Guest Post by the amazing Minhas Morgul
Before I start this post I’m going to put a disclaimer:
This is going to be a LONG post. I understand if most of you don’t read it all. In fact, the only people I really want to read it all are two friends of mine. This is because this post is about LOTR, it’s also about friendships and memories I had from when I was young, and I would like to share these memories with all of you but mostly them.
I’m at a point in my life right now where I have more real life friends than I have online friends. In fact, I only currently have one online friend. We don’t talk to each other much. Most of our interactions nowadays comes from reblogging posts on tumblr and liking pictures on instagram. The way I see this friendship is: a silent internet support.
My life wasn’t always like that. There was a point where I had more internet friends than real life friends. There were two main reasons for this.
1) I rarely left my home and
2) I was really bad at making friends.
Where does this site, Planet Tolkien, come in you ask? Many of you have heard me talk about this site, and that is simply because this site played a large role in my life. But this story is specifically about how I made my very first internet friend. There will be deviations as I replay the memory, but that is only because of memories that were triggered by me talking about this.
The year was 2004. (Off topic: I think it’s funny that I’m thinking about this exactly 10 years later). This was also the year that I started high school. I had been avidly immersing myself in Tolkien for two years before this point, and it was 3 years since my first introduction to Tolkien. At this point, there was only one other person I knew who had read the books. There weren’t many people I could actually talk to about it.
As I mentioned, this also was the year I started Highschool. Making friends was a long and difficult process, but by the time grade 8 came around I finally had (what I thought at the time) a solid group of friends. That wasn’t the case. In highschool, as is the norm, people moved on to new friends and new cliques. This time it was different than elementary school. I was not ignored. People talked to me when I was there. This was nice. I would talk to people then go home and immerse myself with books. This was enough for a while… until it wasn’t.
I was lonely again.
Sometime in my search for more Tolkien related information I came across this forum on Planet Tolkien. Before this point I did not spend a lot of time online. My time was spent reading, playing video games, watching tv, or watching the same movie over and over again. I did not know much about computers or being online. This site opened a whole new world for me. For once, everything was about Tolkien. I found people who wanted to always talk about Tolkien as much as I did. This is where I met my first friend. I don’t remember his name. We stopped talking for so long that it’s been a while since I forgot it.
I remember he lived in India.
Through the forums we talked. I didn’t have a display picture. I remembered he made one for me because at the time I didn’t know how. I remember it was a picture of Captain Jack Sparrow. This was also the time the first Pirates of the Caribbean came out. I remember sitting at my computer on hot summer days, feeling uncomfortable and sweaty in my seat, but not moving because I wanted to stay on the computer and go on this site, and also talk to him. The winter was the same situation but opposite temperature.
We added each other on msn and we spoke to often. I started to learn how to speak Elvish. I remember a conversation we had, when I first started to learn, where we would say what Elvish phrases we learned to each other. Then one day he added my older sister on msn. Whatever conversations happened between them was private and I will not share them here, but they grew close. Four years had passed since I first started going on Planet Tolkien. It was now 2008. My sister was getting married and was going to move to England. At the same time this happened, my sister and my first internet friend had a falling out. They never spoke to each other again. I only spoke to him once after.
The conversation we had stressed me out. It was about the falling out he had with my sister. At the time, I immediately sided with my sister, but when I reflect upon this even later I realized it was much more complicated than that. We fought and we never spoke again. I blocked him for a while. I liked seeing when he was online, but I eventually deleted him off my list. I feel sad when I think of this story.
We were two lonely people who loved Tolkien. That was all.
Minhas Morgul is an artist and cosplayer from Toronto. She has been apart of the Tolkien fandom since she was 10 years old, and has taken on the odd task of knitting ties for the cast members of The Lord of the Rings.
Scoop here: I met Minhas Morgul at FanExpo two years ago through @OS_Lantern. She is a fangirl of immense proportions and has been doing a countdown on facebook to the final Hobbit movie. This guest column originated as a lengthy confessional in those string of posts. And it caught my attention. And I knew I wanted to share it and adapt it with the wider world.