I admit it. I haven’t felt like this since the end of Harry Potter movie 7.2. I remember sitting in the movie theater watching the credits rolling and hoping for a hint that there was another series on the way. Anything to keep the dream alive.
But the credits ended, the lights came on and I looked at the two boys who had snuggled up to me for eight years as Harry and co. had bespelled us, binding us together in an intense family experience.
I comforted myself. At least there were the Tolkien movies: The Lord of the Rings offered three years of reprise and then, The Hobbit, that thin novella, sprouted into three movies over three years. No problem with me that most of the movie content came from other books – Tolkien purist that I consider myself. A female elf (an elfe in the Wycaan Master series): a warrior at that? Bring her on.
And now, my boys and I, one taller than me and shaving, will walk the lonely steps to the shrine of moving pictures, to pay homage one last time to the Old Professor’ world on screen. But at least we walk together, sit together, crunch popcorn together…
And I know that the lights will come on and, after six Middle Earth movies, we will stretch our limbs (some considerably longer than they were six years ago), and then what?
Last year I was proud when my then 15-year-old told his friends that he would not join them to see the Hobbit movie – its one he’ll see with his old man. I might not be the best father in the world, far from it I’m sure, but I figure I must have done something right.
Worse yet, in ten days I will complete the first draft of Book 6 in the Wycaan Master series. I remember writing the first novel together, a half decade ago, with two eager boys sitting around a picnic table in a redwood forest. For five more years, I would read a new manuscript to them each summer vacation around the campfire or snuggled in my tent. It ends this year … the Wycaan Master series that is essentially ours …and probably so much more.
There will be more novels, perhaps another trilogy (are you reading this, Tourmaline Books?), but there will be new characters and if I stay true to my sons, then they will be older and darker and all grown up.
Just like my sons – post Harry Potter and post-Tolkien. The end of an era.
Alon Shalev is the author of the 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Book Award winner, At The Walls of Galbrieth, and five other Wycaan Master books all released by Tourmaline Books. The link above takes you to the Kindle versions. For all other eReaders, please click here.
More at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter).
Very touching-both of these series were special to a lot of people, but as a parent, much the same for me as for you. My daughter is the same age of Harry, so it was especially fun for her to grow up with them. The LOTR movies brought us all huge comfort every December after the kids’ dad died on 12/10/2004. Ten years! I don’t know what can fill the void – if anything – because as you say, our kids are growing up. And um, you are an amazing dad. Proof is right there by your son’s statement to his friends (and oh the matter of you writing a whole series for them. Hello!). Happy Holidays to you and yours during your holiday season.
Thank you Carolyn. So sorry for your loss. We parents will need to find those special entryways as our children grow. I met a man who taught his sons to fly fish and insisted they try. Now he hires a cabin every year for a week and they come with their families and the three men fly fish together. He told me he spends the whole year looking forward to this one week.
I just watched the final movie this weekend, too. While I think it could have been better, I’ll focus on the points you made here. Indeed it’s the end of an era, and I’ll miss the excitement and buzzing anticipation of seeing a new Middle Earth film. But what’s wonderful is that thanks to Peter Jackson’s films, we can always go back to the Shire, Rohan, Rivendell, Erebor, etc. I can’t wait to buy the entire Hobbit trilogy on DVD next year. 🙂
Like you, there’s also a writing connection with these films for me. The idea for my current WIP came to me within a week of watching the first Hobbit film. And now, 2 years later and coincidentally around the release of the third and final Hobbit film, I’m about 20,000 words away from finishing the first draft of that story. It’s moving to see how it’s sort of come full circle creatively, yet both endings contradict each other: I’m sad that the Hobbit trilogy is over, yet I’m fidgeting impatiently to finish my book. *lol*
I forgot to comment on your tradition of seeing the Hobbit and Harry Potter films with your sons. That’s incredibly touching. I sort of know the feeling; I’ve seen each film in the Hobbit trilogy with my younger brother. But even without experiencing it myself, I know it can’t compare to film adaptations of a beloved book (or book series) with your kids. It must be an incredible way to bond. And I’m sure they appreciate it in their own way, too. 🙂
Reblogged this on Left Coast Voices.
I shed several tears at the end of the “Battle of the Five Armies.” A few because it felt like the end of an era. A few because it’s the last “hobbit” movie I will see with my teenage daughter. A few because I didn’t think it was a very good movie and it felt like a let-down “at the end of all things.” Very bitter-sweet. I feel your pain here.
Thanks, Emma. Glad it’s not just me!