When I started LOTR and my childhood dream of LOTR was completely smashed(in a good way) I sped through FOTR in less than a week, TT in a week, and ROTK in a month because I got grounded from reading(I would read it when I was supposed to be doing other things).
I then watched the movies, and was officially obsessed. I learned words in elvish, I learned to write the inscription from the One Ring on paper(yes, even at a young age I wanted to be a dark lord and was planning Middle-earth domination) and I could never talk about anything else. Observe:
Person: Heyyy how's it going?
Me: Frodo has been caught by Shelob.
Mom: what should we have for dinner?
Friend: Do you want to go to...
Me: Rivendell?!! YES PLEASE!
Friend: I was going to say 'park'...but whatever.
Me: oh well you can do that I'm saving Middle-earth right now.
Mom: Let's go on a walk!
Me: One does not simply walk into Mordor.
You get the point. And the reason why I've never understood why people say 'I can't read LOTR I tried it's so boring' IS BECAUSE I READ THEM AT 10. IF YOUR A GROWN ADULT, AND YOUR TRYING TO TELL ME YOU CAN'T READ LOTR, THERE'S A PROBLEM.
Anyway, LOTR was my first fandom. Sadly, I was pretty much alone in my fandom, because
a) none of my friends were that interested in it(actually I didn't;t have many friends. I was pretty lonely.)
b) didn't have access to the internet.
So I continued like that, all alone. I read Tolkien's other books, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. Funny story: When I tried to get The Silmarillion out of the library(don't forget, I was like 12) the librarian, probably unaccustomed to 12 year olds wanting to read The Silmarillion, tried to stop me from getting it out. Apparently she thought that it was too mature for me. I got it out anyway, and loved it so much. AND THEN THE TRAILER FOR AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY DROPPED. And my LOTR obsession, which had died down a little, came back with a crushing force. I re-read The Hobbit like 50 times leading up to the movie, I re-read LOTR etc etc.
I loved the movie, needless to say, and spent the entire car trip home singing Far Over The Misty Mountains.
Then something magical happened I got an internet access, and made friends with other Tolkien fans.
FINALLY after having no one to talk to about my Middle-earth obsession, I could talk to my heart's content about various Tolkien things. I was able to fangirl over the trailer with them, share fan theories, write fanfics, and all the things fangirls do. I refused to listen to anything except the soundtracks for LOTR and The Hobbit. Literally.
I consider that year, my gr.8 year, the best year of my life. DoS came out, and I loved it(and Tauriel) and valiantly defended the MINOR changes made.
Then in 2014, things got even crazier. I decided that I was going to cosplay Tauriel for the last movie. Unfortunately, I didn't get started on this until 1 or 2 months before the movie came out. I also decided I was going to go to the first showing on opening night. I watch the World Premier in London live...when I was supposed to be doing other things. I distinctly remember the day the teaser trailer came out. I hadn't been home, and had to wait a whole day and a half to watch it. TALK ABOUT TORTURE. The day the trailer, the official one, came out, I waited the whole day by the computer, determined to watch it the second it came out. And I did, and I cried, and I was a mess the rest of the day, because that trailer wounded me. Emotionally. If you are not a fangirl, you won't understand.
Then the day of the movie came. It was the day after my birthday, so I guess it was the best birthday gift ever. Me and my mom literally finished the costume 5 minutes before we left to go see it. I had to change into it in the car(which was difficult). My hair was done like Tauriel's and everything. ASDFGHJKL waiting for the movie to start was the longest moment of my life. And then it started, and I burst into tears the moment I saw the WB logo appear on the screen.(WHAT? I WAS EMOTIONAL) I loved the movie so much. Sadly, I was such a wreak after the movie, so I forgot to take pictures. I'm still mad at myself for that one.
In 2015 we got the extended edition, which for some reason I haven't watched yet. I need to get on that.
So. That was my journey. But it hasn't ended. In fact, I think it's only the beginning. I have to finish the Tauriel cosplay and do a photo shoot for it, I have other characters I want to cosplay, I haven't marathoned the movies yet, I have yet to listen to the full 10 hour version of Their Taking The Hobbits To Isengard in one sitting, I want to visit New Zealand, and I'm moderating a discussion on the One Ring.net forums on February 14-16 for the chapter from TT, 'Journey To The Crossroads'!
There are still lots of Happy Hobbit videos to watch.
What was this post? you ask.
Well I'm not sure actually. I just felt incredibly nostalgic, and I wanted to share what Tolkien's universes means to me. Middle-earth is my happy place. Whenever I'm sad, I go back and re-read FOTR(my favorite book out of the LOTR trilogy). I think, to sum it up, LOTR/TH is to me what Harry Potter is to other people.(I love Harry Potter too, but I only just started the series...so yeah)