Various personalities discuss Tolkien’s influence on their lives and how the upcoming RPG matches up.

I am not alone in my love for The Lord of the Rings. Nearly every fan of fantasy has read Tolkien’s novels and probably watched the recent film adaptations by Peter Jackson. In developing The War in the North, Warner Bros. Interactive has come in contact with many people who’ve expressed their love of Tolkien, and in one of the last videos released by Snowblind Studios before the game’s launch on PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 1st shows actors Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee) talking about their love of Tolkien. My favorite bits through are from comedian Brian Posehn and Kunal Nayyar from the Big Bang Theory.

While Monaghan talks about how important the books were in his family and Posehn says his fandom stops just short of cosplay, I have to say that Astin doesn’t seem like he was a fan before he was cast as a hobbit. His story of asking the bookstore clerk where he could find Tolkien books and then being surprised at their number is pretty telling.

Alternately, Nayyar said he was personally affected by his first viewing of the The Fellowship of the Ring film. “I started crying when the opening sequences rolled,” he said. “That’s how big of a fan I am.”

I can relate to Nayyar; the prologue of Galadriel speaking was so pitch perfect that I too wept with the joy of seeing them in that movie theater in New York City in 2000. Who am I kidding? I cried when I watched the extended edition DVD of The Two Towers last week. They are that good.

The license for Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings has been pretty lucrative for game publishers. Surprisingly, the films – the last of which was in theaters in 2003 – are still spawning videogames. The War in the North departs from retelling the events of the films through action set-pieces, and instead delivers RPG gameplay through a party of three new characters that will intersect with some obscure events and characters from Tolkien’s books such as Elrond’s sons Elladan and Elrohir.

I’m looking forward to playing the game and seeing if Snowblind pulls off an alternate story set in the world that I love so dearly. Given that all of the personalities seemed to enjoy their time with the game so far, I’m cautiously optimistic.

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