So that post I had up for yesterday was certainly depressing. Well, I had an antidote for that today. After getting home from an errand this afternoon, I had all four grandsons over for a viewing of the extended version of the “Return of the King.” This includes my personal favorite scene from the motion picture series, “The Ride of the Rohirrim.”
There’s nothing like hanging out with my young descendants to cheer me up. This was the first viewing of this decisive completion to the trilogy for the two younger fellows. And there was much excitement over the visually impressive Battle of Minas Tirth. We cheered on the good guys and laughed when the various orcs and trolls were splatted by projectiles hurled from the battlements.
Camera Girl, always the gracious hostess, provided grilled cheeses sandwiches, mac and cheese and desserts. There were several pies, various flavors of ice cream, cheesecake and cookies available. And this being a vacation week we all ate way too much.
After the movie ended, we debated many important points of Tolkeiniana. I expressed my opinion that regardless of the violence done to the plot Sam should have been allowed to liquidate Gollum. In all honesty, in the movie version, I despise both Gollum and Frodo almost equally. Frodo is such a hopeless basket case that it defies imagination that Sam was able to finally carry him over the finish line to Mount Doom at all. If they had taken along a ten-year-old girl instead it couldn’t have been any more pathetic. I think if Elrond had given the ring to Sam, he would have chucked it in Mount Doom a couple of months early and been back in the Shire in time for potato planting.
My younger relatives seemed to enjoy most the scenes where Gimli and Legolas compete to kill the most orcs. I have to confess the liberties that the movie makers took with the dialog around Gimli borders on the farcical but I will admit that sometimes the lightheartedness is a welcome addition. Although I do draw the line at the dwarf tossing and elf snowboarding scenes in “The Two Towers.”
Eventually some of the discussions spilled over into arguments about the actual text in Tolkien’s books. I had to bring out my copy of the trilogy in order to provide authoritative answers to questions like which were older, the Oathbreakers on the Paths of the Dead or the dead soldiers in the Dead Marshes? As it turned out they were both from the same time period, the Last Alliance of Men and Elves against Sauron at the end of the Second Age.
And so, we ended the get together and I brought them home in time to finish their chores and prepare for the next day of their Christmas vacation. But if life in this confused world still includes time with such admirable characters as my grandsons, then it can’t be all bad. We’ll have many good things to do in the days and weeks ahead. And I’ll get to see them grow up to be fine young men. As for problems, well, helping family with their problems is what family is all about.