Tolkien magic…..gone?


It is known that I did not like The Hobbit (book), but that it almost ruined Tolkien’s magic for me, it is not much known.

In the middle of a discussion of the reason I do not like to celebrate, for example, Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday on September 22th,  the idea to explain the reason it happened came out.

Young Ondo

At first, my story with Tolkien. I started reading The Lord of the Rings, in Portuguese, when I was 8 or 9 years old. It took me almost two years to read it all, including the appendix. When I Angerthas-MoriaAwas 10 or 11 years old, I started playing with Angerthas Moria and I knew a bit of how the Shire’s calendar worked.

The deepness of the book, the fact that there was something behind this story, it always made me wonder. In some point right after this, I read The Hobbit in its illustrated version. I remember I liked it, but not so much, and started the Silmarillion right away, when I was… 12 years old(?) I read it whole and loved it.Quenta_Silmarillion_wallpaper_by_MarieStockholm

The Tolkiendilli languages always intrigued me. I remember to write a lot on my notebook in Cirth and of being crazy to learn Sindarin (that I still don’t know and I’m not as curious as I was).

In some point, I read The Lord of the Rings for the second time and, when I was good enough to read books heavier than Harry Potter in English, I read it for the third time. Then, Unfinished Tales. I was about 16 years old when I started it and I decided it was time to learn Quenya. I met Erunno on twitter in some point and I started studying deeper this marvelous language. Right after that, I read The Children of Húrin  and, until now, I can’t find a better book.  A friend of mine gifted me The Silmarillion (the first time I read it, I borrowed it from my aunt) and I read it for the second time, knowing a bit of Quenya. There’s no such feeling as reading the Ainulindalë.

45701_10151305754606334_2016861561_nI always wanted to read the History of Middle-Earth series,  but it took me too long to find them. When I finally did, I bought The Book of Lost Tales 1 and 2 right away. It took me a semester to read both and, needless to say, I got enchanted.

I stopped with Tolkien for a while, and after a year or more reading different things, I finally started The Hobbit, before the movie. All my Tolkiendilli friends commented so much, and bugged the hell out of me to read it!

And then…. where is it? Where’s the deepness? Where are the well-constructed characters with8130-M their marvelous and fantastic stories? What the hell are these elves? Beorn?!?!? I think I got so used to First Age and the War of the Ring that a very short and not so dense story such as The Hobbit disappointed me (yes, I know it was meant for children).

In the last chapters, I read the Annotated version.  Then things got a little better, as it showed some details left by Tolkien, and also from where some things did come. But even then, I got disappointed. Some of the “Tolkien magic” ended, all the deepness and contextualization that always enchanted and impressed me, was gone. There’s almost nothing of it on the whole book, except for the Ring, the Gondolin swords and a little of the history of the dwarves, but even then it is not fully explained (something fixed in the movie!). And not to mention that the linguistic part of it is basically the runes on the map….

Old Ondo

In the end, I missed almost everything that made me love Tolkien. Some of the magic of his work is lost. Maybe if I had read the Annotated version from the beginning it would have been different. But there’s still hope! The next book in line is Morgoth’s Ring. High, high, hiiiiiiiigh expectations. I hope I won’t get disappointed again!

Something Ondo will find out in Morgoth's Ring.....(or not) :D

Something Ondo will find out in Morgoth’s Ring…..(or not)


Save me the spoilers




Filed under Hobbit, Quenya, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings, Tolkien

20 responses to “Tolkien magic…..gone?

  1. Cillendor

    Ir ni hên, hennen i Berian a de ú-cheniannen dan de ú-herannen. De hennon thî a de seron athan i lû vinui. Dan iston i ci tîr. I Berian parf vaer, dan i bennas úlong, adh i nerphin tely. Ni gelir i Gonnon Eruviluion* sâf i ‘orf an echaded in embedin** dîn. Ti ro-vaer thî.

    When I was a child, I read the Hobbit and didn’t understand it or like it. I read it now and I like it more than the first time. But I know that you are correct. The Hobbit is a good book, but the story is light and the characters are flat. I am glad that Peter Jackson had the courage to change his movies. They are better now.

    *had to use Johnson because meaning of Jack is uncertain
    **”moving picture”

  2. atyarwen

    I just think we can see “The Hobbit” as a start level in Tolkien’s world… 🙂
    Imagine a children, like 6 years starting reading “Unfinished Tales”….it would be very difficult to undrestand….
    But then they start reading the Hobbit, and as they grow older they can go further and deep in Tolkien’s world, by reading Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion, etc etc…..

    And, I’m not sure, but I think it was the first book published by Tolkien (about middle-earth?) so it would be expected he was going to improve the next ones.

    • Agreed & Agreed! The Hobbit is the very first step. The simplicity of some terms (used not only in The Hobbit) bugs me sometimes, but Tolkien had in mind the lay and beginners. It helped allure new people to its mythological new world.

    • Ondo Carniliono

      Yes, I agree with you! My problem was that I started with LOTR (and its appendix) right and followed to the Silmarillion. So the start leve
      ….bored me!

  3. Cendanen i Perian írë nenyë olya nessa, nó cendanen Heru Cormaron hya Quenya Silmarillion ette melinyes. I perya nólë i Periandessë ná, sananyë, an i Perian né técina ló Tolkien híniryan ar lá Ambaren.

    Ranta inganya i Periando ná (ar illumë an cendanen Quenta Silmarillion) írë Elerondo quetë i macilo Ondolindello. (I macil Turukáno! Turukáno umë inganya nossë Finwëo, mal melinyet.)

    Melinye Quenta Endoron! Corma Moringottova ar Lier Endoron nar inganyar. Merin i antas lyen alassë.

    • Eä raicar quettali sís, mal i ilya ná ammára!

      Nauvas asëa qui ilyë sinter i nati equétiel! (ve nas indolya)

      • “I read the Hobbit when I was very young, before I read the Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, so/therefore I love it. The lack of lore in the Hobbit is, I think, because the Hobbit was written by Tolkien for his children, not the world [couldn’t think of how to say publishing].

        My favourite part of the Hobbit is (and always since I read the Silmarillion) when Elrond speaks of the swords from Gondolin. (The sword of Turgon! Turgon isn’t my favourite of the hourse of Finwë, but I love them [all]).

        I love the History of Middle-earth. Morgoth’s Ring and The Peoples of Middle-earth are my favourites. I hope they give you joy.”

  4. Jordan

    I don’t mean to offend, but saying that The Hobbit “ruins” Tolkien’s magic simply because it’s aimed at children and doesn’t have the deep history and linguistics is like saying that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone “ruins” the magic of the Harry Potter series, simply because it’s aimed at children and doesn’t include the Death Eaters or apparating or Nagini. Tolkien knew what he was writing, and he wanted it written exactly the way it was, and frankly it seems a bit rude to criticize a *crucial* part of the story just because it’s not exciting enough for you.

    • Well, you had a very very bad comparison here. Harry Potter series is ruined by…itself! No particular book ruins it, the whole does it.

      J.K.Rowling did an excellent job pretending she wrote a book!

      (Harry Potters fans cursing me copiously in 3…2….1…..) 😀

      But anyway….sharing an opinion of taste is not rude and in no way I read Ondo’s words here as being rude. I don’t agree with him, but once again….the rudeness is in the eyes of the reader not the pen of the writer. That happens a lot with the written media in these high-tech days.

      • Cillendor

        I’m curious as to why you didn’t like the Harry Potter books. I’ve only read the whole series once, but I thought they were excellently written.

        • I simply don’t. Poor theme in my opinion and poorly copycatted from others. It may be an exciting book to read for the ones who enjoy the theme, but….not for me!

    • Ondo Carniliono

      It was not meant to be rude, it was just my opinion. I can’t help the fact that I didn’t like it and I wanted to express it somehow.

  5. ilverai

    I think part of the problem is that The Hobbit is intrinsically diferent from all of Tolkien’s other works. Not only because it is a children’s book, originally composed for his children, but also because it is constructed as an epistilary document…as Bilbo’s diary, retold through the voice of the narrator. This iis a quality I’ve been highly aware of in my current reread and how this structure colors the few moments of interlacement to be found.

    To be honest, I’ve always had a much greater attachment to The Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion…but I discovered Tolkien through The Hobbit, so it will always have that pride of place.

    Not to push my own blog on you, but I think it adds to the discussion, I wrote last week about how to approach reading The Hobbit, and it’s been a recurring theme in posts and comments. (

    The Hobbit is a good little book, but we cannot approach it as another masterwork of the same style or scale. It requires a wholly diferent mindset, which is only part of the reason doing a blogged reread of it is so difficult!

    • I totally agree! Hard to add anything to your opinion here, ilverai! Right on!

      The Hobbit is pretty good in its own way. My #1 favorite is The Silmarillion, but that doesn’t make me dislike The Hobbit style! It’s good, it’s cool, it’s a book to have fun in its innocent way of telling an adventure set in a new and strange world.

    • Ondo Carniliono

      I have no objection to the fact that it was meant to be a document. In fact, it is one of the best things about the book and I always thought of Tolkien’s work this way! (as the translation or the Red Book of Westmarch)

      The thing is… I did not discover Tolkien through The Hobbit and people made me expect too much of the book. Many and many times I heard “The Hobbit is better than the Silmarillion”… And then it wasn’t not even close.

      As soon as I have time, I will read your blog, as it got me interested. And no problems in mentioning it here, in fact, it is great

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