Why the BOTFA Trailer Makes Me Sad


The theater is dark, and it’s just me, my mom, and my youngest brother and sister. We’re sharing a bag of popcorn.

I know that logo. I’ve seen the trailer a couple of times already, but this is the first time seeing it on the big screen.

Pippin starts singing, and there’s a knot in my stomach. A sinking feeling in my chest. Oh, gosh.

Thorin speaks as the movie logo flies across the screen and settles in the center of it. “Will you follow me, one last time?”

As silly as it sounds, the question doesn’t sound as if it is directed to the dwarves in the movie. For a second, it isn’t just a line about an upcoming battle—it’s a line about the end of something.

It’s the end of an era of waiting for each December to arrive with the promise of a return to Middle-earth. It’s the end of an age where I drag my family along to movies only some of them really want to see. This is the last time I’ll be looking forward to buying tickets to see a Middle-earth movie for the first time.

And, it makes me sad.

Maybe it is silly to feel so attached to a series of films, but LOTR has been a significant part of my life. When I was very small, apparently I used to watch the 1970s animated The Hobbit often. I don’t really remember this well (though I do own a copy of it on DVD now).

I remember being about nine years old and watching The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time. I fell in love with the story, the characters (especially Legolas), the world. I eagerly awaited The Two Towers, even though it meant having to stare almost straight up at the screen in the movie theater because so many people were there that we had to sit in the second row. When it came out on DVD, I’d saved just enough money to buy my own copy.

I remember staying up late at our new house to watch the extended version of The Fellowship.

My family went to see The Return of the King twice in theaters (before then, I’m not sure we’d ever gone to see a movie twice in theaters). I remember the bittersweet emotion of seeing Samwise Gamgee close his yellow door and the music of “Into the West” play over the speakers. It’s the same feeling I get every time I watch Return of the King

The same bittersweet wave of excitement I felt watching the trailer for The Battle of Five Armies.
Even after The Return of the King, the faint hope of seeing The Hobbit movies remained. (“The return journey,” as Samwise himself might call it.)

There won’t be any “new” trips to Middle-earth after December. It’s the end of an adventure.

While I’m certain I’ll cry at some point during or after The Battle of Five Armies (who knows, maybe at the beginning of the film too!), I’m looking forward to taking part in the new step of the adventure, one last time.

** The Hobbit image found via Google Images. **


  1. Oh dear, oh dear. This is all too true! Yes, now I'm depressed, but I do hope it shall be a glorious end!


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