When I was a teenager, J.R.R. Tolkien saved my life. My cousin gave me ‘The Hobbit’ and I escaped into Middle Earth like the life line it was for my completely fucked up existence.
I discovered a world of supernatural creatures — dragons, orcs, hobbits, elves, and dwarfs. Where man was the minority and Magic ruled the lands. I became hooked on fantasy fiction like it was a drug. I loved it with my entire heart and devoured book after book. My love of reading grew to an obsession.
In The Trilogy: The Lord of The Rings — Tolkien introduces the character who still holds the most precious place in my heart — more so than the famous Leia of Star Wars fame or even Tolkien’s own Elven Princess Arwen. I became an ardent fan of Eowyn — Warrior Princess of Rhohan.
She is a badass chick who doesn’t get the man of her dreams in the end, even though her epic fulfillment of a long held prophecy turns the tide on The Battle for Middle Earth. She has to figure a work around to be able to fulfill said destiny because her uncle and her brother see her as only a woman. She is the first heroine I came across who said, “Fuck that shit!” and grabbed a hold of her life with both hands. Her god damn destiny. She put on her armor, picked up her sword and claimed her power.
Besides Eowyn — Tolkien’s writing also held this appeal for me — the bad guys were bad guys. You knew who was who because the orcs and the Nazguls were ugly, mean, and vicious right up front in Middle Earth. Predators didn’t go around disguised as humans like they do in Real Earth. Aside from a single traitorous, power hungry wizard — you pretty much knew which side every one was playing on.
That’s the way it is in most fantasy fiction. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons it’s fantasy. You can see and smell the Demon Lords coming way before they actually arrive. In Real Life — many times you don’t even know you’re in danger — because the predators are so completely camouflaged.
I still have my Tolkien books as well as the complete Harry Potter collection. I devour anything True Blood author Charlaine Harris writes like my favorite dessert treat. I even read Twilight and all subsequent tomes— I am a Team Jacob kind of girl — cuz Werewolves. Wolves of any sort are my spirit animal — half human ones are no exception.
Imagination, fantasy, and a little bit of magic rescued me from my pain and grief as a teenager. I can never thank J.R.R. Tolkien and Eowyn enough for saving me when I lived in that mind space. They gave me the courage to know that I will survive, I will do great things, I will find my power — even if I am no man.