There are movies and then there is “The Lord of the Rings.” Watching the 3rd of the trilogy with our daughter was epic. Full of fantasy, ugly creatures, and bionic spiders good and evil are spelled out with vigor and magnificent description.
The man, JR Tolkien must have had an imagination that never quit. I am not a fan of large, creepy, slimy spiders, horrid Orcs, or the Dead People,
but none make me cringe more than the character “Gollum.”
His beady eyes, rotten teeth, and long, gangly fingers are hard to watch; his voice is scratchy and wicked. He is not to be trusted nor is he worthy of anything good.
His entire world is his deadly pursuit of the “ring.” He will do anything to get it back.
The gruesome battles of winged, disfigured monsters, elephants the size of buildings and tribe after tribe of men with faces and bodies of horror stand out as the ugly of ugly.
These tribal warriors of evil believe they will win the war until the “dead people” show up as the ghosts they are and annihilate them all with whatever dead people use.
Entrenched in this series of battles, fights and in-between moments of love, is the “ring.” According to Tolkien, he never intended the story to be symbolic; but a fantasy series which eventually named him “father of modern fantasy literature.”
His good friend, C. S. Lewis who is famed for “The Chronicles of Narnia” series was gifted also with great imagination and a flare for fantasy. Tolkien and mutual friends of C.S. Lewis were influential in his conversion from atheism to Christianity.
The writings of these 2 stars of Utopian delusion wove a deep thread between right and wrong. C.S. Lewis realized his faith in his characters such as Aslan, the Lion and the Evil White Witch and in the end The Last Battle.
Tolkien had little intentions for his “fantasies” to epitomize the truth of the Bible but it is difficult not to see the resemblance.
Without being a “spoiler” if you haven’t seen the 3rd of the Trilogy, you should; but I recommend watching it on an empty stomach. I would hate for anyone to lose their dinner in the fantasy world of “middle-earth.”
As I managed to swallow some of the gore of headless Orcs or henchmen’s violence, there was an underlying tone of the world we live in. The great Professor endured his own pain by getting bit by a large Baboon Spider as a child, was kidnapped by a house boy and lost his father at a very young age to rheumatic fever. He served in the British Army during WWI where he contracted “trench fever” and trench foot. The result of his miseries is direct connotations in his trilogy. He lived his imagination.
Crazy as it sounds, a tiny gold “ring” becomes the center of world war. Symbolically, we have adapted many “rings” in our culture bringing society to the brink of destruction. The “pull” or attachment of its powers has an overwhelming, life draining affect on the human mind. For some like Gollum, it possessed him; he couldn’t live without it even if it meant death.
Earthly corruption sinks deep and the Titanic’s Captain boasted the magnificent ship was built to withstand anything. Except an iceberg he didn’t see coming.
It matters little the subject; what counts is our ability to separate the subject from our personal creeds. Empty spaces in our lives cannot remain empty. Either we will purposely fill them or they become a barren wasteland full of Orcs.
I would like to think J R Tolkien understood the relative nature of God, the love of God and his affection for his people. His devout faith remained as a constant throughout his life and hardships.
Researching the upheavals and tumultuous events of this educated, gifted writer and poet, it is evident God spared his life over and over. Why?
To leave a creative legacy of good and evil the secular world would accept. Even as he was awarded the insignia of the Order of Buckingham Palace, and given an Honorary Doctorate from Oxford, his heart was in the characters that played many parts of his own life.
As far as your defiance Professor Tolkien that your literary genius was not symbolic to the writings of the Bible, I beg to differ.
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