I sit here, listening to Howard Shore’s haunting melodies and the beautiful memories that are associated with each powerful note. I sit here, as finals loom over the horizon, still slightly recovering from my homework binge I was forced to undertake this past weekend, and I glance at the calendar to reorient myself with what day it is. It’s a Tuesday. December the 9th, if you really want to know.
In seven days, the wait will be over. In seven days, at 10:30 p.m., I will be sitting with some of the nerdiest people I know, in Auditorium 15. In seven days, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will premiere (for me, at least). A couple hours will pass and whilst sitting at my seat, I will get chills from happiness and grin like a fool; I will squirm with impatience and nerves; I will cry from anger and from sorrow. And then the credits will roll and Billy Boyd’s amazing voice will echo throughout the theatre and I will sit, frozen. It will all be over.
I’m not ready.
Yes, I have been waiting for this premiere since I first heard the confirmation that Jackson was going to be taking on The Hobbit franchise. I have literally been waiting years to watch Smaug battle against Bard the Bowman; to witness the five armies kill and try to survive; to see how the filmmakers adapted some of the most crucial moments within the book (to me), moments that Tolkien himself only devoted one sentence describing (I won’t mention it here because I don’t want to spoil it, but any person who has read The Hobbit knows exactly what I’m talking about); to travel there and back again. I already have my tickets purchased, work requested off and my timeline/game plan for the day set. But now that the day that I have been waiting for, for years, is now finally almost upon me, the emotion I feel the most is the one I least expected to experience.
I’m not ready.
I’m not ready because by 1 that morning, it will be over. This amazing, beautiful masterpiece split into six films within the realm of Middle-earth will be over. And I am not ready for this amazing obsession that has helped shape and develop my life quite heavily, actually, to end. Yes, I can reread the books more than I already have. Of course I can continue to watch the films and quote each line verbatim, following along to the story I have committed to memory. I can watch the appendixes and wish for the thousandth time that I was older, so I could have been a part of the journey Jackson and his amazing crew underwent to bring The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to life. Yet none of those experiences are ever as joyous and amazing as the first time experiencing it. Next Tuesday will be the last first time and for that, I am saddened almost more than should be reasonable. But I know that it is justified for me personally, as well as for many others who have been impacted just as much, if not more, by what Jackson and his crew have done.
So I’m not ready. But I am excited. And I am so thankful. Peter, watch out, a letter of immense gratitude will be hitting your mailbox at the start of the New Year! But I am also selfishly hopeful. Tolkien only sold the film rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, which is why Jackson cannot make more films within the realm of Middle-earth. The rights belong to the Tolkien Estate. Those rights could still be sold.
I implore anyone within that estate to stop and think, just for one second, about how amazing of a journey would traveling through the stories told within The Silmarillion, sharing what the greater public have missed out on because they are scared to delve into such a wicked volume of text (which is their own mistake). Think about seeing the story of Beren and Luthien unfold on screen; witnessing Morgoth’s reign (how absolutely wicked would that be?); traveling through Numenor. The amount of sheer amazingness that would result from Jackson working on a project like that is not even expressible through words (don’t worry, Tolkien Estate, you’ll be hearing from me via snail mail, as well). So I hope that maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to leave Middle-earth quite yet. Because I’m not ready and due to the epic proportions and standards that Jackson elevated, on screen, the greatest story already told in fiction, I never will be.
And I’m totally okay with that.