Kenzie Wilbourne

Kenzie Wilbourne

A Review of The Lord of the Rings Film Adaptation

Journal Entry:

Prepare yourself. I am about to nerd out over The Lord of the Rings film adaptation.


So, you know those fictional deaths that you cannot get over? Dumbledore, Professor Snape, Fred, Sirius Black, Obi Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Yoda, or Luke Skywalker – even though his death was (eh, don’t get mad) overly exaggerated and poorly portrayed. Yeah, well The Lord of the Rings takes all that you know and feel about fictional deaths and deceits your mind. Cough, cough. Just when you thought Gandalf and Aragorn had died, BAM! They come back stronger than ever!


However, “one does not simply” get over Boromir’s death – ha, see what I did there? Also, one does not simply get over the sad death of Theoden, when his niece Eowyn – I believe Eowyn is the niece of Theoden…I read the books in fifth grade; forgive me if my memory leaves me – comes to his side during battle. Oh yeah, let’s talk about Eowyn for a minute.


My favorite females in literature and film are Hermione Granger, Princess Leia, Rey, and now Lady Eowyn. “I am no man!” is the greatest quote before she kills Nazgul during battle; check out the link for her greatest female victory.

Let’s just say that Lady Eowyn is an ultimate bad ass and is another woman who exemplifies the power of women in literature.


I cannot finish this blog-post without discussing the serious ‘bromance’ between Frodo and Sam. I mean, come on, talk about a friendship. If you do not have a loyal friend like Sam; you are missing out in life.


Here is some advice to my fellow nerds who read this blog post about The Lord of the Rings.

Watch the movies, read the books (they are even better), and enjoy the art of imagination. Thank you, J.R.R. Tolkien for your beautiful, creative mind; literature would not be the same without you!



More ‘nerdiness’ to come along my crazy adventure in literature,



"The Island of Waiheke" - A poem

In the distance, there is an island

That the ferry boat takes us to,

An island with sandy beaches

And water that radiates a deep blue

Tint. Along the edge, the cool and brisk


Waves kiss our walking feet effortlessly.

We hike upon a grassy hill –

The Shire is what I would call it.

We sit down and read songs of love and isolation.

We read fragments of The Hobbit.


Hiking an endless voyage, up a hill

We go. There is another body

Of water with a rocky shore.

Five of us move onward

Throughout the Island of Waiheke;


We take off our boots and socks and step

Into the cold, blue water where the rocks

Embrace the warmth of the soles

Of our feet. “A cave! A cave!”

I shouted to the others. Upon the pillars,


We climbed. Climbing rocks, sitting

A top the base of a tree, and looking

Beyond the beautiful sea, we pick up our

Belongings and move onward,

Hiking, once again, within the Island of Waiheke.


We stop and rest briefly at another

Body of water. A body of water

That hugs the body of my skin as I dive in-

To the Pacific Ocean. Like a fish, I swim

Under the aquatic surface, peering up towards


The mirror of a pure blue, translucent

Painting. To dry, I lie upon

The rocky shore and use the stones

As a towel of warmth. I then join the other four

And together we move through the Island of Waiheke.



Up the trail, we talk about poets

Frost, Eliott, and Billy Collins.

Two paths that diverge into a wood,

We choose the route that leads us

Alongside a long, paved road.


We come across a stranger or two

Who help us reach the town. Stopping our hike

To eat and drink and gaze at the sun that

Slowly sinks beneath the blanket of leaves on

A bough. Hiking, once more, we trudge our sore feet to


A winery. The sun is setting, but there is no

Pink, orange residue lingering in the sky,

Rather a blue hue like the water we stepped in,

The water I swam in, and the water that surrounds

The Island of Waiheke.


In the dark, we blindly hike

Back to the ferry that gifted us

With many adventures,

Shouting and laughing

Like those families in pictures


On holiday evenings. Together,

We board the ferry and head back

Towards the New Zealand city of lights.

Watching the waves of the sea, we leave behind

The Island of Waiheke.

“The Green Hills” A Short Story

Rotten Eggs.

That is the first scent I smell as we take our first step over the chalky white, sulfuric, rocky shoreline. The fragrance of rot suppresses my ability to smell good smells, homely smells – flowers, fresh air, or those warm, fluffy pancakes that Momma used to make me on cold, winter mornings. Imagine walking along a treacherously constructed hiking trail when all of sudden a smell worse than that goat milk your grandfather made you drink as a small child or a smell worse than that whiff you catch after your sister eats twenty burritos from Taco Casa one Thursday night latches onto the inside of your nostrils burning your nose with the scorching, repugnant odor of decay. Maybe I am over exaggerating a little, but needless to say, the sulfur stench stunk.

“Whew,” my English teacher Nate shook his head and scrunched his nose in disgust. “We are in Hell, I think.”

“This is not the hike I had in mind. Waiheke Island was way prettier.” I reply while clamping the tip top of my nose with my tiny fingers.

“Just wait. It’s going to get better. I feel nature’s beauty approaching us right around the corner!” Nate tried to remain positive knowing that this trail which resembled the isolated wasteland of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot did not amount to the grandeur of Waiheke Island.

“Look at those green hills in the distance, Kenz,” Nate continues to say, “That’s the beauty that awaits us. You know, Tolkien always insinuated that the road to adventure is not all ornamental; we must, at times, walk through horrid, tedious paths to reach our destination. That is what makes the journey worthwhile – the balance between darkness and light.”

I smile in reassurance as I stare afar at the distant green hills; they truly are something beautiful.

It’s going to get better. It’s going to get better. It’s going to get better. I repeat the cliché philosophy of my teacher to myself as we trudge along the white powder trail that is bounded by bare, desolate trees.

Walking onward to reach those glorious green hills, we come across these three older men that stand atop of the rocky, sulfur shore. I keep staring at them; one stands distant from the others, and I cannot articulate what exactly it is that he is doing. Maybe he’s a geologist testing the geothermal radioactivity of the water. I think to myself. Maybe he is fishing. Then again, wait, what fish would sustain these deadly, acidic waters. I look at Nate for fatherly advice, knowing that he has to be thinking the same thing as I am.

“Nate, what is he doing?”

He did not answer; my teacher, who is supposed to know all answers, was speechless. He seemed stunned, petrified even.

“Oh! No! Oh, my goodness gracious!” I cover my eyes like a small, vulnerable child; my innocence had shattered like a fragile, glass lamp falling from a bedside table. The old man was peeing; he was peeing in the rotting egg-scented water, and his junk was exposed to the alienated world around us. My pure, baby-blue eyes saw everything.

“So much for getting better,” I mumble.

We both die with boisterous laughter. Tears fill my eyes from laughing at the irony of Nate formerly saying “Hey Kenz! It’s going to get better! Nature’s beauty awaits us!” More like nature’s calling. I think to myself.

We finally made it to the mesmeric, red Redwoods of our memorable hike, but we never reached those green hills that day in Roterua. The next morning, our class left for Christchurch, New Zealand. The green hills were no longer in reach.




Hi everyone! Walked to the edge of town, questioned some locals, and found: The Path! Let me know if you’re interested in mountain hike, no problem if not!


My phone brightens as Nate’s message to our English classes’ Fellowship of the Ring group message appears on the glass screen of my cell. After our hike in Roterua, I think to myself that hiking in another city that is not like Waiheke Island seems destined for both the putrefying stench of rotting eggs and old men whipping out their penises to take a piss in the water. Nonetheless, I went on another hike, hoping that this time would surpass the ‘beauty’ of Roterua’s journey towards the green hills.

The uphill battle upon the Bridal Path in Christchurch was long, tiring, and well-worth-it. Ascending high into the mountains, my calves cry in agony, and I can feel my throbbing, fractured ankle swell within my shoe. As we finally reach the rocky peak of the green hills, I stand in awe. This is the Middle Earth. The panoramic view of the below scenery makes my eyes fill with tears – happy tears. The sun illuminates the water that shimmers a bright blue tint, and the grass that surrounds the bare mountains dances in the cool, crisp breeze that blows against our rosy cheeks.

We have finally reached the green hills.

"Taputeranga" A Poem

A mixture of greens and blues splash across

The rocky red canvas of Taputeranga. The

Blades of grass dancing in the wind surround the ocean

That glistens. I wrinkle my eyes from the rays of

Sunshine as I stand along the rocky shoreline,


Where the cold, crashing breeze breaks and kisses

My wearied face softly like bliss, morning rain

Does to the petals of a wilted, white tulip.

As I hike onward throughout the black sanded beaches of Taputeranga,

The salty air from the oceanic water dries the cracks of my lips.


The tide embraces the still boulders that rest in the water

And wraps its wet arms around the sturdy pillars.

I hike up the green bluffs and stop and sit

On the edge of a cliff that faces the ocean.

The crunch from my turkey and cheese sandwich


Is from the sandy air or the potato chips –

The barbeque flavored potato chips

That I munch on as I stare ahead

At the roaring waves on the shores

Of Taputeranga.