Welcome to this months “Getting to know you” Q&A, this month we’re talking to the lovely ladies from The Happy Hobbit, Kili and Fili.
Most recently famous for this little bit of uber geekery
but as many of us know, there’s much more to our favourite Hobbit pair and they join us this month to answer your questions.
Kelvarhin: As always we begin with grammas favourite question, what was (is) your favourite cartoon when you were growing up?
Fili: It’s a tie between Wild Thornberries and Rugrats.
Kili: We didn’t have much TV when I was little, but when I was older I loved Batman: The Animated Series. When I was younger, though, my Lion King obsession was just as fierce as my love of Middle-earth.
Kelvarhin: What do you both love to do in your spare time?
Fili: I love to horseback ride, photography, run, write stories (and occasional fanfics!), hang out with the goats, take the dogs for walks, go for hikes, read, bake, and make Happy Hobbit, of course!
Kili: I like to go for hikes and walks, read and write, shoot my bow, and spend time with my friends and family and our dogs! Hearing from Happy Hobbit fans is also great fun and very rewarding, so thank you all so much for the support!
Kelvarhin: What new thing would you like to do in the next five years?
Happy Hobbits: We would love to travel, especially to the British Isles and New Zealand!
Kelvarhin: What is your favourite type of exercise?
Fili: Running cross-country/long distance, soccer, horseback riding, hiking and swimming are great.
Kili: I most love hiking in the woods and exploring new wild places, but running, swimming, horseback riding, climbing trees, and archery are all favourites! I also love to dance even if I’m no good at it.
Kelvarhin: How many animals do you have?
Happy Hobbits: We currently have twenty-one animals, which is actually a small amount for us since we recently had to say goodbye to two horses and several cats, which was difficult.
Houdini is an American Quarter Horse who is a blue roan. We knew him since before he was born, and as such, he treats us like other horses and is often an annoying little brother, but we love him to pieces.
The goats Cora, Patch, and Tumnus are all related. Cora and Patch are spunkier than Tumnus. Even though Tumnus is the size of a small pony, he was bottle raised by Fili (his mother died shortly after giving birth) so he is very affectionate and sweet.
Peaks the peacock is fond of catfood, fanning his feathers to dance for the hens, and running up whenever we call the dogs because he wants a piece of cheese as a reward. He has the little-known talent of goat herding!
Kili: I petitioned to start calling him Gonzo since he was weird, blue, and loves chickens, but it didn’t take.
Happy Hobbits: We have ten hens, but most of them don’t have names, because you never know the moment (for example, a black chick I’d named Sirius died a few days ago 🙁 ) but there are three surviving chicks named Penny, Guin, and Kirby, along with an old hen named Bathilda and another named Grandpa Ed, even though she’s a lady. But they are all nice enough if they aren’t broody, and we love their eggs!
Comanche is a twelve-year-old half yellow lab, half golden retriever who is a wonderful brother to us. He is gentle and loves to snuggle, go for adventures, and steal gophers from the traps on the lawn! He chases off deer and coyotes from our property and loved to come along for horseback rides when the land around our house used to be open for such adventures. So far he has aged very well, and we are blessed to have his sunshine presence in our lives. Plus, he shares a birthday with Bilbo and Frodo!
Teyla (or “Toot”) is a seven-year old Australian Shepherd and is our “littlest sister.” She is so intelligent and such a nosebone (busybody, to us non-US based folks 😉 ) that she even catches us when we spell out words to try to hide conversations from her. She is strong-willed and grumpy to strangers, but her tenacity has seen her through many trials. She had an FCE, which is a stroke-like event in the spine, when she was four and was nearly completely paralysed and could only lift her head and move her front left paw. No one knows why FCEs occur, only that they often happen in young dogs at rest. With her courage and our support, she has recovered to the point that she can once again walk and run! She still requires special care but we are so proud of her. She inspires me every day!
Kelvarhin: What’s the most exciting/beautiful/intriguing place you’ve ever been to – or want to go to?
Happy Hobbits: Of course, we would love to go to Middle-earth, or second-best, New Zealand!
Kili: Hogwarts would be an incredible experience. I’ve always wondered what sort of witch I would make! But really nothing compares to home. I find excitement, beauty, and intrigue in little things, like soaring hawks, howling coyotes, and falling rain. That said, I do love the Sierra Nevada Mountains where we camp!
Fili: Catalina Island and Yosemite National Park are beautiful, along with the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Kelvarhin: If you could spend a day with one Middle-earth character, who would it be?
Kili: I once had a nightmare that Bilbo was on his way over for dinner and I couldn’t find the right shoes to wear! As much as I would love to gaze at Aragorn all day, I think I would most like to spend time with Pippin since he would be fun to run around the Shire with. Plus, he knows a lot of hobbits and could introduce me to all of his friends and we’d have a great time at the Green Dragon!
Fili: This is a very deep question. I would love to go for a horseback ride with Éomer, but the Shire has always called to me so I think I would also choose Pippin because he’s been my favourite since I was ten.
Kelvarhin: Which do you prefer, Gondor or Rohan?
Happy Hobbits: We both prefer Rohan since there are so many horses and so much open land. Gondor is beautiful but the idea of living on a stone ledge is a little claustrophobic. We need to walk on the grass and soil, not rock or pavement, and besides, Éomer is in the land of the Horse Lords!
Kelvarhin: How do you prepare your vlogs?
Happy Hobbits: We pick a subject that we know something about which we think others will find interesting then think about what we’re going to say. We tried writing lines but it always came out too stilted, so instead, we speak off the cuff, which explains some of the bloopers! The trickiest part is figuring out how to film since there are only two of us and a tripod, but we’ve been doing it for years making YouTube parodies of our favourite shows, so it’s a welcome challenge. Our family is very cooperative and quiet when we need them to be!
Kili: After we film, I put the footage on my laptop, edit it, and then post it to our YouTube page!
Kelvarhin: dernwyn says: Greetings, gals! First off: how old are you, and do you share your videos with your parents? I ask this, of course, as a mom whose own kids are geeky – but they’ve never woken me up in the middle of the night with screeching at Elves watching them!
Kili: Mae Govannen, Dernwyn! Yes, our parents often watch our episodes and like to help out when they can. They are very encouraging, as evidenced by their supporting me through grad school and now as I try to make it as a novelist even though I’m twenty-nine!
Fili: I’m twenty-one, but though we’re eight years apart, Kili is my other half.
Kelvarhin: How cool was it to appear on Peter Jackson’s facebook page (and many other fan sites after that)? What did your friends and families say?
Happy Hobbits: Beyond cool, it was mind-blowing and changed our lives in a wonderful way and gave us so much happiness that we are delighted to share with the world. Our friends started pretending that we were famous and boasted that they knew us, along with our family. When we woke our mom up at 3AM, however, and she asked what was going on, we said “Peter Jackson shared our video and Orlando Bloom is laughing at us,” and she said “Oh, neat, tell me about it in the morning,” then went back to bed!
Kili: At first, all of the attention was overwhelming and my inner Katniss wanted to run off and hide in the woods, but then I calmed down and enjoyed doing the interviews, talking to new fans, etc. once it was clear that everyone just wanted to celebrate with us.
Fili: It was so awesome to see that we made the Elves happy after ten years of being made happy by LOTR. It was so wonderful to be able to return an ounce of that excitement to the cast and crew.
Kelvarhin: Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly suddenly appear at your front door! What are your immediate reactions? Do you invite them in, and what do you offer them to eat and drink?
Kili: Firstly, I would wonder how the heck they found our house since we’re a bit out of the way! Then I would invite them in and hope they weren’t secretly murderers. I would offer them water, tea, or orange juice, along with whatever the current baked good was. If they were feeling especially wild, I would offer them my blackberry wine! I would also remind them that if Peter Jackson were to stop by, he could ride my dad’s tractor, which is an honour bestowed to very few.
Fili: I would be stunned and excited, invite them in, and make them their favourite food and treat them like Elven royalty! Then we would go on a hike and I would give them a tour of our patch of the Shire.
Kelvarhin: Kili, how excited were you to see your first novel, Darkling, in print? What inspired you to write it?
Kili: I think the fact that one of my books is available to the public still hasn’t sunk in yet! Hearing friends and strangers alike praise the novel and ask for more is very exciting and humbling. Exposing yourself on the page like that, even with a work of fiction, can be very intimidating, but the response has been incredibly positive and has given me such courage to share more of my work.
Darkling was actually inspired by a dream where I wandered into a haunted house and had to help the inhabitants find peace before they could move on. Many of the details of the book were in my dream, and it stuck with me for so long that I was moved to tell the story. I tend to write like a madwoman and my first draft was completed in fifteen days!
Kelvarhin: Do you plan to write any more novels?
Kili: Yes, in fact, Darkling is actually the third novel I wrote. The first two belong to a series that is too dear to my heart to risk self-publishing until I have established a readership. I wrote and illustrated my first book while in Kindergarten and don’t plan to stop any time soon! I’m currently working on a New Adult series since that is a popular market. Tentatively called Afterworld, the books have a strong Irish influence and blend a contemporary setting with a Victorian mystery. You can always expect to see a touch of whimsy and elements of the fantastical in my books! Tolkien’s reverence for the natural world also reflects my own and can be seen in everything I write.
Thank you Kili and Fili for taking part this month, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you both. If you’d like to say hi to the Happy Hobbits this weekend, they’ll be at TheOneRing.nets booth at ComicCon.
As always thanks to all our message board regulars, DanielLB, Ataahua, kareniel, dernwyn, and grammaboodawg, for this month’s questions.
If you would like to ask any questions yourself, just head over to our Message Boards, the sign up process is pretty painless. A lead post for questions is made at the beginning of each month on the Main board. Or you can just check Main for each months interviewee and email me your questions at email@example.com.
Till next time from TORn’s resident Tiger.