Without a doubt, the Lord of the Rings and, to a lesser extent, The Hobbit, are two film trilogies that I really enjoy for a number of reasons.
Hell, I love Lord of the Rings that much that it inspired myself and three friends to head off to New Zealand and replicate the journey that the central character, Frodo, went on.
But, what I love most about these films is the element of adventure and the characters that fuel this adventure.
Two of those, in particular, Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey Wizard interest me the most.
Both characters feature in both stories, but The Hobbit focuses on Bilbo Baggins’ story and his transformation from a reserved and almost introverted hobbit, to someone who goes on an epic adventure and is transformed for the better.
Gandalf, for mine, represents what adventure in the outdoors is all about.
In both stories, he wills the central characters to break free from their everyday lives and go on an adventure; even though the potential for danger is high.
He pokes and prods them in the right direction and sees something in them that they may not have realised themselves.
Whereas, Bilbo represents the person who doesn’t know where to go or who to go with or is worried about what may happen.
When Bilbo returns to Hobbiton from the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit trilogy, his journey has completely transformed him as a person.
This then flows into the Lord of the Rings where he is much older, yet his want for adventure has not subsided.
Both characters, for mine, epitomise what venturing into the outdoors can do for your mental and physical well-being.
Hiking and camping have opened up my mind and improved my well-being beyond measure, and there are plenty of other examples where this is the case as well.