As Varda so eloquently said in her post just below: our film-journey seems to be over. And what a ride it was, my friends.
For almost four years we were on pins and needles, anticipating what Peter Jackson would pull out of his magic hat next. And whether we agreed with what he showed us, or not, there would always be new stuff to discuss, to argue over good-naturedly, and to comfort one another if something didn't turn out the way one wanted it: "it's probably going to be in the EE." Those magic words won't be used anymore, and those who are still missing things will always miss them now.
Frodo says at the end of the film: "the Fellowship of the Ring, though eternally bound by friendship and love, was ended." His alter ego Elijah Wood says at the end of the DVD: "This is not the end. The Fellowship will go on as long as we want it to."
It doesn't matter whom you agree with more: either way this journey has changed our lives.
Some of you may remember last year, when I came storming onto the Boards, fuming about an article in which a showbiz reporter had stated: "the final film has been released, and the LOTR geeks go back to their pathetic little lives". I was outraged. How dare this woman belittle our passion so?
Later as I cooled down I realised that what counted most was that *I* knew what it was about.
Yesterday as I was watching the ROTK EE, I looked around my room and realised that it is so much more than just Geek Planet. The stuff I collected over these past few years are not just souvenirs of geekdom, they are memories. Memories of friendship, of belonging, of our journey together.
Above my bed there's a poster of which I bought three; the other two I gave to Varda and Indis when I stayed with them. Next to it is a framed picture of Merry that I found on my pillow when I slept at Indis' house. A message board next to that, full of letters and postcards from all over the world. On my bedside table: a framed picture of Merry that Varda bought for me in Manchester as a consolation prize for not winning the Trivia game, my Merry action figure that Lith sent me from the US, my nametags from the Gathering, MotR, RingCon.
On the couch where I watch my DVD's there is a Frodo pillow that Agi made for me, a teddybear I bought in London with RosieCotton, another teddybear Agi gave me for being her roomie in Toronto. My action figures are from Amsterdam, Leiden, Dublin, London, Manchester, Toronto, the US...
Everything, everything, is a memory of a good moment, a happy moment, as a Ringer.
And whether I will lose touch with you one day or not, I will always have these memories of our journey together, to treasure and hold dear.
As I once wrote in a poem for Frodo:
This day has gone, but have no sorrow
For some things never fade away
You keep in your heart the dreams of tomorrow
And the memories of yesterday
I think, in the end, this is why Frodo was able to say goodbye. As he says to Sam on Mount Doom, he is able to see the Shire again. The memory lives in his heart, and so he is free to leave it and his friends behind, knowing that they will always be with him.
((((Mellyn nîn)))) Tenn' enomentielva.