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”


    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>


Connect With us

Tab indicator
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@NickVitani Not yet, but stay tuned for more Quantum entertainment updates in the near future.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@SvenGruber Our apologies, Sven. We've forwarded your info to the correct office and they should be reaching out to you soon.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@davidpere27 Great question! We are trying to get details for you and will let you as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@MsOMG1974 We apologize for the delay. If you would like to DM us any additional questions we'll be sure to reply promptly.
Sit back and enjoy the ride. How are you relaxing this Labor Day?
Kick off the long weekend with warm tropical breezes.

#royalwow photo thanks to chelsea9wilson.
Join CEO Richard Fain and David Pogue now as they reveal how technology on Quantum of the Seas is innovating the vacation experience:
Last week, Quantum of the Seas docked out for the first time, and tomorrow we're revealing exciting details about our newest ship. Watch live at 10am EDT:
Need a weekend escape?

Photo thanks to s_marie92.
Dream vacations are our specialty. Book by 8/20 and get up to $200 onboard credit PLUS 50% reduced deposit during our WOW Sale:
Spend more days wearing flippers.
Quantum's first passenger? A 30-foot-tall magenta polar bear created by artist Lawrence Argent. Get a first look at the world-class art collection onboard:
It's the final countdown - Quantum of the Seas arrives in the US in 100 days. When will you be sailing on our newest ship?

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

  • Our favorite accesso Our favorite accessory. 12 hours + 18 minutes ago
  • Go and see. Go and see. 12 hours + 19 minutes ago
  • Let's set sail. Let's set sail. 12 hours + 19 minutes ago
  • I'm in love... I'm in love... 12 hours + 19 minutes ago
  • Chill out. Chill out. 12 hours + 19 minutes ago
  • Strokkur Geyser, Ice Strokkur Geyser, Iceland. 1 day + 9 hours ago
  • Bruarfoss waterfalls Bruarfoss waterfalls, Iceland. 1 day + 9 hours ago
  • Waterfall in Iceland Waterfall in Iceland. 1 day + 9 hours ago
  • Alesund, Norway. Alesund, Norway. 1 day + 9 hours ago
  • Sunset on Navigator Sunset on Navigator of the Seas. 2 days + 9 hours ago
  • Dream today, go tomorrow. #caribbean
  • No worries for miles. #allure
  • Waiting for you. #cococay
  • You can never have too many beach days. #bahamas
  • Close encounters in #StThomas.
  • Just when you thought vacation couldn't get any better. 
#royalwow photo thanks to @jplotzster.
  • Skydiving, now available at sea level. #quantumoftheseas
  • Make your bucket list a reality. #roatan
  • Say it isn't so! It's the final day onboard Allure of the Seas which means it's the finale of @AwesomenessTV's Shipping Julia. Follow the link in our bio to watch.
  • What's your favorite Caribbean destination?
Out of Office: Never Leave Home Without a Sense of Humor

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:32 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD One of the likely casualties of the rise of online communications is the travel disaster fueled by misinformation or no... Continue Here to Read More…

It’s Not Rocket Science – Keep Your Head in the Game

Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:20 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD This is intended as the first in a series of relatively easy to accomplish tasks that remarkably few aspiring managers actually... Continue Here to Read More…

Why the Royal Caribbean Brand Continues to Evolve

Monday, July 28, 2014 10:02 AM

By Vicki Freed, SVP of Sales and Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International I asked some of the Royal Caribbean International senior leadership to write a guest blog about the state of... Continue Here to Read More…

My New Responsibilities

Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:37 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. When I took on my new responsibilities a few months ago, I thought it would be very interesting to become a provider of shared... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean at the Food & Wine Classic

Monday, July 21, 2014 11:52 AM

By Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International I recently returned from Aspen, Colorado where Royal Caribbean International was the official cruise... Continue Here to Read More…

Have You Cruised on 30 Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:07 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Less than four months to Quantum of the Seas! As one of my law professors like to say, the “relentless march of the... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean Expands Cruise Vacation Offerings in Asia

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:30 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. My latest travels brought me back to Asia the week of June 16 – 20.  As always, the pace and energy of the region are... Continue Here to Read More…

Personal Plans for the Second Half of 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:51 AM

Blog by Adam A quick update on my other doings as the “empty nest” approaches even faster than the delivery of Quantum of the Seas. Our family continues our involvement with many aspects of... Continue Here to Read More…

How Entertainment on Quantum & Anthem Will Transcend Anything You've Seen on Land or Sea

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:22 PM

Blog by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International Hello, everyone.  Last week I had the pleasure of being in Las Vegas where we announced the amazing... Continue Here to Read More…

Catching the Travel Bug: My Explorations through SEED

Friday, June 20, 2014 11:18 AM

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s community support efforts often focus on education and social services for underserved youth. Over the years I have written from time to time about my long term... Continue Here to Read More…