How has the world changed since 12/19?

A month has gone by since ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ first opened and by now a great proportion of the filmgoing public worldwide has seen it too and had their chance to catch ‘Rings Fever.’

TORN’s email inbox gives us a good idea of how the film has affected people. Over time we notice trends in people’s concerns and interests. There have been definite changes in our email this past month.

As you’d expect, we’re getting more mail from people who’ve never read the book and are falling in love with the film. I can’t wait to hear from some of them again if they go and read the book and discover all this OTHER stuff that Tolkien wrote that they have no inkling of yet!

This month has seen a lot of mail asking us to pass on good wishes, congratulations, and loveletters to Orlando Bloom. He is certainly causing a lot of people some raised pulses and lost sleep. We can’t pass on letters to him, so for anyone suffering Bloomania the next best bet is to hang out at Bloomin’Marvellous to share your feelings with other Bloom fans.

We’ve seen quite a lot of mail from people wanting to learn Elvish whether just one or two words, or all the languages. There’s quite a lot of frustration that there seem to be no books available on the Elven tongues. There is however a lively online community devoted to studying and teaching Elvish, so I ususally send people to’s Fellowship of the Wordsmiths to find out more. From there you can get to the website Ardalambion, which offers a course in Quenya.

There’s certainly been a growth in university-level courses teaching Tolkien; it’ll be interesting to see whether courses in Quenya and Sindarin become more widely taught in the classroom.

Tourism to NZ has got a boost from the movies – having seen the film, evidently people are figuring out that a country that is safe, scenic, tourist-friendly AND offers the chance to stand on the site of Rivendell etc. is worth the long flight. More

Lastly, of course, almost everywhere, we’ve noticed LOTR references mentioned casually in conversation; the media use LOTR images to refer to current events. The jokes we Ringers used to tell amongst ourselves are no longer in-jokes – they’re part of the common culture around us. That’s the main change we’ve seen, and it’s going to take some getting used to.