'Hobbit' inspires a day full of Tolkien fantasy
Published: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
Children and even some volunteers held mock sword battles with cardboard swords while others sat making Hobbit-themed crafts. All the while, “The Two Towers” played on a TV at the Tower Road Branch Library.
In anticipation of the opening of “The Hobbit” in theaters on Friday, The library held an all-day celebration of Tolkien’s fantasy world on Saturday that included crafts, riddle and costume contests, and a “Lord of the Rings” movie marathon.
Jackie Seekamp, the branch’s young-adult librarian, said she chose the Hobbit theme for the event due to the popularity of Tolkien’s fantasy world and because of her own interest in the novels.
“People love heroism where you wouldn’t expect it, you know, like the underdog,” she said. “(There’s) this little short guy with hairy feet and he doesn’t know how to fight and he saves the day. I think that appeals to people, and it appeals to me, too.”
The event, which began with the showing of the first film in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, started off with mostly student volunteers watching the films. But by noon, when the activities began, event-goers filled up the room, with 82 people in attendance over the course of the day.
One craft table offered event-goers the chance to make small Hobbit figurines out of shelled peanuts. Another table allowed children to make cardboard replicas of Sting, the short sword carried by both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Using duct tape, foil and blue glitter, children made their versions of the iconic sword, which glows blue whenever Orcs are nearby.
A third table had children reproducing maps of Middle-Earth locations from the books on torn paper that was stained with diluted coffee in order to make them look like parchment.
The last table offered the chance to write your name using the Elvish language found in Tolkien’s lore using crayons and colored markers.
Angel Liu, 16, one of the library’s student volunteers, helped to organize the event and helped participants with making crafts.
“I think it’s really great, especially for the younger kids, (because) it’s having hands-on experience that helps them get more engaged. And it’s fun because the parents can bring their children, it’s a free event, it’s local and it ties in with the movie, so they can go see the movie afterwards,” she said.
Claire and Andrew Trefry, 8-year-old twins, won a costume contest with their squire outfits. Andrew wore a red costume with a black dragon emblem on the chest and Claire wore a blue version with a black griffin emblem.
A riddle contest had contestants writing their timed answers to spoken riddles on small whiteboards. Anna Liu won first place in the competition.
Curtis Trefry, father of the costume-contest winners, said he often brings his kids to the library’s events, but this event was special because of his love for Tolkien’s works.
When his children found out that the movie was coming out, they became interested in reading the books. His oldest is currently reading “The Hobbit,” and dad is reading the novel to Claire and Andrew at bedtime.
“It’s timeless,” he said. “It’s not dated in any way, shape or form. Since (Tolkien) made such an incredible, realistic and detailed world, it doesn’t have an expiration date. It’s going to go on and on and on and (will) still have people that are going to love it.”