Though I started my journey into the world of Tolkien as brought to life by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh late in the game (2016), I am now obsessed. In this article, I will expound on a few of the reasons why.Continue reading
JULY / AUG 2013: BY CHRISTY McDOUGALL
“A plague on Dwarves and their stiff necks!” This is one of the first statements by Legolas Greenleaf the Elf about Gimli son of Glóin the Dwarf we read about in The Lord of the Rings. In the history of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, Elves and Dwarves had always had a complicated relationship. On some occasions they were close friends, as when Celebrimbor the Elf helped his friend Narvi the Dwarf create the doors of Moria. On other occasions, they turned against each other with vicious malice. Most animosity between them was caused by the love of gold and other precious things and by treachery caused by that love, on the sides of both Elves and Dwarves. Over time, mutual injustices have built up to the extent that friendships between members of the two races are decidedly improbable. Continue reading
MARCH / APRIL 2013: BY JEANNA MARIE
O môr henion i dhû. Ely siriar, êl síla. Ai! Aníron Undómiel!
It was the eve of a historic day. The coronation of Isildur’s long-awaited heir would unite the war-ravaged people of Middle Earth—a land thought to be forever divided, forever lost. Aragorn, son of Arathorn, King Elessar of the House of Telecontar, had finally come home. In blazing glory, he’d united his kingdom and guided her to triumph in the War of the Ring. The Dark Lord Sauron was defeated and the Ring destroyed. Mordor, not Gondor, lay in ruins. Evil and tyranny, so long prevalent, could once more become but a stranger, for good had prevailed.
Above the city of Minas Tirith, millions of stars shone like glittering jewels, joining a luminous moon in applauding Middle Earth—and her king—its victory. Minas Tirith seemed to drink in the peace of the placid night, only occasionally interrupted by the rustling of the newly flowering tree outside its throne room. Until… Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2012: BY CHARITY BISHOP
One of the most fascinating races in Middle-earth are the Elves. They’re Tolkien’s favorite, and he spent many years creating their culture, history, and languages. His love of the Elves speaks of his deeper love for Creation and God. By creating myth in Middle-earth, he borrowed from and honored his faith. Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2012: BY GINA DALFONZO
Who’s the real hero of The Lord of the Rings? Your answer reveals a lot about how you see J. R. R. Tolkien’s seminal work. Maybe you think of it as a saga of kings and conquerors, of a protracted war to overthrow a despot and restore a rightful ruler. In that case, you most likely named Aragorn as the hero. Or maybe, like many people, you think of The Lord of the Rings primarily as a tale of friendship and unbreakable loyalty. If so, you may have picked Sam, the hobbit who proves to be the most loyal of friends. Tolkien himself appears to have taken this view, referring to Sam in a letter as “the chief hero.” Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2012: BY HANNAH KINGSLEY
In The Lord of the Rings, its author J.R.R. Tolkien constructs many relationships where characters are paired to be mutually dependent on each other for encouragement, strength, and the courage to face unbearable odds. Sam and Frodo are one popular example of this bond between “brothers,” another being Merry and Pippin. Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas enter a “brotherhood” that proves beneficial in battle and in peace time. But these aren’t the only pairings: Arwen and Aragorn are also a significant “couple.” Their bond may be less brotherly and more along romantic lines, but there are still parallels that can be drawn in the way their lives intersect and impact one another. Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2012: BY RACHEL SEXTON
The most popular fandoms in movies, books, and television are highly concentrated in the fantasy or science-fiction genres. A central distinguishing feature of most of these stories is that their setting is an entire created world. One of the most detailed of these, with a vast mythology made up of a full history, geography, and languages, is the world of Middle Earth. Created by J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle Earth was his setting for his children’s novel The Hobbit and his masterpiece The Lord of the Rings. Aside from its scope and depth, Middle Earth feels authentic and real because its characters, whether they’re Elves or Hobbits, experience real emotions we can all relate to. Unrequited love is part of human experience and is present in Middle Earth too. The relationship between Aragorn and Éowyn is characterized by fellow warrior camaraderie and a romance that does not come to fruition, which humanizes the epic story of good versus evil. Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2012: BY ELLA G.
There is a quote that reads, “Friendship isn’t about who knew you the longest—it’s about who came and never left your side.” Its an easy quote to think happy thoughts about and let them pass on by. But think about it. The friends worth having are the ones who laugh, cry and do whatever it takes to make you a better person. It’s not easy to be that type of friend. It’s much quicker to be a casual acquaintance that bails at the first sign of trouble. Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2012: BY CHARITY BISHOP
Tolkien fills his stories with elements of Christian theology and symbolism, particularly when it comes to his many Christ-figures. These include Frodo (the “Suffering” Christ, bearing a burden of Sin to its destruction), Gandalf (the wizard who is more than he appears, and after sacrificing his life for others, comes back “glorified”), Arwen (who intercedes for and sacrifices her mortal life for those she loves), and even Sam (as the eternal helper and servant). But never is the Christian theology more clearly expressed than in the story of Aragorn as it unfolds in The Lord of the Rings. Continue reading
NOV / DEC 2012: BY HANNAH PRICE
There are many tragic characters in the Lord of the Rings, but arguably none quite as tragic as Gollum. This abused, twisted character is fascinating to study because he’s so complex. There are two sides to his personality and the constant internal war he endures makes him unique. His story begins and ends tragically as Gollum treads the path of self-serving evil, and as Galadriel says in the prologue for the Fellowship of the Ring, “the power of the One Ring cannot be undone.” Continue reading