas | Greenleaf

Yeah, that literally IS what his name means!! Go figure. Cause his last name is also Greenleaf..

Legolas is a steady, loyal character, also famous like Tauriel for his slick moves and quick battle plans. He’s the son of Thranduil. Nuff said. I personally don’t think I could LIVE with that sort of a parent; he’s so controlling, arrogant, greedy, self-centered *my sincerest apologies to Thranduil fans, by the way* witless, cowardly, and…you get the point. I don’t like him very much at all. Not the rest of the characters, but…

But hey, this bit is meant to be for Legolas. How many more times can you keep liking his part?!

Can I just say he is my favourite guy in LotR, hands down?? I mean, Stryder is the leader, Sam is the cutie, Frodo is the Ring-bearer…but Legolas seems to me to often be the heart and soul of this intrepid quest.

He’s loyal, kind (heh, except in 99% of The Hobbit :S ) and knows how to deal with the enemy. Although he is often torn between his loyalty to his own people and The Fellowship, this rogue elf is about as fearless as it gets. Plus I’m slightly biased since he was one of my first fan crushes. :p Like, before I even saw the moves!!!

Bilbo |

Sadly, my dear questers, I cannot find Bilbo’s name meaning – however, I DID find out that ‘Hobbit’ comes from Holbytla, an etymology that JRR Tolkien made up meaning ‘hole-dweller’ in Old English.

This fond little hobbit comes from the Shire in Middle-earth, and as most of us know, his quiet peaceful life changes forever when he is visited by Gandalf the Grey with Thorin’s company.

I was so pleased when I saw how Bilbo was portrayed by Martin Freeman – he is exactly how I imagine Bilbo from the book!

Even though Bilbo may have flaws, he has such decency, wit and determination that makes everyone instantly love him. He’s very brave, and brings a touch of solidity and homeliness to the scary world outside of the Shire that few characters except hobbits can provide.

Something I always find hilarious about good old Bilbo is how he obviously cannot fight as well as the dwarves, but tries so very hard that he somehow manages to defeat his foe. *stifles chuckle*

Another reason Billbo is so likeable is how he talks himself out of situations, with both Gollum and the Three Trolls. His tenacity and daring are often overlooked completely by the other characters, but they are qualities in him that we love. Also his hilarious way of looking at things.

And can we just say that he’s one of the few people who can actually GET GANDALF ANNOYED?! This in and of itself is an achievement, I would say!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King |

I made a promise Mr. Frodo, a promiseโ€ฆ donโ€™t you lose him Samwise Gamgee; and I donโ€™t mean to.

Samwise Gamgee.

Just as Gandalfs’ wise saying can easily sum up The Hobbit, so Sam’s simple yet profound words have always left me speechless. What friendship and courage he and all the other characters show in this series! The Fellowship itself does not just centre on the task at hand – even after it has been broken, Legolas, Gilmli and Aragorn actually go to rescue Merry and Pippin, their friends – they don’t just count them as a loss and look to the Greater Good to satisfy them.

Frodo (as the main character) has always struck me as needing the others with him, and I don’t believe for one moment this is a sign of weakness. So often today we are told that we must be strong on our own and I believe that is true to an extent – but if you look at Frodo, he simply needed the others to help him complete the mission. There’s no other way of putting it.

Let’s face it though, there were some parts in this series I just find HILARIOUS because of all the plot changes from the original, but also the characters’ silliness.

  1. Boromir’s famous quote “One does not simply walk past the gates of Mordor…” I mean, WHY ON EARTH does he say that?! This is the FELLOWSHIP we’re talkin’ bout!!
  2. Sauron being a bit of a wuss. Okay, so he’s evil. But mostly all we see him doing is howling at everyone with his mace.
  3. Gimli picking a fight with elves. He obviously couldn’t see he was outnumbered 10 to 1.
  4. Eowen following Aragorn around everywhere. I know, this is in the book…but seriously, how funny!
  5. Aragorn’s love interest. I just have a feeling that their love was sort of, well…awkward?! Plus it wasn’t in the book. I mean, she turns up to kiss him in an evening dress as if she’s been waiting for it. I prefer true love in whatever they happen to be in, no matter how manky!
Yaas, de battle clothes are on! I feel like this part is actually the most romantic bit of the whole movie
Meh. I prefer her fighting, tbh.

But all that being said, LotR is one of my favourite movie series, and I’d reccommend it to anyone. Again, true themes of loyalty, redemption (esp. with Boromir) and a united cause.

Aragorn | My favourite definitions are Revered King, Royal Valour and Noble

The perfect leader – full of courage, never willing to give in, and above all else, a true King of Men. I can’t get over how much Aragorn cares about everyone else in THe Fellowship. Ok, so I know we have the slightly creepy bit at the start of The Fellowship, but I think it was mainly to build atmosphere, and he totally proves himslef for who he is in the Return of the King.

I actually imagine Aragorn to be slighlty MORE shady in the books, but that’s just my opinion. But yes, a true fighting guy. You go, Stryder!!

*thumps Aragorn on shoulder*

Frodo | wise

Ah, the Ring-bearer. I haven’t got much more room for all my favourite characters (if you knew me, I pretty much think of EVERYONE as my favourite, except the bad guys), but I had to stick in something for dear old Frodie.

He may be small, but he’s strong. He may fall for the Ring, but his friends help him finally be rid of it and Sauron and all his dark forces. He may often get hit with a weapon, but he bounces back. That’s what I love so much about this resilient wee hobbit…plus his child-like delight in simple things.

Now, tell ME what you think could have been differently, or what you loved about these movies – I’d love to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Long live Legolas and Gimli and Elrond and Gandalf and Tauriel and Kili and Thorin and Merry and Pippin and Frodo, and Sam, and jolly old Hobbiton!

Tolkien’s Works.| The Return of the King

The very end of The Lord of the Rings! I can’t believe we’re here already!

Isn’t this joyous news!! We’re finally almost there! (Please forgive my RIDICULOUS grammar)

Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli travel together to find the Dead Men of Dunharrow, who must join them, as they are under an ancient curse that compels them to fight for the King of Gondor. With this new army, they reach the besieged city of Minas Tirith, where Eowyn ( Theodoen’s niece who disguises herself as a soldier ) and Merry together kill the Lord of the Nazgul.

As all this is going on, Sam frees Frodo from Cirith Ungol, and they begin their journey again across Mordor, finally reaching the Cracks of Doom (as a distraction, Aragorn leads a company against the Dark Lords Armies). However, instead of destroying The Ring, Frodo puts it on; however, Gollum reappears and bites of Frodo’s finger, taking The Ring. But while jubilating over what he has done, Gollum loses his footing and plunges into The Cracks of Doom, destroying himself, and therefore The Ring, together. When it is destroyed, Sauron loses all control, his army begin to die and fall into disarray, and the victory is won.

Three cheers for hobbits!!

YESSSSS!

So there, in a nutshell, is a short version of what goes on in The Two Towers. Want to find out more? Watch DA MOVIE! Or better yet, the book. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tolkien’s Works | The Two Towers

OH MY GOODNESS, YOU ARE ACTUALLY EXCITED TO SEE ME BACK!!!

Welcome back to my LotR posts – glad to see you again, I must say! Come on in, and take a seat.

The Two Towers would definitely have to be one of my favourites. I mean, it’s the middle of the trilogy and there’s a cliff-hanger you people!! So…let’s begin.

Plot.

The Two Towers is super-intense and taut with action. Merry and Pippin are captured by Orcs, but manage to escape and end up in Fangorn Forest, where they are later found by Aragorn. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam manage to capture Gollum, and force him to lead them to where the Ring lies. However, still obsessed with the Ring, Gollum instead tricks them and takes them to Shelob, the massive, ugly spider that guards Angband, Sauron’s stronghold; in a heroic act of courage that has always makes me admire him, Sam fights off and kills Shelob himself. He believes that Frodo must be dead, and continues on to destroy the Ring, but later discovers that his dear Hobbit friend is still alive.

Characters.

Of course, as you can already tell, Samwise Gamgee has a special place in my heart, but especially in The Two Towers. His tenacity and bravery, despite his shortcomings and simple background, make him easily lovable and hard to part with at the end of this series.

Yes!
YES! AGAIN!

Frodo, of course, I always see as doubtlessly heroic, even when he is the first to fall. Though often tempted by the Ring, he is not so easily led astray as his uncle Bilbo, and has a loyalty to his friends that surpasses it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the movies are great, but do you ever notice they incorporate LOVE TRIANGLES?! I mean, Fili falls in love with an ELF. And trust me that’s not a good idea. I mean, how would you feel if your gal lived on forever without you and probably fell in love with someone else along the way? (Like Legolas? *cough cough*)

And did we ever mention how they make him a bit of a brat in the first Hobbit moves??

Yup. That would be him.

Okay I admit he’s one of my favourite characters (next to Tauriel – is she even in the book??), but I was disappointed after watching The LotR to find he was very mean in the first Hobbit movie. Anyway, that’s a sidenote///

One elf I instantly fell in love with was Lady Galadriel. Strong, independent, but ready to listen, she makes a great, honest heroine.

So yeah, my review of The Two Towers – defintiely a 5 star: ***** Stay tuned for my final review of LotR, next week!

sesquipedalian speciality: a book sneak-peek//

I’ve always prided myself in writing; but never before have I endeavored to write two full-blown novels….AT THE SAME TIME!!

I know. But, believe it or not, it’s fun (and I also juggle blogging, reading, family, friends, going places…yeeeah, it’s a busy life!). But heads up, you people, I’m going to share a so far TOP SECRET piece of information…one of my books sneak-peeks! Are ya ready?? Hold on to your hats, and tell me what you think! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sneak-peek for The Fire-Watchers: Tales of Irythea #1

The great darkness of an unforgiving night sky was only penetrated by a handful of tiny stars, glimmering feebly down on the plains. The sullen red eye of the sun glittered coldly as it watched a small fire flicker down below, before sinking out of sight beneath the horizon. It left nothing behind. Nothing, save contemptuous blood-stains of light on the vast curtain of darkness.

     Two lone figures sat across from each other at the fire, their shadows stretching out like wan ghosts over the plain; a harsh land scarred by mountain ranges and gorges. Dead trees, as though frozen in horror by the scene, held aloft lifeless limbs to the sky. But far more terrifying, still, was the complete and utter silence. Not a leaf stirred. Not a bird flew. Not a beast moved.

     Dead. Cold. Lifeless.

     The travellers, too, sat in silence. Unspoken words hung heavily between them in the spark-flecked air, as the flames crackled stubbornly in defiance of the stillness. A wolf howled. The young man stiffened slightly; the cry subsided, but he drew a rusted broadsword slowly from within the folds of his cloak and began, once more, to work at the wasted metalwork with his knife. Decaying flakes fell into the flames, and across from him, the old man nodded gravely.

            โ€˜It is well that you prepare, young Whin.โ€™ He closed his eyes. โ€˜That sword must be ready for the trouble that lies ahead. As you must be.โ€™

            Whin ceased scraping and turned towards his master. The shadows cast by the flames danced on his face, blue eyes steely.

            โ€˜Sir, Iโ€™m not ready. You are Renfinn Marlcoat, dragon slayer, the wisest overmorner I knowโ€”โ€˜ He paused and glanced up, confusion plain on his face, โ€˜and a Fire-Watcher. Why do you not go?โ€™

            Marlcoat spat into the fire and breathed deeply, scratching his ragged beard in thought. Then he looked up through his dark brows, and Whin knew what his answer would be; the old man studied his student for a long, long time. Finally, his deep voice broke the silence.

            โ€˜They may not see you for what you are, Whinโ€”but I do. You are not unreadyโ€”in fact, I believe you are prepared in every way. Bravery is not the absence of fearโ€ฆbut the courage to do it anyway. And you have great courage, Whin.โ€™

            Whin raised his eyes slowly from the flames, a fire even fiercer burning in them.

            โ€˜Then what is stopping me?โ€™

            There was no hint of question in his voice; his fate was decided, and they both knew it. Marlcoat chuckled.

            โ€˜I leave that to you to find outโ€ฆ.Fire-Watcher.โ€™

(Next week: a preview of my other book!)

OOOOOH.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below..

Legacy of the Land… Armadale Castle and Gardens

The perfect way to go on holiday! Ruined castles are my absolute fave for photography, learning about history, and simply chilling in such an aesthetic place. So go ahead – delve deep into these delightful, delectable depictions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

YES.
Original sculpture of Greyfriars Bobby by William Brodie
An ancient arrow-head found in Fiskavaig, Isle of Skye
A replica of an original Celtic sculpture
A quote on the Museum’s wall, with replicas of the Callanish Standing Stones below
An ancient anchor
Clan Donald’s incitement to battle, in Scottish Gaelic (left) and English (right)
Lands owned or occupied by Clan Donald
An ancient Scottish dirk
Basket broadswords
The confession of three rebels against King George II
A minature book
The ruined laundry house outside the Castle
Taking photos in the laundry room

A section of the Ruined Castle

Well, I hope you enjoyed this week’s post! What ruined castles have you been to? Please ask me anything you would like to know about the photos in the comments below. ๐Ÿ™‚