December 23, 2013

The Escape of Fantasy

The birth of my love of fantasy?
It's been a bit between posts, I know. The holidays are arriving a bit faster than usual, and I'm going for most of them, so busy busy! Even though I'm off work. My next 'planned' post is my review of Catching Fire (and it will happen!) but I wanted to tell my tale about fantasy.


I grew to love fantasy and tales of whimsy at a very young age. No older than about six years of age. I was a fan of LEGO. The ones I had an enjoyed were 'City', 'Pirate', 'Space', and later on, 'Aquanauts'. But it was 'Castle had the biggest impact on me. I still remember getting specific sets to this day, and when I got them. I enjoyed all of LEGO's offerings I mentioned, but I liked Castle the most, and the longest.

I usually got Castle sets for Christmas, and for my Birthdays. Shaking a package under the tree, and hearing that unique 'rattle' of the pieces in the box made me realize that it was a LEGO set...but which one? There were quite a few evolutions and modifications to Castle over the years when I was into it and following it. All the various sigils for the knights, the types of knights, colors for horses, and different sets. I never had a big full on castle (I think those were the most expensive ones) but I had a few forts, towers, wagons catapults, etc.

Suffice to say, LEGO's charm kept me warm at a very young age during the winter months. The thought of a fire on a hearth inside one of those castles was comforting too. As I palyed and used my imagination, like most kids do, I developed my own 'plot' ideas for where the knights were going, why a dragon was in a cage to begin with, etc. Some of that just came from looking at the finished set on the front of the box.

Then, I got a little older.

My love for fantasy did not diminish, but other tastes developed. I still had a place for fantasy in my heart by way of watching a few movies and shows as I aged, as well as playing The Legend of Zelda video games series (from A Link to the Past to the Oracle ones I was a diehard fan. I still enjoy Zelda but not quite as much as with those games). I also recall extensive playing Heretic and Hexen (and Hexen II) on the PC.

Then, December 2001 came.

My first glimpse into Middle-earth

I mentioned a few times over the course of time (and those who know me well in person know this for certain) but seeing The Fellowship of the Ring in theatres (as well as reading the rest of the books in The Lord of the Rings while waiting for The Two Towers film) had an unexplainable effect on me, and deepened my love for the love of the fantasy genre. It was Tolkien's detail and love of writing, combined with the visual style and film making that went  into The Fellowship of the Ring that literally opened my eyes, and gave me a slightly different outlook on life. Namely, scenery and nature. 

So from December 2001 - December 2003 Peter Jackson and his fellowship kept me warm during the winter. And now, December 2012 - December 2014 he is once again.

I also read the Harry Potter books and other fantasy titles throughout the years to keep the 'Flames of Fantasy' kindled in my mind and heart. Then, recently, I discovered George R.R. Martin.

In anticipation for the HBO adaptation of George's A Song of Ice and Fire books, (called Game of Thrones, named after the first book) I decided it was finally time to open up A Game of Thrones. So I did, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I quite enjoyed how it didn't feel fantasy (no lightning or fireballs here, for instance) but more of something out history, or historical fiction. It was that approach and lack of 'hero' characters which ignited the creative spark to begin telling some of my own tales, some going as far back as me being six. Everything else up until me reading A Game of Thrones was the build up, and George's writing was the catalyst. 

There's something about fantasy and winter that goes so well together. Maybe it's because the two have always kind of gone together during my lifetime. Maybe it's all the cloaks, traveling, castles and fireplaces that make one feel warm and cozy whilst reading (or escaping) inside. It could also be listening to an orchestrated soundtrack.

As much as I also like and enjoy sci-fi, it's hard for me to find a good one that doesn't remind me of Star Wars or Star Trek which I haven't found yet. 

Fantasy has always held a certain comfort for me during the wintery months.  Going into a toy department at Wal-Mart the other day, I see that Castle LEGO is still going strong:

The magic of 'castle' and 'LEGO' is still abound! Love the 'old' and 'new'.

I would like to close by offering some recommendations which may keep you warm.....



^ Part 3 is coming next year!


Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows.

The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass

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1 comment:

Ryan R said...

I agree with all of this. Good post Jeff.