We are all a little bit “NERDY”.
Whether we hide this nerdi-ness in the closet or wave that flag about our heads, there is something that intrigues us in the genres of fantasy and sci-fi. In recent years, many would argue, “Nerd culture” has grown from being a small subculture to mainstream juggernaut with no sign of slowing down anytime soon! With such professed “NERDS” as Vin Diesel, President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Stephen Colbert, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Leonardo DiCaprio and more – the perception of the culture has changed many and also lured many more in.
The Legendarium Media News team consists of this exact type of “diverse group”, that brings the latest in sci-fi and fantasy news, commentaries, interviews and more to you every week! But with all their interests in sci-fi and fantasy what “NERDY thing” do they do or collect that stands out? The team has agreed to share their nerdy collections with YOU!
“These NERDY Things of Mine”:
I was recently named “#1 Asajj Ventress fangirl” by a couple of my followers on Tumblr. I have no idea what they’re talking about. Just because I adore a fictional character almost more than life itself doesn’t make me a fangirl. Hahaha… *casually puts on ‘Asajj Ventress Fan Club President’ shirt* YES, I AM!!! This photo doesn’t even cover the amount of fanart I’ve either collected or commissioned, or the cosplay of her I’m steadily working on to be ready by spring, or the analyses, fanfics, and headcanons I’ve written about her, or the fact that I will sit anyone who talks trash about her down and give them a three-hour lecture on why they’re wrong. The statues in this photo are my pride and joy. The one of her and Dooku has been out of print for a while, so I was ecstatic to have found one on eBay at a time when I could actually afford it.
Asajj is the reason I got into The Clone Wars, and thus as deep into the Star Wars fandom in general as I have in the last couple of years. When I sat down and watched the show and read the comics and the novels, I instantly fell in love not only with her, but with her character development in TCW. Star Wars is generally a very black-and-white story with the good guys and the bad guys very clearly defined. Not Asajj. She’s an incredibly complex, complicated, layered character who deserves a lot more love and respect both within the SW-verse and the fandom than she gets.
Dr. Crystal Hurd:
One of my very favorite pieces of nerd gear is a recent acquisition of “Eagle and Child” pint glasses. The Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford is famous for being the weekly meeting place of a writer’s group known as the Inklings. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are among a throng of famous authors who enjoyed a pint while sharing manuscripts. Early drafts of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings were read in The Rabbit Room.
I ordered these glasses online, but I actually visited the pub in 2013. I tried to remain calm, but with all of the Inkling memorabilia in the place, I went a little “fangirl” on the poor bartender. In the background is another piece of nerd gear – a Hobbit door with (old) Bilbo packed and ready for an adventure.
As a child I yearned for heroic tales of armored knights and far-away kingdoms, but I seldom found this treasure in my quests to the local library because I did not yet know the magic word: “fantasy.” Before then the best description I could think of was the word “legend!But the real game-changer came in my early teens when my parents gave me the most prized possession in the collection: the 1992 Centenary Edition of The Lord of the Rings commemorating J.R.R. Tolkien’s 100th birthday and containing illustrations by Alan Lee. My collection has grown ever since.
The foundation of any Tolkien collection consists of the Big Three: The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. These and other tales by Tolkien such as The Children of Hurin and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil are collected here in hardback with illustrations from such renowned artists as Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith, and Pauline Baynes. Unfinished Tales and the boxed sets of The History of Middle-Earth and The History of the Lord of the Rings series offer insight into Tolkien’s creative process while an assortment of reference books supply indexed lore to Tolkien’s Legendarium. I keep a notebook with these, in which I record my observations during readings and jot down discussion questions for a reading group I organize. Peter Jackson’s films have captured the imaginations of new and old fans alike and the Extended Editions have become a favorite object of marathons in the Poole household. Tolkien gaming is represented here with player’s guides of PC games and the core set and some expansions for The Lord of the Rings: The Living Card Game, and lest I get lost on my journeys through The Lord of the Rings Online are maps of Moria and Middle-Earth that came with collector’s installments of the game. Finally, sculptures and figurines populate the collection, including chess pieces of Lord of the Rings film characters, a Minas Tirith bookend, a figure of Treebeard with Merry and Pippin sitting in his boughs, while action figures of Elrond, Gil-Galad, and an Elven soldier of the Last Alliance keep watch over other fantasy classics such as an anthology of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia stories and a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula signed by the author’s “blood descendant” Dacre Stoker.
To anyone, they’re just two inches of pewter molded into the shape of people holding weapons. To me, they represent four years of camaraderie, insanity, hilarity, and tragedy that are inevitable parts of the Dungeons & Dragons experience. On the right is my very first D&D character: a human cleric with a penchant for dying. Fortunately for me, she keeps finding ways to come back. On the left is her beloved elf druid, who has a penchant for shattering the very bonds that hold the universe together for the sake of love. It’s… complicated.
You might notice I didn’t say the elf druid was also my character. The druid figurine was given to me by longtime friend, fellow dungeon master torture victim, and Legendarium Founder Tyler Michael Jonsson when he decided to return to his home planet of Wisconsin. Through the advent of technology he is still able to play with us, but his miniature stayed here in California to keep his lady love safe.
Astrid Tuttle Winegar:
“Nobody expects me to be such a Monty Python nerd…” My mom occasionally liked to see films at our local art cinema, The Guild. One day she took us to see And Now For Something Completely Different, starring a band of relatively obscure Brits collectively known as Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I was ten and my sister was seven. It was 1972—why wasn’t she taking us to see some Disney film, like Napoleon and Samantha?
Thank goodness she didn’t. In the end, my mom didn’t always appreciate the Pythons, but my sister and I were hooked. We spent our teen years quoting Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Between comfy chairs, hedgehogs, silly walks, and killer rabbits, we would often find ways to integrate Python quotes into our daily lives.
Can I quote all the lines in The Holy Grail? I could come very close, if it’s on. And it is on, about once a year. Was Graham Chapman the first man I ever saw naked on screen in The Life of Brian? Maybe…I’m pretty sure he was (no more details, however; this is a family-friendly site). Do I still bother people with obscure Python quotes? Sometimes—let’s face it; the Pythons are an acquired taste, and you have to know your audience.
Have I based friendships and boyfriends on whether they understand Python references? Or Star Trek, or Tolkien, or Star Wars references? Yes, I have.
Thank you, mom, for skipping Napoleon and Samantha.
Books make up most of what I’d call my “nerdy collection,” and I don’t have too much beside those. What I do have, however, means a lot to me. My sister gave me these necklaces, the first being the Evenstar necklace and the second being the Lothlorien leaf brooch. I also have the original toys that Burger King was selling (do fast food chains still do this?) right before The Fellowship of the Ring came out in theaters. In this picture my dog, Lupin (named after the Harry Potter character, naturally) watches over them. My father was already deep into reading The Lord of the Rings aloud to me at the time these came out and in anticipation for the movies, he took us kids to Burger King every few days or so to collect all the toys. I remember talking about the books on those trips, feeling very special that I could participate in a conversation about The Lord of the Rings with my father even though I was still a kid. I remember pretending to know a lot more than I really did (“Dad, why the heck is there an Arwen toy!? She’s not even important!”) and my father trying very hard to change my expectations (“Not everything is going to be the same in the movies as it is in the books, Kelly”). The Lord of the Rings, in both book and film, is an integral part of my childhood and inseparable in my memories from collecting these toys with my father.
As far as Harry Potter goes, I have a modest book collection. But since I have to continually stop myself from buying any and all editions of Harry Potter, I’m quite proud that my collection is small rather than large because it shows my considerable amount of self restraint! These are the original editions I read as I grew up with Harry. I also have Harry Potter in Latin (because why not?) and a few books that look deeply at the novels. I have a Ravenclaw scarf that I purchased at the Harry Potter convention, Leakycon a couple of years ago and a collection of Hogwarts Houses patches. I also have snitch necklace and a Weasley Christmas sweater that I proudly don any possible chance I can.
Other, more random, nerdy items I have is an embroidered T.A.R.D.I.S. that my best friend made me and a framed copy of the first page of Beowulf from my recent trip to the British Library (where I saw the Beowulf MS firsthand!). Then, later this year (hopefully!) I’ll have the ultimate item to add to my nerdy collection: a Masters degree in Tolkien studies and medieval literature.
My first taste of “Nerdom” was in 1977 with the release of Star Wars: A New Hope! I, like every other red blooded child in the country, was immediately obsessed with all things from the movie! From action figures to toy star ships, our imagination was given a spark by the creation of George Lucas’ galaxy…far, far away. This love grew with the release of The Empire Strikes Back. During this release, I discovered and collected something that none of my other friends seemed interested in…Star Wars trading cards. Using my allowance, I would go to the local corner store each week and spend it on these bubble gum flavored packages of cards that showcased the images of the characters I loved dearly; Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and more! During the release of episode 5 and 6, I amassed a large collection of these cards, numbering in the hundreds that I still own today. I am hoping that this tradition continues with episode 7.
What are some of YOUR “Nerdy” collections? Share with us in the comments!
Learn MORE about the Legendarium Media News Team here: http://www.legendariummedia.com/our-team/