The Origins of the Meme

The Origins of the Meme

One does not simply know about meme history.

Image for postSean Bean in Peter Jackson?s Lord of the Rings. Source: Dust off the Bible

Since the beginning of time, humans have been using images to represent thoughts, feelings and emotions. Starting with the ancient Egyptian form of writing, hieroglyphics (dating back as far as 3200 BC), to present day?s emoticons, pictures can illustrate complex and simple ideas, depicting life?s most memorable to mundane events. That being said, with the birth of the millennial generation, communication has taken on a whole new meaning.

Introducing the meme.

For those of you not familiar with the spider-like workings of the internet, a meme is a comical video, image, text, or combination of those, that is commonly copied (with slight adaptations), and spread rapidly throughout the internet.

Like the paintings of a museum, each meme comes with its own story.What is maybe considered the Mona Lisa of the meme world is the, ?One does not simply? meme. It began with one of the most famous stories of all time, The Lord of the Rings. For those of you not familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien?s greatest trilogies, The Lord of the Rings; they were the novels that inadvertently produced one the most popular memes of all times. Taken from Peter Jackson?s film adaptation, Sean Bean, otherwise known as Boromir, played the character that is now seen in these infamous memes.

The meme was originally taken from the first of the trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring, where in a scene Sean Bean proclaimed, ?One does not simply walk into Mordor.? This screen shot was then used and reused in numerous adaptations, and it was at this moment that meme history was made.

The scene from Peter Jackson?s LOTR, in which the meme originated from. Source: Youtube

Although old, dating back to 2001, the trend for this meme didn?t pick up until 2011, where its usage sky rocketed.

Image for post?One does not simply? meme trend over a period of 7 years. Source: Google Trends

The adaptations for this image began with minor changes that were more related to its original context, such as this one:

Image for postMeme adaptation- One does not simply walk into my room. Source: Meme Center

As time went on, the collective mind of the internet fashioned it into its own version of the meme, making it more relatable to everyday life, (as what memes are designed to do).

Image for postMeme adaptation- One does not simply go a day without coffee. Source: Imgflip

On a side note, you may be wondering what this actor thinks of his meme infamy. Well wonder no more, for here is a short video with his opinion on being one of the most popular memes.

Sean bean and his opinion of his meme infamy. Source: Youtube

And thus ends the history of the ?One does not simply meme?. With that being said, here is my contribution to its future.

Image for postMeme adaptation by myself using Imgflip. Source: Imgflip


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