I like to play this game (which I invented) with friends and lovers. It’s called Tolkien of My Affection. To play you’ve had to have read Tolkien (not just watched the movies), so you’re up on all the characters. But beyond that, it’s pretty simple. Recently I played this with Fling while at a cafe.
It consists of two questions.
- Which character is (the person your playing with)?
- Which character are you?
After you type your answers, you simultaneously text each other those answers. Then you explain why you chose each character.
My answers were Narsil and Isildur.
- Fling is very much the man who cut the ring from Sauron’s hand and paid for it. (Though I like to think he’s currently being reforged).
- I, alas, am very much the person who can do great things, but never the one small most important of all things.
Fling’s answers were Bill the Pony and Samwise Gamgee.
- Fling said I’m brave, but I’ve been with bad men. Yet I’m wiser now and in good company with someone who cares and would not drag anyone into needless danger.
- He sees himself as dependable, down to earth, closest of companions, and occasional protector. A through thick and thin, to hell and back sort of guy.
I have to say Fling’s answers were a bit worrisome. Sam turned Bill loose at the Gates of Moria. True, they were reunited, but . . . . Are the Gates of Moria on our horizon?
Tolkien of My Affection is a dangerous game. On the surface of it, the object is simply to understand the other person and yourself a little better. However, very often you find out a lot about yourself, and the other person, and what sort of relationship you think you have with them and they think they have with you.
You know, like, why did both Fling and I see ourselves as humanish creatures (semi-elvish royalty; rude hobbit) but each other as non-humanish creatures (magical sword; intelligent pony). Why did each of us see the other as something subject to our power: Isildur owns and uses Narsil, Sam owns and uses Bill. What does this say about us as individuals? About our relationship?
This game is a bit like the Ring itself. Once you pick it up, you can’t stop playing with it. So if you haven’t picked it up, For Galadriel’s sake don’t. It will drive you mad.