Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

“The Lord of the Rings”: My Son and I Bonded Over Hobbits

Before recent times when I have seemingly restricted my reading menu to the Economist, I was an avid reader. I can think of many books that arguably changed me, but only one (series) that for sure changed me twice. That would be “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

I believe I read the series for the first time in 7th grade and then again in 9th grade. I wrote papers about the series in high school. I tried to find anything and everything Tolkien wrote related to the series. As with movies that have made an impression on me, I often find myself thinking of relevant quotes from the series as I encounter different situations over time. It’s very compelling that such a hardy and diverse band of characters come together under the unexpected and excruciating pressure of saving the world and are able to execute under the most severe conditions.

An important part of the series’ influence on me was the nobility and grace of Gandalf and Aragorn. Of course their talents are abundant but what is even more notable is the humility with which they accept and carry out their leadership roles. They’re each capable of exerting great force, but they also recognize that force alone cannot accomplish their goal of destroying Sauron’s ring. Ultimately they have no choice but to devote their considerable strengths to serving as a decoy to draw out the enemy while rolling the dice on two hobbits making their way across an impossible landscape to achieve ultimate victory. They both encounter temptations up to and including the possibility of claiming the ring for themselves, but they stay true to the fellowship and the quest until the end.

An equally important element of the series is the development of the hobbits Frodo, Samwise, Marry and Pippin from irrelevant, fun-loving creatures to central characters in the drama. Much of this is depicted well in Peter Jackson’s movie series. But the part of the series I enjoy the most — when the four hobbits return to the Shire after the destruction of the ring — does not appear in the movies. Tolkien, in my opinion, brilliantly depicts the hobbits’ newfound maturity as they sort out the chaos wrought by the fallen wizard Saruman that has descended on the Shire.

So taking all of the above into account, the series has really been both a great source of enjoyment and a prism through which I understand aspects of real life as well as life on Middle Earth. On this basis, it’s appropriate to say “The Lord of the Rings” has changed me. But there is a different reason why it changed me again.

When my now college-age son was 4 1/2 years old, I began to read “The Hobbit” to him, a few pages almost every night as he was going to bed. One thing led to another and by the time I finished reading the third and final book of “The Lord of the Rings” to him, he was past his seventh birthday. This two-and-a-half-year odyssey bonded us powerfully as we discussed why, learned new words and explored new concepts. It might explain why my son has been a voracious reader of fantasy novels to the point that he recently commanded me to read George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of which the “Game of Thrones” is the first book and the name of the HBO series.

Sometime after I finished reading the series to my son, our family was on one of our cruises. The manager of our Adventure Ocean youth program told me about a discussion the youth counselors had had with some of the children about parent/child activities. The manager wanted me to know how deeply touched the counselors were to hear my young son describe our mutual experience of “The Lord of the Rings” night after night, month after month, from beginning to end. The series had changed both of us, me for the second time.

This entry was originally published on LinkedIn.

2 responses to:
““The Lord of the Rings”: My Son and I Bonded Over Hobbits”

  1. ANDRE BUSQUE

    I was on your BIG Oasis of the seas last may 2013 and we realy had a nice cruise. (member 360005814)
    We realy appreciate the quality of the hospitality and so on… We realy fel to be Bienvenue a bord !
    In preparation of our next cruise, i saw that Royal C. have a family of brands like Celebrity, Azamara, Pullmantur and Croisières de France.
    Wil we find the same quality on cruises witht those ?
    Thank you.

  2. Camille

    I bonded with the Lord of the Rings also…many many years ago…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close

Connect With us

Tab indicator
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@Andrea_guzy You can find our Romance Packages at: http://t.co/HH7lmpEIir
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@debritz Please try again. Thank you.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@debritz Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Can you please DM us with your booking number and contact information?
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@ANewChapterPt2 After Quantum, NY will welcome Freedom-class Liberty of the Seas & then Quantum’s sister ship Anthem of the Seas next Winter
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@mr_hooper All of our ships are equipped with North American standard, 110 volts AC & standard European 220/230 volts AC outlets.
Explore even more of the world. See where your favorite ship is sailing from in 2015.
When are you constantly moving, but always in the same place? 
#allureoftheseas  
Next step in building #QuantumOfTheSeas: putting the azipods into place.
Countdown to November: Today the final block of #QuantumOfTheSeas was moved into place. 
You've got questions, he's got answers. CEO Adam Goldstein is hosting a Google hangout today at 1:30 / 12:30 CST to talk about Quantum dining: http://bit.ly/1g4n6du 
Watch Adam Goldstein and Moderator Colleen McDaniel as they answer questions and discuss the latest innovations coming to Quantum of the Seas
Get a taste of our next Quantum reveal. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement next week.
Disembark to a new world. #norway  
So much more to explore.  #stmaarten  
The options are endless.  #allureoftheseas  

JavaScript and Flash are required to view video content. View the playlist on YouTube.

  • Sea cave on Benagil Sea cave on Benagil Beach, Algarve, Portugal. 5 hours + 59 minutes ago
  • Explore the groundbr Explore the groundbreaking art and architecture of Barcelona, Spain. 5 hours + 59 minutes ago
  • Take in the sights o Take in the sights of Barcelona, Spain. 5 hours + 59 minutes ago
  • Umbrellas float abov Umbrellas float above the street in Agueda, Portugal. 5 hours + 59 minutes ago
  • Buddha in Java, Indo Buddha in Java, Indonesia. 1 day + 6 hours ago
  • Bali, Indonesia | 30 Bali, Indonesia | 30 Amazing Places on Earth You Need To Visit 1 day + 6 hours ago
  • Dawn in Benoa (Bali) Dawn in Benoa (Bali), Indonesia. 1 day + 6 hours ago
  • Temple in Bali, Indo Temple in Bali, Indonesia. 1 day + 6 hours ago
  • Pura Lempuyang Door Pura Lempuyang Door in Bali, Indonesia. 1 day + 6 hours ago
  • Semporna, Sabah in I Semporna, Sabah in Indonesia. Canoe past starfish and mountains. 1 day + 6 hours ago
  • Picturesque villages and beautiful beaches? Welcome to the Greek Isles. Follow the link in our profile for the full itinerary.
  • Wander the winding streets in the historic heart of Athens. Follow the link in our profile for Mediterranean itineraries.
  • Not to be missed in Montenegro: the Old City of Kotor, one of the best preserved medieval towns in the Adriatic. Link to Mediterranean itineraries in our profile.
  • First stop on our Mediterranean trip: Venice, built on 118 submerged islands. Follow the link in our profile for Mediterranean itineraries.
  • Your #royalwow view awaits in the Mediterranean. Set sail with us tomorrow as we explore the European coast.
  • The banana toffee panini. Simple, sweet, sublime. Follow the link our profile to see the full menu for Michael's Genuine Pub.
  • A taste of the Mediterranean. The Greek farro salad at Michael's Genuine Pub, made from the freshest ingredients available. (Follow the link in our profile to see the full menu.)
  • The ultimate comfort food: thick-cut potato chips with pan-fried onion dip. Coming this November to Michael's Genuine Pub onboard Quantum of the Seas. (Link to full menu in our profile.)
  • Love 150 Central Park? We're partnering with Michael Schwartz again to create his newest restaurant onboard Quantum of the Seas. All this week we're giving you a sneak peek of the menu (or follow the
  • When are you constantly moving, but always in the same place?
Autism Friendly Family Vacations: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:09 AM

Autism friendly. Two seemingly simple words, but they are having a huge impact for our guests and the autism community. My name is Ron Pettit and I’m ADA and Access Compliance Consultant at Royal... Continue Here to Read More…

Why Everyone Should Get Involved and Volunteer Everywhere

Friday, April 18, 2014 11:50 AM

GIVE Day (Get Involved Volunteer Everywhere) is the corporate global volunteer day for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and is our largest employee community event. My name is Helen O’Connell, Manager... Continue Here to Read More…

Quantum Class Ships: Empowering Guests to Take Full Control of Their Dining Experience

Thursday, April 10, 2014 2:14 PM

Hi everyone. I’m excited to begin our Quantum of the Seas blog series by sharing details about a new approach to dining at sea onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum Class ships. Our... Continue Here to Read More…

How to Connect with a Colleague When You Have Conflicting Interests

Monday, March 10, 2014 10:11 AM

We are not all the same.  Not in life and not in business.  As a consequence, maintaining a healthy perspective on differences among people is a critical success factor in a business career. Some... Continue Here to Read More…

Humorous Travel Stories

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 3:30 PM

It might be my impending trip to Shanghai for dinner with four red eye flights in five nights.  I want to believe this will be tolerable.  So I find myself thinking of some of the humorous things I... Continue Here to Read More…

Why We Needed Bumper Cars to Go Head to Head

Friday, February 14, 2014 1:56 PM

Guest post by Nick Weir I’m Nick Weir, the Vice President of Entertainment at Royal Caribbean International.  As usual we’ve been hard at work and are very focused on Quantum of the Seas in... Continue Here to Read More…

She’s Back…Navigator of the Seas Emerges After Massive Makeover

Friday, February 7, 2014 6:20 PM

Guest blog by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo It’s a very exciting week for us here at Royal Caribbean International. After spending a month in drydock, we’re pleased to announce Navigator of the Seas is... Continue Here to Read More…

Productivity Hacks: Build a Great Team at Work and at Home

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:35 PM

When you live at the outer limits of multitasking, you never feel productive enough. So it’s nice of LinkedIn to assign a topic on the premise that I am in fact productive. Time is the scarce... Continue Here to Read More…

Why Project Radiance Didn’t Turn Out as Planned

Monday, January 13, 2014 3:00 PM

A reader recently asked if there was a time where I did something and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, and what I did after that.  There are probably many relevant examples, but the one... Continue Here to Read More…

The Importance of Shipyard Visits

Monday, January 6, 2014 5:59 PM

Recently I visited both shipyards that are currently building ships for Royal Caribbean International.  First I traveled to Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany (builders of Quantum of the Seas,... Continue Here to Read More…