Mount Doom of fandom

2014-12-14 06:10

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Director: Peter Jackson

Featuring: Ian McKellen, Cate Blachett, Orlando Bloom

No self-respecting Lord of the Rings (LOTR) and The Hobbit fan should actually call themselves a “Ring-er” without having hosted or attended a LOTR trilogy marathon. As a proud Tolkienite (named after the writer JRR Tolkien), it’s around this time every year that a group of us (we’ll call it a “fellowship”) will gather at someone’s house (see personal Hobbit Hollow), make a bed on the floor in front of the TV (a place to hold your precious) and begin the epic adventure from the meadows of The Shire to the smoke of Smaug and back to the hobbit holes again.

Among my (admittedly nerdy) group of friends, we call the event, along with an equally lame Harry Potteresque occasion, paralaysia – a ritual that involves an uncomfortable amount of alcohol and greasy food balanced precariously on the “Christmas bed” – a structure on the floor made from anything remotely squishy.

While the parties of my past have never really threatened to reach the elvish proportions witnessed in the opening scene of The Fellowship of the Ring, there are communities of “LOTRians” across the world who this past week took things to the Mount Doom level.

Online fandoms have aired their often creepy marathon moments in the lead-up to the screening of The Battle of the Five Armies and for anyone at a loss for what to do this holiday season, the scope of inspiration is enormous (and remarkably well researched).

A recent post on, the interweb’s biggest resource for LOTR-inspired menus, shows it is in fact possible to time your paralaysia feasting with the events on screen. An anonymous author painstakingly detailed every item of food eaten in the three films and how you and your guests can eat them at home in sequence with the seven lunchtimes of Middle-earth.

At 10 seconds into the Fellowship of the Ring, one should partake in a first breakfast involving a yellow cupcake with chocolate icing followed by a second breakfast five seconds later of tea, cold chicken, cheeses, jam, eggs and Bag End bread. Five seconds later, indulge in Elevenses cake for Bilbo’s birthday and so on.

I can imagine that to most, all of this Hobbit fuss seems like nothing more than marketing fodder for a film “Gollum-types” continue to compare unfavourably to the books, but really Middle-earth is big enough for everyone (even the haters) to bake bread, pour a flagon of ale and sing along to an Elvish rhyme.

This is the last film in The Hobbit series and it may not be as epic as the previous one, but is exceptional on every other level. So throw on a cape and some 3-D glasses and pray to Mordor that the best dwarf wins!

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