Rewatching LOTR & The Hobbit

Thoughts While Rewatching LOTR & The Hobbit Series’

Watching a series you grew up with as an adult, you notice more things than just the fight scenes and cool costumes.


May contain some spoilers.

Growing up, I became obsessed quickly with J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. For my birthday I asked my Nana to take me to the Grand Rapids Symphony to watch the second and third Lord of the Rings movie be played with a live orchestra, and for Christmas I asked my Dad to take me to see the Hobbit midnight premieres. I was fortunate enough to have a family that took an interest in what I enjoyed, since it was a series they grew up knowing as well, so I got to have a pretty cool childhood, if I do say so myself.

To say I'm a fan in an understatement. Not only do I have all the movies on ITunes, but on regular DVD and Bluray as well.'s a pretty extreme obsession. I own the books. I have toys and trinkets dedicated to the series and pictures from a calendar from 2014 or so hanging around my room.

So, like any fan, I decided to pull out the movies and watch them over the long break. You'd think as someone who watched them so many times throughout the years I would notice just about everything in the series...well I guess I was wrong.

With that being said, here are some things I noticed while rewatching the series:

1. The characters are truly the most memorable part of the series.

From left to right: Bombur, Ori, Kili, and Nori (The Hobbit)

Whether it be books or movies, characters to me were always what made or break the story. If you have a good story with poor characters, it's just not the same. With The Hobbit, the dwarves were crucial to the story and since you have so many of them, thirteen to be exact, they needed to be well developed so you could really relate to them. While some dwarves had more character than others, each one had their own quirks that made you love them.

Three characters in particular; Bilbo, Gloin, and Balin were brought up not only in the The Hobbit, but mentioned and seen in the Lord of The Rings as well. Being able to see Gloin old and grey with his son, Gimli, now grown up, really warmed my heart. But it wasn't entirely happy, because Bilbo and Balin weren't so lucky.

If you haven't read, or seen the movies, spoiler alert, Bilbo was the one who got the One Ring before Frodo, and before he became corrupt with the obsession of the ring, he was a very homebody hobbit who just wanted to plant his acorn in his garden. Seeing him in the Lord of the Rings more superstitious and crazy, made my heart break.

Not only that, but we get to see Balin's tomb, where unfortunately some of the dwarves who went off with him perished after a goblin attack. It was bound to happy, Balin dying and all, but knowing that his final days were decimated by a goblin attack, made me cry just as much as Gimli did when he found out.

2. The series truly had one of the best casts!

From left to right, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan

You hear it all the time about actors hating one another while working on a film. It feels like rarely you hear about friendships lasting after movies. The thing I find most adoring is how close the cast mates were. You would almost assume that everyone would like one another after working with each other for so many years on the films, but sometimes it just isn't the case.

Two of my personal favorite characters from the Lord of the Rings, Merry and Pippin, who were played by Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd, have such a close friendship that you almost wonder if it was a friendship made to be.

If you follow the two on Instagram, then you'd know that the two are constantly liking and commenting on one another's posts, still very goofy like we knew them to be years back.

The Lord of the Rings cast, at least the ones in the Fellowship, even have matching tattoos of the number nine. It truly warms my cold, dead heart to know how close this cast over a decade later.

3. The music is everything.

From The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Concerning Hobbits is for sure the best gift Howard Shore gave us. I still listen, and most definitely bop to, on a daily basis. Misty Mountains and Blunt the Knives were also top tier but nothing can beat Concerning Hobbits.

While the story and characters are amazing, the music is certainly one you could never forget. The strings, choir, flutes, anything you hear in the soundtracks are sounds you will always remember.

Once you watch the films so many times, you get this really cool gift of being able to identify the part in the movie purely based on the song...okay so maybe not as cool as you I make it out to be, but you get my drift!

Music is something so vital to a lot of people's lives. It brings us joy, a sense of relaxation, and entertainment. As someone who played the cello throughout school, learning to play Misty Mountains was like winning the golden ticket. If you haven't really listened to the music, you really should! (I may or may not be listening to it now as I write this...)

4. Action scenes? Yes, please!

From The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

While a lot of the animals and backgrounds are CGI and/or a green screen, Peter Jackson never fails to amaze us with the high-intensity action scenes. You truly feel like you are out on the field during the battles.

Most of the scenes do take place in New Zealand, where you can actually go and check out the Shire, but there are parts that need to be done with a green screen just because, well, it is fantasy.

But the thing that Jackson does so well makes it look real. Instead of doing a crappy job and it ends up looking like it was CGI or in front of a green screen, the scenes blend so well together that it looks real.

Even though the movies, all six of them, were made between the years of 2001-2014, the CGI is actually really good for the time it was made. Yes, we live in a world now where CGI looks fantastic and sometimes you can't tell whether it is real or not, but even just a few years ago it wasn't anywhere near as complex as it is today.

5. The theme of friendship is truly beautiful.

From The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

In both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, friendship played a huge role in the story.

With The Hobbit we have the company of dwarves, a hobbit, and a wizard (occasionally) together journeying to the Misty Mountains. Unfortunately, in the beginning, Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the dwarves, doesn't speak too highly of Bilbo Baggins which causes mass amounts of tension between the two but as the story goes on they grow as friends and, without giving away any spoilers, by the end of it you will be crying just like Bilbo.

Just like The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings movies has a lot of friendships. Some, much like Thorin and Bilbo, don't really start out as friends but by the end are very close. For example, Legolas and Gimli, an elf and a dwarf, are very timid around one another (this could very well be because of the feud in The Hobbit) but by the end of Return of the King, the two are just as close as our mischievous hobbits, Merry and Pippin.

Having these characters grow together as friends not only makes the story more emotionally attaching but shows how developed they are from the beginning to the end.

From The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I have a lot to thank J. R. R. Tolkien for. Without him, I would have never been made into the person I am today. This series changed me in more ways than anything else in my life. It is silly to say, but it is true.

During a time when I felt as though I had nobody, I had the adoring characters of this series to go to when I needed a laugh, someone to cry with, whatever the case might have been, this story was here for me.

So if you haven't read the books or watched the films, please do. Not only will you fall in love but have your eyes opened to all the wonderful possibilities in life.

So again, J. R. R. Tolkien, thank you for creating possibly the best story out there.

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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The Fire In The Notre Dame Cathedral Is A World Tragedy

This article is my opinion about the Notre Dame tragedy



1. On Monday the city of Paris, France, was hit with a tragedy as one of the most famous Cathedrals in the world caught fire.

2. The cause of the fire is unknown, however, police do not believe this was an act of terror or arson.

3. As of today, roughly about a billion dollars have been donated to help rebuild this historical landmark.

4. Officials believe that the fire may have been an electrical problem.

Here are some pictures of the damage the fire caused to the Cathedral

CBS News

CBS News

The picture above stands out so much to me because despite all of the damage done to the cathedral, the cross at the head of the alter still remains standing.

CBS News

CBS News

What truly warms my heart about this devastating tragedy is that people all over the world have come together for the people of France and the Catholic community. As a Catholic girl, it is very sad to me to see such a beautiful historical landmark of my religion be demolished by this fire. It especially warms my heart to see places such as the World Trade Center Monument and Empire State Building in New York City shine the blue white and red flag colors of France in solidarity with the citizens of France and the Catholic community.

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