Cirdan from Herr Der Ringe emailed me and let me know about a recent event he hosted in Germany–a Tolkien feast in a Castle! With the atmosphere set, the guests sated, Cirdan proceeded to treat his guests to something few in the world have seen…
Read the report from Cirdan’s friend Elanor below!
A Long Expected Party – The Tolkien-Meal 2000
Nothing goes together quite like friends, food, and Middle-earth!
When Cirdan asked on Saturday morning, if someone would be willing to write something about the weekend we had spent together in Gieáen, I almost instantly said I would do it, because I felt – and still feel – like telling everyone what we did and espacially what we saw. (I think, I’m already getting on my family’s nerves really.)
Nevertheless it took me two days to finally start writing. Not only because of missing vocabulary (I think it’s time to emprove my english), complete exhaustion (I slept the whole day Sunday) and loads of homework on Monday, but mostly because I really don’t know how or where to start. Now I’m sitting in front of my computer and I’m still so overwhelmed with everything that happened that I can’t possibly describe what I feel. I think, it’s something between “completely happy” and “totally depressed” (oh my gosh! It’s still one and a half years!)
But maybe I should just try to describe everything in a more rational way (as far as that is possible) and start at the beginning.
I don’t really know when Cirdan and his helpers actually started planning this meeting, but the first time I heard about it was a few month ago when chatting with some of the other fans in the “Green Dragon”. I found the idea of a meeting of Tolkien fans in some kind of Middle-Age-style quite exciting and after having talked to my older brother, both of us decided to go there.
There was a lot of talk and excitement about it and as for me I almost couldn’t wait to go there. But before there was still the summer-vacation and one week of school. 🙁
Anyway, somehow it became Saturday the 19th, the day of the Tolkien-meal. We departed from home on Saturday morning to meet some of our friends from the chat and go to Gieáen together. I can tell you that this was a real odyssey. (Somehow we got lost on the way).
Anyway, after having spent about five and a half hours in the car we finally (and against all odds) arrived at the camping-site where we were supposed to stay the night at.
There were already a lot of tents and people in costumes and I think to some of the other campers we must have looked kinda weird, wearing black cloaks, shirts of mail and long dresses. (I think some of us even were asked if they’d belong to a funeral prosession or something like that!) After having built up our own tent and getting dressed (man, what an adventure to fix those elf-ears!) we went up to Gleiberg Castle, where some others were already waiting.
Luckily, everybody had finally managed to come, even though the ones who had travelled by train had had some problems. Now, there were about fifty people. (There would have been about three hundred I believe, if we had had enough room for everybody. I’m telling you this, because the number of requests was kinda remarkable, for in the beginning Cirdan and the others didn’t expect more than thirty people to be interested. 🙂 ). We had to wait a few more minutes until we were led into the room that had been rented for the meeting. Inside we got something to drink and Sannyu and Cirdan both spoke a few words to welcome us before we sat down to start talking and getting to know each other.
The first few hours were filled with excitement (which didn’t subside throughout the whole evening actually). We took some pictures and tried to have a look at all the phantastic costumes. There were knights, dwarves :), wizards, elves and hobbits and even a woman from Kinowelt-the german distributor of the Lord-of-the-Rings-movie- talking and laughing while a group of musicians called “Brummtopf” played music from the Middle Age.
And there were also people from the local newspapers, lurking everywhere as it seemed. (To be honest, there were only two of them, but this photographer must have been some kind of wizard or something, because he seemed to be just everywhere, watching you through his telephoto lens) I don’t know about the others, but I felt kinda observed. 🙂 A lot of pictures were taken while we were eating and also later in the evening. (you should have a look at them at Cirdan’s site, there are some really cool ones!)
After dinner we all tried to solve a Lord-of-the-Rings-quiz Cirdan had prepared and, of course, there was still a surprise to come….
But before we should find out about it, some of us climbed up the tower of the castle, which turned out to be kinda scary in the dark, you couldn’t even see your own hands while climbing up the stairs! When having reached the top, some of the girls didn’t want to go downstairs again, because they were too scared of a second journey in the dark. Luckily, Silene the Hobbit appeared after some time to rescue us. She had a candle to light the way and she told us that it would be better to go downstairs immediately if we didn’t want to miss the surprise…
After having climbed down the tower again, we found the ones who had stayed downstairs waiting for us, because the Kinowelt-woman, her name was Nikki Such actually, had brought two 6-minutes-previews of the Lord-of-the-Rings-movie to show them to us. Since we were allowed to see some of the material only a few people had seen before, you can possibly imagine that there was some excitement.
Well, I don’t think that I’m able to describe what we felt while seeing or after having seen the footage. Everybody was trembling and almost crying and all were sure that this movie is gonna be a real hit! Wow!
Afterwards you could find everyone talking excitedly about the things we had seen and everybody was asking one and the same question: “How on earth are we supposed to survive another one and a half years?”
Anyway, after we had calmed down a bit (not very much anyway), Cirdan announced the winners of the quiz and after they had got their prizes we did a bit of, let’s call it “Lord-of-the-Rings-shopping”, for the publisher who prints Tolkien’s books in Germany had sent some boxes of books and other stuff so that it could be sold to the fans.
Later that evening, at about half past twelve I believe, some of us were standing outside, when someone -I can’t remember whether it was Sannyu or Eowyn, I’m sorry, I was still a bit too excited about the trailer, I think- came out to tell us that she had some good and some bad news and asked, which we wanted to hear first. We decided on the bad ones. “Well, we were told that we have to leave this place at one o’clock,” she said and then she grinned: “but we can see the trailers again.” Of course, that was the good news.
Most of us were rather euphoric and everybody gathered inside to watch the previews again. (By the way: I think to most of the girls Legolas was kinda impressing, there seem to be a lotta Legolas-fans since then.) Well, after that the evening slowly came to its end. We took some group-photos and then we went back to the camping-site or to the inns we were staying at.
But though we had left the castle, the party wasn’t at its end at all. Some of the campers didn’t sleep very much that night. Well, actually none of them did, I believe, for some kept on talking until morning, telling stories or reading to us from the red book. The morning after, everybody was just tired and some were rather wet, since it had rained throughout the night, but still most of us were in a great mood and we talked a lot while we were waiting for breakfast. Though some of us really didn’t want to go home we had to depart sometime after breakfast and so one by one everyone got ready to go home and said goodbye to the others.
Well, this is were this report ends. I hope that it is satisfying and that you can imagine a bit of the fun we had this weekend (I apologize for possible mistakes in the text 🙂 ). For me it was like leaving the real world for one day and going to Middle-earth and I can only say that this was one of the best things I ever experienced in my entire life.
As far as I know there are already plans for a new meeting and I can ensure you that I’ll be the first to go there!