New Zealand was amazing!!!! The scenery was beautiful and touring around the various LoTR and Hobbit filming locations made me feel like a real elf walking around Middle Earth! Also got to see so many props/weapons/costumes/etc. from the films! So glad I finally ticked it off my bucket list but definitely going to return ASAP and do it all over again.
I’m so disappointed when elves in fiction are merely immortal humans with pointy ears, and dwarves are just short humans with beards. Perhaps others enjoy it, but I am bored of banal human conflicts and vices projected ad nauseam onto supposedly inhuman races.
I want to see things that really make me believe elves and dwarves and other fantasy races aren’t just disguised humans. Show me strange biology, incomprehensible minds, impossible virtues and unthinkable sins, oddities and curiosities of all kinds.
I think that’s what drew me to Tolkien’s races, who have exactly those kinds of quirks that set them apart from ordinary humans - like dwarves having only 1/3 of their race female, or elves being capable of telepathy. I love fic that explores the consequences of these strange characteristics most of all.
’I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’ - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Shadow of the Past, The Fellowship of the Ring