Daily Archives: September 21, 2005

Here He Is, Mr. Middle Earth


I’m watching Lord of the Rings. Again. I love it! Can you believe what a feast for the eyes Peter Jackson has given us in conjuring up the epic battles and beautiful, harsh landscapes first imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien decades ago? And speaking of feasting, how about those easy-on-the-eyes guys of the Fellowship? If you’re going to have a crush on a fictional heartthrob, you could do worse.

After extensive research consisting mostly of long, pointless arguments with my friend, Kathy, I’ve discovered that the great majority of women fall into one of two camps when it comes to their taste in men: those who think that Aragorn embodies the masculine ideal of honor, strength, integrity, and courage, and those who’ve indulged themselves in one too many Ent draughts. I mean, uh, those who prefer Legolas.

If I understand her correctly, Kathy’s main objection to Aragorn is that he’s dirty. As in sweaty. Unclean. And I must admit that it’s true, at least for a large portion of the films. The man has traversed the map of Middle Earth, fallen from a sheer rock cliff and lived, fought an army of orcs, and crawled through a filthy cave to rally legions of undead warriors and defeat the forces of evil. So sue him if he didn’t have time for a bubble bath.

If you ask me, Legolas is the creepy one–I mean, what kind of guy leaps like a gazelle over the mountains for hours at a time without sweating and opens the jugulars of dozens of Uruk-hai with his (admittedly) impressive knife work without getting a drop of blood on him?

Legolas, the Amazing Teflon Elf, that’s who. Admit it–he could pass more easily for a Breck Girl than a mighty warrior.

What’s so terrible about a little sweat, anyway? When Paul and I were dating in college, I used to go to all his basketball games, and when the final buzzer went off, I would run squealing down the bleachers to where he waited, slick with perspiration, to be caught up in a big sweaty hug and to kiss him right on his beautiful, sweaty mouth. Sure, I accidentally slid off sometimes, but we were in love. Of course, our love has since grown to such a highly evolved level that we can feel safe sharing our deepest thoughts, like “Don’t even think about touching me until you’ve showered and brushed your teeth, buddy.”

For what it’s worth, here is my ten-cent psychological analysis of the two sides of this tremendously relevant social issue. (For real psychological analysis, send a two hundred dollar check to either my mother or my sister, both of whom have bona fide psych degrees and could really use the money to pay back their loans.) :

The discerning Aragorn fan is a woman who likes her men and her life a little rough around the edges. She doesn’t throw out a pair of jeans just because they get a hole in them, and she doesn’t save receipts. She longs for adventure–not just the dangerous, stupid kind, but the kind that follows in pursuit of some lofty goal that is a little out of reach. She expects to get knocked down occasionally, but she still cries when it happens. She never runs out of hope.

The Legolas lover is a woman who craves harmony (and cleanliness!) in all things. She makes lists, she follows a schedule, she keeps her tax records well beyond the recommended four years. She finds out what needs to be done and then rolls up her sleeves and does it, unfailingly. When the chips are down, she somehow comes through, and her friends are always of the life-long variety. She never runs out of determination.

And then, of course, there are the women who are attracted to Frodo. They’re just freaks.