It was brought to my attention a few days ago just how lucky I was to have stumbled across The Council of Elrond website. As I was feeling really bad, many friends pulled together and cheered me up and reminded me that we are family here, not just nameless faces and this got me to thinking.
We all came to The Council of Elrond out of a common love for The Lord of the Rings whether it was the movies or the books, we all loved the story, the characters, and the various places that were created in our minds by the story. I then asked myself what made us stay. We came, we checked out the site, visited the chat room, looked at the humorous pages, possibly even enjoyed some of the various recipes, so why after investigating, what made people stay? I found my answer with one simple word: FAMILY! While we wrote a brief journal entry, or chatted in the chat room, something was happening to each of us. It wasn’t something that was visible, but it happened none the less. As we shared jokes, hugs, tears, and laughs, we not only became a person who had come here to share about LoTR, we were sharing a part of our lives. This is what other Council Members have to say about the site:
Shieldmaiden23 states: “I love CoE because it gives me a place to tell people about my Tolkien thoughts and fantasies (not yucky kinds, just general musings) without being looked at weird or greeted with blank stares. I guess this place feels like a family because we listen to each other and help each other when we need it. I’m really glad I was introduced to this site.”
Elda_mellon states: “I LOVE this place! It can be personal when you want and public when you want! Everyone is seriously nice and totally cool! Yep it feels like a family to me.”
Lady_Nienna states: “I don’t remember how I found the Council of Elrond website, but I am so glad that I did. I have never felt so welcomed, so a part of a family of LOTR fans as I do here. Everything on this website is fascinating. I find that I cannot tear myself away.”
ElfElbereth states: “I came to CoE because I was looking for a Sindarin course. CoE just pulled me in like a fish on a hook. It was loaded with information, pictures, and most of all great people from all over the globe. I love the chat room, forums, and most of all, the journals. It’s fun just getting to know people and participate in their lives on a daily basis from so far away.”
Musicalgal123 states: “We are a family and a home here. If you think about it, we don’t discriminate people here because we can’t see our differences. We can only see our similarities.”
Lady_of_Rivendel states: “Here at CoE it doesn’t matter what you look like, where you live, or what you believe in. Here all that really matters is that you love the LotR and are willing to meet new people with new perspectives. Family is the perfect word.”
Atolkienhead states: “CoE has given me a place to share my love of Tolkien and the movies in an environment that is both friendly and informative. It is a wonderful feeling to know that no one here is going to laugh or make one of those remarks “she’s ate up”! I love reading the journals. They help to tie us together with little bits of ourselves and I love to define myself further in the forums and realms. Knowledge and talent run rampant on this wonderful site!”
Aislynn_of_Osgiliath states: “There is indeed a family feel here, where we have a lot more in common than just our love for LotR. This isn’t just a site with funny pictures (though it has them!) or even where you can read some peoples’ thoughts on their day (though you can do that, too!). At CoE, you interact with genuine people, who can talk about more than just LotR. That makes the difference, I think. We’re not just fans here. We care about each other. We’re family.
I think that pretty well sums up what most of the members here feel about joining this wonderful home. We find that between the chat room and the journals, people have opened up and shared their lives and become a family. If that is not enough there are also the smaller families inside of this really large family in the realms. We have 14 realms called: Aulë the Smith, Estë the Gentle, Lórien, Mandos, Manwë Súlimo, Nessa, Oromë, Tulkas Astaldo, Ulmo, Vairë the Weaver, Vána the Ever-Young, Varda Elentári, and Yavanna Kementári. I am a member of the Yavanna Kementári realm where I have found the people are friendly and fun. We are a close family and we share our joys, sorrows, laughs, and hopes with each other. We have a lot of wonderful activities in our realm that brings us even closer. We have a great RP going called “The Long Winter” where our precious Yavanna has been kidnapped and a group of newly found friends set out on a mysterious adventure, seeking what was precious to them and lost. There is a great thread called “The Lord of the Huggles” where we exchange words from the movie or the book for huggle. Example: One huggle to rule them all, One huggle to find them, One huggle to bring them all and in the darkness huggle them. We have a recipe thread where we exchange our own ME recipes with the realm of Vána, then there is our “Virtual Garden”, this is the realm’s own virtual place to keep all of our flowers. So as you can see as a person gets active within the realm they get very much involved in the “family” of Yavanna. This is what the Realm Head and Leaders of the Yavanna have to say:
Abraon is our Realm Head. She states: “I took over Yavanna with slightly mixed feelings, not really knowing what to do, say or present. Step by step I slowly put to work all of my ideas I brought in and I turned back to see many friendly faces that looked up to me as their leader. I think that moment was worth it all. I love this place above anything else; it’s my true second home. I don’t think I can say thanks enough to people that were patient with me and supported me in every way. I would not give up that job for anything! Oh, and have I mentioned that the people are great? It’s like having a second family, here on CoE, and not needing to fight over their personal space. It’s truly an honor for me to be where I am right now.”
LadyAdaneth is one of our Realm Leaders. She states: “Why is CoE like a family? Well as much as anything, because unlike real life out there, people are highly tolerant of an individual’s beliefs, interests, hobbies and their need to communicate them! What’s it like to be a Realm Leader? The Realm of Yavanna is truly a happy community. I’ve enjoyed helping the occasional person who has needed pointing towards a way to do something or other, even to just get started in the Realm. Mostly, my only problem is to keep up with reading the new posts, since Yavannildi are a creative and productive lot and there is always something happening.”
Nauma is our other Realm Leader, she states: “What is it like being a Leader: It rocks! I like to think of my role as being the one who starts trouble: I help set up activities and then watch as y’all run from there. And just being around to help when I’m needed, which I love, because it means I get to be involved in just about everything.”
So the best thing I can say to anybody is, pull up a chair and stay for awhile. Join us in chat, the journals, realms, or whatever else catches your fancy. I promise you will be made welcomed and a part of the family.