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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

The Two Towers (2002)

I saw this eight times in theaters. Thank goodness I was working for a movie theater.

If you would have asked me this morning about my thoughts and feelings on this movie, I probably would have said something about it being my least favorite of the trilogy (though I had the most merchandise from it). It's definitely the one I've watched least. I barely remembered it as I watched today. When it came out, I found myself tired of Gollum and how ubiquitous he was culturally. The Baby Yoda of 2002, though technologically more impressive for the time. I liked the Ents mostly because Merry and Pippin are my favorites. I tolerated the Battle of Helm's Deep. When I watched it, I related most to Eowyn.

I had the strongest sense memory of longing as I watched this movie. This movie felt like aching loneliness and as I think about when this movie came out and what I was going through that month. What I was pushing out of my brain as I sat in a dark theater for 24 hours worth of LotR viewing. December 2002 was one of the darkest months of my life. So it shouldn't surprise me that I latched on to a character who longed both the freedom to save herself from the life she found herself in and the desperate hope that someone would arrive to save her. Pining for a man who was so not right for her, was the cherry on top. Thank god fanfic didn't exist as it does now, then. I would have written so much because I believed that Aragorn belonged with Eowyn. (Golly, Shan.)

Not that I found Aragorn appealing, myself. Or Faramir. But yearning like that filled a void in myself that I couldn't begin to understand. I wanted to make sense of the assault committed against me by a guy I'd been pursuing. And those things really have nothing to do with one another, but I find that trauma is a lot like putting together a wet jigsaw puzzle. You find yourself mashing things together, desperate for something to make sense.

Ugh. I was committed to not being so rattled by this week's movie after the last fiasco. But boy it brought a lot back to me. I'm going to walk away for a bit. Here's a gif of Ents bracing for a rush of water.

I wondered if I'd have more to say when I came back to this. Guess not! Fabulous score, though. I'd forgotten how incredible the Rohan motif is. It haunted me all week.

Acrylic paint on wood.


-This movie made me think about Waterhouse paintings and the Pre-Raphaelites in general. So I set out to do something in that style. I wasn't successful in that regard - should have worked in a larger scale so I could have done more detail, I need to stop being terrified of oil - but I quite like these. I also enjoyed doing research on the Pre-Raphaelites, whose work I have long admired but the hallmarks of the style I knew almost nothing about.

-Depicting trees always stresses me out. I love trees. Really like spending time around them. I look at them a lot. But something about truthfully depicting their shapes makes me more anxious than painting humans. I wasn't going to do the Treebeard one but learning that this style is largely focused on accurate depictions of greenery... well if it scares me I have to try it. I had intended on painting two or three other Ents taking their last march but, as Ben said, I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Hmpf.

-I really struggled with the glazing on Eowyn's plate. I love that technique so much but oof is it hard to get *just* right.

I'm real tired of being triggered by movies so here's hoping that next week's Mars Attacks! is just the fun romp I remember it being. Nothing upsetting about my own true childhood terror of aliens, right? RIGHT?

I hope you have a great week that helps point you in the direction you need to go in. Your gut is a compass. Turn, and take that first step into the light.

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