Wow, it has been a long time since I read Lord of the Rings. I own a shiny hardback box set of them, which I got on sale at Bongs & Noodles for $15, and which I now discover are the editions with fold-out maps in the back. I want to snip the maps out with careful snips and hang them around my room – except I know my snips would not be tidy, and even if they were, the maps would get all Blue-Tac-y in the corners and need to be folded up and stored next time I move, and eventually I would wish the maps were back inside the books. My cover looks like this:
My edition of Fellowship starts out with an introduction that explains that Tolkien made a lot of revisions. A LOT. He revised different texts, in different ways, so that different editions ended up with different information. Including the well-known case of “Estella Bolger”, which the writer of this introduction seems to think everyone knows about. This is very boring and several pages too long, and could have been condensed so it said this instead:
The edition of Lord of the Rings that you now hold in your hands is the best and most authoritative edition of all the editions that have ever been published.
A Bigger Tolkien Geek Than You
Now that I have written this letter, and been all snarky about the introduction guy, I’ve expanded my mental imagining of what it will be like when I meet Tolkien in heaven. The scene now includes the person who wrote this introduction, Douglas A. Anderson, who will have been talking to an interested and appreciative Professor Tolkien when I interrupt, and who will proceed to stand around looking smug until I realize who he is, remember this blog post, and retire in embarrassment.
I am like, ridiculously excited to be reading this again. Gandalf mentioned Aragorn in passing to Frodo, and I was all Yes! Aragorn! Bring it, Tolkien! though in fact, when I am not being all screen-plagued (“gone Hollywood” did not win the word contest although I wanted it to) by Viggo Mortensen hotness, I actually really like Boromir better, in the books. Because he is more interesting, and Aragorn is heroic but a bit dull. I am looking forward to seeing Boromir again.