Along with Homer's Odyssey, Tolkien's The Hobbit was the only book I ever remember being given to read at school that I actually enjoyed -- nay devoured. As a child who had passionately absorbed stories culled from world mythology I stepped with familiar delight into the world that Tolkien had created. This held true also for The Lord of the Rings. Its sense of epic adventure, its heroes and heroism, valour, tragedy and poignant ending held me in thrall. I admit that although it was only a small part in the novel, I found the story of Arwen and Aragorn particularly fascinating. (I fell in love with Aragorn long before Viggo Mortensen came along!). If I had ever taken to writing fan fiction, this is the thread I would have pursued. I used to grumble a little at Tolkien for not having expanded on the story.
In my own career, I write epic Medieval fiction and I would certainly cite
Tolkien as one of my subconscious formative influences. More recently, Peter Jackson's stunning film version of the story has had a massive impact on my creativity. I have always found inspiration from the medium of film. To Charlton Heston's The Warlord and Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis in The Vikings, I can now add The Lord of the Rings with its magnificent cast and crew. They have also inspired me to re-read the book and to find new pathways through the moonlit trees.