'Like in the Great Stories, Mr. Frodo' - My Answers to Day 2 "Faith and Fantasy"

Well, here I am at last, responding to the "Faith and Fantasy" tag myself. Please, don't be shy, and join in! You can view the party-details/rules/giveaway, all through this link: Through the Looking Glass Literary Blog-Birthday Party. 

1. Taken from a Christian perspective, what are your thoughts and feelings on the fantasy genre in general? Do you hold to any convictions or guidelines on things like magic, sorcery, fantastical elements or allegory in fantasy books?
My thoughts have changed and grown over the years regarding this issue, but I think a few constants have remained that I really strongly believe in regarding fantasy - like all works of fiction, I need to know the worldview of the author and how his beliefs/philosophy/faith/personal life affected the work itself, and from there evaluate whether he was able to adequately present what he believed in, and see then if I agree with that message or theme. Basically, I generally like to read fantasy written by authors who were Christians - the work itself doesn't need to be overtly Christian, but I am really wary of reading books on fantasy in particular written by authors of very different worldviews. Then there is the element of magic/sorcery. . . sorcery is very evil, though a dark reality and I would not abide reading that in fiction or anywhere else; and yet also I do believe there is a great difference when there is "magical elements" in a fantastical setting, versus occult in our real world . . . sometimes the "magical" elements fit respectfully within the fantasy world as the element of the non-human, and supernatural where religion is not a factor in the story. So, for instance in Narnia, magical beauty, goodness, purity and glory happens by Aslan's power (displaying a Christ figure who is creator of the world), while the White Witch uses her powers for evil and witchcraft (a corollary of the devil), bending things to her will. Such points of the battle between good and evil, the battle between darkness and light, cannot sometimes be fully expressed in a fantasy world in any other way than through the relative term of the "magical". However, I do not like vivid details and descriptions of sorcery and magic within a story, good or evil, and definitely, definitely nothing that would show how evil is done. . . (that is one reason why I don't approve of Harry Potter.)

I don't mind allegory and corollary-themes of application in fantasy works! In fact, that is what makes me love a work of fantasy the most. However, I do believe it is important to read and watch fantasy stories at a more mature age, when the lines between reality and imagination would not be easily blurred. At an older age though, fantasy can help bring a message and theme across and touch the heart that might not be easily entertained in the mind through other means - concepts of loyalty and courage, resisting temptation/sin and the devil, and the final victory of good over evil, and the great battle going on in the spiritual realm all around us. One of the best guidelines for me in choosing to read or watch a work of fantasy would be - does this book exemplify the virtues of faithfulness, chastity, courage, perseverance, diligence, chivalry, faith and hope and love? Does it show how evil and sin corrupt a person - even the "good" side unless they resist temptation through God's grace? Does it show that the heart is deceitful above all things, and that we are in need of Divine grace, redemption and the work of Providence in our life to change us and perfect us? Does it show evil for evil, and goodness for goodness? Does it follow the guideline of Philippians 4: 8 about ". . . whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--mediate on these things."

That is my guideline! :)

2. Who are some of your favourite fantasy/fairy-tale authors? (you can name up to three.)

They would be J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Anne Elisabeth Stengl, in that order :).

3. Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia books, or watched any of the movies? Which, if so, are your three favourite books?

Yes, I have read all 7 books, I believe, and watched the Disney/Fox movie-adaptions for The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader! I love the whole Chronicles of Narnia series, but if I had to do a desperate choice, I would pick out The Horse and His Boy, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle (especially The Last Battle!). However, movie-wise, I don't believe I can quite make up my mind which is my favourite. . . possibly The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is my favourite because it is closest to the book and I love the story of Aslan's sacrifice, the redemption of Edmund and Lucy finding wonderful Narnia, so much! But Prince Caspian is probably my favourite movie in the sense of epicness and themes, and the ending of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader the most tear-jerking and inspiring of all of them for the ending :') *Reepicheep sailing to Aslan's Country*

4. How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read and enjoyed so far? Can you choose a favourite book (The Lord of the Rings can be considered one book ;)?

Well, I have read The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, (I have heard the audio book dozens of times :), but I have only read the full books through once each). (I plan on changing that!!) I have also read The Hobbit, The Children of Hurin, The Silmarillion, and Tales of the Perilous Realm which included the stories Roverandom, Leaf by Niggle, Farmer Giles of Ham, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and Smith of Wootton Major. It also included Tolkien's famous essay "On Fairy-Stories". I have read most of Tolkien's letters, from "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien" - these are great by the way! 

But The Lord of the Rings books are my favourite, no question about that, with The Return of the King being my most well-loved of the three books what with its epic/bittersweet ending :') - it never fails to bring me to tears! I also love The Silmarillion and The Hobbit exceedingly well :).

5. Uhm. . . since, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends, I will not risk causing further estrangement to the history of their friendship by pitting them against each other! However, being the mastermind of mischief that I am, I will toss this question your way: which of the two are you most fond of in sense of storytelling, characters, themes and what personally touches/inspires you the most: The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia?

It is a close draw, since I love Narnia so much; but I believe it must be The Lord of the Rings. There is no way of saying just how much this tale has influenced and inspired and moved me !!

6. Are there other books and movies of the fantasy/fairy-tale/legend genre that have you read and loved, especially from modern authors? Please tell us a little bit about them.

If you've followed this blog, you must know I am exceedingly fond of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood series, which is an ungoing series of "fairy-tale" novels that have Christian parallels, themes and allegories, and the most epic/magical tales, and gripping characters ever. Stengl has much in common with both Lewis and Tolkien, but maintains unique originality and inspiration - I think she also draws from classic fairy-tales, ancient legends and myths, and romantic poetry . . . as well as themes/stories from the Bible to create the most compelling tales :). It took me a bit to "fall in love" with her writing, and her first two books (especially Heartless) are not my favourite. So far, Moonblood and Dragonwitch have been the books I have loved best in her series as has been her novella Goddess Tithe :). To everyone who loves fantasy and either Tolkien or Lewis, you should check out her novels because I think they're amazing!

I also really enjoyed The Knights of Arrethtrae series by Chuck Black, which is a fantasy, Christian allegory series about the "knights of the prince" - or followers of Christ spreading the Gospel and overcoming evil strongholds of the the Dark Knight (Satan). Each of the six books deals with different struggles and vices we encounter in our hearts and society; the sin of rebellion, greed and covetousness, the seeds of doubt and lack of faith, the snare of escapism, falling into apathy, or having the pride of life - they are really good! I wasn't awful fond of The Kingdom Series by the same author, as I found the romance not exactly to my liking in that series, and also Mr. Black did force down some of his own theological interpretations into the story that really irritated me. But Knights of Arrethtrae has very little of that and is in fact very inspiring. I especially appreciated that Chuck Black does not use any magic or sorcery in his works. . . :)

7. Have you read any Christian allegories, such as Pilgrim's Progress, Holy War or Hinds Feet on High Places? 

Oh yes, I have read Bunyan's allegories, and they are very good. One of the things that I think many Christians miss out on are the classic Christian allegories! They are really challenging and and great encouragement to one's daily Christian life - I know Pilgrim's Progress has influenced me a lot growing up, reading it more than once for school and private enjoyment. If you haven't read John Bunyan's immortal Pilgrim's Progress and its sequel Christiana, I highly recommend that you do. Also The Holy War is a great allegory, and I love how Bunyan must have used his experience of fighting in the Civil War in this particular book to deal with the issue of resisting the devil, the spiritual battle, and taking down the strongholds of Satan and loving Prince Emmanuel! 

Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard is another beautiful allegory. . . this one is far more devotional and really brought to light many things in my spiritual life and in my heart that I knew the Lord wanted to show me. I am not as fond though of its sequel, Mountains of Spices, though. . . 

8. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from fantasy tales in literature (books, movies, modern and classics), and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to have yourself?
- Eowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan from The Lord of the Rings is one of my favourite heroines in fantasy literature, and there are so many reasons why I like her so much! I love how brave and fearless she is in battle, daring to fight an evil that the very great and wise dreaded to face, to defend her beloved uncle and king. And yet I really can sympathize with her because her heroism was born out of grief and long-waiting, enduring loneliness and fear - she wished to strike out of her cage of cloisters and halls, to do great heroic deeds of renown and look up to the great and mighty; but it takes her time, and she learns that often courage comes without renown or glory - that the heart, healing, life, gardens, flowers and stewards are just as honourable as the sword, waging-of-wars, courageous-deeds and kings.  Despite her strength in battle and her great courage, she is  tender of heart, beautifully human and fragile, and loves deeply.
Another Lord of the Rings lady-character whom I really love is Arwen, lord Elrond's beautiful elven-daughter. While in the PJ movies, they did romanticize her character a bit too much (mostly it was overdone  in the Two Towers), she nonetheless is such an amazing character because of her deep, abiding love for Aragorn, waiting so long for him and what she sacrifices for that love - for him, she willingly gives up her immortal life, subjects herself to the world of mortals and suffers the aching pain of separation from her father who travels into the West, and the eventual death of Aragorn who is himself a mortal. She herself dies in Middle-earth, and does not take the last ship to leave to the Undying Lands. . . another moving thing she does is give her elf-jewel to suffering Frodo who returns to the Shire weary and injured, and offers him her place on the last ship to leave Middle-Earth :'). She also has a beautiful relationship with her father, which I liked :).
I know, I know - she is not even in the cannon of Tolkien's Middle-Earth books (Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit), but why do I then like her so much? Because in a way, she is very much a Tolkien character; she is such a beautiful but powerful blend of the elven maidens one reads about in The Silmarillion and Tolkien's other works. She's an elven fighter, a captain of the guard in Thranduil's realm; she is not a fluffy character. . . she is brave, and knows how to capably defend herself. But at the same time, she is not a "feminist" sort of character. . . she has a tender and compassionate heart, and is one who deeply cares about others and the sufferings of others, not just her own people. She believes it is right not to hide behind walls and live in fear, but to courageously fight for the freedom of Middle-Earth. . . she is young and impassioned, but also wise and perceptive about the growing evil in the world and the elves' calling to fight that evil. Yes, I generally like her very much :).
- Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia is one of my absolute favourite characters in fantasy, and probably my favourite in Narnia! She is so sweet and brave, but best of all I love her steadfast simple faith in Aslan, in his reality and goodness and in his promise to help them and be with them. I love how, when everyone else doubts, she keeps believing with such child-like strong faith! Also, she's valiant and a sweet/clever little girl who makes you fall in love with her sweet smile and friendly, caring heart.
- Rose Red from The Tales of Goldstone Wood
I believe she is my favourite heroine in The Tales of Goldstone Wood as of yet. . . she had me tears, reading her story in Veiled Rose and Moonblood. Rose Red is a very brave girl, a person who keeps loving, forgiving those who treat her wickedly and despise her, and continues giving of herself even when it hurts (and oh boy! it hurts badly, and she gets angry and frustrated and stubborn, all right!) but she holds on, and believes. . . she loves. I can't really say more for fear of spoilers if you'd like to read the books, but she is definitely a favourite.
- Starflower from The Tales of Goldstone Wood - also known as the Silent Lady, or Dame Imraldera, she is another favourite in The Tales of Goldstone Wood series, and also in the fantasy books I have read. Her story really spans the whole series, but her character is a noble and faithful one all through - her deep love for her little sister, her father, Sun Eagle, and the sacrifice she does. . . and then finding redemption and hope and a purpose to live for in service to the Prince - a brave and wise knight! <3
- Leta from The Tales of Goldstone Wood; if you get into the Goldstone Wood series, you'll discover how many loveable heroines this series has! (*cough* all except Una, who is not. *cough*) Leta is a quiet sort of girl, very ladylike and mature. . . she knows what is expected of her and does what she is told. But deep down she is also longs for something more, greater, and struggles to stay calm in a world of plotting and scheming, full of intrigue and fear. I loved her character very much, and sympathized with how she wanted to be an obedient child, even in an oppressive setting, and yet felt deeply and had a thirst for knowledge and faith. Despite her small, weaker personality, she finds great courage to help change the course of her kingdom. . .

Some other favourite heroines of fantasy-books would be Carliss from The Knights of Arrethtrae: Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue, Mercy from The Pilgrim's Progress, and Avaris from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy
9. Which land would you rather go, dwell in, or be a part of: Middle-Earth, or Narnia? (or maybe some other fantasy-land, you share!)
Oh, no, why did I ask this question? I guess. . . Middle-Earth because, well, Tolkien basically wrote Middle-Earth as though it were some very ancient, ancient European land or something like that. . . and that is just mind-blowingly epic I think - and there are elvs, and hobbits!! At the same, who doesn't want to go to Narnia? It is so magical and lovely, and beautiful . . . you know what? I think I would choose to go and be a part of Narnia, but would probably prefer to dwell in Middle-Earth.

10. What kind of fantasy are you most fond of? Fantastical and "fairy-tale-ish" like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, or rather the mythological, high-epic-fantasies such as Tolkien's?
I am not sure, but I think I much prefer the more mythology-stories, high-epic fantasies and legends best because there are so much deeper, full of history and can move you so much more. But the fun fairy-tales can be much fun and light and heartening too! Legends can be very tragic sometimes ;).
11. Which is your favourite fairy-tale? 
I know this is a general favourite, but it would probably be Beauty and the Beast! 

12. List some of your most well-loved movie adaptions of fantasy tales (this does not include Disney fairy-tale animations). 
For some reason, many of those who read this question assumed I DID mean Disney animations. Oh well. . . so maybe I should include those too?

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition) 
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended edition)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (extended edition)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (extended edition)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (waiting for extended edition :)).
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, 
- I don't know, 'but I know that though it isn't out yet, 'twill be EPIC and I will love it!
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Beauty and the Beast



13. Who are your favourite heroes from fantasy books? (you may list as many as you like!) Tell us a little bit about why you love them so much :).
- Frodo Baggins
Would it sound strange if I said that Frodo Baggins is my favourite character in fiction? He is a quietly cheerful small hobbit, full of courage, and little strength, - he thinks deeply, is loyal to his friends, and has a merciful, compassionate heart, seeing his own weakness and fraility and forgiving others. . .  he is a "long-suffering" sort of character; he learns wisdom through his experiences and from the council of Gandalf, and keeps things quietly in his heart. Frodo, perhaps out of all the other characters in The Lord of the Rings endured and suffered the most, bravely bore a heavy burden, suffered the attacks of the enemy again and again, and took upon himself the burden of destroying the Ring, though he knew it would cost him his life - for the sake that the beloved Shire, his home, could be saved. He valiantly persevered, struggled and toiled on in his sufferings and trials, pressed on against hope, and resisted the terrible temptation of the Ring the longest, after so many had failed - in that, he portrays the Suffering Servant we see in our Saviour in His passions in Gethsemane, bearing our sins on His own body on the Cross. But Frodo Baggins is a human, fallen character, like the rest of us, and that is why he failed in his own strength. . . he succumbed and stumbled; but that is where the grace of God comes in, - because of the mercy Frodo showed, he himself received mercy -  victory was accomplished through grace, the grace and power of God, so it would not be in man's strength but in God's! And, in the end Frodo himself finds redemption and healing and joy in the end too. 
- Samwise Gamgee
"Frodo would not have gone far without Sam", Frodo Baggins told Sam half way through the journey, and that summons up something of what is so special in Samwise. Samwise, a brave and simple son of a hobbit-gardener, was the steadfast servant, faithful companion and loyal friend of his master Frodo, and aided him on his quest to destroy the Ring; he wouldn't let Frodo go to Mordor on his own, and quite nearly drowned trying to catch up with him. When Frodo was weary, oppressed or tempted by the swaying power of the Ring and dark forces, Sam was always by his side to aid him, cheer him and help him up - he both rescued him, and even carried him on his back in the final leg of their journey, when Frodo had quite nearly collapsed. When temptation came his way, his humility, his undying hope and faith and his love for his master helped him stand firm, and though he was the cheerfullest of hobbits, when hope did waver in his heart, he persevered nonetheless in what he was called to do. He, in essence, is the real hero of LotR! 
And because I have no more time, here is a list of some other of my favourite heroes (sorry that I was not able to describe them though. . . ) 
- Aragorn son of Arathorn
Faramir of Gondor
Bilbo Baggins
Gandalf the Grey
 Peter Pevensie
 Edmund Pevensie
 Eustace Scrubb
 . . . and King Tirian, Eanrin, the Bard and Poet Cat, Lord Alister, Lionheart, Foxbrush, Sir Bentley, Sir Quinlain, Faithful, Fingolfin the High King of the Noldor.

14. Saddest moment in any fantasy tale you've either watched or read?
The battle of Unnumbered Tears in The Silmarillion is one of the most sad battles in all of fantasy, I think! I am always deeply moved by the death of Theodin and as well as Boromir who both died such noble deaths at the end. Perhaps the saddest bit in The Lord of the Rings, is when Frodo succumbs to Shelob's sting and Sam weeps for him - you really cry there - but then, there are so many more "bittersweet" sad moments! The most tragic would be Beleg's death in The Children of Hurin *sobs*. THAT was painful.

15. How did you get into The Lord of the Rings and Middle-Earth books/movies? (If you're not into LOTR than you can talk about how you got into Narnia instead).
My feelings as to fantasy used to be rather reserved, growing up; I did know a good deal about Narnia, but I had not attempted reading the books or watching any of the movies till I was in my teens along with the rest of my family. And then, around three years back, I started getting more into The Chronicles of Narnia, enjoying the stories and films and getting amazingly inspired by the Christian-themes and heart of C.S. Lewis' works. . . for a long time we often heard Christian-friends mention The Lord of the Rings as a great fantasy tale that has many inspiring themes, that represents a powerful, God-honouring image of what the great battle between good-and-evil truly is; also that the author was a Catholic was an important point for us, as worldviews make a difference! But we were also very cautious, growing up, about magic, fairy-tales, anything "fantastical" that can blur the lines between truth and fantasy, reality and imagination. We loved The Chronicles of Narnia because it was so full of Christian-depth and the inspiring, magical world that exemplified and praised godly virtues of faithfulness, chivalry, courage, faith, etc. . .   Did Tolkien's writings own the same praise-worthy qualities? So, it took a great deal of looking into before my eldest sister borrowed the Lord of the Rings movies and started to watch them by herself, telling us all her thoughts on them and sort of "critiquing" them. Well, she loved them! She was inspired, touched, (a little scared), and really hooked by the stories - and around that time, my sisters and I discovered a YouTube guy who recorded his own audio-dramatization, with full effects, music, and one-man voice cast reading from the original novels and uploaded them for viewers to hear; just as my sisters and I started listening to them, we also watched The Lord of the Rings films (extended edition) for the first time. . . I LOVED IT! By the time we had finished The Fellowship of the Ring, I and my sisters were deeply moved and captured by Tolkien's Middle-Earth :). . . I quite literally sobbed big-heart-wrenching sobs after watching The Return of the King (I still do!)From then on, we got our parents to love the films to an extent, they are the biggest fans ;), and I think it has become our family's biggest favourite movie-wise. Soon afterwards, I finished Philstuffofdoom's audio drama and read the books too. . .

16. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite fantasy/medieval costumes/armour/gowns and from which movie/character they come from.
Basically, any costumes found in The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia! :) I am especially fond of these:

Arwen in LOTR
Eyown in LOTR
Gimli in LOTR
Lucy in Prince Caspian
Susan from Narnia
17. Which fantasy/fairy-tale has inspired and influenced you the most?

The Lord of the Rings, definitely. 

18. Favourite character in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings/Hobbit universe? Favourite character in The Chronicles of Narnia? (Choose 1 each)

Frodo Baggins in LOTR, and Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia

19. Favourite friendship in a fantasy book/movie/series?
Frodo and Sam's! After that, I would say Legolas and Gimli's friendship is my favourite, then Merry and Pippen. Also I love the relationship between Reepicheep and Eustace <3 :')

20. Which villain of fantasy strikes the most dread and loathing in you? Which foe strikes the most pity?

The villain I dread the most - it would be a tie between the Witch King of Angmar, the Dark Lord himself and Morgoth; also I have no pity for Sauruman. He is dreadful! The foe I pity the most would definitely be Smeagol/Gollum.

21. Share some of your most well-loved quotes from fantasy books/movies :). 

Wrong will be right, When Aslan comes in sight, At the sounds of his roar, Sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, Winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, We shall have spring again. ~C.S. Lewis (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)
~Frodo: "I wish none of this had happened." ~Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." ~The Fellowship of the Ring

'Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? That's because I am afraid and it gives me courage.' - Gandalf 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
"I do not believe this darkness will endure." - Faramir | The Return of the King |
~Mr. Tumnus: [of Aslan] "He's not a tame lion." ~Lucy: No... but he is good." (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
"It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.... there is some good in this world, and it is worth fighting for!" ~Sam |The Two Towers|
"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." ~Galadrial (The Fellowship of the Ring)
"Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!" ~Aragorn |Return of the King
22. Favourite battle in a fantasy book or movie?
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields!

23. Tell us which romance couple you love best in any of the fantasy stories you know about.
Eyown and Faramir <3

24. Elves or dwarves? Gondor or Rohan? Aragorn or King Tirian?
I can't really choose between elves and dwarves - I would probably say elves, because they are so graceful and beautiful and angelic, but then I love the dwarves too, and The Hobbit has given me a whole new appreciation for that folk! In Narnia, Trumpkin the dwarf is an absolute brick, and Gimli in LOTR is one of my favourite characters; and then there is Thorin in The Hobbit, who is also one of my favourite Middle-Earth heroes, -and there are also Balin and Fili and Kili and Bofur/Bombur :D. And I would definitely pick Rohan over Gondor any day. . . <3 and hmm, I guess it is a tie between Aragorn and King Tirian, because both characters are so noble and heroic and both happen to be kings; though I lean slightly towards Aragorn. 

25. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in books/movies of this genre? (you are welcome to choose more than one ;). 
I am not so sure if they all count as side-kicks, but I would probably pick out three: 
Theoden King
Legolas Greenleaf
 In Narnia, I would pick out Puddleglum!! 

26. List five fantasy novels you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
Quite a few actually!
Golden Daughter - Anne Elisabeth Stengl (and the subsequent books in the ungoing series!)
Draven's Light - Anne Elisabeth Stengl 
Cloak of the Light - Chuck Black
The Princess and the Goblin - George MacDonald
A Cast of Stones - Patrick Carr
The Hero's Lot - Patrick Carr
A Draw of Kings - Patrick Carr
Plenilune - by Jennifer Freitag (and the subsequent books in the series!)
The Great Divorce - C. S. Lewis
Unfinished Tales - J.R.R. Tolkien

27. Which fantasy work struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics, the distinction and battle between good and evil, and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
While the Narnia-books have a more overt and distinct Christian "allegory", and some beautiful, inspired themes, I have not read any fantasy work to rival Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in his sense of understanding of the human heart, the Christian walk and all its trials, spiritual battles and temptations, the darkness of sin and evil's forces, the understanding of Divine Grace, Providence and the final victory, hope and in that cosmic spiritual battle. . . 
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
28. What was the first fantasy novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was probably the first fantasy book I read, and I loved it!

29. What would inspire you to pick up a work of fantasy literature or watch a fantasy film? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of enjoying this genre?
As it is rather late, I would like to rather refer you to the response of one of my friends who wrote in reply to this question, which really echo my thoughts beautifully: I quote Hannah from The Writer's Window blog:
". . . As a character in fantasy says, "You'll rarely find more truth than in fairy tales." Authors of old and now new ones are bringing forth stories that parallel our own. Oh, we not have special powers or a quest to destroy an evil ring. We may not meet elves or ever have to fight goblins. But there is evil in this world and fantasy reminds us of the more supernatural things at stake when it is easy to get caught up in the material humdrums of life. There is a dark lord, there is a war, temptations ensnare us, and we fight battles of our own. Granted, some fantasy will teach improper truths, as is the case in most genres. People might become more caught up in the fantasy than the real world and might even become attracted to magic, which in this world will get them into darkness, not light. But for those who measure their fantasy by the truth of God, they will see heroes struggle, yet have victory, and they will be reminded that there is a happily ever after."


  1. Great answers, Joy! I was so surprised to see that you quoted me! That's so very sweet! :D

    1. Aw, that was because I totally loved your response to that question, - put into words my thoughts so beautifully! Thanks for joining in the tags, Hannah :).

  2. I shall have to go and read some Tolkien now! Wonderful post, Joy. :D <3

    1. Yes, you should, Emily, you should!!!

      Aw, thanks, dear :). I hope it at least excited you to enjoy one of my favorite authors ;)


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