Essay by Fan Forever

This board and fanclub are my first experience in any fandom. Except for a few years at adolescence when I could share my passion with others, and wear circlets and capes in the RW and roam golden woods at fall, pretending birches were mallorn, and sketching my favourites characters, I had lived outside of any fandom whatsoever until I learned about this fan club. I learned about a film called FOTR just a few days before it was released, and nearly had a heart attack looking at the trailer :-) Nobody around me could understand my utterly hysterical state :-) Some of my friends even thought I was deranged and needed help (wonder why) and indeed I have lost friends because of LOTR. But like others here, I had to find out what others were feeling about the film, and one night of a certain late December I randomly typed 'Lord of the Rings' in the search engine and found the Official film site, then the fan club. Fan Club?? I said. I had no idea such thing even existed - or any other things related to Tolkien for that matter (Tolkien is not part of my cultural background at all). And there I was, having to decide about posting on a... what? a 'message board'??? Nah. And finding a 'handle'?? But after lurking for a little while, there it was, it became nothing short of a love affair. I had never encountered anyone at all with whom I could talk about LOTR that way, and though I was (and still am) intimidated with having to express myself in a second language, the passion was too strong, I just had to jump in. Since then I have discovered a whole universe, more fabulous than I would have possibly dreamed of, and found people creative and passionate as I would NEVER have thought possible, and friendships I will only describe as deep.

My reasons for staying in this fandom/community have shifted from time to time; over the months (and now years!), to share a passion has made me look into issues and things that were not always so easy to look at - but then, it is Lord of the Rings, right, not some soap opera, it was bound to touch sensitive issues :-) But from the beginning I have been in awe at what I see here, the depth of it or the silliness of it, and I stay because of that, and because I learn about myself and about the world all the time, and of course about Tolkien and his amazing gift to us all. This fandom does indeed mean fellowship and it has been a source of inspiration for me, more than people can think of, and though I feel lost at times, and though I know I probably keep to myself too much, wondering if I will ever contribute like I would really want to, and not just 'take' things that others give me, I am glad I can come back every day and find a great place to share it all.

But I am starting to ramble, better stop here.. thanks Prim, and all...