Things I learn from watching the Tolkien movie


Good can come for adversity.

Last weekend I went to see the Tolkien film and to be honest I hadn’t heard anything about it and didn’t know what to expect. While I liked it I did find it slow in places and rather depressing at times, but if this is a real account of his life then my, am I impressed. I had no idea he had gone through such adversity and that a lot of what he created really seemed to have come from a very difficult place.

 I was left thinking what an amazing man and it certainly made me see his stories in a deeper, more meaningful way.

So what are the things I learnt from this film?

1. You can get through adversity.

If I went to this movie thinking I was a bit done and my life was a bit crappy, I came away thanking the world for all I had.  He went through a lot of trauma, losing both parents, having an awful time in the Great War (not that anyone has a nice time in the war) and losing most of his friends. It was heart-rending and horrific and it also made me realise how amazing humans are and how we really can get through the most difficult circumstances. 

2. Sometimes good can come from the worse thing possible.

As per above, what you learn in this movie is that a lot of the ideas and premises for the books came from some of Tolkien’s worse moments, when he was stuck in the trenches with trench fever and I think this is such an important thing for us to remember. We often think in our lowest moments that nothing can be gained; this film shows that often, however painful, these circumstances might be the making of us.

3.  Friendship can change us.

This really for me was the message of the film; a message of the bond of friendship and how important it is, how friends can shape us, shape our lives and make or break us. A fellowship, as Tolkien calls it. The friendship between these young men really was a delight to see and really made me see the bonds in his books in a different light.

4.  Love can pull us through.

I know, but as corny as it sounds, for me this message also stood out. Tolkien is pulled through and encouraged by the women he loves; she is instrumental in helping him bring these books into the world, not necessarily by helping him but by giving him an ultimatum, making him make a choice, by asking him to commit. I think we all need someone like that in our life, someone who tells us to give it our all or leave it, even when it might not be what we want to hear.

 5. Follow your heart

This for me is also a film where we are asked to give up the standard way of being and to follow what brings us passion, whether that means changing our university course or concentrating and committing to that book we need to write. We must at some point choose to follow our heart or choose to let go of what is in our heart. Following your heart takes courage, commitment and a certain element of risk; just think where we would be if Tolkien had decided not to.

 I’m curious; who else has watched the film and what did you think to it?