Rolling right along, we come to “Gollum’s Song” performed by Emiliana Torrini for The Two Towers. The title is pretty self-explanatory–it’s the story of Smeagol’s downfall, of his tragic transformation into Gollum, and what it foreshadows for Frodo. In a sense, Gollum is what Frodo could have become if he succumbed to the Ring, and I think Frodo realized that. It was one of the reasons, I think, that he tried so hard to redeem Gollum–if Gollum could be saved, perhaps Frodo himself could be saved from the Ring’s influence as well.
Today we have the haunting and ethereal “May It Be” performed by Enya for The Fellowship of the Ring. I daresay this is the most popular ending song out of both trilogies. There’s no denying it has a definite Elvish quality about it (maybe they secretly hired Elves to record it). And I don’t know if this was on purpose, but I always thought the reference to “an evening star” was a clever reference to Frodo carrying the Light of Earendil.
For today’s entry we have “The Last Goodbye” performed by Billy Boyd for The Battle of the Five Armies. Having Pippin himself sing the credit song for the last-ever Middle-Earth movie was the perfect finishing touch for the six films that captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of moviegoers and changed all our lives forever. It was a bittersweet song for a bittersweet movie.
I’m not crying…you’re crying…
Second installment for Tolkien Week here, folks, “I See Fire” performed by Ed Sheeran for The Desolation of Smaug. I actually didn’t like this song when I first heard it, but after awhile it just kind of grew on me. Now it’s one of my favorites–weird, I know.
A year may come when I run out of things to post for Tolkien Week, but it is not this year! Last year I posted the Peter Hollens versions of the credit songs for both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, so this time I figured I’d post the original versions. Not all of them have official music videos or things like that, so expect some improvisation.
We’re starting of the week with this lovely performance of “Song of the Lonely Mountain” performed live by Neil Finn during the world premiere of An Unexpected Journey. Seeing this makes me wish I had gotten to be at the premiere.
That shouldn’t be a big deal, but for me it kind of is. You see, last week I made the mistake of reading the Isaac Asimov/Robert Silverberg novel Nightfall, which is about a planet with six suns that experiences an eclipse for the first time in 2,049 years. Let’s just say the inhabitants didn’t handle the darkness very well.
I admit, I was half-expecting fires and madness and the collapse of civilization as we know it (that’s how it went down in the book). But everything passed, and everyone was fine. So now I know that eclipses don’t usually have the same effect as they did in Nightfall.
Nightfall, by the way, is an incredibly good book; I highly recommend it. It was co-authored by two Hugo Award winners, so you can’t really go wrong with that.
I stumbled across a website that contains archives of old comic books, and I took advantage of the situation to learn more about Nightcrawler of the X-Men. Learning about his origins, I realized there were some interesting parallels between his origins and those of Erik, the Phantom of the Opera (and phantom of this blog for as frequently as he manages to insert himself into posts).
To make a long story short, Kurt spent most of his childhood as a sideshow performer at a circus–a lot like Erik did. They also experienced similar treatments of hatred and fear, and both escaped as soon as they got the chance. Where they differ, however, is how they reacted to their situations. We all know what happened to Erik–he turned his back on the world and became an insane, homicidal psychopath. Kurt, however, chose to forgive and not lose hope in humanity.
That decision really impressed me. I knew he was one of the good guys because of X-Men United, but when I was reading his story, I really felt that I was reading the origin of a villain. But that wasn’t what he chose to be. So I found his story extremely fascinating when compared to Erik’s; although they both suffered similar misfortunes as children, they reacted to that misfortune in drastically different ways.
I also feel a little less sorry for Erik now. My reaction to him was similar to what Christine and the Persian felt for him, loathing mixed with pity. But now that I know that Kurt had an almost identical childhood and yet did not become an insane, homicidal psychopath, I’m like…sorry, Erik. You had a choice, buddy, and this was what you chose to be.
But at least he achieved a redemption of sorts and probably made it as far as Literary Purgatory.