Susie Rae talks about Lord Of The Rings and why it’s just a bit weird that you all enjoyed it.
I’m assuming you’ve all had this date marked down in your calendars for months, but in case you missed it, the 22nd of September was Hobbit Day. Don’t ask me how I know that, don’t ask me why it exists, and don’t ask me what it is, just accept it and move on. Happy Hobbit Day, guys.
To properly honour this day, let’s talk Lord of the Rings.
Turns out, while I was spending all my time extensively stalking strangers on Facebook and shower-singing to Bruno Mars, I completely missed the fact that Lord of the Rings is Kind Of A Big Deal. Descriptions of it when I casually brought it up in the pub (my one and only attempt at researching this before I wrote extensively about it) varied from “cinematically perfect” to “we can no longer be friends until you watch it”. Personally, I think a running time of six days is a bit long for any reasonable person, but the rest of humanity seems to enthusiastically disagree to an almost worrying extent.
At its very core, Lord of the Rings is essentially the single most complicated trilogy of anything ever (including The Matrix), and I’ve had many sleepless nights and frustrating conversations trying to make sense of this clusterfuck of a franchise.
At first, I thought it was just about Hobbits – you know, those wee pretty-looking furry guys, played by the likes of Elijah Wood and that guy from Lost – who are on a dramatic and adorably inspirational quest to throw some jewellery into a volcano. Sweet Jesus, I’ve never been more wrong. On top of the pretty-looking furry guys, there are also the tall, thoughtful-looking guys with straightened hair and bows, the little angry bearded guys, and the regular-sized bearded guys who all kind of look the same and have a very complicated system of monarchy where nobody really understands who’s related to who, and more than one person is set on fire. From what I can gather, these highly-flammable bearded guys have absolutely balls-all to do with the actual storyline, but are instead there to provide some kind of confusing historical commentary, and boost the number of characters I need to keep track of to somewhere in the region of nine hundred.
Even the actual ring-based storyline is overwhelmingly confusing. The ring is bad, but only if you’re wearing it, but being around it makes you want to wear it, and so it has to be destroyed, but you can’t destroy it because it’s magic, so you have to walk thousands of miles to lob it into a volcano (as any reasonable person would do in this situation), but you can’t really do that because, in order to do that, you have to carry it, which would make you want to wear it, and then Sauron, who manifests himself in a giant floating eye and is evil in a kind of vague way, can see you. I never got much further than that, because that’s the point where I give up, drink a lot of gin, and then watch six hours of Spongebob.
Anyway, the eventual conclusion of this madness is that Frodo has to take the trek to destroy the ring. This is the wee furry guy who not only has absolutely no physical strength to protect himself from the hell-hordes that are trying to stop him, but also lacks the basic common sense required to realise that Dobby the House Elf, who’s been following him for several weeks muttering to himself about how he wants to kill him, is trying to kill him. They couldn’t send one of the trained-from-birth-to-use-a-sword nobility to do it, cause they’re far too busy discussing at length things that don’t make sense, and competing to see who can sport the most magnificent beard. And Gandalf, who, by the way, is freaking immortal, can’t do it, cause he’s off running Hogwarts and training King Arthur to run Camelot. Nah, let’s send the character who is most like Winnie the Pooh to go do it. Don’t worry, though, we’ll send another furry guy who is equally useless but slightly chubbier to protect him.
Personally, I don’t believe anyone genuinely understands the mountain of what-the-fuck that is Lord of the Rings. You say you all understand it, and that it’s not that complicated at all, and that it makes perfect sense, and that I’m just not that bright, but you’re lying. I know you’re lying. You’re all just watching it for Viggo Mortensen’s arse. It’s the only explanation that makes any sense. I’m onto you.